Got mail from Ruddy Adam again. Wish to tell you how much I’d love to have the chance to read an entire Bible translated by him. And a couple of Apocrypha too.
This one is old, over 30 years old. But I have reworked it over the years, mainly for clarity. I hope it is clearer and thus a better faith builder.
Sola fide, faith alone, is the cry that rose from the lips of the rebellious Martin Luther almost 500 years ago. After 1000 years of adding “salvation essentials,” Khristians under Luther’s guidance made a partial break from their slavery. Although Luther cried “sola fide,” he nevertheless carried with him his own “salvation essentials”—which the original Couriers (Apostles) knew nothing of. Many Khristians nonetheless cast off many burdensome chains at that time. Oh Khristianity how you have regressed!
Nowadays, many Khristian Denominations claim that repentance, baptism, or obedience are “salvation essentials,” even though the two Couriers who inform us more about what salvation is than any of the others rarely use the main Greek words for repent. Yohn (John), for one, does not use them at all in his Gospel or in his Epistles. Paul uses them only seven times, yet he never uses them as imperatives (orders).
There are several types of baptisms in the Scriptures, the first water, the second the fiery Spirit, the last and proper baptism for today is definitely the spiritual drenching of the mind with the Truth in God’s Message, as both Peter and Paul teach (I Peter 3.21 & Ephesians 5.26). Obedience is part of repentance, which is the initial act of succumbing to Khrist’s Calling to become a Believer in Him.
Salvation, however, is completely independent of repentance, all forms of baptism, and obedience. In the following verses of Ephesians 2, note what the Courier Paul informs us God did for us through Yasu Khrist and why He did it; in the following context Paul is teaching the Ephesians that “the eyes in their mind had been enlightened for them to understand Khrist” (Ephesians 1.18) and that at one time they walked lusting after the needs of the flesh (2.3) according to the way of the world-system (2.2); and that they were existing in a state of sin—spiritually dead (2.1), and then he goes on to inform them what the Ever-Living has done for them to bring them back to life—spiritually:
4. Indeed, the Ever-Living is so rich in mercy for us,
because He loves us with such a deep love—
5. even when we were in a state of death due to our violations— made us alive with Khrist (by Grace you are saved!)
6. and He raised us, and seated us in the spiritual-realms in union with Khrist Yasu.
[it is a “gift” (grace) to us that God brought our souls from the dead by means of Khrist our Savior and He put believers in union with Khrist in the heavenly realms (in the Ever-Living’s eyes we are already there!!!) so that we are like Him and God looks at us through Him]
7. He did this in order that He could display in the approaching ages the exceeding riches in His grace [“grace” here being the avenue through which the Lord grants us mercy, hope, love, spiritual knowledge, and salvation], and He does that by showing generosity toward us through Khrist Yasu.
8. For by Grace you are saved—through faith—and that deliverance does not come from your own actions—the gift comes from God! [No clearer v. exists than this one—that what gets us to the Ever-Living is faith. That nothing we can do physically can get us there—or can help us get there. Everything we receive from God through Khrist is today completely mental—that is, spiritual. That is the greatest gift anyone who understands the requirements for getting to God after death under the Old Contract—can receive. Others not only don’t know about it—but can’t understand it either.]
9. Or perhaps someone might brag that his deliverance came because of something that he himself accomplished. [This is Paul’s longest ellipsis (omission of words or phrases that must be added in English for clarity)—and the words that must be added are imperative to understanding this passage.]
10. For we are His product, created to exist in union with Khrist Yasu for the purpose of carrying out good actions, in order that we can live in a state of good actions.
Clearly, this passage shows that salvation is a gift from the Ever-Living that enables us to receive deliverance by means of our belief in God’s redeeming work upon the Kross. God gives us a gift, allowing us to believe—then receive salvation!
Verse seven informs us that the Lord has an insurmountable amount of wealth within His grace, and He gives those riches to us—generously—through Yasu Khrist.
