Fred R. Coulter—August 18, 2000

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As you remember, last time we finished by going through this book, Code of Jewish Law, and reading certain excerpts here. Now if you’re a Sunday-keeper and you go to a Protestant church or you go to a Catholic church, what I’d like you to do is ask your minister or priest have they ever seen or read the Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried and Goldin? And I will imagine that 99.9-percent of them have never heard of it.

Also for those people who are Sabbath-keepers, you ask your minister if he’s ever heard of it or read any of it. This is so vital and important because if you don’t understand what the Code of Jewish Law is, you do not understand what was going on in the New Testament. If you have never read it, you do not understand what a ‘work of law’ is according to Judaism.

As we saw last time, the commandments of God are for our good, for our blessing, that we live long. They are right, perfect, and good—but all Protestants and Catholics dismiss the laws of God, reject them, so that they can keep their own righteousness. So as I have said before, that if you keep Sunday and do not keep Sabbath, then you are committing two sins:

  1. You’re breaking the fourth commandment of keeping the Sabbath and keeping it Holy.
  2. You’re going one better, you are rejecting God’s command, according to the doctrine of men, and establishing your own righteousness

—which God says is an abomination to Him. Now if

  • God is righteous
  • God is perfect
  • God is true

—which He is—

  • and if God is Lawgiver and He’s given these commandments for us

—then who is any man to go against what God has said?

As I’ve pointed out, it’s an idol in your mind, it is a condemning of God. This is what all of these Sunday-keeping doctrines do. They condemn God, they hate His law, they despise His law, and yet they say they are good enough in their hearts so that God will have to accept them. You try this with a Sunday-keeper some time, and you find out what kind of reaction that you get.

I did this once, it was really something, it was a woman who was in a store, she was a clerk. We were talking about different things and I said, ‘Oh, you’re new here.’ She said, ‘Yes, but I won’t be very long.’ And I said, ‘Oh, why is that?’ She said, ‘Because I want to be with my grandchildren to pick them up after school and then I have my Wednesday night Bible study.’ I said, ‘Well, what do you study? What church are you with?’ She said, ‘Well, I’m a fundamentalist.’ I said to her, ‘If you do not keep the seventh-day Sabbath, you are not a fundamentalist.’ ‘Oh, I go to church on Sunday.’ I said, ‘That is a sin. That’s the same as murder and adultery and lying and stealing, bearing false witness and coveting, all of those things.’ She said, ‘Well, God won’t hold me responsible for that, will he?’ I looked her right in the eye and said, ‘You better believe He will.’

Why will God hold people responsible for it? Because God created the time and He gave the commandments! Nowhere in the Old Testament nor in the New Testament do you find anywhere that God ever changed the Sabbath. Now we’ve gone over that so many times that ought to be fundamentally clear.

What we will see today is the heart and core of the problem concerning circumcision. Now let’s understand something clear: Those who believe in the Sabbath believe in salvation by grace as a gift of God through the sacrifice of Christ, through His resurrection, and our High Priest sitting at the right hand of God. We do not believe at all that Sabbath-keeping brings us salvation. In order words, Sabbath-keeping is what God requires, but Sabbath-keeping of itself does not give justification before God. Only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can do that.

But most people are so upset with it that they just don’t understand what Paul is talking about here. Let’s go to the book of Romans and let’s see what Paul is talking about. So we understand this, so we have it clear, so we realize what is taking place we have to understand that grace is the means by which God calls us, by which we are forgiven, and it is gift of God. We also have to understand that through grace we are justified by the blood of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. No law can substitute for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Now if you do not have our series on justification by faith where we go through the book of Galatians, you write for that. And then we have another series called The Circumcision Wars, whereby we go through Galatians again. So we approach it from two different ways, so you understand the difference between one and the other. It’s very important that you do.

Let’s pick it up here in Romans 3:28: “Consequently, we reckon that a man is justified by faith...” That is, believing in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Mind you, there is a sacrifice, and it is Christ. Animal sacrifices never justified to God the Father in heaven above. And as I showed last time, that those who were under the Old Covenant did not receive the Holy Spirit, were not granted eternal life, it was just obedience in the letter of the law. “Consequently, we reckon that a man is justified by faith... [Here’s the word in the King James: ‘without.’ That is not a proper translation. It should read]: ...separate from.... [‘without’ in English today means the absence of. So people read that and they think that it is the absence of law, but no, it is]: ...separate from works of law.”

Now you come over here to Romans 2:14 and let’s read this, showing where Paul commended the Gentiles for keeping ‘the works of the law.’ And please understand, that this is the only place in all of Paul’s writings where he uses ‘the works of the law,’ to show that he is meaning the laws of God. The translators here in translating it ‘without the deeds of the law,’ (KJV) is a complete mistranslation. That should read ‘separate from works of law.’ Last time we read a whole bunch of works of law out of this book, Code of Jewish Law. That’s what works of law mean. Now there are ‘the works of the law,’ which we will see is called righteousness. We’ll talk about Cornelius and the Gentiles here in a little bit and go through that so you completely understand it.

Now notice Romans 2:14: “For when the Gentiles, which do not have the law... [here he’s referring to the laws of God] ...practice by nature the things contained in the law... [That’s a proper translation there.] ...these who do not have the law are a law unto themselves…. [So Paul is commending them for it.] …Who show the work of the law written in their own hearts...” (vs 14-15). So the commandments of God are to be written in our hearts and in our minds, as we have seen, Heb. 8 & 10. That is the New Covenant, not the abolition of law, not the removing of commandments, not destroying or abrogating the law.

