Precept 13 – Salvation Without Works?
Passover is our next feast to prepare for and we have less than six months to do it in. And while the physical preparations for this feast are difficult for those who are new to it; the preparations in our minds are of foremost importance. It is with great trepidation that I even dare to approach such a topic as salvation, for the traditions and doctrines of men have twisted Yehovah’s words to their own destruction. For many believe there is salvation without works.
It is because of this that I must remind the reader of several precepts that we have learned over the past three months. The first, and most important, is to understand that Yehovah’s (the LORD’s) word is the Law and the Prophets.
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa 8:20)
If I do not speak according to the Torah and the Prophets it is because there is no light in me!
The second precept is ‘Yehovah does not change’ and ‘His word endures forever‘. Yeshua has not changed anything; if he did he would be found a lair and could not be Yehovah’s Messiah.
Every word of God (Elohim) is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar. (Pro 30:5-6)
This above scripture also takes care of the last precept as well which is, ‘No adding to or subtracting from Yehovah’s word‘.
So with these precepts in mind let us go ahead and begin with a very important question.
Who is the Savior?
Most folks will answer this question according to what they have learned from the fathers’ and answer, “Yeshua (Jesus), of course!” And they would be right, at least in part. But there is more to this story and Yeshua’s role is not what most imagine. Let’s look at a few scriptures that may add some light to this discussion.
“You are My witnesses,” says Yehovah, “and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no Elohim formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am Yehovah, and besides Me there is no savior. (Isa_43:10-11)
“Yet I am Yehovah your Elohim, ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no Elohim but Me; for there is no savior besides Me. (Hos 13:4)
Yehovah is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. (Psa 34:18)
If Yehovah does not change and His word endures forever (and He does not, and His word does endure forever); it would follow that men did not receive eternal life any differently before Yeshua was born, died and rose than they do now. So how do men receive eternal life and what is Yeshua’s role in the process?
How are men saved?
This is a very serious question and one that has not been answered satisfactorily for about 1900 years. Israel has fallen away from the truth of Yehovah’s word again and again throughout their history. When trouble would come they would repent and Yehovah would deliver them; but before long they would be right back in the same trouble. Do we think that once we join ourselves to Yehovah’s people, the commonwealth of Israel, we are any different? There is no salvation without works because there is no salvation without repentance, turning from our ways to Yehovah’s.
After Yeshua was baptized by John and spent 40 days in the wilderness, repentance was the first message that Yeshua gave as he began his ministry:
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of Elohim, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of Elohim is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mar 1:14-15)
The gospel is ‘Yehovah reigns” not men; we are to leave the kingdoms of this world and follow His commandments, His statutes, His judgments and His ordinances! Remember the man on the mountaintop with the good-looking feet? Yehovah said of him …
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “your Elohim reigns!” (Isa 52:7)
Your Elohim Reigns! This was Yeshua’s message and it will be the message of the 144,000 servants of Yehovah in these coming last days as well.
“Fear Yehovah and give glory to Him (not anti-christ), for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” (Rev 14:7)
How does Yehovah say that a man is saved? And what must that man do to receive that salvation?
Oh, I see those red flags going up all over the net and all of you grabbing for your rocks. But please listen to what Yehovah has to say about this matter; after all,
“Elohim is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Num 23:19)
Yehovah will make good on all of His promises whether it fits with our traditions and doctrines or not.
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love Yehovah your Elohim, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which Yehovah swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deu 30:19-20)
“Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die. But if a man is just and does what is lawful and right; … If he has walked in My statutes– And kept My judgments faithfully– He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Elohim Yehovah. (Eze 18:4-5, 9)
“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Elohim Yehovah, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live? (Eze 18:21-23)
Can we lose our salvation by our rebellious deeds? There are many ways that we can be ‘kicked out’ of Israel and one of them is for willful disobedience; that is why Paul told the Philippians that they were to work out their ‘own salvation with fear and trembling’.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you 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.” (Php 2:12)
“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.” (Eze 18:24)
Repentance is the basis by which Yehovah says a man will live or die. Our job is to choose life.
Notice: Yeshua is not even mentioned in any of these passages but Yehovah says that the man who will repent and turn to His ways will live.
So now the question that we must ask ourselves is “How does Yeshua fit into the process of a man becoming “Born Again?” Here is another good question – Did you know that men were being ‘Born Again” even before Yeshua was even born? Yeshua criticized Nicodemus for being a “teacher of Israel” and not “understanding these things.” Was there a “New Testament” or a “Church” when Yeshua spoke to Nicodemus? NO!
We have learned lies, ‘worthless and unprofitable things.’
“O Yehovah, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.” (Jer 16:19)
Yeshua is Yehovah’s lamb who takes away the sins of the world for all who will repent and turn to Yehovah’s ways. But Salvation and the Born Again experience that Yeshua taught Nicodemus about are two different, but related, things. This Process of Becoming Born Again is discussed thoroughly in the Born Again series on this blog.
Most people overlook or ignore the life changing words from Yehovah like this one.
Then Yehovah spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying: ‘If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep Yehovah’s Passover. On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. ACCORDING TO ALL THE ORDINANCES OF THE PASSOVER they shall keep it. BUT the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases [stops doing what he was doing] to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of Yehovah at its appointed time; THAT MAN SHALL BEAR HIS SIN. (Num 9:9-13)
Does Yehovah change? Do His words endure forever? Can we add to or subtract from His words?
Passover is for our yearly personal redemption; our way back to our heavenly Father comes way too fast each year. It is possible that the Great Tribulation will begin with a True Passover; could it be the next one? Will you be ready? My prayer is that you will!