WHAT IS SALVATION?
WHAT IS SALVATION?
IF YOU EARNESTLY DESIRE SALVATION it is essential to study. ONLY THE TRUTH and abiding in the laws of God can set you free and give you hope after death. It is essential to “STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) We must clear our mind of prejudices and open our mind to new information. I use the King James Version of the Bible as it is generally the standard; although the Revised Edition makes some valuable changes. If you do not have a copy, I can give you the internet address.
Study must be combined with PRAYER. Jesus told the disciples: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matt. 21:22). It is essential to make our prayers to the God of Abraham. “And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Ex. 3:15) The term Jehovah was an invention of man in the sixth century.
We must decide HOW IMPORTANT truth and salvation are to us. Death is always knocking at the front door. It is said truth will set you free. We can never know what is true without weighing doctrines in the balance of truth. The Bible will be used in this study to help us understand WHAT IS TRUTH. You owe it to yourself and your family to take time to study this article—your SALVATION DEPENDS ON KNOWING THE TRUTH. There are hundreds of different churches--often with opposing doctrines. These can all be wrong; but only one can be right. There is only ONE TRUTH. Jesus told us to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness [obey its laws]; and all these things [including salvation] shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) What was required for salvation under Jesus, was the same with Adam and will be same forever.
It is requisite to understand the difference between “belief” and “believe.” “BELIEF is a subjective attitude that a proposition is true or a state of affairs is the case. It is a mental state of having some stance, take, or opinion about something.” We all have beliefs; but belief alone is like a car without gas. We may have a belief it will run; but without gas it never will. BELIEVE in the Bible is active and requires effort on our part. It is like putting gas in the car. “He that believeth [changes behavior] AND is baptized shall be saved: (Jesus, Mark 16:16)
Understanding salvation requires us to understand the phases of life. FIRST was the SPIRITUAL CREATION. All things were first created spiritually. The account in Genesis 1:1 to 2:5 is the account of this spiritual creation. “4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field BEFORE IT GREW.” (Gen. 2)
The organization of the SPIRIT OF JESUS was the beginning of this creation and then all things in this creation were by Him in liaison with God. Jesus was the first and only spirit organized by God. “1 In the beginning [of this creation] was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God [the Father], and the Word was God [of this creation]. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 ALL THINGS were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1) “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness [Jesus], the BEGINNING of the creation of God.” (Rev. 3:14)
OUR SPIRITS were organized by Jesus who is the head of this creation--first below God. All things in creation are governed by laws. SPIRITS ARE ETERNAL. Our WORKS—from the beginning--follow us throughout eternity. It is interesting, that the law on marriage was first given then. “26 And God said, Let us [God and Jesus] make man in our image, after our likeness… 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and MULTIPLY, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” (Gen. 1) Since this on marriage was given in eternity, marriage by the laws of God is for eternity; but only applies to members of the kingdom of God.
During this spiritual estate, Satan rebelled against God thinking to take Jesus’ place as head of this creation. This violated one of the most important laws: “Thou shalt not take the name [authority] of the Lord thy God in vain.” To act in someone’s name is to act by their authority. This is usurpation of the authority of God. About a third of the host of heaven followed him. They were all cast down never to have physical bodies. It is evident that most of the rest just sat on the fence; even as they do today. They were simply followers rather than independent thinkers. Those who were loyal to God and Jesus are given the opportunity to know God and obey the gospel in the flesh.
SECOND, came the PHYSICAL CREATION. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7) When the spirit of Adam was united with this physical body, Adam became a LIVING SOUL. The physical body of Eve was created from a rib of Adam. They were IMMORTAL at this time.
When Eve was presented to Adam, he noted the law of God on MARRIAGE. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be [through their children] be one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24) Why were they married? They could not have children in their current immortal state. They could have sexual relations; which are not permitted by God outside of marriage.
Then came the FALL of man. They were instructed they could eat of all the fruit in the garden; “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:17) Satan was able to deceive Eve and she partook of this fruit causing the chemistry in her body to change and she became mortal. Adam was not deceived; but rather than lose his wife, he did the same. They were cast out of the garden. If they had stayed in the garden, they could have eaten again from the tree of life and lived in misery with a deteriorating body.
A thousand years is as a day to God (2 Pet. 3:8). ADAM LIVED 930 years and eight generations to know the father of Noah. ABRAHAM lived with Noah for thirty-nine years. He knew all ten generations from Noah to his father Terah. How easy it was for a correct knowledge of God, Jesus, and principles of truth to pass from Adam to Abraham and thus to Israel. “Preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8) Since he obeyed the gospel, it follows so did Adam and Noah. Laws of God are eternal.
We must all have an opportunity to make our own decisions and become who we will be. Those that kept their first spiritual estate as spirits are given the opportunity to know God and obey the gospel in the flesh. All others will be given that opportunity in the spiritual estate after death.
THIRD, we are all going to die. Maybe tomorrow. AFTER DEATH, our spirits are taken back to Jesus for a preliminary judgment. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Eccl. 12:7) There are TWO PLACES PREPARED for our spirits to await the resurrection: The BOSOM OF ABRAHAM is the Kingdom of God in heaven. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:1) Those that know God and Jesus, obey the gospel, and keep the laws of God in the flesh inherit the kingdom in heaven to await the FIRST RESURRECTION when Jesus returns. There are no aliens in the kingdom. This is one reason Jesus advised us to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)
All others are taken in the spirit to the SPIRITS IN PRISON because they are not members of the kingdom. This is where Jesus spent the three days while His body law in the grave. “By which also he went and preached unto the SPIRITS IN PRISON.” (1 Pet. 3:19) He opened a dispensation of the gospel so they could inherit the kingdom in the second resurrection. Here, all who did not obey the gospel in the flesh are given that opportunity in the spirit. This was erroneously called hell in the first edition of the King James Bible; but was corrected in the revised edition. This is not a place of fire and brimstone. Such would have no effect on spirits. It will seem like a hell to those who had an opportunity to enter the kingdom in the flesh and refused.
