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Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 29
Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 29
The World at One with God

After Jesus Christ returns, what will be the most important step in establishing peace on earth? No major denomination knows the answer. Why? This significant step is pictured by the annual Day of Atonement.

YOU have probably heard that there is a “great controversy” between God and Satan.

That Christ and the devil are in a running battle for men's souls. If this were true, then Satan is winning! More people are “unsaved” today than ever before. Satan, according to this view, is made out to be more powerful than Christ.

But Satan is not stronger than Jesus Christ! Jesus is returning, as He promised, to depose Satan and set up the Kingdom of God. When Christ returns He will not leave this world – its governments, its societies, its religions, its sports, its economy – in the hands of the devil. Instead of violence and competition, there will be a new era of peace and cooperation.

Greatest Obstacle to World Peace Removed

For nearly 6,000 years Satan has invisibly swayed the nations. He has influenced civilizations, governments and leaders. He has inspired world wars and helped cause the misery, hate, suffering and violence that have plagued mankind throughout history.

Satan has been this world's ruler ever since God gave him that office when he was known as the Bringer of Light – Heylel in Hebrew or Lucifer in Latin. But Satan's days in that office are numbered.

God is not in competition with Satan – there is no “great controversy”! The question of who will rule this earth has already been decided.

Jesus Christ has qualified to replace Satan. When He returns to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords He will take over the supreme government over this world and depose Satan the devil! This world will then have peace at last.

Day of Atonement Pictures Satan's Removal

God's Holy Days were given to remind us how, step by step, God is working out His Master Plan.

The first three festivals – Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost – picture God's first spiritual harvest, the firstfruits – and their forgiveness, calling, preparation and training before Christ's return.

The last four festivals show the plan God has for making salvation available for all who have not yet been called. The Feast of Trumpets pictures Christ's intervention in human affairs to stop the suicide of the human race in nuclear war. Christ will be swift and firm in punishing those who are destroying the earth.

The fifth annual Sabbath, the Day of Atonement, pictures the fifth step in God's Master Plan – deposing Satan from his position as world ruler, and his removal to a place completely away from mankind. Satan will be “bound” for 1,000 years, no longer able to deceive the nations or influence mankind to sin (Rev. 20:1-3).

The Day of Atonement is perhaps the most unusual Holy Day, for it is the one day on which God has commanded His people to fast – to abstain from food and drink from sunset to sunset.

Humility Through Fasting

Jesus Christ, the future ruler of earth, qualified to rule by being completely submissive to the government of God and perfectly humble. One of His last acts with His disciples included establishing the New Testament Passover ordinance of foot washing to picture humility. His suffering and death to pay the penalty of human sin was an act of extreme humility, of complete submission to His Father's will, of perfect love for us. True Christians in like manner must become humble to rule with Christ. No ruler in God's Kingdom can be arrogant or selfish (Mark 10:42-45).

Fasting on the Day of Atonement is a vivid reminder of the state of mind necessary for salvation – of humility, godly sorrow, earnestly seeking God and His way.

Today, the world is filled with pomp and pride and does not realize it is cut off from God because of sin (Isa. 59:2) – sin that has been inspired by Satan. Only those few whom God is calling are now reconciled to God. The vast majority must wait. After Satan's imprisonment on a coming Day of Atonement, all humanity will be reconciled with God – made humble and at one with Him, as pictured by the Day of At-one-ment. Let's understand the meaning of this unique fifth festival of God.