THE DAY OF ATONEMENT

(Trumpet Ministries, Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

THE DAY OF ATONEMENT Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The redemption of a human being must include the pardoning of the guilt of his sin and also the removal of the presence of sin from him. Before a person can be healed morally, obtain full fellowship with God, and enter his Divinely appointed inheritance in the Lord, he must be forgiven, and then delivered from the bondages of sin. This is the twofold nature of the Day of Atonement in the life of the believer.

Table of Contents

Removing From Us Love for the World Removing From Us the Chains of Lust, Lying, Violence, and Occult Practices Removing From Us Self-will, Self-love, Self-centeredness, and Rebellion Against God’s Will

THE DAY OF ATONEMENT 

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. (Leviticus 23:26-28)

The sixteenth chapter of the Book of Leviticus describes the ceremonial obligations of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

There were two principal observances that made an atonement for Israel on the Day of Atonement. The first observance involved the slaying of a goat. The blood of the goat was sprinkled upon and before the Mercy Seat as a sin offering for the people. 

Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: (Leviticus 6:15)

The Day of Atonement was the only day of the year during which the High Priest was permitted to enter past the veil into the Most Holy Place.

The second observance was conducted with a living goat. The High Priest confessed the sins of Israel, putting them on the head of the living goat. The goat then was led away into the wilderness, bearing on itself all the iniquities of the people of Israel. 

And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:21,22)

First came the sin offering, the appeasing of God’s wrath through the blood of the innocent goat offered in place of the death of the sinner. Second came the removing of the sin from Israel.

First the paying of the debt owed to God because of the violation of His sense of justice. God could forgive the transgression because the shedding of innocent blood satisfied the need for vengeance.

God cannot arbitrarily forgive and forget the transgressing of His laws. The consequences of misbehavior must follow sinful deeds. Death must come to the sinner unless God is willing to accept a substitute in the sinner’s place. Only then can God forgive and forget. Without the shedding of blood there can be no pardoning of the debt of guilt.

The reason God forgives the sins of Christians so readily is that the penalty for each transgression fell on the righteous Jesus.

Many Christians of today are living under Divine condemnation without realizing it because they have not expressed godly sorrow concerning their sins and have not repented of (turned away from) them with nearly enough vigor and resolution. Their sense of God’s approval is a deception.

They are not discerning correctly the extent of God’s wrath on their sins. God is willing to forgive us because of the completeness and effectiveness of the atonement made by the Lord Jesus, but only as we confess our sins and make every effort through His grace to turn away from our sins and do the will of God.

The second part of the atonement was the removing of sin from Israel. This does not mean the removal of the guilt of sin, for that was accomplished by the taking of the first goat’s life in place of the lives of the Israelites.

Rather, the putting of the sins of the Israelites on the head of the living goat and the sending away of this "scapegoat" into the wilderness signified the removal of the presence of sin from God’s chosen people. Since actual removal was not possible until the sacrifice of God’s sin-offering on the cross of Calvary, the leading away of the living goat, as was true also of the appeasement made with the blood of the slain goat (although the forgiveness was genuine!), was in anticipation of the true and eternal forgiveness and removal to come in the future.

The removal of the guilt of sin.

The removal of the presence of sin.

The redemption of a human being must include the pardoning of the guilt of his sin and also the removal of the presence of sin from him. Before a person can be healed morally, obtain full fellowship with God, and enter his Divinely appointed inheritance in the Lord, he must be forgiven, and then delivered from the bondages of sin. This is the twofold nature of the Day of Atonement in the life of the believer.

The removing of the scapegoat from the camp of Israel is a type of the removing of Christ from the city of Jerusalem, carrying away from the city the sins of Israel. It also is a type of the descent of the Lord Jesus into Hell, bearing our transgressions and rebellions on Himself.

The Lamb of God did not come only, or even primarily, to forgive the sin of the world but rather to take away the sin of the world. 

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

"Which takes away."

The Lord Jesus does not save us in our sins but from our sins

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

Our deliverance from sin is based on the forgiveness of our sin. Each of the two goats had its role to play in the Day of Atonement.

The captor and destroyer of mankind is Satan. God’s judgment is on Satan and all his works. Satan is the source of sin. The Lord Jesus did not come only to forgive our satanic behavior but also to destroy the works of Satan out of our personality. 

