The purpose of “Galatians Pilgrimage“, jointly written by a husband and wife (hereafter referred collectively as “the authors” or “we”, and singularly as “Carl” or “Sarah”), who, incidently, do not consider themselves to be “Biblical scholars” by any means, is not to write still another “
inoffensive” commentary or critique on this Epistle. The reader will discover from the start that we have become very firm in what we believe the Lord is saying to us through this Epistle and have done our best to back up our position with facts. Now, Paul’s Epistle to the Galatian churches confronted an issue of far greater significance than what was going on in the other congregations of his day: namely, legalism – a doctrine of salvation by good works; and lies – falsehoods uttered for the purpose of deception. Each church in the region of Galatia as well as the others had been planted with the gospel proclaimed directly and untainted from the Apostles’ mouths themselves, thus forming the necessary foundation – “which is Jesus Christ” – for the church and its individuals to grow and mature. In “Galatians“, Paul faced not only outsiders introducing legalism and lies, but also those who challenged his Apostolic authority – a necessary strategy if one was to be successful in his mission. These same tactics have continued throughout the centuries and are intensifying as we await the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The chief evidence of our findings is found in the content of the message being preached today from the pulpits as well as via the airwaves and printed material. What we are seeing and hearing is “ another gospel” of a different god masked in “ another Jesus” who is similar to but not the “GENUINE JESUS“. As with the Apostle Paul, we too are very concerned about what we perceive as the mass invasion of the Body of Christ described in the Holy Bible by nonbelievers who, for the most part, desiring an “ inoffensive Jesus” and thus this “ other Jesus“, have “changed the truth of God into a lie“. The result has been a social colossus called the “ modern church” built by men and driven by works of the flesh. Now certainly, there must be congregations out there who have, through sound Biblical teaching which includes the preaching of the Cross, maintained a biblically-based church in the truest sense of the word, preaching and teaching the genuine and thus “COMPLETE JESUS”. They would typically be small in number that rely strictly on a particular biblical version to be discussed, the absence of worldly hype, and the reliance on the Spirit of God to bring in converts, thus truly fulfilling the Great Commission. Worship services are for believers, not nonbelievers. The “ modern church” is beyond what the Apostle Paul faced in his day. For the most part, the nonbelievers are in control. Thus, instead of confronting the “ modern church“, we desire to locate, communicate and fellowship with those who share a similar frustration or who are honest seekers of the “COMPLETE JESUS”.
“Galatians Pilgrimage“, a 500 page verse-by-verse journey through Paul’s Epistle on a scale which may have never been equaled, will function as a litmus test in determining who these seekers are. Therefore, one purpose in this “Galatians Pilgrimage” is to define, characterize and expose the
apostasy (the desertion of what one professes to believe) which we perceive is being fueled by legalism and outright lies coming those who would deny the total Deity and Sufficiency of our Lord Jesus Christ – particularly as to His Person and His Work. It is hoped that those who confess that truly “JESUS is the LORD” and thus is “GOD manifest in the flesh” will respond.
Right from the start, more has to be said about this word “
apostasy“. It is a transliteration of the Greek word “apostasia”, a derivative of the verb “aphistemi” – to fall away; to depart; to withdraw. “Apostasia” is found only in II Thessalonians 2:3 and Acts 21:21, there translated as “ forsake” (“to forsake Moses”). In Galatians 5:4, Paul uses a different word, “eksepesate”, which is the aorist active indicative tense (point action in past time) of “ekpipto” – to fall out of something; or a naval technical term, to be driven off course. The Galatian people Paul is addressing started out on course but were being driven off course by outsiders due to their immaturity. A significant number had fallen out of (a word picture) the realm of God’s grace into the sphere of law to obtain righteousness. If there were no repentance or change of mind, the next step would be “ apostasy“, a final departure, as Paul described in his first letter to Timothy: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from [“apostesantai” – future middle indicative of “aphistemi” – “themselves depart from”] the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Tim. 4:1-2). Now, looking at these passages and others where the writers use these two verbs, one might get the false impression that a true Christian indwelt by the Spirit of God can apostasize and thus lose their salvation by an act of their will. It is the intent of the authors to show clearly that when one grasps the picture of the New Covenant and what that is, he will see that because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, within, always seeking for the truth, and the fact that eternal life is granted to the believer, while deception may occur from time-to-time, apostasy is impossible.
So, as a result of “Galatians Pilgrimage“, using this Epistle as a model to expose the false teaching characteristic of what we perceive as the mass
apostasy of today and also the controversy which surrounded the Apostle’s personal battle against both legalism and lies as well as the outright attack on his Apostolic authority, the myth will be exposed that the visible “ modern church“, is a true representation of the Body of Christ on earth as spoken by the Lord Jesus and written about by the Apostles and Prophets in the Holy Scriptures. Rather, with few exceptions, due to its organizational and social structure, this visible church with its multiple generations of unbelieving church officials, by necessity and for personal gain, adhere to a doctrine of an incomplete work by our LORD JESUS. Why? Because they themselves believed the same message about “ another” and thus an “ Incomplete Jesus” that has spanned many centuries and have combined this with the embracing of corrupted modern Bible translations to suit their fancy, and also the incomplete Old Testament view of salvation. The result is that they project and teach the traditions of men received from prior generations plus necessary outward modifications added to make the church more reflective of and appealing to the world and its culture at any particular point in time. Throughout the centuries, having departed from the small house church concept that we see described in the Bible, it has grown like a tare into this huge wild and worldly plant with many roots in shifting sand. It has been fed by the type of legalism and lies characteristic in Paul’s day and not by the LORD JESUS CHRIST, who, as noted, said He would build the church – not the devices of man. Because of this departure, being led by “grievous wolves” , the visible organized “ modern church” as we observe it, by virtue of its structure with all its real estate and capital improvements, in order to survive and escape bankruptcy, must function more like a business or a fraternal social organization in order to meet its worldly obligations. It is the position of the authors that today’s church with all its fancy and worldly programs does not reflect the true nature of God expressed in the Body of Christ as described in the Scriptures and being revealed to those who really want “to know Him and the power of His resurrection“.
(Copyright © November, 2015 All Rights Reserved – Including “Broken Cross” image with verse.)
(Note: Don’t let our “Broken Cross” image fool you into thinking this particular cross is pagan in its origin. Actually, designed by the authors, it is intended to depict what legalism and lies has attempted to do to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike other “crosses” you may see which carry a negative connotation, ours is a sign of victory for those “in Christ”.)