Saturday, October 08, 2011
A Yom Kippur Message
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 & Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 37:15-28
Shabbat Shalom family – Bride of the Coming Messiah! Blessed be יהוה our Elohim who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. Tonight marks the beginning of the 9th of the 7th month – and you all know what that means!!! Tomorrow night will be the 10th of the 7th month – and that is Yom Kippur! Known also as the Day of Atonement or better put – the Day of the Covering!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:27-32 “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה. 28 And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before יהוה your Elohim. 29 For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people. 31 You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”
Just a couple of key things to note from these verses for us:
1 – It shall be a set-apart gathering for you! We will be coming together at 15h00 on the 10th and have a time of prayer, worship and fellowship – do not miss it!
2 – You shall afflict your beings! The Hebrew word used here for afflict is עָנָה ‘anah’ H6031 and means, ‘to be bowed down, afflicted, humbled’ and it can also carry the meaning ‘to be occupied or busy with’. Busy or occupied with what? Well the next word tells us – our beings! That is the word נֶפֶשׁ ‘nephesh’ H5315 which is ‘a soul, a living being, the inner being of a man’. So then it is a day that we are to humble ourselves and be busy with our being – that is to be spending the time reflecting on our life and that which needs to be dealt with must be dealt with. Typically this is translated as the day when we deny our flesh and food or drink and fast with the sole focus on humbling ourselves in prayer before our Maker, and come together as His body united as One! ‘anah’ also carries the meaning of giving an account or an answer. And so carries the picture of the one who humbles himself comes and gives an account of what he has done. This can give us the picture of ‘coming clean’ so to speak and confessing our sin.
3 – Bring an offering made by fire to יהוה! We know that the offering made by fire is a whole burnt offering – that is that we come to surrender all and allow our lives to be presented as a living sacrifice. It is on this day when the work that we have done in Messiah will be tested through fire!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 3:11-15 “For no one is able to lay any other foundation except that which is laid, which is יהושע Messiah. 12 And if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work shall be revealed, for the day shall show it up, because it is revealed by fire. And the fire shall prove the work of each one, what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work remains, which he has built on, he shall receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, but so as through fire.”
4 – It is the Sabbath of Sabbaths! – This is the only day outside of the weekly Sabbath that is actually referred to as a Sabbath. It is a Sabbath of rest to you – שׁבת שׁבתון “Shabbat Shabbaton”. Other feasts are referred to as ‘Shabbaton’ which is a Sabbath like rest but this day specifically is referred to as a Sabbath irrespective of what day it fall on – because this is the Day when יהוה finishes and completes His redemptive work for His ready Bride! Now this Sabbath is unlike the others in that this is the day when we, as I mentioned, ‘afflict our beings’ and the stern warning we have here in is that anyone who does not afflict their being on this day or if anyone works on this day will be ‘cut off and destroyed from the midst of his people’! So – I say this again – no excuses!
This day signifies so much for us, and it is much more than a day of ‘fasting’ as it is a culmination and bringing to completion the work of Messiah in us as His redeemed body!
This is the day when the Master is coming and the talents which He has given us (each one according to his ability); we will be able to show Him what we have made with that which He gave us. Now for many this may not be a very pleasing day as they have only viewed the Master simply from a viewpoint of being a ‘hard man’ and have not lovingly laboured for Him and have done nothing with what they had. But for us who labour daily in Him, working with what He has apportioned each one of us – this will be a wonderful day of hearing the words we all would like to hear… “Well done, good and trustworthy servant”. (The Parable of the Talents is a reference to this very day when the Master comes back and the servants must give and account as their ‘offering made by fire’ – that is their works are tested!
It is on this day when He comes back that we do not want to be found thinking about what we could have or should have done – for it will be too late. And so as we keep this Feast as a shadow picture of what is to come, we should all be aware that it is certainly time for us to take account of our walk in Messiah. Are you walking or running or simply standing still?
