THE JESUS I KNOW
By Rev. Edward G. Palmer
Aka The Apostle Edward
LESSON 1: ETERNAL LIFE
Did Jesus teach that he was the only way of obtaining eternal life?
Few Christians know the Lord Jesus whom they claim as their personal savior or what he actually taught in Holy Scripture concerning God and obtaining eternal life.
This is illustrated by the question posed above: "Did Jesus teach he was the only way of obtaining eternal life?" Rephrasing this question differently, one might ask: "Is there any other way of obtaining eternal life aside from accepting Jesus Christ and confessing him or claiming him verbally as one's personal savior?"
A related question would be: "If Jesus is not the only way of obtaining eternal life, why did Jesus have to die on the cross?" Let's take a journey through Scripture teachings concerning salvation and eternal life. God's Word may surprise you.
A Message From John the Baptist
"The one who comes from above [Jesus] is greater than all [of those on the earth]. The one [John] who is from the earth belongs to the earth and talks about things on the earth. But [Jesus], who comes from heaven, is [above] all. [Jesus] tells [us] what he has seen and heard, but no one [on earth] accepts what he says. Whoever accepts what [Jesus] says has proven that God [our heavenly FATHER] is true. The one whom God sent, [Jesus], speaks the words of God, because God gives [Jesus] the Spirit fully. [God] loves [Jesus, HIS Son] and has given [Jesus] power over everything. Those who believe in [Jesus] have eternal life, but those who do not obey [Jesus] will never have life. God's anger stays on them." John 3:31-36 New Century Version [Paraphrased]
Other versions of the Bible say that "no one who rejects Jesus" will ever see eternal life. I believe the correct translation speaks directly to our obedience. However, not obeying Jesus' teachings results in "rejecting" Jesus. And, how can one actually obey and accept Jesus if one does not accept and take to heart everything that Jesus says?
"No one accepts what he [Jesus] says" – New Century Version v32
"No man receiveth his testimony" – King James Version v32
"No one receives his testimony" – New American Standard Bible v32
"No one believes him" – Contemporary English Version v32
"No one accepts his testimony" – New International Version v32
"No one receives his testimony" – New King James Version v32
"How few believes what he tells them" – New Living Translation v32
"No one wants to deal with these facts" – The Message v32
Christian Orthodox Doctrine and Programming
Accepting Jesus and confessing him as personal savior is the only way of obtaining eternal life according to orthodox Christianity. Yet, verily I say unto you, the Church itself does not accept all that Jesus has taught in Scripture. Ergo, the Orthodox Church does not fully accept the words that God gave Jesus for us to hear.
If the Church does not fully accept Jesus' teachings, how can those who attend the Church learn to fully accept the teachings of Jesus? Do you listen to Jesus? Do you obey him? Will you "accept" what Jesus taught as the truth he received from God?
"He [or she] who has received [Jesus'] testimony has certified that God is true!" John 3:33 NKJV
A Word for all Orthodox Believers in Christ
If you have received Christ into your heart through orthodox Christian teachings and in the process have found God and HIS righteousness, you have found eternal life. For that is "eternal life." Jesus states this "eternal life" reality as follows:
Jesus said: "And this is eternal life, that they may know YOU, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom YOU have sent." John 17:3 NKJV
One character attribute in the sincere believer is a desire to know God's truth. A second attribute is that of being a slave to righteousness. Therefore, if your heart desires to always do what is right in the eyes of God, you have demonstrated you have received eternal life. If you believe in the trinity doctrine, which makes Jesus our God, you are mistaken. If you believe that Jesus taught he was the only way of obtaining eternal life, you are also mistaken. The Church created these doctrines. They are not the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ or of his and our God, YAHWEH.
YAHWEH is the God that Jesus served. HE is the God that I serve. Christ is our brother. The teachings I now seek to impart to you are not mine, but those of Jesus Christ and YAHWEH who sent Jesus. The word of God found in your very own Bible is what you should obey. Ergo, the Word should take priority over the doctrines of your church or denomination. It is my prayer that God will open up your heart and mind with the truth of HIS Holy Word. Do not interpret Scripture using Church doctrines, especially the trinity doctrine. Want to learn? Then simply let God's Word speak for itself!
Prayer: FATHER, break the bondage of the Orthodox Church programming now in Christian minds. Let their minds and hearts fully accept the teachings of YOUR Son.
