"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14;
Note: Scriptures are blue.
Salvation and the
by Walter Bauccum
One of the most oft spoken accusations from 'Christianity' against Judaism is that it offers no hope for salvation. 'Christianity' asserts that, indeed, the Jews rely totally on the physical and reject the spiritual, while they (the Christians), on the other hand, look to the spiritual, which means having faith in "the blood of J-sus." What about that charge? Are we who accept only the authority of The Holy Scriptures (OT) without hope? Is there, or is there not, a promise of an afterlife for serving our CREATOR?
To begin to understand the plan for salvation - true salvation - the first step is to get beyond the 'Christian' road map drawn out in the New Testament. To state it bluntly, the plan of salvation in 'Christianity' sounds very nice, but the so-called "Old Testament" lays out the formula in exacting detail - but conflicting to the NT which is so neatly wrapped that it certainly is tempting to accept that formula.
The truth of the formula for salvation within the NT is conflicting. Depending on which NT book one reads one has a choice in beliefs. One can believe either in a physical kingdom on earth where the saints will rule with "Chr-st" for a thousand years, to be followed by the destructiveness of Satan's release or one can believe in the reward of the Kingdom of Heaven which is going to heaven at death. The latter theory is the most accepted, and the majority of Christians will tell you that the reward of the saved is to go to heaven when they die and they expect to so.
The former theory, blending the prophecies of the the Holy Scriptures with the book of Revelation, finds a completely different outline for salvation and eternal life. This theory is based mostly on the book of Revelation. Yet as many 'Christian' scholars point out, Revelation is essentially Jewish eschatology 1 inside a 'Christian' framework. This means that it follows the basics in the the Holy Scriptures prophecies about the Davidic Kingdom. However, as made clear in the books Mystery Babylon the Great and Mystery Babylon and the Lost Ten Tribes in the End Time 'Christianity' as a whole is based on the Babylonian Mysteries. Therefore, there are many deadly, deceitful tenants mingled with the truth of the Holy Scriptures eschatology to be found in Revelation, a book of a mixture of truth and falsehood.
Simply put, when it comes to salvation and eternal life, the New Testament follows the formula of the great Mystery religions 2 of Mesopotamia. The details of the "afterlife" were a prominent feature of the Mysteries. Promises of eternal life and an outline of what one would be doing in that other world occupied a great deal of their religious writings. Within the Egyptian Mysteries, for instance, one could take their physical material blessings with them into the "afterlife." This feature was found, in varying degrees and forms, in most of the other branches of the Mysteries. Because 'Christianity' is but another branch of that ancient pagan theology, as expected its teaching of an afterlife, features prominently in 'Christianity.' 3 The message throughout the New Testament is clear: a 'Christian' can expect more rewards if he or she is a better servant of "J-sus Chr-st." In effect, one can take the fruits of this material world with one into the next world.
The the Holy ScripturesOkay, what is the reward of the "saved" if one follows only the Holy Scriptures which is actually the Holy Scriptures? Did the ancient patriarchs 4 stumble around in the dark for 4,000 years awaiting a deified man to come and shed his blood for them so that they could obtain salvation? Absolutely not! YHWH (ETERNAL our CREATOR) was and is the Redeemer of Israel as He states in the next two Scriptures:
"But now thus saith YHWH that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, fear not: for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine." (Isa. 43:1).
"For I am YHWH CRTEATOR, the Holy One of Israel, thy SAVIOR: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee." (Isa. 43:3)
In fact, our Creator plainly states, "I am YHWH and besides Me there is NO SAVIOR!" 5
We could continue in Isaiah 45:15, 45:21, and 49:26, all of which show that the CREATOR of Israel calls Himself the only Savior and Redeemer of Israel. However, the point here is that the titles of Savior and Redeemer tell us something about our future as Israelites. What are we saved from? What are we redeemed for? These are questions that are raised in the titles of the CREATOR of Israel. The answer is clear. We are saved from death; Ezekiel 18:4 says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." And again in verse 20, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." We are redeemed, meaning YHWH Himself has bought us: "I gave Egypt for thy ransom...." You see, it was our CREATOR that gave us His Commandments in the first place, and, likewise, it is He Who demanded a penalty - the death penalty - if we broke those Commandments. Yet, just as you and I, in any situation in which someone wrongs us, have the right to completely forgive, the Holy One of Israel has the right to forgive sins in any manner He sees fit. He alone can abrogate the penalty, which He freely does upon genuine repentance. 6
This is exactly what our Creator does, as He promises us through His prophets:
"Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil. ...Come now, and let us reason together, saith YHWH: THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW; THOUGH THEY BE RED LIKE CRIMSON, THEY SHALL BE AS WOOL" (Isaiah 1:16, 18.).
