Fred R. Coulter—October 8, 2011

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Day of Atonement, 2011. Time marches on! I remember 50 years ago we were expecting the return of Jesus Christ in just a few decades, but look how long it’s been and look how much there has to be already done and accomplished before the return of Christ. Here we are on the Day of Atonement, which is a tremendous and important Holy Day of God. This day has great meaning for us in many different ways.

The Day of Atonement is a day of fasting. A day of fasting is a day where we humble ourselves, yield to God, examine our lives, but also it gives us the understanding that everything that we have comes from God.

Just like Jesus said, ‘Of Myself I can do nothing.’ If He did anything of Himself, it would have been from human nature; likewise with us. We have to come to realize that spiritually attaining to the Kingdom of God and being at one with God we can’t do it on our own.

  • Yes, we have our part.
  • Yes, we have the things that we do.
  • Yes, we have our participation in it.
  • Yes, God’s Spirit is with us; God is helping us.
  • Yes, we have to fight and overcome the world and Satan the devil himself.

But nevertheless, we can do none of this on our own. We’re dependent upon God for everything:

  • every breath of air
  • every drop of water
  • every morsel of food
  • the sustaining of life

All of those things!

So, on this Day of Atonement, let’s come back to Leviticus 23, and let’s read about this day, because this is a special day. This is a day where God wants to be at one with us. Also, it is a day that we’re going to see shows putting away forever Satan the devil.

Let’s begin here in Leviticus 23:26: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Also, on the tenth day of this seventh month, is the Day of Atonement…. [We will see that it is a special day relating also to the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ.] …It shall be a Holy convocation to you. And you shall afflict your souls… [fast without food or water. There are some who have medical conditions that they must take certain medicines. That would be allowable for them. But for the rest of us, we are not to eat any food or drink any water.] …and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD’” (vs 26-27).

We always take up an offering on the Holy Days. If you make an offering ‘made by fire’ to the Lord, that’s going to be a very expensive offering, indeed! Also, as we will see, they had the temple offerings and a special ritual on this day.

(pause for the offering)

Let’s continue on in Leviticus 23, and we will see that these instructions give us some understanding, very clearly, as to when a day begins and ends, as well. Meaning, likewise, all the Sabbath days of God, all the Holy Days of God.

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, for whoever is not afflicted in that same day… [does not fast the way that the Bible shows we should] …he shall be cut off from among his people” (vs 28-29). We’ve also seen that happen, too, haven’t we?

There are certain things that take place. We also understanding how important the Passover is. In the Passover we know that foot-washing is very important in order to have a part with Jesus Christ. Likewise with the Day of Atonement, fasting is the key element of the Day of Atonement, so that we can be at one with God.

When people quit observing the Passover or they come to the point, for the Passover, that they begin to leave off foot-washing, they are taking the first step away from God. And then they begin to cut themselves off from among the brethren; same way with the Day of Atonement. When people go along and they keep the Day of Atonement, and then for whatever reason, they leave and give up on God and give up on His Word and they don’t keep the Day of Atonement—they don’t fast—likewise, they’re cut off from God!

How does God cut them off? He removes knowledge from them, bit-by-bit! I don’t know exactly at which point that God removes His Spirit from them. We hope and pray for those brethren that find themselves in that condition, that they don’t go completely to the point of rejecting God.

He also says, v 30: “And whoever does any work in that same day, the same one will I destroy from among his people.” There are many ways to destroy people. That doesn’t necessarily mean to immediately eliminate them as a human being.

Verse 31: “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….” (vs 31-32).

Notice very carefully, this defines how to determine a day; this ties right in with what we covered concerning the things of the Passover and sunset and so forth. Sunset in the Hebrew is ‘ba erev’—it is a very short period of time from the time that the sun touches the horizon until the time it disappears below it—that is sunset. The time after that is between the two evenings. The time after that is darkness or night.

Notice the instruction here, “…In the ninth day of the month at sunset, from sunset to sunset, you shall keep your Sabbath.’ (v 32).

Very interesting, the Day of Atonement is calculated from sunset on the ninth day, which ends the ninth day; to sunset on the tenth day, which ends the tenth day. So, the Day of Atonement is from sunset to sunset; likewise, every Sabbath is from sunset to sunset. All the Holy Days are from sunset to sunset. This gives us an important understanding.

Let’s see about fasting, some other things concerning fasting that are important; let’s come to Psalm 35. In afflicting ourselves, we are to do in times of trouble. Notice here—which I think is a very profound and interesting Psalm—that David was fasting for his enemies. Does that sound a little bit like New Testament doctrine, that you are to pray for those who ‘persecute you and despitefully use you’? Yes, indeed!

David was doing what is required with the New Covenant—isn’t he?—by fasting for his enemies. He says, Psalm 35:9: And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; it shall rejoice in His salvation. All my bones shall say, ‘O LORD, Who is like You, Who delivers the poor from him stronger than he; yea, even the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?’ (vs 9-10).

Who is the great oppressor of all people but none other than Satan the devil! Since he has to use human beings, also, to do his work he uses them and rewards them and gives them power. The truth is, with Satan the devil we are not to yield to him one iota so that he has no power in our lives.

We’re viewing and seeing in the world today just how absolutely sure the Scripture is which says that that ‘ancient serpent—the dragon, the devil—is deceiving the whole world.’ And his deceptions are going to get greater and stronger as time goes on. It’s going to cause more and more difficulty and problems and troubles.

God has to deliver us, v 10: “‘…Who delivers the poor from him stronger than he; yea, even the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?’ Cruel witnesses rose up; they asked me of things that I knew nothing about. They rewarded me evil for good, bereaving my soul” (vs 10-12).

Isn’t that amazing? Yes, indeed! How many times have you been rewarded evil for good by people? Think about how many times that happened to Christ!

  • He was rejected!
  • He was despised!
  • He was hated!

Of course, we know that on the Passover He was beaten, scourged and crucified! Yet, what did Jesus say? Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!

Verse 13: “But when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting…” When you fast and don’t eat food and don’t drink water, you really understand how absolutely dependent that you are on God! Think about it spiritually, too. If you go on a spiritual fast—that is you don’t study and you don’t pray—are you not commensurately weaker? Just as when you don’t eat food and drink water physically you get weak. Think about it spiritually:

  • You’re not armed with the mind of Christ.
  • You’re not strong in the Spirit of God.

“…I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer returned into my own bosom. I went about as though it were a friend or brother; I bowed down as one mourning for his mother. But in my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; the attackers whom I did not know gathered themselves against me. They slandered without ceasing. As profane mockers, they gnashed at me with their teeth” (vs 13-16).

Part of this is a prophecy of Jesus. The last part that we read here was certainly what Jesus went through, when He was being accused, when He was brought before Pilate, when He was brought before the chief priests. Didn’t they do that? Didn’t they gnash their teeth toward Him? Yes, without a doubt! No question! They were very hateful toward Him.

Let’s see the instruction concerning fasting. Let’s come to 1-Kings 13 and here God instructed one man, whom He sent as a prophet, on a special mission. He was to go warn Jeroboam concerning what Jeroboam had set up in Dan and Bethel, that is the golden calf and the pagan worship that Jeroboam had setup. As a matter of fact, Jeroboam made himself one of the high priests. Here in 1-Kings 13 we find here what God told the prophet to do. It’s very interesting, because we find another man who called himself a prophet of the Lord. After he had come and done the things that God commanded him to do, this prophet met him and said, ‘Come in and eat with me.’

Notice what he said, 1-Kings 13:15: “And he said to him, ‘Come home with me and eat bread.’ And he [the prophet] said, ‘I may not return with you nor go in with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place, for a word was given to me by the Word of the Lord, “You shall eat no bread nor drink water there, nor return again by the way that you came.”’…. [Notice the lying deception of this prophet; he should have listened to God. Remember, no man can undo the Word of God]: …And he said to him, ‘I am a prophet also as you are. And an angel spoke to me by the Word of the Lord, saying, “Bring him back with you into your house, so that he may eat bread and drink water.”’ But he lied to him” (vs 15-18). What happened to him? He lost his life!

Let’s see the mission; what he was to do, right here in v 1. Let’s also look at this as something that we need to be focused in on and that we need to do in keeping our understanding of how we need to continue with God. That’s why we have the Day of Atonement every year, to realize:

  • we need God
  • God loves us
  • God cares for us
  • God wants us

But we need to do what God has said. We need not be like this prophet who did what God said, then turned around and didn’t finish it.

Verse 1: “And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the Word of the Lord, to Bethel. And Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.” Jeroboam made himself a high priest at his temple place there in Bethel.

  • He rejected God’s offer!
  • He rejected the Truth of God!

So, he set up the paganism for the ten tribes of Israel, and after this there is not one mention of a good king for the ten tribes of Israel.

Verse 2: “And he [the prophet] cried against the altar by the Word of the Lord and said, ‘O, altar, altar, thus says the LORD. “Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon you he shall offer the priests of the high places who burn incense upon you, and men’s bones shall be burned upon you.”’” Remember the revival that Josiah had. He did exactly this:

Verse 3: “And he gave a sign the same day, saying, ‘This is the sign which the LORD has spoken. “Behold, the altar shall be torn apart, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.”’ Then it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God who had cried against the altar in Bethel, he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, ‘Lay hold on him!’ And his hand, which he put forth against him withered up so that he could not pull it in again to himself. The altar also was split asunder and the ashes poured out from the altar according to the sign which the man of God had given by the Word of the Lord” (vs 3-5).

