TEXT: Leviticus 16:29-34
SUBJECT: “The Day of Atonement”
I want to begin our subject today by making a foundational statement that I believe is essential in properly understanding the end times: all seven of the Feasts of God involve the nation of Israel! A failure to understand this basic but essential truth has led to much error and confusion about God’s end time plan. This truth is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in our subject, “The Day of Atonement,” also known as Yom Kippur.
Let’s pray: Father God, we humbly ask that you would open the eyes of our heart and give us revelation and understanding of Your Divine Word. In the all-powerful name of Jesus the Messiah we pray. Amen.
In Leviticus 16:6ff, after the High Priest had made atonement for himself and his family, he would then take two goats and present them before the Lord. Lots were then cast for the two goats: the goat whose lot fell to the Lord was sacrificed as a sin offering while the other goat became the scapegoat. The Priest would then lay hands on the scapegoat, confess Israel’s sins, and then the goat would be led away into the wilderness. The purpose of this ceremony involving the two goats was to demonstrate that Israel’s sins had not only been forgiven but had also been taken away so that the favor of the Lord might rest upon them as a nation.
The Day of Atonement occurred on the tenth day of Tishri and was the most solemn day of the Jewish year. The Israelites were to afflict their souls by fasting a full twenty four hours. This would be from the evening of the ninth day and continue until the evening of the tenth day.
With this much understood about the basics of The Day of Atonement, let’s now begin to add more context to this amazing truth of God.
In our message on The Feast of Pentecost, we showed you how that Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. But when he came down with the two stone tablets written by the finger of God, the people had made a golden calf! And God was angry with the nation for their idolatry! So Moses went back up the mountain for another forty days.
In Exodus 32:30 we read, “The next day Moses said to the people, ‘You have committed a terrible sin. But now I will again go up the mountain to the Lord; perhaps I can obtain forgiveness (or make atonement for your sin).’”
According to Rabbinic tradition, on Elul one (September 1st), Moses went back up the mountain for the second time. If Elul one occurred on September 1st, then forty days later would be October 10th. Keep in mind that all Jewish months are thirty days. That would mean that at the end of these second forty days, it would be the tenth day of Tishri and The Day of Atonement!
When Moses came down on the tenth day of Tishri, all of Israel would be wondering if God had forgiven their national sin of idolatry when they had made the golden calf. That is why that the forty days between Elul one and Tishri ten are known as the days of repentance. This is known by the Jews as the season of Teshuvah (repentance).
So Moses actually came down on The Day of Atonement letting the nation of Israel know that atonement had been made for them. This was the first Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in which God had forgiven Israel as a nation.
In Exodus 34:29-35 we see that when Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had been with the Lord. And when Aaron and Israel saw Moses’ face shinning with the glory of the Lord, they were afraid to come near him. But then he called to them and they came near him and he gave them the commandments the Lord had given him. When Moses would finish speaking to them, he would put a veil over his face. That’s why that The Day of Atonement is also known as “Face to Face.”
Just a quick aside here: On the very first Day of Atonement Moses came down and said, your sins are forgiven; atonement has been made for you. Following that atonement, instructions were given to begin collecting the materials for the Tabernacle. (See Exodus chapter 35)
God was in essence saying, now that atonement has been made for you (Israel), I want to come down and “tabernacle” among you. This is when the Tabernacle was built! I’m going to get a little bit ahead of myself here, but I want you to understand that this all points to The Day of Atonement at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation Period at the end of the age when all of Israel will repent and be saved! The result will be Jesus living (tabernacling) among them in the millennial reign. He returns on The Feast of Trumpets, He saves Israel on The Day of Atonement, and He begins His millennial reign on The Feast of Tabernacles!
The Day of Atonement was to be a great day because it was to be the day of new beginnings—it was the day that the nation’s sins were atoned for by the power of the shed blood.
Try and envision what this will be like on that day when all of Israel is converted and receives a new beginning as a nation through Jesus their Messiah! Jesus, Israel and the Church ruling and reigning over all the earth in righteousness and peace!
