Now, actually we went through the book of Galatians once before, but we only had the first two chapters recorded. And this is going out to the various churches, and will be used in Bible Studies all over the United States and Canada, and perhaps even into other countries wherever the English language is spoken.
So I want to take just a moment or two, at the beginning, to sort of review the first two chapters which we already had covered as an introduction, bringing us up to date before we begin now with the third chapter.
In the beginning, you will notice that Paul always has a salutation, which is the means that they did in those days. In a sense, we put that sort of thing at the end of a letter, when we write a letter, which was called an epistle, in ancient English, when they use that translation, call it the epistles of Paul. And this was the epistle of Paul, the apostle to the Galatians, which means a letter that he wrote them. We would put it at the end of a letter and sign our name. But he signs his name and gives a salutation at the beginning.
Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle [now notice, he designates himself as an apostle, but then he says in brackets] (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
In other words, men didn’t get together and vote him, and put him, and make him an apostle. Now, I wonder if people understand today. I was not made an apostle by the church or by a group of people who got together and decided, or voted on it, and decided that I would be an apostle. I cannot make another man, and I can’t appoint another minister to be an apostle. That I cannot do. I can appoint them to become preaching elders or evangelists – that I can do.
There is no record that we have, in the Church today, any prophets. Although in both First Corinthians twelve and in Ephesians ...let’s see...it’s five, isn’t it...or four...we read that God set in the Church, in order of rank and of responsibility for the various administrations, operations, and services that are performed by members of the Church. First apostles, then prophets, and then evangelists, and then elders or then pastors, as one of them says, and then elders. And you’ll find in other Scriptures that some of the elders were ministers and preaching elders, and others did not preach at all, but were just sort of leaders, and if the preacher or the minister was not there he would at least take charge of the meeting.
For some years we had a man like that, Basil Wolverton, but later he was made an elder. But for a long time he was not, but he did hold the Church together for years.
Now, notice that his apostleship came direct from Christ and from God. Now, he speaks by Their authority. And then he says; Galatians 1:2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto [now, in other words, the letter is from them to] the churches [more than one Church] of Galatia:
Galatia was the area called Asia Minor, that is inhabited by Turkey, today. So if you find Turkey on the map, why that is the area. I have been there in their two main cities. Now, you’ll notice then, that he says:
Galatians 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
He had authority to speak for God. He was merely a messenger by which God was giving them this grace and peace. I want you to notice, he spoke with authority. He was speaking for God. He didn’t say, “I send you this grace and peace.” But it’s God that’s sending it. It’s from God the Father.
Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins...[and so on and;] (5) To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The letter starts in verse six, for he said that he marveled that so soon... see this letter is written, as near as I can discern, and I didn't have it clearly understood before, and I believe, even when I broadcast the first two chapters of this, I said somewhere between 51 and 58 AD. I believe it was probably the year 53, but the date that he’s writing this letter is a little bit obscure. At that time they already were turned from him that called them.
Now, the one who calls us to the grace of God is not a minister, is not the man who carries the message, but is God. Jesus Christ said in John chapter six, and verse forty-four:
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him...
God draws. Now, you read too, in the Bible that many are called but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)
God CALLS those that are to be converted. God has cut the world off from Him. God has driven...He drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. He put an angel with swords pointing every way to prevent any re-entrance of human beings back to get the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is merely symbolic of the Holy Spirit. And God did not give the Holy Spirit, except to those He called.
Now, in ancient Israel, God called them, but He did not even give them the Holy Spirit. He gave His Holy Spirit only to the few individuals who were their prophets. But their prophets were writing a message that was the foundation of the New Testament Church, because the Church is founded on the apostles and the prophets.
Now, there’s not a prophet in the New Testament who had anything to do with the basic teaching, the basic doctrine and knowledge that came from God into the Church. There was the prophetess...what was it...Anna who was eighty-some years old. And when Jesus was just barely born, she picked up the Christ-child and thanked God for Him, blessed Him, and handed Him back to His mother. But she was past doing anything. God did not reveal truth to her. She did not write a book. She did not write anything that became part of the foundation of the Church.
Then there was a prophet, Agabus, who had a message straight from God, that if Paul went on down to Jerusalem he was going to encounter trouble. Well, God wanted Paul to know that. But Paul was determined to go anyway, and he did, and he got into trouble. But that prophet merely had that message for the Apostle Paul. He contributed nothing to the doctrine, the teaching, the foundation, of the New Testament Church.
Now, there were two others who were among the three or four that God had revealed to them that they should lay hands on Saul and Barnabas, and ordain them as apostles, and send them. Now, that’s when Paul was made an apostle. And God revealed that through two different prophets, but that’s all they did. They did not contribute any of the foundation of the New Testament Church. There was not a prophet in the New Testament Church that was part of the foundation. There was not a prophet in the New Testament Church who had an executive or an administrative position – not a one. And there is none in the Church today.
The duty of a prophet in the New Testament Church was to receive a message from God and communicate that message to the apostle. Now, the only two instances we have, that’s what happened. And I would know if there was a prophet in the Church, because he would have communicated something to me, and I would have known it came from God. It would have been in such a way that it would have been evident, and so have made it known to me. But nothing like that has ever happened.
