The Open Scroll - Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement

By Bob Schlenker  (Prints about 12 pages)

Table of Contents
Primary Features
Lessons from Y'shua's Life
The Baptism in the Jordan -
    A Sketch of the First Advent
The Symbolism of Baptism
John the Baptist
Baptism is for Revealing
Baptism - Our Identification
The Sign of Jonah
The Transfiguration on the Mount -
    A Snapshot of the Second Advent
Yom Kippur Marks the Beginning
    of the Great Jubilee


In regards to the understanding the significance of this day, it's not enough to simply know that Jesus atoned for our sins. Neither shall it suffice to read the book of Hebrews and exposit the truths revealed therein. Today, we must go beyond the obvious and search out the deeper truths - truths which, if they have ever been known in the past have not been taught to the degree that they have even yet come to my attention from another source.

Each of the "moadim" (the appointed times on the Holy Day calendar) are intended to reveal the framework of God's plan of redemption for man. To say that the agent of this plan, Y'shua HaMashiach is the key to the whole thing would be far too feeble an expression of the significance of his role. The Bible declares in Colossians 2:16-17 (NIV)
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. {17} These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
If we are ever to understand what God has done, what He will do and what He is doing now, we must understand these "moadim." Since I began to apply myself to understanding them, my study of the entire Bible has been so enriched. If I may be so bold, let me address an important matter right up front. If you've already decided that the long-standing traditions are all true, you need read no further - what follows will not engage your reason. If, however, you are still a student at heart, please continue reading.

Our ultimate concern should not merely be to attain more knowledge but to better understand the Lord's plan so that we may better serve Him. If true and faithful service is not your heart's one great desire at this present time, I pray that this study will inspire you to such a noble endeavor and that the Lord will work a work in each of you according to Philippians 2:12-13.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
I begin with Yom Kippur not only because it is the most solemn Holy Day of the year but because it is the foundation or essence of them all. The observation that this is so was made only after I had made an extensive inquiry into the other major festivals. Its signification is broad in scope. It is a portrayal of the first and second advent of our Lord and is remarkably rich in detail! It contains provision for the land and for the people of the land. Atonement must be made before all that was lost in Adam will be restored. Such is the portrait painted by the Master's brush upon the canvas of Yom Kippur.

To properly and honestly interpret our present time, we must look at Yom Kippur's past and future, its beginning and its end. The foundation upon which Yom Kippur rests is that which the Lord God commanded when it was first instituted. The ultimate reason and purpose for the day comes into view when we understand what God intends to bring forth through it. How the commandments given were observed or neglected in the past is relevant to our study, as is how it the day is viewed and observed by those who practice Judaism today. Much of what has been done so far in HisStory is, in a sense, a rehearsal, or, a mere anticipation of what glorious work is yet to be done. The mainstay of our teaching about this Holy Day is derived from the Gospel record, of all places. What was done and said on the days of its observance during Y'shua's earthly ministry are crucial revelations which afford us the greater perspective. We then can look with eager anticipation to the future knowing what to expect on future anniversaries of Yom Kippur. The preparations have been and are still being made. All creation awaits the day! Hallelujah!

Primary Features

If you're not already very familiar with the commands concerning this day, please take this opportunity to read Leviticus chapter 16, 23:26-32 and 25:8-19. Please read Hebrews chapters 8-10 too. In brief, the promise of Yom Kippur features the provisions of atonement and restoration for the benefactors; the land and the people of the land.

When Adam sinned against his Creator, he brought ruin upon himself and upon the creation over which he had been given dominion. The curse was upon the land and upon its inhabitants. (See endnote #1) In order to "reverse the curse," God made provision through the outworking of the messianic plan. Restoration of what had been lost could only be make on the basis of atonement for the sin which caused the loss, as evidenced first in the blood sacrifice necessitated as "the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21)

Yom Kippur both signals and signifies the great Jubilee. Atonement is both made and the result of that atonement is ultimately brought forth in restoration! The land will be restored and the people will be restored into the land. This is not merely a matter of motion from dispossession to possession. Far beyond that, it is a matter of a great renewal, of a possession of that which has been promised by a loving God in the pouring out of His love upon His creation. The mercy and grace evidenced in the outworking of this facet of the Messianic plan is awesome. Such a love as this is beyond my ability to articulate.

