VOL.3 NO.3 ©1994INTERNET EDITION
IN THIS ISSUE:
The Feast Of Tabernacles October 21 Thru 28, 1994
The Third Temple
He Who Endures Still Believes
Day Of Atonement
It Does Matter
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES OCTOBER 21 THRU 28, 1994
by Mark Carr
We urge all of you to join us for eight days of worship and fellowship. This year there are two sites from which to pick. Arrangements have been made to hold the Feast of Tabernacles in beautiful Panama City Beach, Florida, AND Lake Worth, Florida. Both are attractive settings in which to keep God's Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day. Make your reservations TODAY by contacting one of the sites listed.
Attending the Feast requires both spiritual and financial planning. If you've been remiss with the financial planning, it is not too late! There is still time if you put some money in savings each week, but start TODAY! Please make every effort to attend. We hope to see all of you there and we will pray for your safe trip.
The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the most important spiritual things you can do. Many groups recognize the importance of spending a week with God living in a temporary dwelling. But no amount of camp meetings, etc. can replace the eight days of exclusive worship of God that He commands at the time that He sanctifies. Please come and spiritually recharge your "worship batteries". Many Christians are feeling run down and low today. The best cure for this is worship, relaxation and fellowship at the Feast of Tabernacles.
Ideas for planned events are welcome. A speaking schedule will be published. If anyone has announce-ments or sermons they wish to give at Panama City Beach, please contact Charles Kimbrough @ (904) 382-0877, or Mark Carr @ (615) 922-5420. For Lake Worth, contact Neville Gilbert @ (407) 585-4580.
PANAMA CITY BEACH
We have reserved the meeting room at Horizon South II. We have used this room in the past and it has worked out well. Thursday night, October 20, at 7:30-9:30 P.M., we will have hospitality night with coffee and cookies. There will also be a meeting for everyone planning to speak this year. If you have a sermon or a sermonette prepared, please make every effort to attend.
Please bring your musical instruments for song services and the fun show. Ideas and volunteers are needed for special events to be held in the afternoon and in the evenings. If your children are planning to participate in the children's services (Sabbath School), please contact Mary Carr or Linda LeWallen at P.O. Box 70635, Knoxville, TN 37918, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE so supplies can be ordered.
With sunshine an average of 359 days a year and reasonably priced attractions too numerous to list, we can look forward to having a great time this year. The address for the meeting room and accomodations are listed below. For a more detailed listing see the last Jerusalem Sentinel, Vol. 3, No. 2. We have chosen Romans 12:12 as the theme for the Feast this year. "Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer."
HORIZON SOUTH II Condominiums, 17462 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, phone 1-800-334-4010. 1 bedroom units are $225.60 a week, 2 bedrooms are $275.20 and 3 bedrooms are $324.00. This includes a 20% discount they are offering us. Call today for these prices. These units are very nice!
LAGUNA BEACH CHRISTIAN RETREATS, 20225 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, phone (904) 234-2502. Call for a brochure and reservations. They have offered us a special rate of $11.00 a night per person. They are rough, but cheap.
For those of you who choose south Florida, Neville Gilbert and the Lake Worth Church will be observing the Feast at the Lake Worth Holiday Inn. They are a loving and caring group who welcome everyone. Most of you who have observed the Feast with us will remember Neville and the Lake Worth members. Accommodations are listed below:
HOLIDAY INN-WEST PALM BEACH-TURNPIKE 7859 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL 33467, phone (800) 325-8193. For a special rate of $39 contact Kathy Sisson and let her know you are with the Christian Church of God. For more information, call Neville at (407) 585-4580.
THE THIRD TEMPLE
by Mark Carr
"What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" This is the question the disciples asked Jesus. It's the same question that all Christians have pondered for the last 1,964 years. Jesus went on to say that there would be wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution, false prophets, and the spread of the gospel to the world.
Then in Matthew 24:15 He said that the abomination of desolation that Daniel warns about would stand in the Holy of Holies in the temple. He said when this happens, RUN! This is a future event, one that has not yet happened. Antiochus Epiphanes had already defiled the temple in 169 B.C. when Jesus said this. He was talking about a future event. This was not fulfilled in 70 A.D. Titus' army destroyed the temple, but they didn't erect an abomination in the holy place. This prophecy will be fulfilled after the third temple is rebuilt.