Ezekiel also states this clearly:
"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols ('Baal' worship! 7 ). I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your Holy One" (Ezek. 36:25-28 8 ).
Of course, 'Christianity' teaches something totally unscriptural. It says that because ETERNAL demanded the death penalty for sins, the only way to pay that penalty was by the physical death of a sinner. After that, the person in question was dead with no hope. In "Christianity's" formula, the Deity of the the Holy Scriptures was harsh and demanding. Yet, we are told that 'J-sus' died to pay the ultimate penalty, 9 sparing us from death so that we might live. But there simply is no formula for such a teaching unless one goes to the Babylonian Mysteries!
Eternal LifeWe now come to a very important question. It is the question of the "afterlife," or, more specifically, eternal life. Although such a question would naturally lead one into the discussion of the immortality of the human soul, we shall in this article forego that discussion and look only at the Scriptural implications.
First of all, if one expects to find in The Holy Scriptures a 'Christian-type' simplistic outline for the next life, then one should be cautioned here and now that no such outline exists. In fact, the question of eternal life has been an ageless debate among the Jewish sages regardless of Scriptures mentioned above. Perhaps it was the diversity of Jewish answers to this question that, in part, drew many Jews to the doctrines of 'Christianity.'
Josephus outlines the debate on the afterlife among the three major sects of Judaism. Speaking of the Pharisees, he sstates:
"They also believe that souls have an immortal vigour in them, and that under the earth there will be rewards or punishments, according as they have lived virtuously or viciously in this life; and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison, but that the former shall have power to revive and live again."Regarding the Sadducees, he writes:"But the doctrine of the Sadducees is this: that souls die with the bodies; nor do they regard the observation of any thing besides what the law enjoins them."Speaking of the Essenes, he says:"That all things are best ascribed to 'God.' They teach the immortality of souls, and esteem that the rewards of righteousness are to be earnestly striven for" (Book XVIII, chapter 1:3-5).This debate might have been the basis for the inclusion of the doctrine of immortality among the Jewish apocryphal books. An example is "2 Maccabees 7:11," in which seven brothers die in defense of the Torah and are confident that "the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for His laws." In another apocryphal book the "Wisdom of Solomon," we are told that CREATOR created Adam deathless (i.e., immortal):"G-d created man for incorruption and made him in the image of his own eternity" (2:23). In 3:4 it goes on to say that humans have an immortal hope: "Their hope is full of immortality." However, the wicked apparently vanish at death, and "the righteous live forever," as 5:15 says.The mention of apocryphal books aside, to many the only outright mention of eternal life in The Holy Scriptures would seem to be found in Daniel 12:1-2. The Holy Scriptures states: "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence." Notwithstanding, numerous scholars pronounce this scripture to be the first Scripitural reference to an afterlife. Harper's Bible Dictionary says, "It speaks of a time of terrible persecution of Jews by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who ordered loyal Jews to give up their ancestral faith or face death. He martyred many of them. Their survival of death is announced in Dan. 12 in terms of their resurrection, which is G-d's radical vindication of his faithful ones." 10
Perhaps some will tend to reject the mention of eternal life in Daniel because of noted historical problems in the book itself. 11 However, such need not be the case! The problems of Daniel are over-magnified because the 'Christian' Church has misused it for the past 2,000 years. The Levitical Jews, who have preserved Daniel in the Nevi'im, or Writings, have never misunderstood Daniel. They never, for example, labored under the illusion that Daniel was a prophetic book. They completely understood its importance as an inspirational book, to be placed alongside of Esther, Job, Psalms, etc. Maybe the central question at this juncture is why Daniel is found in The Holy Scriptures at all.
Let me answer that by asking if you believe that the CREATOR of this Universe, Who has created everything in harmony, would create man - for whom He definitely has a purpose - only to leave him on this earth without any guidance? If you believe in a Creation, and therefore a CREATOR, then you must know that He has a plan< 12 for humanity. We are not here helplessly lost without direction!
If anyone reading this article has spent even a minimual amount of time in the study of Israel's end-time identity they will see from history the evidence of present-day Israel's identity so clearly and unmistakably laid out. Then to read ancient prophecies paralleling that history, is to understand that there is a purpose in human existence, and it centers on the one family chosen by ETERNAL for His plan.
Now if ETERNAL gave us, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a book of instruction, would He allow it to be so corrupted that we could not see the truth of His plan for humanity - which would include His plan for our salvation? Of course He would not! The Holy Scriptures of Israel are complete. In the Torah, Nevi'im, and Kethuvim, we have contained all the vital knowledge for our daily lives - and, if you please, our eternal salvation! We humans need hope, hope for the future, hope for those who have died before us. Let me state this emphatically. The Word of the Holy One gives us that hope! Yes, Daniel was included in The Holy Scriptures, not as a book of prophecy because it never was that, but a book of hope and inspiration.
But so there is no mistake, the mention in Daniel is not the one and only scripture in ETERNAL's Word that offers the hope of eternal life.
In Genesis 3, we can see clearly that ETERNAL intended for humans to have eternal life one day. When Adam and Eve rebelled and took of the forbidden knowledge, notice what He says: "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the TREE OF LIFE, AND EAT, AND LIVE FOREVER." 13
Job asked and answered the same question knowing he would be resurrected someday:
"If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes." (Job 14:14 NKJV) 14
Notice this! From the very beginning, ETERNAL intended that man could have eternal life - that he could LIVE FOREVER! At the time of Creation, there was a plan for humanity in place, and it included living forever - if one obeyed his or her CREATOR. The result of disobeying was death, pure and simple. There is no mention in The Holy Scriptures of the NT concept of a second death, a resurrection into a lake of fire. "The terms 'Lake of Fire and Brimstone,' 'Bottomless Pit,' 'Everlasting Punishment,' and 'The Worm That Never Dies,' are Oriental in origin" 16 and come straight out of the Mystery Religions.
Although Ezekiel 18:4, to repeat this scripture again, says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die," clearly ETERNAL is speaking here of the physical penalty for breaking the Commandments, as indeed the entire chapter makes clear. However, physical death without a resurrection results in an eternal death which the sinner can avoid upon repentance:
"But if the wicked 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. None of his transgressions that he hath committed shall be remembered against him; for his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith YHWH CREATOR; and not rather that he should return from his ways, and live?" "Cast away from you all your transgressions, wherein ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith YHWH CREATOR; wherefore turn yourselves, and live." Ezekiel 18:21-32.
Since the Commandments are physical and not spiritual a sinner can repent and turn from his wickedness. Some in 'Christianity' have argued that Malachi 3 shows that the penalty of the sinner will be eternal death. Well, this is true, but read the scripture in light of the above. It is eternal death only if the sinner refuses to put away his wicked ways:
"Then shall ye again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth (ETERNAL) and him that serveth Him not. For, behold, the day cometh, that it burneth as a furnace; and all the proud, and all that work wickedness, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall set them ablaze, saith the (YHWH) of Hosts. ...But unto you that fear My name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings;...and ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I do make, saith the YHWH of Hosts" (Mal. 3:18-21). 17
The key in this discussion is the Hebrew word, nephesh, which is translated as "soul" in English. It is Strong's #H5315 and is used to designate the life in humans, as well as in animals! Simply stated, it is the life within us all. When ETERNAL breathed into man the "breath of life," it was nephesh, and it is that nephesh that will die. It would have been that same nephesh in Adam and Eve that would have gained them eternal life if they had eaten of the Tree of Life.
Now, following the implied promise of eternal life in Genesis 3, we can begin to understand what it was that King David was speaking of in when he writes:
"For Thou wilt not abandon my soul (nephesh) to the nether-world; Neither wilt Thou suffer Thy godly one to see the pit. Thou makest me to know the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy, in Thy right hand bliss for evermore" (Ps 16:10-11)
The Hebrew sheol, which is translated "nether-world," is understood to mean the place, or state, of the dead. (See Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon p. 798, #H7585) So king David is talking specifically about a resurrection from the dead here! In other words, life after death! He again expresses this understanding:
"O YHWH, Thou broughtest up my soul (life) from the nether-world (Hebrew sheol); Thou didst keep me alive, that I should not go down to the pit" (Psalms 30:4).
King David further clarifies this promise:
"Of them that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches? No man can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to CREATOR a ransom for him - for too costly is the redemption of their soul, and must be let alone forever - that he should still live always, that he should not see the pit. For he seeth that wise men die, the fool and the brutish together perish, and leave their wealth to others...but man abideth not in honour; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the way of them that are foolish, and of those who after them approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are appointed for the nether-world; death shall be their shepherd; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their form shall be for the nether-world to wear away, that there be no habitation for it. But CREATOR will redeem any soul from the power of the nether-world; for He shall receive me. Selah." (Psalms 49:7-16)
"Return, O my soul, unto thy rest; for YHWH hath dealt bountifully with thee. For Thou YHWH hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling. I shall [again] walk before YHWH in the lands of the living" (Ps 116:7-9).
