France: Figuratively Called Sodom and Egypt
"I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, ‘ Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.’" Revelation 11:1-3.
We have a judgment taking place here. Some people are judged "worshipers" and some are judged "Gentiles." Since the temple at Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, under Titus of the Romans, this temple has to be symbolic.
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are the true temple. Any physical structure is not a temple or church of God, unless it is filled with people who are true temples of God in their bodies. That can only happen when we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
What we find here, is that the worshipers are very few. How do we know that? Because John was told to count them. You can’t count the stars; there are too many of them. You can’t count the sand on the seashore; there are too many of them. You can’t count the water droplets in the ocean; there are too many of them. We can’t even count all the people in the world today, using our sophisticated, scientific equipment. We can’t even count all the people in Los Angeles. We can come to a close approximation, but we can’t be sure we have counted every single one. Therefore, when John was told to count, it was because he was able to.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13, 14.
The Gentiles are symbolic of those who do not worship the true God. They have set up their own institutions of worship. They have built big cathedrals and churches; however, God is not among them since they do not obey His Ten Commandments and the 7th day Saturday Sabbath.
When was this period of time to take place?
For 42 months. That is the same as 1260 days (years) in Bible prophecy. This is the time that the Catholic Church ruled the world and "trampled on the holy city." The Catholic Church trampled on truth and drove it to the ground. It destroyed the holy city of God in the person of God’s worshipers.
During this time, the two witnesses (Old and New Testaments) of God would prophesy in sackcloth. They prophesied and cried out at the events that were then taking place. These two witnesses were crying out in accusation against the church system that was destroying the truth. The church literally had the two witnesses chained to monasteries and churches. If you read from the Bible or were caught with portions of the Scripture, you could be killed, tortured and your property taken away. Truly, they prophesied in sackcloth during this time. (Soon to happen again.)
The Old and New Testament are the "two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth." Revelation 11:4. Olive oil in terms of the sanctuary has always been symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The lampstands in the sanctuary have always been symbolic of the "Light of Life" in man. The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets who wrote down the messages that gave Light to the world. Those messages are contained in the Old and New Testaments.
"Now when they have finished their testimony,
the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze upon their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth." Revelation 11:7-10.
This prophecy is historically fulfilled in the history of France. France was the son of the papacy. Whatever dirty work the papacy wanted done, it knew it could depend on France to carry it out. For almost eight hundred years France fought the wars and executed the martyrs for the Roman Catholic Church.
"The Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, the mass killing of French Protestants by Catholics, began on Aug. 24, 1572, and is remembered as a crime against humanity. It was preceded (August 22) by the attempted assassination of Admiral Gaspard de COLIGNY, a prominent Huguenot in Paris. Many other Protestant nobles had come to the capital to attend the wedding of Henry of Navarre (later Henry IV) and Margaret of Valois. CATHERINE DE MEDICIS, who feared Coligny's plans for war with Spain, was probably implicated in the murder plot, and when an investigation threatened to expose her role in the scheme she persuaded her son, Charles IX, to order the death of the Huguenot leaders in anticipation of a supposed Protestant plot. The killing began in Paris and was extended to the provinces, continuing until October. It is estimated that tens of thousands were slaughtered."*
During the 1260 years that the Catholic Church ruled, France became a despotic government. The citizens were taxed heavily by the civil government and heavily by the Roman Catholic Church. Because of this oppressive environment, the nation rose up to throw off the two oppressive institutions. This culminated in the Reign of Terror.
"When the city of Toulon voluntarily surrendered to the British, a demonstration in Paris compelled the National Convention to establish (September 5) the repressive regime known as the Terror. A fearful time ensued: the Committee of Public Safety strove to organize the economy and the war effort; the Revolutionary Tribunal sent state prisoners, including the Girondists, to the guillotine; and agents of the Convention known as Representatives of the People enforced bloody repression throughout France. A campaign of dechristianization, marked by a new Revolutionary Calendar computed from Sept. 22, 1792 (1 Vendemiaire, Year I), led to the closing of all churches on 3 Frimaire, Year II (Nov. 23, 1793). Grolier
"During the Revolution,
in 1793, ‘the world for the first time heard an assembly of men, born and educated in civilization, and assuming the right to govern one of the finest of the European nations, uplift their united voice to deny the most solemn truth which man's soul receives, and renounce unanimously the belief and worship of a Deity.’--Sir Walter Scott, Life of Napoleon, vol. 1, ch. 17. ‘France is the only nation in the world concerning which the authentic record survives, that as a nation she lifted her hand in open rebellion against the Author of the universe. Plenty of blasphemers, plenty of infidels, there have been, and still continue to be, in England, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere; but France stands apart in the world's history as the single state which, by the decree of her Legislative Assembly, pronounced that there was no God, and of which the entire population of the capital, and a vast majority elsewhere, women as well as men, danced and sang with joy in accepting the announcement.’--Blackwood's Magazine, November, 1870." GC
"After France had renounced the worship of the living God, ‘the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,’ it was only a little time till she descended to degrading idolatry, by the worship of the Goddess of Reason, in the person of a profligate woman. And this in the representative assembly of the nation, and by its highest civil and legislative authorities! Says the historian: ‘One of the ceremonies of this insane time stands unrivaled for absurdity combined with impiety. The doors of the convention were thrown open to a band of musicians, preceded by whom the members of the municipal body entered in solemn procession, singing a hymn in praise of liberty, and escorting, as the object of their future worship, a veiled female whom they termed the Goddess of Reason. Being brought within the bar, she was unveiled with great form, and placed on the right hand of the president, when she was generally recognized as a dancing girl of the opera. . . . To this person, as the fittest representative of that reason whom they worshiped, the national convention of France rendered public homage. This impious and ridiculous mummery had a certain fashion; and the installation of the Goddess of Reason was renewed and imitated throughout the nation in such places where the inhabitants desired to show themselves equal to all the heights of the Revolution.’" GC
As you can see from history,
the nation that outlawed the Bible reaped the rewards of that decree. The nation went mad with wickedness and every kind of brutality known to man was instituted.
