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– The Barren Land
– Our Choices in Life
– Entering the Barren Land
– The Final Sacrificial Lamb
– Leaving the Barren Land
– Reigning in Salvation
“I remember when I first got saved I held my pastor in great esteem. He seemed to me as the wisest man and knew so much about God and the Bible and I wanted to know everything there was to know, so I hung on his every word. But then my thirst for my Savior outweighed my admiration for my pastor and soon my biblical studies surpassed anything he could teach me. Our spiritual growth can only go as far as our desire and love for our Savior. The deeper we want to know Yahshua the more the Sacred Breath will impart to us, but we have to be willing to seek Him beyond any person or thing. We also have to understand that too often our growth in HYH will cause those who don’t thirst as much to look down upon us and not see what we see. That’s when we learn how deep we truly want to go in Him, because in the physical we’ll be walking that path alone, but He will always be there alongside us.
J. M. Drake
Prophet of HYH’s Word
The Barren Land
What is the barren land? That’s a question many people have a difficult time answering. To me, from a biblical perspective, the barren land is the life that’s lived without salvation, the soul that lives in this world apart from the grace of the Eternal Being, the Creator of all that exists, the Father of us all, whether we understand who He is or engage in a personal relationship or not.
The barren land too often disguises itself as riotous living, of going out at night and “kicking up your heels,” dancing and drinking and caring about no one other than your own self and whatever you can get out of this life. It can also be a life wherein a person attends church every week, reads his Bible, and seems to all intents and purposes to be a godly Christian, but when inspected through Scripture proves to be as devoid of truth as someone who has never gone to church and parties all the time. Either one is separation from our Creator/Father and His Son, Yahshua and needs to be filled with a true and solid relationship through salvation.
Many years ago I discovered I had been living in the barren land, which of course we all are from the time we are conceived until the time when we finally seek eternal salvation and obtain it in our lives. I had recently become married, the ceremony having been held in a local church where my soon-to-be father-in-law knew the pastor, simply because the father of my bride was a city councilman and the pastor of this church was also the Chaplin for the city where we lived. I had no knowledge of salvation, even though the information leading to salvation had come into my life many times over the years.
I had grown up watching the traditional Easter movies on TV, such films as The Greatest Story Ever Told, which recounts the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of the Messiah of the Jews. I watched such movies, but somehow nothing ever clicked within me to make the connection that I had need of the salvation this Messiah offered.
In the fifth grade I attended a local Good News Club, which is held by volunteers as an after school activity at a person’s private residence in order to present the Gospel of Salvation to children at that age where they are moving into puberty and are about to engage in the most sinful thoughts imaginable for them up to that time. Even though I did my best to memorize the verse of Scripture we were given each week (only so I could get the offered cookie promised to all who were able to recite the weekly verse), still the connection never clicked within my mind about this most desperate need each of us has. I didn’t see the need.
When I first enlisted in the military after graduating high school I attended the Sunday services on the base where my training was, sang all the songs, both hymns and modern style, and listened to what was said during the sermon. Once, after being assigned to my first base, I even attended church with a friend and heard not only the sermon, but the call to salvation given at the end of the service. I still didn’t see the need.
After my honeymoon my bride and I began attending the church where we’d been married, because there was something about it that caused me to want to attend. Why I had no idea, but there was that pull towards attending, and we were young and this was back before the internet and all the video games, cable TV, movies on CDs or being streamed onto whatever computerized device you so choose for viewing such things; the internet revolution had yet to rear its ugly head, and so my bride and I began attending Sunday morning services, which led to Sunday evening services, and then Wednesday evening services, and since I had always loved singing and had a decent voice, I enquired about joining the church’s Choir. That led the pastor and his wife, along with the choir director and his wife, to invite me and my wife over to the parsonage after Sunday evening service one week not long after we’d begun attending there. I thought they were simply being social with us and wanted to get to know us better.
After a short time of small talk, the pastor began moving through the plan of salvation, though I hadn’t known it then. It was an outlined presentation known as Evangelism Explosion, by D. James Kennedy, though, again, I didn’t know that then. The pastor was smooth and eased through the polished presentation one step at a time, exactly as it was laid down in the EE manual and study guide. Soon my wife and I were saying “Yes, we did want to accept Christ into our hearts,” and so we bowed our heads and repeated the sinner’s prayer with our pastor and viola! We were saved.
Except we weren’t. Not really.
That’s the problem with polished outline presentations such as the one used with us – they present all the necessary information in a step-by-step procedure that moves a person hearing it along the proscribed path until the only outcome is to accept Jesus as Savior and say the sinner’s prayer. The only other alternative left to the hearer at that point is to say, “Yeah, I know according to everything you’ve said to me that I’m a sinner separated from my Father, God, and I know the only path to salvation is through the Cross of Jesus, but I really don’t want to turn my life over to Jesus at this point. I like living in sin and knowing that I’m on my way to eternity in hell.” Seriously, who, once they are faced with all of these facts, is going to be stupid enough to refuse to pray the sinner’s prayer at that point? You’d be surprised. Some people will say “No,” no matter how many times they have the Gospel presented to them.
But I said “Yes,” and my life moved on from there.
I joined the choir and my wife and I began attending every service and class our church offered. One of those classes was the Evangelism Explosion class so we could learn to present the Gospel exactly as our pastor had to us that night.
But still my life felt somewhat empty and I didn’t know what to do about it.