FOURTH, is the resurrection—an eternal estate. All—except the sons of perdition—will be resurrected in their own time into kingdoms appropriate to their works in life and in the spirit. Those who spent the spiritual estate in the kingdom of Heaven are resurrected first when Jesus returns and enjoy the thousand-year Sabbath of Creation. Those who (1) obey the gospel in the spirit and (2) those that obeyed the gospel in life but were not honorable in obeying the laws of God rise at the end of the Millennium. Those that fail to obey the gospel in the spirit are resurrected last after Jesus finishes His work.
HOW ARE WE SAVED?
Jesus told us to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness [obey its laws]; and all these things [including salvation] shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) Every kingdom has laws, officers, and members. Officers in the kingdom of God hold the Melchisedec Priesthood. No one can be saved to the BEST AFTER DEATH without (1) a correct knowledge of God and Jesus, (2) obeying the gospel, and (3) living by the laws of God.
The FIRST PRINCIPLE OF SALVATION is a correct knowledge of God and Jesus. “This is LIFE ETERNAL, that they might KNOW THEE the only true God, and JESUS CHRIST, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) A child separated from its mother at birth can know of its mother; but can never know its mother without association. Every religion on earth knows of God; but--without association with God--none can know God. By studying the Bible, we can come to a correct understanding of the attributes, character, and perfections of God.
No one can know and have a personal relationship with God—as required by law--without revelation. When Jesus asked Peter who He was, Jesus responded “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 16:17) REVELATION is the key to knowing God and Jesus. Yet, churches claim revelation has been done away. It is only done away because of iniquity. “YOUR INEQUITES have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isa. 59:2)
WHO IS GOD? There is no salvation without knowing God. He alone exists in eternity. He is without beginning or end. There are worlds without end. God alone is supreme over all creations. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is NONE LIKE ME.” (Isa. 46:9) Jesus and this creation are subject to God.
WHAT DOES GOD LOOK LIKE? We have only to look in the mirror. “God said, Let us [God and Jesus] make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26) Abraham mistook God for a man, invited Him into his tent, and dined with Him and two angels. “And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.” (Gen. 18:8) Abraham’s grandson Jacob knew God personally. After wrestling with Him, he told of seeing Him FACE TO FACE. “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Gen. 32:30)
Moses, Aaron, and seventy elders saw God. “9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10 And they saw the God of Israel.” (Ex. 24) Moses saw God face to face and knew Him as a familiar friend. “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Ex. 33:11)
God alone is PERFECT and has IMMORTALITY. “Who only hath immortality.” (1 Tim. 6:16) He is without beginning or end. He existed before this creation. He alone has OMIPRESENCE and can be anywhere at any time. He is present everywhere through His officers. God alone has OMNIPOTENCE. He alone is all-powerful with supreme power over the whole Universe. There are worlds without end. Jesus received His power and authority from Him and His jurisdiction is this creation.
God alone has OMNISCIENCE. He alone possesses all knowledge. Jesus was born and lived like all other men; except He also learned from God and angels. God alone is ONE. He has no fellow. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)
DO YOU REALLY KNOW JESUS? Unlike God, He had a beginning. He was first organized as a spirit by God (John 1:1-3). He lived as a mortal, learned from God and by the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8), received His Priesthood from God (Heb. 5), died, was resurrected by God (Acts 4:10), and was given all power over this creation by God (Matt. 28:18). Constantine (in 325) made the TRINITY and DEMI-GOD doctrines the foundation of his new Catholic Church; which was adopted by almost all Protestant churches. They know not God and Jesus.
He was born in the flesh like other men. He began in His mother’s womb as an embryo, then as a fetus, and was born as a helpless infant. “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” (Heb. 2:16) “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the SON OF JOSEPH.” (John 1:45) He was subject to God as His superior. “I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28) He had to learn like all others in the flesh. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” (Heb. 5:8)
Jesus is called the SON OF DAVID sixteen times and the SON OF MAN over seventy times in the New Testament. All genealogy in the Bible is in the male line; because only the male carries the seed of man. He was born in the flesh like all men; except he had to be of the seed of Abraham, tribe of Judah, and house of David. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren.” (Heb. 2:17) “Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David.” (John 7:42; Acts 2:30; Rom. 1:3, 2 Tim. 2:2)
The Apostle Matthew gave us JESUS’ TRUE LINEAGE in the first chapter of the New Testament. “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas [Judah]… And Jesse begat David the king… And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary.” (Matt. 1) This is “according to the flesh.” If Jesus was not born in all things like His brethren, He was not our Savior. Only a man could redeem man (Rom. 5:15). Matthew 1:18-25 is a fraud. It was added to make the demi-god of Constantine God. It exists nowhere else in the Bible. Jesus was not named Emmanuel. This is a prophecy in Isaiah 7 that was fulfilled in Isaiah 8.
Like us, Jesus was born alien to the kingdom. This is why He had to obey the gospel like all men. Jesus advised us: “Except a man be BORN OF WATER and of the SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) He went to John the Baptist for baptism of water because John was a priest of the Levitical Priesthood and held authority from God to baptize with water; but not of the Spirit. In John 3:11, he notes this limitation and that Jesus would baptize with the Spirit (“that he comes after me is mightier than I”). John—knowing who Jesus really was—hesitated. So, Jesus told him “Suffer it be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” (Matt. 3:15) In other words, Jesus had to obey the law of God on the gospel to enter the kingdom like all other men.
When Jesus “went up straightway out of the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending upon him: and lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:16, 17) He was born of the spirit by God; because the Melchisedec Priesthood—which holds that authority--was lost 400 years before Jesus. This is clearly an account of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as separate identities. So much for Constantine’s Trinity!
