Fred R. Coulter—October 4, 2014

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Day of Atonement! Today is a special day, a special day put aside by God that has many meanings and tells us many different things, but especially answers:

  • Why is there evil in the world?
  • When will that cease?

So, the Day of Atonement has a lot of meaning for us in the Church directly, and for the world particularly; for Israel and hence for all people.

Leviticus 23:26: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Also, on the tenth day of this seventh month, is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a Holy convocation to you. And you shall afflict your souls and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD." Afflict your souls means to fast without food and without water. We come to God humble, realizing that:

  • everything that we have came from Him
  • everything that we know comes from His creation of us
  • giving us of the conscious and mind
  • giving us His Spirit
  • everything we know of God comes from God

It is the day for us to realize and understand:

  • no man can tell God what to do
  • no man can bring his 'good ideas' and tell God that He needs to accept them

Man is imperfect and sinful, and God is perfect and Holy; that's why we need the day of Atonement. In particularly on this day:

Verse 28: "And you shall do no work in that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, in order to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God… [we will see about that, also] …for whoever is not afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people" (vs 28-29). God is able to do this individually in many, many different ways. To destroy does not necessarily mean to instantly do away with.

Verse 30: "And whoever does any work in that same day, the same one will I destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. In the ninth day of the month at sunset, from sunset to sunset, you shall keep your Sabbath" (vs 30-32).
It's very interesting with this because this defines precisely when a day begins and when a day ends. The ending of the ninth day at sunset—the Hebrew 'ba erev'—ends the day. "…from sunset to sunset, you shall keep [observe] your Sabbath."

So the tenth day of the seventh month is defined specifically by God: 'ba erev' (9th day) to 'ba erev' (the 10th day). You can take that 'ba erev' and sunset and apply it to any Holy Day because that's when the days begin and end; that goes all the way back to Gen. 1.

Let's understand with the Day of Atonement, as we do with all the Holy Days that we observe, we take up an offering to give to God. It is used for what He wants done in:

  • preaching the Gospel
  • feeding the flock
  • understanding the Word of God

and especially

  • waiting for the Kingdom of God

We have a particular part in it; every one of us! How great, marvelous and wonderful that is going to be! We will be, as this word atonement says: at-one-ment with God!

(pause for the offering)

Let's see concerning the Day of Atonement and what was done at the temple on the Day of Atonement, and there are also some prophetic things that apply in fulfilled prophecy as we find in the book of Revelation.

This day is the most important day for the children of Israel, and also a very important day in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Lev. 16 tells us that this to be done on the Day of Atonement, so these are all the things to be done:

Leviticus 16:29: "And it shall be a statute forever to you: in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country or a stranger who is living among you, for on that day an atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you, so that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It shall be a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever" (vs 29-31). So, all the things listed here in Lev. 16 pertain to the Day of Atonement and what God was going to do.

This is going to answer the question: Is there a day coming when is God going to remove sin completely? Yes! But the complete fulfillment of it unto the spiritual Kingdom of God—where we are all spirit beings—covers the whole scope of human history and the plan of God.

In the meantime, we have our sins forgiven through Christ, and Christ is the One Who is the sacrifice here for our sins, and for the sins of the children of Israel.

Moses was told by God to tell Aaron that he was not to come into the Holy of Holies at any time, but only once a year on the Day of Atonement, and he would come in with all the Holy garments on him (vs 3-4).

Here is an important thing we need to understand, literally, physically, spiritually, and what it means for us, v 5: And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. And Aaron shall offer his young bull of the sin offering which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself and for his house" (vs 5-6). Interesting, the high priest had to make atonement for himself, first! We'll see how that applies to Jesus Christ a little later.

Verse 7: "And he shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation." He would go in, he would offer the offering for himself, then he would come out and he would present the two goats before the Lord.

Verse 8: "And Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats; one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel"—another name for Satan the devil. The spiritual meaning of this is that human beings, by their own discernment, knowledge and understanding can never tell the difference between the true God and Satan the devil, the 'god of this world.'

Isn't that true? Human beings—with the law of sin and death within us; without the Spirit of God between us; without the understanding of the Word of God—would do as all human beings do: everything that they do is 'right in their own eyes'! They have a reason for doing it and they think it's good. They have their religions and they think that they are good. They do some good things and they think that that qualifies them for salvation. NO!The only thing that qualifies you for salvation is Jesus Christ and God the Father! Not ourselves!

