Brexit and Bible prophecy
As students of Bible prophecy we believe that the Tarshish power mentioned in the Bible correlates to the power of Britain. In latter day Bible prophecy this Tarshish power is listed as being separate from the powers of Russia, North Africa, Iran, The Turkic nations and Europe. These powers are prophesied to unite into one super power confederacy whilst Tarshish remains separate, trading in the area of the Gulf and being allied with her independent political offspring. The super power invades Israel and this event sees the return of Jesus Christ to the earth, who will defeat the invaders, save the Jews and establish his Kingdom on the earth. The dawn of a new age of peace and righteousness will then be ushered into being and God’s glory will “fill the earth as the waters cover the sea”.
For us then Brexit is very much in keeping with the events we expect to unfold before Christ returns. Britain’s destiny lies outside of the EU and in the direction of the Gulf.
Current state of play
The current situation is fascinating. The UK government cannot get any agreement from Parliament on a negotiated leaving deal with the EU. The EU does not want to negotiate. It seems it is gridlocked and the default position will happen which is that the UK leaves with no deal. The only reason this has even happened is because leave MPs insisted that parliament has a vote on any negotiated deal, probably because they thought they could derail Brexit completely - however this in itself is making a no-deal Brexit more likely.
The comments about hell
The Brexit negotiations have recently become quite heated. This is what Donald Tusk, The President of the European Council stated in a recording published on YouTube by the Daily Mail on 6th Feb 2019:
“I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted #Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely."
Later, Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator, referencing Mr Tusk's comments, later tweeted: "Well, I doubt Lucifer would welcome them, as after what they did to Britain, they would even manage to divide hell.”
Teresa May’s response
Teresa May, the British Prime Minister responded on the 7th of Feb in an interview recorded by the Guardian. She stated:
“First of all I have raised with President Tusk the language which he used yesterday , which was not helpful and caused widespread dismay in the United Kingdom. The point I made to him is that we should both be working to ensure that we can deliver a close relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union in the future and that’s what he should be focusing on… Crucially Jean-Claude Juncker and I have agreed talks will now start to find a way through this, to find a way to get this over the line and to deliver on the concerns that Parliament has to get a majority in palimony and I’ clear that I am going to deliver Brexit. I am going to deliver it on time. That’s what I’m going to do for the British public. I’ll be negotiating hard in the coming weeks to do just that”
Therefore it seems Brexit is not going to be derailed. Even if negotiations fail it seems Britain will be leaving the EU on a no deal basis. This of course would increase the probability of other global trade deals coming into play exactly as we might expect from our understanding of Bible prophecy.
Nigel Farage’s point of view
This is what Nigel Farage, ex leader of UKIP, had to say in an interview for Talk Radio with Julia Hartley-Brewer:
“I think it was me, above all that it was me he was thinking of… When Tusk said a special place in Hell for the architects of Brexit, you listen to the tone of his voice, you look at his eyes he meant it… These are not very nice people… They are scared. They are genuinely scared… Their arrogance is driving British public opinion towards a WTO Brexit… They now think that a WTO no deal Brexit is now possible. They are getting huge pressure put upon them from German industry, French industry, Italian industry, all of whom are saying “look come on grow up, reach a deal with the UK… They are now beginning to worry that they might have overplayed their hand. I only wish the British Prime Minister realised she’s potentially in quite a strong position."
It does indeed seem that the EU strategy looks to be failing. It would appear from comments EU leaders have arrogantly made throughout this process that what they thought they could do is play hard ball with Brexit negotiators. The reasoning behind this would appear to be that this would cause the UK to either back down on negotiating a favourable deal for the UK or cancel Brexit altogether. The Protestant spirit still exists in British culture though and democracy and the vote of the people is something that most politicians still value and so canceling Brexit, although voiced in some quarters is not on the cards at the moment. With he difficulty of getting anything through Parliament even if a more reasonable deal is negotiated also looks unlikely and so, unless things change dramatically, a no-deal looks inevitable.
However, we watch and we wait as we see world events being brought into line by the angels of heaven. We do not know all of the twists and turns but we do know the end state as revealed in the scriptures of truth. We know that God is ultimately in control of all of these things. As it states in Daniel 4:17 "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”
A few words about hell
Before ending this weeks Bible in the news it might be also worth saying a few things about the concept of “hell” in the Bible. The idea that it is a fiery place of torment into which your immortal soul goes should you be deemed unworthy of a place in heaven is not taught in the Bible.
Firstly the concept of having an immortal soul is not a Bible teaching. It is very clear in the Bible that a soul simply means a living creature. Not something that leaves the body upon death. This soul can die and is therefore not immortal this can be seen by the following verses:
“the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezek 18:4
“save a soul from death” James 5:20
“he spared not their soul from death” Psalm 78:50
“my soul chooseth death rather than my life.” Job 7:15
“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:3-4
“the dead know not any thing” Ecclesiastes 9:5-6
“none can keep alive his own soul.” Psalm 22:29
Secondly the idea of hell being a fiery place of torment for bad souls to go to is also not Biblical.
The original Hebrew word 'sheol' means 'a covered place'. The word 'Hell' is the Anglicized version of ‘sheol’. When we come across 'hell’ in our Bibles then we are not reading a word which has been fully translated. This 'covered place', or 'hell', is the grave into which unconscious dead bodies are placed. This can be seen for example in the following verses:
"Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave (sheol).” Psalm 31:17
"For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (sheol); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Psalm 16:10
“Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” Jonah 2:1-2
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave (sheol) whither thou goest.” Ecc 9:10
In the New Testament where the original language was Greek, the word ‘Hades’ that has the same meaning as the Hebrew word ‘Sheol’ is used. Another word in the Greek “ Gehenna” is also translated hell. This was the rubbish tip outside of Jerusalem where waste was burned at the time of Christ. It is from some of the descriptions of this rubbish tip some of the ideas of eternal hell fire have come. Hell certainly is not a place where the souls of unrepentant sinners are tortured for eternity.
Therefore the idea of a special place being reserved for Brexiteers is also unbiblical. The bile teaches that, because of Adam’s sin, all of his posterity are rightly destined to end in hell, or the grave. We have a major problem - the problem of sin and a bias towards breaking God’s laws and doing things which God hates.
As Christadelphian's we look forward to the resurrection of the sleeping, unconscious dead - of those who have known the gospel and who are therefore responsible to it. A judgment will take place and those who have been found acceptable will, in God's love and mercy, be granted a place with the Lord Jesus Christ to have their bodies changed to be made immortal and to help him set up and run the Kingdom of God on earth. The doctrine of the resurrection is throughout scripture (see Psalm 17:15, Daniel 12:2, Isaiah 26:19, Luke 14:14, John 5:28-29, 6:40, 11:24) and is a poke in the eye to the idea that man has an immortal soul. Why would someone need to be raised from the dead if they are already experiencing eternal bliss? It makes no sense.
This language of “hell” is steeped in ancient Catholic dogma which corrupted the truth of the Bible and fused it with the ideas of paganism. These ideas are still prevalent as can be seen by how the word hell has been used by the politicians of today. We look forward to a time of truth when these things will be known throughout the earth.
As we watch the signs of the times, we see the time fast approaching when the Lord Jesus Christ will return and the resurrection will be a reality: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught away together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 These 4:16 and 17.
This has been Matt Davies with you for another Bible in the news. Join us again next week God Willing.