ROBBED BY ORTHODOXY
BY: A. P. ADAMS
Ministering from 1885 to 1925
FORWARD by Elaine Cook
ROBBED BY ORTHODOXY
NO SUBSTITUTION NO SUBSTITUTION
THE SCRIPTURES SAY
SAVED FROM SIN’S PENALTY?
THE PURPOSE OF ATONEMENT
SAY, “IT’S DONE!”
THE CAUSE OF GOD’S LOVE
“Wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?” Laban angrily accused Jacob. This son of Isaac who was returning to the Promised Land where he had been born, knew nothing of the matter. He had labored hard and had won a bride and flocks which he was now taking back with him to that realm of spirit that he knew at Beer La Hai roi (the well of the life of vision). He needed no idols to represent a god, for he had met the living God who had renewed unto him the covenant He had given to his father and had kept him in the way.
It was easy for him to say with confidence, “With whomsoever thou finds thy gods, let him not live……For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them” Gen. 31:32. When Laban searched the tents he did not find them, for Rachel put them in the camels’ furniture and sat upon them.
What were these ‘gods’ that Rachel stole from her father? It is a question that intimately affects our spiritual walk today. Rachel represents the bride of grace even as Leah stands for the bride of the law. Why should Rachel hold on, through falsehood and conniving, to her father’s images? They were household idols which represented the fathers who had died. Laban actually practiced ancestor worship, revering all that his forefathers had done and taught even though it contradicted what the living God said about Himself and His ways with the children of men.
What Rachel was taking with her on that journey to the high places in God, were the traditions of the elders. She had purposed in her heart to cling to them even though Jacob desired to take her up higher – to know the living God in Spirit and in truth. The result of this was that she died on the way. She died in the wilderness and never beheld the Promised Land. The word that Jacob spoke, that whoever had the idols should not live, came to pass.
The Spirit brought this whole scenario before us in prayer to show us clearly that those who are today heading toward the Promised Land in response to the call “Come up higher” will die in the wilderness if they try to take the traditions of their fathers with them! We must choose between the truth of what God says in His Word and what man has concocted in his natural mind and has passed off as truth for many generations.
It seems to be pleasing to the Lord that we gather up some of Laban’s idols that we have ignorantly taken with us and defended religiously, and expose them for what they really are! In order to do this effectively, the Lord brought into our hands (all the way from Australia) a writing from A.P. Adams. This great man of God ministered from 1885 to 1925. He was a man who received fresh revelation from the Lord and dared to swim against the tide of religious opinion because he believed that “the Truth shall set you free.”
His writings are mostly out of print. We felt the Lord would have us share these truths with you – breaking them down to make them more understandable so that “he may run who readeth.” These truths will minister life to you so that you need not die in the wilderness, but you may press on and know your God as He really is, not as traditional orthodoxy has represented Him!
The atonement of Christ is the foundation that we build upon. If the foundation is crooked, or insecure, the building will never be strong. There are twelve stones, or truths, herein, that will challenge you and give you a firm foundation if you are willing to give up your household idols of the traditional teachings of orthodoxy.
Elaine Cook 1994
ROBBED BY ORTHODOXY
When we searched the tent of orthodox Christianity, we found twelve idols concerning the atonement. All falsity, when repented of, will be replaced by a godly desire to smash or burn the idols that had deceived us. Listen carefully to the truth and ask the Lord to give you an honest heart to admit that you may have carried with you some household idols, even the traditions of the elders.
The first idol is a very common, erroneous doctrine that almost all Christendom has held to be true, but when it is held up to the scrutiny of the Word and the blessed Holy Spirit, it appears offensive in the extreme. It was most shocking to me, personally, to hear that the vicarious atonement of Christ misrepresented God and was contrary to the principles of justice and fair play. A.P. Adams claims that it distorts the truth of the Word and obscures the great truth that Jesus is the image of God, a perfect revelation of the Father. When he set forth the clear proof from the scriptures, my heart rejoiced to know the Truth and my heart almost burst with love for my Father!