Think about this: Everything that we do—if we keep the commandments of God—we're doing God's works. If we do what God says, and if we love God and our neighbor, love each other and our enemies, all of that is what God wants us to do! All of those are the works of God. That's why we are judged by our works.

  • Are they our own? orGod's?
  • Are they inspired of Satan the devil? orOf God?

That's why the two goats had to be chosen by God. Only God can select the sacrifice for the sins of humanity! No man! Only God can get rid of Satan the devil! No man!

We will see this type in the ceremony here in v 9: "And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer it for a sin offering…. [10th day of the 7th month] …But the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement upon it and sent away into the wilderness for Azazel" (vs 9-10).

Let's see what was to be done here, v 15: "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil. And he shall do with that blood as he did with the blood of the young bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. And he shall make an atonement for the sanctuary because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel and because of their transgressions in all their sins…." (vs 15-16). We will see why there has to be the live goat, and why that pictures Satan the devil.

"…And so he shall do for the tabernacle of the congregation which remains with them in the midst of their uncleanness" (v 16). And after he has done that and sprinkled the blood then…

Why this ceremony? Some people think that the two goats represent Christ. Never has God given a live atonement for sin before Him. This represents something else! This has to represent Satan the devil because until Satan is removed mankind cannot choose or know who and what God is. Look at the whole world!

This is why that during this time God is the One Who calls. We have to answer the call, then He chooses. The Lord chooses us! Did not God choose Jesus Christ as our sin offering? Yes, indeed! We will see that. As a matter of fact, that was done on the 10th day of the 1st month.

Verse 21: "And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the sins of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away by the hand of a chosen man into the wilderness." Why do this? As we will see when we come to the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles as soon as Satan is around there is war!Sin is magnified! No man can get rid of Satan!

In this ceremony, yes, a man—we will see is a type of the angel (Rev. 20)—led the goat into the wilderness. The wilderness is not heaven! Some say that since both the goats represent Christ, one is our sacrifice and one of them is taking our sins to heaven. Well, no place in the Bible does it ever show that heaven is a wilderness. Heaven pictures where God is (Rev. 4 & 5). Wilderness is always a type of desolation, and that is where Jesus met Satan the devil for the temptation.

Verse 22: "And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities to a land in which no one lives. And he shall let the goat go in the wilderness." Then Aaron was to cleanse his clothes, wash his flesh, offer another offering, and the one who let the goat go for Azazel was to wash his clothes, bathe his flesh in water and afterward come into the camp.

Let's see how this was fulfilled. The first order of business when Christ and the saints return to the earth is to:

  • get rid of Satan the devil
  • get rid of the author of sin
  • get rid of the one who wants to be in place of God

but can never be

  • get rid of the one who wants to be worshiped as God

Revelation 20:1: "Then I saw an angel descending from heaven… [a type of the strong man of Lev. 16] …having the key of the abyss, and a great chain in his hand. And he took hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan…" (vs 1-2)—who is deceiving the whole world (Rev. 12:9). That's why God determines all of these things. That's why the appointed times of these are in God's hands. Yes, He gives us the framework, but after the events leading up to the return of Jesus Christ everything is going to be out of order and will have to be set in order again.

"…and bound him for a thousand years. Then he cast him into the abyss, and locked him up, and sealed the abyss over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were fulfilled; and after that it is ordained that he be loosed for a short time" (vs 2-3).

Let's see what else was fulfilled concerning the Day of Atonement. There is that special Day of Atonement that pictures Jesus' ministry. Let's examine that, and we will see how important that the Day of Atonement is for us, through Jesus Christ.

Leviticus 25:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses in Mount Sinai, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "When you come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall sow your field six years, and you shall prune your vineyard six years, and gather in the fruit of it. But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest to the land, a Sabbath for the LORD. You shall neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard. You shall not reap that which grows of its own accord for your harvest… [that is to sell and have your livelihood] …neither gather the grapes of your undressed vine as a harvest. It is a year of rest to the land. Rather, the Sabbath yield of the land shall be food for you, for you and for your servant, and for your slave woman and for your hired servant, and for your stranger who stays with you, and for your livestock, and for the beast that is in your land, shall all the increase of it be for food"'" (vs 1-7).

