TABLE OF CONTENTS
New Testament Abstract of Salvation
At the heart of the Christian Universalist controversy is the meaning of salvation. The only way we have of knowing what salvation is or why it is at issue in man’s relationship with God is through the scripture. The two most basic questions we can ask that even justify the purpose of Christian faith are “Why do I need to be saved?” and “From what do I need to be saved?”
The problem today is
that the answers to these questions are so basic to our faith that over
the generations they have become assumed to be obvious, such that the
word “salvation” carries its own inherent sense of being understood
without any solid underlying knowledge of the apostles' doctrine once
delivered us to define salvation's meaning, nature and scope. And it is
because of the holes and gaps in this apostolically-ignorant common
assumptiveness that the idea of “universal salvation” has found fresh
entrance to gain a hearing in the church through flim-flam and
sleight-of-hand redefinitions of salvation's vocabulary. The controversy
with universalism is framed over the “given” that “Everybody
already knows what salvation is, so we need not trifle over its
apostolically-explained details….,” from which the debate then
just endlessly tunnel focuses on the no-win "game of numbers" over the
duration of hell’s punishment and tally of those to be finally "saved."
But if we just go back to rediscover the forgotten (or never learned) root issues defining salvation from “all” that the apostles and prophets say about it, we will easily find that any idea that salvation can become an actualized reality across all the domains of the universe including the netherworld is false. And we will find that “all” the word alchemy around the terms “all men” and “aiónios” and “all in all” and even "salvation" itself that Universalists use to prove otherwise is rendered inert.
To discover this, we now turn to the New Testament’s complete descriptions of salvation. Following is an 87-statement reduction (a “redux”) of all the contextualized New Testament uses of the words “salvation,” “save,” “saved,” “saves” and “savior” as applicable to spiritual salvation—in order from Matthew to Revelation. Each reductive statement cites the verse reference(s) on salvation from which the statement is made. (Omitted are references to temporal physical salvation, such as in the case of Paul’s shipwreck, the disciples at sea, Christ on the cross, physical healing, etc.)
Following this reduction is a summary description tying together all the truths established by the 87 reductive statements. Finally, APPENDIX G provides the complete scriptures on salvation on which the redux and the summary are entirely based.
§ Salvation Redux
1. Salvation is fundamentally from sin, effected through the name of Jesus, the Savior in accord with the meaning of His Name. Mt. 1:21.
2. Salvation has a requirement of proven endurance (durability) to the end. The end always in view to the hearers is physical death prior to termination of the present age. Mt. 10:21-24; 24:10-14 / Mk. 13:12-13. (Revelation 14:13 witnesses that physical death is the benchmark for entering into final salvation rest.)
3. Salvation equates to entrance into the kingdom of God Mt. 19:24-26; Also Mk. 10:25-27; Lk. 18:25-27.
4. Salvation is impossible to people, only possible to God. Mt. 19:24-26; Also Mk. 10:25-27; Lk. 18:25-27. (Thus it cannot be brought about by self-determination/will. See Jn. 1:13)
5. Soul-life salvation occurs at the expense of self-preservation prior to the Lord’s coming in glory to judge and repay human deeds. Mk. 8:34-38/Mt. 16:27 Also Mt. 16:24-27; Lk. 9:23-26.
6. Salvation results from believing the kingdom gospel/good news in connection with baptism (discipleship obedience). It is opposed and mutually exclusive to condemnation (salvation is from forthcoming condemnation and avoids it.). Mk. 16:15-16.
7. Mary the mother of Jesus required salvation from sin. Lk. 1:46.
8. Salvation essentially begins as the forgiveness of sins, the knowledge of which prepares the way for its actualization. Lk. 1:76-77.
9. The news of Christ’s saviorship is for all peoples, extending God’s peace to those of His good will and pleasure. (Compare with Paul on God’s good will and intent of His pleasure (Eph. 1:5,9).) Lk. 2:10-14.
