Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: What Exactly Is This "Day of Atonement"?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Some have asked about this great Day of Atonement, when God calls for a special repentance from His people. What exactly is it?

Simply put, it's His final work in the Most Holy Apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. Christ Himself as great High Priest is totally dedicated to bringing an end to the sin and suffering on this earth. We are called to understand, to be in full sympathy with Him.

The cosmic Day of Atonement is just what its name says--the Day of final reconciliation ("atonement" means at-one-with). It is not a difficult idea to grasp. It's when the alienated heart of humanity is at last fully reconciled to God and His holy law. Not that every human will submit to this work of "at-one-with"; many will refuse to the bitter end. But the Lord will succeed in winning a "remnant" to full oneness with Himself.

This "remnant" will demonstrate what "all men" could experience if only they would. They will at last fully appreciate Christ for what He is. They will "grow up" out of the immaturity of "children" "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ," "speaking the truth in love [agape]" (Eph. 4:13-15). Thus, in principle, they will "judge" all humanity.

Opposed and ridiculed, they will "follow the Lamb [the crucified Christ] wherever He goes. ... In their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God" (Rev. 14:1-5). This is generally thought of as just an illusion, but if it doesn't happen, Christ will forever remain embarrassed and discredited. He died specifically to achieve this goal.

The "remnant" will never be conscious that they honor Christ. The more like Him they grow to be through sanctification of the Spirit, the more unworthy will they feel themselves to be. In the final judgment they will not assume that Christ is inviting them, "Come, you blessed of My Father." They will look around expecting Him to call others, not themselves (see Matt. 25:31-40).

Fully at-one with Him, a group will overcome "even as [He] also overcame" (Rev. 3:21, KJV). His Bride will have "made herself ready" for "the marriage of the Lamb" (19:1-8). Finally, His triumph! Then at last the sacrifice of Christ will have been fully vindicated--He, not they, will be glorified.

Daniel and Revelation clearly teach that the hour of this great Day of Atonement is now.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 25, 2003.

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