The Atonement

Atonement is the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God and humankind. The setting at one, or reconciliation, of two estranged parties—translation used in the Authorized Version for "kapparah," "kippurim." The root ("kipper"), to make atonement , and meaning "to wipe out." Kapper the verb, from the noun "kofer" (ransom) and to have meant originally "to atone."

The Meaning of the word Kippur

The "Day of Atonement" is the English phrase for Yom Kippur. The shores [root] for the word "Kippur" is kafar, which probably derives from the word kofer, meaning "ransom." This word is parallel to the word "redeem" (Psalm 49:7) and means "to atone by offering a substitute." The great majority of usages in the Bible concern "making an atonement" by the priestly ritual of sprinkling of sacrificial blood to remove sin or defilement. The life blood of the sacrificial animal was required in exchange for the life blood of the worshipper (the symbolic expression of innocent life given for guilty life). This symbolism is further clarified by the action of the worshipper in placing his hands on the head of the sacrifice and confessing his sins over the animal (Lev. 16:21; 1:4; 4:4, etc.) which was then killed or sent out as a scapegoat. The shoresh also appears in the term Kapporet[the so-called "Mercy Seat," but better rendered as simply the place of atonement]. The Kapporet was the golden cover of the sacred chest in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle (or Temple) where the sacrificial blood was presented.

In Genesis 20:14-16

“Then Abimelech took sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham and he restored Sarah his wife to him. And Abimelech said See my land is before you, dwell where it pleases you. Then to Sarah he said, Behold I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver, indeed this vindicates you before all who are with you and before everybody.”

Abimelech gives to Abraham a thousand pieces of silver as a "covering of the eyes," in order that his wrongdoing may be over-looked. Samuel also said in 1 Sam. 12:3 - "Of whose hand have I received any [kofer] bribe ["taken a ransom"] to blind my eyes?

The word "atonement" means to make amends for, to reconcile, to restore, to repair, to make at-one again. And that is exactly what the Day of Atonement prefigures. It points to a specific time in the future when the great High Priest of the Melchizedek Order (Yeshua the Messiah) will literally bring the redeemed host of mankind right into the very presence of His Father, in order that we may be AT-ONE with YAHWEH THE LORD ALMIGHTY. Atonement however brings salvation. Yom Kippur is the holiest day in Israel, and provides prophetic insight regarding the Second Coming of Messiah, the restoration of the nation Israel, and the final judgment of the world. It is also a day that reveals the High-Priestly work of theYeshuathe Christ as our KohenGadol (High Priest) after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10; 6:20).

The biblical name for the day of Atonement is Yom Kippurim, meaning "the day of covering, canceling, pardon, reconciling." Yom Kippur was the only time when the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and call upon the Name of YHVH to offer blood sacrifice for the sins of the people. This "life for a life" principle is the foundation of the sacrificial system and marked the great day of intercession made by the High Priest on behalf of Israel. Yom Kippur marks the climax of the ten days period of repentance called the "Days of Awe,"

According to the Jewish sages, it was on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) that Moses came down from Sinai bearing the second set of tablets, after God had forgiven Israel for worshipping the Golden Calf.. Here we also find the first inkling of the Book of Life, when Moses asked to be stricken from "the Book you have written" if God would not make an atonement for his people (Exod. 32:32-33). The willingness of Moses to be "stricken from the book" on the people's behalf is a powerful image of the mediating role of Yeshua the Messiah (Heb. 9:15). For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. - Lev 17:11

YAHWEH's family of true believers:

Ransomed at the Passover and liberated by the blood of His Son - the Passover Lamb. Purged of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine during the Days of Unleavened Bread to become a holy Temple of God and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in order to bear fruit for all eternity. Victoriously gathered and defended at the Feast of Trumpets when the trumpets of Yahweh will sound throughout the earth. And finally on the Great Day of Atonement, brought into the very presence of the Almighty by his Son the High Priest to be at-one with Him for all eternity. A glorious day of reconciliation, which recall the words of the Great Son the Messiah concerning the Prodigal Son. Luke 15:11-32

