Fred R. Coulter

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We have put out a study translation (of Galatians) that we use for studying. In it you will find the Interlinear of Galatians so it's altogether in one booklet and that makes it convenient.

Let's just review a couple of principles that are true. First of all, when we are justified, we are justified from our past sins. Never, never, never are we justified in our sins! We are justified from our sins. Another way to remember it: You are not saved in your sins, you are saved from your sins! 'The wages of sin is death,' so it's impossible to be saved in your sins. That's why Paul said, 'What? Shall we sin that grace may abound? God forbid!'

Let's understand something concerning commandment-keeping. Protestants say that you 'cannot earn' salvation. That's one thing they understand, somewhat. With their Sunday-keeping, they are trying to earn salvation by Sunday-keeping, and they don't even realize that. Their version of grace is that

  • God's grace saves you
  • once saved, always saved
  • once saved—as long as you have 'goodness' in your heart—you cannot fall away even if you sin grievously.

That's contrary to the teachings of the New Testament!

Galatians 3:21: "Is the law then contrary to the promises of God?…. [Protestants say yes. They say if you keep the Law then you can't have the promise of eternal life. NO!] …MAY IT NEVER BE! For if a law had been given that had the power to give life, then righteousness … [right standing before God for salvation] …would indeed have been by law."

Why cannot life come from law?
It is true that no law or any law-keeping can grant you salvation. This is where the Protestants fall off the deep end. It is true!
Where did eternal life come from?

Forgiveness of sin comes through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! Eternal life is a gift of God by grace! Eternal life must come from someone who is living eternally! It's that simple! The Father!

Is there life in this table? No!
Is there life in any law? No!
The Law defines what sin is!
Can you attain to the Kingdom of God by sinning? No!
Only by keeping the commandments of God—as a condition of salvation—will you receive salvation.

The reason I'm going through Galatians 3 so thoroughly is because that is often the most misunderstood, misquoted and misapplied chapter in all the New Testament. It is without a doubt the most difficult thing that Paul wrote. It's compounded in its difficulty by the fact that the King James translators put in the definite articles where they should not have put them, as we saw in the Interlinear.

Protestants talk a lot about love—don't they? Love is active; they will agree with that. Love requires action—doesn't it? But love is not sinning!

1-John 5:2: "By this standard we know… [by this means, by this measure] …that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments." Commandments are a condition of eternal life, but they do not give eternal life.

Eternal life comes with the Spirit of God!
Eternal life comes by the power of the resurrection!

Verse 3: "For this is the love of God: that we keep [practice] His commandments; and… [contrary to all Protestant thought] …His commandments are not burdensome."

Let's see how, in the New Covenant, we are to keep the laws and commandments of God. We'll define some of this even more in Refuting Sunday-Keeping #14[transcriber's correction]—What is the Administration of Death?

Here's the New Covenant, and we'll come to this verse many, many times so we won't forget, Hebrews 10:16: "'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord. 'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe [write] them in their minds.'" While the laws and commandments of God cannot give life, they are part of the mind of God and the way that God conducts His life. He is Lawgiver! He wants them written in our heart and mind so that we function that way.

Rather than having an external code written on tables of stone or written in a book that we don't even read, He wants them within us! This is how we operate coupled with the love of God. The two go hand-in-hand. 'By this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and keep His commandments. And hereby we know the love of God because we keep His commandments and His commandments are not burdensome' (1-John 5). This is the love of God.

  • It's action!
  • It is motivating!

Matthew 5:19: "Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall practice ['poieo'] and teach them, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Think on this for a minute, this is important to remember: The least of the commandments of God is greater than all the commandments of men! Why is that? Because it comes from God! Any commandment that God gives has to be greater than all the commandments of men. Why? Because He gave it! He's Lawgiver!

It does take faith in God and faith in His commandments—that they are true and right—to keep them. Think about it for a minute! It takes no faith at all to keep Sunday. All you have to do is get up Sunday morning and pick whichever corner you want to go to church on, and go. Maybe you don't want to go into a church building and give an hour, what you can do is put your golf bags in your car and you can go out to the 'golfing ministry'—a drive-in—and you can drive in and get a 15-minute sermon and sit there and be pious and righteous while you listen to the sermon and then you can go on and do your golf.

