Month 7:8, Week 2:2 (Shanee/Matzah), Year:Day 5939:188 AM|
2Exodus 2/40, 4th Sh'mittah - Year 49/50,
USA Judgment - Day #T-17, Global Judgment - Day #T-104
Gregorian Calendar Wednesday 23 September 2015
Yom haKippurim 2015
Judgment of the Body of Messiah
Announcing the Coming Year of Jubilee
PART A - MORNING SESSION
Chag sameach Yom haKippurim mishpachah and welcome to this first morning assembly of the sacred moed (appointment), the Day of Atonements.
Between Two Authors
I spent a very interesting day yesterday for the most part quietly reading two Christian authors. The first was a sermon by the 19th century Baptist master preacher, Charles Haddon Surgeon, from his 10 volumes of collected sermons, a man for whom I have an enormous respect. The second was half a book entitled, The Maharishi of Mt.Kailash by Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj, an Indian believer esteemed by many to be a navi (prophet) who has a very large international following. In the book he narrates some experiences of the late 19th and 20th century evangelist, Sadhu Sundar Singh. Now I am neither a Baptist nor do I endorse necessarily all the work of Selvaraj but I am always willing to give everyone a hearing along with the benefit of the doubt. My thought in reading these two gentlemen was to find some inspiration for today's sermons.
The Strange World of the Maharishi
It is not my purpose to analyse the content of either of these two writers but I thought it only fair that I would tell you where I am coming from today. In reading Selvaraj's book I received no witness of the Ruach (Spirit) that it was true even though I would have loved to have been able to testify it was true for the entire content is about supernatural experiences in the spirit world, a 400 year-old Egyptian missionary still alive in Tibet and interceeding for mankind, encounters with dead nevi'im (prophets), and apostles, and the like. Most of us have a hunger to know more about the spiritual realm beyond and some of us have been blessed to have had glimpses of it.
Vision of the Golden Street
I experienced nothing reading Selvaraj's book but as I was reading one of Spurgeon's brilliant expositionary sermons, a vision opened up to me and I saw a heavenly street paved with gold. Though I have seen heaven a few times, this I have never seen before. That was all I saw but the brighteness and intensity of that gold was quite awesome. And I knew exactly what the Ruach (Spirit) was showing me, namely, that Spurgeon was teaching and preaching saving, heavenly, reliable, foundational emet (truth) of which the street of gold is a heavenly type. Though I am not by any means saying that I am endorsing everything Spurgeon ever taught - and he was humble enough to admit in the preface to his Lectures to My Students that there were many things he didn't understand, and of course he had his orthodox Christian biases - what I am saying is that pretty much most of what he preached was solid and reliable, and certainly the sermon I had been reading was emet (truth) with substance...a heavenly meal, just what I had been looking for. Yahweh was telling me in that vision that what I was reading was kosher, solid and of the kind of Ruach (Spirit) condusive to meditation prior to sitting down and preparing this address to you.
We Come in to the Gospel Different Ways
So far, this has been a Yom haKippurim unlike any other I have experienced, as I mentioned in my short devotional yesterday. We all come to the Besorah (Gospel) in different ways and most of you will have done so by the traditional Protestant avenues, at least as far as simple salvation is concerned. Mine was, as many of you know, a little unorthodox in that respect, for though I had an Anglican upbringing (like Sahdu Sundar Singh, in fact), I never met Yah'shua (Jesus) at that time and came to reject it in favour of atheism for many years. Though I was subsequently baptised in the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) after a long search, it was not through the usual avenue of being convited of sin and repenting but out of a passionate desire to know doctrinal and existential emet (truth). Though I certainly learned about sin and the need for repentance during my discipleship, it was not, for example, in the way that Spurgeon, Ravenhill, Moody or others experienced, and I always felt I had missed out on something.