Now, I have had men come to me, and...I’ve not had any man come to me and say that he was Jesus Christ, but my son, Ted, did once. A man came to his office and said, “I’m Jesus Christ.” Well, Ted said, “Now, if you were Jesus Christ, I won’t be able to throw you out of this office.” So he grabbed the man by his coat collar and the seat of his trousers and showed him out of the office. And sort of dusted off his hands, and said, “There,” he says, “you are not Jesus Christ.”
I know he was a wild crackpot or something. But I have had men come to me and claim they were Elijah or something like that. And, of course, they were not. But they were just mentally deranged, that is all. But there are no prophets in the Church today. So we have the one apostle, and I did not appoint myself an apostle. I did not know I was an apostle until I looked backwards. Jesus said; “by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20)
How do I know that I am an apostle? By the fruits. I look back and it's the fruits, and the Work was done that can only be done by an apostle, and otherwise I would never say it. Now, the first time I ever knew I was an apostle was in 1951...or 1950, I believe it was, up in Belknap Springs, when Herman Hoeh, who was then a...let me see...he was about a junior, I think, he hadn’t graduated yet from Ambassador College.
But he was speaking up there, and he said, “Herbert Armstrong is not a prophet, he is an apostle.”
Well when I listened to that - I was absolutely shocked and stunned.
But immediately I went to Herman and I said, “Don’t you ever say that again. I don’t want you telling people I’m an apostle. I’m not going around making any such claims at all.” And I didn’t. But I did think on it a little bit later, as time went on. And it was some time, even, I think, two years after that, that I was able to see by the fruits, that God had made me an apostle, and that there was only one in the Church, and there should be one in the Church.
But notice, it was of God, not of man. I was not made an apostle by men. But you’ll notice that at that time, some had departed from the true faith, and to a different gospel. Now, I explained before, and I better explain that again, that the Church was persecuted from the very beginning, and there were enemies of the Church. But the first enemies of the Church were Jewish.
Now, the Church of God started out in 31 AD as all Jewish Church. There were, as you’ll read in the fifteenth chapter - the fifteen verse rather - of the first chapter of the book of Acts that there were only a hundred and twenty in the Church that received the Holy Spirit that day of Pentecost. Peter preached a sermon that day, and after that sermon, there were about three thousand others that were baptized that same day. But the Church started with that hundred and twenty. And they were all Jewish, and all of the others who were there were Jews from different parts of the world speaking different languages even. So the Church started out Jewish.
Now, you have to remember this, that the Jews had been in Judaism, and I explained that in the previous time that I went through the book of Galatians, and we need to know this before we can even begin with the third chapter that I would like to begin with right now. But the Jews had a religion that was known as Judaism at the time, and that was not the religion of Moses.
Jewish people, still today, have Judaism and their both Orthodox which is pretty much the same thing they had in the time of Christ, and the Reformed which is, of course, a watered down modern version that is very very liberal. It allows them to break the Sabbath and conduct their business on the Sabbath. Which a lot of them do. They’re pretty much in the retail business, and manufacturing of clothing, and things of that sort, and to some extent, in banking, and in Los Angeles many of the judges in the courts, the Superior Courts, are Jewish.
And the judges that have been dealing in our case are Jewish, and they’ve been brought up in Judaism, and they know NOTHING about such a thing as the Gospel, because the Jews never accepted Christ, and there was no gospel in Old Testament Israel. No Gospel was given the Old Testament Church or the congregation of Israel. Now, Moses...Moses did write about things that are going to be in the Kingdom of God. All of the prophets wrote of the things of the Kingdom of God, but it was no part of the Jewish or of the Israelitish religion of ancient Israel.
Now, after the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, when the ten tribes had gone and were lost from view and identity, and there was only Judah there, and they were called the Jews. Because Gentiles had no forgiveness of sin, nothing that they called grace as we do in the Christian religion, which is the forgiveness of sin, a pardon of our sin, because of the death of Christ, they believed in self-punishment and torture. They would punish themselves, they’d put themselves through certain tortures like walking barefoot on nails upside down that would puncture right through to the bones of their feet. That was supposed to make up for their sin. Well, that cannot forgive sin, because the penalty of sin is death, and they didn’t seem to know that. Nevertheless, that was in Judaism.
Now, it was a lot of people that had been brought up and born and raised in Judaism, that accepted Christ, and now they call themselves Christians. Well, they listened to the doctrines that were taught, but they didn’t get it all. They still clung to some with their old ideas. And some of those Jewish Christians, that had come in, wanted to keep some of the old Jewish ceremonial laws. Now, in ancient Judah, through Moses, God had given them, first the Spiritual law of which was expressed by the Ten Commandments. That is the foundation of the Kingdom of God and of the government of God.
Then He had given them also statutes and judgments. That was the civil laws of the nation – their national laws to regulate the citizens. To take the place of that today, we have our local city ordinances, our county ordinances, we have our state laws, and we have our national laws. So the statutes and judgments took the place of that in ancient Israel, but they came from God. Well, of course they’re not in force and affect today because there is no nation enforcing them today.
Then they had two other types of law. One was the sacrificial law. Since Christ had not come, but God was teaching them that a Messiah would come and die for them, and they sacrificed animals as a type of Christ. Now, you read in the book of Hebrews that the sacrificing and the killing of animals could not remit sins, or forgive sin, but was only a reminder of sin. But that’s all they had. It was a SUBSTITUTE for the sacrifice of Christ.
