Was it because he asked forgiveness for his sins?
Was it because he accepted Christ into his heart?
Was it because he stopped stealing?
Was it because he said he loved God?
Was it because he felt like he was a new person?
Was it because there were verses in scripture that said he was saved?
Was it because he gave his life to Christ?
No, the thief did NONE of those things for salvation. Not a single one of those things is how the thief knew he was saved, and yet, so many christians cite those as reasons they think they are saved. Why do christians have a different way of knowing they are saved than the thief did?
The thief knew he was saved because he was told directly that he was. How did Abraham know he was saved? Moses? Did they do any of those things? Did Messiah’s disciples do any of those things? How about Paul? Did Paul claim any of those things were the evidence he was saved? And, yet, christians vehemently demand that any number of those things are somehow evidence of their salvation—even though there is nothing in scripture that states any of those things are that evidence.
When Christ received the Holy Spirit, was He not TOLD that He is Yah’s child (“This is My beloved Son . . .”)? Many folks don’t understand what was being demonstrated with His baptism. He was revealing the correlation between the physical foreshadow and the spiritual real substance.
Water baptism was a physical foreshadow under the law, and the spiritual real substance is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and once one receives the Holy Spirit, he is told that he is a child of Yah (Romans 8:16).
The question then becomes, how does the Holy Spirit do that? Well, on the very day that the Holy Spirit was poured out as the spiritual real substance of the covenant (the ten commandments were the physical foreshadow of it), the apostle Peter understood a prophecy that had been written by the prophet Joel several centuries earlier, and he quoted it, having the spiritual understanding of what happens when the Holy Spirit is poured out onto someone.
AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ Yah says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS. Acts 2:17
The “last days” actually began at that point, as it was the end of the first four days (4000 years), and the beginning of the last days of the week of man on earth (days 5-7). Those who receive the covenant (Messiah’s bride), which is the seal of the Holy Spirit, will be told by Him in a dream that they are Yah’s children. Dreams are the only means of communication that cannot be counterfeited by Satan and his demons.
So, if your “evidence” of salvation is in that list of things above, then you should immediately take note, for not one of those things is actually evidence that one has received the covenant.
If one has not been told he is a child of Yah, directly and personally, then he has no claim to any such adoption. The folks we see in Matthew 7:21-23 are clear examples of people who thought they were saved by the teachings of christianity, but they never actually received the Holy Spirit.
The thief knew he was saved because he was TOLD he was saved. I know I am saved because I was TOLD I am saved. My salvation was not a decision I could make, it wasn’t a prayer I could pray, it wasn’t a lifestyle change I could make, and I never asked anyone into my heart, or my spleen, or any other organ, to be saved.
No, the Holy Spirit told me exactly who I am in Messiah Yahoshua—in a dream—and, it was a number of years after I made a stand for the true Gospel of Yahoshua (I believed in Messiah Yahoshua—the only begotten Son of Yah the Father). The Holy Spirit definitely led me during that time, speaking to me in dreams and visions, instructing me in His truths, and I endured in my belief, confessing Yahoshua before others, and I believed all the way to the saving of my soul (James, 1:3-4, Hebrews 10:36-39).
If you have not been told directly and personally that you are a child of Yah, none of the things listed above will suffice at your judgment. Those who have the Witness in them (1 John 5:10) are told directly—HE is the evidence given to those who are Yah’s children, and evidence is something that is revealed—it is not something that is kept secret or hidden. He is the testimony of Yahoshua placed into those who are Messiah’s bride.
For more information: The Way of the Thief