Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)— Opening the Treasure Chest!

The Gospel Proclaimed in Leviticus 23:27–32

When you were a young child you were no doubt curious about the world around you. There was so much to see and learn about. What was more exciting than exploring that world by going on trips to new places or even spending hours investigating and playing in a nearby a forest? Let’s become curious and teachable again like children we used to be and now 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.

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

Yom Kippur 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… (Lev 23:27) 

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 (Lev 23:27)

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). 

So what is this soul that we are commanded to afflict? Each human has a soul (1 Thess 5:23). Your soul 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 each person; it is the soul that sins (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 from coming into a spiritual relationship with the Creator. That is why the proud, self-righteous, rebellious, lawless and willful soul of man must be afflicted and humbled, so that it can be brought under the control, power and influence of the Word and Spirit of Elohim, so that man can experience the abundant life in this world and the next (John 10:10). This is why the carnal, sinful soul of man has to be starved. By learning to control our physical appetites through fasting, we can learn better how to control the sinful passions of our carnal natures. This is what the baptism for the remission of sins ritual is all about. It’s about death to the old sinful man and coming alive to one’s personal spirit or inner man through legal and spiritual identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua through the aid and influence of Elohim’s Set-Apart Spirit (Gal 2:20; 1 Cor 5:17). In Romans 6:3–11 we read,

Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into the Messiah Yeshua were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as the Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with the Messiah, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that the Messiah, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to Elohim. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to Elohim in the Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

…and offer an offering made by fire to YHVH. (Lev 23:27)

This is referring to the animal sacrifices that were made on Yom Kippur where animals were slaughtered and laid on the altar in the Tabernacle of Moses as an offering to Elohim. This ritual teaches us two things. The first is that the innocent animal that was sacrificed on the altar was a prophetic symbol pointing to Yeshua’s death on the cross. His death atoned for or purged man of his past sins and redeemed man from the death penalty that comes upon him because of that sin. We read in Leviticus 16 that on Yom Kippur the high priest sacrificed animals on the altar in the tabernacle as a sin offering for himself and the children of Israel. He then sprinkled its blood before the mercy seat in the holy of holies, which pictured the throne of Elohim in heaven. This in every way points to Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross for man’s sins, and Elohim’s acceptance of that death in payment or exchange for the penalty for man’s sins, which is man’s death.

The next thing that this offering by fire alludes to is that afflicting the soul is a picture of the saint dying to carnal, sinful nature. Each of us must be willing to lay his life on YHVH’s spiritual altar by “present[ing] your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Elohim, which is your reasonable service” (Rom 12:1). What is it to be a living sacrifice for Elohim? It involves dying to oneself (i.e. one’s carnal and sinful passions) and not only accepting Yeshua as one’s Savior, but as the Lord or Master of one’s life as well. Many people want the Savior part of Yeshua, but not the Master part. It comes as a package; you can’t have one without the other. If Yeshua is not your Master, then he is not your Savior either. One can’t have the Savior without the Master. If Yeshua is truly one’s Savior, then he will also be one’s Master. This is because he bought and paid for each of us with his life, and he now has the legal right to tell us what to do. When you accepted him, this was a legal transaction. If you want salvation from the death penalty you brought on yourself by your sins, you must also accept heaven’s terms and conditions to free you from that death penalty. There is no other way. People lie to themselves if they think they can chart their own course of “spirituality” and make up their own rules to find a relationship with their Creator some other way. It doesn’t work that way! Every other way is a satanic counterfeit that leads to death and eternal separation from Elohim.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Set-Apart Spirit who is in you, whom you have from Elohim, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are Elohim’s. (1 Cor 6:19–20)

[K]nowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of the Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Pet 1:18–19)

And you shall do no work on that same day… (Lev 23:28) 

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Yom Kippur Meditations—Going Deeper…

Yom Kippur—A Journey Through Past History and on Into the Future

Yom haKippurim (literally, the Day of Atonements, plural) is not a one-time thing. The redeemed believer is covered by the blood of Yeshua at the time of their initial salvation, but needs additional covering every time they sin. We need this covering of blood on an individual and collective basis. 

This pattern was set in Leviticus 16 when on the Day of Atonement, the high priest made atonement for his sins, those of his family, of the nation and even the Tabernacle of Moses itself due to defilement cause by men’s sins. 

We’re all in this thing together. My sin affects you and vice versa. My sins are passed on down to successive generations, and unless I break the sin cycle through the means that YHVH has provided, this sin cycle will continue as it has from Adam to this day bringing corruption, ruination, division, strife and death to all men.

Atonement and At-One-Ment—It’s About Healing Broken Relationships

The English word atone means “to make amends or reparation of wrong or injury.” Atonement biblically means “to cover, purge, make an atonement (Heb. kaphar), make reconciliation, cover over with pitch.” As with many Hebrew words, kaphar means not only to cover over sin (by the blood of the Lamb), but it means “to reconcile and purge.” When we sin, we need the forgiveness of Yeshua and his blood to pay for or to cover over our sin debt. We also need to get purged of the inclination to sin in the first place. We also need to make amends with those we’ve injured in the process of sinning—to reconcile with them, to repair the damage, and to mend the breach in the relationship. When we sin, a breach occurs both on the vertical level (with Elohim) and  on the horizontal level (with our neighbor). Each of us is a broken, damaged and hurt person, and we have a hard time mending the damage we’ve caused to others, which is a painful process, but one which yields rich results in healing wounded relationships including the wounds and brokenness of our own heart. We must humble ourselves to do this. Pride and self protection prevents most us from repenting and asking forgiveness of Elohim and of others. To come into the presence of YHVH, we must take the step. Yom Kippur pictures our taking this step.

