This beautiful valley of Jezreel/Megiddo will never see an end-time battle
Last-edit: January 1 2018
In defence of the sidelined God Jehovah, Creator of the Universe and Father of Humanity
About Atonement & Sin.
The English verb atone no doubt had its genesis in the biblical Atonement. Its current meaning, however, owes more to the doctrinal distortions imposed on the biblical Atonement by Christendom.
For an example of these distortions, here is a quote from a generally quite superb encyclopedic bible reference work published by the WTB&TS (Jehovah's Witnesses) Insight on the Scriptures Volume 1 Page 211, Atonement:
"Adam, who lost everlasting life in human perfection, bequeathed sin and death to his offspring (Ro 5:12), and Adam’s descendants therefore came under condemnation to death. If humankind was to regain the opportunity to enjoy everlasting life, then, in harmony with a legal principle that Jehovah later included in the Mosaic Law, namely, that like must go for like, exact atonement would be required for what had been lost by Adam.—De 19:21"
Note nonetheless from the above cited verse that an exact atonement would be required to cover what was lost. Not being cognizant of all related doctrines in all denominations of Christianity, here are a couple ideas they are running with:
1. Jesus dying in Adam's stead so that Adam could be resurrected, with his entire progeny also deriving some obscure benefit along convoluted paths –they just lose me here as they do not have a clear idea themselves among the many versions of that theme.
2. Others like the Witnesses have Jesus' sacrifice covering neither Adam nor Eve, but all of their offspring with the potential progeny Adam #2 Jesus would produce, were he to take up his acquired right to live on earth forever and fulfil the original assignment given to Adam #1. At least that seems makes a lot more sense due to its clear presentation, while wickedly false and unscriptural.
But enough already, since Jesus was the substitutionary equivalent of Israel, not mankind.
At-one-ment has been suggested to mean to reconcile parties in conflict to affect oneness.
Another definition forwards the thought that it is a cover of the same size as the item to be covered in the sense of the penalty fitting the crime or an equal payment to be exacted along the lines of the biblical in eye for an eye. (Deuteronomy 19:15-21).
The meaning of the verb atone certainly suggests reconciliation and a complete acceptance of the defaulter by society in oneness regained after retribution had been exacted, reparation made or a penalty paid. In this sense At-one-ment certainly occurs in society in general.
In the Scriptural context, however, is Atonement a begging pardon for a bad deed or a payment as some sort of penalty?
In reality and contextually the initial use of atone in God's Word has nothing to do with these definitions. These connotations arose from the false doctrine of inheriting sin, imperfection and death from Adam.
I shall not go into detail about that matter here and repeat what I have already submitted in The Great Deception and other on site essays.
It is critical, however, to see how Jehovah actually used the expression and/or concept of Atonement in His Word.
By the way the expression is used in Scripture it basically means to get oneself and one's home ready in preparation for welcoming a visitor; an act of hospitality. The degree and level of preparedness to which one might aspire to will often depend on the visitor's social standing and one's familiarity with that visitor and perhaps on how much fear the visitor engenders.
A bride's preparing herself for a wedding, for example, will vary considerably from what she may consider necessary to welcome an old school friend into her home.
Here is a bit of an overview on what lead to the need for scriptural atoning:
It all began when in His role as loving father, Jehovah freed His firstborn son Israel out of Egyptian slavery at the Exodus ‑Exodus 4:22; 15:1-19.
Then Jehovah profoundly enhanced the depth and beauty of His loving care for Israel when she became His wife. (Isaiah 54:5- and into the following KJV paragraph -6-10 for context )
A bilateral agreement was made between Jehovah and Israel in Exodus 19:3-8 to do whatever it takes to eventually elevate Israel to become a Kingdom of Priests. The promises therein rested on those God had previously made to Abraham to bless all the families of the earth as the culmination of His original purpose of creation during the 7 creative days.
This initial agreement, contract or covenant Strong's 01285 berith was not a promise to marry.
Though it extended far into the future right up to the final handing over of the Kingdom to Jehovah (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), certain events punctuated its timeline, dividing it into epochs.
In consequence Israel was later assigned an interim role of a wife in a marriage-like arrangement or relationship with Jehovah order to describe His universal admin and the attendant chain of responsibility.
A separate Law Covenant was then enacted with her to make her familiar with the standards of the Husband's family. The relationship continued on through wilderness, judges and king epochs only to terminate in a permanent divorce. An epoch of toleration under the law ensued under Gentile kings until her deserved execution as an adulteress in Israel's Messiah.
The conversion of the first Gentile Cornelius ended the larger epoch of Jehovah's firstborn son Israel's exclusive access to become that Kingdom of Priests and Holy (set aside, separated) Nation as per the Covenant of Exodus 19, while simultaneously marking the end of the 70-week of Daniel chapter 9, written solely for Daniel's people Israel – 9:24:
“And he must keep [the] covenant in force for the many* for one week; and at the half of the week he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease.. . . (Daniel 9:27 NWT)
* Or, “for the grand ones.” Heb., la·rab·bim´; LXXBagster(Gr.), pol·lois´; Lat., mul´tis.
And he will confirm a covenant to the many, for one week,––but, in the middle of the week, will cause sacrifice and present to cease, (Daniel 9:27 Rotherham)
Back now to the oneness of the Marriage like arrangement between God and Israel:
Once the vows were duly exchanged, Jehovah and Israel moved in together, as it were, to be one until death did them part.
Living together meant preparing the bride and the place her Husbandly Owner was to share His heavenly presence with.
One only needs to consider the occasion of the burning bush, where Moses was instructed to take his sandals off, because he was now standing on holy ground. Incidentally, what does that say about a cursed earth and man's sinfulness? Simply, that neither is true, but much more about that in other essays.
The first thing was to prepare Aaron as High priest consecrating him and his sons Exodus 29:32-35. Thereafter the altar had to be prepared for the Jehovah's visit through careful cleansing and consecration, a bit like polishing the silver in anticipation of a VIP visitor.
Atonement occurs 10 times in Exodus from 29:31-30:16, where it is used to describe the installation procedure, the preparation of the priests and the altar to an acceptable state for the royal visit of Israel's husbandly owner Jehovah.
Careful reading of the whole procedure reveals the use of the Hebrew words for cleansing and sin-offering, indicating no more than a ceremonial cleansing or purification, but certainly not a covering of sin only needed after Israel had actually sinned against the Law they could have successfully obeyed.
This was done on an even grander scale when Jehovah's heavenly presence was first
extended farther into the Most Holy compartment of the tabernacle and subsequently
into the Most Holy compartment of Solomon's Temple. Although literally impossible,
Jehovah God did in fact dwell with His wife-like nation, the people Israel.
‑Ex 25:8, 29:45; Lev 26:12; Deut 23:14; 1 Kings 6:13; Ps 132:13.
That began with Moses having to take off his sandals in front of God's burning bush presence.
Later on, the altar, the utensils, the priests and the whole nation or people Israel needed to be purified and ceremonially cleansed from missing the mark of acceptability or sin to enable them to come into Jehovah's heavenly presence, which now extended to Israel and whatever patch of ground they may be on and whatever building or utensils that may be used while in that presence of God on earth. (Exodus 29:1, 9, 14, 31-37). No inanimate altar could ever be said to have committed any sins from which it needed to be cleansed. All this was really about an extending God's heavenly Most Holy dwelling into the earthly realm.
This is no cleansing from any supposed inherited sin, but a sanctification of the Bride Israel and everything associated with her in preparation for the marriage ceremony and celebration, her At-one-ment. –see Ezekiel 16:1-14
(Please note intuitive NWT cross-reference from Verse 8 at covenant with you
to Exodus 19:5 and 6 of course)
It was only after she thumbed her nose at her husbandly owner Jehovah through her promiscuous adulteries with manmade gods and strongmen of other cultures in the region, that regular atonement re-conciliations between Jehovah and Israel became a necessary annual celebration.
References to covenant and an ultimate atonement, reconciliation and forgiveness for Israel were clearly prophesied in Ezekiel 16:62-63.
That is further emphasized in, of all places adjacent to that commandeered verse 12, in Romans 5:11: And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. AV
Jesus, was the only human authorised to be the Lord of Israel by virtue of his legal descent from King David. His kingdom extended only over the little flock of the Israel of God still in the flesh who had responded to the call out of forgiven Israel.
They are the only ones who could legitimately call Jesus Lord.
It is they who constitute the audience Paul was addressing here, of which he was a part of via the plural personal pronouns we, our and us in all of his epistles*.
It is they whom Jehovah transferred into the kingdom of the son of His love:
12 thanking the Father who rendered YOU suitable for YOUR participation in the inheritance
of the holy ones in the light. 13 He delivered us from the authority of the darkness
and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, 14 by means of whom we
have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins.. . .
(Colossians 1:12-14) NWT '84
That only applies to the multiethnic genderless anointed Seed of Abraham, the Israel of God. Galatians 3:28-29.
* Please check out relevant audience identification here
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