Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,

Andrews University




Introduction to this Essay on “The Necessity of the Cross”


Our current Sabbath School Quarterly is entitled Atonement and the Cross of Christ. In the last newsletter I alerted you that I have examined this fundamental biblical truth in my book on The Passion of Christ in Scripture and History. In fact in the last newsletter I posted a brief excerpt from the book entitled “The Centrality of the Cross.


In this newsletter we address a question that has engaged Christian thinkers throughout the centuries, namely, Why Christ had to die to atone for our sins?  Many Christians are bewildered by the notion that God can forgive sin only on the ground of the substitutionary sacrifice of His Son. They argue that if God does not pardon sin without requiring the death of Christ, He must not be an all-powerful God or else He must be a punitive God, concerned more about enforcing His law than expressing His love. The latter  is the picture of God portrayed in Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which I examine at length in my book The Passion of Christ in Scripture and History.


In the movie Christ is brutalized beyond recognition in accordance with the Catholic view of a punitive God. In his epochal book Cur Deus Homo? , that is, Why God Became Man,  Anselm, a leading eleventh century Catholic theologian, explains that to meet the demands of divine justice, Christ had to suffer in His mind and body the exact equivalent of the punishment due for all the sins of mankind. 


The mystics expanded this satisfaction view of the atonement by emphasizing the exceeding sufferings Christ had to bear in order to meet the demands of a punitive God for humankind’s sins. This view has served as the wellspring of Christian art and devotion for centuries. It gave rise to that strand of devotion that emphasizes imitation of Christ’s suffering as a way of salvation. It has inspired the late Renaissance paintings of the Crucifixion with the contorted bleeding body of Christ, the meditations of mystics, and Bach’s glorious setting of “O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded.”


Is this punitive view of God derived from the Scripture? Does the Bible teach that the Cross was a legal transaction in which a meek Christ suffers the harsh punishment imposed by a punitive Father for the sins of humanity? Did God need to submit His Son to brutal torture to pay the penalty of the sins of mankind in accordance with His punitive justice?  Is redemption in the Bible achieved by the intensity of Christ’s suffering, as portrayed in Gibson’s movie? Does God need to “see blood” to forgive sins?


These are some of the fundamental questions we intend to address in this newsletter. To avoid repetition I took time to read our current Sabbath School Lessons 4 to 10, to find out what these lessons have to say about the question: Why Christ had to die to atone for our sins?  To my disappointment, I found that this fundamental question is largely ignored.  This is why I believe that this study is urgently needed. It complements the study of the Atonement presented in our current Sabbath School Quarterly for October, November, December 2008.


If you find this abridged Bible study timely and enlightening, you may wish to read the unabridged version in my book The Passion of Christ in Scripture and History.  Furthermore, you may wish to inform your Sabbath School members as well as your congregation at large of the availability of this timely study.


On my part, I want to help your promotional efforts by offering  The Passion of Christ in Scripture and History at the incredible low price of ONLY $3.30 per copy instead of the regular price of $25.00, for a case of 30 copies. This means that for $100.00 you can order 30 copies to pass out to your Sabbath School and church members.  I will pay for the mailing expenses.  This is a special one time offer which is valid until November 15, 2008.


You can order the book by clicking at this link http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=64 or by calling us at (269) 471-2915.  If you prefer to pay by check, you can mail your check to our postal address: BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, MI 49103. We guarantee to process your order as soon as we receive it.




It is with a deep sense of gratitude to God that I share this brief report of my liver cancer situation. As you recall on February 2007 I had been diagnosed with a stage 4 (terminal) liver cancer and I was given a few months to live.


Providentially the Lord led me to the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana that treated my liver with microsphere radiation and chimo. These shut down over 90% of my liver cancer.  Chimo was used to complete the treatment.


During the past 18 months I rested in the reassurance that my liver cancer had been largely suppressed and that my body was functioning normally. But about three months ago, I was made forcefully aware that my cancer was active again, because my belly became like a balloon filled with fluid. Three times the Cancer Center removed over 4 liters of fluid.


On the basis of blood tests and PET/CAN scans taken two months ago, my oncologist, a most caring and compassionate doctor, told me that my liver was not functioning (fibrosis condition) and consequently the fluid were dispersed in my abdomen. Apparently the chimo and the radiations had damaged my liver making it unable to process fluids. The condition is usually irreversible.


To get a more accurate diagnosis of the condition of my liver,  my oncologist ordered another set of blood tests, including a new PET/CAT SCAN that was scheduled for October 7. 2008. On that day I was not feeling well. At the suggestion of our daughter Loretta who is a Professor of Nursing at the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, I  rescheduled my PET/CAT scan for a week later, on October 14, 2008.


A Week of Prayer and Fasting


A major reason for the rescheduling of the PET/CAT scan a week later, was Loretta’s plan to give our family and close friends seven days to devote ourselves to fasting and prayer to plead for the divine healing of my liver. Loretta, who has developed a marvellous ministry of intercessory prayer, invited her small group of prayer warriors to join with our family every evening at 8:00 p. m. We were a group of 10 persons, 5 in Orlando at Loretta’s home, 4 in our home in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and our son Gianluca, who heads up a legal office in San Paulo, Brazil.


At 8:00 p. m. every evening we joined together in a conference call using our speaker phone and in turn each one offered a fervent prayer asking God for His healing power to bring new life into my liver. Truly I can say that hearing those fervent prayers offered on my behalf uplifted my spirit.


The healing effect of these intercessory prayers soon became evident. The first night I slept with a new sense of wellbeing. Somehow I felt that healing was taking place in my body.  I woke up in the morning with a new surge of energy. I could only thank God for restoring my strength.


