Recalling the earlier reference that Gentiles began calling the Netzarim "Kristianay" (Christians) in Antioch, the practice became widespread in the Gentile world and continues to this day as Netzarim are still referred to as "primitive Christians", "early Christians" and the "early Church". It should be noted at the outset that where the all-encompassing word "Christian" is used in the foregoing references it is oftentimes including those that were Netzarim or that followed the Netzarim halacha (way to walk) as much as they were able.
You will see that the persecution of "Christians" was because they observed the seventh day Shabbat, the Moedim Feasts of YHWH, and kept the Mitzwot (Commandments) of YHWH as do the Netzarim to this day. This history also includes those groups haSatan has used throughout the centuries to destroy the Talmidim (disciples) Y'shua. All events listed are critical to our understanding.
Let's start out by examining what the first congregations (Christians refer to as "churches") looked like.
Philo, (20 BCE - 50 CE) a first century historian of Alexandria Egypt, reports in his work entitled: 'On the life of Moses' he questions: "What man is there who does not honor that sacred seventh day, granting in consequence, a relief and relaxation from labor, for himself and for all those who are near to him and that not to free men only, but also to slaves and even to beasts of burden... Everything is at liberty and in safety on that day and enjoys as it were, perfect freedom in obedience to a universal proclamation."
The first century historian, Flavius Josephus (37 CE – 100 CE), gives us great insight as to what took place on the Sabbath, not only in Jerusalem, but in all of the Roman empire. In his work entitled: "Flavius Josephus against Apion" he states : " The multitude of mankind itself have had a great inclination of a long time, to follow our religious observances, for there is not any city of the Grecians nor of the Barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever wither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come."
The people of YHWH have a "Mark", a special sign. "...Nevertheless, you must keep My [Shabbats] for this is a sign between me and you throughout the ages, that you may know that I YHWH have consecrated you. You shall keep the Shabbat, for it is Kadosh (sanctified) for you..." Exodus 31:12-14
"And I saw another messenger...and he had the seal of the living Elohim; and he cried out... 'Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our Elohim upon their foreheads'."
"It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church." Priest Brady, in an address, reported in the Elizabeth, NJ 'News' on March 18, 1903. (From This Rock - the definitive magazine of Catholic apologetics and evangelization)
Speaking of Yeshua, "... And he entered into the assembly as he was accustomed on the day of the Shabbat..."
Yeshua observes Pesach (means "Protect", Passover) with his Shlichim (Apostles).
Yeshua goes up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Chag haMatzot (Unleavened Bread). On the last day of Chag haMatzot (the first day and the seventh days are Shabbatot (Sabbaths) - not to be confused with the weekly Shabbat) Yeshua gets up to teach in verses 37 & 38
The Shlichim (Apostles) are gathered together for the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) when the Ruach haKodesh (Set Apart Ancient Spirit) comes upon them. Note that they were gathered together for the feast, they were not hiding out in fear of the religious leaders as is taught by many misguided Christian teachers. The Talmidim had already seen the risen Mashiyach seven weeks previous (counting of the Omer to Shavuot) and they have been emboldened since that time.
"These are my feasts...the feasts of YHWH, Kadosh (set apart) convocations". (Lev. 23:2-4) "...a statute forever (vs 14, 21, 31, 41)".
Rav Shaul (Paul) is in the Kenesset (Hebrew; translated Synagogue in Greek) on each Shabbat teaching. Kenesset means "great assembly" or "congregation".
They sailed after the Feast of Chag haMatzot. This correlates with the Shavuot following in Acts 20:16
Paul bypasses Asia as he is in a hurry to get to Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost). This was approximately 25 - 30 years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua haMashiyach and the baptism of the Ruach haKodesh in Acts 2:1. The Ruach writes Torah upon the heart. If these things were done away with, why are the Shlichim still observing them?
Sailing was difficult because it was "After the fast" referring to Yom Kippur (Shabbat - Day of Atonement - it is a day of fasting and prayer). This is preceded by Yom T'ruah (Feast of Trumpets) and followed by Sukkot (Tabernacles). When we refer to "the fast" it is usually indicative of the (3) fall Feasts of YHWH. Make a note. The spring feasts have been fulfilled - Pesach; Chag haMatzot; haBikkurim (First Fruits); and Shavuot.
