Light from the Ancient Sanctuary B
Understanding the Fall Feasts of the Sanctuary
SPRING CEREMONIES: 1st month
THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
THE WAVE SHEAF
THE FEAST OF HARVEST: PENTECOST
FALL CEREMONIES: 7th month
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
FALL CEREMONIES: 7th month
The last part of the ceremonial year represented what would take place further on in time, when God would do a great work of judging the dead and cleansing his living people and preparing them for heaven.
The fall feasts would be fulfilled in the time when there was no literal sanctuary on earth. The final feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, would take place at the end of earth’s history, when God would do a closing work to prepare a people to enter the New Jerusalem.
These fall feasts started with the Feast of Trumpets sounding the warning that God’s Judgment Day was coming. Second, the Day of Atonement, or the Day of Judgment. Atonement means at-one-ment, the day when God and man would be reconciled. Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles, pointing to when the redeemed would be given eternal life.
The Day of Atonement was also known as the ‘Cleansing of the Sanctuary’. This is a very important service and pointed forward to the ‘Time of the End’ when God’s Judgment of all who had ever claimed to be His people would begin. Later, in the prophecies of Daniel, the date when this would begin was told.
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then
shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14
When this is figured out (see Daniel 8 & 9) it comes to 1844 AD. (457 BC - 1844 AD) At that time a special work of judging the professed people of God would begin and Jesus would pass into the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary. The work would begin with the dead and eventually come to the living.
It is interesting that the Prophetic book of Daniel points out the coming Judgment and most of Revelation is telling about the events surrounding this Judgment. In these two books you see one perfect picture even though they were written centuries apart. And behind it all, the great object-lesson of the Sanctuary and its services runs through it, tying it all together for those who truly seek to understand.
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
Ten days before the Day of Atonement, the Day of Judgment and sealing, trumpets were blown throughout the entire land of Palestine. Throughout hills and valleys, the trumpets could be heard echoing through the valleys, and from mountaintop to mountaintop. The people stopped whatever they were doing.
Even the individual who was least concerned about his salvation, knew that at that time he had to drop everything, and be sure to have his sacrifices finished, and all of his sins confessed and brought into that sanctuary. He only had ten days to do this heart-searching work.
The blowing of the trumpet signified God’s loud call to repentance. Since this seventh month closes up the year’s work in connection with the sanctuary service, and with the harvest, how appropriate for the trumpet to blow that the people should turn their attention more to the things of God, and prepare for the final work. Hence, this is one of the most sacred days to the Jews.
They teach that on this day, three sets of books are opened; the Book of Life to examine the good deeds of the people, the Book of Death to examine the evil deeds, and a sort of intermediary book to examine accounts of those whose cases are to be decided on the Day of Atonement ten days later. The ten days following this Sabbath day are called the Ten Days of Repentance. Even the most careless and indifferent during these days devotes time to the service of God, seeking for preparation of heart, that when the Day of Atonement arrives, he may receive a seal of life for the year to come, symbolizing the end-time seal of God’s character forever.
The people put everything aside. They knew that this was their last chance that year to purify their hearts and their lives. Then as the tenth day dawned, they gathered their families around the sanctuary. All were there. This was the most important day in the year. Any Israelite, or non-Israelite that believed in the worship of the True God, who failed to be there on the Day of Atonement, were cut off from Israel and symbolically lost forever.
A Prophetic day equals a year in real time. In 1833 the ‘Falling of the Stars’ occurred, and 10 years before 1844, the preaching of the message of Daniel 8:14 began in real earnest. For centuries, this book had been ‘sealed’, but now as the time came for the last great time prophecies to come to an end, interest sprang up all over the world in the study of the time prophecies of Daniel.
Even though the people mistakenly thought that the ‘sanctuary’ that was to be cleansed, was the earth and that the text meant that Jesus was coming back to earth that year, it still had the same effect as the sounding of those trumpets did in ancient Israel. World-wide, people began to turn their attention to the prophecies and to repent of their sins and seek the Lord.
