Salvation Closer Than When We First Believed


by John Basalyga

Haines Convention 2011


Turn to Romans chapter 13, please. I think we have all read this scripture many times. Let’s start at the end of verse 9:


Romans 13:9(b)-12


9(b) Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.


I have read that scripture before, with this understanding: we are taking a trip from The Land to Haines and we get to Haines Junction and we are closer than when we first started. Did anybody ever read this scripture like that? Salvation is closer than when we got started. If Jesus died 2,000 years ago, we have to be closer than when we first started! But I just saw this in a whole different context because what this is really talking about is that if the light has not shined on you where the real problem is, then you are no closer to salvation than you were when you first believed. You could actually be further away!


For instance, we have a problem in community; everyone thinks they know what the problem is. We are looking to heaven, we’re looking to the ministry; we’re looking across the sea; we’re looking here; we’re looking there. I love what Brother Joe McCord said, “We go to the watchmen.” But, in reality, the answer is not very far away! Where is it? It’s in your mouth and in your heart! You consider all these other aspects and we say, “I think I know where the problem is,” and sometimes 5 years or 10 years later, we are no closer to salvation than when we first believed; we still have the same problem!


When you wake out of sleep, you recognize that the whole thing is fulfilled in this: that we love one another ! Our motivation to getting problems solved has been anything other than loving one another!

What we find is that there is something in us that God wants to put His finger on. When we wake out of the darkness that we are in, God wants to put His finger on something that is in us! When the light shines in us on what God wants to deal with, now we are closer to salvation than when we first believed! It is not just simply because it is 2,000 years later! It is because a change took place!


Early in our logging experience when we started getting equipment, we were city boys and had never run any equipment at all. Then,all of a sudden we were running big skidders, bunchers, slashers, feller bunchers, and equipment that was very, very expensive. If any of you run equipment, you know how expensive equipment is! It’s very expensive to maintain and it’s very expensive to fix!


I remember one of the first problems we had with our skidder. The transmission started shaking and there was a noise in the machine. The problem with problems in equipment is that it is not easy to put your finger on where the problem is. We learned real fast that we couldn’t just have a “knee-jerk” reaction to it.


What happens is the “vibration” goes through the “local body” and what we did in those early years was have a “knee-jerk” reaction, “Oh, I know where the problem is! It’s Brother So-and-So!"


We would pull the transmission out, take it into the shop, go all through it, and “Oops, there’s nothing wrong with the transmission!” We’d put the transmission back in, run it a little while, and all of a sudden the shaking and the noise were back. “Well, it’s got to be the rear end.” We would go and take the rear end out and that wasn’t the problem. “Oh, it’s got to be…” Then you get this idea, “Maybe I better call somebody who might know!”


I don’t know how many of us have done this, but we have actually replaced hydraulic pumps and motors, “How much was that?” “$10,000.” “How much was that?” “$15,000.” “Well, that still didn’t fix it; what’s next?” “Here’s the problem!” We have actually spent as much as $60,000 on a piece of equipment to find out it was a little o-ring in a hydraulic motor that was allowing oil to give more pressure than it should, and it was causing this vibration that went through the whole engine; $60,000 later!


As you hear the Word coming, be real careful to think you know where the fix is to the problem! Be real careful! Because the Word to fix this is really nigh thee; it’s close! It’s real close by!


“Where is the kingdom of God?” “It’s in heaven; it’s on the other side!” So, we get to the other side, “Where is it; where’s the answer to all of these problems?” Then we get this revelation, “Oh, maybe we have to seek Him while He can be found.” “Where is He? OK, God, I want You to fix…”


This is with every community, every church group, every person, every body, every family, this is just not peculiar to us; we are all in the same mess!


When I have a marriage problem, I always know where the problem is, and if God would just reveal it to her then everything would be OK, right?


We see this in natural Israel when God had brought them into the land and He said, “When the blessings and the cursings come on you,”— this applies to both the blessings and the cursings —because when you obey His word, the blessings will come on you and the cursings will come on your enemy. If you don’t obey His word, the blessings will come on the enemy and the cursings will come on you! Did you ever see that? He’ll strengthen the hand of the enemy if you are in disobedience.


