Continued from: The MILLENNIUM = the Middle Age 70-1070AD = The Day of the Lord
I found that shortly after 1070AD, the seeds of discord planted in the 1054AD Schism between Western Catholic & Eastern Orthodox, germinated to produce a harvest of hell, worldwide, including the world-changing devastation of the Black Death Plague. It seemed reasonable to deduce that this period from apx 1070AD to the Reformation/Rennaissance equated to Satan's being loosed and that the "Fire from Heaven" (ie spritual fire) that rescues the Saintly Camp, the Beloved City (Christendom), is equated with The Reformation, the great return to the actual Text of Holy Writ. The blurring inklings of an accomplished Return of Christ began to more fully focus within me as the major puzzle pieces began to fit together. Studiies of Words of Jesus & the Apostles harmonized with the reports of Christians through history to deduce that Jesus must have Returned around the destruction of ancient Jerusalem in 70AD, precisely because the Text demands it at the beginning of the Millennium, the 1000 year reign of the saints; the saints that had been martyred during the Tribulation endured by the Apostle John & the rest; the Tribulation that culminated in same said destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. This had to mark the Return of Christ/First Resurrection, the beginning of the 1000 year Millennium/Middle Age conquest-rule by Christendom.
The brief history provided below represents notable highlights from the, (relative to the 1,000 years before and eternity that follows), "brief loosing of Satan to rally the world again against God's saints" culminating in the "Heavenly Fire" that rescues the Camp of the Saints, the Beloved City, (the worldwide community of true Christians everywhere). Not a one of these highlights appear in Holy Writ but they are listed below to give the reader some idea of the “spirit of the age” throughout that dark age following the 70-1070AD period of world Christianization, that period described by John in Rev 20:7-10.
OBSERVATIONS FROM THE HISTORY IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE 70-1070AD MIDDLE AGES PERIOD:
1070AD to the Reformation = The Brief Loosing of Satan ending with the Fire from Heaven
As shown previously under the heading 70-1070AD: The Millennium, the 1000 years starts at ancient Jerusalem/Babylon's Fall in 70AD: it is the first 1,000 years of the eternal New Heavens & New Earth reign, (perhaps analogous to the Old Testament period of the Judges). Satan is "crushed beneath their feet," when bound and cast into the abyss below, from circa 70ad to circa 1070ad. Upon temporary release circa 1070ad, Satan reprises his ancient role as the organizational head of evil spiritual influences. At the climax of his assault, heavenly fire comes to the rescue of God's Saintly People, forever vanquishing Satan to the Lake of Fire, (where the Beast & False Prophet had been cast over 1,000 years previously), leaving evil spiritual influences forever without the organizational genius with which they had tyrannized Mankind in ancient ages. Here's a sampling of notable events of that unusually tumultuous period, subsequently referred to as "The Dark Ages" (which followed The Middle Ages of circa 70-1070AD. Though not a one of these highlights appear in Holy Writ, they are listed below to give the reader some idea of the “spirit of the age” throughout that dark age immediately following the 70-1070AD period of world Christianization. Below are highlights from that period foreseen by John in Rev 20:7-10.
1073-1085ad Pope Gregory 7 (Hildebrandt): Touted by Roman Catholics as a "saint" for his comprehensive "reforms" which were characterized largely by a papal power grab for more and more authority in both "spiritual and temporal" matters. Gregory 7 was instrumental to greatly extending papal authority with claims of infallibility. "Because he found it difficult to work through the bishops, he tended to centralize authority. He used papal legates (representatives) freely and insisted on their precedence over local bishops." ~ Encyclopedia Britannica Christ's faithful would find themselves under a more and more tyrannical grip from the very ones they looked to for discipling. Kind of like the disciples of 1st Century had experienced under the Pharisees prior to John The Baptist and Jesus's arrivals.
