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Lawless Grace

Lawless Grace is Not Grace at All

 

The doctrine of lawless grace is as dangerous as it is deceptive. It will require more explanation, and empowerment by God, which is the main meaning of grace.

Our anointing is to tell God’s people, who claim they have not forsaken the laws of God, where they have broken His law (Isa. 58:1-1). We are called to come against the method used by Satan in Eden, “Did God really mean you were to keep that law? Did He really say you weren’t to eat of this tree?” We need to be able to answer those who ask us why we love and keep the law of God (1 Pet. 3:15).

Jesus told us to become perfect by His grace and power in us, and the cry of His heart is heard in Deuteronomy 5:29. Let’s read it aloud. Jesus doesn’t change, and the cry of His heart is still the same, expressed in John 14:15. David was a man after the heart of Jesus, and He had that heart to lovingly respect Jesus and love and keep all His commandments. He loved God’s law and spoke of it with the admiration He had for Jesus (Ps. 119:97; 44-48). It was like honey in his mouth (119:103). That love for the law is what separates those who reason around keeping all the commandments and adopt the end-time heresy of lawless grace.

One of the main ways Satan is trying to keep Christians out of the rapture is by convincing them they don’t need to even try to be perfect like their Father. He has them deceived by a dangerous doctrine of demons, the doctrine of lawless grace. Paul asked the question in Romans 6:1, “Should we keep on sinning so grace may abound?”  He gave the categorical answer, “No way!”

It’s a wonder how people champion Paul as the one is supposed to have said the opposite, that the law is bad and grace is good, that all the First Testament is an ancient relic that does not need to be taken seriously, and the riches of grace only exist in the New Testament where no law will condemn us because they are done away.

The meaning of the combined letters of the Hebrew word law or instruction, torah, signifies, “that which comes from the man nailed to the cross.” Jesus gave the law and then came to die for those who broke it. Do you think after dying to save us from the penalty of law breaking that He would then tell us to go on breaking the law?

It’s hard to see how they can reason away Matthew 5:17-20 where Jesus said He did not come to do away with the law, but said that if you teach men not to observe even the least of the commandments, you will be considered least in the Kingdom, and that our righteousness must surpass the legalistic, self-righteousness of the Pharisees. How can you surpass it if you have no standard on which to base your progress?

Can you imagine a pole vault exhibition where there is no bar to cross. How can you determine how high you have vaulted if you have no bar?

Jesus said a sign of the end would be that lawlessness would abound. The surprising thing is that this lawlessness would be prevalent in the church! Jesus would reject those who did miracles in Jesus’ name because they walked in lawlessness (Mat. 7:22-23).

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘[Master, Master] did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”

Paul confirms in 2 Timothy 3 that lawlessness would abound among those who have a form of godliness—church people.

 

Lousy Lawlessness

 

Satan deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9), and that includes the Christian religion. He has deceived Christian leaders into embracing lawlessness as a doctrine, turning “the grace of our God into licentiousness” (Jude 4), which is defined as lacking moral discipline or ignoring legal restraint, especially in sexual conduct; having no regard for accepted rules or standards; not being in accord with standards of right or good conduct. They don’t agree with God that His law is good, that it is love.

The effect of teaching that grace does away with the law engenders disrespect for the law of God, which is simply love as defined by God, His character as defined by Him, not by man. When man decides what is right and wrong, that is the doctrine represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or the tree of sin. “Surely God didn’t really mean not to eat of it,” said Satan. But He did, and He does.

Jesus had to die on a tree to pay for the penalty that doctrine of lawlessness brought. Eating of that tree brought the wages of sin or death. The sin of Adam brought in a new, carnal nature that was passed down to all mankind.  The fleshly, carnal mind is “hostile toward God” and His laws of love (Rom. 8:7). This fleshly mind “does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”

When teachers tell us they don’t think we should submit to the law of God, they are admitting that they are walking in the flesh, not the Spirit of God, whom God gives to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). If they annul even one of the least of these commandments in the Law and the Prophets that Jesus said were not done away, they are called least in the Kingdom (Mat. 5:17-20).

