Feast 6: The Feast of the Day of Atonement (Hebrew = Yom Kippur) (Leviticus 23:26-32):
Most all theologians will agree that these seven feasts relate to these redemptive events, but they fail to see the topology of the forty year exodus. Therefore, they are still looking for the Fall Feasts to occur in the future. They have separated the Fall Feasts from the Spring Feasts by thousands of years, which destroys many different types given in the Old Testament; the main one being the exodus out of Egypt. The book of Hebrews makes it clear that the exodus and forty years are a type that is fulfilled in the New Covenant.
“The Day of Atonement” is the English equivalent for Yom Kippur. Kippur is from the Hebrew root kaphar, meaning: “to cover.” Therefore, the word atonement simply means a covering. It was on Yom Kippur that an atonement (covering) was made for the previous year’s sins. The atonement, or covering, consisted of the blood sacrifice of an innocent animal.
Here are the words of the Lord about this 6th Feast in Lev. 23:26-32:
- “The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. “You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. “If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. “As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. “You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. “It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.”” (NASB)
Then in chapter 16 where the ceremony for Yom Kippur is laid out it says:
- “This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you;” (Leviticus 16:29 NASB)
The Day of Atonement was Israel’s sixth instituted holy day and occurs in the autumn of the year. On the Hebrew calendar, it falls on the tenth day of Tishri, the seventh Hebrew month, which roughly corresponds to September or October on our calendar.
Yom Kippur was the most solemn day of the year for the people of Israel. It was often simply referred to as “The Day.” It was a day that atonement was made for the priest and his family, the community, the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting, and the altar. It was a solemn day. The Day of Atonement also was known as the “Great Fast” or “The Day of the Fast.”
Yom Kippur was designated by Yahweh as a day in which “You shall afflict your souls.” By definition, this was understood to mean: “fasting.” Yom Kippur was not the only fast within Judaism, but was the only fast mandated by Scripture. The Israelite who failed to devote himself to fasting and repenting on Yom Kippur was to be “cut off from his people” (Lev. 23:29) Yom Kippur was also a day with prohibitions against all forms of work. Those who likewise chose to ignore this regulation would suffer the death penalty (Lev. 23:30).
Yom Kippur was also a very solemn day for the priesthood of Israel. Only on that singular day of the year was the high priest permitted to enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple and stand before the presence of Yahweh’s glory. We see the service for Yom Kippur in Leviticus 16:
- “Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they had approached the presence of the LORD and died. The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. “Aaron shall enter the holy place with this: with a bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. “He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and the linen undergarments shall be next to his body, and he shall be girded with the linen sash and attired with the linen turban (these are holy garments). Then he shall bathe his body in water and put them on.” (Leviticus 16:1-4. NASB)
The high priest was required to wear holy garments woven from white linen instead of his normal colorful garments overlaid with the golden breastplate. His linen garments were worn only on that day and never again.
It was absolutely critical to the nation that their high priest not become ritualistically unclean and, thereby, disqualify himself from performing his Yom Kippur duties. To safeguard against this possibility, the priest was required to leave his home one week before Yom Kippur to stay in the priest’s headquarters in the Temple area. During the week, the high priest was twice sprinkled with the ashes of a red heifer to circumvent the possibility that he had become unclean through touching a dead body. Such was the normal cleansing process for ceremonial defilement (Numbers 19:1-10).
The afternoon Temple service was the main focus of the Yom Kippur observance. Through the sacrifices of this service, atonement was made for the sins of the priesthood and people of Israel for the preceding year.
The high priest began the afternoon service by moving to the Court of the Priests, where a young bull awaited him between the altar and the Temple porch. Since this bull was the sin offering for the high priest and the priesthood, the ceremony took place near the Temple where the priests ministered. The high priest would press his two hands against the head of the young bull, as a sign of identification with it as his substitute, and make a confession of his sin. Three times during his confession, he would pronounce the covenant name of the Lord (YAHWEH).
The high priest was next escorted by two priests to the eastern side of the altar. On his right was the deputy high priest (the priest appointed to take his place in case he became unable to fulfill his duties). On his left, he was escorted by the chief priest of the division of priests chosen to minister that week. In all, the priesthood was divided into 24 courses of priests, with each course serving one week on a rotating 24-week schedule (1 Chr. 24:7-19).
Two goats stood there, side by side, awaiting the high priest. They were identical in size, color, and value. They faced the Temple and gazed at the high priest and his entourage as they approached:
- “He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting. “Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. “Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for the LORD fell, and make it a sin offering. “But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.” (Leviticus 16:7-10. NASB)
Two golden lots were placed inside a golden vessel sitting on the stone pavement nearby. One was inscribed with “FOR YAHWEH,” and the other with “FOR AZAZEL” (the scapegoat). The high priest shook the vessel and randomly took one lot in each hand. As he held the lots to the foreheads of the goats and determined the outcome, he declared them “a sin offering to the Lord.” The two goats together were viewed as one singular offering.
The goat upon which the lot fell for “Azazel” was immediately identified by a crimson strip of wool tied to one of its horns. It was then turned around to face the people, whose sin would later be placed on its head.
The scapegoat was called the ‘azazel.’ This appears to be a contraction of two Hebrew words. ‘az, which is one of many Hebrew words for a goat and means: “to be strong,” and ‘azal, which means: “to cause to go away, or be removed.” So this word together means: “the goat that was removed or sent away.” Tindale, the 16th century translator of the Old Testament, was apparently responsible for translating this word first into the English escapegoat, which was later shortened to scapegoat.
The goat determined FOR YAHWEH was left to face the large stone altar; the place where it was shortly to be offered as a sin offering.
We can see the Messiah represented in both the goat who was slaughtered and its blood taken into the Most Holy of Holies (as Christ did upon His ascension when He entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies with His literal shed blood (Heb. 9:22-24). Yom Kippur typology), and as the goat who bore our transgressions upon Himself and lead into the wilderness. The idea of releasing the goat into the wilderness shows the removal of our sins; that God removed our sins by placing them on Messiah, then He descending into Hades/Sheol after His physical death and shedding His blood on the cross forever removing them from us (Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread Typology).
The high priest returned to the young bull a second time and pressed his hands on its head. This time he confessed the sins of the priesthood, whereas before he had confessed his own sin upon its head. The bull was then slaughtered by the high priest, and its blood collected in a golden bowl.
Next, the high priest took a golden fire pan or censer and walked up the ramp to the altar. He carefully filled the fire pan with live coals from the fires burning on top of the altar. Then he took two handfuls of incense and placed them in a golden ladle. With the fire pan in his right hand, and the incense in his left, he ascended to the Temple and passed through the Holy Place where the lamp stand, the table of showbread, and altar of incense were located. At the rear of the Holy Place, he paused to make his way through the veil (the thick curtain which separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies). Once inside the Holy of Holies, he stood in quiet solitude. Only the soft orange glow of the coals lit the room.
The high priest poured the incense onto the coals and waited a few moments for a fragrant cloud of smoke to fill the room before making his way back through the thick curtain.
In Solomon’s Temple, the Ark of the Covenant resided in the Holy of Holies, and the Shekinah Glory of Yahweh rested above it. (After the Babylonian Captivity, the ark was never recovered. The Holy of Holies remained an empty room with only a singular stone (called the “foundation stone”) projecting three fingers in height (2 1/4 inches) up from the pavement.) The high priest then took the golden bowl filled with the bull’s blood and returned to the Holy of Holies. He carefully sprinkled the blood before the Ark of the Covenant with his finger (Lev. 16:14). He sprinkled it once upwards and then seven times downwards, as though he were cracking a whip. All the while he counted aloud to prevent any errors. He then exited the Holy of Holies and placed the bowl in a golden stand. The high priest continued outside to the court of the Priests to slaughter the goat set aside for the Lord. He collected its blood in a golden bowl and entered the Holy of Holies a third time, sprinkling the blood of the goat in the same manner as that of the bull (Lev. 16:15).
Afterwards, he sprinkled the outside of the veil with the blood of the bull. Then he repeated the procedure with the blood of the goat. Finally, he poured the two bowls together and sprinkled the horns (protruding points on each corner) of the altar in the courtyard.
Attention was then drawn to the remaining goat, Lev. 16:21-22:
- “Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness.” “The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.” (NASB)
The high priest proceeded to lay his hands on its head and confessed the sins of the people upon it. The scapegoat was then led by a priest through the Eastern Gate more than 10 miles into the wilderness never to be seen again.
While the scapegoat was being led into the wilderness and the people awaited word that it had been accomplished, the afternoon service continued. The high priest finished sacrificing the bull and the goat on the altar, and their remaining parts were taken outside the city to be burned (Hebrews 13:11-13). Then the high priest addressed the people. He read the Yom Kippur passages from Leviticus and quoted the Numbers passage by heart to verify that all commandments had been duly accomplished. Finally, the remaining offerings for Yom Kippur were offered; these were the burnt offerings, as opposed to the sin offerings.
The high priest entered the Holy of Holies a final time to remove the fire pan and incense ladle. He then bathed, for the fifth time during the day, and changed into his golden garments. As the cool autumn night quickly approached, he performed the regular evening Temple service, and drew Yom Kippur to a close. All of the people eagerly waited, as the completion of Yom Kippur was not completed until the high priest re-emerged from the Holy of Holies for the last time alive, confirming that their sins of the last year were covered (See the antitype fulfillment with the 1st century saints in the book of Hebrews who were eagerly waiting for the return of the “true High Priest” Jesus Christ from out of the heavenly Holy of Holies, where He had entered with His perfect blood sacrifice, to come back out and save/rescue them and give them their blessing by delivering them from out of their physical persecuted earthly life before the outpouring of God’s wrath and bring them to the promised eternal heavenly city (Heb. 9:24-28)).