1096-late1200's The Crusades: Further enmities between Eastern Orthodox Byzantium and the Roman Catholic West developed at the end of the 11th century. At that time a new Islamic group, the Seljuk Turks (see Seljuks), began to ravage the Byzantine Empire's eastern flank. The emperor asked for military help from the West, but he got more than he bargained for: The pope launched the First Crusade, a massive armed pilgrimage against the forces of Islam. See Crusades... (Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005 © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.)
1231ad Pope Gregory IX instituted the papal Inquisition for the apprehension and trial of heretics... ~Encyclopedia Britannica
1200's-1300's The Golden Hordes of Genghis Khan, one of the most famous conquerors of history, who consolidated tribes into a unified Mongolia and then extended his empire across Asia to the Adriatic Sea. Genghis Khan was a warrior and ruler of genius who, starting from obscure and insignificant beginnings, brought all the nomadic tribes of Mongolia under the rule of himself and his family in a rigidly disciplined military state. He then turned his attention toward the settled peoples beyond the borders of his nomadic realm and began the series of campaigns of plunder and conquest that eventually carried the Mongol armies as far as the Adriatic Sea in one direction and the Pacific coast of China in the other, leading to the establishment of the great Mongol Empire.~ Enclyclopedia Britannica More serious outside threats to Christendom's survival.
1100's-1453 The Hundred Years War: an intermittent struggle between England and France in the 14th–15th century over a series of disputes, including the question of the legitimate succession to the French crown. The struggle involved several generations of English and French claimants to the crown and actually occupied a period of more than 100 years. By convention it is said to have started in 1337 and ended in 1453, but there had been periodic fighting over the question of English fiefs in France going back to the 12th century.... " ~Encyclopedia Britannica. Christendom fraught with greater internal infighting. The devastation from this ongoing attack & seige is largely why The Black Death Plague found such great opportunity, as well.
Early 1300's Marco Polo
: Venetian merchant and adventurer, who traveled from Europe to Asia in 1271–95, remaining in China for 17of those years, and whose Il milione ("The Million"), known in English as the Travels of Marco Polo, is a classic of travel literature.~Encyclopedia Britannica. Marco Polo's impact was to incite many away from Christian discipleship to a greedy pursuit of wealth & adventure with the Far East. "Greed is idolatry." Colossians 3:5
and "Idolatry is demon worship." 1 Cor 10:20
1347-1351ad Black Death Plague: "Originating in China and Inner Asia, the plague was transmitted to Europeans (1347) when a Kipchak army, besieging a Genoese trading post in the Crimea, catapulted plague-infested corpses into the town. The disease spread from the Mediterranean ports (see Map), affecting Sicily (1347); North Africa, mainland Italy, Spain, England, and France (1348); Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, and the Low Countries (1349); and Scandinavia and the Baltic lands (1350). There were recurrences of the plague in 1361–63, 1369–71, 1374–75, 1390, and 1400. The rate of mortality from the Black Death varied from place to place: ...within the towns the monastic communities provided the highest incidence of victims. Even the great and powerful, who were more capable of flight, were struck down: among royalty, ... Canterbury lost two successive archbishops.... The papal court at Avignon was reduced by one-fourth. Whole communities and families were sometimes annihilated. The study of contemporary archives suggests a mortality varying in the different regions between one-eighth and two-thirds of the population, and the French chronicler Jean Froissart's statement that about one-third of Europe's population died in the epidemic may be fairly accurate. The population in England in 1400 was perhaps half what it had been 100 years earlier; in that country alone, the Black Death certainly caused the depopulation or total disappearance of about 1,000 villages. A rough estimate is that 25 million people in Europe died from plague during the Black Death. The population of western Europe did not again reach its pre-1348 level until the beginning of the 16th century.... ~Encyclopedia Britannica. So great was the devastation from the Black Death Plague upon the whole Earth, not just Europe, that is ranks as one of Histories greatest disasters, bar none, where the greatest proportion of the Mankind's population was eliminated in a comparatively, very short period. Many survivors gave themselves over to debauchery while others convinced themselves they had come into a new Hevanes & Earth, so much had changed. The Roman Catholic monolith hurriedly replaced her devastated priestly orders by filling their ranks with hastily prepared novices - from whom rampant doctrinal corruption rapidly spread. The true saints of God were surrounded now and under siege from within and without.