Three days later, October 10-11, my wife Anna, Cristina Picardi, the outstanding soprano who joined my ministry a year ago, and myself  were in Murrieta Springs SDA church (near Los Angeles) to minister to a lovely congregation. On that Sabbath I felt like a new man, with a new surge of energy. Contrary to most weekends, on Saturday evening I felt great. I was not exhausted as usual.


To express my gratitude to God, I asked Lyndon Parson, the godly pastor of the Murrieta church, to conduct a private anointing service for me. It was a simple but very meaningful service attended by a dozen of persons. I sensed again the reassurance of God’s healing power in my body.


The New PET/CAT SCAN Results


On Tuesday, October 14, my wife and I drove to the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, to undergo the PET/CAT scan that had been rescheduled for a week. We were eager to see if the new test would show that my liver cancer had improved dramatically after one intense week of prayer.  We were not disappointed.  At 4:00 p. m. when we met with the oncologist to evaluate the results of the PET/CAT SCAN, the doctor showed us the contrast between the picture of the last PET/CAT SCAN taken over two months ago with that taken on that day.


The contrast was evident. The latest PET/CAT SCAN shows that the size of the cancer has shrinked considerably. Not only the size was much smaller but even the color was less intense than the previous picture.  The doctor explained that the lighter color indicates that the activity of the cancer has slowed down considerably.


My oncologist was surprised because the shrinking of the cancer occurred without any medication.  In fact the last infusion of chimo took place over two months ago. I explained to the doctor that our family and a circle of close friends had prayed intensively for God’s healing of my cancer and for us the picture of the shrinked cancer was a proof that our prayers had been answered and the healing power of God was at work.


The doctor told us that he also is a man of faith who believes that God can do what doctors and medicines cannot do.  I gave him a copy of my latest book Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical?  together with three DVD albums.  He reassured me that he would read the book. But when he took the book to his office, the nurse grabbed the book and began reading it during her free moments.  The next day when I called the office, the nurse told me that she found the book very enlightening and asked me to bring her a copy in a month time when I go in for my the next scheduled visit. I will gladly do so.


This experience has convinced me of the truth that “the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Moreover, I have learned that I need to turn to God FIRST, not LAST when all the medical resources have failed.


Our daughter, Loretta Bacchiocchi is to be credited for proposing the seven days plan of fasting and prayer which brought our family members and a few close friends together every evening at 8:00 p. m. aount the speaker phone. It was a marvellous experience to be united by phone every evening to plead for divine healing in my body.


Loretta has given me the permission to post her phone number to make it possible for any one with serious medical or spiritual needs to contact her. Her home phone number is (407) 880-0336 and her cellular phone is (321) 356-4065. She is a very busy lady with her teaching and prayer ministry,  but rest assured that she will make time for you.  Her intercessory prayer group meets at her home every week, to pray for those with special needs. Feel free to call her to present your request.  You will find her to be a caring, compassionate lady who takes a personal interest in any person with special needs.




For the first time in my life this year I will have the privilege to vote in a presidential election. I never voted in Italy because I left the country when I was too young to vote. Moreover I would never have known for whom to vote, since there are over a dozen political parties to choose from.


Now that I have the opportunity to vote, I must confess that I am confused, because I find strengths and weaknesses in both the democratic and republican party.  Let me share my reflections which are based on a rather limited understanding of the political vision of John McCain and Barak Obama.


Posititve and Negative Aspects of John McCain


What I like about John McCain is his stand for the fundamental biblical teachings on the sanctity of life and sacredness of marriage.  McCain believes that the life of the unborn baby must be protected from conception and marriage is the union of a man and a woman, not of two men or two women. Moreover I understand that McCain supports prayer, Bible, and the teaching of religion in public school.


The problem that I see in McCain’s stand for fundamental moral, biblical principles, is his support that comes mostly from conservative Protestants and Catholics. Historically conservative Christians have been very intolerant. They have not hesitated to persecute and suppress Christians who held different religious beliefs.


During breakfast this morning I heard on FOX NEWS a live interview with a very articulated Catholic priest. He made it abundantly clear that Catholics cannot and should not vote for an “evil” presidential candidate that rejects the fundaments Catholic religious beliefs of the sanctity of life from conception and the sacredness of marriage.  He labelled as “evil” a candidate that rejects such beliefs.


As Adventists we should be concerned about electing a US president supported by ultra conservative Christians who could eventually press for their religious agenda, by restricting the religious freedom of minorities who oppose some of their policies.  We must not forget that religious persecution has been carried out by fanatical Christians, not by liberals.


Positive and Negative Aspects of Barack Obama


What I like about Barack Obama is his concern for the lower class people, unable to get a good education, health insurance, and good paying jobs.  I am not sure about the validity of his solution to redistribute wealth by taxing more heavily those who make more than $250.000.00 in order to give more generous subsidies to the poor.  I have been in countries like Sweden or Norway, where supposedly there are no poor because the government takes care of every person from the cradle to the grave.


I remember speaking in Sweden with a divorced Adventist nurse who had a lovely 8 years old girl. I asked her if she worked. She replied that there was no reason for her to work, since the money she got from the government was more than what she could earn as a nurse. My impression is that a socialist form of government kills the free enterprise spirit. Why work hard to establish a business, when taxes take away most of the profit?


The Humanistic and Secular Philosophy of Obama


What distresses me most about Obana is not merely his socialistic agenda that appeals especially to minorities who expect more generous hand outs from the government, but his humanistic, secular philosophy that largely rejects fundamental biblical moral teachings. For him there is nothing wrong in killing a baby in a late stage of pregnancy if he/she comes out alive from the womb. For him the choice of the mother is more important than the life of the baby. Honestly, as a Christian I cannot support this “culture of death.” By the same token, I cannot vote for a candidate that supports “gay marriage.”


