The future of Northern Ireland, and will there be a “united Ireland”?

“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant,” Psalm 25:14.

“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: and he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: he revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him,” Daniel 2:20-22.

There has been something of a controversy of late in the columns of the ‘Belfast Newsletter’ regarding the future of Northern Ireland as part of a united Ireland. It was sparked by the comments of one, Mr Wallace Thompson, a retired civil servant and who it is said was a foundation member of the DUP. Mr Thompson is a professing Christian who terms himself a staunch witness to the truth of God.

He has, on a number of occasions, put forth the view that there will be a united Ireland in the not too distant future. For saying this he claims he has been called a ‘Lundy’, a reference to a well known figure, who during the time of the Siege of Derry (1689), was the first Governor of the City (during the siege) but who sought its surrender to the forces of the Romanist King James II. He was expelled by the citizens and the cause of King William III prevailed.

To be termed  a ‘Lundy’ is the basest sobriquet that can be directed toward a Protestant here in Ulster. Mr Wallace Thompson rejects such a name as a slander. He says of himself: ‘I supported Terence O’Neill for a period in the mid-1960’s but, once the civil rights movement began, I feared the worst. Ian Paisley was giving voice to my concerns and fears, and I became a Paisley man, both in political and spiritual terms. I remain so to this day.’ ‘In relation to allegations of some people that I am a Lundy  . . . some of those denouncing me now said the very same things when I supported the DUP decision to share power with Sinn Fein in 2007.’

There can be no doubt that a majority of Unionists will reject what Wallace Thompson says on the subject of a ‘united Ireland’ but how many of them know anything about what the Bible teaches regarding the future of these islands?

Mr Thompson being interviewed by Mark Carruthers of the BBC on Thursday May 9.

I think it fair to say that Mr Thompson argues that a united Ireland is drawing on when one reads the direction that local political developments are taking and also the very obvious evidence of London ‘abandoning’ the cause of the Unionists of Northern Ireland.

I personally would find little to object to in such a surmising!

However, I take issue with Mr Thompson’s proposition for the simple reason that as a professing Christian he leaves God and His Word out of the case he presents.


It is very true that the Saviour urges upon His people to watch and read “the signs of the times,” Matthew 16:3. However, the Saviour makes clear that such a reading of the signs must be guided by and subject to the revelation given us in the Bible. Throughout the ages, we find men misreading events taking place amongst the nations and also phenomena on the earth and in the heavens. How often the appearance of a comet in the sky has been understood as a sure sign of the end of the world!

The appearance of the famous Halley’s Comet in 1066, over England, was thought to be an omen. It was the year that King Harold II of England died at the Battle of Hastings, some time after the appearance of the comet, and William the Conqueror claimed the throne.


We are presently very much under the ‘rule’ of those who have come to power by way of their 40-year terror campaign. Those whose soldiers they murdered by bomb and bullet for decades now embrace them and honour them as ‘peace-makers’!

It is to the utter shame of successive British Governments that they have ceased to see the terror-supporting Sinn Fein party as once they did, but in keeping with their tendency to placate and accommodate its enemies in preference to supporting its friends, members of the British Government love to be photographed grinning in the company of those who despise all they represent.

London pushed and cajoled and lied and deceived until they had brought about a situation that saw ‘Unionism’, sadly led by Dr Ian Paisley, enter a ‘power-sharing’ arrangement with those who supported, and in some cases, actively participated in a terror campaign of murder and destruction against the Protestant people of Northern Ireland.

How untrustworthy Mr Thompson’s reading of events here is seen in the fact that, as he acknowledges, he ‘supported the DUP decision to share power with Sinn Fein in 2007.’ In so doing he contributed to the bringing down of that judgment that our gradual exclusion from the United Kingdom is evidence of.


Back at the beginning of the 20th century, when faced by yet another attempt by the British Government (yes, they have long been of that mind) to bring the Protestants of Ulster under the power of the Roman Catholic majority in Ireland, our Protestant forefathers banded together under the slogan, ‘Home Rule is Rome Rule’, armed themselves and plainly indicated to London that they would fight any attempt to force them under Dublin rule. That resistance resulted in the establishing of the state of Northern Ireland in May 1921, just 103 years ago May 3rd past.

