The Days of Awe and Yom Kippur 2018
7:00 Break 1 – He Is Our Rest
Yom Kippur is a Sabbath of Sabbaths
Just as every week has a Sabbath, this is the Sabbath for the whole year.
Two things are required – rest and fasting.
Tonight people from around the world will celebrate Yom Kippur.
In Israel, nothing, absolutely nothing will be open —
No Radio, No Television, No Cable; Even the Street Lights Won’t Work!
“Any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people” (Leviticus 23:29).
In Colossians chapter two Paul says, “Don’t let any man judge you in respect to holy days, new moons, Sabbath days: Which are all a shadow of things to come; for the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17).
In other words, the Sabbath days were just a shadow of things to come.
Substance creates a shadow. The substance is Jesus.
Sabbath days were all looking forward to Jesus who would bring rest.
We can’t become right with God (righteous)
from what we do or even obedience to the law
Righteousness comes by faith
- trusting in Jesus to be in charge
- or resting in confidence
This resting is encountering Christ intimately – becoming one with Him and His will.
Rosh Hashanah was the creation of man – Yom Kippur was the Fall of Man
This was the day that Adam missed his appointment with God
(to walk in the cool of the day)
This was the day God killed animals to make skins for Adam and Eve
Before the Jews, before Moses, before the law,
There were days that would become the Fall Feasts
And these days are eternal – In the sense that we will celebrate them on into eternity
Jesus celebrated them – Yom Kippur might be the return of Christ
It has 25 hours – no one knows the hour of His coming
Two things are required – Rest and Fasting.
- Resting represents death so we wear white clothing
to represent death – burial clothes are white
The Jews wear white to live all day as if they were dead (fasting)
It’s humbling yourself before God and a reminder that you are mortalWhite Burial Clothes Have No Pockets
(no possessions can be taken – only the Word and good works)
One of the fringes (tzitziot) is cut off – it represents the law –
the dead are no longer under the law.
- Yom Kippur is the only holiday that fasting is explicitly commanded by the Lord –
Leviticus 16:31 “It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.”
Afflict doesn’t mean to punish yourself but to humble yourself.
- Why are we to Fast – because we have learned from the failure of Adam and Eve
We are choosing not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge
As we return to the Garden spiritually to start anew our walk with God.
Isaiah 58 describes what God calls fasting on a Holy Day:
Turn away your foot from doing your pleasure on My holy day
Call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable
Honor Him by not doing your own ways
Nor finding your own pleasure – Nor speaking your own words
Isaiah 58 describes what God calls fasting on an Ordinary Day:
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness
To undo the heavy burdens; To let the oppressed go free
To break every yoke; To share your bread with the hungry
To bring to your house the poor who are cast out
When you see the naked, to cover him; To not hide yourself from your own flesh
Ordinarily, the High Priest’s outfit had bright colors
and a breastplate of precious stones.
But on Yom Kippur, the high priest was required to take off the glorious robes
in exchange for simple, white linen garments, in order to go into the holy of holies.
He looked just like any other priest. This foreshadowed Jesus, our great high priest,
putting aside his heavenly glory and putting on flesh to become one of us –
and yet remaining holy.
The High Priest also wore a crown of pure gold on his head called a Nezer, which comes from the word “nazar”. This word “nazar” means to dedicate, consecrate and sacredly separate. The word “nazarite” comes from this root and describes someone who has taken a vow to be separated from the world.
We are all called “a royal priesthood” in 1 Peter 2:9, and we also are called to live a holy life, dedicated to God and separated from the world in our thoughts and intentions.
Daily, negativity, cynicism, and impurity are battling for our focus, so we will dwell on things that are depressing, impure and evil. But these thoughts must be taken captive before they get a foothold. If we Crown ourselves with thoughts that are pure, then we will be changing the world around us.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. “
What does repentance look like? We pursue a deeper level of dedication and consecration during this season. Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
7:15 Break 2 – First a Bull Then The Goats
The Day of Atonement is when the High Priest sacrificed a bull
that would cover the sins of the priesthood.
The High Priest would be covered in blood from making the sacrifice
Then he would go through the veil that separated the holiest of places
from the rest of the Temple.
The veil represented the separation between God and man due to man’s sin
Spiritually speaking, Jesus was and is the veil, so when He died on the cross for sin,
which separated us from God, the veil (His body) was torn.
Then he went into the Holy Of Holies to pour the blood on the Mercy Seat
The Hebrew word is Kapporet, (which is related to the word kippur as in Yom Kippur),
which is translated as purge, atone, expiate, and propitiate. (the cross)
The priest entered with incense before him as he approached the ark, and sprinkled the blood on it. On this Most Holy Day of The Year, the rabbis agree that the priest’s motion should be “ke-mazlif” (כמצליף), or “As If They Were Whipping Someone”.
