by Yaffah Batya daCosta
We hear many times about anti-Semites, but not so much about the philo-Semites. And yet, there are many more of the latter than of the former. The history of philo-Semites goes all the way back to the 1st century (C.E.). The followers of Paul in Antioch were non-Jews (Gentiles). Paul was a Jew named Saul, of Tarsus, in the Roman Empire diaspora. And his followers at Antioch were the first to be called “Christians”. This term meant they were following the teachings (as delivered by Paul) of a man from the Galilee who was thought to be the Jewish Messiah (i.e. Christ in English is from the Greek word Christos which means Moshiach in Hebrew, Messiah in English). That term, in whatever language, means the “anointed” one. But due to the many issues regarding the lack of a proper “contextualization” – of the writings of the 1st century C.E. – out of context distortions have been taught to people for almost 2,000 years. That created a misunderstanding about those 1st century writings. And why is that?
Because the people in Antioch (who were God fearers) wanted to be joined with Jews, in the worship of the ONE GOD of Israel, and were also philo-Semites. This means they were those who loved the Jewish people, and their holy scriptures. They were following in the footsteps of Abraham the 1st God fearer mentioned in the Bible. At the binding of Isaac, in the book of Genesis, Abraham is told that God now knows Abraham is a God-fearing man because he did not withhold his only son from God. But the survival of the Roman Imperial Cult was threatened by these God fearers.
So that definition of “Christians” (as God fearing people) very soon became warped and distorted (towards the end of the 1st century C.E.). And it also led to the anti-Semitism of the so-called Church Fathers, mainly because of the Roman Jewish Wars. Without an understanding of the “context” of the Roman Imperial Cult, and the occupation of Judea in late B.C.E and early C.E., it is quite impossible to grasp (much less to really understand) what was going on for all the Jews and God fearing non-Jews of those times.
So, I feel a need to distinguish between what I will refer to as Antioch Christians, and the later development of Romanized Christians. Because the majority of the people in the world today (Jews and non-Jews alike) do not understand this distinction. And the “context” for this very important distinction is the Roman Imperial Cult.
However, before I get into that important information, I want to explain that (as the scriptures say) there is nothing new under the sun. And it amazes me how few people are willing to learn from History. The identification of the Antioch Christian movement was lost to history (until very recently) due to the overshadowing of the Romanized Christian movement that was promoted and developed by sheer force of will (of the elites) over a population that was terrorized by them. Similar forcing of belief systems is happening today. For example, parents being accused of being “domestic terrorists” for wanting to be able to speak freely about their disapproval with what is being taught in the school system in the USA. Between the problems with CRT, and the forcing of teaching topics like gender identity, especially within the lower grades, there is much going on to terrify ANY parent. We also have people being shunned on social media (or eliminated from certain social media platforms) if they disagree with current narratives. All because the elites (or those who are elitists and arrogant) believe that they are “entitled” to FORCE their own will onto others. Not to mention the red hot, fiery and unjust critique of Jewish schools in NYC from the New York Times in a front-page article on Sept 11, 2022.
One of the things that ALL children need to be taught (and apparently are not being taught) is that bullying tactics (in all its forms) are unacceptable conduct and behavior against other human beings. Especially if it’s just because of a perceived “difference” that the other human being has, or represents. And most especially if that “difference” is not doing any harm to others. And children need to have history lessons on the disastrous effects over time when these tactics had been used over entire populations by the elite of ancient times.
The Roman Imperial Cult is an excellent example of this phenomenon (albeit not the only one). One of the best things about the Antioch form of Christianity was the formation of many small communities of like-minded people (both Jews and non-Jews) who all identified as being God fearing people. Jews in their adherence to the Torah, and the non-Jews in adherence to the moral code given to all mankind in the Bible. That moral code was given even before the Torah at Mt Sinai for the Israelites (as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob).
