1 AND CERTAIN MEN WHICH CAME DOWN FROM JUDAEA TAUGHT THE BRETHREN, AND SAID, EXCEPT YE BE CIRCUMCISED AFTER THE MANNER OF MOSES, YE CANNOT BE SAVED.
2 WHEN THEREFORE PAUL AND BARNABAS HAD NO SMALL DISSENSION AND DISPUTATION WITH THEM, THEY DETERMINED THAT PAUL AND BARNABAS, AND CERTAIN OTHER OF THEM, SHOULD GO UP TO JERUSALEM UNTO THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS ABOUT THIS QUESTION.
3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
5 BUT THERE ROSE UP CERTAIN OF THE SECT OF THE PHARISEES WHICH BELIEVED, SAYING, THAT IT WAS NEEDFUL TO CIRCUMCISE THEM, AND TO COMMAND THEM TO KEEP THE LAW OF MOSES.
6 AND THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS CAME TOGETHER FOR TO CONSIDER OF THIS MATTER.
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8 And GOD, WHICH KNOWETH THE HEARTS, BARE THEM WITNESS, GIVING THEM THE HOLY GHOST, EVEN AS HE DID UNTO US;
9 AND PUT NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US AND THEM, PURIFYING THEIR HEARTS BY FAITH.
10 NOW THEREFORE WHY TEMPT YE GOD, TO PUT A YOKE UPON THE NECK OF THE DISCIPLES, WHICH NEITHER OUR FATHERS NOR WE WERE ABLE TO BEAR?
11 BUT WE BELIEVE THAT THROUGH THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WE SHALL BE SAVED, EVEN AS THEY.
12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
19 WHEREFORE MY SENTENCE IS, THAT WE TROUBLE NOT THEM, WHICH FROM AMONG THE GENTILES ARE TURNED TO GOD:
20 BUT THAT WE WRITE UNTO THEM, THAT THEY ABSTAIN FROM POLLUTIONS OF IDOLS, AND FROM FORNICATION, AND FROM THINGS STRANGLED, AND FROM BLOOD.
21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
24 FORASMUCH AS WE HAVE HEARD, THAT CERTAIN WHICH WENT OUT FROM US HAVE TROUBLED YOU WITH WORDS, SUBVERTING YOUR SOULS, SAYING, YE MUST BE CIRCUMCISED, AND KEEP THE LAW: TO WHOM WE GAVE NO SUCH COMMANDMENT:
25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
28 FOR IT SEEMED GOOD TO THE HOLY GHOST, AND TO US, TO LAY UPON YOU NO GREATER BURDEN THAN THESE NECESSARY THINGS;
29 THAT YE ABSTAIN FROM MEATS OFFERED TO IDOLS, AND FROM BLOOD, AND FROM THINGS STRANGLED, AND FROM FORNICATION: FROM WHICH IF YE KEEP YOURSELVES, YE SHALL DO WELL. FARE YE WELL.
30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
32 And JUDAS AND SILAS, BEING PROPHETS ALSO THEMSELVES, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
(Blue color and ALL CAPS EMPHASIS MINE)
Nothing was said about staying away from pork and other animals that had no fins or whatever. He just gave a few simple commands that they are under in the new covenant. What is interesting is the things he named. I was thinking about blood and the bible tells us that the life of the flesh is in the blood. NOW the idol part since not many in our day and age deal with that problem so it is almost a mute point even though there are those who have idols but DO NOT offer animal sacrifices to them such as Roman Catholics. They have their idols but I guess they figure they don't want any flesh, meat.
In verse 10 above we see that Paul admits that his fathers NOR they could do so why put the same burden on the Gentiles.
Even though the Sabbath day was negated, we have an even better Sabbath than the weekly one, we have a daily Sabbath, the Lord Jesus Christ and we are not to just have one day to be holy and free but everyday. He is our rest, our victory even when we do our weekly work chores. He is our strength and EVERYTHING we need to please God.
Some people tell me when God gave Peter that vision in the book of Acts where he brought all kinds of unclean ANIMALS for Peter to kill and eat. Peter told the Lord that he could not eat them, they are unclean. BUT God told him what he has cleansed NOT to call unclean. God knew he was offering Peter meat and they were animals. I put animals in caps above since I was debating a guy who said that pork is not meat. He is wrong, God and Peter KNOWS what animal meat is so Peter did NOT question that it was meat, he just knew it was NOT for him based on his religious teachings. BUT God was telling Peter NOT only about the Gentiles coming to his door BUT also by Paul that ALL meat is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. He is telling Peter that he is now sanctifying meat that was not for him under the OT (covenant) but NOW is.
25 AS TOUCHING THE GENTILES WHICH BELIEVE, WE HAVE WRITTEN AND CONCLUDED THAT THEY OBSERVE NO SUCH THING, SAVE ONLY THAT THEY KEEP THEMSELVES FROM THINGS OFFERED TO IDOLS, AND FROM BLOOD, AND FROM STRANGLED, AND FROM FORNICATION.
26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, AND THIS PLACE: AND FURTHER BROUGHT GREEKS ALSO INTO THE TEMPLE, AND HATH POLLUTED THIS HOLY PLACE.
(Blue color and ALL CAPS EMPHASIS MINE)
Jesus Christ has come and he broke down the middle wall of partition that separated us. The parts of the law that were typologies that were fultilled in him, that shows him and what he did is over NOW such as circumcision, sabbath days, not eating certain meats and the like.
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 BUT WHEN I SAW THAT THEY WALKED NOT UPRIGHTLY ACCORDING TO THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL, I said unto Peter before them all, IF THOU, BEING A JEW, LIVEST AFTER THE MANNER OF GENTILES, AND NOT AS DO THE JEWS, WHY COMPELLEST THOU THE GENTILES TO LIVE AS DO THE JEWS?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 KNOWING THAT A MAN IS NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, BUT BY THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, EVEN WE HAVE BELIEVED IN JESUS CHRIST, THAT WE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED BY THE FAITH OF CHRIST, AND NOT BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW: FOR BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
NOW WE NEED to see a little plainer what Jesus Christ did for us in fulfilling the law and the prophets, doing away with all the typologies in the law and making us new in him.
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 FOR HE IS OUR PEACE, WHO HATH MADE BOTH ONE, AND HATH BROKEN DOWN THE MIDDLE WALL OF PARTITION BETWEEN US;
15 HAVING ABOLISHED IN HIS FLESH THE ENMITY, EVEN THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS CONTAINED IN ORDINANCES; FOR TO MAKE IN HIMSELF OF TWAIN ONE NEW MAN, SO MAKING PEACE;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
(Blue color and ALL CAPS EMPHASIS MINE)
HERE WE SEE Jesus Christ broke down the wall, that being the law that separated us and NOW bringing all those who have been born of him into a HIGHER law, the law of faith rooted and grounded in love AND that teaching is all through the NT.
In the scriptures above, Paul and other propbets of God of the NT were showing the Gentiles believers that they are NOT under the old covenant rules and regulations EXPECT the ones repeated in the NT such as lying, cheating, stealing, killing, and the like since they have everything to do with the law of faith working by love.
Hebrew Christians or Christians by the law???