(NB Headings are not part of original, but are added for clarity)


By Herbert W Armstrong

19 July 1980


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

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

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

Already the enemies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ were getting very busy. Well, I might just pause there on that very briefly this time, before we go into it. The Church started as the Church of God, but it was Jewish. At the beginning it practically... well I guess all converts at first were Jews. However, there was a strong contention that arose almost immediately to go back to the rituals of the law of Moses.

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

I am busy right now in writing, rewriting, because I had written this completely and even the chapter on beyond it, but in writing the chapter in the coming book of “A Voice Cries Out” the chapter on 'Why Did God Have the Nation Israel?' What was the purpose of the nation Israel of the Old Testament? They were the Church, or they usually used the word congregation, which means the same thing exactly as church, and it comes from the same Greek word in the New Testament – “eklesia” – but they were also called... as a church they were called the “congregation of Israel.” But they were also a nation, as a nation they were called the “kingdom of Israel.”

Proving God Exists (PLAY FROM 04:29)

Now, the kingdom of Israel, after the death of Solomon, was divided into two different nations. And I have been surprised that so few seem to understand that. For example, I have been looking through a book here, “The Encyclopedia of American Religions.” It was just published in the last year and a half or two years. It’s brand new. It even has my son, Garner Ted’s, Church of God, International, mentioned in it. It mentions all of the little offshoots that have come off of us. It mentions a lot about us, and of course, gets it a little twisted around, and it says that I got all of the truth from the Sardis people, except that I borrowed some truth from some other people. But I got it all from people.

Now, that is a boldfaced lie. I did not get it from people. It’s true that I had read one or two other writings, and a book of J. H. Allen on the truth about the lost ten tribes, but in my original conversion... my wife had taken up the Sabbath. To me, that was fanaticism. I couldn’t talk her out of it. I went into this biblical study because I insisted that the churches couldn’t be wrong, but the Bible had to say, “Thou shalt observe Sunday,” because all of the churches observed Sunday. And I said, “They all get their religion right out of the Bible.”

Well, when I began to examine it, I was very shocked and surprised very early in my night-and-day research. The first intensive part of it lasted six months, and of course it never has ended, it’s still going on. But when I discovered that the churches did not get what they teach out of the Bible, but they teach exactly the opposite of what the Bible says. Now, then I learned that what I had grown up believing was wrong.

Now, I had also studied evolution, and my head was really swimming for a while, because I said, “Well, is there even a God?”

I said... I realize now, but I never realized before, I’d always supposed that God existed. I was sure He does. I was taught it from a boy. I was raised up in church in Sunday school. So I just took it for granted.

But I said, “I have never proved it. I have never seen proof that there is a God, and that God exists.” So I said, “Now, I won’t accept it unless I can prove it.”

So I went into that first. And I just sidetracked my wife’s contention about keeping the Sabbath, for the time being. I had to prove whether God exists first. I did prove it, and I completely disproved evolution. Now I have since proved it to others too, but it didn’t make any difference to me whether I proved it to others or not. I had to prove this to myself. I have convinced atheists, since, that God does exist, and forced them to admit it. One of them said, “ But I won't worship that God if you do make me admit He exists.” Then I told him that he would in the end, and after that he left me alone.

The Bible Is The Inspired Word of God (PLAY FROM 08:08)

But I came to the place where I found that what I believed could not be relied on. I found that other churches had gotten their religion from other men. And I said; “I will not get it from other men. I will not believe what other people say. I will believe only what I find God says.”

Now, the next thing, after I had proved the existence of God, I had to prove, is the Bible the word of God?

Now, at first, before I had proved about God, I said, “If there is a God, I’m going to find if He communicated to mankind.” Now, there are a lot of religions, and every religion had their book, their kind of Bible. Like the Mormons have the book of Mormon, and the... well, we call them Mohammedans, but that’s not the name that we should call them the - Moslems, yes. They have the Koran, and they all have their sacred writings.

