“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ / YHVH’s Promised Savior and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)
“the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:19-20)
The process for being redeemed from God’s judgment is found to be the same from beginning to end of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation – faith in YHVH’s Promised Savior given to the Adams and passed down to the end of time.
- Whoever will be saved from the self-destructive physical and emotional drives must believe in the power of hyperdimensional God however that power has been recognized.
- a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour…the multitude rose up together against Paul and Silas: and the magistrates rent off their clothes…And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who…thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here…Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved [as he had seen and heard that their God could do]?
- Whoever will be saved from the dominion and destruction of sin in this life and after death must act on their belief in God’s word, whatever their particular circumstances and revelation.
- “by works a man is justified, and not by faith only…For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:17-26)
- The Philippian jailor unquestionably lost his job in the process of treating Paul & Co. as God’s messengers.
- And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes;
- and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
- brought them into his house,
- set meat before them,
- and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house
- the told these words unto the magistrates: You have beaten Paul and company openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast them into prison; come and fetch them out.
- Prior to knowing of Jesus Christ’s perfected sacrifice, believing and acting on God’s word took the form of killing an innocent animal as a substitute for God’s promised sinless human as did Abel in contrast to Cain and the hordes of internationals who gathered for shelter with the Hebrews under the blood of the lamb in Egypt. Blood sacrifice is not unique to YHVH, it was known and practiced throughout the ancient and non-humanistic cultures of the world.
- Whoever will be saved from their destructive circumstances must replace their current self-reliant mindset with trust in God’s word.
- “the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them…and they were sore afraid…it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD… And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” (Exodus 14)
- The account of the Hebrews crossing the Red Sea is not a unique event in the history of mankind. It is experienced by everyone who is overwhelmed (get it?) by forces too big for them to handle, and who choose to put their faith in God’s promise – through his spokespersons – to rescue them.Without a doubt there were unbelievers in that group who chose to run back to throw themselves on the mercy of their Egyptian taskmasters rather than go forward into the unknown. How can I be so sure? Statistics. We all do it. But for everyone, no-man’s- land in between the armies is certain, maybe slow, but certain, death.
- Whoever will be saved must publicly demonstrate their inner desire for spiritual immersion / identification with the Savior.
- “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground:” (Exodus 14)
- “Moreover, [Corinthians, therefore Gentiles] 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; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” ( I Corinthians 10:1-4)
- “Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master…but he was a leper…So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him [treating this mighty conqueror of Israel as inferior to the poor prophet, accurately representing Almighty God], saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said…Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?…So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel. And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.” (II Kings 5)
- Whoever will be saved must be sincerely repentant of their self-reliance and self-indulgent sin, and truly desire to allow God to change them into the likeness of his son.
- “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight...Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” (Matthew 3:1-13)
Trusting that YHVH’s Deliverer from any era will deliver us from evil means that there are actions required of us. This is totally understood in military units, and nailed down in Moses’ notice that Jesus would come to save us. There are things we must do in order to be saved, to be rescued, to “turn captivity.” It goes back to pro-choice, and whoever we choose to obey, his servants we are.
Yes, we need a champion who can do for us what we can’t do for ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we do nothing. A champion saves us only if we submit to his leadership which means we follow his orders. That means we change our thoughts, values, motivations, and behaviors. Fortunately for those of us in the post-modern individualist frame of mind, this concept so intrinsic to society for the vast majority of human history is recorded in the Bible.
“Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. And Gilead’s wife bare him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father’s house; for thou art the son of a strange woman. Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him. And it came to pass in process of time, that…when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress? And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head? And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.” (Judges 11:1-11)
“And the LORD said unto me…I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto [act upon] my words which he shall speak in my name…
I will require it of him…” (Deuteronomy 18:17-19)
- when all these things are come upon thee…the curse…
- And [thou] shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day…
- That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee…
- if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
- For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off…But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart,
- that thou mayest do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:1-3, 10-14)
“The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord YHVH’s Savior / Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead [i.e. proven his power over death], thou shalt be saved…For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed...But they have not all obeyed the gospel.” (Romans 10:6-16)
All humans, not just the mother of the seed, must partner with God in salvation to achieve salvation. The whole plan of salvation is that humans take dominion over whatever territory God has put under their control, starting with their own body and soul, extending to children and other persons over whom they have some kind of responsibility.
