Once Saved always saved?

Within churchianity, there are two basic schools of thought concerning this issue of “once saved always saved,” and while one of those schools peddles a complete lie, the other only presents half truths. Most of the error that exists in the “church” over this doctrine comes from not understanding what it means to be born again, or how one knows he is saved.

There are literally millions of people who sat in a “church” service, heard a sermon or other presentation, then suffered through seventeen verses of “Just As I Am” while the preacher made emotional appeal after emotional appeal to get folks to come forward, “make a decision,” “pray the sinner's prayer,” and “get saved.”

Many times, after the person went forward and said such a prayer (often through tears because of the aforementioned preacher's emotional rants), he would be paraded proudly in front of the whole “church,” often to great applause, and would even be told, “Now that you made the decision to give your life to the Lord, you are forever saved. Don't EVER let anyone tell you that you are not saved!”

The biggest problem with this scenario, and others that are similar, is that it is a completely false lie from the devil, designed to mislead and deceive people into thinking their eternities are sealed, when what they did actually accomplished no such thing. This is the false salvation that is taught by the “church,” and it is devoid of spiritual truth.

The other school of churchian thought is the false notion that one's salvation can be lost, but that false doctrine is simply evidence that one doesn't really know what being born again is. Actually, both schools are full of error—and, here, we're going to look at exactly what it means to be born again, how it happens, how one knows it has happened, and why it is impossible ever to lose it.

The Physical Covenant vs. the Spiritual Covenant

The ancient Israelites, who are a physical foreshadow of Messiah's bride, were led out of Egypt by the Holy Spirit, and He led them to the foot of Mt. Sinai. While they were there, they had to await the giving of the physical covenant, which were the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. The Feast of Weeks (sometimes referred to as Pentecost), commemorated the giving of that physical covenant at the mountain. Weeks is one of Yah's annual ordained feasts.

Fast forward many centuries, and the fulfillment of the Feast of Weeks happened on the first occurrence of that feast following Messiah's resurrection, and we can read about it in Acts 2. There, we see the spiritual real substance that the tablets (physical covenant) foreshadowed, and it is the seal of the Holy Spirit, the New Covenant, given to believers as the guarantee of marriage (also called “betrothal”). Those who are given the covenant of marriage are legally married, but are not physically married until the marriage is consummated.

One of the false teachings in christianity is the notion that, being led to the mountain by the Holy Spirit is enough. It teaches that man is the one who determines when the Covenant is given to him, but that is certainly NOT what we see in the foreshadow provided to us by the Father. The Israelites were to be faithful to the belief that led them to the mountain, and then they would receive their covenant. During their wait, there were many of them who decided they would devise their own way of worshiping Yah, and they built an idol—a golden calf. Aaron, the high priest, built an altar, and declared that they would use that in a feast to Yah (a feast that Yah had not ordained). When Moses came down and saw what they had done, he told them to repent of it. Those who did lived. Those who didn't were put to death.

The Golden Calf Survives in the “Church”

We see that same “golden calf” mentality in the “church,” which teaches that man is the one who declares himself to be an adopted child of the Most High—a born again believer. People are told to say a “sinner's prayer,” “make a decision,” or “accept Christ,” and at that moment, they are given the Holy Spirit. That is a lie from Satan, and just like those who worshiped the golden calf, we see in Matthew 7:21-23 what many of those who believe the false teachings within christianity's counterfeit of salvation will hear one day:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

Putting aside, for a moment, that christianity peddles a fake name for Messiah (and one can only imagine how much someone would feel that he doesn't “know” a person who can't even be bothered to learn what his name is), why is it that Yahoshua the Messiah tells them that He doesn't know them? He doesn't know them because they are not actually His. Romans 8:9 tells us, “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”

Those who are Christ's bride are sealed eternally by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were SEALED in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of Yah's own possession, to the praise of His glory.”

To be “sealed” is to be stamped with the mark of the King. The King's seal cannot be broken by any man. And, the “pledge” is a promise—a guarantee, or down-payment, on the future fulfillment of that pledge. Again, the King's guarantee is His bond—it is a security given that cannot be broken.

Once the Evidence Is Given, It Is Eternal

Those who are Christ's have evidence of that fact placed within them—and they are the ones who are seen as believers by the Father. 1 John 5:10 tells us “The one who believes in the Son of Yah has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe Yah has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that Yah has given concerning His Son.” The word “testimony” comes from a Greek word that means “evidence.” What is that evidence, and how does one know he has that evidence? The believer has it, and the unbeliever not only does not have it, he denies that the evidence is even given.

Let that sink in for a moment. Romans 8:16 tells us that the Spirit Himself testifies to our spirit that we are children of Yah. He tells Yah's children they have been adopted—born again. Peter said in Acts 2:17 that those on whom the Holy Spirit is poured out will have dreams and see visions—direct communications from the Holy Spirit. And, in Job 33:14-18, Elihu explains that, while Yah may speak to a man in many different ways, those ways are often ignored. So, it is when a person is asleep that Yah speaks to him in dreams—to instruct him, to confirm him, and to warn him.

