A mini history of followers of Jesus Christ
Upon coming to faith and joining to Christ, some Christians remained in Rome or Jerusalem and many went all over the world as far as they could go, bringing the good news and making disciples of The Way. They repudiated their involvement in their pagan past and abandoned their previous alliance with Babylonian religion, the pagan worship of the creation, the pantheon of “gods”, and the ruler of The Roman Empire.
They chose spiritual truth over the lies of the world. They chose to trust God, following Christ, rather than trust the power of world empires. They chose God’s self-giving love over the self-centered philosophies of the heathen world. They chose humility over pride. They chose compassion and service over greed and elitism. They chose meekness over violence. They chose the Life of Christ rather than the death of the pagan religious system. They switched their devotion from State and the State Religion to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
They chose allegiance to the Kingdom of God over allegiance to the kingdoms of this world. This is because they were now the children of God and He was now their Father. Early Christians were put to death for refusing to worship the Roman gods and emperors. They refused to participate in the wicked Roman religious rituals.
After a time, manmade Institutional Church was formed, and allied with the Roman Empire government. This new world Dominionism was violent, cruel and oppressive. It was a cunning substitute for the Kingdom of God and in great opposition to the Kingdom of God. And of course, it claimed to be Christian.
The Christ followers chose to trust in God, rather than men of high title (“popes, priests & kings”). They rejected the traditions and demands of the Church+State alliance. For example, The Church would command The State to act on its behalf. The State would also command The Church to act on its behalf. The State and the Church became one and functioned thereafter as the powerful world kingdom of ChurchState.
Those Christians living physically in the ChurchState suffered confusion, great spiritual struggle and terrible pressure because ChurchState both taught and demanded things that are the complete opposite of the teachings of Christ. ChurchState professed God and Christ but operated in a wicked spirit that was violently opposed to the Holy Spirit of God that resides in every child of God.
The Christ followers had the rule and reign of Christ within them. They rejected ChurchState’s acceptance, support and practice of torture, enslavement, war and killing. They rejected ChruchState’s acceptance, support and practice of idolatry, lying, manipulation and violent oppression.
They questioned the authority of antichrist kings who claimed “divine right of kings” to act wickedly while claiming they acted in God’s stead. They questioned the authority of Pagan Christianity and its clergy. They questioned ChurchState’s claims that “it” was the kingdom of God. They refused compliance to Church and State laws when those violated their conscience, since they were ruled by the Spirit of God and the teachings of Christ. They chose obedience to Christ, rather than obedience to ChurchState. For “crimes” of noncompliance, Christians were labeled religious heretics and marked as enemies of The State. The noncompliant, those not loyal to ChurchState, were put to death by both The State and The Church.
Jesus told his disciples, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes (the religious leaders of Jesus’ day). They will condemn Him to death and will deliver Him over to the Gentiles (The Roman State authorities).”
The same things that happened to Jesus happened to the first disciples and it repeats down through history all the way to the end. It is a sad and very beautiful story. What happened to Jesus at the end of His life happens to His followers at the end of the age. And we are also a part of this great drama because this entire history is “the end of the age.” The life of Christ now happens with us. This is the replay. The trials and suffering of Jesus, and His witness of Truth to religious leaders and to government authorities, does now replay in us.
This world plans it’s so called “reset” because “this world” (the domain of darkness) hates God. But God has His replay. The replay is the Life of Christ living out again, within His people. The replay of the Life of Christ in us, happens because Christ is in us and we are in Him. The replay happens because He loves us and we love Him.
So now, those of us who have gone before you, pray for you, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to have part in what he has promised His people in the kingdom of light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.