FOUNDATIONS

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.

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST

ORIGINS OF THE FALLING AWAY –

LESSON 8

 

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 Six:

The Great Revival

1649 to 1799 AD

During this time period, we will see the birth of a New World (not in the sense of a global re-birth); but, of a new continent, undeveloped by governmentally enforced religions (although attempts would still be made and blood would still be shed in attempts to mandate religion, by both Catholic and protestant).

The movement to the New World began as a Catholic endeavor (church of Spain, then missionary services of the Latin Church), with the intent to broadcast the Catholic faith to new regions and indigenous peoples.

Not to be left out of the New World, or to be outdone by the French or Spanish, the English church, which enjoyed royal favor, sought footing in the New World and England began colonization. Along with the English church, the protestant movement began to migrate to the colonies from England, Ireland, Germany, etc…

Many of the early settlements actually began as colonies of various affiliations, gathering in commonality, such as Presbyterian, Puritan, Baptist, Quaker, etc… As some of these colonies became cities, they segregated in specific areas according to their faith.

In all of this early movement and vying for homes, land, and certain freedoms as time would move on, many new generations were born to the New World never knowing the governmental mandates of faith and censorship associated with it.

Evangelists began to speak freely concerning their understanding of the Bible (now available in virtually all languages, along with Greek and Latin taught as principle languages in all the worlds academies, bringing to the forefront the ability to verify translations). A time of refreshing began in the Americas.

Christian graces of the holy life, the tenability of scripture, and the seeking of truth began to become subjects of instruction as loudly broadcast as denominational affiliation and creeds.

In this introductory statement of the time, I do not want to paint a picture of roses and cherries; in fact, there were many thorns and pits in this awakening. What I would like to note is that a sense of religious freedom became something that individuals felt, probably for the first time, and also began to see it as an inalienable right!

Important Dates:

1653 AD: Quakers founded by George Fox.

1670 AD: William Penn and William Mead arrested for preaching in public.

1692 AD:  Twenty executed for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. In 1692, Salem Village was torn by internal disputes over ordained ministers, fear of Indian attacks, land disputes (the frontier colonies were farmers), the Puritan belief that individuals were chosen at birth for heaven or hell, the complete subservience of women to men, and the teaching that women were naturally lustful brought on a hysteria among this community that led to the execution of six men and fourteen women and the imprisonment of up to two hundred people (of which at least five died in prison).

1730-1749 AD: Considered the true years of the Great Awakening in America.

1744 AD: Methodists are founded in England in 1744 and in 1776 to 1850 the Methodists in America witnessed a tremendous growth to virtually 34% of all church members in the Americas by 1850.

1789 AD: John Carroll becomes the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States.

“Many of the British North American colonies that eventually formed the United States of America were settled in the seventeenth century by men and women, who, in the face of European persecution, refused to compromise passionately held religious convictions and fled Europe. The New England colonies, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland were conceived and established "as plantations of religion." Some settlers who arrived in these areas came for secular motives--"to catch fish" as one New Englander put it--but the great majority left Europe to worship God in the way they believed to be correct. They enthusiastically supported the efforts of their leaders to create "a city on a hill" or a "holy experiment," whose success would prove that God's plan for his churches could be successfully realized in the American wilderness. Even colonies like Virginia, which were planned as commercial ventures, were led by entrepreneurs who considered themselves "militant Protestants" and who worked diligently to promote the prosperity of the church.”- Religion and the Founding of the American Republic, Library of Congress

1791 AD: The First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The amendment prohibits the making of any law “respecting an establishment of religion,” impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

Summary: There is not enough space here concerning all that would come from this specific era (as many of the protestant born denominations, having been born in Europe and then many of their followers migrating to the Americas to flourish, would see great expansion during this period). In order to stay pithy, we sugest that you look up; Shakers, Episcopal Church, Trinity Church (Anglican), the Lutheran Church, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, the "new" Dutch Reformed Church, the French Protestant Church (Huguenots), Dutch Reformed Church, Christ Church of Philadelphia, American Evangelicalism, The Revival of Northampton, Gilbert Tennent, etc…

Contrary to modern history being taught in our schools, 75 to 80% of the entire population of the Americas attended churches, which were also being built at an unrestrained pace.  

In addition, the majority of the America’s first universities would be founded as Christian universities, producing many scholars in Greek and Latin.

Toward mid-century the newly formed colonies experienced its first major religious revival. The Great Awakening swept the English-speaking world, as religious energy vibrated between England, Wales, Scotland and the American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s. In America, the Awakening signaled the advent of an encompassing evangelicalism--the belief that the essence of religious experience was the "new birth," inspired by the preaching of the Word. It invigorated even as it divided churches.

It gave birth to a universal sense of individual liberty. It was, in fact, this sense of liberty and not independence or separation that would lead to revolution and the birth of a nation bent on protecting the liberty to seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (from the realization that these rights had been granted them by their Creator).

The colonists became intimately familiar, right down to the common man, with the Natural Rights philosophy which resonated from many of the enlightenment writers.

With the removal of governments to mandate morality in the public body, the privatization of the individual responsibility to seek His creator (Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”), and individual responsibility for forming a virtuous citizenry, became the standard of the day.

This would lead through much turmoil, doctrinal unrest, a true understanding by many for the need to restore, not reform!!!

Next: “The Birth of the Restoration