Here is how it is written in the Mishna and the Babylonian Talmud:
The motion is once upwards and seven times downwards, aiming to sprinkle neither upwards nor downwards but kemazlif [making the movement of swinging a whip]
Some have suggested that originally it was the word “ke-matzliv” – “
“Like A Cross”, instead of like a whip,
but the obvious implications of this were too much for the Jewish sages
and it was changed to “ke-mazlif” instead.
After the High Priest finished with the Bull,
he would take 2 goats to cover the sins of the people
Leviticus 16:6-10, 21-22
“Aaron is to offer the bull for his own sin offering
to make atonement for himself and his household.
Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the Lord
at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
He is to cast lots for the two goats—
one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat.
The high priest put both his hands into a wooden case,
and took out two labels, one inscribed “for Yahweh”
and the other “for absolute removal” (or “for Azazel”).
Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering.
The Lord’s Goat symbolized Christ, who took upon Himself the penalty for our sins. Our sins have been transferred from their soul to His, He has died for those sins, and the sinner is judged to be perfect as if he had never sinned.
But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord
to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.
He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat
and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites
—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head.
He shall send the goat away into the wilderness
in the care of someone appointed for the task.
The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place;
and the man shall release it in the wilderness. [He would throw it over a cliff]
Both goats die so that the people’s sins would be forgiven
The Talmud states (ib. 39a) that
A strip of scarlet-dyed wool was tied to the head of the scapegoat
Which would turn white as soon as the goat was thrown over the precipice
As a sign that the sins of the people were forgiven.
It didn’t always turn white.
Beginning with the death and resurrection of Jesus, it no longer turned white.
The Talmud bears record to a spiritual decay among the people,
such that murders became so widespread
that the Sanhedrin ceased to adjudicate capital crimes such as homicide.
The miracle of the thread turning white was to show them (and us)
that if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive them
When Jesus died on the cross it tore the curtain forever
and a permanent sacrifice was made and accepted for everyone forever
Jesus is called, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
10 days after their creation, the first Yom Kippur occurs.
Sin happens and spiritual death happens.
But blood must be spilled to cover their sin.
God doesn’t desire to kill Adam and Eve
At creation, they were covered in light or glory
but now it’s gone so they are naked.
So God makes a sacrifice.
He places their sins on the animal and kills it to make them coverings with its skin.
The Hebrew meaning or concept of that word covering is anointing.
So He restores their anointing. With what?
The blood of that sacrifice.
Without shedding of blood there is no remission or removing of the sin.
And then God casts them out of the Garden to the east.
The first animal was killed to make them clothes and restore their anointing.
Adam and Eve, leave the garden clothed with that animal.
In a sense they are the second goat walking off into the wilderness never to return.
This is the next picture of Christ slain from the foundation of the world.
Jesus will be called the second Adam and so is the first goat,
And on the Cross when He is slain outside the city, He is the scapegoat.
7:30 Break 3 – The 7 Churches
In Revelation, we see Jesus as the great High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, walking among, “the seven lampstands which…are the seven churches”. He had in His hand seven stars, which are “the angels of the seven churches”. Jesus, in His priestly position in the heavenly sanctuary, has the angels of the whole Church in His hand, not just of seven first-century churches in Asia Minor.
His judgments and counsel to each of the churches is important for us to focus on during the Days of Awe and especially the Day of Atonement to make sure we are not the ones He’s describing.
To Ephesus He says
“I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear those who are evil, and you have tested them who say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars.
You are judging others correctly to help them and set them free.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of its place, unless you repent.
In other words, without love you have no reason to exist.
But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
The Nicolaitans considered it irrelevant if Christians committed adultery or ate foods which had been offered to idols since it was the soul and spirit that were important, not the deeds of the body. Jude described them as, “Certain men have crept in unnoticed…who turn the grace of our God into lewdness… defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of authority…these are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit”.
Fear none of those things which you shall suffer. Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you a crown of life.
I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication. So you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which I hate.
Repent; or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
I know your works, and love, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last are more than the first.
Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman
Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to
commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she did not repent. Behold, I
will cast her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation,
unless they repent of their deeds.
And I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to every one of you according to your works.
Jezebel calls herself a prophetess – these are ministers and pastors.
They are teaching that sin is OK…You don’t need to repent.
Because you are covered by grace.
Ezekiel 3:18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.
This year Jezebel will be very present and very easy to recognize.
