Galatians 3: A Most Difficult Chapter in the Bible

Poor translations cleared up with proper understanding of the Greek

Fred R. Coulter—May 2, 2020

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services!

We've had enough of the Wuhan virus! We've had enough of all of the fake stuff going! So, what we're going to do is cut through the quick of some very difficult Scriptures of the Apostle Paul.

We know that Peter wrote in 2-Peter 3 that Paul has written some very difficult things to understand, and he has! The reason they're difficult to understand is because too many people have too short of an attention period, and they don't like to study and can't concentrate more than 15 minutes.

In order to understand some of the deep things of God, which we find in 1-Cor. 2, that we understand with the Spirit of God, we have got to rightly divide the Word of God so we can put it together and understand what's going on.

Gal. 3 is one of the most difficult chapters in the Bible to understand, especially because of the way the Protestants interpret it. This is the one that they use to say that the Law is a curse and Jesus came to do away with it.

The first key to understand is they say that salvation is by faith and you don't have to have works. A lie! A big fat lie! We have seen when we covered what is being under Law that mean you're in the world, unconverted. Being under grace means that you have repented of your sins and you love God and keep His commandments, and you're saved by grace.

Because they put it that way, they say that you do not have to have any works; it's by faith! That is a lie!

  • What work do the Protestants and Catholics do every week? Sunday-keeping!
  • Is that not a work?
  • Do they not get up, get dressed and go to church?

Now with the Wuhan virus they've had to stay home. I hope some come on to get some good understanding. Here's what they quote, right here:

Ephesians 2:8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God,"

What is the gift of God? Forgiveness of sin, and the grace to have them forgiven!

Verse 9: "Not of works…" You don't have to have any works, but they don't define, right here, what the works are. And they leave it off right there.

"…so that no one may boast…. [they rarely read v 10]: …For we are His workmanship, being created in Christ Jesus unto the good works…" (vs 9-10). So, there are two kinds of works!

  • your works motivated by Satan
  • God's works motivated by His Holy Spirit

Good works!

"…unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10).

  • What is that? Man shall throw away every Word of God because it's all by faith! That's what the Protestants believe!
  • What did Jesus really say?

Matthew 4:4: "Man… [meaning every human being, male and female] …shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."'

  • Is God's Word good? Yes, it is!
  • Is God's Word true? Yes, it is!

If you do the works of God

  • Are you doing your works?


  • Are you doing God's works?

You're doing God's works! That's exactly what it is here!

Advertisement: Book—Judaism: A Revelation of Moses, or a Religion of Men? by Philip Neal

  • How much do you know about Judaism?
  • How much do you know about their laws?
  • How much do you know of what they have?

Their philosophy is this: The Word of God is in the center, and then they have all their traditional laws that they've encircled the Laws of God, so that you won't break the Laws of God.

That sounds like a good idea, but can anyone produce something better than what God has produced? They've got books on it: Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried and Goldin.

  • What was the law-keeping that the scribes and Pharisees had? Their traditions!
  • What's the curse at the end of Revelation? Blessed is everyone who keeps the things written in this book, and cursed is anyone who adds anything to it, or takes away from it!

Another thing to understand is that Protestants say that their talking about clean and unclean meats and they actually have perverted the translation of the Bible to say that because of what is said here in Mark 7, that Jesus made all meats clean.

Did that make bat meat clean so we wouldn't have the Wuhan virus? I can't feature that! What is it?

Mark 7:1: "Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes from Jerusalem came together to Him. And when they saw some of His disciples eating with defiled hands (that is, unwashed hands), they found fault" (vs 1-2). In all the laws that the Jews had:

  • they have to wash their hands in a certain way
  • they have to eat in a certain way
  • they can't touch any food that's been handled by a Gentile

Even if it's clean food, is unclean to them!

They thousands and thousands of laws. You can't walk across a stream on the Sabbath, but if it's narrow enough you can jump over it. If there's a fire in your house you can't put it out, but you can put all your clothes on and carry your mattress out of the house. All kinds of laws!

Washing of hands: You've got to wash your hands before you eat, and you wash up to the elbow.

