Questioning Paul

Chapter 3

Part 7

Yaruwshalaim – Source of Reconciliation


To be circumcised in the heart is to understand and accept the symbolic significance of circumcision. To be circumcised in the flesh is to have one’s foreskin cut. And keep in mind, the second half of Yachezq’el / Ezekiel is devoted to the Millennial Shabat and its temple, so it is prophetic of our future life with our Heavenly Father in His home. This comment from our God cannot be relegated to a previous time, relationship, people, or place.

Therefore, since Yahowah’s "miqdash – set-apart Sanctuary, His purifying place, His Temple and Tabernacle" is synonymous with "Sukah – Shelters," which serves as a metaphor for heaven, then this is the second time that Yahowah has told us that He is so serious about the significance of circumcision that He will not associate with anyone who has rejected His instruction in this regard. But regardless of what Yahowah’s Sanctuary symbolizes here, God has already told us in Bare’syth / Genesis that the souls of males who are not circumcised will die, separated from Him and thus from Heaven. Equally important, since the foundation of Galatians is the negation of circumcision and the Torah, it is unequivocally wrong—as is any religious institution predicated upon it.

Also, while some may protest and say that this is just an advisory notice regarding the Millennial Temple, you’ve got three things working against you. First, Revelation 3:12 tells us: "All who are victorious will become pillars in the Tabernacle of My God and will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of My God…" "All" means "all," that’s all "all" means.

Second, during the Millennial Sabbath there won’t be any uncircumcised individuals because the One Thousand Year Shabat observation of Sukah is a celebration of the Covenant. And during this time, Yahowah, Himself, will rule the world from His Millennial Temple, making such ubiquitous malfeasance impossible.

And third, the Millennial Sabbath is a celebration of the Miqra’ of Sukah. As such, it embodies all that the seventh Festival Feast represents, making it the ultimate party. Even the Earth will be remade in the image of the Garden of Eden, and thus will be a joyous paradise. This isn’t, therefore, the kind of environment or atmosphere in which the most detestable abomination in human history could transpire.

These things known, I am haunted by two questions. With Yahowah’s position on circumcision being so clearly stated, so vital, unequivocal, and nonnegotiable, why did Sha’uwl choose this issue to pick a fight with the Disciples and with God? And with Yahowsha’s position on the Torah being so clearly stated, so vital, and nonnegotiable, how is it that Sha’uwl thought he could contradict Him and not be repudiated and dismissed for having done so?

While I’d love to linger here in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, and ponder the import of each word and phrase, having proven that the Yahuwdym depicted in Acts 15:1 were correct with regard to the connection between circumcision and salvation, our mission at the moment is to determine whether or not Paul was telling the truth regarding the Yaruwshalaim Summit. So, let’s return to the book of Acts.


Recognizing that the testimony the Yahuwdym from Yahuwdah (Jews from Judea) had delivered in Antioch regarding the connection between circumcision and salvation was accurate, Luke’s historic depiction began, saying:

"And some having come down from Yahuwdah were teaching the brethren that if you might not be circumcised as prescribed by Moseh, you are not able to be saved." (15:1) Now continues with...

"So (de) a rebellion (ginomai stasis – a heated quarrel and open discord, an insurrection and uprising) and also (kai) a disputed argument (zetesis – a debated controversy) which were neither limited in scope, degree, or time (ouk oligos – not among a few, not to a small degree, and not for a short while), pertained to the individual (to) Paulos (Paulo – of Latin origin meaning Little and Lowly) and (kai) to (to) Barnabas (Bar-Naby – meaning Prophet’s Son).

Regarding them (pros autous – against them), they gave the order and assigned the task (tasso – they proposed, decided, and instituted the plan) to come up to (anabaino – to stand up to, to rise up and embark on the mission to reach) Paulos (Paulon – Little and Lowly) and (kai) Barnabas (Bar-Naby – Prophet’s Son) and some others (kai tinas allos) among (ek – from) them (autos) on behalf of (pros – concerning) the Apostles (apostolos – those who are prepared and sent out) and elders (kai presbyteros – leaders) in Yaruwshalaim (Ierousalem – transliteration of Yaruwshalaim, meaning the Source of Reconciliation) with regard to (peri) this (toutou) controversy and question (zetema – point of dispute and inquiry, debate and argument)." (Acts 15:2)

So much for the notion of Sha’uwl going to Yaruwshalaim because of a "revelation." It was actually an all out rebellion which prompted this inquisition. Paul’s message denouncing circumcision and the Torah was under attack by those who knew better.

