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BC Weekly Digest
Monday, June 21 1999

In this issue:

	Galatians 1:18-24
	Galatians 1:8
	Galatians 1:6-9
	Galatians 1:1
	Galatians 1:8

Galatians 1:18-24

Galatians 1:18-24 (OPV)
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to make 
the acquaintance of Cephas, and I stayed with him fifteen 
19 But I saw none of the other apostles, except James, the 
Lord's brother.
20 Now in the things I am writing to you, behold, before 
God, I am not lying.
21 Then I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
22 And I was unknown by face to the Judean churches in 
23 They had only been hearing: He who once persecuted us, 
is now preaching the faith he formerly devastated.
24 And they were glorifying God in me.
*1:18 "After three years"
  It is uncertain whether this is three years after he 
returned from Arabia or three years after his conversion. 
Nor do we know how long he remained in Arabia.
*1:18 "I went up to Jerusalem"
  In Acts more details are given: "And when he was come to 
Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: 
and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was 
a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the 
apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord 
in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at 
Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. And 
he was with them going in and going out at Jerusalem, 
preaching boldly in the name of the Lord: and he spake and 
disputed against the Grecian Jews; but they were seeking 
to kill him. And when the brethren knew it, they brought 
him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus" 
(Acts 9:26-30 ASV). 
*1:18 "To make the acquaintance of Cephas"
  Cephas is the Hebrew name of Peter. Jesus had given him 
this name: "Jesus looked upon him, and said, Thou art 
Simon the son of John: thou shalt be called Cephas (which 
is by interpretation, Peter)" (John 1:42 ASV).
  It is understandable that Paul, after being forced to 
flee from Damascus, might wish to get acquainted with the 
Christians at Jerusalem, now as a brother, rather than as 
a persecutor.
  In Galatians Paul emphasizes that his teaching came 
directly from Christ and not from or via others. But he 
also shows that there is no conflict between him and the 
other apostles.
*1:18 "I stayed with him fifteen days"
  Although he made Peter's acquaintance, this was not 
sufficient time for him be indoctrinated, especially when 
we notice in Acts that he was busy preaching the gospel! 
The brethren in Jerusalem had an opportunity to hear the 
message Paul preached.
  How long Paul intended to stay, we do not know. But soon 
after fleeing from Damascus, he also had to flee from 
Jerusalem to save his life. The persecutor became the 
persecuted. He gives more details in Acts. "And it came to 
pass, that, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I 
prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance, and saw him 
saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of 
Jerusalem; because they will not receive of thee testimony 
concerning me" (Acts 22:17,18 ASV). "Depart: for I will 
send thee forth far hence unto the Gentiles" (Acts 22:21 
*1:19 "But I saw none of the other apostles, except James"
  Some have imagined a conflict between this and Acts 9: 
"But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles" 
but this can refer to the apostles who were in Jerusalem 
at the time and need not include all the apostles.
  It has been suggested that two separate trips might be 
under consideration, yet both accounts seem to refer to 
Paul's first visit to Jerusalem after becoming a 
Christian, and his departure to other regions afterwards 
is mentioned in both cases.
  Paul's teaching did not come from the other apostles. He 
had been with Peter for only two weeks, and for many years 
had not even met any of the others, except James.
*1:19 "James, the Lord's brother"
  "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother 
called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joseph, and 
Simon, and Judas?" (Matt 13:55).
  At one point during Jesus' ministry, His brothers did 
not believe in Him (John 7:5). This changed, however, 
considering this verse, and also Paul's mention of "the 
brothers of the Lord" in 1 Corinthians 9:5. The letter of 
James was probably written by the same James mentioned 
here, and the letter of Jude was evidently also written by 
one of the Lord's brothers.
  Since James was a common name at that time, there is 
some question about which James is being referred to at 
times in the New Testament.
  Since this James is called an apostle, some have 
suggested that he might be James the son of Alpheus, who 
was a cousin of Jesus. In that case the word 'brother' is 
understood as meaning 'kinsman'.
  In addition to the specific sense referring to the 
twelve and Paul, however, the word 'apostle' (which in 
Greek means 'one sent') is also used in a more general 
sense to refer to missionaries (Acts 14:14; Rom 16:7). 
Although James, the brother of Jesus, was not one of the 
twelve, he could still be called an apostle in the sense 
of a missionary. 
*1:20 "Now in the things I am writing to you, behold, 
before God, I am not lying"
  Since Paul's apostleship was being questioned, he goes 
to great lengths to substantiate the facts by giving 
concrete details. He wanted to remove all possibility of 
misunderstanding relative to his commission or his 
integrity. We notice this same desire as he writes to the 
Corinthians: "for we take thought for things honorable, 
not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight 
of men" (2 Cor 8:21 ASV).
*1:21 "Then I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia"
  Tarsus, the city of Paul's birth, was in Cilicia. He 
went there when he left Jerusalem: "And when the brethren 
knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him 
forth to Tarsus" (Acts 9:30). While Paul was in Cilicia, 
Barnabas came and asked him to come to Antioch which was 
in Syria (Acts 11:25,26).
*1:22 "I was unknown by face to the Judean churches in 
  Although Paul had visited Jerusalem for fifteen days, he 
had not become acquainted with the other congregations in 
  The concept of being 'in Christ' is prominent in the New 
  By being buried with Christ through baptism, we are 
united with Him (Rom 6:4,5). We are baptized into His 
body, the church (1 Cor 12:12,13; Eph 1:22,23). "For ye 
are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For 
as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on 
Christ" (Gal 3:27 ASV).
  "So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and 
severally members one of another" (Rom 12:5 ASV).
  Thus, being in the church of Christ is not simply being 
a member of a religious group, it is being a functional 
part of the body of Jesus Christ, and having all the 
blessings which are 'in Christ'.
  "Wherefore if any man is in Christ, [he is] a new 
creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are 
become new" (2 Cor 5:17 ASV). 
  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are 
in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in 
Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of 
death" (Rom 8:1,2 ASV). This gives us liberty in Christ 
(Gal 2:4). "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, 
having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is 
every one that hangeth on a tree: that upon the Gentiles 
might come the blessing of Abraham in Christ Jesus; that 
we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" 
(Gal 3:13,14 ASV). 
  "Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing 
in the heavenly [places] in Christ: even as he chose us in 
him before the foundation of the world, that we should be 
holy and without blemish before him in love: having 
foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ 
unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will" 
(Eph 1:3-5 ASV).
  "But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love 
wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our 
trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace 
have ye been saved), and raised us up with him, and made 
us to sit with him in the heavenly [places], in Christ 
Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the 
exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in 
Christ Jesus: for by grace have ye been saved through 
faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of 
God; not of works, that no man should glory. For we are 
his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God afore prepared that we should walk in them" 
(Eph 2:4-10 ASV). 
  "And [it is] from Him [that] you are in Christ Jesus" 
(1 Cor 1:30 OPV). "Thanks be unto God, who always leadeth 
us in triumph in Christ" (1 Cor 2:14). "Peace be unto you 
all that are in Christ" (1 Peter 5:14). 
*1:23,24 "They had only been hearing: He who once 
persecuted us, is now preaching the faith he formerly 
devastated. And they were glorifying God in me."
  Imagine the reaction when they heard that Paul the 
persecutor had become a Christian! At first they would not 
believe it, as when he first went to Jerusalem: "And when 
he was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to 
the disciples: and they were all afraid of him, not 
believing that he was a disciple" (Acts 9:26 ASV). But how 
they would rejoice when they were convinced that it was 
true. They would know that only God could accomplish a 
conversion such as that!
Roy Davison