Don’t they realize God is not honoring them for saying the commandments are done away by grace? They have no idea what grace is.

When you compare Jeremiah 31:33 and Hebrews 8:10, which quotes it, you can easily see that the same law Jesus the Word gave in the First Testament is the law that will be written in our hearts. That’ s because Jesus is the Love and Grace inside us that enables us to keep His laws of love. We are justified by Jesus’ blood, but we are saved by His life in us (Rom. 5:10). The covenant failed because of the people, but the same law would be written on the hearts of real believers.

The doctrine of lawless grace is one of the subtlest deceptions in the church today. Teachers make great statements based on one verse without taking that verse in the context of the whole Bible.

Paul asks in Rom. 3:31, “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” He even says that sin, which is the breaking of the law (1 John 3:4), “shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).

What he is simply saying is that by the grace of Jesus in you, you will have the power not to break the law by sinning. Jesus agrees perfectly with Paul who says the important thing is not if you are Jew of Gentile, but it is the keeping of the commandments of God (1 Cor. 7:19). He doesn’t say the commandments of Jesus only, but the commandments of God, the same ones Jesus told the young ruler he must obey if he wanted to have eternal life (Mat. 19:17-18).

 

Jesus Said What?

 

Jesus did not say to the man who asked him how to inherit eternal life what most preachers think He should have told them: “Accept My grace, and don’t be concerned about even trying to keep all those laws in the Hebrew Scriptures. Once I am nailed to the cross all those laws, especially the Sabbath, will be nailed there and y’all will all be keeping Sunday and will just have to be ready to follow only what I said, that is, to love others as I have loved you. Grace sums up all those laws in one word, love, so that’s your guide, love. No more rules, no more of those dos and don’ts. I’ve come to set you free from law keeping. That’s old stuff that will be done away.” Jesus said just the opposite. Imagine how many would call Him a legalist today. I mean, telling someone they need to keep the Ten Commandments to have eternal life!

Was Jesus teaching salvation by works? No. However, in a way He was, but not by our works—by His works in us. See the difference? We cannot keep the commandments by our own strength. It must be Jesus, or Grace, in us.  Paul confirms this, saying we are saved by grace, not works, but he goes on to say that we are the workmanship of Jesus, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).

How can you tell whether a work is good or bad, sin or not, but by the law that defines sin? So neither Paul nor Jesus is doing away with the law, only justification by law keeping. They are saying that Jesus or Grace in you does the works of keeping the law.

The law was weak because of the flesh of those who did not have Jesus in them to keep it, but with Jesus the “requirements of the law “ are fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:4). It’s true that in regards to the fruit of the Spirit, “against such things there is no law” (Gal. 5:23). That’s because the love of God or the Grace that is Jesus in us fulfills the law’s demands perfectly. Because no law is broken does not mean no law against sin exists.

Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness, which is defined by the law (Titus 2:12).

The problem was never with the law. Jesus was “finding fault with them”, Hebrews 8:8 says, not finding fault with the covenant itself or the law. Obedience to the law is the pathway to blessings (Deut. 5:29).

The law brings death when you break it. And even when we do break it, we have Jesus’ blood to cleanse us so we don’t die, but live. The law was meant for life and blessing. The letter of the law kills only if you don’t have Jesus. In Him we have life, and the grace to keep the law.

The problem with Israel is that, unlike us, they did not have the Lawgiver living in them to empower them to keep His law. God is Love. Jesus is Love. The law is love (1 John 5:3). Love fulfills the law (Rom. 13:10). So who can fulfill the law in us? The same One who said He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Mat. 5:17). He fulfilled it by keeping it perfectly and thus showing us how, but even more, to come and keep it in and through us (Gal. 2:20). Why limit the “greater things” we would do to miracles? Loving the unlovable is part of those great works Jesus will do through us.

