Abundant Life

Teaching: Guaranteed Salvation

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

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Through the centuries of the Christian era, there has been a huge debate about whether Christians can lose (forfeit) their salvation. In this article, we hope to show that once a person is born again of God’s holy spirit, his salvation is guaranteed, that is, he is not in danger of the “Second Death,” which is when everyone who is not allowed into God’s Eternal Kingdom will be thrown into the Lake of Fire and burned up (Rev. 20:12-15).

Before we can meaningfully examine verses that refer to our guaranteed salvation, it is imperative to understand that Scripture makes it clear that only in the Church Age, the Administration of Grace, is salvation guaranteed. One of the greatest truths of Scripture is that God has dealt with people differently at various times through history. For the accomplishment of His purposes and the benefit of His people, God has periodically changed the “rules” by which He wants people to live. Theologians call the time period governed by a specific set of rules an “administration” or “dispensation.” The systematic theology that recognizes these different administrations or dispensations is referred to as “Dispensationalism.”

Examples of God changing the rules from administration to administration are plentiful. In the Garden of Eden, He told Adam and Eve to eat plants only (Gen. 1:29), but after the Flood, God changed the rules and allowed man to eat meat also (Gen. 9:3), and He still allows us to eat meat today. Another example concerns the Sabbath. Before the Mosaic Law, there was no specific law concerning the Sabbath. When God gave the Law to Moses, He changed the rules, and commanded that anyone who worked on the Sabbath should be put to death (Ex. 31:14), and Moses did execute a man who was caught working on the Sabbath (Num. 15:32-36). Today, in the Administration of Grace, God has changed the rules again, and it is not a sin to work on the Sabbath (Rom. 14:5; Col. 2:16, 17), and thus anyone who arrested and executed someone working on the Sabbath would be a murderer. When Christians do not recognize or understand the administrations in the Bible, the Bible abounds with apparent contradictions.

We of Spirit & Truth Fellowship International recognize eight different administrations in the history of mankind: four of them are in the past; we live in the fifth Administration (the Administration of Grace, also referred to as the Administration of the Sacred Secret), and three of them are foretold in the Bible and will be fulfilled in the future.

Knowing the different administrations, when they begin and end, and the rules distinctly associated with each one, is indispensable if one is to explain many of the apparent contradictions in the Bible. It is also indispensable in understanding how we Christians must live in order to obey God. A person who does not understand the Administrations can become very confused if he thinks that all of God’s commands should be followed, because they are different in different administrations, and can even contradict one another. Almost 100 years ago, Bible scholar Martin Anstey wrote: “…the golden rule is, ‘Distinguish the dispensations and the difficulties will disappear.’” [1] Never is that more true than in regard to the permanence of our salvation. If one does not understand what parts of Scripture are written to whom, he will never grasp the truth of God’s Word about salvation, its most vital subject.

Throughout the years, the majority of scholars and commentators have believed that salvation is not guaranteed for Christians. Perhaps the most common reason for that is that they read the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, and the book of Revelation, see that salvation is not guaranteed during those administrations, and therefore think that salvation is not guaranteed for Christians.

We agree that salvation is not guaranteed during the Old Testament, Four Gospels, and the Tribulation period (which comes after Christians are taken to heaven at the Rapture). However, we disagree with them when it comes to Christian salvation. We assert that on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) God started a new administration, one so dominated by an outpouring of God’s grace that He refers to it as “the administration of God’s grace” (Eph. 3:2).

If we are correct that only in this new, and for us, current, administration is salvation guaranteed for the Christian, we can expect to find verses in the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, and Revelation, stating that one’s salvation was not guaranteed, and none stating that it was. That is exactly what we find, because those sections of Scripture are written to and about Israel (and Gentiles), not the Church of the Body of Christ. Furthermore, in the Epistles to the Christian Church, we can expect to find verses indicating that salvation is guaranteed, and we do.

Our study of guaranteed salvation will take us into a cascade of logic that in large part presents the process of salvation in the Age of Grace as akin to giving birth. This brings up a very important point: God expects us to believe what He says and use the reasoning He gave us to arrive at accurate conclusions. That is certainly the case in the study of guaranteed salvation.

When a person acts on Romans 10:9, and confesses that Jesus is Lord and believes that God raised him from the dead, God our Father puts a spiritual seed into that individual. That “seed,” like any seed contributed by a father, grows into a baby, which is then birthed. The epistle of 1 Peter tells us about both the seed and the birth.

