For if we keep on sinning willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but only a terrifying expectation of judgment and a fury of fire about to devour the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the Torah of Moses dies without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses. How much more severe do you think the punishment will be for the one who has trampled Ben-Elohim underfoot, and has regarded as unholy the blood of the covenant by which he was made holy, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
~Hebrews 10:26-29 (TLV)
At some point during your walk as a Believer you will inevitably need to make a choice: Are you going to insult those who hold to the hyper-grace heresy being promoted today or are you going to insult the true Spirit of grace found in the Scripture? Because it is impossible to embrace both. Do you want to be a child of God or are you satisfied being a part of a religion and a Church? Because you cannot have both.
Several years ago a lot of Churches and ministries were using a particular book as a guide to teach their members from. Neil T. Anderson, in his book Victory Over The Darkness: Realizing The Power Of Your Identity In Christ, says, “Why not identify yourself for who you really are: a saint who occasionally sins.” Then, in the updated and revised 10th Anniversary Edition of the book, which was completely rewritten, he goes so far as to say, “We are saints who sin, but we have all the resources in Christ we need not to sin.”
But the Bible says differently. The Bible says that if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. The Bible says, 1 Peter 4:1, that a true Believer in Yeshua is one who has “ceased from sin.” If you read through this passage in various translations it becomes quite apparent that this really is suggesting that a saved person stops sinning. The Contemporary English Version of the Bible says it like this, “Christ suffered here on earth. Now you must be ready to suffer as he did, because suffering shows that you have stopped sinning.”
The only reason why people make statements like those of Anderson is because, through counterfeit grace theology, they are seeking to justify sin in their own lives. People who do this, as the Scripture says, insult the Spirit of grace. And the last thing I would think anyone even remotely serious about biblical faith would want to do is insult God and His grace.
Today we have people teaching that it is impossible to keep all of God’s Torah (Law) and that He gave it merely to prove that we cannot keep it. Pastor Joseph Prince presents such a view in his book Destined To Reign: The Secret To Effortless Success, Wholeness, And Victorious Living. Says Prince:
You cannot pick and choose which laws you want to keep. The Bible says that if you want to keep the law, you have to keep all of it, and if you break one law, you break them all. The law is a composite whole. God does not grade on a curve. Also, you cannot just keep the law outwardly. You have to keep it inwardly as well. Do you know anyone (other than God himself) who can keep God’s laws perfectly all the time?
Let me say this explicitly so that there is no misunderstanding: I am for the law, for the purpose for which God gave the law (and you can quote me on this). You see, God did not give the law for us to keep. He gave the law to bring man to the end of himself, so that he would see his need for a Savior. There is nothing inherently wrong with the law. The law is holy, just, and good. But it is time to realize that while the law is holy, just, and good, it has no power to make you holy. It has no power to make you just and it definitely has no power to make you good.
So, let’s evaluate what Pastor Prince says here. Essentially, according to his theology, God created the Law, which is more appropriately called the Torah because it is the instructions for life given by the Creator of life, so that He could prove to us that it is impossible to keep the Law. Then He gave this Law to people He made covenant with, the children of Israel, and rigorously made them strive after it for thousands of years just to prove to the world that it is so impossible to keep His Laws.
First of all, it’s not like there are millions or even thousands of instructions in the Bible. There are 613 mitzvot in the Torah (the Bible Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). As I pointed out in a message titled Is Torah Bondage? these 613 mitzvot can be categorized into groups of like commandments. Take for example sins of sexual immorality. There are commandments regarding same sex relationships, sexual actions with animals, sex outside of marriage, incest, and adultery to name a few. One need not strive to keep these nor even know what they are, however. The Believer merely needs to follow the biblical pattern of marriage between a man and a woman and remain faithful to their spouse and they will be keeping all of the laws of sexual morality by default. Thus, it’s not a matter of whether or not it is “impossible” to obey every single law against bestiality, homosexuality, incest, fornication, and adultery. It’s only a matter of determining that it is possible to enter a male-female marriage covenant and remaining faithful.
Another example can be found with the food laws found listed in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. One need not study this out in depth to keep them. It is well known that some of the most popular meats today, such as chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and most fish (those with both fins and scales), are all clean animals. An old saying says, “When in doubt, throw it out.” If you stick to eating things that are definitely under the “clean list” then you won’t eat something unclean. Though, in today’s progressive society with the plethora of processed foods there are things that it helps to know, like how gelatin—used in such things as marshmallows, gummy candies, Jell-O®, some medications and vitamins in the form of gel capsules, breath mints, and many other food products—is commonly sourced from the skin and bones of pigs, an unclean animal, and as such are to be avoided. This is not a legalistic position; it’s a position of loving God to the point that you will go to any length possible to show your love for Him. It’s not like it’s that hard to find vegan or kosher marshmallows or to by the dietary supplement or pain reliever that is not in a gelatin capsule.
The point is that it is not hard to obey the Bible at all. Let’s now take a look at what the Bible says in contrast to what Pastor Prince says. In Galatians 2:20 we find the famous line, “I have been crucified with Messiah; and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me. And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim—who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” What most people don’t realize, because it is rarely ever brought up or focused on, is a statement that precedes this line.
But if, while seeking to be justified in Messiah, we ourselves also were found to be sinners, is Messiah then an agent of sin? May it never be!
~Galatians 2:17 (TLV)
Pastor Prince argues that the only person who can keep the Law (Torah) is God. I do not disagree with him on this. It is where he deviates from there that the problem occurs. Does he not believe that Yeshua the Messiah lives in his heart and mind? He must not, because Paul says here in the Bible that if we claim to have Messiah in our life—no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me, as he goes on to say—but we continue to sin then we are essentially saying that Messiah is sinning through us. The counterfeit grace movement being taught by people like Pastor Prince says either that Messiah does not live in us or that if He does then He is sinning through us. Neither of these points is in line with the Bible. Yet millions of people flock to the teachings of men like this because his sin-justifying false grace is appealing to those who would rather follow popular Christian religion than the God of the Bible.
1 John 2:4 says, “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” By this one passage of Scripture it would appear that someone like Pastor Prince is a liar and the truth is not in him. I know this will not make me popular with the millions of people who follow this kind of teaching. I know this is not the path to get onto Christian television to “reach the masses”. But it is the truth, and I would rather live in heaven for eternity with the few people who ever truly followed the Master than to be popular in this temporary lifetime because I delivered a message that tickles the ears of people who have no desire to actually live a holy life (see 2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Counterfeit Grace Produces Counterfeit Christians
The false grace defined in what is taught by the hyper-grace teachers of modern Christianity is a counterfeit to the grace of the Bible. If you study grace in the Scripture it is preceded by law. Not so long ago I put out a message titled Noah: The Beginning Of Grace where I discuss the first place that grace is mentioned in the Bible. In the record Noah is presented with a series of instructions by God and it is only through the fulfilling of these instructions that he was “saved by grace” from the impending destruction of the flood sent by God. I encourage you to read the message for a deeper understanding of biblical grace. Even if we define the work of the cross and the resurrection of Yeshua as the single greatest act of God’s grace on the Earth, it is still preceded by the giving of the Torah.
Avi ben Mordechai, in his theological work Galatians: A Torah-Based Commentary In First-Century Hebraic Context, presents an interesting statement that equates grace with God’s Torah. In this segment he is dealing primarily with the issues of Pharisaic man-made additions to the Torah, which is something that Yeshua and the Apostles were constantly combating. However, the modern counterfeit grace movement is ultimately doing the same thing with man-made rules and traditions that seek to void the Torah through a misinterpretation of grace. Like the Talmudic man-made rules and traditions of the Pharisees, the teachings of the hyper-grace movement is also a form of legalism, something I will explain a little later in this message. Mordechai says regarding this (emphasis added in bold italics):
YHWH warned us to never, ever legislate modifications or legalize additions to the teachings of the written Torah. But, by following the decrees of the Pharisees (or Rabbis of today), one is guilty of essentially abolishing the written Torah, which is nothing short of abolishing grace and truth, something that Yeshua opposed in a clear-cut manner, according to Mattityahu 5:17.
Matthew 5:17 states, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” In order to properly understand this passage we must look at the original Greek words that are translated into “abolish” and “fulfill”, as they clearly cannot mean the same thing since they are used in contrast to each other in the statement. Abolish comes from the Greek word “kataluó” and means: destroy, overthrow, tear down, unyoke, unharness. Fulfill is from the Greek word “pléroó” and means: accomplish, amply supply, complete, fully carry out, fully preach/teach. With this in mind, a proper understanding of this verse is: Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to destroy them, overthrow them, unyoke them, or tear them down, but rather to accomplish them through you, supply them to you, complete them in your presence as an example, fully carry you in them, and fully preach and teach them to you.
The moment you buy into the lies of counterfeit grace and begin to believe that you cannot or even do not have to obey Torah is the moment you begin down the path of counterfeit Christianity. To be clear, I have no issue with the term “Christianity” as one can find the true path through the Christian faith. I realize there are those who come to the realization of truths like those I teach who decide to shun the term “Christianity” and understandably so, as the Christian faith today is associated with way more error than truth. With this in mind, we must not forget that the term “Christian” is merely a term that means “like Christ” and is intended to refer to those who actually follow the model of Yeshua our Messiah.
What Avi ben Mordechai also brings up in his commentary is that there is a direct relationship between grace and Torah. In fact, Torah is true grace. God created the Earth and all life within it. He charged humanity with the care of His Creation. Then, through grace, He gave us His Torah, the actual instructions that, when followed, maximize life on Earth. Death only comes as a result of disobedience to what is instructed in Torah. God didn’t just command us to care for Creation and then leave us to do it blindly. He gave us Torah, which is an act of His grace, and therefore Torah is grace and grace is Torah.
