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Atonement

Atonement- NT: reconciliation of God and mankind through Jesus Christ. OT: cleansing for impurity so God will not leave the temple.

What destroyed our body?—disobedience to God’s word are a sin and the souls that sins die.  In order for our soul to die, we allow our body to do what it desires without the resistance from our soul.   Being in bondage with sins, our body is doomed to be corrupted.  Prophet Ezekiel 8 “The soul that sinned shall die. How can we save our souls then?  The body without a soul will have no life, thus, a soul without a body can still live.  When God gave spirit to a dead soul, it becomes alive and becomes a living being or a living soul.  It never mentioned in the Bible that it is a dead soul but through the years it comes into my senses the practical knowledge that after “God gave breath to the man He formed he became a living soul”.  The argument is: How can it be a living soul if it is not from a dead soul? Think about it!

Who was on earth before the creation of life on earth?  Was there a soul or souls but were dead waiting for bodies to be born or formed?  Science supports that our bodies are composed of trillions of cells.  Does it answer our question that the dust of the earth that God used to form Adam was composed of dead cells?  Does it make any sense that souls are cells?  If it is, this will give us a sacred idea and at the same time acknowledge that it comes from the authority in heavens above (Revelation), not ours to claim but from Him who can make impossible things possible. There is the truth that supports this claim and it relates to the history we can find in the book of Job and Isaiah.

Pardon me if I am too bold or not ashamed to write regarding this matter, but I assure every reader that it is not arrogance but more on confidence that when the Holy Spirit works with you and being a son doing what the Father told you to do, He will give more assurances of your work so it will not come back void. Being obedient to the Father’s Will, definitely give us the right to be called children of God. So, we are Jesus’ brothers, sisters, and mothers; that can do things according to the Father’s Will.

During the time of the prophets, God kept on giving warning through signs and wonders and mostly thru the prophets, but human attitude and behavior sometimes if not oftentimes are more focused or distracted on physical attractions than spiritual and ignore the Word of God announced by the prophets.  Ignoring the prophet’s messages is ignoring God’s word and that grieves God’s heart and may end up what happened during Noah’s time when God reset life on earth.

God is so merciful and full of grace that He leaves His door open for forgiveness, although we need to confess our sins to Him and not to any traditional confession being done by a man of the church before it will be forgiven. Asking and granting is not automatic. Our job is to ask forgiveness with a contrite heart and does not make any promises that you cannot keep. God’s willingness to forgive our inequities is with certainty it’s part of His gift of grace.

When it appears that God is not answering your prayers, make sure to be in Spirit with God and you can do that through the help of the Spirit within us.  Remember, He knows your heart. He knows what you have been through in the past and what lies ahead of you in the future.  He knows what is best for you. Trust the Lord and wait patiently for His Will to be revealed, realizing that He may have something even better planned for you to be strong and faithful to your word. God is faithful to His Word and we should be.

When dealing with lies, deceits, and temptations, we should be aware of their tactics and do not let it catch you unaware.  We cannot put aside the spirit of enviousness for that is one of their weaknesses, where they are losing strength to influence their selfish nature, the attitude that “if you have it I should have more”.  If selfishness gives them pleasure, what is sure it is not coming from the light; it does not bring happiness but anger, jealousy, and hate.  When they observe that we are living our lives with joy to the fullest, They want to have it. Since our hearts cannot hide the blessings without sharing the knowledge of the truth; the observer wants the blessings too. The blessings come from the Father and He wants us to share it to be a blessing to others so they come to the knowledge of the truth.

We do not get the blessings and keep it.  The blessings grow as we share it with believers or non-believers.  God wants as to love one another and through generous sharing, it may start the seeding to non-believers and starts watering the lukewarm believers that in a shorter time, faith may start to bloom until they can stand again on their own and be stronger every day.  The revealed truth will open their eyes that it only takes trust to those who shared it and faith to God who gives it.

A secret before may not be concealed anymore. We live today with brighter and opened eyes and not yesterday full of doubts in our heads. So whatever we receive today can be shared today, and God will replenish what we have given and more abundantly. Our work like many learned people before us did share what they know in a limited capacity, compared to what we are receiving and sharing now.  An itchy ear will never understand the beauty of the message of God, and we need to let them know what they are missing.

“Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.”—Ezekiel 8:4 It is very clear that our soul will die and we cannot get any clear and literal than that. What happened to the souls that die when it is already destroyed by sin? The way to get forgiveness is to be born again. How?

The only way to be forgiven once the soul died is to come back to life again with a new physical birth either by resurrection or reincarnation with which the later was not supported by the Christian belief even there is an occurrence that suggested it does exist.  The Scripture says whoever committed the sin should make its own atonement.  One of the fundamental tenets of Christian doctrine is through the offering of blood sacrifice, and Jesus did that offering in our place and supported in Hebrews 9:22 “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”  Discrepancies become an issue when it doesn’t favor your taste. Most likely, it happens when interpretations are not well-founded.

Christian cross-reference Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.” In other words, if there is no blood sacrifice there will be no atonement. There is a prohibition about blood in the Old Testament.  “The main reason of forbidding the eating of blood, doubtless was because the shedding of blood in sacrifices was to keep the worshippers in mind of the great atonement; yet it seems intended also to check cruelty, lest men, being used to shedding and feeding upon the blood of animals, should grow unfeeling to them, and be less shocked at the idea of shedding human blood.  Man must not take away his own life. Our lives are God’s, and we must only give them up when he pleases.”Excerpt from Genesis 9:4 commentaries by Mathew Henry. 

The Christian belief that Jesus took our place and died for us is a well-accepted idea in the Christian community.  Jesus made the atonement for us; but in Leviticus 17 the atonement must be done by the one who made the sins, “Making atonement for your souls’ is the actual message of Leviticus 17.”  Since it has been an accepted doctrine of the past and carried to this generation it is already a done deal.  Nevertheless, we should not forget that when we sin we have to do the atonement of our own. There will no longer be a vicarious or substitute atonement. We are on our own to work it out.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D., Bishop Emeritus

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