Here we come to a special Day of Atonement, and we will see how that fits in with what Christ did when He began His ministry:

Verse 8: "And you shall number seven Sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years. And the time of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be forty-nine years to you. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; in the Day of Atonement, the trumpet shall sound throughout all your land. And you shall make the fiftieth year Holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you, and you shall return each man to his possession, and you shall return each man to his family. That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee to you. You shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather the grapes of your undressed vine in it, for it is the jubilee. It shall be Holy to you. You shall eat the increase of it out of the field. In the year of this jubilee you shall return each man to his possession" (vs 8-13). And all the slaves were to be let go, not only in the 7th year, but also in the 50th year.

Let's see a fulfillment of this in Christ and the beginning of His ministry. I want you to understand that what Christ was doing, there was still the ceremony and things going on at the temple.

We know that when Jesus was baptized, Luke 3:21: "Now, it came to pass after all the people were baptized, and Jesus was baptized… [Isn't it interesting that He waited for all of them to be baptized, then He was?] …and was praying, that the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in a bodily form like a dove; and there came a voice from heaven, saying, 'You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased' (vs 21-22).

Jesus Christ was chosen for the atonement to go against Satan the devil on the day that He was baptized!

Luke 4:1: "And Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing in those days; and after they had come to an end, He hungered" (vs 1-2).

Being filled with the Holy Spirit, we know that Moses was with God 40 days and 40 nights and ate nothing and drank nothing (Exo. 34:28). Here we have the same thing with Jesus. Only this time this is going to determine Who is God, Who is the true Savior. Notice that Jesus went into the wilderness.

  • Where was the goat for Azazel released? In the wilderness! Azazel is another name for Satan.
  • Where did Jesus meet Satan the devil? In the wilderness!

We know that Satan tempted Jesus with bread, v 4: "But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."'"

Satan tempted Jesus with all the glory of the kingdoms of the world, and Satan knew that Jesus was going to be the coming King to rule over all the world. Jesus had to overcome all the temptations of Satan the devil and his wiles, his cunning, clever speaking.

We don't know all that he told Jesus, but he probably told Him, 'Look! Why do You have to go through all of this? Just worship me and I'll give it to you now.'

  • Isn't that the way people are?
  • Isn't that what happened with Adam and Eve?
  • Yes, indeed; and it's happening to all human beings!

They take the easy way, the broad way and they think that what they are doing is right! As a result of that, we come down to the end-time, as we've see how many times in Rev. 13, that the whole world worships the devil! That's what's happening today! Look at it!

  • Are we in bondage? Yes!
  • Are we captive of our sins? Yes!

Unless Jesus Christ came, and unless He had this temptation, there would be no way out of sin!

Let's see what happened after that was done. There was quite a space of time that occurred after that, before He came to Nazareth. But let's see what happened because we have something else that's very important to realize:

  • what He said
  • when He said it
  • why He said it

This is after He had overcome Satan the devil and the temptations, and actually began preaching, beginning His ministry.

Verse 16: "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and according to His custom, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and stood up to read." That Sabbath Day, as you will read in a footnote, is the Day of the Weeks, the Sabbath of the Sabbaths, which is Pentecost.

Why is that important? Remember where we read on how to count to the Year of Jubilee! Seven times seven Sabbaths, only these were years, and then the 50th year was the Year of Jubilee. The year that Jesus went through the temptation was the Jubilee Year, the Day of Atonement 26A.D. in the fall.

Since Jesus could not announce in the wilderness to the people of Israel—in Galilee and Judea; the Jews and the few of the various tribes that were with them—and could not tell them that this was the beginning of the Jubilee and release from sin. He could not tell them that He had overcome Satan the devil, because the fulfillment of what here is only a fulfillment that then carries on until Satan is removed, and then—as we will see on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles—Satan's final sentencing and judgment.

Why the Day of Pentecost? Think about it! How is Pentecost counted? Seven full weeks times seven full weeks equals forty-nine weeks. Pentecost is the 50th day. The 50th day, because He talks about the Spirit of God—is also a prophecy when the Spirit of God would come on the Day of Pentecost after His resurrection and the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel.

Verse 17: "And there was given Him the book of the prophet Isaiah; and when He had unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; for this reason, He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor…'" (vs 17-18).

