With its rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, the Irish Republic has defiantly stood in the gap. The British Labour Party (now the party of government) failed in principle to keep the commitment made in its last election manifesto to have a referendum. The Lisbon Treaty is just a papering over of the already rejected European Constitution, since the actual contents are about 98 percent the same.
The convenient change in terminology from a "constitution" to a "treaty" provided the excuse the EU member nations needed to avoid referendums.
A treaty for a superstate
One Irish citizen voting in Cork, Treasa O'Brien, said, "This Treaty will increase militarization and neoconservatism of Europe. I'm pro-European, but the EU started as an economic system. This treaty will turn the EU into a superstate" (Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2008, emphasis added throughout).
Recently I was in the Republic of Ireland for a few days on Church business, and I never heard a good word about the Lisbon Treaty. One person in Dublin Connolly railway station was speaking against it and giving out written material advocating a "no" vote.
Several key elements of the Lisbon Treaty render it very dangerous to the sovereignty of the individual nations of the European Union. These include the creation of a full-time president, powers to develop a single European foreign policy and defense system and yet more power for the European Parliament. Much national sovereignty has already been lost over the years.
EU law says all 27 member states have to ratify the treaty. Only the Irish Republic has democratically held a referendum of its citizens. This Irish rejection happened in spite of strong verbal pressure brought by Brussels and Irish politicians on the electorate.
The pressure to reverse the Irish "no" vote has just begun. The European Union will not give up this constitution cum treaty that easily.
Franco-German pressure begins
According to The Sunday Times, "The Irish government is expected to bow to Franco-German pressure and hold a second referendum to try to rescue the Lisbon treaty that voters rejected this month" (June 22, 2008).
Irish opponents of the treaty will certainly be outraged. But to ensure the treaty's future passage, indications are that the European Union may be willing to make certain key concessions on Irish defense neutrality and sovereign rights to its own national abortion laws. Another Irish vote is contemplated in the spring of 2009.
By July 1, the French will have taken over the rotating European Commission presidency. The same article reported that French President Nicholas Sarkozy "is determined to 'save' the EU...He said European leaders had already mandated France to ensure the EU 'does not grind to a halt.'"
Already President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel "have exerted subtle pressure on Ireland and its potential allies [the Czech Republic and Poland, see accompanying sidebar] by threatening the end of the EU's enlargement east if the Lisbon treaty does not come into force" (ibid.).
Public ignorance is a huge factor
The Irish citizenry took the Lisbon Treaty much more seriously than most Europeans. In fact, most European citizens know little about the terms of the Lisbon Treaty and what it portends for the future. Jamie Smyth, European correspondent for The Irish Times, headlined his article on the subject, "Citizens of Europe United in Ignorance of the Treaty" (June 6, 2008).
He noted in the text: "The gap between Europe's citizens and what they know about the Lisbon Treaty is a big one." This prevailing public ignorance enables the European Union to slowly take national sovereignty by stealth.
Still, citizens in the Irish Republic have stood in the gap, at least temporarily. One observer stated: "The people of Ireland have shown enormous courage and wisdom in analyzing the facts presented to them and making the decision they have" (BBC News online, June 13, 2008).
Where is Europe headed?
Former French President Jacques Chirac proclaimed his stunning vision of Europe back in 2002. It included: (1) A European military force independent of NATO; (2) a European police force; (3) a greatly strengthened Franco-German combine; (4) a new European constitution; (5) a strengthened European president elected by a European council (The Times, June 17, 2002).
Elections occur and presidents change, but Frances' policies toward the European Union clearly remain relatively the same. Does it matter whether Mr. Sarkozy, Mr. Chirac or someone else occupies the chief office? Regardless of personalities or political leanings to the left or right, the domination of Europe by a single voice is the ultimate goal.
Political, economic and military national sovereignties would be lost. This generally accords with the broad biblical vision given in the books of Daniel and Revelation. (For the intriguing details, please see the accompanying sidebar, "A New Superpower to Emerge," excerpted from our free booklet Are We Living in the Time of the End?)
The good news beyond the bad
The good news is that when these biblical prophecies (which dovetail in the books of Daniel and Revelation) are finally and completely fulfilled, the Kingdom of God will have taken up residence here on earth.
Read this amazing forecast proclaimed by Daniel the prophet: "In the time of those kings [leaders of a coming Europe-centered superpower] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed... It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it [the Kingdom of God] will itself endure forever" (Daniel 2:44 Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
American King James Version×, New International Version).
This astonishing biblical prophecy accords with the second coming of Jesus Christ when God the Father will give Him "authority, glory and sovereign power...His dominion is an everlasting dominion...and His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed" (Daniel 7:14 Daniel 7:14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
American King James Version×, NIV).
But Jesus Christ will not rule alone. The resurrected, glorified saints of God will assist Him. "Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His [Christ's] kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him" (verse 27, NIV).
After Christ's second coming, at last these age-old problems and divisions in Europe (and the rest of the world) will be permanently solved. Unity and peace will finally prevail on a global basis.
This could be your awesome future legacy. Down through the age of man, God has been calling and preparing people to assist Christ during the Millennium (Revelation 5:10 Revelation 5:10And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
American King James Version×; 20:4-6). The Father is still in the process of calling this select group to rulership during Jesus' prophesied millennial reign (Acts 2:39 Acts 2:39For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
American King James Version×).
But He will not force anyone to accept this precious calling. To understand how you can be a part of this select group of God's firstfruits (James 1:18 James 1:18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
American King James Version×; Romans 8:23 Romans 8:23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
American King James Version×), request or download our free booklet Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion. WNP