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Heirs of Salvation

on Dec 23, 2012 | Mike |

But to which of the angels, did He say at any time, “Sit on My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool?” Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be HEIRS OF SALVATION? (Hebrews 1:13-14 MKJV)

Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, A PEOPLE SAVED BY THE LORD, the shield of your help and the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, and you shall tread down their high places. (Deuteronomy 33:29)

The word salvation is used 162 times in Scripture (118 times in the Old Testament and 44 times in the New—NKJV). It is so translated from the Hebrew words: yeshuah, yesha, yasha, mashaoth and the Greek soteria, soterion and soterios.

Whenever words are translated “salvation” in the Bible, they may differ in specific application, but they always mean deliverance. Specific instances include:

(1) Deliverance from danger—At the edge of the impassable Red Sea, Moses cried, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.” (Ex. 14:13, See Heb. 11:7.)

(2) Deliverance from enemies—When Jonathan defeated the Philistines single-handedly, the people declared that he had effected a “great salvation in Israel” (1 Sam. 14:45 KJV).

(3) Deliverance from captivity—The psalmist prayed, “Oh that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD brings back the captivity of His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad” (Ps. 14:7).

(4) Deliverance from prison—Paul expected his time of incarceration in prison to end up furthering the Gospel. He boldly claimed, “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Ph. 1:19 KJV).

(5) Deliverance from sin—Paul explained the valuable outcome of repentance to the Corinthians, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation…” (2 Cor. 7:10)

(6) Deliverance from fear—The Philippian church was encouraged to be fearless, “not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God” (Ph. 1:28)

(7) Deliverance from sickness—In reference to the crippled man at the Gate Beautiful who had been healed, Peter explained it was by the power of the name of Yeshua (Jesus) that the man stood before them whole, then he added, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Ac. 4:12).

(8) Deliverance from former failures and the resulting divine discipline—Backslidden Jonah came under divine judgment because of rebelling against his calling to preach to the Ninevites. Swallowed by a whale, it seems that he actually died and his soul most likely went to the realm of the wicked, but in desperate prayer he confessed, “Salvation is of the LORD.” The whale spewed him up on dry ground and an entire Gentile city was brought to repentance and revival as a result. (See Jo. 2:9.)[1]

(9) Deliverance from the wrath of God—After describing judgments that will take place in the earth in the last days, Paul went on to assure believers, “God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our LORD Jesus Christ.” (1 Th. 5:9 MKJV, See Rev. 12:10.)

(10) Deliverance from satanic and demonic attacks—The apostle John described a future time when the devil will be cast down to the earth having great wrath, “because he knows that he has a short time” (Rev. 12:12). But thankfully, John heard “a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night’” (Rev. 12:10).

(11) Deliverance from the death of the physical body—Speaking of the resurrection of the dead and the translation of living believers at the coming of the LORD, Hebrews 9:28 promises, “to those who look for Him He shall appear the second time without sin to salvation.” (See also Ro. 13:11, 2 Tim. 2:10.)

(12) Deliverance from the eternal death of the soul—“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Pt. 1:9 KJV).

So we see that salvation can be natural or it can be spiritual; it can be temporal or it can be eternal. It all depends on what we are being saved from.

Under the Old Will, national salvation often came to Israel as God delivered them from enemy armies. Though God still moves this way, under the New Will, salvation is primarily executed on an individual basis.

The Hebrew and Greek words translated salvation have been used 388 times in Scripture, translated into a variety of words, including: help, defend, avenge, safety, rescue, preserve, welfare, save, health, deliver, deliverance, victory and Savior (KJV).

So the related meanings of the word salvation covers a lot of territory. Our Savior is our helper who defends, avenges, rescues and preserves His own. He provides for our health, welfare and safety. He delivers us from sin and from satanic powers that seek our souls. At the end of the race, we can even expect Him to deliver us from “the body of this death” (Ro. 7:24 KJV). All of these things speak of ultimate victory and are interrelated parts of the fullness of our salvation inheritance.

To claim the “salvation of God,” therefore, is just another way of claiming all the rights and privileges available to sons and daughters of God. Jude 1:3 refers to this blessed heritage as “our common salvation,” for the blessings of salvation are equally available to all. Hebrews 2:3 calls it “so great a salvation.” It is presently our hope (“for we are saved by hope”—Ro. 8:24, See also Lam. 3:26). It will be our everlasting and irreversible possession once we attain the full splendor of immortality.

GOD OUR SAVIOR

Under the Old Will, salvation was primarily “of the Jews” (Jn. 4:22). Now, under the New Will, God would have “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4, See Jn. 3:16-20.) The numerous ordinances and rituals prescribed in the Torah merely foreshadowed that Holy One that the prophet said would be “a light to the Gentiles” and “salvation to the ends of the earth (Is. 49:6).

After Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit, the angel commanded Joseph, “you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21). How appropriate! For the name JESUS (Heb. Yeshua) means “the salvation of God,” or in essence, “GOD manifested as a Savior.”

The same Voice that insisted under the Old Will, “beside Me there is no Savior” still states under the New Will, “I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…” (Is. 43:11, Jn. 10:9). The Yahweh of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New Testament, and He still sends forth the urgent appeal:

“Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (Is. 45:22)

Because salvation was His primary purpose and passion, Jesus’ titles in that area are many. He is gloriously described as:

  • The author of eternal salvation “to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).
  • The captain of our salvation, who was made “perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10).
  • The God of our salvation, who purges our sins for His name’s sake. (See Ps. 79:9.)
  • The horn of our salvation, who calls us to worship and warfare, and brings the manifestation of the Presence (2 Sam. 22:3).[2]
  • The rock of our salvation, to whom we “shout joyfully” (Ps. 95:1).
  • The salvation of Israel, who came to turn back our captivity (Ps. 53:6).
  • The strength of our salvation, who covers us in “the day of battle” (Ps. 140:7).
  • The tower of salvation, into whom we run in times of trouble (2 Sam. 22: 51).

Numerous Old Testament scriptures revealed that the Messiah would be “the arm of the LORD,” “the arm of His strength” and “the right hand of the LORD” sent forth to “do valiantly” in saving us. (See Ps. 17:7; 44:3; 89:13; 118:15-16; 138:7; Is. 52:10; 53:1; 59:1; 62:8.) Psalm 98:1-3 even prophesied in advance, in the past tense:

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.

The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.

He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

By going to the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus (Yeshua) earned the right to be called “God our Savior,” “the Savior of the body,” “the Savior of all men” and “the Savior of the world” (Ti. 1:3, Eph. 5:23, 1 Tim. 4:10, Jn. 4:42). Of all His many titles, these seem the most fitting, because Jesus’ primary purpose in coming was to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). He boldly announced, “I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (Jn. 12:47).

The time of His earthly ministry is called “an acceptable time” and “the day of salvation” (Is. 49:8). These prophetic phrases could have been referring to His entire life, but they probably mean either the day of crucifixion or the day of resurrection, when the Father ‘saved’ the Son from the contamination of sin and the snare of death. The Father provided the salvation of His only begotten Son, that the Son of God might provide our salvation.

In advance Isaiah claimed that this Messiah would be “mighty to save” (Is. 63:1). No wonder, shortly after the Son of God’s birth, Simeon held him up and prophesied:

LORD, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation.” (Luke 2: 29-30)

His name is JESUS!

He is our SALVATION!

His name and His calling are one and the same!

THE GIFT OF GOD

One of the most stirring scriptures in this revelation is Ephesians 2:8-9:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

How amazing! Not only is the “grace of God that brings salvation” a gift from God; the faith that we exercise to receive such grace is a gift from the Father as well (Ti. 2:11). Go back and read these two verses again—carefully. The word “it” refers back to the word “faith.” So Jesus is truly the “author…of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). No one can earn salvation. It cannot be achieved by character development, religious works, or manmade rituals. We never become ‘good enough’ to be saved. We simply reach out by faith and worshipfully receive what God delights to give.

