Brexit: In the Greater Context of Biblical Prophecy
We love our acronyms, don’t we? We only have so much time in a day to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. In this fast frenzied world of ours, we are too busy to enunciate or write such things as: Very Important Person. When was the last time you saw VIP written in full? Or LOL? Or RAM (in case you forgot, a computer term for random access memory)?
Some acronyms can have dozens or hundreds of meanings; invariably one application rises to the top. For example: LOL can also mean, lots of love or little old lady!
Likewise with our abbreviations, such as CIA; or IEA (International Energy Agency); or IMF (International Monetary Fund); or FBI. Every state in America is abbreviated, as is the District of Columbia … Washington D.C. On the other hand, we’ve all been aggravated to no end when we hear or read an unfamiliar, unexplained abbreviation. There are literally thousands of these, particularly for world organizations and some of them are a bit bizarre. Like WOOMB … World Organization of the Ovulation of Method Billings. What?
Brexit is neither an acronym nor an abbreviation. It is none other than a portmanteau! We all know what a portmanteau is. Right? Well, some of you may know. I certainly didn’t until I looked it up. Portmanteau is: “a word blending the sounds and combining the meaning of two words” (Oxford Dictionaries). The original usage applied to a two-compartment case or carrying bag (suitcase). Now we use the word more often in a literary sense. Actually, we seldom use the term at all. But we like what happens when someone portmanteaues (verb form!) two things into one.
Which is another thing we love to do in our post-modern era: Combine things to lessen the clutter of everyday life or merge words to coin a whole new person, place, or thing. So we join motor with hotel and we get motel. If you miss breakfast and have other plans during lunch, no problem. Just do brunch. Would pomod (post-modern) work as a portmanteau?!
So what is Brexit? I’m guessing most of you have seen or heard this portmanteau by now. I briefly referred to it in a recent Eye of Prophecy article, The Final Treaty of Rome, Part I (posted 5-14-16).
Here is a brief quote from that article (in italics):
Although the initial design of the Common Market was to facilitate agricultural and trade agreements and cooperation between its European partners, the main objective was to ultimately establish a political union … which has been done. Which is, however, the reason that England refused to join the EEC (Common Market) until 1973. With the British objection based primarily on their apprehension that such a Union would force member states to relinquish national sovereignty to a centralized government with European (intra national) control. Which is also the main reason that England is now considering withdrawal from the European Union, a movement known as Brexit (Britain’s exit).
What could be the repercussions of Great Britain’s exit from the European Union should the referendum pass? European heads of state are more than a little concerned with such a departure. But not just EU leaders. United States President Obama made a recent trip to England, and dropped strong hints that the British should stay put in the EU.
Instead of dwelling in depth on the pros and cons of Brexit, in a moment I’ll defer to a brief summary in Wikipedia.
One reason for limiting any detailed discussion or debate about Brexit in this week’s Eye of Prophecy article can be summarized in the following premise: The immediate consequences of England’s referendum results are not nearly as significant as the big picture implications found in the context of Biblical end time’s prophecies.
It’s these Scriptural ramifications that we need to focus on.
Which is why I didn’t wait until after England’s vote next Thursday (June 23rd) to write this article. In the long run, it’s more than the effect on England or the rest of the world that the outcome of the referendum might have. What is taking place within and between nations of the European Union, which is showing signs of fragmentation, requires a more panoramic perspective. Not the least of which are the fragile, if not crumbling, economies of some European nations … especially Greece. These symptoms, among others, were dramatically declared and cogently condensed in the Bible long ago; unmistakable signs that we are living in the last days.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Brexit (or any European nation’s return to independent national sovereignty)
From Wikipedia, we read:
“Those who favor a British withdrawal from the European Union … argue that being a member undermines national Parliamentary sovereignty, while some in favor of membership argue that in a world with many levels of supranational organizations any theoretical loss of sovereignty is more than compensated by the benefits of membership of the EU. Those who want to leave the EU argue that it would: allow the UK to better control immigration, thus reducing pressure on public services, housing and jobs; save billions in EU membership fees; allow the UK to make its own trade deals; and free the UK from EU regulations and bureaucracy that they see as needless and costly. Those who want to remain argue that leaving the EU would: risk the UK’s prosperity; diminish its influence over world affairs; jeopardize national security by reducing access to common European criminal databases; and result in trade barriers between the UK and the EU. In particular, they argue that leaving the EU would lead to job losses, delays in investment coming to the UK and risks to large and small business.”