And I said, “I will go into everyone of them and see if any one of them proves to be the word of God.” Well, I took the Bible first, and before I got through, I PROVED to my totally complete satisfaction, that the Bible, in its original writings, is the precise, exact, inspired word of the living God. And I proved that God exists.

I said, “Now, I will believe what God says. But I will not go by anything that man says.” I didn’t, though, say that I will shut out of my mind even examining anything that any man or different churches say and believe. I did examine the beliefs of some of them. And I examined this so-called Anglo-Israel theory, they like to dub it. But I checked it very carefully with the Bible. And I only believed what I saw in the Bible. I didn’t believe, and I threw out a lot of what they have.

Now, in this book, I am recorded as the leading exponent of that theory today, and yet it goes back about two hundred years. And the whole thing, they say, is anti-Jewish, it is anti-Semitic, and it is racial. Now, I have never had anything like that in my mind from the beginning or up till now. But he assumes because some of them did have that idea. And I think that some in England did. And for a while, Jews were barred from entering England for quite a while. But finally you know, they had a Jewish Prime Minister, Disraeli, but that just shows you that when men write things, they never get it straight.

And I’m supposed to have gotten most of what I believe from the Sardis people, and I got this from the Anglo-Israel people, and I got something else from some other people, but they can’t understand that you could get truth from anybody but people, because he got everything he believes from people. Most people do. I don’t know any religious leader on the face of the earth who received what he knows except that he got it from other people. Do you? Tell me if you do. Who is he? They get it from other people.

How does the average preacher ever become a preacher? Well, he wants to be a preacher. Well, he’s sort of brought up in a certain denomination, he’s a Protestant of one of the hundreds of Protestant churches, or else a Catholic, or whatever. So he’s going to go to a Bible school, or a seminary, or he’s going to take the teaching that comes from that church.

The Plain Truth Mazagaine Conceived (PLAY FROM 12:33)

And what is the system of education in this country anyway? You go to school, you start with the first grade, the second grade, the third grade, in elementary grades at school, and they teach kids certain things. And the kids sit there and believe what they’re taught, and believe what they’re told. Education in this country is a system of memorizing, or in this world, I should say, not just this country only.

After I got through my original study, before I was ordained, but during the first year after I had been converted and baptized, I conceived the idea of a magazine to be called The Plain Truth. That was in the year of 1927.

I had a letter-artist, (professional letter-artist) design the front cover for me. And I had an artist also draw a picture for an article. And the picture was in a schoolroom of maybe about second or third grade kids, and there were their desks, all of them sitting up at their desks, the same kind of desks that you find in elementary schoolrooms, and there were all the children, and every child had a funnel stuck in his head. The funnel was stuck right down in his head. The teacher was going along with a pitcher that was labeled, “ready-made propaganda,” and she was pouring it in each child. And my article was, 'Pouring Ready-Made Propaganda Into Your Child’s Mind'. And I wrote an article on how they were doing that, and on the system of education.

Now, that was seven years before God lead me to start publishing The Plain Truth magazine. Finally, The Plain Truth came out, a poor excuse of a magazine, if you could even call it that. I had to stretch my imagination to call it a magazine. Here’s a copy of issue number one...Volume number one, Issue Number One. And I could reproduce this. This is a good article today. It’s just as timely right today. 'Is A World Dictator About To Appear?'

I’d have to change it a little bit from a dictator, but – oh we could still use that word. And there’s another article in here, 'What Is Real Spiritual-Mindedness?' How many people know what spiritual-mindedness is? Not very many do. That’s a good article. It would be good to reproduce that in The Plain Truth today. It would be very good to do that.

Well, to stay on the track, I had this stamped very indelibly in my mind, and I made up my mind I would receive only what God says. Now, I did look...I studied what the Methodist church had, I studied what Baptists and the others had against the Sabbath. I studied what Seventh Day Adventists had in favor of the Sabbath, and what the Sardis Church of God Seventh Day had about the Sabbath. But I studied the Bible, and I threw out everything they had that was not according to the Bible. And I don’t know anybody who got his religion RIGHT OUT OF THE BIBLE.