As sinful, as erring as we have been, we certainly do not deserve such generous treatment, but such is the generous nature of our God. “For God so loved the world that He gave…” (Jn. 3:16).

He gave the best He had.

He gave His only begotten Son.

He washed us with precious, holy blood.

He gave us the gift of salvation.

But most wondrous of all…

He gave us the ability to believe.

WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?

In Mark 10:17-30 we find the account of the rich young ruler who said:

“Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (See Luke 18:18-27.)

Jesus first exhorted that he keep the commandments, which the man claimed to be doing. Then Jesus urged the ruler to sell all his possessions and give the resulting money to the poor. When he balked at such a heavy demand and turned away sorrowful, Jesus commented:

“How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23)

The disciples were astonished at His words, so Jesus clarified and reinforced His position, saying:

“…Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:24-25)

Shocked at the thought of such an injunction, the disciples cried, “Who then can be saved?” The Messiah’s answer lifts the veil on the mystery of salvation. Simply yet profoundly, He added:

“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

In other words, the selfishness of the rich young ruler was enough to cancel out his hope of achieving the salvation by human effort, regardless of how well he had kept the other commandments. He missed the mark of perfection. Yet the same is true for any of us. It is “impossible” for any of us to be saved by our own goodness or worthiness. However, let it be said again, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

What we cannot do, even with supreme effort, God has done and will do in our behalf. The key is faith—believing that God will impart His many gifts to us if we simply and sincerely believe. Grace, salvation, righteousness, the Holy Spirit and eternal life—these are not ‘goals’ we attain, but ‘gifts’ we receive. If we spent our entire lives performing every kind of religious ritual and striving to fulfill God’s commandments, we could never earn any of these gifts. It is impossible. Conceived in sin, we just cannot—by the power of human will—extricate ourselves from the fallen nature we have all inherited from Adam and Eve. But “with God”—in a covenant relationship with Him—the “impossible” becomes “possible.”

Our condition is very dark without God, frightfully, eternally and irreversibly dark. But when we surrender to the Lordship of Jesus, the “Sun of righteousness” arises over us with “healing in His wings”—and His glory drives away the darkness of our lost state (Mal. 4:2).

THE MULTI-FACETED SALVATION EXPERIENCE: GOD’S PART AND OURS

There are numerous things that weave together to produce a true salvation experience. Some are acts of God toward us; others are attitudes we should cultivate toward God. Both are necessary. Our attitudes do not earn salvation, but place us in a receptive position. So let’s study these verses: first, “GOD’S PROVISIONS” and second, “OUR ATTITUDES.”

GOD’S PART--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following four scriptures reveal six things that God provides in order to help human beings receive, claim and enjoy the salvation that comes from above:

The engrafted Word—“Receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls” (Ja. 1:21).

The name of the Lord—“Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Ro. 10:13).

Mercy, regeneration and renewal—“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Ti. 3:5).

Righteousness—“He who has clean hands and a pure heart…He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Ps. 24:4-5).

Sanctification by the Spirit—“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Th. 2:13).

OUR PART----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following eleven scriptures reveal thirteen things that we must do in order to receive the salvation that God provides:

Belief in the truth—“ But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Th. 2:13).

Confession and faith—“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Ro. 10:9-10).

Contrition—“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18).

Endurance—“But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Mt. 24:13).

Fear of the LORD—“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land” (Ps. 85:9).

Godly sorrow and repentance—“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10).

Holy lifestyle—“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God” (Ps. 50:23).

Humility—“For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation” (Ps. 149:4).

Meekness—“Receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls” (Ja. 1:21).

Righteousness—“The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous…” (Ps. 118:15).

Self-denial—“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel's will save it” (Mk. 8:35).

All of these means of salvation work together to effect salvation in each individual. All of these means of salvation are revealed to us in the Bible, which is appropriately referred to as “the truth of salvation” and the “Word of this salvation.” The Gospel is described as “the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes” (Ps. 69:13, Ac. 13:26, Ro. 1:16).

