“Grace” That Leads To Sin And Death
Cont., page 2
OUR CALL TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
We are going to examine here the first few chapters in Romans—a most important book. Why? Because they bring light upon Christianity and what the Father is doing. To begin with, in Romans 2:9-11 we read: “There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.” This contrast of the Jew and the Greek/Gentile is very much so the subject of chapters 2 and 3. And in the chapters that follow there is a like parallel of Law and grace.
Let us get right to the point here. You know the verse in Ecclesiastes 1:9: “That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” In this regard, we will see that what is presented in the opening chapters of Romans regarding the preceding Jews and the fulfilling Greeks/Gentiles, is repeated or even fulfilled in the preceding Christians and the fulfilling Bride. I do believe you will find this to be exceptionally clear and revealing as we take a journey through these chapters in Romans. But first, let us reach forward to Romans 11:11-24 where we find this very point. It is lengthy, but most worthy and relevant to read here at the beginning. And since this is in fact that which has been is that which will be, in this first paragraph you will read it in its original text. But then I will repeat this paragraph and let it read regarding the fulfillment today.
I say then, they [the Old Testament believer] did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead. If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.
Now for the much needed fulfillment today:
I say then, they [Christians] did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Bride, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Bride, how much more will their fulfillment be! But I am speaking to you who are Bride. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of the Bride, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow Christians and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead [immortality]. If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.
This comparison is most evident. Continuing now with verses 17-24, you can mentally make the comparison yourself. And the warning here is most relevant to today!
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
So yes, just as the natural branches were cut off and the spiritual—Christians—were grafted in, so Christians will be cut off and the Bride will be “grafted” in. Remember, in like wording regarding Christians we read in Zechariah 13:7-8: “’Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; and I will turn My hand against the little ones. It will come about in all the land,’ declares Yahweh,’ that two parts in it will be cut off and die; but the third will be left in it.’” So without any question, just as the natural branch was cut off, for two thousand years the spiritual branch has been cut off and they have indeed died; and it is time for the Bride to now be “grafted” in.
And remember, in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 we see that Paul could not speak of the “third heaven,” the third part of the kingdom of heaven where we are right now as the Bride comes out of the sleeping/dead Body. Even as the Body was created, so the Bride is to now be created. This is the Bride that comes out of the Body, even as we see here that Christianity is being cut off and the Bride is grafted in. And before we proceed further into Romans, let me preface this with the following exceptionally justified concern.
When pastors, priests, and teachers fail to uphold the standard clearly set forth in the Scriptures and teach a compromising and even contradicting message, or scenarios where there is a lack or dismissal of accountability for one’s actions, they become Satan’s minions and moreso avail themselves, and those who heed them, to the wretched place of increased judgment! Take for example divorce. Yahshua Himself set forth the standard (Luke 16:18), yet the foolish today choose to disregard, alter, and justify it, and rather instead live by the flesh and not by the instruction of God. Likewise, the woman forsaking her role in the family and in the church, or teaching or not covering her head when she prays, are all the unrighteous and compromising failures of corrupted kingdom man. The immodesty and worldly attire and worldly music (including present Christian music) all scream of the violation of God’s ways—and all of this is performed under the auspices and even direction of those to whom these souls have been entrusted! All of this is for the sake of supposed success and is presented by those who wish to tickle men’s ears. And in doing these things they utterly fail in establishing a kingdom where righteousness dwells! No, the church instead is a harlot!
I can understand their eschatological ignorance. I can understand a complete blindness to what the Father is truly performing through the church—the Zechariah 4 covenant of the olive tree/lampstand/olive tree, or Bride/Body/Bride. But it is clearly written—to your faith add moral excellence (2 Peter 1:5)—and there is absolutely no excuse for what pastors, priests, and teachers are doing, thereupon taking the hearers down the broad way that many travel and are therein led to death! Other than a few groups such as the Mennonites or Amish, the church today is a failure in many regards! Like the faithful Rechabites in the days of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 35), you have in those two groups examples placed right before you, and you do not even follow them but follow in the ways of the world! You therein have no excuse. You cannot claim ignorance. You cannot choose some things that you like and throw out the rest. The word of God is not a buffet where you get to choose what you want and reject the other.
Pastors don’t feed the complete word of God or instruct in righteousness. If they did they would lose their congregations, and financially they can’t afford that. They are shortsighted and mix the things of God with the things of the world and have corrupted the church. They go by what they see around them and not by what the word of God says. Today, it is just as it is written, exactly what Yahshua said it would be: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven (corruption/compromise), which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened." It is like a mustard seed that upon planting becomes a large tree that the birds, the demons, nest in (Matthew 13:31-33). Furthermore, it is the afflicted Body of Christ at the hands of the Romans/nations! On its head is the cares-of-the-world crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29). And it is clothed in the scarlet (Matthew 27:28) and purple (Mark 15:17, John 19:2) robe of a whore, Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:4), who commits harlotry with the nations! And most assuredly, a blindfold (Mark 14:65) has been placed upon its eyes so that it can neither see nor prophesy. In truth, it is beaten and afflicted by the world to the extent that it no longer bears the image of the original appearance of Christ (Isaiah 52:14)! Christianity is the afflicted and corrupted Body of Christ that is taken to death!
And if you believe otherwise and reject or ignore the failures and fate of the Body of Christ, you are a foolish man and will suffer loss at Immanuel’s return. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:26). This house will crumble with the latter rain and the return of Yahshua, and great will be its fall! Come quickly, Immanuel! What we must have at this time is that prophesied in Daniel 9:26: “and the end will come with a flood!” Despite what Christians falsely teach, the flood we have to have is the flood of the Holy Spirit that will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8), and cleanse and call a Bride out of the corrupted Mystery Babylon church!
The actual purpose and initial inspiration of this writing as reflected in the title, is to address the way Christians use “grace” and the “blood of Jesus” to do wrong and sin. As recorded in Jude 1:4, they “turn the grace of our God into sensuality/unbridled lust.” Paul asked the apt question and answered it, “Shall we sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2). This is a detestable and shameful thing, and Christians, or anyone, only deceive themselves concerning the fate of their actions and all the more bring judgment upon them. And as has been noted, the pastors and teachers and priests will share in this culpability. I would hate to be a Christian pastor today when there is so much sin and error and worldliness taking place in the church, and that equally being promoted by them: e.g. immoral dress and worldliness and heavy-beat music and women teachers/pastors and vanity and more! Worldliness is so pervasive in the church today that they do not even know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil.
Now, before we proceed into Romans, beginning with chapter 2, let us first consider the word “righteous” or “righteousness.” Most people equate “righteousness” with “holiness,” but that is not the case. The Hebrew word for “righteous” is “tsadiyq,” and has the specific meaning of: “straight, upright, does not depart from the path.” This carries into the New Testament as well. Thus we see that the very core of righteousness necessitates faithfulness in our walk, in our actions. It speaks of how we actually live our lives, not departing from the right path.
Having noted this critical truth, beginning with Romans 2:5-8, we read:
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
And Paul’s reference to the behavior of the Jews in this chapter is no different from today when Christians (or even Bride) reject the clear instructions of the Scriptures. In Romans 2:23-24 we thus read:
You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles [nations] because of you,” just as it is written.
Christians today are the Jews of Paul’s time. They boast in Christianity, but they dishonor God, and His name is blasphemed.
In Romans 3:5 we read: “But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say?” This is the “grace” that Christians rely upon. So that they can sin and do wrong, they simply say that they are “a sinner saved by grace.” That might sound good, but that excuse can only last so long, for in verse 8 we read: “And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), ‘Let us do evil that good may come’? Their condemnation is just.” This is a warning to Christians, or anyone, who continue practicing sin. And as we have noted, in Romans 6, verses 1-2, we read the immensely relevant passage: “Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” We will examine this further when we address chapter 6.
