Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 319

Persecution in Early Centuries, November 8

And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment. Hebrews 11:36. CTr 319.1

When Jesus revealed to His disciples the fate of Jerusalem and the scenes of the Second Advent, He foretold also the experience of His people from the time when He should be taken from them to His return in power and glory for their deliverance. From Olivet the Saviour beheld the storms about to fall upon the apostolic church, and, penetrating deeper into the future, His eye discerned the fierce, wasting tempests that were to beat upon His followers in the coming ages of darkness and persecution.... CTr 319.2

The history of the early church testified to the fulfillment of the Saviour's words. The powers of earth and hell arrayed themselves against Christ in the person of His followers.... Christians were stripped of their possessions and driven from their homes.... Great numbers sealed their testimony with their blood.... CTr 319.3

Under the fiercest persecution these witnesses for Jesus kept their faith unsullied.... With words of faith, patience, and hope they encouraged one another to endure privation and distress. The loss of every earthly blessing could not force them to renounce their belief in Christ. Trials and persecutions were but steps bringing them nearer their rest and their reward.... CTr 319.4

In vain were Satan's efforts to destroy the church of Christ by violence. The great controversy in which the disciples of Jesus yielded up their lives did not cease when these faithful standard-bearers fell at their post. By defeat they conquered. God's workmen were slain, but His work went steadily forward. The gospel continued to spread, and the number of its adherents to increase.... Said a Christian, expostulating with the heathen rulers who were urging forward the persecution: “You may torment, afflict, and vex us. Your wickedness puts our weakness to the test, but your cruelty is of no avail. It is but a stronger invitation to bring others to our persuasion. The more we are mowed down, the more we spring up again. The blood of the Christians is seed.” CTr 319.5

Thousands were imprisoned and slain; but others sprang up to fill their places. And those who were martyred for their faith were secured to Christ, and accounted of Him as conquerors. They had fought the good fight, and they were to receive the crown of glory when Christ should come. The sufferings that they endured brought Christians nearer to one another and to their Redeemer.—The Spirit of Prophecy 4:39-42. CTr 319.6

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