Messianic Judaism 14 – Galatians 2

 1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. Galatians 2:1-2 (KJV)

Again, Paul cites the facts that if he was saved, it was of God. Paul furthermore cites the authorities of the apostles. It’s settled, Paul’s conversion and calling is of God.

3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. Galatians 2:3-5 (KJV)

Now, Paul here does address circumcision. However, he throws it out there quickly – and drops it.

If the main thrust of Galatians were circumcision, and forcing conversion to Judaism to be saved… why does Paul mention it quickly and then leave it? Galatians could then have been about as long as Philemon – a quick book, and done.

But Paul keeps talking about bondage – indeed, contrasting “bondage” and “liberty”.

If Galatians were about conversion, why does he refer to “Us” as who they were trying to bring into bondage?

Paul and the Apostles were Jews. They didn’t need to convert. And if Galatians is not about Torah Observance, how could the apostles be free, or be brought back into bondage? And notice he contrasts the bondage as being the opposite of the Gospel.

Yesterday, I spent a great deal of time analyzing the difference between “gift” and “wage”. If you didn’t see that, go back and read it!

THe Bible is amazingly clear! If you PAUSE and take your time to look at what’s written there, you’ll see all this has been right before your eyes all along!

Now, here’s where I contrast what I’m teaching versus what the Messianics teach (that true torah teaching has been lost until recently, blah blah blah)… has anyone else noticed this besides me in the last two thousand years???

NO!!! I am the first to… oh, wait… that’s right. George Zeller of Middletown Baptist Church. Well, he and I alone are the only… oh, wait, David Cloud.

The THREE of us are… Are you going to keep interrupting me with names??? I’m on a huge ego trip right now! Okay, there’s Adam Clarke, Marc Monte, just about every Baptist pastor who’s ever lived, most of the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the….

Well aside from the 20 million of us, no others have ever noticed this! Mwahahahahaha!!! I shall eat a sugary confectionary type dessert in triumph!

okay, giddiness aside, these facts have been obvious to just about EVERY saved Christian who’s cracked open a Bible and actually paid attention to what’s written in it! I mean, we’re talking millions of people over 2,000 years! I’m not the sole dispenser of truth.

Am I the only person to notice contrastive thought? No, we had a long class on it in Seminary. Even though I’d been doing it for a while, they managed to make it sound really complicated. really all it is is “rightly dividing the word of God”. Anyone who’s read the bible through at least 6 times will have started noticing it. I guarantee, the number of people who’ve discovered this has got to be around the hundreds of millions mark!

Paul is contrastive something that Jews were presented with, and didn’t tolerate even an hour. That can only be one thing. Not circumcision, as that concept can’t have placed them under bondage.

What is it?

The Law.

What is it that beats inside every Jew, like a second heartbeat? The Law. “keep the law…” whispers their conscience. “Shomer ha’Torah…”

Until you find Christ.

I think it intersting that Stan Telchin, a conservative Jew who converted to Christianity, at first embraced the budding Messianic Movment, but then quickly tossed it aside as Messianics began the Torah Observance push back around 1996 or so. Recently, he wrote a book blasting Messianic Judaism, for these same reasons, going to far as to say it is not Christianity.

The Torah Observance folks agree – Messianic Judaism is Judaism, they say.

Wrong thinking. Christianity is the religion of Jesus Christ. What Messianics are trying to do is take Rabbinic Judaism and add Jesus to it. But Jesus made it abundantly clear that the leaven of the pharisees was corrupting. Notice he used the word “Leaven”. Every observant Jew knows that matzoh has a very short shelf life before cooking, as the immediate presence of the water in the flour cases the fermenting process. It turns “Matzoh” into “Chametz”, leavened product. forbidden during Passover week.

THe adding of Jesus to Judaism is not compatible. The Lord Jesus Christ made it clear He was calling us OUT. The very name “kehillat” or congregation, means to be called out. So when in Matthew 16 the Lord said He was making His church, that meant He was calling us out of Judaism.

I have not left my Judaism, I instead joined those called out of the world. My Judaism is gone, but my Jewishness remains.

How? I was called out. There was K’al Israel, all of Judaism. And then there were the Chassids, the righteous. I was one of those. the Chasssids were those Ekklesia out of Israel.

I knoiw I’m mixing Greek with Judaism, but that’s okay, the Bible does the same thing.

While I no longer must keep the law, I remain a Jew. and furthermore, I am proud to say I am a Christian. I’m one of the followers of Jesus Christ, by His grace.

So, should I put my yarmulke back on? Well, I think I donated them to a thrift store, or threw them away – I don’t remember. I remember one of the most freeing moments of my life was taking the two handled hand washing cup and throwing it right in the center of a dumpster. BANG!!! What a NOISE it made!

I don’t miss it. And to think, I was relying on that cup to bear witness of me at God’s Judgment, as the Rabbis said! THAT’s foolishness!

And knowing the grace of Christ, you want to go to two refrigerators? Two sets of dishes? Tallis, tefillin, bencher at dinner time? “Savri, M’rabenon!!!!” You want to go to the two sealed cupboards with your Seder set in it? You want to get a Messianic Siddur, with ritualized prayers in it? You want to go to all that?

At the end of the Galatians articles, i’m going to lay out what Torah Observance really is. And don’t think I’m boasting, as to many Lubavitch I was probably fairly Frei, non-observant. Compared to the Apostle Paul, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, I wasn’t anywhere NEAR his level as an observant Jew.

6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: 7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. Galatians 2:6-10 (KJV)

The only commandment that Paul and Barnabas were commanded to observe was charity, which is more a Jewish custom than really Torah Observance. I had a pushke, a little charity box. Most Jews will drop a couple of coins in it prior to Shabbos. So great! If I place a nickel in it every week, how much will I be able to give to the poor between Rosh Hashanah and Yom kippur?

Two dollars and sixty cents.

Wow. Surely poverty has been eliminated!

Paul and Barnabas were Shluchim, Apostles, sent ones. A Shaliach often was sent somewhere as a representative of a synagogue, and one of their duties was to give to charity. So several men of the synagogue would give you a dollar to take with you and place in the nearest pushke once you got to your destination.

There was on talk whatsoever of “here’s how we do this…” But when I was with the Chassids, I saw a guy come to us whose father was with the Breslever Chassids, and it seemed like forever it was a “We don’t do it that way…” when he was with us. THe way they did Gartl was different, tallis, it seemed like everything!

So… if Peter and the others were all keeping the torah, as the Messianics claim – this would have been the moment for them to have said, “sh’aul, we don’t do it that way…”.

but all they talked about was…” take this dollar to Caesarea and put it in a pushke!”

Conclusion – the Apostles weren’t keeping any Torah.

Messianics may argue with my interpretation, but hey, I’m reading the New Testament with Jewish eyes, like you keep babbling about! And that’s what it’s saying to me!

Tomorrow, the rest of Galatians 2.