Then they had the law of the ceremonial law, or a law of rituals. Now, that was not the national law, it was a religious law, but it was a physical law. It had to do with the things that were physical work that they did morning, noon, and night. They’re tied in closely with the sacrifices. For example, there was work to that, they had sacrifices morning, noon, and night, three times a day – or, well, primarily twice a day, the morning and the evening sacrifice.
But they had rituals to do morning, noon, and night, and then there were sacrifices on every Sabbath day. There were also sacrifices on every New Moon, and there were sacrifices on the seven annual Holy Days. In other words, every day that God had set apart as a special day, so that they would know when it came, was a day for special sacrifices.
Now, those were all a substitute for Christ, and when Christ died on the cross the substitutes were abolished and nullified, there was no purpose for them any longer. Also the rituals were other meat and drink offerings and many carnal washings and ceremonies, and things that they did that taught them the habit of obedience. They did it so often that it established a habit of obedience. They were a temporary PHYSICAL substitute of the SPIRITUAL Holy Spirit, because they didn’t have the Holy Spirit. God never gave the Holy Spirit to ancient Israel.
So remember that the Christians at first were Jewish, and among them were many people that still wanted to have animal sacrifices or especially they wanted these rituals.
Now, as we come into Galatians, you will find the words “works of the law,” and the word “works” comes from the Greek word “ergon” and it means physical – physical ceremonies – not Spiritual principles of character, but physical duties, and they were work – WORKS of the law. And we’ll be coming to that, now, right away. But, you’ll notice that Paul also mentions something else that I want to cover here. And he said here in this very first chapter;
Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. [now there are not very many men that can say that. He said] (12) For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Later he said he had seen Christ. He had been with Christ. Christ had taught him direct. No man taught him. What he had done and been taught by man was to try to get Christians, and seize them, and bring them in, and they would be terribly punished because they were Christians, and some of them were put to death. And that’s what Paul was doing till God struck him down blind and converted him. That’s what Paul got from man.
But now, when he was converted, he had to get all of that out of his mind. His mind was swept clean of all of that, and God implanted within his mind – the truth. Now, he went then, to Jerusalem, and he found there that he was preaching the same thing that the apostles were. The apostles had spent three and a half years with Jesus. They were taught directly by Jesus Christ. And Paul received it that way.
Now the point I want to make is this, and I didn’t make it in the former time that we did record the two chapters of the book of Galatians, that is, that I do not know of any other instance in our time, or in any time since Christ and the original apostles and Paul, where anyone has received the truth of God as Paul did and as I did. In other words, they have ALL RECEIVED whatever they preached, whatever they believed FROM OTHER PEOPLE – OTHER MEN.
Where did the Baptist preacher learn all that he believes and preaches? He learned it from other Baptists. He preaches Baptist doctrine. But he won’t agree with the Methodists. Where did all of them get their ideas? Where does a Roman Catholic priest get it? He gets it in Roman Catholic schools and in Roman Catholic...let's see...their convents are for women, aren’t they? But they have Seminaries for men, and they have universities all over.
And it’s Roman Catholic men that teach the Roman Catholic religion. It’s a course in memory training, they get what other men give them, and they memorize it, and they believe that’s the truth. They've never proved whether it’s true or false. They have just accepted it.
I did not do that. I was brought to see that everything I had ever believed was wrong. I had to have my mind washed and swept clean of everything. I said, “I don’t even know whether there is a God.”
I had believed there was a God. Now, I had to prove it. Well, I proved I was right there, but I had assumed it before. Now, I had proved it, and I knew.
I had to prove whether the Bible is authoritative and is the direct word of God. But I did prove it. And once I proved that, I had something, and a place to go as a source to understand and to gain knowledge. And everything I learned came out of this book. Now, Jesus Christ in person is the living personal word of God, but the Bible is the SAME IDENTICAL WORD, THE SAME IDENTICAL TEACHING in writing. It is the word of God in WRITING. The early apostles, including Paul, got everything they brought into the Church FROM CHRIST IN PERSON. I got it from the WRITTEN WORD – THE SAME IDENTICAL WORD.
Now, I have said to you who are in the Church, “Follow me,” as Paul said, “as I follow Christ.” You have a Bible. I preach to you and expound the Bible. I say, “Check”...before anyone can come into the Church and I’ve said it over the air to people that are not yet in the Church, “Don’t believe me, believe what you see in the Bible.”
I have said that hundreds of times, that I have preached what is in the Bible, and everyone who has come into the Church of God has accepted that WHICH THEY GOT FROM ME. THEN THEY’VE LOOKED IN THE BIBLE AND SAW IT WAS THERE, and because it’s in the Bible they have accepted it and they’ve believed it. There is no other church like that on the face of the earth – no other church like that.
So, those are the main things that I wanted to cover before we come to chapter three.
So now, let’s come on down to chapter three with that in the background, which I think we need. Paul, now, calls the Galatians foolish. Remember they had turned to other doctrines and other gospels.
Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians...
