Have a joyous Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement!

Here are some free Yom Kippur resources from Hoshana Rabbah to help to celebrate this biblical holy day with more understanding and appreciation.

To access past teaching articles that I have written on Yom Kippur, go to the search icon in the top right hand corner of this page and in the box type in “Yom Kippur.” Please enjoy and be edified by reading what comes up on this subject.

Here are some other resources:




Yom Kippur 2017— Opening the Treasure Chest! (Pt 2)

Leviticus 16—The Protocols for Coming Into the Presence of the Almighty Creator

By Ya’acov Natan Lawrence
Hoshana Rabbah Biblical Discipleship Resources

How do humans come into the Presence of YHVH Elohim? There is one proper way to do so, and there many improper ways to do so. The Torah’s discussion pertaining to the rituals associated with the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) reveal to us what the proper protocol is and also alludes to the fact that there is an improper way to approach the Almighty Creator of the universe as well—something which brings disastrous results.

Now YHVH spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before YHVH, and died… (Lev 16:1)

Elohim killed Nadab and Abihu because they came into the holy of holies in the Tabernacle of Moses (a representation of Elohim’s heavenly throne room) in a careless and indifferent manner. Not only were they intoxicated with alcohol, but they failed to follow the proper ceremonial protocols outlined by YHVH Elohim to come into the Presence of the Almighty. The next few verses lay out what those protocols are to come before the King of the universe. To not follow those protocols brings the death penalty on the person. Such a person is entering illegally as an unauthorized trespasser.

Who hasn’t seen signs on private property that say something like this: “Private Property, No Trespassing,” “Government Property, No Trespassing,” “Unauthorized Entrance Prohibited,” “Violators Will Be Prosecuted to the Full Extent of the Law,” or “Violators Will Be Shot”? What happens to an uninvited intruder who climbs over the fence around the White House or over the walls of Buckingham Palace? He’s arrested if not shot on the spot. Similarly, there are penalties for coming into the throne room of the Almighty YHVH Elohim illegally.

…and YHVH said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. (Lev 16:2)

YHVH Elohim doesn’t allow humans to casually saunter into his Presence anytime and in anyway they want. Though he is our loving Heavenly Father, he is still the Creator of the Universe who is to be feared and respected. He has the power of life and death; he gave life and can take it away. Humans (especially Christians) would do well to know their place before the Almighty, to treat him with the respect he is due and to follow his instructions in all areas of their relationship with him. YHVH wants humans to come into his Presence, but in the right way.

It is utter folly on the part of humans to ignore the clear commands and instructions of Elohim. Nadab and Abihu found out the hard way; their folly cost them their lives. There are no theologies regardless of the respectability or age of the religious institution or denomination or the erudition of the biblical scholars that invented them that can circumvent the clear instructions of YHVH Elohim. The oft-quoted phrases “It has been done away with,” “It has been nailed to the cross,” “We’re under grace now, not under the law,” “That was for the Jews,” “Jesus fulfilled that for me, so I’m not required to do that” Continue reading


Yom Kippur 2017— Opening the Treasure Chest! (Pt. 1)







The Gospel Proclaimed in Leviticus 23:27–32

By Ya’acov Natan Lawrence
Hoshana Rabbah Biblical Discipleship Resources

Let’s explore Leviticus 23:27–32 where we find the command to observe the Day of Atonement (Heb. Yom Kippur) to see what surprising nuggets we can find here. In the simplicity of this text, we will discover outlined the entire gospel message of salvation prophetically foreshadowed some 1500 years before the birth and death of Yeshua the Messiah.

The text of Leviticus 23:27–32 is highlighted in bold with explanations following.

27 Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement [Heb. kippur]. 

This day is about atoning, reconciliation and purging, which is the meaning of kippur. Purging who of what? We’ll soon find out.

It shall be a holy convocation for you;

Yom Kippur is a commanded assembly or a sacred convocation for YHVH’s people. It was made holy not by men, but by the Creator of the universe. Men can’t make anything holy, for men aren’t holy. Only the Holy (Heb. Kadosh) One of Israel can do this. The Day of Atonement is also a divine appointment (Heb. moed, Lev 23:2) as determined by the YHVH Elohim. It is a time when the Creator demands to meet with his people. Humans who miss it defy the Creator’s commands.

…you shall afflict your souls,

Afflict is the Hebrew word anah meaning “to oppress with the idea of humility or meekness in mind coupled with the idea of a suffering life rather than with one of worldly happiness and abundance” (The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. 2, p. 682).

First, what is your soul? It is who you are. It is what makes you unique. It is your personality, your emotional makeup, your mental abilities and your willpower. Your soul determines what you say, do and think. Yeshua called it the heart of man (Matt 12:35; 15:19). It is attached to and in charge of the human body.  It tells the body what to do, saw and think. The soul is the source of sin in the human (Ezek 18:4).

Why does YHVH command his people to afflict their souls (i.e. to go one day without food and water) on Yom Kippur?

