Many are asking me about ‘Brexit’, which is the vote on June 24 deciding whether the UK will remain in the EU or separate, with many claiming economic rearranging world-wide if they exit – but does scripture provide clues? Perhaps. Let's look at Ezekiel 38 & 39 and a future war against Israel.
The plot against Israel
Ezekiel 38 prophesies nations that will align themselves against Israel, and hints at nations that align themselves with Israel. The ones against Israel are named in the first few verses of Ezekiel 38, and in modern geography include Russia, Turkey, Iran, Libya, and other nations in the region of Turkey and Russia.
Ezekiel says they will ascend like a cloud to cover Israel which is seen as a prediction of modern flight and air war, while also mounting a huge land force to invade mainly from the north, thinking it will be over so fast no one would be able to come to Israel's aid, and that no would dare confront such a mighty force. Wrong. Spoiler alert, Israel wins.
In Ezekiel 38:21 God calls for allies of Israel to join with them fighting against the invading force, and He also says the invaders will be met with a large earthquake, overflowing rain and hail, and such confusion in communication among the multi-nation army that many end up killing themselves.
Ezekiel 39:9-12 says it will take Israel 7 months to bury the dead and they will recover a 7 year supply of fuel and other spoil. He describes in 39: 13-15 Israel hiring citizens and others for temporary work to walk around the battle site and place small flags when they find body parts, in a perfect prediction of modern forensic work seen at any disaster site. (Therefore since they are walking around the site this battle is not nuclear at least in and around Israel, neither is it Armageddon)
The allies of Israel
But Ezekiel 38:13 says the following nations will confront Russia/Iran: “But Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all the young lions thereof, will say to you, 'Do you think you are coming to take a spoil?...'
Sheba is described as being in the Arabian peninsula or around the horn of Africa and Ethiopia. Dedan is Saudi Arabia. That modern Arab nations allied with Saudi Arabia would confront the Russian/Iranian/Turkey alliance when they attack Israel would suggest a split among Arab nations, with Saudi Arabia and others aligning against Iran and Turkey. It may not be that they are for Israel, but that they don't want to see Russia/Iran/Turkey take over the Middle East.
This is where it gets interesting
Tarshish is the ancient name of Spain, and the ‘merchants of Spain' are therefore understood to be the nations that came about by Spanish merchants, in short, the Americas.
Ezekiel continues; ‘and the young lions thereof’. Young lions means the offspring of those Spanish efforts, but bringing in the lion as symbol has caused many to speculate it is a reference to Britain as the lion has for centuries been their symbol, and the Americas were settled most predominantly by Spain and Britain. That would mean along with Saudi led Arab nations confronting the Russia/Turkey/Iranian invaders, the Americas and the UK will also, if this understanding is correct.
This is where Brexit enters the picture
The theory that the UK would join the Americas and the Saudi's against Russia/Turkey/Iran has long been complicated in the minds of some by the fact the UK is part of the EU and being bound by various agreements, would not necessarily act militarily independently of the EU against Russia and Turkey.
Germany and other nations get their heating gas and other fuels from Russia with pipelines through Turkey, who only has to flip a few switches to make much of Europe go cold during winter and allow their vehicles to run out of fuel. So many have wondered if Britain is part of the EU how would they act independently to join Israel against Russia.
However, if they exit the EU they could act more independently to join Israel and the Americas against the invaders. So this vote will be interesting to watch, and it may, may, have implications as mentioned here.
But even if they stay in the EU, God's Word will still come to pass, and if the understanding of Ezekiel 38 and 39 above is close to accurate, then no matter the vote, they will in fact take action with Israel and her allies against the Russia/Turkey/Iranian alliance.
So we watch, we pray, we wonder...prophecy is understood most clearly in hindsight, until then all we have is kernels of truth to wonder about. Praying for the people of the UK!
I remember at the start of this year the Father saying to me, "The last half of the year will be difficult for many." I've wondered what that meant, and now wonder if Brexit succeeds will there be economic consequences in the last part of this year. My point is that either way, I'm in prayer about the rest of the year, not only for the US elections and Brexit, but in general.
This May/June has been busier for us than we had originally thought, including a brief weekend trip for a house church meeting, but also hosting people at our home or driving somewhere to meet folks each week - the summer is flying by. July will be filled with family focused events and August we rest and prepare for our September Lithuanian and Latvia trip.
How do you respond to an event?
When there is a major event the immediate response sets the tone and direction, often for years to come. For instance, when a baby is born that is a great event but it is just for that moment. The response to that event is actually the more important because how those parents deal with their new child determines it's future and theirs, and for generations beyond.
In the same way the outpouring on Pentecost in Acts 2:4 was a single event, wherein 3,000 people responded to the original 120 pouring into the streets newly filled with God's Spirit. While that single event is amazing, we look to the response of the 120 on how they dealt with such an influx. Their response set the tone for 'the church age' for us all some 2,000 years later, and even to me and CWOWI and our network as we seek to follow the practices of the apostles and early church.
While Acts 2:41 tells us 3,000 were saved and Spirit filled, verse 42, the very next verse, details their response to that great event that set the tone which is woven throughout the whole New Testament:
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching, and fellowship, and the breaking of bread (eating together & the Lord's Supper), and prayer (includes worship as worship is also prayer).
Teaching, fellowship, eating together, prayer/worship. That is how the 120 dealt with 3,000 new friends. But it took 'continued steadfastly' - they devoted themselves to the relationships in Christ.
Today we'd race to a large building and start some program for new believers, or we'd assign people to 'follow up'. Most in the auditorium mentality would panic quite frankly, at 3,000 sudden converts. But they just took them into their homes for a meal, some teaching, some prayer.
That is SO simple isn't it? We have to lose the idea we have to 'build' something to accommodate people. NO. Just have a meal together - it is holy. Fellowship together and get to know one another - it is holy. We think, "Teaching and prayer/worship is holy, but eating together and fellowship is not holy." Wrong. The most intimate moments between Jesus and the disciples was right before He was betrayed, and it was during a meal. Eating together in deep fellowship is holy.
When Christ is in you and Christ is in me, then we two sharing our stories in Christ IS holy. Having a meal together IS holy. Teaching and prayer and worship are holy, but so is eating together and comparing stories on what Jesus has done for us. Perceive the grace in one another and fellowship. (Galatians 2:9). Be polite guests in someone's home, don't dominate conversation, don't push your favorite controversial teaching - focus on Christ and what you have in common in Him - and be a polite guest in their home.
How do you respond to the amazing thing the Lord has done for you? Continue STEADFASTLY in teaching, fellowship, eating together, and in prayer and worship. Find even 1 person, just 1, and eat together. Build the relationship.
Wow, I'm out of room already for today's e-newsletter...blessings, and thank to you who support us with financial gifts and prayers, we have some needs so they are greatly appreciated...new affiliates with CWOWI range from Australia to the Philippines to other points all over - God is moving in relationships. All else will burn, but people are forever.
John and Barb