"Then came those days when the most barbarous of all codes was administered by the most barbarous of all tribunals; when no man could greet his neighbors or say his prayers . . . without danger of committing a capital crime; when spies lurked in every corner; when the guillotine was long and hard at work every morning; when the jails were filled as close as the holds of a slave ship; when the gutters ran foaming with blood into the Seine. . . . While the daily wagonloads of victims were carried to their doom through the streets of Paris, the proconsuls, whom the sovereign committee had sent forth to the departments, reveled in an extravagance of cruelty unknown even in the capital. The knife of the deadly machine rose and fell too slow for their work of slaughter. Long rows of captives were mowed down with grapeshot. Holes were made in the bottom of crowded barges. Lyons was turned into a desert. At Arras even the cruel mercy of a speedy death was denied to the prisoners. All down the Loire, from Saumur to the sea, great flocks of crows and kites feasted on naked corpses, twined together in hideous embraces. No mercy was shown to sex or age. The number of young lads and of girls of seventeen who were murdered by that execrable government, is to be reckoned by hundreds. Babies torn from the breast were tossed from pike to pike along the Jacobin ranks.’ In the short space of ten years, multitudes of human beings perished." GC
"God's faithful witnesses,
slain by the blasphemous power that ‘ascendeth out of the bottomless pit,’ were not long to remain silent. ‘After three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.’ Revelation 11:11. It was in 1793 that the decrees which abolished the Christian religion and set aside the Bible passed the French Assembly. Three years and a half later a resolution rescinding these decrees, thus granting toleration to the Scriptures, was adopted by the same body. The world stood aghast at the enormity of guilt which had resulted from a rejection of the Sacred Oracles, and men recognized the necessity of faith in God and His word as the foundation of virtue and morality. Saith the Lord: ‘Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel,’ Isaiah 37:23. ‘Therefore, behold, I will cause them to know, this once will I cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is Jehovah.’ Jeremiah 16:21, A.R.V." GC
"The church and the Bible had been slain in France from November, 1793, till June, 1797. The three years and a half were expended, and the Bible, so long and so sternly repressed before, was placed in honor, and was openly the book of free Protestantism!" George Croly, The Apocalypse of St. John, page 183.
With the French Revolution over,
the pope was taken captive on February 20, 1798. "At the outbreak of the French Revolution, all church property in France was confiscated and when the revolutionary regime demanded an oath of fidelity from the clergy, Pius denounced (1791) the revolution as unholy. He supported the antirevolutionary coalition of European powers, and, in 1797, after the invasion of Italy by Napoleon, Pius was forced to surrender papal territories to the newly created Cisalpine Republic (q. v.). In 1798 French armies under Gen. Louis Alexandre Berthier marched on Rome, which had been declared a republic by Roman revolutionaries in league with the French, and demanded that Pius renounce his temporal sovereignty. At his refusal the pope was taken prisoner and held first at Siena and ultimately at Valence, France, where he died." Infopedia
But as the Bible says, "after the three and a half days (years) a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them." Revelation 11:11. The assembly voted back the Bible. It rose to its feet and circled the globe as never before.
Now the world was ready for the Two Witnesses to stand on their feet. The "American Bible Society, an interdenominational and nonprofit organization founded in 1816 in New York City for the purpose of making the Bible, or portions thereof, without note or comment, available to people anywhere in the world. The Society is supported principally by gifts from churches and individuals. Its headquarters are in New York City.
"Through the labors of individual scholars
and the coordination of their efforts, the complete Bible has been translated and published in more than 275 languages, the complete New Testament in an additional 340, and at least one book in 1,700 languages and dialects. The result of this publishing program is that the entire Bible, or portions of it, have been made available in the languages of more than 97 percent of the world's population. The Society also makes the Bible available on tapes, records, cassettes, and in Braille." Collier’s
The American Bible Society is just one of hundreds of organizations dedicated to the principle of making the Bible available to every single person on the planet. How accurate the Bible has shown itself. All prophecies, that are not conditional, have come true.
What does this have to do with time and the close of probation? Everything! As you can see, Revelation is fast coming to a close. We are at the end of this world's history. You have the privilege of seeing the fulfillment of the ages come to pass in your lifetime.
We will soon be finished with all prophecies that bring us down to our time. Remember, the word history is "His-story". It is a record of the workings of God and His dealings with the human race. His attempt to save us from sin and wickedness so we don’t destroy ourselves.
Revelation and Daniel simply explain that there is a war going on. A war between the forces of truth, righteousness and justice, and those of lies, hate and injustice. When lies, hate, injustice and wickedness become more prevalent than truth, justice and righteousness, then God will come and put an end to it. Not by a "rapture". Not by setting up a kingdom among the nations of this world. No. But by destroying these nations that have fought against His truth. Then He will recreate a totally new Heaven and earth. Revelation 21:1.