This post begins part 2 of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.
You might be wondering:
- Why would Yeshua be saving people from their sins?
- What would that have to do with the kind of salvation we’ve seen in the Tanach?
Let’s see if we can answer those questions by examining the progression of salvation in the following chart…
|Reference||Players||Enemies/Destroyer||Agent of Salvation|
|Genesis 3||Adam & Eve||Serpent||YHVH Elohim|
|Genesis 6-8||Noah & His Family||Corrupted Earth
(Man & Nephilim)
|Genesis 45||Israel’s Family||Famine/Death||Joseph|
|Deut. 31:3-6||Mixed Multitude||Those in land of Canaan||YHVH Elohim & Joshua|
|1 Samuel 9:16||Israel||Philistines||Saul|
|2 Samuel 3:18||Israel||Philistines||David|
In the beginning, man had a single enemy known as the serpent who tempted them to sin. On that day they were supposed to die for eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; but, they didn’t. Instead, their lives were preserved. (Remember, being preserved is one of the meanings of our verb yasha.)
It is often understood that YHVH Elohim provided a means to preserve their lives by killing one or more animals and using their blood to atone (caphar) and forgive their sin. God used the skins of these animals to clothe (lavash) Adam and Eve.
YHVH must have taught them how to restore and maintain the relationship between them by teaching them how to offer Him various sacrifices. We know this is true because later we see their children offering sacrifices.
Much later, we are taught in Leviticus 17:11 that it is the blood that is the primary means of providing atonement for the soul.
We’ve already recalled how Noah and his family were saved/delivered from the flood that wiped out the wicked. And we talked about how God used Joseph to deliver the known world from famine and death.
Next YHVH used Moses as his agent of salvation.
This didn’t happen immediately. The people had to be convinced that Moses was really called by God to deliver his people. They also had to watch the 10 plagues unfold, leave Egypt, cross the Red Sea and wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Although they experienced the single event of being brought out of Egypt, salvation was also a process that took place over an extended period of time.
Under Joshua’s leadership, the 2nd generation had to fight their enemies to take over the land. YHVH is the one who gave them salvation and victory during that time.
After the period of the judges, Saul and David became the agents of salvation. This is the role of the king who was expected to lead his people into battle and defeat enemies such as the Philistines.
|Reference||Players||Enemies/Destroyer||Agent of Salvation|
|Luke 1:68-75||Israel||World & those who hate us||Horn of Salvation
|Matthew 19||Rich Young Ruler||Riches of the world||Yeshua|
|John 1:29||World||Sinful influence of the world||Yeshua|
|Acts 2:14-40||Judeans & those in Jerusalem||Perverse generation||Yeshua|
As time went by, the enemies were not just single individuals or tribes of people. Their enemies grew so large that they and their wickedness inhabited and permeated the whole world.
The solution was not just to save the Jews from pockets of enemies scattered here and there. The solution had to be to deal with the sins of entire perverse generations that infiltrated and influenced God’s people then and which still do today.
In the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), Yeshua was raised up to be the Horn of Salvation to save His people from the world. This includes those who hated Israel, the riches of the world, the sinful influence of the world, and the perverse generation that the Jews were living among.
As we have seen, YHVH Elohim always provided agents of salvation for His people.
The death of an animal, an enemy, and/or Yeshua Himself allowed for the possibility of the preservation of life to take place. The death of an animal and Yeshua was a substitutionary death. The death of an enemy resulted in something practical – if there was no enemy, there was no threat to life.
Today, we live in a perverse generation. We should separate ourselves from wicked influences and create a support system in which we can live a lifestyle of Torah obedience until:
- Wickedness reaches its fullness;
- Messiah returns, makes war, and destroys the Beast and the 10 kings who follow him;
- YHVH’s Torah is taught and obeyed world-wide.
Please don’t think YHVH has ceased to physically deliver the Jews from their enemies. He’s constantly been working miracles of salvation among the IDF and Israel.
In the meantime, by living a lifestyle of faith and obedience, people are living in covenant with YHVH.
Salvation (when defined as being saved from your sins and/or your enemies; or as being preserved for the kingdom of God) is a by-product or result of trusting YHVH and obeying the law. Salvation is therefore a blessing of abiding by the covenant.
The blessing is found in Deuteronomy 28:7 – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
We need to think of who are enemies are and ask the Father to show us what we must do to defeat them and to let us know when we need to simply stand and let Him fight for us.
In a similar way, we can have victory over the devil who is our enemy today by submitting to God and resisting him. If we do this, we can expect him to flee.
Today we still experience the blessings of deliverance and preservation. These aspects of salvation are both seen in:
- 2 Timothy 4:18 — “And the Lord will deliver (rusetai) me from every evil work and will preserve (sosei; future, active, indicative) me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”
How do we receive these 2 aspects of salvation (deliverance and preservation)?