In that we will be comparing these two presentations, Luke’s Acts and Paul’s Galatians, I’d like to proceed by reviewing what Paul had written regarding this meeting when he said:

"Later, through fourteen years, also, I went up to Yaruwshalaim along with Barnabas, having taken along also Titus. (2:1)

I went up from uncovering an unveiling revelation which lays bare, laying down to them the beneficial messenger which I preach among the races pertaining to my own, uniquely and separately, but then to the opinions, presumptions, and suppositions, not somehow perhaps into foolishness and stupidity, without purpose or falsely, I might run or I ran (2:2) to the contrary, not even Titus, a Greek being, was compelled or pressured to be circumcised – (2:3) but then on account of the impersonators who faked their relationship brought in surreptitiously under false pretenses, who sneaked into the group to secretly spy upon and clandestinely plot against the freedom from conscience and liberation from the constraints of morality that we possess in Christo Iesou in order that us they will actually make subservient, controlling for their own ends, (2:4) to whom neither to a moment we yielded, surrendered, or submitted in order that the truth of the God may continue to be associated among you. (2:5)

But now from the ones currently reputed, presumed, and supposed to be important based upon some sort of unspecified past, they were actually and continue to be nothing, completely meaningless and totally worthless to me. It carries through and bears differently in the face of God for man not take hold of, acquire, or receive, because to me, the ones currently presuming and supposing, presently dispensing opinions based upon reputed appearances, are of no account, utterly meaningless and totally worthless, was their advice and counsel, their cause and contribution in the past. (2:6)

Contrariwise, nevertheless notwithstanding the objection or exception, having seen that because namely I have been believed entrusted with the healing message and beneficial messenger of the uncircumcised inasmuch as Petros of the circumcised (2:7) because then namely, the one having previously functioned in Petro to an apostle for the circumcision, it actually functioned also in me to the nations and ethnicities. (2:8)

And having known and having recognized, becoming familiar with the Grace of the one having been given to me, Ya’aqob, Kephas, and also Yahowchanan, the ones presently presumed to be pillars, and thus leaders, the right place of honor and authority they granted to me, and to Barnabas fellowship as a result. We to the nations and ethnicities, but they to the circumcision. (2:9) Only alone by itself the lowly and poor, the worthless beggars of little value that we might remember and possibly think about which also I was eager and quick to do this similarly." (2:10)

That was Sha’uwl’s version of the events. Now, let’s return to the book of Acts and consider the historian’s perspective on the Yaruwshalaim Inquiry. This monumental meeting was dated to 50 CE – seventeen years after Yahowsha’s Passover and Unleavened Bread Sacrifice and the fulfillment of FirstFruits and Seven Sabbaths.

Now that we know that the pretext for this meeting was misrepresented by Paul, how about the spies? Were they false brothers unknown to Paul or the Called Out in Yaruwshalaim?

"But (de) having arrived in (paraginomai eis – having approached and appeared in) Yaruwshalaim (Ierousalem – transliteration of Yaruwshalaim, meaning the Source of Reconciliation), they were acknowledged and received (paradechomai – were welcomed hospitably as visitors) by the (apo tes) Called Out (ekklesia), the (kai ton) Apostles (apostolos), and elders (kai ton presbyteros – and the leaders). And then (te – so then likewise) they reported (anangello – they announced and proclaimed) as much as (hosos – to the degree that) God (o ΘΣ) did (poieomai – worked and performed) with (meta) them (autos). (15:4)

