Two Apostolic Offices
Acts chapter 15 is about the council meeting that Paul attended and therefore the outcome.
15:1 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.
Then it says they went on to have quite an argument over this subject.
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.
Paul had brought these Gentiles along who must have lightened the atmosphere and declared all that G-d had done in their lives.
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?
Now look at what Peter said, don’t put this burden on the Gentiles which even they or their fathers could keep.
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Now how are you saved? BY GRACE., and ONLY GRACE. There are no attachments, let’s read on
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,
Below James quotes Amos 9:11 prophecy (has not come to pass yet)
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.
Read what James says here
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
What did James say here? Don’t trouble the Gentiles with the Law
this is what Gentiles were to do………….next verse
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Definitions by Strongs
alisgema (al-is’-ghem-ah); from alisgeo (to soil); (ceremonially) defilement:
¶ of Idols
eidolon (i’-do-lon); from NT:1491; an image (i.e. for worship); by implication, a heathen god, or (plural) the worship of such:
¶ things strangled
pniktos (pnik-tos’); from NT:4155; throttled, i.e. (neuter concretely) an animal choked to death (not bled):
porneia (por-ni’-ah); from NT:4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry:
this is a broad definition
haima (hah’-ee-mah); of uncertain derivation; blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specially (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication bloodshed, also kindred:
Let me add one more definition here, James said that the Gentiles should
¶ Abstain From
apechomai (ap-ekh’-om-ahee); middle voice (reflexively) of NT:568; to hold oneself off, i.e. refrain:
Now why did we bring that out….we will get to that.
This is a quite different from what we are taught today. Now hang in there, we have a long way to go. Now let us look at Galatians
Let us look at what Paul says here
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.
Paul was the Apostle over the heathens (Gentiles) and Peter was the Apostle over the Circumcised (the Jews)…..By the way, who was Cephas? It was another name for Peter
This is tough stuff people, and not easy to divide, hang in there G-d is going to set you free.
one more verse on this and we will move on
2 Cor 3:18
18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.