Had to be God in the flesh to do it, after He had overcome Satan the devil. He came to release people from sin and from bondage, just exactly like the 50th year, which this was the 50th year, but the announcement on the Day of Pentecost. They were to release people from their debts, obligations, and now God is saying, 'I am going to release you from your greater debt:

  • your debt of sin
  • your debt of self
  • your debt of worshiping Satan the devil

"'…He has sent Me to heal those who are brokenhearted, to proclaim pardon to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (vs 18-19).

That was the 50th year, a jubilee, the acceptable year to begin and to carry out the preaching of the Gospel and the releasing of people from sin! That's quite a thing to understand. How was He received? Not very well!

Let's understand something else concerning this and see something we need to understand. This goes along with the Day of Atonement, and also with the receiving of the Holy Spirit. So, in a sense, the Day of Atonement—a Jubilee Year—and the Day of Pentecost come together to bring God's plan together for the preaching of the Gospel and releasing people from sin, releasing them from Satan the devil, who takes captive whomever he will.

Jesus Christ had to have that confrontation with Satan the devil to overcome him. It was in the appointed time of the Jubilee Year to begin to preach the Gospel. First, before it could be preached, Jesus had to overcome Satan the devil. Likewise, when Christ returns—before the Kingdom of God can be brought to the whole world, Satan the devil must be removed! That's what the goat for Azazel pictures.

Then the preaching of the Gospel to the world with the saints resurrected from the dead are going to serve with Christ, as we will see during the Feast of Tabernacles, as kings and priests to help bring the government and the rule of God on earth.

Now, whether that year will be a Jubilee Year or not, we do not know! However, for the land, in order to begin the count for the Jubilee for agriculture and things like this, we have to go by what we find in Lev. 25—when you come into the land, that starts year one. It's very probable that when we come into the land—come from the Sea of Glass down to the earth with Christ and Satan is bound—we are going to occupy the world. That begins the first year of the new count for the Jubilee, which will go on down through the Millennium.

In order for us to be released from the power of Satan the devil, Christ had to come, overcome Satan the devil, come into Nazareth and proclaim on the Day of Pentecost—which is a mini-Jubilee—that he is going to set people free from sin. In order to set them free from sin, He's got to get them out from the power of Satan the devil. That's what the Day of Atonement pictures for us.

Colossians 1:9: "For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God" (vs 9-10)—spiritually!

This is what this is to do for us, v 11: "Being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory…" Think about what God is doing for us with His Spirit!

Sidebar: If there's any one sin that the people of God need to get rid of—because it's found in too many churches. I get letters and e-mails all the time, and there is a good number of e-mails that have come in just recent times that those brethren who receive our messages and things we send to them—which we gladly do—those who attend other Churches of God are reporting that socializing and fellowshipping with brethren has become more important than serving God. Likewise with the ministers and sermons!

So, if there's any repenting to be done, on this day of Atonement we'd better repent of every single idol and everything we put before God, so that we can grow in the knowledge of God because of what He has done for us!

"…unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified…" (vs 11-12).

  • God draws us
  • God calls us
  • we answer the call
  • He chooses us through Christ
  • we have our sins forgiven

God has done all of this! He is the One Who is qualifying us "…for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light; Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness…" (vs 12-13)—the power of Satan the devil. We have been delivered from it, though we still live in the world. We need to understand how close we need to be with God.

  • that's why we fast on the Day of Atonement
  • that's why we keep the Day of Atonement

God has something special that He is doing for us. Yes, indeed, what a thing that is going to be. He "…has personally rescued us from the power of darkness." Not because of our works! And even if we keep some of the commandments of God in the letter of the Law, until we are converted and have the circumcision of the heart we have the law of sin and death, which leads us directly, and not the Spirit of God. We cannot be doing the works of God with the attitude and understanding and spirit that we need to do, unless we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us.

"…and has transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love; in Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins" (vs 13-14). That's something! God is the One Who has done it, without a doubt!

Let's see how Paul defines this even more. Here he is rehearsing his calling; after he was knocked to the ground and heard Jesus say:

Acts 26:14: "…'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.'" Let's understand that he was righteous as could be in the letter of the Law. Was he persecuting the Church? Yes, doing what he thought was the will of God, but what was the will of Satan the devil!

Verse 15: "And I [Saul] said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. Now arise, and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you as a minister and a witness both of what you have seen and what I shall reveal to you. I am personally selecting you from among the people and the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God…'" (v 15-18).

We need to understand that. We're under the authority of God, until the Kingdom of God. We need to, brethren, living in this age we are living, with all the things that we have heaped up and given to us and walk around as happy little Laodiceans, not knowing our true spiritual condition. That's why we will see why we need to fast and repent.

"…so that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified through faith in Me" (v 18). That's quite a thing! That's us, brethren! God is going to give us the whole universe. We're going to live forever!

  • How pitiful the things that we have done!
  • How sinful and wretched they are!

On this Day of Atonement let us come to God and affirm to Him, in a covenant pledge, to put away all those things:

  • to repent
  • to confess our sins
  • to get rid of our sins
  • to use the eye salve
  • to dress ourselves with the clothes of Christ—His righteousness

and not our own sanctimonious self-righteous idolatry of spiritual blindness that the physical fellowship is pleasing to God, though we neglect Him.

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Let's see Jesus' attitude. Psa. 69 is a Psalm of David; there are many things in there that relate to him. But there are also some of the very words that Christ would speak.

Psalm 69:6: "Do not let those who wait on You, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed because of me; let not the ones who seek You be ashamed because of me, O God of Israel, because for Your sake I have borne reproach, shame has covered my face" (vs 6-7). Like it says there in Psa. 22—spitting and shame.

Verse 8: "I have become a stranger to My brothers and an alien to My mother's children." Remember what they said: You go up to this Feast if You want to show Yourself, because Jesus' brothers didn't believe in Him.

Verse 9—this is what was quoted when Jesus came into the temple the first time in John 2: "For the zeal of Your house has eaten Me up…" We need to have the zeal that Christ commands us to have (Rev. 3) instead of being lukewarm. He wants us to be zealous, on fire for God as it were. "For the zeal of Your house has eaten Me up…" He did it so that He could bear our sins!

"…and the reproaches of those who reproached You have fallen upon Me" (v 9). Every sin of every human being who has ever lived or will ever live has fallen on Christ. That's why it was the Year of Jubilee that He came; the year of release, physically/spiritually. That was also with Pentecost, the beginning of receiving the Spirit of God.

Verse 10: "When I wept in my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. I also made sackcloth my clothing, and I became a proverb to them. Those who sit in the gate speak about me; and I was the song of the drunkards. But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, in an acceptable time…" (vs 10-13). That's what Jesus read. This is the acceptable year from the time of Jesus until now,

"…O God, in the abundance of Your mercy answer me, in the Truth of Your salvation" (v 13). This is how we need to look to God, to deliver us from the things that we get ourselves into. And the attitudes and complacencies and the lack of doing what God wants us to do.

Remember: If we keep all of the commandments Jesus said, when you're done proclaim that you are unpardonable servants. Why? Because

  • He wants our heart!
  • He wants our mind!
  • He wants our emotions!
  • He wants us to be looking to Him!

Realizing that the great gift of eternal life comes from Him, and that this flesh—while we are fasting—we realize is nothing, we realize is coming to an end. Unless we have eternal life with God, then what is it all worth? Think about that!

Look around the world and all the things that are going on, and as I have said over and over again, it is coming here! It is coming to this nation! It is coming to all the nations of Israel, because we have turned our backs on God!

Sidebar: The only that is holding it back is that the Gospel has got to be preached, and we must be about doing that with the greatest amount of zeal that we possibly can do—every one of us—in every way we can, for whatever the calling it is that God has given to us. That's why this day also needs to be a day of repentance. That's what it is. We are at-one with God when our sins are covered, but we have to come to God the right way.

Notice why things are the way they are in this nation, and why they are in the Church the way that they are. Too much of this:

Isaiah 59:1: "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor is His ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have come between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear" (vs 1-2). That's the way it is with the world out there, and we live in the world. Yet, even within the Church…

Notice that all the Protestants believe, 'We're going to be spared from the Tribulation' as we covered concerning the false doctrine of the rapture. They come before God on Sunday—like too many people in the Churches of God come before God on the Sabbath—and they are quite satisfied with what they have. If there is repentance, it is more flattery rather than deep to the core of the heart, being and mind of the individual.