The late Stephen Hill was most known for his role during the Brownsville Revival, which took place at the Assemblies of God Church in Brownsville, Florida. It was there while preaching nearly every night of the week that Hill delivered a number of powerful messages calling Believers to a genuine commitment with Messiah. Regardless of whether or not you fully agree with the way the revival was conducted, Hill’s words call Believers to repent and return to the Way of the Master. The book White Cane Religion: And Other Messages From The Brownsville Revival records the transcripts of several of these sermons, of which the following is taken:
This nation is sick of counterfeit conversions and counterfeit Christianity. The world says, “We’re sick of the hypocrites in the church.” Sure these worldly people are hypocrites too, and they have probably done their share of sinning. But the bottom line is that there is a lot of hypocrisy in the “church.” There are people who say they know the Lord but don’t. Virtually everybody in this nation “believes” in Jesus. (“Yeah, He existed.”) That’s not the point. Do you know Him? The Jesus of the Bible nailed people to the wall, and He irritated folks, friend. Yes, He’s wonderful, but He also chased people out of the temple with a whip. Listen to His words:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matthew 23:25-28)
Those are some hard words from the Prince of Peace. The apostle Paul warned Timothy:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
“Having a form of godliness…” Now, a counterfeit is made as an imitation of something else with the intent to deceive. It is an inferior imitation or copy. It is a sham, something that is likely to be confused with the genuine article. My son bought a black cellular telephone for two dollars that looks absolutely genuine. What if that counterfeit cellular telephone was sitting on the counter in someone’s home while a babysitter was watching the kids—and a fire broke out in the house or an accident occurred? The panicked babysitter might see that cellular phone on the counter and think, This is a lifesaver! It looks like a phone. It feels like a phone. It even lights up, dials, and beeps like a real cellular phone. As smoke fills the house, or while she frantically tries to stop the bleeding of a wound, this woman might dial 911 and hear the reassuring beeps as the phone in her hand apparently begins to make the life-saving contact with emergency personnel. There is only one problem—the phone is a fake!
All over America, people are dying and going to hell because they’ve entrusted they’re lives to counterfeit converts, fake messiahs, and false “truths.” There are going to be killings today because of counterfeits! Somewhere today in our nation, some kid is going to point a black plastic play gun at a cop and go, “Bang, bang.” The cop will react the way he is trained to act when he sees a “deadly weapon” pointed toward him. He reacts with deadly force and shoots back at the kid. When the shocked cop walks over to examine his attacker, he will find he has shot a child armed with a weapon bearing the “Made by Mattel” stamp at the bottom. This has really happened!
There are factories around the world that make fake products. Plants in Russia crank out fake “Levi jeans” by the thousands, and if you buy a “Sharp” brand watch on the black market, it looks like a Sharp. It ticks like a Sharp. It plays music like a Sharp. But if you get real close and look at the brand name, it doesn’t say “Sharp.” It says “Shapp.” It’s not the genuine article, friend. It will break down on you. Unfortunately, there are also churches and ministries around the world that crank out counterfeit conversions.
In a message titled The Narrow Path I presented some very troubling statistics suggesting that 1 out of 200 professing Christians are in fact genuinely saved. That’s only one half of one percent, leaving 99.5% of people in Churches around the world still bound for hell. Other statistics suggest 1 in 20, which still leaves 95% of all professing Christians bound for hell. These statistics come from some of the most highly regarded Christian ministries of the twentieth century. In other words, these are recent and highly reliable findings. The reason why this is happening and only getting worse is in that last sentence in Evangelist Hill’s discourse: “There are churches and ministries around the world that crank out counterfeit conversions.” Counterfeit grace teaching leads to counterfeit conversions and produces counterfeit Christians. Too many people are being misled and somebody needs to tell them. I am determined to be one who will tell the truth regardless of the cost.
Counterfeit Grace Creates A Humanist Faith
Several years ago now Victoria Osteen, wife of the well-known Pastor Joel Osteen, stood before their Lakewood Church congregation, which hosts tens of thousands of parishioners every week, and said, “So I just want to encourage every one of us to realize, when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God. I mean, that’s one way to look at it. We’re doing it for our self. Because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gets Him the greatest joy this morning. So I want you to know this morning, just do good for your own self, do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to Church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God—really—you’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen.”
Now, let me say that I have no major issue with Joel and Victoria Osteen. I have heard them say things that I agree with, and I have heard them say things I do not. For example, in an article I did titled Kosher Quotes, where I simply list quotes by many of today’s most well-known Pentecostal ministers, as well as some scholarly resources, teaching that we are supposed to be following the Dietary Laws of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, I have a quote by Joel Osteen, which I agree with. My point here is neither to attack them personally nor to attack their character as ministers.
Luke 9:23-24 (TLV) says, “Then Yeshua was saying to everyone, “If anyone wants to follow Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross every day, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (TLV) says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This appears to be a very different message from what Mrs. Osteen shared with her Church.
Paris Reidhead is credited by many as having preached the greatest sermon of the twentieth century, titled: Ten Shekels And A Shirt. He ministered at a time when the compromised teachings of today’s hyper-grace preachers, while still present, were less prominent. In this message he presents something that may be one of the most deadly spiritual plagues to ever infect the Body of Messiah:
Humanism is, I believe, the most deadly and disastrous of all the philosophical stenches that’s crept up through the grating over the pit of Hell. It has penetrated so much of our religion. AND IT IS IN UTTER AND TOTAL CONTRAST WITH CHRISTIANITY! Unfortunately it’s seldom seen. And here we find Micah, wants to have a little chapel, and he wants to have a priest, and he wants to have prayer, and he wants to have devotion, because “I KNOW THE LORD WILL DO ME GOOD!” AND THIS IS SELFISHNESS!!! AND THIS IS SIN!!! And the Levite comes along and falls right in with it! Because he wants a place! He wants ten shekels and a shirt and his food! And so in order that he can have what he wants, and Micah can have what they want, THEY SELL OUT GOD! For ten shekels and a shirt. AND THIS IS THE BETRAYAL OF THE AGES!!! And it is the betrayal in which we live. And I don’t see HOW GOD CAN REVIVE IT! Until we come back to Christianity. As in DIRECT AND TOTAL CONTRAST WITH THE STENCHFUL HUMANISM that’s perpetrated in our generation in the name of Christ.