They actually have those! Don't laugh! They have those. People cannot endure hearing the Word of God, especially Protestants, more than 15 minutes; it's a burden!

Luke 17:5: "Then the apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.'…. [everyone wants to have a lot of faith] … But the Lord said, 'If you had faith as a tiny mustard seed, you might say to this sycamine tree, "Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea," and it would obey you'" (vs 5-6)—IF it is the will of God!

Remember that, because that's why we pray 'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven; not my will be done but Your will be done.'

What is harder to change than moving a mountain?
Conversion of the heart!
What is the greater battle: overcoming the carnality of the mind or moving a mountain?
Overcoming the carnality of the mind!

Verse 7: "But which of you having a servant plowing… [A slave; you own it. By the way there's a lot of slavery going on today in the world] …or shepherding will immediately say to him when he comes in from the field, 'Come and sit down and eat'?" If there was a union boss there, he'd make sure that that happened. There's no union boss here.

Notice, a slave has to do what his master says—right? Yes! Verse 8: "Rather, will he not say to him…" This seems very unfair—doesn't it? Think about it, this seems very unfair, especially in today's world. He's out there maybe working 10 hours all day in the heat of the sun and he's dusty, dirty, miserable, and tired, and he comes in and the master says:

"…'Prepare what I may eat, and gird yourself… [change your clothes and get cleaned up] …and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterwards you may eat and drink"? Is he thankful to that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. Likewise you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, "We are unprofitable servants, because we have done that which we were obligated to do"'" (vs 8-10).

The commandments are required, no doubt about it! Without the Spirit of God it produces no more than what a slave can do. It can't give you eternal life. You can't keep the Sabbath 'X' number of times and be guaranteed salvation. We have to endure to the end, remain faithful to the end—correct?

Romans 2:13: "…the hearers of the law are not just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." Why? They have repented of their transgressions; they are doing! You shall be justified of your past sins; showing that obedience is required.

Go through the whole New Testament and there is nowhere that it says you don't have to keep the commandments of God.

Now we're going to see as we get into Gal. 4 that there's a peculiar brand of Judaism that Paul is being confronted with. Judaism is paganism—do you understand that? Though they have a form of the Law; many of them keep the Sabbath; which also shows this: Sabbath-keeping without Christ is of no benefit.

There are as many denominations of Judaism as there are denominations of Protestantism. The Jews do not like to admit that, because propagandized they give the image that all Jews think alike, believe alike, have the same religion and so forth. But it's not true! Most of the Jews in so-called Israel today cannot stand the Orthodox, though they have the ruling hand. Why?

I've seen a special on TV where they don't want the Orthodox moving into their neighborhood; they block it off. They are so strict and mean and hateful. The average Jew can't stand them. They'll stone a car on the Sabbath; they'll set things on fire if it's against their 'religion.' They have to wear those silly hats and have the curls hanging down and wear the clothes that they do, because those are works of law!

When we get a little further into it, we're going to see that some of the Jews who were bothering the Galatians actually were followers of the Essenes—one of the three major sects of the Jews during Christ's time. Though they claim that they were following God they were not anymore than the Catholics and Protestants today are following God. They had a 360-day solar calendar; they didn't have a solar/lunar calendar.

They considered all of those in Jerusalem to be apostates. Many of them were Levites—renegade, paganized Levites. They were actually worshipers of the sun, and they believed in circumcision. That is a strange combination. As a result of the 360-day calendar, guess what happened to the Sabbath? It rotated backward in the calendar! There were times when the Sabbath was on what we call Saturday; then on Friday; then on Thursday; then on Wednesday. In 53-54A.D. their Sabbath was on a Wednesday. We have that in our calendar material.

When you understand what Paul is talking about here, he's talking in broad principles. Galatians 4:10: "You are of your own selves…" That's a middle voice verb meaning in the Greek a special verb—it's not in English unless it is expressed in two words. The middle voice is that you are the subject and you are the object. Whatever action you are doing, it is back to yourself or of yourself.