This coming June 7th will mark the 103rd anniversary of the first sitting of the Unionist government.

In recent years we have seen no such divine intervention in the face of the present attempts to subjugate the Protestant people, as did our forefathers. Rather, the opposite has been the case for everything seems to work in the favour of the enemy.

Why is this?


There we find occasions when a people favoured by God, lost His favour and fell foul of their enemies from whom God had formerly defended them.

Some of the most obvious instances of this are recorded in book of Judges.

“And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed,” Judges 2:7-15.

I have underlined the most pertinent words of these verses.

I say that there has been a repeat of such a course of events here in Ulster since the day of favour at the beginning of the 20th century. Back then the Protestant people were largely obedient to the Word of God. There was a prevailing reverence for God and His Word in society amongst our forebears and they enjoyed the fruit of such a stance. “Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed,” 1 Samuel 2:30.

But that began to change shortly after the establishment of the Stormont Government. In 1927, a prominent theological professor of Irish Presbyterian Church, the church that principally promoted and enjoyed the benefits of the great ‘1859 Revival’, was tried for heresy and acquitted by the great majority of his fellow Presbyterians. That shameful acquittal took place despite the clear evidence of the man’s gross heresy for he was on record as denying the deity of Christ and salvation by His redeeming blood. One of the witnesses who gave evidence against him, a student in his class when he was a studying in Assembly’s College, stated: “One day Professor Davey said, ‘The Jewish view was that Jesus was the illegitimate son of Joseph and Mary, and I accept that view.’”

That church which condoned such blasphemy went on to become a foundation member of the apostate, ‘World Council of Churches’. Today, that church is riddled with sodomy and lesbianism. It ordains, in defiance of God’s Word, women as elders and ministers. It is a leading activist in the ecumenical movement here which has, as its objective, reunion with Roman Catholicism.

Of course, the other two main denominations are at one with Irish Presbyterianism. Heresy and immorality and perversion have been endorsed by the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland. The vast majority of professing Protestants and Unionists belong to these three God-defying denominations.


Few in Ulster have this understanding of events here but that is not surprising. Few shared Jeremiah’s God-given revelation of the reason for the troubles that occurred in his day! When the right way was set before the people back then they reacted as have Ulster’s Protestants in recent years.

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein,” Jeremiah 6:16.

Ulster Protestants, even believers like Mr Thompson, chose rather to believe the ecumenical lie of a ‘false peace’, obtained by compromising with Sinn Fein/IRA. We have been reaping the consequences of that rebellious folly ever since.

Our own Free Presbyterian Church had those within its ranks who backed Dr Paisley’s sadly misguided notion of power-sharing with Sinn Fein/IRA and which found him in harness with former IRA commander, Martin McGuinness. As a result our church has suffered a significant departure from the former devout faithfulness to the objectives of our founding fathers and the stand and standards they embraced back in 1951 when the Lord called the Free Presbyterian Church into existence. Were they around today they would hardly recognise the denomination their labours under God gave birth to.


The silence of many pulpits in the face of the defiant militant cries of ecumenists and perverts; the embracing of worldly standards and acceptance of such things as ‘Contemporary Christian music’, or more truthfully called ‘Christian pop music’, are all too evident!

Moreover, our church has maintained an almost uncritical link with the DUP and its abandonment of policies based upon the Word of God and common decency though office-bearers who remain DUP members and supporters.. The DUP has embraced and endorsed the wickedness of sodomy by its endorsement of a candidate who openly acknowledges her immoral lifestyle. There are others within the ranks of the DUP who have made no secret of their support for such perversion!