But (de) some important individuals (tines – certain specific people) steadfastly stood up (exanistamai – resolutely rose up to take a stand), the ones (ton) from (apo – as in separated from and disassociated with) the religious party (tes hairesis – the faction based upon false teaching and heresy; from haireomai – to think and choose for oneself) of the Pharisees (ton Pharisaios – rabbinical religious fundamentalists; a transliteration of the Hebrew parash, meaning to separate, some of whom left their ranks to follow Yahowsha’), who having come to trust and to rely (pisteuo – to think and be persuaded, thus becoming confident), said (lego – and affirmed) that (hoti) it is a necessary requirement (dei – it is a must, it is inevitable, it is proper and established, right and beneficial) to circumcise (peritemno) individuals (autous) not only (te) to provide instruction as a messenger (parangello – to convey the message or to announce or proclaim the teaching), but also (kai) to observe (tereo – to attend to by focusing upon, closely examining and carefully considering) the Towrah of Moseh (Mouseos nomon – a Greek transliteration of Moseh, meaning: the One who Draws us Out and nomon – an allotment which is parceled out, an inheritance which is given, nourishment which is bestowed to be possessed and used, precepts which are apportioned, established, and is received as the means to be proper and approved, prescriptions to become heirs; from nemo – that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to one’s children to nourish them)." (Acts 15:4-5)

Once again, Luke has made it unequivocally clear that these individuals were advocating and endorsing the Torah Yahowah dictated to Moseh, not Rabbinic Law. And since they were Paul’s antagonists, and therefore the motivation behind Paul’s letter to the Galatians, it would be ridiculous to suggest that Paul’s foe was anything other than the Torah. This is a devastating blow relative to Paul’s credibility – and it was provided by his biographer, Luke, Christianity’s most respected historian. The lone viable excuse that could have been deployed to partially exonerate Paul, the notion that he was assailing and demeaning Rabbinic Law rather than the Torah, has just been even more fully obliterated by this testimony. If you are an informed and rational person, the debate is over, as is any possibility that Christianity is valid.

The men who "stood up…had come to trust and rely," which means that they were not "false brothers." They did not "sneak into the meeting under false pretenses," as they were elders among the Called Out in Yaruwshalaim. I suspect that Nicodemus, the Pharisee who is shown meeting with Yahowsha’ in Yahowchanan 3, was among them. But either way, they did not come to "secretly observe," but to the contrary, to stand up and speak. Like Paul, these individuals were former Pharisees. But unlike Paul, they, like the One they followed, were Torah observant.

While Paul’s first five statements regarding this meeting have all crumbled in the face of the historic evidence Luke has provided, his sixth, seventh, and eighth assertions are also in jeopardy. Paul had written in Galatians 2:9 that he had presented his case, and then after having done so, he had been accepted by Ya’aqob, Shim’own, and Yahowchanan. But Luke deliberately says that the welcome occurred prior to Paul’s presentation of his message and ministry. He also suggests that the "welcome" was little more than "an acknowledgement that these visitors had shown up." And that means even the false notion of a "right hand of fellowship" could not have been the ringing endorsement Paul would have his readers believe it might have been. Rather, the false Apostle was putting a carefully designed "spin" on the actual events to deliberately mislead his audience.

Also, contrary to Paul’s claim that everyone was accepting of the uncircumcised condition of his Greek associate, Titus (in Galatians 2:3), we find that the elders strongly encouraged circumcision, calling it: "a necessary requirement, proper, established, right, and beneficial to circumcise individuals not only to provide instruction as a messenger, to convey the message, and to announce or proclaim the teaching, but also to observe, to attend to by focusing upon, the Towrah of Moseh." Therefore, Paul’s eighth recollection, that he was only told to "remember the poor," was also untrue. He was told to remember the Torah generally and circumcision specifically.

Now, let’s see if Paul’s claim that an agreement was allegedly reached in the meeting to divide the world, limiting Yahowchanan, Shim’own, and Ya’aqob to the circumcised, while granting Paul authority over every other nation and race, is valid. Luke writes:

"So then (te) demonstrating leadership (sunago – drawing people together; from sun, with, and ago, to lead), the Apostles (apostolos – those who were prepared and sent out; speaking specifically of Yahowsha’s Disciples) and (kai) the elders (presbuteros – the leaders) paid attention (horao – looked at, perceived, recognized, were aware of, and understood) concerning (peri – because of and with regard to) this (toutou), the Word (tou logou – statement, reason, account, declaration, affirmation, treatise, decree, and mandate)." (Acts 15:6)

In other words, the Apostles and elders supported the men who stood up and affirmed the Torah—the Word of God—placing all of them at odds with Paul. They were in a word, "observant." Further, this testimony affirms that "the Word" and the "Towrah of Moseh" were considered one and the same.