Yes, the Word of the Lord is true and righteous! Think about this in this situation here. All crooks never like to have a penalty brought upon them—right? So, just like with King Jeroboam:

Verse 6: “And the king answered and said to the man of God, ‘Seek now the face of the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me again.’…. [Oh yes! He can’t take that punishment. You can defy God! You can make idols! You can burn incense! You can lead people astray! But if it happens to you personally, you can’t take it.] (Notice what God did, as a sign to him, in hopes that Jeroboam would repent): …And the man of God prayed to the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored to him again and became as at the beginning.”

Verse 7: “And the king said to the man of God, ‘Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.’ And the man of God said to the king, ‘If you will give me half your house, I will not go in with you, nor will I eat bread nor drink water in this place, for so was it commanded me by the Word of the Lord, saying, “Eat no bread nor drink water, nor return again by the same way that you came.”’ Then he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.” (vs 7-10).

Then this certain old man—the prophet—deceived him. You overcome one battle, then there’s another trial that comes along. Don’t give in to the ‘good words’ of people—that is the good sounding words—to lead you away from God, and to deter you from what you should be doing. NO!

Let’s look at what God wants to have. Let’s come to Joel, the second chapter. When we fast and when we pray, the whole important thing has to be with our heart, mind, attitude and yielding to God. Let’s see the fast that God wants. This is in the time right down to getting close to the Day of the Lord. There is going to be repentance. Here’s the kind of repentance that God wants. God is tired of repenting with good intentions, but no action behind it. God is tired of fasting for those who fast to accomplish their own will.

Joel 2:12: “‘Therefore even now,’ says the LORD, ‘turn to Me with all your heart…’” That’s what God wants from us:

  • all our heart
  • all our mind
  • all our soul
  • all our being

That’s how we are to love God! When we have sinned, we are to return to Him!With all our heart! Here’s what God says, “‘…and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. Yes, rend your heart…’” (vs 12-13).

  • let there be repentance
  • let there be change
  • let there be something that is really going to motivate you to come back to God
  • let God’s Spirit work with you
  • let God’s Word penetrate into your heart and mind
  • let God’s Word humble you

—while you’re fasting and realizing that everything that you are and have are totally dependent upon God!

Verse 13: “‘Yes, rend your heart and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil.’” Always remember this: God honors repentance!We will see that repentance is the key. Fasting comes after repentance; you must have the repentance first. You must be returning to God with all your heart.

Verse 14: “Who knows if He will return and repent and leave a blessing behind Him—a grain offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?”

This is something! It shows the whole attitude that we need to have. When there were problems in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, they fasted—without drinking water and without eating food—because of the sins of the people, and God heard them. Likewise with us, brethren; let’s use this Day of Atonement to draw close to God. Let’s use this Day of Atonement as a time to pray for others, to intercede on their behalf, that God would restore them, that God would bring them again, help them come to repentance—especially for the Churches of God! That we can all yield to God and God can use all the Churches of God to preach a warning message to this world.

Let’s come to Isaiah 58 and let’s see how then Israel fasts. This could be likened to a political fast, or a fast to get your own way. We’re not to fast to get our way; we are to fast to find the way of the Lord. We are to fast to find the way that we need to turn to God to find our way out of our difficulties and the problems out of our lives. Isn’t it interesting that we’ll see that the ram’s horn—the trumpet—was to be blown on the Day of Atonement. This may very well be an Atonement message here to the children of Israel.

We know that this past summer on August 6, that Rick Perry had a fasting and prayer session and a great revival down in Houston, Texas. We don’t know exactly how all that’s going to turn out. We don’t know if these people were sincerely seeking God with all their heart and mind or not, because we don’t know their minds. But we can see later by their fruits and what they do.

Remember, God is always merciful!But He is not going to be convinced by a fast that is a fast for strife and debate.

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.” What are the great sins? Sunday-keeping, holiday-keeping, rejecting the Old Testament, rejecting the New Testament! Trying to make a religion out of the way of God, rather than come to God and ask God:

  • Oh, Lord, show me Your way.
  • Oh, God, help us with Your Truth.
  • Oh, God, open my mind to understand.
  • Oh, God, forgive me of my sins.
  • Forgive those who have been against me.
  • Forgive those who have plotted against us.
  • Help us in every way.

NO! They’re ‘religious,’ v 2: “Yet they seek Me daily, and seem eager to know My ways, as a nation 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.” And yes, they fasted, but God didn’t answer, because it wasn’t with their whole heart. Not like we’re told in Joel 2.

Here’s what they did, v 4: “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.” Then He shows the kind of fast that He wants: relieve the widow, the stranger, the fatherless, the oppressed—not to get ‘our way’ but to do God’s way! That’s what God wants.

Then God said, if you do that, v 8: “Then shall your light break out as the dawn, and your health shall spring out quickly; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.”

  • then we can call upon God
  • then we can yield to Him
  • then God will help us
  • then God will bless us

Time will tell as to what’s going to happen, because you’ll know them by their fruits and you’ll know them by what they do.

