Skip to comments.Yom Kippur: Israel's Reconciliation
Posted on 09/29/2006 8:27:34 AM PDT by Buggman
In my first article on the Fall High Holy Days, we saw that the Feast of Trumpets is intimately linked by both Yeshua and Shaul with Yeshuas Second Coming on the clouds of heaven, and saw that this corresponded with the expectations of the rabbis. Now we come to the second of the Fall Feastdays, and the holiest day of the Jewishwhich is to say, Biblicalcalendar: Yom Kippur takes place on the tenth of Tishri, nine days after Rosh Hashanah.
On that day, the high priest would put on a special coat of white linen and carry out a very unusual sacrifice.
And he shall take the two goats, and present them before YHVH at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for YHVH, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which YHVH'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 YHVH, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. . . .Today, the sacrifices which were the centerpiece of the Levitical ceremony cannot be held of course, but this does not make it impossible to observe the day. Like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur is not a pilgrimage Feast: No one was required to be in Jerusalem (other than the cohenim, or priests) for its service. However, those outside of Jerusalem still bore the responsibility for not doing any work, gathering in a holy convocation (i.e., in their home synagogues), and for denying themselves (Lev. 23:27ff). Out of these three commands, modern Judaism has built its customs.
And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (Lev. 16:7-10, 20-22)
After a final, festive meal in the afternoon before Yom Kippur, Jews the world over dress in white in remembrance of the High Priests white linen robe that he would wear within the Holy of Holies, and at sundown go to what is known as the Kol Nidre (All Vows) service. The Kol Nidre is a prayer sung to a haunting cadence, which asks God to release one from any wrongful oaths taken that year. It dates to the Middle Ages, when Jews were forcibly converted to Christianity; they would ask God to release them of the vows taken at the point of a sword. Another traditional song is Avinu Malkeynu (Our Father, Our King), which translates as follows:
Our Father and Our King
Our Father and Our King
Our Father and King
Be merciful to us
Be merciful unto us.
For we have done no deeds
Commending us unto You
For we have no deeds commending us to You
Be merciful, save us, we pray.
Synagogue services typically run all day, with observant Jews petitioning God to forgive their sins. Fasting, denying ones self, is mandated by Torah, and observant Jews will usually refrain from any comforts at all during the day, including bathing, wearing leather shoes, etc. It should be noted that Isa. 58 and Mat. 6:16-18 both speak against fasting to be seen and fasting in lieu of true repentance:
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.True self-denial is not the mere restraint from food, though it may include fasting from food (Mat. 6:16-18, 1 Co. 7:5).
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to YHVH? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? (Isa. 58:3-7)
Yom Kippur ends with the Neilah (The Closing of the Gates) service and a final blast from the shofar. It is said by the rabbis that the gates of Heaven through which our prayers of repentance can rise close at this time, sealing ones fate for the year. Of course, in the Messiah Yeshua, we may always come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). However, there is still an eschatological truth to the rabbinical belief, discussed in the previous article on Rosh Hashanah.
Of course, it may rightly be asked in what sense can one be atoned for on this day without blood, for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Lev. 17:11). One who believes in the Messiah Yeshua, of course, looks to Him and His perfect sacrifice for their atonement. Non-Messianic Jews follow the belief established by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai that acts of righteousness provide atonement (Avot de Rabbi Nathan 4:18). However, even in the Jewish community, the need for blood redemption still runs deep. In the ceremony called Kaparot, practiced only in very Orthodox circles, a chicken is waived over the head three times as the man says,
This is my substitute, my vicarious offering, my atonement. This fowl shall meet death, but I shall enjoy a long, happy life. After reading several selections from Job and the Psalms, the person lays his hand on the head of the bird as a symbol of identification, it is killed as his substitute, and given to the poor for their final meal before the fast. (Howard and Rosenthal, The Feasts of the Lord, p. 126)Why is a chicken used instead of a goat, for example? Because goats, bulls, oxen, rams, and lambs could only be offered for sacrifice in the Temple, so the rabbis forbade the use of any animal which might make it appear that one was continuing the sacrificial system. (Turkey or chicken is substituted for lamb for the Passover dinner in most Ashkenazi homes for the same reason.)