During that time my best friend, whom I had known since high school and had enlisted with into the military at the end of the Vietnam War, came to me with the idea of being partners in opening up a nightclub in Phoenix, Arizona, which was where we lived at that time. It was an old bank building that a company was refurbishing into a bar/nightclub and Bob came to me with the idea of buying it together and operating it as partners. I looked it over with him and we began to make our plans, at the same time seeking out avenues of financing, since neither of us had all the cash necessary for purchasing such a business back then.
Weeks turned into months and then one Sunday morning the pastor was wrapping up his sermon – I don’t recall anything about the sermon, nor what verses of Scripture it might have been on, but my heart leapt within me and I understood that even though I had prayed the sinner’s prayer and asked Christ into my heart months prior, I had yet to turn my life over to my Savior. As soon as the music began for the altar call I was up and out of my seat and nearly running down the aisle. I threw myself down upon my knees at the altar bench and began to literally cry to my Father for forgiveness in my selfishness in seeking my will in spite of all I had been told and all I had learned in my own personal biblical studies. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I prayed silently and when I finished I knew that finally I had turned my life over to my Savior and He truly lived within me as He never had before.
When I sat back on my heels and opened my eyes, the choir director, Mike Tweedy, was standing next to me, looking down with a concerned look in his eyes.
“Is something wrong?” he asked me in a truly concerned voice.
“Not anymore,” I answered back to him smiling, tears still leaking down my cheeks.
I had knelt at that altar a sinner full of the knowledge of Christ’s salvation, as someone who, although I knew the Road to Redemption, had continued walking through the Barren Land that had been my life. I rose up from my knees a changed man, for the Holy Spirit I had been inviting these past months into my heart each and every time I sang such words as, “Come Holy Spirit I need Thee; Come sweet Spirit I pray,” and “Take My cup, Lord; I lift it up, Lord; Come and quench this thirsting of my soul,” had finally found His way within me, because I had finally heard Him knocking and pushed open the door to my heart and allowed Him in. He had been waiting outside that door constantly ever since the night I had prayed the sinner’s prayer, but until the knowledge I had in my head had found its way into my heart my Savior had no permission to enter in and make His eternal home within me.
Heeding His Voice in the Barren Land is not an easy thing to do. In fact, for most of us it’s the most difficult thing we will ever do, and how it was we can overcome the obstacles we hold within us against Him entering in is what this book is all about. Read it. Read it again (I’ll try to keep it short). Then consider everything that’s said within these pages. If there are obstacles, remove them – if you can. Our Father does not require that we remove all the obstacles barring Him from getting inside of us, but sometimes those obstacles – like with me many years ago – can keep us from surrendering our lives completely over to Him. Then do as I did and deliver yourself over heart and soul, or soul, spirit, and body, as some might say, to Him to enter in and live in you. Only then will you be able to live what many call the Spirit-Filled Life, but what I tend to call Breathing in the Lord. You’ll understand why later.
Our Choices in Life
7And the YHVH Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
When each of us is born into this world we are oblivious to everything. The sun rises and falls, as does the moon. Morning comes, gives way to day, which eventually gives way to the night, thus to begin the same cycle over and over with little variation. At times the sky above us is filled with sunshine, clear skies, birds singing in the trees, perhaps a gentle breeze wafting its way across the land upon which we stand. We revel in it all, enjoying those times of beauty and warmth, allowing ourselves to live in the moment when all is glorious and wonderful.
But life does not remain that way. After the clear blue sky comes the darkness, sometimes in overcast skies when the clouds covering overhead bring torrents of rain and others when there is but a thin covering overhead, but the sun is concealed nevertheless.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, regardless of the time of year, regardless of the weather we enjoy, our lives move on in a linear fashion along the line of time as we understand it. For many, perhaps even most that live in this world, our passage of time that is our lives is a mundane existence from which we do our best to eke out whatever entertainment we can find. Some choose sports to center their attention upon while others choose the Arts – ballet, opera, museums filled with paintings and sculptures, still others select more intricate past times, working with their hands to repair automobiles, airplanes, boats, while still others utilize those same vehicles simply as a means by which they may play out more dangerous entertainments – sky diving, water skiing, drag racing, and then there are those who do nothing at all, other than sit around and watch TV, but that’s what they’ve chosen for their lives. Whatever our choices we all select that which fills our lives and grants us a respite perhaps from the mundane, the boring lives we would otherwise endure if not for these distractions.
Distractions are exactly what they are, for they occupy our minds and keep us from seeing there is more to this life than desperately trying to keep our minds from succumbing to the boredom that would most assuredly hurl us into the depths of despair from which many never find the way out and too often end their lives in fits of insanity or allowing it to play out to the end in a more natural method, the many long years finally winding down so that our bodies cease functioning and we pass from this life from the failure of our body to function as it should.
Then what? What else is there once our bodies shut down and our brain ceases to function? Many believe this life is all there is, that once we “shuffle off this mortal coil,” as William Shakespeare so famously wrote in his often quoted play on Hamlet, our body breaks down into its base molecules and merges back within the elements of this planet from which it was born. Others believe that each of us live many times, being born, living and dying, in an endless cycle of birth and rebirth that some think never ends, whereas others believe the cycle of repetition in new lives eventually ends when our souls finally learn that greatest of all lessons we are all seeking to learn and therefore moves on to a different state of existence that transcends this mere physical one.
For others still there is an existence after this one separate from this world, this being the only chance we have in the mortal realm of living as a human being, either male or female, a decision made even before our birth as we are formed within the wombs of our mothers, living out our one solitary life and then at death passing on to the next life.
