Brexit! Trump! What Next? Making Biblical Sense of an Unlikely Reality

February 2017

When one considers the events of 2016 it may seem an unorthodox approach to attempt to explain these events using a book completed around the turn of the century – the first century, A.D.

Having been written so long along, the Bible has been called outdated and out of touch with modern society and values. It’s been said it’s filled with errors and contradictions, and that its recorded miracles and account of creation are pure fantasy. And perhaps the claim that resonates most strongly is the Bible must be false because a truly loving God would not allow such a world of suffering, as is seen today. Some conclude, Christians are hypocrites; being a good person is really what matters.

Yet for all the criticism it's endured, the message and teachings of the Bible remain relevant today even as its influence continues to wane in American society. I intend to argue the Bible is relevant to those living in the 21st century and that the Bible holds the key to understanding the unlikely events of 2016, and the events which preceded it, and events that will follow. In short, I believe it is perfectly sensible to turn to the Bible to understand today’s world.

To make this argument I have opted to use the examples of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump for two reasons –

  1. They are unexpected, historic events. Britain voting to leave the European Union is a decision with lasting ramifications that will shape the future of Britain and the European Union for years to come. Similarly, the American public did not merely elect just another president – they elected a candidate with designs on shaking up the established political order. These events were largely unexpected and unforeseen by pollsters and political analysts.
  2. They demonstrate Biblical truths. As I hope to clearly demonstrate, both of these events show Biblical principles at work and are fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

This article is divided into three sections. The first looks at how improbable Brexit and the election of Donald Trump appeared to be. The second section explains why I feel the Bible is relevant today and how it can be used to explain these events, and the third and final section applies the reasoning of the second section to examine events to be expected in the near future.

I. improbability

Those positioned to best understand the circumstances surrounding Britain's referendum vote and the American presidential election were blindsided by what actually transpired. I believe it is Biblically significant that two of the most defining events of 2016 were as unexpected and improbable as they were shocking.

Brexit

Britain’s departure from the European Union is nothing short of a political earthquake. I think it was hard for Americans to fully grasp and appreciate the magnitude of the referendum outcome, one which was far from anticipated; for example, The Economist relates how polls and markets reflected the Remain campaign had a "solid lead" for the "vast majority of the campaign," noting how on election day the markets "priced about an 85% likelihood that Britain would stay in the EU." When the referendum votes were tallied, it was clear the markets had badly misjudged the will of the people.

In trying to convey the significance of what happened in the aftermath of the vote to leave the EU, The Guardian writes Brexit "was meant to be unthinkable," drawing an analogy to being unprepared for "the disorienting feeling of the ground lurching violent beneath your feet" of an earthquake. Another publication, The Telegraph, believes the decision to leave the European Union will be "profound and long-lasting" in both Britain and in continental Europe, and expressed concern over a "disconcerting lack of clarity because few expected Brexit to happen." Emphasizing the surprise aspect of the vote, The Huffington Post described world leaders as "stunned", and notes leaders of the EU expressed "grief and shock" at the referendum's unexpected outcome.

By all appearances, it was very unlikely Britain would vote to leave the EU. The result of the referendum was nothing less than a surprise earthquake.

Donald J. Trump

By any measure, the political campaign ran by Donald Trump was incendiary and polarizing, and was described by the New York Times as “blistering.” Since the beginning of the presidential campaign, when the Republicans were fielding 16 other candidates all vying for the nomination, he was given little chance of securing the party nomination, let alone winning against the eventual Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton. The media never quite took him seriously, even as they constantly featured him in their broadcasts to draw viewers due to his effortless ability to create spectacles and inflammatory sound bites.

By the measures of previous American Presidents, Donald Trump is almost unquestionably the least “presidential” president this country has ever seen. It left many asking the question of how it could have come to this, that against all odds and having broken all rules of political decorum, this real estate magnate and reality TV star would be anointed president. So it was upon the results election night coming in, and having become clear who won, Fox News anchor Bret Baier announced Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, calling it the “most unreal, surreal election we have ever seen." The New York Times said it was a "stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy." They described it as a "surprise outcome, defying late polls that showed Hillary Clinton with a modest but persistent edge."

Another publication, NEWSWEEK, was so certain of a Clinton victory, they had printed up thousands of copies of a special commemorative edition chronicling her road to the White House. In defending their error, they described it as a strategic decision saying although they also produced a President Trump edition, it was Clinton’s they printed since she was so heavily favored to win the election.

"This was exactly the opposite of what was supposed to have happened"

The Guardian relates the outcome in this way, "This was exactly the opposite of what was supposed to have happened," saying, "from the vantage point of most pollsters and pundits, media outlets and political leaders of both main parties, this was going to be Hillary Clinton’s night." They note how Clinton was intending to "celebrate victory under an elaborate ceiling composed of thousands of panes of glass – an allusion to her 2008 'glass ceiling' concession speech."

In other words, Donald Trump wasn’t supposed to win! Following the election, many who opposed Trump now view his upset presidency in almost apocalyptic terms. In an essay entitled, “America, America” Jonathan Kirschner, a professor at Cornell University writing for the Los Angeles Review of Books paints a depressing picture commenting, "There is no happy ending to this story. It is not 'just one election.' Yes, in theory, most domestic policy blunders can be reversed at a future date. But best case scenario, brace yourself for a horrifying interregnum… We have lost, we are lost. Not an election, but a civilization."

Indeed, this was not “just one election.” It was unlikely for Donald Trump to have won the Republican nomination, let alone win the presidential election. There can be no mistaking this was nothing short of another unexpected political earthquake; Donald Trump has upended the established order of American politics.

underlying motivation

Having established the significance of Brexit and a Donald Trump presidency, one is left asking what was the cause of these monumental events? Many Americans including pollsters, political analysts, members of the media, have all asked this question – how is it possible for Donald Trump to have been elected president of the United States of America? And for Europeans, how could Britain leave the relative security of the European Union and strike out on its own? The answer to this question is at least partially found in a common thread woven through Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

I came across an article in the Financial Times published in August that describes the parallels between the circumstances surrounding the Brexit vote and the circumstances surrounding in the 2016 presidential election. The author observed three key similarities: “The first is the potency of immigration as an issue. The second is the way in which the Trump and Brexit campaigns have become vehicles for protest votes about economic insecurity. The third is the chasm between elite opinion and that of the white working class.” He goes on to note how immigration in both the UK and the US has "become a powerful symbol of the elite’s alleged willingness to undermine the living standards of the working class by allowing in cheap labour from overseas."

The common thread? There were a lot of people who felt their respective government establishments were letting them down and that their plight had been forgotten. They were upset, and were looking for change. More on this in the third section.

ii. why look to the bible?

Why do I believe it is sensible to look to the Bible for an explanation of events seemingly bearing no relationship to it? I want to start answering this question by letting the Bible speak for itself. It's written in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness".

Here is the Bible making the extraordinary claim of being the word of God. And if the Bible is, in fact, the word of God – the Creator of man, as the Bible also claims – then its message is surely worth heeding. Just what is the message of the Bible? The condensed, simplified version is this: the Bible teaches God has a plan and purpose for this earth; that He alone is righteous, and that mankind is in need of deliverance from its current state of sinfulness, which is unrighteousness to God. In Jesus Christ He appointed it a saviour, that if people believed on him they would be granted a means of becoming righteous in God’s eyes and thereby receive eternal life. At the end of a fixed period of time, Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to the earth to set up his throne and kingdom. Ultimately sin and all its corrosive, ruinous effects will be removed from the earth and God’s glory will fill the whole earth forever. Everyone has been extended an invitation to be a part of that future.

THE BIBLE MAKES THE EXTRAORDINARY CLAIM OF BEING THE WORD OF GOD

All of this is meaningless, however, if the truth of the Bible's claims are unverifiable. Because God does not demand His claims be accepted on blind faith He has provided means by which the claims can be evaluated. One of these means is Bible prophecy – knowledge about the future delivered by God’s messengers the prophets. One such prophet, Amos, writes, “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7, NIV) In another passage it's written, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy [Spirit].” (2 Peter 1:19-21)

In other words, prophecy acts as a light and gives a means by which the events of the world can be illuminated and viewed from the one perspective that matters – God’s. Prophecies were revealed by God to people in order that they might know of a surety He is in control of the future. In that way it can be thought of as history before it happens; tomorrow’s news today. Prophecy is not given to “private interpretation”, that is to say, people making up their own interpretations of it – rather God has intended for us to discern His intended meaning so that His plans may be known with certainty. Following that line of reasoning, if the claims of the Bible are true, and history is merely following a course charted by God, then there should be abundant evidence of that in the Bible and in what’s happening in the world now.

Types of Prophecy

When talking about Bible prophecy it's important to recognize the two primary classifications –

  • Short Term. Prophecies that were most often fulfilled within the lifetime of the prophet.
  • Long Term. Prophecies that extended beyond the lifetime of the prophet.

It was not uncommon for prophecies to include both types, in what might be described as a dual-fulfilment prophecy – a prophecy that sees fulfilment in the time the prophet is living in, but also sees another, later fulfilment in the future. Some long term prophecies were intended for the Jews and Christians in the first century and later centuries to help them understand the life and mission of Jesus Christ and what would happen in the time leading up to and following his death. Other prophecies were intended for today's generation – the generation living after Israel's return to the land – also known as the latter days.

It is from these latter day prophecies that events may be discerned that are to take place in the years preceding Jesus Christ's return, and they are most illuminating to those seeking to understand the events happening in today's time. While the prophets delivering the prophecies did not understand them (see 1 Peter 1:10-12), those living in the latter day time period have the benefit of the passage of time and an increase of knowledge (Daniel 12:4) which are useful for interpreting and understanding this class of prophecy.

latter day prophecies provide a clear picture of how the world will look at the time Jesus Christ makes his return

It’s all well and good these prophecies can be read and definitively interpreted to be talking about today's generation, but on what basis can they be trusted? Simply, on the basis of previously fulfilled prophecies, of which there are many. But I want to go one step further than that. Critics of the Bible make the case that prophecies are vague, are lacking specific timelines, and that they are generally subject to varying interpretations. The criticism boils down to essentially there’s no way of proving them either wrong or right. So what I want to do is share one example (of many) where people reading from their Bibles have been able to correctly discern the meaning of a prophecy and formulate an accurate understanding of events then-future to them. In this manner this specific criticism may be refuted while also showing an example of fulfilled Bible prophecy.

tHE 2,300 DAYS OF DANIEL 8

Daniel 8 records a vision – likely in the form of a dream – seen by Daniel, sent from God. The vision outlines how Alexander the Great (“the king of Grecia”, v21) would come to end the empire of the Medes and Persians. In verses 13-14 there is a reference to the period of time in which “the sanctuary and the host” was to be “trodden under foot” – "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

This period of trodding down is understood to mean the duration of time that the temple and the city of Jerusalem would be ruled by foreign nations. The time period that was given was 2,300 days. Whenever prophecies give time periods it’s usually in terms of days, but Bible students apply the principle revealed in Numbers 14:34 – “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” This in reference to God having brought the Israelites to the edge of the land promised to them, after he had delivered them from the slavery of Egypt. The Israelites sent out a group of men into the land over a period of forty days to determine the challenges that lay ahead. Save for a few outliers, the congregation collectively decided the challenges were insurmountable, clearly revealing their lack of faith in God's ability to deliver them. This decision would prove to be the beginning of their "wilderness wandering" period, a penalty for their unbelief; God determines a just punishment is to have the Israelites wander a whole year for each day spent scouting out the land. From this example it is evident what mankind may view and understand as days, to God it is the same as years.

Coming back to the prophecy in Daniel 8, 2,300 days should therefore be understood as 2,300 years. Keeping that point in mind, I want to share with you something that was written in 1754 by a man named Thomas Newton:

“If we retain the common reading, (which probably is the truest and best,) ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days’ or ‘years,’ then I conceive they are to be computed from the vision of the he-goat, or Alexander’s invading Asia. Alexander invaded Asia in the year of the world 3670, and in the year before Christ 334. Two thousand and three hundred years from that time will draw towards the conclusion of the sixth millennium of the word; and about that period, according to an old tradition, which was current before our Saviour’s time, and was probably founded upon the prophecies, great changes and revolutions are expected…”

Newton identifies Alexander’s first battle against Persia in 334 BC – which historians point to as the beginning of the end of the Persian empire – as the starting point for the 2,300 year time period. Another writer, R. Milligan, in 1868 had this to say concerning the 2,300 years:

“It seems most probable, however, that this period is to be reckoned, not from the rise or birth of the Ram, as some writers have alleged, (for he was in his full strength and vigor when Daniel saw him,) but from the time when he was first attacked by the He-goat. If this assumption is warranted by the context, it fixes this period to the spring of the year 334 BC, and consequently it will terminate in the spring or about the middle of 1967.”

Both Newton and Milligan made the correct assumptions about the prophecy but would not live to see its fulfillment. With the benefit of the passage of time, their predictions can now be compared to the actual events of 1967. Many will know what happened in the year 1967, Jews especially.

Moshe Dayan captures the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967 fulfilling Bible prophecy.

On June 7th – in the middle of 1967 – Israeli paratroopers under the command of Moshe Dayan drove out the Jordanian army from the Old City of Jerusalem, ending exactly 2,300 years of Jerusalem being “trodden under foot” by Gentile nations. There was nothing vague and ambiguous about this prophecy. This example vividly illustrates how it is possible for people to read and correctly discern the intended meaning of a prophecy.

III. what happens next?

If one was to answer question without the guidance of the Bible, it might result in some pretty grim predictions. The professor we quoted earlier, for example, gave his answer as “we’re lost, our civilization is lost.” A threshold seems to have been crossed where things once seemingly unthinkable now occur with regularity, conditioning many to expect the unexpected. WIRED, writing in the wake of a Superbowl in which a team rallied from a 25-point deficit to win in overtime, and an election which saw the underdog win, said "Watching yet another sure victory dissolve into defeat contributed to a sense that the world is fundamentally lawless and unpredictable." Among the questions they pose, "does it indicate that our models are broken, that—when it comes down to it—our understanding of the world is deeply incomplete or mistaken?" While WIRED answers "we can't know," I believe those who correctly understand the Bible and God's plan can know and understand the unpredictability of the world without being burdened by fear and despair.

As mentioned previously, the subclass of long-term prophecies known as “latter day” prophecies provide a clear picture of what is to be expected in the time leading up to Christ’s return. The most well known of these is found in Ezekiel 38, in which an overview is given of the events that occur between when Israel is back in the land, established as a nation – with a number of its citizens living in the area known as the West Bank – and the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. In other words, it describes a period of time beginning no earlier than 1948 when Israel once again became a national homeland for the Jews. It ends with Jesus Christ returning in defense of Israel before it can be completely destroyed at the hands of a hostile confederacy of nations.

one can be confident the time period of the unfolding of the events described in this chapter is now

Since Israel has returned to the land, and since Christ hasn’t returned yet, one can be confident the time period of the unfolding of the events described in this chapter is now. The chapter tells of an antagonistic leader who leads his nation and a confederacy of other nations into the land of Israel to opportunistically and militaristically “take a spoil, and to take a prey” (v12). This confederacy hostile to Israel is opposed by an alliance of nations who condemn the hostilities, but offer no military defense of Israel. Upon reading through the chapter, very few of the nations are recognizable because Ezekiel was using names of the countries as known in his day. Yet because it is known to be a prophecy of the latter days, one must conclude these nations are still existing in some form, and they must be known today, only by different names.

Britain in bible prophecy

Bible scholars have studied these ancient names and have worked out the nations to which they correspond today. While it’s outside the scope of this article to look at the identification of each one, there is one nation among them relevant to the subject at hand – Tarshish. When one reads about Tarshish in this chapter and its other occurrences in the Bible, the following picture comes into view:

  • The people of Tarshish were descended from Japheth (who was the son of Noah).
  • It was an ancient maritime power and island.
  • It traded in ancient global markets.
  • It was located to the west of Israel.
  • It was ancient source of silver, iron, tin, lead.
  • It assumes the trading and merchant role played by Tyre upon its destruction.
  • It is a colonial power.

When all of these clues are taken into consideration, there is a high degree of certainty only one nation in the world today satisfies each description – Britain.

Based on the alliances and events described in Ezekiel 38, Britain and its former colonies will belong to an alliance which opposes the military invasion of Israel. That’s the reason it was so significant for Britain to break from the European Union – Europe is to be counted among the confederacy which is hostile to Israel, while Britain belongs to the alliance opposing the hostility.

In looking at Britain's recent history, Britain joined the precursor to the European Union, the European Economic Community (EEC), in 1973. While Bible students did not expect to see Britain join itself to Europe, they were able to understand that prophecy required for it to eventually separate from Europe and again become independent. The 2,300 days prophecy of Daniel is an example showing how Bible students have been able to understand future events; here’s another one – in 1981, with Britain being a member of the EEC, writer Graham Pearce wrote the following:

“So though we do not know how it will happen, Britain will separate from Europe. The time will come when the European system will be bound together as the Fourth Beast of Daniel, to be destroyed by the saints, and its body given to the burning flame (Daniel 7); or in terms of the Revelation, the Beast and the False Prophet 'were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone' (Rev. 19:20). On the other hand Britain, and probably later America, will receive enlightenment, respond to it, and carry on their sea-going spirit, bringing Israel’s son’s back to their land.” (Milestones 1981)

As the ballot results of the referendum last spring flooded in and dramatically showed, the people’s will was clear: Britain was to separate from Europe in fulfillment of Bible prophecy!

Trump in Bible Prophecy

Donald Trump rising to the American Presidency should be understood as an instrument of God, playing the role appointed for him – a principle found in Daniel 4:17, 32: “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Also, it is written in Romans 13:1 that “there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” With this principle in mind, and as much as it may be to the utter dismay of at least half of the American public, there can be no mistaking Donald Trump was put into office by God to ensure that America plays the role charted for it long ago. Certainly, Donald Trump is a close friend and tremendous supporter of Israel for the time being; there can be little doubt these sympathies play a part in bringing the nations down upon Israel, as prophecy requires.

Anger in the Latter Days

I mentioned earlier about there being a common thread in these elections, about how people were dissatisfied and upset with the governing of their countries. It's anger that seems to be the prevailing sentiment of the world today, and especially the anger in this country now being at a rolling boil thanks to policy changes enacted in the first weeks of Trump’s presidency. There are many examples from around the world of things happening as a result of anger – and as noted already, the Women's Protest March following the inauguration and immigration protests at various airports are only two of the most recent displays of anger, and I believe this is significant from a Biblical perspective.

In Revelation 11:18, there is a description of the time when the nations of the earth will be judged upon Christ’s return to the earth. This is what is written – “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." The nations, it says, will be angry in the time when Jesus returns.

This indication is also found in the "Olivet Prophecy" given by Jesus, in the Gospel of Luke 21:24-26 – "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."

I want to draw attention to the components in this passage most relevant to this article – having already looked at the expression, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”, it must be understood to mean precisely the year 1967. Everything Jesus describes after that sentence are things which are to occur in the years following 1967.

"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged"

One of the things Jesus says will happen in the time following would be “distress of nations” and that the “sea and the waves” would be “roaring”. Was he talking about the literal sea? I think to some extent, that understanding is appropriate, but there's more to it because in the the symbolic language of the Bible, water and seas are representative of people and nations. In Isaiah 17:12, for example, it's written, “Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!” Similarly, rivers are used to represent nations, and the Bible speaks of them overflowing their banks to indicate a conquering power or a “drying up” to indicate the end of an empire.

