And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord. And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among your people. (Lev 23:26-30)
The Sinai covenant by which the circumcised nation of Israel became the holy people of God (Exod 19:5-6) has been abolished (Eph 2:15). It was a shadow of the reality that is Christ (Col 2:16-17). The Sabbaths of God listed in this single "law" or covenant were shadows of when Israelites would be individual arks of the covenant, with the laws of God written on formerly stony hearts and minds, with the Bread of Life being the indwelling of Christ rather than a jar of manna, with the promise of resurrection to life being represented by Aaronís budded rod, and with the book of Deuteronomy being outside these arks of the second covenant as a witness for or against them (Deu 31:26). The Mercy Seat that covered the physical ark of the covenant was the shadow of Grace, which is not the indwelling of Christ (i.e., the Spirit of Christ Ė Rom 8:9-10) in born again disciples, but rather, Christ bearing disciplesí sins in the heavenly realm so that no transgression of the laws of God (the definition of sin Ė 1 John 3:4) will be imputed to disciples. As the high priest of Israel, Christ has been toiling among the thorns and thistles outside the walls of spiritual Eden as He tilled stony ground to bring forth as heirs of the Father those whom the Father foreknew, and predestined "to be confound to the image of his Son" (Rom 8:29). And here is the reality of Christ: "And those whom he [the Father] predestined he also called, and those whom he called he has justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified" (v. 30). Past tense! For us, future tense. Human beings live in time as fish live in water. But space-time is part of the created universe and doesnít pertain to God. Disciples whom the Father foreknew have already been glorified. Christ no longer bears their sins; Christ rests on the seventh day. And the creation account in Genesis 1:1 through 2:3 is the alpha and omega, the abstract and the summation of the plan of God. This creation accounts describes the beginning of the physical creation that was completed when the man Jesus died at Calvary, and it describes typologically the entirety of the spiritual creation of those heirs of the Father of whom the Son was "the firstborn among many brothers" (v. 29). So indeed, the festivals of God, the new moons of the creation, and the Sabbaths of the Son are the actual shadows of a reality that is Christ. For disciples, they foreshadow memorialized interventions of God in the affairs of men, but for God, they are real shadows cast from the spiritual realm onto the physical creation.
Many teachers of Israel have wrestled with predestination: I have written, now some time ago, what my teachers taught me, that predestination meant when a person would be called by God. That teaching is partially correct. Those whom the Father foreknew, He drew from the world (John 6:44, 65) before the general resurrection of humanity in the great White Throne Judgment. The Father offered salvation to those whom He foreknew. And so far, the teaching of the splintered churches of God holds up when tested against Scripture. But here is also where carnality entered an otherwise good start of spiritually understanding what Paul wrote. Not only did the Father draw those whom He foreknew prior to the general resurrection of humanity, but He also justified and glorified them before the first words of Genesis were written.
How can that be? How can disciples be glorified before they are drawn, or even born?