Lessons from Y'shua's Life

Those of you who are faithful readers of The Open Scroll should be aware of the fact that it is the pursuit of knowledge about the times and seasons of the Bible through which the Lord gives understanding of the deeper things. Insight into the deeper truths revealed through the Gospel accounts of Y'shua's life often comes only upon consideration of when the events recorded took place. Although the "when" is sometimes declared plainly, it seems that the times are often discovered only through careful tracking of the most subtle of clues. This is indeed the case as we study Yom Kippur during Y'shua's earthly ministry.

Two major events took place on this day; Y'shua's baptism by John in the Jordan and His transfiguration on the mount. I am going to attempt to exposit both of these events in sequence but I want to just mention at the outset that these events are linked by a common feature; the voice from heaven which said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

The Baptism in the Jordan -A Sketch of The First Advent

I'd like you to take this opportunity to read some of the relevant Gospel passages in Matthew 3:1-4:1, Mark 1:1-12, Luke 1:57-80 and 3:1-4:1 and John 1:6-34. What are you waiting for - GO GET YOUR BIBLE! Ready? OK. The first thing I'd like to establish is how we know this event occurred on Yom Kippur. Leviticus 16:7-10 records the following about what is to be done on Yom Kippur:
Then he (the high priest) is to take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. {8} He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat. {9} Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. {10} But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat.
The goat upon whom the lot fell for the Lord was sacrificed for a sin offering. (See endnote #2) Its life was required. The ritual for the other goat, the "scapegoat" (from verse 10), is then described in Leviticus 16:20-22.
When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. {21} He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. {22} The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.
Y'shua played the role of both goats in his baptism. Some of you might feel a little uncomfortable with the symbol of a goat being used here but you should note that goats and lambs are sometimes interchangeable (See endnote #3) and that they are sometimes categorized together with other sacrificial animals, each symbolic of our Lord.

As the first goat, Y'shua's blood was symbolically shed and his life given as a sacrifice for sin when he came to John and was dipped in the waters of the Jordan, as I will exposit in detail shortly. Y'shua's selection as being "for the Lord" can perhaps be seen in the words John the Baptist declared in John 1:29 and 36, identifying him as the lamb of God.

Y'shua then fulfilled the role of the other goat, the scapegoat. Did you ever wonder why the Spirit sent him afterward into the desert? Mark 1:12 declares: "At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert." And in Luke 4:1, we read: "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert." Now you know! Y'shua became that scapegoat and he had to carry the sins of Israel into the desert!

Before the scapegoat was to be sent out into the desert bearing all the sins of Israel, it first had to have all the sins of Israel placed on its head. This was done by having the hands of the high priest placed on the goat's head while he confessed "all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites". So how did this happen to the antitypical goat? John the Baptist filled the role of the high priest who must have placed his hands on Y'shua's head while making the appropriate confession. How did he first acquire all the sins of the Israelites? Matthew 3:6 declares concerning the Israelites: "Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him [John] in the Jordan River." You see, the people confessed their sins to John, acting as the true high priest ordained of God. This high priest then passed them on to Y'shua in the Jordan. Then Y'shua, in the role of the scapegoat, carried them out into the desert. Awesome, isn't it? Although the parallels are so obvious to me now, I had been oblivious to them for years.

The Symbolism of Baptism

Baptism as a ritual has numerous features. It is first a baptism of repentance. (See endnote #4) It identifies the one baptized with what he or she has been baptized in. It washes, (See endnote #5) cleanses, purifies or "sterilizes" and finally; reveals. Matthew 3:5-6 declares the following:
People went out to him (John) from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. {6} Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
The people came to John, confessed their sins and were baptized (In the Greek, the word simply means "dipped") in the waters of the Jordan. To be baptized (dipped) in the Jordan symbolized dying. The people who were baptized in the Jordan were confessing their sins and became symbolically "dead to sin." Romans 6:7 declares: "because anyone who has died has been freed from sin."

