REFLECTIONS ON GOD'S FAITHFULNESS:
It's been said that those who learn nothing from history are destined to repeat it. Religious persecution seldom comes in one day, like the parable of the frog in the kettle who did not know that he was being cooked. It's a pressure that is ever so gradually applied.
In researching the Wetzstein/Burger history, we learn of the Black Dutch, who were of Sephardic Jewish extraction, and called Black Dutch for their dark hair and eyes, compared to German immigrants, or Hollanders who were fair skinned and blond. The Black Dutch inter-married with the Dutch or Germananic living in the Netherlands to escape the horrible Inquisition, and eventually immigrated to the American colonies. Most black Dutch who immigrated to the colonies, came after the 1740's.
Among the French Prophets or Camisards, religious persecution began with what the bible so aptly describes in the epistle to the Hebrews as "cruel mockings." The arts were even employed in the Catholic tirade aimed at those endeavoring to flee this false religious system. At St. Bartholomews Faith in 1708, a puppet show was held in which the French Protestants were cruelly jeered. The arts also flourished among bible believers in these dark times, when the persecutions became so horrendous that people imagined themselves in the time of Great Tribulation spoken of in the scriptures. The testimony of their vigilant watching in prayer is seen in artist Sandro Botticelli's "Mystical Nativity."
In the year 1500, he inscribes his art with these words: "I Sandro painted this picture at the time of the year 1500 in the troubles in Italy in the half time after the time according to the 11th chapter of St. John in the second woe of the Apocalypse in the loosing of the devil for three and a half years. Then he will be chained in the 12th chapter and we shall see him trodden down as in this picture.
SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: (Acts 2:17f
The Apostle Peter warned that in the last days there shall be "signs in the heavens." Christians in the middle ages believed that apocalyptic signs would signify the coming of the end. There have been wars, but the world has yet to realize that time spoken of as "Tribulation, The Great One," such as the world as never seen, nor ever shall see. (Matthew 24:21)
Wars and religious persecutions decimated Europe in the middle ages. King Henry IV granted the Edict of Nantes in 1598 for the express purpose of restoring peace in war torn France after the 30 Years War. This provided the liberty for expansion among Ana-baptist as well as Huguenot congregations for a season, as it out-lined certain rights to French Protestants. These rights of the edict included:
1) Full liberty of conscience and private worship. 2) Full civic rights including the right to hold public office, subsidized Protestant schools, special courts with both Roman Catholic as well as Protestant judges tojudge cases involving protestants, and the right for French Protestants to assemble as a church. This included Protestant control of 200 cities. 3) The last condition was to allow the rights of French Protestants to be fully respected for But it was short lived. Eventually a series of edicts restricted the Edict of Nantes, in a gradual step down of "legal interpretation" until at last in 1685 Louis XIV revoked the edict entirely, rekindling the fires of persecution. At this time, no French Protestant was allowed to leave the country, and believers came under more severe persecution. Children were abducted, and with the edict in 1686 all children between the ages of five through sixteen years of age were to be taken from those deemed hereticaland handed over to Catholic relatives. You can read of the efforts of a courageous pastor who was martyred during his work among the persecuted Huguenots of the 1600's, named Claude Brousson.
GOD IS MY REFUGE & MY STRENGTH:
During the time of the French 30 Year War, my own ancestors fled the war torn German Palatinate. If they hadn't, I wouldn't be here, because the population of this area was nearly totally decimated. My husbands German Jewish (Hoppe) family had family members in Germany.
There was a steady stream of refugees from France and the Palatinates into Britain and America during those difficult years, and the stress was very difficult. Britain had refugee camps where the displaced could receive help and those without sufficient passage or desire to travel to America ended up staying in one of the cities there.
Smuggling yourself and family out of the Palatinates was no easy task. Candidly I read the diary of one group, that expressed clearly the marital quarrels between husbands and frightened distraught wives who were dealing with being torn from homes, and thrown into small boats with young children for the arduous journey on the Rhine into safer territory. It was no scenic cruise on the canal. The fires of enemy camps glowed in the darkness as their small scows crept past by night. Small children had to be kept quiet. Clothing maintained. Food stores made to last for a 6 week journey into Holland or Switzerland.
Those first brave pilgrims from England who came to America aboard the Mayflower, not only stood against the religious bigotry in their homeland, but they risked hardship and danger to begin life anew in a brave new land. They chose not to have dishonest and deceitful men rule over them. They said goodbye to all that was familiar to them and ventured into the unknown, and God met their every need. He did not fail them.
Those courageous people who stood for religious liberty and freedom of spirit who had been numbered among the French Prophets or Camisards included Benjamin Franklin, William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania and author of "A Sandy Foundation Shaken and "On The Errors Of The Trinity;" Christopher Sauer, printer who published the first German language bible in the colonies.
In light of biblical prophecy in the book of Revelation (chapter 18) being fulfilled so rapidly, such as the recent newspaper articles on Russian spy ships in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and other current events, this is no time to live in careless ease. Dimitru Dudaman's prophecies and other comtemporary prophetic words are coming to pass with lightning speed, as we see personified in the Apostle John's vision in the bible in Rev. 13:2, where the beast has the likeness of a leopard.
Leopards are known for their swiftness, and what God is saying is that with great speed world government will be set up in the end-times. Be careful how you vote, lest you further the anti-christ cause. Familiarize yourself with Dimitru Dudaman's prophecies concerning America and other prophetic words on the internet. Watch and pray so that day doesn't come on YOU like a snare, for God tells us in His word that like a snare it shall come on the whole world. (Rev. 12:10) Religious or political dissenters,may be listed on "prison or convict ships"...If you are doing research, check out ships of this sort.
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