The tenth day of the seventh month was the day of atonement. (Lev. 23:27) It was regarded as more sacred than any other day in the yearly round of service. It was a ceremonial sabbath and a fast day. (Lev. 23:30) The Israelite who did not afflict his soul upon that day was cut off from among the people. (Lev. 23:28-30) So sacred is the day regarded, even at the present time, that although the Jews have rejected Christ and few have any regard for the Sabbath, yet when the tenth day of the seventh month comes, no Jew will do any business or work upon that day!
There were several sacrifices offered upon the day of atonement. Before he entered upon the regular work of the day, the high priest offered a bullock for himself and his house. (Lev. 16:6-14)
The chief service of the day was the offering of the goats. Two goats were brought to the door of the sanctuary, where lots were cast upon them, one for the Lord, the other for the scapegoat, or Azazel. (Lev. 16:8) The high priest killed the Lord's goat, and then, clad in his gorgeous robes, with the breastplate of judgement bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel over his heart, and the sacred onyx stones with the names of the tribes on his shoulders. (Ex. 28) He passed with the blood of the goat into the most holy place.
Just as he entered within the second veil, carrying the golden censer filled with coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, and his hand full of incense, he placed the incense upon the coals in the censer, that the cloud of fragrant incense might cover him as he passed in before the visible presence of God, as manifested between the cherubim above the mercy seat. With his fingers he sprinkled the blood upon the mercy seat above the broken law of God. Then going out into the first apartment, he touched the horns of the golden altar with the blood. (Lev. 16:15-19)
When he had "made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar," he went out into the court. In type the high priest now bore in his person all the sins of the children of Israel which had been confessed and transferred tot he sanctuary. He then laid his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, and confessed "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 the goat was sent away, "by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness." The goat bore upon him all the iniquities unto a land "not inhabited", a "land of separation." (Lev. 16:20-22(
Going back into the tabernacle of the congregation, the high priest laid aside his gorgeous priestly robes, and put on his other garments; (Lev. 16:23) then coming again into the court, he cleansed the court from its defilement of sin. The bodies of the animals whose blood had been taken within the sanctuary, were carried out of the camp and burned. When the sun set on the day of atonement, the sins were all gone into the "land of separations," and nothing but ashes remained as a reminder of them. (Lev. 16:24-28)
Thus was carried on the type of that heavenly work which is to decide the eternal destiny of every soul that has ever lived upon the earth. In type and shadow the confessed sins of Israel had been transferred to the sanctuary during all the hear; the cleansing of the sanctuary was the removing of those wins. "It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these (the blood of animals) but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these." (The precious blood of Christ) (Heb 9:23)
Every sin is marked before the Lord in heaven. (Jer. 2:22, Rev. 20:12) When sins are confessed and forgiven, they are covered. (Ps 32:1, 85:2, Romans 4:7) This was typified by their being transferred to the sanctuary, where no human eyes except those of the priest ever beheld the stains of the blood of the sin-offering upon the horns of the golden altar before the veil.
It could not be possible that the books of heaven will always hold the records of sin, or that Christ will always bear the sins of the world. As the typical work was performed at the close of the year, so the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary will take place near the end of Christ's priestly work. The cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary necessitates an examination of the records— an investigative judgment.
The earthly sanctuary was cleansed on the tenth day of the seventh month of each year; the heavenly will be cleansed once for all. This work was begun in 1844 A.D. at the end of the prophetic period of the two thousand three hundred days. (Dan 8:14) In the typical service the Lord went into the holy of holies on the day of atonement, for He promised that His presence would be there. (Lev. 16:2) The high priest made special preparation for entering upon the service of the day of atonement. (Lev. 16:4-6)
The prophet Daniel was given a view of the antitypical work in the heavenly sanctuary. He describes it thus:
"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool" His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." (Dan. 7:9,10)
The Bible was written in an oriental country, and the custom there is to "cast down" seats for guests. The Newer Version of the Bible render it "I beheld till the thrones were set up." The position of the Father's throne was changed. Daniel beheld the thrones cast down, or placed, their positions being changed; then the Ancient of days, the Father, took His seat upon the throne. In other words, Daniel beheld the Father's throne changed from the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary to the second. His attention was attracted by the great wheels which looked like burning fire as they moved beneath the glorious throne of the infinite God. (Eze 10:1-22) Myriads of the heavenly host were gathered to witness the grand scene. Thousand thousands ministered unto Jehovah as He took His seat upon the throne to judge the world.