The waters of the Jordan are very significant! Although not directly stated as such, the Jordan is an allegory. "Jordan" means "their descent". The water flows out the mountains down through the body of water called Galilee. "Galilee" means "circuit" (as enclosed or rolled around; according to J.B. Jackson.) I believe it bears the general signification of life. (See endnote #6) Life is commonly thought of as a cycle and we discuss it in terms such as "the circle of life". Thence; circuit - Galilee. The waters of the Jordan flow into the body of water we call the Dead Sea. It has no outlet and no life. And so as the waters begin in the mountains, they flow through the Galilee and through the desert plain into the Dead Sea, etching the allegory of man's destiny upon the landscape.

The lesson of this river is threefold. The Jordan can be understood as representing the nature of man in which death reigns - that of the flesh.. This is the nature of man's descent into a state of decay and corruption. "Jordan" also represents man's descent into the grave - his death and burial. Both of these are reflected in Hebrews 2:14, which reads:
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared (See endnote #7) in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—
Finally, as the waters of the Jordan divide the land as it flows, it divides a kingdom of flesh from a kingdom of spirit, a kingdom of death from a kingdom of life. Without a firm grasp of these themes surrounding Y'shua's baptism in the waters of the Jordan, you'll never understand the beauty and depth of the promise of Yom Kippur.

I'd like to relate baptism to the familiar process of canning. Let's say that you have some fruit that you want to preserve. A condition of sterility is required to avoid spoilage. You've got to put the sterile fruit in a sterile container. Baptism in the Jordan, in a sense, sterilized the jar. Instead of germs and bacteria, Israel had sin. Now, the whole point of sterilizing the jar is to make it a suitable container for what you're going to put it, right? So, what happens after the intended container is sterilized? It gets filled!

Matthew 3:11 records John's proclamation:
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
John prophesies about a further dipping, one not with water for repentance but with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He himself had come to "sterilize the jars". This is the baptism of John. He promised that another would come along later to "add the fruit to the jars". This would be fulfilled in Y'shua.

Matthew 3:13-16 gives us an account of that event.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. {14} But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" {15} Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. {16} As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
Once this was done and he went up out of the water, he received the spirit from His Father. Note well the fact that it was only after he came up out of the water that the spirit of God came upon him. (It is at this time that Y'shua became, in a sense, the "sterile fruit" which would shortly begin to be added to the "sterile jars.")

Obviously, being dipped in water gets the thing dipped wet. What is dipped becomes identified with what it is dipped in. Being baptized in the waters of the Jordan identified Y'shua with the flesh nature of man in which death reigns. It symbolized his taking on humanity, the nature of Adam in his birth to a woman. Having this nature of flesh, he was consequently subject to temptation, corruption and death. But Y'shua didn't remain in the river - he came up out of the waters of the Jordan. As he did, the Holy Spirit came. Now he had a new nature, a spirit nature in which life reigns! Here is the symbolic past, present and future, the HisStory of man's existence!

The "Jordan," or, "their descent" is also symbolic of man's descent into the grave - his death and burial. Y'shua's baptism in the Jordan anticipated what was yet to come. It was symbolic of His death at the cross and burial in the tomb. His coming out of the water and receiving the spirit symbolized His resurrection, receiving a new kind of life in a new body. Eternal life in an eternal spiritual body!

There are pages upon pages of relevant scripture I'd like to render for you here but I'm not going to do it. Please look at these yourself. Read Romans 5 and 6. Colossians 2:13-14, I Corinthians 15, I Corinthians 1:13. And yet, there is one verse I must include. As succinct a statement that can be made about what baptism means today is found in Romans 6:4, in which we read that: "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death". Now, the reason for this death and burial is as so beautifully stated in the balance of the just-quoted verse; "in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

Y'shua's baptism in the Jordan marks the dividing point in his life at which his existence as a "dead" man without spiritual "life" was officially over. Y'shua HaMashiach's powerful ministry began because He had then been anointed with the powerful Holy Spirit! He was no longer a "dead" or lifeless man, bereft of the life which is eternal and powerful! There had previously been no miracles performed, but now He could do the things a man with this life could do. And so we see the allegory of the waters of the Jordan as dividing the land as it flows, separating a kingdom of flesh from a kingdom of spirit, a kingdom of death from a kingdom of life. An inquiry into the symbolism of the hidden prophecy which is the crossing of the Jordan will validate what I have exposited here.

