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Jews, Gentiles and The Torah Parts 1-4

Reblogged from MessiahMandate.org by Ron Cantor:bar-mitzvah-044_2-600x450

“Are you telling me that as a Gentile believer, I don’t have to keep the Sabbath or eat Kosher in order to be saved?” That was the question that a precious young believer asked me at the end of my message a few weeks ago. I taught all week at Blue Mountain Christian Retreat through my book Identity Theft, taking a hard look at the early communities of 1st century believers and how they lived.

This woman had been taught in a Messianic congregation—I don’t know where—that God calls Gentiles to keep the Torah, just as Jews. Before I go further, let me make two points:

1. I do believe that Jewish believers are called to live a Jewish life according to Scripture as a matter of calling (Romans 11:29).

2. It has no bearing whatsoever on our salvation, which is obtained solely through faith in Yeshua alone.

Having said that, there are some congregations that teach that God’s perfect plan is that the Gentiles also keep the ceremonial aspects of Torah, however mainstream Messianic Judaism and Messianic Jewish leaders reject this. Those who do teach this are part of the ‘One Law’ movement. While I do believe there is freedom for any believer to keep the entire Torah, it is not required. Let’s take a look at the word of God.

Read more…………………

Should Gentiles Keep Torah – Part 1

Should Gentiles Keep Torah – Part 2

Jews, Gentiles and Law (20 points why Gentiles are not Called to keep Torah) – Part 3

Jews, Gentiles and Torah – Part 4

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About Shimshon

Humility is the beginning of ones relationship with God, or the reminder of it's existence...... LOVE ~ Life's Only Valuable Emotion

36 comments on “Jews, Gentiles and The Torah Parts 1-4

  1. Messianic Jew Boy
    September 10, 2013

    I would be surprised if she was taught this in a Messianic Jewish congregation.

    • Shimshon
      September 10, 2013

      Though I understand your point, and agree with you, mostly. I would not be surprised. I was a member of a Messianic ‘Jewish’ congregation that picked up FFOZ HaYesod and ran with it. I resisted as long as I could, then had to humbly stop attending. The attendance skyrocketed after I left. I am no longer surprised what happens when the banner “Gentiles for Torah” is raised up. Even by Jews. Sadest thing is we split from a shul because of too much adherance to Talmud. Only to take up the One Law banner. So I have witnessed Jewish congregations teaching One Law. Though I do agree, most are hebrew roots congregations that teach one law. It has woven it’s way into Jewish congregations.

  2. cfryalls
    September 10, 2013

    It is a good set of articles and I agree with possibly one exception. In the directive of Act 15 I believe that there IS an instruction for Gentiles to learn more from attending the synagogues. Where else could they possibly go to hear the scriptures read? There was a need for instruction. The Gentiles needed to get an understanding of who God is and what he requires of us, not to mention who we are and why we are here on this Earth. But the instruction was not to become Torah obedient or to convert to Judaism. They were to remain gentiles within that synagogue setting. This was God’s purpose in the mission of Israel, that they were to be a nation of priests to all the world. There has to be a place where the knowledge of God is presented to the Gentiles. Synagogue was that place early on when the Jews were still being accommodating to the Gentiles. But when the conversion became a flood of Gentiles I think jealously and confusion set in and the Gentiles and their limited requirement became a problem to the Jews.

    Here is another thing that is so often missed in the decision of the Jerusalem council. The four things they were to do did have a direct connection to Pagan worship. Yet it only took a short time for the Gentiles to find a way to bring their Pagan practices into Christianity. I am referring to the Eucharist, or Communion. It is nothing but Paganism, a blood ritual where the blood of the good is at least symbolically drank and his flesh eaten in order to transfer immortality (Salvation) to the participant. This practice is against Torah and also Against the orders of the Jerusalem council and yet it remains to this day the central most sacred ritual of the Christian church. No where is there a emphasis of instruction given to anyone to perform this ritual. At best it comes out of a complete misreading of John 6 where Yeshua equates accepting and feasting on his word to be food better than the manna that Moshe gave and was able to provide a person life. It is a common word usage found in several passages between God and his prophets, to eat, take in, consume, to be filled with, the very word of God.

    • Shimshon
      September 10, 2013

      I seem to remember disagreeing with you on this before. I do not see why their would be a calling to ‘learn’ from un-believing Jews. Did you miss the point about James NOT including ‘that’ portion of the letter when it was disceminated? Not to mention how Yeshua teaches that they will be chased out of the synagogues, which is exactly what happend to Paul.

      Your saying that after the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we are lead to join the non-believing Jews in worship and tradition? I never understand how you come to this conclusion. I do not recognize the intent for ‘believeing’ gentiles to participate in synagogue settings. As a gentile they would not have been allowed to worship outside of converting at least as a Ger. And any belief in Yeshua would have caused them to be cast out of the shul.

      John 12:42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;

      If the authorites where afriad being put out of the synagogue for confessing faith in Yeshua by the pharisees, why would James be leading new believers into such places ‘every shabbat’?

      I blogged about this here:

      http://messianicway.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/acts-1521-gentiles-in-the-synagogues/

  3. Shimshon
    September 10, 2013

    Galatians 4:4 but when the appointed time arrived, God sent forth his Son. He was born from a woman, born into a culture in which legalistic perversion of the Torah was the norm, 5 so that he might redeem those in subjection to this legalism and thus enable us to be made God’s sons.

    Born into a culture in which legalistic perverson of the Torah was the norm. So once we are indwelt with the Spirit of Truth that leads us into all understanding, we are lead to ‘learn the knowledge of God’ from non-believing Pharisees who would run you out of town and stone you if possible for believing in Yeshua and the indwelling?

  4. Shimshon
    September 10, 2013

    Gentiles are commanded to believe the witness, and receive the Spirit. To be holy in a perverse world. How? How do they learn this? By going to the synagogue?

  5. Charles
    September 12, 2013

    I think you missed what I was saying. Probably because I didn’t say it well. I don’t think the Gentiles were told to stay away from the Synagogues or to ignore the teachings of Torah and all the scriptures. Was it not a good thing for them to come to the knowledge of these things. Remember that the writings of the New Testament all cover a very early time of transition, before the Temple was destroyed and before the Jews were expelled, when the Gospel was being carried by Jews as well as Gentiles as the Messianic faith was still just a new sect within Judaism.

    Timothy is told to remember (rely upon ) those things that he had learned as a child, which was the teachings from the scriptures learned through his grandmother.

    2 Tim 3: [14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; [15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    In James 2:2 though it is hidden, James speaking to the believers corrects them for showing favoritism to the wealthy members of the congregation, and he says “When there comes into your synagogue a rich man. Most English translation say Assembly but the Greek is Synagogua, the same word that is translated as Synagogue in every other passage in the New Testament. Of course James was the chief elder of all the church and the Bishop of the Messianic Church in Jerusalem right at the front door of the temple.