No mirror ever portrayed the features of the face as accurately as the books of heaven have portrayed the life record of each individual. All are "judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Rev. 20:12)
Behold the scene The Father is seated on the throne of judgment. The angels, who have been "ministering spirits" to those whose cases are to come in review before God, stand ready to obey commands. The books are opened. But there is something lacking yet. Daniel's attention is now attracted to the "clouds of heaven" the myriads of angels — bearing the Saviour in before the Father in triumph. (Dan. 7:13,14)
Earthly soldiers have often borne in triumph on their shoulders commanders who have led them to grand victories on fields of blood and carnage. Christ, the Commander of the hosts of heaven, has led the angels in many a battle. They fought under Him when the arch-enemy of all righteousness was cast out of heaven. They beheld their Commander die an ignominious death to redeem the lost race. They have sped quickly at His command to save many a soul from being overcome by Satan. The time has now come when Christ is to receive His kingdom, and claim His subjects; and the angels love to bear their mighty Commander in triumph before the judgment-seat, where, as the books reveal one life record after another, Christ confesses the name of every overcomer before the Father and before the innumerable company of angels. (Rev. 3:5)
God's throne is a movable structure. As in the type His visible presence was manifested in the outer apartment of the earthly sanctuary, so in heaven the throne of God was in the first apartment when Christ ascended and sat at the right hand of His Father. But Daniel saw not only the Father and Christ change their position, but the position o f the thrones also were changed, when the "judgment was set, and the books were opened." Type had met antitype. The high Priest in the heavenly sanctuary entered the most holy place, and as in the type God promised to meet the high priest in the most holy, so the Father passed into the holy of holies before the High Priest, and was there when the angels bore Christ triumphantly in before Him.
The earthly high priest bore the names of Israel on his person as he entered the most holy place: (Ex 39:6-17) but lest some fainting soul might fear he would be forgotten, our High Priest sends down the words, "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you." And then as if to make assurance doubly sure, He lifts His hands bearing the print of the cruel nails, and says "Behold (look), I have graven you upon the palms of My hands. (Isa. 49:15,16)
In the earthly sanctuary the high priest paused in the first apartment to touch the horns of the golden altar and cleanse it from all sins that had been transferred to it; (Lev. 16:18,19) for while the services of the day of atonement were going forward, if one remembered unconfessed sins, he could still bring his sin-offering and be forgiven. (Num. 29:7-11) So while our High Priest officiates before the Father in the investigative judgment, any one who realizes he is a sinner can come confessing his sins and be forgiven through the merits of Chris, the great Sin-bearer.
While Jesus pleads as our High Priest, there is hope for every repentant sinner; but when He at last comes forth from the sanctuary, mercy's door will be forever closed. There will be no intercessor then. (Isa. 59:16) In the type, when the high priest came out of the sanctuary, he had "made an end of reconciling." When our High Priest comes forth from the sanctuary, He will proclaim, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." (Rev. 22:11) Every case is decided for eternity. Probation is forever ended. All who wait until that time, hoping to be saved, will find no one to plead their case before the Father; they will be eternally lost.
In the type, after the high priest had finished the work within the sanctuary on the day of atonement, he came forth bearing the sins of all Israel, and placed them upon the head of the scapegoat. The scapegoat had no part in reconciling the people to God. The work of reconciling was all ended (Lev. 16:20) when the scapegoat was brought forward to act his part in the service. The only work of the scapegoat is to act as a vehicle to carry the sins of the righteous into the "land of separation."
The term "scapegoat" has become a synonym of an evil one. Azazel, the Hebrew rendering of scape goat, is a proper name, and is understood to represent the devil. When our High Priest has finished His work in the heavenly sanctuary, He will place all the sins of the righteous, which He has borne thus far, upon the head of Satan, (Ps. 7:16) the instigator of sin. Satan will then be left upon the desolate earth, (Jer. 4:23-27; Zech. 1:2,3) a land not inhabited, for one thousand years. At the end of this time he will be loosed for a season and then burned to ashes in the fires of the last day. (Rev. 20:9,10, Mal. 4:1-3, Eze 28:18,19)
In the type, after the high priest had placed the sins of Israel upon the head of the scapegoat, he left the robes worn while officiating as high priest in the sanctuary, and put on other garments, and began a work in the court. He had the bodies of the animals whose blood had been carried into the sanctuary taken without the camp and burned. At the close of the day, ashes were the only thing to be seen of the sin-offerings.
Our High Priest lays aside His priestly garments, and clad as King of kings He rides forth a might Conqueror to "gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire." (Matt. 13:41,42) Christ comes to set in order the antitypical court— this earth; and when the great antitypical day of atonement ends, nothing will remain that will in any way be a reminder of sin, except the ashes under the feet of the righteous. (Mal. 4:3)
The word "atonement" means "at-one-ment;" and when Christ pronounces the decree which determines the eternal destiny of every soul He and the subjects of His kingdom are at-one-ment. Sin will never again separate Christ from His people.
But the territory of His kingdom is still cursed by sin, so the at-one-ment of Christ and His kingdom will not be complete in every sense of the term until from the fires of the last day (after the 1000 years) there comes forth a new earth with every mark of the curse removed. Then not only the subjects of Christ's kingdom, but the entire earth, will be at-one-ment with Christ and the Father. (Isa. 62:4) Sin will never again arise to mar the earth; but it will be the home of the redeemed forever.
Lev. 16:29,30 On the tenth day of the seventh month the sanctuary was cleansed.
Lev. 16:15-19 The sanctuary was cleansed, and sins removed by the blood of the Lord's goat, at the end of the year's service.
Lev. 16:2 God's presence was in the most holy place on the day of atonement.
Lev. 16:4-6 The high priest made special preparation to enter the most holy apartment.
Ex. 28:9-21 The high priest bore the names of Israel over his heart and on his shoulders when he entered the most holy place.
Lev. 16:20 When the high priest came out of the sanctuary, he had "made an end of reconciling."
Lev. 16:21 The sins were all laid upon the scapegoat. Lev. 16:22 The goat shall bear the sins into a land not inhabited, a land of separation.
Lev. 16:23 The high priest left the robe he wore while officiating in the most holy place in the sanctuaryn and put on other garments.
Lev. 16:27 The bodies of the sacrifices were taken without the camp and burned, and nothing but ashes remained as a reminder of sin.
Dan. 8:14 Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
Acts 3:19,20 Sins will be blotted from the heavenly records near the end of Christ's work as high priest.
Dan. 7:9,10. Thrones are set up. The Father enters the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary before the opening of the judgment.
Dan. 7:13-14 Christ is borne into the most holy apartment by the angels of heaven.
Rev. 3:5 Christ knows each name, and confesses the names of the overcomers before the Father and the angels.
Rev. 22:11,12 When Christ comes out from the heavenly sanctuary, He announces the eternal destiny of every soul.
Ps. 7:16 sin will return upon the head of the originator of sin.
Rev. 20:1-3 Satan will be left on the desolate earth for one thousand years.
Rev. 19:11-16 Christ lays aside His priestly robes, and comes to the earth as king of kings and Lord of lords.
Matt. 13:41-43; Mal. 4:1-3 Christ will "gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity," and they will be burned in the fires of the last day. Only ashes will remain.
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