1478ad Pope Sixtus IV authorized the Spanish Inquisition. The first Spanish inquisitors, operating in Sevilla (Seville), proved so severe that Sixtus IV had to interfere. But the Spanish crown now had in its possession a weapon too precious to give up, and the efforts of the pope to limit the powers of the Inquisition were without avail. In 1483 he was induced to authorize the naming by the Spanish government of a grand inquisitor for Castile, and during the same year Aragon, Valencia, and Catalonia were placed under the power of the Inquisition. The first grand inquisitor was the Dominican Tomás de Torquemada, who has become the symbol of the inquisitorwho uses torture and confiscation to terrorize his victims. The number of burnings at the stake during his tenure has been exaggerated, but it was probably about 2,000. In general, the procedure of the Spanish Inquisition was much like the medieval Inquisition [of 1231ad under Pope Gregory IX]... ~Encyclopedia Britannica
1204 - 1453ad Sackings and Fall of Constantinople - Capitol of Christendom during the Middle Ages (Millenium) and Source of Most New Testament Texts - The home of St. John Chrysostom & origin point of Textus Receptus Greek manuscripts.Culturally, Constantinople fostered a fusion of Oriental and Occidental custom, art, and architecture. The religion was Christian, the organization Roman, and the language and outlook Greek. The concept of the divine right of kings, rulers who were defenders of the faith—as opposed to the king as divine himself—was evolved there. The gold solidus of Constantine retained its value and served as a monetary standard for more than a thousand years. As the centuries passed—the Christian empire lasted 1130 years—Constantinople, seat of empire, was to become as important as the empire itself; in the end, although the territories had virtually shrunk away, the capital endured. ... Constantine's new city ...contained ...several imposing churches..., There was, furthermore, a welcome for Christians, a tolerance of other beliefs, and benevolence toward Jews. Constantinople was also an ecclesiastical centre. In 381 it became the seat of a patriarch who was second only to the bishop of Rome; the patriarch of Constantinople is still the nominal head of the Orthodox church. Constantine inaugurated the first ecumenical councils; the first six were held in or near Constantinople. In the 5th and 6th centuries emperors were engaged in devising means to keep the Monophysites attached to the realm. In the 8th and 9th centuries Constantinople was the centre of the battle between iconoclasts and the defenders of icons. The matter was settled by the seventh ecumenical council against the iconoclasts, but not before much blood had been spilled and countless works of art destroyed. The Eastern and Western wings of the church drew further apart, and after centuries of doctrinal disagreement between Rome and Constantinople a schism occurred in the 11th century. The pope originally approved the sack of Constantinople in 1204, then decried it. Various attempts were made to heal the breach in the face of the Turkish threat to the city, but the divisive forces of suspicion and doctrinal divergence were too strong. In 1203 the armies of the Fourth Crusade, deflected from their objective in the Holy Land, appeared before Constantinople—ostensibly to restore the legitimate Byzantine emperor, Isaac II. Although the city fell, it remained under its own government for a year. On April 13, 1204, however, the Crusaders burst into the city to sack it. After a general massacre, the pillage went on for years. The Crusading knights installed one of themselves, Baldwin of Flanders, as emperor, and the Venetians—prime instigators of the Crusade—took control of the church. While the Latins divided the rest of the realm among themselves, the Byzantines entrenched themselves across the Bosporus at Nicaea (now Ä°znik) and at Epirus (now northwestern Greece). The period of Latin rule (1204 to 1261) was the most disastrous in the history of Constantinople. Even the bronze statues were melted down for coin; everything of value was taken. Sacred relics were torn from the sanctuaries and dispatched to religious establishments in western Europe. In 1261 Constantinople was retaken by Michael VIII (Palaeologus), Greek emperor of Nicaea. For the next two centuries the shrunken Byzantine Empire, threatened both from the West and by the rising power of the Ottoman Turks in Asia Minor, led a precarious existence. When the [militant Islamist muslim] Turks