The first century had lapsed into the history books, and Rome’s problems had not ceased. The Judaism Jesus had given to Israel continued to flourish underground. The Jews and the Gentiles willing to convert and become Jews by worshiping the God of Israel, who is God the Father, worshiped and increased in numbers in the Catacombs.
Rome’s problems stemmed from these early followers of Jesus, who not only believed what Jesus taught them about the commandments of God, as recorded in the Old Testament of the Jews; but they put those teachings into practice. History and the Bible agree again, about all these issues.
The purified Jews and the converted Gentiles, purified by the teachings of Jesus, had all things in common. No one sought the Roman ideals of personal property and privately owned things. The Jews shared all their belongings with others. Therefore, buying and selling was reduced to a bare minimum, which increases and decreases with each person’s need or desire to have personal belongings.
It was the Christian teaching found in Acts Chapter 2, that reduced sales, which automatically brought about the reduction of tax revenues collected; and taxes are still the only way any government gets funds with which to build the armies and keep the friends of politicians rich. They use their armies to keep the ordinary citizens under control.
It really is quite a paradox. The more you buy or sell, the more taxes you contribute to the government. The more tax money the government has to use, the greater their power over the people, who are responsible for giving their money to the government. Money needed to control the people.
This is the principle that suffered during the true inception of original Christianity. Jewish people, and converted Gentiles who became Jews, shared their minimum belongings with one another. An idea still allowable by law, even today, is not working for pay.
You only break the law if you do not pay taxes when you buy or sell, or when you work for a salary. The government has even passed a law that enables them to tax Bartering, which is trading something other than money for work received by someone. If you give, borrow, use, or lend your goods or services to others, no tax can be levied against you; and you have not broken the law. Therefore taxes are reduced and the government’s power is neutralized.
In fact, if Americans really wanted to stop the Vietnam or Iraqi wars, all they had to do is go on strike! No work! No pay! No taxes! It is the same means Pope John Paul used to cause the collapse of Communist Russia. He began the Solidarity movement in Poland, while he was a bishop in 1979. He unified all workers into one strike force. Two years later, he became the Pope and turned the Solidarity movement over to a man named Walesa.
It took ten years of suffering and striking, but the people halted the Russian government. No work! No pay! No taxes! No money, and a government has no money to pay an Army to use against the people! The incredible had taken place.
Just like the collapse of Russia, the Roman Empire collapsed under the weight of Christianity. No rebellion, no shots fired! No strategy formed by the Jews, neither was a plan hatched to overthrow the Roman Empire. Jesus taught His followers a new way to live and work. The rest is History!
Jews, prior to the birth of Jesus, had been simply offering their prayers to the God of Israel. They prayed to God, to overthrow their enemies; which is the favorite pastime of the Jews. The Romans were their enemies.
The Romans had wrenched the power of self-rule away from Israel long before Jesus was born. The Romans had watered down Judaism by bribery and politics, which is the Jews religious worship of their God. The Romans set up a taxation system, which is no different than today’s system based upon buying and selling.
The Jews prayed to their God to intervene, but like most people, they wanted instant results. Results they could see and taste in their lifetimes. They weren’t really interested in a prayer being answered hundreds of years later, especially after they had died and the problem no longer existed. Isn’t that the same climate in the world today? Our prayers are based upon: Do it now God!!!
Yet the chosen people, the Jews, knew their prayers were being answered in the person of the man named Jesus. The book of Acts, in the New Testament, verifies that the Jews accepted Jesus as their Messiah. They knew God had sent them a man anointed to do a special work for Israel, to deliver them from the oppression of Rome. It wasn’t a spiritual trip like today’s false Christianity, but a very practical solution to a very practical problem.