If circumcision is irrelevant according to Paul (Galatians 5:11 and 6:15), why is it a mandatory expression of worship in the future for both Jew and Gentile should they wish to enter God’s sanctuary/presence (see Ezekiel 44:5-9)?
Likewise, if Jesus is the “final sacrifice” as the author of Hebrews purports (presumably Paul), why are sacrifices reinstated in worship in the future final Temple AFTER the “day of the LORD” (Zechariah 14; Ezekiel 40-46)?
While still identifying as a Christian and after my quest to thoroughly study the prophets of the Hebrew Bible as well as the Messianic prophecies, I found myself questioning the legitimacy of the New Testament. I penned an article with my questions and findings, which you can read here. During that period of my research, I found it alarming to discover the gospels were written not just several decades after Jesus allegedly lived and died, but last of all the New Testament books. Like many Christians, I suppose I assumed the books of the New Testament were written in chronological order. Upon discovering the Gospels were written last, I found it doubtful the disciples of Jesus would be alive numerous decades later, or could accurately recall events a plethora of years earlier, and suspicious none of them scribed their names to any of the gospels, not to mention the gospels are written in Greek, not Hebrew/Aramaic, the would-be language of Jesus’ alleged disciples. Nor did I understand why such critical documents if they indeed are the word of God would be written in Greek when all of the Hebrew Bible is written in Hebrew and the prophets state in Zephaniah 3:9 the pure language (of Hebrew) will one day be restored (to the entire world) so all people will know and be able to call on the name of God (inferring the Jews already know the name of the LORD and how to call upon Him and it is in Hebrew, not Greek). Since then, in addition to realizing Jesus does not fit the criteria of a messiah according to the Hebrew Bible, I stumbled upon an interview of a prosecuting attorney, who authored a book called Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christ. Consequently, I purchased and read the detailed book, which prompted me to research Roman history from that period. Indeed, this author, as well as others such as Joseph Atwill’s Caesar’s Messiah provide compelling and overwhelming evidence that the Gospels, in particular, but also the Book of Acts may have been inspired by the Flavian Dynasty and penned, at least in part, by Josephus, the captive and apostate Jewish historian for the Flavians.
In the approximate 300 pages of the thought-provoking book, Creating Christ, the authors compiled over 30 years of their compelling research presenting the strong possibility and uncanny parallels of events that transpired between Emperor Vespasian, born as Titus Flavius Vespasianus, and his son, Emperor Titus, collectively known as the “Flavian Dynasty”, and the eerily similar accounts of God the Father and God the Son duo found in the Gospels. The Father-Son duo of Vespasian and Titus acted in unity to win the affection of the eclectic people of the Roman Empire while promoting syncretism of numerous cultures and faiths throughout the Empire as well as the concept of “peace on earth”, all the while quelling and conquering anyone who rebelled like the Torah-observant, militant Jews of Judea-specifically, in Jerusalem. Titus, in particular, was deified, meaning made himself into an official god-in-the-flesh, and even presented himself as the Jewish Messiah. According to the historical research presented throughout the book, the goal of Rome was to convince the non-compliant Jews to compromise their faith and identity and submit to the hybrid of many known beliefs throughout the Roman Empire, which eventually became known as Christianity. Additionally, the authors prove how several turn-coat Jews denied their faith and heritage and not only aided the Flavians and the Roman army in seizing control of Jerusalem as well as the temple in 70 A.D., but then the traitorous Jews, having been armed with Torah scrolls, likely drafted propaganda quoting Jewish Scriptures to help convince zealous Jews they ought to worship, submit, and serve the Roman Emperor and join his imperial cult. One such traitorous Jew was Josephus, who perhaps to save his own neck upon being captured prophesized Vespasian would be Emperor. In time, Josephus became adopted by the Flavians and was richly rewarded as he recorded the events of the Flavian Dynasty. Fascinatingly enough, both the authors of Creating Christ and Caesar’s Messiah report several common themes found in the Gospels and Josephus’ documentation of the Flavians such as Josephus documented Vespasian and Titus performed miracles such as spitting in their hands and healing the blind (John 9:6) or feeding a plethora of people, or how Titus was 33 when he made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and it was 40 years later he destroyed the Jewish Temple, or how Vespasian was short and his father was a tax collector (like Zacchaeus in Luke 19:2-3), all similar parallels to what the Gospels report pertaining to Jesus and his interactions. Similarly, there are some parallels of Josephus’ life woven into the Gospels such as three of his friends were crucified, but one was revived similar to how Jesus was allegedly crucified alongside two others but was “resurrected” aka revived. Additionally, Romans, including their Emperors, were known to be quite debaucherous while the Jesus of the Gospels is persuading the Torah-observant Jews to overlook adultery when a woman was caught (see John 8), not to mention Jesus encouraged his followers to be sure to pay their taxes imposed by Emperor Vespasian (because they were Jewish)-(see Matthew 22). Other modern scholars authored books, such as Caesar’s Messiah and Operation Messiah, and also detailed various parallels or typology between various stories of the Gospels as well as the Book of Acts and the Flavians or other Emperors throughout Roman history. Moreover, it is known by scholars that the earliest writings of the Gospels were penned during or shortly after this Flavian era, several decades after Jesus allegedly lived and died. In other words, scholars are conveying the Gospels and even parts of the Book of Acts, are likely to be fables inspired by various acts of Emperors as well as weaving in both Jewish and Greek culture into the New Testament to synchronize and unify the various faiths throughout the Empire into a one-world-religious-Roman-order.
Additionally, it is a known fact the New Testament has interpolations, meaning added phrases and additions, to support man-made church doctrine (such as the trinity). Similarly, the one and only brief historical reference regarding a “Jesus” in that era was written by the turn-coat Josephus and even that is disputed as an interpolation (added later). The name Jesus was a popular name and is even found in the Talmud describing different people of different eras. Nevertheless, let’s say, an actual “Jesus” may have existed in the 1st Century A.D. Perhaps he was a type of peace-loving Reform Jew and Rabbi, who gained some Jewish followers. What if Rome, having liked what they heard about Jesus, opted to expand on and fabricate the Jewish Jesus to their benefit in order to quell militant Jews and gain their allegiance? Such a concept is not far fetched when one studies the great lengths Emperors of Rome or the Roman Catholic Church would do to elevate themselves and their ideologies – just study how Caligula, an Emperor prior to to the Flavian Era, made some of his own soldiers appear to be British captives while parading his alleged prisoners through the streets of Rome to make the people think Caligula conquered Brittania when he hadn’t. Or how several centuries later, post-Flavian era, the Roman Catholic Church re-purposed the pagan festival of Saturnalia and called it Christmas in order to convert more pagans. It doesn’t take much research to discover, Rome has a long documented history of marketing propaganda to achieve their purposes of unity, power, and control.
Furthermore, Valliant and Fahy, authors of Creating Christ, extract details often overlooked by Christians or former Christians, including myself, within the Gospels and the Book of Acts highlighting how Jews are constantly painted as evil whereas Rome is portrayed as fair, reasonable, and honorable mediators, who ought to be trusted and obeyed. The authors also extract the Apostle Paul’s writings of notable imperial people listed throughout the New Testament to suggest the Apostle Paul was aiding Rome in relaying their propaganda. For example, in Philippians 2:25-30, Paul sings the praises of Epaphroditus and implored the people of Philippi to embrace him. Epaphroditus was the Roman Secretary or Administrator, who helped Nero, an earlier Emperor, commit suicide, as well as served the Flavians. In other words, Epaphroditus was an elite in the Roman court and evidently, buddies with Paul. Josephus also wrote about Epaphroditus and their great comradery as former religious Jews who both served the Roman Empire, specifically the Flavians. Paul seems to also be one of the persuaded, former religious Jews who purported the Roman Empire’s goal of synchronism as he emulated Torah’s criteria of a false prophet in Deuteronomy 13 and instead convinced (and still convinces) his readers to abandon Torah (Book of Galatians) and submit to Rome (Romans 13). Notice Paul writes in the closing of his letter to the Philippians (of the Roman Empire) in Philippians 4:22, “All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.” inferring he is well acquainted with those close to Caesar, if not Caesar himself. Hence, dropping names like Epaphroditus. Perhaps this is why Paul insisted Caesar hear his case in Acts 25:10-12. (Note: Caesar is a title meaning Emperor derived from the days of Julius Caesar)
In summary, while I wouldn’t necessarily agree with everything conveyed in the book, the authors of Creating Christ provide an overwhelming amount of evidence, even much not discussed in this article, to create a reasonable doubt to the authenticity of a historical Jesus as described in the Gospels while supporting the likelihood that the Gospels may have been inspired by acts of Vespasian, Titus, and other Roman Emperors, as well as the urgent need to quell Torah-observant, religious, militant Jews in addition to hybridizing various religious beliefs of Greeks and Jews into a one-world-order of the Roman Empire.
Regardless of how the New Testament came about and progressed into the most popular religion of our day, it was evident to me prior to reading these books, the New Testament is not inspired by God, but was allowed by God as a test (Deuteronomy 13). As for me, I will stick to the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, and serve only the God of Israel, not the god or opinion of Rome or any other.
Since we each must give an account for ourselves and ideally should be able to explain one’s faith, I have wrestled with some difficult questions over the years all of which cumulated in this eye-opening year of 2020 vision. This, like all my thought-provoking articles, are not an attack against an individual person, but rather it is exposing what I now see is a false ideology called Christianity, specifically what G!d labels as idolatry, and moreover, an invitation to dig into the Holy Scriptures for oneself while pondering, praying, and pursuing such critical concepts.
Naturally, when people can’t explain or can’t overcome such objections, they become angry at the person exposing error or at the very least challenging their belief, not realizing the person, such as myself, typically are motivated by love to do so. After all, iron sharpens iron. Nevertheless, I understand the mentality, the passion, and emotion of the Christian, as I, too, was appalled and even angry upon learning such truths below – first, at the person or people sharing, and then, more appropriately my anger became directed at Christianity or idolatry in general for propagating such blatant and now obvious to me fallacies. Though I readily admit, I know not all of G!d’s truth, for none of us can, today, I am in complete peace (Psalm 119:165), more in love with G!d and others than ever and daily learning to surrender to G!d, His will, and His Spirit of Holiness. It has been a long process of truth-seeking that eventually led me to the LORD when I thought I would be leading others to Him! You could say it’s been a journey of flip-flopped faith, though certainly not my intention when I picked the name “Flip Flop Fellowship” for my ministry. G!d clearly has a sense of all-knowing humor. It is my prayer these questions, as well as my various articles and testimony, spurn you, dear student of the Bible, to continue to seek Abba Father and His will for you with all your being and by continually comparing and examining your will and theology to His as defined in His Holy Scriptures. But I both confess and warn, it is not easy to lay our idols down.
As always, much love, shalom, and blessings! ~Carrie, 10.5.2020
1)What criteria did G!d give the Israelites regarding how to discern a false prophet, false teacher, or false messiah?
FACT: In Deuteronomy 13, God specifically instructed the Israelites to beware of and test a person based off two criteria: 1) Does the person implore the Israelites to worship any other person, thing, or other gods as “G!d” for G!d alone is to be worshiped – not His son, not anybody, or anything but G!d. 2) Does the person teach that G!d’s instructions being G!d’s law or Torah is done away with, old, irrelevant? For Israel is only to obey G!d and His instructions, not man’s, not Paul’s, not Jesus’ commands, but G!d’s alone.
2) What are the Jews, Israel, or Twelve Tribes of Israel chosen for? “Chosen” to do what exactly and why?
