Second 8th Week® Ministries

Living Apostles Today | Restoring the Church Back to Her First Love

Assurance of salvation
Am I Saved
By Apostle Eric vonAnderseck
 
More than ever, people want assurance of their salvation. In that we are in the season of transition and God has restored to the church the original foundation of truth, many are reexamining what it means to be saved. God is reshaping the Christian perspective.
 
-- Being saved means to come into covenant with God. God provided a covenant for the salvation of the soul.
 
-- Salvation means that not only does God forgive your sins, but that God is taking ownership of your soul. He is claiming you as His own. Sin separated you from God, but God provided a covenant in Jesus Christ to provide a way for you to be joined to Him again.
 
-- Salvation means that you’re being translating from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God. You’ll learn a lot about the 4 steps to come into covenant with God, the terms of the new covenant, the tools of the new covenant and the priesthood of the new covenant in months to come.
 
In this lesson, we want to take a look at Romans 10:9-10, 13. Sometimes we’re asked, What about these scriptures in Romans chapter 10, God doesn’t mention anything about having made a covenant with us. We’re going to break down these verses from Romans by first looking at how they are misinterpreted today to clearly see the problem God is addressing for healing.
 
[Download the free Ebook “Am I Saved”. CLICK HERE]
 
Romans. 10: 9,10,13
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
 
Keep in mind that whenever truth is misunderstood, it is misapplied. That means that false expectations are being established about what God says about being saved.
 
Keep in mind too, that when the Bible is read as text, the words that are printed on paper are pointed to and linked together in a logical, but very restricted way. In these verses, just looking at words (but not taking into account what Apostle Paul knew and taught about the covenant of Jesus Christ) we might think logically that to be saved (brought into the kingdom of God) a person need only believe in his heart that Jesus died for his sins and that He rose from the dead, and make a confession statement to the fact; and from then on they have the right to the kingdom of God.
 
But this rather sketchy, limited rendition of the text does not present Jesus Christ in His covenant and does not provide a proper frame for faith to be fitted to Christ.
 
God had not planned for believers to draw from the scriptures to know what it means to be saved. But rather to be instructed in the fulness of the doctrine of Christ by apostolic stewardship to understand the terms of the covenant to have assurance of their adoption into the family of God and their inheritance of eternal life.
 
The Bible talks about being saved, making confession of Christ, but the Bible does not create the experience; and left to himself, the natural man would link scriptures together according to his many personal prejudices, believing that the Holy Spirit is leading him and guiding him. For this reason we have over 33,000 different Christian denominations today.
 
Each person is using h/her own “wait and see” discernment: Let’s wait and see what comes of this idea I got while reading scripture. If something good comes of it – it was God.
 
Now that believers are beginning to awaken to the fact that their reference point for good and God’s reference point for good are not one and the same, this opens the door to see that each person accepts as “good” the voice of their own aspiration, principle, and imagination. The text, fitted to the flesh is called good as the aspiration gives voice to the Word of God to reflect one’s desires. But this is not God’s idea of good.
 
While the spiritual man accepts apostolic instruction and therefore works from the one blueprint of truth to reflect the likeness of Christ, the natural man is inclined to use the design of his own soul (moral code, God-Code, signature) as the blueprint. The flesh serves as an anchor, as the mind continues to come back to these facets of the flesh to find completion.
 
The inclination of man explains the natural rhythm that tends to occur when trying to interpret scripture without the blueprint of truth God gave to the church through living apostles.
 
In that you are vulnerable to build faith in the image and likeness of yourself, God teaches you spiritual warfare. You learn how to identify the devil’s trio: Aspiration, Principle, and Imagination.
 
ASPIRATION (the Jezebel Yoke) – The drive of the soul to preserve the likeness of self by using the flesh as a blueprint. Knowledge is used to mirror self, to build for self, to bring completion to the flesh.
 
PRINCIPLE (the Athaliah Yoke) – The natural man is inclined to set order to knowledge by drawing upon the blueprint of the flesh, to then use this measure as a standard for self and others to reciprocate.
 