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
On the Great Day of Atonement, the only one that was to minister in the sanctuary, was the high priest. He would enter the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary to do a special work. This was the only time in the year when anyone could enter there. But first he had to do a special work of purifying for himself:
If he was impure when he went into that sanctuary, he would die. All around the base of his robe the Lord had directed that he was to put pomegranates, and between the pomegranates, bells, so that as he walked, those bells tinkled through the sanctuary.
The congregation were holding on by faith to what was being done by the high priest. This purification was to take place in their lives by faith. They listened to the tinkling of the bells and followed his work in the sanctuary. If those bells stopped for very long, they were frightened that their high priest may have perished before the Lord.
The first thing the high priest would have to do on this special Day of Atonement, or Judgment Day, was to take extra incense and the portable incense burner (The Censer) and fill it with incense so that smoke began to billow out of it. He walked through the Holy Place of the sanctuary with incense in his hand, adding it to the fire in the incense burner in his other hand. He walked up to the curtain, beyond which he had not entered all year long, to that room where glowed that mysterious, supernatural light, the Shekinah Glory.
He went over to the edge of that curtain, and reached in with the censer, so sending a cloud of smoke in before him to veil him. This veil represented the intercession of Jesus Christ in our behalf. Then he walked into that glorious room, before the Ark of the Covenant, where was kept the sacred Law of God. The Shekinah light blazed just before him, and he waved that smoke in front of him for protection. Then he put the incense burner down in the sanctuary. He turned around now wearing the gorgeous robes and the beautiful plate on his chest and went outside.
He took a bull calf, and offered it as a sacrifice for himself and his whole family, to purify their lives, so that he could perform this work as a fit representative of Jesus Christ, our High Priest. Then he returned through the curtain, into the Most Holy, with the blood on his fingers in one hand, and the bowl of blood in the other.
Now the room was filled with smoke representing the final intercession of Jesus in these last days in our behalf. He walked up to the Ark, and around it, for the first time he turned and faced the east. Humbly, he placed the blood on the Mercy Seat below the glowing Shekinah, the glory of the infinite God.
This turning around and facing the east symbolized the end of mediation. If he did not die, it showed that God accepted the sacrifice in his behalf, and he could carry on the work for the sanctuary and the people.
Then he went out and his garments were completely changed. He was not allowed to touch his own garments. He had to have his garments taken off for him, and the new garment, a plain, white linen ephod placed on him. His hat, undergarments, everything was changed.
Now he represented that he was not his own man, he was fulfilling the symbolism of the work of Christ. Self was to have no part in that. He represented Jesus alone.
THE TWO GOATS:
Two goats had been chosen, and were tied just outside the curtain of the sanctuary, waiting through all this for their part in this last final symbol of reconciliation between God, and man, and the end of sin.
The High Priest in these new white robes, went out and lots were cast over the two goats. One was chosen to be the Lord’s goat, and the other was the ‘scape-goat’, the one chosen to represent Satan. He was called Azazel, and even to this day the Hebrews use the name of Azazel to represent the devil. In spiritualism at times, you also find that Satan uses the symbol of a goat, and the name Azazel.
First he took the Lord’s goat, and he would not confess sins over that goat. This goat was a sin offering. It is called a sin offering in the Bible, but no sins were confessed over the animal. The throat was cut, and the blood was caught in a bowl. That blood represented the Sinless Life of Christ.
The first place the priest took this blood, was to the court where the blood of sin offerings had been placed upon the horns of the brazen altar, symbolizing that the people’s sins had been transferred to that. He touched the horns on that alter, indicating that the sins of the people were now taken from the altar and were now carried in this blood, representing the sacrifice of Christ. It represented Jesus bearing our sins.
The priest then went into the sanctuary, to the horns of the little golden Altar of Incense, where the blood, had been faithfully taken in throughout the ceremonial year, representing the transfer of the confessed sins into the sanctuary. He touched those horns with this blood of the Lord’s goat, representing that now these confessed sins were borne by Jesus, our Saviour.
