Friday, February 29, 2008

World History - Class Sixteen

– Darkest before the Dawn in Europe
– late Medieval period

“God Wills It!” was the battle cry of the First Crusade that the Roman Catholic Church sent to assault what is the “Holy Land” for three world religions; Palestine, and specifically the area of Jerusalem. A great source of information about the Crusades is Zoe Oldenbourg’s The Crusades. But, before we discuss the Crusades, I want to first explore the minds and the culture of the medieval men and women of Europe.

The majority of early Medieval Europe was completely rural with vast areas completely without towns or composed of only villages with a few hundred inhabitants or so an article by Georges Duby tells us in Social History of Western Civilization, edited by Richard M. Golden. The people in these small villages were completely involved in working fields and farms surrounding them. Even for those in the few larger, urban areas life was dominated by the seasons and by the produce of the ground. They were dependent on it for their wealth and their basic livelihood. The Roman Catholic Church ruled virtually unopposed throughout all of Europe with the exception of those small pockets of New Testament Christianity that survived amidst persecution and being hunted like wild game.

Therefore, the average medieval child was baptized as a baby, having made no profession of faith, nor even knowing what was happening to it and was immediately subject to the laws of “the Church”. Every child received a “Christian name”, usually the name of a bonafide Catholic saint. Saints for the Catholic Church were different than saints in the Bible. In the Old and New Testament all of God’s people are His saints;

“O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” Psalm 34:9

“And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.” Acts 9:32

But, in the Roman Catholic mythology, any important person in the Church or martyr or even a pagan god brought over from the old religions would become, at the order of the Pope and the Church hierarchy, a godlike entity that would bestow blessings on those who prayed to him or her from the other side of death.

Surnames (added names) were of various origins and usually had to do with kinship (Arthur Johnson), occupation (Thomas Smith), a bodily or character feature (Agnes Redhead), or church oriented (Robert Litany).

There was an extremely high infant and childhood mortality rate so that many more children died early on than survived to adulthood. Families lived close together and cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents were always near to instruct, train, and raise the individual to be useful to their small society. Christian ethics, that is, Catholic ethics,

were taught to every child of the Church and it wasn’t until the Crusades introduced some of the baser elements of Oriental morality to Europe that some of the more egregious evils of the pagan world such as pederasty returned in full force much like how many new and old habits and morals came home from World Wars I & II, Korea, and Vietnam with returning servicemen that were alien to American tradition and custom. An example would be how the average American woman viewed the use of makeup before and after the experience of World War I.

With some men taking “holy orders” and entering a monastery, a home for monks, and women entering a convent as nuns, called a “nunnery” in some early literature, sexual custom became even more confused due to the unisex isolation. So much so that in 1177, Henry, Abbot (head of a monastery) of Clairvaux wrote of France that “ancient Sodom is springing up from her ashes”, as we are told by Durant in Volume 4 of The Story of Civilization entitled The Age of Faith.

Throughout Europe, in spite of the nominal adherence to the Church’s precepts and with the lack of the “born again” experience of the Bible and a daily relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, promiscuity and sexual immorality were as common then as they are today. There were just no billboards, radios, television, or movies praising the virtues of sin.

Youth was brief and risky and marriage came early in Medieval Europe. A child of seven could consent to a betrothal, a commitment to marry, and engagements such as this were often made to protect the inheritance of property. One example that Durant gives us is a little girl named Grace de Saleby, who was married to a rich noble at age 4 who then died. At age 6 she was married to another who also died, and at age 11 she was married to a third. The union could be annulled at any time before the child was old enough to consummate the marriage, which for girls was usually 12 and for boys, 14. The consent of the parents was not necessary according to the Church (when I use a capital “C” I am referring to the Roman Catholic Church) if the children were of the age of consent which at times could have been 15 for girls. Marriage was often an economic necessity, a partnership designed to protect money or the rights to land. Not only the engagement but the wedding itself, the word coming from the Anglo-Saxon weddian, or promise, also being a pledge, was in many instances a financial relationship. Both state and church acknowledged a consummated union accompanied by a verbal pledge as a marriage even without a legal or ecclesiastical (church) ceremony.

It wasn’t until the Council of Trent in 1563, the great act of counter-reformation against Protestantism and the Anabaptist sects, that a priest was required to be present. Marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person was forbidden although marriages between Christians and Jews were not uncommon. The Church permitted separation for adultery or cruelty and this was called by the Latin divortium. But, not until Pope Innocent III refused to grant a divorce to Philip Augustus, the King of France, was the Church powerful enough in the realm of marriage to forbid local customs regarding actual


divorce and remarriage. This will be an important matter when we get to the era of the Reformation in England.

Church beliefs were harsh on women. While many Church dictates made her not much more than a possession, other Catholic principles improved her status. To priests and theologians, much like the ancient Greeks, a woman was a “necessary evil”, a type of Eve who was accused of bringing man down and according to Thomas Aquinas, a famous Catholic theologian, still Satan’s preferred method of leading men to Hell. Civil law in the Medieval period was even harsher than Church law for women, although some pagan cultures had given women more of a legal standing than during the age of the Church. Women could be beaten by their husbands, often could not give testimony in court, and a person was fined only half of what was expected for a crime against a man if a woman was the victim. Still, the Medieval Catholic mind was split on its opinion of women. Men worshipped her as a goddess in that they prayed to Mary, the Catholic incarnation of Ishtar not the simple but obedient Jewish maiden of the Bible, and yet spoke of the ideal woman as an obedient servant even while dreaming of her as a goddess. Knights fought over a lady’s handkerchief and poets’ wrote of woman’s virtue while monks tried to convince themselves of her inferiority.

There were, however, many noteworthy women in Medieval Europe. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Galla Placidia, Theodora, Irene, Anna Comnena, Heloise, etc. were famous in their time and after that.

Generally speaking, life in Medieval Europe was bleak, without much comfort, and very short. The home was simple, often with few windows, protected by wooden shutters, and heated by one or more fireplaces. Drafts came through many cracks in the walls. It was not uncommon to wear warm hats and fur indoors in the winter. Furniture, although often well made, was also rare in the home. Chairs were few and low backed and carpets were unusual before the 13th century. Usually a floor was strewn with rushes or straw and the common house would have smelled very bad by our standards today. Thick tapestries might be hung from a wall to cover a draft if the people were not among the most poor.

Cleanliness was not considered important and the early Roman Catholic disdain for the pagan baths of ancient Rome discounted their use or the care of the body at all as being carnal and worldly. Modern handkerchiefs were unknown as sleeves were used. The common person rarely, if ever, submersed him or herself in a bath. However, the people of the cities began to see public baths in the 12th century and it is said that Parisians of that century bathed more frequently than they did in the 20th. Another result of the Crusades was the public steam bath being introduced into Europe from the Middle East. Monasteries, feudal castles, and the homes of the wealthy had latrines that emptied into cesspools but the common man used an outhouse, many of which served more than one family. Chamber pots were unceremoniously dumped into the streets, sometimes from upstairs windows, and often with unpleasant effects for pedestrians walking below.


The poor slept on beds of straw and all the sexes shared the same room, parents and children, as well.

As for entertainment, the rich might have jugglers, clowns, or musicians at a party. Playing cards were still unknown, gambling was sometimes forbidden by law, and sometimes not. Chess was even forbidden in France by Louis IX (9th) in 1254. Dancing, while being condemned by the clergy, was practiced by all classes. Sports revolved around practicing martial arts or hunting, for the most part. Tournaments of knightly, martial sports such as jousting and swordplay developed throughout the Medieval period. One of the more interesting books on that specific subject is called Tournaments, by Richard Barber and Juliet Barker.

So, this is a small bit of what life was like for the average person in Medieval Europe and it was only a little better for the wealthier. The Church dominated the thought life of medieval persons and plain survival from day to day occupied their actions. Comfort and personal hygiene were very rare commodities and not much regarded as important.

While historians credit Pope Urban II and Raymond of Saint-Gilles, the Count of Toulouse, with starting the First Crusade to take over the Holy Land from the Muslims for the Church, popular opinion credits Peter the Hermit. Supposedly, Jesus Christ appeared to him in a dream, giving him a letter addressed to the pope. He took the letter, which he himself obviously wrote, as the real Lord Jesus Christ has never called us to war in the flesh (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), and read it to the pope. A holy war was called, the Christian version of the Muslim Jihad, a Crusade, to “deliver” Jerusalem from the infidel. So, here we have an unregenerate medieval Pope answering a demonic vision and a forged letter to attack another group of unregenerate sinners in order to take something from them that belonged to neither, the city of Jerusalem. It is true that the Muslims were in control of the city of David politically but Jews and Christians of various stripes and persuasions did live there, usually peacefully, as well.

Peter the Hermit was apparently quite a preacher and very impressive in his behavior and his apparent holiness. He was sent as an ambassador to the Muslims and even impressed them with his piety. He also did the same with the emperor at Constantinople. Like many other wandering preachers of his day who had a large following, and there were many, just as today, celebrity Christians who could mesmerize a crowd with their oratory even if they were fakes, exhibitionists, or madmen, he was quite popular. His reputation was so great that the idea of a Crusade was accepted throughout Europe. Unlike many others loyal to the Church, Peter was even on friendly terms with the Jews of France, who sometimes supported his efforts.

As Peter’s followers, both common and knights and soldiers, gathered they moved eastward, acquiring an unsavory reputation for lawlessness and murderous behavior. Pitched battles broke out in Hungary and Belgrade had to be evacuated. Finally, after four

months the motley “army” reached Constantinople with Peter leading his ragtag band of perhaps 50,000 singing psalms and carrying banners of the cross. Several thousand Jews perished in Germany as anti-Semites whipped up the mobs to a frenzy of hatred for the “Christ killers” as they were called. Hunger, accidents, fighting, and disease killed many of his followers but many more joined them in the lands through which they passed. What they needed at Constantinople were boats to cross the Bosporus. Their “army” consisted not only of pious men like Peter the Hermit but the Jew killer Emich of Leisingen and Volkamar who had unleashed their soldiers to kill Jews and Christians along the way. There were also honorable men like Walter Sans-Avoir, the Count of Tubingen, and Walter of Teck who lent an air of bravery and decency to the Crusaders.

The Emperor, Alexius Comnenus received Peter the Hermit and treated him with great respect but advised him to wait for the arrival of better armed troops. Before long, bands of Crusaders were burning and looting towns around Constantinople itself. The emperor finally gave them their boats just to get rid of what the Greeks called a rabble, told them to keep close to the shore, and promised to see them supplied with food. The barons of Europe were to be following with genuine armies and it was suggested that they wait for them but Peter insisted on pressing on. Christian villagers were slaughtered along the way and the emperor’s daughter, Anna Comnenus, leaves an account of children being spitted and roasted alive. One group of Crusaders did manage to take the Turkish castle of Xerigordon before the Turks slaughtered them to a man.

Peter the Hermit was losing control of his army. He went to Constantinople to try to persuade the emperor to provide military protection for his “army”. While he was away a Turkish sultan, Kilij Arslan, attacked the Crusader camp and killed all but about 3,000 people. This effort, today called, “the People’s Crusade”, was now over. Peter the Hermit and the survivors waited now for the arrival of the Barons of Catholic Europe to arrive. Eventually, several thousand knights under Raymond of Saint-Gilles, Godfrey of Bouillion, and Robert of Normandy, along with the Counts of Blois and Flanders, and Bohemond arrived. Anna Comnena estimated that there were 12,000 knights and 70,000 foot soldiers in this army that comprised the true First Crusade.

The European referred to all of the Muslim forces in the Middle East as “Turks” and “Saracens”. The Seljuk Turks were a dynasty and part of the larger Oghuz Turks that moved out of Central Asia to be a major force in the Middle East from the 11th to the 14th centuries. The term “Saracen” from the Greek word Sarakenoi and the Arabic Sharqiyyin, meaning “easterners” eventually came to be applied to all Arab Muslims. In Catholic writings it was said to mean those descended from Hagar, not from Sarah, as in Ishmael.

The Muslim forces in the Holy Land were not united. This was their great weakness. In the beginning, Crusaders from Western Europe and the Greek empire, still called Rome by the Muslims, being formerly the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, worked together with great success. But, after the capture of Nicea, where the Turks insisted on negotiating with the Greek general, considering the “King of Roum” to be the leader of

all Christians there was a rift. Nicea once again belonged to Byzantium and all the European Crusaders could do was to move on. The Crusaders had been forced to swear allegiance to the Emperor to pass through his lands and all did so again for political reasons other than Tancred, Bohemond’s nephew. Again, the Greeks and the Latins, as the Europeans were called, agreed to work together. Alexius, the emperor, though, was using this force of what he thought of as barbarians to help him regain the territory his empire had lost to the Muslims.

The siege of Antioch lasted for seven and a half months, and in 1098, it was taken, and after that the Crusaders themselves were besieged in it so that they could not resume their march to Jerusalem until January of 1099. In spite of theses setbacks, the morale of the knights was unwaivering, for the most part, with some exceptions. The effort at this Crusade was seen by some as a way to show love and devotion to Jesus Christ and to earn their way to Heaven and by others as an opportunity for glory, riches, and conquest and by all, perhaps, a combination of these things. Once the Crusaders had taken Antioch and the head of the commander Yaghi-Siyan was presented to them, they were besieged by the relief force under the governor of Mosul, Kerbogha. The Crusaders were nearly beaten in this siege but a vision of the lance that pierced Christ’s side and the discovery of a piece of metal which a visionary named Peter Bartholomew claimed was that very lance head turned the tide. Even Muslim historians attributed the Crusader’s victory to the discovery of this piece of metal that was used as a holy relic and a sign. Rallying, they left the city and attacked the besieging forces and defeated them.

The Muslims generally called the Crusaders, “Franks”, or in Arabic, Firenj, for the dominate group, the French. The Germanic tribe that had settled in the area of France centuries before and dominated it were the Franks and the French retained this name during the Crusades.

