John Hus, born in 1369 to a poor Bohemian family, grew up singing and serving in the church to make a living.  He was educated at Prague University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Theology and Master of Arts from 1393-96.  Then being ordained as a Catholic priest he started preaching in 1403 at Bethlehem chapel.  It was said that John sought after these religious practices in the Church for peace and security rather than out of the deep desire of his heart.

“I had thought to become a priest quickly in order to secure a good livelihood and dress and to be held in esteem by men.”

But a big shift took place around the 1400’s when the teachings of John Wycliffe made it into Bohemia.  Much of this is attributed to Queen Anne, the wife of Richard II.  She was the sister of Wenceslaus, the king of Bohemia.  It is said that she sent copies of Wycliffe’s work into Bohemia through her servants.  Jerome of Prague, who later became a great friend and follower of Hus, also brought in Wycliffe’s writings around the same time frame.

When John Hus took hold of Wycliffe’s teachings as well as the Scriptures translated in his own language, a drastic change took place in his heart.  The writings fueled John, causing his eyes to be opened to the errors of the Church. John started preaching and sharing this new passion and as he continued to  read in the Bible for himself his heart for the true Bride of Christ exploded.  His teachings and doctrine in opposition to the Roman Church were spreading like wild fire throughout the country and he became the sought after preacher in the land.  The university disapproved of these new beliefs that Hus was teaching, even though Hus had become the rector. The archbishop also was displeased with the racket, leading him to complain to the pope!

This of course caused the Roman Church to be more infuriated with the works of Wycliffe. In 1410 the pope banned all of Wycliffe’s material, doctrines, and the right to preach it!  John was not easily shut down and continued preaching, even under this ban.  Like Wycliffe, Hus was now seen as an outcast and heretic, even though his followers continued to grow.  Johns continued grounding in the Good News and calling out the contradictions of the Church was adored by the people and hated by the clergy.  I would like to call this a time of revival in the Bible.  Peoples eyes were being opened and their hearts were being radically changed by the reading and hearing of Truth for themselves!

The freedom from legalism that John experienced from the Scriptures was,

“When the Lord gave me knowledge of Scriptures, I discharged that kind of stupidity from my foolish mind.”

Referring to his past religious duties in the Church.  Hus, found Life in the Scriptures,

“Desiring to hold, believe, and assert whatever is contained in them as long as I have breath in me.”

John was well received by the commoners but could only go so far with his influence.  The political and religious leaders eventually shut him down causing him to remove himself from the area.  He spent time in the Word and in study, leading him to write several influential pieces.

It was at the end of 1415 when the Council of Constance invited John with “safe” pretenses only to prosecute and detain him.  John was held in the in prison for 73 days; chained, tortured, and fed poorly.  Things did not get any better after being put on trial in June 1415.  He was quickly found guilty with heresy and errors against the Church brought on by false witnesses of elite clergy members.  John Hus stood his ground, using the Bible as his defense but when he asked for chance to explain, there was no grace or mercy.  The trial ended rather quickly with it’s injustices and John was condemned to be burned at the stake.  On July 6, 1415, he was stripped, tied, chained to a stake and burned.  They used the writings of Wycliffe to fuel the wood beneath him.  It was said that he was singing psalms and that he spoke a prophecy before he went.

The prophecy was along the lines of,

“In 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.”…or...”You are now going to burn a goose, but in a century you will have a swan whom you can neither roast nor boil.” (I’ve seen it both ways)

The term, “your goose is cooked” was coined during the martyrdom of John Hus.  Hus meant “goose” in the old German language.


...Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses of Contention on the church at Wittenberg almost exactly a 100 years later! Luther stumble upon some of John’s sermons and said,

“I was overwhelmed with astonishment. I could not understand for what cause they had hurt so great a man who explained the Scriptures with so much gravity and skill.”

It is hard for me to grasp such cruelty against believers, even though the disciples were all faced with it and continued to tell us to persevere and overcome!  Does the western church have the courage and boldness to stand like this when it is attacked?  Do we as individuals have the boldness to stand on the Word of God and proclaim the goodness of Jesus?  Within my lifetime I have already witnessed blatant attacks against Christianity and the Word of God and it has only intensified!  I am thankful to live in a time where I still have the freedom to read His Word, to worship Him with freedom, and to share the Gospel with others and I’m praying that I will continue to do so even if it is banned.