The Ark was the most significant object in Old Covenant worship. The symbolism of the Ark reached its grand climax on the Day of Atonement. When the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on the mercy seat, the glory of God appeared.
The purpose for the Ark of the Covenant was to symbolize Yahweh’s visible throne on earth. The cloud that sat on the Ark typified the presence of Yahweh. Yahweh stated that He would dwell in a cloud between the wings of the cherubim above the Mercy Seat (Lev. 16:2). This is also where He would commune with Moses and the high priest who heard His voice from between the wings of the cherubim (Num. 7:89):
- “You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. “There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.” (Exodus 25:21-22 NASB)
Key Point of Interest:
During the second Temple period, at the time of Jesus, when the priest went into the Holy of Holies the room was empty. The Ark of the Covenant was not there, and neither was Yahweh.
The Ark was removed and never to return to the temple after the Babylonian captivity of 586 BC. Neither Zeruabbabel’s Temple, which was built after Persia released Israel from Babylonian captivity, nor the Herodian Temple, which was built at the time of the Messiah, had an Ark of the Covenant therein.
In Jeremiah chapter 3 we read of a conversation which took place before the Babylonian captivity. God spoke to the Prophet Jeremiah saying:
- “Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not be angry forever. ‘Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the LORD. ‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the LORD; ‘For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion.’ “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding. “It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the LORD, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again. “At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the LORD,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the LORD; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart.” (Jeremiah 3:12-17 NASB)
Here God says that the Ark of the Covenant, which up to that time played a prominent role in orthodox Jewish worship, would no longer play that role, nor would it be missed by the faithful. Yahweh made this declaration promise during the reign of Josiah (Jer. 3: 6).
Do you remember what happened in the Temple on the day of Passover at the time of Christ’s death on the cross?
- “And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Mark 15:38 NASB)
When the temple veil was rent in two it exposed the fact of the empty vain worship that had been going on for 400 years. The Holy of Holies was empty. The presence of Yahweh no longer resided in the Temple –> because it now was to be in the body of Christ in the church, the redeemed people of every nation (Eph. 3:21). This was now to be the true eternal spiritual temple (Eph. 2:19-22; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Pet. 2:4-5). (We will look into this more in-depth in Study Series 12 The Messianic Temple).
The Temple Period from AD 30 – AD 70:
Earlier we briefly discussed the scapegoat in regards to the ceremonies of Yom Kippur. Let’s look at some Jewish tradition on this subject. According to the Mishna (the earliest rabbinic interpretation of the biblical commandment) the high priest divided a thread of crimson wool, tied one half to the Temple door, and the other half to the horn of the scapegoat itself. They say that the scarlet thread on the Temple door would turn white which was to indicate that their sins were forgiven.
The Talmud records four ominous events that took place every year for the forty years before the Temple’s destruction, which would be from the time that Messiah died: 1) The lot for Yahweh’s goat would always come up in the left hand. They thought it was a good sign if it came up in the right hand. 2) The scarlet thread on the Temple door stopped turning white. 3) The Western most light on the Temple Menorah would not stay lit. 4) The Temple doors would open by themselves.
We read in the Jerusalem Talmud: “Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open” (Jacob Neusner, “The Yerushalmi,” p.156-157).
A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states:
“Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves” (Soncino version, “Yoma” 39b).
Since both Talmuds recount the same information, this indicates the knowledge of these events was accepted by the widespread Jewish community.
The first of these miracles concerns a random choosing of the ”lot” which was cast on the Day of Atonement. The lot chosen determined which of two goats would be “for the Lord” and which goat would be the ”Azazel’‘ or ”scapegoat.” During the two hundred years before AD 30, when the high priest picked one of two stones, and each year the priest would select a black stone as often as a white stone. But for forty years in a row, beginning in AD 30, the high priest always picked the black stone! The odds against this happening are astronomical, over one trillion to one!
The lot for Azazel, the black stone, contrary to all the laws of chance, came up 40 times in a row from AD 30 to AD 70! This was considered a dire event and signified something had fundamentally changed in this Yom Kippur ritual.
The second miracle concerns the crimson strip or cloth tied to the Azazel goat. A portion of this red cloth was also removed from the goat and tied to the Temple door. Each year the red cloth on the Temple door turned white as if to signify the atonement of another Yom Kippur was acceptable to the Lord.
This annual event happened until AD 30 when the cloth then remained crimson each year until the time of the Temple’s destruction. This undoubtedly caused much stir and consternation among the Jews. This traditional practice is linked to Israel confessing its sins and ceremonially placing this nation’s sin upon the Azazel goat. The sin was then removed by this goat’s death. Sin was represented by the red color of the cloth. But the cloth remained crimson à that is, Israel’s sins were not being pardoned and ”made white.” As God told Israel through Isaiah the prophet:
- “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 NASB)
The clear indication is that the whole community had lost Yahweh’s attention in relation to something that occurred in AD 30. The yearly atonement achieved through the typical Yom Kippur observance was not being realized as expected. Atonement apparently was now to be gained in some other way.
