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THE DAY OF ATONEMENT


 

What does the day of atonement picture?
What is the meaning of afflict your souls? 
Why do we fast? 
How should we fast?  
What is The Meaning of Lev. 16?


The date of the Day of Atonement must be counted from the new moon.  Remember Trumpets is on the new moon as it comes to us. We need to check with the government site to find out the exact time of the new moon as it comes to us, here in Australia we use the Melbourne Planetarium Science works site, the times used here at this site, need only be adjusted for daylight saving some months of the year.
The new moon is on the 1st of the month, and so is Trumpets, the Day of Atonement is on the 10th day of that month.

 

In these end times God is giving His church a greater understanding of many times, events, doctrines, and the knowledge of who He and Jesus Christ are, and also a deeper meaning of the holy days and His plan. 

 

The Day of Atonement in the past has usually been kept by the church simply by fasting. All we have done is gone without food and attended church for a few hours, where we joked around and spoke about the animals or garden, or some idle gossip. 

 

HAVE WE GIVEN DEEP THOUGHT TO WHAT THE DAY REALLY PICTURES?

 

This is a serious day, we need to approach it with much thought, study and prayer about what the day pictures. 

 

What does this day picture? 

 

Lev 16:29  "This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you.

 

Lev 23:32  It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath."

 

Lev 16:31  It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.

 

The next verse is very interesting, once a year we are to make atonement for the sins of Israel. This means that we are to go to God in prayer, and confess the sins of Israel.  Remember that today the modern day Israelites refuse to hear the truth and will not see the truth. 

 

Lev 16:34  This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year." And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

 

Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the sins of the people of Israel are covered by this day. 

 

The day pictures the covering or cleansing of our sins: we must realise the seriousness of this day, we must afflict our souls.

 


What is the meaning of afflict your souls?

 

Does this just mean to fast?  NO.  It means much more than that.  Some people do not feel much different after 24 hours of fasting.  They may have a slight headache and be a little tired and feel hungry and thirsty, but that may be all the discomfort they feel.  
We are to afflict ourselves for the full 24 hours.  
When we start our fast at sunset until we go to bed, do we feel in any way afflicted?  Maybe we have missed our cup of coffee and perhaps a biscuit, but how is this afflicting ourselves? 
There is a far greater meaning to afflict our souls than to simply fast.  We must afflict our souls for the full 24 hours. 

 

The word afflict means to humble, to answer for something, to debase, to depress.  We must feel truly sorry for the fact that we have committed sin during the past year.  We must realise how God views sin, and what it means to Him.  
How sin caused the death of His Son. How sin separates us from Him.  How it drives us away from Him.  
Sin has a penalty.  The penalty is death.  Christ has paid that penalty for us.  We need to truly see what that sacrifice meant for us.  We need to try very hard to not sin at all.  
During this period of time, we must saturate our thoughts with the seriousness of our sins, the actual day means cleanse and forgive, that is what atonement means, that our sins are cleansed and forgiven.  
However God wants us to realise the seriousness of the day and to not talk about the weather or gossip at church or fool around at church, but to think for 24 hours the consequences, of what we have done.  How a totally innocent man had to die for our sins.

 


Why do we fast?

 

What are some of the reasons we need to fast?  
Notice the following verses gives some of the reasons. 

 

To seek the right ways. 

Even though this account was during dangerous times for these people, God will show us the right ways to walk, talk, and live. 

 

Ezr 8:21  Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.

 

To cry out to the Lord, for help, guidance, to save us, to heal us, there could be many reasons that we especially need God to hear us. 

 

Joe 1:14  Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD.  

 

We need to turn from evil and violence. 

 

Jon 3:8  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.

Jon 3:9  Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?

 


To seek the Lord.

 

2Ch 20:3  And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

 


Fast for the sick.

 

Psa 35:13  But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart.

 


To turn from evil; and make supplication before the Lord. 

 

Jer 36:6  You go, therefore, and read from the scroll which you have written at my instruction, the words of the LORD, in the hearing of the people in the LORD's house on the day of fasting. And you shall also read them in the hearing of all Judah who come from their cities.

