“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to atone for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. (Lev. 17:11)
OBSERVING THE MOST SACRED DAY OF THE YEAR
At sunset on September 29, 2017, we will come to the holiest day of the sacred year, Yom Kippur, or The Day of Atonement. The day will last through sunset September 30, 2017.
This is a not a feast day; but a fast day.
It is a High Sabbath and we are not to work on this day.
One of the scriptures that beacons to my spirit to observe this day is found in Leviticus 23:27-32:
Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.
For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.
ATONEMENT SHOWS THE HOLY LOVE OF GOD
We serve a God who was willing to give up His kingly status and become like us. He loved us so much that He was even willing to die for us. What other god out there in all of the religions of this world has ever done such a thing? This is evidence that The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is The One True God.
So how does this tie in with a Christian’s observance of Yom Kippur traditions?
Isn’t the Passover more symbolic of Atonement?
In some ways, for the Christian, the answer is yes, Passover is more about Atonement for sins; but Yom Kippur is more about realizing that time is drawing short for everyone to receive that atonement.
Passover is more about our individual sins, and Yom Kippur is more about the sins of our nation and the world as a whole.
Has there ever been a more urgent time for this?
Passover is more about the mercy and forgiveness of God because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; Yom Kippur is more of a statement that Judgment Day is coming, and it comes with a warning sound to help us know to get ready.
TIME TO HEED THE SOUND OF THE WARNING
The Lord is going to return soon!
There are many out there who do not know Him. They do not yet have atonement; not because it is not available and freely offered to them; but simply because they have not believed that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and they have not repented of their sins and begun to follow Christ. This is especially true in America.
Satan has been very busy deceiving people because He too has a clue that the time is short. He is on his usual favorite subject; himself. He is worried that his time is coming to be put away forever. He enjoys being loose and wrecking havoc on our world. He has deceived the world with materialism, false doctrines, helping to bring about churches that want to entertain instead of worship. He has helped some religious groups to “buy” their congregations, and he has promoted luke-warm and false worship, as well as evil, death and lust.
Looking back over history this should not come as a surprise to us. Satan’s tools are always the same. He rarely changes his techniques, yet the world falls for his tricks constantly.
IT IS TIME TO COME CLOSER TO GOD
In the traditions of the Fall Holy Days it is said that on Rosh Hashanah the doors of heaven are opened. This is God communicating with mankind saying, “Come closer to me.” This is the first Fall Holy Day that brings a progression of events leading up to the next Holy Day called Yom Kippur and/or The Day of Atonement.
In order to come closer to God you must be clean. Those of us who have The Holy Spirit working in us are continually being led to come before God and confess our sins. We have repented and turned, trying to imitate Jesus more and more. We have the good sense to realize and be constantly aware that we are not perfect, and that Jesus must keep us covered with His righteousness.
Yet, among our numbers there are those who have not yet repented. I am continuously shocked these days to find those who have never been taught the basics of repentance, even those who attend church regularly seem to be ignorant of this fact in some congregations.
GOD IS LISTENING
God is listening for them, waiting on them to begin a conversation, waiting on them to say “I repent of my sins, please blot them out of your book.”
As a Christian I know my sins have been blotted out. I totally understand that Christ died on the cross once for all. But I am still human and I still sin, causing me to need to go back and wash my feet at the cross of Christ. This is also a time period when I am praying for the souls of those who have never yet repented.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO INTERCEDE FOR THE SINS OF OUR PEOPLE
Christians, as ordinary priests who have been called by Jesus Christ, ordained after the Order of Melchizedek; when we came to Christ, as Christians and as a holy nation and a divine priesthood; we have the opportunity to intercede for the sins of our people and our nation. The faithful give these prayers to Jesus to carry to the Father.
In the days of Moses and the Wilderness Tabernacle, the ordinary priests in service took the daily sacrifices of the people and offered them up to God.
Once a year the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies and offered up the sacrifice for the sins of the whole nation.
A PRIEST WHO IS PERFECT IN EVERY WAY TAKES OUR PRAYERS TO GOD
On The Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur, our High Priest, Jesus Christ, STILL carries these intercessions into The Holy of Holies on our behalf. God hears and receives our prayers because of the One who brings them for us. Unlike the high priests of Levitical descent, our High Priest, Jesus Christ, is perfect in every way.
So can you see how I have come to relate that Yom Kippur should be a strong time of intercession by Christians for the souls of the world?
JUDGMENT WILL NOT WAIT FOREVER
Judgment Day is coming.
The world as we know it will not last forever.
Christ will return and the period of grace we now live under will be over. God will judge the living and the dead.
It is said that after Yom Kippur the doors of heaven and the books of God are closed for another year.
On Yom Kippur whatever God has written for the year is sealed.
It is finished.
It is done.
You will either be a sheep or a goat when you enter into judgment after that final seal is sealed on that last page of God’s book for this sacred year.