“...written in our hearts...” In other words, with the Spirit of God; with the love of God. If we love God we’ll ‘keep His commandments and His commandments are not grievous,’ as we’ve seen how many times in this series. Therefore, we will do the proper works, yes we will, which then will be keeping the commandments of God because we love Him and because God says so. If you believe God, you must obey Him. If you say you believe God and do not obey Him, you do not believe God. Do you understand that? Do you realize what that is saying? James said, ‘You show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works’; and how that Abraham was justified by his works, because he believed God and did what God said. So that’s very important.

Now here Paul is talking about the Gentiles which do not know God, but yet have an understanding of some of the laws of God, so he says: “…written in their own hearts….” So if anyone comes along and tells you, and we’re going to see a lot of these Scriptures as we go through this series, that the commandments of God have been done away, that the Sabbath has been done away, that these things are no longer in force and we can do whatever we want. And we are good people from the heart inside. Listen, you’re going to understand and find out that if you’re a Protestant and you follow along with those teachings, you have been deceived.

Protestants accuse Sabbath-keepers of being deceived, but when we examine these Scriptures the way we should, you are going to understand that you have been deceived. Now notice, it says: “...their consciences bearing witness, and their reasonings also, as they accuse or defend one another)” (v 15). So there they’re commended for it.

Now let’s come back over here to Romans 3:28 again: “Consequently, we reckon that a man is justified... [That is, having his past sins forgiven, put in right standing with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.] ...separate from works of law.... [these works of these laws] ...Is He the God the Jews only?.... [Now why did he say that? Because the Jews figured, and we will see a little later, that they figured that He was the God of the Jews only; that even if Gentiles came in they had to be circumcised and they remained perpetually second-class citizens. So that’s why Paul brings it up here.] ...Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? YES! He is also God of the Gentiles. Since it is indeed one God Who will justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith.... [And it’s the same operation.] ...Are we, then, abolishing law through faith?” (vs 28-31).

  • I want you to read this verse
  • I want you to look at it
  • I want you to think about it

because that’s exactly what Protestantism and Catholicism teaches that, yes, Christ made void the law of God and you have no obligation to keep it.

Now notice what Paul says here. I want you to think about it. If you have bought the notion that God did away with His Sabbath and God did away with the commandment for idols, then you have got another thought coming. If you believe that He retained the fifth commandment to honor your father and mother and to do no murder (#6), and not commit adultery (#7), to not steal (#8), to not bear false witness (#9), and to not covet (#10)—if you believe those are in force and those only have to do with dealing with your brethren and your neighbors, don’t you understand that the first four are still in force so that you can worship God? That you can do so in Spirit and in truth? That you can do it in a right way so that God will bless you?

Let’s ask the question the other way around.

  • Do you think that you can worship God if you have any other gods before you?
  • Do you think that you can worship God if you make idols and bow down to them?
  • Do you think that you can worship God by taking His name in vain?

And, yea, every Sunday those who go to Sunday services take God’s name in vain, because God is not there, God is not among them. That’s why they have to have all these carnal means for services, all this music, all the emotion, all the razz-a-ma-tazz.

I’ve been listening to a sermon by a Protestant minister and that’s all he does. It’s gushy emotion. He says he’s going to read the Scripture, but he doesn’t. He says he’s going to explain it, but he doesn’t. When he finally gets to turn there to read a Scripture or two, he doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s talking about. But, ‘Oh, yes, if you open up your heart and let Jesus in, you’re saved.’ Now I want to tell you in the name of Jesus Christ, and by the authority of that name, that phraseology is a misleading lie, because you don’t open your heart and let Christ in, He calls you. You need to understand that. You’re not good enough to open your heart. Christ says you’re to repent, you’re to be baptized. So if you believe what the Protestants teach, you have a counterfeit. You believe in a lie and you’re taking the name of God in vain. Now I want you to think about it. These are deep and serious questions and are right on the heart and core of salvation.

“Are we, then, abolishing law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE!.... [Don’t even let this thought come into your mind. Yet millions believe it.] ...Rather, we are establishing law” (v 31). Now how is law established?

  1. By getting rid of the man-made laws
  2. By living by every Word of God instead

Now let’s come over here to Romans 6:1; I want you to think about it. I want you to really understand what this is saying. “What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound?” What is sin? 1-John 3:4 says, ‘Sin is the transgression of the law.” And a literal translation is, ‘Sin is lawlessness.’ Lawlessness comes from the Greek, ‘anomia,’ which means against the laws of God. So not only is it transgressing, but it is also against. And Sunday-keeping, my friend, is against the law of God. If you keep Sunday, you are a follower of lawlessness, and you’re a sinner before God.

“What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin... [And ‘sin is the transgression of the law.’] ...so that grace may abound?.... [And every Protestant minister will say, almost unanimously, ‘yes, because we have freedom in Christ.’ That’s not what Paul wrote.] ...MAY IT NEVER BE!.... [Are you willing to say that with Paul?] …MAY IT NEVER BE!…. [Or are you willing to go along with the Protestants and Catholics which say, ‘Well, it doesn’t make any difference.’ It does! Mark the words of the New Testament and what we will cover today, it does.] ...We who died to sin, how shall we...” How do you die to sin? We’ll see that in just minute. You die to sin, not through the operation of opening your heart and saying, ‘Christ come in.’ You say the silly little prayer and supposedly you are saved. ‘Oh, Christ, I know you died for my sins, come into my heart.’ No, there has to be a deep and a profound repentance and there has to be baptism in full immersion by water. That’s what the New Testament teaches. Do you not know what it teaches? And a lot of people turn to Romans to justify their law breaking.