A rabbi that is on our mailing list told me last fall all orthodox Jews pray for the temple to be rebuilt every day. Since talking to him and many other Jewish people, I now understand more than ever that for a faithful Jewish person to worship God 100%, the temple is a requirement. The penalty for sin was an animal sacrifice and without the temple there can be no sacrifice. Without the temple their worship is, in the least, compromised. The solution sounds simple; rebuild the temple. But, there are many things that have prevented this from happening.
I have learned in the last year that God is rapidly removing these barriers one by one and that the time of the rebuilding is almost here. What I am about to write in these pages is not fanciful wishes or dreams. These things are researched and have been documented. Some came from written materials and taped lectures, others came from questions I asked a man who is the director for the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. Since I don't have his permission, I won't use his name.
There are many people that want the temple rebuilt. They continually pray for this to happen. A rabbi from Israel I met last year said he thinks this is how God feels about the people who cry for a temple. Exo 14:15 "...Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward."
That is what many Jews are doing today. They feel it is their duty to be ready. To go forward with the preparation and do all that they can. It might seem impossible to most of the world, but they feel when it is time, God will solve the problems and remove any barriers.
The Jewish people who are working on the temple today are very skeptical of Christians who show an interest in, or are excited about the rebuilding. They are offended at some of the unlearned Christians who can't wait for the temple to be rebuilt so that the anti-christ can move there and they can be "raptured" away to heaven. I don't blame them! Most Christians don't realize this is a house for God they will build. It is not the work of men; without God's intervention it will never happen.
While the Bible plainly shows in Daniel 9:27 and 11:31 that the anti-christ will break an agreement with Israel 3 years after the temple is rebuilt, this is not something to celebrate. The thing to get excited about is that after the temple is rebuilt the coming of our Messiah is eminent (2 Thes 2:3).
In the Fall of 1995, Israel is supposed to sign an agreement that will decide the fate of Jerusalem. There is evidence that the framework of this agreement exists, making the old city of Jerusalem an international city. It calls for the Vatican to control the city and the holy sites. The city would remain the capital of Israel, but would have both Israeli and Palestinian mayors that report to the Pope.
Eventually, the temple will be rebuilt. Is it possible this is the bone the UN will throw to Israel for giving up control of Jerusalem? Will the temple be rebuilt next to the Dome of the Rock? I base this on the following scripture: Rev 11:1-3, "Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."
Why leave out the court? Because there's room on the mount to put the temple alongside the Dome of the Rock. This is just a personal guess at what will happen. In all fairness, I will say that this idea is repugnant to the Jews. The Temple Institute Director asked me if I would invite friends to my house for dinner, sit at my table and eat while a dead pig laid on my kitchen floor? I think he made his feelings very clear on this point. We will have to see how God works it out.
Before the 1st temple was destroyed, King Josiah hid the ark of the covenant, the menorah, the staff of Aaron, the jar of anointing oil, the jar of manna and the original breastplate under the temple mount. None of these items were in the 2nd temple. The Holy of Holies was empty, a new breastplate and a new menorah were made, but the other items were not there. They were hidden waiting for our day.
Even if the temple were rebuilt today, the sacrifices could not be performed because there are no red heifers suitable for a sacrifice. Numbers 19:2-10 tell us that the ashes are needed to purify the priesthood. Where will a red heifer come from that is perfect in stature, disposition and color? Three years ago a man from Mississippi named Clyde Lott proposed a breeding program with the Israeli government and a few rabbi's. He offered to send pregnant red angus heifers to Israel. This began last year.
Why pregnant cows? If a cow leaves the U.S., it must be tattooed in the ear, transported, inoculated, etc., all causing blemishes. But a calf born in Israel would be acceptable. By sending pregnant cows you eliminate several months of waiting for your first heifer. The heifer must not have had its head caught, not have had a rope put around its neck, never been scratched, never had another animal raise up on its back. The red angus is a perfect choice and has the right disposition. The other kinds of red breeds are more exotic and temperamental.
Who will sacrifice the red heifer today? The priests can't because they are ritually impure. The solution is found in raising a group of children in Israel today who never come in contact with anything that is ritually impure. When one of these children reach age 7 or 9, they will slay the red heifer. To raise these children requires a closed complex in Jerusalem that has its own post office, grocery store and nursery; a small, closed community which the children never leave. They are being raised so that they never come in contact with death and become ritually impure. After the first sacrifice, the ashes of the red heifer can be used to purify the priests, who can then perform all future sacrifices in the temple.