Oh, by the way, I might say this, they not only were listening to certain Jewish leaders that wanted to get back into some of Judaism and bring that in which had been a substitute for the Holy Spirit, which included circumcision as part of this ritualistic law, which was a physical ordinance, of the physical thing they were to do. But Christ gave Paul the teaching that circumcision is of the heart today. It is not a required religious ritual.
Circumcision is something that I have recommended. And I say that all parents should have newborn male babies circumcised because it is for their good. And if it had been harmful, God would never have had it done. But it is not a religious ceremony, it is not necessary for salvation or anything of that kind at all.
But I think that the Galatians also, by this time, (I think that Paul was writing probably in 52 AD) and by that time...remember, the Church had been founded in 31, so that 52, it was twenty-one years later, the Church had come of age at age twenty-one, you might say.
The real first Pope was this Simon, who was a different Simon than the Simon who was named Peter, but merely is a title and not a name. And you see, Peter, his original name was not Peter at all. They think Peter was his name, but Peter was not his name. Peter was a title. His name was Simon – Simon, the son of Jonah. And Jonah was merely the Greek name for what we would call John, today, in English, and in German they call it, Johan.
The real first Pope was this Simon, who was a different Simon than the Simon who was named Peter by Christ, and it was a counterfeit, absolutely. And that started the Church in 33 AD. And you’ll read of that in the eighth chapter of the book of Acts.
Now, so they were somewhat here deceived by that religion too, which was doing away with the law of God altogether – no law whatsoever. But the Jews wanted more law, they wanted ceremonial physical law. Now, just bear those things in mind. So Paul now says:
Galatians 3:1-2 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (2) This only would I learn of you, [did you] receive(d)... the Spirit by the works of the law?...
Now, there it is again...ergon of the law. That means the ritual physical law – the works of the law. Now, I happen to have an Interlinear Greek right here, and that’s chapter three, and verse two...well, let me see...I have it right here;
Galatians 3:2 (ILB) This only did I received of you [Now wait, I’m getting word...English word right under each Greek word.] This only I wish to learn from you...[each Greek word translated into English here.](2)...by works of law...[Now, there it is...e-r-g-o-n– ergon - by (ergon)...and again...ergon, n-o- (something)o-u”, which means “of law” – ergon of law] ..the spirit receive you or by hearing of faith.
Always it is the word ergon. And now, I have it right here in the Greek language. ”or by the hearing of faith?” In other words, you don’t receive truth by performing these rituals. Now, Paul is going to come to one of the rituals, circumcision, a little later. He hasn’t mentioned that quite yet.
Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
That is “works,” or they began in the spirit...let’s see, I’ve got something I marked in here myself. It had to be the Spiritual law of the Ten Commandments. Are they made perfect by a physical law of the flesh, is really what he’s talking about here. Now, verse four;
Galatians 3:4-5 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. (5) He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Do the miracles come by observing these rituals, the things you do morning, noon, and night – physical works of the various meats and drinks, and various little offerings, and things of that kind that you were doing? Or was it by faith? And faith is believing in whatever God has promised He will do. And that’s reliance on God, and on the veracity of God, and the ability and the power of God.
Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God...
Now, a lot of people believe in Christ. They do not believe Christ. I want you to get the distinction there. There’s a great difference. Now, I might say, while I’m at it, the word “works” sometimes means spiritual performance and obedience. And where the word “works” is used alone it usually means righteousness, or obedience to the Ten Commandments. But where it is “ergon” of the law, or works of the law, it always means the rituals. The Fenton translation makes that absolutely plain. It’s the eighth chapter of John beginning with verse thirty.
John 8:30-31 As he spake these words, many believed on him. (31) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word [In other words, if you believe my words and believe me, as well as believing on me](31) then are ye my disciples indeed;
Well, they disputed that right away. But you read on through several verses here, and you’ll get down to...let me see...
John 8:43, 45 Why do ye not understand my speech? (even) because ye cannot hear my word. (45) And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
They did not believe what He was saying. But they were Jews who believed on Him. Now, believing on and saying, “Yeah, I believe.” That means I believe Jesus IS the Christ. That’s one thing, to believe who Christ is, and that He is genuine, He’s not a fake. He’s really...He really is the Son of God. But to believe what He SAYS, to believe Christ is to believe what Christ said. That’s something else again. Now, let us notice this.
Galatians 3:5-8 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the [let's see] “ergon”of the law [or the rituals of the law] or by the hearing of faith? (6) Even as Abraham believed God [Abraham believed what God said.] and it was accounted to him for righteousness.(7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are [of] the children of Abraham. (8) And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Now, he was talking about the one seed, Christ, that was to come. But this says here in Galatians three, that He was preaching the Gospel to Abraham when He said that.
Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
But remember that faith is merely believing what God says, and what He says He will do, and God has said that if you’re sick call the elders of the Church...And the prayer of faith shall save the sick.(James 5:15) That’s what God said. Now, the question is, do you believe it? We had ministers in the Church that didn’t believe that at all. They said, “There’s no law about healing. There’s no promise you’ll be healed.” But it says, “the prayer of faith shall save the sick.”
I say that’s a promise. I have quoted that as a promise and God has answered and healed people as a result.
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law [that’s ergon again, of the law] are under [a] curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all [of the] things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Now, what was written in the book of the law? I don’t think we’d better take time right now, today, because that would be a whole sermon and a whole Bible study in itself. But you go back and you find that there were simply two kind of laws given Moses from God. And one was the law – the Ten Commandments.
