Fred R. Coulter—January 16, 2010

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This morning up north I did Bible Answers for Evangelicals #1 and the reason that I started this was because we are getting more emails from new people. Many more people are coming to the website. We are now averaging right at about 48-49,000 distinct visitors a month. They are downloading all kinds of material. We've also brought Bible Answers on line so if you want to check out Bible Answers and you can have streaming video through your video connection.

We've been getting requests from new people and we're going to be getting more. I know that we have, I would say within this past month, we've had about four requests for baptism. For us that's a good number of new people who have not been associated with any of the Churches of God.

So when they do come in, don't bring up all of the laundry of the past—okay? Let that lie. They're probably coming out of a church, as I've been reading on this book I just finished, Quitting Church, and it's a real eye-opener that the Protestants though they have certain things of the Bible and certain things of God, they don't know anything, they're not converted. New people come in this door and the older ones get bored to death and go out the other door. So it's really quite a thing that's happening. So here I got this letter from a man in Indiana. He's an evangelical.

So let me tell you about what evangelicals believe. They claim that the Gospels and the General Epistles were just for the Jews. Paul had another gospel for the Gentiles, so therefore, we don't have to consider anything that Jesus said. And besides that, when you read what Jesus said, there are a lot of contradictions. So with those contradictions we can just reject the whole thing.

So the first one we covered was: where Jesus said He only was going to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and does this agree with Romans 15:8 that Jesus was a servant to the circumcision. We went through the basic rules of Bible study, and if you read the verses before and the verses after you will find that it all fits together and you can't pick and choose and get a verse here and a verse there and say these agree, and exclude everything else. And then say that Paul brought a different gospel. We'll cover that here in just a little bit. And how that Jesus had to go to the Jews and to the Israelites first because of the promises to the patriarchs, the fathers. So we covered that.

Then I asked, so let's go here, and let's review this. Let's come to 1-Timothy 6:3. Now if we don't have to follow any of the teachings of Jesus Christ, as the evangelicals have said, because that's for the Jews only. 'We go by what the Apostle Paul said.' Let's read what he said. We'll just review from last time. What did Paul say? And we're going to see, when we get into some of these things concerning law, that the fault lies with misinterpretation and using a King James Version of the Bible only in those difficult Scriptures and not understanding what they really say.

1-Timothy 6:3: "If anyone teaches any different doctrine, and does not adhere to sound words, even those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine that is according to godliness, He is proud and knows nothing. Rather, he has a morbid attraction to questions and disputes over words, from which come envy, arguments, blasphemy, wicked, suspicions, Vain reasonings of men who have been corrupted in their minds and are destitute of the truth... [And what is the Truth? 'Your Word is the Truth. Your commandments are the Truth,' etc.] ...men who believe that gain is Godliness. From such withdraw yourself" (vs 3-5). That's something—isn't it?

If you're an evangelical, and you think, 'Oh, no, we don't have to follow what Jesus said.' You want to follow what Paul wrote. If you believe that Paul wrote v 3, 'the sound words of Jesus Christ,' and we don't have to follow the Gospels, then you have to provide for us, so that we know where did Paul write down the sayings of Jesus Christ that He instructed him in when he was three years in the Arabian desert? Where are they? What do you do with the Scripture which says, 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever'? What do you do with the one which says, 'I the Lord, change not'?

Why, if Jesus is 'the way, the truth, and the life,' which He is, why would Paul bring a different gospel? The truth is he didn't. The truth is the reason they come to understand these things is because they violate a basic way of understanding Scripture. As we covered in the Fourteen Rules of Bible Study, and go back and review those again, because you compare Scripture with Scripture, the verses before, the verses after, the chapter before, the chapter after, putting it all together, so you get a complete picture.

What does it say here 2-Timothy 2:15?: "Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of the Truth." Now what happens if you don't rightly divide it? Even though it's truth, you come up with error. And that's exactly what the evangelicals do, because they pick this verse and they pick this verse, and they say, 'Oh, we're going to go by these.' Well, you have to get the complete story in everything.

Let's come to the next question here. He writes: 'When Christ was sending the twelve out to minister to the nation of Israel… [and you have to understand the house of Israel is not what Judea and Galilee were then. The house of Israel, you put nation here, but Jesus didn't say nation. He said house. We'll see that in just a minute.] …Why did He say in Matthew 10:5-6 for them not to go into the Samaritans or the Gentiles?' Remember how we showed in the first message that Jesus went to the Samaritans—didn't He? He talked to the Samaritan woman at the well—didn't He? Yes! And stayed there two or three days, and there were a lot of Samaritans who believed on Him. So did Jesus violate His own command? The truth is, because of the promise to the fathers, it went to those of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob first and then to the Gentiles, the same message. Nothing different, nothing doing away with the law.

Continuing on with this question and we'll ask and we'll go to those Scriptures in just a minute. 'When did He send His disciples to the Gentiles?' We'll see that. 'If you say it's a great commission, then why did Peter not understand Gentiles were included until he received the vision in Acts 10. Did he have amnesia?' You're not searching for the truth with that last question. You're trying to bring up a 'religious' argument. No, they were told to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, which they did. And when we come to Acts 10, we will get there in just a little bit, that's when God made it known; because He fulfilled the promise first to bring it to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob first.

Let's also understand this: the ten tribes were scattered abroad. They were in Parthia, some of the Jews were in Babylon, some of them were in Media and Persia, and up in the British Isles, so they had to go there and they did. You have to find that in history. I'll see if I can get the quote for the next one to cover that.

Let's come here to Matthew 10, and let's see what Jesus said. If you are looking for conflicts, rather than looking for Truth, you will come to what appears to be conflicts, but really are not, and you will never understand them because you're not searching for Truth. So in reality, you're not rightly dividing the Word of God and you're coming up with the wrong answer.

Matthew 10:5: "These twelve Jesus sent out after commanding them, saying, 'Do not go into the way of the Gentiles... [Why? Because He was still teaching them. They stayed with Him until when? All the way through His ministry, crucifixion, death and resurrection. And He told them to stay in Jerusalem until when? Until they received power on high (Acts 2) when the Holy Spirit came. They had to do the witnessing and preaching to the Jews and whatever Israelites came into the area of Judea until God opened the door to go the Gentiles. So that's why He said, 'Don't go in the way of the Gentiles.'] ...and do not enter into a city of the Samaritans.... [on this particular evangelist campaign, just to the people there] ...But go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you are going, proclaim, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Heal the sick. Cleanse the lepers. Raise the dead. Cast out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Do not provide gold, nor silver, nor money in your belts, Nor a provision bag for the way, nor two coats, nor shoes... [that is extra shoes] ...nor a staff; for the workman is worthy of his food'" (vs 5-10).

So this was also a test of their faith, and a test of those people to whom they went. Would they receive them; would they invite them into their homes? Would they listen to their message; would they feed them? Now they didn't go out very long, it doesn't tell us how very long it was that they were out there, but they came back after that.

Verse 11: "'And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and there remain until you leave. When you come into the house, salute it; and if the house is indeed worthy, let your peace be upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you leave that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet. Truly I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city. [Very interesting statement. Now how do you reconcile that?] …Behold, I am sending you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves'" (vs 11-16).

Then you have to read in order—before you come to Acts 10—so that you know that Peter did not amnesia. You've got to read Acts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Now when you come to Acts 10, we find this is when God, through Christ, opened the door to the Gentiles. What we're going to see is, that God was working with Cornelius and his household for a good period of time before Peter ever knew of them. See because God works with different people in different ways at different times. Just like people we meet. We met a man recently who said, 'I've been trying to find the Truth, and a year ago as I was reading the Bible, I understood that the Sabbath was the day to worship. So what I did every Sabbath after that, I stayed home, I studied the Bible, I went online, I was searching the Truth, and voila! we found you.' There are a lot of people out there proving and checking the Truth, because people have been so deceived with religion, they don't want to be deceived any more, as Quitting Church, the book shows. They don't want to get into some organization where later on they're going to become bored to death and they don't preach the Word. It becomes political and there's a lot of infighting and struggling. No, that's why Jesus said, 'Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in your midst.'

So when the time is right, God opened the door for Peter to go. Now why did He send Peter? Although he was an apostle to the circumcision, or that is, the Jews, because Peter at this time was one of the two leaders that God used. Peter and John. So here's what happened. We are going to learn something very specific here as we go through it. Because there's another lesson that all Protestants need to learn, which is this: I'll ask it in a question. What do you know about Judaism? Do you know anything about it? Do you know anything that they believe? A lot of people say, 'Well, the Jews are just like us, except they don't believe in Jesus.' End of story! They're not like us; one day they will be. The Bible tells us that it's so.

So you know the story. Let's understand something here. When Peter saw this vision he was up on the roof waiting to eat, and three men from Cornelius were coming. Acts 10:10: "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 10-12). That's showing the whole world, is what it's doing.