Verse 10: "You are of your own selves… [not from God] …observing days, and months, and times and years." You combine that with circumcision of the flesh and you've got a very volatile thing going, indeed. That's because of the calendar such as the Essenes have. Please note that it does not say Sabbath, New Moon, Feasts. It says, "…days, and months, and times and years." We'll come back to that.

Galatians 4:1: "Now then, I say, for as long a time as the heir is a child, he is no different from a servant, although he be lord of all." This is true of Christ—isn't it? What is it said of Christ? When He was 12-years-old they went to the Feast and Christ stayed behind and He was questioning the doctors of the law and the priests and they were amazed at His wisdom and understanding.

He told His parents, when they finally found Him—Joseph and Mary—'didn't you know I have to be about My Father's business?' They didn't understand that, but he went with them and went back to Nazareth with them and it says 'He was subject unto them.' He was still 12-years-old. God will not violate His own law.

Verse 2: "But he is under guardians and stewards…" This happens when we're talking about one who is going to be heir to the throne in particular. Poor Prince Charles, he's been waiting how long? It's hard to try and be your own man when you can't be your own man, even though you're out from underneath stewards and tutors; you still can't be what you want to be because your mother is still being what she is. Therefore, he becomes very frustrated. But you get the point.

Verse 3: "In the same way, when we were children… [before you were called; you can't be called unless you are reaching adulthood] …we were held in bondage under the elements of the world." We think of elements as minerals and rocks and things like that. That's not what holds us in bondage. All societies are under some sort of spiritual control, whether they be the angels of God or whether they be the angels of Satan the devil or any combination thereof. Let's see that.

Hebrews 2:2: "For if the word spoken by angels was enforced without fail, and every transgression and disobedience received just recompense, how shall we escape, if we have neglected so great a salvation; which was first received when it was spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him; God also bearing witness with them by both signs and wonders, and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? For it is not to the angels that He has placed in subjection the world that is to come, of which we are speaking" (vs 2-5).

Rev. 12:9 talks about Satan and his angels. A third of the angels fell with Satan the devil.

Let's see how God administered the covenant with Israel. He administered it through angels. He was not directly involved with Israel. Why was God not directly involved with the nation of Israel as a whole? He would be directly in the life of Elijah or Elisha or any of the other prophets or some of the kings. But why was He not directly involved with the nation of Israel as a whole? They didn't want Him to be!

If you don't want God to rule your life, He won't! He's not going to force you. When they rebelled in the wilderness, He put angels in charge.

Acts 7—Stephen giving a final witness to the Sanhedrin; and I think with this witness the destruction of Jerusalem was absolutely assured. This was the last chance for official Judaism to repent of their sins. Stephen gives this very stirring, stinging indictment:

Acts 7:51: "O stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You do always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so also do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of Whom you have become the betrayers and murderers; who received the law by the disposition of angels, but have not kept it." (vs 51-53). When they said, 'No, we don't want God directly involved in our lives, then He said, 'Okay, I have to fulfill My promise, so I'm going to do it through the angels.'

Daniel 10:10: "And behold, a hand touched me, which set me trembling upon my knees and the palms of my hands. And he said to me, 'O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, give heed to the words that I speak to you and stand upright, for to you I am now sent.' And when he had spoken these words to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, 'Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. And I have come because of your words'" " (vs 10-12). God answered the prayer through an angel.

Verse 13: "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days. Then lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; for I had been there alone with the kings of Persia."

  • Why did that happen? Whenever God fulfills a prophecy to raise up a nation, He will raise it up!
  • How does He do it? Through the means and the powers of angels behind the scenes to make sure that the prophecies and the will of God is carried out exactly as God has determined.

This tells us another thing. There are battles going on—right? This tells us that at that time there were probably battles between men that had demon angels behind them, and the other men God was raising up to fulfill His will, which then led to the coming of Cyrus the Great who would give the Jews freedom to go back to Jerusalem. The whole purpose was to fulfill His promise that at the end of 70 years they would come back to the area of Jerusalem.