As we continue, we are confronted with additional testimony which invalidates Paul’s "all they said was to remember the lowly," and that they agreed that "the nations and ethnicities belonged to Paul with Shim’own limited to the circumcised." Turns out they had a lot more to say, and it all was in direct opposition to Paul’s recollection.

"But then (de) with considerable and extensive (polys – very great) debate (zetesis – questioning and controversy, mediating and reasoning, contentious argument and deliberation, seeking information and dispute) happening (ginomai – having come to exist), the Rock (petros – meaning rock, a translation of Shim’own’s nickname, Kephas, of the same meaning in Aramaic) having stood up (anistamai – having taken a stand, rising, standing upright), said (eipen) to and against (pros – about) them (autos), ‘Men (andres), brothers (adelphoi), you all (umeis) have examined the evidence, thought about it, and have come to understand (epistamai – through intellection evaluation of what you have come to know, possessing sufficient information to comprehend and take a resolute and confident stand) that (hoti) from (apo) in (en) the beginning (archaios – existing for a long time in the past) you all (umin) chose for yourself (eklegomai – selected) Yahowah (ΘΣ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples, like Shim’own, and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty, and Yahowah) on account of (dia – through and as a consequence of) my (mou) spoken words (stoma – message from my mouth), listening to and considering (akouo – receiving, hearing, paying attention to, comprehending, and understanding) the Word (legos) of the healing messenger and beneficial message (tou euangelion) to the races and nations (ethnos – to the ethnicities), and considered it to be trustworthy and reliable (pisteuo – were convinced and became confident).’” (Acts 15:7)

Yahowsha’ had personally trained Shim’own, teaching and guiding him every step of the way, equipping him to articulate His healing and beneficial message to the world. And then God deliberately and unequivocally authorized the Shim’own, as well as Yahowchanan and Ya’aqob, to represent Him to everyone. There were no limitations, no restrictions, no ethnicities off limits. And as proof of this, everyone of those Called Out in Yaruwshalaim on this day, save Paul, knew Yahowah because they had heard His message shared by Shim’own or Yahowsha’, Himself.

And let’s be very clear about this. Shim’own did not say that his words had saved anyone. The Rock’s role in their salvation was sharing the Word – therefore reciting the Torah. Better trained and prepared than anyone else on the planet (save Yahowchanan and Ya’aqob perhaps), this Apostle knew Yahowsha’, he understood Yahowah, he acknowledged the importance of the Torah, and therefore he was an especially effective witness.

By acknowledging his history and theirs, Shim’own Kephas confirmed what Yahowsha’ had promised and thereby pulverized Paul’s ninth claim. The "Rock" upon which the "Ekklesia – Called-Out Assembly" would be established was Shim’own’s pronouncement of Yahowah’s Word, whereby he proclaimed that Yahowsha’ was the Ma’aseyah, the Son of God.

Beyond this, everyone who was part of the Called-Out Assembly in Yaruwshalaim during the fulfillment of the Called-Out Assembly of Seven Sabbaths was specifically equipped by the Set-Apart Spirit to share the healing and beneficial message with the entire world, regardless of what languages the Gentiles spoke. Simply stated, the ministry of the Apostles had never been limited to Jews as Paul had claimed. The exact opposite was true. In fact, for Sha’uwl to be right, the fulfillment of the Miqra’ of Shabuwa, which serves as the foundation of the Ekklesia, and the impetus for the book of Acts, had to be a complete fabrication.

These things known, when we place Luke’s account of this meeting as it is presented in the book of Acts next to Paul’s description of it in Galatians, we find that the historical account is markedly different.

Paul began preaching within a few days of his "flashing light from the sky" experience, negating the possibility of a three-year training session in Arabia. (Galatians 1:17-18)

The Yaruwshalaim Summit was held seventeen years after Yahowsha’s fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, and the Set-Apart Spirit’s fulfillment of Seven Sabbaths, so it could not have occurred seventeen to nineteen years by Paul’s reckoning after he had been struck by lightning on the road to Damascus, because this would require Paul’s encounter to have occurred prior to Yahowsha’s crucifixion. (Galatians 1:18 & 2:2)

A massive disagreement over Paul’s antagonism toward circumcision compelled the meeting, not a revelation from God. (Galatians 2:2)

The Yaruwshalaim Summit included the Apostles, elders, and the leadership of the Yaruwshalaim Called-Out Assembly, not just "certain individuals." If Luke was right, a multitude of people were in attendance. (Galatians 2:2)