Each of the other major Feasts are alluded to in Y'shua's baptism on Yom Kippur. This one Holy Day seems like the one upon which all the others are based. For example, an allusion to Rosh HaShanah is seen as the day he was born of a woman, acquiring the first Adam's nature (on their shared "birth"-day). Then Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles is seen as the Holy Spirit lighted upon him and our God began to dwell among men. Pesah is seen as our Lord would be crucified, be buried and then arise. Shavuot is seen as others too will be baptized in his name. These few brief examples are but a sampling of all which rests upon what Yom Kippur is as evidenced in our Lord's baptism and anointing!

John the Baptist

Surrounding John, son of Zechariah is an aura of mystery. Who was he? Was he the Christ? Elijah? Confusion about this unique individual's identity marks his life from beginning to end. In this, we are drawn to consider exactly who this man was and what lesson we are to learn as a result of this discovery. The focus of his life appears to be on his ministry of baptizing and more specifically upon his baptizing of and relationship with his cousin Y'shua. I wouldn't pretend for a moment that I understand the whole of the matter, but I do believe that John the Baptist was granted the authority of a true high priest in the matter of baptism and that he further represented the very highest spiritual authority.

I want to briefly establish that there was confusion about John's identity. From the disciples - to Herod - to the common people of Israel, they expressed confusion about who John was. (See endnote #8) This is very similar to how confusion about Y'shua's identity is such a major issue. Strangely, John even expressed confusion about who Y'shua was. (See endnote #9) It served God's purposes to conceal John's identity as it so obviously serves His purposes to conceal Y'shua's.

Doesn't it seem odd that such a big deal was made about the naming of John in Luke Chapter 1? The name "John" means "Jehovah is gracious giver". This was the name God required to be given to Zechariah's son, contrary to the tradition of the day. In my opinion, this points to the role this man would play in his relationship to Y'shua especially in regards to his baptism. John would act as the ultimate authority, the true High Priest of Israel.

John, the son of Zechariah wasn't the High Priest of Israel who ministered in Herod's temple, so how did he qualify to be the one who baptized Y'shua? He had the necessary qualification as a high priest according to both the Aaronic (flesh credential) and Melchizedek (spirit credential) priesthoods. When Y'shua was baptized in the waters of the Jordan and given his messianic anointing, John's role was that of a true high priest under grant of authority from the almighty God!

His earthly credential was in the pattern of Aaron. To the Levitical priesthood (See endnote #10) genealogy is crucial. Only descendants of Aaron could qualify to be a high priest. John's father and mother were both Aaronites (See endnote #11), but that wasn't enough to qualify him to do the job God had called him to do. His heavenly credential was after the pattern of Melchizedek. John was filled with spirit from his mother's womb (See endnote #12) and lived a sanctified lifestyle. Beyond that of the fleshly credential, the spiritual and the sanctity of his manner of life qualified him for the role He would play.

Beyond His role as the High Priest, John appears to symbolize the martyrs (as he lost his head for his stand against the wicked Herod) the Heavenly Father, the Son, the holy spirit, the church as Elijah, the 144,000, and the angels. There are so many curious statements made about this man that it would seem that the depth of understanding his symbolic identities points rather broadly toward much that is touched by the eternal holy spirit. An interesting relation can be noted between Matthew 11:11 and John 3:8. Curious. Curious.
I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  Matthew 11:11
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.  John 3:8

Baptism is for Revealing

On the flip side of identity confusion is baptism, which has to do with revealing identity. I can testify that when you conclude that Y'shua is the Messiah and you are baptized, there's no confusion at all about who he is. But the point I want to make here is that it's baptism itself that reveals identity. John 1:31 records John the Baptist's declaration about Y'shua:
I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.
Baptism really leads to a revealing. This verse declares that the reason John came baptizing with water was that Y'shua might be revealed to Israel. The identity of Y'shua became known to John as he testified in the verses which followed his declaration in verse 31.
Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. {33} I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' {34} I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.  John 1:32-34
So, the identity of the one upon whom the spirit came down and remained became known to John at Y'shua's baptism, and Y'shua was subsequently revealed to Israel as of that day - Yom Kippur. Of course, the voice from heaven saying "this is my son..." should have pretty much settled the issue for those present. In John 1:29, we find John the Baptist's declaration prior to baptizing Y'shua upon seeing him coming his way: "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" This should have made it plain that this was indeed the promised Messiah. Please note here that the sin of the world does not refer to the sins of the individuals and thus does not specifically relate to the lamb sacrificed at Pesah, Passover. This lamb John saw was to be sacrificed for corporate sin, the sin of the world. The only day on which  provision was made for corporate sin was the Day of Atonement - Yom Kippur.

