“Once saved always saved” Delusion
“Once saved always saved” is a doctrine, although not as prevalent as the Predestination, created by men that once a Christian “accepts Christ as a personal Savior” he or she becomes “born again” and cannot lose his or her salvation.
Not all mainstream Christian Churches, such as the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, support this doctrine. “Once saved always saved” doctrine is supported and it is even a main doctrine in some of the Protestant denominations in the West, i.e. the Baptist Church.
Nevertheless, the proponents of “Once saved always saved” doctrine are very vocal and influential, and being a part and variant of the Predestination doctrine, deserves no less attention in Time of Reckoning Ministry (TORM).
Pride and bosting in Predestination
The human mind, especially in the Greco-Roman culture, i.e. the West, loves to explore the unknown. Falling short on comprehension and ability to grasp what is inconceivable to grasp, human mind always seeks to understand the mystery of predestination and free will.
Hence, to come even closer to “the truth”, the theologians brought up “Once saved always saved” doctrine in their array of men-made teachings, which is created to be a further development of the already existing the Predestination doctrine.
As the Predestination so does “Once saved always saved” holds the view that the Christians had been chosen before the foundation of the world to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Once they had been chosen, “Once saved always saved” doctrine takes it one step further to say that since the Christian is already chosen, he or she cannot lose his or her destination, i.e. salvation.
There is nothing as proud as the human mind and what the human mind thinks of itself, especially when it comes to boasting in being predetermined for eternal salvation, and beating the chest of being once saved always saved.
In attempt to explore the very intangible depths of the Creator’s will and works, this pride and boasting often reaches and crosses the line of arrogance, as to who is and who is not saved, who will and who will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
Even worse, this sin of pride and boasting consists in assuming that men have the knowledge and the right to judge themselves and others in the matter of salvation, as if it is theirs to judge.
The Book of Life, in which all righteous are written, is incomprehensible to us. It is an open book in heaven, but for us it is sealed. The Creator has never told us to explore the unknown. The hidden matters are His. And the Book of Life is His to write on.
We do not know what and who is being written in this book. However, what we certainly know is what YHVH has already told us, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore you shall choose life“.
However, we too have a book to read from; this is the Book of Acts of the disciples of Yeshua. We have it to learn from, but one thing we need to know: this book is still being written, this time in heaven. Everything we have said and done is being written. Everything we have said and done will be brought in brought to light and we will be judged accordingly; it has been said so.
The paradox of “Once saved always saved”
The purpose of this study is to expose the paradox of “Once saved always saved” as a delusion that can bring nothing but confusion and emptiness in the soul; a variant of the Predestination which we studied in the article “Predestination vs Free Will Paradox“.
The words we will read from are not the words of the prophet, but the very words of YHVH Himself. The words of YHVH are plain and simple to understand.
Mosheh assured us in his last address to the nation that when YHVH speaks through His Messenger of the Face or through His prophets, everything is easy to comprehend.
Mosheh said that the Torah is not too hard for us, nor is it far off. It is not in the heavens, to say, ‘Who shall ascend into the heavens for us, and bring it to us to understand it?’ Nor is it deep in the sea hidden from us. But he said, “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart to do it. (Deu 30:11-14)
Staying faithful to the words of Mosheh, we will read from the Word of YHVH in Ezekiel. These verses are rarely, if at all, mentioned by the proponents of “Once saved always saved”, because the words of YHVH spoken in Ezekiel do not fit this doctrine.
No doctrinal training, and no theological education are necessary. One does not need a Rabbi, pastor, preacher, teacher, etc. in order to understand the words of YHVH we will read below.
They are plain and simple as they possibly can be. One does not need the commentaries of Luther, Calvin and others in order to see for him or herself whether “Once saved always saved” doctrine holds truth.
In Time of Reckoning Ministry (TORM), we will keep the comments in this study as minimal as possible, because what the reader will read is plain and simple to understand.
And let not anyone attempt to say that the words of YHVH refer to Israel only and not to all, unless he or she thinks He has double standards.
The three-fold message from YHVH few want to hear
YHVH calls Ezekiel to be a prophet to Israel and makes him responsible for the souls entrusted to him. According to YHVH’s word, he is to admonish the sinners to turn from their evil ways, that they will not die in their sins.