The holy Scriptures make us “wise to salvation” (2 Tim. 3:15). Mysteriously, even though we can have supreme confidence in all of these promises, we should never take these things for granted, but instead, “work out” our own “salvation with fear and trembling” (Ph. 2:2).

THE TRIUNE NATURE OF SALVATION

Salvation is essentially triune in nature.

It consists of an initial experience, a continuing process and an ultimate transformation.

  • We were saved from the penalty of sin (when we first received Jesus into our hearts);
  • We are being saved from the power of sin (as we daily strive to live a consecrated life);
  • We will be saved from the presence of sin (when we enter the third heaven at death or when we are translated and glorified at the second coming of the LORD).

Without controversy, if the death of Jesus on Calvary could deliver us from “the penalty of sin” (eternal separation from God), then the life of Jesus can deliver us from “the power of sin” (the day-to-day battles that we face with the flesh, the world and evil spirits). To this the Scripture attests:

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:10)

The “life of God” within us is constantly resurrecting us into a restored status of righteousness and acceptability in the presence of God. It resurrects us spiritually from the death-dealing effects of living in this world—“saving” us from depression and filling us with joy, “saving” us from fear and filling us with faith, “saving” us from despair and filling us with hope. No wonder Paul claimed, “Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).

During the initial experience of salvation, at least twenty-five associated spiritual ‘happenings’ take place. We are adopted, baptized into the body of Christ, begotten of the Word, born of the Spirit, buried with Christ, brought near, chosen, circumcised, completed, delivered, elected, grafted in, justified, made righteous, ordained, quickened (made alive) with Christ, raised up together with Christ, ransomed, reconciled, redeemed, regenerated, renewed, sanctified, seated with the Messiah in heavenly places (enthroned) and translated.

Part of our salvation heritage involves the renewal of these blessings—day-by-day, hour-by-hour and moment-by-moment—as we maintain faith, humility and sincere love toward God’s throne. (See Eph. 2:8, 1 Pt. 5:5, Eph. 6:4.) This is God’s salvation commitment to us.

Our worshipful response and responsibility is to walk in the reality of what God has provided. For instance, having received imparted righteousness from the God of our salvation, we are then constrained to walk in “paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Ps. 23:3, See Ps. 24:5.) Living a consecrated life, making moral choices and manifesting the divine nature are some of those “better things” that should “accompany salvation” (Heb. 6:9). So let us walk in the reality of our new identity by putting on:

  • The garments of salvation” (garments of praise, robes of righteousness, and cloaks of zeal—Is. 61:10, 59:17),
  • The helmet of salvation” (which is hope—Is. 59:17, Eph. 6:17, 1 Th. 5:8),
  • The shield of salvation” (that quenches all “the fiery darts of the enemy”—2 Sam. 22:36, Eph. 6:16).

As priests of the Most High God, let us be “clothed” with salvation (the constant expectation that God will deliver us from every negative thing we confront—2 Chr. 6:41). By wearing this spiritual apparel, we will more effectively mirror the image of the “Captain of our salvation” who wore this attire Himself when He walked the earth (Heb. 2:10).

THE MULTIPLE MEANINGS OF “SOZO”

The predominant Greek word translated “save” is sozo. This word is found 115 times in the New Testament and has also been translated heal, preserve, made whole and do well (KJV). It is also rendered get well and made well in the NKJV, and recover in the RV. Specific examples include:

  • The demoniac at Gadara—“He who had been demon-possessed was healed” (Lk. 8:36).
  • Paul’s confession of faith—“And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18).
  • Jesus declaring to blind Bartemaeus—“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well [made thee whole—KJV]’” (Mk. 10:52)
  • The disciples of Lazarus—“LORD, if he sleeps he will get well [do well—KJV]” (Jn. 11:12)

These four examples reemphasize again that salvation is not just limited to forgiveness of sins; it involves healing, preservation, wellness, soundness and wholeness in our entire being—body, mind, soul and spirit. It involves full recovery from the fall of Adam and the entrance of darkness.

James 5:15 unites physical and spiritual healing with the promise:

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

And the prayer of faith will save (sozo) the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Hebrews 7:25 states that Jesus “is also able to save (sozo) to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” In other words, He is able to heal us of all the effects of sin, preserve us throughout our earthly journey and make us whole eternally—saving us “to the uttermost”!

