I cried out to the Father, the Most High God, "Just Give Me The Truth!"
and since then He has revealed many truths to me. When I asked Him what I should name
this website He said, "the same thing you said to Me several years ago, "Just give me the truth!"

By Sherry Shriner  .... sounding the alarm on what was, is, and is to come
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord I ask that you reveal the mysteries of your kingdom to me, I ask for your truth, understanding, and discernment in all things. Teach me who You are and keep me from evil. Thank you, Father. In Jesus (Y'shuah's) name, Amen.

I encourage you to seek the Father, Yahweh for the truth in all things. And as you do, be prepared for what you ask!

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ACTS 15: WHY THE FOUR REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-JEWS ???



    In this article, we are going to continue our study on the
subject: "How are non-Jews to express their faith in YHVH?" In doing
so, we are going to examine in detail the Torah / Hebraic basis of
the FOUR REQUIREMENTS for non-Jews from Acts 15.

KJV Acts 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them,
which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

KJV Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from
pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled,
and from blood.

   In the previous articles on "Acts 15: A Hebraic View", we
emphasized that:

#1) The ruling in Acts 15 CANNOT contradict what is written in the
      Torah

#2) In order to understand the ruling in Acts 15, we need to
     understand the CURRENT SITUATION of the ruling


     In presenting that Acts 15 CANNOT CONTRADICT what is written in
the Torah and the prophets, we made mention of Numbers 15:15-16.

KJV Numbers 15:15 ONE ORDINANCE  shall be BOTH for YOU of the
congregation, and also for the STRANGER that sojourneth with you, an
ordinance FOREVER in your generations: as ye are, so shall the
stranger be before the LORD.

KJV Numbers 15:16 One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the
stranger that sojourneth with you.
 
      There are NOT "two standards" for Jews and non-Jews who are in
COVENANT relationship with YHVH. ONE TORAH is for BOTH for those of
the "congregation" and for the STRANGER (non-Jew).

      We also mentioned that Messiah distinguished those who are
LEAST in the Kingdom and those who are GREAT in the Kingdom based
upon whether they broke the commandments and taught others to do so
(LEAST) or whether they KEPT the commandments and taught others to do
so (GREATEST).

KJV Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least
commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in
the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same
shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

       The TORAH tells us that BOTH Jew and non-Jew who are in
COVENANT relationship with YHVH are to KEEP His commandments. The
Messiah taught that those who follow Him are to KEEP the commandments
(John 14:15, Revelation 22:14) So, the fact that a believer in YHVH
(whether Jewish or non-Jewish) expresses their faith in Messiah by
following Torah AFTER they are saved is a GIVEN. Therefore, we need to
interpret Acts 15 from this perspective.

      Next, we need to understand Acts 15 based upon the CURRENT
SITUATION of the ruling. In doing this, we mentioned that the ruling
in Acts 15 was made in the framework of the Messianic
EXPECTATIONS of the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6).
In doing so, we mentioned the following:

#1) The TORAH and the PROPHETS foretold that with the coming of
the Messiah that there would be an END of the EXILE and that the
Messiah would REGATHER BOTH HOUSES of Israel an return them back to
the land of Israel  (Deut 30:1-5, Ezekiel 37:15-28)

    The ruling in Acts 15:16 was based upon the rebuilding of the
tabernacle of David.

KJV Acts 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the
tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the
ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

    The ruling comes from the prophecy in Amos 9:11.

KJV Amos 9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that
is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his
ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

     The "rebuilding of the tabernacle of David" is seen by Orthodox
Jews as the restoration, regathering and reuniting of BOTH houses of
Israel: Ephraim/Joseph and Judah.

