ONE SERIOUS ERROR OF REVERSE GALATIANISM,
ONE SERIOUS ERROR OF GALATIANISM...
THEY ARE BOTH GRAVELY ERRANT.
One of the serious errors of reverse Galatianism is that they see Paul’s stern words against the Jewish converts to Christianity, that wanted to make the traditions and practices of the law, the feasts and the sacrifices, to be mandatory upon all Christians. They were not only not mandatory, they were fulfilled in Jesus, and only ‘shadows’ of the new covenant. Yet, when reverse galatianists viewed the words of Paul, they believed that the shadows were evil, not the interpretation of them. So, reverse galatianists began to condemn anyone who celebrated Passover, or who had a child circumcised, even if those persons knew and believed in Jesus as the fulfilment of the law, not putting the law as mandatory for salvation.
The error of the reverse galationists starts with the overlooking of the fact that the shadows did not become extinct with the coming of our Savior. God had long before been angry, and rejected the law keeping, the feast observing, and the worship even of the ones who did not comprehend the meaning of the ‘shadows’.
Long before Jesus came in the incarnation, long before the new covenant began, God said:
Isaiah 1:14-20 (KJV)
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them.
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
God had seen the sins of those coming to worship, to celebrate feasts, to keep the tenets of the law. Their hearts were sinful, their worship insincere, their understanding of God’s purposes of the law, the sacrifices, the feast celebrations was contaminated.
Paul found that some had gone back to feast celebrations, and said it was not sinful to observe Sabbath day worship, or the eating or not eating of certain meats, or the keeping of one feast day or another, but that one should be fully persuaded. What Paul, following God’s direction, pointed out was that the law, and its keeping, did not save anyone, was not mandatory, for they were but ‘shadows’ of what Jesus came and fulfilled.
God had already rejected their feast celebrations, their worship, etc, long before Paul. God wanted reality of worship, of righteousness, of faith in Him as Redeemer, even in the Old Testament.
To Amos, the father of Isaiah, we see a similar from God:
Amos 5:21-24 (KJV)
21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
God wants mankind to understand His plan of grace and mercy. God does not now, nor did He then, accept the idea that keeping laws, celebrating certain feasts, singing certain words, etc. will ever redeem a soul, or earn for anyone salvation. God rejected it then, and rejects it now. Paul spoke to the same kind of sins in Galatians, as Isaiah and Amos spoke. It is not keeping the law that is evil, it is not singing worshipful songs that is evil. It is the doing it with the idea that those things earned salvation.
Jude preached against that idea, and mentions the keeping of the feasts by some who were ‘plucked up by the roots’, not saved, but thinking their ‘feasts’ were earning them salvation.
Jude 1:12 (KJV)
12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Errant belief in the ‘shadows’, that were not really the substance of what the shadow prophesied to be near, makes the worship or trust of such ‘shadow’ wrong. It pollutes the shadow.
"You priests despise My name, offering polluted bread. YET YE SAY, Wherein have we polluted Thee?"
The worship of the people, in that time in the Old Testament, had become polluted. They offered worthless offerings. Their actions revealed their lack of love and respect for God. This is a common problem in the last days. Reverse galationists pounce on the common sin in our time too, but then go far to far in making it sound like God’s ‘shadow’ teachings themselves are evil, whereas it is only the ones who say that those shadows are the salvation earning process, instead of seeing the fulfillment of the shadow teaching, i.e. Jesus, as the only means of salvation.
We are to seek the Lord, and can look and observe the shadow teachings, but never trust them to be our salvation. Jesus is our salvation.
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
God asserted that the people had dishonored Him often in the Old Testament, and the Galatians to whom Paul wrote, were being tempted to again dishonor God by putting the ‘shadows’ to be mandatory for salvation.
God is disturbed in these last days by the insincere worship of many. Their worship is dead, meaningless, and has form -but no power. They treat the worship services as optional. They take communion as though it were only a midday snack. They treat times of intercession as though they were unimportant. They offer to God their extra time, if any. They will do the Lord's work if it does not interfere with their other plans. They think then that the keeping of a feast day, or the wearing of a cross necklace will atone for their sins.
In the last days, we have even a better covenant. We have the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Many today treat the new covenant as badly as the people in Ezra's day treated their covenant. They observed the ‘shadows’ that were meant to teach them, not save them. Some today do return to that same kind of error. Yet, reverse galatianists will condemn even those who observe the beautiful teachings of the ‘shadows’ of the former covenant.
Being out of relationship with the Lord means that all our relationships will suffer. Christians belong to the family of God. We all have a heavenly Father. Paul spoke to the Galatians as Christians, of which some had begun to trust ‘law’ keeping as salvation. He called those things ‘shadows’, and condemned the idea that they saved anyone. It is our heavenly Father that we please when we see Jesus as our Savior, and the law and feasts as beautiful shadows of Him and His work for us.
When reverse galatianists condemn those who in grace see the beauty of the pictures and shadows of the Old Testament, they do a disservice to the faith. We must condemn as Paul, the trusting of ‘shadows’ for salvation, but also condemn, the reverse galatianists who make all who choose to observe a feast day, or sing a worship song. Simply observing ‘shadows’ does not make one sinful, as long as we see the fulfilment of the shadows as being Jesus, our only Savior.
Galatianists who say one has to keep those ‘shadow’ teachings to be saved are errant also. We have both extremes. From both sides we can find unlove, selfishness, mistrust, lies, anger, hatred, spite, spiritual abuse, spiritual stonings, and "coat holders" for the stoners.
The Lord denounces both of these types of activities. He announces that He will not be bribed by their offerings and by their feast celebrations to forget and accept them despite their horrible relationships..
Some want each age to have its own separate rules of morality. God does not change.
Psalms 66:18"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."
Jesus told the Samaritan woman that true worship was not in the externals, not in the group with which one fellowshipped, - but it was to be done "in spirit and in truth."
"God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."
Jeremiah reminded some that obedience, not sacrifices were necessary.
"For I spake not unto your Fathers nor commanded... concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices; but this thing I commanded them... Hearken unto My voice, and I will be your God..."
Sacrifices, feasts, law keeping were never intended to be an end in themselves.
Isaiah 1:11, 17-18
"What unto me is the multitude of your sacrifices? ...cease to do evil, learn to do well..."
"I desire goodness, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."
The true temple is in us, it is not the building in which we worship.
"...dwelleth not in temples made with hands..."
"...Christ in you, the hope of glory..."
"...the kingdom of God is within you..."
I Corinthians 3:16-17
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God... the temple of God is holy, and such are ye..."
The ‘shadows’ of feasts and of sacrifices were only pictorial examples of what is to be happening within us, letting the true worship be having Jesus inside of each of us. We are not to seek righteousness by occasionally observing a shadow feast, or offering a shadow sacrifice... We are to be the TEMPLE. Therefore we can never leave such a temple. So we must always be holy... seven days a week, 24 hours a day... Our bodies are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. What manner of person ought we to be, if God is constantly dwelling within us... the temple of the Almighty God!