What makes America different from other Western Christian nations, is the fact that it was founded by Pilgrim Fathers who left their European homelands to establish a nation that would honor God and the moral principles of His Word. It seems to me that gradually the moral fabric of America is eroding by becoming a “Godless society” like other Western nations.


I have been in England over 30 times during the past few years.  Three times this year alone.  It is sad to see great Cathedrals  transformed into warehouses or apartment complexes. A few are left abandoned as a witness to a faith that once was alive but today is dead.


Is America slowly moving in the same direction? There are signs indicating that humanism is becoming pervasive in America, as the Ten Commandments, the Bible, and even prayer are no longer welcome in public places.


I believe the election of Obama will foster humanism and secularism in America. After all he comes from a hybrid religious background: Moslem, a radical anti-white Christian church, and now a generic Christian faith. The result is that he want to bring about a change — not only a political change, that most likely a change in the religious orientation of Americans. Could it be that the current economic crisis, under Obama could become a moral, religious crisis that will affect the future of this great nation?


Obama Refusal to Wear the American Flag Pin and to Salute the Flag


I find it perplexing that a presidential candidate refuses to wear the American flag pin and to salute the American flag, because he said on an interview with MEET THE PRESS: “ ‘There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message.”


The interview was conducted on Sunday, September 11, by Retired General Bill Ginn. I would urge you to read the transcript of the interview. Among other things Obama said: “We should consider to reinvent our National Anthem as well as to redesign our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It’s my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we as a Nation of warring people, should conduct ourselves as the nations of Islam, whereas peace prevails. . . . My wife disrespects the Flag for many personal reasons. Together she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past, many years ago.”


Can Obama legitimately serve as an American president, while refusing to salute the flag and rejecting its symbolic meaning?  Apparently Obama want to redesign the American flag to include the CRESCENT, the symbol of the Moslem faith.


In previous newsletters I have discussed the role of islam in prophecy. I have reasons to believe that the election of Obama will give an unprecedented boost to the expansion of Islam. Time will tell if my prediction is correct.


We live at a most critical time. We earnestly need to pray that God will guide the American people to elect a president that will lead this nation into the path of righteouness.





GOOD NEWS!!! On Monday, October 20, 2008, I personally delivered to the printer the Spanish edition of Popular Beliefs: Are the Biblical?  The Spanish title is LAS CREENCIAS POPULARES, ņSON BÍBLICAS?  The printer, a personal Adventist friend, reassured me that God willing the book will be out in about two weeks by October 31, 2008.


If you know Hispanic believers and pastors, please let them know about the release of this much needed witnessing book. Some Hispanic pastors have already ordered 100 copies at the pre-publication price of $5.00 per copy, instead of the regular price of $30.00.


To introduce LAS CREENCIAS POPULARES, ņSON BÍBLICAS?  to our Hispanic pastors and church members, we are willing to email FREE OF CHARGE the PDF file of the whole book, including the cover. To receive the free  PDF version of the Spanish book, simply contact us by email <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> or by phone at (269) 471-2915. We will email the PDF version as an attachment immediately. The information on how to order the Spanish book at the pre-publication prices, is given at the end of this essay.




The demand for Popular Beliefs: are They Biblical? continues unabatedly. The third printing is also sold out and we are now planning for the fourth printing.


A Thank You Note


Much of the credit for the unprecedented demand for  Popular Beliefs: are They Biblical?  goes to you readers of this newsletter. You found this book a most timely for witnessing to your friends an informed your pastors and members about it. Many of you have ordered two copies for the price of one, so that you could donate a copy to your pastor or church officer.


I wish to take this opportunity to express my whole hearted gratitude for your promotional efforts. As a result of your endeavors I am receiving every week encouraging messages from both Adventists and non-Adventists, expressing appreciation for a fresh understanding of fundamental Biblical truths which have been corrupted by human traditions.


A Wealth of Historical and Biblical Information


A thoughtful reading of Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical?  will give to any pastor or lay member more information than a two years seminary class in Biblical and Historical Theology. I know this to be a fact, because for 26 years I have taught CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES I & II to theology students.Because of time limitations we managed to cover about half of the information contained in this new timely book. This means that a thoughtful reading of this book will equip you with a vast amount of information that you can use in preaching, teaching, giving Bible studies, or simply discussing with friends the major Adventist beliefs.


To my knowledge Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical? is the only book ever published in the history of the Adventist Church that can help Christians of all denomination to understand why most of their popular beliefs are biblically wrong, and the less-popular Adventist beliefs are biblically correct.


During the course of our Adventist history our church has published many witnessing books, but not of them compare and contrast the popular (unbiblical beliefs) held by Catholic and Protestants with the Adventist beliefs. Yet such a book is much-needed to equip our members to share their faith.  The awareness of this need explains the overwhelming demand for Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical?


At the end of this newsletter you will find all the information on the various ways to order Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical? at the special offer of $6.60 per copy, instead of the regular price of $30.00.



Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,

Andrews University



The biblical emphasis on the centrality of the Cross as the only ground on which God forgives sinners, bewilders many people. Some argue that if God does not pardon sin without requiring the death of Christ, He must not be an all-powerful God or else He must be a punitive God, concerned more about enforcing His law than expressing His love. The latter  is the picture of God portrayed in Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, where Christ is brutalized beyond recognition to meet the demands of justice of a punitive God.


