Law of God 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let me count the ways...

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1.   I will have no other gods.

2.   I will not make or bow down to any image.

3.   I will not dishonor you and your name.

4.   I will remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

5.   I will honor my father and mother.

6.   I will not murder.

7.   I will not commit adultery.

8.   I will not steal.

9.   I will not lie.

10. I will not covet what belongs to my neighbor.

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Acts 15 does not teach that the Law is done away with

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

 

Acts 15 is sometimes cited as evidence by those who believe that the 10 Commandments are now obsolete and no longer to be observed today. They say that since the list of things for new Gentile (non-Jew) converts to do does not include the 10 Commandments, this must mean it is obsolete.

 

This is the list:

 

Acts 15:

19   Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,

20   but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.

(NKJV)

 

 

However, such a conclusion contradicts the Bible truth that apostle Paul called it holy, spiritual and good, by which we can know what sin is (Romans 7:7, 12, 14), and the Lord Jesus said He did not abolish the Law and it will last at least until the heavens and the earth pass away:

 

Matthew 5:

17   Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

18   For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.    (AKJV)

 


Are we really expected to believe that just because God’s law is not listed in Acts 15, that we are now free to worship other gods, take God’s name in vain, steal, lie, commit idolatry, murder/hate, lust/adultery, etc.?   Of course, this is not reasonable and it is not true – God’s law has not been done away with.

Acts 15 does not contradict the Lord Jesus’ or the apostle Paul’s words; it does not teach against the Law of God, but instead supports it.

 

When we talk about anything in the Bible, we must not consider as truth whatever we read or hear from someone else without first finding out for ourselves whether it is true according to God’s Word. Then, when we do study the Bible, we must very importantly be objective and not just read over it casually. We must take it seriously and use discernment.

 

Above all, we must know exactly what the subject matter is that is being spoken about.

 

This is the subject of Acts 15:

 

Acts 15:

1    And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, 

       "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

2    Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and

certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.

3    So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the

Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren.

4    And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; 

       and they reported all things that God had done with them.

5    But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, 

        and to command them to keep the law of Moses."

 

 

In verses 1 and 5 we see that some believers said circumcision and observing the law of Moses are requirements for new Gentile converts. The subject in question is specifically regarding circumcision and by extension if the law of Moses (which contains circumcision) is applicable to new converts.

 

What happened was, some Pharisees said that Gentiles must be circumcised in order to be saved.  They wanted to use circumcision like it was an automatic membership to some kind of club, which is not very different from how the Roman Catholic Church uses infant baptism to make people “automatically become” Roman Catholic since shortly after birth.  And similar to how the Roman Catholic Church also has it wrong and misunderstands, there is no physical thing we can do that makes us “automatically” saved or one of God’s chosen people.   The error is in thinking that any prescribed physical thing we do off of a checklist can save us without a change in the spiritual first.  It is not what is physical, but spiritual that counts most: what counts is if you have a changed heart and mind first, and then you will know what to do and how to act.

 

Yes – good works are required or otherwise our faith is dead (James 2:14-26), but we do not do works first without true faith and a change in the spiritual.  A spiritual change must occur first to guide us in what we do; and as we grow in spirit, what we do also reflects our spiritual growth. 

 

Our heart and mind must be changed first, and only then with this new heart and mind are we able to use them to seriously and fully consider: our commitment to walk in God’s ways; the strength of our faith and how we must grow not only in faith but also in wisdom and understanding; and how our faith bears good fruit and works to the glory of God.  It is very important for believers to know that a change of heart and mind – the spiritual, includes time for us to grow and mature even more in faith and understanding. 

 

For a new convert, coming to faith to begin with requires a certain level of maturity (for example, not an infant!), but even after coming to faith, it must be understood by the new convert that there is still further growing and maturing.  Our new heart and mind which is the spiritual, must guide how we act and what we do in the physical.  However, we do not remain as spiritual infants and only continue to understand and do as infants would, but we are supposed to and must grow spiritually – and this spiritual maturity likewise will guide us to act maturely and do mature things.

 

We can see how the Roman Catholic Church is wrong to baptize infants, because do infants really know what is happening or what is involved to follow God? Do infants have the capacity to have faith, grow in it and be accountable to make decisions to commit everything to God? Of course not.  Baptism only comes when the person is mature enough to decide what to do and then actually do what must be done.

 

And the same thing applies with circumcision for new converts; it parallels infant baptism.  The new converts referred to in Acts 15 are infants in the faith and similarly, they have something put upon them which they as infants just do not understand.  These new converts need time to grow and mature; and only then will they be able to do the right thing according to God’s ways and for His glory to be as one people.    

 

 

However, even before this, many Christians equate this law of Moses in Acts 15 with the 10 Commandments, but this is not the case. The 10 Commandments are separate, and so immediately the premise of those who say the 10 Commandments is obsolete, is found to be without merit – it is not even talking about the correct thing.  

 

The 10 Commandments are not in question and they are not the “law of Moses”. 

 

But there is more to this --- what, if any, is the relation between the law of Moses with the 10 Commandments?   

 

Also, is the “law of Moses” really the law of Moses?  Or is it really the laws of God?

 

So what is the “law of Moses”?

 

 

 

 

The 10 Commandments are not the Law of Moses, but the Law of Moses includes the 10 Commandments

 

 

Deuteronomy means “second law”.  However, in being called “second law” it is not saying it is another set of laws.  The Book of Deuteronomy is the last of 5 books that Moses wrote before he died and passed the mantle of leadership to Joshua.  These 5 books Moses wrote are the 1st five books of the Old Testament (the Tanakh): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and are collectively called the ‘torah’ (Strong’s #8451) which means “instruction” and often translated as “law”.  The Book of Deuteronomy contains very important and new instructions of its own, but as both a part and summation of the Torah it also serves to review and remind God’s people about the laws of God – this is why it is called “second law”.

 

God wrote the 10 Commandments on tablets of stone and He also inspired Moses to command people on how to live together as a holy people before God and to write down these specific statutes and judgments on how to do so in a Book of the Law, as Moses tells us below:

 

Deuteronomy 4:

13   So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; 

        and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

14   And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, 

        that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess.  

 

44    Now this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel.    (NKJV)

 

 

The 10 Commandments written on stone by the finger of God in verse 13 and the statutes and judgments in verse 14 both together comprise the Book of the Law which Moses set and wrote in verse 44.   

 

This is why the very first thing Moses reviews and reminds people of, are the 10 Commandments as we read in the very next chapter:

 

Deuteronomy 5:

4    The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire.

5    I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; 

        for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain. He said:

6    ' I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

7    ' You shall have no other gods before Me.

8    ' You shall not make for yourself a carved image --- any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, 

        or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

9    you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, 

        visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

10   but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

11   ' You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

12   ' Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.

13   Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

14   but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter,   

nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

15   And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand

and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

16   ' Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

17   ' You shall not murder.

18   ' You shall not commit adultery.

19   ' You shall not steal.

20   ' You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

21   ' You shall not covet your neighbor's wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, his male servant, his female

servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.'

22   "These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness,

with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.

 

 

So we can see that the Book of the Law clearly contains within it the 10 Commandments.  But yet notice at the very end in verse 22. The 10 Commandments were written on two tablets of stone by the hand of God and given directly to Moses. God did this in great glory with fire and smoke and a loud voice upon the mountain. And after God gave these 10 Commandments, He added no more – the Law of God written on stone, His 10 Commandments, were complete.

 

This is where we can see that the 10 Commandments can stand alone, but yet as we read in Deuteronomy 4: the 10 Commandments is really only a part of or a subset of the entire Law of God which He gave to His people through Moses.  God added no more to the commandments written on stone, but there is much more in His law or Torah – His instruction, to His people which are in His statutes and judgments, and put in a book that would also contain the 10 Commandments.

 

And again, though the 10 Commandments on stone were put inside the Ark of the Testimony/Covenant,

but the Book of Moses was placed along the side, the Book of the Law comprises all the laws, statutes, commandments, and judgments of God; it is God’s Torah/instruction --- representative of everything Moses wrote in the 1st five books of the Bible:

 

Deuteronomy 10:

1    "At that time the LORD said to me, 'Hew for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, 

        and come up to Me on the mountain and make yourself an ark of wood.