They can be for time is a fluid, revealed to human beings by historical narratives, a realization that requires disciples to mentally leap outside of time as a salmon jumps out of its watery environment. A philosophical treatise on perceiving the end of a matter from its beginning is warranted, but here saying that there is a finite quantity of space-time created through heavy mass particle decay will have to suffice. When this finite quantity has been created, the physical earth and heavens will be replaced by a new earth and heavensÖin order for a matter to have an end, the matter must necessarily conclude. Therefore, if a matter concludes, and its conclusion is known, the participants in the matter either have no free-will but are automatons, or the matter has already concluded. If the participants are marionettes, their behavior can be predicted from the beginning. But as the story of Abraham and Isaac reveals, God didnít know if Abraham would follow through with killing his son until the knife was in the air (Gen 22:10-12). So participants are not puppets. In order for the end to be known, the matter has to have concluded; for the end cannot be predicted with divine certainty otherwise. It can, however, be observed with divine certainly--and now we can look at Ezekielís lament over the King of Tyre:
Moreover the word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God: ĎYou were the signet of perfection, / full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. / You were in Eden, the garden of God; / every precious stone was your coveringÖ. / On the day that you were created / they were prepared. / You were an anointed guardian cherubÖ. / You were blameless in your ways / from the day you were created, / till unrighteousness was found in you. / so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, / and I destroyed you, / Ö. Your heart was proud because of your beauty; / you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. / I cast you to the ground; / I exposed you before kings, / to feast their eyes on you. / By the multitude of your iniquities, / in the unrighteousness of your trade / you profaned your sanctuaries; / so I brought fire out from your midst; / it consumed you, / and I turned you to ashes on the earth / in the sight of all who saw you. / All who know you among the peoples / are appalled at you; / you have come to a dreadful end / and shall be no more forever.í" (Ezek 28:11-19)
It is usually agreed that the above passage pertains to Satan. No human being was created as an anointed cherub, so the king of Tyre is not a man, just as the king of Babylon is not a man. Scripture reveals only one angelic being that is both cast to the ground (Rev 12:9) and exposed to kings (Isa 14:16-20). That being is Satan. Therefore, the customary identification of the king of Tyre as Satan has a high probability of being correct.
Ezekielís prophecy is addressed to this king of Tyre, and informs him that he has been turned to ashes. When Satan is cast from heaven, he loses the ability to perceive time as a distant object. He will be cast into time as a cat is thrown into a river, which accounts for him coming as a roaring lion (cats sort of know that they donít belong wet). He would be drowned in this bowl of time if fire didnít first come out from his belly to consume him. But he isnít consumed by fire until, "And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nationsÖfire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were" (Rev 20:7, 9-10). So Satanís end doesnít come until after the thousand-year reign of Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings. Yet Ezekielís prophecy speaks of Satan being consumed in the past tense. Jesus said He saw Satan fall as lightning (Luke 10:18), but Satan isnít cast from heaven until halfway through seven years of tribulation--Jesus sending out the seventy [the return of the seventy is the context of Jesusí remark about seeing Satan fall] is the second level of shadowing of endtime disciples going to spiritual Babylon. As such, Jesusí remark is typologically appropriate to the level of shadowing for when Satan is cast from heaven. But the remark is given as fact, which suggests that the man Jesus of Nazareth after having received the Breath of the Father could see into the spiritual realm without standing on the shoulders of typological exegesis. He could see time as the contents of a bowl that was no longer expanding.
Therefore, Ezekiel both prophesies that Satan will be consumed by fire, and he states as fact that Satan has been turned to ashes. This juxtaposition of past and future linguistic tenses is acceptable only when in the supra-dimension realm usually identified as heaven, only when outside of time and able to know the end from the beginning. Ezekielís prophecy requires disciples, like salmon in the river of their nativity, to mentally jump into the spiritual realm and stay suspended in midair for as long as possible.