Does God need to submit His Son to brutal torture  to meet the demands of His justice?  Is redemption in the Bible achieved by the intensity of Christ’s suffering, as portrayed in Gibson’s movie, or by the sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross? Can God forgive sin out of His pure mercy without the necessity of the Cross?  Since God expects us to forgive those who sin against us, why doesn’t He practice what He preaches?


God Deals with Sin in Accordance to His Holiness and Justice


These are legitimate questions that need to be addressed. We shall attempt to answer them in the light of God’s holiness and the gravity of sin. The analogy between our forgiveness and God’s forgiveness, ignores the fact that God is not a private, sinful being. It is true that Christ taught us to pray: “forgive our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” But the point of Christ’s teaching is that we cannot expect to be forgiven by God if we are unforgiving toward fellow beings. To argue that God should forgive us unconditionally, as we are expected to forgive wrong-doers, means to ignore the elementary fact that we are not God.


John Stott rightly explains: “We are private individuals, and other people’s misdemeanors are personal injuries. God is not a private individual, however, nor is sin just a personal injury.  On the contrary, God is himself the maker of the laws we break, and sin is a rebellion against him.”5


To appreciate the problem of God’s forgiveness, we need to keep in mind the contrast between God’s perfection and our human rebellion. The problem God faces in forgiving sin, is reconciling His loving mercy with His perfect justice. For, although “God is love,” we need to remember that His love is “holy” and “just;” it is a love that yearns to forgive sinners, without compromising His justice and holiness.


At the Cross, God’s mercy and justice are equally revealed and reconciled. His mercy is revealed in offering His Son to pay the full penalty of our transgressions, and His justice is manifested in taking upon Himself the punishment that we deserve, in order to offer us the forgiveness that we do not deserve. In the Cross of Christ “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other” (Ps 85:10).


At the Cross, as  A. H. Strong puts it, “Mercy is shown not by trampling upon the claims of justice, but by vicariously satisfying them.”6  It is important to realize that God exercises all His attributes in harmony with each other. In His holiness God demands atonement for sin, while in His mercy He provides it. God’s attributes are not antagonistic to each other, but work together in full and complete harmony.


Those who object to the necessity of Christ’s death on the  Cross to atone for our sins, fail to understand that God is merciful and just at the same time. This is the problem with those who say: “Why doesn’t God forgive and forget? Shouldn’t God forgive people who are sorry for their wrong doings and endeavor to become better persons? Isn’t unreasonable to claim that only the sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross can remove sin?”


God’s Holiness Requires the Punishment of Sin


These questions ignore that God cannot overlook sin, pretending that it does not exists, because He is righteous and just. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne” (Ps 89:14). “His work is perfect; for all his ways are justice.  A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deut 32:4). God’s ethical absolutes are not philosophical abstractions existing in ideal realms. They are rooted in God’s very being and thus they are immutable as God Himself. ”God is light and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). God can only do what is right because His nature is altogether just. The reason human beings have a sense of right and wrong, is because they have been created in God’s image (Gen 1:26) and, thus, have the principles of God’s law written in their hearts (Rom 2:15).

            The just, holy, and righteous nature of God is incompatible with sin. God’s “eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (Hab 1:13; NIV). Consequently our sins effectively separate us from God. “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid  his face from you so that he does not hear’ (Is 59:2).


The Meaning of God’s Wrath


The reaction of God’s holiness to sin, is frequently described as the “wrath of God.” “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth” (Rom 1:18; cf. John 3:36; Eph 5:6; Col 3:6; Rev 14:10). The wrath of God in the Bible is not an irrational, capricious, emotional outburst of anger, an outburst of “seeing red.” Rather, it is His consistent and necessary reaction to the objective reality of moral evil. In the words of Leon Morris, God’s wrath is His “personal divine revulsion to evil,” and “his personal vigorous opposition to it.”


Contrary to human wrath, which is usually arbitrary and uninhibited, divine wrath is principled and controlled. It is free from personal animosity or vindictiveness. It is always accompanied by undiminished love for the sinner. God’s wrath in the Bible is always judicial in the sense that it is the wrath of the judge who administers justice (Eph 5:6). It is His intense displeasure and condemnation of sin. It issues not from passion, but from God’s holiness and righteousness which is the basis of the administration of the universe.


John Stott rightly observes that “What is common to the biblical concepts of the holiness and the wrath of God, is the truth that they cannot coexist with sin. God’s holiness exposes sin; his wrath opposes it. So sin cannot approach God and God cannot tolerate sin.”8 This Biblical understanding of God’s nature is unpopular today. Most people prefer an easygoing God, tolerant of their offenses. They want God to be gentle, accommodating, without any violent reaction. They want to bring God down to their level and raise themselves up to His, so that ultimately there is no need for the sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross on their behalf.


To counteract this misconception of God, it is imperative to recover the Biblical revelation of God who hates evil, is angered by it, and refuses to compromise with it. It is essential to understand that God’s holiness requires that sin be punished. If God failed to punish sin, then He could not claim to be perfectly just. His infinite justice demands the punishment of the sinner or of an appropriate substitute. Frequently the Bible reminds us that God cannot excuse or overlook sin. “I will not acquit the wicked” (Ex 23:7).  “I will by no means clear the guilty” (Ex 34:7; cf. Num 14:18).


The Gravity of Sin


To appreciate the necessity of the Cross, it is essential to understand not only God’s holiness, but also the gravity of sin. The biblical notion of sin has been largely rejected by our secularized society.  Wrongdoers are no longer called “sinners,” but persons with behavioral disorders to be treated as sickness rather than sin.


