Paul Billington: Hello everybody, nice to be with you. Why are we so interested in this referendum? Because we see, being involved here, the fulfillment of Bible Prophecy. Going back to my youth, around about the 1950's, '58 probably, I was studying a book by John Thomas called Elpis Israel. In that book I saw evidence to the fact that Britain has a lot of work to do as far as establishing Israel is concerned. Now we have seen that happen. We have seen Israel move back into the land at the time of the First World War; we have seen what happened at the Second World War and we have seen in 1948 the State of Israel, so Bro Thomas' ideas, his writings have proved to be pretty well correct on all that. However there is another issue that comes up and that is Britain's relationship to Europe, and that is what this referendum is all about. What were our expectations there? Well, John Thomas in at least two places, one was in Eureka and another was in some of his other writings like Herald of the Kingdom, made it quite clear that Britain's place was not in Europe. He enumerated the 10 horns of the beast and pointed out that Britain was not to be numbered with those 10 horns but was separate from them. He goes into all of that, that they were Anglo-Saxon and not Germanic. I have no prepared notes, this is just off the top of my head.
Britain goes to the polls for a vote on leaving Europe.
However, to simplify the matter, why do we expect Britain to come out of Europe? That's the fundamental question that we are looking at here. The reasons are in two parts. The one is that through the writings of John Thomas we have always expected that Britain would not to be part of the ten horns. That is to say, they would not be part of the European beast.
The other matter is perhaps even simpler. Britain's alliance in the latter days is given to us very clearly, in Ezekiel 38:13. It is important to notice that the alliance is not with European powers. It is interesting this alliance because of what it has to say about traders and merchants. We see an alliance of nations which are enumerated as Sheba, Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all the young lions thereof. There is another translation of that given to us in the New English Bible. It talks about the traders of Tarshish and all the leading traders thereof. Instead of young lions it has all the leading traders. I don't know about the translation of that but the import of it is quite clear. There is to be a trading block centred upon Sheba, Dedan, this Tarshish power, and all its young lions, and that is to be in the latter days. Now, if you look at the context of that chapter you see that it is at the time when Russia, namely the Gog of Ezekiel chapter 38 is coming down upon the mountains of Israel and he is going to take the mountains of Israel and it is going to be a time of trouble for Israel, until they are delivered by the Lord Jesus Christ. As that happens you have got this block of nations, which is Gog of the land of Magog, Meshech and Tubal, but opposite that you have got Tarshish, the traders of Tarshish with all the young lions thereof. So there are other trading partners which are related to it. They are young lions of the Tarshish power, so they are there to trade. It is a trading block. It is in opposition to Gog who comes down from the north to plunder, to take a spoil. He is going to Israel. Now does this indicate that at the time there is a much stronger connection between this Tarshish power and the nation of Israel? I suspect it probably is so. We are probably going to see in the future some rather interesting developments as Britain and Israel come back together again. They were together pretty strongly at the time of the Balfour Declaration and because of work being done by opposing powers, namely the papal power, they were restrained and Britain did some rather horrible things as far as Israel is concerned with those Jews who escaped the Holocaust, were trying to get back to the land and Britain at that time under Bevin did everything he could to stop them doing it, and there were some very tragic stories and even deaths resulted from that.
So we expect to see Britain reform an alliance. Now she is not going to be in an alliance with Sheba, Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and the young lions, as well as with Gog, Magog. She is either on one side or the other. It is very, very clear which side Scripture puts her on and that is on the side of Sheba, Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish. So that's basically Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and those nations to the south of Israel. That's what we see told to us in the Scriptures. That's what we expect to see. On that basis then we do not expect to see Britain being part of the European Union, rather we expect to see her being part of a trading block with the Arab nations such as Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish which would broadly be the old colonies which developed into the Commonwealth as we now know it. That would include Canada, New Zealand, Australia and many other smaller nations as well. You would be surprised if you looked at a map to see where the Commonwealth countries are just how much territory they cover. Even including, still today, India. The head of the Commonwealth is of course, Queen Elizabeth II. So when she is crowned queen, when you go back and look at her coronation she is to become queen, not just of Great Britain, not just Scotland and Ireland and Wales, but she would be queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries as well. So the interest isn't just simply one of Britain being part of the European Union or not but rather that she should have this other alliance, so she will be moving to establish that alliance. Now, if it should be that this referendum choose that she should come out of Europe she is going to be desperate to form another alliance or alliances. So we would expect her to move closer to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all the rest of them.