But the question remains: what is waiting for us in that new plane of existence?
There are many sources that could be used here to decide the answer to this question, but the only one considered here will be the Bible, which, contrary to what many think about it, is not a single book, but a compendium of books all written concerning one specific subject – the Creator of all that exists.
Some would call this Creator by the name of God, which is the most generic name that could possibly be used for this divine being who made the decision to create all that is out of nothing. Other names have been used, many even taken, at least in part, from the pages of the Bible itself. Most of these names are wrong from the very inception of their being, having been dreamed up by fanciful minds who acted within their own intellect and so filled in the consonants that they found with the Hebrew and Aramaic writings that comprise the Old Testament of the Bible, for consonants are all that were used in ancient writings, vowels being a much more recent invention utilized in better understanding the written word. For a more complete study on this, please see my previous book, , which can be obtained in eBook form free of charge at all outlets other than Amazon, which insists upon charging the minimal amount of ninety-nine cents. Once you read that book you will learn that the only true name for our Creator is HYH (pronounced Ah-Yah), which can be found in the third chapter of Exodus when Moses is confronted by this Creator Being and is told specifically at that time that Moses shall return to the Israelites who are captives in Egypt and tell them “I AM has sent” Moses to this people. It is this “I AM”, the H-Y-H, het, yod, het, that is given to Moses at that time that is the one true name of HYH, and so for the purpose of this writing the name of HYH shall be used in place of the generic and errant name of “God”.
It was HYH who selected the many people throughout history to put down in writing the various books that comprise what we call the Old Testament and the New testament, summarily placed all together into one large volume of books and called the Bible, meaning simply, Book of Books, for it is exactly that, a book made up of many books.
Ask nearly anyone alive today where we go once we die and the chances are that person will respond with the choice of heaven or hell, for that is what we have predominantly been taught are our only two choices upon the death of our bodies. But what does Scripture actually say in reference to where we go after our bodies die?
“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:”
“For the wages of sin – death, but the gift of HYH eternal life in the Anointed One Yahshua our Lord.”
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,”
“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”
“And Yahshua said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
“Wait,” you might be saying right now. “I thought you were going to talk about heaven and hell.” I was. I did. Or at least I presented some of the Scripture verses that most think of when they consider what the Bible has to say about living in either of those two places. In truth, the Bible doesn’t say one single verse about people, saved or not, living in heaven. That’s something that’s been handed down through the many centuries in the Church that has become accepted as fact, but it isn’t explicitly said exactly that way in Scripture.
But these verses are the basics of what constitute where we will go after this life is over. There are many more scriptures saying basically this same thing and you can search them all out if you like on your own – I did, many years ago – but I want to bring out these last two for a very strict reason that they are very descriptive of what awaits us according to biblical accounts.
“13But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Yahshua died and rose again, even so HYH will bring with Him those who sleep in Yahshua.15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive remain until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of HYH. And the dead in the Anointed One will rise first. 17Then we who are alive remaining shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
18For the Anointed One also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to HYH, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Breath, 19by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21There is also an antitype which now saves us—immersion (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward HYH), through the resurrection of Yahshua the Anointed One, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of HYH, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
1 Peter 3:18-22
We therefore see that in Scripture there is a place for those who are unrighteous and a place for those who are righteous. The one will be a place of peace and contentment, while the other will be constant torment without end.
Naturally, were you to ask every person alive where they want to go when they die, to torment or paradise, the vast majority would respond with “paradise”, for who wants to consider spending eternity in suffering and torment? In this modern age there will always be those scoffers who answer in a flippant manner with something such as, “All my friends are gonna be in hell, man, so that’s where I’m going. We’re going to PARTY!” This is the attitude of so many, unfortunately. They have been deceived into believing there isn’t an eternal place for those who have sinned against our Creator and therefore must pay for their sins and see it all as one big joke they can laugh off, but remember this, “Do not be deceived, HYH is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7
Those who feel they can treat their Maker with disdain and contempt live in the foolishness of their hearts, some perhaps because they are truly fools who believe they can disdain any type of afterlife and therefore mock it, simply because they themselves have not accepted all the proof that exists all around us that indeed, a Divine Creator must have been involved in making all that is, for the principle of the law of possibilities itself cries out against the thought that everything that is, whether we can see it or not, happened out of pure random chance as many believe. It is the rankest of stupidity to see even one creature in this vast ocean of everything all around us and upon examining that creature realize that there are functions within that being that in order for all of the parts and principles of working together to have done so in order for that creature to be alive, would have failed the first time out, leaving us with a deceased blob of flesh, bone, and myriad substances, were this creature to have formed through random chance. It is these type of people who live in their fantasy worlds of pseudo-science that are the most foolish, for they have nothing to place their hopes and dreams upon, nothing to look forward to, if indeed all is of random chance.
For those others, how are they to know in which direction to travel in order to locate the one true path to an eternal life of happiness and joy?
Entering the Barren Land
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
Barely anyone alive today can honestly say they have never heard the story of how Adam & Eve were the first two people created by our Maker and placed in the Garden of Eden with but one command, “And the YHVH Elohim commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;^ ^but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Genesis 2:16-17
Out of everything that HYH had made and given over into the hand of man (Adam, which translates into the word “man”), all Adam had to do was to obey his Maker in one commandment – do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That was it. That one thing. But Adam was unable to do so because, as Adam said in his defense to HYH, “The woman whom You gave with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Even in this one thing not only was Adam unable to be obedient, but he then passed the blame on to his wife, stating that she was the one who enticed him to be disobedient.
It is this one thing, this single act of disobedience that caused all mankind to be cast out of this most perfect garden of all the places that existed around this world and to be forced forever to live in the barren land for the rest of his days.
That term, barren land, can be viewed in two ways. First, there is the judgment upon Adam that was handed down from His Creator, saying, “Cursed the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust are you and to dust you shall return.” The land which otherwise would have been fruitful all the days of man’s existence upon Earth was turned into a barren wasteland where he was forced to eke out a living, from sun up to sun down, every day, working with the sweat of his efforts to bring forth barely enough to feed his growing family, and grow it most certainly did, for it eventually grew numerous enough to populate the entire world, but the second explanation of barren is by far the worst, for the second view is of the spiritual barrenness that came about because of Adam’s disobedience to his Creator.
As was already stated at the beginning of this chapter, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned,” so also we say again, that once man entered into disobedience due to Adam’s one transgression against his Maker, all mankind entered into the barren land of his soul. From the very start of our lives while we are yet within the womb we cry out in anguish, we kick and punch against the boundaries of our confinement, first within the womb and later, once we have exited the womb, we kick and push against the boundaries placed upon us by all of life, whether it be our parents telling us “No, don’t touch that,” or anything else in life where we are told “no,” and “don’t,” and “you can’t do that.” We are told no so many times that our spirit, which is dead to our Maker even at birth, rebels against life itself and demands that we scream out loud “To hell with the laws and rules, I’m going to do exactly what I want!” And we begin to rattle the chains, push against the boundaries, turn the knobs to see if they are locked or not, push on the windows to see if they will open, and if perchance any of these boundaries give way to our efforts, then we push a little harder, and a little harder, then a little harder still, until we are running rampant throughout the limits of our existence, pushing open every door that will open, turning every knob that will turn, opening every window that will open to us, and why? Because we can! As long as nothing pushes back and makes us stop and consider the ramifications of our efforts, each and every one of us will continue to test our boundaries to see which ones will hold and which will give way.
Many people will grow up in this life never testing the limits to the extreme; they will always be “good and obedient”, both in childhood and in adulthood. Many years back I attended a church where one of the men I knew was such a good guy in every way his wife was fond of saying, “He’s always been so good that once he got saved it was impossible to tell the difference.” Truth be told, however, most people do not fall into this category. To the vast majority of people testing boundaries and trying to find how far we can go before life pushes back is the norm. As much as I tried to behave as a child and do as my parents told me, I have to admit there was a side of me that silently wanted to know where my limits were, how much I could get away with before getting caught, and most people I’ve met in all my years fall somewhere into that same category, trying to see where our limits are. It is that inner self, that innate desire to rebel and be only “as good as we have to be” that permeates the inner portions of most of us, what the Psychiatric world would call our ego.
Because of this desire to rebel we grow up as dwellers in the barren land, the reality of being separated from our Creator, not only due to Adam’s sin, what is called “original sin,” because it trickles down from one generation to the next even before our birth, separating us from our Divine Father without our having to do any rebellious act at all, but from our own inner desire to sin, our desire to push our boundaries. It has been said many times that if Adam had not sinned we would still be separated from HYH, because each and every one of us has that desire within us to do what we know is wrong – to sin against our Creator, whether we know it in those terms or not. Each of us confirms our sin-filled nature by acting in a manner that goes against how we were intended to be. Who among us in our earliest years never got angry with someone, never wanted what someone else had, never wished we had the money someone else did, never yearned to have the good looks or physical attributes of someone else? Each and every one of us sins; some just don’t admit it, even to themselves, which makes them liars, and therefore sinners in rebellion against HYH.
Our life is traveled down a road of rebellion that leads us through this barren land. No matter how hard we try to be good, how much we ignore our hatred, covetousness, greed, jealousy, or any other emotional form of sin, at some point in our lives we fail and give in. That is the barren land enveloping us in its embodiment and keeping us separate from our Maker.
It sounds as though each life is pretty bleak, doesn’t it? No matter how hard we try to be good, we can never be good enough to amend the rift that exists between us and HYH, for Scripture itself tells us in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of HYH”, and again, “There is none righteous, no, not one,” (Romans 3:10), then what hope does anyone have in attaining paradise? How will any of us ever be a part of the righteous who inherit eternal life?
Thankfully HYH Himself made the way that leads us from our sinful self to the righteousness none of us could ever have on our own. As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 15:
^20 ^But now the Anointed One is risen from the dead, has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. ^21 ^For since by man death, by Man also the resurrection of the dead. ^22 ^For as in Adam all die, even so in the Anointed One all shall be made alive.
There is a way for all of us who have been separated from our Creator by Adam’s sin and by our own sin to be brought back together into that loving, forgiving relationship Adam & Eve enjoyed back before Adam sinned – His name is Yahshua and He is the Son of HYH and the Anointed One promised to us in Scripture that He would be born into this Earth as man and pay the penalty of Adam’s sin for us.
