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Have YOU Taken Christ's Yoke?


          Per 2 Peter 1:9, when you accept Christ you are purged of your OLD sins. You'll never lose your sin nature, also known as human nature, though. Here's the good news: If you will determine to actually follow Christ, the Holy Spirit will play a really important role in helping you to keep pushing against that yoke. Otherwise, Christ would have to do all the work.


          You see, millions of people have been taught that they can "join" the army of the Lord just to look good in the uniforms, to march in the Sunday morning parades and to enjoy the perks. For good cause, those people will be angry (really, really angry) with their religious mentors on Judgment Day. Won't be a pretty sight!


          The Holy Spirit enables followers of Christ to achieve objectives that they'd normally NOT be able to achieve. It's a lot like driving a car with power steering and power brakes: You must go through the exact same physical motions as with manual steering and brakes, but each task becomes a lot easier. 


          Here's something else important to know: When two animals are yoked together and one pushes but the other doesn't, there is extreme pain to the neck, head and shoulders of the one that's pushing. Soon, the motivation to keep pushing vanishes! So if you have been taught that there's a free ride to salvation, take this to the bank: They lied! The ONLY purpose for a yoke is to divide work, equally, between two individuals. (We're, therefore, warned to avoid being unequally yoked; remember?)


          > "(Jesus) became the author of salvation unto all them that OBEY him."  Hebrews 5:9

          > "...[It is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when 

             we believed."  Romans 13:11

          > "Thou believest that there is one God...: the devils also believe and tremble."  

             —James 2:19

          > "...Be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the HOPE 

             of salvation."  1 Thessalonians 5:8

          > "Receiving the END of your faith even the salvation of your souls."  1 Peter 1:5,9 

             (emphasis on v. 9)


          God's gift of a sound mind is reliable for sensible reasoning. That'd be a terrible thing to waste. (See 2 Timothy 1:7.)


THERE ARE TWO EXTREMES OF SALVATION THEOLOGY...

          To discover some of the complete surprises we of the multi-denominational Link1(TM) Bible Research Team have encountered regarding salvation theology, you may want to request a copy of our extensive scholarly research and analysis paper, "The Salvation Scriptures Objectively Analyzed." We have researched and analyzed every pertinent scripture we can find. Interestingly, what we have discovered doesn't match what EITHER of us had always been taught. And what we had respectively been taught populated the full spectrum of salvation theology—both extremes and everything in between. Here's where those two extreme positions came from:

          > "The 'Calvinist' Theory," from John Calvin (1509-1564)—

             ...that a believer must get "Truly 'Saved'" just once in order to "go to Heaven" upon his 

             death and that a believer can never lose his resulting "eternal 'Salvation'," no matter what 

             he may do, say or think afterward.

          > "The 'Arminian' Theory," from Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609)—

             ...that each believer must be "Saved" at the point of death in order to "go to Heaven," 

             but that a believer can "get 'Saved'" and subsequently lose his "Salvation," causing him 

             to miss Heaven.


          Among our surprises was the discovery that, throughout the Old and New Testaments, the scriptures consistently characterize "salvation" as a FUTURE Perfect condition—not Past Perfect or Present Perfect. Yes, the extremest "experts" of both the Calvinist and the Arminian camps have clearly missed that glaring and well-documented Bible fact. Shame on the "experts!" The Calvinists are correct (on the surface) when they say that eternal salvation cannot be gained and then lost. The Arminians are wrong (even on the surface) in claiming that salvation can be gained and then lost. The mindsets of both of those extreme "expert" camps are seriously flawed. That's because what believers who actually follow Christ have is the HOPE of future eternal salvation: 

          1 Thessalonians 5:8— "...and for an helmet, the HOPE of salvation."


          Calvinists presume salvation to be a PAST PERFECT event that can never be undone, even voluntarily. Arminians insist that "getting saved" is an event, too, but one that must be repeated or refreshed, perhaps several times during a believer's lifetime. Those are the terribly misguided extremes of salvation theology. Both have gained enormous popularity. Both are very harmful. The extreme harm, though, is done to the millions who've fallen prey to the gospel of John Calvin...those who maintain sinful lifestyles and a FALSE SENSE OF SALVATION SECURITY. Convinced they can't lose their "eternal 'salvation'" for ANY reason, most of them will quickly fall under the spell of Satan when he successfully masquerades here as Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4


          The abundantly clear Bible message regarding salvation is this: When a believer accepts Christ as Lord and Master of his life and his lifestyle, he has taken the first important step on a journey toward his FUTURE eternal salvation. Given the above scriptures AND the exceptionally strong warning of 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, many sincere believers who will have taken that first step will NOT complete the journey. Jesus' rightly-divided end-time parables at Matthew 25 have the capacity to confirm that for you. (More on that at Postscript #2, below.)