The result of that in natural Israel was that the crops started failing, the animals started failing, the body started failing, everything started failing and Israel went out and looked and said, “Oh my, the crops are failing, we must need more ph in the ground; a little bit more fertilizer.” So they would go out and put on a little bit more fertilizer. As they put on more fertilizer, the animals are dying. Then we think, “We just need to go call a vet,” because there’s a problem with the animal! Maybe it’s what we are feeding them; maybe it’s what they are getting.


What happens is, you look at all of the symptoms! We have such discernment for symptoms! General speaking, when you ask everybody they can identify all the right symptoms. It takes a Master Mechanic to figure out what the problem is and to put his finger right on the problem.


What He is going to tell us here is, “The problem is, you are not keeping My Word; you are not obeying! If you would obey Me…” Look at what it says here:


Deuteronomy 30:8 -9


8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. 9(a) And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good:


Do you want to get the land healed? Be obedient! Do you want to get the cattle healed? Be obedient! Do you want to get the body healed? Be obedient!


What the church wants to do is go to gifts. When you are in iniquity, you want to stay in iniquity and say, “God, use the gifts to get the land healed, the cattle healed, and the body healed!” Can anybody identify with that?


That’s really not the problem! The problem is that He wants to deal with something in us! We are no closer to salvation if we don’t get the picture that He wants to deal with me! Me !


You mean God can solve all of these problems? Just like that! Five years later, we still have them; like we are no closer! Well, the reason is found in Verse 11:


Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is far off.


It is not far off! I went to the watchmen, but the answer was not far off! As soon as I left the watchmen, it’s not far off! I found Him! I found the answer was not with the watchmen!


Nobody has ever looked to the ministry to answer their problems, right? I have to admit, we did that once or twice. Brother Sam Fife is probably sitting somewhere saying, “You know, I wish you would have got this revelation when I was here!” The reason he didn’t get any sleep at night was because everybody was looking to him because he had the answer! If he was across the sea, the answer was across the sea! “Oh God, speak from heaven!” Do you know where the answer is? Where is the answer?


I think the scripture says that here:


Deuteronomy 30: 12-16


12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.


Do you know what He is looking for? Do you want to get the answer to whatever situation you are in? Do you want to get the answer to that? Would you like to spend $60,000 getting this fixed or $10 for a little o-ring? We want to spend $10, right? But how many times do we spend $60,000? Do you know what that is? That $60,000 ends up being frustration! All this “down time”; we could be going on-right-on!


Do you know what all that is? Have you ever wanted a problem to be solved out of any other motivation than love for your brother? ‘It is high time you wake out of sleep; all the law is fulfilled in this: that you love one another.’ Many times what we want to do is get the problem solved so we can get out of our present distress, and not out of love for our brother. It’s out of our being inconvenienced. When we take that route, we are no closer to salvation than when we first started.


God is pointing an inward finger inside of us to finish a work that is manifested in our love one for another that if you want it all healed—you want the land healed, you want the problems healed, you want it all healed—then you have to go to God and say, “God, what am I not doing that is causing this to not get healed?”


You can get the natural all fixed and still not have the problem solved. You can get the transmission replaced, the engine replaced, and all kinds of things replaced—I called the mechanic up and I said, “You know, we took the transmission out, the rear end out, we went through them.” He said, “Have you broken a u-joint lately?” I said, “Yes, as a matter of fact we changed one a couple of weeks ago.” He said, “In those machines, all of the u-joints have to be all lined up. Go take a look and see.” We went and looked and out of the five u-joints, there was one u-joint not lined up. We took it out and lined it up and everything worked fine. It would have saved us all of that work if we would have asked the Master Mechanic, “God, what is the problem?” “God, what is the problem?”


It is nigh thee, even in your mouth. Hear the Lord, obey God; He will even make your enemies at peace with you. The blessings will come on you and all of our problems will be solved. Amen!


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