Famine Prophesy Concerning Hearing God's Word
"Behold the days are coming," says the LORD God, "That I will send a famine on the land. Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east. They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it." Amos 8:11-12 NKJV
"We are now in a famine for hearing the words of the LORD God [YAHWEH] and even the words that our LORD God gave Jesus Christ, HIS only human begotten Son, to impart unto us. To further complicate God's Word, the Orthodox Church has taught doctrines that speak against the teachings of God's Son. Ergo, the Church has falsely programmed the minds of Christian believers. LORD, have mercy, and open the eyes, minds, and ears of all YOUR people so they may fully understand Scripture." Edward
Orthodox Doctrine Reference Scriptures
Jesus said: "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep." John 10:7
Jesus said: "I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." John 10:9
Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the FATHER except through me." John 14:6
"The only way to the FATHER is through me" – New Century Version v6
"No man cometh to the FATHER but by me" – King James Version v6
"No one comes to the FATHER but through me" – New American Standard Bible v6
"Without me, no one can go to the FATHER" – Contemporary English Version v6
"No one comes to the FATHER except through me" – New International Version v6
"No one comes to the FATHER except through me " – New King James Version v6
"No one can come to the FATHER except through me" – New Living Translation v6
"No one gets to the FATHER apart from me" – The Message v6
Note: All citations are from the New King James Version unless otherwise identified.
The above verses in John and other Scriptures are used in orthodox Christianity to create an eternal life doctrine that literally condemns people of all other faiths to eternal damnation. Is it really God's will that Jews, Hindus, Muslims and people of other faiths are condemned because they do not know Jesus; have never personally accepted him as their Lord; or, maybe have never even heard of him? Or confessed Jesus with their mouths? How about those people who are righteous?
What about those who are in a Christian denomination that believes if you are not in their Church that you will go to hell? Ergo, for such a sect, it is not enough to accept Jesus; you must also "belong" to their church. Do you think this is of God?
The above Scriptures in the book of John make it clear that those who "know" our Lord Jesus Christ are his sheep and will enter heaven through a door that belongs to him. However, John 14:6 is misinterpreted when taken to the spiritual conclusion that there is no other way of obtaining eternal life. The verse more appropriately points out that everyone will "literally" go through Jesus on the way to our FATHER. Make no mistake about it; Jesus can stop someone from getting to the FATHER if he wanted to. Yet, would Jesus stop a righteous person from reaching God ALMIGHTY?
Peter didn't believe or teach such a false doctrine. Instead, he taught the following:
"Then Peter opened his mouth and said: 'In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears HIM and works righteousness is accepted by HIM.' " Acts 10:34
And, what about this teaching from our Lord Jesus Christ concerning the righteous?
Jesus said: "And these [the unrighteous] will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 25:46
John 14:6 does not teach that Jesus is the "only way." Instead, the salvation line to the FATHER forms and starts at the right hand of our Lord Jesus Christ who "literally" sits at the right hand of the FATHER. Ergo, everyone will literally go "through" Jesus before they can actually "come" to or reach the FATHER [YAHWEH].
It isn't written and it does not state in John 14:6 that Jesus is the only path to eternal life. To think so means you are "reading into Scripture" something that is not actually written in Scripture. You must allow God's Word to speak for itself and not to translate it using any doctrinal bias or orthodox programming imparted into your mind through orthodox Christianity. Ergo, "everyone will go through Jesus" is what is clearly stated in this Scripture. And, if any other Scripture contradicts a doctrine, then that doctrine is not of God but is either man made or Church made.
A Message From Apostle Paul
"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God." Romans 10:3
"Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame." 1 Corinthians 15:34
YES, You Can Be Righteous
Many Christians have been falsely led to believe that they cannot be righteous. Yet, this reflects not only a profound misunderstanding of Holy Scripture, but also clear evidence of Orthodox Church programming. Righteousness is "doing what is right" in God's eyes. There are many examples of righteous people in the Bible. This is one from the New Testament.
"And they [Zacharias and Elizabeth] were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the LORD blameless." Luke 1:6
A Simple Explanation Of Sin
"Therefore, to him [or her] who knows to do good and does not do it, to him [or her] it is sin." James 4:17
"Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness. And you know that [Jesus] was manifested to take away our sins, and in [Jesus] there is no sin. Whoever abides in [Jesus] does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen [Jesus] nor known [Jesus]." 1 John 3:4-6
Who did Jesus reject in Matthew 7:21-23? Yes, it was those Christians who were lawless. They thought they could just claim Jesus as their savior and do anything they wanted to do in this earthly life. They were led to believe that Christ was their righteousness and that it didn't matter to God if they themselves were righteous.
