Most people fail to realize that the original talmid/taught ones of Yeshua HaMashiyach were physical descendants and Torah observant Jews.
Yeshua came to His own, and for the lost sheep of the House of Yisrael.
(Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:5) Yeshua sent these twelve out, having commanded them, saying, “Do not go into the way of the gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Shomeronites,
(Matthew 10:6) but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael.
(Matthew 10:7) “And as you go, proclaim, saying, ‘The reign of the heavens has drawn near.’
Though Yeshua’s primary mission was to gather the lost sheep of the House of Yisrael, He also had compassion on gentiles/goyim.
(Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:21) And Yeshua went out from there and withdrew to the parts of Tsor and Tsidon.
(Matthew 15:22) And see, a woman of Kenaan came from those borders and cried out to Him, saying, “Have compassion on me, O Master, Son of Dawid! My daughter is badly demon-possessed.”
(Matthew 15:23) But He did not answer her a word. And His taught ones came and asked Him, saying, “Send her away, because she cries after us.”
(Matthew 15:24) And He answering, said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael.”
(Matthew 15:25) But she came and was bowing to Him, saying, “Master, help me!”
(Matthew 15:26) And He answering, said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
(Matthew 15:27) But she said, “Yea Master, for even the little dogs (1) eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Footnote: (1)See Rev. 22:15.
(Matthew 15:28) And Yeshua answering, said to her, “O woman, your belief is great! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.
The main purpose of the Mashiyach was to come for the lost sheep of the House of Yisrael, but also to be a Light unto the goyim/gentiles/nations!!!
The Book of Acts is a record of what occurred AFTER Yeshua HaMashiyach was resurrected from the dead. As you read the following portion from the Book of Acts, I want you to realize that the original talmid/taught ones and emissaries/apostles continued to walk in Torah. You will notice that Rav Shaul goes into the assembly/synagogue on Shabbat. Shaul NEVER speaks against Torah!!!
(Acts 13:13) And having put out from Paphos, Shaul and those with him came to Perge in Pamphulia. And Yohanan, having left them, returned to Yerushalayim.
(Acts 13:14) But passing through from Perge, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the congregation on the Sabbath day and sat down.
(Acts 13:15) And after the reading of the Torah and the Prophets, the rulers of the congregation sent to them, saying, “Men, brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, speak.”
(Acts 13:16) And Shaul, standing up and motioning with his hand said, “Men, Yisraelites, and those fearing Elohim, listen:
(Acts 13:17) “The Elohim of this people Yisrael did choose our fathers, and exalted the people in their sojourning in the land of Mitsrayim, and with a high arm He brought them out of it.
(Acts 13:18) “Now for a time of about forty years He sustained them in the wilderness.
(Acts 13:19) “And having destroyed seven nations in the land of Kenaan, He gave their land to them as an inheritance.
(Acts 13:20) “And after that He gave judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Shemuel the prophet.
(Acts 13:21) “But then they asked for a sovereign, and Elohim gave them Shaul the son of Qish, a man of the tribe of Binyamin, for forty years.
(Acts 13:22) “And having removed him, He raised up for them Dawid as sovereign, to whom also He gave witness and said, ‘I have found Dawid the son of Yishai, a man after My own heart, who shall do all My desires.’
(Acts 13:23) “From this one’s seed, according to the promise, Elohim raised up for Yisrael a Saviour, Yeshua,
(Acts 13:24) after Yohanan had first proclaimed the immersion of repentance to all the people of Yisrael, before His coming.
(Acts 13:25) “And as Yohanan was completing his mission, he said, ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not He. But see, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’
(Acts 13:26) “Men, brothers, sons of the race of Abraham, and those among you fearing Elohim, to you the word of this deliverance has been sent,
(Acts 13:27) for those dwelling in Yerushalayim, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have filled them in having judged Him.
(Acts 13:28) “And having found not one cause for death, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death.
(Acts 13:29) “And when they had accomplished all that was written concerning Him, taking Him down from the timber, they laid Him in a tomb.
(Acts 13:30) “But Elohim raised Him from the dead,
(Acts 13:31) and He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galil to Yerushalayim, who are His witnesses to the people.
(Acts 13:32) “And we bring you the Good News, the promise made to the fathers,
(Acts 13:33) that Elohim has filled this for us, their children, having raised up Yeshua , as it has also been written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son, today I have brought You forth.’
(Acts 13:34) “And that He raised Him out of the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has said thus, ‘I shall give you the trustworthy kindnesses of Dawid.’
(Acts 13:35) “For this reason He also says in another Psalm, ‘You shall not give Your Kind One to see corruption.’
(Acts 13:36) “For Dawid, indeed, having served his own generation by the counsel of Elohim, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption,
(Acts 13:37) but He whom Elohim raised up saw no corruption.
(Acts 13:38) “Let it therefore be known to you, brothers, that through this One forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,
(Acts 13:39) and by Him everyone who believes is declared right from all sins from which you were not able to be declared right by the Torah of Mosheh.