In Search of the Ruach haSheshi
It was not until I began to immerse myself in the moedim or divine appointments of Yahweh, and especially Pesach (Passover), Yom haBikkurim (Day of Firstfruits) and Yom haKippurim (Yom Kippur/Day of Atonements) did I begin to experience the kind of travail of soul that those coming earnestly through the Protestant portal experience. And reading Spurgeon's sermon on The Day of Atonement sort of brought everything together for me - the messianic and evangelical - in a way I had not experienced before. And given that today is so important, not just for us and other believers assembling, but for the whole world, I felt the need to connect to the Ruach (Spirit) on this occasion - the Ruach haSheshi - in a way I haven't before.
The Purpose of the Everlasting Statute
We are here to observe, in the New Covenant way, what Yahweh declared to be "an everlasting statute" (Lev.16:34). The five atonements of Yom haKippurim  were made 2,000 years ago but have not been applied yet because this is one of the three feasts that has not yet been fulfilled physically - Yah'shua (Jesus) has not yet returned at Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets/Shouting), He has not yet passed Judgment on the World at a href="yomkippur.html">Yom haKippurim, Mankind and the whole of Creation, and He has not yet celebrated His wedding feast with His Messianic Bride at Sukkot (Tabernacles). Nevertheless, this being true does not mean that the Ruach haSheshi is not active at this time or that the Yom haKippurim ministrations are not applicable. Every year we come before the Throne of Judgment to be weighed in the balance as families, congregations and as the whole of Messianic Israel.
What We Do and Don't Do at Yom haKippurim
For those who are new to the New Covenant observation of Yom haKippurim, I have to say right out that it does not (or ever will) involve any animal sacrifices of any kind and that it has nothing to do with non-Messianic Judaism's celebration of 'Yom Kippur', nor does it inclue its blasphemous additions like the slaughtering and blood sacrifice of chickens in Orthodox Jewish circles. And it does not resemble, in many ways, the Jewish copycat observances of Messianics with all their outward paraphanalia . Our observance is very simple - we fast for 24 hours, as commanded, beginning at sunset on the 9th day of the 7th month, and end at sunset on the 10th day and we complete our corporate teshuvah (repentance) for the year.
The Great Payment
Yom haKippurim is all about Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and is one of several statutes that sets forth His death as the great atonement or payment for our sin. What is sin? It is missing the mark of emet (truth) and chayim (life) in Yahweh through Yah'shua (Jesus). It is failure, error, iniquity, transgression, trespass, Torahlessness (lawlessness) and unrighteousness. It is the atonement made for our guilt and the salvation of our souls. One of the main statutes of these was Yom haKippurim which respresents both the vengeance of Elohim (God) against His enemies, angelic as well as human, as well as the great day of acceptance of our souls. As it is written:
Once a Year Only
"Messiah died for sins once for all, the righteous (Messiah) for the unrighteous (us), to bring you to Elohim (God)" (1 Peter 3:18, NIV).
This Day of Atonements only happened once a year in order to teach us that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) only needed to die once, and that even though He should come a second time at Yom Teruah, this last time it would be without a sin-offering for salvation.
The One Great Offering
In the old system lambs were offered on a continual basis every morning and evening to remind Yahweh's people that they always needed a sacrifice. But Yom haBikkurim was a differenr reminder because this was a type of the one great offering and it was for this reason that the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) passed under the veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies with blood as an atonement for the sins of the people.
Symbolism of the Timing
This was always at a fixed time, to be exact, "on the tenth day of the seventh month" (Lev.16:29, NIV). Why the 7th month and the 10th day? Because 7 is the number of completion and spiritual perfection, and Messiah made a complete and perfect atonement for the sins of all men and women; and because 10 is another number of completeness, this time of order. This was no 'random' thing. it was perfectly ordered by Elohim (God) leaving nothing undone that had to be done.
Appointed from the Beginning
If man had invented the system, Yom haKippurim would have been a useless ritual, a non efficacious ceremony like those of the pagans, benefiting no man. Yahweh's great Day of Atonements was appointed and predestined by Yahweh Himself. The act of atonement occurred but once, a matter settled from before the foundation of the world. On the very hour on the very day that Yahweh had decreed, the Son of Man "was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent" (Isa.53:7, NIV). The time had to be appointed because one day the Son of Elohim (God) would come into the world to die for us.
