Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How Does "Brexit" Align With Bible Prophecy?

Most American’s gave scant attention to a significant headline that came from across the pond this summer—the big political shake-up that has been dubbed, “Brexit.” As the name implies, it refers to the historic vote that took place on June 23, 2016 among the people of Great Britain on whether to remain part of the European Union or to leave it. When the votes were tallied, those in favor of a UK exit won 52% to 48%.  

This was big news in the Eurozone, and it would be akin to one of the larger states in America —like California or Texas—deciding to drop out of the U.S. Because of Brexit, David Cameron, the former Prime Minister resigned, allowing Theresa May to take his place. Moreover, the world economic markets took a tumble in the wake of the uncertainty, as the value of the pound plummeted to near a 30-year low.[1] While the Brexit isn’t formally taking place until 2018 it has many scratching their heads and wringing their hands wondering how this significant change will affect geopolitics and the financial sector.

While some of those immediate questions remain to be answered, we can take comfort in the fact that Bible prophecy gives us clear roadmap of the future. In fact, I would submit to you that the Brexit event actually fits the prophetic picture of global unrest in the end times.

Remember Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2? That polymetallic statue with the head of gold, chest of silver, torso of bronze, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay was a prophecy of world history. The metals represented the rise and fall of nations—Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and Rome 2.0, the final one-world government of the Antichrist. Notice that as we go down the statue we move forward in time and the materials go from highest value to lowest value.

36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king . . . are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay . . .” (Dan. 2:36-43).

By the time we reach the base of the statue we have moved from history to prophecy, from past to future. Notice that the feet and toes are a mixture of old and new—iron and clay. This is telling us that the Roman Empire isn’t fully done away with. Some vestiges of the Roman Empire will emerge in the future, and according to Daniel, it will be in place prior to the coming to Christ to rule and reign over the earth. Since the downward movement from one section of the statue represents the passage of time and since nothing like a ten-fold coalition of Roman rule has ever occurred this shows that the fifth stage is yet to come.  Prophecy buffs have noted that the ten toes of the statue represent a ten-kingdom confederacy of nations or ten leaders who will come together to create a revived Roman Empire—Rome 2.0, so to speak.

If we apply this part of the prophecy to our times we can trace how decades of stage-setting have prepared the world for the entrance of this final kingdom. It appears today that the body known as the European Union is the revived Roman Empire described by Daniel. Several major developments provided the necessary impetus for reuniting Europe.

First, at the end of World War II a dramatic shift occurred. Instead of building up for the next great conflict, like the nations of Europe had done in the past, they decided to come together politically and economically. This officially began in 1957 when The Treaty of Rome was signed on Capitoline Hill, one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. This first confederacy included six nations—Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

Second, the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 has also played a key role. The collapse of Communism throughout Eastern Europe in the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s removed the biggest remaining barrier to European Union. Germany was reunited and all of Eastern Europe was liberated to seek its own destiny. On April 16, 2004, in the shadow of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, eight Eastern European nations joined the EU that could have never joined as long at the Soviet bloc was still thriving. Those nations brought the population of the EU to nearly half a billion.   

Then on January 1, 2002 the EU officially released its common currency called, “the euro.” Many economists expect that one day the euro will replace the dollar as the standard world currency. The strength of the euro has enticed many countries to coalesce with the EU.

So, how does Brexit fit with Daniel’s prophecy? When the UK does drop out of the EU it will take its membership down to 27 countries. The key I believe is found in the image of the iron and clay. The prophecy tells that the iron will be mixed with clay, which speaks of weakness and instability. This mixture of iron and clay shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermingling. Picture a coalition of diverse racial, religious, and political elements which will makeup this final revived Roman Empire. Strong nations will ally with weak nations. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not coalesce. Doesn’t Brexit fit perfectly with this image of instability?   
Accordingly, I believe the EU will remain volatile until it is united and stabilized by the Antichrist who will then use it as his base of operations from which he will build his world empire. As of this moment, God is moving the chess pieces on the board of world politics. He is setting the stage and putting all the props and characters into place for the curtain to rise and the final act of His divine drama to be played out as it was written down in advance so many years ago.

And the best is yet to come! Because at the end of Daniel’s prophecy we read that a stone that comes from the heavens, “not cut by human hands,” and it strikes the statue, grinding it into powder. The stone then grows to the size of mountain and it fills the whole earth.

According to the Daniel, this is a picture of the return of Christ, the Rock of Ages, who will come back in power and glory and depose the kingdoms of man and set up His millennial kingdom on Earth to rule with a rod of iron from a throne in Jerusalem. Do you see the puzzle pieces of prophecy coming together? They are spelling an unmistakable message—Jesus is Coming!  

[1] Kim Hjelmgaard and Jane Onyanga-Omara, “Explainer: The What, When and Why of ‘Brexit,’” USA Today, 21 June 2016 <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/02/22/explainer-what-when-and-why-brexit/80723334/> 

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