Now let’s look at the aspect of another meaning of the Day of Atonement; one also that ties in with the ministry of Jesus Christ. Let’s come back to Leviticus 25; here we find that the Day of Atonement is a key marking point for the land sabbaths and the jubilee. That becomes important when we understand about Dan. 9

Here are the instructions that God gave, 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”’” (vs 1-2). This is a ‘land sabbath.’ We know that all during the Millennium the people are going to keep the ‘land sabbath.’

Here’s what they were to do, v 3: “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” (vs 3-4). They were to let it lie fallow and just give it a rest.

Verse 5: “You shall not reap that which grows of its own accord for your harvest, neither gather the grapes of your undressed vine as a harvest. It is a year of rest to the land.” They could go out and eat some of those things, but they couldn’t have it for a harvest for making wine or for making grapes.

Verse 6: “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 6-7). So, it was to be eaten and to sustain them during that time.

After that was over, then they had to count up to 49 years and then to one year beyond that to the Jubilee year.

Verse 8: “And you shall number seven sabbaths of years to you… [This is what it means when it speaks of a ‘week’ back in Dan. 9. A ‘week’ then is a heptad, which is seven years.’] …seven times seven years. And the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be forty-nine years to you.”

Notice what was to happen. All of these days were to be calculated from the Day of Atonement, v 9: “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.”

The jubilee becomes a very important thing concerning the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Notice what He says here for the 50th year. You will see from this that this was part of the message of the beginning of Jesus Christ’s ministry when He came into Galilee. We’re also going to see that when Jesus actually began His ministry it was on a Day of Atonement, the beginning of a Jubilee year.

Verse 10: “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.” All indentured servants were released. All Hebrew slaves were released. A jubilee!

Let’s come down to v 17 to understand why. The way we have land today and the way we use land and the way that it’s all divided up and subdivided with the cities and everything like this, it’s never given any rest. When it doesn’t have any rest then the plagues of God come upon it to give it rest:

  • the plagues of drought
  • the plagues of flood
  • the plagues of crop failure

—because people do not obey God!

Verse 17: “And you shall not oppress one another. But you shall fear your God, for I am the LORD your God. And you shall do My statutes, and keep My judgments and do them. And you shall dwell in the land in safety. And the land shall yield its fruits, and you shall eat your fill and dwell in it in safety. And if you shall say…” (vs 17-20). Certainly someone is going to say:

  • How can that be?
  • How can we have the 49th year as a land sabbath and then followed by another land sabbath on the 50th year?
  • What’s going to happen?
  • How can that be?
  • What are we going to eat?

The Jews today don’t observe the land sabbath at all. They’ve got a way around it. What they do, they temporarily deed the property to a Gentile. So therefore, technically it’s not theirs. They may be able to lie to themselves and fool themselves, but you can’t fool God! Isn’t that true? Yes, indeed!

Verse 20: “And if you shall say ‘What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow nor gather in our increase!’ Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And you shall sow the eighth year, and eat of old fruit in storage until the ninth year; until its fruits come in, you shall eat the old fruit” (vs 20-22). That’s something!

In God’s way, the tribe owned all the productive land, and it was leased out based upon the Jubilee year. They paid the price for it. That’s also how the state got their money. They didn’t have taxes. Look at the taxes that we’re all burdened with. It began when the people rejected God and wanted a king (1-Sam. 7). Look at what it is today. Terrible situation indeed!

Let’s see something in Daniel, the ninth chapter. Let’s see about Daniel and God giving him the revelation of when the Messiah would come. We don’t know all the circumstances here concerning what Daniel did here. We don’t know if he did this on a Day of Atonement. It’s very possible; we don’t know. Remember that they were sent into captivity 70 years and they were told that ‘while you are in captivity for 70 years the land shall enjoy its sabbaths.’ It could be that on the day of this prayer, that Daniel chose the Day of Atonement to pray.

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Daniel 9:1: “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans. In the first year of his 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” (vs 1-2). I don’t know if this was the Day of Atonement, but listen to what he did and gauge kind of how he did it. It could be that it may have been on the Day of Atonement, even though we can’t say for sure that it was.

Verse 3: “And I set my face toward the LORD God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” He really humbled himself, confessed the sins.

We’re not going to go through his whole prayer, but his whole prayer is really a great prayer of repentance. Be sure and go through and read the whole thing.

Notice what he did, v 4: “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, 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’” (vs 4-5). Just like we are today. We profess God, but we’ve turned aside everything—haven’t we? Yes! When we want to fast (Isa. 58)

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.” Look at the ministry of Jeremiah; look at what he went through. He witnessed to them for decades, but they didn’t listen.

Yes, during the reign of Josiah there was a short revival, but that was about it. It was all downhill from there right into the captivity of Judah going off to Babylon, carried away by King Nebuchadnezzar and his armies. They didn’t listen, likewise today. Will the people listen? Really listen? Will the rulers? the princes? the people? the Congress? the courts? Will the churches listen? Will there be a change? No, there won’t!

