ark of covenant

Understanding Salvation

(by: John K. Johnson)

 

There are many different opinions among “Churchmen” as to what it means to be “saved” and by “what” does one get or become “saved.” This subject is a “battlefield” issue, and men’s souls are being lost to the forces of evil by their working distortions of the truth concerning this matter of salvation. Truth can be difficult to see unless you are looking for it. Truth is also very confrontational and can cause much division… Hence, Yeshua’s words of “initiation” to the “twelve disciples” when He warns these newly called followers with specific details regarding their association with Him, and all this is clearly documented in Chapter 10 of Matthew… which the entire chapter is contextually focused upon… namely, I call your attention to the consequences of daring to repeat His doctrines and walk in His likeness… not a simple task for the strongest, let alone the faint of heart, and as they will later find out, the natural abilities they possess will need to be strengthened with Divine infusion (as they will later experience in Acts Chapter 2), when the outpouring of Yahweh’s Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) empowers them for ministry. We are no different as we need the same Divine infusion or we will simply struggle with our fleshly limitations… and be the laughingstock of demons.

 

When the “disciple” of truth (identified by one proposing Yahweh’s Torah position, or Yeshua’s likeness) goes into the mix of humanity, whether into one’s family or into the general populace, it will be certain that the issues Yeshua warns the twelve disciples about in Matthew Chapter 10, will likewise become their experiences and issues they will need to deal with. Think not, just try it. While 2,000 years have passed by since Yeshua walked the earth, people and human nature have NOT changed. A disciple bearing Yeshua’s Scriptural message of Bible truth will need to embrace patience and longsuffering… two of the nine gifts of the Spirit, otherwise it will be a “bad hair day,” as one astute observer of this issue so succinctly describes it. First, demons howl and roar when the light of Torah shines upon their darkness; and since demons can not “directly” engage you, they will uses the nearest available “host” surrogate (from your best friend to your worst opponent) that they can agitate to attack the truth… they could care less about the messenger, it is the message that they hate because it grievously discomfits them. Further, the natural man (infused with numerous and varied appetites of selfishness and indulgence, some of which are deeply concealed) simply does not like anything that challenges the comfort of “status quo,” especially if it invades his own opinion of his “goodness” or “religious” standing… these are fighting grounds! Therefore, you best study and understand Yeshua’s warnings in Matthew Chapter 10 before you spring the facts of truth on some doctrinally inebriated soul who is signed up for the first bus out when the pre-tribulation rapture is expected to occur… you will need more grace than your natural man normally possesses… you will likely need to turn this one over to the Holy Spirit and continue to love them and pray for their well being. There is no more personal and difficult area of inquiry than prying into the spiritual and religious areas of a person’s humanity… if the person is not “comfortable,” and at peace with your motives, you will not be able to communicate past their “spam blockers.” In my 40 plus years of business, I have learned to teach new salesmen that establishing dialogue is first when you want to sell your “best” of anything to a difficult, and especially non-talkative, prospect. If you do not first demonstrate a logically clear need and benefit, when the prospect is willing to talk, you are wasting your time. I will conclude this introduction with Winston Churchill’s comments on truth: “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

 

First, to define the term as used in this article, let me define it as I want to address it (Biblical meaning) according to the Scriptures, not simply from a doctrinal proposition of some Institution (such as the Roman Church, or some Theological Seminary… of which the majority have their roots in Roman Church doctrine, with very few exceptions).

 

What do the Scriptures say?

 

My computer’s “Bible Soft” King James “word search” for salvation yields 164 references to the word itself. You will likewise find even more references for “saved” and “save,” etc. If you want to start with a systematic reading and cross-reference to each of those it would be best and highly recommended (certainly if you are really serious and want the truth on this subject). In an attempt to “define” the meaning of salvation I will refer to a few Scriptures about it, and I have included the Hebrew (OT) and Greek (NT) word references for them from Strong’s Concordance; as follows:

 

Ex 15:2 (KJV)

 

2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation (OT:3444): he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

[Author’s note: this could be more explicitly written: “Yahweh (YHVH) is my strength and song, and He is become my “yeshuw` ah” (yesh-oo'-aw), or {salvation}…” see definition OT:3444 below. It is most noteworthy to observe that this is a “pre-Calvary” reference to salvation, and very simply, Yahweh IS the source and substance of salvation.]

