The Early Apostolic Church

The Jewish and Gentile Christians and the Mosaic Law

Article bA 1999

The Early Apostolic Church

The Jewish and Gentile Christians and the Mosaic Law

Article bA 1999


Chapter 1 Pertains to God's laws and the usage of the word law as in the Bible.

Chapter 2 Pertains to the Law of Moses (the Mosaic Law).

V Chapter 3 Considers the particular release from the Mosaic Law as was established in Acts chapter 15.

V Chapter 4 Pertains to Scriptures that reveal a significant difference in the standards of the Jewish and Gentile Christians.

Chapter 5 Considers the keeping of the Mosaic Law by the Jewish Christians.

Chapter 6 Considers the Christian Jews Usage of the Temple before in was destroyed by the Romans.

Chapter 7 Considers how the Jews related to the Gentiles, and considers the influence Christendom had upon the Jewish nation.

Chapter 8 Considers why Paul so strongly reproved the keeping of the Mosaic law as in Galatians 5:1-4.

Chapter 9 Considers James statement as in Acts 15:20-21.

Chapter 10 Considers the particular laws that the Apostles established as for both the Jew and Gentile Christians, and considers what the Jews might naturally have expected of the Gentiles.

Chapter 11 Considers the change between the New Testament era and Old Testament era, and pertains to Sabbath day keeping, wearing the beard, and using musical instruments.

Chapter 12 Considers those issues of real importance that the Jewish and Gentile Christians needed to be united in.

Chapter 1

Considers God's Laws

Considers the Word "Law" and How It Is Used In the Bible.

The following information concerning the word "law" is written with regards to the King James Version Bible. The word law is used around 230 times in the Old Testament (not including the 70 times it is used merely as pertaining to family members such as a son in law or father in law etc.). Of these 230 times, around 200 times in derives from Hebrew word 8451 and around 30 times it derives from other Hebrew words. The Hebrew word H8451, which by far most often underlies the word law in the Old Testament, is defined by Strong's Lexicon as "a precept or statute, espec. the Decalogue or Pentateuch". bA-1:1

The word "law" appears 216 times in the New Testament (not including the 7 times it is used merely as pertaining to family members such as a son in law or father in law etc.). Of these 216 times, around 190 times it derives from Greek word G3551 and around 25 times derives from other Greek words.. The Greek word G3551, which by far most often underlies the word law as in the New Testament, is defined by Strong's Lexicon as "law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), Gen (regulation), spec. (of Moses [includ. the volume]; also of the Gospel), or fig. (a principle). bA-1:2

The word "law" is much like the word "command" or "commandment". The Scriptures repeatedly stress the importance of man keeping God's laws or commandments. Although the words law and commandment are much alike, they both yet most always derive from their own particular word in the original languages, and thus largely are different words in the Hebrew and Greek such as they also are in the English. bA-1:3

Quite obviously the best way to learn what the Scriptural word law really means or might pertain to, is to study how it is used throughout the Scriptures. In considering the many different Scriptures wherein the word law is used, it appears the Scripture mainly use the word law in two distinct ways, which ways are considered below. bA-1:4

More Rare Usage of The Word Law

Law as Meaning the Natural Forces or Behavior or Attributes of Something bA-1:5

The natural forces or behavior of something can quite correctly be called it's laws. The term "laws of nature" is quite common and simply means the natural forces or behavior of nature. The laws of nature could also quite correctly be referred to as the principles or attributes of nature. Apostle Paul using the word law as pertaining to something's natural attributes, speaks of a law that dwells in man, which he numerous times calls the "law of sin" (Romans 7:20-21, 7:23, 7:25, 8:2. Paul in using the term "law of sin", thereby means the force or natural inclination within man to sin and evil. Paul also speaks of the law of faith and law of works (Roman 3:27). The law of faith would pertain to the powers and attributes of faith, and the law of works would pertain to the powers and attributes of works. bA-1:6

God created nature with many good laws, which if respected and utilized properly can be very useful and be a blessing to man. Yet if no miracle happens, these laws of nature are irrevocable laws, which if one does not respect he will reap bitter consequences. Just like God has created nature with many laws, attributes, and principles, so God also has many laws, principles and attributes about Himself. King David appears to have been speaking of the good laws, principles, and attributes that God so keenly possesses when he spoke as in the following verses, bA-1:7

(Psa 19:8) "The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes." bA-1:8

(Psa 119:97) "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." . bA-1:9

(Psa 119:174) "I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight." bA-1:10

King David in Psa 119:70, 119:113, 119:163, also speaks of delighting in and loving God's laws. bA-1:11

According to the indisputable laws of God it was permissible and lawful for God to devise a plan whereby man who had broken God's laws of behavior could be forgiven and saved from the penalty originally required by God's law. Thus grace and forgiveness clearly are permitted by God's indisputable laws and are attributes of God's laws. Considering how David says he loved the laws of God it is quite obvious that David was not only speaking of God laws with respect to their demands, which would have required death even of David himself, but was speaking of God's laws with respect to the grace and mercy that was within their bounds. Clearly within the full scope of God's laws and ways, are included the wondrous characteristics of grace and mercy. Thus when one speaks of God's laws, as in speaking of God's overall attributes, God's laws clearly include the attributes of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. bA-1:12

Predominate Usage of the Word Law

Law as Being a Required Code of Behavior (Conduct), and as Being Irrevocable With No Characteristics of Mercy Or Grace Whatsoever.

Although it is quite clear that the Scriptures at times speak of God's laws in speaking of God's good attributes or principles which include grace and mercy, yet the Scriptures most often use the word law in speaking of a particular strict law of behavior, which punished by death those who did not fully attain it's demands. This strict code of behavior or conduct pertains to both man's thoughts and deeds. God's laws of behavior, such as He ordained for man can nicely be divided into three parts, being the Royal Law, the Mosaic Law, and the New Testament Law. The predominate use of the word Law (as in the Bible) thus pertains to the Royal Law or the Mosaic Law or the New Testament Law, which laws largely enclose all the laws of behavior which God established for man. These 3 aspects of God laws are considered below. bA-1:14

Firstly, The Royal Law

God's most basic law for man is that man should love God with all his heart and that he should love his neighbor as himself (Matt 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31, Gal 5:14, Rom 13:8-10, James 2:8). The Bible contains many subsequent laws which connect to God's basic law which requires that man should love God with all his heart and love his neighbor as himself. James speaks of God's most basic law of love as the "Royal Law" and speaks of God's law as a law of liberty (James 1:25, 2:8&12). God's Royal Law of love, truly is a law of liberty, as it reproves all oppression and injustice. This Royal Law of love was valid throughout both the Old and New Testament. The Royal Law is nothing distasteful or abhorrent to that which is good, because even if there were no Royal Law that which is good would naturally keep the Royal Law. Such is discussed further below. bA-1:15

Secondly, The Mosaic Law

A second vital aspect of God's laws of behavior, besides the Royal Law of love, involves the Mosaic Law. This law was ordained for the Old Testament era and was cooperative with the Royal Law. The Mosaic Law is extensively considered in chapter two. bA-1:16

Thirdly, The New Testament Law

The third aspect of God's laws of behavior for man are the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. The teaching of Christ and the Apostles are the ultimate authority of the New Testament era, and also are cooperative with the Royal Law. The teachings of Christ and the Apostles can nicely be called the New Testament Law. bA-1:17

Apostle Paul spoke of the law as something Holy, good, and Spiritual (Rom 7:12&14&16, 1 Tim 1:8). The Royal Law is nothing distasteful or abhorrent to that which is good, because even if there were no Royal Law that which is good would naturally keep the Royal Law. Those who have the grace of God living in their hearts, in one respect are not under the law because they are under the power of grace and as they keep themselves under the power of grace they keep the Royal Law naturally! Paul numerous times speaks the Christian as not being under the law (Romans 6:14, 6:15, Gal 5:18). Yet their is a purpose for the law for if there were no law, how could that which is evil be revealed, reproved, or punished? It appears the law is good, Holy, and Spiritual because it defines, reproves, and punishes that which is evil. Apostle Paul speaking of how the law reveals and identifies sin said "...for by the law is the knowledge of sin" ( Rom 3:20). "...Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet" (Rom 7:7), "...for where no law is, there is no transgression (Rom 4:15). Apostle Paul speaks of the law not being "made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient" (1 Tim 1:9). Yet Paul also speaks of the purpose of God's laws being to show all men their sinfulness and show all men their need of forgiveness and help as is found in Christ (Gal 3:24-25). bA-1:17.5

V Although (as considered before), the word law as used in the Bible can pertain to the principles and attributes of someone or something, yet the predominate use of the word Law pertains to laws of behavior such as are enclosed in the 3 laws considered above. The laws of behavior which God has ordained for man are irrevocable laws, which absolutely require attention. Many times the Scriptures use the word law as though it were something demanding, and unyielding, and the very opposite of the mercy and grace such as was made possible through Christ's substitutive death and redemptive contributions. Following are several Scriptures that speak of the law as being something unyielding and the very opposite of mercy and grace; bA-1:18

(Gal 3:10) "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." bA-1:19

(Rom 4:15) "Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression." bA-1:20

(Rom 5:20) "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound..." bA-1:21

(John 1:17) "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." bA-1:22

(Gal 3:24) "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Note how this verse indicates that the law rather than being able to justify man, was ordained to cause man to realize his need of Christ and faith in him to be saved. bA-1:23

V Note although the above Scriptures likely are speaking mostly of the Mosaic Law, yet all of God's laws of behavior, are solid and irrevocable laws. Numerous Scriptures besides those given above, speak of the law as being something of absolute requirement which strictly condemns and cannot deliver or save the hearers thereof. God's laws of behavior require one to perfectly work and do and perfectly fulfill it's demands, to thereby literally be worthy of that which one receives, and does not provide the possibility for one to receive mercy, grace, and forgiveness. bA-1:24

The word law in the Scriptures most often pertains to a firmly required behavior. The writer could find no Scriptures that use the terms "law of mercy" or "law of grace". Yet the terms "law of mercy" or "law of grace", likely would be proper in consideration of how God's law has attributes of grace and mercy within it's bounds which attributes are revealed in that God made a way that guilty man could be saved. Yet it must be vividly remembered that God's laws of required behavior were not annulled or left unsatisfied but found their fulfillment in Christ's death for us! bA-1:25

Although the Scriptures most often use the word law in speaking of a code of behavior of absolute demand, and many times speak of the law as something very opposite of grace and mercy, yet when the Scriptures speak of God laws as speaking of God's overall ways and attributes, the word law when used as such, then very much includes the aspects of grace and mercy. Thus the word law can be speaking of something that is quite opposite of mercy and grace and can be speaking of something that very much includes mercy and grace. The word law thus can have two quite different usages or meanings. bA-1:26

Chapter 2

Considers God's Law as Given by Moses (The Mosaic Law).

Considers the Purpose of The Mosaic Law

Considers How Obligating or Difficult to Keep, the Mosaic Law Would Have Been.

Considers Whether God Absolutely Required the Israelites to Keep All Aspects of the Mosaic Law.

Considers Whether God Intended the Israelites to be Able to Fully Keep All Details of the Mosaic Law.

God's law as given by Moses had many details concerning many subjects. Some have divided the Mosaic Law into three categories being, firstly moral laws which concerned how the Israelites were to relate to God and to one another, secondly ceremonial laws which pertained to caring for the Tabernacle, sacrifices, and particular feasts (festivals) etc., and thirdly civil laws which were governmental laws which pertained to enforcing justice within their own nation and pertained to their relations with other nations. Although the Mosaic Law can nicely be divided into categories of laws, yet the writer in studying the Mosaic Law prefers to consider each law independently rather than to put a lot of emphasis on particular classes of laws or on how the many laws within the Mosaic Law should be classified. Note some particular parts of the Mosaic Law are considered much more extensively in chapter 11 of this writing. In studying the Mosaic Law and learning how burdensome the Mosaic Law might have been upon the Jewish people, the Mosaic Law has been divided up into categories as below. bA-2:1

Moral Laws

Firstly, Laws concerning proper worship of God.

The Israelites were repeated taught that they must love God with all their hearts, and obey His voice. Such laws were the most basic laws pertaining to proper worship of God. A most outstanding commandment in properly worshipping God was to abstain from all idolatry. bA-2:2

Secondly, Laws of how to relate to fellow Israelites.

Many laws pertained to this. Such laws required that all be considerate of all others, and especially the poor. It appears that God's laws against adultery and immorality would largely fall under this category of laws. These moral laws in reality were not a burden to the Israelites, but would have promoted success and prosperity among them. bA-2:3

Ceremonial Laws

Some of the ceremonial laws which the Israelites were commanded to keep, were laws which God ordained for the specific purpose of reminding the Jews of the great things that the Lord had done for them in their past, secondly some ceremonial laws were to be as a special sign or token between God and the Jews, which would remind the Jews of God's laws and of the covenant that had been made between them and God, and thirdly some ceremonial laws were to represent sin being penalized with death and were to symbolize future events (Col 2:17, Heb 8:5, Heb 10:1). Following are given numerous such laws; bA-2:3.5

Firstly, Laws of sacrificing and Tabernacle care.

These laws put a responsibility and burden mainly upon the Priests and Levites. Yet the Priests and Levites could quite practically bear this burden because sacrificing and caring for the Tabernacle was their full time job or work to do and the Israelites were to provide for the Priests and Levites by their sacrifices and tithing. A great many laws pertained to sacrificing and caring for the Tabernacle. Routine sacrifices were to be offered every morning and evening, besides the many independent sacrifices offered particularly for individuals. Routine sacrifices also were to be made weekly, monthly, and annually. A vital law concerning sacrifices was that the people were not to offer up their sacrifices every where, but rather only in the special place God had chosen for this purpose, which was at the Tabernacle or Temple. bA-2:4

Secondly, Laws of keeping particular days and years, and laws pertaining to feasts or festivals. bA-2:5

A great many laws pertained to this. These laws especially involved Sabbath days and the Sabbath year, and involved three important feasts, the feasts of unleavened bread, the feast of weeks and the feast of the tabernacles. Keeping these particular laws could have put quite a burden upon the Israelites. bA-2:6

Thirdly, Laws of cleanliness and dealing with the defiled or unclean. bA-2:7

A great many laws pertained to this. It appears keeping these particular laws might have put the greatest burden upon the Israelites. bA-2:8

Civil Laws

Firstly, Laws of government for the Israelites themselves

These laws pertained to dealing with disputes among themselves, dealing with the wicked among themselves, laws of war, laws of land distribution and ownership, laws of tithing, laws of how the Priests and Levites should be cared for, laws of dealing with servants and debts involving the year of release, and laws concerning the year of Jubilee, when many things in one respect all started over again. This classification of laws would not have been a burden, except that of providing for the Priests and Levites. These laws largely would have promoted success and prosperity. bA-2:9

Secondly, Laws in dealing with other nations

These laws required that the Israelites utterly destroy seven particular wicked nations. These laws pertained to how the Israelites were relate to other nations (such as they were not to utterly destroy), and pertained to how they were to relate to individual foreigners (strangers) from other nations who dwelt among them. bA-2:10

It appears that laws within the ceremonial classification of laws would have been the most difficult laws of the Mosaic Law to fully fulfill. It appears the most difficult laws to fully fulfill would have been firstly those laws requiring attendance at all the religious festivals, secondly laws pertaining to properly keeping Sabbath days and the Sabbath year, and thirdly laws pertaining to cleanliness and putting apart the unclean. A woman during her time of menstruation was considered as having a issue of blood and considered unclean. It appears all such women had to be put apart from others to a significant extent. Yet to know exactly to what extent she was to be put apart or separated, is difficult to know. The Scriptures speaking of a woman during the time of her menstruation speak of her as being a removed woman or as being in the time or days of her separation (Lev 15:20-26 Ezek 36:18). According to Numbers 5:1-4 it is quite clear that such women in Moses time had to be put outside the camp. It is quite clear that if one merely touched a woman during her time of her uncleanness (menstruation) or if they simply touched her bed or chair, such an one was required to wash their clothes and bath themselves and be counted unclean until the even (Lev 15:19-22). In some situations, if not all situations, women after their time of menstruation, to again be ceremonially clean, needed to go to the Temple and offer up particular sacrifices (Lev 15:19-30) Woman after child birth were clearly commanded to go to the Temple and offer up sacrifices to again become ceremonially clean (Lev 12:1-8) bA-2:11

Lev 15:16-17 pertaining to God's laws of cleanliness reads, "And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. {17} And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even" Due 23:10 also speaking of these strict laws of cleanliness reads "If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp:" bA-2:12

If a man carried a dead animal which was considered of the unclean class of animals, he was required to wash his clothes (and likely bath himself), and be counted unclean until the evening (Lev 11:28). If he only touched a dead lizard, snail, or mouse, he was counted be unclean until the evening (Lev 11:29-31). If a dead mouse or mole fell onto one's oven or range, the range or oven was to be broke down, possibly meaning destroyed (Lev 11:29-35). bA-2:13

If a man touched one who died, or was in the tent wherein one died, or touched a bone of man, or touched a grave, he had to be counted as unclean seven days and have the water of separation poured upon him on the third and seventh day (Num 19:11-21). Moses required his army who fought against the Midianites to remain outside of the camp seven days, and purify themselves the third and seventh day before coming into the camp (Num 31:19). It is clear that God's laws of cleanliness and putting apart the unclean would have been very difficult to fully keep bA-2:14

Three times in a year it appears all males were to come together at the Tabernacle (Ex 23:17, Ex 34:23, Deu 16:16), which would have been a great obligation to those who had to travel possibly a hundred miles on foot. Many other trips would also have been made to the Tabernacle, since all those who voluntarily desired to offer an offering to the Lord and those who had to bring an offering to the Lord (because of uncleanness or transgression) were required to travel to the special place of the Tabernacle. bA-2:15