The next miracle, which the Jewish authorities acknowledged, was that the Temple doors swung open every night of their own accord. This too occurred for forty years, beginning in AD 30. These doors were 70 feet high and 50 feet wide. They were made of cedar. The Jerusalem Talmud states:
“Said Rabban Yohanan Ben Zakkai to the Temple, ‘O Temple, why do you frighten us? We know that you will end up destroyed. For it has been said, “Open your doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars’ ” (Zechariah 11:1)’ (“Sota” 6:3).
The fourth miracle was that the most important lamp of the seven candle-stick Menorah in the Temple went out, and would not shine. Every night for 40 years (over 12,500 nights in a row) the main lamp of the Temple lamp stand went out of its own accord à no matter what attempts and precautions the priests took to safeguard against this event!
It should be clear to any reasonable mind that there is no natural way to explain all these four signs connected with the year AD 30. The only possible explanation has to be supernatural.
What did the Jewish nation do in AD 30 to merit such a change at Yom Kippur? On the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Passover sacrifice the Messiah, Jesus, was cut off from Israel, Himself put to death as a sacrifice for sin. Atonement was now no longer achieved through the two goats as offered at Yom Kippur. Like an innocent Passover lamb, the Messiah was put to death.
Matthew 27:28: They stripped Him and put a scarlet (red) robe on Him. Here we see the lamb that takes away the sins of the world, with a scarlet robe. The type of the scapegoat is replaced by the antitype of Jesus.
Unlike Temple sacrifices or the Yom Kippur events where sin is only covered over for a time, the Messianic sacrifice comes with the promise of forgiveness of sins through grace given by God to those who trust in Jesus as Messiah to propitiate (satisfy the wrath and judgment owing, and to remove by being paid. Rom. 3:22-25; Heb. 2:17; 1 John 2:2, 4:10). This is a onetime event for each person’s lifetime and not a continual series of annual observances and animal sacrifices. The mechanism providing forgiveness of sin changed in AD 30.
The Day of Atonement speaks of blood sacrifice. Blood sacrifice is centrally tied to the sin issue. The substitutionary death of an innocent one was required, since an atonement (covering) for sin was to be made only through the blood:
- “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” (Leviticus 17:11. NASB)
The penalty for breaking God’s Law is death (the shedding of blood). His justice demands it, but in His mercy, He made a provision for a substitute. Since “There is none who does good, No, not one” (Psalm 14:3), God commanded the sacrificing of lambs, bulls, and goats under the Mosaic Covenant.
The Old Covenant was just a forerunner/foreshadow of something greater, a temporary measure until the fullness of time when God would institute the New Covenant. Hebrews says the “law made nothing perfect” (Heb. 7:18-19), “it was only a shadow” (Heb. 10:1), and it had many faults (Heb. 8:7-8). The Law itself was perfect and pure and holy, but it could only reveal and declare sin (Rom. 7:9-12). Its provision of animal blood sacrifices could only cover sin à it could not take sin away (Heb. 10:4).
The Anti-type/fulfillment of Yom Kippur: it is believed that Moses went up on the Mount of God for the second time to receive the 10 commandments on 2 tablets on the 1st of Elul, which would mean that he came down the second time, forty days later on Yom Kippur in the month of Tishri (Exodus 32:30-35). Moses intercession on behalf of the people had God revoke His declaration of a total consuming of the people stated in Exod. 32:10. Moses was able to return in Exod. 32:34 with an atonement, and able to lead them towards the physical promised land (Exod. 33:1).
Notice what Moses said in Deut. 18:15:
- “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.” (NASB)
This is speaking of Jesus. The first time Jesus came down He found Israel in “adultery” with false religion, just as Moses had. Then He ascended back to heaven, like Moses returned back up the mountain. When Moses returned back down the mountain he led the people for 40 years before they entered the earthly promised land. When Jesus returned the second time in AD 66 He resurrected the dead righteous saints in the unseen realm out of Hades/Sheol, changed the righteous living saints into the unseen realm (rapture), and gathered them all to Himself where they remained with Him in the unseen realm in the air (1 Thess. 4:15-17) while He poured out His wrath on disobedient OC Israel completing in AD 70, where at the end of this 40 year second exodus (commencing from the cross in AD 30) He then took the faithful saints with Him to the eternal heavenly Promised Land.
Who is the anti-type of the OC high priest? Yeshua the Christ:
- “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” (Heb. 4:14. Also see Heb. 8:1 NASB)
Jesus fulfilled the anti-type of Yom Kippur as the High Priest and the sacrifice!
