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Don’t Be Fooled By a Counterfeit — 39 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this. When starting to think about our spiritual life, we start to see how easy it is to sweep around these four areas.
    Thank you for the wonderful message. May God continue to pour down His blessings upon you.

  2. Thank you for this, it really helped me understand the true meaning of salvation. May God continue to bless you and help you continue to share these stories to others.

  3. In every believable lie is at least a little truth. That goes for performance, but, ticket, and light-switch theories of salvation as well.

  4. How insightful! Yes please when are you going to post the 'fifth' and only true scriptural version of salvation. I can hardly wait.

  5. I have and sometimes still feel like I have fallen into one of the four. And just when I feel like I have gotten free of their stronghold by praying for forgiveness and salvation, at the end of the day still categorize myself in one of the four slots. Sometimes I am so worried and troubled sometimes about my salvation that I cannot think of anything else. I feel so trapped, at times, between salvation, grace, forgiveness, and works that it makes me irritable towards anyone that comes at me. I just want to live and be free of this. I don't even know how I got in this rut. I understand and can relate with this devotion so well that I feel like you have walked through the darkest corridors of my mind's thinking and have come running out with this devotion just for me! For goodness sake, I am here crying as I type. I thank you for your time and for sharing. I am so anxious to read the next installment!

    • May God continue to empower you through HIs Word. Keep that connection with Him growing by praying, listening and applying His teachings.

  6. Excellent, Excellent, Excellent!!! All four examples on the mark!! Thank you! I will be sharing this story with many. How relieving it is when you realize you're ALREADY free. God bless!

  7. I am so thankful for this message! Your journey mirrors my own! It's good to know I am not alone in the quest. I look forward to further postings!

  8. Same for me, can't wait.
    -->BUT: Why don't we open the Bible by ourselves?
    And study it by ourselves. And then, when Marcos posts what is the fifth - no no no, the one-and-only-TRUE gospel - we can see if we got it right.
    Remember school? Our own exercise makes us grasp it. Not that the teacher explains it.
    Let's take our Bibles, or some bible website or software, use search terms, concordances, compare verses, read the context of every verse, ask w-questions (who, where, what, when...), read it three times, consider ALL places that talk about the topic, add details from various places in the Bible rather than trade them, and so on. Most important: pray for the Holy Spirit before starting reading.

    • Hi Herbert, I agree.

      I believe we should concentrate on why we are saved not how we are saved.

      Another thing I have discovered is that from beginning to end the Word talks about the Everlasting Covenant - what does this mean for us?

      I admit I would like to see Marcos' only solution because he puts our thoughts into words so well.

      • "I believe we should concentrate on why we are saved not how we are saved."

        Unfortunately, Shirley, I have to disagree with this statement. Certainly we need to know the why of salvation but the how is also very important. The entire history of Israel from Sinai on testifies to its importance. Besides, if it wasn't important then God would not have put so much in the Bible concerning the subject. If nothing else statements such as, "Not everyone who says to Me,`Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matt. 7:21 NKJV) needs to be properly understood otherwise we would end up like the Pharisees who had everything upside down and backwards.

        • Hi Tyler, I believe understanding why illuminates the how.

          My answer to why:
          I follow Jesus because of who He is, because of His character, because He loves me, because of His worldview, because of His wisdom, because of His Divine Power, for all these reasons I want to be with Him and to be like Him.

  9. When I believed in “light switch” I was always worried about whether I had sinned or not and often times found myself debating myself over whether or not I had just sinned, almost just sinned, or thought I just sinned but hadn’t really.
    I would suffer for weeks and months over a supposed sin that I needed to confess to someone else and at times found myself confessing things that were not only unnecessary but ridiculous. But I did it anyways because I wanted to make sure that God wouldn’t have any reason to not let me into heaven.


    That was me right there and it was the only version of salvation I grew up with in the church for a very long time.
    The only reason I didn't give up was fear of hell.

    I think, sadly that I was not alone and countless souls must have given up before they could learn better.

    I believe that this version of salvation (and its relatives) has been the genesis of most of the crises that have faced the church since its inception.

    The gospel, whatever it is, must be good news or it's no gospel at all--that is, it must bring joy.

  10. Why is it that new believers seem to have a better understanding of salvation than those who are raised in a community of believers?

  11. In Ephesians 2:8-9 it says,“For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing.”

    The Bible teaches that it’s not what we do that saves us, but what God has done. In other words, this whole salvation thing is never about what we do; it’s about what He did.

  12. Sad but true that most of us suffer because of lack of knowledge. Beginning of Hosea 4 verse 6 says 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge....'. I am struggling around the 4 versions of salvation as well. I am excited and waiting for the 5th. Thank you for this message

  13. Thank you for the testimony.
    This is, in reality, a true reflection of me especially for the "but and light switch salvation". I have struggled many years on how to eradicate sin in me since when I was a child. I knew I was saved by Grace but had to do something to keep it. However, although I failed, I couldn't as well give up because had a strong fear in hell and I imagine that I share this with many brethren.

    I thank you for this wonderful and inspiring testimony and trust it will be a good inspiration for others as it is for me today.
    God bless you.

  14. Thanks so much for this story. I am going through this now... Figuring out how salvation by grace truly works. It's something Iv always wrestled with. I look forward to the second part of the article where you explain this final version. I can't wait

  15. Thanks for this story. I am wrestling with getting a clear understanding of what does saved by "grace" really mean. I love God and I know that He loves me, but I really need to know where I stand with Him. I am angry with myself everyday because of my struggles in my flesh. Can you post the next part of your story as soon as possible, please?

  16. It seems to me that the problem is whether we see the good deeds or righteous acts we do or as Paul calls them "the works of the law" whether we see them as the root of our acceptance or whether we see the good things we do as the fruit (result) of our acceptance.