(Acts 13:40) “Watch then that what was said in the prophets does not come upon you:
(Acts 13:41) “See, you despisers, marvel and perish, for I work a work in your days, a work which you would in no way believe if someone were to declare it to you.’ ”
(Acts 13:42) And when the Yehudim went out of the congregation, the goyim/gentiles begged to have these words spoken to them the next Sabbath.
(Acts 13:43) And when the meeting of the congregation had broken up, many of the Yehudim and of the worshipping converts followed Shaul and Barnabah, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the favour of Elohim.
(Acts 13:44) And on the next Sabbath almost all the city came together to hear the Word of Elohim.
(Acts 13:45) But when the Yehudim saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. And contradicting and speaking evil, they opposed what Shaul was saying.
(Acts 13:46) But speaking boldly, Shaul and Barnabah said, “It was necessary that the word of Elohim should be spoken to you first, but since you thrust it away, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, see, we turn to the gentiles.
(Acts 13:47) “For so the Master has commanded us, ‘I have set you to be a light to the goyim/gentiles, that you should be for deliverance to the ends of the earth.’ ”
(Acts 13:48) And when the gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the Word of YHVH. And as many as had been appointed to everlasting life believed.
(Acts 13:49) And the Word of YHVH was being spread throughout the entire country.
An amazing thing is happening; gentiles/goyim are leaving their false religions, false idols, and false g-ds!!! They are being saved/delivered and converting to YHVH and Torah by belief in Mashiyach Yeshua!!! These gentiles are being born from above and the Ruach/Spirit is upon them and in them.
I am telling you, Acts is an amazing book filled with Torah, Shabbat keeping, Feast’s of YHVH, etc...!!! We are going to be reading Acts 15, and then I added a story to give an idea of what Acts 15 is really about. The story is based on the CONTEXT of the entire chapter and lined up with Yeshua’s upholding of Torah (Mattithyahu 5:17-19)!!! Many unlearned brothers try and teach that circumcision is not required, or that only physical descendants are to be circumcised. They also try and teach that gentile believers need only adhere to four mitzvahs recorded in Acts 15. NOT TRUE!!! Such things are concluded because they are not reading in CONTEXT, and because they have forgotten the Word’s of Yeshua and embraced the traditions of their hellenized Torahless religious system!!!
(Acts 15:1) And certain men came down from Yehudah and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised, according to the practice of Mosheh, you are unable to be saved.”
This is an untrue statement because even Avraham was counted right by his faith/belief in YHVH, and this was prior to his circumcision and 430 years before Torah was given to Moshe (Bereshith/Genesis 15:6). What did Avraham do when YHVH asked him to circumcise himself and all his males??? Avraham was obedient and circumcised himself at the age of 99, and his males too. This act did not save Avraham, but showed his love and obedience to YHVH!!! The physical act of circumcision is an act of obedience!!! The act does not merit salvation!!! Many uncircumcised men have come to faith in Mashiyach, and were born from above. I came to faith in Yeshua HaMashiyach while I was not circumcised, and as I learned Torah, I came to the conclusion that I needed to be circumcised!!! NO one forced me to be circumcised; the Ruach was writing Torah on my heart. I actually had a dear elder try and persuade me not to get circumcised until I learned whether or not I was of Jewish descent. His view on physical descendants only being circumcised is faulty at best, and this would keep gentile converts from ever partaking of Pessach!!! Torah is VERY CLEAR that any male that wishes to partake of Pessach, MUST BE CIRCUMCISED!!!
(Acts 15:2) So when Shaul and Barnabah had no small dissension and dispute with them, they arranged for Shaul and Barnabah and certain others of them to go up to Yerushalayim, to the emissaries and elders, about this question.
(Acts 15:3) So, being sent on their way by the assembly, they passed through Phoenicia and Shomeron, relating the conversion of the gentiles. And they were causing great joy to all the brothers.
Gentiles are converting and the Jewish believing brothers are rejoicing!!! Again, uncircumcised gentiles that were involved in many pagan practices were coming to faith in Mashiyach!!! This is the CONTEXT, NEW CONVERTS!!!
(Acts 15:4) And having arrived in Yerushalayim, they were received by the assembly and the emissaries and the elders. And they reported all that Elohim had done with them.
(Acts 15:5) And some of the believers, who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Torah of Mosheh.”
