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Galatians 4: 8-20 Corps - 1983 - Part 1

Format: mp3
Publication Date: 11-8-1983

Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962.  

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.

He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International  and served as assistant to the president. 

Galatians 4:8-20
New Questions:
First question – How did you receive the spirit? Through the works of Jesus Christ which we received by believing?
Second question – Are you now made perfect by the works or religious deeds of the flesh?
4:8 “knew” – (Greek) oida – to perceive. There was a time in your life (before you got born again) that you did not even perceive God but you did service, unto them...
“did service” – (Aramaic) plach – to work, labor (in the context) to serve. To serve them, but not the strong word for serve which is: (Aramaic) vad; (Greek) douleuo. The Greek uses douleuo so the Aramaic does not line up with the Greek. The Aramaic is more accurate here. In verse 8 you simply worked for strange gods, served strange gods. The idea or service is brought out in verse 9; bondage indicated in both words (Aramaic) vad, (Greek) douleuo.
“by nature” – (Aramaic) kyana –instinct. The Galatians were doing service for things without a will: idols of wood and stone had no will; they were worshipping things that had no will (statues).
(literal according to usage)
Nevertheless, formerly, when you did not know God, you served those things which are not gods by their very nature.
4:9 After you are born again you want to go back to that?
“know” or “known” – you did know him by experience and you were experientially known of God.
“rather” – more and more; moreover (brings a distinction between those two ideas). You knew God by experience and more over you were known experientially by God (you hold the truth but you are not held by the truth).
Matthew 7:21-23. Jesus Christ never knew them. The question is not “do you know God” but “are you known of God or his son Jesus Christ?”
“after”, more over, (fig.) epanorthosis – recalling, in order to correct by an after thought (now wait a minute, let me tell it to you another way).
“how turn you again” – in the Greek a question, in the Aramaic a statement of fact. (vs. 10 is also a statement of fact.)
“elements” – elementary principles; the building blocks of the world, the principles of the five senses realm. The things that you know by the five senses.
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“weak and beggarly” – weak means without strength, beggarly means poor – opposite of rich. Proverbs 25:11 (“apples of gold” are oranges on silver trays – not pitchers). When the traveler in the east would come into a home they did not have nice paved roads, they had the dusty trails. Their mouth became very parched, so when they came into a home after a long journey, right on the center of the table there would be this silver tray with these golden oranges, bigger than the ones we normally see. The traveler would quench his thirst with the oranges. Gold represented prosperity whereas the trays of silver represent power, strength. A word fitly spoken is refreshing to the traveler of this world and it is both prosperity and power to him.
In Galatia you have just the opposite. You have poor, beggerly, weak. III John 2
To be a successful believer one needs to:
1. Believe in one God.
2. Speak in tongues much.
3. Abundantly share.
These are the three basic, foundational things. Speaking in tongues is your basis or foundation for strength; your Abundant sharing is the basis for your prosperity.
The Galatians had turned back to the five senses world, which is poverty and weakness because they doubted all that God had done for them.
(literal according to usage)
Yet, after experientially knowing God, and moreover being experientially known by God, you now return to the elementary five-senses principles of weakness and poverty to which you crave to be slaves again.
4:10 “times” – seasons
“observe” – to watch, as one watches the gate. This word is always used in a negative, hostile sense (Greek word) like you are looking for trouble. When a guard is standing on the wall of the city, what is he looking for? He is looking for trouble. In astrology you have got to look out for all the bad things that could happen to you today. fig. polysyndeton
(literal according to usage)
You ritualistically observe days and months and seasons and years.
4:11 “of you” – omitted in Aramaic.
“I am afraid” – I am greatly concerned (II Corinthians 11:3).
“labor” – Aramaic la – to be weary, Greek – kopiao; work to the end of fatigue. There are three different Greek words for work:
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1. ergon – to work.
