Comments on Galatians

COGwriter

The Book of Galatians was probably written between 50 -55 A.D. by the Apostle Paul. Galatia was an area in central, north, central Asia Minor--in the country now called Turkey. Galatia was a province of the old Roman Emperor. Most of the Galatians Paul addressed were former pagans who converted to Christianity--they were not mainly Jews.

Various theologians have written about the Book of Galatians. Parts of it are often cited by Protestants to attempt to prove that God's law is done away (see also Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism). Is that the case?

The late COG minister Herbert W. Armstrong made various comments on the Book of Galatians in Bible studies in the early 1980s. The focus of this article will be his and my comments on Galatians.

Before getting to them, notice some comments from the Apostle Peter:

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:14-18, NKJV throughout except otherwise noted or when Herbert Armstrong is quoted)

Notice that Peter wanted Christians to be without spot or blemish, yet he said that various ones twisted the Apostle Paul's writings like they did other scriptures for their own destruction. Peter warned about being led away by the error of the wicked. In Ephesians 6:16 there is a reference to Satan as being the "wicked one." Satan was wicked because he not only did not keep God's law, he was the father of lies:

42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." (John 8:42-47)

Those who are not truly of God will not submit to humbling themselves enough to understanding the Book of Galatians as they will tend to feel that Galatians frees them from the laws of God. This form of human reasoning has been influenced by Satan, from the beginning (Genesis 3), and still happens today.

Notice also some comments from Jude:

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" 10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." (Jude 3-15)

How did they demonstrate their unbelief? By disobeying God and sinning.

And what is sin? Here is what God inspired the Apostle John to write:

4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4, KJV)

Why bring these up?

Because contrary to the way that many Protestants, who did not live in the first and second century, view the Book of Galatians, early professors of Christ did NOT believe that the Book of Galatians meant that they did not have to keep the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath one. The New Testament repeatedly warns against sin and those who would try to lead you to sin.

Peter warned that such Peter frequently twisted the Apostle Paul's writings and that should be known before putting contrary meaning on scriptures in the Book of Galatians.

Related sermon videos related to Galatians are available: Galatians 1 and the False Gospel and Galatians 2 & 3: What Law was Added? What was Abolished?

Comments from Herbert Armstrong

Here is some of what Herbert W. Armstrong said in March 1980:

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. ...

Paul Speaks for God

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. ...

The above did not include the next couple of verses, which are in something he said sometime in the 1980s on the radio:

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:" (Galatians 1:6)   

Now what they had was not a true gospel. 'Gospel' is good news, and that isn't just exactly what they had.

"Which is not another; but there be some that [would] trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of [Jesus] Christ." (Galatians 1:7)

There were, now remember Jesus said that in their time false apostles would come preaching that Jesus is the Christ and yet deceiving the many. How could you preach that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah and still deceive the many? How could you believe on Christ and still be lost? How could you? Jesus says that many will believe on Him in vain; because they are not obeying, and because they are not believing the gospel of the Kingdom of God. (Armstrong HW. What is the Gospel Part 1. Radio broadcast, c. 1980s).

Here is what Herbert Armstrong wrote about the next two verses:

Does it make any difference which Gospel we believe? Listen to the answer of the Eternal God as inspired in Paul's letter to the Galatians, the first chapter, the 8th and 9th verses:    

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." And it is made a double curse! For the next verse says: "... So say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed"!

WHY, then, has the world lost sight of that Gospel? WHY do people believe different gospels today?

This is an astounding, incredible situation! It ought to shake you out of passive indifference. YOUR eternity is at stake! This is not a nonconsequential, unimportant matter!

Jesus Christ said it is necessary to BELIEVE THE GOSPEL to be saved! Yet the many — the hundreds of millions — today, do not know what that Gospel is! Again, His parting commission to His apostles, being sent out as His ministers to build His Church, was this: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel." They were to preach THE GOSPEL. (Armstrong HW. What is the True Gospel? booklet)

Here is something about what Jesus did and taught:

14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15)

Now getting back to something he said on the radio in the 1980s about this:

Another Gospel being Preached

Well now I'd like you to notice a little more in II Corinthians the eleventh chapter, where the apostle Paul said to the church at Corinth — he said:

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent [meaning Satan the devil] beguiled Eve through his subtilely, so [that] your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, of if you receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel [showing that there would be another gospel preached and it has been] which ye have not accepted [that] ye might [well] bear with him." (II Corinthians 11:3-4)

Now he goes on a little further — he goes on a little further in this same chapter and he shows about the ones that were preaching that Jesus is the Christ, but deceiving the many. Verse 13:

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ [oh yes they preach that Jesus is the Christ alright]. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light [he pretends to be an angel of light, but he is only the angel of darkness]. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers [that is, if Satan's ministers] also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness [they claim to be the ministers of Christ] whose end shall be according to their {1} works." (II Corinthians 11:13-15)

Now that is a prophecy. Perhaps you don't believe that. Perhaps you don't want to believe that well, all I can do is tell you what God says. It is up to you whether you believe it or not.

But now, I want to remind you of some of the prophecies about the gospel. First let's go back into the book of Isaiah in the ninth chapter of the book of Isaiah and verses 6 and 7 where there was a message given to ancient Israel way back in the Old Testament time. And this was a prophecy — this is one of the prophecies of the Bible.

"For unto us [that is the house of Israel or the children of Israel, the nation of Israel] unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government [now it is talking about government. Well we have a government of the United States where I live. Just north of us is the government of Canada, and south of us is the government of Mexico. Just over the water there is the government of Great Britain and England and the United Kingdom and we have different governments all over the world — the government] shall be upon his shoulder [one that is born as a child] and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

Yet He will be born as a child.

"Of the increase of his government [talking about a government, you know what a government is], and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David [David was ruling over the kingdom of Israel, it was one of this world's nations] and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform [it]." (Isaiah 9:7)

So there was that prophecy. Now we turn into the New Testament in Luke the first chapter and beginning with verse 30. An angel had come to Mary who was to become the mother of Jesus Christ and announcing to her that she would be the mother of the Messiah.

"And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS [she was to become the mother of Him and God was His Father, no human man. And]. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest [that is the Son of God Almighty, the very highest]: and [God] the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever." (Luke 1:30-33)

He was coming as a king! Now did He come as a king? Well what gospel did He preach; I just showed you He preached — the gospel of the Kingdom of God.

\Now in Luke chapter 9 — let me just turn to that for a minute — in Luke chapter nine He sent His ministers, He sent them out to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God. The very first verse:

"Then [he] Jesus called his twelve disciples together [now verse 2]. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." (Luke 9:1-2)

That was the gospel that was proclaimed. And now the apostle Paul, what gospel did the apostle Paul preach to the Gentiles? Well we turn over to the very last book of Acts. The last book telling the, the history of the church and its early days and we find here in verse 23:

[And] "when they had appointed him a day, there came many [to] unto him [that's the apostle Paul] into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God [what gospel did he preach? The kingdom of God] persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets..." (Acts 28:23) Can you imagine that; Paul preaching out of the law of Moses?

Yes he did, but that isn't the way preachers seem to give it to you today, that isn't the way most of you believe. Anyway he kept expounding it from morning till evening.

Paul Preached The Kingdom of God   

Now once again in Acts chapter 28:30-31. Paul was in Rome:

"And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house [now that could have been a hired hall where he was preaching to people, in his own hired house,] and received all that came [in] unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." (Acts 28:30-31)

Well, that was unusual, because he had been forbidden in previous years and he had been heckled and he was having a hard time to proclaim this gospel.
Now once again I'd like to turn to the book of Galatians and the first chapter. I want you to notice, Paul was preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. Now once again notice, Paul said to the Galatians in 53 AD — he said:

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: [what gospel did he preach? The gospel of the kingdom of God: unto another gospel:] Which is not another [because it isn't good news and the word gospel means good news] but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-7)

My friends, the gospel of Christ is not man's gospel — man's message about Christ, about the person of Christ. It is the very message that Christ Himself preached. You read back in the third chapter of Malachi that there was to be a messenger preparing a way before Christ. (Malachi 3:1) John the Baptist was a messenger preparing the way before Christ and He came as the messenger of the covenant — the new covenant, if you please. And, the gospel He brought was the gospel of the government of God.

Jesus was born to be a king. When Jesus was before Pilate on trial for His very life, He said that He was born to be a king; "...for this cause came I into the world..." (John 18:37). For that purpose He was born, but He said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). It is of a later time and of a later world; it will be at the end of this world that is why He talked about the end of the world when His kingdom will come.

Jesus was born to be a king. His parables were about the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is like this and like that — He was preaching the kingdom of God. But that gospel was not preached for one hundred time cycles.

Now a time cycle is the time when; you see God set the sun and moon in the sky and the earth turning on its axis as a means of marking off spaces of time. Do you know that the earth, the sun and the moon come into conjunction, approximately exact conjunction, only once every nineteen years? Nineteen years is a time cycle. Now one century of time cycles went by from the time that that gospel was preached.

And they restrained the gospel, they suppressed the gospel for one hundred time cycles until 1953, when the most powerful radio station in all of the world was opened up to me in Europe. And I began to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God and it was proclaimed to the whole world and it had not been proclaimed for exactly one hundred time cycles of nineteen years, in other words for 1900 years.

Look, I want you to understand what is the true gospel, too few understand that. People have been led to think the gospel is just about Christ — "just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that's all there is to it". Jesus said "...in vain do they worship me." (Mark 7:7)" Just worshipping him — "IN VAIN do they worship me", keeping for the commandments of God their own traditions. You see they don't keep the commandments of God today, they say the law is done away and sure a law was done away, but they misunderstand which law.

The spiritual law of God, the way of love, of outflowing love to God and to neighbor. That spiritual law is not done away and that is the basic foundation of the government of God — the Kingdom of God. You can't have a government without a basic constitution or foundation. And that is the law of God. It is as inexorable as the very law of gravity.

So, what was the false gospel? In general, the false gospel is to believe that you do not have to obey God and try to live His way. The serpent beguiled Eve to fall for a version of it nearly 6000 years ago (Genesis 3). Of yes, after Jesus came, His name was often attached to various false gospels--and this will continue into the time of the final Antichrist.

Now back in the Apostle Paul's time, the false gospel was essentially a Gnostic/Mystic version. Gnostics basically believed that special knowledge was what was needed to spiritual insight, including salvation. Gnostics tended to believe that what the flesh did was of no particular consequence and they were opposed to obeying God in matters like the seventh-day Sabbath. One such was Simon Magus, who was warned by the Apostle Peter (Acts 8:18-21). Another such individual was Marcion of Pontus who was condemned by the faithful CCOG Bishop/Overseer Polycarp:

But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time -- a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles -- that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within." And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Dost thou know me?" "I do know thee, the first-born of Satan."(Irenaeus. Adversus Haereses. Book III, Chapter 3, Verse 4. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

As far as Cerinthus goes, he may have been the first who claimed Christ to observe December 25th as Jesus' day of birth (for more details, check out Cerinthus: An early heretic).

The New Testament itself shows that Jude (Jude 3-18), the Apostle John (1 John 2:18-19), and others also warned against those who would do away with God's laws, while claiming to be Christians (see also the free booklet Continuing History of the Church of God).

Those who want more information on the true gospel can read the articles What is the Gospel? and The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church.

There is also what could be called a Laodicean gospel. Jesus warned that in the end times there would be Laodiceans--plural. Laodicea is basically made up of two words which essentially mean that 'people decide.' The Laodiceans do not have the proper commitment to the work, to the whole truth. Laodiceans do not want to change, but want to decide what they feel is best. Yes, they believe in Jesus and keep God's commandments (Revelation 12:17), but Jesus condemns both their work and attitude. Most Christians in these latter days affiliate with Laodicean groups because they feel that they are good enough and meet their needs well enough.

Laodiceans get it backwards. Instead of focusing more on the truth and the work of God, they decide that their needs (often social) are better met with the Laodicean churches than the Continuing Church of God. They reason that because other groups may have more congregations, more accessible Feast of Tabernacles's sites, more youth camps, more ministers, etc. that they logically meet their needs better. Many fail to consider that Noah had to build an ark for years before the rains came (Genesis 6-7). Or that Abraham and his family had to leave civilization to wander in tents (Genesis 12:1; 20:13). Or that the early Christians normally met in homes and only rarely may see a minister. Or that in the early days of the old Radio Church of God, prospective members would often have to wait years for baptism. Many today consider the fact that, even though they can be served with YouTube sermons and sermonettes each weeks, that it is too much of God to ask of them to do that. And the reality is that more than half of those who contact me about Continuing Church of God forsake being part of us when they tend to learn that there is no congregation very near to them.

Some reason that since they should not forsake the assembling together as the manner of some is (Hebrews 10:25), that they must become part of the Laodiceans. But that is not true. Christians need to develop patience and endure, but also believe that God will supply all their needs (cf. Philippians 4:19)--and have the faith to realize:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

So, Laodiceans compromise. And they tell themselves it does not matter and that they have done what God wanted. But Jesus warned the Laodiceans to change (Revelation 3:14-22)--but most will not hear the words to them.

Sadly, since all the groups I am aware of outside the Continuing Church of God have serious, provable, errors in prophetic teachings, it is clear that they will not know when the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) will begin until it is too late. A listing of those that the Laodiceans have is in the article The Laodicean Church Era and a listing of those many in Sardis hold is in the article Church of God, (Seventh Day): History and Teachings.

Back to what Herbert Armstrong said March 1980:

Church began as all Jewish

Now, the Church of God started out in 31 AD as all Jewish Church. There were, as you'll read in the fifteenth ... verse ... 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, ... 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.

Civil and Sacrificial Laws

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, they 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.

Sacrifices a Substitute for Christ

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.

Getting to some verses Herbert Armstrong did not cover:

13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. Galatians 1:13-14)

Some people think that they have sinned so much or that their sins are so bad that they must have committed the unpardonable sin (see also What is the Unpardonable Sin?). But most do not consider that Saul persecuted the Church of God, yet God not only forgave him, but used him mightily.

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. (Galatians 1:15-17)

In modern times, some think that you have to have been trained at the old Ambassador College to have proper theological knowledge. God trained Paul differently, and me too for that matter.

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)

21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.

Paul is claiming to obey at least part of the law, when he says he is not lying. Furthermore like Paul, I was trained by various ministers. And that is the case for most of you--although I also had additional theological training that was approved by one or more COG evangelists. Getting back to Paul's words:

22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, "He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy." 24 And they glorified God in me. Galatians (1:22-24)

Notice that the churches of God in Judea glorified God for Paul. It is a matter universally recognized early church history that the churches of Judea kept God's law and many practices considered to be Jewish at that time. If Paul has been doing away with God's laws in his writings, they would have condemned him, not glorified God for him.

Galatians 2

Most of Herbert Armstrong's comments on Galatians 2 were not available online at either of two websites I checked with.

This particular article was put together in partial response to an email I received on Galatians 2.

So, let's begin here in Galatians 2:

1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. (Galatians 2:1-5)

Now, the Apostles, including Paul, had earlier met and determined that converted males did not have to be circumcised (Acts 15:1-29).

