The Spiritual Law vs. Rituals

By Herbert W Armstrong

21 January 1984


Well, I think there’s something very important that I need to get to tonight, and I think I’d better get right at it. Now last Sabbath I gave you a number of new truths that have been restored to God’s Church, in the last 50 years by this Church. Some of the truths were restored, but not to the entire Church, up to 56 years ago. One truth about the annual holy days and God’s festivals were restored. And I restored the truth to the Sardis Churches in Oregon, and they laughed me to scorn. As far as it went, the only members up there that observed them were Mrs. Armstrong and myself for about seven years. And then soon (and it’s the parent Church of the Philadelphia Era had been raised up in Eugene, Oregon) the Philadelphia Era began keeping God’s holy days. Many new truths were restored then. Many more have been revealed and restored since. And it really is amazing when you stop to think about it, so many things that no other church understands; none believes, not one.

I want to give you just a quick little summary of the history of the Church in the first 150 years or so. It began in 31 AD. You see, originally God had put an archangel on this Earth. The great cherub, Lucifer, sat on a throne; and the Earth was populated by angels, and he was sent here to administer the government of God. He was perfect in his ways, and did follow the laws of God (until iniquity was found in him) from the day he was created, because he was a created being. And then destruction, physical destruction, came to this Earth as a result of his sin and the sin of the angels. He tried to pull off a coup against God in God’s heaven and take over the throne of the entire universe, being dissatisfied to rule only this one earth, this one planet Earth out of all the universe; but he was cast back down. And he became Satan the devil, instead of the beautiful archangel; and his former angels became demons.


Then God sent forth His Spirit, as you read in the 104th Psalm and verse 30; and He renewed the face of the Earth for man, because the face of the Earth had been destroyed and come into decay and a state of being waste and empty as a result of the sin of the angels. And God decided to create HIS OWN FAMILY.

Now one of the truths that is not known by any church is that God is a Family. Some people (I believe the Jewish people) regard God as one person. The Roman Catholic Church and I think most Protestants regard God as a Trinity, three persons. They think the Holy Spirit is a ghost, a personal being, a person. Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit being “rivers of living water.” [John 8:38] I don’t know any person that is “rivers of living water.” He talked about the Spirit being POURED OUT. You can’t pour out a person.

They say, “Well, why is the Holy Spirit called ‘he’?” It is in some places, that’s only the… Well, in some languages they don’t use the term ‘it’ like we do in the English language. It’s either ‘he’ or ‘she.’ I remember that over in Europe, Mr. (Oh, can’t I think of any name when I want to think of names?) Who was the head of all our grounds over there, chief gardener? Anyway, he loved plants. And he talked about certain plants; and he said, “He likes this. And he likes that” (speaking of a plant—calling them ‘he’ instead of ‘it.’) And that’s done in other languages. But also you will find the Holy Spirit is called ‘it’ in many places, in the book of Acts and other places in the Bible. It’s not always called ‘he’ at all. And it is called “water.” Jesus said:

John 8:37-39 If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38)…and out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER. (39) (But this spake he of the Spirit) [The Holy Spirit, not a ghost.]

Well, God created a human man out of the dust of the ground, but in the form and shape of God. He had a brain like other animals except it was all in the form and shape of God, even the brain. And also He placed in the man a human spirit so that it could receive with it, (It was not complete until it also received with it and living in the brain) the Spirit of God, to unite him with God—because God formed man after the God-kind and cattle after the cattle-kind.

God formed man to be potentially God’s Family, to be BORN of God through His Spirit and to become part of His “Family of God”—the God Family. But this super-archangel, now turned Satan, Lucifer (who now became Satan the devil), came along; deceived Eve, tempted Adam. (Or, Adam was tempted) and Adam was kidnapped. And Adam was the beginning of the expansion of God’s Family, and God intended His Family to expand from that one man.


Now Eve was not created out of the ground, like Adam. She was made from Adam. And they two, then, began to reproduce. And the first man born was called Cain, and he came from them, and then Abel, and then Seth, and then other sons and daughters. And then other children came out of them. And so the potential Family of God (which, God had intended potentially to become His Family; and it still is God’s potential Family, if we understand.) had been kidnapped in Adam. Adam made the decision for himself not only, but all of his family. Adam seemed to prefer the way of Satan, taking knowledge to himself, doing his own thing.

Satan had not done God’s thing. He had not ruled by the law of God. He had not administered God’s government. He did his own thing, and that is Satan’s way—vanity and doing your own thing in defiance of God. And that is what he tempted Eve to do, and deceived her into doing. And so God’s potential Family had been kidnapped. And Satan didn’t kidnap the child, because I think you can say that Adam was like a child when he was first created. He had to receive a lot of knowledge that had not yet come ready-made into his mind. But he WILLINGLY went into the captivity. And his CHILDREN have WILLINGLY stayed in that captivity ever since. And they have loved the kidnapper more than their potential Parent, God. And so they have been as-it-were “adopted” by the kidnapper, Satan. And they have, therefore, become the children of Satan.

