XXXVI - 5 (03)
what of the night?”
"The hour has
come, the hour is striking and striking at you,
- 2 -
In this issue, we discuss the typical Day of Atonement, both its ritual as outlined in Leviticus 16, and its place as one of the "feasts of the Lord." We observe that in the listing of these feasts, the Day of Atonements (Hebrew text) is placed on a par with the Sabbath as far as the command of "no work" on that day in contrast to the other annual feasts. Then in the giving of the First Angel's Message of Revelation 14, two adjuncts of the "everlasting Gospel" are the commands: 1) "Fear God" because "the hour of His judgment is come; and 2) "Worship Him" because He is the Creator. Again, there is a "par" placement of two concepts which can be related to the same two as in Leviticus 23.
When we take a historical perspective of the Advent Movement as begun by William Miller in America, and consider that out of the Great Disappointment there was committed in sacred trust these two same paired doctrines to a small remnant of that Movement, we have cause for thoughtful contemplation, as well as the alarm over what has happened within the community of Adventism during the past five decades regarding these two doctrines. In regard to the Sabbath, the issue is its observance; in regard to the sanctuary teaching, it is a rejection by many. Yet those involved in this dual declension still profess themselves to be Seventh-day Adventists - an impossibility - except in name only!
We recognize there are questions in the study of the sanctuary teaching; but these involve in some instances simply a correct application of type to the antitype. Some of these we list in "Questions that Call for Answers" on page 7.
In this issue of WWN, we turn our
attention to the yearly service which was performed by the High Priest alone on
the 10th day of the 7th month. While the central service for that day is
detailed in Leviticus 16, some important aspects of the Day in relationship to
the other annual feasts of
The command connected with the Sabbath which is emphasized in Leviticus 23 is "ye shall do no work." This is also the command given in connection with the Day of Atonement (v. 28), and emphasized with a strong penalty attached (vs. 30-31). All the other feast days, carried the command - "Ye shall do no servile ("customary" - NKJV) work therein" (vs. 7, 21, 25, 35). "Literally, no work of labour, no work that belongs to one's worldly calling," while food preparation was permitted (Ex. 12:36) which was not permitted on either the Sabbath, or the Day of Atonement.
Another item of interest in Leviticus 23 is the fact that the designation of the tenth day of the seventh month as the Day of Atonement is in the plural form in the Hebrew text - "day of atonements" (vs. 27-28). Is this to be understood as the use of the pluralis majestatis (majestic plural), or the simple plural because of the number of individuals and things cleansed on that day? (Lev. 16:33).
With this feast day as with none of the others, not only was a severe penalty connected with the violation of the restriction placed on the day - "no work" - but also with the failure to enter into an experience described as soul affliction. The warning reads:
Whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. (Lev. 23:29-30).
How is this to be understood? It cannot be interpreted on a vertical type-antitype basis because it is not involving a priestly ministration; however, the seriousness of the instruction given would indicate a linear type-antitype interpretation with a spiritual meaning. The fact that in describing the services to be performed by the high priest, the emphasis is placed that he alone ministered on that day (Lev. 16:17), the conclusion can be drawn that no works of man can avail in the final cleansing. In his soul affliction, he can only wait the atonement obtained by the High Priest. Even as the penitent accepted the atonement of forgiveness provided by the common priest, so on the Day of Atonement, the same penitent accepts the cleansing provided by the high priest. In the reality of the antitype, it is the same Priest Who offered Himself on the Cross for us, and Who now as High Priest ever liveth to make intercession for us, Who in His last act of ministration, ministers the final atonement of cleansing.
Today, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, is the most sacred of Hebrew holy days. Yet, nowhere in either the Old or New Testaments is there a record of its celebration. It is alluded to in Acts 27:9. (See margin.) Yet following the Great Disappointment in 1844 both the Sabbath and the significance of the Day of Atonement became the heritage of those raised up to proclaim the Three Angels' Messages. Not only did the First Angel's Message call for a "worship" of Him who "made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters;" but also to "fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come" (Rev. 14:7). While the instruction given in regard to the typical observance of the Day of Atonement places it on a par with the Sabbath, and the giving of "the everlasting gospel" in earth's final hour places the Sabbath, and the hour of God's judgment on a par, our problem seems to be, harmonizing "the hour of the judgment of Him" (Rev. 14:7 Gr.) with the anti-typical Day of
Atonement, as well as working Daniel 7:10 "the judgment was set" - and Daniel 8:14 "then shall the sanctuary be cleansed" - into the same Biblical picture. What does the typical "example and shadow" performed by the earthly high priest on the Day of Atonement teach us? To answer this question, one must pursue a careful study of Leviticus 16.
