By Richard Palmer
A turning point in America came in 2016. Is a turning point now underway in Britain? The fact that Britain has experienced a major change this summer is not controversial. But as to whether this change is good or bad, the controversy is raging.
As in America, this turning point consists of a strong conservative reaction against aggressive liberalism. And as in America, the entire situation is pivoting around one bold man.
On July 24, Boris Johnson officially became the United Kingdom’s new prime minister after being voted leader of the ruling Conservative Party.
Johnson’s landslide 66 percent of the vote among Conservative Party members shocked the nation’s chattering classes. “Now we know what it’s like to live in a dictatorship,” tweeted one journalist. “This was the first stage in a right-wing coup,” tweeted another. One bestselling author declared Johnson’s supporters to be “just racist.” Even journalists in the United States were shocked: One New York Times headline read, “Boris Johnson Is How Britain Ends.”
But for others, this was a moment of tremendous hope. “Now bring us sunshine!” proclaimed the Daily Mail’s front page. “New PM promises a ‘golden age,’” declared the Sun, its front page depicting a shining yellow Boris “Johnsun.”
For some, this is the end. For others, it’s a new birth of freedom—a chance to lift Britain out of the Brexit quagmire. Who is right?
This is not the only important question about the events of this summer. Another important question is: Why are Britain’s politics so similar to America’s?
Boris Johnson is no clone of U.S. President Donald Trump; there are stark differences. Yet the parallels between the two are remarkable. Both have unorthodox political styles. Both drive their opponents crazy. Both appeal to part of their own party while being hated by others of the same party. Even President Trump pointed out that people call Mr. Johnson “Britain-Trump.”
Why are Britain and America treading the same path—and where is that path leading? The Bible contains a prophecy that makes sense of this remarkable trend.
The prophecy was written by the Prophet Amos, who forecast an idyllic world with so much abundance that “the plowman shall overtake the reaper” (Amos 9:13). This clearly hasn’t happened yet. It is a prophecy yet future.
Amos also spoke about a King Jeroboam. Historically he was referring to Jeroboam ii, who ruled the kingdom of Israel at the time. The focus of Amos’s book is on the end time, and his descriptions of Jeroboam ii are also prophetic. Amos was forecasting a future leader who would have accomplishments similar to Jeroboam ii. This is one reason God ensured that Amos’s book would be preserved for nearly 3,000 years.
The history of Jeroboam ii’s reign is recorded in 2 Kings 14. “For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel. And the Lord said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash” (verses 26-27).
“Israel was nearing collapse!” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry. But God intervened to save the nation. “God was merciful, and used Jeroboam to oversee one last age of prosperity” (“Can President Trump Get Control of His Own Divided Government?”, August 2019).
The modern descendants of the kingdom of Israel include the Americans. Since the 2016 election, radical leaders have tried to regain their control of the government and the nation. “Those people were getting control of the government,” wrote Mr. Flurry. “Justice in the land was destroyed. Rule of law was twisted and perverted. People were losing faith in the government. If this trend had continued, it would have meant the end of our republic!
“But God was not ready for that. He was going to save America—along with Britain and the Jewish nation” (ibid).
God used Donald Trump to save America from that fate. Did He use Donald Trump to save Britain at the same time?
Perhaps no American election in history has meant so much for Britain, with the possible exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election in 1940, prior to America entering World War ii. Consider where Brexit would be right now if Hillary Clinton had won.
“I make no excuse for being against Brexit from the start,” Clinton said during a speech to Queen’s University Belfast in 2018. “[I]t may well go down as one of the greatest and most unnecessary self-inflicted wounds of modern history.”
In 2017, she told the Sunday Times that Brexit supporters “voted against modern Britain and the EU, believing that somehow this would be good for their small village. It made no sense.”
She said this after 17.4 million British voters (52 percent) voted to leave the European Union. She made it clear that if you forced her to choose between the EU and Britain, she would choose the EU.
While receiving an honorary degree at Swansea University in Wales in October 2017, Clinton reiterated her solidarity with the EU: “I personally continue to believe in the value of the European Union, and more broadly of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace.”
Before 2016, this sentiment belonged not just to a failed presidential candidate but also to the most powerful leader in the world: President Barack Obama. Speaking to the press at 10 Downing Street in London with then Prime Minister David Cameron in April 2016, Obama told the world that his top priority would be a trade deal with the EU and that if Britain chose to leave, he would put it “in the back of the queue.”
This was after eight years of the Obama presidency putting an infamously frosty chill on America’s relationship with the United Kingdom. He removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the White House. He said, “[W]e don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally” than France. He said German Chancellor Angela Merkel was his “closest international partner.” And Britain? A congressional think tank unveiled a secret memo that said, “The UK may not be viewed as centrally relevant to the United States in all of the issues and relations considered a priority on the U.S. agenda” (emphasis added).
American leftists love the EU. They love its system of rule by experts, power centralized in one super-bureaucracy, and minimal interference by actual voters. That is what they want to impose in the U.S. If they could, they would probably bring the U.S. into the EU.
Rule by experts, centralized bureaucratic power and minimal power for citizens is exactly the model Brexit voters rejected. It was clear before the referendum and after it that a Democratic administration in the U.S. would never side with Britain over the EU.
Right now, “President” Hillary Clinton would not be promising lucrative deals to Prime Minister Johnson. She would be publicly putting Britain at “the back of the queue” and teaming up with Europe to force Britain into a deal that made it a humiliated, all-but conquered supplicant to the EU, and an example of punishment to warn others not to prioritize democracy over bureaucracy.
Contrast that with President Trump’s approach to Brexit.
Mr. Trump loved Brexit even before he became president. When the Leave vote won, he remarked, “I love to see people take their country back.” He has consistently promised to fast-track Britain to the front of the queue for trade deals. With his election, the world’s most powerful and prosperous nation suddenly switched from enemy to ally regarding Brexit.
Ideally, Mr. Johnson would like to leave the EU with some kind of deal. He wants to make Britain its own proper sovereign nation again, and also find a way to keep trade flowing smoothly with the EU, to benefit both. President Trump’s offer of a trade deal helps him enormously. Without it, the British would appear (and probably be) desperate, with no good trading options except to go back to the undemocratic bureaucracy from which they are trying to extricate themselves. Europe would have bet that Britain would pay a high price—even surrendering sovereignty—in trade negotiations with Brussels.
The Europeans may still gamble, but this is now looking much less likely. A Britain with other options is a Britain in a far more powerful position.
For that matter, without President Trump, would Boris Johnson even be prime minister? Imagine if, when Prime Minister Theresa May presented her humiliating withdrawal agreement to Parliament at the start of the year, she had been congratulated by “President” Clinton. Members of Parliament barely voted Mrs. May’s deal down with Donald Trump encouraging them to do so and promising a trade deal. Would they have instead voted for Mrs. May’s humiliating deal if they were feeling pressure from the U.S.? Would Britain already be subjugated to Brussels by now?
So is Donald Trump saving Britain? No. But when you look at this prophecy, and compare it with the facts on the ground, could God be using President Trump to save Britain?
It certainly looks like it.
Mr. Johnson has been in office for mere weeks, but he has brought a new sense of purpose and optimism to the government.
Minutes after he was announced as leader of Britain’s Conservative Party on July 23, he said, “[W]e are once again going to believe in ourselves and what we can achieve. And like some slumbering giant, we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self-doubt and negativity.”
In his first speech as prime minister the next day, he said, “[D]o not underestimate this country.”
“No one in the last few centuries has succeeded in betting against the pluck and nerve and ambition of this country,” he said. “They will not succeed today.”
In his first speech before Parliament in his new role, he told the house that he would be “making this country the greatest place on Earth” and painted a utopian picture of Britain in the Year 2050.
On his first day in the job, Mr. Johnson conducted one of the most sweeping changes in governmental personnel in recent history. Out went the center-left conservatives-in-name-only from the cabinet of his predecessor. In came a whole cadre of actually conservative, pro-Brexit ministers.
Allister Heath wrote in the Telegraph, “[T]he early signs are that there is at least a chance that something extraordinary might happen. … His appointments so far have been exceptional—as good as they could have been from a free market and euroskeptic perspective” (July 24).