Then in due time, God sent His own Son to be born of a human woman; and He was both man and God. He was God in the human flesh. He was called “Immanuel,” which is a Hebrew word meaning “God with us”—God in the human flesh, God made human so that He could die. While God is immortal, yet He had come into the human form for the very purpose of death. And He came to pay the ransom price. God paid the ransom price, and Jesus was the Ransom; and with His death He paid that ransom price.

Now He didn’t come to try to snatch Satan’s children away from him and say, “We want to adopt them as God’s children.” Oh, no. God’s Family has to be born of God, until they BECOME GOD because they are born of Him. The churches don’t know that. That’s a truth that is exclusive to this Church! And you are a guardian to such wonderful truth! Well, I wonder if you understand it brethren, if you realize it? And if you realize what the responsibility is that you possess such truth, which is unknown to the billions all around the Earth. Only [known to] the very few that have come out of all these billions into the Church of God.


But Jesus came as THE SECOND ADAM. And He came not to change over and make the people change their minds and all say, “Well, we’ll come and be adopted by God.” Oh, no. They have to be born of God as He intended in the first place. If Adam had taken the Tree of Life, he would have been begotten of God, just like we can be if we receive the Holy Spirit. And, in due time, he would have become a child of God, very God—just as Christ was when the second Adam, when He was resurrected from the dead.

But Jesus came and started now the God Family, which the first Adam should have started; but the first Adam didn’t. He was willingly kidnapped. And THE WHOLE WORLD is still held captive by Satan the devil, AND BLINDED and regard him as their god. And they don’t understand it, and they don’t know it. And Jesus came as the second Adam. He was born human as a Child of God; and He was God as well as man. And so the God Family (beginning to increase) started with the one Man, the second Adam, Jesus Christ.

He called twelve apostles. He taught them the way of God and the law of God, by which God governs the world. And the law is merely the rules of conduct, a different way of life than the way the world is living. The world is living the way of Satan, the way of vanity, the way of doing your own thing, the way of resentment and bitterness, and opposition and hostility against God and God’s way of life. Jesus came and lived God’s way of life. He taught His disciples, and they began to live God’s way of life.

Then the Church was founded, after Jesus died and was resurrected. And altogether, including those Twelve, there were 120 that had followed Jesus. And then on the day that the Holy Spirit came and was POURED OUT… Not a person, but a Spirit that entered into and filled each being. It wasn’t a person filling each one of them. But it was, in a sense, the life of God and also the life of Christ; and now it became their life, and they were made one with God. They were however begotten, not born. They became HEIRS of God, not yet inheritors or possessors. A day or so later, another 2,000 were added; and then things began to happen.

Now, let me give you just a little piece of, thumbnail as-it-were, quick history of the first 150 years of the Church. There was opposition immediately, and the first opposition to the Church was Jewish. The Jewish people refused to accept Jesus as the Christ. Now the twelve apostles then became twelve eyewitnesses, like a jury, to PROVE that Jesus was the Christ. They had been with Him 3 ½ years before His crucifixion and death. They had been with Him then 40 days after the resurrection TO PROVE that He was a Man that had died, that was resurrected from the dead and the proof of Christ.

Jesus had been asked, during His ministry, for a sign to prove that He WAS the Christ, the promised Messiah. He gave only one sign; and that sign was that He would be three days and three nights in His grave, in the heart of the earth. The churches don’t believe that. I mean, they don’t believe He was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. They think He was in there only one day and two nights. And yet that’s the only sign He gave; and they deny THE ONLY SIGN that He gave by their Sunday, because they observe Sunday in honor of a Sunday resurrection of Christ. And He wasn’t resurrected on Sunday at all, but on the Sabbath day—near the end of the Sabbath, in the late afternoon that day.


So now the first opposition of the Church was Jewish, who refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah. And so the purpose of the teaching of the twelve apostles was to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. They were eyewitnesses. But they did preach the gospel of the Kingdom. That was the gospel Jesus preached! The GOVERNMENT OF GOD to rule the whole Earth. THE KINGDOM OF GOD - A FAMILY that will rule and become a great nation, a Divine Nation ruling all nations on the Earth.

The early Church, then, became Jewish. It was some little time before the gospel went to Gentiles. Peter took the gospel to Gentiles a little later on, over to the house of Cornelius. You read of it in the tenth and eleventh chapters of the book of Acts. And then, later, the apostle Paul was commissioned as the leading apostle—and Barnabas with him, and then others later were added as apostles and as evangelists and other offices in the Church—carrying the gospel to Gentiles. Now, that began a little later.

But in the early Church, when it was all Jewish, there was opposition. And the first opposition to the Church was simply… Well, in the first place, they didn’t even believe that Jesus was the Christ. Once they accepted that, then wanted to fasten on the Church the RITUALS of the law of Moses and circumcision. Now the rituals of the law of Moses is something I’m going to explain a little later, as we go along.

All right, the third thing that happened next—this opposition put an emphasis on Jesus as the Messiah, and it had a tendency to de-emphasize God the Father. Now bear that in mind, because I didn’t mention that Sabbath. That’s another truth. I don’t know that I’ve mentioned that before. Perhaps some of you never thought of that. Let’s say we are revealing that truth then right now. And so the de-emphasizing of God the Father came on, and they began to look on Jesus as God.