The Israelites were not to do any work on the Sabbath, while Ex 35:3 states they were not to even kindle a fire on the Sabbath (yet possibly such was speaking of a fire other than heating their houses). Concerning the Sabbath year, in it they were not to sow nor reap. Yet in that year it appears they were permitted to eat out of the field that which grew of it's self, even though they could not sow anything or store up any crop from that year. Keeping the Sabbath year obviously would have made quite a burden on the sixth year as on needed to store enough food for two winters. Yet on the seventh year if one was properly prepared for it, that year would have been a very easy and pleasant year. bA-2:16

If the Israelites all would have been faithful as they could and should have been, God could well have greatly prospered them, so that concerning these requirements of travel and requirements to keep days and years which appear quite burdensome, such might have been very possible to fulfill, and possibly even could have been a source of enjoyment. Exo 34:23-24 indicates that the Israelites did not need to fear that the enemy would take possession of their land when all their males went to the Tabernacle reading. "Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. {24} For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year." In Lev 25:21 God promised the Israelites that their land on the sixth year would produce for three years, so they would not need to sow or reap on the seventh year. Many laws within the Mosaic Law were good and practical for the Israelites to keep and made for success and prosperity. Yet considering all aspects and New Testament Scriptures it is quite evident that fully keeping the Mosaic Law in every detail would have been very difficult and largely impossible for us sinful and mortal humans to keep. bA-2:17

Following are several New Testament Scriptures concerning the Mosaic Law with several comments;

(Acts 15:10) "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?" Note how this Scripture indicates that to fully keep all aspects of Mosaic Law was a task that basically was impossible to fulfill. bA-2:18

(Gal 3:10) "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." Note how this verse indicates that one who has nothing besides the law as his support or justification, is under the curse of the law, because no human can sufficiently keep the law. bA-2:19

(Gal 3:24) "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Note how this verse teaches that the purpose of the law was to cause us to realize our need of Christ and faith in him to justify us, because man could not perfectly enough keep God's law to be justified thereby. bA-2:20

(Mat 19:17-18) "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. {18} He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,". Note how this verse indicates that the questioner was under the impression that not all laws were absolutely necessary or possible to keep, and was not sure which laws really could or had to be kept. bA-2:21

The Children of Israel upon entering the land of Canaan were told to put the curse upon Mount Ebal and the blessing upon Mount Gerizim (Deu 11:29, Deu 27:12-13). The Children of Israel upon entering Canaan also were commanded to build a special alter having all the words of God's law written upon it, upon Mount Ebal the mountain of curse (Deu 27:1-8, Joshua 8:30-35). It appears God in Moses time connected the law written on this alter with curse or wrath, as God commanded that they would build this law bearing alter upon Mount Ebal the mountain of curse! bA-2:21.5

V It appears the Mosaic Law was so vast with so many details and difficult obligations that it was basically impossible for humans to fully keep it. Yet such did not mean that the Israelites did not need to honestly and carefully try to keep Moses Law, but rather meant that they should do what they honestly and reasonably could do, and then recognize that their works alone, yet could not please God, and that they needed forgiveness and mercy such as was made available through Christ. If the Israelites had nothing to look to, but the law, they would have been under the curse of the law as Paul said in above Gal 3:10. Yet through the mercy of God and love of Christ, who gave Himself as a sinless sacrifice (to which all sacrifices for sin had been a symbol), man could be redeemed from the curse of the law. It appears the intent of the Mosaic Law was firstly to teach man what he should endeavor to do, and secondly to teach man that he cannot sufficiently keep God's law and that he thus needs mercy and help out side of his own abilities. King David knowing he could not perfectly satisfy God's law said, "If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? {4} But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." (Psa 130:3-4). Solomon speaking of such things said, "If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them..." (1 Ki 8:46). bA-2:22

God's law, is a law of absolute requirement and cannot but condemn man, because sinful and mortal man cannot fulfill God's actual requirements. Yet God's attributes of grace and mercy provided a way for man to escape the penalty of God's relentless law and thus be spared from eternal death. bA-2:23

It is quite clear that those whom we count faithful Israelites did not fully keep all details of the Mosaic Law. It is quite clear that even during the time of good leaders such as King David, not all these laws were fulfilled. One commandment which appears to largely never have been kept involves dwelling in booths. The Israelites in Lev 23:40-43 were quite firmly commanded to yearly dwell in booths after the feast of the Tabernacles as a reminder how they dwelt in booths when they left Egypt. Such Scripture reads, "And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. {41} And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. {42} Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: {43} That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God" bA-2:24

Yet Neh 8:17 states that the Israelites never dwelt in booths from the time of Joshua till the time of Nehemiah, which means they never kept such commandment during all the times of the Judges and Kings of Israel. Neh 8:17 speaking of this reads "And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness." bA-2: 25

It neither appears that the Israelites all went to the tabernacle three times a year as the Mosaic Law had commanded. Although three Scriptures teach that all males were to appear before God three times in the year, yet concerning the time of Samuel, the Scriptures speaking of Samuel's parents indicate that they only went to the tabernacle once a year, and they yet were blest in doing so (1 Sam 1:3, 1 Sam 1:21, 1 Sam 2:19). The Scriptures also speaking of Mary and Joseph, the parent and foster parent of Christ, indicate they only went to Jerusalem once a year (Luke 2:41-42). bA-2:26

V God's infinite superiority to man is clearly revealed by how God conducted Himself toward man when He showed His Holy presence upon Mount Sinai. The frightful way God gave His laws to the Israelites from mount Sinai, and the contents of the Mosaic Law clearly reveal the extremely strict and exalted standards of God. Although Aaron and seventy elders were allowed to go with Moses to some outer area of Mount Sinai and were allowed to worship afar off, yet it appears only Moses with his minister Joshua was allowed to come into God's presence upon Mount Sinai (Ex 19:12-13&20, Ex 20:21, Ex 24:1-2 Ex 34:2-3). Yet not even Moses dared see the face of God least he die (Ex 33:20&23). God's great laws or attributes of Holiness absolutely could not bear sinful and unclean, mortal man drawing nigh unto the mount where His Holy presence dwelt, thus God told Moses "...Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. {24} but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them." (Exo 19:21&24). As the Israelites seen the great power of God upon the mount in thunderings and lightenings while the mountain smoked and shook they were greatly afraid and said to Moses "...Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." (Exo 20:19). God hearing the fearful Israelites requesting Moses to speak to them rather than having Him speak to them, told Moses "...they have well said all that they have spoken." (Deu 5:28). Hebrews 12:21 reveals that even Moses was greatly afraid at seeing God's presence upon Mount Sinai and reads, "And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)". For man to come into the Holy presence of God is not a light matter. It appears from most ancient times man in approaching and drawing near to God needed to offer sacrifices, such as did Able, Noah, and Abraham. Two of Aaron's sons were struck dead because of not properly honoring God and approaching God with an improper sacrifice. Moses speaking to Aaron about the slaying of his sons said, "This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me...". (Lev 10:3). Moses and Joshua were required to take off their shoes when God drew close to them, because the place and ground whereon they stood was Holy (Ex 3:5, Josh 5:15). bA-2:29

V Concerning the Holy things of the Temple no one but the Priests were to come near, touch, or see such Holy things lest they die (Nu 4:15, Nu 4:20, Nu 18:22). God's power especially with regard to dealing with the Holy Things of the Temple would simply strike dead anyone who did not properly respect these Holy things (Lev 10:1-2, 1 Sam 6:19, 2 Sam 6:6-7). God would not allow anyone with physical irregularities or blemishes to approach to Him (Lev 21:18-21). The Priests who drew near before God were to sanctify themselves, lest God would break forth upon them (Ex 19:22). The Priest before going into the Holy of Holies to offer the yearly atonement was to wash himself with water, and put on special inner garments as well as the Holy outer Garments (Ex 28:4&42, Ex 40:13, Lev 16:4, Lev 16:32). God's laws and ways could not bear or accept man's uncleanness even with regards to natural sweat or dirt (Ezek 44:18). The Israelites were commanded to wash themselves in preparation for God's appearance upon Mount Sinai (Ex 19:10&14). The Mosaic Law required much washing to be done. Even the legs and inwards of the animal sacrifices were to be washed (Lev 1:13, Lev 8:21, Lev 9:14). God Holy laws and standards neither could bear a woman's uncleanness such as in menstruation, or any uncleanness in man such as one having an issue in his or her flesh (Lev 15). Such issue likely would be any draining abscess, infection, or boil. People with issues as such and those who had touched any unclean thing, were required to be put outside the camp (Num 5:2-4). Individuals who previously had issues or who had touched particular unclean things were required to offer up burnt offerings and sin offerings to again become clean and acceptable (Lev 12:5-8, Lev 15:13-15, Lev 15:28-30). God's law does not overlook mistakes or unintentional misdeeds but required sin offerings to be made for them, much the same as if they were intentional misdeeds (Lev 4:27-28, Lev 4:13-14, Lev 4:22-23&26, Lev 5:2-3&17-19, Nu 15:27-28). Since the Mosaic Law required sin offerings to be made for unintentional errors, for physical issues (abscesses) and for uncleanness such as one having touched an unclean thing, it appears God largely considered these things as sin. bA-2:30

V The Holy, perfectionist, and severe attributes of God are clearly seen throughout the whole Mosaic Law. The Holiness, perfectionism, and severity of God could not bear man's transgressions or mistakes, could not even bear man's physical imperfections and uncleanness, and simply could not bear us lowly, sinful, unclean, and mortal creatures. In considering these things it becomes clear man could not, without the aid of sacrifice and by his own goodness and keeping of the Law, be acceptable to God and be allowed to come into God's presence. Clearly without the aid or service of sacrifice, God's laws would strike dead the best of man! Because of God's exalted standards of Holiness, perfection, and severity, God neither was satisfied with the sacrifice of mere dumb animals, but thus rather required the sacrifice of His sinless and beloved Son to in finality satisfy His Holy Law and save fallen man! Note the Holiness, perfectionism, and severity of God is considered further in another article coded "aJ". Yet in our time because of the Sacrifice of the Son of God being completed, man now can come into the presence of God in a new way. Apostle Paul speaking of such said, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," (Heb 10:19). Yet such clearly does not mean that God in the New Testament era has become casual and permissive. God even in the New Testament era yet seen fit to strike dead, Ananias and Sapphira His wife for their untruthfulness (Acts 5:4-10). bA-2:31

V When the law has done it's work it makes us say from the heart "God be merciful to me a sinner", and meaningfully accept Christ's sacrifice, redemption, and righteousness! Without an unction from God revealing His laws and ways to man, man cannot properly realize his need of mercy. Does our heart truly cry out to God for mercy? Jesus speaking of these things said, "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. {14} I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other..." (Luke 18:10-14). Does God who knows the heart classify you as being the self satisfied Pharisee or as being the pleading publican? bA-2:32

Chapter Conclusions

It does not appear the Mosaic Law was intended to be a law which could be fully kept by sinful and mortal man, but rather appears a vital purpose of the Mosaic Law was to reveal to man how sinful and unclean he is, and how he needs forgiveness, mercy, and help, such as is found in Christ. bA-2:33

It appears that although the Jews of the Old Testament kept many laws, they yet practically could not and did not fully keep all aspects of the Mosaic Law. bA-2:34

V Chapter 3

Considers Acts 15:1-29

Considers the Liberation From Keeping the Mosaic Law as Established in Acts Chapter 15.

Acts chapter 15 gives much information concerning how the Jews and Gentiles related in the early Apostolic Church. Such chapter needs to be carefully read and studied. Acts 15 pertains to a problem which the Church in the Apostles time encountered concerning some Jewish Christians feeling the Gentile Christians needed to be circumcised, while others felt such should not be required. Such chapter of Acts tells how that some Jewish Pharisees which believed came down from Judea, to Antioch where Paul's main home was, and while there advocated that the Gentile Christians there should be circumcised. Antioch was a city about 300 miles north of Jerusalem, which was Apostle Paul's main home for a significant portion of his life after that Paul was converted to Christendom. It appears Paul made his home at Antioch, after that many people had turned to the Lord at Antioch, and Barnabas had sought Paul out and encouraged him to come to Antioch (Acts 11:22-26). The Scriptures clearly reveal that a significant amount of Gentile Christians lived at Antioch. Acts 11:19-21 speaks of many Grecians turning to the Lord at Antioch. Acts 15:23 speaks of a letter being sent to the Gentile brethren which dwelt at Antioch. Following is given most of Acts chapter 15 with comments by many verses. Note the comments are given in italics. bA-3:1

Acts 15:1-29

{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." Note the previous chapter ended with Paul abiding a long time at Antioch after his first missionary journey was ended. Verses 22-24 below and Acts 14:26-28 make it clear that these brethren who came from Judea came to the city of Antioch where many Gentile Christians lived. bA-3:2

{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." bA-3:3

{3} "And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samara, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren." bA-3:4

{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." bA-3:5

{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." Note how this verse reveals that it was the Pharisee sect of the Jews who were promoting circumcision. Also note how these particular Jews, together with advocating circumcision also felt it was necessary for them to keep the law of Moses which involved many laws besides circumcision. bA-3:6

{6} "And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter." bA-3:7

{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." Note how the Gentiles are accented in this verse. bA-3:8

{8} "And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;". Please carefully note how this verse uses the word "them" in speaking of the Gentiles and the word "us" in speaking of the Jews. bA-3:9

{9} "And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith". Again carefully note how the Jews and Gentiles here again are separately identified using the terms us and them. bA-3:10

{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?" bA-3:11

{11} "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." Again carefully note how in this verse the word "we" means Jews and the above word "they" means Gentiles. bA-3:12

{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". Again note how the Gentiles are accented. bA-3:13

{13} "And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:" bA-3:14

{14} "Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name." Again note how the Gentiles are accented. bA-3:15

{15} "And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written," bA-3:16

{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:" bA-3:17

{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." Again note the Gentiles are accented. bA-3:18

{18} "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." bA-3:19

{19-20} "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood." Please carefully note how these verses especially direct this particular release from Moses' Law toward the Gentiles. Verse 23 of this chapter also clearly directs this particular liberty, to the Gentiles as does this verse. bA-3:20

Note the remaining verses of this chapter will soon be given, but first above verses 19-20 will be extensively considered and another Scripture that pertains to verses 19-20. bA-3:21

Considering Verses 19-20

V It is quite obvious that those Pharisees who were zealous for the Jewish laws, and who felt the Gentiles needed to keep Moses law to be saved, would also have felt the Jews needed to do the same to be saved. Thus it is clear that these law advocating Pharisees would not only have demanded that the Gentiles keep the Moses Law but also have demanded that the Jews keep Moses Law. Now if here in verses 19-20 the Apostles would have meant to establish that neither Jew nor Gentile need any longer keep Moses Law, clearly the Jews and not only the Gentiles would have needed to be released from the pressures of these Pharisees who were wrongly asking the Gentiles to keep Moses Law. Yet here the Apostles said nothing about the Jews being released from the Mosaic Law but strongly connected this release from Moses Law with the Gentiles. Note if the Apostles here really meant to establish that both the Jews and the Gentiles are now released from the Moses' Law, would they not have clarified or advocated such, rather than particularly focusing this liberty on the Gentiles as they did? If here it was intended that the Jews should be liberated from Moses Law as were the Gentiles, why was such not clearly told those Pharisees who previously were troubling the Gentiles, for now these Pharisees might yet have troubled the Jews about Moses' Law, saying this release from Moses Law was intended for the Gentiles and not for the Jews? bA-3:22

V The answer to whether or not the Apostles in Acts chapter 15 intended to liberate the Jews as well as the Gentiles, is clearly given in Acts chapter 21. Note Acts chapter 21 involves Apostle Paul again at Jerusalem, together with all the Apostles and Elders, much like seven years before when the decision to liberate the Gentiles from Moses Law was originally made. In Acts 21:19 and around seven years after the Gentiles were released from the Mosaic Law, Paul speaks to the Elders at Jerusalem about his many labors among the Gentiles, after which the Elders at Jerusalem answered Paul saying, "Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs". The Apostles at Jerusalem then in verses 22-24 told Paul to show the Jews at Jerusalem by example that he yet supported the keeping of Moses' Law and to show such Jews that this report about him releasing the Jews from Moses' Law was false. Although the Apostles here in Acts 21, clearly and to a very significant extent, were advocating that the Jews should keep Moses' Law, yet in consideration of the Gentiles the Apostles in verse 25 clearly excluded them from Moses law, referring back to their decision made around seven years before and saying, "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." Note this particular liberty and few basic requirements are exactly the same as were given in above verse 20 of Acts 15. Note how clearly Acts 21:17-25 reveals that the Acts 15:19-20 release from Moses' Law was intended and ordained for the Gentile Christians and not for the Jewish Christians. It will become more clear that the Jews to a significant extent, continued to keep the Mosaic Law, as other Scriptures are considered later. bA-3:23

Acts Chapter 15 Continued

{21} "For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Note this verse and the reason why James said this immediately after releasing the Gentiles from the Jewish laws as in verses 19-20 is considered in chapter 9 of this writing. bA-3:24

{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:" Note how the city of Antioch here is focused on as the place where the Gentiles liberation should especially be made known. The next verse also focuses on informing those of Antioch about this decision. Antioch is focused on as such because such was where this particular controversy about circumcision and Moses Law was initiated. bA-3:25

{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:" Note how this verse especially directs this decision and liberty toward the Gentiles of the city of Antioch and regions of Syria and Cilicia, and says nothing about the Jews in those areas. Note above verses 19-20 also advocated this release from Moses' Law as being for the Gentiles largely like this verse does. bA-3:26

{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:" Note circumcision and keeping Moses' Law are both here mentioned as in above verse five. bA-3:27

{25} "It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, bA-3:28

{26} Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. bA-3:29

{27} We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. bA-3:30

{28} For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; bA-3:31

{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." bA-3:32

Chapter Conclusion

The Gentile Christians were not expected to keep the Mosaic Law to the extent which the Jewish Christians were expected to keep it. Note this conclusion will become even clearer in reading the next chapter.

