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Church History

 

CREATION--INNOCENCE

  • 4004 BC God created the earth, all animals, plants and mankind.

THE FALL

  • Adam and Eve obeyed Satan and disobeyed God. As a result, they were under a curse.
  • The curse and bondage has been passed on from generation to generation.

THE FLOOD

  • 2348 BC All mankind and all the beasts of the earth were killed except those preserved in the ark.

THE MESSIANIC NATION

  • 1921 BC Abraham
  • God's desire has always been that he would have fellowship with his people. God assured that the lineage that would bring forth the Messiah, the Anointed One, was preserved.
  • 1491 BC, Moses and the Children of Israel cross the red sea.
  • 1451 BC, After forty years, they went into the promised land. God ruled through judges until the people rejected God's rule.
  • 1095 BC, God gave them Kings. The people continued increasing their sinfulness.
  • 721 BC, Israel goes into captivity.
  • 587 BC, Judah goes into captivity.

THE MESSIAH

  • Christ died to save sinners.
  • God's order was established. Church universal under apostles and deacons to those apostles.

FIRST CENTURY--THE PATTERN GOD GAVE

  • At first, the pattern that God had given was followed:
  • The first apostles were set directly by Christ. Others were set by them later. There was no chief apostle, but apostles shared a single office, being led by the Holy Spirit in unity..
  • Local churches under local elders (plural) and local deacons (plural) who were set by the apostles. There was no chief elder or lone elder, but two or more elders shared a single office, being led by the Holy Spirit in unity.
  • 70 AD, All the books of the New Testament were completed before 70 AD.
  • 90 AD Jews confirm the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures, and Christians accept the same canon.

SECOND & THIRD CENTURIES--MAN-MADE PATTERNS CREEP IN

  • Gnostic texts were written some time after 150 AD based on the paganism of Rome and Greece.
  • Pagans infiltrated the church. Rather than making sure that they followed the pattern set by God, the Christians reacted to the pagan infiltration by replacing God's patterns with worldly patterns, which the Christians erroneously supposed would be stronger than God's ways. Creeds were established. Church hierarchy began to develop into a church monarchy. Apostles stopped laying hands on every member for gifts of the Spirit. The Body of Christ lost the ability for every joint to supply, each speaking the truth in love. Prophecy dried up. The glory of God largely departed. Eventually, even the baptism of the Holy Spirit was lost.

FOURTH CENTURY, GOVERNMENTAL FAVOR BRINGS DARKNESS

  • The enemy of our souls changed his tactics from persecution to favor. The church was largely lulled to sleep. Constantine favored Christianity, but it's doubtful that he ever experienced a true conversion.

MIDDLE AGES--DECENT INTO DARKNESS

  • The decent into darkness continued. Worship of martyrs, relics widespread, and the Virgin Mary grows. The church became part of the political machine during this time. Compromises were made to keep political unity. Paganism, mysticism, and magic were allowed to enter the church.
  • Though there was great darkness, God never let the light of the church go fully out.
  • There was a false church as there is today. Many called themselves Christians, but they had no experience with Christ. Many of them were even involved in pagan religion.
  • There was a true church made up of those who had touched God.

FOURTEENTH CENTURY--NEW LIFE BURSTS FORTH

  • Restored through Badwardine and Grosetete then Wycliffe: God alone is able to save men from their sins by His sovereign grace. A light began to dawn across Europe. Scripture first above all human teaching. Bible translated into the language of the common people.
  • Corrected:
  • Loosening the grip of the worldly government/church system. Errors and abuses of that system were pointed out.

FIFTEENTH CENTURY--PREPARING THE WAY

  • Accomplished: Paved the way for the move that came in the following century. The Lollards swept through the country teaching the common people that Scripture was the ultimate authority over the church and sufficient for government of the world. They also taught the common people that salvation is by grace. Hus left a legacy that spoke to the heart of Martin Luther in the following century.

SIXTEENTH CENTURY--THE REFORMATION

  • Restored through Luther, Munzar, Calvin, Zwingli, and Tyndale: The just shall live by grace through faith. Salvation is a gift from God, not of ourselves. The Bible translated into the language or the common people. Accomplished: Further released the people from oppression of an corrupt government/church system. Many false conceptions abandoned.

SEVENTEENTH CENTURY--CONTINUED RESTORATION

  • Restored: The local church operating under the direct leadership of Christ. Believers baptism by immersion. Revitalization of religious piety. Much was gained in understanding of Scriptural principals. Weakness: Weakness developed in actually standing in the presence of the One who gives life. A coldness and formalism took the place of the personal relationship with the living Christ.

EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

  • Restored through John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney: Salvation by faith with an inner witness. Heart purity and sanctity of walk. A break from the religious scholasticism that suggested that it was necessary to be formally educated to be right with God and commissioned by Him. Understanding that a building, such as a cathedral, is not necessary; services could even be held in the open air.

NINTEENTH CENTURY

  • Restored in the Brethren movement: The sufficiency of the Word of God in church affairs and daily walk. The Body of Christ composed of believers. The priesthood of believers. Weakness: Doctrine without the anointing of the Holy Spirit becomes dead letter. "The letter killeth" 2 Corinthians 3:6
  • Restored in the 1859 outpouring, the Keswick movement:
  • Evangelistic fervor and missionary enterprise.Under General Booth, the social implications of the gospel and the believers union in death and resurrection. Weakness: Lack of unity. Each group had a part, but each group thought that they had the whole.A great worldwide missionary movement started.

TWENTIETH CENTURY--THE HOLY SPIRIT

  • Restored in the Welch revival: The Welch revival taught that the Spirit can use the whole Body of Christ rather than just one man. Thousands were born into the Kingdom of God. The morals or the entire country changed.
  • Restored in the Pentecostal movement:
  • The Pentecostal movement brought the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Supernatural gifts were exercised. A great world-wide missionary movement. Weakness: Lack of depth in the Word of God. Some had a superior attitude or pride. A feeling that they had it all. Failure to move on with God
  • Restored in the world-wide move of 1948:
  • The vision of the coming together of the Body of Christ. The nine gifts of the Spirit given by the laying on of hands of the presbytery. The five-fold ministry. The biblical order of the church service, where one has a song and another a prophecy, and all being led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Singing in the Spirit. Prophecy. The order of elders and deacons. The vision of the manifestation of the sons of God.
  • The Enemy's Tricks:
  • Every gift of the Spirit and ministry is being counterfeited. Much disorder came from those who rejected the orders and patterns of the Scripture. False apostles sprung up. Several Spirit-filled ministries chose their own ways instead of continuing to walk humbly before the Lord and in submission to the offices and ministries set by God. In addition, many good Christians are unable to accept the Scripture and have reverted to speculation and scoffing.

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY--PRESSING TOWARD THE MARK

  • Throughout the ages, God has worked with a remnant, a small group, rather than the majority. As in any age, there are many reactions to the call of God. Many, in the church are pressing toward the mark with all their might. There are many levels of maturity, but God is orchestrating everything according to His plan. There are many who are working against God. Neo paganism has crept into the church and many are deceived by it. Much of the church is still stuck in cold formalism, and many have been swept along with Naturalism and materialism. There seems to be a large body of dissatisfied Christians, some of whom have left the organized church. At the same time when many are coming to the Lord or coming closer to the Lord, there is a growing hate for Christ and for Christians throughout the earth.



Author/Compiler
Last updated: Oct, 2013
 
 


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