(Sample Copy of the Referendum Ballot)
Before we examine what the prophets Daniel and John said about the momentous global developments taking place mostly in the 20th and 21st centuries—prophecies that paint a much broader canvas (cooperation of nations that produced the European Union, but alliances that are and will continue to be a weak mixture of “iron and clay”)—let’s look at another less publicized reason for England’s possible withdrawal from the EU.
Through leaks by an EU official, it’s come to light that the European Commission—the powerful administrative arm of the EU—is beginning to implement plans to form a military force, which the European Union has never had before. Even though the Lisbon Treaty of 2009 called for, “permanent structured defense cooperation” (among EU nations), nothing serious has been done to create a standing army. Apparently, officials in Brussels (Headquarters of the EU) were attempting to keep these plans secret until after the June 23rd British referendum vote.
*Note: Reportedly, the actual aim is to start with border patrols and a navy, then build from there. Two EU nations are allegedly spearheading this military start-up … Germany and the Netherlands.
In reaction, former British Defense Secretary of State Liam Fox, who served under current Prime Minister David Cameron (Cameron obviously supports England’s membership in the EU), said that Britons, “…cannot be conned in this referendum as we were conned in 1975.” (The actual year in which the British voted official approval of EU membership).
One of England’s main concerns was voiced in Brietbart News Network: That a European Union Army would possess, “the ability to take control of national borders without the consent of the government of the nation in question.”
Ostensibly, one of the primary reasons for creating a European military is to better control the massive immigration scenario that is rapidly spinning out-of-control. But the longer-term consequences would be of far greater alarm to many Britons, as recently posted in The New American States: “Under the guise of dealing with the orchestrated ‘refugee crisis,’ the EU is also imposing a transnational armed force with power to intervene in member states, even against their will.”
A Biblical Perspective of Brexit and Alliances
In several Eye of Prophecy articles and with extensive detail in my book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? 666, I refer to Daniel’s prophecies of the four mighty Gentile kingdoms that would dominate the world in their time. Usually, my focus is on Daniel’s vision of four beasts in Chapter 7 instead of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as interpreted by Daniel in Chapter 2. The central content of Daniel 7 fits more precisely with Daniel 9 and Revelation 13 & 17 … the Antichrist, his murderous movement against Israel and Tribulation saints, and the ten kings who give him their authority—not part of Chapter 2.
(Daniel Chapter 7, Left to Right: Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome)
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as recorded in Daniel 2 fits more snugly with today’s subject, as it contains material not found in Daniel 7 and other prophecies. Specifically a statue depicting the four kingdoms; a statue whose feet and toes represent many nations—not just ten kingdoms as we shall soon see.
Daniel Chapter 7 tracks more closely with John’s images of a beast in Revelation Chapters 13 and 17. With, however, the clear distinction that the four beasts of Daniel 7 are the same four Gentile kingdoms first seen by Nebuchadnezzar of Chapter 2.
Whereas, the composite beast (singular) of Revelation is indisputably a man … Antichrist (Nero). The imagery is the same (beast), but not the meaning, i.e. kingdoms in Daniel, king in Revelation.
One reason that Nebuchadnezzar’s dream doesn’t include the Bible’s initial introduction to the Antichrist as given directly to Daniel in his vision is because the God-given dream to Nebuchadnezzar was intended to reveal the four kingdoms in the context of God’s divine providential sovereignty over the rise and fall of nations. A plan that will ultimately result in the Kingdom of God on earth. Other than the triumphant victory and rule of Messiah in the Kingdom of God over the nations of the earth (contained in Daniel 2, 7, and throughout Revelation) there is minimal emphasis on the Tribulation period in Daniel Chapter 2.
Let’s see how this works, as Daniel explains Nebuchadnezzar’s dramatic dream to him.
*Note: Remember this astounding fact: Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t remember any details of his dream … only that it was disturbing and deeply troubled him (Daniel 2:1-3). Thus, Daniel not only interpreted the king’s dream, he first revealed the dream itself, which is impossible except through God.
Daniel Chapter Two
Daniel speaks to Nebuchadnezzar:
“In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight. The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver; its belly and thighs were bronze. Its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay” (Daniel 2:31-33).
We’ll pause here with a historical refresher: The head of gold was Babylon; the chest and arms, Mede-Persia; the belly and thighs, Greece; the legs of iron, Rome. But the feet (including the toes, which we’ll cover in a moment) were, “a combination of iron and baked clay.” The feet and toes represent nations in existence when the Tribulation begins.
Bible scholars who maintain that the seven heads of the Revelation 13 & 17 beast are seven kingdoms, with the seventh representing a Revived Roman Empire, point to this iron and clay mixture to support that theory. In Out of the Abyss and several Eye of Prophecy articles, much Biblical and historical documentation has been presented to show conclusively that the seven heads are seven kings (Roman Emperors), not kingdoms. That there will be a Revived Roman Emperor during the Great Tribulation, but not a (Revived) Roman Empire.
Granted, there will be a semblance of the Roman Empire. How? Why? To what extent?
Answer: A Roman Caesar’s mystical return from the grave will unite (some of) these nations of clay and iron, but not nearly well enough to duplicate the ancient Roman Empire. For two main reasons: (1) The Antichrist and his ten-nation confederation will last only a few years. (2) It will be rivaled in size and might by the kings of the east.
In fact, three of these ten nations will be forced to follow Nero and will most likely not even be European countries. (See, Eye of Prophecy article, One Ring to Rule Them All… published 11-21-15).
Daniel continues his explanation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s vision:
“As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34-35).
The main purpose of Scripture depicting the four world kingdoms (now past tense) and other kingdoms in existence during the last days in the form of a statue was to emphasize how God will bring down these man-made kingdoms; then establish the magnificent everlasting Kingdom of Heaven not made “by human hands.” In short, to dramatically denote the rise and fall of Gentile nations right down to the final ungodly nations on earth when Messiah returns to set up his Kingdom of righteousness, justice, and peace. There is no reference to the Antichrist in Daniel 2, nor his exploits against God’s people (Jews and Christians, including, of course, Christian Jews) found in Daniel 7, 9, 11, and Revelation 13 and 17.
(Daniel 2, Statue Seen by Nebuchadnezzar–The Feet and Toes Will Also Include Some Non-European Nations)
Notice that only the legs of the statue were of (pure) iron … the Roman Empire, which would rise and fall completely. The feet (later we read also the toes) are a combination of iron and clay, but this mixture is NOT a separate kingdom; only four kingdoms are identified here, as well as in Daniel Chapter 7. Thus, the blend of iron and clay is an end-times spinoff of the fourth empire—ancient Rome reflected in and through a revived Roman Emperor (Nero) headquartered in Rome along with the Woman on the beast representing the Roman Catholic Church—in the form of other nations that yield their (individually weak authority) combined weight to the Antichrist.
More Confirmation of Only Four Kingdoms
Because there are obviously ten toes (five on each foot, even though the passage doesn’t actually specify ten or twelve nations if you include both feet), the correlation made by many Bible scholars is that they are the same ten nations as portrayed in Daniel Chapter 7 and Revelation 13 & 17. We’re going to discover strong evidence that the toes and feet can and do represent many more nations than just the ten that yield their governments to Antichrist.
The number of toes shouldn’t be equated to the ten horns (kings) of Daniel 7. Instead the feet and toes represent many nations attempting to align themselves together. We’ll get to that in a moment. This same rationale can be applied to the chest and arms of the statue (three body parts but only one nation, Persia; two if you include the Medes, but that’s still only two, not three. Besides, the Persians were dominant). Or to the belly and thigh; two parts, yet one nation … Greece. Same thing with the two legs, but only one empire … Rome.
Not until Chapter 7, do we find more details of these four kingdoms seen as beasts, e.g. the leopard (Greece) with four wings and four heads—division of Alexander the Great’s kingdom into four lesser kingdoms.
“That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means. …You are the head of gold” (Daniel 2:36, 38).
Note: Daniel uses the plural, we will tell the king. To whom, besides Daniel himself, is he referring? Easy question: None other than the Lord God, the only one who could not only explain the king’s dream, but bring to memory what the king had totally forgotten!
Daniel then discloses the rise and fall of the second and third kingdom (Verse 39).
He continues: “Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes. The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength if iron. But while parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay. This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay to not mix” (Daniel 2:40-43).
Here are some key things Daniel is saying and not saying:
But first: Speaking of Greece (Chapter 7), the subsequent “dividing” of the fallen Roman Empire into many nations is no different than Alexander the Great’s Empire being split into four smaller, less significant kingdoms. The fact is: Neither Alexander’s Grecian Empire nor the Roman Empire was ever the same again—nor ever will be.
