There is much talk within the Christian Community about being once saved – always saved. But what does the Bible tell us about this very important subject? We see billboards and personal signs stating “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [Master Yahushua Messiah] and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31, emphasis added). Many have taken that to say that all we have to do in order to be eternally saved is to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” That we are not going to be saved at some future point in time, but that we are already saved - right now! But you know even the devils “believe,” but are they going to be saved? “Thou believest that there is one Elohim; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (Jam. 2:19). There are many things we believe in or on, but what does that really mean – believe? This is how Acts 16:31 is stated in the Amplified Version: “And they answered, Believe in the Lord Yahushua Messiah (give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping) and you will be saved, (and this applied both to) you and your household as well” (emphasis added). It requires much more than merely believing in the Lord Yahushua Messiah to be saved. It calls for your complete surrender to Him so He can do what needs to be done in our lives so we will be prepared to spend eternity with Him and His Father, Who longs to be our Father if we will permit Him to be.
The questions beg to be asked: “From what are we saved or are going to be saved?” From eternal destruction? From the penalty of our sins? From the power of our inherited, fallen, human natures? From sinning? From our enemies? From the deceptions of Satan? I believe we need to be and will be saved from all of those things. A little closer examination of Acts 16:31 reveals to us that “thou shalt be saved.” “Shalt be” indicates that we are not saved right now, but we will be saved at some future point in time if we meet the conditions for being saved. We are not now saved! And Who is it that does the saving? Us or Elohim? “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one [of us]” (Job 14:4). Only Elohim can change us! “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).
Another favorite verse of Scripture used is found in Romans 10:9. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Yahushua, and shalt believe in thine heart that Elohim hath raised Him [Yahushua] from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (emphasis added). Again it does not say you are already saved, but this verse tells us that “thou shalt be saved.” Again reading from the Amplified Version: “Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus [Yahushua] is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, rely on the truth) that God [Elohim] raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (emphasis added).
True belief, according to the Bible, results in more than intellectual knowledge.
Can we ever come to a point in our earthly existence where we shall be able to say “I am saved”? I hear this phrase all the time by those who profess Christianity as their religion. “I am saved!” Are you really? Do you mean to tell me, you have nothing to fear of losing your way or that Satan will overthrow you? How can you be so sure? Are your feet planted on that solid Rock and will never be moved? What about the promises that are made only to the overcomers? Most want a sugar-coated religion that results in truth decay! If we are still sinning then we are the ones that are being overcome by the Devil and by our inherited, fallen, human nature. Romans 6:14 tells us that “Sin shall not have dominion over you” when you are under grace. If you are still sinning and professing that “I am saved,” you are giving a false testimony. You are being presumptuous. Presumption means “an idea that is taken to be true, and is often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain.” “Behavior perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.” We are warned in Psalm 19:13 about being presumptuous. “Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” A false understanding of what the Bible is saying is leading many into presumptuous sins and will result in many being lost for eternity. Many have a false sense of security! Many have allowed their ears to be itched! “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Tim. 4:3, emphasis added). They have listened for so long to sugar-coated sermons that they have truth decay!
We are told to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). We are to “be sober, be vigilant” or else you may be devoured by Satan! The Bible gives numerous accounts of individuals who were once followers of Elohim and ended up being lost. As long as we are in this world, Satan will be continually after us, in order to prevent us from obtaining eternal life. Over my 48 years of walking with Yahuwah Elohim, I have seen many who professed Christianity lose their way and have fallen back into a life of sin. We have the illustration given to us “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly” (Prov. 26:11). I just had that illustrated by a little Chihuahua this morning. Sickening isn’t it? There may be many reasons why this occurs, but when we fail to follow what is written in the Bible for our encouragement and instruction, we will be overcome by the Devil. We are told that he “deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9) which includes us when we become lax in our walk with Elohim because we have accepted a false sense of security.
Please read the Old Testament where this is illustrated for us over and over again for our instruction. In 1 Corinthians 10:1-14 are a number of examples that we should learn from. These people mentioned in this portion of Scripture were baptized and yet they were guilty of all those things mentioned here. Here are just two verses from that portion of Scripture. “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted” (vs 6). “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” (vs 11, emphasis added). Yet many do not even read the Old Testament and fail to learn the lessons of the past and are repeating them and expect to be saved in the end. “Let no man deceive you” (1 John 3:7).
When Elohim gave the children of Israel His law, they answered “All the words which Yahuwah hath said will we do” (Ex. 24:3). And then they repeated that four verses later: “All that Yahuwah hath said will we do, and be obedient” (Ex. 24:7). And yet eight chapters later we find Israel bowing before a golden calf when Moses had gone up into the Mount for further instructions (Ex. 32). The people of Israel had had visible exhibitions of Elohim’s power and majesty and yet in the absence of Moses their visible go-between with Elohim they had given themselves up to the vilest insult to Elohim by worshipping a golden calf and giving it the credit for their deliverance from Egypt. We have not been so blessed by those visible manifestations as they were, but we have all their experiences recorded in the Old Testament for our instruction.
Peter told Yahushua “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I” (Mark 14:29). “And he [Peter] said unto Him [Yahushua], Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both to prison, and to death” (Luke 22:33). Peter loved his Lord and was determined to follow Him, and yet a few short hours after making the preceding statement Peter was denying Yahushua with cursing and swearing. How could this be? How could Peter do such a thing? Yahushua had told Peter just before Peter had made that oath “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-34, emphasis added). “When thou are converted.”
Peter’s problem and the children of Israel’s problem, back in the Old Testament, were one and the same. They were not “converted”. What does it mean to be “converted”? Peter and the children of Israel were self-sufficient. They thought they could do whatever Elohim told them to do in their own strength and ability. They had not experienced “true conversion” where they depended upon Elohim. We would have hoped that they were sincere in what they professed and confessed, but this is what we read in Psalm 78:36: “Nevertheless they did flatter Him with their mouth, and they lied unto Him with their tongues.”
You can have a lamp, but unless that lamp is plugged into the source of electricity it will not shine. We need to be plugged into the power of Elohim in order to fulfill His will for our lives. We need to be able to walk the talk! Without the Spirit of Elohim dwelling in you, you will at some point in time find yourself in the same predicament as Peter found himself and the children of Israel found themselves in. Unless we realize our need and inability to do what Elohim commands us, without His Spirit dwelling in us, we too will fail when the test comes. As a result, we may lose our way believing that we were not sincere in what we professed and that we are lost and just give up. Yahushua had told Peter that He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail. He did not want Peter to give up even after he had denied Him with cursing, and He does not want us to give up when we fail Him. “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32, emphasis added).
People are watching us, and what kind of a testimony do they see? Do they see a mere profession or a living testimony of the saving, sanctifying power of Elohim that keeps us from sinning (Jude 24)? Do we bear a false witness for Elohim to our neighbors, to our mates, and to our children? “Thou shalt not bear a false witness against thy neighbor” (Ex. 20:16). No one is questioning anyone’s sincerity. No one wants to bear a false witness in Elohim’s behalf. It is just that we may never have been taught how to bear a true testimony for Him. Even though it may seem that we have gone astray from the title of this article, I assure you it has everything to do with having eternal security and how we “may know that we have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of Elohim” (1 John 5:13). When we are walking in the ways of Yahuwah and not in the ways of this world, we can have that hope of eternal life that is promised to all those who are obedient to Yahuwah. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14).
This is not legalism as Satan would have you believe. This is the evidence of our love and devotion to Yahuwah Elohim Almighty! “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). “For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). “By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim, and keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2). Obedience as taught in the Scriptures is the greatest evidence of love for Elohim that we can show. Remember the Devil is “deceiving the whole world” (Rev. 12:9) and one of those ways is getting people to believe that obedience is not required by Elohim and that it is legalism. Clearly, obedience is a demonstration of our love to Elohim and His Son!
If you are familiar with wildlife game refuges, you know that the animals that remain within the boundaries of that refuge are safe from being the target of any hunter unless people break the rules. Satan cannot touch us when we are within the commands of Elohim. It is when we stray outside the safety of His commands that we are exposed to the attacks of the Devil.
The children of Israel really never learned the lesson of dependency upon Elohim. They were continually referred to as stiff-necked and rebellious. Even though Elohim had great hopes and high expectations for them, “how oft did they [nation of Israel] provoke Him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted Elohim, and limited the Holy One of Israel” (Ps. 78:40, 41). They did not do any better once they came into the Promised Land. Read the book of Jeremiah for what Elohim dealt with in the nation of Israel for 900 years before He sent them into Babylonian captivity for 70 years.
But Peter learned the lesson that was so difficult for him and for all of us to understand. His heart was broken when he realized what he had done and what Yahushua had foretold he would do. When Yahushua afterward asked Peter whether he loved Him, Peter did not as he had done before and rashly blurt out what came into his mind. “So when they had dined, Yahushua saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these [the other disciples which were present at that time]? He [Peter] saith unto Him, Yea Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee” (John 21:15-19). Three times Yahuhsua asked Peter that question, “Lovest thou Me more than these” and three times Peter gave a very similar answer without rashness and vehemence. Peter had been converted and had come to realize that in himself dwelt no good thing. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Rom. 7:18). It is where all of us must come to in order to switch our dependency from ourselves unto Elohim. And some of us may have to go through a very similar painful experience as did Peter before we realize our need.