“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him…And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines…” (I Sam 17:50-52) “…and they anointed David king over Israel. (II Sam 5:3)
Peter demonstrates the necessity for public confession of faith followed by acts of contrition proving true conversion from self-centeredness to a submissive relationship with God through Christ Jesus.
“…whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, Yahweh’s Chosen One / Messiah / Christ of God…And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it…Then took they him/ Jesus, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest…And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter…And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. (Luke 9:2026, 22:31-34, 54-62)
But we get second chances.
Living righteously is the reality of salvation. Think about it. A drug addict who goes to church and repents and prays for deliverance from heroin addiction then goes back to his dealer for more smack can excuse his actions on the basis that he is covered by grace, but he’s not saved from the current effects of his sin in this life, is he? What makes you think he is saved from the effects of his sin after death? This addict has to collaborate with God for salvation from heroin addiction by a conversion – a changed heart attitude about the awful effects of heroin on himself and his family, and turning away from his drug crowd and joining a rehab and support group to be successful in maintaining sobriety.
Becoming free from gluttony, sexual immorality, jealousy, or any of the destructive forces, AKA sins, involves a personal struggle in which the individual applies the supernatural grace and power of God that has been placed at his or her disposal to use, or not, as the individual chooses. Changes are not just zapped into us without any effort on our part. It’s like a drive-through car wash. It’s easy enough to just sit in the car while the machines wash the outside clean, but at some point you have to get out and vacuum the inside yourself.
This is not legalism, a demand to follow a list of dos and don’ts in order to be righteous. Biblical codes of law were never given to make one righteous. Laws simply clarify which behaviors are harmful to self or society. Even before a law is enacted to impose punishment as a deterrent to certain behaviors – like fines for failure to wear seatbelts – the naturally destructive consequences of those behaviors exist – like injury and death from failing to wear seatbelts.
“For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” (Romans 5:13)
Obeying laws simply promotes a good life. This is true across the board for all people, saved or not. Apply the following truth to Adam’s wife’s situation, who was in a perfect relationship with God.
- “…the commandment [don’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil] which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
- For sin [my own desire for self exaltation], taking occasion by the commandment [here’s the first opportunity to demonstrate I don’t need anyone to be the boss of me!], deceived me [using distorted thought processes like denial, rationalization, justification of self],
- and by it slew me [suicide]. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Ro 7:10-12)
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (Jam 1:14-15)
Human nature is incapable of obeying all laws all the time. It is simply our nature to take charge ourselves. This totally makes sense when we recognize that’s how God designed us – to have dominion. The key to being able to actually have dominion is to be plugged into the power source. We get into trouble when we disconnect from God. That is the sin / self-destruction – rejecting God’s authority and power in our lives.
The only commandment that makes one righteous is being in right relationship with God.
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love /identify with the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Mattew 22:36-38)
The rest of the laws safeguard and improve the quality of life of someone who is now capable of obeying them because they are already in a relationship with the LORD thy God, therefore empowered by him.
“Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 6:1-6)
King David was not saved through strict obedience to the law. He was a murderer and adulterer who was justified despite his crimes. He could claim to be righteous “in God’s eyes”, not because he of some religious mumbo jumbo absolving him of his sin, but because he did not depart from God’s judgments and statutes when he at 1) acknowledged their existence, their rightness, 2) that he had broken them, 3) he repented and 4) accepted God’s punishment for justice.
