The Moravian Revival

Well folks this is what we have all been waiting for!  Thanks for the patience to all my faithful followers.  Here are the past posts if you missed any: MORAVIAN MOVE SERIES.

 

August 13, 1727 was a day not to be forgotten to those who lived in the community at Hernhut.  Now as you know from the previous post, this community of Christian believers had held a variety of doctrines and beliefs when it came to their faith.  There were many persecuted denominations represented including the Moravian Brethren (Unity of Brethren), Lutherans, Reformist, Schwenkfelders, Calvanists, separatists, and Baptists. A few months prior to that day, the community was in turmoil due to bickering and quarreling over their religious differences.

Count Zinzendorf, the owner and visionary of the land was grieved over the disunity of the Christian community.  And during the month of May 1727, he and his family came to permanently live in Hernhut. He gave his life to see this home of refugees be a place filled with the presence of God.  His passion to see this come to pass drove him to a deeper level of prayer for the people at Hernut.  He taught fiercely on the unity of Christians found in the Bible, the importance of prayer, and he also had the members sign a “Brotherly Agreement.”

He called all of them, “to seek out and emphasize the points in which they agreed”

This dedicated approach from Zinzendorf blew open the doors of grace for a great level of repentance, prayer, and unity! After this raising of a new standard, passionate prayer groups started up and new hymns flowed forth giving praise to the Savior.  God’s presence, unity and intercession increased through out the summer and much travail went out from Hernhut for even more of His presence.

It was August the thirteenth when Zinzendorf called the congregation for a special communion early that Wednesday morning.  Then it happened; the whole community felt the tangible outpouring of the Holy Spirit!  This was a moment that was unexplainable to many but was said to be much like the day of Pentecost recorded in the book of Acts 2.

Rev John Greenfield a Moravian historian said, “They hardly knew if they had been on earth or in heaven.” in his book Power from on High.

James Montgomery a Moravian Hymn writer, wrote this piece later on describing the event:

“They walked with God in peace and love, But failed with one another; While sternly for the Faith they strove, Brother fell out with brother; But He in whom they put their trust, Who knew their frames that they were dust, Pitied and healed their weakness. He found them in His House of Prayer, With one accord assembled; And so revealed His presence there, They wept with joy and trembled: One cup they drank, one bread they brake, One baptism shared, one language spake, Forgiving and forgiven. Then forth they went with tongues aflame In one blest theme delighting; The love of Jesus and His name, God’s children all uniting; That love our theme and watchword still, Thy law of love may we fulfill, And love as we are loved.”

It was a glorious day for the Moravians that launched a deeper passion for God’s Word, prayer, Hymns, and eventually missions. From this day forth they held meetings three times a day (4am 9am and 9pm) to pray and give thanks to God.

They also established 24-7 prayer! They started with 24 men and 24 women, each being assigned to one hour of the day to pray and they dubbed it Hourly Intercession.  Yes, it is true that this 24-7 prayer model lasted 100 years! This developed what they called Daily Watchwords resulting in one of the oldest and most popular daily devotionals.

Out of their prayer meetings they received a great zeal for missions.  They ended up sending out many missionaries’ abroad being among the first to reach out to slaves.  The Moravian missionary’s even made it to the United States and received a burden to spread the gospel to the Native Americans.

The missionaries going out from Hernhut were fearless unto death for the sake of Christ.  This Moravian mission movement was the first successful wide spread surge from the protestant reformation.  Zinzendorf and the Moravians helped lay a foundation for the great mission move that followed in the 18th century with men like William Carey.

The Hernhut community was modeled and duplicated near and far while small renewal groups broke out all across Europe.

 

•••

Does this inspire you at all???  It has definitely impacted me.  Last year I  got caught up in the “quarreling” of doctrine and theology and nothing was accomplished.  I have seen how ugly and immature it can get.  The end result of being in it and watching it from a distance caused me to realize that I need to be in His Word, prayer, and fellowship.

The Moravians were not perfect (who is but Christ) but I admire Count Zinzendorf for his bold leadership and convictions that lead him to find the good and common ground that each member had.  I personally think the Body of Christ needs to come back to this reality.  There are even more denominations and church splits in this day and age than ever before, let’s face it we probably will never fully agree on everything! So let us move forward in our love for Christ and our love for one another…isn’t that what He called us too?

I am hungry for this type of outpouring on the Church again.  I do not believe that the outpouring of Holy Spirit was a one time thing, I do believe that He wants to pour out His Spirit at an even greater measure today!  We saw it in the book of Acts and you can see it displayed through this Moravian Move and with other historical revivals.  The believers started in fellowship and prayer and the result was a great outpouring which lead to even greater prayer and fellowship PLUS souls saved for Christ!!!

What are your thoughts?