Then he went up to the curtain where blood of sin offerings was sprinkled throughout the ceremonial year, and took some of the blood of the Lord’s goat and sprinkled it. Thus showing that all sin on record in the sanctuary, was now taken into the blood, and borne by our Saviour in the final work He is going to do for mankind.
Those sins represent the sins that are confessed, repented of and forsaken. If anyone retained sins during this last work of Jesus Christ, those sins will stay on them.
Jesus’ work, at the end of time, is to lift the sins that we have confessed and forsaken, and remove them from our lives forever. The great wonder of this last work of Atonement, is that we can have the record of sin removed forever, and be as though we had never sinned!
But the work is not yet finished. While he is carrying all of the confessed sins of the people symbolically, he makes his way again into that Most Holy Place, just choking with incense and smoke, and approaches that glowing light. He makes his way around the Ark of the Covenant, taking this blood, now bearing all these sins, and touches the golden Mercy Seat above the Law of God, resting below the Shekinah. If he does not die, the sacrifice is accepted and he can bear those sins out of the sanctuary.
Finally, he would go out into the court, take Azazel, the other goat, that represented Satan, and the priest would place his hands over the head of that goat and he would confess all the sins that had come into the sanctuary. Symbolically, it represented that the sins that people had confessed, had now been removed from their minds, their memories and their lives, and transferred to the mind, the memory and the life of Satan, the instigator of sin.
The Scapegoat was then taken by a strong, fit man, out into a wilderness area and there he was left, never to return to the camp.
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the
hour of his judgment is come:” Revelation 14:7
The 2300 day Time Prophecy of Daniel 8 and 9 was God’s way of telling us the progress of things in the Plan of Salvation and when the time of the Judgment would begin. When Jesus returned to heaven after His death and resurrection, He served as our Priest, interceding before God and His Law. Not with the blood of animals, as was used in the symbols here on earth, but His own perfect life and blood of His sacrifice.
As the sinner comes in prayer before God to repent and confess his sins, Jesus presents those prayers to the Father covered with His blood, that paid the penalty of the broken Law and with the incense of His perfect, sinless Life.
But at the end of the 2300 days, (prophetic years) in 1844, on the anti-typical Day of Atonement, Jesus began the work of ‘Cleansing’ the Heavenly Sanctuary. All through the history of man, the sins have been recorded in the Heavenly Sanctuary. When we are forgiven, the Blood of Christ is applied to cover those sins; but they are still on the records!
“What?” You say, “I thought they just disappear? Doesn’t the Bible
say God will cast them into the depth of the sea?”
Yes, but this is done after the final examining of the records in Heaven. Because all our acts have continuing effects down through the ages, the record of them must be kept until the final reckoning. We are not present at this court in person, but the records of our lives are examined.
Sin doesn’t just disappear, Someone has to pay for that sin. In the Sanctuary service it is clear that sin doesn’t just vanish. All year long the sins of the people were symbolically transferred to the Sanctuary. Then the Day of Atonement service showed how the sins were finally disposed of.
The ‘Lord’s goat’ represented the innocent Savior, whose blood became the means to remove the sin from the people by paying the penalty of the broken Law of God, for sins confessed, repented of and forsaken.
At the time when The High Priest takes that blood out of the sanctuary, symbolically carrying the sins out of the sanctuary, it represents the removal of sin’s records, and the memory of sin, from our minds and our hearts. The High Priest would leave the sanctuary, leave the glory; the incense burner would continue to build up smoke, representing that throughout this period of time Jesus, is still mediating for us.
These feasts are perfectly fulfilled with Christ as our Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. This indicates that at the end of this world’s history; in the very time in which you and I live; Christ is finishing up His work in the heavenly sanctuary. Before He comes, every one of us is to cooperate with Him in the work of putting away all sin from our lives; bringing them to the Savior, so that in the near future He can transfer those sins and our lives will remain eternally clean.
