Updated: Feb 19
THE RISE OF ATHEISM
Revelation 11 has significant spiritual application which includes the following:
The rise of Atheism - The Beast from the bottomless pit.
Atheism is the King of the South of Daniel 11:40
Papal Rome's deadly wound. The Franks (France) helped set up Papal Rome. France (Atheism) 'abolished' it in 1798.
Papal Rome was the 'Christianity' of the day in the time of the French Revolution.
The attack on the scriptures (the 2 witnesses) was an attack on Papal Rome.
Revelation Chapter 11
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.
3 And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11 And after three days and an 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.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
15 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.
16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Daniel 8:14 reads, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Many in the Millerite Movement of the 1830-1840s believed that this sanctuary was the world which would be cleansed by fire at the Lord’s return and that this event would occur at the end of the 2300 days which they calculated as terminating on October 22, 1844. However the sweet message of Jesus' return turned into the bitterness of dissappointment (See Revelation 10). The answer to the Millerites misunderstanding was to be found in the study of the sanctuary. This is the opening subject of Revelation 11 and is a continuation of the instruction which the angel began to give John in the preceding chapter. Hence the beginning of Revelation 11 rightly belongs to chapter 10 and should not be separated by the present chapter division.
The disappointed Advent Believers were directed to study the sanctuary with the rod of God’s word. Their misunderstanding of what the cleansing of the sanctuary referred to had resulted in their great disappointment. It was by studying the subject of the sanctuary and the cleansing that their disappointment would end.
During the 1260 days (years) the two witnesses - the Old and New Testaments, were cast down, by Papal Rome (Daniel 8:13). During the greater part of this period the Old and New Testaments prophesied in sackcloth - a state of mourning. Papal Rome did all it could to hide the Scriptures from the people. Many lost their lives for the crime of possessing a Bible. The knowledge of God’s word was almost totally blotted from the earth. Yet God had promised that at the close of the 42 months (1260 year period) around 1798, knowledge of God’s word would be increased (Daniel 12:4-7), and that the way would be prepared for the final Reformation.
SPIRITUALLY SODOM AND EGYPT
Satan, seeing that this was about to be fulfilled, increased his efforts to destroy God’s Word. Satan had worked through Papal Rome for centuries to make war on God’s truth but here in Revelation 11 is brought to view a new manifestation of Satanic power. Papal Rome had kept the Bible from the people on pretense of reverence but this new power would make open war on the Word of God. This war upon God’s Word would occur in a place which manifested the immorality of Sodom and the God defying atheistic spirit of Egypt. Pharaoh openly denied the existence of the living God saying, “Who is Jehovah that I should obey his voice?” Exodus 5:2. Accordingly, some power would arise around 1798 to make open war on the Bible.
Atheistic power, and a place of immorality.
This was fulfilled in France during the French 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 DEITY.” Sir Walter Scott, Life of Napoleon, Vol. I, ch. 17.
The Bible was banned, fornication was legalised, and France plunged into the most licentious and bloody scenes ever witnessed in Europe. All this took place,“where also our Lord was crucified.” Of all nations France had been foremost to assist the Papacy to persecute, torture and massacre the saints. Here Christ was crucified in the person of His saints. “...in the scenes of the Revolution Jesus Christ was declared to be an impostor, and the rallying cry of the French infidels was, “Crush the Wretch,” meaning Christ. Heaven daring blasphemy and abominable wickedness went hand in hand, and the basest of men, the most abandoned monsters of cruelty and vice, were most highly exalted. In all this, supreme homage was paid to Satan; while Christ, in His characteristics of truth, purity, and unselfish love, was crucified.” Great Controversy, p273.
France rejected the light of the Reformation and in doing so they crucified Christ:
“For it is impossible for those who were once ENLIGHTENED… And have tasted the good word of God… If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they CRUCIFY TO THEMSELVES THE SON OF GOD afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Heb 6:4-6.
The rise of Atheism in France was the fruit produced by years of Papal rule.