 

Ps 3:8 (KJV)

 

8 Salvation (OT:3444): belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

 

OT:3444

yeshuw` ah (yesh-oo'-aw); feminine passive participle of OT:3467; something saved, i.e. (abstractly) deliverance; hence, aid, victory, prosperity:

 

KJV - deliverance, health, help (-ing), salvation, save, saving (health), welfare.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

 

Ps 18:46 (KJV)

 

46 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation (OT:3468) be exalted.

 

OT:3468

yesha` (yeh'-shah); or yesha` (yay'-shah); from OT:3467; liberty, deliverance, prosperity:

 

KJV - safety, salvation, saving.

(Biblesoft, ditto)

 

Luke 19:9-10 (KJV)

 

9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation (NT:4991)come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

 

10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save (NT: 4982) that which was lost.

 

John 4:22

 

22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation (NT: 4991) is of the Jews.

 

This “for salvation is of the Jews,” is a most important reference: It is also referred to by Paul in the following Scripture:

 

Rom 9:4-5 (KJV)

 

4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

 

5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

 

Without the Israelites there would be no salvation for us… so we best be thankful for them… leaving NO room for anti-Semitism and NO room for rejection of “their” Law (Torah), the Old Testament teachings of Moses (which Yeshua declared valid, and that His coming DID NOT destroy or do away with the Law, Matt 5:17-19; it is a “forever” issue, and the fact IS that the Law (Torah) IS NOT just for the Israelites, but for ALL believers, forever… this needs to be deeply imbedded into our understanding. It is not what is normally taught in institutional Christianity; in fact the opposite is the normal view of this issue.

 

Acts 4:12 (KJV)

 

12 Neither is there salvation (NT:4991) in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved(NT:4982).

[Author’s note: the “none other name” is Yeshua, which NAME means “Salvation.” See Ex 15:2 reference above]

 

Rom 1:16 (KJV)

 

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation (NT:4991) to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

 

NT:4991

soteria (so-tay-ree'-ah); feminine of a derivative of NT:4990 as (properly, abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally):

KJV - deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.

(Biblesoft ditto)

 

NT:4982

sozo (sode'-zo); from a primary sos (contraction for obsolete saoz, "safe"); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively):

 

KJV - heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

(Biblesoft ditto)

 

Note specifically that all these Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures are about what GOD (Elohim) is doing… He is about “saving” His people. He is about delivering, healing, saving, and prospering His people; He is doing so, literally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and eternally. Salvation is very important to the Heavenly Father. He would that “none” would perish; but that all would come to repentance (get saved) 2Peter 3:9. This is to say, He would that all people would understand Deut 30:19 (OT verse, with same application in NT times, as some try to separate the two Testaments with the thin sheet of paper between the two books… not so, the Bible is ONE book from Genesis through Revelation and must be read and understood in that order). Deut 30:19 is where Moses admonishes the people to “Choose between Life & Death, Blessing & Cursing.” The same verse holds us today to the same results, as a result of our choices. What more do the Scriptures say?

 

John 3:15-17 (KJV)

 

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

 

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (NT:4982).

 

Now, for a VERY important question; WHERE and WHEN and HOW did Yahweh go about this work of Salvation… and to whom did it “first” apply? You DO NOT want to miss this answer… as much of “misinformed” theology has this issue out of step with what Yahweh is about… and you DO NOT want to be out of step with Him.

 

First… Yahweh, on His OWN terms and preordained purpose set this Salvation work up “from (before) the foundation of the world.”

