Revived Roman Empire or Failed Experiment?

Picture1

Challenging the Mockers & Making Biblical Sense of the Brexit Vote

To some of you who didn’t live through the seventies, or are unfamiliar with the prophet Daniel or the book of Revelation, my title seems very strange indeed. So before I discuss the ramifications of the British vote to leave the EU (Brexit), which is personally painful to many of my readers, I need to explain why Bible Prophecy students see this as a big deal. I would also like to rebuff the mocking preachers out there who because of their ignorance or disbelief in End-Times, see this as an opportunity to sneer.

The Predictions of Daniel

The prophet Daniel, saw four different Empires that would arise in human history and swallow up the land and nation of Israel. The history of the Jewish people was unfolded to him right up until the end of the age. The first Empire was Babylon, the second Media-Persia, the third Greece and the fourth Rome. Rome scattered the Jews throughout the nations where they would remain until the end of the age and be brought back to their land by God Himself. With this all of the prophets agree both in the Old and New Testaments including Jesus Himself. Then when Israel was back as a nation in their own land, the fourth Empire would arise again in a different form. Though the Roman Empire was referred to as a kingdom of iron, this last empire was described as being of iron and clay. It is said that they would not adhere together as previous kingdoms but would be a sort of humanistic alliance to fulfill a particular purpose.

“In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.” Daniel 2:41-43

Europe Revived

In 1948, when Israel became a nation once again in their ancient homeland, out of the territory of ancient Rome a new European alliance began with the Treaty of Brussels.[1] For almost seventy years now Bible Prophecy adherents have been watching this alliance grow into what we know today as the EU. It is this alliance, that appears strong as an empire and yet brittle with national sovereignty, that perfectly matches Daniel’s prophecy and will sign a treaty bringing “Peace and Security”[2] and welcoming the re-established nation of Israel into its union. Thus according to Scripture, the EU is in fact the Ancient Roman Empire come back to life but in a different form. The Bible further states that this treaty with Israel would be for seven years and would be broken half-way through by the leader who brokered it. This individual would become the Anti-Christ who would usher in a 3 ½ year period known as the Great Tribulation. At the end of this horrendous period of human history Christ would return and establish His kingdom that will last forever and ever.

New Theories

In recent years, others voices have emerged to deny the fulfillment of these prophecies by the European Union. Many Christians have indicated a reluctance to believe Western powers could fulfill this role due to their “democratic benevolence,” while others have pointed to America or an Islamic Caliphate as the obvious candidate. Indeed, the clamor about an Islamic Caliphate and an “Islamic Anti-Christ” has reached fever pitch of late. I have addressed the fallacy of these theories in my recent book and an article on my website.[3] Now with the Brexit vote and all the talk about the dissolution of the EU, many are saying, “See I told you so!”  Others are genuinely wondering what it all means. But does this outcome guarantee the dissolution of the EU and signify an error in our understanding of Daniel’s predictions, or does in merely underscore their accuracy? Is the EU about to dissolve or is it becoming stronger and moving toward the implementation of its goals? Are the actions of the Brexit constituency, and their colleagues in the other EU nations, determining its demise or reigniting its passion? Are they destroying its iron components or catapulting it past its clay malaise?

Did We Get It Wrong?

The Brexit vote on Friday June 24th has sent shockwaves around the world. It has also caused many who follow Bible Prophecy to question if we got it wrong? What if the EU breaks up? What does this mean for the interpretation of the prophecies? The answer is actually very simple. First of all, even if the EU were to break up, it would not mean that our understanding of the prophecies is wrong. All that is needed is for ten nations to arise from the Ancient Roman Empire and appoint a leader to broker a peace deal with Israel on their behalf.[4] It is true that Daniel seems to indicate more of a union, but he does not specify how tight that union would be. He only says that it would have some of the strength of Ancient Rome (iron) but also that they would not adhere or mix together. This suggests that these nations would maintain some form of independence or sovereignty which is exactly what we see happening. The Brexit vote only underscores the inability to adhere but does not invalidate the interpretation of the prophecy. Furthermore, the UK does not have to be part of this union for it to fulfill the predictions. England was part of the Roman Empire at its peak, but Ireland or Scotland were not. Likewise, the countries in Eastern Europe that are now part of the EU were also not part of Ancient Rome. Nevertheless, Rome would have fulfilled Daniel’s predictions regardless of the expanse of its Empire and so will the EU or whatever it ends up becoming. The reality is that only ten nations are needed to be part of this alliance.

Frustrating Integration

Another point that needs to be made is that Brexit in no way indicates the EU will break up. Of course this is possible, but it’s a bit naïve! It suggests that the leaders in Brussels were clueless of what might happen, played no part in the whole affair, and had no plan for the future. Really? Anyone who has followed the planners of European integration would have to say that is absurd. It is also clear that London was hindering the integration of Europe for some time and frustrating its architects. This situation had to be remedied. Surely David Cameron was aware of this? Furthermore, the treaties and obligations of EU members are not that easy to cast away! Just a day later we are hearing that Brussels wants an immediate divorce but England’s Brexit leaders are pleading for more time. Even a polite split up would take up to two years to complete, but what happens if it gets messy? What price will the EU exact from Britain and what affect will it have on their economy? Could it be possible that the central banks of England and the EU, didn’t know what was about to happen? Are we to believe that they are not working a plan? Did the EU arrive at its current level of integration by praying and hoping for the best? Don’t you think they knew Scotland was anti-Brexit and would likely cut the UK in half? Are we supposed to believe they were unaware of all these things? Surely this kind of naiveté is exactly what they are counting on?

Backing Up the Truck

While the pundits rattle on about all the other referendums that are about to take place in Europe, the Brussels elite begin to float their newfound alternative. As millions in England mourn and beg for a new referendum they suggest that after the divorce, they could kiss and make up. How about observer status they say? How ingenious, how original? Let’s go back to the old WEU[5] strategy when we had 10 member states, 6 associate members, 5 observer status and 7 associate partners. It worked then, why not now? And what about all that lively democracy and Euroscepticism? Do you think that also escapes their notice? Have you forgotten how well that worked for Greece? And what about the vote by Ireland to reject Lisbon and then the second vote to accept it. Just lively debate and democracy? Really??

Conclusion

Dear friends don’t believe everything you hear and don’t be foolish enough to think that politicians are not hiding the truth. Learn the lessons of history and know that when Bible prophesy is fulfilled in such a spectacular way, as it was in the 20th Century, it is not going to be undone by some young upstart be it a politician or a Christian revisionist. Those Christians who mock and sneer at the literal fulfillment of End-Time events in our day, are taking advantage of the ignorance of the church to peddle their sanitized version of events. They use the tactics of the world to marginalized those who disagree with their rosy colored optimism, calling them Dispensationalists,[6] Doom and Gloom Preachers, Xenophobes, and whatever else resonates with their trendy audience. By poking fun and finding fault with those who seek to observe the signs, they elevate themselves and secretly introduce their views which they know the majority of believers would be shocked to discover, and which will not stand up to scrutiny. They like to categorize all Bible Prophecy teachers as those who make false predictions, while their wild “prophetic” claims of worldwide awakening and global transformation plunge believers into denial and false hope. Be careful of those who mock End-Time prophecy and remember that they too are fulfilling it.[7]

[1] Treaty of Brussels was signed on 17th of March 1948

[2] 1 Thess 5:1-3

[3] http://www.understandingbibleprophecy.org/category/islamic-caliphate-myth/

[4] Rev 17:12

[5] The Western European Union was the original body that created the modern EU

[6] Those who believe history is divided into dispensations or ages. Most popular Bible Prophecy teachers hold to this view. I am not a dispensationalist and one does not have to hold this view to believe we are at the end of the age and Jesus is coming soon!

[7] 2 Pet 3:3-4

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: