Brexit and Daniel’s Final Empire :: By Britt Gillette

For several decades, Christians have speculated on whether or not the European Union is the final world empire outlined in the Bible. The Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation point to a revived Roman Empire that will appear in the end times (Daniel 7:23; Revelation 17:10). Since World War II, prophecy watchers have paid careful attention to the slow and steady unification of western Europe. Along the way, the effort has faced numerous roadblocks. These include squabbles over a single currency, trade protections, debt bailouts, and other issues. One of the latest is an effort to leave.

In a June 2016 referendum, United Kingdom voters opted to leave the European Union. The media labeled the British exit vote “Brexit,” for “British exit,” and many quickly announced the death of the European Union, believing the vote would lead other nations to leave as well. But is this the most likely outcome? No. If anything, Brexit is just another indication Bible prophecy students are correct when they compare the EU to Daniel’s revived Roman Empire.

The Latest News on Brexit

Almost three years after the UK shocked the world by voting “yes” to leaving the EU, they still haven’t left. For months, the British parliament has rejected Prime Minister Teresa May’s Brexit package. Some anti-Brexit politicians believe they can indefinitely delay a deal to leave the European Union or engineer another referendum. If so, the United Kingdom might not ever escape the orb of the giant European super state. But even if they do, it doesn’t mean the EU isn’t the revived Roman Empire mentioned in the Bible.

While some people think Brexit is a step backward for Bible prophecy, I think it’s just the opposite. To me, Brexit is yet another reason to believe some form of the EU will become Daniel’s prophesied final empire. Why? Because the EU’s characteristics match those of the empire Daniel describes.

For instance, the Bible says this final world empire will be a kingdom:

  • Of ten nations (Daniel 2:41, Daniel 7:7)
  • From among the ancient Roman Empire (Daniel 9:26-27)
  • Made up of weak and strong nations (Daniel 2:42)
  • Of nations trying to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other (Daniel 2:43)
  • That fails to hold together or “gel,” just as iron and clay don’t stick together (Daniel 2:43)
  • Divided (Daniel 2:41)

A Global Empire

As I write this article, no empire rules the world. And that includes a global empire of ten nations or ten kings. So the EU in its present form is not the global empire foreseen by Daniel. However, this doesn’t mean it won’t become that empire. Most likely, it’s an early stage of what will become the Antichrist’s global empire. Why? Again, it fits every one of the characteristics outlined above. The Antichrist’s empire will be:

1) A Revived Roman Empire – The global empire from Daniel’s vision is built on the ashes of the ancient Roman Empire. Why do I say this? First, the ruler of this global empire is the Antichrist. According to Daniel, the Antichrist will arise from the nation whose armies destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Daniel 9:26). That nation was Rome. So the global empire’s ruler will come from Rome.

Second, when explaining Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Daniel described five empires that will rule Israel before Jesus returns. Those empires were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and a ten-nation alliance (Daniel 2:36-45). He describes each successive kingdom, but he makes no distinction between the fourth kingdom and the ten-nation alliance (Daniel 2:40-43). In other words, the ten-nation alliance will be a new form of the fourth kingdom – Rome.

Later, Daniel has another vision. This time, he sees four beasts, each representing a world power that will conquer Israel (Daniel 7). We know the fourth beast is Rome because it conquers the third beast, Greece (Daniel 7:6). But we also know it will come back. Why? Because it “will rule the whole earth” (Daniel 7:23), and it will be ruled by the Antichrist (Daniel 7:24-25). Rome neither ruled the whole earth nor was it ruled by the Antichrist. Also, this empire is yet again described as a ten-nation alliance (Daniel 7:20), and the ancient Roman Empire never took the form of a ten-nation alliance.

Today, the EU sits on the ashes of the ancient Roman Empire. Ancient Rome occupied nearly every part of the current EU member nations, including Italy – home to Rome itself.

2) An Alliance of Weak and Strong Nations – The global empire Daniel described will be a group of weak and strong nations. Does this describe the EU? Yes. As I write this, the EU contains the world’s 4th, 5th, and 6th largest economies (Germany, the United Kingdom, and France). It also contains the world’s 98th, 102nd, and 124th largest economies (Estonia, Iceland, and Malta).

When it comes to military spending, the EU contains the world’s 6th, 7th, 9th, and 12th largest militaries (France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy). Yet, it also contains the world’s 80th, 87th, 91st, and 93rd (Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia).

Alone, not a single EU nation is a world power. Together, they are the world’s greatest economic power. Combined, their military spending is second only to the United States. In fact, several European politicians have called for an EU army. Don’t doubt it – the EU is a superpower. It’s a revived Roman Empire made up of weak and strong nations. And this is what the Bible says will exist just before Jesus returns.