I’m afraid that it’s become so subtle that it goes everywhere. What is it? In essence it’s this! That this philosophical postulate that the end of all being is the happiness of man, has been sort of covered over with evangelical terms and Biblical doctrine until God reigns in heaven for the happiness of man, Jesus Christ was incarnate for the happiness of man, all the angels exist in the…, Everything is for the happiness of man! AND I SUBMIT TO YOU THAT THIS IS UNCHRISTIAN!!! Isn’t man happy? Didn’t God intend to make man happy? Yes. But as a by-product and not a prime-product!
Christianity says, “The end of all being is the glory of God.” Humanism says, “The end of all being is the happiness of man.”
And one was born in Hell, the deification of man. AND THE OTHER WAS BORN IN HEAVEN, THE GLORIFICATION OF GOD! And one is Levite serving Micah, and the other is a heart that’s unworthy serving the living God, because it’s the highest honor in the universe.
You’re trying to serve God because He’ll do you good! But a repentant heart is a heart that has seen something of the enormity of the crime of playing God and denying the just and righteous God the worship and obedience that He deserves! Why should a sinner repent? BECAUSE GOD DESERVES THE OBEDIENCE AND LOVE THAT HE’S REFUSED TO GIVE HIM! Not so that he’ll go to heaven. If the only reason he repents is so that he’ll go to heaven, it’s nothing but trying to make a deal or a bargain with God.
WHY SHOULD A SINNER GIVE UP ALL HIS SINS? WHY SHOULD HE BE CHALLENGED TO DO IT? WHY SHOULD HE MAKE RESTITUTION WHEN HE’S COMING TO CHRIST? BECAUSE GOD DESERVES THE OBEDIENCE THAT HE DEMANDS!!!
Why should a person come to the cross? Why should a person embrace death with Christ? Why should a person be willing to go, in identification, down to the cross and into the tomb and up again? I’ll tell you why! BECAUSE IT’S THE ONLY WAY THAT
GOD CAN GET GLORY OUT OF A HUMAN BEING!!!
Reidhead’s bold and passionate cry flies in the face of the humanism that was only starting to take hold in his day and has completely spun out of control today. His words went largely unheeded and today the biggest Churches ever built are those founded on humanism. You hear it in the words of the hyper-grace teachers and you hear it in the lyrics of the most popular songs in so-called “Christian music”. Let me tell you a thing, if a praise or worship song is popular, you had better scrutinize the lyrics to that song and evaluate what the message presented really is, because if the song is popular chances are that it is promoting a humanist and/or counterfeit grace message that leads to deception and ultimately separation from the true Spirit of grace. In other word, a lot of this so-called praise and worship music being produced today is also “insulting the Spirit of grace”.
God did not ever call you to be happy. He called you to be holy. “Be holy as I am holy” is the cry of your Bible, not “Be happy, even at the expense of being holy.” The mantra of the world is “You only live once, you should enjoy your life.” This too, using the same term as Reidhead, is “UNCHRISTIAN”. If you are living for you than you are not living for God. It’s just that simple. And if you are living for God than His Torah will consume you and you will look for anything and everything in it you can obey and then obey it because you actually love God enough to obey Him and His Torah. That is the result of receiving Yeshua, the living Torah, into your life. After all, there are only 613 actual commandments in God’s Torah, according to most scholars, and roughly half of them only apply to Levite Priests and Temple worship. It’s not hard to obey The Bible (see Deuteronomy 30:11-14).
The Lie Of Eternal Security
Another aspect of counterfeit grace teaching is a lie that is commonly called “eternal security”. This is the belief that once you have prayed the so-called “sinner’s prayer”, an invention of modern Christianity that is not found anywhere in the Bible, you are saved regardless of what you do after praying the prayer. To the most extreme views it would even say that a person can go to Church one time in their entire life, make an emotionally-driven response to an “altar call”, pray this “sinner’s prayer” at the direction of the preacher, and then live the rest of their life no different than they did before this event, but they are still “saved” because they “got saved” that day and are now “eternally secure”.
While even many “eternal security” teachers would not go so far as to say such a one actually got saved, the point is that the beliefs of counterfeit grace and eternal security create the counterfeit Christians that Hill spoke of. Author and teacher John Bevere addresses this in his book Enemy Access Denied: Slam the Devil’s Door With One Simple Decision, where the following discourse is written:
Once Saved, Always Saved?
A very deceptive doctrine has been propagated throughout the church. It claims that once an individual is saved there is no way they can ever lose their salvation. It is a controversial subject, yet it need not be. The only reason it is controversial is because some teachings have twisted the Scriptures until they say what we want to hear as opposed to God’s truth. If a person’s heart is set on an issue, they will funnel all Scripture through what they believe rather than believe what they read.
