Salvation Through Faith Alone
“I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come [here, John]!’ I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” (Revelation 6:1,2, insertion mine)
Seal #1 White Horse – 1798
The English translation of Revelation 6:1,2 can be misleading. The Greek text indicates the first horseman in Revelation 6 rode out of Heaven’s temple carrying a toxon. Depending on how the Greek word toxon is used, it can be an archer’s bow or a winner’s ribbon, an ornamental bow made of fabric (like a blue ribbon award – see Strong’s Concordance G5115). It may be confusing that a Greek word can have two different meanings, but even in the English language, the word “bow” can have several meanings. For example, we can see a bow in the clouds (a rainbow), a person can bow as a courtesy, a person can wear an ornamental bow (a blue ribbon), and we can use an archer’s bow. Because the rider on the white horse is also carrying a crown (the Greek word stephanos means a crown of victory), His bow is not for war. The rider’s bow is for those who have overcome the world, persevere in faith, and win the crown. Therefore, the bow (toxon) should be considered a winner’s ribbon rather than an archer’s bow.
A stephanos is a crown of laurel, a crown of victory, like an athlete would wear at the Olympics. A stephanos is not to be confused with a diadema. A diadem is a crown that a king wears; it denotes authority and dominion. Paul indicates one day, Jesus will give each saint a crown [stephanos] of righteousness. Notice, “Now there is in store for me the crown [stephanos] of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8, insertion mine)
The Greek syntax in Revelation 6:1,2 also indicates the work of this horseman takes time and considerable effort. Literally, the Greek says, the rider went out overcoming that he might overcome. The Holy Spirit is attempting to overcome the two greatest enemies of truth, arrogance and ignorance. Arrogance and ignorance are great enemies in matters of religion. According to Revelation 4:7, the first living creature has the face of a lion. This living creature is associated with the first seal and He invites John to “come” and see His actions. The Holy Spirit “faces” an enormous challenge on Earth. He must overcome many false religious paradigms during the duration of the first seal. His mission is to reveal the truth about Jesus to the world. The Holy Spirit left Heaven’s temple when Protestantism became free of persecution and a numberless group of saints “marching in” at the Second Coming will reveal the success of His efforts.
The Seven Seals are Seven Campaigns
I like to think of the breaking of the seven seals as seven campaigns, with each campaign containing a unique disclosure, process, objective, and result. In a similar vein, politicians conduct political campaigns to win the votes necessary for public office. A political campaign is a laborious process during which candidates must travel often to be seen and heard as much as possible. Politicians make promises, promote their ideas, and ask voters to put their faith in them. The seven seals are seven campaigns which Jesus directs to resolve the sin problem and exonerate the Father’s government. Jesus’ efforts can be described as campaigns because He is seeking a commitment from each person.
All religious people embrace one of three concepts regarding how they will receive eternal life. These concepts are salvation through works, salvation through grace, and salvation through faith. For example, corporately speaking, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, and Eastern mystics (such as Hindus and Buddhists) embrace salvation through works. Protestants embrace salvation through grace. However, eternal life only comes through faith. Faith is action that stems from conviction. A person exercises faith when he listens to the Holy Spirit and obeys without regard for the consequences. This explains why God has children in every religious system because there are faith-full people within every religious system. Even more, there also are faith-full people within groups of people that deny the existence of God (like Agnostics, Atheists, Communists, and the heathen) or have no knowledge of God. Salvation is not based on a knowledge of God, human works, or God’s grace. Contrary to what organized religion teaches, man’s salvation is determined by his response to the Holy Spirit (this is faith). This simple fact explains why blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the unpardonable sin.
Now that you understand the idea that human beings embrace one of three routes to eternal life, the Holy Spirit’s campaign initiated in 1798 should make a lot of sense as we go forward. To get started, we need to understand the theological climate in Europe in 1798 after 1,260 years of Roman Catholic control.
