I know a 'fiery prophet' in this day and age too. I met him about three and a half years ago in Margao, Goa (India). In those days, when i went home once a year (from Dubai-UAE), i would shoot up the stairs to my room, the moment i would hear his voice! In those days, he would be a regular visitor in the evenings. My brother's family and my mom would gather together to pray downstairs and i hated joining them!
Today, the situation has changed drastically! Alex (the fiery prophet) is not only a great friend but a constant prayer partner. He is the one amongst others like Bro.Johnson and Bro.Michael who has brought about the realisation that i must not 'lean on my own understanding'. They have all been my 'accountability partners' in varying degrees, helping me 'stay the course' in my spirituality.
I called Bro. Alex last evening. As usual, he wanted to hear what i had learnt from the Word (He discourages any talk of what i'd heard preached by others and always encourages me to share my own experiences and revelations from the Word). After he was happy to hear a few things i shared with him, he began to share the mighty works of God through him. He shared something very beautiful about the 'atonement', in the few minutes we spoke over the telephone. Here are a few notes from what he said to me and the studying i had to do as 'homework' on the same topic:
- To atone for means to make amends. In the Bible atonement is associated with man’s sin. God commanded Israel to set aside one day each year, the tenth day of the seventh month, which He called “the day of atonement” (Leviticus 16:29-30; 23:27-28). The people were to bring a sin offering, an innocent animal sacrifice “whose blood was brought in to make atonement” (Leviticus 16:27). God had said, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11) “. . . and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
- We believe that men are regenerated, redeemed, reconciled to God, justified, forgiven, adopted, not by the Doctrine of the Atonement, but by the Atonement itself, by the sacrificial and substitutional death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The love and mercy of God are infinite and matchless, still the penalty for sin must be paid. Thus it was, in the eternal past, before the foundation of the world, that God determined and planned that atonement should be provided for His fallen creatures who would be deceived by Satan. If no plan of atonement had been proposed and perpetuated by the Godhead, all would be hopeless for mankind. And so, in the counsels of the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, it was decreed that One should come and offer Himself as a Divine Substitute in the sinner’s place. This necessitated the Substitute taking upon Himself a human body. The eternal Son of God was that Substitute. And so “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John l:14). “God was manifest in the flesh” (I Timothy 3:16). “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” (II Corinthians 5:19).
- We have been redeemed from sin’s penalty; we are being delivered daily from sin’s power. May we ever walk close to “Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own Blood” (Revelation 1:5)
If you are keeping a cross around your neck,finger, on the altar or your workstation, let it be kept only to REMIND YOU OF THIS FACT!