Jesus still did not hold authority from God to preach the gospel and administer its saving ordinances. After baptism, He went into the wilderness where He was tempted of Satan. “God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13) “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” (Matt. 4:11)
What did they minister? JESUS WAS ORDAINED UNDER THE HANDS OF GOD to the highest office in the priesthood: a Prophet like Moses; which also holds the lower office of High Priest. “4 And no man taketh this honour [of the priesthood] unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron [by revelation from God]. 5 So Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the FATHER] that said unto him, Thou art my son, TO DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE. 6 As he saith also in another place, thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (John 1) God ordain Himself?
Jesus could not even preach the gospel until ordained by God. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He [God] hath anointed [ordained] me to preach the gospel the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives [spirits in prison] and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:18) “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” (Acts 3:22)
Jesus became the SON OF GOD and Christ THROUGH ORDINATION BY GOD. Others that hold this priesthood are known as the sons of God—plural. Now, He held authority from God to preach the gospel. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [among you].” (Matt. 417)
Jesus died. Did God die? His perfect life required God to raise Him from the dead. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4) “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” (1 Pet. 2:22) “For if through the offence of one [Adam] many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace [resurrection], which is by ONE MAN, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Rom. 5:15) “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom GOD RAISED FROM THE DEAD.” (Acts 4:10) Did God raise Himself?
He RECEIVED ALL POWER FROM GOD. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:18) He stands “by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33) “20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he [God] raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places… 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things.” (Eph.1)
When He returns “he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate [God], the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” (1 Tim. 6:15) Jesus will stand as “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS [over this creation].” (Rev. 19:16) Those who know God, obey the gospel, and remain faithful and obedient to the laws of God will rise in the first resurrection and inherit the earth with God and Jesus. Here is a great warning. He will return “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 1:8)
A CORRECT KNOWLEDGE of God and Jesus was LOST within two hundred years of Jesus. In 325 A.D, the unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor CONSTANTINE completed the conversion to paganism. Consolidating Rome required the establishment of a state religion. He assembled the bishops, stood at the head, and organized his new Catholic Church. He was an unbaptized pagan Roman Emperor and not even a Christian! He was a loyal follower of the SUN GOD. “As seen in Constantine’s originating piety, that SUPREME DEITY would have been associated with the SUN, and pagans would have recognized, with reason, their own solar cult in such Christian practices as orienting churches to the east, worshipping on ‘SUN DAY,’ and celebrating the birth of the deity at the winter solstice [Dec. 25].” (Constantine’s Sword, p. 183)
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST? No one can be saved to a better resurrection unless they OBEY THE GOSPEL. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16) There is only ONE GOSPEL. Paul told us “12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the REVELATION of Jesus Christ… 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1) Where revelation does not exist, the gospel cannot exist. “Strait is the gate [the gospel], and narrow is the way [laws of God], which leadeth unto life, and FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.” (Matt. 7:14) You are now among the very few given the opportunity in mortal life to be SAVED.
There are TWO PARTS to the gospel. “Our GOSPEL came not unto you in WORD only, but also in POWER, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance [FAITH]; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” (1 Thess. 1:5) The WORD OF THE GOSPEL is faith, repentance, baptism of water and the Spirit, and sharing in the sacrament of bread and water. The POWER OF THE GOSPEL is the priesthood of God: The Melchisedec Priesthood.
The FIRST PRINCIPLE OF THE GOSPEL is FAITH.
“Without faith it is impossible to please him.” (Heb. 11:6) There is a grand difference between belief and faith. Many confuse belief with faith. Gospel faith is active--not passive. Many thinks all we must do is take Jesus as our savior and we are saved. The Bible teaches just the opposite. We have already seen that a correct knowledge of both God and Jesus is required.
GOSPEL FAITH is active and ORGINATES WITH GOD. “Faith is ASSURANCE of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) “Without faith it is impossible to please him.” (Heb. 11:6) Gospel faith REQUIRES REVELATION and comes only through one holding the priesthood of God. “14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a PREACHER? 15 And how shall they preach, EXCEPT THEY BE SENT, as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 17 FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10)
When the gospel went to gentiles after the Jews, they rejected it and returned to paganism. Today, many teach that man can be SAVED ONLY by taking Jesus is our Savior. That is only BELIEF and does not constitute believers. “He that believeth [through faith and repentance] AND is baptized shall be saved.” (Jesus, Mark 16:16) The Apostle James wrote: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble… For as the body without the spirit is dead, so FAITH WITHOUT WORKS is dead also.” (James 2:17-19, 26)
Gospel faith is available only through ministers of God that have been called of God by revelation and been properly ordained (sent). Jesus was ordained and then sent by God. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom THOU HAST SENT.” Jesus noted this when He ordained/sent the Twelve: “He ORDAINED twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might SEND THEM forth to preach.” (Mark 14:3) The apostle to the gentiles—Paul—reminded his son Timothy of this law. “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by PROPHECY, with the laying on of the hands of the PRESBYTERY [those holding that priesthood].” (1 Tim. 4:14) “4 And no man taketh this honour [of the priesthood] unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron [by revelation].” (Heb. 5:4)
Some have thought a quotation of Paul means that belief alone saves us. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8) Paul was not speaking to everyone; but only to the Ephesians that had already obeyed the gospel and were members of the kingdom of God. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the SAINTS which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 1:1)
Consider the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Are these simply suggestions and not absolute commandments of God? The Ten Commandments are the Constitution of the law of God. If we are saved by simply by the belief that Jesus is our Savior, does that not mean we can despise God, usurp the authority of God, violate the Sabbath, revile against mankind, hate our parents, kill, commit adultery, steal, lie, covet our neighbors’ goods? Did Jesus not quote these in His day? Was He ignorant of the truth? He advised us: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the [original spiritual] law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18)
REPENTANCE is compared to a new birth and requires a CHANGE IN BEHAVIOR—living by the words of God. Jesus told us: “except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) The Apostles taught the same. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE to repent.” (Acts 17:30)
This is not simply an appreciation of our errors; but a complete turning away from everything contrary to the will God. It is circumcision of the heart. When John the Baptist was preaching repentance, he told the crowd: “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.” (Matt. 3:8) Gentiles were told to repent and turn to God [obey His laws], and DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.” (Acts 26:20)
BAPTISM OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT are essential principles of the gospel. “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) This is the first thing Jesus did before He began His ministry. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.” (Matt. 3:16) Jesus did not have to repent; but He had to obey the law. “Suffer it be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness [the law].” (Matt. 3:15) “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (Mark 1:4) Our sins cannot be forgiven without baptism of water.
BAPTISM is not just a change of heart but cleanses us of sin, adopts us the seed of Abraham, enrolls us in the kingdom of God, and gives a gift of the Holy Spirit. God made Abraham the father of all that believe. “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the FATHER OF ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE.” (Rom. 4:11) “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ… 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye ABRAHAM’S SEED, and heirs to the promise [of eternal life].” (Gal. 3) Abraham obeyed the gospel. “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8)
On the DAY OF PENTECOST when the gospel went to gentiles, Peter and the Apostles were asked: “Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the HOLY GHOST [through baptism of the Spirit]. For the PROMISE is unto you, and to your children, and to ALL that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:37-39) Does this sound like all that is required is a belief that Jesus is the Savior?
Constantine removed baptism of water and replaced it with pouring a little water on the candidate. He eliminated baptism of the Spirit by which a person is adopted into the Kingdom of God. No one was baptized for at least 1,260 years. Not one entered the kingdom of God. Today, many teach that baptism is only an outward manifestation of an inward experience. LUTHER did away with the necessity of baptism with his saved by faith alone doctrine. Was he wiser than Jesus? “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21) “In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt. 15:9)
The Apostle Paul wrote to the saints in his day: “1 Now concerning SPIRITUAL GIFTS, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is GIVEN TO EVERY MAN to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another, faith… healing… working of miracles… prophecy… discerning of spirits… divers kinds of tongues… interpretation of tongues… But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1Cor. 12) “1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye my prophesy.” (1 Cor. 14)
“And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” (Heb. 11:32-35 read all) “Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick.” (James 5:14-15)
Members can enjoy many wonderful BLESSINGS. “Howbeit when he, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (Jesus, John 16:13) “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor. 2:10-11) “Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick.” (James 5:14-15)
The ordinance of MARRIAGE is one of the most wonderful blessings. When administered in the kingdom of God it is for life, the resurrection, and life eternal. What a joy to have our family with us after death! How do we know there is such an eternal ordinance? Open your Bible to the first chapter. This was given during our spiritual existence when there was no death. Now go to the second chapter. This was when Adam and Eve were immortal. Marriage could not be “until death do you part.” When Eve was presented to Adam before he became mortal, he said: “Therefore [in the future] shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh [through their children].” (Gen. 2:24)
Sectarians teach these gifts were done away after the Apostles. The angel told John in the last book of the Bible: “I am thy fellow servant [minister], and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY.” (Rev. 19:10) There is no history of Christians enjoying these gifts after John—but why? Not because they were no longer needed; but because of their iniquities. John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, wrote concerning the loss of the spiritual gifts of the Holy Ghost… because the Christians were turned hea-thens again, and only had a dead form left." (John Wesley's Works, Vol. VII, 89:26-27)
The POWER OF THE GOSPEL is the priesthood of God: the Melchisedec Priesthood. NO ONE CAN MINISTER IN THE NAME OF GOD without holding authority from God. “14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a PREACHER? 15 And how shall they preach, EXCEPT THEY BE SENT? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 17 faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10)
Before God allowed JESUS to preach the gospel, He was ordained to this priesthood under the hands of God. “5 So Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (John 1) Before Jesus could send the TWELVE to preach the gospel He ordained them to this same priesthood. “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.” (Mark 14:3) NO ONE in the Bible was authorized to preach the gospel without being ordained: “…most one be ordained to be a witness with us.” (Acts 1:22)
Where this priesthood does not exist, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT and HOPE OF A BETTER RESURRECTION IS NOT. Jesus will soon return “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that KNOW NOT GOD, and that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL.” (2 Thess. 1:8)
The LAWS OF GOD are the foundation of the kingdom of God. These are as eternal and changeless as God is eternal and changeless. If they were to change, we could not faith in God. No one can fail to abide in God’s laws and have hope of a better resurrection. Jesus advised us that “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in NO WISE PASS FROM THE LAW, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18)
Love is the greatest of laws. The latter-day prophet James J. Strang wrote: “1. The design of the Almighty evidently is to found his government in love; and to make that the chief sanction of his law. Love is the first thing required of all men; love unto God, who first loved us, and who bestows on us all the good which we possess. 2. The adoration service and obedience, which he demands of us, are but the natural sequence of that love; and the universal prohibition of false gods, is a necessary means of keeping our hearts unto him; for if we were allowed to bestow divine adoration on fire, the sun, or any instrument of his munificence, or any statue, or symbol, or any man, or officer, or imaginary being, as his representative, man’s shortsightedness would forget God, and soon worship only the creature. 3. Thus the earth is filled with examples of nations relapsing to idolatry through such small beginnings as setting up apt symbols of God’s perfections, to be worshipped by the ignorant, instead of the God whose majesty they symbolized.”
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but HE THAT ENDURETH TO THE END shall be saved [rise in the first]." (Jesus, Matt. 10:22) “Blessed are they that DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, that they may have right to the tree of life.” (Rev. 22:14) “Him that overcometh [through obedience to the laws of God] will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem [in Zion], which cometh down out of heaven from my God.” (Rev. 3:12) "7 He that overcometh [through obedience to the laws of God] shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." (Rev. 21)
The TEN COMMANDMENTSTS are the Constitution of the law of God. Jesus reminded us of the two greatest commandments. “37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the LOVE THE LORD thy God WITH ALL THY HEART, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the FIRST and great commandment. 39 And the SECOND is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matt. 22) Sectarian Ten Commandments are missing this second greatest commandment. They don’t even know God.
