Category Archives: Salvation

Praise YHWH for Deliverance

Included within the book of 2 Samuel, we find a psalm of deliverance from David. Surely we all do well to reflect on and rely on deliverance by the LORD from what comes against us. We do well to praise Him and thank Him and not forget or take for granted what He has done on our behalf.

2 Samuel 22

David’s Psalm of Deliverance

      1And David spoke the words of this song to the LORD in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

2He said,
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

      3My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge;
My savior, You save me from violence.

      4“I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.

      5“For the waves of death encompassed me;
The torrents of destruction overwhelmed me;

      6The cords of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.

      7“In my distress I called upon the LORD,
Yes, I cried to my God;
And from His temple He heard my voice,
And my cry for help came into His ears.

      8“Then the earth shook and quaked,
The foundations of heaven were trembling
And were shaken, because He was angry.

      9“Smoke went up out of His nostrils,
Fire from His mouth devoured;
Coals were kindled by it.

      10“He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With thick darkness under His feet.

      11“And He rode on a cherub and flew;
And He appeared on the wings of the wind.

      12“And He made darkness canopies around Him,
A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.

      13“From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.

      14“The LORD thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.

      15“And He sent out arrows, and scattered them,
Lightning, and routed them.

      16“Then the channels of the sea appeared,
The foundations of the world were laid bare
By the rebuke of the LORD,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.

      17“He sent from on high, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.

      18“He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.

      19“They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the LORD was my support.

      20“He also brought me forth into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

      21“The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.

      22“For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
And have not acted wickedly against my God.

      23“For all His ordinances were before me,
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.

      24“I was also blameless toward Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.

      25“Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to my cleanness before His eyes.

      26“With the kind You show Yourself kind,
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;

      27With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the perverted You show Yourself astute.

      28“And You save an afflicted people;
But Your eyes are on the haughty whom You abase.

      29“For You are my lamp, O LORD;
And the LORD illumines my darkness.

      30“For by You I can run upon a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.

      31“As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the LORD is tested;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

      32“For who is God, besides the LORD?
And who is a rock, besides our God?

      33“God is my strong fortress;
And He sets the blameless in His way.

      34“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet,
And sets me on my high places.

      35“He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

      36“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your help makes me great.

      37“You enlarge my steps under me,
And my feet have not slipped.

      38“I pursued my enemies and destroyed them,
And I did not turn back until they were consumed.

      39“And I have devoured them and shattered them, so that they did not rise;
And they fell under my feet.

      40“For You have girded me with strength for battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

      41“You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me,
And I destroyed those who hated me.

      42“They looked, but there was none to save;
Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.

      43“Then I pulverized them as the dust of the earth;
I crushed and stamped them as the mire of the streets.

      44“You have also delivered me from the contentions of my people;
You have kept me as head of the nations;
A people whom I have not known serve me.

      45“Foreigners pretend obedience to me;
As soon as they hear, they obey me.

      46“Foreigners lose heart,
And come trembling out of their fortresses.

      47“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock;
And exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,

      48The God who executes vengeance for me,
And brings down peoples under me,

      49Who also brings me out from my enemies;
You even lift me above those who rise up against me;
You rescue me from the violent man.

      50“Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the nations,
And I will sing praises to Your name.

      51He is a tower of deliverance to His king,
And shows lovingkindness to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forever.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Spiritual Warfare – The Battle Is Real

The most basic rule of warfare is perhaps that if you don’t realize or accept there is an enemy moving against you, you will most probably lose. If you don’t fight back with an effective strategy, you will lose even if you take on the enemy. If you don’t properly identify your enemy, you will develop the wrong strategy.

In Ephesians 6:10-18 Paul provides us important guidance about the reality of spiritual warfare. Too often Christians dismiss spiritual warfare and focus only on the things we can see and touch. This leaves us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. If we do not recognize the true enemy, we will struggle to win against him.

Ephesians 6:10-18

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Some key points upon which to reflect:

  • Our strength comes from the Lord, not ourselves
  • The devil is real and he has strategies he uses to lie, cheat and destroy. He will use more than one strategy against us.
  • Warfare does not always take place in physical world, sometimes it is in the spiritual world. Consider the book of Job.
  • Just putting on one or two pieces of the armor of God is not enough, we need to put on all of them.
  • Prayer and a relationship with Jesus is necessary! Jesus tells us to pray daily and to pray specifically to not let us yield to temptation, and to be rescued from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13
  • We are to stay alert and pray for others in addition to ourselves. Pray for those preach the gospel that they would preach boldly!

Let’s explore what it really means to put on the full armor of God.

Truth can simply be defined as the real facts about something. Surprisingly the world today proposes that truth is relative when it comes to God or how we live… “True for you but not for me”, etc. This is no more accurate than saying “If I do not believe in gravity, I will not fall off a ladder.” Gravity is true whether or not I believe in or accept it. God lovingly and in great detail shares truth in the Bible and reveals it in the world around us. There is absolute truth.