- James 1:21 — “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word [hear, understand, and do what it says BCM], which is able to save (sosai; aorist, active, indicative) your souls.”
Recall the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:18ff. “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (vs 21).” That’s the kind of soil we want to be. Do not be the wrong kind of soil.
Once we are experiencing the blessing of salvation. We need to become agents of salvation.
- James 5:20 — “let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save (sosei; future active indicative) a soul [keep him BCM] from death (lake of fire; 2nd death) and cover a multitude of sins.”
Remember, we are to be agents of salvation; we are to turn sinners from the error of their ways so they can live and not die. If someone lives according to the covenant, their souls will be saved from the lake of fire, also known as the 2nd death.
Salvation (the result of repentance) is not just a future thing as I have heard some people say. It certainly can have long lasting results that extend into the future. Based on the tense, mood, and voice of the Greek verb that is used, we know salvation is NOT just a future thing.
Let’s have a little lesson in Greek grammar…
Greek verbs do not work like Hebrew or English verbs. If you are going to properly interpret the Apostolic Scriptures, you need to know the bare basics of how Greek verbs operate. They are a bit complex. It’s really important to learn how both languages function, even if you don’t know all of the details. You can always look up the details if you know what you need to be aware of.
The main reason I’m showing you this is to help you realize what you need to be aware of when interpreting Greek Scripture so that you don’t make assumptions based only on English translations and so other people with less language skills don’t lead you astray. Most of the time Greek verbs are probably translated correctly, but sometimes they are not.
Greek verbs have what’s known as Tense, Mood, and Voice. I will show you several charts with the major tenses for the word “save” and point out a few translations to make my point.
For our post on salvation, the aorist tense makes up the majority of the instances of the verb “save.” It is basically translated as a whole event that takes place in the past.
The examples in this 1st chart are all aorist.
|To save||Mat 18:11; Mar 8:35 (1st); Luke 9:24, 56; 17:33; 19:10; 1 Tim 1:15; Jam 1:21; 2:14||Aorist, active, infinitive|
|Saved||Titus 3:35||Aorist, active, indicative|
|To save; Save||John 12:47; 1 Cor. 9:22||Aorist, active, subjunctive|
|Has saved; having saved||2 Tim 1:9; Jude 1:5||Aorist, active, participle|
These examples are all in the active voice indicates which means the subject performs the action.
- For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
- The Greek infinitive is the form of the verb that is usually translated into English with the word “to” attached to it; it is often used to complement another verb.
- He saved us according to His mercy not by our works of righteousness; but, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
- The indicative mood is a statement of fact or an actual occurrence from the writer’s or speaker’s perspective.
- I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1 Cor 9:22).
- The subjunctive mood indicates probability or objective possibility.
- … who has saved us and called us with a holy calling (2 Tim 1:9).
- Participles are considered “verbal adjectives”.
Remember, Aorist Indicative is usually translated as a simple past tense. The aorist is said to be “simple occurrence” or “summary occurrence”, without regard for the amount of time taken to accomplish the action. This tense is also often referred to as the ‘punctiliar’ tense. ‘Punctiliar’ in this sense means ‘viewed as a single, collective whole,’ a “one-point-in-time” action, although it may actually take place over a period of time.
This 2nd chart also demonstrates the aorist tense. All of these examples are in the passive voice; this means the subject receives the action.
Might be saved;
To be saved
|Mat 19:25; Mar 10:26; Luke 18:26; Acts 4:12; 15:1, 11; 1 Cor 1:21; 2 Thess 2:10; 1 Tim 2:4||Aorist, passive, infinitive|
|Would be saved;
We were saved
|Mat 24:22; Mar 13:20; Rom 8:24||Aorist, passive, indicative|
|Might/may be saved||Luke 8:12; John 3:17, 5:34; Acts 16:30; 1 Cor 5:5; 10:33; 1 Thess 2:16||Aorist, passive, subjunctive|
|Acts 2:40||Aorist, passive, imperative|
- Who desires all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4).
- 1 Tim 2:4 is in the infinitive…”to”
- For we were saved in this hope… (Rom 8:24).
- Rom 8:24 is in the indicative…”fact”
- That the world through him might be saved (John 3:17).
- John 3:17 is in the subjunctive…”possibility or probability”
- Be saved from this perverse generation (Acts 2:40).
- Acts 2:40 is in the imperative…”command”
As opposed to a physical salvation from one’s enemies, the aorist – passive – indicative basically means that at a certain point/period in time, the people who were saved:
- Had repented of their lawlessness;
- Intended to be/Had begun being habitually lawful;
- Had been saved/rescued/delivered from:
- their sins;
- the wicked influence of the world;
- the lake of fire which is the second death– as long as they abided by the terms of the covenant.
