| How Are Gentiles Saved?
Used by permission, from the Agnostic Review of Christianity website
After spending some time listening to the constant hype and spin by Christians in religious forums on how people need to read their Bibles, come to God, accept Jesus as their savior, in order to enjoy the "free" gifts and goodies that are promised in the kingdom of the great beyond, I noticed how the instructions given by Christians on what a Gentile must do to be accepted by God differs from what the Old Testament (OT) actually says. Not surprisingly, the OT makes no mention of needing Jesus or accepting him to be "in God's fold".
The OT does give clear instructions on how to be accepted into God's fold:
Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
The Lord GOD, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
Keeping the Lord's covenant and laws, doing what is just and right, not desecrating the Sabbath, and maintaining justice are the requirements.
Accepting a man as your savior is not required. Nor is being covered by the blood of a man required. No man is required to die for your sins and as Ezek 18:20-28 states, each man will die for his own sin and will redeem himself.
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
Yet ye say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Keeping the covenant means keeping the Law. There is no mention anywhere about God changing his mind and the rules later on and sending Jesus to bypass this process. There are no doctrinal surprises which are to occur at some future point. Yet Paul claims a "new" way to righteousness was invented by God and that righteousness could not be gained by following the Law. In essence, Paul declares Isa 56:1-8 and many other OT verses with similar instructions to be lies. Paul is calling God [Yahweh] a liar:
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Unfortunately for Paul, Christ did die for nothing since acceptance into God's fold never required Jesus in the first place.
Interesting that Christianity has thumbed it's nose at the OT instructions from "God's holy word" and preaches the teachings of Paul who pummeled the Law into the ground, saying it was a curse, that it did not justify anyone, that it was against the people, and that it was weak and useless.
In the name of his new religion, Paul contradicted God and even Jesus his Lord. The food laws are voided, the circumcision requirement is voided, and any other laws that stood in the way of Paul gaining converts among non-Jews who couldn't have been bothered with Yahweh's complicated laws in the first place. Jesus became a one stop shopping center for salvation where the cumbersome and complicated commands from Yahweh were exchanged for a much easier requirement of believing in Jesus as your savior.
The dismantling and hammering Paul gave the Law was widespread and complete:
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
(Here Paul slips in his own sophistry. He first quotes Deut 27:26 Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Paul then proceeds to claim that the Law itself is the curse, not the breaking of it. Then in an attempt to give Jesus and himself credibility he quotes Deut 21:23 Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. If Jesus was cursed then he could never have been the "perfect sinless man" that Christians claim he was. God would not pervert justice by cursing a perfect sinless man. (Deut 32:4, Job 34:12))
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster (the law).
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
(Paul trashes the law on circumcision as laid down in Gen 17:10 )
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
(Paul again trashes the law on circumcision as laid down in Gen 17:10)
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Paul is inventing his own doctrine in Rom 10:4. The coming King Messiah will not be the end of the Law at all.
According to Yahweh, the Christ or Messiah would usher in an era of complete obedience to the Law!
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
And David my servant (the Christ/Messiah) shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
(Here Paul dismantles the food laws of God as set down in Lev 11)
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
(Here Paul states that the Law was given so that sins would increase!
This is a blatant contradiction of the OT teachings.
This ploy is to show God creating more sin so that Jesus can come along and "cleanse" everyone of this additional sin. The more sin, the more the need for Jesus. Paul here is asserting that God deliberately created more "sin" by adding his laws to the human equation.
Contrast Paul's claim here with OT verses about the law from Psa 119 which are listed further below.)
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
(Paul discards the instructions on observing the Sabbath as set down in Exo 31.)
Heb 7:11-12 (The authorship of Hebrews is uncertain)
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
(The priesthood of Melchizedek was superseded by the Levitic priesthood and was promised to them for eternity (Exo 29:9, Num 25:13, Jer 33:18) There is no support for the creation for a "new" priesthood, it's simply a ploy to do away with the existing law.)
For there is a setting aside of the commandment going before for its weakness and unprofitableness,
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
(Here the New Testament writer establishes his version of which laws are to be followed. The rest of God's laws are simply burdens to Christians.)
Paul's descriptions of the Law being canceled, weak and useless, a curse, and flawed fly directly in the face of God's word from the Old Testament.
According to the OT, the law was perfect, everlasting, and provided salvation.
The following verses illustrate the reverence and esteem the law receives in the OT.
The Law provides wisdom, salvation, and is perfect and everlasting. It is not something which is to be canceled or described as a curse nor is it weak and useless as Paul claimed. Contrast the following verses to those of Paul's cited earlier:
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.
Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.
Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.
Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments.
Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.
I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.
Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.
Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments(laws) endureth for ever.
I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments(laws).
I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.
Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.
My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.
Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.
I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.
Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.
Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.
Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.
(Psa 119:106-118 was tailor made as a rebuke of Paul and Christianity)
Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live (have salvation).
I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.
I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.
I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.
Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.
Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.
So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.
So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler (shield) to all those that trust in him.