And so a great controversy then sprang up, and this was after the apostle Paul had been around, and getting around between say, oh, 51 and 70 AD. From thirty to fifty years or so from the time the Church was started. A great controversy came about as to whether THE GOSPEL should be the gospel about Christ (just about Christ that He was the Messiah) or whether the gospel should be the gospel OF Christ. In other words, the same message that He brought and preached. Now the gospel OF Christ is the gospel Jesus preached! The message He brought, that God sent by Him as a Messenger to mankind. That is the true gospel. A gospel about Christ is merely man’s gospel, about Christ. It is NOT Christ’s gospel at all!


Then ensued what I call “The Lost Century” of history of the Church. For about 100 years (from at least 50 AD up to 150 AD) you find practically NO HISTORY whatsoever of what was going on in the Church. It’s a blank. It’s like a curtain is rung down on history; and then the curtain rises up in about 150 AD, and you behold a church calling itself “Christian,” talking about Christ (yes, and naming itself after Him). But you behold then a church that, by that time, had turned grace into license; had done away with repentance; had done away with obedience to the law of God and the government of God (and had lost that truth); and that was just preaching about Christ.

That was about 150 AD. And a great controversy arose at that time then, for some little time—especially as to whether we should still observe the Passover, or do away with that and observe the pagan Easter. There was a disciple of John, Polycarp, who argued for the Passover (as the apostle John had taught him). But some others had come in and entered in to deceive, the brethren and entered into the Church (called themselves members of the Church); but they entered in to deceive the Church. And they wanted to get the pagan Easter in, instead of God’s Passover. And that became a fact, and it was to the death, and some were killed because of that controversy.

By that time they had already turned grace into license. Now, let me see. I think you’ll find it in Jude. I have to determine, well that’s the wrong Bible. I have to have the Bible now in three different books to get print large enough so I can read it. In Jude the third and fourth verses. (If I should tell you chapter 97, I hope you’d understand the difference.) [People laugh.] “Beloved…” This is written pretty close to 90 AD.

Jude 1:3-4 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that [you should carefully] you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. [They began to get away from the real truth right then. That was written before the close of the First Century.] (4) For [he said] there are certain men crept in unawares [Now, that is speaking to members of the Church. They were accepted, but they weren’t converted.] who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [which means license to disobey] License to disobey.

You know the Catholic Church at times gave “indulgences,” which meant permission to go ahead and sin; and it was forgiven before they committed it, turning grace into license. That has been done. That’s an absolute historic fact that that happened.


Now, the churches today have continued to be deceived. And they scarcely mention God except when they are mentioning the Trinity, in connection with the Trinity. I wonder if you ever noticed that most of the people—if you listen to other so-called “electric evangelists” (and I don’t call myself one)—but if you listen to those that are on television or radio preaching, they preach about Christ. You never hear them say much about God. Now there’s a reason for all of that, and that’s really the subject I want to go into tonight. I want to explain that. They have LOST the knowledge of God and of the God Family, and that we can be born into the God Family. You don’t hear them saying anything about that. They don’t know it. They’ve lost all that knowledge. In fact they never knew it. That was lost before they were born. I mean the Church lost it in former generations.

So they have a “no law” doctrine. They say Jesus nailed the law to the cross; Jesus nailed the Ten Commandments to the cross. Now the law is the basis of government. So they deny government. No government in the Church. So, tonight I want to go into that subject.

There is a program on television. I’m sure that some of you have caught parts of it at least, whether you listen to all of it or not. It’s been going into the book of Galatians recently, taking verse by verse. And that can be very deceptive if you don’t understand it. But Jesus came to reconcile us TO GOD. Jesus didn’t come to convert us to HIM. He came as our Savior, and the blood of Christ doesn’t save anybody! The blood of Christ reconciles you to God.

Your SINS have cut you off from God. Now, let me explain that. There is one Lawgiver, and that is God. There is a government in this universe. God is the same as our Congress in the government of the United States. Jesus is the same as the President of the United States that is in comparative office. That is, He exists; He’s administering the government of God. And He conquered Satan, who was put on Earth to administer that government on Earth; and Jesus has qualified to come and administer that government on the Earth when He comes again, which He will.

But faith in Christ and then receiving, as I’ll explain a little later, the faith of Christ has the purpose of reconciling us to God. By the blood of Christ we are reconciled to God the Father! Now, we are saved by Christ; but not by His shed blood. We are saved BY HIS RESURRECTION. And who resurrected Him? God the Father. And He taught us, when we pray, don’t just pray “Lord Jesus.” He said pray, “Our Father which art in heaven.” And He said whatever we ask THE FATHER in His name (the name of Christ) the Father will do—if we ask according to what God has promised and if we have the faith to believe. So I wanted to give you that little background before we start.

Now recently, this particular person that I mentioned to be going into the book of Galatians a great deal. And from here on, I want to into certain phases of the book of Galatians. I don’t intend to cover the entire book. I want to cover one phase of it, however; and I want to straighten out one thing. And I hope that it’s being recorded; and perhaps that this part at least, can go out to other Churches.

