The Day of Atonement--Its Christian Significance

By COGwriter

The Day of Atonement 2015 begins at sunset September 22 and continues through sunset September 23.  

In 2016, the Day of Atonement begins at sunset October 11 and continues through sunset October 12. In 2014, the Day of Atonement began at sunset October 3 and continued until sunset October 4.

The Christian Day of Atonement is based on the English translation of the Hebrew for the Holy day the Jews tend to call Yom Kippur.

In the original Hebrew, the Bible calls the day Yom Hakippurim (which is Hebrew for "Day of the Atonements"). Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Ayuno –Su significado cristiano.

The day is commemorated with a 25-hour fast by Jews, but normally a 24 hour fast by Christians who observe it. While not observed by the mainstream of professing Christianity, the Christian groups (mostly those with origins in the old Worldwide Church of God) that do observe it usually refer to it as the Day of Atonement. (A sermonette-length video message related to offerings and this day is available: Atonement Offertory; a sermon length video is also available: The Bible and the Day of Atonement.)

1 Date
2 Biblical Origin
3 The Slain Goat Represents Christ
4 The Live Goat Represents Satan
5 Christian Interpretation
6 Jubilee
7 New Testament Times
8 Post New Testament
9 Benefits of Fasting
10 The Holy Days

Date

In the Hebrew calendar, the Day of Atonement begins at nightfall starting the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tishri (which falls in 2014 from sunset October 3 to sunset October 4), and continues until the next nightfall. It is always observed as a one day holiday, both inside and outside the boundaries of the land of Israel, in contrast with many other Jewish holidays, which are observed for two days in the Diaspora.

The Day of Atonement will occur on the following dates in the next few years (and begins sunset the evening before:

2015: Sunset September 22 to sunset September 23
2016: Sunset October 11 to sunset October 12
2017: Sunset Setember 29 to sunset September 30

For more dates check out Holy Day Calendar. This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :)

Biblical Origin

The Day of Atonement one of God's feasts and is considered to be a time for fasting, on which no food or drink are be consumed:

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. (Leviticus 23:1-2)

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 "Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath." (Leviticus 23:26-32).

7 'On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls; you shall not do any work. 8 You shall present a burnt offering to the Lord as a sweet aroma: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year. Be sure they are without blemish. 9 Their grain offering shall be of fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the one ram, 10 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs; 11 also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, besides the sin offering for atonement, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings. (Numbers 29:7-11)

Offerings were mentioned above (a sermonette-length video message related to offerings and this day is available: Atonement Offertory.

Fasting is historically how the phrase "afflict your souls" has been interpreted by the Jewish and Church of God communities (this is also verified by such passages as Psalm 35:13; 69:10 and Isaiah 58:5) to mean fasting, unless one is somehow ill, and thus is already afflicted. Evening to evening means from sunset to sunset.

In the New Testament, the Day of Atonement is referred to as "the Fast" (Acts 27:9). The fact that this day was referred to that way (or even at all) is an indication that it was observed by Christians after Christ's resurrection. The Bible clearly shows that so-called Jewish holy days, such as Pentecost were observed by Christians after Jesus' resurrection (Acts 2:1).

Observant individuals affiliated with the Churches of God will fast from sunset tonight until sunset the next night (if they are physically able--nursing mothers, small children, pregnant women, and various afflicted others are not expected to fast--this is consistent with Jewish practices in this area as well). In this fast we go without food or drink.

The original rites and practices for the Day of Atonement are set forth in the Hebrew scriptures. Here are some of them:

1 "You shall make an altar to burn incense on; you shall make it of acacia wood. 2 A cubit shall be its length and a cubit its width — it shall be square — and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. 3 And you shall overlay its top, its sides all around, and its horns with pure gold; and you shall make for it a molding of gold all around. 4 Two gold rings you shall make for it, under the molding on both its sides. You shall place them on its two sides, and they will be holders for the poles with which to bear it. 5 You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 6 And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you.

7 "Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. 8 And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. 9 You shall not offer strange incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering; nor shall you pour a drink offering on it. 10 And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord." (Exodus 30:1-10)

11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 12 "When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them. 13 This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs). The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord. 14 Everyone included among those who are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to the Lord. 15 The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves. 16 And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves." (Exodus 30:11-16)

A unique ceremony related the the Day of Atonement is discussed in Leviticus 16:

8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for Jehovah, and the other lot for Azazel. 9 And Aaron shall present the goat upon which the lot fell for Jehovah, and offer him for a sin-offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell for Azazel, shall be set alive before Jehovah, to make atonement for him, to send him away for Azazel into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:8-10, ASV)

8 ‘And Aaron hath given lots over the two goats, one lot for Jehovah, and one lot for a goat of departure; 9 and Aaron hath brought near the goat on which the lot for Jehovah hath gone up, and hath made it a sin-offering. 10 ‘And the goat on which the lot for a goat of departure hath gone up is caused to stand living before Jehovah to make atonement by it, to send it away for a goat of departure into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:8-10, YLT)

Christians note the parallels between the first of the two goats with Jesus and the second of the two goats with Satan (the Azazel goat). Such as Jesus does get killed, but that Satan does not.

Notice also something from the New Testament:

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:11-15)

The High Priest only entered the Most Holy Place, also known as the Holy of Holies or the mercy seat once per year on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:2). Jesus gave Himself as the true offering for that day.

As far as 'Azazel', notice the following:

R. Menachem interprets Azazel of Samael, the angel of death, the devil, the prince that hath power over desolate places: there are several Christian writers of great note, that understand this of the devil as Origen (b), among the ancients; and of the moderns, Cocceius (c), Witsius (d), and Spencer (e), who think that by these two goats is signified the twofold respect of Christ our Mediator; one to God, as a Judge, to whom he made satisfaction by his death; the other to the devil, the enemy with whom he conflicted in life; who, according to prophecy, was to be delivered up to Satan, and have his heel bruised by him; and who was to come, and did come into the wilderness of this world...(Gill, John. Exposition of the Entire Bible. [1746-63])

So, basically a Jewish rabbi ("R." is an abbreviation for Rabbi) and certain leaders who professed Christ believed that the Azazel goat represented Satan. And that is consistent with the passages in Leviticus 16 and other scriptures.

Notice also the following from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

The Day of Atonement, according to Biblical tradition, is one in the cycle of holidays instituted by Moses. It occurs on the tenth day of the seventh month, and is distinguished by abstaining thereon from food ("afflicting one's soul"; compare Isa. Iviii. 3, 5) and by an elaborate ceremonial. The details of the ritual, in accordance with rabbinical interpretation (Sifra and Rashi on Lev. xvi.; Mishnah and Gemara Yoma; "Yad" Hil. 'Abodat Yom ha-Kippurim; Asheri), proceed about as follows: In the early morning the high priest, in his robes of office (described Ex. xxviii., xxxix.), offered the daily morning sacrifice (Num. xxix. 11; Ex. xxix. 38 et seq.) and performed the ordinary morning rite of dressing the lamps, which was accompanied by an offering of incense (Ex. xxx. 7). Next in order was the festival sacrifice of a bullock and seven lambs (Num. xxix. 7 et seq.). Then began the peculiar ceremonies of atonement, for which the high priest put on special vestments of linen (Lev. xvi. 4). With his hands placed on the head of a bullock (contributed from his own means), he made confession of his own sins and of those of his nearer household (verse 6, see Rashi). The two goats contributed by the people (verse 5) were placed before him, being designated by lot, the one for a sinoffering "for the Lord," and the other to be sent away into the wilderness "for Azazel" (verses 7-10). Once more the high priest made confession over his own bullock, for himself and his wider household—his brother priests (verse 11a). After killing the animal (verse 11b) and receiving its blood into a vessel, he took a censer full of live coals from the altar of burnt offering (Ex. xxvii. 1-8) and two handfuls of fine incense into the sacred recess behind the curtain, the Holy of Holies; there he placed the incense on the coals, the cloud of incense enveloping the so-called "mercy-seat" (verse 12 et seq.), and offered a short prayer (Yoma v. 1). He returned for the vessel containing the blood of the bullock and reentered, sprinkling some of it with his finger eight times between the staves of the Ark (verse 14; Ex. xxv. 13-15). He then left the sacred compartment to kill the people's goat (marked "for the Lord"); with its blood he reentered the Holy of Holies, there to perform the same number of sprinklings in the same place (verse 15)...

