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The Antitypical Day of Atonement

Part Ten

"This (Yom Kippur) is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work—whether native-born or an alien living among you—because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins. It is a Sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance. (Leviticus 16:29-31)

Here we see within the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) commandment that the believer should do no work. It is to be treated as a Sabbath Day. But connected to this commandment is an aspect of “denying” one’s self. So in order to be in compliance with this part of the commandment, exactly what is it that we must do to in order to “deny” ourselves? Many Jews reserve this day as a fast, taking no food (some even drink no water) during the hours of Yom Kippur. But is this really what was meant? 

In order to gain the true meaning of denial (or affliction in the old English) it will be necessary to look at this word in the ancient language as it was originally conveyed to the Israelites. By doing so we see that the word "affliction" is actually more appropriate word than "deny" found in the NIV. But how then do we afflict our souls? The Hebrew word “AhN” (afflict) paints a picture of one who is looking down into the furrows of the field just as you see with the man in the picture above. Now it may seem like a strange connection to our English word afflict, but the word represents a man in deep contemplation, so deep that the forehead becomes furrowed. Here is the Hebrew rendering of the word and its contextual source below:


  • AhN = Watch co: Furrow ab: Affliction: A watching over something of importance. The furrow formed between the eyes when intently looking or from depression.


The word picture that “AhN” creates in our minds is relative to a vision seen by the Seventh Day Adventist Prophet Ellen G. White. Make careful note at the facial expressions of the people who she saw would be involved in the Last Days in the chapter entitled “The Shaking”.

“I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God's approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them. Evil angels crowded around, pressing darkness upon them to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and thus they be led to distrust God and murmur against Him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere of evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them to scatter the thick darkness. {Early Writings Page 269}

The events transpiring when the vision will be fulfilled is at a period when the world receives the enlightenment of the of the glory of God. But these grand truths will be nearly incomprehensible, even by the elect. These elements of enlightenment will emit from the instructions of Moses. So contrary will these instructions be to the ways taught in the churches that many will be tempted to rise up against them. Therefore a struggle to follow them will go on among His people prior to the outpouring of the holy spirit. But if they do not receive with willingness, all knowledge previously acquired will mean nothing to their future development. It is at this time, as we enter into the hours of Yom Kippur that we examine ourselves to determine whether are not we have openness of heart to the reception of all that the God of Israel intends for us. May the spirit of YHWH rest upon his people during this holy time.


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