The McNair Brothers Come To Ambassador College (PLAY FROM 16:24)

Now, a young man came to me in the second year of the college, it was just after the Feast of Tabernacles, I believe, when the college had already started a week or two or three. His name was Raymond McNair. I don’t know that any of you have heard of him or not. He’s still around, and he had not read any of the literature of other churches, had not been taught by other churches, but he had studied the Bible.

Now, he had been whipped by a whip by his father because he had sent off to Montgomery Ward or Sears Roebuck, to buy a Bible, and he cried and everything, he was just a little kid. And later, his father relented, he and his brother wanted to get a Bible, and said you can have one Bible between you but you can’t have two Bibles.

They only studied that Bible. And then they began to listen to radio religious broadcasts. But they got disgusted and said, “Well, that’s not what the Bible says, they’ve been saying just the opposite of what the Bible says.” So they turned him off. Then they listened in one day and they heard The World Tomorrow, and they heard my voice. And he said, “Well, we’ll listen to this guy, and we’ll see how far off he is.” And pretty soon they said, “Well, that’s what the Bible says.”

And they listened some more and said, “Well now, he’s preaching just what we read in the Bible.” So they came to my front door one day after the Feast of Tabernacles. They wanted to ask one question first. They said, “We want to ask one question. We found your preaching what the Bible says, but one thing we don’t understand, why do you observe Sunday, and why don’t you keep the Sabbath?”

Well, I said, “I do.” They said, “You do? Well, we supposed you observed Sunday.” “Oh no.” Well, I guess I hadn’t put much of that on the air, and they didn’t know what I believed about the Sabbath. So I asked these couple of boys, I said, “Why aren’t you at Ambassador College?”Well, they said, “They didn’t suppose they could afford it.”

Well, I said, “Look,” (I think this was on Friday morning), and I said, “You have only Sunday,” but I said, “Can you get out and find you a job on Sunday, before Monday morning?” “Yes, we can.” Well, I said, “You go find that job, and if you do, you appear over at the college Monday morning, I’ll see that you get in. You find a way to work your way through, and I’ll see that you have your tuition paid.” So they did. And Mr. Raymond McNair is still with us to this day.

Well, anyway, I came to the truth. Now, that’s exactly the way the Apostle Paul did. He was taught by Christ. The original apostles were taught directly by Christ. Jesus Christ was the word of God in person. The word of God in writing is the Bible. It’s the same word exactly. I was taught by the same word the original apostles were, the same as Paul, except I got it in writing, and they got it in person. But the message and the teaching is exactly, precisely the same.

Animal Sacrifices And Rituals Until Christ (PLAY FROM 20:31)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Works Of The Law (PLAY FROM 24:58)

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

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

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

Simon Magus Mystery Religion (PLAY FROM 26:34)

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

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

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

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

The Protestant Movement And Grace (PLAY FROM 28:59)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Promise To Abraham (PLAY FROM 31:17)

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

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

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

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

But she was his wife, that’s the main thing. When he said, “she’s my sister,” what he meant was, she’s not my wife when she was his wife. So it really was a lie. And yet, while Abraham was not perfect, no man has been perfect but Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Abraham obeyed God, and Abraham believed God.

Now, after Abraham finally did have a son, Isaac, when he was a hundred years old, Sarah was ninety, then God told him after his son was... well, I don’t know, he must have been just about full grown, and God says, “Take him out and sacrifice him.”

The Ultimate Test (PLAY FROM 33:37)

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

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

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

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

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

“Whatever it was,” I said, “I know God has healed you, and we can now have a son.”

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

The Physical Versus The Spiritual Law (PLAY FROM 37:11)

But, anyway, he was talking about that, and how Isaac and all these promises have come by faith, but in verse twenty-nine above.

Galatians 4:29-30 But as then he that was born after the flesh [which was Ishmael] persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. (30) Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

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

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


Now, to chapter five.