In rabbinic Judaism the Day of Atonement completes the penitential period of ten days ( ) that begins with New-Year's Day, the season of repentance and prayer; for though prayerful humiliation be acceptable at all times, it is peculiarly potent at that time (R. H. 18a; Maimonides, "Yad," Teshubah, ii. 6). It is customary to rise early (commencing a few days before New-Year); the morning service is preceded by litanies and petitions of forgiveness (, "seliḥot") which, on the Day of Atonement, are woven into the liturgy (Shulḥan 'Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 581; Zunz, "S. P." 76 et seq.). New-Year's and Atonement days are days of serious meditation (, "awful days," Zunz, "S. P." 82, note)... On the Day of Atonement the pious Jew becomes forgetful of the flesh and its wants, and, banishing hatred, ill-feeling, and all ignoble thoughts, seeks to be occupied exclusively with things spiritual. (Atonement, Day of. Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2093-atonement-day-of viewed 09/06/13)

Although Moses did not institute it per se (God told Moses), the idea that the other goat (the one sent to the wildnerness alive) was for Azazel is documented in Jewish literature.

The Slain Goat Represents Christ

The slain goat represents Christ who actually dies for our sins. Notice Leviticus 16:15-19:

15 Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel. 18 And he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. 19 Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

Christ's sacrifice is an atonement sacrifice to reconcile us to God. Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

Notice also something from the Hebrew scriptures:

6 In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil. (Proverbs 16:6)

Jesus died for our iniquities.

Notice that this was clearly prophesied in the Hebrew scriptures:

1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground.He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. (Isaiah 53:1-8)

And it came to pass.

Notice also:

6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11)

11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned...

17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:11-12, 17, KJV)

Jesus was an atonement for us to reconcile us to God.

The Live Goat Represents Satan

Although certain Protestant commentators seem to misunderstand these passages in Leviticus, the live goat does not also somehow represent Jesus Christ.

Notice what happens immediately after the atoning from the death of the first goat:

And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness...And he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp (Leviticus 16:20-22,26).

Notice that the atonement is over after the first goat is sacrificed. The atonement is not part of the symbolism of the second goat. While some Protestant commentators understand this correctly, others either do not know what the Azazel goat represents or think it represents the physical life of Christ.  Yet, that latter explanation would not seem to be consistent with the statements in Leviticus 16:26 (bolded above).

Why?

Because notice that it is a fit man that takes the goat into the wilderness and he has to wash himself after he has released the aza'zel goat. If the second goat represented Christ, the fit man would have to wash BEFORE touching the goat and not AFTER releasing it. Touching the one representing Satan would make one unclean, but not touching the one representing Christ.

What happened to the live goat in Leviticus 16 is symbolic of Satan for two basic reasons:

  1. The term scapegoat is an inappropriate translation into English, as it implies that blame is being placed where blame is not due. The Hebrew term is actually aza'zel. This is a term that some Jewish people have historically ascribed to a Satanic adversary.
  2. What happens with the Azazel goat and what happens to Satan is quite similar, if one compares Leviticus 16:20-22,26 to Revelation 20:1-3.

Specifically, we in the Continuing Church of God cite the following passage from Revelation 20:

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3)

Since the above is consistent with the ceremony in the Old Testament about the binding of the Azazel goat, it appears that the above binding of Satan will occur on the Atonement.

Notice that the Old Testament shows that it is a fit man that places the Azazel goat which bares blame for sins into the wilderness, and in the New Testament an angel that places Satan, who brought sin into the world, into the wilderness of the bottomless pit. (Contrary to the claims of those who do not take this portion of Revelation literally, this 1000 year binding of Satan has certainly not taken place since John was inspired to pen Revelation.)

Notice also the following:

The real cause- the actual author of those sins was Satan the devil. Is it justice for Christ to bear guilt that is not His, while the devil goes off scot-free? Do you not suppose GOD’S great plan will finally work full justice by placing that original blame and guilt right where it belongs?

Now mark carefully this distinction. Christ bore our guilt. For we have been guilty, even though the devil was the original cause of it all. But justice certainly demands that God place right back on the head of the devil his guilt- not our guilt, but his own guilt- for leading us into sin. We were guilty, too- and our guilt Christ bore- yet all our sins belong right back on the devil as his own guilt! (HWA. Pagan Holidays or God's Holy Days)

Satan does have a role to play and one reaps what one sows (Galatians 6:7).

Some have speculated that a 'goat-related' festival the Irish keep has ties to the biblical ceremony--but basically is a perversion of it.

Notice the following:

Puck Fair is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals, celebrating almost 400 years of documented evidence. The first day of Puck Fair is called The Gathering Day which makes Puck Fair the original and oldest Gathering Festival in Ireland.  http://puckfair.ie/

"The word Puck comes from the Irish, puc, for billy goat (buck or he-goat, i.e. male goat)."

For hundreds of years, a male mountain goat has been enthroned as King of Puck Fair in Killorglin town.  The Puck Goat reigns over the fair held on August 10th, 11th and 12th of each year.  King Puck is a symbol of a vast tradition whose origins are lost in the mists of time.

The first day of Puck Fair is known as "Gathering Day."  The Puck Goat is enthroned on a stand in the town square and the great horse fair is held.  The middle day is known as "Fair Day."  This is the day of the cattle fair and general festivities.  The last day is known as "Scattering Day" when the brief reign of Ireland's only King is ended and the Puck Goat is returned once more to his mountain home.

This Sculpture was unveiled on the 5th day of August, 2001 in commemoration of the enduring Killorglin tradition of "Puck Fair" and its central figure King Puck.                                                    http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMANF6_King_Puck_Killorglin_County_Kerry_Ireland

Irish Times - Aug 6, 2014

During the festival an estimated 80,000 people will visit the town, which rises over the river Laune. Late bars, music on the streets, Irish dancing, stalls and traditional horse and cattle fairs are part of the annual mix.

Puck Fair’s origins are believed to go well beyond 400 years ago but the first written reference is a charter from James I in 1613 which grants Jenkins Conway, the local landlord at the time, the right to collect a sum for every animal brought to the August fair held in the town. “This would suggest that the fair was something already well established in the local community,” a spokesman said.

