Restoration: Britain in History and Prophecy

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Britain in History and Prophecy

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Most of us lack an appreciation of the Act of Union in 1707 that united England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain. The politics and policy of a bygone age seem to have little relevance to the 21st century. But as the article brings out, the Act of Union was in part an effort to remove continental Europe's influence from the British Isles. It would prove to be a key step in Britain's rise as a world power.

It followed another event in 1688, the Glorious Revolution, when England confirmed the Protestant succession to the throne by inviting William of Orange to assume the title of king of England. With this, the question of whether England would have a Catholic sovereign was settled. Catholicism's influence upon England was severed.

God had a larger role for the people of Britain to play upon the world stage. People from the British Isles would flow out into other areas of the world, and Britain would spawn a "company of nations" (Genesis 48:19) according to the promises made long ago by God to Abraham and his descendants. The 18th century saw the expansion of British influence to the far-flung regions of the world, setting the stage for the empire to come in the 19th.

Another key event in this story came in 1776 when the colonies along the East Coast of what would become the United States of America rebelled against the policies of King George III and established themselves as a sovereign nation. America would then rise to become that single great nation prophesied alongside its brother (see Genesis 48:19).

The story of these two nations—the fulfillment of a biblical saga about two brothers—is the epochal story of the last 200 years. During this time the English-speaking nations have grown large and influential on the world stage, all according to the timeless promises of God. It has been a time when the rest of the world has benefited from the wealth, culture and overall policies of these two peoples. This, too, is something God prophesied of the descendants of Joseph in the last days (see Genesis 49:22).

You may not like to read words like these. But the facts of history prove the prophecies of God to be fulfilled in the story of these two nations. The last two centuries have been shaped by the English-speaking nations led by Great Britain and the United States. They have been exceptional peoples bound by a common language and a shared destiny even they have not fully understood. What they have done has made them the envy of the world.

A recent book, A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900 by Andrew Roberts, has caught a lot of attention and comment. Roberts takes the name given to a series done by Winston Churchill. Churchill ended his story at the turn of the 20th century. It is here that Roberts picks up the chronicle and brings it forward to today.

I will admit to mixed feelings reading the work, but there is one unmistakable fact that emerges—America and Great Britain, in spite of their flaws, "are the last, best hope for mankind." When they are finally surpassed by another power, some of those who do not yet understand what their position has meant to the world will mourn them.

Today, Queen Elizabeth's duty to crown and country seems like a throwback to a bygone era. The significance of the possible breakup of the union will be missed by the masses. But you can understand the history behind the history by reading our booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy. It would be good for Americans to read it during the July Fourth holiday. It opens up a little-known aspect of world history to readers from all nations. You will have a deeper appreciation for the legacy of both countries. WNP