Galatians 1:8

Galatians 1:8 (OPV)
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach any 
gospel to you other than what we preached to you, let him 
be accursed.
  The question has been asked: Is this statement by Paul 
an open condemnation of the Mormon church and its 
  The formal name of the church founded by Joseph Smith is 
'The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints'. In 
addition to the Old and New Testaments (which Mormons 
claim are not reliable) they have 'The Book of Mormon'.
  Joseph Smith claimed that The Book of Mormon was an 
inspired translation of certain plates that were delivered 
to him by an angel on 22 September 1827.
  The present English edition of the Book of Mormon 
contains many changes from the original edition published 
in English in 1830. The Mormons claim that these changes 
relate only to the correction of spelling and grammar. 
This is false. In Alma 29:4 the present edition omits a 
clause that was in the 1830 edition "yea, decreeth unto 
them decrees which are unalterable". In 1 Nephi 11:18 the 
present edition has "Behold the virgin whom thou seest is 
the mother of the Son of God" whereas the 1830 edition had 
"Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of 
God". The same change was made in verse 21. In Mosiah 
21:28 the present edition has 'King Mosiah' whereas the 
original edition had 'King Benjamin'.
In the present edition 'The Testimony of Eight Witnesses' 
has also been changed. In the 1830 edition Joseph Smith is 
called "The Author and Proprietor of this work" whereas 
the present edition has "the translator of this work". 
Changed testimony is invalid, and tampering with testimony 
is a serious offense.
  The "Latter Day Saints" teach many things that are 
different from the teachings of the first century saints 
as recorded in the New Testament.
  In The Book of Mormon in Alma 46:13-16, which is 
supposedly dealing with happenings in 73 BC, mention is 
made of "Christians" and "true believers of Christ, who 
belonged to the church of God".
  That was about a hundred years before Jesus said in the 
New Testament "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18) 
indicating that the church was not yet established. And in 
Acts 11:26 we read: "And the disciples were first called 
Christians at Antioch".
  The appearance of anachronisms in a work (things 
represented as happening or existing at a wrong date) is 
one of the most common ways of exposing fraudulent 
historical documents.
  In The Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 2:22,23 it is stated 
that if Adam had not sinned, he would have had no 
children. (This verse also makes the ridiculous statement 
that they could do no good before they knew sin!)
  In the Bible, in Genesis 1:27,28 which is before the 
fall, Adam and Eve are commanded: "Be fruitful and 
multiply; fill the earth and subdue it."
  In The Book of Mormon in 1 Nephi 13:24,28,29 it is 
stated with reference to the New Testament "they have 
taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which 
are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of 
the Lord have they taken away."
  Jesus said: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My 
words will by no means pass away" (Matthew 24:35 NKJV).
  According to the New Testament we are to "contend 
earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered 
to the saints" (Jude 3 NKJV). Once and for all, is once 
and for all. This verse shows that all alleged "latter 
day" revelations and supplements to the gospel are 
  Above we have mentioned only a few of the many doctrines 
of the "Latter Day Saints" which contradict the word of 
  Whatever the source of such false doctrines, even if 
they had come from some angel, they who preach them are 
under the condemnation of God in accordance with the 
warning given by inspiration through Paul.
Roy Davison


