THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE
|DEATH AND REVIVAL OF THE PROTESTANT
BODY POLITIC IN FRANCE 1572-1576
The saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre was a watershed event and a turning point in the French Wars of Religion. The massacre came as result of the marriage of Henry of Navarre (the future King Henry IV)- a leader of the Protestant Movement and Margaret Valois, daughter of the Catholic Catherine de' Medici.
All of the Protestant leadership was in Paris for the wedding. The massacre began after the attempted assassination of the Protestant Leader Admiral de Coligny. After the failed assassination attempt, a Protestant revolt and retaliation was feared. The massacre was spun as a 'pre-emptive' strike against the protestants.
Of all the protestant leadership, only Henry of Navarre was spared. However he was forced to abjure his protestant faith, convert to Catholicism, and was held captive in Paris. The toll on the protestant movement in France cannot be overestimated. Tens of thousands of protestants were slaughtered. Many thousands more in the months to follow were forced to abjure their faith and re-convert to the Catholic Church. Of their leadership, only Henry remained alive, but he too was forced to abjure his faith as the price of his life. Protestantism in France was dead.
It is important to note that in the prophecy of the Two Witnesses that it said that their dead bodies would 'lie in the broad street of the great city' - that is, that the death of the witnesses was to take place in a principal part of the Papal Empire. France, the 'first born son of the church' and Paris in particular is the place here referenced.
If we have correctly identified the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre as that event in which the witnesses were slain, and in which the Protestant body politic lay dead in the 'broad street', or Paris and France, then we should look to find some principal event three and one half years later which would correspond with the witnesses 'standing upon their feet' and eventually being 'taken up into heaven'. This event should be specific, and immediately connected with the events of the massacre and of Protestantism in France.
I believe that we can find such an event in history, and that its fulfillment stands within the pages of history as a most remarkable fulfillment of prophecy which defies all probability that it could be dismissed as a simple coincidence.
Did an event occur in history in France three and one half years following the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre which would satisfy the symbolic language of the prophecy - the witnesses standing on their feet and eventually being taken up into heaven? As it was the Protestant body politic in France over whose death the Catholic world rejoiced, it was this same body politic which was to be revived. How and when was this accomplished?
Henry of Navarre, the only Protestant leader whose life was spared, and who's marriage was the event which precipitated the massacre of August 24th, 1572, had been forced to convert to Catholicism and was held captive in Paris for fear that he would re-join and re-energize the Protestant movement. On February 5, 1576 this is precisely what took place. Henry escaped from Paris, abjured Catholicism, and rejoined the Protestant cause as their leader. But much more, in 1589 Henry went on to become King Henry IV of France - the king who finally brought about the end of the French Wars of Religion, and with the Edict of Nantes finally issued full tolerance for Protestants for the first time in France.
The Protestant movement in France was slain in the massacre of August 24th, 1572. It was bought back to life again on February 5th, 1576 by the escape of their only leader who's life had been spared, and one who would eventually become the king of France and issue full toleration to the Protestants.