PREPARE TO BE SEALED FOR A GOOD YEAR
If you know Christ, you are covered by the blood of the atonement. You are separated into the fold of the sheep; and when the Great Last Day arrives; you will be allowed to go into the Marriage Supper of The Lamb.
If you do not heed God’s call and repent and believe on the name of Jesus, you will be separated into another group of people called the “goats.”
You will not be allowed to go into the marriage feast, because you are not “covered” by the blood atonement of Jesus.
You will be sentenced to eternity in hell. This means you will be forever separated from God.
The DOOR WILL BE SHUT, and no one without a wedding garment will not be allowed back inside.
The wedding garment is the covering of Christ.
Do not let the doors of heaven close on you.
Repent and be saved by the blood of Jesus.
THE DESTINY OF MANKIND
In the traditions of Yom Kippur the “books” of God are often discussed.
The tradition is that the destiny of the righteous is written down into The Book of Life.
The destiny of the eternally wicked is written down in The Book of Death.
THE BOOK OF LIFE
If you have come to Jesus Christ and accepted His blood atonement to cover your sins, you are written in The Book of Life.
Every sin you have ever committed will be blotted out of the heavenly records. It is His blood that covers and blots out the sins.
It is ONLY all that Jesus did that allows you to stand clean before God on The Last Day. It is nothing that you can do or have done.
THE 10 DAYS OF AWE
There is a period of 10 days called The Days of Awe, from the date beginning on Rosh Hashanah until the end of Yom Kippur (sunset) when you can be reassured (by talking to God) that your sins have been covered, and you can pray for those that you love that do not yet have this blessing. You can ask that their minds and their hearts and their eyes be opened and that they decide to become a believer and follower of Jesus Christ.
The tradition says that many people are not yet written into either of the books of heaven. This is because God gives us free-will and many have not yet made a final decision.
God is waiting.
You can plead with God for them, to do whatever it is that will change their hearts, open their eyes, help them to see the truth.
Our Jewish brothers and sisters fall into this category of those that need their eyes opened in order to see Christ as Messiah; but God has promised that many of them will one day wake up and believe.
There will come a day when their eyes will be opened and they will mourn for the One they have pierced. This tells me they will repent and turn to Christ as The Messiah.
A TIME OF FASTING AND INTERCESSION
During The Ten Days of Awe, our prayers of intercession are important for everyone who has not made a decision to follow Christ.
The 10 Days of Awe are comparable to the period of grace that the church is living in today.
There will come an end to these times.
Judgment Day will arrive, whether the world is ready or not.
Until sunset on Yom Kippur and the nine other days before it arrives are all about getting ready for Judgment Day. At the end of Yom Kippur; God has made His judgements for the coming year.
Leading up to this day and until the day is over is a time to be purchasing oil for your lamp. It is a time to be preparing to stand clean before God, with all sins confessed and the mercy and forgiveness of God granted. It is a time to be in intercessory prayer through fasting.
IT IS A TIME TO BE BATTLE READY
Our High Priest, Jesus Christ, is at some point going to be returning to this earth. When He does, there will be a great battle. It is our place, as Christians to be ready to join in with Him.
All Christians will be right there with Him for this battle; riding on white horses into battle. The Bride of Christ will be riding by the side of her Groom. It is the Groom that assures our salvation and our victory in this battle. We must be ready and prepared for that battle. Yom Kippur is a reminder of this fact.
There is a final day that is coming at some point. When the last person that is ever going to repent has done so; the doors of heaven will be closed forever. Only God knows when that time will be. The writing in the books will be finished. Christ will return for the final battle that will destroy all evil and usher in His 1000 year reign on the earth.
Are you ready?
So many of my Christian friends are saying we MUST heed II Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Isn’t it ironic that we speak these words continuously in our congregations and we often hear them in sermons from the pulpits? We clearly know the answers; yet many Christian churches still turn away from acknowledging or observing Yom Kippur, the very holy day that God, Himself set aside for all nations to do the very things that we are always so loudly proclaiming should be done.
GOD NEVER CHANGES
God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. If He said it to the nation of Israel, He meant it for everyone in the church. The church evolved from the nation of Israel. He isn’t just the God of the Israelites, He is God of ALL.
OBSERVING YOM KIPPUR IS PART OF FULFILLING THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD
If every Christian church in America would put aside their politics of the world for the period of time called The Day of Atonement and devote that time to prayer and fasting and intercession for their fellow-man, as is the tradition for Yom Kippur, and begin praying for our nation and praying for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are still living in sin; we would fulfill the commandments of God.
God would hear us, for this is the time that He has proclaimed that He will be listening with attention and deciding. He would save us from ourselves and heal our land, just as He promised.
Eternity is at stake.
God says what He means and means what He says.
He always keeps His promises.
BE COVERED IN A RED COVERING
As fall brings a beautiful red to the trees across our land, it is my earnest prayer that the people of our nation will turn to Jesus and receive His precious atonement covering.
May God heal our land and bring peace to the earth.
G’mar Chatimah Tovah!
May you be inscribed in The Book of Life for good!