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).

Rebellious Israel

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).

Future Punishment

"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