Pat Cahill and John McGrath at Dingle Bay in Co Kerry with the captured wild mountain goat that will be crowned King Puck. http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/caged-king-puck-will-rise-above-killorglin-fun-1.1888497

Puck Fair is one of the only places, and times, of the year in Ireland that the pubs are allowed to stay open till three in the morning. At the end of it all, the king is dethroned (in a nice way) and returned to the wild to rejoin his comrades on the foothills of Ireland's highest mountain. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/king-puck-irish-town-honors-his-goatness-a-562594.html

As one writer commented:

Its very likely that this ancient Irish festival had its origin with the Hebrew Azazel "scapegoat" of the Day of Atonement fall festival. (email 10/04/14)

Notice something else about it:

The Puck Fair (Irish: Aonach an Phoic, meaning "Fair of the He-Goat", 'poc' being the Irish for a male goat) is reputed to be one of Ireland's oldest fairs which takes place annually for three days beginning on the 10th of August. The festival itself takes place in Killorglin, County Kerry.

Scholars speculate that the fair's origins stems from Pre-Christian Ireland (Puck Fair. Wikipedia, viewed 10/04/14)

The fact that its origins are believed to be prior to the time of Jesus and that it is held on the 10th of the month is interesting as the Day of Atonement is held on the 10th day of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar (Leviticus 23:26-27).

As descendants of Israel did end up in the British Isles (see Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel), this Puck Fair could be a twisted version of the Day of Atonement ceremony that ancient Israel had. The Irish seem to honor the 'Azazel' goat (Leviticus 16:8-10, YLT) and have a drinking holiday. 

The Bible teaches that Satan is 'the god of this age' who has 'blinded' the 'minds' of many (2 Corinthians 4:4) and is now a type of king (Matthew 4:8-9), though he will lose what he has (Revelation 11:15; 20:1-4).  Apparently the Irish festival is intended to honor him, though probably unintentionally by the participants (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Christian Interpretation

Christians that observe the Day of Atonement normally teach that on that day they are to be at one with God. And that fasting humbles them and makes them realize how dependent they are on God for all their needs and that we need to love others. They also believe that they are dependent upon the sacrifice of Jesus for their salvation, but that Satan does play a role in encouraging people to sin.

Notice also something from both the Old and New Testaments that basically confirms that:

9 Help us, O God of our salvation, For the glory of Your name; And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, For Your name's sake! (Psalm 79:9)

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:1-3)

The "scriptures" referred to in 1 Corinthians 15:3 was a reference to the Hebrew scriptures. So, much in the Old Testament related to Jesus and He confirmed various parts of it in the New Testament.

Herbert Armstrong wrote the following where he ties in portions of the Old then New Testaments:

Day of Atonement, or the Fast

Next, let us read Leviticus 23:26, 27, 31-32 "And the LORD spake . . . saying, 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 [fast]. . . . Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 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." Wonderful mystery! At-one-ment with God! Man at last made one with his Maker!

Again, in the 16th chapter of Leviticus, verses 29 and 31, where the symbolism of the Day of Atonement is explained, we find it instituted a holy Sabbath to be kept forever: "And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you. . . . It shall be a Sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever."

Notice, too, in Leviticus 23:32, the expression "from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath." Every Sabbath keeper quotes this passage to show that the Sabbath begins at sunset. If we believe that, then why not keep the Sabbath that this very text is speaking of the high Sabbath of the Day of Atonement, instituted forever? Are we consistent, when we continually quote this text to show when to begin the Sabbath, and then refuse to keep the very Sabbath referred to?

Meaning Pictured by Day of Atonement

The Day of Atonement pictures a wonderful and great event, to take place after the Second Coming of Christ, which the world is in total ignorance of because it has failed to see the true significance of these annual Sabbaths holy unto the Lord. It has failed to keep them as a constant reminder of God's plan of redemption!

The symbolism is all expressed in the account of the events of the Day of Atonement, as carried out before the crucifixion, in the 16th chapter of Leviticus.

Verse 5 "And he [Aaron, or the high priest] shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering. . . ."

Verse 6 The high priest offered a sin offering for HIMSELF and his house.

Verses 7 and 8 "And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; the one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat" (margin, Hebrew, Azazel).

Now because this has not been understood because there are many different views and opinions and ideas and explanations of this, we here pause sufficiently to go into this in some detail. Let us, therefore, regardless of our own former convictions, study with open minds, without prejudice, proving all things. We want truth!

The key to the whole explanation lies in a correct understanding of the meaning of Azazel. This word does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testament. The Comprehensive Commentary has: "Spencer, after the oldest opinions of the Hebrews and Christians, thinks Azazel is the name of the Devil, and so Rosen. . . . The word scapegoat signifies the goat which went away. " The One Volume Commentary says: "The word 'scapegoat' in the AV. is not a translation." It is merely an interpretation of the supposed meaning by the translators.

True, the English word "scapegoat" signifies "one who bears blame or guilt for others." But "scapegoat" is an English word, and is not a translation of the Hebrew word Azazel. The word "scapegoat," and the meaning attached to this English word, is not a translation of the Hebrew word Azazel, and therefore it is not the word inspired originally. Continues the One Volume Commentary: "Azazel is understood to be the name of one of those malignant demons."

Types of Christ and Satan

These two goats were, of course, types. Notice, it was necessary to be decided by lot, which one was qualified to represent Christ, and which Azazel. Some say BOTH were qualified. The scripture does not say this. Let us not assume it. Now a "lot" is a solemn appeal to God to decide a doubtful matter. It is a sacred religious ceremony. It included a supernatural act of God. ...

Notice, men were unable to decide which goat was qualified to represent Christ. This involved an appeal to God to decide! "One lot for the Lord, and the other lot for Azazel." Now one lot was for the Lord this goat typified Christ but the other lot was not for the Lord, did not typify Christ, but Azazel Satan! These words most naturally suggest that Azazel is the name of a person, here contrasted to the Eternal! Notice the contrast one for the Lord, the other for Azazel.

Now the goat which God selected through lot, to represent Christ was slain, as Christ, its antitype was slain. But the other goat selected by God to represent Azazel was not slain, but was driven, alive, into an uninhabited wilderness. It was not a resurrected goat, symbolizing the resurrected Christ, for it never died. The uninhabited wilderness, to which this goat was driven, cannot, as we shall show, represent heaven, where Christ went. Heaven is neither uninhabited, nor a wilderness.

After God designated which goat represented Christ and which Azazel, the high priest (verse 11) killed the bullock for a sin offering for himself, then took the burning coals of fire and the sweet incense into the Holy of Holies, also sprinkling the blood of the bullock before the mercy seat, typical of the throne of God, covering the tables of testimony (the law). This the high priest was required to do in order to purify himself to officiate, and to represent Christ as High Priest. In the antitype, this was not done, for Christ, our High Priest, had no need of this purification as the typical substitutionary priests did.

Now the Levitical high priest was ready to go out and officiate.

Next, the goat which God selected by lot to represent Christ, as the sin offering of the people, was killed. Thus the sins of the people were borne by the goat, even as Christ, finally, once for all, bore our sins on the cross. But Christ rose again from the dead, and ascended to the throne of God in heaven.

Now, who, or what, from this point on in the Levitical ceremony, typified the resurrected Christ, who went to heaven? Some say the goat representing Azazel. Let us see.

The risen Christ, now at the right hand of the throne of God in heaven (I Peter 3:22), is called what? Our High Priest! What was the earthly type of God's throne? The uninhabited wilderness? No! That is where the live goat went!

