Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
What Happened to the Gates?
Britain, once the chief of nations, has seen her power scattered and broken as both Moses and Daniel declared. The Empire is no more, the Commonwealth a shadow of its former self. We have become the tail and not the head. The gates have been lost -- because of our national sin. The leaders and the people of this chosen nation have forgotten the God who made us great. We have placed the vilest of legislation on our Statute Book at Westminster, and we have trampled the law of God underfoot.
by Alan Campbell
In part, in Genesis 22:16-18, Almighty God made this promise to Abraham: "...thy seed shall possess the GATE OF HIS ENEMIES." And inspired through God, Rebekah, Isaac's then future wife, was told by her brothers: "...Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess THE GATES OF THOSE WHICH HATE THEM." And as we have discussed in many past articles, this prophetic blessing passed to Jacob and to his descendants, primarily through Joseph and his two sons; Ephraim (Britain, the company of nations) and America (the great nation). Genesis 48:19. This article will deal with those inherited by the company of nations, the British Commonwealth.
But, what was the importance of these gates? Well, simply put, at the appropriate time on God's Great Plan, they were to be strategic military and naval points of the earth, the possession of which would enable Abraham's descendants to dominate and control the world, and thus fulfill their destiny to bless all nations.
The question from a reader in England asked, "What happened to these gates?"
To begin, I should refer in part to Daniel 12:7 when the being in linen talks about the end of wonders, after which the prophet wrote, "...And when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people...." You see, just as we turned away from God, who, for example, in answer to prayer, had so graciously intervened to deliver us from the Axis powers during WWII, well, that same God turned His face from us, just as he said He would in Hosea 5:15. Then too, just as we had abandoned His holy laws, statutes and judgments, so in turn, we lost our great worldwide Empire, on which it was said that the sun never set. And just as the Almighty had promised to bless us and set us on high above the other nations of the earth, so His curses or judgments began to fall upon us, as Deuteronomy 28 promised.
Not a pretty picture! But, let's have a quick look at the gates we lost.
(1) The Suez Canal was the first. Built by the French, the Convention of Constantinople in 1888 declared the canal a neutral zone under the protection of the British, who had occupied Egypt and Sudan at the request of Khedive Tewfiq to suppress the Urabi Revolt against his rule. The revolt went on from 1879 to 1882. As a result of British involvement on the side of Khedive Tewfiq, Britain gained control of the canal in 1882. The British defended the strategically important passage against a major Ottoman attack in 1915, during the First World War. Under the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, the UK retained control over the canal. The canal was again strategically important in the 1939-1945 Second World War, and Italo-German attempts to recapture it were repulsed during the North Africa Campaign, while the canal was closed to Axis shipping. In 1951, Egypt repudiated the treaty, and in October 1954, the UK agreed to remove its troops.
That 103-mile-long strategic gate was nationalized by Egypt's President Nasser in 1956 and notwithstanding military intervention by Britain, France and Israel, the one world conspiracy came into play and the threats of United Nations and/or Soviet intervention resulted in the French, British and Israeli withdrawal.
(2) The volcanic peninsula of Aden lies 100 miles to the East of the Southern entrance to the Red Sea. Before British administration, Aden was occupied by the Portuguese between 1513-1538 and 1547-1548. It was ruled by the Ottoman Empire between 1538-1547 and 1548-1645. In 1609 the Ascension was the first English ship to visit Aden, before sailing on to Mocha during the Fourth voyage of the East India Company. After Ottoman rule, Aden was ruled by the Sultanate of Lahej, under suzerainty of the Zaidi imams of Yemen, and in 1838, under Muhsin bin Fadl, Lahej ceded 194 square kilometres (75 sq mi) including Aden to the British. On 19 January 1839, the British East India Company landed Royal Marines at Aden to secure the territory and stop attacks by pirates against British shipping to India. It was acquired by the expanding British Empire in 1839, and subsequently the islands of Perim, Sokotra and Kamaran were added, thus assuring British control of the sea route to the East by way of the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal.