The siege of Jerusalem lasted for a month and a day after which the Crusaders massacred the inhabitants in what historians consider to be one of the great war crimes of history. There is no explanation for it, as it served no military purpose. Rabid fanaticism, bloodlust, and mob frenzy have all been given as the cause. In any event, on July 15 and 16 of 1099 the Pope’s Army, and I will quote directly from Oldenbourg; “scoured the streets and alleys, gardens and courtyards, breaking down doors of houses and mosques and killing, killing all who fell in their path, no longer the soldiers, who had been killed first, but civilians, men, women, children, and old people.”

The Jews were shut up in their synagogue which was then set on fire. The entire Jewish community of Jerusalem died there. In the Al Aqsa Mosque and surrounding areas, thousands of Muslims were killed. Both Catholic and Muslim historians agree that the entire population was massacred, exterminated; Christian, Jew, and Muslim alike. Forty thousand people, at least, were slaughtered. On a side note, by way of observation from a point of view of being a Bible believer, this is the result of an ecclesiastical organization calling itself a church attempting to bring in the Kingdom of Heaven by armed force

without the King, remembering that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthains 10:4). As one modern preacher, Dr. Peter Ruckman has put it, “kingdom builders are bloody killers”.

Jerusalem was considered the third holiest city in Islam, next to Mecca and Medina. It was a place where it was believed in Islamic mythology that Muhammad ascended to Heaven from there to visit during a special event in his life called the Miraj. The city was called al-Quds or the Holy. The fall of Jerusalem was therefore a great triumph for Roman Catholic Christianity over Islam. It was a symbolic rather than a strategic victory. The two Muslim empires centered at Baghdad and Cairo had viewed Palestine as the frontier dividing them. Half the population was Christian and the loss of Jerusalem had more of a spiritual importance than a military one. The one thing that shocked the Persian and Egyptian centers of Islamic power the most was that, unlike the Greek Christians, the Latin Christians were extremely religiously intolerant.

Godfrey of Boullion was elected King of Jerusalem. He was a man of great and noble character and became a legend for his piety and religious devotion. On the other hand he was calculating, ambitious, and jealous of his authority. However, this characterization must be viewed from Catholic eyes. From the perspective of the New Testament it must be remembered that he is given much of the credit for the massacre at Jerusalem, as well. He refused the title of King but accepted a more righteous sounding title of “Advocate of the Holy Sepulcher”. Over the brief period of time that the Crusaders ruled a Frankish kingdom in Syria many of the knights became orientalized, some even adopting eastern dress and traditions. There was war between Crusader cities and alliance with Muslims against other Crusaders and Muslims. The politics were complicated and intertwined.

Although the Crusades were a military failure in that the last Frankish kingdoms fell to the Mamelukes, slave soldiers of Egypt, in 1291 they had a lasting effect on European culture and civilization. Literature and popular music were full of tales of this heroic but doomed enterprise for centuries. A great many cultural fashions and scientific advancements entered Europe due to the Crusades.

Many notable heroic figures on both sides were created by the Crusades which still intrigue our collective memories. There was Richard the Lion Hearted, King of England, and Saladin, the Kurdish Muslim general who retook Jerusalem and later signed a peace treaty with King Richard. The Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem itself survived for 88 years and saw 8 kings. One of the greatest was a leper, Baldwin IV, who, if he had not been so ill, it is believed, would have changed history by keeping a firm grip on the holy city against Saladin. It is also believed that if the Crusaders had held on until Saladin’s death, six months after his treaty with Richard, they would have remained in power for perhaps many more decades before the Ottoman Turks, who we will discuss later, came to power.


There were many attempts at Crusade but three important ones. Some of the more pathetic efforts were the first “People’s Crusade” already mentioned and the “Children’s Crusade”, a terrible tragedy in itself. In 1212 a shepherd boy, near Chartres, France had a vision in which he insisted that Christ told him to gather all the children of Europe and walk down to the Mediterranean Sea, where God would dry it up like He did the Red Sea for Moses and “let the children seek for the holy cross”. An army of 13,000 of these waifs between 8 and 17 years old reached Marseilles, France from the Pyrenees, Brittany, and Germany. Since the sea did not dry up they went through the Alps to Genoa, Italy where their number was reduced from 13,000 to about 7,000. In the end, they were deceived into boarding ships for North Africa where the ones who weren’t drowned in shipwrecks were sold in the Muslim world for slaves.

The so called Fourth Crusade which occurred between 1200 and 1204 merely resulted in Constantinople being captured and since, Catholics were so in awe of relics, not only did the Crusaders slaughter a great many citizens of the city they brought back such important items as the head of St. Stephen, a thorn from the crown of thorns that was forced onto Christ’s head, the Lord’s towel with which He girded Himself with in John 13, one of John the Baptist’s arms, and the finger of Thomas that was thrust in Christ’s side (John 20:27). Along with these other phony relics they stole the head of James the Just, a tear that Christ shed, and some of His actual blood that was shed on the cross. Gullible people have been present in all ages. Frederick II led the Crusade which spoiled the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. The last effort at Crusade was under Louis IX of France and it, too, was a monumental flop. The final stand of the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitalers at Antioch can be found in Harold Lamb’s Iron Men and Saints . The siege of Acre in 1291, the last Catholic stronghold in the Holy Land, is best described in a book entitled The Flame of Islam.

Many thousands of Catholic civilians; men, women, and children wound up as either slaves or corpses on the way to glory. Like Islam, Latin Roman Catholicism holds a belief that it is destined to conquer the world and that the world is rightfully its possession, promised by God. The rider on the white horse of Revelation 6, which most evangelicals regard as the anti-Christ, has traditionally been viewed in Roman Christianity as Christ Himself spreading the gospel over the earth by conquest through the Church, although few would put it in exactly those terms after the Reformation.

A product of the Crusades were military orders such as the Knights Templar, Knights of St. John, and Knights Hospitaller. The Knights Templar make an interesting topic of independent study themselves and are the subject of a great many conspiracy theories having to do with the formation of semi-secretive societies such as the Freemasons. However, the Knights Templars were destroyed by a King Philip of France in 1307, probably in an attempt to take over the great wealth the order had made from banking and plunder. One story that comes down to us is that their ships which terrorized the Eastern Meditteranean Sea carried a red cross on the sails which was called the “pretty red” or “jolie rouge” in French. Some writers say that this has come down to us as the Pirates’

Jolly Roger flag of a skull and crossbones in various forms that struck fear in the hearts of merchant ships so many years later.

Who were these knights? The economic and the political system of Medieval Europe was based on Feudalism. This was a system by which the warrior nobility had certain obligations to those above them in rank as their “lord” with the lower ranked person a “vassal” or servant all revolving around inheritable land called a fief or a fiefdom. The Knight in History by Frances Gies is an interesting sourcebook on the Medieval Knight. A knight, originally, was a person without great status who was raised above the common peasant by his ability to own an expensive suit of armor and a horse. Slowly, he became part of the nobility. Although they remained the lowest rank of the upper class being knighted became prized by nobility and even by royalty themselves.

The title of “Sir” along with the wearing of plate armor which we often associate with a knight came late. Chain mail was the dominant form of personal armor for most of the knight’s effective military usefulness. In England and America the appeal of the knight is based mostly on the popularity of the King Arthur legend which is most famous in its literary representation in such works as Thomas Malory’s 15th century work, Le Morte D’Arthur or The Death of Arthur. Although his work and others are based on the historical Briton warlord who fought against the Germanic invasions of the 5th and 6th century, after that it is pure invention, literary fiction, legend, and myth. Still, the Arthurian legend is a powerful messianic myth in western literature and is the yardstick by which all concepts of knighthood are measured. Arthur defeated the pagan enemies of his people, died, and will one day return to lead his people again in truth and righteous judgment. That is the essence of the myth. All people are looking for a messiah, most often the wrong one.

Another word that reverbrates in the history of the knight is “chivalry”. This is an ideal more than something that was practiced in fact. Medieval romantics had written about the knight being the sword arm of society, purposed to do right and seek justice, with a tradition going back to the Romans and then further back to the Bible, including King David and Judas Maccabeus as part of the knightly circle. However, it is clear that the concept of knight is a medieval invention. Rome had a class of “knights”, called equites or horsemen which were originally the cavalry wing of the Roman army and the source of its officers but during the period of the Republic they became politicians. This Roman equestrian order has no real connection to the medieval knight except in the mind of some historians and a few romantic novelists.

The medieval knight was first and foremost a soldier, as identified from the Latin term for him, miles, and the Anglo-Saxon cniht. He was always mounted; in most languages the words that replaced the Latin miles denoted horseman. There is the French chevalier, German ritter, Italian cavaliere, and Spanish caballero. Militarily the knight was an armored cavalryman devoted to his “lord” and to the Church, which controlled all aspects of medieval society on the surface, at least. The knight was a “soldier of Christ”, which

meant a soldier of the Roman Catholic Church, an idea first put forth by Pope Gregory VII. Under Church direction and approval the economic reason for many landless knights taking part in the Crusades was the prospect of acquiring estates, fiefdoms if you will, in the East, a pleasing payoff for fighting the enemies of God, or rather, his earthly representative, the Pope. As with the introduction of the stirrup to Europe, the cavalryman became a more effective warrior, with the approval and authority of the Pope, his actions became “spiritually” effective in the Church’s propagation of the kingdom of Heaven, not by the word of God but by the sharp edge of a sword or the point of a lance.

Chivalry was originally a warrior code and was later appropriated by the Church to include the duty of protecting and defending it from all comers. The medieval knights were first and foremost the armed wing of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope, our modern romantic notions aside. Chivalry might be another possible topic for your independent study.

Now, turning to the strain of Christians who did not represent worldly power but the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and His written word. Throughout Christian history, from the first and second century and beyond there were Christians who did not pursue worldly (temporal) power, who did not acknowledge the authority of any Pope or The Church, and adhered to a belief in salvation by grace through faith, and the authority of the written word of God, often in the form of the Old Latin or Vetus Latina Bible (not Jerome’s Latin Vulgate). How these various groups became merged into the Reformation churches is the subject of a later class. Some of the strongholds of these groups of New Testament Christians called heretics by The Church and treated as criminals were Ireland and Scotland before the Norman conquest, the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, Southern France, and various pockets throughout Europe.

Much of the information about these groups comes from their great enemy, Rome. The names they are given such as Donatists, Paulicians, Bogomils, Waldensians, Albigensians as well as any description of their practices are often dependent upon the bigotry of Roman Catholic writers and historians. It is hardly fair to call them all dissenters as they existed before there was ever any such thing as a Roman Catholic but it is fair to call them a minority that was hunted and scourged at least until the Reformation and sometimes beyond.

A conservative estimate of the number of non-Catholic Christians killed by the Church, based on various sources would be about 2,500,000 during the Medieval period making the Rome of the Popes a far more effective martyr making machine than pagan Rome. Some historians have claimed 5 million and some extreme writers have claimed 50 million. None of this is independantly verifiable. John Dowling’s 19th century work, An Introduction to the Critical Study of Ecclesiastical History, quoted in Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, claims that 1,000,000 Waldensians alone were martyred in France, others claim 36,000 Christians in Holland, 150,000 put to death by the Spanish

inquisition, and another 900,000 killed in various crusades such as the Albigensian Crusades where non-Catholic Christians to which were ascribed by Catholic writers all sorts of grossly heretical beliefs were slaughtered.

Remembering the New Testament admonitions of the Lord Jesus Christ and writers such as Paul and understanding that no true follower of Christ would kill anyone for their beliefs even if in direct opposition to the gospel because the weapons of our warfare are not carnal or of the flesh, we can read a number of historical works that describe the slaughter of the Cathar sect of the French region of Languedoc in the Albigensian Crusades. One excellent work on this crusade is called The Yellow Cross by Rene’ Weiss. There are many others. The reason the Cathars were called Alibigensians by the Church was due to their strong affiliation with the town of Albi. When you read the descriptions of the practices and beliefs of these Christians, all often labeled “Anabaptists” for their rebaptizing of believing adults, try to picture what would happen if the state church of today were to decide that Independent Baptist or Assemblies of God churches’ practices were heretical and that belief in eternal security or speaking in tongues needed to be exterminated. Imagine what the propaganda would say that would be spread in the newspapers to justify the actions of the state church. We, here, are all united by our belief in salvation by grace through faith and the authority of scriptures, regardless of our differing forms of worship. We are united by our belief. We do not accept the authority of any Pope or any ecclesiastical organization calling itself a church particularly if it denies our freedom to worship as we feel directed by God and the Bible. We have that right in this country right now. There are no greater freedoms than the freedom of religion and of conscience allowed for by our Constitution and these should be held onto for the cherished principles they are. These Cathars and countless others were not afforded such a right. Be very thankful for the country in which you live. Just holding up a Bible and proclaiming Christ in downtown Baghdad can get you the same treatment, even under American military authority, that the Cathars received from the state church in the 13th century as Islam is the state religion of Iraq by their own constitutional dictates..

