Lev 23 — The Set Times of YHVH and The Final Harvest

(Teaching from Oct 1, 2022 in Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua, transcribed and translated from YouTube; an updated and expanded version of a similar title posted in 2011)

We can celebrate the Messiah every day with joy.  We can remember at any time His death until He comes, not only when we fellowship together in the Lord’s Supper each month, as we do in Yeshua’s Inheritance Cong.  But Yeshua/Jesus gives us the Lord’s Supper in order to remember, for it seems to be to easy to forget.  And all of the set times – the “feasts”; the holy days – that we hear and know about,, these are times for us to remember:  who is our God?; what He has done [on behalf of His covenant people]; what He is doing; what He will yet do.  YHVH has given them to us, through Israel [and the Jewish people], in order to remember as a people these appointed times/holidays.

So we as a congregation want to remember who it is that we worship and serve.  And, praise to God:  He lives and endures forever!

We are going to go over the mo’edim from the Tenach (Old Testament).  When I use the word mo’edim, the Bible is not speaking of just a “holiday”, or a “feast”, but of appointed times [not all of which are celebratory].  They testify, bear witness, to something [and to Someone].  Every set time “testifies”.  Jesus said that all of the Scriptures (OT) testify of Him.  He also said, “You do not believe in Me because you do not believe what Moses and the Prophets wrote about Me.”  So all of the set times of YHVH bear witness, testify.  We who believe in Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ know that they speak of Him and of the Kingdom of God.

God gave His appointed times, and each one in its period, each one in its season.  In His Creation, He gave the Sun and the moon and the stars for times, seasons, and for signs.  So, in His “mo’edim” to Israel, He uses the moon and the Sun, in order to give dates, seasons, and appointed days.

He also speaks in agricultural terminology, such as a farmer [or vinedresser]:  how he does his work – by plowing, sowing, working hard, waiting patiently with long-suffering until he receives the fruit of that harvest for which he invested and worked so much for.  Recall that Yeshua/Jesus is called the Tzemach of YHVH.  (Most translations, at least in English, simply call Him the Branch.)  He is the whole Plant/Tzemach!:  He is the seed sown, the root(s), the trunk, the branches, leaves, flowers, fruit.  He is a full plant, and tells us to be a good tree, not a bad tree; [to be branches that abide in the true vine].  He speaks to us as “plants”.  (I call all of this, and more, the Messianic roots of the Christian faith.)  The is lots of work and patience to being a good plant – healthy, and giving honor to the one caring for it.

There are three harvests in these set times:  the first harvest, during the time of Passover in the Spring, is of the barley.  The second harvest, just before the Summer and the holy day of Shavuot (7 Weeks)/Pentecost (50 days), is of the wheat.  The third and final harvest is in the Fall/Autumn around the appointed time of Sukkot (Booths/Tabernacles), and is the fruit harvest.  God uses the language and concepts of agriculture; whoever knows and understands agriculture can appreciate much more of what the LORD is indicating more than those of us who do not.  Jesus also does the same in His parables.

In the Lord’s Supper we remember Yeshua’s death on the cross, and His crucifixion at Passover.  But in His Passover sacrifice were included all of the primary sacrifices that YHVH required from the people of Israel:  the whole burnt offering, the grain offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, the guilt (trespass) offering. (Lev 1 – 7)  The whole burnt sacrifice was burned entirely unto YHVH God; the grain offering signified a sinless life, not requiring the shedding of blood; the sin offering, for we are all sinners; the trespass guilt offering, for we are all guilty because of our sins; the peace offering, having been reconciled with God, and having peace with Him and within the community of faith. In Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice on the cross, He fulfilled all of them for us.

Also the atonement.  We remember in the Lord’s Supper that He died for us and our sins.  He is our atonement; so the atoning sacrifice [of Yom Kippur/Day of Atonment] was also fulfilled in Yeshua’s Passover sacrificial death.  He will not die again.  He did it all in His once-for-all sacrificial death.