The Final Sacrificial Lamb
27And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28so the Anointed One was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
You might ask, “How is it possible for Yahshua, for anyone, to pay the price of Adam’s sin or anyone else’s?” The answer is shown us in the method by which the ancient Israelites were commended to pay the annual penalty for their sin, or what was known as a sin offering, by the priests who officiated at the temple. Each year a lamb was chosen, one that was inspected carefully to be certain it had not a single blemish of defect anywhere upon its body. If there was any blemish at all the lamb was considered to be useless and another would be sought that had no imperfections of any kind. That lamb was to be killed and offered upon the altar as a burnt sacrifice to HYH for the sins of all Israel. The problem with this offering, however, was that it was imperfect, for it had to be repeated every year in exactly the same way. For centuries this sacrifice was made until the time came when Yahshua was born and walked upon the Earth.
Once again it was Paul who said,
11And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of HYH, 13from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being set aside.
The priests who offered the sacrificial lamb did so each year, but once Yahshua came and presented Himself as the final sacrificial lamb, there was no longer a need for the annual offering. Yahshua the Anointed One fulfilled the Law and became the final Lamb. Through His sacrifice all may come and ask for this offering to cover their sins, therefore becoming “those who are becoming set aside,” as mentioned above.
How do we access this sacrifice for our sins? How can we, who have committed sins throughout all our lives, be made clean by the sacrifice of Yahshua?
First, if you like I’ll give you a few minutes to look up the Book of Acts and read chapter two, the entire chapter. It’s lengthy enough that I won’t enter it all in here, which would only inflate the words of this book unnecessarily when the entirety of the Bible can be accessed online (if you don’t own one, though you should) free of charge to anyone who wants to read it. I suggest the New King James Version if you don’t have your own preference. The NKJV has the best ease of reading and the most authoritative and accurate text, in my opinion.
Now that you’ve finished reading Acts 2 (If you still haven’t, you should – really) I’ll simply say this, that Peter spoke at length concerning the Hebrew Scriptures, what we would call the Old Testament, and told everything necessary about the life, death, and resurrection of Yahshua, who became the Anointed One or Messiah that all Israel had been waiting many centuries for and finally said,
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that HYH has made this Yahshua, whom you crucified, both Lord and Anointed One.”
To which the men of Israel, once they had understood that by their actions that the Messiah they had awaited so long had been crucified, called out in anguish, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” to which Peter then replied,
38 “Repent, and let every one of you be immersed in the authority of Yahshua the Anointed One for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Sacred Breath. 39For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our HYH will call.”
Note there were two things Peter told the Israelites they needed to do. The first was to repent. This means to understand that your sins, not simply your sinful nature derived from the disobedience from Adam, but your own personal sins that you committed on your own, separate you from having this perfect relationship between you and the Father/Creator HYH, then make a deliberate and willful decision to change your ways and give up sinning. This is a conscious act each and every person must make on their own. No one else can make this decision for you; it has to be done of your own free will and your decision to want to stop sinning. This act is accompanied by a truly heartfelt understanding that everything you have done in your life has caused our Savior, Yahshua, pain. Each and every sin you committed in your life was the same as driving the nails into the feet and hands of our Savior. You did that. You and you alone are responsible for the crucifixion and death of Yahshua the Anointed One.
Was it you alone that caused Yahshua to die on that cross? No, it was the accumulated sins of everyone who had ever lived up to the day that Yahshua was crucified, all the way to the very end of time when the last person alive on Earth committed their last sinful act. We are all responsible, but that does not mean that you can relax and allow others to share part of the burden for your sins, because had there been no one else in this entire world who had ever sinned besides you, Yahshua would still have gone to the cross to be crucified – for you and you alone.
“Repent,” Peter said, “Repent and be immersed in the authority of Yahshua the Anointed One.”
Most denominations will teach this as “you must be water baptized,” but that’s not at all what this verse in Scripture says. It simply says to be immersed, which is what the Greek word translated into most Bibles as “baptize” actually means. The Greek word is baptizo and literally means to be fully immersed or covered over, to be completely hidden. Since another portion of Acts displays water immersion and Yahshua Himself was immersed in water by John the Immerser, Yahshua’s cousin, most of the Church mistakenly thinks that every time the word “baptize” is used in the New Testament it means being dunked in water.
Let’s go back to the definitive section of Scripture dealing with the first command for believers to be immersed. We find this at the end of the Gospel of Matthew:
18And Yahshua came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the authority of the Father and of the Son and of the Sacred Breath, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Amen.
If you break down certain words in this passage as they were written in Greek and understand how they were intended to be understood you will see this as quite different from how most mainstream Churches understand this passage today.
First, Yahshua tells us through His first disciples that all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on Earth. Everything that exists belongs to Him and has been placed under Yahshua’s authority. Remember, if you read back in the Garden of Eden, that HYH placed the care of the world into Adam’s hands. The garden itself was given to Adam to tend and the animals were all brought to Adam so that he could be the one to give each of them names. Everything was placed in Adam’s hands and in his authority, but now, after Yahshua’s death and subsequent resurrection, all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been placed within Yahshua’s hands. What does He do with all this that He has been given? He turns it over to His disciples and says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…”
This word for disciples means students, those who will learn from the one teaching them. The disciples’ first task is to go into the whole word and make students of Scripture out of everyone possible. But what are they supposed to learn, these newly converted students? In the next breath Yahshua says, “immersing them in the authority and teachings…”. In that the Greek word usually translated as “name” in this verse, “baptizing them in the name of,” was equated in today’s context as writing out a Power of Attorney for someone to act on your behalf, to take care of all your business and personal dealings exactly as you would. The disciples were told that they had been given Power of Attorney to act in the authority of not only Yahshua, but He told them, “in the name (authority) of the Father and of the Son and of the Sacred Breath.” In one sentence Yahshua told His disciples that they were first to make students of everyone they met and then to completely immerse or saturate each of those people into the complete authority and teachings, everything that was known about the Father, the Son, and the Sacred Breath.
