XIII. The Church "backslid" into the "dark ages"

             Dark Ages, meaning spiritually dark, no light from God's Word. (Psa.119:130, Prov.6:23) Outwardly
             man had built great Cathedrals "which appear beautiful...but are within, full of dead men's bones, and of
             all uncleanness"
(Matt.23:27).  The House of God had now become a natural building rather then

             the people of God(John.2:18-20, Matt.16:18; 23:36, 1Cor.3:16-17; 6:19, Eph.2:1-22).Nevertheless,

           during the "dark ages" there were individuals "grinding in the (spiritual) prison  house" as

             Samson was. Just as the Philistines thought they had the upper hand, Satan thought he had

             finally crushed the Church (Judges.16:21-23). HE WAS MISTAKEN!
       
           
  A. There was Nicholas of Lyra(1279 -1340 AD)
                   
                    Spoken of as the bridge between the Middle (Dark) Ages and the Reformation. His work had a
                    profound influence on Luther and helped "seed" the Reformation.
[37]


























        
    B. Next came John Wycliffe(1330 -1384 AD)
                   
                    Wycliffe was an English theologian and religious reformer. "His rejection of the biblical basis

                    of papal (Popes) power and dispute with the doctrine of the transubstantiation of the

                    host anticipated the Protestant Reformation. He was the 'morning star' of the Reformation

                    and recognized scripture as the final authority, not the Catholic Church. Wycliffe also translated

                    the Bible from Latin to English. The Catholic Church's (the Church of the spiritual decline and

                    dark ages) response was, that such a version would  also make it easier for him (Wycliffe) to

                     propagate his teachings." [38]


                     Wycliffe declared
                
   "...that the people had the right to read the Bible and interpret it themselves...". During the "dark
​                 ages
" the Bible was locked up in the Latin tongue which was unknown to the common
​                 people
.
[39]Only the "educated priests"[40]  interpreted the Bible for the people.

                   Note: Some today still wait for those who have theological degrees to tell them what the Bible
                    means, rather than letting the Holy Spirit lead them into all truth
 (John.16:12-13). Leadership is there
                    not to have "dominion over your faith,"
(2Cor.1:24, Matt.20:24-28) but to be "helpers of your joy"
                    in understanding what God is teaching YOU 
(1John.2:27)!

       
  C.  After Wycliffe came John (Jan) Hus(1372-1415 AD.) 
                   
                 Wycliffe's ideas spread into Bohemia, where
John (Jan) Hus widely preached them in powerful
                 sermons and was burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church for his Bible based belief's
​                 taught by Wycliffe)




























IX. The Church is about to come out of the "dark ages"
          
           Samson's hair was now beginning to grow again. This is a picture of the 
Church beginning

           to separate from "dead works" and have " faith towards God" (Heb.6:1).  From the end of the 1st.

           Century until the 15th. Century, the Church, like Samson went to sleep (spiritually) on the knees of

           the harlot Church, (Delilah). This resulted in their consecration and separation (hair) being shaved off 

           and they became "weak like any other man" (Judges 16:17). This gave the "advantage" to Satan

           (the Philistines) who put out the spiritual eyes of the Church and bound them with spiritual "fetters

           of brass;" leaving them to "grind in the prison house" of the dark ages.

          
But now, Samson's hair "began to grow again" Judges 16:22. 
           
         The Reformation was about to break out!  God was about to
           call a people out unto Himself,  just as He did when He called
           Israel out of Egypt. Note: It is not coincidental that before the 
           Reformation, God's Word had been placed back into Greek
           without the corruption of the 2nd Century. Tyndale had 
           translated this Greek text into English. The printing press had
           been invented which allowed the Bible to be put in the hands
           of the common people.




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