Yom T'ruah; Yom Kippur; and Sukkot (Tabernacles) have yet to be fulfilled by Mashiyach. Here is a remez for those who have understanding. Yom T'ruah coincides with 1 Corinthians 15:52, "at the last trump...". Revelation 19:7-9 coincides with Yom Kippur, "for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come..." And yes, Sukkot coincides with Revelation 20:6 as we await our permanent home in Revelation 22.
For more on this see the catagory, "Matthew 5:17-19" on this web site.
1 Corinthians 5:7-8
"Let us celebrate the festival..." Speaking of Chag haMatzot and how to observe it properly (cleaning out the leaven in our hearts). Rav Shaul directly ties the Feasts to Yeshua in verse 7, "...For our Passover is the Mashiyach, who was slain for us".
The Gospels and Acts make it equally clear that Mashiyach, his Shlichim and Talmidim kept the seventh day weekly Shabbat that was established before the Torah was given to Moshe (Mark 6:2, Luke 4:16, 31-32; 13:10; Acts 13:14-44; 18:4). Did Rav Shaul really abandon the Shabbat as many Christian denominations teach? That is contrary to what Acts 17:1-3 teaches, "2 And Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and during three Shabbatot he spoke with them from the scriptures."
What scriptures did Rav Shaul teach from? There was no "New Testament" at that time. The writings of the Netzarim had not even been collected together at this time. In fact, they hadn't all been written yet. Rav Shaul taught from the Torah and the Prophets that Christianity claims was nailed to the torture stake. Read Acts 24:14; 25:8. "As a result, Torah is Set Apart; and the Commandment is Set Apart, and righteous, and good." Romans 7:12. "For I rejoice in the Torah of Elohim, in the inner man." Romans 7:22. In verse 25, "...Now, therefore, in my conscience, I am a servant of the Torah of Elohim..." Paul states in his letter to Timothy, "because from your childhood, you were taught the Set Apart books which can make you wise to life by faith in Y'shua Mashiyach. All Scripture that was written by the Spirit is profitable for instruction and for decisive refutation, and for correction, and for deep extensive learning in righteousness..." 2 Tim. 3:15-16
What scripture does Rav Shaul keep talking about? They didn't check Rav Shaul's teaching against Matthew, Acts, 1 Timothy, Jude, or The Revelation because there was no Brit Chadasha (New Testament). It was the Tanakh (Old Testament) they searched. Even the Bereans checked Rav Shaul and Silas against the scriptures to see if they were teaching the truth from Torah and the Prophets in Acts 17:10-11.
For there remains a Shabbat for the people of Elohim. For he who had entered into his rest has also rested from his works as Elohim did from his. Let us, therefore, strive to enter into that rest; or else we fall short, after the way of those who did not believe. For the Word of Elohim is living and all-efficient and sharper than a two edged sword."
We can confidently state that the Shlichim and Talmidim not only talked the talk, they walked the walk. Their actions clearly matched up with the words they spoke. Now, these Netzarim went out into the world and preached the Good News. While these Netzarim preached they walked the walk letting their light shine before men. Let's see what resulted from their halacha and what resulted from those who came up with false doctrines and new commandments from the twisted imaginations of men.
Demarcation - The Creation of the All Gentile Christian "Church"
Second Jewish rebellion under Bar Kokhba; second destruction of Jerusalem by Romans in 134; almost entire Jewish population of Palestine died or fled.
Up until the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt, Netzarim and those Gentiles calling themselves "Kristiany" were of the circumsion - they kept the Mitzwot of YHWH (or what is referred to as the Mosaic Law) and had the testimony of Yeshua. The Beit Dien (governing council or Judges) were Jewish Netzarim.
