Day of Atonement, Days of Awe, El Shaddai Ministries, Exodus 32, God's calendar, God's Holidays, Humbling oneself, Isaiah 61, Leviticus 23:26-29, Luke 4:13-30, Malachi 3, Mark Biltz, Repentance, Revelation 20:11-14, the acceptable year of the Lord, The Opening of the Books, the scapegoat, Year of Jubilee, Yom Kippur
We are in a very special time of year. Aside from the fact that it is the changing of the seasons, and the crisp feeling of autumn is in the air, it is a time of God’s holidays. Now, there are seven holidays all together that are holy to the Lord. In Leviticus 23:1 it says that, “The Lord spoke . . . saying, “Speak to the people . . . and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.”” These are not like our American holidays, for these holidays were set a part by the Lord. In the Hebrew language “feast” actually means “an appointment, a fixed time.” And when God calls them “holy convocations,” convocation actually means “a rehearsal.” Therefore, all of God’s holidays are God-ordained, divine appointments set by God on His calendar as dress rehearsals and foreshadowings that would be or will be fulfilled by Jesus.
Last time we learned about Yom Teruah, the Day of Blowing, otherwise known as the Feast of Trumpets. In Leviticus 23:23-24 it says, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.” Yom Teruah has been known for centuries as the day of “the Last Trump” and “the day that no one knows the day or hour” it will begin, and these are key Biblical phrases for Christ’s return for the Church. Thus, Yom Teruah is all about Jesus’ catching us away to meet Him in the air as is clearly seen in I Thessalonians 4:16-18 and I Corinthians 15:51-52. This is the first of God’s appointed Fall feasts foreshadowing Jesus’ future fulfillment.
God’s Second Fall Holiday: The Day Of Atonement
Leviticus 23:26-29 speaks of the second, God-ordained, autumn feast called Yom Kippur, Yom meaning “Day” and Kippur meaning “Atonement.” “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:”Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.”
Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of God’s feasts and is the holiest of His holy days, and is the final day of what are called “the Days of Awe.” It is the day when God opens and/or will open the books of heaven. Malachi 3 speaks of this when it says, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” (Malachi 3:16-18). The book of Revelation also says, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelation 20:11-14). Thus, Yom Kippur is a day of afflicting oneself. The Hebrew word for afflicted means “to humble oneself,” for God is a holy God and is the judge of all the earth. For most on Yom Kippur this “humbling” of oneself means to fast. This fast truly encompasses everything from food to watching television to going shopping. It is a day to seek the Lord, to humble oneself and to pray. It is on this day that Isaiah 61 which is all about preaching good news to the poor, healing the broken-hearted, preaching deliverance to the captives, restoring the sight of the blind and setting people free is read aloud. This is the only time of year that Isaiah 61 was to be read or taught upon. It was and is the Jubilee passage. Leviticus teaches more on the Year of Jubilee and what it meant. Essentially, every 50th year the land was returned to it’s original owners and everyone was to rest including the land. It can also be referred to as a Super Sabbatical or Super Shemitah Year. (The Shemitah Year is one in which no one works, buys, sells, sows, or reaps).
Biblical Stories Surrounding Yom Kippur
In Exodus 32 we read of the first Yom Kippur. In this passage we see that Moses had come down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments and found that the impatient, impetuous people were all naked and dancing around the golden calf they had made for themselves. After several things transpired, Moses tells the people he will go back up to the Lord to see if he might be able to make atonement for their great sin. We see this story in Exodus 32:30-34.
“30 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
31 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold!
32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin–but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”
33 And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
34 Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.”
So, Moses reascends the mountain for 40 more days, and it is said that at the end of it as Moses descends the mountain with second set of Commandments, that this was God’s mercy extended to the people on the first Yom Kippur. While Moses was on the mountain those 40 more days, the people were to be preparing their hearts and lives for God’s judgment.
Later, Jesus would be in the Wilderness, fasting and being tempted by the devil for 40 days. Just as Moses went into the mountain of Sinai for forty days, Jesus went out into the wilderness for forty days. After all, Jesus is the predicted “Prophet” that Moses said would be like him (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) and is greater than Moses (Hebrews 3:1-3).
In Luke 4:13-30 we find an incredible story following Jesus’ fast and temptation in the wilderness. But, there is something amazing in this story that I missed for years. Yom Kippur is everywhere if you know for what to look. Let’s take a look!
“13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.
15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ “
24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.
25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land;
26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.
30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.”