The GREATEST COMMANDMENT requires knowing and honoring the true and living God of Israel. Worshipping anything other than the true and living God of Abraham is idolatry and violates this greatest of commandments. “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, FLEE FROM IDOLATRY.” (1 Cor. 10:14) Yet, gentiles returned to idolatry even during the days of the Apostles. “The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” (2 Thess. 2:7)
Of the SECOND GREATEST commandment, James J. Strang wrote: “1. As God has founded his government on the dominion of love, and as our principal relations in life are to God as a superiour, and to our neighbours as fellows, love to our neigh-bour is as necessary to a faithful observance of his law, as love to him. 2. All the Commandments which follow after, are but the elaboration of the law, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;” a law very aptly expressed in that other form of words, ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Matt. vii, 12. Luke vi, 31.)”
He also wrote: “Other systems of Law are satisfied with external actions. God’s Law demands the allegiance of the heart. It will not be satisfied because our actions appear to be righteous; only when we are moved to them by just motives. Thus we are not merely forbidden to steal, but we are forbidden to desire our neighbour’s property. We are not merely forbidden to usurp dominion which God has bestowed on another, but we are forbidden to desire the possession of it.”
The SECOND COMMANDMENT is “Thou shat not take the name [authority] of the LORD thy God IN VAIN; for the LORD WILL NOT HOLD HIM GUILTLESS that taketh his name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7) Those who claim to minister in the name of God--without being properly called, ordained, and sent--face a most terrible punishment. They violate the first two commandments of God. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.” (Matt. 22:37) No one can usurp His authority and love God.
JESUS was no exception. He could not begin His ministry until he obeyed the gospel and was ordained to the priesthood of God. He WAS ORDAINED under the hands of God. “5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, TO DAY have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5)
Jesus ordained the Twelve to this priesthood; but of a lower office. “And he ORDAINED twelve, that they should be with him, and THAT HE MIGHT SEND THEM forth to preach.” (Mark 3:14) Then, he ordained all of the other offices of this priesthood.
“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors [high priests and elders] and teachers; [WHY?] 12 FOR the perfecting of the saints, FOR the work of the ministry, FOR the edifying of the body of Christ: [FOR HOW LONG?] 13 TILL we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Eph. 4) “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 18:18)
The Apostle Paul reminded his son of the law on priesthood. “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee BY PROPHECY, with the LAYING ON OF HANDS of the presbytery [those holding that priesthood].” (1 Tim. 4:14) This completely CHANGED after the Apostles. “It may perhaps be deduced from the letters of Ignatius that at this period [middle of the second century] each of these [CHURCHES] was RULED BY A BISHOP, chosen from the elders (the presbyters) and assisted by other presbyters and deacons, who were ELECTED by the VOTE of the entire congregation. (Life of Jesus, Craveri, p. 234) Is the voice of man the voice of God? Crucify Him! The Melchisedec PRIESTHOOD WAS LOST in these churches. The office of Bishop in the kingdom of God is a temporal office in the Levitical Priesthood, belongs to the sons of Levi, and holds no authority to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel.
This PRIESTHOOD WAS COMPLETELY LOST by 325 A.D., when the pagan Roman Emperor CONSTANTINE replaced the Christian church with his new pagan Catholic Church. He stood as absolute head of the church only as Emperor of Rome. He was not a Christian and had no relationship with God. He was a loyal follower of the sun god. “Constantine asserted the right to exercise absolute authority over the entire Church. He did this despite the fact that he was not baptized.” (James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, p. 188) Neither the Catholic Church, nor her daughters have any claim to holding the priesthood of God. They are simply USURPERS. “Thou shalt not take the name [authority] of the LORD thy God in vain [without His calling]; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7) NOT ONE IN THE CATHOLIC OR PROTESTANT CHURCHES has a legitimate to priesthood of God.
During our spiritual estate, Satan rebelled against this law thinking to stand at the head of this creation in Jesus’ place. He was cast down with about a third of the host of heaven that followed him to spend eternity as ghosts. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground.” (Isa.14:12) “The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever.” (Rev. 20:10) Here is a great warning!
The THIRD commandment is “Remember the SABBATH day, to keep it holy.” There is only ONE SABBATH of God. It was given by God during creation. “God blessed the SEVENTH DAY, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Gen. 2:3) “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a PERPETUAL COVENANT [never to be changed].” (Ex. 31:16)
God never changed the Sabbath, Jesus didn’t change the Sabbath, the Apostles didn’t change the Sabbath, and even the early Christians didn’t change the Sabbath. “For centuries, Christians… observance of the Sabbath continued to take place on Saturday.” (Constantine’s Sword, James Carroll, p. 145) In 325, the pagan emperor of Rome—Constantine—that changed this to the pagan day of the sun; which heathen Christians still honor. The Sabbath of God became the “VENERABLE DAY OF THE SUN.” Constantine had no authority from God as he was an unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor.
So called Christians post the Ten Commandments as a witness against themselves. Constantine turned what was left of Christianity into idolatry and followers are violators of the greatest and most fundamental laws of God. Where the Sabbath of God is not, the kingdom of God is not. Today men violate the laws on honoring their parents, millions are killed in their wars that were never authorized by God, commit adultery as if there was no consequence, steal without retribution, lie, and take what is there not their own with impunity. GOD WILL NOT HOLD THEM GUILTLESS.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” (1 Cor. 6:9) There are many other laws that Sectarians simply disregard because of their new salvation by faith only doctrine. The Bible provides us with 4,000 years of the history of God’s people. From beginning to end the laws of God and gospel never changed.
