Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.





2 Timothy 3:1-5But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

The History of the Falling Away Part II

In the previous lessons, we have learned that the Apostasy was already at work; yet, the Holy Spirit through the Apostles of Jesus Christ restrained it directly for a time (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Even during this time, the Apostle Paul witnessed clearly that the Apostasy would come, a falling away from the truth, brought on by false teachers and weak, unknowledgeable brethren.

This apostasy is going to take place in name, organization, worship, teaching, work, and reverence of scripture. As we look into the history of the apostasy, there are a couple of points we want to set forth up front –

  1. Historic Sources.

We want to acknowledge up front that much of recorded history is produced by the power in control of the specific times.  We would be incredibly naive to think that much of what we know is not slanted in favor of the powers that be. In this case, much of history was written by the apostate church; however, in the presentation of the birth of this apostate church, there is enough clear history to plainly share the fulfillment of the Apostle Paul’s words.

  1. Historic Periods.

We will share this information in highlights of specific periods (there are vast amounts of information over the thousands of years of history). We will point out important trends and happenings, but restrain from detail in many of the points, as massive books would be needed to record it all; however, everything is researchable in detail, if something catches your interests (just use the search engine on your internet explorer). There are also many good books written on the subject of church history. In your research, just be careful of the historic influence (where it may come from! – consider point #1).   

  1. Please Men, or God?

Universally, the importance of this series of lessons is to set forth that apostate churches and reforms of the apostate churches may do whatever their founders desire them to do, and please men; however, they will never please God!

If the church of our Lord is to be faithful, it must only do the bidding of its founder, Jesus Christ, and such will never please men in general!

Period Five:


1518 to 1648 AD

In our previous period, we notice at the end, some who began to see that “the church” (Roman Catholic), had become something so monstrous that they began to seek to reform the monstrosity.

John Wycliffe was one of these early Christians seeking to reform. For his efforts in speaking of the fallibility of the Pope, and denouncing the pride, the avarice of the Pope, he was persecuted. After receiving threats in his bed chamber at night by certain orders loyal to the Pope, he set out to complete the translation of the Bible into English. He would be continually threatened by bishops and various other enemies, and would only through sheer luck and some well-connected friends, escape with his life for a period of time.

Later in his life he would suffer from the palsy, and only after this did most of his enemies think he was below their resentment. He would pass from this life and be buried. His enemies gave his body a time in the grave, then dug his body up and burned it; having cast his ashes in water, in a symbolic removal of his name and teaching.

This and many other less known accounts (less known because they did not escape the persecution of church supporters), would set the stage for the time period we are examining right now.

The corruption and abuses of the Latin Church had long been the complaint of the best and most godly men and councils. The Papacy was secularized and changed into a selfish tyranny whose yoke became most unbearable.

Add this corruption to a general intellectual awakening in Biblical studies, and you have the cocktail for protest and change!

Important Dates:

1516-1517 AD – The publication of the Greek-Latin New Testament demonstrated the corruption of the Latin Vulgate’s text.

1517 AD – Martin Luther would post his 95 theses at the gates of Wittenberg, proclaiming his articles of protest against the Roman Catholic Church.

1517 AD – Pope Leo X would respond to the Luther theses.

1520 AD – Pope Leo X would declare Luther a heretic.

1521-1522 AD – Luther would be kidnapped and taken to Wartburg castle. Shortly after this, he would begin to translate the Bible into German (completed in 1534 AD).  

1529 AD – The term ‘Protestant’ would be used first, when the supporters of Luther formally protested against the imperial efforts to limit the spread of Lutheranism.

1530 AD – Luther founds his church.

1532 AD – Calvin begins a protestant movement in France.

1534 AD – Henry the VIII establishes himself as the head of the church and clergy in England (he is excommunicated by Pope Paul III in 1538 AD).

1536 AD – William Tyndale was burned at the stake.

1536 – 1600 AD – A steady stream of protestant activity would continue to grow in number and strength (to include the start of the Anabaptists – 1536 AD, Calvinist Reformation 1541 AD, an official church of England – 1549 AD, Puritans – 1564 AD, Presbyterian church – 1572 AD, Congregationalism – 1582 AD); likewise, the persecution of these reformers was increased by the church of Rome as well (to include the creation of the Congregation of the Inquisition – 1542 AD, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, over one hundred thousand protestants slaughtered, etc… ).

1600 – 1648 AD – This period would see similar growth in the protestant ranks (Baptists – 1605 AD, Episcopalians – 1620 AD, Separatists – 1620 AD, Quakers just after this period – 1654 AD). In addition, the inquisition would also continue where it had license (some governments began to protect and support the protestant movement). 

1611 AD – The King James Version of the Bible was published.

1607 – 1636 AD – The beginning of the founding of American colonies. This will later begin the Great Migration of people who wanted the ability to be free to attain to the church of the New Testament without government involvement.   

1646 AD – Presbyterianism was established as the national religion in England by the Long Parliament. This lasted through the English Civil War and afterward during interregnum (time between reigns).

Summary – This period depicts a time of protest against a violent, evil, and void of the teaching of the word of God – Latin Church; corrupt from the top down. In addition, bibles were now in the hands of many who not had access prior (in many cases, by decree of the church itself). Protest was now inevitable.

This would not; however, stop the church from attempting to violently put this protest to rest and maintain its control.

We must accept two very important thoughts from this time period:

  1. Reform not Restore!

Although there were many valiant attempts to strive to revive the Apostolic church; in every case, instead of “Repent and do the first works” Revelation 2:5, the protests only lead to reforming an already corrupt foundation. So, in each case there would be a failure to achieve true New Testament Christianity.  

  1. Forward Movement!

Even though the attempts to reform fell, in some cases, dreadfully short of restoring the true church; we would be negligent to recognize the importance of the attempts. The beginning of the reformation was first a purely legitimate attempt to answer some of the most basic questions; “What must I do to be saved?” “How is a sinner justified before God?” “Should the scriptures be supreme over tradition?” etc… However, the priesthood being replaced with a pastoral control that fought for control with the same vehemence as the Papacy, and failed to elevate Christ, would simply reform the Latin Church into a protestant counterpart (something Luther begged his followers not to do!). 

Everything that would lead to the coming restoration of the true New Testament church would be made possible by the early sacrifices of these who protested what they could clearly see as an apostate church!

Next: “The Age of Revival