“We who died to sin... [And you die to sin through baptism.] ...how shall we live any longer therein? Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?” (vs 2-3). Now let’s understand something. The New Testament is not a testament. I use the name because that’s the common name that is applied to what we call the New Testament. But it more correctly should be called ‘covenant.’ And there’s a vast difference between testamental law and covenantal law.

Now if you don’t have the book, The Christian Passover, you write for it. There are three chapters in there, which covers the covenantal law and the covenant with Abraham. Paul says, ‘If you are Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.’ Unless you understand what the covenant is, that God made with Abraham, and unless you understand that baptism is a covenantal death, then you don’t understand the rudimentary foundation for true Christianity as the New Testament teaches, though you may be able to go through the New Testament and have your timeworn Scriptures that you go to.

“Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism... [because it’s full immersion in water] ...into the death... [You die a covenant death. And you cannot die a covenant death unless you’re baptized and put fully under the water. You can’t die a covenant death by saying, ‘Oh, Christ, enter my heart. Oh, how good I am, how wonderful I feel.’ That why Protestantism and Catholicism, but mostly Protestantism, runs on an emotion. It’s all emotion! If you go to a Sunday-keeping church, you go ahead and sit down and listen and ask yourself

  • How many stories am I told?
  • How many analogies have I been given?
  • How many Scriptures do we study?
  • Are we given the right explanation for them?
  • Do they rightly divide the Word of God?

Those are the questions you need to be asking, because those are critical questions.] ...we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been [planted together (KJV)] conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection” (v 5). And by the way, the New Testament teaches resurrection. No one goes to heaven. So if you go a Protestant church or a Catholic church and they say, ‘Well, he’s in heaven looking down on us right now,’ it’s a great big lie, because that’s a doctrine of men and demons. Do you understand that?

If that makes you mad, I’m happy to make you mad. If you are offended, I am glad you are offended, because you’re offended at the Truth. If the Truth offends you and causes you to repent and change and really come to God on the terms that He has set, then I’m glad for that. If otherwise you don’t, then you’ve had a witness and God is going to hold you to that witness. You can rest assured on that. God is going to judge on that witness, you can be guaranteed of that.

“Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin” (v 6). If you are a Sunday-keeper, you serve sin. If you keep Christmas and Easter and New Years and all the pagan holidays, you serve sin. You need to realize it. You need to understand it.

Now let’s go look at the question concerning circumcision. Let’s come to Acts 15 and let’s see that, because last time we came to the point—let’s just review that for just a minute. Acts 15:5: “But there stood up certain of those who believed, who were of the sect of the Pharisees... [Now they didn’t understand what God was going to do with the Gentiles, so they would go down to where the churches were raised up and they would think that this is an operation of Judaism, but such is not the case. Remember how we covered that last time.] ...saying, ‘It is obligatory to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.’” Their view of the Law of Moses is this, the Bible’s view of the law of Moses is this—two different things. It’s like saying democracy in Russia and democracy in America. Well, today it’s kind of getting blurred and almost the same. But you need to understand that’s exactly what it’s like. You can say the word, but the meaning is entirely different.

Furthermore when you get the series on The Mystery of Lawlessness, you will understand that one of the mysteries of it is that it appears righteous and those who preach the mystery of lawlessness—which Protestantism is, and Catholicism is, and Judaism is, and Buddhism, and Islam and all of that—because there’s only way and that is the way of God with His Word. Now when you understand that, then you will begin to realize what is happening here and the great war that took place.

Verse 6: “Then the apostles and the elders gathered together to see about this matter. And after much discussion had taken place, Peter stood up and said to them, ‘Men, brethren, you know that from the early days, God made the choice among us that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, Who knows the heart... [That is, the heart-knowing God.] ...bore witness to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, even as He did to us” (vs 6-8).

Now we’re going to see how and under the circumstances that the Holy Spirit was given, because we have to go back to Acts 10 and this becomes very important for us to realize.

Verse 9: “And made no difference between us and them...” Judaism put a difference between the Gentiles and the Jews. God the Father did not, Jesus Christ did not. True Christianity is not an extension of Judaism. If you’ve heard that, then you need to write for our series, which is quite an extensive series, called Scripturalism vs Judaism. And you will understand that beginning with the ministry of John the Baptist that the Kingdom of God was preached, rather than the Law and the Prophets.

  • the Kingdom of God is a higher standard.
  • the Kingdom of God is by faith and grace
  • it is also keeping the commandments of God

So you’ve got a lot you need to understand. “And made no difference between us and them, and has purified their hearts through the faith. Now therefore, why do you tempt God by putting a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” (vs 9-10). That’s called a yoke of bondage. We saw last time what that was. This bound people in so much law-keeping that it was a yoke of bondage.

Now let’s look at the circumstances under which God called the first Gentiles, then we will understand about the circumcision, what it’s talking about, why the Pharisees said they required it, why Paul said no, God did not required it, and why Peter should have known better when he got all mixed up with a problem in Gal. 2.

Now as we’re turning back there, let’s come here to Acts 11:19; this becomes a key important verse. So I’m going to begin where we will end up after we examine Acts 10 & 11. Acts 11:19: “Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that arose concerning Stephen...” These were all Jews. The New Testament says, ‘To the Jews first, then the Gentile. And the Jews had no knowledge or understanding or consciousness in their thinking that God was going to deal with Gentiles. And furthermore the New Testament will bear out that they expected Christ to return within their lifetimes. They had no concept of all what God was going to do with the Gentiles.