The earthly type of God's throne was the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. After Christ died, He went to the heavenly mercy seat interceding for us, as our High Priest. ". . . Entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec" (Hebrews 6:19-20).

Now, again, who, or what, in the Levitical ceremony of the Day of Atonement, typified the risen Christ, our High Priest, who went within the veil to God's throne in heaven? The one goat had been slain. It represented the slain Christ. It can no longer represent the risen Christ. The slain Christ was not our High Priest, because the Levitical priesthood, with its high priest, did not end until Christ rose from the dead and ascended to heaven as a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec. But the risen Christ was High Priest. Now WHO took this part in the Levitical ceremonies, temporarily re-enacted year by year, on this eternal Holy Day? Why, so obviously a child could see, it was the Levitical high priest, not the goat representing Azazel!

The High Priest Type of Christ

As soon as the slain goat was dead, who went within the veil, presenting the blood of this goat before the typical throne of God?

Leviticus 16:15-16 "Then shall he [the high priest] kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and [now the high priest himself typifying the work of the risen Christ] bring his blood within the veil . . . and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat: and he shall make an atonement for the holy place. . . ."

And so it was the high priest taking blood within the veil, to the mercy seat, that typified the risen Christ figuratively taking HIS blood, once for all, within the veil to the very throne of God in heaven, there to intercede for us as High Priest. Surely this is so plain a child can see.

The slain goat represented the crucified Jesus. The high priest, by taking the blood of this slain goat into the veil to the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies, a type of God's throne, represented and did the work of the risen Christ, who ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high, there interceding as our High Priest. Can we honestly continue to teach that the goat representing Azazel represented the work of the risen Christ? Did this live goat take the blood of Christ within the veil, to the mercy seat?

The high priest going within the veil, into the Holy of Holies, symbolized Christ's return to heaven. The work he did while in the Holy of Holies symbolized Christ's work these 1900 years interceding for us, presenting His shed blood before the mercy seat in heaven. Now, coming back out, symbolizing Christ's return to earth, what did the high priest do?

"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: 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: and the goat shall bear upon him [Fenton: shall carry upon itself] all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. And Aaron shall . . . wash his flesh with water. . . . And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat [Azazel] shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp" (Leviticus 16:20-26).

The Azazel Goat Not Our Sin-Bearer

Let us get this straight!

Is there justice with God? Is not God a God of justice, as well as of compassion and mercy? Who is the real author of our sins? The devil is the author of them, even as Christ is the author of our salvation. Jesus took our guilt our blame our sins upon Himself as an innocent substitutionary sacrifice. He was an innocent victim. He loved us, and was willing to die for us. Our guilt our sins, were borne by Him, and Him alone and God forgives them when we repent and accept His sacrifice. And yet, is this, if we stop there, full justice?

The real cause the actual author of those sins was Satan the devil. Is it justice for Christ to bear guilt that is not His, while the devil goes off scot-free? Do you not suppose GOD'S great plan will finally work full justice by placing that original blame and guilt right where it belongs?

Now mark carefully this distinction. Christ bore our guilt. For we have been guilty, even though the devil was the original cause of it all. But justice certainly demands that God place right back on the head of the devil his guilt not our guilt, but his own guilt for leading us into sin. We were guilty, too and our guilt Christ bore yet all our sins belong right back on the devil as his own guilt!

Now notice another point. The Azazel goat carries away the sins of all the people already forgiven. These sins already were fully paid for by Christ's substitute sacrifice, symbolized by the killing of the innocent goat before those same sins were finally laid on the live goat. They had been previously paid for by the death of the slain goat.

The devil is the real author of all sin. Can we, then, be finally made at one with God, as long as this instigator of sin is with us? Can we not see he must first be driven away? And there would not be justice with God unless his own guilt in our sins were placed right back on his head? Is it justice for Christ to bear the devil's guilt, as well as our own guilt, for our sins? Christ has carried our sins, but must He continue to carry them? Should they not be removed entirely from us, and from the presence even of God?

Thus the killing and sprinkling of blood of the first goat visibly set forth the means of reconciliation with God, through the substituted sacrifice of an innocent victim. So finally the sending away of the second goat, laden with those sins, the expiation of which had been signified by the first goat, no less vividly sets forth the effect of that sacrifice, in complete removal of those expiated sins from the presence of God!

Satan the Accuser

Satan is the accuser of the brethren. His power over men is founded on sin. When all these sins, of which he is the author, are laid back on him, after being removed from us by Christ, then Satan shall have lost his claim on us. And no longer can he accuse us!

Thus, finally, as the acceptance of the blood of the first goat (Christ) symbolized complete propitiation, and pardon of Israel's sins, so the sending of Azazel bearing away those expiated sins symbolizes the complete removal of all sins deliverance by the atonement from the power of the adversary.

The sacrifice of the first innocent victim was the means of reconciliation with God, but not yet complete justice.

The driving away of the second live goat shows the final atonement, by placing the sins on their author where they belong, and the complete removal of the sins and their author from the presence of God and His people and thus the complete deliverance of the people from the power of Satan.

Webster says to atone means to set at one. To join in one to form by uniting. We shall not be completely joined in one, and united with God, until this is done.

Before leaving this, notice, too, that after laying both his hands on the live goat, Azazel, Aaron had to wash and cleanse himself before coming in contact with the people. So, too, the "fit man" also had to wash his clothes and bathe himself after coming in contact with the Azazel goat, before he came into the presence of the people. The symbolism is certainly that of having come in contact with the devil!

Notice, now, this act of putting these already expiated and forgiven sins on the head of this live goat does not take place until after the high priest returns from the Holy of Holies within the veil so this typified an act to take place after the Second Coming of Christ to this earth!

But if the live goat represented the resurrected Christ, then the sins Christ bore on the cross were placed by another, typified by the high priest, back on Christ, after His resurrection. Would this make sense? Is the theory of the Azazel goat being Christ consistent? No, but the plain simple meaning does fit at every turn, and IS consistent. The first goat represented the innocent Jesus who died for our sins the high priest represented the risen Christ going within the veil to the mercy seat, or throne of God in heaven, for over 1900 years and the high priest returning to place the sins finally upon the head of the live goat represented the return of Christ who will place the sins He bore on their author, the devil, and who will send him away alive into a desolate uninhabited wilderness the "bottomless pit" or abyss of Revelation 20:3.

In the 19th chapter of Revelation, we have the prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ. At the beginning of the 20th chapter, what is to happen?

Exactly what the 16th chapter of Leviticus shows. The devil is sent away the symbol here used is the "bottomless pit" symbol of an uninhabited desolate wilderness (Revelation 18:2) and he is sent there by a FIT man an ANGEL from heaven. Now the devil is not killed. He does not die. He is still alive a thousand years later after the Millennium (Revelation 20:7).

Now a few points that will come to mind. Both goats were "presented before the Lord." Can Satan be presented before the Lord? Job 1:6 and 2:1 says he has presented himself before the Lord. Note, too, Azazel was driven away from the Holy of Holies, a symbol of God's presence.

And so the annual Day of Atonement was instituted forever to keep continually before God's children and His Church the plan of redemption, to occur after the Second Coming of Christ.