FACT: Israel, being the Twelve Tribes, specifically the Jews, are chosen to make G!d, His name, and His Torah known. They are chosen to be the light of the world, to set the captives free, so that all the world may also experience salvation. They are chosen as G!d’s “Servant” (Isaiah 44:1, 21, 45:4, 48:20, 49:3, 52:13) or commissioned to instruct the world in Torah, which the Scriptures define as light itself (Psalm 119:105,130; Proverbs 6:23; Isaiah 62:1-2), the way of salvation or righteousness, and moreover, living a lifestyle of loving G!d and loving others. According to the prophets, eventually, in the World-To-Come/Messianic Era, they are elevated and honored while some of them are specifically commissioned to help teach Torah to the world as the world “learns righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9-10). See Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 6, 7:6-8, 26:17-19; 2 Samuel 7:23-24; Psalm 105; Isaiah 2:1-5; 26:1-12; 32:16-20; 33:20-24; 35:1-10; 42:6-7; 48:17-19; 49:6; 51:4-7; 52:1-2; 62:1-12; 66:5-24; Jeremiah 29-31; Zechariah 8, 12; Ezekiel 44:23-24; Amos 9:11-15; Obadiah 1:15-21; Micah 4:1-5; Joel 3; Zephaniah 3:8-20; Daniel 12:3; Hosea 14. Nearly every prophetic book foretells this glorious event and outcome for the children of Israel, wherever they are scattered in the past, present, and future world!
3) If both Jew and Gentile can be forgiven by simply repenting and striving to keep G!d’s commands, which are His instructions for life found in Torah, why did Jesus have to die for people’s sins?
FACT: G!d has always eagerly forgave people who authentically repented. His grace has always been available well before Jesus arrived. See Deuteronomy 4:29-31; 1 Kings 8; 2 Samuel 12 (Did King David have to make a sacrifice for forgiveness of his sin?); Isaiah 1:16-17; 42:6; 43:25; 44:22; 45:22,25 ; 49:10; 55:6-7; Psalms 24:3-6; 25:6,10; 30:5; 32:1,5; 34:22; 36:5,10; 37:18,29,34,37-40; 51:1-4, 7-9 (really all of Psalm 51); 68:19; 72:12-14; Psalm 103; 119:118,132,155-156; 146:17-20; 147:11; Micah 7:18-20; Book of Jonah (notice even the Gentiles had to repent- repent from what? Did they have to have a blood sacrifice for forgiveness?). To study more passages, read this article: Always Have Been Saved By Grace
4) Since forgiveness has been and still is granted without any blood sacrifice and by simply repenting, why did Jesus need to spill his blood as a sacrifice?
FACT: G!d forgave people with or without blood sacrifices and /or if they only offered other items instead of blood sacrifices such as flour, money, or jewelry when a temple was in place. See passages above in #3 as well as Leviticus 5:11-13 (flour), Exodus 30:15-16 (money), Numbers 31:48-52 (jewelry). The sin sacrifices were a tangible act in order to teach them to not forget G!d’s instructions/His law like requiring your kid to sacrifice their electronics when they disobey for sin has consequences – best to learn to obey Abba Father/G!d for our own good (Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:24-25; 10:12-13). To learn more, read this article: Why Jesus Didn’t Die For Anyone’s Sins (but his own)
5) Why would the unknown authors* of the gospels claim Jesus is G!d’s one and only son (John 3:16) when Scripture reveals the twelve tribes of Israel/the Jewish people (and their descendants) are God’s sons and daughters; therefore, G!d has many sons?
*scholars don’t know for certain who exactly penned each gospel
FACT: When G!d speaks to the Israelites/Israel/Judah or when the prophets refer to G!d, G!d or the prophet often identifies Himself/G!d as Father inferring He has many sons and daughters – see Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 64:7; Jeremiah 3:19, as a few examples. Similarly, G!d says in Isaiah 56 that non-Jews/Gentiles/foreigners who choose to enjoin themselves with G!d and His holy covenant (meaning Torah) by willingly obeying it (Judaism refers to this as “Jews-By-Choice”) are considered “better than sons or daughters” indicating the naturally chosen are sons and daughters while the “Jews-By-Choice”, or adopted if you will, are even more honored and also brought to Mt Zion upon being literally saved, regathered, or resurrected. Also, see Psalm 82:6 and even Jesus referred to his audience of Jews also as sons in John 10 when quoting Psalm 82:6. And yet the mysterious author of John* made it seem like Jesus is the one and only begotten son of G!d a few chapters earlier in John 3. In other words, Jesus was one of G!d’s many children.
6) Why would G!d instruct one of His sons, since Jesus was a Jew, to die for the sins of the world as the New Testament claims when G!d already informed Israel no person can die for another person’s sins?
FACT: According to Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:1-32; 33:12-20; Jeremiah 31:29-30 (which is also what Eze 18:1-2 says), and Psalm 49:7 no person can die for another persons’ sins even in the New Covenant chapter of Jeremiah 31.
7) Why would G!d instruct one of His sons, much less G!d’s other kids, to believe G!d would offer His child as a sacrifice when G!d specifically told His kids, being the Israelites, never to offer their children as sacrifices?
FACT: G!d often instructed the Israelites to not mimic other religions such as offering their children as sacrifices to a god(s), or as a form of worship, and labeled such behavior an abomination. See Leviticus 18:21, 20:3; Deuteronomy 12:29-32; 18:10; 2 Kings 3:27, 16:3, 17:17; 2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; Psalm 106:35-38; Ezekiel 16:20-21 as some examples.
8) Why are we still teaching each other about who the One True Living G!d is if we are currently in the New Covenant?
FACT: According to the only chapter in the Holy Scriptures that refers by name a “New Covenant”, found in Jeremiah 31, no one will need to inform one another who G!d is for all will know Him (see verse 34). Incidentally, most Christians seem to not notice what the ambiguous author of Hebrews pens in chapter 8:13, which says referring to the “old” and “new” covenants, “Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” inferring the “old” covenant isn’t obsolete or done away with yet because the New Covenant hasn’t manifested just yet -obviously, since there is no world peace and everyone obeying Torah (but more on that later). Equally fascinating, is the New Covenant isn’t activated until there is a New Jerusalem, New Heavens, and New Earth – hence, all the references to “Behold, I will do (future tense) a NEW thing..” Isaiah 43:19. More accurately, RENEWED covenant, RENEWED earth, RENEWED Jerusalem, etc. How interesting G!d is referring to do a “new thing” upon literally saving Israel from their oppressors and restoring them all to the land of Canaan/Israel as discussed in #2.
8) Why in the New Covenant / World-To-Come / Messianic Era (the future, whatever you want to call it) are there still sacrifices if Jesus was the final sacrifice? Moreover, how can Christians honestly believe another man, namely Paul, when he says God’s laws are a curse and not to be obeyed when clearly it is not just commanded by G!d, but the future of the world?
FACT: Ezekiel chapters 36-48 describe both the literal resurrection of all of Israel, regathering, and restoration of Israel, both dead and alive, to the land of their inheritance in Israel, a magnificent event nearly all the prophets describe but hasn’t manifested nowhere near its entirety just yet. In this future era, there is a unique temple established along with sacrifices led by the ruler/prince including not just the praise sacrifices, but sin sacrifices as well (see specifically Ezekiel 43-44). Additionally, Zechariah 14:16+ informs us in the future, after God literally physically saves Israel from their enemies, all the remaining survivors of the nations must participate in bringing sacrifices to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, or what is known in Hebrew as “Sukkot”, in order for it to rain, or put another way in order for them and their economy to survive. Sukkot is in the Fall (September/October on the Gregorian calendar) and is the initiation of the rainy season. In fact, as I pen this, it is Sukkot, a festival of rejoicing, for one day, it will indeed be a whole new world full of joy and peace! To learn more about the Feasts of the LORD, read Leviticus 23. Also, in Isaiah 65-66 G!d describes the future and how He wants to be worshiped, as well as how He is specifically angered at those who consume pork, which He instructed not to eat in Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14, and describes worship as participating in the Sabbaths and festivals of the LORD in the New Heavens and New Earth (aka New Covenant). Furthermore, Zechariah 8 tells us Gentiles will be clinging to Jews to learn more about G!d one fine day.
9) Why would the “New Testament” and Christianity be all about propagating one must “believe” Jesus is Messiah in order to be spared from hell and go to heaven when there is absolutely no prophecy in the Hebrew Bible stating one must believe in a future Messiah in order to experience salvation much less the heaven vs hell concept?
FACT: Search the prophets out for yourself, you will not find any prophetic word regarding anyone must believe in a Messiah to be saved. But what you do read in Amos 3:7 is G!d does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first. Also, you will find a very different definition of salvation unfolds. Plainly said, salvation is a literal, physical experience, not solely spiritual mental ascent, while both salvation and righteousness are repeatedly linked with obeying G!d’s commands, His laws, His Torah, His Voice. Whereas many passages infer or directly state those who disregard G!d’s laws are considered wicked (Psalm 50; Psalm 119), without knowledge, and will perish (Hosea 4:6). You will not find in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, the law, and the prophets where salvation is merely a mental belief in a Messiah, but rather reward is based on your conduct, the exact opposite of what the New Testament, namely Paul, teaches.
10) In the early 1990’s, did you believe David Koresh when he claimed to be Messiah? His followers claimed he performed miracles and was prophetic. He and presumably his followers were writing manuscripts to spread his good news, his message. Would you put your trust in him? How about if he and or his roommates, who all tragically and unnecessarily perished, claimed he WAS actually G!d? Would you pick up your cross and follow him? On what criteria do you judge a person and their message? Is not the Hebrew Bible, the law and prophets, the foundation for which all are to be judged? Hence, the very label “the law”. What makes you put your trust in Jesus, or more accurately, Paul since Christianity is mostly based on Paul’s message and spiritual experience of seeing Jesus in the sky allegedly? Did Jesus, Paul, or other Apostles entice you to worship someone or something other than G!d, or worse, did Jesus or his followers indicate Jesus WAS/IS G!d; therefore, replacing G!d or elevating oneself to be as G!d or as part of G!d? Did Jesus, Paul, the other Apostles, or any of their followers, then and now, instruct you to disobey G!d by not keeping His law? Do you or your church have an Easter ham for dinner, as an example of breaking God’s law? Do you rest, reflect, and spend time with G!d and family on the 7th day or are you out grocery shopping, mowing the grass, or doing laundry? Does your church celebrate Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, but not the feasts of the LORD, His holy holidays? Why do some, if not all, denominations of Christianity claim everybody should keep the 10 commandments, but not the one about Sabbath or worshiping other gods?
FACT: Every Christian, whether Catholic or Protestant or even Messianic Jew/Gentile, knows that according to the writings of the New Testament, Jesus, but especially Paul as well as the other Apostles and the unknown authors of the gospels, elevated Jesus to be G!d (John 1), for Jesus to be worshiped and obeyed (Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2; Colossians 2), as well as instructed their audience, their disciples to disregard G!d’s laws (Galatians 3)or at the very least, the church instructs congregants to disobey most of G!d’s laws, the eternal law (Psalm 19, 119:142,152,160: Isaiah 2) of then, now, and the future. Hence, eternal. So with all that said, back to Deuteronomy 13, what were the two criteria G!d specifically said to watch out for? See #1.
“Choose this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15.
Christianity is easy to sell when you make people believe they’re going to hell. And yet, conveniently unable to prove. Whether Catholic or Protestant, Christianity teaches one must believe in Jesus Christ, or put another way, that Jesus is the Messiah, in order to be saved from a default destiny of doom. Depending on the particular path of Christianity you are sojourning, in addition to accepting the concept that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the definition of salvation may emphasize doing good works, being baptized, and or receiving the Holy Spirit or all of the above as qualifying you as having been “saved” or will be saved (John 3:16; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-39). To be clear, the motivation in said events is to be saved from burning in hell when you die or at some point in the future. Most Christians believe when you die, you instantly are ushered into heaven or hell, but what determines if you are saved from being sent to hell by default is your faith in Jesus, or you believed in Jesus AND were baptized, or whether you believed in Jesus, were baptized PLUS received the Holy Spirit, and or whether you were in general a good person, etc, etc. Naturally, the variety of salvation doctrines or man-induced formulas never cease to exist and reproduce, but at the heart of them all is you must believe in Jesus. Otherwise, you are definitely going to hell and even part of the Anti-Christ spirit, according to the Christian faith, a faith I once believed and belonged to. Hence, the overall spiritual version of the salvation concept or one’s guaranteed ticket to heaven plan. Being us humans tend to avoid pain and suffering, it is not difficult to get people to believe in someone or something if it means we will forever avoid tormenting flames and instead can be strumming harps or lounging on clouds in heaven. Faith in Jesus is easy to sell if it means you’ll avoid burning in hell. Similarly, naive children innocently believe Santa will come down their chimney to deliver them gifts, if only they believe in him and be good. All lies wrapped in dazzling packaging. The truth is most of the world, including myself, have been sold many lies.
When I scavenged through the Hebrew Bible, or what Christians would call the “Old” Testament, however, I discovered a different definition of salvation unfolded before my eyes. First of all, there is absolutely no mention of one must believe in a future Messiah let alone you must believe in a man-God as Messiah to be saved. I found that omission surprising as the Lord does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first (Amos 3:7). Surely, they would have written about such critical beliefs in advance. Rather, what I did find was an overwhelming amount of times God says He is it, the end all be all, there is no one other than Him, no other savior, no other redeemer. Please take the time to review the following verses: Isaiah 42:8, 43:3, 10-11, 15; 44:6, 8; 45:5-7, 11, 14-18, 21-25; 46:9; 47:4; 48:12,17; 49:26; 59:20; 60:16; Hosea 13:4. Here are what a few of these verses convey:
Additionally, God’s Torah makes it clear anyone who believes in someone who claims to be God or worships an image in the likeness of a man or other being or uses an item or festivity not prescribed by God as if it is God or all about God, it is considered idolatrous for God intentionally did not reveal Himself in any definitive form so that His people would not make an image like Him and then worship it as if it is Him (Deuteronomy 4:15-24; 12-13). And yet, Christianity teaches that Jesus is God, specifically found in the Gospel of John, the author expresses Jesus is God’s only Son, in fact a definitive version of God Himself and Jesus is God’s Torah or Word manifested in physical flesh. Doesn’t that contradict everything God said before? Why would God come in the likeness of man when He inexplicably said previously He intentionally did not reveal Himself in any form like a man in Deuteronomy 4? Doesn’t that go against the concept of faith or trusting in God alone? Why would God go out of His way to repeatedly state there is no one else but Him in the prophets like Moses, Isaiah, and Hosea? Why does He also state in Micah 3:6 He does not change and yet Christianity proclaims everything has changed? Indeed, the doctrines of man found in Christianity has changed everything to avoid any resemblance of being Jewish and moreover, to go against the One True God. Suddenly, some several hundreds years post-Jesus, as more and more Gentiles believed in Jesus, the Sabbath changed to Sunday, to align with the pagan worship of the Roman sun god, things God specifically said are not permissible to eat are deemed food (see Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14) to fit the appetite of the pagans, the pagan concepts of polytheism is merged into a Trinity doctrine, feasts of the LORD changed to feasts of the Roman Catholic church, the Passover was changed to the Eucharist/communion, and instead of obeying God’s laws, it is taught to hate God’s law, but rather embrace Roman law, all the while hating God’s people in exchange for claiming the Church is now God’s chosen people, and so on. Out with the “Old” and in with the “New”. Perhaps by having prophets like Moses, Isaiah, and Hosea scribe such warnings over and over again, God knew His people would come against many false gods or false messiahs claiming to be God as well as many false doctrines that blatantly contradict God’s ways.
Furthermore, repeatedly throughout the Hebrew Bible, but more specifically in Psalms and the Book of Isaiah, I read concepts of a literal salvation from physical oppression and harm as well as the understanding that this physical blessing of salvation is simply a result of striving to obey God and His instructions detailed in Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible. By listening and obeying God’s Voice, which is His eternal word, His instructions in Torah (see Deuteronomy 28:1), we are walking in the way of life eternal (Psalm 119:89-94), we are learning and walking in righteousness (Isaiah 2:2-4, 26:9-10). In other words, righteousness, which is by walking uprightly, genuinely striving to do what God says to do, will be rewarded with salvation or eternal life in the form of resurrection or reuniting with Him one fine day here on earth. Conversely, modern day mainstream Christianity says you can do anything, break any of God’s laws, and still go to heaven as long as you say you mentally believe in a guy named Jesus died for your sins. Much of modern day Christianity teaches your physical actions need not match your word much less God’s word! However, please review how God defines salvation in Psalm 50:
Notice in Psalm 50, David explains a person who actively is engaged in honoring God’s Torah, His way, by authentically seeking to obey Him, God will save that person. In the next chapter, Psalm 51, David likewise describes repentance as a means to have ones sins blotted out, to having God’s Holy Spirit dwelling with him, and consequently causing him to instruct others in God’s ways found in His law, His Torah. David goes on to explain it’s not sacrifices for sin God is interested in, but rather, God is longing for people with a repentant, broken, circumcised heart that seek Him and His will for their lives. Psalm 103 reiterates the same concept of repentance for breaking God’s law and forgiveness providing everlasting mercy to those who remember to do His commands. Read it for yourself in both the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) version as well as the New King James Version (NKJV):
In addition to learning God’s grace has always been made available and He is not as interested in sacrificial atonement as He is more interested in a heart that seeks Him and wants to obey Him, He will gladly forgive us or blot out our sins (also visit Isaiah 1:16-20; Psalm 109:14-15). There never is a mention of someone needing to die for our sins much less an image in the likeness of God such as Jesus to do so. Christianity teaches Jesus HAD to die for our sins, but according to the Hebrew Bible, God’s word, another person cannot die for another’s sins rather each person is held accountable for themselves (see Deuteronomy 24:16, Ezekiel 18 and 33:12-20). Shocking I know! Therefore, the concept of a deity dying and rising from the dead is a farce and comes directly from Greco-Roman mythology as well as many other pagan religions. In fact, Justin Martyr wrote, “when we say … Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propose nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you consider sons of Zeus.” (1 Apol. 21). I encourage you to seek out this theme in many pagan religions. Naturally, the well-circulated foundation of pagan religions made it easy for Gentiles to believe in Jesus, a man-deity that allegedly overcame death. Is it not suspicious the “New” testament is written in Greek while the “Old” is in Hebrew? I suppose God changed what He deems a “pure language” too (Zephaniah 3:9)- from Hebrew to Greek?
Moreover, the definition of salvation in the Hebrew Bible is consistently connected with being saved from physical persecution, abuse, oppression, and harm (Psalm 53, 54, 78, 80, 85, 91, 126; Isaiah 51, 60-62; Ezekiel 34-39; Jeremiah 29-32; Zephaniah 3) while literally being restored to Israel, specifically Mount Zion or Jerusalem, where God’s presence will permanently dwell. In other words, it’s not being saved to some mystical heaven, but rather being saved to be apart of heaven on earth (Psalm 53:6, Isaiah 11, 54-56, 65-66, Zechariah 14).
Fascinatingly enough, upon reading prophecies penned by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, I found it interesting that many Jews will be literally saved from evil oppression and tyranny, restored to their rightful land and place, be cleansed with water, and receive God’s Spirit of Holiness causing them to want to obey God’s instructions with their whole heart (see Ezekiel 11:14-21; 36:24-29; Jeremiah 30-31; Isaiah 43:25-29; 44:1-5, 21-22; 46:12-13). It’s as if it is the Jews/Israel experience the exact reverse of how Christianity defines the salvation experience (i.e. baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, then believe and obey). Upon being resurrected and regathered, many Jews will be you could say, “born again”. When I simply read the various Scriptures for what they said instead of through my Christian filter while also reading them in context and looking at the repetitive theme, a varying definition of salvation emerged similar, yet quite different, from the Christian explanation. Additionally, Isaiah 56 says even the non-Jews who obey’s God’s holy covenant by keeping Sabbath for example are taken to Mount Zion. Likewise, Psalm 67:2 hints that God’s Torah, also known as His way, will be known among the earth; therefore, salvation will be among all the nations of the earth (also see Isaiah 2, 11, 42, 49, 51; Micah 4; Zechariah 14:16+).
To recap, the wicked indeed are held accountable to some extent deemed by God for their rejection and rebellion towards God and His word, His law, His Torah, which are His instructions for living. However, those who believe in God enough to actually attempt to obey Him and are humble enough to repent when they fail, both Jew and Gentile/foreigner, will be considered righteous and rewarded, which also is deemed by God. Everyone is eventually physically resurrected to be judged (Daniel 12:2-3, 13) and or physically regathered to Israel one fine day (Ezekiel 34-48; Zechariah 14). This is the Hebrew Bible’s repetitive definition of salvation and heaven on earth.