Paul’s letter to the Galatians is to warn the churches about religious deception and turn the hearts of the people back to Jesus. In his opening words, the apostle wrote, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel form heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:6-8).
These churches, though having been established upon unadulterated Truth, had later been persuaded that, in addition to true repentance and faith in Jesus, it was necessary to practice the ‘deeds’ or ‘works’ of the law in order to be justified. This is seen clearly by the scope of Paul’s letter and a few particular statements he made — “For if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” and “This only would I learn of you, received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 2:21 & 3:2).
This very same perversion of the gospel has come to be the prevailing doctrine among the churches in America today. May the Holy Spirit use this brief impartation to bring this error to light and turn the hearts of many to Jesus.
For decades, false ministers have been acknowledging the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus while distorting the scriptures to persuade people that it is necessary to practice the deeds of the law in order to be justified. They may not be telling people to be circumcised and to make animal sacrifices, but the books of the New Testament are made to be a letter of law when fleshly methods of fulfilling the written Word are prescribed and perceived as the means to reach an end. In churches and Bible meetings across America, people are being taught that it is necessary to follow certain prescribed methods, taken from the New Testament, in order to access the power of God for victory concerning righteousness, health, finances, relationships, and so on. For example, couples attending church sponsored marriage seminars are given a list of do’s and don’ts to obey in order to repair or enhance their relationships. The teacher has carefully compiled this list with numerous scripture references from the New Testament and, throughout the seminar, injects a bunch of cunning philosophies to engage their minds. Silly games, or exercises, may even be set forth to help the participants grasp the various philosophies. These unknowing couples are led to believe that their efforts to obey the prescribed methods will secure God’s favor whereby he will release His power and blessing to help their relationships. The couple now have a letter of law straight out of the New Testament. Going home, the men and women have resolved to follow the directions and make every conscious effort to do so. Nevertheless, with self still seated upon the throne of the heart, both husband and wife soon come to be frustrated, short-tempered, and indignant with each other. They begin exchanging boasts about their personal sacrifices and diligence to follow the law while being quick to point out the failures and shortcomings of their spouse. Each one views themselves as righteous in the matter and justified in their selfish behavior because of the great resolve and effort they have exercised to follow the prescribed method. In other words, they are both self-righteous and self-justified, in their own minds, because of keeping the letter of law. All this resentment, frustration, and unholy behavior has occurred because these individuals have a knowledge, or letter of law, as to what should be, but lack the nature to produce it. Herein lies the problem. Neither the seminar teacher, nor the attending couples, believe the gospel is REALLY the power of God to put away the selfish, prideful nature and regenerate them with the selfless, humble nature of Jesus. If such persons did believe this truth, and gave themselves up to it, the regeneration of the Holy Spirit would produce, from the Divine nature, the mindset, words, and deeds in the husbands and wives that would genuinely enhance, strengthen, and solidify their unions. Instead, by unwillingness, or unbelief, or both, the individuals continue in the selfish, prideful nature while attempting to modify or improve themselves by keeping the letter of law which had been taken from the New Testament, presented as law by the teacher, and applied only to their intellect by his witty philosophies. This illustration provides a clear view of self-righteousness and seeking to be justified by the law as it relates to the New Testament.
I hope this is helping you see that most, and I do mean most, churches in America are currently in the same condition as those being addressed by the Apostle Paul. Day by day, false minsters are acknowledging Jesus while teaching people to be under a letter of law. Denominations and non-denominations have been seduced by the same deception — they differ only in the variety of forms, precepts, and methods that had been established by individuals who are void of the Holy Spirit. As Paul wrote, “Have I therefore become you enemy because I tell you the truth? They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them” (Galatians 4:16 & 17 NKJV).
False ministers of Christ allure people into depending upon their cunning philosophies and carnal teaching of scripture for personal gain — that they themselves may be exalted, reap financial benefits from merchandising their lies, and establish their own kingdom of dedicated subjects.
Don’t bury your head in the sand! In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul wrote, “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it” (vs 2-4). I, too, am jealous with a ‘godly jealously’. There is another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel that multitudes have now received and accepted in lieu of the Truth. The other Jesus supposedly saves people IN their sin. The true Jesus saves people FROM their sin. The other spirit is that of anti-christ. This spirit is an opposing substitute to the Holy Spirit. He is not a man — more about that in the teaching titled, “What is the Mark of the Beast…and How to Know If You Have It?” The false gospel message presents the other Jesus and moves people to receive the spirit of anti-christ. This gospel keeps self seated upon the throne of the heart with a life generated by the spirit of anti-christ. It lures people into a religion of New Testament law and produces self-righteous hypocrites. The true Gospel removes self and seats Jesus upon the throne of the heart with His Life being generated through man by the Holy Spirit. Did not Jesus say, “For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:5).
Deception is occurring through people who say, ‘Jesus is Christ’ while preaching another Jesus, another gospel, and doing so by another spirit.
In the Bible, there are two spiritual Jerusalem’s which are the mothers, or birthplaces, of two churches — the true church and the harlot church. The true is made up of those who live and walk in the Holy Spirit. The harlot church is made up of those who acknowledge the name of Jesus (demons do the same) but deny the power of the gospel to regenerate them into truly righteous, holy people. This church seeks to be justified by works and, in particular, the works I’ve described — those that are the result of making the New Testament into a letter of law. Learn more about the harlot church in our teaching titled, ‘Exposing the Harlot’.
Some additional scripture from Galatians will help you see there are indeed two entities which are perceived as ‘the church’. Let me now remind you that the purpose of Paul’s letter is to turn the churches in the regions of Galatia back to Jesus. Galatians 4:19 immediately proceeds the verses we’re going to look at. It’s important to make note of this because the verse reveals the severity of the condition and proves that the subsequent verses are relevant to the matter. It says, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you,”. Both Paul’s letter and this teaching from his letter are a spiritual labor to bring about the birth of Jesus in the hearts of those called to be the church.
Look now at Galatians 4:21-31 saying, “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar — for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children — but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written: ‘Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who do not travail! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband;’ Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the scripture say? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.’ So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free”. Please note Paul’s declaration of the symbolism used in this passage. There are two sons of Abraham, two women (mothers), two covenants, two Jerusalem’s, and clearly two entities being depicted. Of Abraham’s two sons, Ishmael was born to Hagar according to flesh; not according to the promise and Divine power of God. Hagar was a slave woman who corresponds to Mount Sinai and to the Jerusalem ‘which now is’. Hagar, Mount Sinai, and the Jerusalem ‘which now is’ represent, or correspond to, the bondage of sin and being under the law. Mount Sinai is where the law was given to Moses. This covenant has been annulled by the New, but multitudes still desire to be under the law. The earthly, fleshly, carnal Jerusalem is the mother, or birthplace, of the Ishmael entity — those born ‘according to the flesh’ — meaning they have been birthed by the mother of bondage and are under the law. These have received the message of those coming in the name of Jesus who deceive many. So, this Jerusalem represents a church that is under the law and in bondage to sin. Isaac, on the other hand, was born according to the promise and power of God. His mother, Sarah, was the actual wife of Abraham and not a slave. She corresponds to ‘the Jerusalem above’ which is free. Free from what? Slavery to sin and the law!! This is the heavenly Jerusalem. Not a city made of physical elements somewhere in the wild blue yonder. No, she is an entity made up of the souls of believers who are freed from slavery to sin. Isaac, Sarah, and ‘the Jerusalem above’ correspond to the New Covenant which provides for us to be free from sin and to live under grace; being born of the Holy Spirit according to promise. The heavenly Jerusalem is the mother of the true church. From her, the true gospel is proclaimed, and she gives birth to children by the Spirit of God. Those truly born of the Spirit, walk in the Spirit. From the text, you’ll also see that the children of slavery will ‘not be heir’ with the children of promise.
Another gospel, another jesus, and another spirit are just as prevalent today as in the churches of Galatia and Corinth. They have been conceived and brought forth out of the worldly, carnal Jerusalem and continue producing children who have a form of godliness but are slaves to sin and under the law. Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Consider this and examine yourself by the Truth to see if you’re spiritual life is one of slavery to sin and attempting to be justified by the law. If so, give yourself wholly to the power of the gospel and allow Christ to be formed in you — “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, Who also made us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6 NKJV).