In crushing out the light of the Reformation France destroyed progress, liberty, learning and the best of the nation’s intelligence. It was Papalism which produced the social ills that hurried France onto ruin. Some historians rightly recognize that the excesses of the Revolution are to be charged upon the Church of Rome. It’s corrupting influence made Revolution inevitable. Papal Rome had misrepresented God and as a result Revolutionary France rejected both the Bible and it’s Author. Papal Rome was seen as the Christianity of the day and the attack on the scriptures (the two witnesses) was in effect an attack and rejection of Papal Rome's Christianity. The Papal deadly wound of Revelation 13 was struck by the power described in Rev 11 - Atheistic France.
In rejecting the Bible, France was in effect rejecting Papal Rome, the professed representative of Christianity. Hence prophetically, Revelation 11 is about the Papacy receiving its deadly wound from the King of the South - see Daniel 11:40. Men like Voltaire spread their infidelity everywhere. The masses, long downtrodden by a corrupt church turned upon their oppressor with fury. The guillotine was set up on the very spot where Rome had set up the first stake at the opening of the Reformation. In rejecting Romanism as a deception, the people were led by Satan to regard all religion as a deception.
The War against the Bible began what is known as the “Reign of Terror”. Unhappy France was swept by a tide of fierce human passion. No one was safe. The streets in Paris flowed with blood. The Revelator describing this upheaval says: “The same hour was there a great earthquake.” France, one tenth part of that great city Babylon, was shaken as religion, law, social order, the state, and the church were all overthrown.
“And after three days and a half the Spirit of God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet.” In 1793 the Bible had been abolished by the French Assembly. Three and a half years later, in 1797, another resolution was passed rescinding the former decree, granting toleration to the Scriptures.
French Revolution - The Birthplace of Atheistic Communism.
The French Revolution was a turning point in history. It was the birthplace of atheistic, materialistic communism.
“The COMMUNIST movement would never have taken form as it did except for the prior occurrence of the FRENCH REVOLUTION.” Palmer, Revolution, p11-12.
“The connection between the absolutist REVOLUTION OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY and the MARXIST MOVEMENT of the next century presses for recognition... [It] is THE DIRECT OFFSPRING and heir...A RELIGION OF ATHEISM… coupling scientific ideas with the greatest political hopes that man has ever entertained, the absolute hopes that animated the FRENCH REVOLUTION.” The Dignity of Man, R. W. Davenport, p163-9.
The atheistic beast (nation) from the bottomless pit is alive today in the Communist State and its influence is felt in evolutionary theory and humanistic and materialistic thinking everywhere. As surely as corrupt Christianity bred Atheism so Atheism will breed corrupt Christianity. Politically active professed Christianity will rise to power again and all the world will be led to wonder after the beast (Rev 13).
“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither.” These words describe the exaltation of the Scriptures that followed the French Revolution. Shortly after the Revolution the Bible societies were established and the Word of God has risen to new heights of distribution. This to make possible the final proclamation of the truth to all the world before the Lord’s return.
“In the days of the voice of the seventh angel when he shall begin to sound the mystery of God should be finished.” The first and second woes (5th and 6th Trumpets) are past. The third woe (7th Trumpet cometh quickly.” But before the final trumpet ushers in the Great Day of God, the mystery of God (the perfecting of the saints) will be accomplished. This is the same work described in Revelation 7 that occurs between the 6th and 7th Seals. By every evidence we are living in this time.
Revelation 11 was given under the 6th trumpet, and reveals events that were to happen before the 7th trumpet sounded in Revelation 11:15.
This chapter reminds us of the death and resurrection of Christ: The two witnesses (God’s written word - the Old & New Testaments) are trodden on, cast out and put to death. Likewise Christ (the living word) was put to death. As Christ, (the living word) arose and ascended to heaven, so also do the two witnesses (the written word of God).
Revelation 11 gives the solution to the disappointment mentioned in Rev 10. It also foretold the French Revolution, the birthplace of communism and modern day atheism. Rev 11 is given under the 6th trumpet (and reveals events that were to happen before the 7th trumpet sounded in Rev 11:15.
verse 1 Focus on the Heavenly Sanctuary
In Rev 10 we saw the OPENING of the LITTLE BOOK, that portion of the book of Daniel which had been “SHUT UP” till the time of the end (Dan 12:4).