V Chapter 4

Considers Various Scriptures Which Further Reveal That the Jewish Christians, Quite Unitedly Kept a Particular Level of the Mosaic Law.

Considers Various Scriptures Which Further Reveal That the Gentile Christians Did Not Keep the Mosaic Law Such as the Jewish Christians Did.

Following are numerous Scriptures, with comments, that clearly reveal that the Jews to a significant extent continued to keep Moses' Law, and which indicate a distinct difference between the Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians with respect to the keeping of the Mosaic Law; bA-4:1

V (Acts 21:20) Herein the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem after hearing Paul tell of his successful labors among the Gentiles then said, "And when they heard it they glorified the Lord, and said unto him [PAUL], Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe: and they are all zealous of the law:" bA-4:2

V (Acts 21:23-24) Herein the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem further speaking to Apostle Paul said, "...We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law." Note how clearly this verse reveals that the Jews kept the law to a significant extent. bA-4:3

V (Acts 21:26) "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." Note how Apostle Paul here was keeping the old law. bA-4:4

(Acts 28:17) "And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans." Here Paul, after being taken to Rome as a prisoner, speaks to Jews at Rome in a way as to keep their confidence. Note how Paul here speaks of himself doing nothing against the customs of our fathers, which would be their Jewish customs. bA-4:5

Acts 16:3 "Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek." Here for the sake of the Jewish Christians, Paul seen it best that Timotheus should be circumcised. bA-4:6

Acts 20:6 "And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days." This verse although not so essential yet might to some degree show a certain keeping of the law. bA-4:7

V (Acts 22:12 "And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there," bA-4:8

V Acts 24:17-18 "Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.". Note this experience of Paul's is the same as recorded in Acts 21:26-27. bA-4:9

V Galatians 2:7-8 "But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)" Note how these verses could well indicate a difference between the standards and requirements established for the circumcision (Jews) and the (uncircumcision) Gentiles. bA-4:10

V Galatians 2:14 "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?" Note how clearly this verse reveals a absolute difference in the accepted standards for the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians! bA-4:11

(Acts 18:18) "And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow." It is quite obvious this short hair cutting, had something to do with keeping the Mosaic Law. Shaving was done in the final cleansing of a leper (Lev 14:2-9), in cleansing the Levites before they served (Num 8:7), and in dealing with Nazarites who had vowed to separate themselves to the Lord (Num 6:2&9&18-19). bA-4:12

It appears the Jewish Christians basically all, if not all, to a significant extent kept Moses' Law. It appears the reason that the Jewish Christians were not an issue in the controversy about being circumcised and keeping Moses' Law, was because they basically all, if not all, were sufficiently keeping Moses' Law and thus those who were troubling the Gentiles had no reason to trouble the Jewish Christians. bA-4:13

Quite obviously the Jews believed that if a Gentile became a Jewish convert (proselyte) and became a Jew and kept Moses' Law as they did, he could be saved. But after Peter had preached to the Gentiles at Cornelius' house, the Jews seen (witnessed) an assembly of Gentiles who were not keeping their laws nor a part of their people, having the Holy Ghost poured out upon them and speak in tongues, and "were astonished... "because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 10:45). Thus the Jews upon hearing how the Holy Ghost was poured out upon Gentile Cornelius and the other Gentiles with him, glorified God saying, "...Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18). To the Jews this was largely just as though God was accepting another people besides Abraham's seed the Jews. James speaking to the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem about the Gentile Christians said, "Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name." (Acts 15:14). Note how this verse indicates that James to some extent considered the Gentile Christians to be a people of their own. Note how James here did not say that God did visit the Gentiles to bring them to the Jews. bA-4:14

Chapter Conclusion

The Scriptures reveal a significant difference between the religious standards of the Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, as the Gentile Christians did not keep the Mosaic Law and Jewish traditions as did the Jewish Christians. bA-4:15

Chapter 5

Considers What Changes the Apostles and Other Christian Jews Might Have Made in Their Keeping of the Mosaic Law After Christ's Death and Resurrection.

Considers How or to What Extent the Jewish Christians Kept the Mosaic Law.

Considers the Reason Why it was Beneficial and Proper for the Jews to Continue Keeping a Particular Portion of the Mosaic Law.

To know for certain the extent, or detail in which the Jewish Christians continued to keep the Mosaic Law is likely impossible, as the Scriptures say little about such. Since the complicated Mosaic Law, placed so many demands upon sinful and mortal man, that he even at his best could not perfectly and fully keep it's extensive demands, various more attainable standards and ways of keeping the Mosaic Law could well have been developed and existed. Some Jews likely tended to emphasize particular parts of the Mosaic law and other Jews likely emphasized other parts of the Mosaic Law. Thus even concerning the non Christian Jews, their likely were various ways inwhich they kept the Mosaic Law. The non Christian Jews in the Apostles time, were divided into several different sects, such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians. These sects likely all had their particular ways of keeping the Mosaic Law. There were quite strong differences between the sects of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Paul took advantage of their differences at the time when the Pharisees and Sadducees were accusing him to the Roman authorities and got them quarreling with each other insomuch that the sect of the Pharisees started to defend and stick up for Paul (Acts 23:6-10)! It appears the non Christian Jews to some extent considered the Christian Jews to be another particular sect of Jews. According to Acts 24:5 and 28:22 the non Christian Jews spoke of the Christian Jews as a particular sect, which they called the sect of the Nazarenes and which sect they said was spoken against everywhere. bA-5:1

Since the Jews throughout the old era were strongly taught (and rightfully so), to diligently keep a great many Jewish laws, and because many particular Jewish laws were deeply implanted in their consciences, it appears many of these laws yet seemed very important to the Jews even after they believed in Christ. Such laws might have pertained to washings, purifications, tithings, offerings, foods, sacred days and feasts etc. The Jewish Christians likely established a particular standard of keeping the Mosaic Law which standard would best satisfy and assure the Jews consciences and which yet would give respect to Jesus being the Messiah and having died as the supreme Sacrifice. The change in their way of keeping the law is considered further below in paragraphs 5:13-19. bA-5:2

Through training and teaching, one's conscience can be strongly established insomuch that it cannot easily be changed. Paul clearly taught that one should not go against that which he felt was proper and right and what his conscience allowed him to do. Apostle Paul concerning these things said, "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. {22} Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemeth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. {23} And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.". (Rom 14:14&22-23). bA-5:3

Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 14 taught that God's people should not reject the new child of God, because of him being conscientious about unnecessary laws or traditions, secondly taught that God's people should not disturb and trouble his undeveloped or weak conscience, and thirdly taught that we as individual children of God should not despise another Christian because of him doing things different than we do, because of his weak or particular conscience. The NRSV Bible translation speaks of these things reading, "Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.". (Romans 14:1). William Tyndale's translation, which the writer feels best portrays the real meaning of Romans 14:1-3 reads, "Him that is weak in the faith, receive unto you, not in disputing and troubling his conscience. {2} One believeth that he may eat all things, Another which is weak, eateth herbs. {3} Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not. And let not him with eateth not judge him that eateth.. For God hath received him". (Roman 14:1-3). Verse one of this Scripture, in the King James version is more obscure, and together with verses 2-3 reads, "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. {2} For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. {3} Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him." Considering the whole chapter of Romans 14 it is clear that God's people are to receive those new Christians whose consciences are weak or undeveloped, but not in a way of needlessly disputing and troubling their consciences. The Jewish Christians likely were conscientious about many things that according to God's New Testament plan were unnecessary. Yet they were to live within their consciences and were not to be despised for doing so. bA-5: 4

Paul also clearly teaches that we should never do anything which would be offensive or a stumbling block to our brother, or which deed could end up causing our brother's weak conscience to become defiled. 1 Cor 8:13 speaking of this reads reading, "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." Most of Romans chapter 14 and 1 Cor chapter 8 pertain to the importance of the Christian living within the dictates of his own conscience and the importance of the Christian not doing anything whereby their conscientious brother might be hindered, confused, discouraged or offended. bA-5:5

God's people are to relate to things in the way that best encourages faith and love toward God in their own hearts. Jesus speaking of faith, spoke of a great faith not being received except by prayer and fasting. One individual may feel abstaining from this or doing that nurtures faith and the love of God in his heart, while another individual may feel another particular type of behavior nurtures faith and the love of God in his heart. Romans 14:5-6 speaking of these things reads, "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. {6} He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it..." Note how this verse gives liberty for individuals to differ in their way of nurturing faith and grace in their own hearts. The Jewish Christians because of their fervent training in the Mosaic Law clearly had many preferences in how they felt they could best nurture faith in God within themselves, and which preferences they had liberty to satisfy. bA-5:6

It appears it was best for the Jewish Christians to keep numerous Jewish laws firstly for the sake of satisfying their own consciences and secondly for the sake of not hindering or being offensive to other Jewish Christians who were consciences concerning keeping such laws. Yet except for the such reasons many of these Jewish laws were not necessary according to Christ's New Testament doctrines. Although numerous or many Jewish laws were strongly promoted among the early Jewish Christians, it was not necessary for the Gentiles to keep them, because they were not accustomed to keeping these laws nor were they a conscience matter with them. bA-5:7

V God's plan for the Jewish Christians, who were much affected by their training in the Mosaic Law, was that they should not need to live like the Gentiles but should have liberty to satisfy their consciences and preferences, in nurturing their faith in God. God's plan for the Gentile Christians was that they should not be obligated to live as did the Jews who were so accustomed to the vast Mosaic Law. It appears it was the wisdom of God and wisdom of the Apostles that put a difference and division between the Jewish Christians and Gentiles Christians with respect to the need of keeping the Mosaic Law as in Acts chapter 15. Although the Jews and Gentiles had liberty as such, it yet appears for the sake of nurturing peace and unity and avoiding offenses within the different Jewish or Gentile groups, the Apostles yet wisely ordained that the Jews should generally live like the Jews lived, and the Gentiles should generally live like the Gentiles lived. Although the Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians were different as such they yet were to accept one another as one in Christ and recognize the rightful reason for the difference between them. bA-5:8

Their is a particular value or blessing in being like to those you are with. Paul speaking how he became like to all those he was in company with, that he might be a blessing to all said, "And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; {21} To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. {22} To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1 Cor 9:20-22). bA-5:9

In the situation where a few Jewish Christians lived among a large group of Gentile Christians, likely the Jewish Christians were allowed to live as the Gentiles did, if they felt comfortable with such, and such did not defile their conscience. When Apostle Peter was living like as did the Gentiles, likely it was while he was living among them. Gal 2:14 concerning this reads "...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?" When a Gentile Christian lived among many Jewish Christians or was trying to win the Jews to Christ, he likely would have been blest if he tried to live like the Jews. Paul in Acts 16:1-3 circumcised Timotheus, because of the Jews in that area. bA-5:10

Although in some respects the Gentile Christians were not exactly one people with the Jewish Christians yet Christ had broken down a great barrier between them, and both by being partakers of the Spirit of Christ and of His salvation, were much more one than before. Paul speaking to the Gentile Christians at Ephesus, of the oneness Christ had created between them and the Jewish Christians said, "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: {19} Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;" (Eph 2:14-16& 19). Jesus quite possibly speaking of the Gentiles becoming fellowcitizens with the Jews, of God's one fold or people said, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16) bA-5:11

V Although their was a clear difference between the Jewish Christians' standard and the Gentile Christians' standard, yet they clearly were one body in Christ. It is clear the Jewish Christians were not to shun and treat the Gentile Christian brothers like they formally were to treat and shun their Gentile or foreigner neighbors. Acts 10:28 and 11:2-3 reveal that the Jews formally dared not eat with the Gentiles. Yet the Jewish Christians could and did eat with the Gentile Christians such as Peter did in eating with Cornelious (Acts 11:2-3). Although the Jewish Christians were to be free to eat with the Gentile Christians, yet it appears that even concerning such, their was quite a powerful thrust among some Jewish Christians that the difference between them and the Gentile Christians yet was so great, that eating together should be prohibited. This came to a test in Antioch when Peter, Paul, and Barnabas were gathered there and were eating together with Gentiles. The erring Jewish Christians who were opposed to eating with the Gentile Christians had enough influence, that when they came to visit Antioch, even Apostle Peter and Barnabas withdrew from eating with the Gentile Christians (Gal 2:11-14). Yet God be thanked that Apostle Paul stood his ground, and reproved Peter to the face for fearing and yielding to these erring Jewish Christians from Jerusalem, and thus turned things to the right! How dejected those Gentile Christians might have felt if all Jewish Christians would have quit eating with them! Possibly many Gentile Christians would have been discouraged and lost their faith in the Jewish Christians and in Christ whom Paul had preached to them. bA-5:12

Although the Jewish Christians to a significant extent did continue to keep the Mosaic Law, few Scriptures speak of how the Jewish Christians kept the law, or reveal what changes they might have made in their ways of keeping the Mosaic Law after Christ's sacrificial death was completed and understood. It is quite clear that after Christ resurrected from the dead and had explained the Scriptures concerning Himself to His disciples as in Luke chapter 24, and after that the Holy Ghost was poured out on the day of Pentecost, Christ's disciples understood the purpose of Christ's death. It is quite clear that from the day of Pentecost and forward the Apostles understood that Christ's death and shedding of blood was ordained of God to be the ultimate and final sacrifice for man's sins, to which all past sacrifices for sin, merely had been previews or foreshadows. Thus it appears such realization and knowledge would have had a definite impact on how the Apostles would have conducted themselves hereafter with regard to sacrificing animals for sins and transgressions. bA-5:13

Jesus before His death had repeatedly spoken to His disciples about his death and resurrection. In Matt 20:28 Jesus speaking to his disciples said, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Jesus at the last supper told His disciples that the wine they were drinking represented His blood which was to be shed for the remission of sins. Three of the four Gospels record such, the texts being Matt 26:28, Mark 14:24, and Luke 22:19-20. Yet the Scriptures clearly reveal that the disciples at this time, yet did not understand Christ's death and resurrection, nor understand how such would be God's ultimate sacrifice for man (Luke 9:45, Luke 18:34, John 20:9). After Christ's resurrection, while two of Christ's followers were walking on the Emmaus road Christ appeared to them and clearly revealed to them the vital place He had in God's plan Luke 24:26-27 speaking of this reads, "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: {26} Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? {27} And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:25-27). Afterwards these two speaking of the things Jesus had told them said, "And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" (Luke 24:32). Jesus soon after this also appeared to His 11 disciples and also explained the Scriptures to them. Luke 24:44-45 concerning such reads, "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. {45} Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,". It is quite obvious that after Jesus opened the Scriptures to the disciples, they then understood what Jesus was talking about when he so often talked to them of His death and resurrection, and had told them of giving His life a ransom for many. God in rending the vail in the Temple in twain from top to bottom when Christ died, clearly revealed to all that Christ's death was to have an impact on Temple related laws and ordinances. bA-5:14

Although it is quite clear that the Apostles, understood that Christ was the supreme and once and for all Sacrifice for sin, yet the Apostles first sermons to the Jews did not particularly emphasize the aspect of Christ death and blood being the ultimate Sacrifice for sin, such as would annul the need of sin offerings in the future. It does not appear that the Apostles first emphasis was on discontinuing sacrificing for sins. Yet the Apostles in their initial preaching to the people clearly did greatly exalt the name and person of Jesus (Acts 2:38), saying that their was no other name under heaven, whereby man could be saved. (Acts 4:12). bA-5:15

Considering all aspects the writer doubts that the Jewish Christians continued to offer up sacrifices for sins after Christ had fulfilled redemption's plan, such as they had normally done before. Yet possibly some Jewish Christians might have desired to offer up animal sacrifices as a symbol and remembrance of what Christ had already done. Yet Christ rather had established the communion service as a remembrance of His sacrificial death. In considering the subject of animal sacrifices, one must also consider that not all animal sacrifices were focused upon dealing with sin and transgression, but many animal sacrifices were freewill and voluntary offerings, and thanksgiving and peace offerings. Animal sacrifices were offered in making vows. In considering the subject of sacrifices and offerings one must also consider that there were offerings offered by fire unto the Lord which were not animal sacrifices but rather were offerings of fine flour, or cakes, or wafers, or corn (Lev 2). bA-5:16

Acts 21:23-26 pertaining to a time possibly 25 years after the beginning of the Christian Church, speaks of offerings being offered in the Temple for Apostle Paul and for the other four Jewish Christians that were being purified with him. Yet it appears as more years went by, the Jewish Christians became more disconnected and alienated from the Temple, possibly because of persecution or because of being rejected by the non Christian Jews that might have been overseeing the Temple, or simply because of realizing the Temple no longer held and meant what it used to. It appears that Apostle Paul in the book of Hebrews might have been writing to Jewish Christians who had slowly become more disconnected with the Temple and it's religious activities, and was encouraging such Christians to look more fully to Christ and His teachings as their hope, faith, and religion. It appears Paul in Hebrews was encouraging the Jews to look to Christ as the ultimate sacrifice for their sins, and encouraging them to leave behind the Temple and it's outdated sacrificing and ordinances. Paul in encouraging the Jewish Christians as such said, "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.". (Heb 13:10). Paul also speaking of Christ's new order, and of sacrifices for sin no longer being needed said, "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. {19} Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, {20} By a new and living way, which he [Christ] hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;" (Heb 10:18-20). bA-5:17

Jerusalem was taken and the Temple destroyed by Titus the Roman General about year 70 AD. Likely after all such occurred the Jewish Christians further understood that the Temple was not necessary in their worship of God, if they did not understand such before. bA-5:18

In the Old Testament God did not allow strangers who sojourned with the Jews to officially enter the Congregation of the Lord until their third generation, likely because He wanted foreigners to be well grounded and established in the Jewish ways before they could be accepted as an official Jew. It might also have taken many years and several generations for these strong traditions and ways to lose their impact on the consciences of the Jewish Christians. bA-5:19

Chapter 6

Considers the Jewish Christians Usage of the Temple During the Early Years of the Christian Church and Before it was Destroyed by the Romans.