Herbert Armstrong commented in March 1980:

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.

As far as circumcision goes, scientific research has concluded that it is beneficial (here is a link to an article that helps document some of that Health Benefits of Circumcision).

Getting back to Galatians, Paul wrote:

6 But from those who seemed to be something — whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man — for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. 7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), 9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do. (Galatians 2:6-10)

So, we see that there was a separation of areas to try to reach, with Peter mainly to reach the circumcised and Paul to mainly reach the uncircumcised. One reason this is important to understand is because the Galatians themselves tended to be uncircumcised Gentiles.

Another point we we in the above is that Peter (Cephas), James, and John were considered to be pillars of the Church of God by Paul. This is important to realize, because after James, Peter, and even Paul died, the Apostle John was still left alive--apparently for decades--thus he was the logical one to be the top human leader for the Church of God in his latter years. And that is what we in the Continuing Church of God believe and teach (e.g. Continuing History of the Church of God).

As far as remembering the poor, we in the Continuing Church of God believe and practice that which is why a significant portion of our income goes to support and reach the poor in places like Africa.

Getting back to Galatians, Paul wrote:

11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. (Galatians 2:11-13)

Christians can be hypocritical. Paul pointed that out as the Apostle Peter was being so. But notice that Peter would not eat with the Gentiles. That was a Jewish tradition, "Judaism," that did NOT come from the Bible. Paul condemned Peter for that.

Paul also wrote:

14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, "If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? (Galatians 2:14-15)

Paul was upset because Peter was not being straightforward about the gospel, so Paul decided that he had no choice but to confront Peter. Even though Peter was considered the top human leader of the Church of God at that time, Paul called him out for his hypocrisy and his lack of faithfulness--I personally have had to point out similar things related to COG leaders (see Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God and Response to a Letter from Dr. Roderick C. Meredith Dated December 28, 2012).

Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy (Matthew 23:27-28; Luke 12:1) and living based upon Jewish traditions above the Bible (Matthew 15:1-9). That was a lot of what the Apostle Paul was objecting to Peter about. And Peter, since he was with Jesus, did know better.

What else should Peter have known better? The Apostle Paul continued with:

15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (Galatians 2:15-16)

Paul is saying that just because Jews realize that they should keep God's law, they still needed the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to be justified. Peter should have known that.

This is further explained in Hebrews:

4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. (Hebrews 10:4)

8 Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them"(which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:8-10)

Since as Paul wrote in Romans 3:23 that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," and since Hebrews said that the blood of bulls, etc. could not take away sin, all Jews are themselves are condemned. Thus, they need the faith of Christ to be justified. And the Apostle Peter who taught repentance and the acceptance of Jesus (Acts 2:38-39) should have not neglected that truth.

Paul was not teaching that Christians were to not obey the law. This can be confirmed with other writings from him such as the following:

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. (Romans 3:31)

Christians establish the law by obeying it and learning its spiritual applications of love (cf. James 2:8-13).

Yet, many seem to wish to conclude that Galatians 2:16 means that Christians do not need to obey. That is a fallacy. One is saved by grace, and not so one can thus sin with impunity:

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Christians are to walk in 'good works,' even though they are saved through the faith that comes as a gift of God.

Many believe God's laws are done away, because of their interpretation of certain passages, like some in Galatians 2. But where does doctrine come from:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

13 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:9-13, KJV)

Some do not believe that they need to look in more than one place to determine doctrine, but the Bible teaches otherwise.

Furthermore, notice what happened with the Bereans:

10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. (Acts 17:10-12)

The Bereans did not simply accept what the Apostle Paul taught--they searched the scriptures daily to see if what he said was true. The true Christian way is not as easy to see now as some hope it will be. It takes effort. Notice what Jesus said:

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

24 "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (Luke 13:23-24)

But that is not what people carnally want--they want something that seems easy. Jesus told many parables about listeners who will not remain dedicated to the truth (e.g. Luke 8:4-15; watch also the Sermon: Luke 7-9: Miracles, Purpose of Parables, etc.).

Most will not willing do what God wants and understand. God is only calling some now--others give up and will not continue. Notice what Jesus taught:

21 "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. (Matthew 10:21-26)

The Church of God is often persecuted and spoken badly about--especially on the internet in the 21st century. Many will not endure. But Jesus told His followers to endure anyway, if they wanted to be saved.

Getting back to Galatians, Paul wrote:

17 "But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. (Galatians 2:17-19)

Many of the Jews tried to be justified by their understanding of the law and adding details/traditions that the Bible did not require. Since all had sinned (Romans 3:23) no further keeping of the law justified their disobedience. However, when you look to be justified by the judgment of Jesus, you should realize that you cannot fool Him and He knows what is in your heart (cf. John 2:24b).

Protestants tend to point to Galatians 2:17-19 as proof that their lawless teachings have scriptural justification. Some have called the apostate Marcion of Pontus 'the first Protestant, as Marcion tried to do away with the Sabbath and other parts of God's law--and he overlooked much of the Bible, but mainly pointed to his twisted version of Paul's writings (for details, see Marcion of Pontus: The First Protestant?). And while some Protestants have pointed to him as being a Protestant Christian, he had many doctrinal teachings and practices that should prove to any who are willing to look that he was not a true Christian.

For just two examples, notice the following by Justin and Irenaeus:

And there is Marcion, a man of Pontus, who is even at this day alive, and teaching his disciples to believe in some other god greater than the Creator. And he, by the aid of the devils, has caused many of every nation to speak blasphemies, and to deny that God is the maker of this universe, and to assert that some other being, greater than He, has done greater works. All who take their opinions from these men, are, as we before said, called Christians; just as also those who do not agree with the philosophers in their doctrines, have yet in common with them the name of philosophers given to them. And whether they perpetrate those fabulous and shameful deeds--the upsetting of the lamp, and promiscuous intercourse, and eating human flesh--we know not; but we do know that they are neither persecuted nor put to death by you, at least on account of their opinions. But I have a treatise against all the heresies that have existed already composed, which, if you wish to read it, I will give you. (Justin. First Apology, Chapter XXVI. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

And that the Lord did not abrogate the natural [precepts] of the law, by which man is justified, which also those who were justified by faith, and who pleased God, did observe previous to the giving of the law, but that He extended and fulfilled them, is shown from His words. "For," He remarks, "it has been said to them of old time, Do not commit adultery. But I say unto you, That every one who hath looked upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." And again: "It has been said, Thou shalt not kill. But I say unto you, Every one who is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment." And, "It hath been said, Thou shalt not forswear thyself. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; but let your conversation be, Yea, yea, and Nay, nay." And other statements of a like nature. For all these do not contain or imply an opposition to and an overturning of the [precepts] of the past, as Marcion's followers do strenuously maintain; but [they exhibit] a fulfilling and an extension of them (Irenaeus. Adversus Haereses (Book IV, Chapter 13:1)

Here is a more modern comment:

Marcion ... even went so far as to rewrite Matthew 5:17, where Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Think not that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to destroy them but to fulfill them.” Marcion turned it around and said that Jesus’ actual words were “Think not that I have come to fulfill the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to fulfill them but to destroy them.” Further, he took some of Paul’s epistles and some sections of the book of Luke and edited them to eliminate any connection with Judaism or the Old Testament. As a result of his actions, church leaders finally branded him a heretic and excommunicated him.

With this background one would think Marcion would have faded into history, but the residue of his influence has continued to permeate the Christian church even to the present time. It is probably best characterized as antinomianism—the position of being against the law—which is very much a part of many denominations. Many antinomians would say that they are preaching the gospel of the grace of God, and that grace and law are violently opposed to each other and cannot exist in one another’s presence. So the idea that the law has been completely abrogated, that the Old Testament is no more of any effect, that Jesus came to destroy the law, and that believers today are only under the grace of God, is fundamentally neo-Marcionism. (Garr J. Is Christianity Off Base? Vision magazine, Fall 2004. http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/page.aspx?id=437 viewed 08/29/13)

In certain respects, Marcion was like Martin Luther, as he also reworded parts of the Bible and discounted many books in it (see Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?).

Recall that Polycarp of Smyrna called Marcion the 'first born of Satan.' Marcion taught lawlessness and did not truly accept the God of the Bible. Marcion clearly was not a true Christian and was not part of the true Christian church (to learn more about the true church, please check out the free online booklet Where is the True Christian Church Today?).

What is the modern 'Marcionite' message of 'Christianity' today? Well, basically it is to accept Jesus according their guidelines, fellowship with like-minded people, and ignore the laws of God. It is a popular message amongst many who claim Christianity in the 21st century. And this has affected how many view certain passages in Galatians.

To conclude that chapter Paul wrote:

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." (Galatians 2:20-21)

Paul was NOT teaching that obedience to the law was vain, only that if humans were able to be perfect on their own and keep the law without sinning, then Jesus would not have had to come. But Paul knew better.

Do you?

Herbert Armstrong on Galatians 3 and beyond

Back to what Herbert Armstrong said March 1980:

Beliefs and Doctrines of Men

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 comes 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.

A Counterfeit Gospel

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians...

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:

Works of the Law or Faith?

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...

Believe What Christ Says

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.

Redeemed from Curse of the Law

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.

The curse of the law was getting killed for violating it. Even the Sabbath:

32 Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. 34 They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him.

35 Then the Lord said to Moses, "The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp." 36 So, as the Lord commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died. (Numbers 15:32-36)

Notice that he was killed. He was not told that if he no longer broke the Sabbath, that he would be forgiven. He and others then were under the curse of the law and he had to pay the penalty. Jesus paid the penalty for us, so we do not now have to pay it directly ourselves, and we can ask forgiveness. Galatians does not eliminate the law, but explains that Jesus frees us from the curse, the penalty, of the law.

Getting back to Herbert Armstrong, he continued with:

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.

As far as Abraham goes, notice:

3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." (Romans 4:3)

5... Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws. (Genesis 26:5)

Abraham believed AND kept the commandments!

That is what the saints are to do:

17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17)

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)

Saints should be like Abraham and believe and keep the commandments of God.

Getting back to Herbert Armstrong, he then went into the following:

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...

Law added because of sin

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.

(Here are articles to prove from the Bible that the Ten Commandments were in existence prior to when they were put on tablets on Mt. Sinai: Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai? and Job and the Ten Commandments)

Notice that Jeremiah was to explain that the animal sacrifices were added:

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat meat. 22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. 23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.' 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers. (Jeremiah 7:21-26)

For Christians, this part of the law was removed:

1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance; 8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience — 10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:1-15)

Now the commandments were known and written down so that we would know them. Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (Romans 7:7-12)

Getting back to Herbert Armstrong, he continued with:

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.

Christ's faith in us

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.

Heirs with Christ

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 fullness 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. {1}

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. ...

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.

Observance of Times

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;"

Here is the scripture warning about pagan observances of times:

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

13 Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.

14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (Deuteronomy 18:10-14, KJV)

Notice the in the Old Testament, God stated (KJV) He did not tell the children of Israel to observe 'times.' The admonition to the Galatians was NOT related to keeping the Sabbaths and Holy Days. God ordained those from the beginning (cf. Genesis 1:14; see also Is There "An Annual Worship Calendar" In the Bible?).

Remember that the Galatians were Gentiles (although there were apparently some Jews addressed in later verses) and were NOT keeping the biblical Holy Days (plus, there is no way that the Bible would call biblical requirements as "beggarly elements") .

Another thing to consider is that Catholics/Protestants/Orthodox do observe various days and years (Sunday, Easter, Christmas, New Years), so they should not observe anything if they feel that no religious days are to be observed.

Galatians 4:8-10 is not doing away with the biblical Holy Days.

Getting back to Herbert Armstrong, he immediately continued with:

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.

Understand that the Bible says that Abraham kept God's laws statutes and judgments (Genesis 26:5). So did Isaac, but not Ishmael. Jacob, son of Isaac, was the brother that was 'free' and he, not his brother, tithed (cf. Genesis 28:22). They were not saved by keeping the law, but did so as they were sons of the promise. The same is basically true for called Christians.

Anyway, Herbert Armstrong continue with:

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 Agar.

Church is the Mother of us all

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 Agar [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.

... 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. ...

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. ...

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. ...

"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.

Note 

{1} Editorial Note: In October 1983 Christ guided Mr Armstrong to see that the spirit in man is given through the father at conception — NOT with the first breath. In a sermon given at that time he says the following: "When you become a God-being, the spirit in you would have been transmitted, put in you, from God the Father. It comes from the Father, and you can't get around that. I've wondered time and again: when does the spirit enter a human being? .... But now I see something more–that has been revealed, just during this trip. THE SPIRIT HAD TO BE, SOMEHOW OR OTHER, CONVEYED THROUGH THE HUMAN MALE SPERM CELL FROM ADAM.... it was something that came from Adam, and came from conception. Now that means some other thing: if it came from conception, then abortion is a murder. .... ABORTION IS MURDER. Now you can put that down as absolutely definite. " The Value of Human Life — October 1983 1:03:53

{2}Editorial Note: Mr. Armstrong said "sisters" but was talking about his daughters.

On July 19, 1980, Herbert Armstrong picked back up on the Book of Galatians:

We have completed... this is really the second time around. I went through the book of Galatians several months ago, and we only had the first two chapters recorded. So this time we're starting again. And last Sabbath we recorded the third and fourth chapters. And today we hope to have, (and have them recorded) the fifth and sixth chapters to conclude the book, so that the recordings can go around for Bible Studies at different churches around over this country, and even into other countries.

So you might all open your Bibles then to Galatians, and... I've been giving before, I've given a little bit of preliminary explanation about things in the book of Galatians. Galatia, you know at the time, was up in Asia Minor, and it is the country that is occupied today by Turkey. There were a number of churches up there. In this book of Paul's was a letter, or an epistle, as they used to say in ancient English, that was addressed to the different churches up there.

There is one thing I might mention in starting, though, that Paul starts out immediately by saying that he is quite surprised... no he says; "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you" Well, of course it's God who called them — and turn to a different gospel. (Galatians 1:6)

Already the enemies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ were getting very busy. Well, I might just pause there on that very briefly this time, before we go into it.

The Church started as the Church of God, but it was Jewish. At the beginning it practically... well I guess all converts at first were Jews. However, there was a strong contention that arose almost immediately to go back to the rituals of the law of Moses.

Now, the colonies that had been sent down to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel to build the second temple, which was seventy years after the destruction of Solomon's temple, those were the days of the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah, and we have all of their books in the Bible, and also the book of Zechariah, and of Haggai. After that time, it was after the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the rabbis had taken the ceremonial law, that is the law of physical efforts, of physical duties to do morning, noon, and night, different washings, carnal ordinances, and things of that sort, to teach them the habit of obedience. Israel did not have the Holy Spirit. ...

What was the purpose of the nation Israel of the Old Testament? They were the Church, or they usually used the word congregation, which means the same thing exactly as church, and it comes from the same Greek word in the New Testament — "eklesia" — but they were also called... as a church they were called the "congregation of Israel." But they were also a nation, as a nation they were called the "kingdom of Israel." ...