NO, Christ Is Not Your Righteousness
Christians have been falsely led to believe that Christ is now their righteousness. However, you yourself must practice and demonstrate to God a minimum level of righteous, which proves to God that your faith in HIM and in HIS Son Jesus is sincere. Christ will fill a gap in your righteousness when you stumble or have unintended or unknown sins. However, his sacrifice does not cover a willfully sinful life and to think it does makes a mockery of Christ's sacrifice. Hebrews 10:26-31 fully explains why you cannot be a willful sinner and expect salvation through Christ. In covering your righteousness gap, Christ will make you perfect in God's eyes. This is God's intention for us, but HIS intention requires that you actually practice righteousness.
Jesus said: "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees [church leaders], you will by no means enter the kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 5:20
"For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and HIS ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil." 1 Peter 3:12
"He [or she] who practices righteousness is righteous, just as [Jesus Christ] is righteous." 1 John 3:7
And, conversely ...
"Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God." 1 John 3:10
Made Perfect In God's Eyes Through Christ
Apostle Paul taught: "[Jesus] we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect [to God] in [or through] Christ Jesus." Colossians 1:28
Christ Specifies Salvation Criteria
So, with Jesus, eternal life will be a matter of separating those who are unrighteous or wicked from those who are righteous and good in God's eyes. Ergo, he separates the goats from the sheep. The criteria that Jesus uses is spelled out in Matthew 25, but there is no such criteria stating that you can simply "call Jesus your savior."
If calling on the name of Jesus were any assurance of eternal life, then why would Jesus reject any person who actually did that? Yes, Jesus rejects "many" whom call him 'Lord, Lord' [or savior]. Therefore, Jesus' very own teachings dispel the myth of simply calling on him as your personal Lord and savior. Given what Jesus has taught, eternal life is more than merely calling upon his name. Listen to what Jesus has taught us about the subject of calling upon his name.
Jesus said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my FATHER in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name?' And, then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!' " Matthew 7:21-23
We don't have to guess whom Jesus rejects or why he rejects them. Jesus rejects Christians and he does so because they are people who practice lawlessness instead of righteousness. It doesn't mean they were never righteous. It means that they did not submit to God's righteousness. A complete discussion of why Jesus Christ will reject "many" Christians is found in the "Book of Edward: Christian Mythology."
No Place In Scripture That States You Can Simply Call Upon Jesus' Name
There is no place in Holy Scripture that you will find instructions stating you simply need to accept Jesus as your personal savior in order to obtain eternal life. The Church created this doctrine and it is not of God. The Church has taught confessing Jesus as a simple method of salvation, but it has failed to teach what Jesus taught. Jesus taught repentance and a return back to God's ways. Ergo, it was and always has been about obeying God's ways. We demonstrate this behavior by doing what is right and always striving to be righteous and pleasing before God.
Part of the misinformation is related to Paul's salvation formula in Romans 10:9-10 and not understanding that the "confession" of our mouth has to be one of a sincere belief. Because, with the heart, "one believes to righteousness." Ergo, a true belief in Christ results in a return to God and a belief unto HIS righteousness. A submission to God's righteousness means we abandon our own ideas about what is right.
This means that you sincerely believe in your heart that God exists. The confession of your mouth "that God has raised Christ from the dead" is meaningless unless it transforms your heart and results in your submitting to God's righteousness. Ergo, I believe God has raised Christ from the dead and that HE will also raise me from the dead. God has demonstrated to me, through Christ, that HE is real. As a result, I have become a slave to God's righteousness and it is now the desire of my heart to always please HIM. My belief in Christ has resulted in God imparting HIS Spirit into me. HIS Spirit testifies within me to my own spirit "God is true." Therefore, I have sincerely received Christ's testimony and I now fulfill John 3:33 "certifying that God is true." Your actions and behavior will testify whether your own life certifies God is true.
"He [or she] who has received [Jesus'] testimony has certified that God [YAHWEH] is true!" John 3:33
Repentance Is God's Criteria For Eternal Life
With all the orthodox programming about "claiming" Jesus as our Lord and Savior, one wonders why the Orthodox Church doesn't focus on the criteria Jesus uses for eternal life. It has always been a matter of repenting and returning to God's ways. No repentance and return to Gods ways -- then, absolutely, there is no salvation. And, you can mouth Jesus until you are blue in the face on your way towards hell. If you want to see eternal life, you will have to inherently listen to God's words written on our hearts and minds and be a good person seeking always to do what is right. Or, you will have to sincerely repent and have received Christ's testimony and thereby have returned to God through an act or moment of sincere repentance and remorse. Christ did not come to save righteous people; and, yes, righteous people DO EXIST! The rest of us will need to come clean and get right with God through a contrite heart that sincerely repents.
Repent for what? Repent for all the sins [not doing what is right in God's eyes] we have done, which our human nature naturally seeks out. Repent from having an earthly focus seeking to please men instead of a heavenly focus seeking to please God. A true repentant heart shifts a person's focus from this earth and its material things and human influences to heaven and God's spiritual things and HIS influences. A repentant heart peels off the old man and puts on the new man. This transforms us into a spiritual being first and foremost instead of an earthly being focused on earthly things. The act of repentance and walking with God thereafter is what will actually get us back SAFELY to our heavenly home from whence our spirits came.
Jesus said: "I tell you … unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:3
Repentance Is God's Salvation Message Through Christ
The Jesus I know taught the same message as John the Baptist and taught his disciples the same message. Jesus also taught Paul to teach the same message. Therefore, God's message of repentance has never changed, but the Orthodox Church created a salvation doctrine of "claiming" Christ instead of "obeying" Christ.
1. John the Baptist taught repentance
"In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" Matthew 3:1-2
2. John the Baptist taught repentance leads to eternal life
"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, 'Brood of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath [of God] to come?" Matthew 3:7
3. John the Baptist taught true repentance is demonstrated by our actions.
"Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance." Matthew 3:8
4. Jesus Christ taught repentance
"From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' " Matthew 4:17
Jesus preached the same repentance message from God as John the Baptist preached!
5. Jesus taught that there was a minimum righteousness requirement
"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:20
6. Jesus taught people they would perish if they didn't repent
"Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:3
7. Jesus taught those who repented with John have eternal life
"Which of the two did the will of his father? They said to him, 'the first.' Jesus said to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots [will] enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him." Matthew 21:31-32
8. Jesus taught that John the Baptist's way was the right way to live
"For when John came to show you the right way to live, you did not believe him." Matthew 21:32 Revised English Bible
9. Jesus taught Paul to teach about repentance and righteousness
Jesus told Paul: "I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 'to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' " Acts 26:17-18
1. To open our eyes
2. To turn us from darkness to light
3. To turn us from Satan's power to God's power
4. So our sins would be forgiven and we would have eternal life
10. Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance
Jesus said: "Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick [need one]. [Therefore] I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Luke 5:31-32
Jesus came to call sinners to repentance!
The above teachings focus on the truth that repentance will be more important to your eternal life than any ability of yours to confess and claim Jesus as your Lord and savior. In fact, if your life does not demonstrate the fruits of repentance or clear evidence of being an inherently righteous person before God, then you are not going to see an eternal life in heaven. Eternal life is that easy to understand and it has very little to do about "claiming" or "mouthing" Jesus as "Lord, Lord" or your "personal savior." It has everything to do with your behavior and going about "God's business" or having confessed God and believing within your heart UNTO HIS righteousness.
YES, There Are Righteous People Of God!
Finally, there is the matter of the "righteous" people of God whom Jesus did not come to call. There are many examples of such people in the Bible and I cited earlier the example of Zacharias and Elizabeth in Luke chapter one. How do we know of these people and the fact they will enjoy eternal life? The following verses will shed some light on the righteous people of God and why they will see eternal life. In these verses, there is no mention of anyone claiming Jesus as savior. I might add, even if a righteous person does not know of Jesus personally—it does not mean they are not righteous before God. It also does not mean the blood of Jesus would not cover any gaps in their righteousness. For God "so loved the world" that HE gave HIS Son!
Jesus said: "For God so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten Son that whoever believes in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
While it is a common and even traditional belief within Christianity that the phrase "believes in HIM" in John 3:16 is talking about Jesus, I believe it actually refers to YAHWEH HIMself. The reason I believe this is that Jesus would have used the word "me" in the sentence if he meant it to refer to himself. We see such language used quite often in his teachings. And, when you couple this reference to YAHWEH with the following teaching of Jesus, it becomes clear that a true belief in Jesus must result in a belief in God and HIS ways. Otherwise, Jesus has failed in his mission to get you to repent "to God" and return to "HIS righteousness."