The Necessity of Atonement
Why did Yah'shua (Jesus) have to go through this horrendous judgment on our behalf? For that is what atonement is - being punished for someone's else's sins because as mortals we are incapable of paying the price demanded by Justice. It is written:
Sinning First by Seeing
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way" (Isa.53:6, NIV).
I was going to give you a theological discourse on the Atonement today. I began it last night and abandoned it because I felt spiritually dry. I don't know how many of you have read John Bunyan's book, or seen one of the movie productions, Pilgrim's Progress, but in one part of it he comes to a town in which all the fares of the world are put on offer, temptations both lawful and unlawful. That fare contains all that could ever entice the human eye for it is by seeing that Eve was first tempted - seeing that delicious-looking fruit on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That is the first attack the enemy makes on us - by appealing to our sight. He presents us with something that looks utterly irresistable. Seeing is then followed by listening and by sinful action.
Dream of the Fish With Iron Stomachs
I was taken through a market last night, a fish market to be exact, but it was not like any fish market I had ever seen before because it contained fish that I had never seen before. The fish were very large and were laid out on many tables with vendors behind them hoping for a sale. The odd thing about these fish was their bellies that were peculiar because they were larger than in real life, they were made of iron. They were shaped in a strage way, were flat on the bottom so that the fish could sit upright on the fishmongers' tables. You know when you try to put a fish down on a surface, you have to lay it on its side because of its shape. But not these fish. And the stomachs of these fish were not rounded or curved but angled like man-made machines. There were all kinds of fish in this market, and of many sizes, but all had these large iron stomachs.
Nature of the Fish
Fish can represent either thoughts or people. These were great thoughts with iron stomachs, indigestible and hard, the secular philosophies and religious teachings of men. These are cirrupt, sinful thoughts and systems of thought, very large and grand, but inedible to the spirit. They are hard to stomach until they become hibitually a part of your diet. Part of the fish is meat, the seductive part, but the rest is hard and cold.
Dream of the Impoverished Restaurant
I had earlier been taken to a restaurant. There were many people there and it was a restaurant that seemed familiar to me, but the menu was sparse and the food unattractive. I was supposed to meet a friend of mine there, who was a secularist, a fellow academic, whom I admired when I was living in Oxford and had my own business. He had succeeded in the world, more so than I had, and I suppose part of me had envied him at some point. But when I saw the poverty of the food, that a man would receive poor nitrition through eating it, and then finally when I saw the 'entertainment' the restarant put on, I left in disgust. Though mesmerised for a moment, I pulled myself away and left. It was then I walked through the market and saw those strange iron-stomached fish.
A Great Wickednesses in the Churches: Believers Cannot Sin
There are two great wickednesses in the world that are the special object of Yahweh's wrath at this time of judgment. The first is that false teaching of many churches, based on a twisting of part of John's first letter, that claims true born-again believers are sinless and are incapable of sin. It's such an important passage that I am bidden to read it out to you today in its proper sense. We are looking at the first epistle of John, third chapter, beginning at verse 4. I am going to read from a paraphrase, the New Internatiional Reader's Version because it captures the true essence of the apostle's teaching. This is the theme of this Yom haKippurim and it is a vital theme indeed. Here is what he said:
Habitual Sin Can Cost You Your Salvation
"Everyone who sins breaks the Torah (Law). In fact, breaking the Torah (Law) is sin. But you know that Messiah came to take our sins away. And there is no sin in Him. No one who remains joined to Him keeps on sinning. No one who keeps on sinning has seen Him or known Him" (1 Jn.3:4-6, NIRV).
