Thursday, September 23, 2010


It seems to me that Israel would be particularly nervous during the feast called the Day of Atonement (Yom Kaphar), not just because the Muslim nations have a history of attacking them on the feast days, but because it is the day Jews are to show remorse and ask God for forgiveness of their sins. It is one of the seven feasts of Israel established by God (Lev. 16:1-34; 23:26-32). The Word of God instructs His people to "afflict your souls," a phrase which pictures great remorse and a repentant attitude (Lev. 16:29, 31; 23:27, 29, 32). One must wonder what angst they experience each year that there is no temple.

It was upon this day, once a year, that the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies with a blood offering for the sins of the people and for his own sins (Heb. 9:7). Entering through the massive curtain was so dangerous that the High Priest carried a censer giving off a great amount of smoke to cover the "Mercy Seat," the top of the Ark of the Covenant. Should he see God, he would die (Ex. 19:21; 33:20; Jn. 1:18; 1 Jn. 4:12; Lev. 16:12-13). The "Mercy Seat" was where God would manifest Himself, so the cloud kept the High Priest from seeing Him (Ex. 25:22; Lev. 16:2).

There is a tradition that says the High Priest's garments had bells on the fringes so that, should he die, those outside the veil could pull his dead body out using a rope placed upon his leg as a precaution. There are a couple of problems with this "teaching." For one, the High Priest's garments are described with no mention of a fringe or bells (Lev. 16:4). There is no mention of a rope used for this purpose anywhere in the Bible, and even if they had done this, there would be no one outside the veil to pull him out (Lev. 16:17). While there is no evidence to support this myth, nevertheless, it shows how seriously believers view the dangers of approaching God in a way other than His way. Remember John 14:6!

I believe the Feast of Trumpets, which was celebrated September 10, 2010, uses the plural for trumpets because there are two different trumpets pictured in this feast. One is to call Israel to assemble, and the other is the trump of God which calls the Church up to meet the Lord in the air (Num. 10:1-4; 1 Thes. 4:16). Since the Church is still here, and all of Israel has not assembled in the land, either I am misinterpreting the meaning of the two Feasts, or it is not yet the year God calls to the Christian and the Jew. Then again, perhaps our calendar is off. Either way, it is a good day to repent and begin serving the God Who gave His Son for mankind's sin. Christ has atoned for all who will believe (Rom. 5:11).

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