Verse 3: "For the Pharisees and all the Jews, holding fast to the tradition of the elders…"—traditional laws!

  • Does the Catholic Church have traditions?
  • Does the Protestant Church have traditions?
  • Do the Muslims have traditions?
  • Do the Hindus have traditions?
  • Do the Buddhists have traditions?
  • Do the Eastern Orthodox have traditions?

All of them!

"…do not eat unless they wash their hands thoroughly. Even when coming from the market, they do not eat unless they first wash themselves…. [don't touch any food to eat it on the way home] …And there are many other things that they have received to observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and brass utensils and tables. For this reason, the Pharisees and the scribes questioned Him, saying, 'Why don't Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders…'" (vs 3-5).

Where did we read the word walk? Eph. 2:10, the good works that God has ordained beforehand that we should walk in them!If you're going to walk in them, that means you're going to do them!

"'…but eat bread with unwashed hands?' And He answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites…'" (vs 5-6). Jesus called them hypocrites over and over again!

I've been reading in the Greek the Gospel of Luke. What did God do? He chose Mary who lived in Nazareth near the Sea of Galilee! He didn't choose someone in Jerusalem. You would think that if the Messiah is going to be born, it would be the proper place for Him to be born in Jerusalem.

God chose a woman who had a special unique genetic inheritance, which was her mother was of the daughters of Aaron, and her father was a Jew of the line of David. That genealogy can be found in Luke 3; that's Mary's genealogy.

In the small town of Nazareth, in the despised area of the Jerusalem Jews. 'Oh, you're from Galilee' is like saying to someone who has a southern accent and comes to New York, 'You're a southerner!' They can look back at them and say, 'You're a New Yorker!' Hypocrites!

"…as it is written, 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.' For leaving the commandment of God …" (vs 6-8).

Isn't that what the Protestants do? Yep! Except when it comes to money. They love to read Mal. 3, they love to read about the 10% in the Old Testament. But when it comes to the Sabbath, they do a high hurdle!

"'…you hold fast the tradition of men… [that's the key to Galatians] …such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this.' Then He said to them, 'Full well…'" (vs 8-9).

Listen! Where does this put all of those who have their own traditions and take part of the Bible, which the Jews did, and add their own traditions to it, and say that 'this is our religion'? Protestants never completed the Reformation! They kept Sunday, the holidays and the trinity!

Verse 8: "For leaving the commandment of God… [the Sabbath and Holy Days] …you hold fast the tradition of men, such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this.' Then He said to them, 'Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition'" (vs 8-9).

Then He explained about taking care of your father and mother, and if they give it to the temple then they're free. NO! if you steal what is God's to help your mom and dad, and you take that—which is the way they took care of their parents because they had no social security or anything like we have today—and you say that 'this supposed to go to help you, but I'm going to give it to the temple because I want a blessing.' Read Matt. 23 on that.

1-John 2—so we can get this cemented clearly before we come to Gal. 3. This is so fundamental. Remember what we explained about the Jesus Seminar from years ago? Robert Funk has since died, but what they we would do is go through the Gospels and examine every one of the teachings of Jesus Christ. They had marbles and these scholars would vote on: Is it true? Is it authentic? Is partially true? and if it was black it shouldn't be there!

Guess what they did to all the writings of John? The black marble was voted upon, the whole Gospel and the General Epistles! 'This can't be of God.' Why? Because it says to keep the commandments!

1-John 2:3: "And by this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments."

What is one of the sayings if you walk into a Protestant church? Do you know the Lord, brother! That's what they do. Delores can vouch for that, because she was born in Oklahoma and was around all of those Protestants and 'them there preachers!'

There's a condition to know Him, "…if we keep His commandments." Notice that this is so simple, but it is the absolute truth:

Verse 4: "The one who says, 'I know Him' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him."

What happens if you have a wonderful mixture of a drink and you want the pure thing to drink, but an enemy comes in and starts adding a little arsenic to it, just a little, not much. You can't tell the difference, but you drink it and the arsenic stays in your body. You drink it again the next day and so on, and after a while you get sick. Nobody can figure out why you're sick, but you keep drinking what he brings to you and it's laced with arsenic! When you get so sick and he wants to get rid of you, he gives you a good dose of arsenic and you're gone!

That's exactly what it is with Protestantism! They sound so good because they use Jesus' name and read some Scriptures, but they don't read this:

Verse 4: "The one who says, 'I know Him' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him. On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked" (vs 4-6).

There's that word again—walked—we saw it twice concerning God's ways, and once concerning the traditions of men.

Gal. 3 is one of the most difficult chapters in the whole Bible to understand, especially if your mind has been subverted by the lies of Protestantism. This is the chapter where they say 'the Law is curse.' And 'if you try to keep the Law, you are putting yourself under Law.' That is not true!If you come to God and you profess that you love Him—but you don't keep His commandments—that is the way! That's wrong; not true! That's a lie!

What was the dispute in Gal. 2? Peter and Barnabas were there, and the mucky-mucks from Jerusalem came down from James! Up in Jerusalem they still kept a lot of the traditions of the Jews, because, you know, 'in Jerusalem that's the place to be!'

They came down to Antioch where Paul was, and Peter separated from eating with the Gentiles. To eat with the Gentiles was against Judaism laws: a tradition!

What did Peter say when he came into meet Cornelius? God has shown me that I should call no man common or unclean! Peter knew better! God used him to bring the first Gentiles into the Church, and he stayed with Cornelius quite a few days in addition to preaching to all who were there. So, Peter knew better!

When Peter and Barnabas separated, what were they doing? They were keeping a Jewish tradition! What is a Jewish tradition called? Works of law! They say that if you do 'this,' you are in good standing with God. What does God say that brings you in good standing with Him? You repent and yield to Him and do His will!

  • How are we forgiven our sins? Through repentance and the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus Christ!
  • Whose act is it that Jesus Christ came, died and shed His blood? The unilaterally work of God the Father, with Jesus Christ Himself!
  • Does any man or woman—any person anywhere—have anything that can replace the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? NO!


  • Who gave the Ten Commandments? God!
  • Where did He put them? On tables of stone!

He had to do it twice, because the children of Israel worshipped the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain.

Think about that! The only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ? Any work of any law of any religion will not get you there. Man can never do anything that can supersede the will, the power, the decrees and the commandments of God! No man! If you don't believe that, study deeply the book of Job.

How did Job do? Even though he did the things of God, he took all the credit to himself, instead of giving credit to God!

We say, 'Well, I've kept the Sabbath all my life.' Really? That's what God expects! That's no merit badge for you. Paul is explaining here:

Galatians 3:1: "1: O foolish Galatians… [senseless, brainless] …who has bewitched you… [Who does the bewitching? Satan and his agents!] …into not obeying the Truth…"

  • What is the Truth? The Word of God!
  • What is the Truth concerning the forgiveness of sin? Jesus Christ! Repentance! Baptism!

"…before whose eyes Jesus Christ, crucified, was set forth in a written public proclamation?" (v 1). That's the proper translation, because the root word in Greek is 'grapho'—which means writing.

  • What does this tell you right here? They had some written instructions, some of the Word of God from the apostles!
  • What do you find in Acts 6 right before the first Passover after Jesus' last Passover. What did they have to have? They had to have the instructions!
  • Who were the only ones who took the Passover? The eleven apostles!

Nobody else knew! All the rest were eating lamb, all of those of the 120 who were following. So, it says that when they chose out the deacons, 'You choose them and we'll appoint them to serve the tables so that we may give ourselves to the ministry of the Word in prayer.

What is the ministry of the Word? Writing it down! You can read in the commentaries in the front of The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version. There's a lot of good stuff in there for you to read, which will help you an awful lot; also the appendices.

So, this tells us when these different books were written. One of the first ones was James. The very first one was Matthew.

