To begin this inquiry, we are going to examine HOW mankind views the relationship between God and (fallen) mankind. Contained within and integral to THIS inquiry is how God dealt (deals) with the SEPARATION between Himself and His creation (creatures - mankind). To this end, Theology (man's attempt to categorize, define, understand, systematize and CONTROL God) has put forth various THEORIES of Atonement (doctrine that describes how human beings can be reconciled to God). Suffice to say that today, the almost universally accepted THEORY is that called, "The Penal - Substitution Theory", and the VERY similar, "Satisfaction Theory". There is, however, also the "Ransom Theory"

Those of you who want a more in-depth understanding on this subject may find it [ Here ], [ Here ], [ Here ] and [ Here ].

We find THIS perverted view of salvation and atonement in a book published by the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co. -- "Reformed Doctrine of Predestination", Salvation by Grace, Chapter 23, by Loraine Boettner.

From Ephesians 1:7-10, we learn that the primary purpose of God in the work of redemption was to display the glory of this divine attribute (grace), so that through succeeding ages the intelligent universe might admire it as it is made known through His unmerited love and boundless goodness to guilty, vile, helpless creatures.

Accordingly, all men are represented as sunk in a state of sin and misery, from which they are utterly unable to deliver themselves. When they deserved only God’s wrath and curse, He determined that He would graciously provide redemption for a vast number. To that end Christ, the second person of the Trinity, assumed our nature and guilt, and obeyed and suffered in our stead; and the Holy Spirit was sent to apply that redemption to individual souls. On the same representative principle by which Adam’s sin is imputed to us -- that is, set to our account in such a way that we are held responsible for it and suffer the consequences of it although not personally responsible for it -- our sin in turn is imputed to Christ, and His righteousness is imputed to us.

This is briefly yet clearly expressed in the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Presbyterian), which says: “Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone” (Ans. to Q. 33).

In attempting to understand God's dealings with mankind (ESPECIALLY relating to his "fallen state"), we encounter the FULL force of the Apostle Paul's observation:

Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing. Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Just as it is written, "Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him." God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the things of a man except the man's spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God. We speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. He cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The one who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is understood by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him? But we have the mind of Christ. **** 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

I am now going to attempt to outline (briefly and succinctly, I hope) the basics of the above mentioned "Atonement Theories", and show how they dovetail into man's distorted concept of a "wrathful god".

  • In the beginning, mankind was "on trial" in the Garden in order to test the fullness of his obedience
  • Mankind failed the test, invoked God's wrath, was cursed, and cast out of the Garden
  • Therefore, man became a "cosmic criminal", guilty of the crimes (SINS) of disobedience, pride, and rebellion against God's authority
  • Thus did man come into conflict with God's "Justice" (one of His intractable qualities - according to theology)
  • In the course of time, God wished to make things right between Himself and alienated mankind
  • However, He could not just "overlook" man's offense because a crime had been committed, and His "justice" required retribution
  • Also, His "Honor and Glory" had been impugned by the "rebellion and blatant disobedience" of man
  • In short, God's JUSTICE required retribution and His WRATH required appeasement !!
  • So, among themselves, the "Trilogy of the Godhead" came up with this plan:
    • The Son would take upon Himself the form of man and come to earth as Jesus Christ
    • He would live a perfect, sinless life in order to counteract Adam and Eve's Sin and Disobedience
    • In the "heavenly courts", He would (SOMEHOW ??) take upon Himself ALL of the sins and offenses of mankind from past, present and future
    • Thus HE (and NOT mankind) would be judged, found guilty before God, be sentenced and pay the FULL penalty due man's transgressions
    • Thus would God's "justice" be fulfilled in that the "crimes of mankind" had been tried and atoned for (albeit by one totally innocent and guiltless of said offenses)
    • The WRATH of God had also been assuaged in that it was "poured out" upon His guiltless and blameless Son
    • The results of these transactions were then "imputed" (a religious, legal fiction in which the assets and/or accomplishment of another are transferred and/or assigned to one who had absolutely NO involvement or rights in a given transaction) to mankind (see below)
  • Thus God says, "This means that from hence forth, whenever I look at you (mankind), I won't see your filthy rags of sin, but I will see instead the sparkling white suit of Jesus' righteous. In addition, I am going to incur a case of 'Divine Amnesia', in that I will not even REMEMBER your sins any longer"
  • God and Man could now have fellowship (welcome man into His presence) since the barriers of guilt, estrangement, and hostility had been broken down and dissolved

