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why I became a scientist who is a creationist`

What is the Atonement
in the Bible?

Was the Atonement Completed at the Cross?

What is the Atonement? The Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB) Hebrew Bible Lexicon says that the word "atonement" means to cover or even to purge which means: "to get rid of". So when Jesus atones for our sins, He is seen as covering and getting rid of our sins with the shedding of His blood. Thus He reconciles us to God and this allows God to accept us as being righteous. It is to make reconciliation.

Many say that the word, "atonement", is an Old Testament word meaning only "to cover". While that definition is correct, and the word "atonement" is often used for that purpose; The process of the atonement that is described in the OT is mainly involved with getting rid of sin! Not to just cover our sins.

There were actually two phases of the atonement process in the Old Testament. The first phase was on forgiveness of sin. This might be the covering that many often refer to in connection with the word: "atonement".

  1. 'And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. Leviticus 4:20

But the second phase was about cleansing, of getting rid of the sins!

  1. "For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. Leviticus 16:30

Now, when we come to Jesus asking for forgiveness, we find that He also gives us both phases or stages of atonement:

  1. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

We will see more about these two phases later. Thus, "atonement" should not only be thought of as just to cover, but also to get rid of sin, to cleanse us from sin. So, the meaning of the "atonement" process is really to make reconciliation. The process is often described by this short phrase: "at-one-ment". Thus we are made "at one" with Christ because our sins are forgiven and gotten rid of.

On this web page we will explore what the Bible itself actually teaches about the Atonement. We will make use of a wider-range of Scripture than is usually considered.

The earthly Sanctuary and its Services
was a Shadow of Heavenly things

When Jesus died, the purpose of the earthly sanctuary was finished. Thus invisible hands ripped the veil of the temple from top to bottom showing that God's presence would no longer be there.

  1. And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
  2. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, Matthew 27:50-51

While the earthly sanctuary is no longer functional, nor needed, the old sanctuary and its services is something we should look into because it was a copy and shadow of what was to happen in heaven:

  1. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.
  2. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;
  3. who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." Hebrews 8:3-5

Moses was divinely instructed to make all things according to the pattern he saw on the mountain. Thus, everything was a copy and shadow of the heavenly Sanctuary.

Since the old sanctuary and its services were a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, of things to come; It makes sense that the old services were given for a purpose to help in our understanding. Thus we should be looking at the Old Sanctuary Service in detail. When Jesus works out our salvation, these early services will help us to better understand the process of Christ's atonement for our sins.

  1. For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. Hebrews 10:1

So, if the earthly services were a shadow of what Jesus was to fulfill, it makes sense that the Old Testament law was actually a prophecy of things to come! It was symbolic for what Christ would later do in heaven:

  1. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience--
  2. concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
  3. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Hebrews 9:9

So, the earthly sanctuary, with its services for the remission of sin, was a figure of what is to come. It is symbolic in nature. So it is really a prophecy of what Jesus has done and will do to save us from our sins. It is Jesus who is now our High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary! Christ must be following what was originally given to Moses as a blueprint that he would follow in building the sanctuary and the services of the sanctuary.

Are we Making Use of All the Bible?

We need to ask ourselves whether we are making use of all the Bible with our present understanding of the atonement? Or are we ignoring much of what God has set up to teach us from the beginning in His Word?

Most people seem to suggest that the Atonement was completed at the cross. However, in the Old Testament, in Leviticus Chapter 4, we will see later on, that the sacrifice was only the first step in the atonement process. Yet each step of the process is called an atonement.

  1. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. Leviticus 1:4

In this first step, the sinner places his hands on the head of the burnt offering and confesses his sins. Then the priest makes atonement for him.

  1. 'And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. Leviticus 4:20

As we saw before, this is the first phase of atonement where it results in the forgiveness of sins:

Yet we find that even this first phase of atonement is not just a covering. The sins are actually removed from the sinner. Following the sacrifice, the sins would be placed either on the sanctuary or on the priests themselves.

In the following quote, Aaron's sons should have eaten the sin offering so Moses is asking why it was not done. This is an example where the priests should have eaten the offering so that they would carry the sins.

  1. "Why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy, and God has given it to you to bear the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?
  2. "See! Its blood was not brought inside the holy place; indeed you should have eaten it in a holy place, as I commanded." Leviticus 10:17-18

The priests would sometimes take the sins upon their own bodies by eating the sacrifice. Thus they would bear the guilt of the congregation themselves. Otherwise, the blood was placed upon the sanctuary thus transferring the sins to the sanctuary itself.

Now, at the end of the year, an atonement is made for the Temple. Since the priests sometimes takes the sins upon their own bodies by eating the sacrifice, it makes sense that in the second phase of the atonement the priests were also cleansed. So, both the sanctuary and the priests were cleansed at the end of the year (Chapter 16). Also, the people themselves are cleansed as well.

  1. "then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. Leviticus 16:33

The sins were taken out of the temple to be placed on the scapegoat. At this point the Sanctuary is cleansed because the sins have literally been completely taken out of the Sanctuary.

  1. "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. Leviticus 16:21

Finally, the scapegoat was taken out into the wilderness by a strong man and left there to die. The scapegoat would die with the sins of God's people. Thus the sins are totally removed from the people and the sanctuary and destroyed. This is how the sins of the people would be purged or "gotten rid of".

So, the purpose of this second phase of atonement is to fully cleanse the people that they may be totally free and clean from all their sins.

  1. "For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. Leviticus 16:30

Thus, the shedding of blood was only the first step of the cleansing process. In the next section, we will see the work that Jesus, our high priest, is doing to make an atonement for us!