Righteousness is characterized by living consistently with God’s standards of morality, justice, virtue, etc. As God’s standard is Himself, it is a lofty bar. We will never achieve it to perfection but He is the standard and reference point none the less. We should keep our eyes on Jesus and seek help from the Holy Spirit to keep changing to be more like Him.

The peace that comes from knowing the good news is not a promise that we will avoid conflicts and trials, but rather an affirmation that when we have relationship with Jesus Christ we know He is with us in this life and that we have eternal life on the other side of this world. We can have peace through the mightiest storms.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1. In this context Paul reminds us that we must trust in God even when we are under attack by Satan. Just because we can not recognize how God is working in the situation does not mean that He is not there. We can be confident He is with us.

Salvation is deliverance from sin and its consequence, which is death. It is not enough to know or acknowledge Jesus Christ. Even Satan and his demons do that. By asking and accepting Jesus into our lives and repenting from our sinful ways we receive salvation through grace.

The sword of the spirit, or word of God, is what Jesus Himself used to defeat Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1-11. We must know the word of God before the attack comes just as a soldier must train and be prepared before he goes to battle.

To be effective we must understand and use all of this equipment daily. It ceases to become “something we do” and becomes “how we do everything” in our lives.

Remember to heed Paul’s warning and guidance for prayer. The battle is not ours alone, but the Lord’s!

18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Final Message

The final message at the end of Revelation should be worth our pausing to consider how it applies. What was the key message at closing of the Bible that YHWH had written through men?

He wants us to know about the prophecy or vision in Revelation. That means that we should spend time on it and try to understand it rather than just ignoring it because “it is too hard”.

YHWH knows some will continue to practice wrong and He will let us have that choice. He will not make us be righteous at the cost of our free will.

Further, when He comes, every man will be rendered reward (or judgment) according to what he has done. Our deeds matter, not just our thoughts or good intentions.

We are reminded that YHWH is the first and the last, all powerful and worthy of reverence.

We are not inherently righteous, but can wash our robes (be forgiven) at no cost to us by accepting Yeshua as LORD and submitting to Him, which means repenting of our sinful ways. We can see a list of a few sinful ways which are specifically called out here, but not assumed to be all inclusive. Note that loving and practicing lying is called out and in our society today we tend to make a lot of excuses about why lying is acceptable.

We are warned not to add to or take away from what is written with dire consequence stated if we do.

We are reminded of the grace of Yeshua.

It is a lot to take in. Dwell on it. Take your time. Reflect prayerfully.

Revelation 22:10-21

The Final Message

      10And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11“Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

      12“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

      14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

      16“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

      17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

      18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

      20He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

      21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Keep God’s Commandments and Hold to the Testimony of Christ

Revelation 12 lays out some key fundamentals in the spiritual warfare between Satan and YHWH’s people in some attention grabbing visualizations. Notice you will find now labels of “Jewish” or “Christian”. These labels are not always meaningful as many call themselves by these names but do not follow YHWH or do not hold to the testimony of Yeshua. In verse 17 we see that the key is not what label someone claims, but who actually “keep[s] the commandments of God and hold[s] to the testimony of Jesus”.

It seems obvious that the Jewish people do not hold to the testimony of Yeshua. However, it may only be slightly less obvious that most who identify as “Christian”, holding to the testimony of Christ, do not keep the whole of the commandments of YHWH. Common Christian teaching holds to some commandments and dismisses many others. It is not simply about “the 10 commandments”. There is so much more to be learned and followed in studying the foundational books of the Bible, the Torah (written by Moses) and the writings of the prophets.

I encourage Jewish people to seek Messiah in Yeshua. I encourage Christians to seek to study the Bible and challenge to deepen our understanding of the Hebrew roots of our faith and the fullness of the wonderful things in the law of YHWH.  (Focused Ministries – Understanding the Hebrew Roots of Christianity)

Revelation 12

The Woman, Israel

     1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.

The Red Dragon, Satan

     3Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

The Male Child, Christ

     5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

The Angel, Michael

     7And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

      13And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Righteous Judge Holds People Accountable For Wrongdoing

There is a purpose to YHWH’s judgment and the coming times of suffering. YHWH has not suddenly lost His temper irrationally. He has given all of us a path to righteousness through Yeshua. Yeshua died for our sins and rose again. He extends the offer of salvation to those who would submit to Him, acknowledge they are in need of a savior because of their sin, acknowledge Yeshua as Messiah, and repent of their wicked and sinful ways.

For those who continue to do wrong and refuse to accept Yeshua’s death to pay for their sins. Some may ask, “why make it so long and drawn out… so painful”. That would seem important and worth celebrating. We can observe that Revelation 7 indicates a multitude who were saved by turning their lives to Christ after the initial suffering described earlier in Revelation. Clearly some will not repent regardless of what YHWH does. Ultimately, we must trust the LORD. He is in control.