I challenge you to examine what the Bible has to say about it. Don’t filter these scriptures through the teachings of Dr. So-and-So, but compare verse to verse and hear what the Spirit of God is saying. Listen with your heart; it will not lie to you. There is no reason to fear truth if you love God. For if you truly love Him, you will never want to leave Him.
In his book Bevere has certain Scriptures that he looks at, but I want to look at a specific series of Scriptures that are plainly in contrast to the views of eternal security.
My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth and someone turns him back, let him know that the one who turns a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
~James 5:19-20 (TLV) [Notice, this is someone among the body of Believers, someone who was saved and strayed from the truth.]
For if—after escaping the world’s pollutions through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Yeshua the Messiah—they again become entangled in these things and are overcome, the end for them has become worse than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after learning about it, to turn back from the holy commandment passed on to them.
~2 Peter 2:20-21 (TLV) [If you have escaped the pollutions of the world, wouldn’t that by definition mean you are—or were—saved?]
For it is impossible for those who once were enlightened—having tasted of the heavenly gift and become partakers of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, and having tasted the good word of God and the powers of the olam ha-ba, and then having fallen away—to renew again to repentance, since they are again crucifying Ben-Elohim for themselves and publicly disgracing Him.
~Hebrews 6:4-6 (TLV)
For if we keep on sinning willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but only a terrifying expectation of judgment and a fury of fire about to devour the enemies of God.
~Hebrews 10:26-27 (TLV)
He who wins the victory will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels.
~Revelation 3:5 (CJB) [If your name is blotted out, then it was there to begin with. Only saved people have their name written in the book, so to have it blotted out means that somehow you lost your salvation.]
Whoever strays from the path of wisdom ends up in the congregation of the dead.
~Proverbs 21:16 (TLV) [So, this is a person who was on the path of wisdom, but strayed from it.]
The person who strays from the way of common sense will come to rest in the company of the dead.
~Proverbs 21:16 (CJB)
While there are certainly many other passages I could list, I think you get the point. Most of the views of eternal security teachings ride on passages from Scripture that say such things as “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hands” (John 10:28-29), “you were sealed in Him” (Ephesians 1:13-14), and “I [Yahweh/Yeshua] will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). The use of such passages to endorse the views of “eternal security” ignores one very important fact: In every single case, YOU ARE STILL PERMITTED THROUGH FREE WILL TO WALK AWAY FROM GOD OR REJECT HIM BY REJECTED HIS WORD, WHETHER IN WHOLE OR IN PART.
Once you consider that YOU—the professing Believer in Yahweh the Father and Creator of life and the King of the Universe, a proclaimed follower of Yeshua the Master and Messiah, and a presumed recipient of the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit of Holiness)—are still capable of walking away from God and rejecting His Word through deciding not to obey it “eternal security” no longer has much of a foundation. Then, when you bring in the Scriptures listed above that plainly endorse the view that salvation can be lost or discarded, there is no actual argument left in favor of “eternal security”. It becomes just another lie of the hyper-grace movement, both of which have their roots in the Protestant Reformation and the teachings of men like Martin Luther and John Calvin. But that will have to be for another time when I can dig into the origins of modern Christianity with you.
Now, let me also tell you that I do not believe in the yo-yo effect created by many who oppose “eternal security” to the opposite extreme. Many, in seeking to teach against the lies of “eternal security”, create a doctrine that says every time you “slip up” you are no longer saved and have to get saved again. Whether it is the confessional booths of Roman Catholicism or the misleading that every time you sin you should respond, again, to the preacher’s altar call, this too is misleading. The only sins you can even repent of after committing to live for Messiah are unintentional sins. The Bible is clear in both the Old and New Testaments that sins committed with intent—those where you know what the Bible says and you do it anyway—are sins that there is no longer a sacrifice for.
Though, while still in error, this saved-lost-saved-lost teaching does not threaten to mislead anyone to hell the way eternal security teaching may. By misleading people to constantly live in repentance through worry and fear at least people are constantly repenting. Eternal security deceives people into thinking that they can just live in sin and still be safe and saved. This is a very dangerous lie that, sadly, too many people have bought into.
Counterfeit Grace Is Legalism
Legalism is a very misunderstood word in Christianity, especially among the hyper-grace crowds. It seems that anytime a person promotes obeying something in the Bible that those on the receiving end don’t want to receive, the standard response is, “That’s legalism! I’m saved by grace you know.” It is amazing that people would rather hold to a lie that deceives them than to receive a truth that will set them free.
The late Chuck Colson was one of the most regarded Evangelical Christian ministers of his day until his death in 2012. Prior to his conversion to Christian faith he held the position of Director of the Office of Public Liaison under United States President Richard Nixon. Colson was among the “Watergate Seven” convicted during the famous scandal that ended the Presidency of Nixon. As a result of his actions, Colson served seven months in jail. It appears that it was through this experience that he was able to establish the ministry God called him to. It does often seem that the most sincere of ministers are those who rise out of darkness the way Moses and the Apostle Paul did.