I know your works, that you have a name that you live, but you are dead.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast, and repent.
If therefore you do not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of trial, which shall come upon the whole world, to test those that dwell on the earth. Behold, I am come quickly; hold fast which you have, so that no one takes your crown.
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing; and do not know that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness may not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
7:45 Break 4 – Things you Need to Understand:
- The Earthly Sanctuary was just a Shadow…
Hebrews 8: They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
The Tabernacle and then The Temple were a replica of the Throne Room In Heaven that God designed at the time of creation.
Each article symbolized something God has done to save us from our sins
Therefore, everything is a reflection of Jesus. That’s why we can still encounter Jesus when we celebrate the Day of Atonement.
- When you read Revelation, you are usually looking into the Heavenly Sanctuary.
Everything you see relates to the Sanctuary
- Each object and piece of furniture speaks of Christ:
- The Brazen Altar, His sacrificial death for us
- The Laver, His cleansing us
- The Golden Candlestick, His enlightening us
- The Table of Shewbread, His sustaining us
- The Altar of Incense, His interceding for us
- The Veil, His body which was broken for us
It was the only door representing Jesus who said “I am the door”
- The Ark of the Covenant, His Word in the flesh – humanity and deity in the midst of us.
- Moses started receiving the instructions for the tabernacle in the 3rd month of the 1st year, and finished building it on the 1st day of the first month of the 2nd year.
This equals 9 months, which represents the 9 months in the womb for Jesus to birth/build His fleshly Tabernacle.
- The main one in charge of building most of the tabernacle was Bezaleel, from the tribe of Judah, which represented that the Messiah would be birthed through the line of Judah.
- God would speak to the children of Israel through this tabernacle, representing the Messiah being “the Word”. Which is why in John 12 Jesus said He didn’t speak his own words, He spoke the words His Father commanded him to speak.
- The Son is the true Tabernacle of The Father. Revelation 21:3 “Behold The Tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with them”
- Revelation is written using a chiastic (ki-astic) literary structure, so every section has a mirror-image chiasm, and begins with a scene in the Heavenly sanctuary:
8 Scenes of The Day of Atonement from Revelation
|Satan’s Attack||God’s Victory|
Chapters 1-13 are Satan’s Efforts to Destroy God’s People.
- 1-3 The Church on Earth struggles Against the Attacks of the Enemy
& God Sends His Word to the Churches
- 4-7 The Courtroom in Heaven Assesses Candidates For Eternal Life
and Begins Sealing and Protecting its Soldiers.
- 8-11:19 God Steps Back & Chaos Reigns
- 11:19-13 Satan’s War: The Dragon and Beasts
Chapters 14-22 are God’s Ultimate Victory Over Sin and the Devil.
- 14 The Gospel Goes Forth in Power thru Soldiers and Angels
- 15-18 God’s Plagues, Battles and Judgment
- 19-20 His Return, Judgment and Millennium
- 21-22 The Church in The Kingdom Glorified with All Things New
8:00 Break 5 – The Furniture of Heaven
In Each of These 8 Scenes:
There Is Furniture And Individuals In Heaven
That Coincide With The Old Testament Sanctuary Ceremonies
Since Jesus Ascended He Has Been Active As The High Priest Interceding For Us.
- The 1st Sanctuary Scene in Revelation 1 introduces the seven churches, and Jesus is dressed in “a garment down to the feet” which was the robe used by the priests in their daily ministration in the sanctuary.
- Jesus is walking among seven golden lampstands, which suggest the seven lamps that illuminated the Holy Place.
- The 2nd Sanctuary Scene in Revelation 4 and 5 introduces the Seven Seals, and begins with a door open in heaven; this door is the one separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.
- The Throne of God corresponds to the Mercy Seat that was on top of the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place.
- The 3rd Sanctuary Scene in Revelation 7 and 8 introduces the Seven Trumpets with Jesus taking incense from the golden altar to offer with “the prayers of the saints”.
- On the Day of Atonement it’s when the High Priest, carrying a golden censer, brings the blood of the sacrifices “inside the veil”.
This was the last opportunity for the people to “afflict their souls” to demonstrate their repentance and faith.
In Revelation it’s the last chance for repentance during the ministry of the two witnesses.
- The 4th Sanctuary Scene in Revelation 11 introduces the war in heaven and the oppression of the Saints by the Beast.
- The focus is on the ark of the covenant or the Law of God as the standard of judgment.
- The 5th Sanctuary Scene in Revelation 14 introduces the vision of the 144,000 and the three angels’ messages.
- The focus is on the Throne of God and the Mercy Seat.