Anabaptist preachers like the French Olivetan, would go on to produce some of the greatest true Bibles of the Reformation such as Olivetan’s French Bible and Diodati’s Italian Bible and inspire the former Catholic’s Reina and Valera to produce the true Bible in Spanish, called the Reina-Valera, all in the 1500’s and 1600’s. But that is for a future class.
The Waldensians were another group of Anabaptists or Re-baptizers as the Church called them. There are many historical differences of opinion concerning the origin of the Waldensians or Valdenses. The Roman Catholic Church claims either that they derived their name, organization and beliefs from Peter (Valdo) of Lyons in France, or early historians say that they pre-dated Peter who probably acquired the name Valdo from his connection with the Valdese because that’s how many people obtained their last name in those days; after their occupation or location. These people were known as Vaudois and Valdenses in ancient writings pre-dating Valdo. Peter and his followers were first known
as the Poor Men of Lyons, who were expelled from that city in the 1180s before they joined with the valley men of the Cottian Alps in northern Italy. Volumes have been written on both sides of this question and few agree. I believe that it is most likely that the French word for valley, vaux, gave rise to the nickname Vaudois, while the Italian vallis, likewise created Vallenses or Valdesi or Valdenses, all meaning "valley-men," referring to those who lived in the near and remote reaches of those valleys of the Cottian Alps lying within the Catholic dioceses of Milan and Turin. There is a famous 19th century work on them by Alexis Muston called Israel of the Alps.
The Roman Catholic Church, who steadily persecuted them through the centuries, as I said before, maintained that the Valdenses derived their origin, name and beliefs from Peter (Valdo) of Lyons. It is more probable that the Roman Catholic authors are as mistaken in their statement of the origin of the Valdesi as in their statement of their heresies. It was not in Roman Catholic interests to admit they opposed a group which traced their history back to apostolic primitive Christianity in a purer tradition than the Roman of which, as I have pointed out, there were more than a few such groups around throughout the Middle Ages. The Valdese themselves trace their descent as a church to the time of Claude, Bishop of Turin in the ninth century. Those churches were probably the descendants-spiritual, if not lineal-of the many generations of believers in that area of northern Italy since the early days of the church. There was a line of bishops and leaders there, started by Ambrose, Bishop of Milan in the fourth century, who maintained independence from the Roman See, a reference to the authority and government of the bishop of Rome, and upheld the supremacy of Scripture in all things, including the gospel of justification by faith alone. Many of the successors of Ambrose through subsequent centuries held to the same doctrines.
Of these was Claude, "the most distinguished advocate of evangelical doctrines whom that age produced," who boldly resisted Roman innovations, "owned Jesus Christ as the sole Head of the church, attached no value to pretended meritorious works, rejected human traditions, acknowledged faith alone as securing salvation, ascribed no power to prayers made for the dead, maintained the symbolical character of the Eucharist, and above all, opposed with great energy the worship of images which he...regarded as absolute idolatry."(Muston’s Israel of the Alps). It is to this bishop the Valdenses claim their origin as a church, although spiritually, they could and often did, claim a descent as well from the evangelical groups preceding Claude, those groups led by the evangelical leaders after the time of Ambrose, and perhaps before Ambrose, back to the earliest Italian converts. Such early Christians are believed to have taken refuge from persecution in the Alps valleys where the traditional independence of these northern Italian bishoprics provided a protecting shield to those later to become known as the valley-men, the Valdenses.
The Noble Lesson (Nobla Leyczon) was the basic creed of Valdese beliefs. It dates itself within its text to the year 1100. This pre-dates Peter of Lyons, who with his followers, were chased from Lyons about 1186, when they joined the valley dwellers, the
Valdese. (Lyons is situated in southeast France, west of the Italian border and the Cottian Alps.) The Lesson mentions the Vaudois (Valdense) as being already persecuted and as having already a well-known history. J.A. Wylie’s History of Protestantism (read it online free) is another reference work I would suggest for further study. The idiom of the Nobla Leyczon is that of the valleys, the Romance language, and not that of the idiom of Lyons, a French dialect, which it would have been if Peter (Valdo) and his Poor Men had authored it according to writer Judith Collins in her brief sketch entitled Heritage of the Waldensians from which I have borrowed heavily. No mention of Peter and his followers is found in the Lesson.
The courage and perseverance of the Valdense throughout their persecutions is a tale beyond the scope of this class but R.M. Stephens The Burning Bush and Henri Arnaud’s The Glorious Recovery by the Vaudois of Their Valleys. The severest campaigns against them filled the 13th through the 17th centuries, with short periods of rest now and then. To condense their sufferings into one inadequate paragraph, the nouns deceit, trickery, broken promises, flattery, threats, robbery, pillage, slow tortures, destruction, slaughter, exile might serve for a start. The Roman Catholic persecutors ripped limbs from live victims, dashed the heads of children against the rocks, marched fathers to their deaths with the heads of their sons around their necks; parents watched their children violated and murdered. Other tortures were too disgusting to describe. Women and children were thrown off high peaks to be dashed to pieces. Valdese taking refuge in caves were suffocated by fires lit at the cave mouths. Soldiers took refuge in Valdese homes, only to rise up and slaughter their hosts upon the given signal.
In J. A. Wylie's words: “These cruelties form a scene that is unparalleled and unique in the history of at least civilized countries. There have been tragedies in which more blood was spilt, and more life sacrificed, but none in which the actors were so completely de-humanized, and the forms of suffering so monstrously disgusting, so unutterably cruel and revolting. The 'Piedmontese Massacres' in this respect stand alone. They are more fiendish than all the atrocities and murders before or since, and Leger may still advance his challenge to 'all travellers, and all who have studied the history of ancient and modern pagans, whether among the Chinese, Tartars and Turks, they ever witnessed or heard tell of such execrable perfidies and barbarities.
In a document Pastor Henri Leger carried from the Valdese to the Protestants of Europe, they wrote: “Our tears are no longer of water; they are of blood; they do not merely obscure our sight, they choke our very hearts. Our hands tremble and our heads ache by the many blows we have received. We cannot frame an epistle answerable to the intent of our minds, and the strangeness of our desolations. We pray you to excuse us, and to collect amid our groans the meaning of what we fain would utter for the love of the Scriptures.”

All through their long history these valley dwellers, the Valdese, had owned, revered, obeyed their Scriptures. It was their main distinction to hold Scripture as their supreme authority. They translated the Bible (possibly from the Hebrew and the Greek) into their vulgar tongue, the Romance language, and laboriously made many copies of this Scripture for their disciples and used the Old Latin Bible as well and this while the rest of Europe was content with the Latin of the Catholic Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. Before Wycliffe thought of putting the Bible into the English of his day, the Valdese had their vernacular Bible. They memorized great portions of Scripture. One inquisitor in 1260 tells of meeting a pastor who recited the whole of Job, and of many others who memorized the whole of the New Testament. They copied other good writings; this was one of the tasks of the Valdese Pastors in order to instruct their disciples. Old bibliographies tell of many ancient manuscripts of spiritual treatises, poems, sermons, confessions, catechisms and the like according to Muston.
“With such a love of truth in a people, we are not surprised to learn that they founded their own little college for their Pastors, who ...were required to commit to memory the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. John, the general epistles, and a part of those of St. Paul.... During two or three successive winters [they were] trained to speak in Latin, in the Romance language, and in Italian. After this they spent some years in retirement, and then were set apart to the holy ministry by the administration of the Lord's Supper and by imposition of hands. Pastors were required to take their turn as missionaries. They went out two by two, a young man and an old one. Taking to the roads as peddlers, or as artisans, or as physicians, they carried the Bible in their hearts and minds. Stopping for the night in a remote cottage in the course of their travels, they would testify of the gospel and write out Scripture portions to leave with their hosts. A light and a blessing wherever they went! Very few were married, as their manner of life, travels, poverty, and the attendant dangers often precluded family life. They traversed Italy and had stations organized in many places with thousands of secret adherents in most of the towns. And not only Italy, but Valdese missionaries spread the Gospel over the greater part of Europe.” (Collins).Valdese missionaries evangelized Bohemia before the time of John Huss. In 1142 six of them were condemned and beaten in Oxford, England, thrown out of the city in mid-winter and left to perish. In Cologne, 1332, a Pastor, named Walter Lollard, was burned at the stake. From him came the nickname "Lollard" for English followers of Wycliffe.
“High up in the impenetrable remoteness of their highest mountains stands still today the small stone building of the college of the Pastors, in a tri-level construction to fit the slope. Modern travelers today draw in breath as they gaze at the smoke-blackened walls, the tiny windows, the fireplace, and the great slabbed table-top, said to be six to seven hundred years old. It is not hard to imagine the student-barbe seated around that huge stone slab. Today on the center of the slab is an open Olivetan Bible, and thereon hangs a tale.” (Collins)

At the time of the Reformation, the Valdese heard the news of its beginning and were encouraged to join in. They initiated a translation of the whole Bible into French with the help of a cousin of John Calvin, named Robert, who received the name of Olivetan, as did his Bible, due to the great effort he went through, paid for by the Waldensians themselves.
Unfortunately, what is called the Waldensian Church today has become a member of the apostate World Council of Churches and no longer holds to the authority of the Bible but their mantle of having the Bible as their final authority passed on to the great reformers like Calvin and others he supported.

Many modern evangelical churches claim descent at some point from Jesus through the apostle John and his disciple Polycarp then eventually through the churches of the valley men, to churches in Wales, and then on to America. These claims are extremely controversial and would take much more time to trace for historical accuracy than we have here.

Two of the most notable names of “reformers” from the Middle Ages are Wycliffe and Huss. Jan Huss was a Protestant reformer born in Bohemia, now a part of the Czech Republic. The city of Prague might help you find it on the map as that city is almost in the geographical center of Bohemia. Jan Huss started a movement based on the actions of John Wycliffe in England which brought him into direct opposition to the Pope and the Church hierarchy. One of his more famous statements was his Indulgences, taken literally from the writings of Wycliffe which stated that no Christian bishop or pope had the right to take up the sword in the name of the Church but to pray for their enemies and those that would curse them. They objected to the temporal power of the Church in assigning life and death to theological issues. He was excommunicated in 1411 and burned at the stake in 1415. His followers became known as Hussites who actually followed the teachings of John Wycliffe strictly. Their cornerstone was freedom to preach the word of God.

Now, back to Wycliffe. From the 12th to the 14th century, Old English became Middle English. Our language fundamentally changed, particularly in spelling. For example, Old English cwen became Middle English queen. The narrow Germanic base of Old English began, as Middle English, to include Scandinavian, Latin, and French words. French, in particular, because Normans from France had invaded England and the royalty of England would speak French for several centuries, fighting many bloody wars over the land holdings they clung to in France and even stubbornly calling themselves kings of France. In the 13th century (1200’s) the Bible was translated into Anglo-Norman for the upper class to use. French words appearing in our traditional English Bible (KJB) have come down to us; crown, majesty, minister, prince, heir, trespass, prison, baptism, etc.


During the 14th and 15th centuries many Latin words were introduced such as antichrist, pope, priest, scribe, scorpion, conspiracy relic, idol, etc. etc. Many English words have their base in these other languages. English became a rich language, an international language and after 1450 Modern English began to appear in its purest and highest form, according to many linguists and language historians. There were many English Bibles before Wycliffe. I refer to Scott’s The Story of Our English Bible and Dore’s Old Bibles (which is actually two separate books using the same main title). According to Dore, the Lord Chancellor of England in the early 1500’s referred to the many old Bibles in English written before Wycliffe. Thomas Cranmer was said to have memorized the entire New Testament before he was burned at the stake. He penned the preface to a Bible version called the Great Bible.

John Wycliffe (spelled in many ways) lived from 1325 to 1384. He believed that a Bible written in English was as much Scripture as the originals and that translation could be inspired. He also is attributed with saying, “The clergy cry aloud that it is heresy to speak of the Holy Scriptures in English, and so they would condemn the Holy Ghost, who gave tongues to the Apostles of Christ to speak the word of God in all languages under heaven.” This is a quote attributed to him in a book he wrote in Latin by already mentioned historians. In Connolly’s The Indestructible Book he quotes Wycliffe saying that the Bible comes “from the mouth of God”. The Church did not approve of Bibles in the vernacular, that is, the language of the people, whether it be German, French, or English. Wycliffe’s belief in God’s preservation of His word angered the Catholic hierarchy. There are several great myths about Wycliffe’s work as a translator that come down to us in many traditional histories. One is that he wrote the first scriptures in English. Hasting’s Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics directs readers to numerous books documenting early English scriptures which I have told you about. Dr. Christopher De Hamel of Oxford, for 25 years the Curator of Medieval and Illuminated Manuscripts at Sotheby’s auction house in London, is quoted as stating that the earliest extant (still existing) Wycliffe Bible was obviously already copied from a previous English Bible and that he wasn’t so much translating as he was transcribing.

Wycliffe taught at Oxford for 35 years. He remained a Catholic all of his life but insisted, in opposition to Church teaching that the Bible must be available in English. He is called “the morning star of the Reformation”. I have already told you that he influenced Jan Huss and many others throughout Europe. A second myth is that Bibles in English were rare in the Medieval period. Just scanning Foxe’s Acts and Monuments can rid you of that myth. In Sir Thomas More’s A Dialogue Concerning Heresies written in 1529 he says that Bibles in English were not at all rare. De Hamel had said that quite often a Wycliffe Bible was the only book in a person’s household. Wycliffe’s followers, called Lollards, were quite common in 1300’s England. If you really want an eye opener about the numerous Bibles passed around in Wycliffe’s time read The Cambridge History of the Bible. It is clear that in spite of laws against even owning a copy of the Bible, particularly at this time, they were commonplace. Another resource would be Bibliomania in the Middle Ages by F. Somner Merryweather.


Another myth you will hear and no doubt read is that Wycliffe used only the Latin Vulgate of Jerome to translate his English Bible. Included in this myth perpetrated by Catholic scholars and Protestant scholars who idealize the Roman Catholic Church is the incorrect statement that Wycliffe had no access to manuscripts in the original languages. In Wycliffe’s work On the Truth of the Holy Scripture, translated from the Latin by Ian Christopher Levy, as published in Western Michigan University’s Medieval Institute Publications, in 2001, Wycliffe refers to having access to Hebrew and Greek manuscripts by which he “corrected” Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. The Cambridge History of the Bible quotes Wycliffe stating that many Latin Bibles were completely false and that the current English Bibles were more accurate than Jerome’s Latin Bible. The confusion comes from the statement “made from the Latin Vulgate” which was added to the front page of the 1850 printed edition of Wycliffe’s Bible, edited by Frederic Madden and Josiah Forshall. The Cambridge History of the Bible questions the reliability of this edition, at any rate.

Foxe’s Acts and Monuments credits Wycliffe as depending on the Old Latin Bibles while many others add that he had Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, as well as earlier English Bibles in front of him. After Wycliffe died the Church had many of his books burned and his bones dug up and thrown into the river Swift, he had made them so angry.

Another anti-Catholic group you should hear about are the Bogomiles, who came up from Asia Minor into Bulgaria; the chief information we have on them is from their bitterest enemies- Rome. Schaff in his History of the Christian Church allows for no origin of the Bogomiles before the tenth century, forgetting that their spiritual ancestors (the Paulicians) came from the same place back in the sixth and seventh centuries. One of their outstanding pastors was a physician (medical doctor) named Basil, who was burned at the stake by the Greek Orthodox Emperor Alexander Comnenus I. The Bogomiles may have had some heretical ideas but they did believe that the Roman Catholic “mass” was a sacrifice to devils, that the early church fathers who contradicted the Bible were false prophets, that organized Roman Catholicism was Satanic, and, above all, that they would baptize no one but an adult believer. As far as any heretical beliefs the Catholic writers had to say about them, it was common for the Church to call anyone who they didn’t like an Arian or a Manichean. Information on the Bogomiles can be obtained from Robinson’s History of Baptism and Baker’s Summary of Christian History. Most, if not all of the books I refer to can be found, if not on then by going to If you wish to purchase a book I have referred to and can’t find it, let me know and I’ll help you get it or lend you my copy once it’s returned from whomever has it. If I am referring to a work that contains a reference to another work I have mentioned I will alert you to that as well.

Every horrible torture that could be invented by the depraved nature of man was used by the Church at Rome against these dissenters and groups that had existed concurrently with Rome for centuries. In Geoffrey Abbotts’ Rack, Rope, and Red-Hot Pincers as well as Brian Innes’ The History of Torture you will find only a few of the many horrors

visited on those Christian groups who did not acknowledge the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church in all matters spiritual and temporal. Millions were killed in the period from Justinian’s Code reinforcing the primacy of the bishop of Rome in the 500’s through the Reformation. I will not describe those horrors for this class but will leave it up to you to research further. We have yet to discover the Inquisition in all of its perverse glory which we will do later.

The state of the Jew in Catholic Europe was little better than the so-called heretic. There were many violent anti-Semitic laws established in the Middle Ages and periods of 50 to 100 years of peace were interspersed with massacres and expulsions. In the Byzantine realm the Jews “enjoyed a harassed prosperity from the eighth to the twelfth century” according to Durant. In Europe itself, there were prosperous Jewish settlements in Germany by the 9th century and Jews in England by the late 600’s. Many more came with William the Conqueror and at first were protected by the ruling elite, their communities being outside of local authority and under the protection of the king. They were successful merchants and bankers and important to the ruling class, particularly. This protective barrier played a great part in the pogroms (actions against Jews including murder, confiscation of property, and exile) of the 12th century. Gaul had Jewish merchants from the time of Caesar and by 600 there were Jewish colonies in all the cities. They were, at times, persecuted mercilessly. But, they were useful to society as merchants, craftsmen, doctors, financiers, and even farmers. In spite of attacks, Jews in France knew a prosperity they would not know again after the 10th century until after the French Revolution.

Spanish Jews called themselves Sephardim and traced their origin to the tribe of Judah. After the conversion of King Recared, the Visigothic king, to Catholicism in the late 500’s life became more difficult for them. They, in turn, aided the Muslim conquest of Spain in hopes of better treatment, which, at times, did happen the way they hoped. Durant says that the main source of hostility toward the Jew may have been economic with religious differences used to cover the main reason. Two statements by the Jews at the crucifixion sealed their shoddy treatment by Roman Catholic Europe, however. John 19:15 determined what city would do its utmost to persecute them and Matthew 27:25 marked them for 2,000 years. However, no true Christian would ever hate or persecute the race of people God originally chose through which to give light to a dead world. Read John 4:22. The statement of Genesis 12:3 still applies by judging the events of history. Nations that hunted the Jew from mighty, gold loving Spain to Nazi Germany all met similar fates. That being said, the Third Council of the Lateran in 1179 forbade Christian midwives or nurses to minister to Jews. The Council of Beziers forbade the employment of Jewish doctors by Christians. The Council of Avignon in 1209 reinforced these proscriptions and added more such as ordering that “Jews and Harlots” (prostitutes) were not allowed to touch bread and fruit offered for sale. Of course, Jews and Christians were forbidden to marry and there is at least one account of someone being burned at the stake for doing so.


The Fourth Council of Lateran in 1215 ordered that Jews wear something on their clothing to distinguish themselves from Christians. This was enforced in various ways including a wheel or a circle of yellow cloth being ordered to be displayed prominently. Hitler would revive this practice. In England this was enforced in 1218. In 1219 it was enforced in France.

Several Popes, however, were friendly to the Jews; among these were Eugenius III, Alexander III, and Innocent IV, who repudiated the legend of the ritual murder of Christian children by Jews. Modern evangelical Christians, aware of God’s plan for the Jewish people as evidenced by the formation of Israel in 1948 against all odds and their miraculous protection against overwhelming odds in several wars fought against them by their neighbors plus the clear, black and white statements in Revelation and other prophetic books about their conversion and Christ directed actions in the tribulation to come, pray for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel while still acknowledging that, for an individual, the future is hopeless for anyone, Jew or Gentile, who rejects the Lord Jesus Christ.

A long series of violent assaults on the Jewish communities of Europe began in earnest in the 12th and 13th centuries. Beginning roughly when the entire Jewish population of Belitz, near Berlin was burned alive on the charge that some of them had “defiled a consecrated Host”, which is to say that they may have touched a wafer that a priest had claimed was now the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, in 1243 to Edward I of England, in 1290, ordering all Jews to leave England immediately, Jewish persecution was the order of the day.

There were several important Jewish rabbis in the Middle Ages who left their mark on Jewish thinking and culture. One of the most famous was Moses Maimonides, who, according to Ronald Isaacs’ Every Person’s Guide to Jewish Philosophy and Philosophers, was the “foremost intellectual figure in medieval Judaism”. Commonly referred to as RaMBaM (an acronym for Rabbi Moses ben Maimon), he was born in 1135 in Cordova in Muslim Spain. A persecution or pogrom in 1148 forced his family to flee to various Spanish cities. In 1159 he settled in Morocco and then later to Cairo, Egypt, where, in 1168, he wrote his commentary on the oral law that I have explained earlier. His 14 volume work was called The Commentary on the Misnah. He, like Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, believed in the existence of an incorporeal God, that is, a God without a body. He believed that God created everything but denied even the possibility that He would come to earth and live among us as well as denying the Trinity by his interpretation of God’s oneness. He also, like a New Ager, believed that evil is not a positive force but rather a negative, simply the absence of God or His goodness. Evil, to Maimonides, was the denial of good. He, like Philo earlier, allegorized many of the literal statements of the Bible. You can hear him echoed in a modern Christian teacher saying, “What it really means is this or that…” rather than, “The Bible says this or that…” Like Philo, I believe, Moses Maimonides made a connection between Greek philosophy and God’s words, which, I also believe, is a denial of God’s words.

In our next class I am going to discuss the Black Plague, the internal wars in Europe in the Medieval period, the Inquisition, literature, arts, and science in Medieval Europe, the rise of the Ottoman Turks, and the final fall of the Roman Empire in the East, called the Byzantine Empire.

This era of history is long and complex and there is no way that I would have time to include everything of importance. I am trying to give you some basics to consider, not expecting you to agree with my conclusions or to accept my basic premises. I would like you to consider the evidence of history that I put forward, do independent study, and along with reading your Bible, prayerfully seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in understanding the great conflicting forces in history.

Remember, for everything God does, Satan has a counterfeit. Not being deceived by that counterfeit is a constant spiritual battle for Christians.

World History – Class Sixteen Study Questions

1. Name the military campaigns embarked upon by Roman Catholic Europe in attempts to seize control of the Holy Land for the Pope.

2. What Middle Eastern city was called The Holy by Muslims?

3. Name at least four of the dissenting Christian groups of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge the authority of the Pope at Rome.

4. Name three important Bibles of Europe published before the King James Version, two were translated by Anabaptist preachers and one by former Roman Catholics.

5. Give another name for the Medieval Waldensians.

6. Who was “the morning star of the Reformation”?

7. Rabbi Moses ben Maimon was also know by what acronym?

Latest Reading

Back Door to War, Roosevelt Foreign Policy, 1933-1941 by Charles Callan Tansil, Henry Regnery Company, 1952.
This book is a classic. Using government archives and Congressional investigatory minutes among other sources, Tansil shows how World War 2 was largely the result of American Foreign Policy from President Wilson and the Versailles Treaty, which created Hitler, to FDR's collusion with the communists in China and with the Soviet Union. Even when Hitler and Japan offered great concessions to maintain peace with the USA, FDR deliberately propelled us down the road to war. FDR was clearly an American dictator who lied and was willing to scheme his way into history. He insisted on supporting a corrupt, incompetent and dying British Empire, lying to them to get them into war with Germany, and supported the corrupt regime of Chiang Kai-Shek in China. He was pro-Soviet Union and did everything within his power to support Stalin, as well. FDR's vision was a global government dominated by a socialist United States. Japan and Germany were the only impediments to the worldwide struggle which ensued between the inheritors of FDR's corrupt foreign policy and the USSR.
To think of how many Jews, how may American boys, and how many people in the world who would not have been brutally murdered if FDR had not supported the Versailles travesty, corrupt governments in China and the Soviet Union, and the bankrupt British Empire staggers the imagination. He was, without question, or worst President.
If you are interested in the truth of history with the villains speaking in their own words then get this book.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Exodus, chapter 25

We have seen that there is no communion with the Lord without blood (vs. 6) being shed and without the written word (vs.7). We also see Joshua as a soldier and as a minister.

1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

What is shocking here is that no one here has been quickened or ‘born again’. So Calvin was wrong because these people are obeying willingly while still in a depraved state. Free will is a Bible doctrine. The Holy Spirit isn’t said to be working on their hearts. It is their choice.

They gave their offering willingly. That’s what God wants, not some ritual commitment to your church to satisfy their imagined budget requirements. We have far too many carnal procedures in modern churches.

3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,

The order of value is gold first and brass last. Gold pictures deity, silver represents redemption, and brass represents judgment.

4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,

Blue represents heaven, purple royalty, and scarlet blood. Fine linen is the righteousness of saints in the Tribulation, see Revelation.

5 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,

Three metals, three colors, and three animals.

6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,

Oil is a type of the Holy Spirit and incense is a type of the prayers of the saints. All of these assertions will be shown throughout our study of the Bible.

7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

In this age, the Church Age, our bodies are the temple in which we worship God. This is where we worship God. The church building today is not the “house of God”. Christians are the house of God, the body of Christ.

Outside of getting together for fellowship, corporate worship, and focusing your money and energies to win souls and make disciples the church building has no purpose but as a drain on money that should be spent on Christ’s work. It may be a social club or a gymnasium and a chow hall but none of that has anything to do with Christ. Just because I am doing something and placing Christ’s name on it doesn’t mean it isn’t a waste of time.

The Hebrews here have a sanctuary with which to commune with God. If you are told today that you must go someplace to do that then whomever told you that is denying the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each believer. That man is an heretic.

The reason we have so many people coming forward to say a prayer, then getting baptized, and then disappearing is because we have lost sight of what a church is or what the church is. Brick and mortar do not make a church. The church building today has no significance unless believers are united in worship there.

My point is, do not confuse the two dispensations. The greatest downfall of Christianity is to place oneself into the Old Testament and copy all of the forms for Christians. As a result you have people thinking that the church is a building and that you have to go there to commune with God so you have the “Sunday Christians” crowd who justify every sin as long as they go to church a few times a week to “get right with God”. This is why Christians have so little influence in society.

The New Testament makes it clear that my body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost. This is where I meet God 24/7. God dwells within me. In time we’ll get to all of those verses that underscore this. In the meantime you need to be reading your Bible through over and over to let God’s word speak to you. Before you read and as you read, ask Him to speak to your heart. Rightly divide it.

2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

God is going to show Moses something that already exists in heaven or in the mind of God representing His plans or an actual place. Even the pagan Plato understood that everything in the physical world first had a spiritual counterpart.

Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

10 ¶ And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.

A cubit is a measurement we hear a lot of argument about. It may have been, and I’m not any more sure than anyone else, from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger or roughly a foot and a half. Whatever the case, when you are imagining it, be consistent and you’ll get a good idea of the size and shape of things.

The ark is a box much like a coffin.

11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.

It has gold overlaying it on the outside and the inside and it has a crown, all symbolizing deity and kingship.

12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it.

It has rings on it for carrying it.

13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.

The poles that carry it are also covered with gold.

14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.

This is the way it is to be carried. Uzzah found out later that God was serious about this.

15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.
16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.

In the middle of it on top there is the mercy seat with two cherubims, one on each side. A cherubim is a winged creature, not an angel. There is a description of a cherubim in Ezekiel, chapters 1 and 10, and there is a description in Revelation 4, but without reading the verses in Ezekiel first you’ll get confused. Angels never have wings in the Bible.

19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.

These cherubim and the mercy seat are built out of one piece of gold.

20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

The Lord God will meet with them at the mercy seat. God is a spirit so they wouldn’t see Him. Today, since Christ’s resurrection, we meet with God inside us. We have God’s spirit indwelling us and we have no need of going somewhere to commune with God. Just drop to your knees and pray to God right where you are. You are never far from God. If you are unsaved you have a dead spirit and have no way of communing with God.

23 ¶ Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about.
25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about.
26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof.
27 Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table.

The phrase “over against” means ‘on the opposite side of’. Here is the Bible definition in the following verse;

Ezekiel 46:9 But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.

28 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them.
29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them.
30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway.

The showbread represents the twelve tribes of Israel. There are three pieces of furniture which have a crown, representing the trinity, which we might get to a little later. The bread is laid out in two sets of six, 66 representing the word of God. There are 66 books in the Bible.

31 ¶ And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:

You have seen this as a Jewish symbol. Note here in the book of Revelation what a candlestick represents.

Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.

One piece. Isn’t that amazing. You don’t see that kind of craftsmanship today with mass production under compulsory education.

37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.

These lamps represent the Holy Spirit. They are the only light you see in the Tabernacle. The only real light we see is from the Holy Spirit.

38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.
39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.
40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

God showed Moses a pattern of something He had previously made or thought of representing things important to God.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Movie last night

Beth and I watched IndoctrinateU last night on my computer. It was worth seeing. The communists now control the majority of colleges and they aren't about to relinquish control for any outdated notion like freedom of speech.

Mark, chapter 3

1 ¶ And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

Here is Jesus repudiating the idea that He shouldn’t even heal a suffering person on the Sabbath. Some Christians would have you abandon a sick relative, a suffering loved one, or anyone who needed to be ministered to for Christ if there was a church service to attend. While there is much room for people using almost anything as an excuse to miss church, this is not necessarily the case. If you have a chance to witness, or to minister to someone then take it. But, remember, you will answer for lies and excuses that serve you when you stand before Jesus Christ.

5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

What modern, simpering, milquetoast Christians lack is anger, righteous indignation. We have become so enamored of the Satanic view of a Christian as being an effeminate, limp wristed love, love, love type of guy, we’d rather men cry than take a stand against evil in the church. Jesus looked round about on them with anger.

Here’s a bunch of guys who are the spiritual leaders and they are opposed to Him healing someone who is hurting. If faith healer fakes like Benny Hinn were real they would heal someone like this rather than those people in line with the so called one leg longer than the other. If they were real they’d go into a children’s hospital and heal children by the dozen.

Jesus was real and He healed at His pleasure. Here, the faith of the person being healed is not important although in other places faith is rewarded. If a Roman Catholic or a Pentecostal healer was real they wouldn’t constantly accuse suffering people of not having faith and then demanding money. These hucksters are wicked.

6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

These two religio-political groups are opposed to each other normally. The Pharisee is a fundamentalist, separated and pious. The Herodian follows Rome. They can both get together, as today, on the basis of their opposition to Christ.

Matthew 22:15 ¶ Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
These things still occur. In a church people can get together, who normally hate each other, by their opposition to the preacher because he isn’t something that they think a preacher should be or because he condemns sin.

7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,

Jesus controls his movements and He will lay His life down when it is time to do so. No one can rush it.

John 8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

It has been said that every Christian has a set time to die and that no one can harm you before God has ordained it so.

Luke4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

He allows them to take Him right to the crest of a hill before He passes through them here.

God has decided when it is that I shall die. Unlike Jesus, I don’t know when that is. I must live every day as if it were my last on earth in the form I’m in now.

8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.
9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.

Imagine how the crowds plagued by disease and wanting healing from their many diseases crowded Jesus. The evidence of a fallen world, sick and twisted, pleading to God for deliverance is abundant.

10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.
11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

Look, even the unclean spirits will acknowledge that He is the Son of God. They will, however, never call Him Lord.

12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
13 ¶ And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.

God calls people to Himself. Some preachers aren’t called to preach, however, they are just good speakers. God hasn’t necessarily called someone just because that person wants to do something. God often calls people who don’t speak well such as Moses to show His power.

What preceded the calling of the twelve apostles?

Luke 6:12 ¶ And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

An ordaining is an appointment. An ordination in the Bible is a formality with regard to someone who has already been called. God has ordained many things that won’t happen.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Have we been walking in good works every day since our salvation? I doubt it. Perhaps you’re a much better person than myself.

15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

These are signs for the Jews. The nation was born in signs.

1Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom (Greeks = Gentiles)

Deuteronomy 4:34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

The signs are for the apostles, who are now gone from us.

2Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

Mark 16:14 ¶ Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 ¶ So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Satan’s own can and will duplicate signs so they can’t be trusted as proof of anything.

2Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

Signs were part of the way that God began the Jewish nation and proved Himself to them. The deluded morons who claim to be Apostles (any Pope and many Charismatic preachers) now don’t have any signs or power and in the latter case are nothing more than hucksters and conmen.

People who deny the power of the Bible as a sanctifying agent of God will often turn to fakers like this and waste emotional energy and money on their false works. People who think Benny Hinn is a legitimate preacher are the same idiots who will not permit the Bible to change them in any way. They deny God’s word and prefer Satan’s lying wonders.

16 And Simon he surnamed Peter;
17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,
19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

One of these guys have three names as many of us do. Thaddeus is called Judas, is also known as Jude and writes a book. He’s also called Lebbaus in Matthew 10:3.

Mt 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Notice that Judas Iscariot (man of Kerioth, which is in Moab) has these signs and powers to do wonders, as well.

20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

Everywhere Jesus is going, every minute of His day seems to be consumed. His friends try to protect Him. We still use the phrase “he’s beside himself.”

We have no problem with a person painting themselves purple and going to a football game and screaming at the top of his lungs jumping up and down, a man who will work eighty hours a week at the office, or one who will save up money for a dream three day vacation to Stinkyville but should you get a passion for lost souls you will be regarded as nuts.

22 ¶ And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

Jesus accomplishes His ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Here, the scribes are attributing that power to Satan.

23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
27 No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

With the gospel and you going out to preach Jesus Christ you are dealing with a person held captive by Satan and you are binding Satan. Jesus sets the captives free.

28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

This is because of verse 22. This is something that can only happen while Jesus Christ is on earth physically healing people. You couldn’t blaspheme the Holy Ghost if you tried. This was a condition that could only occur while Jesus was here doing His healing miracles.

On the other hand, as an argument against what I just said, if you want a practical application, think that rejecting the Holy Spirit’s work is a type of blasphemy. If you die rejecting Christ you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit whose efforts were in the direction of trying to save you. You can’t be forgiven in Hell.

31 ¶ There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.
32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

First, this shows that the Vatican is wrong. Jesus did have brothers and sisters. The brothers are named here;

Matthew 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

As the Son of God with a capital “S”, God the Son, or God in the flesh, only those people who do God’s will are the family of Jesus. What does it mean to do God’s will?

2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Exodus, chapter 24

1 ¶ And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.

Here is the mention of the seventy that was the basis of Aristeas’ false letter about the phony Septuagint.

2 And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.
3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.

This is the essence of the Mosaic Covenant because the people all agreed to obey these commandments. This was an agreement. The Israelites broke their part.

4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

Moses wrote everything down in a Book. Then he built an altar, which is NOT the Tabernacle.

5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD.
6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.

Moses took what he wrote and read it and the people agreed to it.

8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.

He sprinkled the blood upon the people and…

Hebrews 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

9 ¶ Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

What they see, of course, is the Angel of the Lord, the appearance of God.

11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

Here is grace in not killing them and fellowship with the Lord.

12 ¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.
14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.
15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.
16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
How is it we are so impatient for an answer to prayer when Moses had to wait for days patiently for God to appear?

17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 9:3 Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.

Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Here is a type of the Rapture of the saints.

Notice that Elijah also went up there.

1Kings 19:8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

World History, Class Fifteen

World History – Class Fifteen
Aztecs and Mongols
Plus Russia, Imperial China, and the great African Empires

From the year 409 to 711 a tribe called the Visigoths dominated Spain. This period is bracketed by two invasions. The first was of the Alans, Sueves, and Vandals who crossed the Pyrenees, the mountains that separate Spain and Portugal, called the Iberian Peninsula, and virtually ended Roman Imperial rule there. Taking from the article by Roger Collins called “Visigothic Spain” in the book Spain, a History, edited by Raymond Carr, I learned that the Visigoths didn’t complete their conquest of the last imperial holdouts until the 470’s. These events started a series of monarchies that were of Germanic origin ruling Spain. At the other end of this period was the invasion by Arabs and Berbers from North Africa that toppled the Visigothic kingdom ending the existence of a united state over the entire peninsula which would last until the Habsburg Kings of Spain would also rule Portugal between 1580 and 1640.

The Visigoths were said to be of the Christian persuasion called Arian which denied the equality of God the Son, Jesus Christ, with God the Father. The reading in John 1:18 of “only begotten God” in some manuscripts was said to be a favorite of theirs implying that Jesus was a lesser, begotten God to the Father. The Visigoths had been converted to Christianity while in the Balkans, north of Greece, and had carried this heresy with them. However, unlike the Vandals of North Africa, who were also Arians, the Visigoths did not make war on their Roman Catholic subjects like the Vandals did when they invaded North Africa as described in Thomas Hodgkin’s Huns, Vandals, and the Fall of the Roman Empire. The Vandals had also converted to Arian Christianity, according to secular historians. Then, in the late sixth century the divide between Arian and Catholic was erased. Spain was now Roman Catholic.

In the book on the history of Spain, an article by Richard Fletcher tells of how the Muslim invasions of the 8th century gave the country a mix of three religions; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, along with their cultures. The Muslims were politically dominant until the 11th century.

Islam itself went through a golden age of science and culture during the early Middle Ages that was unheard of in Europe. The Muslim conquerors of Samarkand in the Central Asian steppes learned the art of making paper from the Chinese and the first paper manufacturing plant opened at Baghdad in 794. They brought it to Sicily and Spain, where it moved into France and Italy. It was reported at one time that Baghdad had over 100 booksellers. Mosul, in present day Iraq, had by 950 a library and supplied students with paper. Princes in Islamic lands were said to have libraries more extensive than all the libraries of Europe combined.

Muslim scholars learned Syriac and Greek and delved into scientific studies, including even the study of Sanskrit. The Islamic world excelled in every science, from astronomy to medicine, and gave us the name for the mathematical science, algebra. Muslims traveled around the known world and mapmaking was a great endeavor. Many of their

scientific achievements, copied from and improved upon from the ancient Greeks, Persians, Indians, and Romans were then copied by the Europeans. In many ways, without saying it in these words, Durant, in his The Age of Faith makes it clear that medieval Islam was a bridge of science and knowledge between the ancient world and modern Europe.

At first, Islam’s sole art had been poetry, as Muhammad had forbidden sculpture and painting as idolatrous. Eventually, though, Islamic art and architecture became majestic from the Alhambra in Spain to the Taj Mahal in India. Music at first had been a sin in Islam but became distinctive and unique, however, is hardly understandable to the Western ear.

The Islamic empire stretched from Spain to India. It was rich with architecture, science, literature, and the countries it dominated were usually ruled well and places of tolerance for religions other than Islam. As all things created by man and not God tend to do, it started to fall apart. The great Seljuq Sultan, or King, Malik Shah, who ruled from 1072 to 1092 was blessed with a great prime minister named Nizam al-Mulk, who ruled for the sultan in Baghdad. He by all accounts was a beneficent leader to his people and even wrote a manual called Book of the Art of Rule or Siyasat-Nama. He was assassinated by a member of the religious sect of murderers called Hashasheen, who enticed their young disciples with earthly scenes of the Islamic paradise consisting of drugs and women, and demanded obedience to kill whomever the leaders required. We get our word, assassin, from this group who, legend has it, were even hired by Richard the Lion Hearted, crusader and king of England, to kill one of his European enemies while on a crusade. While we will cover the Crusades in our next class, let me say that the Islamic world had to deal with this invasion and conquest of the Holy Land by Europeans fighting at the behest of the Pope and then were forced to deal with another threat, the Mongols.

The sultans after Malik Shah had allowed the empire to break down into autonomous kingdoms that were culturally strong but militarily weak. Religious fanaticism and racial hatreds had weakened the ability to fight the Europeans in the Crusades.

The Mongols, on the other hand, lived in the plains and deserts of northwestern Asia. While the Islamic world was becoming weak with ease of living, fabulous wealth, and the benefits of science and medicine, the Mongols thrived on hardship and primitive fertility. Living in tents in the open and following their herds they loved the art of war. Like their ancestors, the Huns before them, eight centuries previous, they were experts at firing arrows while riding their horses at full speed. One Catholic missionary said they would eat anything edible, even lice. They were known to eat rats, cats, dogs, and to drink human blood. Their great king, Jenghiz Khan, or Genghis Khan, who ruled them from 1167 to 1227, disciplined them brutally. His name means, according to Durant, The Great King. He conquered an empire from Eastern Europe and the Middle East to the Great Wall of China.


The Mongol invasion of Islam began in 1219. They annihilated the great trading cities of Central Asia, a bridge between China and the West. One source indicates that Genghis ordered as many as a million people executed on the same day. Some cities were left only as tombs for thousands of corpses. His armies were so brutal, and even for a brutal era, thought to be so inhuman, that legends have arose that at the end of time, he and his bloodthirsty Mongol hordes, now demons, will arise out of Hell to ravage the world.

The writer, Baabar (Bat-Erdene Batbayar), in his book, Twentieth Century Mongolia, makes this statement; “the primitive nomadic herders, strangers to everyone but the Chinese, suddenly swept the world scene in the thirteenth century and won notoriety by perpetuating a bloodbath of extraordinary scale.”

The infamous leader, whose birth name was Temujin, grew up to be the Great King, Genghis Khan. As a child he was much abused and abandoned and grew up in poverty, humiliation, and hunger so that he reached adulthood with a burning desire for revenge or so reports Baabar. After having suffered the abduction of his wife by a rival tribe, he got his revenge and eventually became supreme leader over all the Mongols. In order to control a warlike people one must always be making war and just as, in one respect, Rome built an empire by attempting to expand its defensible borders, Genghis built an empire first by expanding his control over rival clans, and then over rival ethnic groups, and then over rival countries and empires.

In the first great battle with Islam, Genghis’ son and general, Juji, killed 160,000 Muslim troops and began destroying cities. A second Mongol army under another son, Jagatai captured and destroyed more cities. Then, as Durant puts it, “A third Army, under Jenghiz himself, burned Bokhara to the ground, raped thousands of women, and massacred 30,000 men.” Samarkand surrendered but was destroyed anyway and remained so for centuries. Islamic libraries were burned and the inhabitants of its cities were massacred. In some cities, every man, woman, and child was murdered. Genghiz eventually died in bed, enjoying his 500 wives and concubines, having struck terror in the world. The assassin sect named earlier was destroyed by one of his successors and the entire Middle East was invaded until a Mongolian army was finally defeated at the battle of Ain Jalut by Egyptian Mamluks in 1260.

Durant says that never in history had a civilization suffered so devastating a blow. Rome suffered over many centuries but in one fell swoop, the pride, prestige, and power of Islam was nearly destroyed. Within forty years, the Mongols came to rape, pillage, burn, and destroy. Islam never recovered from the total destruction and depopulation of its great centers of culture and power. “For five centuries”, Durant says, “from 700 to 1200, it led the world in power, order, and extent of government, in refinement of manners, in standards of living, in humane legislation and religious toleration, in literature, scholarship, medicine, and philosophy.” Catholic Europe received foods, drink, drugs, and medicine, armor, art, industry, naval expertise, and words for things such as orange, lemon, sugar, syrup, sherbet, julep, elizir, jar, azure, arabesque, mattress, sofa, muslin,

satin, fustian, bazaar, caravan, check, tariff, traffic, magazine, risk, sloop, barge, cable, and admiral as well as the game of chess from India via Islam with its checkmate or shah mat, meaning the king is dead. Words like lute, guitar, and tambourine came from Islam, as well.

Islamic culture and civilization never recovered from the deprivations of the Mongols. We will save a discussion of the next great wave of conquest over the Islamic world, the Turks, for another class.

Moving north of the Islamic lands, let’s move to Russia. Russia, before the Russians, according to Nicholas V. Riasanovsky’s A History of Russia was first written about with references to the Slavic tribes by the classical writers of the Christian era, particularly Pliny the Elder and the historian, Tacitus. In the 6th century the Byzantine (Eastern Roman Empire) historian Procopius wrote about them as did the Gothic Jordanes. The terms most frequently used to designate them were “Venedi” and “Antes” with the first word often referring to the Eastern Slavs and the latter (last) title sometimes referring to pre-Slavic Iranian inhabitants of southern Russia or Goths. Most historians now assume that the Slavs consisted of the bulk of the inhabitants of Southern Russia at the time of the Biblical Scythians.

“Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:11

Notice how the Bible gives the southern Russians a brief mention as it does China in Isaiah 49:12;

“Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.”

Many Bible students, particularly during the “Cold War” with Soviet Russia, say that words like Gog, Magog, and Meshech in Ezekiel 38:2 and other places refer to Russia which is to invade Israel from the North at the end of history.

“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,”

J.M. Roberts in A History of Europe refers to the Scythians Russians as trading with the Greeks in the middle of the first millennium BC. By the 9th century AD East Slavic economy and culture was well developed and advanced. However, we don’t get our name for this area from the Slavic people according to western historians. The Rus, from which we derive the name Russia, according to Gwyn Jones’ A History of the Vikings, were a tribe, mostly Swedish, of commercial and military adventurers who created the first great Russian republics of Novgorod and Kiev, which started out as armed trading posts. There is actually, though, a great controversy surrounding the influence and significance of the

Viking settlement among the Slavic people. While some writers tend to attribute leaps forward in Slavic culture to the influence of the Scandinavian adventurers others tend to dismiss their influence as being of minor importance. The traditional histories you will read dismiss the Slavic people as mere benefactors of the superior and more energetic Vikings while many Russian historians, Riasonovsky included, state their evidence for the absorption of the Viking settlers into Slavic culture claiming that all attempts to credit Russia’s civilization to the Vikings have been vastly overblown.

Nevertheless, we have two contenders, at least, for the founding of the great Russian city state of Kiev; the first were men of Scandinavian stock or what were called Varangians (the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Emperor had a Varangian Guard at one time) led by their greatest ruler, Rurik, which Jones says has overwhelming evidence, both literary and archaeological, to support them and the second, as Riasonovsky would suggest were Gothic/Slavic people who were only slightly influenced by Viking visitors who were absorbed into their own culture. Durant even admits to the controversy and the legendary accounts of Russia’s founding that have been taught as factual. So, what does that mean to normal people like you and me, that is, non-scholars? What it means is that when you read that historians are divided over an issue, any issue, it is wise, if you are interested, in searching out all sides and deciding for yourself and when, if you go on to college, your teacher says that Russia owes its cultural heritage and its name in a large part to Vikings, particularly Swedish Vikings, you can let him know that you know that this is based on legend, selective interpretation of historical documents, and assumption, and while it may be true, it is a topic not without controversy.

The important thing is that Kiev became an important trading city and center of power that was actually able to send a fleet of 200 ships to attack Constantinople in 860 and remained the commercial and political focus of Russia and it ruled nearly all of the Eastern Slavonic tribes. Kiev made six attempts between 860 and 1043 to take Constantinople for itself, part of an ongoing attempt by Russians to secure a post on the Mediterranean Sea. It is said that the Russians adopted Christianity because the established church permitted them to drink alcohol while Islam did not, which doesn’t say much for either the Russian leaders or the established church of Constantinople or Rome. The Turkic speaking Khazar kingdom of Southern Russia that so dominated the crossroad cities of trade between Europe and Asia was also an influential factor in what we consider to be the history of Russia. They adopted Judaism in the 9th century and were a bulwark against the spread of Islam in Russian territory as well.

Russia became Christian under Vladimir, 5th Grand Duke of Kiev, who ruled from 972 until 1015. He married the sister of the Byzantine Emperor Basil II and from that point on until the revolution of 1917 Russia, in religion, art, alphabet, and coinage, Durant tells us, was a “daughter of Byzantium”. The Kievan state grew to its greatest under Vladimir’s son, Yaroslav from 1036 to 1054, the year of the great schism between the Roman Catholic Church in the west and its eastern counterpart. Kiev then suffered under bitter civil wars and blood feuds between uncles and nephews vying for power. It was sacked

once in 1203 and finally destroyed by the Mongol hordes (a mean sounding name for a large group of invaders attacking you) in 1240.

Novgorod, under the rule of Kiev, became an independent principality as the Kievan state began to collapse in on itself. It is most significant to our general study for its defense of Russian lands from foreign invaders. The greatest name associated with these epic battles for freedom from foreign occupation was Alexander Nevsky. He was Prince Alexander, known as Nevsky for his victory over a Swedish force at the Neva River. He was born in 1219 and died in 1263 according to Riasanovksy and had to face the Mongol invasion and major assaults on Russia from Europe. The European assaults came mostly from Swedes and Teutonic Knights with an added dose of Finnish and Lithuanian pressure. The German Teutonic Knights’ attack is most significant because it represents a continual German ideal of “the drive to the east” which culminated in Hitler’s attempt to take Russia six hundred years later. .

In the year that Kiev fell to the Mongols, Prince Alexander, only 21 years old, defeated the Swedes. He then turned to face the Teutonic Knights and drove them backwards until the famous battle of frozen Lake Chud, also called Peipus, on April 5, 1242. It has been called “the massacre on ice” and is the subject of many songs and poems plus an epic movie by the Soviet film maker Eisenstein, Alexander Nevskii. Between 1142 and 1446 Novgorod fought the Swedes 26 times, German knights 11 times, Lithuanians 14 times, and Norwegians 5 times. The Mongol invasion failed to reach as far as Novgorod but Alexander chose to pay tribute and acknowledge co-operation with the Mongols, becoming the Grand Prince of Russia under them until his death, wisely realizing that resistance to them was absolutely hopeless. For his patriotic actions and wise diplomacy he was made a saint by the Russian version of the Greek Orthodox Church. Finally, in 1471 the city surrendered to Ivan III, and became absorbed into the Moscow state.

Moscow first appeared in writing in 1147. The entire walled city was destroyed by the Mongols in 1237. Daniel, Alexander Nevsky’s youngest son, became the rebuilt town’s ruler in the second half of that century, called the 13th century. It’s important to remember that the years of a century, say 1200 to 1299, are referred to as the 13th century in history (even though it should be 1201 to 1300 but that’s another story). It’s like saying once you’ve had your 15th birthday you are working on your 16th year. In any event, Daniel’s son, George, began expanding Moscow territory and controlled the entire flow of the Moscow River. He married the sister of the great khan of the Golden Horde, first a part of the Mongol Empire, then finally a separate state, and became Grand Prince. Moscow grew in influence through the attempted invasion of the great Turkic conqueror, Tamerlane, in the late 14th century, through to the disintegration of the Golden Horde, and the rise of the Turkish empire, whose success isolated Russia from Greek culture and church, thereby establishing its own unique identity.


Ivan III and Basil III, ruling from 1462 to 1505, asserted complete independence of Muscovite (Moscow dominated) Russia from the Mongols who had “swarmed over” (like a horde of wasps) much of the world and were now disappearing into history. Territory was increased by conquest and Ivan III became known as Ivan the Great.

Now, I’d like to talk about what is happening to the Jews outside of Europe during this time. Having failed in their attempts at revolt under Bar Cochba in 135 and again under Antoninus Pius in 161, they were forbidden to enter Jerusalem except on the anniversary of its destruction when they were allowed to come in and mourn by the destroyed wall of the Temple. In Palestine, where nearly 1,000 villages and towns had been eliminated and well over half a million men and women had been slain the population had dwindled to half its former number. Soon, though, the Jewish National Council, or Beth Din, a group of 71 rabbinical scholars, was established at Tiberias promoting the teaching of their religion.

After the Emperor Constantine accepted his form of Christianity the Jews received added humiliation of being forbidden to have any association with Christians. Constantius banned rabbi’s (teachers) in 337 and made the marriage of a Jew with a Christian woman, a capital crime, or one punishable by death. The Jews were taxed so heavily that some sold their children to meet the demand. In 352 they rebelled and were brutally defeated again. Thousands of Jews were killed and enslaved. The condition of Palestinian Jews had sunk so low that in 359 Hillel II composed a calendar still in use today for all Jews to determine the dates of their festivals so they would not forget.

The Emperor Julian (aka The Apostate) lifted them up again and acknowledged their right to their faith and even ordered the Temple to be rebuilt from state funds so that they could once again conduct sacrifices in obedience to the Old Testament Law. Therefore, about 361, Jews poured in from everywhere to Jerusalem and gave of their personal wealth to rebuild the Temple. However, as the foundations were being dug, Durant relates, flames burst from the ground killing several workmen. This was repeated a second time. Although, Durant insists that this was probably due to their hitting a natural gas deposit (as any good atheist would), this situation and the death of Julian, the withdrawal of state funds, and the return of the old persecutions sent them back into their previous condition of mourning.

Many moved into Persia and reinvigorated the Babylonian Jewish population which had continuously lived there since the Babylonian Captivity nearly a thousand years previous.
In Persia, the Jews were excluded from state office but so was anyone else who wasn’t in the nobility so the rule didn’t sting as much. Taxation was less severe, as well, and the government was pretty co-operative, even to recognizing the head of the Jewish exiles, the exilarch, as being an important person in the eyes of the Persian kings. Curiously, Persian law permitted polygamy and important traveling rabbis would even advertise for temporary wives in each city. Schools of higher education arose and Babylonian Jewish scholarship was recognized by Jews everywhere as valuable and noteworthy.

The Dispersion, as it is called, continued throughout the lands around the Mediterranean and Arabia, preparing the idolatrous Arab mind for the introduction of Mohammed’s belief system. In Abyssinia, or Ethiopia, eventually half the population became Jewish. All of the North African cities had large populations of Jews.

In Palestine and Babylon, the scribes and the rabbis composed enormous bodies of law and commentary known as the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmud. This was justified under the argument that God had not only given the Jews a written law in the Pentateuch, or first five books of the Bible, called the ‘First Book of Moses called Genesis’, ‘The Second Book of Moses called Exodus’, etc. etc. in The Holy Bible but also an oral law which was alleged to have been handed down from generation to generation, teacher to teacher. This was spoken of as their tradition by Jesus and roundly condemned.

Matthew 15:3
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Matthew 15:6 -
And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Mark 7:9
And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Mark 7:13
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Peter, as well, referred to this oral tradition.

1Peter 1:18
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

The main issue of contention between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was whether or not this oral law was divine and therefore binding, or not. When the Sadduccees disappeared after the destruction of the Temple, the Pharisees belief that the oral law was divine became the standard for all orthodox Jews. For a thousand years, they debated and wrote until finally the oral law was given the written form called the Mishna. With two Gemaras as commentaries on the Mishna. The shorter Gemara and the Mishna made up the Palestinian Talmud and the longer one united with the Mishna for the Babylonian Talmud.


It is of interest to note that when Peter announced his greetings from the small Jewish Christian community at Babylon, that is probably exactly where he was, not Rome, as the Roman Catholic Church has insisted. Paul does not mention him in the list of the Christians at Rome at the end of his letter to the Romans.

1Peter 5:13 -
“The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. “

The Mishna or oral law plus the Pentateuch or written law becomes the Torah, by which the Jews lived throughout the Medieval period, the Middle Ages.

The rabbinical colleges at Sura and Pumbeditha provided religious and intellectual leadership for the Jews of Islam from the 7th to the 11th century led by a group of men who assumed the title of Gaon, or Excellency. This institution of leadership is called the Gaonate, or the period of the Geonim. In 762 a rabbi who had been denied his hereditary role as Gaon, named Anan ben David, fled to Palestine and set up his own synagogue that insisted that only the written law, the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, should be followed, not the Talmud. This return to the Bible was considered a heresy. His followers received the name of Qaraites or Karaites, meaning followers of the text.

The Crusades further isolated the Babylonian Jews from European Jewry. They finally disappeared from history when the Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258. Long before this, however, Jews had migrated all over the world. It is said that there were over 20,000 in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1165. The next power center of Jewish learning and influence became Egypt, where they experienced relative freedom. There were persecutions but little equaled what the Jews faced in Europe during the time we will save for a different class.

Now, we’ll move east to China. Following the Han Dynasty, and after a further century of weak governing, a long period of division into Northern and Southern Dynasties from 317 to 589 led finally to a new unification. The Sui accomplished this reunification, ruling from 581 to 618 Reading from F.W. Mote’s book, Imperial China, we learn that the Chinese civilization had experienced a golden age of culture under the Tang dynasty that existed from 618 to 907. The T’ang dynasty, founded by Kao-tsu, experienced its greatest emperor under his son, T’ai Tsung from 627 to 650. By greatest, the historians mean to say that he murdered his brothers who were rivals for his throne and drove the barbarians back and re-established Chinese authority over territories that had been lost since the collapse of the Han dynasty.

Suddenly, he is said to have grown tired of war and retired to study, read, and publish the writings of Confucius. His capital of Ch’ang-an became so beautiful that Durant says that tourists flocked to it from India and Europe. Buddhist monks arrived in great numbers as did missionaries preaching Zoroastrianism and Nestorian Christianity, which is a version

of the Christian faith condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431 that said that Christ was two distinct persons, the man Jesus and the Son of God, which resulted in the Assyrian Church splitting from the Greek Orthodox. Oddly enough, Nestorius, its so called founder, a fifth century Patriarch of Constantinople, denied holding the belief. Theological debates aside, T’ai Tsung held a very modern view toward crime, law, and order. He said;

“If I diminish expenses, lighten the taxes, employ only honest officials, so that the people have clothing enough, this will do more to abolish robbery than the employment of the severest punishments.” The unscriptural idea that only external conditions are the basis for crime is held today, as well.

Compare the emotional outburst reported when he died;

“When he died the grief of the people knew no bounds, and even the foreign envoys cut themselves with knives and lancets and sprinkled the dead emperor’s bier with their self shed blood.”

to the state of Baal worship in 1 Kings 18:28;

“And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.”

Durant quotes Arthur Waley, writing in the 14th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica as saying, “In the T’ang dynasty, China was without doubt the greatest and most civilized power in the world.” At the height of it ruled Ming Huang, “The Brilliant Emperor”, who ruled for 40 years from 713 to 756AD with some breaks in his reign, the kind of which the Bible believer will find in the descriptions of Ahaziah’s reign in 2 Kings 8 and 2 Chronicles 22. This can also be found in the history of Vlad Tepes, history’s Dracula, who reigned on two separate occasions over the same people and other various monarchs and princes throughout history.

Ming Huang was a complicated ruler who wrote poetry and attacked lands far from home even exacting tribute from Turkey, Persia, and Samarkand. He fell in love with a courtesan, Yang Kwei-fei, formerly the concubine of his 18th son (courtesan and concubine are two genteel words describing a not so genteel type of woman). Eventually there was one of his ministers, Lu-shan, the Tatar (read that; barbarian) northern provincial governor, who also fell in lust with the woman. He declared himself emperor and a civil war was fought. Lu-shan called on his barbarian allies and they sacked Ch’ang-an and China, and out of China’s already vast population Durant tells us that 36 million people lost their lives in the rebellion. Ming Huang won but died a broken hearted old man.


This was the era of the great Chinese poet, Li Po, whose mother was said to have had a dream of Venus, in China called Tai-po Hsing or Great White Star, at his birth. The T’ang dynasty, however, never recovered from Lu-shan’s rebellion or the massive destruction left in its wake.

The great Silk Roads, the avenues across Asia that brought silk from China and goods from Europe, reached the height of their importance connecting the T’ang capital to what the Chinese called the Western Regions. Next came the era of the Five Dynasties and the Liao dynasty. Amid all of this chaos, one soldier emerged to create the Sung Dynasty. His name was T’ai Tsu.

The most interesting emperor of the Sung was Wang An-shih (1021-1086). Wang believed that government must hold itself accountable for the welfare of all its citizens. The state should oversee all matters of commerce and industry, as well as government, to keep the working class from “being ground into dust by the rich”. He abolished the forced labor that the Chinese governments had always enacted from the people to build everything from the Great Wall to roads. Like the Inca Empire, the government owned everything and distributed everything. Pensions were provided for the aged and the poor. To fight corruption he had a Budget Commission that tightly controlled all money the government received. He put in place universal conscription where every family was responsible for providing one soldier for the defense of the country. His experiment at socialist government failed due to the universal objection to high taxes and absolute government control.

In 950, paper money was first used in China. In 970, the first great Chinese encyclopedia was printed. In 1041, this was enhanced by the invention of movable type by Pi Sheng. 1161 brought the first known use of gunpowder. Then, in 1212, Genghis Khan invaded China and destroyed the Sung, creating the Yuan or Mongol dynasty, whose most notable emperor was Kublai Khan. The Mongol Yuan lasted until 1368 when the Mongol control finally ended and the Ming dynasty arose which lasted until 1644.

During Kublai Khan’s reign, in the latter part of the 1200’s or the 13th century, a Venetian adventurer, Marco Polo, his father and his uncle, visited all of the East that they could. They stayed in China for a quarter century and were very successful under the great Khan. Marco even rose to be the governor of Hangchow under the Khan, a city he later claimed was more beautiful and further ahead of any European city in its hospitals, buildings, bridges, manners, and refinement. His travels are some of the most famous in history and a study of his statements on the eastern world through the eyes of a medieval European are fascinating.

The Mongols were better warriors than administrators. And although Kublai Khan was no barbarian by any standards, it is a fact of history that it is easier to conquer a country than it is to occupy it for long. Once again, the Chinese married their conquerors, as they did each time the Huns, the Tatars, or any warriors from the steppes of Asia invaded

them, then they civilized them, and finally overthrew them. In 1368, an ex-Buddhist priest led a revolt and entering Peking in triumph proclaimed himself first emperor of the Ming Dynasty. This dynasty, too, finally ended in chaos and rebellion and was overthrown by the Manchu invaders from what is now called Manchuria.

Now, let’s move to sub-Saharan Africa, that is, the part of Africa below the Sahara Desert. By the early part of the first millennium after Christ people of African origin could be found all over the world due to trade with China, India, and Europe. Some had been sold as slaves in Europe and Asia. By the beginning of the Islamic era Africans had been a not uncommon sight in Europe and Asia as both merchants and merchandise. Remember the character, Othello, in Shakespeare’s play, is considered by most to represent an African operating as a general in the service of Venice against Turkey.

Three powerful states emerged in Africa during the time period we are discussing; Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. These empires were advanced cultures by any standard. The economic life of these African nations revolved around agriculture, manufacturing, and international trade with rulers exercising their authority through powerful standing armies.

The wealth of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay came from the trans-Saharan trade whose basis was gold. While goods and luxury items flowed south from the Islamic countries to the north, gold was sent the other way. Ghana is first mentioned by Arabs in 800AD and for three centuries, reaching the peak of its power in the 11th. The rulers of Ghana were the main suppliers of gold for North Africa and Europe and it was said by Al-Bakri, an Arab geographer in 1067 that their king owned a nugget of gold so large he could tether his horse to it.

Tenkamenin ruled Ghana in the middle of the 11th century and had an army of 200,000 men and lived in a castle decorated with sculpture and painted windows. Finally, Ghana fell to Mali, which started out as a small state of the Mandingo tribe on the Niger River. Two men made Mali famous in history. Sundiata Keita and Mansa Musa. Keita made the small state a great empire. Musa, who came to power in 1307, produced one of the greatest countries in the medieval world. The most famous event in his reign was his pilgrimage to Mecca, something Muslims are expected to attempt to do at least once in their lives if they are able. He had an entourage of 60,000 persons including 12,000 servants. 500 servants, each carrying a 6 pound gold staff, walked in front of him. 80 camels bore 24,000 pounds of gold which the black king distributed as alms for the poor and gifts. It is said that his generous contributions of gold wreaked havoc in Egypt’s economic system for a while. He is also credited with building great buildings in Timbuktu. Mali declined in importance in the 15th century and in its place, the Songhay arose. Askia Muhammed was their greatest leader. He took power in 1493 and ruled for nineteen years ruling a realm or kingdom larger than all of Europe and including most of West Africa.


Timbuktu, during Askia’s reign, was a city of a hundred thousand. The Sankore Mosque and the attached Sankore University were the center of intellectual life. Arab and African chroniclers, Christian and Muslim, like Leo Africanus, wrote extensively of the wonders of this city. People supposedly came from all over the Muslim world to study law and surgery at the University of Sankore. Es Sadi, a Timbuktu scholar, said that his brother came from the city of Jenne’ to have cataract surgery on his eyes at Timbuktu. It was successful. By the way, Es Sadi was supposed to have had a library of over 1600 books.

Leo Africanus, writing in the 1500’s, said that there were numerous judges, doctors, and clerics (religious leaders such as priests in Catholic Christianity or Imams in Islam) who received good salaries from the king. He went on to say that there was a big demand for books imported from North Africa. He makes a very curious statement for the world of Africa based on the western prejudice concerning what was going on in that continent, at least south of the Sahara, at that or any other time. He says that more profit was made from the book trade than any other business. Greek and Latin manuscripts were so prevalent in Timbuktu that hundreds of years later a traveler named Heinrich Barth reported meeting an old man in that area and having a conversation with him about Plato, which he had a manuscript of that had been translated into Arabic from Greek.

Timbuktu, like all great cities, was also a place of vice and pleasure. Musical orchestras consisting of male and female singers were present, men and women were fond of jewels, and dramatic displays of dancing, fencing, and gymnastics were common. Chess was so popular that it is said that a Songhay general admitted to losing a battle because he was so engrossed in a game that he ignored the reports of his scouts. Askia was disturbed by the licentious and often drunken lifestyle of the city but was unable to curb its excesses. Social dissolution and growing fat and soft on good living were part of the reason for the decline of the West African states in the 17th century. I suspect, though, and this is just my own conjecture, that the transfer of the source of gold for Europe from Africa to the Americas provides an economic reason for the fall of Africa. The slave trade and European colonization finished the process.

On the eastern side of Africa, the city of Aksum struggled for control of its Arabian provinces, particularly Yemen on the Arabian peninsula, against the native Arabians. This struggle consumed the years 400 to 525. King Ella-Abeha appointed Abraha viceroy of Himyar in southwest Yemen about 545. He was successful in retaking most of Yemen for Aksum but was in conflict with the Persian empire from the north. Along the Nile River, the kingdoms of the Sudan; Nobatia, Maquarrah, and ‘Alwah all adopted Christianity as their state religion between 543 and 575. Abraha finally tried to extend Aksumite dominion over Mecca itself but his attack was repulsed in 570. Despite military aid from the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire, Aksum was unable to hold onto its Arabian provinces by 585 due to Persian intervention.

Small kingdoms developed along the Red Sea coast from Ethiopia to Egypt. Among them were Qata, Jarin, Baza, Baqlin, and Naqis. Further south, the Bantu tribe’s kingdom of

Zanj occupied much of what is now Kenya and southern Somalia. What was left of Aksum after the great plague of the sixth century waned between 800 and 1000. By then, Arab Moslems had conquered territory down the coast and set up small settlements. In southwestern Ethiopia, the black Jewish Damot Kingdom under Queen Esato (Judith) devastated Aksum up to the city gates in 976.

Early in the 11th century, reading the Harper Encyclopedia of Military History, the Zagwe Dynasty of central Ethiopia took over what was left of Aksum. This kingdom became a refuge for Christian monks running from persecution in Muslim Egypt. The growth and power of Islam isolated Ethiopia except for a few patches of territory on the Arabian Peninsula’s coast with the Red Sea, which they ruled as late as 1200. Islamic traders continued to expand their influence on the coast of East Africa and Mogadishu began to arise as an important trading settlement.

Between 1075 and 1200 the Somali Muslim’s destroyed the Bantu kingdom of Zanj and alongside the pagan Galla tribe fought against the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia.

In West Africa, the wealthy empire of Ghana, which had made so much from the “silent trade” of salt for gold was forcibly converted to Islam between 1054 and 1076 by the Almoravid Berbers. Salt, from which (through the Roman Army) we get the world salary and the phrase, “worth his salt”, was left for those who mined gold and was replaced with an equal value of gold. This kept potentially hostile tribes from confrontation and made the great wealth of West African kingdoms possible.

During the 11th century there were built in Zimbabwe great stone structures. Zimbabwe itself means “stone dwellings” in Bantu. It became a ceremonial and religious center for a large inland kingdom called Karanga which traded with Arab merchants on the coast for glass and porcelain from China.

Between 1200 and 1230, the Soso temporarily took over the ancient Ghanaian capital of Kumbi and conquered Mali under Sumanguru. This dominance was ended by Sundiata, previously mentioned, the founder of the Mali empire. The Benin kingdom of modern southwestern Nigeria rose to prominence in the late 1200’s under the great Oba, or king, Ewedo.

Moving forward between 1340 and 1360 several city states arose in modern Nigeria of the Hausa ethnic group including Yoruba, a language found today in Nigeria. The Kongo Kingdom first took form in or about 1350 around modern day Songolo and was ruled by the Manikongo or king. West of Lake Chad was the kingdom of Kanem-Bornu which developed in the late 1300’s.

The Bantu ethnic group’s language and culture of Swahili developed over this period drawing, like English, loan words from other cultures, including Arabic, and later English.

The Zagwe Dynasty in Ethiopia ended around 1270 and Arab raids destroyed the Christian kingdom of Maqurrah. The Mamelukes of Egypt also contributed to its fall. Finally, between 1314 and 1344 the great king of Ethiopia, Amda Tseyon defeated four coalitions of Muslims and conquered much territory, even intervening on behalf of Egyptian Coptic Christians with the Mamelukes of Egypt. It would be over two hundred years before the Portuguese would form an alliance with Ethiopia to fight the Muslims.

As you approach Africa south of the Sahara in the 1400’s you notice that the European starts to make inroads into it. Spain conquered the Canary Islands between 1402 and 1404. The Portuguese explored the coast of Africa extensively between 1434 and 1498 and they and the Spanish fought over possession of the Canaries.

I knew nothing of Africa before the Europeans from my classes in high school. It wasn’t until I went to college and by chance took an African history class that my eyes were opened to the rich history of that continent. I must also credit Lerone Bennett, Jr.’s controversial book, Before the Mayflower. The wicked slave trade will be saved for a couple of classes from now.

Early in the 14th century, that is the 1300’s, the Mexica or Aztecs, a nomadic warlike tribe from northern Mexico arrived in what is called the Valley of Mexico and settled on two islands called Tenochitlan and Tlatilulco in Lake Texcoco. This natural fortress connected by only three causeways to the mainland with removable bridges gave them a secure base to operate from and successful wars combined with smart alliances helped them to conquer the Valley of Mexico. The era of 1427 to 1440 saw the rise of their Emperor Itzacoatl, the “Black Serpent”, who defeated the Tepanaca who tried to destroy them in fear of their growing mastery of the area. But it was his nephew, Tlacaelel, who lived for 82 years from 1398 to 1480 who was the real genius of the Aztecs.

He was twice offered the leadership but turned it down twice, preferring to be the influential head of internal affairs and truly ruling behind the scenes for much of his life. He was responsible for destroying the Aztec history that showed their humble beginnings as wanderers so he could instill a new kind of heroic patriotism in them. With his prompting the Aztec would think that he was always great and that empire was his heritage. This instilled a superpatriotic loyalty in the members of what was called the Triple Alliance. Tlacaelel served as a general under Itzcoatl and believed that the Mexica or Aztecs were destined to be a great empire.

Tlacaelel created an ideology based on the notion that Huitzilopochtli, the god who wore a hummingbird head shaped helmet and carried a fire breathing serpent as a weapon, the Mexica’s patron deity, was not just their god, but he was THE god. The fate of humankind was in his hands and he was one of the four sons of the sustainer of the universe, Ometeotl. He became the sun in one story and supervised its workings in others. In either one there was only one way to sustain his energy and receive his blessings, human sacrifice We know this god, like other gods of the pagan peoples of the

world under his Biblical names; Satan, Lucifer, Baal, the Enemy (Matthew 13:39; Luke 10:19), the Adversary (1 Peter 5:8), the Accuser (Revelation 12:10), and the Devil. In other cultures he is in reality Jupiter, Zeus, Odin, Viracocha or in his feminine form Ishtar, Venus, Diana, Cybele, or the Roman Catholic version of Mary (without sin, having never died, co-redemptrix with the Lord Jesus Christ), under these names and others called the “celestial virgin”, “the mother of god”, and “the holy virgin” by every Satanist from Madame Blavatsky back to the priests of Babylon.

Human sacrifice, also a cornerstone of Baalite religion in the Ancient Near East, was made possible by conquest, using the captured in war as the victims or rather the offerings to the god. To obtain prisoners for sacrifice to this Mesoamerican version of the sun god the Triple Alliance’s destiny was to, in Tlacaelel’s ideology, take over the world. Mexican anthropologist, Miguel Leon-Portilla, has said that the Aztecs viewed imperial conquest as “a moral combat against evil”. This is simple evidence at how twisted manmade religions are at the outset and how Satan, the enemy of mankind and rebel against God, is often served by man’s most faithful and pious efforts. He goes on to say that they believed that “the survival of the universe depended on them.” His two books on the subject are Aztec Thought and Culture; A Study of the Ancient Nahuatl Mind and The Broken Spears, The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico.

Of course, many modern historical revisionists claim that the Aztecs never practiced human sacrifice, in order to uplift this Central American version of the Near Eastern Assyrians to the “heights” of modern man’s moral standards. You know which ones these are, the moral standards that have allowed us to murder 100 million of our own kind in the 20th century in wars and genocides. The Aztecs were not much different from our European ancestors in their lack of regard for the lives of anyone considered “the others”. Criminals beheaded, heretics burned, assassins drawn and quartered, were free entertainment that drew huge crowds in Catholic and Protestant Europe. The English diplomat, Samuel Pepys, in 1664, wrote of one hanging that drew a crowd of 12 to 14,000 people who came to watch the victim beg for mercy and paid a shilling for a good view. In most cities of Catholic Europe bodies were impaled upon city walls and left along highways to deter crime. Bodies hung from trees were so much backdrop in life according to one chronicler of medieval and later Europe. France and Spain were the most bloodthirsty of the nations of Europe and the percentage of population they publicly executed in this way far outshone the brutality of the Aztecs.

When we read Luke 4:5-7; 16:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4; and Daniel 4:17 let us think about these remarks in the book 1491, New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann;

“In their penchant for ceremonial public slaughter, the Alliance and Europe were more alike than either side grasped. In both places the public death was accompanied by the reading of ritual scripts. And in both the goal was to create a cathartic paroxysm of loyalty to the government – in the Mexica case, by recalling the spiritual justification for

the empire; in the European case, to reassert the sovereign’s divine power after it had been injured by a criminal act. Most important, neither society should be judged-or in the event judged each other- entirely by its brutality. Who today would want to live in the Greece of Plato or Socrates with its slavery, constant warfare, institutionalized pederasty, and relentless culling of excess population? Yet Athens had a coruscating tradition of rhetoric, lyric drama, and philosophy. So did Tenochitlan and the other cities in the Triple Alliance. In fact, the corpus of writings in classical Nahuatl, the language of the Alliance, is even larger than the corpus of texts in classical Greek.”

The fact is that all societies should be judged by God’s word alone and by that word they fall far short of God’s standard, and by the Bible’s clear words and by the study of history one can easily see who is leading mankind forward to that final rebellion against our Creator. Read Revelation 11:15 and Zephaniah 3:8 for the future of the world system as it currently stands and the nations of the earth.

Richard Adams in his book, Ancient Civilizations of the New World, claims that while human sacrifice was the most notorious practice of the Aztecs, they didn’t invent it. He reports that human sacrifice was common also in Olmec times. He does confirm that it was Tlacaelel who gave the Aztecs the practice as a religious expression and psychological terror tool to spark fear in the enemies of the Triple Alliance.

The Oxford History of Mexico edited by Michael Myer and William Beezeley has a chapter in it entitled “The Mexico that Spain Encountered” by Susan Schroeder that gives us some light on the claims in 1491 of the Aztecs literary achievements. She says,

“Without doubt, the highest Aztec aesthetic expression came in literature and music. Each Nahua altepetl (smallest independent political group similar, but not the same as, a clan) had its own literary tradition derived from annals; philosophical, theological, and astronomical treatises; dynastic genealogies; and oral histories. Moreover, it exalted its own heritage and accomplishments to the exclusion of almost everyone else’s. In tlilli in tlapalli (the black the red) was the Nahuatl metaphor for writing, but in truth their books were filled with brightly colored pictorial images. Recorded on paper made from the bark of a native tree (the amaquabuitl, or “paper tree”), the Nahuas stored their precious books, along with maps, tribute records, and other official and personal accounts, in royal libraries.

But notwithstanding their other literary accomplishments, the Aztecs became masters of history and oratory. Among the population at large, the prevailing wisdom of their sages was presumed to to supersede that of everyone else. Rulers, priests, scholars, scribes, and artists collaborated to create an Aztec literary canon. Success in war, the installation of a new king on the throne, festivities in honor of a particular deity, and events called for by the ceremonial calendar were all occasions when books were brought before the public and the privileged information contained therein was revealed. The images in the texts


were memorized and in concert with instrumental music, dancing, and burning incense, the Nahuatl song liturgy repeatedly brought to life the full pageant of Aztec culture.”

From 1440 to 1468 Moctezuma (Montezuma I) Ilhuicamina, or “Frowns Like a Lord”, helped the Aztecs expand with his conquests to the south. From 1468 to 1481 Axayactl moved eastward all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and west to the Pacific. A civil war occurred between the two cities in 1473 and Tenochitlan proved supreme, crushing Tlatilulco and their allies. The disastrous battle of Zamacuyahuac in 1478 resulted in a terrible defeat for the Aztecs but in the reigns of Emperor Tizoc and Ahuitzotol the empire was secured.

After the “discovery” or rather, re-discovery, of the Americas (as if somehow the two continents had been lost) by Europe in 1492 Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas which divided the world between them. Many of the events leading up to this will be covered in the next class so I want to concern myself with the conquest of the Aztecs here. After taking Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, the island that holds Haiti and the Dominican Republic today, the Spanish went on to capture Cuba and Nicaragua.

Moctezuma Xocoyotl, meaning Moctezuma the Younger, whom we call Montezuma II, ruled from 1502 to 1520, conquering much territory for the Aztecs to the southwest and the east of what is now called Mexico City. His expeditions met with mixed success and he left many enemies of the Triple Alliance unconquered. He also created many enemies, as his ancestors had done. These cities and tribes were looking for someone to unite them against what they viewed as a religio-political monster. That someone came in the form of dreams that Montezuma had of floating temples in the Gulf of Mexico. That was the fleet of Hernando Cortez.

Cortez was supposedly under the command of Diego de Velazquez but against the commander’s orders he led an expedition of 600 men, 17 horses, and 10 cannon from Hispaniola. In August of 1519 he burned his ships to prevent desertion of his men after landing at what is now Veracruz and subjugating the Mexican Indian Kingdom of Tabasco. He also opened negotiations with Montezuma. The next month he invaded Central Mexico. The Totonac tribe allied with him against the Triple Alliance, as did the Tlaxacala. In spite of this Montezuma let the Spanish into Tenochitlan, modern day Mexico City, as friends on November 8, 1519. In December, Cortez took Montezuma prisoner.

Velazquez sent a force of 1500 men to defeat Cortez and punish him for disobedience. The conqueror of Mexico left his captured city and marched to the coast with his soldiers and Indian allies and defeated his fellow Spaniards, enlisted the vanquished into his own army. When they returned to Tenochitlan they found that the commander he had left behind, named Alvarado, had been so harsh that the Aztecs had revolted. Montezuma was murdered in the fighting that resulted. After suffering several defeats and having his force nearly annihilated in his attempt to retake the capital of the Triple Alliance, the

Aztec Empire, all looked lost for the Conquistador, or conquerer. As he built a small fleet to retake the city protected by water his fortunes turned when Montezuma’s successor and a great many of his soldiers were killed by smallpox, brought by the Spanish, who had some immunity to it. Cortez then laid siege to the city for approximately two months and the European soldiers, many now equipped only with bows, arrows, and javelins like their many thousands of Indian allies, many of which joined them after the smallpox epidemic was seen as the judgment of the gods, fought their way to the center of the city in an epic battle. It is estimated that more than 100,000 people died in this battle and the epidemic. Cortez is one of the most highly regarded generals of his era for this brilliant siege. The destruction of the Aztec empire that had lasted for 152 years was no cakewalk but a true contest in arms rivaling the greatest battles of the “old world”.

The Spanish also used their literary skills to justify their conquest of the Aztecs and other people in religious and political tones with the kind of justification that all conquerors have used to explain cruelty and destruction.

Moving west and south out into the Pacific Ocean west of the modern day country of Chile’ I want to briefly touch on a mystery before we sum up what we have discussed. Easter Island is one of the most isolated pieces of land in the world. Easter Island was once covered by tropical plant and animal life. Now, it’s a barren wasteland. 1600 years ago settlers began arriving from the western part of the Pacific as the islands of that ocean began to be populated and earlier peoples were pushed further and further out to make room for new populations or population surpluses. The massive stone heads that stand on that island and which have given it a great air of mystery were carved, it is thought, as stone representations of spiritual power by these people. The great forests were cut down starting in the 800’s and by the 1400’s as the people cleared land for gardens, to build the canoes, and to transport the stone heads carved by the various clans on the island. Each generation tried to out do the previous in the size of these heads to show their own superiority. But, like the Mayans, the Easter Islanders were headed toward ecological disaster.

Taking from a 1995 Discover Magazine article by Jared Diamond;
“After a few centuries, they began erecting stone statues on platforms, like the ones their Polynesian forebears had carved. With passing years, the statues and platforms became larger and larger, and the statues began sporting ten-ton red crowns-probably in an escalating spiral of one-upmanship, as rival clans tried to surpass each other with shows of wealth and power. (In the same way, successive Egyptian pharaohs built ever-larger pyramids. Today Hollywood movie moguls near my home in Los Angeles are displaying their wealth and power by building ever more ostentatious mansions. Tycoon Marvin Davis topped previous moguls with plans for a 50,000-square-foot house, so now Aaron Spelling has topped Davis with a 56,000-square-foot house. All that those buildings lack to make the message explicit are ten-ton red crowns.) On Easter, as in modern America,
society was held together by a complex political system to redistribute locally available resources and to integrate the economies of different areas. Eventually Easter’s growing population was cutting the forest more rapidly than the forest was regenerating. The people used the land for gardens and the wood for fuel, canoes, and houses-and, of course, for lugging statues. As forest disappeared, the islanders ran out of timber and rope to transport and erect their statues. Life became more uncomfortable-springs and streams dried up, and wood was no longer available for fires. People also found it harder to fill their stomachs, as land birds, large sea snails, and many seabirds disappeared. Because timber for building seagoing canoes vanished, fish catches declined and porpoises disappeared from the table. Crop yields also declined, since deforestation allowed the soil to be eroded by rain and wind, dried by the sun, and its nutrients to be leeched from it. Intensified chicken production and cannibalism replaced only part of all those lost foods. Preserved statuettes with sunken cheeks and visible ribs suggest that people were starving.
With the disappearance of food surpluses, Easter Island could no longer feed the chiefs, bureaucrats, and priests who had kept a complex society running. Surviving islanders described to early European visitors how local chaos replaced centralized government and a warrior class took over from the hereditary chiefs. The stone points of spears and daggers, made by the warriors during their heyday in the 1600s and 1700s, still litter the ground of Easter today. By around 1700, the population began to crash toward between one-quarter and one-tenth of its former number. People took to living in caves for protection against their enemies. Around 1770 rival clans started to topple each other’s statues, breaking the heads off.”
Now, outside of aliens or people from the lost continent of Atlantis erecting these stone heads, this is the best explanation for them I could find. I bring up Easter Island because of its heyday during the period we have covered. The history of the rest of Polynesia and Australia we will cover in coming classes.
So, we have now covered the period of the Dark and Middle Ages outside of Europe. We have briefly discussed many issues and peoples, any one of which could be the subject of an entire 30 class series. There are many things we didn’t cover and as a history class can only be a springboard to your own personal study I leave that effort up to you. Get plenty of sources, not just one textbook, and judge everything by the Bible, the only sure and absolutely truthful word you have, as it is from God Himself. From the Mongols, who the book Warriors of the Steppes by Erik Hildinger says were equaled by no people in history as being “naturally” expert in war to the Aztecs, whose brief empire may have ruled or influenced tens of millions of people in Central America according to the book 1491 we have seen that there was a big world out there that was about to be changed forever by people from Europe. Next we will examine that swirling cauldron of nations that arose in Europe after the era that saw the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the great schism in the Roman Catholic and Greek churches in 1054.

World History – Class Fifteen
Study Questions

What was the Germanic tribe that dominated the area known as Spain from 409 to 711AD?

What was the religious group that denied the equality of Jesus Christ with God the Father?

What was the name of the greatest of Mongol leaders?

What country became Christian under Vladimir, 5th Grand Duke of Kiev, who ruled from 972 to 1015?

The enormous bodies of law and commentary established by the Jews in Palestine and Babylon are called what?

What Central American warlike tribe practiced butchery and murder similar to the Medieval Europeans?

What was the name of the Spanish conqueror of Mexico?

World History – Class Fifteen Quiz

What was the name of the greatest of Mongol leaders?

The enormous bodies of law and commentary established by the Jews in Palestine and Babylon are called what?

What was the name of the Spanish conqueror of Mexico?

Turn in your study paper.