In his book The Faith Colson presents the following statements pertaining to holiness and legalism that I believe are worthy of consideration:
What is holiness then? Most nonbelievers, and many Christians, confuse holiness with following legalistic list of dos-and-don’ts or reduce it to piety and attentiveness to religious duties. In reality, holiness embraces piety, but it is much more; it is the heart of the Christian life and every Christian’s destiny. As one devotional writer put it, God has one eternal purpose for us, that we should be “conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Romans 8:29). We are to become holy as Christ is holy; we are to become true Christians, the root meaning of which is “little Christs.” Indeed, through holy living, Christians are called to share in God’s work of redeeming creation.
This holy life is the natural outgrowth of the exchange of the cross of our lives for Christ’s life. Once reconciled to God, we enjoy, as Peter said, “a share in the divine nature” (see 2 Peter 1:3-4). Jesus’ relationship to the Father is one of perfect obedience in love. As we obey, God’s grace enables us to live like Jesus.
Notice several points in these two paragraphs from Colson’s book: 1. Holiness is not a legalistic list of dos-and-don’ts, 2. Holiness embraces piety (the quality of being religious or reverent), 3. As we obey, grace enables us to live like Yeshua.
Legalism, as it pertains to the life of the Believer, is always one of two things: 1. Legalism is anytime a man-made rule or tradition is instituted within religion and placed either equal to or above the commandments given in God’s Torah, 2. Legalism is the attempt to obey God’s Torah for the purpose of earning or maintaining salvation. For the purpose of this message I will focus on the first type of legalism.
Earlier I mentioned that counterfeit grace is a form of legalism. This might seem confusing because, by definition, legalism requires man-made rules and traditions that are placed equal to or higher than the Torah of God (The Law). Those who endorse and teach the counterfeit grace message are called antinomians, which is a fancy word that refers to people who teach that under grace we are not bound to follow the “Old Testament Laws”, including moral laws in at least some cases. So how can the teaching of counterfeit grace, which removes the need to follow God’s Law, be a form of legalism when legalism requires God’s Law to be in place so that new rules and traditions can be placed equal to or higher than God’s Law?
Legalism is any man-made rules or traditions that add to or take away from what The Bible says. Most people only associate legalism with rules that add to the Word, but rules that take away from the Word are just as damaging. The doctrines, theological views, and teachings of hyper-grace take away from the Word by teaching that the rules in Torah, at least in part, have been done away with. This is legalism. It is, essentially, man-made religious rules that have been instituted, in direct contradiction to The Bible, that say we do not have to obey The Bible. And since those man-made religious rules say we don’t have to obey what’s commanded in The Bible, it is apparent that these man-made rules have been elevated to a position superior than God’s Torah. So, it is in fact legalistic to say that obeying The Bible is legalism.
Counterfeit grace and the antinomianism that accompanies it still require God’s Law in order to work. The teachings of the hyper-grace movement are themselves man-made rules and regulations, false doctrines, that unscripturally void God’s Law. This makes it a form of legalism. So, anytime you teach something that demands a return to holiness through obeying what The Bible says and someone says to you, “That’s legalism! I’m saved by grace,” they are, in reality, the legalist.
This means that it is legalism to say that we do not have to keep the Sabbath today. It is legalism to say that we are permitted to eat unclean things, like pork or shellfish, today. It is legalism to shun the Holy Feasts of God. It is legalism anytime someone takes a commandment from The Bible and says that under grace we no longer have to follow that commandment or that the commandment is made void. In other words, while many present them as opposing beliefs, counterfeit grace and legalism are the same thing. It is NEVER legalistic to obey something The Bible says: THAT’S WHAT WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO!
True Biblical Grace
Now that we have well established what the counterfeit grace of modern Christianity that insults the true Spirit of grace is, let’s take a moment and look at true grace. After all, a grace that does not produce a life of obedience to God’s Torah is a false grace, so true grace, in turn, is a grace that results in obedience.
Pastor Rod Parsley delivered a famous sermon in the 1990’s that led to a book published in 1993 titled Repairers Of The Breach: A Return To The Discarded Values Of The Past. In that book he presents views that I believe help illustrate a more accurate view of grace. Parsley says:
The grace of God, the unmerited favor of God, can free the vilest sinner. Grace can deliver the alcoholic, liberate the lesbian, free the prostitute. Grace to the Believer is immeasurable, undeniable, and indestructible.
But there is something about grace you should not forget: grace cannot condemn the sinner and excuse the saint.
Before we were saved, we were told fornication was a sin and that it would lead us to hell. But after we were saved, we were told fornication “is a problem,” and should be treated with counseling.
Calling fornication “a problem” is not a confession of your sin; and grace cannot forgive unconfessed sin. If fornication is sin for the sinner, then it is sin for the saint!
It is time somebody told the truth.
It is time for a cleansing and a purifying of the church of Jesus Christ. It is time we become established in the holiness of God and live where the evil one cannot touch us.
I am tired of the church looking like the world, talking like the world, acting like the world, moving like the world, conducting their business like the world, and having music like the world.
By the grace of God, I pray our preachers repent on their faces before God, for they have not warned the wicked man of his wicked deeds. Humanity is dying in wickedness, and their blood is going to be required at the hands of those who did not warn them. It is time to let the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Many Christians think no more of heading for the divorce court than they do the traffic court. Some preachers openly excuse their own weakness in the flesh by telling their congregations, “It’s alright to get a divorce. God just wants you to be happy.” Usually, these preachers want to be divorced themselves!