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)

And the God of peace shall bruise [crush] Satan under your feet shortly.... (Romans 16:20)

The new covenant that God has made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah includes the forgetting of our iniquities but is directed primarily toward the writing of God’s laws in our mind and heart. This means that righteous and holy conduct, which can be obtained only as the presence of sin is overcome and removed from us, is the object of the new covenant. 

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)

We understand that the Lord Jesus Christ through His death on the cross of Calvary has appeased the wrath of God concerning our sins and also the sins of the whole world. 

And he is the propitiation [appeasement] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)

We understand also that through the Lord Jesus the presence of sin will be removed from us and from the whole world. The removing of the presence of sin from us and from the whole world is associated with the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.

For two thousand years the forgiveness aspect of redemption has been taught and experienced by multitudes of believers. Those who through faith have received the atonement made by the Lord Jesus on the cross have obtained the forgiveness of their sins.

The second aspect of redemption, the removal of the presence of sin from us, has not been in evidence to the same extent that has been true of the forgiveness of our sins, although the removal of the presence of sin from the believer is taught in the New Testament Scriptures and is the distinguishing aspect of the new covenant. 

For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26)

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (Hebrews 10:4)

A study of the context of the above two passages will reveal that the writer of Hebrew is pointing out that the new covenant is superior to the old covenant in that the new covenant does away with the presence of sin, whereas the old covenant was limited to the forgiveness of sin.

It appears that God will remove sin from us in two stages: first, as we are faithful in putting to death the deeds of our body through the Holy Spirit; second, as Christ comes in the last days, in a period known as the "Day of Vengeance," to destroy the power of the devil and to finally remove him and all his works from the presence of God and His saints.

By "putting to death the deeds of our body" we mean walking in the Spirit of God so we are able each day to deny the sinful urges of our flesh and to yield ourselves as servants of righteousness. If we are faithful in putting to death the deeds of our flesh, the Lord will remove from us the compulsions of sin at His coming in the closing days of the Church Age. We believe that the final removal already has commenced in the warrior-remnant whom the Lord is calling out of the churches. It is an eternal judgment upon sinning spirits.

Putting to death the deeds of our body.

The Day of Vengeance.

Our obligation to live above sin, to put to death the deeds of our sinful flesh, is presented by the Apostle Paul. 

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13).

The coming of the Lord in the Day of Vengeance is mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament. It is the hour when the Lord will roar out of Zion. 

The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. (Isaiah 42:13)

The day of God’s vengeance upon His enemies is referred to in the New Testament as the Day of Redemption. 

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

The New Testament writings look toward the end time when the Lord will appear bringing salvation from sin. 

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)

Salvation from sin will be revealed in the last time.

The incident concerning the Cave of Makkedah illustrates the two phases of the removal of the presence of sin from Israel.

First, the kings of the Amorites were confined to a cave, a symbol of putting to death the sinful deeds of our flesh. 

And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah. And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them: (Joshua 10:17,18)

After victory was obtained, Joshua returned to the Cave of Makkedah, called forth the five kings, and put them to death, representing the more complete salvation from sin that will be brought to us in the last days. 

And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. (Joshua 10:26)

Let us be absolutely faithful in resisting sin through the grace that God has given us under the new covenant. If we keep on putting to death the sinful deeds of our flesh, the Lord Jesus will finally come to us and prevail against His enemies, bringing upon them the full wrath of God. They shall be torn from our personalities root and branch. Then we shall go forth as calves of the stall, rejoicing in the Divine deliverance that has been brought to us through our Lord Jesus Christ.

By the expression "removing the presence of sin from us" we mean removing the love of the world, fleshly lusts, and our self-will and self-centeredness.

The presence of spiritual darkness, the compulsion and willingness to do what is contrary to God’s Personality and will, shall be separated from our personality as part of the Divine redemption. We are to be at peace in the fullness of God’s Presence, the presence of evil having been sent away from us.

After we receive the Lord Jesus, repent of our sins, and are baptized in water, the righteousness of Jesus is imputed (ascribed; given) to us. This means that God regards us as righteous even though there is much sin present in our personality. Because of our identification with Christ, God accepts our person.

God has forgiven our sins and has declared us to be righteous, accepted of Him. There may remain much worldliness, lust, and self-will in our personality. The first part of the atonement has been put into effect but the presence of sin has not as yet been removed from the camp.

The Church of the future is the holy Jerusalem. It is the Wife of the Lamb and is to be holy beyond all holiness. The new Jerusalem will be an unblemished Bride.