- The 6th Sanctuary Scene in Revelation 15 introduces the Seven Last Plagues with the sanctuary opened and “filled with smoke” so that “no one was able to enter the temple”.
- This represents when the priest left the Most Holy Place, and came out of the temple and made a final atonement for himself and for the people. There is no longer blood, sacrifices or the opportunity for repentance.
- The 7th Sanctuary Scene in Revelation 19 introduces the Second Coming of Christ, the binding of Satan during the Millennium and the Final Judgment.
- In the Old Testament Day of Atonement this corresponds to when the Scapegoat was taken out into the wilderness, the sacrifice was taken “outside the camp” to be burned, and the priests washed their clothes and bodies and “came into the camp”.
- The 8th And Final Sanctuary Scene in Revelation 21 and 22 introduces the New Heaven And New Earth where “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple… with men, and He will dwell with them”.
8:15 Break 6 – Jesus the Great High Priest
Hebrews 4 introduces us to Jesus in Heaven functioning as the High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess…Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 8 says of the earthly priests,
They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Hebrews 9 takes us with Jesus into the Heavenly Tabernacle
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption…so that we may serve the living God!
Hebrews 10 Jesus casts a bigger Shadow
It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll – I have come to do your will, my God.’”
“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water…If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
There are no more daily sacrifices or any other kind of sacrifices since Jesus replaced them all and fulfilled them all. So only drawing near to Him can clean you.
What Did John See…A Door Open for the Day of Atonement
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door was open in heaven.
And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet talking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this” (Revelation 4:1).
The trumpet plus everything He sees tells us it is the Day of Atonement.
This is not a door into heaven, that John was looking into heaven through,
but rather a door – inside the heavenly sanctuary – that is open.
The ancient sanctuary had a Courtyard (and Two Rooms).
- The people came to the Courtyard to offer their sacrifices,
- and there was a bronze altar for burnt offerings,
- and a large basin for washing.
The Outer Room was called the Holy Place,
- with a table with two stacks of bread,
- a seven-branched lampstand,
- and a golden alter for offering incense.
Each article symbolized something God has done to save us from our sins.
The Inner Room was the Most Holy Place
- With the Ark of the Covenant,
- which contained the Two Stone Tablets of the 10 Commandment Law.
- On top of the Ark was a “Mercy Seat”
- with Two Cherubim (Angels) Spreading Their Wings Above It.
- This was the Throne of God where He appeared “between the cherubim”.
The High Priest entered just once a year for the Day of Atonement.
There were Two Doors: One Into The Holy Place
The Other Into The Most Holy Place.
Based on what John saw, the “door standing open in heaven” was the door between the two rooms which was opened for the Day of Atonement.
The earthly sanctuary had two basic types of services:
The Daily Or Continual,
And The Yearly which happened on the Day of Atonement.
Twice a day a lamb was offered as a burnt offering, while the High Priest offered incense.
In addition, whenever someone sinned he was to bring his own sacrifice to the sanctuary, lay his hands on the animal’s head, confessing his sin, and then kill the animal “before the Lord”.
The priest took some of the blood into the sanctuary and sprinkled some “in front of the veil” between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place; some he put on the horns of the alter of incense, and some he poured out at the base of the altar of burnt offering.
8:30 Break 7 – The Life of the Flesh is in The Blood
God told Moses that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11).
The Hebrew word that has been translated “life” (nephesh) is the word for soul,
which simply means God sees our sin “in our blood.”
We also see, through confession sin can be transferred to an innocent substitute, specifically to its blood since that is where the life (the soul) abides.
This prefigured the substitutionary death of Jesus for sinners.
Notice the sin was transferred to the blood and the blood was poured, sprinkled and wiped on all over the sanctuary, to transfer the “sin” to the sanctuary.
So, the sanctuary “accumulated” the sins of the people.
Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the priest would “make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness” (Leviticus 16:16).
Question: If a sacrifice was made when the sinner confessed his sins, and twice a day for general sins, why was another sacrifice needed later?
Hebrews 9:7 says the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement was for “the people’s sins committed in ignorance or thoughtlessness.”
All sins require atonement, just like all forgiveness, follows repentance.
But since these sins were “committed in ignorance,” repentance was determined by the general attitude and behavior toward sin on the Day of Atonement.
“It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls” (Leviticus 16:29, 23:32). The Day of Atonement was the most solemn of all the feasts.
On other feasts the people were to do “no customary work” but on
The Day of Atonement they were to do “no work whatsoever on pain of death”.
The Day of Atonement was the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”.
“Any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people” (Leviticus 23:29).