According to both Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5, Christ just before ascending into heaven clearly told His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem till they would be endued with power from on high (baptized with the Holy Ghost). Thus the disciples remained at Jerusalem between the time of Christ's ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost. Luke 24:52-53 pertaining to the disciples doings immediately after Christ's ascension reads "And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: {53} And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen." Note how this Scripture speaks of the disciples being in Jerusalem and utilizing the Temple after Christ's ascension. bA-6:1

Various Scriptures reveal that the Jewish Christians continued to use the Temple as a place of gathering and worship after Christ's resurrection and ascension. Acts 2:46 speaking of the Jewish Christians religious life after the day of Pentecost, speaks of them continuing with one accord in the Temple. Many verses within Acts chapters 3-5 speak of the Apostles teaching in the Temple. Acts 22:17 speaks of Apostle Paul praying in the Temple some time after he had become a Christian, which likely would have been some years after the Christian Church's beginning at Pentecost. Acts 21:18-32 speaks about Paul, many years later, purifying himself in the Temple together with several other Christian Jews, after which he was mobbed by angry non Christian Jews. Acts 24:6&18 & 26:21 all pertain to Paul's experience in the Temple when he was purifying himself and got mobbed by angry Jews. bA-6:2

According to Acts 1:15, after Christ's ascension to heaven there were at least 120 close knit followers of Christ. On the day of Pentecost, these close followers of Christ might have been gathered at the Temple, at the very time when the Holy Ghost was poured out. After the Holy Ghost was poured out at Pentecost and those filled with the Holy Ghost spoke with tongues, the news of this rapidly spread around Jerusalem, and a great multitude from many nations gathered together to witness this outstanding occurrence (Note people from many nations were visiting Jerusalem at this time of Pentecost). Peter then delivered his famous sermon of Acts 2 to this large gathering. This large gathering very well may have been gathered at the Temple, as the Temple would have been the central gathering place for all those who had come to Jerusalem for the occasion of Pentecost. The 3000 who were baptized after Peter's famous sermon very well could have been baptized in the Temple. Such may have been baptized using the water and facilities they had available in the Temple, and which normally were used for the numerous washing ordinances required by the Mosaic Law. Acts 2:46 quite clearly speaking of the days immediately following Peter's famous sermon and the baptizing of these 3000 souls reads, "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,". Soon after the day of Pentecost, Peter came to the Temple at the ninth hour being the hour of prayer and healed a man lame from his mother's womb (Acts 3:1-7). It appears the Apostles and early Christians continued to teach and gather in the Temple up till the time of the great persecution that evolved at the time of Stephen's martyrdom. Acts 8:1&4 & 11:19 reveal that their was a great persecution aroused in Jerusalem at the time of Stephen's martyrdom. This persecution involved the non Christian Jews persecuting the Christian Jews and was not initiated by the Roman Authorities. Acts 8:1 states that because of this persecution, the Christians at Jerusalem were all scattered abroad, except the Apostles. During this time of persecution the Temple very likely could not be used as a place of worship by the Jewish Christians. Acts 9:31 reveals that this persecution ceased sometime after Paul's conversion, after which it is quite clear that the Jewish Christians again used the Temple in their worship. Apostle Paul in Acts 22:16-17 speaks of himself having prayed in the Temple after that he was converted and had again returned to Jerusalem, which time likely would have been when the persecution pertaining to Stephen's time had begun to subside. Such Scripture reads, "And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;". It then was many years later, that Paul again was in the Temple, purifying himself, when he was mobbed by angry non Christian Jews. It is interesting to notice that the non Christian Jews who initiated mobbing Paul in the Temple, were not from Jerusalem, but were non Christian Jews from distant Asia who were at Jerusalem at the time, and who were angered by the Christian evangelism Paul had done among them in Asia. It appears the non Christian Jews of Jerusalem did not know who Paul really was or did not mind him being in the Temple as did the Jews from Asia. bA-6:3

Considering how the Apostles at Jerusalem told Paul that he should go into the Temple with four other Jewish Christians to purify himself with them it is quite clear that at this time, the non Christian Jews at Jerusalem allowed the Christian Jews to freely enter and use the Temple in their worship. Considering how Acts 21:20-27 speaks of Paul's and his partners using the Temple it is quite obvious that the Jewish Christians did not need to enter the Temple secretly but rather were counted acceptable users of the Temple. It is quite clear that the non Christian Jews counted the Christian Jews more eligible to enter the Temple than foreigners or Gentiles, as the Jews who were opposed to Paul, vehemently condemned Paul for bringing a Greek (non Jew) into the Temple whom they felt would have polluted the Temple (Acts 21:28-29). Yet according to Acts 21:27-30 it appears that Paul really had not brought a Greek into the Temple, but the angry Jews had just supposed such. Note although these Jews from Asia made a issue about a Greek supposedly entering the Temple they yet did not make an issue about the four Christian Jews who went into the Temple and purified themselves with Paul, likely because they were Jews rather than Gentiles, and who walked orderly and kept the law as did Christian Ananias (Acts 22:12). bA-6:4

The Jews from Asia who mobbed Paul, accused Paul of turning people everywhere against the law and against the Jews and Temple. It is true that Paul likely was not advocating the Law, the Jews, and the Temple, as the non Christian Jews were, and is true that he likely was promoting a different standard of keeping the law than they were, yet it also is true these Jews in accusing Paul likely were exaggerating things to thereby make a case against him. Possibly in the days that followed this anti Paul uproar in the Temple, the Jewish Christians experienced a greater rejection or persecution by the non Christian Jews and possibly could no longer use the Temple as freely in their worship. bA-6:5

Chapter 7

Considers the Relation Between the Jews and Gentiles.

Considers the Relation Between the Christian Jews and Non Christian Jews.

Considers the Many and Spread Abroad Jews, and the Impact Christ and Christendom had Upon Them.

Although in the latter part of the Old Testament, different sects of Jews had evolved, these different sects of Jews yet to quite an extent felt themselves to be one with each other. It is clear that these different sects of Jews considered themselves to be more one with each other, than they felt themselves to be one with the Gentiles, with whom they were not even permitted to eat. Now after the Jews believed in Christ, they might have yet tended to feel more one with the Jews who were non Christian than they felt one with the Gentiles that believed in Christ. It is quite possible that those erring Jewish Christians who refused to eat with the believing Gentiles, felt more as one with non Christian Jews than they felt as one with Christian Gentiles. Possibly many Christian Jews erroneously tended to feel more one with the non Christian Jews than one with the Christian Gentiles. bA-7:1

It appears the non Christian Jews to some extent considered by the Christian Jews as being another particular sect of Jews, rather than considering them as being Gentiles, who the Jews largely were to remain separate from (Act 24:5 28:22). Yet it is clear that many non Christian Jews considered the Christian Jews to be a sect which was quite erroneous, and which many Jews wanted to see dissolved or destroyed. bA-7:2

During the latter part of the Old Testament, it is clear that religious or devout Jews did not only live at Jerusalem and it's vicinity, but rather lived throughout Asia and the whole known world. Acts 2:5 speaks of devout Jews from all over the known world, being at Jerusalem at the time of the Pentecost celebration in which the Holy Ghost was poured out empowering and initiating the Christian Church. Acts 2:5 reads, "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." Acts 2:5-11 says these visiting Jews came together when the heard of the out pouring of the Holy Ghost. Around 15 different nations are mentioned. These visiting Jews then were amazed, as they in listening to the Apostles teach, all heard them teach in their own native language. Quite likely Jews from many different nations and localities were baptized together with Jews from Jerusalem, when the 3000 souls were baptized after Peter famous sermon of Acts 2. As these Jews would have returned home, Christian Jews would have soon been spread throughout the whole known world. Quite obviously, at least news of the Christian movement at Jerusalem was soon spread throughout the whole known world. bA-7:3

According to Acts 8:4, some time after the 3000 were baptized, the Jewish Christians in fleeing a wave of persecution went everywhere preaching. Such fleeing everywhere and preaching also likely would have resulted in Jewish Christians being spread all abroad. The Christian movement was not a insignificant movement among the Jews. Acts 6:7 speaks of the number of the disciples multiplying greatly in Jerusalem, and speaks of a great company of the Priests being obedient to the Christian faith! In Acts 21:20 the Elders at Jerusalem spoke to Paul about the many thousands (myraids) of Jews which believed. Concerning the word thousands in this verse, the original Greek word underlying it means myraids or ten of thousands rather than merely thousands. bA-7:4

James in Acts 15:21 speaks of Jewish synagogues being present in every city, likely meaning every city throughout the known world. James in such verse said, "For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day." (Acts 15:21). It is clear that on the day of Pentecost devout Jews from many distant cities such as these, were present at Jerusalem and witnessed the preaching of Peter, the speaking in tongues, and the baptizing of the 3000. It is quite clear it did not take long for the many Jewish Synagogues spread throughout the world to start to feel the impact of Christendom upon their own Synagogue. Considering when and how James spoke of these Jewish Synagogues which were spread throughout the world, and took them into meaningful consideration, to quite an extent indicates that these Synagogues were not only merely non Christian Jewish Synagogues, but rather were Synagogues which were Christian effected and influenced much like Jerusalem also was Christian effected and influenced. bA-7:5

It is clear that the Christian Jews mingled together with the non Christian Jews in their use of the Temple in their worship, that is if not forcibly prohibited from doing so. Now concerning the Jewish Christians that were spread abroad it appears that they too might for a time have shared their Synagogues with the non Christian Jews. Yet likely if too many Jews refused to believe in Christ and too much conflict arose, the believing Jews likely separated and worshipped in another place or built another Synagogue. Paul on his missionary journeys often entered and taught in the Jewish Synagogues, and in some cities continued to teach and preach in their Synagogue for a significant period of time (Acts 18:4, 19:8). Sometimes Paul departed from the Synagogues simply because of desiring to go elsewhere, yet often he was forced to depart because of persecution. Although many Jewish Synagogues expelled Paul from among them, yet such does not mean that there were not many Jewish Synagogues around which were occupied by Jewish Christians, and which would have allowed Paul to teach and preach. It rather appears there possibly were many Synagogues throughout the world, which were mostly occupied by Jewish Christians or at least wherein Jewish Christians were allowed to worship. bA-7:6

The following ten texts all pertain to the Jews standard or tradition of gathering on Sabbaths for worship; Mark 1:21, Mark 6:2, Luke 4:16, Luke 6:6, Luke 13:10, Acts 13:14, Acts 13:42, Acts 13:44, Acts 15:21, and Acts 18:4. Leviticus 23:1-3 reveals that the seventh day Sabbath was not only to be a day of rest, but also to be a day of Holy convocations, which would be a day of Holy gatherings or meetings. It is quite obvious that the Christian Jews continued to gather and worship in their synagogues on the Sabbaths as the Jews had done since the time of Moses. Yet according to the following Scriptures, it appears the Gentile Christians gathered for worship on the first day of the week; bA-7:7

(Acts 20:7) "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." bA-7:8

(1 Cor 16:1-2) "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. {2} Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." bA-7:9

Likely the Gentiles met on the first day of the week to commemorate Christ's resurrection being on that day, and possibly so they also could better attend the Jews services on the Sabbaths if they wished to do so. bA-7:10

Chapter 8

Considers Why Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:1-4 so Strongly Reproved the Galatian Christians, For Reverting to Circumcision and Keeping the Law.

It appears that Paul in writing to the Galatians was writing to several Churches in southern Asia Minor, which Churches Paul had established during his first missionary journey of Acts chapters 13-&14. Some individuals feel Galatians was written before the Gentiles had been officially liberated from the Mosaic Law (as in Acts chapter 15), and others feel it was written afterwards. Since Paul no where in Galatians speaks of being imprisoned or being in bonds, it is likely this letter to the Galatians was written before Paul was mobbed by the Jews in the Temple, and bound by the Romans. Thus it is likely that it was after Paul wrote Galatians, that he at the request of the Apostles entered the Temple at Jerusalem and purified himself with four other Jewish Christians to thereby reveal to the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem how he supported keeping the law. Yet to know for sure where this letter to the Galatians finds it's place in the sequence of New Testament happenings is likely impossible. bA-8:1

Although the Apostles encouraged a particular keeping of the Mosaic law among the Jewish Christians, it appears Apostle Paul in writing to the Galatians was reproving Jewish Christians and not only Gentile Christians, for their keeping and advocating of the Mosaic Law. Paul in writing to the Galatians wrote much about Abraham and the Mosaic Law, and in a technical and advanced way. The technical and advanced manner in which Paul wrote about Abraham and the Law of Moses, strongly indicates that Paul was speaking to some Christians who already were well acquainted with issues about Abraham and the Mosaic Law. It also appears that those to who Paul was writing were Christians who had significantly kept the law at one time, as he repeatedly speaks to them about their erroneous turning again to the keeping of the Mosaic Law (Gal 2:18, 4:9, 5:1). It appears to the writer that Christians such as were so well acquainted with the Mosaic Law and who in their past had kept the law, must have been Jewish Christians. bA-8:2

Although it is quite clear that some Jewish Christians were recipients of Paul's letter to the Galatians it also is quite obvious that Gentile Christians also were recipients of this letter. Paul in the following verses of Galatians to a significant extent sounds like he is writing to some individuals, to whom Paul's Jewish religion and nation was strange and foreign saying, "For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: {14} And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers." (Gal 1:13-14). Note how Paul spoke to the Galatians of the Jews religion, and his own nation, and his fathers, rather than speaking to them of our nation and our fathers. Paul also in speaking to the Galatians, to some extent speaks to them as though speaking to those who were both Jews and Gentiles in saying "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. {28} There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. {29} And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal 3:27-29). These Galatians to whom Paul wrote, were Christians who previously had known Paul so intimately, that they at one time would have been willing to pluck out their eyes and given them to Paul (Gal 4:15)! Considering that Paul's main work was among the Gentiles and that Paul here was writing to a general area, and considering all aspects in is quite obvious that Gentile Christians and not only Jewish Christians were recipients of the Galatian letter. Most Bible Scholars would likely say it is obvious that Paul in Galatians was writing to the Gentiles. bA-8:3

Paul in writing to the Galatians was addressing a situation wherein some erring Christians had come to their area and were wrongly endeavoring to require them to be circumcised and to keep the Mosaic law (Gal 1:7, 4:17, 5:10-12, 6:12). It appears to the writer that the Galatians situation very well could have involved a minority of Jewish Christians living among a majority of Gentile Christians, which Jewish Christians thus had started to live like the Gentile Christians, such as Apostle Peter also had done (Gal 2:14). In studying the book of Galatians, it is clear that the erring Christians which were troubling the Galatians were forgetting that Christ and faith was their source of justification and thus were erroneously looking to the keeping of the Mosaic Law as their justification. It is quite possible these troublers were trying to force the Galatian Christians to keep the Mosaic Law to a greater degree than even the Jewish Christians normally kept it. Possibly they were endeavoring to get all the Galatian Christians, including both Jews and Gentiles to keep the law. Although there are many things we cannot know for sure, yet it is certain that these troublers of the Galatians in dealing with the Galatians' particular situation, somehow were very wrongly emphasizing the Mosaic Law, and were very erroneously forgetting the importance of Christ and being justified through faith in Him. Paul thus in firmly reproving this wrong emphasis on the Mosaic Law wrote, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. {2} Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. {3} For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. {4} Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Gal 5:1-4). bA-8:4

Since the Galatian Christians previously had discontinued keeping the Mosaic Law, and now appear to have been rapidly and wrongly reverting back to the Mosaic Law, and worse yet rapidly were forgetting the importance of Christ, Paul clearly and rightly felt that their renewed keeping of the Mosaic Law was not edifying and had a wrong motivation and reason, and thus he reproved it sharply as he did. Yet Paul's reproof as here given to the Galatians, does not mean that it was not edifying and proper for the Jewish Christians who lived in Jewish societies to keep and promote a particular level of keeping the law, such as to suffice their preferences and consciences and avoid unnecessary offenses. One must consider that this reprove to the Galatian Christians likely was written at a time when circumcision and a particular keeping of the Mosaic Law was yet being promoted by the Apostles, in regards to Jewish Christian societies. Note according to history this letter of Paul's would have had to be written before the Temple was destroyed. History says Paul's death occurred before the destruction of Jerusalem. bA-8:5

V Although the Apostles encouraged a particular standard of keeping the law among the Jewish Christians, so as to suffice their Mosaic Law influenced preferences and consciences, yet it is clear the Apostles first emphasis was Christ, whom they with a great fervency advocated in their preaching and teaching. Their is a great difference between the Jewish Christian who kept a particular portion of the Mosaic Law, because of a conscience influenced by it and to avoid offenses, but who yet understood the importance of Christ and formostly and vehemently advocated Him, as compared to the Jewish Christian who initially and formostly advocated the Mosaic Law and who was forgetting Christ. bA-8:6

V Paul in an earnest endeavor to show the Galatians the greater importance of Christ and faith in Him, than the mere keeping of the Mosaic Law, asked them whether they had witnessed miracles being done among them and had received the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith (Gal 3:2&5). Clearly Paul did not want the Galatians to be moved aside from the central issue and theme which he preached to them which was Christ, the Spirit, and Faith. Although Paul concerning the Galatians' particular situation, firmly reproved them for wrongly emphasizing circumcision and the keeping of the law, one dare not conclude that Jewish Christians in Jewish societies and in all situations were required to lay off the Mosaic Law and to live as the Gentile Christians lived. One must soberly remember and consider Acts 21, wherein the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem, likely 25 years after the beginning of the Christian Church, requested Paul to purify himself in the Temple to thereby reveal to the Jews how Paul himself also supported the keeping of the Mosaic Law. bA-8:7

Paul (Saul) after purifying himself in the Temple and after being mobbed, yet had the opportunity to speak quite extensively to these angry Jews about his experience of conversion and about how Christ spoke to him from heaven saying to him "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? ....I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest." Paul (Saul) here in speaking to the angry Jews spoke to them about Ananias, a certain Jewish Christian who helped him at the time of his conversion. It is quite clear that Paul in speaking to the Jews about Ananias, spoke of him as in the following verse in an endeavor to get or keep the Jews confidence, "And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there," (Acts 22:12). Considering all aspects and Scriptures it is quite obvious that although Paul reproved the Galatians as in Gal 5:1-4, he yet respected a particular keeping of the law among the Jewish Christians in their society. One must remember their is much difference in those who kept a particular portion of the Mosaic Law, because of a conscience influenced by it and to avoid offenses, but who yet understood the importance of Christ and formostly and vehemently advocated Him, as compared to those who initially and formostly advocated the Mosaic Law and who were forgetting Christ. bA-8:8

Chapter 9

Extensively Considers Apostle James' Statement as in Acts 15:20-21.