        In the book, "Torah Anthology: Yalkut Me'Am Lo'ez" on the book
of Amos regarding the Amos 9:11, the following commentary is made on
page 456:

"Amos speaks prophetically about the redemption [end of the exile of
both houses of Israel) ... God 'will raise up the tabernacle of David
that is fallen'. This refers to the calamity of the kingdom splitting
in two in the days of Jeroboam (I Kings 12:13). As of then, and until
the time of Hosea son of Elah (2 Kings 17), the kingdom of the house
of David was 'fallen' ... the scripture compared Jerusalem and the
reigning dynasty of David to a 'tabernacle' -- literally a temporary
hut such is used by shepherds. David had been the monarch who
shepherded the people of Israel (I Samuel 16:11) ... The scripture
conveys that in the coming future, the kingship of the house of David
will be established in THREE STAGES. First, a leader will arise of the
seed of David, who will "feed them" and he will be their shepherd
(Ezekiel 34:23) [NOTE FROM EDDIE: This was fulfilled by the FIRST
coming of the Messiah]. He will teach them to practice righteousness
and justice and thus establish 'the tabernacle of David' (Isaiah
1:27)[NOTE FROM EDDIE: Messiah taught His disciples how to follow
Torah and how to teach Torah to others]. That stage of the future
redemption will be followed by another stage when 'I the Lord will be
their God'. It will be followed by the coming of the messianic king.
'My servant David' will be 'prince among them' [NOTE FROM EDDIE: This
will be fulfilled at the 2nd coming of the Messiah].

#2) With the end of the exile of the house of Jacob by King Messiah
that those from AMONG THE NATION would join themselves to the Messiah
and Messiah would teach ALL NATIONS the Torah from Jerusalem
(Isaiah 2:2-4)

   Therefore, NON-JEWS would embrace Messiah and the TORAH of the
Messiah.

#3) ALL NATIONS joining themselves to the Messiah would come from an
OUTPOURING of the HOLY SPIRIT (Joel 2:28)

      Peter mentioned the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Ruach
HaKodesh) upon non-Jews as a basis of YHVH adopting them into the New
Covenant from having a CIRCUMCISED HEART.

KJV Acts 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up,
and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while
ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should
hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

KJV Acts 15:8 And God, which knoweth the HEARTS, bare them witness,
giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us

             In Acts 15:19, we made mention that the word "TURN" can
actually be translationed RETURNED to YHVH.

KJV Acts 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them,
which from among the Gentiles are turned <1994>  to God:

The Greek word for "turned" is:

epistrepho {ep-ee-stref'-o}    from 1909
and 4762; TDNT - 7:722,1093; v   AV - turn 16, be
converted 6, return 6, turn about 4, turn again 3, misc 4;
39   1) transitively 1a) to turn to 1a1) to the worship of
the true God 1b) to cause to return, to bring back

      The word can actually mean "RETURN TO YHVH".

KJV Matthew 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon
it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace RETURN  <1994> to you.

Also:

KJV Matthew 12:44 Then he saith, I will RETURN <1994> into my house
from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty,
swept, and garnished.


In Matthew 10:13,  12:44  this word that was translated as 'turn' in
Acts 15:19  is translated in the King James RETURN.

      Whether this Greek word is translated as TURN or RETURN is a
CHOICE of the translators.

     The ruling in Acts 15:19-20 is following by the words in Acts
15:21:

KJV Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that
preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
 
     In presenting these verses, we mentioned the Hebraic view from
the Rabbis that for a non-Jew who desire to be ADOPTED into COVENANT
relationship with YHVH that the NON-JEW would be AWARE of ALL the
commandments but would only be asked to follow SOME of the
commandments and LEARN and FOLLOW the rest of the commandments
as they were taught the Torah on a WEEKLY basis in the synogogues.

  In Deuteronomy 33:4 it is written:

KJV Deuteronomy 33:4 Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of
the congregation of Jacob.

   In the Torah commentary on the book of Deuteronomy by Moses ben
Nachman (RambaN / Nachmonides: 1195 - 1270) who was an Orthodox Jew
who lived in the middle ages and is widely followed by MANY Orthodox
Jews TODAY comments on page 376 regarding this verse as it relates to
the STRANGER / non-Jew:

"And our rabbis interpreted [reference is: Tanchuma Vayakheil 8) that
he did not say, "an inheritance of the 'house of Jacob' or the 'seed
of Jacob' but he stated 'of the CONGREGATION of Jacob' in order to
suggest that MANY STRANGERS would join them and the TORAH would ALWAYS
be an INHERITANCE of JACOB and ALL who CONGREGATE TO HIM, these being
the STRANGERS that join themselves to the Eternal to minister unto
Him, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob and they will all be
called, "his CONGEGATION".

