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Here in Dominica The Assemblies of Yahweh have been faithful to keep before the public a religious tract by their leader and founder, and Bible expounder, Jacob O. Meyer, entitled, The Pathway to Salvation. It ends with these words:
I have given you key Scriptures which will point you toward the way to salvation. What are you going to do with them? Will you continue through this open door or will you pass negligently by, to the broad way which leads to destruction?
If Mr. O. Meyer was still alive, we would gladly and without hesitation tell him that we are definitely going to “pass by” his “pathway to salvation,” for unmistakably, it’s “the broad way which leads to destruction!” In all my 35 years as a Christian, I have never come across a tract that was more opposed to the gospel! What precise “names” we may call the Father and the Son is of little consequence in light of THE DAMNING ERROR that Mr. O. Meyer sets before his readers in this article.
What is that error? What is it in this seemingly nice religious tract that could be so deadly, so poisonous to the soul? It’s found in both what he says and in what he leaves out. He has one theme throughout his “pathway” to salvation: “keeping the commandments” and “keeping the Law” That’s his message! And that’s his ongoing message! And that is THE ROAD that he points sinners to as “the way to life.” What does Mr. O. Meyer (pictured) leave out? It’s very obvious! Every true believer who reads this tract can readily recognize the key gospel ingredient that’s missing. In other words, there is something so essential to the gospel that if it’s lacking, you have no gospel! If it’s not there, the gospel is not there! What is it? — Faith! It’s completely absent! You say, that can’t be! But it is! In this entire full- page tract in five columns with small print, the words “faith,” “believe” or “trust” are nowhere to be found! In other words, this tract is not a “GOSPEL” tract; it’s just something Mr. O. Meyer is saying. But it’s not the gospel!
Mr. O. Meyer opens his article with the question: “What must I do to be saved?” A perfect opportunity for him to give a perfectly Scriptural answer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). But he doesn’t do that. Instead, he goes on and on about “obedience to the Law” and “keeping the commandments.” He asks, “What must we do to receive that priceless blessing?” (co12). Here’s his answer:
When we sin we are transgressing the Law of Almighty
Yahweh, His commandments, statutes and judgments. We are
breaking His rules of life, disobeying His directions for living,
and the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23. By obeying the
Scriptural Law, we are following a course of life which will
lead us to the stage of immortality a gift from Almighty
Yahweh for obedience. (co12)
Mr. O. Meyer not only exposes his total ignorance of the gospel here, but his lack of even understanding what a “GIFT” is. A gift is not something that we earn by our “obedience,” it’s free! Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift.
For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.. .1 will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely…Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Rom 3:24; 5:15,18; Rev 21:6; 22:17).
Understand this: This priceless gift- of God’s grace does come to us because of “obedience”—but it’s not our obedience that brings it! The gift- of salvation is definitely earned—but it’s not we who earn it! We have One to thank for that—Jesus, our substitute and representative who lived and died for us! That’s what the apostle is saying above—”and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ.” Paul is showing that Adam and Christ represented others. The disobedience of Adam brought death; the obedience of Christ brought life— “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). This “ONE” is Jesus!—the substitute for sinners! This “ONE” established a righteousness for us and suffered in our place and stead at Calvary! Salvation is “free” to us, but it costs the Son of God dearly! “Ye are bought with a price” ft Cor 7:23). “God hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor 5:21). Paul states it plain, “…even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came.” The “free gift” of salvation comes to us by HIS obedience, not ours! by HIS righteousness, not ours! This is where faith in Christ and trusting in Jesus enters in— a concept which evidently is totally foreign to Mr. O. Meyer.
The “gift” of salvation is not purchased, earned, nor worked for in any way by the sinner; it is simply received, as surely as the sunshine is received: free and complete. Grace flows to us through the work and merits of the Savior, not through anything we could ever do, or endure. Life and peace are not to be claimed on the ground of fitness or goodness, but of need and unworthiness, of poverty and emptiness. The eyeof faith is merely to behold Jesus who cried, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) and receive the life, the healing, and all the benefits of that death by FREE GRACE.
Mr. O. Meyer never learned the glorious truth that “man is justified by faith without the deeds ofthe law” (Rom 3:28; 4:4-6; Col 2:16; Titus 3:5). His teaching of “salvation” through law-keeping contradicts the scriptural truth of justification by faith. That involves complete pardon from all sin and the imputation of Christ’s perfect righteousness, so the believer in Christ need never fear judgment or condemnation—”He that believeth on him is not condemned…There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.. through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (John 3:18; Rom 8:1; Acts 13:38,39).
Jacob O. Meyer is a classic example of the false, legalistic preachers who are continually telling sinners what they must DO, rather than declaring what Christ has DONE! See him below in his younger days on the radio. He would have us look to our own works of obedience as the way to life and immortality, but the gospel of God’s grace points us in a totally different direction—to Jesus, and Jesus alone! Now, some of you no doubt feel I’m being too hard on Mr. O. Meyer. Therefore, let’s give him more room for a lengthier quote:
What must we do to receive that priceless blessing? The answer is that we must follow the example of Yahshua the Messiah, following His life as a pattern laid down for us. The Apostle Cepha says in 1 Peter 2:21-22, “For even hereunto were ye called; because that Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps: who did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.” That is the example of our Savior. Living a life free from sin and speaking no falsehood (false doctrine). Now we are getting some tangible Directions from the Author of the Bible, Almighty Yahweh. How many will heed them? (co12)
This question ton co12), “What must we do to receive that priceless blessing?” follows the opening question (on col 1), “What must I do to be saved?” So this is clearly “Directions” given to lost sinners in need of salvation—just like the lost Philippian jailor who asked the same, “What must I do to be saved?” and like the title of the tract reads, “The Pathway to Salvation.” So we clearly have Mr. O. Meyer’s “Directions” to lost sinners: “Live a life free from sin and speak no falsehood.” That’s it! But that’s a far cry from Paul’s answer to the jailor, “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). The false preacher says, “Do this and thou shalt live.” The true preacher says, “Believe and live.”
Again, so that I’m not accused of misapplying this tract, and that there’s no misunderstanding about who it’s directed to—they have another tract entitled Introducing the Assemblies of Yahweh, where they state under the subhead Our Purposes:“The Assemblies of Yahweh was founded for the purpose of preaching the truth of the inspired Scriptures to a spiritually LOST world.” So, since this tract, The Pathway to Salvation, is their classic “salvation” tract set before the public, no one can deny that it is definitely directed (as they say) to a “spiritually lost world!” In other words, Mr. O. Meyer is most assuredly addressing “LOST” sinners on how “to receive” salvation!
Mr. O. Meyer’s fundamental error in using this passage in 1 Peter to give directions to lost sinners on how to be saved is that Peter was not addressing lost sinners at all! He was writing to “the elect of God” (1:2), to those who “love” Christ (1:8), to “obedient children” (1:14), to those who were “born again” (1:23), to “believers” (2:7), and to those who had been “called out of darkness into his marvellous light” (2:9). These are to be “directed” to follow in the steps of Jesus! not lost sinners! The only thing for them is to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved!” Christ is the “light of the world.” It’s foolish to direct lost sinners to emulate Christ, for lost sinners “love darkness rather than light.., every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.. for they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh…because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (John 3:19,20; 8:12; Rom 8:5-8). When that crowd beside the sea asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” He answered them, “This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28-29). That’s where you begin! That’s where lost sinners are to be directed—to faith in Christ!—not to “following the example of the Messiah” or “obeying the Law” or “keeping the commandments!”