Now Paul starts the book of Galatians “Paul, an apostle.” Instead of signing his name at the end, in those days they put it at the beginning. And then he tells who he is:

Galatians 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.) (2) And all [that are with him, and so on. Then coming to verse 6, he says:]

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of [God] unto another gospel.

They were already getting away from the true gospel that Jesus had brought and preached. They were talking about man’s gospel about Christ, instead of the gospel of Christ; and they were getting away from many things.

Now remember the Galatians. Who was he talking to? The Gentile Churches in Galatia. They were mostly Gentiles. There might have been a Jew here and there among them, but they were primarily Gentile. And you have to remember who Paul is writing to. Now they were being deceived, and Paul was writing this letter to straighten them out on some of the deception.

Galatians 1:6-7 …gospel, (7) which is not another; but there be some that trouble you [there was opposition] and would pervert the gospel of [Jesus] Christ.

Not a gospel about Jesus Christ, but the gospel OF Jesus—which is the gospel He proclaimed. That is what they were talking against. Now I’d like to drop down to verse 11. I’m only going to cover certain phrases that I want here. But he says:


Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man…

And, brethren, I want to say to you the same thing. The gospel that I have given you is not after men—I say just exactly as Paul did, for he continues;

Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

And the Book, the Bible, is the revelation of Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to reveal to His servants the things shortly that should come to pass. [Revelation 1:1] I say to you the same thing that Paul said to the Galatians. Next he says:

Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversion in time past in the Jews’ religion [I think my conversion in times past was in the field of business—the conversion into Christ, coming to God.], how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God.

Now there’s the name of the Church. Which Church did he persecute? “How that I persecuted the Mormon Church...” “How that I have persecuted the Lutheran church...” “How that I persecuted the Roman Catholic Church...” Can you find that in your Bible? Who did he persecute? - THE CHURCH OF GOD. Well, I didn’t persecute the Church of God. Matter of fact, I didn’t know very much of anything about it.

Galatians 1:14-15 And [he continues] profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals… [And so on; Now continuing in verse 15.] …But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and CALLED ME by his grace.

Now I say the same thing; “When it pleased God to call me.” And no one can come to Christ except God the Father draws him, or calls him, or chooses him and so on. [John 6:44]

Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me…

And God revealed it to me through the written Word. Jesus is the personal Word of God. The Bible is the same Word of God—exactly what Jesus taught the disciples, but it’s in writing. The same Word of God in writing. He was the Word of God in person.

Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son [or, Christ] in me that I might preach him among the heathen [or, the Gentiles]; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.

I can say the same thing. I didn’t confer with other people to learn what is the truth. I was challenged! I didn’t go to other people to learn whether it was true or not.

Galatians 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me.

All right, take my case. Neither did I go to a theological seminary to let men teach me the truth about the Bible—to stick a funnel in my head and pour their ideas into it. I went directly to the Bible itself, just like Paul went directly to Christ. Now I’ll show you.

Galatians 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia...

And he mentions later that he had been with Christ, and spent about three years with Christ; and he was three years in Arabia, and there’s no other time when he could have been with Christ. That’s when he got it, and Jesus taught him in person. Jesus taught me through His Word. The Bible is Jesus, just in writing.

Galatians 1:17 …and returned again unto Damascus.

So I received the truth the same way, and have relayed it on to all you brethren. Now coming to the second chapter, he says:

Galatians 2:2 And I went up by revelation [In other words, God revealed it to him somehow through the Spirit that he should go.], and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation [That means at Jerusalem, apostles.], lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

In other words, he was comparing whether he had the same truth as they did. Now Jesus had taught him, and he found he believed exactly what they did—because Jesus taught him the same truth that Jesus Christ had previously taught them. “But neither Titus”… I think before this he said that he went up to see Peter. He primarily went to Peter, and there’s a reason why he went primarily to Peter instead of all the apostles.


Galatians 2:3-4 But neither Titus, who was… [This was, in the 15th chapter of Acts it is recorded.] being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. (4) And that because of false brethren unawares brought in.

Now remember that a lot of this ‘truth’ had come from false brethren inside the Church! And we had that happen. And I found that some false brethren were teaching Bible in Ambassador College and teaching CONTRARY to God’s Word! They are not with us any more, thank God. And we run out anyone like that as soon as they’re spotted and we know who they are.

Galatians 2:4 …unawares brought in, who came in [privately] to spy out our liberty.

Now he talks about liberty, and he’s talking about liberty from the slavery of sin. Sin is the transgression of God’s law. And you are really in bondage when you’ve sinned because whatever you sow you are going to reap. And there can’t be a law without a penalty, and the ultimate penalty of breaking God’s law is death; but there are other penalties in the meantime.

Galatians 2:4 …our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.

I just wanted to mention that there are false brethren. Now we’re going down to verse 7.

Galatians 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter.

Now, do you see? Peter was the leader of the Twelve. Paul was the leader of the apostles sent to the Gentiles. Now there are some who deny that, and say they were all equal. You can’t have any kind of organization without leadership. Someone has to be in charge! You can’t run a business without it. You can’t run a government without it. You can’t run an organization or an institution without a head. And democracy means all of the people do the governing, if it were a pure democracy; but the United States is NOT a democracy. We just call it that. We don’t have democracy. We have a republican form of government. You might think that one over. A lot of people don’t know that, but that is true.

