August 3, 2010 • By Ed Wrather
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. - Galatians 1:6-8 NKJV.
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? - Galatians 3:1-3 NKJV.
When I was about four years old I watched the Foreman Scotty television show, which was locally produced and viewed primarily in Oklahoma. Here's a link that will give you some more information about Foreman Scotty http://www.foremanscottyskids.com/ One of my favorite things about the show was the talking tree. It looked like a real tree, but it could talk, and because of that I decided that some trees can talk. My sister tried to convince me that it was not true and that trees cannot talk. When she was unsuccessful with her deprogramming effort she told our parents. They too attempted to tell me that trees are unable to talk; however, I refused to believe them, because I had seen a talking tree with my own eyes on the television set. Eventually they gave up trying to tell me the truth about talking trees, and I am not sure when I finally realized that trees really cannot talk; but it took a year or two.
In the spiritual world, there are some talking trees as in; there are some who spew out what they call spiritual truths, which are not true. The apostle Paul was continually encountering deceivers and found that many of the Galatians were believers in talking trees. The deceivers spewed out their lies, as if they were true and the Galatians believed the lies. The deceivers of the Galatians were the Judaizers, who were saying to the Galatians to go ahead and accept Christ, but you have to add this, this, and this to it to be saved.
Paul is saying that the Judaizers were trying to pervert the Gospel of Christ and pull the Galatians away to a Gospel that is entirely different. If a person comes to Jesus for salvation, but at the same time believes it is necessary and plans to be circumcised, plans to keep the Sabbath, the feast days, the rituals as part of their salvation are they saved? Many are trying to do the same thing today. Back then it was the Gospel plus Moses. Now it is “the Gospel” plus any number of religious leaders, religious books, or religious organizations. You cannot be saved “unless (Acts 15:1)” …is their message (Acts 15:1: And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”). That "unless" usually includes joining their group and obeying their rules.
Here is the secret talking tree trimmer that many never tell you about, and it is found in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” So, the next time you encounter a talking tree saying that you can only be saved if in addition to believing upon Jesus you have to do this, or that, or some other thing; cut the tree down with Ephesians 2:8-9. I no longer believe in talking trees, and I hope that you will come to know the truth about them too.