Christian Churches of God

No. 138z






(Edition 2.0 19951004-19990901)

The understanding of the Day of Atonement is also critical to an understanding of the role of Messiah in the process.



Christian Churches of God





(Copyright ã 1994, 1995, 1999 Wade Cox)

(Summary by Sarina Derksen, Ed. by Wade Cox)

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The Day of Atonement is a Sabbath of solemn rest. Individuals who do not keep it are cut off from their people. This removal is from the nation of Israel, which involves the elect as spiritual Israel. Thus failure to keep the Day of Atonement means removal from the elect (Levi. 23:26-32).

The Atonement sacrifice was to consecrate the Temple on a yearly basis for the continual offerings of the congregation. This was done through the priesthood, who are commanded to offer no unholy incense upon the altar of God. Thus there can be no apostasy or profane teaching before the Lord. The atonement sacrifice was to reconcile spiritual and physical Israel to God through Jesus Christ. The atonement sacrifice was a charge against the High Priest.

The veil stood perpetually as a barrier to the congregation of Israel. The perpetual incense was to represent the prayers of the saints as intercession for Israel. Atonement at this stage could be made only once a year (Ex. 30:1-10).

The veil was torn through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ so that we could meet God in the Holy of Holies.

The altar was to have no unholy incense or be profaned by no other form of offering. The symbolism pointed towards Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit in the purity of truth. Thus no priest can knowingly go to the Day of Atonement within or under a false system. All the elect are priests, offering incense through prayers and fasting (Rev. 5:8).

Worship is to the One True God and worship of the High Priest is idolatry. It is the High Priest that must atone for the congregation and he alone with his own blood. Christ entered once for all into the Holy Place on his resurrection (Heb. 9:11-28).

The offering at Atonement was for the numbering of the elect of Israel. This was paid for at the price of half a shekel based on the Hebrew and Phoenician shekel, not the Babylonian. Thus the payment is a set weight by offering per person and is not to vary by circumstance of the individual. God did this numbering of Israel at the foundation of the world (Rev. 17:8) and the weight by set fee was paid once and for all by Jesus Christ. The set fee indicates that salvation is paid for, not according to the physical circumstance of the individual, but by the sacrifice of Christ once and for all. Thus the taking up of a collection at Atonement strikes at the very adequacy of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that there are three collections only specified in Exodus 23:14-18.

Atonement is thus specifically excluded from the category of offerings that are related to bounty and individual blessing. So also is Trumpets. That is because neither is related to human activity or endeavour. Atonement is specifically a census (Ex. 30:11-16).

The census of Israel as reported in Numbers 1 was for military purposes. The transgression of David in 2Samuel 24 was because it was done, not in accordance with the law, for purposes which struck at the concept of the payment for Israel by Messiah.

There had to be a payment by blood (signified by the half shekel) for the numbering of Israel, as there was a spiritual significance to the census. Also the protection and strength of Israel was not measured in numbers. It was not measured in might, nor in power, but by my spirit says the Lord of Hosts (Zech. 4:6).

Declaration of the Jubilee

Atonement is also used to declare the Jubilee, for the Jubilee is the basis of God's system for regulating human affairs on earth (Lev. 25:8-12).

Sacrifice for Atonement

The sacrifice for Atonement was a sequence of animals (see Num. 29:7-11).

Atonement by sacrifice generally is dealt with in Exodus 29:36; Leviticus 1:4; 4:13-18,20,22-35; 5:6-10; 6:7; 9:7; 10:17; 12:6-8; 14:12-32; 16:6,10-34; 17:11; 19:22; Numbers 15:22-28; 28:30; and Hebrews 9:22. It is a concept of the expiation of sin by substantive offering and relates also to the human need to perceive expiation as a process related to price and consequence. No doubt the mental health of the individual is also connected with this process.

The sacrifice of the High Priest was also related to human sin and appointment. Hebrews 5:1-14 shows the problems that arose in relation to the perfection of Christ and the offering up of himself after his designation by God. The High Priest was himself beset with weakness and thus deals gently with the ignorant and wayward. For this reason God gives the weak and the base to Christ so that they might be perfected and pronounce judgment in mercy. Christ himself was heard for his Godly fear.

The ability to distinguish good from evil and to consume solid meat is the mark of the elect, whose faculties are trained by practice to endure sound doctrine and to deal with and correct error no matter what its source. This is the power of the Holy Spirit in truth. The High Priest offered atonement for himself and the errors of the people (Heb. 9:7).

The sacrifice of Jesus was as an atonement which was divinely ordained (Lk. 2:30-31; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1:3-12,17-22; 2:4-10; Col. 1:19-20; 1Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8). This atonement was to accomplish a plan and was in accordance with a secret and hidden wisdom decreed before the ages for our glorification (1Cor. 2:7).

The atoning sacrifice of Christ was noted as being for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last days (1Pe. 1:3-21).

It was not the intention of the Lord that sacrifice be continued (Psa. 40:6-8). Sin offerings are not required where the law is kept from desire. The roll of the book is kept so that the keeping of the law is from the heart and those who do so are recorded among the elect.

Acts 17:2 shows that the Scriptures declared the necessity of the sacrifice. Thus the penalty for not overseeing the flock purchased with the blood of Christ is serious indeed (Acts 20:28). Christ was sacrificed and raised for our justification (Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25; 5:1-21). We are thus reconciled to God (2Cor. 5:18-19). We are delivered from this evil world (Gal. 1:3-4) so that we might have the adoption of sons (Gal. 4:4-5). By this reconciliation, Christ tore the temple veil in two, which stood as a boundary between us and God (Eph. 2:13-18).

The law of commandments and ordinances abolished by the flesh of Christ were the sacrificial laws relating to flesh.

Atonement relates to the Plan of Salvation in the last days. The sequence of the feasts in Tishri shows a set sequence in the last days. Trumpets heralds the arrival of Jesus Christ as Messiah of Israel in the last days. He is to subjugate the world. The gaps between Trumpets and Atonement and between Atonement and Tabernacles represent the fact that the sequence covers a period of time, which requires a sequence of activity. There is no gap between Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. That also has significance.

The Millennial system represented by Tabernacles cannot be introduced until there is a restoration through the subjugation of the planet, and then a reconciliation of the planet to God. The subjugation is depicted by Trumpets and the reconciliation is depicted by Atonement. The reconciliation to God is attendant upon the binding of Satan for the thousand years referred to in Revelation 20:4.

The atonement sacrifice depicts the binding of Satan in the period prior to the Millennium depicted by Tabernacles. The sacrifice is found in Leviticus 16:1-34.

This sacrifice represents the hallowing of the people through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The process marks the atonement of Israel. No person can enter the Tabernacle until the atonement of the High Priest has been made.

The next process occurs after the atonement has been made. Thus the second goat does not represent in any way the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The use of two goats depicts the judgment of like beings and the success and failure of like beings. The atonement has already occurred and is complete as Leviticus 16:20-21 depicts.

The phrase ye shall afflict your souls when used in Scripture denotes fasting. The process of fasting is to release the bonds of wickedness that Satan or Azazel had placed upon the planet.

The affliction of fasting is seen in Isaiah 58. Israel will not turn to Messiah at the advent. The nations will fight against him and the world will be subjugated in absolute misery, through their own iniquity and rebellion. This period must follow the warning of the last days.

We fast to reconcile ourselves to God and to bring the system under Messiah to us more rapidly. Be diligent and fast in love and hope.