Galatians 2:8-9 (For he that wrought effectively in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles.) (9) And when James, Cephas [That’s another name for Peter.], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision [or the Jews].

Now I’m going to turn from there, to get to the points that I want to have you understand tonight; to verse 15.

Galatians 2:15-16 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, (16) knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by THE faith OF Christ.

Do you get something there, brethren? We believe in Christ. That is our own faith. We supply that faith. That’s something we produce, that faith. We come to believe. Even we have believed in Christ. We did that, in order that we might receive another kind of faith FROM Christ. That’s HIS FAITH put, by the Holy Spirit, into us! That’s why people don’t have faith, brethren. They don’t have THE FAITH OF CHRIST. That means having the same faith Christ did have and still does have. We have faith in Christ IN ORDER THAT we may receive the faith OF Christ. And that’s not our own faith at ALL! That’s Christ’s kind of faith—His faith put in us through and by the Holy Spirit.


Now, some things are mentioned here; and I want to show you, because this man I was mentioning, if you ever turned into his broadcast (and I’m not urging you to do that).

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law.

Now, he says you are not justified by keeping the Ten Commandments. And for someone who is ignorant of it, that looks perfectly natural; and they swallow that hook, line, and sinker. The word “works” is translated from the Greek word ‘ergon.’ E-R-G-O-N. And it refers to physical labor or work. You can look it up in Young’s Concordance or any lexicon, I mean; and so on. Now I want to read you what the Fenton translation has on that same verse.

Galatians 2:15-16 (Fenton) We are naturally Jews, and not sinners from among the heathen. (16) But we know that a man is not made righteous by ritualism...

The works of the law were physical laws, physical labor. Do you see any physical labor in spiritual laws? The Ten Commandments are a spiritual law. In Romans 7 and verse 14, Paul says the law is spiritual (not physical). In Romans 7:12, he said the law is holy and just and good. And he said by his mind he wanted to obey and serve the law of God; but he found another law in his body, in his members, that worked against the law of God—in his so-called human nature.

Galatians 2:16 (Fenton) We believe in Christ Jesus so that we may be made righteous by the faith of Christ [Now the faith of Christ is Christ’s own faith. The gospel of Christ is Christ’s own gospel, same way.] … and not by legal rituals; because by legal rituals no person will ever be made righteous.

Now Fenton translates that as being “made righteous.” The King James translates it as being “justified.” Now there’s a difference. Being justified means the past is squared up, justified. Or, in other words, the penalty has been paid for you is what it really means. It doesn’t mean to justify it by saying it’s all right to do it. But it means that it’s been wiped out, justified, cleared off. Like you made a wrong mark on a blackboard, you take an eraser and you erase it off. Now some things you can erase. But you can make some marks on some things you can’t ever erase. And you can do some sins that you can rectify, but others you never can do anything about. If you kill a person, there’s nothing you can do about it. He’s dead, and you can’t bring him back to life. And some things, once they’re done, they’ve been done.

Coming to verse 15 now, same chapter.

Galatians 2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles.

Oh that’s what I did read, isn’t it? The works of the law, in other words, rituals—physical laws and I want to explain that a little later.

Galatians 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves (also) are found sinners…

Now, what is sin? And what does he mean “sinner”? Sin, the only Bible definition is I John 3 verse 4:

I John 3:4 Sin is the transgression of the law.

But the law is spiritual. Sin is a spiritual thing, not a physical thing. The Ten Commandments are the law that is sin to transgress.

Galatians 2:17 If…we (ourselves also) are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin?

He says you can’t keep a certain law. It was a law of rituals. Now, is Christ the minister then of sin? - Because sin is the transgression of the law. It says right there, he doesn’t mean the Ten Commandments at all. But this man reads it as if it were the Ten Commandments. Now let me tell you the deception.

Galatians 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ [Through His death, paying the penalty in our stead.] we ourselves also are found sinners [That is, transgressing the Ten Commandments.] is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

And in {1} I John 2:4 (I think it is verse 4.):

I John 2:4 [If any man say], I know him [that I know Christ. I know God.] and keeps not his commandments, [he] is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

All right, let’s continue on now.

Galatians 2:18-19 For if I build again the thing which I destroyed [What he’d destroyed was breaking the Ten Commandments, the sin. Now if you go back and break the Ten Commandments again,] I make myself a transgressor. [Transgression is a transgressor of the law.] (19) For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto [Christ].

Now let me read that in the Moffatt, not Moffatt but the Fenton translation. (Now wait till I get the verses, it’s rather difficult to go through these things. You’ll have to be patient with me. My eyesight is becoming quite a problem.) It’s verse 19.

Galatians 2:18-20 (Fenton) For if I loosen such as I have torn down, I prove myself foolish, (19) for through a law I died to law, so that I might live with God. (20) I have been crucified with Christ, but I live; yet still not I, but Christ lives in me.

Christ said, “I have kept My Father’s commandments.” If He lives in us, He will still be keeping His Father’s commandments—because He said: “I’m the same yesterday, today, and forever. I change not.” He kept God’s commandments. If He is living in you, He’ll keep God’s commandments in you.