We saw how many in the 1840 came to the sweet belief that Jesus was to return in their day from their study of the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8. The 2300 day prophecy, which had been SHUT till the time of the end (Dan 8:17) pointed to the cleansing of the sanctuary (temple), which they believed was the world to be cleansed by fire at the Second Coming of Christ. It was by incorrectly identifying the sanctuary to be cleansed as the earth, the Advent believers suffered “bitter disappointment” in 1844 when Jesus did not return (Rev 10:10). Rev 11:1 helped them over their disappointment by directing the down hearted to “RISE and measure (examine) the temple (sanctuary)” with the “rod” of Godʼs word. (Mic 7:14; Jer 1:11-12). They learned that the sanctuary to be cleansed in 1844 was not the earth but the Lordʼs sanctuary or temple in heaven. The cleansing of the earthly AND heavenly sanctuaries is plainly taught in Heb 9:23. As the O.T. believerʼs sins were placed upon the sacrifices and from the sacrifices transferred into the earthly sanctuary, so our sins are placed on Christ and transferred into heavenʼs sanctuary. As, at the end of the year, the High priest cleansed the earthly sanctuary of the peopleʼs sins, so, in the end of the world Christ is to cleanse heavenʼs sanctuary of the record of sins. (Heb 8:1-5; See Dan 8). As the cleansing involves judgment to see who has remained faithful, this led those, who by faith worship in heavenʼs temple, to examine themselves; to see if they “measured up” to the standard in the judgment (2Cor 13:5; Ecc 12:13-14; Matt 7:2). Rev 11 therfore begins and ends with Godʼs temple in heaven (Compare Rev 11:1, 19).
A reed like unto a rod
The rod represents the word of God - The revelation of heavenly truths and the standard by which men are to be assessed: Christ is to rule all nations with a “ROD of iron.” (Rev 12:5). “Feed thy people with thy ROD.” (Mic 7:14). “...he shall smite the earth with the ROD of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” Isa 11:4 Ps 2:9; Rev 2:27; cf. 2 Cor 10:12; Comp. symbolism in Eze 40:3, 6; Zech 2:1-2.
Given to John
John here stands as representative of the church to which Revelation was written. We are to measure the temple etc.
Rise and measure the temple
As a representative of the church having just suffered the great disappointment (See Revelation 10) John was ‘down.’ The solution to depression was to rise and measure (examine) the temple, the altar and the worshipper. The language is clearly symbolic as the measuring is to be done by the rod - God’s word. No one is required to literally measure any literal temple or literally measure literal worshippers!
Measuring is to compare one thing to another. Spiritual things can only be measured with a spiritual rule - the word of God.
1Co 2:13 “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
In Zechariah a man measured Jerusalem as an assurance that it would be rebuilt (See on Zech 2:2). This suggests that the measuring here may be an assurance of restoration and preservation. Between the sixth seal (Rev 6:12-17) and the seventh seal (Rev 8:1) a parenthetical assurance was given (Revelation 7) that some will stand through the terrors that attend the Second Coming. Likewise this ‘measuring appears to be a parenthetical assurance between the sixth trumpet (Rev 9:14) and the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:15) that amid the terrors attendant on the blowing of the trumpets, God’s temple - i.e. the plan of redemption portrayed there, and His people are secure.
verse 2 Courtyard, Gentiles
The court of the Gentiles, which surrounded the temple (Eph 2:14; Heb 8:5; 9:1), represented the church on earth. The “Gentiles” to whom it was given are those who worship God (they are in the temple grounds) but are not the genuine people of God; not the real Israel of God.
“...for it [the courtyard] is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.” The Holy City is symbolic of God's people.
THE TWO WITNESSES - the Word of God.
“Search the scriptures... they are they which testify [witness] of me.” John 5:39
The two Testaments - Old & New “testify [witness]” of Christ. (John 5:39; Matt 24:14; 2Cor 13:1). The Old Testament is represented by a candlestick fed by the oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit sent from the Father and the Son (Zech 4:2-6; Ps 119:105).
verse 2 The 42 months
The 42 months parallel the 3 1/2 times of Dan 7:25 - 1260 years (538-1798) during which time the true church (the Holy city), and Godʼs two witnesses (the Old & New Testaments) were trampled underfoot (See Daniel 8:13). The Old & New Testaments prophesied in sackcloth (distress. 2Sam 3:31).
