The Message

Atonement

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

What destroyed our body?—disobedience to God’s word is a sin, and the souls that sin die. For our soul to pass, we allow our body to do what it desires without 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 gives Spirit to a dead soul, it becomes alive and a living being or a living soul. It is never mentioned in the Bible that it is a dead soul, but through the years, I have come to my senses and 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? Was there a soul or souls, but were they 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 create Adam was formed 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. The truth supports this claim and relates to the history in the book of Job and Isaiah.

Pardon me if I am too bold or not ashamed to write regarding this matter. Still, I assure every reader that it is not arrogance but more confidence that when the Holy Spirit works with you and is 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 gives us the right to be called children of God. So, we are Jesus’ brothers, sisters, and mothers who can do things according to the Father’s Will.

During the time of the prophets, God kept giving warnings through signs and wonders, mainly through the prophets. Still, human attitude and behavior sometimes, if not often, are more focused or distracted by physical attractions than spiritual ones and ignore the Word of God announced by the prophets. Therefore, missing the prophet’s messages is ignoring God’s word, which grieves God’s heart and may end up with 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 churchman before they will be forgiven. Asking and granting forgiveness are not automatic. Our job is to ask forgiveness with a contrite heart and not make any promises we cannot keep. God’s willingness to forgive our inequities is, with certainty, 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 and what lies ahead of you. He knows what is best for you. So 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, deception, and temptations, we should be aware of their tactics and not let them catch us 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. They want to have it when they observe that we are living our lives with joy to the fullest. Since our hearts cannot hide the blessings without sharing the knowledge of the truth, the observer wants the blessings, too. The benefits come from the Father, and He wants us to share it to be a blessing to others so they come to know the truth.

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

A secret before may not be concealed anymore. We live today with brighter and more open eyes than yesterday when we were full of doubts. So whatever we receive today can be shared, and God will abundantly replenish what we have given. Like many learned people before us, our work did share what they knew 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. Our soul will die, and we cannot get more precise and literal than that. What happens to the souls that die when they are already destroyed by sin? The way to get forgiveness is to be born again. How?

The only way to be forgiven once the soul dies is to come back to life again with a new physical birth, either by resurrection or reincarnation, which the latter was not supported by Christian belief, even though there is an occurrence that suggests it does exist. The Scripture says whoever sinned should make its atonement. One of the fundamental tenets of Christian doctrine is offering blood sacrifice. Jesus made that offering in our place and supported it 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, there will be no atonement if there is no blood sacrifice. There is a prohibition on blood in the Old Testament. “The main reason for 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 also intended 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 we must do our own atonement when we sin. There will no longer be a vicarious or substitute penance. We are on our own to work it out.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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