In the Bible, however, sin is not a regrettable lapse from accepted social standards, but an active rebellion against God. The New Testament uses five Greek words for sin, which help us to understand its various aspects. The most common is hamartia, which signifies “missing the mark.”  Adikia signifies “unrighteousness” or “iniquity.” Poneria means a vicious or degenerate kind of evil. Parabasis means “transgression,” the stepping over a boundary. Anomia is “lawlessness,” “the violation of a known law.” Each of these terms imply the violation of an objective standard of conduct.


In the Scripture the objective standard of conduct is God’s law which expresses His own righteous character.  It is the law of God’s own being, as well as the law that He has implanted in the human heart (Rom 2:15). Thus, there is a vital correspondence between the moral principles of God’s character and the moral principles that should govern our relationship with God and fellow beings.


The emphasis of Scripture is on the godless self-centeredness of sin which results in active violation of God’s law. “Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness: sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). Every sin that we commit reflects a spirit of rebellion against God. David acknowledges this fact in his confession: “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment” (Ps 51:4). Emil Brunner sums it up well, saying: “Sin is defiance, arrogance, the desire to be equal with God, . . . the assertion of human independence over against God, . . .  the constitution of the autonomous reason, morality, and culture.”


Forgiveness through Christ’s Sacrifice


The fact that sin is an act of defiance against God, poses a question: “Could sinners be forgiven by others means than Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross?”  In theory, God could have saved mankind by other means than the Cross. But, in practice any other method would not have been consonant with the exigencies arising from the perfections of His character which are reflected in His law.


God’s law necessitated the sacrificial death of Christ, because law carries with it the penal sanction of death for the transgressors. These sanctions are immutable and eternal because they reflect God’s nature and character. God’s holiness causes Him to condemn sin and His justice requires Him punish sin. And the penalty for sin prescribed by God’s law is death.” In the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Gen 2:17). “The soul that sins shall die” (Ez 18:20). “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). “Sin when is full-grown brings forth death” (James 1:12).   “Since God is true and cannot lie, these threatenings must necessarily be executed either upon the sinner himself or upon a surety.”10


The Good News is that God in His mercy has offered His own Son as the “surety” for our salvation. The New Testament explains the necessity of Christ’s death in terms of the sacrificial shedding of blood for the remission of sin. For example,  Hebrews affirms: “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” (Heb 9:22). If the method of salvation depended solely upon God’s arbitrary decision, then He could have devised a bloodless redemptive plan. But, God’s decisions are not arbitrary. They are consonant to His inner Being.


Hebrews explains that not only is the shedding of blood necessary for the remission of sin, but also that only the blood of Jesus can accomplish this purpose. “For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins” (Heb 10:4). “And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God . . . For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Heb 10:11-12, 14).


Only Christ’s Death Meets the Demands of Divine Justice


If God could have forgiven sin by a mere act of volition, without first demanding the satisfaction of the penalty of sin, then the whole biblical teaching of remission of sin through Christ’s sacrificial death, would be totally untrue. Furthermore, the Cross of Christ would hardly be the supreme demonstration of God’s love (Rom 5:8; 1 John 4:9,10), if the redemption secured by it, could have been achieved without it.


If it had been possible for the cup of Christ’s suffering and death to pass from Him, then surely the Father would have answered His Son prayer in Gethsemane. The fact that it was not possible, shows that only the sacrificial death of Jesus could fulfill the exigencies of divine justice. The ordeal of Calvary reveals the depth of God’s love for lost sinners. When the Cross is viewed in this light, then the love of God manifested at Calvary, takes on new meaning, and fills us with adoring amazement.


Although God is almighty and omniscient, there are certain things that He cannot do. For example, God cannot lie (Tit 1:2; Heb 6:8); He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim 2:13); He cannot tempt people to sin (Jam 1:13). He cannot violate the moral principles that govern His own nature. This means that when God determined to save human beings from the consequences of sin, He could only design a plan consistent with His moral law that envisions death as the punishment for sin.


God’s plan for the salvation of lost sinners,  could only be carried out through the incarnation and sacrificial death of His Son. This is indicated by the fact that Christ is presented as “The Lamb that was slained from the creation of the world” (Rev 13:8). Through this plan of salvation, as Paul puts it, God is able to demonstrate that “ He himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus” (Rom 3:26).


God is Just in Justifying Penitent Sinners


In Romans 3:21-26 Paul explains that by offering His Son as an expiation for our sins, God was able “to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous” in justifying those “who have faith in Jesus.” The reason is that God acts in harmony with His whole character. On the one hand He shows His complete abhorrence of sin by punishing it, while on the other hand He reveals His mercy by offering to pay its penalty.


The notion of God offering His Son to die for our sins, as an innocent victim for guilty sinners, is regarded by some as immoral and unjust. In a human court an innocent person cannot assume the guilt and punishment of a wrongdoer. This reasoning, however, ignores two important considerations. First,  Christ was not an unwilling victim. The glory of the Cross is to be seen in the voluntary nature of Christ’s incarnation, life of suffering, and sacrificial death. “Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but . . . humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on the Cross” (Phil 2:7-8). Christ’s sacrifice was voluntary act, not an imposition.


Second, God is just in justifying penitent sinners (Rom 3:26, because through Christ’s atoning death, He not only acquits sinners, but He also empowers them to become righteous. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19; emphasis supplied). This is something a human judge cannot do. A judge’s declaration of guilt or innocence does not change the behavior of the dependent. But the Good News of the Gospel is that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).


We could say that from a biblical perspectives, justification through Christ’s death, entails not only a declaration of acquittal, but also a transformation into newness of life. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). The new life in Christ, made possible by accepting His atoning death, prove that God’s plan of salvation is both just and effective. It accomplishes both the reconciliation and the transformation of the penitent sinner, or to use more technical words, the justification and sanctification of believers.