 

 

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Count Zinzendorf

START FROM THE BEGINNING OF THIS MORAVIAN MOVE SERIES: HERE

Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf had a very unique upbringing.  In 1700 he was born into a noble family, his father passed away shortly after his birth and he was raised and heavily influenced by his Piest grandmother.  He had a mind and heart to pursue the things of the LORD from a very young age, while his family directed him into the steps of his father’s noble heritage and government occupation; he meekly achieved his royal title as a count (English nobleman) as well as becoming the king’s judicial counselor at the end of his schooling.

Nicolaus went to a Piest school causing him to seek after a personal and intimate relationship with Christ through prayer, reading the Bible, and fellowship.  He then attended the University of Wittenberg, famous for the posting of Martin Luther’s 95 theses and was influenced by Lutheran theology.  He carried this unique upbringing with him being a devout follower of Christ and a devout Nobleman to his country; a devout Piest and a devout Lutheran.  His early years were marked with a personal heart for Christ while upholding his noble duties.

In 1722 some big events took place in Zinzendorf’s life.  He got married and he purchased his grandmother’s large estate in hopes to provide a place of refuge for any and all persecuted Christians of his day.  Amazingly, shortly after this purchase, some Unity of Brethren in need of a place of safety approached Zinzendorf.  The count gladly gave them a place to dwell and they named the area, Hernhut, which means, “The Lords’ Watch”.

THE LORD’S WATCH

It was at Hernhut where Count Zinzendorf’s true calling sprung forth.  Hernhut quickly became a haven for Christian refugees and not just for the Unity of Brethren but also for other persecuted Christians (Lutherans, Reformed, Schwenkfelders, Calvanists, separatists, and Moravians), all with differing doctrine and theology.  This was exactly what Zinzendorf had envisioned but he was not expecting the conflict and disorder that would spring up from the theological debates and quarreling.  By 1727 Zinzendorf had had enough of all the strife and moved to Hernhut full time to work out these theological differences among the people.  He built his permanent house there and named it Bethel; it was said to be very simple and open for the community.

Count Zinzendorf started off by going to each individual’s house and entered into prayer with each member.  He then assembled everyone together and vigorously taught from Scripture on how a Christian community should live, bringing the importance of loving God and one another to the forefront.  His intentions for everyone were to seek out and emphasize the points in which everyone agreed.  The result was shared by his close friend Spangenberg,

“On that day, the Count made a covenant with the people, in the presence of God. The brethren individually engaged to belong entirely to the Saviour. They were ashamed of their religious quarrels, and were unanimously disposed to bury them in oblivion. They also sincerely renounced self-love, self-will, disobedience, and freethinking. They were desirous of becoming poor in spirit; none of them sought a preference above the rest; and each one wished to be taught by the Holy Spirit in all things; they were not only convinced, but carried away and overpowered by the operating grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

He also came up with a voluntary discipline for the community, called the Brotherly Agreement.  It was this agreement that is said to have activated the Pentecostal move that took place three months later (WHICH WE WILL HIT NEXT!).  The agreement brought forth love as being the grounds for their common unity, which in turn intensified their prayer and Bible study gatherings.

Count Zinzendorf being raised Piest and taking on some Lutheran doctrine was not looking to start another church at the time but was having a hard time with the intellectual state of the Lutheran Church and he wanted to see a heart to heart relationship with the Lutherans and God.  Zinzendorf became the leader of what was called the Moravian Church, but he considered it to be under the Lutheran church.

Eventually Zinzendorf became well known to all the European and American religious leaders of the 18th century.  Count Zinzendorf was known for his strong lifestyle of prayer and fasting, missions, writing hymns, and community. The Count eventually left Hernhut traveling as a pilgrim from place place to spread the Gospel.  There were those that continued to follow him and he crossed paths with great men such as Charles and John Wesley.  After visiting America he had a burden to witness to the Native Americans and had already started a great missions movement out of Hernhut after the revival of 1727.

Towards the end of Count Zinzendorf’s life he was either loved or hated.  His passion for becoming one with Christ and His afflictions went to the extreme and he and his followers became rejected by many.  Zinzendorf lost his son and wife and started to become road weary from all of the extended travel.  Although Count Zinzendorf had his ups and downs and wrongs and rights, I believe he was a forerunner for the prayer and missions movement that we are seeing today.  At the end of his life he was seen as humbled.  He passed away at the age of 60 in 1760.

•••Do Not Miss Out on the Next Part of This Series: The Moravian Revival!•••

(This is what I have been building up too…finally!)

 

Here is one of his more well known hymns: Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness

My beauty are, my glorious dress;

’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,

With joy shall I lift up my head.

 

Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;

For who aught to my charge shall lay?

Fully absolved through these I am

From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

 

The holy, meek, unspotted Lamb,

Who from the Father’s bosom came,

Who died for me, e’en me to atone,

Now for my Lord and God I own.