Some Bible teachers have taken the word atonement and have made a word play out of it by turning it into at-one-ment. This play of words isn’t totally without merit, since the word atone comes from a Middle English word meaning “to make or become united or reconciled” or literally “to become at one with someone else.” There’s a lot of at-one-ment that needs to occur between people and their Heavenly Creator! The older I get, the more I realize this!

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Join Hoshana Rabbah in Celebrating Yom Kippur 2020!

Tomorrow (for some people reading this, it is already tomorrow), Monday, September 27, 2020 it is Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. This year both the biblical new moon calendar and the traditional Rabbinic Jewish calendar match up, so that Yom Kippur falls on the same day on both calendars. So regardless of which calendar you follows here are some free resources to help you to celebrate this day with a heart and mind of purposeful intent.


The new moon in Israel was spotted ten days ago, and according to the Torah, the Day of Atonements is to be kept on the tenth day of the seventh month (Lev 23:26).

Biblical months always start on rosh chodesh when the first visible crescent of the new moon is spotted in the land of Israel. As a point of reference, those who follow the traditional rabbinic or Hillel II calendar (invented in ca. AD 360 and was approved by Roman emperor Constantine) are celebrating Yom Kippur today, which is two days too early, according to the new moon sighting in Israel. In reality, they are are celebrating Yom Kippur on the eighth day of the new month, not the tenth day according to the Scriptures (Lev 23:26).

While those who are celebrating Yom Kippur today are following the spirit of the law, they’re not following the letter of the law, since, technically, today is NOT Yom Kippur. In his Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua clearly states that all of the Torah is to be followed (Matt 5:17–19), and  that our righteousness is to exceed of that of the Pharisees, which includes their modern day descendants (the rabbinic or Orthodox Jews, Matt 5:20), and that we are to follow not only the spirit, but also the letter of the law (Matt 5:21–48).

Moreover, Yeshua enjoined his disciples (and us) to follow the Word of Elohim and to reject any manmade traditions that in any way contravene Elohim’s Written Word (Matt 15:6–9and Mark 7:6–913). Sadly, both our Christian and rabbinic Jewish brethren have, in too many areas, not followed the instructions of the Messiah instead preferring obedience to their manmade traditions instead of Elohim’s Word.

In Romans 12:1–2, Paul the apostle of Yeshua the Messiah states that each disciple of Yeshua must discern what is the perfect will of Elohim based on his Written Word and then must willingly lay down his or her life as a living sacrifice and do that will. In reality and quite honestly, very few people achieve walking out the perfect will of Elohim consistently in their lives. Most of us are walking out Elohim’s good or the better will, and only from time to time his perfect will. While celebrating the biblical feasts on the manmade traditional Jewish Hillel II calendar is certainly a step in the right direction, and may, indeed, be the good will of Elohim, it’s not his perfect will according to his Written Word. May the reader honestly ponder these truths and evaluate his or her walk and heart before Elohim. Are we really willing to lay down our lives as living sacrifices and to say, “Yes Lord, thy will be done, not mine!”? Or is it more convenient to just follow men’s traditions and the convenient inclinations of our fallen natures?

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matt 7:13–14)

In this ministry, as truth seekers no matter the cost and in an effort to follow the Scriptures—the Written Word of Elohim, we chose many years ago to follow the Word of Elohim instead of men’s unbiblical traditions. That’s why we’re celebrating Yom Kippur on Friday instead of Wednesday.

For more informations on why we do what we do and what the Bible and history both have to say about the biblical calendar, I invite you to read my three well-researched and referenced teaching articles on the subject, which are available for free downloads at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast. There you can find my articles on Yom Kippur as well (https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/yom_kippur.pdfand https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/goat.pdf).To watch my teaching videos on Yom Kippur, go to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5EzE5DQnrHfWWbczzkRo6IOnglxhbRfM.

Love and blessings in the glorious name of Yeshua the Messiah.

Natan


Yom Kippur Videos


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

Introduction

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.

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Leviticus 16:1—The Protocols for Coming Into the Presence of the Almighty Creator

How do humans come into the presence of YHVH Elohim? There is one proper way to do so, and many improper ways. 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 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 his presence. 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.

Before exploring how to enter the presence of Elohim properly, let’s bring this abstract concept down to a level we can understand. For example, 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 holy (set-apart) and is the Creator of the Universe who is to be feared and respected. He has the power of life and death; he gives 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. Indeed, YHVH wants humans to come before him, but in the proper way.

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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:

https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/yom_kippur.pdf

https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/goat.pdf

 

Leviticus 16—Who Is Azazel?

Understanding the Yom Kippur Goat 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 Continue reading