On The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel
Throughout the years we have made 4 trips to Israel and have had the opportunity to share the gospel on the streets of Israel. As we walked thru Yad VaShem Memorial and Holocaust Museum we were shocked at what we saw and read of the history of Israel at the hands of the so-called church fathers. We don't claim any ties with the so-called church fathers at all. We stand with the early church that goes back all the way to Jesus Christ and the disciples. We as true Christians have our roots with the first Christians which were Jews and have nothing to do with these early so-called church fathers, When we first became Christians in 1984, we thought that we were Protestants, but as we study God's Word and the history of time past, we conclude that we are just born again Christians and are not protestants and we reject the protestant reformers and their heretical teachings. As we studied the true history, we have found that most of the early church fathers were murderers, persecuters and haters of the Jews. Please read this brief history of some so-called church fathers.
CATHOLIC & REFORMERS HATRED AND PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS
How did the Church get so far from its Jewish roots? Unfortunately, it has its basis in anti-semitism - the hatred of God's chosen people, the Jews.
Satan is the author of Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jews
The term 'anti-semitism' was coined in 1879 by a German journalist Wilhelm Marr to designate anti-Jewish campaigns then appearing throughout Europe. Since that time, the term has been universally applied to any form of behavior or literature which evidences hostility toward the Jews.
With every fiber of his depraved, sinister being, Satan despises the Jews. He hates them with a perfect hatred, and his demented nature is revealed in his treatment of the Jewish people. This hatred is a reflection of his hatred for God (as Jews are God's chosen people). Their total destruction is his goal. He is the author of the spirit of anti-semitism.
He has tried to persecute God's people, the Jews, in order to eliminate them so that the promised seed of Genesis 3:15, Yeshua, would not be born, and mankind would not be redeemed. The Book of Esther details how the enemy of God and his people tried to eliminate the Jews, but God raised up Esther for "such a time as this" to deliver her race. King Herod tried to eliminate Yeshua by having all the male babies in Bethlehem under two years of age killed.
In our generation the Holocaust is ever mindful of Hitler's outrage against millions of Jews, while Stalin's killing of millions of Jews goes hardly mentioned. Today, one out of every five people in the world is committed to the death of the Jews. Islam requires the death of the Jews.
Arafat has said "Kill the Christians on Sunday, kill the Jews on Saturday," as well as "Kill a Jew and save your soul".
Proof that anti-semitism is satanically inspired is in the multitudes of nations that have sanctioned and condoned it within their borders. It is not a sickness of just one nation or religion. Rather, it crosses all regions and nations: England, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, etc., indicative that a higher power than mankind was at work. The persecution of the Jewish people is not a simple flesh and blood issue. It is Satan's last-ditch effort to prevent the second coming of Yeshua . . . .
Anti-Semitism and the early so-called church fathers
More Jews have been killed in the name of Yeshua than by anyone else. There is so much documentation that it is absolutely appalling to any lover of the Bible. Volumes could be written, but this will only highlight a few. Not only did Catholic and so-called church forefathers hate the Jews and disengage themselves from them, they persecuted them throughout history, beginning as early as 69 A.D. Indeed, from the day that Stephen was stoned to death, there arose intense persecution against the Messianic community in Jerusalem.
The early Church lodged two big accusations against the Jews:
The first false accusation was "Deicide" that the Jews killed the son of God and that the Jews are ritual murders.
Let's get it straight, once and for all: labeling the Jews as "Christ killers" is not accurate. The death of Messiah was God's plan from the beginning. Whole congregations of people were involved in the death of Yeshua. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John show how the Sanhedrin, the priests, the Romans, and the people of Israel all called for the crucifixion of Yeshua and for His blood to be shed (Matt.27:17,20-22;25; Acts 4:26-28). The few Jews who were at Yeshua's trial represented a small percentage of the Jewish population in Jerusalem at that time. As stated in Acts 5:14: . . . throngs of believers were added to the Lord, both men and women.