IMAGINATION (the Delilah Yoke) – The natural man is inclined to draw from the blueprint of the flesh to find promise for rest and completion. This projection of the imagination is meant to set a path for one’s own peace.
 
The imagination WAS designed by God as a blessing, but Adam used it to find his peace and security in Satan’s promise. From that point on, it became an open window through which the deceiver speaks his promises to entice faith to step outside the boundaries of the covenant. God is challenging this Delilah yoke to break it pieces, to remove it from the necks of His saints.
 
Seducing spirits work with the devil’s trio, lending their power to these motions of the flesh so that a person, feeling these powers, mistakenly places the presence of God in these powers. What great deception!
 
On a side note: Believers are vaguely aware of the dangers inherent in the flesh. We often hear it said that, it is for this very reason that a believer will prefer to work with “personal revelation” to interpret the scriptures. It is believed to be the only way one can be assured that what is received is not coming from self, but from God.
 
I hope you’re now seeing that while the desire to not draw from self is good, not knowing about the facets of the flesh leaves a person vulnerable in that they’re not able to properly discern how the devil’s trio continues to be the pipe line for revelation.
 
God has a better way for you to bypass the flesh. That is, He’s provided you a blueprint of truth to use. It has been a blessing to see believers learn how to use one blueprint of truth, to see them learn to discern and overcome the inclinations of the natural man to draw from the record of their own souls.
 
Equally important, it has been a great blessing to see the saints begin to work with the revelation of God for their own personal growth. They are stewarding the measure of grace they receive in each word of knowledge, word of wisdom, dream, visions, or prophecy. Let’s move on now in our study.
 
Tunnel Vision
 
Drawing from the text rather than the covenant framework of knowledge leads to tunnel vision. An example might help. A group of men get together and talk about their weekend. One guy says he went hunting, another guy says he had a date, and another guy says he was stuck at work.
 
The guy who spent the weekend hunting: If he said that he spent some time in a duck blind, we wouldn’t say, “Is that all you did?” You didn’t eat or sleep or anything else. He doesn’t say how he got out there, didn’t say anything about having hunting gear, but we assume he did bring his gear because we know a little bit about hunting.
 
The guy who said he had a date might share that he took his date to a really nice restaurant. Later when he mentions that he and his date also saw a movie, we wouldn’t be shocked and confused and call him out as a liar. He just did not go into every single detail of his evening.
 
The guy who was stuck at work. He isn’t going to itemize everything he did, but if he’s ever spoken of his work, we’re filling in the details with what we already know as we’re listening to him.
 
These 3 examples tell us that no matter what we hear, we’re always drawing from background knowledge and previous experience. We don’t have tunnel vision when it comes to hunting, or dating, or working a grunge shift.
 
But when it comes to the truth of Jesus Christ, believers have tunnel vision. Not able to draw from the blueprint of truth to fit the scriptures to Christ doesn’t mean that aren’t filling in the details another way – they are.
 
Each person comes from a denominational or non-denominational experience, which is prejudiced by having added to the doctrine of Christ the tradition of man and having taken away from the doctrine of Christ the vital essential elements of truth.
 
When Apostle Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans he had not planned to have it read in pieces, but as a whole. He was writing to those whom he had already instructed in the full doctrine of Christ. He hadn’t expected that pastors would take up Romans 10:9-10,13 to initiate shot gun conversions.
 
Most Conversions Today are Like Shot Gun Weddings
 
In a shot gun wedding, all you’re expected to do is say, “I do!” In a shot gun conversion all you’re expected to do is say, “I accept Jesus as my Savior.” That’s it, you’re saved!
 
In a shot gun wedding, you’re asked to skip over the romance, the covenant of marriage, what the vow means, the commitment, the joint labor, the rewards, etc. In a shot gun conversion, you’re asked to skip over the covenant of Jesus Christ, the seal of the Spirit, the sign of Christ in tongues, the tools of the covenant, the priesthood of the covenant – everything that makes a relationship with God intimate.
 