 

Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,

Which, at the mercy seat of God,

Forever doth for sinners plead,

For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.

 

Lord, I believe were sinners more

Than sands upon the ocean shore,

Thou hast for all a ransom paid,

For all a full atonement made.

 

When from the dust of death I rise

To claim my mansion in the skies,

Ev’n then this shall be all my plea,

Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.

 

This spotless robe the same appears,

When ruined nature sinks in years;

No age can change its glorious hue,

The robe of Christ is ever new.

 

Jesus, the endless praise to Thee,

Whose boundless mercy hath for me—

For me a full atonement made,

An everlasting ransom paid.

 

O let the dead now hear Thy voice;

Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;

Their beauty this, their glorious dress,

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness.

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IF YOU MISSED THE FIRST PARTS OF THIS SERIES CLICK HERE

Following the “Hussite Wars” and the Utraquists compact with the Roman Church the remainder of John Huss and John Wycliffe followers formed a church independent of the Roman Church known as the Moravian church or the Unity of Brethren officially in 1457.  By the time the Protestant Reformation as we know it launched in 1517 by Martin Luther with the nailing of the 95 Theses to the church door, this group had been fighting for freedom and reformation in the church for nearly 100 years.  Martin Luther was the fulfillment of John Hus’ prophecy given right before he was burned at the stake.  Martin Luther came on the scene and only catapulted and encouraged what the Unity of Brethren had been saying the whole time. The majority of the Moravians had the Bible translated in their language (Czech) helping them understand the cause and to lay the foundation of independence from the Roman Church.

The brethren had a lot of noble support behind them and saw tremendous growth in the regions. The Roman Church was too weak to gain control through the battlefield at the time so they retaliated back in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s by way of cultural, political, and ecclesiastical power shifts.  To cut to the short another revolt broke out in 1620 by the Protestant Czechs to protect their liberties and a coalition of armies (Those in relationship and rule with the Roman Church) ended up wiping them out.  This resulted in the Counter Reformation by the Roman church and the 30-year war (Which was a mass war for religious and political power all through out the regions).  One third of the Czech population was lost do to plague and war during this time period; it went from 3 million to 800,000!  This was a time of much upheaval and blood spilling in the name of religion.  For the brethren that were not martyred, many of them were dispersed through out the regions or forced to remain highly underground and secretive. This turmoil became pretty much wide spread in Germany at the time.  The Jesuits who were a big part of the “Counter Reformation” regarded anything Czech as heresy! The entire countryside was literally ravaged and destroyed for these 30 years.

This is a prayer that was written by Reverend Martin Rinkert during that time.

Now thank we all our God

With hearts and hands and voices;

Who wondrous things hath done,

In whom this world rejoices.

Who, from our mother’s arms,

Hath led us on our way,

With countless gifts of love,

And still is ours today.

 

In the midst of much suffering, tormenting, death, and injustice the few and faithful weathered the dark times.  Surprisingly a contingent of brethren stayed strong and secretive in Moravia.  They remained hidden from 1620 to 1722 and were able to pass on their love for Jesus and His Word from generation to generation.  in 1722 the Unity of Brethren were referred to Count Zinzendorf of Saxony for protection.  Zinzendorf had a heart for the poor and persecuted and wanted to use his large estate to establish a Christian community.  It is here that the Moravian Revival broke out!  But I would like to stop for now and follow up next time with more on Count Zinzendorf.

* Next Count Zinzendorf

•••Let us be forever thankful that we have not had to witness this kind of religious chaos in the United States.  This encourages me that in the hard times it is still worth it all to hold on to what is true and to pass it on, even when everything else is shaking.  Are you willing to fight for the Truth?  I’m not saying attacking physically is the way to do it…but are you willing to fight spiritually for the Truth in America?  It seems like the enemy has not been able to straight on attack the Church in America but he has made some huge power shifts in our culture and spheres of influence which in turn has been brought into the Church by our own free will and compromise.  I believe that the LORD is calling us to a higher level of spiritual warfare and it starts with you and me!  Let’s get back to intimacy with Jesus and from there we can go out and take back spiritual ground.

 

 

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IF YOU MISSED THE FIRST PARTS OF THIS SERIES CLICK HERE

Upon the execution of John Hus in 1415, a revolution against the Roman Church and government broke out, which led to an all out war.  There was an uprising of those in favor of reform in the Church known as Hussite’s (aka Wycliffites) that defended the teachings of John Hus following his martyrdom.  Those in favor wrote Roman authorities accusing the Council for ill practices only to receive a letter back stating to attack all of Hus’ followers.

Things escalated rather quickly and attack did break out across the Bohemian and Moravian land. By 1420 the Roman authorities had actually organized an anti-hussite crusade, to fully wipe out all Wycliffites, Hussites, and “heretics” as previously promised.

