Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 2

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)

YHVH Elohim
Genesis 45 Israel’s Family Famine/Death Joseph
Exodus Hebrews Egyptians Moses
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

[Yeshua]

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.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
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.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Be saved;

To save;

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
Save yourselves;

Be saved

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.’

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
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).

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Are saved

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).
    • Indicativeis 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.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
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”.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
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
  • 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:

  1. provides propitiation for sin (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2, 4:10);
  2. redeems us from the curse of the law (death; Galatians 3:13);
  3. 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.

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Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 1

I’ve heard people say several different things regarding the timing of our salvation.  Some people say we are already saved and some say we won’t be saved until some point in the future.  They also define salvation in various ways.  I decided it would be interesting to study the theme of salvation from Genesis to Revelation to see if there was continuity in its definition or not; as well as to see its timing, and anything else YHVH would reveal to me.  This post is the first of four parts on the subject of “Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.”  Here we will look at the progression of salvation from Genesis through the gospels.

We need to begin by defining our terms. The Hebrew noun yesha means deliverance, salvation, rescue, and safety.  The Greek equivalent is soteria.  This word can be applied several ways.  Physically, it is rescue from danger; spiritually, it refers to the safety of the soul; and messianically, it is the deliverance at the end of the present age.

The Hebrew verb yasha exists in two binyanim.  The niphal is passive; it means to be saved or be delivered.  The hiphil is active and means to save, deliver, or give victory to.  The Greek verb sozo means to save, preserve from harm, rescue, or deliver.  This Greek verb is used extensively in the Apostolic Scriptures for the healing of diseases but I did not include those references in my study.

As I perused the Scriptures for the theme of salvation, I came upon a concentric structure in Isaiah 51:6-8:

6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, And look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment, And those who dwell in it will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not be abolished.

7 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.

8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment, And the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation.”

Note the concentric structure:  The theme of YHVH’s long-lasting righteousness and salvation SURROUNDS the central focus of His people who have the law in their hearts.

The fact that YHVH’s salvation will be le-olam, or generation to generation shows that it will always be necessary.

The reason people will need to be saved is because prior to the 7th day, there will always be people who will not obey YHVH’s law.  These people will bring the curses of the law down on everyone including themselves. The reason I’m emphasizing the need for salvation is because I’ve actually heard people say salvation is no longer necessary.

Please don’t let anyone tell you salvation is obsolete or not necessary.  They obviously don’t know the Scriptures very well.

Now let’s see what else we can glean from the Bible about SALVATION…

For now, let’s start with Noah. Noah and his family were saved from the flood that destroyed the earth because of his:

  • Faith/trust in YHVH,
  • Righteousness and obedience.

Hebrews 11:7 tells us:  “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

It is curious to note that the same water that YHVH used to destroy the wicked is the same water YHVH used to keep the ark afloat.  Perhaps this foreshadows the idea of being washed by the water of the word or the water of regeneration…just a thought.

Sometime after Noah, we see the theme of salvation in a major way in the life of Joseph.

In Genesis 45:7, Joseph said:  “And God sent me [Joseph] before you to preserve (la-soom) a posterity for you in the earth, and to save (ul-hachayot) your lives by a great deliverance (li-peleytah).”

This verse does not use the same words we covered previously but the theme is certainly the same.

  • soom- to preserve (and a great number of other applications)
  • chaya – to preserve, save alive, restore to life (also has a great number of other applications)
  • peleytah – deliverance, escape

Joseph accomplished a great deliverance by ordering the collection and storing of grain; and by distributing it during a famine that affected the known world including his family.

Later, salvation was evident in the book of Exodus. During the Passover, God’s people were saved/delivered from the slavery and oppression they experienced in Egypt by God’s judgments.  If that wasn’t awesome enough, the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea was even far more spectacular.  The miracles didn’t stop there; they just kept coming.

While the mixed multitude wandered in the wilderness, the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire protected them from their enemies.  This protection was actually part of an on-going salvation process.

Elohim (God) was known as the Rock of Salvation who provided for his people in the wilderness.  He gave them water, meat, and bread even when they complained and spoke against Him.  Elohim did this to preserve for Himself a people who would live in covenant with Him.