Now the Jews also likened other people in their racism, which many of them still have today, other people are sub-humans. And they had it there. Did you know that the Jews believe that? Did you know that was part of the things they commanded people against the will of God? No! There's more to the Bible, there's more study that needs to be done than just to read it and pick out a verse, and 'I'm going to fight this verse against this verse and God must be contradicting Himself, so I'm going to choose what I like.' Is that what you're taught, the evangelicals? More than likely.

Here was a strange thing that happened. This does not authorize eating unclean meats. The reason that God did this was because the Jews considered other people 'common' or 'unclean.' Now if they were proselytes and circumcised, they were common, and they deigned to let them come to a certain section of the synagogue, but separated from the Jews. Those who were uncircumcised were unclean, couldn't even enter the synagogue. So that's why God did this, because now He was going to expose the fallacy of the thoughts of Judaism and Jewish law, and begin to break that chokehold on the converts, beginning with Peter. And it wouldn't have been accepted by anyone else unless Peter had done it.

"Then a voice came to him, saying, 'Arise, Peter, kill and eat'.... [Now notice, this is about ten years after the resurrection.] ...But Peter said, 'In no way, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean'" (vs 12-13). Now what is common in relationship to food? In the Code of Jewish Law—ever heard of Code of Jewish Law? Have you ever read the Code of Jewish Law? Might be interesting if you would, from the point of view that you would understand what the New Testament is talking about with the Jewish religion called Judaism.

Their law is—just in the things of cooking—if a Jew has a Gentile in their house working in the kitchen and kneading bread, if a Jew is watching that happen and making sure everything is clean, they can eat that bread, but it's common. It can't be used for Sabbath services. It can't be used for any feast. If a Jew is not there to supervise it, it's unclean. Has nothing to do with clean or unclean foods. But notice, Peter hadn't eaten anything common or unclean over the ten years after his conversion. It's not like some people we know who gave up and abandoned the law of clean and unclean meats when some preacher came along and said, 'Oh, well, you don't have to keep that law anymore.' Whew! Right after Sabbath services they zoomed out and went down to a restaurant and started 'scarfing' down shrimp and lobster and scallops, and all of this sort of thing. So much for conversion!

Verse 15: "And a voice came again the second time to him, saying, 'What God has cleansed, you are not to call common.' Now this took place three times, and the vessel was taken up again into heaven. And as Peter was questioning within himself what the vision that he saw might mean... [I guess so. While he was doing that:] ...the men who were sent from Cornelius, having inquired for the house of Simon [Simon the tanner] 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; Now arise and go down, and go forth with them, doubting nothing, because I have sent them'" (vs 15-20)—from God, so there's no contradiction here. When God was ready, He opened the door and caused it to happen, and it had to happen with Peter. We'll see when we get into Galatians a little later on, that Peter had some pretty severe backsliding that Paul had to correct him on.

But what I want you to notice as we go along what Peter says. Verse 21: "And Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius and said, 'Look, I am the one you are seeking. For what purpose have you come?'... [He didn't know. No cell phones, no tweeters, no text messaging, no emails.] ...And they said, 'Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous man and one who fears God, and who has a good report by the whole nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house, and to listen to words from you'" (vs 21-22). And, of course, these were all uncircumcised. That's the point! We're going to see the truth of this message, which will make the conclusion that you're trying to draw from these Scriptures moot and unimportant, because God has a time schedule in which He's doing things.

So here He's opening the door and unfolding the situation with the Gentiles. Verse 23: "Then he called them in to lodge there. And on the next day Peter went with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 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.... [Notice what Peter said, 'You slob of a Gentile, you better worship me, because I'm a future pope.' Truth is Peter never went to Rome. What did Peter say, because God inspired him to understand this.] ...But Peter raised him up, saying, 'Stand up, for I myself am also a man'" (vs 23-26). So God was breaking the barrier of Judaism, which consigned other people to a category of various beasts and sub-humans. That's why He did it.

"And as he was talking with him, he went in and found many gathered together. And he said to them, 'You know... [Now, I want you to mark this verse carefully, because they understood the traditional law of Judaism, so he's explaining it here. This is not a law of God, this is not something out of the book of Moses. What did God say of strangers and foreigners in the land? One law for all—right? Same requirement—correct? If they wanted to keep the Passover, they had to be circumcised—yes? That put them on the same plane as the Jews and the rest of the Israelites—did it not? Yes!] ...And he said to them, 'You know that it is unlawful for a man who is a Jew...'" (vs 27-28).

Now who is a Jew in relationship to what we are talking about? One who practices Judaism, and do not be fooled by thinking that Judaism keeps the true laws of Moses. We'll see that in just a minute, because you need to understand what Jesus did and what Jesus taught. God did not want this kind of thing to separate between people. This is not of God, this is of men. This is of the religion of Judaism and the religion of Judaism is not the law of Moses.

We're soon going to have a book coming out on that, by the way, written by Phil Neal. He's doing a fantastic job on it. What we are going to do is include about twenty pages from the Code of Jewish Law so everyone can read what the laws of Judaism, in principle, are and see that these are not Scriptural or Biblical.

This is why Peter said to him here, to get rid of this barrier that the religion of Judaism erected between Jews and other people. Now notice what they were forbidden: "'You know that it is unlawful for man who is a Jew to associate with or come near to anyone of another race. But God has shown me... [When did He show him? When the vision came at the time that God determined that it would be.] ...thatno man should be called common or unclean'" (v 28). Now this is a radical, eye-opening thing. You need to understand that. And who did He use? Peter! He didn't use Paul, though Paul had already been called. He was put into waiting for the proper time by going back to Tarsus where he was born.

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... [Peter ought to know what angels were—right? Was he not let out of prison by angels? Remember, they locked him up in the prison; the angels came and let him out that night. So when the authorities came to bring him in to the Sanhedrin, they went out to the prison to bring him in, it was all locked up, the guards were there, and they opened up the cell and no one was there. Someone came running in at the same time and said, 'They're out teaching on the temple grounds.' So they had to go out and bring them in. He knew what an angel was, so he knew that a man in bright apparel was an angel.] ...and said, "Cornelius, your prayer has been heard... [without circumcision, without a minister, without a rabbi] ...and your alms have been remembered before God. 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"'" (vs 29-32).

So let's read the whole story and let's go through into Acts 11, because this becomes important to answer the question: when did the apostles start going to the Gentiles? When God sent Peter to Cornelius, and that's the time that God had determined.

Verse 33: "'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.' Then Peter opened his mouth and said, 'Of a truth I perceive that God is not a respecter of persons... [Question: if the gospel for the Jews was only through Jesus, and that was one gospel for them, and the gospel for the Gentiles was another and different gospel, is not God a respecter of persons—right? Yes, indeed! So this is why you need to go through the Scriptures thoroughly and carefully, and ask questions as you do, so you will understand it. That way then you won't have conflicts like you are writing me. So I hope that you receive this well, because I'm doing this especially for you and I'm going to send it to you.] ...Of a truth I perceive that God is not a respecter of persons, But in every nation the one who fears Him and works righteousness is acceptable to Him'" (vs 33-35).

"'The word that He sent to the children of Israel, preaching the Gospel of Peace through Jesus Christ... [What is Peter going to preach to him? The gospel that Jesus gave to the children of Israel—right? The same one, yes!] ...through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all), you have knowledge of; 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'" (vs 36-38).

Now what did He preach to them? The Gospel—right? "'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'" (vs 39-41). Another reason why they didn't go to the Gentiles until God opened the door. Simple! God had a plan, God had a schedule, that's unfolding right here. That's why it's written and preserved for us.

Verse 43: "'To Him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in Him received remission of sins through His name.'" Now we'll see how that takes place, because there are some people in evangelicalism that say, 'All you have to do is open your heart, believe in the Lord, and your sins are forgiven, and you don't even have to be baptized.' Is that true? We'll see a little later on that is a such a vital thing, that those who believe that are not in covenant with God, and they don't have the Holy Spirit of God, so therefore, though they profess to be Christians, they are not. Very simple!

Let's go on. Now why did God do this? Verse 44: "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... [How could God do this to these Gentiles? Why? The only thing they knew was Judaism, other than what Jesus taught. God was doing this to show you do not bring any of the practices of Judaism into the Church, even if you are a Jew. We'll see that later when we get to Gal. 2.] ...as many as had come with Peter, that upon the Gentiles also the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out; for they heard them speak in other languages and magnify God.... [Why did He do that? Because if they didn't speak in other languages, like happened on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), what would some Jews say? 'Well, these are inferior converted Gentiles, because they didn't speak in other languages when they received the Holy Spirit.' Right? Of course!] ...Then Peter responded by saying, 'Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have also received the Holy Spirit as we did?' 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 44-48).

