we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we
have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now
again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received,
let him be accursed.”
Paul in his letter to the Galatians is delivering a resounding rebuke as they
have begun to place themselves back under the Law. They were being corrupted by
Judaizers who opposed Paul’s teachings. It’s interesting how these same heresies
have flourished over the centuries and are now quite pervasive in today’s
Christian culture. The Gospel of Christ was being replaced with a false gospel;
Paul was furious, with good reason.
Paul used the Greek word
anathema as a condemnation against these heretics. The Apostle
declares in the strongest language that the Gospel he preached was the one and
only way of salvation, and that to preach another was to attempt to nullify the
death of Christ. Paul was not happy with the new direction he saw the Galatians
We need to back up a couple of verses to get the flavor of
Paul’s apparent frustration “I marvel that
ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto
another gospel:” Galatians 1:6.
Paul uses the Greek word thaumazō
which means: to wonder at, to look at something as a spectacle; it was hard for
Paul to believe what he was witnessing. He was dumbfounded at the change of
direction the Galatians had made. After he had taught them the truth of the
Gospel they were so easily moved toward another gospel, a false gospel.
Can we see any of this type of movement in our Christian
Churches today? Absolutely. Now, before I go any further I’d like to point out
something about Galatians chapter 1 verse 8 which many Bible students might not
see as so obvious. Paul adds angels to all those he’s condemning for
infiltrating the church with false gospels. Even angels? Personally, I find it
intriguing how false gospels involve even angels. As we look into the Mormon
religion, right away we see that Joseph Smith was approached by an angel, the
angel Maroni, who handed Smith “another gospel.” It’s exciting to see the Holy
Spirit’s hand in every aspect of God’s holy writ. I couldn’t resist pointing out
the obvious condemnation of this fallen angel as was handed down by God Himself,
some 1,800 years prior to that particular angel’s deception. Paul’s letter to
the Galatians, written centuries prior to the angel Maroni offering Joseph Smith
another gospel, was a scathing indictment against the hoard of fallen angels and
demons whose purpose is to deceive the masses, to turn folks away from the true
Gospel. Millions now follow the teachings of Joseph Smith, thus the angel Maroni
was quite successful.
“For I have
not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God…For I know this, that
after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the
flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to
draw away disciples after them.”
Acts 20:27, 29-30.
Sure enough the wolves are on the march heading toward the sanctuary. The liars
have corrupted the congregation; the masses are being deceived while being led
away from the Gospel of Christ. Men who have no concept of the truth have risen
in the church to fill leadership roles. Many have fallen for Satan’s lies thus
they teach another gospel, one that leads the masses down the path of no return.
Paul’s warning to the Galatians falls on deaf ears in many Christian Churches
Paul made it his life’s work to teach
the whole counsel of God to all the churches he started, and even those he
didn’t start (the Church in Rome). It was Paul’s mission to ensure that the true
Gospel was preached and to drive out the erroneous teachings of the Judaizers,
and not just the Judaizers but all false teaching. Paul was distraught with the
Galatians because they were so easily persuaded to return to Judaism and place
themselves back under the Law. But Paul was also very aware of the false
teachings that were creeping in through Gnosticism and it was his mission to
shine the truth on these false teachers and expose them for what they were.
The Gospel of Christ is ludicrous to many men in teaching
roles in our Christian churches, which means they will only teach Christ’s
Gospel as a symptom of the early churches ignorance. The Gnostics did not
believe Jesus actually died on that cross hence His resurrection was only an
illusion. The Apostle John explains who these Gnostics are.
“Little children, it is the last time: and as
ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists;
whereby we know that it is the last time. Who is a liar but he that denieth that
Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father:”
1 John 2:18, 22-23a. John paints a
very clear picture here. Denying Christ, as the Gnostics do, makes them
antichrists. These are harsh words but necessary in order for the church to
fully grasp what’s happening in our midst today.
The Church needs more Pauls today than ever before; as the
Church has grown by leaps and bounds so have the heresies. We need men who will
stand up for the truth of the Gospel. But where do such men come from? They are
products of Christ centered teaching. They are drawn to the truth by the Holy
Spirit of truth, and they are Bible believing saints with a mission. They are
determined to provide accuracy in Bible teaching. These men are the Pauls of
today; seek them out and you will find they won’t veer from the truth. Nothing
can hinder the truth of God but many will try. Those who are led by the spirit
of lies (Satan) will continue to do his bidding as they work toward dispelling
correct doctrine. Only the discernment that is available from God can keep the
truth seeker on the right path.
As born again believers in Christ we
have our work cut out for us. There is and has been a systematic and forceful
malevolent supernatural entity behind all false teaching. These antichrists know
what they are doing and they are good at it. We have to be better at advancing
the truth of God than those who follow Satan and his plan. Which means we must
be knowledgeable of God’s precepts to be able to defend His word correctly – and
with all tenacity; this is possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit
and a regime of diligent study of God’s Word.
The Bible gives us knowledge
and answers our questions, but just when we think we have all the answers, pride
jumps up and bites us where we sit. Seeking knowledge through God’s word is
necessary as we strive to be more like Paul, but we must be careful of pride.
Remember Lucifer’s downfall was pride. We’ve all seen Christian leaders fall
from their lofty perches, many after acquiring a prideful attitude.
Biblical literacy is the key to discerning truth from fable,
and it only comes through a system of constant prayer and study, while humbly
seeking His truth. It’s always a good idea to pray for God’s discernment to be
upon you before undertaking a particular biblical study; by praying first we
enlist the Holy Spirit’s help in guiding us through God’s Word. If you don’t
study God’s word you’ll never know when a false gospel has crossed your path.
You may be following one of these Gnostic teachers right now. Only diligent
Bible study coupled with much prayer will keep you from being led astray. God’s
word is truth, but it’s the way men interpret – or misinterpret – what God says
that allows error. Some men find it necessary to embellish God’s word with their
own thoughts to give the scriptures more excitement. Adding to or taking away
from God’s word will only bring condemnation.
The enemy has many followers willing to step in and teach
when there are no Pauls present or willing to fill that position, and the enemy
has convinced many to follow his false doctrines. I can promise you this, the
churches that are replete with false doctrines are Paul-less. When good men fail
to stand up and be counted, bad men will always fill the void. Paul’s admonition
to the Galatians is proof positive that there were no good men willing to stand
up for the truth of the Gospel, thus they allowed the enemy to come in and
present a false gospel which was readily accepted. There is no difference today
when it comes to the myriad of lies infiltrating the church. Most congregations
lack even a few Pauls who know the truth well enough to be able to stand up for
Christ as they show the followers of Satan the door.
If you attend a church where the Pauls
are numerous, count yourself blessed to be a part of such a congregation. On the
other hand, if you can’t find a Paul among the men in your congregation then
perhaps God has it in mind for you to step up and be the Paul or Pauline He
wants you to be. At any rate, without due diligence, the wolves will be circling
the sanctuary soon. Perchance there’s one standing behind the pulpit right now.
God bless you all,
scripture is from the KJV and God breathed
If you’d like
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96 County Road
5480 Salem, MO 65560
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