The Apostles and elders did not agree with Paul, and indeed opposed what he said. (Galatians 2:2)

Those who spoke in support of the Torah were not false brothers. They were elders in the Ekklesia. Paul unjustly slandered them. (Galatians 2:4)

Those who spoke in support of the Torah did not sneak into the room. They were invited children of the Covenant. (Galatians 2:4)

Those who spoke in support of the Torah were not secret observers, they were active contributors. (Galatians 2:4)

There is no connection between observing the Torah and being enslaved as Paul testified. The Torah presents God’s plan of salvation. (Galatians 2:4)

Paul’s position on circumcision was challenged on the basis of the Torah during the meeting with those in attendance siding with God’s Word and against Paul. And Paul did yield to them. He personally circumcised Timothy, the next Gentile he encountered. (Galatians 2:5 & Acts 16:3)

Paul could not have been an advocate for the truth or for freedom. For Paul to be right, God had to be wrong. So Paul’s stand was the antithesis of "beneficial, healing, or "advantageous." (Galatians 2:6)

If those who spoke on behalf of the Torah were unimportant and worthless because they had formerly been Pharisees, then why did Paul brag about his achievements within this sect? (Galatians 1:13-14 & 2:6)

Those who spoke on behalf of circumcision cited the Torah, so they added God’s perspective to the meeting not their own. (Galatians 2:6)

Shim’own quoted Yahowsha’ as proof that he had been called to share Yahowah’s message to the uncircumcised in opposition to Paul’s assessment. (Galatians 2:7)

Shim’own specifically referenced the Gentiles in the room who had been saved as a result of the words he had spoken, negating Paul’s claim of exclusivity. (Galatians 2:8)

Shim’own, Ya’aqob, and Yahowchanan acknowledged Paul before the meeting began, not after Paul’s presentation ended, and thus their handshake was not given in recognition of Charis/Grace given to Paul, as Paul alleges. This misrepresentation, which was designed to be seen as an endorsement, speaks volumes about Paul’s willingness to twist the evidence to salvage and promote his reputation. (Galatians 2:9)

The Apostles were important because they were personally trained and appointed by the Ma’aseyah, Yahowsha’. There was nothing "supposed" about their positions. They serve as pillars along the path to the Covenant. It was completely inappropriate for Paul to disparage them. (Galatians 2:9)

Luke’s historic portrayal of events in the book of Acts is in direct conflict with Paul’s claim that Shim’own, Ya’aqob, and Yahowchanan agreed to limit their outreach. There is no indication whatsoever that the Apostles supported Paul’s exclusive right to witness to Gentiles. In fact, all evidence is to the contrary. (Galatians 2:9)

Those who spoke at the meeting told Paul to remember many things, and foremost among them was the Torah, and most especially the requirement to be circumcised to be Torah observant. They clearly and succinctly articulated Yahowah’s position that we are all called to witness to everyone, that there is no difference between Yahuwdym and Gowym as it relates to the Covenant relationship or the process of salvation. To speak for God and to be saved, one must observe the Torah’s instructions. (Galatians 2:10)

In conclusion, if Paul cannot be trusted to accurately present what happened during the two most important meetings of his life (the mythical meeting in Arabia and the inquisition in Yaruwshalaim), he cannot be trusted with regard to his contrarian message. This is a wakeup call for those who have been led to believe that Paul was right when he said that the Torah had been replaced by "faith in his Gospel of Grace."

If you haven’t already recognized that it is rationally impossible for Paul to be a reliable witness when he contradicts the God he claimed to represent, then the realization that Paul cannot be trusted to accurately relay conversations between men should be sufficient for you to discount his testimony regarding God.

To be clear, I’m not saying that everything Paul wrote has been discredited, just a third of Galatians (everything we have read up to this point), and with it, the foundation of Christendom. The remainder of Paul’s letter and letters are awaiting our examination. But the realization that the first third of his first epistle has been deficient in every conceivable way should suffice to indicate that his remaining words aren’t Scripture either. It is obvious that they never should have been elevated to this status. God’s standard is perfection. Paul has no standards.

Therefore, while it requires study and thought, Paul’s epistle to the Galatians has taught us a valuable lesson: we must be careful. Yahowah is trustworthy and men are not.