One quick note here about the difference between Passover and The Day of Atonement. Whereas Passover speaks of individual salvation, The Day of Atonement speaks of national salvation for Israel. In individual salvation we as individuals make the choice to be saved. We, by faith, apply The Passover blood of The Lamb to our lives. But when we get to the ultimate fulfillment of The Day of Atonement, God says that all Israel will be saved and restored back to Himself. It is the salvation of the whole nation!
That leads us now to look at how the Old Testament Day of Atonement is fulfilled in the Book of the Revelation at the time of the end by the Lord Jesus.
On The Day of Atonement the High Priest would only have on a white linen garment (Keep in mind that white speaks righteousness). But what would happen to that white linen garment when he was carrying out the bloody sacrifice required of him?
The High Priest was required to put his finger in the blood of the sacrifice and with a whipping motion he would apply the blood seven times to the altar. His garments would then be covered in blood. Stay with me here because I am laying the foundation for something that is yet to come in the New Testament. There is a Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement service in the Book of The Revelation!
But let’s go back for a moment to the white linen garment. Today in a synagogue service, on The Day of Atonement, everyone dresses in white. Again, white stands for righteousness.
However, although everyone dresses in white, they do not yet understand what it means. But they will on that day! Below are the reasons why.
Let’s now go to the Book of Leviticus and compare The Day of Atonement service with what we see in The Book of the Revelation.
11 "Aaron shall bring the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household, and he is to slaughter the bull for his own sin offering. 12 He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain. 13 He is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the Testimony, so that he will not die. 14 He is to take some of the bull's blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.” The atonement cover was on the top of the Ark of the Covenant.
9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.
The Day of Judgment on the unbelievers begins on the Feast of Trumpets with the rapture and the Lord’s second coming to the earth. But that judgement is intensified on The Day of Atonement when the Lord destroys the Antichrist and False Prophet, kills his armies, and saves all of Israel!
3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and
hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
Does that not sound familiar to what the High Priest did on The Day of Atonement? You have the incense and the golden altar!
Now let’s look at Isaiah 63:1-4 (The return of Jesus to judge to the world!)
Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? "It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save." 2 Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? 3 "I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. 4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come.
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever.’ And the twenty four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One Who is and Who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.’ Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within His temple was seen the Ark of the Covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.”
The Day of Atonement language is obvious! “The temple in heaven is opened.” The High Priest only went into the temple one time each year on The Day of Atonement! “The Ark of the Covenant was seen.” Again, the High Priest saw the Ark of The Covenant only once a year—on The Day of Atonement!
Jesus is the Greater High Priest conducting the ultimate Day of Atonement at the end of the age! This is what God is revealing through John in the Book of The Revelation.
I trust that you are beginning to see that The Day of Atonement is about God’s judgement. It will be good for those who belong to God but bad for those who do not belong to Him!
Let’s continue to develop this theme of judgment by looking at the fall harvest in Israel. You will remember that Passover was the barley harvest; Pentecost was the late spring harvest of wheat; but the fall harvest was fruit—particularly the harvest of grapes.
“. . . Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather your crops in the field.”
38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Jesus is referring to the feast of end gathering—the end of the year harvest at the end of the age.
The whole concept of the end of the year harvest is about harvesting not barley or wheat, but rather grapes. And remember that this harvest, as is true of the other harvests, is a rehearsal for something yet to be fulfilled by Jesus. This is the final harvest of the year in Israel.
17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe." 19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. 20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. (About 200 miles!)
This is referring of course to the end of the age and it will happen in the Jewish month of Tishri or our September or October.
8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
This is a direct correlation to The Day of Atonement service in Leviticus 16:17!
Rev 19:2 (God will destroy all of the nations that are attempting to destroy Israel!)
“. . . He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants."
V.13 “He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God.” “Dipped in blood” is Day of Atonement language.
V.14 “The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.” Day of Atonement language: “linen, white and clean.”
