“Satan walks about, looking for those whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8). He spiritually consumes 2/3 of mankind by directing them away from true Christianity. He consumes the other 1/3 using the same tactic. The difference is that he lures the 1/3 into a counterfeit version of God’s church which exhibits just enough true Christian characteristics to deceive its parishioners into believing that they are in the Biblical church. Jesus warned about this latter day deception in Matthew 24:3-5: “Take heed not to let any man deceive you. For many will come in My name, proclaiming that I (Jesus) am the Christ, and will deceive many.” He then mentioned some signs that would alert us that the end of the age was approaching. As I pointed out in a previous posting, only one sign remains to be seen as recorded in Luke 21:20. These negative signs Jesus mentioned were only the “beginning of sorrows” for earth’s sin-loving inhabitants. Throughout the Holy Scriptures, also known as the Law, the Word, the Gospel and the commandments, we are warned repeatedly about altering them in order to improve what God has put forth in writing. From the beginning some people have done exactly that and the majority have followed their lead. Only a few, as Jesus prophesied, have remained true to Him and the Father. The vast majority of salvation seekers have embraced the devil’s various versions of the Gospel (Mat. 7:13,14).
The Apostle Paul addresses this issue in his epistle to the churches located throughout the area known as Galatia. In 1:6-9 he admonishes them for turning away from God’s Gospel and embracing a “perverted gospel.” He states that anyone who teaches any Gospel other than the Gospel he and the other apostles were teaching was cursed (condemned) by God. He then emphasizes the fact that he did not learn his Gospel from man, rather he received it directly from Jesus Christ through revelation (11,12).
What we must understand is that Paul was a Pharisaical Jew whose ancestors had been slaves in the Babylonian Empire. While in slavery, the Jews (tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi) had discarded the Tora–the Books written by Moses–and had embraced the Talmud, which was book composed of the teachings of certain high-ranking men. The Jews had chosen the Talmud as their guide in the conduct (walk) of their lives. The writers were known as “the fathers.” I have read portions of the Talmud. It is a vile, Satanic substitute for the “holy, just and good” Law of God (Rom. 7:12).
Paul knew nothing about God’s Law before meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. He had known only the Talmud and, being a Pharisee, had been indoctrinated in its ungodly teachings which he called “the traditions of the fathers.” Therefore, what he knew about the Law he received directly from Jesus Christ during the years he spent in Arabia prior to the beginning of his ministry (1:15-17). Paul had been taught the Law by the very One Who had dictated the Tora to Moses. The compilation of his writings came to be known as the Tora–the first five books of the Holy Bible. That same God later wrote in stone a condensed version of what would become the entire Bible (Genesis to Revelation) which He calls the Law. That same God taught that same Law to Paul. If anyone knew God’s attitude toward His Law it was Paul, who also knew that any deviation from that Law was sin. He confessed that he had not known what sin was before Jesus taught him the Law (Rom. 7:7). He also said that he was “alive” once (as a super-religious Pharisee), but then “the commandment (Law) came, I recognized sin, and I died.” He realized that he had spent his life in direct opposition to the Lord (Rom. 7:9). He had not known Biblical sin until the Law came into his life and showed him that he was a sinner–a walking dead man. The Apostle John plainly states the connection between the Law and sin in I John 3:4: “To transgress (break) the Law is sin; for sin is the transgression of the Law.” A child can embrace that Truth. Yet the Institutional Church rejects it even when shown it in God’s Word, which Jesus called “Truth” (Jn. 17:17). God said that His true saints would know the Truth and the Truth would set them free from Satan’s false “truth” (Jn. 8:32). False Christians prefer Satan’s false “truths” which this ministry was commissioned to expose. One of those false “truths” involves God’s Law–the focus of this series. In 1:23,24 Paul states that he preached THE (one and only) FAITH (Gospel/Law/Truth/light) which brought glory to God. Rejecting any part of that Gospel glorifies man in his own eyes and proves that he “despises” both the Father and the Son (Lk. 10:16).
In 1:7,8 Paul identifies the source of the problem he has detected in the Galatian churches: “There are some in the church who TROUBLE YOU BY PERVERTING THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST “(the Gospel of the Kingdom of God which He taught–Acts 1:1-3). Read The Doctrine of the Lord. Key word–Doctrine. In 2:1,2 Paul states that the preaching of any other version of “that Gospel” would be “in vain.” This sin has cause billions of salvation seekers to be “ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the Truth” (2 Tim. 3:7).
In 2:16 Paul identifies the error he is addressing in his letter. The error concerns how to receive JUSTIFICATION–the removal of all of one’s PAST sins. Read Romans 3:25. Church people believe that Paul was referring to receiving salvation. He was not as an honest study of the letter will confirm. In the entire letter to the Galatians, Paul never once mentions salvation. False teachers were telling the people that to be JUSTIFIED one had to first obey the Law. Paul makes it clear that JUSTIFICATION is not earned by doing the “works of the law.” Rather, one is JUSTIFIED by FAITH in the Lord’s Word. Church people, believing that Paul is referring to salvation in verse 16, contend that the statement proves that the Law has nothing to do with SALVATION. First, the book of Galatians is not about salvation, but rather about JUSTIFICATION. Second, one needs to read 2:17,19.
In verse 17 Paul asks: “If, after I have been JUSTIFIED (not saved), I continue to sin (break the Law), does not this make Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.” This would make Jesus the sinner’s enabler by telling him that he needs only to repent following each sin. Sound familiar? The Lord forbids us to even think about such a thing. So the message of verse 17 is that following true JUSTIFICATION, the now sinless believer gets sin out of his life and keeps it out “until the end” at which time he “shall (then) be saved” (Mat. 10:22). The former sinner retains his JUSTIFICATION by obeying the Law, which renders one sinless, righteous and holy. This is plainly brought out in Romans 5:21; 6:22. Note that Jesus issued the command for righteousness and holiness when He told the prostitute and the man at the Bethesda pool to “SIN NO MORE.” He commanded that, having been JUSTIFIED, they must QUIT SIN TOTALLY AND PERMANENTLY. He is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11-24)–what is required of one is required of all. Please stop and read Romans 2:11-24.
Note that beginning with 2:17 Paul addresses the pastors of the churches individually. The pastors were Jews who knew the Law and who were to teach it and obey it. Note what he wrote to both the pastors and their congregations concerning the Law. Understand that this was approximately 25 years after the founding of the New Testament Church. This gave God plenty of time to tell her that the Law had been “nailed to the cross.” But He did not. But Satan did through his false prophets strategically placed in each church throughout the whole of ancient Christendom. Nothing has changed.
In verse 19 Paul makes a statement that can be confusing if one does not understand that God created TWO LAWS. “For by (obeying) THE LAW I am dead to THE LAW so that I can live for God.” Paul is referring to two different laws. The people in the early churches understood this, having been taught the Law by the apostles and the pastors they ordained to lead them. Paul’s churches were peopled by converted Gentiles who had been taught the Law and about the other law. Everyone knew about God’s two Laws. We can understand it only through intense “fine print” study. God (the One who would later come to earth as Jesus of Nazareth) wrote in stone the Law in condensed form (the Ten Commandments) while atop Mt. Sinai. Those commandments cover every sin man can commit. By obeying THE TEN COMMANDMENT LAW (thereby not sinning) he and the church did not need to obey the OTHER LAW which involved the shedding of animal blood. By obeying God’s moral Law, Paul was “dead to the (other) law.” What was that other law? when was it created? why was it created? These questions will be answered in the following posting. L.J.