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Salvation = Complete Restoration

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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Mr. D. was by far the most popular teacher in the school.  The fact that he was handsome, single and only a few years older than the students he taught, made him popular with the girls.  The fact that he loved cars made him popular with the guys.  One year, the talk of the school was the new car Mr. D. had ordered: a Ford Mustang, the best of the muscle cars.  The students were almost as disappointed as Mr. D. when, in January, there were so many demands for the car that it took an extra couple of months for the local dealership to get in the model he had ordered.

Finally, it came!  What a beauty!  Brilliant red paint, highly polished chrome bumpers, sleek lines, aerodynamically designed; it was a high-performance machine obviously built for speed.  After classes were over, guys and girls would hover around the car, listening to Mr. D. extol its virtues: the soundness of the engine, how well it handled on tight curves, how fast he could reach 100 miles per hour in it.  The best part of all, was that Mr. D. was willing to show off his baby by giving kids rides in his car during his one free period.

red mustang One of my favorite high school memories was the day I finally got to ride in Mr. D.'s car.  I was one of the last to get a ride, because I had a class during Mr. D.'s free period.  Finally, one day after the class I had from him, we dashed out to his car, jumped in and headed out to a long, straight stretch of road just outside of town.  Stopping, turning around and pointing back toward town, Mr. D. turned and grinned.  "You ready?"


Gunning the engine, Mr. D. "laid rubber."  In a matter of seconds we were flying down the road at 115 miles an hour (185 kph) - this at a time when the legal speed limit was only 55 mph (88 kph)!  To complete the thrill of the illicit adventure, Mr. D. even wrote out a permission slip to excuse the fact that I was a good 10 minutes late to my next class!1 

Then tragedy struck.  About a month before school let out for the summer, someone stole Mr. D.'s Mustang.  The whole student body was upset, and none more so than Mr. D.  His beloved car in which he took such delight, his baby, for which he had waited, and saved, (and for which he still had many payments left to make), was gone!  Police reports, endless paperwork for the insurance company, notices posted around town, all followed.  But the police were not able to locate the car.  It had vanished as quickly as Mr. D.'s joy.  Some began to wonder if it had been taken to a "chop shop" and dismantled for parts to ship overseas.

The school year ended, and no Mustang had been found.

When school started again, we were all eager to see if Mr. D. had purchased a new car.  No, he was still driving the same old clunker he had driven before purchasing the Mustang and he was still heart-sick over the loss. 

Six weeks into the new school year, Mr. D. got a phone call.  The police had finally found his car!  The bad news, was that it was in wreckage yard in a city 200 miles away.  When the VIN number was run, workers discovered the car had been stolen and called the police.  Mr. D. raced to the wreckage yard. 

What a sad sight to greet his eyes!  In place of the tenderly cared for car, was a pile of junk.  One side mirror was broken, the other was entirely missing.  The front windshield and one side window were broken.  Deep grooves along the sides told of hard use, with little care for what was brushed up against.  When he tried to raise the hood to see the engine, he could not even do that.  Too many dents and cracks held the hood firmly in place, making it impossible to lift.

Great was the indignation at school the next day when we learned that Mr. D. had actually had to pay to get his junk heap back!  It belonged to him, after all!  To have to actually pay the wreckers $200 to regain what was rightfully his seemed very unjust to us.  But redeem it he did.  And then he did something that did not make any sense to the girls: he took it to a body repair shop!

Mr. D. was going to fix his car!  Why he did not just start over with a new one made no sense to the girls, but the guys understood.  Mr. D. loved that car; that particular car was the only one he wanted.  The slow work of restoration began.  The body repair shop fixed what dents they could, replacing what they couldn't.  The inside of the car had been so damaged that the driver's seat had to be entirely replaced, with the other seats reupholstered. 

The day finally came when the body repair shop called: Mr. D. could come collect his car.  There it stood!  What a beauty!  Brilliant red paint, highly polished chrome bumpers, sleek lines, aerodynamically designed; it looked like a high-performance machine built for speed.  Then he lifted the hood.  The sight that met his eyes was enough to make a grown man cry.  There would be no driving of this beauty.  Not yet.

Mr. D. had the car towed to a mechanic and the slow work of restoration began all over again.  A new engine was required, along with many other repairs.  It was the work of months, for many replacement parts had to be ordered.  Finally, one day in spring, Mr. D. proudly drove the Mustang to school.  It was beautiful!  The wax sheen on the new paint job shone in the early morning sun.  The highly polished bumpers reflected the faces of the students thronging around.  It was once again a high-performance machine obviously built for speed.  Strangely enough, Mr. D. loved that car more than ever before.  Although it had cost him so much time, effort, grief and extra money, having it back, redeemed from the junk yard, restored to its former glory, the car was more precious to him than before!

Watching this drama unfold before my eyes over the course of two school years, made a deep impression on my young mind.  Aside from not understanding that level of devotion to a car, I couldn't understand why Mr. D. would lavish so much extra time and money on that car.  Why not simply start over?  If you are going to put that much money in to fixing it up, why not just buy a brand new one?

As I have gotten older, I have come to understand the reasons why Mr. D. would make such sacrifices to reclaim and tenderly restore the car.  It was not just any car: it was his car.  Yes, it had been stolen from him, but it still belonged to him.  That was why he was willing to pay $200 to redeem a heap of junk.  He loved that car, and simply replacing it with another would not be the same.

This is precisely what Yahuwah has gone through for us.  When Adam and Eve sinned, He could so easily have just started over!  He could have blotted them, and Lucifer and his angels out of existence.  He could have erased the memory of them from the minds of the holy, unfallen beings.  He was the Creator after all!  Who could have stopped Him?  No one would ever have known!

But He would have known. 

It would have been a very easy thing for the Creator to start over with a brand new race of beings.  Far simpler than saving what had been destroyed.  But it was the route of salvation that He chose.

Yahuwah decided to save the guilty race at any cost to Himself.  His Son, who was One with the Father, in purpose, in love, agreed with the costly decision.  The two entered into covenant agreement.  The guilty race was not to be abandoned or replaced.  Instead, it was to be redeemed and, once redeemed, it was to be restored back to favor with the Creator.

This was an extremely expensive undertaking!  The divine law, the Law of Love, was perfect and thus could not be changed.  The requirements of the law were simple and clear:

Obey and Live

Disobey and Die

dictionary definition of salvage In order to "salvage" the human race, they must first be redeemed.  To redeem means to "purchase back; to ransom; to liberate or rescue from captivity or bondage, or from any obligation or liability . . ., by paying an equivalent . . . to repurchase what has been sold; to regain possession . . . by repaying the value of it . . . to rescue; to recover."3  The redemption price that must be paid was death, because "almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" of sins.  (Hebrews 9:22, KJV) 

The Son of Yahuwah was the great Lamb of Yah which taketh away the sins of the world.  (See John 1:29.)  The Son of the Omnipotent One is the Saviour of Mankind, because He paid the price to redeem the fallen race from death.  The Saviour clearly understood that His death was the redemption price.  The evening before He was betrayed when He instituted the communion service at the Last Supper, "He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.'"  (Matthew 26:27, 28, NKJV)

The Saviour spoke of death as but a sleep.  When Lazarus died, He let the disciples know of His intent to resurrect him by stating: "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up."  (John 11:11, NKJV)  To the Life-giver, death is but a sleep - a rest from labors.  It is because the redemption price has been paid that death is, for the child of Yah, but a sleep.

three crosses at sunset This is not the death which the Messiah died.  The Saviour died the "second death" that all must die who reject His offer of salvation.  This is why the emotional agony on the cross was so great that He scarcely felt the pain of crucifixion.  The second death is complete and total separation from Yahuwah, the source of all life.  It was this that wrung from His lips the cry, "My El!  My El!  Why have You forsaken Me?"  (See Matthew 27:46.)  On the cross, the Saviour bore the weight of guilt for every sin ever committed by every single person who has ever lived or who shall ever live.

He, the sinless One, bore the guilt of sinners that they, through Him, might be restored to favor with Yahuwah.  His resurrection was proof that He had lived a sinless life because the divine law decrees that all who obey shall live.  It is an assurance to all who will trust in their Saviour that they, too, shall live again, even if they "fall asleep" in Him.

But the process of salvation was not yet complete.  The redemption price had been paid, but that was all.  The next step was restoration.  Mr. D. redeemed his car by paying the junk yard $200, but it was not yet drivable.  Before he could once again enjoy the Mustang, it had to be painstakingly and tenderly restored.  At first, Mr. D. couldn't even look inside the hood to see the engine.  Exterior body work had to be done first.

This has its parallel in human lives.  Often the Saviour will work on the outside of a person first.  Addictions to pet sins, be they alcohol, drugs, nicotine, movies, music or novels, or anything else that beclouds the mind, must first be cleaned up in order that the mind will be clear and ready for the next stage of the restoration process.  This next stage of the process is invisible to any human eye.

The active agent in the restoration of mankind is the Holy Spirit.  The Saviour likened this to the wind: it cannot be seen; no one knows where it comes from or where it goes, but it can be felt and the effect can be seen.

While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt.  So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power.  When the Spirit of . . . [Yahuwah] takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life.  Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife.  Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven.  No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above.  The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to . . . [Yahuwah].  Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of . . . [Yahuwah].5

The Creator knew a profound truth.  Redemption without restoration is not truly salvation. In order for the fallen race to once again enjoy oneness with the Creator, the inner heart must be cleansed of all sin.  The mind itself must be recreated that the image of the Father could once again be enshrined in the soul. 

This is not something that anyone can do for him- or herself.  It can only be done through faith in the Son of Yah, for only by His merits can anyone be saved.  The promise is given to all who will believe:

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them.  . . . and ye shall be My people, and I will be your . . . [Elohim].  And I will also save you from all your uncleannesses.  (Ezekiel 36:26-29, KJV)

The plan of salvation embraces much more than the mere redemption price paid for a soul.  It provides for the entire restoration of the divine image in the human soul.  A soul thus redeemed and restored is brought into an even closer relationship with Divinity than if he had never fallen because the Saviour, having once taken on a human body, will forever remain one with the human race.  

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in the Son, for the law of the Spirit of life in the Saviour has made me free from the law of sin and death.  What shall we then say to these things?  If Elohim be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Who shall lay anything to the charge of Elohim's elect?  It is Yahuwah that justifies.  Who is he that condemns?  Who shall separate us from the love of the Saviour?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or pesecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  No!  In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of Yahuwah which is in His Son our Saviour.  (See Romans 8.)

1 This story is not to condone this sort of action.  Such behavior on the part of a teacher today would likely get him fired.  Nevertheless, it remains one of my favorite high school memories!

2 n/a

3 American Dictionary of the English Language,Noah Webster, ed., 1828.

4 n/a

5 Ibid., pp. 172-173.