I did a whole comparison between Matthew and James, which led to four sermons, it's so much identical. It shows it was written down! James wrote this to the 12 tribes scattered abroad. What did that tell you? They knew where they were! You're not going to write a letter and send it out there, and by the way, 'God, make sure it goes to the 12 tribes.' If you send it by the Roman postal system, you send it by messengers—whatever you do—and it gets there. This says that they knew in writing about the death, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Verse 2: "This only I desire to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit of God by works of law…"

What if it was that you can receive the Spirit of God if you come to Sabbath every Sabbath for ten years, but you miss the last one. You can't make it! That's a work of law!Even keeping the commandments of God is not going to replace the sacrifice of Christ, which does not mean that we don't have to keep them. It just means that Christ, as the Son of God—and God manifested in the flesh—is greater than anything else.

  • Was Peter saved in a better state because he separated from the Gentiles?
  • Was Barnabas?
  • NO!

They had the problem of physical circumcision. We can get to that later, but physical circumcision has nothing to do with converting the mind. What kind of circumcision is required in the New Testament? The circumcision of the heart!

"…or by the hearing of faith?…. [you believed] …Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being perfected in the flesh?…. [doing physical things] …Have you suffered so many things in vain, if indeed it has been in vain? Therefore, consider this: He Who is supplying the Spirit to you, and Who is working deeds of power among you, is He doing it by works of law or by the hearing of faith?" (vs 2-5).

You hear the Word of God in faith, and you believe and you do it. Many things come along and we're told to pray for one another, and we've been doing that. So far as I know, no one has died from the Wuhan virus! We're thankful for that! Here in Hollister we have had actually only one death. One came from Thailand and died, but you can't count that as that as the second death. So, God has blessed us in that! We're thankful and grateful for it, but does that make us something so special that we should stand up and say, 'Oh, look what God did for us!'

No! God did it because He loves us and cares for us, and we thank Him for it, and don't get it all lifted up in vanity.

Verse 6: "It is exactly as it is written: 'Abraham believed God…'"

If you're 85 and God tells you that your wife, who is 75, is going to have a son, it's not going to be by Abraham's works, he's well past the works! She would be, also! "…Abraham believe God…" Once you say you believe:

  • What does belief require? You're to do it!
  • What if God gives you a promise and He doesn't tell you that it's going to be over 4,000 years before He finishes?

He didn't do that! He believed God!

"…and it was reckoned to him for righteousness" (v 6). Yes, Abraham did have to prepare the sacrifice (Gen. 15) for the maledictory oath for God to walk between the parts as a conformation.

Let's understand this about a covenant. A covenant requires both parties to bring a sacrifice or a substitute sacrifice. God walked through those parts of the animals to confirm the covenant. What were the two major statements of the covenant?

  • physical seed—your own heir from you and your wife
  • spiritual seed—because God took Abraham out at night—just happened to be on the Passover night—and showed him the stars in heaven

God said, 'Look, if you can number the stars—which you can't—so shall your seed be.' What does it say that those resurrected will be like? Shine as the stars!

So there are two parts of the covenant with Abraham. The first one was for the physical son Isaac. But what did Abraham have to do before that could begin? Gen. 17, God said:

  • to come before Him and be perfect
  • you're going to be a father of many nations
  • your name is changed from Abram to Abraham
  • your wife's name is going to be changed from Sari to Sarah
  • you're going to have multitudes of nations and kings come out of you

God already gave His part of that sacrifice when He walked between the animals. They were all consumed and only ashes left on the ground. What does God say that Abraham has to do? This is the covenant: 'Every male among you eight days or older will be circumcised.' What happened before Isaac was born, Abraham, Ishmael and all the men—about 200 of them in Abraham's encampment—were circumcised. That was Abraham's sacrifice to put alongside the sacrifice of God! You have to have a sacrifice.

When we come to the New Covenant, what was the sacrifice that Abraham gave for the spiritual children. The sacrifice of Isaac! But God provided a substitute; that was the sacrifice!

From the physical seed came Jesus. After His ministry, death and resurrection now the spiritual seed begins. That's us! "…'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.'" Put in right standing with God!

Verse 7: "Because of this, you should understand that those who are of faith are the true sons of Abraham…. [not the ones who separate themselves physically] …Now in the Scriptures, God seeing in advance that He would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'In you shall all the nations be blessed'" (vs 7-8).

That was before he was circumcised to show that the rest of the nations do not have to offer that, because they'll have a different one down the road.

Verse 9: "It is for this reason that those who are of faith are being blessed with the believing Abraham. For as many as are relying on works of law… [here it is, this is the one verse]: …are under a curse, because it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that have been written in the Book of the Law to do them.'" (vs 9-10).

In The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, you go to Appendix Z: Understanding Paul's Difficult Scriptures Concerning the Law and Commandments of God, and you go through that whole thing. Let's see what they did to cause the defugalty here:

Now let's read one of the grievous translations; Galatians 3:10 (KJV): "For as many as are of the works of the law…"

Those two definite articles are not in the Greek! Having the definite article not there is important! It is works of law, because it's not referring to the commandments of God, it is referring to the traditions of the Jews—their works!

  • If you are doing the traditions of the Jews, what did Jesus say you're doing? You're rejecting the commandments of God!
  • If you're rejecting them, are you breaking them?
  • If you're doing the traditional works of the Jews and you think you're going to receive spiritual salvation, you're not going to do it!
  • Why?
  • What brings the curse?
  • Keeping the commandments of God?


  • Not keeping the commandments of God?

How do you read Deut. 28? You shall diligently keep all these words and commandments, which I've given you, and if you do, blessed shall you be in the city, in your store and in everything that you do! But if you do not do them, what happens? Curses! The curse comes from Law-breaking and all traditions of men constitute Law-breaking against God!

When you are told by men that if you do this work, which is a tradition of the church, or a practice that 'we do' you shall be saved is a lie!

The curse is the breaking of the Law, not the keeping of the Law. Therefore, works of law have nothing to do with commandment-keeping! Why?

What did the Law of the covenant with Israel require? "…Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that have been written in the Book of the Law to do them." (v 10 FV).

What did Jesus say? It's is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God! The curse comes because they don't keep it! The Protestants are maybe—at the very, very best of the Protestants—half way in the Truth. Catholics don't even get a zero; they're below zero! So, if the Protestants are halfway in the Truth, that means they are halfway out of the Truth.

They have all of these good things, good sermons. You can hear good sermons on how you need to be loyal and faithful, and how you can fight against fear and all of these things. The Protestants can do a good job with that, which is fine, but that has nothing to do with salvation! Salvation comes through Jesus Christ. loving God and keeping His commandments.

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Verse 10: "For as many as are relying on works of law… [NOT the works of the law] …are under a curse, because it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that have been written in the Book of the Law to do them.'"

So, the lack of doing the Laws of God is a curse! Or relying on your own works that God must accept because you do them, puts you under a curse!

For all of those who think that they're justified by faith, let's see how Paul explains it in Rom. 2.

  • How are we justified?
  • What does justification mean? Right standing with God!
  • How do we get in right standing with God? You have to have a repentant heart and attitude!

If you repent of sin, which is the transgression of the Law:

Romans 2:13: "Because the hearers of the Law… [that is in the Greek meaning God's Law] …are not just before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified."

When you repent of breaking the Law, you don't go back and keep breaking the Law. You can't came to Christ say that you're justified by His sacrifice, because you say you believe in Jesus, like the ten second little prayer that the Protestants give people. Do you think God is going to give eternal life for a ten second prayer? NO!

"…the doers of the Law shall be justified." In other words, before you can be justified for your past sins, you've got to stop doing those sins: Repentance! Then with repentance—as in John 2—you're keeping His commandments. What is the greatest commandment? Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being! If you do away with that, you do away with the love of God!

So, the Protestants don't know and the Catholics don't care what condition they are in before God.

Galatians 3:10: "For as many as are relying on works of law… [your own works, traditions, commandments] …are under a curse, because it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that have been written in the Book of the Law to do them.'" You're cursed because you're sinning!

  • Isn't that what the Book of the Law says?
  • Are you cursed today for sinning? Yes!
  • Can you have your sins forgiven? Yes!
  • Can you continue to live in sin? No!

Verse 11: "Therefore, it is evident that no one is being justified before God by means of works of law…"

Justification is separate, but requires it; justification is that the sacrifice of Christ has been applied to you, and your sins are forgiven. Always remember what the first things that Jesus said when they hoisted Him up on that cross? Forgive them, Father, for they no not what they do! Think about that they were doing?

Some sins are hard to quit. What if you still keep doing it, but you repent because your intent is to get rid of it. Then you keep repenting, and you can get rid of it. That's why the daily prayer is, 'Our Father…' that's what you start out with. 'who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.'

What is the next thing that's said, 'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' On earth mean to you personally, God's will on whatever project you may be working on that's for God.

The next thing is forgive us our sins daily! Why? Because conversion is to convert the mind and renew the mind by replacing what is in the mind already to begin with, with the laws and commandments and Spirit of Godso that you have a spiritually oriented mind! So, there may be some things very hard to overcome. I know people have had very difficult times with smoking. For some people that's very hard. What if it takes some time to overcome, and they're repenting and hating it every day.

They need to pray and ask God for more strength so they can really overcome it. I remember that one man took two and a half years to overcome his smoking. He dwindled it down and he finally overcame it.

"…because it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'" (v 3). That's our faith in God, God giving us His faith through the Holy Spirit, and Paul writes:

Romans 1:17: "…from faith unto faith…" From our faith to God, and God gives us, through His Spirit, His faith. It's a continuous thing! It's like alternating current, it keeps coming.

Galatians 3:12: "Now then, the Law is not based on faith…" They do not have Christ to believe in for the forgiveness of sin! They had sacrifices that is a work of law, which was not a tradition.

"…but, 'The man who practices these things shall live in them'" (v 12.

Verse 13 is very important because the Protestants read it this way: Christ has redeemed us from the Law! They read it as the Law is a curse. That's actually what they teach.

Verse 13: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree')."

Before you can receive the Holy Spirit of God, you have to repent of the way that you've been living. So, if you've been going against the Laws of God, you're under a curse. Look at the world today, it's under a curse!

 "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law…" How? Forgiving sin, that's how! But we're to go and sin no more. There is no person who ever is going to be completely sinless. That can only occur when the resurrection takes place. That's why we have repentance every day. The more that you pray and learn the Word of God, the more that you repent and understand what God wants you to do, the more you're able to overcome!

Sometimes at first it may even get worse. God is trying to let you know that you really need Him! Never give up!

1 Peter 3:15: "But sanctify the Lord God in your own hearts, and always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and reverence; having a good conscience, that, whereas they may speak against you as evil doers, those who are reviling your good way of life in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, for you to suffer while doing good than to suffer for doing evil" (vs 15-17).

Why? Then you understand the absolute wretchedness of human nature! You read what they did to Jesus before they took Him out and crucified Him.

Verse 18: "Because Christ indeed once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust…" There's a lot in that statement! But only through Christ can we have our sins forgiven! No other way!

"…so that He might bring us to God; on the one hand, He was put to death in the flesh; but on the other hand, He was made alive by the Spirit by which He also went and preached to the spirits in prison" (vs 18-19). That's during the days of Noah, before He became flesh!

1-Peter 2:21: "For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His footsteps; Who committed no sin; neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when suffering, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously; Who Himself bore our sins within His own body on the tree, so that we, being dead to sins, may live unto righteousness; by Whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls" (vs 21-25). That all fits in with what we're talking about here in Gal. 3!

We're to receive the blessing of the Spirit of God and the ultimate goal is to be a spirit being at the first resurrection, to be the sons and daughters of God.

Galatians 3:15: "Brethren (I am speaking from a human perspective), even when a man's covenant has been ratified, no one nullifies it, or adds a codicil to it…. [that's clear enough, and we'll come back to it] …Now, to Abraham and to his Seed were the promises spoken. He does not say, 'and to your seeds,' as of many; but as of one, 'and to your Seed,' which is Christ. Now this I say, that the covenant ratified beforehand by God to Christ cannot be annulled by the Law…" (vs 15-17).

In other words, you can't give anything a law, whatever it may be, that is greater than the sacrifice of Christ. Nothing!

"…which was given four hundred and thirty years later, so as to make the promise of no effect" (v 17).

Then we come to a contradiction here, v 18: "For if the inheritance is by law…" What is the inheritance? Eternal life!

"…if the inheritance is by law it is no longer by promise. But God granted it to Abraham by promise" (v 18)—because he believed God, obeyed His voice, kept His commandments and His laws!

Verse 19: "Why then the Law?…. [to Israel] …It was placed alongside the promises for the purpose of defining transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made, having been ordained through angels in the hand of a mediator."

This is a poor translation in the King James. What does it say in:

Verse 15 (FV): "…or adds a codicil to it." No one can take away "…or addeth thereto" (KJV) to the covenant of God! That means any decision by men to nullify any part of the Word of God that He requires of us is wrong! You can't change it, you can't add to it, you can't take away from it.

If you take away the Sabbath, what have you done? You've broken the covenant, you're not under it!

Now here's the way v 19 was explained before: God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, then along the way—because they sinned—He decided to add the sacrifices.

  • How do we know that's wrong?
  • What did Moses tell Pharaoh? Let us go three days into the wilderness to sacrifice!

God intended sacrifices right from the beginning! That's how I first got myself in trouble. They said that if you come across anything in your studies that will add to what we need to know they you write it up and send it in. So, I wrote it up and sent it in. But I did not know that only understanding of the Bible came through Herbert W. Armstrong.

I read this, v 19 (KJV): "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions…" If you can't add anything to it, how come it's added. So, that word in the Greek means placed alongside the promise, not added.

"…till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator" (v 19).

God intended them to have sacrifices, and the first paper I wrote up was about 40 pages, and I rented for $125 an IBM typewriter that had nice big bulletin type, nice big type so Herbert Armstrong could read it. Roderick Meredith came storming out; he expected rebellion and everything wrong with both Salt Lake City and Boise, ID. And he found that it was the two best churches he ever visited. The men in the Spokesman's Club were the best speakers that he heard of any Spokesman's Club. But he was thinking that since 'you corrected Herbert Armstrong, do you think he's God's apostle?' Well, at that time, everybody believed it, and we believed it, too. But I found out later that he certainly wasn't. He was an evangelist.

So, this is the proper translation in the Favorite Version.

Verse 16: "Now, to Abraham and to his Seed were the promises spoken. He does not say, 'and to your seeds,' as of many; but as of one, 'and to your Seed,' which is Christ. Now this I say, that the covenant ratified beforehand by God to Christ cannot be annulled by the Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later, so as to make the promise of no effect" (vs 16-17).

Why? There were two aspects to the promise given to Abraham!

  • physical seed—they got the Law
  • spiritual seed—they get the Spirit
  • physical seed—you get the physical land
  • spiritual seed—you'll shine like the stars in
  • heaven above

Those two were place alongside each other, but the one with Christ could not be put into full effect until Christ died. Only the Prophets and some of the kings will be in the first resurrection (1-Peter 1:10).

Verse 18: "For if the inheritance… [of eternal life] …is by law, it is no longer by promise. But God granted it to Abraham by promise."

What did God say in Gen. 22 after Abraham offered Isaac and the ram was taken as a substitutionary sacrifice? I swear by Myself because you have withheld your son, your only son, in blessing I will bless you, and your seed shall shine like the stars of heaven! That was for the spiritual seed! The circumcision was for the physical seed—two aspects of the promises! One covenant to Israel another covenant to the Church through Christ.

Verse 19: "Why then the Law? It was placed alongside the promises for the purpose of defining transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made, having been ordained through angels in the hand of a mediator." Who was the mediator? Moses! Then the high priest.

Verse 20: "Now then, a mediator does not act on behalf of one; but God is one…. [just stating a principle to clarify] …Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? MAY IT NEVER BE!…." (vs 20-21)—because the promise was placed alongside, not added to!

There are actually two covenants involved, one to the physical seed and one to the spiritual seed from the promise.

Verse 21: "Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? MAY IT NEVER BE! For if a law had been given that had the power to give life, then righteousness would indeed have been by law." No! it comes by:

  • promise
  • begettal
  • repentance
  • baptism
  • receiving the Holy Spirit of God

How did the covenant with Israel come? Circumcised the eighth day and keep the letter of the Law! No promise of eternal life. No promise to shine like the stars of heaven. Just a physical seed, with physical land with physical blessings. That was the first part of the promise to Abraham!

The second promise was spiritual seed through Christ as our sacrifice through His shed blood to receive the Spirit of God to become the sons and daughters of God to be raised at the resurrection to be spirit beings.

The one is superior to the other! The other one was good for people living in the letter of the Law. Just like today, remember I've mentioned about Perfectville several times, where everybody kept the Ten Commandments in the letter of the Law. That would be good, but what's going to happen? No promise of eternal life.

Eternal life does not come through law, it comes through the living God! Law has no power to give eternal life. You can read about it in the Law, but it doesn't give it. That comes through mercy and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. You have to have the remission of sins and then have the Spirit of God so that you can know God, and you can understand His Word.

Verse 22: "But the Scriptures have shut up all things under sin…"

Even with the laws given to Israel, they never received the promise of eternal life! They never had their sins forgiven to the point of having right standing with God the Father in heaven above. Their sins were forgiven to the temple (Heb. 9). Not in heaven above!

It was a physical covenant for a physical people for physical blessings, until the Messiah would come!

"…so that by the faith of Jesus Christ…" (v 22). His faith to go through what He did! Did He not have to have faith to do that, knowing everything that was coming upon Him? Yes, indeed! His faith! Then that can be imparted to us through God's Spirit! Completely different.

"…so that by the faith of Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe…. [of eternal life] …Now, before faith came… [there was not eternal life given, but]: …we were guarded under law…" (vs 22-23)—because if you do these things, even in society not knowing God, and you do certain things, you have certain blessings, but not eternal life!

"…having been shut up unto the faith that was yet to be revealed. In this way, the Law was our tutor to lead us to Christ…" (vs 23-24).

How can the Law be a curse if it's to lead us to Christ? It tutors us! It the tutor wrong? The KJV says 'schoolmaster.' It's to tutor you in what to do:

  • What is the Sabbath?
  • How do you treat your neighbor?
  • How do you worship God?

But now the promise is s much greater! It is something that we live in!

Verse 24: "In this way, the Law was our tutor to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith." Put in right standing with God!

They were never put in right standing with God under the covenant to Israel. They were put in right standing to the temple.

Verse 25: "But since faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."

  • Who are we under?
  • Who is our fellowship with?
  • God the Father and Jesus Christ directly!

That doesn't mean we don't learn! We learn so much more spiritually speaking!

Verse 26: "Because you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ" (vs 26-27).

That's greater than just being circumcised and living in the society of Israel!

Verse 28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free…"

Doesn't matter what your circumstances of life is, Christ came to save those who will believe and trust in Him, and do the things that He says.

"…there is neither male nor female…" (v 28). This means that you don't have to be male or female to qualify to receive the Holy Spirit! You have to be repentant.

"…for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (vs 28-29).

What promise? The second part becoming as the stars of heaven! The other promise, through circumcision, was the promise and blessing in physical circumstance that you could have.

I hope you understand this most difficult Scripture section in the Bible.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Ephesians 2:8-10
  • Matthew 4:4
  • Mark 7:1-9
  • 1 John 2:3-6
  • Galatians 3:1-10
  • Romans 2:13
  • Galatians 3:10-11
  • Romans 1:17
  • Galatians 3:12-13
  • 1 Peter 3:15-19
  • 1 Peter 2:21-25
  • Galatians 3:15-19, 15-29

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1 Corinthians 2
  • Luke 3
  • Malachi 3
  • Matthew 23
  • Acts 6
  • Genesis 15; 17
  • Deuteronomy 28
  • 1 Peter 1:10
  • Genesis 22
  • Hebrews 9

Also referenced:


  • Judaism: A Revelation of Moses, or a Religion of Men by Philip Neal
  • Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried and Goldin

Appendix Z: Understanding Paul's Difficult Scriptures Concerning the Law and Commandments of God(The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, a Faithful Version)

Sermon Series: Matthew and James

Transcribed: 5/5/20

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