    Also we see that the Gentiles in Cornith are observing the Passover (The feast of unleavened bread actually) but are doing things that are inappropriate and Paul gives them correction concerning the meaning of the feast, and tells them to eat first before going if they are hungry and not to be going back for seconds and thirds and even becoming drunk before other have even been served. (I COr 11)

    If we allow ourselves to take a look beyond the canon of scriptures to other writings of the Early Church fathers there is absolutely no doubt that these men were well studied in all the Tanakh. However they did not understand it all correctly because they had little to no Jewish believers to teach them, men in the direct line of the Disciples. So they misunderstood many things and formed many heretical doctrines. The fault of this was not the scriptures for they are holy but enmity had already been established between the Jews and the believers in Yeshua, both Jewish and Gentile believers. When the Gentile saw the destruction of Jerusalem and the expulsion of the Jews, these Gentiles took that as proof that God had completely cancelled Judaism and cursed the Jewish people and set the Gentiles in their place, (Replacementism).

    I agree with you that the Gentiles are never pressured to convert and become Jews or to submit themselves to the laws pertaining to Jews either Torah or Rabbinical traditions. Gentiles were to become blood saved Gentiles and to take upon them a life in the spirit. AS such this has to include the moral aspects of the Torah especially the ten commands and such. But they were not expected to produce a priesthood and offer sacrifices nor were they called to become members of the Abrahamic Covenant and to circumcise their sons.

    • Charles
      September 13, 2013

      I have re-read this article and the one you posted 2011 “Gentiles in the synagogue”, several times now and I think you an I agree except for a few small details. SO first where we agree clearly Gentile believers, in fact any believers including Jews should not submit themselves to the authority of Rabbinical-Nonbelieving Jews or take on their customs, rituals or teachings. They all deny the greatest truth which is the Gospel. And historically we can look back and see how the Gospel message was rejected by the Jewish authority throughout the scriptures of the N.T. But please bear with me as I try to make sense of this.

      The very first Gentiles to receive the Gospel and to be filled with the spirit were Roman soldiers like Cornelius and the other unnamed centurian. What needs to be realized here is they were both families of Gentiles who were already Ger, God fearers, within the Jewish synagogues and respected as righteous men. This means that they lived as Jews in every way except they had not been circumcised so that they could be called (ethnically) Jews. They were Torah keeping, synagogue attending, kosher eating, gentiles who loved the God of Israel and the Jewish people. These are the first Gentiles to be saved and receive the Holy Spirit.

      After these came many more believers and many more Gentiles who were being filled with the spirit, and the question comes up what should we do with all these Gentiles. They need shepherding but there are not enough Messianic, Apostles and such to handle this influx. So we have to for a moment place ourselves into the situation and also the time slot of this decision in Acts 15. Gentiles it seems were welcome in the synagogues, but the expectation was that they would be in their place, in the back row, behind the separation, and would be postilites, on their way to becoming Jews. On the other hand the Disciples, who were going to the synagogues to preach the Gospel and Christ crucified and resurrected, that was a different matter. These Apostles were turning Judaism upside-down and it was a threat to the status Quo. SO, early on the Gentiles I think were accepted as new converts, since they were not expected to teach or lead, but the Apostles preaching the Gospel, these were expelled and persecuted just as Yeshua had told them would happen.

      Now time moves on and we see that the synagogues are being overrun with an influx of Gentiles. Under previous conditions, this would have been wonderful news, but these were coming in with an exuberance that is the product of having been filled with the Holy Spirit and they are openly proclaiming that Yeshua was the Messiah. Day by day this became an issue for the synagogues. The response to this is that the sect of Messianics, then referred to as “The Way” move away from the synagogues and are being organized in home church gatherings. It appears that a number of wealthy Jewish Women were largely benefactors of this, providing a meeting place in their larger homes and also financing the mission work of the Apostles. As we move on through the chronology of the early church then it becomes a separate entity divorced from the synagogues just as had happened to the Essenes and other sects who would not bow to the pharisees control over the synagogues.

      In acts 15, the decision to have gentiles learn the scriptures in the synagogues were stated early on when it was hoped that the Gentiles would be welcomed and the Gospel would also bring the conversion of the Jews. Why else would the apostles bother to go to the synagogues to preach the Gospel except for the hope of their fellow Jews coming to faith.

      If the Gentiles are later being expelled from the synagogues, then we have to understand that it means they had to first go there in order to be expelled. You can not expel someone who does not attend right?

      I think it is at this point that Paul’s own ministry changes and his message become more precise whereby he upholds the truth of the scriptures but condemns the legalism and traditions of the Pharisees, which he knows intimately for what it is. This is why he resists any notion of Gentile converting to become circumcised Jews or even as Gentiles under the authority of the Non-believing Jews even attending in the back row behind the curtain.

      Paul’s message changes through the new testament. In the beginning he was expecting the Kingdom of God to fall from heaven with Christ’s return at any moment and having the Gentiles rolled into the people of God would bring about a massive conversion to faith as the day of the Lord was at hand. Later on in his mission he realizes that we are in for the long haul, Messiah is not returning at any moment and his message changes to “Christ in you” and the “Kingdom within you”. He realizes that the separation between the saved believers in Messiah and the Jewish authority must be clean and promotes discipleship and home churches and avoidance of the synagogues of the Jews.

      From where we are today, NO, absolutely NOT, the saved in Christ should not seek or desire to be part of Rabbinical Judaism. They should not place themselves under that influence. And yet that is what is happening in many cases. People loose faith in Yeshua and take up Torah keeping and self righteousness. They think that because the Jews were chosen and given a unique experience with God that they are the bearers of truth. But we know that they ultimately rejected the very fulfillment of what Judaism looked forward to, the Messianic Kingdom and the coming of Messiah. Have they repented? No. Have they picked up the New Testament and read it? Mostly not. Are they filled with the Holy Spirit? No. Mostly not. Do I love them. Yes. Do I have hope for them Yes! and I pray for them daily. But they have nothing to offer any of us. They hold the box and treasure it. We hold the gift that came in the box and worship Him.

      Sorry that my posts are always so long. I write while I think it through.

  6. Shimshon
    September 13, 2013

    Charles, thank you for taking the time to talk this through. I still see some points of discussion. One, were samaritans allowed in the synagogues? (trick question) No is the answer, as they were seen as ‘gentiles’ to the ‘Jews’. But in Acts 8 we have the apostles coming to samaria and the holy spirit filling the Samaritans. These were not Ger’s. Nor were they treated as such after the indwelling.

    Two, you keep stating things like “gentiles overunning the synagogues, but I would like you to provide the verses. Cause I’m not remembering that. And since I’ve studied this, I’m wondering if I missed it. I don’t think so. But please, provide the source of your statement.

    Three, the letter in Acts 15 by James. Why was the crucial statement about Moses and the shuls left out when James restated the letter to be sent? James says something a little different there at the end. About “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit that we only enforce these four….”

