Are YOU Saved? How do you know?

John 3:16, Everlasting life.

Salvation — What Is It and Do You Have It?

What is Salvation?

The dictionary defines the word salvation as “the deliverance from the power and effects of sin.” In a general sense, salvation is “preservation from harm, ruin or loss.” Relating the first definition, which is biblical in nature, to the second definition, which is generic in nature, we see that salvation is the deliverance or preservation from the power of sin, which causes harm, ruin or loss. Salvation and redemption are synonymous terms in biblical Hebraic thought. We will discuss the idea of redemption below.

So what is sin that it causes harm, ruin or loss, and what is being harmed or being lost such that we need deliverance? Very simply, Scripture (the Bible) defines sin as the violation of YHVH Elohim’s (the LORD God’s) Torah-laws (1 John 3:4). What is YHVH Elohim’s Torah-law? It is the instructions, precepts or teaching of YHVH as found in the first five books of the Bible, which can then be expanded to include the entire Bible or Word of YHVH. Man is commanded to live by every word found in Scripture (Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4). Man is to hear and do the Words of YHVH (Deut 6:4), place YHVH’s words in his heart (Deut 6:6), teach them to his children (Deut 6:7), and to make them the basis for all that he does and thinks (Deut 6:8). The words or laws of YHVH Elohim can be summed up as loving YHVH and loving one’s neighbor (Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18; Mark 12:30; John 14:15). The cornerstone of those laws is found in the well-known ten commandments as found in Exodus 20. They are…

  • I am YHVH your Elohim.
  • You shall have no other gods before me.
  • You shall not take my name in vain.
  • Remember the Sabbath day to keep it set-apart. 
  • Honor you father and mother.
  • You shall not murder.
  • You shall not commit adultery
  • You shall not steal.
  • You shall not lie.
  • You shall not covet your that which belongs to your neighbor.

The first five statements constitute loving YHVH Elohim, while the last five constitute loving one’s fellow man. These ten statements are but the beginning of YHVH’s laws as outlined in Scripture, which if man break, man is guilty of sin. There are 613 such laws in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and more than 1050 in the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament). This may seem like a lot of laws for man to have to follow, but in reality, it is nothing compared to the hundreds of law books that constitute the laws of most nations on earth. Whole law libraries are established to contain them all!

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The Red Sea Crossing: Gospel Types and Shadows

Exodus 14:22, The children of Israel went. According to Jewish tradition (e.g. in The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash commentary on verse eight), the crossing occurred on Nisan 21 (or the Month of the Abib, which is the first month of the biblical calendar occurring in the early spring), which is the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, even though the Scriptures don’t explicitly say this. The Jewish sages deduce this from the chronology of events leading up to the crossing. On the fifteenth day of the first month, they reason, Israel left Egypt and traveled from Rameses to Succoth. On the sixteenth day, they traveled from Succoth to Etham, and on the seventeenth from Etham to Pi-hahiroth. Then on the eighteenth it was reported to Pharaoh that Israel had been gone for three days. On the 19th and 20th Pharaoh mustered his army and pursued Israel, and on the twenty-first day of the first month Israel crossed the Red Sea, which was the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The Red Sea. The Israelites went through the midst of the Red Sea. Like the killing of the Passover lamb and the painting of his blood on the door posts, the crossing of the Red Sea prophetically pointed forward to the message of the gospel and the steps a disciple of Yeshua must take in his spiritual journey. Paul states in his letter to the believers in Corinth,

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 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 Messiah. (1 Cor 10:1–4)

The Israelites going through the Red Sea is a prophetic picture of baptism for the remission of sin of the new believer. Red reminds us of the blood of Yeshua that cleanses sinners of sin. Moreover, sea water is salty and salt is a biblical symbol representing cleansing, purification, preservation and eternity and all of which point to the efficaciousness of Yeshua’s atoning blood on behalf of the redeemed saint.

