Elizabeth’s reign ends, new era begins
While many knew the death of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was imminent, the news still struck hard the world over when it came on Sept. 8, 2022—especially for those in England and the nations around the world that have their “roots” and continuing alliances and ties with that nation. Her funeral on Sept. 19 was the biggest live TV event ever, with more than half the world’s population watching.
Queen Elizabeth was a unique world figure. The world will not see such a leader again in terms of longevity of reign, or perhaps even character, in this age. Only when Jesus Christ returns to take His throne will there be a more steadying, enduring “monarch.” His reign will last forever, and He will rule with perfect righteousness and justice.
Praise from around the world poured in for the Queen. In an article posted the day she died titled “A Devastating Loss,” British columnist Melanie Phillips summed up the magnitude of the Queen’s reign and her passing poignantly and eloquently:
“She held the country together because of the way she effaced herself to become the quintessence of duty and selfless service to her people, a symbol of unity and true inclusion. We watched the way she conducted her great office—her calmness, her strength, her fortitude, her kindliness and humility—and we felt soothed and reassured that, in looking at her example, we were gazing at ourselves as a nation in the mirror she held up to us. She loved us with a deep devotion; and in return we loved her.
“It’s impossible not to feel that her passing marks not just the loss of a unique public servant and a great soul, but also the loss of a Britain that belonged to a different era—a Britain of strength and resilience, a Britain of self-restraint and grounded pragmatism, a Britain of true tolerance and gentleness, a Britain whose passing we also most deeply mourn.”
Queen Elizabeth was that type of servant leader that commanded the respect, for the most part, of everyone around the world. But what happens now? What does the future hold for Britain and the rest of the world as this monumental event in history—the death of the longest-ruling monarch in British history—still sinks in?
Before looking ahead, let’s take a look back at Britain’s past, which is unique and unparalleled in human history. England is a relatively small nation, in terms of square miles, comparing to the U.S. states of Oregon or Alabama in size. Yet it is big in historical importance.
From this small nation emerged the greatest empire in human history. At one time in the early 1900s, Britain controlled about 25 percent of the earth’s surface, with around 450 million subjects. (The global population at that time was only about 1.6 billion).
No human empire has ever been perfect or done things exactly right. Human nature and war bring with it unspeakable atrocities. Every single civilization and government of man has in its history events which they should reject. War and the human way are not of God but of Satan (James 4:1), so they will always be mixed with pain and suffering.
But the British Empire was different from other empires. It is called the “benevolent” empire by some historians because there was a marked difference between Britain’s rule and that of other governments. British colonies tended to improve life for their subjects and make them more prosperous. They didn’t plunder resources and seek to impoverish people to keep them subject. They weren’t autocratic like world empires that went before them. That’s the way of the gentiles (Matthew 20:25).
By contrast, Britain was, in a physical sense, a blessing to the nations. The British built; they improved the people’s lot. When Britain “freed” her colonies and turned them back over to local rule, in almost all cases the nations fared far worse. Just look at what the thriving economies of Africa, called “the jewels” of the continent—such as Rhodesia and South Africa—have deteriorated into today, after British rule was removed.
How did that happen, and why was Britain so different from other empires? The Bible gives the answer in a remarkable prophecy in Genesis 48:15-20. As Jacob was blessing Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh, he said: “He [speaking of Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”
Because of Abraham’s faith in and complete submission to God, God blessed him, saying: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3, emphasis added).
History shows that no empire was a bigger blessing to the earth than the British Empire, and there has likewise been no single nation in the history of the earth that has been more benevolent and giving than the United States of America.
In the wake of the death of the Queen, it would be good to read our free study guide titled The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy to better understand and more deeply appreciate the blessings God has given through these peoples. That study guide also notes the significance of the British throne. For more on this, we have an online-only exposition titled The Throne of Britain: Its Biblical Origin and Future you may wish to study.
As the reign of Charles III commences, fractious issues divide people. Charles himself has been a strong advocate of the “Great Reset” agenda of the World Economic Forum, of supranational governance.
In any case, prophecy reveals that a time of trouble and anguish lies ahead for the British and American peoples and the whole world, but that will thankfully be followed by the triumphant return of Jesus Christ. Let’s reflect on what is happening and continue to grow closer to God and each other, as His will is.
50 million trapped in modern slavery
A United Nations report “found that approximately fifty million people around the world are trapped in forced labor or forced marriage . . . [according to] the report, entitled ‘Global Estimates of Modern Slavery’ . . . The number of people in such dire situations has jumped 25% from the previous report five years ago. The issue is not limited to the developing world: More than half of all forced labor and a quarter of all forced marriages occur in upper-middle-income or high-income countries . . . The U.N. notes that the true number is likely far greater, particularly among marriages involving children ages 16 and younger . . .” (The Blaze, Sept. 12, 2022).
The number is greater when we consider all the people being trafficked for various reasons and vastly greater when we add in populaces effectively enslaved to totalitarian regimes, such as in China and North Korea. And then there are people around the world who consider themselves free but are effectively enslaved to a corrupt political and economic system in various ways. And beyond that, the whole world is in bondage to sin and Satan.
Let’s all pray for the coming of the ultimate Liberator—Jesus Christ. In Him is true freedom (Luke 4:16-21; John 8:32, 36).
Europe faces crippling energy crisis
Europe is in the midst of a devastating energy crisis. People are seeing their energy bills skyrocketing, and with winter settling in they’re facing the choice of buying food or heating their homes. European economies are crashing because there is no consumer spending, as people have no money to spend. And it’s all because of the green energy fantasy and the self-imposed Russian oil and natural gas embargo due to the Ukraine conflict. This could be a crisis of the first magnitude, leading to riots in the streets and governments falling.
A Bloomberg columnist wrote a piece this summer titled “Listening to European Electricity Traders Is Very, Very Scary,” in which he noted that “keeping the lights on this winter will be a lot more challenging than European governments are admitting . . . Increasingly, the word ‘emergency’ and ‘shortages’ are being used, with [talk] . . . focusing on when, rather than if, a crisis will hit” (Javier Blas, Aug. 26, 2022).
In many ways, it’s already here. A Business Insider headline announced, “European natural gas prices continue to climb and are now about 10 times more than usual ahead of key winter months” (Aug. 19).
The German Chambers of Industry and Commerce note that German companies are increasingly unable to access energy supplies on the market, leading to economic shutdown. Large numbers of people in Germany are now turning to wood to heat their homes, with Google searches for firewood exploding, so much so that supplies have been diminishing. In Poland, homeowners have had to stand in line for days to buy coal (Reuters, Aug. 27). France has announced energy rationing for the winter. “The UK is planning for several days over the winter when cold weather may combine with gas shortages, leading to organized blackouts for industry and even households” (Bloomberg, Aug. 9).
There is even a fear of “permanent deindustrialization from spiralling electricity and gas prices” (“Metal Producers Group Warns EU Leaders ‘Worsening Energy Crisis’ Is ‘Existential Threat to Our Future’” (Zero Hedge, Sept. 8). With people out of work, it will be even more difficult to pay for needs. It’s further pointed out that “the problem with an energy crisis is that it’s actually an everything crisis. In a world where virtually every industry relies on energy in some form, runaway inflation is an inevitability” (“Europe’s Natural Gas Shortage Could Trigger a Food Crisis,” OilPrice.com, Sept. 12).
Germany is imposing curbs on cities’ nightly illumination in this encroaching literal darkness. And the nation is preparing for civil unrest (“German Officials Warn of Draconian Energy Regulations, ‘Extremists’ Fueling ‘Mass Protests and Riots’” (Zero Hedge, Aug. 15).
A populace facing freezing and starvation is a recipe for total chaos. Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept tweeted, “If you turned the electricity off for a few months in any developed Western society, 500 years of supposed philosophical progress about human rights and individualism would quickly evaporate like they never happened.” It reminds one of the adage that “there are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy” (William Jacobson, “Finnish economist: ‘I am telling you people that the situation in Europe is much worse than many understand,’” Legal Insurrection, Sept. 7).
German diplomats laughed at President Donald Trump when he warned in a 2018 U.N. speech: “Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course. Here in the Western Hemisphere, we are committed to maintaining our independence from the encroachment of expansionist foreign powers.” They’re not laughing anymore, especially when policies intended to punish Russia have so completely backfired, another headline even declaring: “China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas to Europe” (Zero Hedge, Aug. 31). On the other hand, some see the devastation being wrought as intentional, with the aim of drastically remaking society.
Sadly, the current U.S. administration has not continued in the policy of energy independence and will follow in Europe’s footsteps if it doesn’t turn things around (Helen Raleigh, “Germany’s Green Energy Follies Are a Warning to the United States,” The Federalist, Sept. 14).
These are dark times, but the world is poised to be plunged into much greater darkness. Economic woes and their terrible fallout will ultimately lead to a radically changed arrangement of the world order. Read our free study guide The Final Superpower for a look at where things will eventually end up. And do what you can to prepare for coming hard times, above all looking to God to help you make it through.
More Americans smoke marijuana than cigarettes
According to a new Gallup poll, more Americans smoke marijuana than they do cigarettes. “Sixteen percent of Americans say they currently smoke marijuana with 48% of respondents sharing that they have tried it at some point in their life—the highest rate ever recorded by Gallup. Last year, 12% of respondents said they used marijuana . . . Gallup’s poll finds that marijuana use was higher among adults between the ages of 18 and 34 with 30% responding that they smoke pot and 22% consume marijuana edibles. These numbers are significantly lower in both categories for adults 35 to 54 years old (16%) and Americans 55 and older (7%)” (Fox5 New York, Aug. 30, 2022).
About half of Americans see the drug as having a positive impact, while half see it as negative. Yet 68 percent think it should be legal.