I am here, St. Luke.
I come to-night to tell you of a truth that is of very great importance to you and to mankind, and desire that you shall be very careful in receiving what I may say. I am in a condition of love that enables me to know whereof I write, and to cause what I may say to be accepted by you as true.
I want to tell you that the Love of which we have been writing is the only Love that can make a spirit or man at one with the Father, and this my theme: The Atonement.
This word as used in the Bible, and interpreted by the churches and the commentators on the Bible, carries with it a meaning of some price being paid by Jesus for the redemption of mankind from their sins, and from the punishment that they will have to undergo because of having committed sin; and also, the idea that God, as an angry and insatiable God, was waiting for the price to be paid in order for His wrath to become satisfied, and for man to stand before him acquitted of sin and the consequences of disobedience.
This price, according to the teachings of the churches and the persons named, must have been paid by one who in his goodness and purity was capable of paying this price; that is one who had in him such inherent qualities, and by his sacrifices was of such inherent worth as to satisfy the requirements of the demands of this angry God whose laws had been disobeyed. And they also teach that the only way by which such price could have been paid, was by the death on the cross of Jesus, who was the only person in all creation that possessed these qualities sufficiently to meet these requirements; and that by his death and the shedding of his blood, the sins were atoned for and God was satisfied. This is the orthodox belief of the atonement and plan of salvation.
In short, a perfect human being free from all sin, a death on the cross and a shedding of blood, which was necessary that the sins of mortals might be washed away and their souls made clean and fitted to become a part of the great family of God.
But all this conception of the atonement is wrong and not justified by any teaching of the Master, or by any of the true teachings of the disciples to whom he had explained the plan of salvation and what the atonement means.
I know that in various parts of the New Testament, it is said that the blood of Jesus washes away all sin, and that his death on the cross satisfies the Father's demand for justice; and therein there are many similar expressions conveying the same idea. But these sayings of the Bible were never written by the persons to whom they are ascribed, but by writers who, in their various translations and alleged reproductions of these writings, added to and eliminated from the writings of the original writers, until the Bible became filled with these false doctrines and teachings.
The writers of the Bible, as it now stands, were persons who belonged to the church which was nationalized about the time of Constantine, and as such, had imposed upon them the duty of writing such ideas as the rulers, or governors of this church conceived should be incorporated in the Bible, for the purpose of carrying out their ideas in order to subserve the interests of the church, and to give it such temporal power, as it never could have had under the teachings and guidance of the pure doctrines of the Master.
For nearly two thousand years this false doctrine of the atonement has been believed in and accepted by the so called Christian churches, and has been promulgated by these churches as the true doctrine of Jesus and the one upon which the salvation of man depends; and the consequences have been that men have believed that the only things necessary to their salvation and reconciliation to God, were the death of Jesus and the washing away of their sins by the blood shed on Calvary.
If men only knew how futile his death was and how inefficacious his blood is to wash away sin and pay the debt to the Father, they would not rest in the assurance that all they have to do is to believe in this sacrifice and this blood, but would learn the true plan of salvation and make every effort in their power to follow that plan, and as a consequence, have their souls developed so that they would come into harmony with the Father's love and laws.
Atonement, in its true meaning, never meant the payment of a debt or the appeasing of the wrath of God, but simply the becoming at one with Him in those qualities that will insure to men the possession of His Love and the Immortality that Jesus brought to light. The sacrifice of Jesus could have no possible effect upon the condition of man's soul qualities, and neither could the blood shedding, make a vile and sinful soul pure and free from sin.
God's universe is governed by laws as immutable as they are perfect in their workings, and the great thing to be accomplished by the plan which He provided for the redemption of men, is to have every man come into harmony with these laws, because just as soon as that harmony exists, there will be no more discord and sin will not be known to humanity. And so, only that which will bring man into this harmony can possibly save him from his sins and bring about the at-onement that Jesus and his disciples taught.
Man, when created, was endowed with what may be called a natural love, and that love, to the extent of the quality that it possessed, was in perfect harmony with God's universe, and so long as it was permitted to exist in its pure state, was a part of the harmony of the universe; but when it became defiled or impregnated with sin or anything not in accord with God's laws, it became inharmonious and not at one with God, and the only redemption required was the removing of those things that caused the inharmony.
Now, the only way in which this inharmony could be removed was by the natural love becoming again pure and free from that which defiled it. The sacrifice on the cross could not furnish this remedy and neither could the blood atonement accomplish it, because the sacrifice and the blood had no relation to the evil to be remedied.
So I assert, if these things paid the penalty and satisfied God, and thereby, He had no further claim upon man for any debt supposed to be due Him from man, it necessarily implies that He kept the souls of men in this condition of inharmony, and would not permit the same to be removed, until His demands for satisfaction and blood had been met; and that then, when He should be appeased, He would permit men by His mere belief to again come in harmony with His laws and the workings of His universe. In other words, He would be willing to let men remain out of harmony with His universe and the workings of His laws, until He had His demands for sacrifice and blood satisfied.
This, as is apparent to any reasonable man, would be a thing so foolish that no mere man in matters pertaining to his earthly affairs, would adopt as a plan for the redemption of those sons of his who had been disobedient.