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Testimony of Pristine Church Lost Early Church's Testimony LostTestimony of Pristine Church Lost Early Church's Testimony Lost

1. Man’s Kingdoms Persecute the Church

Under the leading of the apostles, the pristine churches were steadfast in their faith. Their numbers increased and they flourished with each passing day. At that time, the Roman Empire that ruled over Judea was filled with apprehension. They wildly persecuted and killed the Christians. In the Roman Colosseum, Christians wrote a touching and enthralling history of martyrdom with their blood. This reminds us of the history of the New Testament Church (NTC). Likewise, the NTC was relentlessly persecuted by the Kuomintang (KMT) while Mount Zion was flourishing. Regrettably, the antagonistic attitude of man’s kingdoms toward the church hasn’t been changed. Nevertheless, the truth has ultimately triumphed over despotism. The Roman Empire is now nothing more than a name in history. On the other hand, the witnesses of Christ Jesus continue to thrive. The Chiang dynasty is finished, but the NTC and Mount Zion are flourishing and are renowned throughout the world.

Christians from the early churches were brutally tortured and killed by the Roman Empire, but the truth remains ever victorious. The gospel spread far and wide and the number of believers increased. By the end of the Roman’s persecution of Christians (313 AD), half the population of the entire empire became Christians. A Roman official once said to the mad emperor: “Stop the killing! Or there will be no Romans left in the city!”

2. The Rise of the Heretical Roman Catholicism, The Church’s Fundamental Faith Is Lost

Around 300 AD, the apostles and prophets from the early churches had either been martyred or passed away. Seeing the power of the church and the great numbers of churchgoers, the Roman Emperor, Constantine, also joined the church. He even ordered his subjects and bribed his officials to join. When Christianity became the royal religion of the Roman Empire, Constantine made himself the church's leader, uniting politics with religion, strengthening his reign with the influence of the church. Later, Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the state’s official religion.

In the absence of apostles to watch over the testimony of the church, unscrupulous people joined the church for personal gains causing the church to deviate from the correct path. Consequently, blood, water, and Holy Spirit—the fundamental faith—was gradually lost. The church eventually became secular and lost her pure, holy testimony. Due to internal corruption, it turned into a political organization and eventually evolved into the Roman Catholic Church.

In the sixth century, Gregory I became pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the first of the popes from a monastic background. With his papal authority, he interfered with politics and stipulated a variety of harsh canons to control the people. He forbade Christians to read the Holy Bible. As a result, the truth was obscure and heresies were preached instead. True Christians and those who resisted the heretical teachings of Roman Catholicism were persecuted. They suffered worse persecutions than what the early churches had suffered in around 300 AD.

3. Martin Luther’s Reformation and the Emergence of Denominations

It was not until the sixteenth century that God raised up Martin Luther who bravely reformed the Christendom. He restored the truth on justification by faith. Thereafter, those who truly loved the Lord started to study the Holy Bible. However, since they were not the apostles, they could not expound the mystery of the truth, and naturally, could not bring all men to the unity of the faith. As a result, sects and denominations emerged. Unbiblical names such as the Lutheran Church, Baptist Church, Bread of Life, Methodist Church, Christian Assembly, to name a few, came into being. Today, there are more than two thousand denominations, each with their own faction and administration. They have nothing to do with one another and are even against one another. These denominations can be classified into three categories: the non-believers, the fundamentalists, and the charismatics.

Since they do not have apostles, what these denominations preach is not from revelation, but mere words and theories from their studies. They either take things out of context, or take a part for the whole. Some of them even take fallacies for the truth. Most of the things they do and say do not conform to the truth. In fact, they disobey the truth and go against the Holy Spirit. They have grand buildings, extravagant furnishings, and elaborate ceremonies, but not the worship in spirit and truth that conform to God’s will. They are not churches, but man-made organizations and denominations. God’s children fail to receive the nurture of the truth from there, let alone experience the power of the Holy Spirit. In the end, their faith is wrecked and their spirits broken; they fall into secular customs and sins, becoming extremely desolate and degenerated.

The development of the denominations has led to many numerous heresies such as Mormonism and Seventh-day Adventism. Moreover, these heresies confuse the public and lead people to perdition. Although some of God’s children have been delivered from the dominion of Roman Catholicism, with so many different denominations and heresies around, they are trapped in yet another kind of darkness and degeneration.