Some say Jesus kept the law for us—so we don’t have to! Did the Pharisees keep the law? Maybe in a picky, self-righteous way, but they did keep the rules. And Jesus said our righteousness must surpass theirs. He said if we wanted to have eternal life, we must keep the Ten Commandments (Mat. 19:17). The lies are popular and abound. Don’ believe Jesus did it for you. Know He can keep the law in and through you. That’ grace!

 

Who’s Lying?

 

How do you tell who is lying and who is telling the truth about this controversial subject of law and grace? Read 1 John 2:3-6. Walking as Jesus walked means keeping the same commandments and the same days He kept. And Paul tells us to follow him as he followed Jesus. Paul kept the Sabbath and the holy days and believed “everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets” (Acts 24:14). Isn’t that exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17?

Paul makes clear it is not our works. If you read Ephesians 2:4-10 thoughtfully, you see that our initial salvation is through faith. It is a gift of God. We deserve death, so this gift from God is the mercy part of grace (verse 4), which is only a small part of the conceptual meaning of this word.

This undeserved favor causes Christians to confuse mercy with grace, not realizing that this initial mercy is only an extremely small part of grace. They make it everything. It seems that Jesus becomes so merciful that He now allows us to disregard His laws of love as “too hard to keep” so we don’t really have to obey since Jesus did it 2000 years ago. They are actually denying or nullifying the grace of God, denying that Jesus is powerful and loving enough to live His law of love in and through us.

They misunderstand and misapply Galatians 2:20-21. Verse 20 makes it clear that Paul finally realized the real Paul was not a wretched man struggling with sin and failing continually. Jesus was living in Paul, making him a new creation. He lived by the faith, love, and grace of Jesus in him. He said, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

Indeed, Jesus died and rose needlessly if we try to be made right with God by trying in our strength to keep the law. Paul did not mean that we nullify the grace of God if we say that we still need to keep the law. He was saying unless we know it is Jesus who does it in us, which he had just explained in the previous verse, Jesus’ sacrifice was in vain. He lives needlessly in us if we don’t invoke His grace to keep His law.

Teachers on TV make outrageous statements that are subtle twists of the truth. One said, “We cannot obey God in our own strength. We cannot follow the law.” He explained later that he meant we don’t have to go by the law, which has been replaced by the fruit of the Spirit. So they are declaring they cannot keep the law. And rather than calling on Jesus, the Grace within us, to keep it, they believe He did it for us so we simply need to follow the Spirit and we will automatically keep the law. If it were automatic, the whole church would be meeting on Saturday!

They think law is bad and grace is good. That is an oversimplification and an error. Grace is good and the law is good, and the good grace gives us the supernatural power to keep that good law.

The confusing mumbo-jumbo of these grace teachers makes you wonder if they themselves know what they believe, or if they have ever read the whole Bible.

This teacher, with a Dr. in front of his name, said this: “And this freedom I have, it’s not 613 laws from the Old Testament¬—it’s not even ten commandments. People will harp on the Ten Commandments and say that’s their guide, but we know the Scriptures say we are led by the Spirit, an “all-fruit” diet. It’s not six hundred laws. It’s not ten laws. It’s not, get rid of the Sabbath and have nine laws. I mean we’re trying to whittle our way down to getting nine demands to keep us on the straight and narrow, but it’s really curious and quite coincidental that there are nine fruits of the Spirit, and so what God says is, that if you want the nine, then all you need is one, the I Am, the One. And with the One, you get the nine, and we are so afraid that we need those nine over here, but I am love, and I am joy and self-control; I am enough. When they outlawed alcohol during the prohibition, there were more problems with alcohol, not less.  Sin increased when the law was given. Under the law, things are forbidden. In the freedom of grace we have a new command: ‘Love others as I have loved you.’ The law puts the emphasis on the expectation of a performance. We try too hard and fail.”

The TV interviewers were convinced, and impressed. Are you? Will you be deceived?

Have you noticed they like to attribute fear and condemnation to law keepers. They can’t see that you can keep the law without the spirit of legalism. They can’t see that keeping the law “under grace” and by the power of the indwelling Jesus is actually a security in love, not an expectation of condemnation.

 

Keeping the Law Under Grace?

 

Did we say, “keeping the law under grace”? Yes, we did. Paul agrees in several places. It was Paul who told the saints at Corinth, “…stop sinning” (1 Cor. 15:34). Since sin is breaking the law (1 John 3:4), wasn’t he saying, “Keep the law”?

The bottom line for the teacher we quoted above is: “Don’t even try to keep all those burdensome laws. Just let Jesus in.”

A day later on the same program another teacher said the law was not done away, but of course he does not teach that the Sabbath is still in effect. He went through most of the laws against stealing, murder, and adultery and said we would still have to refrain from these sins. However, Sunday keepers manage to keep nine commandments, throwing out the test commandment, the fourth, and still say they are obeying all the commandments. Some of our African pastors have gone to Sunday keepers who promise to give them money, so they fail the Sabbath test and worship the spirit of mammon more than Jesus.

The tricky, serpentine reasoning of these TV teachers can easily lead people astray. They say, “That’ sounds right.” Problem is, it is not right according to the Word of God.

One famous Christian TV broadcaster ignored a First Testament law about marriage with the phrase, “The Old Testament says that, but we’re in the New Testament now. We’re under grace.” So he is saying we can ignore all those Old Testament laws. Yet Jesus said we are to live by every word that comes out of the mouth of God, and “all those Old Testament laws” came out of His mouth, since He was the Word who spoke for the Godhead (John 1:1-18), and He said no one had ever heard or seen the Father (John 5:37).

Yahovah or Yahweh appeared and talked to men in the First Testament, so He had to be the One who became Jesus. He was the One who spoke the Ten Commandments and wrote them with His own finger. It was Jesus who spoke “all those Old Testament laws.” Calling them a burden is calling Jesus a Burden-giver rather than a Burden-bearer. None of His commandments are burdensome (1 John 5:3).

The laws of our nations are much more numerous than 613 or 1226. One man was fined thousands of dollars and convicted of a federal crime that required jail. All this because he was lost in a Southwestern U.S. snowstorm on his snowmobile and accidentally ventured into a restricted federal territory, having no idea it was restricted.  He had to spend a quarter of a million dollars in a lawsuit to come out with a $75 fine.

God’s laws are few compared to man’s laws. And He doesn’t expect us to keep them in the flesh but to rely on His supernatural presence in us to keep them.

How can we grow to become perfect like our Father (Mat. 5:48) if we ignore His definition of who He is, His perfect law of love?

How can we love Him without loving His law? David is called a man after God’s own heart. Should we not therefore imitate his love for the law? When you read Psalm 119, you come away with an awe of God’s law and commandments. David loved the law, all of it, all of its statutes and judgments. Those who are teaching lawlessness are not men after God’s own heart. They love their warped definition of grace, but they don’t love God’s law.

If the foundation of God’s law of love is destroyed, what can the righteous do (Ps. 11:3)?  Solomon experimented at the end of his life with the ways of the knowledge of good and evil, man deciding for himself what is good according to what feels good. And at the end of his life, after coming back to the Passover and Unleavened Bread celebrations, he said, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: [reverence] God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person” (Eccl. 12:13).

This book is what the Jews read at the Feast of Tabernacles. But that’s because they started at the foundation, the first of the feasts of God, Passover and Unleavened Bread, whose lessons are summed up in Psalm 130:3: “If You, [Eternal], should mark iniquities, O [Eternal], who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be [revered and respected].”

Did Jesus tell the adulterous woman, “Your sins are forgiven. Now keep on sleeping around so that grace may abound”? No. He said, “Go and sin no more.”

What’s the difference in being convicted to keep the seventh commandment and the fourth? When you realize God means what He says when He commands us to keep His Sabbath, why would Jesus say anything different than, “Go and sin no more.” Sabbath keeping was common in Jesus’ day, so He never told anyone that, but He would say the same thing to a person just discovering the Sabbath truth. Just as Jesus was more merciful with Even than Adam, so He is merciful to those who have been deceived about the law and the Sabbath. He gently calls them into His presence on His day rather than making them feel condemned.

Jesus gave these feasts to His bride so she could be ready to be raptured to the wedding feast in heaven. Unless she loves God’s laws of love and calls on the Bridegroom of Grace within her to love and keep those laws, she will not be raptured. She could hear the words many will hear, “You use My name and call Me Master, but depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

 

Lawless Grace is Powerless Grace

 

Lawless grace is not grace at all. It is grace stripped of all its’ power. You can’t have a wedding feast with a Bridegroom you have denied.

Our job as keepers of these feasts of ridding ourselves of falseness is to neutralize the falseness and lawlessness that abounds in the Christian world. We need to know the truth and tell others the difference between the subtle falseness of the popular doctrines of demons they have blindly accepted and the truth that will set them free.

The law is good and brings great blessings—if obeyed. Grace is even better because He, Jesus, gave the law, and He is the power within us to keep it. Let’s love it and keep it, and show others by the blessings we receive that loving the law is the best way (Deut. 4:6-9). It leads to abundant and eternal life.

Grace in the form of the fruit of the Spirit, or the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in us, has been compared by one of our members here to ice cream. They are enjoying their ice cream and exclaim, “I love this stuff. I don’t need a cow anymore!” But ice cream comes from cream, and cream comes from cow’s milk.

David rejoiced in Jesus, but He also said the law of love was like honey in his mouth. He tasted and saw that God was good, but that His law was also good.

Paul says that Gentile Christians are grafted into Jesus Christ and partake with the Jewish Christians of “the rich root of the olive tree” (Rom. 11:17). The olive tree is symbolic of the anointed heritage of the First Testament, the biblical root provided by the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus said in John 5:47, “But if you do not believe his [Moses’] writings, how will you believe My words?”

You don’t get ice cream without first having milk from a cow. And you have no basis on which to understand Jesus without the foundation of the First Testament, the law and the prophets Jesus said He did not come to abolish.

Let’s offer another analogy: a riverbed and a river. The law is the riverbed and the fruit of the Spirit or the Grace that is Jesus is the river.  Paul tells us about the river and the riverbed in Romans 8:3-4. He said we were free from the law of sin and death, not from the law that defines sin. “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh [of those who did not have Grace of Jesus inside them], God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as an offering for sin, He condemned sin [law breaking!] in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

But we thought there were no more requirements of the law, no more need for “performance” of the law? But no, Paul is saying that the good graces of Jesus embodied in the fruit of the Spirit are connected to the law. They fulfill its requirements. The river of grace flows down the riverbed of the law. The law defines the limits and boundaries of love. The flow of love and grace of the river fills the riverbed but does not overflow its banks and cause flooding. Romans 13:10 says that Love or Jesus in us, or Grace in us, fulfills the law.

It’s really alarmingly simple. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” He adds in John 15:5, “…apart from Me you can do nothing.” When it comes to our being made blameless in spirit, soul, and body so we are ready to be raptured up as the Bride of Jesus, Jesus assures us, “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thes. 5:24). Lawless grace won’t get you there, but Jesus will.

Those who will be deceived by the man of sin are those who “did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thes. 2:10). If you have swallowed these doctrines of demons without checking them out in the Word, you could easily fall for the bigger lies to come. Will you be a lover of the doctrines of demons, or a lover of the truth?

 

 

 


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