Please read Acts 15:1-31, then read the following:
1. There was NO appeal to Peter, but to “apostles, elders” and the “whole church” gathered to hear Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 12 (“all the multitude”), 22
2. EVERY speaker proclaimed only the Word of God (Oral & Written):
(1) Acts 15:2-4: Paul and Barnabas proclaimed what God had been doing among Gentiles (before Acts 13-14 had been written);
(2) Acts 15:5-11: Peter reminded them of the events of Acts 10-11 in selecting Gentiles to be saved (before it had been written down);
(3) Acts 15:12-21: James preached God’s Prophecy about the goal of bringing in Gentiles, quoting Amos 9:11-12, THEN gave HIS “judgment”;
(4) Acts 15:22: THE CONCLUSION WAS INSPIRED ENTIRELY BY GOD’S WORD (A.K.A. “SCRIPTURE”), AND IT WAS UNANIMOUS – LIKE NO Roman Catholic Church COUNCIL!!!!
3. The letter sent to the Gentiles with this Apostolic preaching (Acts 15:23-31) was an Apostolic “letter” (Greek: epistole). When copies are actually distributed to the Christians of a Gentile background (Acts 16:4), they are termed “decrees” (Greek: dogmata): The “DOGMA” was necessary and delivered immediately to the Gentiles!!!! Refer to Acts 15:1-16:5 and notice that:
(1) The church didn’t wait hundreds of years to know “dogma.”
(2) This was an epistle of Scripture from the Apostles, and NOT from a Roman Catholic Church “Magisterium,” or “Vatican Council,” or “College of the Cardinals,” or announced by “smoke!” When Peter and the REAL Apostles of Jesus Christ taught and wrote Scripture, it was in writing that WAS “Scripture,” based upon Scripture, NOT the result of political “in-fighting” and out-maneuvering ,as is continually practiced by the Roman Catholic Church. People who “blow smoke” are NOT Apostles of Jesus Christ!
(3) “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” Acts 16:5. The churches of Christ are always strengthened by Scripture and always apostatize when following human commandments (1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:1-5). Wrong attitudes always produce and defend wrong doctrines(1 Timothy 6:3-5)!
4. THERE WAS NO VOTE TAKEN, NOR SUCCESSIVE SESSIONS OF THIS COUNCIL!
5. There was NO: supremacy of Peter, voting on doctrine; waiting hundreds of years to deal with controversy; multiple sessions to arrive at a conclusion; opposition to the views expressed; PRESENTATION OF ANY OUTSIDE “TRADITION;” “COMMENTARIES;” OR PREVIOUS “COUNCIL” CONCLUSIONS; BUT ONLY SCRIPTURE (BOTH WRITTEN & UNWRITTEN)!
6. This was the ONLY council gathering like it in Scripture.
(1) The gathering to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:13-26) did nothing to replace James the brother of John
when Herod killed him (Acts 12:1-2);
(2) The gathering to disprove Jewish heretics sent Gentiles their “dogma” (Acts 15:1-31) and never met again!
—–John T. Polk II