When the gospel was first opened to gentiles, they were told: “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, FLEE FROM IDOLATRY.” (1 Cor. 10:14) They never were completely converted. “The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” (2 Thess. 2:7) All of the Apostles--except John--were martyred by 70 A.D. It is believed that John was isolated on the Isle of Patmos in 96 A.D. wrote the Book of Revelation in 97 A.D., returned to Ephesus in 98 A.D., and died in 99 A.D. In the book of Revelation, John wrote of Jesus appearing to him and advised him of the condition of the seven churches in Asia (Rev. 2, 3). Many--and in some cases all--were found to be following the doctrines of Satan and were commanded to do their first works: repent and be baptized again. (Rev. 2:5)
John saw a beast that would destroy Christianity. “7 And it was given unto him [Satan] to make war with the saints, and to OVERCOME THEM: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And ALL THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13)
HISTORY provides us with evidence that within 200 years of Jesus gentiles lost the priesthood of God and returned to idolatry. In 325, the unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor CONSTANTINE converted what was left of Christianity to paganism. He adopted the pagan TRINITY doctrine from Babylon. “In the unity of that one Only God of the Babylonians, there were three persons, and to symbolize that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed, as the discoveries of Layard prove, the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this day. In both cases such a comparison is most degrading to the King Eternal, and is fitted utterly to pervert the minds of those who contemplate it, as if there was or could be any similitude between such a figure and Him who hath said, ‘To whom will ye liken God, and what likeness will ye compare unto Him?’” (The Two Babylons, Rev. Alexander Hislop, p. 16)
Constantine stood at the HEAD of his new CATHOLIC CHURCH, made the Trinitarian god of Babylon the official god of Christians, and made Jesus a demi-god born of a virgin. According to the laws of God, this made God an adulterer and Jesus the bastard son of a ghost. The gospel of Christ was lost. The bible identifies her as “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Rev. 17:5) This is the only church that is guilty of destroying a correct knowledge of God, eliminating the priesthood of God, doing away with the gospel, and killing millions who opposed her. Does anyone believe this is the Church of Christ? Who are the harlots?
“As seen in Constantine’s originating piety, that SUPREME DEITY would have been associated with the SUN, and pagans would have recognized, with reason, their own solar cult in such Christian practices as orienting churches to the east, worshipping on ‘SUN DAY,’ and celebrating the birth of the deity at the winter solstice [Dec. 25].” (Constantine's Sword, James Carroll, pp. 187) It was Constantine that illuminated the Sabbath--which God sanctified forever--to Sunday. Ambrose, a Christian bishop contemporary with Constantine, wrote in The Confessions, “when GOD is thought of, our thoughts should dwell on NO MATERIAL REALLITY whatsoever.”
Along with this idolatry the identity of JESUS became a DEMI-GOD—born of virgins by other gods. This made Jesus the bastard son of a ghost. Jesus had to be born like all other men; except He had to be of the seed of Abraham through David. “Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the SEED OF DAVID ACCORDING TO THE FLESH.” (Rom. 1:3). Jesus said: “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2:17) Joseph and Mary were espoused (married without the ceremony).
The noted ecclesiastical historian Mosheim wrote of the fourth century, “The rites and institutions, by which the Greeks, Romans, and other nations, had formerly testified their religious veneration for FICTITIOUS DEITIES, were now ADOPTED, with some slight alterations by Christian bishops, and employed in the service of the true God.” (Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, Century 4, Part 2, chap 4:1, 4)
In 568, Rome fell to the Lombards. In 570, the BISHOP OF ROME declared supremacy over the whole church. This was the ultimate in rebellion to the laws of God and began the total apostacy. "Our LORD GOD THE POPE… The power of the pope is greater than all created power, extending itself to things celestial, terrestrial and infernal, and that the pope doeth whatsoever he listeth even things unlawful, and is MORE THAN GOD.” (Dissertation on the Prophecies, Rev. G S. Faber, Vol. 1, pp. 203, 204) This fulfilled the prophecy: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thess. 2:4) This pagan Catholic Church held absolute reign for about 1,200 years.
Then a NEW CHURCH emerged. Where did this doctrine of SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE come from? It did not exist for about 1,500 years after Jesus. Martin Luther was originally a minister of the Catholic Church; but was cut off by the pope. He lost whatever claim he might have to gospel authority. “By the end of 1518, according to most scholars, Luther had reached a new understanding of the pivotal Christian notion of salvation… Luther broke dramatically with this tradition by asserting that humans can contribute nothing to their salvation: salvation is, fully and completely, a work of divine grace.” (britannica.com)
A student of his--John Calvin—also taught a person’s works are not important. “Calvin left no place for works in his definition of justification by faith.” (Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, p. 74) This became a new gospel: 1500 years after Jesus who taught: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20) “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.” (Gal. 1:8)
When we ignore history, it repeats itself. When man turns from God to such wickedness, he is DESTROYED. Does man never learn from history? In the first book of the Bible, man tried the experiment of violating the laws of God. What was the result? “5 GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth… 7 And the LORD said, I WILL DESTROY MAN whom I have created from the face of the earth.” (Gen. 6) And He did; except for Noah and his family of eight souls. Man was baptized with water without repentance and will soon be baptized with fire without repentance.
When men turn from God and ripen in inequity, they are destroyed. What happened to every civilization that did not follow God? What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? Yet, we see the same evils today. Read the second chapter of Daniel. He prophesied of the destruction of Babylon, Persia, Greece, Egypt, Rome, and of the ten kingdoms of Europe. America is part of these kingdoms. “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Dan. 2:44)
Gentiles are about to be destroyed. “21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days be shortened, there should be no flesh saved; but for the elects sake [Israel] those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24) They don’t even know God. (Jesus, Matt. 24:21) “16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen [goi, also translated gentile] drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. 17 (Obadiah 1) “1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. 2 For the INDIGNATION of the LORD is upon ALL NATIONS, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath UTTERLY DESTROYED THEM, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.” (Isa. 34)
"5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance [baptism], broken the everlasting covenant [of priesthood]. 6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and FEW MEN LEFT.” (Isa. 24)
WHAT ARE WE SAVED FROM?
