Thursday, October 16, 2014

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Christian History, From The Early Church

          Beginning with the knowledge that Christianity is in fact Messianic Judaism, I became interested in finding out what had happened to the Jewishness of our faith.  From the very beginning, the hatred by Satan of 'God's people', was evident by the false doctrines 'of man' that were rampant throughout the history of God's people, even from the time of Abraham and  Moses.  The Jewishness of Christianity was determined by 'The Jew Jesus', who said He had come to the Jew first.

          Where does Christian history begin? It is documented that Jesus was "born" in a year between 6BC to 3BC, in Bethlehem Ephrata of Judea.  Today would be the year 2014 in the Julian calendar and 5775 in the Hebrew calendar.  Researchers tracked the 'Christmas star' to reveal the date of Christ's birth as June 17.[1]  Scientists have, through geological study of earthquakes, determined that Jesus was crucified on April 3, 33AD (Hebrew calendar 3793).[2]  We do need to take the scientific determinations with a grain of salt, because there seems to be a discrepancy of billions of years for the age of the earth; Bible vs. Evolution. 

          The One True and Apostolic Church lasted until the Apostle John died, in Ephesus, in his 90's.  Since he was the last apostle alive, the Apostolic Church Age ended.  As the Apostle John wrote late in his life, we know his writings contain the early church truth, especially since his writings verify what the others apostles wrote.  In 100 AD, we can see that apostasy had crept into the church, because Justin Martyr was an anti-Semite.  This is when the "replacement theology" theory began.  Replacement Theology is the theory, that the Christians have replaced the Jews in the promises of God.  It is significant that this abomination hadn't crept into the Church until all of the apostolic eyewitnesses were dead.

          In the early church, the Jews didn't give up their Judaism when they were 'Born Again'.  When some of the Christian Jews wanted to have the gentile converts be circumcised, the Apostles said they could come in without fulfilling that part of the law, because Jesus was the fulfillment of the law.  Jews and Gentiles alike became circumcised in the heart, rather than the flesh.  Jews were not converted; they were completed, by being 'Born Again'.  Gentiles were converted.  Gentile means 'unbeliever', so there is no such thing as a gentile Christian, which would mean 'an unbelieving Christian'.  Gentiles became 'Born Again' believers and therefore grafted into the root of Judaism.  The name Christian wasn't even used before 35AD, when it was meant as a slur.

          Throughout history, the Christians have been blamed for the majority of anti-Semitism.  What people fail to realize is that it was not Christianity that was anti-Semitic, but rather some misguided denominations who called themselves Christians.  The crusades and the inquisition were conducted by the Roman Catholic Church.  The Nazi's claimed to be Christian, but in reality were Occultists.  In 100AD, Justin Martyr claimed the covenant between God and Israel was no longer valid.  The Bible says that Gods covenants are irrevocable.  In 130 AD, Irenaeus said the Jews were disinherited from the grace of God.  Irenaeus, was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John.  Only Satan could mess up the truth that quickly.  We can't know where these people got their ideas, but we do know they were not expounding what is in the Word of God. 

          "The first Christians met together, mainly in houses, to exercise the spiritual gifts described in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 and to have a meal together to remember their Lord, Acts 2 v 46. If you walked into a meeting in early church times you would be hard pressed to find who the leaders were. The leaders had no title as Jesus had forbidden them to have one, Matthew 23 vs. 1-12. The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, (note not THE Pastor ), and teachers, were simply there to make sure that every believer was fulfilling their ministry, Ephesians 4 vs. 11,12, NOT to do their ministry for them! Under the new covenant the Bible states that ALL believers are priests, 1 Peter 2 vs. 5,9. Revelation 1 vs. 4-6. 1 Peter 5 vs. 1-4 describes how leaders are to behave and Jesus sets an example for us all in John 13 vs. 1-15. Luke 9 vs. 46-48 and Luke 22 vs. 24-27 describe how we can be great in the kingdom of God!

Over the centuries these Biblical principles were abandoned and a system was introduced whereby leaders in the Church became known as the clergy and the rest were called the laity. The same meaning applies to Pastor and flock, Minister and congregation, Leading Elder and believers etc… The title may change but the same principle remains - the leaders are active, the rest of the church are passive. The faithful roll up for services or meetings to hear a message or sermon, sing hymns, say prayers. Some may even be privileged to take part in some way, or to take turns with the ministry. All this is a far cry from what happened in the New Testament Church as recorded in the Bible." [3] 

          Jesus said He hated the Nicolaitanes, who in their pride, put on airs and ruled the people by assuming authority not given to church workers.  Their priests lorded over the people they were supposed to be serving and were apparently using the clothing styles of the Hebrew high priests; to set them above the people. Jesus said "He who would be first, should be a servant".[4]

          "Revelation 2:6, where Jesus told the church of Ephesus, "But this thou hast [in your favor], that thou hates the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate." Jesus was proud of the church of Ephesus for their "hatred" of the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which He also "hated." The word "hate" is a strong word, so let's see exactly what it means. It comes from the Greek word miseo, which means to hate, to abhor, or to find utterly repulsive. It describes a person who has a deep-seated animosity, who is antagonistic to something he finds to be completely objectionable. He not only loathes that object, but rejects it entirely. This is not just a case of dislike; it is a case of actual hatred."[5]

"The state church of the Roman Empire was established on 27 February 380 with the Edict of Thessalonica, when Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the Empire's sole authorized religion. Unlike Constantine I, who with the Edict of Milan of 313 had established tolerance for Christianity without placing it above other religions and whose involvement in matters of the Christian faith extended to convoking councils of bishops who were to determine doctrine and to presiding at their meetings, but not to determining doctrine himself, Theodosius established a single Christian doctrine, which he specified as that professed by Pope Damasus I of Rome and Pope Peter II of Alexandria, as the state's official religion.

Catholic doctrine teaches that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ. It interprets the Confession of Peter as acknowledging Christ's designation of Apostle Peter and his successors to be the temporal head of his Church. Thus, it asserts that the Bishop of Rome has the sole legitimate claim to Petrine authority and the primacy due to the Roman Pontiff. The Catholic Church claims legitimacy for its bishops and priests via the doctrine of apostolic succession and authority of the Pope via the unbroken line of popes, claimed as successors to Simon Peter."[6]  

          The first Popes as claimed by the Roman Catholic Church -

St. Peter (33-67)

St. Linus (67-76)

St. Anacletus (76-88)

St. Clement (88-97)

St. Evaristus (97-105)

          Why would Linus have been made Pope, if Matthew, Jude and John were still alive?  Was it like the Hebrews who decided they would rather have a king, than to be ruled directly by God?  Some of the Apostolic books hadn't even been written by that time.

          James was the Leader of the Jerusalem Church.  Despite attempts to suppress the fact, the primary sources show that James was the brother of Jesus. Just as in the case of James' blood relationship to Jesus, Christian tradition have tried various explanations to minimize the role of James in the early church, but a critical evaluation of the primary sources like the New Testament, the quotes by the early church fathers and other contemporary works, shows us conclusively that James, and not Peter, was the leader of the Jerusalem Church. Further, despite the claims of Christian tradition, Peter was subordinate to James.  Peter was an evangelist like Paul, Phillip, Barnabas, Timothy and many others.  The Bible tells us that James, John and Peter ministered to the Jews, while Paul and Barnabas were sent to the gentiles.  Peter did seem to carry a lot of authority when questions of the faith came up, because Paul and others consulted with him.

          The apostolic period extends from the Day of Pentecost to the death of the Apostle John, and covers about seventy years, from A.D. 33 to about 100. The field of action is Jerusalem, and gradually extends over Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy. The most prominent centers are Jerusalem, Antioch, and Rome,  Samaria, Damascus, Joppa, Caesarea, Tyre, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Troas, Philippi, Thessalonica, Beraea, Athens, Crete, Patmos, Malta, Puteoli, Ephesus and Corinth are also where the Christian faith was planted. Through the eunuch, who was converted under Philip, it reached Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians. As early as A.D. 58 Paul could say: "From Jerusalem and round about even unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." He afterwards carried it to Rome, where it had already been known before, and possibly as far as Spain, the western boundary of the empire.  Christianity was spread around the Roman Empire by Paul who founded Christian churches in Asia Minor and Greece. Eventually, he preached throughout Rome itself.

The Church Ages -

Apostolic (30-100 AD)

Ante Nicene (100-325 AD)

Nicaea to the Fall of the Roman Empire (325-600 AD)

The Dark Ages (600-1500 AD)

The Reformation  (1500-1600 AD)

The Modern Age (1600-1800 AD)

The Apostate Age (Approximately 40 AD to today)  We know that the Apostles were fighting false teaching, from almost the beginning, just as we see all around us today.

Significant events -

28 John the Baptist begins his ministry.

30 Jesus begins His ministry

33 Jesus crucified and raised from the dead

33 (Nisan 14 or 15), the Jerusalem church was founded as the first Christian church with about 120 Jews and Jewish Proselytes (Acts 1:15), followed by Pentecost

33 Holy Spirit descends on the day of Pentecost

33 Martyrdom of Stephen, first Christian martyr.

35 Name 'Christian' first used in Antioch.

37 Joseph of Arimathea travels to Britain and lands in Glastonbury.

40, We are told of a certain Eunuch who brought the Gospel to Ethiopia[8]

40 Apostle Barnabas sent from Jerusalem to Antioch.

46-48 Apostle Paul's first missionary journey, with Barnabas.

51 The Jewish persecution of Christians in Rome becomes so disruptive that the        Jews are expelled from the city

49-52 Apostle Paul's second missionary journey, with Silas.

50 Passover riot in Jerusalem, 20-30,000 killed

53-57 Apostle Paul's third missionary journey.

59-62 Apostle Paul's fourth missionary journey, voyage to Rome.

52 Apostle Thomas arrives in Kerala, introducing Christianity to India.

60? Paul in Rome: greeted by many "brothers", three days later called together the Jewish leaders, who hadn't received any word from Judea about him,         but were curious about "this sect", which everywhere is spoken against;           he tried to convince them from the "law and prophets", with partial     success – said the Gentiles would listen, and spent two years proclaiming          the Kingdom of God and teaching "the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 28:15-          31); Epistle to Philemon written?

64-68  July 18 Great Fire of Rome, Nero blamed and persecuted the Christians

66 Flight of the Christian community in Jerusalem to Pella and other places in the Decapolis, and Antioch.

67 Martyrdom of Apostles Peter and Paul in Rome;

66-73 Great Jewish Revolt: destruction of Herod's Temple, Qumran community           destroyed, site of Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947

70 Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans

71 Mark introduces Christianity to Egypt.

120? Rabbi Tarfon advocated burning the Gospels

132-135 Bar Kokhba's revolt: final Jewish revolt, Judea and Jerusalem erased from maps, region renamed Syria Palæstina (the term Palestine was         originally coined by Herodotus), Jerusalem renamed Aelia Capitolina

135 Roman Emperor Hadrian changes Jerusalem's name to Palestine

303 Diocletian orders burning of Christian books and churches

306 Synod of Elvira, prohibited relations between Christians and Jews

312 Vision of Constantine: while gazing into the sun he saw a cross with the     words by this sign conquer, see also Labarum, he was later called the          13th Apostle and Equal-to-apostles

321 Constantine decreed Sunday as state "day of rest"

380 Christianity made official religion of Roman Empire

385 Priscillian, first heretic to be executed?

396-430 Augustine, bishop of Hippo, considered the founder of formalized       Christian theology (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers)

432 St Patrick begins mission in Ireland.

455 Sack of Rome by the Vandals. The spoils of the Temple of Jerusalem         previously taken by Titus are among the treasures taken to Carthage.

550 St. David converts Wales, crucifix introduced

590-604 Pope Gregory the Great, whom many consider the greatest pope ever,          reforms church structure and administration and establishes Gregorian        Chant, Seven deadly sins .

628-629 Battle of Mut'ah, Heraclius recovered Cross of Christ and Jerusalem   from Islam

687-691 Dome of the Rock built

732 Battle of Tours stops Islam from expanding westward

787 Second Council of Nicea

793 Sacking of the monastery of Lindisfarne marks the beginning of Viking      raids on Christendom.

1045 The Roman Catholic Church broke off from the One Holy Catholic and    Apostolic Church

1095-1291 10 Crusades, first called by Pope Urban II at Council of Clermont   against Islamic empire to reconquer the Holy Land for Christendom

1191 Teutonic Knights founded

1205 Saint Francis of Assisi becomes a hermit, founding the Franciscan order   of friars

1307 The arrest of many of the Knights Templar, beginning confiscation of       their property and extraction of confessions under torture.

1311-1312 Catholic Council of Vienna, disbanded Knights Templar

1313 Foundation of the legendary Order of the Rose Cross (Rosicrucian Order),         a mystic Christian fraternity for the first time expounded in the major          Christian literary work The Divine Comedy

1383 - 1395 John Wycliffe published the first Bible in English

1431 Joan of Arc martyred

1455 Gutenberg makes first printed Bible.

1478 Spanish Inquisition founded by Ferdinand and Isabella

1492 Expulsion of Jews from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella

1492 Columbus 'discovers' America

1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 Thesis -  The beginning of Protestantism

1525 Anabaptist movement begins

1529 Church of England came into being

1534 Jesuit order founded by Ignatius of Loyola

1536 Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion   

1543 Parliament of England bans Tyndale's translation as a "crafty, false and   untrue translation"

1545-1563 Catholic Council of Trent, counter-reformation against Protestantism, clearly defined an official theology and biblical canon

1549  Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England by Thomas Cranmer

1553 Michael Servetus founder of Unitarianism, burned at the stake in Geneva

1553-1558 Queen Mary I of England persecuted reformers: John Rogers, Hugh          Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, Thomas Cranmer; 238 burned at the stake

1560 Geneva Bible, first Bible with chapter and verse numbers

1572 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre Thousands of Protestants murdered in France.

1572 John Knox, founded Scottish Presbyterian Church

1582 Institution of the Gregorian Calendar by Pope Gregory XIII.

1590 Michelangelo completes the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

1609 Baptist Church founded by John Smyth

1611 King James Version (Authorized) of the Bible produced

1620 to 1630 Puritans and Pilgrims come to American continent.  They referred         to their settlements the "New Israel".

1636 Founding of what was later known as Harvard University as a training    school for ministers

1647 - 1963 The Bible was used in our schools,  in 1782 Congress printed and           paid for the first ones used in the schools of the new republic.

1648 George Fox founds the Quaker movement

1729 Beginnings of Methodism, led by John Wesley

1769 Mission San Diego de Alcala, first California mission

1776 American Declaration of Independence in signed

1783 America wins independence from Britain

1789 The French revolution

1700-1799 The first Great Awakening

1794 The Whisky Rebellion

1795 The Age of Reason written by Thomas Paine, advocated Deism

1816 American Bible Society established

1816 Bishop Richard Allen, a former slave, founds the African Methodist         Episcopal Church,

1859 Darwin publishes Origin of the Species

1861-65 American Civil War

1845 Southern Baptist Convention formed in Augusta, Georgia

1850 Unitarianism, as a denominational family of churches, was first defined    and developed in Poland-Lithuania, Transylvania, England and America      from the late 16th to the early 19th centuries, although theological ancestors are to be found as far back as the early days of Christianity. It      matured and reached its classical form in the mid-19th century.[9] This           Satanic movement can be directly attributed to the need for the second     Great Awakening.

1865 The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished   slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.

1865 Methodist preacher William Booth founds the Salvation Army

1800-1899 The second Great Awakening

1870 Italy declared war on the Papal States. The Italian Army enters Rome.     Papal States ceased to exist.

1897 Christian flag, conceived in Brooklyn, New York

1899 Gideons International founded

1882 Nietzsche declares "God is dead"

1896 The invention of motion pictures

1904 Welsh revival

1914 Assemblies of God founded

1914-18 First World War

1917 True Jesus Church founded in Beijing

1924 First religious radio station in the U.S., KFUO (AM), founded

1925 Scopes "Monkey" trial

1931 Christ the Redeemer (statue) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1935 Billy Sunday, early U.S. radio evangelist

1939- 45  World War Two

1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer is executed by the Nazis

1947 Oral Roberts founded Evangelistic Association

1947 Dead Sea scrolls discovered

1948 World Council of Churches founded

1950 The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association founded

1954 U.S. Pledge of Allegiance modified by act of Congress from "one nation, indivisible" to "one nation under God, indivisible"

1960 The charismatic renewal in the mainline churches in the United States.      Charismatic Christians believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit as it the     New Testament are available to contemporary Christians through the         infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit, with-or-without the laying on of          hands. These spiritual gifts are believed to be manifest in the form of       signs, miracles, and wonders, including, but not limited to, speaking in    tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, healing, and discernment of    spirits.[10]  This was also known as the 'third wave'.