 

Next post, leading up to the Unity of Brethren

IF YOU MISSED THE FIRST PARTS OF THIS SERIES CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

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John Wycliffe
“MORNINGSTAR OF THE REFORMATION”

(Moravian Move Series)

John Wycliffe, Born in 1328, is most well known for being the first to translate the Bible into the English language, or common language.  He grew up in the Middle Ages, a time when the Roman Church prohibited the Bible to be written in anything other than Latin (since 400 AD Beginning the Dark and Middle Ages) so that only the priests could read it.  It was considered a crime punishable by death to even own a copy of the Bible.  Even though the majority of the common people could not even read Latin or English!  The Church was deceiving the people by withholding the Truth, the Word of God, the Bible and instituting their own doctrines and tradition in order to make them the ultimate powerhouse.

Wycliffe was very well studied at Oxford in politics, religion, and theology.  His passions led him to become an illustrious teacher, preacher, and patriot.  Not too long into his career he started teaching to his students his very strong disagreements with the Roman Church.  His student’s class notes started being copied and passed around and Wycliffe himself started writing up his oppositions to share publicly.

  • He opposed indulgences (Killing a man $1.75, Robbery $3.00 etc..)
  • He opposed purgatory (a place of purification, after death)
  • He opposed transubstantiation (bread and wine actually become substance of the body and blood of Jesus,)
  • He opposed the temporal wealth of the church (extravagant buildings)
  • He opposed the “holy war” (killing of innocent people to plunder)
  • He strongly opposed calling the pope the head of the church (went as far as saying the pope is an antichrist and not fit for heaven)
  • Most of all he opposed the withholding of the Bible (Without knowledge of the Bible there can be no peace in the life of the Church)

Wycliffe strongly believed in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible and understood that it was for all believers, which led him to start translating the Latin Bible into English. Wycliffe said,

“Believers should ascertain for themselves what are the true matters of their faith, by having the Scriptures in a language which all may understand.”

The Pope and Roman clergy were outraged, to say the least, against this translating because they felt that the Holy Scriptures should be prohibited from the laity and “un-churched” in means to control them.  When the Pope caught wind of Wycliffe’s work, he issued a letter against Wycliffe.  In response to the Pope, Wycliffe said,

“You say it is heresy to speak of the Holy Scriptures in English. You call me a heretic because I have translated the Bible into the common tongue of the people. Do you know whom you blaspheme? Did not the Holy Ghost give the Word of God at first in the mother-tongue of the nations to whom it was addressed? Why do you speak against the Holy Ghost? You say that the Church of God is in danger from this book. How can that be? Is it not from the Bible only that we learn that God has set up such a society as a Church on the earth? Is it not the Bible that gives all her authority to the Church? Is it not from the Bible that we learn who is the Builder and Sovereign of the Church, what are the laws by which she is to be governed, and the rights and privileges of her members? Without the Bible, what charter has the Church to show for all these? It is you who place the Church in jeopardy by hiding the Divine warrant, the missive royal of her King, for the authority she wields and the faith she enjoins”

After coming against the Roman Church with his writings, teachings and translation of the Bible, Wycliffe’s days were filled with trials and heat from the clergy. There was some Divine favor upon his head as he was not martyred but allowed to finish this good work.  Wycliffe’s greatest feat was the translation of The New Testament, which was completed in 1380 as well as the Old Testament in 1382.  This was a huge accomplishment for the spreading of the Gospel as well as encouraging the common people to learn how to read the Bible for themselves.  For this John was condemned and charged with multiple heresies and errors and all of his writings were forbidden and any followers of his teachings were to be imprisoned.

John died two years later, December 31, 1384.  He would later be known as the, “Morningstar of the Reformation”, because his forerunner message against the “organized” church opened up the door for what later became known as the Reformation.