That is what I would expect to happen.
The question is, when is it going to happen? Now for us it is exciting thing that it could happen now. As a result of this referendum tonight. We hope and would think that it is because if that happens the Lord Jesus Christ is at the door and we can expect it at any time. If it is no, and she does not come out at the moment, all I can tell you is this, that Britain is going to go through a terrible time of suffering. There is going to be a lot of trouble for Britain.
Back in 1975 I went to listen to a talk, after the referendum of 1975. That is when Britain voted to go into, what was then the European Economic Community, the EEC, the Common Market as they called it. I remember that quite well, and afterwards we were all disappointed because we thought that Britain did not have to go into Europe. Well, she did go into Europe. So sometime after we went to a Bible class delivered by Graham Pearce, back in those days. I have got the recording still at home. It is very interesting. As a matter of fact the new Bible Magazine which is in the process of being prepared at the moment. That Bible class has been transcribed and will appear in full in the Bible magazine when it comes out, in a few weeks.
Yes, we have seen this all happen before. We have seen referendums and it did not go the way we had hoped, but Bro Graham pointed out that the reason for that was that Britain had changed. The Britain today is not the Britain that did exist in the past. Anybody can see that's the case. In Canada or some of the other countries as well. Just taking for example, the moral state of these various countries. They are not what they were. These countries did not have the Truth but they honoured the Bible. They honoured the 10 Commandments. They honoured the Beatitudes as people call them. People read the Psalms. There was a much higher respect for the Bible. People had a greater knowledge of the Bible in those days too. So the country has changed, and with that change there is no longer a respect, and this is true for Canada as it is for Australia and the United States as well. Countries which were brought up on the Bible. Sometimes on Puritan principles, especially in the States. All these things changed and gradually came in a terrible time as far as their relationship to God is concerned. You had come in the principle of evolution. People started to say well, it wasn't God who created man after all. It just evolved. There was a determined effort by certain people. You can read about it in such books as 'In the Minds of Men' by Ian Taylor. He points out how this was a determined effort by certain atheists, humanists to turn the tide against religion. It has been done very successfully. When you go to Britain today, you would never think that it was the Britain of long ago, who put the queen on the throne and honoured the Bible, and she was presented with "The lively oracles of God." That was the situation and all that has gone. There is now no respect for the Bible or what the God of the Bible has to say.
So Bro Graham, in his talk, said that now she has chosen to stay in Europe. As a member of Europe, she is a member of that harlot system which is described to us in the book of Revelation. So where does that leave us now? God is very merciful in my mind, and he has given people another chance. They now have had a chance to vote again. This time they can vote to come out of Europe, and separate themselves. But if they do so it won't be on a religious basis. It should be on a religious basis but it won't be because people don't know. And why don't they know? Have we, the witnesses, done our job properly? Have we enlightened the people around us as to the nature of that European system? The harlot that it talks about in Revelation. My own conclusion is that we have not done so. We have been very lax in that regard. We have not made a witness and we have not done it strongly enough.
So consequently, what is going to happen if Britain decides to stay in Europe now, having been given another chance by a gracious God, to come out of Europe? If she refuses to do so now, she can expect a lot of trouble. It is going to be very, very nasty for those people. That's how I see it. So let me put it another way, I see the result of this referendum for Great Britain and probably for the Commonwealth countries as well, I see it as important as the outcome of the Second World War. Now, that's saying a lot. The Second World War was a dreadful time. 55 million people were killed in the Second World War. I can remember it quite well. Britain came out of that and as the King of England, King George VI called for a national day of prayer and thanksgiving. He thanked Almighty God for a great deliverance. What have they done with that deliverance? What have people done with it? They have turned to humanism. They have turned to all these immoral laws that are now passed. Even in Canada here too, we have them. You know they call them transgenders or whatever it is. It is a terrible situation. The world has now come down to the sink. The dregs of the sink. All you can say is that a terrible time will come. Our prayer is that the Lord Jesus Christ will return, and we the believers will be taken out of it. As Israel itself will be taken out of it.
Israel will go through a time of trouble. They will suffer terribly. It is the time of Jacob's trouble but the prophet says that she will be delivered out of it. We need to beware that we lay emphasis upon Russia coming down and destroying Israel. Israel will not be destroyed. Israel as we know it might be removed out of the scene and change but it will not be destroyed. Israel is going to develop. It is going to become more spiritual. A lot of people in Israel may lose their lives. There is going to be a time of trouble such as never was, but the prophet says that she will be delivered out of it. I pray that we the believers may be delivered out of it, because we have a rising generation coming up and you think of them.