By this time there was a conservative fraction of Hussites, known as the Utraquist that focused on the Eucharist and how it was administered.  And there was the “radicals” or Taborites that esteemed the divine law (the Bible) to be the rule and standard for society as well as in the religious and political spheres.

These main camps of hussites joined together resulting in great military feats.  The hussites (in the broader definition) had four main decrees that they demanded from the Roman Church:

 

1. The word of God shall be preached and made known in the kingdom of Bohemia freely and in an orderly manner by the priests of the Lord.

2. The sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist shall be freely administered in the two kinds, which are bread and wine, to all the faithful in Christ who are not precluded by mortal sin – according to the word and disposition of Our Saviour.

3. The secular power over riches and worldly goods which the clergy possesses in contradiction to Christ’s precept, to the prejudice of its office and to the detriment of the secular arm, shall be taken and withdrawn from it, and the clergy itself shall be brought back to the evangelical rule and an apostolic life such as that which Christ and his apostles led.

4. All mortal sins, and in particular all public and other disorders, which are contrary to God’s law shall in every rank of life be duly and judiciously prohibited and destroyed by those whose office it is

 

However, the “mess” of reformation continued as the Church declined these requests.  The hussites, mainly under class man, held their own against a total of 3 crusades that the Roman authority brought against them.  The stumbling block to their victories was the bickering, bashing, and wild fire that broke out between the sects mainly due to their theological differences.  This disjointing caused a civil war between the two camps, ending with the Taborites beating out the Utraquists resulting in a temporary truce.

The hussites continued in victory against all attacks up to the Council of Basel in 1433.  Peace treaties were negotiated but nothing landed until the Utraquists eventually made a deal or “compact” (which was later voided) with the Roman Church allowing them to attain some of their goals while remaining under the Roman rule.  By 1434 the Utraquists along with Roman authorities attacked the Taborites and   came close to annihilating them.  This time many of the “radicals” either joined the Utraquists or went underground being apart of the Unity of Brethren, which was independently formed in 1457.

 

* NEXT the Unity of Brethren

•••

In no way do I think this approach was done perfectly or that every person had good intentions.  But I wonder where we would be today with out this revolution.  What would cause so many believers to literally fight for the Word of God to be preached and made known to all?  Yes, it got messy, political, and selfish…but I believe that there were many men who believed that the Word of God was the only thing that was going to bring true freedom to the Church of their day.  These men had seen and heard the Truth for themselves and they could no longer live under a religious system that distorted it for profit and gain.

Now, today we can read the Bible when and where we want, but do we spiritually fight for these truths revealed in His Word that lead us into the experiential knowledge of God?  Is it worth fighting for everyday to read and mediate on with the guiding of Holy Spirit or is it better left alone on the shelf collecting dust?  It is sad to see that so many believers in our day have written off the Bible as an historic document or simply poetic imagery.  The Bible is the very word of God and is not something to be taken lightly!  I see too many people picking apart the Word and using its substance for a food fight instead of actually eating the Word and allowing it to cause growth, strength,  and maturity in ones spirit.  I am not putting the Bible above the Holy Trinity but I believe that the Body of Christ needs a renewed spiritual tenacity to fight for and seek out the unending worth found in the Bible.

1“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
2“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
3“Incline your ear and come to Me
Listen, that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David.

Isaiah 55:1-3

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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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I am starting a new series called, the Moravian Move, it will be several posts that are all related to the Moravian Revival I will be putting up other stuff as well in the midst of this series, but I wanted to give you a heads up on my latest research.

As far as I can tell, John Wycliffe’s (a forerunner in the reformation) teachings heavily influenced John Hus, who was burned at the stake for his beliefs that opposed the “organized” Church of his day.  The martyrdom of Hus, caused his “supporters” heavy persecution, causing them to unite together as the Czech Brethren and then later on becoming the Moravians.  Almost 100 years after the death of Hus, Martin Luther, nailed his 95 theses into a church door, which catapulted the Reformation, as we know it.  After centuries of persecution among the Moravians and having to flee to Germany, a man by the name of Count Zinzendorf offered them refuge on his estate.  The property was called Hernut, “the Lord’s Watch” and it was here that the Pentecostal like revival broke out.  In 1727 The Moravian Revival was described by John Greenfield in his book, “Power from on High”, as,

“No one present could tell exactly what happened on that Wednesday morning, 13 August 1727 at the specially called Communion service. They hardly knew if they had been on earth or in heaven”.

It was from this revival that Revivalist such as Charles and John Wesley were impacted, as well as many others.  This revival launched a 24/7-prayer movement that lasted 100 years!

Part 1: John Wycliffe

Part 2: John Hus-“Goose”

Part 3: Revolution and Reformation

Part 4: Unity of Brethren

Part 5: Count Zinzendorf

Part 6: The Moravian Revival

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