June 2, 1953, found Britain at a standstill. With its Commonwealth dominions hushed in unison, and the world watching, Britain was about to crown its new, young monarch.
As if to acknowledge the source of all the blessings bestowed upon Britain and its far-flung commonwealth and empire, the Archbishop of Canterbury declared, “Our gracious queen: to keep your majesty ever mindful of the law and the gospel of God as the rule for the whole life and government of Christian princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords.” With these words, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland presented Queen Elizabeth ii with her personal copy of the Word of God—the Holy Bible. The moderator concluded, “Here is wisdom; this is the royal law; these are the lively oracles of God.”
All the people in attendance, along with the listening and viewing audience around the world, heard the royal choir sing Handel’s coronation anthem “Zadok the Priest.” The archbishop moved toward King Edward i’s old throne, which encased the aged Stone of Destiny, and proclaimed, “… Be thy head anointed with holy oil: as kings, priests and prophets were anointed: and as Solomon was anointed king by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet, so be thou anointed, blessed and consecrated queen over the peoples, whom the Lord thy God hath given thee to rule and govern.”
He then held the majestic royal crown and firmly lowered it upon the head of the monarch.
To many, this may have seemed just another ancient British ceremony, dusted off, painted anew and glamorously paraded before the world. As their cries of “God save the queen” and the strains of “Rule Britannia” faded, few realized the true significance of the coronation ceremony that had just taken place.
A handful of the bishops who were present believed the ceremony was holy and of God, that it was powerfully sacred and sanctified of the Almighty. These few knew not only the history of the coronation but also of the ancient throne—and the stone beneath it, which they believed originated from Jerusalem, transported by the Prophet Jeremiah first to Ireland, then to Scotland and finally to Westminster Abbey in London, England.
Never before in history had so many been witness to the ceremony and extravagance of the coronation of a British monarch. The new media of radio and television recorded the event and broadcast it around the world. In his biography of Queen Elizabeth ii, Ben Pimlott wrote, “In many ways, the Coronation of Elizabeth ii in 1953 was the most magnificent and affecting royal ceremonial of the century—despite, or because of, the decline in the importance of the monarch” (The Queen).
At its height, the British Empire enveloped the globe. It encompassed 11 million square miles, containing almost 20 percent of the Earth’s population at the time. It controlled all major seaports and land gates of the world, directing global trade from London—the bustling metropolis that was for so long the capital of the financial and business world.
Victoria, queen of England, empress of India, began ruling on June 20, 1837, at age 18, and ruled for 63 years—the longest reign in the history of England. Britain’s empire grew at an astounding rate during her reign, until it encompassed one third of the world’s surface—including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the West Indies, India and various locales in Africa and the South Pacific. At that time, the sun never set on the British Empire.
Queen Victoria’s descendants, including 40 grandchildren, married into almost every royal family of Europe, ushering in an unprecedented time of peace throughout Europe. Victoria’s personal example of honesty, patriotism and devotion to family life became a living symbol of strength as God poured His blessings upon the British Empire.
But when she died, Victoria’s world of simple values and loyalties seemed to quickly fade, bringing the beginning of the end for God’s blessings upon Britain.
In February of 1952, Queen Elizabeth ii ascended to the throne after her father, King George vi, died. She became the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror ruled England. Following a period of mourning and preparations, the coronation took place 16 months later.
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s power and influence in the world has fallen dramatically. In 1947, it lost the jewel of India. Britain’s imperial mortality was revealed in the 1956 debacle at Suez, in which Britain lost control over this critical Mediterranean canal. Britain was humiliated by the fiasco and forever changed in the eyes of other nations. In 2002, Britain lies almost powerless, a vassal state of the European Union, lacking the will to rule, an empty shell of its former glory days.
Since Queen Elizabeth began her reign, technological advances in mass communications have focused global attention on the royals as never before in history. The queen described 1992 as the royal family’s “annus horribilis.” On February 7 of that year, the British government became a signatory to the Maastricht Treat, exactly 40 years and a day after Queen Elizabeth ii ascended the throne. In doing so, her ministers of government, within the spirit and intent of that treaty on European Union, effectively reduced their queen to the status of a subject of the European Union!
Later that year, Windsor Castle, symbol of the family’s security and power, was badly damaged by fire on her 45th wedding anniversary (restoring the property took five years). That same year, discontented subjects called for the queen to begin paying income taxes. Elizabeth’s sons Charles and Andrew were separated from their wives, with both marriages eventually ending in divorce.
Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth has weathered the storms and tempests of family disputes, divorce and death. Despite Elizabeth striving to graciously set the example as head of state, increasing calls for retraction of ancient powers granted to the monarchy, along with the proposed abolition of foundational institutions such as the hereditary peers, have brought the very relevance of the crown into question (see “God’s Eternal Covenant With David,” at right).
Just half a century ago, to the cheers and tears of her subjects, the queen pledged to defend them all under God’s guidance, reliant upon His wisdom, His royal law, and the lively oracles of God—“the most valuable thing that this world affords.” Times, along with the British monarchy, have changed!
No Bishop, No King
In October 2000, Britain adopted the Human Rights Act, which was laid down by the European Convention on Human Rights. This act fundamentally brings into question the Act of Settlement, a 300-year-old law banning Roman Catholics and other non-Protestants from succession to the British throne.
The Act of Settlement was instituted in 1701, during a time of rampant Catholic persecution of Protestants throughout Britain. It declared that only Protestant heirs of Princess Sophia, granddaughter of James i, may take the British throne. Neither Catholics, nor those who married Catholics, nor those born out of wedlock, were permitted to prevail in the line of succession. The act was designed to ensure not only the Anglican Church’s survival, but also to perpetuate a continuous royal line within Britain, enhancing its national stability and sovereignty.
The establishment of a constitutional monarchy under the Stuart line in 1714 further safeguarded the abuse of royal power by ruling sovereigns. The ruling monarch was now a head of state, advised by courtiers and reliant upon the prime minister’s wisdom to ensure national guidance in politics, administration and security.
In 2000 and 2001, a British human rights lawyer tried unsuccessfully to have the Act of Settlement reinterpreted or permanently removed. Attempts within and without Britain to bring its sovereign into line with European monarchs are set to continue, pending ultimate action or intervention by the European Court.
Almost a decade ago, British historian Paul Johnson commented, “Again, we have at present a sacerdotal [priestly] monarchy, whose ultimate claim to the throne derives from God according to specifically Christian teaching. … James i rightly perceived, nearly four centuries ago, that ecclesiastical and secular hierarchies stood or fell together. As he put it: ‘No bishop, no king’” (Daily Mail, Jan. 26, 1993).
Columns such as Johnson’s are becoming more widespread in response to Britain’s pro-Europe, socialist government pushing to diminish both royal and religious powers. “It has almost reached the point where the prime minister is more royal than the queen …” (Spectator, Jan. 5).
The Prophet Hosea depicted Britain (scripturally known as Ephraim) as a “cake not turned” (Hosea 7:8). Britain may appear robust, healthy, like a sumptuous cake just out of the oven; however, its inner core has fallen apart, and, with pressure applied to the outside of the cake, it risks collapse. Formerly a deeply religious society, Britain has become a picture of godlessness.
Britain has been led down a path that doesn’t yield God’s blessing. As the prophecy proclaims, “… O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isaiah 3:12). Yes, the leaders of Britain have failed in their duty to lead the people. The royal family has failed to be an example of familial fidelity.
Queen Elizabeth and all the people of Britain would do well to remember the archbishop’s words during the coronation ceremony in 1953: “Be thy head anointed with holy oil: as kings, priests, and prophets were anointed: and as Solomon was anointed king by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet, so be thou anointed, blessed, and consecrated queen over the peoples, whom the Lord thy God hath given thee to rule and govern.”
Remember, at her coronation the queen was handed God’s Word and instructed that it was “the most valuable thing that this world affords.” The consequences of forsaking God’s law are clearly outlined by God in His Word. “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men” (2 Samuel 7:14).
But before God punishes, He always warns out of love and concern. The warning to the royal family and the people of Britain is coming today through one voice. “It’s time people awakened and listened to God’s warning message! God will hold them accountable for rejecting His covenant with David and His message about that throne. That throne is the greatest physical symbol of hope on this Earth! But how can other people respect and admire it if most of the British people scorn their own history and prophecy about this throne?” (Gerald Flurry, Who Is That Prophet?, pages 14-15).
This is the one voice that is warning, on God’s behalf, the people of Britain, along with the other nations of biblical Israel, that they must repent. Should Britain’s royal household refuse to heed God’s warning to turn to Him in heartfelt repentance, a humiliating end awaits (Jeremiah 22:18-19). In addition, the city where the throne resides will suffer unparalleled nuclear destruction should its residents fail to repent (verses 7-8).
The future of the British throne does look bleak, but—be assured—a change is coming!
The Coming Succession
As the queen’s golden jubilee is celebrated by her diminishing body of subjects, the question of the monarchy’s future is ever pressing. Will it soon fade as a relic institution of the past, or will the throne continue?
God will keep His covenant with David. The throne will eventually be moved to Jerusalem, where the returning Jesus Christ will be crowned in power and glory! There will be no constitutional monarchy;it will be God’s absolute rule—His loving family government spreading out to all the globe!
The Bible reveals a soon-coming time when a King of kings will rule with perfection, not just a handful of nations, but the entirety of the Earth. He will rule with total justice, righteousness and power (Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:3-5). Unlike human beings, He will never abuse His office and never let down His subjects. His coming government will not be based upon compromise. This new administration will institute the very government of Almighty God! It will be spearheaded by the supreme Father who appointed Jesus Christ as His Chief Executive—His Spokesman, the Word (John 1:1).
The ruling Christ will be joined in this future world government by “kings and priests” (Revelation 5:10). These people, through the Spirit of God, will have overcome and conquered their selfish human nature and become obedient to the will of God. They will have qualified to rule with “power over the nations” (Revelation 2:26).
Also ruling with high office in this kingdom will be the resurrected King David of Israel (Ezekiel 34:23-24). Christ Himself will sit upon the throne of David (Luke 1:32), continuing the unbroken covenanted cycle of rulership which has directly involved the present British royal family.
During the coming new world order of Almighty God, this royal family of spirit beings will extend the government and peace of God out from Jerusalem to all corners of the Earth. It will be both the crown and executive power over all nations (Revelation 11:15).
Those who work now to support God’s end-time warning work will qualify for positions of rulership in the very throne of God (Revelation 3:21). You need to ground yourself in God’s Word, “the most valuable thing that this world affords.” If you do, the day is soon coming when you will be ready to teach and train others God’s Word and say, “Here is wisdom; this is the royal law; these are the lively oracles of God.”