 

Matt 13:35 (KJV)

 

35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

 

Matt 25:34 (KJV)

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

 

Luke 11:50 (KJV)

 

50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

 

John 17:24 (KJV)

 

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

 

Eph 1:4 (KJV)

 

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

 

Heb 4:3 (KJV)

 

3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

 

Heb 9:26 (KJV)

 

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

 

1 Peter 1:20 (KJV)

 

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

 

Rev 13:8 (KJV)

 

8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

Rev 17:8 (KJV)

 

8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

 

Clearly, the answer to WHERE and WHEN Yahweh made the “Salvation” plan (FOR EVERY PERSON of ALL TIME), WAS in His Abode “before” the world was. Yeshua, the Lamb of God, was sacrificed in the “Heavenly Places” BEFORE that bloody day in Jerusalem; which the church often teaches is the “division” between the OT method of Yahweh’s plan of salvation (for those Jews) and “us NT Christians,” in post-Calvary life. WRONG! The same blood that the modern churchman claims for salvation, also “saves” (justifies, positional issue) the “pre-Calvary” believer… BOTH are by faith, (the same and only way anyone could have been saved up until Calvary since Adam, can be saved by now, and can ever be saved by tomorrow)… Hence the scripture:

 

Heb 13:8 (KJV)

 

8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

 

The fact is that NONE of the blood of bulls and goats of the OT was about “justification,” to cleanse the conscience of man from the guilt of sin (Heb 10:8); which ONLY Yeshua’s Blood could accomplish (and was accomplishing for believers BEFORE the foundation of the world). The blood of bulls and goats was about confession of sin and acknowledgement of our need for salvation, and to remind us of the need for repentance. The presentation of an animal, which a worshipper brought forth as a sacrificial offering, was the means by which Yahweh chose to bring the worshipper near to Him to do serious business. Bringing forth this offering, they needed to approach Him with a sincere heart, just as if they were to be slain (knowing the innocent animal was slain in their place); thus, the need for considering ourselves as a living sacrifice wholly and acceptable to Yahweh, which Paul declares is “our reasonable service” (Rom 12:1). The honest intent of the worshipper’s heart would be to have an inner desire to live in obedience to Yahweh's Torah, which would bring glory to Him (which, by the way, is our same duty and goal today as we allow Yeshua’s likeness to “live out” through our lives). By our doing this, Yahweh has promised that He would release and to bring to fruition His blessings and promises in this physical life, as well as the next. Therefore, ONLY Yeshua, the sinless “lamb of God,” born of woman (Son of Man), tempted in all things like us, and yet without sin, could be acceptable for the completed sacrifice “revelation” that Calvary represented; NO OTHER BLOOD could suffice. This was the revealing of an already “done deal.” Yeshua manifested the “faith” of Yahweh (and His preordained sacrifice, which would be exampled on earth); Calvary was NOT the Initiation of Yahweh’s plan… which secret plan WAS already “in effect,” that Yahweh would reveal at the moed, or “appointed time,which in this case was Pesach (Passover). Yahweh would do this “revealing” openly and before all men and spiritual beings. This is difficult to understand unless we step out of “time constraints and carnal limitations” and recall that Yahweh, calls those things that are not, as though they were (Rom 4:17); and that Yahewh declares the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10), and that is how He is; and it is why He told Moses that when he was asked “what is His Name,” that he (Moses) should say I AM THAT I AM (Ex 3:14). This “revealing of the mystery” is what Paul called the “hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world.”