Jesus said: "He [or she] who [truly] believes in me, believes not in me, but in HIM who sent me." John 12:44
This teaching reflects the reality of Jesus' purpose to return us to God. Ergo, while the Holy Spirit points us to and testifies about Jesus Christ – Christ himself always pointed us to and testified about his heavenly FATHER, our God YAHWEH. Christianity rationalizes around many verses like this by making Jesus our God. Yet, John 20:17 and 1 Corinthians 8:6 along with many others make it clear that Jesus is not God.
Jesus said: "I am ascending to my FATHER and your FATHER, and to my God and your God." John 20:17
Do not make Jesus a liar by dismissing his teachings about his identity and the fact that he worshipped a God and claimed that his God was also our God. Let the Word speak for itself and do not view it through the trinity or any other doctrinal lens. If you do that, you will never understand the teachings of Christ. This brings us to the first of several teachings of Christ that salvation exists without mouthing or claiming him as our personal savior. Note: If Christ has resulted in you returning to God's ways, he is your savior even if you do not mouth or claim him as a personal savior!
A Belief In HIM Who Sent Jesus – Results in Eternal Life
Jesus said: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in HIM who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." John 5:24
1. You hear the teachings of Jesus and take them to heart.
2. This results in you believing in HIM [YAHWEH] who sent Jesus.
3. Your behavior demonstrates your true belief in God and HIS Son.
4. You now have everlasting life even while remaining on this earth.
5. You shall not come into judgment [assuming you remain faithful].
6. You have already passed from death into life even while living out the remaining years of your earthly life [if you remain faithful].
In John 5:24, the reality of Jesus' purpose on earth is realized. Anyone "who believes in HIM who sent me" believes in God ALMIGHTY [YAHWEH] and not just in Jesus Christ. To do so means you have returned to God and HIS righteous ways. Ergo, you now know your God and whom Jesus himself served. You understand John 20:17 and it makes sense. You also understand that the teaching of "Jesus is God" is a false teaching of the Orthodox Church. Instead, you have embraced the God that Jesus served and worshipped [Mt 4:10] and it has resulted in the gift of HIS eternal life.
This is the teaching of Jesus Christ and it has nothing to do about claiming Jesus or mouthing Jesus as your personal savior. It has everything to do with Jesus getting you to repent and return to God and HIS ways.
"He [or she] who has received [Jesus'] testimony has certified that God [YAHWEH] is true!" John 3:33
Jesus' eternal life teaching in John 5:24 can be contrasted with his teachings about "picking you up on the last day" found in John 6:39-47. Would you rather be picked up on the last day or have already passed into eternal life? These are two interesting teachings concerning eternal life from Jesus. A full discussion of these two distinct salvation teachings of Jesus is found in "Seven End-Times Messages From God."
Calling On the Name of YAHWEH – Results in Eternal Life
"And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." Joel 2:32
Every place in the Bible where the word LORD appears in small caps like LORD indicates the person is God ALMIGHTY. Alternatively, the designation may appear in all caps like LORD. Bible translators used this method to refer to God whenever the Jewish Tetragrammaton [YHWH] which refers to God, was encountered in Scripture.
Note: Small cap formatting is not possible in text only, so CAPS have been used to indicate God HIMSELF.
Paul cites Joel 2:32 in Romans 10:13 and this often confuses people thinking that they can call on the name of Jesus and they "shall be saved." However, as presented, it is a reference to YAHWEH and those who call upon HIM are HIS righteous people. We have already seen that Jesus himself contradicts the Orthodox Church doctrine of simply calling upon his name in Matthew 7:21-23.
Obeying God's Commandments – Results in Eternal Life
"Good teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"
Jesus said: "If you want to enter into [eternal] life, keep the commandments."
Jesus said: "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother and you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 19:17-20
In this teaching, Christ makes it clear to the rich young ruler that those who obey God's ten commandments will have eternal life. The rich young ruler states: "All these I have done since my youth, what do I still lack?" In asking the question, he knows that he is missing out on something spiritually. Christ then said: "If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have … and follow me." Yes, Jesus taught us that it is hard for a rich man to enter into heaven. But don't miss the FIRST LESSON from Jesus where he taught that obeying God's commandments leads to eternal life.