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

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

Galatians 5:1 ...and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, the SPIRITUAL law – the Ten Commandments – written by the finger of God on the most enduring thing that they could be written on – stones – tablets of stone hewed out. And they were kept INSIDE of the Ark under the Mercy Seat – under the very throne of God. But the Mercy Seat was a type of the throne of God. It was kept in a different place altogether than the ritual law.

The “book of the law,” though, is referring to the rituals. And the “works of the law” refers to the rituals. You need to keep that in mind. But if it just talks about works alone, that can also mean righteousness, but “ergon” of the law, or “book of the law” always refers to the physical rituals. And there are no exceptions. Therefore;

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

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

Forgiveness For Past Sins (PLAY FROM 42:58)

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

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

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

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

The Physical Rituals (PLAY FROM 45:47)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, I tell you, when you look into Strong’s Concordance and see the word that is given that whatever Greek text they’re using in this. I haven’t used this book much yet, and I don’t remember just which Greek text this used. It’s the Naso Greek text. I don’t know anything about how good that text is.

Anyway, circumcision was intended to be done on the eighth day of the birth of a boy baby. Now, apparently, it does not hurt the baby so much at that age. And I don’t know whether the baby suffers or not. I had my two sons circumcised. I’ve always recommended it, but as a health measure, but not as a religious ritual, of course, or ceremony of any kind.

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

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

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

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

Love Fulfills The Law (PLAY FROM 50:41)

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

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

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

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

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

That is, not under a ritual. That's the only law he's been talking about in Galatians so far. You don’t have to obey that.

The Works Of The Flesh (PLAY FROM 53:37)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, chapter six.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Physical Versus The Spiritual Law (PLAY FROM 58:02)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I tell you, we’re going to reap a great reward a little bit later. Let me tell you something I’m coming to believe. I’m coming to believe that we have never understood at all about the Laodicean Church. We keep wondering and saying, “Where is the Laodicean Church?” It isn’t here yet. There isn’t any such church – not yet.

Where Is The Laodicean Church? (PLAY FROM 1:02:17)

Brethren, look, put a lot of things together. Put the seventh chapter of Revelation together with some things you’ll find in the twelfth chapter of Revelation. Now in the twelfth chapter of Revelation there's a war in heaven. Satan loses that battle. Michael and his angels conquer Satan and his demons. Satan and his demons are cast back down to the earth.

They will have gone up. And I’d say that probably means again, because I believe that what you read back in Isaiah fourteen is speaking of a time before the creation of Adam. So then, what you read in the twelfth chapter, and... let’s see... is it verse seven or nine, of Revelation, must be referring to about our time now, a war in heaven between Michael and Satan, the former Lucifer.

Now, Lucifer is cast down, and he persecutes the Church. Then the next thing that happens, the Devil is so full of WRATH, and it's the DEVIL’S WRATH THAT BRINGS ON THE GREAT TRIBULATION, and THEN THE CHURCH ARE GIVEN THE TWO WINGS of a great eagle, SHE WILL FLY TO A PLACE of protection, and will not have to suffer through the Great Tribulation.

Now, after that, Satan goes and persecutes the REMNANT of the church. What’s the remnant? A remnant is the LAST. There are seven different phases of the Church pictured in the second and third chapters of Revelation, and the last one is Laodicea. And that’s AFTER the Great Tribulation, and Satan goes to persecute that one, and they still though, are keeping the Ten Commandments – the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus.

Alright. Now, go to the seventh chapter. We come to the time right at the end of the Great Tribulation, and the time has come for the Day of the Lord, and God to send His plagues. And an angel goes ahead and says, “Wait. Hold up. Hold back these plagues a little bit until we’ve sealed God’s servants in their foreheads.” And then you’ll find sealed the one hundred and forty-four thousand, and another great innumerable multitude of all nations that no man can number it’s so great.