In Biblical times, of course, a bull and two goats were the sacrifices made. The bull was offered for the sins of the High Priest and the other priests, so that he could be purified before entering into Gods presence. The goats, one for Yhvh and one for the scapegoat would then atone for Israel. The word scapegoat is a translation of Azazel. Keil and Delitzsch explain the significance of the word:
Azazel, which only occurs in this chapter, signifies neither a remote solitude, nor any locality in the desert whatever (as Jonathan, Rashi, etc., suppose); nor the he-goat . . . The words, one lot for Jehovah and one for Azazel, require unconditionally that Azazel should be regarded as a personal being, in opposition to Jehovah. . . We have not to think, however, of [just] any demon whatever, who seduces men to wickedness in the form of an evil spirit, as the fallen angel Azazel is represented as doing in the Jewish writings . . . but of the devil himself, the head of the fallen angels, who was afterwards called Satan; for no subordinate evil spirit could have been placed in antithesis to Jehovah as Azazel is here, but only the ruler or head of the kingdom of demons. The desert and desolate places are mentioned elsewhere as the abode of evil spirits (Isa. 13:21 and 34:14; Mat. 12:43; Luk. 11:24; Rev. 18:2). (Keil, Johann and Franz Delitzsch, Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, [e-Sword version 7.0.0, ed. Rick Meyers, 2000-2003])And yet, while the scapegoat was, in effect, given over to Azazel, to the very Enemy himself, the two goats . . . must be altogether alike in look, size, and value; indeed, so earnestly was it sought to carry out the idea that these two formed parts of one and the same sacrifice, that it was arranged that they should, if possible, even be purchased at the same time (Edersheim, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, p. 248). So all speculations that the scapegoat might represent Satan or the Antichrist or some other evil entity fall short. What could these two goats signify other than the dual-natured Messiah Yeshua? He carried away all our sin, just as the scapegoat would be sent into the wilderness with the sins of Israel: As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us (Psa. 103:12). Unlike the lambs, goats, and bulls that died on the altar, our Messiah rose again. Thus, like the two goats, He was both sacrificed and yet lives.
A red ribbon was tied in the horns of the scapegoat. When the goat was led out before the people, if God accepted the sacrifice, the ribbon would miraculously turn white as a reminder of the promise that though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18). It is most interesting that for the forty years between the sacrifice of Yeshua and the destruction of the Temple, the scarlet ribbon did not turn white!
Forty years before the Temple was destroyed the chosen lot was not picked with the right hand, nor did the crimson stripe turn white, nor did the westernmost light burn; and the doors of the Temples Holy Place swung open by themselves, until Rabbi Yochanon ben Zakkai spoke saying: O most Holy Place, why have you become disturbed? I know full well that your destiny will be destruction, for the prophet Zechariah ben Iddo has already spoken regarding you saying: 'Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour the cedars' (Zech. 11:1). (Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 39b)Hebrews 8 -10 explains that when Messiah completed His sacrifice on the cross, He entered the heavenly Holy of Holies, of which that of the Tabernacle and the Temple were merely copies, to complete the Yom Kippur ritual of atonement. The sacrifice was not accepted because it was being offered by the wrong High Priest:
For Messiah is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others . . . But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. (Heb. 9:24-25, 10:12-13)But if this is the sole and sufficient fulfillment of the feastday of Yom Kippur, then we have a problem. In every other feastday that we have seen fulfilled in history, the fulfillment took place on that day. Yeshua was offered up on Passover as the Lamb of God, thus taking away our sin just as leaven was removed from the Hebrews houses during the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He rose as the firstfruits of the dead (cf. 1 Co. 15:20-23) on Sfirat HaOmer or HaBikkurim, the Feast of Firstfruits. The Church was given the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) in power on Shavuot, or Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks. And we have seen that His Second Coming seems likely to occur on a Rosh Hashanah in order to fulfill that feastday. Why then would the Day of Atonement be out of sequence?
The Feastdays of the Torah are divided into three groupsthe spring feasts, Shavuot (Pentecost), and then the fall feastseach of which is linked to a distinct stage of the Exodus and Israels instruction at Sinai. In addition, there are at least three minor feasts (that is, those which were not ordained at Sinai) which are also prophetically significant. The key to understanding the Feasts prophetic significance is to understand their historical significance.
When YHVH reorganized Israels calendar by proclaiming the month of the Pesach (Passover) to be the beginning of months (Exo. 12:2), He was establishing that His plan of salvation begins with the Passover. However, to truly understand Gods plan, we begin our brief study not with the Passover, but with the six silent months which separate the Passover from the previous Sinai-ordained Feastday, Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. Within this silent period lie two minor Feasts: Hanukkah, which celebrates the victory of Israel over the forces of Antiochus Epiphanes, and Purim, which celebrates her victory over the forces of Haman some three centuries earlier as is described in the book of Esther. Hanukkah has an eschatological significance which will be explored in another article, but for now it is enough to note the element these two feasts share in common: Both celebrate YHVHs hidden protection of and provision for His people. Though He did not act with any obvious miracles like fire from the sky or supernatural plagues, nevertheless He brought His people to victory against overwhelming odds: In Purim by the placement of a Jewish queen, and in Hanukkah by giving the Jews might in battle.