Obeying Two Commandments – Results in Eternal Life
Jesus said: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40
FIVE Examples of Eternal Life Without Claiming Christ as a Personal Savior
1. Those who repented in John the Baptist's water baptism have eternal life.
2. Those who repented through Jesus Christ's teachings have eternal life.
3. Those who believe in the God who sent Jesus have eternal life.
4. Those who call on the name of YAHWEH have eternal life.
5. Those who obey God's commandments have eternal life.
From time immemorial and long before Jesus arrived, there have always been inherently righteous people of God. These people still exist in the world and in all cultures. Therefore, the Orthodox Church doctrine that sentences people of all other faiths to hell and damnation is not from God. It is a man made doctrine from the Orthodox Church. Righteousness or doing what is right is what is truly of God. It alone will result in eternal life. In fact, no amount of mouthing or claiming Jesus as a personal savior will result in eternal life for someone who does not obey what Jesus taught. And, Jesus taught us to return to God and to submit to HIS righteous ways.
So Then, Exactly Why Did Christ Have To Die?
Jesus said [to his disciples]: " 'These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning me.' And he opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures." Then he said to them,
"Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of my FATHER upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power on high." Luke 24:44-49
Christ died for all of the above reasons and there are no Scriptures that state you can simply "mouth" Jesus and "claim" him as your personal Lord and Savior and get into heaven and enjoy an eternal life as a result of that confession and claim.
Instead, Jesus taught that "repentance" should be preached to all the nations in his name for the "remission" of sins. And after one repents, then, there is a remission of sins. Furthermore, there is no turning back with God after one does repent. In Hebrews 10:26-31, we learn this is a one-way street. Christians who are truly saved become slaves unto God's righteousness and fellow servants of our brother Jesus.
Jesus said: "Repentance and remissions of sins should be preached in [my] name to all the nations!"
Some last thoughts from Scripture, about being a good person, obtaining wisdom from God, numbering our days and at the end of our lives, then simply "flying away" back to the heavenly home, which awaits the return of the righteous people of God. May God bless you and give you peace on your earthly journey and search for truth.
On Being Good and Asking God for Wisdom
“I was a boy of happy disposition. I had received a good soul as my lot, or rather, BEING GOOD, I had entered an undefiled body; but, realizing that I could never possess Wisdom unless God gave her to me, a sign of intelligence in itself, [is] to know in whose gift [hands] she lay.” Wisdom 8:19-21 New Jerusalem Bible
On Numbering Our Days and Flying Away
“The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For soon it is cut off, and WE FLY AWAY. Who knows the power of YOUR anger? For as the fear of YOU, so is YOUR wrath. So teach us to NUMBER OUR DAYS, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:10-11
An Apostle's Prayer
LORD God ALMIGHTY, my heavenly FATHER and God of my brother the Lord Jesus Christ and YOU whom I serve as a fellow servant of my teacher, YOUR blessed begotten Son Jesus – BLESS those who take YOUR words into their heart and seek to lead a godly life unto YOUR righteousness. Thank YOU FATHER for keeping this message YOU gave me intact so that all true believers would hear these words YOU wanted them to hear. Help people from all nations understand that righteousness is what YOUR criteria for entering an eternal life has always been about. Help them FATHER to understand YOUR Son Jesus did not change YOUR eternal life criteria, but only reinforced it. Help them FATHER to "repent for the remission of their sins" and to lead a godly life thereafter knowing that Jesus' sacrifice has the gaps in their righteousness covered in YOUR eyes. Help them to "practice righteousness" so that YOUR Son has not died in vain on the cross for anyone. Thank YOU that the sacrifice of Jesus has washed the sin away for all those in this world even if they have never even heard of Jesus or even if they are mistaken about the identity of Jesus. Teach them that eternal life is not about "claiming" Jesus but about "obeying" Jesus. This I pray in the name of YOUR most precious Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Apostle Edward
Book Resources From Apostle Edward For Further Study
Other Resources From Apostle Edward For Further Study
1. Apostle Edward's Blog is located at this link.
2. "A Real Salvation Prayer" is located at this link.
3. This document is located at http://www.edwardtheapostle.org/eternal_life.html
4. An online feedback form that reaches Apostle Edward is located at this link.
5. Apostle Edward's Newsletter is free to sign up for at this link.
How To Contact Apostle Edward
Rev. Edward G. Palmer
Apostle Ministry, Inc.
13570 Grove Drive #361
Maple Grove, Minnesota 55311
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