We see there were many more Jews who believed, and that is why the head Pharisees were afraid more Jews would follow Him. The Jews alone did not kill Yeshua. They could not put Yeshua to death without Roman authority. Jesus Himself bore the responsibility for His death. He said that He alone had the authority to lay down His life, and no one could take that away from Him (Jn.10:17-28). He had to lay down His life for the salvation of mankind and to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. No human being had the power to take His life (Jn.10:17-18).
In fact, every person who has ever lived on planet earth and sinned is guilty of killing Yeshua, because He died for all sinners (Rom.3:10,23). It is now easy to see how down through history the Jews have been falsely blamed for Yeshua's death.
"Ritual murders" were false accusations that Jews were kidnapping, torturing, and killing Christians, and either drinking their blood or using it for their festivals.
The second false accusation was supersession, now called "Replacement Theology". This false teaching says that since the Jews had rejected Yeshua as the Son, that their special bond with the Father was no longer valid, and the Christians were now "the new Israel". The triumph of the elect (Catholics & Reformers) over the rejected (Jews) justified the inferior status of the latter and showed them up as the "living witness" and the One and True Faith of the Catholics & Reformers using the title as (Christianity).
On the contrary, God says in Romans 11:25, 26 that the "hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Here is where the so-called Church,(Catholic Church) which has been primarily Gentile since the second century, has made a big mistake.(Note true Christianity has always been for the Jews) The Catholics and Reformers have been guilty of boasting over the natural branches (Rom.11:17,18), and misinterpreting Israel's hardening. (See also Jer.31:35-37; 33:23-26.)
The following is just a sampling of how the so-called Church fathers spoke against the Jews:
The Epistle of Barnabus shows the Church exalted at the expense of the synagogue and the deadly word "Deicide" (the killing of God) appeared in so-called Catholics' & Reformers' writings.
Justin Martyr charged that the Jews crucified Christ in the highest pitch of their wickedness. It was during this time (150 A.D.) that the first encounter with Replacement Theology was embraced where the church replaced the Jews as God's chosen people.
Tertullian argued that divine judgment is upon Israel, and Jews are destined to suffer for the crucifixion.
New ideas opposing "law" sprang up as early as 160-320 A.D. Marcion, 2nd century, adopted Matthew 5:17 as key theme to ending God's law and taught that the grace of God superseded it, rejecting the Old Testament.
Several Church Councils from 341 A.D. to 626 A.D. (which were under Catholic rule) prohibited Catholics & true Christians from celebrating the Sabbath, festivals, and even eating with the Jews. It seemed that the greatest concern with Judaism on the part of Catholic leaders was the attraction that it held for Catholics. . . . These rules do not come out of bad relations between Jews and Christians (what would now be called, erroneously, antisemitism), but rather were enacted because relations were good and the authorities wanted to separate the two peoples. God has always had a remnant who has followed the Torah.
John Chrysostom, 344-407 A.D., preached: "The Jews ... are worse than wild beasts ... lower than the vilest animals. Debauchery and drunkenness had brought them to the level of the lusty goat and the pig. They know only ... to satisfy their stomachs, to get drunk, to kill and beat each other up ... I hate the Jews ... I hate the Synagogue ... it is the duty of all Christians to hate the Jews.
Origen, 185-254 A.D., was most responsible for changing the way the Church interpreted prophecy, creating the atmosphere in which so-called Christians (Not true Christians) anti-semitism took root and spread. He developed a new teaching on "legalism" setting the stage throughout history for the term "legalism" becoming synonymous with Judaism and both being condemned. (Legalism is not the following of the Old Testament Torah as is currently defined by some present-day teachings. Webster's Dictionary defines legalism as "the doctrine of salvation by good works."
Using his method the Church began to develop the idea that the Israelites had permanently forfeited all their covenants by rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, that these covenants now belong to the church, and that the church is the only true Israel now and forever. In order to alleviate himself of his sin nature, he castrated himself. Considered to be a heretic, he was excommunicated by two church councils. His later disciples consisted of Gregory, Dionysus, Hieracas, Pamphilus, Eusebius of the Nicene Age).
If the early Church considered him a heretic, why are Catholics and Reformers still embracing his teachings on legalism today? Remember Christians have always been following God. True Christians don't go around murdering people who disagree with the teachings of the Holy Bible.
