The hand of God works in mysterious ways. Who would have thought that one of the outcomes of the Global Financial Crisis would be to strengthen the bonds of the ‘mother country’ with the Commonwealth nations? As we are aware, the GFC has caused havoc with economies worldwide but in particular with the EU financial system. Economists now see that the only solution and indeed the salvation of the EU is to empower the EU Central Bank in Brussels to have more authority over the Federal Banks and the economies of each EU member State. Germany in particular has backed calls for the EU Central Bank to control the budgets of member states.

Recent press reports highlight the issue

(Reuters Sunday October 28 2012) European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi backed a proposal by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to radically expand the powers of the European Union’s monetary affairs commissioner, giving Brussels greater control over member states budgets … Schaeuble said earlier this month that the EU needed a commissioner who wielded power over member states’ budgets together with reform of the European Parliament’s decision-making process, changes he said could help ease the debt crisis. The commissioner, an expansion of the current monetary and economic affairs commissioner, should have the authority to veto budgets if they broke deficit rules, he argued, urging far-reaching reform and greater European integration.

Draghi’s public support for the proposals is a boost for Schaeuble’s plan but such reform would require changes to EU treaties, something that would need Britain – which has been sceptical of greater European integration – to acquiesce to, unless a separate euro zone treaty is drawn up …”

“I explicitly support this proposal,” Draghi told Der Spiegel magazine published on Sunday. “I am certain: if we want to re-establish trust in the euro zone, countries must pass a part of their sovereignty to the European level,” he continued.

This is language which could almost be taken straight out of Revelation 17:13 “These (ie the ten horn powers of Europe – EU member States) have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (The EU headquartered in Brussels). So the EU members are being forced to cede even more of their independence to the EU exactly in accord with the prophetic Word.

But as stated above Britain has been skeptical about greater European integration. In fact it has been reported in the UK press that if a referendum was called by the Coalition Government, almost half of Britons would vote to leave the EU. (Independent 8/11/12)

Many commentators see the departure of Britain from the EU as a strong possibility. “To many in Europe, it may seem as if Britain is already taking a hard line on the EU: over the last few weeks the British prime minister has repeatedly threatened to wield his veto at the forthcoming EU budget talks. He’s also talked up the prospects of holding a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU. But for many hardcore euroskeptics from within David Cameron’s own party, this talk doesn’t go far enough. They see the current debate, and the crisis in the eurozone, as an opportunity to set Britain on a path to leave the EU altogether.” (Posted by a variety of publications on EducationViews.org on September 23, 2012 in Global News and Views). Many in Europe want Britain to make up its mind sooner rather than later – to commit to the EU, or to get out altogether. The confusion over Britain’s role in the EU, they say, could have a harmful effect on the whole European project. But if Britain were to leave the EU (as we would expect, being among the Tarshish powers to oppose Gog in Ezekiel 38), to whom would she turn to maintain the favourable benefits enjoyed as a member, that is, for trade, goods, services and capital? Would not the “young lions” be the obvious answer? And this is precisely what is currently happening.

“Hague to launch worldwide network of commonwealth embassies to tackle ‘superpower’ EU” (Mail Online 14/11/2012)

“William Hague (Britain’s Foreign Secretary) will tomorrow launch a world-wide network of British Commonwealth embassies to rival the emergence of the EU as a foreign superpower. The ForeignSecretary is in Canada where he will sign an agreement to open joint UK-Canadian diplomatic missions abroad. He also hopes Australia and New Zealand will join the initiative whereby the four countries will pool their resources to extend their combined influence on world affairs. Mr Hague said: “As David Cameron said when addressing the Canadian parliament last year, ‘We are two nations, but under one Queen and united by one set of values. We have stood shoulder to shoulder from the great wars of the last century to fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and supporting Arab Spring nations like Libya and Syria. We are first cousins. So it is natural that we look to link up our embassies with Canada’s in places where that suits both countries. It will give us a bigger reach abroad for our businesses and people for less cost’”.

One British diplomat put it more bluntly: “For all the grandiose talk of European unity, we have so much more in common with many Commonwealth countries than the EU – and not just the English language. There is a saying in the British diplomatic corps that “the French want to do us over, the Germans want to lord it over us and the Italians are all over the place. We would never dream of trusting them with intelligence secrets, but we share everything with the Canadians, Aussies and Kiwis. Brussels can extend its diplomatic reach – well, so can we. We Brits know who we are, who our real friends are, and between us we have been a rather good influence on the world in the past century”. So this initiative of Britain is “to rival the emergence of the EU as a foreign superpower”.

Can we not see, brothers and sisters, the seismic shifts that are taking place on the global stage? Will Britain just stop at Canada, Australia and New Zealand? It is quite conceivable that talks will be held with other major Tarshish trading powers such as India, South Africa and the USA to counter the growing influence of the EU. The scene depicted so many thousands of years ago in Ezekiel 38 of two power blocs opposing each other is gradually taking shape exactly as we would expect.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to Australia

The visit to Australia in November 2012 of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as representatives of Queen Elizabeth to celebrate her diamond jubilee as monarch was a resounding success much to the chagrin of republicans. A few years ago it was felt that it would only be a matter of time before Australia would become a republic and sever ties with the monarchy. Whilst some thought that nothing would change whilst the present Queen was alive they were hopeful that things would change once Charles became king.