In order to share further insight into this Day I would like to look at a couple of more passages in scripture that will give us a better understanding of Yom Kippur in a message called “Covered-Cleansed-Reunited”. Firstly please turn with me to Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 (read)
Yom Kippur – the purification of the Bride – the Day of Atonement. One might ask why do we have this day separate from Pěsaḥ – isn’t that when we were redeemed? This is a good question, yet יהוה’s appointed times are perfect shadow pictures for us and so in understanding these great shadow pictures, it could best be explained as Pěsaḥ symbolising for us personal redemption – it was on that day we were bought at a price and received atonement for our personal sins. Pěsaḥ symbolises for us the personal deliverance from bondage to slavery, as each household would put the Blood of the Lamb on their doorposts, so would they be saved. We each must accept, receive and apply the Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb personally in our lives. The Day of Atonement speaks of the national redemption of a nation. The day in which the Covenant will be confirmed according to Dani’ěl 9, and a time when Yisra’ĕl will no longer doubt that יהושע is the Messiah.
Atonement means ‘to make ransom for or to cover over man’s sins’. The English word Atonement was derived when the translator wanted best to describe what ‘kippur’ meant as their was not a definitive English word to describe or translate the meaning of this and so what he translated it to was – ‘At-One-Ment’ – therefore later being called ‘Atonement’. This was the best way he could express what this day carries for us – it is when we are made to be ‘one’ with יהוה – be ‘at one with’ Him and finally be fully restored unto Him as a washed and purified body together as ‘one’! So this is also a day where we truly come and remember the ransom that was paid for us by the shed Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb – יהושע Messiah, once and for all and reflect on our lives as to how we are living out our covenant relationship with our Saviour.
The Hebrew word for atonement is כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725 and comes from the root word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 and means: ‘to cover over, pacify, make propitiation, atone’. As a noun it can also carry the meaning of ‘a ransom’, ‘gift’, or ‘to secure favour’. It literally means to ‘cover over’ or ‘smear with pitch’ as in the sealing of a ship. Therefore ‘kaphar’ or atonement means to cover that which is bare or naked or shamed, and also means to ‘smear the ship so that your ship will not sink and drown all those aboard’! Wow – we are ‘covered’ – Atoned for by His Blood!!!
Noaḥ was commanded by יהוה to cover the ark inside and out with pitch – he was told to ‘Kaphar’ (cover) the ark with ‘Kopher’ - כֹּפֶר H3724 (pitch) Berěshith/Genesis 6:14 “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with tar.”
‘Kaphar’ also means to ransom – and so we know that יהושע has paid our ransom and atoned for us.
It also means to reconcile with someone who has the power of death over you, and to pacify the one who has the power to do you harm! We must realise that the punishment for sin is death, and no sin goes unpunished. Through the Atonement of יהושע for our sins we are reconciled to the One who has the power to put us to death!
In Wayyiqra/Leviticus, where the priestly service and sacrificial system is presented and discussed, the very word we have been looking at, ‘kaphar’ is used 16 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 and 48 times on the entire book! 39 times, however, it is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus in the specific description of the priestly service and sacrificial system where the other times are regulation instructions for the Day – this is a wonderful representation for us – for it was the exact number of stripes that יהושע took across His back – and it is by His stripes that we are healed!!! By His Stripes and His sacrifice, we are covered, cleansed, redeemed and reconciled to Him!
Scripture clearly teaches us that atonement involves something which is ‘lacking’ (or leaking in respect to a boat not sealed), and is in danger of judgement (or sinking) – then having that ‘lack’ (which is caused by sin) ‘covered’ with something that will restore and keep it from sinking or being destroyed, just as the pitch applied to ancient boats would keep them from sinking!
It is only by the favour and loving-kindness granted by יהוה, who has the power of life and death over us, that His liberal smearing or covering us inside and out, covering the soul of man with His favour and loving-kindness through the blood of יהושע, our High Priest, that man can be kept from sinking in a relationship with his Creator. When sin occurs, a price must be paid.
Yom Kippur is the day when יהוה will be reconciled with His creation – a day set aside and appointed for Him to pardon, to cleanse and to forgive. It was only on this one day of the year that ‘one’ among the children of Yisra’ĕl were able to come ‘face to face’ so to speak with יהוה and live! – This occurred when only the high priest in office entered the Most Set-Apart place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. And as we read, Leviticus 16 gives for us the entire ceremony, and the high priest was required to bathe/wash - רָחַץ ‘rachats’ H7634 himself a couple of times during the Day of Atonement ceremony and carries the wonderful picture of cleansing and how our High priest has too cleansed His Body by the washing of His Blood! This day was also known as the day of redemption as this day foreshadows a time when Messiah would return and the day of redemption and reconciliation would be fully complete.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, as I also have been known.”
