God's Word was preserved and protected for over a thousand years by the primitive Christianity of the apostles.
With the uprooting of the Ostrogoths, the third primitive Christian nation in AD 538,
Rome’s war against the saints moved into a dark stage of history.
A common set of beliefs identified these Christians regarded by Rome as heretics.
They rejected the mysteries of the trinity, transubstantiation, infant baptism, relics,
icons, images, prayers to the saints. And they preserved the observance of the
“The ancient Christians were very careful in the observation of Saturday, or the seventh day... It is plain that all the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the Sabbath festivals... not because they were infected with Judaism, but to worship Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath” Antiquities of the Christian Church, 1852 Joseph Bringham (1668-1723) Vol. II, Bk. xx, Ch. 3, Sec 1, 66. pp. 1137,1136
The earliest Christians arose in Antioch and migrated ino Armenia within the first few centuries.
F.C. Conybeare published an English translation of the Key in 1898. Their catechism states “We have believed and know that thou art Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” The Key frequently describes Christ as “the only-born Son.” Conybeare also noted, they…
But because they rejected infant baptism they were accused of rejecting all forms of baptism!
Like Arius, hardly anything remains of their writings, and nearly all that we know of their teaching and doctrine comes from their heavily biased critics.
Like the Paulicians…
“They also stressed on the Law of Moses with the exception of sacrifices and accordingly they practiced circumcision, abstained from the unclean meats and observed the Sabbath as a day of rest.
It is said they believed that God had two sons, Satan and Michael—one created, one begotten. Satan rebelled and became the god of this world (2Cor 4:4) bringing ruin and rebellion to earth.
Christ is the Prince of peace Isa 9:6.
And Satan, too, is called a prince.
The Bogomils preserved this truth buried within Scripture.
From the Balkans their faith lived on among the Waldenses in the Piedmont valleys of the vaudes,
Bernard Gui, recorded in his 1143 treatise “On the Albegenses,” that they claimed to hold the faith of Jesus “and his gospel as the apostles taught” but they were “despicable heretics” because they denied that the Eucharist contained the actual body of Christ, they denied that holy water was really holy and that confession made to priests was useless. Furthermore, they dismissed relics as merely superstitious ploys of Rome, that they should not be adored or venerated. But worst of all they believed the Bible should be read in the common language of the people! They were ridiculed for being vegetarians, and accused of being modalistic Monarchianists, Unitarian adoptionists, angelic-Christ Docetists and, of course, like all heretics, labeled as Arians.
In 1185, Bonacursus, in his “Against the Heretics who are called Pasagii,” claimed…
The Waldenses, named after the valleys in which they settled in the Italian alps, are thought to have originated from the disciples of Polycarp. He sent them out in 120 AD (Peter Allix, Churches of Piedmont, 1690 edition, p. 177). They called themselves the Valdese or Vaudois after the valleys in which they lived.
Their desire for the word of God, led Peter Waldo to commission the translation of the Scriptures into Gallic, the common language of these people. From their reading of the Bible they discarded the practice of indulgences, prayers for the dead, the Mass, and infant baptism.
They were called Sabbatati because they, too, kept the seventh day Sabbath as taught in the Bible.
Menno Simon, a German reformer produced his confession of faith in 1659. The introduction tells of Peter Waldus and his experience in translating the Bible from Latin into French and discovering the “glaring contradictions” between what the scriptures taught and the Roman Church’s doctrine. The reading of God’s Word always brings revival and reformation.
“When the Papists ask us where our religion was before Luther, we generally answer, In the Bible, and we answer well. But, to gratify their taste for tradition and human authority, we may add to this answer, and in the valleys of Piedmont.”
The Mennonite Confession of Faith lists 33 articles,
“Of the eternal birth and Godhead of the only begotten Son of God, we believe, That the Son of God, from all eternity, came forth (John 16:27), was born, and in an ineffable manner proceeded forth from the true God, his Father; (John 8:42) of the same nature, essence and substance with the Almighty God. A light from the true light. Truly God from the true God. Who being in the form of God (Phil 2:6), the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person. (Heb 1:3)”
“For in truth it must follow, that he that is begotten, is essentially the same with him whom he was begotten. For, As the stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands, (Daniel 2:45) and became a great mountain that filled the whole earth, is of the same substance with the mountain from which it was taken; so also is the elect precious cornerstone, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the same in his being and substance; co-equal, co-eternal with the Almighty Father, who is the mountain and rock of ages. Therefore, Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, is to be received and acknowledged, by every true believer, to be equally worthy with God his Father to receive our highest worship, honour, adoration and praise. (John 5:23)”