A sect of BELIEVING Pharisees rose up and said it is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Torah of Moshe!!! These brothers who are zealous for Torah are right, but we can not bludgeon new converts with Torah. Imagine this, you’re a 35 year old uncircumcised male who has just learned about the Good News of Yeshua HaMashiyach, and you teshuva/repent and believe on the Seed of Abraham, the LAMB of Elohim that takes away the sin of the world!!! You experience the Ruach, and taste and see that YHVH is good. You are filled with joy unspeakable to know that your sins are washed away, and you are brought back into a right relationship with YHVH by Mashiyach!!! The person that shared the Good News of Mashiyach asks if you are circumcised. HUH??? You are kind of caught of guard as you say no; we do not do that from where I come from. Next thing you know the person sharing the Good News with you breaks out a surgical scalpel and says its time to circumcise you!!! WHAT!!! Also, here is a list of 613 Mitzvahs that must be memorized by tonight!!! OY!!! BUT!!! HMMMM!!! WHAAAAH!!! This 35 year old male convert is actually a babe in Mashiyach and he was just handed a kosher rib eye steak!!! Does a newborn babe start with meat??? NO!!! A baby needs milk first!!! There were also false teachers going around simply circumcising as many new believers as possible to glory in numbers! False TV evangelical events go on all the time, and they always talk about how many people came forward, blah, blah, blah!!!
There was a false notion that the keeping of certain religious observances would merit salvation. This is no different from what is taught by many false religious systems today!!! Back then there were some religious sects that would rather let a person drown on Shabbat, so they did not break Shabbat!!! To save someone’s life on Shabbat is not breaking Shabbat!!! There are also some recent discoveries in the Dead Sea Scrolls which indicate that Shaul/Paul never spoke against or nullified Torah, as many people are saying. Discoveries in the Dead Sea Scrolls provide insight into the meaning of the key phrases "Works of the Law" and "Under the Law", which are both descriptive of ultra religious halacha, not the Torah itself ...learnmore (by Baruch Ben Daniel).
(Acts 15:6) And the emissaries and elders came together to look into this matter.
(Acts 15:7) And when there had been much dispute, Kepha rose up and said to them, “Men, brothers, you know that a good while ago Elohim chose among us, that by my mouth the gentiles should hear the word of the Good News and believe.
(Acts 15:8) “And Elohim, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Set-apart Spirit, as also to us,
(Acts 15:9) and made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by belief.
(Acts 15:10) “Now then, why do you try Elohim by putting a yoke on the neck of the taught ones which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
(Acts 15:11) “But through the favour/grace of the Master Yeshua Mashiyach we trust to be saved, in the same way as they.”
Kepha/Peter a Torah observant Jewish talmid of Yeshua concluded that we Jews are saved the same way as gentiles, by the GRACE of Mashiyach. Salvation has always been by the Grace and Mercy of YHVH!!! The PROMISE of the SEED of Abraham was made before circumcision and 430 years before YHVH gave Moshe the Written Torah. He talks about a yoke that neither he nor our fathers were able to bear. This yoke is not the simple act of circumcision or learning to walk in Torah. That would make no sense because Jews were circumcised on the 8th day after birth and brought up in Torah. If you were brought up by Torah observant parents, then you were circumcised on the 8th day, so from a logical perspective, how can this be a yoke of bondage??? You were 8 days old, and had nothing to do with your own circumcision. The yoke of bondage, is believing that one could work for salvation, or merit it on their own accord. If this were the case, then we would not need Mashiyach, but the Promise was made by YHVH from the very beginning. We needed Mashiyach Ben Yoseph, the LAMB of Elohim that takes away the sin of the world. Again, Torah and circumcision are not the yoke, but thinking that one merits salvation based on the observance of Torah is a yoke, that NO ONE COULD EVER BARE!!!
(Acts 15:12) And all the crowd was silent and were listening to Barnabah and Shaul declaring how many miracles and wonders Elohim did among the gentiles, through them.
(Acts 15:13) And after they were silent, Yaaqob answered, saying, “Men, brothers, listen to me:
(Acts 15:14) “Shimon has declared how Elohim first visited the gentiles to take out of them a people for His Name.
(Acts 15:15) “And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it has been written:
(Acts 15:16) ‘After this I shall return and rebuild the Booth of Dawid which has fallen down. And I shall rebuild its ruins, and I shall set it up,
(Acts 15:17) so that the remnant of mankind shall seek YHVH, even all the gentiles on whom My Name has been called, says YHVH who is doing all this,’
(Acts 15:18) who has made this known from of old.
(Acts 15:19) “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble/harass those from among the gentiles who are turning to Elohim,
(Acts 15:20) but that we write to them to abstain from the defilements of idols, and from whoring, and from what is strangled, and from blood. (1) Footnote: (1) See v.29.
The conclusion that was finally reached was for new gentile converts to abstain from idols, whoring, from what is strangled, and from blood!!! OK, now what!!! Read the next verse to find out.
(Acts 15:21) “For from ancient generations Mosheh has, in every city, those proclaiming him – being read in the congregations every Sabbath.”
Now the new gentile converts can learn Torah because Moshe is proclaimed or taught and read in the assembly/synagogue every Shabbat!!! This has been going on from ancient generations, a VERY LONG TIME!!! How simple, the new converts, babes in Mashiyach, are to learn Torah!!! Torah observance is a life long process, some grow faster, and some grow slower, but ALL praise to YHVH that we can grow together!!! Remember, Torah means INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS!!! Our faith/belief in YHVH and His Mashiyach saves us, and now we walk in Torah out of obedience and love for YHVH Elohim, who first loved us!!! Do we get saved, and then lead a life of Torahlessness??? NO, that’s called cheap grace!!!