The creation account in Genesis concludes with the seventh day. It doesnít include an eighth day, but is broken by a verse of genealogy. And here spiritual understanding is required: the Bible is an assembly of historical narratives interrupted by genealogies. Each of the historical narratives reveals a shadow of a phenomenon that occurs in the heavenly realm. The genealogies reveal the breaks, and become the glue that butt-welds the narratives into a unified revelation. The Bible is not an inclusive history of even the ancient nation of Israel, or of the houses of Israel and Judah. It is a selective assemblage that allows disciples interdimensional vision when disciples stand on the shoulders of typology; it reveals shadows in a manner similar to Platoís Cave analogy. The shadows are, in Jonathon Edwardsí phrasing, true history, but they are a very limited account of history. Their presentation isnít for the sake of history, but for the sake of the Lord revealing to His friends what occurs Outside [the word used as Alaskans use it, with the word meaning everywhere beyond the borders of the state]. Humanity is, today, Inside time. The glorified Jesus and His many brothers (again, from Rom 8:29) are Outside. From that perspective, they provide the "evidence" necessary for, especially, endtime disciples during the great harvest of humanity to simply hear Jesusí words and believe the Father (from John 5:24). The Holy Spirit will have been poured out upon all humanity, thereby making of humanity disciples, when the dragon attempts to recover his liberated slaves by the physical means of requiring them to accept the mark of the beast (Chi xi stigma, or the tattoo [stigma] of Xx [Chi xi]). Those disciples who accept this tattoo of the Cross return to bondage. They also worship a dead god. Both the beast and the false prophet were thrown into the lake of fire upon Christís return, and the dragon was thrown in at the conclusion of the seventh day. The cross-shaped body of the beast was burned in the spiritual realm when Satan was cast from heaven (Dan 7:11-12 & Rev 11:15; 12:9). So all three arch-deceivers of humanity are destroyed by fire, what Ezekiel reveals about the dragon. Ever since the Genesis account concluded events in the spiritual realm, Satan has been destroyed. Yet for us, he remains as the prince of the power of the air (Eph 22), for we have to live through the expansion of space-time, which is the passage of time at the rate of heavy mass particle decay, until we arrive at that period in an already concluded historical narrative when saints are glorified. Then, disciples who are resurrected to life as the many brothers of Christ can escape corruptible bodies and live Outside.
The Apostle Paul felt he needed to remind the gentile converts at Rome that they still needed to obey civil authorities even through their citizenship was now in heaven (Rom 13:1-7). I similarly feel a need to squelch, if possible, any inclinations readers have of taking the above paragraphs much beyond what I have written. Humanity cannot live physically outside of time. We are completely dependant upon space-time holding the charged points of energy apart that gives substance to our corruptible body, and all we know as "mass"; quarks require space-time between them to create the essence of mass. Strings require space-time to create tension. Therefore, it is impossible for any person to enter the supra-dimensional realm of heaven. Mentally, though, humanity doesnít experience this same limitation, which is perhaps the best accounting of why a human brain differs from an animalís: humanity was created in the likeness of Elohim (Gen 1:27). However, to transcend physical thought a person must be spiritually minded, which requires the addition of the Breath of God to our human breath. A person must be born again, or born-from-above. Those who havenít been will, necessarily, perceive explications of spiritual matters as nonsensical discussions. A disciple wastes his or her time trying to convey spiritual concepts to a carnally minded person. Until the person receives birth from above, the person is actually hostile to God (Rom 8:7), and seemingly, doubly hostile to those who would "witness" to the person.
Although humanity is dependant upon time as a fish is dependant upon water, humanity experiences the passage of time differently from how a fish experiences water currents. Humanity moves through time at the rate that time expands/passes through particle decay. We are, in essence, stationary as we die in place. Therefore, humanity cannot run ahead in time and arrive at that place when Satan was consumed by fire except through prophetic revelation. We cannot from where we are be witnesses to fire coming out from Satanís belly although we can read an account of the phenomenon, hear the words of Jesus and believe the Father that, indeed, He deconstructed Satan, that those individuals who worship demons even into the Tribulation (Rev 9:20) worship a very dead god[s]. We can hear the word of Jesus and believe that the saints who endure in covenant to the end are the many brothers of Christ, that they wonít become the many brothers but that they are the many brothers. And if you hear the word of Jesus and believe the Father that farther ahead in the narrative of history you have already been glorified, then what can possibly separate you from Christ now?! A dead god who threatens your physical body? Not possible, not if you believe the Father that those whom He foreknew, He predestined, He justified, and He glorified (again, Rom 8:29-30). You are glorified if you endured to the end. And only you determine whether you will endure--you already have or havenít. Your judgment is in your hands (Deu 30:19). You determine whether you will hear Jesusí words and believe the Father. Jesus already knows whether you did. And believe me, He will work hard to cause you to believe, but He cannot believe for you. If you are determined not to believe, you no longer exist in the spiritual realm. You were resurrected to condemnation.