In Yeshua’s sacrifice (as I have said that in the Creation God gave the Sun and the moon and the stars for times, seasons, and signs), the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev 13:8)  That is to say that before God created, He already planned the redemption, and the Lamb was foreordained before the foundation of the world. (1Pt 1:18-21)  All of the sacrifices afterwards which God gave to Israel are based upon that sacrifice which for God was accomplished before.  But Yeshua/Jesus needed to enter into our history [and body] to make real – to actualize – that sacrifice.  It was not only a concept or a thought in the mind of God; not only an idea that He considered.  No!  What He thought, He needed to do.

We know that God has given us the Holy Spirit, but Jesus Himself must return.  Not just that He will “come” by sending, or filling us more with, the Holy Spirit as the “presence” of Yeshua.  No, that is not sufficient.  The Lord Himself is coming again! (Acts 1:111Thes 1:10Rev 22:20-21)

All of us who have been saved have been saved by grace.  No one of us is righteous in himself, so none of us were saved because we were righteous [or “good people”].  Everyone has been saved [through faith in the gospel] by the grace of God, who gave Yeshua/Jesus to our atonement.  Whosoever believes in Him is justified, made righteous.  Whosoever does not believe in His is still guilty and condemned. (Jn 3:14-19)  It is all of grace (covenant faithfulness), yet there are requirements for believers.

We will go through most of what is written in Lev 23, but first let’s look at the last verses of Lev 22, verses 31-33.  YHVH God gives us here His objective:  all of His redemptive plan – He created everything, and at a particular time in history, He chose a man – Abram/Abraham; then Isaac his son; then Jacob, from whom came the 12 tribes of Israel, the people of Israel.  In these verses we have God’s purpose through the redemption:  first of all to Israel, as Yeshua also said:  “I have come for the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”  He did not forget the Gentiles, but the Father has a plan.  He has His own wisdom.  It is for us to ask Him to give us an understanding, and to be offended that He didn’t choose somebody else, [or that He chose anybody at all].  It is not easy to be chosen, anyway.

YHVH says that He will be GOD to Israel.  He will be God to a holy people.  And His holy people will sanctify/hallow Him and His name.  Today, the people of Israel/the Jewish people do not live as a holy people or nation.  They do not sanctify the holy name of YHVH their God.  And in practical terms, YHVH is not their God.  God, with all that He is doing in history; with all that is going on all around us, throughout the generations; God is acting to bring the people of Israel (Am Israel) to be His people, and that He will be their God.  A holy people.  It is not enough that we have returned to the Land (and most Jewish people in the world today do not live in Israel).  We are not living holy as a people; we do not, as a nation/people, accept Yeshua/Jesus for who He is; we still do not sanctify the name of God [but carry it in vain]; and He has not yet finished His work. (Dan 9:21-27)

Here, we see in the appointed “feasts”, the work is not yet finished, and until it is, they are still in effect.  Jesus said, “I did not come to annul the Law (Torah) and the Prophets, but to fulfill them.  Every jot and tittle will be fulfilled.”  Not a word of God will fall or go out without fulfilling what He spoke or sent it to accomplish. (Is 55:10-11)

Whoever has learned and accepted the “replacement theology” teaching or interpretation, these mo’edim testify that that is incorrect.  And all those who think we can understand with only a Jewish mindset are also incorrect.  The gospel is neither Jewish nor Greek.  The thoughts and wisdom of YHVH God are far above ours. (Gal 1:10-241Cor 1:18-31Is 55:8-9)  We need the mind of Messiah/Christ, a Messianic/Christian mindset God’s thoughts. (1Cor 2:6-16)  Being the chosen people or being elect individuals does not of itself grant us understanding and wisdom.  The fear of YHVH is the beginning of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.  We need to learn from our Father in Heaven’s Word, from His Anointed One/Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, and from the Holy Spirit. (Rom 12:1-2Jn 16:12-15Jn 17:14-19Mt 24:35)

Let’s read Lev 23:1-3   Sabbath/Shabbat

Here God speaks of His first appointed time (mo’ed) that we often forget is a set time:  the 7th day Sabbath/Shabbat.  The Shabbat testifies about something, and Someone.  What/Who does it bear witness to?  YHVH God gave the 7th day Sabbath as a sign of the covenant with Israel. (Ex 31:12-17)  This is very important, but to what does it testify?

It speaks of the Creation week, and YHVH, the Creator, says to remember and to keep the Shabbat:  He created the heavens and the Earth and the seas – and all that is in them – in six days, and ceased His work on the seventh day.  He rested on the seventh day. (Gen 1:1-31 – 2:1-3Ex 20:8-11)  The word for a “work strike” in Hebrew comes from the root word for Shabbat, to cease from work:  shin-bet-tav (שבת).  On the human side, this is not always justified.  God ceased and stopped His work on the seventh day from all that He had created and made in each and all of the previous six days.  On Day One His light shone out of the darkness.

God also gave the Shabbat to Israel as a testimony that He redeemed and delivered the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt (as we saw in the last verses of ch 22).  He brought them out of the land of Egypt and from slavery, and He gave rest to His people Israel.  So we remember that the 7th day Sabbath bears witness to our Creator and to our Redeemer; to the Creation and the Redemption.

The Shabbat being the seventh day does not speak of being “perfect”.  The number 7 does not symbolize perfection, but completion.  God will perfectly complete what He began.  He will do all that He intended for this Creation.  There are seven days given for this Creation.  There needs to be something “after” in order for the “perfect”.

The Shabbat and its testimonies were given to the people of Israel, but every believer should know its significance of what it testifies.  Is a weekly set time.  Every week, 52 weeks through the year.  All of the other mo’edim that we will speak of from Lev 23 are annual reminders and witnesses.  Once-a- year.  (I will not speak of all that these set times include, and I probably do not know all.  They are deep; there is so much that helps us to see and understand what God is doing in history, His plan until Yeshua/Jesus comes.

Lev 23:4-8   Passover/Unleavened Bread – Barley Harvest

God speaks of keeping the mo’edim at their appointed times.  Not in their “feast” times or in their “holiday” times.  But He has special, particular times in mind to keep these holy days [and weeks].  (The moon “submits” to the Sun, the greater light, in order to keep these set times in their seasons.  For Passover and the First Fruit [of the Resurrection] must always be in the Spring/in the month of Aviv.) [Ex 13:3-10]

Notice here, and in all the annual set times, God requires an offering made by fire.  Jesus will baptize us with fire.  He will purify us.  And we are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him, a holy sacrifice acceptable to God.  So God requires a sacrifice by fire in all of these holy times – set apart to Him – and Yeshua will yet baptize us with fire, which will burn up whatever does not belong to God, a destructive fire to completely burn up what will not endure the fire, but a purifying fire for what abides in the Messiah/Christ.  He will baptize us with fire (Israel and the Body of Christ) in order to have what He is after:  a holy people for Himself; a holy Bride for the Lamb.

There are two appointed times in these verses.  The first one is the Passover/Pesach.  As I have already mentioned, from God’s perspective, Yeshua, the Passover Lamb, was slain (slaughtered) from the foundation of the world.  This “pre-historic” sacrifice was for the Passover and for the Atonement – for the redemption, and for our transgression, sin, and iniquity.  But God was manifested in the flesh – clothed in flesh and blood – to actualize this foundational sacrifice in the love and the righteousness of the Father’s grace/lovingkindness.  The Son of God and Son of Man came to die on the cross.

On the Passover, God delivered His people from slavery in Egypt (representing “the world”), and slavery to Pharoah (an “antichrist” ruler of this world).  The Passover death of Yeshua – Christ our Passover – delivers us from bondage to sin and to Satan (the Adversary).  This kind of enslavement is much worse than being slaves to an evil ruler or to hard labor.  For those who understand what sin is!  Whoever remains a slave to sin will not live.  A slave to an evil king or to an oppressive society may still yet survive and live.  So Yeshua died to redeem and deliver from slavery to sin, freed to serve the LORD even now.  To serve Him, to be His willing slaves/bondservants, with thanks and love.  He has delivered us with a promise:  to inherit a land; but even more than a geographic land:  to inherit everlasting life!  The whole Kingdom of God with Him!

Passover is about grace.  God didn’t say anything to the children of Isael that Passover night – after all the plagues and judgments which God did against Egypt and Pharoah and all their gods – about sin.  He only said (paraphrased):  Tonight, I will pass over each house.  It is for each family to slaughter an innocent unblemished lamb or goat at twilight on the 14th of the first month; pour out its blood at the threshold (the entrance) of the home; put some of the blood on the doorposts and lintel; and be inside.

For everyone who believed and obeyed the word of YHVH, God did not send the Angel of and understood that the God of the Hebrews is the true God, and stronger than any of their gods (which He had judged and defeated), and joined an Israeli in their house covered by the blood, or else did what God had commanded also for his own home and family, the Angel of Death did not enter and kill their first-born sons.

Whoever did not believe what God said, or thought that it was not so critically important, the first-born son died.  It could be the father himself, if he were the first-born in his parents’ family.  So we see that God was saying that the blood of the sacrificed lamb [or kid] covers you.  The blood of the Lamb has to be on the entrance to our “house”, or bodies:  the eyes, the ears, the mouth, the mind and heart.  Then God will pass over and not kill us when He sees that we are covered by HIS Passover Lamb.

It is all of grace.  We just need to believe and obey.  All who are saved are saved by God’s grace.  When I was saved, I did not think about my sins.  I understood that I had not believed in Jesus.  This is the first and main sin.  Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin:  not believing in Him. (Jn 16:7-11)  Eternal life is for those who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for who He is and what He accomplished by His death, burial, and resurrection.  The sin that God will not forgive is not believing in Jesus at the end of one’s mortal life.  (God has all the answers to the many questions we have as to how He sees to that in His own wisdom and righteousness.)

At the end, such a person will not be with God.  God offers forgiveness and salvation to every one, but we must repent from our unbelief and believe the gospel.  I must believe and obey the truth that the blood of Yeshua is what has been given to cover me and make atonement for my soul when God looks at me.  All is of grace.

Then He continues to speak in these verses about the unleavened bread/matza.  Seven days of eating unleavened bread during the Passover week.  Seven days of “history”.  The Passover death of Jesus covered all of the world’s history.  His shed blood supplied the ransom price for redemption for every human being who has ever lived in the past, is living in the present, and will live in the future.  For God already ordained it from before the foundation of the world.

We learn from the New Testament that leaven symbolizes sin.  We do not learn that from the Tenach/Old Testament.  God says to His people to eat bread without leaven for seven days.  We are saved from sin.  On Passover eve in Egypt, God told the Israelis to bake their bread.  There was not enough time for the leaven to rise, for they had to flee Egypt hastily.  Symbolically, this is telling us that once we are redeemed we are not to let the leaven of sin to rise up in us any more.  If we have been saved, flee from “the world” that we had been living in, from the sinful state of things that God delivered us from, and do not let more sin “bake” within us.  We are to sanctify ourselves, learning God’s way to be freed from the way and power of the world.

So for seven days – for all of history (still unfinished) – God calls for His redeemed people to be holy.  Do not let the leaven of sin to bake in us more, and expand to fill us up.  A little leaven leavens the whole batch.  The sacrifice of Yeshua was much more significant than all of the lambs that the children of Israel slaughtered that historic Passover twilight in Egypt.  The blood of the Son of God is far more precious.

Lev 23:9-12, 14   First Fruit/Resurrection

Here God speaks about what is called Resurrection Day.  The Day of First Fruit.  After the Passover – during the seven day week of Passover/Unleavened Bread – the seven days of history – God intervened into the world that He created and made – through Yeshua/Jesus, who was slain at Passover, was buried, and on the third day He rose again.  When did He rise from among the dead, on which day?  On the day after the Sabbath.  What day is the day after the Shabbat?  The first day!  We can also think of the day following the 7th day as the 8th day.  It is the day of God’s eternal light!  Jesus rose from the dead on the day after the Shabbat. (Lk 24:1-7)

For the Passover, God gave to Israel a date;  for First Fruits there is no date, but a day.  We will see the link between the Frst Fruit mo’ed to the set time for Shavuot, which also does not have a date given in the Bible.  There is a day specified.  When the Israelis entered the Promised Land – the Land of Canaan that YHVH promised to give to them as an everlasting inheritance – when they would begin their agricultural work and receive their first fruits of their first harvest in the land — they were to bring to God the first sheaf (the omer) of the coming harvest to the priest who would wave it before YHVH.  This would be accepted on the offerer’s behalf, as we wave before God the evidence of the promise for the living grain to become a harvest.

Every plant begins with a seed.  And Jesus taught that the seed must be put into the ground and die, in order to begin to open, to sprout, to grow into its kind of plant.  Every plant is a parable for the resurrection!  And on the day after the Sabbath of the Passover week, Jesus rose from the dead, and when we are saved and come into the “promised land” of God’s kingdom, we wave Jesus/Yeshua before God as our assurance of God’s harvest to come – of which we are part.  His bodily resurrection is our expectation for our own bodily resurrection, and for the 40 days following Yeshua proved that He was indeed alive!  And we notice again that YHVH requires a sacrifice made by fire.

Also, we again read that this is an everlasting ordinance that God gave to Israel.  It is still in force, throughout all our generations and our dwelling places.  It does not stop God if the Jewish people do not believe this, [or if any other people or religious faith do not believe this].  The sovereign YHVH God is faithful to His plan.  He stands with HIS plan! (Rom 9:1-13)  God is faithful to His Son, Yeshua/Jesus:  to His death on the cross; to what He has promised to Him, [and to all who believe in His name]; to what He has purposed.  We stand before a faithful and all-powerful God!  He is able to do all that He says!

Lev 23:15-17, 21   Shavuot/Pentecost — First Fruits of Wheat Harvest

Here Moses writes about the counting of the omer/sheaves from the day after the Sabbath of the Passover week/Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Not from the day after the Passover itself, because here it says to count seven complete Sabbaths.  The counting begins from the day after the [actual regular] Shabbat:  beginning with what we understand to be the resurrection day.  No date is given, but a day.  The count is 50 days from that day, including that day.  (It is like the circumcision on the 8th day of birth, one week after the birth day.  So here the commandment is to count 50 days, beginning with the day of First Fruits; or, seven complete weeks after the day of First Fruits.

The name of this appointed time [in the third month] is Shavuot (weeks), and Pentecost (50 days).  It is the same appointed time in YHVH’s redemptive calendar to Israel.  This feast testifies, we believe, to God giving the Holy Spirit on the 50th day [to the first fruits of the “wheat harvest” of believers], beginning with Yeshua’s resurrection.  He showed Himself alive for 40 days, then told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the promise of the Father was given to them.  This was the promise of the Holy Spirit to any and all born-again believers, making them (and us) the first fruits of the wheat harvest.  [Shavuot in this chapter is about an agricultural harvest and celebration, not about the giving of the Law from Sinai, even though the timing could coincide with their arrival at the mountain.] (Ex 19:1-3)