Don't know how many days that was, but notice right here. Why did God give the Spirit before they were baptized? To show and seal the fact that God opened the way for the Gentiles in the same way that He did for the Jews. Now as we read: 'if you're Abraham's seed, then you are Christ's and heirs according to the promise, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, Scythian or barbarian.' We can add in there rich or poor, free or bond, if we can paraphrase a little bit there out of Gal.5. This is what He was showing them.

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The reason that the apostles did not immediately go to the Gentiles in addition to waiting for the right time, was because they had to break down the barrier that was trained in the minds of so many people concerning the laws of Judaism concerning other people. Very racist, indeed! So let's see the reaction from those in Jerusalem. God did this with Peter. Had it been with Paul, who was called later, you know there would have been those who would have said, 'Well, Paul was not an original apostle.' That's why He chose Peter to do it. Who's going to dispute Peter at this point?

Now let's see here Acts 11 how he was received, because remember, there were certain other brethren that went with him. It says that Peter stayed there for a number of days. What happened to those who went with him? The only way that those in Jerusalem would have heard this, if those who were with him went back to Jerusalem and said, 'Guess what?'

Acts 11:1: "Now the apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the Word of God; and when Peter went up to Jerusalem... [It doesn't say those brethren were with him—does it? So they undoubtedly went up first.] ...those of the circumcision... [There was a circumcision party developing in Jerusalem. 'We Jews are the important ones and no uncircumcised Gentile can be in our company.' We'll see how that fell out there in Gal. 2.] ...those of the circumcision disputed with him, Saying, 'You went in to men who were uncircumcised and did eat with them'" (vs 1-3). Not only that, he stayed there and lodged with them. Ooo, what a tremendous sin!

Verse 4: "But Peter related the event from the beginning and expounded everything in order to them, saying, 'I was in the city of Joppa praying, and I saw in a trance a vision, a certain vessel descending from heaven like a great sheet let down by four corners, and it came all the way to me. Then I looked closely at it, considering it, and saw the four-footed beasts of the earth, including the wild beasts, and the creeping things and the birds of heaven. And I heard a voice say to me, "Arise, Peter, kill and eat." But I said, "In no way, Lord, for nothing common or unclean has ever entered into my mouth." Then a voice from heaven answered me the second time, saying, "What God has cleansed, you are not to call common." And this happened three times; then everything was drawn up again into heaven.  And behold, three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea immediately stood at the house in which I was. And the Spirit said to me, "Go with them, doubting nothing"'" (vs 4-12).

So God had to communicate this directly to Peter. Amazing! Isn't it? That's how great a problem this was. They would love to have given the Gentiles a lesser gospel. How do I know? All you have to do is look at the teachings of Judaism today:

  • Gentiles don't have to keep the Sabbath.
  • Gentiles don't have to keep the Holy Days.
  • Gentiles don't have to follow the law of clean and unclean meats.
  • Gentiles have to follow the Noahide laws, as they call it.

That would have happened to the Church right at this point had not Peter been the one to go there and do this. That's very important to understand, because this reflects the mind of Judaism, and God was not going to have any Judaism in the Church. Judaism has nothing to do with the commandments of God.

Now if you really want an eye-opener, you go online and you download the sermons on Scripturalism vs Judaism. We take a survey all the way through the Gospel of Matthew, and we see that Christianity did not come out of Judaism. Christianity came from Christ, and Christ rejected Judaism. So this is why God did it this way with Peter. Notice the reaction after he told them.

Verse 14, talking of Peter to Cornelius: "'"Who shall speak words to you whereby you and your house shall be saved." And when I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came upon them, even as it also came upon us in the beginning... [Acts 2] ...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".... [Notice Peter, notice what he said. There is no inferior gospel here.] ...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?'.... [That's why it had to be done that way. That's why it could not come from any man. That's why it had to be done before Saul, who became Paul, became an apostle.] ...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 14-18). Now that's quite a testimony there—isn't it? So that's how God did it.

God didn't send them to the Gentiles until God was ready, though He said in Matt. 28, 'Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.' Now this was done so that the will of God would be made very clear before men started bringing their own ideas in, which is this: There is no difference between a Gentile and a Jew—long before Paul was an apostle.

Now let's look at some of the other things that they also had to do. There is a complete misnomer. Most people think that the Jews keep the commandments of God. Not so! Most people think that the Jews in Jesus' day kept the commandments of God. Not so! It's just like a lot of people today have the Bible, but how much of it do they really believe? Very little! Same way with the Jews.