If the prophet does not warn them, as YHVH has commanded him, he renders himself guilty of a deadly sin and their blood will be required from him. A dreadful statement for all who call themselves Rabbis, pastors, preachers, teachers, and ministers.
But also, when a righteous man backslides, he is regarded as equal with the sinner and dies in his sin. We read thus,
Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. And you shall hear a word from My mouth, and shall warn them from Me.
When I say to the wrong, “You shall certainly die” and you have not warned him, nor spoken to warn the wrong from his wrong way, to save his life, that same wrong man shall die in his crookedness, and his blood I require at your hand. But if you have warned the wrong and he does not turn from his wrong, nor from his wrong way, he shall die in his crookedness, and you have delivered your soul.
And when a righteous one turns from his righteousness and shall do unrighteousness, when I have put a stumbling-block before him, he shall die. Because you did not warn him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done is not remembered, and his blood I require at your hand. But if you have warned the righteous one that the righteous should not sin, and he did not sin, he shall certainly live because he has been warned, and you have delivered your being. (Eze 3:17-21)
Apostle Ya’akov (James) teaches us that YHVH neither causes man to sin, nor desires the death of the sinner, and He does not tempt to evil (Jam 1:13), but He guides and places the sinner in situations in life in which he must come to the fork of the road to make the decision: to choose life or death. This we studied in the article “Predestination vs Free Will Paradox”.
However, if the righteous man does not do turn away from sin, evil gains within him more and more strength, so that he becomes the servant of sin, and finally reaches a point where repentance is impossible. That was the case of Pharaoh.
The second thing we need to understand is that the “stumbling-block” which YHVH places before the righteous man, who turns away from righteousness to unrighteousness, is not that the Lord lets man continue in sin in order that he may die. But it is to be understood as an object of offence that YHVH puts in the way of the sinner, in order that the sin may be revealed in him, so that the backslider will have no excuse on the Judgement Day.
The same warning to sinners and righteous men is reinserted fifteen chapters later. We read thus from Ezekiel 18,
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the crookedness of the father, nor the father bear the crookedness of the son. The righteousness of the righteous is upon himself, and the wrongness of the wrong is upon himself.
But the wrong, if he turns from all his sins which he has done, and he shall guard all My laws, and shall do judgement and righteousness, he shall certainly live, he shall not die. All the transgressions which he has done shall not be mentioned against him – in his righteousness that he has done, he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wrong? declares the Master Yehovah. Is it not that he should turn from his ways, and live?
But when a righteous one turns away from his righteousness and does unrighteousness, according to all the abominations that the wrong one has done, shall he live? All his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered. For his trespass which he has committed, and for his sin which he has committed, for them he shall die.
And you said, “The way of Yehovah is not balanced”. Hear now, O house of Israel, is My way not balanced? Is it not your ways that are not balanced? When a righteous one turns away from his righteousness, and does unrighteousness, and he dies in it, it is because of his unrighteousness which he has done that he dies.
And when the wrong turns away from the wrong which he has done, and he does judgements and righteousness, he keeps himself alive. Because he sees and turns away from all the transgressions which he has done, he shall certainly live, he shall not die. (Eze 18:20-28)
The Hebrew in Ezekiel 18 literally reads, “The way of Yehovah is not balanced, or weighed”. In other words, the sinners will say, that the judgement of YHVH is not fare, “I was righteous all my life and when I made a small mistake, He judged me more than I deserve. It is not fare”.
In other words, those self-righteous people say that YHVH should weigh and balance, i.e. He should take into consideration all good and bad things and weigh them and see that they deserve heaven.
And in another fifteen chapters, in order to preclude the abuse of righteousness by the self-righteous people by making it a ground of false confidence in their own righteousness. YHVH repeats the same warning in Eze 33:12-20, and more particularly, that the self-confidence of the righteous is of no help to him, if he sins. And the assurance of eternal life the sinner had will be taken away from him on account of sin, if he turns from righteousness and takes the path of sins.
Again, YHVH first addresses the wrong giving him the assurance that if he turns away from evil, he will live. We read thus,
When I say to the wrong, “O wrong one, you shall certainly die!” and you have not spoken to warn the wrong from his way, that wrong one shall die in his crookedness, and his blood I require at your hand. But when you have warned the wrong to turn from his way, and he has not turned from his way, he shall die in his crookedness, but you have delivered your soul. And you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel, “This is what you have said, ‘If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how then shall we live?'” Say to them, “As I live”, declares the Master Yehovah, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wrong, but that the wrong turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?”