 

1 Cor 2:6-8 (KJV)

 

6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

 

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

 

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

 

It is vital that you understand that what happened (or was revealed in (to) the natural world at Yeshua’s crucifixion), was only the “Revealing” of what the hidden wisdom of Yahweh had already done in the spiritual world, before the foundation of the world you live in. The HOW He did it was by HIS OWN imputing of His plan because He could swear by no other (none greater) than Himself, as in the same manner as His Covenant making with Abraham (this principle is detailed in Heb Chapter 6). This “in kind” event was portrayed in prophetic revelation when Abraham took his “only son” Isaac, at Yahweh’s instruction, to be sacrificed upon Mt Moriah (where some scholars believe is the same place Yeshua was sacrificed, as do I), Gen chapter 22. This is noted, according to one commentary (First Fruits of Zion Torah Club, Volume 5, pg 95) as follows; “Just as Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac served as the ultimate testimony of his faith in God, the death of Yeshua serves as the ultimate testimony to the covenant-devotion and faithfulness of God. The sacrifice of His son demonstrates His love for the world...”

 

It is noteworthy to understand that while Yeshua had “already” been “slain from before the foundation of the world,” that His entry into the world as a human (Son of Man) was necessary to fulfill the “promise” of the seed (incorruptible seed, which would redeem the world)… the “seed of woman,” that would crush the serpent’s head (Gen 3:15), which was the “incorruptible seed” (Torah, Word that became flesh and dwelt among us, Jn 1:14). Specifically, the propitiation necessary for redeeming mankind, in order to satisfy the legal jurisprudence of Heaven’s “every jot and tittle” demand (which Satan, the consummate legalist, could not dispute), required that only a “human” or man born of woman could qualify for the “lamb” of sacrifice for this matter of being Savior of the world. Yeshua had no “fleshly or earthly” father, which male produces biological human “seed” and thus, the “seed of woman” is Yeshua, the only begotten of Yahweh… (in fact Yahweh Himself incarnate), who like Isaac, would be offered up for sacrifice by a faithful “covenant keeping” Heavenly Father… who had preordained this from eternal origin. Now this is why the scriptures say there is “salvation” in none other. Faith in Yeshua (Yahweh) is how Abraham and Paul both were saved. One “before” Calvary and the other “after” Calvarybecause it is faith in Yahweh’s provision of the efficaciousness of Yeshua’s preordained blood that has saved everyone since Adam. Remember that Yahweh imputed righteousness to Abraham (counted it to him, the father of ALL our faith), because he “believed” God (Yahweh) Gen 15:6. Remember, Abraham’s salvation by faith came over four hundred years before the giving of the Law (Torah) at Mt Sinai and before the rite of circumcision… so neither of those affected the “salvation” of Abraham… faith alone saved him… And Abraham’s faith was WITH works (obedience to Yahweh)… so it was alive, not dead faith (James 2:17-24). And finally, to rebuke any claim to “fleshly” seed progeny as “sons of Abraham,” as qualifying one for salvation (not uncommon among orthodox Jews), Yeshua’s Calvary revelation (rejected by the Jews) as the sacrifice for ALL believers in Him, made it possible to gather all men (Jew and Gentile) unto salvation, as “sons of promise,” whosoever would believe in Him; that, as sons of the faith seed of Abraham, (Gal Chapter 3, especially vs 29) that they too could be “grafted into, or onto the tree, Israel,” which root and stem was (is)Yeshua … there is NO other way unto  salvation and no other tree onto which one may be grafted to be saved. There is NO “Christian Church tree” separate, and apart from Israel. If you refuse to become “Israel,” by faith (just as our Faith Father Abraham was Israel by faith), this one and only Scriptural way, then you are not a candidate for salvation. This IS NOT a negotiable issue and to refuse the plan Yahweh has preordained will cause you to be “cut off” from life eternal. Yahweh only has one Son, who is to have only one bride (Israel) and there is to be only one wedding supper of the Lamb; and there is only one body (bride/Israel), one Spirit, one hope of your calling, one Savior, one faith, one baptism, one Elohim (God) and Father of ALL [Yahweh] (Eph 4:4-6). Yahweh has only ONE PLAN of Salvation. This entire plan was put in place from “before the foundation of the world”… and Ps 119:89 records: “forever, O Yahweh, your Word is settled in Heaven.” This is irrevocable.