The NASB says, "Everyone who practices sin also practices Torahlessness (lawlessness)" (v.4) and other versions say "commits sin" (e.g. NRSV). When you "practice" something it's something you do habitually or out of habit. And when you do things out of habit it is because the behaviour has become internalised and is now unconscious or second nature to you. You don't think twice about it. For a believer to habitually sin - to habitually break the mitzvot (commandments) is a disaster because one who has been spiritually regenerated possesses the nature of Messiah and supposed to habitually practice righeousness. One who has made a proper teshuvah (repentance) may fall into sin now and then but it is not a matter of habit - it is not practiced casually as a matter of routine. When the sin is broken, the Christ-nature can predominate. Yes, we trip up now and then and have to repent, but habitual sinning is supposed to be over for the born-again believer. If it is not, John says the "one who keeps on sinning has neither seen Him nor known Him".
Doing Right is the Evidence of Salvation
Three of the Five Atonements: New Covenant Temples
"Dear children, don't let anyone led you down the wrong path, Those who do what is right are qadosh (holy, set-apart), just as Messiah is qadosh (holy, set-apart). Those who [habitually] do what is sinful belong to the devil. They are just like him. He has been sinning from the beginning. But the Son of Elohim (God) came to destroy the devil's work. Those who are born again because of what Elohiom (God) has done will not keep on sinning. Elohim's (God's) very nature remains in them. They can't go on sinning [because they have that divine nature]. They have been born again because of what Elohim (God) has done. This is how you can tell the difference between the children of Elohim (God) and the children of the devil. Those who don't do what is right do not belong to Elohim (God). Those who don't love their brothers and sisters do not belong to Him either" (1 Jn.3:7-10. NIRV).
Yom haKippurim or the Day of Atonements concerns five particular atonements. Three of the atonements made concerned the physical structures of the Sanctuary, the Tabernacle and the Brazen Altar. Atonement was made for them so that Yahweh might continue to have His dwelling place in Israel after it had been defiled by the sins of His cohenim (priests). What is the Tabernacle or Temple today? It is the body of man. We say that Yom haKippurim is for the collective or corporate cleansing of the Body of Messiah. But what is that abstract concept made up of? Obviously there is no literal Body of Messiah with head, arms, legs, torso and so on - it is an abstract idea based on a concrete reality. And that concrete reality is the physical body. It is as Paul taught:
The Wickedest of Sins
"Don't you know that you yourselves are Elohim's (God's) temple (tabernacle with sanctuary and altar) and that the Ruach Elohim (God's Spirit) lives in you? If anyone destroys (through defilement) Elohim's (God's) temple, Elohim (God) will destroy him; for Elohim's (God's) temple (tabernacle) is qadosh (sacred, holy, set-apart) and you are that temple" (1 Cor.3:16-17, NIV).
The greatest sin in this world against Yahweh's masterpiece, the living human body, the temple - both individually as well as collectively as the Body of Messiah or Messianic Israel, the Torah-obedient Christians under covenant - is sexual sin, to be followed by narcotics or drugs that bend and rewire the mind and waste away the flesh, poisonous and unkosher drinks and foods (like port and alcohol), tattooing and piercing. All of these defile the Body. And the worst are beyond question sexual and drug abuse which is why Satan has targeted these two areas especially. The world is awash with pornography, adultery, fornication and promiscuity of every kind. It's everywhere and becoming more and more blatant, more and more vile, as it seeks to submerge children into its evil mire. We all know the elites are pedophiles and that they are determined to make this wickedness legal. They have destroyed almost everyone who has sought to expose them. Even neo-natal murder, euphemistically called 'abortion', is a part of this grotesque satanic frenzy to destroy or marr the temple of Elohim (God), His very image.
Sexual Purity Mandated
The Body of Messiah, and the Remnant especially, must be sexually pure. And the only way to be sexually pure is to follow Yahweh's torot or laws about sexual behaviour. You see in one of the dreams - the one of the restaurant - I saw a man, representing the satanic man, making a disgusting display as part of the entertainment. I was sick at heart when I awoke, revolted. Such is the abomination in the world.