(Acts 15:22) Then it seemed good to the emissaries and elders, with all the assembly, to send chosen men from among them to Antioch with Shaul and Barnabah: Yehudah being called Barsabba, and Sila, leading men among the brothers,
(Acts 15:23) having written by their hand this: The emissaries and the elders and the brothers, To the brothers who are of the gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Kilikia: Greetings.
(Acts 15:24) Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your lives, to whom we gave no command –
(Acts 15:25) it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabah and Shaul,
(Acts 15:26) men who have given up their lives for the Name of our Master Yeshua Mashiyach.
(Acts 15:27) We have therefore sent Yehudah and Sila, who are also confirming this by word of mouth.
(Acts 15:28) For it seemed good to the Set-apart Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessities:
Necessities, in other words these things need to be done immediately. They are necessities!!! Again, these are new converts, keep that in mind and all of this will make more sense!!! Think about this, you come to faith in Mashiyach, and decide to start learning TaNaKh and walking in righteousness at the local synagogue/assembly with other believers. Many of your old practices are quite offensive to other Torah observant believers. You need to clean up your act before coming in to the local synagogue/assembly and these men got together and came up with four things that are necessities for new converts!!! Some of the more zealous brothers want to whack off your foreskin and get Torah shoved in your head. There is nothing wrong with being zealous for Torah, but we can not bludgeon new converts with Torah. Come as you are, Mashiyach forgives you, stop doing these four things, and learn to walk like He did, in TORAH!!!
(Acts 15:29) that you abstain from what is offered to idols, and blood, and what is strangled, and whoring. (1) If you keep yourselves from these, you shall do well. Be strong! Footnote: (1) See v. 20.
If anyone says that these four commands are the only things that new converts are to observe, you are sadly mistaken. These four commands are necessities!!! That type of thinking is illogical, what about murder, coveting, bearing false witness, taking the Name of YHVH in vain, etc....
(Acts 15:30) They, therefore, being sent off, went to Antioch. And having gathered the crowd together, they delivered the letter.
(Acts 15:31) And having read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.
(Acts 15:32) And Yehudah and Sila, being themselves also prophets, encouraged the brothers with many words and strengthened them.
(Acts 15:33) And having spent some time, they were sent back in peace from the brothers to the emissaries.
(Acts 15:34) But it seemed good to Sila to remain.
(Acts 15:35) And Shaul and Barnabah continued in Antioch, teaching and bringing, with many others also, the Good News: the Word of YHVH!
(Acts 15:36) And after some days Shaul said to Barnabah, “Let us now go back and visit our brothers in every city where we proclaimed the Word of YHVH, and see how they are.”
(Acts 15:37) And Barnabah purposed to take with them Yohanan called Mark.
(Acts 15:38) But Shaul thought it not fit to take with them the one who withdrew from them in Pamphulia, and had not gone with them to the work.
(Acts 15:39) A sharp feeling therefore came to be, so that they parted from one another. And so Barnabah took Mark and sailed to Cyprus.
(Acts 15:40) And Shaul chose Sila and went off, being committed by the brothers to the favour of Elohim.
(Acts 15:41) And he went through Syria and Kilikia, strengthening the assemblies.
Before I share a story describing what was going on in Acts 15, I would like to bring up the fact that Rav Shaul had to address the same issue (Acts 15:10-11, the yoke of bondage/slavery) with the Galatians:
(Galatians 5:1) Then stand firm in the freedom with which HaMashiyach made us free and do not be held again with a yoke of slavery.
The freedom we have is being saved completely by grace through faith in HaMashiyach Yeshua, just as Avraham was saved prior to circumcision by faith. Our faith/belief is in YHVH, and not what we are called to do!!! Yet he later was circumcised, not for salvation though, but out of obedience, like immersion/mikveh/baptism!!! The yoke of slavery is the false teaching that we are justified by keeping Torah or doing various outwardly religious things to merit salvation. This is adding to the work of YHWH through Mashiyach Yeshua. It is adding to the Grace of Elohim. Now on the other hand we are to walk in Torah, as He did, but out of love and obedience to Him.
(Galatians 5:2) Behold, I, Shaul/Paul, say to you that if you are circumcised, HaMashiyach will profit you nothing.
That is if you are being circumcised to be saved!!! Not being circumcised for the right reason. Shaul/Paul still proclaimed circumcision: Galatians 5:11! Again the act of cutting off your foreskin does not save you!!! There are many circumcised men who are dead in their sins and transgressions because they have not teshuva/repented and believed in YHVH and His Mashiyach!!!
(Galatians 5:3) And I testify again to every man being circumcised, that he is a debtor to do all the Torah/Law,
In other words, if you are seeking to be justified by circumcision, then you must keep the entire Torah perfectly and to have never messed up, even once!!! Not a single person alive has ever been able to keep Torah perfectly, except One, Yeshua HaMashiyach!!! Now this does not mean we can knowingly break Torah!!! We do not have a license to sin, Elohim forbid!!! As we learn to walk in Torah as Yeshua did, we can only praise Him, as Torah is written on our heart by Ruach HaKodesh.