The Crusaders (who were Catholics and not true Christians) (11th and 12th century) theological tenets supported the mass murder of Jews and launched what our generation has come to know in Bosnia as "ethnic cleansing operations".
The Spanish Inquisition still has the country of Spain in bondage to its many curses due to the shedding of innocent blood. These campaigns were both done "in the name of Yeshua and for the glory of God."
Martin Luther, 1483-1546 A.D., was by far the worst proponent of anti-semitism. During his early years, he stated that the Jews were special. When they did not convert to Catholicism, Protestantism (not true Christianity) after the corruption of the Roman Church was exposed, he turned on them, writing:
"Set Jewish synagogues on fire for the honor of God. God will see we are Christians(notice that Protestants and Catholics call themselves Christians) when we get rid of the Jews. Likewise homes should be destroyed; they should be put in a stable; they are not heirs of the promises of God and deserve to die. Deprive them of all prayer shawls, prayer books and communication, revoke all passports, stop them from doing all business, everything they possess we believe they stole and robbed from us. They do not have God's blessings, drive them out of the country ... get rid of them."
In 1924 at a Catholic gathering in Berlin, Adolf Hitler, a professed Christian,(actually was infulenced by the Catholic Church) stood before thousands of Catholics, and with a standing ovation said:
"I believe that today I am acting in accordance with the will of Almighty God. As I announce the most important work that Christians(notice he says Christians) could undertake and that is to be against the Jews and get rid of them once and for all. We are doing the work of the Lord and let's get on with it." Hitler stated, "Martin Luther has been the greatest encouragement of my life. Luther was a great man. He was a giant. Within one blow he heralded the coming of the new dawn and the new age. He saw clearly that the Jews need to be destroyed and we're only beginning to see that we need to carry this work on." Hitler followed to the letter, Luther's treatise on how to exterminate the Jews. Martin Luther preached his last sermon avidly against the Jews and died four days later. Indeed, Nazi leader Julius Streicher at his Nuremberg trial stated, "I have never said anything that Martin Luther did not say".
Other Christian leaders that were strong proponents of anti-semitism include: Constantine the Great (280-337 A.D.); Saint Gregory of Nyssa (335-394 A.D.); Saint Augustine (354-430 A.D.); Saint Jerome (374-419 A.D.); Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (467-533 A.D.); Pope Innocent III (1160-61-1216 A.D.); Pope Pious IV (1499-15654 C.E.).
John Calvin became a proponent of "grace over law" found in his Institutes of Christian Religion, which became the guide for the Reformed Church of Protestantism which still exists today, people who follow the teachings of John Calvin today call themselves Calvinist. They preach another gospel. Teaching that Jesus did not die for the sins of the whole world.
John Wycliffe and translator Miles Coverdale were heavily influenced by Augustine's teachings. Notable anti-Semites of the twentieth century include Joseph Stalin and Henry Ford.
The most destructive pieces of anti-semitic literature ever produced, especially with its fabrication of the Jews plan to take over the world, is The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, published by Sergyei Nilus of Russia in 1905. The Jews have even been blamed for the Black Plague, and as a result were put to death.
Church law throughout the ages has been extremely anti-semitic. Jews were not permitted to eat with Catholics and Protestants; nor permitted to hold public office; nor permitted to show themselves in the streets during Passion Week; Catholics and Protestants were not permitted to patronize with Jewish doctors nor permitted in Jewish homes nor to attend Jewish ceremonies. Other laws included the burning of the Talmud and other books; the marking of clothes with a badge; and compulsory ghettos (1267 A.D.).
While all these laws were instituted against the Jews, they were still obliged to pay taxes for support of the Church to the same extent as Catholics and Protestant Churches.