The red heifer will be sacrificed opposite the eastern gate on the Mount of Olives. If you thought the Muslims were upset when the Temple Mount Faithful group tried to lay the cornerstone in October 1990, wait until this happens.
There are also a lot of Christians who believe that the temple will not be rebuilt because God would not allow it. This is not true. The Bible has many references to the 3rd temple. Not only will it be rebuilt, it will be rebuilt in the next few years! The Amidah is a prayer that is recited by Jews around the world three times a day. It includes a petition to God for the rebuilding of the temple and the restoration of the Levitical priesthood.
There are 613 commandments listed in the Torah. Roughly 1/3 of them apply to the temple or its service. The 20th is a command to rebuild the temple. Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher, taught that if the temple site were to be regained by Israel, it was the duty of that generation to rebuild.
There has been no temple for 1924 years. Why should we believe that the temple will be rebuilt in the next few years? First, prior to 1967 the Jews did not control the old city. It would have been impossible for the restoration to have taken place. Next, there are strict specifications for everything that is used in the temple service. Prior to October of 1990, the source of the blue die required for the garments in Numbers 15:37-40 was unknown. On that date, snails that are the source of the die were found on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. We now know that these snails only appeared every seventy years in Bible times. This is a sign that the rebuilding is near.
Only recently have the garments and vessels become available. In about 1 years the first red heifer could be sacrificed. In the past there has not been anyone ritually qualified to perform this sacrifice. All of these requirements are just now being fulfilled. Finally there is one more important discovery that was only recently disclosed.
In 1981 Rabbi Yehuda Getz, chief rabbi over all holy places in Israel, and Rabbi Shlomo Goren were under the temple mount with students. They were excavating, looking for stones from the temple. When they came to Warren's Gate (the one that is closest to the Holy of Holies), they discovered a secret chamber beneath the holy of holies. In it were the Ark, the menorah and the table of shewbread.
When the Muslim Wakf learned of the discovery, they sent a mob of Muslims to kill the excavators. The police and the Israeli Defense Forces (army) had to intervene. The government then sealed the entrance to Warren's Gate with 3 meters of concrete.
In 1967, when the Temple Mount was liberated, Rabbi Goren surveyed and measured the distances from the outer walls. He says he is 100% sure that the Holy of Holies is outside of the Dome of the Rock and it stands to the west of it. If he is right this would allow the temple to be rebuilt without destroying the Dome and starting World War III.
We are living in a time of fulfillment of Bible prophecies. Things are happening so fast that it is hard to keep up with them. We can't say for sure how the Jews will receive permission to rebuild. If the Vatican does gain control of the city, maybe the first official act will be to grant permission for the rebuilding of the temple. This might stop militant Jewish groups from rioting when they learn they are losing the old city. The Muslims might also go along with it if it were announced at the same time they learn they are getting a Palestinian mayor and an independent state. After all, they could promise themselves they would tear it down in a few years. "Two steps forward, one step back" in their eyes.
I can only say that it will happen and that somehow "God will work it out".
HE WHO ENDURES STILL BELIEVES
by Charles Kimbrough
Over the last 35 years, we have seen many people start out on the road to following Jesus the Christ. They were very deeply committed to Jesus and his teachings about the kingdom. They were committed to keeping His laws, commited to overcoming their own human nature, committed to be a witness for Christ. They were committed to teach about the "soon coming kingdom", when Jesus will reign as king.
Most could not wait for the week to end and then be with God's people on the Sabbath. Church service was like being in heaven. The singing of Psalms, the taking of notes of the sermons and sermonettes, the learning of NEW TRUTH. IT WAS A TIME OF FIRST LOVE, OF GROWING IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE AND WANTING TO BE LIKE JESUS. WANTING TO BE WITH HIM IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Today, far too many have fallen by the wayside. A large number were following a man. When that man fell or became flawed in their eyes, they began to question every teaching including the most basic of Bible truths. The Sabbath, holy days, clean and unclean meats, even to the point in some cases of throwing out the Old Testament. Some even did away with all of the teachings of Jesus the Christ, rejecting all the laws that GOD gave to Moses. A few even questioned whether Jesus is the Messiah. Far too many were not led by the Spirit and had, in most cases, not repented of their sins. Overcoming was just a game to be played. The basic reason was their failure to "prove all things by the scriptures;" failing to check out what they were being taught (on that point all of us are partially guilty). DO YOU STILL BELIEVE?
