The Day of Atonement is the tenth day of the seventh month according to the sacred calendar, on which the sins that the Israelites had committed during the course of the year were atoned for (Lev. 23:27). Today, also, we must celebrate the Day of Atonement to be forgiven for the sins that we commit each year. Without having celebrated the Day of Atonement, we cannot say that our sins have been forgiven. Therefore, the Church of God celebrates the Day of Atonement, according to the teaching of the Second Coming Christ, Ahnsahnghong.
The Day of Atonement is the day when all of the sins that we have committed all year long are handed over to the devil. Thus, the devil makes every effort to prevent God’s people from celebrating the feast. We should be able to recognize the identity of those who hinder God’s people from keeping this feast, because it has only been allowed to the true people of God.
After being released from Egypt, the Israelites lived in the desert for forty years. God called Moses to Mount Sinai and gave him the laws through which He would rule over the people. In response to God’s calling, Moses went up Mount Sinai. After fasting for forty days and nights, Moses received the Ten Commandments which God, Himself, had written. When Moses did not return from the mountain, even after forty days, the Israelites began to assume that he must have died. They thought that they had lost their leader, and some suggested that they make a god to lead them into the land of Canaan. Hence, the Israelites crafted a golden calf and worshipped it, eating, drinking and dancing around it. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, the sight shocked and enraged him, and he threw the tablets out of his hands, shattering them at the foot of the mountain. He set fire to the golden calf that the Israelites had worshipped so lewdly, and then he ground the charred remains into a powder. Moses scattered the ashes on the water and made the Israelites drink it, and about three thousand people died by the sword.
The Israelites who had sinned against God by worshipping idols thus bitterly repented of their deeds, and, in response, God gave Moses a new set of stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. God’s allowing His laws for a second time implied that He had forgiven them for their sins. The day on which Moses had came down from Mt. Sinai after receiving the Ten Commandments for a second time was the Day of Atonement, which was to be commemorated every year (Ex. 32:1-35).
(1) The scapegoat stands for Satan
In the Old Testament times, the priest sacrificed a bull as his sin offering, and a goat was sacrificed on behalf of the people. Then, lots were cast to decide the destiny of two goats. One goat was to be sacrificed for God and the other was to be named the “scapegoat,” and to die after wandering in the solitude of the desert.
The sins of the people had been temporarily held in the Most Holy Place, and on the Day of Atonement, all of these sins were transferred to the head of the scapegoat to be sent away and die in the desert. This process reveals that our sins are heaped onto Satan through the Feasts (such as the Passover and the Day of Atonement) after being temporarily carried by Christ?the reality of the Most Holy Place. Satan will be very troubled by carrying the weight of all of our sins and will be eventually destroyed in the Abyss?the uninhabited land represented by the desert. We come to understand this principle through celebrating the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:6-22).
(2) Entering the Most Holy Place
The Day of Atonement is the day, once a year, when the high priest enters the Most Holy Place, alone.
Heb. 9:7 『But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.』
Prophecy and Its Fulfillment
The prophecy of the Day of Atonement: The people’s sins were initially held in the Most Holy Place, but on the Day of Atonement, their sins were transferred onto the scapegoat. The scapegoat was troubled in the desert, carrying all of the people’s sins on its head. Eventually, the goat came to die.
Fulfillment of the prophecy: Our sins are initially carried by Christ, but on the Day of Atonement, our sins are transferred onto Satan?the scapegoat. Satan will be tormented in hell, carrying all of our sins on his head. Eventually, Satan will suffer eternal destruction.