And we find this annual holy day recognized in the New Testament. In Acts 27:9, when Paul was on his perilous sea voyage to Rome, it is recorded that "when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past. . . ." See the margin in your Bible. The fast refers to the Day of Atonement the 10th day of the seventh month. Now this day could not then have been past on that particular year unless that day was still in full effect and force and existence. Otherwise the Holy Spirit surely could never have inspired those words! Surely this strongly indicates that this day was still in existence and being recognized thus by the Holy Spirit. (Armstrong HW. Pagan Holidays or God's Holy Days Which?)

Year of Jubilee (Insert for Jubilee Year)

The Bible seems to endorse what could be called restrained capitalism. For one example, every 50 years there was a particular biblical proclamation that affected capitalism called the jubilee. This jubilee was to be proclaimed on the Day of Atonement.

This proclamation not only eliminated debts, it gave back ancestral lands (which tended to stop excessive real estate speculation) and tended to encourage people to take better care of the land (if the land is to be part of one’s family in perpetuity, people would be more careful with it).

Here is what the Bible itself teaches about it:

8 ‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12 For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.

13 ‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. 14 And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another. 15 According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. 16 According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. 17 Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 25:8-17)

25 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold. 26 Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it, 27 then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession. 28 But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession.

29 ‘If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it. 30 But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee. 31 However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee. 32 Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time. 33 And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34 But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession. (Leviticus 25:25-34)

40 As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 And then he shall depart from you — he and his children with him — and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. (Leviticus 25:40-41)

47 ‘Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger’s family, 48 after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; 49 or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. 50 Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a hired servant for him. 51 If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. 52 And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. 53 He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. 54 And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee — he and his children with him. 55 For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 25:47-55)

2 And they said: “The Lord commanded my lord Moses to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters. 3 Now if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and it will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so it will be taken from the lot of our inheritance. 4 And when the Jubilee of the children of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers. (Numbers 36:2-4)

16 ‘If a man dedicates to the Lord part of a field of his possession, then your valuation shall be according to the seed for it. A homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. 17 If he dedicates his field from the Year of Jubilee, according to your valuation it shall stand. 18 But if he dedicates his field after the Jubilee, then the priest shall reckon to him the money due according to the years that remain till the Year of Jubilee, and it shall be deducted from your valuation. 19 And if he who dedicates the field ever wishes to redeem it, then he must add one-fifth of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall belong to him. 20 But if he does not want to redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed anymore; 21 but the field, when it is released in the Jubilee, shall be holy to the Lord, as a devoted field; it shall be the possession of the priest.

22 ‘And if a man dedicates to the Lord a field which he has bought, which is not the field of his possession, 23 then the priest shall reckon to him the worth of your valuation, up to the Year of Jubilee, and he shall give your valuation on that day as a holy offering to the Lord. 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, to the one who owned the land as a possession. (Leviticus 27:16-24)

Essentially, the jubilee was a reset for society and a new chance for those who had not handled their finances as well as others may have. People would get their ancestral lands back, if they would have sold them. And since it was supposed to be observed once every 50 years, most people who did not die in childhood would have experienced it once or even twice in their lifetime (yes, even three times was possible). Note: Some Jews believe, based upon a non-biblical tradition, that the Jubilee is every 49 years, as opposed to every 50, however the Bible is clear that the Jubilee is the FIFTIETH year, which is why I bolded that above.

As far as the meaning of the term translated as jubilee, notice the following:

The translation “Jubilee year” results from a mistaken application of cognates (similar words in different languages). In the original Hebrew, the year was called the “year of the horn,” or, in Hebrew, “the year of the yovel.” The Latin for yovel is iobileus, which just happens to sound like the Latin word iubileus, connected to the verb iubilare, “to celebrate.” The English “Jubilee year” comes from the Latin.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-joel-hoffman/five-mistakes-bible-translation_b_1129620.html

Some have suggested that because the jubilee is not observed, that this is perhaps why there tends to be major economic problems every 50-60 or so years. Notice the following:

Kondratieff long wave cycle (K-wave) was originally used to explain long wave economic cycles. Its originator Nickolai Kondratieff was a Russian economist (1892-1938) in Stalin’s Agricultural Academy and Business Research Institute (“Long Waves in Economic Life” – originally published in German in 1926). Kondratieff’s major premise was that capitalist economies displayed long wave cycles of boom and bust ranging between 50-60 years in duration. Kondratieff’s study covered the period 1789 to 1926 and was centered on prices and interest rates.”
“The 50-60 year cycle of catastrophe and renewal had been observed and recorded by the ancient Mayans of Central America and by the ancient Israelites. Further studies have discovered similar long economic waves from the period of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Kondratieff identified four distinct phases the economy goes through. They are a period of inflationary growth, followed by stagflation, then deflationary growth and finally depression.” http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_02/chapmand062902.html See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kondratiev_wave

How often the children of Israel ever really observed “the year of the yovel” is a question, but there is no question that the modern descendants of Israel have not observed it for many centuries. Hence, this seems to have been an overlooked or even despised portion of the word of God. Yet, notice a warning in Isaiah 30:12-13 to the descendants of Israel:

12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:

“Because you despise this word, And trust in oppression and perversity, And rely on them, 13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you Like a breach ready to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.

The modern descendents of Israel more and more seem to despise the word of God and to accept practices of oppression (including not following biblical laws related to debt and land distribution) and perversity.

Since Satan will be banished for a 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-3) and this will help result in a type of restoration to the earth, the jubilee year, in a more immediate physical sense, also will result in a type of restoration (specifically of lands and not being in debt).

From time to time I receive emails from some who think they know when the jubilee year is, despite the fact that history does not clearly record a particular year that the children of Israel actually observed it. There was, for one example, someone who emailed me and claimed that the 50 year biblical jubilee would begin on October 8, 2011. He was upset that I would not proclaim that as he was convinced that was the year. I told him I did not believe that the jubilee period could have began then. One of the reasons is that since God has a 6,000 plan for humankind that should be up within a decade or two and since 6,000 years is divisible by 50, I did not believe that 2011-2012 could possibly have been the year of jubilee.

I have looked at a lot of calculations for the next Jubilee year and am not absolutely certain which is correct. One that is supposedly based upon the reign of King Josiah seems to point to the 2028 or 2027 time period (see The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets?), but there are others that point to Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:29-34) that suggest more like a 2050 or 2051 date which seems too distant. Another from the Talmud that leaves over 200 years off, seems to point to 2038, while one related to Ezekiel 40:1 (which the Pulpit commentary says may have been 575 BC) points to 2026 , and one by the Rabbi known as Maimonides seems to point to 2025 (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12967-sabbatical-year-and-jubilee#anchor9).

Here is some information from what seems to be a Protestant source that suggests 2028:

The Bible relates this information about the year of Jubilee.

“Count off seven sabbaths of years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years [seven ‘sevens’]. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.”

Leviticus 25:8-12

    The Bible further states the Jewish year begins in the first month of Nisan, since the time of Exodus, although modern Jews actually begin the civil New Year six months later in the seventh month (Tishrei).  So using this understanding, the forty-ninth year (seventh Sabbath) would have started in the month of Nisan and ended just before the month of Nisan the following year. There would have been no planting in that year if they followed God’s laws. God also says not to sow or reap in the year of Jubilee as well, the fiftieth year, so why does He say to wait until the tenth day of the seventh month before the year is proclaimed when the Jews clearly should already be “observing” the Jubilee by not planting crops? We will examine this issue shortly. So a year of Jubilee begins on the first of Nisan, is proclaimed midway through the year on the Day of Atonement, and ends at the start of a new year in the month of Nisan.

