THE RISE OF BRITAIN
There was still the need for the gospel to be spread to Africa and to Asia. There was also the need for the spread of the light seen by the Brethren to every part of the earth. How was this spreading to come about?
After the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Spain’s power declined while that of Britain rose. Gradually she became an empire, with colonies all around the earth. It was called the empire without a sunset. For more than two centuries the colonies were farms, providing her with the goods she needed and making her wealthy.
During the days of Britain’s preeminence, the Protestant influence reached to every continent. Most missionaries in the past were British. The money used for the spread of the gospel was largely in pounds sterling, not United States dollars. It was in England that many spiritual giants were raised up. Great teachers among the Brethren wrote hundreds of books for the release of the truth. Light was released by the speakers at the Keswick Convention.
Now, however, especially since World War II, Great Britain has lost her colonies, the source of her wealth. Instead of her islands being gardens, they have had to become farms. Britain was not faithful to God or to man. In World War I she promised the Jews to make Palestine their homeland if they would help in the fight against Germany. At the same time she secretly promised the Jordanians, who were Arabs, that Palestine would become theirs if they would join in fighting against the Turks. When the war was over, the Jews and Jordanians were both offended at this duplicity.
THE UNITED STATES AS A WORLD POWER
The United States followed Britain as a world power. Before the discovery of America, the connecting center for the whole world was the Holy Land. Though it is located in the western part of Asia, it joins Asia, Europe, and Africa. God sovereignly made the Holy Land the focus of the ancient populated world, so that the gospel could be formed and spread from there.
Since World War II, the United States has been the heart of the populated world. Its climate is temperate. It lies between two great oceans, which are like the wings of an eagle.
Whatever the United States does, the entire world follows. This is true financially, industrially, scientifically, politically, militarily, religiously, scripturally, and spiritually! Even in language, it is American English, not British, which prevails.
Why has God ordained this? It is for His move on earth to carry out His recovery. The Roman Empire was for the gospel. Germany was for the Reformation. Britain was for the spreading of the gospel and of the truth. Now the United States has become the center for the recovery. From here it can spread to all the continents in a world-wide language. Wherever we are from, we must appreciate America. God will use America to spread His recovery so that the Lord may return.
(The World Situation and God's Move, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)