 

Salvation can not be attained by good works or any other way, it can only be attained by faith in the Word’s promise (Yeshua). Salvation is the “gift” from Yahweh, by His grace, through our faith (faith which He also works in us). We can bring nothing to the bargaining table to effect our effort for salvation… except our faith alone. Further, the Father would see to it that the entire universe would witness the “revealing of the hidden wisdom, salvation of man” and would foretell and pattern the event such that its revealing would be unmistakable and without flaw. The pattern would be revealed in the Levitical Priesthood duties and the meticulous Temple rules (order of service) given by Yahweh to Moses. Even the process of the examination of the animals brought to the temple to be offered up for sacrifice would also be the examination principle by which the Messiah would be examined… First comes the righteous requirement for complete suitability (firstborn without blemish), which Yeshua certainly was because He was sinless; then the Priestly office must examine him for purity and find Him unblemished, which they did when He was brought before the Sanhedrin and High Priest (only false accusations could be claimed against Him), and the offering had to be “accepted” which Yeshua’s resurrection certainly affirms. Without doubt, Yeshua represents the sacrificed Lamb of God, declared from ancient times, “revealed to the universe,” “glorified and seated in Heavenly places,” and High Priest of all believers. And in His Heavenly duty, is administering the Torah of Yahweh on our behalf (us who follow Him in our earthly life), and He secures eternal life for all who believe in Him. The scripture says:

 

Isa 45:21-25 (KJV)

 

21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

 

Rom 14:11-12 (KJV)

 

11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. [Author’s note: Paul, here, is quoting Isa 45:23 above]

 

12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

 

And again, Paul notes:

 

Phil 2:9-12 (KJV)

 

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

 

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

 

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

 

From Abraham, even from Adam, until Now; we are “saved” by faith in Yahweh’s “preordained” Salvation.

 

Yahweh (Yeshua) is the “author and finisher” of our faith…(Heb 12:2), just as He was the same to Abraham. This is why Abraham is called the “Father of our faith.”…(Rom 4:11-25) (of Jews and Gentiles, then and NOW). Yes, and in addition to being the “author and finisher” of our faith, Yeshua is also the forerunner of the “other” bombshell Yahweh was to drop on the demons of Hell and the deceiver of mankind… when Yeshua had finished the “Revelation” of the Salvation plan of the Father, the pouring out of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit, or Yahweh’s Spirit), would be next… at the moed, or “appointed time,” of Shavuot, which time was to become known as “Pentecost.” The “Spirit of Truth,” is given to help us understand these Scriptures of Truth. Men have confused these facts about salvation and walking in the Torah (instruction) as Yahweh has commanded us… and it is time we get it right. It takes more than the 4-spiritual laws or “sinners prayer” to bring one to salvation… it takes the commitment and determination of the heart to repent and forever embrace (by faith alone) the blood-shedding of Yahweh’s Only Begotten… from before the foundation of the world, revealed at Calvary, and adequate forever to keep us once and for all “sealed unto the day of redemption,” for whosoever will do it Yahweh’s way… according to the written Torah and thereafter walking the example of the living Torah (Yeshua’s example), as Paul says, with fear and trembling… not casual “knowledge of Bible stories” or some words we mouth, with no commitment for their really binding us to our “half” of the covenant we are called to embrace. This is most serious business… too often made a social experience or fellowship event by people playing church without true understanding of what salvation requires of their life. It is surely free, but it is far from cheap… Yeshua tells us:

 

Matt 16:24 (KJV)

 

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

 

This “Cross” will be quite heavy if you try to carry it alone, as only the strength of faith can lift it. Faith is the only way one can carry such a thing as what Yeshua offers. It has always been that way:

 

Zech 4:6-7 (KJV)

 

“…This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

 

7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: …”

 

If you have any “mountains” to move, it will take faith and Yahweh’s Spirit. When we try to save ourselves, or follow some unscriptural theology to “salvation,” not only will we be lost, but we will serve men instead of Yahweh, and we will miss the blessing of how the true salvation experience works in our earthly life, not to mention missing the life in the world to come… you think not? Consider this:

 

Matt 7:22-23 (KJV)

 

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

 

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

[that “work” iniquity here means “Torahlessness,” to do our own work, not the revealed work in the Torah… the only “acceptable” work of Yahweh’s instruction]

 

Matt 8:10-12 (KJV)

 

10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

 

11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

 

12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

This last Scripture is about the “children of the kingdom” missing the salvation… desired of the Father for them (from before the foundation of the World). Yeshua is talking about “many” coming from the “east and the west,” which may well be a reference to the “two houses” of Israel, as possibly the “east” represents the Judaic people and the west the “scattered seed,” or “nations” people (I believe them to be those of Hosea’s writing). This reference follows the example of a gentile centurion’s faith in the person and words of Yeshua and His authority in the kingdom, which causes the Master to marvel at a man with more understanding (about healing for his servant here, i.e. to be made well or whole) than the accompanying Israelites… who should have been the ones to understand. Note carefully Yeshua’s comments… concerning impediments to saving faith.

 

Matt 13:10-16 (KJV)

 

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

 

Likewise, in the world today, many rebuke the truth of the Scriptures, they cover their ears, and eyes… they will not seek the truth of the Word, hear the discussion of what they deem to be “disagreeable” views, which light hurts their darkened views as it exposes the error of their flawed doctrines, and their hearts are waxed gross… like these people in this scripture… Only the power of the Holy Spirit can open their eyes and understanding, as Yahweh did for this writer, as I too was walking in institutional confusion (another name for flesh based religious Philosophy in a veiled format). There are many well meaning folks, with misinformed views, who are yet thinking that salvation began at 33 AD… in Jerusalem, and that the “church” began in the Second Chapter of Acts, at Pentecost. These distorted views of Yahweh’s eternal plan and Scriptural teaching causes tragic conclusions (namely dispensational and replacement theology) which capture too many “sheep” in religious strongholds steeped in doctrinal error. These same challenges plagued Paul in his day and the early church in the first three centuries. And tragically, the Roman Church-rooted Christian denominations of our day, infused with ignorant and arrogant non-biblical views leading to rejection of the teachings of Moses (Torah-living for today), blindly oppose those who point out the truth. Additionally, the Rabbinical dogma of Judaism rejects the person and position of our Savior, Yeshua. Their forefathers crucified Him because of Truth. These camps both qualify for Yeshua’s warning, “your traditions make the Word of God of none affect.”(Mk 7:13)

 

The 91st Psalm is said to be the description of how Yahweh keeps Israel during the time of tribulation. Verse 3 speaks of delivering us from the snare of the fowler. There are no “snares of the fowler” any more dangerous than half-truth or false teaching… both lead to destruction. The Torah alone, as a reference of fact and truth, is the safe haven for those who live by faith, and they will find peace and rest in the “shadow of His wings” (Verse 4). The Torah is a “safety” net, and to walk the treacherous journey of life without its protection is very risky… especially if one is looking for a “narrow gate.” I recall, more than once, helping find lost fishermen on Canada’s large remote lakes, which were “chained” by narrow passages. There was a place known to the guides (and others familiar with where it was located) as the “hole in the wall.” It was secluded in a long rocky shoreline that ran for miles, which had high rock walls, and the narrow passage had to be navigated slowly as it was not a straight shot through its channel and it was often shallow with submerged rock formations. It was very hard to see from out on the lake; not unlike the shoreline of most lakes of this type, which shorelines often look very much the same to the inexperienced or unfocused eye of a guide. And near sundown, or at early daybreak, it was very hard to find if you did not know what to use for entrance markers. Even after motoring for hours along the shoreline, many fishermen simply could not find their way back and had to wait for rescue teams to locate them and guide them back through the narrow channel to the adjacent lake that they then needed to cross to get back to their lodge, which was out of “line of sight” itself. I recall one boat that was lost for nearly all day, and the occupants were quite upset when we found them. And so it is that one must navigate many doctrinal waters of dangerous paths, especially when they follow “another” Jesus. The Yeshua of Scripture is a “specific” person with specific identity… and His teachings are full of parables and idioms that He declares, are “hidden” or “mysterious” truth, which require the search of a hungry and diligent heart… He says “seek” and you will find. While He is not playing hide-and-seek from you, He does require you to make diligent search. The Scripture says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13 KJV). This is Yahweh talking of Israel in Babylon, after their capture, and that He will yet deliver them when they put their hearts to the effort. Their salvation will come with their looking for the Father… their faith will work the same for them as it did work for Abraham… the faithful were delivered from Babylon, but tragically, many perished in unbelief and entanglements with false gods. Salvation has always been about searching for the one true Elohim (God), Yahweh, by faith and it will not change. The Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world is yet the victory for eternal life… always has been. Let us remember, that “faith without works (Torah living) is dead.” Only Yahweh’s Spirit of Truth can empower us for life in Messiah, and He calls us to come and drink from the wells of salvation.