What does the Bible Teach About the Shedding of Blood?

Does the Bible teach, when Jesus died, that the shedding of His blood was the full atonement for our sins? Most Christians believe this point to be true; But is that what the Bible teaches? Maybe we need to study more of the Bible to help give us a better picture of the atonement process?

Now, it does makes very good sense to think that, through the shedding of blood, Jesus would be able to make an atonement to save us.

  1. 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.' Leviticus 17:11

The blood of Christ is said to purify us from our sins. This kind of thing was taught by God all through the Old Testament as Paul reminds us in Hebrews:

  1. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22

To purify is not just a covering but it is a purging of sin, a cleansing. In both the Old and New Testaments, blood is seen to be the purifying ingredient. This is what Christ provided for us and His blood was necessary for our atonement and salvation. But it was also necessary for the Old Testament earthly sanctuary as well.

  1. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.
  2. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
  3. saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you."
  4. Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.
  5. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:18-22

In Old Testament times, it was with the blood of animals that purified both the sanctuary and man, but in the New Testament, the Blood of Christ is what purifies the sinner and even the heavenly Sanctuary itself. In Daniel 8 we have a prophecy of the end of time where the Sanctuary is cleansed:

  1. Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, "How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?"
  2. "And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."
  3. Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.
  4. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, "Gabriel, make this man understand the vision."
  5. So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end." Daniel 8:13-17

This prophecy concerns itself with the end of time. So, verse 14 must be referring to the heavenly sanctuary since the earthly sanctuary was destroyed shortly after Christ died. In addition, the authority of the earthly sanctuary was taken away when Jesus died, even before it was destroyed:

  1. And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
  2. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, Matthew 27:50-51

The Sanctuary in Jerusalem had reached the end of its purpose when Jesus died. So, God showed that it's use was being terminated by tearing the veil of the temple from top to bottom. Thus, the earthly sanctuary will no longer function as the sanctuary.

That means Daniel 8:14 is actually indicating that there is going to be a cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary in the last days!

Was the Atonement Completed at the Cross?

Let's start by asking the question: Was the Atonement completed at the cross? Many seem to think so. In fact, most Christians believe that Everything was done at the time of the cross. Because they see Christ's death as the full atonement.

But this next verse, and other verses also help to show that it is not finished at the cross and that Jesus will continue to work out the atonement to save the righteous:

  1. Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
  2. a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
  3. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One [Christ] also have something to offer.
  4. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;
  5. who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." Hebrews 8:1-5

In the Old Testament, the priests were the ones who carried out the atonement work for the sinner and the congregation. Now we have Jesus up in heaven as our High Priest doing the same work as the earthly priests once did.

If everything was completed at the cross then what is Jesus doing by ministering in the heavenly Sanctuary? As we read this Scripture above it becomes clear that His sacrifice, on the cross, now allows Jesus to do what the priests did in the Old Testament. Because, as Paul suggests in verse three, that Jesus had to offer something in order to be High Priest! Thus He offered Himself as a sacrifice which allows Him to be our High Priest in Heaven.

In the Old Testament, there had to be a sacrifice so that the sinner could be forgiven. There also had to be a sacrifice so that the priest could make atonement for the sinner. That means that at least two animals had to be sacrificed. But in addition, we saw that more animals were offered for the second phase of atonement as well. But now with Jesus, because He died a sinless sacrifice, He only needed to sacrifice Himself one time for everything!

  1. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
  2. who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. Hebrews 7:26-27

In addition, we see that the earthly priests had to sacrifice animals for themselves repeatedly because that is what the law required See Hebrews 8:4 above). In addition, there are other sacrifices I have not even mentioned that had to be done. So there were quite a few sacrifices that had to be done historically. But Christ only needed to sacrifice Himself one time for everything!

Paul wrote Hebrews long after Jesus died, and long after Pentecost when the church was given the Holy Spirit. So, if the atonement process was quick and finished at the cross as many say it was, then the whole atonement process should have been done already. If Christ already went into the most Holy place to do His final atonement work at that time; Then Christ's involvement as a Minister of the Heavenly Sanctuary should have already been long finished! Because this is after He has already paid the price for our sins and has already come into the Most Holy place before God to atone for all our sins, as many indicate that He has already done so.

Yet, in these verses, Jesus is now pictured as being the Minister of the Sanctuary which is the true tabernacle in heaven. So, Hebrews 8:1-5 (above) suggests to me even now, even in our day, that we still have a high Priest seated next to the Father in Heaven. It sounds like our High Priest is there to minister in the sanctuary as in a continuing process. Not something that was all done one time and finished!

This is the same kind of priestly ministry that the earthly priests did before. But now Jesus ministers for us. The next verse helps to confirm that Jesus does indeed continue to minister in the Heavenly Sanctuary for us:

  1. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

Now we see that the statement: "Jesus always lives to make intercession for us!" is actually part of the atonement process. This is what the earthly priests did for the people when Moses led the people. So, it certainly looks like Jesus, our High Priest, is ministering in the Sanctuary in an important continuing process involving our atonement.

Let's expand our view to include verses 23 and 24 with the 25 verse:

  1. Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.
  2. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
  3. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:23-25

The earthly priests could only serve for so long since they all died a natural death. For each generation, the sons had to take over when their fathers got too old to serve. But Jesus lives forever, that means His priesthood does lasts forever. Thus He will always be our High Priest. No one will ever take His place. Thus He has an unchangeable priesthood and He will always live to make intercession for us, atoning for our sins.

Here is another important point. Jesus always lives to intercede in our behalf. Thus we find that His primary work is to save us, through His intercession work of atonement, when we come to Him.

So there are two reasons why Jesus is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him. It looks like Jesus will be interceding for us until the world ends. He will continue until people stop sinning and asking for forgiveness.

His Blood Cleanses Us from Our Sin

We have already seen that the earthly priests had to have animals sacrificed for themselves in addition to the animal for the sinner asking for atonement. But Jesus offered Himself and His blood, His life for us.

  1. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. Hebrews 8:3

In Hebrews 8:3 we see that every high priest had to offer both gifts and sacrifices. The earthly priests indeed had to offer animals repeatedly.

So, it was also necessary that Jesus had to have something to offer. Jesus offered Himself once for all time so that He could be our High Priest:

  1. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
  2. who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. Hebrews 7:26-27

The earthly high priests had to offer animals daily and for each sinner. These priests were not sinless but sinful. Thus they had to keep offering new animals every time they did their priestly duties. But Jesus did this once for all when He offered up Himself because He is the sinless One of God. He was tempted in all points yet He did not sin.

  1. not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another--
  2. He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Hebrews 9:25-26

Jesus only had to sacrifice Himself one time. So, Instead of offering new blood once a year as they did in the earthly Sanctuary, Jesus entered once, with His own blood. This is true even though He will be the High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary till the end.

On earth, blood purified almost all things. Now we find that blood was needed to purify the heavenly things as well.

  1. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
  2. Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. Hebrews 9:22-23

So, the heavenly sanctuary was cleansed with better sacrifices than what was done for the earthly Sanctuary. It was Jesus' own blood that Jesus will use to purify the heavenly Sanctuary.

  1. "And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed." Daniel 8:14

It is at the time of the end that the heavenly sanctuary will be cleansed. We know this because the vision of Daniel 8 is said to refer to the time of the end.

  1. . . . "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end." Daniel 8:17

Of course, we will find that Jesus is involved with the cleansing of the sanctuary at the end.

Jesus is our high Priest and Mediator of a better Covenant of Heavenly Things

Why is Jesus doing this? Why does Jesus continue to make intercession for us as our High Priest in Heaven? Some people suggest that there is no longer any need for any further atonement of our sins because Jesus has already taken our sins away at the cross. They say Jesus no longer covers our sins. Instead He took them away!

Yet we are specifically told to approach the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy from Jesus, our High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us:

  1. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
  2. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16
  1. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

Jesus has been tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. It is because of Christ's experience on earth that Jesus can now give us mercy and grace to help us in our time of need! So, it is because we have a High Priest who has won the battle against sin that we can now come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy.

  1. As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek";
  2. who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
  3. though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
  4. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
  5. called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," Hebrews 5:6-10

Jesus won the battle against sin through prayers, supplications, and godly fear. Thus He was perfected on the cross and now He has become the author of eternal salvation since He is called by God to be High Priest forever.

It seems obvious that Jesus' experience and His victory, on the cross, now allows Him to do what He is now doing in Heaven. So, Jesus now has a more excellent ministry than the earthly priests ever had:

  1. But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. Hebrews 8:6

Jesus is now Mediator of a better covenant which is established on better promises! It is the new covenant! So, from all of this, once Jesus died for our sins, He came up to heaven to be our High Priest, a minister of the new covenant that is based on better promises, meaning His blood.

So, rather than being the finishing of things, the cross is actually the beginning of things! Jesus is now our High Priest because He offered His own blood for our sins on the cross.

Jesus does not enter the earthly holy places, but rather He now appears in the presence of God for us. He is there for us to be our Mediator; Offering us mercy through His intercession thus saving us.

  1. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; Hebrews 9:24

Christ is now in heaven to appear in the presence of God for us! It is for us that He is doing this work. If it was all done at the cross, would we still need His atonement work done in our behalf?

How does the Atonement fit with Judgement?

Lets look at Christ's work up in heaven from a different perspective. When God judges the world, He will not be gracious and compassionate to everyone. Only certain ones will receive mercy:

  1. Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." Exodus 33:19

Here is a more detailed statement showing that God will by no means clear the guilty. Yet He will be merciful to many! How can we fit the two together?

  1. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
  2. "keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation." Exodus 34:6-7

So, how does God choose who He will be gracious and compassionate to? How does He decide who He will forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin? Here is the clue:

  1. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Jesus is faithful and just to both forgive us and cleanse us. So, we obviously have an Advocate with the Father:

  1. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
  2. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2

It is because we have an Advocate with the father that the Lord is merciful to us. However, anyone who has not made use of our Advocate will still have their sins unforgiven. All those with their sins yet remaining on them will still be guilty and at that time, when it is too late to receive the mercy that only Jesus can bestow on us, God will by no means clear them of their guilt.

  1. Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6

A day is coming when the door to mercy will be forever closed. So seek the Lord now while He may be found!

  1. "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
  2. "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!'
  3. "But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
  4. "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. Matthew 25:10-13

At some point in time just before the second coming of Christ, it will forever be too late to ask for mercy. Here is another verse that also speaks of the closed door to the mercy that is provided to us:

  1. Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them,
  2. "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
  3. "When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' Luke 13:23-25

We are to strive to enter through the narrow gate because many will try to enter but they will not be able to. So, what is it that is going to keep those who are trying to enter, not to get in?

When the Master of the house closes the door it is really signifying that the door to mercy will be forever shut! At that point, the Lord does not know us. (This is true if we have not already come to Him asking forgiveness for all our sins!)

So, are any of us dragging our feet waiting for a later time? We may wait until it is too late just like the people who missed getting on the Ark with Noah. Once God closed the door to the Ark, then it was too late!

  1. "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
  2. "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
  3. "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
  4. "Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
  5. "Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
  6. "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
  7. "But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
  8. "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:37-44

Most did not go in the ark with Noah and the door was closed. We need to take this story to heart and decide for ourselves that we must be ready when Jesus comes; Because we are facing a time when the door will again be shut!

We must remember that if we sin, we have an Advocate with the Father and it is Jesus who is the propitiation for our sins. He and He alone is able to cleanse us from our sins. So, now is the time that we must ask for our forgiveness! At some time in the future it will be forever too late to do so!

Jesus is our lifeline! We must go to Him now to obtain mercy and to find that grace in our great time of need. Let's do it NOW! Tomorrow may be forever too late!

  1. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
  2. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

So, when we approach the throne of grace confessing our sins and appealing to our High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary, He is able to intercede for us to cleanse us from all sin. Thus we are cleansed from our sins and our Father will be able to have mercy upon us! It is that simple!

  1. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
  2. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
  3. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7-9

Many think of 1 John 1:7 and 1 John 2:2 in reference to the atonement. However 1 John 1:9 and 1 John 2:1 is not usually thought of because they do not mention Christ's sacrifice; But rather, it speaks of Christ's activities of today in the Heavenly Sanctuary. This is part of His atoning work as well and it is what He is doing now.

Today, in the Heavenly Sanctuary, Jesus is able to apply His blood that He has already shed to intercede with the Father in our behalf. Jesus is thus faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!

We may obtain mercy because we have an Advocate, our High Priest, who has a more excellent ministry, who is Mediator of a better covenant. Thus, Jesus is in the presence of God for us!

So, the Lord God is merciful and gracious to those who's sins have been blotted out. Thus through Jesus, God will forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin. Thus the atonement process is infinitely connected with judgement.

How will God Judge God's People?

Let's look at the judgement process. God Himself will sit in judgment when the righteous will be judged.

  1. "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;
  2. A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened. Daniel 7:9-10
  1. "until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Daniel 7:22

When the books are opened the saints are judged according to what is in the books. But if the Father is sitting down as judge, what part in the work of judgment is committed to Christ?

  1. "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,
  1. "and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. John 5:22,27

The Father is the one who sits down as judge in the heavenly court. Yet, we see that it is Jesus who has been committed all judgment. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No, there is no contradiction. Jesus is the one who is making the real judgment decisions and we can see His actions within the actual books that God uses to judge the people:

  1. A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened. Daniel 7:10

The court is seated and the books are opened. If anyone is not found in the Book of Life, they are thrown into the lake of fire!

  1. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15

Notice that a fuller name for this book is: the Lamb's Book of Life!

  1. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Revelation 21:27

So it is Jesus, the Lamb of God who is responsible for making the decisions on who will be found in the book of life.

  1. All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the Beast], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8

All those who worship the beast, they are those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

So, the work of judgment has been given to Christ. He has the authority to execute judgment!

  1. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10

Thus all will appear before Christ in judgment so that we will be judged according to what we have done!

The Righteous will be Judged First

The Righteous will be judged first. We will see that the wicked will be judged much later. So, it is the house of God that will be judged first.

  1. These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;
  2. but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:14-15

In 1 Timothy we can see that the house of God is the church. Now the church is not the organization or the building, but it is the people. The righteous people of God. The Greek word for church is Ekklsia which means a gathering or throng of Christians gathered for worship. So it is a company of Christians, it is the people themselves. Thus, when Peter says that judgment will begin with the house of God, he means that it will start with God's people first, the elect of God!

  1. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17

If we turn out to be righteous, then we will be judged with the house of God. Judgement will begin with us first. However, if we choose to obey Satan, even if we are a member of the organization, we will be judged later with the wicked.

Now, in the book of Revelation, we see that the righteous and the wicked dead are not raised at the same time. The righteous are raised first. This makes sense since the righteous of God's church are judged first.

  1. . . . And they [the righteous] lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
  2. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
  3. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. . . Revelation 20:4 part, 5, 6 part

It is only the righteous who are raised at the second coming of Jesus. But the wicked are raised up one thousand years later. That is why the rest of the dead do not live again until the thousand years are finished.

It is only those who rise up in the first resurrection, they are the ones who are blessed and holy. Thus we can see that it is indeed the righteous who are raised first when Jesus comes. So, it must be that the righteous must have already been judged before they are raised to life.

  1. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--
  2. in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
  3. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
  4. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
  5. "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"
  6. The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
  7. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

In this wonderful verse, the righteous dead and those who are yet alive, are either brought back to life in the resurrection of the righteous, or changed with now incorruptible bodies. Thus death is swallowed up in victory. They will live for eternity!

Jesus already knows who He will raise to life and who of the living that He will change; because the rest of the dead, the wicked dead, are not raised at that time at all, but 1000 years later.

  1. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. . . . Revelation 20:5 first part

We must watch and pray to be sure that we are worthy:

  1. "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." Luke 21:36

If we are counted worthy to escape the evils which are shortly to come and stand before the Son of Man, then we must have already been judged and known by the Son of Man.

  1. "until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Daniel 7:22

Daniel indicates the actual judgement in heaven. The saints are judged according to the books and they are able to posses the kingdom.

  1. "But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;
  2. "nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. Luke 20:35-36

If it is said that we are counted worthy to attain that age, then we must be judged by Christ before it happens.

When will Our Sins be Blotted Out?

Following the times of refreshing that comes from the presence of the Lord, the sins and errors of the saints will no longer be seen by the Father because their sins will have been blotted out.

  1. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
  2. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
  3. Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19-21

When are the sins of the righteous going to be blotted out? Now, if Jesus finished everything at the cross, then all sin would have been blotted at that time. But if Jesus is now making atonement for our sins, then our sins must be blotted sometime in the future.

Is there any indication as to when this could take place? It seems clear, from the Scriptures, that these sins will be blotted out when the times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord. This time of refreshing seems to be at a specific time, possibly a time when all the righteous are refreshed together. So, this could be a time that is different from when we repent of our sins.

In Ezekiel, see additional evidence that the righteous' sins are not blotted out when they repent:

  1. But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
  2. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
  3. When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
  4. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
  5. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Ezekiel 18:24-28

If the righteous man turns back to sin, then we can see that He will die in his sins, the ones he has committed throughout his life. So, his sins were not blotted out already because they were given back to him. He will die in his sins.

Jesus told a parable where He even more clearly told His listeners the same truth:

  1. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
  2. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
  3. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
  4. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
  5. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
  6. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
  7. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
  8. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
  9. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
  10. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
  11. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
  12. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
  13. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. Matthew 18:23-35

In verse 27, we find that the king forgave the servant his debt. So at that time the servant was free and clear not owing anything!

However since the servant didn't forgive anyone else's debt and even went as far as to put them in prison; The angry king decided to make that evil servant pay the full debt that he, the king, had previously forgiven.

Thus the king "un-forgave" that debt! The servant's debt was not completely blotted out so the debt was given back to him.

Then Jesus says that our Heavenly Father will do the very same thing to us! Thus, if we were righteous, but then became wicked, our sins will be given back to us! Thus our sins are not completely blotted out when we ask for forgiveness. God will give it right back to us if we decide to start sinning again.

It is only at the time of refreshing that our sins will be completely blotted out:

  1. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:19

At some point, at the times of refreshing, then the sins of the righteous will be blotted out! It must be at such a time when all decisions will be final. It must be at such a time when a person can no longer decide to sin again or change their mind.

What Happens Before and After the Times of Refreshing?

Now notice what happens right after the times of refreshing:

  1. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
  2. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
  3. Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19-21

We can see that Jesus is sent to us after the times of refreshing. Thus it looks like the blotting of our sins and the times of refreshing is pretty much at the end, just before the second coming of Christ.

Here is something else that happens about the same time :

(It is only then that God will be able to say)
  1. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Rev. 22:11.

Here, judgement is being made on the people. This verse shows that there is indeed a close of probation. After a certain point in time, people will either always be righteous from then on or they will always be wicked from then on. And they can never change because the door of opportunity is now closed.

So, from that time on, the wicked will always be wicked and the righteous will always be righteous! So, if they are unjust, they will continue to be unjust forever. If they are filthy, they will be filthy forever. However, if they are righteous and holy, they will always be righteous and holy forever from that time on.

Since this is the first time that the righteous will always be righteous, it means that for the first time ever; God can now safely blot out their sins. God will never ever have to un-forgive their sins agains because they will always be righteous from that point on.

Before there was always the danger that some of God's people might turn away from God forcing God to un-forgive their sins. So this is the first time that God can safely blot out their sins!

Now looking at the very next verse, we can see what is connected with God's statement concerning the just, the righteous, and the holy. Just like we saw in Acts 3, the final judgment work had been in progress and finished before Christ comes?

  1. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
  2. "And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. 22:11-12.

We can see that just before Jesus comes, the sins of the righteous will be blotted out and final judgement will be made on the righteous. Then Jesus says He will come quickly!

So, it is becoming even more clear that the judgment work will continue to be in progress until just before Christ comes. That means the final judgement for the righteous will be made just before Jesus comes. The sins of the righteous will be fully blotted out at that time.

But there is something else interesting that happens. We already saw that judgement will be made in favor of the righteous:

  1. "until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Daniel 7:22

Here we see that Daniel also indicates another important part of the judgment. The Son of Man comes up before the Ancient of Days, and the kingdom is then given to Jesus, the Son of Man!

  1. "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.
  2. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14

So, these activities of the close of probation, of the sins being blotted out, and of the judgement of God where Jesus is given the kingdom: They all happen at pretty much the same time and also, they all happen just before Jesus returns to the earth in His second coming! It is then that Jesus will pick up His Righteous saints.

Let's now study the Old Testament sanctuary service so that we can pick up some important clues. Then we will be able to come back and add to our understanding of the atonement process.

The Old Testament Sanctuary

God commanded Moses to build a Sanctuary so that He may dwell among them:

  1. "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. Exodus 25:8

So, Moses directed in the building of the sanctuary according to the instructions that God gave him. This Sanctuary had two apartments. The first apartment was also called the holy place. It was used for everyday use throughout the year in the daily services. So when the sinner came to have their sins forgiven them, the priests would often go inside the first apartment in order to make an atonement for the sinner.

The second apartment was where the Ark of the Covenant was located. This apartment was called the most holy place. The high priest would go into the most holy place only once a year on the day of atonement, to make a final atonement for the people of Israel for each year. The glory of God would often shine in this place. The Holy presence would be above the top covering of the Ark of the Covenant. This covering was also called the mercy seat. Inside the Ark was Aaron's rod that budded, a golden pot with manna, and also the two tables of stone containing the 10 Commandments that God wrote with His finger.


why I became a scientist who is a creationist`

why I became a scientist who is a creationist`

The table of showbread was on the north side of the first apartment or outer apartment while the golden candlesticks were on the south side. We also saw that showbread was also present, which was placed on the table in two stacks of six, 12 in all.

  1. "You shall set the table outside the veil, and the lampstand across from the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south; and you shall put the table on the north side. Exodus 26:35

But the Altar of Incense was just in front of the veil. Thus it was considered to be just before the ark of the covenant.

  1. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary;
  2. and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All,
  3. which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, AaronÕs rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; Hebrews 9:2-3

Even though the golden censer is said to be in the Most Holy Place in Hebrews, in Exodus we find that the Golden censer (golden altar) or the Altar of Incense is actually in the first part of the sanctuary, just before the second veil:

  1. "You shall make an altar to burn incense on; you shall make it of acacia wood. Exodus 30:1
  1. Put the altar in front of the curtain that is before the ark of the Testimony--before the atonement cover that is over the Testimony--where I will meet with you. Exodus 30:6
  1. He put the gold altar in the tabernacle of meeting in front of the veil; Exodus 40:26

The first apartment is described as being outside the veil. The veil is what separates the two apartments.

  1. "And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy. Exodus 26:33

Two kinds of Sanctuary Services

Two kinds of activities were performed within the Sanctuary. The first activity are the daily services which involved the sinner and their sins:

The sinner brings his animal that has no blemish. Then he lays his hands on the head of the animal and confesses his sins. He thus places his sins on the animal which is now their sin offering. Then he kills it at the burnt altar which is outside the sanctuary, but it is in the outer courtyard of the sanctuary.

  1. 'If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty,
  2. 'or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed.
  3. 'And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering. Leviticus 4:27-29

why I became a scientist who is a creationist`

why I became a scientist who is a creationist`

Then the priest takes some of the blood with his finger and puts it on the corners (horns) of the altar of burnt offering, but he pours out the remainder of the blood on the base of the altar. Thus, the priests in what he does with the blood, the fat, and the burning of the animal, he makes atonement for the person so that he is forgiven of his sin. This is the way sins were pardoned. The sins were transferred to the sanctuary through the blood of the animal. Thus, the priest makes an atonement for the person with the blood.

  1. 'Then the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar.
  2. 'He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. Leviticus 4:30-31

Now if the animal is for the priest, or if the whole congregation has sinned, then the blood is taken into the first apartment of the sanctuary and the priest dips his finger in the blood and sprinkles it before the Lord at the altar of incense. But for the common person, the blood was sprinkled on the altar of burnt offering out in the court. Thus in either case, the sin was transfered to the sanctuary.

Also, the priests would sometimes take the sins upon their own bodies by eating a portion of the sacrifice, depending on the specific instruction given for a specific type of sacrifice. Otherwise, the blood was placed upon the sanctuary thus transferring the sins to either the priest or the sanctuary or the altar of burnt offering.

  1. "Why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy, and God has given it to you to bear the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?
  2. "See! Its blood was not brought inside the holy place; indeed you should have eaten it in a holy place, as I commanded." Leviticus 10:17-18

In verse 17, this was a time when the priest should have eaten part of the sacrifice. But this was just following the time when Aaron's two sons had just been killed by God and Aaron the priest was afraid, not knowing whether God would accept them or whether He would kill them (see Leviticus 10:19).

So, we see that the sacrifice of the animal is only the first of many steps. Then the blood is brought into the sanctuary. So, this first activity places the sins onto the sanctuary. Thus, the sacrificing of Christ, His dying on the cross is only the first step of many steps in the atonement process. It is the beginning of the atonement process.


The second activity involves the High Priest. He is the only one who goes into the Most Holy place, the second part of the sanctuary, and he only enters it that one time each year, on the day of atonement!

  1. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the peopleÕs sins committed in ignorance; Hebrews 9:7

The people at this time are to afflict their soul and do no work at all. It is a time of judgement! But it is also a time of covering. The people were to afflict their soul so that God would cover them in atonement rather than destroy them in judgement.

  1. "Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. Leviticus 23:27

This is the day of Atonement, or the day of covering. Those who have their sins forgiven will be covered and not destroyed. They are covered but their sins are purged or gotten rid of.

  1. "This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you.
  2. "For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. Leviticus 16:29-30

So, as the people afflict their souls, the sanctuary will be cleansed from all their sins. It contains all the sins that Israel had confessed all that year!


why I became a scientist who is a creationist`

why I became a scientist who is a creationist`

The purpose of the day of atonement is to cleanse the Sanctuary of the sins that were placed upon it during the course of the year. Thus all the sins that have been placed on the sanctuary since the last day of atonement are now taken away from it and the people.

  1. "So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. Leviticus 16:16

The priest now makes atonement for them that they can be cleansed from all their sins. The Holy Sanctuary, tabernacle of meeting, the altar, and the priests are all cleansed of sins.

NOTE: When the Holy Place is called the Tabernacle of Meeting, then the Most Holy Place will be called the Holy Place or Holy Sanctuary in some Old Testament verses.

  1. "And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father's place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments;
  2. "then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.
  3. "This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year." And he did as the LORD commanded Moses. Leviticus 16:32-34

Not only are the people atoned for but the actual Sanctuary, the tabernacle of meeting, and altar. Even the priests are atoned for.

The high priest then carries the sins of the whole congregation on his own person and walks out of the sanctuary to place the sins on the scapegoat. At this point the Sanctuary is cleansed because the sins have been completely taken out of the Sanctuary.