10. Christ’s salvation has been brought forth before all peoples for both gentiles and Israel. Lk. 2:29-32.
11. All people will witness the salvation of God as preached through baptismal repentance ahead of forgiveness. Repentance is preparatory to receiving forgiveness. Lk. 3:3-6.
12. Faith for forgiveness of sins saves, resulting in peace. Forgiveness is received by faith. Lk. 7:48-50.
13. Believing unto salvation depends upon the interaction of the word of God (the gospel of repentance-prepared forgiveness) with a “good and honest” heart [in whom, elsewhere shown, the Father has done a planting work (Mt. 15:13)].
· Salvation is preempted by the failure of that word to reach the point of faith or to remain past the point of faith under testing, and is otherwise stunted and confined to an immature actualization of soul salvation (“fruit”).
· Demonstrated through the illustration of dying vs. fruitful seeds, the ground represents opposed states of heart with no admission of possible redemption of the bad ground.
14. Salvation and destruction are mutually exclusive opposites. Jesus came presently only to save. No salvation “out of” destruction is admitted. Lk. 9:54-56.
15. Salvation is entrance into the knowing of God also equating to the kingdom. Few are the number of those saved to enter into it. The door to salvation’s entrance has a closing point past which it is unopenable for evildoers who know God only superficially and who are unknown to Him. Denial to salvation’s door is an active deportation enforcement action on God’s part. Outside the door is weeping and gnashing with no admission of possibility for reopening / opportunity for knowing God. Effectual salvation will include people from all earthly corners but will see role reversals of prominence among the saved. Lk 13:23-29. (Witness: what I shut, no man can open – Revelation 3:7 / from Isa. 22:22).
16. The Savior actively seeks and comes to the terrestrially lost/destroyed repentant. Salvation comes only via the Abrahamic seed. Lk. 19:8-10; Also Mt. 18:11.
17. Salvation is to possess age-enduring life opposed to, mutually exclusive and preventative of perishing which occurs via the passing of judgment beyond the present abiding sentence of condemnation under amnesty. The final perishing sentence is upon the refusal to love salvation’s light in the face of its presentation, ie, to love sin more than the possibility and desire of salvation from it. Jn. 3:16-21.
18. Salvation comes only through the Jewish seed lineage. Jn. 4: 21-22.
19. (The Samaritan believers understood that) the Messiah is the Savior of all peoples contexted in the interracial sense. Jn. 4:40-42.
20. Salvation through faith unto age-enduring life reverses present spirit death and prevents judgment by Jesus at the total resurrection when He will sentence the evildoers to death-based (non-living) resurrectional judgment apart and oppositely from the resurrection to life of well doers. No further resurrection is admitted as possible. Life and judgment are mutually exclusive opposites. The salvation message is given to prevent the resurrectional judgment. Jn. 5:24-34.
21. Salvation is presented as concurrent with abundant life and opposite to and mutually exclusive of the theft, murder and destruction by thieves and robbers who present themselves as false saviors purveying that from which salvation is given to save. No reconciling concourse between Jesus and the thieves and robbers is admitted or postulated. Jn 10:7-10.
22. Salvation is presented as Light obtained by faith out of present darkness, is opposed to and mutually exclusive of darkness, and is preventative of the last day judgment (witnessed in Rev. 20:11-15 and previously in John 5) Jn. 12:46-48.
23. Salvation is a separational divider and deliverer from identity with the perverse seed of human generation. Initial salvation is effected by calling on the Name of the Lord in conjunction with repenting and the receiving of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit in the context of baptism. The Holy Spirit is a gift of salvation. Individual salvation can occur en masse. Ac 2:16-47.
24. The Name of Jesus is the only name by which all people may be saved, and there is no other. Ac. 4:10-12.
25. As savior, Jesus grants repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. Salvation also entails obedience in conjunction with receiving the Holy Spirit. Ac. 5:30-32.
26. Salvation is for households and the Holy Spirit is present to witness to this. Ac. 11:12-17; also 16:29-34. (Also typified by Noah, Heb. 11:7.)
27. Salvation comes through the seed of Abraham for forgiveness through belief, frees people oppositely to the Law, and is opposed to /mutually exclusive of and preventative against perishing due to unbelief. Ac. 13:23-41.
