“Lets Take a Basic Look at Church History”
How did We Lose the Glory and Power that Rested Over the Apostles? How Did We get it Back? How Did We lose it Again? Why Are We So Satisfied With Our Condition Today?
I do not consider myself an expert in church history; not even close, but I am hungry for God’s Shekinah glory and look for it in the history of the human race. I propose the following as the most significant events in church history:
- Jesus Time:Jesus came two thousand years ago; walk among us, saved and healed many, gave His life for us, resurrected from the dead, walk among us for 40 days after His resurrection and was seen by about 500 people as He departed an went to heaven.
- First Revival: Pentecost 30 A.D. Peter, Ephesus, Paul: This is the beginning of he church and the beginning of the ministry of the Holy Spirit promised by the Father. Persecution was severe against Christianity; however the Gospel spread in amazing and supernatural numbers as the apostles move in power healing the sick, raising the dead and saving the lost in the name of Jesus.
- Increased Persecution Against Christianity: The hatred against Christians seemed to increase and persecution seems to have gotten worst. But with more persecution, more the Gospel spread!
- The Time of Constantine: In 313 AD Roman Emperor, Constantine, who was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity and Licinius signed a letter, known as The Edict of Milan proclaiming religious freedom in the Roman Empire. This alleviated persecution against Christians significally.
- Christianity Becomes Officially Recognized as a Religion: In 380 Christianity becomes the state religion of the Roman Empire; this was the beginning of the church involvement in politics. Great Cathedrals and the formation of higher learning institutions gave the church great acceptance in the world. This may sound good, but it was actually the beginning of hundreds of years of great darkness in the church as the church embraced great material prosperity, but no power in the Holy Ghost. They look good in the outside, but they were rotten inside. The church moved further and further from the Scripture and more and more towards the ambitions of ungodly men. They truly had a form of Godliness, but denied the power, indeed, there was no manifestation of God’s power during these painful times.
- The Crusades: From here we had about five centuries of catastrophic wars between Catholics and Muslins.. The Catholic Church made claims that apart from the Catholic Church there is no Salvation. No one dared to challenge the established church of the time. Only the Priest had access to the Word of God, but he added and took away from it as they found convenience. What took place during these centuries does not represent the heart of Christianity.
- The Pre-Reformation Revival: 1300-1500 Lollards, Wycliffe, Hus, (http://elmertowns.com/books/preview/10_great_revivals/10_Greatest_Revivals_Ever%5BETowns%5D.PDF) These were indeed the original heroes, men of great courage that openly challenge the establishment by exposing their lies and declaring true salvation according to Scripture. These men die horrible death; they were Martyrs for the sake of the Gospel. Let’s look at this fascinating quotes from: http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/john-hus.html
“The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in 1380’s AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe, (also spelled “Wycliff” & “Wyclif”), was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!”
“One of Wycliffe’s followers, John Hus, actively promoted Wycliffe’s ideas: that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language, and they should oppose the tyranny of the Roman church that threatened anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible with execution. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415, with Wycliffe’s manuscript Bibles used as kindling for the fire. The last words of John Hus were that, “in 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.” Almost exactly 100 years later, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses of Contention (a list of 95 issues of heretical theology and crimes of the Roman Catholic Church) into the church door at Wittenberg. The prophecy of Hus had come true!”
TO BE CONTINUED…