(Acts 15:20-21) "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 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." bA-9:1

This statement of James' was made after there had been much disputing among the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem about whether or not the Gentiles should be required to be circumcised and be required to keep the law of Moses (Acts 15:5-13). bA-9:2

Note how James in the above Scripture advocated that the Gentiles should not be required to keep the many details of the Mosaic Law, and rather advocated the Gentiles need only keep a few basic laws. Also note how James then said For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day." bA-9:3

Why did James in the above Scripture, after advocating that the Gentiles should not be required to keep the many details of the Jewish law, then quite emphatically connect or justify such liberty of the Gentiles with the aspect of Moses from old times having in every city those who preach and read him on every Sabbath? bA-9:4

In considering this question it is important that one remembers and understands that the Jewish Christians of the Apostolic Church continued to keep a quite significant part of the Mosaic law, and that most or all of the Jewish Christians in the Apostles time were zealous for their Jewish laws. Some Jews thus even strongly felt the Gentile Christians should also start keeping their laws and customs. bA-9:5

Was James, after having liberated the Gentiles from the law, by then emphasizing that Moses for years had in every city those who preach him every Sabbath, implying that the Church need presently only require these few things of the Gentile Christians, since the Gentiles could be taught other necessary laws, by the many and well established Jewish Churches spread abroad? Or was James by emphasizing that Moses for years had in every city those who preach him every Sabbath, thereby consoling the many Jewish Christians who were zealous for the keeping of Moses' law, that even if the Gentiles were given liberty as such, they did not need to worry about the Jewish Christians spread abroad forsaking Moses laws, since Moses laws were well established everywhere among the Jews? bA-9:6

To properly understand how the early Church existed and what God really required of the Gentiles at that time (as well as now), it is quite important that one does not misunderstand what James here really meant. If James in Acts 15:21 actually meant the Gentiles could later be taught other necessary laws by the Jewish teachers spread abroad, such would indicate that the Gentiles liberty was not as great as James here made it appear. Yet if James in Acts 15:21, simply was consoling the Jews who were zealous for the Moses' Laws, that their Jewish laws would still continue to be kept by the Jews, even if not kept by the Gentiles, such would indicate that the Gentiles liberty was more a permanent liberty as established by that meeting at Jerusalem. bA-9:7

The following Scripture contains what was written and actually sent to the Gentile Christians after the Apostle's special meeting in Jerusalem concerning whether they needed to keep the Mosaic Law; bA-9:8

(Acts 15:23-24 & 28-29) "{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: bA-9:9

{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: .. bA-9:10

{28} For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; bA-9:11

{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." bA-9:12

Note how verse 24 indicates this decision released the Gentiles not only from circumcision but also from other Jewish laws. Note how verse 28 states that the Holy Ghost and the Apostles and Elders chose not to lay upon the Gentiles any other burdens than these necessary things, which things they mentioned in verse 29. Note how this letter to the Gentiles does not indicate that this liberty was merely a liberty for the present time with the Apostles intending that the Gentiles in the process of time should learn of other laws that they also need keep. bA-9:13

If James in Acts 15:21 would truly have been hinting or advocating that the Gentiles could by the many Jewish meeting and teachers spread abroad, eventually learn other necessary laws, would the Apostles and Elders not in this letter to the Gentiles have indicated to the Gentiles that this liberty to some extent is temporary and they yet expected them to learn other necessary laws in the process of time? bA-9:14

V If the three laws James ordained for the Gentiles truly would have been advocated as being merely a law for the present time, with the intent being that the Jews in their many cities and synagogues should yet teach the Gentiles to keep the other necessary laws, such could have initiated much trouble in the future. If such were the conclusion and emphasis of their meeting, those Jews who before this meeting were troubling the Gentiles, could easily have felt they can yet in the process of time convert the Gentiles to keeping numerous of their laws, and could easily soon after this meeting have continued to trouble the Gentiles about their laws. bA-9:15

V When Paul came back to Jerusalem about 7 years after James had liberated the Gentiles from keeping the Jewish laws, the Apostles and Elders in speaking of what they required of the Gentiles yet firmly referred back to the exact laws that James had laid out for the Gentiles about seven years before. The following Scripture reveals that although the Jews for numerous years continued to be zealous for their laws, that the Gentile Christians still were free from the Mosaic Law just like established years before; bA-9:16

V (Acts 21:24-25) "Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee [Paul], are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. {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." Note these requirement are exactly the same as were ordained by James earlier as in Acts 15:20&29. bA-9:17

Considering all aspects it does not appear that James, after he had advocated that the Gentiles should be liberated from the Jewish law, then immediately said "For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.", to thereby imply that they could for now give this simple law, because the way was yet open to teach the Gentiles additional laws which they might need to keep. Considering all aspects it appears to the writer that James rather said, "For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.", to thereby console the many Jews who were very zealous for Moses law that giving the Gentiles a particular liberty to not keep Moses law would not destroy or halt the keeping of Moses law among the Jews. Yet possibly the answer to this cannot assuredly be known. Yet it is clear that there was a distinct difference between the standards of the Jewish Church and the Gentile Church and clear that the Jews after their decision to liberate the Gentiles, were not endeavoring to slowly but surely, by their many Jewish teachers in their many Synagogues endeavoring to draw the Gentiles into their keeping of their Mosaic Law. bA-9:18

Concerning those laws which James established for the Gentiles it should be considered they were three very basic laws. Firstly one law forbade all immorality, which Law God gave to man and man understood long before He gave His law to Moses. Secondly another law forbade the eating of things strangled and the eating or drinking of blood. (Note chapter 10 below quite clearly reveals that the law of not eating things strangled is one law with the law of not eating blood, since one who eats a strangled animal is eating meat with the blood, since things strangled were not properly bled or prepared. Numerous Scriptures teach that man is not to eat flesh with the blood). James requirement to not eat blood or flesh with the blood was a very well established law, given even to Noah long before God gave His law to Moses (Gen 9:4). Thirdly and lastly James law forbade all idolatry which although it is not spoken of much before the Law of Moses, it is clear all idolatry was very abhorrent to God. Thus it can be well understood why these three laws were lifted out as particular laws for the Gentiles to keep. The next chapter further pertains to the three particular laws that James advocated for the Gentiles. bA-9:19

It appears this decision to liberate the Gentiles was made around fifteen years after the beginning of the Christian Church at Jerusalem. During this long period of time the Jewish Synagogues in distant lands, like Jerusalem, could also have become much Christian influenced and affected, and which appears had happened. Considering how James after advocating that the Gentiles should be released from the burden of the Mosaic Law, then endeavored to console his listeners with the fact that Moses had in every city them that teach him every Sabbath (regardless of which reason he said it), it is quite likely that many of the Synagogues of which he was speaking were Christian influenced Synagogues. If these spread abroad Jewish Synagogues, would not have been Synagogues which instructed and affected the Christian Jews, it does not appear that James would really have had valid reason to take these Synagogues into meaningful consideration as he did. One dare not conclude these Synagogues were not Christian Synagogues because Moses was taught in them, since Moses to a significant extent was also promoted even among the Apostolic Christian Church at Jerusalem. Yet to know for sure how many or how much the Jewish Synagogues spread abroad were Christian affected is impossible. bA-9:20

Chapter 10

Considers the Three Laws James Promoted as Being for Both the Jews and the Gentiles.

Considers What the Apostles and Jewish Christians Might Quite Naturally Have Expected From the Gentile Christians, Besides The Keeping of These Three Particular Laws Advocated by James.

Law Concerning

Things Strangled and Blood

Following are Scriptures that clearly are speaking of flesh that was not bled and yet contained the blood therein, bA-10:1

(Gen 9:4) "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." Note this commandment was given to Noah right after the flood, and was given together with man's permission to eat meat (flesh) like as the green herb. bA-10:2

(Lev 19:26) "Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times." bA-10:3

(Deu 12:23) "Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh." bA-10:4

(Ezek 33:25) "Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land?" bA-10:5

The following Scripture pertains to King Saul's army eating flesh that was not properly prepared and yet had the blood therein; bA-10:6

(1 Sam 14:31-34) "And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint. {32} And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood. {33} Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day. {34} And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the LORD in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there." The term slaying on the ground as in the above Scripture, could well indicate the animals were not hung up or bled. Saul likely had the animals bled properly when they were brought to him, thus they could then be eaten without eating with the blood. bA-10:7

Lev 3:17, Lev 7:26, Lev 17:10-15, Deu 12:16, and Deu 15:23, also forbade the eating of blood. These Scriptures in forbidding the partaking of blood, all use the term eating blood rather than drinking blood which could indicate they are speaking of eating flesh with the blood therein, rather than speaking of partaking of liquid blood. Yet whatever these texts may be speaking of it is clear that God did not want His people to eat flesh with the blood therein and clear God did not want His people to drink liquid blood. God created life and wants man to highly respect life and thus it appears that God forbade the eating of blood for the sake of being respectful to life itself, which most essentially dwells in the blood. bA-10:8

The Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem clearly taught the Gentiles that they should abstain from things strangled and blood (Acts 15:19-21&29 & Acts 21:25). It is quite obvious that the reason they were not to eat things strangled was because things that are strangled have not been properly bled and the blood is yet therein. Thus it is quite obvious that the law to not eat things strangled was founded upon the law to not eat blood and was one law therewith. bA-10:9

Law Concerning Idolatry

Concerning idolatry, the Scriptures speak little about it or against it before the Law of Moses. Yet it is quite clear that none of the early faithful followers of God, such as Adam, Abel, Noah, and Abraham, used idols in their worship. Yet Jacob's wife Rachel had stolen idols from Laban her father (Gen 35:19&30-35). Jacob before going to Bethel for a special seeking and worship of God, hid some idols which were among his group had under a oak tree together with errings that were in their ears (Gen 35:2-4). (Note as jewelry was acceptable in the Old Testament, their taking off of their ornaments likely had something similar to the principle of putting on of sackcloth.) Joshua 24:2 speaks of Abraham's father Terah worshipping idols. Although the Scriptures before the Mosaic Law speak little about or against idolatry, yet it is clear that God greatly hated idolatry as such was repeatedly condemned in the Law of Moses. Paragraphs aV 97-100 of article aV give numerous Scriptures that clearly reveal God's hate for idolatry. bA-10:10

Law Concerning Fornication (Immorality)

The Scriptures before the Law of Moses, include little or nothing concerning laws of marriage and adultery. Yet it appears laws concerning marriage and adultery were understood to quite an extent before the Law of Moses was given. When Abraham's wife was innocently taken in by Pharaoh King of Egypt, after Pharaoh learned she was a married women, he gave her back to Abraham indicating that he well knew that it was not lawful for him to take her since she was a man's wife (Gen 12:15-19). After King Abimelech, who thought Rebekah was unmarried and merely Isaac's sister, learned that Rebekah actually was Isaac's wife, he spoke to Isaac earnestly saying, " of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us." (Gen 26:10). Jacob's sons were greatly angered when their sister Dinah was defiled by Shechem the son of Hamor, and speaking of Shechem said, "...he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done." (Gen 34:7). After Joseph was sold to Egypt he reproved his master's wife who desired to lay with him saying, "...thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Gen 39:9). Considering the above situations it is clear even before the Mosaic Law was given, laws concerning marriage were understood. bA-10:11

V One must consider the Scriptures do not record many laws of any kind, being given to those who lived before the Mosaic Law, and must therewith consider that such yet does not necessarily mean that man before the Mosaic Law was without knowledge or law. Although the Scriptures record few instructions concerning idolatry, immorality, and eating blood as before the Mosaic Law, yet it is quite clear that these three laws were all made manifest before the Law of Moses even existed. These three laws appear to be quite basic Laws and largely not established by the Mosaic Law nor subsequent to it. Considering all aspects it should be quite understandable why James advocated the three particular laws of Acts 15:20&29 as being laws which the Gentiles needed to keep, even though they did not need to keep the Mosaic Law. bA-10:12

It is quite clear that the Apostles quite naturally expected the Gentiles to keep some other basic laws such as they did not here mention. Obviously they were not to commit murder which law God gave to Noah immediately after he left the ark (Gen 9:5-6). In the Old Testament era the Gentiles, were to be allowed to come to Jerusalem and the Temple area to worship, although possibly they were forbidden to enter all places where the Jews could enter (1 Kings 8:41-43, 2 Chr 6:32-3). It is quite obvious that the Old Testament Jews expected such Gentile strangers to be upright and sincere in their worship at Jerusalem and the Temple, even though they did not keep their many Jewish laws. Now concerning James and the Apostles at Jerusalem, it also is quite obvious that they expected the Gentile Christians who did not keep their many laws, to yet be sincere and upright, such as the Jews had always expected of Gentiles who worshipped at the Temple. bA-10:13

Although the New Testament Gentile Christians were not subject to the Mosaic Law it is clear they yet were subject to the Royal Law and New Testament Law, which included foremostly the teachings of Christ. bA-10:14

Chapter 11

Further Considers the Change that God Ordained For the New Testament Era.

Considers Sabbath Day Keeping, the Wearing of the Beard, and Usage of Musical Instruments, as Was Done Among Both the Jews And Gentiles of the Early Christian Church.

Numerous Scriptures indicate a time when the Mosaic Law no longer meant what in earlier had meant, and largely had fulfilled that place for which it was ordained. Following are several such Scriptures; bA-11:1

(Mat 13:52) "Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." bA-11:2

(Luke 16:16) "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it." bA-11:3

(Mat 11:13) "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John." bA-11:4

(Heb 8:13) "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." bA-11:5

(Heb 7:12) "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." bA-11:5.5

(Rom 10:4) "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." bA-11:6

(Mat 5:17) "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Jesus did not come to be an outlaw and to be in variance with the law but rather came to fully and permanently satisfy and deter the penalty which the law demanded of man, and to permanently satisfy and deter the need of the symbolical ordinances which the law also required to be acted out. bA-11:7

Likely many opinions exist on how God in the New Testament era desires His people to relate to the Mosaic Law and it's many aspects and details. Considering how the Gentiles did not need to keep the Mosaic Law and considering all aspects, it is quite obvious that the New Testament Christian's need to keep the Mosaic Law is fully subject to how Christ and the Apostles taught and reveal that the Jews and Gentiles needed to keep it. In reality nothing in the Mosaic Law is valid unless endorsed or advocated by the New Testament Law or Royal Law. Some have divided the Mosaic Law into different categories, such as moral laws, ceremonial laws, and civil laws, and teach that particular categories are valid today while others are not. Yet it appears each law within the Mosaic Law must independently be endorsed or advocated by the New Testament Law or Royal Law before it can be understood as being a law which is yet valid in the New Testament era. Who has the authority to say that all laws of some particular and special parts of the Mosaic Law are yet valid today, and to say the laws within those particular parts of Moses law thus do not need to be independently endorsed or advocated by New Testament Scriptures to be validated? bA-11:8

Concerning the Ten Commandments, one law therein says thou shalt not kill, another therein says thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, another said thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Do these laws apply exactly the same to God's people of the New Testament era as they applied to His people of the Old Era? bA-11:9

Concerning God's laws against killing, which law involves the sixth commandment, it appears their is a great change concerning such law as between the Old and New Testament. Concerning killing one's enemies in the Old Testament, Jeremiah said, "cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood" (Jer 28:10). Yet Jesus in the New Testament said we are to love our enemies (Matt 5:44), and speaking to Peter said, "...Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." (Mat 26:52). Revelations speaking of these things reads, "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." (Rev 13:10). Part two of article aM, much further considers how God, during the New Testament era desires His people to relate to their enemies. Considering all aspects it is quite clear that God's law against killing has greatly changed it's attributes and position in the New Testament. bA-11:10

Concerning God's laws about truthfulness, which law involves the ninth commandment, such laws also have taken on a new dimension in the New Testament. Although the Israelites were not to bear false witness with their neighbors yet it is clear that many Bible characters such as King David lied in times of war or to their enemies. Paragraphs aX 45-54 give many examples of God's Old Testament people lying to their enemies or non neighbors, and reveal a quite obvious change in God's laws concerning truthfulness in the New Testament era. Concerning lying in the New Testament, Jesus and Apostle James both teach that God's people are not to lie at all. Jesus speaking of such said, "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (Mat 5:37, note James 5:12 reads much the same). Considering all aspects it is quite clear that God has ordained a significant change in His laws concerning truthfulness in the New Testament era. bA-11:11

Concerning the third commandment which reads, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain", the word vain therein derives from a Hebrew word whose meaning includes deceit (Ex 20:7, Deu 5:11 KJV). The Hebrew word underlying vain thus in other verses is also translated into the words, false, lie, and lying. If the word vain in this commandment were translated into the word lying instead of vain, this commandment would read "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in lying". Considering all aspects it is quite obvious this commandment significantly pertains to forbidding swearing falsely in the name of the Lord. Although Old Testament Scriptures encourage swearing in the name of the Lord, yet Old Testament Scriptures also clearly forbide swearing falsely in the name of the Lord (Lev 19:12, Zec 5:4). A translation of this third commandment in the Torah, produced by the "Jewish Publication Society of America reads, "You shall not swear falsely by the name of the Lord your God; for the Lord will not clear one who swears falsely by His name". The NIV translation of this third commandment reads, "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God" bA-11:12

It appears the purpose and position of this third commandment also finds itself significantly outdated in the New Testament era, since Jesus speaking of this era taught that man is not to swear at all saying, "Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: {34} But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: {35} Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. {36} Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. {37} But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."(Mat 5:33-37). Apostle James also teaches against swearing much like this in James 5:12. It appears as God's people of the New Testament era are no longer permitted to be untruthful in any situation, swearing and oath making is an outdated issue having no needful place. Truthfulness, lying, swearing, and oaths, as in both the Old and New Testament eras, is extensively considered in another article coded aX. As the Christian in the new era is forbidden to swear at all, rather than merely forbidden to swear falsely, it is quite obvious this third commandment also finds itself to no longer hold the particular position or purpose it had when it was originally written. Considering these things it appears God's laws concerning the usage of His name have changed largely like His laws concerning killing and truthfulness also have changed. bA-11:13

V Considering all aspects it is quite clear the very special part of the Mosaic Law which was written and engraven on tables of stone, even finds itself to some extent out of date in the New Testament era, as it was custom made to fit the Old Testament era, which era was so much different than the New Era. Paul speaking of the Ten Commandments speaks of them being outdated to some extent saying, "But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: {8} How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? {9} For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. {10} For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. {11} For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." (2 Cor 3:7-11) bA-11:14

V Considering the above Scripture and considering that laws which are significantly involved in the Ten Commandments, have greatly changed their values and position in the New Testament era, how can one conclude that all laws in the Ten Commandments are still fully relative, active and valid in the New Testament Era, strictly because of them being included in those special laws which were written on tables of stone? Considering that the third, sixth, and ninth commandments no longer hold the particular purpose or position which they did when originally written should it be thought that all the other commandments within the ten commandments still hold the same purpose or position as they did when they were written? bA-11:15

Note the writer hereafter in this paragraph in referring to the Jews, does not necessarily mean the Jewish people but rather means any group of Christians that might have particular laws which they are conscientious about. What the writer writes in this chapter about Sabbath day keeping, wearing the beard, and using musical instruments, is not to try to make the Jews discontinue keeping those laws or ordinances which their conscience may demand or which they might prefer to keep in the nurturing of their faith toward God, but rather to cause the Jews to realize they need to give the Gentile Christians the liberty that God has given them. Yet may the Gentiles also give the law abiding Jews the liberty to keep their laws. Yet may all endeavor to be like Paul, who to the Jews was like a Jew and to the Gentiles like a Gentile, and became all things to all men that he might by all means save some. bA-11:16

Sabbath Day Keeping Among the Gentiles

Concerning the keeping of the seventh day, the writer knows of no significant or clear example of it being kept as a day of rest before the Mosaic Law was established. Yet some feel Exodus 16:4-5 & 22-29 which speaks of dealing with manna on the Sabbaths, indicates the seventh day Sabbaths were understood and observed long before the Mosaic Law was given. Yet the writer in studying Exodus 16, wonders why the seventh day Sabbath spoken of therein, was emphasized and treated like a new or unfamiliar law insomuch as it was. bA-11:17

The whole Ten Commandments are recorded twice in the Scriptures, being in Ex 20:3-17 and Deu 5:6-21. Ex 20:8-11 and Ex 31:15-17 states that the seventh day should be commemorated because of God having made the earth in six days and resting on the seventh day. Yet according to the Deu 5:6-21 copy of the Ten Commandments, the Israelites were to keep the seventh day in remembrance of how they were slaves in Egypt and were delivered from bondage. Deu 5:15 reads, "And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day." One should consider that according to this record of the Ten Commandments, the seventh day was to be celebrated to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt and not strictly to commemorate God having worked six days and having rested on the seventh day. bA-11:18

Many Scriptures speak of the importance of the Jews keeping the seventh day, which most often is called the Sabbath day. Yet it is quite clear that the Scriptures in using the word "Sabbath(s)", are not only speaking of the seventh day, but are speaking of particular celebrated days on other days of the week. Such is true of the King James Version, the NIV version and the NRSV version. The King James Version Bible calls the first and tenth day of the Jewish seventh month, Sabbaths, as also several other celebrated days of the same month (Lev 23:24&27&39). These days although Sabbath days clearly could not all have been seventh days. The writer was surprised that the Hebrew and Greek words which underlie Sabbath are not based on the number seven, but rather are words which involve and mean, rest, repose, and intermission. Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionary and three other Bible Dictionaries which were searched by the writer, all link the word Sabbath with the Hebrew word "shabath, (shaw-bath)" which means to cease from doing, to rest. The Greek words seven and Sabbath are not even similar by sound or by spelling. A Sabbath day did not necessarily need to be on the seventh day or Saturday to be a Sabbath. Old Testament Sabbaths even if not on the seventh day were days of rest and cease from labor. Yet it is clear that God ordained that man was to work six days and then to have a Sabbath of rest. bA-11:19

The Jews after the first ripe fruits were to count seven Sabbaths and to have a particular celebration on the 50 day (Lev 23:10-21, Num 28:26, Deu 16:9), which celebration was called Feast of Weeks. Every seventh year the Jews were to let the land rest, forgive debts, and allow Hebrew servants to go free (Lev 25:4, Deu 15:1-4 & 12). The Jews were to number to themselves seven sets of seven years and then celebrate the 50 year as the year of Jubilee inwhich year all land went back to the original tribes (Lev 25:8-10). There were many laws concerning sevens and Sabbaths given in the Old Testament, and these law were repeatedly emphasized. bA-11:20

Now concerning the keeping of the seventh day in the New Testament, if the Gentiles would have been required to keep it, would they not have had to keep it according to the Jewish way of keeping it? If the Gentile Christians were required to keep the seventh day, to some extent it would appear they should also be required to keep the seventh year and other ordinances that involved time periods of sevens. Although it is quite clear that the Jewish Christians because of conscience and tradition continued to keep the Sabbath day, yet concerning the keeping of the Sabbaths among the Gentile Christians or in some situations Paul writes; bA-11:21

(Gal 4:9-10) "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? {10} Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years." bA-11:22

(Col 2:16-17) "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the New Moon, or of the Sabbath days: {17} Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." bA-11:23

(Rom 14:5-6) "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. {6} He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it..." bA-11:24

If Paul would have intended that the Gentile Christians must keep the seventh day Sabbaths like the Jews did, it is quite clear he would not have spoken as he did in the above three Scriptures. One should soberly consider how Paul in the above verses speaking especially to the Gentiles did not advocate the keeping of Sabbaths and Jewish days, but in Gal 4:9-10 rather discouraged it. It should be considered that one reason the Jews were to keep the seventh day was to commemorate their being delivered from slavery in Egypt and therewith consider that the Gentiles never even were in Egypt as such (Deu 5:12-15). Yet those who for conscience sake keep the seventh day Sabbaths should not be despised for doing it. bA-11:25

Paul concerning the New Testament encourages man to be disconnected with earthly cares and entanglements so he can be more free to labor with things of the Gospel (2 Tim 2:4, 1 Cor 7:21-23&32-35). Paul's New Testament emphasis was not setting aside one particular day of the week for the sake of the Gospel, but to keep as many days as possible devoted to the Gospel. Yet it appears to the writer that for the sake of the Gospel and for the sake of order, it is very good to set aside one particular day of the week for Christians to gather together and be encouraged in their faith toward God. bA-11:26

V In considering the Jews' Sabbath keeping, it appears that the Jews kept a New Moon Sabbath every month, besides their regular seventh day Sabbaths and other special Sabbaths (Amos 8:5, Ezek 46;1&3, 2 Ki 4:23, Psa 81:3-4, Isa 1:13-14, Hosea 2:11). If no adjusting of their Sabbaths was done, most months would thus have had five Sabbaths to celebrate, and in the Jews first and seventh month, the Jews might have had up to seven and eight Sabbaths to keep. If the Jews regular Sabbaths and special Sabbaths were never made to coincide with each other, most months of the Jews would have had less than five days to work for each Sabbath of rest, and some months around three days of labor for every Sabbath day. When God said "Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest" what order did He really mean to establish or advocate? Did He mean to establish a strict six to one ration of work days to Sabbaths days? Did He mean to establish an unalterable cycle of seven days. Or did He mean to establish that in general, man after working six days should observe a Sabbath day? bA-11:26.5

V Did the Jews keep a particular seven day cycle of Sabbaths that never once was adjusted at the end of the year or several years, or at times when their were two Sabbath days right in a row? When the Israelites went around Jericho seven days in a row, one of these days would have of necessity fallen on a seventh day Sabbath. Did the Israelites consider one of the days of encompassing the city as a seventh day Sabbath, or did they skip one Sabbath day, or did they slightly adjust a Sabbath day? The Jews went into captivity to Babylon for many years and possibly found themselves under a quite different calendar system. After such changes and adjustments, when the Jews returned again to Jerusalem, did their seventh day Sabbaths at their return, still perfectly align by sevens of days with their seventh day Sabbaths of years before? Throughout the ages man had difficulty with their calendars systems and invented different calendar systems. At times major adjustments were made to keep the year in line with the seasons. The year of 46 B.C. was made to have 445 days to realign the year and seasons, which year was known as the year of confusion. Considering all these things is it really possible to prove and be assured that the Jews always kept a ridged and undisturbed seven day cycle of Sabbaths, or is it possible to prove and be assured that the seventh day of our present week is in timing with those seventh day Sabbaths of Moses time? Although many difficult questions such as these exist, some quite strongly believe that they in observing Saturdays as their Sabbath days are keeping the Sabbath in alignment by sevens of days from seventh day Sabbaths of ancient days. bA-11:27

V Another aspect to consider is that not all places in our world experience the same hour of the day, or even the same day of the week, at the same moment of time. Around the world different hours of the day are always being experienced at the very same moment of time. For hours and days to function properly their must be a dividing line established on our world, of which one side always enters or receives the next day of the week first, while the other side of the line must continue as the previous day of the week for 24 hours when it then also enters the new day. Yet when this side of the line also enters the new day the other side of the line then already must enter the next day. This line is called the international date line. The area on west side of this line is always one day of the week ahead of the area on the east side of this line. If people on both sides of this line would both be claiming that their seventh day Sabbath is in perfect alignments by sevens with the Jewish Sabbaths of ancient times obviously people on one side of the time line would be wrong. bA-11:27.5

V Was God in ordaining man should hold a Sabbath on the seventh day, ordaining that man must hold Sabbaths on a particular day of the week and within a particular unalterable cycle, or ordaining a basic law that in an orderly fashion every seventh day should be a Sabbath (although adjustments of the cycle could be made for orders sake at the years end or when or when seven or eight Sabbaths might have been in the same month)? One should remember that Jesus said "...The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath:" (Mark 2:27). bA-11:28

Many Christians keep a particular Sabbath rest every seventh day but not necessarily on the seventh day of our accepted week structure. While other Christians feel that a Sabbath must be held on the seventh day of our present week rather than simply on every seventh day. The writer can understand why some feel to keep their Sabbath rest on the seventh day of our week, as such in some respects might be more in tune with how the Jewish Christians continued to gather and worship. Yet it is quite clear such was not required of the Gentile Christians, and appears they rather gathered on the first day of the week, which was the Lord's day for their worship. bA-11:29

Since the name Sunday connects to the ancient Sun god, possibly Christians rather than calling the first day of the week wherein Christ resurrected Sunday, should call it the Lord's day. Especially when Christians are among those who connect the word Sunday with the ancient Sun god, they should speak of the Lord's Day rather than Sunday. Yet may no one reject or despise others merely because of the day of the week wherein they might prefer to worship. bA-11:30

Some individuals feel that the Romans and Greeks (Gentiles) before Christ's time were already accustomed to keeping the seventh or Sabbath day, and thus feel they naturally continued to keep the Sabbath after becoming Christians and thus Apostle Paul did not need to instruct them to keep the Sabbath. Following are some quotes which reveal that some or many Gentiles had observed Sabbath days, like or similar to the Jews traditions. bA-11:31

The following quote comes from Holman's Bible Dictionary, and indicates that Sabbaths were observed to some degree by the Babylonians; "The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew shabbat, meaning “to cease” or “desist.” The primary meaning is that of cessation from all work. Some persons have traced the origin of the concept to the Babylonian calendar which contained certain days, corresponding to phases of the moon, in which kings and priests could not perform their official functions. Such days bore an evil connotation, and work performed on them would have harmful effects." bA-11:32

In the following quote, Josephus a Jewish historian writes about the great influence the Jews had among other nations. "Nay, further, the multitude of mankind itself have had a great inclination of a long time to follow our religious observances; for there is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come, and by which our fasts and lighting up lamps, and many of our prohibitions as to our food, are not observed; ...our law hath no bait of pleasure to allure men to it, but it prevails by its own force; and as God himself pervades all the world, so hath our law passed through all the world also." Josephus being a Jew likely was quite optimistic about his people's influence over other nations, and possibly over stated the influence which the Jew had in his time being around 60-100 A.D. Yet the Jews did have much influence. Considering the time of Daniel and Queen Esther, and how the World Emperors required all to worship the God of Daniel and promoted the Jews to highest authority, it is clear the Jews had much influence upon all nations. Josephus here was writing shortly after the Christian church had begun, but himself possibly had not accepted Christendom. bA-11:33

The above quotes indicate that the Jewish laws including the Sabbath had become known and observed throughout the known world. Yet it is also clear that the Jewish way of life or religion was not accepted by many Gentiles at the time of the Apostolic Church. Ephesians 19:26-27 speaks of all Asia being worshipers of the great goddess Diana. When Paul was in Ephesus which was a most important city of Asia, Alexander a Jew was brought out by the Christians to speak to the people, but when the people learned that Alexander was a Jew they cried out for the space of two hours advocating idolatry rather than Judaism (Acts 19:33-34). Other cities likewise were worshipers of idols (Acts 14:11-13, Acts 17:16). 1 Corinthians 12:2 and 1 Peter 4:3 speak of idolatry and Gentiles as being very connected, as if basically all Gentiles had been idolaters. It is clear that many of the Gentiles to which Paul preached, were Gentiles who previously were in idolatry and heathenism, The Gentile Christians obviously were not accustomed to keeping the Jewish laws, for had they been, the conflict about them needing or not needing to keep the Jewish laws would never have occurred as it did (Acts 15:1-2). Paul speaking of the Gentiles, whom he was trying to win for Christ, spoke of the Gentiles as being those who were without law, meaning without Jewish law (1 Cor 9:20-22). Yet it is possible that the some Gentiles who were known as heathens and as being without law, yet observed particular days to some extent, and possibly because of past Jewish influence. Yet it is unlikely that they fully and properly observed the Jewish Sabbath days according to the Jewish laws. Justin Martyr's quotes given closely below in paragraphs 11:40-44 strongly indicate that he and the Gentile Christians he was in company with were not accustomed to keeping the Jewish Sabbath days, and also reveal that they did not keep the seventh day Sabbath after becoming Christians. bA-11:34

If resting and worshipping on the seventh day was as an important commandment in the New Testament as it was in the Old Testament, would not Paul have needed to teach the Gentiles of this important law, rather than discourage the keeping of days as he did in the Scriptures given above in paragraphs 11:22-24. Considering how the Gentiles with which Paul was involved, previously had been heathens, idolaters, and had been counted as being without law, and considering all aspects, can one assuredly conclude that the real reason Paul did not instruct the Gentile Christians to keep the seventh day was because they already were accustomed to properly keeping the Sabbath day, and thus needed no such instructions? bA-11:35

Following are some quotes by Ignatius, Tertullian, and Justin Martyr who were Church Fathers very early in the Christian Church. These quotes are found in the Ante Nicene Fathers Volumes; bA-11:36

Ignatius; (30-110 A.D.)

V "If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death" Vol 1 Page 125. Note Ignatius was martyred for Christ around 110 A.D. Note these page numbers do not correspond in all copies of these writings. bA-11:37

Here is a longer version of the very same quote as given above. "Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness; for “he that does not work, let him not eat.” For say the [holy] oracles, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread.” But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body ...And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days [of the week]. Looking forward to this, the prophet declared, “To the end, for the eighth day,” on which our life both sprang up again, and the victory over death was obtained in Christ". Vol 1 Page 126. bA-11:38

Tertullian; (145-220 A.D.)

V It follows, accordingly, that, in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the old law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so also the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary. Vol 3 Page 278. bA-11:38.1

V Others, with greater regard to good manners, it must be confessed, suppose that the sun is the god of the Christians, because it is a well-known fact that we pray towards the east, or because we make Sunday a day of festivity. ...For the Jewish feasts are the Sabbath and “the Purification,” and Jewish also are the ceremonies of the lamps, and the fasts of unleavened bread, and the “littoral prayers,” all which institutions and practices are of course foreign from your gods. Wherefore, that I may return from this digression, you who reproach us with the sun and Sunday should consider your proximity to us. Vol 3 Page 224-225. bA-11:38.2

Tertullian also repeatedly emphasized how the Israelites were commanded to go around Jericho for seven days in a row, and thus of necessity did not rest from doing so even on a seventh day Sabbath. bA-11:38.3

Justin Martyr; (110-165 A.D.)

The following quotes of Justin Martyr all were given in a conversation between him, and a non Christian Jew named Trypho, whom he earnestly was trying to win for Christ; bA-11:39

V "But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead." Page 342. bA-11:40

V "Is there any other matter, my friends, in which we are blamed, than this, that we live not after the law, and are not circumcised in the flesh as your forefathers were, and do not observe Sabbaths as you do? Are our lives and customs also slandered among you?" Page 372. (Note all the quotes of Justin which the writer includes here, are found in Volume 1). bA-11:41

V "The new law requires you to keep perpetual Sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious" Page 374. bA-11:42

V "For if there was no need of circumcision before Abraham, or of the observance of Sabbaths, of feasts and sacrifices, before Moses; no more need is there of them now". Page 387. bA-11:43

V "But the Gentiles, who have believed on Him, and have repented of the sins... even although they neither keep the Sabbath, nor are circumcised, nor observe the feasts. Assuredly they shall receive the holy inheritance of God". Page 390. bA-11:44

"As, then, circumcision began with Abraham, and the Sabbath and sacrifices and offerings and feasts with Moses" Page 410. bA-11:45

Here Justin asks Trypho a question which Trypho then answers; "But you are aware that, up to Moses, no one in fact who was righteous observed any of these rites at all of which we are talking, or received one commandment to observe, except that of circumcision, which began from Abraham." And he [Trypho] replied, "We know it, and admit that they are saved." Page 414. Note how Trypho the Jew, as well as Justin did not believe that Sabbath days were observed before the Law of Moses. bA-11:46

"...since Enoch, Noah with his sons, and all others in similar circumstances, who neither were circumcised nor kept the Sabbath, pleased God..." Page 473. bA-11:47

"But if some, through weak-mindedness, wish to observe such institutions as were given by Moses, from which they expect some virtue... along with their hope in this Christ... yet choose to live with the Christians and the faithful, as I said before, not inducing them either to be circumcised like themselves, or to keep the Sabbath, or to observe any other such ceremonies, then I hold that we ought to join ourselves to such, and associate with them in all things as kinsmen and brethren." Page 415. Note how Justin here teaches that those Christians who observe the Sabbath and other Jewish laws, but who do not force such laws on others, should be accepted as brethren. bA-11:48

The above quotes reveal that gathering on Sundays, rather than Sabbath day keeping, was popular among the Gentile Christians in the very early days of the Christian Church. Yet likely at this time, seventh or Sabbath day keeping was yet popular among the Jewish Christians, and possibly even among some Gentile Christians. Yet Justin Martyr did not feel it proper for those who wanted to observe the Sabbath to try to force others to do so. Note two Scriptures given above in paragraphs 7:8-9, like the above quotes of Ignatius and Justin, reveal that the Gentiles gathered for worship on the first day of the week. bA-11:49

Constantine the Emperor of the Roman Empire about year 300 A.D., made observing Sunday a national law. Some individuals thus feel Emperor Constantine was the real initiator of Sunday keeping, and had a vital influence in stopping Sabbath day keeping. Although Constantine made Sunday observing mandatory, yet it is clear that Sundays [Lord's days] were already being observed by many Christians long before Constantine made it mandatory to observe Sundays. bA-11:50

Exodus chapter 16 which involves the time of Moses, is the first place in the Bible where a regular or routine seventh day Sabbath is advocated. In Ex 16 God established the giving of manna to feed His people. Ex 16:4-5 states that God in an attempt to test or prove His people's obedience commanded His people to gather a certain rate or amount of manna every day and to gather twice as much on the six day, such as would be eaten on the seventh day. One should carefully consider that God in giving this law did not indicate that He was commanding them to gather manna as such because of a traditional Sabbath day, but rather said He was commanding manna to be gathered as such to particularly test or prove the Israelites and see if they would follow His laws. One should consider that if the Israelites already would have been well accustomed to keeping the seventh day, this way of gathering manna clearly would not have been a particular or unique test whereby God could prove their obedience! The fact that Moses had difficulty in getting the Israelites to understand and keep God's commandments concerning gathering manna and resting on the seventh day, also indicates they were not accustomed to this type of a law (Ex 16:22-30). In studying Ex 16 and other Scriptures (such as are given closely below), it is quite clear that seventh day Sabbaths were not traditionally kept before the time of Moses. One should also remember that Justin Martyr and Tropho the non Christian Jew both felt that seventh day Sabbaths were not kept before the time of Moses. bA-11:50.1

Neh 9:13-14 also indicates that seventh day Sabbath keeping was first established in the time of Moses (together with many other laws). Such Scripture reads, "Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: {14} And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:" bA-11:50.2

Ezek 20:12 concerning the Sabbaths reads, "Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them." Note how this verse speaks as though God in giving the Jews their Sabbath laws was giving them a special and unique sign or token between Him and them. Note how strongly this verse indicates that Sabbath day keeping was not an old and traditional law of God, such as all God fearing men already were aware of long before the time of Moses. bA-11:51

The Sabbath clearly was to be a particular sign, witness, or token between God and the Jews. Exodus 31:13, Ex 31:16-17, Ezek 20:12, and Ezek 20:20, all four speak of the Sabbath being a sign between God and the Jews. Circumcision also was a particular sign or token which God established between Him and the Jews, which was to signifiy or symbolize the covenant God had made with Abraham (Gen 17:11 Romans 4:11). God not only gave the Sabbaths and circumcision as particular signs or symbols, but God also commanded the Jews to put fringes on their garments to remind them of God's laws every time they seen these fringes (Num 15:38-40)! God not only wanted His people to remember His laws but also wanted His people to remember the great things that He had done for them, thus God also commanded that some peculiar laws or rituals should be kept to particularly or emphatically remind the Jews of the great things God had done for them in their past (Ex 13:7-16, Lev 23:40-43). Numerous tradition or ritual like laws were given to the Jews whose purpose was to like a written sign (billboard), be a constant reminder to the Jews of God's great doings and of God's covenant and laws for them. Yet Jeremiah prophesied of a time when God not only would make a new covenant with His people but also would write this new covenant upon their hearts. Jeremiah 31:31-34, Heb 8:8-13, and Heb 10:26-27 all emphasize such. This covenant rather than involving many outward laws, signs, and symbols, clearly was said to be written on their hearts. It might to worthy to consider that since the new covenant now was written upon the hearts of God's people, sign or reminder laws such as Sabbaths, circumcision, and fringes, possibly were discontinued because of the need of such reminder laws not existing as before. bA-11:52

Some Christians believe that the Sabbath day rests were symbols of the future rest, which God's people could experience when freed from keeping the complicated Mosaic Law, with it's many burdensome laws involving washings, putting apart the unclean, purifications, journeys to the Tabernacle, sacrifices, etc. They thus believe the Sabbath day is fulfilled and outdated in Christ who significantly fulfilled the law and who established this rest. Such could very well be true. Yet the writer feels the Jew's Sabbaths could also very well have symbolized the eternal rest which yet lies ahead for God's people. God's laws which He now writes on the hearts of His people, without the aid of signs and symbols now clearly tell the Christian that a great eternal rest and blessing is yet to come. Has God written His laws on your heart? bA-11:52.4

V In closing this subject the writer would like to yet advocate, firstly that numerous Scriptures speak of a new covenant and speak of a change in the law, secondly remind the reader that Jesus said "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it." (Luke 16:16, Matt 11:13 reads similar), thirdly remind the reader how much different the new covenant laws and New Testament era is than the old covenant laws and Old Testament era, forthly advocate the freedom from the Mosaic Law that the Apostles granted the Gentiles in Acts 15, and lastly remind the reader of the several Scriptures as were given in paragraphs 11:22-24, wherein Apostle Paul did not advocate Sabbath or any day keeping, but rather to some extent discouraged such. bA-11:52.5

In consideration of these things may the Jews not despise the Gentiles for not holding to their laws or observing their seventh day Sabbaths. Yet may the Gentiles neither despise the Jews for yet keeping their laws and Sabbaths. May no one despise another for keeping those laws which he is conscientious about, or despise others merely because of the day of the week wherein they might prefer to worship. Jesus slowly revealed many vital truths to His disciples, and did not expect them to learn and understand everything at once. John 16:12 concerning such reads "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." May the writer as well as the reader not expect the consciences and understanding of others to change to fast. bA-11:53

The Beard

Considering the numerous Scriptures that speak of beards, as are given below, is quite obvious that the Jews normally wore beards.

The following two Scriptures teach that the Jews were not to particularly mar or shave the corners of their heads or beards; Note in reading these Scriptures one should be aware that in old times shaving the head often was done in lamenting deaths of loved ones. bA-11:54

(Lev 19:27-28) "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. 28Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD." The NIV translation of verse 27 reads, "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." Does verse 27 mean the Jews were to always allow their hair to uniformly grow out some distance from their heads and chins and not cut it too short? Does this verse mean the Jews were not to make unnatural or exotic designs in the sides of their head or on their beard in lamenting deaths of loved ones? bA-11:55

(Lev 21:5) "They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh." Note this verse especially pertained to the Priests. Note verses 1-4 preceding this verse pertain to lamenting the deaths of loved ones. It is quite possible that both above Scriptures especially pertain to one improperly distorting his head or beard in lamenting the deaths of loved ones. bA-11:56

The following verse pertains to a time when the ungenerous Ammonites had taken some of King David's messengers, and cut off their garments in the midst, and cut off half of their beards, and sent them away. "When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return." (2 Sam 10:5, note 1 Chr 19:5 reads much the same). bA-11:57

Numerous Scriptures as follow reveal that the Jews and other nations in times of grief shaved their heads and beards.

(Jer 41:5) "That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of the LORD." bA-11:58

(Isa 15:2) "He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off." bA-11:59

(Jer 48:37) "For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth." Note the Hebrew word underlying clipped can mean shaved or removed. The NIV and NRSV translation of this verse use the term cut off rather than the word clipped. bA-11:60

(Amos 8:10) "And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day."

(Isa 22:12) "And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:"

(Jer 7:29) "Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath." bA-11:61

(Job 1:20) "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped," Job here could very well have shaved his beard as well as the other parts of his head. bA-11:62

Note other Scriptures that speak of times of deep grief and baldness therewith are Jer 16:6, Jer 47:5, Ezek 7:18, Ezek 27:31, Ezek 29:18, Micah 1:6. Also note three of the above Scriptures (paragraphs 58-60) particularly speak of the beard being shaved or clipped.

The above Scriptures indicate that the Jews as well as some other nationalities had the tradition of shaving their heads and beards in the time of great sorrow. Yet several Scriptures to some extent disallow cutting or shaving of the head for the dead (likely meaning when one dies). Such Scriptures, which are Deu 14:1, Lev 19:27-28 & 21:5 appear to be disallowing shaving or cutting one's head in odd or exotic ways in times of grief, rather than disallowing shaving the whole head in a decent manner at such times. Some histories state that shaving and cutting the hair in odd and exotic ways was a tradition done in heathen type of worship, which traditions God quite obviously would have wanted His people to stay free from. Although it is quite likely that the Jews decently shaved their whole heads and beards in special times of grief, yet the Priests upon whom the Holy anointing oil was poured were never to uncover their head for the dead, likely meaning they were not to remove their special head wear or shave their head even in times of grief. (Lev 21:10-11, Lev 10:6-7). One should here remember that the Nazarites shaved their heads in making vows and remember that Apostle Paul many years after the Christian Church began, also shaved his head for religious reasons (Acts 18:18, 21:23-24). bA-11:63

Following are other examples where the Jews shaved their beards;

(Ezek 5:1) "And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair." In this situation Ezekial was to shave his head and beard and destroy the hair thereof, to symbolize how the Jews would be destroyed. bA-11:64

(Lev 14:9) "But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean." This verse is speaking of how the Jews were to deal with lepers in their final cleansing rituals, after one was found to be clean of his past leprosy. bA-11:65

Note how clearly the above Scriptures reveal that the Jews normally wore beards. 2 Sam 20:9, Ezra 9:3, and Psa 133:2 also indicate that the Jews normally wore beards. bA-11:66

Joseph when called by Pharaoh to interpret Pharaoh's dreams, shaved himself. Gen 41:14 concerning such reads, "Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh." Joseph now possibly was shaven as were the Egyptians. It appears to the writer that Joseph in his lordly place in Egypt likely was dressed like a normal Egyptian. Joseph's brothers clearly did not recognize him as being their brother when they seen him. bA-11:67

Concerning Moses, when he fled into Midian for fear of Pharaoh, the daughters of Reuel (Jethro) in seeing him thought he was an Egyptian, as his hair and clothing likely was Egyptian style (Ex 2:19). bA-11:68

Concerning hair length among the Jewish Priests in the Old Testament, Ezek 48:20 reads, "Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads." The word poll can mean cut short. Concerning Absalom the Son of David, his hair appears to have been polled (cut) only once a year for some part of his life. 2 Sam 14:26 concerning such reads "And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:)...". bA-11:69

It appear the Nazarites who chose to especially dedicate themselves to the Lord for a period of time, were not to cut or shave their hair at all during that special time. As Samson was a Nazarite from his mothers womb (Judges 13:5,16:17), likely his hair never was cut until the time when it was cut by the Philistines, and then to his destruction. Although the Nazarite, who particularly gave himself to God, might have gotten quite long hair, yet concerning the Priests who had a special place before God it appears they were not to allow their hair to grow long (Ezek 44:20). bA-11:70

Concerning the prophets of the Old Testament, it appears that they lived primitively or in the rough rather than having lived daintily or delicately. John the Baptist who the Scriptures call "the prophet of the Highest", "...had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey." (Mat 3:4). 2 Kings 1:8 speaking of Elijha states that he was a hairy man which might mean he had long hair or according to the NIV translation might mean he wore a hairy garment. Zec 13:4-5 speaking of a future time when no one would want to be a prophet or want to be known as a prophet, reveals that prophets normally wore rough garments reading "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: But he shall say, I am no prophet". Note the NIV and NRSV translations in this verse use the term hairy garment rather than rough garment. bA-11:71

V According to 2 Sam 19:24, it appears around the time of King David, the Jews normally trimmed their beards. 2 Sam 19:24 reads "And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king [David], and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace." This verse pertains to the time when David fled from his rebellious son Absolom. David had left Jerusalem, and Mephibosheth who loved David was grieving about David's flight and was waiting to trim his beard and wash his clothes until David had returned. bA-11:72

V According to Mat 6:16-18 it appears the Jews in Christ's time normally appeared neat and groomed rather than with their hair in disarray. Jesus taught the Jews that they should appear normal to onlookers when fasting, which normal appearance according to Matt 6:16-18 quite clearly was neat and groomed rather than sloppy and dirty. Mat 6:16-18 reads "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. {17} But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; {18} That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." bA-11:73

Considering how the Jews kept their hair and beards in the Old Testament, the writer wonders how God ordained that the Gentile Christians of the New Testament should keep their hair and beards. Although it is likely that the Jewish Christians wore beards, yet concerning the Gentile Christians of the early Apostolic Church did they wear beards, or were they required to do so? Although the word beard(s) appears 20 times in the Old Testament yet the word beard never appears in the New Testament. Thus the answer to this question is very hard for the writer to learn. The writer studied numerous encyclopedias concerning the history of the wearing of the beard. According to them it appears for some period of time prior to the time of Alexander the Great (prior to 350 BC) beards were quite popular among both the Romans and Greeks. Yet according to history it appears beards soon hereafter became unpopular through the influence of Alexander the Great, who had his soldiers remove their beards to prevent being held by the beard in battle. History says Alexander the great lived form 356 to 323 BC. According to history it does not appear beards were popular among the Romans or Greeks at the time of Christ and the Apostles. These encyclopedias state that the beard again became more popular around 150 years after Christ. If beards were not normally worn by the Gentiles at the time of the Apostolic Church, it would appear that Paul or the Apostles would have had to instruct the Gentiles upon becoming Christians to wear beards, if beards were actually required of the Gentile Christians. Thus the writer very much would like to know for sure, whether or not beards were normally worn by Greeks and Romans (Gentiles) at the time of Apostolic Church. Since the word beard never appears in the New Testament, if the Gentile Christians ever were instructed to wear the beard it must have been by word or by letters that are not included in the Bible. bA-11:74

The early Christian writers such as Clement, Tertullian, and Cypris promoted wearing the beard.

Clement who lived around 150-220 AD, quite strongly advocated the wearing of the beard as well as advocating a very primitive and natural lifestyle. Clement almost reproved using a mirror and combing the hair. Clement wrote, "But for one who is a man comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, to arrange his hair at the looking glass, to shave his cheeks. pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them, how womanly! And, in truth, unless you saw them naked, you would suppose them to be women". "The shaving of the chin to the skin is reprehensible, approaching to plucking out the hair and smoothing. For instance, thus the Psalmist, delighted with the hair of the beard, says, “As the ointment that descends on the beard, the beard of Aaron.” Note how this writer felt plucking the hairs was some worse than shaving the beard. bA-11:75

Tertullian writing about the beard writes, "...deceptive trickeries of form peculiarly its own, - (such as) to cut the beard too sharply; to pluck it out here and there; to shave round about (the mouth); to arrange the hair, and disguise its hoariness by dyes; to remove all the incipient down all over the body; to fix (each particular hair) in its place with (some) womanly pigment; to smooth all the rest of the body by the aid of some rough powder or other: then, further, to take every opportunity for consulting the mirror; to gaze anxiously into it: -- while yet, when (once) the knowledge of God has put an end to all wish to please by means of voluptuous attraction, all these things are rejected as frivolous, as hostile to modesty bA-11:76

Cyprian concerning the beard writes, "And although it is written, “Ye shall not mar the figure of your beard,” he plucks out his beard, and dresses his hair; and does he now study to please any one who displeases God? Or does she groan and lament who has time to put on the clothing of precious apparel, and not to consider the robe of Christ which she has lost;". One of 120 guidelines which Cyprian promoted read "That the beard must not be plucked". bA-11:77

According to history, beards had again become popular during the time of the above writers. Possibly at the time of the above writers most of the normal and descent type of people wore beards and did not shave at all around their mouths. Possibly at the time of their writing, it was some of the more wild or indecent type of people who wanted to be outstanding or superior that plucked or shaved their beards. In that type of situation the above writers would have had significant reason to write as they did. Note two of the above ancient writers, not only advocated the beard but also advocated that women in veiling themselves should veil their faces (paragraphs aU-2:1-2), which veiling likely should have been done if such was the tradition of their surrounding society to avoid women getting undo attention. (Note it is quite clear that in these writers time women in their general society even veiled their faces). bA-11:78

The above writers not only promoted wearing the beard but also reproved, using or over using the mirror and combing the hair. Is it wrong to use a mirror and comb the hair? The above writers were opposed to living luxurious, and rightly so. Some of these early Church Fathers spoke quite often of the Barbarians and their doctrines or philosophies. Clement wrote that the barbarians hated luxury. It is quite clear that the barbarians were a survival type of people, which type of people would have had little to do with luxuries or with nonessential things that as one's appearance. The above writers clearly promoted the barbarians views concerning luxury and promoted their views concerning putting little emphasis or effort into one's personal appearance. bA-11:79

Yet in our society and culture often the more diligent and careful people are well groomed, while those who are more careless about right and wrong living are ungroomed and unkept. In our day many people consider individuals who are unkept and ungroomed to be careless and indifferent persons and often it is so. It is one thing for a Christian to be nicely groomed, to appear descent and orderly to his non Christian neighbors, and another thing for the Christian to appear to his neighbors as one who is trying to be outstanding or superior and thus is abnormally careful and concerned about his appearance. It is quite clear one should not look unkept and sloppy, when onlookers connect such appearance with loose, careless, and sinful living. One should remember that Paul said "Let all things be done decently and in order" One should also remember that it appears the Jews in King David's time normally trimmed their beards, and remember that Jesus indicated that the Jews normally look descent and orderly (2 Sam 19:24, Mat 6:16-18). An orderly and mowed lawn appears so much different than a lawn that never gets mowed and grows out onto the road! Does God want our appearance to be like an unkept garden, or like a lawn that never gets mowed and is allowed to grow everywhere? One should remember that God's laws to the Jews strongly promoted cleanliness, decency, and order. Yet it also is true Jesus strongly reproved the Jews for wrongly and over emphasizing cleanliness, and for teaching many man made doctrines (Matt 15:2-9, Mark 7:2-9). It is clear man can put too much emphasis on appearance and cleanliness and is clear man can put too little emphasis on such. bA-11:80

God speaking through Moses ordained that man and woman should not dress the same. Deu 22:5 concerning this reads, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." It appears that our God who promotes order rather than confusion wants man and woman to easily be identified as being man or woman. Embarrassing and undesirable situations could easily occur if one could not easily recognize man from woman. The beard does help distinguish male from female, although without it, one can usually still very easy distinguish man from woman if they are dressed properly. In considering the beard it should be considered that although most men might be able to wear full beards, yet God allowed that some men cannot wear a full beard and allowed that some men cannot wear much of a beard at all. bA-11:81

The writer has heard the comment that one in shaving his beard in reality is saying, God you made a mistake in that you put hair on my chin. Which thought in one respect is very reasonable. Yet one might also say that every time one gets a hair cut, he in reality is saying God you made a mistake in that you make my hair get to long. Note man or woman's general hair normally reaches around a particular length and then largely remains at that length. Although man obviously alters the natural length of his hair when he cuts it, yet according to Apostle Paul's teachings (concerning men's hair) such altering of one's natural appearance is proper and right. Paul taught that it is a shame for man to have long hair (1 Cor 11:14). Is it not possibly just as much a shame to have long hair on the beard as on the top of the head? bA-11:82

The Jews circumcised their children because God's laws required they do so. Although they altered God's natural creation in circumcision they clearly were not condemned for this alteration. Cutting men's hair and circumcision both alter how God has naturally created man, yet both are very proper. Considering how circumcision and cutting men's hair alters God's natural creation and is proper, can shaving the beard rightly be disallowed strictly because it alters man's natural creation? bA-11:83

Encarta Encyclopedia states "In ancient times among many peoples the beard was considered a sign of strength and manhood; it was highly prized, and removal was regarded as a degrading punishment". According to history, philosophers wore beards as a mark of wisdom and knowledge. Some groups dislike the wearing of the beard, because they feel that the wearing of the beard promotes a (masculine) manly and mighty look and thus promotes pride. They thus advocate the beard should be cut off since they connect it with pride as such. Some have beards and not mustaches, while others have mustaches and not beards. What Biblical reason does one have to say the beard is necessary but the mustache is not? bA-11:84

Jesus told His disciples that they would have tribulation in the world (John 16:33). Revelations 11:3 speaks of the witnesses of God being clothed in sackcloth, which likely is speaking of God's people enduring tribulation and bereavement. Some might feel that having their beards cut off, portrays the tribulation and persecution the Christian must endure in his earth life, as well as symbolize their pride and self promotion being cut off. bA-11:85

Apostle Paul said, "Unto the pure all things are pure..." (Titus 1:15), and said, "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean." (Rom 14:14). Yet one must be careful in how he applies these verses, as one by these verses could excuse basically anything. Yet it must be considered these verses do have a meaning and possibly have some value when considering the beard. If the wearing of the beard was an important issue which God required of both the Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians during the New Testament era, does it not appear the New Testament Scriptures would teach or reveal such, rather than remain totally silent on the matter? Would Apostle Paul who said, "...He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks", possibly also say he that weareth a beard, weareth it as unto the Lord and giveth God thanks, and he that weareth not a beard weareth it not as unto the Lord and giveth God thanks? Concerning the strangers from other nations who were permitted to come and worship at the Temple at Jerusalem, did the Jews expect them to wear beards? Concerning the Ethiopian Eunuch who had come to Jerusalem to worship and who Philip baptized, did Philip expect Him to wear the beard? When the Elders at Jerusalem ordained the three main laws for the Gentiles, such as abstaining from fornication, from idols, and from blood, would they also have meant to advocate the Gentiles need to wear the beard? Considering that it is quite possible that the Jewish Christians of the early Christian Church did not demand that the Gentile Christians should wear beards, should it be thought that in our day both Jewish and Gentile Christians around the world should be required to wear beards? Concerning the beard one should not defile their conscience in what they allow. One should also relate to the beard in the way that is least offensive and is most acceptable to those around him. bA-11:86

Some feel the beard must be worn, some feel the beard should not be worn, and some feel it does not matter one way or the other. The writer wishes he could know more certainly what the truth is in the matter but feels unable, and for now feels he should leave the subject. The writer largely appreciates the beard and has always worn the beard. Yet may all be careful to not despise another because of him having or not having a beard. Concerning those issues which are not clearly defined in the Scriptures and those difficult questions whose answers are difficult to know or prove, may we take Paul's advice and not strive "...about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers." (2 Tim 2:14). bA-11:87

Musical Instruments

It is clear that musical instruments were used much by the Jews of the Old Testament. The Bible includes at least 14 different names for musical instruments. Around 100 verses speak of musical instruments (not including the very many verses which use the word trumpet in speaking of an instrument of communication rather than a musical instrument). bA-11:88

Daniel 3:5 reveals that musical instruments were not only used among the Jews but also among the Babylonian Gentiles. Daniel 3:5 speaking of the time when Nebuchadnezzar had built a golden image for all to worship reads, "That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:" Thus it is quite clear that the Gentile nations used instruments of music as well as the Jews. bA-11:89

Following are several Scriptures that indicate that in times past, prophesy and a special inspiration from God, had some connection with the use of musical instruments; bA-11:90

(1 Chr 25:1) "Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:" bA-11:91

(1 Chr 25:3) "Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD." bA-11:92

(2 Ki 3:15) "But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him." Elisha being inspired while the minstrel played, then told the kings what they should do to get water to drink, and told them the Lord would deliver their enemies into their hands. bA-11:93

(1 Sam 10:5) "After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, ...thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:" bA-11:94

(1 Sam 16:23) In this verse Saul experienced a certain release from the evil spirit that was troubling him while an instrument was being played; "And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him." bA-11:95

Following are several verses, further pertaining to the usage of musical instruments; bA-11:96

(1 Chr 16:42) "And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun were porters." bA-11:97

(Psa 87:3&6-7) "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah. {6} The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah. {7} As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee." (Note how this verse to some extent seems to be speaking of a future time). bA-11:98

(Rev 14:2-3) "And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth." . bA-11:99

(Rev 15:2) "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Note how these verses reveal the usage of musical instruments by the saints who are saved bA-11:100

King David in his zeal for God, played instruments with all his might in praise to God. God's people of the Old Testament did not simply use instruments in merry making, banqueting, or living luxuriously. Although musical instruments could be used in a good manner as revealed in the above Scriptures, they yet could very much be misused in reveling or simply enjoying a life of ease and luxury. Prophet Amos reproving luxurious and careless living, and the use of musical instruments in living as such said, "{1} Woe to them that are at ease in Zion... {4} That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; {5} That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David; {6} That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph." (Amos 6:1&4-6). Note if one thinks that this Scripture in Amos means musical instruments are not to be used in any way at all, they also should conclude stretching upon couches and eating lambs and calves should be prohibited. bA-11:101

The writer largely appreciates what Clement of Alexandria a Church leader around year 190-215 AD, writes about musical instruments. He in a writing entitled "How to Conduct Ourselves at Feasts" very much reproves musical instruments being used in revelings, and creating a wild and reckless atmosphere. Yet it appears in praising God he allows their usage. Clement writes, "This is our thankful revelry. And even if you wish to sing and play to the harp or lyre, there is no blame. Thou shalt imitate the righteous Hebrew king in his thanksgiving to God. “Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; praise is comely to the upright,” says the prophecy. “Confess to the Lord on the harp; play to Him on the psaltery of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song.” And does not the ten- stringed psaltery indicate the Word Jesus, who is manifested by the element of the decad? (Vol 2. page 481) Clement's writing are somewhat hard to understand. bA-11:101.1

It appears the above Scripture in Amos chapter six, is one of the few (possibly two) Scriptures in the Bible which speak negatively of musical instruments. 1 Cor 13:1 is another Scripture that in one respect speaks negatively of musical instruments and reads, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Here Paul speaks of musical instruments making useless and annoying noises. Clearly if musical instruments are not used in a proper and sanctified way they will make useless and vain noises, just like the one who speaks very fluently but yet lacks charity, also does. The NRSV translation of 1 Cor 13:1 reads, "If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." Considering all the Scriptures which speak of good usages of musical instruments should Amos 6:5 and the above verse be thought to mean musical instruments in the New Testament era cannot make meaningful and good music and mean they were not allowed to be used among either the Jew or Gentile Christians of the early Christian Church? bA-11:102

1 Cor 14:7 also could be thought to speak negatively about musical instruments and reads "And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?" This verse according to the King James Version could be understood to mean that the sound musical instruments give, is not life giving but rather is a dead sound which might administer death. Yet this verse according to other translations carries quite a different accent. William Tyndale's translation (which translation largely underlies the KJV) of this verse reads, "Moreover when things without life, give sound: whether it be a pipe or an harp: except they make a distinction in the sounds: how shall it be known what is piped or harped?". The NIV translation of this verse reads, "Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?" The NRSV of this verse reads very much the same. Paul in the verses before this verse and after this verse, was endeavoring to reveal to the Corinthians how useless it is to speak in tongues in public, if such speaking is not interpreted or understood. If a pipe or harp is played improperly and without proper sound, confusing noises result, just like might result if one speaks in tongues without an interpreter. Yet if a pipe or harp is played properly one can readily recognize the song and often know the message that accompanies the music. One should consider that according to the way Paul here wrote to the Corinthians about the pipe and harp, he might well have been writing to those who were well accustomed to the use of the pipe and harp. bA-11:103

Although Jesus said little about musical instruments, yet He did make the following statement; "...We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented." (Mat 11:17). Although Jesus did not speak much about musical instruments yet the New Testament does speak against luxurious living which pertains to having non essential possessions. Yet many possessions (and likely including musical instruments) which are not an absolute necessity can still perform a good use, and thus in the proper situation may be used by the Christian. In fleeing persecution likely musical instruments and many other less important possessions would be left behind. May Christians be careful in judging what is essential or not essential. Concerning those Christians who feel musical instruments are a evil thing, what are such Christians going to do in heaven when the angles use their harps of gold in praising God (Rev 14:2, 15:2, 18:22)? Should it be thought that the Jews who were accustomed to musical instruments in their worship of God, right after the Christian Church was established, then suddenly rejected all use of musical instruments among themselves, and also required that the Gentile Christians who turned to Christ to abstain from the use of all musical instruments? Although it appears to the writer that the early Christians likely used some musical instruments, one should consider that musical instruments can be very much misused and consider that likely the best source of music is our natural God given voices. The Christian should relate to things in the way that best nurtures their personal faith and love toward God. All things or possessions that hinder ones love for and faith in God should be refrained from! bA-11:104

The writer in speaking of musical instruments as above is not endeavoring to cause those who are not accustomed to using musical instruments, and who have a conscience against them to use them, and thus defile their conscience, but rather is endeavoring to learn and reveal what God New Testament laws really require concerning musical instruments. Although we can and must live within our conscience, yet may we not judge others or require them to live within a standard that God does not really require of them. bA-11:105

Chapter 12

Considers What the Jewish and Gentile Christians Were United In and Needed to be United In.

Considers What All Christians Must be United In.

Although differences are permitted among God's people, as existed between the Jewish and Gentile Christians, yet God's people need to united in those issues of real importance. Jesus repeatedly prayed in St. John chapter 17 that His people would be one as Him and the Father were one. Although Apostle Paul gave room or tolerance for particular differences among God's people yet he also said, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1 Cor 1:10). Clearly Christ and the Apostles ordained that God's people should be united in those things of real importance. Following are given several important aspects of Christian living, which all Christians, weather Jews or Gentiles, need to be united in; bA-12:1

All Christians of the Christian Church foremostly need to be united in being born of God and His Spirit. They need to be united in possessing the Spirit of Christ, and having a living faith in Christ inspired by the Holy Ghost. Jesus speaking of properly believing in Him said "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:38). They need to be united in keeping Christ's commandments as Jesus spoke of saying "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father..." (John 14:21). They need to be united in loving their brethren as themselves, and in caring for one another as Christ commanded saying, "...This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12). They need to love and desire the truth, and need to in honor prefer another (2 Thes 2:10-11, Rom 12:10). They in loving one an other as themselves, and in loving the truth, need to consider, study, and judge one another's thoughts and ideas fairly as if they had been their very own. They need to unitedly follow Christ's teaching wherein he said, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:" (Luke 6:37). Yet they also need to be united in reproving and excommunicating sin (1 Cor 5:4-5, 5:13). They need to be united in not being of this world as neither was their Saviour, and united in not loving the world and the things therein (John 15:18-19, 1 John 2:15-17). They need to be united in possessing the power of the Gospel rather than merely united in possessing the form thereof (2 Tim 3:5). Romans 5:20 says “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” They need to be united in possessing that Spirit and inspiration that makes them new creatures in Christ and makes them say, "old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new". (2 Cor 5:17). They need to be united in laying up treasures in heaven, rather than on earth, and looking for and loving His appearing in the heavens (Matt 6:19-21, 2 Tim 4:7-8). Note paragraphs bB-14:2-4 of article bB speak of these issues and speak of more issues that all true Christian congregations must be united it. bA-12:2

It appears many people or Churches are concerned about being united in those things of little importance and which might merely pertain to the commandments of men, while they care or understand little about those issues of real importance, and which issues actually determine who is or who is not the child of God or who is the Church of God. Paul speaking of these things said, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom 14:17). "...Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Rom 8:9). bA-12:3

After Jesus asked Peter, whom he thought Jesus was, Peter answered saying, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God". Peter in saying such, made a vital confession because of a vital revelation from the Father. Jesus then in speaking to Peter about this vital confession, told Peter "...Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." (Mat 16:17). It is of utmost importance that one realizes that this special blessing was not given to Peter solely because of his proper confession, and rather realizes that this blessing largely was given, because Peter's confession of Christ's Sonship was founded upon a revelation (inspiration) from the Father, rather than founded merely upon flesh and blood (man's teachings). Jesus speaking of Peter's vital revelation from the Father and Peter's vital confession of Christ's Sonship then said "upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt 16:18). It is clear that the most important issue wherein God's people must be united, is having a faith in Christ being the Son of God, such as is caused by a revelation or inspiration from God rather than merely by man's teachings. When this revelation is alive it is as Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:38). Many people and Churches make the same confession which Peter did, yet merely because of man's teachings and because it is popular, while yet they have no revelation from or connection with the Father. Such thus are ineligible to share in Apostle Peter's blessing and lack the flowing of these rivers of living water! Is your confession of Christ being the Son of God caused by the needful connection and revelation? bA-12:4

Although many particular laws and traditions are insignificant, yet being born of the Spirit, having a living faith, being obedient to Christ, loving others as ourselves, seeking the truth and being open hearted to learn it, and having a broken and contrite Spirit are not insignificant. Although many things are insignificant yet it is not insignificant to be a peace maker, nor is it insignificant to avoid unnecessary offenses, thus may all be willing to forfeit our possible liberties and be like Apostle Paul who to the Jews became like a Jew, and to the Gentiles became like a Gentile that he might by all means save some (1 Cor 9:22). Concerning those issues which in one respect are insignificant, may all Christians yet relate to them in the way that best nurtures faith and love toward God in their own hearts and best encourages such in others! bA-12:5

The writer hopes that no one will be grieved or offended at this writing. The writer rather hopes that by this writing, what God really requires of His children can be better understood, and Christians will not so harshly judge one another concerning things that are insignificant. By this writing may the particular differences which are allowable and which might exist in the Church of God be better understood, and may unnecessary demands and unnecessary contentions be resolved. Yet may God's people not overlook those issues of real importance but rather be fully consistent and in harmony in those things. The writers wish and prayer is that all of God's people might be rekindled with an unction or inspiration from the Father, and shine forth with truth and salvation as God has ordained that His people can and should! The writer desires the prayers of the saints. Farewell. bA-12:6

(Count 16367 2/21/01)