So notice what they did: “...went through Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the Word to no one except Jews only. But certain men among them who were Cypriots and Cyrenians came to Antioch and spoke to the Greeks... [You have Greek-speaking Jews and you have Greek-speaking Greeks. Now we’re talking about Gentiles here.] ...preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Now the report concerning them was heard in the ears of the Church that was in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced; and he exhorted them all to cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart... [These were Greeks. These were the very ones to whom certain ones came down from Jerusalem, saying later, ‘You need to be circumcised.’ We’re going to understand what that real problem was.] ...For he was a good man, and was filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. And a large multitude was added to the Lord” (vs 20-24).

Now let’s understand something about Barnabas. Barnabas was a Levite and as such then, he taught the laws of God. When he went down there to Antioch, he didn’t bring in Sunday-keeping, he brought in Sabbath-keeping. Now later in about 125A.D. Ignatius turned that whole church upside down in Antioch and split it and they had the first Sunday-keeping group. But please understand that Ignatius was not a true Christian. He was a Catholic and a Catholic is not a true Christian. He may profess it, but he’s not. Those are strong words, but you check your Bible.

Now if you’re Catholic and you just accept everything that they say, well then you’ve been deceived. Furthermore the priests won’t let you read the Bible and study it, really and truly. So if you get mad at what I say, you don’t even comprehend what is being said. And you’re just mad because you’re a Catholic or a Protestant and after all, that’s your religion. Well, you need to understand that is not God’s way, and you’re following something that is vain and empty and going to lead to destruction. So when Barnabas went down here

  • he taught them the Sabbath
  • he taught them the Holy Days
  • he taught them the commandments of God
  • he taught them the grace of God
  • the receiving of the Holy Spirit and all of that.

“Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to seek Saul; And after finding him, he bought him to Antioch. And it came to pass that for a while year they assembled together with the church and taught a great multitude. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians” (vs 25-26). They were keeping the Sabbath.

Let’s see what led up to this. Let’s see the backdrop that took place. Acts 10 is a profound chapter in the New Testament, because this shows what God did. When you understand the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ with Judaism, Judaism figures that it is greater than God and can improve on God by adding many, many laws. Just like Protestantism figures it’s greater than God by keeping Sunday, as does Catholicism, and the Muslims keep Friday, so they think they’re greater than God. You might say ‘them are fightin words’—well they are because you’re fighting against God, not against a man and not just what he’s saying.

Acts 10:1: “Now there was in Caesarea a certain man named Cornelius, a centurion... [he was a Roman captain, as we would say today.] ...of a band that is called the Italian band. A devout man who also feared God with all his house, both in giving many alms to the people and in beseeching God continually in prayer. He clearly saw in a vision, about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming to him and saying to him, ‘Cornelius.’ But as he fixed his eyes on him, he became afraid and said, ‘What is it, Lord?’ And he said to him, ‘Your prayers and your alms have gone up for a memorial before God’” (vs 1-4).

Now the Jews of the circumcision party said that the prayers cannot come up to God, they cannot be a full citizen of the Jews unless they are circumcised. Now we’ll see that a little bit later.

Let’s come to Proverbs 15:8 and let’s see something very important here that is profound in the Scriptures, which agrees with this. “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination... [Now who are the wicked? Stop and think about it. The wicked are those who transgress the commandments of God. Now if you’re a Sunday-keeper, you may not think yourself wicked, but you’re wicked in two ways:

  1. You don’t keep the Sabbath
  2. You keep Sunday

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight…. [Now what is uprightness? ‘All your commandments are righteousness,’ (Psa. 119:172).] …The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but He loves him who pursues righteousness” (vs 8-9). Is this not what Cornelius was doing? No doubt about it! That’s what it’s telling us in Acts 10.

Verse 28: “The heart of the righteous studies to answer... [knows what it’s talking about] ...but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous” (vs 28-29).

Now then, let’s go back to Acts 10. If he was a devout man—what does that mean? It means he worshiped God! That means he kept His commandments. That means he understood them, and we are going to see that Peter even calls it the one who works righteousness.

Acts 10:5—the angel said to him: “‘And now send men to Joppa, and call for Simon who is surnamed Peter. He is lodging with a certain Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He shall tell you what you must do’.... [What is obligatory. Now the word here ‘ought’ means obligatory, what is necessary, what is mandatory for you to do. So there’s something mandatory for those whom God calls that they are to do. It’s not just to have a warm fuzzy feeling within your heart.] ...And when the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who continually waited on him; And after relating everything to them, he sent them to Joppa” (vs 5-8).

God timed this. The angel worked this whole thing out. The angel went and told Cornelius to go and find Peter in Simon the tanner’s house. Now when they were coming then an angel caused this vision to come upon Peter, so the timing would be perfect. God’s hand was in this.

Verse 9: “And on the next day, about the sixth hour, as they were journeying and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray. And he became very hungry and desired to eat. But while they were preparing the meal, a trance fell upon him. And he saw the heaven opened; and a certain vessel descended upon him, like a great sheet, bound by the four corners and let down upon the earth; in which were all the four-footed beasts of the earth, including the wild beasts, and the creeping things and the birds of heaven” (vs 9-12). Now why would God bring this symbolism to Peter this way? Because Judaism counted all Gentiles as beasts, called ‘goiim.’ And ‘the goiim’ were only fit to be vassal slaves of the nation of the Jews. So God is giving a very profound thing here.

Now please understand, this has nothing to do with clean and unclean meats, as we will see. Now if want to know about clean and unclean meats, write for our booklet, The Beliefs of the Christian Biblical Church of God. You will see that in the New Testament is absolutely clear in 1-Tim. 4, when you properly understand it, that the law of clean and unclean meats applies to Christians today. Now if that makes you mad, well then, be mad, I’m just telling you the truth. Do you want to know the truth? Jesus said, ‘The truth will set you free.’ You think you’re free, but you are not free. You’re bound up in the bondage of Protestantism, or Catholicism.

(go to the next track)

Acts 10:13—I want you to read this carefully: “Then a voice came to him, saying, ‘Arise, Peter, kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘In no way, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean’” (vs 13-14). Now then, question: Was Peter a Christian? Answer, yes! Had he ever eaten anything common or unclean? No! Now let me tell you what something common, according to the Code of Jewish Law. We are dealing with Jewish law that God is going to get rid of. We are not dealing with the Ten Commandments nor with the laws of clean and unclean meats.

According to Jewish law, there is such a thing as unclean bread. The Bible doesn’t teach that. But unclean bread is bread made by a Gentile in a Gentile’s house or a Gentile’s bakery—that is unclean. Now bread can be common. Common is, it is bread made by a Gentile under the supervision of a Jew. Now there can be clean bread, which is bread made by a Jew, in a Jewish home or Jewish bakery and that clean is called kosher. But nowhere in the Bible does it talk about clean or unclean or common bread. Now then we will see the same thing applies to men and we will see what categories they are and we will understand it very clearly before we’re done. Now notice he never ate it.

Verse 15: “And a voice came again the second time to him, saying, ‘What God has cleansed, you are not to call common.’” And we will see Cornelius was considered a common Gentile.

Might as well just tell you right here. An unclean Gentile was a Gentile who just lived according to their own ways, their own religion, had nothing to do with God. A common Gentile was one who was keeping the commandments of God, as we will see that Cornelius was, but he was not circumcised. A clean Gentile was one who had been circumcised and agreed then to join the nation of the Jews and follow Judaism and the Code of Jewish Law. Now that’s what we’re talking about here.

“Now this took place three times... [The reason this was done three times because three Gentiles were sent.] ...and the vessel was taken up again into heaven. And as Peter was questioning within... [Right well he should. If God commanded that you are not to eat of these things back in Deut, 14 and Lev. 11, the laws of clean and unclean meats, and now here comes a vision saying to eat, but he never ate, he would doubt. Of course he would!] ...himself what the vision that he saw might mean, the men who were sent from Cornelius, having inquired for the house of Simon, immediately stood at the porch; and they called out, asking if Simon who was surnamed Peter was lodging there. Then, as Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you... [So that’s why it came down three times.] ...Now arise and go down, and go forth with them, doubting nothing...” (vs 16-20).

Now we are going to see why this had to be done supernaturally, why it could not be done by the teaching of any man. We will see the reaction that the circumcision party and Jerusalem had when they found out about this whole incident with Cornelius and his household. The reason that it is put in the Bible is so that we will understand that God, in calling the Gentiles, gave them the Holy Spirit without requiring circumcision. That’s the whole long and short of it, we’ll see it. So Peter went down, they gave him the explanation, he went with them.

Verse 24: “And on the next day, they came to Caesarea. Now Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his kinsmen and his intimate friends. And as Peter was coming, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet, worshiping him... [And Peter said, ‘Thanks for recognizing me as the first pope.’ No, he didn’t, because Peter was never the first pope. And God never gave to Peter what you think the Catholic Church says that was given to Peter. Now that’s another whole topic. We’ll cover that at a later time.] ...But Peter raised him up, saying, ‘Stand up, for I myself am also a man.’ And as he was talking with him, he went in and found many gathered together. And he said to them, ‘You know that it is unlawful for a man who is a Jew to associate with or come near to anyone of another race. But God has shown me that no man should be called common or unclean.’” (vs 24-28). That is the explanation of it, having nothing to do with food.

Now let’s also understand something here. If Cornelius was righteous, which it says he was, he was not eating unclean foods. Where was he? He was in the nation of Judea, right there at Caesarea. You’ve got to put all the facts together. You have to line them up correctly. Cornelius could not be called righteous—which we’ll see in a minute he was—unless he were doing so, that is not eating unclean foods.

Verse 29: “‘For this reason, I also came without objection when I was sent for. I ask therefore, for what purpose did you send for me?’ And Cornelius said, ‘Four days ago I was fasting until this hour, and at the ninth hour I was praying in my house; and suddenly a man stood before me in bright apparel, and said, “Cornelius, your prayer has been heard... [because he was a righteous man] ...and your alms have been remembered before God”’” (vs 29-31).

That is in heaven above. This is unheard of, because at the temple you have the place which was for the Gentiles, a court of the Gentiles. They couldn’t go any further into the temple area. And then you had the court of the women and then the court of the men. So this is a tremendous revelation from God. And only God could do this, no man could make this decision. Because if any man made this decision, then it was a decision of a man and could be undone.

“‘Now then, send to Joppa and call for Simon who is surnamed Peter; he is lodging by the sea in the house of Simon, a tanner. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ Therefore, I sent for you at once; and you did well to come. So then, we are all present before God to hear all things that have been commanded you by God.’.... [how about that!] ...Then Peter opened his mouth and said, ‘Of a truth I perceive that God is not a respecter of persons... [whether they’re circumcised or uncircumcised] ...but in every nation the one who fears Him and works righteousness... [Which is commandment keeping] ...is acceptable to Him’” (vs 29-35).

So if you take the opposite, if you’re not keeping the commandments of God, you’re not accepted of Him, regardless of what you may think, regardless of how you twist and pervert the gift of God and the grace of God. There it is right there.

