Twisting Paul: Key Strategy of the False Grace Preachers
Some try to say that the Apostle Paul was out of line with the other Apostles. Some even try to say that he preached a different gospel than they did. Some who make such a claim do so in an attempt to attack the validity of the Bible and Biblical Christianity. Some make such a claim though to try to say that there is a separate gospel for gentiles than there is Jews or to say that the Apostle Paul understood right while the other Apostles were in error. All such claims though are madness and confusion.
As the Apostle Peter closed his second epistle, an epistle which is basically a warning against the false grace and ungodly influence from false teachers whose doctrine and example enable ungodly living, he both affirms Paul’s unity with the other Apostles and says that Paul’s doctrine echoes the message that he preaches himself. The epistles of Peter constantly emphasize that the true grace of God in Jesus Christ does not save those who continue to live ungodly and leads those who cooperate with it to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (as Paul also said in Titus chapter 2). Peter even warned at the same time that Paul’s words would commonly be twisted, along with the other Scriptures, by the unlearned and unstable unto their own damnation. He warned the Christians whom he was writing to take heed to this and not be swayed by their bad influence.
2 Peter 3:10-18: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (twist), as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
We see right from the Apostle Paul’s own testimony about his conversion, and the Gospel he preached since his conversion, how his message is in perfect alignment with Peter’s epistles. The verses we’re about to look at prove many things. They prove how Christ’s Gospel is the same for Jews and gentiles, they prove the necessity of repentance in order to truly believe on Jesus Christ and prove that repentance is changing one’s mind about sin so thoroughly and submitting to Jesus Christ’s Lordship so that one actually does works fitting for, or in keeping with, repentance. This absolutely blows the claims out of the water from the preachers of easy-believism who say that salvation is simply a matter of trusting Christ without turning from sin and obediently following Him in subjection to His Word.
Acts 26:9-23: “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”
Therefore, when people use Paul’s words from his epistles or words from elsewhere in Scripture to try to give comfort to people who are living wickedly and not wholeheartedly following Jesus Christ, you can know for sure that they are ministers of sin who are actually grievous wolves.
The false grace preachers quote Ephesians 2:8-9 (independent of its context and usually with a smooth sounding voice): “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
They won’t say that the man who said that also testified about his own Gospel preaching what we just read from Acts 26:19-21: “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.”
The false grace preachers quote Romans 4:5 (independent of its context and usually with a smooth sounding voice): “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
They won’t say that the man who said that also testified about his own Gospel preaching what we’ve read twice already in this message from Acts 26:19-21.
The false grace preachers quote 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (independent of its context, usually with a smooth sounding voice, and almost certainly not addressing the obvious possibility of having believed in Christ in vain which these verses do bring up): “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
They won’t say that these verses continue and culminate in Christ’s kingdom being delivered up to the Father at the end and God’s authority prevailing (we have dealt thoroughly with this particular Scripture in another “Biblical Context is Critical (here’s a key example why).” They also won’t point out the exhortation which stems from this passage that is given in 1 Corinthians 15:33-34: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”
The following examples show the Apostle Paul’s mindset as he preached. And yet there are tons of people going around acting like experts on Paul’s words and God’s grace who have a mindset which is totally opposed to Paul’s mindset.
Romans 15:16-19: “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
(Note the goal of the mighty signs and wonders which Paul did. Paul was not a showman, and he was not an enabler of man’s sensationalistic desires. He was actually totally the opposite).
Acts 24:24-25: “And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”
The false grace preachers do not preach like this. They rather say that man cannot live in the manner in which Paul described faithful Christianity. Their own unwillingness to die to self and sin’s pleasure in identification with Christ leaves them unrighteous, intemperate, and undiscerning regarding darkness and light, having little insight into the reality of the shocking great shaking which Christ’s judgment will actually bring about.
Acts 28:30-31: “And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”
The free offer of salvation in Christ and the opportunity for the ungodly to be justified is given on the condition that the resistance of the ungodly to Christ’s righteous authority end. There is no forgiveness in Him without exiting from the darkness of sin and entering into the light of His kingdom- and a pursuant walk in that light. The redemption which Christ accomplished on the cross paved the way for that. He offers justification in no other context.
Colossians 1:1-14: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
And just keep reading the Book of Colossians to see how the Colossians’ continued justification and overall standing in Christ was not guaranteed. They had to cooperate with their rescue and walk in the light by being obedient to Jesus Christ’s Lordship (as we must also do). And we must continue to cooperate in order to endure in the faith and inherit Christ’s kingdom when He comes back in glory. Cooperation with God’s grace to rescue us and redeem us from the guilt and power of sin makes one a fitting product for His eternal kingdom.
The false grace preachers like to bring up 1 Timothy 1:15 where Paul called himself the chief of sinners. Yet they neglect the context Paul said this in, evidently describing himself as a prime example of a sinner who obtained mercy and a pattern of how a man actually obtains Christ’s mercy.
1 Timothy 1:15-16: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
Why do they not note Paul’s pattern of how he diligently turned from his sin and overall opposition to Christ in order to be faithful in line with Christ’s righteous authority- and he connected this to his own salvation.
Acts 9:3-6: “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
Acts 26:19: “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.”
1 Thessalonians 2:3-12: “For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. For ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”
1 Corinthians 9:23-27: “And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Why do the false preachers who try to tell people not to be troubled if they are sinning, quoting Ephesians 2:8-9, and talking about Paul saying that he is the chief of sinners not have these things in their mindset and factored into their message? And why do they not tell people the many warnings from the man who called himself the chief of sinners to those who remain sinners and those who return to being sinners like the samples below?
Romans 6:19-21: “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity (lawless deed unto lawless deed); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-29: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
2 Corinthians 12:20-21: “For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.”
Ephesians 5:5-6: “For this ye know, that no whoremonger (one who is sexually immoral in any way), nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”
Aaron’s email is: [email protected]