When I look at all these protests, and see all this anger, I see and hear the sea and waves roaring. God is at work and Bible prophecy is being fulfilled.

confounding the wise

Early on I made a point to say I believed it was Biblically significant the events of Brexit and the presidency of Donald Trump were unexpected and shocking. There is a principle at work here, first established in 1 Corinthians 1:27 – "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." To many, that Britain would vote to leave the European Union was foolish and didn’t make any sense. And the same goes for the election of Donald Trump – it was beyond foolish, it was unimaginable – unthinkable – that this man could and would become president. Yet, half of America was perplexed and utterly confounded when the unthinkable occurred. These events were improbable and serve as reminders the principle revealed in this verse is at work today.

"God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise"

Those who understand this principle, and those who recognize it is God pulling the strings behind the scene, know all things are working in accordance with His plan and purpose. This knowledge of God’s plan and purpose with the earth has removed any fears of the uncertainty of the future. For me and many others the events of 2016 are notable signs of the times. These signs are not ambiguous, they are not vague. They are very specific signs worthy of attention, effectively shouting the nearness of Jesus’ return.

Jesus spoke of the importance of recognizing signs and being able to correctly interpret them. Members of the religious establishment of his day on multiple occasions demanded that he show them signs as a means of confirming his claims of being the son of God, in order that they might have conclusive proof. On one such occasion they demanded, “Master, we would see a sign from thee.” Jesus sharply reproved them – “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign,” he said (Matthew 12:38,39). Calling them “adulterous” may seem an unusual characterization but in the context of the conversation it made perfect sense when its realized to be an adulterer is to be unfaithful – the religious establishment of his day had been unfaithful to God. They equated righteousness merely with how well one could obey the Law of Moses to the letter. In their zeal to uphold every “jot and tittle” of the law, they completely failed to see its greater significance in foreshadowing Jesus Christ. They co-opted God’s law and made it their own, reducing it to performances of ritual, custom, and outer displays of righteousness. Jesus would later compare them to whited sepulchres, appearing beautiful on the outside, but on the inside filled with dead men’s bones (Matthew 23:27).

It was absurd for these men to demand such signs – no one was more closely following his ministry than they. They would have seen the miracles he performed and how perfectly the words of the their prophets were being fulfilled. No, they were spiritually blind to these facts of his ministry. While the question arises as to how they could be so dense as to not recognize the truth of his claims, it is possible for us to be just as blind if we cannot recognize the significance of the extraordinary times in which we find ourselves.

a new millennium

In his inaugural address, President Trump proclaimed, “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.” His optimism and vision for the new millennium paints a picture of boundless potential, and vast improvements to society. There is at least one leader, however, who feels very differently. Former leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev wrote an opinion piece for TIME, published January 26 in which he expressed grave concerns for the world’s future. This is some of what he had to say:

"The world today is overwhelmed with problems. Policymakers seem to be confused and at a loss... While state budgets are struggling to fund people’s essential social needs, military spending is growing. Money is easily found for sophisticated weapons whose destructive power is comparable to that of the weapons of mass destruction; for submarines whose single salvo is capable of devastating half a continent; for missile defense systems that undermine strategic stability... Politicians and military leaders sound increasingly belligerent and defense doctrines more dangerous. Commentators and TV personalities are joining the bellicose chorus. It all looks as if the world is preparing for war."

"It all looks as if the world is preparing for war."

Gorbachev couldn't have known this, but his language was eerily reminiscent of Bible prophecy. Through the prophet Joel, God says to the nations in another latter day prophecy, "Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord." (Joel 3:11)

War there will be and the nations are indeed preparing for it. The events occurring throughout the world are merely the prelude. And yet, the Bible offers a vision of the world in the time following the war – the inverse of Joel 3 – a time when there will be no more war.

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:2-4)

In that day – in that new millennium – when it is the God of Jacob who judges among the nations, the uncertainty, and turmoil, and perplexity of this time won’t be remembered. The monumental events of Brexit and Donald Trump will be a thing of the past – the anger of the nations will be a thing of the past. The nations will not go to war with each other. Instead, all nations will live peacefully, subject to the same universal, righteous law.

Today, as is plain to see from the events happening, Jesus Christ stands at the very threshold and will soon gather those who have put on his name and anxiously await his return.

Today we stand at the very threshold of the return of Jesus Christ to the earth
Created By
Dan Langston
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