    As a whole I appreciate that we see eye to eye in regards to modern rabbinical Judaism and the gentiles. But I’m still not sold that you have considered all three of these points.

    Shalom my brother

    • Charles
      September 13, 2013

      AC 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. [45] But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. [46] Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. [47] For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. [48] And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. [49] And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.

      AC 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

      I am sure there is more, like the historical writings. Man, I thought this was a given that the Gentiles soon outnumbered the Jews in the numbers of those who believed. By the time of the writings of the church fathers, the Jewish believers were a tiny minority.

      • Charles
        September 13, 2013

        Acts 17:1-4 (NAS) Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”

        And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas,

        along with a great multitude of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women.

        In my way of thinking I am contrasting “some of the Jews” to the following “with a great multitude of the God-fearing Greeks” God fearing Greeks would be Gentiles who were either proselytes or those Gentiles who listened from outside. Throughout Acts I get the impression that there were more Gentiles than Jews in most of the diaspera Jews synagogues. For a couple reasons, after Alexander the Great all the world was locked in on the Greek language. Jews who were Hebraic were mostly tied to Jerusalem and the temple system, bu the Hellenized Jews were everywhere in all the nations. Call them the house of Israel. These Jews were minorities in the nations and welcomed the Gentiles who would come in to the Synagogue and help support it. The Jews were offering them a righteous lifestyle which was attractive compared to the degredation of the Pagan temples. Judaism looked forward to the coming deliverer. Good news to these Gentiles who were mostly slaves to Roman owners and such. In the synagogues they were given some dignity. And Judaism was the only monotheistic religion and a moral one as well with a God who loved his people not a tyrant like the Pagan gods. So what my impression from the things I have read including scriptures is that the synagogues in Judea, with Hebraic Jews, Gentiles were looked upon as dogs. But in the nations where the Jews were hellenized they were open to Gentiles. This is probably why Pauls mission to the Gentiles in the nations was so successful.
        Just my opinion. I guess I may have the wrong impression.

      • Shimshon
        September 13, 2013

        Acts 13 doesn’t prove the gentiles were getting involved in the synagogue worship and learning as members. It shows how Paul always went to the synagogues to preach to the Jews and the converts (greeks/god fearer’s). And this time in Antioch the message was so good one shabbat that the next shabbat nearly the whole town showed up to hear more about the Gospel. The Jews of the synagogue got jealous how the gentiles because it was they who were mentioned in the gospel as being blessed along side the Jews. So the Jews from the synagogue got envious and probably started claiming the gentiles needed to become Jews to receive the blessing of Yeshua. So Paul scolds them and turns his back on the synagogue Jews who rejected the Gentiles and offers the message of the gospel to them instead.

        Acts 14 shows about the same outcome for the Gentiles. They minds were poisoned by the non-believing Jews from the synagogue. They divided the city between the Jews of the synagogue and the apostles (1:4) And finally both agreed to stone them. So they fled that city as well. And when it mentions ‘greek’ it means convert or god fearer. Not gentiles.

        My point in both these examples is, what you find is Paul preaching the gospel to the Jews in the synagogues, and every time the Jews reject the Gentiles inclusion and chase Paul out of town. In Acts 13 it sure does seem like the Gentiles crowded around the synagogue to hear the message, but because of this, the reaction from the Jews inside was not “how nice, and welcome to be here, yes we all believe this message of our unity”. But one of “who are these Gentiles that we should include them here?” “maybe they need to convert like the ‘greek god fearers’ and be circumcised.” So Paul realizes they are not understanding or receiving the message and exclude them from the meal he is feeding the world, the gospel.

        I think your not properly treating the term ‘greek, or god fearer’. You understand they are proselytes/converts, but you seem to refuse to consider them completely ‘Jewish’. It’s like telling a convert today he’s not really a Jew, but a gentile. He will bite your head off everytime. A convert is a Jew. Especially when we have a clear distinction given like in Acts 14:1. He went into the synagogue and many of the Jews and converts believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up and poisoned the Gentiles. Your perspective would have this meaning they did this to the converts/greeks/god fearers. But these were considered Jews, who worshiped in the synagogue.

  7. Shimshon
    September 13, 2013

    Notice too, in Acts 8, that even by this time, long before the acts 15 council meeting letter, persecution has already broken out in Jerusalem among the followers of The Way. They were scattered into Judea and Samaria. Because of the miracles, indwelling, and preaching of Yeshua. Even then they were being run out of town, and the synagogues. Or do you think they would be entering synagogues outside of Jerusalem, or in Samaria? As the text states, even before Yeshua’s ,death they were not allowed to partake in the synagogue if they believed in Yeshua.

  8. Shimshon
    September 13, 2013

    2 tim 3:14-15 does not refer to the Torah. That which was learned, and needed convincing of, was the Gospel, and who he heard it from was Paul ala Yeshua. I never took that as being the Scriptures that were learned, needed convincing of or who taught them to him.

    Notice too, that the focus of the Scriptures is the saving grace of Messiah. Paul is saying: continue in the gospel that you have come to believe;

    and that you have known the Torah your whole life, which is able to bring you to the knowledge of saving grace which is through Messiah. It’s all about Messiah! Even the reference to Torah is given to focus on the Gospel, not the fact that he was brought up Jewish. Paul’s saying, it’s your Jewishness, your understanding of Torah that will benefit you greatly because you know it in and out and you NOW know that it all leads to the saving grace of God through Yeshua. So you are well equipped to spread the Good News! Use all scripture (Torah) for the goal of bringing all people to the knowledge of the saving grace of God which is through faith in Yeshua.

  9. Shimshon
    September 13, 2013

    The remark from James is understandable because he was the leader of the synagogue in Jerusalem. His letters where dealing with that sect of The Way. The home office Paul took collections for this group because they were very persecuted. Eventually having little because they were being chased out of town. per Acts 8. Remember, Yeshua commanded them to ‘go into all the world and preach “the gospel”‘. Yet they were forming a synagogue in the heart of Jerusalem. Remember again, that Yeshua said that place would not have one stone left standing, and that nobody would be able to worship God there.

    • Charles
      September 13, 2013

      David, I will work my way through this. The first thing that I want to address is 2 Tim 3: 2 Tim 3: [14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; [15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

      I do not agree with the idea that this was a reference to anything other than what it says, the Holy Scriptures, which would be the Tanakh. Those were the only Holy scriptures there were. The New Testament would still be a hundred years down the time line. This was a letter to Timothy from Paul, a personal letter, and the remark was about his upbringing as a small child by his Jewish grandmother. The Holy scriptures point to salvation through faith, if you understand them correctly, and in particular that faith is to be vested in the Messiah. This was in fact the heart of Pauls message when talking to Jews, that Yeshua was that one the Holy Scriptures pointed toward in faith. Remember he said, “faith is the end of the law for them that believe”. The word END there means the target, the point, the thing at which the law was pointing us to.

      I’ll continue later or tomorrow.
      Shalom

  10. Shimshon
    September 13, 2013

    Yes, we agree that the Scriptures pointed to Messiah. But you missed my point in regards to that which is learned and who it was learned from and why we are to be sure of it. What I’m trying to get across to you is that verse 14 is separate from verse 15 in subject. Verse 14 is about the gospel, verse 15 is about the Tenakh. Paul wants him to continue in the things that were learned, having been sure of them, and who he learned them from. The subject of this is the gospel, not the Tenakh. This is verse 14. Then in verse 15 Paul reminds him that he was raised with the Tenakh, and that it is good and able to bring him to knowledge about the gospel. So is all scripture, because it’s God breathed and leads to the gospel of Messiah. Which is what was learned by Paul and Tim is to be sure of this (the gospel).

    • Charles
      September 14, 2013

      Yeh, I am having a little trouble with the grammar making it hard to accept that separation. The things he learned as a child was not taught to him by Paul, but by his grandmother and the subject of the preceding sentence is the the scriptures which would have been Tanakh. Look again: [14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; [15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

      The Grammar dictates that 15 is directly part of the subject of 14. Also we should notice that Paul says that the knowledge of the scriptures would make him wise unto salvation through faith in Yeshua. What does Paul mean? Well after he (Paul) was saved, he spent maybe up to three years re-studying the scriptures in the new light of Yeshua in them. Just as Yeshua himself expounded upon the scriptures and how they were all about himself (Yeshua) when walking with the men on the road to Immaus (Post Resurrection) and their eyes were opened. After Paul got all that worked out in his mind he began to call the Tanakh and the prophets the “Gospel of God”. His point being that the proof of who Yeshua was is contained in all the scriptures, and in that also is the promise of the salvation of the Gentiles through their faith. (Ro 1:1; 15:16;1 Thes 2 ) When Paul contended with the Jews and with the God fearing Gentiles his message came from the scriptures, the Tanakh, demonstrating that Yeshua was the one that was fulfilling all of that, raising up the tent of David, a light unto the Gentiles and that he was supposed to be crucified dead buried and resurrected. Paul was a scholar and could use the scriptures to convince other of the truth of Yeshua being the Messiah.

      Also I have checked several commentaries and they also interpret the one from whom Timothy learned those things to be his Grandmother. Paul took that knowledge and inserted Yeshua into it as the Gospel of God.

  11. Shimshon
    September 13, 2013

    Philipians 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

    1 John 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

    John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

    It was the gospel that Paul was teaching, not Torah. He exhorted Tim to use the Torah to ‘make him wise’ about the gospel, the saving grace that comes through faith in Yeshua Messiah. Having been raised with the Tenakh, he was to use it to make him wise about the gospel of Messiah. Which he had learned from Paul and the apostles, and was sure of it in his heart.

  12. Charles
    September 14, 2013

    Somewhere in this long discussion you had said that Gentiles were not part of the Synagogue community. I think that they were in the Diaspera. Here are some references: Although a common misconception is that only Jews attended synagogues, the book of Acts clearly shows that Gentiles also went there (Acts 13:14-32; 14:1; 17:1-4, 10-12, 17; 18:4).

    There were Jews, God fearers (also called devout Greeks) and Gentiles who attended but had not made a commitment. The proselytes were God fearers who were following the Rabbinical process of converting to Judaism which included, Making a sacrifice, taking up obedience to Torah, being baptized and being circumcised. This comes out of Mishna. Once they were circumcised they were considered Jews in every respect. James gives us those four requirements for Gentiles to be in fellowship, and also considers the Rabbinical Halacha of Torah obedience, but as you say, he drops that as a requirement in the final draft of the letter he is sending out and lists only the 4 things associated with Pagan worship. The council want the Gentiles to demonstrate complete separation from their former Paganism. Why? Maybe to prevent any citicism from non believing Jews toward the Gentiles who are saved through faith in Yeshua, having been circumcised in the heart and not the flesh. Maybe his concern is that of upholding the integrity of those bearing the name of Yeshua. That would make some sense of the verse, ” . [21] For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” as a sort of admonistion, avoid any contact with any form of Paganism, for the Jews will be watching you to test your conviction.

    Another way to view it is that James is saying that the Gentiles have always had an open invitation to the synagogues through several paths, as occasional visitors or guests, or as proselytes, as God fearers, etc., and so he is leaving that up to them as to how they want to precede in that. Again I remind you that this is early on. As you said above, the decision about that was later made for them when the Jews took exception to the Gospel of Yeshua and began to expel and persecute the believers even later making them renounce publically their faith in Yeshua in order to remain in the synagogues.

  13. Shimshon
    September 15, 2013

    The expulsion of believers from the synagogue occured much earlier than you think, Charles. In John 9 Yeshua had just healed a blind man, and the pharisees were interrogating his parents about it. The parents tell them to ask the man himself, because they were afraid. Afraid that if they mentioned Yeshua they would be put out of the synagogue.

    John 9:22
    22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. 

    The Jews had ALREADY DECIDED by then. What was alredy decided?

    That any and all believers in Messiah Yeshua would be put out of the synagogue.

    This was long before James ever set up any council in Jerusalem.

  14. Shimshon
    September 15, 2013

    Acts 13:13-52 This would be the full context of the text. I fully believe you are reading it wrong. Greek converts or Hellenist Jews were JEWS, Charles. Not Gentiles. The first mention of Gentiles in this account is here, in verse 42. Let’s start there:

    44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'” 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

    The Jews from the synagogue were filled with JEALOUSY, not the Holy Spirit. Why? Because they refused to believe that God had offered the gift of the Spirit to the Gentiles, without placing themselves under ‘their’ authority and traditions. When the Gentiles heard Paul telling them ‘you don’t have to do this’ they rejoiced. But the Jews from the synagogue incited the leaders of the city, like the mayor and sheriff and such, and ran them out of town.

    Your telling me that these Gentiles were then allowed into the the synagogue so they would learn about Yeshua? IT’s not in the text.

  15. Shimshon
    September 15, 2013

    Acts 14:1-7 has about the same results. Paul and Barnaba enter iconium’s synagogue to preach the Gospel of Yeshua, to both Jews and converts. But some of them did not believe and stirred up the Gentiles of the city. Eventually getting them to join with the Jews to run Paul out of town. Why? Because he believed and taught that the Gentiles were equal sharers in the new covenant. But they refused to believe Yeshua and poisoned the hearts of the gentiles in the town.

    But you want this text to indicate that the gentiles were to be herded into this synagogue? Or that they were already attending with out a commitment? To become Orthodox Jews maybe. But not to become or be built up as a believer in Messiah.

