Tag Archives: Salvation

The Atheist Delusion

For those who in their own mind try to deny the existence of God, Ray Comfort of Living Waters Publications speaks with several willing participants of the Truths of God’s Creation and His Word, showing them the fallacy of their thinking. Transformation takes place for some as they begin to clearly see the error of their way and consider what they had refused to understand before. A powerful presentation with breathtaking views of God’s Creation, “The Atheist Delusion” uncovers the root of atheistic belief.

Baptismal Regeneration

In Jesus’ final words to His disciples gathered in the Upper Room before His arrest and crucifixion, He made it clear the only way to forgiveness of one’s sin and a right standing before God was through Him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me, (John 14:6). Within two centuries of Jesus’ return to Heaven there began to creep into some of the early churches a teaching that baptism was the way to salvation.

Known as “baptismal regeneration,” this was and is a most serious deviation from the Scripture, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin,” (1 John 1:7). Man’s desire to make baptism the way of salvation contrary to Scripture is evident from the introduction of baptizing infants. It was thought if salvation could be obtained by water baptism, the earlier one was baptized the better. When infant baptism was first introduced babies were fully immersed under the water, but centuries later pouring or sprinkling of water came into vogue in most erring churches.

It was baptismal regeneration along with infant baptism that brought about the numerous denominations in the world today. Whereas Baptists alone continued to stand firm on by grace are ye saved through faith, in Christ Alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), declaring non-fellowship with those early churches which accepted and practiced the errors of baptism, it was not long before, in A.D. 416, a law was passed in the Roman world making infant baptism compulsory. Ten years later in A.D. 426 the Dark Ages began, lasting 1,000 years, during which time many Bible-believing Christians were martyred for their faith and their stance against the corrupting of the Scriptures taking place in their midst.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus spoke of those who would stand in the judgment and be told “I never knew you: depart from Me,” (Matthew 7:23). For those who do not come to God His way in repentance of their sin and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ Alone by His blood, but desire to come by water baptism or any other means, those words will be their doom. The Apostle Paul wrote, I declare unto you the Gospel… by which you are saved… How that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Baptism is not the means of salvation; baptism by immersion is a picture of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for the repentant sinner who has placed their faith and trust in Him pre-baptism, identifying  with Him for eternity.

To Stand Faultless Before the Throne

As it is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgment, how is one able to come before the Throne of God faultless? With the sin of mankind passed down from generation to generation from the original sin committed by Adam in the Garden, how does one come to stand before a Holy God and escape His wrath that is to come? The Apostle John was afforded a glimpse upon the Heavenly Throne of God and tells the world of those who are able to stand “without fault before the Throne of God,” (Romans 5:12; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:1-5).

As John was carried to the Heavenly scene by “the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:9-10), he found himself in the presence of the Lamb of God standing with those who had been “redeemed from the earth… redeemed from among men.” He saw those who were with Jesus had the Lamb’s “Father’s name written in their foreheads,” in contrast to the beast’s mark on the hand or forehead John had been warned would be required during the Great Tribulation of those who rejected God and followed after the beast (Revelation 13:11-18). Before the Throne of God, only the Father’s Name is present on those who have been redeemed.

As John observed those who stood before the Throne of the Most High God, he heard the voices of the redeemed singing a new song, a song no man could learn but the redeemed. It is the song of redemption, the song of amazing grace, the song of salvation. Even God’s holy angels are unable to learn the song of the redeemed.

Those the Apostle John saw standing before the Throne were those who were the firstfruits of the redeemed who were to follow, as Christ is the Firstfruit of those who are to be risen again in His likeness and live in His Presence throughout Eternity (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John wrote of the redeemed he saw in the heavenly vision, “In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the Throne of God.” Those who stand before the Throne of God in worship and praise are those who have been cleansed from their sin, washed in the blood of the Lamb, clothed in His Righteousness, without spot or blemish. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin,” (1 John 1:7).

DELIVERANCE

As Moses stood before the burning bush located on the backside of the desert near Mt. Horeb in the Sinai Peninsula, he was told by God the cries of His people under bondage in Egypt had reached His ear. He had seen their affliction; He knew of their sorrows. God told Moses He observed the oppression the Children of Israel were under and He was come to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptian Pharaoh and their cruel taskmasters, and bring them into a land that flowed with milk and honey (Exodus 3).