Clearly from the account of the Tree of Life in Genesis, there was always the promise in the lives of the people of the Holy Scriptures the forgiveness of sins and, hence, for salvation. In Proverbs 11:30, we read, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life." Is this not a reference to the Tree of Life that once was available to humanity? Undoubtedly it is because, as Isaiah 45:17 makes clear, Israelites are to have an everlasting salvation. "O Israel, that art saved by YHWH with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end (or, "You shall not be shamed or disgraced in all the ages to come.") (Tanakh)
Although a number of the ancients have obtained eternal salvation, the hope of this fate for all of Israel is clearly spelled out in prophecy. Ezekiel 37 leaves no doubt of the future resurrection of the Israelites, which is even more reassuring when coupled with Isaiah 26:19:
"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."
The Holy Scriptures renders 26:19 in its correct meaning: "Thy dead shall live, my dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust." We read this same verse in the Tanakh as, "Oh, let your dead revive! Let corpses arise! Awake and shout for joy, you who dwell in the dust!" These are the Israelites who have "everlasting salvation"!
To understand completely that Israel's salvation will be eternal, which is to say the promise of eternal life, let us consider Ezekiel 34:23. Speaking of King David, this scripture says, "And I will set up one shepherd over them (the resurrected Israelites), and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd." Ezekiel 37:25 tells how long this reign shall last: "and David My servant shall be their prince FOR EVER."
David, as he makes abundantly clear in his Psalms, has qualified for eternal life after the resurrection. He was forgiven of his sins by ETERNAL: they will be remembered no more, and his salvation is sure. Therefore, when the children of Israel are resurrected to life, David shall rule over them foreve as their Messiahr, and clearly they too, like David, will have the opportunity for eternal life!
The prophecy of eternal life is spelled out also in Isaiah:
"And in this mountain (nation) shall YHWH of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees (sediment), of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. AND HE WILL DESTROY IN THIS MOUNTAIN THE FACE OF THE COVERING CAST OVER ALL PEOPLE, AND THE VEIL THAT IS SPREAD OVER ALL NATIONS." (Isa. 25:6-9)
What is this covering, or veil? The next verse answers this:
"He (CREATOR) will swallow up death in victory; and He will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for YHWH hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our CREATOR; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is YHWH; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in HIS SALVATION." 18
The Holy One of Israel has given us His promise of everlasting life, and His Word cannot be broken. In order to redeem this promise, we need only understand the simple formula of asking our CREATOR for forgiveness and then walking in all His statutes and judgments!
Let us close with this final thought from Isaiah 55:6-9.
"Seek ye YHWH while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near; Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts; and let him return unto YHWH, and He will have compassion upon him, and to our Elohim, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith YHWH". (Isaiah 55:6-9)
Footnotes1. The branch of theology, or doctrines, dealing with death, resurrection, judgment, and immortality associated with the end time and the new age. Excerpted from Compton's Reference Collection 1996 and Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary
2.The Babylonian mystery religion and all the derivative pagan religions based on it.
3.Refer to The Sixteen Crucified Saviors by Kersey Graves with original version in 1875. There are many examples: the entire 'Christmas' nativity scenario with its virgin birth on the 25th of December, the entire crucifixion resurrection scenario, the trinity, being of royal lineage, the parables and precepts, being a spiritual medium, and performing the same miracles to name but a few. In fact the book lists 300 comparisions between 'Chr-st' and 'Chr-shna,' p.256. Also see our article Four Resurrections of 'J-sus Chr-st."
4.See our articles The History of Prophesy and In the Beginning - Part I.
5. Isaiah 43:11.
6.See Psalms 51 and 32.
7.In the broadest sensebaalism is the worship of thing or being except YHWH (ETERNAL), the Holy One of Israel, our CREATOR.
9. See our article Is Blood Required for Salvation?
10. Harper's Bible Dictionary, (San Francisco: Harper, a Division of Harper Collins Publishers, 1985) p. 283.
11.See our article Does Daniel Prove 'J-sus' is 'Christ'?
12. See our article The Abrahamic (Hebrew) Faith.
13.The Holy Scriptures. THS used throughout, unless otherwise noted.
14. Read that in context Job 14:12-15).
15. There many other examples, a few are: Isa, 25:8; 26:19; Ezek. 37; Hosea 13:14.
16. op. cit. The Sixteen Crucified Saviors, page V.
17. Malachi 3:18-21. Notice, 'Christian' Bibles give an unnatural break in Malachi 3, which is not found in the Jewish Scriptures.