However, the new Jerusalem, the holy city, the Wife of the Lamb, is not to be holy merely by imputation (assigned righteousness). The new world over which the holy city reigns is not to be righteous merely by assigned righteousness. The presence of sin will have been actually removed from the new Jerusalem and also from the nations of saved peoples of the earth that walk in the light of the new Jerusalem.

In the hour in which we are living the Lord Jesus has forgiven our sins but the presence of sin remains in the churches and in the world. Yet we know that sin will not be present in the new world that is coming. It must be true, therefore, that at some point between the present age and the new world the presence of sin will be removed from the Church and from the nations of saved peoples of the earth.

The question is: where, when, and how will the removal of the presence of sin from the church of Christ, and from the nations of saved peoples of the earth, take place? When will the fullness of the Day of Atonement be accomplished?

The removal of sin will take place on the earth. It is not impossible that judgment and deliverance will happen in the spirit realm, but we think we are correct in stating that the bulk of the Scriptures points toward the earth as the location of cleansing from sin. 

Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:12)

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Matthew 13:41)

It is my point of view, based on the fourth chapter of the Book of First Peter, that the removal of sin from the Kingdom of God, as pictured in these two passages, will occur on the earth and in Heaven at the same time

But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (I Peter 4:5)

It is interesting to note that the Lord Jesus, while reading from the Book of Isaiah, stopped in the middle of a sentence. After saying, "to preach the acceptable year of the Lord," He closed the scroll. The next phrase in the sentence is, "and the day of vengeance of our God" (compare Luke 4:19,20 with Isaiah 61:2).

The time of redemption, of salvation, is presented by the Apostles as coming in the future. 

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11)

The pattern of the seven Levitical feasts reveals that the atonement comes toward the end of the program of redemption. The Day of Atonement is the sixth of the seven feasts of the Lord.

There will be a removal of sin while men are on the earth, and at the end of the age. How will such deliverance take place?

The atonement, our actual (as distinguished from legal) reconciliation to God, will take place through judgment. The Church, and then the nations of saved peoples of the earth, will undergo the judgment of God. What is unworthy of the Kingdom of God will find its eternal abode in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. The tares will be removed from the wheat and cast into the fire.

The Scriptures teach that God will judge mankind in the last days and that the result of the judgment will be the establishing of a holy Jerusalem that will rule in righteousness over the nations of the earth.

In fact, Jerusalem is destined to become "Heaven"—the place toward which the nations of the saved will pray. 

Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (Isaiah 66:1)

Heaven is God’s throne today. After the Lord returns, God’s throne will be Jerusalem, and in this manner Jerusalem will become "Heaven," so to speak. But first, Jerusalem must be purified. 

At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 3:17)

We are not teaching that every person ultimately will be saved because we understand that some will rebel against God and His Christ. The rebellious of mankind will be assigned to the place of torment prepared for Satan and his angels.

Thus far we have stated that the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement includes both forgiveness of sins and also the removal of the presence of sin. We have mentioned that the removal of the presence of sin will take place on the earth in the last days, and that the process of deliverance, of redemption, will proceed as a judgment on the presence of sin in our personality.

We who are abiding in the Lord Jesus will continue in our state of freedom from condemnation while the Divine judgment falls on the sin that binds us and to which we do not give consent. 

When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. (Isaiah 4:4)

Malachi told of the coming of the Lord to cleanse his people by the fires of judgment: 

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:2,3)

John the Baptist spoke of the spirit of burning and judgment that will purify God’s people: 

. . . he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:11,12)

The Apostle Peter described the fiery trial of suffering that will come as judgment on the house of God, and then on those who are not obeying the Gospel: 

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)

Peter teaches us that suffering is one means God uses to remove the presence of sin from us: 

. . . for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. ( I Peter 4:1,2)

The concept of "atonement" is that of reconciliation. The redemption that is in Christ includes the moving of an individual from the person and works of Satan to the Person and works of God. It is the Divine program of reconciliation to God, acting on behalf of a ruined, imprisoned mankind.

The concept of the Day of Atonement, of Reconciliation, is that of the removing of the tares from the wheat. 

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Matthew 13:41)

First, the things that offend God are removed. After that, those who continue in the practice of lawlessness are removed from the Kingdom. This also is part of the working of the Day of Atonement. 

