1Then some men came to Antioch from Judea and began teaching the Gentile believers: “You can’t be delivered if you’re not circumcised as Moses taught us.”2Paul and Barnabas were against this teaching and argued with these men about it. So the group decided to send Paul, Barnabas, and some others to Yerushalim to talk more about this with the other followers and elders. 3 The fellowship helped them get ready to leave on their trip. Then the men went through the countries of Phoenicia and Samaria, where they told all about how the nations had turned to YAHUAH. This made all the believers very happy.
4When the men arrived in Yerushalim, the chosen followers and elders, (+ the whole fellowship) welcomed them. Paul, Barnabas, and the others told them all about what YAHUSHA had done with them. 5Some of the believers in Jerusalem had belonged to the Pharisees, and they said, “Gentile believers must be circumcised. We must tell them to obey the Law of Moses!”
6So YAHUSHA’S chosen followers and the elders gathered to discuss this matter. 7And after a long debate, Peter stood up and said to them,
“My brothers, I’m sure you remember what happened in the early days. YAHUSHA chose me from among you to speak the Good News to those who are not Jewish. It was from me that they heard the Good News and believed in the first place! 8YAHUSHA knows everyone, even their thoughts, and He accepted these Gentile people, proving this to us by giving them His Spirit the same as He did to us. 9So to YAHUSHA, those people are no different from us, and when they believed, YAHUSHA cleansed their hearts by belief also. 10So now, why are you puting this YOKE ('TEACHING' ie circumcision in this case) on the necks of these Gentile believers? Are you trying to make YAHUSHA angry? We and our fathers weren't even able to bear that yoke ourselves (ie behave Torah properly). 11No, we believe that we Jews and these Gentile believers will be delivered the same way—by the favour of our Master YAHUSHA.”
LIVING TORAH (YAHUSHA'S INSTRUCTIONS) IS NOT A HEAVY YOKE TO BEAR (QUITE THE OPPOSITE), BUT WITHOUT YAHUSHA'S SPIRIT & DIVINE HEART OPERATION, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO BEHAVE.
WHEN YAHUSHA SAID `COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO ARE HEAVY-LAIDEN AND BURDENED, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST... LEARN FROM ME FOR MY YOKE (TEACHING) IS LIGHT"... IT WASN'T THE TORAH-YOKE THAT WAS WEIGHING PEOPLE DOWN ... IT WAS THE STRESSES OF LIVING IN THIS WORLD, WITH THE CONDITION OF SIN.
Unlike western religion today, most of Israel never saw Torah as a burden - for it connected them with YAHUAH, gave them purpose, identity and inheritance ... Just like the YOKE on an animal was never to be heavy, cruel or inflict pain, but to keep the animal focussed, connected with it's master's desires in the field and the task at hand ...
12Then the whole group became quiet, listening while Paul and Barnabas told them all about the miraculous signs and wonders that YAHUSHA had done through them among the Gentile people.
13And when they finished speaking, James (YAHUSHA'S BROTHER) said, “My brothers, listen to me. 14Simon Peter has told us how YAHUSHA showed His love for the Gentile people, by raising up a portion of them in His Name. 15And the words of the prophets agree with this too: 16'And after this I'll return and rebuild the Tent of David that's fallen down, I’ll rebuild it’s ruins and set it up, 17so that a portion of mankind might seek YAHUAH (even all the nations) on whom My Name is called, says YAHUAH, Who's doing all this'. 18YES, All this has been known from the beginning of time. 19So we shouldn’t make things hard for those who have turned to YAHUSHA from among the Gentile nations. 20Instead, we should write to them, telling them :
(NOW THAT YOU'VE BEEN WASHED CLEAN)
* Don't get defiled by idolatry,
* Don’t be involved in sexual sins (fornication/whoring),
* Don’t eat meat from animals that have been strangled,
* Don't eat/drink any blood.
(ALL THESE PRACTICES WERE PROMOTED BY THE PAGAN TEMPLES, DEITIES & SOCIETIES & INSTRUCTED AGAINST IN LEV 17.)
21They shouldn’t do any of these things, because there are still men in every city who teach the Law of Moses. Infact the words of Moses have been read in the Synagogue every Shabath Day for many years now.”
23The group sent this new letter with the men, which said: “From YAHUSHA’S chosen followers and elders (your brothers), to all the gentile brothers in the city of Antioch and in the countries of Syria and Cilicia.
22So YAHUSHA’S chosen followers, elders, and the whole fellowship wanted to send some men with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch. The group decided to choose some of their own men too: Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas (respected men).
Dear Brothers, 24we’ve heard that some men have come to you from our group, and what they said has troubled and upset you. Just know that we didn’t tell them to do this. 25So now we’ve all agreed to choose some men and send them to you. 26They are our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, who have given their lives to serve our Master YAHUSHA Messiah. 27So we have sent Judas and Silas with them also, who will tell you the same things. 28Now that you have been cleansed by YAHUSHA'S Spirit, we agree with Him, and you should have no more burdens, except for these necessary things: 29Stay away from food that’s been offered to idols, or meat from animals that have been strangled, or from blood. And don’t be involved in sexual sin (fornication/whoring). For if you stay away from these, you will do very well. Now we say goodbye, so be strong!