Verse 7: “O LORD, righteousness belongs to You, but to us confusion of face, 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.” That’s why the Day of Atonement is so important. We understand that we don’t deal treacherously with God. We’re not two-faced with God. Let our ‘yes’ be yes and our ‘no’ be no. Anything other than that, repent of! Even the Apostle Paul wrote and told the brethren, ‘Lie not to one another.’ If you have, repent! Don’t vex the Holy Spirit! Let the Holy Spirit lead you!

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. 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” (vs 8-10). Quite a thing! Right in the middle of his praying.

Let’s see how he ended this prayer. Let’s see the plea that Daniel had for the people right here in v 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.” Confessing and admitting the sins. That’s 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. 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” (vs 17-19).

  • What an impassioned prayer!
  • What an impassioned appeal to God!

That’s the way it needs to be with God’s people today. Cry out to God!

  • Yes, we have sinned. Yes, we have gone against You!
  • Yes, God, we have not preached like we should!
  • Yes, we’ve been involved in politics and in numbers and in money and in merchandizing!
  • Oh, God, help us!

That’s what it should be rising up from every Church of God everywhere. God will hear! God will answer!

Notice how God answered Daniel, v 20: “And while I was speaking, and 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.”

What happened was that Gabriel came. Daniel says, ‘the man Gabriel’—that’s the angel Gabriel, v 21: “Yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, came to me, about the time of the evening sacrifice. And he made me to understand, and talked with me, and said, ‘O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications the word went forth, and I have come to declare it, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the word, and understand the vision’” (vs 21-23). Then he gave the 70-weeks prophecy.

Let’s read it and then let’s see how this was fulfilled for the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ. The first 69 weeks of the 70-weeks prophecy have been fulfilled. The 70th week is the last seven years, three and a half which will be the Great Tribulation—that is yet to be fulfilled.

Verse 24: “Seventy-weeks are decreed upon your people and upon your Holy city to finish the transgression and to make an end of sin, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore, and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks….” (vs 24-25).

Those are two different segments of time. The reason that it doesn’t connect them together is because there is a space of time between. We’ll have the book—shortly after the Feast of Tabernacles—The Appointed Times of the Messiah. We wanted to get it out earlier, but we had other things we had to do, so we will get this out and it will cover the 70-weeks prophecy; it will cover all the ‘appointed times’ of the Messiah: His birth, His ministry, His death and resurrection; His return, and all of the things concerning the ‘appointed times’ of the Messiah.

Concerning the 49 years in building Jerusalem: “…It shall be built again with streets and the wall, even in troublous times…. [that was finished] (then he begins the prophecy concerning the Messiah): …And after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off… [after, not during. Part of the problem in counting this is that almost every way of calculating it includes the ministry and crucifixion of Christ. But that is not correct, because it comes right up to the beginning of the Messiah. It says, after 62 weeks; beyond the bounds of the 62 weeks.] …shall the Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself” (vs 25-26).Then it talks about the 70th week.

Let’s go to Matthew, the third chapter, and let’s see concerning the baptism of Jesus. John the Baptist was the son of a priest. He was never trained as a priest, but he remained in the wilderness ‘until the day of his appearing.’ He was as far away from the temple as you could be, clear down to the Jordan River. Let’s see what John the Baptist did. Let’s see his message, and then we will see the baptism of Jesus and what happened immediately after the baptism.

Matthew 3:1: “Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’…. [Then he told them who he was]: …For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.”’” (vs 1-3).

In Malachi, the third chapter shows that the Lord would ‘suddenly come to His temple’—which He did in John 2. But He also started his ministry prior to that.

Let’s see what happened when Jesus came to him, v 13: “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I have need to be baptized by You, and You come to me?’ Then Jesus answered and said to him, ‘You must permit it at this time;for in this manner it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he permitted Him to be baptized” (vs 13-15).

John was told by God that the One on Whom you see the Holy Spirit descending as a dove, He is the Messiah! We know that in the fall of 26A.D.—when this took place—that the Day of Atonement began the 50th year or the Jubilee. So, His baptism took place just before then.

Verse 16: “And after He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him. And lo, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I have great delight.’” (vs 16-17). This must have taken place just before the Day of Atonement.

The Day of Atonement in 26A.D. was the beginning of a Jubilee year. The first year of Jesus’ ministry was a Jubilee year. Isn’t that fitting? We can project forward and ask: When the Millennium begins will that be another Jubilee year? If it is, it certainly would be fitting—wouldn’t it?

Right after He was baptized it says, Matthew 4:1: “Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit in order to be tempted by the devil.” The wilderness south of the area of Jerusalem is really a desolate area of mountains and valleys and crags; a very difficult place indeed! This is where the goat for Azazel was released. It was released on the Day of Atonement—yes, indeed!