So it was a day of judgment in which repentance of all sin, both known and unknown, was determined by afflicting their soul (this is an inward attitude) plus there was an outward symbol of obedience (the Sabbath of solemn rest).
It symbolized their willingness to obey all His commands.
“How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?
See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath” (Exodus 16:28,29).
A Profession of Repentance or Faith Didn’t Cover All Future Behavior.
They Had to Continue in Repentance And Submission.
- “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.” (Romans 2:7).
- Jesus is “able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
- “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.” Ezekiel 18:24
8:45 Break 8 – The Lord’s Day is Judgment Day
John’s encounter with Jesus that is The Book of Revelation takes place on the Day of Atonement
Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet…
The first thing John heard was a voice “like a trumpet”.
The Feast of Trumpets announces the Days of Awe including the Day of Atonement.
The phrase “The Lord’s Day” (i kyriaki imera) is a Greek phrase unique to the Bible.
By the 2nd Century it was applied to Sunday, but there is no Biblical reason to use it that way. The only day that Jesus refers to as His Day is the day of His coming:
“For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day” (Luke 17:24).
“The Lord’s Day” may simply be another way of saying “the Day of the Lord.
The Day of Atonement was and will be the Lord’s Day…it was a day of judgment, in which the true spiritual condition of everyone was revealed, and it will be when He return to bring judgment to the earth and rescue His people.
This First Part of The Judgment is a Courtroom Scene for The Investigation
In Daniel 7, he “watched till thrones were put in place… the court was seated and the books were opened.”
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.” (Daniel 7:10).
The same number of angels is present in the judgment scene of Revelation –
“I heard the voice of many angels around the throne…and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” (Revelation 5:11).
In Daniel 7…books were opened.”
In Revelation 20:12 “Books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books”.
Since Revelation is written in a chiastic structure, we can see the investigation in chapters 4 and 5 and then also see the verdict carried out by the 144,000 in chapter 14.
Another key symbol in the investigation phase are eyes:
The Lamb Has Seven Eyes (5:6),
and the “four living creatures” who are “around the throne” are “full of eyes in front and in back…around and within” (4:6,8).
Eyes symbolize the Lord’s judgment and separation of the righteous from those who are not.
The “eyes of the Lord” have two related functions:
to watch and protect His children,
and to discern the wickedness of His enemies.
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3)
“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
7 Lamps 7 Spirits
“And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God” (Revelation 4:5). Even while the judgment of the “Day of Atonement” is being carried out, the daily intercessory ministry of Jesus (the lamps, the bread, and the incense) is still taking place. “He [Jesus] is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Since the “seven lampstands…are the seven churches”, seven lamps show the presence of the Spirit. Jesus is “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world”, but while He is in heaven He has sent the Holy Spirit to bring His light through the fruits and gifts of the Spirit in the lives of believers.
9:00 Break 9 – Four Living Creatures & Four Tribes
“And Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind. And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature was like a calf, and the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within. And they do not rest day and night, saying ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come” (Revelation 4:6-8).
These living creatures are the same as the ones that accompanied the Lord when He took Ezekiel to examine God’s people. “He said to me, ‘Son of man, do you see what they are doing…Go in, and see’…The creatures are “full of eyes” because they are involved in the judgment.
Jewish tradition holds that the faces of these four creatures were the same as those on the standards or “flags” of the 4 leader tribes of Israel as they camped around the sanctuary in the wilderness (Numbers 2).
The Levites camped in the middle, around the sanctuary, while the tribes were camped around in four groups of 3 tribes apiece;
Each leader tribe had a standard (Lion-Judah, Man-Reuben, Ox-Ephraim, Eagle-Dan). These are probably spiritual rather than physical tribes since the literal tribes were scattered and lost.
Each creature symbolizes a characteristic of God:
the lion represents His power and sovereignty, the calf or ox His self-sacrificing mercy, the man symbolizes His righteousness (as seen in the humanity of Christ) and the eagle His swift justice.
In Revelation the creatures are each depicted with one face, but Ezekiel saw that each creature actually had all four of the faces, reflecting the eternal attributes of God.
The Four Tribes
Judah – To the East
Judah was the tribe of worship, intercession and the kings. The first living creature who is “Like A Lion” is a mighty angel who presides over the judgment of those who are of the spiritual tribe of Judah.
Ephraim – To the West
Ephraim became the leader in the idolatry of Israel. Jeroboam was an Ephraimite and made two golden calves to be their gods and set them up in Bethel and Dan.
Ephraim’s Standard Is The Calf Or Ox which should symbolize strength, submission and sacrifice, but as Ephraim departed from the Lord he was associated with calf worship. He symbolizes those who claim to be Christians, but because they mix the true with the false they are actually idolaters.
Ephraim is not included on the list of the tribes that make up the 144,000.
Reuben – To the South
The south was considered to be the land of Egypt, where God’s people went to find salvation from famine in the days of Jacob and Joseph but ended up as captive slaves. Reuben was the firstborn, but he lost his birthright when he slept with his father’s concubine.
His Standard Is The Man, who was created in the image of God, but under the influence of sin, man became the symbol of spiritual weakness and failure.
He tried to intercede for Joseph when the other brothers wanted to kill him, but his intervention was weak and ineffective. Reuben seems to represent those who “just barely” make it into the kingdom. “Let Reuben live, and not die” (Deuteronomy 33:6).
Dan – to the North
North was the direction of the great enemies of God’s people who conquered and scattered them—Syria, Assyria and especially Babylon.
Early in the time of the Judges, Dan separated himself from the other tribes of Israel in the far north, and his territory was known as a center for idolatry.
His Standard Is The Eagle. The eagle should symbolize justice and protection, but under the influence of sin it came to represent the enemies of God’s people who attack and destroy them. “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, a viper by the path that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider shall fall backward” (Genesis 49:16,17).
Dan’s name is not on the list of the tribes included in the 144,000.
The Days of Awe & The Day of Atonement are times for looking inward in repentance so that one’s name is written in the Book of Life
These four tribes represent the four types of “Christians” evaluated in the judgment:
- Strong, Faithful Christians (the lion),
- False “Christians” who are actually idolaters (the calf),
- Weak Christians (the man) and
- So-called Christians who are actually enemies of Christ and His people (the eagle).
Praise To The Creator
“The living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who lives forever and ever” (Revelation 4:9).
Their primary theme is the holiness of God and they make sure that “there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life”.
9:15 Break 10 – The Four Horsemen (4 Creatures & 4 Tribes)
The opening of the seven seals in chapter six is a continuation of the heavenly courtroom scene in chapters four and five.
Each Horsemen is features several elements.
- Each is announced by one of the four living creatures
- Each has a horse of a different color: white, red, black and pale.
- Each horse has a rider, and each rider has something with him:
- The First a Bow and A Crown,
- The Second a Great Sword,
- The Third a Pair of Scales And
- The Fourth Hades.
- And Each Rider Has an Activity:
- The First to Conquer,
- The Second to Take Peace from The Earth & Cause People to Kill Each Other
- The Third to Weigh in The Balance and Protect the “Oil and Wine”,
- And The Fourth to Kill with Sword, Hunger, Death & Beasts.
The First Horseman:
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as a voice like thunder, ‘come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, a white horse. And he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went forth conquering and to conquer” (Revelation 6:1,2).
The White Horse is announced by the first living creature the Lion. So the white horse could be said to be under the standard of the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
The first living creature presides over the judgment of those who are faithful and true to Christ, conquering the kingdom of Satan in their own lives and in the world.
White is associated with purity and godliness (“Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” Isaiah 1:18)
In Revelation God sits on a white throne, Christ rides a white horse and the saints wear white clothes made white in the blood of the Lamb.
The rider is obviously Christ and parallels with the Second Coming in Revelation 19. The rider holds in his hand a bow, one of the primary weapons of warfare. As Jesus rides into the world “conquering and to conquer,”
His faithful people are His principle weapons. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians. 10:3,4).
The Second Horseman
“And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “come and see.” And there went out another horse that was red, and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword” (Revelation 6:3,4).
The Red Horse The second living creature who announces the red horse is like a calf. So the red horse could be said to be under the standard of the Ephraim who led Israel astray into idolatry with calf-idols.
Red is often used as a symbol of sin, “though your sins be like scarlet (bright red), they shall be as white a snow; (Isaiah 1:18).
Red is a symbol of Satan and his agents:
John saw “a great, fiery red dragon…the Devil and Satan”.
“The great harlot…was arrayed in purple and scarlet”
and was “sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy”.
This horse represents people who, even though they are written in the Book of Life, are characterized by living in sin, especially idolatry, and as such their names will be blotted out.
It is significant that all of the other three horses simply appeared, whereas the red horse “went out.” The Greek word (eksilthe) is the same word used for [the antichrists] went out from us, but they were not of us…they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us” (1 John 2:18,19).
These verses describe people who make strong claims about their Christian identity, but instead they are antichrist. Their rider is Satan, which can be seen by his activity: he “takes peace from the earth” and causes people “to kill one another”.