    The rabbis teach in [Mechilta, Bachodesh 6] that WHOEVER
acknowledges the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN denies the IDOLS and ACKNOWLEDGES
the ENTIRE TORAH.

    But, what is the PROCESS to ACKNLOWLEDGE the ENTIRE TORAH?

On Page 434 of his Torah commentary on the book of Exodus, RambaN
(Moshes ben Nachman / Nachmonides: 1195 - 1270) tells us that the
rabbis taught the non-Jew / STRANGER regarding his obligation in
following Torah:

"We inform him of some of the LIGHT commandments and some of the
WEIGHTIEST ... The convert ... is thus NOT taught the WHOLE Torah
prior to conversion but ONLY some of the ESSENTIALS thereof, which is
FOLLOWED by the TOTAL commitment to OBSERVE WHATEVER the TORAH
commanded".

         Next, we are going to look in greater detail the FOUR
REQUIREMENTS for non-Jews in greater detail from a Hebraic
perspective.  In doing so, I would like to share with you an
obversation on the issue by Jim Johnson. He says:


From:          Jim Johnson
Subject:       Re: How are non-Jews to express their faith in YHVH
To:            heb_roots_chr@hebroots.org


I found when I studied this two important things.

1) They were to observe these four things so as not to put too much of a
burden (pressure) on them for (BECAUSE) Moses is read every Sabbath in the
synagogue. Which they were attending. So therefore they would hear the rest of the
law there and would be lead into the truth of the Torah by the spirit.

2) Those four things were all things that the law states if they were broken
that the person would be cut off from his people.

Jim Johnson

  
      Jim is CORRECT that the FOUR REQUIREMENTS are TORAH-BASED for a
NON-JEW to express their faith in YHVH. But why?

     Before we answer WHY was this the ruling for non-Jews, I need to
make an OBSERVATION that I have HEARD over the YEARS in traditional
Christianity regarding this ruling. TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANITY makes
reference to these FOUR things and SAY the following:

'Non-Jews DON'T need to follow the Torah. We only have to follow the
four things mentions in Acts 15:19-20"

    What makes this argument OBSURD (that non-Jews DON'T need to
follow the Torah) is that these FOUR THINGS are TORAH COMMANDMENTS.

So, why these FOUR TORAH COMMANDMENTS ???


            YHVH'S PEOPLE ARE CALLED TO BE A HOLY NATION

     These reason for these FOUR requirements for non-Jews is these
are the TORAH commandments for NON-JEWS (as well as Jews) to be HOLY
before YHVH. These FOUR things come from Leviticus Chapters 17-18,
20.
 
     YHVH's people are REDEEMED to be a HOLY PEOPLE.

KJV Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and
KEEP MY COVENANT, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above
all people: for all the earth is mine:

KJV Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an
HOLY NATION. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the
children of Israel.

   KEEP MY COVENANT = HOLY NATION

    In the NT, it is written:

KJV 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an
HOLY NATION, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises
of him who hath called you OUT of DARKNESS (DISOBEDIENCE to TORAH)
into his marvellous light (OBEDIENCE to TORAH):

    DARKNESS = NOT FOLLOWING TORAH

KJV Isaiah 8:20 To the TORAH and to the testimony: if they SPEAK NOT
according to this word, it is because there is NO LIGHT in them.

   LIGHT = TORAH

KJV Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the TORAH is
LIGHT; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
 
  BELIEVERS IN MESSIAH = WALK IN LIGHT = FOLLOW TORAH

KJV Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light
in the Lord: WALK as children of LIGHT:


HOW DOES THE TORAH TEACH THAT NON-JEWS ARE HOLY BEFORE YHVH ???

    Since YHVH has called ALL those who are in COVENANT relationship
with Him to be HOLY, how does this help to explain the ruling in Acts
15:19-20 ???

KJV Acts 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them,
which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

KJV Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from
pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled,
and from blood.

