Galatians 2 – line upon line

Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. (the retelling of Acts 15)

And I went up by revelation (personal appearance), and communicated unto them (the assembly/people of Jerusalem) that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation (those in high position {similar to Nicodemus with Jesus} that were interested but afraid of what people would say), lest by any means I should run (pursue a course), or had run, in vain. (empty/without purpose)

But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled (wasn’t forced, but he understood its benefit in obedience) to be circumcised:

  • refer to Acts 15:1-5 “But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” This is the cause of the debate and is reiterated in verse 5 as a precursor to salvation. And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”
  • Genesis 17:10-14 “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”
  • Again their position, well ingrained and established, is a prerequisite to one being ‘saved’ AND ushered in the pressure to keep the Oral traditions according to these same Judaizers.
  • Deuteronomy 30:6 “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”
  • Matthew 22:36-40 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
  • 1 John 5:2 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.”
  • 1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”]
  • This is what compels Titus to get the physical circumcision, it was his heart, having been circumcised first! Colossians 2:11 explains it to us “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:”
  • This is the spiritual connection to the Abrahamic Covenant that motivates us to the physical, i.e. baptism, communion, and yes, circumcision. The Abraham Covenant brought the believer into relationship by circumcision and thusly it was the believer’s blood that was shed. The New Covenant through Yeshua is bringing the believer into relationship through Yeshua’s own blood.
  • For more on this connection see the three part series titled ‘Circumcision and faith’ on this website.

And that because of false brethren (pretenders) unawares brought in (smuggled in), who came in privily (alongside) to spy out our liberty (freedom) which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: (captivity to the man-made traditions)

1 Corinthians 7:17-20 “But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.”

Paul is telling us that a change in physical appearance is not needed for salvation, or what he terms as ‘being called’. He is NOT saying that we are to do away with the Torah as it is plainly said in vs.19. What he is saying is let them (converts) into the assembly to learn and they will see the value in it. This is the situation written about Titus in Acts.

King James Version

To whom we gave place (yields) by subjection (to their rules), no, not for an hour (refusing); that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. (Paul is saying “even though they wanted to capture us we stayed for your benefit” and that they would not submit to their Pharisaical or Rabbinical ruler-ship.)

  • Matthew 23:1-4 “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
  • The consequence for breaking the law of God is death. Outright blasphemy and rebellion caused immediate death. This is why they tied a rope around the ankle of the priests when they went into the Holy of Holies. If he was not righteous he would fall dead in the presence of God. The same is true of you and I.
  • Jesus was telling the people specifically, ‘listen to the instructions, the same instructions given to Moses, which are read in the synagogue, because they cannot make up lies there or they will die.’ These instructions are the way to living a righteous life, not the extra mandates they tell you to do when they go out into the real world, which, they are trying to dominate.
    • Mark 7:8 “For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. “]
  • To which, Paul echoes this again in Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

3 All therefore whatsoever they bid (instruct) you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works (actions/behavior): for they say, and do not.

They were not following the commands of YHVH given through Moses. They created their own rules.

1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law (Torah): for sin is the transgression of the law.”

4 For they bind heavy burdens [oral tradition] and grievous to be borne [makes you just want to die and get it over with], and lay them on men’s shoulders;” [like a mule carrying a load]

The Pharisees made rules that benefited their lives and put themselves before that of the commoner, or those they were to serve. Many unable to comply simply gave up on the faith as they were constantly breaking some unfounded rule.

The rule surrounding the washing of pots as mentioned in Mark 7:8 is so complicated and time consuming it made a 30 min meal into a two or three hour ceremony. Each article was given a right, left, top and bottom side prayer. Then a particular wash followed by a special number of rinses followed by another prayer. EACH article went through this…. At every meal!

Then your hands had a very similar ceremony and the whole thing had to be repeated at the end of the meal. When Jesus made mention of this absurdity, the people knew immediately how enslaved they were to the Pharisees man-made nonsense. It’s no wonder Paul calls it freedom in Christ Jesus!