And YHVH continues,
The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression. And as for the wrongness of the wrong, he shall not stumble because of it in the day that he turns from his wrong. And the righteous shall not be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins. When I say to the righteous that he shall live, and he has trusted in his righteousness and shall do unrighteousness, none of his righteousness shall be remembered, but because of his unrighteousness that he has done, he shall die. (Eze 33:8-13)
Again, when I say to the wrong, “You shall certainly die”, if he turns from his sin and does right and righteousness, if the wrong restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the laws of life without doing crookedness, he shall certainly live; he shall not die. None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him – he has done right and righteousness; he shall certainly live. (Eze 33:14-16)
The third and last message of YHVH concludes again with the warning to those who have expected to have eternal salvation and will blame Him of being unfair in His judgement when they happen to be found wrong (Eze 33:17-20).
These words of YHVH cannot be heard in the churches today; they do not fit in the men-made teaching of “Once saved always saved” which sees salvation not as a process but as a single act of saying “the sinner’s prayer” after which “the born again Christian” is assured by men that he or she has the eternal salvation.
Salvation as a process is a subject of study of its own that too does not fit the doctrines of men that admitting our own sins, confession, repentance (literally, turning back) is the beginning of the process of salvation. In this process, Apostle Shaul (Paul) told us to “work out our own salvation” (Php 2:12).
We receive justification and reconciliation now, but the completion of the process of salvation will ultimately involve our resurrection, and only then will our salvation be complete. Until then we are to walk in obedience and work out our own salvation.
And not only so, but even we ourselves who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we ourselves also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. (Rom 8:23)
Not only we but the whole creation is waiting for the redemption (see in v.22). And this is the process of salvation Shaul is teaching: (1) once we have become the First-fruits (alluding to the Feast of the First-fruits) at the repentance, (2) we groan within ourselves, or we fight the sin in us and thus we work out our salvation, until (3) the redemption and adoption at the resurrection (alluding to the Feast of Shavuot). This too cannot be heard in the churches today.
through which also you are being saved, if you hold fast that word I brought as Good News to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1Co 15:2)
And we desire that each one of you show the same eagerness, to the entire confirmation of expectation until the end, in order that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Heb 6:11-12)
Here again, Shaul encouraged his readers to be found blameless in the day of Yeshua’s appearing. He did not want them to miss “the entire conformation until the end”. He did not want that they should find themselves asleep or sluggish but imitate those who practicing their faith will inherit the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven. The apostle seems to imply that it is quite possible that once one’s name has been written in the Book of Life, it could be equally blotted out if he is found unworthy (Read also Romans 11).
But, as if Apostle Shimon Kefa (Peter) describes the process of salvation plainly and simply.
He says that (1) “according to YHVH’s great compassion we are born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua Messiah” (this is the beginning of the process of salvation), “to an inheritance that has been kept in the heavens for us” (the inheritance, not our predestination), (2) “who are protected by the power of Elohim through faith, in which we have been grieved by manifold trials, in order that the proving of your faith by fire at the revelation of Yeshua Messiah” (that is to work out our own salvation through trials), (3) “for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time“. (1Pe 1:3-7) And then is the end.
So, where do the Christian theologians see in Ezekiel chapters 3, 18 and 33 the alleged Predestination and “Once saved always saved” doctrines”? Simply they are not there. It is a delusion held in the face of evidence to the contrary that if a righteous man turns away from the path of righteousness, he loses everything. It is a mistaken and unfounded theory; deception by creating illusory ideas of being predestined and chosen to be saved forever.
To the contrary, YHVH in plain language is warning that a righteous one will lose his righteousness, if he is found unworthy. But, the responsibility of the righteous man is to make the right choice when he comes at the fork of the road, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse”. But YHVH prompts us, “You shall choose life“.
With that being said, we are coming to the pivotal point in our study of Predestination and “Once saved always saved”.
The two things one needs to get saved
The words in Revelation are of YHVH Elohim which He gave to His Son, Yeshua the Messiah, who sent His messenger to reveal them to Yochanan (John) (see Rev 1:1).