          Can a person's salvation be lost? No. Why? Because once it is gained – on Judgment Day – it WILL BE eternally secure. There is one judgment. No one will be declared "saved" or "not saved" until then. Yes, I know that's a hard pill to swallow. It was really difficult for me, too. 


          2 Corinthians 5:10— "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that 

               each one may receive the things DONE in the body, according to what he has DONE, 

               whether good or bad." For those who wonder about the people (good and evil) who will 

               have already experienced physical death when that time comes, that's when they'll be 

               judged, too.


          A primary objective of Paul – writer of most of the New Testament – was to be a worthy role model for all believers who would seek God's approval: 2 Timothy 4:7,8— "(7) I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: (8) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at THAT day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."


          Matthew 7:13,14,19,21,23,24— (13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, 

               and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in 

               thereat: (14) Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, 

               and FEW there be that find it... (19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn 

               down, and cast into the FIRE...(21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall 

               enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in 

               heaven...(23) And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM 

               ME, ye that work iniquity. (24) Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and 

               DOETH them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock..."


"Truly 'Saved'?" This is How You Can be Certain.

  —Here, we will attempt to expose the second of four extremely dangerous Weapons of Mass Deception(SM).

     The blue-text scripture references are hot links to the actual KJV texts, except where otherwise indicated.

     Emphasis via capitalization and/or bolding and/or underlining and/or italicized-bracketed text within quoted scripture is ours.

To establish a solid foundation for what follows, please read Ezekiel 18:20-32. You can read that in your own Bible 

 or just click on the blue text to read it on your monitor screen. The remaining scriptures are all from the New Testament.



DOES "BELIEVING" = BEING "SAVED?"


          I grew up singing "I'm Saved and I Know That I Am!" even in children's church. Maybe you did, too. But the objectively-interpreted Old Testament and New Testament scriptures consistently characterize Salvation as a future condition. How the Bible "experts" of both extreme Salvation Theology camps (Calvinist & Arminian) have missed that Bible Fact is anybody's guess. It was only after I had retired and our multi-denominational Bible Research Team had completed its lengthy and revealing scholarly analysis of the Salvation Scriptures that we (collectively) were able to learn the 1st-Century Truth. The team has asked me to share the following scriptures with YOU for the sole purpose of making it a LOT easier for you to gain that Truth than it has been for us.


          Both of the extreme positions are wildly popular and they're both clearly wrong...very wrong. Both are very dangerous but one of them qualifies as #2 of the 4 Weapons of Mass Deception(SM) we have discovered. It appears that most of the sincere Christian believers who've been duped by WMD#2 have also fallen victim to WMD#4. Those people (along with those who're captivated by WMD#1 and WMD#3) will be quickly and easily deceived into following Anti-Christ, because they'll be fully convinced that he is Jesus Christ. How can that be true of sincere Christian believers? Please continue reading to learn the Bible answer to that burning question.


          Many preach that those who BELIEVE way down deep in their hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord are "SAVED." The dedicated extremists among them even claim that a believer's once-upon-a-time "getting truly 'saved'" event ensures divine forgiveness of ALL his sins—past, present and future. They think the scriptures, below, are subject to "expert" interpretation. Are they? While that mindset may've been okay before the 19th Century – when literacy started becoming the norm – it's pure folly today:

Jeremiah 17:5— "Thus saith the LORD; 'Cursed be the man that trusteth in man...'"


          It's likely that you keep hearing carefully-selected ear candy scriptures like this one that tend to support the "Salvation is a once-upon-a-time Event" narrative: Mark 16:16— "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..." But did you notice the operative phrase, "SHALL BE saved?" That'll become really important to you as you continue reading and learning.


          You're less likely to hear the not-so-pleasant scriptures on this topic, like these:

          Matthew 7:21— "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom 

               of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven."

          Luke 6:46— "Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not DO what I say?" [NIV]

          Luke 14:27-30— "(27) And whosoever doth not bear^ his cross, and come after me

               cannot be my disciple. (28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down 

               first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]? (29) Lest haply, 

               after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to 

               mock him. (30) Saying This man began to build and was not able to finish."

                    ^"bear"—Strong's ref. #G-941, bastazō: "To bear what is burdensome."

          Luke 14:33— "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh^ not all that he hath

               he cannot be my disciple."