Again, for the set time of Shavuot/Pentecost, God did not give a specific date, but a specific day.   The First Fruit of the resurrection and the First Fruits of the wheat harvest are the only two of the annual holy days/set times that are determined as a particular day of the week, linked together by the counting of the sheaves from the one to the other, till the full harvest of souls at the end of the age. (Mt 13:24-3036-43Dan 12:1-3)

And, once again, this is an everlasting ordinance in all their (Israel/Jewish people) dwelling places throughout their generations.  God still gives the Holy Spirit to whosoever believes in Yeshua/Jesus, and will still be faithful to His covenant promises to the children of Jacob/Israel.  God is still acting on the basis of the death and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ from the dead, and the link to Shavuot/Pentecost:  everyone who believes that God raised up the Lord Jesus Christ – the Righteous One – from the dead will be saved. (Rom 10:9-11)

This holiday is still in force; it still testifies to what Jesus did.  When Israel entered the Promised Land and began their own farming in the land, they waved the proof and the hope of the harvest before God with thanksgiving.  So do all who have entered in by grace to YHVH’s promised inheritance of the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  There is a full harvest to come in God’s redemptive plan!

Shavuot is the wheat harvest; Passover is the barley harvest.

Let’s look now at Lev 23:23-25   Memorial of Blowing of Trumpet Blasts

This passage brings us to the period where we are now (Oct 1, 2022).  A few days ago was what Judaism and the Jewish people call the Head of the Year (Rosh haShana), or the New Year.  But this is not speaking about the beginning of the year.  This is speaking of the seventh month, [the month of completion of the harvests].  Anyone who has been born-again from Above can say, “Yes, I have begun a new life!  It is a “new year” for me; a new and spiritual birthday.”   When the people of Israel ([the “all Israel” that will be saved; a full remnant from all the tribes]) eventually come to faith as a nation, they will truly begin life anew with their God.  Yet even during the Millennial Kingdom, their calendar will be the months in the order which YHVH God gave to Israel. (Ezek 45:16-25)  It only causes confusion to call the beginning of the seventh month the head of a new year.  (This is similar in many Christianized countries that have made Sonday the last day of the week instead of the first.)  Why?  Because God has a plan [and a time-line].

If we are in Messiah/Christ, then we are already above the plan, [and have a heavenly seat to see the beginning from the end, and the end from the beginning]. (Eph 2:4-7)  We are not required to keep all of these set times in the way that God gave them to Israel.  We can not, anyway, because there is no Temple in Jerusalem.  And when the prophesied coming temple of God does come, do not off any sacrifice there! (Rev 11:1-32Thes 2:1-12Mt 24:15-22Dan 11:30-39)  We who believe in Yeshua have received the final sacrifice in His sacrificial death for us.  Do not offer any other blood sacrifice to God! (Heb 10:1-31)  We ought to offer the sacrifices of our lips to God, to thank and praise Him. (Heb 13:15-16)  We have to offer to Him our lives as a living sacrifice. (Rom 12:1)  But do not sacrifice again any animal or its blood to God.  ([During the Millennial Kingdom, there will again be animal sacrifices by those in their natural bodies, not by those who have already received new and spiritual bodies in the first resurrection and rapture.  We will find out then why this is so important to God.]) [Ezek 46Zech 14:20-21]

So the first day of the seventh month is a day of memorial of trumpet blasts.  (This mo’ed is commanded to be for one day only, not two days as it normally is now.)  Not only the Day of Trumpets, but of a memorial of trumpet blasts.  (Yom Zicharon Truah)  What do we remember?