The designations for the divisions of the Hebrew sanctuary as given in Leviticus 16, vary from the terms which we have used commonly for the two apartments. The most holy place, or the second apartment, is termed, "the holy within the vail" with the word, "place" added by the translators (v. 2). The first apartment, which we term the holy place, is designated as "the tabernacle of the congregation" (vs. 16-17).
The instruction begins with how the high priest is to come into the most holy place to appear in the presence of Him who would "appear in a cloud upon the mercy seat" (Lev. 16:2). It reads:
"Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place with a young bullock for a sin offering, and ram for a burnt offering. (v.3).
The high priest provided his own offering. It is defined as a "sin offering" yet no hand of confession was placed upon its head. It is emphasized that it is "for himself" so as "to make atonement for himself and for his house" (vs. 6, 11). At this point, a decision must be made. Was this just a part of the ritual for the Day, or was this also a part of the instruction which the "example and shadow" was to provide of heavenly things? Two factors must be kept in mind:
1) Aaron was a type of Christ's priestly ministry though an inferior priest ministering under an inferior covenant. See Hebrews 8:1-5.
2. The concept of "his house" is Paul's take off point for the discussion of the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ in the book of Hebrews (3:1-3). The Moses/Aaron "house" was declared to be "a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after" (v. 5; see also Ex. 4:14-16).
The high priestly attire for the services of the Day of Atonement is next described:
He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and he shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. (v. 4).
Again no service reflecting the "example and shadow" of heavenly things can be assigned to the attire of the earthly high priest on the Day of Atonement; however, there are other Biblical references which emphasize persons clothed "in linen." The question does arise; do these references refer to activity connected with the great High Priest's ministry during the time of the antitypical Day of Atonement?
The type indicates movement and activity by the high priest on the Day of Atonement from the most holy place to the court of the sanctuary. The prophecy of Daniel 7 indicates activity from the setting of the judgment till the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of days to receive His kingdom (vs. 10-14), but it does not define what He was doing. The outline of the Three Angels' Messages also indicates a time between the announcement of the "hour of His judgment is come" and the appearing of "the Son of man" to reap the harvest of earth (Rev. 14, 7, 14-15), and it places the giving of those messages as occurring during this period of time.
As one example of what this activity might be, we can cite Ezekiel 9 and the "man, clothed with linen" (vs. 2, 3, 11). While this prophecy does not conform to a sanctuary type-antitype relationship, it does emphasize the same dress worn by the high priest on that day, and focuses on the same place of the sanctuary where the typical service of the Day of Atonement ended, prior to the introduction of the scapegoat. (Lev. 16:20). The six men with
slaughtering weapons, and the "man clothed
with linen" who had a "writer's inkhorn by his side" came to the "brazen altar."
The glory of God moved from the cherubim (most holy place) "to the threshold of
the house" (v. 3). He instructed "the man clothed in linen" to place a mark on
the foreheads of those who "sigh and cry for all the abominations" that are done
It is recognized that this is placing an eschatological interpretation on the apostasy which occurred in the time of Ezekiel, and suggesting that this chapter which is a part of a larger vision (Chapters 8 - 11), expands the perception of the High Priestly ministry of Christ on the antitypical Day of Atonement. While the Writings follow this hermeneutic approach to Ezekiel 9 (5T:207-216), a non-Adventist commentary, such as, The Bible Commentary on the Old Testament, suggests the same. In the introduction to Ezekiel the editor stated:
There is one feature in the writings of Ezekiel, which deserves particular notice. This is (to use a modern term) their Eschatological character, ie. their reference not merely to an end, but to the very end of all. (p. 305)
While the editor notes that many parts of Ezekiel "have special reference to the circumstances of the prophet and his countrymen" so that "the local and the temporary seem to dominate;" however, there is by closer observation, more to be found. He observes:
Then the editor concludes:
These predictions of Ezekiel are therefore not to be interpreted simply as illustrative of, but directly predictive of the Church, . . . until the end of time. . . . Their peculiar appropriateness to such a Book as that of Ezekiel is best seen when we perceive that he is addressing, not simply the historical Israel of his own day, but the whole body who have been, like Israel of old, called forth to be God's people, and who will be called to strict account for the neglect of their consequent privileges. (ibid.).
We are not seeking to interpret nor apply the judgments predicted in Ezekiel 9, but rather to reinforce the application of the sanctuary imagery as found in this chapter to the end time Day of Atonement. It is also of interest to note the observation made in this commentary to verse 2:
[Clothed with linen] The priestly garment (Ex. xxviii. 6, 8; Lev. xvi. 4). This One Man (Cp. Dan. 10:5; Rev. 1:13) was the Angel of the Covenant, the great High Priest, superior to those by whom He was surrounded, receiving direct communication from the Lord.
