I lived in the era of the Roman Empire, when Sigismund was the Emperor of Rome. I was in charge of the distribution of the Bible translated in the native language of the people. During this time from AD 1402 to 1414, I worked with John Huss, a teacher of philosophy in Prague University and he was appointed in 1402 to a controversial position. He was also put in charge of the Bethlehem Chapel in Prague. As I worked with John Huss to distribute the Bible in Latin, there were popes in the empire that were selling indulgences as to use them to run their campaign for power. Mr. John Huss whom I worked with to distribute the Bible translation in Latin became a prominent voice in the empire to speak against the papacy regarding those things that were against the Bible. This drew public attention on me and John Huss; as a result, a conspiracy was diabolically organized against me and Mr. Huss. Since the Roman Emperor, Sigismund was against the distribution of the Bible and the message preached against the indulgences, he conspired against us by inviting John Huss to present his case before the three popes that were in rivalry for powers. The conspiracy succeeded against John Huss and he was eventually executed as the Roman Emperor approved it. He died as a martyr. After his death, I became startle about the incidence; however, I could not give up the job I was doing as the Bible distributor in the empire; therefore, I became his successor in Bethlehem Chapel for radical principles. I outlined the following radical reforms to be carried out without relenting and without delay:
- The freedom to preach
- The wine as well as the bread to be given to the congregation in the mass
- The clergy committed to poverty, together with the expropriation of church property
- The public punishment of notorious sinners
- The reform in the worship occurred
I put these radical reforms into place after the death of John Huss. I made sure that the reforms were carried out without compromise.
FREEDOM TO PREACH
To make sure that the Gospel was preached, I circulated the Bible into the native language of the people in Prague. The emperor, Sigismund did not want the Bible to be circulated into the language of the people; however, I must do this to execute the dream of John Huss. The emperor ordered that anyone who circulated the Bible in the native language of the people in Prague would be arrested and executed. He sent secrete agents all over the empire to hunt anyone who circulated the Bible in any language. I smuggled the Bibles underground in order to give them to the common people of the empire who were denied access to the Bible. I was arrested and beaten because I circulated the Bible into the native language of the people. I could not give up the cost of discipleship.
One of the things that ignited into my spirit as I was arrested and beaten was the cost of following Jesus Christ. I remembered that it is recorded in the Bible that whoever shall live for Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution. The early disciples suffered persecution; therefore, I am not an exception to it. I realized that God allows persecution to take place for several reasons. I remembered that God allowed persecution in the days of the apostles to enable the Gospel to spread; therefore, I will not give up the task. I must circulate the Bible anyhow even if my death is required. All the reforms must be carried out without delay.
THE WINE AND THE BREAD
As I circulated the Bible, I was also accused of cannibalism. They accused me of giving human flesh to be eaten, because they did understand the essence of the communion service. Since the popes in Rome sold indulgences and I was preaching against them, they conspired against the movement to kill it; however, I continued to circulate the Bible.
The radical reform to continue the communion service in the mass had moral implication to the ignorance of the people who accused our movement in the empire. It sparked it out an unquenchable fire of hostility against those of us that called on the name of Jesus. The hostility grew to the extend that the lives of Christians in the empire were never secured. The Popes who practiced or sold indulgences in the empire to run their campaigns became enemies to us including the outsiders who did not believe or practiced some forms of religion in the empire. The issues of Bible circulation in the native language and alleged accusation of cannibalism became two major accusations against me. I was summoned by Sigismund to answer questions regarding the alleged accusation of cannibalism. I refused to be summoned; however, I was forcibly apprehended by the military and taken to the summoned hall for interrogation. After the investigation, I was stripped naked and beaten inhumanly. Despite of the humiliation, I stood tall to reinforce the mandate regarding the radical reforms.
Jerome, one of the colleagues of John Huss, brought me a book written by John Wycliffe, which talked against the practices of the papacy carried out at the time. This book was written in Greek; consequently, I had to translate this piece of literature into the native language of the people so they can understand these malpractices of selling indulgences. As I circulated this piece of literature, I was arrested and asked to stop this campaign, but I refused to do so. I was willing to die for this cost of distributing the Bible.
I believe that I am called to suffer for Christ disregarding materialism and care of this world; in such, I must commit myself to poverty knowing that this world is not my home. I left everything for the cost of discipleship to serve and to carry out the reforms in the empire. I was considered a heretic because of these radical reforms. I must spread this message in the native language so that the people can know for themselves instead of someone telling them what is not in the Bible. The practice of dogma which is anti-Christian and anti-Bible should be ignored and the Holy Bible should be considered as the yard stick to measure how men reach and approach God. Men should not be forbidden and marginalized to read the Bible; therefore, it should be translated so that the people can know what they need to know about God and his word. This was my goal.
The public punishment of notorious sinners must be carried out as to keep this movement different from any other movements in the empire. The doctrine of holiness must be stressed in the church. Anyone who did not practice holiness, I declared him or her to be punished publicly.
After the death of John Huss, the radical reforms for the freedom to preach, the institution of the wine and the bread to be given in the mass, the clergy to commit to poverty together with the exploration of church property, and the punishment of notorious sinners were carried out under my jurisdiction and approval. I still remain committed to this philosophy of religious ideologies and radical reforms.