As a pastor, if I tell you what you want to hear, you will like me; but if I do not tell you what God wants you to hear, God does not like it.
I would rather please God than man.
Grace cannot forgive an unrepentant heart!
Grace cannot guarantee man eternal life if he refuses to obey!
Grace cannot cancel God’s law of sowing and reaping!
I have seen many ministry sermons on sowing and reaping financially, but I cannot locate one sermon on this passage of sowing and reaping:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
Grace cannot keep you from moral failure if you willfully choose to sin. Your sin will find you out – there is a payday someday. You may fool the preacher, and you may fool the deacon; but you cannot fool the One who sits on the throne!
Grace cannot forgive you when you do not repent.
You cannot commit fornication on Saturday night and walk into the sanctuary of God on Sunday morning and say, “Sorry, God, I failed. I’m sorry.” Acting like nothing much happened.
“…the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
We need more who thunder out like the prophets instead of pathetic puppets.
The Body of Christ wants to be holy, to be pure, to have the power of God, to live right – but they must have a preacher.
With statements like this it is no wonder that Parsley is among the select list of “high-profile Pastors” who have begun to show an interest in and teach obedience to Torah. I understand that many who have been on a path of following Torah for some time or those involved in Messianic fellowships are not satisfied with where men like Parsley are on their own journey into Torah or are, at times, skeptical of the “big TV preachers” motives in teaching a Torah-based message. And I get it, it’s hard not to judge when you see people asking for financial donations to their ministry craftily linked to God’s Holy Feasts when, in fact, they are not actually celebrating the Feast as outlined in Torah… at least not yet. But I want to remind you that it is not our place to judge, we simply don’t know the heart of any of these people, even mega-church pastors, and they might seriously be seeking after the truths of following Torah but just aren’t all the way there yet.
There’s also the point to consider that their congregations have attracted a lot of people over the years who have been taught the lies I have presented in this message and are generally defiant to the Torah. As I have told people in the past, if a Pastor of a large congregation, like the one Parsley has, got up one Sunday morning and said, “OK, we are moving services to the Sabbath and we will never celebrate Christmas and Easter at this Church again, we will only celebrate the Feasts of Yahweh from The Bible,” they might lose a lot of people. They know that the best way to retain people and lead them to the fullness of the truth is with a long-term plan of change. So long as I see evidence that a Pastor is embracing the Torah message and movement himself, I can support him. Even if the majority of people within his or her Church thinks I’m a crazy fanatic and my beliefs are contrary to what everyone else at that Pastor’s Church believes.
Our responsibility to God is simply to teach the truth and obey The Bible for ourselves. We are never, ever to judge or accuse someone regarding what they do. We don’t know what they do or don’t do. You could be wrong about the way you interpret The Bible, especially if you don’t dig into cultural context and the original languages used when it was written. So never make assumptions, accusations, judgments, and above all do not gossip with your “Church pals” about what you think someone is doing or not doing right.
The Bible says that we must warn the wicked of their wicked ways, and if we don’t then God will require their blood at our hands (Ezekiel 3:18-19, 33:7-9), but if that warning is not headed we are to “leave that house or that town, shake the dust off your feet” (Matthew 10:14). I can assure you that anyone who has read my writings or heard me teach has been warned of their wicked ways, what they choose to do with it is on their hands now. Can you say the same?
Earlier, when looking at Scriptures that counter the views of “eternal security”, one of the passages I listed was Proverbs 21:16 from the “Complete Jewish Bible” translation, which states: “The person who strays from the way of common sense will come to rest in the company of the dead.” The common sense approach to Scripture is to simply do what The Bible says, always erring on the side of caution. For example, the Bible says don’t eat pork. Common sense says that if The Bible says not to eat pork, then don’t eat pork.
I know this is so simple, but I bring this up using pork as the example because that seems to be the number one thing that will get almost any Christian arguing with you. I could tell Christians that they are not supposed to work on the Sabbath Day and they will agree with that. Who doesn’t want a legitimate excuse to not work, right? You can convince Christians to celebrate the Holy Feasts listed in Scripture, especially when you point out that their Messiah celebrated them. It’s often perceived as a “fun and trendy” way to embrace the Jewish/Hebrew roots of Christian faith by many Believers, but at least it’s accepted and it’s a start. You can even convince Christians that some of the most celebrated holidays of modern Christian faith are based in pagan religions and, through common sense, are best avoided. But if you mess with their bacon or their shrimp or whatever other unclean abominations—that’s what the Bible calls it—they want to eat, you’ve just invited yourself into a fight!
Why is it that people would literally gamble with an eternity in hell over a pork chop? Because that’s exactly what they are doing! There is no such thing as going to hell for “being a little bit too legalistic”. Of course, that’s based on the misinterpretation of legalism, as discussed above. As already noted, it’s not legalistic to obey The Bible, that’s what we are supposed to do and if you are really saved that’s what you will be doing. Saved people obey The Bible, unsaved people do not. Which one are you?