There are two groups that will NEVER BE RESURRECTED or saved. First, are SONS OF SATAN who--during our spiritual estate—followed Satan when he rebelled against God thinking to stand in Jesus’ stead as head of this creation. This violated a basic law of God: “Thou shalt not take the name [authority] of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7) He was cast down with about a third of the host of heaven that followed him to spend eternity as ghosts. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground.” (Isa.14:12)
Second, are the SONS OF PERDITION. These are they that that obeyed the gospel in the flesh, knew the power of God, were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and then turned to deny the truth and defy the power of God. “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matt. 12:41) It would have been better for them never to have been born.
WHAT AND WHEN IS SALVATION?
The war against death is won for us when we are resurrected and receive immortal, physical bodies. Receiving a RESURRECTED, immortal physical body is truly SALVATION. Only those that followed Satan in the beginning and the sons of perdition from mortal life will never have such bodies; but will spend eternity as ghosts with no association with this creation. If you put nothing in, you cannot expect to get anything out. If you don’t put gas in a car, it will never move. All are judged according to their works.
JESUS WAS FIRST AND ABOVE ALL. He was the FIRST fruits of the resurrection. “20 Which he [God] wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places… 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things.” (Eph.1) “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom GOD RAISED FROM THE DEAD, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” (Acts 4:10)
During the three days Jesus body lay in the grave, He went in the spirit to the SPIRITS IN PRISON. “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” (1 Pet. 3:19) Remember, all are judged by their works. These did not obey the gospel and keep all the laws of God in the flesh. Those that think they can be saved only by accepting Jesus as their savior join these. Jesus opened a dispensation of the gospel to them. Consider the billions that will be counted with these spirits in prison. Surely, they will cry why upon us. Most likely many of the prophets of God are preaching the gospel to them now.
There are THREE LEVELS OF SALVATION. “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) There will be three kingdoms/glories in the resurrection. "40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun [CELESTIAL], and another glory of the moon [TERRESTRIAL], and another glory of the stars (TELETIAL): for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption." (1 Cor. 15)
The HIGHEST LEVEL of salvation is reserved for those who believed (changed their behavior), were baptized in the flesh, and kept the commandments of God in the flesh. This is a glory of one as the glory of the sun is one. “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.” (Rom. 2:7) They are just men made perfect through Jesus. They are of the church of the first-born. They rise in the FIRST RESURRECTION and inherit the CELESTIAL glory compared to the sun in glory. These are sons of God that inherit the earth with God and Jesus. Jesus told us “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:40) God is perfect in His realm. We must be perfect in our realm by abiding in all the laws of God given to us. These shall dwell in the presence of God and Jesus forever.
The SECOND HIGHEST LEVEL of salvation includes (1) the honorable men of the earth that failed to enter the kingdom in the flesh but did so in the spirit and (2) Those that obeyed the gospel in the flesh but were not valiant in keeping the laws of God. This is a glory of one even as the glory of the moon is one. Jesus visited these with the spirits in prison during the three days his physical body lay in the grave. Those that accept the gospel in the spirit--with those that change to keep the commandments of God--rise in the second resurrection. They inherit the earth with the presence of the Son, but not a fulness of the Father. These are bodies TERRESTRIAL in glory like the moon. These rise in the SECOND RESURRECTION; which comes after the thousand years of peace on earth. “But the rest of the [spiritually] dead lived not again [in the flesh] until the thousand years were finished.” (Rev. 20:5)
The LOWEST LEVEL of salvation are bodies TELESTIAL. These are they who are numerous and are compared in glory to the stars. These are those that failed to refuse to obey the gospel in in the spirit. These are the last to be resurrected after Jesus has finished His work. Since they don’t obey the gospel, they cannot be forgiven of their sins but are judged only according to their works in the flesh. “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Rev. 20:12) They do not receive of the fulness of the eternal world but are ministered to by those in the terrestrial kingdom. The only one lost in the end are those that prefer to remain filthy still.
There is a principle of salvation that churches of man do not understand; as they have never had a revelation from God. PROGRESS CONTINUES into eternity. Those in the celestial will minister to those in the terrestrial and those in the terrestrial will minister to those in the telestial. James J. Strang wrote the only ones that will be lost and remain in the telestial glory are those that prefer to remain filthy.
WHERE IS SALVATION?
The EARTH will be the inheritance for mankind. After the second resurrection, all mortality will end and the earth and man will enter eternity. “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be NO MORE DEATH, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4) The earth will enter its celestial glory as it was in the days of Adam. John saw the redemption of city of Zion, Jerusalem, and the earth. The land of Zion is North and South America; but especially America on the “sides of north.” “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount [kingdom of God in] Zion, on the sides of the north [North America], the city of the great King [Jesus].” (Ps. 48:2) The New Jerusalem will be in America. This is why Zion is so special.
“1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: 2 And I John saw the holy city, NEW JERUSALEM [in Zion, America], coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the HOLY JERUSALEM [in Canaan], descending out of heaven from God… 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” (Rev. 21)
RESTORATION OF SALVATION
Gentiles were to be given TWO OPPORTUNITIES to obey the gospel. The FIRST was after the Jews rejected Jesus. But gentiles returned to paganism. This caused all the Apostles to be killed; except John. He is believed to have died in Ephesus in 99 A.D. The last offices of the Melchisedec Priesthood (high priest and elders) likely didn’t last more than a couple generations. About 200 A.D, all authority from God was lost when churches simply voted their senior men to be their leaders.