3) A Divided Alliance, Loosely Held Together – The global empire Daniel described will also be divided (Daniel 2:41). It will struggle to hold itself together, just as iron and clay struggle to hold themselves together (Daniel 2:43). Do we see this type of alliance when we look at the EU? Absolutely!

Since its inception, the EU has been an odd collection of politicians, governments, economies, currencies, and militaries. From the Schuman Declaration in 1950 to the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, the rise of the EU has been marked by a struggle to agree on important issues. These include arguments over a single currency (the United Kingdom and Denmark opted out), disagreements over how to handle debt crises (the Greek bailouts), and disputes over open borders (the Syrian refugee crisis). Each step along the way, the EU struggled to survive.

And this is where Brexit comes in. Critics point to Brexit as evidence the EU is not the coming global empire. But the exact opposite is true. Brexit is just the latest example of the EU’s struggle to stay together, “just as iron and clay don’t hold together.” In the June 2016 referendum, citizens of the UK voted to leave. Almost three years later, they still haven’t left. Will they ever leave? I don’t know. Does it matter? I don’t think so. Because Brexit is a perfect example of why the EU is a “divided alliance” (Daniel 2:41). It’s a union of weak and strong nations struggling to bond together (Daniel 2:43). This is exactly how the Bible described the final world empire.

What Now?

A formal British exit from the European Union was scheduled to occur on March 29. After the British parliament failed to agree on an exit plan yet again, members voted to delay withdrawal until June 30. But it isn’t that simple. Unless the EU agrees to an extension, the March 29 deadline will still apply. This means the UK could leave the EU without an exit deal in place. Such a scenario could wreak havoc on the UK economy and, quite possibly, the world economy. Because of the threat of economic disaster, some politicians are calling for a new referendum or even a parliamentary vote to overturn the will of the people. If they get their way, Brexit could be cancelled altogether.

All this volatility makes it more likely the EU is an early phase of the alliance Daniel described. It’s the mirror image of the revived Roman Empire the Bible says will appear in the last days (Daniel 2:40-43, Daniel 7:23-24). It’s made up of weak and strong nations (Daniel 2:42). It’s divided against itself (Daniel 2:41), and the effort of these nations to come together and strengthen themselves is volatile and unstable (Daniel 2:43). These Bible verses sound a lot like the EU, don’t they? I sure think so. Brexit isn’t the end of the EU. It’s just the latest event pointing to the rise of Daniel’s global empire. It’s another sign Jesus is coming!

Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming and Racing Toward Armageddon. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

 

The Prophetic Impact of a U.S. Withdrawal from Syria :: By Britt Gillette

Back in December, President Trump said the United States will soon withdraw military forces from Syria. In a video tweet, he announced American military personnel are “all coming back, and they’re coming back now.” He never provided a timeline for withdrawal. However, Department of Defense officials claimed the withdrawal would take 30 days. A week later, President Trump changed the timeline from 30 days to 4 months. And since then, John Bolton, President Trump’s national security advisor, said certain conditions could leave American troops in Syria for months or years to come. Nevertheless, the U.S. withdrew some equipment in mid-January. So which one is it? Will they stay or will they go? As of now, it’s unclear when or if American forces will completely withdraw. But if they do, the implications will be significant. A U.S. withdrawal will create clear winners and losers.

The Winners

U.S. troops and their allies in Syria currently control about one-third of the country. Their presence provides a check on the actions of others in the region. If the U.S. pulls out, it’s uncertain their current allies can maintain control of that territory. In all likelihood, it will be divided among other competing interests. Here are the leading candidates:

Russia – If the U.S. pulls out of Syria, one of the biggest winners will be Russia. Russia is a longtime ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s relationship with the Assad family goes back to the Cold War era and the days of the Soviet Union. With vital naval and air bases in Syria, Russia can’t afford to see Assad toppled. This is why Russia entered Syria in 2015 with thousands of ground troops and air support. Russia’s entry turned the tide of the Syrian civil war. Because of this, Assad owes his survival to Russia. This means, without U.S. influence in Syria, Russia alone will decide its future. The U.S. won’t have any leverage when it comes to shaping post-war Syria. This will make Russia a big winner in the Syrian conflict. It secured its only naval and air bases in the Mediterranean. It also expanded its role in Syria as well as its Middle Eastern sphere of influence.

Iran – Iran is another big winner. If the U.S. leaves, Iran and Russia will be the most powerful forces left. As Assad’s two closest allies, they’ll have a free hand to do whatever they want. Iran has long sought to dominate the region, if not directly, then through the use of proxy armies such as Hezbollah. A U.S. withdrawal gives Iran a clear path to the Mediterranean. Iran will have a corridor to transport troops and weapons to regional allies (such as Hezbollah) in both Lebanon and Syria. This also gives them the ability to position their own military forces and intelligence assets on Israel’s border. Since first entering Syria in 2015, the U.S. has worked to disrupt Iranian activities from areas it controls (either directly or through allies). If the U.S. leaves Syria, these activities will stop. This will only enhance Iran’s power and influence.