But if He ends His work, friend, while you have unconfessed and
unforsaken sins still in your life and you have not by faith placed them
on the Lamb of God, and that work comes to an end; you will bear your
sins forever. You will perish in the great destruction coming at the end
of time. Just as those who failed to afflict their souls and repent of
all sin in the time before that Great Day of Atonement in Israel were
considered cut off, and no longer part of God’s people.
This is the time we live in, and this work has been going on in Heaven since 1844! Just like those people back there in the time of the earthly sanctuary, today we have to carry out a similar work. As these people gathered around on this Day of Judgment, or Day of Atonement, they fasted and prayed.
One thing they did, was to take off all their jewelry, and they dressed modestly and humbly in the presence of God. They believed they were coming right into God’s presence to receive their final judgment. We are in that day today. We are living just before the coming of Christ.
Revelation chapter 14 says that John saw an angel preaching the everlasting gospel to all them that dwell upon the earth, to return to proper worship of God, for the hour of His Judgment is come.
Today we are to take all of our jewelry off. Today we are to dress humbly before God, not to gather attention to ourselves, today we are to take the Spirit of Christ into our lives. Today we are to fast and pray. We are to live a healthful life, to eat that which is right, to keep our minds clear so we can afflict our souls, stay close to Jesus, and keep our mind pure, and our words pure, just as they did back then anciently.
I know some people are uncomfortable with it, but you cannot find another meaning in this sanctuary service! This is exactly what it represents. Jesus took those sins upon Himself. He bore them. He suffered for them. He shed His blood and paid the penalty for the broken Law of God.
Jesus death was not to ‘do away with the Law’, that Law is as enduring as the throne of God Himself! Jesus was the Law lived out in human flesh.
His Blood pays the penalty of the broken law. His Sinless Life provides the Power to overcome sin by Faith in the indwelling Christ.
What about the second goat; Azazel, the scapegoat? When the books are examined, each person who has truly repented of their sins and accepted the Savior as their only hope, and have allowed Jesus to remove sin from their lives, cooperating with His mighty power, placing His perfect life into their characters in place of their fallen, sinful ways; then, when the sins of the people of God are removed forever from the people and the Sanctuary, those sins will be placed on the head of the father of sin, Satan, and he will have to suffer for them, because he is responsible for them.
Jesus died so that He would have the privilege of bearing sin away from us, and taking it and putting it back on Satan where it originated. It’s Jesus that is our Sin Bearer and our Redeemer; but Satan is going to pay eventually for all those sins that were confessed, because he is the source of them.
You cannot fully understand what this represents unless you know the sanctuary, and then go to Revelation chapter 20. There it tells about that old serpent the devil and Satan, and a magnificent angel coming down from heaven, and binding Satan with a great chain in what is called a bottomless pit.
This symbolizes the desolation and emptiness of this earth when it is destroyed when Jesus returns and takes His people to Heaven. The wicked people will be slain by the brightness of the Lord in all His glory.
No human will be left alive on this earth. Satan will be bound here 1,000 years, bearing those sins, and looking at the destruction he has caused. Eventually, in the judgment of the wicked, after the 1,000 years, he will be destroyed in the lake of fire that purifies this earth. No human ever needed to die in that lake of fire; it was meant only for the devil and his angels. (See Matthew 25:41) The Plan of Salvation is fully able to save the worst sinner that ever lived. But multitudes will perish there; why? Because they choose Satan’s ways, love their sinful pleasures, and refuse to allow Jesus to save them from their sins. They will perish with the leader they chose to obey.
The high priest went back into the sanctuary, got the blood and poured it out at the foot of the altar. Then, when he went in and got that incense burner, and brought it out of the sanctuary, from before the Ark of the Covenant, into the court, it represented the end of mediation forever.
In Revelation chapter 8, you see an angel, with a golden girdle and a long gown, that represents Jesus Christ. He is standing before the golden altar, offering up incense. Then he adds fire to that censer, and throws it to the earth. That’s a perfect representation of what happens in the sanctuary, representing the end of probation. John actually saw in vision Jesus ending probation, and the terrible plagues taking place on this earth after that happened.
