Most modern-day Christians, together with those who proclaim to be followers of Yahweh, seem to fall short when attempting to understand how the death of Yahushua the messiah enables us to attain salvation and eternal life.
Many point to the basis for their understanding from one passage as given in the book of John:
For the deity so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Numerous individuals understand this to mean that all one has to do is profess a belief or faith that Yahushua (Jesus) was the messiah who was given to mankind by the father and that the messiah has washed us from our sins by dying and shedding his blood for us whereby we can become saved and have eternal life.
In reality, if one were to base all of their faith only on this one verse, it would be obvious to the serious student of Scriptures that this type of faith would be more accurately defined as “blind faith.”
What is important to recognize is that Scriptures negate this concept of “blind faith” per the following:
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thes. 5:21)
As one investigates Scriptures, it becomes clear that “blind faith” is not a doctrinal tenet of Scriptures. On the contrary, what is required by Scriptures is a firm trust and reliance upon Yahweh based on solid evidence.
Just what are the scriptural instructions for attaining Yahweh’s truth which leads to trust?
Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that YOU SET YOUR MIND TO UNDERSTAND AND HUMBLE YOURSELF before your eloahi, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.” (Dan. 10:12)
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. (Isaiah 28:9-10)
According to Scriptures, it is imperative that one set their mind to understanding Yahweh’s plan for mankind while being humble. In other words, one must have the right mindset to understand Yahweh’s truth properly.
One must be humble and recognize that truth does not come from within one’s own self. Truth can only come from outside a person. This means that truth can only come from Yahweh.
In addition, one must utilize all Scriptures as one searches for the truth of Yahweh. As stated in Isaiah, the evidence will often not be found in any one particular place within Scriptures.
With this correct approach to finding Yahweh’s truth, the question is then prompted: What is the legal mechanism connected with the death of Yahushua the messiah, and the shedding of his blood whereby mankind can achieve salvation and eternal life?
Using an evidentiary approach throughout our study, we will begin to discover the answer when we realize that this legal mechanism involves an adoption and an inheritance. The heart of the matter is that the preexistent messiah, Yahushua, made a conditional Will, confirmed by an oath, containing the promise of an inheritance granting eternal life and a share in the kingdom of Yahweh.
Because the preexistent Yahushua authored this Will, the death of the author or testator is mandated; otherwise, the promise of an inheritance is without any substantive value. By becoming the fleshly seed of Abraham, Yahushua also became a designated heir of his own Will.
All those coming under grace and having trust (faith)1 in the messiah are likewise heirs to this Eternal Inheritance if, as with Abraham and Yahushua, they abide by its conditions. Proof that we are subject to the conditions of the inheritance begins with the evidence that we are heirs under grace.
Those being saved under grace are heirs of the promises given in a conditional Will. We first recognize the existence of this Will by the innumerable references to the fact that we shall be heirs of a promised inheritance of eternal life and the kingdom of Yahweh.