So, as explained here, the Holy Spirit will tell Yah's children that they are His in a dream—specific to the believer, and identifying the believer as being His child. Try to explain that to many people who subscribe to the teachings of christianity, or the “church,” and they will immediately reject that any such thing is necessary to be born again, or that it even happens at all. What does the second part of 1 John 5:10 say about that? The unbeliever rejects the evidence that is given—that means he rejects that such evidence is even given. So, what does that say about so many people in the “church”?

So, a person must believe in Messiah Yahoshua (which is repentance from unbelief), and confess Him before men (He said, “If you deny Me before men, I'll deny you before My Father.” Matthew 10:32-33). Then, like the Israelites at the mountain, wait for the Covenant to be given, patiently remaining faithful to that belief, and trusting that the promised seal will be given.

Once one has been born again (“born from above”), there is nothing that person can ever do to become “unborn” from above. As 1 John 3:9 states, the person who is born of the Spirit of Yah cannot sin (hamartia, or the condition caused by unbelief, which is the only sin that condemns) because Yah's seed is in Him—the eternal seal of redemption. If Yah could place His seal on someone who would fail to be saved eternally, then not only is His seal fallible, He would be fallible, for, in His omniscience, He would know that the person would not be eternally saved, so He would have placed His seal on Him by mistake. Such fallibility is not possible.

Temporary Salvation Is a False Interpretation of Scripture

Those who mistake in this matter by claiming that one can lose his salvation simply misinterpret passages of scripture. They tend to confuse who is being addressed in certain scriptures, like the statement about “enduring to the end” in Matthew 24. That is speaking specifically about the tribulation saints. Since the Holy Spirit as New Covenant indwells the bride, He will be removed from the earth when she is (immediately prior to the son of perdition's revealing—2 Thessalonians 2:6-8). So, those in the tribulation who believe and do not take the mark of the beast will have to endure to their deaths, for they will not receive the Spirit's covering until that time. They have no marriage covenant, for they are not the bride, they are friends of the bride, just as the Old Testament saints are friends of the Bridegroom.

They also misinterpret passages like Hebrews 6, thinking that it states those who are saved can “fall away,” when actually, the passage is stating that it is impossible for one who is born again ever to be an unbeliever again, for then, to come back, it would require Messiah to be re-crucified. The KJV has a poor translation of verse six, as it should not state “if they shall fall away . . .” because the “if” does not appear in the Greek. The more proper interpretation is “to also fall away.” So, the verse is actually stating that it is impossible for one to be born again and also to fall away, which is the same thing 1 John 3:9 states—that the one who is born again cannot commit the sin of unbelief—the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:31).

We are also shown who it is that can “fall away” in the Parable of the Sower: “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. Matthew 13:20-21

This is the person who hears the truths of the Spirit, and, at first, he really likes what he hears. He believes what is told to him is truth. But, his belief is not completed, or “perfected” by the Holy Spirit. His adoption decree was being written, but it was never completed and sealed by the Father. The “firm root” he lacks is the Holy Spirit; he never receives the covenant of marriage, and thus, the Spirit never confirms to him that he is a child of Yah. This is the person who can “fall away,” because he was never seen by the Father as a believer, according to 1 John 5:10—he never had the testimony placed within him.

So, yes, one who is saved is always saved. The biggest problem is that those on either side of the churchian discussion of this matter don't even start from a premise of pure truth, for the true nature and process of salvation is not even taught by the “church.” Justification is not a self-declared construct. Salvation does not come by saying a prayer, making a decision, accepting anybody into one's heart, asking forgiveness for sins, obeying the Ten Commandments, changing one's lifestyle, or joining any “church.”

The evidence given to the one who is born again is not a changed lifestyle or the displaying of outward signs like speaking in tongues. All of those things can be counterfeited by Satan. The Holy Spirit testifies to Yah's children in the only way that Satan cannot counterfeit—by speaking to someone's subconscious, since Satan has access only to our conscious thoughts. One who is told by the Holy Spirit that he is a child of Yah can never become “not a child.”

Parents, think about it. How many times would one of your children have to disobey you before he would become no longer your child? That's a facetious question, isn't it? Your child is always your child. Just like the prodigal son in scripture. He walked away from his father, and lived a riotous, rebellious lifestyle—even ending up dwelling with pigs, which, to the Jew, would be unthinkable, due to the clean vs. unclean laws in the Torah. Even if the prodigal son had died while in the filth with the pigs, there was never a time that he wasn't his father's son.

So it is with Yah's children. Once the eternal judicial decree of adoption is made by the Father, His unbreakable seal is placed upon His child, and no person, not even His child, has the power or authority to break that seal.

And, shouldn't His children simply be grateful for that?

Written by Dean Haskins for Way of the Tabernacle. Reproductions with proper attribution are allowed and encouraged.









But now in Yahoshua the Messiah you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to Yah through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. Ephesians 2:13-16