Because God sacrificed Himself upon the Kross, He was then able to establish a New Contract with His people—a permanent One, a better One, One that guarantees Believers’ innocence and forgiveness, One that promises Believers ever-existing life after their death in the flesh. That offering by Yasu was a one-time sacrifice (Hebrews 10.10). The Ever-Living has no more memory of sin for those who trust in that Sacrificial Act (Hebrews 10.17).
We thus honor our side of the New Contract by our belief, and the Ever-Living honors His end of the Contract by disregarding our violations of His law insofar as salvation is concerned. And the last phrase “insofar as our salvation is concerned” is key, because God’s permanent sacrifice and gift do not provide us with an open invitation to profligacy, to sin, to run rampant against His rules and reasonings while still living in the flesh.
The creation of a New Contact requires new laws and new regulations. Those are scattered throughout the New Testament (the New Contract), each of them being centered around Khrist and what He has done for us. Our order to serve the Khristian Brotherhood instead of ourselves is an excellent example of the New Law. Yohn (John) says that our main Command (Reasoning from God) is to trust in Khrist first, and then we are to love one another (I Yohn 3.23).
Indeed, for some reason people most often use Paul to prove faith alone, but Yohn might even be less opaque and definitely writes in a simpler manner. Note here how transparent he is in the following Passage:
I Yohn 3.23:
3.23. And the following is His command: that we should trust upon the Name of His Son, Yasu Khrist, and love one another, just as He reasoned for us to do.
The reason that it is so important for us to understand that our salvation comes from faith alone, is that we cannot go into battle and expect to win without our Salvation-Helmet upon our heads. For Paul stated in Ephesians 6.17 that we must “take a firm hold of salvation’s helmet.” And I define salvation in that context as “perfect faith in the Lamb’s saving blood.”
We must have surety that our belief in Yasu saves us—no matter what we do! For if we are not completely sure that we have eternal life in exchange for our belief, then we, like the early Khristians at Galatia and Korinth can be easily pulled away from the simplicity of the true Khristian Message. And faith alone is a very simple message.
Also, the Courier (Apostle) Yohn informs us that if we have so much confidence in our faith in Khrist that we cannot condemn ourselves (that is, even feel guilty when we break one of Khrist’s laws or reasonings), then that means we have full confidence in the Ever-Living and His promise to deliver our souls into eternal bliss. Which means we trust Him completely, and that is what He wants from us. Yohn explains it clearly in the following verse of his Epistle:
I Yohn 3.21:
3.21. Loved-Ones, if our own heart cannot condemn us for our wrongs, we have absolute confidence in the Ever-Living.
The Absolute Freedom of Being in Union With Khrist
In the Epistle to the Galatians we find that their Assembly surrendered to attacks by the Pharisees moreso than any other.
The Galatians were about to desert the faith, and the whole Epistle reflects the problem. For since the earliest days of Khristianity, people have attempted to do one thing or the other to save themselves—I suppose they figure the Lord Who created the entire universe needs help. It was not enough for the very Creator of all things to come to earth—born through woman as all humans are—and allow Himself to be killed as a sacrifice for all those who believe in Him.
The Pharisees recognized early that people had a difficult time accepting salvation in exchange for faith alone, and took advantage of it in their efforts to cause Khristians to stumble.
In the first verse of Galatians five, Paul interjects into the middle of his discourse the reasoning which at once summarizes his preceding comments and leads into the closing teachings of the Epistle. Indeed the first six verses of Galatians five are the crux of God’s purpose for sacrificing His Son, thus the root of the Khristian Faith. And Paul, as is plain to see, is deadly serious!
1. So then, stand firm in the freedom in which Khrist freed us,
and do not be imprisoned by the chains of slavery again.
2. Pay attention to me!
I, Paul, declare to you that if you allow yourselves to be circumcised for the purpose of being saved, Khrist will be of no use to you!
3. And I testify again to every man allowing himself to be circumcised for the purpose of being saved, that he is under obligation to carry out all the Law;
4. you who attempt to be justified by means of a ritual,
you are alienated from Khrist—you have fallen out of grace!