Animal Sacrifices And Rituals Until Christ

Now, we need to get back on the beam. When the Church started out, a lot of the Jews had been, of course, in Judaism. Judaism is not the religion that God gave to Israel through Moses. It's a total change, and a total perversion. It's a religion that was instituted by the rabbis after the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, and remember it was only part of the Jews who went back to that colony and built in that colony in Palestine seventy years after the captivity. And the other Jews were still around in lands that are Russia and Far East lands today. And many are going back to Israel now, out of those countries.

There was only part of Judah, and not any of Israel. It was only part of the nation of Judah.

Gentile nations had no forgiveness of sins. Ancient Israel had animal sacrifices to picture to them that the Messiah would come and would be the slain Lamb of God to take on Himself the sins of the world. But their animal sacrifices would not remit sins, only was a reminder of sin, as you'll read in the book of Hebrews.

But they had, in ancient Israel, the Spiritual law, which was the main law of the Church, then as a nation, they had the statutes and judgments. That was just the national law. The same as we have the Constitution of the United States, and various State and National laws that the state legislatures are making up and that are made up in the Congress at Washington. They had statutes and judgments that were given to them by the Lawgiver God. But their laws came from God, not from man.

You see, what God does for His people, whether ancient Israel or us, comes from God, not from man. That's the distinguishing point we need to bear in mind. So, as a church, God also gave them the animal sacrifices as a substitute, just to last till Christ came, also He gave them the rituals to teach them the habit of obedience.

Now, after the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, the rabbis looked at the other pagan religions. They had nothing for the forgiveness of sin, but their conscience bothered them if they committed something that they thought was wrong. Now, mind you, your conscience won't bother you if do do what God says is wrong, if you think it's right. Your conscience only bothers you when you do what you yourself think is wrong.

But, nevertheless, they had a conscience, and the pagan religion had penance. They did penance. In other words, certain types of punishments that they endured, and that's through punishment to offset the sins that they had committed. And they thought that made their sins okay. And of course it never did and never would, and that is not God's kind... God does not believe in punishment as such.

With God, punishment is only correction. Just punishment as revenge or to get even for a deed, and to equalize a deed is not in God's pattern at all, but it is in man's pattern and in man's laws. But they took, then, these physical rituals, the things that they were to do morning, noon, and night, and that did include circumcision, and they called that the works of the law.

The Works Of The Law

Now, when you come to the New Testament, and the New Testament was written altogether in the Greek language, and the word for "works" there is "ergon," e-r-g-o-n of the law. And if you will look into a Greek/English Lexicon, and I think I have an Interlinear right here — Greek/English, you will find the word "ergon" is there, and if you get a definition of it, it means physical labor, physical work, a physical action. It does not mean spiritual righteousness under any circumstances.

In other words, it has nothing to do with the Ten Commandments which are a spiritual law. It is entirely a physical law, and it was something that they did to expiate their past sins, and it was something that they used instead of the blood of Christ to forgive sin — instead of what God calls grace and forgiveness.

Now, many of the Jews in the early part of the teaching of the early apostles, in the beginning of the Church, they were willing to accept Christ, they accepted a lot of the doctrines taught by the apostles, but they still wanted to keep the works of the law. In other words, what they wanted was more law.

They were strong on law.

Simon Magus Mystery Religion

Now, two years after the Church was founded... so the Church was founded on the day of Pentecost on 31 A.D. In 33 A.D., Simon the Magician started a new church. He tried to buy an apostleship of Peter and John. He of course was turned down and firmly rebuked by Peter. But he went out, and he had been baptized along with all of the others up at Samaria, and he was the religious head of the Babylonian Mystery Religion. And you'll find that in the eighth chapter of Acts if you can read everything that's there and understand it.

They looked on him, both small and great, as the voice of God. So he wanted to accept Christ, he wanted to accept grace, but he wanted to turn grace into license to disobey. In other words, he wanted to do away with law. He didn't want any of God's law, he didn't want the Ten Commandments, he didn't want the Spiritual law, he just didn't want law at all.

Now, that came along a little later, but the opposition to the Church, as it started out, was a Jewish opposition of Jews who wanted to... some of them were willing to accept Christ, although the overwhelming majority, of course, never would accept Christ, never did.

But of those who did, and came into the Church, there were those who were teaching Judaism, a takeover from the Judaism of the days after Ezra and Nehemiah, but also, by that time, what this Simon the Magician had started, who was the first Pope, by the way. And the Roman Catholic Church is merely the Babylonian Mystery Religion continued, but it took the name of Christ, appropriated it, and called itself falsely, Christian. It is not Christian, never was, never could be. But they had never believed in law at all. And so the Protestants never had believed in law. They just simply were against it.

As far as Simon Magus goes, even those now considered to be early supporters of the Roman Catholic Church condemned him and his followers for doctrines such as statues, revering a woman, the doctrine of the immortal soul, incantations, mysteries, mystic priests, claiming divine titles for leaders, accepting money for religious favors, preferring allegory and tradition over many aspects of scripture, having a leader who wanted to be thought of as God/Christ on earth, and divorcing themselves from Christian biblical practices considered to be Jewish. And it appears that Simon Magus directly influenced Rome. The religion of Mithraism also had some of these same practices and Rome was highly influenced by the follower of Mithras, Emperor Constantine (Do You Practice Mithraism?).

Sadly, most of the groups that now profess Christianity and condemn Simon and his followers have many of the same practices and doctrines that early writers objected to as false and heretical.

On July 19, 1980, Herbert Armstrong continued with:

The Protestant Movement And Grace

Now, take the Protestant Movement that was started by Luther. Luther's one great slogan was that "We're saved"... he took this from Paul's writing... "We're saved by faith" and he added the word "alone" — "You're saved by faith alone," but without any obedience whatsoever.

He took just the very things in Galatians, about the works of the law, and took that to mean their obedience to the Ten Commandments. It is not talking of obedience to the Ten Commandments. Paul said in Romans;

"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." (Romans 3:31)

Paul said, "With my mind I serve the law of God."(Romans 7:25) "The law," he said, "is holy and just and righteous. The law is spiritual," but he said, "" I am carnal."

"With my mind," he says, "I serve the law of God; but in the flesh I find I can't do it, and that I'm always doing the wrong thing." So he says "It is the law of sin and and death that just exists in my body, in my members, temptations that are too strong for me." Really, people get all confused about Paul, and yet if you get it straight, that Paul is the one man that just makes this thing straighter than anybody, if people would only understand it.

Well, now, we saw in the {1}third chapter that God had made the works of the law, the rituals, a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. In other words, to teach them the habit of obedience. It was to teach them something until Christ should come, and it was not to last after Christ should come, because it was to be replaced by the Holy Spirit which came after Christ ascended to heaven. And could not come till after Christ had come, proclaimed His message, had been crucified for us, forgiven our sins by His shed blood — I mean paid the price of that forgiveness, and had ascended to heaven. He said if He didn't ascend to heaven the Holy Spirit would not come.

The Promise To Abraham

Now then, with all that in mind we can go on into the fifth chapter, where Paul says:

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free...

Now, let's go back just a verse or two so that you'll get that. He's been explaining this allegory about the two sons of Abraham, the one which was in bondage, and the other which was free. The one was of promise, and God had promised that Abraham would have a son, but Abraham wavered a little in his faith there. Abraham was strong in faith, and the father of the faithful. But he did waiver in faith, and Sarah completely wavered, and Sarah got her maid, an Egyptian maid, Hagar, to Abraham, and said, "Get me a son through Hagar."

So Abraham... I don't know, what would a man do when his wife would say, "Here's my maid, you have sexual relation with her." And when his wife urged him, that might have been a little hard for Abraham to resist, anyhow he did it. And you see, even Abraham wasn't perfect. Abraham lied to King Abimelech and said Sarah was his sister. Well, she was his half-sister, but that's all.

