Excerpt from Lesson 49 (58 edition) Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course:
Missing History Foretold!
The True Church DID NOT DIE after 70 A.D.! It went to sleep. It was foretold in a parable (Mat. 25:1-13). Ten virgins (the pure Church) expected Christ’s immediate return. But while he TARRIED, all slumbered and slept. Only after nearly 1900 years, finally, in our generation, they began very drowsily to awaken. Only half of them were found ready to carry on the work of warning the world at its midnight hour.
But where has the True Church been for these 1900 years? HOW and WHERE did it sleep, and WHY did it awaken?
Here is what Mosheim, the church historian, admits:
“Christian churches had scarcely been organized when MEN ROSE UP, who, not being contented with the simplicity and purity of that religion which the Apostles taught, attempted innovations, and fashioned religion ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN LIKING.”
There were conspirators! Men masquerading as God’s ministers — but who were wolves in sheep’s clothing!
Since the new inventions and ideas of these clever men required PROOF — not to be found in the writings of the Apostles — “recourse was had to falsehoods and impositions … When asked where they had learned what they so confidently taught, some produced fictitious books under the names of Abraham, Zoroaster, and Christ, or His Apostles; some pretended to have derived their principles from a secret doctrine taught by Christ.”
Had the True Church gone wrong? Or was this ANOTHER, a DIFFERENT and FALSE church, that was being founded by men who were tools of Satan the Devil?
A telltale clue is found in the complete absence of historical connecting links. A great yawning gap — an unbridgeable chasm — lies between the APOSTOLIC Church Jesus founded and the earliest beginnings of today’s professing Christian churches. Nearly all the writings of the Church in the years after 70 A.D. have perished. Only prophecy remains — and the slanders of enemies!
The historian Gibbon (“Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”) candidly states: “The scanty materials of ecclesiastical history seldom enable us to dispel the cloud that hangs over the first age of the church.”
For nearly a century Church history is blank!
Jesse Lyman Hurlbut (“The Story of the Christian Church”) calls this period, just after Acts, the “Age of Shadows.”
He continues “… of all the periods in the church’s history, it is the one about which we know the least … For fifty years after St. Paul’s life A CURTAIN HANGS OVER THE CHURCH, THROUGH WHICH WE STRIVE VAINLY TO LOOK; and when at last it rises about 120 A.D. with the writings of the earliest CHURCH FATHERS, we find A CHURCH in many aspects VERY DIFFERENT from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul.”
Was this — when the curtain arose — really the same church?
It was NOT!
The True Church of God had faded from view! ANOTHER church was on stage!
But the life and the mission of the TRUE Church was not finished!
This and following lessons will show you the astounding, but little known facts of Church history. It will clearly identify and describe the True New Testament Church of Jesus Christ — and prove where that Church is today.
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