Galatians 1:6-9

Galatians 1:6-9
The question has been asked: The tone of Paul's letter is 
serious and abrupt. Why did he write this way?
  In addition to his harsh words for false teachers in 
chapter 1, Paul also says "O foolish Galatians!" in 
chapter 3, and he closes his letter with the statement: 
"Hereafter, let no one trouble me; for I bear branded on 
my body the marks of Jesus" (Gal 6:17).
  This harshness is motivated, however, by genuine concern 
for the well-being of his readers. The letter was written 
to deal with an emergency situation. Souls were in danger.
  Once when I was driving in Sarnia, Ontario an elderly 
lady on a bicycle almost rode right in front of my car. 
But a man in a truck hollered at her: "Lady, look out!" 
which may well have saved her life. An emergency warning 
must be loud and urgent!
  In this letter Paul is saying to the Galatians ... and 
to us: WATCH OUT!
Roy Davison


Galatians 1:1

Galatians 1:1
The question has been submitted: Why was it important that 
Paul establish his credentials?
  The Lord used Paul to pen a large portion of the New 
  False teachers often try to prop up their wobbly 
doctrines by rejecting certain portions of Scripture (or 
even ALL of the Scriptures). In our time too there are 
false teachers who try to play Paul against Peter, or who 
claim that the New Testament writers do not accurately 
record the 'real' teaching of Jesus.
  In various passages Paul emphasizes his authority as an 
apostle. "If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or 
spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I 
write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord" 
(1 Cor 14:37 ASV). 
  Peter verifies that Paul's writings are holy Scripture: 
"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is 
salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, 
according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you; as 
also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these 
things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, 
which the ignorant and unsteadfast wrest, as [they do] 
also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction" 
(2 Peter 3:15 ASV).
  As God commanded, the glorious gospel of salvation goes 
forth to all nations by means of prophetic writings, many 
of which were penned by Paul: "Now to him who is able to 
strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of 
Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery 
which was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed 
and through the prophetic writings is made known to all 
nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to 
bring about the obedience of faith -- to the only wise God 
be glory for evermore through Jesus Christ! Amen" 
(Rom 16:25-27 RSV).
Roy Davison


Galatians 1:8
This question has been submitted:
What is the difference between the church of Christ and 
the so-called International Church of Christ? Why did Kip 
McKean start his own church? Do they preach a different 
  The church of Christ was established by Christ on the 
first Pentecost after His ascension. It is composed of all 
repentant believers who have been baptized for the 
forgiveness of sins, and whom the Lord has added to His 
church: "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every 
one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the 
remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the 
Holy Spirit.'" ... "Then those who gladly received his 
word were baptized; and that day about three thousand 
souls were added to them." ... "And the Lord added to the 
church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:38,41,47 
  The International Church of Christ is a sect established 
by Kip McKean in the 1980's. Although some of the 
congregations of the ICOC resulted from splits caused in 
churches of Christ (usually by the infiltration by a youth 
minister), their distinctive doctrines and practices did 
not originate among churches of Christ.
  The ICOC is merely a spin-off of a larger movement in 
the denominational world based on a false theory of 
discipleship which results in an authoritarian pyramid 
form of leadership. This theory involves an extremely high 
level of mind and life control.
  For a discussion of the basic errors of this movement 
you can consult my article 'Errors of Hierarchical 
Discipleship' at this web address:
Roy Davison