Origins of Catholic Church Doctrine
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the pope and/or its priests control access to salvation. If a person is excommunicated from the church, he loses eternal life. If a person wishes to receive eternal life, he must become a part of the church to receive the sacraments of the church. Because there is an interest in ecumenism (cooperation among religious systems), the leaders of the Catholic Church have made overtures regarding the idea that non-Catholics could receive salvation. These declarations are meaningless because the theological views of the church are nonnegotiable. The church holds firmly to a position which they believe is rooted in divine authority. In other words, the Roman Catholic Church believes that in God’s sight, it is not one religion among many; it is the only true church of God.
The Church teaches the pope is the infallible successor of Peter and holds the keys to God’s kingdom. Consider the following passage and ask yourself if Christ’s church is built on those who claim to be Peter’s successors: “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ He asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in Heaven.’ ‘I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.’ ” (Matthew 16:13-19)
On this occasion, Jesus queried the disciples about His identity to teach the disciples two impressive lessons. When Peter responded, “You are the Christ [the anticipated Messiah], the Son of the living God,” Jesus blessed Peter saying, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah.” Notice that Jesus used Peter’s formal name because He was about to use Simon’s surname to make a profound point. While Peter’s affirmation was still lingering in the ears of the disciples, Jesus contrasted Peter’s humanity with His divinity.
Speaking to Peter, Jesus said, “I tell you that you are petros.” (The Greek word petros is transliterated “Peter,” but it means a small rock or pebble.) Then, Jesus said, “and on this Petra [Greek: petra, a huge rock] I will build my church.” The contrast in the Greek language indicates that Jesus pointed to Himself when He spoke these words. Jesus, not Peter, is the vine and we are the branches. (John 15:5) The Son of God who stood before the disciples in human garb and dusty sandals was the eternal and awesome “I AM,” “The Petra” of the Old Testament. (Exodus 3:14; Genesis 49:24; Deuteronomy 32:4,15; 1 Samuel 2:2; Psalms 18:31; 1 Corinthians 10:4) When the disciples heard Jesus, they must have shuddered with this reality. Imagine hearing about the God of Israel, the Great Jehovah, “The Rock of the Ages” for all of your life and suddenly, it dawns on you that the Creator of Heaven and Earth Himself is standing before you!
Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure from Earth. Jesus’ testimony that day would greatly increase the disciples’ faith in years to come. The Church of Christ would succeed against all odds because it would be founded on “The Rock” and sustained by the eternal power of the Holy Spirit. The distinction between the pebble (petros) and The Rock of Ages (petra) is unmistakable. It is arrogant to claim that Jesus would build His church on someone other than Himself; that Jesus would build His church on mere sinful mortals. This notion is ridiculous and there is no evidence in the New Testament that the disciples regarded Peter as the head or founder of the Christian Church. In fact, Paul reprimanded Peter for improper behavior in Galatians 2:11. Paul also wrote 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament, and James, the half-brother of Jesus, appears to have been selected as the first elder of the church. (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 1:19).
Then, Jesus taught His disciples a second lesson. He promised to give His followers the keys of the kingdom. Jesus said, “Whatever you ‘loose’ or ‘bind’ on Earth will be loosed or bound in Heaven.” The terms, “to bind” or “to loose” indicates having the authority “to approve or disapprove.” (Isaiah 22:20-23, Revelation 3:7) The “keys of the kingdom” is a phrase that means “having responsible authority.” If you give the keys of your car to a person, he receives the benefit of the car, but he also receives the responsibility to lawfully operate your car. The parallel is that Jesus promised the disciples they would have authority to make the day to day decisions necessary to advance the work of His church and He assured them that He would honor their decisions in Heaven. (See Acts 15 for an example of this.) Of course, Jesus will only honor decisions that are in harmony with the Word of God, are in harmony with the work of the Holy Spirit, and will build up the body of Christ according to His teachings. (Matthew 28:19,20) Notice that Jesus did not give His disciples any authority to determine the eternal destiny of anyone or to change His laws. Jesus did not give His disciples permission to persecute those who were opposed to them. Jesus did not give this authority to men. The Bible clearly states that Jesus Himself judges mankind. He redeemed us with His own blood and His sacrifice for us gives only Him the right to pass judgment on sinners. (John 5:22,23; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 5:9; Acts 17:31)
This information has been printed so that you can appreciate how and why the early Christian Church morphed into the Roman Catholic Church. After the Roman Catholic Church came to power in A.D. 538, a long winter of darkness settled over Catholics and for 1,260 years anyone who protested “the divine authority” assumed by popes and priests was persecuted.
