Ladies and Gentlemen,
From Jesus Christ a new world of salvation could be established. That is the history of Christianity. It went through the same course as Jesus. Whenever Christianity went to a strange country for the first time, the men and women who went with it had to undergo difficulties and shed their blood. Those who died undertook such suffering in order to be separated from the world and from Satan. They stood in the position where they could receive God's love and make themselves a sacrifice for others. If they had wanted to curse those who killed them, there could have been no providence for restoration. They had to pray for those who killed them. Without that kind of mind Christianity couldn't proceed in the manner it did. Those things occurred because God had the intention to forgive Adam and Eve after they fell, if only an unfallen brother and sister would have come out to console God's painful mind, think of the pain of their fallen brother and sister, and sacrifice themselves for the sake of the other.
All through human history, offerings have been sustaining the providence of God. In the Old Testament Age they made the offering of animals, but in the New Testament Age, Jesus Christ himself was in the place of the offering. Jesus was the "substantial offering," who labored hard in utter obedience to God and sacrificed himself. So, in that situation, all humankind had to be united into one with Jesus and, by placing themselves in the position of Jesus, had to go through the offering. If, in his career in God's providence, Jesus had succeeded in saving all humankind both spiritually and physically, then we could have been saved on both levels too; but he left salvation in the physical realm unaccomplished and accomplished salvation only in the spiritual realm. Since we are with him, it means we have realized salvation only in the spiritual realm.
By the crucifixion Jesus lost his base in the physical world -- his physical body. So the purpose of Christianity is also to restore that lost physical body of Jesus. But Christianity cannot realize this goal without restoring the land, the people and the sovereignty. Christians have to stand in the position where they can fulfill the providence of sacrifice on the levels of society, nation and world. In other words, Christians have to resolve to offer themselves as sacrifices.
After Jesus' crucifixion and glorious resurrection, the Christian church spread throughout Asia Minor. The principal thrust was toward Rome. Rome was the target because at that time Rome was "the world." For the world to be saved Rome had to be conquered by the army of Jesus Christ. But this was an impossible battle, an inconceivable goal. The Roman Empire appeared as an impregnable fortress not subject to conquest. Jesus' army was barehanded. They used no weapons, neither swords nor spears. They were armed only with their love of God and Jesus Christ. They marched fearlessly onward, in conviction and strength. They paid the price in blood and sacrifice.
There can be no stronger army than the one which does not fear death. No enemy is invincible against an army of faith. History is witness to the deeds of that army of Jesus. The Roman Empire fell at last, and Jesus conquered Rome. Roman Catholicism became the center of God's dispensation for world salvation. The Pope was in the position to become God's champion.
However, in the Middle Ages, corruption appeared in the church, and Christianity declined in spirit. Medieval church officials often were interested in their own power, their own authority, and their own welfare. The church enjoyed formidable power both politically and economically. The hierarchy preserved this power, abused this power, and forgot about God's purpose. Church leaders clung tenaciously to their positions and ruthlessly persecuted their opponents. The hierarchy claimed lineage from Jesus' disciples, yet they could not rise above their own sins. The Christian spirit in many of these men was absolutely dead.
But God had to continue forward. He is never satisfied with less than a total response. In medieval times when there was much corruption in society, people like St. Francis denied everything and retreated from the world. Instead of pursuing worldly goals he was loyal to a vision that he must revitalize the spirit of the church. He started a movement to enable Christians to give up those things which enslaved them, and gave everything toward that goal. By overcoming worldly things he could greatly advance and also lead everyone who understood his goal. However, even the Franciscan Order became a dissent-ridden organization. The church needed more profound reform, so religious revolution came. Martin Luther sparked the Protestant Reformation, and significant reformers emerged
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