To demonstrate, the apostle Saul notes that “having been justified by his grace, heirs we should become according to the hope of eternal life.”2 He writes that once we become the children of Yahweh, we also become his heirs:
The ruach (spirit) itself bears witness with our ruach, that we are children of the deity. And if children, also heirs: heirs indeed of the deity, and joint-heirs with the messiah; if indeed we suffer together, that also we may be glorified together. (Rom. 8:16-17)
So no longer are you a bondman, but a son; and if a son, also heir of the diety through the messiah. (Gal. 4:7)
Saul adds that after beginning to trust in the messiah, “in whom also we obtain an inheritance,” those trusting “are sealed with the ruach of the sacred promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of his glory.”4
Saul also speaks of “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”5 He notes that it was “revealed to his sacred apostles and prophets in the ruach” that “the nations are to be joint-heirs and a joint-body and joint-partakers of his promise in the messiah through the good news.”6
The other disciples of Yahushua likewise proclaimed this message. In the book of James, for example, we read, “Hear, my beloved brethren: did not the deity choose the poor of this world, rich in trust, and heirs of the kingdom, which he promised to those that love him?”7
The apostle Keph (Peter) reminds us that husbands should recognize that their wives are also “joint-heirs of the grace of life, so as in your prayers not to be cut off.”8
The book of Matthew reports that, at the end of Judgment, Yahweh shall separate the wicked (goats) from the justified (sheep):
Then the king (Yahushua) shall say to those (sheep) on his right hand, Come, the blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (Matt. 25:31–34)
We are to be seeking and working for this “inheritance of eternal life” and the inheritance of “the kingdom,” which has been planned for since the beginning of the world. Our pursuit is not passive; it is active.9
The book of Hebrews has:
But we desire each of you the same diligence to show to the full assurance of the hope unto the end; that you be not sluggish, but imitators of those who through trust and long patience will inherit the promises. (Heb. 6:11-12)
In another place Colossians states:
For whatsoever you may do, work heartily, as to the sovereign and not to men; knowing that from the sovereign you will receive the recompense of the inheritance, for the sovereign messiah you serve. (Col. 3:23-24)
The messiah is also an heir of this promised inheritance, for we are to be “joint-heirs with the messiah.”10 Indeed, messiah was “appointed heir of all things.”11 He especially receives as his portion the inheritance of the city of Jerusalem.12
That the messiah is an heir is further expressed by the references to him in parables as the heir that the wicked servants murdered.13
Granted to Abraham and the Messiah
The obvious question arises, Where is this Will to be granted by Yahushua that promises an inheritance of eternal life?
Scriptures prove that the Will containing the promised inheritance, which provides eternal life—not only to Abraham and the nations but to and by means of the messiah—was granted to Abraham by the preexistent Yahushua in the Covenants of Promise.
Galatians clearly makes this point:
Brethren, according to a man I am speaking, ὅμως (omos; as with)14 a man, no one sets aside or ἐπιδιατάσσεται (epidiatassetai; supplements) a confirmed covenant. But to Abraham were spoken the promises, and to his σρέρματι (spermati; single seed). He does not say, And to σπέρμασιν (spermasin; plural seeds), as of many; but as of one (seed), and to your σρέρματι (spermati; single seed), which is the messiah. (Gal. 3:15-16)
A covenant, called a ברית (berith) in Hebrew, is an agreement. It can be a marriage agreement, business agreement, Covenant-Will, formal alliance, vow, or any other type of legal contract.
The Hebrew term berith is connected with the idea of cutting meat and eating food. It finds its origin from the custom of the ancients to seal an agreement by “cutting or dividing animals in two and passing between the parts in ratifying a covenant,” subsequently dining upon the cooked meat.15
Further, in ancient Hebrew culture, a meal would bind one to an oath, vow, or contract and could ratify a covenant.16 Thus, even to our present day, we have the custom of the wedding feast after the rites of marriage.
In the above statement from Galatians, Saul notes that Yahweh’s covenant is like that of any man’s ratified agreement. Once it has been confirmed, no one, not even Yahweh, can ἐπιδιατάσσεται (epidiatassetai; “make additions to a will,” supplements).17
Abraham’s Singular Seed is Yahushua
The statement from Galatians also proves that this particular covenant gave certain promises to Abraham and his σρέρματι (spermati; single seed),18 in Hebrew written זרע (zerah; seed).19 Saul’s statement is verified several times by the book of Genesis.20
Further confirming the words of Saul, the LXX importantly translates the word זרע (zerah) in each relevant instance as σρέρματι (spermati; single seed).21 This single seed, in turn, is identified by Saul as the messiah.
Saul then adds that the “inheritance” was by “promise,” and that Yahweh ”granted it (the inheritance) to Abraham through promise.”22 The Hebrew word for promise is דבר (debar), which means to give one’s word.23
The Legal Mechanism
Though we are saved by grace, we are still faced with the vital question, If the inheritance was left to Abraham and his seed (the messiah), by what legal mechanism can men and women from every nation share in that inheritance as joint heirs?
