Many today have heard about Salvation from their Pastors and Preachers. Most churches will be quick to tell anyone how to be saved — yet every church seems to have a slightly different description of what Salvation is. Why is this? Perhaps it is because many do not hold to the Truth of Scripture, but to various paradigms or 'spin' of what the Scriptures say. This mixture of Truth and error is called Tradition and Doctrines of Men, and according to Scripture, this is what turns men away from the Truth.
Today Yahuweh is calling His people to look only to His Word — the Bible — for the answers for all Truth. To do this, we must diligently search the Scriptures, but we must first be willing to discard the Traditions and Doctrines of Men. We must then test everything against the Scriptures.
Any idea or notion must be tested against Scripture, just as the Bereans did. They searched the Scriptures daily, to see whether those things that the Apostle Paul said were true, or not (Acts 17:10-11). How much more should we do the same, for things we hear from our leaders?
Over the years, many groups have codified and written down various views of Bible subjects as they have understood them. Man has seen and understood only a partial view, however, and has had only a flicker of Light on various subjects. May Yahuweh open our eyes, and illuminate His Word for us today!
Yahuweh truly is opening men's eyes today, and illuminating the Scriptures, so that they might prepare to enter in to the Promised Land. For those who sincerely seek the Way of Life, we must return to the Scriptures, to find the clear and simple message of Salvation. The Scriptures reveal to us exactly what Salvation is, and what it is not. In this series we will look some of the highlights of Salvation, according to the Scriptures.
What is Salvation?The Greek words translated Salvation in the New Testament include the meanings of deliverance, rescue, safety, and preservation of life. Many today, however, use additional Bible words and concepts for the word Salvation, resulting in mixed doctrines, resulting in error and confusion. The solution for this is to get back to Scripture, and to use Bible words to define Bible concepts. Let's look at a few passages:
Many Scripture passages equate Salvation with Deliverance, rescue, safety, victory, and good health. Here are a few of these:
"...and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel..." (1Samuel 19:5)Still other passages equate Salvation with rescue of the soul, and Eternal Life. Here are a few passages:
"And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death." (Joshua 2:13)
"O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me." (Psalms 7:1)
"Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men." (Psalms 59:2)
"And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." (James 5:15)
"And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;" (2Peter 2:5)
"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalms 27:1)From the above we see many different ideas, but for the purpose of this study, we will focus on perhaps the most important Truths of Salvation. These are the twin Biblical Truths of 'coming out' — of Redemption by the Blood of Messiah — and of 'entering in' to Eternal Life.
"With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation." (Psalms 91:16)
"Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive." (Ezekiel 18:27)
"Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." (James 1:21)
In order to re-adjust our thinking back to Biblical terms, we must "un-learn" some of the previous concepts we might have picked up along the way, most of which are un-Biblical Traditions and Doctrines of Men. These errors regarding Salvation are numerous, but rather than enumerate the error, we will focus on the True.
Salvation: Past, present, and FutureA detailed word study of the entire New Testament yields some surprising results. We see the words and terms describing Salvation in a number of ways. The Scriptures are numerous, so we will show highlights, and the required attesting witnesses of Scripture to illustrate these Truths.
First, the New Testament shows Salvation as not only a past action, but as a present, ongoing process, and even as a future event or goal. As if that were not complicated enough, Scripture shows that each of the 3-fold parts of man — spirit, soul, and body — must undergo its own aspect of Salvation, also called Redemption in Scripture.
The simplest way for us to understand the New Testament Truths of Salvation is to look at the examples given to us in Scripture by the Holy Spirit. These examples reveal past, present, and future aspects of Salvation, and are scattered throughout the New Testament for our learning.
Yahuweh has put these examples in Scripture for us to seek for, and to find, much as we might find treasures on a treasure hunt. These examples help us to clearly understand the meaning of some of the more obscure passages. Yahuweh wants His People to find these Truths, and to become prepared to enter in to the Promised Land.
First we will look at a few example passages that show past, present, and future aspects of salvation:
Past Tense: 'Saved' (These include Greek Aorist and Perfect Tenses):
"And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." (Luke 7:50)
"And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee." (Luke 18:42)
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" (Ephesians 2:8)
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," (2Timothy 1:9)
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" (Titus 3:5)
"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." (Jude 1:5)
Present Tense: 'Being Saved' (These include Greek Present Tense, Passive Voice, Participle):
"Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved?" (Luke 13:23a)
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1Corinthians 1:18)
"For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:" (2Corinthians 2:15)
"And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it..." (Revelation 21:24a)
Future Tense: 'Shall Be Saved' (These include Greek Future Tense, Active and Passive Voice, Indicative Mood):
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 10:22)
"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." (Matthew 24:13)
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." (Mark 13:13)
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16)
"But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." (Acts 15:11)
"By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain." (1Corinthians 15:2)
The above Scriptures are examples of past, present and future aspects of Salvation. However, some of these verses are not easily understood in light of our existing paradigms, the "spin" we have been taught regarding Salvation. Much of what we know and understand has been tainted by centuries of Tradition and Doctrines of Men. We must therefore return to Scripture!
For example, let's assume the word Salvation refers only to a one-time, historical event. Then the statement, "he that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 10:22) does not seem to agree with our assumption.
So in order to help us have a good understanding of Biblical Salvation, we must look at all of Scripture. We must likewise use Bible words and terminology, to discuss Bible truths.
Using Bible Words for Bible TruthsMost today use the word 'saved' and 'salvation' to refer to many things in Scripture. However, in order to have a good grasp of Scriptural concepts, we must get back to using Bible words. For example, redemption is not the same as salvation. Likewise, justification is not the same as salvation.
Just as we see the importance of using Bible words, we also must get back to Bible definitions of words. One of the greatest inroads satan has made against the Believers is the re-defining of Bible words by the Theologians, resulting in the Doctrines of Men, which turn men from the Truth (see Titus 1:14). The most destructive re-defining done yet is the re-defining of Biblical Grace, where the Biblical meaning has been blended into other concepts, such that the Biblical concept of true Grace has been all but lost to the Believers.
Further insight into these Bible words will be gained when we look at Israel in the Wilderness, for our warning, and for our learning, as the Biblical example of Our Salvation.
Israel As Our ExampleThe New Testament refers many times to Israel as our example. So, let's look the following passage in Jude:
"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt..." (Jude 1:5a)In this passage, Jude is simply recounting what is said in the Torah:
Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (Exodus 14:30)Notice that the Scriptures refer to the entire event of Israel's 'coming out' of Egypt as being 'saved' out of the land of Egypt.
Coming Out Of EgyptWe recall that it was by the 'Blood of the Lamb' that Israel was redeemed from Egypt, by Yahuweh's power, and His strength — by His Grace.
Notice what happens immediately after Israel left Egypt:
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea..." (1Corinthians 10:1-2)Here we are reminded that the nation of Israel, having 'come out' by the Blood of the Lamb, were next baptized in the cloud and in the sea. This scenario is a prophetic picture of Believers today, who are first redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, then become baptized in water, and in the Holy Spirit.
It was this Baptism, we are told, that not only saved the Israelites, but drowned the Egyptians. Notice that this event is what is referred to as having "saved Israel" in the above passage in Exodus.
So we see that the entire event of coming out by the Blood of the Lamb, and being Baptized in the cloud and in the sea, is called "having saved" the people in the Book of Jude.
Israel's 'coming out of Bondage of Egypt,' is the exact parallel of the New Testament Believers' experience of 'coming out of Bondage of Sin,' and becoming free to choose whom they will serve.
Both Old and New Testaments reveal that the 'coming out' for Israel, and for Believers today, is only by the Blood of the Lamb, and water Baptism. It is clear also that for Israel, and for us today, this 'coming out' is only by the Grace of Yahuweh.
He Brought them Out — to Bring Them InScripture has much to say about the Salvation of Israel from Egypt, and also about Salvation of Believers today. But to understand this, we must ask some questions.
For what purpose did Yahuweh Save His people? Why did Yahuweh Bring out His people? Did He bring them out, with the intention of leaving them alone, to die in the Wilderness? Notice that Yahuweh tells us His purpose for 'Bringing them Out' of Egypt:
"And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers." (Deuteronomy 6:23)Notice Yahuweh's purpose for Bringing them out by the Blood, was so that He might Bring them in. But did the generation that was 'Brought out' by the Blood, enter in? No! All that generation, except Joshua and Caleb, died in the Wilderness. They failed to 'enter in.'
If that seems a little harsh, let's now look at Yahuweh's greater purpose, the very reason for bringing His people out of Egypt, and for giving them the Promised Land.
The Purpose for the Promised LandFirst, let us recall the purpose for bringing Israel out of Egypt:
"And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers." (Deuteronomy 6:23)Now, let's notice the bigger picture. Notice the reason Yahuweh gives, for bringing them out, and for giving them an inheritance:
"And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalms 105:43-45)Notice Yahuweh's purpose for the Promised Land was "That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws."
Now this is not just a description of purpose for the Israelites in that day. No, it is likewise Yahuweh's statement of purpose for His people today! This is a description of the life of those that enter in-- both before and after 'entering in' to the Promised Land.
However, that generation of Israel refused to walk in obedience, so they were refused entry to the Promised Land.
Most of That Generation Failed to Enter In"But how did that happen?" We ask. They had been Saved from Egypt by the Blood of the Lamb, and by water Baptism. What happened? Both Old and new Testament Scriptures have much to tell us about what happened to them, as a 'Warning' to us today!
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1Corinthians 10:11-12)With such serious warnings, it seems we should be searching diligently to find out exactly what that generation did, and exactly why they were refused entry into the Promised Land. Let's look.
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: (2Peter 3:1-2)
Why They Failed to Enter InWe are told in two chapters of the Book of Hebrews why that generation of Israelites failed to enter in. We are told also in the passage above in 2Peter, that we should be mindful of what the Prophets have spoken.
So let's see what the Prophets have said about why Israel failed to enter in:
But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. (Ezekiel 20:13)These reasons given above by the Prophets are for our wisdom, and our learning. Notice how the Book of Hebrews refers to these actions by the Israelites:
Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. Ezekiel 20:21
I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. (Ezekiel 20:23-24)
But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? (Hebrews 3:17)In the above passages, we see first, that the Israelites had "sinned." We then see that the reason given in Hebrews 3:19 is 'unbelief,' as the meaning for the Greek word, Strong's number <570> tells us.
And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief <570>. (Hebrews 3:18-19)
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief <543>. (Hebrews 4:11)
Then we see that the reason given in Hebrews 4:11 is given as 'disobedience', as the Greek word, Strong's number <543> indicates. But what is this 'sin' and 'unbelief' and 'disobedience' we are warned of? Let's look at the New Testament definition of Sin:
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1John 3:4)So Israel sinned. They 'Transgressed the Law' — the Torah. We are told they despised Yahuweh's Statutes, and did not keep His Judgments, and polluted His Sabbaths, and went into the idolatry handed down from their fathers. Does all this apply to us today?
What we see above is confusing to many. We have been taught that we are saved by Grace, and not by obeying the Law. We are saved by the Blood, and not by works. These are true, but are only one side of the two-sided coin called Biblical Salvation.
Like Israel, we come out by the Blood of the Lamb, and we then are baptized in the water and in the Spirit. We come out by the Blood, and by His Grace.
But from what the Scriptures are telling us, coming out is only half the picture. We must then enter in by His Grace, by obedience! Notice that both coming out and entering in is only by His Grace — by His enablement given to us by His Spirit.
Israel failed to enter into the Promised Land in that day, due to disobedience. Likewise, Believers today can also be refused entry into the Promised Land — due to disobedience of the SAME Commandments, Statutes, and Precepts, according to the detailed warnings in Hebrews chapter 4!
Is this true? Can this concept be seen elsewhere in Scripture? Let us look carefully at the words of Yahushua to determine this.
What Did Yahushua Say?As mentioned earlier, the concepts of Salvation and Eternal Life are used interchangeably throughout Scripture. Let's notice some questions asked of Yahushua, and the answers he gives:
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matthew 19:16-17)Notice in each of the above passages, Yahushua is asked the same question, in broad, general terms. In each case, Yahushua gives the answer in broad, general terms, but does not give the specifics on how this salvation, this entering in, is to be accomplished.
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. (Mark 10:17-19)
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (Luke 10:25-28)
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. (Luke 18:18-20)
Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (Luke 13:23-24)
In His answers, Yahushua is telling us exactly how we must 'enter in,' and in the answer given in Matt 19:17, He tells us the clue that this refers to the 'enter-in' side of the salvation coin, rather than the 'come-out' side. Note in the last passage above, Yahushua equates being saved to 'entering in.'
What Yahushua has NOT told us in His answers seen above, is that the ONLY way someone may enter in to eternal Life, is that they must meet two requirements:
1. They must first 'come out' by His Grace, only by the Blood of the 'Lamb.'
2. They must 'enter in' by His Grace, only by 'Messiah-in-you,' who provides the Grace — the enablement given by the Holy Spirit, while He lives within. He gives us His enablement, so that we can keep His Commandments.
2. They must 'enter in' by His Grace, only by 'Messiah-in-you,' who provides the Grace — the enablement given by the Holy Spirit, while He lives within. He gives us His enablement, so that we can keep His Commandments.
So we see that the Israelites lacked the obedience that would have allowed them in. Likewise, everyone today lacks this same obedience — unless they allow 'Messiah-in-you' to provide the Grace to accomplish this necessary obedience! The apostle Paul tells us plainly that Grace is for obedience to 'The Faith' (Romans 1:5).
The basic Torah requirements have not changed. They are the same for us, as they were for the Israelites, and for Yahushua, except for a few changes. The New Covenant changes, mentioned in the book of Hebrews, are the new and Better Things listed in Hebrews, and summarised in Jeremiah Chapter 31 and Ezekiel Chapter 36.
As part of these changes, Yahuweh will execute a new covenant with us, by writing His Torah [His 'instructions'] internally on the tablets of our hearts, instead of externally on tablets of stone (Jeremiah Chapter 31). Yahuweh will also give us a new heart and a new spirit, and He will place His the Spirit within us, so that He [by His Spirit] will cause us to walk in obedience to His statutes, ordinances, and commandments (Ezekiel Chapter 36).