In the book of Matthew, chapter 24:14 Jesus made the statement, "He who endures to the end shall be saved," This is talking about a physical salvation of being saved alive. Then He said in verse 15 "and this gospel (GOOD NEWS) OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached (proclaimed) into all the world as a WITNESS (NOT NECESSARILY FOR SALVATION), and then the end will come." This is the most misunderstood point of scripture that is to be preached to the world. In Matthew 24:4-5 JESUS said, "TAKE HEED THAT NO ONE DECEIVES YOU. MANY will come in my name saying I AM THE CHRIST" (THAT IS, SAYING JESUS IS THE CHRIST) AND THAT TEACHING ABOUT CHRIST WILL BE DECEPTIVE.
A lot of good people preach about Christ BUT do not teach the message Jesus brought from His Father, distorting the very teachings that Jesus gave. Jesus Christ said,"I came not to change the LAW", (TORAH) BUT they teach that Christ did away with the law. Mat 15:9, "IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME TEACHING FOR DOCTRINE THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN." Mat 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to Me `LORD, LORD' shall enter the kingdom of God, but he who does the will of my father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day `LORD LORD' have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name and done many wonders in Your name? And then I Will declare unto them, I never knew you; depart from ME, you who practice (teach) lawlessness!" YOU WHO TEACH THE LAW IS DONE AWAY WITH!!!!! The message that Jesus brought from the Father is entirely different than what 99% of the so-called Christians who teach about Christ say it is. They say "Bless you JESUS", and "keep God's laws" but then do away with the Sabbath. They are very sincere in their beliefs, and are good people who have just never opened the Book and questioned what their teachers (PASTORS) are teaching them. The Apostle Paul said, "Prove all things." DO YOU STILL BELIEVE?
What then is the GOSPEL, which means in modern English, the GOOD NEWS? There is more to the message than to teach that Jesus is the Messiah. Matthew 24:5 is the proof that just preaching that Jesus is the Christ can be deceptive. Over 40 years ago I started listening to a man from the west coast that had an entirely different message. He was teaching about the soon coming KINGDOM of God of which JESUS is going to be king, teaching the kingdom was going to rule over all nations on this EARTH. He also taught that the reward of the saved was to rule and reign with Christ on this earth for 1000 years. Then, the second resurrection would occur and the rest of the dead would be resurrected and be given their chance to be part of the kingdom and become like Jesus, a child of God-to literally become a member of the family of God. This paragraph is an outline of the gospel of what has to be taught to the world as a witness. DO YOU STILL BELIEVE?
DANIEL was asked to interpret a dream that Nebuchadnezzar could not get an interpretation of from his magicians, astrologers, sorcerers or any of the Chaldeans. Then the word came to the king that Daniel could interpret his dream. Starting in Dan 2:36 he gave the king the meaning that God had given to Daniel. He said, referring to the great statue, "you are the head, the king of kings, and after you there shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours, then a third, made of bronze then the fourth of iron." In verse 41 he talks about 10 toes or 10 kings which are a part of the Roman Empire which is the fourth world ruling kingdom ("these 10 kings will fight Christ at His coming", Rev. 17). Then in verse 44 he says, "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed." This is THE LITERAL KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH.
We live in the very time of the end; THE TIME OF THE VERY FULFILLMENT OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM. A time when mankind will try to establish his own kingdom and will call it the New World Order, or One World Government. This government of man will also have its king who will stand up in the Temple of God and declare that he is God. The STONE CUT OUT WITHOUT HANDS, (JESUS) WILL OVER-THROW THIS LAST EFFORT OF MAN TO RULE HIMSELF AND ESTABLISH GOD'S RULE ON THIS EARTH. DO YOU STILL BELIEVE?
Jesus' ministry from the very beginning was teaching about that soon-coming Kingdom of God. Matthew 4:17 says "Repent, for the kingdom of (from) heaven is at hand." Christ was talking about the same kingdom to which Daniel referred. The very last thing Jesus said just before he departed from this earth was in Acts 1:6. His disciples asked him, "Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" JESUS' answer was, "It is not for you to know the time or season which the Father has put in his own authority." Earlier, Jesus was asked by Pilate "ARE YOU A KING?" Jesus answered, "MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD (which means in Greek "age"). If My kingdom were of this time, My servants would fight." JESUS was referring to a time of the end, just as Daniel's dream interpretation was for the end time, the time in which we live.