2    And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke; and you shall put them in the ark.'

3    "So I made an ark of acacia wood, hewed two tablets of stone like the first, 

        and went up the mountain, having the two tablets in my hand.

4    And He wrote on the tablets according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments, which the LORD had spoken to you in the

mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.

5    Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; 

        and there they are, just as the LORD commanded me."

 

Deuteronomy 31:

24   So it was, when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a book, when they were finished,

25   that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying:

26   "Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, 

        that it may be there as a witness against you;

 

 

Note that the 10 Commandments were given twice, because Moses shattered the first set when he came down and saw the golden calf, but both sets of the 10 Commandments were given before the Book of the Law was complete in Deuteronomy 31.

 

 

The Book of the Law came later and was written on paper, and it contains every instruction that came forth from God; not just the 10 Commandments, but it also includes God’s Biblical feasts:

 

Deuteronomy 31:

9    So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD,

         and to all the elders of Israel.

10   And Moses commanded them, saying: "At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release,

         at the Feast of Tabernacles,

11   when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses,

         you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing.

12   Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates,

         that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law,    (NKJV)

 

 

This truth the Bible tells us – that though the 10 Commandments can stand alone, they are only a part of the larger body of the Law of God, His Torah can also be seen in Exodus when the covenant is initiated:

 

Exodus 24:

3   So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which the LORD has said we will do."

4    And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

5    Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD.

6    And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

7    Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient."

8    And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words."    (NKJV)

 

 

We can see in verse 3 that Moses “told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments” which would include every single thing God commanded/instructed and given to Moses for His people.  “All the words of the LORD” includes, of course, the 10 Commandments of God which was given in Exodus 20, before the initiation of the covenant:

 

Exodus 20:

1    And God spoke all these words, saying:

2    " I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3    " You shall have no other gods before Me.

4    " You shall not make for yourself a carved image --- any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,

         or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

5    you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,

         visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

6    but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

7    " You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

8    " Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9    Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

10   but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter,

         nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

11   For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. 

         Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

12   " Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

13   " You shall not murder.

14   " You shall not commit adultery.

15   " You shall not steal.

16   " You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17   " You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant,

          nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."     (NKJV)

 

 

What we see in Exodus 20 and 24 is the same thing we see in Deuteronomy 4 and 5: the Law or Book of the Law does not “belong” to Moses, but it is “all the words of the LORD and all the judgments” --- it is the Law of God/Book of the Law of God with ALL the words of the LORD and contains by default the 10 Commandments as well.  The Book of the Law is the Torah.

 

So we see that what Moses teaches the people according to God’s instruction is what is considered “the law of Moses” and written down on paper as the Book of the Law.  The word translated here as ‘law’ in English is the Hebrew word ‘torah’ which means “instruction” as we read earlier.  Though the 10 Commandments and the law of Moses are two separate things, we can clearly see that this law of Moses or the Book of the Law includes the 10 Commandments, because the 10 Commandments are part of the collection of day-to-day statutes and judgments God gives His people to live by under God.  In other words, the 10 Commandments can be mentioned separately, but in actuality it is a subset of the Book of the Law and is only a part of the entirety of the Law of God.

 

 

The following are some verses which refer to the Book of the Law and also calling it the Book of the Law of Moses:

 

Deuteronomy 30:10; Joshua 8:31; 23:6; 2 Kings 22:8.

 

 

From Deuteronomy we should be able to tell that the law of Moses which includes the 10 Commandments is really the Law of God, because everything comes forth from God.  Does the Bible tell us in other ways that the law of Moses or the Book of the Law of Moses is not really Moses’ law, but is in fact really the Law of God?

 

Yes, and we do not have to look long or far, because the following verses equate the Book of the Law of Moses with the Book of the Law of God (which is understandable as God commands Moses to do it as he says in Deuteronomy 4:14 above, similar to the New Testament books really belong to God though He has inspired the apostles to write them):

 

Joshua 24:26; 2 Chronicles 17:9; 2 Chronicles 34:14; Nehemiah 8:18; 9:3.  