30So Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas left Yerushalim and went to Antioch. There they gathered the group of believers together and gave them the letter. 31When the believers read it, they were so happy, for the letter comforted them greatly. 32Judas and Silas, who were also prophets, said many things to encourage the believers and make them stronger in their belief. 33And after Judas and Silas stayed there for a while, they left, for they had received a blessing of peace from the other believers. So they went back to those who had sent them. 35But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching the believers and telling others of the Good News about YAHUSHA.
36A few days later, Paul said to Barnabas, “We should go back to all the towns where we told people the message of YAHUSHA. We should visit them to see how they’re doing.”37Barnabas wanted to bring John Mark with them too. 38But on their first trip John Mark did not continue with them in the work, but had left them at Pamphylia.
Paul didn't think it was a good idea to take him this time. 39So there were sharp feelings between Paul and Barnabas ...
... so intense that they separated and went different ways. Barnabas sailed to Cyprus and took Mark with him. 40Paul chose Silas to go with him. The believers in Antioch put Paul into YAHUSHA’S care and sent him out. 41Then Paul and Silas went through the countries of Syria and Cilicia, helping the fellowships grow stronger.
GALATIANS 2( The Jerusalem Council in Paul's words : )
1After 14 years I went back to Yerushalim with Barnabas and took Titus with me. 2I went there because YAHUSHA told me to go and explain to them the message that I told the Gentile people. I also met alone with those who were considered to be the Leaders. I wanted to be sure we were in agreement so that my past work and the work I do now would not be wasted. 3Titus, (who was with me) is a Greek, but these Leaders didn't tell him to be circumcised. 4We needed to talk about these problems though, because some people (who pretended to be our brothers) had come into our group secretly (like spies to find out about the freedom we have in Messiah YAHUSHA). They wanted to make us slaves again to their traditions, 5but we didn't agree with anything those false brothers wanted. For we wanted the offer of deliverance to continue for you.
6But those men who were considered to be `important' didn't change the Good News message I tell people (as hard as they tried). It doesn’t matter to me if they were 'important' or not, for to YAHUSHA everyone is the same. 7But these leaders saw that YAHUSHA had given me a special work, the same as Peter. YAHUSHA gave Peter the work of offering YAHUSHA'S deliverance mainly to the circumcision (Jews), but He gave me the work of offering it to the uncircumcision (Gentiles). 8YAHUSHA gave Peter the power to work as a Chosen Follower for the Jewish people, and He gave me the power to work as a Chosen Follower too, but for those who are not Jews.
9James, Peter, and John seemed to be Pillars (Leaders) of YAHUSHA'S Fellowship, and they saw that YAHUSHA had given me this special gift of ministry, so they accepted Barnabas and I, saying,“We agree that you should go to those who are Gentiles, and we’ll go to the Jews.”10They asked us to do only one thing—to remember to help those who are poor. And this was something that I really wanted to do anyway.
11When Peter came to Antioch, he did something that wasn't right, so I let him know (to his face) and stood against him. 12This is what happened: When Peter first came to Antioch, he ate and associated with the Gentile people. But when some Jewish men came in from James, Peter separated himself from the Gentiles and stopped eating with them, because he was afraid of the Jews (who believe that all Gentile people must be circumcised). 13So Peter was being a hypocrite, and the other Jewish believers joined with him in this hypocrisy too. Even Barnabas was influenced by what they were doing.
14They were not following the truth of the Good News. So when I saw this, I spoke to Peter in front of everyone, saying,“Peter, you're a Jew, but you don’t live like one. You live like someone who isn't a Jew. So why are you trying to force those who are not Jewish to live like Jews?”15We are Jews by birth, and were not born 'idolatrous sinners,' as the Gentiles were. 16But we know that no one is made right with YAHUSHA by following the 'works of the Law'. It is trusting in Yahusha Messiah that makes a person right. So, we have put our trust in Messiah YAHUSHA, because we wanted to be made right. And we're right because we trusted in Him—not because we blindly followed the Laws. I can say this because no one can be made right with YAHUSHA by the works of the Law.
YAHUSHA HAS USHERED IN A NEW BLOOD-COVENANT & PAUL IS TALKING ABOUT THE CEREMONIAL TRADITIONS AND ORAL LAWS STILL BEING SHOVED DOWN HIS PEOPLE'S THROATS BY THE RELIGIOUS JEWS ... ie CIRCUMCISION + OTHER HEBREW CUSTOMS etc
17We Jews came to Messiah to be made right with YAHUSHA, so it's clear that we were sinners too isn't it? Does this mean that Messiah made us sinners? Of course not! 18But I would be wrong to begin teaching again those things that I gave upie CIRCUMCISION.19It was the Law itself that caused me to die under the Law, so that I could live for YAHUSHA. And now i've been nailed to the torture stake with YAHUSHA. 20So I'm not the one living now—it's Messiah living in me. So I still live in my fleshly body, but I live by belief in the Son of YAHUAH. He's the one who loved me and gave Himself to deliver me. 21I'm not the one destroying the meaning of YAHUSHA’S favour. For if only following the Law is how people are made right with YAHUAH, then YAHUSHA didn't have to die!