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Double Meaning of Salvation

written by Asher Intrater
April 03, 2015

The name of Yeshua – Jesus ישוע – bears the meaning of the word Y’shuah – salvation ישועה .

The concept of salvation in Scriptures has a two-fold meaning: one military, the other spiritual. Both are true. The Hebrew prophets tended to emphasize the military, national, intervention of God to save the nation from destruction. The early Messianic apostles of Yeshua tended to emphasize the eternal, spiritual, forgiveness of God to save us from sin and death.

This dichotomy can cause confusion when trying to dialogue about salvation. The question “Are you saved?” has virtually no meaning in modern Hebrew.

When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, God performed a miraculous military salvation for them by destroying their enemies at the Red Sea. But then they immediately started to sin again, and had to wander in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation died (I Corinthians 10:1-13).

The national military aspects of salvation have become more relevant in recent generations as Israel finds itself back in the Land and threatened with destruction by Jihadist groups on all sides.

Passover and Salvation

In addition, there has been a gradual change in the understanding of Pesach-Passover since Israel has become a nation. During the many years of exile, it was primarily a religious ceremony, with symbolic remembrance of the past. Now Passover is a national holiday, celebrated by religious and non-religious at the same time. Some see the holiday as national, some as religious and some as both. 

Israeli society is in transition. Young Israelis are willing to ask rather radical questions as to the meaning of Jewish symbols. There have been many upheavals in the political reality, both on the left and on the right. The religious community in Israel has seen several historic developments, including religious nationalism, the Shas revolution, the Chabad messianism, and a new modern pluralism.

Although still minute in size, there is little by little more interest in trying to understand Messianic Jews by Israeli society as a whole.

God established the holiday of Passover as an “appointed time.” It is to remember the deliverance from Egypt, and to remember the death and resurrection of Yeshua that also occurred during Passover. As the years go on, people will ask more and more questions about the symbolism, nationalism and messianism connected with the Passover. The historic viewpoint of Yeshua’s disciples is likely to become part of that discussion.

As worldwide Islamic Jihad and anti-Israel sentiments grow, the meaning of the Passover as God’s military intervention to save the people of Israel will also take on greater significance.

Salvation – the Two Sided Coin

The two different aspects of “salvation” may very well come together in the last months before the coming of Yeshua. The knowledge of Yeshua will grow, and the urgency of a divine military intervention for Israel will grow. All of the prophecies concerning the second coming of Yeshua point to both a spiritual revival and a military intervention. “All Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26) in both meanings of the word.

A spiritual revival in the Land will go hand in hand with crying out to the Lord for deliverance from military destruction. Yeshua and the angels in heaven will descend to save Israel from military attack at the same time that He will bring eternal spiritual salvation. The attack of the nations, the revival in Israel and the divine “military” intervention will all come to a climax at the same time.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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