Who likes a shot gun wedding? The person who’s getting what he wants. Who likes a shot gun conversion? The logic of man is getting out of the text the satisfaction of putting together a picture of conversion with text. He’s using logic as his confidence, refusing to labor with the apostolic stewardship God called and equipped with grace to instruct believers to put confidence in the covenant relationship with God.
 
I’m not saying that this person doesn’t have feelings for God. Just the opposite. He’s allowing his feelings to rule his faith and hidden inside those feelings are the devil’s trio: Aspiration (the drive of the soul to reflect self), Principle (the drive of the soul to establish self as the governor and law to set order), and Imagination (the drive of the soul to project for one’s own peace and security).
 
Selective Vision
 
Did you know that truth is the likeness of Christ? Take a look at Romans 10:9-10,13 again. What does Jesus Christ look like? Pretend you are a sketch artist and use the words in these verses to sketch a picture of Jesus. Then take a look at what you’ve drawn.
 
Would you believe me if I said that sketching an image of Jesus from these verses alone would be difficult? Again, we’re talking about the limitations of drawing truth from the text of the Bible rather than the framework of truth, the foundation – the blueprint.
 
Ask witnesses to a crime to sketch an image of the perpetrator. Each witness miraculously sees something different. The detective, looking at one sketch might scratch his head saying, “This is a sketch of the victim. I already know what he looks like.” Sifting through the other sketches later, he finds out that one witness described a neighbor she is at odds with and another witness described how angry the man was. Her sketch is obviously useless as she’s described his emotions rather than his image.
 
Each sketch we’re describing here in this example is useless. This helps us to understand the habit of the natural man to draw from himself to describe Jesus Christ. This image is useless. You can’t see Jesus through the eyes of the flesh.
 
The Simple Faith
 
You might be thinking, “The scriptures there in Romans are straight forward. All you have to do to be saved is confess Jesus Christ. The devil got away with saying this for a very long time. But God put an end to this exploitation of the logic of man to design a faith that satisfied his need to line up scriptures rather than be instructed in the doctrine of Christ.
 
The likeness of Christ is in His knowledge. That knowledge of the covenant is preached by His servants of righteousness. When the covenant is preached, the grace of God is present. The sinner might be hearing the words of the preacher who is proclaiming that Jesus shed His blood to provide a covenant in Himself; He died for our benefit to become the contact point for our salvation and door to the Father.
 
While these words (truth) are spoken, the Spirit of God is also speaking to the heart. This is grace. Do you see grace and truth working together? You should. The simple faith is the likeness of Christ that is seen as grace and truth meet together.
 
Matthew 16:17 illustrates perfectly how the grace of God reveals Jesus Christ to the heart. Jesus had asked the question, "Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am?" And Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!" And Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven."
 
Grace carries the conviction of faith for righteousness. Going back to Romans 10:9-10
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
 
Before Peter made his confession of faith, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” he first heard the words of Jesus (truth), but at the same time, Peter also received the revelation of the Spirit (grace). Do you see how grace draws faith from the heart and the mouth makes confession of Jesus Christ?
 
I Received Jesus into My Heart
 
Sometimes people turn and accuse God when they’re frustrated. You might hear it said, “I don’t need to know all that. I just want to love Jesus. I received Him into my heart. My relationship with God is intimate – between Him and me. You want me to know how grace works and that legalism – that’s a formula.”
 
But if Jesus did not want you to know how grace works, He would not have explained that to Peter to also draw our attention to it as well. Not knowing how grace works to draw faith from the heart, a person is easily confused by this scripture from the Gospel of John, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12)
 
A person mistakenly believes that upon making confession that Jesus is the Son of God, that they are receiving Jesus into their heart. This is an error. The experience they are talking about is the same Peter received – the GRACE of God impacted Peter’s soul.
 
That impact of grace is very tangible, very real. You feel it in the very core of your being. Peter responded to the voice of the Father (grace) that was revealing Jesus Christ to him. Peter received the testimony of Jesus – He IS the Son of God! You are the Christ!
 