Now let's come to Mark 7. We've been there many times before, but in the light of what we just have covered here, let's see what it says. This is why it's important for you to understand what the Code of Jewish Law says. We've sent out many, many Code of Jewish Laws. That's not to show what we should do, that is to show what we should not do. Let's see what He said here. Let's look at the account very carefully, so we can understand what is happening. We'll see His disciples were there. That also becomes important, because these are some of the teachings of Jesus for His disciples.

Mark 7:1: "Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes from Jerusalem came together to Him. And when they saw some of His disciples eating with defiled hands (that is, unwashed hands), they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews, holding fast to the tradition of the elders, do not eat unless they wash their hands thoroughly. Even when coming from the market, they do not eat unless they first wash themselves. And there are many other things that they have received to observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and brass utensils and tables" (vs 1-4).

You ought to read some of the silly laws they invented for keeping the Sabbath. And you need to know that God never gave oral tradition through Moses. Why did God have it written down from Moses? Because oral tradition grows. They really didn't have any oral tradition until beginning about 400B.C. and that's when they inculcated a lot of these things from their Egyptian beliefs, and Judaized them. Most people don't know that. Protestants do not know a single thing about Judaism, except that they better support the Jewish nation lest they become cursed. They're very willing to take the money. But will they grant them equal status with other Jews? No way! Many other things, so you need to understand that.

Verse 5: "For this reason, the Pharisees and the scribes questioned Him, saying, 'Why don't Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?'" Now the tradition of the elders is not the Word of God—is it? No!The tradition of the elders is Judaism. All Judaism is tradition and they hold that tradition above and superior to the Word of God. As a matter of fact, when this book comes out, you're going to read a quote by the Jews explaining that God is bound by the decision of the rabbis. That's how important the rabbis are. So you can see why God did not want this in the Church.

The comment was made: that's what the pope does. Yes! You've heard the term 'Judeo-Christian religion.' That phrase is true for Catholicism and Protestantism from this point of view: most people don't realize it, but Catholicism came out of Egyptian Judaism. That's why they both wear the small little beanie-cap. You ever wondered why? The pope wears one. Now when they came to Rome with that, what did they do? They brought the traditions of the Jews; they brought the traditions of Mithraicism and they married them together and voila! what came out of that hat? Catholicism. And the pope has the same privilege as the rabbi. 'God is bound by what he says.' Can any man command God? If you think so, you better read the book of Job.

Notice how Jesus answered and this destroys the myth that Christianity came out of Judaism. No it separated from Judaism and they were Scripturalists. Now if you don't have the article, How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets, you can download that. You can read it in the Bible. You can read it in the Harmony of the Gospels. It's there.

"And He answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning.... ['you wonderful people, with all of your wonderful laws. Hallelujah!' No, He said:] ...you hypocrites... [Two-faced, sanctimonious, pretenders.] ...as it is written... [This is why God did not want any of the laws of Judaism in the Church and this is why everyone, Jew and Gentile, has the same Gospel requirement.] ..."This people honors Me with their lips... [And isn't that true with evangelicals when they say, 'Oh, well, we don't need the words of Jesus in the gospel. We don't need that. We have a superior gospel that Paul brought.' What are you doing? You're honoring Jesus with your lips] ...but their hearts are far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men"'" (vs 6-7).

That's exactly what Judaism does. This is a rejection and repudiation of Judaism, and every other tradition by any other religion that is against the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Jew or Gentile. "'For leaving the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of men, such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this.' Then He said to them, 'Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition'" (vs 8-9). Isn't that what happened?

Does Catholicism and their tradition reject the commandments of God? Yes! Do the Protestants follow in lock-step with them? Yes! Maybe not all of them, but they have their own tradition. They keep Sunday and Christmas and Easter and New Years and they keep, they call it, communion, the Catholics call it the 'sacrifice of the mass.' Whereas, the New Testament teaches the Christian Passover, the Sabbath, and the Holy Days. And there is the dividing point, and these are the things that the evangelicals refuse to do. So no wonder they don't understand the Word of God, and they ask questions like we're reading here.

I'm happy that he asked me these questions, because we're going to have to cover a lot of people with that, and I want everyone to learn and understand that in case you come across someone who has the same questions, or who has the same idea. There are millions! In this book, Quitting Church, there are 78-million Protestants in America that are in flux, leaving church, quitting church. Guess where they're finding God? One man wrote, said, 'I left the church because it was boring and it was stupid, and I got fed up with the same thing all the time. So I stayed home and read the Psalms, and I found out more of God in a year that I read the Psalms and prayed at home than anything I ever learned in this evangelical church that I was in.'

So this is why we have Church at Home. It's going to strike a cord. And I hope that God would use it to help a lot of people. It's not about us; it's not about numbers; it's about them and it's about a relationship with God. Because the truth of the matter with Protestantism today is they're getting new people to come in the front door and all of the old-time members are leaving out the back door. Because as I mentioned before, it's just like this ad you've seen on television. Two little girls are sitting there at a table and the man asked her, 'Would you like a little pony?' So he gives her this toy. She says, 'Oh, thank you.' Turns to the other little girl and says, 'Would you like a pony?' She said, 'Yes.' He goes, 'Click, click, click,' and here comes a real live pony. They really got the good picture of the look on this little girl's face. 'Why didn't I get one?' 'You never asked.' The Protestants, they bring everyone to the starting line.

  • Do you believe in Jesus? Yes!
  • Do you want your sins forgiven? Yes!
  • Do you accept Jesus as your Savior? Yes!

'Hallelujah, you're born again. There's nothing else you need to do. Once saved, always saved.' The Bible says you better be baptized. We'll talk about baptism. After reading that book, Quitting Church, I'm telling you it's highly doubtful that anyone in Protestantism, including ministers are converted.

So why should the Church of God go to the Protestants to find out, 'How do you worship God?' They may have some things that are right and good. God will honor that. But as far as salvation, that's another whole story. You've got to have the Spirit of God and you've got to be in covenant with God. Going to church doesn't save you. No church can save anyone, only God can. So this is quite something when you understand it here.

Now we're going to tackle a difficult one here. Evangelicals like to pick out certain Scriptures. They like to look at those that look like contradictions. Isn't it a fantastic thing that God would have it that way in the Scriptures to test you:

  • whether you really want the Truth or not
  • whether you're going to argue with God or not
  • whether you're going to love God or not
  • whether you're going to obey God or not

Are you going to come with a carnal-minded attitude and say, 'Well, we don't have to do this, if we look at Paul.' Let me give you a little instruction on that.

In 200A.D. Marcian did the same thing. He went through and he said, 'We have the New Testament. Everything that Jesus preached was for the Jews, we throw that out. Now we go through the epistles of the Apostle Paul, and we strip out everything that has to do with commandment-keeping and now we've got the pure spiritual gospel of Paul.' Now what did God say about adding to or taking from? He said, 'Don't do it.' Is there a warning in the last part of the book of Revelation about adding to or taking away from? That was the canonization of the New Testament, not just the book of Revelation.

Let's see what Paul said here. Galatians 1:1: "Paul, an apostle, not sent from men nor made by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, Who raised Him from the dead." It had to be that way, because none of the apostles would have accepted Paul if he would have come and said, 'Oh, I've repented and now I want to be an apostle.' Never would have happened, so Jesus had to teach him. Did he have the same teachings as the apostles? Of course. Would He teach anything different? No. If He did, God would be hypocritical—correct? Just exactly like that little girl with the toy horse and the little girl with the real horse. God would be hypocritical!]

"...Who raised Him from the dead; and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: Grace and peace be to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, in order that He might deliver us from the present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father; to Whom be the glory into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 1-5).

Now notice what he says, and this applies to all, and he says this because of what happened as recorded in Gal. 2. They were adding to the Gospel by separating from the Gentiles. That was a different gospel, and also, the other problems that they had within the church of Galatia. And I will have to tell you this: The book of Galatians is the number one most difficult book in the New Testament to understand. Because of that, please realize this, when you start studying the Bible, do not begin in Galatians, because you're going to come to wrong conclusions, especially if you know nothing about Judaism; very important to realize.

Now notice what Paul says beginning in v 6. This is pretty strong stuff. "I am astonished that you are so quickly being turned away from Him Who called you into the grace of Christ, to a different gospel... [How could there be a different gospel for the Gentiles and a different one for the Jews? Are there two ways? What did Jesus say? 'I am the way and the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me.' So they couldn't have a different gospel. How could that be? Only the wrong division of the Scripture by men makes it appear that there's a different gospel, that's all.] ...Which in reality is not another gospel... [because there can't be another gospel; makes it very clear] ...but there are some who are troubling you and are desiring to pervert the Gospel of Christ" (vs 6-7).

