15 :1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
- This “circumcision party” consisted of those that held firm to the Rabbinical leadership, they could not fathom a way of living in accordance to YHVH that did not involve the authority of the Priesthood.
- It was similar to an induction ceremony to a fraternal order. Salvation and imputed righteousness has ALWAYS been the case with YHVH. The actions of the sacrifice were established to make men see first-hand the penalty for sin. This became big business for the Pharisees and the economic impact was huge.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
- They were being accused of preaching against Torah, when in fact, they were teaching against the Oral commands created by the Pharisees. The same message Jesus preached. The Torah of YHVH and not the man-made traditions.
3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
[Salvation by faith through grace which leads to obedience.]
- Romans 6:16 “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
- [There is physical evidence in lives of these being converted of the Holy Spirit. This is the mind being changed, to become set-apart.]
- Psalm 51:13 “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”
- Matthew 18:3 “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew
- 13:15 “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
[Not by first getting circumcised, but by faith through grace.]
- Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works (circumcision), lest any man should boast.”
- [As Satan often does, he imitates, and many of the pagan religions had adopted circumcision. In their attempts to beguile the faithful they would pose as ‘Christians’ in order to infiltrate the ranks.]
- Jude 1:4 “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
- This is the Pharisees oral traditions, or what is known as the Oral law/Oral Torah, which are the Mishnah, Talmud and man-made rulings. This is NOT the Torah.
- 1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments (Torah): and his commandments (Torah) are not grievous.”
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
- Genesis 6:7-8 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
- Exodus 12:49 “One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.”
- Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew (natural born) nor Greek (sojourner), there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
- Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
- These are the peculiar people God calls out.
- Exodus 19:5 “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
- 1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
- Genesis 1:1 In the beginning* God created the heaven and the earth.
19 Wherefore my sentence (to distinguish) is, that we trouble (to harass further, i.e. annoy.) not them, which (implied possessive pronoun, by Hebraism not those) from among the Gentiles (nations outside of Israel) are turned to God: (these people were most likely witness to the death and resurrection while in Jerusalem. They would questioned those that were close to Messiah.)
- *H7225 רֵאשִׁית Be-re’shiyth (Bet ray-sheeth’) n-f. 1. the first, in place, time, order or rank. The word “beginning” or Be-re’shyit contains the Hebrew letters Bet, Resh, Aleph, Shin, Yod and Tav. These were pictographic letters with each creating their own word. These words are often compared to our compound words like “goodhearted” or “soft-spoken” only a little more complex.
- The word beginning here is translated by the individual Hebrew letters thusly; Bet is Tent/house, Resh is head/father, Aleph means leader, Shin is a set of fangs/teeth meaning piercing, Yod is a hand/arm and Tav is a set of Crossed sticks.
- The full understanding of the word ‘beginning’ is now, “The head of the house of the Father, pierced by the hand, on a cross, to bring the covenant.”
- This is explained to us in Isaiah 46:10 “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”
- God is telling us that He will send Yeshua Messiah to redeem the world from the very first word in Scripture
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
These were VERY common practices among the religions outside of Israel. Several posts at www.bereanbreadcrumbs.com address these various pagan religions and their ties to blood rituals.
21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.
Here is quite possibly the most glaring reality missed by the contemporary “church”. Here is the activity that is being overlooked by Protestantism the world over. The first ‘Christians’ adhered to the Torah by meeting on the Sabbath/Saturday and not the Roman Sunday. That being said, the instruction for the converts….. to learn Torah in the synagogue on the Sabbath! HELLO!
22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
These weren’t just some buck private type, these were seriously well respected men of the church.
23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
24 Forasmuch (since now) as we have heard, that certain which went out from us (came from Jerusalem) have troubled (agitated) you with words, subverting (upsetting) your souls (innermost man), saying, [
Ye must] (added by Anglican scribes) be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
- Rules of order may have not been established, if they had, there was some discrepancy about procedure here. The sojourner/Gentile was not allowed in the traditional Hebrew temple. The veil of Temple was now torn, opening access to the Holy place. The traditional Judean mind said the sojourner needed to stay out of the new church assembly and James is correcting this misconception. They knew there would be people coming to the faith from all areas of life. The conviction of salvation by faith through grace gave humanity the freedom of salvation not know to the Jews prior to Yeshua Messiah. Yeshua’s death sealed the divorce of the first covenant/marriage. His resurrection was as the bridegroom seeking a new covenant/marriage.
25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 Men that have hazarded (put in prison) their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. (Fulfilling Torah’s call for two or three witnesses.)
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
(They can come and take part of our assembly provided…)
29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
(…they stop acting like barbaric, pagans or sun-god worship tribe they had come from and embrace the Torah.)