There are many prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled. The final settlement between all the parties in the Mideast with regards to Jerusalem is yet to be fulfilled, but events over the last year have literally exploded. The Jews and Arabs have come to a political solution, establishing a new Palestinian homeland in Gaza and Jericho. Who would have dared to dream five years ago that Yasser Arafat would be living in Gaza and Jericho and be the head of a Palestine STATE. Both Rabin and Arafat in recent weeks have stated that Jerusalem must be an international city for all three religions. Holy sites for the Christians, for the Arabs, and for the Jews. All must have their holy places and those places must be internationally protected. By the feast time of 1995, an agreement on JERUSALEM must be finished, if their time table is kept. This is only a little over 14 months away.
Meetings were recently held between Israel and Jordan. King Hussein of Jordan and Prime Minister Rabin of Israel met in Washington, D.C. the last week of July. It was proclaimed a success. American money is promised to both sides. Next comes Syria. Some trial balloons are already popping up about a settlement that will be accepted by both sides.
Daniel 9:27 tells about this very time frame that we are about to enter. It tells about a negotiator who will make a peace treaty with all the Mideast countries, along with many other countries, which will guarantee the peace in the Mid- east. Everything that has happened so far is a lead-in to the final settlement and the guarantee of the holy sites for all three religions. Rev 6:2 refers to the time of peace that will be achieved by this negotiator. This pseudo peace will only last for a short period of time as verse 4 confirms. WE ARE IN THE LAST HOURS BEFORE THE RETURN OF JESUS.
DO YOU STILL BELIEVE that Jesus is the Messiah? DO YOU? Jesus said the KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE A merchant seeking beautiful pearls who, when he found one PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, went and sold all that he had and bought it. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS THAT PEARL OF GREAT PRICE. Do you still believe that? DO YOU? Are you still as enthused about being in that kingdom as you once were? ARE YOU? Do you still get exited about the literal return of Jesus to this earth and being involved with him in straightening out the ills of this world? DO YOU? Jesus said, "HE THAT ENDURES TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED" (ALIVE). Do you still look forward to being alive when Jesus returns? DO YOU REALLY, WITH FERVENT DESIRE, LOOK FORWARD IN YOUR LIFE TIME TO BE WITH JESUS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD? DO YOU?
ARE YOU AS COMMITTED TO OBEYING ALL OF GOD'S COMMANDMENTS, AND BEING IN CHURCH WITH GOD'S PEOPLE ON THE SABBATH AS YOU ONCE WERE? THE FIRST SIGN OF WANING COMMITMENT TO JESUS AND HIS KINGDOM IS MAKING EXCUSES FOR NOT BEING WITH GOD'S PEOPLE ON THE SABBATH. IT IS THE FIRST SIGN OF FALLING AWAY! DO YOU STILL GET AS EXCITED ABOUT BEING WITH OTHERS OF LIKE MIND ON THE SABBATH AS YOU ONCE DID? ONLY YOU CAN ANSWER FOR YOURSELF. IF THE HONEST ANSWER IS "NO, I'M NOT AS COMMITTED AS I ONCE WAS", IT'S STILL NOT TOO LATE TO CHANGE AND BE WITH CHRIST IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND RULE AND REIGN WITH HIM.
CONTINUED NEXT ISSUE
DAY OF ATONEMENT
by Mark Carr
This article is the sixth in a series that we are running in the Sentinel. Each article covers one of the days that God set apart as holy. They are listed in Leviticus, the 23rd chapter. When this series is completed the articles will be combined into a booklet, published and made available.
The Day of Atonement is the most sacred day of the year to Jewish people. If there is one day they will not miss going to synagogue, it is this day. But what does this day mean to Christians and should we observe it? To a lot of people it is looked upon as a day of fasting, but why should we fast, and why are the commands regarding fasting and work on this day so important? Let's look at some historical information on this Sabbath day and try to get a better understanding of its spiritual significance.
