By Grant Marshall
Historically, we could go back to the beginning of the 16th century to witness the first protruding nodules of what would become those far-reaching tentacles of the British empire. The empire’s early days were built on trade, and colonies overseas would soon be established. The growth of this empire was turbulent and the American war of independence in 1775 saw a huge chunk of its colonies cut from the imperial mass. The British empire at its height covered approximately 24% of the earth, and its economy was unsurpassed. It was the greatest empire in history. The industrial revolution would soon see Germany and the US her rivals. The 1900s brought wars across Europe with Germany, specifically, and despite winning, these two great global wars — along with allied help, we succumbed in developing a treaty that would see the formulation of a united European trading company and ultimately the formulation of a group of consenting and partnering countries that would solidify, in essence, a new European empire or super state. The EU fundamentally runs on an imperial model. The 1980s saw the rapid severing of many of Britain’s Commonwealth countries, each desiring independence and the regaining of their territories and identity.
Britain gave up her sovereignty to the empire of Europe by becoming a vassal state. This was ratified in the Lisbon Treaty, originally called the Treaty of Rome. As part of her membership, as with other member countries in the empire, we all have benefits. One of the key benefits, apart from economic sharing of wealth, is military protection. The army of Europe was proposed in the 1980s and was finally brought together under the PESCO agreement (The Permanent Structured Cooperation) is the part of the European Union’s (EU) security and defence policy (CSDP) Most people are ignorant of the discussions that took place at the end of the war, which proposed the rise of a new power, both economically and militarily, under the rule of Germany. We finally have that now, and all of us have helped to bring it about.
Now it is our turn as a nation to fight for our own independence. It is pay-back time for us. The head of the colonial serpent has turned its head around onto its tail. We are no longer an empire and the tale of our government’s actions thus far in this Brexit story, show the world our ineptitude and inability to hold its people together and to discuss coherently the plans for our future. If we had real power, we could have made it out by now. Had the government was listening, it would have heard the people who cry for our nation’s identity and sovereign right to exist as an independent state, but no! Our own fight for independence, if it ever happens, will take years, because we need the people to commit to the hardship that comes in rebuilding a nation’s heart. Our conflict lies within its veins because Europe is now part of its DNA. It is, therefore, not surprising that those for whom Britain has become their home or workplace, seek to remain attached umbilically to the mother/father land.
There is, of course, another dimension to all of this struggle. From what I have seen, the consensus among believers is that God wants us to leave and break our ties with this mysterious Babylon. Whether God wants us to leave or indeed stay, He will give us what we need not what we desire. Either course will be His judgement for our nation, that’s for sure.
When we view Israel, we must understand that we are looking at a broken and divided house. This breach is one that the Lord says He will repair in time. However, just stop and survey this story. The breach has existed for thousands of years between the chosen people and God Himself. What makes us think that God will deal with us in any other way? How arrogant is that? Do we think that through a few meetings of prayer that God’s favour for us will happen overnight and that soon everything will be hunky-dory? We speak using the language of faith but don’t reflect it in our actions. None of us is perfect so don’t get all uppity and preclude yourself from the equation. Whether we like it or not, we are all part of one body albeit in disunity. This is what most urgently needs to be addressed. God’s work in His people has a unifying effect but when the mind and the body contest, we find ourselves in chaos. In other words, we enter trials and put the building under stress. At such times, we are admonished to ask in faith for wisdom. The scriptures tell that a double-minded man receives nothing;
James 1: 5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
God desires to answer our prayers, but prayer must be given through a reverential attitude, respecting God’s Name, Will, and Word. Unfortunately, much prayer is offered in presumptuousness — not knowing the Will of God. Neither is it offered through wisdom —understanding His ways. We come to God with familiarity and not with fear and trembling. We use His name in vain, breaking the first commandment, and we abuse the Sabbath day. We forget that He requires that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, forsaking all other gods and the treasures of this world. We forget that trust and faithfulness in Him on our part, is part of the relationship or covenantal agreement and then we forget that we must love each other. We disrespect the gift of grace and believe that we can do anything or even if we neglect our faith for a little while, that all will be well with our souls. If we believe that we can continue in such a way, then we are deluded. If our God is unchanging, the same yesterday, today and forever, then surely He deals in the same way with us now as He did with rebellious Israel even after the atoning sacrifice of Messiah.
Romans 12: 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.
Romans 11:6 We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If one’s gift is prophecy, let him use it in proportion to his faith; 7 if it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is giving, let him give generously; if it is leading, let him lead with diligence; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 That is correct: They were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either. 22 Take notice, therefore, of the kindness and severity of God: severity to those who fell, but kindness to you, if you continue in His kindness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
If we believe that God has chosen for Himself a remnant, then we must be clear without a shadow of a doubt that He is going to deal very differently with her. The discipline and love of the Father are two sides of the same coin. In the giving of His precious gift, the Word – Yeshua – our propitiation, comes the rod and the staff. In other words, this precious gift came at a great price and must be treated with honour and worship.
Returning to the struggle for us in this present Brexit; there is no doubt that Britain was once a great nation. If we are, to be honest, we should admit that we are no longer so great. Yes, we gave the western world and some of the eastern nations our laws and judicial system. We even shared the gospel. We fought against great evil during the global wars, came to the aid of our European neighbours and helped to establish the small state of Israel. I say small, critically, because Britain and the US under the UN implemented a policy that simply got the Jewish people to settle for less. In all of these good things, among all the empire building, we did many bad things too, which God is not well pleased with. Because of His great hope for His people and I do believe our nation, He delays His judgement because it is tempered with mercy, but that is not to say that it is not coming. King David, a man after God’s own heart, loved the Lord with every ounce of his being and yet was punished for his crimes, and because of all the blood that he had spilt, God did not allow him to build His temple. This commission was to go to his descendant, another generation to fulfil. Are we any different from this great King? Each generation suffers from previous one’s decisions. The Lord says this in Exodus 34:7 He does not exonerate the sins of the father but causes the negative effects to be experienced by the children…
We cannot see ourselves as a great nation under God in the sense that He endorses and is pleased with everything we do. Our nation is a predominantly secular one, and trust in the church is waining. For example, a 2018 survey of trust in British organisations put the NHS first on the list and the armed forces second. The church came seventeenth (source: brins.ac.uk)
I want to reiterate, that it is only God’s people, those who are called by His name, who can pray for the healing of the land. But that land must be distinct to them in that it holds a sacred position given to them by God. When God gave Israel their own land, we see that it was inhabited by others. But God did not destroy them because they were needed to help Israel in their transition. We must also be aware that during this time of occupation many of the people would come into the realisation that YHVH was real and He was with His people, Israel. He was indeed the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We must look to Him now, and again declare our allegiance and obedience. We must not only ask that He hears our petitions but that we return to Him in repentance. This is a precondition of our restoration to Him. The pattern of restoration comes first through the realisation of the revelation of our sin against God and no one else. Revelation will usher in repentance. Repentance will bring in this age a true revival of the extraction of the remnant, which will be restored. Some may want to call this part of the move, a revival. In a sense it is, but it won’t be a revival in the same manner as previous ones, which brought numeric growth to the church.
In closing, I suggest that the next phase in the history of the church will be completed by those who will take up the banner of the Lord, leading a new generation circumcised in the heart with a new deposit of grace to see the kingdom of God established amidst all the challenges this present age will bring.