Understanding Acts 15 and other questions in their Proper Context!

We often get asked sincere questions from individuals around the world who are seeking to share Torah truths with their families and friends, but get resistance as they are indoctrinated by the “church”, and rebut with statements and questions from only the New Testament, which unfortunately, they do not understand the context of as they do not the knowledge of the Jewish people and religion of the first century.  Thus, they feel justified in creating new doctrines and subscribe to theology based solely on the NT and on these misunderstandings as disseminated by the “church”.  

Below is a series of questions that came in that I thought you would be blessed to hear the answers to, as I know so many of you are also seeking to give answers to the same questions to your family and friends who do not understand your walk in Torah.

A sincere Called-Out Believer writes: 

Hello Rabbi Yitzchak, I have family who have announced they are switching to the Eastern Orthodox church and we ended up speaking all night. Unfortunately I am not an eloquent verbal conversationalist and did not explain well enough what I have now come to practice with the Assembly and Torah.  They asked me questions I don’t know the answers to. So I am asking you in hopes of understanding more myself. They are saying that Acts 15 tells the history of the Eastern Orthodox church. That the apostles set it in motion with Acts 15 confirming this action. That EOC is the church Jesus wanted them to begin.

They want to know (and these are their words): 
1. The “Church” promotes it’s authority and would ask God’s “who gives the authority to the Assembly” to teach and lead God’s people back to the ancient paths.

2. If doing the bread and drink on Sabbath is so important to Jesus why didn’t He say this in the new testament plainly? How did what you do in practicing the Sabbath get known?

3. Why doesn’t everyone know what Jesus expected us to do at the Sabbath? 

4. If Acts 15 doesn’t prove the apostles started the church (Eastern orthodox church) then what is Acts 15 saying?

I’m sorry 😞 I need your counsel on all this, I request help please.  I simply do not have the answers they are seeking with the above questions they are asking me.  Thank you, Rabbi.

My Answer:

Shalom and Blessings to you in the Name of our loving Heavenly Father! Thank you for your questions and sincere desire to lead others to truth!

Unfortunately the eastern Orthodox and Greek Orthodox are very enticing to those who do not really know the true scriptures and base their doctrine solely on the New Testament which is the first reason why they are deceived. The New Testament’s purpose is simply to give an account of the validity of the prophecies concerning the Yeshua and to show how, just as he said, “he came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (not church) and his apostles after his death and resurrection went out to the gentile world where the lost sheep of the House of Israel we’re already scattered (since the Assyrian captivity of the northern 10 tribes in 722 BCE) and in the process many Gentiles were convicted and desires to convert. Yeshua never created a new religion nor did away with the Sabbath, but he upheld the law perfectly as our savior, and taught others to do the same.   When Deuteronomy 18:18 God promises to send a “Prophet like Moshe” from the people of Israel, who he will put His word (Torah) in his mouth meaning he will uphold the law and teach it just as Moshe did!

To answer simply some of your questions:

Question 1: The “Church” promotes it’s own authority and would ask the Assembly of Called-Out Believers “who gives the authority to the Assembly” to teach and lead God’s people back to the ancient paths.

Answer: God’s people have always been known as an Assembly (kahal) of Called-Out ones believing in the One True God of Israel (and not a church from the earliest of times which get it’s name from “Circe” (pronounced “chirche”) meaning a pagan building of idol worship – for more on this check out our article called “The True Origin and meaning of the Church”).  The Prophet Jeremiah says “our forefathers have inherited lies” (Jer. 16:19) and he also says we are to “return to the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it (Jer. 6:16)!   Only Yah has the Sovereignty to give authority and wisdom to His messengers of Truth.  Daniel 4:7 says, “the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and He bestows it on whom He wishes, and sets over it [the realm of mankind] the lowliest [humblest] of men.”  Daniel 2:21 says, ““It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; and He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.”  But God also warned us of the Roman power who would “ think to change times and law” (i.e. the church – Dan. 7:25).  “Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4)

Question 2: If doing the bread and drink on Sabbath is so important to Jesus why didn’t He say this in the new testament plainly? The New Testament is not the source of our doctrines as 2 Timothy 3:6 says, “all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for doctrine” Rabbi Shaul (Paul) was referring to the Tanakh (Torah, Nevi’im/Prophets, and Ketuvim/Writings) which was the only scriptures in existence at his time and the only place we should get our doctrine from. Furthermore, it is not the purpose of those in the NT who are sharing the light of Christ to expound upon everything he said, as even John 21:25 said,

“Now, there are many other things that Yeshua did. If they were all written down one by one, I suppose that the whole world could not hold the books that would be written.

