Britain on the Way out of Europe
The nations of Europe give away more power to attempt to save the Euro.
December 15, 2011 - Audio, 11.00 MIN
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The nations of Europe give away more power to attempt to save the Euro whilst Great Britain stands alone in isolation to protect her trading powers. Welcome to the Bible in the News. This is Matt Davies joining you.
The lone man of Europe
In the past week dramatic events have been taking place in the European Union which see Britain take a few steps towards distancing herself from the nations of Europe. These events are exactly what Bible students have been watching for and mark another sign of the times as we see God at work in the Kingdoms of men.
On Friday the 9th of December European Union leaders met in Brussels to discuss the future of the euro and to seek to save it from collapsing. The summit was held to agree to a new treaty (called a "fiscal compact") which would see members economies being more tightly integrated to allow stronger coordination of economic policies. The new treaty means more powers being taken from the member countries and handed over to the European Union.
Mr Cameron, the British Prime Minister, did not agree to the new treaty stating "What is on offer isn't in Britain's interests so I didn't agree to it" after he had failed to secure concessions for the UK. He was the only leader to do so. He vetoed the new compact ensuring it fell outside of the current EU treaty. The other 26 EU nations resolved to bypass this and negotiate the new fiscal compact which will be implemented by March. For the first time since Britain joined the European Community in 1973, a treaty that goes to the heart of how the EU works will now be decided upon without British representatives being present.
On Saturday December 10th, the Daily Telegraph, in an article entitled "Cameron stands as lone man of Europe" gave the following insight into the events of the previous night: "David Cameron took a decisive step to distance Britain from the European Union yesterday as he became the first Prime Minister to veto a new EU Treaty. Mr Cameron provoked widespread anger among European leaders by refusing to back a deal to rescue the Eurozone... raising questions about Britain's future in the EU... European leaders and Tory skeptics alike suggested that Mr Cameron had set Britain on a course that could end with departure from the EU."
When asked if Europe was divided Lithuanian President Dalia Gry-baus-kaite said “Not Europe, Brits divided and they are outside of decision making. Europe is united...”
These events come after many in Britain have been questioning the UK's membership of the EU. Recently the Daily Express newspaper has been running a campaign calling on the British public and politicians to "Get us out of the EU". The Express is now frequently reporting of the problems of EU membership. One recent headline read "Fury over Britians £50m a day EU Bill" (Nov 24th 2011) and another printed last year read "99% of you say get us out of Europe" (Nov 26th 2010). It seems then that Eurosceptisim in the UK is growing and Britain is being forced into a position of isolation in Europe as the British public are becoming increasingly fed up with the large bills and bureaucracy of the EU. Meanwhile the Euro crisis see's nations continuing to give up their sovereign powers to the system of Europe with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, telling her parliament on Wednesday 14th of December that the 26 other nations had set themselves on an “irreversible course towards a fiscal union”.
A Latter-day Prophecy
When we turn to Gods word, the Bible, we find an interesting chapter in Ezekiel which helps to shed some light on these events we are witnessing in the news. In Ezekiel chapter 38 we have a prophecy about "the latter days" (see v 8 and verse 16). The latter days is a phrase which describes the end of the gentile age. We know that we are living in that time period because one of the events which marks the beginning of the latter day period is that the Jews will have begun to return to their land (see Hosea 3:5). So this chapter then is very relevant to us living today!
The prophecy deals with two power blocks of nations. The first power block is a confederacy of nations led by a character called "Gog" who is from the territory of "Magog" and is the leader of the territories of "Rosh, Mesech and Tubal" (see v2 and v3). Allied with him is "Persia", "Ethiopia", "Libya", "Gomer" and "Togarmah". These are all ancient territories which correspond to modern day Russia, Europe, Northern Africa and Iran. The prophecy speaks of how this confederacy comes down form the north and attacks Israel.
The second power block of nations is described in verse 13 and are depicted as challenging Gog and his allies:
"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?"
The ancient territories of Sheba and Dedan correspond with the modern day Arab states of the Gulf.
Allied with Sheba and Dedan is a trading, merchant, power called "Tarshish". Tarshish, it seems, has a base in the area of Israel and together with Sheba and Dedan they challenge the invading force of Gog asking "Art thou come to take a spoil"?
Over 160 years ago Bible student John Thomas identified Britain as the power spoken of in the prophets as Tarshish. He wrote of this identification in his books 'Elpis Israel', 'Eureka' and 'The Destiny of the British Empire'. John Thomas based his conclusions on the identifying features that the Bible gives about the Tarshish entity. When we look at our Bibles we find that Tarshish has the following characteristics:
• It is a trading maritime power: Isaiah 2:16, 23:1 Ezekiel 27:25
• It is a island or coastal power: Isaiah 60:9, 66:19, Genesis 10:4-5
• It is located to the far west of Israel: Jonah 1:3
• It is allied with Southern gulf states: Ezekiel 38:13, Psalm 72:10
• Tarshish will have descended from Japheth: Genesis 10:4
• It is a source of silver, iron, tin and lead: Ezekiel 27:12
• It trades in global markets: Ezekiel 27:25
• It has strong ties with Israel: Isaiah 60:9, Ezekiel 38:13
When the Tarshish clues are all pooled together we find that no other modern nation better qualifies than Great Britain.
The Bible in the News
To the Bible student then the events that have, and are, taking place in the EU are a sure and certain sign that God is preparing the nations for His plan and purpose as outlined in His word. We see the nations of Europe giving up more of their power and strength to the beast system which is prophesied of in Revelation 17. We see the Tarshish power standing apart from the nations of Europe just as Ezekiel 38 tells us the case will be at the end of the time period of the latter days.
We do not of course know exactly how events will pan out but surely we can see God at work in the Kingdoms of men bringing about the situation required by His word which will bring the nations down against Israel for the great battle of Armageddon. It is at that great time of trouble that the Bible speaks of Christ appearing in glory to the nations with his saints (Zechariah 14:4) and establishing God's Kingdom on the earth. That Kingdom will be the ancient Kingdom of Israel restored with the Lord Jesus Christ sitting on the throne of his father David reigning in peace and righteousness.
Let us therefore watch the events in the news knowing that soon the vision of the future outlined in the Bible will come to fruition. We take comfort from the inspired word of God which tells us that:
"...the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." Habbukuk 1:3
Tune in next week for another "Bible In The News" God willing...
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