"But if we must focus on Paul's letters to establish the Christian faith, then truly the servant has become greater than his Master." (BercotTheologians (2010) at 40.)

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Question 4/25/2015 about How Far Does Deception of Christians Go?

Doug:

In November of 2012 events in my life literally brought me to my knees in prayer.  Desperate for answers and seemingly not getting any I cried out for help.  Many prayers followed and to make a very long story short I met a man much younger than I that introduced me to your book and website.  I have been glued to it ever since as well as stumbling across many other pieces of information about Paul, some right out weird I must admit.

At first it was very hard to consider this information as I have been a Christian¬Ě for about 35 years, although most of that time in name only.  It's been in recent years along with growing older I have gotten much more serious about my faith. 

WOW, as I have been reading seeking and asking questions it seems that I too have been DUPED¬Ě.  I feel deflated and sorrowful that so many of my beliefs have been built on men, preachers, teachers etc. that now will not even discuss with me my concerns.  I am now labeled as some kind of weirdo and I've been told I am going down a dangerous road.  It really hurts that my so called loving brothers have and will so easily toss me aside without even the compassion or gentleness or concern to at least talk with me.

I find myself very alone all of a sudden and hesitant to bring up these matters which are very relevant to us all.  I realize I need to have much more understanding to be able to introduce to those I care about this deception. 

I have read many of the articles on your website and I realize this issue is not a new one and has been going on for a long time even right up to the time Jesus walked the earth. Obviously even Jesus must have anticipated or may even have seen it happening before his very eyes since he warned about it.  WOW, how have we missed this in Christianity?

I can see only one solution to every problem of mankind. We need follow and understand the easy message that Jesus taught in favor of the flesh appealing message of Paul.  How does one boldly proclaim this in the public arena?  It's very obvious you will be persecuted. I am only just starting to present and proclaim what I am seeing and I am getting major pushback.  I struggle with this and I guess I am hoping to receive from you some direction, instruction or advice in the course I now see before me.  I cannot turn back and do not want to.

WOW, it's very sad and deep inside of me I've always suspected something wasn't right, it just seemed that too many messages had the flesh appeal, the excitement, and the new movement, always something.  People especially Pastors/Clergy seemed to be bothered by my questions when I had them.  I never understood why a person whose foundation was built on solid ground could be so easily shaken by my questions. That's always bothered me.

Day after day I kept asking myself what is wrong.  Early one morning I was awakened and the words I heard in the stillness of the early morning night is that we have all been deceived.  It was my pondering and questioning of what this meant and my prayers that I truly believe have through circumstances led me here to your website. 

Now I'm asking myself what is required of me, what am I supposed to be doing about this, am I being deceived yet again by another message, these and many other thoughts I find myself struggling with daily. 

On the flipside of all this I have a peace and a freedom I have always looked for, my gut tells this is right. It feels like the truth has arrived.  Now to reevaluate and unlearn all that I have been programmed to believe, this is the task at hand.  I am finding myself repenting of many, many things.  I hope that sometime down the road I am not repenting for this to.  I truly do put Jesus first in my life. If I can't trust his words then whose can I trust?  After all there is no contradiction between what God says and what I find Jesus says. Can't be.

Thank you for your ability to research and to bring a complex topic together with clarity to someone with a mind like that I can understand.

God Bless Completely

L


My Reply 4/25/2015

Hi L

Welcome to my world. I too always worry whether this position is wrong. That is why I research so hard, and challenge my own beliefs in this. As a lawyer, I am trained to formulate the best arguments for the opposition. Then see if I can defeat them. My research is to ensure I have not overlooked something. I know my writing is somewhat more than necessary. It is because I share your concern.

I, like you, take comfort that it turns out the early church saw this too. Both at Ephesus, per Rev. 2 and again in 207 AD, as Tertullian's analysis on Paul exactly prefigures my own. [See link.] Thus you and I are actually in the mainstream of original Christianity. It is the modern version that is off the rails.

I also take comfort that Jesus asked 'when I return, will I find faith?" That was rhetorical. It means there will be few if any true believers...true in the sense of truly following Him. So what we see around us confirms that. We should not be shocked we are a small number.

The challenge is how to reach those people who are not truly following Jesus.

My goal is tell people to focus on Jesus. There is never a risk there. There were Christians before Paul so his writings are not necessary. But without Jesus, there was never a Christian. Jesus is the core. The foundation. Paul is at best an add-on who is not crucial, as John Locke wrote in the 1600s.

That makes me feel that even if I were somehow wrong about Paul, and he in fact knew Jesus, and Paul was sent as a "witness" of the resurrection as the one saying "I am Jesus" tells Paul in Acts 9, 22 and 26, I have caused no harm to anyone by saying not to treat Paul as inspired. A witness is not a prophet or an apostle.

Whenever my doubts arise that God intends me to be on this analytical journey, He gives me fresh points of proof I never saw before.

Just last week, I saw a further proof on Rev. 2 I haven't seen in the last 9 years....It was amazing. To see what I am talking about, look at my email excerpts at the bottom of Chapter 10 of JWO online at this link http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/books/jesuswordsonly/114-chapter-ten-jwo.html

Here is a short synopsis.

The Python Priestess who endorsed Paul's "Way of salvation" in Acts 16 proves Paul's "way" was of Satan, not from God. Then look at Acts 19. First, the Ephesus "synagogue" - Luke records - was being "persuaded" for 3 months to Christianity. It then spoke evil of the "way" Paul preached- that means they spoke evil of the "way" Paul taught which three chapters earlier a demon had endorsed in Acts 16.  The light bulb finally went off. I finally saw a link between Acts 16 and Acts 19 which I never saw before.

So in Acts 19, this Ephesus synagogue after being persuaded in large part for 3 months that Jesus was the Christ then saw something wrong about Paul's doctrine of salvation, and expelled him. The Ephesus synagogue found Paul's way evil..the same Way that in Acts 16 the demon-possessed Python priestess endorsed for "many days" before Paul expelled the demon. The Acts 19 account perfectly fits Revelation 2 more than I knew before.

When I see more details, and see more proofs like this, I am amazed. My faith is strengthened frequently that God left these clues for us to find. I pray every day I am helping people get closer to Jesus.

I know my wife and I truly are closer to Jesus than ever. We read the Bible and pray with homeless 1x each week. We don't preach. Jesus is the pastor. Everyone is equal. I have too found peace and freedom following just the simple and admirable and wonderful and loving words of my Master, Jesus / Yahshua, the Messiah, the Son of God indwelled by the Father (John 14:10) -the Prophet whom God says in Deut 18 that He would hold every man to "account" if the Prophet were disobeyed.

Blessings, Doug