The Dark Ages: (Analogous with the Great Apostasy Jesus's early followers spoke of. - 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3) The Dark Ages was a terrible 1000 years in mankind's history when the Bible was hidden and mankind existed in spiritual darkness. It started about 300 or 400 years after Christ, and then started to be exposed and undone by sincere Bible students about 1000 years after that. It's influence persists to our day. (It has been largely exposed through the reformation movement started by men like John Calvin and William Tyndale). The dark ages was brought to birth as the church, which was created and left behind by Christ Jesus, abandoned his teachings and followed an improper desire to gain protection from, and then power over, it's enemies through an alliance with the Roman state. Rome's reason for going along with the arrangement was to gain credibility, and the faith of it's subjects. That unholy marriage of church and state brought to birth what has been called the Holy Roman Empire; and gave rise to the state church which was the predecessor of today's Catholic church. The church gained the power it sought, as hundreds of thousands were converted to Christianity at the point of a Roman sword. They were in their mind, after all, God's servants. (It seems modern radical proponents of Islam are trying to employ that same technique of conversion by force.) Many thousands were also burned alive, or put to some other horrible death, by the Church itself; using the power granted it by the state. People were killed for witchcraft, or any other offense the Church leaders deemed appropriate. Anything the church considered "a standing away" from their organization could bring death. The church created machines of torture too horrible to consider. Their purpose was a public execution, as horrible and painful and taking as long, as they could possibly make it to be. They wanted their "sheep" to serve them out of fear. They were in their own vain and unholy mind, after all, God's servants. One offense that could bring such a death was owning or even studying the Bible. The apostate Church claimed faith in the Bible, but had decided common persons were not smart enough to understand the it. They unscripturally asserted the Bible was too complicated, and that common people needed a priesthood (or anointed class) to "interpret" scripture for them.(Mat 11:25) Sadly, that thinking persists among most main stream self proclaimed "Christian" religions to this day. (The exception is of course, the group consisting of sincere Bible students who are trying to be footstep followers of Christ Jesus.) The apostate Church had deviated so far from the teachings of the Christ (as recorded in the Bible), they imagined salvation belonged to them rather than to faith in Jesus [faith built on personal knowledge of his teachings in the Bible]. (Acts 4:12) . . .Furthermore, there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved. . . [Most modern "Christian" organizations got their start in breaking away from the so called Holy Roman Church during the reformation. The reformation movement as a whole was simply the revealing of the Bible's truth to the people suffering under the imposed ignorance of the apostate church (bringing the dark ages). Much of that ignorance still persists however, in the unscriptural teachings, and elevated positions taken by the Doeg leaders of most organized forms of religion. YOU can protect yourself and become noble minded, by simply studying your own Bible. (Acts 17:11)]

The Great Apostasy: (2 Thessalonians 2:2-3) Although those dark ages of our history [which enveloped nearly all of mankind] started to be dissolved by the light of truth after about 1000 years (in about 1300 or 1400 AD), adherents of it's darkness persist to our day. Supporters of untruth try to fend off (hide from) the Bible light, while it gets brighter and brighter. Peter said that would be the case right to the end, as there would arise false teachers to undermine the clear understanding of truth left us by Christ. (2 Peter 2:1-3) We certainly see such today! That apostasy of the early church is what brought the dark ages. Without faith in God's word, being aware of all or part of this information can be terrifying. Just realizing how hurtful this old system is should be terrifying - one in four (probably much more) of those alive are starving as you read this. Knowledge of what the Bible really says however, gives hope in the face of the problems faced by mankind. A part of our difficult times includes the revealing of the enemies of truth. Those trained by the Bible realize all false teachers are really able to do, is to allow individuals who desire to do so to follow after those who spread lies. (2 Timothy 4:3) [Please consider the revealing of the Man of Lawlessness.] Most of the lies being spread toady are simply a continuation of the false teachings which brought about the dark ages some 1700 years ago. The Bible light of the reformation gives a wonderful choice (John 8:32) to all persons who wish to have a choice: They can choose to follow Bible truth, or remain trapped in the apostate lies contained in the writings and teachings dreamed up by men. If you ever have doubts, simply compare what is being taught with the Bible says. We are, each one of us, in this way witness to the accomplishment of the judgment: We witness how Christ is accomplishing the separating work throughout the earth in our day. (Matthew 25:31-34) Make no mistake: Your personal faith in the teachings of Christ Jesus can provide you life. (John 3:18 ; John 3:36 ; John 6:40 ; John 11:26) There is nothing to fear, as long as you remain a sincere student of, and remain obedient to, the teachings of Christ in God's word the Bible. Simply do your best to learn what the Bible teaches, and love will dictate you then share what you learn with your neighbors. (2 Timothy 4:1-2) Always remember though, the Bible is our only source of spiritual food. Do not be misled by the false teachings of men.

The Bible is not hard to understand (Matthew 18:2-4) nor is it hidden under a basket. (Matthew 5:14-16) Any person sharing knowledge of Bible "truth" (by simply talking with others about the Bible) is bringing light to the world (for the purpose of salvation). As the early Christians put it: "For so the Lord has commanded us, 'I have set You for a Light of nations, that You be for salvation to the end of the earth.'" (Acts 13:47 LITV) [Isa. 49:6] That opportunity to share light extends to all mankind. As you gain knowledge of the "truth" of the Bible, seek occasion to share it with others. (Matthew 10:7 ; 2 Corinthians 2:14-17) Nothing will bring you more satisfaction of life. (Acts 20:35)

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