The only day that the high priest entered the Holy of Holies was on the Day of Atonement. Once a year on this day he would come face to face with God. This is the only day of the year he was allowed to enter the area of the temple that God dwelt in. If he were to come in one day early or late he would have been struck dead. Another interesting fact is that only the high priest was allowed to enter. Since he was usually an older man, precautions were taken for any problems that might develop. If he were to have a heart attack or die while in the Holy of Holies how were they supposed to get him out? No one else could enter and they couldn't leave a dead body there. The solution was to tie a rope around his leg, if the bells on the bottom of his robe were to go silent for too long of a period signaling something had happened, they could pull him out.
In Lev 23:27, God commands us to observe the Day of Atonement on the "tenth day of the seventh month". He tells us this is a holy convocation, and that we should afflict our souls. What does that mean? This day is a Sabbath that we are commanded to observe, but in addition we are instructed to fast for a 24 hour period. Verses 29 through 32 tell us that anyone who refuses to fast or refrain from work on this day will be destroyed and cut off. God says this is a statute forever, throughout all of our generations, no matter where we live. Leviticus 16:29 tells us that even a stranger who is staying with us must fast on this day.
Since God places such a severe punishment for refusing to observe this holy day, it obviously is very important to Him that we keep it. Some people say it is not necessary for us to observe these days anymore, but according to God His feasts are commemorated forever. Since Jesus is our high priest today, on the Day of Atonement, He goes before God in the Holy of Holies in heaven making atonement for our sins. We also need to realize that it was God who called this day holy. Only He has the authority to make certain days holy. We have certain days that men call for an observance such as the 4th of July, etc., but God does not recognize these as holy. These are days of men. God alone makes a day holy and calls for a Sabbath rest.
God tells us to fast for 24 hours. In doing this we realize how dependent we are on Him for everything. This is a day to humble ourselves and repent of our sins. Fasting and deliverance from sins have always been connected in the Bible (1 Sam 7:3-6). Often times people fasted to seek guidance from God (Ezra 8:21-23), and fasting was a way of life for many people in the Bible. Daniel, Moses, Samuel, Esther, Paul and Jesus all fasted for God. When we fast we are saying to God, "I repent, I'm sorry for my sins and I need to be at one with you" (at-one-ment or atonement). Then, Jesus our High Priest goes before God asking for forgiveness for our sins. We observe this Sabbath day by humbling ourselves in repentance with fasting and prayer.
In Matthew 9:14-15, Jesus said his followers would fast after He was gone. If we refuse to obey His commandment on this observance we are missing a chance to strengthen our relationship with Him. This is not something we do for the benefit of others, we do this for ourselves.
The Day of Atonement pictures the binding of Satan and the uniting of the world with Jesus. In temple times a very interesting ceremony was conducted on this day. The high priest would draw two lots from a lottery box, one for each of two goats (Lev 16:5-8). The goat that the lot L'YHVH (for God) fell on was sacrificed and offered to Him. Its blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies for the sins of the people. The goat that the lot for Azazel fell on was led out into the wilderness and cast out. Just like the Azazel goat is driven away from God's house into the wilderness, Satan will be driven out and thrown into a bottomless pit (Rev 20:2). There will be great rejoicing on that future Day of Atonement when Satan is bound.
Another event that happens on the Day of Atonement is the Jubilee year. Every fifty years on the Day of Atonement, God tells us to release all prisoners, return all property to the original owners, let the land rest and to rejoice (Lev 25:8-24). This is a time of great celebration and we will study more about it in a future issue.
A custom that Jewish people observe each year during the ten days between Trumpets and Atonement is to try and right any wrongs they have committed during the past year. While we as Christians should try and do this every day, the Church could really learn a lesson from this example. When is the last time you tried to correct a wrong that you observed or were involved in? How many of us observe the Day of Atonement and across town there are others doing the same thing, but feel that they are unable to meet with us? If we can't get along today, do you think God will allow animosity to exist between people in His kingdom? If we are too stubborn to forgive during the rest of the year, we better do it before this day of humbling ourselves and fasting. Like the Jew, we should right our wrongs before Atonement.
Exo 30:12-16 tells us we are to give a half shekel for our ransom on the Day of Atonement. This offering is the same amount for the rich and the poor. It is an offering to God for our atonement. This is a small amount, about 16 and it signifies each of us has the same value before God. Nobody is of more value than his brother in God's eyes; we are all equal in His sight. Because the amount required is small, it shows us that atonement for our sins is available to anyone with a little effort, and that it is not beyond anyone's reach.
On the Day of Atonement the high priest would take two handsful of incense and put them on a pan of coals from the altar creating a cloud of incense over the mercy seat. Then he would sprinkle the blood from a bull seven times for the atonement of his sins. He then took the blood from the goat for YHVH (God) and sprinkled it on the mercy seat for the sins of the people. This is why the veil of the temple was torn after Jesus was crucified. It showed us that His blood was the atonement for our sins (Heb 9:11-14).
Jewish writings tell us that during the forty years before the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., (remember Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D.), four bad omens occurred. (1) The lot for the YHVH goat came up in the left hand of the priest. The right hand was preferred. (2) A scarlet cord tied to the door of the temple stopped turning white after the Azazel goat was cast out in the wilderness. This was interpreted as refusal to forgive their sins as from Isa 1:18, "though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow...". (3) The west light on the temple candelabra would not burn. This is the light that was used to light the others. (4) The temple doors opened by themselves. Zec 11:1, "Open your doors, O Lebanon, that fire may devour your cedars."
So what does the Day of Atonement symbolize for the Christian? On this day we fast and humble ourselves and thank God that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. It is His blood that makes atonement for us. God accepts no substitutions; no amount of good deeds, acts of charity or anything else will replace the commandment of blood atonement. That's why it is important for us to observe God's laws, not to earn salvation but to keep us from sacrificing Jesus over and over again (Heb 6:4-6).
Each year on the Day of Atonement, Jesus our high priest comes before His Father wearing His tallit (robe) that is covered with His blood (Rev 19:13-14), and makes atonement for our sins. While He is performing this act for us in the heavenly sanctuary, we are commanded to worship and observe this day on earth. Will we see you this year in Church as we commemorate this holy convocation?
Next, on to the Feast of Tabernacles...
IT DOES MATTER
by Mark Carr
Every year church leaders tell their congregations it doesn't matter which calendar they follow. They try and pass off that decision to the descendants of Rabbinical Judaism by misinterpreting Romans 3:4. We have proven every excuse they have used for not being faithful to God and observing His calendar is false. Yet they insist on observing a calendar that was FORCED on the Jews by the Romans in 358 A.D. (Write for our free booklet on the calendar.)
This year, one Church leader came up with what has to be the most absurd excuse yet. He claims truth doesn't matter and tries to show that Abraham didn't understand a lot of technical points of God's law. I have just one response to that, "chapter and verse"! Where does the Bible say Abraham was ignorant?
Do the little things matter to God? When He tells us to observe or do things a certain way, can we ignore His command and change the way we worship Him? For those who think we can, look at Aaron's two sons Nadab & Abihu who brought unauthorized fire before God in Leviticus 10:1-2. What do you think Uzzah would say about disregarding the fine points of the law, even if you think it's the right thing to do? All he did was touch the Ark to keep it from falling (2 Samuel 6:6), but in doing this it cost his life.
The first law that people decided didn't matter was eating from a certain tree in Eden. I suppose it shouldn't surprise us that man today has decided to break one of the first laws given to Israel in Egypt; the law of the new moon (Exo 12:2). Think about that, God explained the calendar before the Passover! Why? So Passover would be kept at the correct time!
Daniel 7:25 says that the beast would change times and laws. In the 3rd century the Romans changed the Sabbath and then changed the calendar. By following either one you break God's law. We know the truth, let's embrace it! "Come out of her My people" (Rev 18:4). Reject the beast and his calendar.
Does it matter which calendar you follow? YOU BET IT DOES! The next time someone tells you differently think of Adam, Eve, Aaron's sons Nadab & Abihu, and Uzzah. If the high priest went into the Holy of Holies a day or two early he was struck dead. If you try and worship God on the wrong day because it's more convenient, or because your friends follow the Roman calendar and you think it doesn't matter, then you may as well go back to worshiping on Sunday.
On Saturday, August 27th at 12:25 A.M., Phillip and Cheryl Miller had a 7 lb. 15 oz. daughter, Sarah Nicole Miller!
Phil and Cheryl met at the Feast of Tabernacles in 1991 and were married last fall. They are members of the Lenoir, North Carolina Church. Sarah will be at the Feast this year, she's a 6th generation Sabbath keeper and the grandaughter of two ministers!
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