"Quick, bring the best robe and put it on him. Give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. Bring the fatted calf, kill it and let us eat and be merry. For my son here was dead and he has come to life. He was lost and he is found."
Consequently, we may say that the Feast of Tabernacles is also a memorial of the Almighty's astonishing condescension to come down to earth to tabernacle or pitch His tent with humanity in the person of His Son. For Jesus Christ is Immanuel, GOD WITH US, God incarnate; that is the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel taking up his abode in the tabernacle of a human body, in order to redeem and enable mankind to obey His eternal law. Romans 8:3
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

The Anointed of YAHWEH are the one to posses the atoning power – Isaiah 13:2-3

“ Lift up a banner on the high mountain, raise your voice to them; wave your hand, that they may enter the gates of the nobles – I have commanded My Sanctified ones for My anger – those who rejoice in My exaltation.”

This idea of the atoning power of the suffering and death of the righteous finds expression in Lev.20 and formed the basis of Paul's doctrine of the atoning blood of Christ (Rom. 3: 25). Job's intercession on behalf of his friends is accompanied by their burnt offering, which is to atone for their sins (Job 42:8). In the Book of Jubilees Noah and Abraham made Atonement for the earth and for man by means of sacrificial blood this is when the heathen are told to offer hecatombs of bulls and rams to obtain God's pardon for their sins. Accordingly, each of the two lambs offered every morning and evening as a burnt-offering (Num. 28: 3- 4) was intended "to subdue" the sins of Israel- "He will subdue our iniquities" the lamb was to be "kobes," "to wash Israel clean" from sin; Isa.1:16; Jer. 2:22-23; and more especially the expression "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). "The morning sacrifice atoned for the sins committed during the previous night, the afternoon sacrifice for the sins committed in the daytime” and this puts man before the ETERNAL GOD as clean and as Holy as possible.

The whole idea of sin was, in fact, deepened. It was regarded rather as a breaking-away from the original sinless state of man as the child of God—which state must be restored—than as a wrong committed against God needing covering up. There is a time to go the ETERNAL GOD for forgiveness of sin and a time for asking for ones need; the two cannot go together. A sinner is never rewarded even his prayers is never answered unless intercession is sought. John 9:31 “Now we know that GOD does not hear sinners if anyone is a worshiper of GOD and does His will, He hears him’ YAHWEH commands everyone to be and remain spotless. YAHWEH commands all who worship Him to be spotless

The expressions “spotless” and “of the first year” in the book of Num. 28:3 comes the thought that man should become "spotless like a child of one year”. A symbolic rite, this mode of cleansing oneself from sin could be, and actually was, replaced by daily Cleansing, Prayer and Fasting—those heroes of prayer who in time of national distress made intercession for the people far more effectively than did the priests in the Temple.

It was especially owing to the assistance offered by the "The Messenger of The Eternal GOD" the chosen representatives for the people, with their prayers, that the daily sacrifice assumed a more spiritual character, so that to it was applied the passage -Jer. 33:25-: "If my covenant be not maintained day and night I would not have made the ordinances of heaven and earth".

Demonic Possession

In ancient times many people believed that evil spirits can enter a person's body and take control of it. This was a common explanation for conditions such as epilepsy and madness. In modern terminology this "madness" probably referred to certain mental disorders such as schizophrenia and delirium. Even today, man still don't fully understand what causes these conditions. Ancient people, who had even less understanding, frequently put the blame on evil spirits; These evil spirits were also called demons, devils, and unclean spirits. Anyone who came under their control was called a demoniac (or daimoniac), and the condition was known as "demonic possession".