We are told by the church system that man was created pure. When he broke God’s law, he became a child of the devil, and fell under God’s wrath and His curse. The penalty of the broken law is eternal death (in torment). God, we were told, wishes to save man, but cannot until His justice is satisfied. Man cannot be freely pardoned unless someone else suffered his penalty. Only then can God’s justice be satisfied, His wrath pacified, and the sinner forgiven and restored.
The orthodox answer to this is that Jesus offers Himself as man’s substitute, to suffer the penalty of the law in man’s place. God accepts this substitution and pours His wrath upon the innocent Son instead of the guilty sinner, and pardon is then granted through Jesus.
There are additional absurdities to this teaching that tell us that Christ’s sufferings are accepted in place of the sufferings of the guilty. Yet, Jesus did not suffer the penalty of the broken law! According to popular view, the penalty was eternal death. BUT . . . Christ suffered only a temporary death. “But,” they say, “Being a divine Person, His temporary death is considered equivalent to the eternal death of the sinner.” Another penalty had been substituted.
So, they say, we have a substitute of the innocent for the guilty, and a different substitute penalty from the one they saw the law claims. It seems that in spite of all this legal trickery which was given to affect the pardon and salvation of man, a great many will still be lost. God’s plan would, in a great measure, fail to accomplish the redemption of the fallen race.
As in every court of law, a rebuttal is allowed. Hear it! First of all, this whole scheme is unreasonable. God was responsible for the introduction of evil into the world! He allowed it to come in contact with the man He had made. Where, then, is the justice in pronouncing unending torture as the penalty of a single transgression? What sort of justice is it that can be satisfied with an innocent one suffering for the guilty? Such a scheme puts the Father and the Son in contradiction to each other.
Jesus so loved that He was willing to die in man’s stead. God was so severe and unrelenting that He would not forgive man without a victim upon whom to visit His wrath. God was so unjust as to accept an innocent victim in place of the guilty party. In this view, the love of Jesus is magnified but God shows only relentlessness and implacability. I would have no reason to thank God for redemption, for He has received His full payment.
Ah, but let us learn the truth of the matter! In order to understand the atonement, we cannot start from a belief in endless torment. We must start with the declaration that God makes of Himself: “GOD IS LOVE.” It was God’s Love that was the great moving cause in the atonement. It was not Christ, but GOD that wrought out the wondrous plan. It was not God’s justice, but His LOVE that is most manifested. Justice was on the sinner’s side, not against him!
Justice must be satisfied, indeed, but not by the sinner’s, or some substitute’s damnation. But by the most abundant provision being made for his salvation.
The atonement was not to satisfy God’s justice but to reveal His love.
The prophet Isaiah proclaimed: Our God “is a just God and a savior” Isa. 45:21. He is a Savior because He is just. “He that is our God, is the God of salvation“ Psa. 68:20. Among all that are worshiped as gods, the great distinguishing characteristic of the TRUE GOD is: that He is a Savior! Isa. 45:20 reveals the nature of those that “are no gods.” “. . . they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.”
The Bible does not teach that the sufferings of Christ were a satisfaction to the law, in place of the sufferings of guilty man. Such an idea is repugnant to all right principles of justice and righteousness. There is not a single passage that teaches, directly or indirectly, that the death of Christ was to satisfy the justice of God!
B-U-T . . . . “To this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be LORD both of the dead and of the living” Rom. l4:9. Christ took upon Himself our fallen nature and thus died. His incarnation in this body, this realm of carnality, was His death. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh in order that He might be one with the race, in death, as well as in life.
The justice of God is not against
the sinner, demanding his
condemnation, but for him,
insuring his salvation.