    In the first four false types of salvation, acceptance with God is dependent on (the result of) doing something, we feel God demands of us, before He will accept us.

    In true salvation our good deeds are the fruit, or the outgrowth, the result of our acceptance with God rather than the cause or root of our acceptance. We are accepted because of what God did for us in Jesus' life, death and resurrection. "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself." (2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ESV)

    We have the ministry of reconciliation (helping others find Christ) because what Christ did to make us acceptable to God. We are not accepted with God because of what we do for others.

    If I get correctly what is the root and what is the fruit of my acceptance before our heavenly Father then peace is the result.

    • Chicken and Egg question.

      Good deeds then Jesus?
      Jesus then comes good deeds?

      How do we know or differentiate that our deeds are in fact fruits of the spirit, of salvation and sanctification rather than an external facade brought about by the expectations of those around us? even worse, we may subconciously or even conciously attribute the deeds we do as righteousness, I may not realize that I have used vegeterianism, sabbath keeping, knowledge of doctrines and prophecies as a key (or ticket!) to have assurance. After all when we do good things we feel good, we feel assured.

  17. I don't know what's worse, that I can relate to all four of the versions above - especially the light switch version - or the fact that I am so unsure about salvation I am dissapointed to find that the fifth version (the 'true' version) is yet to be explained.

  18. [Please submit full name with your comment. Thank you.]
    The story of salvation was reached out by God when he allowed the "only" son to come and die in the cross ,to save mankind from eternal death, by his death we all have been saved by grace,He says that if we agree to follow HIM HE will take our burden (sin)and we will be free, brethren our sins even if will be as red as blood GOD will cleanse us .

  19. Thank you for all the wonderful feedback! It is a blessing to know that my story can now bless others. Part 2 of this series has now been published under the title "Salvation is Not a 'Zero Down' Deal". Blessings to all of you!

  20. Thank you. The 'light switch' is a true reflection of me. I am relieved to know that I am not the only one who felt that way. I can't wait to read part 2 of this series to fully understand how to overcome this deception. God Bless you.

    • Thank you for your comment Elizabeth! It is amazing to know that whatever we are going through, others have also been there. Part 2 has already been published under the title "Salvation is not a 'Zero Down'Deal". I pray you are blessed!

  21. Hi Marcos,

    Could you please clarify a bit more the "light switch" version? I am trying to understand.
    I can see clearly how Satan would like us to look to our sins and to our weakness instead of looking to Jesus, to His power and promises. We need to look and live (John 3:14-15).
    But from Ezekiel 18:24 it seems pretty clear that if we sin and do not repent we will be lost. I guess my question is: are we still saved between the moment we sin and the moment we repent? You seem to imply that we are still saved. Are we still saved while living in rebellion? Would David have been saved if he had died after committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband, but before God sent Nathan to him to bring him to repentance?

    Could you please sustain your point using Bible and/or Spirit of Prophecy quotes?

    I understand if you don't have time to respond.

    In any case, thank you and may God bless you abundantly!

    • Great question Christian! Im sorry its take me so long to respond. I am extremely busy at the moment. So busy in fact, I am writing this answer and then getting ready to run out the door. So this will be brief. The light switch version of the gospel is a type of legalism. It basically teaches that salvation depends, not on grace, but on your ability to repent and confess. Thus, salvation is gained, or retained, by how well you repent and confess. God sits in heaven and every time you sin you lose your salvation. every time you confess you get it back. not only will this drive a human being crazy but theologically it places salvation on your lap- how good you are at confessing/ repenting. This is legalism in its purest form. While I don't have time to go into it I recommend the book Conquering the Dragon Within by Marvin Moore. He deals exclusively with the light switch in the early part of the book from the Bible and SOP. For now allow me to give you a snippet. We do not lose our salvation every time we sin. If we did, Christians would find themselves lost again just moments after conversion. We always sin. Sin is deeper than simply breaking a commandment. It involves not only what we do but what we dont do. If I lose my temper the day after I got saved and say things I shouldnt, am I now lost again? Of course not. We are preserved in Christ, not in our performance. But suppose I was. I confess, get my salvation back and then the next day I lose my temper again. Now I have lost my salvation again! So I quickly confess so I can get it back. Not only does confession become a means for self preservation (instead of an opening of the heart to God) but do that a few more times during the week and by the time Sabbath rolls around you will be one miserable born again Christian (who was unborn again during the week countless times). Does that sound like good news to you? While it is true that persistently refusing to confess can separate us from God, it is not true that a person loses salvation every time they sin. I dont believe David was in a saving relationship with God when he committed adultery with Bathsheeba but at the same time, that wasnt his only sin. There was a long chain of events that led him to that point, many sins that he did not surrender that culminated in him rebelling against God. Im sure more questions remain to which I recommend the book I mentioned. Im in such a rush that I cant think of any specific Bible verse that deals with this at the moment (it would be more of a series of verses since this was never really an issue in the NT) but here is an EGW quote that is helpful "The soul who sees Jesus by faith, repudiates his own righteousness. He sees himself as incomplete, his repentance insufficient, his strongest faith but feebleness, his most costly sacrifice as meager, and he sinks in humility at the foot of the cross. But a voice speaks to him from the oracles of God's word. In amazement he hears the message, "Ye are complete in him." Now all is at rest in the soul. No longer must he strive to find some worthiness in himself, some meritorious deed by which to gain the favor of God" {ST, 2:497; 7/04/92}. Hope that helps a bit!
      [You can get Conquering the Dragon Within in the Kindle version at Amazon.com and also in the paperback version. You can also get the Kindle version at Amazon.ca also in paperback at Amazon.ca.]

  22. I've been struggling with all the version except the "only"one...God directed me to this article..im thankful.


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