The reason for this is that the soul must be put down, or sublimated and brought under the control of the Word and Spirit of Elohim if man is to have a spiritual relationship with the Creator, which can eventually result in man receiving eternal life and membership into his heavenly kingdom. Yeshua taught his disciples that “he who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for [Yeshua’s] sake will find it” (Matt 10:39), and that “whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for [Yeshua’s] sake will find it” (Matt 16:25). The sinful soul (the mind, will and emotions) of men is what prevents man Continue reading


Yom Kippur—Past, Present and Future

Yom Kippur—The Historical Roots of Our Faith,
Present Relevance for believers & Prophetic End Time Implications

Ya’acov Natan Lawrence
Hoshana Rabbah Biblical Discipleship Resources, Portland, OR


Yom Kippur is a day of contradictions and contrasts: Joy and sorrow. Rewards for the righteous and judgments for the wicked rebels. Joy for the righteous when Satan and his demons, death and Babylon are destroyed by the King of kings.

On this day the high priest of ancient Israel went into the holy of holies of the Tabernacle of Moses (and later the temple in Jerusalem). There he sprinkled blood on the mercy seat (Heb. kapporet) and the ground seven times. Atonement was made for the high priest himself, his family as well as for all Israel. On this day the sanctuary, tabernacle, the priesthood and the all Israelites were cleansed. It represented corporate or community cleansing and entering into a deeper and more intimate relationship with YHVH.

The Passover and Day of Atonement are related though different:

Pesach (Passover) is the time of the sacrifice or atonement for personal sin—initial repentance from sins committed before being born again.

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the time of the atonement or covering of the individual’s as well as the corporate sins of Israel committed in ignorance (Heb 9:27) during the past year. On-going repentance is needed by the individual believer as well as the community of believers in order to stay in right-standing (called righteousness) before YHVH (1 John 1:9).

It is important to note that the shedding of innocent blood for the remission of sins is a central theme to both the Passover and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) events. The question may rightly be asked, if one is saved by the blood of the Lamb (Yeshua) when he was sacrificed on Passover what need is there of further shedding of blood for the remission of our sins on atonement? After all, Yeshua died once and for all (as the writer of Hebrews notes in 10:10) and why does the redeemed believer need to revisit the idea of atonement and blood sacrifice all over again at Yom Kippur?

When speaking of Yeshua sanctifying or making the unsaved sinner righteous through the offering of his body once and for all at the time of one’s conversion (Heb 10:10), the writer of Hebrews is speaking of Passover, which is symbolized by the red heifer altar that was outside the door of the tabernacle (Heb 13:10–13). This altar pointed to the cross upon which Yeshua shed his blood. As one had to be cleansed at the altar of the red heifer from the defilement of death before entering into the tabernacle, so we now we can’t come into the divine presence of Elohim except first coming by way of the cross. The Tabernacle of Moses was a spiritual picture of coming into such a spiritual relationship.

The priests of old came into the tabernacle’s outer courtyard by way of the red heifer altar, but they didn’t stop there. After following the correct protocols, they could continue into the tabernacle itself — a spiritual picture of coming into an intimate relationship with YHVH. Similarly, the newly redeemed believer upon first visiting the cross of Yeshua in his spiritual journey upward shouldn’t stops at this point growing in intimacy with his Creator. From the outer court of the tabernacle one is invited to enter into the holy place and eventually into the inner most part of the tabernacle, the holy of holies where the very Presence of YHVH abides. This represents the throne room of YHVH in heaven, to which the redeemed now have access by way of the blood of Yeshua.

The writer of Hebrews encourages believers not just to stay in the outer courtyard where Continue reading


Some Insights on the Azazel Goat Ritual of Leviticus 16

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement will be next Sunday, (Oct 1). Here is my response to a question a YouTube viewer asked me about  the scapegoat (azazel goat) ritual of Leviticus 16.   Natan

Understanding the Yom Kippur Rituals. Understanding and interpreting the rituals of Lev 16 can be perplexing and complicated task. This is because often encrypted in certain scriptural passages the deep and open-minded Bible student will find multiple levels of meaning and prophetic fulfillments. The serious biblical researcher understands this and is not put off by any seeming discrepancies between a surface or literal fulfillment of a scripture vis-à-vis its prophetic fulfillment. An example of this would be the virgin and child prophecy of Isa 7. There was both a historical or immediate fulfillment of this prophecy and a future one relating to the coming Messiah.

Moreover, we must keep something else in mind when dealing with biblical passages that are difficult to understand because they contain figurative language of a prophetic nature that often employ typologies )(types and shadows). By definition, a type is a person or thing that represents someone or something else. When dealing with prophetic types in Scripture, the type never perfectly mirrors that to which it is prophetically pointing. The type is merely a shadow of what is to come (Col 2:17; Heb 10:1; 8:5), and therefore it is neither a perfect representation of the reality nor its there a perfect one-to-one correlation between the two. However, there are enough similarities to deduce a correlation between the two, even as a shadow is the shape and outline of the image it represents, but it doesn’t contain all the details of it.

