Waldenses : People of the Valleys | Episode 6 | Lineage


Whilst the Celtic Church was maintaining the pure Apostolic faith in the British Isles and evangelizing there as well, the Waldensians were doing the same here in northern Italy. The word Waldensian means ‘people of the valleys’. Originally, though, in Italian it was ‘Vallenses’ with a V. It was translated into the French as Vaudois. But in the 12th century, the V changed to a W and one of the Ls became a D, from where we get the name ‘Waldensian’ today. The Waldensians did not see themselves as reformers. They did not see themselves
as needing to separate from Rome, for they said we have never belonged to it. They said they were part of the Apostolic faith and could trace their origins
all the way back to the early centuries. In fact, when we look at the history of the Waldensians
over several hundred years, if not millennia, we can see that they were around in the very early centuries. In the fourth century with Vigilantius, we can see them in the seventh,
the eighth, the ninth centuries. [music] Some people say that the first Waldensian
was Peter Waldo in the 12th century, but this is not really accurate. While it is true that Peter Waldo was a merchantman from Lyon, he did sell all of his goods
and commit his life to the preaching of the gospel, he was not the first Waldensian,
and their roots trace back much before him. In fact, one of the early names for the Waldensians
was actually the word ‘Insabbati’, showing clearly that the Waldensians were sabbath keepers as they were named after the very day upon which they worshipped. As the Waldensians were coming up in the early centuries and the Roman Catholic Church was forming as well, both of them saw the heathens around them as a mission field. But whilst the Roman Catholic Church used the power of the law
and the sword and political alliances to win people over, the Waldensians put their faith in the strength of God’s word. [music] When you gaze on the magnificent mountains that surround us, you cannot but admit that God provided
a safe retreat for his people. To the Waldensians was given the task
of passing the light on to the Protestants of modern time, and penetrating the darkness with true Bible doctrine. Indeed they maintained longer than any group in the struggle to preserve the Bible and primitive Christianity. In upcoming episodes we’re going to see the caves in which they hid and where they met for worship. We’re going to see the places where they trained their young people in how to study the Bible and in how to be missionaries. We’re also going to climb mountains and see the cliffs over which the Waldensians
were hurled to their death in times of persecution. Truly the Waldensians stand to us today
as a group of people who believed in the Bible, as a group of people who believed in mission service. They are a key part of our spiritual lineage today.

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