Sid Roth - True Grace
Sid Roth: Hello. Welcome. Welcome to my world where it's naturally supernatural. I'm so excited about our show because some 30 years ago, there was a problem that pervaded believers. It was called regalism. But you know what humans do? They rebel and they go from legalism to something new, which is called hyper grace. The grace message wonderful, but the hyper grace message, I believe could be the End Time deception that will cause millions of people to fall away from God. Hello. You know, my guest Dr. Michael Brown and I go back some 30 years, and I don't know a finer scholar in the world, on the planet. Dr. Brown has a degree from New York University in Semitic Languages. He speaks, reads and writes at least a dozen languages, memorized a great deal of the Old Testament in Hebrew. Dr. Brown, why are you talking all over the world about this hyper grace message that seems to be everywhere I see on television? I do know if anyone understands true biblical grace it's you. I do know because he's a Jewish believer in Jesus and I am, too. And as Jewish believers in Jesus, one of the greatest examples of grace is what happened to me when I found the Lord. I mean, I was just, like the Bible says, "A new creation". How bad were you before you found the Lord?
Dr. Michael Brown: Well I was heroin-shooting, LSD-using, diesel gas-huffing, rebellious, proud 16-year-old hippie rock drummer, even stealing money from my own father, and thinking I was doing great, proud of my wickedness when God saved me in 1971, the end of 1971. And Sid, it was literal transformation. And the thing that really set me free, God had convicted me of my sin and making me feel miserable, showing me what a wretch I was and in opening my eyes to my real condition. And the night I realized how good He was, December 17th of 1971, just singing these little hymns, very different than my old rock music, these little ditty hymns, I got this incredible joy I had never known before, and I realized this is different than drugs, this is different than sports, this is different relationships. This is the joy of the Lord. And it struck me, God loved me enough to wash me clean while I was in filthy. It says in Romans 5, "When we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us". And here I got this mental picture I was covered in filth and grime, and Jesus washed me with his blood and put these beautiful white robes on me. And I was going back out and playing in the mud. And I said, that's it, I will never put a needle in my arm again. And that was, from that night on, set free by the power of God. And then I saw this internal change where I wanted to please God. I wanted to do right. It was now my nature to please him. So grace did this amazing thing. In a moment of time, I went from totally guilty to totally righteous in God's site. In a moment of time, I went from being a child of the devil to be a child of God. And it wasn't based on how many good works I accomplished. It was based on receiving God's goodness in my life. That's the transforming power of grace. And because I love grace so much, I love pure true grace, I'm grieved over the distortions I see.
Sid Roth: Okay. What is, there's a term that you use and you speak about it all over the world, hyper grace. What is that?
Dr. Michael Brown: Hyper grace is exaggerated grace. People say, oh you can never exaggerate grace. Of course, you can. It's grace with addition. It's grace going beyond what the word says. It's grace where you have to cut out whole portions of scripture. It is a mixture. It is polluted and distorted grace. Now here's the thing. I don't call it counterfeit grace because there's a wonderful truth that many so called grace preachers are bringing, and that truth is liberating people. It's setting them free from guilt and condemnation, and legalism. They realize they're accepted because of what Jesus did and they're free. There's a wonderful truth, but it's preached with addition, with distortion, with exaggeration. So there's poison with it.
Sid Roth: What are you hearing around the world from this hyper grace message?
Dr. Michael Brown: Well I'm seeing such reaction against holiness, such reaction against hunger and thirst for God, because that's doing something. We don't have to do anything. We just rest. Jesus has done it all. The finished work of the cross means there's nothing left for me to do. So they preach against repentance. They preach against conviction of sin. They preach against the need to confess our sins. They preach against really accountability in your own life. That's just legalism. That's just commandments. You're a grace hater, you're a law preacher. You're a Pharisee. That's all... So I see division. I see spiritual deception. I see people letting sin in their lives. Now here's what's interesting. The leading grace preachers, they will all say this is not a license to sin. They will all say grace empowers you not to sin. The problem is the other things they preach with it, the additions, the distortions, the mixture, the poison, it does give people license to sin and it takes away the dealings of God in our lives.