The Danger of Habitual Sinning
Most people coming out of the world and to salvation will have been exposed to and corrupted by sexual abominations because it is rampant and accepted as 'normal'. Most churches think little of it, not understanding how vile and incompatible the tiniest morsel of sexual immorality is with the Body of Messiah. That is why the penalties for sexual sin were so severe in the Torah. That is why active and continuing discipleship and deliverance are essential after conversion, and excommunication for unrepented adultery. Once you have been born again you have to jealously guard that spiritual regeneration because if you don't - if you let habitual sin back in through the door - it will destroy that regeneration as surely as a bullet in the head or heart can kill a man. Be under no illusion - those who return to habitual sinning "belong to the devil" and lose their salvation
Love and Witnessing
John said, "don't just talk about ahavah (love). Put your ahavah (love) into action. Then it will truly be ahavah (love)" (1 Jn.3:18, NIRV). When people turn to sexual sin or any other kind of sin it is because ahavah (love) in their hearts has not been turned into action. The Besorah (Gospel) life must be in constant movement - in action - or it will turn stagnant and die. That is why witnessing is such an important part of that life. A person who is saved - truly saved - is anxious to share that salvation with others, and that will include afterwards discipling them in Torah so that they know what is sin and what is righteous living. Those who hate and remove the Torah are setting themselves up for spiritual deception and a fall.
A Time to Mourn
Take the counsel of James:
The Dangers of Misused Humour
"Submit yourselves, then, to Elohim (God). Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to Elohim (God) and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before Yahweh, and he will lift you up" (James 4:7-10, NIV).
Don't mess around. Sin destroys. Humour, when abused, has a way of desensitising a soul to sin. So never joke about it. Don't joke about what kills. Turn your joy into gloom - if you're celebrating while sinning, then your joy is not the simcha or joy of Heaven, but a fleshy counterfeit. Better to be sober and make true teshuvah (repentance).
The Official Division of the Body-Ecclesiastic
Sinning individuals are bad enough but when a whole congregation, a whole denomination or the whole Body-ecclesiastic makes sin habitual, then without proper and consequential repentance, judgment is unavoidable. The Body-ecclesiastic is reeking with sin and corruption and comes under judgment today. Christendom is under judgment along with its Judaic counterpart. The Remnant already separated judicially from this Body-ecclesiastic, by declaration and by purification, last spring, but today it happens in practice. As of today there are two separate bodies, one genuine, repentant and focussed on holiness, and the other false, unrepentant and determined to remain in habitual sin. Today we choose which way we are going, and that choosing must be not only in word but in very deed because only "those who DO right are qadosh (holy), just as Messiah is qadosh (holy)" (1 Jn.3:7, NIRV). Our works or deeds very clearly matter.
Announcing the Coming Yovel
We are in the midst of the Sh'mittah or Sabbatical Year which ends next spring and today I, and many others like me around the world, are announcing in advance the Yovel or Jubille Year which begins next spring. A process is most definitely underway and will accelerate and intensify over the months ahead as judgments are announced and Yahweh's wrath is poured on the nations and their leaders for wickedness.
Repent or Perish
Do not suppose that because you are a 'little sinner', as you suppose, that you have no cause for concern over your life. Do not look at the Middle east and say, 'This cannot happen to me, because I am not such a great sinner as those ISIS monsters'. No, do not say that, for in Yah'shua's (Jesus') day a similar attitude prevailed and this is what the Master said about it:
Siloam and the Galileans - Modern Parallels
"Now there were some present at that time who told Yah'shua (Jesus) about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Yah'shua (Jesus) answered, 'Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them - do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish" (Luke 13:1-5, NIV).
I can tell you now that that tower in Siloam is to be compared with the twin-towers in New York (9/11), and that the mingling of blood of those murdered by Pailate with their sacrifices is to be compared with the terrible loss of life of believers in Syria and Iraq. Yahweh makes no distinction between different kinds of sinners cut off from Him because of lawlessness and sin. Do you think you are spiritually better off than the victims of the twin-towers or the victims of the Middle eastern bloodbath? Just because these things have not happened here yet makes no difference in terms of our our eternal status if we do not finally make an end of habitual sinning and get right with Yahweh - TODAY!