      In the Artscroll Tanach Series on Vayikra (Leviticus) Book II
in the section entitled: "Overview: Holiness and Sancification" on
page XVIII it says:

"The Torah uses the term HOLINESS specifically with regard to THREE
areas:

#1) Idolatry
#2) Sexual immorality
#3) Forbidden foods

     "One who curbs himself from forbidden activities in those areas
is on the way to HOLINESS; but one who indulges in these vices is
contaminated (Tamei)"

KJV Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from
pollutions of idols (#1: IDOLATRY)

and from fornication (#2: SEXUAL IMMORALITY)

and from things strangled (#3: FORBIDDEN FOODS)

and from blood (includes #1 (MEAT offered to IDOLS), #2 and #3)


      IDOLATRY = JEALOUSY OF YHVH = EXILE / CUT OFF

KJV Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from
pollutions of idols (#1: IDOLATRY)

The TORAH says that STRANGERS are FORBIDDEN to commit IDOLATRY.

KJV Exodus 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,

2 I am the LORD
thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the
house of bondage.

3 Thou shalt have NO OTHER GODS before me.

4 Thou
shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any
thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or
that is in the water under the earth:

5 Thou shalt not bow down
thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a JEALOUS
God,

      On Page XLV of the "Overview: Holiness and Sanctification" in
the Artscroll Tanach Series, Vayikra (Leviticus) Book II it says:

"Ramban (Moses ben Nachman: (1195-1270)) notes that, with reference
to God, the term JEALOUS is found ONLY in connection to IDOLATRY"

      It goes on to say on Page XLV:

"This teaches that worship has a special status, like the intimacy of
the husband-wife relationship. A woman who commits adultery becomes
forbidden to her husband"

     On Page XLVI it says:

"... offerings to an idol is like a wife who commits adultery ... to
worship an idol is to mar the basis of loyalty to God and it arouses
His jealousy"

KJV Leviticus 17:7 And they shall NO MORE offer their SACRIFICES unto
DEVILS, after whom they have gone a WHORING. This shall be a STATUTE
FOREVER  unto them throughout their generations.

KJV Leviticus 20:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Again,
thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the
CHILDREN of ISRAEL, or of the STRANGERS that SOJOURN in Israel, that
giveth any of his SEED unto MOLECH; he shall surely be PUT TO DEATH:
the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

KJV Leviticus 20:5 Then I will set my face against that man, and
against his family, and will CUT HIM OFF, and all that go a whoring
after him, to commit WHOREDOM WITH MOLECH, from among their people.

CONCLUSION:  Therefore, the STRANGERS who SOJOURN with the
native-born nation of Israel are REQUIRED by TORAH to ABSTAIN from
IDOLATRY.

The punishment = EXILE / CUT OFF.

Those STRANGERS who have a desire to be in COVENANT relationship with
YHVH are seeking to be ADOPTED into the COVENANT which is the
OPPOSITE from being CUT OFF from the covenant.


 SEXUAL IMMORALITY = CUT OFF FROM THE COVENANT

KJV Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from ...
fornication (#2: SEXUAL IMMORALITY)

The TORAH says that STRANGERS are FORBIDDEN to commit SEXUAL
IMMORALITY.

    K JV Leviticus 18:20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy
neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her.

    It is forbidden to commit adultery in the Torah.

KJV Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind:
it is abomination.
 
     Homosexuality is forbidden in the Torah.

KJV Leviticus 18:26 Ye shall therefore KEEP MY STATUES and my
judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any
of your OWN NATION, nor any STRANGER that SOJOURNETH among you:

CONCLUSION:  Therefore, the STRANGERS who SOJOURN with the
native-born nation of Israel are REQUIRED by TORAH to ABSTAIN from
SEXUAL IMMORALITY.

The punishment = EXILE / CUT OFF.

Those STRANGERS who have a desire to be in COVENANT relationship with
YHVH are seeking to be ADOPTED into the COVENANT which is the OPPOSITE
from being CUT OFF from the covenant.


 EATING FORBIDDEN FOODS  = CUT OFF FROM THE COVENANT

KJV Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from
...  things strangled (#3: FORBIDDEN FOODS)


The TORAH says that STRANGERS are FORBIDDEN to EAT FORBIDDEN FOODS
and DRAIN the BLOOD of an ANIMAL BEFORE EATING

KJV Leviticus 17:10 And whatsoever man there be of the HOUSE of
ISRAEL, or of the STRANGERS that SOJOURN among you, that EATETH ANY
manner of BLOOD; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth
blood, and will CUT HIM OFF from among his people.

