The Union of Two Kingdoms

Michael A. Clark

‘The Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN’
Words from the Act of Union 1707

The First of May, 2007, marked the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union which created the United Kingdom of Great Britain by merging the parliaments of Scotland and England. In the history of the Covenant People this union became a most significant moment in their prophetic restoration as a kingdom of people called by God to lead the nations in peace.

The Union of the Crowns in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became James I of England marked a watershed towards the development of the Kingdom of God upon earth that has perhaps never been fully understood, even by students of the Kingdom Identity.  After 1603 both England and Scotland shared the same monarch, but still had two separate parliaments.  A period of political and economic instability followed including a civil war and the temporary replacement of the monarchy by the Protestant ‘protector,’ Oliver Cromwell.

The religious struggles during the Reformation itself were in fact a vital part of the re-formation of the Covenant People, this as the Kingdom under the authority of Almighty God destined to expand to the four corners of the world. Viewed from this perspective, our history and the Bible are seen to be joined in a continuity of prophetic fulfilment from Mount Sinai to the present day that is wholly inspiring.  In this connection, it is crucial to remember that ancient Israel was Hebrew, not Jewish – a historical blindspot which dominates the thinking of all theologians, permeates secular history and distorts Western foreign policy in the Middle East under the leadership of the United States.

The twelve tribes of Israel were never easy to hold together in a union as one kingdom.  Ephraim in particular regarded Judah’s power with increasing envy.  A split had threatened under King David’s reign (II Samuel 20).  The vital ingredient to national unity and strength always lay in the bond of common worship of the one God, Jehovah. The monarchy in itself was no substitute – a significant fact when we consider the multi-faith advocacy of our present day. Without the unity of faith among the tribes, the king and people were warned that they would be reduced together in judgment, as Samuel so clearly foresaw at Saul’s coronation (I Samuel 12:14-15).

The division of the twelve tribes into two kingdoms – the House of Judah and the House of Israel – took place as a direct consequence of Solomon’s idolatry.  Both eventually became prey to stronger neighbouring powers and were taken into captivity. The LORD had an overruling purpose in the division of the Kingdom – “this thing is from me”, He said (I Kings 12:24) – and in the moving of most of the population of all twelve tribes northwards into Assyria. A small remnant only of the Kingdom of Judah was in the end taken captive to Babylon.

At this point the vast bulk of the Hebrew race disappears from the pages of history as it is taught, even, it is sad to say, from the mind and concerns of Christian theologians. This despite the unfailing stated Word of the LORD that He could never forget the people that He chose to be a great Covenant Nation and indeed a “company of nations” in the earth.  Could anything be plainer than the words recorded by the Prophet Isaiah?

“Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, she may forget, yet I will not forget thee.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me” (Isaiah 49: 15-16).

It has never been in the compass of God’s Great Plan to just write off the people of His covenant bond (Ezekiel 20:37-38) and it is time that Christians everywhere woke up to this glorious fact. Why do they pass over the oath and promise of Almighty God to the covenant people?  Is it beyond credibility that Jehovah would not do what He said he would do from the very beginning?  Why go down the road of the Romish replacement theology? All these are questions that need the thunder of God’s Word to disturb the stifling atmosphere of theological jargon that says God cannot be believed when He declared that He would make Israel and Judah one kingdom again, making them a light unto the Gentiles:

“Is it a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth… I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages” (Isaiah 49:6 and 8).

Setting the Captives free from the Appointed Place

A land was appointed (II Samuel 7:10) for the Covenant People when Israel were already in Palestine, in which, after being taken away in captivity, they were to be planted to dwell as a place of their own and move no more in order to grow and develop into a restored Kingdom. This land is described as “the isles that shall wait for his law” in which God’s Israel people “my servant, whom I uphold: mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth” shall be used “for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house” (Isaiah 42: 1, 4, 6-7).

We are given a great vision here of the purpose of God for a civilization that was to become of global influence. This expansion happened only once in the history of the world and it was a Christian civilization, with the laws of Moses as its foundation, that accomplished the mighty task of spreading forth to the four corners of the earth as prophesied (Genesis 28:14).  Who were these people in the Elizabethan Age, delivered from the bondage of Rome and taking the light of the Gospel to the nations if they were not of Israel?  Who led the world in ending slavery and whose Royal Navy made sure that this was observed upon the high seas if they were not of Israel? It seems almost absurd to ask the question, the identity of these people being so very obvious.

The House of Israel, or Ephraim, was of Joseph who was given a double portion (Genesis 48:22). Through the powerful tribes of his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were to grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth, the greatest empire the world had ever seen was to be born – and let it not be forgotten, the world’s only non-totalitarian empire. Christian theology never takes account of the literal birthright that was Joseph’s (I Chronicles 5:1-2). The promise to Joseph in Genesis 49:22 states clearly:

“Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall.”

The Resurrection Vision of the Whole House of Israel

We now turn to the powerful prophetic vision of the valley of dry bones given to the Prophet Ezekiel in chapter 37. This is a progressive coming together of the bones and body – a resurrection not in a sudden instant, but over a long period of time.  The identity of the bones could not be more clearly stated by the LORD through Ezekiel in verses 10-11:

“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.”

What follows is symbolized by the joining of two sticks.  Each stick is written on, one for the House of Judah and one for the House of Israel (Ancient British Coelbren means “writing on wood”). Again, what is happening could not be more clearly stated – it is the coming together of two peoples of Israel gathered from being dispersed among the other peoples of the then known world into a land of their own.  The prophecy given is as follows:

“And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.” (Ezekiel 37:22).

The mountains here refer to nations and as Israel was never reunited under one king in Palestine after the captivity periods, we have to look elsewhere for this reuniting of two kingdoms under one monarch.

In the Scottish Declaration of Independence, or the Declaration of Arbroath, in 1320, there is a direct reference to the fact that the Scottish royal line is in direct descent from the monarchs of Israel. Why would Robert the Bruce and all the Scottish nobles of the day make such a statement to the Pope, if they were not absolutely certain of their royal heritage? It is beyond any doubt whatsoever that they knew what they were setting down in the Declaration. They were a people that came out of Israel and their heritage was not going to be overwhelmed by the temporal power of the papacy – the vast religious system that, in error, purported to be the centre of the Kingdom of God upon earth. The flesh was covering the dry bones of Israel with the sinews. A great national shaking had been taking place as the bones were reassembled. All that the body of the people needed was the breath of life for them to live again as one kingdom in God’s sight.

When on 1st May, 1707, the merging of the parliaments of Scotland and England took place, the breath of life truly came back into the body of the whole House of Israel. Thereafter a great and unprecedented history began to unfold in which “an everlasting covenant” of peace was being worked out (Ezekiel 37:26). This has now covered a period of 300 years, a very defined and perfected period. What does it mean now that Scotland is talking again of independence for the kingdom?  In 1996 Jacob’s Stone of Destiny was returned to Scotland after 700 years residing in Westminster Abbey and in the Coronation Chair. It seemed to symbolize something of immense significance. The new Scottish Parliament is beginning to flex its muscles.

The Kingdom Union vs The European Union

The former Scottish Parliament met for the last time on 25th March, 1707, with the Act of Union taking effect from 1st May, 1707. On 25th March, 2007, the EU Declaration of Berlin took place marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome on 25th March, 1957. There appears to be a certain correlation and tension here linked to the union of the United Kingdom and the European Union project aimed at creating a European State with a constitution. The increasing federalization of the EU is causing the sovereignty of the United Kingdom to be in a growing state of eclipse. In this respect, an independent Scotland, which the EU is encouraging, particularly through the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, could undermine the union of the two Kingdoms and in turn their destiny to lead the nations in peace. Germany also, with its long term strategy in Europe, has an agenda here which does not bode well for the Kingdom union in the British Isles.

A great world purpose has been working out for the Covenant Nations developing and spreading out from the union of two kingdoms 300 years ago. Although the Act of Union itself was deeply controversial at the time and since, it was in fulfilment of a prophetic resurrection for the Israel of God, effectively creating the largest free trade union in the world. It nurtured economic and political stability for both Scotland and England, which we would do well to acknowledge and remember today.

We are indeed One Kingdom under God

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