1 Peter 1:23
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

God’s use of “birth” to communicate what happens in Christian salvation is amazingly clear. Of course, there are some differences between human birth and birth from God. For example, the seed from a human father takes nine months to develop in the mother before the birth, while divine birth is instantaneous. The very second God puts His imperishable, spiritual seed in a person, he is born again.

Now what is unique about this New Birth? First, there is no mention of God’s spiritual seed outside the Epistles to the Christian Church. Spiritual “seed” cannot be found in the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, or Revelation. Only Christians have spiritual seed. This should immediately alert us that God is doing something for Christians that He never did before.

Second, God calls the seed He puts inside Christians “imperishable,” because it does not die or go away. It stays in us forever, so its effect, our salvation, is “imperishable” too. Third, there is no New Birth outside the Administration of Grace. It began on the Day of Pentecost, and will end with the Rapture of the Church. It is only for the Age of Grace. [2] Because the New Birth is the hallmark of this Administration of Grace and was previously known only to God, it makes sense that He would clearly tell us about it. He does exactly that by using three different words that refer to our new birth, and each of them appears only in epistles to the Church, and nowhere else in the Bible.

1. Anagennao (Strong’s number 313) from the Greek prefix ana, “again” or “up,” and gennao, “to give birth.” It means to be given birth to again, or to be born again, and it occurs in 1 Peter 1:3, 23, “in his great mercy he has given us new birth…” (1 Pet. 1:3).
2. Paliggenesia (pronounced pa-lin-ge-ne-sia; the gg is pronounced as an “n g;” Strong’s number 3824) from palin, “again” and genesis, “genesis” or “origin.” It means to have an origin again, a new genesis, and it occurs in Titus 3:5, “He saved us through the washing of rebirth….”
3. apokueo (Strong’s number 616) from the Greek prefix apo, “away from,” and kueo, “to be pregnant.” It means “to give birth to,” and it occurs in James 1:18, “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth….”

As every parent knows, the predominant truth about a birth is the presence of a baby, who is “permanent.” The birth cannot be undone. Surely God would not use three different words for “birth” if there were not an actual birth, or if we could not apply the concepts of birth, such as permanence, to what happens when a Christian is “born again.” “Birth” is permanent, both in the flesh and in the spirit. [3]

In birth, the nature of the parent is passed down to the offspring, and so in the new birth the nature of God is passed to believers. The “seed” of God is His nature. God is “holy” and God is “spirit,” so we should expect to see something in the Church Epistles about His nature, also called “holy spirit,” being in, or part of, the Christian, and we do.

Ephesians 1:13
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

This verse contains a number of significant truths. First, we received holy spirit at the time we believed. Second, each believer is “sealed” with holy spirit. [4] This is new! No one in the Old Testament, Gospels, or Revelation is said to be “sealed.” Quite the opposite! God took His holy spirit from King Saul when he sinned (1 Sam. 16:14). Psalm 51:11 records that after committing adultery with Bathsheba and having Uriah killed, King David asked God not to take holy spirit from him.

Third, the word “sealed” indicates that we are permanently sealed with holy spirit. Someone might say, “Well, if you sin, God breaks the seal and takes holy spirit away.” If that were the case, why say we are “sealed” at all? Why not just continue the terminology of the Old Testament and Gospels and say that holy spirit is “upon” us? Logic demands that if God uses a totally different vocabulary that is unique to the Administration of Grace, He must be letting us know that something is new and different. Fourth, the holy spirit we receive is the “promised” holy spirit. It was promised in the Old Testament for the Millennial Kingdom, the 1000-year reign of Christ, but given to us now as a surprise by God’s grace. [5] The very fact that it was promised in the Old Testament and Gospels means that the people of those times did not yet have it.

If we have spiritual seed, holy spirit, are born again, and have been sealed by God, then our salvation is guaranteed. Scripture says exactly that.

2 Corinthians 1:22
[God via Christ] set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit [spirit] in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Corinthians 5:5
Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit [spirit] as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Ephesians 1:14
who [the holy spirit, which] is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Those three verses say that our future is guaranteed. There are none like them in the Old Testament, none in the Four Gospels, none in the book of Revelation. God has done something new and different for the Church. There are versions of the Bible that do not translate the Greek word arrhabon as “guarantee,” but instead use “earnest,” “pledge,” “deposit,” or something similar. The Greek word arrhabon means a deposit in advance that guarantees the full payment to come. For Christians, that means we are guaranteed being Raptured into heaven and given new, immortal, bodies.

You can read the original article here.

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