True and False Teachings on "Falling from Grace"
The apostle Paul's Correct Definition of "Falling from Grace"
The apostle Paul gives us the true meaning of “Falling from Grace”.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:1-4)
Falling from grace is the condition of the Gentile Christians when they go back to practice circumcision which is an “attempt to be justified by law” and to “be entangled again with a yoke of bondage”. Whenever the New Testament mentions the law in connection with circumcision it is in reference to the law of Moses as shown here. “And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. (Acts 15:1) "But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses." (Acts 15:5)
During the Jerusalem Conference in which the issue of circumcision was debated the apostle Peter gave this reason why Gentile Christians should not be circumcised. “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” (Acts 15:10)The apostle James made this conclusion: “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,”(Acts 15:19) The Jerusalem conference made a resolution that Gentiles should not be circumcised.
The apostles, elders and brethren wrote a letter to the Gentile churches.
“Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law"--to whom we gave no such commandment--” (Acts. 15:24)
The law refers to the law of Moses. This is the reason why the apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians in the introduction of his epistle
:“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)
Going back to circumcision is turning away from the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what the apostle Paul refers to as “a different gospel” and perverting the “gospel of Christ.” Those who preach this different and perverted gospel are accursed.
A Total Departure from the apostle Paul's Definition of "Falling from Grace"
In his book “Destined to Reign” Joseph Prince, who is the senior pastor of Singapore's New Creation Church that has 20,000 people attending their services, gives the meaning of falling from grace a new twist. Here is what he wrote.
"In the very first chapter of Galatians, Paul says, "I marvel..." or as you and I would say today, "I am appalled..." What appalled him? Paul continues: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ."
Paul was angry because the Galatians were turning away from the "grace of Christ" to "a different gospel," and because there were some people who wanted "pervert the gospel of Christ." Paul had preached the gospel of grace to the Galatians, but he found that there were Judaizers who introduced elements of the law to them, mixing God's grace with the law. Do not belittle this problem. It was a serious problem and it made Paul very angry. Since Paul was full of the Holy Spirit and his anger was Spirit-inspired, it would benefit us to really understand why the mixture of law and grace angered him.
In most places today, the problem is not pure law. You will not find pure law in Christian churches. What you will find in many places today is a mixture of law and grace. You will hear teachings that combine the old and new covenants. You will hear things like, "yes, you are saved by grace, but now that you are saved, you had better not take it for granted. You have to start living a holy life by keeping the Ten Commandments." This is called mixture -- you have a little bit of grace and a little bit of law. Many believers think that this--balancing law and grace--is all right. However, the Lord has shown me that what man calls balance, God calls mixture.
My friend, you cannot balance law and grace. Your justification is either entirely a work of His grace or it is by your own works. His grace will be nullified when you add even a little mixture of man's own efforts to be justified. This is serious. God hates mixture.
Falling From Grace
Paul told the Galatians, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." This is the true definition of "falling from grace." Today, when someone sins, ministers say that the person has "fallen from grace." But Paul never told the Corinthians that they had fallen from grace despite all their sins. To fall from grace then is to fall into the law. Notice that grace is the high ground. When you are under the law, you have fallen from your high ground of grace. In the ark of covenant, the mercy seat is positioned above the Ten Commandments. You fall from grace when you go back to the Ten Commandments." --- an excerpt from Destined to Reign – pages 267- 268
The Truth about the Mixture of Law and Grace
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Gal. 1:6-9)
The most serious thing that the Galatians did was they had turned away from the Lord Jesus Christ who called them to the grace of Christ. To turn away from the Savior and preaching a different and perverted gospel will result in curses and condemnation.
What is the different and perverted gospel? Joseph Prince wrote that it is the mixture of law and grace. That is not the truth. The apostle Paul had written many references to the law and grace and showed that both can work together for the good of the Christians.
“Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”(Rom. 3:31) Paul did not write that we should do away with the law. He wrote; “we establish the law.” “For sin shall not have dominion 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? Certainly not!”(Rom. 6:14-15) “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." (Rom. 7:7) “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.”(Rom. 7:12)
If you agree with what the apostle Paul had written about the importance of the law that “we establish the law.” and “the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” he could not have objected to preaching law and grace together. Christians can surely believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and also keep the Ten Commandments (Mt. 19:16-19).
The Different and Perverted Gospel is Going Back to Circumcision
The different and perverted gospel that the apostle Paul wrote is definitely not mixing grace with keeping the Ten Commandments. It is clearly keeping the Law of Moses and going back to circumcision. How do we know this is correct? All we have to do is read through the whole epistle of Galatians and find out what Paul was writing about. Can we find any verses that mention the Ten Commandments? I cannot find even one. But there are many verses in the epistle of Galatians that mention circumcision in connection with the law and the false gospel.
1. Galatians 2:3-5 “Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),”
2. Galatians 5:1-8 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.”
3. Galatians 5:11-12 “And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!”
4. Galatians 6:12-15 “As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.”
There are ten (10) words that describe circumcision in the Epistle to the Galatians, and not even one single word that describes the Ten Commandments. If this is a contest to determine which is the real cause for falling from grace, we have a score of 10 points for circumcision as the main cause, and 0 points for the Ten Commandments.
Keeping the Ten Commandments is NOT Falling from Grace?
Joseph Prince wrote: You fall from grace when you go back to the Ten Commandments. Joseph Prince has made a very serious doctrinal error. Keeping the Ten Commandments cannot in any way be falling from grace. Let us go through the Ten Commandments and see whether or not Joseph Prince is in error by writing that it is falling from grace.
1. “You shall have no other gods before the One True God” How can you worship the One True God and not other gods be falling from grace? Joseph Prince is wrong.
2. “You shall not make any image and bow down to them and serve them.” How can anyone fall from grace by not bowing before images? Joseph Prince is wrong again.
3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.” Does Joseph Prince want to hear people swear falsely and abuse God's name? Joseph Prince is wrong again.
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Christians cannot fall from grace by worshiping God on the day He instituted, and that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath?
5. Honor your father and your mother, so that you will have long life.” Does Joseph Prince want people to dishonor their parents and have short lives? Rediculous!
6. “You shall not murder.” Every civilized country in the world has this law. Joseph Prince is wrong in writing that keeping this commandment is falling from grace.
7. “You shall not commit adultery.” Joseph Prince's false teaching of not keeping this commandment will result in adulterous and immoral societies everywhere.
8. “You shall not steal.” It is hard to find a civilized coutry that does not have this law. It is difficult to understand how keeping this commandment is falling from grace.
9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” This commandment is against lying with bad intention to harm others. Joseph Prince is wrong again.
10. “You shall not covet your neighbor's house, wife, servants and anything that belongs to him.”How can a Christian keeping this commandment be falling from grace?
Joseph Prince's teaching of “You fall from grace when you go back to the Ten Commandments” is against the truths as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles in the Early Church. It is a very dangerous teaching that misleads Christians.
The Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles taught Christians to keep the Ten Commandments.
The Lord Jesus Christ preached that keeping the Ten Commandments will have eternal life (Mt. 19:16-19; 5:19).
The apostle Paul preached keeping the Ten Commandments (Rom. 13:8-10; 1 Cor. 7:19).
The apostle John had written profusely on keeping the Commandments of God (1 Jn. 2:3,4; 3:22, 24; 1 Jn. 5:2,3; 2 Jn. 1:6; Rev. 12:17; 14:12; 22:14).
The apostle James wrote that we must keep every one of the Ten Commandmens (Jas. 2:8-13)
If keeping the Ten Commandments is falling from grace then it is also a different and perverted gospel that would bring curses on the preacher (Gal. 1:6-9). If what Joseph Prince wrote is true then the Lord Jesus Christ and all the apostles have been causing the Galatian Christians to fall from grace and they are all accursed. That is great big lie that originates from Satan!
Using Joseph Prince's own words I am appalled that he would write: “You fall from grace when you go back to the Ten Commandments.” All Christians need to be warned about accepting his false teachings. It will affect their salvation and going to heaven.
Warning for Christians in the End Time
The Bible has this prophecy for the End Time. "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17)
The dragon is the Devil and Satan (Rev. 12:9). The woman symbolizes the church (Eph. 5:30-32). The woman's offspring are the church members "who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Only those Christians who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will go to heaven.
“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."' "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them." (Rev. 14:12-13)
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life,and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” (Rev. 22:14-15)
Those who preach false doctrines that mislead people are liars. Not only they will go to hell but also those whom they have deceived.. Praise and thank God, Christians who have the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ and keep God's Commandments will go to Heaven. HalleluYah !