5. For we wait patiently in spirit for our hope in a justification that derives from faith.
6. For when we are in union with Khrist Yasu, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any meaning, but on the contrary, faith expressing itself through love is what matters.
Whew! What a powerful passage! In verse one, Paul says to remain steadfast in the freedom that is the result of Khrist’s work, but we are to stay away from the slavery in which mankind will place us.
In verse two, Paul is not condemning circumcision per se, for he himself circumcised Timothy (Acts 16.3). He is, however, condemning any ritual which is enacted with respect to salvation. In verse three, he repeats the warning for emphasis.
In verse four, Grace is not to be construed as salvation. Here, grace represents a state of being, the one in which believers are justified purely by their trust in Khrist. The condemnation falls upon people who attempt to substitute the gift the Ever-Living gives to us through Khrist in exchange for a ritual—any ritual! Khrist is no longer their hope for salvation. Ritual has become their hope. Khrist is no longer the center of their spirituality. A physical act is the mainstay of their religious life. God Himself in all His power and saving ability is placed somewhere in the background of a physical ceremony, a ritual—one that is oftentimes wholly and absolutely manmade!
Verses five and six tell us that we hope by faith, thus expecting nothing from the flesh to aid us. Justification results from spirituality—not any deed or action. And when we have a mental relationship with Khrist Yasu, nothing else makes any difference.
Our faith in God’s Message comes alive and becomes active because of our union with Khrist. That happens because we love Him and what He has done for us, and we cannot get His actions off of our minds—if we indeed love Him, His gift to us consumes us, our thoughts, our actions. Faith then expresses itself through love. And we act! We serve Khrist. And we do not serve because of fear or guilt, which thousands of denominations promote; we serve because of our love for Him and our faith in our freedom.
It is important for us to understand that “faith expressing itself through love” is a much different type of faith from the original belief that we experience at conversion (or repentance). Faith comes alive from that spark of initial belief and ignites into the raging fire of conviction. With conviction comes submission—submission to all things Khristian. With submission comes obedience. Obedience means dedication. For that fire raging within us informs us that God is right! And we therefore wish to do what He wants us to do—not because that is what saves us—but because we know that His Way is the right Way. And that Way convicts us.
It is this conviction and change in our hearts that enables us, as Paul tells us in Romans 12.2, to understand what pleases God and to discover what He wants us to do as Khristians. Note too in the following verse that it is this fleshly age that keeps us from being transformed into new people with new minds able to be Khrist servers. These verses come after Paul’s long discourse regarding our people’s “partial insensitivity” to the truth (Romans 11.25) and his telling us that what the Lord is doing with His people is His plan to show mercy to all Adamics (Romans 11.31-32) and that He is all wise (Romans 11.33-36).
2. Also, do not be conformed to this age, but on the contrary, be transformed by the renewal of your mind, in order to discern what the Ever-Living’s good and acceptable and perfect will is.
Therefore, we easily recognize when organizations do not have any faith because their members never express it through their actions, which are generally centered toward their own ambitions—or toward mandatory, manmade rituals delivered and dreamed up by either materialistic cultists or outright deceivers.
Moreover, we know that most people have no faith because they fear death. They will do anything “to survive” in this present condition—which they think is living. Humanism permeates the world’s existence, whereas faith in the spiritual permeates the Khristian’s existence. It is true, however, that the Lord has put the instinct to survive in our souls—but He has not put fear into them.
Spending much of their conscious hours attempting to prolong what they see as life, faithless people trust in exercise, in doctors, and in prayer for the physical. But the Lord’s Message teaches the opposite. And true Khristians do the opposite. We certainly will use doctors and other things to stay healthy while we are in the flesh, but our faith is in the Message, the ever-existing Logos. We exercise toward spiritual growth; we pray for our spiritual well-being.
We must try to stay well while living in the flesh, because a sick person is no good to the faith. But our dominant exercising practices should result in strengthening the inner person, the spiritual man. For just as physical exercise results in a visible, physical strengthening of the human body, spiritual exercise provides us with a visible, active faith—which in turn should result in a good example for other Believers.
Active faith is a necessity in the well-equipped Khristian’s Armor. For active faith is carrying ourselves to the edge of the highest point of solidity, looking off into a hazy unknown, knowing that we are going to dive into that invisible infinity, and having complete confidence that we shall land upon a Rock that is much firmer than the visible material we are leaving. And that Rock is Spiritual because it is Yasu Khrist (I Korinthians 10.4).
But only after we are able to strip away all the material rituals from Khristianity, such as water baptism, confession, mandatory tithing, and fully separate them from salvation, are we capable of making our faith active. We then force ourselves to “live by faith!—not by sight!” (II Korinthians 5.7) For we have nothing physical upon which to depend. Faith alone—as the Great Couriers taught and as Martin Luther yelled (even if it was not a full-throated yell)—then exists in exchange for salvation.
Paul teaches this exact dive into the supposed unknown in II Korinthians 5.6-8, where he calls it a “walk by faith”; in the prior verses Paul has been teaching about how the faithful believer “groans in this tent (the flesh body)” wishing to get out of it and go to the Lord, which of course, would require death in the flesh. He continues in that vein here:
II Korinthians 5.6-8:
6. Thus we are always courageous and fully confident, knowing that while at home in the present body we are absent from our future home with the Lord.
7. For we walk by faith—not by sight!
8. So then, we are indeed courageous and fully confident, but we prefer to be absent from home in the present body, and to be at our future homewith the Lord!
In the above verses, Paul tells us to look off into that fog of supposed ambiguity (the unknown and unseen spiritual world where Khrist is) and make it our wish to be there! For we know and are assured that we shall be with the Lord. When we accept Paul’s doctrine of looking forward to death, so that we can be present with the Lord, death being a fact of our existence in this flesh, then we indeed walk by faith and have plunged into the spiritual, expressing our active faith.
In verse seven of the above passage, Paul positively states that our faith is in the invisible, spiritual realm, and not in the visible, physical realm. That is, our faith is not in what we can see in the physical, but in what our inner-trust tells us exists in the spiritual: a loving Khrist, our fellow Khristians, a positive judging and spiritual rewards, a blissful afterlife.
We have learned so far that we are indeed absolutely free from physically doing anything that would supposedly save us. But Paul finishes his discourse in Galatians by creating the great paradox in Khristianity. That paradox begins in
13. Indeed brothers, you were called for the purpose of being free! Only do not take the freedom that you have been given by God as an opportunity for fleshly indulgence. But rather, serve as slaves to one another through love!
14. For the whole law is fulfilled by this one reasoning: “You shall love your fellow-kindred as you love yourself.”
Aha! Paul thus presents us with the great paradox in Khristianity and with one of the New Reasonings in the New Contract. The paradox goes something like this: You can—but you should not. It does not matter—but it does not please. Everything is allowed—but everything does not edify (I Korinthians 10.23). You are free—but you should not take advantage (Galatians 5.13). But if you do—you have an Intercessor, the One Yasu Khrist, for He is the Only atonement for sin (I Yohn 2.1-2). And that atonement is made available to us through faith alone, which Khrist gives to us as a gift.
Note too, that this New Reasoning says the Khristian should prefer to be a slave to his brothers, performing his labor for them in love. How many today have such an attitude?
Notice how Yohn puts it in the following verses, regarding how Khristians overcome the satanic world-system—created and put together by creatures who have a more than vicious hatred for Him. And conquering the world-system (Gk. kosmos) is to overcome being pulled away from Khrist and His Way.
I Yohn 5.4-5:
5.4. And His commands are not burdensome, because everyone having been regenerated by the Ever-Living conquers the world-system. And the following is the means of conquest for conquering the world-system: your faith!
5.5. Who is the one who conquers the world-system if not the one who believes that Yasu is the Son sent by the Ever-Living?