Martin Luther States Salvation Is Through Faith in Christ
When Martin Luther (1483-1546) nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door in 1517, the Roman Catholic Church was stirred, but not alarmed. Obviously, a priest in Germany could not threaten the mighty Church of Rome! However, Luther’s protest against Rome can be compared to Samson’s destruction of the Philistine temple. (Judges 16:30) When God gave Samson enough strength to push the main pillars of the Philistine temple out of their places, the temple collapsed. Similarly, when God gave Protestantism enough strength, it pushed the two main pillars of Catholicism (papal authority and the necessity of receiving the sacraments) out of their places and Catholic doctrine was destroyed (in the eyes of Protestants). The Protestants discovered in the Bible that the claims of the pope and priests were false and this explains, in part, the historical conflict that began long ago between Protestants and Catholics.
Protestant historians have conferred the title, “Father of the Protestant Reformation” on John Wycliff (1330-1384) because Wycliff was the first reformer within the Catholic Church to significantly challenge Rome’s departure from Bible truth. If Wycliff is the father of Protestantism, then Martin Luther should be given the title “Apostle Paul” of the Reformation. This is because Paul and Luther were highly educated and they stand out in history for having accomplished the same thing. Both men found the exodus from two corrupt religious systems, Judaism and Catholicism, respectively, using the Scripture’s authority.
Luther entered the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt in 1505 and he took a vow of obedience, poverty, and chastity in the following year. By 1512, Luther had earned a doctoral degree. In 1515, at the age of 32, he was appointed vicar over eleven Augustinian monasteries. Luther was genuinely zealous in serving the Lord and His church. As a priest, Luther had access to the Bible and the more he read, the more he became concerned about many doctrines the Church upheld.
Eventually, the Holy Spirit opened Luther’s eyes and gave him discernment. Even though he loved the Lord and the Church, Luther carefully documented ninety-four issues within the Church that needed reform. When the priest, Tetzel, came to town in 1517 boastfully offering to sell “past, present, and future forgiveness” of all sins for a price, Luther was outraged. Tetzel was selling indulgences to raise money to pay for the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica. Selling eternal life for a price was too much. Luther added this behavior to his long list and with a heavy heart and a soul full of disgust, he nailed his ninety-five complaints to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31.
The Church had indoctrinated Luther as a priest. For years, he did not question the idea that Church authority was greater than Bible teachings. However, after comparing Church teachings with the Word of God, Luther realized God’s Word must be continually placed above the authority of the Church. Otherwise, man’s carnal nature would eventually manipulate and corrupt Jesus’ teachings.
The Holy Spirit convicted Luther that mankind is justified before God through faith without the necessity of works and a shocking experience confirmed Luther’s belief. Between 1512 and 1515, Pope Leo X offered an indulgence (the forgiveness of all sins) to anyone who would climb Pilate’s staircase on his knees. Because Luther sincerely wanted freedom from the guilt of sin, he decided to climb the staircase even though he was already struggling with the relationship between faith and works in his heart. While climbing the staircase, he heard a thunderous voice say, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) It was an epiphany! Suddenly, everything he had been studying in the Bible connected. In a flash, he realized that salvation comes through faith without sacraments or works of penance and he hastily rose to his feet and left the building ashamed.
In April 1521, the church officials in Worms, Germany summoned Luther to defend his radical teachings and behavior. They accused Luther of forty-one errors and gave him sixty days to recant. Of course, the Church could not accept Luther’s call for reform because his reformation would weaken the “God given” authority invested in church leaders. When Luther saw that church officials had not even examined his books and that they could not accept the plainest teachings of Scripture, he quit arguing the merits of his case and spoke to the assembly saying, “Here I stand. I can do no other . . . my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” Luther was condemned to death, but he escaped with his life.
Even though Luther’s call for reformation did not reform the Church, laymen in the church began to accept his call. Laymen had grown weary of the fear and the many burdens which the Church had imposed on them. Luther knew the laymen were trapped in spiritual darkness because they did not have access to the Bible. So, Luther translated the New Testament into the vernacular of the German people in 1522. This was the dawn of a movement that would grow into the Protestant Reformation. Its fuel was Holy Spirit power and its legitimacy was anchored to God’s Word. Even though the Church punished anyone caught with a Bible, Luther and his supporters managed to distribute several German copies in the years that followed.
Luther’s activities in Germany added to a larger cry for reformation within the Church across Europe. Two hundred eighty-one years after Luther posted his ninety-five theses to the church door at Wittenberg, the Catholic Church was toppled because it would not reform. In 1798, papal power was eliminated and Protestants in Europe could speak freely about salvation through faith in Christ. At last, they could teach and preach without intimidation or the threat of persecution from the Catholic Church. Protestants began to share the good news that salvation was not dependent on church or priest! Salvation came through faith in Jesus alone.
There is nothing more powerful than a truth whose time has come. Remember that the Church of Rome fell because “judgment was pronounced in favor of the saints of the Most High” (Daniel 7:22) and that Jesus was found worthy to receive the Book of Life. On Earth, the gospel of Jesus broke out of the tomb of darkness where it had been sealed for 1,260 years! The Holy Spirit began a mission to reveal that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone.
United States Provided Sanctuary for Protestants – First Seal
After 1798, God ensured that Protestantism would grow by preparing a new sanctuary where the movement could flourish. The Pilgrims came to America to enjoy religious freedom. Many Lutherans also came to America and they established their first church on Manhattan Island in 1648. Twenty-two years before the papacy fell, the founders of the United States signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. No one in Philadelphia could have anticipated how the United States of America would develop and accomplish Christ’s mission. The book of Revelation describes this phenomenon by saying, “the Earth helped the woman” (Revelation 12:16). The Holy Spirit raised the United States by giving it a marvelous Constitution and an amazing Bill of Rights ensuring religious freedom for everyone. Protestant immigrants came to this nation by the millions. Because the United States’ population was predominantly Protestant in its early days, Catholic immigrants who settled here were often scorned and mistreated. In fact, Catholics were not elected to hold public office for many years. (The first Catholic president in the U.S. John F. Kennedy, 1960-1963 was elected nearly two centuries after its founding.)
Since 1798, the United States has produced more Christian missionaries, gospel workers, and literature proclaiming “salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” than any other nation in Earth’s history. Of course, the Holy Spirit is still pushing “the good news” of salvation through faith in Jesus. He is doing this because Protestantism has mutated and fallen into apostasy because it promotes a false doctrine of salvation through grace.
The False Doctrine of Grace – The Implosion of Protestantism
The doctrine of God’s grace has been distorted and abused for decades. God’s love for sinners is truly amazing and overwhelming. God’s grace is a powerful doctrine when it is applied properly, but its power and purpose are spiritually destructive when misunderstood and applied in the wrong way. The problem occurs when people believe that human conduct and behavior have nothing to do with salvation and accept that salvation costs nothing, requires nothing, and demands nothing. If people only believe that God’s grace “is sufficient,” spiritual decline and atrophy will surely follow.
Sixty-five years after Jesus returned to Heaven, He appeared to the prophet John while he was exiled on Patmos. Jesus had some choice words for the Seven Churches in Asia Minor and “grace” was not one of them. Jesus harshly identified many behaviors that had infiltrated His church and after He gave the churches stern warnings, He made seven promises. Along with each promise, Jesus gave the assurance of eternal life with the same prerequisite: “To him that overcomes. . . .” The doctrine of grace is distorted and abused when it is used to diminish the necessity and importance of overcoming sin. Do not be deceived. A large crowd attending a megachurch does not necessarily mean many people are overcoming sin. Man’s sinful nature is not inclined to overcome sin. Dealing with our sinful natures is a daily struggle that will not end until Jesus removes our carnal nature. Mainline Protestant churches did thrive in the early days and had large crowds and inspirational preachers. In the early days, they believed and taught the importance of overcoming sin. However, when Protestantism removed the Biblical context of grace, it became distorted and abused resulting in the demise of mainline Protestantism.
Three co-dependent doctrines every Christian should understand do not operate or stand alone. I like to compare the doctrines of “Grace, Law and Faith” to a three-legged stool. Each leg has to be sturdy and securely planted for a three-legged stool to perform its duty. If any leg fails, the stool will fail and whatever it supports will fall. Similarly, if these three doctrines are separated from each other or if one is improperly advanced above the other two, the result will be a spiritually toxic experience. These three doctrines flow together in a profound way and those who follow Jesus must understand their flow to overcome sin.
Because God governs His kingdom by the rule of law, He puts His laws within His children’s hearts and minds when He creates them. His laws are righteous, comprehensive, and eternal because He is love. God never changes and has previously considered and prepared for every situation. When Adam and Eve violated His law, God’s grace became necessary. Adam and Eve were not defiant and sinned due to Lucifer’s predatory efforts, so God extended grace to Adam and Eve (and their offspring) by staying their execution. Remember, anyone eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was to be executed on the very day he sinned. (Genesis 2:17)
When Adam and Eve sinned, they changed and were not in natural harmony with God’s laws. Sin immediately transformed them from being selfless to being selfish. Because the curse of sin is a spiritual cancer, rebellion and selfishness have contaminated every person. Because the cancer of sin began with Adam and Eve and it has been passed on to their offspring, because all human beings have sinned, because the wages of sin is death, God extended grace to Adam and Eve and their offspring. This grace is called “life.” God’s grace has several dimensions. For example, God has graciously given human beings a span of life; years to mature so we can comprehend His love and choose to either walk in His ways or not. God Himself has graciously provided atonement for our sins and made it possible, through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, to overcome any sin. Finally, God has graciously given us the assurance that He will save everyone who fights “the good fight of faith.”
God has a high ideal and a special purpose for every person, and He gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to every person. God also requires that we trust in His infinite wisdom and obey the laws of His universe. He requires every sinner to trust Him because it is only through faith in God’s care and wisdom that we can stay on the path of righteousness. The doctrine of faith teaches us that faith means obeying the dictates of the Holy Spirit without regard for the consequences. (Hebrews 11) God has promised that He will take care of all circumstances if we trust and obey Him. (Romans 8:28) Therefore, when we are tempted to do wrong we can overcome the temptation by asking God for the desire to do right as well as the strength and courage to stay on track. This is how sinners obtain victory and transformation through faith. When God hears our cry for help, He immediately sends the power we ask for! (Romans 6:14, 1 John 1:9-2:1)
At first, Romans is difficult to read and understand because Paul seems to contradict himself with every other verse. For centuries, Bible expositors have exploited these “apparent contradictions” to appease man’s sinful nature. (2 Peter 3:16) However, read the book of Romans a few times and you will begin to understand the problems Paul was addressing. Paul addresses two toxic conditions affecting early Christians in Rome. The first condition was legalism (Jewish converts to Christianity were captives of this toxic experience). The second condition was a distortion of grace (Gentile converts to Christianity were captives of this toxic experience). These opposing problems explain why Paul seems to contradict himself. He was trying to get Jewish converts out of the ditch of legalism while trying to get Gentile converts out of the other ditch of distorted grace.
Ironically, Paul’s summary can be found in the middle of the book, Romans 7 and 8! Obeying God’s law will not produce salvation and believing that salvation has nothing to do with human behavior because God’s grace is sufficient is fiction. If we allow our sinful desires to control us and we justify our transgressions, we do not have faith in God. The fruit of faith is seen in overcoming.