                    ^"forsaketh"—Strong's ref. #G-657, apostassō: "to renounce, forsake."

          Romans 6:16— You belong to the one you OBEY.

          Romans 11:22— Continue in his goodness or be CUT OFF.

          1 Corinthians 1:18—  "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but 

               to us who are being saved^ it is the power of God. " [ESV]

          2 Corinthians  2:15— "For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are 

               being saved^ and among those who are perishing." [ESV]

                    ^The Online Interlinear Bible (literal translations of the original Greek manuscripts) 

                      explicitly render this phrase in the Present Progressive Tense, "being saved." Almost all of 

                      the other published versions of the Bible also render it "being saved." That includes the 

                      NKJB, the NLT, the NIV, the HCSB, the NASB, the NLT, the RSV and the YLT. 

                       Click HERE for info on a document that records the Original Greek Texts from which the 

                      1611 KJV is thought to have been translated.

          Hebrews 5:9— "...[Christ] became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that 

               OBEY him."

          Hebrews 10:36— DO the will of God to receive the promise.

          James 2:19— "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, 

               and tremble."

          2 Peter 1:5-9— "(5)And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to 

               virtue KNOWLEDGE; (6)And to KNOWLEDGE temperance; and to temperance 

               patience; and to patience godliness; (7)And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to 

               brotherly kindness charity. (8)For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you 

               that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord Jesus 

               Christ. (9)But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and 

               hath forgotten that he was purged from his OLD sins.

          Revelation 22:14— "Blessed [are] they that DO his commandments, that they may have 

               right to the tree of life, and that they may enter in through the gates into the city."

               [i.e.: New Jerusalem; The Tabernacle of God]



TO GAIN GOD's APPROVAL...


          Hosea 4:6— "MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF [righteousnes?] 

               [sincerity?] [worship?] [hyperspirituality?] [prayer?] [holiness?] [regular church 

               attendance?] [believing "what 'we' believe"?] [faith?] [getting "truly 'saved'?"] 

              KNOWLEDGE."


          2 Timothy 2:15— "STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, a 

               workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."



WHEN  IS A BELIEVER "SAVED?"


          The Old Testament and New Testament scriptures are consistent, throughout: Objectively analyzed collectively or individually, they all characterize our Salvation as a FUTURE condition. (More on that below.) The Day of the Lord is the day of our Salvation:

          2 Timothy 1:12— "...(I) am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed 

               unto him against THAT day."

Paul was clearly aware of that timing:

          Romans 5:9,10— "(9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we SHALL BE 

               saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled 

               to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we SHALL BE saved by 

               his life."

          Romans 13:11— "...for NOW [IS] OUR SALVATION NEARER THAN WHEN WE 

               BELIEVED."

          1 Thessalonians 5:8— "...and for an helmet, the HOPE of salvation."

          1 Timothy 4:16— "...for in doing this, THOU SHALT both SAVE THYSELF AND THEM 

               THAT HEAR THEE..." You've heard that young Timothy was already "saved?"

Peter was fully aware of that critical timing, too:

          1 Peter 1:9— "...the END of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls."

And there are these critical words of Jesus...

          Matthew 24:13— "But he that shall endure to the end,^ the same SHALL BE saved."

                    In context, that'd be the bitter end of The Great Tribulation. 

                       (For more on that, explore our www.DYPK.org/Rapture page.)

LIFESTYLES THAT WILL CLEARLY PRECLUDE "SALVATION"


          Although I have accepted Christ as my personal Savior, I'm still a sinner. So I'm compelled to affirm this, daily: "I will not permit EITHER of my sins to become a lifestyle:1 Corinthians 6:12 "All...things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."


          Please note that there are no exceptions in the following scriptures for those who've come to think they're "truly 'saved'."


          Ten (10) sinful lifestyles that will preclude salvation: 1 Corinthians 6:9,10— "(9) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God..."


          One (1) sinful lifestyle that will preclude salvation: 1 Corinthians 5:1,5— "(1) It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife...(5) To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus..."


          Four (4) sinful lifestyles that will preclude salvationEphesians 5:5— "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God..."


          Several sinful lifestyles that will preclude salvation: Colossians 3:5,6,8— "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience...But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth."


          Eight (8) sinful lifestyles that will preclude salvationRevelation 21:8— "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."


          Six (6) sinful lifestyles that will preclude salvation: Revelation 22:14,15— "(14) Blessed [are] they that DO his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city...(15) for without [are] dogs^, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."

               ^"dog" —Strong's ref. #G-2965, kyōn: "...metaph. a man of impure mind, an impudent man."

