The apostle Paul continued his theme that the way to righteousness was only "his unique gospel"; through faith in Yeshua and not the performance of "good works as the fruit of one's faith as mandated by Torah. What we fail to realize that Yeshua never taught this, in fact, he taught just the opposite. Ask and we will send you two articles contrasting the salvation message of Yeshua and Paul, and you determine for yourself if they both taught the same thing regarding eternal life. Let me give you a hint: They didn't!
Paul continues to mislead us as he continues to preach his own brand of "justification" outside of the Torah. Yeshua and his teachings did not agree with him, but no matter, Paul was a driven man.
Paul cited, as examples of "justification by faith alone, Abraham and David. In other words, Paul argued that the virtue lay solely in their belief in God and not in their deeds. This had to be necessary for Paul if he was to sell "faith in Jesus" for salvation to the Gentile world. For Paul "faith without works" is not dead .no matter that the head of the Jerusalem church said otherwise (James 2-26).
Answer for yourself: Is Paul correct it this matter is faith without proper works acceptable with God?
Answer for yourself: How are we to define "works"?
Answer for yourself: Is anything pertaining to our faith considered "works" that validate our "righteousness" or is "works" confined to "obedience to the commandments of God"?
Let me demonstrate. You go to church.
Answer for yourself: Is this a "work" that validates your righteousness?
Answer for yourself: Did God ever command you go to Sunday morning church services, Sunday evening services, and Wednesday evening services as a way to obtain righteousness?
Answer for yourself: Or did God expect commandments, which when obeyed, to bring justification?
The latter of course. But Paul does not agree and has a "righteousness apart from the Law".
Answer for yourself: Having seen for yourself that Paul misused Jewish Scripture to create intentions other than what the original author intended in the prior articles, do you think we need to investigate other things we have believed which Paul taught and which we were assured was true as well?
Answer for yourself: Since Paul can be proven wrong and in need of correction in many areas, then what does that say for most Christian believers today who attend churches who follow Pauls teachings more than Yeshuas teachings?
The Patriarch Abraham trusted in God's promise to him that he would have numerous descendants even though the pronouncement was made when he was childless. This was counted to him as righteousness. Paul quoted from Gen.15:6 but overlooked the real issue in Abrahams life that caused God to call him righteous.
Paul failed to acknowledge that the Torah and Old Testament amply indicate Abraham had been selected by God because of his repeated obedience to the Almighty's commands and not his faith alone.
Abraham's faith in God was not divorced from deeds.
Let me give you three examples where Abraham expressed his faith in concrete actions that got God's attention. It was these "concrete actions" in response to the Word of God that enabled God to consider and call Abraham "righteous".
Answer for yourself: Other than Abraham's obedience to the Word of God spoken to him, what would have Abraham have to cause God to consider him righteous ..his lack of obedience to what God commanded maybe? Not hardly.
It was by putting that faith into action that Abraham demonstrated his steadfastness and faith to God.
It was by responding in obedience in concrete actions which were the fruits of the Word of God in his life that brought God's declaration of "righteousness".
As James said in his epistle, Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (2:17). Like a sailboat without sails, faith without deeds is useless to quote James again (2:20). It does not propel the believer to good and acceptable works.
Answer for yourself: Who are we to believe, Pauls teaching of justification by faith alone given to us by a man who repeatedly misquoted the Torah on purpose and took words out of context to further his personal agenda against the Jerusalem church, or James, .the brother and hand-picked Pastor of Yeshua's church which taught the same message as Yeshua about faith and works and who was an example for all to follow?
Without a doubt Paul divorces faith from action, thereby rendering his adherents to a flock of people professing mental assents to a creed or doctrine alone, in hopes that belief alone in Pauls doctrines and teachings satisfied Gods requirements. It doesn't! Let me remind you that the demons believe as well, but their works are in error.
Answer for yourself: What have Paul failed to relate to his Gentile audience concerning Abraham and the reason for Abraham's selection by God?
No one is doubting that Abraham was not a man of faith but when Paul teaches a righteousness apart from the Law then he perverts the whole of the Jewish Scriptures and is creating a new religion where faith alone; faith in Paul's Jesus, is a substitute for true righteousness that never existed or exits apart from obedience to God and His Laws as one's fruit of their faith.
Gen 26:5 5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws (Hebrew is Torah). (KJV
Let us examine Romans 4 to see just how confused Paul is.
Paul next turned to demonstrate David's faith. In Rom 4:7-8 he chose an untoward passage in Psalm 32:1-2:
It will be recalled that Israel's most charismatic king was no candidate for sainthood. He coveted Bathsheba, another man's wife, impregnated her, and when the unsuspecting husband, Uriah, would not be duped, David had him killed. When the prophet Nathan confronted David with his sins (he had broken three commandments--the sixth, seventh, and tenth ), he was contrite. Moreover, as punishment to David and Bathsheba, the child of the illicit union died. Due to his penitence, repentance, prayer, confession, and punishment, David felt that he was forgiven by God. He thereupon uttered a prayer expressing his relief and happiness. Psalm 32 is that prayer.
Answer for yourself: Are you aware that the Bible teaches that repentance, prayer, confession, and punishment are forms of atonement for your sin?
Probably not if all you have ever done in your life is read Paul and his twisting of the Old Testament.
Paul would have us believe that faith can be divorced from obedience and proper works and yet be acceptable to God.
Answer for yourself: You should ask yourself that if Paul is teaching something diametrically opposed to what has been taught since Gen. 1 if he should be believed at all, for how can Paul contradict Moses, the Prophets, and Yeshua and be correct?
Some may say "Paul and his gospel does not contradict Moses, the Prophets or Yeshua" and may believe I to be wrong in the matter. Sorry, but you need to separate your emotion from the hard facts and re-read and study the accounts in the Jewish Scriptures and determine for yourself what is going on in the context. If you will be honest with yourself and to God, as I finally had to do, you will realize what I did .I was wrong and had been wrong. I had let others teach me error which I never looked into to see "if these things be so." My error was reinforced by a flawed New Testament document which is choked full of misquotations, mistranslations, and passages taken out of context to justify a religious position foreign to what God gave mankind. That is the hard facts.
In Rom. 4:2 Paul states For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God. Again in Rom. 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Again in verse 5: But to him that worketh NOT, but believeth on him who justifieth the ungodly [veiled reference to Gentiles], his faith is counted for righteousness.
Answer for yourself: Is there any doubt that Paul in Romans 4:5 teaches that the man who is without works but who has faith alone is righteous? He sure does.
Answer for yourself: Is this what David's life shows us? Now listen up. If that were the case then David would find no need to confess, repent, or pray. But he does. He does because he knows what Paul does not or has forgotten. Such spiritual disciplines such as prayer, repentance, and confession, as well as punishment from God, works for his atonement. It did for David and will for you as well.
Answer for yourself: Is Paul expecting us to believe that David believed that "faith alone" in the existence of God was enough for justification from sin? He sure is, but again the demons believe but tremble. Again this is a total misrepresentation of Old Testament truth.
Answer for yourself: From David's actions subsequent to his sin, are we to believe that David agreed with Paul, that David believed "faith alone without works" was enough to justify himself before God after he sinned? No way!
But Paul says it is.
The problem is that we have two different messages that contradict each other. Both cannot be true.
You have to choose one or the other. I would only ask you this ..which did Yeshua, the Prophets, and Moses believe?
Answer for yourself: How can Paul contradict 4000 years of Biblical revelation and be correct?
Simply said, he isn't but since the Roman church doctored existing letters and created a rival "torah" called the New Testament we are deceived today.
Answer for yourself: So did David, a man after God's own heart, believe that justification was available to one that worketh not, but believeth on him (God) who justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness? Not on your life!
Paul is using David and Paul presents his argument in Romans by appealing to David for his authority. But a close reading of the life of David betrays Paul's error.
Answer for yourself: Does the footnotes in your Bible refer back to Psalm 32 as the source for Davids revelation and Pauls teaching? It sure does.
Answer for yourself: How many of you ever thought to read Psalm 32 for yourself in conjunction with reading what Paul said in Romans 4:5? Probably few of you.
If you take the time to read Psalm 32 you fill find that David never says such a thing as Paul would have us believe.
On the contrary David in Psalm 32 says just the opposite of what Paul says in Romans.
In Psalm 32 and verse 5 David informs us that he acknowledged his sin unto God and his iniquity he no longer hid from God. In other words David confessed his sin in prayer to God. In fact verse 5 tell us that only after Davids confession of his sin did God forgive Davids iniquity and sin. This is completely opposite of what we are told by Paul and expected to believe by Paul in Romans. God in Psalm 32 is not justifying a man who worketh not, but on the contrary, only after David repented and prayed and confessed his sin [religious works] was he forgiven by God.
David did just the opposite from what we were told by Paul to do. In reality, God justified not David because of his belief alone, but rather justified and forgave David because of his religious works.
David knew that faith without works is dead. So did James. It is Paul who rejected such and expects us to follow such follow. Tragically millions have. So to be blunt Romans 4:5 is a lie and misrepresentation by Paul of the truth one again.
For all his belief in God, David was not exonerated of his sin automatically. Faith alone did not justify him. He had to show sincere repentance and undergo some penalty for his wrongdoing. If anything, his faith made him realize that he could not escape the consequences of his sinful deeds.
I trust that in these few examples given in the last articles we have a dichotomy; Paul saying one thing and the Prophet Habakkuk saying another; Paul saying one thing and James saying another, Paul saying one thing and David saying another.
Answer for yourself: Who is right and who are we to believe for truth?
Let me suggest that before you make a dramatic swing in your religious belief system to reject the teaching of Paul in some areas, let us examine in the next articles other evidence to the fact that we have followed the wrong gospel in following Paul instead of Moses, the Prophets, and Yeshua. Shalom.