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The Day of Atonement a TWO DAY Observance
Lev. 23:26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. :28 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. :29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. :30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. :31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. :32 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.
It plainly says the
Day of Atonement is the 10th Day (vs. 27)! It is the same day! It says it is "that same day" in verse 28, 29 and 30! The confusion comes about where it says 9th day from even to even in verse 32. This is the ONLY Sabbath or Holy day where it uses this phrase of "from even unto even". This is also the ONLY time this phrase "even unto even" in the entire Bible! That is interesting! (the closest to it is Unleavened bread which we will discuss in just a minute.) What is unique or different about The Day of Atonement? It is the ONLY day that we are commanded to fast on a particular day. Most fast days are considered minor fast days. That means the fast usually lasts from sunrise to sunset. ( Source 1, Source 2. On these days, breakfast is permitted if eaten before sunrise. But the Day of Atonement is Different. It is a Major Commanded Fast. It would not do any good to eat a breakfast and then proclaim your fast and say "I'm going to fast now Lord", when you just finished stuffing your stomach! No, you must have your stomach empty or near empty at the beginning of your Day of Atonement Fast! So that is why the Lord wants you to start your fasting on the evening of the 9th. But the actual Holy Day is the 10th as it says it is. We understand now why God would want us to START our fast "from" the previous evening. You are fasting from sunrise (which is the beginning of the 10th) until sunset on the 10th because the Holy Day is ON THE 10TH. But you start fasting on the 9th so that your stomach is empty by the 10th, for a true humbling fast. Let's also take a look at the Feast of Unleavened Bread:
We are commanded to eat Unleavened Bread from even to even.
Exodus 12:18: "In the first month, ON the fourteenth day of the month at even, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even". It is NOT saying that the day starts at evening. It says " ON THE 14th Day". NOT "beginning the 14th day". What it is saying, is that we are to EAT unleavened bread from even to even. What does Atonement and the Passover Season have in Common? They are both types of fast. During the Days of Unleavened Bread, you are fasting from leavening. Therefore, you start fasting from leavening at sunset on Passover evening, which is the evening before the first day of Unleavened Bread. In the same way that GOD wants our stomach empty when the Day of Atonement starts at sunrise on the 10th of the 7th month, HE also wants us to start the process of removing leavening from our lives as soon as we partake of symbolically HIS Body and Blood on Passover. This also represents that as soon as we surrender to HIM, that the process of removing sin from our lives start. Although HE forgives us of our sins as soon as we surrender to HIM, it is a life long journey of learning and unlearning and growing in HIS Will.
The Passover observance/meal (although the day starts at sunrise, actually twilight) is eaten at sunset. It is a solemn observance remembering Christ sacrifice, that we are Saved by HIS Body and Blood, represented by the unleavened bread and wine.
The Night To Be Much Observed is the night after Passover. It is the first day of Unleavened Bread. The observance of the Night to be Much Observed starts at sunset, 24 hours after the Passover communion. It represents the night that GOD brought the Israelites (which represent the New Testament Church) out of Egypt (which represents a long journey of the process of removal of sin). The 7 Days of Unleavened Bread are solemn reminders for us to continue to remove sin from our lives. Philippians 2:12-13 Pentecost is a Day of Celebration. As such, It starts and ends at sunrise and has NO commandment to do anything at even or until even. The Feast of Trumpets is also a Day of Celebration. There is NO commandment to do anything at even. The Day of Atonement is a solemn day. It is on the 10th of the 7th month. The fasting observance starts at evening on the 9th. Until the evening on the 10th. It reminds us Christ is our atonement. The 7 Days of the Feast of Tabernacles are days of Celebration and have NO eventide commandment. The 8th Last Great Day is a Day of Celebration and has NO eventide commandment.
In Matt. 26, We see proof that the Day of Passover/UB starts BEFORE evening comes but is observed at Evening.
Matt. 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? (it was NOT evening yet, but it is the 1st day of UB!)