Let’s go back to Leviticus 16, and let’s look at the ritual that was done on the Day of Atonement and we will go through all of Lev. 16 and then come back to Matt. 4. Lev. 16 is the chapter giving the instructions as to what was to take place on the Day of Atonement.

The Day of Atonement was this special fast day. Also, remember that the Day of Atonement was the only day that the high priest could go into the Holy of Holies—quite different from what we have today—isn’t it? Yes! Our Holy of Holies is in heaven above. Our prayers go daily, directly to God.

Here’s what he was to do. He was to put on all the special clothes that he was to wear, the Holy garments, and perform the ceremonies. He was to take two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. This all had to be done. He had to take blood and go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle it upon the Ark of the Covenant. Here’s how he would bring it in:

Leviticus 16:12: “And he shall take a censer full of coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of fragrant incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil.” It was to have the cloud in there.

Verse 13: “And he shall put the incense on the fire before the LORD. And the cloud of the incense shall cover the mercy seat that is on the testimony. And he shall not die. And he shall take of the blood of the young bull and shall sprinkle with his finger on the front of the mercy seat eastward. And he shall sprinkle at the front of the mercy seat seven times from the blood with his finger. 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 13-16). So, the sin offering was for the sins of all the children of Israel.

“…And so he shall do for the tabernacle of the congregation which remains with them in the midst of their uncleanness. And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goes in to make an atonement in the sanctuary until he comes out and has made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel” (vs 16-17).

Then, when he’s done doing that he’s going to have the ritual with the two goats. Of the two goats, he was to present those before the Lord alive. They were to draw lots as to which one would be for God, for the sin offering of the children of Israel. The other one would be for Azazel, or the one to be released in the wilderness.

After he had brought in the blood of the goat of the one to be sacrificed for the sins of the children of Israel, then he was to go out and bring the live goat (v 20) right at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Here is the ritual that was done to the live goat: This is one of the reasons that Azazel, the live goat, is a type of Satan the devil. It was not sacrificed for a sin offering, but became part of the ritual for the sin offering. The reason that that is, is because Satan is a spirit being and cannot die. Therefore, the goat was not sacrificed, but left alive.

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.” Azazel is the name of that chosen goat, which is the name of Satan the devil. Why were the sins again put upon Satan? Because Satan is the author of sin!

Verse 22: “And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities to a land in which no one lives…. [That’s the wilderness south of Jerusalem.] …And he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.” He was to come back and wash his flesh and then that completed the activity for the Day of Atonement.

Satan in the wilderness is where Jesus met him for the temptation. Let’s come back to Matt. 4 and let’s see that. Jesus had to overcome Satan the devil Himself while He was in the weakest possible physical condition, because He could not do any of this on His own. This had to be by the power and the Spirit of God. That’s why Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights. This undoubtedly began on the Day of Atonement. We can exactly establish that for sure, now understanding the things concerning the 70-weeks prophecy.

Some people have said that the goat in the wilderness is Jesus ascending to heaven to take away our sins. NO! All our sins were left here on earth. Forgiveness comes from heaven, and heaven is never pictured as a wilderness. But where Satan is, that’s pictured as a wilderness. Wherever Satan goes there is death and destruction and sin and rebellion.

Jesus had to confront Satan the devil, had to overcome him while he was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights. In those days He didn’t eat anything.

Matthew 4:1: Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit in order to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was famished. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread’” (vs 1-3). Jesus could have easily done that—correct? Yes, indeed! But if He would have done it, just to prove a point, He would have disobeyed God! He would have obeyed Satan the devil.

  • Satan always comes along to challenge!
  • Satan always comes along to deceive!

Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the whole world had to completely overcome him and conquer him. That conquering him is what releases us—upon repentance and the receiving of the Holy Spirit of God—from Satan the devil

Verse 4: “But He answered and said, ‘It is written… [We always have to go by the Word of God. Jesus as a man went by the Word of God. This is the whole story of the whole Bible in relationship by God and men.] …‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”’” He quoted from Deut. 8:3. That’s quite something—isn’t it?

When we have difficulties, Christ is there to help us. This had to be a on a personal basis, because Jesus was God manifested in the flesh. Jesus was the One Who had originally created the one who became Satan the devil; that angel that sinned and rebelled and took a third part of the angels with him and he became Satan the devil and they became the demons. God also had to conquer him. He had to overcome everything!

Verse 5: “Then the devil took Him to the Holy city and set Him upon the edge of the temple… [from the top of that to the bottom, clear down to the Brook of Kidron, is some 450 feet] …and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down; for it is written, “He shall give His angels charge concerning You, and they shall bear You up in their hands, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.”’” (vs 5-6).

What was Jesus’ answer? If He had jumped down, Satan would have been right there to catch Him, so He wouldn’t be hurt, and all of the chief priests and all of those would run down and hail him as the ‘Messiah.’ But notice Jesus’ answer:

Verse 7: “Jesus said to him, ‘Again, it is written, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”’” So, when we do things, brethren, let’s not tempt God. ‘You’ does not mean Satan the devil, because Satan’s going to try and tempt God all the time, and he’s called ‘the tempter’—isn’t he? Yes, he is! This is for man—‘you’ as a human being “…shall not tempt the Lord your God.”