In an overview of the truths stated, we see that: (1) LOVE was the motive power. (2) God was the prime mover! These points confirm: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.” Any view that makes God’s justice the prominent factor in the atonement, and obscures His Love, cannot be correct. It is a false view – an idol – that exalts Christ as man’s Redeemer in opposition with God in the same work! Christ is man’s Redeemer, but under God. God redeems man, just as He judges him, “by that man whom He has ordained” Acts l7:31
Christ is a savior as God’s agent – the Father is the original, supreme “God our Savior”. I Tim. 2:3. This orthodox hymn shows how the church represents God and Christ:
Jesus Christ who stands between
angry heaven and guilty man,
Undertakes to buy our peace,
gives the covenant of grace.
This hymn portrays an angry God held back and bought off by a loving, compassionate Savior. God’s true character and boundless love is here obscured and falsified.
Similarly, the Westminster Confession says: “The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself, which he through the eternal spirit, once offered up to God, hath fully satisfied the justice of His Father, and purchased not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him.” These words clearly imply the unscriptural idea of Christ’s dying to satisfy the Father’s justice. The innocent suffered instead of the guilty, thereby purchasing His goodwill, (as though God must be appeased and pacified with the blood of a victim, like a pagan deity). This, tradition says, would be required before He would look favorably upon a suppliant.
God is not in contrast with, much less in
opposition to Christ in the atonement, but
is in perfect harmony and accord.
The children need an advocate in order to make known the Father’s goodwill to them. This will awaken their confidence in Him, will bring harmony between them, and “set them at one again” Acts 7:26. This is the “AT-ONE-MENT”.
The need of an atonement implies that two parties are at variance with one another. The desire is to bring them into harmony, union, and oneness. The means that effects this unity or reconciliation is called THE ATONEMENT. In the case of God and man, the estrangement is all on man’s side, for he is alienated from God – not God from him! As a result, man alone needs to be reconciled.
What does the word reconcile actually mean? It means to change completely. Then, who must be changed? Certainly not God – but man! And he alone needs to be changed. The scriptures are correct in their use of this word. Man’s creeds are far from the truth. To say that the atonement was to reconcile God to man, is to say that God must be changed! This is a blasphemous belief. The Bible says, correctly, that Christ’s death was to reconcile man to God. It was to change man from an enemy to a son and thus “to set him at one” with the Father.
NO SUBSTITUTION NO SUBSTITUTION
We must first understand the atonement from the light of God’s plan of creation. We must know that we are God’s workmanship, see the purpose of evil and know that God plans to restore all. It will comfort us to know that the fall of man and his consequent alienation from his Maker was a part of God’s plan and was to end in his good. The abundant provision for his recovery is in keeping with that plan. (Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:l5) The enmity is destroyed and a perfect restoration to his former position with God is provided.
In the light of these truths, there was no need of and no place for substitution in the scheme of atonement. These truths also deliver us from the false teaching of endless torment. We know that is not the penalty of the broken law. God told Adam, “. . . in the day that thou eatest. . . thou shalt surely die” (not go into an eternal death of everlasting torment!). Man never was in peril of any such doom, and needed no substitute to pretend to suffer it for him by a legal quibble!
Why would man need a substitute to save him from evil which is one of God’s educators? God’s purpose is always that evil will ultimate in good. As an example here, compare the nations of Russia and the United States. Russia fought against God for 70 years in an evil, oppressive rule. At the end of that time, the Lord moved in and broke the rule to bits. The conclusion of the people has been that they need God -they had fallen very low in many areas without faith in Him. We hear that they are instructing their teachers in the scriptures so that they may teach the children, and their goal is to have a Bible in every school.
In our prosperous Western nations, the Bible and Christian instruction has been thrown out of the schools as if it were evil. Humanism, which makes man his own god, has replaced God and the Bible. It is plain to see God’s educators on the scene in the West: violence and crime are rampant, poverty is on the increase and natural disasters are an everyday occurrence. Our nations will continue to go down until evil has taught us our lessons that will cause us to turn from self unto God!