Sid Roth: Here's the sad thing. Many people that were walking in true purity, in true holiness, as they get exposed to this message they, that's all the devil needs, and they start doing things they would never have done before, and before you know it, they're in absolute sin. And guess what? They don't even feel the need to repent.
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here with Dr. Michael Brown. Mike, what would you say the fundamental deception is in this hyper grace message?
Dr. Michael Brown: One of the big concepts is this. When you get saved God not only forgives your past sins and your presents sins, but all of your future sins He forgives in advance. So that means if you go out and blow it tomorrow, you don't have say, "God, I'm sorry, I sinned, wash me, cleanse me, forgive me," because you're already forgiven. That means that the Holy Spirit will never convict you of sin because God has already forgiven that sin. That means no matter what you do it cannot even affect your relationship with God or your standing with God because you've already been pronounced forgiven. That means that if you or I do something atrocious and God said, it doesn't even grieve Him, because He doesn't even see it, He always only sees you as perfectly righteous and therefore, you never, ever have to deal with sin.
Sid Roth: But wait a second. Are these the fringe bloggers that are saying these things? Are the main grace teachers saying what you've just said?
Dr. Michael Brown: Oh, this is fundamental. One of the famous, prominent ones out there, he says, God does not give forgiveness in installments. So the moment you get saved, all your future sins are already pronounced forgiven. You say, what about First John 1, "If we confess our sins, He's faithful just to forgive us our sins, to cleanse us from all righteousness," they will all, the mainstream hyper grace teachers will all say, no, no, no, that's just for someone getting saved. When you get saved, you confess your sin. Or that's for alleged gnostic heretics who were part of the congregations there, and John is reaching out to them. Of course, that whole scenario is bogus. It's we. It's talking about us, it's talking about believers. The heretics were the outsiders. They, John talks about it as "they", they had already left the camp. If I ignore sin in my life, if I deny its presence there are some who even teach this. Because my spirit is perfect in God's sight and my spirit doesn't sin, then I don't really sin when I sin. That it's just my flesh and I'm not my flesh. Well one well-known teacher said this, "We not our sins". So that's what God is looking at. Sid, He's looking at the whole person. If sin is not an issue, why does almost every letter in the New Testament deal with it?
Sid Roth: What does Titus say about that?
Dr. Michael Brown: Here's what Titus says. Titus 2:11: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching them to say no to ungodliness and to live holy and disciplined lives in the present age". God's grace teaches us to say no to sin. Sin is an ongoing issue. In the New Testament, Paul keeps raising it. Paul says this in Second Corinthians 7: "Let us perfect holiness in the fear of God". Let's get rid of everything that defiles flesh and spirit. In Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3, Jesus speaks to the seven churches in Asia-Minor, and to five out of the seven, these are believers, the churches, five out of the seven he says, "Repent or else". If he doesn't see our sin, why is he rebuking us? If he doesn't see our sin, why is he grieved? Sid, we have a relationship with God and relationship means shared life, and that means we can grieve God. That means we can disappoint God.
Sid Roth: Mike, you know, what you're saying to me, it defies my 40 years of reading the Bible. I live a repentant life. I mean, that's normal. I don't understand how this deception could, it's got to be a spiritual blindness. It can't be natural if you read the Bible.
Dr. Michael Brown: You know what I see happening? Our whole culture is it's all about me. I have books that are written by gay Christian pastors and they're practicing homosexuals who are pastors. They're obviously in a struggle. What they've done is they've now rewritten scripture and they'll say, grace has delivered me. I'm not under that legalism. I'm not under that condemnation. I'm not under all those Old Testament laws. God sees me as righteous. Don't put me under that. I think that's what the hyper grace teachers are saying. And is what happens when it's about me, this is who I am, this is how I live. The American gospel that we preach is Jesus died to make you into a bigger and better you. Well if it's all about me, well this hurts my feelings, this makes me feel bad, as opposed to, Father, how can I please you. You know Sid, there are hyper grace teachers, mainstream, that say if you're trying to please God, you'll never do it, and get rid of a God pleasing mentality.
Sid Roth: But wait a second. You can't read the Old Testament.
Dr. Michael Brown: No, you don't read the Old Testament. Throw out the Old Testament.
Sid Roth: What?
Dr. Michael Brown: Hang on.
Sid Roth: Did you hear that?
Dr. Michael Brown: That's the law, Sid. We're under the law. We're under grace. Get rid of that. That's just the laws, that's the mainstream....
Sid Roth: Do you know what Bible the first church had? They only had the Old Testament. Do you realize they weren't slouches either. How would you like to be operating in the power they operated under?
Dr. Michael Brown: Look, the bottom line is Paul preached grace using what we call the Old Testament as his Bible. But hyper grace teachers have a big problem. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray, "Father forgive as we forgive". That means forgiveness is ongoing. No, no, no. That's not for us today. Throw out the words of Jesus. Those were just for the Jews in Jesus' day. Anything that Jesus taught before the cross doesn't apply to us. The Sermon on the Mount is the law on steroids to bring law-keeping people to frustration. It is not grace. This is what mainstream hyper grace teachers are putting forth.
Sid Roth: All right. Is mainstream moving towards everyone is ultimately saved including the devil?
Dr. Michael Brown: Well let's say this. Mainstream continues to move away from biblical grace. It continues to distort. So the fringe is already there. So how far does it go? I have books by so-called Christian authors who say true grace means everyone will be saved. True grace means there is no hell. And one of them has gone so far, he started with a heart for revival, repentance. He threw that out. He started to preach a hyper grace message. He is now saying, is the devil beyond the limits of God's grace. So this is where the fringe is going.
Sid Roth: This, you know, when I said, could this be the End Time deception that will cause millions to walk away from the Lord in the last days, as the Bible says will happen, well you decide.
Sid Roth: I'm here with Dr. Michael Brown and you will not believe what he just told me during our commercial break. The hyper grace people are advocating not only throwing out the Old Testament, but get this, throwing out the words of Jesus. Explain.
Dr. Michael Brown: Well one hyper grace teacher actually says this, he says, "The Bible Society," I don't know which Bible society he means. "The Bible Society made a terrible mistake when they put the Old Testament together with the New Testament. It totally confuses people". Another leading hyper grace teacher, well known, TV, books, he actually has a series teaching the differences between the God of the Old Testament, the cruel, angry God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. The God of the Old Testament is the Father of Jesus. I mean, it's mind boggling they get this wrong. But some teach this in mainstream that what Jesus said before the cross was for the Jewish people that were listening to him then, and he gave teaching so that they would come to despair and see their own legalistic righteousness, how that fails, and they finally leave from grace, but it doesn't apply to us. Well why does Jesus say in John 15, "If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask what you will, it will be done for you", why does Jesus in the great commission in Matthew 28 say that, the way we make disciples is to teach them to "observe everything I commanded you"? Why does it say in John 14 that, "The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance everything I've taught"? Why in fact did the gospel authors work for years to put their accounts together and then publish them, and why were these words prized by the early believers if they're just for the Jews "before the cross"? It's crazy. And Sid, that means all the demands of Jesus, take up your cross, follow me, I don't have to worry about that. That means all the parables of accountability and I'm going to stand before God, I don't have to worry about it because that makes me feel uncomfortable. That makes me feel condemned. What we need to do is not remove these passages, but ground people in the security of the love of God. God is not out with a stick to beat you. He's demonstrated His love by Jesus dying for you. Unless you turn your back on Him and walk away from Him, He is for you. He is not against you, and He's promised to keep you. When I fly overseas, which is quite frequently, I don't worry about the plane going down. I feel confident it's going to get there safely. And unless I try to pry open that emergency door and jump out, I can just go to sleep. I can rest. There's a sense in which we rest secure in the Lord, and God wants everyone to know it. God wants us to know the depth of His love. God wants us to know that even on our worse day He still loves us and cares for us, and wants us to live right. But Sid, when we eliminate God dealing with our sin, when we eliminate the challenges of Jesus, there are some who say spirituality is completely effortless. Well when Paul says, "Run your race with perseverance, run so as to win," you got to throw those out. Strive to overcome.