The Papacy hid the Bible from the people because it revealed her corruption Many lost their lives for possessing parts of the Bible and the knowledge of Godʼs Word and the prophecies were almost totally blotted out. However, God had promised that at the end of the 1260 years (i.e. 1798), knowledge of His word would be increased (Dan 12:4-7). Satan, seeing that this was about to be fulfilled, increased his efforts to destroy the Bible...
verses 3-6 Two witnesses - the Word of God
The two Testaments - Old & New “testify [witness]” of Christ. (John 5:39; Matt 24:14; 2Cor 13:1). The Old Testament is represented by a candlestick fed by the oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit sent from the Father and the Son (Zech 4:2-6; Ps 119:105).
verse 3 - 1260 days
This period is mentioned in various ways - days, months and times in many places: Dan 7:25 “a time and times and the dividing of time.”
Dan 12:7 “a time, times, and an half.” A period ended before the opening of the little book (See on Rev 10).
Rev 11:2 “forty two months.”
Rev 11:3 “a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.”
Rev 12:6 “a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.”
Rev 12:14 “a time, and times, and half a time.”
Rev 13:5 “forty two months.”
Many facts show it to be symbolic such as the unusual units used.
verse 6 Power to shut heaven
As Godʼs Word through Elijah prophesied that no rain would fall on apostate Israel for 3 1/2 years, so during the 3 1/2 prophetic years of Papal supremacy, there was a spiritual drought. (Luke 4:32; Hos 6:3). As Godʼs Word through Moses turned Egyptʼs waters into blood (Exo 7:17), so the “waters” (nations Rev 17:15) supporting Papal Rome would suffer revolution and bloodshed. All who hurt the Scriptures will be destroyed. (Rev 22:18-19; 2Thess 1:8). Sackcloth indicates distressand mourning:
“...Gird you with sackcloth, and mourn...” (2Sam 3:31; Isa 22:12; Lam 2:10; Jer 6:26). During the 1260 years Godʼs witnesses were in a state of mourning and obscurity. The Papacy hid the Bible from the people, contradicted itʼs testimony, forbade the common people to posses it and hunted, tortured and burned those who had it and were proclaiming itʼs truths. Yet in these dark ages faithful men who loved the Godʼs word continued to declare the truth and the two witnesses, though clothed in sackcloth, prophesied throughout the 1260 years.
verse 7 The beast from the bottomles pit
Satan had worked through Papal Rome for centuries to make war on Godʼs truth. Rome had kept the Bible locked up in an unknown tounge, hidden from the people out of pretended reverence for the Scriptures. However, when the Scriptures were finishing their testimony in sackcloth, around 1798, there would arise another nation (a beast symbolizes a nation. Dan 7:23; 8:20- 21) which would make open war upon the two witnesses.
verse 8 Spiritually Sodom & Egypt
In this nation would be seen the immorality of Sodom and the Atheistic God denying spirit of Pharaoh who said, “WHO IS JEHOVAH that I should obey his voice...I KNOW NOT THE LORD” Exo 5:2. This prophecy received a most exact and striking fulfillment in the history of FRANCE. 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 manʼs soul receives, and RENOUNCE UNANIMOUSLY THE BELIEF AND WORSHIP OF DEITY.” Sir Walter Scott, Life of Napoleon, Vol. I, ch. 17
“France stands apart in the worldʼs history as the single state which, by the decree of her Legislative Assembly, pronounced 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.”Blackwoodʼs Magazine, Nov, 1870.
The Bible was banned, fornication legalized and France plunged into the most bloody and licentious scenes ever seen in Europe known as the Reign of Terror.
verse 8 Where Christ was crucified
ʻChristianʼ France crucified Christ by rejecting the light of the Reformation:
“For it is impossible for those who were once ENLIGHTENED... And have tasted the good word of God... If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repen- tance; seeing they CRUCIFY TO THEMSELVES THE SON OF GOD afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Heb 6:4-6
Of all European nation France was foremost in helping the Papacy persecute, torture & massacre the saints.
“... Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto ME.” Matt 25:40.
“Saul, why persecutest thou ME?” Acts 9:4.
