For the original followers of Jeshua (Jesus Christ) their group belonged to the Jewish community, being considered a 1st century Jewish movement or Jewish sect, known by the name The Way. For the Jews there was no problem to have those Jews meeting in their temple and to have discussions with them as well to share services with them. Those who were also known as belonging to the Jeshua-movement (Jesus-movement), their first dilemma they wrestled with did not concern Jews believing in Jeshua (or Jesus) but goyim or gentiles, the non-Jews who did. Leaders of the movement debated how their communities should think about Greek and Roman followers of the master teacher from Nazareth, rebbe Jeshua.
In the first century the first followers of Jeshua who werre mainly Jehudi woundered if they should allow preople from other nations to enter their community. Remembering what their rebbe thought they, after a lot of discussion, decided that goyim should also be welcome into their group. At a council held in Jerusalem, the leaders decided that gentiles were allowed to follow Jeshua or become a member of their group without having to convert to Judaism, because in fulfilment of God’s promises in the Tanakh, Jeshua (Jesus) is the anointed saviour of both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 15). In other words, faith in Jeshua (or faith in Jesus) was open to non-Jews and not just to Jews — a striking reversal from the way many people think about faith in Jesus today.
Naturally to become a member of the Jeshuaist movement the candidates for conversion have to be real faithful believers in the sent one from God. They have to accept that this son of man is a man of flesh and blood, who is the sent one from God and not God having come in a form of incarnation to fake His temptation and His death (because that are both things God cannot have - but which Christ Jesus had).
When the apostles and later their followers saw that the person willing to join the group The Way, was really believing in Only One True God and was willing to accept that Jeshua (or Jesus) was his authorised son, they were pleased to take that person into their group as a brother or sister in Christ. By the years the brotherhood grew and spread all over the world.
Despite the fact that many Jewish believers remained integrated into Jewish life, as rabbinic Judaism developed and took form, the Tannaim—the earliest generation of Talmudic rabbis—sought to define established Judaism. They attempted to draw a line distinguishing those who were “in” from those who were “out.” The stage for this struggle was in the community centre of Jewish life — the community house of worship, bet ha-tefilla (“house of prayer”), bet ha-kneset (“house of assembly”), and bet ha-midrash (“house of study”) or short: the synagogue. In the second century, if not earlier, a prayer was introduced to the liturgy to expose Messianic Jews for the purpose of banishing them from communal life. Called the Birkat HaMinim (Benediction of the Apostates), it was introduced into the Amidah, part of the Shabbat liturgy. It called for the destruction of apostates, among whom Jewish followers of Jeshua were included. A copy of this benediction, found in an ancient Cairo synagogue, condemned the Nazarenes and called a curse upon them. It read,
“May the Nazarenes … instantly perish: may they be blotted from the book of the living.”
Secret believers ended up outing themselves when they omitted the benediction during the synagogue service, for they would not pronounce a curse upon themselves. Over time, Jewish followers of Jeshua either voluntarily or unwillingly left the synagogue and ultimately the Jewish community.
A few centuries later it became even more difficult when for other christians, it seemed to be less dangerous not having to fear the Roman prosecution any more, because of certain churchleaders having agreed to have their God and son of god being placed on equal terms as the Roman gods, and changing the name of Jeshua in Iessous / Issous (Jesus) or "hail Zeus", and giving him the status of being a tri-une godhead.
Early Greek and Roman Christians played their part as well in ostracizing the early Messianic Jews. As the Church became predominately Gentile, these non-Jewish Christians assumed that God had rejected the Jewish people for their rejection of Jesus. They looked down up Jewish Christians and Jewish Christianity, preferring Greco-Roman over Hebrew culture. John Chrysostom, in a series of homilies against Jewish believers in Jesus, condemned them as apostates for maintaining their Jewish traditions. Moreover, he had like many other Christians adapted the pagan rites and condemned Christians who continued to celebrate the Passover or maintain Jewish traditions.
“Indeed, their Passover and Feast of Tabernacles, and whatever else they do, are profane and abominable.”
From then onwards it became more dangerous for real followers of Jeshua.
True followers of Jeshua have been violently persecuted throughout the ages and have repeatedly been hurt in history and burned life at the stake. The Roman Catholic church was master in these prosecutions. But true followers of Jeshua were secretly engaged in the study of Holy Scripture and could sporadic, win some true followers or get some new converts baptised by immersion into their community. By the Inquisition many true followers of Jeshua found their death.
The expulsion of followers of Jeshua from synagogues and of non-trinitarian Christians from the main churches, and the persecutions, made that they had no other choice than to meet in secret and in private houses, forming house-churches or ecclesiae in the living room of other brethren and sisters. Therefore non-Jews who accept Jeshua as their saviour, with Jews who also accept and see Jeshua as their saviour, the promised Messiah, are open to each other and welcome each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Today, anywhere in the world, in the shadow of unfamiliarity and closed spaces, Jeshuaists can be found who still adhere to the working method and way of life of the first Christians. But coming closer to the foretold end-times we have to face the necessity of preaching the coming Kingdom of God. Therefore all lovers of God and lovers of his son Jeshua (Jesus Christ) should come into the open and proclaim Christ's Name and the Gospel or Good News.
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