THERE'S MORE THAN JUST BEING SAVED

THERE’S MORE THAN JUST BEING "SAVED" Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Speaking as a Christian, I wonder sometimes if we understand all that is included in the Divine salvation. We have set as our primary goal preaching the Gospel to every person. We have set as our secondary goal doing what good we can in the world to relieve human suffering.

As scriptural and commendable as these goals certainly are and shall continue to be, they are not the first priority of the Divine salvation. The first goal of the Divine salvation (a goal scarcely mentioned nowadays) is to draw from mankind a firstfruits to God, a royal priesthood who walk in iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to God. These are God’s possession in the earth; and some are called to be even closer to God. The destiny of the firstfruits is be especially close to God. The existence of such makes everything else possible.

THERE’S MORE THAN JUST BEING "SAVED"

These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4—NIV)

Speaking as a Christian, I wonder sometimes if we understand all that is included in the Divine salvation. We have set as our primary goal preaching the Gospel to every person. We have set as our secondary goal doing what good we can in the world to relieve human suffering.

As scriptural and commendable as these goals certainly are and shall continue to be, they are not the first priority of the Divine salvation. The first goal of the Divine salvation (a goal scarcely mentioned nowadays) is to draw from mankind a firstfruits to God, a royal priesthood who walk in iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to God. These are God’s possession in the earth; and some are called to be even closer to God. The destiny of the firstfruits is to be especially close to God. The existence of such makes everything else possible.

If your calling, dear reader, is to be one of God’s firstfruits, your heart will leap within you when you read this essay. When you begin to realize not all people have the same calling—to be especially close to God—you may have compassion on those who do not enjoy prayer and being alone with the Lord as much as you do.

If this is not your calling, perhaps it will be easier for you to understand why some people seem to be so absorbed in the Lord they are not as conscious of the needs of the world as we might think appropriate and proper.

It is the responsibility of each Christian church to hold forth the Word of life. Also, it is the responsibility of those whose calling is evangelism to preach the Gospel to every creature.

In addition, we all are to be zealous of good works, such as visiting orphans and widows in their poverty. It is clear some believers are called in a special way to the task of assisting the needy.

When we preach the Gospel to every creature, those who believe and are baptized shall be saved. This means in the Day of God’s wrath they shall not be destroyed but permitted to enter His Kingdom.

All of this we know and has the clear support of the Scriptures.

But there is an aspect of salvation other than being spared in the Day of Wrath, other than doing the work of helping the needy of society. I am referring to the call to be a member of the royal priesthood.

While the New Testament, perhaps for practical reasons, does not make a clear distinction between being saved from wrath, and coming to the stature of the fullness of Christ, it is obvious there is a difference.

He who believes and is baptized shall be saved. He shall be saved from destruction in the Day of Wrath. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

But then we find another aspect of salvation, an aspect not being emphasized today in proportion to its emphasis in the New Testament. This neglected emphasis is the coming to maturity of the royal priesthood.

It is one matter to be saved from wrath. It is quite another matter to attain to the resurrection from the dead—the stated goal of the Apostle Paul.

Paul says that the gifts and ministries of the Body of Christ will labor until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Today there is almost total emphasis on "going out and getting people saved." But the need to bring those who have already received Christ to spiritual maturity is left to chance, it seems. Certainly bringing the members of an assembly to full spiritual maturity, to the mark of the resurrection from the dead, is not placed on the same level of importance as "going out and getting souls saved." Is the forming of Christ in the believers stressed in your assembly?

The truth is, God is very concerned about bringing the believers to maturity. It does not solve God’s problem of rebellion on the part of His creatures, neither is it true that royal priests are brought into being, when we have assembly after assembly filled with believers who have received Christ, been baptized with the Holy Spirit, and then have not been taught how to grow to maturity in Christ.

Everyone loves babies but babies cannot help carry the burdens of the household.

The Lord has come to His churches in our day to move us past the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Pentecost to the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feasts of the Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles.

Those of us who are "in Pentecost," so to speak, understand there was a historical Day of Pentecost in the first century. But that historical event does us no good until we experience it personally any more than the crucifixion of Christ benefits us until we receive it personally.

It is true also that we are approaching the historical Blowing of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and feast of Tabernacles. However these do not profit us until we experience them personally.

The Blowing of Trumpets is fulfilled in us personally when the Lord Jesus comes in the Spirit and declares war on the worldliness, lust, and self-seeking in our personality.

The Day of Atonement is fulfilled in us when every part of our personality is reconciled to the Personality of God; when we can say in every area of life: "Not my will but Yours be done."

The feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled when the Father and the Son settle down to rest in us for eternity.

God wants each believer today to choose to live every moment in the Spirit of God.