I have in my hand here a little booklet. It is one that we published. It is called 'Guardians of Israel and Arabia." We published it in 1990. How many years ago is it since 1990? In 1990 we have a full page published here that says "Britain's exit from Europe is inevitable." So we have been looking at it for all that time. We have been expecting Britain to exit from Europe. We did not use the word Brexit, but we used the word exit. So you can see why this referendum is so interesting to us. Because we are looking at events that we have been expecting for a long, long time. I can take you to two or three issues of the Bible Magazine, probably three or four, which say the same thing, that Britain must come out of Europe. So it is something that is a matter of faith. So I remind you that we say that is because her alliance is with Sheba, Dedan and the trading powers of the young lions. That's where her alliance is going to be. It can't be with them and with Gog. It either has to be one or the other because the two are opposed. We look at the Scriptures and see the indications. The question for us is, is it going to be now? Could it be tonight? As we listen to these results coming in now and we don't know what the answer is yet, could it be tonight that Britain votes to leave Europe? We would hope and pray that it is.
You might recall the time when God spoke to Abraham and he said he was going to destroy Sodom. And Abraham said, Lord, will you do it for the sake of 50 people? and he said if I can find in the country 50 people I will not destroy it for 50 people's sakes. You will remember the story, how it comes down, and down and down. Will you destroy it for the sake of 10 people? If there are 10 people there who are righteous I will not destroy it for the sake of 10 people. It is a very similar situation now that we face. Will Britain be destroyed like Tyre of old was destroyed. The daughter of Tyre is Britain. Will it be destroyed? It all depends on God's will and purpose. But as Abraham pleaded with God, Don't destroy it because there are some righteous people there. What happened was that God sent his Angel and took Lot and his family, such as would come and took Lot out. Sodom was destroyed. So you look at the situation today and say, how many faithful, and I emphasize the word faithful, Christadelphians are there in Great Britain today? Well, we are not judges so we don't know. But we hope that for their sakes, Britain will now choose to come out of Europe. But coming out of Europe doesn't mean to say it's all going to be a garden of roses because it isn't. If tonight we hear the vote that she's going to come out, you are still going to have a lot of trouble that Britain will have to face. She is going to have to face it economically. She is going to have to face it politically. She is going to have to face it in terms of a military build up that is getting very, very dangerous now, and is the forces of Russia. We see Russia resurgent. We see Russia building up her forces. We see her going into the Ukraine. We see her going into Crimea. We see her now threatening the Baltics. All this in preparation for what I believe will be, Russia moving into Europe. Now, when Russia moves into Europe, the little island of Britain is going to be in a terrible state. It is going to be in a dreadful state. We hope and pray that the saints, the true believers, are called out of it when that happens.
As we watch these results coming in tonight it will be a bit boring for those who don't understand the issues but when you really understand the issues, and you see what's going on, you know that the time is at hand and we pray that we may see Britain come out. Listening to the media, listening to the results it doesn't look very likely that Britain will leave but you don't know. The Most High rules in the kingdoms of men and giveth it to whomsoever he will and that is what we are going to see happen tonight. He will give it to whomsoever he will. If it is to be a Britain that stays in, that is one story, but if it is to be a Britain that comes out that is another story more in harmony with what we think prophecy to be. It is a matter of time. Britain will come out. I am as convinced of that now as when we published this booklet in 1990. Quite convinced that Britain will come out but what circumstances it will be and the timing when it will be that we are not told. We do not know. All we know is when the time comes for Russia to come down on Israel, Ezekiel 38, at that time she has formed another alliance with her trading partners, namely Sheba, Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish.
So that gives you a little insight into why we are interested in the referendum tonight. It is not just about politics. Not that at all. It is about the destiny of a people. And the destiny of that people are linked to the destiny of our own people, to the Christadelphians. People that we know in these countries and we hope and pray that God will be merciful and pull us all out of it before the crunch comes. The crunch is coming. We know it from the prophecies. It is going to be Armageddon. Is it going to be sooner or later? With that we don't know.
This has just been off the top of my head. I do not have prepared notes. With that I am going to thank you for being with me and listening to me for another edition of the Bible in the News.