Galatians and Moses

4 December 2020

Speaker: Apostle Ernie

Fear is sometimes a good thing; it protects you from doing stupid things like sticking your fingers into the outlet on the wall or touching a warm oven because you are afraid of the electricity and the heat. Fear can also be used to manipulate you into believing a lie. Humans are born with a basic instinct of self-preservation. So if a doctor says you have cancer, and prescribes a treatment plan, your primary desire for self-preservation kicks in, and you believe what they say and act on what they say. If a pastor tells you Galatians 5:2-4 proves Christians should not obey the law of Moses, your primary desire for self-preservation kicks in, so you believe what they say and act on what they say. But what if they are wrong?

Pastors and doctors have one thing in common; they are mortal sinful human beings who make mistakes. Patients and church members also have one thing in common; we make many assumptions about our doctors and pastors that might not be true. Because someone holds the office of a pastor or an evangelist, we assume they spend hours studying their Bible. We think they were taught how to understand the Bible and preach it instead of preaching and understanding human-made doctrines. But what if we are wrong?

In the interest of spiritual self-preservation, let us seek a second opinion on understanding such an essential verse as Gal 5:2-4. The best source to go to for this second opinion is the Bible itself.

When a pastor tells you Gal 5:2-4 proves we should not obey the law of Moses, they will use Gal 2:11-14 as proof.
In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul says Peter is a hypocrite. Why did Paul make such a strong accusation? The text says because Peter feared those of the circumcision (some translations might say the Judaizers.) Because of his fear of the Judaizers, he stopped eating with the converted gentiles. His fear of the Judaizers spread to the rest of the congregation so that even Barnabas was caught up in it.

Most pastors believe this is proof that Paul was telling Peter to stop following Moses’ written law. Why? Because it plainly says in the text how the Judaizers convinced Peter it was unlawful for him as a Jew to eat with uncircumcised gentiles.

But what if this is a wrong interpretation and we can prove it is wrong?

We can prove it is a wrong understanding because of what happens in Galatians 2:11-14. When the Judaizers arrive, Peter withdraws and stops eating with the converted Gentiles because it is unlawful for him as a Jew to eat with gentiles. The only problem is that nowhere in the written Torah (Moses’s written law) does it say a Jew can not eat with a gentile. This is the same thing as with Peter’s vision on the roof. In the text, Peter says that it is unlawful for a Jew to enter the house of a Gentile. Nowhere in the written Torah does it say it is illegal for a Jew to enter the home of a Gentile.

So why did Peter believe it was illegal for him to eat with gentiles? Why did the Judaizers believe and convince Peter it was against Jewish law? Because the Judaizers did not obey the written Torah, they followed Halakah and Talmud, which is the same as the oral Torah. We see this in Gal 6:13, where Paul says those who preach circumcision do not obey the Torah.

Now we are beginning to understand Paul is not telling us to reject the written law of Moses. He is telling us to reject Talmud and Halakah. And now we know who the Judaizers are.

Who were the Judaizers or the circumcision party? A group of Jews who believed Gentiles had to obey the oral Torah. To this, Paul says no, nobody has to follow the oral Torah. Yehovah only expects us to observe the written Torah (the written law of Moses.)

Perhaps you can agree, based on the fact that there are no commandments in the written Torah saying a Jew can not eat with a Gentile, or a Jew can no enter the house of a Gentile. But then you might be questioning, where does Paul say we have to obey the written Torah?

All through Paul’s letters, we never see him telling anyone, neither Jew nor Gentile, not to obey the written Torah. Instead, we see in the book of Acts how Paul is falsely accused of teaching Jews and Gentiles not to follow the written law of Moses. But each time that happens, he refutes his accusers and proves them wrong.

If we allow the Bible to speak for itself, we can’t find any proof anywhere for Paul’s teaching against Moses’ written law. But what we can prove is that Paul teaches, rebukes, and warns against legalism. Paul defines legalism as tradition, obeying men’s doctrines and opinions instead of the written Torah of Yehovah. This is 100% in agreement with Yeshua in Matt 23:2-4, where he says, do not obey the Pharisees when they teach tradition. But when they teach the written law of Moses, we must always follow them.

According to Paul, if you replace the written Torah with doctrines and men’s traditions, you are legalistic. You are not only legalistic, but you will also be obligated to do the whole tradition, and you have also fallen away from grace. (Gal 5:2-4)

So what Paul is saying in Gal 5:2-4 is this: If you obey tradition instead of the written Torah, you have made Christ of no effect.

What are most Christian denominations teaching today? They teach their doctrines, their traditions as the commandments of God. Baptists, Pentecostals, Catholics, Lutherans, 7th-day Adventists every denomination teaches you how to worship their understanding of Jesus their way. According to Paul, this is legalism, which will cause you to lose your salvation because if you adhere to legalism, you have made Christ of no effect. (Gal 5:2-4, Matt 7:21-23)

If you are reading this, it means you are still alive. If you are still alive, you still have time to repent from legalism and come back to Torah reconciled to Yehovah by the cross. Do not wait; when you are dead, you are dead, and it will be too late for you.

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