How did what the Jewish people do in practicing the Sabbath get known? 

Answer: Everything has been passed down from the revelation at Sinai… some of it written and some of it passed down orally.

Question 3: Why doesn’t everyone know what Jesus expected us to do at the Sabbath?

Answer: God already told us what he expects and Yeshua did not change anything in regards to the Shabbat.  In Genesis 2 God established 7th day Sabbath at Creation for all mankind.  In Exodus 20:8-11 He wrote with His own finger,

Remember Yom Shabbat, to keep it holy.  You are to work six days, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat to Adonai your God. In it you shall not do any work—not you, nor your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, nor the outsider that is within your gates.  For in six days Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.”

Thus Adonai blessed Yom (the day) Shabbat, and made it holy.  Furthermore, God has told us that His Sabbaths are what separate us as His people.  In Ex 31:13 He says,

Speak now to Bnei-Yisrael saying, ‘Surely you must keep My Shabbats, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, so you may know that I am Adonai who sanctifies you.  Therefore you are to keep the Shabbat!” 

This statement from Heavenly Father who does not change also says that keeping Sabbath is what “sanctifies” us, meaning the only what to “holiness” as His people is through Sabbath keeping!  God through the Prophet Ezekiel in Eze. 20:12, 20 gives a third witness to the importance of His Holy Days saying,

I gave them My Shabbats, as a sign between Me and them, so that they would know that I am Adonai who made them holy… and verse 20 God reiterates it importance by saying, Keep My Shabbats holy, so they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am Adonai your God.’ 

For an Article for your family about the importance of Shabbat and how it never done away with (but only changed from Saturday to the Sun-day by the papacy of the pagan sun-worshipping Roman Catholic Church) please check out our study here: https://www.calledoutbelievers.org/the-importance-of-keeping-shabbat-holy/

Question 4:  If Acts 15 doesn’t prove the apostles started the church (Eastern orthodox church) then what is Acts 15 saying?

Answer: The passage starts off with the purpose that some Jews came to Antioch, (an ancient Greek city in Turkey, directly north of Israel only 300 miles) to teach the new Gentile believers there, and were telling them they need to be circumcised in order to convert to Judaism, but when back in Jerusalem and reporting this to the Council, there was some disagreement as to the priority of things being taught as many of the gentiles were not even keeping the basic noahide laws and this is why in other passages (vs. 29) it only mentions first teaching them the noahide laws as it is important for gentiles to keep them first before coming into covenant With God and the Jewish people and seeking to observe the whole of the Torah (as verse 28 says “not to lay any heavier burden upon you”). The seven noahide laws were given by God (commanded) to Noah to teach his sons and all the descendants of the world and are incumbent for all gentiles to keep to avoid judgment and to have a place in the world to come are as follows:

  1. Not to worship idols.
  2. Not to curse God or misuse His Holy name
  3. Not to commit murder.
  4. Not to commit or sexual immorality including adultery and bestiality,.
  5. Not to steal.
  6. Not to eat flesh torn from a living animal.
  7. To establish courts of justice.

In verse 29 the Jerusalem council finally determined it was necessary to advise the Gentiles believers to first focus on the three noahide laws they were not keeping before seeking to convert, namely: to abstain from sacrificing and offering to idols (#1), from eating blood and from eating things strangled (#6), and from sexual immorality (#4).

Of course without a knowledge of Judaism or any contextual understanding one will not understand the issue the Messianic Jews of the Jerusalem Council are addressing in Acts 15 with the Gentiles before coming into covenant with Yah and His people as converts.  Nowhere does it say anything about them establishing another religion and this is only promoted by Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox and Greek Orthodox as a foundation to justify their existence.                                                                             

I hope this helps others… we are praying for each of you and your witness to your families and friends and for their hearts to be softened as fertile soil to receive the word of truth and for them to “come out” of all the false systems of Babylonian sun-day worship!  Brachot, shalom, v’ahavta!


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Torah Parashah teaching with video and audio and illustrations by Rabbi Isaac. © 2020 Assembly of Called-Out Believers. Use by Permission.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for your prayers for our families as they too are enlightened to the truth of Torah. I have 3 adult children and 7 grandchildren that I appreciate your prayers for.
    So thankful for your ministry and teaching!!!!
    Blessings
    Laura Keen

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