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Chap on the Dark Side
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers AMONG YOU, who PRIVILY shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their pernicious ways; . . . (2 Peter 2:1-2, KJV)
Dr. Paul Chappell is the pastor of the Lancaster Baptist Church and the president of West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California. . . . For more information about West Coast Baptist College or about Dr. Chappell's servant leadership training materials call toll free 1-800-688-6329 or visit www. westcoastbaptist.edu or www.lancasterbaptist.org. (from the back inside dust jacket of guided by Grace, servant leadership for the local church, by Paul Chappell, copyright 2000, Sword of the Lord Publishers, Murfreesboro, TN)
I. Adds to the Word of God (Proverbs 30:5,6)
In Chappell's book Grace for Godly Living (dated 1997), on page 145 he writes,
In Genesis chapter 12 the Bible says that Abraham went into Egypt and backslid. God was not pleased. Why? Because of the sensitive nature of God. God wanted all of Abraham. God wanted Abraham to keep on following Him. God did not want Abraham to go into Egypt, which is a type of sin and the world.
Please read Genesis chapter 12. Does it say anything about Abraham backsliding, or God not being pleased, or God not wanting Abraham to go into Egypt? No! The text says nothing about God not wanting him to go to Egypt or God being displeased with him, or Abraham backsliding. Yet, Mr. Chappell adds all of this. This is adding to the Word of God. Proverbs 30:5,6 says,
Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (KJV)
Chappell is found a liar on this account.
Also, in this same book entitled, Grace for Godly Living, on page 155 Chappell writes,
Let me give another example of a principle. The book of 1 Corinthians clearly states that even nature itself teaches that a man should not have long hair. Based upon that Bible principle, I have a conviction that a man should not have long hair. To help me keep that conviction, I have to have some kind of standard to help me understand or keep that conviction. In my life and in this ministry we have set a standard that a man's hair should be off the ear and off the collar. That is called a standard, and it is based upon a Bible principle. (emphasis added)
On page 156 he also says,
We learn Bible principles, we gain Bible convictions, and then we establish Bible-based standards so that we can live a life more like the Lord Jesus Christ. That is basic Christianity.
In this case, it is basic heresy. Having your hair off the ear and off the collar is in no way going to make anyone "more like the Lord Jesus Christ," and it has nothing to do with godly living. It is "after the commandments and doctrines of men" (Matthew 15:3; Colossians 2:22, KJV), not God. If Paul Chappell followed the Word of God, he would have set no such standard in his ministry, but would have kept this "doubtful disputation" (Romans 14:1, KJV) to himself before God (Romans 14:22).
II. Teaches Contrary To The Word of God
In his book, Enter His Presence (copyright 1996), on page 117 Chappell writes,
The Bible says in Proverbs 28:14, ". . . but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief." This verse teaches that hardening the heart is a conscious decision. Only God can soften your heart through His Word and through the prayers of others, but only you can harden your heart. (italics in original)
And on page 118 he writes (with emphasis, i.e., in bold set apart print), "Only you can harden your heart and only God can soften it." This is a lie! It goes directly against Romans 9:18 which says,
Therefore [God] hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. (KJV, see also Exodus 7:13; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; and 14:8 were God hardened Pharaoh¹s heart)
Our sovereign God hardens the heart of anybody He so chooses (Psalm 115:3). It is a lie to say that "only you can harden your heart." The fearful truth is, so can God! In fact, this is why Israel was so lost. Isaiah 63:17 records,
O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? (KJV)
God hardens hearts, and it is a lie and contrary to the Word of God to say "only you can harden your heart."
Another example of teaching contrary to Scripture can be found in this same book on page 84. In chapter nine, under the title "Hold Fast to Your Profession," regarding Hebrews 10:23, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering . . . ", Chappell writes,
The author of Hebrews is saying to them, "Be faithful... hold on to your profession... hold fast to your new found faith in Jesus Christ." Note that he does not tell them to hold onto their faith. Be thankful that once you are saved, the Lord Jesus Christ is going to hold your soul for all eternity. (ellipsis in original)
Here, Mr. Chappell admits in one sentence that the author of Hebrews is telling them to "hold fast to your new found faith." Yet, in his very next sentence he says, "Note that he does not tell them to hold onto their faith."! This is what the author of Hebrews is saying (i.e., "hold on to your faith", i.e., keep believing). Not only in Hebrews 10:23, but also in Hebrews 2:1-3 ("neglect"); 3:12-14; 6:11-12; and 10:19-26, 35-36. So, Paul Chappell says that the writer of Hebrews is not telling them to hold on to their faith. But, the fact of the matter is, that is exactly what he is telling them to do!
Another example of Chappell's "damnable heresies" (2 Peter 2:1, KJV) can be found in this same book, Enter His Presence. On page 152 he writes,
The third type of confession is the confession of sin. After we are saved, unfortunately, we still commit sin; and we must confess that sin to Jesus Christ. This type of confession is defined as "the admission of sin, as the result of inner conviction." Not only did Jesus Christ completely forgive our sins when we were saved; He is also faithful to forgive us of our sins and cleanse our lives on a daily basis. This daily cleansing has nothing to do with being eternally saved, but it has everything to do with maintaining a right relationship with God each day. (emphasis added)
This is a lie. This daily cleansing has everything to do with being eternally saved (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13-14)! In fact, this is the whole point of forgiveness! God is holy (Revelation 4:8), and He will have nothing to do with sin (Habakkuk 1:13); and it is the blood of Christ and His intercession which keeps us saved. As Hebrews 7:25 says,
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (KJV)
1 John 2:1 says that we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. The reason we have an advocate with the Father is because we need an advocate with the Father in order to be saved. Christ is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2) and this propitiation functions as a continual cleansing from sin. As 1 John 1:7 says,
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (KJV)
III. Denies 2 Peter 2:17
2 Peter 2:17 says,
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever. (KJV)
False teachers are "wells without water." In other words, they are without the Spirit of truth (John.7:37-39), thus they are without the truth (i.e. Christ, John 14:6; 1 Timothy 6:5). Therefore, they are not giving out the water of life (i.e. salvation, Revelation 22:17).
Note what Chappell says of Promise Keepers in Grace for Godly Living. On page 133 he writes,
If someone is saved in their rally, they encourage him to stay in an apostate church.
Promise Keepers is apostate! The very fact that they encourage people to stay in an apostate church proves they themselves are apostates! How in the world is anybody going to get saved in their rally? John 10:10 states, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..." It does not say they come and save! The very fact that they encourage people to stay in an apostate church proves they themselves are apostates!
So, Chappell denies 2 Peter 2:17 and John 10:10. Along these same lines, Chappell,
IV. Denies 2 John 9
In the book, Grace for Godly Living on page 13, Chappell speaks of "false doctrines about grace" which de-emphasize godly living. In this context Chappell writes,
There are no new tricks in the devil's bag. This problem of misusing and misunderstanding grace goes right back to the first century.
A little later, on page 15 he says,
Many Christians want to understand freedom as their license to live the way they want to live.
In the next paragraph he writes,
There are many who espouse this new wave of grace today. The most visible and notorious proponent of the new grace teaching is a popular Christian author and speaker. He is my brother in Christ. He is your brother in Christ. He is probably one of the most encouraging kind of speakers you can listen to. I have recommended his book on marriage to many young couples. He has written many uplifting books.
But this encouraging writer has also, in recent days, taken to task those of us who believe in the teaching of Romans chapter six concerning the sanctification of the believer. Though I believe he is a good Christian, he is not a fundamental, Bible-believing Baptist.
Who is Paul Chappell speaking of? Chuck Swindoll? Swindoll fits well "the most visible and notorious proponent of the new grace teaching," and if he didn't coin the word himself (which he may have), Swindoll has certainly popularized the term "grace-killer" (see Swindoll's book, The Grace Awakening, copyright 1990,1996, Word Publishing, p. xi, xviii, xix, 3f, etc.)
Chappell calls the man, whose identity he keeps hidden, a "brother in Christ" and "a good Christian," yet he admits that he is "the most visible and notorious proponent of the new grace teaching." In other words, to put it in Paul Chappell's words, this man is the "most visible and notorious proponent" of "false doctrines about grace" which are "tricks in the devil's bag."
Let's put it another way, this man is teaching false doctrines about grace that come from the devil himself, and yet "He is my brother in Christ. He is your brother in Christ," and "he is a good Christian." What hypocrisy! This is a lie and the exact opposite of 2 John 9 which declares,
Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God (KJV).
Moreover, 2 John 10-11 commands,
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (KJV)
If Chappell, and those who follow him, were to come to our house, we should have nothing to do with him, because he does not bring this doctrine (2 John 9-11).
Now, why does Chappell keep this "new grace" teacher's identity hidden? Because Chappell walks in darkness (1 John 1:5-6). If he walked in the light, he would have exposed this man (Ephesians 5:11-13).
So, Chappell adds to the word, teaches the exact opposite of the Word, and denies 2 Peter 2:17 and 2 John 9. Paul Chappell also,
V. Denies 2 Timothy 2:12
2 Timothy 2:12 says, "If we deny Him, He also will deny us." What will happen if God denies "us?" We will end up in hell (see Matthew 10:32-33/7:21-23; Luke 13:23-28, "I never knew you"). In Mr. Chappell's overemphasis on eternal security, he denies that this could happen to "us" (2 Timothy 2:12)
In the book, A Heart For God (copyright 1995), he writes,
Satan uses false teachers and ungodly people to carry hearts away from the truth. You cannot expect the Christian life to harmonize with a worldly way of thinking. God's Word says, 'Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit.' There are people today who would like to sway you from your faith in Christ. Although you cannot lose your salvation, they would like to steal your sweet relationship with Christ. (Page 137)
Although it is true that those who are truly born of God cannot lose their salvation (1 John 3:9; 5:4), it is also true that those who are carried "away from the truth" and away from their "faith in Christ," will be damned, as 2 Timothy 2:12 warns!
Paul put it this way (this is after Romans 8:35-39),
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, If thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Romans 11:22, KJV)
Similar lewdness (Jude 4) can be found in Chappell's book, To Seek and To Save (copyright 1996), where he writes,
One final suggestion concerning assurance of salvation is that each soul winner should write down the date of the new convert's salvation in the new convert's Bible or on a gospel tract. The soul winner may want to explain to the new Christian that this is his spiritual birthday and that he does not ever have to doubt his salvation because he has the promise of the Word of God that, because he believed on Jesus Christ as his Saviour on such-and-such a date, he has everlasting life (John 5:24). (emphasis added)
This is a damning lie! This goes directly against Paul's exhortation to the Corinthians.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5, KJV)
Likewise, Jesus said, "he that endureth to the end shall be saved," (Matthew 10:22) not "he that believed on such-and-such a date." Such a concept is nowhere found in the Word of God.
Scripture teaches that a person can believe in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2), receive the grace of God in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1), and even be sanctified by the blood of the covenant (Hebrews 10:29), and still end up in hell (Revelation 21:8). If a person's life questionably matches what the Bible describes as a person who knows God (e.g. 1 John 2:3-5), then they ought to indeed question their salvation and fear (Proverbs 9:10; Philippians 2:12), and make their calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).
Another example of Chappell's denial of 2 Timothy 2:12 can be found in the book Grace for Godly Living on page 69. Speaking of Galatians 5:4 Chappell writes,
In verse 4, "fallen from grace" does not mean that these Christians were losing their salvation. It means that they were simply making salvation of no effect in their daily lives. (see also guided by Grace, p. 116)
Please note Galatians 5:4.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (KJV)
So, Christ can "become of no effect" and you can "fall from grace" and yet be saved? If Christ is of no effect, how can you be saved? You can't (John 14:6)! This is exactly what Jesus points out in John 15:6,
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (KJV)
That's a picture of hell, not heaven!
VI. Denies The Power Of Godliness (2 Timothy 3:5)
In Chappell's book, guided by Grace (copyright 2000), he writes,
Let me be clear - one's lifestyle will never change that person's standing with God. If you are truly saved, then positionally you are sanctified and sealed before a mighty God, and nothing can change that. (p. 111; see also Grace for Godly Living, p. 87)
When Chappell states that "one's lifestyle will never change that person's standing with God," Chappell makes God out to be a liar, and turns the grace of God into lewdness (Jude 4); because God says,
The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I shall say to the righteous that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. (Ezekiel 33:12-13, KJV)
But the fearful, unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8, KJV)
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31, KJV; see also Matthew 6:14-15; 18:21-35; John 15:1-6; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:5-6; 1 John 2:3-5, 15-17; 3:4-10; Revelation 22:14-15)
More lewdness (Jude 4) can be found in Chappell's book, A Heart For God, on page 37 where he writes,
Much of America's moral decay can be credited to Christians who have the truth in their hearts but never speak it with their mouths. There are many Christians who do not read the Word of God, and who have not purposed in their hearts to live for God. (emphasis added)
"Christians" who "never speak" the truth "with their mouths" and have not "purposed in their hearts to live for God," are not Christians. They are liars, false Christians, and, contrary to Chappell's words ("the truth [is] in their hearts") the truth is not in them. As God plainly says in 1 John 2:4.
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (KJV; see also Romans 14:7-8 and 2 Corinthians 4:13)
Furthermore, in his book, Grace for Godly Living, on page 134 under the heading "3. Saved, but Worldly," Chappell writes,
I believe the Bible teaches that you are to come out from a relationship with someone who is saved but walking in darkness. (emphasis added)
Here Paul Chappell denies our Lord by denying His Word which says,
...God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth (1 John 1:5-6, KJV).
A person cannot be saved and walk (i.e., live) in darkness at the same time. True believers sin, but they cannot and will not live in sin (1 John 3:9). To say otherwise ("saved but walking in darkness") is to deny the power of godliness, that is, the power resident in every true believer to walk in truth and righteousness as a pattern of their life (see 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-2; and 1 John. 3:4-10)
2 Timothy 3:5 says that you should turn away from such a man. We beg you, please do. If you don't, your soul will be destroyed along with the rest of the thousands who are following this man (John 10:5). May God have mercy on your soul and open your eyes (2 Corinthians 4:4). Psalm 118:22-24 still stands true today.
The stone [Jesus] which the builders [false teachers] rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. This is the LORD's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. (KJV, see also Matthew 21:42; 1 Peter 2:7)
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