The necessity of the Cross stems from the holiness of God and the gravity of sin.  God’s holiness requires the punishment of the sinner or of an appropriate substitute. Christ’s sinless life  and sacrificial death were the only way for sinners to be saved.  Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:7).  The Cross serves as a constant reminder that “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).






As a service to our subscribers, I am listing the seminars scheduled for the month of October 2008.  We wish to extend a warm welcome to those of you who live close to the location of our seminars. Our new seminars with Words and Songs will touch your heart and expand your mind.



Location: 28340 Highridge Road, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274.

For directions and information call Pastor Jeff Rosenthal at (310) 541-1819



Location: 32477 Starback Circle, Murrieta, CA 92562

For directions and information call Pastor Lyndon Parsons at (951) 313-1668.



Location: 914 Cirby Way, Roseville, CA 95661 (Near Sacramento)

For directions and information call Pastor Roger at (916) 543-0287.





At this time I am pleased to announce also that Ivan Jakovac, an Australian Adventist who operates a Storage Business, has requested to distribute my books and recordings in Australia at a considerable cheaper price than in the USA. The reason is that he  has ordered a large quantity that is being shipped by sea-freight, which costs a fraction of the airmail.


This is the name and address of the distributor:


Ivan Jakovac

Albury Storage

107 North Street

Albury NSW 2640

(Near Melbourne, Australia)


Phone 02 6021 8088

 Mobile 0406 854 500

 email:  <ivan@alburystorage.com.au>

 web site:  <http://www.alburystorage.com/>


If you live in Australia, feel free to contact Ivan Jacovac by phone or email. You will save time and money.  For example, the cost of airmailing to Australia one copy of Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical?  is $40.00, that is, $30.00 for the book and $10.00 for the airmail. You can order the same book from Ivan Jakovac for less than half of the price. The reason is that I have shipped the books to Ivan by sea-freight, which costs a fraction of the airmail.





 In the last newsletters I made a call for Adventists with marketing skills, interested to distribute my books in major English-speaking countries. The response has been encouraging. Several Adventists have contacted me and are now exploring the possibility of distributing my books in their countries.


At this time I am pleased to announce that Mr. Lazarus Lokaji Mollel from Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania has requested to become an official distributor of my books in Tanzania and neighboring African countries. He has already wired me the money for 1300 books which have been delivered to a sea-freight company in Chicago.  The shipment should arrive in Dar-Es-Salaam in about a month. By shipping the books in large quantities by sea-freight, it reduces their cost by over 50%.


This is the complete name and address of Mr. Mollel:


Mr. Lazarus Lokaji Mollel (B.Sc Eng, Dip Dev, FRS, CLS. FIST)

P. O. Box 11191

184/W Magomeni,



Office phone (255) (22) 2121894, Fax 2138962, mob +255784784471

Home phone Tel (255) (22) 2171944

Email addresses:  lazarusmollel@yahoo.com or smd@raha.com


If you live in Tanzania, feel free to contact Lazarus Mollel by phone or email. You will save time and money.  For example, the cost of airmailing to Tanzania one copy of Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical?  is $40.00, that is, $30.00 for the book and $10.00 for the airmail. You can order the same book from Lazarus Mollel for less than half of the price. The reason is that the cost of sending the books by sea-freight is a fraction of the airmail.


For a description and picture of each book, click at this link:





If you find my publications and recordings timely and biblically sound, you may wish to consider becoming a distributor in your own country. On my part I will support your endeavors by shipping you all my 20 books and 14 albums at a fraction of the retail price.  Feel free to contact me at sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com for details or by calling me at (269) 471-2915.




Hispanic readers of Biblical Beliefs: Are They Biblical?  have been urging me to translate and publish the book in Spanish as soon as possible. In fact, some of them have raised the money to pay for the translation, editing, art-work, and lay-out of the book.


The translation has been completed by  Claudia Blath, a professional translator of the Asociacion Casa Editora Sudamericana.  She  has produced an excellent translation in a record time.  The Spanish edition  LAS CREENCIAS POPULARES, ņSON BÍBLICAS? has already gone to the press and will  ready for distribution by October 31, 2008.  You can see the cover of the Spanish book and read a description by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/spanpop


To facilitate a massive distribution of Las Creencias Populares, ņSon Bíblicas? we are offering the book at a special pre-publication price of $5.00 per copy on quantity orders.  For details click at this link http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=26_39 or call us at (269) 471-2915.


Your personal effort to inform Hispanic pastors and believers about the availability of Las Creencias Populares, ņSon Bíblicas? is much ppreciated.





The third printing of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical?  came out few days ago. We have now resumed the shipment to churches and institutions in the USA and overseas.


Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? is proving to be by far the most popular and best-selling book I have written.  The reason is that the book meets the urgent need for a witnessing publication that Adventists can give with confidence to people inquiring about our faith.


Many Adventists have emailed me messages of appreciation, saying that they have waited for years for a book like Popular Beliefs that shows why the most popular Catholic and Protestant popular beliefs are unbiblical, while the less-popular Adventist beliefs are biblically correct.


Popular Beliefs Adopted by Adventist Colleges and Seminaries


Popular Beliefs  is widely used not only for witnessing, but also for teaching at our colleges and theological seminaries. For example,  we received orders from the School of Theology of Friedensau Adventist University in Germany. Prof. Denis Fortin, Dean of our Andrews University Theological Seminary, requested a supply for the class he teaches on Roman Catholic Theology.