After the Bar Kokhba revolt the remaining Jewish inhabitants were exiled and forbidden to enter Yerushalayim. Yerushalayim is renamed Aelia Capitolina and a temple to Jupiter Capitolina was erected on the temple mount. Jews and Jewish believers were forbidden to enter the city. Judaea became the Syrian province of "Palestine" or "Land of the Philistines". Marcus becomes the first "Gentile Bishop" of Yerushalayim (Aelia Capitolina) according to Eusebius. This is approximately 100 years after the execution of Yeshua.
Under Marcus' direction "The most considerable part of the congregation renounced the 'Mosaic law', the practice of which they had preserved above a century [after the execution of Yeshua]." Those who renounced the "Mosaic law" were free to live in Yerushalayim and to come and go as they pleased. ~"The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibons"
This solidified the all Gentile Christian Church which stripped away all things Hebrew and changed the "faith once delivered to the Set-Apart believers" into the Church of "the mystery of iniquity" (Lawlessness - Torahlessness).
The foundation of contemporary Christianity
Marcion's canon of authentic scripture consisted of a set of writings he collected together in about 140 AD which seemed to support his cause and, more importantly, he rejected those which did not. There was little consensus in those days as to what constituted scripture. Marcion's canon of authentic scripture excluded anything referring to Torah (Law) or YHWH, who Marcion saw as an inferior g-d. This canon had no books from the Tanakh (old testament and expunged everything which Marcion felt had been added by ' Judaisers' in the Ketuviim Netzarim (new testament).
Marcion's teachings departed from traditional Christianity, up to that point in history, in a number of ways. Most dramatically Marcion rejected the idea that the Tanakh G-d and the Ketuviim Netzarim G-d were the same being. The traditional Church had considered the Tanakh to be sacred and assumed that Christianity was a fulfillment, or continuation, of Judaism. Marcion's rejection of that idea affected many different doctrines and beliefs.
Once Marcion had rewritten the Christian scriptures, he could make his case. "By rewriting scripture, he presented a powerful case." ~Fox, Pagans and Christians, at 332.
Marcion's theology was a tremendous departure from that of the contemporary Christian churches in which he had grown up in. Key to his theology was the notion that there were actually two "G-ds." One of these "G-ds" was the G-d of the Tanakh. He was a completely different, lesser, entity than the G-d of the Ketuviim Netzarim. According to Marcion, Y'shua was the product of the New G-d. This G-d was not YHWH, but the "unknown G-d" referred to by Paul in Acts in his speech in Athens. Marcion coined the terms, "Old Testament" and "New Testament" that Christianity uses to this day. We use the correct names of Tanakh (OT) and Ketuviim Netzarim (NT).
Ironically, some of Marcion's anti-Jew, anti-Torah, and anti-Netzari teachings found their way into mainstream Christianity and are still held as basic Christian doctrine today. Although the Vatican eventually declared Marcion a heretic, they syncretized much of his teachings into their world religious system - dispensationalism, Old Testament, New Testament, and replacement theology are a few examples of Marcion's doctrines still supported and used by the Mother of Harlots. While we are on the subject, notice she is referred to as the MOTHER of harlots. Christianity has over 38,000 denominations world wide. And they follow some, if not all, of their mothers laws.
Anicetus introduces the Pagan Easter festival [Ishtar] into the Roman Church. He is opposed by Polycarp disciple of John. Polycarp heads the church in the east at Smyrna and speaks for all Quartodecimans. Notice that this is a subtle "introduction". It was gradually incorporated into the Roman religion until 325 CE when it was made an official "Holy Day" at the Council of Nicea. Outside the Roman Church, believers still observed Pesach rather than the pagan Ishtar festival.
Justin Martyr writes his First Apology to the Emperor of Rome on behalf of the Church of Rome. Martyr says that Christ was the Great Angel of the OT who gave the Law to Moses. On behalf of the Church at Rome, Martyr wrote (Dial. LXXX) that if they came across people who said they were Christians and that when they died they would go to heaven, not to believe them because they were not Christians. This was the test of a true Christian. It was a shibboleth (any distinguishing practice which is indicative of one's social or regional origin) in the church. People who said that when they died they went to heaven were Gnostic impostors according to Martyr.
[That is something I must agree with. Can you show me one single scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, where it says you go to heaven when you die?]