(Continued from February 8, 2017 issue)
That is also the understanding that Gentile Christians have missed. For the Jews of Jesus' time, when they believed Jesus to be their Lamb of God, everything else fell into place—their history with a covenant-keeping God, their understanding of covenant, and the benefits of keeping covenant with Almighty God.
By contrast, in Romans 10:9, Paul preached to the Gentiles, an uncovenanted people or a godless-people, with no history of covenant with God.
Paul had to preach covenant: “That if thou shalt covenant with thy mouth, thou shall be made whole (delivered, protected literally or figuratively, healed, preserved, to save self, do well) by the Word.”
The church world today, as a whole, does not covenant or acknowledge with its mouth, by faith in the blood of Jesus, to be “made whole; delivered or protected, literally or figuratively; to be healed, preserved, to save self, do well.”
Many Christians do not believe in their hearts and covenant with their mouths for a Saviour who, at all times, avenges, defends, delivers, helps, preserves, and rescues. When they accept the invitation described earlier, they receive a saviour that might kill them or let them die prematurely, maybe before the night is over.
A story is sometimes told about someone not responding to the call to receive Christ as their saviour. As the person left the meeting, he or she was killed in an automobile accident. Those who did respond, however, came forward to prepare to die.
They did not come forward to live in covenant with the Most High God through the blood of Jesus, and, therefore, be protected in an auto accident. The Most High God will judge the ministers for their unfaithfulness in issuing this watered-down invitation to Christ. Christians without the protection of the covenant will face the perils prophesied in Revelation.
According to God's word, we are fast approaching the age when things will get worse and worse. The Lord wants to restore His church, and to raise up the last church in the fullness of His kind of salvation, faith and power. To that end, the Lord gave a night vision, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).”
I had a dream in 1976, in which I was walking down the street and came to a large house. When I entered the house, I found myself in the foyer of the church I had attended for 25 years and then left. A member of the church came out of the sanctuary through a door on my left. She walked by as if she were dead. I was wondering what it was all about, and who she was. As the lady walked past me to go back into the sanctuary through the door on my right, I laughed as I recognised her by her manner of walk and dress.
I had been part of her wedding, sang in the choir with her, and had been a part of a singing group with her husband. She had been sick on and off for a number of years. The pastor of the church appeared beside me with a cheap paring knife in his hand.
Without his speaking, I knew that he wanted me to follow him. We went down a long hallway to the back of the church, to a room below the baptismal pool. On each side were rooms for people to change their clothes to prepare for baptism. In the middle of the room was a very deep, open grave. It was filled with former members of the church, who had died prematurely because of the pastor's cheap paring knife. The pastor was upset, because I would not accept his cheap little knife. Then I threw up my hands, looked up in anguish and dismay toward heaven, and cried out, “Lord, what shall I do?”
The Lord said to rebuke the spirit of death. I left the pastor and went back into the foyer and began to rebuke the spirit of death. The people began to come alive and praise God as they passed me while I prayed for them. After they went back into the sanctuary, I heard screams. A brother in the Lord that I knew well came out of the door on the left, and began to explain what was happening inside.
He told me that my praying had brought the people back to life, but now they could feel their wounds from the knife, and the pain from their sickness. He said that if they did not get the word of God, they would die all over again. This was my night vision. In Habakkuk 2:2, we read: “And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision and make it plain upon tables that he may run that readeth it.
So I wrote it down, along with a warning: The doctrine of many Pentecostal pastors has left the saints believing in a god called “If”. They believe that “If God” does not want you dead or sick for His glory, He might heal you. They believe that being saved, means just being born again. But that is not the Gospel (good news) of Jesus. In Greek, the word for saved is SOZO, which means to save, i.e., deliver or protect (literally or figuratively) heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
In Acts 2:21, the word “saved” means to be made whole: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved (made whole).” It has the same meaning in Acts 2:47, Acts 4:12, Acts 11:14, Acts 15:11, and Acts 16:30-31. The Hebrew word for save, YASHA, means to be open, to be safe; to free or succor; (having) salvation, save, savior, get victory. James 5:1.5 reads: “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” In Matthew 9:5, Jesus says, “For whether is easier to say Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk?”
It is the same thing! When we look at the word “salvation” in the Bible, we, again, find that its meaning is greater than we have been taught. We find in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” SOTERIA, the Greek word for salvation, means rescue or safety (physically or morally deliver, health, save, saving.
Hezekiah, the King of Judah, knew that his sins were forgiven when he was healed. In Isaiah 38:17, he says: “Behold for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love for my soul (life) delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.”
God speaks to Isaiah in Isaiah 49:6 “And he said: It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest by my salvation unto the end of the earth.”
Isaiah 12:2-6 reads: “Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day, shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things. This is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” There are two Hebrew words for salvation — YESHUWAH and YESHA. YESHUWAH means deliverance, aid, victory, prosperity, health, help and, helping. YESHA means liberty, deliverance, prosperity, safety. Welfare means the state or condition of having good health, happiness, or prosperity. (To be continued).
By Pastor David L. Matthews, BMW International Ministry