In 325, Constantine turned whatever knowledge of God and Jesus was left into idolatry, illuminated the gospel, and the laws of God were lost. Not one member of the kingdom was left. “7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13)
In 570, the Bishop of Rome declared supremacy over the whole church. “The pretensions of the bishop of Rome to primacy over all Christian churches throughout the world, however, were to lead to a new interpretation of the word “church” itself. Catholic ecclesiology has limited its meaning to the hierarchic structure that culminates in the bishop of Rome: an absolute monarchy that claims universal dominion (theocracy) and whose sovereign wears the golden triple crown of the pope-king.” (The Story of Catholicism, p. 37)
The Apostle John prophesied the Church of Christ, its officers, and all members would be lost for 1,260 years. “5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [1,260 years]. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him [Satan] OVER ALL kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev. 13)
John also saw the RESTORATION of divine authority and the gospel in the last days. “6 And I saw another ANGEL fly in the midst of heaven, HAVING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to EVERY nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” (Rev. 14) In 570, the Bishop of Rome stood at the head as God on earth. The kingdom and salvation were completely lost for 1,260 years. Now add the 570 and the 1260 to find the time the gospel would be restored. The answer is 1830.
The only man that claimed a RESTORATION of divine authority was JOSEPH SMITH. He claimed direct communication with God and Jesus and a calling of God and ordination as a Prophet of the Melchisedec Priesthood under the hands of angels. He organized the CHURCH OF CHRIST on April 6, 1830. The Kingdom of God was once again on the earth. Joseph taught that it is necessary not only TO believe in God and honor Jesus as our Savior; but that we must live by the will and law of God. “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” If his claim was not true, there is still no priesthood of God on the earth and there is still no hope of salvation.
He was murdered on June 27, 1844, with the help of the Governor of Illinois. God gave four revelations that in the event he was about to be taken that he would appoint his successor in the Prophetic Office (see Doctrine and Covenants, 43). The first was within a year after the church was organized. Nine days before his martyrdom, he wrote a Letter of Appointment to James J. Strang in Burlington, Wisc. The same hour that Joseph died, James claimed to have been ordained to the Prophetic Office under the hands of angels the same as Joseph; although he was 400 miles away and could not have any knowledge of his death. Joseph prophesied of his impending death four times, wrote James only a few days before his death, and James claiming ordination the same hour as his death are prophetic in their own right.
The latter-day prophets Joseph Smith and James J. Strang restored a correct understanding of God and Jesus, the gospel, divine authority, and the laws of God. Joseph took his inquiry of the nature of God to Him in prayer. Two personages appeared to him and one of them said, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” He was told: “they were all wrong and their creeds were an abomination in his sight.” James taught the same. “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was not the offspring of adultery; nor was he born of woman; he was not carried about in a nurse’s arms, nor dependent on his mother’s milk for sustenance; he never died, nor did he cry to himself, and find no helper. (Matt. xxvii, 46. Mark xv, 34.) Eternal ages are but pulsations in his lifetime, and his might is omnipotence.” It is through them and revelation that I have a correct knowledge to pass on to you.
James was shot on June 20, 1856, with the help of the Captain of the US Steamer Michigan. He died on July 9. The government had part in the killing of both prophets of God sent to the gentiles. There was no successor; as there were to be only TWO PROPHETS given to the gentiles in the last days (Ezek. 37:19). A remnant was to remain to provide one last opportunity to obey the gospel before being destroyed.
“8 And thou, O tower of the flock [James J. Strang]], the strong hold of the daughter of Zion [church in America], unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion [July 8, 1850]; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee [James was murdered]? is thy counseller [apostle and high priest] perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. 10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to [spiritual] Babylon; there SHALT THOU BE DELIVERED; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.” (Micah 4)
Gentiles must be given ONE LAST OPPORTUNITY to enter the kingdom of God before being destroyed. Here is a great warning of what is about to come to pass. Jesus told us: “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a WITNESS UNTO ALL NATIONS; and then shall the end come.” (Jesus, Matt. 24:14) The internet goes to all nations. This is a WITNESS AGAINST THEM so they can be destroyed as prophesied. “16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen [goi, also translated GENTILE] drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be AS THOUGH THEY HAD NOT BEEN.” (Obadiah 16)
ISRAEL will soon become the people of God once again. “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and THEY SHALLL BE MY PEOPLE, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” (Jer. 24:7) “For I am with thee [Israel], saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee.” (Jer. 30:11) “And they shall be my people, and I WILL BE THEIR GOD.” (Jer. 32:38) “20 they shall be my people, and I will be their God… 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Ezek. 11)
During his ministry, James J. Strang ordained L. D. Hickey one of the Twelve Apostles. He ordained Samuel Martin a high priest, who ordained Lloyd Flanders high priest, who ordained SAMUEL E. WEST an elder on July 8, 1956. Through his ministry there are a few other elders in Zion and in Africa. He is 84 years old  and is the last elder with authority from God to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel and to warn the world through the internet of the coming destruction.
Time is running out. Just look at what is happening in America. Knowledge of God and Jesus has been lost. The gospel has been perverted. The Ten Commandments are constantly violated with impunity. Unborn babies are murdered by the hundreds of thousands. The commandment is simply “Thou shalt not kill.” In 1998, about 80% believed in a God. Today, the number of people even believing in God is almost gone. The same practices that brought destruction in the days of Noah and in Sodom are commonly practiced here.
Gentiles are about to be destroyed. “16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen [goi, also translated gentile] drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. 17 (Obadiah) Israel about to become the people of God again. “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” (Jer. 24:7)
The GATE INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS STILL OPEN for a short time. “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.” (Jesus, Matt. 7)
YOU can be counted among those few and have hope of a BETTER RESURECTION, rise in the first resurrection, enjoy the Sabbath of Creation with Jesus, and inherit the earth with God and Jesus in its paradisiacal glory forever. What is that worth?