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INDEX:

INTRODUCTION:

I want to explore the practices of the disciples of YAHUSHUA during the first century CE.  My premise is that the disciples of the Messiah were following Torah during the 1st century after HIS crucifixion.

The Torah should not be confused with the Talmud which was written later.  The Talmud contains traditions, laws and interpretations that were added by the Jewish rabbis.  YAHUSHUA spoke against some of those interpretations and called them the "traditions of men". (Mark 7:8)

Some of the instructions of Torah could only be followed under specific circumstances.  Animal sacrifices and many other rituals could only be performed by the descendents of Aaron while on duty as priests the temple in Jerusalem.  The civil commands, statutes and judgements were to be enforced only by properly appointed judges in Israel.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES:

20 "And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel."  (KJV)

21 "And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation."  (KJV)

18 "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers."  (KJV)

19 "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."  (KJV)

20 "And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."  (KJV)

21 "And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them."  (KJV)

22 "And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him."  (KJV)

19 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:"  (KJV)

20 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:"  (KJV)

21 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. "  (KJV)

31 "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?"  (KJV)

32 "(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."  (KJV)

33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  (KJV)

16 "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? "  (KJV)

17 "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. "  (KJV)

18 "He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, "  (KJV)

19 "Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."  (KJV)

20 "The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?"  (KJV)

21 "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."  (KJV)

22 "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions."  (KJV)

23 "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. "  (KJV)

24 "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. "  (KJV)

25 "When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?"  (KJV)

26 "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. "  (KJV)

27 "Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?"  (KJV)

28 "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. "  (KJV)

29 "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. "  (KJV)

30 "But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."  (KJV)

18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. "  (KJV)

19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: "  (KJV)

20 "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."  (KJV)

34 "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. "  (KJV)

35 "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. "  (KJV)

26 "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."  (KJV)

27 "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."  (KJV)

28 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?"  (KJV)

29 "Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,"  (KJV)

30 "Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish."  (KJV)

31 "Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?"  (KJV)

32 "Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace."  (KJV)

33 "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."  (KJV)

53 'And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.'  (KJV)

If the disciples had not been practicing Torah, they would have not been allowed in the temple.  The priests would have driven them out.

12 'Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.'  (KJV)

This is a rabbinical or traditional restriction.

When Luke wrote this story, he was still measuring distances according to the traditional Jewish Sabbath laws.  He wrote the book of Acts sometime after the final events of Acts had taken place - probably in AD 63 or 70.

  1 'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.'  (KJV)

If the Torah had been nailed to the cross, why were HIS disciples meeting on Shavuot after his crucifixion?

Leviticus 23:15-21

  5 'And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.'  (KJV)

Peter was speaking to Jews from all over the world that had come to Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Pentecost.  If Christ had already done away with these feasts, this would have been a great time for Peter to explain to all these people that they no longer needed to waste their time and resources coming to Jerusalem for the feasts.  But in his sermon Peter did not even allude to any such changes to the law.

14 'But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:'  (KJV)

Peter was speaking to Jews from all over the world that had come to Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Pentecost.  If Christ had already done away with these feasts, this would have been a great time for Peter to explain to all these people that they no longer needed to waste their time and resources coming to Jerusalem for the feasts.  But in his sermon Peter did not even allude to any such changes to the law.

41 'Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.'  (KJV)

When these people were convicted by the Holy Spirit, there was no need for them to abandon their Jewish faith.  They simply accepted Jesus as the Messiah that had been foretold in the Jewish Scriptures.

46 'And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,'  (KJV)

If the disciples had not been practicing Torah, they would have not been allowed in the temple.  The priests would have driven them out.

  1 'Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.'  (KJV)

These first Christians didn't go off by themselves to worship away from the noise and bustle of the Jewish temple. Rather, they continued to meet at the temple where the regular Jewish worship rituals and animal sacrifices were going on.

If the Christians were not living according to the Torah, why did they choose to meet in the very place where the Torah was still being taught and practiced? Actually, if the Christians had been breaking the Jewish religious laws they would not have been welcome in the temple courts, and they would not have enjoyed the favor of the other Jews who had come to the temple to worship.

12 'And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?'  (KJV)

Here Peter has the people's attention. If he believed the Jews were wasting their energy observing the laws of the Old Testament, he could have told them so. But he didn't.

11 'And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.'  (KJV)

12 'And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.'  (KJV)

13 'And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.'  (KJV)

The Christians continued to meet at the temple and they were still respected by the Jewish worshipers that came to the temple to offer sacrifices.  That makes it evident that the apostles were not preaching in opposition to the rituals of the temple.

19 'But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,'  (KJV)

20 'Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.'  (KJV)

The angel instructs the apostles to preach at the temple the full message of the new Christian life.  If the Torah had been annulled and Christians were not supposed to observe its laws any more, the apostles would have started teaching that message in the temple courts.  But they didn't.  At least Luke didn't record it.  Nor did he record any temple riots, which such a message surely would have caused.  Later Stephen was falsely accused of speaking against the law, and certain Jews stirred up the people against him.  If the apostles had actually been speaking against the Law of Moses, the people would have stirred themselves up against the apostles.

34 'Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;'  (KJV)

38 'And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:'  (KJV)

39 'But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.'  (KJV)

40 'And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.'  (KJV)

By this time the apostles were well known in Jerusalem.  If they were not living according to the Torah, the people would have known about it.  Gamaliel said, "If it is from God you will only be fighting against God".  It's highly unlikely that Gamaliel would have been able to convince the rest of the Jewish Sanhedrin that Torah-breaking men might possibly be working for God.  To illustrate how unlikely this was, you might try going down to your local Jewish synagogue and in less than 5 minutes (or 5 months) persuade the Jewish elders and rabbis that the pastor of your Christian church has a valid work to do for God preaching at the synagogue, and that if the synagogue leaders resist that work they might be fighting against God.

42 'And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.'  (KJV)

The apostles continued to go to the Jewish temple to teach that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah of the Jews.

REFERENCE LINKS:

Paul Taught Torah  (FOGWHISTLE.CA)

How the Apostles were Explelled from Christianity  (FOGWHISTLE.CA)

When did the Disciples of Jesus Stop Observing the Old Testament Laws?  (FOGWHISTLE.CA)