In the Bartholemews Day Massacre (1572) Catholics massacred tens of thousands of French Protestants in just one day. A medal still exists that Pope Gregory XIII had made to commemorated the massacre.
verse 8 Kill the two witnesses - Godʼs word
“The [French] Convention dressed an ass... loaded it with the symbols of Christianity and tied the OLD & NEW TESTAMENTS to its tail. It was then led in mock procession ...The crowd piled books of devotion into heaps and BURNED THEM TO ASHES, amid blasphemous shouts...A prostitute was enthroned as ʻGodess of Reasonʼ...”L.E. Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 2, p738.
verse 9 Not suffer them to be put in graves
Other nations would not ʻburyʼ the Bible. Shocked at Franceʼs abolition of the Scriptures and the French idea of Republicanism in place of Monarchies, the European nations united to oppose France.
verse 10 Wicked rejoice
The wicked rejoiced over the silencing of Godʼs word which had tormented their consciences.
verse 11 - 3 1/2 days
This godless condition was to last 3 1/2 symbolic “days” which represents 3 1/2 years (Eze 4:6; Num 14:34). All religion had been banned by the French Assembly in 1793. 3 1/2 years later in 1797 another resolution was passed rescinding the former decree and granting toleration to the Scriptures which arose from the dead, so to speak (cf. Eze 37:10; 2Kings 13:21). The guilty conscience that had tormented the wicked returned. “Fear fell upon them.”
verse 12 Witnesses Ascend up to heaven
Ascending to heaven means great exaltation (cf. Dan 4:22). Were the Scriptures exalted as here indicated, since France made war on them? They have. Shortly affter Franceʼs war on the Scriptures the Bible societies were established (British 1804, American 1816); and these, with their almost innumerable associate groups, are scattering the Bible everywhere. Increased knowledge following the Revolution resulted in improved printing fascilities. The breaking down of predjudice and national barriers and the loss of Papal influence opened the door for missionary efforts and the Old & New Testaments arose to new heights of distribution. The Bible is now the most printed book on earth. As Christ, the Word, died, was resurrected and ascended to heaven, so the written Word did the same.
verse 13 An earthquake - a tenth part falls.
The same hour (Gr. hora - period, season). This earthquake is not to be confused with the great earthquake which will affect the whole world just before Jesus comes.
In the Revolution France, one tenth part of spiritual Babylon, (one of the ten “horns” which arose from the Roman Empire - Daniel 7) was shaken as if by an earthquake, as religion, law, social order, the state and church were all overthrown.
“It was an EARTHQUAKE in the political world.” Burke cited in R.R. Palmer, The Age of the Democratic Revolution, Vol. 1, p19.
“It DESTROYED THE LANDMARKS of the world in which generations of men had passed their lives.” Cambridge Modern History.
verse 13 - 7000 slain
“Onomata anthropon,” literally “names of men.” “Onomata (“names”) may mean titles. In the Revolution an estimated 7000 nobles lost their titles. 7 also symbolizes completeness.
What led to atheism in the Revolution?
The rise of atheism in France was the fruit of years of Papal dominance. In following Papal policy in crushing out the Protestant Reformation, France destroyed liberty and reforms that would have blessed the nation. Rome had misrepresented the character of God, and the people, thinking Romanism was Christianity, rejected both Roman Catholicism and the Bible and its Author. Men like Voltaire spread their infidelity everywhere. The masses, long trampled on by Rome, rose up against the oppressor with fury. The guillotine was set up on the very spot where Rome had set up the first stake for the Reformers. In rejecting Roman Catholicism as a deception the French were led by Satan to regard all religion as a deception.
The untaxed wealth of the aristocracy taken from the highly taxed masses combined with hunger due to poor harvests contributed to the uprising that overthrew the ruling class and established the Republic. Had the Reformation been admitted in France the wealthy would have been made more aware of their social responsibility and the situation that led to the Revolution averted. France illustrates the fact that rejecting the Word of God results in tragedy and that Papalism breeds Atheism.
The French Revolution was a turning point in world history
“The French Revolution was one of the momentous events in the history, not only of France, but of Europe and even the whole world.” L.E. Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol 2, p7 33.