Galatians 2:20-21 (Fenton) But Christ lives in me. (21) [Later on, he says:] if righteousness comes through a ritual, then Christ died [to no purpose, or] in vain.

Now let’s go back to the King James, verse 20.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by THE faith OF the Son of God [Not my faith in Christ, but Christ’s own faith placed in him. So he had the same faith that Christ had…”the Son of God”], who loved me, and gave himself for me. (21) I do not frustrate the grace of [Christ]: for if righteousness come by the law [And he’s talking about the law of rituals.] then Christ is dead in vain.


Now coming on to chapter 3, beginning with verse 2:

Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you [you Galatians, or you Gentiles up there in Galatia.]…

Galatia is the country where Turkey is located today, in Asia Minor; and there were a number of Churches up there in that day.

Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Receive ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Now that is chapter 3 and beginning with verse 2. Here’s the Fenton translation of that:

Galatians 3:2-5 (Fenton) I only want to learn this from you, Did you receive the Spirit from a law of rituals [You can’t call the Ten Commandments ‘a law of rituals.’] or from communication of the faith? [That is, communication that is the faith that’s come into you.] (3) Are you so senseless? That having begun spiritually [according to the spiritual law] you would now end in the flesh [In the fleshly law of rituals, which is physical and physical duties which they had to do morning, noon, and night. Now I’ll explain that later, as I said a while ago.]. (4) Have you suffered so much for nothing? If it was really for nothing. (5) Then did he who brought the Spirit to you and worked powerfully in you do so by a law of rituals?

He asked the question and I didn’t read that in the King James yet but that’s in verse 5. Now let’s take verse 5 in the King James.

Galatians 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, [There again, “rituals of the law.”], or by the hearing of faith?

Well I might as well explain this right now. God gave ancient Israel different laws. Now remember that Israel was a nation. The overall basic law was a way of life—the spiritual law, the Ten Commandments. That law is love. It’s a way of life. Now it was divided into the two great laws: (1) love towards God and (2) love towards neighbor. It’s always out flowing love. It’s not incoming lust. It is out flowing love for the good of others and having concern, caring for others, being concerned about their welfare as much as your own. And not only being concerned of God’s welfare as much as your own; but love towards God means praying towards God, and obedience towards God, and love towards God. But you don’t have the love that can love God until God gives you THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE LOVE OF GOD “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit”. In other words, God gives you HIS LOVE to fulfill the law.

Now the law of God is a spiritual law. And what performs it? What fulfills it? LOVE is the fulfilling of the law, because the law is love. That’s what is the way of life. Now it is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5, or is it Romans 5:10? - Whichever.) That was the basic law, of course. That’s spiritual. That’s eternal.

But they were a physical nation; and, as a nation, they had to have national statutes and judgments. Now let’s compare it to the laws that that we have—like the Constitution of the United States, and the laws that men make, laws of the government that regulates one man’s relationship to another by getting down to every little thing. Well, statutes and judgments that God gave Israel were all based on the Ten Commandments, but they were separate laws and they went into much more detail, as the local laws of the nation.

Now they had a third kind of law and that not only included animal sacrifices, which was a substitute for Christ (And a very poor substitute one might say, because it is impossible for the blood of goats, or lambs, or whatever, to forgive sin.); but they were, as you read in the New Testament, a reminder of sin.


Then they had a law of rituals. Now the rituals were physical in meat, and drink, and different washings; and physical things to do morning, noon, and night. Now they were to teach them the habit of obedience. For example, up in Oregon one time, I had started preaching down in Eugene, Oregon and had started the first, parent, Church in this era. And my wife and children were still up in Salem, Oregon. I went home over the weekend occasionally. Of course, a little later they all moved down to Eugene with me; but for a while they still stayed up in Oregon.

And so when I came home over one weekend, for a day or so, my wife told me that (Let me see. Which one of my sons was it? I guess it was my eldest son.) Dick had gotten so he wouldn’t do a thing she told him. She’d tell him something, and he just wouldn’t pay any attention. Or he’d say “Well, okay.” But he never did it. So I determined to do something about it.

Now I am reminded of Basil Wolverton, who was with this Church for a long time; and he’s dead now. But he kept the Church up in Vancouver and even in Portland alive for quite a while, as a local elder. But he was quite a cartoonist, a nationally famous cartoonist. But he always had a sense of humor. He called to say something, it was funny. Everybody knew of course, it was funny. For instance, he’d say “Well, I think I’ll have to go home and beat up on my wife.” And everybody, he’d say that right in front of her, and she’d begin to laugh. He’d say, “Now, wait a minute folks. I don’t mean to beat her with my fist. I didn’t mean that.” He says, “In fact, I’ve found a club much more effective.” [Audience laughs] Then, of course, everybody laughed. He was always bringing out something like that. He had a great sense of humor.

Well, I did punish my sons. I don’t remember what I did with my daughters. My sons came along ten years later, after my daughters. But I remember how I punished my son. And I didn’t do it with a club, or with my fist, or with my bare hand. I took a table tennis paddle, or a ping-pong paddle. I was careful to get one that had a smooth face. Some of them you know have a sandpaper face that would get off the ball when you hit it. Well of course, well that could really hurt because sometimes I’d paddle on the bare bottom, you know. And I paddled enough that I found that it would sting. Oh, boy, it would sting! But it didn’t bruise, and it didn’t do any physical harm; but it did get the lesson across.