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, (Matthew 13:49)

It is God’s will that every human being be reconciled to God by the removal from him or her of the things that offend God. The believers who are willing to be purged of their lawlessness will be reconciled to God and saved to eternal life in the new world.

Any individual who refuses to let go of his sins will be cast into the Lake of Fire along with Satan and his angels. As we have stated, there must first be the removal of sin from the members of the Kingdom. After that, each person who clings to his sin will be removed from the Kingdom of God.

As is true of the spiritual fulfillments of each of the other six feasts, there is a personal fulfillment of the Day of Atonement in the individual believer, and then there will be a kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement over the whole earth.

The kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is the thousand-year reign of Christ and His ruling priests and judges that may be referred to as the "Kingdom Age" (Millennium).

The kingdom-wide fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.

During the thousand-year Kingdom Age, all Israel, all the elect of God whether Jewish or Gentile by race, will be reconciled to God in their personality and behavior. The kingdom-wide reconciliation is made up of the reconciliation to God of each individual member of the Kingdom. The Body of Christ can only be as perfect as the least perfect member. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Each person must work out his own hopes and fears and beliefs, his travail of faith in God and obedience to God, through Christ. The name Israel means "he struggles with God."

We think the personal fulfillment of the Day of Atonement has begun already. Now—today—the work of judgment is taking place.

To a certain extent, at least, the judgment of God has been exercised among God’s people since the days in which Peter declared: "The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:... " (I Peter 4:17). However it appears that now there is an unprecedented emphasis on the coming of King Jesus to begin the work of reconciling mankind to God by removing spiritual darkness from the believers.

It seems evident that God’s plan is to begin the work of reconciliation, of judgment and deliverance, with a small fraction, a Gideon’s army, taken from the ranks of the elect. This purified remnant then will work with God in the deliverance of all Israel, including all the elect Jews and Gentiles.

The Redeemer, Christ and His firstfruits, will come out of the heavenly Zion and all Israel will be saved: that is to say, the presence of sin will be removed from all God’s people.

First the Redeemer will come to the remnant. 

And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 59:20)

Then the purified remnant will be ready to turn away ungodliness from all of God’s elect, all Israel both Jewish and Gentile. 

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Romans 11:26)

Many nations of the earth will be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God and eternal life, as we note from both the Old Testament and the New. The sons of God will work with God in removing the presence of sin from all whom the Lord deems worthy of salvation. The purpose of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, as we understand it, is the removal of the presence of sin from all Israel, and from the nations of saved peoples of the earth as well.

Notice, in the following verse, how God will preserve a remnant of the elect, purifying the remnant by tribulation. 

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. (Zechariah 13:9)

As soon as God has established holiness in His remnant, the remnant will be used of the Lord to remove the presence of sin from "all Israel," from all who are of the good olive tree.

God has in mind to remove the presence of sin, not only from Israel but also from the nations that God chooses to save to eternal life. 

In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. (Isaiah 19:24,25)

The nations of saved peoples of the earth will be the inheritance of Christ and His elect, His Israel. 

That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this. (Amos 9:12)

The nations of the saved will not be permitted to wander about in sin and rebellion but will be required to go up to Jerusalem and worship Christ and to "keep the feast of tabernacles." The nations of the saved will keep the feast of Tabernacles by worshiping God and by receiving the eternal Life of God from the saints in whom the Father and Christ are tabernacling.

The members of the nations of the saved will receive into themselves the Presence of Christ who alone is the Resurrection and the eternal Life. In this manner the nations will keep the feast of Tabernacles. 

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16)

Whether or not a nation is permitted to be delivered from sin and to enter eternal life depends on how that nation received the saints, the brothers of Jesus. 

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: (Matthew 25:34,35)

The members of the nations of the saved will become the Lord’s people in the Day of the Lord. 

And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. (Zechariah 2:11)

The nations of saved peoples of the earth will rejoice in the Lord forever because the saints in whom the Father and the Son are tabernacling will be to them trees of life, bringing to them the eternal life and healing that are in Christ. 

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. (Revelation 21:24)

The pattern, then, is the purging of sin from a firstfruits of the elect, from all the elect, and finally from the nations that God has chosen to save. There can be no new heaven and earth reign of Christ, no complete spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, either in an individual or in a nation, until the presence of sin has been removed. This always has been true, is true today, and will be true throughout eternity.

Now let us consider the three principal areas of sin—that which will be separated from the Church and from the world as the Kingdom of God begins to come from Heaven to the earth.