God’s punishments are for man’s benefit (not to satisfy His wrath). Heb. l2:l0 clarifies this thought: “. . . that he might be partaker of His holiness.” Like our Lord, man is also “made perfect through suffering.” All these experiences of life – both good and evil – are God’s benefits. They are blessings in disguise. The idea of a substitute to endure them instead of man robs man of a part of his blessing, a portion of his inheritance.
We know of one group who are so strong on the teaching of Christ’s substitution that they refuse to let the Spirit deal with their self-life. Their reasoning goes like this: “That was all done on the cross. Jesus bore that for me. I don’t need to suffer. He did it all.” It has made the followers of this creed impotent and has kept them from maturing. They refuse to experience any suffering for their refining.
THE SCRIPTURES SAY
“He tasted death for every man”; the “just for the unjust”; “He bore our sins.” How do we understand the scriptures? The secret is in the two prepositions: FOR and INSTEAD. Christ died FOR us, but He did not die INSTEAD OF us.
Christ did not die as our substitute, but as our companion, and associate, and NOT instead of man, but with him and FOR him.
In His death, He was man’s companion, associate, elder brother, but He was NOT man’s substitute! He suffered with man, and on man’s behalf, being “made in all things like unto His brethren.” We are to follow Him, as our Forerunner, in the same path He trod: sharing His sufferings, bearing His reproach; “being made conformable unto His death”; coming at last to be LIKE HIM (I John 3:2).
This is not substitution, but a perfect identity of experience. We are one with Him in His humiliation, suffering and death. We are one with Him in His exaltation, glory and resurrection life. Hear this clearly: Christ does not endure a penalty and certain sufferings and a death, in order that we may not endure the same, as He would do if He were our substitute. Understand that “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master” Luke 6:40.
Isa. 53:4,5 and Mat. 8:l6,l7 are in perfect harmony with this view. Christ indeed “bore our griefs and carried our sorrows” – not as a substitute, but as a sympathizing companion and friend. He was man’s great Burden bearer. This was not that man might be exempt from bearing burdens, “for every man shall bear his own burden” Gal.6:5. No, it is that every man might be delivered from the death-load in God’s “due season” Rom. 7:24,25.
SAVED FROM SIN’S PENALTY?
Tradition teaches us that Christ suffered as our substitute to save us from the penalty of sin, which is eternal death. The truth is that Christ died, as our forerunner, to save us – not from the penalty of sin, but from sin itself. He did not die to save us from death, for there is no such thing as eternal death. He died to save us “out of death” Heb. 5:7. The common wording is “from death” but the original meaning is out of death which means that we do not escape dying to that death realm into which we were born. Jesus’ sufferings on the cross do not mean an escape for us from suffering and dying also to this death realm. We shall be delivered “out of death” by the power of the eternal Spirit working within us. O, glory to God! What a matchless Savior!
The penalty of sin is beneficial, helpful and productive of good. It would be no kindness to save man from sin’s penalty. The law of sowing and reaping teaches him the consequences of sin like nothing else could do. God Himself is “a just God and a Savior” who could and would remit the penalty of sin if that were best for man. Since justice has been “watered down” in the courts of our day, the penalty of sin has been greatly diminished. This has resulted in an utter decay of our judicial system and evil waxes worse daily. I have read of parents pleading with the police to make their young rebellious children responsible in some way for their crimes. Man does not learn his lessons unless there is some penalty, some reaping of the evil that has been sown. When no restitution or accountability is required, evil flourishes and this is far from God’s ways!
How shall a man be saved from sin? How shall the sinner be made a saint? The question is NOT: how shall his sins be pardoned? or, how shall he escape the penalty of his sin? The real question is: how shall he change his nature from “a child of wrath” to “a child of God”? (Eph.2:3). It is the same cry that came from the lips of the apostle Paul, “How shall I be delivered from the body of this death?” The ANSWER is still: through Jesus Christ our Lord” – “by a new creation” 2 Cor. 5:l7; Eph. 2:10.
