When looking at the many prophecies in the Holy Scriptures, we can notice that most of them came true. Some prophecies are about some future times still to come. But when knowing that all other prophecies became a reality we should be warned and be prepared for the Day of Judgment.
Living in this day and age we can see how we come closer to those days bringing the signs of the second coming of Christ Jesus. The Holy Scriptures talk about difficult times when people shall be set up against each other and live in regions where many would not be interested in the Most High Elohim the divine Creator of all things. In that great Book of books we can find one red thread, going from the rebellion of man to the fulfilment of the promise of a saviour who was going to give his life as a ransom for the sins of mankind and as authorised sent one from God would return to earth to judge the living and the dead.
21st century Christians
It is very important that 21st century Christians have the same beliefs as those in the 1st century. Why? Because 1st century Christians lived closest to the time when Jesus Christ preached, “the Gospel of the Kingdom of God”.
If we want to drink the purest water from a stream we must get as close as we can to the water source. We know that further down the stream, pollution will have affected the purity of the water. It is just the same with understanding Bible teaching. Jesus is the source of pure water. The closer we get to his teaching, the purer our understanding will be. The apostles Peter and Paul lived at the same time as Jesus. We cannot go wrong if we believe what they taught (= Apostles teaching). Sadly, what they taught is rarely spoken about by modern preachers.
What did 1st century Christians believe?
Jesus did not die by accident. It was part of God’s plan that Jesus, His sinless son, should give his life to save sinners. Because of Adam’s sin, a death sentence was passed by God on Adam, Eve and, subsequently, we all have inherited their mortal nature. Jesus, by his sinless life, made everlasting life possible for himself and for all who believe in him and keep God’s commandments.
Because Jesus lived a perfect life, God raised him from the dead. King David, who lived 1,000 years before Jesus, was also a prophet. He foretold the death and resurrection of Jesus. David said, of Jesus,
God “will not abandon my soul to Hades (the grave), or let your Holy One see corruption.” (Psalm 16:10)
Jesus died and was laid in a tomb. God brought him back to life again (resurrection). God gave Jesus an immortal body (one that does not die). It is important to notice that the Bible does not say that Jesus had an immortal soul that went to heaven when he died. That idea comes from Greek philosophy, not a Bible one. Jesus still had a body. He could eat, be handled and recognised, in his immortal state.
Acts 2:29-36 King David was loved by God. Even so, Peter tells us that David “both died and was buried”. That is the natural end of all of us. Peter did not teach that David had an immortal soul. The Christian hope is that when Jesus returns from heaven, he will raise the dead. He will give his faithful followers an immortal body just like his own.
God promised that,
“He would set one of his descendants on his (David’s) throne”.
David was speaking of the
“resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades (the grave), nor did his flesh see corruption”.
So Jesus went to Hades (the grave or abode of the dead) when he died, not to heaven. God raised his body from the tomb. Notice also that Jesus is to sit on David’s throne. Where was that? It will be in Jerusalem, in the land of Israel. Jesus will return to be a real king on earth. The Kingdom of God is to be on earth, not in heaven. Jesus is coming to claim his kingdom. His faithful saints (those who have believed in him) will live forever. They will reign with Jesus over the world’s mortal people in his kingdom.
Peter explains that David’s prophecy told us that Jesus would sit on God’s “right hand” (where he is now). However that is only until God makes the enemies of Jesus his footstool. Then God shall “send the Christ” to be king of the world (Acts 3:19-21).
Peter reminds the crowd,
“that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
People in the crowd were very upset when they understood that they had helped to put Jesus, God’s son to death. They asked an important question,
“what shall we do?”
Peter told them,
“Repent and be baptised everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”
Note that mature adults asked the question, “what shall we do?” Christian baptism is for mature people who choose to follow Jesus and repent of their sins. The sprinkling of babies (christening or infant baptism) is not taught in the Bible.
To summarise what the Apostle Peter believed and taught:
- Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
- He lived a sinless life and died for us.
- He went to Hades (the grave) after death.
- God raised Jesus from the dead.
- In his immortal state, Jesus still had a body.
- Jesus went to heaven, to sit on God’s right hand.
- He will return to the earth to be king on David’s throne in Jerusalem.
- Christians must believe in Jesus, repent of their sins and be baptised.
- They should meet often to remember Jesus by “breaking bread”.
- They must believe that the Old Testament was inspired by God.
If we are to call ourselves Christians, we should believe all the statements listed above.
The word “Christian” is only used three times in the New Testament. What do we learn from those uses of the word?
“remain faithful … with steadfast purpose”.
It is a serious commitment. They should also share their beliefs with all who are willing to listen.
“repent and turn to God.”
They must also believe in the Old Testament scriptures. They should always speak “true and rational words.” Jesus rose from the dead. He was the first to inherit everlasting life.
Jesus will return to judge those who God decides are responsible to him.
All these statements add to our understanding of what Christians should believe and how they should behave. They are fully in tune with what Peter taught in Acts 2.
If my church does not teach what 1st Century Christians believed, what should I do?
In Acts 18:24-28, we learn about a Jew named Apollos. He was a keen preacher but he only understood some of the things that Christians should believe. Was that all right? No. Aquila and Priscilla, who had a fuller understanding, taught him “the way of God more accurately.” From this example, it would be wise of you to join a group of Christians who fully accept the beliefs of 1st century Christians. Christadelphians certainly do accept all those beliefs.
What can be more important than believing, and teaching, the true gospel as taught by Jesus, Peter and Paul? If you do, it will lead to everlasting life in the Kingdom of God.
Next: Do you believe what Christ’s Apostles taught?
- The saviour Jesus his human side
- Jesus Messiah
- Jesus and his God
- Messianic prophesies 1 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
- Background of Faith
- Why do we need a ransom?
- Seven days of Passover
- Most important day in Christian year
- True hope
- 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
- Secret or public return of Jesus
- A Triple God or simply a rather simple One God
- Is Jesus God?
- Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
- Reasons that Jesus was not God
- One God or a Trinity?
- The Trinity – true or false?
- The Trinity – the Truth
- The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
- How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop
- History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
- Altered to fit a Trinity
- Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
- Christianity without the Trinity
- God, Creation and the Bible Hope
- “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
- The one who set the standard
- The true vine
- One Mediator
- Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord
- Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant
- Infinite payment of sin by the son of God
- How do we know the coming of Jesus is very near?
- Being religious has benefits even in this life
- Is there an Immortal soul
- The Soul not a ghost
- Creation of the earth and man #10 Formation of man #2 Mortal bodies and Tartarian habitation
- Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man
- Creation of the earth and man #21 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #5 Spiritual and animal body
- Creation of the earth and man #22 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #6 Spirits, spiritual bodies and illusory perception
- Bible sayings on the situation and place for the dead
- Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word
- Objects of God’s final wrath
- We will all be changed
- We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory
- Kingdom of God what will it be like
- Baptism, a sacrament of admission to Christianity
- Christening or Infant baptism, the practice of baptising infants or young children
- Chrystalised harmonious thinking
- First century patterns
- Knowing rabboni
- Life with God
- Epitome of the one faith
- My faith
- I serve
- Video: Introducing Christadelphians
- Christadelphian people