Now, God gave them to Moses. First, He spoke them to all the people by His audible voice, and they all heard the voice. Later He gave them to Moses on two tables of stone. Moses threw those down, smashed and broke them. Moses had to hew out tables of stone again and bring them up, and God wrote them again - same thing – the Ten Commandments.
Now, those two tablets were kept INSIDE of the Ark. The lid on top of the Ark was the Mercy Seat. That was the very throne of God. The seat God sat on. On top of that seat were the two archangels – the cherubs – who’s wings covered the throne, all over the throne. One of those was Lucifer who became Satan. And that’s where Lucifer or Satan was originally, but he fell from that position.
Now the other book of the law, is the book that Moses wrote, and the book of the law was in the side of the Ark, but outside, on the side of it, kept in a different place. That was written on pages of paper, or of sheepskin, or something perishable. That was written by Moses. That was the physical law. But the Spiritual law was written on tables of stone, that would endure throughout the ages, and written by the very finger of God, and was kept inside of the Ark, and under the very throne of God. Well, that was what God had given Moses as something that people could see to picture to them what the throne of God was like, as nearly as could be pictured to them.
Galatians 3:12 And the law is not [now, what law is he talking about? The works of the law. That law is not] of faith: but The man that doeth them [He’s talking now, about the book of the law, which had all of these ceremonial laws] shall live in them. [That’s the rituals.] Verse thirteen;
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law...
Now, you’ll find there are many curses that are given back in the books of Moses about it – cursed is he that does this, and that, and the other thing, if they did not conform to all of those things written in that book of the law.
Galatians 3:13-15...being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; [Well, that was Christ, and He became a curse for us.] (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive [we – meaning the Israelites, or Jews, as they were at that time, shall receive] the promise of the Spirit through faith. (15) Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed [that is that if any written contract or agreement. We make covenants, contracts, agreements all the time on the earth, yet if it be confirmed,] no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
In other words, anything added after the signature, after you have signed it, is NO PART OF THAT AGREEMENT, or that contract, or that covenant. Now, remember that the Sabbath is no part of it.
Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. [And] He saith not, (And) to seeds...[in this particular case.]
Now, God did talk about multiple seeds that were to have the physical promises of the birthright, but He also talked about the single seed of the scepter promise that pertained only to Christ. That’s what he’s talking about here.
Galatians 3:16-17 ...to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [That one seed is in Christ.] (17) And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after...
Now, this is the law that came four hundred and thirty years after Abraham. That is the law that was given to Moses. The Ten Commandments had come and been in force and effect from Adam. But there was this law that was given four hundred and thirty years after Abraham, long after the original Spiritual law.
Galatians 3:17-18 ...cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. (18)For if the inheritance be of the law...[Now, the law he’s talking about here is the law of rituals. And you can’t gain the promise of God and eternal life by performing those physical rites and ceremonies.] it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
And it’s the case of Abraham believed God. In other words, when God promised, Abraham BELIEVED GOD WOULD DO WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO. HE BELIEVED GOD! He believed what God said.
Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law...
Now, he’s talking about the law of rituals. Well, then, what’s the purpose of it? If it can’t give you eternal life, well, then is it any good for anything? What purpose does it serve then? Now, he adds...here’s his answer.
Galatians 3:19 ...It was added because of transgressions
It was an added law, and it came after the original law was made in a covenant at Mount Sinai. And there this was added four hundred and thirty years after Abraham, and it was then added to the promise that was made to Abraham, and it was an altogether different law, and was no part of the law that was Spiritual.
Galatians 3:19 ...till the seed should come to whom [it was promised]
You see it only lasted as a substitute, it lasted till Christ. It was a substitute for the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit couldn’t come until after Christ had come, and died, and ascended to heaven when He said He would send the Holy Spirit - “till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.”
Galatians 3:19-21 ...and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. [The mediator was Moses.] (20) Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. (21) Is the law then against the promises of God?...
He’s talking about...the law he’s talking about, all the way through here, is the works of the law – the physical law – the law of rituals and ceremonies. Is it against the promises of God?
Galatians 3:21 ...God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
But that law couldn’t make you righteous, and it couldn’t give you eternal life. All of that comes through the Holy Spirit, and through God’s promise.
Galatians 3:22 ...the promise by faith OF Jesus Christ...
Now, not our faith IN Christ, but by the faith OF Christ. That is Jesus Christ’s own faith. That is the faith Christ used to walk on water. That’s the faith Christ used when He raised the dead. That’s the faith Christ had, and that Christ used. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ gives that same faith to us. And that is Christ’s faith. It’s not man’s faith. It’s not a faith we work up. It’s not anything. That’s not our faith.
Now, it says back here in the second chapter, which I didn’t go into today, that “we have believed in Jesus Christ” [Now, that’s our faith]. In order that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ”(Galatians 2: 16).
We believe in Christ, and He gives us His faith, and that justifies us, and the sacrifice of Christ, of course, justifies us – the faith OF Jesus Christ. The word “of” denotes possession, and means it’s the faith that belongs to Christ, not the faith that belongs to you, that you work up.
Galatians 3:22-23 ...might be given to them that believe. (23) But before faith came, we [Now, who does he mean – we? He does not mean Gentiles. He means we Israelites] were kept under the law [Now, he’s talking about the law of rituals] shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
It was only a substitute for that faith, and for Christ, and for the Holy Spirit, and for the faith that would come. And it’s Christ’s own faith that would be given to us by a miracle from Christ.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was [a] schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ...
In other words, it was a schoolmaster in that that law of rituals taught them the habit of obedience. A schoolmaster teaches. That law was to teach them obedience till Christ would come, so they could have the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit would EMPOWER us to obey the Spiritual law of God. And they didn’t have anything to obey that law.
Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
In other words, the rituals are no longer. Faith has come, and the faith only comes through the Holy Spirit.
How do you receive THE VERY FAITH OF CHRIST? You don’t work that up. That’s a gift that comes through the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit comes into you.
Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ...[We have to have our own faith in Christ in order that we can get the very faith FROM Christ – His own faith] (27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female [In other words, God is not a respecter of persons. It isn’t a case of race, male, or female. And God - there is no discrimination] for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (29) And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed [or children] and heirs according to the promise.
IF you be Christ’s. Well, how do you get to be Christ’s? First you have to repent, and the death of Christ forgives your sins, and that doesn’t save you – that reconciles you to God. And now, you’re reconciled to God. So, if you are Christ’s you’re an heir of the promise that God made. Because now, you're reconciled to God, and God the Father will give you eternal life.
Now, we come to chapter four.
Galatians 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
That is, he will be the lord of all when he grows up. But it’s a child, who is his father’s heir, who has not inherited his father’s wealth, and his father’s great mansion, and his father’s business, and all of those things yet – he’s an heir. He hasn’t inherited yet. We’re the heirs of the promises of God, but we haven’t inherited them yet. We’re only heirs.
Galatians 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Now, it’s talking about wealthy people who put their children under teachers, and governors, and servants who look after them. Now, the servant is only a servant. The child, when he grows up, will be much greater than the servant, but as long as he’s young, he’s under the discipline of that servant who’s there to teach him.
Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children [Now, that’s we Israelites] were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Now, “elements” simply means the ways – the way that the world lives. The world is living by the way of get. The elements of the world are the ways of the world – the world’s entertainment, the world’s way of competition, the world’s way of “me first,” and “I’m going to get the best of the other fellow,” it’s all of this modern society – that’s the elements of the world.
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the [It should not be adoption, but the son-ship]
Now, let me see, that is verse five in chapter four. Let me just see what the Greek on that is. Chapter four, and verse five. Let’s see, here it is:
Galatians 4 ITL:5 In order [just a transliteration In order] that the ones under the law, he might redeem [or, He might redeem the ones under the law, in order...well, the Hebrew word, I don’t know here] ..adoption of sons we might receive.
Since I can’t read the Greek, I’d have to look into the Exhaustive Concordance, and get the Greek/English Dictionary or Lexicon and get the more literal meaning of that Greek word in the English language.
Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the [son-ship it should be] We’re not adopted children. We’ve become begotten children of God, we’re only heirs now, but we’ll be fully born children in the resurrection.
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons...
We’re sons already now, even though we’re not born yet. That’s why the unborn child in the mother’s womb is the son or daughter of its parents before it’s born. And of course, now, that gets into this thing that is quite a hot issue today about abortion. And a lot of them are much in favor of government paying for abortion for any woman who wants an abortion. That’s all she has to do is just say she wants to have it. But it is putting a life to death. That’s what it is doing. And it is already the son or the daughter of its parents. There is a life there.
Now, there’s one little distinction. It has not received the spirit yet. And the spirit is the only means that will connect it with the life to come, so that it will be in the resurrection. Any aborted child will never be in the resurrection. But, nevertheless, it was killed, and the life was stopped right then and there, and that’s the end of it, and there will never be a resurrection, there will never be any future life.
Galatians 4:6-7 ...because ye are sons [already, even though not yet born] God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (7) Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
It’s just like the young child of the wealthy millionaire. He is the son of his father, and temporarily the servant who’s taking care of him is over him, but he is more important and when he grows up he’ll have a higher position than the servant will.
Galatians 4:8-9 Howbeit then [or however then] when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. [That is just imaginary gods made up in the minds of men] (9) But now, after that ye have known God.
Now, he’s writing to Gentiles. It says “Howbeit then, when ye” Now, he said, “when we” he’s talking about we Jews. But he’s writing to Gentiles. And when he says here...
Galatians 4:8-9 Howbeit then, when ye [you, Gentiles] knew not God, ye did service unto them [that]by nature are no gods. (9) But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
What’s he talking about? THE WAYS OF THIS WORLD! Now, some people say “you want to return again to keeping the Ten Commandments and God’s Spiritual law.” And that’s not what he’s...he hasn’t been talking about the Spiritual law here at all. “ you observe days, you want to observe the Sabbath.” And the Sunday people use that Scripture a great deal.
And they say, “Look, God is condemning your Sabbath.” Oh no, He’s not. He’s talking to Gentiles. What kind of days did Gentiles...they never heard of the Sabbath. They never observed the Sabbath. What days do Gentiles observe today? Christmas, New Years, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day. They’ve got their days and their months, and their times and their years.