The New Covenant is far superior to the Old Covenant in that it affords true forgiveness and cleansing from sin. Atonement means to cover. It does not pay for or do away with; it covers. Kind of like when you buy something with a credit card. It isn’t paid for; it is covered by the card company until you pay them for it. There is no atonement (covering) for sin under the New Covenant –> our sin was not covered, it was propitiated (paid for and removed). The sin question was settled at Calvary. The Messiah was not our atonement in the Old Covenant aspect of the type – He fulfilled and did away with that atonement. To say we have an atonement in the New Covenant is technically inaccurate. Jesus has not covered our sins à He has removed them and reconciled us to God. God no longer covers our sins, Christ paid the debt for all of them and took them away (propitiation):
- “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29. NASB)
The Old Covenant was a shadow of good things to come. The New Covenant is the substance. Under the Old Covenant, the payment for sin was anticipated in the future; under the New Covenant, it is realized and removal finalized! Under the Old Covenant, the sacrifices were provisional and recurring. Under the New Covenant, the sacrifice of Jesus is eternal and totally sufficient. Under the Old Covenant, men’s lambs could only cover sin, but under the New Covenant, the Lamb of God paid for and satisfied the wrath of God for our sins and took them away at the cross!
Yom Kippur and the Second Coming:
It is important to notice that we see parts of several different festivals fulfilled at the Cross, or at the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, or the Parousia. Thus, it is not legitimate to apply ALL of the Passover typology to the Cross, nor ALL of the Yom Kippur typology to the Parousia. The fulfillments cannot be tied up in a neat little package like that. Various aspects of each festival were fulfilled at different times in the work of Christ and in the Church.
For example, some aspects of the Yom Kippur typology was fulfilled at the Cross (the scapegoat), some at the ascension (the High Priest entering the Holy of Holies with blood), and other parts of it at the Parousia (Refer to the Addendum at the end of this Lesson for further detail and understanding).
Certainly, the types/shadows of the Old Covenant make it clear that Christ’s 3 ½ year Parousia/Presence was to include Day of Atonement typology, among other things. The question is: do we look for this as a future event, or has it already happened? I believe that the Bible is clear that it already happened:
- “Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing,” (Hebrews 9:6-8. NASB)
Undeniably, the background of Hebrews 9 is the Day of Atonement. Verse 7 here talks about the earthly high priest going into the Holy of Holies once per year to make atonement. Now notice, carefully, verse 8. In other words, it is the Holy Spirit who is responsible for the record given to us of the Old Covenant. And the significance of the outer tabernacle being divided and separated from the inner tabernacle was that the way into the heavenly presence of God had not yet been given (upon physical death man could not enter into the heavenly full presence of God until after the 7th trumpet – Rev. 15:8). The Jews were continually reminded, by the physical presence of the tabernacle in Jerusalem that they were not allowed to enter into the presence of God.
The literal translation of verses Heb. 9:8-9a is, “the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All is not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle is still standing. It is symbolic for the present time…” As long as the obsolete Old Covenant 1st century temple was still physically standing in Jerusalem (which was told to be the symbol to those 1st century saints to whom this letter was written), then they knew that the full consummation of the New Covenant Kingdom had not taken place yet. Heb. 8:13 told them that the Old Covenant Law had already been made obsolete and abrogated of its power (at the cross Col. 2:14), and that the empty obsolete OC shell was about to be completely removed and superseded by the eternal New Covenant, but that empty shell had not yet fully been removed at the time of the writing of Hebrews (AD 62 – 63). Subsequently, however, we can look back and see how very close it was to the complete removal of the OC symbol (temple) and the entire OC world, just a few short years later in AD 70 when the promise of Heb. 10:37 was fulfilled.
1 Peter 1:5, “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (NASB).
Those 1st century Christians rescue/salvation out from their persecuted lives and the coming outpouring of God’s wrath was ready to be revealed, when? In the last time, which was about to happen at the return (Parousia/Presence) of Christ when they would be rescued out of their persecution and the outpouring of God’s wrath and be caught up to be with Christ in the unseen realm and taken to heaven:
- “so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Heb. 9:28)
* This is the only place in the New Testament where the return of Christ is called a “Second Coming.” In Young’s Literal Translation, it says, “A second time, apart from a sin-offering, shall appear.” Notice that this “second coming” has nothing to do with “sin” or any other “sacrifice.” One must not attempt to try and force this Day of Atonement of Christ into the exact procedural steps of the old type/shadow of the Old Covenant. Right from the start this is proven from the fact that Christ (sinless) did not have to enter the Holy of Holies a first time to offer a sacrifice for Himself, as the OC type/shadow high priest had to do. We need to be careful to not try and impose exact procedural fulfillment from any type to its antitype, especially when the antitype is referring to the perfect Person of Christ. No, this “salvation” mentioned being waited for by those people had nothing to do with the people “not” being saved “yet,” and that somehow this second coming was to “finish salvation.” No, all sacrifices were finished at the cross with the physical death and shed blood of Jesus on the cross, as even just referred to in verse 26. This is referring to those 1st century saints under great persecution were “eagerly waiting” for Christ to appear again to “rescue/save” them out of their persecution and suffering, and away from the soon coming outpouring of God’s wrath on the Old Covenant Jewish world, and to take them home to heaven as promised.