But she was his wife, that's the main thing. When he said, "she's my sister," what he meant was, she's not my wife when she was his wife. So it really was a lie. And yet, while Abraham was not perfect, no man has been perfect but Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Abraham obeyed God, and Abraham believed God.
Now, after Abraham finally did have a son, Isaac, when he was a hundred years old, Sarah was ninety, then God told him after his son was... well, I don't know, he must have been just about full grown, and God says, "Take him out and sacrifice him."

The Ultimate Test

Now how could God say a thing like that? Most men would say, "I won't believe that, because I know this much about God, God would never have someone go and commit a murder." So he'd say, "I won't do that." Abraham had enough faith to know that if God said, "do it," he must do what God said. God had also said that through Abraham and his son would come the Messiah, also many nations would fill the earth.

And that all had to come from that son, and yet God said, "Go out and sacrifice the son." Now, Abraham had faith. But, well, if you did sacrifice him, God would raise him up from the dead, and then still God would keep His promises, no matter HOW IT LOOKED. It must have looked IMPOSSIBLE to Abraham, that God could ever keep that promise when He said, "Go and sacrifice your son." But he was willing to do it.

And let me tell you, when my son, Dick, was lying there in the hospital, his... almost every bone in his body broken and shattered from that head-on automobile collision, I had to figure this thing, I had to think of Abraham. And my son was born by promise, and born as a miracle from God, or I never could have had a son. I had to live ten years without a son.

I had two daughters, and of course I was happy with them, but I was a normal man, I did think I would like to have had a son. But I had been willing to give it up. Of course I wasn't converted way back in those days, but finally my wife was completely healed from head to foot of several things all at once, and miraculously and instantaneously.

I had been converted just a matter of probably four or five months. And that was a new thing to me. So I began to study healing in the Bible. First time I knew about it. But that sure opened my eyes. And I said to my wife, even though three doctors had said she could never have another son and live, I said,
"Whatever it was," I said, "I know God has healed you, and we can now have a son."

And she agreed. So, that son was Dick — Richard David. And now I had to be faced, would I give him up? And you don't know how much he had meant to me, because he was a gift from God. But I thought, well, I thought about Abraham, and God didn't make Abraham give up his son. He won't make me. But He did. Dick did die. And I did have to give him up. Now, I've had to give up my second son.

The Physical Versus The Spiritual Law

But, anyway, he was talking about that, and how Isaac and all these promises have come by faith, but in verse twenty-nine above.
Galatians 4:29-30 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. (30)

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.

Now, he's talking really, in this allegory, about being in the bondage of sin. Sin is like a disease. You get hooked with it. You can't can't get rid of it, and it's going to harm you. It is a very serious disease that is your enemy, that is going to destroy you if you can't get rid of it. And you need freedom from it. And that's what he's talking about.

Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

We are FREED FROM SINNING, NOT FREE TO DON SIN, BUT FREED FROM SINNING.

Now, to chapter five.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free...

That is liberty to obey God, liberty to do the things that are going to work out right and give us blessings, liberty to do things that will prosper us, and bring nothing but good results. But not liberty to do something that's going to kick back and destroy us.

Galatians 5:1 ...and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Now, he had been speaking to them about how they had been Gentiles, and then subject to the things of the Gentile world, and they wanted to return back to that again. Not only did they want to keep these rituals, but they wanted to go back and live the worldly life of the world again, and be in bondage.

Galatians 5:2 Behold, I Paul [that's what we went through in these last two or three chapters; behold, I Paul] say unto you, that if ye be circumcised [Now, for the first time he's bringing in circumcision. It's the first time he's spoken about circumcision in this whole book.] Christ shall profit you nothing.

In other words, the law of circumcision, which was a physical duty, and the point of the law was physical rituals, and it was a ritual, DID NOT FORGIVE SIN. That's what he's trying to get over here. Christ's shed blood will profit you nothing if you're going to try to depend on something like that to forgive your sin.

Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

What whole law? The ritual law. We just read about that back here in the third chapter.

Galatians 3:10 ...as many as are of the works of the law [the word is ergon there, which means physical law] are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things...written in the book of the law to do them.

Now, I explained a week ago, how the book of the law included all these rituals in the writings written by Moses, written by a human mortal man, written on sheepskin — perishable — and was kept outside of the Ark, but in its side, in the side of the Ark.

Now, the SPIRITUAL law — the Ten Commandments — written by the finger of God on the most enduring thing that they could be written on — stones — tablets of stone hewed out. And they were kept INSIDE of the Ark under the Mercy Seat — under the very throne of God. But the Mercy Seat was a type of the throne of God. It was kept in a different place altogether than the ritual law.
The "book of the law," though, is referring to the rituals. And the "works of the law" refers to the rituals. You need to keep that in mind. But if it just talks about works alone, that can also mean righteousness, but "ergon" of the law, or "book of the law" always refers to the physical rituals. And there are no exceptions. Therefore;

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law [that is the ritual law] ye are fallen from grace.

In other words, grace is the forgiveness of sin. You're not being forgiven by the blood of Christ, you're trying to get your own forgiveness by your OWN WORK — physical work. That's very plain. I don't know who can misunderstand that. And yet they get all mixed up on the writings of Paul. But that is very, very plain to me, and should be to everybody.

Forgiveness For Past Sins

Now, justified has only to do with your guilty past. Justified is making right or squaring up a guilty past. It has nothing to do with the present and the future. It has only to do with what you have already done. Remember that. Christ's death does not forgive you for sins you may commit in the future. It doesn't give you license to go ahead and commit sin. The Roman Catholic Church has given indulgences which is permission to commit certain sins, and forgive them before they commit them. God would NEVER do a thing like that.

Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

And all of God's Commandments are righteousness. One of the Psalms says; All thy commandments are righteous (Psalm 119:172) That's the definition of righteousness — the doing of all of God's commandments. That is speaking of the SPIRITUAL law of the Ten Commandments — are righteousness.

Galatians 5:6-12 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing [that's so far as being forgiven your past sins] nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (7) Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (8) This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you (9) A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (10) I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you [You see, there were people against the truth, trying to upset them just as we have today — always has been ever since it began in the very beginning of the Gospel, but he that troubleth you] shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. (11) And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased. (12) I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

The Physical Rituals

Now, that is a verse that I think sort of needs to get the... somebody sent me this Bible. Look at the size of that. That is the Revised Standard translation. Let me open that. It had a lot of pictures, I had to tear a lot of them out of here. I think you'll find it says "mutilate" here. Verse twelve, chapter five, it says;

Galatians 5:11-12 (RSV) If I, brethren, still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the stumbling block of the cross has been removed. (12) I wish those who unsettle you [that's the ones that are going to mislead them] would mutilate themselves.

Now, that is another translation. That's chapter five and verse twelve. Now, let me just look at that in the Interlinear here for a minute. Some people have been inclined to make a great deal of that word "mutilate," and I've come to the conclusion that Paul didn't mean anything of the kind in any special meaning at all, except that, in other words, in circumcising, after you were full grown, it would be like a certain mutilating.

Chapter five, and verse twelve. Now, here it is, the Greek words which I don't understand, but it does give a literal transliteration underneath.

Galatians 5:12 (INL) I would that indeed the ones unsettling you will [or might] cut themselves off.

And he gives it one word for "will" and it has "might" and "cut themselves off" — all of those words under that one Greek word.

Well, I tell you, when you look into Strong's Concordance and see the word that is given that whatever Greek text they're using in this. I haven't used this book much yet, and I don't remember just which Greek text this used. It's the Naso Greek text. I don't know anything about how good that text is.
Anyway, circumcision was intended to be done on the eighth day of the birth of a boy baby. Now, apparently, it does not hurt the baby so much at that age.

And I don't know whether the baby suffers or not. I had my two sons circumcised. I've always recommended it, but as a health measure, but not as a religious ritual, of course, or ceremony of any kind.

Paul was here talking about ritualism and ceremony. And from that point of view, it means nothing. It has nothing to do with your salvation in Christ. In other words, it's just something that has nothing to do with your religion, you might say. So a ceremony has attached a certain importance to that.

The King James said that they were cut off from the Church. Now, he means one of two things, either that they would be cut off from the Church, or that they would cut off more than they realized and mutilate themselves. So you'll have to use your own judgment to know what it meant.

Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh...

Now, these rituals were hard to do. They were hard work. It was a burden to have to do all those things every day. And he's mentioning that. Just like sin was a hard thing and so to continue, also freed from having to... in other words, do penance and punish your own self for your sins, because Christ has suffered that punishment for you, and took your sins.

Love Fulfills The Law

Galatians 5:13-15 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty [as] an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. [Now, that's just a summary of all of the last six of the Ten Commandments — love toward neighbor] (15) But if ye bite and devour one another...

As the ones that were opposing Paul, and were trying to upset these people, were doing. And what about the ones that have been taken out of the Church by those dissidents that have been put out or gone out?

I have had word from ministers here and there over the country, they all say the same thing. They lost a few members here and a few there, some lost none. But those who did may have lost one or two, and in some cases they lost, where they had up to four, five, six hundred attending, they may have lost thirty, or forty, or fifty members.

But they say, "We have peace now." The troublemakers are gone. They were causing trouble. And now, all they've done, they've removed their rotten lemons from the crate, and we've got the good lemons left here.

Galatians 5:13-17 ...[for] by love serve one another. (14) For all the law is fulfilled ... in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (15) But if ye bite and devour one another [which these troublemakers were doing, and which troublemakers in our day have been doing too] take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. (16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and [you see, they... he'd been talking about rituals of physical works that were physical. Now, he says, if you walk in the Spirit ] ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (18} But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
That is, not under a ritual. That's the only law he's been talking about in Galatians so far. You don't have to obey that.

The Works Of The Flesh

Now, there's another way of translating that if someone wants to argue about it. "Under the law," the Spiritual law. The law has a penalty and that's death. And if you break the law you come under its penalty, and the law is over you and has a claim on your life. But if you are freed from Christ you are not under the law, you're obeying the law, and keeping it. But not being "under the law" doesn't mean you don't have to obey the Ten Commandments. Nowhere is that being taught in the writings of Paul, or in the writings of the Bible.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Oh, I wish I still had this open. I'd like to read these... no, what I meant was the Moffat translation... no... I don't think the Revised Standard makes this any better.

Galatians 5:19-21 ...Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [Lasciviousness means license to disobey, permission to disobey.](20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

That's pretty plain. They shall not inherit the kingdom of God. He's been talking about the works of THE FLESH — works of the LAW.

Galatians 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. [vain glory — that is trying to exalt yourself above others.]

Those violating the commandments are not to be in the Kingdom of God--it is only those that keep them that will be there. That is also clear in the Book of Revelation:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14-15)

It is a lie to believe that God's laws are done away as Marcion and many Protestants have claimed. More information Protestantism can be found in the article Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants.

In his comments, Herbert Armstrong did not quote Galatians 5:22-25, which follows:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26)

The Holy Spirit brings a whole list of the attributes of God into our lives. The Bible teaches, for example, that God is love (1 John 4:8,16).

12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13)

Pretty much everyday, I pray that God will grant me " love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance/self-control" and mention that "against such there is no law." There is NO law of God against love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, nor self-control.

Notice also the following:

4. In Galatians 5:22-23, the apostle Paul outlined the fruit or results the Holy Spirit produces in a Christian. What is the first fruit Paul lists? Verse 22. Also notice Romans 5:5. Is love the basic characteristic of God's nature? I John 4:16. Is it the greatest attribute God transmits to us by the Holy Spirit? I Corinthians 13:13 . Be sure to read all of I Corinthians 13 to learn more about this all-important characteristic of God's nature. The Holy Spirit imparts the traits of God's character to true Christians. And the first and most important fruit of God's Spirit is love. It is not a form of human love, but the divine love that comes directly from God. The Greek word translated "love" in Galatians 5:22 is agape. It means devotedness or kindly concern — an intense desire to serve God and man.

5. Is this the same love that will enable us to fulfill — to obey — God's law? Romans 13:8, 10. Did Paul clearly indicate which law he was referring to? Verse 9. Humans have had many conflicting ideas about how God's love should be expressed in a Christian's life. But God makes it very clear that His love is expressed by obedience to the Ten Commandments. Obedience to the first four commandments expresses love toward God, and obedience to the last six commandments expresses love toward fellowman (see Matthew 22:37-40). The apostle John plainly stated how God's love is to be expressed and then defines it: "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments" (I John 5:2-3).

6. Can one who refuses to obey God's commandments possess the Holy Spirit and its all important fruit of love? Acts 5:32. When you receive the Holy Spirit, the love of God is the first and most important fruit that will begin to show. The other fruits of the Spirit mentioned by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 amplify this basic characteristic of God's nature — the divine love given to those whom God begets by His Holy Spirit. (Sedliacik R. MINISTUDY: The Evidence of God's Holy Spirit. Good News, June-July 1985)

Romans 13:8-10 states:

8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)

Christians can experience joy now as one of the gifts of the Spirit. Notice that the Psalmist recorded:

27 Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
"Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant."
28 And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
And of Your praise all the day long. (Psalms 35:27-28)

9 And let Your saints shout for joy. (Psalms 132:9)

The Apostle John wrote:

4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 4)

There is great joy in heaven when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7)--that person then can walk in the truth.

After the resurrection, Christians will experience joy always:

14 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. ...

21 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' (Matthew 25:14, 21-22)

1 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 16:11)

Notice what Jesus said about peace:

25 "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:25-27)

Peace is a gift of the Spirit. We should not fear as the world does. The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)

33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. (Romans 15:33)

20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Romans 16:20)

Satan, called the 'god of this age' (2 Corinthians 4:4), will be defeated--that thought alone should give us great peace.

Consider also:

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4)

The Apostle Peter wrote:

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:14-18)

That leads to the idea of being longsuffering. We are to imitate Jesus (1 Corithians 11:1). Notice also:

18 'The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. (Numbers 14:18)

God is longsuffering and we should be able to be so, because of the gift of His Spirit. Christians are to be:

11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; (Colossians 1:11)

Patience is closely tied in with longsuffering. Notice something also that James wrote:

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-5)

Remember brethren, the Apostle Paul wrote:

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

And that does not only apply to the Apostle Paul:

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

You can 'bear it' through the gift of the Spirit called longsuffering, especially if you also have the gift of faith.

As far a kindness goes, that is also one of God's attributes:

2 For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord! (Psalms 117:2)

If it were not for God's merciful kindness, we would never be able to inherit eternal life. Peter wrote that kindness was one of the gifts that we must have if we want to be forgiven:

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (2 Peter 1:5-9)

The Bible says that God has 'great goodness' in Nehemiah 9:25. Notice also:

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men! (Psalms 31:19)

Christians are to continue in God's goodness:

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (Romans 11:16-23)

Remember, goodness is a gift of the Spirit, so as Christians we can and should have goodness and continue in it.

As far as faith goes, consider:

7. Is faith another vital fruit of the Spirit of God? Galatians 5:22. Is it possible to please God without real faith? Hebrews 11:6. Must obedience to God accompany one's faith in order to make it alive and acceptable to God? Romans 3:31, James 2:14-26.

8. Is the faith all Christians must possess, and which comes as a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8) through the Holy Spirit, in reality the faith of Jesus Christ? Revelation 14:12. In Revelation 14:12 is a description of the true Church of God. Those in God's Church have the faith of Jesus. It is not just their faith in Him, but His faith placed in them and acting in them!

That faith — the very faith of Jesus Christ — enables them to live God's way of life — conduct themselves as God conducts Himself. If we were able, of ourselves, to supply the faith to obey God, our obedience would be self-righteousness, which to God is but "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). Our righteousness must be through the faith of Christ. Yes, Christ's faith, not our own!

9. When one receives the Holy Spirit, will these fruits suddenly appear overnight — almost all at once? II Peter 3:18 . Fruit does not appear overnight on a tree. It takes time, water, the nutrients in the soil and sunlight to grow. Likewise, it takes time to grow spiritually and manifest the fruits of the Spirit once a person has received the Holy Spirit. After studying the above verses in the Bible, can you say that you are a Spirit-begotten child of God — a true Christian? Is the Holy Spirit at work in your life, producing its fruit? Do you have the love and faith of God motivating you to live by every word of God? (Sedliacik R. MINISTUDY: The Evidence of God's Holy Spirit. Good News, June-July 1985)

Jesus had gentleness and the Apostle Paul attempted to practice gentleness:

1 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ — who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. (2 Corinthians 10:1)

Consider also:

1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-3)

1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)

Brethren, your gentleness should be obvious:

5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. (Philippians 4:5)

Gentleness and other gifts of the Spirit are to be striven for:

11 But you, O man of God . . . pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11)

As several scriptures previously cited declare, Christians are to have self-control. This is in contrast to what will be seen more and more in the world in these latter days:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:1-6)

Keeping God's law helps produce the gifts of the Spirit. Violating God's law does not produce the gifts of the Spirit.

Romans 15:13: "Now the God of [the] hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in [the] hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit."   

On July 19, 1980, Herbert Armstrong continued with:

Now, chapter six.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

In other words, have love, and go and try to restore him. Don't condemn him. Don't be just against everybody all the time.

Now, I've tried to do that with some men, and you can't do it. You can't do it. If they're angry, if they already are filled with bitterness and resentment, and they're hooked on it, they will come back at you, they'll misuse anything you say, they will twist it around and use it against you.

He's talking about men that are just overtaken in a fault, and don't realize it, and maybe you can help them out. But one in a wrong spirit, a wrong attitude, you can't help. And the quicker you let him alone, LET HIM ALONE — LET HIM GO! YOU CAN'T SAVE HIM! DON'T TRY TO SAVE THE MAN WHO'S IN A ROTTEN WRONG ATTITUDE AND A WRONG SPIRIT, because you CAN'T do it until he gets that spirit out of him.

So when Paul says here "restore such an one in the spirit of meekness" that's if you can. If he is in a wrong attitude, you go to him in a spirit of meekness, and he'll only slam it right back in your face. You can only do that if he is in a right attitude himself. So that's a good thing to remember.

Galatians 6:1 ...considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (2) Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

The Physical Versus The Spiritual Law

He's for the law of Christ or the law of God. Now, does Christ have one law and God another? Some people say, "Well, that's the law of Christ. I'll do that, but I don't want that law of God. Well, Christ has a law that's different than the law of God, and they're against one another." Is that true? Never... never. The law of Christ and the law of God are one and the same thing because Christ and God believe one and the same thing. They're of one mind — together.

Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something [and once in a while I have to deal with a man who does think of himself to be something, and thinks he's above everybody else, and wants the chief seat] when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

But when he's in a wrong attitude you can't make him see that. He never will see it. There are none so blind as those that refuse to see. And there's one man you can't convince, that's the man who is UNWILLING to be convinced.

Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work...

And that's what I'm having to do, because I can't reach that are in a wrong attitude. They have to prove their own works. If they don't prove it, out they have to go. That's all.

Galatians 6:4-6 ...and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (5) For every man shall bear his own burden. (6) Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

Now, let's read that in the Revised Standard. That's a little hard to understand. It just seem to me it's a little ambiguous and doesn't make an awful lot of sense. Now, let's see, that was... let's go back here, say, verse four in the Revised Standard...

Galatians 6:4-9 (RSV) But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone, and not in his neighbor. (5) For each man will have to bear his own load. (6) Let him who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches. (7) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that he will also will reap. (8) For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (9) And let us not grow weary in well-doing [How often I've quoted that? Don't grow weary of well-doing. A lot of people do. They just get tired of doing well, and they want to rest, and give up, and quit, and not go on any farther.] for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. ...

God Still Revealing Truth

... And it's about time a lot of us begin to wake up and realize that, because if it's truth you'd better get in on it.

So that's when our reward... look, a lot of the people that will be reaped, that innumerable multitude, will be people that have heard the truth that has gone out from us. And they will have heard it and they will be the great harvest. And I have said that before. That I have said — that it will be after our work is gone, after we are through, the great harvest of our work will come. And we're not going to be here to see it reaped. So then...

Galatians 6:10-13 (RSV) So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (11) See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. [Maybe Paul is getting a little bit blind too, and his eyes a little dim, he had to use large letters.] (12) It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. (13) For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law...

Now he's talking about keeping the Spiritual law... I think, and maybe he's talking about the ritual law. But I guess he's still talking about keeping the ritual law there.

Galatians 6:13-15 (RSV) ...but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh. (14) But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. (15) For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision [In other words, it's not a matter of your salvation or Christianity, it's a matter of physical health — only. Just the same is it right or wrong that I eat strawberries or something else? That's not a religious thing] but a new creation.

Circumcision counts for anything or uncircumcision, but we become a new creation in Christ.

Galatians 6:16-18 (RSV) Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule upon the Israel of God. (17) Henceforth, let no man trouble me: for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. (18) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

With their spirit. Now, that's their own spirit, not the Spirit of God. So you see, the Bible does reference a number of places of the spirit that is in man, and that's the place where he mentions it. So that completes, now, the book of Galatians. And I hope we've brought out some things that will be, not only helpful to you here, but also in the churches that will get this in their Bible Studies later on.

And I think we're gradually coming to see a little more of the development of the things — of events — that are coming like to the event of WHEN will be the Laodicean Church, and so on. ...

But I will tell you this, that if you don't already know it, I'll mention, that there were some who were honest people and just deceived, and who left the Church at the time, about two years ago, or a little more, and who now have come to see the truth, and they're coming back into God's Church again. Now, they're coming back. The ones who were troublemakers and who only want to fight, and disturb, and cause trouble, we don't want back. We love them, but I'd rather love them at a distance. And so that's that.
So, with that I will dismiss the Service.

Note 

{1} Editor's Note: Mr. Armstrong remarked about the 4th chapter here but the actual reference was from the third chapter.

The Book of Galatians does not negate the laws of God. It emphasizes that one can be saved by the true gospel, and that one will not be saved for keeping the law nor by animal sacrifices, but also those who believe that they can live in sin will also not be saved. Many do not understand that. But this is what the Book of Galatians teaches.

Related sermon videos related to Galatians are available: Galatians 1 and the False Gospel and Galatians 2 & 3: What Law was Added? What was Abolished? and Galatians 4 & 5: Who Does Not Inherit the Kingdom? and Galatians 5 & 6: The Gifts of the Spirit.

Thiel B. Comments on Galatians. http://www.cogwriter.com/galatians.htm (c) 2015 0606 COGwriter

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