Finally, the scapegoat is taken out into the wilderness by a strong man and left there to die. Thus, the scapegoat would die with the sins of God's people.

The Scapegoat

Let's backup a little. Back in Moses' day, on Day of Atonement, after a bullock is killed for the sins of the priest, two goats were used. One of the goats will be the Lord's goat while the other goat will be the scapegoat, also called the live goat.

  1. "And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering.
  2. "Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house.
  3. "He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
  4. "Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. Leviticus 16:5-8

Lots were then cast to determine which of the two goats will be the Lord's goat and which will be the scapegoat. Once the Lord's goat is determined, that animal is sacrificed and its blood is sprinkled in the most holy place before the mercy seat.

  1. "But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. Leviticus 16:10

Afterward the sanctuary has been atoned for, the priest then comes out with the sins on his person and places his hands on the scapegoat. Thus the sins are moved from the Sanctuary to the Scapegoat. That goat is then led off into the wilderness to die.

  1. "And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat.
  2. "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.
  3. "The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. Leviticus 16:20-22

This atonement not only cleanses the Sanctuary but it also blots out the record of the sins of the righteous!

  1. "For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. Leviticus 16:30

Who does the Scapegoat Represent?

So, who does the Scapegoat represent? Most Christians believe that the Scapegoat or the live goat represents Jesus since He is called the Lamb of God. Virtually all Lambs and Goats in the Bible are said to represent Christ.

But this live goat is not sacrificed like all the other examples in the Bible. Nor is his blood taken as part of the atonement process like all the other animals that are sacrificed. We know that Jesus was also sacrificed for our atonement and that His blood had to be taken into the heavenly Sanctuary to atone for our sins. This is the pattern that we see.

  1. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
  2. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:11-12

So, this scapegoat does not represent Jesus since there is no shedding of any blood. The goat is just left to die out in the wilderness with the sins of the righteous that had been placed on him. After all, it is indeed a scapegoat! Thus, the live goat bears all their iniquities on itself and dies with all the sins.

But some say the Bible teaches that an atonement is made with the scapegoat. If true, that would mean that the scape goat would have to be Jesus as well. So, let's look into this question. If you look at the sacrifices of various animals, we find that the priest made atonement for the sinner. Here are just a few examples. There are many more:

  1. 'And he shall burn all its fat on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of the peace offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him. Leviticus 4:26
  1. 'He shall remove all its fat, as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering. Then the priest shall burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for his sin that he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him. Leviticus 4:35
  1. "Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. Leviticus 16:6
  1. "For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. Leviticus 16:30

However when the scapegoat is mentioned, we find that it was done to make atonement upon or with it.

  1. "But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. Leviticus 16:10 NKJV
  1. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. Leviticus 16:10 KJV

Jesus died for us that our sins would be destroyed. The various animals died also to make atonement for the sinner. However, the scapegoat is presented alive to make atonement upon it or with it

As we read through Leviticus 16 we can see that the scapegoat is not sacrificed at all. All other animals that were ever part of an atonement was always sacrificed because its blood was used to cleanse the sins from the sinner. The shedding of blood is part of the atonement process.

Instead of a sacrifice, the scapegoat had the sins placed upon it then it was led out into the wilderness.

  1. "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.
  2. "The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. Leviticus 16:21-22

This goat was left out there to die a hard death! Rather than a sacrifice for their sins, this goat was the scapegoat. So, the scapegoat was held responsible for the sins of the people and it died with those sins placed upon it.

Could the Scapegoat be Satan?

This scapegoat cannot represent Jesus since there is no shedding of any blood. On the other hand, this goat does bear the responsibility for all the sins of the righteous people. So, the only one that this could represent is Satan. He is the originator of all sin; Thus, he is actually responsible because he is the one who tempted the righteous, he or the evil angels under him.

  1. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. . . 1 John 3:8 (first part)
  1. "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. John 8:44
  1. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9
  1. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:10

Since Satan has deceived practically the whole world, He will one day receive his punishment just like people will receive their punishment one day.

  1. The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth.
  2. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming. Psalm 37:12-13

When wicked men plot against the righteous, God just laughs at them because He knows their time is coming because their trouble will return upon their own head.

  1. His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown. Psalm 7:16

The very same thing will be true for Satan who is the original source of all sin and evil. Satan is the one who has tempted the whole world into sin. He has been the one who has had wicked plots against the just.

The Sanctuary is Cleansed and the Sins are Taken Out

We must remember that when the sanctuary is cleansed, it is cleansed with blood:

  1. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22

If we remember, the sins of the people were taken into the sanctuary through the shedding of blood. Now, an atonement for the sanctuary itself must be made because of the sins of the people. The sins throughout the year have been placed on the sanctuary.

  1. "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat.
  2. "So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. Leviticus 16:16

So, in the atoning of the sanctuary, the sanctuary is cleansed with blood which includes the mercy seat, the altar etc.

  1. "And he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around.
  2. "Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. Leviticus 16 18-19

Once the sanctuary is cleansed then the sins are taken from the sanctuary and placed on the head of the scapegoat.

  1. "And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat.
  2. "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.
  3. "The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. Leviticus 16:20-22

Of course, we should remember that these things which were done, concerning the earthly sanctuary, were actually a shadow of what is to come in heaven. It was the type or the shadow. But the antitype, which is the real thing, occurs in heaven. So it is the heavenly sanctuary which becomes unclean because of our sins that we have confessed.