We’ve read this story before and have probably heard sermons on it at some time or another. But, what was happening here has probably been lost on us because we did not know about God’s holidays and the scripture passages that were read on those holidays. The fact that Jesus read Isaiah 61 meant beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was Yom Kippur. This then meant that it was the Fall season. This also meant that Jesus had been out in the Judean wilderness for forty days in the heat of summer. This also meant that Jesus was essentially telling them that their Jubilee passage of Isaiah 61 was now fulfilled through Him. In other words, Jesus was their Jubilee who had come to set the captives free, and it was the “acceptable year of the Lord.” Interestingly enough, Jesus ended His reading of Isaiah 61 mid sentence. He did not finish the sentence which reads, “and the day of the vengeance of our God.” He did not finish the passage because the day of judgment has not yet come. However, the day of the Lord’s atonement had come through Jesus, and was fulfilled that day in their hearing. The day of the Lord’s vengeance, even as seen in the book of Revelation, is still in the future and is coming and will be fulfilled in Jesus.
But there’s more…
In Luke 4 we read of Jesus being pushed and pulled and pummeled to the edge of a cliff. This is significant and is directly linked to Yom Kippur as well. Historically, on Yom Kippur, two goats were selected, both without blemish. One was selected to be sacrificed in the Temple for the people while the other was selected to be what was called the “scapegoat.” Now, it was on the “scapegoat” that all of the sins of the people were placed. After this ceremony was conducted, the “scapegoat” bearing all the sins of the people was marched out of town where it was to be released into the wilderness. The problem was, the scapegoats didn’t stay in the wilderness, but instead kept coming back into town! So, they decided to make sure that the goat died, because they did not want their sins returning to them. Thus, certain people were selected to drive the goat into the wilderness where they would drive it off of a cliff.
Well, in Luke 4 it is the holiday of Yom Kippur and Jesus has just read Isaiah 61 and has declared Himself to be their atonement, their deliverance and has also gravely offended his listeners by saying they have no faith and are as bad as their unbelieving forefathers. Thus, His audience decided to treat Jesus as their “scapegoat.” It’s as if they were saying, “Are you really saying our atonement? Are you really saying you’re our deliverer? Well then, let’s see if you mean it! How dare you say you’re a prophet and can save us! Here, put actions to what you’re saying and die like the scapegoat! See how you like being a prophet now!” They were furious, and they in a blind rage treated Jesus like the scapegoat of Yom Kippur when they attempted to drive Him off of the cliff.
But…God had other plans. Jesus was not the scapegoat. He was the Passover Lamb, and would lay down His own life as a ransom for many when the time was God’s appointed time, not man’s.
The ten Days of Awe that follow Yom Teruah all lead up to the holiest day on God’s calendar: Yom Kippur. It is and has historically been a day of fasting and prayer. However, it is not merely a Jewish holiday. It is God’s holiday, and therefore applies to Christians today.We are all called to humble ourselves before our holy God, to prepare our hearts, to set our eyes on Him. On this day of Yom Kippur, may we as Christians take seriously the call to afflict our souls, to humble ourselves before our God, to confess our own individual sins and to pray for God to clean house in His Church. He is coming again soon for a Bride without spot and without wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27), but there are a lot of spots and wrinkles. In Revelation chapters 2-3 He is calling His Church to repent and to seek Him with fasting and prayer.
But, the fast that God requires of us as Christians is not necessarily a physical one, but is something deeper as found in Isaiah 58. In Isaiah 58:3-10 we read of the Jews who were keeping Yom Kippur by fasting, but God was not pleased with them at all because the fast He requires is not simply a bodily one, but is one wherein our hearts are changed and our actions follow. Let us take seriously what the following scriptures say and take them to heart until they become faith in action. Jesus is returning soon….let’s live with eternity in mind!
Isaiah 58 reads,
“3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers.
4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high.
5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord?
6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.”
We see this
I John 3:16-18 agrees wholeheartedly with Isaiah 58:
And James 2:15-17 agrees with both Isaiah 58 and I John 3:
For more information regarding God’s Holidays please refer to the Mark Biltz web addresses below:
Page on All the Feasts: https://www.elshaddaiministries.us/feasts_pages.php
Main Web Address: https://www.elshaddaiministries.us/index.php
To purchase the DVD set on the Feasts of the Lord: http://shop.elshaddaiministries.us/Feasts-of-the-Lord-Set-ITEM-100-001.htm (Right now the package is only $10.00!!)