Theophile

MAJ

Well-Known Member
Hi.

I don't pop in very often. I once had a meltdown in the Prayer Section a long while ago and I've been too ashamed to be on here anymore. But I was wondering if, so long as I don't potentially annoy anyone, I could get some help? My problem focuses on legalism but it's a form of legalism I'm not familiar with. I figured this was the most appropriate place to post this thread but by all means move it if there's a better spot.

Again, I don't mean to be annoying.

The other day on the website Nowtheendbegins.com, there was an article about New Jerusalem. The comment section became a FLOODED warzone about the Rapture and grace vs. works. One commenter in particular, Theophile, has left me feeling so confused.

Basically, he waged war with everyone that we MUST keep all the commandments, ordinances and rules of God. He argues that we cannot trust Paul or his letters. Paul, according to him, is a tool sent by satan to usurp the Law of God.

Here's a taste of what Theophile sounds like...


"I for one can't wait! .... Just think: Keeping ALL of God's Laws, Statutes, Ordinances, and Commandments... For eternity!

Can anyone here think of a more wonderful way of SPENDING ETERNITY, than Keeping God's Laws PERFECTLY???

I'm not being sarcastic.. I'm just pointing out the obvious to all you folks who think you can despise God's Commandments and laws here and now, and then rapture out of here to have God wait on you like a paid servant in His heaven for eternity, boy doggie has God a surprise for you! LOL!"

***

Real talk: Do you find his attitude and verbiage appealing? To me, his attitude and wording just sounds unscrupulous. I've encountered quite a number of believers like him over the years, and the damage and insults they've inflicted on me have added up- and not in a good way.

I remember I once dealt with a Preterist who was so mean-spirited that he relished the opportunity to humiliate me and tear my beliefs about the Rapture to shreds. At the time, I had no idea what Preterism even was. I felt so hurt and humiliated by this man that I actually tried apologising to him because I had no idea how to counter all that he said, and he STILL went out of his way to insinuate that I was stupid after I apologized.

And this has happened with other people too. It's left me feeling like I have Christian PTSD. I'm terrified to fellowship and reach out for help because I'm afraid of being humiliated, talked down to, and having people insinuate I'm an idiot.

But Theophile has left me in a rut. I have no idea how to counter his arguments. I've searched and searched and searched for anything in the Articles section here on RF that might help me but nothing has helped give me peace. Most of the articles I found are just basic information on legalism that doesn't go deep enough. Theophile presented arguments that I never heard before.

As a result, I'm left feeling unsure if I can trust what Paul says in his letters or not. I don't even know if I'm saved now or not.

I mean, what if Theophile's right? What if we have made salvation too easy? What if we really DO still have to keep every ordinance, rule and commandment?

I always thought I knew how to counter legalists... but Theophile is unlike anyone I've ever encountered. He insists he is not a legalist OR a Pharisee. He simply says he follows God's Word for what it actually says, not what we "easy-salvationists" have twisted it to say.

If anyone could shed some light on this guy or provide info that could expose the errors in his thinking, at this point it would be a godsend for me. He's left me feeling so despondent and confused that I just want to tear my hair out and cry.

Sorry that I have to be a bother and ask for help. I don't mean to be a nuisance, I really don't. I just don't know where else to turn. Theophile's left me unsure if I can even trust the New Testament now.

Thank you. Sorry to be a bother.
 

Kaatje

My soul waits for the Lord, and in His Word I hope
Please let your heart be at ease, dear @MAJ

As soon as the Gospel started to be spread to the Gentiles, this question of yours has risen.
And not by the least of men! No, by the Apostles themselves.
They were thinking about Gentiles keeping the Mosaic Laws or not, and they could not decide.
So they held a Synod in Jerusalem, and after much discussion Peter stood up and started his speech.
His answer put all questions to rest, and the Gospel was spead accordingly. It’s in Acts 15.
Please read for yourself, and let no one put a yoke on you that you don’t need to carry!

Love in Christ, Erika, aka Kaatje
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Hi MAJ. I don't know Theophile, of course, but I'm 100% certain that he's not able to keep all the commandments, ordinances and rules of God. I know I can't. I'd like to be able to walk a perfect life... which Christian wouldn't? But none of us have. So far, historically speaking, Jesus is probably the only perfect one among us, and He had divinity in His favor ;).

Some people feel they have to argue points they disagree with, or want to to argue the points. I'm one who doesn't feel any such need to discuss issues with someone I believe is off their rocker, like Theophile, for example.

Titus 3: 1-11 (NASB)

1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. 3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs [a]according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. 9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, 11 knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

When we're saved, we're given the gift of the Holy Spirit. We also are fortunate to have the written Word of God in the 66 books of the Bible. The books penned by Paul via the guidance of the Holy Spirit are as pure and perfect as the other books contained in the Bible. Collectively, those 66 books are God's roadmap for us as we walk, run and tumble through this life, with the aid of the Holy Spirit. The more time we spend in the Word and in prayer to our heavenly father, the less likely we are to take our eyes off of Him long enough to be filled with doubts.

Psalm 118: 8-9

8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in princes.

So MAJ, God bless you! Keep your eyes on your Savior. Read His Word that He has so wonderfully given us. Let the Holy Spirit move in you, and never let any Theophile cause you to doubt as that is not of the Lord!

I've not suggested a way to debate with Theophile because it is completely unnecessary and most probably a waste of time. God is love. Love Theophile and be a good example of a Christian to Him so that he might learn by watching you.
 
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Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Hi MAJ!! :) It's great to see you again!

