Christian Grapevine    



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.