  16. Shimshon
    September 15, 2013

    Acts 17, devout Greeks are converts, not gentiles. They observe the law as a ger. This distinguishes them from a plain old gentile. Why is your definition of this status fluid? Jewish when it serves, or Gentile when it serves? They were Jews. Try telling a Jewish convert today that they are really a gentile, Charles. Some of the most fundamental Jews i’ve run across were converts.

    • Charles
      September 15, 2013

      I guess the problem is that I learned about this differently. From what I have read a Devout Greek was a convert, Yes, a proscelyte , same thing, but still a Gentile, thus the notation of Devout because he had adjoined himself within the synagogue community and was learning and keeping the law as taught by the Rabbinate, but had not yet taken the final steps of conversion which was circumcision and baptism. Once he did that circumcision and the baptism he would no longer be called a Devout Greek. He would simply be called a Jew, because this process of conversion was considered by the Pharisees to be a actual ethnic reassignment. In fact when he came up out of the water from his baptism he was said to be born again, reborn this time as a Jew.

      You can see a reflection of this in the story of Nikodemus, when Yeshua told him that he needed to be born again. Nikodemus was really taken back by this and says how can a man who is already as Jew be born again, should he somehow enter once again his mothers womb. Because from the Pharisaical position he was already saved because he was born a Jew!

      David, first century Judaism held the position that only Jews had a place in the world to come, a place of salvation. If a Gentile wanted to take part in this, his only option was to convert and through the processes of rabbinical rituals be ethnically reborn as a Jew. Righteous Gentiles, or Devout Greeks, God fearers are all names given to those who were Gentile and part of the synagogue community but had not yet completed conversion to become a Jew. Once he did he was called a Jew!

      Herein is the great flood of gentile celebrating Pauls message, because Paul was teaching that, Circumcision in the flesh meant nothing, that only circumcision of heart counted for anything. This meant that they could complete their conversion without submitting to the humiliated and pain of circumcision. But Paul’s message went even farther because it also included the baptism in the spirit through a new birth in through Yeshua. So the Gentiles were celebrating and running to hear this great news. But this message was not good news to the Rabbinate, the Pharisees. They saw it all differently. And even some of the Jews who had accepted Christ and Gentiles who had already converted and gone through circumcision were irrate because it sort of devalued what they had gone through. That is why the group of Hebraic Messianics were going about telling gentiles that they had to first convert and become Jews and be circumcised before they could really be saved and be part of the Messianic community and know Yeshua. That is the message that so many are trying to push on us once again, like the folks over at CF.

      Now if I have got this all wrong, then it is because all those who I have studied under taught it this way. I appreciate that you are working so hard to get this talked out with me and I am really trying to understand.

  17. Shimshon
    September 15, 2013

    Only Jews attended synagogue. Yes. Was a gentile able to be a guest, or allowed to convert? Yes. But from the texts i’ve just gone over, it’s clear that a believer of Messiah would NEVER be welcome in a synagogue, Jew, convert, or gentile. Every time Paul entered the synagogue they turned on him and ran them out of town. Because they rejected the message, the gospel that Yeshua gave to them to proclaim. Which the Torah points to, but does not ‘reveal’ it as the Spirit does.

    Yeshua had words to give to the disciples from God. They testified about Himself. Not about the Torah, nor how the Torah pointed to him. His words testified about who he was and what he would do. This was what was learned, made sure of and we learned it from the disciples who learned it and received it from Yeshua.

    John 17:8 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

    2 Timothy 3:10 You, however, have followed “””my teaching”””, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra–which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

    14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

    15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

    The context is not the scared writings but that which was learned from Paul. His teaching, conduct, aim in life, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, persecutions, and sufferings, IN CHRIST. Who rescued him from it all, leading him in Yeshua’s words.

    Continue in these things, and use the Torah which is able to make you wise about Yeshua.

    • Charles
      September 15, 2013

      When Paul went out on missions he would go first to the Jews in the synagogue, because the message was first for them and then for the Gentiles. There are a couple comments where Paul went into the market to preach and once from Mars Hill. So where did he get in contact with Gentiles. From what you are saying the Devout Greek were actually Jews and not Gentiles at all. This is confusing because for the most part the two labels are used interchangeably. When Paul says “To the Greeks” he is referring to Gentiles.

      So all the former Greek Gentiles have been converted and gone through circumcision, why would they still be called devout Greeks instead of just saying there were a lot of Jews in that synagogue? Why make a distinction for converts a label that they gave everything to shed so that they could become Jews.

      I totally agree with you that once they became believers in Yeshua that they were expelled. Yet we also know that many who believed remained in the synagogue for a time because the Jews had instituted a process to identify them and get them out. They had added to the daily prayers a curse on Jesus and his followers as an article of faith. Why do that if Jesus followers were not still secretly part of the synagogue? I mean there is no reason to do that unless you are trying to find out who is a believer. And how could the Jews persecute the followers unless they were there in the synagogues. They didn’t attack any of the Pagan’s homes but tried to live in peace with them. Did they make an exception and attack believers that were not even in their synagogues?

      • Charles
        September 15, 2013

        Act 10 Cornelius was a God fearer:

        CHAPTER 10
        2 A “God-fearer.” Greek phoboumenos ton theon, “one who fears God,” is regarded by most scholars as a technical term describing a Gentile who attached himself to Judaism but chose not to undergo formal conversion, which included circumcision and public immersion (proselyte baptism). This class of Gentiles, known in Judaism as “proselytes of the gate,” was quite large at this time. They were attracted to the nobility of Jewish worship and to the truth of the one God who had revealed himself in the Bible, but for various reasons did not become Jews. See 13:16.
        The Jewish New Testament Commentary, (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications) 1996.

        Acts 13:16 concerning the Devout Greeks (God fearers)

        16 God-fearers. See 10:2. Besides Sha’ul’s conviction that it was right to present the Gospel first to Jews (v. 5), he also knew that it was in the synagogues where he would find the Gentiles most likely to be responsive, since “proselytes of the gate” were already interested in the one true God. One aspect of communicating the Gospel consists in determining which people are likely to respond favorably to it. Sha’ul wasted little time trying to convince those who closed themselves off but invested much time in reaching persons open to it. In this regard the Jewish community is no different from Gentile communities: there is a full spectrum of receptiveness, from persons implacably opposed to those whose hearts are waiting and aching for God’s Good News.
        The Jewish New Testament Commentary, (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications) 1996.

        David above you said ” This would be the full context of the text. I fully believe you are reading it wrong. Greek converts or Hellenist Jews were JEWS, Charles. Not Gentiles. ”

        Greek converts are NOT the same as Hellenist Jews. Hellenist Jews were what might be called moderate Jews, as compared to Orthodox. Under the influence of the Greek domination particularly in the nations Jews had compromised on many issues that Jews from Israel and especially Jerusalem would definately be against issues like association with Gentiles, doing business with them or socializing with them even table fellowship.

