The Jerusalem Council, the first letter to the "gentiles" (really the returning "lost" tribes of Israel scattered in the nations. Js.1); the message: return to the belly and heart of the Torah and walk in the former ways of your father Abraham. The New testament isn't new - it's a return to the covenants of promise from of old (Eph. 2:12).
And certain ones who came down from Judea taught the brothers, saying, Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.
Context, context, context is salvation by circumcision and keeping the BoL and Oral law or what Paul calls the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has been taken out of the way, by the nailing of it to the tree (Col 2:14).
Or is it by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of יהוה? (Eph 2:8).
Custom of Moses – ethos G1486; a prescribed by habit or custom. Torah/nomos is not present in the text here.
We’re dealing with what is called here a, Minhag (Hebrew: מנהג “custom”, pl. מנהגים, minhagim) which is an accepted tradition or group of traditions in Judaism.
The Hebrew root N-H-G (נ-ה-ג) means primarily “to drive.” This in and of itself is quite telling in light of Yahusha being our Great Shepherd.
Does a Good Shepherd lead or drive his sheep?
Jn. 10:16 And I have other sheep who are not of this fold. I must also lead those, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, one Shepherd.
Whereas drive has negative connotations in the bible: Exo 23:28 And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite before you.
The actual word minhag appears twice in the scriptures, both times in the same verse, and translated as “driving”:
2 Ki 9:20 The watchman reported, saying, “He has reached them, but has not returned. The driving is like the driving of Jehu grandson of Nimshi, for he is driveth [his chariot] recklessly.”
So the word minhag in rabbinic law reflects its Biblical Hebrew origins as “the (manner of) driving (a chariot)”. Whereas Halakha (law), from the word for walking-path, means the path or road set for the journey, minhag (custom), from the word for driving, means the manner people have developed themselves to travel down that path more quickly.
So what is Yahusha teaching in Matt 7:14? “narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life.” He’s contrasting Halacha – biblical law which is the narrow path and Minhag – rabbinical law which is the broad road developed by men themselves.
Goats get driven by men, sheep are led by their master!
Because (Matt 25:32) before Yahusha shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
15:1 And certain ones who came down from Judea taught the brothers, saying, Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. 2 Therefore dissension and not a little disputation occurring by Paul and Barnabas, they appointed Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.
Act 15:3 And indeed being set forward by the called out assembly, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the nations. And they caused great joy to all the brothers.
Act 15:4 And arriving in Jerusalem, they were received by the called out assembly, and by the apostles and elders. And they declared all things that יהוה had done with them.
Act 15:5 But some of those from the sect of the Pharisees, having believed, rose up, saying, It was necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.
THE JERUSALEM COUNCIL
The first letter to the gentiles; turn to the belly and heart of the Torah and start there!
There is no new way to worship the Creator
Sober, holy and kosher approach – clean – avoid profaning yourself and profane worship – avoid blood at all costs
Stop fornicating, both at home and in worship with temple harlots
Vay/Lev 11:42 the middle letter of the torah: you find the mark of the scribe, the Vav – the center letter of the Torah!
Lev 11:42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly/gâchôn/ גּחון GIMMEL-HEH-VAV-NUN and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.
4 ESSENTIAL COMMANDMENTS:
Abstain from meat sacrificed to idols (worship יהוה they way He set out in His torah otherwise he views it as meat sacrificed to shedim/goat demons/idols
Abstain from sexual immorality (don’t profane yourself and say you’re a YAH fearer – you’re not…you’re a heathen)
Abstain from things strangled and from blood – idol meat, unclean, halal etc, inc niddah.
Go to synagogue on shabbat (i.e keep shabbat) and listen to the teachings of Moshe, study torah and you’ll learn the rest over time, with the reading of the annual torah cycle and the indwelling of the RHK
Act 15:6 And the apostles and elders were assembled to see about this matter. Act 15:7 And after much disputing, Peter rose up and said to them, Men, brothers, you recognize that from ancient days יהוה chose among us that through my mouth the nations should hear the Word of the gospel, and believe.
Act 15:8 And יהוה, who knows the hearts, bore them witness, giving them the RHK even as to us. Act 15:9 And He put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Act 15:10 Now therefore why do you tempt יהוה by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples, a yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? Act 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Master Yahusha Messiah we shall be saved, according to which manner they also believed. Act 15:12 And all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring what miracles and wonders יהוה had worked among the nations through them.
Act 15:13 And after they were silent, James answered, saying, Men, brothers, listen to me. Act 15:14 Even as Simon has declared how יהוה at the first visited the nations to take out of them a people for His name.
Act 15:15 And the words of the Prophets agree to this; as it is written,
Act 15:16 “After this I will return and will rebuild again the tabernacle of David which has fallen down; and I will build again its ruins, and I will set it up, – THE RESTORATION OF ALL ISRAEL – ALL 12 TRIBES – THE TWO HOUSE RESTORATION – TWO STICKS INTO ONE!
Act 15:17 so those men who are left might seek after the Lord, and all the nations on whom My name has been called, says the Lord, who does all these things.” Act 15:18 All His works are known to יהוה from eternity.
Act 15:19 Therefore my judgment is that we do not trouble those who have returned/turn to יהוה from among the nations.
Gk: epist-rephō – to come (go) again, (re-) turn (about, again). שׁוּב shûb
Exo 34:31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.
1 Pet 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Act 15:20 but that we write to them that they should abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Act 15:21 For Moses from ages past has those in every city proclaiming him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
THE JERUSALEM DECREE:
Act 15:22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole called out assembly, to send chosen men from them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; Judas, whose last name was Barsabas; and Silas, chief men among the brothers. Act 15:23 And they wrote these things by their hand: The apostles and elders and brothers send greeting to the brothers, from the nations in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
The Messianic Trap:a form of godliness but denying its power therein. They’re correct for us to stop profaning ourselves with pagan worship and lawlessness but that’s where it stops. The key to the Jerusalem Council Doctrine is what? 15:28 For it seemed good to the RHK and to us…the working of the RHK in our lives to move in power in the word of יהוה, not get burdened down in messianic torah religious rote.
Act 15:24 Because we have heard that certain ones who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “you must be circumcised and keep the law” – to whom we gave no such command. “you must be circumcised and keep the law”
Evil went unchecked until men like John Wycliffe kicked against the pricks.“You must be circumcised and keep the law” is omitted from the earliest Gk texts.
We need to be watchful, the church in Thyatira prefigures the Roman Catholic Church, which was fully formed as the apostate church by the establishment of the universal papal system in the latter part of the sixth century. You can almost feel the demons lodging in such a place – wrong doctrines for gains.
Circumcision was the covenant entrance sign. Break the covenant, the sign is of no use, therefore for a whole generation went uncircumcised in the wilderness with no recourse from Moshe…yes uncircumcised Levites running around in the wilderness because they new they broke the covenant.
Josh 4 circumcision is a land entrance token NOT a Abrahamic covenant token…get that straight…a covenant ratified you can’t add thereto, you can’t enter into a broken covenant, Gal 3:15 is very clear on that.
Someone has to die and give you a new “wedding ring” covenant entrance token if you will “Col 2:11 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 Moshiach.”
Act 15:25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Act 15:26 men who have given up their lives for the name of our Savior Yahusha Messiah. Act 15:27 Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will also announce to you the same things by word.
Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the RHK and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these necessary things: Act 15:29 that you abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which, if you keep yourselves, you shall do exceedingly well. Be prospered.