Prophecy Update #1: Britain and America
Updated: Dec 31, 2021
Disclaimer: Bible prophecy interpretation is complex, and as Sir Isaac Newton noted, generally not well understood until fulfillment. Yet Jesus told his disciples to "keep on the watch" and to "lift up your heads" when they see significant events--that deliverance is near. It is in this spirit that this is written: to help Christians make sense of today's events in the context of prophecy. There is no claim to inspiration or special insight. All errors are mine.
In the post The Struggle for Religious Freedom in Prophecy, I examined a lot of prophecy in Daniel and Revelation. That blog post is quite long and involved, but does contain most of my thoughts on biblical prophecy to date, and is a good reference, if you require more background. In this post, I will update you on where I think we are in the prophetic timeline regarding the Lamb-Beast of Revelation 13:11-18, which I believe is the Anglo-American partnership. More updates will follow as events unfold.
Jesus, in Matthew 24, speaks of an "Abomination of Desolation" which would indicate to believers it was time to leave Jerusalem, and run for the hills. Luke, however, writing to Gentiles, instead says that, "when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies..." Most commentators think the Abomination of Desolation must be the Roman armies then, considering they carried pagan symbols with them and invaded the vicinity of Jerusalem's Temple prior to destroying it in 70 CE. There are problems with this, however. The Temple's leadership had conspired to kill Jesus. They ignored the Messiah's once-for-all-time sacrifice and deceived the people into rejecting him. They continued to offer totally useless animal sacrifices as a slap in the face to Christ and his Father Yahweh, the God of Israel. They also were in league with Rome, ensuring the Jews were kept under control and paid all their taxes. The Abomination, then, is the Temple itself, which had become a disgusting idol in God's eyes. The Desolation comes in the form of Roman armies, which destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Temple to the ground, in fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy. The Abomination of Desolation then, is two parts: corrupt, idolatrous religion in league with Roman-like power, and a desolating force that comes as punishment. This example in Matthew 24, Luke 20, and Mark 13 was given so that authentic followers of Christ would recognize subsequent Abominations of Desolations and steer clear of them.
In Daniel 12:11, the prophet tells us that:
"And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who is patient and attains to the 1,335 days! But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will rest and rise for your allotted portion at the end of the age.”
I have argued that the "regular" ("sacrifice" is not in the original text but is added) means authentic, regular worship of God by sincere believers. In the Christian era, this means worshiping God in the name of Christ by the Holy Spirit according to Scripture. The worship must be free from coercion and not be mingled with governmental power--especially Roman power--which is in opposition to God. The starting point, I believe is 313 CE, when Constantine made an agreement with the church, stopping the persecution, returning their lands, and making him, a sun worshiping murderer, its head. The Church was now beholden to Constantine, the Roman Emperor. Authentic Christians would now be persecuted by the Church if they did not conform to its Emperor-approved creeds and practices. The Church had become an Abomination similar to the Temple in the first century.
But this is not the Abomination Daniel speaks of, since the history in Chapter 11 takes us far beyond the early centuries and this Abomination comes in the latter verses. The "regular" worship was removed in 313 CE, so this is the starting point. Adding 1290 years (a day for a year), gets us to 1603 CE, the year King James was crowned in England. King James was a very arrogant person who flaunted his homosexuality publicly with his young male lovers. He demanded to be head and final authority over the Church of England. The Church acquiesced, and so another Abomination was set up, and authentic, biblical Christians would suffer under its weight. But Daniel says "Blessed is the one who is patient and attains to the 1,335 days." This is 45 years later, or 1648 CE. In this very year, King James' son Charles, who maintained his deceased father's corrupt relationship with the Church of England, was arrested and jailed for treason. He would be executed early in the new year, ending the British Abomination and the so-called Divine Right of Kings. The Desolator in this case was the English parliament and its military and law-enforcement agencies. Religious freedom was also breaking out in Europe in the same year, 1648, with the Peace of Westphalia, ending the Thirty Years [religious] Wars, and in America, with the formation of the new colonies and eventually, a Constitution that kept religion a personal matter. So 1648 was a year of blessedness for authentic Christians who had been so badly abused for so long by the Roman Catholic Church and the state Protestant churches. Although absolute freedom of conscience would take more time, it was a huge step in the right direction.