The legal mechanism built into Yahweh’s plan is adoption through the messiah.
To begin with, the rights of adoption were granted to the Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, coming through Abraham’s son and legal heir Isaak, who in turn was the father of Jacob (Israel), the father of the Israelite tribes.
Saul informs us that his fleshly kinsmen were “the Israelites, to whom (pertain) the adoption and the glory, and the covenants and the giving of the Torah, and the service and the promises; to whom (pertain) the fathers; and out of whom is the messiah according to flesh, who is over all, blessed by Yahweh to eternity.”26
This right to adopt, as predetermined since the beginning of the world, then passed to the Israelite named Yahushua the messiah, given to him by means of his qualifying for the inheritance. Saul tells us:
Accordingly, he (father Yahweh) has chosen us in him (Yahushua the messiah) before the foundation of the world, for us to be sacred and blameless before him (father Yahweh) in love; having προορίσας (proorisas; predetermined)27 us for adoption through Yahushua the messiah to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he made us objects of grace in the beloved (messiah). (Eph. 1:5)
Saul further writes that all things are to be headed up in the messiah, “who is the earnest of our inheritance.”28 He adds:
(Yahweh) headed up all things in the messiah, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth; in him (the messiah), in whom also we obtained an inheritance, being predetermined according to the purpose of him (father Yahweh) who works all things according to the counsel of his will, for us to be to the praise of his glory, who have fore-trusted in the messiah. (Eph. 1:10–12)
Those following Yahweh are looking forward to their adoption as children.
For we know that all the creation groans together and travails together until now. And not only (they), but even ourselves, having the first-fruit of the ruach, also we ourselves groan inside ourselves, awaiting adoption—the redemption of our body (from sin). (Rom. 8:22-23)
To bring about our adoption and position as heirs, the preexistent Yahushua was sent to earth as a man. Saul writes:
But when came the fullness of the time, Yahweh sent forth his son, coming out of a woman, coming under the Torah (of Moses), that he might ransom those under the Torah (of Moses), that we might receive the adoption. But because you are sons, Yahweh sent forth the ruach of his son into your innermost-selves, crying “Abba (Father)!” So, no longer are you a bondman but a son; and if a son, also heir of Yahweh through the messiah. (Gal. 4:4–7)
In another place, Saul once more connects this adoption with our status as heirs. He states:
So then, brethren, debtors we are, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; for if according to the flesh you live, you are about to die; but if by the ruach the deeds of the body you put to death, you will live: for as many as by the ruach of Yahweh are led, these are the sons of Yahweh. For you do not receive a ruach of bondage again unto fear, but you do receive a ruach of adoption, whereby we cry, “Abba (Father)!” The ruach itself bears witness with our ruach, that we are children of Yahweh. And if children, also heirs: heirs indeed of Yahweh, and joint-heirs of the messiah; if indeed we suffer together, that also we may be glorified together. (Rom. 8:12–17)
So far, we have discussed the legal mechanism of an adoption and an inheritance. However, this prompts another essential question: What exactly is the inheritance, and what does it contain?
The answer is addressed in “The Inheritance & Salvation-Part 2.”
Note: This study consists of an adapted chapter from the publication by Qadesh La Yahweh Press titled The Festivals and Sacred Days of Yahweh Vol. I.
Click this link for Bibliography and Abbreviations.
