Over the years since the Holy Spirit called me out of the world and christianity’s “church,” He has continually opened my eyes to understand the vast differences between what I was taught by christianity, and the true Gospel of Messiah Yahoshua. Often, that understanding has come by very recognizable doctrines in scripture that were obviously changed by the inventors of christianity after the New Testament apostles had all died—the Father’s ordained Sabbaths being one clear doctrinal foundation that was abolished by christianity, the counterfeit of the true faith.
And, while being taught the doctrines that are revealed in the Sabbaths, the differences between true salvation and christianity’s salvation-by-decision also became very clear in my understanding. I had spent 50 years in a belief system that taught the false doctrine that all one needs to do is to “go forward” at a meeting and pray a “sinner’s prayer,” and that single act would “force” the Holy Spirit into the person and make him an adopted child in God’s household. How humanly arrogant and blind that false tradition of men is.
By and large, the “salvation” that christianity peddles is not actual salvation, but more like club membership. So, when those in christianity share their beliefs with others (“witnessing”), their goal is to get people to make decisions, and then they claim that such a decision is salvation, rather than the man-made club membership it actually is.
This was a very common theme in my many years in evangelistic christianity—that we don’t want to be all “in-their-faces” with the Gospel, but we need to present things that make them want to be “saved.” We need to be all about relationship with them, and then, along the way, we should look for possible openings in conversations to drop hints about what we believe, in hopes that the person will end up choosing to make whatever decision will get him into the club.
The idea of this paradigm is that, by becoming a friend of the lost person, that person will eventually trust that what is being shared with him is the truth, and that he can gain eternal life merely by choosing to join the club. And, it’s understood that, with some folks, it might be necessary to be their friend for many years before they see the truth and join the club.
In my carnal way of thinking, that certainly made sense to me. But of course, it had nothing to do with what the scriptures teach, or how true salvation occurs. It essentially makes the person who is doing the sharing a “holy spirit” of sorts. But then, that’s really not a surprise, since christianity’s salvation actually makes people their own “holy spirit,” for, according to christianity, it is the person who chooses to “be saved,” and the person who declares that he made a decision that saved him (a “salvation decision”). However, a person doesn’t actually do either of those things to obtain REAL salvation.
So, let’s take a look at some of the spiritual issues that plague christianity’s teachings about salvation. To begin with, this method requires someone to become friends with the unsaved person to have a chance, at some point, to share his beliefs with the unsaved person. And, by “being friends,” that essentially means to develop a relationship based not on the Holy Spirit, but on the things of the world. In scriptural terms, that means the person who wants to “witness” to the one he has befriended enters into fellowship with the unsaved person.
If we study the scriptures and believe what they say, this presents a serious problem. Why?
Well, scripture is clear that those who have been made a part of the light are NOT to fellowship with those who are not of the light (they are of the darkness). The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17, “Do not be mismatched with unbelievers; for what do righteousness and lawlessness share together, or what does light have in common with darkness? Or what harmony does Christ have with Belial [Satan], or what does a believer [someone with the Holy Spirit] share with an unbeliever [someone who rejects the faith and does not have the Holy Spirit]? Or what agreement does the temple of Yah have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God.”
The club mentality of christianity’s salvation is often a direct violation of this vital principle—a spiritual real substance that was foreshadowed by the physical Jews and Gentiles being separated by the law. The Holy Spirit does not work to advance the kingdom of Yah by contradicting and violating what the scriptures teach. It just doesn’t happen. So, the notion that one needs to fellowship with lost people in order somehow to convince them to join a club is simply false, and typical of the counterfeit of the true faith.
Again, looking to the scriptures, what did Messiah Yahoshua say about sharing His Gospel with others? In Mark 6:7-12, we see Him telling His twelve disciples to go out, two by two, sharing the Gospel and calling people to repentance (belief). Of course, He sent the twelve to homes of physical Jews, as the Gospel would first be given to the Jews. As for those who rejected the truths the disciples shared, He said, “Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet as a testimony against them.”
Notice that He didn’t tell them they needed to develop relationships with the people who rejected their message, but that, if those people rejected the message the disciples brought, simply to shake the dust off their feet as they were leaving, as a testimony against them. Again, these were physical Jews at this point.
Messiah Yahoshua later sent out 70 men to largely Gentile cities (again, first to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles), and what were His instructions to them regarding the cities that rejected the message of His Gospel they were to share? “But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of Yah has come near.’” Luke 10:10-11.
So, we have christianity, which peddles a notion that the way to lead people to salvation is to develop relationships with unsaved people (which is to fellowship with them) in the hope that opportunities might arise, in between focusing on the things of the world, wherein they might be convinced to “make a decision” to be saved. And then, we have what scripture actually tells believers to do, which is to speak the Word (truths of the Holy Spirit), and for those who reject the true Gospel, Messiah Himself said not only to move on to the next person, but to symbolically shake the dust from your feet as a testimony against those who reject His Gospel.
It’s not only that the believer was to end the conversation, but that the believer was to symbolically show that there could not possibly be a relationship between them, by shaking the dust off his feet. These two things are quite disparate in approach and in practical application. What is the reason for this?
