Yom Kippur

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” Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city: to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.” (Daniel 9:24, NRSV).

Tomorrow evening at sunset begins the most solemn day of the Hebrew calendar, Yom Kippur. The Day of Atonement is a Sabbath, where no work is done and the streets of Jerusalem are empty. Even non-religious individuals observe this day. It is so holy that many schools in the United States with a high Jewish population will be closed on Wednesday. Although there is no temple to observe this special day with animal sacrifices, many Jewish men and women have been repenting and asking God for forgiveness since Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets.) God, in his mercy, covers the sins of the Jewish nation for another year.

For a true believer in Jesus, our sins were atoned during the preparation day of Passover. When Jesus was crucified, all sins: past, present and future were paid for. However, because the Jewish nation rejected Jesus as their king, God sent a hardening over part of Israel (Jewish people) until the times of Gentiles are fulfilled. (cf: Romans 11:25 and Luke 21:24). God accounted for this in His master plan of salvation and therefore instituted the Day of Atonement as a holy day for Israel to observe. (Leviticus 16). So, when will Yom Kippur be fulfilled? Daniel 9:24 holds the key.

70 weeks of years ( 70, 7 year periods) were decreed for Daniel, his people (Judah and Israel) and Jerusalem. We know that the sins of Judah  will be put to an end and the iniquity of the Hebrew people will be atoned for. (Ezekiel 36:25-38). The only way atonement can be made is when one accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Will Israel do this? This is what Zechariah 13:1 tells us: “On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.”

The prophets are in agreement that there will be a day where the sins of Israel will be atoned for. This fulfillment will happen on Yom Kippur. Then the remnant of the 12 tribes will be gathered to Jesus and He will cleanse them before they enter the Millennium. (Zechariah 8:23). Ezekiel 45:18-25 shows the Feast Days Israel will observe in the Millennium. They are Passover (days of Unleavened Bread), Pentecost (Spring Harvest) and Sukkot (Fall Harvest). Yom Kippur is not necessary anymore after Israel turns to Jesus.

What does that mean for us? Well, if we know that the Day of Atonement ends the 70th week, then we can know that the  final 7 year period will end in late September or early October. (That is when Yom Kippur is observed). We can count back 2520 days to determine that the beginning of the 70th week will commence sometime during the end of October. God has given us clues in His Word so that his magi can figure out future events. Will you be prepared? EJ

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Withitness

While taking education courses in the late 1980s, I was introduced to the term “withitness”. I learned it meant what it implied, “an aptitude for being with it”. A teacher needs to be aware of his/her environment. Educators should know the strengths and weaknesses of their students. Nothing surprises them because of vigilance and the continual pursuit of “withitness”. This concept is relevant in understanding Biblical prophecy.

An effective prophecy instructor understands Scripture as a whole, not separate parts. The mantra of a prophet is “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10). The Amplified Bible explains this by stating that the spirit of prophecy is “ the vital breath, the inspiration of Biblical preaching regarding God’s divine will and purpose for the last days. The Greek/English Lexicon defines forgiveness as not only accepting the repentance of another but remembering it no more (throw it away.) The Holy Spirit reveals truth, so different interpretations mean that someone is restraining The Advocate from making God’s Word plain. As stated in the previous post, some Bible teachers say we are not to know God’s plan for the future salvation of his people. However, Amos 3:7 proclaims the opposite. “Surely, the Sovereign Lord does NOTHING without revealing His plan to His servants, the prophets.”

When we realize the Lord wants us to know what he’s doing, then we are “with it”. We then possess the foundation to accurately handling prophecy. 

Matthew 18:21-22 gives us a great example that contrasts application with Scripture’s proper interpretation. In this account, the Apostle Peter asks Jesus a question: “ Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus responded, Not 7 times but seventy times seven.” The Greek/English Lexicon defines “forgiveness” as “accepting the repentance and letting the transgression go”. Notice that Jesus gave Peter a specific number. Does 70 times 7 mean we must forgive as many times as we are asked? Does it mean we forgive an infinite number of times? I heard these explanations from pulpits. Jesus desires that we always forgive out of a loving heart, but what I was taught was an application not the correct interpretation.

To understand what our Lord meant, we must look elsewhere for the term 70 times 7. We find it in Daniel 9:24. Interestingly, Jesus, the Messiah, refers to Daniel in Matthew 24:15 in the context of the sign of His coming and of the end of the age. There Jesus exhorted us, “Let the reader understand.” The disciples with him on the Mount of Olives were “hearers.” We are the readers. (This is awareness or withitness). So to grasp the full meaning of 70 times 7, then Daniel 9:24 must be studied in depth.

Daniel is pouring over the Book of Jeremiah. He seeks an answer from God on how long Judah will remain in captivity. He found that 70 years was prophesied and the time was almost up. God’s message was intended for Daniel to pass on to us, we who will be in Christ at the end of this age.

“Seventy sevens (weeks) are decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint THE MOST HOLY PLACE.”

This is quite a revelation.  Leviticus 25:8 refers to “weeks” as seven years. Four hundred ninety years are decreed for Daniel’s people, the Israelites, all twelve tribes. At the end of the 70 weeks, the transgressions and sins of Israel will be atoned for and remembered no more.

Yahweh, the Lord, introduced Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to yearly cleanse his people.  Four hundred and ninety prophetic years will be how long it takes for all Israel to recognize Jesus as Savior and receive cleansing by His Blood. Then their sin will be gone forever and everlasting righteousness, JESUS HIMSELF, will be ushered in.

Yom Kippur is the ultimate fulfillment of the 70 weeks. It also indicates what day this age will end on (sp. The Day of Atonement.)

God answered Daniel in a way that informed him the captivity would soon end. On the issue of forgiveness, Jesus enlightened Peter like the angel did Daniel. Four hundred and ninety prophetic years will be necessary to forgive Peter’s people. He, too, was an Israelite and a possessor of the spirit of prophecy. In time, this disciple would know what his Lord meant by the numbers 70 times 7. So prophecy teachers must yield to the Advocate as their guide. They are duty bound to harmonize Scripture; then ultimate truth will be realized and withitness will be manifest.-EJ

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