“You Yourself Also Live in Observance of the Law” ~ James to the apostle Paul | Acts 21:24

Act 21:18-24 18On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him (Paul), “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law, 21and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. 22What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; 24take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus, all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself (Paul) also live in observance of the law.

In the verses above, James was concerned because he knew there was ‘hearsay‘ about Paul, ‘rumors‘ that he taught against Moses and circumcision. However, James knew this to be false, as he clearly stated in verse 24, “there is nothing in what they have been told about you” (Paul). What were they told about Paul? Verse 21 states, some were told that Paul taught ‘to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs’. This was a false accusation brought against Paul according to the Holy-Spirit-inspired Luke, who wrote the letter of ‘Acts’ (please read ‘Paul’s Day in Court‘).

This passage is perhaps the most obvious verse in the Bible that proves the Apostle Paul himself, kept the Law of God given through Moses. James knew that Paul was misunderstood (as Peter warned us, 2 Peter 3:16-17). So, James encouraged Paul to prove that he did not teach against circumcision nor the Law of Moses, in order to establish that there is nothing in what they have been told about him and that he lived in observance of the Law, as James said in verse 24.

What does the text say?

Acts 21:24bThus, all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself (Paul) also live in observance of the law.

Here in verse 24, the word live in the Greek is Strong’s G4748 στοιχεῖς/stoicheis which is in the Present Tense (years after the cross). This is derived from steicho: to march in (military) rank (keep step), i.e. (figuratively) to conform to virtue and piety — walk (orderly). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states stoicheis to mean: to walk, to direct one’s life, to live.

Also, in verse 24 and in the Present Tense (years after the cross) is the word “observance“. In the Greek, this is Strong’s G5442 φυλάσσων/phylássōn, and Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states this to mean: to guard, i.e. to care for, to take care not to violate; to observe.

What does the “Word of God” say about the Apostle Paul and the Law of Moses?

It says he “marched to”, kept in step with” and “directed his life to guard, observe and not violate” the Law of Moses. This is declared many years after the ascension of Jesus.

Therefore, according to the Holy-Spirit-inspired Word of God, those rumors about Paul, that he taught others to forsake the Law of Moses and to not circumcise the male children, were “nothing“; they were false accusations” (Please read ‘Zealous for the Law‘).

The “false accusations” in Acts 21:21 are either ignored, or they are being taught as true accusations by today’s mainstream theology.

Not only does the ‘Word of God’ state that Paul did not teach against circumcision or the Law of Moses, but the Holy-Spirit-inspired Word of God states that Paul himself was living his life observing/guarding the Law of Moses when James spoke these words!

Yet, mainstream theology has claimed for centuries that the Apostle Paul condemned the Law as bondage, teaching that it was abolished and done away with.?.?.

Tragically, the current mainstream doctrine teaches the opposite of what the Word of God teaches.

If the mainstream establishment doesn’t hide this information by ‘sweeping it under the rug’, the most common way to excuse away this scriptural fact about Paul is to haphazardly declare, “Well, Paul was a Jew and not of the nations/gentiles”. The argument that “Paul was a Jew and only Jews can keep the Law” is illogical, hypocritical and unscriptural.

That “excuse” is unsound for three reasons:

  • First, the Law of Moses is either abolished or it’s not. Period. How in the world could it be abolished for the nations/gentiles, who never had it in the first place, but current and valid for ‘the Jews’? This illogical line of reasoning has led to a similar type of misinterpretation in ‘Galatians’; please read ‘Galatians Part 1: Freedom or Bondage‘.
  • Secondly, if Paul preached that the Law of Moses was abolished, revoked, canceled and done away with throughout the known world but kept it himself then, as a hypocrite, he was teaching unsound doctrine.
  • Lastly, there isn’t a single Scripture to back up the idea that the Law of Moses is current and valid today for “believers of Jewish origins” but abolished for the “believers who used to be of the nations/gentiles”.

This ‘excuse‘ is man-made dogma and should be summarily dismissed as blasphemy; it makes God a respecter of persons.

There are, however, numerous quotes ‘out of Paul’s own mouth’ that state there is no difference between Jew and Greek, there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles in the body of Christ. In Christ, whatever ‘doctrine’ is right for one, is right for the all.

What does the text say?

Romans Rom 2:9-11 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one bodyJews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Galatians 3:28-29 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Ephesians 3:6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

ALL are the same before the LORD. According Paul, there is no Jew and there is no Greek before God; “If”… if you are in Christ, then you are “Abraham’s offspring”! According to Paul, “all in Christ” are the same. The same father Abraham, the same offspring and the same heir. Not one set of rules for the believer of Jewish origins and a different set of rules for the believer of non-Jewish origins. The same offspring, the same body, the same heir.

According to Paul, all are the same. All are equal in the body of Christ before God.

Even with all the ‘misunderstood’ verses in Paul’s letters, these verses in the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ listed at the top of this page, conclusively settles the matter. Paul did not teach against the Law of Moses nor circumcision, but he did personally observe, guard and keep the Law of God given through Moses decades after ‘the Cross of Christ’; at least according to the Word of God!

Final thought: Paul instructs us many times in his letters to imitate him, to do the things he does (See 1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Philippians 3:17, 4:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:9).

What did he do?

The Apostle Paul lived in observance of the Law.

This study can now be watched on YouTube @ You yourself also live in observance of the Law.

  • For further study of Paul’s teachings, as well as the original Greek, please see the ‘Page Links’ at the top of this page or blog posts at the bottom. Be a Berean, and test Paul’s doctrines to the “Scriptures”. Please ‘share’ this study. Thank you for your time!

(Thus he declared all foods clean) Part 4 | Romans 14:14

Romans 14:14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.

Let’s start with the deception; the ‘truth’ has been hidden from us for far too long!

In almost every single English translation of verse 14 we have the word “unclean,” three times!

This is a lie, three times!!

The Greek word that Paul actually wrote in this verse is κοινὸν/koinon, Strong’s G2839, all three times!!! This is the English word ‘common’, NOTunclean (or should we start calling ‘Koine Greek’, “Unclean Greek”???).

To mean “unclean“, Paul would have used ἀκάθαρτος/akathartos, Strong’s G169.

Instead, the Greek text reads koinon, which means ‘common’, ‘defiled’ or ‘profane’ (as opposed to set-apart or holy).

Therefore, in truth the verse reads ~

Romans 14:14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is common in itself, but it is common for anyone who thinks it common.

Here is the disconnect: Unclean is as bad as it gets. It is impossible for an unclean thing to become ‘common/defiled/profane’; it’s already worse than all of those!!! The only thing that can become ‘common/defiled/profane’, is something that is ‘clean’ or ‘Holy’.

So, now that we know only something clean or Holy can becomecommon,” what does that Scriptural fact reveal?

Well, since the apostle Paul actually wrote, “common,” it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt, that it was impossible for the food he referred to in Romans 14:14 to be an unclean animal; it’s impossible!

Paul did not say, unclean in this verse; we have been lied to!

The translators have ‘changed’ the Word of God, twisting the context of the verse, redefining the doctrinal position of the Apostle Paul, in order to fit their preconceived denominational dogma. This is practically the same kind of deception I expounded upon in the first part of this series, ‘(Thus he declared all foods clean) Part 1 | Mark 7:19’. In that study, I showed how the majority of the modern translators ‘added to the Word of God’, in order to change the context of the Scripture; whether this was done on purpose or in ignorance, it’s still deception.

You need to understand, mainstream theology has kept hidden from us, the Truth of what the Scriptures actually reveal. There is a big difference between ‘koinos’ and ‘akathartos’, between ‘common’ and ‘unclean’!

In Acts 10:14, Peter used both “common/koinos” andunclean/akathartos”, in the same sentence, to describe food that he had neither eaten, nor would ever eat (see ‘Part 2’ of this series).

What does the text say?

Acts 10:14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is G2839common or G169unclean.”

Since there was obviously a difference between the two terms to this 1st Century/post-resurrection Disciple of the Son-of-God, shouldn’t we also except the distinction?

Back to Romans 14; mistranslating a word from the original text in the Word of God, to twist the context, in order to ‘change’ God’s doctrine is blasphemy!

We know that the Bible defines “clean” and “unclean” animals/meat in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, but when is meat considered “defiled/common”? The circumstances in which ‘animal/meat’ is considered defiled, is when a “clean” animal dies naturally or is torn by beasts (Leviticus 22:8); or when the blood has not been properly drained from the “clean” animal (Leviticus 17:13-14; 3:17, Acts 15). Such animal flesh was considered common, or profane. Similarly, in Acts 15:20 & 29, the Christian Council forbade the new converts to eat the meat of a strangled animal, or meat that had not been drained of blood, i.e. common/defiled/profane meats. These are basic food Laws from the Law of Moses taught to new Christian converts ‘PostResurrection‘.

Here is another disconnect: we have been taught for centuries that anything you can shove into your mouth is ‘food’, and that in times-past, some of it was considered ‘clean food’, and some of it was considered ‘unclean food’. That premise is 100% Scripturally wrong! God NEVER said, ‘pig, crab, snake, dog, vulture, etc. were ‘unclean food’; He said, they were “unclean animals” and “NOT food”! | Leviticus 11.

In the case of Romans 14:14, “common or profane” would be the correct terms to use. The meat under discussion was most likely that which was offered to idols, then the left-overs were sold in the marketplace for public consumption. Remember, a lot of the believers outside of Israel were brought up as pagans/gentiles. They knew that some of the meats sold at market could have been used as sacrifices to idols. As Paul mentioned in ‘Corinthians’, we know this was an issue for some of his congregations. This concern among the 1st century believers is completely ignored as Scriptural context by today’s mainstream teachers.

To paraphrase then, the verse should read: “. . . there is nothing profane of itself; but to him who considers anything to be profane, to him it is profane.”

The meat was not, in fact defiled/profane/common. However, those “weak in the faith” believed that, because the meat had potentially been offered to a pagan god, it had ‘become common or profane or defiled.

Paul explained, in 1 Corinthians 8:4-7, that the demon behind the idol is nothing, because “there is no other God but one” (verse 4). Thus, there is no ‘taint’ to the meat that could make it “defiled”.

What does the text say?

1 Corinthians 8:7-8 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat, are we the better, nor if we do not eat, are we the worse.

So, as we’ve read, Paul by no means claimed that God’s Dietary Food Laws changed; he never stated a change in the Law concerning “clean” and “unclean” animals. The topic of Law NEVER even came up!

Mainstream theology ‘assumes’ that Paul endorsed the annulment of the dietary instructions in the Law of Moses; this is called ‘Eisegesis’. If you carefully read the chapter (without that preconceived idea or the deceptive mistranslation), you will see that theory is false; it’s “assumed.”

To reiterate, Paul is discussing “food” (v.20) that may have ‘become profane or common (v.14); unclean animal/meat can NEVERbecomecommon or profane, it’s ALREADY worse than that; it’s an abomination!

ONLY that which is clean can become common!

Most CRITICAL, just 13 verses later, Paul told us that “the Scriptures”, i.e. the Law, the Prophets and Writings, were written for our “instruction”. Those instructions, the ones that the Apostle Paul said are for you and me, they’re how we’re to determine what is food and what is not food; this was his conclusion to the issue of what is considered food.

What does the text say?

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction

Paul told Timothy the same thing ~

2 Timothy 3:15-17 15and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for “teaching”, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

What mainstream theology fails to comprehend (and teach), is that Paul is NOT referring to his own letters when he says All Scripture” or “the sacred writings”.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying Apostle Paul wasn’t inspired by the Spirit of God when he wrote his letters, but think logically not emotionally; think like a 1st Century Berean. When he wrote these letters to Rome and Timothy, the ‘New Testament’ didn’t even exist yet! Paul is referring to the Old Testament, the Law, the Prophets and the Writings, when he says “All Scripture” or “the sacred writings”. The Apostle Paul has stated that the Law” (All Scripture) is ‘profitable for teaching and training in righteousness’! He didn’t say it was abolished, did he? He said, ‘it is profitable‘! Please read ‘The Law: Fulfilled or Abolished?‘.

How does Paul come to this conclusion?

What does the text say?

Deuteronomy 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.

Psalm 119:160 The sum of your word is truth,

and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Psalm 119:172 My song sings of Your word, for all of Your commandments are righteousness

Isaiah 51:7 “Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law

Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be righteous.

The Apostle Paul unequivocally stated that God’s Instructions in Righteousness, is the Law, the Commandments; these  are “the Scriptures” which instruct us what is “good food to eat”.

In ‘Part 1’, ‘Part 2’, and ‘Part 3’ of this ‘(Thus he declared all foods clean)’ study, we read verses where Jesus, Peter and then Paul, all proved that the ‘Food Laws’ were either, not the topic of discussion, or they are manifestly promoted and upheld.

The Apostle Paul’s letters are ‘interpersonal commentaries’ to address specific doctrines and/or traditions, and how his assemblies were misunderstanding them or disobeying them. The context of Romans 14 is not that there was a change in the Food Laws, or even Sabbath Laws for that matter! Please read ‘Context, Context, Context’, which is a study of the first half of ‘Romans’ chapter 14. Verse 1 of the chapter starts with Paul calling the whole contextual issue ‘an opinion’, not a new command; it is not a “thus declares The LORD” proclamation; those words are not found anywhere in the letter to the Romans. The apostle Paul is discussing ‘human opinions‘!

What does the text say?

Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

Paul was not introducing brand new doctrines; they were NOT ‘secret’ downloads from God that were independent of “established Scriptural doctrine”.

Never, in any of his letters, did the apostle Paul make a new declaration, “Thus says יהוה ”, or “Now the Word of the LORD came to me”, or “Thus, declares the LORD”; Never! He always quoted from the “established Scriptures”, and he said that those “Scriptures” are for our Instruction today.

Let’s use critical thinking and logic, not emotion.

Does God change?

What does the text say?

Malachi 3:6 For I the LORD do not change

The Lord GOD does not change; whatever has been ‘unclean’ or an ‘abomination’ to Him does not change.

The Lord GOD does not change; to claim that He does is blasphemy.

That being said, according to mainstream theology, Paul’s “mistranslated statement” in Romans 14:14 claims to be a ‘change in the Lord GOD’s dietary food Laws’. According to current mainstream doctrine, the animals which are listed by the Lord GOD as unclean and an abomination have changed.

Mainstream dogma contradicts the established Scriptural truth that GOD does not change.

Lastly, I would like to bring to light another point of context which is NEVER taught from the modern mainstream pulpit:

The first 13 chapters of Romans has Paul promoting, reverencing, upholding, and teaching the Law of Moses:

Romans 2:13 for not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law shall be declared righteous.

Romans 2:18,20 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth

Romans 2:23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.

Romans 3:1-2 what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way.

Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Romans 7:7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.

Romans 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being

Romans 7:25 So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind

Romans 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law

If you haven’t already, please read the 16 studies of these, and many other quotes from the Apostle Paul, on my ‘Romans Page’.

Final Thoughts:

  1. In our “future”, at the End of Days, God’s Judgement will bring a consuming wrath upon those who eat unclean animals; Eating pig’s flesh will still be considered worthy of judgement and punishment by the LORD!

What does the text say?

Isaiah 66:16-17 For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many. “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, they shall be consumed altogether”, declares the LORD.”

Is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a liar???

  1. The Greek word κοινός [koinos/common/G2839], and it’s cognates are used only 4 times in the Septuagint [Old Testament in the Greek], and every time in reference to things “shared in common”. In the Septuagint, the Greek word koinos is never used to refer to “uncleanness” or to something as “unclean”; NEVER!

In fact, in Leviticus chapter 11, the word “unclean” is listed 32 times in regards to animals that are NOT considered food.

  What does the text say?

Leviticus 11:4-84Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is G169unclean to you. 5And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is G169unclean to you. 6And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is G169unclean to you. 7And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is G169unclean to you. 8You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are G169unclean to you.

There are another 27 usages of the word “unclean” in the this chapter, and every single time in the Septuagint, “unclean” is translated from akathartos/G169, EVERY time!

  • For further study of Paul’s teachings, as well as the original Greek, please see the ‘Page Links’ at the top of this page or blog posts at the bottom. Be a Berean, and test Paul’s doctrines to the “Scriptures”. Please ‘share’ this study. Thank you for your time!