  18. Charles
    September 15, 2013

    2 Tim 3:15
    15 Timothy was guided toward trust in Yeshua the Messiah from childhood by his Messianic Jewish mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (1:5). What a blessing to have such a head start in life! How few Jewish believers today have that advantage! Most of us discovered only as adults the unfortunately too-well-kept secret that the Holy Scriptures, which means, of course, the Tanakh, can give the wisdom that leads to deliverance through trusting in Yeshua the Messiah. A function of the Jewish New Testament is to point readers of the Tanakh in his direction, as the Tanakh itself intends (Lk 24:25–27, Ro 10:4&N).
    The Jewish New Testament Commentary, (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications) 1996.

    NIVBC: 2Tim 3: 14-15 Rather than being led astray by these impostors, Timothy must continue in the teachings that he had learned and of which he had “become convinced.” These Scriptural teachings he had learned from his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice (1:5) right from the time he was a baby. Jewish children were customarily taught the law at an early age, and they had to commit parts of it to memory. “The holy Scriptures” renders “the sacred writings,” i.e., what we now call the OT Scriptures, which were able to make him “wise” in preparation “for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” They disciplined him in obedience to God and also pointed forward to the coming Messiah, through whom salvation by faith would become available.

    • Charles
      September 16, 2013

      Checking 2 Tim 3:14 from the Matthew Henry concise commentary:
      Verses 14–17
      Those who would learn the things of God, and be assured of them, must know the Holy Scriptures, for they are the Divine revelation. The age of children is the age to learn; and those who would get true learning, must get it out of the Scriptures. They must not lie by us neglected, seldom or never looked into. The Bible is a sure guide to eternal life. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but delivered what they received of God, 2Pe 1:21. It is profitable for all purposes of the Christian life. It is of use to all, for all need to be taught, corrected, and reproved. There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every case. Oh that we may love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them! then shall we find benefit, and at last gain the happiness therein promised by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the main subject of both Testaments. We best oppose error by promoting a solid knowledge of the word of truth; and the greatest kindness we can do to children, is to make them early to know the Bible.

      Henry, M. (1997). Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (2 Ti 3:14). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

      Also in the Greek 3:10 “Teaching ” is “didaskalia”, which is usually translated as “Doctrine” (Beliefs) where Teaching is Gr. “didache”. It’s just a fine point and I know Stern used “Teaching” and the KJV uses “Doctrine”. Did Paul teach Timothy his doctrine or did Timothy see Pauls doctrine as an example by observation? I think Paul is recounting the sufferings he endured and how he maintained himself as an example. I only bring it up as an element of understanding the construct of the passage so that we both might understand how the references as to who Timothy had learned those foundational things from was his mother and grandmother. I get the impression that Pauls actual dealings were with the two women and Timothy was a witness to those dealings. Just guessing on that point.

      This one is particularly interesting

      10. fully known—literally, “fully followed up” and traced; namely, with a view to following me as thy pattern, so far as I follow Christ; the same Greek as in Lu 1:3, “having had perfect understanding of all things.” His pious mother Eunice and grandmother Lois would recommend him to study fully Paul’s Christian course as a pattern. He had not been yet the companion of Paul at the time of the apostle’s persecutions in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra (Ac 13:50), but is first mentioned as such Ac 16:1–3. However, he was “a disciple” already, when introduced to us in Ac 16:1–3; and as Paul calls him “my own son in the faith,” he must have been converted by the apostle previously; perhaps in the visit to those parts three years before. Hence arose Timothy’s knowledge of Paul’s persecutions, which were the common talk of the churches in those regions about the time of his conversion. The incidental allusion to them here forms an undesigned coincidence between the history and the Epistle, indicating genuineness [Paley, Horae Paulinae]. A forger of Epistles from the Acts would never allude to Timothy’s knowledge of persecutions, when that knowledge is not expressly mentioned in the history, but is only arrived at by indirect inference; also the omission of Derbe here, in the Epistle, is in minute accordance with the fact that in Derbe no persecution is mentioned in the history, though Derbe and Lystra are commonly mentioned together. The reason why he mentions his persecutions before Timothy became his companion, and not those subsequent, was because Timothy was familiar with the latter as an eye-witness and Paul needed not to remind him of them, but the former Timothy had traced up by seeking the information from others, especially as the date and scene of them was the date and scene of his own conversion.
      Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments. On spine: Critical and explanatory commentary. (2 Ti 3:10). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

      • Shimshon
        September 16, 2013

        Charles, this all comes from a mindset of ‘holy bible’. The main issue I have with this position of yours is it states you can find life in the Torah. That the Torah NEEDS to be used to further ones relationship with Messiah. That gentiles would need to learn more from Torah teachers to be better related to God through Messiah.

        My belief is that when you receive the indwelling of the Spirit you have all you need to further your relationship with Messiah. Not that I think you should throw the scrolls out. But that you don’t have to continue to use them to seek for Messiah because you have already found him.

        John 5:39You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,40yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

        The scriptures bear witness, but we must come to him, abide in him, and be filled with the Spirit to have life. Once this happens, and we come to him for life, why would we have need of something that merely bears witness?

        LIke John the baptist, why would we stay with John? Not that John’s ministry wasn’t glorious, just that the ministry of Yeshua is more so. Same with the Torah. It’s ministry was/is glorious, but the ministry of Yeshua, the indwelling of the Spirit, is much more glorious in every way. Why would we remain in the old glory when we have a new glory to be revealed? That has been revealed!

        Torah is good and holy to bring you to the knowledge of Messiah. Once found, we do not go back to that which is less glorified. It can still help understand, and be used as a tool, but it is not the goal to be called back into. It will eventually fade completley when we are in full unity with God through the Spirit. Just like John’s baptism is still remembered today by imersion in water. But it’s the imersion of the Spirit by Yeshua that will bring you life. Why would we sit by a river and demand all be imersed in water, when we have been commanded to imerse people in the Spirit?

        John 17 states Yeshua had a Word from God to speak that was received by those who were given him. The gospel. This is what Paul preached, only. This is what Yeshua preached, only.

        I guess it’s triggering me that you are directing hearts to ‘scripture’ (as good as it is) instead of the gospel. One bears witness that Yeshua will dwell in you through the Spirit, the other causes it to happen when you believe it. I guess i’m seeing you pointing backwards. I’m sure a host of MJ’s believe that gentiles were welcomed into the synagogues. It plays into their hand book. But I don’t care about their handbook. I only care about the truth. I see no evidence in the NT that indicate believers were ever called and welcomed into the synagogues, nor where Yeshua or the disciples implored new believers to learn all Torah to help them understand Yeshua. What was needed was the baptism of Fire Yeshua brought. The indwelling of the Spirit. THIS was key to the gospel. Not learning Torah that lead to the gospel.