First of all, we can remember what God has already done to make Himself known in and through Israel.  We can also remind God of His promises.  For example, He has said, “Do not give Him any rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the Earth.” (Is 62:6-7)  This is still the case.  We can remind Him that we are in agreement with Him about it, and that He should bring it to pass.  “Your will be done; do what You have to do!”  We also remember, according to His word, about what He will do, until He comes. (1Cor 11:26)

What is the trumpet blast?  This is the sound of the silver trumpets and of the ram’s horn/shofar to call the people to listen and obey, according to the type of trumpet blast.  YHVH gave some instructions regarding this. (Num 10:1-10)  Largely, the blasts were to gather His people:  sometimes to gather the soldiers to war; sometimes to call for an assembly of only the leaders of the tribes; other times to gather all of the people together. (Ps 50:1-6Mt 24:29-311Thes 4:13-181Cor 15:50-57)

The three Fall/Autumn set times that we are entering into now culminate with Sukkot/Feast of Booths, and the final ingathering of the harvest of the fruit of the labors of the redeemed and atoned for people of God. (Ex 23:14-16)  There is thanksgiving to God with much rejoicing!

God is also sounding the trumpet to call His people to come back to Him. (Joel 2:10-19)  What do we learn from the Epistle of James, from the Book of Hosea the Prophet?  They both call to the people of God to confess that we have been unfaithful to God and to His covenants.  It does not matter how “good” we might thing we are – or that there is always a faithful remnant.  Corporately, as God’s covenanted people, we have not been faithful.  We have not sanctified or honored the name of our Father in Heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit is speaking to the nation of Israel, and to the Body of Christ.  As followers of Jesus we have not generally been faithful to Him who has chosen us to be His witnesses and His people, and that He would be God to them. (Rom 11:25-36)

So the trumpets are sounding (Do we hear them?) to call the Lord’s people to gather together back to Him in repentance, before the Day of Atonements – the Day of YHVH; the day of judgment; who are with Him, and who are not (Is 61:2bJoel 2:30-32Lev 23:26-30Mt 24:36-42Rev 6:12-1711:15-19) – so that we will not need for God to judge us again, but to be found as righteous ones in His eyes, because we have received and accepted the Passover and the Atonement. (1Cor 11:27-32) What is the atonement?

Lev 23:26-32   The Day of Atonements/Yom haKippurim

The Day of Atonements is one day.  One day that testifies to the reality that YHVH God’ covenant people are not holy or righteous in ourselves in His sight.  “Be holy, for I am holy.”  On account of this, there is this [holy and awesome day].  We receive salvation by grace “at our Passover”.  We received God’s Law in our hearts and minds when we are baptized by the Holy Spirit at “our Shavuot/Pentecost”, that we will know God our Father and His Son Jesus the Messiah, and be empowered to be faithful them.  We are sanctified by obeying Him with faith. (Heb 4:1-16)  The Law of Moses makes no one righteous, or justified, for no one can live according to YHVH’s holy requirements.  This why Yeshua came.  And we have received the Holy Spirit to give us power to live according the will of God  We are not perfect; no one can be perfect as long as we are in this body [on this side of the resurrection].

But with humble faithfulness, with love, with thanksgiving . . . yet, generally, even in this we fall short [of the glory of God].  Every prophet in the Tenach, John the Baptizer, Yeshua/Jesus Himself, all of the apostles, all that we have received through the Bible calls God’s people, [and all people everywhere], to return with an answer.  The Scriptures call us to return to Him with an admittance of our disobedience.  We have loved “the world” too much, rather than love Him more than any other thing.

There is an atonement.  We have to understand that being saved by grace does not permit us to live as we did before or as we please now.  We sin.  God saves us by grace, but we have to confess that we still do sin. (1Jn 1:5-10)  We are not righteous in ourselves.  We are justified in Christ, who has become our righteousness through our faith in who He is and in what He accomplished on the cross for us before God.  The Apostle John writes that we are to confess our sins, knowing that God will forgive us.  We can not just say, “I have been saved by grace, so I do not need to confess any sins.”  No.  This is not the lesson of the Day of Atonements.

Also for those who think that Jesus died only for the elect, this is not correct.  The Day of Atonements teaches us that the sacrifice for sin that day was for each and every Israeli.  No one could justly say, “It is not for me”; or that, “You [God] did not think of or include me”; or, “You do not love me”; or, “I do not need this”.  Yeshua died for every human being for all time.

As it is learned from what is written in these verses, he who afflicts his soul for what Jesus did on the cross because of him/her and their sins, is accepted by God.  Whosoever is not broken [because of his rebellion and self-righteousness] with respect to the atoning sacrifice cuts himself off from his people.  He/She takes it too lightly, too cheaply.  And it is neither light nor cheap.  Then God Himself adds that whoever does any regular work on that day He will give them up. (Lev 26:40-45Ezek 36:16-37Zech 12:10-14)  Our holy God calls us to be a holy people for Him.  It is not cheap.  There is much grace; God loves us; but whoever loves someone wants to please him or her.  Not to take that love or person for granted.  This is the Day of Atonements.

As believers in Yeshua/Jesus, we have received the atonement.  We are not required to fast on Yom Kippur.  But someone whose soul is being afflicted will not want to eat.  And we do not need every year on a certain date to afflict our soul.  Once will be sufficient for those who have experienced it, [although I do say to God sometimes that I need it again for another real breakthrough].  Anyone who does not know what it means to be afflicted in soul regarding your sins against the Lord has probably never experienced it.  It is not something that we can “just do ourselves”.  It takes the Holy Spirit to break deeply into us, breaking our hearts and spirit, bringing us to tears, over our sinfulness before God.

This is what Israel as a nation will experience in that day when they look upon Him whom they pierced, the One who alone has really loved them, and the only one who can save them. (Zech 12:10-14)  That will be the fulfillment of the Day of Atonements for the nation Israel and the Jewish people.  “All Israel” will be saved in that day. (Rom 11:25-36Rev 7Is 66:5-11)  They will look upon Him whom we pierced, and mourn for Him as for an only son.  Each and every family – from the “famous” first – each and every person will individually have a personal encounter with the Father and His beloved Son in that day, and the souls of each and all together will be afflicted.  YHVH God will have a holy people for Himself, and He will be their God.

And then what, with this development?

Lev 23:33-34, 39-44   Hag Sukkot/ Feast of Booths – Final Fruit Harvest

Great joy!  Each one who received the atonement, and the corporate nation that has been forgiven [according to the New Covenant] (Jer 31:31-37Heb 8:7-12), they will celebrate YHVH!  Not just celebrate the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles, but celebrate Him who did it!  And remembering how He had been with us the whole way – through the desert; in good times and bad; He preserved us; He gives us everything in the final harvest.  Great rejoicing!

There is an eighth day in the celebration of Sukkot:  the day after the Sabbath; the day after death and burial; the day after this Creation; eternal life.  God will dwell among His people, and never leave or forsake them ever again.  He will live among His people forevermore.  The “eighth day”.  The eternal day of light without night, without darkness; no tears, no suffering, [no sin], no death.  Eternally!  The day after the Sabbath of this Creation.  A new Creation.  Only light.  With our Creator, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Lord and King, our beloved Bridegroom.  What can be better than that?!  Celebrating Him with great gladness!

Again, whoever has already received Him now, we can celebrate Him now.  Not just celebrate a holiday without Him being central to it.

These are the set times that bear witness to the redemptive plan and purpose of God.  We can become those who learn and understand things (maskilim) in order to explain to others what is happening, [and to encourage one another in our hope in Christ].

To reckon the 7th month as a replacement for the 1st month only causes confusion.  God is completing, bringing to fullness, what He began.  He is continuing onward.  We want to go with Him.

I hope that we can see that these mo’edim still testify because they are still in effect until all is finished, completed. (Mt 5:17-18)  As Yeshua cried out in a loud voice on the cross: “It is finished!”  He finished what He was sent and came into the world to do in His willing and obedient death on the cross so that God the Father can do all that He has intended and promised for eternity:  for Israel, for the Church, for this world which He created to be very good.  The New Creation will be perfect!  [Praise the Lord!  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!]

This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev and is reposted with permission.