crossed into Europe in the mid-14th century, the fate of Constantinople was sealed. ... The siege of the city began in April 1453. The Turks had not only overwhelming numerical superiority but also cannon that breached the ancient walls. The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI (Palaeologus), was killed in battle. For three days the city was abandoned to pillage and massacre, after which order was restored by the sultan. When Constantinople was captured, it was almost deserted. .... Hagia Sophia and other Byzantine churches were transformed into mosques. The Greek patriarchate was retained, but moved to the Church of the Pammakaristos Virgin (Mosque of Fethiye), later to find a permanent home in the Fener (Phanar) quarter. The sultan built ... the Mosque of the Fatih on the site of the Basilica of the Holy Apostles. The capital of the Ottoman Empire was transferred to Constantinople from Adrianople (Edirne) in 1457. ~Encylopedia Britannica The fall of Christendom's first capitol city, this seat of Christian temporal power of the Middle Ages, Constantinople, this repository of the majority of surviving New Testament manuscripts, and metropolis of ancient Christian scholarship, caused many of its most erudite Bible scholars to flee for refuge in the West where they promptly began sharing their treasures of Christian Bible Text studies with the West, notably in Rome. Little surprise that the Rennaissance (French "Rebirth") marks its beginnings about this time & place. The Reformation fanning to full flame along with it.
So Christendom was under vigorous attack from both the inside with heresies, inquisitions, & persecutions as well as attacked from the outside. Islamic forces were making a dramatic resurgence that, if not stopped, would have wiped out Christendom from its greatest stronghold, Europe. True believers found themselves surrounded once again on all sides - fulfilling Rev. 19:9 "They [Satan's forces] marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, The City He loves [i.e.-the hitherto described New Jerusalem]."
"BUT FIRE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND DEVOURED" THESE SURROUNDING ENEMIES, RESCUEING THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS, THE BELOVED CITY OF GOD: Many attribute the very first fires of The Reformation to John Wycliffe who came as one of the first forerunners in the 1300's. Following him came the likes of Jan Hus and Girolamo Savonarola who would keep the torch alive through the 1400's. And in 1517, Martin Luther saw the fires of The Reformation explode on the scene in a way that is still making history, dramatically devouring up the opposers of The Gospel fro within and without, starting with the religious tyrants from within the Christian Community. Jean Calvin would add logs to the wildly growing fire that many attribute to the re-inventing of modern, Christian democracy -adopted by John Knox's Presbyterians who would be influential in founding America via the ministries of the likes of John Witherspoon. Newly formed Christian, Protestant-Reformed governments took on militarily God's enemies without - dramatically driving the back and back. The Renaissance, (French, "The Rebirth"), was now in full swing along with The Age of Discovery and of The America's in 1492, the coming of age of "miracle-working" Modern Science, and the dawn of Government of The People, by The People, and for The People. The all-encompassing & organized evil of previous ages has been cast out forever - its head, Satan, having finally been cast forever into the Lake of Fire where the False Prophet and the ancient Beast of the Roman Empire had been thrown over a 1,000 years previously. All that remains are disjointed, disorganized underlings who will never successfully dominate the Earth again. There is neither Biblical evidence nor historical precedence that this trend will ever change: Since the last pagan world superpower, the Roman Empire, found it politically expedient to declare itself a Christian nation in the 4th century AD, the dominant religion of the dominant world powers has always been and will always be the Religion of Christ.
***These observations were a valuable part of my interest in accepting from the Scriptures the reality of Jesus' accomplished Return in 70AD. I offer them up here for consideration. They show that our Heavenly Father dwells not just in Bible stories we tell each other, but actively moves through the world of men, making history everyday - as He has always done and just like He said He would.