28. Salvation is for all people to the ends of the earth but by specific appointment. Ac 13:46-48.
29. Salvation is by grace without distinction of people and is not conditioned on human works under the Law, but its message is corruptible thereto by legalist believers. Ac. 15:1-11.
30. The salvation message can be imitated by false spirits. Ac. 16:16-17.
31. Salvation is targeted for Gentiles, who God is confident will listen. Ac. 28:28.
32. Salvation is empowered through the gospel and is meant first for Jews then for Gentiles. Rom. 1:16-17.
33. Salvation is from wrath and by Christ’s life, mutually exclusive concepts, upon provisional reconciliation (reconciliation in principle). Reconciliation (justification) has been completed but is actualized (made effectual) through engaged reception. Salvation’s single execution in Christ’s death with its potentialized grace gift of righteousness is more powerful than the innumerable sins producing death and judgment (condemnation) creating its necessity, especially given the increase in sins due to the Law. Comparison is made between the number and power of the acts under each power, not the number of participators and recipients under each power (many). Rom. 5:8-21.
34. Salvation is by active extant hope for resurrection. Rom. 8:23-25.
35. Salvation is by select remnant among Jews and non-Jews unto glory opposite to and mutually exclusive from wrath and destruction. Rom. 9:22-27.
36. Salvation is activated by mouth confession of Christ’s lordship [evidenced by baptism] and heart faith in Christ’s resurrection [for the forgiveness of sins]. It is for all men without distinction of race delimited to those who call on His Name, a calling that follows an evangelical process from preaching to hearing to believing. Rom. 10:1-15.
37. Israel’s corporate (national trans-generational) salvation out of wrath, condemnation and rejection is a sin removal from an elect remnant, an earthside election based on a seed promise, contexted by a national rejection designed to produce salvation in non-Jewish people which in turn is designed to provoke the elect Jewish national salvation to majority. This elect Jewish trans-generational salvation is spoken of as an “engrafting” into a mutable tree of faith from and to which breakings and engraftings may occur in accord with first stage salvation. This national engrafting precedes and will effect overall third stage physical resurrection salvation in the church. This precedental national “resurrection” answers to the first stage resurrection to spiritual life of the individual believer out of spiritual death (per Rom. 6:4). Romans 11. (See also Ezk. 37; Hos 13.)
38. Last stage salvation requires vigilance throughout processal salvation as its time gets closer. Rom. 13:10-11. Also I Th. 5:7-8.
39. Active processal stage salvation is opposed to and mutually exclusive of perishing as seen through competing wisdoms. I Cor. 1:17-21.
40. Fire passed upon works is the agent by which salvation is proven for its quality of durability and completeness. Stage 1 spirit identity salvation may prove preservable though stage 2 soul salvation is proven incompleted even to the point of loss. I Cor. 3:12-15.
41. First stage spirit/identity salvation may be established preservable through apostolically induced judgment upon the sinning body now (ahead of the judgment of fire. This may indicate the preserving of the blood-washed forgiven but pre-born again spirit). I Cor. 5:3.
42. Present salvation of a spouse has a sanctifying effect on an unsaved spouse and upon their children. I Cor. 7:12-16.
43. Salvation ministry is enhanced by cultural identification. I Cor. 9:22; 10:31.
44. Christ’s death for sin and His resurrection are the foundation of the message of salvation, but the message must be held to. I Cor. 15:1.
45. Afflictions and comforts (encouragements) in one believer’s processal salvation minister to aiding the endurance of processal salvation in other believers. II Cor. 1:5. Also II Tim. 2:10.
46. Salvation ministry operates oppositely toward those being saved and those who perish, showing the mutual exclusivity of salvation as a realm and spiritual operation set apart from those who remain destined to Second Death. No subsequent different effect of operation is admitted post Second Death entry. II Cor. 2:14-15. Also Php 1:27-28.