Let’s break those down:
The Father – if we are to be immersed in everything known about the Father, then we are to teach new students the entirety of the Old Testament, for this is what we know of our Father, everything that is in His Word from Genesis to Malachi, the last of the Old Testament books. We are to ensure that everyone we bring over to Yahshua knows what is in the Old Testament.
The Son – This is Yahshua, so we are to teach new students all four Gospels as much as possible. Teach everything about the prophecies concerning Yahshua’s birth and second coming, as well as His early life, his preaching ministry, His death, resurrection, and what He did between His resurrection and His ascension up into Heaven.
The Sacred Breath – Usually this is translated into the English language as Holy Spirit or Ghost, but the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words translated as “spirit” are equally used as meaning “breath” and “wind”. The Book of Acts speaks more about the working of the Sacred Breath in the lives of the 1st century Believers than any other book, so I would suggest that in teaching about the Sacred Breath we are to do as the disciples do in Acts.
If we look deep enough into what the Bible teaches us of HYH in His entirety, then we know that the Father is the one who created everything that exists, and therefore is the Speaker who spoke all that is into existence; the Son is also the Word made flesh, and therefore is that part of HYH that spoke everything that is into existence, for the Gospel of John tells us,
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with HYH, and the Word was HYH. 2He was in the beginning with HYH. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
So we know that Yahshua was the Word that spoke all that is into existence. Therefore, if the Father is the Speaker all things are created by and the Son is the Word all things were created using, then the Sacred Breath is the Breath through which the Word spoke everything into existence. We see here the perfect example and explanation of what many term the “triune godhead” or Trinity. Others will dispute this, but that’s not an argument we’re going to tackle at this time. Suffice it to say that Scripture (if you research it thoroughly enough) is replete with references showing this triunity is fact. Therefore, by teaching all we know about the Sacred Breath, Yahshua is telling us to make them well-rounded students, teach them how to live their lives as Believers in the Messiah with His Breath inside of them guiding their steps, just like those mentioned in the Book of Acts and all throughout the remainder of the New Testament.
So, in the above passage Yahshua tells us (His disciples) that when we go out into the world and make new converts, as students of Scripture these converts are to be taught systematically and thoroughly everything possibly known about the entirety of HYH as the Father, Son, and Sacred Breath. This is what was meant in Matthew chapter 28 about “baptizing,” that we are to thoroughly teach everyone who is converted all about HYH.
Does this make you feel suddenly overwhelmed? If you think you have the sole responsibility to do all this teaching to each and every new disciple to Yahshua, relax. In the body of the Anointed One there are a variety of gifts given to the disciples and among us we are given a variety of ministries within which to work. The job of properly evangelizing and then instructing all new converts is spread throughout this body so that no one person has too much of a burden to bear.
Having correctly understood the meaning of the Greek “baptizo” as immersing, not necessarily in water, but in other ways, does this mean we do not at all immerse people in water baptism? Certainly not. Water immersion has a great meaning within Scripture as well. Not only was our Savior Himself immersed in water, but he had all of his disciples water immersed, and they later immersed other disciples, or students, in water under the instructions of Yahshua.
Water immersion, however, is not a sacrament that brings about salvation, but a symbolic sacrament that identifies the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior.
“I have been crucified with the Anointed One; it is no longer I who live, but the Anointed One lives in me; and that which I now live in the flesh I live by conviction in the Son of HYH, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
What the above verse tells us is that once we accept Yahshua as our personal Savior and allow the Sacred Breath to live within us (look back at what I mentioned in the preface to this book as to how I came about having Him live inside me if you’ve already forgotten), we need to see ourselves as having gone to the cross with the Messiah, see ourselves as enduring the agony of such large, thick spikes – similar to those used in putting down railroad tracks – being hammered into our hands and feet the same as happened to the Anointed One, see as we ourselves hang there upon that device used for the most tortuous death ever devised by man and slowly bleed to death. Stop and consider the heaviness of having been so killed and then taken and laid in a tomb as our burial spot, then watch as our souls depart the body and make their way from this Earth to the afterlife, where Yahshua went as our sacrifice and spent that time being tortured in the depths of Hades, being tormented as would any other sinful being so that He could pay the penalty for our sins and be able to grant us forgiveness for our sins. Then feel the renewal of life when after three days in the grave we rise again with our Savior, our sin completely cleansed from us so that we have been renewed with Him and we live victoriously the resurrected life of the Anointed One Himself!
I will say here that some will read the above passage and disagree with my interpretation of the events as they happened to Yahshua at His death and resurrection. Many will contest the fact that our Savior spent those three days in hades or hell, being tortured as a sinner, since He is truthfully acknowledged as having been the only person who ever lived on this planet without sinning on His own volition. But when Yahshua hung upon the cross Scripture tells us,
21For He made Him who knew no sin sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of HYH in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
The above Scripture is extremely emphatic when it says “He made Him who knew no sin sin for us.” The sinless Lamb, the sacrifice that was offered up on the cross, took at that time all the sin of the world upon Himself. The Church as a whole says that repeatedly, but the majority fail to fully understand exactly what that means. They stop at the point in the Bible where we are told that Yahshua was born without sin, and go no farther. They think He was able to pay the penalty for our collective sin by remaining in that sinless state of perfection. That’s something He could never do. When Yahshua our Savior died upon the cross He became cursed and took upon Himself the full embodiment of SIN. The most spotlessly clean soul that ever lived, and in truth the only person who ever managed to reach adulthood and move into it the same as everyone else, and yet never once committed a sin to separate Him from the Father/Speaker, became at that moment the most foul, the most vile, the most despicable personification of sin the world has ever seen. It was not possible at that moment for the Son of Man to go anywhere but into the depths of Sheol (Hades) in order to pay the penalty of sin.