Jer 36:7  It may be that they will present their supplication before the LORD, and everyone will turn from his evil way. For great is the anger and the fury that the LORD has pronounced against this people."

 


ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH CHAPTERS 1 UP TO AND INCLUDING CHAPTER 36 WOULD BE PROFITABLE TO READ IT IS FOR A FUTURE TIME AND A FUTURE FAST
.

 


To confess our sins, and also notice that Daniel confessed the sins of Israel.

 

Dan 9:3  Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

 

Dan 9:20  Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God,

Dan 9:21  yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.

 

To ordain into an office.

 

Act 14:23  So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

 


To ask God to intervene for someone who is dying.

 

2Sa 12:22  And he said, "While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?'  

 

Christ fasted before He was tempted by Satan, of course Christ did not have to confess sin, but this fasting would be to come closer to the Father, to receive strength and encouragement from Him. 

 

Mat 4:2  And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.

 


In times of national disaster.

The following scripture is for the not too distant future. 

 

Joe 1:14  Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD.

Joe 1:15  Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

Joe 1:16  Is not the food cut off before our eyes, Joy and gladness from the house of our God?

Joe 1:17  The seed shrivels under the clods, Storehouses are in shambles; Barns are broken down, For the grain has withered.

Joe 1:18  How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are restless, Because they have no pasture; Even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment.

Joe 1:19  O LORD, to You I cry out; For fire has devoured the open pastures, And a flame has burned all the trees of the field.

Joe 1:20  The beasts of the field also cry out to You, For the water brooks are dried up, And fire has devoured the open pastures.

 


How should we fast?

 

A fast day is not just a day to go without food. Look at what God says about fasting in the following verses. 

 

This particular fast in Isaiah is a future fast day, called by the Watchman, to the nation of Israel prior to their going into captivity. 

 

Isa 58:1  "Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.

 

God says that we went without food and have claimed to have afflicted our souls, but we just did our own things, we did whatever we wanted on that day. Instead of having our hearts and minds and thoughts on the meaning of the day. 

 

Isa 58:3  'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?' "In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers.

 

God explains we fast for the wrong reasons. Unless we fast to get close to God, to see how we need Him, and to see ourselves as God sees us, and to see how we can give to others, God simply will not hear our fast day. 

 

Isa 58:4  Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high.

 

If we make a show, and let the world know that we are fasting, and look sad and wistful, this just is not acceptable to God.  God wants us to do things in secret.  Not to make out that we are something wonderful.

 

Isa 58:5  Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD?

 

God wants us to see our sins and to put them away from us, to stop sinning, to be released from the burdens of slavery to sin, to be freed from oppression from those over us. Israel has forgotten God, we must not be crushed under the weight of the world, and the wrong ways of the world. We must break free of their oppression. We must break free of the things that hold us to this world, break free of the hold that it has on us and turn to Godís ways. The ways of the world belong to Satan and not God. 

 

Isa 58:6  "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?

 

We must share our food with the hungry people, invite poor and needy to your home, if we see people in need then give to them, clothe them, and do this to our families.

 

Isa 58:7  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

 

If we would only obey God and turn to Him and turn away from sin, look at how we will beÖ..how God will bless us.

 

Isa 58:8  Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

 

God will hear us if we, stop talking about others, and stop putting others down, and stop finding fault with everything, and stop our pride and haughty attitudes.

 

Isa 58:9  Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.' "If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

 

If we feel sorry for the hungry, and relieve the afflicted people, then we will be close to God. 

 

Isa 58:10  If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.

 

God will guide us, and feed us in drought, and we will flourish and be like an oasis in the desert. 

 

Isa 58:11  The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

 

This verse applies to a time yet ahead of us, after Israel goes into captivity.  
When Israel returns from captivity, they will rebuild the nation of Israel, they will restore the buildings, and they will be known for doing this.

 

It also has the spiritual application of restoring the truths of God.

 

Isa 58:12  Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

 

This verse is referring to the Day of Atonement and not just the weekly sabbath. God wants His people to know which day is the Sabbath. 