47. The new glorified body replaces the mortal body as clothing, preventing soul nakedness. II Cor. 5:1-5.
48. Salvation is ordained to be made known at and for a specific time. And it can be received to none effect (“in vain”). II Cor. 6:1-3. Also I Tim 2:6.
49. Processal salvation requires chastisements producing sorrow for repentance of present sin in order to avoid any degree of salvational loss. II Cor. 7:9-10.
50. Salvation includes receiving a pledge or seal of the Holy Spirit toward salvation’s conclusion. (Other evidence shows this seal can be broken, which is why lost people failing of new birth can still evidence gifts of the anointing.) Eph. 1:7-14.
51. Salvation is a sovereignly bestowed free gift (grace) appropriated by faith apart from any prevenient self-empowered works but purposed to reveal pre-prepared good works toward the future end of displaying the glory of that sovereign grace. Eph. 2:4-10.
52. Christ’s saviorship is a corporate saviorship of the church (His select body) (and thus not only an individual saviorship). Eph. 5:23.
53. Salvation is characterized as a protection to one’s spiritual head (indicating chief governing purpose of mind) Eph. 6:17. Also I Th. 5:8.
54. Processal salvation must be outwrought through a spirit of trembling holy fear, that is, out of motivation by the fear of the Lord. Php. 2:12-13.
55. Salvation is identified as a heavenly citizenship whose end is bodily transformation by Christ’s subduing power, opposite to and mutually exclusive of the destructive end belonging to (unredeemed) appetite-worshipping, shame-reveling earth-minded enemies of Christ. Php. 3:18-21.
56. Terminal (telos) wrath comes to the hostile ones who amass a sin capability quotient resultant from hindering the salvation message. I Th. 2:14-16.
57. Salvation and wrath are opposite mutually exclusive destinations. Wrath as an intended pass through to salvation is oxymoronic and not admitted. I Th. 5:9.
58. The man of sin slain by Christ is a God-ordained deceptive judgment awarded to the perishing that refused salvation’s truth, opposite and mutually exclusive to God’s sanctifying truth salvation for His beloved elect. Salvation is by pre-election from the beginning (of its conception in God’s heart and mind). Subjection to deception is not admitted as a pass through to truth or God’s belovedness. II Th. 2:8-14.
59. God’s saving of chiefest sinners exhibits His patience as an example to others receiving salvation. I Tim. 1:15-16.
60. God desires the salvation of all classes of men, He being the only mediator and having provisionally redeemed all men in principle at the appointed time. I Tim. 2:1-6.
61. Accordingly, God is the provisional in-principal savior of all men, and the effectual actualized savior of believers, in which salvation must yet be ensured. (The qualifying requirement of ensuredness indicates the uncertainty of actualized salvation and thus the non-exceptional salvation of all men in principle only.) I Tim. 4:10, 16.
62. The salvation call to holy works was gifted from the time of the ages, revealed by the appearance of Christ, who abolished death personally and in principle, correlatively revealing immortality and life through the gospel. No distinction between age-enduring life and immortality is observed. II Tim. 1:8-10.
63. Those obtaining salvation are a chosen people. Salvation entails the believer’s present dying with Christ in order to live with Him, both in the completed act at first faith and in the enduring action unto reigning. This is opposite to and mutually exclusive of denying Him that in turn yields His denial of the believer. II Tim. 2:10-13.
64. The sacred writings lead to salvation through faith, and its message is available to one as soon as he can comprehend it. This is contrasted to evil men and imposters who proceed oppositely from bad to worse in deception. Salvation and deception are of opposite trajectories, not admitting of meeting. II Tim. 3:13-15.
65. The promise of salvation to age-enduring life for a chosen people originated in past ages intended for actualized accomplishment at an appointed time. Tit. 1:1-4.
66. Salvation is for a delimited chosen people from among all (non-exceptionally universal) classes of men, emphasizing present processal holiness and active expectation for translation. (The number of the chosen is finite, a closed set defining a “body.” The number of classes from which they are chosen is unlimited. Witness Rev. 5) Tit. 2:9-14.