Sid Roth: So why, I still don't get it. Why do good men that love God just teach this part message rather than the full message, which causes full what they're doing, causes full deception?
Dr. Michael Brown: There are two things. One, they get caught up in the glory of God's grace. I mean, you read Ephesians 1, you read Ephesians 2. While we are attending our sins, He gives us life and then He seats us together in heavenly places. It's mind boggling, the power of grace, the beauty of grace, the glory of grace. It says that he lavishes his grace on us. It's absolutely amazing. So they get caught up with that. But it's almost like a helium balloon that flies away and it loses its tether because it's not tethered to the rest of the scripture. It doesn't have a right appreciation for the use of the Old Testament. It doesn't have a right appreciation for the words of Jesus, and even some of what Paul says they have to cut away. And hey, it's a lot easier on the flesh. How do you like this diet, Sid? You can eat whatever you want. You don't have to exercise and you'll be just as healthy and just as fit.
Sid Roth: Sign me up.
Dr. Michael Brown: Exactly.
Sid Roth: That's what's going on.
Dr. Michael Brown: People are signing up in massive numbers.
Sid Roth: Okay. Sanctification. What does the word "sanctification" mean?
Dr. Michael Brown: Sanctification means being set apart, being made holy, being given over to God. And Scripture makes clear that the moment we're saved, we're set apart as holy. We're sanctified. That's why we're calling saints in the New Testament. Saints sin. We don't have to wait for some church to canonize us. We're called saints the moment we get saved. So we are sanctified the moment we're saved. Then there's an ongoing sanctification. First Thessalonians 4, Paul says, "This is the will of God: your sanctification". Now live it out. Now live a holy life. Now abstain from adultery. Now abstain from stealing. Now abstain from covetness. Live a holy life. Give the members of your body over to God, and then an ultimate sanctification, where we'll be resurrected and made absolutely perfect.
Sid Roth: What is this the Bible talks about diet to self? Is that what you're talking about?
Dr. Michael Brown: This is ongoing. It is an ongoing thing. Luke, the Ninth Chapter, "Take up your cross daily". On a daily basis, not as sinners struggling somehow to make it, please God. No, as overcomers, as children of God, as victorious we say not sin. We consider ourselves dead to sin. We live for God. It is worked out. Hyper grace says, no, no, no, you have already been totally and perfectly sanctified. Sanctification is not process.
Sid Roth: It's not a process. You should have seen the way I thought, 40 years ago, when coming from an orthodox Jewish background, Jesus just revealed himself to me. Yes, I knew he was real. Yes, I knew the Bible was from him. But yes, my mind was not renewed. And the moment I would read the Word and say, oh, I never even realized this. God, I've sinned. I mean, where's the tenderness before God?
Dr. Michael Brown: It's elation.
Sid Roth: It's a worldly thing.
Dr. Michael Brown: Something strange, it's theoretically often more than relational. One influential teacher says the idea that sanctification is a process is "a murderous lie". That's what he says. I asked one hyper grace pastor, I said, "If you sinned against your wife, you lost your temper, you were nasty, you walked out of the house, you came back two hours later, wouldn't say, 'Honey, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. I was an animal. I was completely unjustified. There's no, forgive me,'" he said, "Of course I would". I said, "Wouldn't you do that with God"? He said, "No, no, I have a different relationship with God". Something is funny there, Sid.
Sid Roth: Would you pray? See, I believe there's a spiritual scale on the eyes of many Christians, and I believe they're going to be set free right now as you pray for them.
Dr. Michael Brown: Father, in Jesus' name, I pray for everyone watching this broadcast that they would be delivered from every deception, from every addition to grace, from every subtraction of grace, from every pollution distortion of grace and they would be brought into the glorious liberty, security and power of your true grace. Father, open eyes by the power of your spirit. Deliver from error. Ground us in your true grace, Father, in Jesus' name.
Sid Roth: And as Mike was praying, I believe people are being delivered. You're beginning to start reading the Bible, start thinking for yourself. By the way, someone was just physically healed in their hand, their fingers, arthritis. You can move your fingers. You moved your wrist now in Jesus' name. In Jesus' name behold.