 

Isa 12:1-3 (KJV)

 

12:1 And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.

 

2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

 

3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

 

Torah is that Well… Yeshua is the tree of life and life eternal to all who partake of Him. Are you saved by the Scriptural meaning and demands of salvation, or are you drifting on the waters of institutional doctrine? What will you hear the Master say upon your face to face meeting with Him…? He will not be regarding your “religious” persuasions, like those who “He never knew.” He will only know you (your identity as the bride of Messiah) if you keep the commandments of the Father (Torah likeness), the ones He likewise kept and lived (He was the Torah made flesh)… they are not burdensome; however, they will cause you confrontation with family and friends who don’t like the “Light” that invades the darkness of religious activity… but if you are about the work of the Father, you will find peace, even in the conflict … and life everlasting …. Yahweh preordained it from before the foundation of the world… that was when He wrote the names of true believers in the Lamb’s book of Life. What would cause your or my name to be written there?

 

It is my deepest heartfelt understanding that in these last “end of days” (2006), that the Divine Heavenly Father is now calling true “faith” (Hear and Obey) Israelites out of religious systems (referred to as Babylon in Revelation 18:4). If your heart is pulling on your brain (which will place selfish obstacles in your heart’s way), you need to run, not walk, to your Bible (preferably a King James Version), and begin a diligent and systematic study of the Scriptures, starting in Genesis and working your way through Revelation. You will want to have some good reference texts, such as Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Smith Bible Dictionary, Encyclopedia reference (choose one of many available), Josephus Historian’s works, and other reputable “history” records; and, I suggest you also have The Stone Edition of “The Chumash,” (Torah & Commentary, by Artscroll) to see what the Rabbis say about traditional and historic cultural issues, but don’t let any anti-Messiah comments distract you. It also will be quite valuable for you to take up fellowship with other like minded truth seekers who can honestly dialogue with you and offer critical (constructive) examination of your studies and that will allow you to likewise question and examine their opinions (all with Scriptural Contextual relevance)… typically like the “midrash,” of study groups of a Hebrew Yeshiva (school). Contrary to popular opinion (especially among entertainment type church service followers), it is not the big bang “worship” music and loud praises that impress Yahweh; far from it… it is believed among the sages (for all the ages) that the highest form of worship is deep study of Torah, and prayer with a heart full of faith in fellowship with the Heavenly Father. This is not to dissuade gatherings of praise and worship, but it is to keep the divine perspective as to what nourishes and informs your soul with truth and understanding. Whatever you do, do not get mired down in institutional “hand me down” doctrinal confusion. Do not be caught in wanting, as the Scripture warns:

 

Amos 2:4(KJV)

 

“…because they have despised the law (Torah) of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:”

 

