A problem in Galatia!

Earlier in the letter to the Assembly of YAHWEH in Galatia, Paul was scolding them for being led astray by "some" who were perverting the Gospel of Messiah.

  Gal. 1 (6) I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Messiah unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Messiah.


Gal. 3 (1) O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes YAHshua Messiah hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (2) This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (3) Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?


Who were the "some" who were leading the Assembly in Galatia astray and how were they perverting the Gospel with things pertaining to the flesh? They were the very same people doing the very things that were mentioned in Acts.


Acts 15 (1) And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. …(5) But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. …(24) Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:


Simply put, the problem was these Pharisees which believed in the Messiah had convinced the Assembly at Corinth that in addition to believing in YAHshua, they had to be circumcised to be saved.


Why were these people teaching that circumcision in the flesh as part of the requirements to be saved? They were teaching it because they themselves were not willing to suffer any persecution from their very own people (Jews), for YAHshua and for the sake of the Gospel!


Gal. 6 (12) As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross [stake] of Messiah.


Because YAHshua said the following, I say, "Woe unto them"!


Mat. 16 (24) Then said YAHshua unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [stake] , and follow Me. (25) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.


In opposition to those Pharisees, Paul was telling the Assembly in Galatia the following:


Gal. 5 (1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Messiah hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage [by being justified by the observance of all of the legalisms of the Older Covenants Torah]. (2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised [because you think that you will be denied salvation without it as they have convinced you], Messiah shall profit you nothing. (3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised [because you think that you will be denied salvation without it as they have convinced you], that he is a debtor to do the whole law [which would also include sacrificing annimals etc.]. (4) Messiah is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the [observance of all the legalisms of the Older Covenants, especially circumcision] law [Torah]; [then] ye are fallen from grace. (5) For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. [not by observing all of the legalisms of the older Covenants Torah] (6) For in YAHshua Messiah neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.


However, this was not meant to be a total ban on circumcision or participating in any older covenant law as Paul had Timothy circumcised. He did not do this because Timothy would be in danger of loosing his salvation if he was not circumcised. (He did it because the Jews would not listen to Timothy if he wasn’t circumcised.)


Acts 16 (1) Then came he to Derbe and Lystra and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: (2) Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. (3) Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.


With the advice of James and the Elders of the Assembly at Jerusalem, Paul participated in such things as cleansing rituals which were administered under the Levitical Priesthood. They did these things with the Jews before the temple and the Levitical Priesthood had been taken away in order to be able to teach them Messiah. (I doubt very seriously that they would have done any of these things after the Temple was taken away if they had lived that long.)


Acts 21 (20) And when they [James and all the Elders of the Assembly at Jerusalem] heard it, they glorified YAHWEH, and said unto him, Thou seest, Brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law [Torah]: (21) And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs [of the Torah]. … (23) Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; (24) Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law [Torah]. … (26) Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.


Surely at the time that Paul, James and the Elders of the Assembly at Jerusalem participated in these things, (without bringing themselves under the bondage of it) they used these Torah traditions and customs as a teaching tool which the Torah of the Old Covenant was for in the first place.


Gal. 3 (21) Is the law then against the promises of YAHWEH<span style="text-transform: uppercase">?</span> YAHWEH forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. (22) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Yahshua Messiah might be given to them that believe. (23) But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. (24) Wherefore the law [Torah] was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Messiah, that we might be justified by faith. (25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.


Paul, James and the Elders of the Assembly at Jerusalem surely explained to the their Jewish brothers who were still in bondage under the Torah what those Torah traditions or customs signified. It was in this manner that they were taught Messiah. After they were won over for Messiah, they were surely taught the Torah as mediated by the Messiah under the terms of the New Covenant. which replaces the Torah of older covenants. If this was not the case then they would have engendered themselves back into bondage of the older covenants.


Gal. 4 (21) Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law [older covenant Torah], do ye not hear the law? (22) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. (23) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. (24) Which things are an allegory: for these are the two Covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. (25) For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. (26) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. (27) For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath a husband [Isa 54:1]. (28) Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. (29) But as then he that was born after the flesh 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. (31) So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.




If the Assembly in Galatia, with the idea that salvation would be denied them if they did not obey those older covenant commands pertaining to the things of the flesh, had started circumcising the flesh and adhering to statutes required by the older covenants that only brought temporary righteousness to the doers of the Torah until Messiah, then they would have indeed engendered themselves into bondage to Mount Sinai which is Hagar. They would have literally taken upon themselves the promise that they could perform and fulfill the demands of the older covenant. As Paul said, they would have fallen from grace because they were in essence saying, that even though the Messiah died for them, they still had to meet the demands of the older covenants in order to be saved. They would have indeed been deceived by the deceiver and would have needed to repent and turn to embrace the Messiah. They would have needed to fully placed their faith in YAHshua rather than supplementing that faith with the works of the fazed out Old Covenant Torah for righteousness. Paul tells us, that YAHshua is the fulfillment of YAHWEH’S promise (i.e. Messiah) for our righteousness in the New Covenant.


Ro. 10 (1) Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to YAHWEH for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of YAHWEH, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of YAHWEH'S righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of YAHWEH. (4) For Messiah is the end [conclusion i.e. fulfillment goal] of the torah for righteousness to every one that believeth.