Several professors told me that Popular Beliefs  is ideal for some of their Bible classes, because it traces the historical origin and theological development of the major Catholic and Protestant heresies popular today.


As a church historian by training and profession, I have spent 15 months tracing historically and examining biblically 10 popular beliefs (heresies) in a calm, objective, and non-confrontational way. The ultimate goal is to lead ruth-seekers to appreciate the biblical validity and contemporary relevance of our Adventist beliefs.


Has your Church Received a Supply of Popular Beliefs?


If your church has not yet received a supply of Popular Beliefs, we will be glad to send you at this time as many copies as needed, since we have just received the third printing.


Popular Beliefs is an ideal gift for any non-SDA attending evangelistic meetings this Fall. As you know, evangelistic lectures can only touch on the highlights of our message, leaving many questions unanswered in the mind of the visitors. Popular Beliefs fill in the gaps by offering compelling answers to frequently asked questions.


To make it possible for many Adventist Churches to use Popular Beliefs  for evangelistic outreach and for the personal growth, we offer the book at this time for only $6.60 per copy for a case of 30 copies, instead of the regular price of $30.00 per copy. This means that for $200.00, your church can order a case of 30 copies of Popular Beliefs. We will pay the mail expenses to US destinations.  The details for ordering the book are given at the end of the newsletter or by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=26_35  or call us at (269) 471-2915.


Two Copies for the Price of One


At this time I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the pastors and lay-members who have actively promoted and distributed  Popular Beliefs to their church members. Without your promotional efforts, the book would not have been reprinted three times in three months.


To make it possible for all our pastors and local church leaders to become acquainted with this timely book, we are offering until October 31, 2008, two copies of Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical? for the price of one. This means that for $30.00 you can order two copies, one for yourself and to give to your pastor or a local church leader.


After reading Popular Beliefs many pastors have ordered the book by the case of 30 copies for only $6.60 per copy.  Many churches have ordered 100 copies at the special offer of $5.00 per copy, to give to non-SDA attending the Mark Findley’s Satellite program Discoveries  2008 or other evangelistic meeting in the Fall.


But, there are still many pastors and churches that are unaware of the release of this powerful witnessing book Popular Beliefs. This newsletter reaches only about 35,000 readers. Thus I need your help in promoting this timely book.


Thank you for introducing your pastor and local church officers to this timely book. To facilitate your effort, I am offering you two copies for the price of one. The details for ordering the book are given at the end of the newsletter or by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=26_35  or call us at (269) 471-2915.




To facilitate a massive circulation of Popular Beliefs, I have decided to continue to offer the book at the following substantially discounted prices:


         2 copies of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? for the price of one, namely $30.00 for two copies. Mailing expenses are included for the USA.  Add $10.00 for  AIRMAIL postage to any overseas destination.


         10 copies of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? at $10.00 per copy, postage paid, instead of the regular price of $30.00 ($100.00 for 10 copies). Mailing expenses are included for the USA. Add $50.00 for AIRMAIL postage to any overseas destination.


         30 copies (one case) of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? at $6.65 per copy ($200.00 for 30 copies).  Mailing expenses are included for the USA. Add $100.00 for AIRMAIL postage to any overseas destination.


           100 copies of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? at $5.00 per copy, postage paid. ($500.00 for 100 copies). Mailing expenses are included for the USA. Add $300.00 for AIRMAIL postage to any overseas destination. 


NOTE: We can ship by sea-freight up to 1000 copies of Popular Beliefs (that is, up to a cubit meter) to any foreign destinations for only $500.00. This reduces the cost of mailing to only Ę50 per book.  Fee free to contact me for further details.




You can order Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? in four different ways:


(1)  ONLINE: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=26_35


(2)  PHONE:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.


(3)  EMAIL:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.


(4) REGULAR MAIL: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order as soon as we receive it.





At the request of American and Overseas readers who need immediate access to my books, often for a personal research project, we have decided to make it possible to download all the 20 books offered online in a PDF version.


The advantage is speed and saving. You can immediately download a PDF version of any of my books for only $15.00, instead of waiting for days or weeks to receive a printed copy which costs $40.00 to airmail overseas.


To download a PDF copy of my books simply click this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=37&osCsid=a5769f896270d26a770e18e1354ce7f1  If you have a problem, we can take your order by phone.  Call us at (269) 471-2915.





This offer may sound too good to be true. At this time we are offering together as a package all the 14 DVD/CD albums which contains 41 live, video lectures for only $150.00, instead of $1650.00.


This package contains 41 professionally recorded live, video lectures with all the lectures of Prof. Bacchiocchi, Prof. Jon Paulien, Prof. Roy Gane, Prof. Graeme Bradford, and Soprano Cristina Piccardi.


Until now these recordings were sold separately, costing considerably more.  But to make it possible for many to benefit from all these timely messages, we offer them together as a package for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $1650.00.


You can view the picture of all the 14 ALBUMS and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this link:http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm


The Package Includes the Following 14 Albums:


1)  PROF. BACCHIOCCHI AND CRISTINA PICCARDI’S DVD Album with Sabbath Seminar with Words and Songs recorded at the Loma Linda SDA church. The album contains three DVD disks with 6 hours of lectures and sacred songs.


2) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S newly recorded DVD ALBUM called ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR.  The album contains 2 video powerpoint lectures: The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages and How to Build a Happy and Lasting Marriage. These two lectures summarize the highlights of Bacchiocchi’s two books Wine in the Bible and The Marriage Covenant. Two separate files with 225 powerpoint slides are included.


3) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S DVD ALBUM containing 10 video powerpoint lectures on the SABBATH/ADVENT SEMINAR.  Some of the lectures show the documents Prof. Bacchiocchi found in Vatican libraries on the role of the papacy in changing the Sabbath to Sunday. This album contains the popular powerpoint SABBATH/ADVENT seminars Prof. Bacchiocchi presents in many countries.


4) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S DVD ALBUM on CRACKING THE DA VINCI CODE. The album contains a two hours video lecture, professionally taped with a virtual studio as a background. A separate file with 200 powerpoint slides is included. The two video lectures reveal the prophetic significance of Dan Brown’s neo-pagan false worship promoted through his book and film. The two hours video lectures will  help you appreciate the role that The Da Vinci Code plays in the prophetic endtime battle between true and false worship.


5) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S DVD ALBUM on THE MARK AND NUMBER OF THE BEAST. The album contains two hours professionally recorded video lecture and a separate powerpoint file with the 200 slides used for the lecture. The project was commissioned  by Prof. Jon Paulien and Prof. Ranko Stefanovich, who are the foremost authorities on the book of Revelation. With the help of 200 beautiful slides the video lecture shows the origin and historical use of 666.  You will see stunning pictures of papal tiaras, including disputed one with the pope’s tittle Vicarius Filii Dei.


6) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S CD ALBUM with all his BOOKS AND POWERPOINT LECTURES. The album consists of two disks. The first disk has all his 20 books and over 200 articles. The second disk has the 2000 slides and script of 25 of Prof. Bacchiocchi’s popular PowerPoint presentations.


7) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S DVD ALBUM on THE PASSION OF CHRIST.  The album contains the 2 hours live interview conducted by 3ABN on Prof. Bacchiocchi’s book The Passion of Christ in Scripture and History. The live video interview show that that this movie is a strict Catholic film that in a subtle and deceptive way promotes fundamental Catholic heresies.


8) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S  MP3 AUDIO ALBUM which contains 2 disks with 22 AUDIO LECTURES on  on Marriage, Music, Temperance, Dress, Sabbath, Second Advent, State of the Dead, and others. You can enjoy these lectures while driving, working, or relaxing. Ideal for listening in your car while driving.


9) PROF. JON PAULIEN’S newly released DVD ALBUM video seminar on Simply Revelation.  The four live video lectures focus on the essential messages of Revelation and their relevance for today. This mini Revelation Seminar will offer you and your congregation fresh insights into the Book of Revelation. Currently, Prof. Paulien is preparaing a new Revelation Seminar at the request of the General Conference


10) PROF. JON PAULIEN’S CD ALBUM with a dozen of his books, and all his articles. You will find in this collection a priceless resource to enrich your understanding and experience of biblical truths. Prof. Paulien examines fundamental biblical beliefs in a profound and yet popular way.  He is a recognized expert on the book of Revelation. Several of his books will help you to unlock the secrets of Revelation.


11) PROF. GRAEME BRADFORD’S DVD ALBUM with a two hours video lecture on Ellen White. He shares the highlights of his book More than a Prophet. The album contains also Prof. Bradford’s the publications and articles. A searchable data base enables you to access  Prof. Graeme Bradford’s published and unpublished writings, including his the latest book More than a Prophet.


12) CRISTINA PICCARDI’S CD ALBUM REJOICE IN THE LORD. The album consists of 11 sacred songs recorded with Marcelo Caceres, Professor of piano at Andrews University.  The CD Album includes Gospel songs like How Great Thou Art, He Shall Feed His Flock, Softly and Tenderly, The Holy City, etc. You can play this audio recording in your car CD player, or on any CD or DVD players you have in your home.


13) CRISTINA PICCARDI’S DVD ALBUM SING UNTO THE LORD. This DVD Album contains 12  sacred familiar songs that were recorded during a live sacred concert presented at Andrews University Pioneer Memorial Church. This is a video recording that you can enjoy in your living room and play in your church.


14) CRISTINA PICCARDI’S DVD ALBUM BY HIS GRACE.  This DVD album consists of 16 sacred songs recorded in Loma Linda with four high-definition cameras.  The songs cover the major themes of God’s creative and redemptive love. Her marvellous singing will touch your heart and inspire you to devote your life more fully to the Savior.




You can order the complete package of 14 DVD/CD Albums, which contain 41 live video lectures and powerful soprano singing, for only $150.00,  instead of the regular online price of $1650.00, in four different ways:


(1)  ONLINE: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm


(2)  PHONE:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.


(3)  EMAIL:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date. For security reasons, you can email your credit card number in two separate messages.  In the first message you email me the first 8 digits and in the second message the last 8 digits, plus the expiration date.   Be sure to include your postal address.     


(4) REGULAR MAIL: By mailing a check for $150.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.




HITACHI has released the new CP-X401 3000 lumens projector, which  has an impressive high resolution, low fan noise, and a wealth of connectivity options. The most impressive feature of this projector is the incredible price of only $1000.00 to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries. The projecor can be purchased with or without accessories such as the REMOTE PRESENTER to control the flow of images in the lap-top.


To receive detail information about this projector as well as on other models offered to us by HITACHI at a substantially discounted price, feel free to call us at (269) 471-2915.




If your church/school is looking for a screen, the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY, the largest manufacture of screens in the world, has agreed to offer their line of screens to our Adventist churches and schools at about 30% discount.


The procedure is very simple. Visit the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY website at http://www.da-lite.com. You will see hundreds of models of screens with their respective prices. Once you find the screen that best suits your church, give us the model number by phone (269) 471-2915 or email your request <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> We will forward your order immediately to DA-LITE that will ship the screen directly to your address. You will receive the screen at about 30% discount.