In 1850 it was declared a free trade port with the liquor, salt, arms, and opium trades developing duties as it won all the coffee trade from Mokha. The port lies about equidistant from the Suez Canal, Mumbai, and Zanzibar, which were all important British possessions. In the mid-19th century, it became necessary to replenish coal and boiler water, thus Aden acquired a coaling station at Steamer Point. Until 1937, Aden was governed as part of British India and was known as the Aden Settlement. Its original territory was enlarged in 1857 by the 5 square mile island of Perim, in 1868 by the 28 square mile Khuriya Muriya Islands, and in 1915 by the 41.6 square mile island of Kamaran. The settlement would become Aden Province in 1935. From 1937-65 it was a British Crown Colony. Together with the British Protectorates of Hadramaut, Wahidi and Mahri it assured British control of Southern Arabia and the Northern coastline of the Indian Ocean.
The 1947 Aden riots saw more than 80 Jews killed, their property looted and schools burned by a Muslim mob. After the Suez Crisis in 1956, Aden became the main location in the region for the British.From 1957 to 1967 the British were on the receiving end of a vicious terrorist campaign by two rival terrorist groups, the National Liberation Front and the Front for the Liberation of South Yemen. Some 129 British Servicemen were killed, and when Britain finally abandoned this God-given strategic gate, both the colony and the protectorates were incorporated into the Marxist Peoples Republic of South Yemen.
(3) Then, there was the original settlement at the Cape of Good Hope. The Dutch colonial administrator Jan van Riebeeck established a resupply camp for the Dutch East India Company some 31 miles north of the cape in Table Bay on April 6, 1652 and this eventually developed into Cape Town. Supplies of fresh food were vital on the long journey around Africa and Cape Town became known as "The Tavern of the Seas". On December 31, 1687 a community of Huguenots -- who are Protestants -- arrived at the Cape of Good Hope from the Netherlands. They had escaped to the Netherlands from France in order to flee religious persecution there. The Dutch East India Company needed skilled farmers at the Cape of Good Hope and the Dutch Government saw opportunities for the Huguenots at the Cape and sent them over. The colony gradually grew over the next 150 years or so until it stretched for hundreds of miles to the north and north-east.
When the Dutch Republic, during the Napoleonic Wars, was occupied by the French in 1795, henceforth becoming their vassal and enemy of the British, the United Kingdom invaded and occupied the Cape Colony that same year; relinquished control of the territory in 1803 -- only to return and reoccupy the Cape on January 19, 1806 following the Battle of Blaauwberg. The territory was ceded to the British in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 and was thereafter administered as the Cape Colony. Walvis Bay was occupied by Britain in 1878 and was administered as part of Cape Colony. The Cape of Good Hope remained a British colony until being incorporated into the independent Union of South Africa in 1910 (now known as the Republic of South Africa) and was held by the Republic of South Africa until 1994 when it was transferred to Namibia -- the former South West Africa. Sadly, these areas are now part of Namibia and the "new" South Africa under the A.N.C. Government with its traditional links to the South African Communist Party.
The control of these strategic points assured that the Anglo-Saxon people controlled the shipping routes from East to West, routes that were especially important during two World Wars, during the Cold War, and the period when the Suez Canal was blocked.
(4) The island of Cyprus. In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) and the Congress of Berlin, Cyprus was leased to the British Empire which de facto took over its administration in 1878 (though, in terms of sovereignty, Cyprus remained a de jure Ottoman territory until November 5, 1914, together with Egypt and Sudan) in exchange for guarantees that Britain would use the island as a base to protect the Ottoman Empire against possible Russian aggression.
The island would serve Britain as a key military base for its colonial routes. By 1906, when the Famagusta harbor was completed, Cyprus was a strategic naval outpost overlooking the Suez Canal, the crucial main route to India which was then Britain's most important overseas possession. Following the outbreak of the First World War and the decision of the Ottoman Empire to join the war on the side of the Central Powers, on November 5, 1914 the British Empire formally annexed Cyprus and declared the Ottoman Khedivate of Egypt and Sudan a Sultanate and British protectorate.