These silent months between Sukkot and Pesach correspond to the 430 silent years which lead up both to the Passover of the Exodus (Gal. 3:17) and the Passover of the Messiah. Both periods were characterized by the lack of a true prophet to lead the people, a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of YHVH" (Amos 8:11). God had not forgotten His people, but it probably felt to them like He had.
When the Lord fulfilled His promise to redeem His people from bondage, it was through the Passover and the death of a Lamb. Gods people were set free from Egypt via the blood of the lamb painted on their doorposts, so that they would not die in Gods wrath. Likewise, Gods people were set free from sin by the blood of the Lamb painted on their hearts, so that they would not die in Gods wrath. The seven days of the Feast of Matzah, in which all the leaven had to be removed from Israels houses and no leaven could be eaten, represents the quick removal of Israel from Egypt (in which there was no time to make leavened bread) and the complete removal of all sin in our lives by the sacrifice of Yeshua as we flee the ways of the world.
In the third month after Israels departure from Egypt, they arrived at Mt. Sinai (Ex. 19:1). There God descended on the mountain in fire, with the sound of a shofar (vv. 16ff), and called Moses up the mountain to begin giving him the Torah. According to Jewish tradition, the day that this happened was the day of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, a date consistent with the Biblical record. Like HaBikkurim, the Feast of Firstfruits for the barley harvest, on which Messiah was raised as the Firstfruits of the dead (cf. 1 Co. 15:20), Shavuot is a firstfruits festival for the wheat harvest. On the first Shavuot, the firstfruits of the nation of Israel began receiving the Torah. On Shavuot after the death and resurrection of the Messiah, the firstfruits of the Church began receiving the Torah written on their hearts by the giving of the Spirit of God in the form of fire and with a great sound (Jer. 31:33, Ezk. 36:26-27, Acts 2:3ff).
After giving Moses the first commandments, the Lord called him back up the mountain to receive further instruction, and Moses remained with Him for forty days (Exo. 24:18). It was during this period that Aaron led the people in the sin of making and worshiping the golden calf. When Moses descended again from the mountain and saw this, he smashed the stone tablets on which God had written His commandments, signifying that Israel had broken the covenant they had made to follow all of Gods commands, and many in Israel died, both at the hands of the Levites whom Moses commanded to take arms against their kinsmen, and by a plague sent by God. Moreover, Moses removed the Tent of Meeting (not the Tabernacle, which had not yet been built, but a different tent in which Moses lived and met with YHVH; Exo. 33:7ff) to outside the camp, signifying that the peoples sin was great enough that God had removed the visible place which was the focal point of Israels worship and His Presence.
The parallel is not difficult to understand: Forty years after Yeshua ascended into Heaven, Israel still had not repented as a body from her golden calf. Just as Israel in the Exodus fell into the sin of worshipping God in the manner of their tradition (in this case, image-based worship), which they learned while in Egypt, instead of worshipping God in the manner in which He had commanded them, Israel in the first century fell into the sin of worshipping God in the manner of their traditions rather than doing so through the Messiah as He had commanded them. While the details differed, the essential core of the sin was the same.
So was the punishment. As Israel in the Exodus was punished by the sword and plague, so Israel in 70 AD was punished by the sword and plague. And as Israel in the Exodus had the Tent of Meeting removed by their prophet, Moses, so Israel in the first century had the Temple removed by the prophet after Moses, Yeshua HaMashiach. The destruction of both Temples took place on Tishbi bAv, or the 9th of the month of Av. While it cannot be proven, the timing of the Golden Calf incident makes it quite possible that Tishbi bAv is the day on which Moses removed the Tent of Meeting as well.
In the Exodus sin, Gods fury was so great that He said to Moses, Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation (Exo. 32:10). YHVH-Tzvaot, the Lord of Hosts, was actually planning to destroy the whole nation and start over with Moses and his children! This is, in fact, what Replacement Theology claims that God did to Israel in the first century: destroyed them, and replaced them with the Messiahs children, the Church.
Those who believe that God has cast away His chosen nation need to take another look at Exodus. Moses, who had not joined in the sin of the people, interceded for Israel so that God would not utterly destroy them, though He did punish them, even (temporarily) taking away their place of worship. Are we to think that Yeshua did any less, or that His intercession for Israel would be any less heard? And notice the basis on which Moses interceded for Israel: Not on the basis of their obedience or repentance, but on the basis of YHVHs Namethat is, His reputationand His promises (ibid., vv. 12-13). It is on this same basis that the Lord has already begun returning Israel to her land: Thus saith the Lord YHVH; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy Name's sake . . . (Ezk. 36:22).