Satan would not want that to be done—would He? No! So therefore, God insures that it's going to be done by using His angels to carry out His will.

Verse 14: "Now I have come to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision is yet for many days." He said, 'Well, I'm finally over this battle and I'm here.' Poor Daniel was fasting and praying for three full weeks. Talk about really beseeching God. 'When is God going to answer?' His prayer was heard from the beginning; which tells you God hears your prayers immediately! But the answer might not be as immediate as His hearing of the prayer. This world is subjected to angels called 'elemental spirits.'

Colossians 1 talks about these things, showing that Christ's covenant is greater, because Christ is far above all of those. That's why in Heb. 1 it talks about Jesus Christ having a name exceedingly superior to any of the angels.

Colossians 1:14: "In Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins; Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation… [firstborn from the dead of God's creation by the process of the resurrection] …because by Him were all things created, the things in heaven and the things on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist" (vs 14-17).

Christ is over all! That's why the covenant with Israel is called the 'weak and beggarly things'; it was administered by angels, and the covenant with Christ is administered by Christ. We have the Holy Spirit of God the Father! They had the laws of God in the letter of the Law. They had to keep them. Every transgression was mete out with just recompense.

Galatians 4:3: "In the same way, when we were children… [before becoming converted Christians] …we were held in bondage under the elements… [elemental spirits; servitude] …of the world. But when the time for the fulfillment came… [God does everything according to His plan, purpose and schedule] …God sent forth His own Son… [We are comparing the 'elemental spirits' of the world with the Son of God. That's the comparison we're looking at here. ] (here is what He did): …born of a woman, born under law" (vs 3-4)—meaning He was subject to law:

all of the spiritual laws and commandments of God
all the physical laws of His body
all the physical laws of the earth

He was subject to law, or born under law. It also means that in being subject to law, what would happen if He would have sinned? He would have had the death penalty executed against Him with no resurrection!

That's why Jesus Christ cannot be compared to any other savior, prophet or any other 'religion' in the world. This is what Paul is bringing forth here.

Verse 5: "In order that He might redeem those who are under law… In other words, experiencing the same thing:

having the same temptations
having the same trials
yet, without sin

That's why we can have full confidence in Jesus Christ. Notice why He did this:

"…so that we might receive the gift of sonship from God…. [This means that you receive the Holy Spirit of God as a begettal.] …And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, 'Abba, Father'" (vs 5-6).

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God!…. [It's not an adoption as the King James Version has it; it is sonship!] …For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (vs 1-2). How is that sonship accomplished?

Verse 9: "Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin because His seed ['sperma']… [of God the Father for sonship] …of begettal is dwelling within him… [the begettal of his mind] …and he is not able to practice sin… [doesn't mean it's impossible to sin] …because he has been begotten by God." Unfortunately, this whole verse has been badly translated in the King James Version.

What does that mean?
Is there a difference between born and begotten?

The same difference of conception when your wife comes and tells you, 'Honey, I'm pregnant.' The baby is not born that day—is it? No! It's born at full term!

(go to the next track)

Verse 9: "Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin…" The KJV says 'does not sin' but it really means you cannot practice sin. That's a difference. It means that you do sin—which you have to repent of—but you don't live in sin; you're not practicing sin. There's a vast difference.

"…because His seed… [the Greek there is 'sperma'; the seed of the Father] …of begettal is dwelling within him, and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten by God" (v 9).

  • When you sin, are you conscious that you have sinned? Yes!
  • Does that not put you in the situation then where you repent of that sin? Yes!

Therefore, since His seed remains in you, the power of the Holy Spirit makes you conscious of the fact that you are sinning so you can repent, so you are not practicing sin. That's what that verse means. It's far, far different than what the Protestants misconstrue this to be.

We covered what it is, the gift of sonship through the begettal of God. Let's come to Galatians 4:6: "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, 'Abba, Father.' So then, you are no longer a servant, but a son. And if a son, you are also an heir of God through Christ" (vs 6-7). {put in there Rom. 8:14-22}

Now, here's where we start getting into some tricky things to understand, v 8: "Now on the one hand, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to those who are not gods by nature"—elemental spirits of the world. You were in servitude or bondage to them "…who are not gods by nature." Let's see what he's talking about here. Acts 14 is a very good example and this is part of the area of Galatia. Let's see what Paul is referring to.

Not only do we have the circumcision wars, but we have the synagogue wars. In some way the experiences of Paul remind me of this fellow who is call The Pretender on television and he's trying to find his mother and father. He was always being chased by the ones who are supposed to be in control of him. Paul's experience reminds me of that, he's always being chased by the Jews here:

Acts 14:1: "Now, it came to pass in Iconium that they went together into the synagogue of the Jews and spoke so powerfully that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed."

Let's stop here for just a minute. What is the day of assembly in the synagogues? The Sabbath! Who were there? Jews and believing Greeks! This ties right in with what we've covered concerning the circumcision wars.

You had belief of the Gentiles, which they would change their belief from the pagan gods to believing what was taught in the synagogues. This made them in the condition called common, whereas before they were unclean because they were worshiping idols and had their idolatrous services. The point I want to make here is that you had Greeks who believed; Gentiles who were there in the synagogue. That's important to understand. Now then, the Greeks who were there and were proselytes had been circumcised. They finished the third step of conversion. That is the problem in the circumcision wars, as we have seen.

Verse 2: "But the unbelieving Jews… [What does that make them? Rom. 2, the same as uncircumcised—doesn't it? Yes!] …stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. For this reason, they stayed a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord…" (vs 2-3). It doesn't tell us how long a 'long time' is. This could have been 6-9 months, maybe a little less than a year.

"…Who bore witness to the message of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done through their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided; and some were with the Jews, and some were with the apostles. And when an assault was about to be made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers to insult and stone them" (vs 3-5). Typical!

What happens when religious persecution takes place? They do it by using the laws of the land! Watch that in the future! The believing Greeks were believing in what was taught out of Moses. There was Judaism involved in it, but not to the full-blown extent that we have today.

At the time that the Apostle Paul was preaching, there was not quite the paganism within the Jewish synagogues as what later came in. The believing Jews were believing in what you might say is the Old Testament at that time. Then they became believers in Christ.

They stirred up the rulers, and v 6: "They became aware of it;so they fled to Lyconia, into the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding region. And there they preached the Gospel. Now in Lystra, a certain man was sitting who had never walked; he was impotent in the feet, having been crippled from his mother's womb" (vs 6-8). {Put in there Acts 3:1-7} Is this not an exact repeat of the man at the Gate Beautiful who was healed by Peter and Paul? Yes!

Verse 9: "This man heard Paul speaking; who, after looking intently at him, and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, 'Stand upright on your feet.' And he leaped up and walked" (vs 9-10). Exactly the same thing as Acts 3.

Verse 11: "And when the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices in Lyconian, saying… [the area of Galatia in general] …'The gods have become like men and have come down to us.'…. [it's important to understand this] …And Barnabas they called Zeus; and Paul, Hermes, because he was the principal speaker" (vs 11-12). There's an ideal chance to weld together and put into a marriage paganism and Christianity—right?

Verse 13. Then the priest of Zeus, who officiated before their city… [They probably had a temple. You're not going to have a priest without a temple—are you?] …brought oxen and garlands to the gates, desiring to sacrifice with the multitudes. But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard this…" (vs 13-14). They said they were so happy that 'you recognized that we are saints from God and that we are the gods, indeed! Yes, offer your sacrifice!' NO! They didn't say that—did they? But later that's what Catholicism came to be—was it not? Yes!

"…they ripped their own garments in disbelief, and rushed into the multitude, shouting out and saying, 'Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, with the same nature as you, and we have been preaching the Gospel to you, so that you will turn from these vanities to the living God, Who made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all the things in them; Who in the past generations allowed all peoples to go in their own ways; though, indeed, He did not leave Himself without witness, in doing good to us from heaven by giving rain and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.' And even by saying these things, they could hardly keep the multitudes from sacrificing to them" (vs 14-18).