It is hard to picture an age that prohibited the Bible from the common man and woman!  We are so blessed to be able to have Bibles in our common language so that we may see and hear the Truth of God’s Word for ourselves.  This has sobered me up to the importance of having a personal Bible for myself and actually reading it.  I hope that none of us take for granted the beauty of being able to read and share the Word of God in this day and age.  Now is the time to read and feed from this Book that brings us into a greater experiential knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…before a day comes when the Bible is again forbidden and those that are caught reading from it are burned at the stake!…

To be continued…John Hus, Martyr, burned at the stake for following Wycliffe’s teachings about having the Bible in their own language!

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Now that the celebration week of Saint Patrick is over and his name has quickly been forgotten by those that see it as just another day, allow me to finish the third part of my research on the Saint…not the Day.  For those of you that are just tuning in, check out my last two post to get caught up!

http://historyishiring.com/the-saint-not-the-day/

http://historyishiring.com/a-dream-that-changed-history/

The year is 432 A.D. and St. Patrick and his small entourage just landed on the shores of Ireland.  Upon arrival the team of strangers to the land were spotted and confronted by chief master, Dichu.  Not only was Dichu’s Patrick’s first contact, he was his host, FIRST CONVERT, and he also gave Patrick his barn for a church! That should give you an idea of how powerful God was working through Patrick from the start!

Of course this was only the beginning.  Patrick was extremely bold and passionate about his message of the GOSPEL and he took it directly to the top pagans and druids with a daring statement!  It was the eve of Easter (March 24th according to the calendars of their time) when Laoghaire, High King of Ireland, was also celebrating an ancient druidic ritual and festival with the people from the land.  It was a sacred lighting of a fire said to symbolize the “resurrection of the life-giving sun from the winter’s death”.  So on that eve this WAS to be the first fire lit from the royal hill.  St. Patrick and his team had other plans; they strategically posted up on the hill across from the royal hill and camped out until the darkness came.   It was in this darkness when St. Patrick lit up a flame that challenged and defied all that the druids stood for!  This defying flame was seen by the king and all the druids and enraged them.  The account told by Muirchu (7th Century biographer)

“And St. Patrick was called to the king outside the place where the fire had been kindled.  And the magicians said to their people, “let us not rise up at the approach of this fellow; for whosoever rises up at the approach of this fellow will afterwards believe in him and worship him.”

At last Patrick rose; and when he saw their many chariots and horses, he came to them, singing with voice and heart, very appropriately, the following verse of the Psalmist:  “Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses; but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God.”  They, however, did not rise at his approach.  But only one, helped by the Lord, who willed not to obey the words of the magicians, rose up.  This was Ercc, the son of Daig, whose relics are now venerated in the city called Slane.  And Patrick blessed him; and he believed in the everlasting God.

And when they began to parley with one another, the second magician, named Lochru, was insolent in the Saint’s presence, and had the audacity, with swelling words to disparage the Catholic faith.  As he uttered such things, St. Patrick regarded him with a stern glance, as Peter once looked on Simon; and powerfully, with a loud voice, he confidently addressed the Lord and said, “O Lord, Who canst do all things, and in Whose power all things hold together, and who hast sent me hither-as for this impious man who blasphemes Thy name, let him now be taken out of this and die speedily.”  And when he had spoken thus, the magician was caught up into the air, and then let fall from above, and, his skull striking on a rock, he was dashed to pieces and killed before their faces; and the heathen folk were dismayed.”

St. Patrick knew that he had to bring this message of love and power to the top.  I believe it was displayed in a very eye opening way with this encounter that was just described.  After gaining this type of attention from the head of the land St. Patrick continued to spread the gospel through out the rest of the land.  If the kings or leaders of a tribe were not converted on the spot, he would get access for him and his team to set up camp near the people of the village.  It was here where they were able to organize a “community” center.  The team would then engage with the village people through conversation, ministry, prayer, preaching, as well as the visual arts.  The Irish people are very well known for their visual arts, this was one of the things that Patrick was able to pick up on in his time as a slave.  The ministry team would spend weeks to months in a place until they felt led by the Lord to build a Church.  St. Patrick would baptize and disciple the converts in this time and raise them up.  Patrick and his team would go from tribe to tribe doing this same thing.  They would often leave behind one of his disciples to pastor one of the newly established churches and the cycle would continue!