In this matter of baptism as a revealing, you should become familiar with how the Beastly lawless one will be revealed in a counterfeit baptism. See The Sign for the Church.

Baptism - Our Identification

Remember that "baptism" means dipping and you become identified with what you're dipped in. Think about it like this; if I dunked you in water, people would look at you and say, "Hey, you're wet"! If I dunked you in blue paint... well, you get the picture. When we are baptized in "the name of our Lord" we are identified with "the name of our Lord."

Perhaps now when you read Romans 6:2-13 which speaks of our identification with Y'shua, you will understand why the term baptism is utilized.
By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
Isn't that tremendous! You see, John's baptism took place in the waters of the Jordan - of "their descent." In verse 4 above it says that we were buried with him through baptism into death. No matter where you were when you got baptized with water, you were baptized in the Jordan, symbolically, being baptized into death. In this, we were buried with him being baptized in the name of the Lord. In this, we died to sin. The Messiah died. He was not buried alive! Do you live your life like you were buried alive by letting sin reign in your mortal body? Do you realize that you are really DEAD to sin? It hasn't merely been covered, hidden from sight to appear at some inconvenient time in the future. Verse 7 clearly tells us that anyone who has died has been freed from sin? Hey, you have been baptized - brought from death to life! Let's be alive to God in Y'shua HaMashiach! Amen?

Consider Colossians 2:12:
having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
And lastly, I Peter 3:18-4:2:
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. 4:2 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
So baptism also saves us and allows us to be brought to God. Not the symbolic act itself, but the spiritual work done in the name of our Lord. OH, the grace of God!

The Sign of Jonah

The name Jonah means "dove." When we read about the sign of Jonah, we therefore read about the sign of "dove." Dove also relates to baptism so I can hardly teach one and exclude the other. I suspect that the fact that they are related isn't too surprising since you've read the gospels and your friends who were baptized have a "holy spirit dove" stuck on the back of their car, but "dove" and "baptism" are possibly more closely linked than you realize.

Matthew 12:39-40 reads:
He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jonah-dove was a pattern for Y'shua, who was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Dead and buried. This was the sign of the prophet "Dove."

Later in Matthew's gospel, the sign of Jonah is mentioned but no further information about the sign is given. Chapter 16, verse 4:
"A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.'" Jesus then left them and went away.
To me, this alludes to his earlier baptism, after which Y'shua then left them and went away, being led by the Spirit into the desert. This event, too, was the sign of Jonah-dove, as the prophet John declared in John 1:32-33:
Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. {33} I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit."
When you realize that John's baptism of Y'shua was also the sign of Jonah, the passage of Matthew 21:23-27 makes a lot more sense.
Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you this authority?" 24 Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John's baptism--where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?" They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' 26 But if we say, 'From men'--we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet." 27 So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Then he said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
When Y'shua said no sign would be given except the sign of Jonah, he meant it. He hadn't yet died and been buried, but he had already been baptized. Think about it. The sign had already been given. When the chief priests and elders of the people questioned him about the source of his authority, they were, in effect, looking for a further miraculous sign which would confirm his authority. Y'shua replied, referring to John's baptism and, as they would not answer, refused to comply with their request. Fair deal. The sign of "dove" - of Jonah!

In the previous section, you may have noticed that I Peter 3 linked baptism with salvation, connecting our Lord's resurrection to the typical pattern of the water of the flood and Noah's ark. Does the role played by the dove in Genesis 8 mean anything to you? Did you know that the ark came to rest on the same calendar day that Y'shua was resurrected?

By the way, now that you understand about the sign of Jonah, just to further establish Y'shua's baptism as having taken place on Yom Kippur let me share with you a feature of Judaism as it is still practiced today. The book of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur as part of the minhah, the afternoon service! And so is Micah 7:18-20, which reads:
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. 19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 20 You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago.
I love that phrase, "hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea." Does that remind you of baptism? Yeah, me too!