                 "Strong's" = Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible



Those who fall prey to either of these wildly popular WMDs will be easily and quickly deceived by 

Satan when he successfully masquerades, here, as Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4

.

THE SECOND OF FOUR EXTREMELY DANGEROUS Weapons of Mass Deception(SM):


          Chapter six of Hebrews is one of several annoying thorns-in-the-flesh of those who continue to swear by the gospel of John Calvin, in spite of the overwhelming collection of scriptural indictments against it. The most highly polished of Calvinist theologian spin masters have been embarrassingly unsuccessful, to date, in their ongoing attempts to explain it away. Read Hebrews 6 in your own Bible, as-if-no-one-had-ever-explained-what-it-means. After you've read that and Ezekiel 18:20-32, being fully aware that we serve an unchanging God, ask yourself these important questions:

          1. "Do I really need a Bible 'expert' to explain to me what these scriptures mean?"

          2. "Would God really have left us his written word in a form that could be understood only by 

              paid professional Christians?

              Jeremiah 17:5— "Thus saith the LORD; 'Cursed be the man that trusteth in man...'"


          The appropriate parting question, then, is this: "What SINFUL LIFESTYLES are so terrible that they will cause sincere believers to miss out on future Eternal Salvation?" Will you now join with us in repeating this daily affirmation? —"I will not permit EITHER of my sins to become a lifestyle." Meanwhile, there is comfort at 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."


          Should you discuss all this with your preacher? That may be okay; but you should keep in mind something Upton Sinclair once said: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."



Postscript #1


          The Great Commission has nothing at all to do with "getting people 'saved'," but with MAKING DISCIPLES of those who've heard the Gospel Message and Believed it: Matthew 28:19,20— "(19) Therefore go and MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) and TEACHING THEM TO OBEY everything I have commanded you..." [NIV]


          The widespread misinterpretation of the assignment Christ gave to His Church is the primary reason why the visible church is filled with BELIEVERSbut very few DISCIPLES. That may also explain why people are abandoning today's visible church by the thousands! [NOTE: A person can abandon the visible church without abandoning The Church. Follow this link to learn more about that: www.dypk.org/BLOG/0109.pdf...a really short article worth sharing.



Postscript #2


          The five foolish virgins of Jesus' end-time parable of the ten virgins at Matthew 25:1-13 were friends with the bridegroom, too. If not, they wouldn't have received official invitations to that wedding feast. So why'd they get locked out? 


          First, please understand that the context for Matthew 25 is precisely the same as that for Matthew 24: With these Matthew 25 illustrations Jesus further explained His answer to the disciples' question at Matthew 24:3. Paraphrased today, that'd be something like, "Okay, so when're you coming back, Jesus, and what else will we need to know?"


          Our Lord used the "light" in that parable to symbolize KNOWLEDGE regarding the probable nighttime arrival of the bridegroom. Five of those girls were smart enough to bring enough fuel for the light they'd need for travel through the darkest of nights. The five girls who got locked out had believed a lie about that: Somebody they trusted had convinced them that the bridegroom loved them waayyy too much to make them endure [Matthew 24:13] the darkest of nights. See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 for initial confirmation. If you have questions about the pertinence of that, please ask.


          In his end-time parable at Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus used talents/money to symbolize the knowledge of THAT same truth. He described severe consequences for any believer who fails to share the knowledge of that truth for profit to others: 

          Matthew 25:27-30— "(27) Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the 

               exchangers, and [then] at my coming I should have received mine own with usury 

               [a.k.a. interest]. (28) Take therefore the talent from him, and give [it] unto him which 

               hath ten talents. (29) For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have 

               abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 

               (30) And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness [deep space?]: there 

               shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

In another end time illustration, Jesus said this: 

          Luke 12:45,46— "(45) But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 

               and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be 

               drunken; (46) The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for [him], 

               and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his 

               portion with the unbelievers."


          There's an enormously popular notion among Americans who expect to be raptured out'a here before those terrible things that are happening, now, to Christians in the Middle East start happening here. This should help to dispel it:

          1 Thessalonians 5:4— "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should 

               overtake you as a thief."


          We explore this WMD #4 in depth, at www.DYPK.org/Rapture. Explore with us!



Postscript #3


          You’ll be wise to be skeptical of our conclusions and then do your own due diligence to yield informed conclusions. The key to your success may well be the profound message of Acts 17:11. Read that in several Bible versions... 

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Want to determine the verb tenses and voices for each of the "salvation" scriptures? Click on this link: RULES OF LANGUAGE.

Rapture