The “good news” for the earliest followers of Messiah

I am Hebrew

“It was this belief, and the power of it, that invested the original community of humble persons,
fishermen and artisans, with a dignity and confidence of utterance that was electrifying and
contagious, and that ran like wildfire through the oppressed classes of the population and particularly
attracted the patriots and religious zealots, already stirred and exalted by Messianic visions.
This was the pregnant message, the “good news” for which they had been waiting, the great fact
born of actual knowledge and experience which anchored indefinite hope to the strong rack of
reality.

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The first glimpse of the Nazarenes is then as rugged men with enthusiasm burning in their
faces, with a thousand tongues to tell their Master’s praise, proclaiming his coming to seething
masses of their compatriots aggravated by the domination of Rome and the tyranny of the
Saduccean hierarchy. Figures become fanciful at such times, but there must be something in that
first tale in the Acts of “three thousand souls added”….”five thousand men who had believed.”
Eisler has overstressed the political aspect, but there is undoubted lruth in what he says, that:
the announcement of the resurrection was originally disseminated among the
people by the Jewish Christians in connection with a purely political message and
with a distinctly political aim. The resurrection of Jesus was originally preached,
not to a circle of mystics, like the resurrection of the dying mystery gods or that of

the grass and corn spirit rising again from the earth, as an illustration and guarantee
of the individual’s immortality:
“Be of good cheer, O initiated ones: the god is saved, you too will find salvation
in your pains.” No. The Jewish partisans of Jesus preached to the people that
certainty of the impending “liberation from bondage”; nor did they mean, like Paul,
liberation from the bondage of sin and wicked spirits, but quite literally liberation
from the yoke of their well known worldly oppressors. Jesus was to return and
liberate Israel from bondage in no other sense that King Arthur was believed by the
Welsh of the Middle Ages to return to free his people from the Saxon and Norman
oppressors”. – THE HISTORY OF
JEWISH CHRISTIANITY
From the First to the Twentieth Century
By
Hugh Schonfield

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What we must consider when reading about the “good news” was what it meant to the people at the time this “good news” was very tangible and concrete in its meaning. This “good news” was a liberating proclamation and freedom from oppression that has been swelling in the people of the captive hebrew community for centuries.

At that time to be christian by the Roman was to be a Jew and within the Hebrew community to be christian was to be in the Nazarene sect of Jews. The language of “good news” as proclaimed by the Messiah was one of Kingdom rulership within the heart of the believer that would preceed the very real establishing of the Most High Elohim’s kingdom of Israel on earth literally.

be free

As to the present, the seer writes that the Palestinean Jewish Christians are safe in the desert,
having escaped the general destruction (ch. 12). Moreover, he says, Rome’s triumph is to be
short-lived. After the conquest of Palestine “all the world wondered at the Beast” “Who is like
unto the Beast (Rome)?” was the universal cry. “Who is able to make war with him?” (13:3-4)
Then comes the prophecy, “If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity
shall go into captivity;
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he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the
saints” (13:9-10).
With this summary of past and present events the seer goes on to outline the future. The
Roman Empire is about to feel the mighty hand of God; but before the vials of wrath are poured
out a last opportunity of repentance is to be given the nations. “And I saw another angel fly in the
midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to proclaim unto them that dwell on the earth, and
to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and
give glory to him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (14:6-7).
The imagery of the succeeding chapters runs almost parallel to the judgments on Jerusalem, only
with added horrors, illustrating the saying of Peter, “For the time of judgment is come that
judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall be the end of them
that obey not the gospel of God?”44 As in Judaea, so in the Diaspora, God has faithful servants
“that had gotten the victory over the Beast, and over his image, and over his mark” (15:2). They
stand on the shore of the Red Sea of Fire in which the armies of the neo-Egyptians (Romans) are
perishing, and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb (15:2-4). Chapter 16 describes the
judgments that are to overtake Rome. Pestilence strikes the adherents of the Beast; the waters are
dyed crimson with the blood of the slain; thousands perish by fire and famine; the eastern powers
rise in revolt; false counsellors urge on Rome and her allies to their doom at Armageddon, where
East and West meet in a mutually destructive conflict. The chapter closes with an image of a
“great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent,” a good instance of a seer’s
crypticism of which the meaning has been preserved. It happens that Josephus, describing the
siege of Jotapata by Vespasian, states, “Then simultaneously the catapults hurled lances with a
great noise, and stones of the weight of a talent were thrown by the engines for hurling stones.”45
The fall of Rome herself is foretold under the figure of Babylon (chs. 17-18). At her
overthrow, the hallelujahs of the saints are heard; the Messiah rides forth at the head of the
angelic hosts to complete the discomfiture of the enemy; the Millennium is ushered in (chs. 19-
20).
The seer, however, has not finished his message. There is to be a final outbreak of rebellion by
the forces of evil, instantly quelled, after which follows the Last Judgment and the creation of a
new heaven and a new earth; the new Jerusalem “whose builder and maker is God” becomes a
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lasting habitation for the righteous (chs. 20-22).
Such in all too brief compass is this great Jewish Christian apocalypse, embodying the belief
of the faithful Jewish followers of the Messiah, which nerved them in all their terrible sufferings
of those days. “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen.

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The “good news” to the earliest Christians or Nazarenes was one of justice and prevailing peace over the beast or Rome. This message of “good news” would be understood differently by gentiles, but they would also closely identify with the first Christians or mother church in Jerusalem headed by James the chief apostle or bishop brother of Yahusha.

Our Savior and KING is the Way and as we who are called out to follow this Way comprehend His teachings in full and not in part, but we embrace His Good News and establish the kingdom.

 

 

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