Such divine influence doesn’t stop with us. It should overflow into the lives of our offspring as well, for God’s salvation is “from generation to generation” (Is. 51:8). God has already promised, “I will contend with him who contends with you and I will save your children” (Is. 49:25). This pledge was restated to Zacchaeus who, having heard the Messiah’s words, repented of sin. Yeshua then declared to him, “Today salvation has come to this house…” (Lk. 19:9).

We, too, can expect salvation to come to our houses. We can expect the effects of salvation to overspread our families—like a color-filled rainbow, stretching from the past to the future, a token of God’s covenant with us.

CUPS AND WELLS

In consideration of all the abundant provisions that have streamed toward us from our magnanimous God, we should echo the following verses

What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?

I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
(Psalms 116:12-13)

Yes, our response should be to drink from “the cup of salvation.” Originally, this was a reference to the drink offering that was part of the thank offering under Jewish law. It was drunk as a memorial of the deliverance from sin and the consecration to God that the other offerings accomplished. It was the final expressions of consecration to God.

In a New Covenant sense, partaking of the “cup of salvation” means ‘drinking in’ all the blessings and benefits available to us in this era—the completion of the miraculous work that began in us when the blood of Jesus cleansed our souls. Evidently, the heart of the Savior is fulfilled when He sees us filled with all provision He purchased through His passion. (See Mt. 20:22, Jn. 18:11.)

God also invites us to ‘drink’ in these benefits in another passage that speaks of quenching the ‘thirst’ of the soul:

Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)

All sources of salvation are wells of salvation—wells of deliverance and healing from the wiles of the wicked one and the woes of this world. These are all wells that never run dry—the name of the LORD, the Word of God, the Spirit of God, His mercy, His imparted righteousness, His renewing, regenerative power—yes, all of these “wells of salvation” contain heaven-sent power that will set any captive free.

So drop your bucket of faith into a well of salvation, child of God, then dip your cup of salvation into the living waters! Drink deeply, child of God, drink deeply!

God is quite pleased when you partake of what is rightfully yours.

MINISTERING SPIRITS

According to our title-scripture, we should expect the constant assistance of “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be HEIRS OF SALVATION” (Heb. 1:14). The God of our salvation also bears the name, THE LORD OF HOSTS—meaning “the God of an army of angels who are poised and ready for battle.” This “Captain of the LORD’S host” has commissioned His angels to be protectors and deliverers of His people many times (Js. 5:15).

Consider the following examples from the past:

  • Angels (cherubim) were placed at the east of Eden to guard the way of the tree of life.
  • Angels delivered Lot and his family from the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • An angel guided Abraham’s servant to find the right wife for Isaac.
  • An angel conquered the entire Assyrian army and left 185,000 dead.
  • An angel delivered Daniel from sure death in the lions’ den.
  • An angel announced to Mary that she would conceive of the Holy Spirit.
  • An angel instructed Joseph concerning the holy origin of the baby in Mary’s womb.
  • An angel warned Joseph that he should flee to Egypt with Mary and the baby Jesus.
  • An angel even comforted and strengthened Jesus in Gethsemane.
  • An angel released Peter from prison bonds.
  • An angel directed Cornelius to send for Peter to preach the Gospel to his household.
  • An angel sustained Paul in a storm at sea.
  • An angel revealed the book of Revelation to John.
  • An angel will one day bind Satan in a bottomless pit.

We know that these celestial beings always behold the face of the Father in heaven and are held accountable for our protection and welfare (Mt. 8:10). They even bear us up in their hands to keep us from dashing our feet against any troublesome stones (Ps. 91:11—surely this means there are numerous ‘little things’ from which we are rescued daily, even though we are often not even aware of such supernatural care).

