The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God – Part 5


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The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God – Part Five

The Day of Atonement

Why Christ’s Firstfruits Are “Afflicted For Your…Salvation”

Introduction

In this series of studies on the Biblical overview of the plan of God, we are demonstrating that the holy days revealed the progressive steps of that plan. It begins with the passover, which signifies the death of Christ for our sins. Passover is immediately followed by the days of unleavened bread, in which a wave sheaf of the early spring barley harvest is offered to God, signifying the resurrection and ascension of Christ as the first of the firstfruits of God’s harvest and the beginning of the process of putting sin out of our lives while we are “yet carnal… babes in Christ” (1Co 3:1-4). The next step in God’s plan for mankind is demonstrated by the feast of Pentecost, which signifies our spiritual birth as the firstfruits of Christ on the day after seven sevens of days. It is not until this step in God’s plan that we are for the first time in our lives “converted” and are now finally able to begin to be chastened and judged by our loving heavenly Father (1Pe 4:12-17). This period of being judged is signified by the trumpet judgments which we must endure only after we are, for the first time, spiritually converted on the day of Pentecost. This time of judgment upon the house of God is signified by a day of blowing of trumpets in the Fall of the year, which is the first day of the seventh month. Nine days later, on the tenth day of the seventh month, is the day of atonement, which is the subject of our study today.

We have already covered the feast of trumpets, but we need to briefly review that feast which comes, as we have noted, just nine days before our next holy day, which is not a feast but is instead a fast.

We saw in an earlier study that there is another other Old Testament spiritual type of this day of blowing of trumpets. That other type was the seven priests blowing seven trumpets which brought down the walls of Jericho. So the feast of trumpets, and the seven priests blowing the seven trumpets that brought down the walls of Jericho, were the two Old Testament shadows of the spiritual reality of the seven trumpets of Revelation. It is the seven trumpets of the book of Revelation which bring down the spiritual walls of Jericho within us which withstand the armies of God within our heavens (Jos 6 and Rev 8)

In both cases the opponents of the armies of heaven are destroyed through the judgments of the seven trumpets. Trumpets in scripture were used to call the people together and to call them to war.

This is what we are told about the function of trumpets during the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah:

Neh 4:18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me [Nehemiah as a type of Christ].
Neh 4:19 And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.
Neh 4:20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

That is the most common meaning of the blowing of trumpets in scripture. There is a great battle taking place when trumpets are being blown, and the Lord is the captain of His armies both at Jericho and at Jerusalem and also in the spiritual battles in the book of Revelation. But the battle which the trumpets of the book of Revelation reveal is for the hearts and minds of God’s elect. It is a spiritual battle for the very kingdom and throne of God which is usurped by the sins within the kingdom of the beast who is named “the first man Adam”.

Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

This is the real battle with which the trumpets of the revelation of Jesus Christ are concerned, and like the priests at Jericho, there are seven trumpets that must sound in our lives before the spiritual significance of the feast of trumpets will be realized within us.

But notice who is commanded to blow those trumpets:

Isa 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

The judgment of sin in our lives is the first and primary significance of the feast of trumpets, but in the overview of the plan of God, there is also an outward, dispensational fulfillment which will inexorably lead up to the consummation of the aions and will fulfill the plan of God. That outward application will be just as physically painful without as the spiritual is within. We struggle in the heavens, but we do so while we are here on this physical earth just as “Christ our passover” did.

Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

In Christ we, too, are simultaneously on this earth and “in heaven”:

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

It is here on this earth, yet seated with Christ on His Father’s throne in the heavens, that the feast of trumpets and the judgments of those trumpets take place in the lives of Christ’s firstfruit harvest. Christ Himself tells us:

Joh 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

This feast of trumpets reveals to us that Christ came to call us to be the first to go to war against the law of sin and death.

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

He did not come to bring peace on this earth. He came to judge it, but only in His firstfruits at this time:

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword [of judgment].

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

The feast of trumpets signifies the beginning of the judgment of God upon all men. That judgment “begins at us”, and that beginning of God’s judgment is what the feast of trumpets signifies.

Jeremiah 4 gives us the meaning of the feast of trumpets.

Jer 4:5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.

Jer 4:19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

Jer 4:21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

Jer 6:1 O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.

Jer 6:17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

The feast of trumpets signifies those who do listen, and upon whom the judgments of God are poured out and are received and appreciated for the work those trumpet judgments achieve in our lives.

The day of atonement

The next festival, just nine days after the judgments of the feast of trumpets, is the day of atonement.

Lev 23:26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Lev 23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

Atonement is the result of judgment, and Isaiah shows us why this feast is followed by the day of atonement:

Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

The judgments of the feast of trumpets leads to the righteousness of the day of atonement, when we “afflict [our] souls”.

The words ‘day of atonement’ come from the Hebrew words ‘yom kippur’, ‘yom’ being ‘day’ and ‘kippur’ being atonement. Let’s look at the meaning of that word ‘kippur’ so we can know what this day is all about.

Here is Strong’s definition of that word:

H3725
כּפּר
kippûr
kip-poor’
From H3722; expiation (only in plural): – atonement

Here are the entries for this word. It appears only eight times in the Old Testament:

H3725
כּפּר
kippûr
Total KJV Occurrences: 8
atonement, 7
Exo 29:36, Exo 30:16, Lev 23:27-28 (2), Lev 25:9, Num 5:8, Num 29:11
atonements, 1
Exo 30:10

Here is how Webster defines the English word ‘expiate’, which is the definition of the word ‘atone’:

Expiate

1. To atone for; to make satisfaction for; to extinguish the guilt of a crime by subsequent acts of piety or worship, by which the obligation to punish the crime is canceled. To expiate guilt or a crime, is to perform some act which is supposed to purify the person guilty; or some act which is accepted by the offended party as satisfaction for the injury; that is, some act by which his wrath is appeased,and his forgiveness procured.

Christ has performed an “act which is accepted by the offended party as satisfaction for the injury; that is [the death of the cross] by which [His Father’s] wrath is appeased, and his forgiveness [is] procured.”

But the scapegoat is also “with Him” as the atonement for the sins of the people, and God the Father, as the offended party, is appeased, and His wrath and His forgiveness is procured for all mankind by the atoning deaths of both Christ and His Christ.

So the day of atonement, the day we are to “afflict [our] souls”, is the day of those whose lives are used by Christ “to expiate [the] guilt [of all men by] performing [the] act [of presenting their bodies as a living sacrifice, dying daily and being crucified with Christ, ‘afflicting their souls’] to purify the person guilty; [an] act which is accepted by the offended party [our heavenly Father] as satisfaction for the [wages of sin which is death]. That is [the] act by which His wrath is appeased,and his forgiveness procured.”

“Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1Co 5:7), and we are “crucified with Him” (Gal 2:20). That is why the emphasis of this day is a fast, the affliction of our souls, instead of a feast to nourish our souls. Atonement is those first fruits who will blow those trumpets and expose and burn up all the sins that would take us captive to the law of sin and death which is in our members. The emphasis here on the day of atonement is that we are “crucified with Him” as His own soul was afflicted. “As He is, so are we in this world” means that we, too, should be living the day of atonement now, “for the… salvation… of the church which is His body” and Christ will “lift us up”:

2Co 1:6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer,: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

Here we have it stated plainly. Our “affliction… is effectual… for your… salvation”.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings [afflictions] for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Notice where this “atonement” is made for the sins of mankind:

Exo 29:36 And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement [H3725 – kippur]: and thou shalt cleanse the altar,when thou hast made an atonement [H3722 – kaphar, a covering] for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.

What this verse reveals, along many others just like it, is that an expiating atonement for our sins also covers those sins, “ransoms” the sinner and hides their sins from God’s consideration.

Jas 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Here we have James telling us that we are “saviors”.

Let’s continue to take notice of what makes an atonement for sins:

Exo 30:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Exo 30:12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
Exo 30:13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.
Exo 30:14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
Exo 30:15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
Exo 30:16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

This “atonement money” is God’s elect who are the temple of God:

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Continuing with what makes an atonement for sins:

Lev 14:19 And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering:
Lev 14:20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

The sin offering, the burnt offering and the meat offering are all to “make an atonement for him…” And who is all these offerings?