Now notice v 8. This is the strongest condemnation of that theory. "But if we... [that's any of the apostles] ...or even an angel from heaven, should preach a gospel to you that is contrary to what we have preached... [We—Peter, James, John—right? All the apostles there at the conference in Acts 15—correct? Yes!] ...LET HIM BE ACCURSED!.... [Cut off from God, no salvation. So you better be careful what you're describing as a different gospel for the Gentiles. No such thing! You might ask yourself if you believe that: have you been deceived by someone? Think about it!] ...As we have said before, I also now say again. If anyone... [Because he's preparing the way for his confrontation recorded in the second chapter about Peter and Barnabas and the circumcision party from Jerusalem.] ...If anyone is preaching a gospel contrary to what you have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED!" (vs 8-9).

Now all the evangelicals, please sit up and take notice with this. "Now then, am I striving to please men, or God?.... [Why have they changed the Gospel to an easy gospel with hardly anything to do with no cost involved? Because they want to get the un-churched into the church. So now they end up with a bunch of 'do-gooders' who are unconverted. Without a doubt, you can come to no other conclusion if you read the book, Quitting Church.] ...Or am I motivated to please men? For if I am yet pleasing men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (v 10).

Now you know the rebuke in Gal. 2 against Peter for what he did. "But I certify to you, brethren, that the gospel that was preached by me is not according to man... [But Christ. What was the Gospel that the twelve apostles received? What is it from man or was it from God manifested in the flesh? From God, same Gospel, couldn't be different.] ...Because neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it by man; rather, it was by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (vs 11-12). What were the teachings of Christ when He was here for the twelve apostles? The revelation of God—was it not? Didn't He say He came to reveal the Father? Yes! No different.

"For you heard of my former conduct when I was in Judaism... [Now that's the correct translation. The King James says, 'the religion of the Jews.' Judaism, so that you know what it is.] ...how I was excessively persecuting the church of God and was destroying it; and I was advancing in Judaism far beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more abundantly zealous for the traditions of my fathers" (vs 13-14).

  • not the teachings of God
  • not the law of Moses
  • not the prophets
  • not the Psalms.

The traditions which what? Reject the commandment of God. Didn't we just read that? What was he doing? He was persecuting and killing brethren—correct? Yes!

"But when it pleased God, Who selected me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His own Son in me, in order that I might preach Him as the Gospel... [Question: if you preach Jesus Christ as the Gospel, how can that be a different gospel than what Jesus taught His disciples? That the literal translation from the Greek—preach Him, not men—preach Him, not traditions.] ...preach Him as the Gospel among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Peter, and I remained with him fifteen days. But I did not see any of the other apostles, except James the brother of the Lord" (vs 15-19).

Then we read in the book of Acts when the other brethren up there found that Saul was up there, the one who became Paul, they were going to kill him. Just like it is today with the Jews; you go against their traditions, they'll take care of you. So they said, 'Hey, you've got to get away from here.' They took him down to Caesarea and put him on a boat and said, 'Bye, bye, Saul. May God be with you.' So then later, after there were Gentiles being converted down in Antioch, they sent Barnabas down there, and Barnabas went to Tarsus to find Saul and brought him to Antioch. That's when he started preaching and teaching—not until then. So Saul was put on the shelf until the time was ready. God does everything in His set plan and time.

Verse 20: "(Now the things that I am writing to you, behold, before God, I am not lying.) Then I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.... [Syria then is where Antioch was.] ...But was unknown by face to the churches in Judea which are in Christ; They only heard, 'The one who once persecuted us is now preaching the gospel—the faith which he once destroyed.' And they glorified God in me" (vs 20-24).

Now here comes the confrontation. This is important to understand—so important, that I'm going to leave it for the next sermon. Because when I get into it, I don't want to break it up, because you need to know what happened. I'll just give you a clue. Galatians 2:14: "But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the Truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter in the presence of them all, 'If you, being a Jew, are living like the Gentiles, and not according to Judaism, why do you compel the Gentiles to Judaize?" That is the correct translation. That's why the King James falls flat on its face in Galatians 2 and we'll cover that on the next one.

Scriptural References:

  • 1-Timothy 6:3-5
  • 2-Timothy 2:15
  • Matthew 10:5-16
  • Acts 10:10-48
  • Acts 11:1-18
  • Mark 7:1-9
  • Galatians 1:1-24
  • Galatians 2:14

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 15:8
  • Acts 2
  • Galatians 5
  • Matthew 28
  • Acts 15

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Scripturalism Versus Judaism
  • Books:
  • The Code of Jewish Law
  • Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • Quitting Church by Julia Duin
  • Article: How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 01-29-10
Formatted: bo—1-31-09

 

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