Sub Study: when was the Atonement sacrifice accepted/completed – AD 30 or AD 70:
The substitutionary atonement sacrifice for sin was completed with the finished work of Christ in the shedding of His literal blood and physical death on the cross, verified by God through the resurrection. Christ then ascended 40 days later as High Priest and completed the atonement in the Holy of Holies in heaven (Heb. 9:12, 24-26), which was evidenced as “accepted” and “complete” by the Father on earth by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost AD 30 (Acts 2).
The substitutionary atonement was accomplished in full with the literal physical blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross in AD 30. Sin was propitiated for and taken away by the once for all time literal blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross in AD 30. The power of sin was broken and individuals (whether individual Israelites or individual Gentiles) were personally, freely and fully justified after the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in AD 30 – they did not have to wait for that until AD 70.
These wondrous truths were clearly revealed to and confirmed by Paul and others prior to AD 70.
The following passages show that from the time of Pentecost each and every believer was said to “already have” salvation, justification, and forgiveness of sins!
The following Scripture passages are from the Book of Romans…
1:5 – “By whom we have received grace.”
- “have NOW received grace” (PRIOR to AD 70.)
1:7 – “Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- The Gospel (of what the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross and in His resurrection) placed individuals in a state of grace and peace with God. This was BEFORE anything that happened in AD 70.
1:15 – “I am ready to preach the gospel”
- The good tidings of great joy were about the then-present assurance of grace PRIOR to AD 70.
1:16 – The gospel “is the power of God unto salvation.”
- Ever since the cross, the Gospel was (and still is) the offer of personal reconciliation. Since the Gospel was in force immediately at Pentecost in AD 30, the power of salvation and reconciliation were also in force. Not one verse can be produced showing the saints had to wait until AD 70 to be justified. There are many verses showing that they were justified BEFORE AD 70.
1:17 – In the gospel “is the righteousness of God revealed.”
- The Gospel is the revelation of God’s justification in the finished atoning sacrifice and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ in AD 30.
3:21 – “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested.”
- The Greek for “righteousness” is dikaiosune or “justification.” The Gospel is God’s justification of sinners. Paul says that justification was “now” manifested (prior to AD 70.)
3:24 – “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
- “Being NOW justified.” The verb tense shows that the saints were in a present state of justification and redemption (PRIOR to AD 70.)
3:26 – “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
- Paul specifically states that God’s justification of individuals was available “at this time” (it was not postponed until AD 70.)
4:24 – “But for us also, to whom it [righteousness/justification] shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.”
- Paul states that justification is imputed to all who believe (again, no postponement until AD 70.)
4:25 – “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
- (Greek: Dikaiosin, the Lord’s very righteousness that is outside of anything that any mere human being has within them, and the very righteousness of Christ that was freely given as a personal gift to individuals PRIOR to AD 70.)
5:1 – “Therefore, being [NOW] justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Being NOW justified (prior to AD 70), individuals already had peace. ‘WE HAVE PEACE” (PRIOR to AD 70.)
5:2 – “By whom we also have access by faith into this grace wherein we now stand.”
- Paul affirms that the saints “now stand” in a state of grace through the cross of Christ (PRIOR to AD 70.)
5:9 – “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
- Notice the verb tense, “being now justified” (PRIOR to AD 70.)
5:10 – “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we shall be saved by his life.”
- Note the past tense verb, “were reconciled.” How were Paul and others personally justified and reconciled prior to AD 70? By the fulfilling of and making obsolete the Mosaic Law in AD 30 (Col. 2:14-15; Heb. 8:13).
5:11 – “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement”
- HAVE NOW RECEIVED THE ATONEMENT (PRIOR to AD 70.)
5:14 – Adam was a “figure of him that was to come.”
- It was in the Lord’s first coming that individuals were justified and reconciled, and not the Lord’s second coming in AD 66-70.
5:15 – “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”
- Paul says “grace hath abounded,” perfect tense, showing completed action in the past.
5:17 – “They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life.”
- Paul joins “abundance of grace” with the “gift of justification” and makes them both the present possession (prior to AD 70) for each individual believer, which came through payment of sin in full with the literal physical blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross in AD 30.
5:20 – “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
- The Greek here actually reads “grace super-abounded” over sin. This verse completely overthrows Covenant Eschatology Preterism by showing that grace triumphed over the Mosaic Covenant and Law, and that the Mosaic Covenant and Law did not need to be separately removed in AD 70 in order for God’s grace to triumph over sin.