Remember, the Heavenly Father knows where you are, what you think from afar, and what your motives of your heart really represent. You can not allow your family, friends, or any other influence to dissuade your quest for truth and Scriptural instruction… and remember the man who does not know the truth and the man who ignores the truth will get the same results… it is our honest evaluation of the truth and our acting upon it that separates our abode from the realm of death into the place of life eternal… the Scriptures say:

 

Col 1:12-29 (KJV)

 

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

 

Once again, let us understand, when something is “hid” as a mystery, it does not mean it has not already existed, it simply means it is now Revealed… Salvation was Yahweh’s work before the Foundation of the World…and it being “revealed” in 33 AD, (secret of the ages brought forth), has not changed it being attained by faith alone (as did the Father of our Faith, Abraham, attain his salvation). There is NO division between the persons “saved” in Abraham’s time and the person “saved” today… there is NO Old Testament Salvation and a New Testament Salvation, as there is (and always has been) only ONE Salvation. Yahweh alone is our Salvation. Let us hold fast to our hope in the power of the Blood of Yeshua to redeem us and let us remember that we are on a journey toward the end of our faith… that we must press on unto the end of our faith… that as long as we are yet on earth as a mortal, that we must continue to “work out” our salvation with fear and trembling… and while we are safe by faith in Yeshua, that our faith without our obedience to the commandments (works acceptable to Yahweh), will not find the way through the narrow gate… as Yeshua said:

 

Matt 7:13-14 (KJV)

 

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

 

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

Matt 24:13 (KJV)

 

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

 

Rev 14:12 (KJV)

 

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

 

Eccl 12:13 (KJV)

 

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

 

 And, for one final note from the writer:

 

At the time of writing this work, in just a few days hence, the Father allowing, I will be 64 years old this November in the year 2006; and having been a “Christian” most of my life with a “birds-eye view” of “Christian Ministry” (including several years of Pastoral Ministry, Church founding, positional involvement in leadership, Board of Deacons service of over 25 years, some 20+ years home group ministry, and Sunday School Teaching since 1970), I have heard more than a few opinions of this subject of salvation. In October, three years ago, I realized the Scriptures (the literal meaning of the Bible writings) were becoming less popular in “post-modern” Christian Churches and I began a deep study of my past “convictions” and theological opinions. Today, I have a much deeper anchor in the bedrock of Scriptural fact, and have dispensed with many “institutional” opinions and practices that fly in the face of Biblical fact. I am now a dedicated Torah life believer, I keep the Biblical Sabbath (Friday sundown, to Saturday sundown), eat Kosher as best I understand it, keep the Yahweh appointed Biblical holidays of Leviticus Chapter 23 (not the traditional Roman rooted Christian church holidays), and try to improve my daily understanding of the Bible. You may be thinking… “He is becoming a Jew.” No, I am learning how to be an Israelite, following Yeshua and the way He and the early first century Apostles worshiped, lived and believed. While some of Judaic practice is involved, so is much of the “Christian” practice I have lived… typically, people knowledgeable of doctrinal foundations, call us Messianic Christians (For those perhaps yet confused, most informed Christians know they are of Judeo-Christian makeup). I am not one concerned with having a “moniker” that people feel they need to identify themselves, since I truly know “who” I am in relation to my Messiah, and I am happy to simply be called an Israelite. Now, I am aware that this article may upset some folks (notably those with dogmatic denominational leanings), especially those of empire building and “numbers growth” persuasion; however, if this article is to be disputed, please bring me valid linked contextual “witness” scriptures of the subject from the Old Testament and the New Testament which confirm each other with agreement… not “sound byte”, out-of context, repetitions of some teachings with prejudice to “feelings” or defensive (non-defensible) church doctrines with a litany of contradictions between the OT and the NT. This matter is too serious to study in any other manner… all eternity for men’s souls rests in the “facts” of this issue of understanding one’s salvation.

 

Shalom… and may the Blessings of the Savior be continually abounding to you.

 

Recommended Related Article: "The Cross"

 

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