The Antitypical Day of Atonement
Part Seven: What it Means and How it Works
You may have thought that the word “atonement” is just another word for forgiveness but this is not the case. If they were synonymous, then the Anti-typical Day of Atonement would have been fulfilled at the time Jesus died on the cross. But since the cross, the world has continued the same way since the death of Christ. Men are born into sin, men sin and repent, men give birth to children who are born into sin and the cycle goes on. Yom Kippur however, represents a final end to rebellion against righteousness. The Hebrew pronunciation used for the word atonement is “Kippur”. Many of us know that the word atonement can be broken up into three words “At-One-Ment” which lends to the idea of becoming unified with another person. There is a lot of truth in this idea and in fact, forgiveness also plays a part in this process. But it is the Hebrew rendering of this word that illuminates us the most about this concept. As we translate the Hebrew letter “K” in Kippur into its original form; we find that it represents an open palm which means “to tame”. When an animal approaches us, we naturally extend an open palm to the creature notifying the animal that we come in peace. The “P” relates to our lips; note how the lips come together when you pronounce the word “puff”. When combing these two Hebrew letters together, we begin to see that the Hebrew meaning of the word atonement has something to do with “Peaceful lips”. The last Hebrew character that finalizes the word is the “R”, this character signifies “beginning”. Put the letters KPR together and we get “peaceful lips from the beginning”. (Remember that Adam and Eve were at peace with God in the beginning)
Yeshua once said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (See Matthew 12:34). It is amazing some of the things that come out of the heart and through the lips of the Church since the fall of Adam. Things like, “Since Jesus died on the cross we are free from the keeping of the Sabbath, from observing the holy festivals, no longer necessary to abstain from unclean foods …etc.” I could go on and on down the list of things that the church believes she must no longer obey. But according to Yeshua nothing is to disappear from the Torah (see Matthew 5:17-19). If this is so, then the words that come from the Church are lies impressed upon her lips long ago by her hostile leaders. Therefore her lips are in rebellion towards the will of her Husband. And while the process of atonement is a matter for us as individuals until the day we draw our last breath; the Anti-typical Day of Atonement will occur "once for all" at the end of time. In those days, the God of Israel will restore peace to an entire society in regards to His entire law spoken through Moses. But how will atonement manifest itself towards mankind in reality? The prophets tell us that it will be similar to the events that took place during Israel’s desert wanderings. One of the best examples of atonement for a community can be found in the book of Numbers chapters 16 and 17. Within these passages we see that trouble was brewing in the camp of Israel that revolved around the order established by YHWH. In His government, the Levites were segregated from the community as civil servants. Because of this, all tithes and offerings were to be directed to them in compensation for their services.
But this system did not go over too well by the majority of the community. By looking at the events at Mount Sinai when the Law was first given, it was written that “He (Moses) ...sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the LORD. (Exodus 24:4-5) It is important to note that those who sacrificed on that day were “young Israelite men” as opposed to the Sons of Aaron. Allowing the common Israelite to come before the congregation and make sacrifices may have been perfectly fine according to the traditions of the community, but this was not what YHWH intended. Three months after the Law was given, it was revealed to Moses that the tribe of Levi was specifically designated for this purpose rather than the representatives selected throughout the tribes by the people. In the eyes of the Israelite community, this appeared to be a deviation from their religious practices. It was perceived by the leaders that Moses and Aaron had come up with a plan of their own to elevate Levi above the leaders and their people.
For months the people allowed this matter to fester within the camp and now the time had come to for YHWH to begin atonement for the willful disregard to His commandment. Although His instructions had been clearly given months before; their false idea was deeply ingrained into their community. In order to bring Israel to the knowledge of their sin, harsh disciple would need to be invoked. YHWH commanded the “would be” false priests to come before the Sanctuary. The leaders came and were dressed impressively while holding their censors in hand. I am certain that the 250 men who stood before YHWH came in a pious and prayerful state and the community were impressed. But fire came from the Sanctuary and destroyed them for rebellion against the plain utterances of His word through Moses. This should have settled the matter once and for all, but “The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. "You have killed YHWH’s people," they said." (Numbers 16:41)
For some reason the people believed that Moses and Aaron had pulled off some magic trick and that the God of Israel had nothing to do with the previous event. It was at that time that another plague came out from the tabernacle but instead of wiping out 250 men, this plague destroyed 14,700 from the community and still Israel was not satisfied that the commandment which Moses spoke was directed from YHWH. Not until the staff of Levi budded with almonds (see Numbers 17) did the truth finally dawn in their minds that YHWH meant what He said, and what He said came through Moses. It was YHWH (not Moses) who determined that the house of Levi was in charge of the government of Israel and the following verse shows us the positive effects of atonement. When His commandment finally registered in the peoples minds and hearts, “The Israelites said to Moses, "We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the LORD will die. Are we all going to die?" (Numbers 17:12-13) Here we see that the commandment had successfully reached their lips! So today, how many of the commandments given to Moses have registered in the hearts of those who compose church? Great hostility will be exposed on the lips of who will be brought forward for judgement as the “LORD’s Goat”. The commandments of God which the church has been most hostile towards will be restored to our lips when the God of Israel takes the reins of government into his own hands, but it will not be an easy process. Therefore it will be advantageous for us to study the original instructions of the Torah in a spirit of peace or let them be placed upon our lips in a manor we would not enjoy during the Anti-typical Day of Atonement.