And in Romans 3:10 we read: “There is none righteous, not even one.” I hate it when Christians falsely quote this verse so as to excuse or justify their sin. This and the verses that follow, in context were simply to say that both Jews and Gentiles are sinners, herein directed at the Jews and their sense of elevation.
Likewise, in verse 23 we find the same excuse used to justify sin: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” What is actually being said here is that both Jews and Gentiles have sinned. And then, yes, we are indeed justified by faith: “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (vs. 24). Certainly, justification is by faith, for Jews and Gentiles alike, as is the subject here. And verse 25 states regarding our initial acceptance of Yahshua as our Savior: “because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.” Did you notice that? When we come to Yahshua as our Savior, sins up to that point are forgiven. But, what if we keep on sinning? That is the question. Yahshua told the prostitute, “Go and sin no more,” and we have the same obligation.
Hebrews 10:26-31 certainly addresses this, warning us:
For if we sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
Warning—Do not take this passage lightly! We are wise if we hate sin and seek to walk circumspectly, especially since we are at a place of reckoning when the Bride makes herself ready, and all who seek to enter the marriage of the Bride will not enter in (Matthew 25:10-13, Luke 13:23-25).
Then in Romans 3:27-28 Paul conclusively asks, “Where then is boasting?,” and answers, “It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” Again though, the specific matter being addressed here is regarding the Jews versus the Gentiles, their Laws versus God’s grace, and cannot be used to dismiss “works” that are required to follow faith. If you do not continue in faithful obedience, “performing deeds worthy of repentance” (Acts 26:20), then you too will be cut off, as Paul added in Romans 11:22: “Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off!” And then Paul throws a curve ball to the natural thinker and comes to the conclusion in verse 31 of chapter 3: “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” The Law is good, and when through grace we produce the fruits thereof, we establish/confirm it.
Now to Romans 4. In verse 3 we read: “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Paul aptly sets forth that in looking at salvation/justification purely from the standpoint of works alone, of course man would never be sufficient. And in truth, his opening point that Abraham was declared justified before circumcision is truly ingenious. In verses 9-11 we read:
Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised ….
Again, he “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Then in verses 14-15 Paul adds: “For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.” If the Law given to the Jews was adequate, then the need for Yahshua would have been made void. But since He did come and fulfill the Law of the Passover lamb, He justified the ungodly. In the remaining verses of this chapter, Paul continues to establish that our entrance into this walk with God is available through our faith.
In chapter 5, we see a departure from the systematic analysis of works versus faith. Paul begins to hang the sinew on the skeleton he just set forth, elaborating on the work Yahshua accomplished. In verses 1 and 2 we read: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction/access by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Note that faith is our access, our introduction, but not a foregone conclusion. It says here as well that “we exult in hope.” Hope is not a written guarantee either. And clearly, the rest of the Scriptures confirm this, as we read in Galatians 6:9: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” And three chapters later in Romans, 11:22, Paul clearly warns: “Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.” Could anything be clearer?
Off subject here, but verses 3 and 4 of chapter 5 are exceptionally valuable, and some of my favorite and most worthy to note here: “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint.” Amen.
Paul’s description in the remaining verses 15 thru 21 are brilliant and profound. He speaks of Abraham, and in verses 20-21 adds: “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I tell you, given the deplorable state of the church today, God is indeed having mercy—as we saw with Belshazzar and the scapegoat.
Romans 6 begins with a most worthy question after the strong teaching on Law versus grace. Verse 1 begins: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!” Of course the point of grace is so that “we too might walk in newness of life” (vs. 4). Verses 12-19 thus add:
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. [Amen!] I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
So true! And let us add here Romans 7:7-13:
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.
I entirely detest these supposed “grace” teachings/preachings that are used to justify and promote sin! As it is written, they “turn the grace of our God into sensuality/unbridled lust” (Jude 1:4). Following is an example of this error.
In many translations, they translate Romans 8:1 with this sole message: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” That is totally unlimited behavior with no related qualifications. But what is left out of that verse is the qualifier: “who do not walk according to flesh, but according to Spirit.” You can understand more about this deletion by reading here. But, the Literal Translation Version, which here is very similar to the Young’s translation, actually reads: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to flesh, but according to Spirit.” And even if that clause was not there, verse 4 then repeats this as affirmation to this vital truth: “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.” This qualifier makes all the difference in the world. The message is that there is no condemnation for those who claim Christ as their Savior, and do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. That is a huge difference! But to leave it out leads to great and grave error.
So it is most revealing as to what people want today, thereupon deceiving themselves. They want a “Savior” that allows them to sin with no consequences, that allows them to do what THEY want to do and still keep their rights to salvation. They want to live their lives the way they want to—the degree thereof being quite broad—and ignore the word of God and fashion it into a form that in truth is an idol, made in their own likeness. For example—divorce, the role and place of the woman, not being of this world and taking on its image (particularly so with women), not participating in evil or lying or unclean speech or porn or overindulgence in food or more. The church is no more in the image of Christ today than Christ Himself maintained His image at the hands of the Romans —“so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14). What happened to Christ, was to happen to the Body of Christ—and so it has been! He is not even recognizable in them!
Proceeding forward to Romans 8:12-13 we read: “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Amen!
And skipping to Romans 10:2, Paul spoke concerning the Jews that “they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” Here again, in Ecclesiastes 1:9 we read: “That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” Clearly, what the Jews were in the days and affairs of Paul, so Christians are today—they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
And Romans 11:1 asks, “God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!” Here again, this is certainly true with the Body of Christ. And remember, the VAST majority of Christians are in the grave, asleep. And just as Peter proclaimed on the day of Pentecost regarding Christ, so will be the case with the Body of Christ: “Because You will not abandon My soul to hades, nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” As Christ came out of the grave, so the Body of Christ will as well—but not until after three days and three nights, or 3,000 years. This will be their eighth-day Sunday sabbath that they have been establishing and acknowledging for 2,000 years. Again, that which has been is that which will be.
In verse 5 Paul speaks of a remnant out of Israel: “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” This is the repeated truth of a remnant taken out of the whole. There was a remnant of believers taken out of the Israelites (such as Paul declared), and today a remnant will be taken out of the Body of Christ—the Bride. There is the tithe, and there is the tithe of the tithe (Numbers 18:26). This is God’s order, His way. And in this regard, Paul noted: “What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written, ‘God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not, down to this very day’” (11:7-8). Likewise, what Christianity has been seeking, it too has not obtained. And without a doubt, having been teaching Bride for twenty-three years, a spirit of stupor has definitely been on Christians, eyes to see not and ears to hear not—until the Africa work.
And let us repeat here the strong warning of Romans 11:17-22:
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
I will close this with what were in fact the first two passages that I considered when beginning this writing. So actually, the first will now be last. In Matthew 7:13-14 we read the words of Yahshua:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is narrow and the way is [literally] afflicted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
And in 1 Peter 4:17-19 we read:
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the Godless man and the sinner? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
Did that say “in doing wrong,” or “in doing what is right”? There is no excuse whatsoever for choosing to do wrong. As we are warned, “if we sin willfully after we receive the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains the sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and zeal of fire to consume the adversaries!” And today, when we are looking for the formation of an obedient Bride who will be pleasing to Yahshua and thereupon be called up into heaven to receive an immortal, incorruptible body, this is all the more critical!
Let me close with a story, different from what you might expect. Back in the mid 1970s or so, I was driving probably home from work, and I saw myself as a tiny, tiny person in the midst of God’s palm. And I realized that if He wished, all He had to do was to close His great hand and He could crush me. When I saw this, I was immediately gripped with fear. But as quick as that fear came, it vanished when I was reminded of `His word: “perfect love casts out fear.” There are times in life I have taken confidence in that experience, knowing that I can indeed trust Him. Similarly, in Romans, chapter 8, verses 28-31, Paul added:
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
We can entirely trust Him, and look to Him to now establish His Bride for His beloved Son. May they be glorified forever. Amen.