Sha’ul was saying here that we are not yet face to face with our Father, but the time will come as pictured by this day, where we will see Him face to face and then we will know Him fully as He knows us now!
For what we see of Him, dimly, we see in the ‘mirror’ of His Word, and Ya’aqoḇ/James encourages us to not forget what we look like when we look into the mirror of His Word – for we look into the perfect Torah – that of freedom and continue in it, being blessed in the doing of the Torah. We all have a choice when we look into the mirror of His Word – ‘Will we do what it says and remember to guard and do, or simply ignore?” – It is everyone’s individual choice – but that choice will certainly determine whether this Day will be a day of joy and gladness at the fullness of time as the works of our faith are proven to be genuine mirrored by the Truth of His Word through obedience in action, or simply a very sad and painful day when the consuming fire shows up your dead works!
As we see from the instructions given to Aharon as recorded in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16, we see great shadow picture of the work of יהושע:
1 - The work had to be done alone – Aharon had no help from the other priests – only He could perform the required duties on this day, except for the ‘fit man’ who would send the scapegoat into the wilderness by the hand and the one who would burn the skins and flesh of the sin offering outside the camp. This is a wonderful picture of יהושע, for only He alone could pay the price for our sin, once and for all – for He alone is worthy. There is only One that saves – יהושע, there is no other way!!!
2 - The high priest put off his normal clothes – Aharon had to wash himself and change his clothes and put on the set apart linen as a picture of being washed and clothed in righteousness. For these duties Aharon did not wear his usual High Priest garments (the ephod and breastplate) but wore set-apart linen. This is also a wonderful picture of יהושע who came to earth as a man and laid aside His deity. He laid aside His garments of esteem and took upon Himself the form of a servant. His sinless life allowed Him to enter into the Most Set-Apart Place and make atonement for us. In one sense He set aside His deity as described in Philippians, yet being the King of Righteousness who knew no sin and clothed in Majesty was able to enter into the Most Set-Apart place. The linen garments speaks of sinless humanity of the Messiah and His Righteousness, and we know that as we are clothed in Him, we have become the righteousness of Elohim in Messiah, and the fine linen are the righteous garments of the set-apart ones. And so ‘in Him’ we have access to the Most Set-Apart place! We too must put off self and put on Messiah as we daily live our lives as a living sacrifice, clothed in righteousness – doing His will, obeying His commands!
3 - The high priest washed – As I said, Aharon had to wash before putting on the set apart linen and wash again before putting on His garments and offering the ascending offering in making atonement for the people. For the priest this meant getting rid of any defilement and setting themselves apart for service in the set apart place. יהושע tells us in Yoḥanan/John 17:19 that He set Himself apart that we may be set apart in truth. For us as believers this means we are to be washed by the Water of His Word as we approach Him. It is through the Word we are washed and we need to have the Word cleanse us from all impurity and sin!
4 - The high priest offered a sin offering for himself – Aharon did this so that he could be worthy to offer up the atoning sacrifice for the people. יהושע did not have to offer any sacrifices for Himself – for He was blameless, pure, set apart and exalted above the heavens.
5 – The high priest entered the Most Set-Apart Place – high priest entered once a year:
1 – First with the golden incense of burning coals and hands filled with sweet incense and put fire on the incense to cover the lid of the atonement.
2 – Next he took the blood from the sacrifice of the bull for himself and for his house and sprinkled it on the east side of the lid of atonement and in the front of the lid seven times
3 – He then took the blood of the goat - the sin offering for the people and did the same as with the blood of the bull
The censer represents for us the esteem of יהוה and it also represents the prayers of the set-apart ones, so Aharon typifies the ministry of mediator and intercessor. יהושע is our High Priest and Mediator and lives to make intercession for us.
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:12-13 “But He, having offered one slaughter offering for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of Elohim, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being set apart.”
The Day of Atonement is all about Messiah, the loving Husband presenting to himself a spotless Bride:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 27 in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless.”
