[Handwritten note at the top of the page:]
“This is what Mr. Fillmore wrote. It could be put first or added as you think best.”)
The atonement does not mean anything to man until he understands the original and natural status of the whole man. To get this understanding, one must judge man from an entirely new viewpoint. Instead of considering man as the offspring of human parents, he must be restored to his rightful and original place as the offspring of the Great Creative Mind. This Mind is perfect in the realm of ideas, and all its creations are ideal, and like it, perfect. Man must, therefore, be the perfect idea of a perfect Mind, and should strive to enter into that perfection, “Be ye perfect even as your father in heaven is perfect.”
The atonement has two aspects in our presentation of Truth. First, is the necessity of an at-one-ment between every individual and the One Mind; second, the at-one-ment made by Jesus Christ, which makes easy the way of everyone who takes advantage of it through faith.
The atonement is a unity in purpose, thought, and act with God-Mind. Christ is God-Mind identified and individualized in man, and we are told to “put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 13:14) Let “Christ be formed in you.” (Gal. 4:19) “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5)
We believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ and accept it in its true relation as:
A—The revelation of man’s true being, the Son of the living God.
B—The redemption of mind (soul) from the sins and errors into which through ignorance it has fallen.
C— The restoration of the body to its original perfection. This involves a degree of health that ultimates in immortality of the body structure through spiritualization of the whole man. This was attained by Jesus and he overcame death, the “last enemy.” We are commanded to follow him.
THE ATONING BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST
It has been proved that faith in Jesus Christ’s atonement, as understood and taught by the churches in the past, has not saved man from sin or its effects. The average Christian is subject to sin, sickness, disease, sorrow, and death just the same as the moralist who makes no claim of religion. The reason why death has continued throughout the two thousand years since Jesus made his perfect sacrifice and his complete demonstration of life is because the blood has been considered only in regard to justification and not at all in its phase as an actual cleansing power introduced into the mind and body of man. (“Justification” means being justified before God and reconciled to him having all sins pardoned and being released from the penalty of sin through simply believing that Jesus shed his blood, died, on the cross of Calvary for us, we, therefore, being made free without going through any actual overcoming ourselves.)
Not satisfied with past results, people are searching deeper into the life and teachings of Jesus to see if there is not something which they can lay hold of that will enable them to reap here and now the blessings of peace, joy, health, plenty, and true satisfaction, which benefits are premised to those who trust in God and obey his righteous law. As soon as these earnest seekers are rewarded with some clearer revelation of truth, through the Holy Spirit, the cry comes, “They do not believe in the atonement.”
People must have something more than has been given them by the commonly accepted religious belief concerning the blood of Jesus Christ. They must have the truth that Jesus really taught and demonstrated. The race is progressing, and the highest conception of God that man had at one period of his unfoldment will not meet his need further on when he comes into more perfect understanding. Thus, in texts given in Leviticus and Genesis and other parts of the Old Testament regarding blood, animal sacrifices, the only idea man seemed to have at that time concerning salvation was that something must be killed outwardly in order to appease a God who was angry with the people because of their sins. This was discouraged by the prophets later on, for they saw a better way.
The Word of the Lord by Isaiah was to the effect that God did not delight in the blood of their sacrifices at all, and their ordinances were an abomination to him. Isaiah, Micah, Hosea, Jeremiah, and others of the prophets of Israel, whose writings are in the Bible, taught that what God desired was mercy and obedience, and that the people should quit sinning and do right. He did not want them to keep on shedding blood as sacrifices for sin, and continue in their sinning, thinking that the blood would atone for and save them regardless of what they did. See Isa. 1:11-30; Micah 6:6-8; Hosea 6:8, and the first part of Matt. 9:13.
Many today are doing with the blood of Jesus what the Jews of old did with the blood of animals. They are trusting in it to save them, not from their sins, but in their sins and regardless of the fact that they continue sinning, falling short of the Divine Law. Surely this too is an abomination unto the Lord. If the old idea of the literal blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross will not save people from their sins, which must be done that they may be delivered from the effects of sin—sickness, sorrow, poverty, death, etc.,—then it is time mankind is waking up to the fact that a deeper insight into the work Jesus did for the race is needed in order to find the truth which will cleanse from all unrighteousness and lift them into a higher expression and manifestation of spiritual life. This is to take place here on this earth where sin originated and where it must be put away, not after people die and go to heaven.
Paul was tied up more to his Jewish traditions and teachings regarding the blood than he should have been for those old beliefs in sacrifices were due to pass away at his time, that room might be made for ideas mere in harmony with the God of Love whom Jesus taught.
We believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ, in the blood that he shed for us; we see in it a far deeper meaning than is commonly taught. There must be a very deep spiritual quality in the blood of Christ which actually cleanses us from sin and the results of sin today, as truth is proving. John says, “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) This is a present cleansing and could not possibly be done by the literal blood shed by Jesus on the cross two thousand years ago. We recognize Jesus’ outer individual work and its place in man’s redemption; we also know him in his true, spiritual essence, not as a dead Jesus, but as a living, spiritual Christ Principle, whose very life is in us quickening our minds, and whose body becomes the substance of the body of every one “born of the Spirit.” “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20)
The death of Jesus on the cross was but a climax or outer expression of the daily death and crucifixion through which he passed in his overcoming. His resurrection was also the result of his daily being lifted up into a higher and higher consciousness of spiritual life, and we are to go through the same overcoming; we must cross out the personal consciousness with its limitations. “We were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Rom 5: 10). We must see beyond both the inner and the outer crucifixion to the resurrection, which is the goal to be attained by man. And that resurrection takes place in us now. We who were dead through our trespasses and sins are daily lifted up more and more out of the old belief of the mortal into the Christ Consciousness of life and peace. This is the overcoming which we attain through the teaching and demonstrations of Jesus Christ. “I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly,” said Jesus. (John 10:10). And again he said, “Whosoever livest and believeth on me shall never die; believest thou this?” (John 11:26)
The atonement of Jesus Christ is an inexhaustible subject; the wonders, beauties, depths, and heights of it can scarcely be touched upon in the space of a booklet. But let us look to the Holy Spirit within us, who was given to guide us into all truth, and thus seek earnestly to understand God and Jesus Christ, whom to know aright is life eternal.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on July 3, 2018.