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)?
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 God 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 God’s truth, for none of us can, today, I am in complete peace (Psalm 119:165), more in love with God and others than ever and daily learning to surrender to God, 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. God 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 God 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 god as “God” for God alone is to be worshiped – not His son, not anybody, or anything but God. 2) Does the person teach that God’s instructions being God’s law or Torah is done away with, old, irrelevant? For Israel is only to obey God and His instructions, not man’s, not Paul’s, not Jesus’ commands, but God’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 God, 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 God’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 God 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 to in the past, present, and future world!
3) If both Jew and Gentile can be forgiven by simply repenting and striving to keep God’s commands, which are His instructions for life found in Torah, why did Jesus have to die for people’s sins?
FACT: God 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: God 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 God’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 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 God’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, God has many sons?
*scholars don’t know for certain who exactly penned each gospel, but they have an idea as to when the gospels were written: decades AFTER Jesus lived and died
FACT: When God speaks to the Israelites/Israel/Judah or when the prophets refer to God, God or the prophet often identifies Himself/God as Father inferring He has many sons and daughters – see Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 64:7; Jeremiah 3:19, as a few examples. Similarly, God says in Isaiah 56 that non-Jews/Gentiles/foreigners who choose to enjoin themselves with Abba and His holy covenant 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 God a few chapters earlier in John 3.
6) Why would God instruct one of His sons, since Jesus was a Jew, to die for the sins of the world as the New Testament claims when God 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 God instruct one of His sons, much less God’s other kids, to believe God would offer His child as a sacrifice when God specifically told His kids, being the Israelites, never to offer their children as sacrifices?
FACT: God 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 God 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 God 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 I have yet to meet a Christian (besides my former self) who realized 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 How interesting God 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 God, 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 no where near it’s 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 melts the earth upon literally physically saving 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 God 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 God 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 God 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 God’s commands, His laws, His Torah, His Voice. Whereas many passages infer or directly state those who disregard God’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 prophets where salvation is merely a mental belief in a Messiah, but rather reward is based off 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 God? 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 off 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 God, or worse, did Jesus or his followers indicate Jesus WAS/IS God; therefore, replacing God or elevating oneself to be as God or as part of God? Did Jesus, Paul, the other Apostles, or any of their followers, then and now, instruct you to disobey God 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 God 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 God (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 God’s laws (Galatians 3)or at the very least, the church instructs congregants to disobey most of God’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 God specifically said to watch out for? See #1.
“Choose this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15.
Christianity teaches that Jesus, the perfect sinless lamb-of-Gd had to die for our sins so we can be forgiven and eventually go to heaven. Christianity also touts that it is only through a blood sacrifice a person can receive atonement for any sin, whether intentional, unintentional, past or future sin. It is propagated to congregants that all of us, whether Jew or Gentile, are eternally doomed unless we believe Jesus is the Messiah who died and overcame sin and death through the resurrection. Guilt, condemnation, and fear are the key ingredients while dangling promises of heaven and eternal life to motivate people to believe and cough up cash in the offering plates. These beliefs come from various places throughout the New Testament, which just by cleverly labeling it the “New” Testament sends the message anything before it is old news, invalid, and irrelevant. Out with the old, in with God’s new and improved way of doing things. And yet, Malachi 3:6 clearly states God does not change. We do. With that said, let us explore what the “Old” Testament, or Hebrew Bible, has to say about sin, sacrifices, forgiveness, believing in the Messiah to be saved, etc.
While it is true that all of man sins eventually as the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 3:23 and it is true sin has consequences as he further explains in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.”, it is not necessarily death or blood of an animal or blood of a human in Jesus’ case that can make it right or to put in Biblical terms, make atonement. It can be confusing, however, when a Christian cherry-picks verses, as they (formerly we) seem to specialize in doing in order to propagate a doctrine. Christian missionaries and ministers often point to Leviticus 17:11 which in part states, “For it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” That is their AH-HA GOTCHA moment. And yet, when studying sacrifices and other passages found in the Hebrew Bible, we see God provides a variety of methods to teach His people a tangible lesson about sin and forgiveness; moreover, He provides grace and mercy well before Jesus and still today regardless of Jesus.
First, understand, there are many different types of sacrifices, most of which are a form of praise and worship and have nothing to do with sin such as the burnt offering, peace offerings, the daily morning and evening offerings, various offerings during the feasts of the LORD, etc. In fact, the sin offering and trespass, also known as guilt offering, is only for unintentional sin, meaning you, your household, the congregation, or the nation accidentally violated God’s law without realizing He had a law against said thing. By the way, did you know according to the Christian Bible or New Testament, it defines sin as breaking God’s law or His Torah (see 1 John 3:4)? Oddly enough, most Christian circles teach God’s laws are irrelevant and can be freely broken. Hence, ham sandwiches for Easter! See what God has to say about pork in Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14, and Isaiah 65-66. Is it not strange Christianity purports someone had to actually suffer and die for the forgiveness of their sins, but it is perfectly OK to keep sinning by abandoning God’s laws after believing in such things? What a self-centered and disrespectful theology!
Second, please study and know there is no sacrifice for intentional sin. Understanding this concept is critical. I encourage you to get a Strong’s Concordance or Google the terms unintentional and intentional in the Bible. You will not find any sacrifice for intentional sin for if you knowingly and purposely sinned, you went through God’s judicial process and would have been eventually stoned or cut-off (same thing) should the account of two or three witnesses manifest. The sin offering sacrifice is for if a sin was unintentionally committed against the LORD whereas the trespass offering was if a person unintentionally sinned against another person and by default the LORD as well. You will notice in Leviticus 4-6, which is the primary chapters discussing these concepts, those who unintentionally sinned against their brother/neighbor/another person had to make restitution to the person they accidentally sinned against. Hence, love God, love others concept taught in both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. While reading about the trespass offering, notice in Leviticus 5:6-13, God’s word says that if a person cannot afford to bring a lamb, goat, turtledoves or a pigeon, they can instead simply bring flour for forgiveness. Flour for forgiveness?! What? Had the Church marketed that concept, many more would probably be filling the pews. Bake sales come to mind! Ha ha! My point is there is no blood in flour so based off Christian theology, how could that person be forgiven? Nevertheless, Scripture reveals that person shall be forgiven indeed (see vs. 13). The overall message, God is teaching His people is, yes, sin has consequences, and He uses the concept of sacrifices whether it be ideally a costly sacrifice of an animal or even flour to reveal even unintentional sin is not to be taken lightly and yet forgivable upon repentance. Now learn your lesson and don’t let it happen again.
A sacrifice in of itself cannot save you no more than taking communion saves you. While on that topic, is it not odd Christianity, particularly the Roman Catholic Church and some other denominations, teach that cracker is literally Jesus’ body and the wine is literally his blood, and yet Leviticus 17:12-14 clearly states anyone who eats blood is to be cut-off? Moreover, do you think the Creator of animals and the One who had humans eat veggies in the Garden of Eden really desires us to kill animals? No, He wants us to want to obey Him in both our private and public life. See Psalm 40:6-10, which the anonymous author of Hebrews seriously twists and misquotes to fit their agenda of making it seem like a human sacrifice was required, which is just a copy of the pagan religions since before ancient Israel existed and carried on for thousands of years (and still today). Compare Hebrews 10:5-8 to the Psalm he is allegedly quoting in Psalm 40:6-8. So much for the “inerrant” word of God! The sin sacrifice of animals is simply a tangible physical means God uses to reveal His righteousness. God loves memorials and using things to help us remember His instructions for living – see Numbers 15:37-41 as another tangible physical reminder.
But let us return to the lesson of the sin sacrifices. Just as you take away your kids’ electronics or TV time when they sin, you are insisting they sacrifice something with the hopes of teaching them what they did is not permissible in your eyes and they ought not to do it again. You, like our Heavenly Parent, hopefully are fair and just upon deciding what they must sacrifice on an age appropriate and offense appropriate level or affordability level. Flour.
Third, understand sacrifices cannot be made in your backyard or just anywhere you please, but rather can only be made in the place the LORD chooses being in the Temple in Jerusalem (see Exodus 20:24; Leviticus 17:3-6; Deuteronomy 12:13-14, 16:5-6), which at this point in time does not exist. Nevertheless, notice what King Solomon proclaims in a prophetic prayer as he dedicates the first temple. In 1 Kings 8:22-53, but especially highlight verses 44-50 for it is there we see Solomon describes a variety of scenarios for both Jew and Gentile to get forgiveness including when Jews are dispersed in various lands, taken captive, etc. with no capability of accessing the Temple, all they must do is repent and God will forgive them! Lamentations 3:22-26 as does Psalm 50-51, Psalm 103, Isaiah 1:16-20 and numerous other passages throughout the Hebrew Bible clearly state all one must do is pray to God and repent for their sin and He will gladly forgive them! I dare you to search this out for yourself. Explore terms like sin, forgiveness, salvation, etc. in the Hebrew Bible – an enlightening picture will unfold. You may want to read my article about how the Christian and Hebrew Bibles define “salvation”.
Fourth, research and know there is not one place in the Hebrew Bible stating one must believe in a Messiah in order to be saved; however, there are numerous places stating those who obey God’s commands are literally physically saved (see Psalm 50 as one example) while other passages indicate rewarded in the World-To-Come or what some may refer to as the Messianic Era or even the New Heavens and New Earth. In fact, Isaiah 56 seems to indicate non-Jews also known as foreigners have an even higher status should they choose to honor and obey God’s holy covenant. Judaism teaches that this passage of Isaiah 56 as well as other examples such as Ruth or Caleb are referring to Gentiles who convert to Judaism and strive to obey God’s covenant given to Israel at Mount Sinai. Furthermore, have you ever considered what Israel, or the Jewish people, were actually chosen for? Chosen to do what exactly? Jews, as God’s chosen people, are chosen or commissioned to be the light of the world, bringing Torah to the nations (see Isaiah 2:3, 42:6-7, 49:6; Proverbs 6:23; Psalm 119:105-106 as a few examples) primarily by leading in love since the Torah defines how God wants us to love Him and others as well as promoting social justice according to concepts found in Torah (Deuteronomy 10:12-13, 11:1; 16:20).