2. kapiao – to work to the end of fatigue.
3. areal detrement – an area of mental pressure.
“in vain” – without substance or results.
(literal according to usage)
I am greatly concerned that I may have labored to the point of exhaustion for you in vain.
4:12 “you have not injured me at all” – Is that true? No, they have turned against him. To injure is to treat unjustly. It does not belong with this verse because it does not fit. It belongs to the next verse.
“I beseech you” – to pray for you, make supplication, pray for a specific need.
“be” – to become, active movement.
Before Paul was a very strict Pharisee, Judean, legalistic. Now he became free from the law.
“For I became as ye are” – in italics, but it is in the Aramaic.
Paul became all things to all people to win some (I Corinthians 9:20 – 22), but with this distinction (Galatians 6:1 – “...restore such as one in the spirit of meekness”). How do you restore someone? By reaching down and bringing them up to you spiritually. Do not set or bring them down to their level, but bring them up to you! That is what is meant to become all things to all people.
(literal according to usage)
My brothers, I pray for you to become like me [free from the law], for I became like you.
4:13 “you have not injured me at all...” – refers back to the first time he spoke the Word to them; when they first believed.
“you know” – but or and, a big comma. “Even though” is a better translation.
“at the first” – Acts 13, 14.
“infirmities” – is weakness again (vs. 9). It is not that Paul was sick; it was the problem that he endured in Galatia as well as other places he went because of Satan's attacks on his life. He was hindered at Antioch (Acts 13:50). Because he was thrown out, there was gossip (Acts 14:5, 6). At Iconium, Satan’s attack against Paul’s life and ministry was his weakness. Verse 19, Lystra: Paul was dead! People thought Paul was a joke because of all the gossip (II Corinthians 12:7-10). The Words Way, p. 105. Paul's weakness was the opportunity that he had with Satan’s attack, not physical sickness. They could have treated him unjustly by seeing the attacks Paul got. They could have said, “He must be a
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sinner.” When you see something evil happen to someone you think, “I wonder what he did wrong?” (That thought is wrong)
But even though he was hindered by Satan's attack at Iconium and Antioch and Lystra, they still did not treat him unjustly at the first.
(literal according to usage)
You did not treat me unjustly, even though, as you know, I announced the good news to you at first while I was hindered by Satan’s attacks.
4:14 “and my temptation” – in Aramaic: “the temptation”
“which was in my flesh” – human nature. Satan's attack was upon his life, to hinder him from moving the Word.
“you did not despise or reject those temptations” – did you despise the temptation or did you despise the individual that is being tempted? You despise the individual. You should despise the evil, but the temptation is to despise the individual!
“despise” – to treat with contempt. Treat him below the level of respect which is due him.
“reject” – (gr.) ekptuo – to spit out. It is indicative of the greatest oriental insult. Whenever you spit you were really insulting someone. Passive and active rejection of a person because of their temptations in the flesh.
“temptations” – verb, (gr.) peirazo, not in this verse, but the noun form peirasmos. It is used three ways in the New Testament. Two ways are also found in profane literature.
1. Attempt, to try;
2. Test or prove someone, in order to see what they would do. In the New Testament it is used:
a. three times in the sense of #1
b. eight times in the sense of #2
3. Tempting someone to do evil (16 times). It is used of Jesus being tempted to do evil 10 times. It is used of others to do evil in addition to that. James 1:13 – “God cannot be tempted with evil”. The Hebrew word for “tempt” is Nasah, attempt or try, test, or to prove; it was never used of tempting with evil in the Old Testament.
When the Israelites were wandering for 40 years in the wilderness, they tested God many times. Not with evil, but they were trying him out to see whether or not He would deliver them. (Deuteronomy 6:16). Jesus used the scripture to answer the devil’s challenge (Matthew 4:7; Luke 4:12). If Jesus, as the devil had tempted him, had cast himself off the pinnacle of the temple, it would have been the devil’s temptation of him to do evil. But if Jesus had done it, would he be tempting God to do evil? No. He would have been testing or trying God to see if He would deliver him, had he thrown himself down. The Greek
11-9-83 Galatians 4:8-20