There have been several Abominations in church history: evil popes in Europe, for example, and earlier, Constantine's subversion of the Church in 313 CE. But certain Abominations are prophetic markers, such as the one above. I have argued that the Lamb Beast of Revelation 13:11-18 is the Anglo-American power, a dual power consisting of Britain and the USA. It has two horns like a lamb, meaning there are two powers involved in a partnership, and it pretends to be Christian--like a lamb. It "speaks as a dragon" in that it is really satanically inspired. It "has all the authority of the first beast" (v12), the beast from the sea, which I have shown is the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire. In other words, the Anglo-American power represents Rome, God's enemy, in our time. Further:
"Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six (v18)."
Six in the bible means sin and imperfection. Six hundred and sixty-six then, is sin and imperfection multiplied many times over. Since "the number is that of a man", it means the empire would be embodied in an extremely sinful, imperfect man, as King James and his son Charles certainly were, in opposition to republican values of representative government and rule of law. Both James and Charles were dismissive of parliament and its laws and ruled as autocrats over the people and over the church. The prophecy is telling us that when we see a Roman-like power, which has subverted and corrupted the church, personified in an extremely wicked, sinful person, we are to sit up and take notice. But is King James and his son Charles the last of the 666 men? No. Another would arise in our time. But first, we must consider Babylon's reemergence.
In Chapter 4 of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream of a huge tree, which represented the Kingdom of Babylon, the reigning superpower. It is chopped down, banded with iron and bronze, for "seven times". Daniel interprets this as the King, because of his arrogance and pride, losing his throne for seven years and then being restored. This was fulfilled twelve months later, when the King, on the roof of his palace, was bragging about all his accomplishments, giving no credit to God. He immediately became insane and lost his throne, but was restored to sanity and his office seven years later. However, I believe this prophecy has a larger application and a much longer timeframe. We note that the bands of iron and bronze are the same metals representing Rome and Greece respectively, as outlined in the statue prophecy of Chapter 2. This suggests that Greece and Rome--both Imperial Rome and the Papacy/Holy Roman Empire--would have to rise and fall before this greater Babylon would be revealed. In other words, If the "seven times" is seven prophetic years of 360 days each, and each day is a year, then the prophecy covers 2,520 years. Babylon was destroyed in 539 BCE. Adding 2520 years takes us to 1982 CE. We should look for something significant in the Anglo-American power, since it now represents Rome.
Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 and inaugurated in 1981. His success was largely due to the so-called Moral Majority and Republican political operatives, who had convinced conservative pastors and Christians that the GOP was their natural home. This was an extension of Nixon's Southern Strategy, whereby Southern white racists, upset with the expansion of civil rights, were wooed over to the GOP from the Democrat Party. Prior to this, evangelicals had kept their distance from political power and focused on personal piety and good works. With Reagan all this changed, and the church was corrupted. In 1982, exactly 2520 years after Babylon fell, Reagan gave the first ever speech by an American president to the British Parliament, signifying that the Anglo-American power was now operating as the modern day Babylonian partnership. Reagan argued that Britain and especially America, were the forces for enlightened democracy and freedom in the world, and the USSR and its allies represented darkness and slavery.
But this was a lie and a false prophecy. The USSR was certainly an undesirable political system and was defeated in the subsequent Cold War, but America was far from the voice of democracy and freedom. The conservative writer William Blum, in Killing Hope, reviews dozens of instances where America destroyed democracies and installed dictators and fascists in its pursuit of resources and power. The Reagan administration was especially brutal to Latin American countries. And Russia has arisen again as a major power. A detailed review of American foreign policy shows that it is an empire seeking world domination through power, control, and resources just like any other empire, and is quick to use violence and propaganda to achieve it. Like Babylon of old, it is the reigning superpower. The evangelical church, now taking its place as Reagan's harlot, had tasted power and wanted more. America had become Babylon resurrected.