First, it is not people who draw others to Messiah, but the Father, who works through the Holy Spirit. And, how does the Holy Spirit draw people to Messiah? Does he rely on the personalities and niceties of people to draw others to Him? Does He rely on earthly relationships or friendships? No, not at all. It is the believer’s duty to share the Holy Spirit’s truths, and to leave the “drawing” to Him. “No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day,” John 6:44.
Next, the Holy Spirit does not use the things of this world to lead people to salvation. In fact, throughout scripture, those who are Yah’s children are told NOT to focus their minds on the things of the world, but on His kingdom. So, the notion that, through a worldly relationship with an unbeliever, focusing on the things of the world will draw the unbeliever to belief in the true Gospel of Messiah Yahoshua, is horrific error, for such tactics are not how the Holy Spirit works, because those things actually grieve the Holy Spirit. He repeatedly tells us in scripture that we are not to enter into fellowship with those of the world—not even for a chance to occasionally drop “hints” about the true Gospel.
An important reason for this is that those who have not been given the Holy Spirit are spiritually dead—they are comprised of nothing but the flesh nature (the spirit in them is dead because of Adam’s sin—Romans 5:12). Having nothing but a flesh nature, and the flesh always working in concert with the world and the devil, to fellowship with those of the darkness is to entertain demonic forces. And, doing that opens the door for demonic influence in the life of the believer. Regardless of how a believer feels about someone who rejects the true faith and has never been given the Holy Spirit, the believer who does that is rebelling against the Father’s expressed will. The Holy Spirit tell us to “resist the devil and he will flee” (James 4:7). Entering into fellowship, then, with Satan’s forces of darkness is the opposite of resisting the devil.
So, when a believer chooses to disregard the scriptural prohibitions against entering into fellowship with unbelievers (darkness), it is, essentially, an act not only of disobedience to the Holy Spirit, but it is also an act of dishonesty to the unbeliever. In a sense, the believer is trying to maintain a relationship that is based on nothing but the world (the flesh), and attempting to make the unbeliever feel like there is not an impassable chasm between the two, as scripture clearly teaches there is to be.
Why do you think the apostles were chased from town to town by people wanting to hurt them, and even kill them? Was it because they successfully maintained worldly relationships with them, and occasionally dropped hints about the Gospel, or was it because the apostles always made it abundantly clear that someone was either as the apostles were, or they were enemies of Elohim. Of course such a message to an unbeliever is offensive—but, the true Gospel of Yahoshua IS offensive to those who are lost (1 Corinthians 1:18).
To maintain worldly relationships with unbelievers is dishonest because unbelievers often think they’re just fine, and that all they have to do is more good than bad, or just believe in “something,” and they will go to heaven. This gets even more difficult to overcome with those who have been told falsely that, because they responded to an invitation, prayed a “sinner’s prayer” (unscriptural), and then got dunked in water in front of people, they are saved (they’re actually who we see in Matthew 7:21-23).
It’s also a form of self-deception. The child of Yah who thinks that the Holy Spirit is not grieved by such worldly relationships, but is just fine with them (He “just understands”) is deceived by the flesh, the world, and the devil. That believer is also being dishonest concerning what Messiah Yahoshua said about such worldly relationships. In Luke 12:51-53, Yahoshua speaks of how His Gospel will divide even members of families. How could Yahoshua say such a thing, if the truths of His Gospel should never divide people?
It simply comes down to one thing—loving Yah more than ANYTHING in the world, physical relationships included. It’s a tough road to walk, but scripture is clear that being a follower of Messiah Yahoshua is anything but easy! As He said in Luke 9:61-62, “Still another said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first let me bid farewell to my family.’ Then Yahoshua declared, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of Yah.’” That is actually what Lot’s wife did (Genesis 19:17-26). In the Hebrew, it says that she looked back at the city “with regard and pleasure,” and having been told not to look back, Yah turned her into a pillar of salt.
The Holy Spirit divides between truth and error, between light and darkness, between the physical and the eternal, and between believers and unbelievers. When we focus on the temporal, we are not focusing on the eternal kingdom, and when we focus on maintaining relationships with Yah’s enemies, we risk becoming wholly useless in the work of advancing Yah’s kingdom on the earth, because we create enmity between us and Him (James 4:4).
The New Testament apostles were not threatened physically because of theological theories or rhetoric, but because they defined themselves by the true Gospel of Messiah Yahoshua, and proclaimed the truths of the Holy Spirit wherever they went—even to their own personal detriment.
Shall we be hearers of the Word only, or are we called also to be doers? We can only be doers by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and He will NEVER lead us to do what He has already told us not to do in His scriptures. Speak the truth in love, and leave the results up to the Holy Spirit. Those who will not hear have no actual relationship with us, when it is understood that only that which is eternal matters, and those who have the Holy Spirit have nothing in common with those who don’t—other than the flesh, which we are told sacrifice in order to be holy.
Speak the truths of the Holy Spirit in love, and then leave the results up to Him, being careful not to grieve Him by ignoring what He has told us in His scriptures.
For more information: What Is Saving Belief?