Galatians 4:8: ""Now on the one hand, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to those who are not gods by nature."

  • Were they serving Jupiter? Yes!
  • Were they serving Mars? Yes!
  • Did they have full-fledged religion? Yes!

Verse 9: "But on the other hand, after having known God… [they were converted, received the Holy Spirit of God and so forth] …—rather, after having been known by God—how is it that you are turning again… [What was it that they left? We just read it in Acts 14, rank paganism!] …to the weak and impotent elements… [spirits; because there are spirits behind all those religions] …to which you again desire to be in bondage?" Have we seen that in our day? Yes, we have; the apostatizing of the Churches of God!

An absolute key; the Protestants turn here and say that if you keep the Sabbath and Holy Days and Feasts of God then you are turning back the weak and beggarly elements of this world and you have lost salvation. That's a complete misinterpretation of this verse:

Verse 10: "You are of your own selves… [A middle voice verb meaning that they were the subject and the object; they were doing this themselves. It wasn't of God.] …observing days, and months, and times and years."

  • DaysDoes it say Sabbath? No! It does not say Sabbath—does it?
  • MonthsDoes that say New Moon? No!
  • TimesWhere are the times, in the Bible, that we are to observe? Nowhere!
  • YearsThere are Jubilee Years, but they being pagan has nothing to do with the Jubilee Years of God, which could only be celebrated in the land of Israel!

Let's look a couple of very important things to help clarify this. What we are seeing here is that those in Galatia were going back and having a very strange combination of circumcision, Judaism and paganism. Do we have that today? Yes, indeed! Down in Florida there's a group that demands that all men must be circumcised and re-baptized. Then they have a lot of the code of Jewish law that they follow, which is paganism.

Here it's a little more extreme; they're working in paganism, Jewish paganism and circumcision. This is the strangest mix of all. Let's notice the instructions that God gave to Israel when they went into the land.

Deuteronomy 18:9: "When you come to the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations." Did not Paul, in Acts 14, show them that Jupiter and Mercury were those things that they should not do? Yes!

Verse 10: "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire…" What is making a big comeback today? Walking on hot coals! It's part of 'power personality.' That's nothing more than the powers of demonism!

"…or that uses divination…" What do you use divination for? To call up the gods! To be in touch with the dead!

"…or an observer of times…" Paul condemned them for observing times.

"…or a fortuneteller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who seeks oracles from the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations, the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God" (vs 10-13)—that you're going to keep His ways.

Verse 14: "For these nations whom you shall possess hearkened to observers of times and to diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so." That's what they were going back to.

Deuteronomy 12:29: "When the LORD your God shall cut off the nations before you, where you go to possess them, and you take their place and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you do not become ensnared by following them…" (vs 29-30). It always starts out with innocent things. 'Oh, that's quaint!'

"…after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not ask about their gods… [religions, because their gods have their religions] …saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods that I may also do likewise?' You shall not do so to the LORD your God, for every abomination to the LORD, which He hates, they have done to their gods; even their sons and their daughters they have burned in the fire to their gods. Whatsoever thing that I command you, be careful to do it. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it" (vs 30-32).

Here's a key: Only God can add to or take away from what He has commanded! No man can! Only God! {see sermon series: Epistle of Paul to the Colossians; specifically: More on Colossians Two}

Please understand this: Nearly everything of the Protestants' interpretation of difficult Scriptures is the exact opposite of what they proclaim it to be. When you understand that then you will understand the Bible more.

In Gal. 4:10, if days referred to the Sabbath, why didn't Paul write the Sabbath? Did he know how to write the Sabbath? Of course, he did! I won't go into a detailed discussion of this because I have previously, however:

Colossians 2:16[transcriber's correction]: "Therefore, do not allow anyone to judge you… [that's obviously someone outside the Church] …in eating or in drinking…" If they were eating or drinking anything, then no one could judge them concerning it—correct? No!

For example: If you go into a restaurant and you don't eat pork, someone may judge you for that. Or you don't eat shrimp or lobster they think you're crazy. 'This is the greatest stuff that has come along since God's creation.' I consider all clams and oysters to be much like hard lumps of snot! That's virtually what they are!