It was only in that context that David, or any of us, can have a right-eous relationship with God. This is the key difference between Saul, who was rejected, and David, who was forgiven. When faced with his sin, Saul denied and blamed others (I Samuel 15), but David confessed, repented, and did works “meet / appropriate for repentance.” (Matthew 3:8)
- And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken [comply with instructions] than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (I Samuel 15:1-23)
- “And Nathan said to David…Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house…And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” (II Samuel 12:7-13)
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest…thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:1-6)
Years later a similar situation occurred with a woman who committed adultery, and the Son of God dealt with it the same way that God has dealt with sinners since day one – believe Yahweh’s Promise to provide salvation and act on that belief.
“And [the legalistic religious leadership] brought unto him a woman…and…say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now…the law commanded us, that such should [die]: but what sayest thou?…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her…And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst…And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:3-32)
Faith in action has always been the means of salvation from sin. This is obvious if you understand “salvation from sin” as eliminating destruction from our lives.
“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. [The result of this inner contest of wills is one of two options:]
- And unto thee shall be his desire [if you do not well],
- and thou shalt rule over him. [if you choose to do well]” (Gen 4:7)
This is true in the physical resurrection of the body at the Second Coming, but also evident in the spiritual resurrection now.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
This grace wherein we stand is NOT God overlooking our faults. We are simply oblivious to the ripple effects of damaging behaviors if we can believe that a loving Father can just brush off our bad behavior as inconsequential. It is because we love our children that we teach them rules like not crossing the road or eating candy just before dinner. Grace is the insight God gives us to understand the significance of our harmful behaviors and to repent-rethink our values, and the parental support to change our ways and to offer reconciliation with those who we have offended and lost valuable relationships.
“God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law [of sin and death], To redeem them that were under the law [of sin and death]. (Galatians 4:4-5)
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Romans 8:2-3)
Faith in action is not the same concept as salvation through works. We don’t change our behavior in order to get saved, we change our behavior because we are saved from destructive behaviors / sin.
The ultimate freedom from sin goes beyond relying on one’s own willpower, and is experienced as the fulness of life under God’s protection and provision, freed from destructive forces of sin, the destroyer by whatever name described.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, [as opposed to being locked up under siege or incarcerated] and find pasture [sustinance, life sustained]. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:9-10)
“Abundant“ life sounds like quite the understatement for what is also called “everlasting” life, but is also a clarification that this is a quality of life far richer than simply length of days.
There is only on unforgivable sin. Having the evidence, but rebelling against the truth that YHVH’s Chosen Savior is the Word / Manifestation of Almighty hyper dimensional God with the power to overcome spiritual degeneration to death.
- “unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God…
- [but] the scribes [i.e. most intimate with the scrip-tures] which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
And he called them unto him…Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men…But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.” (Mark 3)
The same decree of damnation applies to those who reject the evidence of the followers of Yeshua who have been chosen / messiahed to become one with / immerse their identity with Yeshua. This absolutely includes shared experiences, not only his power but his sacrifice of himself on behalf of the sins of the world.
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave THEM power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease…the apostles…These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand…
- whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words…It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city…
- they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you…
- And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles…
- take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
Back up. Why only the house of Israel? Because at a past point in history, prior to the manifestation of the Son of God in the flesh, they had been delegated the responsibility of manifesting YHVH to the world. They were being held to that responsibility, and being given the opportunity to resume that role.
It is an extremely difficult role, made possible only by faith in God’s Word that the end of mortality is not the end of life, and that God’s Spirit can sustain through the torment of physical suffering.
Note that all the apostles – save John – fled the responsibility of sharing Yeshua’s suffering.
“Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him…Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him…Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” (Matthew 26:40-57)
Can we not recognize that when Yeshua told Peter he would eventually die the horrible death he had avoided by denying Yeshua, that he was giving Peter another chance to love / become fully one with him?
“He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me?…Jesus saith unto him…when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.” (John 21:17-19)
This is just one example of the parental disciplining process YHVH grants to all his children to allow them multiple chances for growth and development and maturity “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge [oneness as as in For Lawful Carnal Knowledge] of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of a Chosen Savior:” (Ephesians 4:13)