What are we required to do and where do we find it? This week’s readings brought to my attention some scriptures to continue my previous points mentioned in the “Jew and Gentile scriptures” document sent out last week. Remember the word translated “Gentile” is the same as translated Greek or nations. In many cases when we see the word we should insert nations as in a country not gentile as unbelieving people. i.e. Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Act 22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles (nations).
Act 21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles (nations) to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. Jam 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. Act 21:20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
Of course in some cases it actually means some of the people in the nation as with the following verse where obviously not every individual in the nation became a believer. These converted individual gentiles are better called proselytes (Acts 2:10; 13:43). Act 21:25 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.
Remember Yahoshua (commonly called Jesus) told disciples not to go to the Gentiles, that He had come to the Jews and after His death sent them to all nations beginning in Jerusalem. That the Jews would be a light to the Gentiles (other nations) to bring them to God (Yahweh). Well we shall see in the book of Acts this is what happened. But one interesting observation is where and when these teaching commonly took place. We would see from the outset it was in the temple of the Jews, the same place Yahoshua and the apostles were accustom to go Acts 3:1 Peter and John go into the temple at the usual daily time. 4:1-2 as they spoke to the people about Yahoshua the Messiah, just crucified, the priests etc got upset. In addition to the 3,000 of Acts 2:41, another 5,000 became believing Jews (Messianics) changing from unbelievers (Orthodox). In a few days and two speeches 8,000 were converted. More became believers in the Messiah in verse 5:14. They were not becoming Christians; but believing “Hebrews”(Jews, Acts 6:1) that the promised Messiah had come in Yahshua. Greeks (proselytes Gentiles, Acts 2:10, 6:5) who had attached themselves to the Jews, hearing the same teachings in the temple, also became believing disciples, Acts 6:1, 7
A prelude to Acts 11 is: Acts 2-8, Day of Pentecost message to Orthodox Jews. 3,000+ believed and became Messianic Jews (Jews who believed the promised Messiah had come in the person preached by the apostles. Other events between the apostles and Jews. Acts 9, Pauls conversion from Orthodox Jew to Messianic (see 9:20). Act 10, the conversion of Cornelius a gentile to the same belief.
1) In the previous article I talked about one way for those wishing to be God’s people whether “Jew” or “Gentile” (to use common classifications). “This way” is sometimes called “the way” in the KJV or sect of the Nazarenes Mat 7:14, Act 9:2; 22:4; 16:17; 18:25, 26, 24:5, 14; Rom 3:12; 2Pet 2:21.
2) We see “this way” being taught to and practiced by Jews and “those fearing God” in the same place at the same time. On the Saturday Sabbath in the synagogues. They also prayed at the same hours of prayer being 3rd, 6th and 9th (9a.m; noon, 3pm) as did Daniel.
A) Act 10:1-2, 22, 30 Cornelius “feared God” and prayed. V30 Act 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house. Lydia in 16:14-15.
b) Act 13:16, 26 (10:35) Act 13:16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. Act 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
In one audience was Jew and Gentile. Acts 17:4 “… and the devout Greeks”. Act 17:12 “Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few”. 17:17 “Act 17:17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons” Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. Act 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
3) Act 11:20 … when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians (Gentiles), preaching the Lord Jesus. Act 13:14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. Act 13:15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. Act 13:16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. (See v26 above) Act 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. Act 13:27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day … Act 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Act 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city (inclusive of Gentiles not on a Sun day) together to hear the word of God. Act 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes (non Jews), they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
Similar thing happened wherever the apostles went among the Jews or Gentiles to teach, in the same places, same manner same criteria “the single way” to God, Yahweh. Acts 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. Act 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews:
Act 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 (non Jew in synagogue) believed. Act 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. Hence there are two groups of Jew. The non believing, today’s Orthodox and the believing to which those who fear God are called to join NOT be a separate “Christian” group with own false inherited ways of Catholic Protestants (continuation of host of heaven worshippers as Acts 14:11, Sun day, moon day , planets) Act 14:16 Who in times past suffered all nations (same word as Gentile) to walk in their own ways. Act 14:4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews (Orthodox), and part with the apostles (believing Jew).
In Lystra (14:8) and Derbe v20. Act 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch. In Thessalonica Act 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. In Berea Act 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. Act 17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. In Athens, Corinth and all Asia Act 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Act 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. Act 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. Act 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Act 21:20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: Act 22:19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
I will not go through all the regions the apostles taught in the synagogues on the Sabbath; but it included Galatia (Galatians) Act 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia,..
Act 18:23 And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.
That is why some Orthodox Jews (Judisiers) were concerned; because the teaching of the Gentiles / Greeks took place in the synagogues where the Jews also were. They would not have cared if the teachings were elsewhere among a separate group. Act 9:1-2 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. The pagan Gentiles believing in other gods, always had separate worship venues and meetings that did not affect the synagogues. Those believing in the God of the Jews came to the Jewish places and system of worship as the apostles, at least until Acts 10, did not go to them Act 10:28 And he (Peter) said unto them (Cornelius), Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Act 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. See also 21:24
Pagan Gentiles also had worship, sacrifices etc similar things to their deities Act 14:13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. See the customs of Roman (Catholic) believers from whom today’s Protestant denominations inherited their theology Act 16:21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. Even today the divide continues as to what is lawful and what is not. It depends whose laws you are following! Want to know what is lawful to God of creation, ask one who follows them not one who does not who desire to be teachers of what they do not follow because they know not of what they speak. 1Ti 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 1Ti 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
What was Paul and the apostles teaching: Now we see who and where Paul and the apostles were teaching, here are a very few examples of what they were teaching and from where the teachings came. A summary of which is found in Act 26:20-23 Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. Act 26:21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Act 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: Act 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. 2Co 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 2Co 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
Remember it was the same audience consisting of Jew and Gentile. Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,(being the Torah, Old Testament). Act 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus (Yahoshua), whom I preach unto you, is Christ (The promised Messiah). This is similar to Philip and the Eunuch reading from the read the prophet Esaias in 8:30-35 Act 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Have you got the readiness of mind to change your ways and follow the true teachings of the scriptures not the inherited Protestant ones?
Act 17:32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. See 18:24-26
Act 18:28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. Turning gentiles away from their former idolatry resulted in Act 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them... Act 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: Act 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. See also 28:23 “to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. Act 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.”
One cannot learn about Yahoshua merely from the N.T. nor in preference to the Old. It was from the Old that Jesus taught about Himself and the apostles about him. When they taught in the synagogues, the ONLY way the hearing Jews would believe He was the Messiah was if proven from the scriptures.
Here are a few more of many examples. Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Luk 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Act 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture (Isa 53:7), and preached unto him Jesus. Then once one is fully familiar with the O.T. they will spot numerous places in it, references, similarities or what is called typologies about Yahoshua. For example Gen 22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. It is customary to think of Isaac as a young lad. He was infact around 30 yrs old similar to Jesus’s age. The ram had its head in thicket similar to crown of thorns placed on Yahoshua’s head. Both were substitutionary sacrifices for a son. Israel was God’s first born son and those strangers / Gentiles grafted in share in the benefits of god’s substitutionary covering.
Bottom line, God is not respector of persons and has set up one way for all human race as individuals to be saved not as a Jew, Gentile nor denomination group.
By the way Yahweh’s son Yahoshua was hanged on a tree not a cross; but that is another study. Deu 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. Act 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Act 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: