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Tsiyon Messianic Radio Newsletter  - Vol 15.56 - 10/07/6020 TAM  - 12/12/2020 AD


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Be still, and know that I am Elohim. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.
YHWH of Armies is with us. The Elohim of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Psalms 46:10+11

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From Eliyahu

Consider this:

We weren't expecting this!In Acts Chapter 10 we have the story of the first Gentile convert, the Roman Centurion Cornelius, being saved along with his household through faith in Yeshua the Messiah. Upon being immersed by Peter he and his household were all filled with the Holy Spirit the same as Jewish believers had been, signifying acceptance into the Household of Elohim through Messiah. This probably never would have happened if the Lord Himself had not intervened, supernaturally sending Peter to the home of the Gentile. Up until then, Jews could not accept Gentiles into fellowship unless they were ritually circumcised as proselytes. This was such a constant feature of Jewish custom, based on Scripture as understood at the time, that the very idea of accepting an uncircumcised Gentile into fellowship was shocking to Jewish sensibilities. In Acts Chapter 11 (which we are discussing tonight at our online Tsiyon meeting) we have the story of Peter being grilled by his Jewish Messianic brethren in Jerusalem, being required to explain his involvement in the reported shocking events! Much of the story of Acts 10 is repeated again in Peter's defense of himself in Acts 11, as if a second witness was necessary to be recorded for these events to be believed by the Jewish recipients of the Acts account - it was that big an issue for the first community of Jewish Messianic believers.

Would you eat this?Actually, it had been that big an issue for Peter. It had taken nothing less than a vision from heaven of every unclean sort of beast, accompanied by an order to kill and eat these unclean things, the vision repeated no less than three times, to open up Peter's mind enough to receive Messiahs supernatural directive to take the Good News to the Gentile Cornelius and his Household. By this supernatural means Messiah propelled the Good News eventually to Antioch, and from there to the entire Mediterranean world, and beyond.

Its interesting that Scriptural questions about this incident still abound. One area of disagreement for some has to do with the Biblical food commandments of the Torah. Did Peters vision mean that those food commandments do not apply anymore? Our Scripture Presentation in the archive at https://tsiyon.net/2020-11-07-sabbath-meeting/ deals with that. However, not all who heard that agreed. One comment included a number of verses people often point to which they say essentially cancels the food commandments. I appreciate this comment with its list of verses. Since we are now going into this same story of Peters vision again, it seemed to me that others might like to see these verses, along with the point of view of the Jewish New Testament Commentary offering a Jewish Messianic point of view. For the record, I'm not 100% in agreement with either position, but I think comparing these two ways of thinking helps to shed some light on the sincere controversy involved. I will also offer some thoughts of my own. Now, the first verse:

For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4: 4-5. KJV

Not everything is food.The term every creature used in the KJV is suggestive of meats. However, other versions show a broader thought, as in these translations: everything created by God is good (NASB) everything created by God is good (CJB) all things created by God are good (Lamsa) etc. Everything created by God is good, but do you want to eat motor oil, glass shards, or hemlock? That's the point here:

Everything created by God is good, but not everything created by God is food. Therefore, this verse does not abolish the Jewish dietary laws. Jewish New Testament Commentary

Context is always important. In our next passage Yeshua is addressing those who make the word of God of none effect through your tradition (vs 13) - He is correcting traditions of men, not commandments of God. He says:

There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?  Mark 7:15-19 KJV

Here in Mark 7, Yeshua is addressing religious customs that supposedly make you a clean person by virtue of the food you eat. Yeshua points out how ridicules that is, since everything ends up in the sewer anyway. Your food has no effect on your heart, in the sense of making you a better person. The food commandments of the Torah do not purport to make you a better person. Those commandments are practical, given to maximize your health and lifespan. There is no penalty given in the Torah for ignoring the food laws, since ignoring them carries penalty enough, in terms of health problems and potentially shortened life span. Your choice.

Dirty minds make for dirty people.Here is a verse some apply to the food laws:

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Romans 14:14 KJV

OK, this is one of those things Paul says that must be taken with some discretion. Nothing unclean? How about sin? Is sin unclean? How about rotting, maggot-infested slop? Is that unclean? Why do you take a shower if nothing, including you, is unclean? Sometimes Paul (and others) overstate a point to make a larger point. The point here is that if you have a dirty mind then you will have dirty thoughts, and that will be how you see everything and everyone. All true. Nothing to do with the food commandments.

We could go on with many more verses that sincere believers could argue over on this topic of food. While I'm willing to share my position on the food commandments, which I strive to keep, I don't judge other believers over it. It is not a salvation issue, although it does seem to be a contentious issue for a lot of people. My opinion is that it is pretty far down on the priority list as a spiritual issue - and things like love of God and neighbor, obedient works of faith, and walking by the Spirit, are much more pressing in the individual lives of all real believers. We are all growing, if we are following Him. As we grow He keeps enlightening us and perfecting our faith, and in time we will all come to the unity of faith with Him and with one another. HalleluYah! (See Ephesians 4)   

The KIngdom advances to Antioch!Wherever you come down on the food issue, you will find the growth of the early assembly in Acts 11 encouraging to consider. The Good News kept advancing despite every obstacle and controversy encountered! That's what overcoming is all about - pressing on in the real world advancing Messiah's Kingdom! Join me tonight, at tsiyon.net, at 8 pm cst, for this exciting look into the advancement of the Kingdom in the 1st century. It's a pattern for us!

Blessings and good health to you!



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