Perhaps most remarkable is his choice of Dominic Cummings as a senior adviser. Cummings was the icon of the Vote Leave campaign (and the Left’s Brexit villain). He’s driven, unorthodox and unafraid of confrontation. By now he is surely driving the pro-EU establishment in Whitehall crazy. By bringing him in, Mr. Johnson made a powerful statement about what type of government he is leading.
Almost every cabinet appointee began his or her job with a commonsense approach that has been sorely missing from previous governments. New Home Secretary Priti Patel said that criminals should “feel terror”—a clear turn away from the soft approach to policing under Mrs. May. New Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid wants to cut regulation and has a picture of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on his wall. New International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is already working on a trade deal with the U.S.—one her predecessor shied away from.
Regarding the turn away from radical leftist globalist socialism in the U.S., Mr. Flurry wrote, “It is refreshing to see America regaining some sense of sanity …” (op cit). It’s similarly refreshing to see a corresponding turnaround in Britain. But as he wrote, “[T]he national resurgence brought about by this end-time Jeroboam is only temporary. Prophecy is clear that America’s ultimate fate is just as devastating, and even far worse, than the kingdom of Israel’s was anciently!”
Jeroboam ii was the last stable king of Israel. Because circumstances turned favorable, the people of Israel continued in their sins and refused to repent toward God. Within months of Jeroboam’s death, the nation was tearing itself apart in civil war.
God prophesied that there would be a resurgence in end-time Israel. There has been. He warned that it would be temporary. It will be. Our nations are being brought down by sin. Is Prime Minister Johnson or President Trump going to fix—or even confront—our nations’ problems with family breakdown? President Trump has not followed President Abraham Lincoln’s example in addressing the nation’s sins and calling on God. Mr. Johnson has been a strong supporter of the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender movement. He is not married to his live-in girlfriend—a fact that is not remarkable to anyone in the United Kingdom anymore.
Without solving our nations’ family problems, we will not solve the resulting crises. We won’t solve our spiraling crime, our drugs disaster, or the tragic rise of self-harm and suicide among our young people. We may be able to throw some money at the effects, but without getting to the cause, we are only applying sticking plasters.
And we will only be able to throw money at these problems for so long. Both nations—though committed to spend, spend, spend—have massive debts that must come due eventually.
Boris Johnson may be promising utopia for 2050, but he’s not the one who will bring about Amos’s prophecies of superabundance and peace.
It is natural to rejoice when you see your country resurgent. But we must not place our hope in these human politicians. Instead, there is an even more powerful source for hope and optimism.
Sin always brings penalties. These leaders may address some of our nations’ problems, but they will not address our nations’ sins. But here is the hope: God will. God has a plan to correct our nations. He will confront the real root cause of everything dragging down Britain and America. He will show us the terrible consequences of our sins, and humble us. Then we will finally turn to Him, and our nations will experience blessings and abundance as never before. That is when the utopian prophecies in Amos, including the one about the reaper struggling to bring in all the abundance even as the plowman begins planting more, will finally be fulfilled.
God’s plan does not stop there; in fact, that barely begins it. He has a plan for the whole world—a carefully planned strategy for offering all mankind a glorious, eternal future.
If you invest your optimism in Mr. Johnson or Mr. Trump, sooner or later that investment will crash. But placing your trust in the true God is the best investment you could ever make.
Why has this temporary resurgence come about in the first place? Why not go straight to the punishment our nations need, and the repentance and abundance that will follow? Mr. Flurry answered this question in a May 2018 Key of David program, saying that it is because “there is a message that has to go out one more time.”
This resurgence is a massive opportunity—not only for the work of the Trumpet in publishing God’s message of warning and hope, but also for you personally. It is an opportunity to support this awesome message. It is an opportunity to do a lot of good for a lot of people by giving the true hope they need in the time ahead. It is an opportunity to help people repent, turn to God, and receive bountiful blessings.
Who knows how long this opportunity will last? In Britain, things look better—for now. But the Bible tells us that at the end of the day, the EU will come out on top. That “end of the day” is likely to come very quickly.
The good news in Britain and America is that prophecy is clearly being fulfilled—proof of an Almighty God with a plan for mankind. That is a fantastic reason to be optimistic. Base that optimism not on men but on the sure foundation of God’s vision for man’s future. Then use that energy to take advantage of this temporary resurgence by helping publicize this message of hope to the largest audience possible.
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