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We see from this 24th verse of Matthew 24, which the gospel message they bring, it is so close to the truth that even the very elect of Elohim (God) would be deceived. The only reason the very elect of Elohim (God) are not deceived, is not because of the individuals understanding, but because of the protection of Yahshua (Jesus) The Messiah. Otherwise, they would be drawn into the deception also because it is that close to the truth.
How can we know that we are not drawn into this deception? And what is this deception?
The adversary Satan if he were to make an attack on the people of Elohim (God), the focal point of it would have to be upon salvation because salvation is the main thing; the main point that makes a the Christian or does not make a the Christian. So if Satan can twist the gospel message of salvation just enough so that it will not lead to salvation, then Satan would feel that he has won the battle. Therefore, we must put our attention on salvation and look to see what makes for salvation and I am sure that you would be of the same mind as I, that I would want to know the truth, even if it means changing some of my belief, so we are going to take a close biblical look at biblical salvation.
The heart of mankind.
We want to first take a look at mankind, and when I say mankind. I'm not talking of only man I'm talking about women also, for we are all after mankind, and we want to first see why we need salvation.
To see the state of mankind prior to salvation. A good place to start would be in Romans chapter 3.
Romans 3:10-12 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after Elohim (God).
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
In these verses in Romans. It is not speaking about some of mankind or a few it is talking about all of mankind. Every one, no matter who they are for if we were to back up prior to verse 10, we can see
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
In verse nine, it is talking about Jews and Gentiles, and it uses the word Gentiles to ball up all of mankind who are not Jews for the Bible indicates that in all the world. There are either Jews or Gentiles.
And we are told that all are under sin. This includes every last person upon the face of the earth that has ever walked upon the face of the earth. The only exception to this would be Yahshua (Jesus) The Messiah himself, who knew no sin.
In (Romans 3:10-12), we are told there is none righteous, not one single person is righteous. It also includes understanding, there is no one who understands as it speaks about understanding it is speaking about the things of Elohim (God), and there is no one at all who understands the things about Elohim (God). And it continues by addressing the issue of seeking after Elohim (God), there is none who seek after Elohim (God). So all of these things righteousness, knowledge or understanding about the things of Elohim (God), and seeking after Elohim (God). There is not one person on the entire face of the earth that is righteous, that possessed any knowledge of the truth of Elohim (God), nor anyone who seeks after Elohim (God), not one individual. This leaves mankind in a pretty sad state with virtually no hope whatsoever, no hope of anyone on their own to have any hope of salvation, because there is none that possess righteousness. There is none that possess the true knowledge of Elohim (God), and there is none who even will seek after Elohim (God). Fortunately for mankind. Elohim (God) has not left us to our own fate, which would be eternal damnation eternally separated from Elohim (God).
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of Elohim (God):
This Scripture in Ephesians is one that most people who read the Bible are familiar with, and most people who classify themselves as Christian would say, they agree with this verse for most everyone would agree that we are saved by grace and that the grace we are saved by does not come from within us. We do not possess this grace that saves us. It comes from Elohim (God) as a free gift and most everyone would agree with that. However, I would venture to say the second part of this verse. Most people who identify themselves as Christians do not agree with the second part of the verse, but I don't think they consciously disagree. I would say it is more of an unconscious disagreement. They are not aware that they disagree with the second part of it. They believe that they are in agreement with the whole verse. The second part I am referring to is faith.
Most everyone in the Christian world that I have spoken with concerning faith believe that the faith required to accept Yahshua (Jesus) the Messiah as their Savior must come from within themselves.
They must possess within themselves a certain amount of faith to believe. But when you examine (Ephesians 2:8) closely, it brings out two things grace and faith, and both the grace by which we are saved and the faith through which we are saved, do not come from ourselves. Both the grace by which we are saved and the faith through which we are saved, both come from Yahshua (Jesus) the Messiah, and are given to us as a gift. We can take a quick look in the book of Galatians and see how faith works within us at salvation.
Galatians 2:16 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Yahshua (Jesus) the Messiah (Christ), even we have believed in Yahshua (Jesus) the Messiah (Christ), that we might be justified by the faith of the Messiah (Christ), and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians 2:20 20 I am crucified with the Messiah (Christ): nevertheless I live; yet not I, but the Messiah (Christ) liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of Elohim (God), who loved me, and gave himself for me.
These verses in Galatians are only a couple of examples how we are saved, not by our faith that we have within us, but by the faith of Yahshua (Jesus) the Messiah (Christ) and the faith to believe in the Messiah (Christ) is given to us as a gift, along with the grace that Elohim (God) has given us. As you recall the passage of Scripture we looked at in Romans chapter 3, that there is none righteous, there is none that understand about Elohim (God), there is none who seeks after Elohim (God). There is none who does good, not one person because of sin, for we, that is mankind are sinners and we are not sinners because we have at some point committed a sin. We sin because we are sinners and left onto our own selves and our own will none of us would call upon Elohim (God). Therefore, none of us would have within ourselves, the faith required to believe it is given to us by Elohim (God), along with his grace at the time he saves us.