First of all, can I just say that you are not annoying, a bother nor a nuisance. Not even close! To be made to feel this way is not of God nor a Christ like way to treat a precious child of God firmly saved by Christ. It sounds like you've been personally attacked thus throwing you off in regards to solid teaching or at least attempting to throw you off. The fact that this person and his teachings doesn't sit right with you shows very good discernment.

Sigh....I'm sorry that you've been treated as such. I've personally experienced this myself in a church and also in family and that kind of treatment can really tear a person down and foster great discouragement and uncertainty about one'self and walk with God. A great tool the enemy of our soul uses.

This section is certainly the right place to post your concerns as there are cults out there that are very Old Testament oriented. This Theophile guy sounds pretty deceived about Paul. As I read the bible Paul's teachings line right up with what Jesus taught as well as with what the other disciples taught as well.

Also, if Paul was such a rebel it would seem that the other disciples and Apostles and also the early church would have had many letters circulating warning the church about Paul. Instead Peter supports Paul, encouraging to church to read Paul's writings and not to let those who purposely twist his words influence them. Peter who was commissioned by Christ Himself:

And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.

2 Peter 3:15-16.

Basically, he waged war with everyone that we MUST keep all the commandments, ordinances and rules of God. He argues that we cannot trust Paul or his letters. Paul, according to him, is a tool sent by satan to usurp the Law of God.
I think that Paul is often under attack because God really used him to expound on God's work on the cross and how that plays out in the church. Paul was so very instrumental in helping churches understand salvation and the grace shown in extending this to the World. So, the enemy of our souls will certainly try to undermine Paul and his writings as influence by the Holy Spirit. I'll share some things just for your own edification.

So in Galations Paul talks about salvation and reminds them about how they received the Holy Spirit not by keeping the law but by hearing the message of salvation and believing thus being found right in God's eyes. This is in keeping with what Abraham did......well before the law came about for the nation of Israel:


....Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh? Did you suffer so much for nothing—if in fact it was for nothing? So then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?


Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, then understand that those who have faith are Abraham’s sons.


Galations 3:2-7

What I notice is Paul is using Old Testament passages to show his point which is Genesis 15:6:


Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.
Gen 15:4-5

This is well before the Israelites came on the scene as a nation and well before the Law was given to them.



For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written: Everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the book of the law is cursed. Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed. The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.


Brothers, I’m using a human illustration. No one sets aside or makes additions to even a human covenant that has been ratified. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ. And I say this: The law, which came 430 years later, does not revoke a covenant that was previously ratified by God and cancel the promise. For if the inheritance is from the law, it is no longer from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.


Galations 3:10-18


Here's the Lord's covenant promise made to Abraham that Paul is talking about. Notice that Abraham does not participate in this whatsoever other than to be in a deep sleep. God's the only one who walked in between those carcasses of animals. This shows the promise God made to Abraham and that it was dependent only on God's actions and not mans. That God alone would be the one to make things right with mankind.......through the work of Jesus Christ who Himself would be the perfect sacrifice for all the world's sin. Again, this promise is well before the law was given to Moses and the Israelites, this is a promise based on God and His work alone not Abraham's nor our keeping the law:


Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”

But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”


Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”

And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.

Then the Lord told him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”

But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?”


The Lord told him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.


As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him. Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”


After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River— the land now occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”


Genisis 15:1-21

So, if this guy has a beef with Paul, well he's got a beef with God Himself, for God has shown through Old Testament passages that the way of faith, faith in Christ's work, is what makes a person right before God. The law was given to show our need for God (as Paul talks about later in Galations) and also given much later to a newly formed nation that needed a new code of law different from the rest of the world.

Here's another Old Testament passage that echos we are saved by faith not self righteousness by following the law, which no one can perfectly do, except Christ.

“Look at the proud one,
His soul is not right within him,
But the righteous will live by his faith [in the true God].


Habakkuk 2:4


Personally I think it's good that you asked about this because this issue has always been a problem with the Church.....legalism. So, it's always good for the church to be aware of these things and watch out since there are those who are constantly trying to pull people back under the law instead of grace.

Again, so good to see you. You are prayed for often. :)
 
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Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Here's Jack Kelly's study on Galatians. I'll share part two that seems to answer much of your concerns. He's got about 5 parts to this study, I think you'd really benefit from reading these:

https://gracethrufaith.com/verse-by-verse/pauls-letter-galatians-2/


A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
Part 2 of Paul’s case against combining the Law and Grace
In part 1 we established that the primary purpose of this letter was to contend against a group called the Judaizers, early Jewish Christians who taught that Gentile converts to Christianity also had to observe certain Old Testament rites, specifically circumcision. Some even argued that the only way for a Gentile to become a Christian was to first convert to Judaism and go under the Law.

In response, Paul presented a powerful defense of the essential New Testament truth that we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ alone. We do not sanctify ourselves by religious works or Jewish legalism, but are sanctified by faith in the grace and power of God, made manifest in the work of Jesus Christ, and energized in our life by the Holy Spirit.

There are many in the Church who need to be reminded of this today since modern-day Judaizers are once again teaching their followers the same things Paul fought against in his time. These teachers claim that Christ’s death on the cross did not end the Mosaic Covenant, but instead renewed it, and stress the need for every believer to live a Torah-observant life. Among other things, this includes keeping the Saturday Sabbath, celebrating the Jewish feasts and festivals, and observing the Jewish dietary laws. They advocate learning to understand the Scriptures from a Hebrew mindset, and some have rejected the traditional Greek based New Testament, claiming that Aramaic texts are older and more accurate.