When we think of eternal security, we most of the time think of ourselves. The Bible is clear that when we walk in Elohim’s ways we can have that assurance that He will do as He has promised for us. The original covenant made with the nation of Israel and all of humanity is found In Deuteronomy 28. The eternal security that Elohim is concerned with is the eternal security of the Universe. That sin will never rise up again because if it should there is no way to have it atoned for. Yahushua when He was begotten was not immortal so that He could die. Only Elohim was immortal! See 1 Timothy 1:17, 6:16. Yahushua was given immortality when He was resurrected just as those who are resurrected in the first resurrection will have immortality bestowed upon them. “I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen” (Rev. 1:18). “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:51-54) and we can then say, without one shred of presumption, “We are saved!”
“What do you imagine against Yahuwah? He will make an utter end: affliction [sin] shall not rise up the second time” (Nah. 1:9, emphasis added). Elohim is interested in making the Universe eternally secure so that sin will never rise up a second time. Elohim is the Judge of the inhabitants of the earth and the decisions He makes for eternal life or eternal death will be done without partiality towards us. He will be fair and honest in all of His decisions concerning the inhabitants of planet Earth. If He were to excuse sin in just one individual who is to be saved He would jeopardize the security of the entire Universe throughout eternity (forever). Our loyalty, shown by our obedience, will show whether we are safe to be eternally saved and given immortality where we will never be able to die again. Could you have imagined what would have happened a few years ago when Ebola was spreading in Africa if it would have been allowed to go unchecked? The safety of all of the earth’s inhabitants would have been at risk. Planet Earth has been quarantined from the rest of the Universe until sin has been cleansed from those who are to be saved or will be destroyed in the “lake of fire” when the lost who have clung to their sins are turned to ashes. May we become more interested in seeing that Elohim’s plans for His Universe are successful over our individual salvation. He and His Son have proven how unselfish They both are in the plan of redemption. May that same unselfishness be seen in all of our lives who claim to be His children before Yahushua returns for His people!
What makes us think that Satan who was kicked out of heaven because of sin, that we will be allowed entrance into heaven while living in sin? “Be not deceived; Elohim is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).
The following portion of Scripture taken from Chapter 33 of Ezekiel tells us how we can have the assurance of our salvation. It has much more to do with than believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (Master Yahushua Messiah). That is where salvation begins, but it does not end there. Yahushua is not only the Author of our salvation, but He is the Finisher of our salvation. “Looking unto Yahushua the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim” (Heb. 12:2).
“Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus you speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away [grow weak because of the guilt that comes with our sins] in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith Yahuwah Elohim, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel? Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turns from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sins. When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die [eternally] for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turns from his sin, and does that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live [eternally], he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. Yet the children of thy people say, The way of Yahuwah is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die [eternally] thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live [eternally] thereby. Yet you say, The way of Yahuwah is not equal. O you house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways” (Eze. 33:10-20).
Yahuwah Elohim Almighty is a very reasonable Being! It is the human that is unreasonable and has been turned to fables and away from the Scriptures. It is not how you begin, but how you end your life! Elohim “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Messiah Yahushua throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).
But you must open the door and invite Him to do for you what is impossible for you to do for yourself. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne” (Rev.3:20-21). And how did Yahushua overcome while He walked on this earth? Through the indwelling presence of His Father’s Spirit. “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwells in Me [through His Spirit], He does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (John 14:10-11).
And how do we get the Spirit of Elohim to come and dwell within us? Ask! “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13). “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). “You have not, because you ask not” (James 4:2). “Hitherto have you asked nothing in My name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Our heavenly Father waits patiently to answer your request. There is nothing that Elohim will not bestow on those who will ask and the greatest gift He is anxious to bestow on those who ask, is His Spirit. All the promises found in the Holy Bible are ours for the asking, but we must ask. “Elohim is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19).
Today, Elohim and Yahushua are watching; waiting for you to come to Them. “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and him that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). “Thou shalt call His name YAHUSHUA [which means Yahuwah saves]: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). We do not save ourselves from our sins. Only Yahuwah and Yahushua can save us from them. “If I [Yahushua speaking to Peter as well as to us] wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me” (John 13:8). Do not try to play God! Let Elohim do what would be His “good pleasure” to do for you and save you from your sins so you can spend eternity with Him and His Son, Yahushua!