This understanding of the relationship between Ezekiel 9 with the typical services of the Day of Atonement enlarges the perception of the ministry of Christ as High Priest during the antitypical Day of Atonement. This prophetic "Identifier" - a "man clothed in linen" - does not end in Ezekiel. Another prophet also saw in vision this "Man" (Dan. 10:5; 12:6-7), which opens up another area for study and understanding.
Returning to Leviticus 16, we find that Aaron was instructed to "take of the congregation . . . two kids of the goats for a sin offering" (v. 5). These two goats were to be presented "before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation" (v. 7), and lots were to be cast over them setting them apart, one for the Lord, and the other for "Azazel" (Heb., ver. 8, margin). The Hebrew word construction, "for the Lord" and "for Azazel" indicates the two are antithetical to each other, thus introducing the "great controversy motif."
This controversy is the theme of prophetic Scripture. The victory of Christ is the heart of the gospel (Rev. 12:10). Jesus referred to the devil as "the prince of this world" (John 12:31). In Daniel 10, the "man clothed in linen" (v. 5) who came to the help of Gabriel is identified as "the first of the chief princes." (v. 13, margin). The purpose of Christ was to wrest back the dominion lost by Adam (Micah 4:8). Do then the services of the Day of Atonement reflect the final phases of the wresting of the lost dominion from the control of Satan even to the cleansing of the children of Israel from their
uncleanness (Lev. 16:16)? Then sin would cease. This is the objective to which the services of the typical Day of Atonement moved.
Having completed the preliminary preparation, the high priest entered the first of three times "within the vail" with his "hands full of sweet incense" which was poured on the censer full of coals from the altar of burnt offering (vs. 12-13). Returning to the court, he took of the blood of the bullock which he had provided and brought it within the vail and with his finger sprinkled it once "upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat . . . seven times" (v.14). He again returned to the court for the blood of the Lord's goat, and did the same as he had done with the blood of the bullock (v. 15).
The objective of this ceremonial
ritual was twofold. It was to provide an atonement, first, "because of the
uncleanness of the children of
Before considering further "the last act of the final atonement" we need to note that in passing from the most holy to the court, the high priest was to do in the tabernacle of the congregation the same as he had done in the most holy place (v. 16b). This had been commanded at the time when the details for the construction of the Altar of Incense had been given. The command read:
Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the Lord. (Ex. 30:10).
In the details describing the Day of Atonement, in Leviticus 16, it is emphasized "there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation" (v. 17). The high priest, alone, accomplished the typical cleansing. This should speak loud and clear to all who, by their own works of righteousness, seek to cleanse themselves. This fact as well as the last act of the final atonement is symbolized in a vision given to Zechariah. Writing of this vision, the Messenger of the Lord commented:
Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God's people in the closing up of the great day of atonement. (5T:472; emphasis supplied).
Joshua, the high priest in the times of Zechariah (Haggai 1:1), was pictured as "standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him" (1:1). Here is the same "great controversy" motif as is evidenced in the sanctuary "example and shadow" typical services on the Day of Atonement - the Lord's goat and Azazel. Joshua, the chief priest of a nation that was to have been "a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Ex. 19:6),"was clothed with filthy garments" (3:3). If he were to remove his garments, the "shame of his nakedness" would appear with nothing available for covering.
It was the Lord who commanded those who stood before Him - "Take away the filthy garments from Him" (v. 4). To Joshua, he declared:
"Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment.” (ibid.)
He who can cleanse us from all iniquity is the One only who can provide a change of raiment. Those "standing by" will so do if we do not cling to those filthy garments. This gives us some indication as to what the "soul affliction" (Lev. 23:29) commanded in the "example and shadow" for the Day of Atonement means. "The battle which we have to fight - the greatest battle that was ever fought by man - is the surrender of self to the will of God, the yielding of the heart to the sovereignty of love" (Mount of Blessings, p. 203,
1946 ed.). Not only did those "standing by" give Joshua a change of raiment, but also set "a fair mitre upon his head" with the promise that he would be given "places to walk among (those) that stand by" (vs. 5-7).
In the verses which close this vision there are concepts which need to be amplified by prayerful study. Note them carefully:
1) Those who receive the change of raiment will become "men of wonder" or "men wondered at" (v. 8; margin). Into this picture is interjected Him, whom "the Lord of hosts" calls "my servant the BRANCH." This BRANCH would "grow up out of His place." He would "build the temple of the Lord: and He shall bear the glory, and He shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne" (Zech. 6:12-13).
2) The Lord of hosts declares that He would "remove the iniquity of the land in one day" (3:9). Connected with this is the prophetic symbolism of "seven eyes" which in the book of Revelation is associated with "the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth" (5:6).
In the instructions for the ritual to be followed on the typical Day of Atonement, it reads:
When (the high priest) has ceased making atonement for the holy, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat (16:20; Heb).