V.15 “Coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike the nations. . .” Notice that He is dealing with the nations and not just individuals. “. . . He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of Almighty God.”
The winepress is made up of grapes—the end time harvest of the fall feasts.
Beloved, can you see the similarity of the language in Revelation with The Day of Atonement? I gave you a good number of scriptures so that you could clearly see that The Day of Atonement would have its ultimate fulfillment at the end of the age—in the final harvest.
As I move this message to a conclusion, I will show you the connection with modern day Israel. When Jesus fulfills The Day of Atonement as He did Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost and Trumpets, Israel is going to recognize Jesus as their Messiah! It will mean the national redemption of the nation of Israel.
2 Corinthians 3:13-18
13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Moses put a veil over his face right after The Day of Atonement and just before the Feast of Tabernacles. But on this future Day of Atonement, prior to the Feast of Tabernacles, the veil will be taken away from the face of Israel and they will see the truth!
But speaking of a veil, most of the Church today has a veil over its face concerning God’s end time plan for Israel. A large portion of the Church is failing to recognize God’s purpose for the Jews in the end time, and most of the Church is failing to see its role in helping to remove that veil that is on the Jews.
However, in the Tribulation period, God will remove the veil from both Israel and the Church. But something significant must happen first. Remember, The Day of Atonement was the only day that the High Priest could speak to God face to face. “Face to face” is a Jewish and Biblical idiom for The Day of Atonement.
34 I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered — with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. 35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you.
During the last three and one half years of the Tribulation God is going to take Israel into the “wilderness” and there break off their stubborn pride and unbelief. He is going to remove the veil that has blinded their eyes from the truth. This will be the most difficult time that Israel has ever gone through. But the result will be, on The Day of Atonement, the entire remnant that survives this purging will accept Jesus as their Messiah and be saved!
10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” This of course is referring to the day that Israel recognizes Jesus as Messiah.
39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
Perhaps these verses should motivate the Church to pray for the national redemption of Israel, if we truly desire to see the rapture and second coming of Jesus!
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion;
He will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."
“All Israel will be saved when I take away their sins.” And when does God take away the sins of the nation? On The Day of Atonement!
God will keep His promises to Israel—all of them! And one of those promises is to take away their sins as a nation on The Day of Atonement. This will happen when He removes the veil from their eyes—as a nation—and they recognize Jesus as their atoning sacrifice!
I will close this message with Acts 3:17-21
17 "Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ (Messiah) would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you — even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
This scripture is making it clear that Jesus will not return until Israel is ready to receive Him as a nation. This means that the Feast of Trumpets—the rapture of the Church and second coming of Jesus; The Day of Atonement—the judgement of the nations and the national salvation of Israel; and the Feast of Tabernacles—the millennial reign of Christ, are all tied to the literal, physical nation of Israel!
Friends, this is how the all wise and all powerful God planned it, and it is going to happen in just this way—regardless of what the White House may say or do, or Islam may say or do, or Vladimir Putin may say or do, or what the atheist may say or do, or what anyone else on this planet may say or do! God’s Word—all of it—will literally be fulfilled!
That is why that we as a Church continually pray for and support the nation of Israel. To do so is to be in the perfect will of God now, and also as the pages of prophecy continue to turn with God moving everything to its conclusion and new beginning!
Beloved, I believe, we are living in the days of the return of the King!
 Although The Day of Atonement is directly connected to the nation of Israel, it is also a powerful illustration of what Jesus has done for believers. In Jesus, our sins have not only been forgiven but have also been taken away—as far as the East is to the West! And the East and West never meet! Our sins are gone!
 This is the Jewish seventh month and occurs on the Gregorian calendar in either September of October.
 Leviticus 16:29-31
 Jesus will be King over all the earth for one thousand years. His capital will be in the literal, physical city of Jerusalem, Israel.
 Romans 11:26-27
 The Tribulation period will be the final seven years of this age before we enter into the millennial reign of Christ.
 I believe the “wilderness” to be the nations of the world into which many Jews will again be scattered.