You may want to consider the celestial signs that accompanied Y'shua's baptism on Yom Kippur in 29 A. D.  There was another sign marking Yom Kippur in 1991 you should find interesting as well. See the Magi series article about the fulfillment of Genesis 49:10.

The Transfiguration on the Mount - A Snapshot of the Second Advent

The next major event during Y'shua's earthly ministry is recorded in three of the Gospel records, conspicuously absent from that of John. You can go to the book of the Revelation of Y'shua HaMashiach to John to read his testimony of this event, right? Now, in Matthew 16:27-17:9, we read the following account of the event commonly referred to as the transfiguration on the mount:
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.' 17:1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun (See endnote #13), and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!' 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. 'Get up,' he said. 'Don't be afraid.' 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, 'Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.
Just as our Lord's baptism on the previous Yom Kippur record was a sketch of his entire first advent, we see him as in a snapshot on this Yom Kippur in his glory on the holy mountain. The first thing you may notice is that of the voice which gave honor and glory to His son, a feature in common with the previous event. The holy mountain is the Lord's Kingdom where he reigns as King of Kings. Notice that we are told this happened after six days. This is so obviously a reference to the passage of six thousand years of time. We are placed into a snapshot of the seventh millennium, the seventh day. Yes, it seems that those who accompanied our Lord were shown the future.

Now, who was there at this event? Y'shua, Moses and Elijah of course, along with Peter, James and John, the brother of James. I submit to you that Y'shua appeared to them in manner as he will appear in his glory at that time. Peter represents the Christian church. James, (the Greek form of the Hebrew "Jacob") represents the saved of Jacob/Israel not represented in Peter. John represents the 144,000 of Israel, ("brother of James"). Moses and Elijah? Of course, they'll be there live and in-person, but by reason of their already being included in the category of "James", I suspect that their presence represents the two witnesses (these signify the authority of the Law and the Prophets) who minister in conjunction with the 144,000.

If you read and understand verse 28 of chapter 16, you see that the account which followed in chapter 17 did indeed find some of those who were standing there seeing the Son of Man coming in his kingdom before they tasted death. It seems to me to also be a reference to this present time, to you and I and those shortly to receive salvation.

Now, I used to wonder what Peter could have been thinking when he interrupted the conversation, interjecting the offer to build three shelters (Greek "skene" - skay-nay') Knowing now that this event took place on Yom Kippur and that if they followed their usual custom, the next day they would begin to build their sukkah in preparation for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), I can easily understand Peter's comment.

From a carnal perspective, Peter seems to have jumped the gun here. You have to wait until Yom Kippur is over before you build sukkah. (See endnote #14) Peter was so terrified by the experience that he was a little disoriented, perhaps. He was just trying to be helpful, but it seems that it was an inappropriate comment. The voice from the cloud seems like a scathing rebuke, considering the source and how it came while he speaking just as Peter had interrupted the Lord's conversation. "Listen to him!" the voice said. Wow. From the account given in Mark 9, verse 6 adds after Peter had spoken: "(He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)" Considering this from what is perhaps a more spiritual perspective, I suspect that there's more here than I know at this time which relates to us as the church at that future time. We will see.

So what is the connection between Yom Kippur and the Lord's Kingdom reign in the seventh Millennium?

Yom Kippur Marks the beginning of the Great Jubilee

In regards to understanding the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur, the timing as God as established it is vitally important. Leviticus 25:8-19 is the passage which focuses upon this particular aspect.
Count off seven sabbaths of years--seven times seven years--so that the seven sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9 Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan. 11 The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12 For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. 13 "'In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to his own property. 14 "'If you sell land to one of your countrymen or buy any from him, do not take advantage of each other. 15 You are to buy from your countryman on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And he is to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops. 16 When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price, because what he is really selling you is the number of crops. 17 Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the LORD your God. 18 "'Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. 19 Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.
The Jubilee anticipates the great Jubilee, when the people are restored to the land of promise and the land is restored to the people of promise in the seventh millennium. Its about liberty: Freedom from what binds men; the law of sin and death and the corruption effecting all creation. Daniel 9 speaks in this regard in verse 24:
Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
The conclusion of all these things is celebrated in the Jubilee and is marked as of Tishri 10 - Yom Kippur.