These things, coupled with the efforts of some to shift our denomination away from the militant stand and protest to which we were called by God and which stand is repeatedly re-endorsed in the oaths taken at the ordination of both elders and ministers, must be noted with sadness. The influence of some has served to undermine and weaken the witness of Free Presbyterianism in Ulster. Each minister and elder is asked at their ordination: “Will you maintain with all the strength God shall give you the truly Scriptural separation position of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and vigorously withstand the apostasy of Irish Presbyterianism exhorting God’s people to obey the teaching and commandment of 1 Timothy 6:3-5.”

How many, who solemnly before God and His people have covenanted to so live, really do ‘vigorously withstand the apostasy of Irish Presbyterianism, exhorting God’s people to obey the teaching and commandment of 1 Timothy 6:3-5’ today?

All too many are happy to have ‘fraternal relations’ with ministers within the apostasy and rarely open their mouths against the evils openly displayed within the main churches.

This is the state of affairs in Ulster which has brought about our enduring the dominance of those who engaged in and supported terrorism and slaughter against us for centuries.


Whether Ireland will ever be united I cannot tell. History would indicate that it NEVER WAS UNITED, even in the days prior to the invasion of Ireland by the Roman Catholic English king, Henry II in 1171, an invasion called for by  Pope Hadrian IV, perhaps better known as Adrian!

Since the civil war of 1922-1923, the Republic of Ireland has been politically divided to a very great degree. It was 100 years after the civil war before the two political parties aligned, with the two factions in that internecine conflict, coming together to form a coalition government!


I do not believe Ireland will ever be united though whether the northern six counties, which form the present state of Northern Ireland, will ever be absorbed into a single island state, is quite another question.

I am of the opinion that such will take place and if it does it will be the result of God’s judgment against Northern Ireland for its determined departure from following the Word of God.

Indeed, such a union will be part of a divinely ordained political/territorial realignment of national territories within the geographical boundaries of the old Roman Empire, in order to see its territorial re-establishment. I have come to this conclusion, not by seeking to analyse political fluctuations here or in the UK, but from what is set forth in the Bible.


Daniel the prophet was given an understanding of a mysterious dream which Nebuchaddnezzar the Babylonian king had, though when the king awoke he was unable to recall the details of it. However, it was revealed to Daniel by the Lord that the dream was of the four great powers that would dominate that part of the world which included God’s land, Israel.

Here is the relevant portion of Holy Scripture.

“As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all.

Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure,” Daniel 2:29-45.

We may observe from these words:

1. The four kingdoms are symbolised by a great image. It is a picture of man’s sinful rule and dominion in that area of the world which features in Bible prophecy. The kingdoms are individual kingdoms but they are of the one ‘body’, part of the great image Nebuchaddnezzar had seen. There was that which united them morally and philosophically even as the varying parts of the human body are physically united in one whole. The same moral fibre seen in Babylon was also seen in Medo-Persia, in Greece and in Rome. They are, as we would say here in Ulster, ‘All pigs of the one sow’s litter’!

2. They would dominate that part of the world centred upon the Mediterranean Sea. The name ‘Mediterranean’ means the ‘Middle of the Earth’. The empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome all embraced territories bordering on that sea.

3. This amalgam of ungodly earthly power would be brought to an end by divine intervention. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold.” It is an everlasting kingdom which shall consume all earthly kingdoms. It is that which is referred to in Revelation 11:15. Note the time that is given for this event. It is at the sounding of the last trump, the end of this age and the announcement of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

4. Furthermore, the glorious event will take place “in the days of these kings”. It will be especially in the days of the fourth kingdom. The use of the plural, ‘kings’ further indicates the embodiment of a common character passed on and continued as one empire passes away and another takes its place. It is specifically stated: “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces,” Daniel 2:34. So, in the days of the final manifestation of this great political entity, Christ will return and destroy it. The “ feet that were of iron and clay” refers to the final, weakened state of the fourth kingdom, Rome.

5. We are to expect a manifestation of that empire, a re-emergence of a kingdom within the boundaries of ancient Rome. That evil political establishment is referred to in the New Testament as the kingdom of the ‘beast’. He shall dominate the region once ruled by the Roman Empire.