The Third Horseman
“And when He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say ‘A measure of wheat for a denarius and three measures of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine” (Revelation 6:5,6).
The Black Horse The third horse is announced by the third living creature, who is like a man and is associated with the tribe of Reuben. Man was created in the image of God, but because of sin, man and Reuben are appropriate symbols of degenerate human weakness.
The horse is black, which is a symbol of spiritual darkness.
However, the rider is apparently Jesus, holding a scales or balance in His hand.
Wheat and barley were the grains from which bread was made, and these prices would indicate a famine for bread. Bread is the symbol of Jesus “the bread of life’, in which case these would be people who have not had much contact or communion with the church of God or true teaching of God’s word.
But there is hope for the work of the oil and the wine:
Holy Spirit (the oil) and His blood (the wine) for the forgiveness of their sins.
Paul describes this group as those who “by nature do the things in the law…although not having the law…who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness” (Romans 2:14,15). “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 9:2, 60:2).
The Fourth Horseman
“And when He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:7,8).
The Pale or Green Horse The fourth living creature has the face of an eagle, and is associated with the tribe of Dan. The eagle is a symbol of justice, but under the influence of sin it represents the fierce enemies of God’s people who attack them and tear them to pieces.
The word translated pale is green in Greek. Probably to be the color of leprous mold, the color of death. The pale horse represents those who persecute Christ’s followers.
The rider is “Death and His activity is to destroy with “sword, with hunger, with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” These are the same four destructive judgments that are promised against God’s people if they are unfaithful to Him. Ezekiel wrote that God promised that if His people “sin against me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand” sending “My four severe judgments on Jerusalem—the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence—to cut off man and beast from it” (Ezekiel 14:13-21).
9:30 Break 11 – The Lamb Is the Judge
Seven Horns, Seven Eyes
“A Lamb as if it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Revelation 5:6).
Horns symbolize the power that is wielded by the head that controls them.
In Revelation 5:8-10, just after the Lamb has been shown with His seven horns, the Saints (represented by the 24 elders) sing a new song to the Lamb, “saying, You…have made us kings and priests to our God.”
God’s people are kings, and as such they are the horns of Jesus to invade the territory of the enemy, “pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:4,5).
Jesus, as a Lamb with “seven horns and seven eyes” has empowered His church to take Him “into all the world.”
His Spirit (eyes, lamps) enables His people to see the needs and opportunities around them and His power (horns) enables them to respond effectively.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18,19).
Souls Under The Altar
“And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You not judge and avenge our blood on those that dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:9,10).
“They did not love their lives to the death”, sharing in “the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”. This fellowship in the sufferings of Christ is symbolized by their position “under the alter.” The alter represents the atoning death of Christ on the Cross; thus these martyrs are as close as it is possible to be to Jesus as He pours out His love and grace.
In the ancient sanctuary service, the sinner brought a lamb and confessed his sins with his hands on its head, transferring his sin to the victim. The lamb was slain and its blood was collected in a bowl. This blood was the life or “soul” (nephesh) of the animal (“the life (soul) is in the blood”). Some of the blood was put “on the horns of the alter,” but “the remaining blood” was poured “at the base of the alter”. Thus the “soul” ended up under the alter.
Rocks, Fall On Us
“And I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts its untimely figs, when it is shaken by a mighty wind. And the sky departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath has come, and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6: 12-17).
Who Shall Be Able To Stand?
Unfortunately they don’t know the answer to that question which is why they are in the position they are in.
In Matthew 25 as Jesus separates the Sheep from the Goats, it is apparent that many who believed they were following God, were actually refusing to serve Him in the person of His needy children. “inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these [help the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick or in prison], you did not do it to me…depart from Me, you cursed” (Matthew 25:45, 41).
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Just as the defining mark of the Day of Atonement is rest and fasting, so true repentance of all sin, both known and unknown, was determined by afflicting their soul (this is an inward attitude) plus there was an outward symbol of obedience (the Sabbath of solemn rest). The difference between those who are deceived and those who are not has to do with their willingness to love and obey God and know Him through His Holy Spirit.
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
9:45 Break 12 – The Seal of The Lamb
THE FOUR WINDS
“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, non the sea, nor on any tree” (Revelation 7:1).
Chapter seven continues the investigation of those who are alive at the time of the Second Coming of Christ. They ask, “The great day of His wrath has come, and who shall be able to stand?” In answer to this question, two groups are introduced: the 144,000 and the great multitude. These two groups will able to stand at the Second Coming of Christ.
The four angels represent the supernatural forces that bring on the affliction, chaos and warfare that Satan uses to persecute and scatter God’s people. These forces are restrained, but when they are released Satan will be allowed to use the nations of the earth to bring about the central drama of the Book of Revelation.
The Seal Of God
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and sea, saying, “hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads” (Revelation 7:2,3).
God’s seal proves the authenticity of His saints. The servants of God are sealed on their foreheads. Probably not a visible mark, but rather refers to what God does in their minds and hearts. In the parallel passage, Revelation 14:1-5, instead of a seal it says that the 144,000 have the “Father’s name written in their foreheads”.
The Father’s name refers to His righteous and holy character which is both imputed (declared to be theirs) and imparted (made a reality in their lives) to His children. This is what it means to have His name written on their foreheads, and this is what proves that they are the children of God.
God told Moses, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.” When God proclaimed His name, He proclaimed His character: “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty” (Exodus 33:18-34:7).
Jesus, through His death on the cross, frees us from the condemnation of the law by declaring us “not guilty” (imputed righteousness). Then He sends the Holy Spirit to write (seal) the law of love in our minds and hearts, transforming our lives and making us new creatures: “You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…Therefore…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God” (Ephesians 1:13, 4:25-5:1).
“Holiness to the Lord” was written on the foreheads of the priests of the ancient sanctuary (Exodus 28:36-38). Likewise, God’s name, His holy character, is written on the foreheads of the 144,000. Their holy character proves their authenticity to the rest of the universe (the angels, etc.) who are looking on to see what humans are like when they come into harmony with God.
Revelation 22:4 “They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads”.
1 John 3:2: “We know that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
When we see Him as He is, He is able to give us His name, His character, and we become like Him.
The Seal Protects and Secures The 144,000
God’s seal protects His people. As God was delivering the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt through a series of plagues, He instructed them to put a mark on their doorposts, the blood of a lamb that was slain. The special mark protected them from the final plague, the slaying of the first-born children.
During the final crisis, God’s people will again need protection. The locusts of the fifth trumpet “were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads”.
(Revelation 9:4). In chapters 8 and 9 we will see that this seal will protect them from Satan’s attempts to destroy them through chaos and warfare. They will also be protected from the destructive judgments of the seven last plagues, in contrast to those who receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 14:9-12).
10:00 Break 13 – Sealing, The Law And The Latter Rain
God’s seal is closely linked with His law: “Seal the law among my disciples” (Isaiah 8:16). The essence of the law is not a list of rules, but is summarized in the two great commandments, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself”.
The law is a reflection of God’s character of love, and it is sealed in the minds and hearts of those who enter into the new covenant experience. “I will make a new covenant…I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Hebrews 8:8-10).
Revelation 14, which describes the 144,000 and their ministry, shows that they have God’s law sealed in them: “Here is the patience of the saints, here are those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).
We are saved by grace through faith, and our calling is to “keep” this faith.
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 1Corinthians 1:21-22
In the “latter days” God will send the “latter rain” – an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will bring the church to maturity. Empowered by the Holy Spirit the church will preach the gospel and demonstrate the love of Jesus to a world that is starving and desperate, battered and abused by the enemy. This is God’s fervent desire. He wants nothing more than to save as many as can be saved and bring sin to an end.
The latter rain will come when God’s people realize their spiritual poverty and seek His Spirit and power with the same determination that the disciples did before the Day of Pentecost. “I [the Lord] will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. ‘Come, and let us return to the Lord…Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the Latter and Former Rain to the earth” (Hosea 5:15-6:3).
“Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain.” “Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you” (Zechariah 10:1, Hosea 10:12).
Worshipping in Heavenly Places
“And one of the elders answered saying to me, ‘These which are arrayed in white robes, who are they and from where did they come?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple, and He who sits on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more; neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun beat on them, nor any heat” (Revelation 7:13-16).
Notice these are coming out, meaning they are on earth, yet they are serving in His temple in Heaven, which doesn’t happen till later. So they are a wonderful example of what it is to be seated in heavenly places with Chirst.
In chapter 14, which is a parallel of chapter 7, the 144,000 are again shown in both heaven and on earth. In verses 1-5 they are “before the throne of God” with “the four living creatures and the elders” singing “a new song”. But in verses 6-13 they are on earth, preaching “to those who dwell on earth”, patiently enduring the persecution of the beast and even suffering martyrdom. Again in chapter 15 the same group is pictured “on the sea of glass”, “having harps of God”, singing the victory “song of Moses.” In verse 2 they are called “those who have the victory over the beast.”
The sealed saints are spiritually in heaven, but at the same time they are on earth, victorious over the beast while all around them the most fearsome plagues in human history are falling! The new song that they sing, “no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth”.