There is no fatalism here, for we can change today our fate if we are out of covenant with God. It is how we end that matters, not the mistakes we make along the way. Christ died for the physical death penalty attached to those mistakes, and He bears their spiritual death penalty. On that Day of Coverings after His return as the Messiah, He would enjoy giving that spiritual death penalty to Satan, whom He has slain just as David slew Goliath. He truly doesnít want to give it back to you, but He will if you will not be ruled by Him. He rests on the seventh day; He rests from His labor of bearing sins. As a disciple, you will have been resurrected to life or to condemnation. Satan will have received the death penalty attached to the sins in the spiritual realm that you committed (he is ultimately responsible for them), or you will have if Satan remains your god. Your choice. And Jesus as the Logos who interacted with Moses said, I set before you life and death, choose life.
Because humanity requires time for the maintenance of physical life, again in a like manner to fish needing to be in water, humanity must live through the narrative of history, past and future, to arrive at the moment when the heirs of God will be glorified. We cannot jump around in time, except mentally.
If the reality of the weekly Sabbath is Christ--specifically, Christ resting from His labor of bearing the sins of the foreknown heirs of God--then drawn disciples who have already been glorified in the portion of time in which they havenít yet arrived should want to celebrate the weekly Sabbath. Christ bore their sins. His death at Calvary paid the physical penalty for every sin committed by humanity, just as the sacrificed goat on Yom Kipporim was the sin offering for Israel. Then He as the glorified high priest of Israel bore the sins of born again disciples, who have actual life in the spiritual realm, in this supra-dimensional realm until He could give those sins to Satan on the reality of Yom Kipporim. Two coverings. One in the physical realm, represented by the slain goat. One in the spiritual realm, represented by the Azazel goat. An inter-dimensional precipice separates physical from spiritual. And we are finally ready to examine the least understood high Sabbath of Christ: the Day of Coverings, or the Day of Atonement.
New Testament Christians tend to ignore the annual high Sabbaths of God, dismissing them as "Jewish." Yet no day, including Christís Ascension to the Father, is more important to their salvation than the day represented by Yom Kipporim, the day of coverings, the day when their sins will be returned to Satan if they have remained in covenant with God.
The key to understanding Scripture and especially prophecy is that in all things the physical precedes the spiritual. The significant events in the history of Israel are memorialized by Sabbaths, by time made holy by God. Again for the umpteenth time, human beings live in time just as fish live in water--and humanity is no more able to make time holy than a largemouth bass is able to make a portion of a lake a no-fishing refuge.
The events that are memorialized happen to Israel in the supra-dimensional realm usually identified as heaven. They include Christís sacrifice as Israelís sin offering [the Passover] and His Ascension [the Wave Sheaf offering]. The Passover also represents the liberation of Israel from bondage, from first physical bondage in Egypt, and second from spiritual bondage in spiritual Babylon, with the two high Sabbaths of Unleavened Bread memorializing crossing the Red Sea and crossing the Jordan, the baptism of water for the remission of sin at the beginning of the week and the baptism of fire to glorification at the end of the week, with the week representing seven years of living sin-free (the Tribulation for endtime Israel). Thus, the second Passover can be dated to the beginning of the Tribulation. For seven years, all of spiritual Israel will be hated for Christís name sake. The world will say, I could never worship a God who would kill innocent firstborns. And in reality, they cannot. The carnal mind is hostile to God (Rom 8:7). Until the world is baptized with the Holy Spirit by the Breath of the Father being poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) half way through the seven years of tribulation, genuine Christians will be the most hated people the world has ever known. But they will be mentally free from sin because of the second Passover. They will have to voluntarily return to sin, or to bondage to Satan, as the king of spiritual Babylon. No sacrifice will then remain for them if they die out of covenant. They will be resurrected to condemnation when they should have been resurrected to life. And their resurrection will have already occurred prior to when they choose to remain in the covenant, or leave the covenant. So remaining in covenant makes so much more sense. There is nothing any human being, or any spirit being can do to separate a disciple from Christ, except for the person him or herself. The personís fate has already been determined. All a person has to do is believe Christ and the Father.