In 1915, Britain offered Cyprus to Constantine I of Greece on condition that Greece join the war on the side of the British, which he declined. In 1923, under the Treaty of Lausanne, the nascent Turkish republic relinquished any claim to Cyprus, and in 1925 it was declared a British crown colony. Many Greek and Turkish Cypriots fought in the British Army during both world wars. During the Second World War, many enlisted in the Cyprus Regiment.
While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders and Turkey in the 1950s. Turkish leaders for a period advocated the annexation of Cyprus to Turkey as Cyprus was considered an "extension of Anatolia" by them; while since the 19th century, the majority Greek Cypriot population and its Orthodox church had been pursuing union with Greece, which became a Greek national policy in the 1950s. Following a vicious terrorist campaign by the Greek Cypriots of EOKA, seeking to unite the island to Greece, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. Britain granted the island independence as a Republic within the Commonwealth, with Britain retaining Air Bases on the island.
(5) The island of Malta lies fifty-eight miles south of Sicily. In 1814, as part of the Treaty of Paris, Malta officially became a part of the British Empire and was used as a shipping way-station and fleet headquarters. After the Suez Canal opened in 1869, Malta's position halfway between the Strait of Gibraltar and Egypt proved to be its main asset, and it was considered an important stop on the way to India, a central trade route for the British. Because of its position, several culinary and botanical products were introduced in Malta; some examples (derived from the National Book of Trade Customs found in the National Library) include wheat (for bread making) and bacon.
Between 1915 and 1918, during the First World War, Malta became known as the Nurse of the Mediterranean due to the large number of wounded soldiers who were accommodated in Malta.
Before the Second World War, Valletta was the location of the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet's headquarters. However, despite Winston Churchill's objections, the command was moved to Alexandria, Egypt, in April 1937 fearing it was too susceptible to air attacks from Europe.
During the Second World War, Malta played a very important role for the Allies; being a British colony, situated close to Sicily and the Axis shipping lanes, Malta was bombarded by the Italian and German air forces. Malta was used by the British to launch attacks on the Italian navy and had a submarine base. It was also used as a listening post, reading German radio messages including Enigma traffic. The bravery of the Maltese people during the second Siege of Malta moved King George VI to award the George Cross to Malta on a collective basis on April 15, 1942 "to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history". Some historians argue that the award caused Britain to incur disproportionate losses in defending Malta, as British credibility would have suffered if Malta surrendered, as British forces in Singapore had done. A depiction of the George Cross now appears in the upper hoist corner of the Flag of Malta. The collective award remained unique until April 1999, when the Royal Ulster Constabulary became the second -- and, to date, the only other -- recipient of a collective George Cross.
From then until 1979, the Grand Harbor was the home of Britain's Mediterranean Fleet. In a referendum of 1956, some three quarters of the population voted for total integration within the United Kingdom. Sadly, this was not to be, forces determined to destroy the British Empire were already at work, and after several troubled years, Malta achieved its independence on September 21, 1964 (after intense negotiations with the United Kingdom, led by Maltese Prime Minister George Borġ Olivier). Under its 1964 constitution, Malta initially retained Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Malta and thus Head of State, with a Governor-General exercising executive authority on her behalf. In 1971, the Malta Labor Party led by Dom Mintoff won the General Elections, resulting in Malta declaring itself a republic on December 13, 1974 (Republic Day) within the Commonwealth, with the President as head of state.