Well, I punished Dick this time. And I said, “Now, are you willing to obey your mom when she speaks to you?” And he said, “Yes, sir.” Oh I said, “Well let’s see if you are.” I said, “You see that chair over there. I want you to move it and put it over here.” And so he moved it to another place. He did it, and I said, “Good. Now you did what I told you, when I told you.” Now I had him do something else, then I found something else—had him move it to some other place, now do this, now do something, now take that chair and put it back where it was in the first place; now do something else. I said, “Now you’re beginning to get the point.” I said, “You get in the habit of obedience. Now, when you are spoken to, you must jump and mind right now!”

Then I called his mother in; and I said, “Now, you tell him what to do. Let’s see if he’ll jump and do it when you tell him.” And, you know, he began get the habit. And the next week she told me while I was gone that he obeyed what she told him. He developed the habit of obedience.

Now there’s another way I used to illustrate this when I preached up in Oregon many, many years ago—up to 50 years ago. I saw in a magazine… Mrs. Armstrong sent me­­­­­ a very fine magazine, called The American Magazine. I don’t know if any of you remember that magazine, or not? You’ve got to go back a good many years, if you do. It was a very fine magazine. I used to read it. But they had a sort of a test in it at one time, to test your intelligence. And this was a question: What is easier to remember, to wind a one-day watch (like a wrist watch, with just a one-day pocket watch) or to wind an eight-day clock (one you have to wind every eight days)? Well now, if someone says the eight-day clock, that shows how ignorant they are! The one-day clock becomes habit.

For many years I carried such a watch. It was a pocket watch, and I bought it during the beginning of World War II. And such watches were only for railroad men. The public couldn’t buy them. But the local jeweler up in Eugene, Oregon had one; and, for some reason, why he had an extra one that he could sell. And I needed it to time myself on my broadcast. It had a large face, and a very easy face to remember; but I had to wind it every day.

Now, as I would take that watch out of my pocket at night before going to bed, I would wind it before I laid it on the dresser, or the table, or wherever I laid it. It got to be habit. And, you know, I developed such a habit I never forgot. But an eight-day clock, you can’t remember when eight days comes along. Something that you do constantly becomes habit.

God instituted these RITUALS to develop THE HABIT OF OBEDIENCE into the Israelites back in the days of Moses. There were things to do morning, noon, and night. Now, long after both Israel and Judah had been taken into captivity and a colony of Jews went back under Zerubbabel. And then the priests at that time were Ezra and Nehemiah. And after those days (Now that was about 500 years before Christ, so maybe two or three hundred years later, but still long before Christ.), other rabbis later began to take these rituals and use a pagan doctrine with them.

Now the pagans didn’t have anything like grace. They didn’t have any forgiveness of sin. Rather the pagans, if one had sinned, they had to punish themselves an equal measure to make up for what he had done; and that justified his sin, so they thought. You see it didn’t at all. But these rabbis took these rituals and made them a sort of penance for sin and used a pagan doctrine. And that had been changed by the time of Christ, and the Jews were doing that in the time of Christ. Now you have to get a little history to know all of those things. But there were these various laws.


Now the rituals were to teach them the habit of obedience. They were a substitute for the Holy Spirit. Now when Christ came, there were no more animal sacrifices because they had been just a physical substitute for the great spiritual thing of Christ giving His life. Also, when the Holy Spirit came, they didn’t need rituals to teach them the habit of obedience. They had the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, which was the love that fulfills God’s law. Now I want you to understand that. Now we come down to verse 10 here, I believe. Yes, verse 10.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the BOOK of the law.

Now, these rituals and animal sacrifices were given to Moses; and he wrote that law IN A BOOK. And it was called “the book of the law.” When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, he had all of that. (Now, let me see. We’ve got here Romans 21, that’s not the one I want. Well, I think I can find it here in the Old Testament.) In Deuteronomy the 31st chapter and verse 24, Moses is writing this:

Deuteronomy 31:24-26 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this LAW in a book, until they were finished, (25) that Moses commanded the Levites [who were the ministers of that time, the priests], which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, (26) Take THIS BOOK of the law [that had all these rituals and sacrifices and things written in it], and put it in the side of the ark [That’s outside of the ark, but in its side, but outside of the ark.] of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against you.

Now, let me see. That is the{2} 31st chapter of Deuteronomy. Well now, wait. What was I reading in the New Testament here? At that point, I want to get that in the Moffatt, or rather the Fenton translation; and that will be verse 10 of Galatians 3. (It’s rather difficult for me with my poor eyesight to just keep all these things and find them, because I don’t see so readily.) In verse 10 and 11, let’s see. No, I have to begin ahead of that. So, beginning in verse 9:

Galatians 3:9-12 (Fenton) So those of faith are blessed with the faith of Abraham, (10) for whoever dependeth on a law of rituals are under a curse: For it is written that all who do not continue in all the writings of the book of the law to do them are under a curse. (11) But it is clear that none in law are righteous with God because the righteous shall live by faith [and he’s explained that it’s the faith of Christ.], (12) but the ritual did not come from faith.