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TONIGHT STARTS (THURS) the Day of Atonement! The fast begins on the evening of the 9th day (tonight) and end on the evening of the tenth day (this Friday- tomorrow) .. Leviticus 23:26-32.. Followed by a weekly Sabbath on Saturday..... New International Version (NIV) The Day of Atonement 26 The LORD said to Moses, 27 “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the LORD. 28 Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. 29 Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people. 30 I will destroy from among their people anyone who does any work on that day. 31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32 It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.” What was the significance of the Day of Atonement in ancient Israel? "This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls [by fasting], and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD" (Leviticus:16:29-30 And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.). On the Day of Atonement each year the nation of ancient Israel was figuratively cleansed from its sins. This figurative cleansing was only a type of a spiritual cleansing that will occur first for the people of Israel, and then for the rest of the world, after Christ returns. How will this universal reconciliation with God be brought about? Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from nations of every language shall take hold of a Jew, grasping his garment and saying, 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you'" (Zechariah:8:22-23 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you., NRSV). Starting from Jerusalem, in a restored and spiritually cleansed nation of Israel (Ezekiel:37:21-28And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.), Christ will begin the process of extending this reconciliation to all peoples until the whole world repents and is at one with God. What is the real and permanent atonement for a person's sins? "In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John:4:10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins., New Revised Standard Version). "This righteousness [justification] from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood" (Romans:3:22-25Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;, NIV). Jesus died as the reconciling sacrifice for the sins of every human being so that humanity—the entire world—can at last be reconciled to God. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John:3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.). The Day of Atonement represents the fifth step in God's master plan for the salvation of mankind. This part of God's plan was depicted on the Day of Atonement in ancient Israel by two special sacrificial animals that were ceremonially set apart to represent reconciling the people to God, for figuratively cleansing them of their sins. But no animal sacrifice is adequate to cleanse us from our sins. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins" (Hebrews:10:4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.). Two goats were figurative bearers of guilt. Both had all the sins of the people symbolically placed on them. One goat was left alive but banished to a wilderness. The other, representing Jesus, was killed as a sacrifice for sins (Leviticus:16:6-10And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness., 15-16). In this drama the banished live goat represented Satan's part in the people's sins. The slain goat, picturing Christ, represented Him taking on Himself the penalty for the people's sins. Ceremonies on this day even pointed to the cleansing, or forgiving, through an atoning sacrifice, of sins committed in ignorance. "But into the second part [of the tabernacle] the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing" (Hebrews:9:7-8But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing. Why was the "Holiest of All," the inner room of the tabernacle that symbolized direct access to God, not opened to the entire congregation "while the first tabernacle was still standing"? Because the atoning sacrifice of Christ had not yet been made. Only His sacrifice, not the sacrifice of animals, can truly atone for our sins. Anciently the Day of Atonement signified that Jesus would become the atoning sacrifice for humanity. How do we know Christ's death is the atoning sacrifice for mankind? "... We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John:2:1-2My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world., New Revised Standard Version). Paul confirms that "in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them ..." (2 Corinthians:5:19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation., NRSV). The American Heritage Dictionary, electronic edition, defines the theological meaning of the word atonement as "reconciliation or an instance of reconciliation between God and human beings." The Day of Atonement points to the time in the future when God will reconcile humanity to Himself through Christ. "Atone," in English, means literally "at one." The Day of Atonement represents the time when humanity will at last be at one with God, no longer separated from Him. Why is atonement for mankind necessary? It is required for two reasons. First, "the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ ..." (2 Corinthians:4:4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them., NIV). Second, humans are "darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart" (Ephesians:4:18Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:, NRSV). People's hardness of heart, caused by a combination of ignorance and human nature together with Satan's influence, has led them to sin and fall short of God's glory (Romans:3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. When will God remove Satan's influence? "And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended" (Revelation:20:1-3, NIV). Immediately after Christ returns, God will banish Satan for 1,000 years. This will fulfill God's earlier pledge, in the presence of Adam and Eve, that the coming Seed (the Messiah) would "bruise" (impair and disable) Satan's "head"—his leadership and influence over mankind (Genesis:3:15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.). How will God begin to remove mankind's hardness of heart? "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter:3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance., NIV). With Satan banished and his deceptive and destructive influence removed, Christ will begin dispelling the hardness of heart caused by ignorance and human nature by teaching everyone how to repent. The Day of Atonement, as a Christian festival, reminds us that the atoning sacrifice of Christ is not only for individual Christians in this age but for the forgiveness and reconciliation of all people. This atonement paves the way for Christ to gather all people—as many as are willing—into God's Kingdom during Jesus' 1,000-year reign after Satan's banishment. http://www.ucg.org/bible-study-lesson/bible-study-course-lesson-12-gods-festivals-keys-humanitys-future/day-atonement/