The Future Fulfillment
Okay, the amillennialist answers, clearly not all of the Jews were destroyed, but the Temple was, and since we are now the Temple of God, there will be no other. Again, keep reading. After seeing to the punishment of Israel and removing the Tent of Meeting, Moses was told by God, And I will send an angel before thee . . . for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way (Exo. 33:2, 3). But Moses, not content that a lesser angel go with Israel, returned up the mountain, and interceded with God for another forty days, going without food or water, until YHVH relented and agreed to send His Presence with Israel. The form in which His Presence went with Israel was in the pillar of fire and cloud which was intimately connected with the Tabernacle:
The Tabernacle of Israel was known by several names. . . The name dwelling from Heb. mishkan, from shakan, to lie down, a dwelling, connected itself with the Jewish, though not scriptural, word Shekinah, as describing the dwelling place of the divine glory. (Unger, F., The New Ungers Bible Dictionary, R.K. Harrison, ed. [Moody, 1988] Tabernacle of Israel, p. 1238)According to the Talmud, the day on which Moses returned with the second set of stone tablets, showing that YHVH had forgiven Israel and restored fellowship with them, was the day of Yom Kippur (Tractate Taanit 30b), and the forty days that he fasted before God correspond with the forty days of Tshuva (Repentence) that are traditionally observed leading up to the Day of Atonement. (This forty-day period of fasting may be the same forty-day period that Yeshua spent fasting and being tested in the wilderness after His baptism.)
Likewise, the day on which Yeshua will return to restore His fellowship with Israel, and direct them in building a Temple greater than that which they built on their own, just as Moses directed Israel in building a Tabernacle greater than the former Tent of Meeting which was taken away from the camp, will be on Yom Kippur. Like the Levitial High Priest emerging from the Holy of Holies to show that God had accepted the sacrifice of the goat on the peoples behalf, Yeshua will emerge from the Holy of Holies in Heaven to show Israel that God has accepted His sacrifice on their behalf.
Yom Kippur is not yet complete. Our High Priest is hidden from our eyes, beyond the veil, making intercession for us day and night, but He has not yet emerged to show all Israel that His blood-stained garments have been turned as white as snow, proving that the Father has accepted the High Priests sacrifice on behalf of all Israel, not just the remnant that now believe. When He does, carrying the sign of a covenant restored before Israel even as Moses did, then the Temple promised by Ezekiel will be built, just as the Tabernacle was.
When will the High Priest come forth? On the last day of Daniels Seventieth Week when Israel and Jerusalem will make reconciliation for iniquity (Dan. 9:24). The word for reconciliation, kaphar, is most often translated atonement.
With Israels sins atoned for, the way will be made for the final stage of the Messiahs reconciliation of all things to Himself. Next we will study Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, when Yeshua will be officially crowned King over all the nations . . . on His birthday.
Shalom, and God bless.
I looked at the verses from a couple of different bibles. The Amplified shows it as :
8 But at that previous time, when you had not come to be acquainted with and understand and know the true God, you [Gentiles] were in bondage to gods who by their very nature could not be gods at all [gods that really did not exist].
9 Now, however, that you have come to be acquainted with and understand and know [the true] God, or rather to be understood and known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly and worthless elementary things [[c]of all religions before Christ came], whose slaves you once more want to become?
10 You observe [particular] days and months and seasons and years!
11 I am alarmed [about you], lest I have labored among and over you to no purpose and in vain.
Hopefully the Amplified is in error about Paul meaning ALL religions before Christ, as that would also include Judaism or at least the religions that were given to us by YHWH.
I think and hope that Paul is merely talking about the pagan/heathen practices and feasts.
Thanks for the reminder. Who are those 'false teachers' that Paul is talking about?
Ah, yes....Judaizer, the Catholic excuse for changing the set times and the Law [Daniel 7:25]. The Sabbath, of course, is the only commandment that deals with a specific time and the Festivals are at appointed times also. Sure wouldn't want our religion to look too Jewish....would we? The word Judaizer is not found in scripture but began circulating throughout early writings when the powers that stood wanted all semblance of Jewishness erased from liturgy.
The fact remains....the citizens of Galatia were not Jewish. They were Greco Romans and were being evangelized by Paul. Paul was sent to the Gentiles [Galatians 2:7]. Peter and the other Apostles had been sent to the Israelites [Matthew 10:5-6]. The false brethren were the same folks mentioned in Acts 15:1-2 and circumcision for Gentiles had been dealt with by James in verse 19.
Do you observe the Catholic Sabbath?
The Amplified is of course a commentary. Most modern commentators are eager to group God's holy days and their observance into this category. No surprise there. That being said, Judaism, by the time of Christ, had corrupted the true religion given by God. So some of the non-scriptural, perhaps pagan elements, of Judaism could well have been referred to.
Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
Lev 23:26 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Lev 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Lev 23:28 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.
Lev 23:29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
Lev 23:30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Lev 23:31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:32 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.
According to the Karaites who do not follow the Talmud nor the Misnah only the Tanach;
the following are the dates of the feasts based only the sighting of the New Moon:
Dates of Biblical Holidays
1st Unleavened Bread
April 14, 2006
א' חג המצות
7th Unleavened Bread
April 20, 2006
ז' חג המצות
June 4, 2006
(Day of Shouting)
September 25, 2006
Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonement)
October 4, 2006
1st Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)
October 9, 2006
א' חג הסוכות
Shemini Atzeret (Last Great Day)
October 16, 2006
Days of Purim
March 4-5, 2007
All of the Biblical Holy Days begin at sunset on the day before the date listed and continue for 24 hours until sunset on the following day.
What is Karaism?b'shem Y'shua
Karaites preserve the original religion of the Hebrew Bible,
rejecting later innovations such as the Rabbinic Oral Law.
Every individual is required to take responsibility for interpreting the Tanach.
What translation is this?
Here's the NAS:
Gal 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?
Gal 4:9 and now, having known God--and rather being known by God--how turn ye again unto the weak and poor elements to which anew ye desire to be in servitude?
I think it was in high school where I first learned that Romans/Greeks were the ones who worshipped elements: earth, wind, fire, and water was it?
Paul was, again, preaching to Gentiles - Hellenistic Gentiles to be precise.
I believe in a replacement theology of sorts, or rather an addition theology.:
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
The Nation of Israel today only has half of the recipe, and those of you who spend your days trying to convince us not to keep God's 4th commandment only have the other half.
silverlings: An astounding statement, considering that this is just the opposite of what the book of Hebrews teaches!
Please re-read the article. Buggman's reference to the unaccepted sarifice is referring to the one at the temple on earth, not in heaven. The ribbon did not turn white because God was trying to tell the first century Jews to quit sacrificing animals. Buggman is in no way saying that Christ's sacrifice was insufficient.
Much fuss has been made in our Jewish evangelism circles regarding "replacement" theology, the idea that the church has "replaced" the Jewish people in the plan of God. Some have even accused all who think New Covenant believers are "Spiritual Israel" as being guilty of this "replacement theology", that is, of replacing the Jewish people with the church. Charges have been made that this idea of "Spiritual Israel" leads to anti-semitism.Klett expresses a reasonable version of Reformed Israelology. I can agree with most of what he has written on the subject.
Ironically my first exposure to the idea of all believers being spiritually Israel came about through involvement in "Messianic Judaism"! Way back in 1975 I attended a seminar by Manny Brotman, president of the "Messianic Jewish Movement International" on "How to Share the Messiah". In the seminar notes I read: "When a Gentile asks the Messiah into his heart and life, he is accepting the Jewish Messiah, the Jewish Bible, and the Jewish blood of atonement and could be considered a proselyte to biblical Judaism and a child of Abraham by faith!" Isn't this essentially a statement of the "Spiritual Israel" idea?
NOT REPLACEMENT...EXPANSION! by Rev. Fred Klett
So we seem to be agreeing to a certain point. Obviously where we differ is the extent to which the practices of old Israel may legitimately be brought into the new Israel.
While some folks here have tried to deny there is a distinction in the Bible between moral and ceremonial law, I think this is very much a minority position. Most new covenant believers recognize this distinction. So it it not hard, for example, to recognize things like bestiality, incest, and homosexuality as all being sin simply because they are issue of the moral law, not the ceremonial. No need for them to be explicitly reiterated in the NT (although homosexuality and incest certainly are) because they are part of the eternal moral law of God, binding on all men in all ages.
Again, where we differ is on this nagging matter of the ceremonial laws and how they may or may not apply to the church as parts of religious worship.
Let me make it clear that we are not speaking about Jewish followers of Christ retaining their cultural heritage and family customs. No one is opposed to that, any more than we would oppose Italians who come to Christ continuing to enjoy uniquely Italian customs. As long as they are not forbidden in the Word of God, we are permitted as individuals to enjoy those customs and traditions. If you want to blow a horn on the new moon, go right ahead.
The problem comes when some folks try to introduce these Jewish customs and traditions into the church as normative ways of worshipping God. Then things get sticky. It must legitimately be asked, where has God called for this sort of culturally limited worship patterns in the universal church of God? Why are we not to take, for example, the book of Hebrews as teaching these patterns as being part of the old covenant that was declared "decayed and passing away"?
Some folks are insisting that the biblical pattern is for the church to observe new moons and feast days, just without the sacrifices and levitical trappings. I assume that is the reason for quoting Revelation, "who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus."
In my estimation, and in my reading of the church fathers, the difficulty here is in further subdividing the ceremonial law into another two categories; those non-moral laws which expired in Jesus' day and those which did not.
Do the commandments of God which you are to keep (according to Revelation) include sacrificing animals or being careful about the way you shave or about the sort of material you have in your clothing? If not, why not? You can brush off my list of questions, but you have yet to paint a bright line for stating clearly what goes and what stays. You may think you know that in your head, but until you can articulate it from Scripture it merely remains a tradition of men. As I said earlier no one is obligated to keep your traditions.
I personally have yet to see a good argument from Scripture for this further subdivision of the ceremonial law. I would be more than happy to rearrange my views based on sound reasoning from the Bible. Right now the overall language of Galatians and Hebrews leads me to believe that all the ceremonial law was expired in the transition from old covenant to new covenant.
Then Mr. Buggman needs to rewrite his article. Let him be clear in what he is stating, for it is difficult to make heads or tails of his confusing personal theology. Maybe if he loses all the affectations it would make some sense.
Tonight at sundown is the beginning of Yom Kippur.b'shem Yah'shua
We should seek the Face of God on this the most Holy day of the year.
And in reality Christ Himself is our true Day of Atonement. That is what the day represented, the coming of Christ to make propitiation and expiation before God because of our sin. He is our kippur, our covering. He is both the Lamb shed to atone for our sins, and the mercy seat where God comes to dwell with His people and which hides the guilt of the law from the eyes of God. He is the Great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, most unlike the Levitical priests who could not offer perfection. "Year after year" people needed to return to have the blood of animals shed to try to take away sins. "Year after year" the high priest had to first atone for his own sins, then he could minister for the people.
But Christ is our Perfection. We no longer need to return in the futility of "year after year" ceremonies. "When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."
"Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
There are really 52 "most Holy days" in the Christian calendar, one for every week. The annual sabbaths have passed away since they were but a shadow of Jesus Christ who is the "good things to come".
We no longer live in the shadows since we have been transformed into the sons of Light (John 12:36; 1 Thess. 5:5).
We look back on Christ's atoning work when we gather together with our fellow believers and celebrate the Lord's Supper. In the simplicity of bread and wine we are reminded of His broken body and shed blood of the new covenant on our behalf. And we do this continually and often until He comes again.
"But now [Christ] has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises."
The old covenant Yom Kippur, which unbelieving Judaism still tries imperfectly to recall, is merely a reminder that we participate in a better covenant. One not established with Levites and the blood of animals shed "year after year". But in the blood of Jesus Christ shed once for all time to save His people from their sins.
The old covenat could only hold out an imperfect hope of salvation since the offerings and priests were both temporal. The new covenant is a surety of salvation since it is made for us by the eternal Son of God.
Let us cast off the shadows and walk in the light of Christ's new covenant.
Please re-read the article. Buggman's reference to the unaccepted sarifice is referring to the one at the temple on earth, not in heaven.
That is correct. Silverlings doesn't take the time to read what I write before he/she posts.
The ribbon did not turn white because God was trying to tell the first century Jews to quit sacrificing animals.
Not necessarily, actually. Acts indicates that the first-century Messianic Jews, including the Apostles, saw nothing wrong with continuing to worship in the Temple, which meant participating in the daily sacrifices by assent. Moreover, Acts shows that many Jewish believers took voluntary Nazrite oaths, which meant offering specified sacrifices at the end of their terms (which Sha'ul participated in to prove that he was still following Torah).
Rather, the rejection of Yeshua as the Messiah-King by the Jewish leadership, including the majority of the priests, resulted in a corresponding rejection of their sacrifices by God. By visibly not accepting the Yom Kippur sacrifice, God was calling attention to the insufficiency of the Temple system apart from the ministry of the King-Priest Yeshua. Likewise, constantly opening the Temple doors was a call for all Israel to enter into the special closeness that is afforded to us in our Savior. Had there been national repentence and turning to the Messiah for true forgiveness of sins, I'll wager that the ribbon would have once again turned white as a symbol of Israel's acceptance--that, or the Messiah Himself would have returned to Israel post haste, wearing His white garments, as that sign.