13 The Anointed One has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed everyone who hangs on a tree”).
Without being cursed and receiving the fullness of all sin upon Himself our Savior would have been inadequate to pay the penalty and abolish the debt of sin that caused the separation between our Creator and His creation – man. Yahshua hung upon the cross, was cursed, became sin, died, entered into Sheol, paid the penalty by being there for three full days, then once He was cleansed of this sin embodiment Yahshua resurrected from the grave and appeared once again not only as the singularly sinless man who had ever been, but as the risen Messiah, the Anointed One all of Israel had been waiting for. He then ascended up into Heaven and took His place beside the Father, where He yet waits until the time when He will return to this Earth and claim all who are His by right of our having accepted His offering of this free gift called salvation.
Leaving the Barren Land
24O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25I thank HYH—through Yahshua the Anointed One our Lord!
Where do we go once we have repented of sin and accepted the salvation Yahshua so selflessly purchased for us those many years past on the cross?
That’s where living the newness of life enters in. Before coming to the cross we were slaves to sin, but sin without law, which tells us whether what we’re doing is right or wrong, is baseless. That’s where the Old Testament came in. In the oldest of Scriptures we are shown our sin-filled lives and then told exactly what we must do in this physical realm if we ever expect to be reconciled to our Creator. Moses was given the Ten Commandments:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make idols.
3. You shall not take the name of HYH your Elohim in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it sacred.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet.
If man was to make himself perfect enough to stand in the presence of his Maker, he found he would have to keep not only all ten of the above commandments, but every single one of the many additional laws set down for every facet of life there could possibly be. The problem was that in all the hundreds of years the Israelites, those people who were chosen from our Creator as His test subjects, so-to-speak, in seeing how well man could do as HYH told them in becoming perfect, tried to be perfect under their law, they failed in every aspect of this law. HYH called special people as judges, as prophets, and even as kings, and yet to a one these specially chosen people failed to keep even the ten main commandments, let alone all the rest of those listed in detail. King David was listed as the one man whom HYH is said in the Old Testament Scriptures to have really loved, and yet David was an adulterer and a murderer. He failed in trying to keep the law he was bound under.
How then was any man, let alone mankind as a whole, expected to fulfill these laws and become perfect before HYH? The answer is that he wasn’t. There is no way any man born of the lineage of Adam can ever hope to attain to this perfection and reach eternal life with HYH. It was a loaded test with results doomed to failure before the subjects even began. Why then did HYH give such a law if He knew from the start no one could possibly pass the test? Because He never expected anyone to pass the test. What He wanted was for man to realize the foolishness of trying to attain to such exemplary goodness on his own. He wanted man to understand he needed help if he ever had a chance, any chance, of spending eternity with his Maker. That’s why He set in the records the prophecies of the coming Messiah, the One to lead all Israel and remove them from this squalor of sin they had put themselves in.
8For by grace you have been saved through conviction, and that not of yourselves; the gift of HYH, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Paul tells us in the letter to the Ephesians all about this gift of salvation and how it is made through the grace, which is the all-powerful and abiding love and gift from HYH to all of us, His children. Paul tells us that without this gift we can never be saved, but that once we accept this gift the wholeness of eternity is ours as redeemed children of the King of Kings, Yahshua.
There are those today, just as there were even in the first century after the crucifixion of Yahshua, who have this desire to forego the acceptance of this free gift; they take upon themselves once again the chains of bondage which kept all mankind enslaved to sin for centuries and millennia until Yahshua came as the final sacrifice. Why do they do this? It boggles my mind to consider it, but the best I can fathom is that these people, even after hearing the greatness of the Gospel of salvation retain their nature of sin. They somehow speak the words of asking for forgiveness, but within themselves never actually accept that gift and therefore continue in their wallowing in their sin nature, just as I did at first back when I prayed the sinner’s prayer and accepted salvation that one night so long ago. At that time I had spoken the words, but I retained that kernel of sin that made me feel worthless and kept pushing me on to sin until such a time when I finally understood salvation and repented.
I have met people of this nature many times. They do their very worst to convince others that salvation is not complete unless they return to following at the very least the Ten Commandments. You will see people such as this in online social pages posting such memes as stating that you must keep the Sabbath on Saturday, the original seventh day of creation, not Sunday, which was only instituted by the Catholic Church in order to pull Christians away from the truth. While it is true that Catholicism did change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, the fact is that we are free from the law and therefore able to choose which of those days, or any other day, we desire to worship our Creator and Savior. Paul said it best when he stated,
^“1^O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Yahshua the Anointed One was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? ^2 ^This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Breath by the works of the law, or by the hearing of conviction? ^3 ^Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Breath, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? ^4 ^Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed in vain? 5Therefore He who supplies the Breath to you and works miracles among you, by the works of the law, or by the hearing of conviction?”