Let us briefly take a look at the 2 goats and the ram:
The first goat is the goat for יהוה, which is commonly called the elevation offering and represents יהזשע's righteousness being imputed to us as he makes payment for our sin with His Blood. The second goat is the goat for Azazel or the scapegoat. The sins of the people are placed upon it and it is sent into the wilderness, representing for us יהושע taking our sin upon Himself and taking it away. The two goats are a twofold picture that by the Blood of יהושע, יהוה forgives our sin and removes (forgets) our sin for He remembers our sin no more. The sacrificial goat provides the covering for our sin and the scapegoat provides the removal of our sin and the ram offering is the ascending atoning sacrifice for us all. It is also a picture of sin being defeated and Satan being sent into the Wilderness and bound, unable to trouble the Bride anymore!
Now we know that we are “Covered” – by His Blood. But what this Day of Atonement also signifies for us is a time of restoration of the two houses – a reuniting of a Groom with His ready Bride – not half a Bride! And this day calls for us to afflict our beings, to kill the flesh so to speak and so too pray and intercede for the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl. As Iḇ’rim clearly states that this Renewed Covenant will be concluded with the house of Yisra’ĕl and the house of Yehuḏah (It is not with the ‘church’)!
Turn with me to Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 37:15-28 (read)
This passage speaks of a reuniting of Ephraim and Yehuḏah, and from this passage we can see 4 clear pictures that the fulfilment of Yom Kippur brings to us as the body or Bride of Messiah. The 4 pictures not only represent for us the fulfilment of the Bride being made whole, but also what the work of Atonement has done for us individually in our own lives as we earnestly follow יהושע Messiah:
1 – Reconciliation – from division to unity (15-22)
It will be at this time that יהוה will bring the two houses together as ‘one’ in Him and so there will no longer be division, but unity, where once the fullness of the nations has come in, that יהוה will open the eyes of Yehuḏah and they will see the one they have pierced and accept Him as Messiah. We know that by His Blood we are reconciled to Him, and we are to no longer be divided but walk in unity of the Spirit of יהוה!
2 – Redeemed – from rebellion to obedience (23-24)
Rebellion was the root cause for the house to be divided into two – rebellion against יהוה in their worship, and both houses departed from true obedience to His Torah. He is restoring obedience, where Ephraim who has rebelled by worshipping after the world’s ways are being restored to Torah obedience – this will provoke Yehuḏah to jealousy and will cause them to turn themselves from tradition and accept יהושע as Messiah and the Bride will no more walk in rebellion but in obedience to יהוה. The Torah is for our own good – it is the guide on how to live a fruitful life and walk in His protection. Living in obedience to Torah was the way which יהוה’s people were to distinguish themselves from the nations with the purpose of bringing esteem to Elohim. A restoration to obedience will cause the Bride to be a light to the nations in the millennial reign all for His esteem! Being Atoned for brings about a change – a washing that causes us to no longer rebel against His Torah but to walk in obedience to it as a great expression of our love for Him!
3 – Restored – from bareness to fruitfulness (25-26)
Yo’ĕl/Joel 2 speaks of the restoration of all the years that the locust had eaten and Amos 9 speaks of the harvest that is so plentiful. We can only be fruitful if we remain in the True Vine, and Yom Kippur is the day of fruitfulness being restored unto Yisra’ĕl. It is also true that when we as individuals come to the fullness of what He has done for us and allow His Word to wash us that as we abide in Him, we bear much fruit that lasts. We go from being barren to being fruitful – restored!
4 – Reposed – from distress to rest (27-28)
It is after these events that we will enter His rest - reign with Him and rest in Him fully forever! And so we will find rest by pursuing a relationship with יהוה!
Covered and Reunited – that is the theme of Yom Kippur! Yom Kippur is a time of remembering what our High Priest has done for us and what He will fulfil in the future, where we are now covered forever in His Atoning Blood and will one day soon be with Him forever. This is certainly a time to reflect on where your walk is with Him.
In verse 23 יהוה says that He will save Yisra’ĕl from the dwelling places where they have sinned and He shall cleanse them and they will be His people and He will be their Elohim! This is speaking of this very Day of Yom Kippur. There is a cleansing and a restoring of a lost Bride!
This Hebrew word for cleanse is טָהֵר ‘taher’ H2891 and means the following: “to be clean; to cleanse; purify’ made clean”, “properly to be bright; to be pure – that is physically sound, clear, unadulterated, morally innocent”, “to be purged, purify, to declare something or someone clean.”