KJV Leviticus 20:25 Ye shall therefore PUT DIFFERENCE between CLEAN
BEASTS and UNCLEAN, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall
not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner
of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated
from you as unclean.

KJV Leviticus 17: 14 For it is the life of
all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said
unto the children of Israel, Ye shall EAT the BLOOD of NO MANNER of
FLESH: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever
eateth it shall be CUT OFF.

CONCLUSION:  Therefore, the STRANGERS who SOJOURN with the
native-born nation of Israel are REQUIRED by TORAH to ABSTAIN from
FORBIDDEN FOODS and BLOOD FROM ANIMALS.

The punishment = EXILE / CUT OFF.

Those STRANGERS who have a desire to be in COVENANT relationship with
YHVH are seeking to be ADOPTED into the COVENANT which is the OPPOSITE
from being CUT OFF from the covenant.


 ABSTAIN FROM BLOOD  = CUT OFF FROM THE COVENANT

KJV Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from
... BLOOD

   In addition to abstaining from eating the blood of animals and
forbidden food, the STRANGER is to ABSTAIN from a variety of  BLOOD
contaminations. This includes abstaining from marital intimacy during
the time of the month when the woman is "unclean".

KJV Leviticus 18:19 Also thou shalt NOT APPROACH unto a WOMAN to
uncover her nakedness, as long as SHE is PUT APART for HER
UNCLEANNESS.

KJV Leviticus 18:24 DEFILE NOT ye yourselves in any of these things:
for in all these the nations are defiled which I CAST OUT before you:

KJV Leviticus 18:26 Ye shall therefore KEEP MY STATUES and my
judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any
of your OWN NATION, nor any STRANGER that SOJOURNETH among you:

CONCLUSION:  Therefore, the STRANGERS who SOJOURN with the
native-born nation of Israel are REQUIRED by TORAH to ABSTAIN from
BLOOD. This INCLUDES avoiding marital intamacy when the woman is
having her monthly BLOOD flow.

The punishment = EXILE / CUT OFF.

Those STRANGERS who have a desire to be in COVENANT relationship with
YHVH are seeking to be ADOPTED into the COVENANT which is the OPPOSITE
from being CUT OFF from the covenant.

FOUR REQUIREMENTS = HOLY NATION = BOTH JEW AND NON-JEW = TORAH BASED

        For traditional Christianity and Messianic Judaism (MJAA and
UMJC) who says that Acts 15:19-20 was given so that non-Jews do NOT
have to follow Torah are speaking through their IGNORANCE of TORAH.

        Historical Christianity has NOT followed the BASIC FOUR
requirements given in Acts 15 for non-Jewish believers in the
Messiah which are TORAH based from Vayikra / Leviticus 17-18, 20.

       James and the other brethren in Jerusalem KNEW TORAH. The
PRIMARY requirements that they gave to non-Jews who desired to be
ADOPTED into the NEW COVENANT after having CIRCUMCISED HEARTS was to
FOLLOW the TORAH commandments for STRANGERS who SOJOURNED with the
native-born children of Israel which showed that they had a HEART to
PERSUE TORAH HOLINESS from Vayikra / Leviticus 17-18, 20 so that they
would NOT be "cut off" from COVENANT relationship with YHVH through
Yahshua / Jesus the Messiah.

      I hope that this teaching from Acts 15 will help non-Jews to
understand that if you are believer in YHVH through Yahshua / Jesus
the Messiah and are in covenant relationship with Him, you LIVE that
covenant relationship by FOLLOWING TORAH and showing your love for
Messiah by keeping His commandments (John 14:15).

     If you would like a tape where I taught Acts 15 from a Hebraic
perspective, please make your check out for $5 made out to (Hebraic
Heritage Ministries) and send to:

Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int'l
PO Box 81
Strasburg, OH  44680

    I pray that this teaching on Acts 15 has been a blessing to you.

    May YHVH bless each of you in your studies.

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int'l
 

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