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The Antitypical Day of Atonement

Part Five: The Man and the Mark

“The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed." (Daniel 12:7) The ceremony of Yom Kippur (see Leviticus 16) provides a sequential order by which the last day events will be fulfilled. This means that the details given to Daniel about the “Man Clothed in Linen” must fit somewhere within the Yom Kippur sequence. By taking a deeper look into the Hebrew meaning of the words “break” and “power” in Daniel’s passage we find notable insights. The word “break” refers to the throwing down of a pot with the intention to shatter it into pieces. The word “power” refers to a strong arm. The prophecy is essentially saying that YHWH will destroy the overpowering influence of Azazel (representing the rebels of Israel) who exert their strength against the enlightenment of the Torah. The message from the Sanctuary indicates their influence will come to an end after three and a half years have passed.

The man clothed in linen represents the one prophesied to come in the spirit and power of Elijah. Those familiar with Elijah’s story will remember that he was moved by the spirit of YHWH to utter a curse upon the House of Israel for their departure from the Covenant. But as soon as Elijah announced that the time of the curses had come, he was removed from Israel’s presence. For the next three and a half years the people suffered under the curses (See Deuteronomy chapter 28). While some attributed their terrible circumstances to their unfaithfulness by forsaking the instructions of Moses, others argued that the curses were due to their unfaithfulness to a new and improved set of instructions provided by the prophets of Baal. The prophets of Baal (who were themselves Israelites) are comparable to “Azazel” and were responsible for leading Israel astray. To break the spell of confusion that clouded the minds of the Israelites, it became necessary for YHWH to allow three and a half years of hardship to pass. This was to insure that the words Elijah spoke were sufficiently impressed into their wayward hearts. But this was only the first stage of YHWH’s plan to shatter the strength of the Holy People. The final stage occurred when Elijah confronted the Priests of Baal and exposed their deceptive practices. Once fire came down from heaven after Elijah prayed, the spell that Israelites were held captive under was shattered like a pot. They freely handed over the Prophets of Baal to be executed for preaching rebellion against the Torah. 

Now that we have been refreshed with the Elijah story, let us apply it to the Anti-typical Day of Atonement. The specific relationship of the timing of these events can be located within the Yom Kippur sequence. At the onset of the ceremony, the High Priest appears before the congregation clothed in Linen. (See Leviticus 16:4) He after pronouncing the curse upon Azazel he disappears from the congregation and passes enters into Sanctuary. He re-appears before the congregation sixteen verses later (see Leviticus 16:20) still clothed in linen and symbolically places the sin of the Israelites upon the head of Azazel. Note in the drawing (below) that a contrast is made between those who are bewailing the sins committed by Israel and repenting, while Azazel stands before the people without remorse. Why? Because Azazel is a brute beast! “Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them. (Jude 1:10)

So we must ask ourselves, is the time for the final correction of Israel approaching? If the man clothed in linen were to appear today, would you be able to determine whether his message was heaven sent or not? For the majority of us, the answer is “most likely not”. The message to be pronounced by the man clothed in linen will be centered upon Israel’s return to obedience to all (not some) of the instructions of Moses.You may not accept a message like this today, but after the passing three and a half years of bitter curses upon the earth, the voices of those who rise up against his message will grow faint and the hearts of mankind will be more accepting of his message when the man clothed in linen returns. “YHWH called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it." (Ezekiel 9:2-4)

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