Thursday, 19 February 2015

Addendum to What does Acts 15 teach? Does it teach Torah Observance to Gentiles

There were some texts that I was going to cover to see whether or not they actually teach Mosaic observance is required of Gentiles or not. 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21 were briefly covered, but let's take a look at the other texts:

Amos 3:7
One of the points claimed about this passage is that it is not telling us in advance that any commandments would ever be abolished. Let us look at the context:

"3 Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against you—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:

2 “You only have I chosen
    of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
    for all your sins.”
3 Do two walk together
    unless they have agreed to do so?
4 Does a lion roar in the thicket
    when it has no prey?
Does it growl in its den
    when it has caught nothing?
5 Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground
    when no bait is there?
Does a trap spring up from the ground
    if it has not caught anything?
6 When a trumpet sounds in a city,
    do not the people tremble?
When disaster comes to a city,
    has not the Lord caused it?
7 Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing
    without revealing his plan
    to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared—
    who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken—
    who can but prophesy?
9 Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod
    and to the fortresses of Egypt:
“Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria;
    see the great unrest within her
    and the oppression among her people.”
10 “They do not know how to do right,” declares the Lord,
    “who store up in their fortresses
    what they have plundered and looted.”
11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“An enemy will overrun your land,
    pull down your strongholds
    and plunder your fortresses.”
12 This is what the Lord says:

“As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth
    only two leg bones or a piece of an ear,
so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued,
    with only the head of a bed
    and a piece of fabric[a] from a couch.[b]”
13 “Hear this and testify against the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord, the Lord God Almighty.

14 “On the day I punish Israel for her sins,
    I will destroy the altars of Bethel;
the horns of the altar will be cut off
    and fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house
    along with the summer house;
the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed
    and the mansions will be demolished,”
declares the Lord."

Israel themselves are being chastised by YHWH. YHWH himself explains that before he acts towards his people, he doesn't hide his plan from them when they are in rebellion and that he always reveals his will to the prophets before enacting the decree. I have already made clear that the Acts 15 council doesn't teach what 119 ministries wants to assert so read that if you have not already done so:

In addition to the previous information I gave, let us observe once again what Acts 15 says after James has finished speaking:

"Acts 15:24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.


Considering the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, the means that God is the one who had his hand in the council's decision and in a way, he has revealed his will and decree for the Gentile nations. My claims and the claims of others who hold to my position are not contradicting the text.

Malachi 3:6
A commonly abused text for several reasons and in this context, is used as a means to justify Torah Observance among Gentiles:

"Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.

“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty."

YHWH is speaking to the people of Israel and chastising them for not tithing and bringing their offerings to him and condemning their apathy in this area. However, this is not a proof text for Christians to observe the Torah under the new covenant.

When it says that YHWH does not change, it is talking about him, his eternal nature. He is not capricious, he still hates sin, he is holy righteous and just, he is all of these things, yesterday, today and forever. His nature doesn't change. HOWEVER, That doesn't mean he cannot change his plans for the New Covenant, and that isn't even brought into question.

For more information on the subject of tithing, read this article here:

Hebrews 13:8
Different verse, same as the first with respect to Jesus, Because Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity, He is unchanging in his nature like his Father heaven. Same as before with Malachi 3:6 and of course John 1:1 doesn't assert the point of Torah Observance, as that particular text is a description of Jesus in eternity past with the Father rather than speaking of an utterance of God.

Matthew 23 and Matthew 28:19
Matthew 23 has already been covered in the previous paper but i'll restate my points here as a reminder:
"Jesus is talking specifically to the disciples, namely the 12 and the crowds who have gathered around him. The Acts 15 council doesn't have that connection to those in Moses seat. The thrust of Jesus' point to the disciples is they are to submit to their leaders, listen to their teaching and carry it out, but not emulate how they live, because they are hypocrites and do not practice what they preach. His words in the context of the passage pertain to what was going on at that time. It is also a warning to us Christians against hypocrisy in general. There is nothing to suggest that the Acts 15 council is forcing Gentiles to keep the Mosaic Law based on the words of Matthew 23, it is not there even implicitly."

To continue from there, The Great Commission itself is not a teaching to put the Gentiles under the Torah, but is a charge to the apostles to take the teachings of his Gospel to the ends of the earth, to Israel and beyond. The Acts 15 council did decide what to do with respect to the Gentiles when they come to the knowledge of God but I need not repeat the points I have made about that passage here.

There isn't much to say here but I'll let you guys search the scriptures to find the truth.

Answering Judaism.

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