It is important for the reader to understand that the sanctuary in Heaven has been purified by the blood of the Lord Jesus but the heavens themselves still are filled with rebellious spirits. All spirits, spiritual or human, who continue to rebel against the Lord must be purged from the heavens before lasting peace can come to the earth. However we will not deal with this aspect of the Day of Atonement in the present booklet.

The first area of the darkness that enslaves mankind is the embracing of the world to the exclusion of God. It is the attempt to live by bread alone. It is the loving of the creature more than the Creator.

Every true Christian dies to the world in water baptism. He counts himself as crucified to the world and the world to him. He has laid down his life, has taken up his cross, and is following Christ during the years of his pilgrimage on the earth.

The second area of the darkness that chains us is that of the various lusts and perversions in our flesh and our environment that proceed from the corrupted personality of Satan, as the demons seek to satisfy their tortured, inflamed appetites through the flesh of human beings.

The true Christian discipleship includes a vigorous putting to death of the deeds of the body as the Holy Spirit guides us and gives us the power to do so.

If we say we know Jesus but are walking in sin, the truth is not in us. Now it is time for us to come to the Lord so that through His grace we may crucify our flesh with its perverted appetites.

The third area of sin is the self-will, the self-rule of man as he seeks accomplishment and rulership apart from God’s plan for his life.

God is not in many of the religious, philosophical, and political strivings that are taking place today. These often proceed from the ignorance and presumption of the human soul. It is God’s desire, rather, that we present our body to God a living sacrifice so we may be able to find the true will of God for our life, and then perform it. 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

The greatest problem man has, the gigantic sin of the last days, is self-will. For four hundred years Western man has been convincing himself that man is the center of all things. Libertarianism, humanism, democratic government, freedom of expression, are all symptoms of Antichrist as well as of the False Prophet. Antichrist always proclaims, "I am God and there is no other god."

The Book of Revelation emphasizes the evil of Laodicea (churches tailored to the will of people), of Antichrist (man making himself God), of the False Prophet (miracle-working Christianity that is operated by the soul of man rather than by the Spirit of God), and of Babylon (man-directed Christianity). To trust in the world rather than in God is to sin. To indulge in the lusts of the flesh is to sin. But the greatest sin of all, the sin of the last days, is to perceive ourselves as God; to worship our own will.

Until we are successful, through the power and wisdom that Christ alone provides, in overcoming the three destructive forces that seek to dominate our personality and behavior, we cannot be completely reconciled to God. We can abide in the rest of God’s Presence and will while we are battling through to victory, but we cannot enter the rest of the land of promise, the rest that is our inheritance from God, into our part in the plan conceived in God’s mind from the creation of the world, until worldliness, fleshly lusts, and self-will have been driven from us by the Spirit of God.

Let us think for a moment about these three problem areas:

Loving the world and the things of the world.

Yielding to the lusts that dwell in our flesh.

Striving to create a heaven and earth in which we ourselves are central. 

Removing From Us Love for the World

The present-day victorious saints, the firstfruits whom God has called to His side in this hour, must, through Christ’s Virtue, achieve victory over love for the world. Jesus will help us to come out of the world spirit as we cry to Him.

The victorious saints are the rulers of the ages to come and they must prevail against any love for the world that is in them. The present world system is not of God, it is of Antichrist. In particular, the economic systems that are reaching out to ensnare every human being in the worship of money are to be perceived by the saints as the spiritual darkness they indeed are. God will provide our needs as we seek His face. We do not have to sell our soul to Satan in order to have food to eat and clothes to wear.

Christ will purge His people of love for the world, of trust in the world system of economics, by the shaking and tribulation that even now are coming upon us. In the near future, persecution and fiery trials will fall on the saints. Terror will confront the nations of the earth. These tribulations will release, from slavery to the Antichrist world economic system, the remnant whom Christ will call. The Bride must come out of the world spirit. Love for the world must be purged from the Bride.

Finally, the love of the present world spirit will be purged from the whole earth. There will be no more "sea" of people who labor in the mud of the earth with their backs turned toward their Creator. 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (I John 2:15)

Removing From Us the Chains of Lust, Lying, Violence, and Occult Practices

The demon population appears to be increasing on the face of the earth. The spiritual environment in which we live is darker than ever before. Even conscientious Christians are becoming the victims of the deceptions and urging of demons as they prey on the appetites of our body and soul.