Did you know in the Messianic Era or World-To-Come, the world is shocked to discover the Jews, who have been afflicted and hated for thousands of years, had it right and will be elevated one fine day (Jeremiah 16:19-21; Isaiah 52:13-53:1; Isaiah 60) so much so that many will grab onto a Jew recognizing God is with them wanting to know more (Zechariah 8:23) and that Torah will be taught by an anointed ruler, which is often referred to by many as a “Messiah” (which really just means “anointed one”), and Torah will also be taught presumably by Jews to the world (Isaiah 2; Micah 4)? Moreover, the nations must also comply with Torah, God’s voice, His law one day INCLUDING keeping sacrifices and if they don’t, their land won’t see rain and therefore will have no crops and suffering economy (see Zechariah 14:16-21). Additionally, please study Ezekiel 36-48 where it describes the resurrection of the dead, the regathering of Israel, all twelve tribes, to the land of Israel, God’s Torah being established and obeyed, as well as sacrifices being held and even led by the prince, presumably what some refer to as the Messiah (see Ezekiel 44-46). Notice in Ezekiel 45:15-25, the “prince” makes sin offerings for the people, but only for unintentional sins as discussed previously. If Jesus is the one and only Messiah or “prince”, the perfect sinless lamb of God who made a sacrifice once and for all as the anonymous author of Hebrews proclaims, why does the Tanakh prove otherwise? This Messiah figure, which Messiah simply means “anointed one” and was used very rarely to describe kings, priests, and prophets and even a Gentile king (see the Hebrew of Isaiah 45 and Daniel 9) rather than one singular “Messiah”. This prophecy of sacrifice in the final temple discussed in Ezekiel is made by the resurrected prince/king David (see Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24; Jeremiah 30:9; Isaiah 9:7; Hosea 3:5) and is undeniably in the New Covenant, where we will no longer need to teach one another about the LORD (Jeremiah 31:31-34) because His Name, His Presence, His Light/Torah, His Voice/Torah are publicly made known and not up for dispute or discussion at that time and David, the prince/king is reigning once more. Also, you will find there is no sinless Messiah described in the Tanakh for it clearly states there is no one without sin according to 1 Kings 8:46 and Ecclesiastes 7:20. Moreover, if we currently are in the New Covenant, as Christianity teaches, why are we still having Bible Studies- that contradicts both Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 8 misquote of Jeremiah 31? If we are currently in the New Covenant, when did the massive resurrection occur? If we are currently in the New Covenant, why aren’t all Jews dwelling in Israel as the prophets repeatedly describe? Why isn’t the whole world obeying Torah? Because it hasn’t happened yet, obviously.
Lastly, while still in Jeremiah 31, notice verse 30 where it says, “But every one shall die for his own iniquity.” That’s strange don’t you think? Why doesn’t it say but Jesus died for everyone’s iniquity and now we live happily or heavenly ever after? Why doesn’t it say this here in Jeremiah 31 particularly when it is discussing the World-To-Come or during the New Covenant? The entire chapter of Jeremiah 31 is prophesying the future full regathering and restoration of Israel one fine day in the Messianic Era and yet still speaking of people dying for their own sin (not Jesus) – being responsible for their own sin not trusting in Jesus to do it for them.
You see, had the Church studied the Hebrew Bible, instead of conveniently attempting to do away with it to sell the avoidance of hell, while elevating themselves and lining their pockets, they would know no one can die for another person sins. The law and prophets clearly speak to this several times as if giving plenty of advance warning of a false religion that will teach such concepts – most likely because this concept of human sacrifices has been a pagan practice since before ancient Israel even existed! Please review Deuteronomy 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6; Psalm 49:7; Ezekiel 18 and 33, all of which speak to the concept of a human cannot die for another human’s sins. Every one is accountable to God for themselves. So why do we think Jesus, a human, can die for our sins? Also, now knowing the law and prophets speak nothing towards such concepts of a Messiah dying for our sins, nor we need to believe in a Messiah to be saved, and we now understand human sacrifice for atonement of sin is forbidden, plus forgiveness is granted simply by repenting when a temple is not in place, and when it is in place, flour can be used as a substitute for blood, etc. and if God does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first as Amos 3:7 states, why would we suddenly think God changed not only His pure language (see Zephaniah 3:9) from Hebrew to Greek, did away with His instructions found in Torah, and yet didn’t reveal it to His prophets of such dramatic changes or that a person must believe in His Son, the Messiah, in order to be forgiven and saved?
Ironically, I discovered this and so much more when I attempted to write an article proving Jesus is the Messiah using only the Old Testament. Needless to say, upon doing so, over many astonishing and grievous months, Abba Father “flip-flopped” my faith as His word clearly declares Jesus Did Not Die For Anyone’s Sins but his own!
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 dare you to seek out this theme in many pagan religions. You’ll love how some are even born to virgin mothers. 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.