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Ipswich Christadelphians

"Prove all things, hold fast what is good" 1Th 5:21

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The Year of the Protester.

Time magazine has named "The Protester" as the person of the year for 2011, commenting that these protesters were “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... inspired an unstoppable cascade of protest and insurrection in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Venice and dozens of other places across Europe..." 1848 certainly changed the course of history and 2011 has shown the same spirit with its many vocal and violent protests, shaking the world to its foundations and maybe it too will bring about even more significant changes in history – which will usher in the return of Christ.

Already Libya has fallen before the power of the people, perhaps Syria will too. People the world over are believing that they can bring about radical changes by the power of their own voices.

However, this ‘power’ is illusory. In the present world as one power topples another takes its place, usually equally as restrictive and as careless of the individual’s needs as the previous. Take Libya, for example where an oppressive dictator may soon be supplanted by Sharia Law; claiming to be benign , but restrictive of the individual’s freedom and right to worship according to their own will.

Not surprisingly, The Bible has prophesied that such a time as this ‘Spirit of Revolution’ would occur. In Revelation 16:12-16, Jesus outlines the signs that his servants should watch for and 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."

In the Book of Revelation, The Sixth Vial is most important as it deals with the Era in which we live and the time when Christ returns. Here in these verses we have what you might call , ‘word short hand’ , which is briefly explained as follows.

The Euphrates. The powers on the East of the Euphrates were let loose to bring down the Eastern Roman Empire. In the 6th Vial this power (the Ottoman Empire) has finished its work and is dried up.

The Dragon. When the Gospel spread throughout the Roman Empire, Rome was the dragon, first in its pagan form and then as False Christianity which persecuted the faithful believers. Later the Emperor Constantine moved his capital from Rome to Constantinople, and when Constantinople fell, the headquarters of the dragon moved to Moscow. The clerics there said that Moscow had become the third and final Rome, and thus the home of the Dragon

The Beast. When the dragon power moved to Constantinople it left room for a beast power to arise in the western part of the Roman Empire (Europe). The beast has always been a combination of two types of power, ecclesiastical and military. In Revelation 13 we see a beast with two horns or powers, representing the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy.

Today we have modern Europe emerging as the last phase of this beast power. Revelation 17 describes it as a woman sitting upon a scar­let-coloured beast.

The False Prophet. False prophets in Old Testament Times always arose from within Israel. They taught a perversion of God’s Truth. It is most likely then that this false prophet is not Islam but a perversion of the Gospel taught by Christ:

He comes from among the faithful. 2 Peter 2:1 1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

He will claim to be a prophet Matt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

He claims to perform miracles in order to deceive the faithful 2 Thess 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

In company with the Beast he deceives with his miracles Revelation 19:20  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.

From the mouths of these three came unclean spirits like frogs, which had the purpose of gathering the whole world together for the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Why were they like frogs? Frogs are mentioned only 3 times in the Old Testament. In Exodus Ch. 8 and Psalms 78 and 105 which all refer to the time when God, through Moses brought a plague of frogs upon the Egyptians in order to persuade Pharaoh to let Israel go. These frogs were everywhere and when Moses finally commanded them to go, they died and filled the land with stench. His comment after Pharaoh had pleaded with him to take them away was. Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God. (Exodus 8:10)

From this we can see that an unclean frog-like spirit is one which tries to exalt itself above God, rebels against His wishes and wants to keep Israel under. Also this spirit, like the frogs, fills the whole land.

Many Bible students liken this frog like spirit to the spirit which first saw light in the French Revolution and which proved most effective in creating upheaval of Nations in 1848.

That spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity has shaped our world. It brought 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 (the False Prophet) has embraced this spirit and incorporated it into their social teaching. In 2011 the pope spoke out directly in support of the "occupy" movement.

The effects of the European beast speaking with this same spirit can be seen in their stand on human rights. Particularly through the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg which aims to protect the inalienable rights of every human being.  And yet what is man’s inalienable right? Surely to serve God and not oneself and to hope for His salvation. (Titus 2:11)   For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Even in the Empire of the Dragon, this unclean spirit of unrest and rebellion can be seen in the rallies which have been held against the re-election of Putin as President.  On December 10th, protesting against alleged ballot rigging, some 50,000 people rallied in Moscow and passed a resolution "not to give a single vote to (PM) Vladimir Putin" at next year's presidential elections. Rallies have also taken place across Russia, with the first big protest in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

In Exodus, the purpose of the plague was to set Israel free and the result of rebellion was that the land was destroyed and stank. In Revelation the purpose of the unclean frog-like spirits is to stir up the Nations  and gather them for the battle of Armageddon, after which the reign of Christ will bring a different spirit, one of peace and love. The unclean frog-like spirits will then no longer fill the world with their teachings of ‘do what you like’, ‘worship how you like’ ‘your life is the most important’ and ‘no need to honour God’. Such a contrast with the Commandments of Christ, and of his disciples. The Lord Jesus stated when asked which was the Great commandment in the Law (Matt 22:37)  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38  This is the first and great commandment.

39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Peter in his first letter demonstrates the attitude which pleases God (1Peter 2:17)  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.. A far cry from the spirit of rebellion which fills the hearts of the nations at present.

Last year's revolutions have not brought the liberty, equality and freedom that the demonstrators hoped for. They will never bring any of these things. A long period of relative prosperity in Europe has proved its downfall; few heed Christ’s words, society has been morally destroyed and the land stinks. Without the guidance of God's word, man cannot solve the world's problems or bring peace and brotherhood. These things can only happen when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.

Today’s problems ought not to alarm those who believe the Bible and wait for the return of Christ, for they are to be expected in the time of the Sixth Seal, for then the unclean frog-like spirits will fill the world and stir up the people in preparation for a complete change of Government.

2011 has been named the year of the Protester, may 2012 be named the Year of the Redeemer, as the faithful look forward to the time spoken of in Isa 63:4  "For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come." 

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