If we continue to do things that we know are wrong, we do not love God. (1 John 2:4-6) Jesus said no one can serve two masters. Informed Christians know that sinners cannot overcome sin on their own. (Jeremiah 13:23) Revelation 20 says God will annihilate many people at the end of the age, because a God of love does not offer grace to defiant sinners. God’s kingdom is governed by laws, so He has given us grace as sinners, even though we are naturally rebellious toward His laws. He offers us His grace for sinners in three ways:
- Time. God delayed the immediate annihilation of Adam, Eve, and consequently, their offspring. He has given us life and a span of years to grow up so that we can discover and know Jesus if we want Him.
- Sacrifice. God Himself provided a perfect sacrifice at Calvary so that our guilt might be removed from us and transferred to Heaven’s altar.
- Deposit. God has given us faith to make it possible to overcome sin. He has also sent us the Holy Spirit to draw us to Himself. He has promised to transform our hearts and minds, which is only possible through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
The following anecdote illustrates the doctrine of grace. A college teacher assigned a term paper. He told the students the paper would represent 75% of their grade. He assigned a due date of Monday with no exceptions. (The teacher declared the law.) John and two classmates were hurt in an auto accident (through no fault of their own) five days before the term paper was due. They were released from the hospital two days before the due date, but the recovering students could not meet the deadline. The students contacted the teacher and asked for grace. Given their circumstances, the teacher said he would accept their submission by Wednesday noon (grace was given). The injured students struggled to meet the deadline (they believed the teacher would do as promised, burnt some midnight oil) and all three passed the course.
In this illustration, the teacher gave the three students grace (an extension of time) because the teacher cared enough to help the students. He wanted to see his students complete the course even though they knew the due date six weeks earlier. The injured students accepted the teacher’s grace and after putting forth extra effort, they met the deadline and the requirement for the course. They were grateful for the grace they had received and their efforts (works) reflected their appreciation.
God’s grace does require a human response. He has saved us through faith because He has given us grace in the form of time, sacrifice, and deposit. Many Protestants believe that grace cannot be called grace if overcoming sin is required (works), but God’s grace exists because God’s laws have penalties. We show God that we appreciate His amazing grace by putting faith in Him and obeying His commands. If the teacher had told the injured students they did not have to submit the term paper and he would still give them each A’s, he would not have been fair to the other students. This dispensation of grace would not be appropriate and would have threatened the accreditation of the institution. In other words, it would be academic deception to give passing grades to students when there is no evidence the students met academic requirements. During a peer review by his colleagues, most likely the teacher’s extension of grace would be viewed as unauthorized use of authority to defeat course requirements and the teacher’s actions would not be justified.
The Bible does not teach that God saves us by a dispensation of grace; instead, the Bible teaches that God made salvation possible because He extended grace to all sinners. The doctrine of grace is a story of overwhelming love because God has taken every initiative necessary to save sinners. On the other hand, when the doctrine of grace is distorted and abused, it causes harm to individuals and ultimately, denominations. If an individual advances the concept of grace without recognizing that it is also necessary to overcome sin, God is not honored and the other two doctrines of Law and Faith are minimized. Salvation does not come through grace. Instead, grace makes God’s offer of salvation possible. Salvation comes through faith in God. Christ’s life is a flawless example of this truth: Jesus cried out in the Garden, “not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Unfortunately, Protestants have promoted a distorted doctrine of grace today, so I think it is fitting that we thoughtfully consider Jesus’ words, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the Earth?” (Luke 18:8, emphasis mine)
The breaking of the first seal in 1798 resulted in the emancipation and empowerment of the Protestant movement. After the papacy fell, Protestants in Europe could proclaim salvation through faith in Jesus without intimidation or persecution from the Church of Rome. Millions of Protestants immigrated to the shores of the United States. The first seal was a great start in the revelation of Jesus, but we are now more than 200 years into this campaign, so we see the Holy Spirit is almost at the point of starting all over! Christianity has embraced salvation through works or grace and faith in God has grown faint.