1 Throughout our text the Hebrew and Greek words traditionally translated as “faith” by many English editions of the Scriptures shall more accurately be rendered as “trust,” denoting something based upon truth and a firm foundation. The Hebrew word אמון (amun), for example, is from אמן (aman), and means “established, i.e. (fig.) trusty; also (abstr.) trustworthiness:—faith (-ful), truth” (Strongs [SEC], Heb. #529); fem. אמונה (amunah), “lit. firmness; fig. security; mor. fidelity” (SEC, Heb. #530). אמן (aman) is “a prim. root; prop. to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; fig. to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; mor. to be true or certain” (SEC, Heb. #539), “was true, faithful . . . was sure . . . was enduring” (Hebrew-English Lexicon [HEL]. Zondervan Edition, 1970., p. 19). In the Greek LXX and New Testament (see A Concordance to the Septuagint and the Other Greek Versions of the Old Testament [including the Apocryphal Books]., 2, pp. 1137–1139), אמן (aman), אמונה (amunah), etc. are translated as πίστις (pistis), meaning, “persuasion, i.e. credence; mor. conviction” (SEC, Gk. #4102); and as πιδτός (pistos), “obj. trustworthy; subj. trustful” (SEC, Gk. #4103). Both the Hebrew and Greek words denote trust on the basis of a firm foundation. For that reason, the Scriptures demand that we prove all things (1 Thess. 5:21) and establish every matter upon at least two or three witnesses (2 Cor. 13:1). The English concept of “faith,” on the other hand, allows for blind faith and simple belief without proof.
2 Titus 3:4–7.
3 SEC, Gk. #4690, “something sown, i.e. seed (includ. the ‘male sperm’).” The Hebrew term זרע (zerah), “seed, fig. fruit” (SEC, Heb. #2233), can mean either a singular seed, plural seeds, or a collective noun as with a group of seed. In Hebrew it is understood by its context. The LXX and NT Greek versions use separate words to denote the form: e.g., σρέρματι (spermati; singular seed); σπέρμασιν (spermasin; plural seed); σπέρμα, σπέρματός (sperma, spermatos; plural seed as a collective noun) (SEC, Gk. #4690). Yahweh does not directly tell how or when the single seed (the messiah) would receive the inheritance of the promised land. Yet the timing is indicated in Gal. 3:15–19, which notes that the sperma (the elect) must come first, and Heb. 2:5–18, points to the fact that the elect must enter into the Sabbath day millennium rest, which begins when the messiah returns.
4 Eph. 1:11–14.
5 Eph. 1:18.
6 Eph. 3:5-6.
7 James 2:5.
8 1 Pet. 3:7.
9 Matt. 7:7–11, 13:44–46; Luke 11:9–13, 6:46–49; Phil. 2:12; Jer. 29:13; Ps. 105:3-4.
10 Rom. 8:16-17.
11 Heb. 1:2.
12 Zech. 2:12.
13 For example, Matt. 21:33–44; Mark 12:1–12; Luke 20:9–19.
14 The Greek term ὅμως (omos) means, “equally, likewise, alike . . . like as, equally with . . . together with” (Greek English Lexicon [GEL], p. 558).
15 Dictionary of the Bible, p. 127, and see Gen. 15:8-18, and Jer. 34:18-19. The Hebrew term for covenant is ברית (berith), from ברה (barah), “to select . . . to feed . . . to render clear,” in the sense of “cutting . . . a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh):—confederacy, [con-]feder[-ate], covenant, league” (SEC, Heb. #1285, See #1262), “any agreement” (HEL, p. 43). In the New Testament the corresponding word is διαθήκη (diatheke), which means, a “disposition of property by will, testament” (GEL, 1968, p. 394); “a disposition, i.e. (spec.) a contract (espec. a devisory will):—covenant, testament” (SEC, Gk. #1242).
16 For example, Gen. 14:18–24, 26:30, 31:51–54; Josh. 9:14; Obad. 1:7.
17 GEL, 1968, p. 630; SEC, Gk. #1928, “to appoint besides, i.e. supplement (as a codicil)”; GEL, p. 290, “to add an order.”
