The Church after the Apostles

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.  Matthew 23:9

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  Matthew 15:9

After the death of Apostle John, a group of church leaders known as "the Early Church Fathers" became prominent and by the seventh century, there were over 160 of these men on historical record.

Many of these men taught and published teachings which separated the Gentiles from the Jewish believers in Christ.  They preached replacement theology as they claimed to be the "New Israel" whereas the Jews were deemed the murderers of Christ and forsaken by God. This theology of replacement, which also evolved later into a theology of displacement, stated that the Jews had lost what God had given them and now the gentile Christian Church was the new rightful recipient to the promises and blessings of God.   For example:

Ignatius A.D. 30-107 in his letter to the Philippians wrote:

"If any one celebrates the Passover along with the Jews, or receives the emblems of their feast, he is a partaker with those that killed the Lord and His apostles."

An influential letter written in the time period between 100 – 131 AD was the Epistle of Barnabus. The writer said that the Jews no longer had a covenant with God and the agenda of "replacement theology" is clearly stated. This is totally contradictory to the Bible, which says God's covenant with Abraham is everlasting in Genesis 17:7-8

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.   And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. 

In the Epistle of Barnabas,  Barnabas writes:

"Indeed it is ours; for Moses had hardly received it when they (the Jews) forfeited it forever."

The gentile Christian Church, however, did not make a claim on the Old Testament commandments of God in a literal sense, but rather "spiritualized" them.  They adopted the gnostic false teaching that God's literal everlasting commands were no longer in effect and void.   They rationalized and twisted Colossians chapter 2 by saying that Jesus completed and abolished the law while forgetting what Christ said in Luke 16:17

But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

Continuing to observe and honor the Sabbath, the circumcision, the feasts, the dietary laws, or anything Jewish, was considered foolishness and anyone caught doing so was labeled as a "Judaizer".

The term Judiazer is found only in one verse in the New Testament. This verse is found in Galatians 2:14 where Paul was accusing Peter of adhering to non-biblical Jewish traditions outlined in the Jewish Talmud which forbade Jews and Gentiles from eating together, not of Peter being Torah-obedient.

In reality, what Paul was fighting against was not the Torah, which he advocates and defends, then claims to follow himself in a number of places in his writings which we will list at the bottom of this page.

This was not a new development; Christ also throughout His ministry admonished the Jewish religious hierarchy of the day for following the oral traditions of men (Talmudic law) over the Law of Moses given by God the Creator. This is recorded in  Mark 7:5-9:

Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?  He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

Christ also warns the people in Matthew 23:1-3

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,  Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:  All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 

In the verses above you see Christ is telling the people to pay attention to these religious leaders while they read and teach the law of Moses "sitting in Moses seat". Christ also tells them to not do what they do, as they do not follow the Law of Moses in their actions but instead give preference to their extrabiblical Jewish traditions.

This was the true meaning of Judaizing — a one word description that explains the above situation that seems to be missed by the majority of Christian scholars today since the term was corrupted and changed as the gentile leadership took over the early church.

The "church father", Tertullian, wrote concerning the Sabbath and circumcision:

"It follows, accordingly, that, in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the old law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so also the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary."

This statement is also contrary to the word of God as written in Exodus 31:16

Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

Justin Martyr in his Dialogue with Trypho around the year 140 A.D. declares that the Jews were commanded to keep the Sabbath and feasts because of their wickedness:

“For we too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short, all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined you - namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your hearts.

Irenaeus was the bishop of Lyon in the second century.  He also wrote that the Jews were disinherited from the grace of God.   But Paul wrote that the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable in Romans 11:29

"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable".

Paul also states that the “mystery of Messiah” is revealed by the Spirit of God uniting Jews and Gentiles in the Body of Messiah in Ephesians 3:4-6

"When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel".

The false teachers inside the early Christian Church liked to use the verses of Paul's letters out of context as a means to justify their false doctrine. Their favorite section of Paul's letters taken out of context is Colossians 2:14

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross"

According to these false teachers;  when Christ died on the cross, He abolished the laws of God delivered by Moses to the Children of Israel, "nailing it to the cross".

Actually, Paul is saying that the curse of sin and death, which is exposed by the law of God, is nailed to the cross by Christ's sacrifice,   along with the Old Testament sacrificial law, as Christ was now the sacrifice for our sins.

Paul in Romans 8:2 states;

"For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." 

Paul also stated in Rom 2:13;

"For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." 

And in Rom 7:25 Paul says;

"I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."  

Also consider Acts 28:17;

"And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or laws of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans." 

Paul made this statement to the Jewish leaders in Acts 28:17 of not forsaking the laws or "eth'-os" of our fathers ( following the torah ) at the very end of his life before he was be-headed. Paul made this statement ten years after the Jerusalem council as recorded in Acts chapter 21 and after decades of being in the ministry !

By his own words, Paul never stopped following the Law of God.

Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:15-16 about those who teach and twist Paul's words;

"And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures".

This negative attitude towards the Jewish Believers, along with annulling the laws and commands of God, caused the saved in Christ Jews to leave the early Christian Church and worship on their own in groups. This cultural divide, led by the early church fathers of these times, then tried to erase the Jewish believers with heavy restrictive measures imposed by the Christian Church against all Jewish people.

In the three centuries from 300 to 600 AD, a host of rules were passed containing discriminatory provisions against the Jews in the now "Christian" Roman Empire which began with the reign of emperor Constantine.

In 321 A.D. Sunday was declared to be the official day of rest and worship instead of the true Sabbath which was commanded by God. This was done to appease the Roman pagan population who were used to worshiping their false sun god Sol Invictus on that day.

In 325 A.D. Constantine summoned the First Council of Nicaea which, among other things, established the unbiblical celebration of Easter to replace the Jewish Passover.

There were also the Laws of Constaninus in (399 AD), the Laws of Theodosius II (439 AD) and the Laws of Justinian (531 AD).

Eventually anyone who continued to worship on the Sabbath or kept the Passover, and was caught doing so, was put to death.

The original early congregations began as Jews who followed the teachings of Christ and His disciples lead by the Holy Spirit. They in turn reached out to the Gentiles with this gift of salvation, but the pagan influences and false doctrines crept in and slowly twisted the original truths taught by Christ, as contained in the Scriptures.

There is no biblical record that Jesus or the disciples ever stopped worshiping on the Sabbath, ate foods that were unclean, forgot about the feasts, or ceased following the laws and commands of God as written in the Old Testament. They taught from the Old Testament and nothing to the contrary.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  1 John 3:4

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8