You can go back and I can show you in the Old Testament where God told Israel they must not observe times, but the Gentiles did observe times. He said “Well;”
Galatians 4:11-14 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. (12) Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. (13) Ye know [see, you Gentiles know] how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. (14) And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
Yeah, they overdid it. They made him out to be almost an angel. I don’t want anyone to look on me as anything more than an ordinary human. But they were looking on Paul as if he were sort of super-human.
Galatians 4:15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
You see, they did love Paul. I’m glad that the Church members love me today. And people do love the servant and apostle of God. God gives them that love.
Galatians 4:16-20 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? (17) They zealously affect you, but not well [Now, the “they” are someone that are misleading them into wrong errors that are not the truth. “They zealously affect you. ”You” are the Gentiles, “we” are the Israelites, “they” are the false preachers.] but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. (18) But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. (19) My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (20) I desire...
You see, Christ has to be formed in us. When we’re first converted, when we accept Christ, when we first receive the Holy Spirit, Christ hasn’t been formed in us yet. It’s just the start. It takes time to grow to development. He said, “until Christ be formed in you.”
Galatians 4:20-23 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. (21) Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law...[Now, he’s talking about the law of rituals]do ye not hear the law? (22) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondwoman [which meant a slave girl] the other by a free woman. [The bondwoman was an Egyptian maid, she was of a different race] (23) But he who was of the bondwoman [that’s Ishmael, the father of the Arabs] was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise.
Now, this is an allegory that he’s giving right here. Isaac, then, was by promise, because God had promised that Isaac would be born.
Galatians 4:24 Which things are an allegory [you see, as I said] for these are the two covenants [They represent the allegory, the two covenants, one is the Old Covenant and the other is the New] the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar.
It represents the Old Covenant which had only physical material promises. It had physical material laws as well as the Spiritual law of God. But the physical laws of ceremonies was expected to be the schoolmaster to teach them the habit of obedience to bring them to Christ.
Galatians 4:25-26 For this Hagar [represents, you might say] (is) mount Sinai in Arabia [where the covenant was made with Israel] and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. (26) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which [is free] is the mother of us all.
Now, another Scripture...I should have that marked right here, and I don’t...says that the Church is Jerusalem above, and the Church is the mother of us all, and the Church must feed and nourish the begotten children until they’re born. That’s the duty of our local ministers all over, to feed and nourish them on the word of God.
Galatians 4:27-28 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren [that was Sarah who was barren, you know] that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not [again, Sarah] for the desolate [that’s Sarah] hath many more children than she which hath an husband. [Ultimately she will have many more children than the mother of the Arab race](28) Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Now, “we” again, means Israelites, but remember, he’s writing to Gentiles. He doesn’t say, “But you Gentiles I’m writing to, are the children of the promise.” He didn’t say, “You, that I’m writing to, and me (we) – we, we Israelites, are the children of the promise.”
Galatians 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh [which was Ishmael] persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
In other words, Ishmael persecuted Isaac. And what about today? We have been begotten of the Spirit of God, and they that are not, persecute us. They hate us. You know, I was thinking just yesterday, the people that hate and despise me would not hate and despise me, if it were not because that I represent the truth of God, and because Christ is in me, and it is the Christ in me, and it is the truth that is in me, and it is God that is in me that they hate.
That even goes for my own two daughters. Now, what about my son that hates me, and that has encouraged his own sisters, my two daughters, to hate me? My two daughters, two years ago, didn’t hate me. But my son has seen them, and talked to them since, and now they do hate me.
THEY DON’T HATE ME AS THEIR HUMAN FATHER AT ALL, THEY ALWAYS LOVED ME AS THEIR HUMAN FATHER. THEY HATE ME BECAUSE OF THE GOD THAT’S IN ME, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT OF THAT GOD. And they have not accepted that God. My older daughter says she doesn’t even know that there is any God. But she must believe there’s a God or she wouldn’t hate Him so, would she?
Galatians 4:30-31 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. (31)So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Well, now he says, “brethren,” in other words, those are Gentile-born over in Galatia, but they’re now Gentiles, and they become as Spiritual Israelites through the Holy Spirit. But they were wanting to return back again to the wrong ways, and the ways of this world.
Well, that takes us up to chapter five. Now, let me see...yeah...there’s just the six chapters, and next Sabbath we can take the last two chapters and finish the book. I think that will make a lesson for today
I just wrote, yesterday, an ad addressed to the Attorney General of the State of California.
You know, someone said the other day, “Why is it that the whole State of California, and the number one rated program on national television, that has the largest listening audience of any program on television – Sixty Minutes – are so concerned about us?”
They have put us on two different times, and we’re just a little church, less than a hundred thousand members. Again, if Christ wasn’t in us they wouldn’t. Now, they don’t go after the Methodist church, they don’t go after the Baptists, they don’t go after the Roman Catholic Church. Did you ever think about that?
The TRUTH OF CHRIST IS IN US. We believe Christ.
Do the Catholics believe Christ? Do they believe what He says? They’ve tried to destroy the Bible, and yet they claim they’re the ones who have kept the Bible. Well, this ad, I’m going to have it reproduced in The Worldwide News, and I want all of our brethren to read it. But it’s an open letter that I have written to the Attorney General, and I’m going to publish it in a full page of the New York Times.
