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The First Move of Restoration #Revivals past

Bible1In my last post, I talked about the church’s descent into the Dark Ages.  It was a horrible time in history.  Many people ask, “How could all this have happened?”  What about all that the Bible teaches?

The bottom line is, that at that time, the Church was the ultimate authority in the life of the believer.  Their teaching was viewed as infallible.  The clergy would not allow the common people own a Bible.

“We’ll explain to you the truth you need to know.”

Around 1300 A.D., it seems that God finally said, “Enough – I’ve got to prepare my bride for my coming.”  The Lord had to rearm his church.  As I look at the flow of history, I see that God was restoring the armor of Ephesians 6.  The bride had to be dressed and ready for the Lord.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
Ephesians 6:14a

First thing that was needed to be restored was the Belt of Truth.  This is what the church desperately hungered for at that time.  We need a foundation of truth.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

I would never have known truth without Scripture.  I need to be taught the principles of God.

It seems that the church was without hope at this time.  The door to heaven was locked and the priests had the only key.

I think that it’s no coincidence that the printing press was invented during this period.  I also believe that it was a direct result of the move of God.  The first book printed with this new technology was the Bible.

The above verse tells me that sometimes I need to be rebuked, to be told when I’m wrong.  It’s how I react that tells whom I serve.  Am I willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and change, or am I hard-hearted and rebellious?

Thus, some of the greatest persecution of God’s people began.  Unfortunately it was not from unbelievers, but from the organized church, itself.

God started moving in the lives of His servants.  It was small at first.  Believers who wanted to read and study the Bible for themselves.

It’s hard for us in the United States to fathom this.  Most Christians have more than one Bible in their home.  We have access in stores and online.  We’re free to read Scripture whenever and wherever we want.

Throughout history this has not always been the case.  In my next post I’ll wrap up this series by recounting some of the precious saints of God who laid down their lives for us to have the abundance of Scripture that we now enjoy.

Question: How much do you appreciate your access to Scripture?  How do you show it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Revival, The Church

 

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The Rearview Mirror #Revivals past

Cathedral I believe that there’s a great revival coming soon to the church in America.  Sometimes we need to see how God has worked in the past, if we’re going to prepare for the future.

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth.  When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many.
Isaiah 51:1-2

It’s important to see how far we’ve come.  Sometimes I get discouraged by the present condition of the church.  But when I look at where we started, it’s encouraging to know how close we are to Christ’s return.

Many talk about revival and restoration.  Do we really understand what that means?  We need to look at history because every move of God depends upon the truth He’s already restored.

Let’s go back 2000 years – to the infant church.  It was an incredible time in the spiritual realm.  Thousands of people were saved at a time.  Healings and miracles were commonplace.

The dead were raised.  Jails were opened up.

Yes, there were some “baby churches,” like Corinth, who weren’t walking in their call the way they should have been.  But the power of God was manifest throughout the known world.  The church grew incredibly for 300 years.

Then something earthshaking happened.  In 314 A.D., the Roman emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.  In this act, he planted the seeds of destruction.  Constantine used Christianity to gain political power.

From then on that spirit started to infect the church.  Think about how the government runs the IRS, welfare, and healthcare.  Now picture the government running the church.

It’s no wonder that the descent to the Dark Ages began.  It was a downhill slide for the next 1000 years.

This spirit of earthly power took root in the church.  The Church, and specifically the popes, claimed the authority to rule over kings.  Many wars were started over this issue.

The practice of simony, the purchase of offices, was common.  Sanctuaries become more magnificent inside and out.  As the worship services increased in splendor, there was a decrease in spirituality.

At one point there was a meeting between Thomas Aquinas and Pope Innocent II.  The Pope showed Thomas the abundance of wealth that the church possessed – money, gold, and art.

Pope Innocent exclaimed, “You see, Thomas, the church can no longer say silver and gold have I none.”

To which Thomas replied, “True, but neither can she now say rise up and walk.”

These and many other abuses were prevalent in the Dark Ages.  As I look back and see what the Lord has taken us from, it gives me hope for our generation.

In my next post, I’ll talk about what God did to bring about a change in that dark period of church history.

Question: Are you expecting to see a great move of God in our generation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2013 in Revival, The Church

 

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