Now let’s look at Israel’s Red Sea passage in light of its larger gospel message context. While back in Egypt, YHVH sent Moses the evangelist to the Israelites with the message of redemption from their Egyptian slavemasters. To be spared from Eloim’s judgments against sin, all the Israelites had to do was to believe the evangelist (i.e. the preacher of the gospel message) when he told them to kill a lamb and to put its blood on the doorposts of their houses (i.e. have faith in the shed blood of Yeshua the Messiah who died on the cross to set us free from the penalty of our sins). Those who did were spared Elohim’s judgment against sin. Next, they had to put leaven (i.e. a picture of sin) out of their houses (a picture of their lives), eat unleavened bread (i.e. a picture of accepting Yeshua unconditionally) and leave Egypt (i.e. a picture of leaving behind the world’s ways and lifestyles). After that they went through the Red Sea (i.e. a picture of baptism for the remission of sins). These are but the initial steps that the Israelites had to take on their journey to the “Promised Land.” After that, they came to Marah, then to the desert oasis of Elim, then they received manna from heaven and water from the rock. They learned about sin, redemption, the Messiah, how to have faith in Elohim, and how to overcome the triple headed enemy of the world, the flesh and the devil. 

For those readers who can discern the code, the gospel message is encrypted in the steps that the Israelites’ took while traversing the wilderness (a biblical metaphor for our physical life on earth) en route the Promised Land. What they went through, how they reacted and the consequences of their actions can act as a sort of spiritual road map to aid modern saints in guiding us forward in our own spiritual journey toward inclusion in the kingdom of Elohim as his glorified children. The wise saint will learn from both the mistakes and triumphs of the Israelites. So study the Bible to show yourself approved, learn your lessons well and we’ll see you in the kingdom of Elohim.


The Seven Steps of Redemption

Exodus 6:1–9, YHVH redeems Israel.

The stage is set for Israel’s redemption in Exodus 5:22–23. Yet Moses’ first venture to Pharaoh was a disaster. The plight of the children of Israel had deteriorated instead of improved. Discouraged, Moses almost takes on an accusative tone toward YHVH (Exod 5:22–23). Graciously, YHVH doesn’t rebuke Moses, but as a loving Father encourages him to refocus on his word and the veracity and surety of his promises (Exod 6:2–5).

YHVH encouraged Moses upward and onward despite his discouraging first attempt at gaining the release of the ­children of Israel. Is it possible that YHVH allowed immediate success to elude Moses at his first encounter with Pharaoh to bring Moses “to the end of himself” with regard to any tendency he might have had to rely primarily on himself and on his own wisdom to accomplish Elohim’s plans? After all, Moses, as either Pharaoh’s adopted grandson or his nephew (depending on whether this was the Pharaoh of Moses’ childhood or his son), had an “in” with the monarch that could have been exploited for the benefit of securing the release of Israel. As YHVH wanted Moses to rely on him alone for Israel’s deliverance, even so YHVH wants us to rely on him alone to accomplish his purposes in our lives and not primarily on any human abilities that we may possess. We have to be totally emptied of ourselves before we’re ready for the Master’s use. This doesn’t mean he won’t use our natural abilities or what he have gained through life’s experiences, but we must learn to submit all that we have and are to his sovereign will. In this way, YHVH, not man, gets the glory when success occurs (Jer 9:22–23).

Additionally, YHVH reaffirmed his covenant promises to Moses using his covenant name, YHVH, three times (Exod 6:678). Here are some other examples of how Scripture usesYHVH’s covenant name along with modifying adjectives to describe his promise and ability to meet all our human needs:

  • YHVH Elohim (Gen 2:4–7)
  • YHVH El Elohim: YHVH El of gods (Josh 22:22)
  • YHVH Elohaykha: YHVH Your Elohim (Exod 20:2)
  • YHVH Elohay Avotaynu: YHVH Elohim of our fathers (Ezra 7:27)
  • YHVH Elohay HaShamaiyim: YHVH, Elohim of heaven (Gen 24:7)
  • YHVH Elohay Yisrael: YHVH Elohim of Israel (Josh 24:2)
  • YHVH Elohaynu: YHVH Our Elohim (Ps 99:5)
  • YHVH Elohi: YHVH My Elohim (Zech 14:5)
  • YHVH Asaynu: YHVH Our Maker (Ps 95:6)
  • YHVH Echad U-Shmo Echad: YHVH Is One and His Name Is One (Zech 14:9)
  • YHVH M’Kadishkhem: YHVH Who Sanctifies You (Exod 31:13)
  • YHVH Nisi: YHVH Is My Banner (Exod 17:15)
  • YHVH Ro-ee: YHVH Is My Shepherd (Ps 23:1)
  • YHVH Rophekha: YHVH Who Heals You (Exod 15:26)
  • YHVH Shamah: YHVH Is There (Ezek 48:35)
  • YHVH Tzidkenu: YHVH Is Our Righteousness (Jer 23:6)
  • YHVH Tzuree: YHVH My Rock (or Strength) (Ps 144:1)
  • YHVH Tzvaot: YHVH of Hosts/Armies (Isa 6:3)
  • YHVH Yireh: YHVH Will Provide (Gen 22:14)

Next, YHVH reveals to Moses the seven steps of Israel’s redemption, which are actually promises of what YHVH will do for Israel.

Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, “I am YHVH, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem [Heb. ga’almeaning “to buy back, ransom for money”] you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments, and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you an Elohim, and you shall know that I am YHVH your Elohim, which brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am YHVH.” (Exod 6:6–8, emphasis added)

Here we find listed the seven steps of redemption YHVH lays out for Israel. YHVH uses his covenant name three times during the seven promises: at the beginning, middle and end. He wraps his covenant promises in his covenant name for emphasis.

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Down to Egypt (or “Hell”) or Up to the Jerusalem (or “Heaven”)? Which path are you on?

Genesis 39:1, Down to Egypt…down there. 

There are more than twenty references in the Bible to “going down to Egypt,” coming “up from Egypt” or words to this gist. Egypt can be taken as a biblical metaphor for the secular world and all that is in it that is in opposition to YHVH’s paths of righteousness. Egypt represents the low spiritual way of following the world, flesh and the devil that is evil that leads to death and separation from Elohim, while the Promised land, and specifically Jerusalem, is a metaphor for the spiritual high place of truth, righteousness and godliness that leads to eternal life. This is why the Bible speaks of “going down to Egypt” and “going up to Jerusalem.” 

Each person has only two choices in life on how they will conduct their lives. They must make a choice—they will make a choice purposely or inadvertently. They can choose the proverbial downward path or the highway to hell or the upward path or the highway to heaven. Everyone chooses one path or another, even if they are not aware of the conscious decision to do so. To not make a choice is, by default, to choose the downward path. 

Most people are somewhere in the middle, which is a vast grey area. They neither choose one path or the other. They choose just enough of the upward path to alleviate their guilt, but not enough of it to radically change their lifestyles. They still want enough of the downward path to satiate the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life. 

So what did Yeshua have to say about those who choose this wide, well-traveled middle road?

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Rev 3:15–16)

To those who find themselves on this path, Yeshua is standing outside of the door of their spiritual house and saying,

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20)

To those who respond positively to his invitation, he promises them a place in the Promised Land of his everlasting kingdom or the New Jerusalem, which is coming down from heaven.

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Heb 13:14)

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is Elohim. (Heb 11:10)

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my Elohim, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my Elohim, and the name of the city of my Elohim, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my Elohim: and I will write upon him my new name. (Rev 3:12)

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Rev 3:21)

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from Elohim out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Rev 21:2)

With this lofty heavenly, spiritual goal and reward in mind for those who continue here below in faithful obedience and overcoming perseverance, what should be our demeanor? What wise admonitions must we keep in mind, so that we will be faithful to the end—until the object of our faith arrives (Heb 11:1)? 

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conduct; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here [on earth] in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in Elohim, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in Elohim. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of Elohim, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Pet 1:13–23, emphasis added)


The Abrahamic Covenant: Biblical Model for How to Be Saved

Psalm 50:5, Made/cut a covenant…by sacrifice. This refers to the method by which covenants were made in ancient times between two parties. This same ritual occurred when YHVH made (or cut) a covenant with Abraham in Genesis chapter 15 except that YHVH took all the responsibilities for fulfilling the covenant upon himself, for Abraham was asleep when this covenant was cut (Gen 15:9–10, 12).

What is the lesson in this for us? Simply this: this is the model for salvation. All Abraham had to do was to have faith in YHVH and all the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant would fall upon him (Gen 15:6). We know from Paul’s discussion in Romans chapter four that the Abrahamic Covenant is the original biblical model for how an individual can receive salvation from Elohim.

We also know that when YHVH made his covenant with Abraham, the vision Abraham had while he was asleep prophetically pointed to Yeshua’s death on the cross and his initiating the new/renewed covenant as prophesied in the Tanakh (e.g. Jer 31:31–33; also see my notes at Gen 15:12–21). 

Moreover, Yeshua at his last supper and subsequent crucifixion fulfilled this ancient prophecy as well as the spiritual types and shadows discussed in Psalm 50:7 and Genesis 15:9–21. At his last supper, Yeshua made a new covenant with his disciples through his body (the bread) and blood (the wine), which redeemed believers now commemorate when they take communion. 

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matt 26:26–28)

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (1 Cor 11:24)

Prior to his death on the cross, Yeshua’s predictively explained the significance of his broken body and spilled blood as it relates to covenantal agreement between him and those who would place their faith in him (as Abraham did in Gen 15).

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YHVH’s Plan of Salvation in the Biblical Feasts

An Introduction to the Biblical Feasts

The seven biblical feasts are a chronological step-by-step template of YHVH’s plan of redemption or salvation for mankind. This process begins with Passover — a picture of a believer’s initial salvation, and concludes with the Eighth Day — a picture of eternal life for each bonafide and glorified member of the spiritual family of Elohim. The first step in this spiritual journey starts with one’s turning their back on spiritual Egypt, which is the realm of the world, the flesh and the devil, and embarking on a life-long spiritual journey that leads one progressively to higher planes with the ultimate goal being the paradise of the New Jerusalem — literally a heaven on earth.

Sadly, the church system has failed to reveal these essential truths to believers. It has robbed the saints of their biblical, Hebraic and Torah-based heritage including an understanding of the biblical feasts and has replaced it with many lies. This has left believers without a full understanding of both their spiritual heritage and destiny. For most believers caught up in the Babylonian church system, it’s merely a matter of getting saved, doing some good works along the way and going to church. Beyond that, one bides their time standing on the street corner waiting for death or the rapture bus — whichever comes first — to take them to heaven. But is this all there is to the believer’s life? What is supposed to happen from the point of one’s initial salvation until they “get to heaven”? Hmm?! Now there’s a good head-scratcher for most!

Thankfully, YHVH hasn’t abandoned his spiritual children to wander aimlessly through the wilderness of life. He has a plan for each of us. From start to finish, this plan is revealed in YHVH’s seven biblical feasts. The understanding of this can literally revitalize one’s spiritual life imbuing it with purpose and meaning. An otherwise one-dimensional, monochromatic and monophonic movie called life suddenly comes to life in full-3D, multi-dimensional, polyphonic surround-sound with high definition color. That’s the energizing power that comes with an understanding of the biblical feasts.

Once a follower of Yeshua understands the plan of salvation in the biblical feasts, these festivals become the focal point of the year. Plans and preparations are made well in advance to celebrate them as they serve as the rendezvous points of the spiritual body, family or community of believers.

All these feasts have Yeshua at the center, and so they bring us closer to him.

YHVH’s feasts act as a spiritual road map to show us where we’ve come on our spiritual journey, where we’re at, and where we’re going on to. Furthermore, they help us to understand what we need to be doing along the journey. They provide us with a sense of direction, and a hope for the future. 

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