The blowing of the shofar, the ram's horn, is a dominant feature of Yom Kippur and is that which proclaims liberty. The blowing of trumpets relates to angelic proclamations, as I see it. They get your attention and are meaningful. When you hear the shofar, your life should change! The concern on this occasion which remains most solemn in orthodox Judaism today is whether one will "make the cut" through genuine teshuva - repentance. Its intent is understood to be to lead the sincere Jew to realize that his own attempts at holiness fall short and that he must then trust in the mercy of God if he is to make it. The symbol for the day is a gate in the process of closing. It represents the opportunity to pass through the gate, but only if one is sufficiently prepared. The tone for the day set by the synagogue services is that of time running out - the gates of heaven swinging closed. The Shofar is felt to mark the successful passage from sin into repentance, from death into life and into the liberty which is just the other side of the gates of heaven!


Have you read Hebrews 9:26b-10:1a lately?
...But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (10:1a) The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves...
Within the context of Yom Kippur, this passage speaks of our Lord's appearance a second time not to bear sin but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. This portion of the law which is Yom Kippur is a shadow of the good things that are coming. Indeed, on some future Yom Kippur, he will appear to those who are waiting for him. When the shofar blows on that day signaling the great Jubilee, voices will ring out as liberty is proclaimed for the land and the people of the land. I can think of no more appropriate close than to ask you to read Psalm 105, and to simply offer Psalm 98 here. Shalom.
"Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2 The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; 5 make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, 6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn-- shout for joy before the LORD, the King. 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; 9 let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity."


1 Genesis 3:17-19  To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

2 This goat's blood is an important feature of the ritual as you can see from the verses which follow in the context. The blood of the goat represents its life. Leviticus 17:11: "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life."
3 Leviticus 5:6, 9:3, 17:3, 22:27
4 See Acts 19:4. On a personal level in Judaism today, Yom Kippur is about teshuva, or, "repentance", and this is generally the focus of each of the Days of Awe which lead up to Yom Kippur.
5 Acts 22:16: "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name." This feature of washing away sins is related to the Jewish custom of a ritual purifying bath, the "mikveh", which is still observed today by some prior to Yom Kippur as well as at certain other times. See also Leviticus 16:4.
6 Such is the signification of all the disciples being Gallileans. Remember from previous newsletters that this body of water also represents the final heptad of years, a heptad being the basic cycling unit in God's temporal economy.
7 Its not really clear in the NIV, but Y'shua's "sharing in their humanity" was solely in the category of the flesh, not in that of the blood. His blood was perfect, uncontaminated with human blood tainted by sin, and was from His Father who had conceived seed in Mary when she was a virgin.
8 Luke 3:15, John 1:19-25 and Acts 13:25, etc.
9 Matthew 11:2-19
10 The Levitical priesthood appears to be patterned after the angels as that class which ministers in the presence of the Lord. In cryptic prophetic language, a Levitical (Aaronic) Priest then becomes a codeword for an angel.
11 Luke 1:5
12 Luke 1:15
13 Revelation 1:16 and 21:23.
14 "The most important ritual of Sukkot is living in a sukkah. The sukkah is a temporary structure usually constructed of four walls and covered with a roof of tree branches. We eat in the sukkah and some people sleep in it as well. The sukkah is constructed before the holiday, usually between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, and is used for the first time on Sukkot Eve." p. 126 The Jewish Holidays by Michael Strassfeld.
15 Cross reference Romans 10:18 with Psalm 19:4
16 Jeremiah 23:5-6: ""The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness."
Zechariah 3:8: ""'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch."
Zechariah 6:12: "Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD."
Isaiah 4:2: "In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel."
17 Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:2-3, Luke 3:4-6, John 1:23
18 See "the pourer out" would be the active agent giving that which is poured out, right? We know that Y'shua's Father, the God of Heaven gave the gift - pouring out the Holy Spirit on Y'shua. I think this is emphasized in the hidden or displaced identity situation with John the Baptist, again, who's name means "Jehovah is gracious giver". Another star, the delta star is known by the Hebrew name "Scheat," which means "who goeth and returneth". This speaks to me of the spirit itself.
19 See Witness of the Stars p. 84.
20 Every month, as it reappears after its absence during the dark phase, there is a holy day of celebration called Rosh Chodesh, in the pattern of Rosh HaShanah.