The Day of Atonement, must be calculated as we have stated above. The Sabbath lasts for 24 hours, and we must forget about work, sports, all pleasures which take us away from the worship of our God.  We must fill our hearts and minds and thoughts with God, study, pray and talk about God, for the whole day, not just a few hours.  We must devote this time to God, be with Him, spend this time with Him, try to learn more about Him learn to love the Sabbath. The Day of Atonement is a holy day and is holy to God. We must learn to love the Day of Atonement and keep it correctly.

 

Isa 58:13  "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,

 

When we obey God, then we will enjoy being part of His plan, God will then bless us, and give us the land of Jacob, God will do as He has said.  We must want to obey God and believe Him. 

 

Isa 58:14  Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken."

 

Mr. Armstrong used to say that when we fast we should do it in three hour sections.  
1 hour of prayer, 1 hour of study and 1 hour of meditation. 
This is a very good guide and one which should be followed. 

 

Also another method, similar to the above, is given in the scriptures.

 

Neh 9:1  Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads.

Neh 9:2  Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.

Neh 9:3  And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.  

 

To sum up: the Day of Atonement pictures a cleansing, or forgiving of our sins, it is a time we need to realise the seriousness of sin. We must afflict our souls, feel deeply sorry for what penalty our sins have caused.

 

God wants us to spend this time in fasting to get closer to Him.  We can feel the closeness we have with Him compared to the wedge we place between God and ourselves with our sins. 

 

When we fast we need to pray meditate and study Godís word for as much time as possible during the 24 hours.  We need to come closer to God and saturate our thoughts and speech with Godís words. We must try to put sin out of our lives.  
We need to give to the poor and share what we have with the needy.

 

 

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LEV 16?

 

Notice both goats are for a sin offering.

 

Lev 16:5  And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering.

 

The two goats: one is for the Lord and one is for the Scapegoat. 
We will look at the goat which is for the Lord first.

 

Lev 16:8  Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat.  

 

Notice that the goat for the Lord is a sin offering.

 

Lev 16:9  And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD's lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering.

 

Lev 16:15  "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat.  

 

The goat is for an atonement for the holy place, because of uncleanness of the Israelites, and transgressions in all their sins.

 

Lev 16:16  So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

 

Now the Live Goat:


He is to make an atonement and to be let go as the scapegoat.

 

Lev 16:10  But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.

 


Notice that Aaron confessed all the iniquities of the children of Israel and their transgressions in all their sins
.

 

This is very important that we confess the sins of Israel.  This part of the Day of Atonement has not been practiced in the church before. 
It is vitally important that this be done.

 

Lev 16:21  Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.  

 

Notice the goat bears all their iniquities, one of the meanings for this word is sexual sins. 

 

Lev 16:22  The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.  

 

On the Day of Atonement we are cleansed from all our sins before the Lord.

 

Lev 16:30  For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

Lev 16:31  It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.

Lev 16:32  And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father's place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments;

Lev 16:33  then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.

Lev 16:34  This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year." And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

 

The day of Atonement is tied in with the other holy days in an interesting way...notice the following

 

The death of Jesus reconciled us to God, but it is by His life that we are saved.  The atonement is the time God the Father accepts us for eternal life.

 

Rom 5:9  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Rom 5:10  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Rom 5:11  And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. [atonement] 
 

The Day of Atonement pictures us being at one with God.  This does not happen at our acceptance of Christís death, this happens when the Father accepts us for eternal life.

 

But firstly we must accept Christ's life.  Christ ascended to the Father to be accepted for us.  It is then that we have qualified to receive the Holy Spirit of life.

 

Joh 20:17  Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' "

 

Joh 20:22  And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.  

 

On the Day of Atonement, we confess our sins to God. Because of the sacrifice of Christ these sins are forgiven, we are then at one with God the Father when He accepts us for eternal life.

 

We will finish with the final words of Leviticus.

 

Lev 16:30  For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

Lev 16:31  It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.

Lev 16:32  And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father's place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments;

Lev 16:33  then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.

Lev 16:34  This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year." And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.