“‘The word that He sent to the children of Israel, preaching the Gospel of peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all), You have knowledge of... [Cornelius knew it, no doubt about it.] ...which declaration came throughout the whole of Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism that John proclaimed, concerning Jesus, Who was from Nazareth: how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all the things that He did, both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed Him by hanging Him on a tree. But God raised Him up the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses who had been chosen before by God, to those of us, who did eat and drink with Him after He had risen from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to fully testify that it is He Who has, been appointed by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in Him receives remission of sins through His name.’ While Peter was still speaking these words....” (vs 36-44).

Now it had to be done this way. It could not have been done any other way. It could not have been done that a man decided this. After God decided it, it intervened supernaturally to shows this, by a miracle. Even then there were the circumcision wars between the Jews, because they didn’t want to give in. They figured they were the ‘chosen people.’ They figured Judaism was going to eventually be exalted over all the nations. No, no, no, never happened that way! Now here’s what happened:

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came upon all those who were listening to the message. And the believers from the circumcision were astonished... [they didn’t think this would ever happen to Gentiles uncircumcised] ...as many as had come with Peter, that upon the Gentiles also the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out” (vs 44-45).

Now think on that, because Judaism was saying that you cannot receive the Holy Spirit unless you are circumcised. Now to take those Jews who were in Judaism and move them away from Judaism to the Truth of the Gospel, was a great and a difficult thing to accomplish. Remember, Peter was the apostle to the circumcision and therefore, God used him to do this as a perpetual witness that God did not require physical circumcision of Gentiles in order to be saved. This is what it’s teaching us.

Verse 46: “For they heard them speak in other languages and magnify God.... [Now what tongues were they speaking in? Obviously, they being Italian were speaking in Hebrew or Aramaic or Greek, because Italians were Latin speakers. So this was amazing!] ...Then Peter responded by saying, ‘Can anyone forbid water... [If you forbid water and baptism with this hand of God upon the people, then you’re going against God—are you not? No doubt about it!] ...‘Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have also received the Holy Spirit as we did?’.... [There it is—baptism. Baptism is the circumcision made without hands.] ...And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they besought him to remain for a number of days” (vs 46-48).

So he stayed there. Others of the circumcision party went on back. Now let’s move right on to Acts 11:1, because it flows right from there. “Now the apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the Word of God... [So boy, this went like wildfire, even without telephones, by the way.] ...And when Peter went up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision disputed with him... [These later were called the circumcision party. And some of these were the very ones that were going down to Antioch later on and causing the problem as we saw there in Acts 15.] ...saying, ‘You went in to men who were uncircumcised and did eat with them…. [Which was a sin according to the Code of Jewish Law, but not a sin according to the Law of God.] …But Peter related the event from the beginning and expounded everything in order to them, saying, ‘I was in the city of Joppa praying... (vs 1-5)—and so forth and he gave the whole account.

Verse 15: “And when I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came upon them, even as it also came upon us in the beginning. Then I remembered the Word of the Lord, how He had said, “John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, if God also gave them the same gift that was given to us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to dissent? Do I have the power to forbid God?’…. [Now I want you to ask that same question concerning Sabbath-keeping. Who are to withstand God? You think about it.] …And after hearing these things, they were silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then to the Gentiles also has God indeed granted repentance unto life’” (vs 15-18)—without circumcision. That becomes very important. Baptism is a circumcision of the heart, so that you can receive the Holy Spirit.

Now let’s go here to Romans 2 for just a minute and let’s see this, because this becomes very profound and very important. Under the New Covenant there is a greater circumcision. It is the circumcision of the heart and the mind. Romans 2:28: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is external in the flesh; rather, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God” (vs 28-29).

Now let’s go to Colossians 2, and we will see that this circumcision made without hands is accomplished through the operation of baptism and receiving of the Holy Spirit. You are complete in Christ. Now we’ll get to Col. 2 a little later when they bring it up in this book, Sunday Facts and Sunday Fiction. Colossians 2:6: “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him; Being rooted and built up in Him, and being confirmed in the faith, exactly as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Be on guard so that no one takes you captive through philosophy... [So we are to watch out for the philosophies of men, the teachings of men. Just like Jesus said, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees,’ as we’ve already covered.] ...and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the Head of all principality and power...” (vs 6-10).

Now if you don’t our series on Colossians, well you be sure and write for that, because this tells you the full meaning of it. I’m not going to concentrate on the full meaning of Col. 2 today, I’m going to concentrate on the higher circumcision, which is the circumcision of the heart that Paul talks about which is done, and does not require the circumcision of the flesh, which then became a problem.

“In Whom you have also been circumcised with the circumcision not made by hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (v 11). All those who are Christ’s and have repented of their sins and have been baptized have had the circumcision of the heart, so that the laws and commandments of God can be written in their heart and mind through the power of the Holy Spirit that they will be led to walk in the way of the Lord, and go the way of God. That’s what the circumcision of the heart does.

Now notice how this is done: “Having been buried with Him in baptism, by which you have also been raised with Him through the inner working of God, Who raised Him from the dead.... [And that ties right in with what we read there in Rom. 6 concerning baptism.] ...For you, who were once dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has now made alive with Him, having forgiven all your trespasses. He has blotted out the note of debt... [That is the debt of your sins. That is not blotting out any commandments of God, or ordinances of God, or handwriting of God. Anyone who teaches that does not have a clue as to what the Bible is really teaching. So you need the series on Colossians, which fully explains this.] ...which was contrary to us... [none of the laws of God are contrary to us] ...and He has taken it away, having nailed it to the cross?” (vs 12-14).

The only thing that was nailed to the cross was Christ, and symbolically all the sins of the world. That’s the true circumcision. Now then, let me bring to you some very important information out of this book called, Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism. Now we need to understand that there was what is called Normative Judaism, which was in Palestine. Then you had Hellenistic Judaism, which originated in Alexandria, Egypt, where also the Old Testament was translated into the Greek language. That’s why it’s called Hellenistic Judaism, because they only use the Greek Old Testament. It has a great bearing as to what happened in the New Testament church.

Then you also have Gnostic Jews, which I’ve covered in a series of different sermons. But the Gnostic Jews were those who believed in circumcision, and yet did not believe in keeping the commandments of God, and as we’ll see a little later on, strangely enough were Sunday-keepers. How about that! Now this book is very important and profound book. They’ll be several things that we’ll read out of this as we go along, but what I want to cover here is talking about circumcision and how that Judaism had three different levels of circumcision, and how this conflicted with Christian evangelizing of the Gentiles.

Judaism made proselytes out of them. Proselytes then were in these different categories. Although there are parallels between compelled to be circumcised and circumcised, he talks a little bit there about in Galatians and you can write in for the Circumcision Wars and get a full explanation of that. Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism, pg 259:

All demonstrate that it was common to regard circumcision as such as a basic identity marker for the Jew, and that when needed, Gentiles were forcibly circumcised. By this act, they were made citizens of the Jewish nation, though they could be considered in the Diaspora with the Jews.

The Jews regardless of where they were, were considered part of the Jewish nation.

There are several aspects other than circumcision involved in becoming a Jewish proselyte. For example, Philo of Alexandria...

Philo in Alexandria was the chief leading Jew in Hellenistic Judaism, which was during the days of the ministry of Jesus Christ, and on over into the beginning of the New Testament church. And this Judaism, out of Alexandria, caused a great deal of problems, because they believed in circumcision. These were also like those that came down from Jerusalem to say that you cannot be saved unless you are circumcised and that you must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses, meaning all the traditions and laws that the Jews had.

For example, Philo of Alexandria generally concentrates on three aspects:

1.    The religious conversion

Now he describes a religious conversion as:

A change from worshiping many gods, to worship the one true God.

2.  The ethical conversion. The change here is from pagan vices to Jewish virtues.

3. The social/national conversion—The proselytes have left their family, their country, their customs, and have entered the Jewish nation a new and Godly commonwealth.

Philo gives an answer to the question, ‘When does a person receive the status as a proselyte in the Jewish community and ceases to be a heathen?’ In this saying, ethical circumcision and not bodily circumcision was a basic requirement for entering the Jewish community and then they would become common. They could attend the synagogue. And there was a place for the Gentiles to attend. They couldn’t go into the other part of the synagogue, because they were not circumcised. This then is ethical circumcision.

So when Paul was preaching and teaching the Gentiles, the Jews that came along said, ‘Well, look, all he’s doing is preaching ethical circumcision, and he needs to have the final circumcision, which is of the flesh. But God showed, through what He taught through the incident there with Cornelius and Peter and the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles, that they don’t need to be circumcised to receive the Holy Spirit.

(pg 261): Bodily circumcision was one of the commandments which the proselytes had to obey upon receiving the status of a Jew.

And then they could be called clean. So there you have the whole problem that we find in Acts 15. Those who were from Judaism wanted to continue the proselytizing process that Judaism had. Namely, that the Gentile would forsake worshiping many gods and worship the true God. Then he would have the ethical conversion then, where he would then follow the commandments and laws of God. Then he would have the final circumcision, which was the circumcision of the flesh, to make him a bona fide member of the Jewish nation. That’s very important to understand.

Now let’s come back to Acts 15, and let’s finish this. In all of this, there is no question whatsoever concerning Sabbath-keeping, that it has been abrogated. We need to continue on in Acts 15 to get the sum of the whole question. Then when we do, we will understand it.

Let’s come to Acts 15:12. Now after Peter said what he had to say: “Then all the multitude kept silence and heard Barnabas and Paul... [Now you can read what they did, Acts 13 and 14, all the Gentiles that were converted, all that were given the Holy Spirit, the miracles that were done. None of the Gentiles were compelled to be circumcised.] ...heard Barnabas and Paul relate what signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. And after they were silent, James answered and said, ‘Men, brethren, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles to take out a people for His name’” (vs 12-14). Now remember how we saw in Refuting Sunday-Keeping IV, that there is a direct commandment in Heb. 4:9, which says, Therefore, there remains Sabbath-keeping for the people of God,’ which includes the Gentiles. Right here it says, ‘take out of them a people for His name.’ They are the people of God.

“‘And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written, “After these things, I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David which has fallen; and its ruins I will build again, and will set it up; So that the residue of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, says the Lord, Who does all these things.” Known to God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Therefore, my judgment is... [And it is in the Greek, my ‘krinos,’ my judgment is.] ...that we do not trouble those of the Gentiles who have turned to God” (vs 15-19). Sunday-keepers say, ‘We trouble not them concerning anything concerning the Law of Moses.’ Not true! Not true! Not true! Showing that they do not know their Bibles.

Verse 20 [transcriber’s correction]. Let’s understand something here, very carefully. “‘But that we write to them to abstain from pollutions of idols... [Second commandment—correct? Is that not the second commandment? Yes, it is! Is not the second commandment found in the true Law of Moses? Yes, it is! Were they then commanding them to keep the true Law of Moses? Yes, he was!] ...and from sexual immorality... [Fornication is based upon the commandment, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ So we have the second commandment, which is part of the first four; and now we have from fornication,’ which then is the seventh commandment, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ Is that not in the true law of Moses? Yes, no question about it!] ...and from what been strangled... [Now that has to do with how meat is killed, because they are not to have any blood.] ...and from blood.’”