In other words, after the Great Tribulation, and after they have seen the frightful signs in the sky, in the sun, and the moon, and the stars, people running and crying to the rocks to fall on them and hide them from the face they’ve seen. they have seen the face of God IN HEAVEN! And I tell you, people are FRIGHTENED TO DEATH. WHO ARE THESE great innumerable multitude? Who are the hundred and forty-four thousand?

They’re not a... the Seventh Day Adventists used to say when they got a hundred and forty-four thousand, they’d be the hundred and forty-four thousand. Well, of course they got about three or four times that now. So now they have to change their doctrine. So they’re not the hundred and forty-four thousand. Well, now, we’re not up to a hundred and forty-four thousand members yet, but we’re on our way, and we are at least at the halfway mark or farther. Well, I don’t think we’d better start saying anything of the kind like the Adventists did.

Taken To A Place Of Protection (PLAY FROM 1:06:06)

We are the Church that will be taken to a place of protection, where we will be fed and nourished. Now, how? I don’t know. If we were... in what we picture is we’re all in one place. We’re all in Pasadena. God picks us up and takes us all to some other place on earth. But listen, the Church is all over. The Church is over in the Philippines. The Church is, part of it individual members but no organized Church, in Japan. The Church is down in Malaysia.

The Church is in Singapore. The Church is in South Africa. The Church is in Australia, and the Church is in New Zealand. The Church is in the Islands of the Pacific. The Church is in Canada and the United States. The Church is in England. The Church is all over Europe. The Church is in different places all over Africa. The Church is up in Scandinavia.

Well, WHERE ARE WE GOING TO GO? Where are we going to pick us all up in a group? Brethren, it’s time for us to begin to think a little about that. Because definitely the Bible says we are to be given the two wings of a great eagle to go into the wilderness into our place. But remember Satan is real, and we are going to be protected from Satan.

Now, Satan has never struck at the Church as a whole. The Church, as a whole, has never been persecuted until last year when the State of California hit us with that lawsuit. That was against the Church as a whole. We’ve had persecutions against individuals, and I’ve been persecuted, and the leadership of the Church has been persecuted, but the Church as a whole has not, until then.

So we’re very close to the time of being taken to the Place of Safety. Now, then, out comes, after we’re gone, out of the Great Tribulation, and they have been IN the Great Tribulation, the hundred and forty-four thousand, and this other great innumerable multitude. Who are these?

Revelation 7:14 These are they which came out of (the) great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and [been made white]

The Laodicean Church are those who are going to come -, they are going to find... someone is going to lead them, and the Church will not rise up, and will not be actually formed until after we’ve gone into a place of protection, and after our work is finished, and our time is over. It’s not going to be contemporaneous with us. It will come after us.

Now, I’ve never said that before. We have never had this straight before. We have never understood it. And I have never come out with a definite doctrine on it before, because we’ve never understood it before. But God is revealing it to me now.

God Still Revealing Truth (PLAY FROM 1:09:32)

Now, take what I have printed, oh some weeks... four, or five, six months ago now, I believe it was in The Worldwide News or in The Good News. I had the twelve sixty, the twelve ninety, and the thirteen thirty-five days of Daniel twelve. Put some of those things together. Put a lot of these things together, and with the Great Tribulation, and all of these prophesies. They’re all beginning to come in and fit into a certain picture right now. We have never had them straightened out before.

I’ve never claimed I’ve got everything straightened out yet. But God has revealed truth to me and is STILL REVEALING TRUTH TO ME! And it’s about time a lot of us begin to wake up and realize that, because if it’s truth you’d better get in on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I think we’re gradually coming to see a little more of the development of the things – of events – that are coming like to the event of WHEN will be the Laodicean Church, and so on. People have said that Garner Ted Armstrong is starting the Laodicean Church. I’ve said, “No.” It will be, for one thing, the Church of God, and God does not start a church based and started on bitterness, and on resentment, and a church that is trying to get its members by taking them away and stealing them from someone else. But it happens that it’s only done the Church of God good by taking only the embittered, not all together only, but most of those that went were troublemakers.

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

So, with that I will dismiss the Service.

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