 

 

This is especially evident in the verses below:

 

2 Chronicles 34:

14  Now when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD,

     Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the LORD given by Moses.    (NKJV)

 

Nehemiah 8:

1   Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded Israel.   

 

8    So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.   

14   And they found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month,    (NKJV)

 

 

The three verses in the same Nehemiah chapter 8 are especially telling.  In verses 1 and 8 we can very clearly see that the Bible uses the Book of the Law of Moses (law of Moses) and the Book of the Law of God (Law of God) interchangeably – that is, they are equated with one another and are synonymous; they are the same thing.  The law of Moses is the Law of God.  We are shown exactly why they mean the same thing: it is because “the LORD had commanded by Moses” which is to say it belongs to God, but He inspired or gave it through Moses as we read in verse 14. 

 

Note that the Book of Nehemiah is about the return of Israel back to Jerusalem and the land during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia from their exile there.  The events in Nehemiah 8 show the people, after finally returning to the land, following the instruction of Deuteronomy 31:10-12 we read earlier: to read the words of the Law before all the people every 7th year, the year of release at the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

 

The New Testament also equates the two as the same.  In the Gospel of Luke, the law of Moses is the same thing as the law of the LORD (verses 22-24, 27 and 39):

 

Luke 2:

22   Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord

23   (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD" ),

24   and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

25   And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

26   And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

27   So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,

28   he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

39   So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.     (NKJV)

 

 

Verse 23 above is quoted from Exodus 13:2 which is repeated in Numbers 18:15, confirming to us that the entire Torah, all 5 books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) is considered as the Law of the LORD, but yet can also be called the law of Moses. 

 

The Bible tells us without a doubt that the law of Moses/Book of the Law of Moses is used interchangeably with the Law of God (the LORD)/Book of the Law of God.  They are synonyms of one another and mean the same thing.

 

 

God made ALL of His ways known to Moses (everything in the law of Moses/Book of the Law of Moses which is really the Law of God/Book of the Law of God) and by extension, everything in the Old Testament/Tanakh.  This includes the 10 Commandments and other things in the Book of the Law such as removing our sins as far as the east is from the west:

 

Psalm 103:

1    Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2    Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;

3    Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases;

4    Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

5    Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

6    The LORD performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed.

7    He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.

8    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

9    He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10   He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11   For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

12   As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13   Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.    (NASB)

 

 

All of God’s ways in the Torah – the Book of the Law of God, including His mercy and grace that removes our sins as far as the east is from the west, was given to and through Moses --- and then from him was to go to all the nations, and pertains to all Jew and Gentile believers.

 

 

 

 

The correct context of Acts 15 upholds the Law

 

 

So we see that the Bible tells us the law of Moses is not the 10 Commandments and the law of Moses is really the Law of God; and it contains the 10 Commandments, but the 10 Commandments also stands by itself.  The issue being raised in Acts 15 is not about the 10 Commandments at all, but the law of Moses, specifically that part of it which states if you have to be circumcised to be saved.  Now that this very important point is understood, we can discuss Acts 15 in its correct context and see if the entire Law of God, all the statutes and judgments including the 10 Commandments, is done away with and does not apply to Christians.

 

The context is about new Gentile converts. Gentiles at that time followed pagan gods, rituals and other practices. But God calls for Himself a holy people. Therefore, the apostle James addresses this question of new Gentile converts and the law of Moses with the understanding and context of the pagan lifestyles from which they have come, and he gives a list of basic things for these new Gentile converts to do. Here is Acts 15:19-20 again:    

 

Acts 15:

19   Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,

20   but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.

 

 

James says that for these new Gentile converts coming from paganism to the worship of the one true living God, they should at minimum observe these things to be able to come before and worship God in a holy state, as well as being able to worship together with their Jewish/Israelite brothers and sisters. They must not worship God with the use of pagan practices and traditions. All these things address the fact that they can no longer worship as pagans do:  

 

1.   Stay away from offering things to idols.

       – Pagan worship is heavily involved with idols and sacrifices to them, undue adoration and prayers to them or what they represent, etc.

 

2.   Stop committing sexual sins.

       – Pagan worship also had wild orgies and temple prostitutes, using sexual things in worship.

 

3.   Do not eat foods strangled.

       – Pagan worship did not care how animals/food should be killed or prepared.

          Food should not already be dead, but killed, and the blood should be let out.

 

4.   Do not eat or drink blood.

       – Pagan worship ate blood and also believed it gave special powers from what was ingested, even giving them life.

 

  

Therefore, the correct context in Acts 15 demands that we know what the law of Moses actually is (it is really the Law of God including the 10 Commandments as discussed earlier), and that we know the issue was addressed to new pagan converts. Regarding the new converts, Acts 15 is telling us that these new converts must turn away from their previous pagan practices – they cannot worship the one true living God the same way that they did before.

 

 

And as we mentioned earlier, the correct context is also whether or not new believers had to be circumcised to be saved:

 

Acts 15:

1    And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

5    But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them,

       and to command them to keep the law of Moses."

 

 

No, when Gentiles first believe, they do not have to be circumcised to be saved. 

 

 

Just as Abraham was declared righteous by his faith before he was circumcised, a person can be saved

without first being circumcised:

 

Romans 4:

9     Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.

10   How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised.

 

 

However, when Abraham came to faith, circumcision was given as a seal of the righteousness of faith:

 

Romans 4:

11    And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,

12   and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.   

 

 

Circumcision was given as an eternal covenant to Abraham and all his descendants:

 

Genesis 17:

7     And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

8     Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

9     And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.

10   This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;

11    and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.

12    He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.

13    He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

 

 

It must be noted that Abraham did not get circumcised when he first obeyed God and left his homeland (Genesis 12:1-4) or when he believed God that an heir from his own body would produce innumerable seed and it was accounted to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:1-6), but he became circumcised later in his walk with God (Genesis 17:7-13 as we read above).  As we just read, it was a seal of righteousness, an act of faith that was not done early in his walk with God, but later to be an everlasting covenant. 

 

 

Now that we are all considered to be children of Abraham, by both blood and faith, so does the seal of circumcision apply to Gentiles?

 

 

Elsewhere, Paul tells us Gentiles are grafted in as wild branches with the native branches that are Israel, and both Jews and Gentiles are now one in Jesus the Messiah as descendants of Abraham:

 

Romans 11:

11    I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.

12    Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

13    For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,

14    if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.

15    For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

16    For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17    And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,

18    do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

19    You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in."

20    Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.

21    For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

22    Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

23    And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

24    For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

25    For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

26    And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: " The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;

27    For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins."

 

Galatians 3:

26    For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

27    For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29    And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

 

Since Gentiles are now grafted in and one in Messiah as the seed of Abraham and the seal of circumcision is an eternal covenant with the seed of Abraham, would not circumcision also apply also to Gentiles?  The Bible seems to indicate so.

 

Some might say that circumcision of the flesh is for the Old Testament and is now obsolete, but circumcision of the heart or spiritual circumcision is for the New Testament and what counts now.  However, there is a problem with this, because there is nothing new about circumcision of the heart/spirit. God makes it clear that both circumcision of the flesh and the heart/spirit apply to Israel and all His people, those who love Him, whether Jew or Gentile, from the very beginning:

 

Exodus 12:

43    And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it.

44    But every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it.

45    A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it.

46    In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.

47    All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

48    And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.

49    One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you."

 

Note:  Remember that the apostle Paul says the Lord Jesus is our Passover and we should observe the feast, showing that all believers in Messiah, whether they are Jew or Gentile, must follow the same commandment and requirement to partake of our Passover.  The wild branch must become as a native branch. God does not have one set of rules for one people and a different set of rules for other people, but God has only one and the same set of laws for all people --- both Jews and Gentiles alike (of course, of the flesh applies only to male believers):

 

1 Corinthians 5:

          6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

          7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.

               For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

          8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness,

               but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

 

Deuteronomy 10:

16   Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.

17   For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.

 

Deuteronomy 30:

6    And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

 

Jeremiah 4:

4   Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, And take away the foreskins of your hearts, You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My fury come forth like fire, And burn so that no one can quench it, Because of the evil of your doings."

 

Ezekiel 44:

6    "Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "O house of Israel, let Us have no more of all your abominations.

7     When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it --- My house --- and when you offered My food, the fat and the blood, then they broke My covenant because of all your abominations.

8     And you have not kept charge of My holy things, but you have set others to keep charge of My sanctuary for you."

9    Thus says the Lord GOD: "No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner who is among the children of Israel.

 

 

Ezekiel 44 above tells us that in the yet future Temple during the millennial Kingdom of God, all peoples, whoever you are: Jew or Gentile, must be circumcised in both the heart/spirit and the flesh.  God also makes it clear in Ezekiel that He considers it an abominable practice that foreigners who were not circumcised in the heart/spirit and flesh were allowed to come into His sanctuary and defile it.  This truth in Ezekiel, combined with those who wish to partake of the Passover Lamb of God, is evidence that circumcision is indeed an everlasting covenant with the seed of Abraham – with all Jews and Gentiles of the faith and righteousness of Abraham who bow our knee to the one same Messiah; it is not just a physical circumcision or a spiritual circumcision, but both.  Just like the Bible tells us all believers must observe the Biblical feasts like Passover as one people in the past, now and in the future, the same thing applies for this covenant.


And let us not forget that the Lord Jesus, our Passover said He did not come to destroy the Law which will endure longer than heaven and earth.  Jesus’ reference to the Law is the Torah (‘instruction’, collectively the books Moses wrote which are the 1st five books of the Bible).  The Lord Jesus said that even the least of the commandments in the Torah are not done away with by Him – and the least of them should not be broken, but rather they should be taught to all; circumcision would be counted as one of the commands in Torah:

 

Matthew 5:

17   Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

18   For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19   Whoever 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 whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.    (AKJV)


 

The Bible shows that those wild branches grafted in with Israel must become like the native branches, and

should follow the same commandment and be circumcised in both flesh and heart. 

 

 

So what does Acts 15 say about this?  What does it tell us about the 10 Commandments? Is it done away?

 

And what about the law of Moses? Is that done away with?

 

Acts 15 tells us that the Law of God in its entirety – both His 10 Commandments and the Book of the Law which God gave through Moses, should both be observed. Let us review the entire context of James’ answer to the issue:

           

Acts 15:

13      And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, "Men and brethren, listen to me:

14      Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.

15      And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:

16      ' After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up;

17      So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, 

       Says the LORD who does all these things.'

18      "Known to God from eternity are all His works.

19      Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,

20      but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.

21      For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, 

        being read in the synagogues every Sabbath."

 

 

Note verse 21. Remember, the question is concerning Gentiles coming to faith in God.

 

 

So what is James really saying?

 

 

James is saying to not trouble the new Gentile converts, because they will learn of what Moses taught anyway – every week when they meet on the Sabbath. 

 

In other words, as we mentioned in the beginning: it is all about infants in the faith who start slow, but they must and will grow and mature in the faith and in the wisdom and understanding of the ways of God.  This applies to all believers, even today.

 

 

The Bible is telling us that before any new converts can worship the one true God, they must no longer engage in their old and wrong worship practices --- they must not carry over the things they were doing before into how to worship the Almighty.  In the case of Acts 15, they have to leave paganism; this is why James gives them those 4 points.  But once new converts stop their old ways and do not carry them over into their worship of the one true God, they are now prepared to learn the ways of God and worship God in spirit and truth, the way that He wants --- by learning the instructions (the Torah) God gave Moses on every Sabbath day.   

 

Stated another way: all Acts 15 is saying is for new converts to empty themselves before God, to come to Him with a clean slate so God through His holy word, the Bible will show them and fill them with His truth and His ways – and this is done on the Sabbath when they will learn the Torah.   

 

The observance of God’s 7th day Sabbath indicates that the 10 Commandments are still in force and for all believers whether they are Jew or Gentile.  And learning and reading of Moses and what he taught is referring to the law of Moses/Book of the Law of Moses which is really the Law of God/Book of the Law of God, and contains all of God’s laws, statutes, commandments, and judgments, including the 10 Commandments --- and also for all peoples, Jew or Gentile.

 

 

 

So the Bible in Acts 15 actually tells us the following two things:

 

 

1)

 

As we have seen from the beginning, the Book of the Law of Moses is the same thing as the Book of the Law of God (everything in the Torah/1st five books of the Bible), because God commanded these things to Moses to give to Israel and all the world, as we see in Deuteronomy 4 just before he reviews the Book of the Law starting with the 10 Commandments:

 

Deuteronomy 4:

5    "Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess.

6    Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'

7    "For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?

8    And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?    (NKJV)

 

 

The statutes and judgments which God commanded Moses to teach and then write down as the Book of the Law is still valid for all nations – but just not yet for the new convert. In other words, the Book of the Law is solid food and not milk, but the new convert needs milk, and therefore are given only four rules to begin with. Later on, as they mature in Christ and are taught Moses on the Sabbaths, they will progress and grow, and will be able to eat this solid food.

 

Note Hebrews 5 below:

 

Hebrews 5:

12      For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God;

and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

13      For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

14      But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

 

Verse 14 is especially relevant, because it connects solid food/maturity with being able to discern good and evil. And just what is the Law of God? Its very purpose is to let us know what is sin and unholy – to let us know what is evil:

 

1 John 3:

4   Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

 

Romans 7:

7   What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law.

    For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."

 

 

The statutes and judgments God gives through Moses is just an extension of the 10 Commandments and also speaks about holiness to God for all of God’s people (both Jew and Gentile) to be holy and priests. It is no wonder than that Moses should be taught every Sabbath to all people, Jew and Gentile, so we can grow in faith, love, holiness, and obedience to our God in Christ.

 

God has always intended for ALL His Law the 10 Commandments in stone and the Book of the Law to be observed by all God-fearing people, both Jew and non-Jew, since the very beginning and it will be again:

 

Exodus 19:

5   Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant,

    then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

6   And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

7   So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the LORD commanded him.

8   Then all the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do."

    So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.

 

Zechariah 8:

20   "Thus says the LORD of hosts: ' Peoples shall yet come, Inhabitants of many cities;

21   The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, " Let us continue to go and pray before the LORD, 

        And seek the LORD of hosts. I myself will go also."

22   Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.'

23   "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." ' "

 

Isaiah 2:

2    Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD's house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.

3    Many people shall come and say, " Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; 

        He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, 

        And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

 

1 Peter 2:

4     Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

5     you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

6     Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, " Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame."

7     Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, " The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,"

8     and " A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

9     But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

10   who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.   

 

 

So milk is given to new Gentile converts, but it is expected that they will learn and grow to take solid food. They will graduate to and live the holiness God expects from His people who are called to be holy --- everything written in the Law of God/Book of the Law of God which includes the 10 Commandments and other things, tells us how to be a holy people unto God (note: only for the sacrificial law, Messiah is the perfect once-for-all atonement so we must have faith in Him as the Son of God who has fulfilled the sacrificial requirement and purchased us from the debt of sin and death).  We are, after all, called to be priests in a holy nation.

 

 

 

2)

 

Acts 15 confirms the 10 Commandments are valid for Jews and Gentiles.

 

It mentions the Sabbath very matter-of-factly, because the believer in God is expected to obey the will of God in His 10 Commandments. The Bible truth of the matter is that it is plainly understood the 10 Commandments should be observed by all believers. This is what the apostle Peter says:

 

Acts 15:

6    Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.

7    And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: "Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago

God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.

8    So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,

9    and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

 

 

Peter tells us that the Gentiles now receive the holy spirit of God just as the Jews did. What does this mean? This means that the same spirit of God that writes the law in the hearts and minds of the Jews is the same spirit that also writes the law in the hearts and minds of the Gentiles:

 

Hebrews 8:

10   For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, 

        says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, 

        and they shall be My people.

11   None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, 

        from the least of them to the greatest of them.

12   For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

 

 

We see this is exactly the case where in Romans 8 we are told the fleshly mind is not subject to God’s Law, but the spiritual mind is subject to the law of God:

 

Romans 8:

5    For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, 

        the things of the Spirit.

6    For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7    Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

8    So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9    But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. 

        Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

 

 


The persons who are subject to the law of God and please God are those who have the Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ within them which write the law of God in their hearts and minds:

 

Fleshly mind  =  is NOT subject to the Law of God (because the spirit of God and Christ are not within them and therefore God’s law is not written in their hearts and minds)

 

Spiritual mind  =  is subject to the Law of God (because the spirit of God and Christ are within them and writes God’s law into our hearts and minds)


It is the truth that we do not observe God's law to be saved, but once we are saved, the spirit of God conforms us into the image of His son and we do obey and produce good works, as Jesus does.

 

 

Acts 15 states that Jews and Gentiles meet regularly every Sabbath which is a Bible truth that has never changed. It declares that the 10 Commandments are not obsolete at all, but is to observed since the start of this creation and at least until the heavens and earth pass away as the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18. If the 10 Commandments were abolished, James, Peter and Paul would have said so in the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, but they did not.

 

The Jews and Gentiles knew the 10 Commandments were for all peoples and they observed them.  They were people who feared (had a reverential awe and healthy respect for) God. They met every Sabbath as a congregation together to learn of the Scriptures which at that time, was everything in the Old Testament. This truth that both Jews and Gentiles are supposed to observe the 7th day Sabbath and the 10 Commandments is clearly seen just two chapters previous:

 

Acts 13:

14   But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.

15   And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, "Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on."

16   Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, "Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:

17   The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it.

18   Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness.

19   And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.

20   "After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

21   And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

22   And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'

23   From this man's seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior --- Jesus ---

24   after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

25   And as John was finishing his course, he said, 'Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.'

26   "Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent.

27   For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.

28   And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death.

29   Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.

30   But God raised Him from the dead.

31   He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.

32   And we declare to you glad tidings --- that promise which was made to the fathers.

33   God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ' You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'

34   And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus:

         ' I will give you the sure mercies of David.'

35   Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ' You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.'

36   "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption;

37   but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.

38   Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;

39   and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

40   Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:

41   ' Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.' "

42   So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.

43   Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

44   On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

45   But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.

46   Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

47   For so the Lord has commanded us: ' I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.' "

48   Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

49   And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.    (NKJV)

 

 

So we see the 7th day Sabbath and the 10 Commandments were already known and observed by Gentile believers even before Acts 15, and most importantly, we see that the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 was not even addressing the 10 Commandments at all, and therefore definitely did not abolish them.  The conclusion is that the 10 Commandments of God, including His 7th day Sabbath, still stands for both Jews and God-fearing non-Jews.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

Once we know what the real question is, the proper context and the meanings of what we are reading, we are able to arrive at the true meaning of what the Bible is telling us in Acts 15.

 

The question was always: “What should the new Gentile converts be told to do regarding the law of Moses (which is the Law of God – all of it, including the 10 Commandments), when they first come to faith in God in Christ?”

 

It was never a question about the 10 Commandments.  The answer is given specifically for these new Gentile converts who have come from pagan religions – they must turn away from these pagan worship practices and be given milk first regarding Moses.  It was always about the level of maturity of new converts or “infants” in the faith.  As these converts grow in their faith and understanding, they will learn more of Moses and all of God’s laws – the 10 Commandments and the Book of the Law of Moses/Book of the Law of God, and then eat solid food, and obey the entire will of God as given in all His laws.  The law of Moses/God or the Book of the Law is not obsolete and is for everyone --- both the Jew and the Gentile.

 

Included in this answer that the Book of the Law is not obsolete is also the plain truth that the 10 Commandments are not obsolete either. Jews and Gentiles gathered together on the Sabbaths and studied Scripture together and observed God’s commandments. It is only the traditions of men that came centuries later that has hidden the Bible truth of God’s 10 Commandments which has been passed down ever since to this very day.

 

 

However, God is working a mighty work in these end times, and He is gathering Jews and Gentiles together once again to worship in spirit and truth – knowing and observing that the Law of God is for all peoples who love Him: one God, one Messiah, one Law, one Israel.

 

More and more Jews know today that the Lord Jesus is their Messiah.

More and more Gentiles know today that God’s Law is for everyone.

 

This is a return to the faith once delivered to the saints: 

 

Jude 1:

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.