    Assuming Josephus was correct on this point, the year of Jubilee he reported would probably have been Nisan 1, 3738 A.M. to Adar 29, 3739 A.M. This corresponds to March 28, 23 B.C to March 16, 22 B.C. Projecting these dates 50 years ahead across the B.C. to A.D. threshold gives us March 14, 28 A.D. (Nisan 1, 3788 A.M.) to March 31, 29 A.D. (Adar II 29, 3789 A.M.) as the first year of Jubilee in the year of our Lord (anno domini – A.D.). This period of time partially overlaps the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, which ended in August of 29 A.D. If you aspire to do your counting from the first of Tishrei (using that as the beginning of the New Year), then the Jubilee Year would have been September 21, 23 B.C. to September 10, 22 B.C. instead, effectively moving the dates six months into the future. The next Jubilee (28/29 A.D.) using this accounting method would have lined up very close to the 15th year of Tiberius… being off by only three to four weeks longer...

So we see from using more accurate calendar math that the next year of Jubilee from Josephus’ writings was between 28 and 29 A.D. not just 28 A.D. as we originally calculated. If we project this Jubilee year 2,000 years into the future… forty (generations) fifty year periods (Jubilees), we get the first of Tishrei in the year 5789 A.M. This translates into September 21, 2028 A.D. on the Gregorian calendar and the end of that Jewish year using the same calendar is September 9, 2029 A.D. The tenth of Tishrei of this Jubilee year, the Day of Atonement, is September 30, 2028 A.D. as you already know. (Vargo RH. 2028 ~ GOD'S PLAN FOR MANKIND. Chapter 26. ASIN: B00885RJ9Y, 2007. http://webwaydrive.com/2028/Jubilee%20Year%20Revelation.htm; the same conclusion is in R.H. Vargo's 2009 book: Tribulation: God's Plan for the End of The Age, p. 16)

I am not certain that 2028 must be the year, but it could be the next Jubiliee. It is possible that the millennium would start on a year of Jubilee.

Since the Bible teaches "the land shall enjoy its sabbaths" (Leviticus 26:34-35), the jubilee year is considered one of them (in addition to the every seven year land sabbath of Exodus 23:10-11), and the final Day of the Lord lasts one year (Isaiah 34:8), it is possible that the Day of the Lord or the period immediately after the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom will be the next jubilee year. 

The Day of Atonement in New Testament Times

But what about the Day of Atonement in New Testament times?

The Bible teaches that Jesus kept the Law and did not sin (Hebrews 4:15), hence He kept all the Fall Holy Days including the Day of Atonement.

The New Testament shows that the the Gentile Gospel writer Luke knew about the Day of Atonement, when he wrote:

...sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over (Acts 27:9).

What was Luke referring to according to Protestant commentators? Why the day of Atonement. Notice two such commentaries (note italics/bolding are from the sources cited):

Acts 27:9-11... Sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was already past, that is, the famous yearly fast of the Jews, the day of atonement, which was on the tenth day of the seventh month, a day to afflict the soul with fasting (from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.).

Acts 27:8-9... The fast to which Luke refers is the Day of Atonement (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press).

The fact that Luke (who wrote in Greek) used that term for a Christian audience (Acts 1:1) strongly indicates that the Day of Atonement was known, recognized, and observed by early Christians. He presumed that Christians would realize when "the Fast" was as they would have been keeping it. If they had not been keeping it, then Luke probably would have used a different expression. But he did not as he knew his the Greek-reading Christian audience would understand what he was referring to.

Furthermore, notice some statements from the Apostle Paul:

17...Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers (Acts 28:17)

4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:4-6)

Since Paul kept the customs of his people, he, too, kept all the Fall Holy Days including the Feast of Trumpets. If not, he could not have made that statement which is in Acts 28:17 nor the ones about being blameless in the law in Philippians 3:4-6.

The Hebrew words kaphar (Strong's #3722) and kopher (Strong's #3724), from which the word translated as "Atonement" Kipuriym (Strong's #3725 is kippur) in Leviticus 23:27 comes from, literally means “to cover or cover over" (and Strong's #3722 is used in passages such as Numbers 29:5 to refer to the atonement sacrifice. The New Testament discusses the idea of covering over sins through Jesus sacrifice. Notice what the Apostles Paul and Peter were inspired to write:

5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin." (Romans 4:5-8)

21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

22 "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth"; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:21-25)

This is something Christians need to realize, and the Day of Atonement (as well as Passover) serves as an annual reminder.

Post New Testament

This is further substantiated in a Jewish account (reported in the Talmud), as related by a Catholic scholar may also be helpful here. It is recorded that an early second century Christian named Jacob (100-120 AD) with a Jewish scholar discussed the Day of Atonement and the Christian Jacob explained how it was a reminder which helped show "Christ head of the angels" and that we are to be "blameless" in our "conduct" (Bagatti, Bellarmino.  Translated by Eugene Hoade.  The Church from the Circumcision.  Nihil obstat: Marcus Adinolfi. Imprimi potest: Herminius Roncari. Imprimatur: +Albertus Gori, die 26 Junii 1970.  Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, p.97).

And of course, when God has an angel bind Satan (Revelation 20:1) this will be another related fulfillment for the Day of Atonement.

Furthermore, it is known that in the first and second century, Polycarp of Smyrna kept both the Spring Holy Days and the Fall Holy Days. Polycarp also knew that Satan was behind sin:

“For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist”(1 John 4:3), and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan. Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning (Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians, Chapter VII. Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1 as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson; American Edition, 1885; Reprint Hendrickson Publishers, 1999, pp. 33-36).

Canons 37 & 38 of the Council of Laodicea of the fourth century prohibited the observation of the unleavened bread and other festivals of the Jews and there was a similar condemnation in Canon 69/70 of the Syrian Apostolic Canons near this time which also prohibited in Jewish fasts (Seaver JE.  Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-438), Issue 30 of University of Kansas publications: Humanistic studies. University of Kansas Publications, 1952.  Original from the University of Virginia, Digitized Apr 29, 2009, pp. 34-35; also at http://vlib.iue.it/carrie/texts/carrie_books/seaver/text.html). Hence this practice of Christians keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread also must have been going on then in Asia Minor and elsewhere--others scholars share that opinion (Seaver, p. 34; Bagatti B, Priest. The Church from the Circumcision, pp. 87-88).

Furthermore the keeping of these days was condemned by John Chrysostom near the end of the fourth century, thus confirming that professors of Christ were keeping the biblical holy days. John Chrysostom specifically condemned observing the Day of the Fast that the Jews also kept (see Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days?):

The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts.

This condemnation, though, is specific proof that some who professed Christ still observed the Day of Atonement into the fourth century.

Additionally, comments by Jerome and Epiphanius near that time concerning the Nazarene Christians would also seem to support that those who kept the Holy Days, such as Atonement, were located in several areas at that time (see Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes?).

It should also be added that because of the renunciation of the millennial teaching, officially the Catholics of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox seem to have discounted and/or misunderstood the literal biblical teaching that Satan will be bound for a thousand years. Notice the following from one Eastern Orthodox and two Roman Catholic sources:

CHILIASM: Chiliasm, from the Greek word meaning "1000," is a belief based on Revelation 20:2-7. In its classical form (which interprets the Revelation 20 verses verbatim), Chiliasm teaches that Satan will be bound by Christ for 1000 years, at which time Jesus and the Saints will reign on earth, and after which, Satan will be finally defeated and the Eternal Kingdom of God will be inaugurated. In modern times, Chiliasm has been "boiled down" to the teaching that the world will end after one thousand years (or a number of years that is a multiple of one thousand). Though some Ancient Church Fathers of the first three centuries AD had Chiliast leanings, the Orthodox Church formally denounced Chiliasm at the Second Ecumenical Council, in 381 (Orthodox Christian Beliefs and Practices. © 2006-2007 Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. http://www.uocc.ca/en-ca/faith/beliefs/ 08/18/07).

Revelation 20:1-3 . . . God has always respected our freedom of choice between covenant fidelity to him and to apostasy. That seems to be the theological point of this thousand-year period that is relatively free from Satanic temptations. (Kurz, W. What Does the Bible Say About the End Times? A Catholic View. Servant Books, Cincinnati. Nihil Obstat: Kistner H., Schehr T.P. Imprimi Potest: Link F., Paul J.M. Imprimatur: Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004, p. 168, 173-174)

Millenium {sic}: Since the Holy Office decreed (July 21, 1944) that it cannot safely be taught that Christ at His Second Coming will reign visibly with only some of His saints (risen from the dead) for a period of time before the final and universal judgment, a spiritual millennium is seen in Apoc. 20:4-6. St. John gives a spiritual recapitulation of the activity of Satan, and the spiritual reign of the saints with Christ in heaven and in His Church on earth. When Christianity triumphed over the Beast (in its sixth head, the pagan Roman empire) Satan was chained. With the re-appearance of the Beast in the anti-Christian world empire (the seventh head), he will be unchained, and muster all his forces against the Church until the peak of the persecution under Antichrist. Meanwhile, the church enjoyed its milleniun {sic} with Christ enthroned among the nations. (LeFrois, Bernard J. Eschatological Interpretation of the Apocalypse. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, pp. 17-20; Cited in Culleton RG. The Reign of Antichrist, 1951. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1974, p. 9).

Notice that the above suggests that Satan has been gone a thousand years. Does any thinking person believe that Satan was ever bound and away from the earth for 1,000 years after Revelation (which Catholics often refer to as the Apocalypse) was written? This has never happened literally or spiritually--though it will in the millennium.

Furthermore, it should be clear that Orthodox Church scholars know that early Christian leaders, which it calls, "Ancient Church Fathers" taught chiliasm (called millenarianism in Latin), yet it CHANGED that teaching AND CONDEMNED it in a church council. And some Catholics teach that the binding of Satan in Revelation is eithr symbolic or has already happened! There has not been one thousand years that the world has been free of Satan, and because these groups do not keep the Day of Atonement anymore, they are failing to understand much of its meaning.

Does any thinking person believe that Satan was ever bound and away from the Earth for 1,000 years after the Book of Revelation (which Catholics often refer to as the Apocalypse) was written? This has never happened literally or spiritually. It will happen in the millennium (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

Notice the following from a Catholic "prophet":

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (Born in the 17th century, in Germany): God will bind Satan for a number of years until the days of the Son of Perdition...(Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p. 40)

Yet, the Bible is clear that Satan is bound (Revelation 20:1-4) after Jesus returns (Revelation 19:11-16) and the son of perdition (Revelation 19:20) is gone. Hence, this is a misunderstanding on Satan contradicts the order in scripture--and also disagrees with certain other Catholics. Those who keep the biblical Holy Days are less likely to make that type of error.

Notice that the Sabbath-keepers in Transylvania in the 1500s (and probably later) kept the Fall Holy Days such as the Day of Atonement:

The Sabbatarians viewed themselves as converted Gentiles..They held to the biblical holidays...The Day of Atonement was a day of fasting, although they emphasized that pentinence is more easily achieved by a peaceful and quiet meditation on the law and one's life than by fasting. (Liechty D. Sabbatarianism in the Sixteenth Century. Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs (MI), 1993, pp. 61-62).

People attempting to be faithful to the Bible have observed the Day of Atonement and we in the Continuing Church of God continue to do so in the 21st century.

Why Fasting? Are There Any Health Benefits of Fasting?

On the Day of Atonement, the Bible says to "afflict your souls" (Leviticus 23:32).

In Isaiah 58:5 the Bible teaches that a fasting day is a day to afflict one's soul. Furthermore, notice something else from Isaiah:

12 And in that day the Lord God of hosts
Called for weeping and for mourning,
For baldness and for girding with sackcloth.
13 But instead, joy and gladness,
Slaying oxen and killing sheep,
Eating meat and drinking wine:
"Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"

14 Then it was revealed in my hearing by the Lord of hosts,
"Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you,
Even to your death," says the Lord God of hosts. (Isaiah 22:12-14)

Notice that not avoiding food when told to is equated to having no atonement. And while the word translated as atonement in Isaiah 22:14 is not the identical Hebrew word in Leviticus 23, it is similar and apparently has similar connotations.

The Day of Atonement was called "the Fast" in Acts 27:9.

Thus, those in the Church of God who are faithful and able fast on the Day of Atonement. That is, they avoid all food and drink for the entire 24 hours of that day.

Are there any benefits associated with that?

First notice what the Bible teaches:

5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord?
6 "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'

"If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. (Isaiah 58:5-12)

So, the Bible teaches both physical and spiritual benefits and responsibilities from fasting.

Here are some comments from Herbert W. Armstrong about fasting:

FASTING AND PRAYER: There is . . . NOTHING like fasting and prayer for drawing close to God, re-establishing contact, being filled with His Spirit. For this purpose it is better to fast completely -- no fruit-juice of any kind. In Bible times they sometimes fasted without even water, but sometimes water was used. Personally I think results will be obtained if one drinks water, but nothing else.

For purely spiritual purposes a fast of from one to three days is usually sufficient. You may expect headaches, and a very thick-headed feeling the first few days. It is not pleasant. It is, in Bible language, AFFLICTING THE SOUL. It takes courage and will-power, and self-denial. I recommend, for this purpose, dividing your time three ways: about one third in studying the subject of fasting in the Bible, and other Bible study. Use a good concordance, and your marginal references if your Bible has them. If not you should get one which has. Look up all you can find under fasting. Then about a third of your time in meditation -- turning over in your own mind by yourself WHY you have not been closer to God, thinking out just HOW you have been letting the worldly things creep in, meditating on what you have read in the Bible, applying it to yourself and your spiritual condition. Then, spend one full third of your time in earnest PRAYER.

Did you ever spend one solid HOUR in prayer, alone with God in some private room, on your knees? Very few ever have. If you haven't, the first time you do it you'll find it will take as much will-power and self-denial as forcing yourself to stay on a fast and resisting that gnawing hunger feeling. In five or ten minutes, or less, every excuse in the world will come into your mind. You aren't in the mood now -- why not do it later? You just think of something that ought to be done, and you think you must go do it right now. Yes, I know what will come to your mind, for I have done it and I know by experience. But if you will resist every temptation, and STAY on your knees, even though you think your prayer isn't going as high as the ceiling, in at least 30 or 40 minutes the devil will probably give up and let you alone and you'll find you are establishing contact with God, and you'll find you are beginning to really ENJOY talking to Him -- just pouring out your soul to Him -- telling him all about it. Pause, once awhile, and meditate, and let God talk to you. (Armstrong HW. Importance of Fasting. July 7, 1948)

In addition to humbling ourselves and helping us to realize how much we need to rely on God and drawing closer to him, fasting is considered to have certain physical benefits. Some, though sadly not yet most, in the medical world are realizing that there seem to be health benefits from fasting:

The power of intermittent fasting

August 4, 2012

Scientists are uncovering evidence that short periods of fasting, if properly controlled, could achieve a number of health benefits, as well as potentially helping the overweight, as Michael Mosley discovered…

Calorie restriction, eating well but not much, is one of the few things that has been shown to extend life expectancy, at least in animals. We’ve known since the 1930s that mice put on a low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet live far longer. There is mounting evidence that the same is true in monkeys…

IGF-1 levels can be lowered by fasting. The reason seems to be that when our bodies no longer have access to food they switch from “growth mode” to “repair mode”.

As levels of the IGF-1 hormone drop, a number of repair genes appear to get switched on according to ongoing research by Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California…

Current medical opinion is that the benefits of fasting are unproven and until there are more human studies it’s better to eat at least 2000 calories a day. If you really want to fast then you should do it in a proper clinic or under medical supervision, because there are many people, such as pregnant women or diabetics on medication, for whom it could be dangerous. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549

Fasting Reduces Risk of Heart Disease.

In a study of more than 4,500 Mormons in Utah, researchers examined behaviors that were associated with lower risk of coronary artery disease—heart disease. After accounting for other factors (smoking, alcohol use, coffee and tea ingestion), researchers discovered that those who fasted routinely (without food or drink) were at lower risk for heart disease than those who did not fast. Fasting was also associated with lower diabetes risk (The American Journal of Cardiology, October 1, 2008).

Fasting twice a year rebuilds Immune System

A New Study Has Suggested That Fasting Could Help The Body To Fight Off Disease By Regenerating The Immune System. The Study Added That Fasting For Two Days Can Regenerate The Immune System.

June 8, 2014

For the study, the effects of fasting for two to four day periods for six months on both mice and humans were tested by the researchers. In both cases, it was found that long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts.

And in mice, each cycle of fasting then 'flipped a regenerative switch' that led to the regeneration of new white blood cells, which in turn renews the defence system of the body.

Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California, said: "It gives the OK for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system. And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting."

He added that a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.

The study also revealed that levels of the enzyme PKA, reduces as a result of fasting. This increases longevity in simple organisms, as well as levels of the hormone IGF-1, which has been linked to ageing, tumour progression and cancer risk. http://www.delhidailynews.com/news/Fasting-regenerates-immune-system-1402181003/

Intermittent fasting, the weight-losing alternative to three meals a day

December 1, 2014

Instead of eating three square meals a day, intermittent fasting might help fight not just obesity but also such ailments as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s, researchers say.

The advice given on fighting obesity usually focuses on consuming fewer calories and exercising more. The benefits of such foods as vegetables, fruit, nuts, fiber and fish, and the value of reducing or eliminating snacks are often also touted.

However, mounting evidence reveals that other key aspects of diet — when and how often people eat — can also play a major role in health. In fact, the most common eating pattern in modern societies — three meals daily, plus snacks — is abnormal from the perspective of human evolution, an international group of researchers wrote in an article published online Nov. 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More and more research shows that intermittent fasting may have benefits, they said.

Fasting alone is more powerful in preventing and reversing some diseases than drugs,” said Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor of regulatory biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, one of the co-authors of the article. ...

“Intermittent fasting helps the body to rejuvenate and repair, thereby promoting overall health,” Panda said.

Fasting is a health booster for many and also seems to increase longevity.

Of course, those who risk death or major health problems should not fast. But for others, it can be a healthy thing to do from a physical, as well as spiritual, perspective.

Some people, especially those who consume caffeine regularly, find fasting difficult. Those who wean down off of caffeine sometimes find fasting easier than they would have otherwise.

Here are some Jewish tips to prepare for fasting:

Tips for Easier Fasting

Tips to prepare for the fast include: drinking at least two liters of water a day (10 cups) on the days before the fast, and eating whole grains and vegetables on the day before, while avoiding sugar,spicy, fried and salty foods that cause thirst.

Those who drink significant amounts of beverages containing caffeine daily (coffee, non-herb teas, colas) are advised to reduce the amount gradually, starting several days before the fast to prevent caffeine addiction symptoms which can include headaches and nausea.

The last meal before the fast, known as the seudah hamafseket, should not include unfamiliar, spicy, or fried foods, and should omit vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli.

After the fast, those who have abstained from drinking and eating are advised to rehydrate slowly, with a sweet drink, and begin eating with a snack, followed approximately one hour later by a light meal.  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/148579

In my own case, I tend to drink more water the day before fasting and avoid saltier foods. Also, those who fast more regularly throughout the year tend to have less difficulties fasting than those that do not (people with hypoglycemia, etc. excepted).

The Holy Days

The Christian Day of Atonement, comes after the Feast of Trumpets (also known as Rosh Hoshana or Rosh Hashanah) and is considered to be part of God's plan of salvation as shown in the biblical (though often called 'Jewish') holy days.

In its Statement of Beliefs , the Continuing Church of God states:

The Day of Atonement, called “the Fast” in the New Testament (Acts 27:9), helps show our own weaknesses and need to be closer to God (Isaiah 58:5,11).  It also helps picture that Satan has a role in the sins of humankind and that he will be bound for one-thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3; cf. Leviticus 16:20-26; Isaiah 14:12-16).

Thus, because of its New Testament references, the Day of Atonement is something that should be highly relevant for Christians. In spite of this, a least one fourth century leader, who had antisemetic tendencies, condemned this day and other Fall Holy Days (see article Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days?)--however, the Bible itself shows that the Day of Atonement is important for Christians.

The fasting day also gives Christians a brief pause before the next holiday/Holy Day period, the Feast of Tabernacles, which is a time of rejoicing and feasting that begins 5 days later (picturing the 1000 year reign of Christ on the Earth--this teaching is called by some as Millenarianism).

The Day of Atonement is significant for Christians. It pictures Christ's sacrifice for our sins and that Satan has a role and will be sent away (and bound for the millennium). While others professing Christianity somewhat understand this, because they do not keep this and the other Christian Holy Days, they often do not have a proper view of God's plan of salvation, such as the role of Satan and Christ.

This Day of Atonement pictures not only what has happened (with Christ) but some of what will happen with Satan (while the holy days that follow show other events that will happen later). This is information that Christians living in these latter days should value.

Information on fasting can be found in an old article by Herbert W. Armstrong titled Importance of Fasting; here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese 禁食的重要性.

A sermonette-length video message related to offerings and this day is available: Offering for Atonement? A sermon length video is also available: The Bible and the Day of Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Ayuno –Su significado cristiano.

More information on the Holy Days can be found in the booklet, The Holy Days - God's Master Plan or the articles:

Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism
Did the Early Church Observe the Fall Holy Days?
Is There "An Annual Worship Calendar" In the Bible?
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?

Melito's Homily on the Passover
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians?

Thiel, B., Ph.D. The Day of Atonement--Its Christian Significance. www.cogwriter.com/atonement.htm (c) 2005/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013 1203

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