One of the worst things about the Roman Imperial Cult (which existed from 31 B.C.E. until 476 C.E.) was the formation of a “theology of contempt” (hatred and abuse towards the Jewish people) yet keeping the name of Christianity (i.e. calling a dog’s tail a leg). That theology had replaced the theology of the Kingdom of God’s sovereignty – as taught by the Galilean and all of his followers. There’s proof of all of this in the documents of the period (of the 1st century) both before and after the destruction of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem. The 1st century writings talk about an “olive tree” where the Gentiles (wild branches) were grafted in (joining the natural branches). Many modern scholars also now have studied ancient documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls (found between 1947 to 1956) and the documents from the Nag Hammadi Library (found in 1945 in Egypt) to add to many other proofs about what had happened historically.
The Romans were so crazed with their arrogance, and the use of force, that not only the Jewish and non-Jewish God fearers were persecuted. The pagans were later persecuted, and hunted down, after the Romanized brand of Christianity was made the official (and only) religion of the Empire in the late 4th century C.E. That later persecution created crypto-Pagans. They were people who for many centuries kept their own beliefs, rituals and practices secretly, so as to not be killed for it. Thousands of Jews suffered Roman crucifixion (non-Jewish God fearers were fed to the lions, and other horrific deaths) all because the Roman magistrates had decided long ago that human life was not as important as their “entitlement” to force beliefs, rituals and practices onto a highly subservient population who could not effectively defend themselves.
The transformation of Antioch Christianity (about the sovereignty of God, and His Kingdom, see Psalms 145) into a Roman (Imperial Cult) named Christianity (about the sovereignty of Imperial Rome) took 300 years to develop. And during that period of transformation, there were many different communities of what were the beginning concepts at Antioch. Many Pauline communities all over Asia Minor had different views about the teachings of the Galilean, and they had different views about the so-called “end of days”. Except they all had some kind of sense that they were living in the prophetic “end of days” (prophetic from the Hebrew Bible) because of the sheer brutality of the Roman occupation of foreign lands, and the incredibly violent persecutions of the common people.
An imperial cult is very simply a state religion where the head of it is considered to be a god or demi-god and has total authority over everything in the state, and all of its people. Some examples are ancient Egypt, imperial China, ancient Rome, ancient and imperial Japan, and ancient Southeast Asia. The monarch of an imperial cult is head of state, as well as a god-head and supreme religious figure. This system is both a theocracy as well as an absolute monarchy. The unfettered and absolute power and control over the population, and suppression of dissent, meant that the people were actually captives (whether defined as slaves or free).
And this led to incredible corruption – as the famous saying goes power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The religious power of the Roman Emperor (after the Roman Empire collapsed) was transferred to the Bishop of Rome (in the 15th century) and he took on the Emperor’s title of Pontifex Maximus. That religious power allowed him to create the Office of the Inquisition, and to make “heresy” a crime punishable by death carried out by the civil authorities in Spain, Portugal and their colonies for more than 300 years.
For many people during the time of the Roman Imperial Cult (for all the many years of persecutions) the way of getting “out” of it was through their death. Jews, non-pagan Gentiles and pagan Gentiles alike all suffered, at one time or another, under this system. Ancient Rome was their name, and “cancel culture” was their game! In order to keep everyone in line, so to speak.
The WHO (World Health Organization) is now conducting negotiations on a Global Pandemic Treaty. It could take away a nation’s sovereignty in certain matters, and replace it with Global rules and regulations, for those nations signing the treaty. Given this, one can only wonder if the WHO, the Davos crowd, the WEF (World Economic Forum), the One World Government (Global Reset) and the One World Religion of the current Pope are all going to collaborate together to “enslave” the current peoples of the earth, in our own time, to live by their Globalist rules, or suffer the consequences. May God help us all!
Excerpts from a new book (to be published later this year) by Yaffah Batya daCosta called “The Riddle of Calling a Dog’s Tail a Leg: Cancel Culture from Ancient to Modern Times”. She is a descendant of Portuguese Crypto Jews (Bnei Anousim). She returned to the faith & traditions of her Sephardic Jewish ancestors (by halakha) in 2000. She is also the founder and CEO of an Israel International non-profit (Ezra L’Anousim in their 18th year) who helps the returning Crypto-Jews, worldwide. Their website is bneianousim.org