Christ did not die to save us from the penalty of sin, but from sin itself.
THE PURPOSE OF THE ATONEMENT
The purpose of the atonement is nothing less than the deliverance of the WHOLE CREATION from the bondage of corruption. God in Christ does this work! He is the Lamb of God that beareth away the SIN of the world. This means not simply the SINS, as referring to each person’s transgressions. It means the SIN – as though all the sins of the race, and the hideous “death-body” of the sinful nature were laid in one dread heap upon Him, and He bears it away. Thus, God “made the iniquity of us all to meet on Him” Isa. 53:6 (NV – margin)
Secondly, the purpose of the atonement is not to save us FROM death, but it saves us out of death. There is a tremendously important truth hidden here through the improper use of one small preposition. It has had a great impact upon each person’s walk before God, and in many cases has caused him to have a wobbly foundation.
Let us look closely at the difference between saved from death as orthodoxy teaches or saved out of death as the original Greek says. We must first acknowledge that “If one died for all, THEN . . . . WERE. . . . ALL. . . . DEAD” 2 Cor. 5:l4. The scriptures do not say that all were in peril of death! Nor do they say that Jesus died to prevent that peril from becoming a reality. Man was ALREADY DEAD! Since the Fall, man has walked in death which, like Adam, culminated with the flesh body going to the grave. The life that is lived without the life of God is called “death” by the Lord. Since man was already dead, the purpose of the atonement was to give him LIFE!
Christ came “to seek and to save the lost”. This does not mean those who were in danger of being lost, but those who were lost already. Christ died to give life to a dead world – a world already dead! “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and gives life unto the world” John 6:33. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” John l0:10.
How low are our ideas of God’s ways! Truly, His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways our ways. The highest idea that many Christians have of the atonement is: a scheme (put together because of man’s fall) whereby they are to be saved from the PENALTY of sin – an endless hell! In reality, the truth is that God’s purpose is to make out of this world of death-ridden sinners, a race of GODLIKE saints! Christ came to lift mankind out of this condition of death into “life and immortality” Rom. ll:33
Christ did not die, that we might not die, but to deliver us out of a death in which we were already involved.
Through the years I have questioned believers as to what they felt the atonement had done for them. I wanted to find out if they had any vision. Invariably, the answer was, “Jesus died to save me from hell.” Orthodoxy had taught them that Jesus died to pay the penalty for their sins, and that was all they knew. They had no vision of the true purpose of the atonement. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The word “perish” in the Hebrew, means “to make naked”. They had no covering because they had no vision! They had not an inkling that Christ came to lift them out of their condition of death right here and bring them into a place of walking in His life. The benefits of Christ’s sacrifice are not for when you die so that you will go to heaven and not go to hell. Such a narrow interpretation of Christ’s life and sacrifice leaves His saints with no vision of walking in His life until they become like Him.
If one should ask me why Jesus died for me, I would answer: “To bring to pass God’s purpose for creating mankind – that of making me in His image and likeness (even His nature) Gen. l:26. That is my vision and it inspires and motivates me every day. Years ago the Spirit spoke this word to me upon arising, ‘Let us make man in our image and in our likeness’ and I heard it in spirit all the day. By the end of the day I knew His purpose for making man and I have been secure ever since in the covering that this vision provides.”
SAY, “IT’S DONE!”
SAY, IT’S DONE! So many believers have been brought into the faith through fear of hell’s torment that never develop a warm, secure relationship with their heavenly Father. They are always trying to keep their salvation.,. and if they fail in any point, the enemy comes in to accuse them of being unworthy. The Spirit impressed upon my heart that this is the single most powerful influence that keeps God’s people from walking in His life. They feel unworthy of His Love and orthodoxy has fostered this belief.