The fourth kingdom is still the last kingdom. There is no specific reference to or statement of a fifth kingdom. When Daniel says, “…showing that this kingdom will be divided,” this kingdom is directly connected to its antecedent, “that kingdom” which “will smash and crush all previous empires…” The very fact that Daniel says it will be divided, clearly means that he is still referring to the same kingdom … The Roman Empire.
Remember, the fourth kingdom (Roman Empire) is represented by the legs of iron, with the feet and toes as (divided) extensions of the leg, comprised partially of the iron contained in the legs, but also clay mixed in … feet and toes. The feet and toes are NOT a separate kingdom; rather they are a hybrid of many peoples (through intermarriage) from areas once controlled by the Roman Empire forming many nations that now incorporate primarily the European Union, but not just Europe. Also, other countries including a country that you probably wouldn’t guess.
I’m referring to the United States of America, which is the earth’s greatest melting pot largely of Europeans. Please, don’t compare or think that the United States is a “reincarnation” of the ancient Roman Empire. It is not. Nor is the European Union. Rather, the United States is the most prominent example and intermarriage result of descendants from peoples and nations controlled or greatly influenced by the ancient Roman Empire long ago.
That doesn’t mean that the Roman Empire will be revived or reborn or reinstated or replicated in today’s world. That is NOT what Daniel Chapter 2 is saying or even implying. Nor is Daniel Chapter 9:26-27 as explained in other Eye of Prophecy articles and, with great detail, in Out of the Abyss.
In fact, as developed in One Ring to Rule Them All…, of the ten nations or confederations that will join Antichrist Nero (three by compulsion), only six will likely be from Europe.
The passage states: “This mixture of iron and clay shows that these kingdoms…”
To what or how many kingdoms is Daniel referring? Is he equating or limiting the kingdoms to only ten (the ones that Antichrist will reign over during the Tribulation)? If so, then there should be twelve kingdoms, as he includes both feet with the ten toes.
The formation of the multifaceted feet and toes of the statue began not long after the Roman Empire collapsed. Slowly but surely, nations developed into what we currently see today. Not the least of which are 28 countries belonging to the European Union. Not ten, or twelve. Plus the most obvious assortment of peoples mostly from Europe that constitute the United States of America.
Daniel goes on:
“During the reign of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue or iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain” (Daniel 2:44-45).
Daniel’s summary explanation encompasses the essence and purpose of this prophecy. To divinely demonstrate God’s ultimate sovereign control over people and nations and fulfillment of his plan for the human race. In that regard, this revelation is different (excepting the four kingdoms being the same four of Daniel 7) in form and substance from Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 & 17; which deal primarily with the Antichrist and his ten-nation confederation that will compete against the kings of the east for world domination, but will not succeed.
Thus, the only world government will be the awesome Kingdom of Heaven on earth, governed by Messiah Jesus as the King of all kings.
(An Accurate Comparison/Correlation Between Nebuchadnezzar’s and Daniel’s Visions)
“Those Kings” and “These Kingdoms” that God Will Crush Into Nothingness
Are they (just) the ten kings or kingdoms that give their allegiance and authority to Antichrist?
No, they are ALL of the peoples and nations that have come into existence through intermarriage, ethnic grouping, political alliances, and merging societies since the fall of the Roman Empire (legs of iron). They are countries that are part of the panoramic providential unfolding of the statue from top (Babylon) to bottom (some present day nations).
Chiefly, they are peoples and nations in Europe, but also northern Africa and the Middle East, some of which were controlled by the Roman Empire. Many of these countries have formed alliances at one time or another, especially in the last two centuries—including the United States of America, Arab nations, and most pertinent to today’s article, twenty-eight nations of Europe.
All totaled, there are at least forty modern-day countries that could be considered “divided” from and since mighty Rome fell. Not just ten or twelve (toes and feet). It will be, however, ten of these countries that will join Nero’s conquest to restore the glory of Rome. He will not succeed; hence, no Revived Roman Empire.
So, why must the ten kingdoms joining Antichrist all be from Europe or part of the European Union? Obvious answer: They don’t and won’t. After the Rapture, however, the ten nations who yield their authority to Nero, will be weakened by economic and political chaos the world over. Before Nero returns and after Christ returns, they will “not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix.”
That is, with exception of a 3 ½ year period of time (part of the Great Tribulation) when God will temporarily allow a Satan inspired Nero, “…to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months … And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them…” (Revelation 13:5-7)
Whether England leaves the EU or not, many European nations are weak; staggered by poor economies, unable to pay mountains of debt (nations of clay). Along with England, there are a few strong European nations such as Germany and France and to a lesser extent, Italy. They are the nations of “iron.” As is, for now, the United States of America.
