Letter to the Brethren – December 5, 2014
Dear Brethren and Friends,
For decades, the Church of God has warned of ten nations or groups of nations emerging in Europe. In our 85 page booklet authored by Norbert Link, entitled “The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire”, the Foreword has this to say:
“Dramatic events are occurring in Europe that will have tremendous consequences for the entire world! In spite of this, many are blind to the significance of what is happening before their very eyes! They fail to see how to connect the dots and make sense of it all.
“The key to correctly understanding the impact of current events lies in viewing the present and the future through the lens of the past. Only when we open the pages of history can we truly grasp the dimensions of the prophesied end-time scenario as it crescendos globally out of proportion and out of mankind’s control.”
On page 48 of this same booklet, we read: “There is strong historical and biblical indication that Britain will not be part of the final unification of Europe.” Why has the Church been so dogmatic about such a stance? In our latest booklet “When and How Will Christ Return?” on page 15, under the heading “Europe’s War With the USA and UK”, we read: “Around the same time, the military-religious European power bloc will start World War III. This terrible war will be mainly directed against the modern house of Israel—the United Kingdom (which by that time will have left the EU) and the USA—as well as the people of Judah. All of these nations will be defeated by the Europeans. When this happens, Christ’s return is imminent.”
Britain could not be part of the European Power Bloc if Europe is to make war against it and so the long held understanding of the Church is that Britain will leave the EU.
In early November 2014 Der Spiegel news magazine quoted German government sources as saying Angela Merkel feared the UK was near a “point of no return”.
In a speech in Berlin on 13th November 2014, former British Prime Minister, Sir John Major, said that “The case for leaving the European Union will be fuelled further if EU countries do not help the UK limit immigration.” BBC News on-line reported that “The former prime minister said there was a ‘very real risk of separation’ that would damage Britain and Europe.”
The BBC report went on to say that “the current British Prime Minister, David Cameron wants to renegotiate the UK’s membership of the EU and hold an in/out referendum by 2017. Sir John said the UK had a ‘compelling’ case to change the free movement of people. Mr Cameron is under pressure to limit EU migration, but other countries have resisted his calls to alter the free movement principle. Addressing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in Berlin, Sir John put the chance of a British exit from the European Union at ‘just under 50%’. But he said the probability would rise if Mr Cameron, who has promised the referendum if he is prime minister after the general election, could not secure reforms beforehand.”
A few days later, another report said: “Britain can never have full control over national borders as long as we remain a member of the European Union, the Foreign Secretary has admitted. Philip Hammond warned the British people will vote to leave the EU if we do not get reform.”
However, European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding warned: “Freedom of movement is non-negotiable as long as you are a member of the EU and the single market.”
Then on Friday 28th November, Prime Minister David Cameron made a long awaited speech on this issue. He was addressing the concerns about immigration which has become the most talked about issue in Britain today. Mr Cameron said: “It will be argued that freedom of movement is a holy principle – one of the four cardinal principles of the EU, alongside freedom of capital, of services and of goods – and that what we are suggesting is heresy”, perhaps referring to what European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding had said as mentioned in the previous paragraph.
He concluded his speech by saying: “That is the measure against which everything must be judged. If you elect me as Prime Minister in May, I will negotiate to reform the European Union, and Britain’s relationship with it. This issue of free movement will be a key part of that negotiation. If I succeed, I will, as I have said, campaign to keep this country in a reformed EU. If our concerns fall on deaf ears and we cannot put our relationship with the EU on a better footing, then of course I rule nothing out. But I am confident that, with goodwill and understanding, we can and will succeed. At the end of the day, whatever happens, the final decision will be yours, when you place your cross on the ballot paper in the referendum to decide whether Britain remains in the European Union. That decision is for you, the British people, and for you alone.”
Of course, for this referendum to take place in 2017, the Conservatives have to win a majority, otherwise any further coalition might scupper such a plan and a victory for the Labour party would make it a non-starter as they are in favour of Britain’s membership of the EU, as indeed are the Liberal Party.
The following day, a newspaper reported that “David Cameron was branded a ‘blackmailer’ in Europe last night as he vowed Britain would veto any further expansion of the EU unless migration rules are reformed.”
The battle lines seem to be now drawn and much will be said from many quarters over the coming weeks and months. On the face of it, there could be an impasse unless some high level political manoeuvring takes place. But, in spite of what politicians may try and achieve, God will ensure that His plans are brought to fruition.
As part of the coalition government agreement in 2010 between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, a fixed term of five years for Parliament was agreed and the date of the next election being 7th May 2015.
Another player has made substantial headway in the last few months in the form of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) led by Nigel Farage. Two Conservative Members of Parliament defected to UKIP resulting in by-elections with UKIP taking both seats. UKIP want Britain to withdraw from the EU and the groundswell of opinion sees them doing well from a very low voting base. With an outright Conservative victory ensuring an in /out vote in 2017 and UKIP, on the rise, wanting complete withdrawal, could it be that one or both parties will be used by God to this end?
Of course, God could have other ideas about how His will is to be brought about and it may be that through the continual problems that Britain has given the EU for a few years now, it may be expelled rather than withdrawing.
It will be interesting to see how all of this works out, but God will see to it that His will is done irrespective of politicians’ planning and scheming.
Unfortunately, the many warnings that the Church has given in the past, and is doing today, are generally falling on deaf ears. This situation in Europe is but one of many things to watch (compare Matthew 24:42).
In Luke 21:36 we read the following exhortation from Jesus Christ: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” We are to watch world events but not to concentrate on this so much that we lose our spiritual focus. It also refers to our own spiritual condition as the context in verses 34-35 reveals. We are to be vigilant in both areas and not be caught out as the end of this age draws near.
Now is not the time for any church members to let down. It is time for us to be on our guard as Satan continues to strike at the people of God and will continue to do so as he sees the end of his time as the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) draws ever closer.
God will work out things in His own good time and we should be preparing for the future that He has in store for us.
With Christian love,
Brian Gale (United Kingdom)