You get the picture; He makes us clean – really clean – by His Blood! This Word ‘tâhêr’ is also used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:19 where the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sin offering on the horns of the altar and all around, seven times – 7 as we know signifies perfection and so there is a perfect cleansing, and our perfect reconciliation by the Blood of יהושע!
And so we can clearly see how the picture of Atonement is fully met by His sacrifice and with Him coming again to present to Himself a clean bride.
Iḇ‘rim/Hebrews 9:11-14 “But Messiah, having become a High Priest of the coming good matters, through the greater and more perfect Tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, 12 entered into the Most Set-apart Place once for all, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, having obtained everlasting redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the defiled, sets apart for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of the Messiah, who through the everlasting Spirit offered Himself unblemished to Elohim, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?”
It is through the one time atoning sacrifice of Messiah that He will ‘tâhêr’ His Bride.
Titos/Titus 2:11-14 “For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men, 12 instructing us to renounce wickedness and worldly lusts, and to live sensibly, righteously, and reverently in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.”
He has cleansed us for Himself – we are His.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1John 1:7-9 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of יהושע Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are misleading ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 33:6-16 “‘See, I am bringing to it relief and healing. And I shall heal them and reveal to them the riches of peace and truth. 7 ‘And I shall turn back the captivity of Yehuḏah and the captivity of Yisra’ĕl, and shall build them as at the first, 8 and shall cleanse them from all their crookedness that they have sinned against Me. And I shall pardon all their crookedness’s that they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. 9 ‘And it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and a pride before all nations of the earth, who hear all the good I am doing to them, and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the peace I am doing to it.’ 10 “Thus said יהוה, ‘In this place of which you say, “It is dried up, without man and without beast,” in the cities of Yehuḏah, in the streets of Yerushalayim that are deserted, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, there shall once again be heard 11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who are saying, “Praise יהוה of hosts, for יהוה is good, for His kindness is forever,” of those who are bringing the offering of praise into the House of יהוה. For I shall turn back the captivity of the land, as at the first,’ declares יהוה. 12 “Thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘In this place which is dried up, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall once again be a home of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 ‘In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the low country, and in the cities of the South, and in the land of Binyamin, and in the places around Yerushalayim, and in the cities of Yehuḏah, the flocks once again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ declares יהוה. 14 ‘See, the days are coming,’ declares יהוה, ‘when I shall establish the good word which I have promised to the house of Yisra’ĕl and to the house of Yehuḏah: 15 ‘In those days and at that time I cause a Branch of righteousness to spring forth for Dawiḍ and He shall do right-ruling and righteousness in the earth. 16 ‘In those days Yehuḏah shall be saved, and Yerushalayim dwell in safety. And this is that which shall be proclaimed to her: ‘יהוה our Righteousness.’
Hoshěa/Hosea 1:10 tells us that where it was said to them that you are not His people, they shall be called sons of the Living Ěl!
I have quoted a number of Scriptures that clearly speak of a gathering of the Bride – the Great Reunion which will be fulfilled through the feast of Yom Kippur. ‘Kaphar’ and ‘tâhêr’ – we have been covered and cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb and we will soon be with Him forever. Yom Kippur is a time for us to reflect and remember what our High Priest has done for us and that we are to walk as His spotless Bride as He cleanses us through the washing of His Word. This is a day to afflict your beings – why? Well it is a day to realise and remember that we are to lay down our lives – to put to death the flesh and intercede for the rest of the lost Bride, as we embrace His work of salvation that will be made complete on this Day of Yom Kippur, and so as we continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, may we not take lightly the importance of this Great Day where יהושע took His Blood into a temple not made with human hands and offered His Blood on the altar perfecting for all time those who are set apart.
Therefore let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water and hold on to the hope we have for he who promised is trustworthy, amen!
Covered, Cleansed and the Great Reunion is what Yom Kippur is about – a Bride being made clean and reunited with her Groom forever – Be cleansed in Him as we wait for Him… Put off the flesh and clothe yourself with His righteousness – walking in obedience to His Torah as we eagerly await with great anticipation His return! So in obedient rehearsals of the good things to come let us certainly be obedient in keeping this day where we lay aside the flesh and humble ourselves before our Master ready to give and account and be washed in His presence by His Blood as He has imputed to us his Righteousness that we must clothe ourselves in daily!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face toward you and give you peace! Aměn!