In the last address of YHVH to the world before the Judgement, He set clearly two things one needs to get saved: (1) to be found among the remnant of YHVH and (2) to be found a saint, that is a set-apart one.
We read from Revelation,
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah. (Rev 12:17)
Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones, here are those guarding the commands of Elohim and the faith of Yeshua. (Rev 14:12)
What are the conditions one must meet in order to be found a remnant and a saint?
From these two statements we understand without any doubt that there are two conditions to get saved: guarding the commands of Elohim and the faith of Yeshua the Messiah. Notice that both, guarding the Torah and the faith of the Messiah, not either-or, but both are necessary for salvation.
Therefore, those who guard them both, the Torah and the Messiah, are called the remnant and the set-apart ones. That is why the satan is angry with them: because they have been found faithful in guarding the commands of YHVH and the faith of Yeshua. But, those who call, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name?” (see Mat 7:21-22), the satan apparently considers them non-combatants, they are of no concern to him.
And one more thing to consider,
By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our faith. (1Jn 5:2-4) See also 2Jn 1:6 and Joh 14:15.
Christians claim to have accepted Jesus Christ, but where is the guarding YHVH’s commands, His Torah?
They say that they have kept the testimony of Jesus, but then, believe what the Messiah has said in Mat 5:17-20. And make sure that you have believed in the true Messiah, not in the invented one. This too cannot be heard in the churches today.
So, then how are we to understand some teaching of Apostle Shaul that seems to allude to predestination and to “Once saved always saved”. We read thus from his second letter,
as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, as also in all his letters, speaking in them concerning these matters, in which some are hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the other Scriptures. You, then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the delusion of the lawless, … (2Pe 3:15-17)
Plain and simple! (Read more) and articles “Has Christ fulfilled the Law, so that the Christians do not have to?” and “‘You are not under the Law of God’ Exposed“.
Yeshua the Son of YHVH too had His choice to make
Two robbers were crucified with Yeshua on the day of Pesach (Passover lamb)
They both had the choice to repent and take their destinations, as they did: one repented and chose the destination predetermined for those who would repent, and the other did not and he too took his destination predetermined for those who would not repent.
We often forget that Yeshua too had the choice to make: to stay faithful to His predestination to suffer and die on the execution stake for the forgiveness of sins or to leave His predestined path.
According to the Christian belief, Jesus is seen as the second, and in some denominations, as the chief person in the Godhead called “the Holy Trinity”. In this belief, Jesus is God or God incarnated in a human body, i.e. he is God and a man.
Here we are coming to another paradox, according to this belief. If Jesus is God, he cannot sin, because by definition God is not able to sin. But, if Jesus is a man, he is able to sin.
It is not in the scope of this study, if any study can, to answer the questions born from this paradox. Yet, YHVH Himself says that no one has seen Him and lived. And if one can say with certainty what the Creator is and what He is not, if he has seen Him, he must explain another paradox: if one has seen Him, how he is still alive to describe Him.
What we are given to know is what the Scripture actually says on the matter; Yeshua the Son of YHVH has two natures: of a man being able to sin and of a mysterious heavenly being (for the lack of a better term) called the Messenger of the Face.
These we discussed in the articles of Time of Reckoning Ministry (TORM): “The Human Messiah, Part 1 and Part 2” and “The Transcendent Son Who has been Hidden in Elohim” and “The Revelation of the Messenger of YHVH“. The reader is also encourage to refer to the eye-opening article “Revealing Yeshua Secretly Guarded by the Rabbis“.
After having read these articles, and last articles on Predestination and Once saved always saved” doctrines, the reader can draw his or her own conclusions of whether the Messiah of YHVH, Yeshua the Minister of the Face, had been predestined, according to the theology of predestination in the hard-core Christian belief.
And if the Son of YHVH had the ability to leave His predestination to be the Passover Lamb, why would the Christians still believe that their destination to salvation is irrevocable?
In conclusion, of the matter of the “Predestination” and “Once saved always saved”, if this matter can have a conclusion, we may ask the question, “Why more than two-thirds of the Christian Churches are under a severe reprimand, if they had been chosen before the foundation of the world?”
But for more insight, the reader may refer to the series of articles on the seven letters to the seven churches and “The Revelation of the Seven Trumpets: the Greatest Prophecy Ever Told, Few Can Hear” of Time of Reckoning Ministry (TORM).
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.