(6) The main island of Hong-Kong, a former pirates' lair in the Pearl River Estuary was seized by the British navy in 1841 during the Opium War and was officially placed under British rule in 1842 under the terms of the Treaty of Nanking, becoming a Crown Colony in 1843. Kowloon and Stone Cutters Island were acquired in 1860 and in 1898. The so-called New Territories were acquired from China on a 99-year lease. Apart from the Japanese occupation of 1941-45 the territory remained British until it was surrended to Red Communist China on July 1, 1997. Until 1959 the British-Admiralty maintained a naval dockyard there, and between the two World Wars, Hong Kong was the third commercial port of the British Empire. In the years prior to this transfer of sovereignty Hong Kong grew rapidly in population and in wealth to become one of the world's leading financial, commercial and banking centers.
Hong Kong was the last major "seagate" of the once mighty British Empire to be lost.
This leaves Britain with only two seagates of minor importance -- one being the Falkland Islands. This tiny outpost in the South Atlantic was first claimed by Britain in 1771 and officially occupied in 1832. Although the British fought a war with Argentina in 1982, the islands have no significant value and had it not been for the casualties of that war, the islands might have been turned over to Argentina by successive British governments.
The other is the Straits of Gibraltar, known in Bible days as the Pillars of Hercules. It dominates the entrance/exit between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The Rock was captured by the British in 1704. Today it has no significant military value.
Why Has This Happened?
The answer is simple, the leaders and the people of this chosen nation have forgotten the God who made us great. We have placed the vilest of legislation on our Statute Book at Westminster, we have trampled the law of God underfoot, defiled God's holy days, and turned our once Christian nation into a so-called pluralistic society. Once Queen Victoria could tell a visiting Indian Prince that the secret of Britain's greatness was the open Bible. Today our Queen would have to confess that the secret of our shame, decline and degradation is that we have closed the Book.
Writes Herbert W. Armstrong:
"The birthright, once we received it, was stupendous, AWESOME-unequalled among nations or empires! But what have our peoples done with that awesome blessing?
"They were still ISRAELITES, even though they themselves knew it not! They were still rebellious, "stiff-necked," stubborn!
"Once the British peoples -- the "lost" Israelites now supposing they are Gentiles -- found themselves basking in the pleasant sunshine of such wealth and power, they were less willing than their ancient forefathers to yield to their GOD and HIS WAYS. They felt no need of Him, now! It seems few ever turn to God until they find themselves in desperate need or trouble.
"But after God had withheld the birthright 2520 years, and then, when our peoples deserved nothing from God, He suddenly bestowed on us national blessings unparalleled in history -- the unconditional promise to Abraham was kept! No longer is God obligated by His promise to continue our undeserving peoples in world prestige, wealth and greatness. Once we had been given such unrivaled position, it was up to us whether we should keep it" (The Unites States and Britain in Prophecy, Worldwide Church of God, 1980, p. 159).
God warned us by His servant Moses that if we thumbed our noses at Him, we would suffer severe judgment and punishment. God said,
"If ye will not harken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments, and if ye shall despise My statutes or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you will not do all My commandments, but that ye break my covenant, I will break the pride of your power" (Leviticus 26:14-19).
Continues Herbert W. Armstrong --
"He [God] put our nations in the position of possessing the greatest national power any nation or empire ever possessed. We had great pride in that national power -- in our national prestige.
"...But We Lost It!
"Today even little nations dare to insult, trample on, or burn the British flag -- and Britain, still having [some] power, does no more than issue a weak protest! What's happened to the PRIDE of our power?" (ibid., p. 160).
Yes, Britain, once the chief of nations, has seen her power scattered and broken as both Moses and Daniel declared. The Empire is no more, the Commonwealth a shadow of its former self. We have become the tail and not the head. The gates have been lost -- because of our national sins.
Will the Brexit vote give us new hope? Time will tell. However, God's word, the Bible, gives His people Israel great hope for the future, notice! In Hosea 2, God says, in regard to our having possessed the unprecedented wealth of the birthright promise:
"For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Therefore will I return, and TAKE AWAY My corn in the time thereof, and My wine in the season thereof, and I will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness [her sin]" (verses 8-9).
But finally, when the correction becomes intense enough, our peoples will acknowledge their transgressions, will repent, will seek their God!
-- Edited by John D. Keyser.
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