Moral lawlessness and perversion, rage, strife, covetousness, occult practices, drunkenness, are found in the Christian homes as well as among the people of the world. Through the television and computer the moral filth of Satan, his murder, lust, and drunkenness, are influencing Christian people. The believers are not consecrated enough, in numerous instances, to flee from the television, from the abominations being introduced to mankind by the forces of Hell.

Grace abounds in our day. God is ready to deliver His people, through Christ, from the chains of immorality, covetousness, lawlessness, violence, and—a rapidly growing evil—occult practices.

The Charismatic believers are embracing occult practices in order to gain power in the supernatural realm. We are to rigorously avoid all efforts to create reality by our imagination, our words, imaging, having "faith," positive thinking, success thinking, or similar soulish, mental techniques. These are forms of sorcery, of witchcraft. If we have engaged in them we are to renounce them thoroughly, confessing them as sin.

First, we must confess our sins as sin as the Holy Spirit points out to us the thoughts, words, and actions that are unrighteous and unholy. We must condemn them verbally, openly, declaring before Heaven and earth that such behavior is worthy only of the Lake of Fire and has no place in the Kingdom of God.

Thorough denunciation is an important step toward deliverance from spiritual bondage.

Second, we must resolve to turn away from our sins, by the Lord’s help.

Third, we must receive by faith the forgiveness of our sins and the removal of them from our personality.

Fourth, we must draw near to God in faith, love, and adoration so our fellowship with Him may remain unbroken.

Fifth, we must resist the devil when he tempts us to return to our sinful behavior.

Each of us must choose to worship Christ and to resist the devil. Sin has no place in the Kingdom of God and is to have no place in the Christian personality. We, through the Spirit, are to put to death the deeds of our body, crucifying our flesh with its perverted, lawless cravings.

No human being has the power or wisdom to rid himself or herself of sin. As we confess our sins, renouncing them in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit breaks the hold Satan has on us. There is victory—total victory—over Satan in the name of the Lord Jesus.

We have come to the Day of Vengeance of our God. God through Christ is enabling the members of the Body of Christ to cast aside the works of darkness and to enter the promised-land rest of God. 

Removing From Us Self-will, Self-love, Self-centeredness, and Rebellion Against God’s Will

Victory over self-will, over disobedience to God, is the crowning triumph. No believer will be permitted to rule with God until Christ has become his undisputed Lord. Self-will is a powerful enemy that must be destroyed.

God gave man the power of choice. Man has the ability to choose to serve God or to serve himself. Until the individual or the nation chooses to serve God rather than himself, or itself, there cannot be a complete reconciliation to God.

For two thousand years the Christian churches have labored to perform what they believe to be God’s will. The final products invariably are monuments they have created to their own glory. Except for those who have found the secret of rest in God, the record of Christianity is that of man working according to his own strength and wisdom, building spiritual sepulchers in the name of Christ.

God’s solution to the problem of our self-will is the cross—the prison of the cross. God keeps us in situations we do not enjoy. He does so in order that our self-assertiveness may be destroyed, every trace of it removed from our personality. What a terrible bondage our self-seeking is! A few years in God’s prison leads us into the rest of abiding peaceably and contentedly in the heart of God.

No person can walk in lasting, happy fellowship with God until trust in the world, the bondage of lust, and insistence on self-rule have been removed from him. These are the three sources of personality disfigurement that prevent compatibility and union with God through Christ.

The revivals of Church history have brought us through the spiritual fulfillments of the first four of the Levitical feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost (Leviticus, Chapter 23).

Now the Divine acts associated with the final three feasts (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) are coming to the members of the Body of Christ—to those who have ears to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches.

The spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets is the coming of the King, Christ, to exact vengeance on His enemies and to form an army from the holy remnant who are serving Him. Christ is declaring war against the lords of darkness that are holding His inheritance in the chains of death and corruption. The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Trumpets includes the organizing of God’s elect into the army of the Lord.

The blowing of the trumpets (Revelation 8:2) will result in a shaking of all the creation of God including the circumstances and hearts of saints and sinners alike. There will be calamities and uproars on the earth from now until the Lord Jesus returns with His saints and sits on the Throne of David in Jerusalem. The King is coming!

The spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is the removal from the firstfruits of the elect, from all Israel, and finally from the nations of saved peoples of the earth, the three enemies we have mentioned: marriage to the world, the lusts of the flesh, and the determination to choose our own way.

Tribulation and suffering will fill the whole world as God acts to remove the bondages imposed by His enemies and to reconcile mankind to Himself. Every work of Satan will be condemned and finally removed from the creation.

People who call on the name of the Lord will be released from their spiritual bondages. The individuals who choose the world spirit of covetousness in place of the cross of Christ, who choose the lusts of demons in place of the Holy Spirit of God, and who choose to obey their will instead of the will of the Father, will be dealt with severely. Their presence and works will be destroyed from the face of the earth.

God is not willing that any should perish. He will guide and teach the weakest of persons in order to persuade him or her of the right and good way, the way of righteousness and peace. Many will receive lashes in order to make them partakers of God’s holiness. God is merciful, but let no person presume on the Divine mercy. Those who harden their heart will be cut off suddenly—and that "without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

The bruised reed will Christ not break and the dimly burning flax will Christ not quench. He will bring forth judgment unto truth (Isaiah 42:3).

The individual who looks up toward God, and after all God’s dealings with him finally says No!, is doomed to eternal darkness.

The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is the eternal establishment of the Father and the Son on the throne of the human heart—the heart that has been cleansed from the embrace of the world, from slavery to sin, and from the worship of itself.

In the beginning God created all persons, things, and events through to the coming down from Heaven of the new Jerusalem. All human history has been completed in a timeless vision. Then God rested. Our objective is to enter that rest, that eternal plan of God.

God desires to settle down to rest in His holy city, His glorified Church, and to rule a world inhabited by righteous nations. Each member of the righteous nations will have in himself a measure of Christ, a portion of God in him. Each member will have been re-created in Christ. 

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (Ephesians 1:10)

Every creature, whether of Heaven or of earth, will find itself eventually in Christ or he or she will not be part of the new world "wherein dwelleth righteousness" (II Peter 3:13).

The Kingdom of God is, first of all, an inner kingdom. Those who are closest to Christ will possess more of the inner Presence of the Father and the Son than will be true of others who are not as close. However, God intends to be All in all. God through Christ will rule every saved creature from within that individual’s personality, although at first there must be an external rule governing the person in order to maintain righteousness until he or she has learned to obey God from a transformed nature.

The only truly free person, the person who can enjoy the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, is the one whose inner and outer nature, whose whole personality, seeks to do the things that are pleasing to God.

The creation of such an inner kingdom requires the removal of all darkness, of all that is not of God’s Light. Therefore the Day of Atonement, which has begun now in the personalities of God’s firstfruits, will operate until every saved creature has been wholly reconciled to the Father through Christ.

Our fixed goal in life must be to overcome, through Christ’s grace, every enemy that would prevent us from resting with God as He brings His vision into existence in the physical realm. We must cease from our own works and enter God’s completed work, resting with Him as the authority and power of His Word bring all persons, things, and events into total conformity to His will.

The spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement makes possible a rest in God by removing from us all those thoughts, motives, words, and deeds that prevent our harmony and union with God and with one another through Christ our Lord.

If we understand the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement and the nature of the Kingdom of God, this is an indication we have been chosen to be part of the firstfruits who will work with God in reconciling to Himself all the elect, and also the members of the nations of saved peoples of the earth. Let us make sure we take full advantage of every spiritual blessing God is offering to us.

The son who, having been informed of God’s will for his life, wastes his time and opportunities, will lose what he has been given and will stand before the Lord naked and ashamed.

The son who is diligent, using every moment of time and every bit of strength to serve God in the establishing of His Kingdom, will be rewarded with infinitely greater and more glorious responsibility.

As we labor in faithfulness let us keep always before our eyes the prospect of a new world in which there is no sin or rebellion at all—not even the memory of sin. The presence of sin, having been removed from the saved creation, will be confined in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. Those who desire to do so may go to the area where the presence of sin has been imprisoned so they may renew their understanding of the consequences of rebelling against God. 

And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (Isaiah 66:24)

The righteous will be in the new world in their bodies while the wicked will be in the Lake of Fire in their bodies ("carcases"—see verse above).

The Lake of Fire has authority over us as long as there is any worldliness, or sin, or rebellion in us. When the Lord Jesus Christ delivers us from all spiritual darkness, the Lake of Fire no longer has authority over us (Revelation 20:6). We have been reconciled to God through the operations of the Day of Atonement.