Jesus Christ was hidden from the carnal reasoning and concealed from the tradition of man. No man can come to the Father unless drawn by the Spirit, as Jesus Himself said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). And also, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). Grace is the element that speaks of God revealing and communicating Christ to the sinner to draw the sinner to God.
 
Peter was illuminated by grace. Faith was his response: He yielded his will to the grace of God and that is where his confession of faith came from.
 
The same thing happened to you. You heard the words of truth, you experienced the grace of God drawing faith from your heart as you yielded to grace. But not knowing what grace is, that experience was mistaken for the seal of the Spirit – the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which actually seals your faith.
 
Many Believer STOP Short at Illumination
 
If you’re like many believers who thought that the illumination of grace was the seal of the Spirit, you stopped short at illumination. You believed under the influence of grace – you did receive the testimony of Jesus Christ, but you were not sealed.
 
Grace (illumination) is but the first of the 4 steps to come into covenant with God. Grace, faith follows, then righteousness, and then the seal. You are saved (brought into covenant with God) by following these steps of our father Abraham (Romans 4:12).
 
Acts 15:11, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”
 
Who is Preaching the Gospel?
 
When the Jesus of the covenant is preached, the Jesus of the covenant is confessed with the mouth. Salvation means brought into covenant with God where apostolic instruction continues so that a believer can know how to serve God acceptably having received the first tool of his sanctification (the Holy Spirit), how to know God intimately and experience a covenant relationship with Him. This is why the foundation of truth is laid in the heart.
 
Being saved means accepting the testimony of Jesus Christ and receiving the sign of Christ in the seal of the Spirit to be brought into covenant with Him. The baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of tongues follows the confession of faith in Jesus. We see an example of this in Acts chapter 10 when Apostle Peter preached to the house of Cornelius.
 
Acts 10:44-46
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.
 
When the Jesus of man’s tradition is preached, something will always be missing from faith as we read in the following scriptures.
 
Acts 18:25-26
25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
 
This man, Apollos, heard the good news that Jesus is the Son of God, died on the cross to seal man’s redemption in Himself and rose again from the dead. In his excitement he skipped over the necessary instruction he needed to understand more perfectly what it means to be saved. As a result, his faith could not be directed by the Spirit, grace did not continue, and he could not have a living relationship with God. Yes, he had good news to share, but his faith is not being joined to the things God sanctified in Jesus Christ.
 
Thankfully, God sent someone to care for him and expound to him the way of God (covenant faith) more perfectly. The people that believed under his ministry knew only what he knew. They said what he said. So someone had to go back to those people as well and make sure they were sealed and began to instruct them in the covenant knowledge as we observe in the following scriptures.
 
Acts 19:1-6
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
 
To the mind of God, to be saved meant brought into the house of God (covenant) to begin to function with the knowledge and tools of the covenant in order to build faith in the likeness of Christ. These are the terms of your salvation. You are agreeing to be joined to Christ. You are agreeing to build faith in His likeness.
 
Well... he is Saved Anyways
 
To the natural man, to be saved means this:  “I just want to know if I am saved. If I am saved I know I will go to heaven when I die. So once I’m locked in, my salvation status can’t be changed.” Some call this assurance of salvation.
 
It is often referred to as “Once saved, always saved”. The focus and drive is to get people to make a confession of faith. The rest matters very little to them because in the long run, heaven is thought to be the goal.
 
To trace our steps back to the place where faith became focused on self, one of the things we see is the idea that God’s love is unconditional – meaning, free of responsibility, when in fact the conditions of faith are clearly placed in Jesus Christ and we are responsible to the terms God laid out in Jesus Christ for our faith to express Him. God’s love was expressed through Jesus.
 
God said He was pleased with Jesus, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” God’s love must be received and expressed on the same grounds to fulfill His purpose to heal the soul and create in the soul the likeness of Christ.
 
Let’s go back to Apollos from Acts 18:25-26. We read about him earlier. He got excited about Jesus. He got it right, Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus came to save us from our sins. He was illuminated and did respond to grace, but he wasn’t instructed in the knowledge of the covenant, which he did later gladly receive.
 
What would have happened though, if Apollos had looked narrowly upon the need for instruction. He might have recoiled saying, “I don’t need any man to teach me. The Holy Spirit teaches me what I need to know. I felt God’s presence mightily upon me when I was converted. I know I am saved and no one can tell me otherwise. You believe your way and I respect that. But I am walking my own walk with God and hope you will respect that.”
 
Is Apollos saved, in that mindset? No. He would have mistaken the grace he experienced at illumination (remember we talked about that earlier and saw how powerfully Peter experienced grace) as God’s stamp of approval upon his selection of ideas about what it means to be saved, thus using the grace of God as a self witness (lasciviousness). He’s building for self, not for God.
 
“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4)
 
Apollos would have further mistaken the voices of Satan’s trio (Aspiration, Principle, and Imagination) as the voice of God. These influences replace the grace of God when the foundation of truth is not built in the heart.   
 
-- Being saved means that you have an accompanying witness of the Spirit that is circumcising from the soul the witness of the aspiration, principle, and imagination.
 
-- Being saved means that the daily work of regeneration is taking place as the Spirit of God circumcises from the soul the fruits of iniquity, thus healing the soul of these scars.
 
Would Apollos go to heaven if he continued to resist the truth of the covenant and refuse the seal of the Spirit? No. Being saved has a purpose. God not only forgives sin, but begins to heal the soul of the scars inflicted by Satan and begins the process of forming the fruit of Christ within the soul. It is these fruits God is receiving back to Himself.
 
Remember, only Jesus pleases the Father. God is engrafting His Son within the heart to receive Him back to Himself. Jesus’ parables point to this reality. The 5 wise virgins had their vessels full of faith (truth and fruit) and the 5 foolish virgins were sent away because their vessels (souls) were empty of Christ’s virtue.
 
To say that God’s love is unconditional means that God accepts our person, our best efforts, our confession of scripture, our believing apart from His purpose. Our own heart betrays us when we try to love God from the heart of emotion rather than the heart of faith.
 
I Know my Close Friend is Saved
 
Everyone has a close friend, a brother or sister, a father or a mother in mind when they say, “We don’t know who is saved and who is not saved.” They’re thinking, “I was in his house, I spoke to him, I know him. He’s not a bad person.” They thinking, “In many ways he is better than many religious minded people I know. He shows the compassion of God, he talks about God and I know God touches his life. He believes in Jesus – his own way.”
 
When you say, “I know that person” you’re vouching for that person – not for Christ. That’s the problem.
 
You might be vouching for the fact that the person you are close to had received the grace of God at one time (illumination), or that h/she does read the Bible and does believe in God. But mixed into that testimony is the good of the moral code (the ability to show compassion). God is teaching the church our reference point for good and His reference point for good are not one and the same.
 
God made clear that there are many that will say they believe in Jesus, they will call Him Lord and will be truly surprised when they are barred entrance from heaven. The gates will be closed to them.
 
Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:22)
 
 “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:23)
 
If Apollos would have chosen to walk his own way with God (under the guise of developing a personal relationship with God), then the choice he’s made reveals that even though at one time he yielded to the grace of God (illumination) to accept the testimony of Jesus Christ, he is now choosing to yield to the voice of his own logic as if it is the voice of God. His reference point for good would actually lead him to be in conflict with God.
 
_____________________
 
[Eric vonAnderseck serves the Body of Christ as a confirmed Apostle in the government of God. He is the founder of Second 8th Week Ministries & founder of the Network of Apostles Today. He is the IDCCST® Christian Education Curriculum author and author of over 100 ground breaking books and articles, spearingheading the return of the apostolic calling and anointing to the church.
 
Apostle Eric ministers extensively nationally and internationally. He is the pioneer of the new apostolic age and recognized as the leading authority in the fields of church growth, foundation building, spiritual gifts and spiritual warfare, and the leading voice in the transition of the church into the new apostolic season and reformation.]
 


 

Last Revised: 2016-06-19

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