To worship him, was to worship him as God, because Satan has always wanted to become God. That’s why he rebelled; that’s why there was war in heaven; that’s why he said, ‘I will ascend above the clouds; I shall be like the Most High.’ Very important that Jesus did it the way that He did. Since Jesus was going to be King, he had to be tempted; would He take the kingship prematurely from Satan the devil?

Verse 8: “After that, the devil took Him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and said to Him, ‘All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me’” (vs 8-9). Something, isn’t it? The account in Luke says where Satan said, ‘all of these have been delivered to me and I give it to whomsoever I will.’

  • Jesus knew that He came as King.
  • Jesus knew that He was going to be King over all the earth.
  • Jesus knew that He had to go through this to save mankind from Satan the devil and their sins, and to overcome and defeat Satan the devil.
  • Jesus knew that!

Verse 10: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be-gone, Satan!…. [get behind Me] …For it is written, “You… [human beings, not Satan; Satan will never worship God; he wants to be worshiped as God] …shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.”’ Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and ministered to Him” (vs 10-11). Just left Him for a season.

The chronology of what happened after that, before He comes into Galilee, we find in John 1-4. We’re not going to turn there, but you can just put that in your notes.

Let’s see some things concerning what God wants us to know. Jesus, when He came into Galilee, gave the announcement that He was the Messiah. He couldn’t do it on the Day of Atonement when His 40 days and 40 nights temptation began. He couldn’t do it then. Of course, that was the beginning of a Jubilee year, so the whole year was a Jubilee year.

Let’s see what happened when Jesus came into Galilee. The account in Luke 4 gives the appearance that Jesus immediately, after He was tempted, returned to Galilee. But that is not the case. He didn’t return to Galilee until John the Baptist was put in prison. The chronology here in the book of Luke is a little bit—when you read it straight on—missing in understanding of the other Gospels, which shows that Jesus did not go to Galilee until He heard that John was put into prison.

Let’s see what happened when He came to Galilee, Luke 4:16: “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.”

This ‘day’ you will read in the footnote is the day of the weeks, which is Pentecost. Pentecost is very interesting—isn’t it? How is it calculated? Very similar to the way you count for the Jubilee year. You have 49 days plus 1. On the Day of Pentecost He was in Nazareth and what He read was the Jubilee message, and announcing that He was the Messiah by proclaiming that the Lord had anointed Him to preach the Gospel to the poor.

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; 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 17-19)—the Jubilee year!

What a fantastic thing this is, that Jesus began His ministry on the Day of Atonement with the temptation against Satan the devil. He had the 40 days temptation. They couldn’t believe it! They really couldn’t grasp it! It was hard for them to understand! They even tried to kill Him! Shows the gratefulness of the people there—right? Right in His hometown they said, ‘Who’s this? Isn’t this the son of Joseph? We know Mary and His brothers and sisters. Who does He think He is?’

Let’s come forward and see where Satan is put away just before the Millennium begins. Come to Rev. 20 and let’s see the fulfillment of the strongman of Lev. 16 and carrying that live goat out into the wilderness. That live goat was for Azazel or Satan the devil.

When we all return with Christ and fight against the armies; the beast and false prophet are going to be taken and cast into the Lake of Fire; all the armies are going to have the plague come upon them where all their flesh just falls right off their bones. Now, that’s quite a secret weapon—isn’t it? What a way to do in an army! Yes, indeed!

Then what happens here right after that? This is picturing the fulfillment of Ezek. 16 and the Day of Atonement. We know the Day of Atonement means that we are to be ‘at one with God.’ We know then that the whole world is going to be one with God, because Christ is going to be King; the saints are going to rule and reign as kings and priests with Him. Satan will be removed, because he is the author of all sin; he is the author of all sin with all men, though we have our own choices and we have sinned. That’s why he has to be removed.

You can’t have the Millennium begin with Satan still around. We’ll talk about when he’s released at the end of the Millennium—there’s a reason for it—but remember, as soon as Satan comes around, people sin—right? Yes!

Revelation 20:1: “Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, 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, and bound him for a thousand years…. [Put him into prison and seal it up! Get rid of him!] …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 1-3). When we get to the Last Great Day we’ll understand why that is.

Let’s look at the word atonement. You can split it into three parts: at-one-ment. We can take that as meaning at-one-ment with God. No one can really be at one with God completely unless it is through Jesus Christ, because He overcame Satan the devil. The whole purpose, the whole plan of God, is so that all mankind—as many as will repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, and grow and overcome in grace and knowledge, and be born into the Kingdom of God—we’re all going to be one with God.