Mind you in this time, the successors of the bishops that sent St. Patrick on this mission to Ireland were not rejoicing in all the good news that was being shared. No, they were angered that he was spending priority time with the “barbarians”, “sinners”, and “pagans”! Of course this happened to Jesus as well.

(Croagh Patrick, St. Patrick spent 40 days of fasting on this mountain in prayer for the people of Ireland)

The reason St. Patrick was so successful in his mission was because of his apostolic approach, it was more of a movement than an institution. His ministry was set up in a way to convert whole tribe’s not just individuals.  Because of his “mission stations” the faith was more caught than taught.  It is said that he baptized many thousands of people in his time as well as planting nearly 700 churches and ordaining close to 1,000 priests! With his strong mission movement St. Patrick was able to convert about 30-40 if not more, of the 150 tribes in Ireland!  Patrick also preached against slavery and was able to see the end of the Irish slave trade in his time.

Remember these “barbarians” that no one wanted to approach?  Do you have any one in you life that you look at as impossible to reach?  May the life of St. Patrick inspire you and show you that nothing is impossible with the Living God.  His ministry lasted 28 years, but because the model that he left, many were able to be saved years later.

Irish Prayer:

Three folds of the cloth, yet only one napkin is there,

Three joints in the finger, but still only one finger fair;

Three leaves of the shamrock, yet no more than one shamrock to wear,

Frost, snow-flakes and ice, all in water their origin share,

Three Persons in God, to one God alone we make prayer.

Well with that being said, I will be going on my FIRST MISSIONS TRIP TOMORROW!  My wife and I will be going to Mexicali with our church for a week!  I am really excited and can’t wait to serve and minister the good news! Pray for us this week.

God Bless,

Patrick Judah

p.s. check out this IHOP St. Patrick’s celebration! http://www.ihop.org/Articles/1000047198/International_House_of/Resources/IHOP_KC_Video/Home_Page/Misc/St_Patricks_Day.aspx

Source:  The  Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the  Wes... by  George G. Hunter III The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again – George G. Hunter III

Source:  Sixteen Centuries With Ireland’s Patron Saint Patrick- Alice-Boyd Proudfoot

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The Saint, Not the Day Pt. 1

“The Lord opened the understanding of my unbelieving heart, so that I should recall my sins.” St. Patrick

Because this week is celebrated in memory of St. Patrick, this will be the first of three articles of the Saint’s life.  Consider this a, “mystic of the month BONUS” for those of you that follow the site.  In this post I will cover Ireland before Saint Patrick and Patrick before his Sainthood. To start I would like to clear up some things related to the day of Saint Patrick that have nothing to do with the man of God or his amazing ministry.

If you think you know all about St. Patrick, let’s get one thing straight…Saint Patrick was not Irish! I know it sounds crazy, so if you thought he was, you might get more out of this article than you expected!

Have you ever thought about why there are no other Saint “days” observed (not counting St. Valentine), what makes Saint Patrick so special as to have his own feast and celebration day? If you can answer that, I would then like to ask why this day is observed in places across the world?  Now, here in a America I’ve “celebrated” St. Patrick’s day just like most Americans…using it as another excuse to get wasted by slamming down “Irish Car Bombs”.  Yes, in the name of a saint that I thought I knew all about!  I thought he was all about: The color green, Guinness n Baileys’ Irish Cream, shamrocks, leprechauns, and casting out snakes…I was wrong!

Let us take a look at Ireland before St. Patrick arrived.  The land was filled with a variety of Celtic “clans” that were very prideful, which caused a 1,000 year war between the clans and kingdoms of that territory.  Each clan was fierce on its own, but they were never able to unify in order to advance against Rome.  One way to look at it came from a zoologist:

“A tiger will defeat a lion in battle; but five lions will defeat five tigers because the lions fight together and the tigers do not, so the five lions take on one tiger at a time.”1