“The mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other…” (Daniel 2:43).
Modern-day international alliances began to take shape when no less than seven different coalitions were formed to counter the threat of Napoleon. At various intervals, these leagues included Britain, Austria, Prussia, Holland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Portugal. But there were also groupings of some nations that supported Bonaparte.
A Serb’s assassination of Austria’s Archduke Francis Ferdinand ignited World War I. Austria retaliated by attacking Serbia in July, 1914. Because of defense pacts previously signed by various nations, war erupted throughout Europe … the First World War. The Allied Powers consisted mainly of England, France, and Russia with the United States joining them in 1917.
Their enemy: the Central Powers—primarily Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). Originally Italy was part of the Central Powers but switched sides and joined the Allied Powers. Russia dropped out of the war early on, with Japan joining the Allies, but with minimal contribution to the war. There were other smaller (clay) nations who fought on one side or the other.
Then came a man who swore to lift his country from the ashes of defeat in World War I. But that was only the beginning. He wanted more. He sought revenge against the nations that (he believed) had humiliated his people. More than that: He was hell-bent to rule all of Europe … indeed, the entire world. Worst of all: He would instigate the Final Solution of the Jews.
Yet, Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich did not adopt nor activate this appalling agenda through alliances. Hitler was convinced that only one man could achieve his ambition of restoring Germany to greatness, of unifying Europe through conquest, of conquering the world.
Who else but he would be that man. Blinded by megalomania, he (vainly) would do what Napoleon failed to do. Though Italy and Japan joined this Axis of Evil, Germany alone launched an invasion of Poland, then France. Germany’s active association with Italy and Japan was, for the most part, after the fact. Had the Allies not prevailed, I’m convinced that Hitler would have eventually turned on Italy and Japan; had they not willingly accepted the Third Reich’s Aryan right to rule the world. He would not have shared his gruesome glory with them.
(One of Many Parade Assemblies of the Third Reich)
Barely twelve years after World War II ended, the Treaty of Rome led to the ten-nation Common Market that developed into what is now the twenty-eight member European Union, of which Germany is one of the stronger affiliates. The objective to facilitate unhindered movement of people, goods, and services between the nations of Europe was only a start-up reason for such a union. The underlying motive was political cooperation and unity to prevent one or more European countries (like Germany) from attempting ever again to dominate Europe.
But as Scripture tells us: “They will not hold together.”
Even if the British vote to remain in the EU, there is growing discontent and alarm among and between the EU nations. Many citizens from several of these countries are becoming wary of the increasing power of the European Commission, the administrative branch of the EU.
There is also talk of the European Commission creating a CIA-like agency.
What’s next? Will the cycle continue? Dictator … Alliances … Dictator … Alliances …
According to Scripture, it will.
Like Hitler, but more suddenly and much more surprisingly, another man will leap onto the stage of world history. He will not need to pursue cooperation from the European Union or any other established coalition to achieve his malevolent warped objectives. People the world over will give him their allegiance for one reason only—his “supernatural” return from the dead (Revelation 13:3-4 & Revelation 17:7-8).
He will orchestrate a (seven-year) treaty; but he won’t need to form an alliance. Ten leaders of ten kingdoms will do that for him, three of them unwillingly at first (Daniel 7:8).
“The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast. They will all agree to give him their power and authority. Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him” (Revelation 17:12-14, italics for emphasis).
The italicized sentence in the above passage clearly tells us that these ten kings/kingdoms will agree (among themselves) to give Antichrist Nero all the power and authority they possess. They will expedite political and military consolidation and expansion of power already afforded to Nero because of his “divine” status as having risen from the grave.
This ten nation confederation will be confronted by the kings of the east (Oriental and other Far East nations). Then they will foolishly combine their forces to take on the King of kings, Messiah Jesus.
“And the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place with the Hebrew name Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16, italics already in the text).
Things to Ponder
Armageddon will be the beginning of the end of World War III. A war so horrible in addition to the awesome judgments of God, that Jesus himself said, “In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones” (Matthew 24:22).
Who will shorten the Apocalypse of Armageddon? Who will spare mankind from extinction?
“…And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).
“Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning Sulphur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies” (Revelation 19:19-21).
Evil must be and will be dealt with harshly and conclusively.
When that happens, “…God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people … He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:3-5).