Hill Top Beauty

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Sir John Oldcastle — from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

Stephen Nielsen

After John Wickliffe, the battle against the evil Pope of Rome, which they regarded as the great Antichrist of Europe, came to Sir John Oldcastle, knight, Lord Cobham, leader of the Lollards. The king at first supported him in his beliefs, but soon he gave into the church and insisted that Lord Cobham go to the Pope and be corrected.

So he submitted himself and was fully examined in what he and his brethren, the Lollards believed. And, as it was also with John Wickliffe, he spoke straight out boldly, even to call the Pope the Antichrist! So, he explained both how he believed and also how he did not believe in many of the doctrines of the Pope (the church at that time).

They required him to speak concerning four points: 1) On the sacraments; 2) on the need to join the Catholic church; 3) that the power…

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The Old Grey Tree

Stephen Nielsen

The old grey tree

dead yet speaks.

It reaches to the the heavens;

it warns us of the fall.

Lovely it may be

yet barren in the sky.

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John Wickliffe — from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

Stephen Nielsen

As mentioned in my last post on this subject, Constantine the Great stopped the persecutions for 1,000 years until John Wickliffe. However, it was through the doings of Constantine that the church became corrupted by the Romans as they successfully mixed the church with the evil Roman government (as they were corrupted by Babylonian influence by which much idolatry was introduced).

So it was, with this background, John Wickliffe came on the scene. This biblical scholar from England, the Lord raised up to detect and combat all the Pope’s false doctrine. Indeed, he had a challenge since the Pope managed to keep the true gospel and all of the bible out of the hands of the people. They did know the name of Christ, but they knew nothing of the apostle’s doctrine, such as justification by faith, the liberty of the Christian, the strength of sin, etc. Instead, the Pope’s…

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A surprising beauty

Stephen Nielsen

Out of death

brings a surprising beauty.

Serene and silence surrounds

the old grey trees.

The blue and white of

the water and sky

opens heavens doors.

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Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: Ignatius and Blandina

Stephen Nielsen

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: About Ignatius and Blandina

Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch after Peter, was sent to Rome to be devoured by wild beasts. But before he arrived “he wrote to the church of Rome not to try to deliver him lest they should deprive him of that which he longed and hoped for.” He said,

‘I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus!’ And even when he was sentenced to be thrown to the beasts, such was the burning desire that he had to suffer, that he spake, what time he heard the lions…

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Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: Peter, Paul and John

Stephen Nielsen

I have been writing notes and excepts from the book, and this time I will write about the apostle Peter, Paul and John. Beginning with Peter, as he was waiting to be crucified, some were telling him to run out of the city (Rome). And as he was trying to avoid what they were saying, yet running, it was reported that he saw the Lord Christ coming to meet him. I will quote exactly what was written:

Coming to the gate, he saw the Lord Christ come to meet him, to Whom he, worshipping, said, ‘Lord, whither dost Thou go?’ To whom He answered and said, ‘I am come to be crucified.’ By this, Peter, perceiving his suffering to be understood, returned back into the city. Jerome saith that he was crucified, his head being down and his feet upward, himself so requiring, because he was (he said) unworthy to…

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Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: The First Christian Martyrs

Stephen Nielsen

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: The First Christian Martyrs

The most brutal emperor was Domitius Nero. It was he that slew most of the Roman senators and it was he that commanded Rome to be set on fire; and then he laid the blame on Christian men and caused them to be persecuted.

At that time of Nero, he was so enraged with Christians that a person might see cities full of dead, naked bodies lying in the streets with no regard to sex; there were men, women and even children cast out naked in the streets. Many in those days thought that he was the antichrist (Many even today think that he was the antichrist—but we know that he is yet to come and with even more rage.)

After that, about 40 years after the death of Christ, Titus slew many thousands of Jews. Also, 17,000 were sold as slaves…

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Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: Events following Christ’s Crucifixion

Stephen Nielsen

I have read the book before—a while ago. Now I’m reading it again, this time more carefully. I may give a series of blog posts on it, hoping to inspire some of you. Parts of it are gory, but I would focus more on the strength and boldness of the precious martyrs who loved the Lord. They were all so willing and even joyous in their suffering and death, as cruel as it was.

I will start with what happened after the crucifixion of Christ. According to the research of John Fox in 1516, Pontius Pilate was so moved by Christ that he may have become a Christian and tried to convert the whole Roman senate. But Tiberius Caesar would have none of it, and, as Foxe points out, almost all the senators were destroyed and the whole city of Rome was “most horribly afflicted” for almost three hundred years…

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Happy Reformation Day

Stephen Nielsen

Reformation Dayis aProtestantChristianreligious holiday celebrated on31 October.

On October 31, 1517 was the dayGermanmonkMartin Luthernailed hisNinety-five Theseson the door of theAll Saints’ ChurchinWittenberg,Electorate of Saxonyin theHoly Roman Empire.

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