Common sense—a logical response to the commandments of the Bible, always erring on the side of caution by simply obeying The Bible—is the only way to live with full assurance that you will call heaven your home for all eternity. This can only be achieved through Yeshua as your Messiah, and if you claim Yeshua as your Messiah and continue to reject the Laws of God from His Torah then you have embraced a false Messiah. Galatians 1:8 says, “But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should announce any “good news” to you other than what we have proclaimed to you, let that person be cursed!” 2 Corinthians 11:4 says, “For if someone comes and proclaims another Yeshua whom we did not proclaim, or if you receive a different spirit that you did not receive, or a different “good news” that you did not accept, you put up with that well enough!”
Today we have people teaching a false Gospel, teaching a different Yeshua from the Hebrew Messiah of Scripture, through such lies as “eternal security” and counterfeit hyper-grace. This insults the Spirit of grace and provokes the wrath of God’s anger.
Whenever a person makes a decision regarding obedience to or rejection of a biblical commandment that person does so with the risk of an eternal consequence. Complete and total obedience to the Torah, after acceptance of Yeshua as Messiah, can only ever result in a person going to heaven. One thing Yeshua taught is that those who obey Torah and teach others to do the same will be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, so the decision to obey the Torah and teach others to do the same is a gamble: Either you just get to go to heaven, or you get to be greatest in heaven. That’s what you are rolling the dice on when you obey.
Disobedience to the Torah, however, also comes with a risk. In the same passage, Yeshua says that those who disobey the Torah and teach others to do the same will be least in the Kingdom. However, there are passages that clearly mark certain sins as resulting in one being cast in the lake of fire. According to Revelation 21:8 this list includes, but may not be limited to, murderers, sexually immoral, liars, adulterers, sorcerers, and those who are detestable/abominable. Eating unclean things, as a prime example, is called detestable or an abomination, depending on what English Bible translation you are using. So, when you choose to disobey the commandments of Scripture, even those the majority think are done away with today, you are also rolling the dice: Either you get to barely make it to heaven where you will be labeled among the least or you will spend eternity in a place called a lake of fire.
I think I would much rather roll the dice on the option that assures me a place in heaven. Think about from a perspective of common sense and simple logic. If you obey what the Bible says because you love Yahweh and His Son Yeshua and you are yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit, then there are two possible outcomes. In both of these possible outcomes, you go to heaven. One says you just get to go to heaven and the other says that you are great in heaven. Either way, you are in heaven for all of eternity.
On the other hand, if you choose to live with disregard for the Torah of God, then of the two possible outcomes only one results in going to heaven, and at that you are least in the Kingdom. Now, I am not going to say I know what it means to be least in the Kingdom, The Bible is not clear on that, but I certainly don’t want to find out. Yes, I would much rather you get to heaven by the skin of your teeth than to miss heaven by a hair and spend eternity in hell. But your odds are not favorable if you are walking the line.
I’ve heard it argued that the “outer darkness” Yeshua spoke of is not actually a portion of hell but a part of heaven outside of the actual Kingdom of Heaven. This begins to make more sense when you consider that some prominent Bible teachers have concluded that heaven is another planet. For example, Perry Stone, in his book Chronicles Of The Sacred Mountain: Revealing The Mysteries Of Heaven’s Past, Present And Future, says:
It appears from Scriptural evidence that heaven is a planet, similar to earth. The size compared to the earth is uncertain, as the earth is 25,000 miles in circumference at the equator, and the planet heaven could be much larger. Others suggest, since the earth has so many patterns of heaven concealed in the Tabernacle, the Temple, Jerusalem, and the creation narrative, that the planet heaven could be the same size as earth.
So, if heaven is thought of as another planet that we will be taken to, assuming you are accepted in, then it is not unreasonable to conclude that there is an “outer darkness” place on such a planet where people who didn’t fully obey Torah are sent to live. This is a hard concept to accept for those who have grown up with modern Christian theologies, and it should not be received as anything less than a theory. However, think about it. You are already gambling between hell and being “least in the Kingdom”, whatever that may mean, if you are not living according to Torah. If you are gambling between hell and some obscure place of “outer darkness” on a planet similar to Earth just to eat a pork chop, carve a scary face into a pumpkin, get some overtime pay on the Sabbath Day, or any other thing that you know good and well is against what the Torah instructs, then chances are that you won’t even make it to some “outer darkness” part of “planet heaven” anyway. Remember, intentional sin is listed among things that are not forgiven according to the Bible.
Don’t take any chances. Don’t gamble with eternity. Don’t live a life that insults the Spirit of grace. It might be legalistic to obey Torah for the wrong reasons, but it’s better to obey Torah for the wrong reasons than not obey it at all. Eventually, if you genuinely love God, your obedience will turn into the real thing, even if it starts out from a legalistic motive. Make the commitment today to live absolutely committed to doing what God commanded in His Torah through following the example of your Messiah Yeshua and yielding to the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) that He sent to guide you in obedience. Don’t just “get saved” according to what some Church or Pastor says salvation is. Get radically and genuinely saved to where the fire of God’s presence truly comes alive in your heart and you can’t help but to search out the Scriptures and do what they say.
~Blessings and Shalom~
To learn more, CLICK HERE and check out all of the Truth Ignited articles.