In some ways demonic possession resembles multiple personality disorder. In this comparison, the demon acts like an evil alternate personality that has taken control of the mind. One difference is that an alternate personality usually doesn't take permanent control. But even when it isn't in control, it could still be lurking within the person's subconscious, and still might be able to influence behaviour. Some people use this idea to try to blame their bad actions on an "inner demon". The traditional cure for demonic possession is to expel the evil spirit from the victim's body. In ancient times this was known as driving out (or casting out) the demon. Many people now call it exorcism, and use the name exorcist for anyone who can successfully do it. According to the gospels, Yahshua (Jesus) often performed exorcisms along with his other miraculous healings. For instance, in describing his ministry in Galilee, Matthew 8:16 says: When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. Sometimes a demon would try to talk to Yahshua (Jesus) before it was expelled. For example, Mark 1:23-26 says that he was teaching to some people in a synagogue when a possessed man suddenly cried out: "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are -- the Holy One of God." "Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. Jesus never used physical force when he performed an exorcism. He simply ordered the demon to leave the body. They always obeyed him because they knew who he was, and recognized his power and authority. Madness and many problems are never solve by beating etc. Demons know who the children of YAHWEH are and who are not; living lawless life and acting like Angels in heaven. Demons are Goat- like spirits (Lev. 16:10; Lev. 17:7; 2 Kings 23:8; Isaiah 13:21; 34:14) from the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Bad. They are unclean spirits which causes man to be unclean, even when one uses their speech the one is defiled. Matt. 12:43. They are idolatrous spirit – Zach. 5:6-11.

Although most cases of possession involve a single evil spirit, it's possible for a person to be taken over by several spirits simultaneously. For example, Luke 8:2 says that seven demons were expelled from Mary Magdalene. In a modern case, a victim spoke in different voices which claimed to be the same demons that had previously possessed Judas Iscariot, Emperor Nero, Adolf Hitler, and several other well-known evildoers. John 7:20 and 8:52 say that some people in Jerusalem even accused Jesus himself of being possessed by a demon. This may have been their explanation for his ability to perform miraculous cures. At that time there was a general belief that a possessed person could have unusual qualities such as superhuman strength, ability to see the future, or other special powers.

Evil spirits are sometimes blamed for other problems besides epilepsy and madness. For example; alcoholics, homosexuals, drug addicts, sexual predators, and adulterers are possessed by demons. According to some ancient writings, demons were originally angels in heaven who supported the Devil in his rebellion against God, and were thrown out of heaven with him. Some sources say that one-third of the angels were thrown out in this way, and this has led to estimates that thousands, or even millions, of demons now serve Satan here on the earth. Revelations’ 12:7-12. After healing is received by the possessor in is commanded to make offering and sacrifices- Lev. 14:1-8; Matt.8:4. And the soul finally goes through sacred ritual of cleansing to make the coming back of such demon not possible. After the Fall of the Temple.

The cessation of sacrifice, in consequence of the destruction of the Temple, came, therefore, as a shock to the people. It seemed to deprive them of the divine Atonement. Hence many turned ascetics, abstaining from meat and wine; and Joshua ben Hananiah, who cried out in despair, "Woe unto us! What shall atone for us?" "We are lost on account of our sins". It was then that pointing to Hosea 6: 6 - "I desire mercy and not sacrifice," and to Prov. 16: 6, "By mercy and truth, iniquity is purged [atoned for]. The word “MERCY” here is CHARITY.

Ezekiel 36:22-33 Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the LORD GOD: I do not do this for your sake. O house of Israel, but for My Holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I AM THE LORD GOD, when I am hallowed in you before their very eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, You shall be My people and I will be your GOD. I will deliver you from all your unclean nesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.

"Happy are ye, Israelites. Before whom do you cleanse yourselves, and who cleanses you? Your Father in heaven; for it is said: 'I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness . . . will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you'" and again it is said that the Lord, "the hope of Israel" (Jer. 14:7-8), is also a "fountain of water". "As the fountain of water purifies the unclean, so does God purify Israel"

DAY OF ATONEMENT (YOM KIPPUR)

Atonement in the Scriptures has the following elements: (a) on the part of God, fatherly love and forgiving mercy; (b) on the part of man, repentance and reparation of wrong. (a) While God's quality of justice, which punishes the wrong-doing, would leave no hope for man, since "there is not a righteous man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not" (b) (Eccl.7: 20), God's quality of mercy has from the very beginning provided repentance as the means of salvation "Thou hast mercy upon all; thou condonest the sins of men in order that they should amend". "Wherever there are sins and righteous deeds set against each other in the scale of justice, God inclines it toward mercy".

Divine Mercy.