Here's what God tells us to do, Isaiah 58:1: "Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram's horn, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Yes, and the Church of God their sins! It needs to be!

  • How is your life before God?
  • How is your church that you go to?
  • How are the brethren there?

You know!God knows even better! We need to repent!

Here's what they're doing, v 2: "Yet, they seek Me daily, and seem eager to know My ways, as a nation… [you could put in church] …that did righteousness, and one that did not forget the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they seem eager to draw near to God. They say, 'Why have we fasted, and You do not see? Why have we afflicted our soul and You take no knowledge?' Behold, in the day of your fast you pursue your business and exploit all your workers. Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness; you cannot fast as you do this day, and expect to make your voice to be heard on high. Is this such a fast that I have chosen?…" (vs 2-5). NO!

Let's see what kind of fast that God has chosen. Let's see what God requires. This nation is in such trouble that there needs to be a fast proclaimed for it.

  • How many will answer?
  • How many will respond?

Sooner or later, as you come down in time and sin grows. and grows,and grows—like it did with the children of Judah, the Jews, in Judea before the destruction of the temple—that Jeremiah was told by God: Do not even pray for this people, for I will not hear you! Brethren, that day is coming! Let it not come upon us in the Churches of God that God will not hear us because we do not repent the way that God wants us to.

Joel 1:14: "Sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly… [that's what it is with us on this Day of Atonement] …gather the elders and all the people of the land unto the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD"—because His great day is coming!

Look at what is happening in Jerusalem right now. That is going to setup the way for the coming temple of God. Look at what they're going through. Look at the woes and difficulties in the world.

Here's what God wants, all these things that are coming, Joel 2:12: "'Therefore, even now,' says the LORD, 'turn to Me with all your heart… [that's what God wants; that's what this Day of Atonement is for] …and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. Yes, rend your heart and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God…" That's what God wants; that's what this Day of Atonement pictures. That's why Jesus went through what He went through. That's why He announced what He announced after having been tempted by Satan the devil for 40 days and 40 nights (Luke 4) and it began in a Jubilee Year. Now there is the release spiritually.

  • Will we turn to God?
  • Will we do what He says?
  • Will we yield to Him?
  • What will our lives be?

Remember this, "…for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil. Who knowsif He will return and repent and leave a blessing behind Him…" (vs 13-14). Well, it's all in God's hands!

Let's see what Daniel's prayer of repentance was. This is important, important for the Churches of God, important for every one of us our lives today, on this Day of Atonement. This needs to be our attitude and the way that we need to seek God and be dedicated to doing what He wants done.

  • let none of our sins
  • let none of the difficulties
  • let none of our weaknesses
  • let none of the things of the lukewarmness of the spirituality that God detests

be found in any of us!

Dan. 9 is important because it leads up to the coming of Jesus and that 69th week, that was something.

Daniel 9:2: "In the first year of his [Darius (v 1)] reign, I, Daniel, understood by books the number of the years, which came according to the Word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years." He finally understood it. How? By the Word of God through Jeremiah! How do we understand what we need to do? By the Word of God through Jesus Christ!

Verse 3: "And I set my face toward the LORD God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the LORD my God and made my confession, and said, 'O LORD, the great and awesome God, keeping the covenant and mercy to those who love Him, and to those who keep His commandments'" (vs 3-4). Let that be us, brethren; to love Him and keep His commandments with His Spirit, the way that He wants!

But notice his confession, v 5: "We have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, and have turned aside from Your commandments and from Your ordinances." That's what we've done as a nation! As I've said, we included God in the founding of this nation, they—the ones who were founding it—knew it was in the hand of God. God in His mercy gave it to fulfill the promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and God has given freedom and glory and the Word of God in this land such as no other land in the world has received.

  • Look at what we are doing!
  • Look at our murders!
  • Look at all our abortions!
  • Look at all the sex sins!
  • Look at all the drug sins!
  • Look at all the religious sins!

