Articles

When Did Christians Come Into Being?

Christians are followers of Jesus Christ. Originally they were His disciples (about 500),
gathered on Mt Olivet, just outside of Jerusalem, when Jesus returned up to heaven in a
cloud. Before His ascent Jesus gave instructions for work to do on earth and how to receive
God's power to do it. (Acts 1, Luke 24:44-53, Matt. 28:18 -20, Mark 16:15 -20) They were to
go out into the whole world to preach the gospel, make disciples and baptize them in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the power or anointing
from the Holy Ghost, (usually called the Holy Spirit). That power to be witnesses or "the
anointing" fell on the Day of Pentecost while 120 out of 500 disciples were praying in the
Upper Room (Acts 1 & 2).
Looking at the important days of Christianity you notice they are on God's appointed feast
days for Israel. God had a plan. Jesus was the Passover Lamb, a remembrance of the lamb's
blood applied to the two side and upper door posts as protection (Exodus 12:7, 22 & 23)
when the destroyer went through the land killing the firstborn in Egypt. The day of Pentecost,
when the power of the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples of Jesus (Acts 2), was another
appointed feast day. Pentecost is 50 days after Passover and also known as Shavuot or the
Feast of Weeks, (Deuteronomy 16:9-11, Leviticus 23:15 - 22). It stirs the heart of Christians
who learn it as the day to commemorate the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai. It is also known
as Atzeret or the conclusion to the Passover. There is also an agricultural commemoration on
this day; Hag Hakatzir or the Festival of Harvest marking the last grain harvest, wheat. But it
is also known as Yom HaBikkurim or the Day of First Fruits marking the beginning the fruit
harvest.
The disciples were gathered in prayer on this day when the Holy Spirit anointed them in the
Upper Room where earlier Jesus had the Last Supper and shared the symbols of communion,
bread and wine (Luke 22:8-20). After the anointing they went out in obedience to His last
commandment, the Great Commission, (Acts 1, Luke 24:44-53, Matt. 28:18 -20, Mark 16:15
- 20) to preach the gospel or good news everywhere The term Christian was first used in
Antioch (Acts 11:26). The book of Acts relates the early history of Christians from Jerusalem
out through the Mediterranean area to Rome. Christianity later spread with the Roman
Empire as it moved over Europe.