The enormity of the above realization could only occur when the social constructs upon which societies are assembled digested enough understanding of how the universe was created that school children can discuss Einsteinís theories of relativity. John Calvin had a little understanding about predestination occurring, but not enough understanding to do much more than poison theological discussion of the subject. And mentally enslaved Israel has retained its enslavement through historical exegesis, which maintains the concept of humanity receiving everlasting life apart from receiving it as the gift of God. Historical exegesis supports humanity having received everlasting life when the first Adam became a breathing creature (Gen 2:7), but that position is directly contradicted by Scripture:: "Then the Lord God said, ĎBehold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good from evil. Now lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever--í therefore, the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life" (Gen 3:22-24).
Adam didnít sneak back into the Garden of Eden and eat from the tree of life. He didnít eat before he was driven out, and he didnít eat afterwards. He had no life but his physical breath. And he only passed on to his heirs physical life through the oxidation of sugars in space-time. He was not created with eternal or immortal life; he had no such life to pass on. And if John Calvin could have escaped from this theological error, he might well have understood predestination before it was time for the concept to be understood. As it was, he turned the concept into a hateful doctrine that condemned some individuals to hell from birth. No such doctrine is of God.
The size of the realization that all who endure in faith to the end will be saved, and have already been saved should humble the most able human being on the planet. What equals in importance salvation? Especially when one knows that all of this world will pass away shortly. Whom will you obey? Especially when one knows that Satan has already been consumed by fire. What prevents you from living within the laws of God that have been written on your heart and mind? Especially when you know that your righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees (Matt 5:17-20) and can by hearing the words of Jesus and believing the Father.
But what are you hearing? What are your teachers presenting as the way of God? A once saved, always saved gospel? A dispensation of grace gospel? A gospel about the soon-coming kingdom of God? A prosperity gospel? Or the gospel that all who endure to the end will be saved (Matt 24:13-14)?
Those who endured have already been saved. The soon-coming kingdom of God is the day of rest when Christ no longer bears the sins of Israel as this holy nationís covering in the spiritual realm. It is actually anti-climatic. Satan is bound and cannot deceive people, as the weekly Sabbath forms the shadow of the reality that is Christ resting from the work He performed that was represented by the Azazel goat.
Christ today sits at the right hand of the Father, but not in our narrative of history. In our narrative He labors as Israelís high priest. Outside, though, He has rested and is about to begin an eighth day, when all of humanity not foreknown by the Father receives its chance to be ruled by Christ as king and elder brother. The creation has expanded to its limitation. Outside, it will shortly be time for the new heaven and new earth to arrive. Then all that isnít incorruptible will be destroyed by fire, including any dead not resurrected. Thus, we can date where in the historical narrative those who are Outside sit. That "where" is at the end of the seventh day, following Satanís being turned to ashes, but prior to the conclusion of the great White Throne Judgment and the arrival of new Jerusalem. Christ sits at the right hand of the father, for it is still the Sabbath day; i.e., the Lordís day. Christ is Lord of the Sabbath (Matt 12:8), for Christ is the reality of the Sabbath. Our rest in Christ is with Him as He rests from His labor of bringing many heirs to glory. The high days are shadows of what Christ did in bringing these many heirs to glory; thus, their reality, especially Yom Kipporim, is also Christ in both a figurative and a literal sense.
Two coverings, two goats, one sacrificed for the sins of Israel at Calvary, one toiling among the thorns and thistles outside of spiritual Eden, bearing the sins of Israel that were pronounced over its head before being lead away by the hand of a fit man--the reality of Yom Kipporim is grace. To not deny oneself on this high Sabbath is to reject grace. Observance of this high Sabbath is as simple as that. A person will spurn all that is physical to concentrate on that which is spiritual for this high day.
If a person merely goes hungry on Yom Kippur, not partaking in the dual coverings of Christ as the reality of this high day, the person doesnít need to add the plural to its spelling.
* * * * *
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles,
a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."