Despite all of this, the mixed multitude did not appreciate what God was doing for them.

Deuteronomy 32:15 indicates they scornfully esteemed the Rock of their salvation.

There’s a lesson for us here:

  • We should make sure that we don’t scornfully esteem the Rock of our salvation!

How do we do that?  I think the answer is found in Psalm 78:21-22.  These verses indicate that YHVH was angry with His people in the wilderness because they did not:

  • BELIEVE in Him and
  • TRUST in His salvation

In other words, we esteem the Rock of our Salvation my demonstrating both belief in God and trust in His salvation!

There are a few other things I want to emphasize from the Exodus and wilderness wanderings that are mentioned in Jude 1:5: “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved (σώσας) the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”

This verse reminds us:

  • That the whole multitude experienced salvation;
  • But that later, those who did not believe were destroyed.

We need to make sure that we aren’t destroyed for lack of belief.

AFTER YHVH delivered His people from Egypt and gave them manna and water in the wilderness, the mixed multitude ENTERED into a covenant with YHVH.

Side Note:  According to Exodus 19:5-6, YHVH intended for them to be a special treasure to Him above all people; and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

At Mt. Sinai, God gave his people the Levitical sacrificial system as a means to:

  • Be forgiven of sins and transgressions;
  • Have guilt removed;
  • Have the sins of the people carried away on the Day of Atonements;
  • Be blameless

Currently, the Levitical sacrificial system is temporarily on hold.  For now, we need to understand that the death of Yeshua accomplishes the same things as the Levitical system.

Colossians 1:21-23:  “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight —  23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

The word “reconciled” implies that sin and guilt have been dealt with so that the relationship with God and man can continue as long as we continue in the faith.

Let’s go back to Moses’ time.  Deuteronomy 4:37-38 teaches us a few important concepts that we tend to overlook.  Moses was talking with the people just before his death when he said:

  • “And because He [YHVH] loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day.”

The Israelites experienced salvation/deliverance because YHVH loved their fathers and chose their descendants to be His people.  What I’m trying to emphasize is that God’s love didn’t begin in John 3:16-17.  God’s love has played a role in the Father’s plan of salvation for a long time.  Also, I want to emphasize that YHVH delivered their families from Egypt BEFORE they ever entered into a covenant with Him.  This covenant was for all of their descendants. Since that time, these descendants understood that they were born into the covenant; but somehow they missed the concept that whether or not they remained in the covenant was up to them.

Clearly, not everyone remained in the covenant.  This is evident in Luke 19:9-10 where Yeshua said to Zacchaeus….

  • “Today salvation (sotaria) has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

You see, being lost didn’t have anything to do with a person’s physical location.  Many of the descendants of Israel were lost because they were not abiding by the covenant.  Yeshua came to seek out lost people like Zacchaeus and bring them back to the covenant.  Before we move on, let’s take a minute and focus on this other phrase – son of Abraham.  Who is a son of Abraham if it’s not those directly descended from him?  The answer is found in Galatians 3:7:

  • “Therefore know that only those who are of faith (emunah) are sons of Abraham.”

A son of Abraham is one who is in the covenant because he:

  • believes,
  • trusts,
  • and is faithful.

This is the kind of person that Yahweh wanted the mixed multitude to be during Moses’ time.

Let’s go back to Moses again.  Recall what Moses told the people before they entered the Promised Land:

  • Deuteronomy 4:40You shall therefore keep His (YHVH’s) statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

Moses told them this same concept several times in slightly different ways.

Moses starts to get a little more specific in Deuteronomy 11:26-28.

  • “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse:  27 “the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; 28 “and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.”

There were lots of specific blessings and curses. I will eventually focus on only a couple of curses and one blessing.  For now, I’m trying to lay the foundation of what else is to come.

