It was in the summer of 1985 that we set ourselves the task of producing the first issue of The Bible Magazine, and looking back at the work we find cause for some regrets and some satisfaction.
Ten years ago we lived in a very different world from today, and inevitably our view was limited by the horizons then visible -- and particularly by the divided state of Europe and seemingly invincible superpower of an officially atheistic Soviet Russia. In issue #5 of the magazine we discussed Russia, Europe & The Bible with these constraints upon us, never dreaming that the Soviet Union would vanish off the map so completely. Unfortunately this handicap meant that terms like"Soviet" and "Communism" were applied to future events without discretion -- and this gives us cause for regret.
Yet it is with a degree of satisfaction that we can look back and note the fact that whilst the news media reported on EUROPE DIVIDED (as in the Maclean's news magazine shown here), the light of Bible prophecy had convinced us that things would not remain that way. In the article Russia, Europe &The Bible (Issue #5) we discussed how the division of the Roman Empire into East and West found its successors in modern times. We wrote:
"The spiritual organization still resides in Rome; the civil power in Moscow. Question: Could they ever come together again?"
Ten years ago we expected a re-unification of Europe to take place because Bible prophecy required it -- but we did not expect it to come about in the way that it did. But here again -- have we yet seen the picture completed? We believe that Scripture teaches that we have not. As may be gleaned from our current writing on the subject, we believe that Scripture teaches us to expect a Russo-German alliance to dominate (if not chain) the whole of Christian Europe, and that the Roman Church will co-operate with both to accomplish that end. This has been the expectation of Christadelphians for well over 100 years and the idea can be found in our literature throughout this time. For example, in 1854 John Thomas wrote that the leader of Russia "will not be hostile to the pope. On the contrary, he will honour and acknowledge him". The removal of the atheistic Soviet Union has brought that situation closer. The re-unification of Germany is leading to the domination of Europe -- and all these developments are in accordance with what Scripture requires. All this is telling us that a system of false Christianity -- joining with others -- will oppose Christ when he comes. We rejoice in the fact that we have been permitted to witness the outworking of events thus far, because they demonstrate that Christ is coming soon.
In another area we also find faith confirmed. In our very first issue we ran the headline: How The Exodus of Black Jews Fulfilled Prophecy! In 1985 the so-called Falasha Jews were air-lifted to Israel from Ethiopia in "Operation Moses". The return of Jews to Israel -- whether black or Soviet, from north or south -- is yet another constant reminder that events are in motion, and will culminate in the establishment of Christ's kingdom upon earth. In Bible Magazine articles as well as in our booklets we have consistently pointed to the developing "peace and safety" situation affecting Israel and her Arab neighbours, and in the last couple of years we have seen that begin to mature. This will bring prosperity such as is described in Ezekiel 38:8, 12 etc. We have watched incredible events take place over the last ten years; soon the watching will be over and Christ will be here. The consequences of this should be obvious -- but is it affecting our life?