18 SEC, Gk. #4690, “something sown, i.e. seed (includ. the ‘male sperm’).” See footnote 19.
19 The Hebrew term זרע (zerah), “seed, fig. fruit” (SEC, Heb. #2233), can mean either a singular seed, plural seeds, or a collective noun as with a group of seed. In Hebrew it is understood by its context. The LXX and NT Greek versions use separate words to denote the form: e.g., σρέρματι (spermati; singular seed); σπέρμασιν (spermasin; plural seed); σπέρμα, σπέρματός (sperma, spermatos; plural seed as a collective noun) (SEC, Gk. #4690). Yahweh does not directly tell how or when the single seed (the messiah) would receive the inheritance of the promised land. Yet the timing is indicated in Gal. 3:15–19, which notes that the sperma (the elect) must come first, and Heb. 2:5–18, points to the fact that the elect must enter into the Sabbath day millennium rest, which begins when the messiah returns.
20 Gen. 12:7, 13:15, 15:18, 17:8, 18-19, 22:15–18, 24:6-7, 26:1–5, 28:1–4.
21 See the Greek Septuagint (LXX) at each passage cited above in footnote 20.
22 Gal. 3:18.
23 The Hebrew word used for a promise is דבר (debar), which means, “to arrange; but used fig. (of words) to speak . . . a word; by impl. a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adv. a cause” (SEC, Heb. #1696–1697). It is often translated as “promise” and means to give one’s word as an oath. Unlike the Hebrew word אמר (amar), which refers to the act of “speaking” (SEC, Heb. #559–562), debar reflects the speakers innermost thoughts, thus the matter spoken of from the mind. The Ten Commandments, for example, are called the ten debar (Deut. 4:13, 10:4-5), being reflective of the divine nature of father Yahweh (See 1 John 4:7-8, 16 with 4:20-5:6). The Greek words used are ἐπαγγελία (epaggelia) and ἐπαγγέγγω (epaggello), which mean, “an announcement (for information, assent or pledge; espec. a divine assurance of good):—message, promise . . . to announce upon (reflex.), i.e. (by impl.) to engage to do something, to assert something respecting oneself;—profess, (make) promise” (SEC, Gk. #1860–1861). Debar is also a term used in reference to the messiah and is often translated λογγος (logos) in the Greek, e.g., see 1 Kings 16:1; 1 Chron. 15:15, 22:8; 2 Chron. 11:2, 18:18; Ps. 33:4, 6, etc. and see LXX, and John 1:1. The word or promise of Yahweh the father, being his innermost thought, is personified and manifested in his son, Yahushua the messiah.
24 Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18.
25 Heb. 6:13–19; Gen. 22:16–18; Luke 1:67–74. See Ps. 89:34–37.
26 Rom. 9:3–5.
27 The Greek term προορίσας (proorisas), a form of προορίζω (proorizo) means, “determine beforehand . . . predetermine” (GEL, 1968, p. 1493); “to limit in advance, i.e. (fig.) predetermine” (SEC, Gk. #4309). It does not mean predestined, as some translate this word, in the sense that we are personally fated or destined for some particular end. In that case the Greek word μοῖρα (moira), i.e., lot, fate, destiny (GEL, 1968, p. 1140-1141) would have been used. The difference between predetermination and predestination (destiny), for example, is that someone can predetermine the length and breadth of a race course, where the starting and finishing lines are to be placed, the time allotted for the race, and the qualifications for the runners who intend on racing. Someone can even predetermine what the prize will be for those who win the race. Nevertheless, that same someone does not designate the winner of the race until the race is over. Predestination, on the other hand, in the sense of the English word fate and fatalism, entails that the winner of the race has already won before the race has even gotten underway. Indeed, in that case the runners do not even need to run, the winner is already known. Yet, Yahweh does not predestine each individual as to who will receive the inheritance and as to who will be fated for eternal death. He has merely laid out the racecourse and the prize. As Saul states, “Do you not know that those who run in a racecourse all run? Therefore, run, that you may obtain (the inheritance of eternal life)” (1 Cor. 9:24). And again he writes, “with endurance we should run the race lying before us, looking to Yahushua, the leader and completer of our trust” (Heb. 12:1).
28 Eph. 1:14.