All of these sins, just like this, where Daniel is setting his face toward the temple where it was in Jerusalem. All these sins lie at the door at the pulpits of the churches! All Protestant churches! All Catholic churches! All independent churches! All Baptist churches! These sins lie at your doorbecause:

  • you did not seek God!
  • you sought Him with your own sin and righteousness
  • you declared that the laws of God have been done away

Yes, we have sinned mightily before God! The only reason that it is still alive and kicking is so that we in the Churches of God can preach the Gospel in an unprecedented way. God will open the doors! He will make it possible! But we have to repent as Daniel was repenting. And if there's any hope for an extension of time for this nation, then:

  • there needs to be repentance in the pulpits of all the Sunday-keeping churches
  • there needs to be repentance in every synagogue there needs to be repentance in the White House
  • there needs to be repentance in the Congress
  • in the Senate
  • in the House of Representatives
  • there needs to be repentance in every governor's office
  • there needs to be repentance in every state legislator
  • there needs to be repentance of every judge

Because the wrath of God is coming upon us in an unprecedented way!

Daniel continues and we're doing the same thing. We're the children of Israel doing the same thing:

Verse 6: "Neither have we hearkened unto Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our rulers, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O LORD, righteousness belongs to You, but to us confusion of face…" (vs 6-7). This whole nation is totally confused and blinded!

"…as at this day to the men of Judah and to the people of Jerusalem, and to all Israel who are near and who are afar off, through all the countries where You have driven them because they dealt treacherously with You" (v 7).

Don't you think it's the most treacherous thing to claim today that God the Father and Jesus Christ that Jesus came to do away with the laws and commandments of God?Yet, in their smug self-righteousness!Do you think God is going to rapture you out?NAY! You will be slaughtered!

Verse 8: "O Lord, confusion of face belongs to us, to our kings, to our rulers, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the LORD our God belong mercies and forgivenesses even though we have rebelled against Him" (vs 8-9). Yes, God is always merciful! God will always recognize repentance! But it must be from the heart, God's way! Not our way!

Verse 10: "Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel has transgressed Your Law, and have turned aside, so that they might not obey Your voice. Therefore, the curse has been poured out upon us…" (vs 10-11). Is it not? Yes! The curses of God have been poured out upon us, as I have covered recently.

"…and the oath that is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him. And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us by bringing upon us a great evil, for under the whole heaven it has not been done as it has been done upon Jerusalem" (vs 11-12). And it's not going to be any different with America and Britain today! Nor with the Churches of God today!

Verse 13: "As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this evil has come upon us. Yet, we did not make our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your Truth. Therefore, the LORD did not hesitate concerning the evil that He brought upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in all His works which He does, but we did not obey His voice" (vs 13-14). No, we didn't!

Verse 15: "And now, O LORD our God, Who has brought Your people out from the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and has made a name for Yourself, as it is this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly!" That's what our prayer needs to be for the nation and for the Church.

Verse 16: "O LORD, I pray You, according to all Your righteousness, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your Holy mountain. Because of our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those who are around us. And now, therefore, O our God…" (vs 16-17).

  • may God hear this prayer
  • may God grant us a reprieve
  • may God grant us repentance in the Church
  • may God lead us in what we need to do

Verse 17: "And now, therefore, O our God hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and cause Your face to shine upon Your sanctuary that is desolate for the LORD'S sake. O my God, incline Your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name. For we do not present our supplications before You on account of our righteousnesses, but because of Your great mercies" (vs 17-18).

If that prayer were offered with true repentance in every church and cathedral and synagogue in this nation, followed by:

  • true action to return to God
  • true action to get rid of the sinners
  • true action to change the government

God would lift His hand and give us a reprieve!Notice Daniel's plea:

Verse 19: "O LORD, hear; O LORD, forgive; O LORD, hearken and do. Do not delay, for Your own sake, O my God; for Your city and Your people are called by Your name."

That's what needs to be with us with the Day of Atonement let's look at what will come of it, what we can look forward to, the whole purpose in it. Remember, whenever there is any chastisement, when there is any correction, it is not pleasant, but it brings forth the spiritual fruits of righteousness and peace with God.

Here is the ultimate of the Day of Atonement. Jesus' last prayer covers everything of all the Holy Days, everything of the plan of God, from the beginning of creation down to the ages of eternity. Jesus' prayer is for us, for His people! He knew what was going to happen.

John 17:1: "Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, 'Father, the hour has come…'" He gave all the prophecies of the brutality that would happen to Him.

Let's think of this now also for us and the coming resurrection and the returning so that Christ can finish the work that He has yet to do.

