No one listened to what? Who was supposed to listen to what, and when?
Well, let’s get one thing straight right now- there is a difference between hearing and listening.
If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.
Hearing is nothing more than physically recognizing a sound, maybe even recognizing the words, but not necessarily acting on them.
But when you listen to someone, that means not only do you recognize they are speaking, but you are paying attention, you are taking in what they say and, if what they say is edifying and helpful, you then act upon it.
To answer the question, the early leaders of the movement that accepted Yeshua as the Messiah made up of Gentiles are the people I am talking about, and what they heard was a warning from Shaul (Paul) in many of his letters, about not being drawn away from proper worship and the truth of the Messiah that Shaul had taught them by false prophets, false messiahs, and false teachings.
In fact, going through my Concordance to see how many times Shaul warned of falling prey to false teachings and prophets, there are no less than 11 times I found he warned against this.
And not warned against false teachings from outside the believing community, but also from within the congregations, themselves!
You may be thinking, “What false teachings are you talking about, Steve?”
To answer that lets first observe how those early Jewish followers of Yeshua lived and worshiped.
That is an easy thing- just think of any Jewish person you know, and that is pretty close to how the First Century Jews lived and worshiped, as well, except for the addition of modern conveniences. The early followers of Yeshua lived as he did- as Torah observant worshipers of God, recognizing that Yeshua was a human being with divine powers given to him through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) because he was the Messiah.
The false teachings came much later and were not from any of the Jewish leaders because they had all died or been martyred, but from Gentile believers who were now leading this Jewish sect away from Judaism, for both political reasons (to avoid persecution from the Romans) and- this is my opinion- for personal reasons.
The personal reasons (again, this is what I believe) were simply that to become totally observant to the Torah, even though Shaul was taking them there a little at a time, was too much for them. The sacrifices they had to make, the changes from their previous way of life, and the pressures from outside sources (think of the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13) was more than they could take.
They didn’t want to stop believing in Yeshua, but they also didn’t want to be associated with the Jews who were being persecuted by Rome because at that time they were rebelling against the Roman rule of Judea.
So, they decided to change some things around, such as the Shabbat now was on Sunday, the leadership of this movement (now called Christianity) rejected the Moedim (Holy Days) God told us to celebrate (Leviticus 23), and actually came against the Jews by siding with Rome during the Bar Kochba rebellion in the mid-2nd Century. When the Jews were not allowed (by Rome) to live in the Holy City, the Bishop of Jerusalem was a Christian!
Once the Jewish rebellion was put down, and the temple was destroyed, Rome turned against the Christians who were doing something, in Rome’s eyes, just as bad as revolting- they were creating a new religion. By the time Constantine legalized Christianity (not that he ever really converted, himself), Christianity was now totally separated from its Jewish roots.
Hence, the false teachings that Shaul warned would take his congregations of Yeshua-following Gentiles away from proper worship, were ignored.
What was originally a sect within Judaism had mutated to a totally different religion, following nothing but man-made tenets, observing man-made holidays, praying to graven images and statues, deifying the Messiah, and rejecting almost every commandment of the father!
As far as living the way Yeshua lived? Not even close! It is a sad thing that so many Christians have been taught they should follow in the footsteps of their savior, yet their religion teaches them to ignore exactly what they should be doing- living a Torah observant life as Yeshua did.
They even stopped calling him Yeshua ha Mashiach (Yeshua, the Messiah); he was now Jesus Christ, their savior, another way to separate themselves from anything “Jewish” about him, and later to declare that Jesus is also God.
So, there you have it. They had been warned and warned, and warned, again, not to listen to false teachings or false prophets. Did they? Nah! That is why there are so many Christian denominations, nearly all of which profess to worship God and live as Yeshua did, but in truth, don’t even come close.
I pray that someday their ears will be opened, their hearts will be touched, and they will do t’shuvah, turning from their man-made drek and worshiping God the way Yeshua (and Shaul, and James, and all the other Apostles) taught them how they should.
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That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and an early Shabbat Shalom!