RCM on Atonement

Roderick C. Meredith (Photo by Joyce Thiel)


The Christian Day of Atonement began last night at sunset and lasts until sunset tonight.

R.C. Meredith of the Living Church of God has written the following about the Day of Atonement:

One “step in God’s Master Plan is for the peoples of the earth to become “at one” with God. Then they can willingly learn God’s ways and be blessed.

But today, the nations are rebelling against God and His ways because they have been DECEIVED. In His wisdom and infinite mercy, God has made all human beings free moral agents. He knew that mankind would desperately want to try to do things his own way before finally learning that GOD’S way is right. Therefore, God has allowed humanity to be deceived—to be mainly “cut off” from God through these past 6,000 years of human history.

In His revealed Word, God clearly tells us that Satan the Devil is the “god” of this present world, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3–4). Again, Paul was inspired to write: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1–2).

Satan the Devil, the “prince of this world,” as Jesus called him (John 14:30, KJV), is working overtime to deceive humanity. Being the “prince of the power of the air,” Satan “broadcasts”—just like radio and television. But he spiritually broadcasts wrong attitudes and ideas. He makes mankind feel that God is either “dead” or that He is not “real,” that He is an ethereal God, a “blind force” way off somewhere and, always, that mankind does NOT need to obey God’s law and literally follow His ways, the Ten Commandments and keep holy His weekly Sabbaths and annual Festivals like Christ and the original Apostles did do—setting us an example.

The beloved Apostle John wrote: “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).
The Apostle Peter was inspired to warn us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a ROARING LION, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8–9).

Therefore, at the beginning of Christ’s reign—IF there is to be genuine peace and a right spirit among men—Satan the Devil must be banished! Notice the commandment regarding the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 23:27–28: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God.” This day was to be a “statute” FOREVER to the people of God. As we have seen, even the Apostle to the Gentiles was obviously KEEPING the Day of Atonement in a Roman prison ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea—years after everything was supposed to have been nailed to the cross! (Acts 27:9).

A very clear indication of the real meaning of Atonement is given in Leviticus 16. Here we find an Old Testament ritual wherein two goats were to be presented before the High Priest. In Israel, “casting lots” was an appeal to GOD to decide a matter. So Aaron was to “cast lots” to find what each of these goats represented (Leviticus 16:8). One was to represent “the Lord”—the God of Israel who later emptied Himself and became our Savior (1 Corinthians 10:4). The other goat was to represent Azazel, which is a term—as many Hebrew references explain—for the “adversary,” Satan the Devil!

The goat representing the “Lord” was to DIE. God told Aaron to “offer it as a SIN offering” (Leviticus 16:9) just as Jesus Christ gave His life for our sins. But regarding the “adversary goat,” God commanded: “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the INIQUITIES of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness” (vv. 21–22). Then the man who led this goat symbolizing Satan into the “wilderness” was to bathe his body and even his clothing (v. 26) for, symbolically, he had come into direct contact with the very embodiment of evil—Satan the Devil!

He had been used to separate Satan from the people of God. He had led the “adversary” goat to a wilderness—FAR AWAY—where he (Satan symbolically) could not hurt or deceive God’s people anymore!

When was this ceremony to be carried out? “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month” (v. 29). Though the ancient Israelites understood that this ceremony was to be part of the observance of the Day of Atonement, very few grasped the real spiritual meaning this should have for New Testament Christians. For how could they, since they were blinded even to the meaning of the first goat—the Messiah—when He came to this earth to die for their sins?

Yet the New Testament shows that this is exactly what happens when Christ returns. Jesus’ return as King of kings is described in Revelation 19:11–21. Then, in Revelation 20, we read that a mighty angel is appointed to remove Satan. “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (vv. 2–3). Clearly Satan—the “Azazel” or adversary—is CUT OFF from humanity so he is unable to DECEIVE mankind during the one thousand year reign of Christ!
That is why humanity will quickly become “at one” with God’s ways—NO MORE SATANIC INFLUENCE. That is why, during the glorious reign of Christ, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).

And Isaiah further explains how at the time the blindness of humanity is fully removed, “He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken” (25:7–8). So with “Satan’s Broadcasting System” shut down and the BLINDNESS of humanity removed, man can indeed become “at one” with God. For Christ will have paid our part in our sins, but Satan the Devil will certainly be utterly banished to a symbolic “wilderness” or “bottomless pit” and be restrained and held in this kind of a prison for his part in our sins.

God is just! He will place on Satan’s own head the enormous GUILT he bears for stirring up mankind against God, for DECEIVING humanity into thinking God is “unfair” and that His laws and righteous ways are not good. Finally, again, humanity will learn to APPRECIATE God and His ways, to genuinely LOVE and WORSHIP the true God of the Bible. For at this point, the “atonement” for humanity’s sins will be complete” (Meredith RC. The Holy Days – God’s Master Plan. LCG booklet).

An article by Dr. Meredith on fasting is at the page: Spiritual Benefits of Fasting.

As it turns out, here is his commentary today:

By Roderick C. Meredith | Saturday, October 08, 2011
Many of you are aware that Jews around the world began observing the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur in the Hebrew language, at sunset on Friday, October 7 this year. It is a day of fasting during which Jews all around the world abstain totally from food and water for a full 24 hours, humbling themselves before God. But did you know that many thousands of true Christians all over the world are also observing the Day of Atonement? Why would they do that? Read more

People attempting to be faithful to the Bible have observed the Day of Atonement and we in the Living Church of God continue to do so in the 21st century.

Jesus and Paul observed this day, do you?

Those who have more interest, may wish to study the following articles:

The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement”. Does it have any relevance for Christians today?
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Michael’s Day of Atonement Quiz Another free on-line Bible quiz by my son Michael.
Spiritual Benefits of Fasting Jesus said, “But by Prayer and Fasting” and this article by Dr. Meredith focuses on fasting and provides his physical and spiritual fasting tips. Does fasting help prevent heart disease?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? Did they? Did Jesus? Should you?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach?
LCG 2011 Feast of Tabernacles’ Information Here is information on many Feast of Tabernacles locations for this year.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2012, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂

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