The needs of Mankind.
It is in the nature of mankind to have a need for acceptance. We thirst and hunger for recognition, and for a pat on the back, whether it be at home, or whether it be in the workplace. We all have that need that we want our work to be recognized and to be appreciated. Therefore, just a simple recognition of the work that someone has done; a pat on the back and a complement and a kind word of appreciation for the good work that the person has done will bring a smile to their face.
Satan knows this need of recognition and appreciation that mankind has very well and he uses it as a tool to lead mankind away from true salvation in Yahshua (Jesus) The Messiah.
I will give you two hypothetical situations. The first one is based upon the work of mankind, and their need for recognition and acceptance.
In this first hypothetical situation we have two persons. I shall refer to as person (A) and person (B).
They are both standing together side by side, and neither one of them are saved and there is another person standing with them that is witnessing to them about Yahshua (Jesus) The Messiah and salvation through The Messiah. They are each simultaneously hearing this man witness to them about salvation through The Messiah for those who are saved and eternal damnation for those who are not saved.
After he is finished person (A) chooses from his own free will to accept Yahshua (Jesus) The Messiah and recites a set of words that are told him, which is commonly referred to as the sinners prayer, after which he is told, congratulations brother, you are saved.
On the other hand, person (B) does not agree that there is an Elohim (God), and chooses from his own free will not to say this prayer because he has chosen not to be saved.
As we reflect upon these two people and the decisions they have made out of their own free will. We would have to say that person (A) had within him more understanding of Elohim (God), then person (B) and for him to be able to choose for himself to be saved. He obviously also possessed within himself enough faith and enough righteousness within him to have the awareness to choose to call upon the name of the Master (Lord) for salvation. Therefore, he would have something to boast about, for he possessed within him enough awareness and understanding of Elohim (God), and righteousness within himself to be able to call on the name of the Master (Lord). It could be said that he had more faith awareness and righteousness, then person (B).
As we read earlier from (Ephesians 2:8). When a person is saved, he is given by Elohim (God) as a gift.
The grace by which he is saved and the faith through which he is saved, because prior to salvation.
Mankind possesses neither one as we look again in Ephesians.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of Elohim (God):
We can see from this verse. How faith and grace are both given to us as a gift to those whom Elohim (God) has saved and as we continue to the next verse in Ephesians we can see why they are both given to us.
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
In the first hypothetical situation in order for person (A) to be saved. There was something that he had to do in order to receive the salvation. Some sort of work on his part. Therefore, his salvation would be based upon works, and he would have something he would be able to boast about; that is that he had enough righteousness to call upon Elohim (God), more than person (B). Before we continue on. We want to take a look at the next verse in Ephesians.
Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are his workmanship, created in The Messiah Yahshua (Jesus) unto good works, which Elohim (God) hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We see in this verse that we are saved, not by our works, but to do good works for Yahshua (Jesus) The Messiah. The works come after salvation, not in order to receive salvation and we were ordained unto this salvation before we were even born. From the very foundation of the world.
Now we will take a look at another hypothetical situation much similar to the first one.
Again we have two people standing side by side, person (A) and person (B) neither one of these two People are saved and they are both being witnessed to by someone at the same time. The person witnessing to them is telling them about Yahshua (Jesus) The Messiah and his salvation for those who are saved and about eternal damnation for those who are not saved.
After he is finished witnessing to them Elohim (God) begins to work in the life of person (A), Elohim (God) begins to change his way of thinking and creates within him a new heart and places within this heart the faith that is required to call upon the name of the Master (Lord) Yahshua (Jesus) The Messiah and Elohim (God) showers him with his grace and person (A) as a result falls to his knees with tears flowing down his face and praising Elohim (God) for his work and his salvation and thanking Elohim (God) that he has reached down into his heart and saved him.
After it is all done, person (A) has nothing to boast of himself about, for he was dead, and on his way to hell, just as person (B), the only difference between the two of them is that Elohim (God) was willing to change the heart of person (A) and give unto him freely Elohim’s (God’s) grace and the faith required to call on the name of the Master (Lord). The only boasting that person (A) would have is to boast in the Master (Lord) Yahshua (Jesus) The Messiah and him alone.
There are some who would speak of faith and say, Yahshua (Jesus) talked about faith to his disciples and said, if you had the faith as a mustard seed, you could move mountains and they would use this statement from Yahshua (Jesus) as a proof text of how little faith it takes to accomplish something and how little faith that one has to have within their own self and what they can do. Before we continue on, let's just take a moment to look at that passage.
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Master (Lord), have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Yahshua (Jesus) answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Yahshua (Jesus) rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Yahshua (Jesus) apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Yahshua (Jesus) said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.