GOD HADN'T REVEALED IT YET
ON THE BOOK OF ACTS
Maurice M Johnson
Long Beach, California
June 1, 1955
And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed,
saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
Well that includes meats and drinks and divers baptisms, different baptisms, and carnal ordinances. So these Pharisees said they've got to car..."take on this religion, our Judaistic religion, these Gentile converts".
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
You see, God hadn't yet revealed His mind on the subject. It's so important to see that. As late as Acts the 15th, God, whom he set the head of the church Christ, hadn't revealed his program for Gentile converts. If he had, then why did they have this conference here, see?
I could scarcely overemphasize the importance of that. There isn't one preacher ... so far as I know, you won't find a sectarian preacher ... that may sound very egotistical to some of you. I hope it doesn't cause... I'm sure it's the truth, and I hope you don't ? truth is ego... speaking truth is egotism, because it is spoken in love and confidence, because it's the truth. I don't believe you'll find any sectarian preacher, unless he's on his way out that is clear on this point right here... that the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church, has never yet revealed what he wanted Gentile Christians to do about meats and drinks and divers... different baptisms and carnal ordinances until... at this conference. And that's years after the church began.
I repeat, I could scarcely overemphasize it, the importance of that. I hope you see it, check up on it if you don't and then you will, if you're honest in your checking.
For it seemed good to the holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication,
four negatives; lay upon the Gentile converts no physical religion at all. And even at that time ... I mean at that time just four negatives for the sake of the Jews in the community, four negatives,
abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
So when they were dismissed, that is the messengers, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, the Christian Gentiles, they delivered the epistle: which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
And that's the essence of what I preach on the radio. And that's why I'm damned and cursed and discussed and called ? ? because I try to get people to believe that the moment you're saved you're made a member of the body of Jesus Christ, organized, vitally united with every other Christian spiritually under the head of the church, and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and we don't need any physical religion put on us. That was decided at the council at Jerusalem in Acts 15 regarding Gentile converts and enlarged upon doctrinally in Paul's later epistles.
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