His will be a kingdom in utter defiance of God and His people. “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations,” Revelation 13:6-7.

The accord and moral homogeneity that exists between the four kingdoms of Nebuchaddnezzar’s dream is seen in that the seat of the ‘Beast, the Antichrist’, is Babylon, rebuilt and dominating the Middle East once again in the last days indeed, in the near future I believe.

Do we not see something of a geographical re-emergence of a political unity within the territories of the old Roman Empire? As we watch the political convulsions amongst European nations, who within living memory were slaughtering each other in their millions, do we not see a gradual moving toward political unanimity.

It is that seeking after a ‘unified European structure’ which caused the British ‘nationalists’ to campaign for a withdrawal from this hankering after full union. Such a campaign was supported here in Ulster, largely because there was a widespread belief that  the Bible revealed that Europe would be involved in the reforming of the old Roman Empire and that it in turn would become the seat of the future Antichrist

However, we must surely see that whatever withdrawal took place at ‘Brexit’ is gradually being undermined. It will not be long, I believe, before we will see the UK once again in harness with Europe.


We may quite rightly conclude from such Scriptures as: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,” Genesis 1:26. and “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one,”1 John 5:7, that there is a ‘Divine Trinity’.

The Shorter Catechism puts the matter like this.

Question 6:How many persons are there in the Godhead?

Answer: There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

Even though the word ’TRINITY’ word does not appear in the Bible we can from the inference of Scripture declare there is. Likewise we can reason from Scripture that certain things will take place even though they are not directly stated.

England and Wales are not mentioned in the Bible but we are told that the territories of the Roman Empire will be in existence at the return of Christ in the form of ten kingdoms, analogically set forth as ‘ten toes’ in Nebuchaddnezzar’s dream.

Now there is no question but Rome occupied and ruled over England and Wales. It had excursions into Scotland and Ireland but neither were colonised by Rome. Therefore it can be properly concluded that we will see a break-up of the United Kingdom — historically united, it should be remembered by the influence of Protestantism. The demise of that which formed the ‘glue’ which held these kingdoms together, unsurprisingly will see the dissolving of the unity!

England and Wales will therefore unite together with the countries that will make up the Kingdom of Antichrist but Scotland and Ireland will not.

Oh yes, there are presently political allegiances which might suggest that such will not, indeed, cannot happen but time brings changes. in the 1940s there seemed little prospect of a ‘Common Market’ but it came forth and then evolved into the European Union which, with the withdrawal by the United Kingdom, has hindered somewhat the plans of men. But the ‘unlikely and unforeseeable’ will yet take place, even as the Lord has said it would!

It is therefore on the basis of what the Word of God says that I believe that there will be a removing of Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom, and its merger with the present 26 county Republic of Ireland. By the same token, Scotland will go its own way and become a separate entity. Of course we already see evidence of a push for that to happen.

Irrespective of the spirit of animosity that is harboured behind the smiling face of Romanism, I believe that those who are faithful to God and His Word will be safeguarded even in a hostile environment.

I was teaching the children in Kilskeery Independent Christian School at an assembly, about Moses and the faith that he and his parents displayed. I pointed out how his mother, Jochebed, was a woman of great faith and sought to show them how her faith was wonderfully rewarded. The Bible tells us that despite the fact that in faith she committed her little one into the insubstantial ‘ark of bulrushes’ her faith was wonderfully reward. We know that providentially she was given back her little baby boy after the daughter of Pharaoh found him and was paid by her to take care of him.

I told the children that we can be sure that what Pharaoh’s daughter gave by way of payment would have been generous for she would have wished this little boy to be well cared for and in consequence, there likely was enough to ensure that the whole household of Jochabed would have benefitted in the midst of the general deprivation that prevailed amongst the Hebrews.

In like manner, God will care as He always has for those who, in the midst of trouble, have clung to Him. I read just this morning these words from one of David’s psalms.

“Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD. Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt. Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified. But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying,” Psalm 70:1-5.

Such is the prayer that the needy saint may direct to the Lord no matter what his distress may be.

Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
18th May 2024

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