Turkey – Turkey also wins big from a U.S. withdrawal. Turkey already controls territory in northern Syria. In Syria, the U.S. allied itself with Turkey’s longtime enemy, the Kurds. Kurdish forces control large areas of Syrian territory, including areas along the Turkish border. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would love to remove them, but the U.S. presence in Syria has held him back. The risks associated with an attack on the Kurds are too great. Any incident between Syrian and U.S. troops will trigger a crisis. But if the U.S. leaves, all that changes. The risk of an accidental military conflict with the U.S. disappears. Turkey will be free to attack Kurdish forces.

The Losers

Russia, Turkey, and Iran are the clear winners. But a U.S. withdrawal will also create losers. Two in particular stand out:

The Kurds – The Kurds are a Middle Eastern ethnic group living in an area covering parts of northern Iran, northern Iraq, northern Syria, and southeastern Turkey. Each nation has long seen the Kurds as a threat to break off and form their own nation. Due to a long history of conflict, Turkey views the Kurds as a terrorist group and a threat to Turkish national security. Despite protests from Turkey, the United States allied itself with the Kurds to fight Islamic State terrorists. To date, the alliance has been successful. It severely diminished the Islamic State presence in Syria. The alliance has also protected the Kurds from a Turkish attack. All that will change if the U.S. withdraws from Syria. Abandoned, the Kurds will almost certainly face a Turkish invasion.

Israel – While the Kurds face a potential conflict with Turkey, by far the biggest loser when it comes to a U.S. withdrawal from Syria is Israel. Removing U.S. forces from Syria will have huge implications for Israeli security.

A U.S. pullout means a permanent presence of Iranian forces on Israel’s border. This means Iran can directly supply Hezbollah and other terrorist groups with advanced weapons and rockets that can reach deep into Israeli territory. The presence of Iran and its proxy groups in Syria pose a mortal threat to Israel. While Iran could directly attack Israel now, it would almost certainly be destroyed by an Israeli counterattack. But if Iran attacks Israel through proxy groups such as Hezbollah, it can claim it had no hand in the attack. This only increases the likelihood of war.

Russia is no friend of Israel either. Russia has a history of anti-Semitism and aligning itself with Israel’s enemies. As the region’s sole nuclear power, Israel is Russia’s key obstacle to spreading control and influence throughout the oil-rich Middle East.

Meanwhile, Israel’s longtime ally Turkey is breaking ties with its secular past. Erdogan is pushing Turkey toward a more antagonistic stance when it comes to the U.S. and Israel. In short, post-war Syria is more of a threat to Israel than the pre-war Assad regime. It’s not a stretch to imagine all three of these nations – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – uniting in opposition to Israel. And right now all three are consolidating power on Israel’s northern border. In doing so, they’re setting the stage for the fulfillment of a 2,600-year-old prophecy.

Where We’re Headed

Long ago, the prophet Ezekiel described an invading force that will form in the last days. In Ezekiel 38-39, he describes this force in detail. Ezekiel said invaders will come from the north of Israel, and a man named Gog will lead them (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Here are the nations who will join Gog, followed by their modern-day names:

Rosh = Russia

Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan

Persia = Iran

Cush = Sudan

Put = Libya

Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey

Notice anything? That’s right. The three most powerful nations on the list – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – now reside in Syria. If U.S. troops pull out of Syria, their absence will pave the way for further influence in Syria from these three nations. They’ll consolidate their power until every square inch of the nation becomes a de facto province of one of the three. On February 14, the leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey met in Sochi, Russia, to devise a joint plan to wipe out terrorists in Syria. Their military forces are now cooperating in Syria. This puts their joint military forces right on Israel’s border. And not just any border – Israel’s northern border. Ezekiel said this invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). So now we have the three most powerful nations in Gog’s invading force cooperating with each other and stationed on Israel’s northern border. Is this mere coincidence? I don’t think so.

Never before have the military forces of these three nations been on Israel’s northern border at the same time. And never in the history of the world have the three cooperated militarily. Until now… The Bible said this would happen, and here we are.

The stage is now set for the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies. Eventually, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9). The world will not come to Israel’s defense (Ezekiel 38:15-16). But God will. He’ll put His full power on display and supernaturally destroy Israel’s invaders (Ezekiel 38:18-23).

So what does this mean? It means you should expect more and more events in Syria to align with Ezekiel’s account. Expect this alliance to get closer. Expect Israel to become more isolated. And expect the other nations Ezekiel cited to join Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Most of all, recognize we’re in the last days (Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 39:25-29), and live your life in expectation of the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming and Racing Toward Armageddon. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.