Not a Day of Celebration
What of those who have made things right with Yahweh through repentance and obedience to Torah? This is not a day of celebration - we are fasting today, afflicting our souls according to the mitzvah (commandment).
Becoming Aware of Yah'shua's Work at Yom haKippurim
Why are we doing this? Because we are supposed to be bringing into remembrance what Yah'shua (Jesus) did for us on the cross, what price He paid for our souls to remain pure and qadosh (holy, set-apart). There is nothing that should move us to make teshuvah (repent) more than than the thought of the great sacrifice Yah'shua (Jesus) made for us at Golgotha, the sacrifice that is necessary to wash away our offense and guilt. The thought that Yah'shua (Jesus) died that we might be made free ought to make our hearts melt. Whenever we hear the name 'Calvary' it ought to cause us to shed a tear in gratitude, for there is nothing that ought to make the sinner weep like the mention of the death of Yah'shua (Jesus). So on this day of Yom haKippurim, it must be as it is written:
"It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening" (Lev.23:32, NKJV).
This is not a day of frivolity, of carrying on as usual, but it is a solemn time of reflection and prayer, and we should come to the awful realisation that our sinning pierced His body and heart. So "afflict your souls", O Israel, for the Day of Atonements is here. Weep over Yah'shua (Jesus), weep for He who died for you. Weep for Him who was murdered for your sins and "afflict your souls". Do no work at all, cease your entertainments, for who can be frivolous upon seeing what the Son of Man did at Calvary? Be determined to serve Him, and to serve with zeal, cease trying to save yourself - for the work of salvation is done, it has been accomplished for all by One.
PART B - AFTERNOON SESSION
Introduction: Neither Poverty Nor Riches
"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure" (Eccl.7:2-4, NIV).
Maxims like this baffle believers and yet it is true to say that happiness lies between two extremes - somewhere between ecstatic simcha (joy), as represented by Sukkot (Tabernacles), and melancholy, as represented by Yom haKippurim. When Agur prayed that Yahweh would give him "neither poverty nor riches" (Prov.11:4, KVV), he knew, as a wise man, what he was talking about.
Between Two Poles
"Give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown You and say, 'Who is Yahweh?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my Elohim (God)" (Prov.30:8-9, NIV).
If you want happiness, then walk a life between Yom haKippurim and Sukkot, becoming 'extreme' only when you need to be, mourning for your sins and repenting, and then celebrating the goodness of our Elohim (God). Yom haKippurim is an essential pole in the balance of happy and successful living. You can't live in mourning all your life or you will become a shadow of life and you can't live in celebration all your life or you'll never get anything done and won't face the troubles of life constructively.
The Happy Man
The Balanced Life
"The man who is not often lifted up with joy, nor often depressed in spirit through grief, who walks through the world in a calm and quiet atmosphere, bearing about him a holy complacency, a calm serenity, and an almost uniformity - that man is a happy man" .
Yet we need our two reference points to define the balanced life in the middle, and those references are Yom haKippurim and Sukkot. I do not, of course, speak of the resurrection or of the glory of Yahweh's eternal presence, but of life in this world. In a few days we shall go the House of Feasting but for now we are in the House of Mourning.
Catastrophes in the Midst of Feasts
Yet did you know that most of the catastrophes happen to people when they have been in the house of feasting? I am not now speaking of Yom haKippurim or Sukkot but their fleshy equivalents and we must never confuse the two. So let me ask you a question: where was the world when Noah boarded the ark with his family? Where were all the people when Yahweh released the floods? "They were eating and drinking". The same was true of Lot's children when disaster struck:
The Night Babylon Fell
"There was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house..." (Job 1:13, KJV).