  19. Charles
    September 15, 2013

    I am just posting this as information because I am not sure if you have Sterns Commentary. He gives some of the possible ways of viewing act 15:21. It is a verse that IS problematic because for me I can’t see James being flippant about Moshe and the Torah especially when he Himself was a devout man and if the historians and early church fathers are correct, he was also a Nazzarite and served in the Holy place, which is allowed for men of any tribe.

    But as pertaining to our discussion David Stern (Complete Jewish Bible), the writers of NIVBible Commentary, Tim Hegg and many others I have read believe that a respectable number of Gentiles attended the Jewish synagogues, some converting but more remaining as God fearers because of the issue of adult circumcision.

    21 This is a difficult verse. Of the following possible meanings a good case can be made for any of the first four, and I find it hard to choose between them.

    (1) “Since Moses has disciples everywhere, that is, since there are Jews throughout the Roman Empire, their scruples are to be respected. This is why we are setting up these general rules.” This corresponds to Sha’ul’s injunction not to offend Jews (1C 10:31) and in particular reflects sensitivity to the concerns of the believing P<rushim (v. 5).

    (2) “In every city Gentiles are responding to public proclamation of Judaism in the synagogues by becoming proselytes and ‘God-fearers.’ This will continue, and Judaism will lose nothing if some Gentiles, who never belonged to Moses anyway, are not required to become Jews.” In other words, if the Circumcision faction is anxious that allowing Gentiles to become Christians without becoming Jews first will seriously reduce the number of Jewish proselytes—not to worry.

    (3) “These Gentile Christians have been hearing the Tanakh in the synagogues but have chosen not to convert to Judaism. Why press them now and put this obstacle in their way (v. 19) precisely when they have made a heart commitment to follow the God of Israel and his Messiah Yeshua?” This is the other side of the coin of (2). The Gentile believers, who never belonged to Moses anyway, should be encouraged along the new path of faith and participation in God’s people opened for them by Yeshua the Messiah.

    (4) “Let Gentiles enter the Messianic Community without becoming Jews, and don’t be troubled over it, because, no matter where these Gentile believers live, they will continue visiting the local synagogue and hearing what Judaism teaches about living a godly life.” This acknowledges the value of non-Messianic Judaism in its ethical aspects. It is a “temporal” interpretation applicable to first-century conditions, not an “eternal” one, since Gentile Christians have long ceased to visit synagogues in significant numbers.

    (5) A more extreme version of (4): “Don’t worry about converting Gentile believers to Judaism, because as they keep going to the synagogues they will eventually become Jews anyway.” But this contradicts other New Testament teachings.

    (6) “Since Moses, that is, the Torah, is read in the synagogues every Shabbat, Gentile believers who attend synagogue will keep hearing the three or four points of v. 20 emphasized over and over and will keep being sensitized to them.” I think v. 21 has a broader focus than this.
    The Jewish New Testament Commentary, (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications) 1996.

  20. Shimshon
    September 16, 2013

    I can concede that the greek converts were not identified as Jews. I can see that Paul was steeling converted Gentiles from the Jews, and this infuriated them.

    However, I do not concede that believers were welcome in the synagogue. I could care less if Stern believes it. I do not find it in scripture, and not that it speaks from silence, but that it states it specifically. From Yeshua’s time on. Every story about Gentiles and the synagogue identifies the same occurance. Paul comes and proclaims the gospel of Yeshua, the converts and city people believe, but the Jews of the synagogue revolt and stir them all up to turn against Paul and the message.

    You can’t find believers in the book of acts, nor the writtings of Paul, nor in the gospels, that are welcomed into the synagogue, told to stay and learn more about how Yeshua is found all throughout Torah. Nowhere. Every time you see the Jews of the synagogue rebeling against Paul and the message. Because it was destroying their synagogue by declaring that these Gentiles, both converts to Judaism and those who did not care about Judaism at all but embraced the message of Messiah.

    It’s like you walking into a Church and declaring the message of MJ. They will give you an ear you because you believe in Christ, but when you expose the message of Messiah, and how their church congregants don’t need to attend that church to be right with God. They will throw you out if not seek to kill you. Because you threaten their identity.

    This happened while Yeshua walked the earth. It happend to him first. Yes, he taught in the synagogues. But when they heard the message, THEY KILLED HIM! And even before they killed him for it they made it an excomunicatable offense to even speak of him in the shul. This is proved out in Acts too. When Paul entered the shul’s. Why do you think they sent him? Because he was a former pharisee. He fit right in. But when he was asked to speak, he was treated just like Messiah. And just like Messiah, many Gentiles (both converts and non-Jews) believed and followed him.

    I thank you for taking the time to talk this threw. I don’t think we have budged from our positions. The convert issue is not pertinant to the main issue of ‘any’ believer being welcome in a synagogue. And in general we agree with the basics, we just differ in the details.

    Love you brother!

    • Charles
      September 16, 2013

      I think we do agree on much of this. Somewhere way back at the top I pointed out that what I am describing was during the time of transition. No, it didn’t last long and in some places not at all. This is why Home fellowship begin to be seen even in the writings of Paul, because they were no longer welcome in the synagogues.

      I could take some offense at what you said in your first post today, but you know that I won’t, Ha! because you know me better, and like Paul said to Timothy, you know my Doctrine and what I have suffered in the past because of my opposition to the Pharisees of Today. You and I stood shoulder to shoulder in a number of bloody battles over the Torah movement. No, I would never point anyone toward Torah as a substitute for knowing Yeshua. Over and Over Again I have said, all that matters is being born again by the Spirit and living in Unity with God through Yeshua. But lets consider for a moment what you said, and it is the same that I said and what Paul said, that the Tanakh is not to be thrown out, as it is a tool for us to learn many things. In the first century we were dealing with Gentile Pagans who really had no understanding of what God expected. Perhaps they used this tool of scriptures to gain that understanding. It is the Spirit of God in us that quickens that word as truth when we read it, otherwise, it is just words by someone else for someone else. In my own particular case, after I was born again filled to overflowing with the Spirit that the Tanakh came alive and spoke directly to my heart, to my life and caused me to seek Yeshua in different areas that needed addressing. Through the word comes the knowledge of sin, and that leads to repentance which brings forth deliverance and healing and growing in faith.

      So now I take another important step and suggest that many Christians are very much like those 1st. Century Pagans. Many things have been accepted and approved in their religion. Many things they do are horribly wrong. Yes they have Yeshua and some of them have received the spirit. But most of them have been taught that the Old Testament is just an incredibly long introduction to Matthew. Outside of that, they have been told it has little value and nothing to teach us. And because of that the Church is Apostate, filled with the doctrines of demons and is for all purposes ineffective in ministry or preaching the Gospel. They are compromised and filled with twisted doctrines. Paul said that the scriptures, the Old Testament, was to be used for reproof, correction, establishing doctrine and training in righteousness. His desire was that the body would move on from the basics about repentance, Baptisms and such and mature in faith and be able to stand upright and eat meat. This is what the scripture do for us. Without the Spirit of Yeshua in us, it will not work, does not help us. The scriptures lead us to faith in Yeshua and then the scriptures take on a different role in us and bring us to correct doctrine, reproof, correction and correct understanding. Because the Spirit of Yeshua in us, writes the Torah of Yeshua on our hearts and makes it real to us.