"…or with regard to a festival… [If he meant Holy Day, would he write Holy Day? Of course!] …or new moon… [the calculation of the calendar using the new moon of the seventh month or the Sabbaths" (v 16)—showing a continuing, ongoing observance of Sabbaths. He's saying, 'Let no one judge you for that.' Why? Because they want to deceive you!
When they judge you concerning the things of God, what do they bring in and substitute for it? Their own philosophy!

Verse 8: "Be on guard so that no one takes you captive through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ." These were the ones who were judging the Colossians about observing the Sabbath, Holy Days, clean and unclean meats and the drinking of wine.

Verse 17: "Which are a foreshadow of the things that are coming…" That's the way it should read. The NIV and New American Standard have it: '…are a foreshadow of things which were to come…' giving a wrong translation; giving the interpretation that they were all fulfilled in Christ and no longer necessary.

"…but the Body of Christ." The meaning of these things are found in the Body of Christ, which is the Church. And also that the Body of Christ—the Church—is to judge you in respect of those things mentioned in v 16.

Verse 18—here's what they want to substitute: "Do not allow anyone to defraud you of the prize by doing his will in self-abasement and the worship of angels…" We'll tie that in with Gal. 4 and see the similarity.

  • Are angels God? No!
  • A true angel of God will not allow anyone to worship him—correct? Yes!

When John fell down to worship the angel, the angel said, don't do so, I'm of your brethren—worship God!

  • Will a demon angel allow people to worship them? Yes!

That's what they want! This is demonism!

"…the worship of angels, intruding into things that he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his own carnal mind." That's what all of theosophic religions and demonism and secret societies and everything is all about. This is it, right here in v 18!

Galatians 4:9: "But on the other hand, after having known God—rather, after having been known by God—how is it that you are turning again to the weak and impotent elements, to which you again desire to be in bondage?" Judaism has a form of its own ascetic that does worship angels.

In Fiddler on the Roof the music is good, the acting is really pretty good, and I love the part especially when the young man walks up the rabbi and says, 'Rabbi, is there a blessing for the Czar?' He strokes his beard a little bit and cocks his head to the side and says, 'Yes, my son, may the Lord bless and keep him far from us!' But, remember the dream that he had? What was that? A dream of angels! Here we have a strange mix—don't we? That's why Gal. 4 is so hard to understand.

  • You have Gentile paganism
  • You have Judaism paganism
  • You have the observing of different days
  • You have going back to the worship of angels
  • You have weak and beggarly elemental spirits of the world
  • You are in servitude or bondage to them and not serving God

Which then leads you of your own self because it's not of God, v 10: "You are of your own selves observing days, and months, and times and years." Meaning all of the pagan holidays of the world going clear back to even that time.

  • Were there days for Jupiter? Yes!
  • Were there days for Mercury? Yes!
  • Were there days for Venus? Yes!

As a matter of fact, Paul turned Ephesus upside down (Acts 19). He caused a near economic collapse, because that was the center of idol-making. God performed such great miracles that they were destroying their idols and burning their so-called 'holy books.' Alexander the coppersmith started a riot; he said, 'Look, guys, we're all going to go broke unless we get rid of this guy called Paul.' They had the big, riotous meeting in the coliseum where they said, 'Great is the goddess of Ephesus, Diana.' The way it is in Greek is really something!

Those were the things they were going back to. They couldn't be going back to the Truth of God, because that's what they were in. It says they were going back to what they came out of.

Verse 11: "I am afraid for you, lest somehow I have labored among you in vain." Are you afraid that some people are going to lose salvation for what they are doing? Yes! So was Paul!

Verse 12: "Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am, for I also am as you are: you have not wronged me in anything…. [remember how you started] …Now, you know that at first I preached the Gospel to you in the weakness of the flesh; and the temptation—namely, my trial in my flesh—you despised not, nor rejected with contempt; rather, you received me as a messenger of God… ['angelos'—the whole thing of angel-worship is involved here] …even asChrist Jesus Himself…. [he's reminding them]: …What then was your blessedness? For I bear you witness that, if it were possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. Now then, in speaking the Truth to you, have I become your enemy?" (vs 12-16). Isn't that something?