But to everyone’s surprise Charles and Camilla were a great ‘hit’ with Australians, to the extent that the concept of Australia becoming a republic is now on the ‘back burner’ for a long time. Press reports highlight the surge in popularity of the monarchy and Prince Charles in particular.

“Even to staunch republicans and first Australians, this royal is in a league of his own.”(The Australian, 10/11/2012)

“It’s a departure from what Australian republicans had to say about Charles and Camilla in theheated build-up to the referendum 13 years ago on whether Australia should cut its constitutional ties to Britain and become a republic. Former NSW premier Neville Wran warned Australia would be “saddled in the future with King Charles III and Queen Camilla” if the “No” case got up. Even after Australians voted overwhelmingly to keep the monarchy, republicans argued the issue would reemerge when the Queen dies. The success of this visit by her heir and his future queen consort will challenge that orthodoxy. Last year, Foreign Minister and committed republican Bob Carr challenged the accepted wisdom that the cause would be revived with the passing of the Queen. “I think it has been expressed so often it is now beginning to grate a bit and it deserves more examination,” he said. “I think Charles’s succession to the throne will probably lead to a surge of additional fervour and attachment. I think the republican job will continue to be hard in Australia.”

“King Charles III and Queen Camilla? Back in the day, the very thought of it was used to whip up support for an Australian Republic.”(The Australian, 10/11/12)

“When the referendum to sever the nation’s constitutional ties with Britain failed in 1999, the Prince of Wales and the woman who was to become his second wife remained the hope of the side. Republicans told themselves that their time would come once the reign of the Queen ended, bringing Charles to the throne with the supposedly unpopular Camilla at his side. This week, that looked like so much wishful thinking.” So the monarchy in Australia and elsewhere in the British Commonwealth is back in favour. Of course it is not our role to pass judgment on the suitability or otherwise of Charles to be king with Camilla at his side, but we are instructed in Scripture to “Fear God. Honour the king” or queen as at present (1 Pet 2:17). We are thankful that through the providence of God we live in a democratic society under the British monarchy. The laws of Australia are based on the British system. Britain in the 16th century broke away from the apostasy, opening the way for men and women throughout the English speaking world to freely read the Bible. This would never have occurred had Rome continued her stranglehold over the minds of men in Britain.

It is significant that the Truth took root and prospered in countries where the British monarchy and Protestantism prevailed. So will Queen Elizabeth or King Charles be on the throne when our Lord returns? One would like to think that it would be the Queen because in an ever changing world she has maintained her respect for God and the Bible, and one can imagine her laying down her crown at the feet of earth’s future King, the Lord Jesus Christ, when he returns.

 

We think of the time when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon and marvelled at his realm: “And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.” (1 King 10:6–9) And Psalm 45:12 records: “And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.” It could well be the situation that the latter day “Queen of Sheba”, the “daughter of Tyre,” shall be amongst the first to submit to Christ’s rule. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

70th anniversary of the Battle of El-Alamein

In November 1942 one of the most decisive battles of World War 11 came to an end. The German forces under Erwin Rommel were defeated by the Allied forces, led by Bernard Montgomery. The Second Battle of El Alamein took place over 13 days and the Allies’ victory was a turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. The defeat of Rommel hastened the end of Nazi control of North Africa and their drive to capture the Suez Canal, the Middle East and the Iranian oil fields. A service of thanksgiving to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the battle of El Alamein was held in Westminster Abbey, London on 27 October, 2012.

At the time the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill was ecstatic on hearing the news of the victory. For Sir Winston, the long road to victory began at El Alamein. El Alamein was a victory for his Britain, the nation that had stood alone against Hitler. Assessing the significance of the 8th Army’s Egyptian victory, Churchill said: “This is not the end; it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning!” The Allied victory at El Alamein was a major turning point in the war. As Sir Winston Churchill later put it: “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.”

Most of us reading this article probably were not born in 1942 or were only very young back then so the significance of the victory may not be readily appreciated. But looking back we can now see the significance of the victory. Just as in WW1 the defeat of the Turks in Palestine and the capture of Jerusalem by the allied forces under General Allenby saw the way made open for Jews to return to their land, so the defeat of Rommel 25 years later in WW11 saw the Nazi forces prevented from invading the Middle East and the annihilation of every Jew in the Promised Land.

In 1941 Hitler had already held discussions in Berlin with the leader of the Palestinians, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti. Hitler made it plain to him what would happen once the Nazis took control of Palestine and the Middle East:

“In November 1941, the Mufti met with Hitler, who told him the Jews were his foremost enemy. The Nazi dictator rebuffed the Mufti’s requests for a declaration in support of the Arabs, however, telling him the time was not right. The Mufti offered Hitler his ‘thanks for the sympathy which he had always shown for the Arab and especially Palestinian cause, and to which he had given clear expression in his public speeches’ … The Arabs were Germany’s natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany, namely … the Jews …” Hitler replied: Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine … Germany would furnish positive and practical aid to the Arabs involved in the same struggle … Germany’s objective [is] … solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere … In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world. The Mufti thanked Hitler profusely.” (Jewish Virtual Library)

The Mufti meets the Fuhrer in Berlin 1941

So the hand of God amongst the nations is once again seen. How thankful we can be that God does indeed rule in the kingdoms of men and “hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26).