Verse 2: "Since You have given Him authority over all flesh, in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do" (vs 2-4). That was the work of preaching the Gospel and coming at this point to be the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. That very afternoon when He died, said, 'It is finished!' So, He finished that part.

When we come to the book of Revelation, He says, 'It is done!' So, you just take that and expand it out to all of these things, because it applies, because the work that He has yet to do is as good as done, because He is God!

Verse 5: "And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You have given them to Me, and they have kept Your Word" (vs 5-6). Let that be said of us, brethren! That we keep the Word of God, and love God!

Verse 7: Now, they have known that all things that You have given Me are from You. For I have given them the words that You gave to Me; and they have received them and truly have known that I came from You; and they have believed that You did send Me" (vs 7-8).

Think about this for a minute: We have all the words of God today! How many Bibles do we have? May we use them! Learn from them! Thank God for it! It's His gift to us; what a fantastic thing! It's not because of us, it's because of God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 9: "I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world… [that prayer comes after the resurrection] …but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and all Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one, even as We are one" (vs 9-11). That is at-one-ment—to be at-one with God, literally with God! That's the meaning the Day of Atonement for us! Think what it's going to be like for the world when that day comes and Satan is removed.

Verse 12: "When I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. I protected those whom You have given Me, and not one of them has perished except the son of perdition, in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to You; and these things I am speaking while yet in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in them" (vs 12-13). That's what we want, brethren, on this Day of Atonement. The ultimate joy is going to be the joy of the resurrection.

Verse 14: "I have given them Your words, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." We're not of the world, brethren! Let's not go out and bring in things of the world just because they look good and think that that's of God. No! No!

Verse 15: "I do not pray that You would take them out of the world…" No! We've got a lot of things to go through and endure. Jesus said, 'The one who endures to the end, the same shall be saved.'

"…but that You would keep them from the evil one" (v 15). That's what this day pictures; to be kept from Satan the devil. We have been delivered from that evil one! We have been rescued by God the Father, so that we can be at-one with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 17: "Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth." God's Spirit is the Truth. We are sanctified. We are set aside for a Holy purpose, for a Holy use, for a Holy calling; to be the very sons and daughters of God. To live forever in New Jerusalem.

Brethren, think on those things, always! Don't let the environmental things around us affect you, whatever it may be. Yes, we need to be 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves.' But our ultimate thing is this right here:

Verse 18: "Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth. I do not pray for these only… [No! That's His prayer for us.] …but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word" (vs 18-20).

Here is the goal; this is the purpose of everything that God is doing and there's evidence of it in every one of the Holy Days:

  • how it is done
  • how we get there
  • what we do
  • why we do it

This is why the world doesn't know anything about Jesus Christ, v 21: "That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me." And the world won't believe it until He returns.

Verse 22: "And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me…" If you have the Holy Spirit of God, that's the earnest of the glory, so it's going to come.

"…in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (vs 22-23). Brethren, that's what we need; we need the love of God from God to us, and our love back to God with all our heart, mind, soul and being!

Did the Father love Jesus Christ? Yes, indeed!That's how He loves us!

Verse 24: "Father, I desire…" Isn't that going to be fulfilled? Will the Father not fulfill that for Jesus? As it pertains to us? Yes, indeed!

"…that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me where I am, so that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world has not known You; but I have known You, and these have known that You did send Me. And I have made known Your name to them, and will make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (vs 24-26).

That, brethren, is the full meaning of the Day of Atonement. Just think of the celebration and absolute wondrous event it is going to be when Satan the devil is removed and he doesn't deceive the nations anymore! That's why we keep this day!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:26-32
  • Leviticus 16:29-31, 5-10, 15-16, 21-22
  • Revelation 20:1-3
  • Leviticus 25:1-13
  • Luke 3:21-22
  • Luke 4:1-2, 4, 16-19
  • Colossians 1:9-14
  • Acts 26:14-18
  • Psalm 69:6-13
  • Isaiah 59:1-2
  • Isaiah 58:1-5
  • Joel 1:14
  • Joel 2:12-14
  • Daniel 9:2-19
  • John 17:1-15, 17-26

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 1
  • Leviticus 16:3-4
  • Revelation 4; 5; 12:9
  • Exodus 34:28
  • Revelation 13
  • Leviticus 25
  • Psalm 22
  • John 2
  • Revelation 3
  • Daniel 9:1

Transcribed: 8-15-14

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