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Tuesday: The Two Witnesses Are Killed — 8 Comments

  1. It is informative to see the French Revolution in a wider sense than just a rejection of religion. I cannot even begin to give a full analysis of what happened in that period but here are some issues to think about.

    The late 1700s was a period of enormous social upheaval. The American War of Independence was fought 1775-1783 and was much more that just a fight between the British and the Americans. It involved the French, Spanish and Dutch nations as well. The industrial revolution was taking place at the same time with its significant impact on social structure as society shifted from a localised economy to a more global economy.

    In most countries of Europe there was little separation between church and state with the church and state aristocracy holding and maintaining power and wealth to the detriment of their subjects.

    The French Revolution, erupting in 1789, challenged the traditional order of France. The Catholic Church, deeply intertwined with the monarchy, became a target. Many clergy held aristocratic positions and enjoyed privileges the revolutionaries despised. Additionally, the Church's vast landholdings and influence clashed with the revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality.

    One of the consequences of the revolution was that the Church's role was severely restricted, land holdings confiscated and the priesthood placed under state control.

    It is against that background that the revolution gained traction resulting in the beheadings of royalty, the aristocracy, anyone who opposed the revolution, and even revolutionaries who had different ideas.

    The rejection of the church was not universally accepted in France and although one of the consequences was the imprisonment of the Pope by Napoleonic troups in 1798, it ultimately led to the 1801 Concordat that returned some of the Church's status but under the control of Napoleon.

    Thomas Paine's book, "The Age of Reason" written in the aftermath of the French Revolution argued the case for deism, a creator God who set the universe in motion but who does not have any further interest in his creation.

    The French Revolution was essentially a revolutionary cusp against the restriction of church-state feudalism that had dominated Europe and the freedom that most of us have to develop to practice our faith according to our conscience. It was brutal and bloody, but to put it into perspective, in the 1790s convict transportation to Australia commenced under the idea that isolation and church attendance would reform criminals. Around 160,000 convicts were transported in the convict period with many of them perishing during their period of incarceration. I am not equating it with the terror of the French Revolution but as an indication that justice and mercy were in very short supply during this period.

    • While all you say, is undoubtedly true, the way I see it, the French Revolution was the natural result of suppressing the Word of God and murdering all the followers of God in that country. Those not murdered or chained to the galleys fled to other countries. So France lost all her most educated, the most industrious, the most refined and the most God-fearing citizens. The lower classes that were left suffered in poverty under the repression of Rome and the elite. When they rebelled, there were no moral restraints to keep them from going on a murderous rampage. It is ironic that on the very spot that the first martyrs were burned at the stake, the first guillotine was set up to murder the people belonging to the very classes responsible for the persecutions of the Christians. We read
      Chapter 15 in Love Under Fire: France’s Reign of Terror: Its True Cause, but the link goes to an audio recording. The chapter is quite enlightening.

      And the spirit of the French Revolution was not confined to France. All the kings of Europe trembled on their thrones and cast about for ways to prevent the same things from happening in their domains. But some of them had been far more favorable to the Reformation, and the influence of the Word of God had a refining influence on the populace.

  2. Prophecies exist to the eager student, and the tiniest details have a purpose in the Bible; incredible! The two witnesses (Old and New Testament) burned on the streets during the French Revolution, while evil changed its strategies - all predicted!
    Now, the two witnesses are more open and accessible than ever. Go to (https://www.biblegateway.com/) and, amazingly, check out how many languages and versions of the Bible exist! God's two witnesses are accessible "in the palm of our hands."
    However, this knowledge has to be intrinsic to the human emotional center, becoming a source of life that no one can destroy.

  3. As John prophesied in Revelation 13:16-17, we are not far removed from a biometric society where the only way to engage with the market place will be by our fingerprint or an eye scan.

    Even so, come Lord Jesus.

  4. Again, I'm no expert on Revelation 11, but I'm still having trouble seeing some of the interpretations here. I can see the prophetic time period fitting and yet it seems extreme to say that the Bible was "dead" as a result of the French Revolution. France, neither under the revolutionaries nor Napoleon, was able to conquer the rest of Europe and no country came close to developing a secular state during this period. Also, though the lesson didn't mention Revelation 11:10, I read ahead to it and saw that it said the people celebrated because the two prophets (I assume witnesses) had tormented those who live on the earth. It strikes me as odd to say this about the Bible. Yes, guilt from ignoring the Bible could cause torment, but haven't we been saying that many people did not have access to the Bible at this time? This would especially be true in pre-revolutionary France where the peasants would likely have had very little knowledge of the Bible. The middle class likely would have, but their attack on the Bible was really an attack on the religious systems that were corrupt. This is understandable, though not right.

    I remain willing to be convinced.

  5. The Statue of Liberty is the pagan goddess of reason spoken of in this lesson, when this country was founded for freedom from religious persecution in Europe the Devil crept back in with these pagan “enlightenment” ideologies. No coincidence that it was France who gifted this pagan deity to be the beacon monument of our new nation. Very interesting

    • While it is true that it is based on the Roman goddess "Libertas" I would hardly call this a pagan symbol. The Romans often characterised virtues with statues and figures. It was something they were good at. Many courts have a symbolic representation of Justice based on the classical goddess "Justica".

      They were intended to represent values, not worshiped as deities.

    • H'mm ... I'm wondering where you got your information...
      I found several accounts of the origin and building of the Statue of Liberty, and they agree in essential details:
      "Statue of Liberty" in National Geographic for Kids (Accessed May 9, 2024)

      "July 4: France gives the Statue of Liberty to the United States" (This Day in History on History.com) (Accesses May 9, 2024)

      "10 Things You Didn't Know About the Statue of Liberty" (She Was Almost Gold!)" on Parade.com (Accessed May 9, 2024)

      I think we should be careful about highlighting supposed pagan connections to modern symbols lest we give the devil free advertising. (Once a suggestion is made, the idea resides rent-free in readers' minds.)

      There is this thing about symbols: Symbols have no meaning in themselves. They only have the meaning we ascribe to them. Even words are only symbols, and, as such, meanings of words change. I don't know whether you, dear reader, are old enough to remember that "gay" once meant happy and carefree. Not sure that is the correct meaning today. In the same way, the meaning of the Statue of Liberty is what it means to people now - not what anyone supposes its pagan connections to be.

      It seems to me that, as Christians, we are far better off to ascribe high and noble meanings to society's symbols. That way our words uplift and inspire, rather than drawing attention to Satan and his wiles.

      Many a refugee escaping tyranny in another country has praised God when sighting the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom, in New York Harbor.

      This is the poem engraved on a bronze plaque located on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

      The New Colossus

      Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
      With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
      Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
      A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
      Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
      Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
      Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
      The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
      "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
      With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

      Emma Lazarus
      November 2, 1883

      Even if you've never read the whole poem yourself, you will probably recognize at least the first portion of this oft-quoted excerpt:

      "Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

      I believe it was precisely because of America's emphasis on freedom of choice that God blessed the nation in so many ways. But as the leaders and the people abandon this principle of freedom, as well as respect for God who made all people free, they will see these blessings withdrawn. (I have seen a shift in emphasis coming from certain high-profile leaders in ascribing freedom as granted by the government, rather than a God-given right.)


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