Now I remember when I was a kid growing up, we had a neighbor and every year he’d kill his hog. He would clean it up and then he would kill it and right when he killed it, he would take a cup and get that first blood right as it came out from the throat he slit, and he would fill it up and drink it. The Gentiles would do that. Now that I know how unclean swine are, no wonder the man was sick.

Verse 21: “‘For from the generations of old, Moses... [Moses—that’s the whole first five books of the Bible—is it not? Does that contain the commands to keep the Sabbath? Yes, it does! Does it show the things that we have already covered leading up to this? Yes! Does that show the things that we covered in the series on the Holy Sabbath? Now you see there are many things that you need to get and put together to understand this subject and don’t run off half-cocked and run down the road and think that your Protestant minister understands. He doesn’t. He doesn’t have a clue. His mind and heart is blinded because he only reads what he wants to read and he twists and distorts the Word of God to his own destruction and yours.] ...Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him in the synagogues... [The Law of Moses was preached.] ...being read every Sabbath day.’”

Where did the Gentile converts come from to begin with? From attending as common, uncircumcised Gentiles, who attended the synagogue in their special little second-class section, or Gentiles who were proselyte and who accepted circumcision. But I want you to read this again. “‘Moses... being read in the synagogue every Sabbath day.’” Now we find Sabbath-keeping enforced here—don’t we? Endorsed, the very least. We don’t find any abrogation of the commandments of God. We don’t find any abrogation of the Law of Moses. We do find an abrogation of the Law of Moses as defined by the Pharisees and also as it is in this book, Code of Jewish Law, of which we read last time.

But the true books of Moses, the true Laws of God, and the keeping of the Sabbath and all of these things, were done as a matter of accepted fact. They did not tell the Gentiles, ‘Now, you can go keep Sunday.’ They didn’t say ‘You can go eat clean and unclean meats.’ They did not say that you can go back to your Saturnalia and Brunalia and all of your pagan holidays.’ Now if this sounds strange to you, you better ask yourself the question: How deceived am I really? Maybe you’re beginning to understand. You’ve never heard the Word of God truly preached and taught and expounded.

This man, Dr. Russell K. Tardo, does not know the Word of God. He does not understand it. Not one of his 25 explanations in here have any substance whatsoever, and we’re continue in this series until we cover all 25 of them, regardless of how long it takes. Because this is fundamental and this is profound and this is important, and this is salvational.

Do you think you’re going to get in the Kingdom of God by rejecting the commandments of God? Let’s go to Revelation 22 and as again I will say, if you have an NIV Bible, you’re already deceived, because that’s the wrong Greek text from which they translated it. What you essentially have is a Catholic Bible. What you have is a corrupted Bible.

Revelation 22:12—this is Christ speaking about His return. He says: “And behold, I am coming quickly; and My reward is with Me, to render to each one according as his work shall be.” Now what is your work? You have to have the right works. And those right works are proper commandment-keeping, including all the Ten Commandments. And as we will learn later, all of the Holy Days, according to

  • whether you believe in faith
  • whether you trust in God
  • whether you stand in His grace
  • whether you have allowed the mind of Christ to be developed in you

Those are all the works that God has given us. So the works it’s talking about here is a full passel of works.

Verse 13: “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed... [I want you to read this. We may have covered it before, but I want you to read it again in the context of what we’ve said today.] ...Blessed are those who keep... [And the Greek there is the verb ‘poieo,’ which means to practice, to practice as a way of life the commandments.] ...His commandments, that they may have the right to eat of the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city” (vs 13-14). Now then,

  • If you reject the commandments of God, you have no right to the tree of life.
  • If you don’t keep them, you have no right to the tree of life.
  • If you hate them and think that God has abrogated them, you have no right to the tree of life.
  • If you think you have salvation by your means, you are wrong.

You can only have salvation by the means of Jesus Christ and all of the New Testament, including Sabbath-keeping. Now that is a fact.

Now let’s go back to Acts 15, and let’s finish it here, so that we understand what’s really going on. Acts 15:22: “Then it pleased the apostles and the elders, together with the whole Church, to send chosen men from among them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; and they chose leading men from among the brethren: Judas, who was surnamed Barsabas, and Silas. And they wrote letters by their hand, as follows: ‘The apostles and the elders and the brethren, to those brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia’” (vs 22-23). So they cleared up the whole problem.

We will understand why God demands Sabbath-keeping and Sunday-keeping is sin against God.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  1. Romans 3:28
  2. Romans 2:14-15
  3. Romans 3:28-31
  4. Romans 6:1-6
  5. Acts 15:5-10
  6. Acts 11: 19-26
  7. Acts 10:1-4
  8. Proverbs 15: 8-9, 28-29
  9. Acts 10:5-20, 24-48
  10. Acts 11:1-5, 15-18
  11. Romans 2:28-29
  12. Colossians 2:6-14
  13. Acts 15:12-21
  14. Revelation 22:12-14
  15. Acts 15:22-23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Hebrews 8, 10
  • 1-John 3:4
  • Galatians 2
  • Psalm 119:172
  • 1-Timothy 4
  • Deuteronomy 15
  • Leviticus 11
  • Acts 13, 14
  • Hebrews 4:9

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • Galatians
  • The Circumcision Wars
  • Mystery of Lawlessness
  • Scripturalism vs Judaism
  • Colossians
  • The Holy Sabbath

Books:

  • Sunday Facts and Sabbath Fiction by Dr. Russell K. Tardo
  • Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried and Hyman E. Goldin
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism by Peder Borgen
  • Booklet: The Beliefs of the Christian Biblical Church of God

BOOKS