This 3rd chart is in the present tense and the active voice (the subject is performing the action). It shows ‘action in progress’ or ‘a state of persistence.’
|To save||Heb 5:7; 7:25||Present, active, infinitive|
|Saves||1 Pet 3:21||Present, active, indicative|
|Save||Jud 1:23||Present, active, imperative|
- God was and still is able to save (Heb 7:25).
- Infinitive – God is presently and continuously able to save.
- Immersion is an antitype which now saves us [a pledge of a good conscience toward God] (1 Pet 3:21).
- Indicative – A statement of fact or an actual occurrence from the writer’s or speaker’s perspective.
- The sanctified are told, “save others with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” (Jude 1:23)
- Imperative – a command
Remember, present tense is usually a continuous kind of action.
The examples in this 4th chart are in the present tense and passive voice (the subject is the recipient of the action).
Are/were being saved
|Luke 13:23; Acts 2:47;
1 Cor 1:18; 2 Cor 2:15
|Present, passive, participle|
|Is/Are saved||1 Cor 15:2; 1 Pet 4:18||Present, passive, indicative|
- And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47).
- A participle is considered a “verbal adjective”.
- I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you– unless you believed in vain (1 Cor 15:2).
- Indicative – is fact.
Again, present tense is usually a continuous kind of action.
The examples in this 5th chart are future tense and indicative; the first row is in the active voice, the other examples from the 2ND row are passive.
|Will save||Mat 1:21; Mar 8:35 (2nd); 1 Cor 7:16 (x2); 1 Tim 4:16; 2 Tim 4:18; Jam 5:20||Future, active, indicative|
|Shall/Will be saved||Mat 10:22; 24:13; Mar 13:13; 16:16; John 10:9; Acts 2:21; 11:14; 16:31; Rom 5:9, 10; 9:27; 10:9, 13; 11:26; 1 Cor 3:15||Future, passive, indicative|
- He [Yeshua] will save his people from their sins (Mat 1:21).
- I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved (John 10:9).
- …whoever calls on the name of the LORD (YHVH) shall be saved (Acts 2:21).
- That if you confess…and believe…you will be saved (Rom 10:9).
Based on the writer’s perspective, this action will happen at a certain point in time in the future when the conditions are met.
The examples In this 6th chart are in the Perfect tense; this is completed action in the past that has on-going effect.
The passive voice indicates the subject is the recipient of the action.
Participles are considered a “verbal adjectives”.
|Have been saved||Eph 2:5, 8||Perfect, passive, participle|
- But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ [by grace you have been saved] (Eph 2:5).
- For by grace you have been saved through faith…(Eph 2:8).
Perfect is completed action in the past that has on-going effect.
I hope all of this Greek has shed some light on the timing of salvation. It’s time to shift our focus to another view of salvation.
As I continued to reflect on the theme of salvation in the Scriptures, I wondered why YHVH saved His people BEFORE He cut the covenant on Mt. Sinai.
Consider this basic chiasm:
- Salvation – Flood; Passover
- Original Covenant
- Death of Yeshua ended the original covenant
- Death of Yeshua began the new covenant
- New Covenant
- Original Covenant
- Salvation – Day of YHVH; Battle of Gog and Magog
Notice how Salvation forms the inclusio or bookends.
In the beginning, the theme of salvation was seen in the flood and the Passover; in the end, salvation will be seen on the Day of YHVH (Battle of Armageddon) and during the Battle of Gog and Magog.
Recall that the flood was a judgment of water, but the last judgment will be with fire.
The original and new covenants are between these major events of salvation.
The death of Yeshua is the central axis or focus. His death ended the original covenant and began the new covenant. His death:
- provides propitiation for sin (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2, 4:10);
- redeems us from the curse of the law (death; Galatians 3:13);
- makes the blessing of life possible (Galatians 3:14).
Just as there are many ways to look at the facets of a gem, I hope you are seeing that there are many ways to look at salvation. What I want to do now is conclude with another view of salvation in chiastic fashion.
- Salvation (referring to the original Passover and deliverance from Egypt) was a past event that allowed the mixed multitude to enter the covenant; if salvation hadn’t happened, they could not have entered in.
- With the death of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb behind us, we must enter the covenant and focus on the One who made our salvation possible, and abide by the terms of the covenant (work out our own salvation with fear and trembling).
- Salvation is also a future event when Yeshua will deal with His and Israel’s enemies. Until that happens, we can’t enter the world to come (ha-olam rabba).
Be sure to come back for parts 3-4 of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.