Jesus prayed about this in His last prayer—which is truly the Lord’s Prayer—in John 17. Let’s read this prayer; this is a tremendous prayer. I know we go through it on the Passover, when we keep the Passover, but it also ties together with the things that are going to take place at the end. When Satan is removed the whole world will be ‘at one’ with God. This is when the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is going to be made available for all mankind.

Right now it’s not. Read Matt. 13, that only those who are called understand the ‘mysteries of the Kingdom of God.’ Those who are not are blinded. They see, but don’t see; they hear, but don’t hear. They are not called to conversion at this time. Their day is later, and likewise with the second resurrection.

But for us, our day is now. And the whole goal is to be ‘at one’ with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Remember what Paul said, that at the resurrection our ‘vile bodies are to be transformed, to be made like His glorious body.’ In order to be ‘at one’ with God the Father and Jesus Christ we’ve got to be spirit beings.

Jesus gives this prayer, and it’s very interesting what He says here: John 17:1: “Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh… [past, present and future] …in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him’” (vs 1-2). Eternal life starts with those who are in the first resurrection, and we have been given to Christ.

Verse 3: “For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send.” At that time the only true God was God the Father, because Jesus was manifested in the flesh and had human nature. Therefore, even though He was God in the flesh, He wasn’t true God. But after His resurrection He was.

Verse 4: “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do.” Go back to Rev. 21—and we’ll read that when we come to the Last Great Day—He says, ‘It is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.’ So, here’s this phase of the work that God gave Jesus to do—it’s finished!

Now the work He is doing is the work of the Church, where then we, as the begotten children of God the Father, are developing the mind of Christ, being molded and formed with the character of God as the very children of God. That work is finished when we attain to the Kingdom of God at the resurrection.

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).

That’s the whole key, brethren: keeping the Word of God! Some people have said, ‘Well, you made an idol out of the Bible.’ NO! We haven’t made an idol out of the Bible; it’s the Word of God. We worship God! But these are His words and instruction to us.

Verse 14: “I have given them Your words… [Remember, everything that Jesus taught came from the Father.] …and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them from the evil one” (vs 14-15). That’s why we keep the Day of Atonement, brethren. Not only the Passover, but the Day of Atonement, because

  • it’s through the power of God and the Spirit of God that we overcome
  • it’s through God rescuing us personally from Satan the devil

even though he goes about as ‘a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.’

  • We need God’s strength!
  • We need God’s Spirit!
  • We need God’s Word!

Verse 16: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world…. [Here’s why we go by the Word of God—Scripture, Scripture,Scripture; Truth, Truth,Truth]: …Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth.” (vs 16-17). That’s why we go by the Bible. That’s why we find the example there in Acts 17 of the Bereans ‘searching the Scriptures daily whether these things were so.’ And Paul telling the people to ‘prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.’ Yes!

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” (vs 18-19). That’s why we are made Holy with the Holy Spirit of God, with the Word of God, with growing in character and knowledge and understanding.

Remember what Jesus said, ‘Blessed are those hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.’ He also said that we are to ‘be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.’ That can only be accomplished through growing and overcoming in this life and the resurrection to eternal life when Jesus returns.

Verse 20: “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word… [here is the goal; notice the thing that Jesus always had in mind: the Kingdom of God, the Family of God, the purpose of God—always! That’s what we are to do!] …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… [at-one-ment with God! That’s the whole purpose of the Day of Atonement, that we be ‘at one’ with God! Not of this world! Not of Satan! Not of ourselves! But of God!] …in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me, in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one” (vs 20-22).

  • That’s the way God wants it to be!
  • That’s why we keep the Day of Atonement!

Verse 23: “I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected… [The whole process of perfection] …into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” That’s something, brethren!

Here is the summary of the meaning of the Day of Atonement, v 24: “Father, I desire 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.”

Verse 26: “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.”

To be at one with God! The complete meaning and fulfillment of the Day of Atonement! Today the world cannot be ‘at one’ with God, because Satan is not yet removed. He is still the ‘god of this world,’ and he is still the enemy that we need to fight. But always keep in mind that we are going to be ‘at one’ with God the Father and Jesus Christ for all eternity!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:26-32
  • Psalm 35:9-16
  • 1 Kings 13:15-18, 1-10
  • Joel 2:12-14
  • Isaiah 58:1-2, 4, 8
  • Leviticus 25:1-10, 17-22
  • Daniel 9:1-10, 16-26
  • Matthew 3:1-3, 13-17
  • Matthew 4:1
  • Leviticus 16:12-17, 21-22
  • Matthew 4:1-11
  • Luke 4:16-19
  • Revelation 20:1-3
  • John 17:1-6, 14-24, 26

Scriptures referenced, not quoted

  • 1-Samuel 7
  • Malachi 3
  • John 2
  • Leviticus 16:20
  • Deuteronomy 8:3
  • John 1-4
  • Ezekiel 16
  • Matthew 13
  • Revelation 21
  • Acts 17

Also referenced: Book:

The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah