Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Just Who Is the SAVIOR?
It is time for all those who long for YEHOVAH's TRUTH, and who long for eternal life, to come out of BABYLON! Stop worshipping the FALSE SAVIORS, and turn to YEHOVAH, the ONLY true Savior, Who chose and sent His savior -- His only begotten son, Yeshua the Messiah!
by Gary Sjordal
Who is your Savior? Ask any professing Christian this question and you will get the same immediate response: JESUS CHRIST is our Savior!
Or some might say: Yeshua is our Savior. Yeshua is the Hebrew equivalent for Jesus.
Asked to explain this answer in more detail, you will hear that Yeshua died for our sins, he was the perfect sacrifice, we are saved because of "him crucified."
But most responses will not include the bigger picture, the deeper insight, the ultimate in Saviors. Who is our Savior? Is it Yeshua the Messiah alone? Or is YEHOVAH God the Father also known as the Savior?
Other questions to consider: (1) When the God of the Old Testament is described as being the Savior, does this prove that this God must be Yeshua in his pre-New Testament role as the God of the Old Testament? (2) When the word "savior" is used in the Bible, does it usually refer to the Father, or the Son? You might be surprised at the answer.
The Hebrew word for "savior" in the Old Testament is yasha (Strong's #3467) which means:
-- to be safe
-- to free
-- to succor (help)
-- deliver or deliverer
-- bring salvation
-- save or savior
-- get victory
Yasha occurs over one hundred times in the Old Testament and is translated "savior" only thirteen times, eight of which are in Isaiah. The first occurrence of the word "savior" occurs in II Samuel 22:2-3 where we find the God of the Old Testament being described:
"YEHOVAH is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; the God of my rock, in him will I trust; He is my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower, and my Refuge, MY SAVIOR; you save me from violence."
Let us note that the use of "savior" here is just another term describing YEHOVAH. It has nothing to do with a future Messiah -- neither does it mean that this God is the One who became Yeshua.
In II Kings 13:5 we read:
"And YEHOVAH gave Israel a SAVIOR so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians."
Here we find that the nation of Israel in trouble and the Creator God, YEHOVAH, helped them by giving them a Defender or Avenger or Deliverer -- someone to save them (a savior). In this case "savior" is a contemporaneous human being who the One God would use to defend or save Israel hundreds of years before the Messiah was born.
In Psalm 106:21 we read:
"They forgot God [YEHOVAH] their SAVIOR, which had done great things in Egypt."
Israel had forgotten YEHOVAH God -- their Defender, Deliverer, Preserver, Rescuer, and Savior. They forgot the God of Israel, their Savior, the One who saved them.
The entire Old Testament does testify of a future Messiah who will be the first begotten Son of God (by means of the resurrection), who will live a sinless life and qualify to be the Savior of all mankind after his death by crucifixion and his resurrection to eternal life as the firstborn Son of God. Some of the Old Testament scriptures which use the word "savior" may be a type of that Savior to come.
Every use of "savior" in the Old Testament is either referring to some contemporary HUMAN BEING or to YEHOVAH, the God of Israel. To think the word "savior" proves Yeshua was the God of the Old Testament is an assumption, and a distortion of scripture. YEHOVAH has many titles and descriptions, one of which is Savior, which means to save in a physical or spiritual way.
The book of Isaiah has eight "savior" scriptures. In each of them we will find the same thing we have found before -- savior means "one who saves" which is exactly what the One God did throughout the Old Testament. This was a physical saving and not a spiritual saving.
Some Isaiah scriptures:
"For I am YEHOVAH your God, the Holy One of Israel, your SAVIOR" (Isaiah 43:3).
"For I, even I, am YEHOVAH; and beside me there is no SAVIOR" (Isaiah 43:11).
"Verily, you are a God that hides yourself, O God of Israel, the SAVIOR" (Isaiah 45:15).
"... a just God and a SAVIOR; there is none beside me" (Isaiah 45:21).
"... and all flesh shall know that I YEHOVAH am your SAVIOR and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob" (Isaiah 49:26).
"... and you shall know that I YEHOVAH am your SAVIOR and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob" (Isaiah 60:16).
"... lovingkindnesses of YEHOVAH...toward the House of Israel...they are my people...so He was their SAVIOR" (Isaiah 63:7-8).
None of these scriptures proves that Yeshua was the God of the Old Testament. Instead, "savior" is simply a description of another function of the God of the Old Testament.
Let us compare the Old Testament "savior scriptures" which say the God of the Old Testament is called Savior with New Testament scriptures which say exactly the same thing about the God of the New Testament.
Are there any New Testament scriptures that say God is Savior just as there are in the Old Testament? Believe it or not, yes.
"And my Spirit has rejoiced in GOD my SAVIOR" (Luke 1:47).
"GOD our SAVIOR" (I Timothy 1:1).
"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of GOD our SAVIOR, who will have all men to be saved" (I Timothy 2:3-4).
"Trust in the living GOD, who is the SAVIOR of all men" (I Timothy 4:10).
"GOD our SAVIOR" (Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4).
"To the ONLY wise GOD our SAVIOR" (Jude 25).
So we see the One True God (John 17:3) is called "God the Savior" eight times (three in Titus) in the New Testament. It is now clear that God is called "the Savior" -- the Father is a Savior God!
Notice how consistent the Bible is regarding this point:
-- In the Old Testament the One God is called SAVIOR.
-- In the New Testament the One God is called SAVIOR.
The God of scripture is our Savior no matter where you read in the Bible. Our Creator created us to be in His Kingdom after we have been saved.
The God of Israel, the One God, is going to save us.
Yeshua As Savior
But, what about Yeshua? Is he called the Savior? Yes, Yeshua is called the Savior in at least sixteen scriptures: Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 5:31; 12:23; Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:4; 2:13; 3:6; 2 Peter 1:1; 1:11; 2:20; 3:2; 3:18; and 1 John 4:14.
It is clear that Yeshua is our Savior. Likewise there is no question that YEHOVAH God the Father is our Savior. How can this be?
How YEHOVAH God Our Savior Saves Us
The answer is relatively simple. The One God our Father is our Savior who will save us from the penalty of sin (often referred to as "salvation"). But how will YEHOVAH God implement this saving program? By Himself making the greatest sacrifice He could:
"For God so loved the world that HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever believes in him [His sacrifice for our sins] should not perish [die eternally due to sin, i.e., not saved], but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
The One God (our Savior) has appointed His Son, the first-born Son of our Savior God at the resurrection, to represent Him as our Savior -- to be the physical sacrifice made once and for all to pay for our sins.
How will God save us? By the death of that descendant of David, that HUMAN BEING known as the Son of Man, the one chosen to be our Savior.
In the first chapter of the first book of the New Testament we find that the first mention of Yeshua is as Savior. Mary was found to be "with child" (v. 18) and would bear a son:
"... and you shall call his name JESUS [Yeshua = Ya(h) saves; this will be explained later] for he shall SAVE his people FROM THEIR SINS" (Matthew 1:21).
Yeshua will be the savior who must die for the sins of all mankind.
In Luke we read an interesting account about our Savior God. First we read of Mary and "that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35).
When Mary went to visit Elizabeth, the babe in Elizabeth's womb "leaped for joy" at the knowledge of the Son of God in Mary's womb. And Mary praised the Savior God:
"My soul does magnify the Lord [the Father), and my spirit has rejoiced in GOD MY SAVIOR" (Luke 1:46-47).
Later in Luke we read:
"Unto you is born a SAVIOR, which is Messiah the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
Yeshua is the Savior as the REPRESENTATIVE of the Savior God.
The book of Titus now becomes clear with respect to its use of the term "Savior." The table below compares God (YEHOVAH) and Yeshua.
Similar to the salutations of Paul's books, we find the term "savior" used three times in pairs -- pairs made up of (1) the Savior God, and (2) the Savior Yeshua.
Conclusion: It is the One God YEHOVAH who is our Savior. He saves us through Yeshua our Savior, the Savior who could die since he was human, being born of Joseph and Mary and not an ever-living God-Being
TWO SAVIORS IN TITUS
|God our Savior........................... Titus 1:3||Yeshua the Messiah our Savior........Titus 1:4|
|God our Savior............................Titus 2:10||Our Savior Yeshua the Messiah.......Titus 2:13|
|God our Savior............................Titus 3:4||Yeshua the Messiah our Savior........Titus 3:6|
Meaning of "Yeshua"
The name "Yeshua" answers the question about God being our Savior. Let us elucidate this enigmatic and most perplexing assertion, in order to eradicate any obfuscation.
What does the name Yeshua mean? "Yeh" is the abbreviation of the name YEHOVAH, the One God. And the name YESHUA means "YEHOVAH SAVES." Therefore the name Yeshua literally means GOD SAVES.
It is THE ONE GOD WHO SAVES, through the perfect sacrifice of His Son Yeshua the Messiah. The very name of Yeshua tells us that YEHOVAH God the Father is the One who is our Savior.
The One God is our Ultimate Savior! The One Messiah is the one that the Ultimate Savior has designated to be the actual instrument of saving.
In the book of John we read about Yeshua near the end of six hours on the cross (tree). Just before he died, Yeshua said: "IT IS FINISHED and he bowed his head and DIED" (John 19:30).
The Son of God had completed his major task: to DIE FOR OUR SINS AS THE SAVIOR chosen by the Ultimate Savior, the Father of the Savior (1 John 4:14).
There is only ONE SAVIOR, the One God of the Old Testament and the New Testament. He is saving us through the perfect sacrifice of the Ultimate Lamb, His Son -- the Son is the instrument through which our salvation is made possible.
Can a "Mere" Man Be the Savior?
There is a book called The Day God Died referring to Yeshua (assumed to be the Creator God of the Old Testament) who "emptied himself" (Philippians 2:7, Revised Standard Version) to become a human being who could die for our sins.
"Although the Messiah was human, he was also God" is what has been assumed. And not just any God, but the CREATOR GOD of all. The generally accepted belief by many is that this Creator is the one who died for us.
The assumption continues: "A mere man who had not been God would not be qualified to die for all mankind. Only the Creator could be acceptable as a sacrifice to die for the billions of people who have been born on earth."
The Bible shows Yeshua was a fully HUMAN man begotten by a human father and conceived by a human mother, who lived a sinless life and died for our sins to become our Savior.
The Bible does not say that Yeshua the Messiah preexisted as a God; rather, it shows that he was born of a human woman. Yeshua was a MAN in every sense of the word, although the most special human being ever to be born. The Father chose this human being as the Savior to die for all mankind.
To say that YEHOVAH God our Savior could not save us in this fashion is to limit God. YOU CANNOT LIMIT YEHOVAH! His great plan of salvation can be done any way He chooses.
Each of us is a mere human, but we are very important and precious in the sight of our Father in Heaven. Having Sons and Daughters born into the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God is the whole purpose for creation.
Don't think that Yeshua as a human being was not important to YEHOVAH God! And don't think YEHOVAH God could not use the death of His "mere" human "only begotten Son" (after the resurrection) (John 3:16) to be an acceptable sacrifice to pay for the sins of all mankind (Romans 5:18).
The Creator can do what He wants. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8).
It would seem very appropriate if YEHOVAH had originally been our Creator who then came and died for His creation, but He wasn't. There is only One Creator -- our Father YEHOVAH, the One God.
How the Messiah Became Our Savior
Yeshua was born as a normal squalling human baby. How, then, did he come to be the Savior? There are two major keys to grasping this point:
1. Yeshua received a FULL MEASURE of YEHOVAH's holy spirit at his baptism, unlike any other human.
2. YEHOVAH God, the Father, communicated with Yeshua via his human parents, the written word (Old Testament), and possibly divine communication directly in dreams, visions or some other means.
The Messiah (Yeshua) had to grow in grace and knowledge just as we must. He studied the scriptures that prophesied of a coming Messiah (Luke 24:44; 2:40-50). It is interesting to think of the moment when he first realized that HE was that Messiah.
Then the pressure was really on this First Son of God. He had to lead a sinless life in order to be the perfect sacrifice. Could He do it? Through much effort and constant contact with YEHOVAH God His Father, Yeshua finally reached the point of dying as he hung from the tree on the Mount of Olives. And then he died: the perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 5:7-9; John 19:30).
Yeshua was the only human being who ever lived a perfect sinless life. Thus he was able to die for all mankind and be the perfect Savior.
To think that the Savior had to first be God before he could qualify to die as a sacrifice for sin is to not understand that the Creator God can choose His Savior any way He wants -- our preconceived ideas have no merit.
Can a HUMAN BEING, even one who is sinless, be our Savior? Yes, if the Creator God says so. This understanding leads to an amazing conclusion.
If I Were God
Many people who think Yeshua was God before he became human in order to lead a sinless life have a secret thought: "Sure he led a sinless life -- after all, HE WAS GOD." The implication is that anyone could obey YEHOVAH's Laws if they were originally God.
If I were originally God, then living a perfect life might not be too tough. But, since I was never God, then it's no wonder I have trouble obeying YEHOVAH God, even if I have YEHOVAH's holy spirit within me.
But, if Yeshua was not a preexisting God, then he was a human being JUST LIKE YOU AND ME (Hebrews 4:15). Just as he labored and succeeded in overcoming trials and temptations of the fleshly existence, so can we.
How did Yeshua do it? However he did it, can we also do it? The secret to success is, of course, YEHOVAH's holy spirit. The Creator God gave His spirit (His essence) to Yeshua, just as He gives it to the Elect today.
Yeshua, a human being, used this holy spirit, this power from YEHOVAH God to build a close relationship with his Heavenly Father. This power is also available for any other human being that YEHOVAH God has called at this time.
Isn't this encouraging and truly wonderful? Yeshua didn't gain access to the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God because he once was God. The opposite is true: Yeshua has gained salvation because he was a HUMAN BEING imbued with the power of the Creator God's holy spirit and a close relationship with the One TRUE God.
And this is the GOOD NEWS for us as future Sons and Daughters of YEHOVAH God. We have every opportunity to join our elder brother, Yeshua the Messiah, in the One God's Kingdom. We can reign as kings and priests under our King and High Priest and Savior, Yeshua the Son of our SAVIOR GOD.
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