When we see the truth, we see that the entire work of the atonement was “of God”. “ALL THINGS ARE OF GOD!” “ALL THINGS are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” 2 Cor. 5:l8, l9
Now, this great work of reconciliation being all complete and perfect, a finished work, we can believe this word: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, by YE reconciled to God.“ 2 Cor. 5:20 (God is reconciled to you – He has never been unreconciled; now ye be reconciled to Him).
“For he hath made Him to be sin (or, a sin offering) for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.“ 2 Cor. 5:21. Hear it, my friends! The word does not say that the offering up of Himself was to keep us out of hell! It is far higher than that! It was for the purpose of indwelling us and inworking His righteousness until His nature has come forth in us.
A widowed friend told us, that although her husband had preached the gospel for a number of years, he never knew the peace of being fully forgiven and accepted by the Lord. There were always doubts and fears within. He found it hard to keep his salvation. One day he was visiting a man of God who had not been robbed by orthodoxy and he assured him that his sins and his very sin nature had been perfectly dealt with on the cross. He was fully and freely forgiven and He could count on that and walk in the peace that it affords.
Her husband wept deeply to learn at last that the Lord had forgiven all of his sins when He died on the cross and that it had already been done. It wasn’t something that would be effective only if you did everything right! If this minister was insecure in his basic foundation, how could he build a secure foundation of faith in his hearers? They too would walk in fear, and the cycle be repeated.
The finished, completed work of reconciliation should be made the basis of the invitation to the sinner to be reconciled to God. Today’s orthodoxy puts this the other way around. Preachers invite sinners to repentance and obedience in order that the work of reconciliation may be accomplished.
To paraphrase the teaching of Paul, we could say: “Tell the sinner that the work of reconciliation IS DONE. THEREFORE be ye reconciled to God!” So far as God is concerned, the work is all done. Now, submit yourselves unto God – that you may know this truth in a practical manner. and may enjoy it to your heart’s great comfort. (Read 2 Cor. l:3-7). Do not call upon the sinner to turn unto God in order that he may be redeemed. Declare unto him first, full redemption. Make that the ground and the reason why he should turn to God.
The sinner is not redeemed because he repents, but he is called upon to repent because he has been redeemed.
This same thought is expressed by the prophet Isaiah to His ancient people: “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins; return unto me, for I HAVE redeemed thee (not return unto Me and I WILL redeem thee, but, because I HAVE redeemed thee”).
“Sing, O ye heavens, for the Lord has done it! shout, ye lower parts of the earth, break forth into singing ye mountains, O forest and every tree therein; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel “ Isa. 44:22,23
This is indeed the glad tidings of great joy “which shall be to all people.” But alas, how our wretched man-made theology has mutilated the truth and twisted it almost beyond recognition! The good news has become sad tidings of great sorrow to many who are lost and dead and are without strength. They are helpless. (Rom. 5:6).
The Lord spoke to me recently about those “. . . that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand. . . ” Jonah 4:ll He showed me that Jonah knew He was “. . . a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. . . ” Yet, Jonah was angry and wanted to die because God had shown mercy upon the people of Ninevah when they repented. Jonah was more concerned in being justified as a true prophet by having judgment fall at his word! God’s mercy put him in a bad light. God saw the people as helpless, and had mercy, but His servant wanted them to have judgment come upon them. He had a hard heart compared to God’s heart. Let us search our hearts to see if we may be hard-hearted and resentful at God’s willingness to extend mercy to all.
This redemption, the church teaches, is not available to sinners unless they fulfill the conditions which the church (not the Word!) has made as prerequisites of redemption. As of old, God’s orthodox people “shut up the kingdom of heaven against men” Mat. 23:l3. They put the CAUSE for the effect, and the EFFECT for the cause! They make the basis of man’s repentance, the end of that repentance. They thus make the accomplishment of God’s work dependent upon poor, weak man. Thereby the covenant of promise is represented as being no better than the law covenant!
