In part 2 of Acts we find a  very interesting turn of events after the great Meeting of the Apostles and Elders in Acts 15.

in Acts 16 we find Paul who stood for the group against  Physical Circumcision Salvation circumcising a half Jew half Greek believer Timothy !!

Why did Paul do this yet he had just stood against it ? Paul wanted to preach the gospel to his brethren the Jesus but they knew Timothy was a Greek and thus would not listen to Timothy’s testimony.For the sake of having Timothy , who was an astute minister of the Gospel , he circumcised him .

Yet the ordinances Paul and timothy went to deliver were the letters that stated there was no need to circumcise Gentiles for them to get saved .It seems Timothy was seen as a Jew even though he had a Greek father.

This shows us that Jewish believers really suffered great misunderstanding from their kinsmen and also from kinsmen who were believers of Jesus but still believed in the fathers customs.

Paul kept on preaching the Gospel all over facing wild riots from Jews and Gentiles .

Yet in the end Paul knew he was going to suffer death for being such “a pestilent fellow for the sake of Christ “.


Now one must not forget that Paul was a Jew and hence keeping Jewish Law was not just about spirituality but about culture.However he always stressed that Jewish culture was not what will take Gentiles to heaven but faith in  the Jewish King Jesus.

Besides Jesus even said that it is not the food you eat that defiles you but what comes out of you .Yet we know that the Law stipulated that some foods were not to be eaten.Yet with the joining of Gentiles to the family of Israel, all foods could be eaten as long as one prays in the name of Jesus.

Yet when Paul went to Jerusalem , the apostles strangely ordered him to take a vow of purification for teaching Jews who lived amongst Gentiles not to circumcise.

21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all
the elders were present.

21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what
things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto
him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which
believe; and they are all zealous of the law:  And they are
informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the
Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise
their children, neither to walk after the customs.

So we see James question Paul’s teachings to the Diaspora Jews and not to the Gentile believers.This is evident in the letters of Paul to the Gentile churches .

For example the letter to the Romans was not addressed to the Roman races but to believers living in Rome and then spread to all other churches .Thus a letter to the  Ephesians included Jews living in Ephesus together with Gentiles , all of whom were believers.

Thus the reports that reached Israel and caused uproar as Jews in the Diaspora who were adhering to the teachings of Paul were not circumcising thus going against Jewish custom.

This was a coup de etat against the Jewish nation according to James and the elders . Thus to avoid violent reaction that was definitely going to come against Christians and friends of Paul , the elders advised Paul to retract the stance of being anti-law by purifying himself according to the Law , Jewish customs.

21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which
have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and
be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may
know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee,
are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest
the law.

So Paul did as he was told but to no avail as they delivered him to the authorities and later he was deported to Rome to be judged by Caesar.

Paul stood his ground that his message about Jesus Christ was not a coup de etat as such but a confirmation of a promise which was made in the very Law and prophets that the people were saying he was violating by teaching Jewish believers not to circumcise.

Acts 28 shows us that he died when the Jewish nation was still divided on whether to believe in the promise of Jesus or the Law of Moses when actually the Law of Moses agrees with the Promise and prophesied of him.

Thus if Moses testifies of Jesus why should one say faith in him is not equivalent to faith in God .IT IS and you do not have to be physically circumcised to be saved and receive the Holy Spirit .

Arthur Owiti