After the death of Moses, the 2nd generation finally began to take over the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership.  Joshua sent 2 spies to view the land, especially Jericho.  Once there, they met a woman named Rahab; she hid them and sent them out another way.  Before sending them off, she declared, “YHVH your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath,” and she begged to be spared.  The spies made a deal with Rahab that would secure her deliverance and that of her family.  Rahab bound a scarlet cord in the window to mark her home as the one to be PASSED OVER instead of destroyed.  Because of her faith and works, she was justified.  When it came time for the destruction of Jericho, Rahab and those with her were saved.  We’re going to come back to Rahab in a later post but for now I want us to continue to see how the theme of salvation progresses in the Scriptures.

The 2nd generation that left Egypt entered the Promised Land; but they didn’t completely drive out the inhabitants as they took over and got settled in the land.  At least they remembered who brought them through the wilderness, and at least to some degree, they knew who was helping them take over the land.  That wasn’t the case with the next generation.

  • Judges 2:10 “When all that generation (2nd) had been gathered to their fathers, another generation (3rd) arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.”

The word “know” means they did not know Him by experience; they were not personally acquainted with YHVH or His works.  At this point, trouble began.

OK, now it’s time for me remind you of one of the blessings and curses. Here’s the blessing:

  • 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.”

In other words, YHVH was going to save them from their enemies.

Here’s the curse:

  • Deuteronomy 28:25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.”

If they disobeyed, YHVH would no longer save them from their enemies.  This 3rd generation obviously did not have these blessings and the curses drilled into their heads.  Well, maybe they did, and they just chose to ignore it.

Cycle of Sin in Judges

Later, we see the results of disobedience over and over in the book of Judges – Its often called the cycle of sin.

  1. Whenever God’s people forgot YHVH, they did evil in His sight by committing idolatry.
  2. Eventually, they experienced various curses of the law.
  3. When they remembered YHVH, they cried out to God.
  4. Eventually, He sent them a deliverer (an agent of salvation) – these deliverers were judges who physically saved them from their enemies.

This is what we typically think of when we think of salvation.  We see it as a physical salvation or deliverance.  What we must understand is that physical salvation is tied directly to obedience to YHVH which is both a physical and spiritual activity; therefore salvation is not just physical, it is also spiritual. In fact, both physical and spiritual salvation requires belief and trust.

After the time of the judges, Israel was finally ruled by kings.  I think most of us are familiar with Saul, David, and Solomon.  During the period of the united kingdom, Israel experienced blessing and victory over its enemies who were primarily the Philistines.  If the 2nd generation had conquered the land the way YHVH had commanded them to, the nations who remained might not have been as much of a problem over the years.  God used initially used King Saul and his army as his instrument of salvation against Israel’s enemies. BUT, Saul didn’t always trust God.  Instead of fighting Goliath himself, Saul showed a lack of belief or trust in YHVH to deliver him.  David was different; he was full of belief and trust that YHVH would deliver him just as he had been delivered from the lion and the bear.

After Saul’s death, Ishbosheth was made king over Israel except for Judah (2 Samuel 2:8-10).  David was initially anointed king only over Judah (2 Samuel 2:4).  During this time, the house of Saul had war with the house of David until the murder of Ishbosheth.  Afterward, David became king over all of Israel.  Once David was anointed king, he continued to save Israel from its enemies as he’d already been doing.

Many years later, David had to deal with enemies in his own household.  First, there was a group of people who anointed David’s son, Absalom over themselves.  Eventually Absalom died in battle. (2 Samuel 19:10).  Later, Adonijah, another son of David had the audacity to say he would be king.  Finally, with a bit of help from Nathan and Bathsheba, David commanded that Solomon be anointed the next king (1 Kings 1:39, 43).  According to 1 Kings 4:21, 24:  Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life…and he had peace all around him.

After Solomon’s death, YHVH caused the kingdom to split in two.  Jeroboam was the first king of the northern kingdom (Israel, Ephraim).  Previously, he had been Solomon’s servant.  The last king of the northern kingdom was Hoshea.  The northern kingdom was carried away to Assyria in 722 BCE.  Rehoboam , Solomon’s son was the first king of the southern kingdom (Judah) and Zedekiah (Mattaniah) was the last king of the southern kingdom.  The southern kingdom was carried away to Babylon in 539 BCE.

