MOON WORSHIP AND GALATIANS 4:10-11
Some who oppose the observance of the first day of each sacred month (the New Moon) and God's other commanded observances cite Galatians 4:10-11 as proof that these observances are obsolete and have no place in the present-day worship of God. The rationale of those who hold this belief is that the apostle Paul condemned the elect at Galatia for practicing the Old Covenant laws pertaining to the annual observances, the Sabbath, and the New Moon:
"You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain" (Gal.4:10-11 KJV).
If we read these two scriptures alone, without placing them in their proper context, they do seem to indicate that there is indeed a problem with the Galatians' religious practices. There is no doubt that Paul was correcting the Galatians; however, he was not correcting them for observing God's special days. He was correcting them for something entirely different.
In order to understand what Paul is referring to in Galatians 4:10-11, it is important to review his words in relation to the Galatians' past religious experience.
Notice what Paul says in verses 8 and 9:
"Howbeit then, when you knew not God, you did service to them which by nature are no gods" (Gal.4:8 KJV).
Here, Paul refers to the religious practices of the Galatians before they knew God. What were they doing before they knew God? They were worshiping false gods. But, what were these things that they were worshiping?
It is important to understand that, during that time in history, the Gentiles were not the only ones who held false beliefs and worshiped false gods. There were many Jews who were also involved in Astrology, Gnosticism, Mysticism, and the Occult.
In verse 8, Paul speaks of the things that the Galatians practiced while they were unconverted and did not understand the way of God.
"But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage?" (Gal.4:9 KJV).
What is it that the Galatians were in bondage to before they were called by God to become his sons? They were in bondage to an evil worship system, which involved worship of days, months, times, and years. The weak and beggarly things of verse 10 have to do with the belief in astrology and the worship of the sun, moon, and the zodiac.
Few people realize that Satan counterfeits God's true worship system, and that astrology is a part of this false worship system. Astrology is based on the twelve signs of the zodiac and the worship of the heavenly bodies. This is the same type of false worship system that the Galatians had stopped participating in but were becoming ensnared in again.
Paul says that a person cannot practice the things associated with any false worship system and partake of the spiritual nourishment that comes from God at the same time. This is because the two are in direct opposition to each other:
"You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain" (Gal.4:10-11 Para.).
Paul's admonition to the Galatians has absolutely nothing to do with the observance of God's Sabbath, the New Moon, or the annual festivals; it has everything to do with their former false worship system, which they had forsaken when they were converted to God's way of life:
"But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage?" (Gal.4:9 KJV).
In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul says that the things that the Gentiles sacrificed were sacrificed to demons:
"Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils" (1.Cor.10:17-21 Para.).
Historically, the nation of Israel departed from the worship of the true God and were repeatedly warned by God about the consequences of practicing a false worship system. One of Israel's major departures from God's worship system was their tendency to worship and serve gods represented by the heavenly bodies and to ignore their God who created and positioned the planets and stars to serve humanity (Gen.1:14-18):
"And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, should be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord your God has divided unto all nations under the whole heaven" (Deut.4:19 KJV).
Because of Israel's continued violation of his law and their committing of spiritual adultery with celestial gods, the Creator God punished Israel by destroying her as a nation and causing his worship system to cease being practiced:
"And he has violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he has destroyed his places of the assembly: the Lord has caused the solemn feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and has despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest. The Lord has cast off his altar, he has abhorred his sanctuary, he has given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast" (Lam.2:6-7 KJV).
"At that time, says the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshiped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, says the Lord of hosts" (Jer.8:1-3 KJV).
The Death Penalty
There is one thing that is apparent when one reads the Old and New Testaments; God prohibited the worship of anyone or anything other than himself. Moreover, to worship anything other than God is idolatry, which is punishable by death:
"If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you, man or woman, that has wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; and it be told you, and you have heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shall you bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto your gates, even that man or that woman, and shall stone them with stones, till they die" (Deut.17:2-5 KJV).
The New Moon and Pagan Worship
Satan has counterfeited the annual observances of God with his own observances:
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world" (Rev.12:9 Para.).
Make no mistake, God will not tolerate the worship of the moon, sun, stars, or any other celestial body by those he has called to salvation. God did not ordain the observance of the first day of the sacred month (i.e., the day on which the new moon appears) as a day to worship the moon; he ordained it as a day of special fellowship between himself and those he has chosen as his people.
By B. L. Cocherell, file b5w20