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Martyrs

A.D. 29. After the day of Pentecost the disciples went everywhere gladly preaching the word, while great success attended their ministry. In a very short time a second church was planted at Samaria, and soon another at Antioch. Persecutions were now inflicted upon the Christians everywhere, and Saul was on his way to Damascus, with authority to arrest men and women, and breathing out threatenings and slaughter against all Christians, when he was suddenly stricken down and made to cry out for mercy. Being converted to the Christian faith, he attached himself to the church at Antioch.

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Heresies and corruptions begun to creep into the churches very early in their history. Even during the time of the apostles there was a strong tendency to introduce Jewish rites into the Christian churches, and if the apostles had not learned that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” they did learn that the most untiring vigilance was necessary to preserve the churches in purity of doctrine and discipline. Man naturally desires a ritualistic service and would rather worship the seen than the unseen.

Very early in the first century some churches were found drifting away from the simple principles which governed and controlled the true churches of Christ; they became corrupt in doctrine, and introduced innovations and false practices into their worship.

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“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days. And to the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, times, and a half time, from the face of the serpent.” (Rev. 12:6,14 “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (Rev. 11:7)

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