We should remember however, that all will face judgment. Those who die before the tribulation and those who face death in the tribulation. All will face judgment before the almighty and He is a holy, just and righteous judge. A penalty must be paid for our sin. But He is also merciful and gracious. We can come before Him now and accept Yeshua as our savior. We can be forgiven.

Revelation 9:13-21

The Sixth Trumpet—Army from the East

      13Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind. 16The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. 18A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. 19For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.

      20The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Repent or Face the Consequences

There are several interesting points to consider in Revelation 3 in the message to Sardis.

Not surprisingly, we are reminded that just because a church has a reputation, or name, for being alive and in the Spirit and serving YHWH does not mean that it it actually true. We see again a potential indication that a church that was very vibrant has faded over time and lost their passion and purpose, though they continue in their reputation.

Once again we are reminded that those who are called by His name are expected to repent or there are consequences. He is not OK to just accept everyone as they are without change. He loves us too much to leave us how we are.

We see that there are a few who are righteous. It certainly does not sound like a majority. This is typical. In fact, Yeshua states that these are worthy and will walk with Him and their names will not be removed from the book of life. This next statement may be controversial or upsetting to some as it goes against what many teach, but that does not make it wrong. Think about the fact that He specifically says He will not erase the names of some worthy people from the book of life. The fact that this is news and worth saying, and is directed at a small audience, leads me to conclude that there may be people who could be removed from the book of life should they not repent. Why else would He bother to say this if no one’s name could ever be removed?  These are people who have willingly turned away from YHWH after knowing Him in truth. They have turned back to culture and the world instead. We should all take heed and not be complacent in our faith, simply trusting that we need not repent of anything in our lives but just remain as we are today, or worse, drift into accepting and compromising with the world.

Revelation 3:1-6

Message to Sardis

      1“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Doors of the Bible

Today I want to share an interesting perspective I gained from the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. I am sharing their material, which can be found at arkencounter.com/about/good-news/. I am grateful for the ministry and outreach efforts of that organization. I would encourage you to consider it for future family vacation plans. My family greatly enjoyed it and it supports a ministry that shares the truth of God’s word in a powerful way.

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Why Did God Send the Flood?

The pre-Flood world was exceedingly wicked and filled with violence. The Bible states that all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth. God sent the global Flood to judge the evil world while preserving Noah’s family and representatives of land animals.

The Ark’s Door

One of God’s specific instructions for Noah was to build a door in the side of the Ark. Noah and his family entered this door to be saved from the Flood. Everyone outside of the Ark perished.

What’s Wrong with This World?

God created a perfect world, but our first parents, Adam and Eve, chose to rebel against their holy Creator. Their sin brought suffering and death into creation, and since all people are descendants of Adam, all have inherited a sin nature set against God. Furthermore, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We live in a fallen, sin-cursed world where men love darkness rather than light.

Will God Judge the World Again?

The Bible states that God will judge this wicked world once again, but this time it will be by fire. In fact, Jesus compared the days of His return to the days of Noah. People were caught unaware by the judgment because they were so focused on the things of this world, such as eating, drinking, and marriage. Similarly, Peter prophesied that skeptics would come in the last days and would mock the biblical teachings of creation, the Flood, and the coming judgment. We see these things happening in our day, and God always keeps His promises—judgment will come.

Another Door

Noah’s family entered the Ark’s door to escape the physical destruction of the Flood. God has provided another “door” to save people from the coming eternal judgment. Jesus Christ said, “I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7). In that culture the shepherd really was the door to the pen—they would rest in the entryway, ensuring that the sheep would be kept safe. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is the door through which we must enter to be saved from our sin.

The Substitute

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became a man, lived a sinless life, and then willingly died on the Cross as a substitute. As man’s sin brought death, the Son of God died to redeem man from his sins. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, showing that He held power over death and demonstrating God’s acceptance of Christ’s payment for sin.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Who Needs to Be Saved?

The short answer is “everyone.” Since God is holy and perfect in every way, He must judge sin. As such, each of us deserves to face God’s justice because we have broken His laws. If you stop and examine your own heart, you will recognize times where you have lied, stolen, coveted, and failed to honor God as He deserves. On our own each of us stands condemned to suffer eternally because of our rebellion, and we need someone to save us from God’s wrath.

How Can I Go Through This Door?

We cannot earn God’s forgiveness as manmade religions teach—it is offered freely through the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We receive God’s forgiveness only through faith in what Christ has done. This means that we repent of our sins, trusting in Jesus and believing that He died for our sins and rose from the dead. In faith, we acknowledge our guilt before God and plead with our Creator to forgive us and save us from our sins.

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Have You Entered the Door?

Have you placed your faith in Christ alone to save you from your sins? If not, we urge you to turn from your sins (repent) and call out to God for His merciful forgiveness. Enter the door of salvation today.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.