Mark 7:1-4 “Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.]

Now is it becoming clearer, that the mission of Yeshua included the return to the commands of Torah while defeating man-made religion?

It certainly should be. This has been a problem since the beginning. Let’s step back to Isaiah’s time, about 740 BC.

[Isaiah 29:13 “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”]

We can go further back in time to just after the flood.

Genesis 10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod (we shall rebel): he began to be a mighty one in the earth. (The words state that Nimrod ‘began’ H2490 חָלַל chalal (chaw-lal’) v. (properly) to bore. to begin (as if by an “opening wedge”). To defile. This indicates that there was a process by which Nimrod could traverse the natural and become a Nephilim.)

9 He was a mighty hunter (eager to take prey and set snares) before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel (to confuse or mix), and Erech (to lengthen, prolong or live with), and Accad (to subtly strengthen), and Calneh (fortress of Anu), in the land of Shinar.

11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh (abode of Ninus, fish goddess), and the city Rehoboth (avenue or path), and Calah (completion and strength), (Asshur is simply the Assyrian name for Nimrod; Nimrod being a Babylonian name.)

12 And Resen (bridle control) between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

(Where does it all begin? The fight between good and evil? Consider this: Anu, the Sumerian god known as “Lord of the Constellations, Spirits and Demons” [i.e. Satan] was said to have fathered more than 50 different gods and goddesses of the ancient world. These ancient names of Enlil, Naama, Ishtar and so on, would become the gods and goddesses of the Greeks and Romans. Zeus, Apollos, Diana are all the exact same demons. Nimrod and his wife Sameramis are known by each of the 70 different languages just by a different name.

So reading this back, right to left as the Hebrews write, we can see it was Nimrods goal to: Bridle or control mankind completely with his path to the home and fortress of Anu by subtly strengthening a prolonged mixing or confusion of religion. We can see this in the influence that Constantine (Mithras- the Roman name for Nimrod) introduced and still prevails today.)

But of these who seemed (presumed themselves) to be somewhat (of authority because they were Rabbis/Pharisees), whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me (I could care less): God accepteth no man’s person (doesn’t recognize their positions): for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference (they are colluding together) added nothing to me: (These men who were trying to counsel me (Paul) in my calling/duty and I refused their counsel.)

  • [Mark 7:10-13.”For Moses said, [Torah] Honor {to care for the elderly} thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, [to God] by whatsoever thou mightest be profited (received) by me; he shall be free. {The Pharisee told the people of Israel their obligation under the Torah to care for their elderly parents would be relieved if they donated the money to the church/Temple. This is the same Satanic lie being sold today in the church system. They call it ‘seed money’ or ‘tithing in faith’ and usually follow it up with “that is really putting God to the test”. When it really is selfishness and greed.}12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; (the unbinding of Torah) 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. That is how you live.
  • In verse 15 Jesus explains this with a Greek reference that the Hebrew miss. “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” What he said…. There is nothing coming from man-made traditions that are being taught, however erroneously, can ruin his relationship with God. HOWEVER, when the man accepts these ideas and starts acting on them…. THEN he is defiled before YHVH. This is why were are to know the scripture [2Tim. 2:15] and we are to compare the teaching to them. Be a Berean!)

But contrariwise (contrary to their thinking), when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (heathen nations) was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (Israelites) was unto Peter;

For he that wrought effectually (God giving the power and authority) in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision (Israelites), the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles (heathen nations)

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars (support), perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands (a formal reception) of fellowship; (showing inclusion) that we should go unto the heathen (pagans), and they unto the circumcision (Israelites).

10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward (prompted) to do.

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. (Peter was convinced by others, to go back to, the need to follow ordinances of the Pharisees and the traditions of men.)

12 For before that certain (Peter) came from James, he did eat (associate) with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

A sect of Judaism with the strict adherence of the Pharisees, this is a major topic of discussion in Acts 15, all of Romans and here in Galatians.

The Talmud had a rule that the goyim were unclean and were not to be associated with for fear of being ostracized by the community.

Acts 10:10-20,28 “And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” 28 “And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew (keeper of Oral tradition) to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” This vision is about mankind and not about food as many mistakenly teach.

13 And the other Jews dissembled (to act hypocritically in concert with) likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. (Hypocrisy, feigning moral character, deceit)

14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

  • (Peter is showing through his behavior that he is caving to the Pharisees/circumcision party by joining their table. Romans 2:24-25 “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law [Torah], thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.”
  • Ephesians 2:11-15 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles (a nation) in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision (unregenerate state or person, not saved) by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh (the Jews, with the Pharisees, and their additions to Gods Torah) made by hands; (self-affirming) That at that time ye were without Christ (salvation), being aliens (foreign) from the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel (children of Gods covenant and protection), and strangers (outsiders) from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off (outside/ impossible to reach) are made nigh (near/inclusive) by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who hath made both one (combining all nations into the covenant of promise), and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (barrier) between us; [Ezekiel/Hebrews, the branches and sticks] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity (opposition), even the law of commandments contained in ordinances (the oral traditions and blood sacrifices, not the Torah); for to make in himself of twain (two nations/people into) one new man, so making peace; (He took the two natures of men and defeated the nature of opposition contained in the flesh while leaving us to live inside the flesh.

The majority of mankind believe we are… Human beings waiting on a spiritual experience… when we are actually spiritual beings having a human experience.

15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, (People born with the truth of Torah, having been taught the ways of YHVH, unlike those raised by pagan parents.)

16 Knowing that a man is not justified (receive salvation by grace through faith) by the works of the law (performing Torah alone) but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ (our propitiation for sin), that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law (Torah alone): for by the works of the law (Torah alone) shall no flesh be justified (salvation).

  • The key here is this: once Yeshua had lived the complete sacrifice for sin, there was now no need for the actions of sacrificing any animal. It was the innocent blood, along with the contrite heart, that repaired the relationship with Father God. If you missed either part, then the actions were not acceptable and God did not have to pardon the sin. [Numbers 14-15]
  • So Yeshua provides the perfect sacrifice and the believer has to supply the contrite heart, then the person has a repaired relationship THAT is Salvation. Sanctification in the continuation of a repaired relationship in which the person strives to live according to God’s word, which is, the Torah.
  • Deuteronomy 18:15-19 “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” John 7:16 “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his [YHVH] that sent me. [Torah]
  • Luke 24:44 “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled [lived out, taught, exampled], which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”
  • Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. [live out, taught, exampled]

17 But if, while we seek to be justified (saved) by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

  • Paul is telling us that there is NO way he would be preaching against Torah.
  • 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. (Paul is making it obvious here of his understanding of Jesus’s sacrifice. Sharing his compelling personal change in belief of Christ’s redemption, as well as, learning how to keep the Torah out of love for God.)

19 For I through the law (the complete Law-of-Liberty in Jesus. The opening of the new marriage covenant.) am dead to the law (Oral-Law of tradition; the Mishnah or Pharisaic law), that I might live unto God. [Romans 7:1]

20 I am crucified (to impale in company with) with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh (flawed human) I live by (according to) the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

  • Paraphrased as: “I no longer live with the constant need of the tradition and ritual of the Pharisees, I now live in the mercy shown on the cross and the victory of the resurrection.”

21 I do not frustrate (violate) the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law (If you could get salvation by the law.), then Christ is dead in vain.

A reminder: Paul’s position is …

  1. Salvation by faith through grace.
  2. Sanctification by the personal disciple of Torah, aided of the Holy Spirit, and motivated by our love for the Father.

2 Peter 3:14-17 “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked (G113 ἄθεσμος athesmos – lawlessness), fall from your own steadfastness.”

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