This word, "impute" (Strong's reference G3049) is the Greek word "Logizomai", which is derived from Strong's G3056, "Logos", meaning (living) word, concept or idea. It's definitions are given as:

  • 1. to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over
  • 2. to reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate
  • 3. by reckoning up all the reasons, to gather or infer

Now, in the NORMAL workings of English Grammar - and NOT "forced, religious interpretations" - this would most likely be rendered as, "reckoned, counted, decreed or determined". This word deals with reality. If I "logizomai" or reckon that my bank book has $25 in it, it has - IN REALITY - $25 in it !! Otherwise, I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts and NOT suppositions.

In an attempt to maintain objectivity, the word "impute" CAN be used to ascribe potentially TRUE causes to an outcome (as, "electrical failure was 'imputed' as the cause of the plane crash"). However, when used in "christian theology", the meaning is usually just the OPPOSITE (as, "humanity, whose whole nature is basically that of SIN, has been 'imputed' with the righteous of Christ"). In REALITY, our bank account balance remains at ZERO - we are STILL basically "sinners" - but God did a little "creative accounting". He erased the balance line of $00.00, and instead wrote there $1,000,000 - "imputing" the money to our account. The only problem is - in accord with THIS line of "voodoo-religion" - the ACTUAL money IN our account is still ZERO !!

Now - YOU may ask - and if you don't - I will certainly ask YOU - what, if anything, is WRONG with these theories ??

I see plenty !!!!

First, they elevate God's role as Judge and Ruler above the PRIME relationship with which He is revealed in the Bible, ESPECIALLY in the New Testament, as that of "FATHER of mankind".

Second, they paint God's universe and His relation to His creation as that of a "Royal Court" or a judicial and/or governmental bureaucracy rather than as the relational model of a FAMILY.

A MASSIVE error that has been perpetrated within "christian theology" is to take the relational images of God that are presented in the Old Testament within the context of the people and nation of Israel, and to make these the ABSOLUTES of God's relation to his creation (creatures - US).

Israel was truly unique in-as-much as it was founded with God as its sovereign Lord, Ruler and King - it was THE true Theocracy (nation ruled by God). Some schools of Eschatology (end-times theology) believe that during "Christ's 1,000 year reign ????", it will again be so - THIS, however, is outside of the scope of this writing. The point is, as such, images portraying God in the "judicial role" - as ruler, judge, monarch, sovereign - would be natural and, within the given context, correct.

However, this is ONLY one of His dispensational roles or models - His original relationship with mankind was that of FATHER, as was portrayed through Abram (Abraham) LONG before there was any 'nation of Israel" !! He IS NOT portrayed in the Garden as "ruling over Adam as some almighty King", but He rather "walked beside Adam in the cool of the day" as Father and friend. When Jesus gave us His "model prayer (the Lord's Prayer)", it did NOT go, "Oh mighty absolute regal sovereign and lord, who rules in the heavenlies far above the reach of your lowly and wrenched servants" - but it goes rather, "OUR FATHER" !! Jesus told His disciples when He knew that His time to depart this earth was at hand:

Jesus replied, "Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." **** John 20:17

We also need to remember that in the Old Testament, there was NO ACTUAL "atonement" !! "SIN (the damaged, fallen nature of mankind) and Sin(s) (the ACTIONS themselves) were never actually dealt with or eradicated. They were merely "covered over" (like sweeping dirt under a rug - our of sight, out of mind) or postponed by that yearly ritual performed by the High Priest, called "The Day of Atonement", until that Day when Christ would provide the FULL, effective solution. Click [ Here ].

For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow sprinkled on those who are defiled consecrated them and provided ritual purity, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year after year. For the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins. **** Hebrews 9:13,14;10:3,4

Third, they make Him the most unfair judge imaginable, ONE which even any depraved human society would despise -- one who OPENLY, deliberately, intentionally, and flagrantly sentences a totally innocent and guiltless individual to bear the guilt and penalty of another !!!

Forth, instead of a loving, caring Father, they represent God as some crazed, egotistical tyrant who is more concerned with "upholding his dignity, honor and position" than with the care and well-being of his children.

It is NOT a model derived from scripture and an intimate relationship with God through His Holy Spirit, but is rather a model based upon that depraved Roman Empire and ITS rulers, which was the model of rule and power of the period during which this "Theological Travesty" was promulgated.

With such a model as its seed, is it any wonder that the plant that has sprouted forth is as deformed and depraved as is so much of the formal "Theology of the Church of Jesus Christ" ??

From THIS model and THIS society came that UNholy caricature of God's TRUE church called the "Roman Catholic Organization".

Fifth and last, it is EXPRESSLY counter to ALL that God revealed to His prototype nation, Israel - BOTH through His express commandment and His continual speaking and revealing of Himself to them. His Word was, "You shall NOT have ANY god other than me, you shall NOT worship useless idols, and you shall NOT make any graven image to bow down before or worship" !!!

Now hold on -- THIS is going TOO far, you say !! The "christian church" (and MOST certainly myself) does NOT worship other "gods" and does not worship before idols. However, are you SO sure ???

What is an idol but the work of man's hands or the figment of his imagination that he chooses to worship as his "god" ?? Click [ Here ]. I would say that MOST of our concept of who and what THE GOD is consists of nothing LESS or ELSE than the vain, empty and superstitious imaginings of the human heart !!!

We have taken the infinite God - the primeval, creative, generating power and intelligence behind the birth and life of THIS universe (not to even GUESS at perhaps how many others) - and have so given in to anthropomorphism (the ascribing of human attributes to non-human entities) that society at large basically envisions "THEIR god" as being a "huge, powerful, OLD man, perhaps sitting on a throne (somewhere 'UP THERE') ruling over his kingdom". Worse yet, He is often depicted as a fiendish, WRATHFUL old man. In the minds of many modern men and women, He resides as a half-witted, doting, senile, indulgent grandfather or a freewheeling Santa Claus - there to disperse gifts freely to all who mutter the "magic incantation".

The "Roman Catholic Organization", with it's paintings, relics, statues, superstitions, theology, ETC. probably has the dubious distinction of being the primary contributor and offender in this matter.

So then, EXACTLY what IS the TRUE nature, substance or mode of existence of God ??? If we wish to be completely honest, all that we can truly say is, "I DON'T KNOW !!" Ayn Rand, in her book "Atlas Shrugged", criticizes and ridicules Christianity because of its lack of ability to describe its God. She says that ALL that we can say is, "No, He is NOT like this - No, He is not like that - No, He does not posses this form - No, He does not posses that attribute - until so much has been taken away or denied that nothing recognizable is left. She says that what we have left to worship is a "Great ZERO". In the mind of an atheist, this is no doubt a true representation !! It is also, unfortunately, the same mind that has endeavored to fill this void by fashioning its OWN "god" after that which it CAN see (and in fact, really DOES worship) -- itself or MAN.

Within the pridefull, conceited, self-exalted human heart, the highest, greatest and most powerful creature or mode of existence that IT can envision is MANKIND -- ITSELF !! All that God has chosen to reveal to us of this matter is to continually emphasis that, "He is NOT at all like unto US".

He says: "Listen my people! I am speaking! Listen Israel! I am accusing you! I am God, your God! When you did these things, I was silent, so you thought I was exactly like you. But now I will condemn you and state my case against you!" **** Psalms 50:7,21

"For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, says the LORD. For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." **** Isaiah 55:8,9

For although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator **** Romans 1:21-23,25

He (God) alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see. **** 1 Timothy 6:16

"No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father (Jesus), has made God known." **** John 1:18

God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." **** John 4:24

One of the express purposes behind the incarnation of Jesus Christ (His taking upon Himself human form) was so that God might reveal His TRUE nature (personality) in a form that mankind could relate to and comprehend. Now get this clear though -- Jesus expresses the full INNER nature or character of the Father, NOT His physical form. Of that we will have to remain in the dark, probably because it is beyond our ability to comprehend - we have no frame of reference to understand or visualize such revelation. It would be akin to a virus attempting to comprehend a man !!

When the "Representation of God" DID appear to the people of Israel, it was in the form of a burning bush (FIRE - to Moses) - "thundering, burning and flashing" upon the mountain - or a great wind and an earthquake - or some obscure images of tremendous dynamic power. Click [ Here ]. When the Apostle John, in the Book of Revelation chapter one, sought to describe the appearance of the One who appeared before him, it was in "non-human, supra-human" terms.

Finally, lest you become confused by what I have said, YES, it IS true that the Old Testament speaks of and about God in human terms, ascribing to Him human qualities and attributes. However, as C.S. Lewis argues, how else could primitive man (OR modern man for that matter) understand Him?? Shall we speak of Him as an Effulgence, as an Eminence, as an Energy, as a Force, or perhaps as a Manifestation? How about if we REALLY satisfy the demands of our modern, secular, "scientific" community and refer to God (or Deity) as a "Quantum Singularity"? This would be, I believe - IN FACT - much closer to the ACTUAL existence and nature of He whom we worship than is the primitive "Aged Father" or "Regal Despot" image.

Again, however, exactly WHAT would it tell us about this God whom we can not see and, in truth, can not even conceive -- as we try to make Him real to our minds and to our comprehension. I will proclaim to you what it will tell us ---- It will tell us NOTHING AT ALL !! Would these terms make it easier for us to relate to Him who is admittedly beyond description or human comprehension.

NO -- God revealed Himself in terms that we could relate to, imperfect as they may be. However, God went to great effort to clarify that He IS NOT like us and that we should NOT think so. That has been and IS one of man's great errors !! The Old Testament was a very imperfect revelation of God, though it is more refined than His first revelation, Nature - His Creation. It was His purpose in the coming of Jesus Christ to reveal God - the Father in a FAR more refined and accurate way.

From this seed sprouted such revered names as Jonathan Edwards and HIS brand of theology, and what is worse, those today who still revere, applaud and copy his example.

Note: This is a portion of perhaps the best known of the the sermons by Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God":

"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire. He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in His sight. You are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended Him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince. Yet, it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you were suffered to wake again in this world after you closed your eyes to sleep. There is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the House of God, provoking His pure Eyes by your sinful, wicked manner of attending His solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in! It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder. You have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. . . .Your wickedness makes you, as it were, heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell. If God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf. Your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold and keep you out of hell, than a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock."

Note: This is an affirmation of this sermon from a book, "The Holiness of God", by RC Sproul:

"In the application section of the sermon, Edwards places great stress on the nature and severity of God's wrath. Central to his thinking is the clear notion that a holy God must also be a wrathful God. He lists several key points about the wrath of God that we dare not overlook.

1. Whose wrath it is. The wrath of which Edwards preached was the wrath of an infinite God. He contrasts God's wrath with the anger of men or the wrath of a king for his subject. Human wrath eventually concludes. It has an ending point. It is limited. God's wrath can go on forever.

2. The fierceness of God's wrath. The Bible repeatedly likens God's wrath to a winepress of fierceness. In hell, there is no moderation or mercy given. God's anger is not mere annoyance or a mild displeasure. It is a consuming rage against the unrepentant.

3. It is an everlasting wrath. There is no end to the anger of God directed against those in hell. If we have any compassion for our fellowmen, we would wail at the thought of a single one of them falling into the pit of hell. We could not stand to hear the cries of the damned for five seconds. To be exposed to God's fury for a moment would be more than we could bear. To contemplate it for eternity is too awful to consider."

There IS, however, a sane, rational, God honoring THEORY of the atonement (they are ALL theories - we certainly don't REALLY have any idea how it ACTUALLY accomplished its goal) exposed by Jacob Boehme and his disciple, William Law. Click [ Here ] to learn more of who he was. I don't believe that it actually has a name and I am also not sure if I have ever heard it delineated by anyone OTHER than Boehme and Law. I am calling it, "Transformational Atonement" because it involves an ACTUAL "transformation" of our nature into that of Christ's. THIS is the true and correct biblical concept of "atonement".

Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God — what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. **** Romans 12:2

We all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit. **** 2 Corinthians 3:18

You have put off the old man with its practices and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. **** Colossians 3:9,10

I am going to let William Law, who seems to have greater insight into this question than anyone else whom I have ever read (except Jacob Boehme), give you HIS answer.

Briefly it states:

  • Adam (and Eve) were NOT placed in the Garden to "be on trial"
  • Basically, Law says that MAN was originally created as a two-part being -- a divine part (existing in God's realm, heaven) which was to contain, manifest, reflect the Nature (Glory) of God and a human part (inhabiting this earthly creation)
  • By the statement, "two-part being" above, I AM NOT referring to the composition of man's human element of Spirit, Soul and Body. This DID and still DOES apply.
    • The BODY was (IS) that container which housed the Spirit and Soul, and enabled them to live and function in this earthly environment. We would have had a different body had we been intended to live on, say Mars.
    • The SOUL comprises the essence of the "person", their uniqueness or personality - their intelligence, "mind" (thoughts), emotions (feelings), creativity, etc.
    • The SPIRIT was the organ by which God was in communion (communication) with man and visa versa. It was (and is AGAIN to the reborn man and woman) through man's spirit that God's Holy Spirit has fellowship with, works with, and displays His Glory through mankind.
    • Upon Adam and Eve's Fall or departure from God, their spirit was "swallowed up" or overcome and rendered inactive by their soul. Thus, Man became controlled and dominated by his soul - responding to purely natural, earthly, "soulish" concerns and pleasures - rather that being guided and moved by God's Spirit working through his spirit.
    • When we are "born again" by God's Holy Spirit, OUR spirit is severed from our soul, and reclaims its RIGHTFUL place as the ruler of our being (soul and body) under the guidance of God's Spirit.
    • For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart **** Hebrews 4:12
  • Man was originally "clothed with a divine aura of light" (as was Christ when He was witnessed on the "Mount of Transfiguration") He (Jesus) was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light ** Matthew 17:2
  • The warning that God gave to them about "eating from the tree" was NOT a "judicial prohibition", but rather a warning from a loving father explaining to his immature and ignorant children HOW His creation and universe functioned and what would be the natural consequences of certain imprudent actions
  • When Eve (and Adam) transgressed God's warning, they were NOT "cast out as cosmic criminals and subject to His judicial wrath". They were exposed, rather, to the natural consequences of their actions
  • When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost their divine "Glory" - their "aura" (and were thus "naked") - and their connection with God, and became like the beasts of THIS world
  • Being severed from the life and spirit of God, they could NO longer be nor fulfill their created intention
  • Hence, from THAT day to today, ALL of man's works and effort are basically "SIN", for they ALL "fall short of and/or miss the mark" of the GLORY for which he was created. Read more [ Here ]
  • According to THIS scenario, God's "WRATH" did NOT need to be appeased - nor did His "JUSTICE" need to be satisfied - nor did His "HONOR" need to restored
  • What WAS needed was a REAL solution that would remedy or set right the "damage or imbalance" that Adam and Eve had wrought in His creation. One of God's "immutable principles" is that, "For EACH action, there is an opposite and equal reaction" or "As you sow, so shall you reap". Nothing is FREE or without effect and consequences
  • Man's ATONEMENT, salvation, redemption, or being "born again" consists of nothing less than being reunited with God's Spirit as he was at his creation - and being transformed so as to again possess and display God's nature (His Glory) Click [ Here ]

When Adam (and Eve) disobeyed God in the Garden, they (and mankind) lost the divine life that they had been created with (they lost the indwelling of God's Spirit.) They were therefore separated from the life of God (spiritual death) and ultimately succumbed to physical death. Jesus became man in order that he might become the "second Adam", undoing by his perfect life and obedience ALL that Adam had done in his disobedience (Romans 5:12-21; 1Cor 15:20-24,45-49). Thus, as sin was REALLY passed on to us from our FIRST Father (Adam), righteous (right standing before God) is REALLY passed on to us from our SECOND Father (Jesus Christ). Hence, individuals, by their "new birth in Christ", are restored back into union with the divine (with God) and filled again with His Spirit. Through this indwelling Spirit, God works out the transformation of believers toward "the putting off of the old man and being renewed according to the image of Jesus Christ."

This theory solves a number of problems (or answers a number of questions):

  • How did ONE SMALL act of disobedience on Eve's (and Adam's) part deserve such massive and consequential ramifications - extending down to the "end of time" and encompassing EVERY created thing ?
  • If God really WANTED to forgive, why couldn't He just do so ? Why this convoluted system of Atonement ?
  • How did something that Adam did, thousands of years ago, affect ALL of mankind, and especially -- why should it affect ME ?
  • How can something that Jesus Christ did UNDO (or make right) something that Adam did ?
  • How can something that Jesus Christ did affect ME ?

You may glean some interesting insights and oversights from an excellent book, "C.S. Lewis & Francis Schaeffer: Lessons for a New Century from the Most Influential Apologists of Our Time". Buy your INEXPENSIVE books at one of these sites: Amazon, Alibris, Abebooks.

Visit "The Mystics Corner", featuring selections from the works of William Law and Jacob Boehme

In the "KJV" of the NT, a search on the word "wrath" will produce 47 matches, some consisting of Strong's Reference # G3709 and some of # G2372, information on which I have provided below:

G3709 * orge¯ * or-gay'

From G3713; properly desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), that is, (by analogy) violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorrence); by implication punishment: - anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.

1) anger, the natural disposition, temper, character
2) movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but esp. anger
3) anger, wrath, indignation
4) anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself
4a) of punishments inflicted by magistrates

G3713 * oregomai * or-eg'-om-ahee

Middle voice of apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary (compare G3735); to stretch oneself, that is, reach out after (long for): - covet after, desire.

1) to stretch one's self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire something
2) to give one's self up to the love of money

G2372 * thumos * thoo-mos'

From G2380; passion (as if breathing hard): - fierceness, indignation, wrath. Compare G5590.

1) to cause one to become incensed, to provoke to anger
2) to be wroth

While in each case, the "religious or biblical" interpretation is "anger and/or wrath", the more basic or fundamental meaning of these words is "STRONG passion and/or desire, a powerful and violent reaching toward or after".

A VERY BIG problem with "Biblical Translations" is that they are NOT really "translations" at all, but are in a very large part rather '"interpretations", reflecting the "translators" previous "religious bias or doctrinal frame of mind". Thus, if the "religious community" believes in a "wrathful god", you can rest assured that any "translation" arising from this community is going to reflect a "wrathful god" by the choices it makes in rendering appropriate words from the Greek or Hebrew into English.

A PRIME example of this almost universal bias in "Christendom" may be VERY clearly seen in almost all Bible versions in their treatment of the Greek noun "aion" and its adjective "aionios". While ANY reasonable and unbiased research into these words themselves would render their meaning as "age (an undefined period of time with a beginning and an end)" and "age lasting or abiding", the MAJORITY of renderings in almost ALL Bible Translations have twisted their meaning to "eternal, eternity, everlasting and never-ending" -- TOTALLY obscuring the meaning of the passages where these words occur !!

For a FULL treatment of this doctrine, there is a VERY in-depth and extensive writing [ Here ].

It is my belief - based upon what God has revealed to me of Himself through BOTH His Written and His Living (Holy Spirit) Word, and through the writings of such enlightened men as Jacob Boehme, William Law and C.S. Lewis - that what the scripture speaks of as the "Wrath" of God and the "Love" of God are, in-fact, one and the same, being nothing less than the naked manifestation of the "Living God" to His creation (creatures). HOW we are effected depends upon OUR relationship to Him.

I would invite you to read two books (articles) by William Law, "The Spirit of Prayer and The Spirit of Love", that will assist GREATLY in illuminating this topic. You may download a free eBook [ Here ].

We are told by God's Word, the Bible:

No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God (Jesus Christ), who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known **** John 1:18

He (God) alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see **** 1 Timothy 6:16

God is not such that He could be approached, seen or comprehended by alienated humanity. It is for THIS reason that Jesus came - so that the true and actual nature of God (the Father) could be revealed and conveyed to us in a manner that would NOT overwhelm and destroy us !!

Note the following verse:

Notice, therefore, the kindness and harshness (severity) of God — harshness (severity) toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. **** Romans 11:22

The Bible teaches that, "Our God is indeed a devouring fire" ** Hebrews 12:29

I am sure that this is NOT a physical fire in the sense that WE would understand it, but nonetheless a "fire" in its power to consume, destroy and annihilate such substance(s) as are not able to stand in it's presence !! We ARE told that there are at least TWO classes of substances - those that CAN withstand the "fire" of God's presence and those that CAN NOT. We are also told that before WE can enter into the physical presence of God and His realm of existence, we will need to be CHANGED -- clothed with a physical (spiritual ??) body of a different order and/or substance.

If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each builder's work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. The fire will test what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. If someone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire. **** 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. **** 1 Corinthians 15:50-53

We are also informed that it will be by the "brightness (glory, power, FIRE ???)" of His (Jesus) coming that the "Lawless One (the Wicked)" will be consumed.

Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming **** 2 Thessalonians 2:8

We are told that, "The LORD your God is a consuming fire; he is a jealous God" **** Deuteronomy 4:24. Now the word "jealous" in the Hebrew is derived from a word that means "zealous". Note the correlation between "consuming fire' and "jealous (zealous)"

Might we not therefore consider that it will be the same "Love (overwhelming - fiery - violent - zealous - consuming desire, passion, yearning for, reaching out after)" with which God will come for His children who HAVE been changed and prepared beforehand by His Holy Spirit that will conversely crush, devour, overwhelm and shatter (destroy) those who CAN NOT stand His naked presence - His "WRATH" ?? The SAME fire that burns up the wood purifies the gold !!

A situation that exemplifies this principle can be found in Exodus 14:20. Pharaoh was pursuing after the Israelites that he had just released from bondage in Egypt. He met up with them at the Red Sea, and there "The angel of God" (the pre-incarnate Son or Word of God) stood between the two, separating one from the other and preventing Pharaoh from overtaking them.

To Pharaoh He was a hindrance and darkness - to the Israelites He was Light and Salvation !!

Coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. It was a cloud and darkness to the Egyptians, but it gave light by night to the Israelites; and the one host did not come near the other all night. **** Exodus 14:20 (Amplified Bible )

Also, consider the apostle Paul's example of "The Law" in Romans Chapter 7. I am NOT, at this point, interested in his ENTIRE argument regarding "The Law". It is a long, complex discussion extending from Romans 6:15-8:4. We are just going to look at verses 7:12,13.

So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. **** Romans 7:12,13

Note he states that "The Law" is "holy, righteous, and good, yet it produced DEATH in him" !! "The Law" was merely a neutral catalyst, reacting upon what was ALREADY inside of Paul. Upon righteousness, it would have either no or a beneficial effect. However, it ENFLAMED or "brought to life" the SIN that was ALREADY there, and he died (spiritually). SAME LAW, differing results -- based upon the material which it encounters !!!

Consider also, our Sun. To gaze steadily upon its unabated glory and radiance with unprotected (unchanged) eyes will surely result in blindness (destruction of our sight and seeing). Now, is it the blame or fault of the Sun if ITS nature is destructive to the nature of OUR eyes ?? God has graciously and FREELY provided a source of protection and adaptation from and to His unabated Power or Radiance (His "Glory"). In the days of Noah and the flood He provided the "Ark" -- All who entered into the Ark were safe from the flood of waters with which He covered the earth. Now, in these LAST DAYS, He has made available the far greater provision of His Son, Jesus Christ. IN HIM we will be safe and protected from the unbridled power of the ONE, infinite source of creative energy and power when He THIS time floods the universe with Himself and His LOVE !!

I also STRONGLY recommend the reading of THIS essay: "The Love of God in Jesus Christ"

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