Where was Samson when he lost his strength? He was in the house of sinful pleasure with Delilah. While we fast, the world eats and drinks. Why, I don't doubt that the Pope and Obama are having fine meals in Washington DC today. I can tell you Bible story after Bible story where a feast has become a funeral...please don't forget Belshazzar's feast when he saw the writing on the wall. Babylon fell that night.
Modern Babylon's Judgment
This is such a time. While the servants of Yahweh are fasting and repenting of their sin according to Yahweh's mitzvah (commandment), the world is celebrating, drinking and cursing Elohim (God) as Belshazzar, his nobles and their wives did, while drinking out the sacred vessels of misappropriated and perverted Christianity. There is your contrast and there is your separation. And there is your problem. In a few days' time, modern Babylon will celebrate its last feast, for it has been weighted in the scales and found wanting. Babylon's enemies are almost at her gates, waiting to pounce and bring her down.
Yahweh's People Don't 'Party'
One of the reasons Yahweh's people don't 'party' as the sinners do is because we have our own feasts ordained by Him. In a few days we shall be celebrating the marriage of one of our brothers and we shall rejoice with him and his new bride. But the planks on our floors are not rotten and we shall not fall through them as Belshazzar, Samson and the children of the flood did while they were celebrating - we are doing all in sound order and in divine tavnith or pattern. And I think it appropriate that our brother should be celebrating his wedding at the time of Sukkot, the marriage feast of the Lamb!
Like the Wise Virgins
So, yes, it is absolutely better to go to the house of mourning than it is to the house of feasting when that feasting is not to Yahweh's glory. Better still is it to come up to this House of Mourning at Yom haBikkurim at Yah's command like the five wise virgins so that we may be rid of that which would separate us from the House of Celebration and Marriage at Sukkot, and better still, to celebrate an actual wedding!
Ending the Feasts of Mirth
We must today leave behind all that is displeasing to the Most High, especially those disagreeable, sinful habits that crush simcha (joy) and make for pointless oppression of the soul. So we shall no more have any part of any house of sinful feasting and mirth.
Warn the Wicked While You Can
I do have to say, though, that after 10 October there will be much to mourn because of the punishment of the wicked, especially if those wicked ones are of our own flesh-and-blood. All the more occasion to warn them to flee the wrath that is coming.
The Heavy Labours of the High Priest
It is not generally known that on Yom haKippurim the ministering Cohen Gadol or High Priest was alone and unassisted:
Yah'shua Died Alone
"No one is to be in the Tent of Meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Most Qodesh (Holy, Set-Apart) Place until he comes out, having made atonement for himself, his household and the whole community of Israel" (Lev.16:17, NIV).
No talimid (disciple) or apostle died with Yah'shua (Jesus) on that day for the same reason - Yahweh did not permit it - so that none might be given occasion to accuse any martyr in sharing in the atonement of the Son of Elohim (God). Yes, thieves were crucified with Him but no one could ever say that they were ever in any way rendering assistance. Just as the Tabernacle was deserted with only Aaron being present, so Calvary's execution victims excluded any believers so that the Atonement might be seen to be by One alone on behalf of all.
Numbering the High Priest's Toils
The Cohen Gadol (High Priest) had a lot of work to do on Yom haKippurim. He had 15 animals to slaughter. He toiled and sweated like a common Levite, and far more than an ordinary cohen (priest) would on a typical day of temple service. Did not our Messiah likewise work harder than anyone else had, or ever could, in order to make atonement for our sins? He sweated blood at Gethsemane. He watched all night while the talmidim (disciples) slept just as the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) stayed awake the night before for fear that something unclean might touch him. There was the mockery and the scorn of our Messiah paralleling the continuous offering of lambs for the sins of the people. There was the shame, the spitting, and the whipping in Pilate's hall. There was that lonely walk carrying that intolerably heavy crossbeam, a type of carrying the weight of people's sins on His shoulders. Then there came the nailing and hanging on the cross, even unto death. That was heavy, heavy labour for the Eternal Cohen Gadol (High Priest). Here He was, taking every man's sins, billions of people - past, present and future - and casting them into the depths of the sea of forgetfulness for all who will bow the knee and accept His Sovereignty in their lives.