It would appear that in the high
priest's atonement for all divisions of the sanctuary from the record of the
sins in the most holy to the cleansing of the confession of those sins in the
tabernacle and at the altar, he had been gathering them unto himself. They had
become his. Aaron, serving in his capacity of "example and shadow" of the
heavenly, is instructed to place both of his hands on the head of the live goat
and confess over him "all the iniquities of the children of
There is an observation or two
that needs to be made. At no time during the services of this typical day was
confession, by the laying on of the hand, made upon the two victims designated
as "sin offerings." But when the high priest placed both of his hands on the
head of the goat that stood for Azazel, "all" sins, confessed and forgiven, of
the children of
This typical "example and shadow" points us to the final judgment scene in Revelation 20:11-15. There are the same "open books" as were described in Daniel 7:10. In them are the records of the sins by which the "dead" are judged. These records were not expunged in the final atonement. Each one who faces the "great white throne" must answer for himself. There is, however, another book, "the book of life" in which are the names only of those whose records have gone before hand unto judgment. (I Tim. 5:24; Dan. 12:1; Rev. 13:8). It contains no resumes of meritorious human achievements; it is the Lamb's Book of Life.
There is in this transfer of sins to the goat which stood for Azazel some unsolved problems. In the previous issue of WWN, discussing "Confession and Transfer" (p. 5, col. 1), we noted that in the laying on of the hand, the Hebrew word used, samak, indicates placing the full weight upon the sacrifice. In this we were following the SDA Bible Commentary which comments on this instruction:
A solemn and essential part of the ritual was the placing of the hand of the offerer upon the head of the victim. The word, samak, "put," means "to lean" with one's weight, an act by which the penitent sinner represented his utter dependence upon the substitute" (Vol. I, p. 714).
In this act of the high priest by placing his two hands upon the scapegoat, the same Hebrew word, samak, is used. The problem is compounded by placing his two hands, rather than just the one as required in the offering of the individual sin offering. To apply the concept of "utter dependence upon the substitute" to this act of the High Priest would be blasphemous. Study needs to be given to this typical "example and shadow," or else the
act of the laying on of the hand or hands be simply recognized as a symbol of transfer. If to so conclude, what then do we do about the basic meaning of the Hebrew word, samak, used in both "examples"?
With this transfer of sin, and the taking of the goat standing for Azazel to the wilderness, to a land not inhabited, the ceremonial services ended. The high priest went back into the tabernacle of the congregation, bathed, changed to his regular attire, returned to the Altar in the Court and offered the burnt offerings provided at the beginning of the day with the fat of the sin offerings. With this, a new year of sacrifices for sin began. (Lev. 16:23-25).
Not so "the heavenly things:"
After John saw in vision the "wilderness" consignment of "Azazel," and the
judgment of the "great white throne," he wrote - "I saw a new heaven and a new
earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away" (Rev. 21:1).
He sees the
The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love. (GC, p. 678).
Questions Which Call for Answers
Having completed a brief survey of the daily and yearly services, involving the sin offering, performed in the ancient Hebrew sanctuary and having applied the dictum stated by Paul in Hebrews 8:5, that the priests of that earthly structure served "unto the example and shadow of heavenly things," it should be obvious that some of the positions held on the sanctuary teaching do not harmonize with the type. Some of these we will list with the suggestion that further and deeper study be given to those.
In the ritual for the individual, be he ruler or a common person, the blood of his sin offering was not taken into the sanctuary. The record of its presentation was made on the horns of the brazen altar in the court, as well as the fact that all of the remaining blood was poured at the base of the same altar. Even the blood of the sacrifice for corporate guilt was poured at the base of the brazen altar, while the record of its presentation was confirmed by the finger printing of the blood on the horns of the altar of incense by the high priest.
For the confessing individual, it was the common priest who made atonement for him at the altar in the court which in type brought forgiveness, but still left him in his uncleanness, and his sin on record. Another service would follow once a year which cleansed not only the record but also the uncleanness. Thus the "example and shadow" clearly indicates a dual atonement. While the atonement at the altar in the court foreshadowed the cross, the Day of Atonement beginning in the most holy foreshadowed the final ministry of the heavenly High Priest. To the typical Day of Atonement is applied the pluralis majestatis of the Hebrew language. This must be considered.
In the type, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest did not confine his ministry solely to the most holy place, but actually concluded it at the brazen altar with the combined blood of both the bullock he had provided, and the goat designated as the "Lord's goat." This has not been duly considered, as well as other questions. To the questions these concepts raise, we shall continue to give study seeking to learn as well as to be willing to unlearn.
"Watchman, What of the
Night?" is published monthly by the Adventist Laymen's Foundation of