Far from being merely judicial compensation for an outward act, the divine mercy is expressly represented by Hillel as working in favour of pardoning those who have no merit: "He who is plenteous in mercy turns the scale of judgment toward mercy". This quality of mercy is sure to prevail as soon as it is appealed to by the mention of the attributes with which the Lord appeared to Moses in response to his prayer for forgiveness after the sin of the Golden Calf.

"Human Wisdom, when asked, 'What shall be done with the sinner?' replied, 'Evil pursued sinners' (Prov. 13:21). Prophecy, when asked, 'What shall be done with the sinner?' replied, 'The soul that sinned, it shall die' (Ezek. 18:4). The Law, when asked, 'What shall be done with the sinner?' replied, 'Let him bring a guilt-offering and the priest shall atone for him' (Lev. 1:4). God himself, when asked, 'What shall be done with the sinner?' replied, 'Let him repent, and he will be atoned for; was it not said: "Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way of repentance" (Psalms 25: 8). For, my children, what do I require of you? "Seek me and live"'"
It is said, on the DAY OF ATONEMENT: "Thou offerest thy hand to transgressors, and Thy right hand is stretched out to receive the repentant". "Not in reliance upon our merits do we lay our supplications before Thee, O Lord of all the world, but trusting in Thy great mercy. Thou dost not find delight in the perdition of the world, but Thou hast pleasure in the return of the wicked that they may live. Amen"

Repentance.

On the part of man, Atonement is obtained in the first place by repentance, which consists of an outward Confession Of Sins ( Lev.5: 5; 16:21) prescribed for the high priest on the Day of Atonement. "They must feel shame throughout their whole soul and change their ways; reproaching themselves for their errors and openly confessing all their sins with purified souls and minds, so as to exhibit sincerity of conscience, and having also their tongues purified so as to produce improvement in their hearers". The verse, "He who sacrifices thank-offerings glorifies me" (Ps.50: 23), is taken by the Man of GOD as signifying, "He who sacrifices his evil desire while offering his confession of sin honours God more than if he were praising Him in the world that now is and in the world to come"

Reparation of Wrongdoing.

But the main stress is laid upon the undoing of the wrong done. "No sin that still cleaves to the hand of the sinner can be atoned for; it is as if a man would cleanse himself in the water while holding the contaminating object in his hand; therefore it is said, 'He that covered his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesses and forsake them shall have mercy" (Prov. 28:13). If a man steal a beam and use it in building, he must tear down the building in order to return the stolen thing to its owner: thus of the men of Nineveh it is said, "Let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in [cleaves to] their hands" (Jonah 3:8). Further, repentance consists in abandoning the old ways, and in a change of heart; for it is said "Rend your heart and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God" (Joel 2:13) but "He who says, 'I will sin and repent; I will sin again and repent again,' will never be allowed time to repent” Heb 10:26-31. Repentance rests on self humiliation. "Adam was too proud to humiliate himself, and was therefore driven from Paradise". "Cain who humbled himself after sin was pardoned" and "Great is the power of repentance; for it reaches up to the throne of God; it brings healing (Hosea 14:5) it turns sins resulting from ill-will into mere errors (according to Hosea 14:2)

Prayer, Fasting, and Charity.

Hand in hand with repentance goes prayer. "It takes the place of sacrifice” according to Hosea 14:3. When God appeared to Moses after the sin of the Golden Calf, He taught him how to offer prayer on behalf of the sin laden community. But repentance and prayer are rules combined with fasting, and shall we learned from the action of King Ahab recounted in I Kings 21:27, or, of the men of Nineveh referred to in Jonah 3:7, Fasting was regarded like "offering up the blood and fat of the animal life upon the altar of God" With these is, as a rule, connected charity, which is "more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice" (Prov.21:3). On every fast day charity must given to the poor. "Prayer, charity, and repentance, these three together, avert the impending doom. "Repentance and works of benevolence are together.

Sufferings as Means of Atonement.

Another thing to be considered as a means of Atonement is suffering. Suffering is more than sacrifice to win God's favour and to atone for man. Poverty also, in so far as it reduces man's physical strength, has atoning power.