Honest Labour Honours Messiah
That is work, my brethren and sisters, and that is why all honourable work is sanctified and blessed. This no idle atonement, He worked every particle of His strength and being. And though He doesn't want you to be nailed to a cross necessarily (though goodness knows how many believers are being crucified by ISIS today in the Middle East), He does want you to put your back into your work and not be an idle or profitless servant. Yah'shua (Jesus) had worked hard as a carpenter but now He was working hard as the Creator in human flesh carrying the sins of the world on His shoulders.
The Reason for the High Sabbath
And yet today we do no work at all! It is a high Sabbath! Why? To remind us that we cannot work to save ourselves! We can only surrender and accept His free gift of salvation, showing our appreciation and gratitude by working hard for Him and providing for our families on those 6 work days appointed. These may be viewed also as the 'days of works' that evidence our salvation, if you'll excuse the pun.
The High Priest Emerges Jubilant
When the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) worked on Yom haKippurim he dressed in the common temple clothes of the Levites. Off cast his turban and breastplate and fine robes and all the other emblems of his office. Alone he toiled as one of the least of the cohenim (priests). But once he had made the ritual atonement for Israel, he washed himself and emerged from the Sanctuary in his glorious high priestly vestments! When the people saw him thus attired they rejoiced because they know that they had been atoned for and that Israel would live as a renewed covenant people. And the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) was thankful that his life had been spared, for if the atonement had been rejected by Yahweh, he would have been slain.
Present Yourselves as Living Sacrifices
Isn't this what Messiah did as the Living and Final sacrifice for sin? Did He not enter mortality clothed in the humble flesh of mortal man, to emerge from the cross and tomb clothed in resurrection power and kingship? This is the heart of the Christian faith. This is what we celebrate. But it does not end there. If we are truly grateful for this work of Atonement wrought for us, then what is our response to be? Hear the apostle Paul:
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim (God), that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, qadosh (holy, set-apart), acceptable to Elohim (God), which is your reasonable service" (Rom.12:1, NKJV).
As Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) has served us, giving His all in death, then we ought to serve Him and one another giving our "reasonable service". That is our calling today, that is our calling always, until we are gathered home to Him and can rest from that service. Amen.
C. CONCLUDING PRAYER
This year we shall not be concluding with the traditional neilah prayers but I shall be offering a new kind of prayer as we go home with the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) clapping our hands with simcha (joy), because He is alive. And because the Atonement was accepted by Yahweh, and we are accepted too. If we have truly repented of our sins, then the scape-goat is gone, and with it our sins:
(Sounding of the Shofar to end Yom haKippurim at sunset)
"Holy Father Yahweh-Elohim, I come forward as the father, husband and cohen (priest) of my family, and as the father of this Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon, and I plead the blood of Atonement on myself, my family, and my brethren and sisters in this Covenant assembled both here and abroad. I plead the blood of the Lamb of Elohim (God) on our houses, on our physical bodies and on the altars of our hearts that we may be purified and leave this place of assembly with thankfulness, that we may enter through the gates of the New Jerusalem with praise, declaring that our Messiah has loved His people, has blessed His children, and given unto us a day of atonements, a day of acceptance, and the year of jubilee.
"I pleased for our separated family members and brethren and ask that you would show them mercy and deliverance in this time of emergent judgment and tribulation. I ask this based on no merit of our own but solely on the merits of Your grace. Cause the Destroyer to pass us by, and them, deliver them and us out of destruction and death.
"Praise the Name of Yahweh! May His name be hallowed! Amen."
 See the series beginning with Skullduggery: The Truth About the Jewish Kippa
 For the Cohen Gadol (High Priest), the Sanctuary, the Tabernacle, the Altar and the Assembly of Israel
 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The House of Mourning, and the House of Feasting