The Year of the Protester
A prelude to the year of the redeemed.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
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It has been another exciting week as we look for the Bible in the News. This is David Billington with you. Time magazine has named "The Protester" as the person of the year for 2011. Writing about this years protestors, Time says: "Their protests weren't part of a countercultural pageant, as in '68, and rapidly morphed into full-fledged rebellions, bringing down regimes and immediately changing the course of history. It was, in other words, unlike anything in any of our lifetimes, probably unlike any year since 1848, when one street protest in Paris blossomed into a three-day revolution that turned a monarchy into a republican democracy and then — within weeks, thanks in part to new technologies (telegraphy, railroads, rotary printing presses) — inspired an unstoppable cascade of protest and insurrection in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Venice and dozens of other places across Europe..."
2011 turned out to be a "year of revolution" motivated by the same spirit as 1848. The revolutions of 2011 have changed the world. Exactly how the course of history has changed remains to be seen, however, it is certain that 2011 will go down in history as a turning point. The spirit of 2011 will continue in 2012, with unrest and protests in many countries. More regimes such as the Syrian Junta, may yet fall, inspiring more people elsewhere to rise up against their governments.
In Revelation 16:12-16, Jesus outlines the signs that his servants should watch, which immediately precede his coming. These are the events of the sixth vial.
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."
The drying up of the river Euphrates was correctly interpreted before the event, as the drying up of the power that was associated with it - the Ottoman Empire. In Revelation 9:14 the powers on the east of the Euphrates were let loose, bringing judgment upon the eastern Roman Empire. In the sixth vial, the empire which resulted from the loosing in Revelation 9, is dried up. So the Ottoman empire was removed out of the way, in order to prepare for the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. The first stage of this was the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland. Over the last 100 years these events have alerted Jesus' servants to prepare for his coming. The other part of the sixth vial sign is the going forth of the frog like spirits. A spirit is a teaching. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. These are unclean teachings that are "like" frogs.
The only other incident in scripture that has to do with frogs is the famous plague upon Egypt. At first this may seem as unconnected with the sign in Revelation, but in fact there are similarities between these incidents. As we have seen the other prominent event in the sixth vial is the drying up of the river Euphrates and the return of the Jews. The plague of frogs was also to do with opening the way out of Egypt for the Jews to return. There is also a river associated with the plague of frogs - the river Nile. This is the area of the southern boundary of the promised land, while the Euphrates is the northern boundary. In Exodus it tells us that the river brought forth frogs. However, in Revelation the frogs come from political and religious powers; the dragon, beast and false prophet. The frogs that came upon Egypt went everywhere, including Pharaohs own bed, ovens and kneadingtroughs. So the frogs in the sixth vial go out into all the world. The plague of frogs exacted a promise of liberty and freedom for the Jewish people from Pharaoh, but this was a false promise. For the Jewish people to be free something much more was need than frogs, it was was the passover and the blood of the sacrificial lamb. So in the sixth vial, the going out of the frog spirits does not bring liberty and freedom to the Jewish people, but something much more is needed. The coming of the deliverer... behold, I come as a thief!
The result of the plague of frogs comes out in Exodus 8:14. "And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank." In Psalm 78:45 it tells us that the frogs destroyed them. The result of the plague was that the land was destroyed and stank. In Revelation the result of the unclean frogs is the gathering of the nations against Jesus Christ and their destruction. These unclean teachings represent the spirit of the age, which have the effect of gathering the nations against Christ. The spirit of our age comes from the French Revolution. This spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity has shaped our world; the year of revolution in 1848 and the year of revolution in 2011. When the French Revolution took place the Catholic church was one of the victims. Today the Catholic church has embraced this spirit and incorporated it into their social teaching. In 2011 the pope came out directly in support of the "occupy" movement.
This year's revolutions have not brought the liberty, equality and freedom that the demonstrators hoped for. They will never bring any of these things. In the western world there has been a degree of temporary prosperity, but society has been morally destroyed and the land stinks. Without the guidance of God's word, the philosophies of man will not solve the world's problems or bring peace and brotherhood. These things can only exist in their true sense, in Christ.
From the sixth seal we would expect this frog like spirit to be alive and well and operating in the earth, at the very moment of the return of Christ. So it is very exciting to see this spirit transforming our world in such an incredible way. 2011 has been named the year of the protester. This week on the Bible in the News we have seen how this is a sign of the coming of the redeemer and the year of the redeemed. Isaiah 63:4, "For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come." Come back next week, God willing.
Printed: Saturday, December 24, 2011
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