After Reagan, there was a series of presidents--Republican and Democrat. The Republicans relied on the corrupted white evangelical church and suppression of the non-white vote to achieve power whereas the Democrats took a more secular approach and wanted to expand the voter base. Both parties engaged in brutal empire building. In 2016 Donald Trump, a lying, greedy, abusive conman was elected. According to The Guardian, 81% of white evangelicals voted for him. They saw in Trump a champion that would keep nonwhites out and elevate their movement to the highest levels of power. Like the Roman Church and Constantine, or the Church of England and King James, these Christians were quick to abandon all biblical principles and teachings of Jesus for power. They turned Trump into an idol and themselves into a spiritual harlot.
In Chapter 5 of Daniel, King Belshazzar is having a feast and asks for the holy utensils that were taken in the sacking of Jerusalem, in order to toast his false gods. It was an extremely foolish move, and brings on the famous handwriting on the wall:
"This is the inscription that was written: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin Here is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” (v25-28)
Belshazzar had dared to misuse the holy utensils. He had not learned the lesson in humility his father, Nebuchadnezzar had painfully learned, and lost his life that very night when the Persians breached Babylon's walls.
The fact that Mene is written twice likely means there would be a second fulfillment. I believe this may very well refer to the Abomination of the harlot white evangelical church partnering with political power since Reagan, and to the Trump presidency in particular. Trump's foolish and cynical posing with Christian symbols, his manipulations and lies, his personal moral and ethical bankruptcy, and his abuse of those that are downtrodden show that he has the same spirit as Belshazzar and will likely meet a similar fate.
In the King of the North and South prophecy of Daniel 11, I have argued that Anglo-America is the modern day King of the North. In the final verses of this chapter, we read:
"But rumors from the East and from the North will terrify him [King of the North], and he will go out with great wrath to eliminate and annihilate many. And he will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him." (v44-45)
If we consider the seas to be the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, this puts the spot exactly where modern day Jerusalem is located. Trump, against all common sense, moved the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in 2018. The rumors "from the East and from the North" likely refer to China, Russia, and Iran, which are united in opposition to America and lie north and east of Israel.
In addition, the Apostle Paul tells us:
"While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction will come upon them like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape." - 1 Thessalonians 5:3
Trump, in his final days in office, through his son in law Jared Kuschner, worked furiously to secure peace deals between Israel and her neighbours, while ignoring the plight of the Palestinians, which is at the core of the conflict. Trump's motivation, as a malignant narcissist, was likely an attempt to win a Nobel Prize, but it may be very significant in terms of this prophecy. We will continue to watch events related to Middle East peace.
Trump was defeated in 2020 by Joe Biden, who won by more than seven million popular votes. Yet Trump, against all logic and the facts, continues to say he won the election. His followers, egged on by him, stormed the Capital building on January 6th in a failed coup attempt. Despite the failure, Trump remains a force to be reckoned with, and has assumed the uncontested leadership of the Republican Party.
Is this the beginning of the end of Trump and his harlot evangelical church? It's hard to say, but we know this much. The Lamb-Beast of Revelation 13:11-18 becomes the False Prophet in Revelation 16:13, where it is instrumental in Satan's deceiving of the earth. In 19:20, it is thrown into the lake of fire, symbolizing destruction, and in 20:10 the devil is thrown in with it, signifying the complete destruction of evil in all its forms, making way for the unimpeded rule of the Kingdom of God under Christ Jesus.
Will Trump or someone like him mount a comeback and achieve power? It's hard to say, but we know this much: the handwriting is on the wall, as it were. The Lamb-Beast, representing Anglo-America, has become the False Prophet, signifying corrupted, false religion partnered with Roman-like government, as in America with its harlot white evangelical church and the Republican Party. It is also the Abomination that brings Desolation. At some point, likely sooner than later, this False Prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire, signifying destruction. Whether or not America and Britain survive in some more humbled, secular form remains to be seen. In any event, it is imperative for Christians to get out of Babylon if they wish to avoid her coming plagues (Rev 18:4). But how do we get out of Babylon? The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13:
"I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people; I did not at all mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the greedy and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to leave the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is a sexually immoral person, or a greedy person, or an idolater, or is verbally abusive, or habitually drunk, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a person. For what business of mine is it to judge outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the evil person from among yourselves."
Authentic Christians then, must follow Christ according to Scripture and be very careful not to put their trust in humans, political parties, country or violence.