The Celtic clans were “tigers” fighting the Roman “lions” so to speak.  The Roman army eventually pushed the Celtic clans west, close to their current locations.  The clans grew and prospered individually.  The religion at the time was an animistic polytheism, which worshiped sun and moon as well as natural objects.  The leaders were known as druids; they had white robes, magic wands, and sacrificed their firstborns to the idol, Crom Crauch.  Note that each clan was distinct from one another and they did not do everything the same. To the outside “world”, these Celtic people looked like “barbarians”. This is a point as to why Christianity did not impact Ireland until St. Patrick landed there.  The Roman Church in that day thought a people had to be “civilized” enough before they could be “Christianized”.  It is believed that Christians came to evangelize in Ireland before St. Patrick, such as Palladius who was ordained by Pope Celestine to do so; as well as others that may have been taken captive there.  Of course no one was able to spread the Gospel through Ireland like St. Patrick did.

Now, let us glance at Patrick before he was a Saint in Ireland.  Patrick was born in the village of Bannavem Taberniae (exact location unknown), to a Christian family.  It is said that his father was a deacon, and his grandfather a priest.  With this being said, there is not much known about Patrick’s early family life, but I would guess that he grew up knowing a little bit about the Bible.  When Patrick was sixteen years of age, he was captured by Celtic pirates and taken away to Ireland.  He was then sold to a tribal chief named Miliucc, who put him to work tending his flocks.   Remarkably, it was in this time that Patrick drew near to God. He said in his own writings,

“Now, after I came to Ireland, tending flocks was my daily occupation, and constantly I used to pray in the day time.  Love of God and the fear of Him increased more and more, and faith grew, and the spirit was moved, so that in one day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and at night nearly as many, so that I used to stay even in the woods and on the mountain to this end.  And before daybreak I used to be roused to prayer, in snow, in frost, in rain; and I felt no hurt, nor was there any sluggishness in me.”2

Sounds like day and night prayer to me!  Then one night after his six years of captivity, he heard the voice of God. “Thou fastest to good purpose, thou who art soon to go to thy fatherland.” Again he heard, “Lo, thy ship is ready.” So at daybreak he took off and eventually found the ship!  At first he talked to the Captain, by offering his service, but in reply he got, “On no account seek to go with us.” Patrick, disappointed started to walk away when he heard them call him back.  The sailors received him saying, “Come, for we will receive thee in good faith; make friends with us in any way thou desirest.” Sounds like some favor to me! So the ship took off and Patrick made his way back to his homeland.

Join me next time as I will be continuing the journey of St. Patrick from his time back “home”, to his exciting missionary trip back to his slave land that he ended up making his lifelong mission field and resting place.  I’ll tell you one thing, his time in slavery was not in vain!

Until next time,

Patrick Judah

Source:  The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the  Wes... by George G. Hunter III The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again – George G. Hunter III

Source:  Sixteen Centuries With Ireland’s Patron Saint Patrick- Alice-Boyd Proudfoot

PART 2: A DREAM THAT CHANGED HISTORY

PART 3: MAN ON A MISSION

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I was browsing a site and I found this. It was really inspiring to watch, so I thought I would share it with you.

In the physical world these soldiers are called to lay down their lives for our Country and obey the given commands to attack the enemy. As believers we have been called to do something very similar by our Lord and Savior. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus said to his disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” HE IS WITH US, regardless of the “worlds” persecution or poorly practiced political “rules” (which are broken more by political leaders than the people.) I am often reminded how much the physical world reflects little fragments of what goes on in the Super Natural. The Light that these soldiers are bringing into such a dark place is a huge defeat on the enemy. These warriors of God have drawn their Swords and put on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD in the Super Natural; allowing The Kingdom to enter into this world!

This Great Commission is directly from the Words of God, so as Sons and Daughters let’s take hold of this calling and be Good News Bearers wherever the Lord has planted us; weather you are in a small dinky town or the middle of a war stricken country that has not yet heard or felt the Love of Jesus.

Lord I am praying that you continue to protect and guide these soldiers in the physical and in the Super Natural. Thank you for men and women that fight for this country and also engage in an even bigger battle that the world does not see. Thank you Lord, for you are good and your LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!

If you liked this, read the blog below about the “vision” that George Washington received. Do you think this “vision” of what’s to come to America is in the form of the Super Natural or of the physical?

Blessings,

Patrick Judah

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