There is a great difference between God’s ‘I HAVE DONE IT’, and ‘I WILL do it, IF you will do. . . thus and so.’ It makes us think of Isa. 5:20,21 that says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”
Christ fully partook of man’s fallen nature and we are “made the righteousness of God in him” by fully partaking through Christ, of God’s divine nature. (See Heb. 2:l4-l8; 2 Peter l:4)
THE CAUSE OF GOD’S LOVE
Orthodoxy views the atonement as the cause of God’s love, when in reality, it is the effect. God is portrayed as being very wrathful and furious against man for breaking His law. Christ steps in and pacifies the Father by the atonement, and His anger is turned away and He begins to love mankind. Thus the atonement is made the CAUSE of God’s love. The love of God is represented as a result, flowing out of Christ’s work of reconciliation. The majority of Christendom believes this fallacy and their creeds imply it.
The TRUTH is: just the opposite! Herein have God’s people been robbed and spoiled. God’s Love led to the atonement! It does not flow from it. All scripture attests to this! “God so loved the world (and the result was) that He gave His only begotten Son.” The atonement manifests or shows forth clearly, the Father’s pre-existing, but unknown love, and hereby we perceive it. (I John 4:9)
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us . . .“ I John 3:l6. When we discover that “He first loved us”, we begin to love Him. The Word makes plain the blessed truth that God’s love was the cause, not the effect of the atonement.
The atonement is not the cause of God’s love to man, giving rise to that love, but the effect, flowing out of that love.
The creeds that promote those teachings are contrary to the written word (errors) and cause the conclusion to be drawn that myriads, through ignorance and perversity, will fail to reap any benefit from the atonement. In spite of all that God through Christ has done, the common belief is that they will perish forever!
Thus, it would seem that Christ will only partially accomplish the purpose for which He died. That purpose is stated in holy writ: to “reconcile the world unto God. . . “and to “destroy the works of the devil.” The atonement will not be a partial success, but a complete and absolute success!! The Truth is, it will be ‘much more’ than enough! An “exceeding abundance.” Romans, chapter 5 settles this and shows that “He is able to do exceeding abundant, above all that we can ask, or even think.”
Was God in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself – yet there will be myriads of souls un-reconciled to Him, through all eternity? Did the Father send the Son to be the Savior of the world (I John 4:l4) — and yet there will be a large portion of the world lost forever? Will God’s plans and purposes miscarry like this, or shall this word (Christ is “the Word of God”) accomplish that which He pleases, and prosper in the thing whereto He sends it? (Isa. 55: 8-l3).
There are those who argue that if God purposes to save all, why should we evangelize, or live for Him now? Only one who serves the Lord out of fear of hell could even ask a question like that. Anyone who walks in the light of His countenance would desire for every person to know that comfort and love and security that they experience in this life. Stacy Wood spoke a true word, “Those who are not now walking in the Lord do not partake of the benefits of the life of Christ. You can reap the benefits only if you come to Him and receive His life.”
Let those who wish to “limit the Holy One of Israel” (Psa. 78:41) do so, but as for us, we believe that God will do all He has promised to the full, yea more, for “he is able to do exceeding abundantly, above all we can ask, or even think.” It is impossible that anything should be too good to be true. But we may say that a thing is too bad to be true (as the doctrine of eternal torment). No finite being is able to conceive or imagine a thing too good to be true, for to do that, would be equivalent to thinking of something better than God!
The final outcome of the atoning scheme is not a partial
success, but a perfect, absolute, and universal triumph of God and His Christ.
Let us no longer be of those who “call evil good and good evil; they put darkness for light, and light for darkness, bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” The present effect is Babylon (confusion) and the final outcome will be ruin. “The city of confusion is broken down and every house is shut up, that no man may come in” Isa. 24:10
We entreat you, dear brethren, to hold these truths solemnly and prayerfully before the Lord that He may give you a clear vision, that He may build a sure foundation in what He has wrought on your behalf.
Take back the spoil of which orthodoxy has
robbed you – even that which is
your goodly inheritance!