Before that happens, God is going to seal His people with His character forever. He is going to blot out the memory of their confessed sins, and he is going to prepare them for the hour of suffering that lies ahead, and then give them eternal life at His coming. All these things are represented in the beautiful Day of Atonement service.
Oh, that people would study this subject more, so they could understand how much Jesus means to us now as we approach the end of time! We need to come unto Him by faith. We need to pray for the outpouring of His Holy Spirit that our sins may be blotted out and we will be sealed by God for all eternity.
This is a wonderful privilege that you and I have today with this knowledge, to come right in boldly, through faith, into the Most Holy Place, where Jesus Christ is still interceding for sinners, claiming only the merits of that Great Atonement, His sinless Life and His shed Blood.
Now, before the close of this earth’s probation, we must plead with Him and confess our sins before Him. Confess all of them. Don’t cherish any of them like some precious keepsake. Each day make sure that your life is completely hid in Jesus Christ, and let Him live His pure life in you. Then soon, when He blots out those sins, you will be left pure for all eternity.
If you don’t, Revelation tells us of that awful moment when God says, Let him that is filthy remain filthy still. Let him that is unrighteous remain unrighteous still, but he that is pure, he that is righteous, let him remain righteous still.
God, at some point in time, is going to end this terrible suffering and death in this world. He is going to separate those who will not confess or forsake sin, from those who have confessed their sins and allowed Jesus to remove them. Those who have confessed will receive eternal life, and those others will be lost forever.
Friends, don’t let that hour sneak up on you. The Bible says, He will come as a thief in the night. I would urge each one of you to take the time to study out this subject.
This is what the Sanctuary service and the prophecies of the books of Daniel and Revelation are all about. Come to Jesus before it’s forever too late. Give your life to Him. Accept Him as your High Priest and your Savior.
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
This feast, the final one in the ceremonial year, was in remembrance of the years Israel had lived in the wilderness. It was a time of rejoicing and remembering and recounting the goodness of God to them. It was also when the harvest was completed and they praised God for their many blessings.
The people built little booths of fresh tree branches in the streets and on the rooftops and slept out in them under the starry heavens.
This week of fellowship provided both opportunity and time for God’s faithful ones to acknowledge that all their blessings had come from the hand of their bountiful heavenly Father. The Israelites felt joy that their crops were safely gathered in, the oil pressed from olives, the grapes dried or crushed to yield their treasure, and the work of orchard and field completed for another season. It was God’s design that at this time the people should reflect on His goodness and mercy. (Deuteronomy 16:13-17).
The worshipers assembled at the Sanctuary in holiday mood, prepared to present their songs of praise and their free-will offerings to God in love and gratitude for all His bounties (Leviticus 23:34-36).
The Feast of Tabernacles in our Father’s house
This last feast pointed forward to the time when God would deliver His people forever and they would enter into the New Jerusalem to live forever and ever under God’s care.
One day the ransomed hosts will journey across the universe to attend the Feast of the Father’s Harvest Home. They will then dwell in the New Jerusalem, not in temporary huts of leaves tinged with decay, but in the mansions made especially for them. (John 14:1-3). Rejoicing, not in the flickering light of lamps of clay with flaxen wicks soon to be consumed, but in the serene radiance of the Lamb; the Eternal Light of that place. (Revelation 21:23)
There they will drink satisfying draughts, not from the spring of
Siloam, breaking from the dark bosom of the unfeeling rock, but from the
ever-flowing river of life, eternally springing from the throne of
God. (Revelation 22:1, 2)
There they will listen, not to mortal Levite choirs, but to the immortal songs of the redeemed ‘kings and priests’, gathered from every nation on earth, from every age, singing and making melody to God. To them the Father now calls, “Come, ye blessed. . . .”
We must not allow any earthly advantage or indulgence to cause us to fail to be there on that day. Now is the time of Salvation! Now while Christ’s intercession continues in the Heavenly Sanctuary. Seek Peace with God, through Christ