(Galatians 5:4) you whoever are justified by Torah/Law, you were severed from HaMashiyach; you fell from grace.
Again we see here where their error was; believing that one could be justified by Torah. Torah is simply the Standard of Righteousness, it tells us what is sin and what is not sin. This verse does not do away with Torah, or say that we are severed from Mashiyach if we walk in Torah!!! Think about it this way, you must believe/have faith in YHVH before you could even learn and walk in Torah. Faith comes first, and it is our faith/belief that makes us right when we teshuva/repent and accept the Gift of Forgiveness, which is Mashiyach. YHVH declares you right before Him by His Grace and Mercy. Now would it make much sense to try and work for your salvation??? YHVH is our Salvation, our Mashiyach!!!
(Galatians 5:5) For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness out of faith.
(Galatians 5:6) For in HaMashiyach Yeshua, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength, but faith working through love.
Again, Shaul/Paul is not proclaiming or teaching against circumcision: Galatians 5:11! Shaul is simply showing that in Mashiyach, faith working through love has strength. You might be circumcised, but have no faith in Mashiyach; you are powerless. You might be an uncircumcised new convert that has faith in Mashiyach, and experience much power. This does not mean that you will not eventually be circumcised once you learn that it was an everlasting covenant.
(Galatians 5:7) You were running well; who held you back that you do not obey the truth?
What is the Truth!!! Let us go back to the beginning of Galatians. Here it is:
(Galatians 1:1) Shaul/Paul, an apostle, not from men nor through man, but through Yeshua HaMashiyach and Elohim the Father, the One raising Him from the dead,
(Galatians 1:2) and all the brothers with me, to the assemblies of Galatia.
(Galatians 1:3) Grace to you and peace from Elohim the Father and our Adonai/Master Yeshua HaMashiyach,
(Galatians 1:4) who gave Himself for our sins, so that He might deliver us out of the present evil age, according to the will of our Elohim and Father,
(Galatians 1:5) to whom be the glory to the ages of the ages. Amein.
Again it does not say that Torah was done away with, but that He gave Himself for our sins!!! This is true freedom. Mashiyach bore our sins, Torahlessness, and the curses of Torah!!! Yes that is right; the curses of Torah, there are curses for breaking Torah!!! (See Galatians 3:13 Below)
Read: Debarim/Deuteronomy 11:26-28, 30:1-20
Hear are some other verses in Torah that talk about the curses:
(Debarim/Deuteronomy 28:15) “And it shall be, if you do not obey the voice of YHVH your Elohim, to guard to do all His commands and His laws which I command you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you:
(Deuteronomy 28:16) “Cursed are you in the city, and cursed are you in the field.
(Deuteronomy 28:17) “Cursed is your basket and your kneading bowl.
(Deuteronomy 28:18) “Cursed is the fruit of your body and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
(Deuteronomy 28:19) “Cursed are you when you come in, and cursed are you when you go out.
(Deuteronomy 28:20) “YHVH sends on you the curse, the confusion, and the rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the evil of your doings by which you have forsaken Me.
(Yehoshua/Joshua 8:30) And Yehoshua built an altar to YHVH Elohim of Yisrael in Mount Eybal,
(Joshua 8:31) as Mosheh the servant of YHVH had commanded the children of Yisrael, as it is written in the Book of the Torah of Mosheh, “an altar of unhewn stones over which no man has wielded iron.” And they offered on it burnt offerings to YHVH, and slaughtered peace offerings.
(Joshua 8:32) And there, in the presence of the children of Yisrael, he wrote on the stones a copy of the Torah of Mosheh, which he had written.
(Joshua 8:33) And all Yisrael – the sojourner as well as the native – with their elders and officers and judges, stood on either side of the ark before the priests, the Lewites, who bore the ark of the covenant of YHVH. Half of them were in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Eybal, as Mosheh the servant of YHVH had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Yisrael.
(Joshua 8:34) And afterward he read all the words of the Torah, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the Book of the Torah.
(Joshua 8:35) There was not a word of all that Mosheh had commanded which Yehoshua did not read before all the assembly of Yisrael, with the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who accompanied them.
(Galatians 5:8) The persuasion is not from Him calling you.
(Galatians 5:9) A little leaven leavens all the lump.
(Galatians 5:10) I trust as to you in the Master/Adonai that you will think nothing else, but that the one troubling you shall bear the judgment, whoever he may be.
(Galatians 5:11) But I, brothers, if I proclaim circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the offense of the stake has passed away.
Shaul/Paul still proclaims/preaches/heralds circumcision, yet we see that he is still persecuted. In other words, Shaul/Paul still walks in Torah, but is being persecuted because he proclaims justification only through the stake of Yeshua HaMashiyach. Again, he is not saying not to walk in Torah, but that no one can be justified by keeping Torah or doing various outwardly religious things to merit salvation!!!