word used there is not peirazo, it is ekpeirazo which means to try out. Also used in I Corinthians 10:9 (Christ – Lord).
Peirasmos – always used of temptation with evil (this is used in verse 14) by the Devil, except twice where it is used of God, (Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4) “lead us not into temptation”, which employs the Semitic idiom of permission, in other words “God cannot lead you into temptation.” Do not allow us to be lead into temptation, is the literal. Peirasmos is used in the context of Satan's attack on Paul’s life, his vulnerability because of those attacks. They were temptations of evil by the Adversary because they persecuted Paul, they stoned him, they tried to grab him, they put out ill reports about him. But when the Galatians first believed, they did not treat him with contempt or reject him because of those attacks.
This verse takes it from the passive sense of contempt or disrespect to an active sense of insulting someone. The next thing you do to those people who have been accused of certain things in the town, you not only show them disrespect, you would not wave to them, much less shake their hand. Then you would purposely start insulting them, you would start stories, gossip, lies about those people. Then you start making up jokes about them. So it is a passive and active rejection of that person because of the temptations in their flesh.
“as an angel” – when he was there and healed a man in Lystra they thought Paul was Hermes, the messenger God (Roman – Mercury). They literally accepted him as a messenger from God – even as Jesus Christ. fig. hyperbole, an exaggeration.
(literal according to usage)
You did not treat me with disrespect or contempt, nor did you insult me because of the vulnerability of my human nature, but you welcomed me as a messenger of God, even as Jesus Christ himself.
4:15 “where” – what happened to it? where is it? (They had it before) fig. Erotesis (a rhetorical question).
“blessedness” – zest, happy, full of joy.
“ye spake of” – (deleted) not in Greek or Aramaic.
“pluck your eyes out” – fig. hyperbole. The eye is a symbol of desire and envy, see Matthew 5:29, 30.
"Give the shirt off your back" – renouncing the most precious thing for another person’s advantage. You would do anything you could to move the Word!
(literal according to usage)
So where is your joyful enthusiasm? I am a witness of your past actions. If necessary, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.
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4:16 Rhetorical question, fig. erotesis.
(literal according to usage)
So now have I become your enemy because I proclaimed the truth to you?
4:17 “they” – those who pervert the gospel and trouble you.
“zealously affect” – zealous with their allegiance to get you to follow them.
“not well” – not in a good sense.
“exclude” – shut up imprison, to put a hedge around, to isolate, enclose. They put you in their bird cage and say, you are free to fly around. Deprogram you until you believe what they want you to believe.
“affect” – same a zealous – that you might be zealous toward their belief. This verse begins and ends with that word zealous. fig. epanadiplosis. It begins with their being zealous after you and your allegiance, and ends with you being zealous for their belief.
(literal according to usage)
They [who pervert the gospel] are zealous for your allegiance, but not in a good sense. No, they desire to isolate and control you so that you are zealous for their beliefs only.
4:18 They used to be zealous for the truth, now for the wrong thing (ties back to vs. 17).
(literal according to usage)
It is right to be zealous for the right thing all the time, not just when I am present with you.
4:19 “I travail in birth again.” fig. hyperbole – This showed them the great labor he was going through in order to get them back on the Word (Romans 12:1, 2).
“Christ be formed in you” – (see Galatians 3:1) “evidently set forth” – to fashion, to paint, to draw.
(literal according to usage)
My dear children, for whom I am laboring in childbirth until Christ is fashioned in your minds,
4:20 “to change my voice’ – to change my opinion or my tone.
“stand in doubt” – to be perplexed or at a loss, you just do not know what to do. Verse 19 and 20 tie into verse 18. Paul is stating that it is right to be zealous all the time, not just when he was present. He wanted to be present with them, but could not.
(literal according to usage)
11-9-83 Galatians 4:8-20
I want to be present with you now and to change my tone, but right now I just do not know what to do for you.
Paul was at Ephesus moving the Word; his priority is there, not at Galatia. So he did not know what to do because he could not handle the problems in person.