Now continuing on in verse 10… That’s what I’ve just read. It says here “the book of the law” and “the works of the law” again meaning rituals. Now continuing on in verse 17:

Galatians 3:17-19 (KJV) And this I say, that the covenant [now speaking here of the Old Covenant], that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was four hundred and thirty years after [That’s after Abraham.], cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. (18) For if the inheritance [And the inheritance, of course, is the Kingdom of God…”if the inheritance”] be of the law [He’s talking about the law of rituals.], it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. (19) Wherefore then serveth the law? [What good is it then? Now, get this. The law of rituals—what good was it then?] It was added because of transgressions…

Now, brethren, stop and think. What are transgressions? Your Bible says: “Where no LAW is, there is no transgression.” That’s in the book of Romans.

Romans 4:15 …where no law is, there is no transgression.

So there had been a law being transgressed that constituted sin. So there were transgressions, or sin. Now then, get what I just read.

Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law [of rituals]? It was added [Now, it was added later. Added to what? - Added to the Ten Commandments. It was added…] because of transgressions [The transgressions are of the Ten Commandments, not of the law of rituals. It was added because of transgressions,] till the seed should come to whom the promise was made [And that “seed” that was to come was Christ.]; and it was ordained {3} by angels in the hand of a mediator [referring to Moses there].


Now verse 24:

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, [To teach them the habit of obedience. You see, a “schoolmaster” to bring them to Christ.] that we might be justified by faith.

How would this other man explain the law was a schoolmaster? He dealt on that last Sunday morning, if you happened to be listening. I happened to hear part of it last Sunday. I didn’t hear it all.

Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come…[You have no more need of the schoolmaster.]

Faith comes by the Spirit of God and through the Holy Spirit. So when the Holy Spirit had come, the Holy Spirit through faith gave you obedience to God and the mind of obedience; and you didn’t need the law of rituals any longer.

Well, this moment in time has come along; and time is up. “Even so…” Now coming on to the 4th chapter.

Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

Oh, you have to realize to whom he’s talking. “The elements of the world” are, oh, the customs of the world. And it goes on and says you desire to want to return. Who wanted to return? - These Gentiles. Now they try to say you want to return back to the law of Moses. They never kept the law of Moses. Consider to whom he is writing here. “You,” he goes on to say (verses 9 and 10):


Galatians 4:9-10 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, [The elements or customs of the world.] whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? [in bondage of sin.] (10) Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Now whether they observed days and months and times and years, he said, “Yeah, you observe these annual holy days and the weekly Sabbath, shame on you!” Now someone who didn’t know any better would swallow that. All right, who is he talking to Gentiles? What did they want to return to? They wanted to return to days… (I’m going to take just an extra few minutes. You’ll have to pardon me, but I want you to get this.) To days, and to months, and times, and years. What about Christmas day? What about Easter? What about New Year’s Day? What about St. Patrick’s Day? Does the world observe days that that? They always did. They always did.

Now one of the things they wanted to return to was times. They wanted to return to the observance of “times.” Well, let me show you something in the Bible; and its back in Deuteronomy, the 18th chapter. Now in verse 10. Here is the law of Moses.

Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times [Now get that: “An observer of times.”], or an enchanter, or a witch.

“Observers of times went along with enchanters, and witches, and that kind of thing. And it was FORBIDDEN in the law of Moses! Now they wanted to return to what was forbidden in the law of Moses. And yet this man tries to tell you that they wanted to return back to the Sabbath. That’s what he was hitting at. He was hitting at the Sabbath. All right, now verse 14:

Deuteronomy 18:14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess [Gentile nations.], hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the [Eternal] thy God hath not suffered thee to do so.

You can’t return to the observance of times, and so Paul is telling them here. He’s not telling them not to return back to the Sabbath. He’s telling them “You mustn’t return to the Gentile days and times,” Fortune tellers, witches, things of that kind.

Well, I won’t have time for any more tonight; but I don’t think you need any more. I think that should be enough to explain the little tricks that so many of them have to try to…

And why do they want to get around the Sabbath? - Because the Sabbath is holy to God. The Sabbath is holy to God. They say they want to keep “the Lord’s day.” They say Sunday is “the Lord’s day”? Show that me in the Bible and I’ll give you a check for a thousand dollars. I might as well make it a million dollars. I don’t have that in my own account. I think maybe I could make the thousand, but not the million. I don’t have to worry about it. You can’t show me, because it isn’t there.

No, they were Gentiles; and they wanted to return back to the ways of the Gentiles, some of them. Well, I think time is up. I’m going to let you go home and get a little sleep, because we have more services coming tomorrow.

Transcribed by PLH January, 2006

{1} Editorial note: Mr. Armstrong inadvertently gave the wrong chapter.

The original said: “In I John 3:4.”

{2} Mr. Armstrong inadvertently gave the wrong chapter..

The original said: “That is the 24th chapter of Deuteronomy.

{3} Mr. Armstrong stumbled over his words here.

The original said: “…by an angel in the mind of a mediator. Now wait a minute. In the hand of a mediator, not mind.”