Shaul wrote a letter to the Galatians because they were gentiles, who came to faith in Mashiyach, and they were learning to walk in Torah, and eventually they started to believe that they were saved by keeping Torah!!! Shaul sets them straight in Chapter 3. He even asks them if they received the Ruach/Spirit by the works of Torah, or by the hearing of belief/faith.
(Galatians 3:1) O senseless Galatians! Who has put you under a spell, not to obey the truth – before whose eyes Yeshua HaMashiyach was clearly portrayed among you as impaled?
(Galatians 3:2) This only I wish to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of Torah, or by the hearing of belief?
(Galatians 3:3) Are you so senseless? Having begun in the Spirit, do you now end in the flesh?
(Galatians 3:4) Have you suffered so much in vain – if indeed in vain?
(Galatians 3:5) Is He, then, who is supplying the Spirit to you and working miracles among you, doing it by works of Torah, or by hearing of belief?
(Galatians 3:6) Even so Avraham “did believe Elohim, and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness.”
(Galatians 3:7) Know, then, that those who are of belief are sons of Abraham.
(Galatians 3:8) And the Scripture, having foreseen that Elohim would declare right the nations by belief, announced the Good News to Avraham beforehand, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you,”
(Galatians 3:9) so that those who are of belief are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
(Galatians 3:10) For as many as are of works of Torah are under the curse, for it has been written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all that has been written in the book of the Torah, to do them.”
(Galatians 3:11) And that no one is declared right by Torah before Elohim is clear, for “The righteous shall live by belief.”
(Galatians 3:12) And the Torah is not of belief, but “The man who does them shall live by them.”
(Galatians 3:13) Mashiyach redeemed us from the curse of the Torah, having become a curse for us – for it has been written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs upon a tree.”(1) – Footnote: (1)Dt. 21:23.
(Debarim/Deuteronomy 21:22) “And when a man has committed a sin worthy of death, then he shall be put to death and you shall hang him on a tree.
(Deuteronomy 21:23) “Let his body not remain overnight on the tree, for you shall certainly bury him the same day – for he who is hanged is accursed of Elohim – so that you do not defile the land which YHVH your Elohim is giving you as an inheritance.
(Galatians 3:14) in order that the blessing of Avraham might come upon the nations in Mashiyach Yeshua, to receive the promise of the Spirit through belief.
(Galatians 3:15) Brothers, as a man I say it: a covenant, even though it is man’s, yet if it is confirmed, no one sets it aside, or adds to it.
The following analogy might help you understand the CONTEXT of Acts Chapter 15:
OK, Shaul was speaking against the FALSE teachers who taught one must be circumcised and keep Torah for Salvation!!! Shaul does mention, to those that think they can work their way in, that they are a debtor to do the whole Torah, which would imply keeping it perfectly. Sorry, but if you broke even the smallest command in Torah, you are already guilty. There was only One that kept Torah perfectly, and that was Yeshua!!! This does not mean that we have a license to sin, which is breaking Torah. Shaul never teaches against circumcision or Torah. One must read in context. Once a person leaves paganism, they were instructed to abstain from four things immediately, and then come into the assembly and learn of Moshe, Torah. Imagine you just heard about the Good News of Mashiyach, this Grace and Mercy that you are hearing of sounds much better than any of the g-ds you have been serving. You have been drinking blood, having sex with multiple pagan shrine prostitutes, sacrificing to idols, and of course you are not circumcised. This Good News is amazing, and you see these Jews talking about Yeshua and the Kingdom of Elohim, etc... You continue to investigate about this Good News and this one called Yeshua. You come back next Shabbat to hear more. You hear more people talking about Him. Eventually you come to believe in Him, and bammm!!! You get saved!!! The Spirit of G-d is on you, and you experience His presence. You are saved by hearing the Good News, repenting and believing on Yeshua as Mashiyach. How is your Torah knowledge??? You say Torah, what is that, some kind of cake??? You are saved, but you are a babe and need milk, right? To give you meat, would not work because you have no foundation. Babies need milk first, and then the meat of Torah comes with growing up. Ok, you now want to come into the assembly, you know every Shabbat where Moshe/Torah is taught!!! There are some very zealous brothers who want to circumcise you immediately, and start shoving Torah down. These brothers do not mean harm; they are just very zealous for Torah, as we all should eventually be. Another group of FALSE teachers comes along and says you can not be saved unless you are circumcised, oops, looks like they are adding to the Work of Mashiyach, not a good idea!!! The physical act of circumcision NEVER EVER saved anyone!!! The same types of FALSE teachers say that the act or work of immersion saves you, NO, NO, NO!!! This does not mean that we do not get immersed, though!!! Well, all this confusion needs to be addressed because gentiles are getting saved!!! These TORAH observant men got together and came up with FOUR things that new converts must immediately STOP!!! Then it goes on to say that these new converts will learn about Moshe in the assembly. Your walk of righteousness has now begun, and you are on your way to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Mashiyach, and become more like Him!!! You start off with milk, and eventually start to get into the meat. You start learning about the Feast's of YHVH, NOT christmas, easter/ishtar, valentines, sun-day, etc... Wow, you who were once alienated from the covenants and walking completely against Torah, are starting to grow, and Torah is being written on your heart!!! By the way, you are born from above, your conversion was true. It's been a little while, and you are learning and learning, but you are still not circumcised!!! The rabbi/pastor is reading this portion of Bereshith/Genesis 17:
(Bereshith/Genesis 17:1) And it came to be when Avram was ninety-nine years old, that YHVH appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai – walk before Me and be perfect(1). Footnote: (1)Messiah gives the same command in Mt. 5:48.