6:7 – “He that has died is freed from sin.”
- The Christian dies with the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:20; Col. 2:11-13), and the Christian is made to be a participant in Jesus’ death and resurrection, and is “freed from sin.”
6:14 – “Ye are not under law, but under grace.”
- There is “no” distinction here between the Israelite and Gentile Christians – neither were anymore under the Mosaic Covenant and Law.
6:15 – “We are not under the law, but under grace.”
- NOT UNDER THE LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE.
6:18 – “Being then made [NOW] free from sin.”
- The tense here is clear that there was no waiting until AD 70 to be made free from sin.
6:22 – “Being made free from sin.”
- “Being NOW made free from sin!”
6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
- In Rom. 5:15, 17, Paul says the saints had received the “gift” of justification and life in Christ. Here Paul says that guarantee of eternal life was also the present gift of God.
7:1-4 – “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ.”
- The nation of Israel’s law of the first husband (Mosaic Covenant and Law) terminated with the death of Christ, so that Israelites might enter their new covenant given to the nation of Israel in the literal physical blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, along with all the believing Gentiles being grafted into Christ the true root of the Olive Tree.
7:6 – “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held.”
- Note the verb tense: NOW DELIVERED FROM THE LAW (PRIOR to AD 70.)
7:25 – “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord”
- For a present deliverance from bondage to sin and death.
8:1 – “There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”
- NOW NO CONDEMNATION (prior to AD 70.)
8:2 – “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
- HATH MADE ME FREE FROM THE LAW. Perfect tense, completed action in the past (PRIOR to AD 70.)
8:3, 4 – “God condemned sin in the flesh that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.”
- By Jesus’ literal blood and body death in AD 30 the full and complete payment for sin was done. God was satisfied. Now, from AD 30 (not AD 70), all individuals who place their faith in the finished work of Christ are acquitted of their sin.
8:30 – “Whom he called, them he also justified.”
- Present perfect tense of “he also justified” (PRIOR to AD 70.)
10:4 – “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
- The completed sacrifice and finished atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ in AD 30 brought personal justification and righteousness to each and every Christian PRIOR to AD 70, whether an Israelite Christian (once subject to the Mosaic Covenant and Law that was made obsolete at the cross), or a non-Israelite Christian (who were never subject to the Mosaic Covenant and Law.)
(End of Sub study)
Reading again Hebrews 9:28: please notice carefully that at the Second Coming of Christ, He was to “save [rescue] those who were eagerly awaiting Him.” Who was it that was eagerly waiting for Christ to return? Again, we must remember the hermeneutical principle of audience relevance. It was those 1st century Christians to whom the Book of Hebrews was written to who were said to be eagerly awaiting His return.
At His Second Coming, He was to “save/rescue” those who eagerly waited for Him. What does the text mean by “save”? The Greek word soteria, which has a broad range of meanings.
Strong’s Concordance: 4991 – Soteria
Definition: deliverance, salvation
Usage: welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, safety.
Cognate: 4991 sōtēría (from 4982 /sṓzō, “to save, rescue”) – salvation, i.e. God’s rescue which delivers believers out of destruction and into His safety.
Having just gone through our sub study above which anchored that salvation from sin and justification was secured for all of the believers at the cross in AD 30, and that the proof of the acceptance of that atoning sacrifice of Christ in the heavenly Holy of Holies (discussed in Hebrews 9) was confirmed by the Father by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost in AD 30, then I think that it is clear that contextual meaning of the word “save” here in Hebrews 9:28 is referring to Christ returning out of the heavenly Holy of Holies for the period of AD 66 – 70 (His Parousia/Presence). In the Spring of AD 66, before the outpouring of God’s wrath on OC Israel, the dead souls in Hades/Sheol were raised in the unseen realm, and all of the living saints were changed in the twinkling of an eye into the unseen realm, where all were given their new immortal perfect heavenly bodies preparing them to be taken to heaven to be forever with Yahweh. In AD 70, in the latter part of His Parousia (Presence), Jesus finished His 3 ½ year outpouring of wrath and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple signifying that the full consummation of the eternal Kingdom was complete. The full access to the Holy of Holies was now completed (Heb. 9:8; Rev. 15:8).
Eph. 1:13-14 tells us that those 1st century believers were sealed by the Holy Spirit “Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession…”
- The Holy Spirit was the guarantee, or surety, or down payment, that they would receive the promised inheritance. Down payment/guarantee – not meaning that anything extra was needed to be paid to provide salvation. Not that they were not “fully” saved yet. We have already just established beyond a doubt in the above sub study that they were “fully” saved at the cross in AD 30. No, the down payment was the guarantee of the promised inheritance where Christ promised they would be given eternal life in the heavenly Promised Land. (Also read 2 Cor. 1:22)
Their redemption out of their earthly persecuted life to receive their promised heavenly afterlife inheritance would occur at the Second Coming:
- “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:27-28. NASB)
The “these things“ in the context of this verse is the destruction of Jerusalem. Their rescue/deliverance, the redemption to their promised heavenly inheritance, would occur when the Lord returned, rapturing them out of the world to the heavenly Promised Land before the outpouring of God’s wrath to judge and destroy Jerusalem and remove the obsolete and empty Old Covenant system and people (fulfilling of Heb. 8:13).