67. Salvation is by sovereign mercy apart from any prevenient human work, involving regenerative (new birth) washing and Spirit renewal that converts accomplished justification into actualized age-enduring (imperishable) heirship. Tit. 3:4-7. (See I Pt. 1:4 “imperishable” heirship.)
68. Salvation is an heirship which angels are commissioned to serve. Heb. 1:13-14.
69. Age-enduring salvation engages an obedience mandate involving suffering in order for salvation to be brought to completion—a mandate first exemplified in Christ who authored salvation. Neglect of and drift from the mandate is more severely punished than violations under the angelically superintended first covenant. Heb. 2:1-10; 5:8-9.
70. Those who fall away from (abandon / renounce) the salvation covenant, having received the Spirit’s powers, are unrestorable to repentance for reentry because the atonement covenant may only be entered as many times as Christ died—once. Yielding a cursed life fruit equivalent to thorns and briers under Spirit anointing, burning is the only admitted fate for such covenantal abandonment. Heb. 6:4-9. (Also 10:26-31. The fire of judgment is terminal post sacrifice, precluding of any further salvation and is of surpassing severity. This vengeance is non-restorative.)
71. Jesus presides as high priest over the ongoing atonement plan, holding a permanent priesthood described as continuing “to the age.” In this continuance He “always lives” to intercede for those who have joined the covenant. Because of this enduring office and intercession, He is able to save completely for all time (panteles). Thus no difference between “to the age” and “always” and “for all time” is admitted. Heb. 7:24-25.
72. The one death of Christ bringing final stage salvation at second appearance answers preventatively to the one death of man bringing judgment (the appearance of Second Death). No other further coming for salvation post judgment is admitted, His second coming having no further reference to sin. Final salvation is predicated upon eager watchfulness. Heb. 9:27
73. The word of faith that processally saves the soul must be continuously received with humility attended by resultant works, without which it is of no saving value. Jas. 1:21-22; 2:14.
74. God is the mover of both salvation and destruction in terminal unreconciled opposition. No salvation “out of” destruction is admitted. Jas. 4:12.
75. Salvation of the soul, resulting from the turning from error, is preventatively opposed to soul death. No reconciliation of soul death and salvation is admitted. Jas. 5:19-20.
76. God’s power through faith protects the born again saved for final stage salvation with its imperishable inheritance to be revealed. I Pt. 1:3-5.
77. Salvation grows in nourishment by devotion to the unadulterated word of God free from malevolent attitudes. I Pt. 2:1-3.
78. Baptism acts as a sealant upon the conscience. By its association with the initial soul-saving sealing of the cleansed heart through confessional interrogation, baptism figuratively saves us from the effects of the world’s godlessness as the flood literally saved Noah from the world. I Pt. 3:18-22. (See details at http://www.firstloveministry.org/baptism/baptism7.htm)
79. Salvation stands as a narrow surety subject to final judgment for proving, as opposed to and mutually exclusive of the fate of the ungodly. The judgment of the ungodly admits of no redemptivity, but is implied to be otherwise. I Pt. 4:17-19.
80. The faith of salvation is received as a righteous grant from the Savior, but its election must be proven by works which also minister an abundant entrance into God’s age-enduring kingdom. II Pt. 1:1-2, 10-11.
81. To fail of salvation’s initial conscience cleansing so as to become overcome of sin again is to incur a worse final fate than not to have first known salvation, evidencing no new birthed creationhood. No further possible redemption from the worse final fate is admitted. II Pt. 2:20-22.
82. God is determinedly unwilling that any of His elect perish, thus His patience in bringing all elect to (full) repentance (in all things) is against and up to His Day of judgment, initiating the destruction sequence of the first cosmos. The devotion of the elect to their purification in the saving knowledge of Christ speeds repentance and so reduces the delay to the Day of the Lord. II Pt. 3:1-18.
83. (Free unprompted) Confession of Jesus as the Son of God evidences salvation identified as God’s indwelling. I Jn. 4:13-15.
84. The corporate body of the commonly saved is infiltrated with false believers previously destined for destruction. Destruction for unbelief following salvation is demonstrated through Israel’s wilderness journey, showing their opposed realities and admitting of no further salvation. Believers must vigilantly watch for final salvation and have the capacity to savingly snatch present wandering souls out of the fire (saved so as by fire), showing mercy to casual doubters and fearful mercy to those with polluted soul garments. Salvation is opposed to and presently preventative of this fire. Jude 3-25.
85. Soul salvation is indicated by the possession of a robe made white in the blood of the Lamb (witnessed in Rev. 19:8 to be the works of the saints) Rev. 7:9-14.
86. Salvation is equated with the kingdom, its authority and its power and is demonstrated in the expulsion of satan and his forces from the ability to lay further legal accusation against the saints before God. Rev. 12:9-11.
87. Salvation comes to those on whose behalf he takes out vengeance on the wicked according to truth and righteousness. The salvation is of those avenged. There is no admission of salvation upon the objects of divine vengeance. Rev. 19:1-3.
§ Summarizing the Meaning of Salvation
This witness establishes that salvation has phases including salvation from 1) sin’s after-death judgmental penalty (“wrath”) via forgiveness, 2) sin’s present power in the soul via suffering obedience, and 3) sin’s effect of physical death via translation or resurrection of the body:
Sin’s forgiveness is initial and immediate, actualized upon the worldwide provisional reconciliation established in principle by Christ’s death. Defeat of sin’s present power is processal throughout mortal life. Triumph over sin’s effect (wages) of death is instantaneous upon completion of salvation’s process at translation or resurrection. These are the only phases described and they all occur previously to, preventatively of and protectively against the destructive Day of the Lord (Christ’s second appearing) and/or ahead of and against the final judgment in conjunction with the termination of the present cosmos (for those who are born and reborn after Christ’s second coming).
The first two phases (salvation from sin’s penalty and power) are entirely worked out among the terrestrially living, while the third (bodily salvation from or from out of physical death) is accomplished only for partakers of the first two terrestrial phases. Any proposal of salvation’s outworking of forgiveness and deliverance past physical death is purely speculative, requiring further revelation, as it is nowhere discussed; while all consideration of saving blood application past willful terrestrial rejection of initial cleansing is specifically prohibited (Heb. 10:26-27). Salvation itself can be lost, meaning not regainable.
Death, perishing, destruction, judgment, condemnation, darkness, wrath (fire) and punishment (the death group) are all presented as interchangeable states without a distinction of any nuanced difference.
The death group has both a present inherited state and a future executed state. Salvation is always presented as opposite to, mutually exclusive of, presently delivering of and terminally preventative of these interchangeable states of judgment. No appeal from the one and only cited future judgment of the last cosmic day is anywhere evidenced wherein salvation might be further adjudicated.
Salvation is provisionally made for all men terrestrially without exception only by the Name of Jesus and the means of His blood covering. Salvation is available only to and for mankind inasmuch as all salvation operates only by the blood of Christ resulting from Christ’s humanity. No blood is shed for angels and no other salvation for fallen angels is advanced, but is instead disclaimed (Heb. 2:16).
All men upon the earth non-exceptionally partake of the present in principle reconciling salvation provided through the blood. Only those who believe without later departure (the elect) partake of permanent actualized effectual salvation, though they may not complete all its phases, being stripped of evil fruits. All others who have heard are condemned. Those who believe and then depart partake of impermanent actualized salvation, receiving forgiveness without a changed nature.
The final state of all salvation is put on trial of fire and judged by the fruit of its works at the last day of the present cosmos. God as consuming fire tries the state of salvation evidenced by the works of all men. For that which has the durability of metal, the fire proves refining and vindicating. For that which is combustible as wood, hay, stubble, chaff, dead branches, tares, thorns and briers, the fire proves terminally destructive. Both the works and the ground of heart from which they grow are subjected to the fire—wherein fire becomes part of the death group. In certain cases, the heart ground will prove redeemable though much or most of the fruit / works will be burned (saved so as by fire), revealing a naked soul without the robing of a new body. (Only God knows the difference.)
Proceed to APPENDIX F