Having laid these things out, it is the opinion of many biblical scholars including Alfred Edersheim that the Yom Kippur ceremonies of Lev 16 were completely fulfilled by Yeshua at his first coming. Alfred Edersheim, the Jewish 19th century rabbinic Jewish scholar turned Christian scholar and educator, lays this out quite nicely in his book “The Temple and Its Ministry” in his chapter on Yom Kippur.

There can be no doubt, as Edersheim asserts, and I agree, that Yeshua perfectly fulfilled the Yom Kippur rituals at his first coming with regard to his atoning for man’s sin. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, more importantly, is clear on this as well. There is no more redemptive work that he needs to done. Yeshua was the perfect sacrifice once and for all. Period. As such, at Yeshua’s second coming, he will not need to perform any further redemptive work. So, for example, the high priest coming out of the sanctuary on Yom Kippur in Lev 16 before dealing with the azazel goat can have no bearing on redemption whatsoever, or else the writer of Hebrews lies when he says that Yeshua’s work of atoning for sin was complete.

However, when Yeshua comes back, he will come as the righteous Judge. Indeed the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament) tells us that Yeshua judged Satan at the cross, but additionally, when Yeshua returns, he will enforce that judgment. Satan will be cast into the abyss and eventually into the lake of fire along with his rebellious comrades both spirit and mortal beings.

Furthermore, there is something else to consider with regard to the scapegoat ritual that may have prophetic implications relating to the second coming of Yeshua. It just so happens that there are a number of ancient Jewish apocryphal writings including 1 Enoch that tell us that the name of the angel that led the pre-flood rebellion of angelic beings, who then defiled humanity and introduced all kinds of evil into the world as per Gen 6:2–4 necessitating Elohim to destroy that world and its evil inhabitants in the flood was Azazel. Some scholars, such as Dr. Michael S. Heiser and others affirm that the reason that the scapegoat’s name in Lev 16 was Azazel was that Yeshua came not only to redeem man from the sin at the fall in Eden, but from the sin introduced by Azazel and his evil cohorts in the pre-flood world. It’s an intriguing idea that had a lot of currency in second temple Jewish literature and even among the apostolic writers. Heiser documents this pretty well from biblical and extra-biblical sources in his book entitled “Reversing Hermon,” which I highly recommend. So, to put a finer point on this issue, when Yeshua returns, he will pronounce judgment not only on Satan but on Azazel et al as well along on their nephilim offspring, who so villainously corrupted the world with all sorts of evil under which humanity has been suffering ever since. Therefore, Yom Kippur eschatologically, in part, is about final judgment of this age that Yeshua will impose on Satan and his spirit and human minions.

It is also interesting to note that the second temple Jews had the non-biblical tradition of leading the azazel goat out of the temple, through the eastern gate, across the bridge over the Kidron Valley, over the Mount of Olives and into the Judean wilderness on the other side to the east, where the goat was then pushed over a cliff and fell to its death. The Jews may have had some prophetic inkling here. When Yeshua returns, we read in the Book of Revelation that he will cast Satan into the bottomless pit. In a sense, Azazel represents Satan, thought not primarily, since Lev 16 says that the azazel goat made atonement for the Israelites’ sins—something only Yeshua did, NOT Satan. However, Satan brought sin into the world, and Yeshua took that sin on himself to pay the death penalty for our sins, and he became sin of which the serpent in the wilderness (a picture of Satan, the nachash or seprent) was a prophetic picture and to which Yeshua, somewhat surprisingly, likened himself in John 3:14 in his discourse with Nicodemus.

Now let’s add another interesting tidbit about the azazel goat ritual of Lev 16. Originally, the Torah commands that the goat be released into the wilderness, presumably to wander until it starved to death. However, a thousand or more years latter, by the time of the second temple era, the Jews, instead of simply releasing the goat as the Torah prescribes, they pushed it over a cliff where it plunged to its death. What’s going on here? Why the change? In partial answer to this question, Edersheim (ibid.) speculates, and I think correctly so, that the azazel goat was released into the wilderness to teach the Israelites that the sacrificial system of the old or former covenant was insufficient to once and for all deal with the sin issue—something that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews makes abundantly clear. In Lev 16 we read that the high priest would confess the sins of the people over the azazel goat before it was led out to the wilderness and released. This illustrated the fact that the sacrificial system under the old covenant didn’t really blot sin out, and only put it aside temporarily until Yeshua the perfect sacrifice, to which all the animal sacrifices pointed, came. However, as already noted, the Jews eventually evolved this ritual, so that the goat was pushed over a cliff. This seems to speak of not only Yeshua’s death on the cross, but also of Satan—the chief perpetrator of sin—being judged at Messiah’s second coming by being bound and cast into the bottomless pit (Rev 20:1–3).