“No One Comes to the Father But By Me”

Does Yahshua Prohibit Prayer?
Does he Keep the Unsaved Out of Heaven?
Is He the Only Way to get Somewhere?
Where?

Let's be honest to Scripture and Context!

 

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Are the prayers of those who mean well but may or may not know Yahshua (Yahshua) heard by the Father?  What does Yahshua mean when he says, “No one comes unto the Father but by me?”  Is he prohibiting or blocking the prayer of Jews and Mormons?  Is he closing the doors of Heaven to those who do not know him by this passage?  Let’s find out.

First, would you agree that no scripture verse may stand alone without

  • the context of the passage in which it stands, and

  • the context of all received scripture?

You agree?  Good!

Here’s the immediate context of the “But By Me” text (note italics):

John 13: 37.  Peter said to Yahshua, “Master, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”  

38.  Yahshua answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amein, amein, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.

14:1. “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in Eloha, believe also in me.

2.  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  

3.  And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  

4.  And you know the way where I am going.”  

(Yahshua is speaking of laying down his life; i.e. DEATH, in order to construct a highway to the Father’s house.  The Roadway is Death.)

5.  Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the roadway?”  

6.  Yahshua said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one goes (ercetai) to the Father if not through me (ei mh di' emou) ... 

NOTES: erchetai, in the context of following someone down the road (vss 4 & 5), means not "comes" but "goes" | but buy me should be translated as I have in vs 6.  “Way” in the original language is a “roadway.”   He is saying, "No one may get to the Father upon this roadway unless they pass me by."  The roadway to the Father is a pathway of physical death, as spelled out in verse 12.

12.  “Amein, amein, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.”

(Obviously, it is extremely important to accomplish great works to continue on the roadway to ageless life in the Father.)

Again, what approach is Yahshua talking about when he says, “No one goes to the Father but by me”?   His approach  - and the approach he always takes when speaking of ageless life - is that of the Resurrection of the Dead and the personal judgment during the Millennial Day of a thousand years. 

There may be other passages in which effective prayer is addressed,

or passages about playing harps on the clouds of heavenly cool whip,


but this passage is not about prayer or heaven, it’s about the resurrection and the personal judgment.


So how are the dead (the non-believers or non-saved or unjustified or ignorant or non-autonomous or children) to be judged?

Rev 20:4.  Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed.  

(Yahshua says elsewhere that among the judges will be the twelve apostles, the Queen of Sheba, the Ninevites and the Son of Man – all these were people.)

Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Yahshua and for the word of Yahweh, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Messiah a thousand years.

(Here are more judges who rule during the “Day of Judgment.”  They were men and women on earth.  And we believe not just those who were beheaded.  That’s just a symbol for all those who were mugged along the roadway.) 

11.  Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.  12.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. 

(Here all the dead come to life and are judged by those mentioned in verse 4.  All the dead who didn’t die in Yahshua (Yahshua) are judged by what they had done - a judgment clearly by good works vs. evil.)

Does “But By Me” mean that only the prayers of a Christian are heard?  Or that only Christians have a chance at Eternal Life?  Or that only Christians will be basking in the luxuries of heaven? 

No. 

It has nothing to do with people praying to Yahweh, being saved, or going up to heaven. 

“No one goes to the Father but by me,” has only to do with where Yahshua (Yahshua) goes after his death and where others also go.  They go to the Father “but by him” because he is the district attorney of their life’s work and will determine if their works merit life or not in that great thousand-year day. 

How are we to judge another in regards to prayer or deeds or his / her worthiness in this life?   Well look.

Matthew 7:1.  “JUDGE NOT, that you be not judged.  2.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”  

ALSO

John 7:24. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

 

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If we are not to judge temporal outcomes, how may we judge the outcomes of Yahshua’s equitable justice in regards to the afterlife?  “Judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

People who understand this saying in the most conservative fashion totally disregard the compassion, mercy and forgiveness of Yahweh / Yahshua.

What is judgment?  Dictionary: “An opinion or estimate formed after consideration or deliberation, especially a formal or authoritative decision.”  We often confuse judgment with condemnation, a guilty verdict or “damnation” (as in Matthew 23:14 KJV).  The original Bible word for judgment is krima: “the decision (whether severe or mild) which one passes on the faults of others.”  The Bible is also very specific by which criteria the person is to be judged: “And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.”  This is consistant with both the definition of “judgment” and of krima.

The following passages are DEFINITIVE in regards to those “coming to the Father but by Yahshua”

Judgment Class One: 

John 7:24.  Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.  (This is the first class of judgment – they are judged while yet alive and their punishment was assumed by Yahshua.) 

Judgment Class Two:

28, 29.  Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs (graves) will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life.  (This is the second class of judgment.  Remember, John said in Revelation 20:12. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  These people are not among the saints of Yahshua, yet if they have done good in accordance with the books, though they were dead in their graves, they will rise to life.)

Judgment Class Three:

29b. and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. (This is the third class, who will face judgment.  Yet even these will be judged with some degree of mercy.  After all who did we learn does the judging?  Maybe you!) 

Summary – there are three “But By Me” classes among the people born on earth:

(1) believers already judged and alive in Yahshua forever;

(2) the dead, now resurrected, who have done good during their life in accordance with the books, and

(3) the dead, now resurrected, who have done evil. 

Consider the importance of these passages for those who have never heard the good news preached nor had a first opportunity to accept Yahshua’s propitiation!

Do Jews who haven’t known or accepted Yahshua have an opportunity to live eternally (or Muslims or Buddhists)?  Consider the second class, even from the terse language of the King James version. 

KJV: all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life. 

These can’t be Yahshua’s believers because believers have already been judged and they will not be dead at this time, neither will they be in tombs so as to rise out of them.  Believers never die because they are spiritually alive, like angels!  Though the nature of humankind is evil, Yahweh has instilled in all sentient people the propensity and ability to do good, even against their nature.  One must go against nature to obtain resurrection life, which may or may not be eternal life.

The third class, be they “Christians,” saved folk, church rulers or anything else, will be condemned in one fashion or another.  Yahshua tells us some may end up on the burning trash heap (Gehenna, translated “hell,” Matthew 23:33).

More to consider in regards to “But By Me” and the Jews:

Matthew 19:28 Who is to judge and be judged?

Revelation 7:4  Who is sealed?

Revelation 2:8  Those in the Smyrna assembly considered themselves true Jews and were Jews.

Hebrews 3:1  Who was this book addressed to?  Who are those with the heavenly calling?  What is the writer asking them to do?  Does the tone of the book seem as though they had already done it?

Romans 11:25,26  What does it here say in regards to the salvation of Israel (including Jews)?

Ps 122:6  Why do we do this today?  Who lives in this place?  Doesn’t it make sense that, if we are to pray for these people to have peace, Yahweh cares for them?  And if he cares, doesn’t it make sense that it’s because the people are his?  And hears their prayers?

November 12, 2003