As the Spirit reveals to us the sins found in our personality we are to confess them, denounce them, renounce them, resist them, in the Name of Jesus.

We are to come out of the spirit of the present age and draw closer to Jesus than we have ever been.

We are to endure with patience the trials and prisons that are sent to reconcile our will to God’s will.

What we have described above is the method by which we enter the Kingdom of God. We begin to enter the Kingdom when we are faced with the spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets, because we enter the Kingdom of God only as the rule of Satan is driven from us.

We understand, therefore, that there is a whole lot more to the Divine salvation than just being preserved in the Day of Wrath. There is a race to be run. There is a good fight of faith to be fought.

In the days of Israel, God separated His chosen nation into priests, Levites, and then the remainder of the tribes. The priests, the descendants of Aaron, were especially holy. This means they were closer to God than was true of the other Israelites. The entire nation was a holy nation, but the descendants of Aaron were more holy than the other members of the tribes. They were brought closer to God. This does not mean they were of better character. The kind of holiness we are referring to has to do with the calling of God, with the budding of Aaron’s rod, so to speak.

The priests had no inheritance among the children of Israel. God Himself was their inheritance.

The LORD said to Aaron, "You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites." (Numbers 18:20—NIV)

Next in the order of holiness were the Levites. The tithes of Israel were their inheritance.

As God was establishing the priesthood and the Tabernacle of the Congregation He placed great emphasis on the degrees of holiness. Even though the Levites were holier than the remainder of the Israelites, even they could not ever, even one time, look at one of the five furnishings within the Tabernacle building. If they saw even by accident one of the holy furnishings while it was uncovered the penalty was death.

We see from this that when God is dealing with people, even with His chosen race, He is careful to reserve some individuals to Himself. Their role then becomes to draw ever nearer to God, worshiping Him and partaking of His holy nature.

For some who thus are called, knowing God becomes the end in itself. They are content only as they are pressing into God.

We see one example of this in the description of the twenty-four elders.

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, The twenty_four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:9-11—NIV)

The reference may be to twenty-four people, twelve elders taken from the Mosaic covenant and twelve from the new covenant; or it may be symbolic of a much larger number. Their role in the Kingdom is to be in God’s Presence; to worship Him; to speak of His worthiness.

Would you like this assignment? I think we have become so occupied with saving souls, as necessary as this is, and helping the world out of its problems, that we often forget how God views His creation.

I believe God today is looking for some who will worship Him constantly with great fervency, who continually will press into His Presence, who want to know Him for His own sake, who are not trying to get something out of God. When God has a few people like this it makes the rest of the creation more palatable. Love is the strongest source of motivation there is.

This is why I am saying there is more than just being saved from the Day of Wrath. There is a Kingdom that consists of people at all levels of relationship to God.

When we believe in Jesus Christ and are baptized in water, calling on the name of the Lord, God receives us. From then on His Spirit deals with us according to the calling that rests on us. As Jesus said, "To sit on My right hand and on My left in My Kingdom will be given to those for whom these exalted positions have been prepared."

And then the Lord spoke of the baptism these shall be baptized with; the cup of sorrow these shall drink.

Each one of us must respond to the Lord according to what has been entrusted to us. On some there are relatively few demands. On others the demands are total. God deals night and day, day and night with those appointed to the highest levels of holiness, perfecting every thought, every word, every nuance of attitude and behavior. This is because they are called to be close to God.

There are those who have been given ten talents and others who have been given one talent. To whom much is given, much shall be required. Each of us must be totally faithful with what he or she has been given.

Because there is so much more involved than just being saved from wrath, the Christian churches must rethink their emphases. Evangelism always is to be conducted. But the main emphasis of the churches must be on bringing the saints to maturity. As the saints are taught and fed the meat of the Word, the various callings that are on them will be revealed. Their gifts and ministries will begin to operate.

We sometimes say that all believers are called to evangelize. This is not scriptural no matter how venerable an idea it may be. The truth is, the Spirit of God has assigned gifts and ministries in infinite variety to the members of the Body of Christ. The point is not to encourage everyone to evangelize, it is to encourage everyone to present his body a living sacrifice that he may prove the will of God for his life.

The Christians of today must come to realize that being saved and filled with the Spirit is just the beginning. The coming of the Lord is at hand and we are not ready. The teaching of the any-moment catching up of the saints is totally unscriptural and has not motivated the believers to prepare themselves to stand in the evil day. No passage of Scripture teaches that the Lord is coming to catch up His saints to Heaven. Rather, when the Lord appears His saints will appear with Him in order to overthrow the forces of Antichrist and establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.

We are not ready. We have churches filled with spiritual babies. It is time now for the ministries in the Body to begin to move these babies past basic salvation into the deeper work of reconciliation to God that the Spirit of God is calling for today.

The Lord will have a Church without spot or wrinkle, an unblemished Bride, a counterpart who will be a helper for Him as Eve was for Adam.

The churches of today are a far cry from an unblemished Bride. Rather they are like the churches of the Book of Revelation—in need of correction.

The Lord is standing at the door of our hearts today. He wants to enter and correct that which concerns us. He already is doing this with individuals. But the work must be done on a much larger basis, and this will require the support of the pastors and teachers. They need to realize the work of evangelism must include not only bringing the unsaved to basic salvation but also bringing the believers into closer contact with the Lord. This is the desperate need of the hour.

The tares of wickedness are coming to maturity in our day. The wheat of righteousness must also come to maturity so God can remove the tares without harming the wheat.

But the main righteousness of today is imputed righteousness. When the Bible speaks of the wheat of righteousness coming to maturity it is not referring to imputed righteousness. This is ridiculous! How can imputed righteousness come to maturity?

Rather, the emphasis is on the forming of Christ in us. It is time now for Christ to come to maturity in us. This is salvation. This is eternal life. This is the Kingdom of God.

God is ready to judge and remove unrighteousness from the earth. But He cannot do this until the unrighteousness is driven from His people. Otherwise they would be removed when God judges the wicked.

"An enemy did this," he replied. The servants asked him, "Do you want us to go and pull them up?" "No," he answered, "because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." (Matthew 13:28-30—NIV)

Satan has sown his own nature in the people in the earth. God has sown His own nature in some of the people in the earth. There are those who do not have any part of God in them, only the seed of Satan. Other people have had Christ sown in them but also Satan. All of us were born in sin.

God has not attempted to pull out the tares of wickedness because in so doing He would destroy His own people.

In the hour in which we are living, Christ is strong enough in us that God is ready to begin to pull the tares of wickedness out of us.

The Spirit of God will reveal to you the sins that are in you. As He points out a sin, confess it as sin, not as a psychological problem. It is up to you to judge the evil that is in you as sin, fit only for the Lake of Fire.

When you confess the sin, God is faithful and righteous to forgive you. Then He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness, either right away or over a period of time.

God is going to make a full end of sin in His creation. If you are willing He will remove all the sin from you over a period of time: all of your love for the spirit of the world, all of the lusts and passions of your flesh and soul, and your self-will, stubbornness, and rebellion. God has the power to do this and He shall do it if you will confess these characteristics as sin when the Spirit points them out to you.

This is how you enter the Kingdom of God.

If, when the Spirit of God points out sin to you, you do not confess, denounce, and renounce it, you do not turn away from it, it will remain in you. Then your end—Christian or not—will be to be thrown into the Lake of Fire. God has given the Lake of Fire authority over specific sins. The Lake of Fire maintains authority over these sins, even in the Christian.

"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil." (Matthew 13:40,41—NIV)

The execution of sentence will not take place while you are obeying the Lord Jesus, while He is delivering (saving) you from sin. If you will cooperate with the Spirit of God, the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus will set you free from the law of sin and death.

But if you are not willing to judge your behaviors as sin when they are pointed out to you, if you justify them or cling to them, then the time will come when the execution of sentence will take place. You will be thrown into the Lake of Fire even though at one time you had called on the Lord.

When we call on the Lord we are saved. But then we have to do what God tells us or we shall not be saved.

If you go to the doctor to save your life from a dreadful illness, he may tell you that he will save you if you do what he says. But if you do not do what the doctor says, how can you be healed?

So it is with the Lord Jesus. If you will come to Him for salvation He will save you no matter how wicked you have been. But you absolutely must do what He says. Christ will not surround Himself with disobedient people.

We have today a definition of grace that is totally unscriptural. I have written much about this and intend to do so again in the near future.

We are trying to use the Name of Jesus much as a magician would employ an incantation. We think calling on the Name of Jesus will magically enable us to enter Heaven when we die. This is not the grace of God, it is the grace of our Christian traditions.

There is no such thing as a "state of grace" in which God does not see our personality or behavior. The idea of the state of grace may prove to be the greatest heresy ever to enter Christian thinking.

The truth is, salvation is a change in the human personality, not a magical formula that gives us entrance into Heaven.

The reason God gave us a new covenant is that the people under the old covenant did not do justly, love mercy, or walk humbly with God. The new covenant, employing the grace of God, teaches and enables us to practice righteousness, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. When it does not we have received the grace of God in vain.

The Christian religion is a vain show when the worshipers are not transformed morally. It is Babylon the Great, and that is the best we can say for it.

There is more to salvation than just being saved from wrath. God has given us grace under the new covenant. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the Grace of God. The Grace of God, which is Jesus Christ, provides all the authority, wisdom, and power we need to change from a sinful personality to a righteous personality, from an adamic soul to a life-giving spirit.

The change takes place every day, if we are cooperating with the Holy Spirit. There is not a moment to lose. Moment by moment the old nature is submitted to crucifixion. Moment by moment Christ is formed in us. Moment by moment we are instructed in the ways of God. The eternal moral law of God is engraved in our mind that we might comprehend the Person, will, and ways of God. The eternal moral law of God is engraved in our heart that we might love to serve the Lord and do His will. This is eternal life. This is the Kingdom of God.

As we yield to the Spirit each moment of each day of our discipleship we find ourselves in the Kingdom role for which we were destined. We may have to battle through many bondages, misunderstandings, and fears.

Sometimes believers have an image in their mind of what they think they should be. Perhaps this image came from their parents, or their friends, of from a teaching they have had, or from their own expectations. Such will not have peace until they relinquish to God the image they are holding, put their hand in God’s hand, and walk humbly with the Lord.

We do not know what God has designed us for. We do not know even our true, eternal name. In fact, we know little or nothing at all.

We do know we have called on the Lord and He has received us. Some of us know we have spoken in tongues or have received a gift or ministry. Others may be walking close to the Lord and hear His voice from time to time.

But actually we know nothing at all. How freeing it is to abandon ourselves to God each moment of each day, trusting in Him to point out our sins that we may renounce them; trusting in Him to supply our needs; trusting in Him to provide for our family; looking to Him to bring us to the goals He has set for us.

Receiving Jesus Christ is just the beginning of the most wonderful of all romances. Being filled with the Spirit of God provides us with the great Comforter and Teacher who is ready to bring us to the Bridegroom.

Now we begin a long pilgrimage through the wilderness. How many lessons there are to learn! How many dangers there are to face! How God humbles us and feeds us with manna so we may learn to lean on Him for every breath we take. How we are made to thirst so God may see what is in our heart before He brings us to the glory reserved for the sons of God.

We learn to obey the law of the Spirit of God. We are taught concerning the Body of Christ. We are placed in the army of the Lord and are disciplined, disciplined, disciplined. We learn how important patience is in the Kingdom of God.

Eventually we are standing on the east side of Jordan with our fellow believers, waiting for God to bring us across and into the land of resurrection life, into the fullness of the rest of God.

The manna ceases and we eat the old corn of Canaan. The new generation is circumcised. Moses dies and Joshua is anointed. The Lord Jesus changes from the loving Shepherd to the fierce Commander in Chief, the Lord of Hosts.

We haven’t been here before and so we have to pay strict attention to the written Word of God lest we be deceived.

The Captain of the warrior angels appears. Hell girds itself for the ultimate confrontation, but already the enemy is terrified. He has heard of what God did at Calvary.

Many of those we started out with died in the wilderness because they grumbled and complained against God. We are surrounded with young warriors who are ready to obey Joshua.

Our goal is to enter fully into God’s rest; to live by His resurrection Life; to inherit the saved nations of the earth. All the creation lies before us to enjoy for eternity.

First, however, the enemy must be driven from the land. So we cheerfully take our place in the army, whether it is as a private or a general, and obey the Spirit of God. Satan and his forces will fight furiously because they regard the earth and its nations as their personal possession.

When we came out of Egypt the Lord did all the fighting. It was our responsibility to put the blood of the Lamb on our household This means we were to receive by faith the blood atonement made by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Then God went forth and exercised judgment on the enemy that had us in chains. This judgment took place on the cross of Calvary.

But when we come to the land of promise we have to do the fighting. God helps us but does not do it all for us. The first enemy we encounter is the sin in our own personality. We must gain victory over our inner kingdom before we will be ready to descend with the Lord Jesus and establish victory over Satan in the earth.

It is time now for the saints to gain victory over their own personalities. Until this battle is won we are not prepared to appear with the Lord Jesus and install the Kingdom of God in the earth.

The wicked are doomed. Their end has been written in the unchangeable Word of God. All things are ours and we belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.

All of this wonderful victory and glory is for you, dear friend, if this is what you desire with all your heart. God asks only your cheerful belief and obedience. He shall accomplish His will by His power and wisdom. No personage or force can withstand God!

It all is yours. Whatever He says to you, do it. Never doubt God for one second. He shall do all He has promised. He shall bring you to eternal joy.

A few more patient steps, trudging along after Jesus, bearing our cross, and then glory beyond unbelievable glory.

Jesus has been your Alpha. Jesus shall be your Omega. He shall not fail nor forsake you until all has been accomplished that He has promised.

Amen!