“The time of the eighteenth-century French Revolution when the 1260 years of the Papal era were closing, was a TURNING POINT in the history of the modern world. It brought forth forces that made a PERMANENT CHANGE in the thoughts and actions of MANKIND.”
Alison, History of Europe (1789-1815), Vol. 1, p47-49.
1. The Revolution introduced national conscription making possible wars on a scale
never seen before (e.g. WW I, II). 2. It helped spread democracy and led to the overthrow of dictatorial monarchies. 3. It introduced Atheism, the moral & spiritual denial of God which is fundamental to evolution, the scientific denial of God. 4. It was the birthplace of communism - the political denial of God, and Secularism, the Social denial of God.
The Birth of Communism
The French Revolution was the birthplace of atheistic, materialistic communism:
“The COMMUNIST movement would never have taken form as it did except for the prior occurrence of the FRENCH REVOLUTION.” Palmer, Revolution, p11-12
“The connection between the absolutist REVOLUTION OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY and the MARXIST MOVEMENT of the next century presses for recognition... [It] is THE DIRECT OFFSPRING and heir...A RELIGION OF ATHEISM... coupling scientific ideas with the greatest political hopes that man has ever entertained, the absolute hopes that animated the FRENCH REVOLUTION.” The Dignity of Man, R. W. Davenport, p163-9.
This God denying spirit, here called called “Egypt,” spiritually speaking, exists today not only in communism but also in evolutionary, humanistic materialistic thinking everywhere. For centuries the Papacy hid the Bible from millions. Today, though the Bible is available, atheism has led millions to disbelieve it!
verses 14-19 The Seventh trumpet - Temple of God in heaven opened Following the French Revolution of the late 1790s the temple of God was opened and the ark of Godʼs testament (the 10 commandments) was seen (v 19; Exo 25:21). The temple in heaven is the great original that was the pattern for the temple on earth. The items of furniture in the earthly temple and the services performed there were to teach us of Christ work in heavenʼs temple. (Exo 25:40; Heb 8:5).
In the ministration of the earthly tabernacle, which served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,” this most holy place was opened only upon the great day of atonement, for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Therefore, the announcement that the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and the ark of his testament was seen, points to the opening of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary at the beginning of the cleansing of heavenʼs temple. (See on Dan 8; Heb 9:22-23).
In order to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary of the sin confessed into it by Godʼs people Christ must judge His professed followers. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ...” (2Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10; Heb 10:30; 1Pet 4:17; Ecc 12:13- 14; Matt 22:1-14).
Godʼ will also have a people who will, by Christʼs gospel power, make an end of sins and stop polluting the sanctuary. This is the finishing of the mystery of God (Rev 10:7).
Those found still faithful will have their sins blotted out (Acts 3:19). Those who have not kept the faith will have their names blotted out of the book of life (Rev 3:5).
The fact that the ark of the testament is in heaven shows that the 10 commandment law within it, is the foundation of Godʼs government and the standard in the judgement. (Ecc 12:13-14).
verse 18 The plagues
When the cleansing is finished the seven last plagues (the wrath of God. Rev 15:1) will be poured out. Then Christ will return as King of kings and Lord of lords. Christ receives His kingdom in heaven before He returns to reign (Dan 7:14; Luke 19:12-28).
WHAT CAN WE LEARN?
The French Revolution is included in prophecy because:
1. It changed the world. 2. It typifies end-time events.
3. The very events which brought about the French Revolution are occurring today. To know the future look at the past.
“At the same time anarchy is seeking to sweep away all law, not only divine, but human. The centralizing of wealth and power; the vast combinations for the enriching of the few at the expense of the many; the combinations of the poorer classes for the defense of their interests and claims; the spirit of unrest, of riot and bloodshed; the world-wide dissemination of the same teachings that led to the French Revolution - all are tending to involve the whole world in a struggle similar to that which convulsed France.” Education, p228.
4. While mankind falls further and further God has not given up on us. He is calling people back via the three angels messages found in Rev 14. The first addresses atheism calling us to worship the Creator. The Second addresses corrupt religion - Babylon is fallen.
In 1948 Prof. L.E. Froom, as a result of several years of research, published a monumental four volume history of the interpretation of prophecy throughout the Christian era. It is entitled, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers. In these volumes Professor Froom lists 32 scholars who, up to the time of the French Revolution, had predicted, on the basis of Rev 11, that France would be the nation to end the power of the Papacy. Some of these predictions reach back 150 years prior to the Revolution!
Rev 11:18-19 is a transition
Except for Rev 6:10, Revelation has no judgment language until Rev 11:18 which is followed by a description of the ark which contains the 10 commandments in the Most Holy place (Rev 11:19). After this judgment and Godʼs law are frequently mentioned (Rev 14:7; 15:4 19:2, 11; 20:13. Godʼs commandments Rev 12:17; 14:12). Soon the Papacy will rise from the dead (the bottomless pit).
Will Revelation 11 have another application?
NOTE: We are to “prophesy again” (Rev 10:11) but the time periods are no longer. (See on Rev 10:6). Certain aspects of Rev 11 do appear to typify end-time events:
In the judgment we are measured by the word of God (Rev 11:1).
The Lord wants us to “measure” up to “the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph 4:13).
The Bible and church will yet see troublous times. “The church will yet see troublous times. She will prophesy in sackcloth.” E.G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 4, p594.
In the coming trouble the faithful will be His WITNESSES in the world. Fire will devour their enemies This is similar to Elijah in 2Kings 1:10-13. As Elijahʼs enemies came to take him and were destroyed and at last a group bowed at his feet, so the wicked will attempt to slay the saints but at last they will bow at the saints feet (Rev 3:9).
When the witnesses are finishing their testimony the Papacy (Rev 13:1-10 beast) will arise to life from the bottomless pit (the place of the dead (Rom 10:7) and condemn the saints to death.
The saints flee to the wilderness and their testimony will cease (be dead) throughout all of global spiritual Babylon - that great city where Christ is to be crucified in the person of His saints and by the rejection of His Word (Matt 25:40; Acts 9:4; Heb 6:6).
At this time the wicked world will rejoice (Rev 11:10). But at the appointed time the saints will rise. There will be a special resurrection and the wicked will fear. Following this the saints of all ages will ascend to heaven at the time of a great earthquake.
Atheism and Evolution are brothers in arms.
Atheism led to disbelief in the Bible record of creation in six days about 6,000 years ago. People began to interpret physical evidences in new unbiblical ways.
The following mini answers address Natural Selection, Sedimentary layers, and Radioisotope Dating.
Is Evolution the same as Natural Selection? No. See chart above.
Do Sedimentary layers show great age?
At the rate sediments are deposited today it would take ages to accumulate the thickness of sedimentary deposits we see. However, if the rate of sedimentation has been much faster in the past then the layers could be far younger than many assume. Evidence indicates that the sediments were deposited rapidly as described in the Biblical Flood:
1. Sedimentary layers thousands of feet thick and folded tightly without cracking indicate that all the layers were still soft when bent and not hardened after millions of years.
2. Fossils which pass through many strata (polystrate) show that the strata were laid down quickly, before the now fossilized organism had time to rot away.
3. The high pressures found in oil & gas reserves indicate that they were formed recently and have not been there millions of years, during which time the pressure would have leaked away.
4. Based on the present rates of errosion the present amount of sediment in the oceans would have accumulated in ʻjustʼ 12 million years, not billions! Biblical Creationists believe that most of the ocean bottom sediments were deposited rapidly as the waters of the global Flood ran off the continents about 4500 years ago.
5. Based on the present rates of erosion North America would be worn to sea level in ʻjustʼ ten million years. The existence of north america and fossils supposedly hundreds of millions of years old indicates that erosion has not been occurring for hundreds of millions of years.
6. Based on the rate dust and meteorites fall to earth today and the amount we find the earth cannot be millions of years old.
7. Based on the amount of helium measured in rocks, the rate it presently forms and the rate it presently escapes from the rocks, the rocks are only thousands of years old, not millions.
Based on present rates of change the world is far younger than evolutionist claim. There are reasonable explanations which harmonize the facts of the natural world with the Biblical record. Christians need not doubt the Bible. The answers can be found in good books and websites.
Those who do not want to believe in God appeal to evolution to justify their atheism. They do not want to examine the evidence for Godʼs existence because they do not want to be accountable to Him. Much of this is because of a misapprehension of Godʼs character.