You see, after years of idolatry, Israel began to experience another major curse of the law that is mentioned in Deuteronomy 28:36. It says, “The LORD will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods– wood and stone.”  Israel was carried to Assyria, and later Judah was eventually carried away to Babylon because they did not keep YHVH’s covenant.

The prophecies of Daniel show us the consequences of not keeping YHVH’s covenant.  The kingdom of Judah was in Babylon which eventually fell to Medo-Persia.  Eventually, the Persian king Cyrus let people return to Jerusalem, but they were still part of the Medo-Persian empire.

As Daniel’s prophesied, the Israelites would continue to be under the rule of other empires and their leaders. Alexander the Great conquered Israel around 333/331 BCE.  His empire was divided amongst his 4 generals after his death.  The Jews were held under suzerainty by the Ptolemies and Seleucids from 320-168 BCE. During this time, the culture and institutions of the Jews were protected until Antiochus Epiphanes IV reversed that.

Antiochus was the 8th ruler of the Hellenistic Greek Seleucid dynasty (175 BCE). The word Epiphanes means visible god/God Manifest.  His persecutions and changes to the law led to the Maccabean revolt (166-160 BCE).  Even though Judah previously had not completely kept YHVH’s covenant, YHVH did not completely forsake them.  He raised up the Maccabees to be His agents of salvation in that time period.  I think he did that because the Maccabees and others were zealous for the law.

After Antiochus, the Jews were autonomous under the Hasmoneans 142-129 BCE. In 63 BCE, Rome annexed Israel under Pompey.  At that time, many were waiting for the Messiah and hoping he would save them.  During the time of the Roman Empire, Yeshua was born.

Let me remind you that in Matthew 24:15-16, Yeshua said: “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”  This means there is someone like Antiochus Epiphanes IV who is still to come.  People will be crying out for salvation during that time just like they have down through the millennia.

Let’s take a closer look at the time around Yeshua’s birth.  After the birth of John the Baptist, Zacharias prophesied that YHVH had raised up a horn of salvation for the Jews in the house of David as prophesied by the prophets (Luke 1:69).  According to Luke 1:71-75, this horn of salvation was raised up so…”That we should be saved (sotarian; fs noun) from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us,  72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant,  73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:  74 To grant us that we, Being delivered (rusthentas; aorist passive participle) from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.”

The people were expecting physical deliverance from Rome but that’s not what happened.  This is a common problem with interpreting prophecies; we just don’t always know the exact timing in which every aspect of prophecies will be fulfilled.  I believe we can expect this to be fulfilled in the future and we will discuss that later.

Since this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, is there a prophecy that was fullfilled?  I believe the answer is yes.  In Matthew 1:21, an angel of YHVH clarified Yeshua’s purpose in the first century to Joseph by saying:  “And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you (Joseph) shall call His name JESUS [YESHUA; he will save], for He will save (sosei) His people from their sins.”  This was the purpose of Yeshua in the first century CE.

On one occasion, after Yeshua had become an adult, He cried out to whoever was around him:  “And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save (soso) the world” (John 12:47).

In other words, Yeshua wanted His listeners to know he was their Agent of Salvation.  Understand this:  The world contains lost people.  Matthew 18:11 tells us, “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

The lost were/are those who are living a lifestyle of disobedience to the law.  How did he intend to save them?  Yeshua was finding those who had left the blessings of the law and who were likely suffering the consequences of it.  He wanted them to escape the ultimate curse of the law.  Yeshua saved people by calling them to repentance; He was calling them to return to the law.  When individuals repent of their sinful ways, they can be saved from the influence of a wicked world and from their sins so they can live righteously.  When enough people repent, the nation can be saved from the curses of the law.

Yeshua was leading them to do what’s outlined in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14:

  • “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,” (When I bring curses instead of blessing on My people)
  • “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (bring blessing instead of cursing)

Yeshua desires not just individual, but also corporate repentance so that all Israel will be saved, delivered, or rescued from the curses of the law we’ve already mentioned.

This is the end of part 1.  Be sure to come back in the future to read Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Parts 2-4.