On one hand, they deny that doing this constitutes a return to Jewish legalism, but is a demonstration of love and obedience instead. But on the other hand, they teach that to live a life that pleases God, this Torah-observant walk must be part of every Christian’s life.
With that, let’s continue our study of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians with chapter 3.

Galatians 3

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? (Galatians 3:1-5)

Paul knew who had bewitched the Galatians. It was a group of Judaizers who had visited the Galatian churches. They showed up after Paul left, teaching these new Gentile Christians that Paul had not given them the whole story. If they wanted to be accepted as followers of Jesus they had to put themselves under the Law.

Paul asked the Galatians a question that many believers need to be asked today. After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? (Galatians 3:3).

Variations on the “saved by grace, kept by works” theme have been around throughout the Church Age. They all imply that Jesus only began the work of our salvation, and it’s up to us to complete or maintain it through human effort. But in Hebrews 7:25 we’re told that because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Paul reminded the Galatians how they came to receive the Holy Spirit and witness God’s miraculous work. It didn’t happen because they were obedient to the Law. At the time they hadn’t been told they needed to obey the Law. It happened because they believed the Gospel.
So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith (Galatians 3:6-9).

The statement that Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness is a quote from Genesis 15:6. Abraham was and is known primarily as the father of the Jewish people. But Paul said that all who rely on faith, Jew or Gentile, are Abraham’s children, And in another remarkable insight into Scripture, Paul said God was announcing the gospel with its justification by faith to Abraham when He said, “All nations will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3). The blessing that would come to all nations would be the same justification by faith that Abraham enjoyed.

For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law” (Deut. 27:26). Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4).”

The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them
(Lev. 18:5).” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree” (Deut. 21:23). He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (Galatians 3:10-14).

The Law cannot be fully obeyed. In order to be strict enough for God’s requirements, it has to be too strict for man’s abilities. Therefore, all who rely on the law are automatically cursed and cannot be justified before God. James said, “Whoever keeps the whole Law and yet stumbles on just one part of it is guilty of breaking all of it (James 2:10). By taking all of our violations of the Law upon Himself Jesus became a curse for us and redeemed us from the curse of the Law. This made God’s promise to Abraham available to all who believe. Therefore, like Abraham, our belief is credited to us as righteousness.

Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise (Galatians 3:15-18).

Once a contract has been agreed to it becomes binding and can’t be changed without the mutual consent of the parties. Therefore God’s promise to Abraham could not be set aside by the Law, which came later. God’s covenant with Abraham included a promise that called for a descendant of Abraham’s to be the one through whom all nations would be blessed. God didn’t say “descendants”, which would have included all Jewish people, but “ descendant” which pointed to one Jewish man, Jesus.

Let’s summarize what we’ve read so far. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. When God promised Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him, He meant that one of Abraham’s descendants (Jesus) would make it possible for God to justify the Gentiles by faith. Therefore, He was announcing the Gospel in advance. The Law, which was given later, could not change or cancel this promise.

Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one (Galatians 3:18-20).

In Romans 3: 20 Paul put it this way. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by obeying the Law; rather through the law we become conscious of sin. If we’re driving on a highway at 70 miles per hour and there is no posted speed limit, we can’t tell if we’re speeding or not. But if we see a sign that tells us the speed limit is 65 then we become aware of the fact that we are speeding. In like manner, the Law is a sign that tells us whether we’re sinning.

The Law was a contract between God and Israel (Exodus 19:5-6), and established the conditions under which they would be able to enjoy the benefits of the land He was giving them. The land was theirs forever (Genesis 13:15), but to live there in peace and plenty they had to obey the Law. This was how God would deal with their sins until Jesus came. The mediator was Moses and God was one party. The other party was Israel.
Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe (Galatians 3:21-22).

The Law is only a shadow of the things that were to come (Hebr. 10:1). The reality, however, is Christ (Col. 2:17) The Law is not opposed to the promise, it’s purpose was to help God’s people maintain their relationship with Him until the promise was fulfilled. The Law can’t give us life because we’re prisoners of sin. Sin is our natural state and it prevents us from obeying the Law. Therefore, life can only come to us by faith in the promise, fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian (Galatians 3:23-25).
The Law put very tight constraints on behavior such as a guardian might place on a child. But now that we are justified by faith, we don’t need a guardian. Our position before the Lord is based on what we believe not on how we behave. Our behavior is a sign of our gratitude.

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)

Our belief in Jesus gives us the right to be born again as children of God (John 1:12-13). No matter who we were before, if we’re in Christ we are God’s children and that makes us heirs to the promise God made to Abraham. Like him, we are justified by faith because our belief has been credited to us as righteousness.

We now see that the promise of justification by faith alone predated the giving of the Law by over 400 years. Once the Lord came to fulfill the promise, the Law was no longer necessary. It was a shadow of the good things that were coming, but the reality is Christ.
The Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Through Him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. (Acts 13:39). See you next time. 11-22-14
 

Batman

Well-Known Member
Come back. We all have flaws, attitudes, perspectives slanted in bias/arrogance from time to time but hopefully every day is a better one together and learning to epitomize decency and respect in Christ. Without knowing the past or you personally I can say I'm glad you are here. We all have to remember the modern technology Golden Rule..........don't hit "send" or "enter" until you've thoroughly considered your comment(s) and your testimony!
 

Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
I can 100 percent guarantee you that he/she isn't even close to keeping the Law. Not even in the ballpark. Not even close to being close. Honestly, the person sounds like just another puffed up person in the crap heap of the already giant pile of puffed up people, that somehow, some way, can't get it in their head that they don't/can't keep the Law perfectly, ie be sinless. We already know of a God/man that did that; Christ. Not some internet rando named " Theophile ".

This ilk is rampant on the internet. You have your Adam Finks and Justin Bests that have popped on the scene and caused a ruckus. Anyone that suggests that they keep the Law, doesn't have an idea of what that entails, much less the severity of it. I know Theophile hasn't memorized the 613 laws and I guarantee you that his diet, thoughts, and clothing convict him. Frankly, I don't find that person's kind of thinking profound in the least; I find that thinking annoying, because it's infantile, weak, and bankrupt under the guise of being studied, authoritative, and fruitful.

Theophile's blood, much less the four good works he/she may do a day won't save them. He/she will be the one that is in for the surprise of a lifetime and you can take that one to the bank. Also, I love how we are supposed to just disregard Paul, but I guess leave the rest intact, because confirmation bias and reasons or something.

Why should we disregard the New Testament and keep the Old? Because reasons? Because Theophile said so? 1 John 1:8 convicts Theophile and they do not like that one bit, so of course he/she thinks we should dispense with the New Testament. It shows him/her what a hopeless rag that they are without Christ's atoning blood. Theophile is "god" in their world. He/she doesn't care to submit to the true Lord. It's a tale as old as time.

Disregard completely his/her under-cooked musings on the Word. He/she doesn't even have a slight grasp on it and is bringing an entire slew of condemnation on his/herself. They are a complete and utter infant. They don't have mother's milk; they aren't even out of the womb. Rest in the finished Word of God, because if we can't trust Him to preserve His Word, but instead need the Finks, Bests, and Theophiles to pick us up and help us along to our salvation, while they modify the Word to suit their wannabe Jewism, you have a lot more to be terrified about anything than you can imagine. Truth isn't up for grabs.

PS, sorry for the over-cooked pronouns, but I have no idea who that person is.
 
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Hi.

I don't pop in very often. I once had a meltdown in the Prayer Section a long while ago and I've been too ashamed to be on here anymore. But I was wondering if, so long as I don't potentially annoy anyone, I could get some help? My problem focuses on legalism but it's a form of legalism I'm not familiar with. I figured this was the most appropriate place to post this thread but by all means move it if there's a better spot.

Again, I don't mean to be annoying.

The other day on the website Nowtheendbegins.com, there was an article about New Jerusalem. The comment section became a FLOODED warzone about the Rapture and grace vs. works. One commenter in particular, Theophile, has left me feeling so confused.

Basically, he waged war with everyone that we MUST keep all the commandments, ordinances and rules of God. He argues that we cannot trust Paul or his letters. Paul, according to him, is a tool sent by satan to usurp the Law of God.

Here's a taste of what Theophile sounds like...


"I for one can't wait! .... Just think: Keeping ALL of God's Laws, Statutes, Ordinances, and Commandments... For eternity!

Can anyone here think of a more wonderful way of SPENDING ETERNITY, than Keeping God's Laws PERFECTLY???

I'm not being sarcastic.. I'm just pointing out the obvious to all you folks who think you can despise God's Commandments and laws here and now, and then rapture out of here to have God wait on you like a paid servant in His heaven for eternity, boy doggie has God a surprise for you! LOL!"

***

Real talk: Do you find his attitude and verbiage appealing? To me, his attitude and wording just sounds unscrupulous. I've encountered quite a number of believers like him over the years, and the damage and insults they've inflicted on me have added up- and not in a good way.

I remember I once dealt with a Preterist who was so mean-spirited that he relished the opportunity to humiliate me and tear my beliefs about the Rapture to shreds. At the time, I had no idea what Preterism even was. I felt so hurt and humiliated by this man that I actually tried apologising to him because I had no idea how to counter all that he said, and he STILL went out of his way to insinuate that I was stupid after I apologized.

And this has happened with other people too. It's left me feeling like I have Christian PTSD. I'm terrified to fellowship and reach out for help because I'm afraid of being humiliated, talked down to, and having people insinuate I'm an idiot.

But Theophile has left me in a rut. I have no idea how to counter his arguments. I've searched and searched and searched for anything in the Articles section here on RF that might help me but nothing has helped give me peace. Most of the articles I found are just basic information on legalism that doesn't go deep enough. Theophile presented arguments that I never heard before.

As a result, I'm left feeling unsure if I can trust what Paul says in his letters or not. I don't even know if I'm saved now or not.

I mean, what if Theophile's right? What if we have made salvation too easy? What if we really DO still have to keep every ordinance, rule and commandment?

I always thought I knew how to counter legalists... but Theophile is unlike anyone I've ever encountered. He insists he is not a legalist OR a Pharisee. He simply says he follows God's Word for what it actually says, not what we "easy-salvationists" have twisted it to say.

If anyone could shed some light on this guy or provide info that could expose the errors in his thinking, at this point it would be a godsend for me. He's left me feeling so despondent and confused that I just want to tear my hair out and cry.

Sorry that I have to be a bother and ask for help. I don't mean to be a nuisance, I really don't. I just don't know where else to turn. Theophile's left me unsure if I can even trust the New Testament now.

Thank you. Sorry to be a bother.
No worries; you're not being a "bother" at all. :)

As for "Theophile": the one answer I would give is contained in what Everlasting Life already posted: Galatians 3. In that chapter, Paul clearly outlines that the purpose of the Law was not to save someone by them keeping it. In fact, the Law's primary purpose was to demonstrate that we cannot keep it, and that we need a Savior.

People like Theophile will be around until the Second Coming: thinking that self-effort can save us, and that eternity will be a marathon of how well we can keep up with a near-eternal set of rules. But that's not the God of the Bible!!! And people like the preterist who attacked you will unfortunately be around until the Rapture.

But that said: you always have fellow believers here who can back you, and have fought these battles on more than one occasion. Please feel free to ask us anytime you need help. Remember: you don't need to answer these folks right away, and often, if they are being that obnoxious, they don't deserve and answer.

YBIC,

-Sojourner414.
 

ItIsFinished!

Blood bought child of the King of kings.
Legalism is a slap to Christ on The Cross.
It puts one into bondage.
It makes one a failure and robs them of the promises of God.
My friend (MAJ) I would not go back to that particular website.
To much discord and division.
That is not of God and does not edify The Body of Christ.
RF however is a place of refuge during these last days before we meet Jesus Christ in the air/clouds.
Brothers Chris and Adrian run a tight ship here.
There are many well grounded brothers and sisters of the faith here that are consistent with The Word .
And as I have said in the past, it is of no coincidence we are here.
The Lord Jesus Christ is glorified here.
His presence is known.

Peace in Christ.
 
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Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
My friend (MAJ) I would not go back to that particular website.
To much discord and division.
That is not of God and does not edify The Body of Christ.
RF however is a place of refuge during these last days before we meet Jesus Christ in the air/clouds.
I'm glad you said this ItIsFinished. I was thinking the same thing. :sad

MAJ, you are a precious child of God and will be treated as such here. I grew up in a situation much like what you are describing and it really does cause such spiritual insecurity, pain and heartache. Much of what you have written as to how you've been made to feel I sure understand. It wasn't until I stepped away and more into His Word and with those who were more reflective of God's love that there was healing and more growth.

Not telling you what to do, just sharing. You are not ever less than any other Christian and to be made to feel so is really not of God MAJ. :)

Anyways, I'm continuing in prayer for you as I have always (because God has really put you on my heart......guess He sure loves you. :) ) for God's continued peace and help that He's promised all of His children. God bless you MAJ. :hug


:pray
 

ItIsFinished!

Blood bought child of the King of kings.
I'm glad you said this ItIsFinished. I was thinking the same thing. :sad

MAJ, you are a precious child of God and will be treated as such here. I grew up in a situation much like what you are describing and it really does cause such spiritual insecurity, pain and heartache. Much of what you have written as to how you've been made to feel I sure understand. It wasn't until I stepped away and more into His Word and with those who were more reflective of God's love that there was healing and more growth.

Not telling you what to do, just sharing. You are not ever less than any other Christian and to be made to feel so is really not of God MAJ. :)

Anyways, I'm continuing in prayer for you as I have always (because God has really put you on my heart......guess He sure loves you. :) ) for God's continued peace and help that He's promised all of His children. God bless you MAJ. :hug


:pray
Amen !!!
 

MAJ

Well-Known Member
I'm not very good at responses. Most of the time I'm terrified to read people's responses toward me and I end up not reading or responding at all.

But I wanted to take the time and say thank you to those of you who have tried to understand and help me out.

I still feel poisoned by Theophile. I don't know how else to describe it other than it's like I've been poisoned. He's gotten into my head and I can't seem to dislodge him. Now when I see verses by Paul, I feel unsure if I can trust what he's saying about grace or not. All the rebuttals people threw at him he smugly batted aside like they were nothing. I never saw a legalist quite like him before.

This just seems to be my experience with Christianity... even when I was young. I always seem to encounter the worst people. I have no idea what non-judgmental, warm fellowship is actually like. I really have no idea what that is truly like. I'm used to pettiness, haughtiness, smugness, condescension, insults, being laughed at and attacked, being made to feel inferior, etc.

And the thing is... I've tried not to be that way toward people.

I'm not saying I'm flawless-- far from it. But I believe God has instilled in me the importance of treating people with grace.

One of my biggest prayers, due to how I've been treated over the years, is that God would transform me into a truly warm, loving person.

I don't want to use Christianity as a facade. I don't want to appear sparkly and clean on the outside but on the inside have a rotten core. I want the Holy Spirit to live within me. I want Him to lead me and change me so much that not only does He live within me... but that He flows out of me.

I just want people to be able to see Jesus in me. I want to be able to see Jesus within me.

But there's so many ways in which I fall short. Most of the time I feel like God is constantly shaking His head at me in silent disappointment.

But despite my inadequacies, I still want to please Him and be transformed by Him... but all I ever seem to encounter are the ugliest types of believers. And I'm just so sick of it!

I'm so sick of people who name the Name of Jesus but act like the most vicious, obnoxious, insulting people on the planet. Where is their love? Where is their grace?

And now, one of these types of folk has poisoned my ability to fully trust the Word... and I just feel miserable.

Anyway, sorry to vent. I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who took the time to graciously respond to me. I'll get out of your hair now.
 

ItIsFinished!

Blood bought child of the King of kings.
I'm not very good at responses. Most of the time I'm terrified to read people's responses toward me and I end up not reading or responding at all.

But I wanted to take the time and say thank you to those of you who have tried to understand and help me out.

I still feel poisoned by Theophile. I don't know how else to describe it other than it's like I've been poisoned. He's gotten into my head and I can't seem to dislodge him. Now when I see verses by Paul, I feel unsure if I can trust what he's saying about grace or not. All the rebuttals people threw at him he smugly batted aside like they were nothing. I never saw a legalist quite like him before.

This just seems to be my experience with Christianity... even when I was young. I always seem to encounter the worst people. I have no idea what non-judgmental, warm fellowship is actually like. I really have no idea what that is truly like. I'm used to pettiness, haughtiness, smugness, condescension, insults, being laughed at and attacked, being made to feel inferior, etc.

And the thing is... I've tried not to be that way toward people.

I'm not saying I'm flawless-- far from it. But I believe God has instilled in me the importance of treating people with grace.

One of my biggest prayers, due to how I've been treated over the years, is that God would transform me into a truly warm, loving person.

I don't want to use Christianity as a facade. I don't want to appear sparkly and clean on the outside but on the inside have a rotten core. I want the Holy Spirit to live within me. I want Him to lead me and change me so much that not only does He live within me... but that He flows out of me.

I just want people to be able to see Jesus in me. I want to be able to see Jesus within me.

But there's so many ways in which I fall short. Most of the time I feel like God is constantly shaking His head at me in silent disappointment.

But despite my inadequacies, I still want to please Him and be transformed by Him... but all I ever seem to encounter are the ugliest types of believers. And I'm just so sick of it!

I'm so sick of people who name the Name of Jesus but act like the most vicious, obnoxious, insulting people on the planet. Where is their love? Where is their grace?

And now, one of these types of folk has poisoned my ability to fully trust the Word... and I just feel miserable.

Anyway, sorry to vent. I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who took the time to graciously respond to me. I'll get out of your hair now.
You were never in our hair.
;)
Don't allow anyone to steal your joy nor fracture your faith my dear friend.
We all are warned of wolves in sheep clothing and false teachers.
That is why we try/test the spirits.
1 John 4:1 (KJV).

Where are you exactly struggling to fully trust The Word of God?
I'm just a simple man, but maybe I could help.
I definitely do not want you to be miserable whatsoever.
 
I'm not very good at responses. Most of the time I'm terrified to read people's responses toward me and I end up not reading or responding at all.

But I wanted to take the time and say thank you to those of you who have tried to understand and help me out.

I still feel poisoned by Theophile. I don't know how else to describe it other than it's like I've been poisoned. He's gotten into my head and I can't seem to dislodge him. Now when I see verses by Paul, I feel unsure if I can trust what he's saying about grace or not. All the rebuttals people threw at him he smugly batted aside like they were nothing. I never saw a legalist quite like him before.

This just seems to be my experience with Christianity... even when I was young. I always seem to encounter the worst people. I have no idea what non-judgmental, warm fellowship is actually like. I really have no idea what that is truly like. I'm used to pettiness, haughtiness, smugness, condescension, insults, being laughed at and attacked, being made to feel inferior, etc.

And the thing is... I've tried not to be that way toward people.

I'm not saying I'm flawless-- far from it. But I believe God has instilled in me the importance of treating people with grace.

One of my biggest prayers, due to how I've been treated over the years, is that God would transform me into a truly warm, loving person.

I don't want to use Christianity as a facade. I don't want to appear sparkly and clean on the outside but on the inside have a rotten core. I want the Holy Spirit to live within me. I want Him to lead me and change me so much that not only does He live within me... but that He flows out of me.

I just want people to be able to see Jesus in me. I want to be able to see Jesus within me.

But there's so many ways in which I fall short. Most of the time I feel like God is constantly shaking His head at me in silent disappointment.

But despite my inadequacies, I still want to please Him and be transformed by Him... but all I ever seem to encounter are the ugliest types of believers. And I'm just so sick of it!

I'm so sick of people who name the Name of Jesus but act like the most vicious, obnoxious, insulting people on the planet. Where is their love? Where is their grace?

And now, one of these types of folk has poisoned my ability to fully trust the Word... and I just feel miserable.

Anyway, sorry to vent. I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who took the time to graciously respond to me. I'll get out of your hair now.
Maj, believe me, you're not being a pain or a bother. :)

All of us fall short; that's jus the nature of human beings before a just and righteous God.

As for Paul being a "tool of Satan"... (according to "Theophile"),what Theophile is actually pushing is the Hebrew Roots Movement, which believes that Jesus' sacrifice didn't end the Mosaic covennt (the original covenant the Lord instituted on Sinai). Because Paul's writings oppose ths, they ignore them and some even speak gainst Paul's Epistles and try to claim them to be "of Satan".

The only problem is: Luke also refuted their supposed stance:

"Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren. When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.” The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. A
fter there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (Acts 15:1-11, NASB, emphasis mine)


The Concil of Apostles in Jerusalem had this ssue come up, and Peter (whom the Lord Himself had appointed) stated that following the Law was "a yoke which neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear".

At the council, James made this determination:


"After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me. “Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name. With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, ‘AFTER THESE THINGS I will return,
AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT, SO THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD, AND ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME,’ SAYS THE LORD, WHO MAKES THESE THINGS KNOWN FROM LONG AGO. Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
(Acts 15:13-21, NASB, emphasis mine)

Here, James summed up the issue: the Lord wnted the Gentiles to join in salvation, and as such, the Apostles decided not to impose upon them anything other than what was already considered to be good by the Church. And the entire council agreed, as well as the Church as a whole:

"Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, and they sent this letter by them,"
(Acts 15:22-23, NASB, emphasis mine)

That letter outlined what was said at the Council, and it became fact for believers. If "Theophile" is going to disregard Luke's writings as well as Peter's and Paul's, then he is seeking to remove a Gospel from Scripture in the process, as Luke also wrote the Gospel of Luke.

Casting doubt on Luke would impugn that Gospel book as well.

At this point though, you need to ask yourself: "Why does Theophile's word seem to carry any credit when God's own word disproves his views?" Exactly how much of the bibleis "Theophile" going to remove before it suits him?

I think at this point MAJ, you need to decide how much room this "Theophile" is going to "rent" in your head concerning this. I strongly recommend taking these passages i gave you, and askng the Lord in prayer (I know you've probably already ben praying like crazy over this!), request he settle your heart on this mattr.

And don't read or listen to "Theophile" any further: he's trying to earn his salvaton in his own strenth.


I think this link may also help you out as well:

https://www.gotquestions.org/Hebrew-roots.html

sorry my post is riddles with errors... had some issues lately

ybic,

-sojo414
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
But I wanted to take the time and say thank you to those of you who have tried to understand and help me out.
MAJ, it's always our pleasure! :nod

I don't know how else to describe it other than it's like I've been poisoned. He's gotten into my head and I can't seem to dislodge him. Now when I see verses by Paul, I feel unsure if I can trust what he's saying about grace or not. All the rebuttals people threw at him he smugly batted aside like they were nothing. I never saw a legalist quite like him before.

Well, in a sense you are right. This teaching about keeping the law, as Sojourner414 pointed out, it's a poisonously false teaching geared towards getting people under someone's control and undermine one's peace and assurance in Christ. It's a very works based kind of teaching and all that kind of teaching does is cause one to try to attain a perfection that we cannot attain, only Christ has done this for us. Those who do attempt to do so usually become a complete nervous wreck and are unbearable to be around. Those who teach these things are very deceived and even, I would go so far to say, can be demonically influenced. Remember what the fruits of the Holy Spirit are here and remember what Christ even said about knowing people by their fruits:

First of all in Matthew 7:6 Jesus says:

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

People who are unwilling to hear truth and God's Word will often attack and become abusive towards one's sharing. Sure, we share the Gospel and encourage believers to follow God's Word, but there are points in time where it's best to move on:

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. vs 15-20

Here's what Luke recorded:

“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:43-45

I'm used to pettiness, haughtiness, smugness, condescension, insults, being laughed at and attacked, being made to feel inferior, etc.
Well, then MAJ, it sure sounds like you are dealing with some people who at the very best are very immature Christians and at worst possibly false teachers. :sad This behavior is not of Christ, not one bit!

Peter says: 2Peter 1:5-7
Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

Here's what the fruit of the sinful nature produces:
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Galations 5:19-21

And here's the fruit of the Holy Spirit:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! vs 22-23

So, MAJ, which fruits are you observing from the interactions of some of these people? Are they from the Holy Spirit?



Luke himself records the gracious, compassionate mercy Christ Himself showed a woman who had committed many sins. This was in sharp contrast to the group of people Christ and this woman were with, of whom were only concerned with her many sins. But instead of chastising this woman Jesus Himself said:

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”

And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”



By the way MAJ, what did Jesus say saved this woman? Faith. Period. :)

On that note of faith, remember the thief on the cross?


One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


Luke 23:39-43

This criminal wasn't keeping the law very well at all, as evidenced by his being on the cross for his crime. But he did what Paul (who learned from Jesus) admonishes, to simply repent and place one's faith in Jesus. That faith, not the law, is what saved this criminal and caused Jesus to respond that he would be with Jesus in paradise. That simple faith, even before Jesus died and in the midst of the time of the law in Israel, is what saved this criminal.

So, one can look at what Jesus Himself said about being saved and how that effected people.

In fact people who wanted to do works asked Jesus:


They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.


John 6:28-29


Believe in Jesus!! That's it! This was a great opportunity for Jesus to list all sorts of works, law keeping, hoop jumping, etc. but He did not. The ONLY work Jesus gave them, and us, to do is to simply place our faith in Jesus and His complete work done on our behalf......because He loves us so much:


“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17


Furthermore, Jesus shares why a person can be judged:

“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. vs 18

Absolutely NOTHING about keeping the law, circumcision, keeping Holy Days, being perfect, jumping through hoops, etc. Nothing. It's all about faith in Christ and this is from Christ's own Word. Only those who believe in Christ will not experience judgement. Only those who do NOT believe in Jesus Christ will be judged. There is not judgement for not keeping the law being talked about here.

So, one can certainly look at Paul's writings and compare them with Christ's own Words to see if things line up (which they do :nod) and from this gain confidence that Paul is the real deal. If Christ says salvation is by faith alone, than Paul, who's saying the very same thing, certainly lines right up with God Himself and does not contradict Christ, but rather expounds on Christ's teachings and can be trusted.


Additionally Peter shares how faith in Jesus Christ saves us:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 1Peter 1:3-5

Again, nothing about keeping the law here for salvation, it's all about faith in Christ.




Paul was consistently frustrated with those who would come around trying to undermine the simple Gospel:


Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.


Galations 5:11-13

In another place Paul described the abusive behavior of these false teachers, first he describes them:

These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve. 2 Cor 11:13-15

Then their abusive behavior and motivations:

And since others boast about their human achievements, I will, too. After all, you think you are so wise, but you enjoy putting up with fools! You put up with it when someone enslaves you, takes everything you have, takes advantage of you, takes control of everything, and slaps you in the face. vs 18-20

And this is what Paul say to do with people like this:

And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. Romans 16:17-18



But there's so many ways in which I fall short. Most of the time I feel like God is constantly shaking His head at me in silent disappointment.
We all blow it MAJ, which is why we go to God for his river of mercy and grace. That's why Christ came. If God was a God who just constantly shook His head in disappointment at us He never would have sent His Son to deliver us. It was God's mercy, grace and compassion that compelled Him to show us His grace and redeem us through Christ.....because He loves us. Remember the story of the prodigal son that Jesus told? This is the true reflection of God's heart towards us. The son realizes the error of his ways and says:


I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
Luke 15:19-24

Be careful MAJ that you don't confuse an earthly father's love with your heavenly Father's awesome and abundant love. This Father Christ speaks of not only forgives but decks his son out in regal like fashion that communicates a great worth, value and closely belonging to Him, not to mention the joy and love expressed by this Father. The son felt that he was unworthy, timidly making his way to the Father, but the Father loves His son and abundantly forgave, giving him so much more than the son expected. More that being a servant. This is the Lord's heart towards His loved ones.

God loves us MAJ, God loves you:
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Ephesians 3:17-19

But despite my inadequacies, I still want to please Him and be transformed by Him.
Sounds like the Holy Spirit in you MAJ, creating that desire to want to please God. We are all sinners relying not on our own righteousness but Jesus Christ's righteousness. We all know full well our own inadequacies as well, but God is faithfully doing His Work, not ours, His work in transforming and growing us in Christ. We are all in process, just as you are. And God is so very patient. :nod
 

Andiamo

"Let's go!"
I don't want to use Christianity as a facade. I don't want to appear sparkly and clean on the outside but on the inside have a rotten core. I want the Holy Spirit to live within me. I want Him to lead me and change me so much
I love this heart's desire of yours. And I understand the feeling of being "poisoned" by someone who is in error. You need to be careful who you fellowship with. Keep yourself away from those who are in error, and puffed up with self righteousness, and stick around here.
Don't allow shame to keep you from fellowshipping here. I was a lurker for a long time without an account and didn't have access to the prayer forums, so I don't know what happened with you. You can start over fresh with me. :)
 

Brother Albert R.

Jesus loved us and said we should Love our enemies
Salvation is based upon what Christ did for us and not what we can do for Him. He said it was finished...and so it was. Our part is to Trust in His saving grace, and once we are saved, He begins to work in us what pleases Him through His Holy Spirit. We are saved, but we remain an unfinished work until the day He takes us home, only then will we be perfect as He is perfect. If we are not growing in Him and becoming more Christ like, then maybe we need to stop being so self centered and become other people centered. Loving God and His People as well as the lost will keep us praying, seeking, reading and fellowshipping.
I hope this helps,
Brother Albert
 

MAJ

Well-Known Member
Hi. Me again. Sorry to bother everyone. I feel like an absolute nuisance asking for help again but I'm still vexed by Theophile. Even moreso now.

I'm seriously doubting my salvation now because of him. I can't get his words out of my head. Because of him I'm having such difficulty trusting the New Testament now. Theo has made me feel like I cannot trust what the Apostle Paul says, and since I can't find many articles here on Rapture Forums addressing Theophile's types of arguments, I tried looking elsewhere online for answers...

... Which only made things worse.

I read articles claiming everything from "Christians have to follow the Law even after salvation!" to "You'll lose your salvation if you don't perfectly keep the 10 Commandments."

I still flub up the 10 Commandments. How on earth can I keep 600+ other rules??!! That would make life a living hell!

I've scoured countless Jack Kinsella and Jack Kelley articles and none of them are helping to assuage my concerns. I feel so hopeless anymore. And I hate asking for help because...

A.) I feel as if I should be self-sufficient enough to help myself, and to ask for help is making myself a burden on others.

B.) I feel like someone will inevitably say, "You should know better than this!" and insinuate that I'm an idiot who doesn't know his Bible.

I've been through the Bible several times. I thought I knew it decently enough...

... until Theophile.

He's so smarmy. So condescending. So argumentative. I just find him utterly repugnant.

But my insecurities whispher: What if he's right? What if we can't trust what Paul teaches about grace and salvation?

So I know I quoted him before, but I thought it might help if I post another quote from Theophile, this time a quote embodying more of his views and beliefs.

... and I was hoping maybe, possibly, if it's not too much trouble... maybe we could unpack what he says and try to expose the flaws and errors in his thinking and reasoning?

But only if it's not too much trouble! The last thing I want to be is any more of a nuisance than I've already been. I just don't know where else to turn to for help. To ask for help over at NTEB is a death sentence because you're exposing yourself to some of the most argumentative and mocking "Christians" on the planet (... maybe I should just stop going there. But I like seeing what the articles have to say since they're presented from a Pre-trib perspective). They'll chew me up and call me a lukewarm, clueless Laodicean.

So here's a pretty recent quote from Theophile. As you can probably pick up from his words, he REALLY doesn't like Paul...

***

From the article:
"The word of God tells us that in the last days, lawlessness will rise as it gives way to the Lawless One, Antichrist!"
What I find fascinating is, how on the one hand "the lawless one" is who we're supposed to be ware of....
# But on the other hand, it's mostly the same eschatological teachers warning of the lawless one, preaching that God's laws are "weak beggarly bondage" which is all fading away under the new "LAWLESS covenant" gleaned from the Greek letters on law of a Roman(Acts 22:26~29), religious leader(Acts 23:6) who came along after Christ with a dispensation of "not under the law of God(lawlessness)... but of love(see LBGTQP divisions of the Church for modern revelations of love).


***

Theo's all the time attacking Paul, claiming that what Paul teaches is lawlessness.

And I've reached such a point of despair because I'm worried if Theo might be right.

So if anyone could help me, I'd be incredibly appreciative.


But if nobody wants to, I'd completely understand. Even I think I sound hopelessly annoying...
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
... and I was hoping maybe, possibly, if it's not too much trouble... maybe we could unpack what he says and try to expose the flaws and errors in his thinking and reasoning

I think that's a great idea MAJ! The body of Christ is here to help and I'm glad you've asked for help. That's not being a nuisance by the way, that's being spiritually smart. :)
 
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