      IT is never a laundry list of things we are to do legalistically to earn or to enhance, improve our salvation. That is finished and the full price paid by Yeshua on the cross.

      The Christian Church is a lost cult that no longer has the power of God in them. It has become a poor mans country club. They might as well take down that cross in the front of the church and replace it with a coffee pot and a bingo board. Because they are not walking in the spirit and don’t even know what they are doing wrong.

      Sorry for the rant. But I think you and I as usual are very close in our position. Just sorting out little bits of details.

  21. Shimshon
    September 16, 2013

    I fully appreciate all that you just said, Charles. And understand (as I know you do) I was not trying to upset you nor speak against you at all. I was calmly speaking my heart, and felt I could say such a thing to you ‘because’ we are such good friends. I never meant to insinuate that you are just like those who teach orthodox MJ. Just that what you were saying was on par with what they teach. Yea, I suppose I thought it would sting after I said it, but it was not said maliciously. Sorta like me saying, WHAT are you crazy or something!? I know your not crazy, i’m just having a hard time understanding the dynamics of what your saying. So, I know your not teaching that gentiles be herded into the synagogues to learn the law via Judaism. Just that what you were saying seemed similar. As always, I appreciate being able to talk to you openly.

    Here is what drives my heart in this matter, personally. When I found Messiah, or should I say, when he found me willing to accept him, it had nothing to do with Torah. It had everything to do with learning about Him through the apostles. Sure, I had read some of the old testament. Some more than others, and others not at all. Like leviticus and deuteronomy, maybe kings I never even read by the time I was 18-22. I knew some of Gen, Ex, some of Sam, I knew the psalms. Some scattered books from my growing up. But what caused me to turn to Yeshua were the gospels. And once I turned my heart to Yeshua it was not the Torah that maintained my realationship, nor built it up. It was the one on one relationship I had with HIm. In my heart.

    I had come to the knowledge of saving grace in Yeshua through the Word that was given the disciples, not the prophets that foretold Yeshua. Sure, they used the Torah to prove their point, but the point was, God is in you, by the power of the Spirit through faith in Yeshua.

    And I fully beleive that even if I had no written book to use ever in my life, that the Spirit can still lead one to do the will of God. Why do I believe this? Because I feel this is the way God reached me. He made it so I was NOT part of the Jewish community, he made it so I was NOT part of the Christian community, he made it so I said ‘I DO’ without any knowledge of Yeshua through the Torah. He reached me in the darkness and made me a light by putting his Spirit in me. Then he placed me in a place where traditions were null and void. And said, Now stand in my presence, and be my child. I said, BUT….isn’t ‘this’ the way I am supposed to be?? Shouldn’t I do ‘that’ and be like ‘them’? Like you told ‘them’ to be? He said, I have made you just like I want you, and you are perfect to be used for my will. You are emptied of ALL things, holding on to only my Word that I have given.

    I believe that even if I had never read a bible ever, that a person could speak the words and the Spirit could move. Meaning I belive a person does NOT need a book/Torah/or even read the bible. But if a person speaks it to them, the Spirit can move. AND I believe the Spirit can keep you, even if you are blind and deaf.

    This may help explain why I was debating from the position I was. It was not to degrade the written Word, but to express that I believe you can be reached and kept, without it. You were identifying the almost utter ‘need’ to have ‘scripture’. And I utterly hated to debate you, because I do believe scripture is awesome and good for all things, especially able to lead you to Messiah. But I do not believe it is ‘needed’. A paper account. Why? because Yeshua writes upon our hearts, and we are living letters. He made no stone letters to be ‘given’ to others. He made living letters to be witnesses throughout the world.

    • Charles
      September 16, 2013

      Yes I totally agree that we can be discipled and if someone speaks the word to us, the Spirit can make that come alive in us. But what if no one is telling you anything, or worse yet if they are telling you stuff that is wrong. You might bristle in your Spirit but they in time might persuade you. And I think that was part of the point Paul was Making to Timothy about corrupt men who would try to sway him but he advises Timothy to be steadfast in those things that he already knew and were assured of from the Holy Scriptures.

      I had a directive from God once that I was to baptize my youngest Son. His life was literally at stake. (You can read the story I posted “Derrick”). The preacher came to me with a stack of books from the position of the Lutheran Church telling me that he, the preacher, was the only one who could baptize him that I could not do it. After he told me all that, I took my Bible and laid it on top of his pile and said, “Show me in this one.” He became very red faced and said, “I can’t”. I then invited him to come as a friend to the Baptism, and he declined and said he would have nothing to do with it. Well I performed the baptism and that baby was healed of heart failure and liver failure and Jaundice, right then.

      From a more personal issue, when I was younger I was well endowed with Psychic ability. I could readily read peoples thoughts, see them where they had been and with whom. I could predict things very accurately and I could do other things called Astral projection, out of body travel and spying. I had this ability it seemed from my family, grandmother, and always thought of it as a gift from God, a natural gift, and no one in the church ever said anything to me about it. But after I was filled with the Spirit, I asked God to expose anything in my life that I needed to repent of. And this came up, and also some other things like my involvement as an associate of the association of research and enlightenment, part of that Edgar Casey foundation. A few days later I was reading the Old testament and I opened the Bible and turned right to the passages that addressed witchcraft, and communication from dead spirits and all of that stuff. And the Spirit nailed me right there, and I was sick over it. And so I repented and gave it to God and said, if this gift is not from you then I don’t want it, take it away and I hereby repent of it. And David that was the last it ever happened. All that PSI ability just dried up and died.

      Now for me, no one said anything about it, and family members who were christian told me it was a gift from God, but when I went to the written word, I had a pretty good idea of how God felt about it and He was showing me it wasn’t from Him and that I was to have nothing to do with it. And I was delivered from it.

      Our experiences have been different, but God can talk to both of us all of us, by any means he chooses. I have actually had God speak to me by the Spirit from reading a report in a Newspaper. When I read it God just spoke and said, “This is you Charles, you are guilty of this as well.” On my knees again. And repentance and Cleansing.

      Paul was able to go to the scriptures and make his case for faith in Yeshua. We should be able to do that as well. And at those few times that I have had a chance to witness to a Jewish person, it was what they needed, and they were amazed at how they had never seen those things before.

      I think we should all keep listening and testing all that we hear by the spirit and the word. If we still error after that then God knows we did our best to obey Him.

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This entry was posted on September 10, 2013 by in Shimshon's Blog and tagged , , , , , , .
Divine Reversal

theological and ethical insights from Russ Resnik

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"When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness." -Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

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