It’s really unbelievable that anyone who professes to use the Bible would publish a tract on “Salvation” and totally leave out the words “faith,” “believe” and “trust”—and actually expect the public to take them seriously! There are not just a few texts that state this truth, but literally there’s an avalanche of Scriptures that show clearly that salvation and eternal life are received by “Believing” in Christ! To list them all would take the rest of the tract, so we’ll only list a few: God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life… He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already… He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him… I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst… He that believeth on me hath everlasting life… Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 3:16,18,36; 6:35,47; 11:25-26—see also 3:15; 5:24; 6:40; 7:38; 12:44,46; 14:12)
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins… By him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses (Acts 10:43; 13:39)
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth … 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… To declare his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus… Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law… But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, hisjthis counted for righteousness (Rom 1:16; 3:21,22,26,28; 4:5—see also 9:30-33;10:1-13)
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the c -lt of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the of Christ… Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness… Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham… For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Gal 2:16; 3:6,7,26— see also 3:1-14; Eph 2:8,9; Phil 3:8,9; 1 Peter 2:6-8; 1 John 3:23; 5:1)
I don’t know what Mr. O. Meyer was doing while he was reading the Bible, but it’s obvious—he didn’t get the message! He missed it completely! And any church that ignores such a cardinal Christian doctrine as this should be avoided like the plague! Their “Statement of Doctrine” online is no different! The Damning Error of the Assemblies of Yahweh is sadly the same as that of Israel of old. The acceptance with Yahweh that they’re striving for by “keeping the commandments” is not an acceptance based on FAITH in Yahshua the Messiah! The righteousness they’re seeking to establish before Yahweh by their “obedience to the Law” is not a righteousness based upon FAITH in Yahshua the Messiah! If it was, they would publish it. But because we hear nothing, absolutely nothing, of faith, belief or trust when they write about salvation, they make it easy for those who know the Bible to see where they fit in the Scriptures. Paul writes about them: (Rom 9:30-10:4)
3owhat shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of FAITH. 31But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Wherefore? Because they sought it not by FAITH, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever BELIEVETH on him shall not be ashamed. ‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israelis, that they might be saved. 2For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that BELIEVETH.
God is absolutely righteous and holy! He cannot look upon the least sin with the least degree of allowance. “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Nab 1:13). He is a burning fire against all sin and sinners. He is perfectly righteous; and not only that, he demands a perfect righteousnessfrom us. That’s right! He demanded it of Adam, and his demands haven’t changed. That’s his standard! And that puts us in a real dilemma, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10,23) . Paul says that those who are “ignorant of God’s righteousness” (v3)— who he is and what he demands— will “go about to establish their own righteousness” (v3) “by the works of the law” (v32). But they’ll never measure up!
This is where the “good news” of the gospel comes in. Most people who hear the gospel don’t hear the “good news.” The good news is that God doesn’t demand anythingfrorn us that he himself has not already provided for us! Jesus established a righteousness for sinners a long time ago! That’s the message Paul sets forth above, calling it “the righteousness which is of FAITH” (v30) . He establishes this doctrine firmly in this epistle: (4:11) “the righteousness of the faith,” (4:13) “the righteousness of faith,” and (10:6) “the righteousness which is of faith.” To stand before God, we must be clothed in something much more glorious than we could ever produce! The question in Revelation: “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?” was answered: “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (7:13,14) . That’s a spotless righteousness! Nothing less than that will ever stand in the presence of God! Listen to Paul again:
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be
justified in his sight.. but now the righteousness of God with‑
out the law is manifested…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: for all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:20-23)
This righteousness “unto all and upon all them that believe” is nothing short of God’s own righteousness! `the righteousness of God!” This is not something that we produce “by faith” through our own acts of “obedience.” This is a glorious robe of Christ’s own righteousness given to us “by faith” that we might stand “complete in him” and totally “accepted in the Beloved” (Col 2:10; Eph 1:6). How good do you have to be to go to heaven? as good as God! That’s his standard of righteousness. Nothing less will do. If we think of ourselves, we’re in a real fix; but if we can get our minds off of ourselves—off of all our “commandment-keeping,” off of all our “works of righteousness,” and get our minds on the Son of God and His Righteousness, and put our faith and trust right there— that’s where acceptance with God is; that’s where peace with God is found—”Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1) .
Think of it like this. Some restaurants insist on a certain standard of dress and refuse to allow a man in if he is not wearing a coat and tie. Customers may object, but the proprietors have a perfect right to maintain their standards. However, as businessmen, they do not want to turn customers away. So when a man is refused admission, they will then say, “Don’t go away, sir. We will provide you with a coat and tie.” Once this is provided and put on, the standard is met and there is no barrier to admission. The restaurant has set its standard, then provides its own answer for those who fall short of it.
Christ gives a similar illustration in Matthew 22:11-14. A man was found at a wedding not wearing the special garment provided for every guest by the host. Because he did not meet the dress-standard required, and refused to accept the host’s provision, he was thrown out! Even so, perfect righteousness is the standard God has set for entry into his presence. That effectively bars us all. But the “good news” is that God has met his own requirement, and provides the perfect garment for us, namely, the righteousness of Christ. This is exactly Jeremiah’s prophesy of the “Righteous Branch” that would be raised up—”This is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (23:5,6) . Hear Paul again:
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for
Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for
whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them
but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not
having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that
which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which
is of God BY FAITH Phil 3:7-9).
This is what it is to truly “trust in Jesus.” You’re trusting Him and His righteousness to get you safely home to glory! Our churches are full of people who claim to “believe in Jesus,” but when questioned about their salvation, they completely expose themselves by their own testimony! Their words reveal that they’re not really trusting in Jesus at all, because they immediately begin talking about themselves; they begin singing their own praises—what they’ve done or what they’re doing! “I’m a good person!” “I live right!” “I go to church!” “I was baptized!” “I keep the ten commandments!” “I’m a Baptist!” “I’m a Roman Catholic!” And on and on it goes! That’s not trusting in Jesus at all! That’s trusting in yourself! If that’s the basis of our hope, we have no hope! (see Luke 18:9-14)We need not try to deny it if these things get out on us, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh!” (Matt12:34). If that truly is our testimony, there’s but one thing for us to do—repent, and get our eyes off of ourselves, and trust in Jesus alone!
Thinking about Mr. O. Meyer’s tract again, he not only totally leavesfaith out of it, but GRACE is nowhere to be found either—God’s free and unmerited favor. He’s so law-centered and works-oriented that the concept of God’s grace never enters his mind. But these two truths are both central to God’s salvation—”For by grace are ye saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8,9) . This passage reveals the heart of Mr. O. Meyer. Where grace and faith are lacking, Paul shows that the only option left is salvation by WORKS. We are saved either by grace or by works. They don’t mix! And when one is missing, the other is definitely there! Paul assures us of this! “If by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom 11:6) . These principles are mutually exclusive, because works receive a merited reward, but grace is poured out upon those who are undeserving—”Now to him that worketh is the reward notreckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom 4:4,5).
The common objection to Paul’s message of “salvation by faith” is that it leads people to believe they can be saved without repentance, good works, or keeping the commandments. This is the same objection Paul had to deal with in his day, and he answered it! (Rom 6:1,2 ff). We need to understand—faith alone justifies, but the faith that justifies is never alone! It’s always accompanied by good works and seen by a righteous life of godliness and holiness. When James taught that “faith without works is dead” (2:20, he was teaching on the nature of saving faith, and his concern was for professing believers who were not truly saved; they were not justified. They had faith, but their faith was “dead”—useless and unfruitful (James 2:17,20). Our churches today have multitudes of these same type of people! They profess one thing and live another, and bring reproach upon the name of Christ. “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1Jok/ 2:4). True believers will desire to obey Christ’s “commandments” (John 14:21; 1 Cor 14:37; 1 John 2:1-5); but good works are the outcome ( Eph 2:10), not the cause (Eph 2:8,9), of salvation.
One thing is certain—This world will never be in short supply of “Jacob O. Meyers.” They’ll always be around. But keep a sharp ear, and know the truth about salvation. It never has been nor ever will be by the works of the law, not even by our most righteous deeds —’Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5) . If you’re on Mr. O. Meyer’s pathway to salvation, bid it goodbye, and trust in Jesus today! Come to him as a lost and needy sinner, and look to his mercy alone to save you.
ONE FINAL NOTE: Jacob O. Meyer claims that Hebrew is the language of heaven and that the Hebrew names of Yahweh and Yahshua are mandated as essential for salvation. RE Bruce, the noted biblical language expert, stated that Hebrew was a dialect of the Phoenician language spoken in numerous adjacent lands. Thus, it was a man-made language of pagan origin, and not the tongue of heaven. The Old Testament was translated into Greek in the second century B.C. It was the universal language of Jews throughout the Mediterranean world. They used the title Adonai (Lord) when speaking of the Creator. Mr. 0. Meyer says God and Lord are pagan names and must not be used. Yet, they use the word El when referring to the Creator. El was a Canaanite deity, the father of BaaL The “Sacred Name” was not used in the New Testament despite 0. Meyer ‘s claims. He says that the New Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. Although there is some evidence that Matthew and Hebrews were written in Hebrew, the rest was in Greek to a predominantly Greek speaking, largely Gentile church.