May God open our eyes, as he did the servant of Elisha, enabling us to see, or at least sense, the innumerable hosts and chariots of fire that surround the elect of God. May we also boldly echo the servant’s confession:

“Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16)

Psalm 68:17 (KJV) reveals that “the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels.” One of these fiery chariots bore Elijah into the heavenlies, rescuing him from the grips of mortality. This is not surprising, for “our God is the God of salvation; and to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death” (Ps. 68:20). Certainly, multitudes of these chariots of glory will be involved in the resurrection of the dead and the translation of living believers at Jesus’ return. On that day, we will surely be able to look back over our lives and confess with even greater assurance:

The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. (Psalms 34:7)

SHOUTING HOSANNA!

It is only right that we praise God exuberantly for such exceptional, heaven-sent benefits, and we have been given a very special way of doing so. Just as “Abba” is the worship word that celebrates our inheritance of spiritual adoption, “Hosanna” is the worship word that that celebrates our inheritance of salvation.

Hosanna” is found six times in the New Testament, all in the Gospels (Mt. 21:9-15, Mk. 11:9-10, Jn. 12:13). In parallel passages, Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem overflows with this worshipful exclamation:

“Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13).

Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)

Originally, “Hosanna” (Heb. hoshiah na’) was a request for salvation, probably drawn from Psalm 118:25 (KJV), “Save now, I beseech Thee, O LORD.” Though originally a phrase of supplication, apparently, over time, it became more and more a joyous shout of expectation. Though technically it is a prayerful plea, spiritually, it has become a declaration of faith, a power-word that shatters doubt by praising God in advance for the desired breakthrough. In its present usage, it would be more correctly rendered, “Lord, I praise You for saving me.”

When the words “in the highest” are added, the interpretation is enhanced greatly. “Hosanna in the highest” means, “I praise You for saving me to the highest degree possible for the Almighty God.” How intense is that!

The religious authorities in Israel well understood that this shout resounding from the throng following Jesus was an acknowledgement that they believed Yeshua (Jesus) was their hoped-for Messiah. No wonder these cold-hearted religious authorities urged Him to quiet His disciples, for they felt that making such a statement was not only wrong, but heretical and blasphemous.

During the Feast of Tabernacles worshippers at the temple would wave palm fronds and shout “Hoshiah na” in response to the reading of the Hallel psalms (Psalms 113-118). The last psalm in that series is especially full of messianic prophecies (like “the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone” Ps. 118:22). The seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles was even called “The Great Hosanna”: the conclusion of a Feast that foreshadows, not only the first, but the second coming of the LORD to this world—a time when heaven will come to earth and once again God will dwell among men.

What was Jesus’ response to the shouts of “Hosanna” that day of “The Triumphant Entry”? Probably to their surprise, instead of “saving” them from Roman occupation, He first “saved” the Jews from themselves. To start with, He cursed the fruitless fig tree: a symbolic gesture revealing His intention to “save” them from a religious system no longer bearing fruit. (See Mk. 11:12-14.) Then, in a burst of holy passion, He charged into the entrance of the temple area and overturned the tables of the money changers. Lashing out with a whip and a voice that snapped like one, He shouted, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” Then the sick, the lame and the blind came to Him and He healed them (He “saved” them—Gr. sozo).

Soon after that, He responded even more powerfully, submitting to the cross for the entire human race. He became sin for us and tasted death for all, thus spoiling principalities and powers. Demonic powers were stripped of their authority and brought under ours. The curse of death was conquered and the gateway to eternal life opened.

All of that and more happened when possibly a few hundred worshippers, in just one city, shouted “Hosanna in the highest” nearly two millennia ago. Now, about two billion Christian believers throughout the world use the word “Hosanna” when they worship. Surely the cumulative effect will be greater—for in a far more powerful sense, when He returns, the Messiah will “save” us from all evil. He drive out all the ‘thieves’ globally—exiling all those corruptive things that have stolen the perfect peace of paradise from this world. In an ultimate sense, therefore, He will cleanse the ‘temple’ of this entire world, making it the dwelling place of His glory once again. To that we say:

Hosanna in the highest! Even so, come, LORD Jesus, come!”

