It appears that Great Britain has voted to leave the European Union. The vote was fairly close, but the "leave" vote appears to be greater than the "remain" vote by about 3%.
As of the time of this writing, with 372 areas out of 382 having finished counting their votes and declaring the results, the vote to leave the EU was 16,681,877, or 51.71% and the vote to stay in the EU was 15,575,878, or 48.29%. Scotland has overwhelmingly voted to remain in the European Union, and this may mean that some in Scotland will want to separate from the U.K. to be part of the European Union. They may have other reasons for wanting to separate, but this may give them another excuse. I do not anticipate Scotland leaving the rest of Great Britain anytime soon, but who knows?
Most in the Church of God will not be surprised by this outcome. We have long understood that Great Britain is part of Israel and is part of the tribe of Ephraim and that Bible prophecy indicates that the great tribulation will fall primarily and first upon the nations that are descended from the tribes of Israel. We have expected that at some point many nations in Europe will unite, with Germany being the leading power within that united Europe, and that this European power will go to war against the English-speaking nations of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia, to name a few of the principle nations that will first go through the tribulation. Thus, we have expected that Britain will not be part of that European Union at that time.
Thus, this event is a step towards the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Had the vote gone the other way, that might have suggested that we have more time than expected before the end. But this result suggests we may have less time.
Stock prices are falling, the pound is falling, and gold has risen.
This event is expected to hurt the world economy. It might be the trigger for an economic crisis that will bring the world's economy down. We have long known that the debt crisis in the United States and other nations has made the world economy vulnerable. An economic crisis has been building for a long time. It has not yet been triggered. This event may or may not be the trigger - only time will tell.
Britain's membership in the European Community has benefited the United States till now. Britain has been a friend of the United States, and Britain has been our eyes and ears inside the European Community. Britain has also served as a brake to help restrain efforts of those in Europe who want faster and more complete union of nations under German leadership. Britain's membership has slowed down European unity till now.
So with Britain out of the picture, expect Germany to be more powerful in the European Union and expect unification to proceed at a faster pace.
This may hurt the dollar. The result of a declining dollar may be higher gas prices and higher prices of everything that is traded internationally.
But the biggest immediate danger is that this can hurt the economy and trigger a serious recession or worse.
The U.K. has a lot of trade with the other nations of the EU. With Britain out of the European Union, it will no longer enjoy favorable tariff-free trade with the other EU nations. This will hurt business in Britain. Their economy is likely to decline. Britain is also an important trading partner of the United States, so as Britain's economy declines it will trade less with the United States, and that can trigger a recession in the United States. The United States buys from China and many nations in the world, so when our economy declines, so does the world economy.
This can trigger a recession very easily. And in the fragile condition of our economy and the economies of many nations which are overburdened with government and private debt, what starts as a recession can easily become a depression.
If it is in this life we have hope, especially in the short term, this is not good news. But it has value in that fulfilled prophetic events help to advance God's plan for the ultimate salvation of mankind.
For those whose hearts are in God's work, who have a desire to see the true gospel and the Ezekiel warning go out to all Israel before the tribulation begins, this is a prod to a greater sense of urgency. We need to act as never before to preach the gospel while we can, while we still have the money and freedom to do it.
God commands us to warn the people or their blood will be on our heads. We do not have much time to do it (Ezekiel 3:17-21).
"I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work" (John 9:4).
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going" (Ecclesiastes 9:10).