(Genesis 17:2) “And I give My covenant between Me and you, and shall greatly increase you.”
(Genesis 17:3) And Avram fell on his face, and Elohim spoke with him, saying,
(Genesis 17:4) “As for Me, look, My covenant is with you, and you shall become a father of many nations.
(Genesis 17:5) “And no longer is your name called Avram, but your name shall be Avraham, because I shall make you a father of many nations.
(Genesis 17:6) “And I shall make you bear fruit exceedingly, and make nations of you, and sovereigns shall come from you.
(Genesis 17:7) “And I shall establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations, for an EVERLASTING COVENANT, to be Elohim to you and your seed after you.
(Genesis 17:8) “And I shall give to you and your seed after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Kenaan, as an everlasting possession. And I shall be their Elohim.”
(Genesis 17:9) And Elohim said to Avraham, “As for you, guard My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations.
(Genesis 17:10) “This is My covenant which you guard between Me and you, and your seed after you: Every male child among you is to be circumcised.
(Genesis 17:11) “And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall become a SIGN of the covenant between Me and you.
Oh it’s a SIGN of the covenant, so it does not save you!!!
(Genesis 17:12) “And a son of eight days is circumcised by you, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with silver from any foreigner who is not of your seed.
(Genesis 17:13) “He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your silver, has to be circumcised. So shall My covenant be in your flesh, for an EVERLASTING COVENANT.
(Genesis 17:14) “And an uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, his life shall be cut off from his people – he has broken My covenant.”
After hearing this portion of Torah being read, some wheels start turning upstairs, and the Ruach is nudging your heart. The word's "EVERLASTING COVENANT" starts to ring in your brain. HMMM, EVERLASTING COVENANT, HMMM, EVERLASTING COVENANT!!! At this point you can do one of two things, get circumcised, or not!!! If you decide to walk in Righteousness you will go and get circumcised. This is NOT being forced on you at ALL!!! You are being convinced by TORAH and the Spirit Writing Torah on your heart!!! You talk to the rabbi/pastor and say I believe that I need to be circumcised. The rabbi/pastor looks at you and starts to cry with tears of joy. He is crying because he sees that you are growing in Torah, and it is being written on your heart. He remembers the first day you came into the assembly, and how excited you were about being forgiven through faith in Mashiyach for your past Torahlessness. When were you saved, it was not now, but way back when you heard the Good News of Yeshua HaMashiyach and repented. You are simply becoming sanctified, which is a life long process. You are learning to become a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.
You get circumcised, and now you can actually keep Pesach, which is an EVERLASTING FEAST!!!
(Shemoth/Exodus 12:11) ‘And this is how you eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Pesach/Passover of YHVH.
(Exodus 12:12) ‘And I shall pass through the land of Mitsrayim on that night, and shall smite all the first-born in the land of Mitsrayim, both man and beast. And on all the mighty ones of Mitsrayim I shall execute judgment. I am YHVH.
(Exodus 12:13) ‘And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I shall pass over you, and let the plague not come on you to destroy you when I smite the land of Mitsrayim.
(Exodus 12:14) ‘And this day shall become to you a remembrance. And you shall observe it as a festival to YHVH throughout your generations – observe it as a festival, an EVERLASTING law.
An uncircumcised male CAN NOT partake of Pesach!!! When I learned this by reading about it in Torah, I did not partake in Pesach with my family. We were new to Torah because our pastors did not teach us Torah. They taught us that Torah was done away with, and spoke things that actually were the opposite of what Yeshua actually taught and said. Was I saved, born from above, by faith in YHVH and His Mashiyach, YES!!! I was uncircumcised for 35 years. I came to Mashiyach when I was 18. My family and I came to the realization that the Feast’s were EVERLASTING, and that Yeshua and His talmid/taught ones walked in Torah!!! It was there ALL this time, but we were ignorant and being led astray by the blind!!! We were new to Torah, and the Feast of Pesach was coming up. It would have been our first Pesach, but I would not partake in it because I was NOT circumcised!!! I eventually circumcised myself and was ready for the next Pesach to come!!!
(Shemoth/Exodus 12:48) “And when a stranger sojourns with you and shall perform the Pesach/Passover to YHVH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and perform it, and he shall be as a native of the land. BUT LET NO UNCIRCUMCISED EAT OF IT.
(Exodus 12:49) “There is one Torah for the native-born and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
(Exodus 12:50) And all the children of Yisrael did as YHVH commanded Mosheh and Aharon, so they did.
(Exodus 12:51) And it came to be on that same day that YHVH brought the children of Yisrael out of the land of Mitsrayim according to their divisions.
It seems that Rav Shaul/Paul was accused of being a false Torah breaking hellenized teacher even back then. He still has those that slander him to this day. But let’s read some more about how Shaul upheld Torah in some other verses in the Book of Acts.
(Acts 21:17) And when we had arrived in Yerushalayim, the brothers received us gladly.
(Acts 21:18) And on the following day Shaul went in with us to Yaaqob, and all the elders came.
Ok, this is a good sign, the brothers received them gladly.
(Acts 21:19) And having greeted them, he was relating one by one what Elohim had done among the gentiles through his service.
Shaul had a tough gig, sharing the Good News of Mashiyach to gentiles, and then getting them to walk in Torah/Righteousness!!! I know exactly how he feels, OY!!!
(Acts 21:20) And when they heard it, they praised the Master. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Yehudim there are who have believed, and all are ardent for the Torah.
WOW!!! Did you read that??? Thousands of Jews that believed in Yeshua as Mashiyach, that are zealous/on fire for TORAH!!! People, this is after the resurrection of Yeshua!!! Why do so many pastors teach that Torah was done away with, or nailed to the stake with Yeshua??? TORAH WAS NEVER DONE AWAY WITH!!!
(Acts 21:21) “And they have been informed about you that you teach all the Yehudim who are among the gentiles to forsake Mosheh, saying not to circumcise the children nor to walk according to the practices.
These zealous for Torah, Jewish talmid of Yeshua HaMashiyach have been hearing rumors that Rav Shaul/Paul is not walking in Torah, and teaching others the same!!! Shual was being slandered back then as he is today by people who say he was a hellenized believer. NOT TRUE!!!
(Acts 21:22) “What then is it? They shall certainly hear that you have come.
These zealous Torah observant believers in Mashiyach Yeshua are going to find out that you are here.
(Acts 21:23) “So do this, what we say to you: We have four men who have taken a vow.
These men were under a Nazarite vow, and set apart to YHVH for a specific time.
(Acts 21:24) “Take them and be cleansed with them, and pay their expenses so that they shave their heads. And all shall know that what they have been informed about you is not so, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Torah.
Shaul is going to prove that he still keeps Torah, and that what was being spread around about him was not true, but false!!!
(Acts 21:25) “But concerning the gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should keep themselves from what is offered to idols, and blood, and what is strangled, and whoring.” (1) Footnote: (1)See Galatians 15:20.
Again, you need to understand the entire CONTEXT of Acts 15 to realize that these four Mitzvahs/Commands are a necessity for ALL new gentile converts, and that they will be learning Moshe/Torah as it has been taught in the synagogue/assembly every Shabbat from ancient generations!!!
(Acts 21:26) Then Sha’ul took the men on the next day, and having been cleansed with them, went into the Set-apart Place to announce the completion of the days of separation – until the offering should be presented for each one of them.
People, please realize that the Temple of YHVH was still in operation, and sacrifices are still being done!!! The believers in Yeshua did not abandon the Temple, but met there on a daily basis!!! When the Ruach came, they were at the Temple with one accord for Chag Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost. The doctrine of the “church” being born here is a LIE FROM hasatan!!! Shaul paid the expenses for the four other men, and offered animal sacrifices for the Nazarite vow as prescribed in Torah!!! Again, this is after the resurrection of Yeshua!!! Shaul is not there to say, “Hey stop the sacrifices!!!”
(Acts 21:27) And when the seven days were almost ended, the Yehudim from Asia, seeing him in the Set-apart Place, were stirring up all the crowd, and they laid hands on him,
(Acts 21:28) crying out, “Men of Yisrael, help! This is the man who is teaching all men everywhere against the people, and the Torah, and this place. And besides, he also brought Greeks into the Set-apart Place and has profaned this Set-apart Place.”
Here come those that are saying all these false things about Shaul, and they are raising an uproar!!!
(Acts 21:29) Because they had previously seen Trophimos the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they thought that Shaul had brought into the Set-apart Place.
They thought Shaul brought Greeks/Hellen/non-Jews into the Set-apart/Holy Temple!!!
(Acts 21:30) And the entire city was moved, and the people rushed together, seized Shaul, and dragged him out of the Set-apart Place. And immediately the doors were shut.
Again, keeping Torah never saved anyone!!! The act of circumcision does not, and can not save you!!! Many people will find themselves barely getting in, and ALL their works will be burned up because they walked in the traditions of men, and not after YHVH, His Mashiyach, and the Written Torah!!!
YHVH bless and keep you and yours in the Name (Authority) of Yeshua HaMashiyach!!!
Eliyah Ben Yisrael