People can come to the point that having once known the Truth, when they apostatize from it, and they go so far and you come back and speak the Truth to them, you are actually an enemy! Why? Because they are now becoming hostile toward God and becoming carnal again—that's why!

Let's remind ourselves once again how Paul started out this epistle, Galatians 1:6: "I am astonished that you are so quickly being turned away from Him Who called you into the grace of Christ, to a different gospel." They were being turned! Have you seen people being turned? Yes, indeed!

Verse 7: "Which in reality is not another gospel; but there are some who are troubling you and are desiring to pervert the Gospel of Christ…. [now maybe this will make more sense to you]: …But if we… [the apostles] …or even an angel from heaven… [That's what they were involved in previously—angel-worship or demon-worship. A true angel of God from heaven would not say anything different.] …should preach a gospel to you that is contrary to what we have preached, LET HIM BE ACCURSED!" (vs 7-8). That's tells you the state of Protestantism—doesn't it? Yes, I does, and you will see that born out! That tells you the state of Catholicism, as well.

Verse 9: "As we have said before, I also now say again. If anyone is preaching a gospel contrary to what you have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED!"

Here is why he was questioning why he was making himself an enemy of those who had previously been converted, v 10: "Now then, am I striving to please men, or God? Or am I motivated to please men? For if I am yet pleasing men, I would not be a servant of Christ." That's the whole substance of everything that goes on through the rest of the book of Galatians.

Galatians 4:16: "Now then, in speaking the Truth to you, have I become your enemy?"

  • How does that start?
  • When you're doing something that is not right and someone points out that it's sin and you don't want to repent of it, what are you dealing with?
  • You're getting stubborn!
  • Then what do you say?
  • Well, he or she is picking on me!
  • After all, 'my heart is right with God,' so who are they to judge?

They turn it all upside down. Just like the man who was doing tile. I was doing my water therapy and was in the pool. He was putting up the tile. The conversation got around to God. He asked me what I did. I told him I was a minister. 'Oh well, I go to church.' I said, 'You really need to understand that Sunday is not the Sabbath.' He says, 'Well, I know that, but God knows my heart.'

If I would have pursued it any further, you know I would have an enemy right there. That's what happens. In telling the truth, and they become your enemy, it is because they do not want to accept the Truth unto repentance. That's what it's all about.

Verse 17: "They are zealous after you… [yes, they want numbers] …but not for good; rather, they desire to exclude you… [Reverse disfellowshipment—right?] …in order that you may be zealous after them…. [Following a man instead of God!] …Now, it is right to be zealous in a right thing at all times, and not only when I am present with you…. [so, he concludes this section here]: …My little children, for whom I am again laboring in pain until Christ has been formed in you" (vs 17-19). Christ in you, the hope of glory!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in it's Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Galatians 3:21
  • 1 John 5:2-3
  • Hebrews 10:16
  • Matthew 5:19
  • Luke 17:5-10
  • Romans 2:13
  • Galatians 4:10, 1-3
  • Hebrews 2:2-5
  • Acts 7:51-53
  • Daniel 10:10-14
  • Colossians 1:14-17
  • Galatians 4:3-6
  • 1 John 3:1-2, 9
  • Galatians 4:6-8
  • Acts 14:1-18
  • Galatians 4:8-10
  • Deuteronomy 8:9-14
  • Deuteronomy 12:29-32
  • Colossians 2:16, 8, 17-18
  • Galatians 4:9-16
  • Galatians 1:6-10
  • Galatians 4:16-19

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 12:9
  • Hebrews 1
  • Romans 8:14-22
  • Acts 3:1-7
  • Acts 19

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • Refuting Sunday-Keeping (What is the Administration of Death?)
  • Epistle of Paul to the Colossians (More on Colossians Two)

Miscellaneous material: Calculated Hebrew Calendar

Transcribed: 10-14-12