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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Day of Atonement, #6
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 unlikely that the two verses above will be fulfilled in Heaven. It seems much more likely and reasonable that the removal of sin from the Kingdom of God, as pictured in these two passages, will occur on the earth.
The removal of the presence of sin from God's elect and from the nations of the saved will take place in the last days, according to the Scriptures.
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.
To be continued.