1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

And again, who is Christ? Who “makes an atonement for him”?

Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

Now consider what we are told we are to do along with our Savior:

Heb 13:10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
Heb 13:11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

We are admonished “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing His reproach“. The apostle Paul, who encourages us to “follow me as I follow Christ”, tells us how we go about ‘going forth unto Him… bearing His reproach”.

Col 1:24 Now, am I rejoicing in the sufferings on your behalf, and am filling up the things that lack of the tribulations of the Christ, in my flesh, in behalf of his body, which is the assembly, (REV)

It was Christ’s sufferings which were on our behalf, and here we have the apostle telling us that his sufferings were also for the same purpose, and we are to follow him as he follows Christ.

1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

The apostle Peter admonishes us to follow in Christ’s footsteps:

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Those words are read and preached by most churches, but not one in a million would dare to agree with the apostle that you or I following in Christ’s steps “fills up what is behind of [Christ’s] afflictions”, or that our following in His footsteps means that our “affliction… is for your… salvation”. Not on in a million would think that he could “save a soul from death”.

2Co 1:6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

The bodies of the beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the priest for sin, were “burned without the camp”, and we are told that our sufferings are “on your behalf”, and we are admonished “Let us go forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach”. Truly “as He is so are we in this world”, and truly we are to “follow in His steps”:

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

The day of atonement is the day which symbolizes those who “make an atonement, and bear the sins of the people”, along with Christ our passover sacrifice. Those who are sent by our heavenly Father to “make an atonement for, [and] bear the sins of the people” are Christ and His Christ, as typified by the two goats as a sin offering:

Lev 16:20 And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar [which are all types of Christ], he shall bring the live goat [the Christ of Christ]:
Lev 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
Lev 16:22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited [death, “the wages of sin” Rom 6:23]: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness [dying daily].

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

That being the case, this day of atonement signifies the function of those who bear the sins of the people and make an atonement for them with Christ. This is actually what we, the firstfruits of Christ, are repeatedly told to do:

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Earlier in Leviticus 16 we are told that both goats, the Lord’s goat and the scapegoat, are sin offerings “to make an atonement with him”.

Lev 16:5 And he [Aaron, the high priest] shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.
Lev 16:6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.
Lev 16:7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Lev 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
Lev 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
Lev 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

In Heb 13:13 we are told: “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach“. It was recently pointed out that Simon of Cyrene, who was “compelled… to bear [Christ’s] cross… without the camp”, was a New Testament type of this scapegoat who is also compelled to “bear His reproach, [and] make an atonement with [Christ]”. Indeed, that is exactly what this day of atonement typifies:

Lev 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Lev 23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
Lev 23:29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
Lev 23:30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Lev 23:31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

Mat 27:32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

No one volunteers to die with Christ. “No man can come to [Christ] except the Father… drag him” to do so:

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw [Greek: drag] him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

All holy days are sabbaths simply because we have no choice and no room to glory in any of the work God is doing to work out His plan and His purpose. It is all of Him, and there is nothing we bring to the table. That is what “whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.”

1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

What this tells us is that every step in the plan of God in the life of every man or woman is a work which He is working in the very order in which it is laid out in the holy days. The passover lamb is the same as “the goat upon which the Lord’s lot fell”. But the atonement for the sins of all men is not made without both of these goats. The scapegoat is absolutely essential “to make an atonement with him”, meaning with “the Lord’s goat”, and with the scapegoat.

So the truth is that Israel, by God’s design, is not cleansed by the blood of the first goat alone. It requires the work of both of these goats “to make an atonement” for the sins of the people. Are we actually told that we are to consider ourselves to be part of the sin offering which is made for the sins of the people? Let’s read it again:

Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Let us also notice once more that “bearing His reproach” is exactly what the scapegoat, the Old Testament type of “our Lord’s Christ” did:

Lev 16:20 And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:
Lev 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
Lev 16:22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

“The hand of a fit man” refers to Christ Himself, living within His own elect who are symbolized by the goat whose body is offered as “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” As His elect, we are all, at this very moment, being “led by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness” that is this world. The “land not inhabited” is the symbol of the death of the cross.

Jer 6:8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.

Eze 26:20 When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living;

That death of the cross is being borne by both Christ and His Christ as an atonement for the sins of the people.

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

When we lay down our lives as an atoning sacrifice for our brother who has sinned against both us and against his Creator, with Christ in us, we have fulfilled the day of atonement just as Christ Himself fulfilled the passover as the first of the firstfruits. That is the spiritual significance of this “day of atonement”. This is not easy to do, and simply acknowledging its meaning will cause us to be hated of all men. But we have been given mercy from our heavenly Father through those who have done the same for us. If we appreciate the mercy we have been shown, then we will not be demanding retribution from God upon our enemies, inward or outward. It is this “forgiveness… from the heart” which proves us to be fit to be a nation of kings and priests who will be capable and worthy of judging this world and then later judging angels.

This is the joy that is set before those who are represented by the day of atonement:

1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

The “saints”, “us”, and “we” in all of these verses are the elect who identify themselves as the four beasts and the four and twenty elders who are around the throne of God and who are called “overcome[rs] ” in Revelation 2-3.

Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

These are the firstfruit harvest of the feast of Pentecost. These are the atonement of the day of atonement. These are those who are called and chosen and who remain faithful to the end:

Mat 10:21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

This scapegoat is as much a part of the sin offering for Israel and is “the Lord’s goat” and is “presented before the Lord to make an atonement with Him”, with Christ. What we are being told is that we are to drink of the cup of Christ, and we are to be baptized with His baptism as a living sacrifice to fill up what is lacking of the afflictions of the Christ:

Mar 10:39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

While being the firstfruits of the wheat at Pentecost is the greatest honor that can be bestowed upon any man, it is not an honor that is desired or attained except by very few indeed. This is just how popular this calling is which we have been given:

Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Being called and chosen is still not all that is required of those who are given to be in that blessed and holy first resurrection. There is one more gift that must be given to all who are granted to be in that “blessed and holy… first resurrection”, and this is that final requirement:

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Conclusion

The spiritual significance of the day of atonement is the death of Christ and His Christ, “to make an atonement with Him”. Its spiritual significance is also demonstrated by the atonement which is wrought by the sacrifice of the Lord’s goat and the scapegoat:

Lev 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
Lev 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

What is not revealed in the offering of these two goats, one of which is called “a scapegoat”, is the fact that this scapegoat, as “an atonement with [Christ]”, has the same spiritual significance as the day of atonement:

Lev 23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

So the day of atonement symbolizes that part of our lives which are given to Christ and His Christ as a “living sacrifice”:

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice [an atonement], holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

There was much more to being an atonement than simply dying for the sins of God’s people. Christ and the apostle Paul reveal why the day of one’s death is better than the day of his birth (Ecc 7:1). This is why, and this is the fruit of the day of atonement, the afflicting of our souls:

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Joh 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

2Co 1:6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

Atonement brings forth “much fruit” both for the “living sacrifice” whose afflictions produce life in others, as well as the life that is produced within that “corn of wheat”. Those who are the day of atonement will also be the atoning firstfruits of the first resurrection. It is they who will rule this world first and then judge angels. We are already enjoying the blessing of that first resurrection in down payment form:

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

It is the day of atonement and the giving up of this life which will give us access to that “blessed and holy… first resurrection”. It is only those who are in that resurrection who will then live and reign with Christ as the judges of this world “a thousand years”, to be followed by the judging of angels in the lake of fire.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

And that will be the subject of our next study, which will cover the spiritual meaning of the feast of tabernacles and the last great day, the last two steps in the plan of God for the salvation of all. Outwardly and dispensationally, we will see what the scriptures reveal about how God will raise up from the grave all who have ever died, and how He will halt the constant influx of new “corruptible… flesh and blood” in the form of millions of babies being born every day. We will see how the aions will come to an end and God will, through Christ and His first fruit harvest, at last be “all in all”.

1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
1Co 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

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