Okay, so 14 years later, I went to Jerusalem again because I was given a direct revelation that required my compliance and obedience. I took Bar-Nabba and Titus with me.
The revelation I got was this: Go and talk with the leaders in Jerusalem that believe and are teaching that the ONLY way that non-Jews can be accepted equally under the covenant is if they are circumcised . . . they can only be accepted if they become Jewish.
I did this privately because I was concerned that the work I had done before might have been undone by them.
Let me clear something up before I go on.
Culturally, this is hard stuff for some people, maybe most. But make no mistake, teaching non-Jews that circumcision is required before God’s grace can apply to them is teaching them a different gospel! A different gospel than the one I gave you before . . . .
In fact, it was people like this that pretended to be brothers that snuck into our own group to spy out the freedoms we have in the Messiah Yeshua. Once in, they even tried to get my non-Jewish companion Titus to become circumcised. The reasoned, attacked, used social media . . .
You may have even seen some of their memes on social media like this one:
“You ain’t saved unless your circumsaved . . . period.”
or this one,
“Circumcision – Its the Law!”
or this one,
“Only pagans and unbelievers refuse to be circumcised.”
Of course they failed! Even though they have followers and are growing, we didn’t and don’t give their “different gospel” even a moments thought. We don’t and didn’t, so that the REAL truth of the Good News would be preserved for you!
Make no mistake, these false brothers infiltrate us and post these memes of theirs for only one reason:
They want to enslave people to THEIR convictions and teachings . . . to THEIR gospel.
So these acknowledged leaders, supposedly learned men with reputations, or whatever you want to call them, makes no difference to me, because they teach is a different gospel and you know how I feel about that already.
Think about it . . . if you consider for a moment what they are saying and teaching, then you can only come to one conclusion:
God judges by outward appearances. REALLY?!?
The leaders of this movement haven’t got some new revelation. But in case you missed it, let’s reiterate something to be perfectly clear:
God does NOT judge by outward appearances!!!
So when I went to Jerusalem, I faced a congregation that had some of these leaders from this movement in their congregations. Most people there didn’t know me. They probably did know ABOUT me and what I had done prior to my encounter with Messiah.
They saw with their own eyes that I had been entrusted with Good News for the Uncircumcised in the same way that Kefa has been entrusted to give the Good News to the circumcised.
Some of the people there saw that the same one working in Kefa to make him an emissary to the circumcised was the same one working in me to make me an emissary to the non-Jews . . . the UN-circumcised!
Let me tell you something amazing . . . they recognized the grace that had been given to me! 3 of their most prominent leaders and Rabbis (Ya’akov – the leader, Kefa, and Yochanan) – Real pillars in the community there and acknowledged by most as such, offered Bar-Nabba and I the right hand of fellowship. Even though I had previously been a Charles Manson type that persecuted and killed them for following Messiah. They did this so that we might go to the non-Jews (uncircumcised) and they to the Jews (circumcised).
They only had one request of us . . .
that we should be mindful of the poor and not forget them and their needs.
But make no mistake, later, when Kefa (one of the prominent Rabbis and pillars of that community that had offered me the right hand of fellowship) came to Antioch, his prominence and his “pillarship” where of no consequence to me when his own hypocrisy hurt people in our group.
Kefa had been staying with us in our group and had been eating with the NON-Jewish believers among us (the uncircumcised).
However, when a contingent from the assembly led by Ya’akov (the leader and chief Rabbi for the community in Jerusalem) arrived in Antioch, Kefa withdrew from the non-Jews and separated himself from them.
He did this because he was afraid of what some in the contingent might say or do – specifically, that faction in the contingent from Ya’akov’s congregation that believe that non-Jews needed to be circumcised before God’s grace will apply to them.
Kefa’s hypocrisy caused other Jewish believers among us to stumble as well – to become hypocrites as well. Even Bar-Nabba got caught up in it and joined with them in their hypocrisy.
When I saw this, I publicly opposed and corrected Kefa and the rest of them because they were clearly in the WRONG! I did this publicly so that everyone would know HOW WRONG it was and WHY . . .
I asked this question to Kefa publicly and in front of everyone:
“If you, Kefa, are a Jew, and have been living like a non-Jew,
why, all of a sudden, do you expect non-Jews to live like Jews?
True enough, we are Jews by birth and not pagan sinners.
However, our human nature and endeavors don’t justify us before a Holy God . . .
Only ONE THING justifies us before God . . . trusting faithfulness in the Messiah Yeshua.”
Would you go backwards and say,
“trusting faithfulness in the Messiah Yeshua, justifies us before God
as long as, it begins with circumcision?!?” SMH!
If so, then what you are saying, whether you mean to or not, is that righteousness comes from a legalistic observation of Torah commands INSTEAD OF from trusting faithfulness in the Messiah Yeshua?!?
Is THAT really the gospel YOU want or intend to proclaim? In the hypocrisy of your actions, you are doing just that!
I will tell you something else! If that is your message – if that is the gospel you are proclaiming –
NO ONE will be rendered innocent or pronounced righteous with THAT gospel before God . . . in a word, justified.
We came to realize that a person is declared righteous, and in right standing before God, by absolute faith and reliance on, and adherence to, trust in the anointed one of God – Yeshua the Messiah, and as such, we have also come to realize, that a person is NOT declared righteous and in right standing before God by absolute faith and reliance on, and adherence to trust, that denigrates into nothing more than a legalistic observation of commands in the Torah.
Why would you want to go back into a legalistic bondage and misinterpretation of the Torah and makes yourself under the curse once again – a transgressor all over again?
Would your really throw Yeshua’s sacrifice away so casually – so easy?!?
When Messiah was executed as a criminal on the cross . . .
I was too; so that the life I live now is by trust, and not some sort of proud ego.
I am a sinner just like the non-Jews are. I needed His sacrifice just as much.
I live in trusting faithfulness in the Messiah Yeshua so that I might live in direct relationship with God.
I was given and needed the same gracious gift the non-Jew was given:
the gift of His son who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
You think I am going to reject this gift?!?
You think I am going to reject this gift by trying to attain righteousness through legalistic observance of Torah commands?
Not going to happen!!!
But know this, and make sure you understand it:
If legalistic observation of Torah commands is the way in which one becomes righteous – justified before God . . . .
pay attention now . . .
then the Messiah’s death was pointless . . .