I normally separate the issues of Torah-observance from the issues of sacrifice. Even if the specific nature of sacrifice has been forever altered so that animal sacrifices are now an abomination before God, that by no means overturns all of the "ceremonial" Torah commands. As has been pointed out many times in this thread, one can observe the specific commands for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover, etc. which were for all the people, not just the Levites.
I went to a Messianic Kol Nidre ("All Vows") service Sunday night. There was a lot of traditional Jewish liturgy; there was also significant modification of the liturgy to reflect New Covenant truth, such as responsive readings from the book of Hebrews. The truth that Yeshua is our High Priest, as well as the sacrifice who was slain and yet lives (like the two goats) was very much at the forefront of the service and sermon, which ended with a very Evangelical altar call for any who had not yet repented and put their trust in the Messiah of Israel. The fact that the sacrifice has been transferred in no way took away from the importance of keeping the Day of Atonement--on the contrary, it made it full.
Now, having affirmed that the only sacrifice which is necessary--indeed, the only sacrifice that can truly take away our sins--is that of Yeshua, I'll go ahead and say that I believe that there will indeed be a return of sacrifice and offering, for several reasons.
First, because sacrifice and offering was part-and-parcel of Apostolic worship, as already noted.
Second, because even after Yeshua's ultimate sacrifice, sacrifices still serve the purpose of "sanctifi[ng] to the purifying of the flesh" (Heb. 9:13) and serving as "a remembrance again made of sins every year" (10:3). There is no doubt that the Messiah's sacrifce is a superior sacrifice, which alone can "purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God" (9:14). There is also no doubt that a backhoe is a superior tool to a shovel--that doesn't make the shovel without value for certain tasks. Just as all of the sacrifices before Yeshua pointed forward to the true Sacrifice, though "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (10:4), all of the sacrifices after Yeshua's great work on the Cross serve as a memorial of it.
Third, because God has affirmed that "this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year" (Lev. 16:34, speaking of the Yom Kippur sacrifice). Likewise, the priesthood of Phineas' line is given forever: "Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace: And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel" (Num. 25:12-13). God could well have said, "Until the Messiah/Prophet like unto Moses comes," if He had intended the Levitical priesthood to be a temporary office, but He didn't. He gave the office of priest unto the sons of Aaron forever (Heb. 'olam).
This eternal Levitial priesthood is confirmed in Jeremiah 33:
For thus saith YHVH; "David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually." And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying, "Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me." (vv. 17-22)Notice what the Lord is saying here: The eternality of the Levite office is directly linked to the eternality of the office of the Messiah.
Several objections might be raised to this verse: For example, why couldn't the priesthood mentioned be that of Yeshua? Because "it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood" (Heb. 7:14). Yeshua is of the order of Melchiezedek, not the order of Levi. Furthermore, while "a son to reign upon his throne" (Jer. 33:21) is constructed to indicate a singular person, all references to the Levites in this passage are in the plural.
The second objection that might be raised is that the "Levites" here refer to believers, for we are after all referred to as a kingdom of priests (cf. 1 Pt. 2:9, Rev. 5:10). However, this too falls short. Referring to the Church as a "royal priesthood" and a "kingdom of priests" refers us back to Ex. 19:6 and affirms the ingrafting of the believing remnant of Gentiles into Israel's root (again, which is to say that we are adopted, not that we replace the natural-born children). However, just as Israel was a kingdom of priests and yet only the tribe of Levi was called to the specific priestly office of the Tabernacle and later the Temple, neither does the Church's ingrafting into the Kingdom of Priests make us Levites (barring those believers who may, in fact, be descended from Phineas, of course).
Fourth, the continuance of the Levitical priesthood and service is prophesied in Scripture. In addition to the above passage, Ezekiel 40-47 describe a Temple which has never been built, in which the Levitical priesthood will minister: "'But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near to me to minister unto Me, and they shall stand before Me to offer unto Me the fat and the blood,' saith the Lord YHVH (Ezk. 44:15).