ULTIMATE SALVATION

So we now stand at the threshold of a far more spectacular ‘Triumphant Entry’ into Jerusalem. Jesus will descend from heaven in flaming fire, with a shout, with the trump of God, and with the voice of the archangel. Multiplied millions of saints will accompany Him. All the holy angels will gather in splendid array. Jesus’ feet will stand on the Mount of Olives as it splits into two parts. All the armies of the world, gathered in the Valley of Megiddo, will be subdued supernaturally, overwhelmed by His omnipotence.

God’s fiery chariots—“the chariots of salvation”—will descend like a whirlwind to wrench the kingdom from the iron-fisted grip of the Antichrist. (See Rev. 12:10, Hab. 3:8, Is. 6:15-16.) Satan and his entire host will be exiled to the bottomless pit below. A cresting wave of the glory of God will overflow all nations.

…and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:10)

Having seen this final victory coming to God’s everlasting covenant people, Moses declared—in the very last verse of his very last prophecy:

Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help and the sword of your majesty! [And your enemies shall be found liars to you, and you shall tread on their high places.] (Deuteronomy 33:29 NKJV, MKJV)

Yes, in the end, we who are saved will subjugate all principalities and powers. The world, so pitted against us, will also be brought under our dominion. We will win by grace. We will overcome by faith. No longer will Jerusalem be an outcast, besieged by enemy armies, the object of scorn and persecution by the world community, for the King of glory will be enthroned there and all nations will submit to His sovereign rule.

The prophets foretold the blessed conditions that will be experienced in Israel during this coming era:

Violence will no more be heard in your land, wasting nor ruin within your borders; but you will call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. (Isaiah 60:18)

For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah; so that they may dwell there, and possess it. (Psalms 69:5)

In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; “We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” (Isaiah 26:1, See Isaiah 35:4)

No wonder the psalm-writer concluded:

Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! Selah. (Psalms 87:3)

Even when Satan reemerges after a thousand years and anarchy rages against the government of God established in Jerusalem, still God will prevail. The heavens will pass away with a great noise. The earth will melt with fervent heat. Then out of the midst of that holy fire, a new heaven and a new earth will be birthed—shrouded in God’s glory and arrayed in absolute perfection.

All things will be totally healed.

All things will be irreversibly preserved.

All things will be utterly made whole.

All things will be saved.

The holy city, New Jerusalem, will be a testimony of God’s power to save. Knowing this ultimate outcome, the prophet Isaiah declared thousands of years ago:

For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.

The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name.

You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. (Isaiah 62:1-4)

And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. (Revelation 21:24)

O, the privilege of joining the white-robed, palm-waving throng on the sea of glass mingled with fire in that fusion of time and eternity. We will then be found shouting an ultimate shout of triumph:

“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10)

“Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!” (Revelation 19:1)

Yes, we can confess even now with all assurance—“Israel shall be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; you shall not be ashamed or disgraced forever and ever” (Is. 45:17).

Just knowing these wonderful truths truth is itself an unspeakable, unutterable gift, precious beyond telling.

“Thanks be unto God!”



[1] Jonah confessed to God, “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice” (Jo. 2:2). Sheol is a Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word Hades. In the KJV it is translated grave, pit and hell. Sometimes the latter rendering is incorrect. Why? Because it means more than just the fiery realm of the wicked). It means the whole of the subterranean underworld (the netherworld) which includes both the abode of the wicked (in flames) and the realm of the righteous (Abraham’s bosom). The patriarch Jacob spoke of going to Sheol, and he certainly wasn’t talking about a place of eternal destruction (Gen. 37:35). It seems evident that Jonah went to the chamber of the wicked because he lamented, “The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me; weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever; yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God” (Jo. 2:5-6, See Lk. 16:19-31).

[2] Many centuries ago especially, the blowing of shofars (horns) in warfare represented courage, determination, dominion and the advance celebration of hope-for victory. The playing of shofars (horns) in worship spoke of the ecstasy of adoration, the utter joy of being received in God’s presence and an appeal for the manifest Presence to come. In all of these areas, Jesus is the “horn of our salvation” even now.

COPYRIGHT © 2012 Mike Shreve