Tree of Life – Level 1, Lesson 7: Ancient Apostolic Christianity
After its foundation by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Christianity followed the apostolic doctrine, as is mentioned in the Book of Acts, Acts 2:42 – “and they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine.”
The birth of the Apostolic Christian Church took place on the day of Pentecost in the Upper Room as is recorded in Acts 1:13. The Holy Spirit descended in the form of fire tongues on each of the heads of the twelve apostles and the Virgin Mary, and later, the 72 disciples and the 120 followers. It was the same Holy Spirit through Peter that converted 3,000.
The Apostolic Christian Church grew upon the stormy foundation of the solid rock of Jesus Christ, which was symbolized by St. Peter, and its seed that caused it to grow was the blood of the martyrs. The ungodly of the Romans and the Jews persecuted the early Church.
The first time the followers of Jesus were called Christians was at Antioch, Act 11:26.
This, of course, was the prophecy of Jesus come to pass: “for I say unto you I will pray, for Satan desireth to sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31) The Church had to fight Judases all during its existence.
It goes without saying that if Jesus was called Beelzebub, so were his disciples. And the blood that was shed in the Name of Jesus only goes to prove the point.
It was centuries later – approximately 333 A.D. – that serious division came to the Church. The Apostles laid a strong foundation because they had a vision and the Scriptures declare that without a vision, the nation perisheth.
One of the visions they had was that of the persecuted and ascended Lord, which they firmly believed in. So their faith carried them through. They taught Salvation by faith and Grace, through the Blood of Jesus Christ – and not through works.
The Apostolic Creed was simple. They worshipped a living good God of Love. They taught Jesus as Love, Light and Truth. The service centered around the Holy Communion which later became the Holy Mass.
The early Church was persecuted not by simple humble people, but by proud arrogant men, teachers of temples, churches, synagogues, and governments. God was with the early church and the apostles performed miracles in the name of Jesus, including casting out Satan.
All nine gifts of the Holy Spirit were in operation (I Corinthians 12: 1-10). Healings were very prominent in the Church, and the Book of Acts records many of them.
The Church’s one foundation was in Jesus Christ, her Lord. The Church is the mystical Body of Christ. It is a many membered body. The Eternal Bride. It is not based on any one minister, apostle, Saint, or anything else, except the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all mankind, and the remission of sin in His name.
Jesus was the culmination of true sacrifice. He fulfilled the Law and established the new and eternal covenant in His blood.
Instead of fear of hell and judgment, man could live by faith, love, light, and Truth, and more especially Grace or Epigenesis, which is the Law of Grace.
There are still a few who cling to the Apostolic Church, though a good deal of people are misled by mass mind.