Further changes include a change in the Priesthood, in which Yahushua is the High Priest, after an eternal order, and in which Believers carry out the priestly duties; and a change in the sacrifice system, in which the Blood of Yahushua is the True sacrifice. His Blood, spilled once for all time, replaces the Blood of bulls and goats that were mere figures of the True. As a part of the change of sacrifice, we are told (Hebrews 10:8-10) that the 'not my will' is established as the new sacrifice, as spoken in Psalms 40:7, which has taken away the old sacrifice.
The New Covenant changes also provide for the replacement of the obligation to obey the Law [Torah], with the opportunity to choose voluntarily to obey the Law [Torah]. This last change occurred through the Torah provision allowing that anyone who has been set free from bondage [sin], may [through the death of the 'old' man and resurrection of the 'new' man, by personally identifying with Yahushua's death, burial and resurrection], voluntarily take upon himself the yoke of a new Master (Lev 26:13; Matt 11:29-30).
This last provision was made in order for the Father to find a Bride suitable for His son. Father is looking for those who love His Son — who keep His commandments (John 14:15); and for those who know His Son — who know that Messiah is the one who gave the Commandments to Moses. Thus Father is looking for those who are Born-Again [who have Messiah 'birthed' within them], and who, out of love for Messiah, voluntarily obey Messiah's commandments written in the Law [Torah].
A wrested [twisted] version of the apostle Paul's doctrine claims that under the New Covenant, the Torah has been "done away," is not part of our salvation, and is not to be obeyed. This false notion is perhaps the cornerstone of today's spiritual error among Believers, and it is called the Doctrine of Balaam in Revelation 2:14.
If indeed the Law [the Torah, which is eternal] had been "done away," we would not be forgiven by the Blood of Yahushua — because it is the Torah that prescribes forgiveness by Blood. And so it is only because the eternal Torah is still active and in force today, that we can be redeemed by Yahushua's Blood, and forgiven, and saved (Heb 9:22).
Instead of being external, the Commandments are now internal. Instead of trying to obey the Commandments by our own strength, our own ability, it is now 'Messiah-in-us' who gives us the 'Grace' — the delight, and the ability, to keep His Commandments! Like the apostle Paul, we too will delight in the Law in the inward man (Romans 7:22), when we, as Paul, begin to walk in obedience to Messiah's eternal Law.
What Did the Apostle Paul Say?The apostle Paul described both the coming out and entering in sides of the Salvation 'coin.' Let's look at the following passage:
"Much more then, being now justified by his blood..." (Romans 5:9a)In the above verse, we see the 'come-out' stage of Salvation — of being justified by the Blood of the Lamb. Now notice:
"...we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:9b)Above we see the 'enter-in' stage of Salvation — of being 'saved' through Him — through 'Messiah-in-us' living His Life. This passage is one of many that reveals that it is HIS life that will cause us to walk in obedience. Now notice again:
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son..." (Romans 5:10a)Again, we see above a reminder of the 'come-out' stage — of being 'reconciled' by the Death, the Blood of the Lamb. Now notice again:
"...much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 5:10b)Above, we see again the 'enter-in' stage — of being 'saved' through His Life — again, the Life of 'Messiah-in-us,' as He walks in obedience, in us.
Again Paul is reminding us that it is Yahushua's life within us, and it is by His Grace, His enablement, that we will be saved — that we will enter in to eternal Life.
Paul understood the mystery of Messiah-in-you (see Colossians 1:27), and he reminds us that He-in-us is our only hope of Glory — of entering in to the Glory of Yahuweh. Notice next what Paul tells us:
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (Romans 7:22)Paul understood the importance of the Law (the Torah) being written in the inward man, thereby allowing Messiah-in-us to carry out, and to obey, the Father's commandments through us, even though seeming to be unfamiliar to us as gentiles.
Our SalvationWe have seen that Biblical Salvation is really a two-sided issue, one of 'coming out' by the Blood of Yahushua, the Lamb, and then of 'entering in' by the obedience of Messiah-in-us, as we allow Him to do so. Both aspects of this Salvation are by His Grace — His enablement He gives us from living within us.
We have seen that in Scripture, the term Salvation refers to the coming out stage, as well as to the entering in stage. We have seen likewise that the term Salvation is applied in Scripture to the overall process.
We have seen that the ministry of the Blood of the Lamb is for our Redemption, and also for our Justification, by His Grace, to bring man out — out of Egypt, out of bondage to sin.
We have seen that the ministry of obedience, also by His Grace, by the life of Messiah-in-you, is to bring man in — in to the Promised Land — the Kingdom of Heaven — the City of the Great King.
As we reflect on what we have seen, let us heed these words of the apostle Paul:
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:
for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."
for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."