Even as back as far as the first century there were Believers who thought they had to continue to keep to the entirety of the law in order to hold their salvation. Paul, who is shown to us throughout the New testament books was set as being the greatest of all the disciples, though he considered himself as the least of them, but only because he was so humble as to consider himself that way, tells us that we do not gain hold of, nor retain our salvation by the keeping of the law. Paul further states,
10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
And then again he says,
13 The Anointed One has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed everyone who hangs on a tree”).
If we keep even one part of the law, then we are bound to keep all of the law without exception. But if we do that, then the sacrifice of Yahshua is worthless for us. No, the only way salvation works at all is if we leave all of the law behind and cease from following any of it. Does this mean we can be wanton? Does this mean we can indulge in thievery, sexual promiscuity, murder, or any number of various sins each of us can think of because we are not under the law?
“1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3Or do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into the Anointed One Yahshua were immersed into His death? 4Therefore we were buried with Him through immersion into death, that just as the Anointed One was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
When Paul wrote the above to the church in Rome it was because those Beleivers, even as the ones in Galatia, were going through the same questions concerning their salvation. It’s nothing new today that some mistakenly believe our salvation is contingent upon keep the law. This is a heresy that rears its ugly head consistently throughout history. The enemy wants to confuse us and so sneaks in at various times and places in our lives when he sees we are weak and ensnares us with foolishness like obeying the law instead of grace.
What then do we do when the lusts of our flesh rear up and entice us into sinning? Paul covered that as well,
12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13And do not present your members instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to HYH as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to HYH. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
It’s not always easy once you have repented and received your salvation to live the life free from sin. Sin has been very powerful in all of our lives from our earliest moments of life onward. Sin wants to overtake us. Sin wants us to yield to it. Sin wants to keep us in the Barren Land where we are separated from HYH and walking along the path of sin all day, every day, constantly sinning and never able to overthrow the lusts of sin so that we may live a fruitful life with HYH. But we have our relationship with our Creator, HYH, given to us through the sacrifice of Yahshua. Once we have realized that and accepted His salvation we need only to pray to our Father and walk in the strength of Yahshua’s atonement. See yourself as free from sin in Yahshua and you are free. No longer must you walk in the Barren Land, but along the path or righteousness side-by-side with our King, Yahshua the Anointed One.
Reigning in Salvation
Blessed and holy he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of HYH and of the Anointed One, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
It is the solemn hope of this writer that if you have read all of this book, especially the verses of Scripture referenced throughout, and you were not a Believer in Yahshua before you began reading, that at this point you at least are admitting to yourself that something is missing from your life and that most likely you understand that what it is that’s missing is salvation through Yahshua. I can write out a detailed outline of what sin is and what salvation is and how to get from point A to point B, but only you can connect the two with the same decision I made back in 1977 and accept Yahshua into your heart to become your Savior, Master, Lord, and Brother. If this is you right now, all I can do is to furnish you with the words of prayer to lead you to repentance. Even if you read these words and repeat them out loud to HYH alone, if you don’t sincerely mean what you say in these words nothing will happen.
You will not receive salvation.
You will still be lost in your sin.
You will still be separated from your Creator, HYH.
The Sacred Breath will not live inside of you and will not be guiding you through the small urges through your conscience as He does to so many others.
If you do not pray in earnest for your salvation, praying these words is the most meaningless thing you will ever do, so check yourself right now and make the decision.
Do you want to be united with your Father/Creator or do you want to remain estranged from Him for all eternity?
If your answer is to be united with Him, you can repeat this prayer, meaning every word of it within your heart, or after reading, simply pray out loud your own words with the same meaning behind them.
Father, I know I’m a sinner. I know I have lived my entire life up to now completely buried in sin and have no chance of escaping this prison of death my sin has put me into. Please Father, help me to see my need for repentance. Work within me and make me ready to receive salvation through Yahshua, the Messiah and Anointed One. I repent of my sins, Father. I repent and I ask for cleansing through the sacrifice Yahshua made on the cross. Cleanse me, Father, and fill me with Your Sacred Breath so I may live my life in a way that pleases You and brings honor to Your Name. I need Yahshua, Father. I need His salvation and I accept His salvation right now as forgiving me of my sins and making me clean and free to serve You any way You want me to.
I pray this in Your Precious name of HYH, amen.
If you prayed that prayer and meant it, your life is now in HYH’s hands. Start reading the Bible, I suggest starting with the Gospel of John and then reading the other Gospels after that before reading anything else. Paul’s letters in the New Testament are excellent, but might be a bit difficult for a new Believer to understand easily.
Not all churches are the same and I don’t have any suggestions to put in this book. If you send me an email at: and let me know about your salvation I might be able to help you to find a decent place to worship near you, but I give no guarantees.
Read my book , also free exactly as this one is, and get started in your life as a Believer in HYH and Yahshua.
Sincerely blessed in Him,
Born again in 1978.
Began Bible College in 1981.
Received the immersion of the Sacred Breath (Holy Spirit) in 1982.
Been spreading His Word ever since.
Jameson McGuire is a student of Scripture – teacher of HYH’s Sacred Word – evangelist in spreading the Truth of HYH’s Word throughout the world – and humble, though obedient prophet in speaking out the Truth without compromise or regret, knowing that all he speaks is exactly that which has been imparted to him through the Sacred Breath of HYH.
May His Name ever be present on every tongue and in every land. Amen.
If you would like to contact Jameson McGuire for speaking engagements, please write to:
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