Exodus typology: the OT type/shadow of the 1st Exodus was not consummated until OC Israel entered the physical promised land. Their original OC type/shadow Passover began with the sacrificing of the Passover lamb introduced in Exodus 12, while Israel is still in bondage. They ate the first Passover while they were still in Egyptian bondage. In Numbers 9:5, they ate of it again, while they are wandering in the wilderness. And then in Joshua, they entered the land:
- “Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day. While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho.” (Joshua 5:9-10. NASB)
Throughout the history of Israel, the Passover recalled not only the sparing of the houses marked with the blood of the Passover lamb, but also Israel’s subsequent deliverance out of slavery in Egypt; a deliverance that was consummated forty years later in the crossing of the Jordan River. Once their redemption was consummated by their being in the physical promised land, only then were they truly redeemed from Egyptian bondage. This is also true of the second exodus generation. While free from the burden of the OC law since the cross, the 1st century believers persisted under reproach and persecution from OC Israel until the Lord returned for His bride to rescue them out of this physical realm to take then to the true heavenly Promised Land for their marriage to the Lamb, before the outpouring of wrath on Old Covenant Israel.
Jesus’ return/Parousia would consummate the second exodus bringing His saints back with Him to Heaven to the heavenly Promised Land where they would literally see God “Face to face,” fulfilling what Paul wrote about in:
- “For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then Face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:9-12. NASB.)
“The Perfect” here is a reference to the antitype consummation of the New Covenant eternal Kingdom at the return of Christ. “Face to face” is to be in heaven in the very presence of God. When Christ ascended He was glorified with the glory He had from before He was incarnate (John 17:5; Phil. 2:6-8). In Philippians 3:20-21 Paul states this new glorified personal body Christ is what Jesus had after He returned to heaven. Christ is God the Son, and upon His ascension was then fully glorified with the glory He had from all eternity (1 Tim. 3:16). When Christ returned at His second coming He returned from out of the heavenly Holy of Holies and descended with the heavenly Kingdom, bringing it to reunite heaven (the unseen realm where God and the heavenly beings dwell) and earth (the seen realm where man dwells) (Eph. 1:10).
At the Parousia in the Spring of AD 66 Jesus descended from heaven into the “aer” and raised the dead righteous souls from out of Hades/Sheol in the unseen realm where they were, and then changed the living righteous into the unseen realm. They were all given their new immortal heavenly bodies and caught into His presence and literally saw Him “Face to face.” Those saints then “knew as they were known.” (1 Cor. 13:12; cf. Isa. 52:8). Christ had ascended and gone away to receive His Kingdom from the Father (Luke 19:1-4), and now returned at His Parousia bringing that eternal Kingdom and heaven down with Him, fully consummating it in AD 70 after the completion of the pouring out of His wrath, where now heaven and earth (unseen and seen realms of the one eternal Kingdom) were reunited and God would from then forevermore dwell among men (Ezek. 37:26-28).
The Year of Jubilee was also to be announced on Yom Kippur:
- “’You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. ‘You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.” (Leviticus 25:9-10 NASB)
This is echoed in the New Testament writings à at that last trumpet announcing the “The Day of Lord” and the outpouring of God’s wrath had arrived in the Spring of AD 66 the dead ones were raised in the unseen realm into their heavenly incorruptible bodies, the 1st century living saints were changed into the unseen realm (raptured) into their incorruptible bodies in a twinkling of the eye, and all were caught together in the unseen realm where Christ was, to be with Him forevermore (1 Cor. 15:50-53; 1 Thess. 4:15-17).
The Jubilee year (release of captives) could only be proclaimed on Yom Kippur. The ultimate fulfillment of the year of Jubilee took place at the end of Christ’s 3 ½ year Parousia (Second Coming) in AD 70. At the finish of the wrath outpouring on OC Israel, coinciding with the complete consummation of the eternal Kingdom, Christ took His bride (the raised righteous dead and changed living) into the promised complete and full rest in the heavenly Promised Land. So, the year of Jubilee and the Day of Atonement speak of the fullness of the redemptive plan of God for man. It can’t be proven, but some say that AD 70 was a Jubilee year! Which would make perfect sense.
Yahweh divinely placed the Day of Atonement before the Feast of Tabernacles, which is called “The Season of Our Joy.”
See also related “Topic Studies & Terms”:
For a more in-depth study see the related full “Study Series”: