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God's Agenda for Salvation

By Donald P. Moss

 

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Series Introduction

Foreshadows Introduction

Volume 1 -THE GARDEN OF EDEN - Adam's Creation and His
Spiritual and
Physical Environments

Volume 2 - NEW BEGINNING AND NEW WORLD ENVIRONMENT

Volume 3 - JOSEPH, EPHRAIM AND MANASSEH - A Foreshadow of God's Agenda for Jew and Gentile

Volume 4  - CROSSING THE JORDAN RIVER - A Foreshadow of Salvation for Jew and Gentile

Volume 5 - THE BOOK OF REVELATION - God's Agenda for the End Time

Volume 6 - THE SEVEN LETTERS TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES

Volume 7  - CHRIST IN THE TABERNACLE - A Foreshadow of Redemption

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Bible Lessons Archive

(An excerpt from Volume 2 - NEW BEGINNING AND NEW WORLD ENVIRONMENT)

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Why Does Man Need to be Saved in Order to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

When Adam fell from grace he severed his Holy Spirit life line to God. His sin was an offence to God because he turned from God through disobedience. Without God's provisional life line, Adam became a mortal because death entered into his inner man. From that moment forward, Adam and his descendents would exist as mortals. Immortality vanished from Adam's spiritual soul, because immortality can only be obtained by the inner presence of the Holy Spirit.

It then became necessary for God to provide a way for man's spiritual re-birth. Man must be re-born spiritually by willingly opening his heart (inner spiritual part of man) to receiving the breath of God (Holy Spirit).

Fallen man resists this requirement because he does not realize he is blinded to spiritual matters provided by God. Most fallen men realize there is a spiritual part of their being, but they believe they do not need to be saved in order to develop their spiritual being. Why should man believe in salvation if he is born with spiritual elements? Isn't it more reasonable to perceive spiritual development as a matter of being good and shunning evil? To those who have no knowledge of things that are common to man and things that are holy before Jehovah God, these thoughts seem rational and sufficient to enter heaven. There are many fallen men who believe their god is good and does not reject or condemn good men. Many carnal men believe a life lived performing good deeds is evidence of their righteousness before their god. These men believe their better way (self development) because they can control their spiritual growth and be assured of their acceptance by their god.

Self-control with good deeds is the foundation of faith in all non-Christian belief systems. It is the basis for self-righteousness.

Thus, good men perish for a lack of God's knowledge and wisdom concerning their spiritual state -

Proverbs 14:12 (NIV) - There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Ephesians 2:4-10 (NIV) - But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, (5) made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. (6) And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, (7) in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (8) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - (9) not by works, so that no one can boast. (10) For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God's Way into His kingdom is through faith in Christ Jesus. It is a free gift of God and becomes man's righteousness before God. Self righteousness by good works profits man nothing. If good deeds made man righteous, then the grace and workmanship of God in man's life would have no value to his spiritual growth. Man must be re-born through faith in Christ Jesus!

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God's Divine Intervention in Man's Salvation

Since the creation of the world, God predetermined He would save any man who willingly accepts Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord - Ephesians 1:4-5 (KJV) - According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

God's predetermination to save and adopt us as His sons through our faith in Christ Jesus was the beginning of a covenant He makes with any man who comes to Him with an open heart and believes.

A part of this covenant is seen as God intervenes in the life of Noah. Noah's salvation from God's wrath was by the divine intervention of God - Genesis 7:16 (NIV) - The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in. In Genesis 8: 15-16 - Then God said to Noah, "Come out of the ark..."

Noah and his household were saved from the flood by divine intervention. God shut Noah into the ark and God called Noah out of the ark. God was in control of Noah's safety from the beginning to the end. This divine intervention foreshadows God's work of salvation through Christ Jesus.

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God's Agenda for Redemption Is Covenant Structured and revealed in Old Testament accounts.

Isaiah 46: 8-13 (NIV) - "Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. (9) Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. (10) I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. (11) From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. (12) Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are far from righteousness. (13) I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed."

"What is still to come"- God's plan for salvation is foreshadowed in the biblical accounts of ancient times. The end is made known from the beginning. God has purposed through Old Testament accounts to reveal the forthcoming salvation of Israel. God orchestrated Old Testament events in a way as to foreshadow future events. An Old Testament event that foreshadows a future New Testament event is seen as Moses commanded the Israelites to sprinkle the blood of the lamb on the door posts and lintels of their houses prior to coming out of Egypt. This event foreshadows Christ shedding of blood during Passover over those who accept Him (coming out of darkness). What God did in the Old Testament, He repeats in the New Testament. Therefore, some Old Testament events figuratively foreshadow the future.

"What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do" - This phrase speaks of what God has spoken, what He has planned and what He will do in the future. Foreshadowing is a type of biblical word mechanics God uses to reveal His agenda and plan for the salvation of Israel. From "ancient times" God reveals the future. "Ancient times" means times of the Old Testament, back to the time of Adam. Therefore, hidden in the ancient scriptures are prophetic revelations concerning Israel's future salvation, The "end" is made known from the "beginning" means the scriptures reveal end time events through events at the beginning. "From" means out of the beginning, not separate from the beginning.

"Will not be delayed"- The time and plan for salvation has been set in place. God is on a schedule! Set times are established for specific events of salvation and the set times can not be changed. Although satan, through the anti-christ, will try to change the set times during the end time, he will not succeed - Daniel 7:24-25 (NIV) - He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.   

God's agenda for salvation was purposed in the Old Testament and initiated by Christ's death on the cross; with final consummation or fulfillment in Revelation 10: 6-7 (NIV) - And he swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, "There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants and prophets."

"No more delay" - The time for consummation of the ministry of the gospel has arrived.

"Seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet" - Just prior to the blowing of the seventh trumpet, which ushers in the allotted time for God's wrath against those who refused the gospel, the allotted time for the gospel era ends.

"Announced to his servants and prophets" - This mystery of God (plan of salvation) was revealed to the New Testament prophets and servants. It was hidden from Old Testament prophets, thus it was called a mystery. Romans 16:25 (KJV) - Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.

God's agenda for salvation had a beginning and it has an end. God is methodical when performing His work of salvation in the earth. All the salvation work of God is done while Christ is seated in heaven. When Christ ascended into heaven, He left us with two things, the Word of His testimony (He only spoke what God told Him to speak) and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. God accomplishes salvation of mankind through these two things, else Christ would not have left the earth. Man's faith in the gospel and the power to live it out in his personal life and in his ministry of God's grace to others are the two factors of God's agenda for the gospel. God's agenda for salvation is closed in Revelation 10:6-7 just prior to the bowls of wrath. Therefore, salvation by faith in the gospel is closed. Then Christ returns to the earth after the time of salvation is closed.

Salvation must be accomplished while Christ is unseen in heaven, prior to His return to earth. Why? Faith in unseen things is what changes the character of men. Faith in seen things will not change the sense conscience of men. Sense faith cannot reach beyond earthly realm.