Moreover, premillennial eschatology recognizes that there will be the beginnings of a restored priesthood and a restored Temple even before the Second Coming (cf. Dan. 9:27, 11:31, 12:11). Attempts to explain away this clear reference to sacrifice in the End Times all fail for four reasons:
First, because every other time Daniel refers to the removal of the sacrifice (ibid., also 8:11-13), it is by Antiochus and/or the Antichrist, and is presented as a great evil; it is therefore inconsistant and a matter of special pleading to claim that 9:27 refers to the "ending" of animal sacrifice which alledgedly took place at the Cross.Some may ask why God would allow a rebuilt Temple before Israel as a whole accepted Yeshua the Messiah as their Lord. The answer is easy to understand: For nearly two millennia, the Jewish people have been forced to downplay the necessity of blood sacrifice in atonement for sin. With a functioning Temple in place, they will find themselves revisiting oft-ignored passages in the Tanakh (like Lev. 17:11, for example). I believe that God will use a restored Temple service to clear a path in the Israelite consciousness for the Cross.
Second, every other instance in Daniel refers to the literal ending of sacrifice and offering in the Temple of God due to the military might of a hostile force. The sacrifices continued in the Temple for nearly another forty years after the Messiah's Sacrifice.
Third, because as already noted, the early Jewish believers continued worship and offering in the Temple for at least thirty years (up to Acts 21) after Yeshua's Ascension--they apparently didn't see the sacrifices as having ended as a legitimate expression of worship, provided that they were understood in their proper context.
And fourth, because there is no indication that Yeshua's ministry lasted for the requisite 3 1/2 years; Yochanan (John) mentions only three Passovers in his Gospel account, which gives us a period of less than three years (see here for a detailed chronology).
As for why there will be restored sacrifice in the Millennium and (perhaps) beyond, I would suggest that in what will otherwise be Eden restored, the sacrificies will serve to keep the heavy price of sin in everyone's mind.
There are many even in the Messianic movement who disagree with me on this matter. That's fine; it's not a major point of my theology, though I believe it is a necessary one to reconcile all of Scripture together. However, the issue of the future place, if any, of Temple sacrifice is again not one of primary importance to the issue of keeping the Torah and (for example) God's Appointed Times. The sacrifices served as a "second best" solution: "Don't sin, but if you do, do this." With Yeshua as our ultimate Sacrifice, our sole and sufficient atonement, the only means by which our sins may be truly taken away, we are free to keep the whole Torah out of love and adoration for our Lord, not out of fear of punishment.
You can brush off my list of questions, but you have yet to paint a bright line for stating clearly what goes and what stays. You may think you know that in your head, but until you can articulate it from Scripture it merely remains a tradition of men. As I said earlier no one is obligated to keep your traditions.
Have you read any of my posts? There is a very bright line between my posts and yours. Aside from the Barnabas thing (which I quoted to show that Sunday was a creation of men), I quote scripture and you quote men.
Here's the bright line for the record:
Exo 20:19 Then they said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, lest we die." Exo 20:20 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin." Exo 20:21 So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. Exo 20:22 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven.
Everything before this must be considered the Commandments of God. Some consider the stuff after, but at a bare minimum, the 10 Commandments were given directly from God. No mediator.
Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Mat 5:18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Mat 5:19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
These least commandments. I guess it depends on what one considers "these least commandments". That does leave room for more, but Jesus specifically says there is a minimum. You'll note that the Holy Days are not in the minimum! I personally believe that once a Christian actually studies God's Word and learns what these days are, the Christian will want to keep God's Holy Days - NOT mens. At least that how it is working out with me.
As far as I am concerned, keeping the 10 Commandments AND having the testimony of Jesus Christ ought to be the goal of the converted Christian.
As far as the "ceremonial" stuff - the service where I worship had no ceremony. We all pretty much fasted and then went to church. The sermon highlighted many of the parallels with the Day of Atonement to Christ's sacrifice. The most stark parallel that I see in the Day of Atonement and Christ's Sacrifice is that those who observe the Day fast and do absolutely nothing. The entire Nation of Israel did nothing while their High Priest humbled himself and mediated between them and God. Sound familiar?
Now, having affirmed that the only sacrifice which is necessary--indeed, the only sacrifice that can truly take away our sins--is that of Yeshua, I'll go ahead and say that I believe that there will indeed be a return of sacrifice and offering, for several reasons.
A poster up the thread mentioned if the Sabbath was valid in the OT, and will be in the Millenia as well as the New Earth, then why do we get a reprieve now? Ditto to that. Either Christ offered the sacrifice "once for all" or he didn't.
So what do you do with Jer. 33, then? Not looking for an argument (this is one of those things I put in the "theoretical" column--fun to talk about, but not something that practically affects us until the Lord comes to explain it personally), just some insight into your viewpoint.
When reading this verse:
Jer 33:25 "Thus says the LORD, 'If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established,
These came to mind:
Rev 21:25 And in the daytime (for there shall be no night there) its gates shall never be closed;
Mat 24:29 "But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,
Food for thought.
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