That will cost pretty close to ten thousand dollars just to publish that once. But everybody back there will see it. It will be published in the Los Angeles Times, it will be published in the Sacramento Bee, I believe it is, the leading paper up there. It will be published in other newspapers. I said some things I got a little bit of a laugh and a kick out of myself. Let’s see, I believe I’ve got it right here.
“Mr. Attorney General of California.”
That’s a great big headline that will take almost half of the page at the top in big type.
“You cannot shut these doors opened to me for world travel to proclaim the Gospel, so says a higher authority.”
I don’t...maybe I’ll put that “so says a higher authority” into the first paragraph of the regular text matter. I may cut that out of the headline.
“With all due respect to your office, Mr. Attorney General, I am under orders from a far higher authority, one who says you can’t stop me.”
Now, this is going to be read by the important people of the world of the United States.
“To me, the Supreme Authority, the living Jesus Christ says, 'Go ye into all the world and proclaim my Gospel message.' He says He is the Supreme One who has opened before me the doors that no man can shut. Just how important is this to the supreme authority above all?
For our time now, late in the Twentieth Century, He says, 'This Gospel of the Kingdom of God shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations and then shall the end of this world’s civilization come.' No other is taking this Gospel message of the imminent world-ruling Kingdom of God into all the world. In nineteen hundred years that message has not gone out to the whole world.”
Imagine that in the New York Times, and all the great and mighty of the East and of New York are going to read it. Now a subheading:
“Just how have you, Mr. Attorney General, viewed my great commission going into all the world with the all-important announcement of the coming world-ruling government? Without checking in a peaceful manner to learn why I have been going into all the world, you listened to the prejudicial, revenge-seeking, false witnesses of dissident expelled ex-members of the Worldwide Church of God.
You assumed that these arduous missions worldwide, were mere pleasure trips, 'syphoning off millions of dollars every year to my own personal account.' You accepted without first checking the false testimony of resentful, revenge-seeking expelled former members. Through your action, these false witness ridiculous charges made eight column banner headlines, hit the network newscasts nationwide, did severe irreparable damage to the Work of the Living God.”
Now, I’ll make that 'church' there, not 'work.'
“In the first place, had you checked, you would have found that these road-burdened travels of bringing the Great Commission from Christ, were allocated the smallest amount on the Worldwide Church of God annual budget – less than one million dollars per year. Yet, it was necessary that I take along with me, a team required for holding many series of public meetings before large audiences on various continents of the earth. Opening a door to such public meetings were invitations for private audiences with many heads of state, kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers. I have been given the highest honors by the governments of foreign nations. I have been the first;”
This is another paragraph...
“I have been the first (and so far as I know only) religious leader from the world of Christianity to be invited as the honored guest of the Communist People’s Republic of China to speak to large audiences, this message from the Supreme Unseen Strong Hand from Someplace at the Chinese capital. My party and I were the honored guests of that largest population nation on earth.
The Higher Authority I serve has said, that in so doing, I or any others serving Him, would suffer the indignities of severe persecution, even from the high sources of this world. Jesus Christ said, that if they had persecuted Him, they would persecute us who follow and obey Him. Not realizing what you were doing, you have allowed yourself to be snared into this major-scale persecution of the entire Church of God, and as a test case, your start on a campaign to take over, to own, control, and to manage the affairs of all churches.
I know that in ignorance you have done this. You allowed yourself to be misled by false revenge-seeking, embittered, disfellowshipped members. Had you come to us in peace, seeking a background of the Worldwide Church of God and its world-girding operations, we would have given you the fullest cooperation and told you the plain truth. We have so cooperated with every other government agency which has sought the true facts. Forces of the Roman government persecuted Jesus Christ, finally put Him to death, to pay for your sins, Mr. Attorney General, and mine.”
Now, how do you like that?
“You have allowed yourself to be snared into fighting against this Higher Authority. I shall do, as the Head of the Church admonishes, 'Pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.' I shall pray for your enlightenment, and that you may be forgiven by the Higher Power. I would like to take you with me into the soon coming Kingdom of God.”
What’s the Attorney General...well what are the people who read it going to think about that when I say that I’ll pray for the Attorney General and would like to take him with me into the Kingdom of God?
We are non-proselyting is another subheading
“We do not compete with other churches. We do not seek their members, nor solicit any members directly. God adds such members as He calls, and who come voluntarily. We have, as we so well know, been grievously misunderstood, but we welcome, with thanks to Almighty God, the present legal backing of the National Council of Churches of Christ and the United States, the Association of Lutheran Churches, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, the Synagogue Council of America, the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, the Board of Church and Society for United Methodist Church, General Assembly of United Presbyterian Church in the United States, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Northern California Ecumenical Council. By them, we are supported by eighty-three million Americans.
For more information, write to the Worldwide Church of God, Pasadena, California 91123, or call, toll free, 1 (800) 423-4444. In California call collect, (213) 577-5225.
If you have some questions for the Attorney General of the State of California, write to him, the Honorable George Dukmajian,” I think it is, “California Attorney General, 555 Capital Mall, Sacramento, California 95814.”
And then it will have my signature by my own handwriting underneath it. Stan Rader said that’s the best ad I ever wrote.