The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.
They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
The Law is the light and salvation to the Jews and Gentiles, not Jesus. Salvation is achieved through obeying God's laws and decrees. There is no other way! There is no salvation through the worship of a god/man human sacrifice named Jesus that will ever be needed.
The following verses illustrate this clearly.
Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment(laws) to rest for a light of the people.
My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
Even Jesus said that the Law would endure and should be observed to the letter until heaven and earth disappeared. Jesus further states that anyone who teaches otherwise will be least in the kingdom of heaven.
Paul, weren't you listening to your savior?
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Paul also contradicts the book of James by teaching that the Law was canceled and temporary.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Paul's attempts to eliminate the need for the law apparently left him no better off than he was before he embarked on his mission of creating a new religion based on his version of salvation.
Paul's mind bending statement (below) that he continues to sin despite his new found salvation is evidence of a man caught up in his own sophistry.
Paul takes God's laws which the OT says are perfect and eternal and tries to turn them into a curse which he is under. Paul simply cannot stop himself from sinning. The implication is obvious. If Paul who deems himself a designated mouthpiece for God, cannot control himself, how can a lesser human do so? Hence the need for an escape from the "faulty" law and the promise of an easier candy coated salvation through Jesus.
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Paul considers himself "a slave to God's Law".
This is the same Law he declared a curse and this is also the same Law he declared God initiated to bring more sin into the world. But as demonstrated by the OT, the law is not a curse but a path to wisdom.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
At least Paul was sometimes honest enough to recognize his own deceptive nature:
2 Cor 11:17
That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
And Paul describes all Christians who have adopted his new religion which is based on discarding God's laws and worshipping a man called Jesus:
2 Cor 11:1
Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
Paul invents a new set of rules for salvation, takes it upon himself to discard God's laws and then announces himself as "appointed" to tell the "truth" to the Gentiles:
1 Tim 2:5-7
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
But Paul again is caught in his own web. Note also that Jesus, according to Paul is not God but a man. If the man Christ Jesus, gave himself as a ransom for all men, then nobody was saved. The OT shows his claim to be a lie.
None of them(no man) can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
Another common claim of Christians regarding the law is that they are under a new covenant.
They assert the old covenant expired when Jesus died on the cross and they aren Jesus died on the cross and they are no longer under the "old" laws. But this is not as clear as it first appears. The New Testament does indeed state that at the death of Christ, a new covenant was initiated :
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
But prior to these verses the author of Hebrews stated although the old covenant was obsolete. It had not yet disappeared.
In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Heb 8 was written after the death of Jesus, after the resurrection, and after the ascension. Yet according to Heb 8:13 the old covenant had not yet passed away but was going to pass away "soon".
When exactly did it pass away? If the new the new covenant took effect at the death of Jesus, the obsolete old covenant should no longer exist at all. Was this replacement of new for old supposed to be a gradual process? Was the implementation of the old covenant a gradual process or did it apply immediately?
It applied immediately upon delivery, not years later. This is what was promised by God concerning the "new" covenant:
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
God was to put his laws in the minds of men. Notice this does not say a "new" law, but this is a new covenant or contract. The existing law is not canceled but is reaffirmed under a new contract.
When has it become no longer needed to teach people about God and his laws? If ALL were supposed to know God and have his laws written on their minds as promised then this has never happened. If this had happened as promised then there would be no need for churches holding Bible classes to teach people about God and what his word is. There would no longer be any need for that if the new covenant was in effect as promised. So we have the author of Hebrews claiming that a new covenant took effect at the death of Jesus, but the old covenant had still not disappeared.
Most likely the writer of Hebrews thought it would pass away and the new covenant would come into universal effect at the arrival of Jesus at his next coming.
But Jesus never came back soon as the author assumed (Heb 10:37). Apparently God is in breach of contract.
As an aside:
The author of Hebrews quotes Jer 31:31-34 in Heb 8:8-12 but he leaves Jer 31:29-30 out of his quote of God's announcement of what was to occur in the future.
Here it is:
In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.
But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
(Everyone will die for his own sin. It's understandable why the author of Hebrews left off this quote. There is no need for Jesus if each is to die for his own sin.)
It's hard to find two teachings so diametrically opposed as to the definition, attributes, and status of the Law as those written by Paul and those found in the Old Testament.
In order to create a need for Jesus, and an easier path for potential converts, the Law was systematically dismembered by Paul and rendered useless as a vehicle to salvation and God's kingdom.
Christians frequently boast that they follow God's word and believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. But those who follow Paul's teachings are only paying lip service to the God they claim to worship, adore, and give all praise and glory to. It's all a sham. Perhaps the Old Testament predicted the arrival of Paul and his teachings. The following verses certainly describe those who follow the teachings of Paul:
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.
The Old Testament declares that God's laws are perfect and eternal.
Perfect means without flaw and eternal means for all time.
No amount of hype, spin, or obfuscation can make imperfect and temporary that which was previously declared perfect and everlasting.