A millennia later the Jewish people who were living in exile in Persia under King Ahasuerus during the Babylonian Captivity found themselves decreed to be destroyed throughout the entire province by the hand of wicked Haman on the thirteenth day of the month Adar (March). The Persian people were to rise up and destroy “all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day.” The cry of God’s people once again reached His ear and deliverance was orchestrated by the hand of God through the efforts of Queen Esther and her cousin, Mordecai, by a subsequent decree issued in King Ahasuerus’ name allowing the Jews to defend themselves on that fateful day (Esther 3:8-4:3; 8:1-9:22).

The deliverance of God’s people from both the Egyptians and the Persians caused great rejoicing as evidenced by Moses’ song of praise to God in Exodus 15 and the celebration of the Feast of Purim which continues to this day found in Esther chapter nine. But both of those events were temporary deliverances, for each and every person longs for a permanent deliverance and a peace that endures. As Mordecai sent letters to every village and town “both nigh and far” establishing the days of rejoicing to be observed yearly, the LORD promises “Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near,” (Isaiah 57:18-19). The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Ephesus in Asia Minor of Christ being our Peace, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ… that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross… came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh,” (Ephesians 2:13-18). Christ has become our eternal Deliverance through the shedding of His blood for our sin, “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being,” (Acts 17:28).

The Salvation of Isaiah

It was in the year King Uzziah died in the land of Judah about 760 B.C. that the Prophet Isaiah saw the Lord seated on His Throne high and lifted up in Heaven. As Isaiah beheld the glorious scene he immediately became aware of his own sinful wretched condition and his shame. Even the heavenly beings present above the Throne covered themselves with their wings from head to foot in reverence and awe of the Holy One who sat upon the Throne.

As Isaiah witnessed the Lord’s royal train “filled the temple… and the house was filled with smoke,” the seraphim cried, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts” in adoration of Him Who sat upon the Throne. Isaiah realized standing in the presence of Almighty God just how sinful he truly was, proclaiming, “Woe is me! for I am undone.” He knew he was not worthy to join in the heavenly chorus of praise because of such wickedness in his being. Isaiah confessed he was a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips, “for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

At Isaiah’s confession of his sin one of the seraphim used tongs to pick up a burning coal from off the altar of sacrifice and laid the hot ember upon Isaiah’s mouth, declaring “Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” When confronted with the Holiness of God in light of his own innate sinful nature, Isaiah’s confession led him to repentance and a restored fellowship with God that was lost when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden (Genesis 2-3; Isaiah 6:1-7).

The Apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote to the Romans, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” just as Isaiah’s salvation came about over 700 years earlier (Romans 10:10). The Apostle John, exiled to the island of Patmos late in his life for preaching the Gospel of salvation in Christ Alone to the Jewish nation, wrote in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” King David’s testimony included confession of sin before receiving God’s forgiveness, “I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me,” (Psalm 51:3). Without confession of sin one remains lost in sin with no hope of salvation.

JESUS, Our High Priest

In the wilderness God gave Moses detailed instructions on building the Tabernacle. Once settled in the Promised Land, King David desired to replace the Tabernacle tent with a permanent structure. God allowed David’s son, Solomon, to build the magnificent Temple high on a hill overlooking the City of Jerusalem. From the time of Moses until Jesus’ death on the cross, the blood of bulls and goats was what God required to cover sin, but upon the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross He became our High Priest, obtaining eternal redemption for us through His blood.

The Book of Leviticus outlines every aspect of God’s instructions to Moses, not only for the construction of the Tabernacle but also its furnishings and function. The high priest was to be appointed from the Levitical lineage of Moses’ brother, Aaron, and was tasked with entering once each year to seek forgiveness for himself and the sins of the people into the partitioned Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant resided hidden from the people. With the deaths of the high priests throughout the centuries, others were appointed to replace them, that is, until Jesus became the final and Eternal High Priest.

The Apostle Paul writes in the Book of Hebrews of Jesus becoming the Everlasting High Priest upon His death, burial and resurrection. In Hebrews 9:11-12 Paul explains, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in ONCE into the holy place.” As the Eternal High Priest, He alone became the Mediator between God and man. At His death the veil in the Temple separating the Holy of Holies from the people was rent in two from top to bottom forever giving man access to the Father through Jesus, His Son, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us,” (Hebrews 9:24).

As the High Priest of our salvation, Jesus came into the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself,” breaking down the middle wall of partition between God and man, and “after He had offered ONE sacrifice for sins FOR EVER, sat down on the right hand of God,” ever making intercession for us (Hebrews 9:26; 10:12; Ephesians 2:13,14; Romans 8:34).