This is only a short list of the atrocities instituted against the Jews. Many of the things believed to have been originated with Hitler truly found their source with the Church fathers. Hitler was just following what he thought to be early Church doctrine.(not what the scriptures teach)
Is it any wonder why Jews don't believe Yeshua is their Messiah? How are we going to provoke the Jews to jealousy (Rom.11:11) with a pagan set of holidays and teachings that are against the Torah of God? Because of the paganism which has been in the Church for centuries, Jews don't see Christians as even worshipping the same God. Knowing well the history of Christian persecution, the Jews stay at arm's length from a group who profess the love of the God of Israel, but who practice paganism, not following the commandments of God. Yet Christians, for the most part, are unaware of the Church history of persecution of the Jews and are equally unaware of worshipping on pagan holidays instead of God's appointed Sabbaths and feast days. Holidays like Christmas and Easter...
There were 160,000 Christian martyrs in 1996. Could Protestants & Catholics be reaping what was sown down through the centuries by their persecution and killing of so many millions of Jews & Christians? Actually, the worst persecution of Christians and Jews is soon to come, as the innocent blood of the martyrs is yet to be fully avenged. Are you prepared?
Christian attitude towards Israel
What about our heart attitude towards the Jews and Israel? If we long for more blessings in our lives, let's begin to bless Israel in our hearts, as well as with our words and actions. Are you like Moses willing to suffer with God's people by maintaining a positive attitude towards Israel in spite of the negative reports in the news media? Will you carry a burden in the Spirit for their sake before the throne of God?.
Perhaps when Christians have an understanding of the world's past dealings with the Jews, they will develop a sensitivity toward Israel and the Jewish people. Perhaps then they will stand up for the Jews when atrocities threaten, even when doing so could risk their own lives and well-being.
God's present great move of His Spirit is a restoration of our Hebraic/Jewish roots. Because of the Church's "we are not under the law" doctrine, many cannot identify with "Hebraic Roots" and think that those who are 'into that' are strange and weird. Today, Christians are so tightly connected with Christmas and Easter through Church tradition that they find it difficult to accept that God gave the festivals to be celebrated by ALL believers rather than the pagan substitutes. Great disputes among Christians are beginning to arise over this issue of embracing our Hebraic Roots and the role of the Jewish and non-Jewish believer toward the Torah just like has arisen in the past 500 years when God began to restore other various truths that have been lost for hundreds of years.This is we recommend reading the bible for yourself.
Meanwhile, God is calling out His people within the Church to come out of Babylon and be separate from the world and the ways of the world. He is calling His people to discover their Hebraic/Jewish roots, to love and stand with the Jewish people, to fight anti-semitism, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and have a heart for the land of Israel. I pray that YOU will receive the heart and vision for His people in these last days prior to the return of Yeshua, the Messiah, to the earth at His second coming to rule and reign with His Bride for 1,000 years during the Messianic Age.
Those Christians who are unwilling to come out from the system and return to the Torah will still be saved, but it will cost them dearly (Matt.7:21-23). The rich young ruler had this same problem (Luke 18:18-25). While the rich young ruler couldn't give up his possessions, neither can some Christians give up their positions and titles in their churches and part ways with their traditions, nor are they willing to receive the persecution it would take to turn their congregations towards "delighting in the Torah."
So to answer the questions posed at the beginning: Yes, Christianity has Jewish roots which started with Abraham. And yes, because of the anti-semitic teachings of the Catholic Church forefathers and Protestant Reformers we have lost these Jewish roots.
Christianity is a continuation of Judaism and was never meant to be a separate form of worship.
God in His mercy and grace is now bringing our Jewish roots back into the true Church for all those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying. I encourage each of you today to lend an ear and come into the fullness of your Jewish roots by embracing the teachings of the Torah with a new enthusiasm for the second coming of our Messiah draweth nigh.
Remember, grafted-in Gentile believer, that you do not support the root (Israel), the root supports you (Rom.11:18). May it be understood clearly and never forgotten: Gentile believers have been grafted into Israel's tree, and they are nourished by the ancient Jewish root.
The ten virgins in Matthew 25 were all believers waiting for the return of Yeshua. Five wise virgins went into the marriage feast, while five foolish virgins did not. Will you be one of the wise virgins or one of the foolish virgins?
I challenge you to seek the Lord and search the Scriptures to see whether these things be true (Acts 11:17).
Psalms 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.