Once upon a time there was a crisis of unity in the Nazarene Israel movement.(A lot like we have today.)
The Messiah had come,and the Messiah had gone,and now it was up to the apostlesto spread the Good News,and to bring the people together as one.
The story will climax in Acts 15,but to get the right sense of perspective,let us first begin in Acts, 2,Where the apostles firstspoke in tongues.
Ma’asei (Acts) 2:1-31 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come (50 days), they were all with one accord in one place (Jerusalem). 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind (Spirit, Wind, Breath), and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Ma’asei (Acts) 2:3-43 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Ruach HaQodesh (Holy Spirit/Wind/Breath) and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Ma’asei (Acts) 2:5-65 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.
Ma’asei (Acts) 6:16 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Greeks (Hellenists), because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
Ma’asei (Acts) 6:22 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of Elohim and serve tables.
Ma’asei (Acts) 6:33 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Set-apart Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
Ma’asei (Acts) 6:44 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
The apostles worked at ministry full-time.They were a full-time “clergy.”(We will see this again in Acts 15.)
Rules of hermeneutics:Who is speaking to whom?How does he define his words?What does he think he is saying?
Pharisees = OrthodoxSadducees = KaraitesGreeks/Hellenized = Reform
(“Greeks”) 1 Maccabees 1:41-4341 Moreover King Antiochus wrote his whole kingdom, that all should be one people,42 And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king.43 Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the Sabbath.
Ma’asei Acts 10:1-21 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared Elohim with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to Elohim always.
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:9-109 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Kepha (Peter) went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance.
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:11-1211 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:13-1413 And a voice came to him, "Rise, Kepha; kill and eat!" 14 But Kepha said, “Not so, Adon! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:15-1615 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What Elohim has cleansed you must not call common." 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
What we call “Torah Law” is not the same as what Pharisaical Jews like Kepha were taught to call “Torah Law.”
Nazarene Israel defines “Torah Law” as: Elohim’s words through Moshe, Yeshua, and/or the prophets The Rabbis (Orthodox and Messianic)define “Torah Law” as: Talmud (teachings of the rabbis).
We will see the Rabbinical/Talmudic typesreferred to as:“The circumcision who believed”, and“The Pharisees who believed.”(They say salvation is bythe works of our hands,and that is what is atissue here.)
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:2828 Then he said to them, "You know how it is unlawful (in Talmud) for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But Elohim has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”(Unlawful in Torah?)
Where is it unlawful to keep company with, or to go with one of another nation?A) Laws of Moses?B) “Torah Law” of the Talmud?
Where is it unlawful to keep company with, or to go with one of another nation?A) Laws of MosesB) “Torah Law” of the Talmud
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:4444 While Kepha (Peter) was still speaking these words, the Set-apart Spirit fell on all those who heard the word.
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:4545 And those of the circumcision who believed (believing Pharisees)were astonished, as many as came with Kepha, because the gift of the Set-apart Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:4646 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify Elohim. Then Kepha answered,
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:47(Looking to the 6 believing Pharisees)47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be immersed who have received the Set-apart Spirit just as we have?”
The “Giur Process,”The “Gentile Conversion Process.”Called the “Custom of Moses” in Acts 15.
The Jews have a process thatconverts to Judaism must go through,much like the US naturalization process.Their reasoning for this can be seen inpassages like Joshua 7:1,where the disobedience of one mancaused many Israelites to die.
Yehoshua (Joshua) 7:11 But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the dedicated things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the dedicated things; so the anger of Yahweh burned against the children of Israel.
Yehoshua (Joshua) 7:4-54 So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai. 5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent….
Rabbinical Giur (גיור) Process:1. First take classes for a year2. Then pass tests3. Then you have official approval tobecome physically circumcised4. Then you are an Israelite (as if the act of physical circumcision makes you an Israelite).(What about the Spirit?)
Rabbinic thought:1. Teach the people what they need to know2. Then let them join the nation3. (Naturalization process)4. Then they won’t bring sin on the nation.5. That makes great sense in the flesh,but what about in the Spirit?
Ruth 1:1616 But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your Elohim, my Elohim.”
Ma’asei (Acts) 11:1-31 Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of Elohim. 2 And when Kepha came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision (rabbinic Jews) contended with him, 3 saying, "You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!“ (against Talmud.)
Ma’asei (Acts) 11:4-184 But Kepha (Peter) explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: 5 "I was in the city of Yaffo [Joppa] praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me.
Ma’asei (Acts) 10:6-76 When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying to me, 'Rise, Kepha; kill and eat.‘
Ma’asei (Acts) 11:8-98 But I said, 'Not so, Adon! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.' 9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, 'What Elohim has cleansed you must not call common.‘….
Ma’asei (Acts) 11:10-1110 Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea.
Ma’asei (Acts) 11:1212 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren (believing Pharisees)accompanied me, and we entered the man's house.
Ma’asei (Acts) 11:15-1615 And as I began to speak, the Set-apart Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning (Acts 2). 16 Then I remembered the word of the Master, how He said, 'Yochanan (John) indeed immersed with water, but you shall be immersed with the Set-apart Spirit.'
Ma’asei (Acts) 11:1717 If therefore Elohim gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Adon Yeshua Messiah, who was I, that I could withstand Elohim?“
Ma’asei (Acts) 11:1818 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified Elohim, saying, “Then Elohim has also granted to the Gentiles repentance unto life!”(He granted the non-Hebrews repentance, and without the Giur Process)