Thus, it is in the last days that the sanctuary in heaven is to be cleansed.

  1. "And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed." Daniel 8:14

It is Jesus' blood which cleanses the heavenly sanctuary:

  1. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
  2. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:11-12

But Jesus only had to offer Himself one time, on the cross. for all the atoneing work He does and also the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.

  1. who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. Hebrews 7:27

We have already seen that part of the cleansing process of the sanctuary, is that the scapegoat is forced to bear the sins of the righteous.

  1. "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.
  2. "The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. Leviticus 16:20-22

Since the scapegoat receives all the sins of the righteous, we can see that Satan is to be punished for all the sins in which he had shared a primary responsibility for. So, Satan will not only be punished for his own sins for introducing sin into both heaven and the earth, causing the destruction of both wicked angels and wicked people; But Satan will bear the sins of the righteous as well.

Just as in the earthly example, where a strong man took the scapegoat and took it out to the wilderness; A strong angel will come and take hold of Satan and bind him for a thousand years in the bottomless pit.

  1. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
  2. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
  3. and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. Revelation 20:1-3

Right after the second coming of Jesus, Satan is put away in much the same way that the scapegoat was led into the wilderness. He is kept there for a 1000 years before he is let loose a little while, just before he is destroyed.

  1. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:10

So our sins are fully destroyed when Satan, who is forced to bear our sins, is fully destroyed.

  1. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:14

In human terms it is the second death. It is the death from which there is no returning to life ever again. So Satan will be completely destroyed in the end.

Jesus said "It is Finished" when He was on the Cross.

Now at this point, some might be asking: This is all very interesting about the scapegoat and the ancient earthly sanctuary. But what does this really have to do with Christ? Jesus said: "It is finished" when He was dying on the cross. Doesn't this mean that all accounts were settled at the cross? And doesn't that mean that the atonement was also finished at the cross?

When Jesus died, He paid the ultimate price for me and you. However, we have seen that the sin must be dealt with somehow. The sin is transfered to the Sanctuary and then to Satan. So, in the earthly sanctuary service, we saw that the sacrifice was not the end but the beginning of a process.

The same can be said for what Jesus does. We saw that the Cross and Christ's perfect life was what allowed Jesus to be our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. Thus the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross was also not the end but the beginning of the process.

Now, to add to this idea, when we study the Bible, we soon realize that the Cross is not the only time that Jesus or God will say "it is finished"! The Cross was one big step in the process. But there are other steps that Scripture indicates as well. The cross is not the last thing to happen, but it is the beginning of a process. Look at the following Scripture:

  1. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" Revelation 16:17.
  1. And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. Revelation 21:6.

We have already seen that our sins are blotted out when the times of refreshing comes from the presence of the Lord. When that happens, He will send Jesus to pick up His righteous saints. So all this must happen at the end:

  1. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
  2. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
  3. Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19-21

To allow our sins to be blotted out, everything must be decided.

  1. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Rev. 22:11.

Now if all people are decided, either righteous or wicked, then it must mean that Jesus must stop His intercession at some point so that judgement can be finished. When judgement is finished, there will then be no more sins to make atonement for. At this point Jesus will stand up and the heavenly sanctuary will be cleansed of all the sin that has been confessed. This is probably the time when it is declared: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still . . . he that is holy, let him be holy still.

Now, when Jesus stands up the close of probation happens and thus the wicked will experience the plagues of the end that are not mixed with mercy because this is the great time of trouble that happens at the end. But the righteous shall awake and they will shine like the brightness of the firmament.

  1. At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.
  2. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
  3. Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:1-3

When Jesus stands up, the heavenly sanctuary will be cleansed of all the sin that has been confessed.

  1. And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."
  2. Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.
  3. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, "Gabriel, make this man understand the vision."
  4. So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end."
  5. Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright.
  6. And he said, "Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be. Daniel 8:14-19.

At the time of the end the sanctuary will be cleansed from the sins of the righteous.

At some point, now that all cases have been decided and the sanctuary is cleansed, the ancient of days comes and judgment is made in favor of the saints of the Most High.

  1. "until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Daniel 7:22

Also, at the end, the Son of Man comes to the Ancient of Days and dominion, glory, and a kingdom is given to Him so that all people can serve Him.

  1. "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.
  2. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14

Now, at a special appointed time the end will come when Jesus comes to save us. In Revelation, we find that this appointed time is when the seventh angel sounds:

  1. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" Revelation 16:17.

Now notice what happens when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet! It is at this time and not before that the world becomes fully the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ! Thus, this is the time that the Ancient of Days gives dominion, glory, and a kingdom as described in Daniel 7:13-14.

  1. and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer,
  2. but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets. Revelation 10:6-7.
  1. Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
  2. And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, Revelation 11:15-16.

So when the seventh angel sounds, which is yet future! It is then, and only then, that the mystery of God will be at an end and God and His Son, Jesus will begin to reign over all the kingdoms of the earth! All the other actions must happen in quick succession.

Then our Lord and Saviour is going to come quickly with His reward to those who are righteous!

  1. "And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. 22:12.

At this time Satan will quickly lose all of his power to continue his torture of God's creations. It is also at this time that a strong angel will come and take hold of Satan and binds him for a thousand years in the bottomless pit.

  1. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
  2. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
  3. and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. Revelation 20:1-3

Right after the second coming of Jesus, Satan is put away in much the same way that the scapegoat was led into the wilderness. He is kept there for a 1000 years before he is let loose a little while before he is finally destroyed.


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Un-Officially posted March 31, 2014
last revised January 4, 2017