So then, as Luther stated, Sola fide! And we understand that repentance is a conscious willingness to consent to God’s will, to humble oneself in belief to Khrist as He explains it through His Message. But even after people convert to Khrist, God must still cause them to desire what He desires—not what they desire (Philippians 2.13).
Therefore, those who are in union with Khrist will gravitate toward God and His plan, whereas those who are not in union with Khrist will gravitate toward Satan and his plan—anything that is against Khrist, which is anything secular, against the Scriptures, against Yasu’s wonderful reasonings, against what we now have in Khristianity: Faith, Hope, and Love. All three of which are spiritual—not physical.
Remaining in union with Khrist is to believe His promises, to trust in Him alone for salvation, to understand Him (and work toward knowing Him better and better as long as you live), and to accept the Ever-Living’s grace. A desertion and rejection of God’s grace is the problem with most of traditional Khristianity today; and that desertion and rejection is one of the central reasons Yasu is not happy with the world.
There is more to Khristianity than salvation, but there is one “salvation essential”: faith. Rejoice in your freedom! Thank the Lord for it. But remember, we still have reasonings to follow, although they have nothing to do with our salvation. They are all for our well-being—not God’s! Remain in union with Yasu. And never ask God to forgive you for your sins after your initial recovery from violating the Lord’s Way, for He has no memory of them when we are in union with His Son, the Intercessor. (Isaiah 43.25 & Hebrews 10.14–18) That, dear brothers and sisters, is freedom!
Keep Yohn’s advice from I Yohn 2.28 in mind, regarding your union with Khrist—Who is the source of your faith:
I Yohn 2.28:
28. And now, little children, stay in union with Him, so that when He is revealed we shall have absolute confidence that we are His and shall not be made ashamed by Him at His Parousia. [“Parousia” is a technical term used by the Couriers and early Khristians for “the return of the Lord.” In the Greek and Roman worlds, Kings, Rulers, and High Dignitaries were said to have a parousia, which would be the day of their return home from a trip. “Caesar’s parousia is a day of celebration.” Servants and slaves planned celebrations, great meals, and parties well ahead of a dignitary’s parousia. You should get the reason why Khristians used this word for the Lord’s Return.]
Note 1: All underlined words are emphatic in the original, yet are impossible to express in the receiver language, English, unless they’re underlined. All titles the translator has placed in to help readers follow the subject and are not in the original.
All italicized words and phrases the translator has added for clarity or because English demands them. Opposite to English, both Greek and Hebrew are economical languages that quite often leave out linking verbs, objects, articles, and personal pronouns; but they must be added in English to convey the proper meaning of the original text and to allow those studying the Message to read them in the common English idiom. The text used for all New Contract Passages is the Second Edition of the Majority Text, edited by Hodges and Farstad.
The Text for all Old Contract Translations is the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, a reproduction of the St. Petersburg Codex B19a, which Ruddy Adam considers the oldest extant text as well as one of the better attested Hebrew texts available.
Note 2: The word “Yasu” is not a transliteration of the Hebrew/Greek word that is often transliterated, “Jesus.” But it is after much research translated the way we believe that the word would have been pronounced when the Lord walked the earth. For those who are bothered by “Yasu” for “Jesus” don’t think it’s some kind of law or demand that you use it. Take your choice. Neither one is wrong. It’s that we here are teachers, and in our view it behooves us to give everyone a good idea of how the Lord’s name was originally pronounced. Hebrew is very simple. Having added the vowel system sometime around 900 AD made it much more complex. The Divine Names are much simpler than they read in most Bibles. We believe, always and always: Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!
Note 3: The word “Apostle” is a transliteration, which means it has not been brought into the receiver language to express its meaning. This the early translators did merely to give you the word as closely as it reads in the original. When the early translators transliterated a word, it meant that they did not know its meaning or were not sure of it. The Greek word “Apostle” means “Courier,” in that Paul, Yohn, Peter, and the rest were Couriers carrying a Message—the Message that explains the Lord, His actions (and what they mean for us), His doctrines (and how they apply to us).
Translator and editor: Ruddy Adam