By Oscar M. Baker
Remember this, that Israel and the Nations associated with Israel are blessed through faithful Abraham. Now you find that in Gal. and you find it over and over in Romans. And those that believed at that time were counted as children of Abraham.
Here is something else that happened in the Acts period, which is shushed today by our churches, our denominations, and that is the Council at Jerusalem. And that Council had a problem --- not any doctrinal problem, not at all. They were all at one as far as doctrine was concerned. Remember, Acts was the 3rd stage of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it was in the midst of that that we find Paul coming forth along with the 12. The gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven was being preached by the 12, and also by Paul during Acts. The Gentiles were being added to provoke Israel to jealousy, and to get them to repent and turn. And the question came up at this Council as to what to do with these Gentiles.
When Peter went to the house of Cornelius, they believed and spoke with tongues and had all the evidences that they had at Pentecost, and yet without becoming circumcised and becoming Jews. This was against all former rules and regulations that were given. And the same thing happens in Paul's ministry. In Acts 13:12, he gets his first Gentile convert, Sergius Paulus, of the Island of Cyprus, a Roman governor. And only a matter of weeks or months later in Antioch, Paul starts preaching to the Gentiles in the synagogue, and says, "¼lo we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46) --- after the Jews there refused the message.
Then you see, here are all these Gentile converts who are having the gifts of the spirit, and what to do with them? These Gentiles had all the benefits that the Jews had but were not required to keep the things that the law required the Jews to do. A few examples were as follows: the act of circumcision (no longer required), Temple worship, (Gentiles were not allowed to enter in and a death penalty was upon those who dared to try); the observation of feasts, (Passover, Pentecost and Feasts of Tabernacles to name a few).
So the question is what rules should apply to the Gentile believers during this time frame? They did not need to obey any of the Jewish rituals and ordinances excepting there were 4 things that they had to observe, read (Acts 15:20).
Now the demands that are being made by those in positions of leadership in our local "churches" today, to be baptized in water, or to observe the so-called Passover and a lot of other things should not be applied to the Gentiles. These religious ordinances have been done away. (Col. 2:8-20)!
[These excerpts from T.F.T. tape 12/5/78.]