2. Key Aspects of Premillennial Apocalyptic Eschatology
Key Biblical Texts
3. A Premillennialist Representational Economy of the Prophetic
By semiotic ideology I mean people’s background assumptions about what signs are and how they function in the world. Such assumptions help determine, for instance, what people will consider the likely role that intentions play in the signification to be, what kinds of possible agent exist to which acts of signification might be imputed, whether signs are arbitrary or necessarily linked to their objects, and so forth27.
A weathercock is an indication, or index, of the direction of the wind; because, in the first place, it really takes the self-same direction of the wind, so that there is a real connection between them, and in the second place, we are so constituted that when we see a weathercock pointing in a certain direction it draws our attention to that direction, and when we see the weathercock veering with the wind, we are forced by the law of the mind to think that direction is connected to the wind28.
Demonic Materiality and Signs of the End Times
4. Manifestations of Demonic Materiality
We do not want another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man and, be he god or the devil, we will receive him31.
4.1. Louise Weiss Building in Strasbourg
4.2. The Woman and the Beast
The EU has adopted symbols straight out of the Book of Revelation. Outside the Council of Europe building in Brussels there stands a statue of Europa (a woman) being carried off by a bull, a picture of the Greek myth of the Rape of Europa. In other words, it is a woman riding a beast. Revelation 17.1–6 sees a woman riding the beast as the symbol of false religion allied to the antichrist political power, persecuting true believers in Jesus44.
When you think about spiritual entities, religious organisations that have this extent of presence, that has this amount of political sway, that has this degree of prosperity, that practices a religion that presents itself as Christianity but actually in practice is blasphemous and abominable, there is only one religion on earth that fits the bill … I’m speaking to you about Roman Catholicism45.
5. Prophetic Material Objects and Signifiers
The Bible teaches that the Revived Roman Empire of the end times will be a creation of Satan, and out of it will come his representative, the Antichrist. The fact that the formation of the European Union has major spiritual implications is reflected in the religious symbols that the Union has adopted in the form of its flag, its anthem, its architecture, and its basic logo54.
Conflicts of Interest
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Carney’s speech was delivered on 24 June 2016. Full speech at http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/speeches/2016/speech915.pdf (accessed on 10 October 2016).
Premillennialism is a pessimistic view of humanity and the world, which anticipates the imminent return of Christ prior to his millennial rule. In the United Kingdom they are predominantly found within Brethren, Baptist and Pentecostal traditions.
Economic catastrophe is considered to be a sign of the end times.
See (Knowles 2013).
See (Knowles 2014).
There are numerous examples that could have been selected including: EU anthem, EU currency, EU flag.
A snapshot of the interest generated by the referendum in terms of sermons preached on the subject can be gleaned on the conservative Christian website and app sermonaudio.com, which describes itself as “The largest and most trusted library of audio sermons from conservative churches and ministries worldwide”. (accessed on 13 November 2018). In terms of contributions from the United Kingdom, this website is populated with sermons from mainly conservative Baptist and Brethren congregations.
See Revelation 20.
Premillennialism can be broadly divided into two groups: historicist premillennialism, those who believe Christ will return after the tribulation; and futurist premillennialism—those who believe Christ will first rapture believers prior to the tribulation and then return after it to reign for a millennium, hence pretribulation.
The following biblical texts are central to this doctrine: John 14:1–4; I Cor 15:51–58 and I Thess 4:13–18.
This is not to be confused with the second advent of Christ and is sometimes referred to as the doctrine of the Secret Rapture. See (Sweetnam 2006).
Jews are purposely identified here as separate to non-believers as premillennialists understand the Jews to have a significant role in the end times due to being God’s covenant people.
Catherine Wessinger refers to this form of millennialism as catastrophic millennialism due to the pessimistic view of human nature and society. See (Wessinger 2011, p. 5).
This is a generic futurist premillennial prophetic framework that virtually all premillennialists would concur with; however, there are many nuanced differences among premillennialists within this general pattern. See (Carpenter 1997, pp. 247–48) for a brief overview.
They are: gold for Babylon; silver for the Medo-Persians; bronze for the Greeks, and iron for the Roman Empire. Iron and clay constitute the confederacy of nations in Europe.
See Daniel 7:8, 24; cf. Revelation 13:1–10.
See, for example, Richard G. Kyle. 2012. Apocalyptic Fever: End-Time Prophecies in Modern America. Eugene: Cascade Books, pp. 117–18.
Babel and Babylon are essentially the same place.
The European Council is distinct from the European Union. Whilst the latter refers to the confederacy of member states that constitute the EU, the European Council is the body that defines the EUs overall political strategy and policies. See the EC website http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/european-council/ (accessed on 15 March 2017).
This has been reported on a number of conservative Christian web sites; however, they provide no evidence that the removal of the poster was due to protests by Christian groups.
Gen 11: 7.
See (Franklin 2003).
See (Hathaway 2006).
It was created by the Greek brothers Nikos and Pantelis Sotiriadis. It weighs almost 6 tons and combines three materials: steel (the bull), bronze (the girl), and glass (the back of the bull). See http://en.strasbourg-europe.eu/discover-artistic-europe,36299,en.html (accessed on 10 March 2017).
Designed between 1992 and 1993 by Aligi Sassu.
https://www.ecb.europa.eu/euro/banknotes/europa/html/index.en.html (accessed on 10 March 2017).
Prophetic Witness is the magazine of the oldest premillennialist organization in the world. Founded in 1917 by Frederick B. Meyer it has recently celebrated its centennial year. Approximately 1500 magazines are distributed each calendar month mainly in the United Kingdom to independent Brethren, Baptist and Pentecostal church members.
https://lightforthelastdays.co.uk/articles/events-in-europe/eu-prophesied-bible/ (accessed on 10 March 2017).
See (Webster 2013).
All those named are some of the most powerful politicians within the European Council who oversee policy for the EU.
For in depth analysis of attitudes to Roman Catholicism within a Northern Ireland context see (Searle 2014).
See also (Knowles 2018).
(Franklin 2017). See also Prophetic Witness April 2016 which contained articles on the dangers of the European Union interpreted through a premillennialist biblical prophecy lens. Tony Pearce, a well-known preacher and teacher in premillennialist circles in the United Kingdom wrote Brexit—A Blow for Global Government. https://www.lightforthelastdays.co.uk/articles/current-issues/light-for-the-last-days-june-2016.html (accessed on 12 February 2018). See also his sermon in which he explicitly advised the congregation to which he was speaking to vote for Brexit. Available through The Bridge Christian Fellowship website http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/mp3-summer2016/190616e+2+Timothy+3+to+4.8.mp3 (accessed 16 November 2018).
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