1956 In God We Trust designated U.S. national motto

1961 First human in space

1962 Engel v. Vitale, first U.S. Supreme Court decision against School prayer

1963 Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech

1963 campaign by Madalyn Murray O'Hair results in U.S. Supreme Court       ruling prohibiting reading of Bible in public schools

1969 First man on the moon

1970 The Late, Great Planet Earth futurist book by Hal Lindsey

1971 Intel introduces the microprocessor

1971 Liberty University founded by Jerry Falwell

1973 Roe vs. Wade

1978-2005 Pope John Paul II, reaffirmed moral traditions

1979 Moral Majority founded

1979 Jesus (1979 film), most watched movie of all time according to New York         Times

1989  Fall of the Berlin Wall.  

1989 First woman ordained in an apostolic-succession church (the Protestant   Episcopal church).

1997 Birth of the internet - Daniel 12:4 " But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words,        and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro,     and knowledge shall be increased."

1999 International House of Prayer in Kansas City begins non-stop 24/7          continual prayer

2004 The rise of Social Media

2013 Pope Francis, became pope, also known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio

2014 The war  has already begun, between the true 'born again' Christians and           the religious Christians[11]. This is part of "The Falling Away".

???? The rapture of the Church

???? The seven year tribulation period

???? The thousand year reign of Christ

???? Satan loosed for a season - so that man can use his free will, one last time.

???? The New Heaven and New Earth

 Denominational Development -

Although Jesus never set up a denomination or a religion, many claim he did. 

           If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex-monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.  Luther was one of the worst anti-Semites in history.

          If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to re-marry.  "The beginnings of the Church of England, from which The Episcopal Church derives, date to at least the second century, when merchants and other travelers first brought Christianity to England. It is customary to regard St. Augustine of Canterbury's mission to England in 597 as marking the formal beginning of the church under papal authority, as it was to be throughout the Middle Ages.  In its modern form, the church dates from the English Reformation of the 16th century, when royal supremacy was established and the authority of the papacy was repudiated. With the advent of British colonization, the Church of England was established on every continent. In time, these churches gained their independence, but retained connections with the mother church in the Anglican Communion."[12]

          If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

          If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

          If you are Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England, founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.

          If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1606.

          If you are of the Dutch Reformed Church, you recognize Michelis Jones as founder because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

          If you are a Methodist, your religion was founded by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1774.

          If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

          If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as “Church of the Nazarene", "Pentecostal Gospel,” or “Holiness Church,” your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past hundred years.

          Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the 1st century AD, and this long tradition makes Ethiopia unique amongst sub-Saharan African countries.  The only pre-colonial Christian church of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Ethiopian Church has a membership of between 40 and 45 million, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia, and is thus the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches. Next in size are the various Protestant congregations, who include 13.7 million Ethiopians. The largest Protestant group is the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, with about 5 million members. Roman Catholicism has been present in Ethiopia since the 16th century, and numbers 536,827 believers. In total, Christians make up about 60% of the total population of the country.

          If you are Roman Catholic, your church shared the same rich apostolic and doctrinal heritage as the Orthodox Church for the first thousand years of its history, since during the first millennium they were one and the same Church.

          Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ.  Lamentably, in 1054, the Pope of Rome broke away from the other four Apostolic Patriarchates (which include Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem), by tampering with the Original Creed of the Church, and considering himself to be infallible. Thus your church is 1,000 years old.  They developed extra-biblical teachings such as purgatory, penance, indulgences, and Mary worship. 

          If you are Orthodox Christian, you believe your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It has not changed since that time. The church is now almost 2,000 years old. And it is for this reason, that Orthodoxy, the Church of the Apostles and the Fathers is considered the true one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.[13]  "The Eastern Orthodox Churches trace their roots back to the Apostles and Jesus Christ. Apostolic succession established the seats of Patriarchy (for example see the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem). Orthodoxy reached its golden age during the high point of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, taken over by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church before it continued to flourish in Russia after the Fall of Constantinople. Numerous autocephalous churches have been established in Eastern Europe and Slavic areas."[14]  

          I have not tried to make this an exhaustive study of church history.  I would surmise it would take thousands of pages to do so. I did not want to subject either of us to that much detail.  I hope that I have given enough detail to give a good overall view.  If more information is desired, the internet is available.

           If more information is desired about the Jewishness of the Church, I suggest  reading my book - Masugana For Yehoshua

          If more information is desired on the historicity of Jesus I suggest reading my paper - Historically Who Was Jesus?

[4] Mark 9:35, Matthew 20:26-27
[6] Wikipedia
[7] Google, Timeline of church history
[8] Acts 8:26-38
[9] Wikipedia
[10] Wikipedia
[11] Religious Christians are  Christians in name only.  They have no personal relationship with Christ.
[13] much of denominational development information came from Rev. Dr. Miltiades Efthimiou


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