044 – Messiah’s Calendar Part 5

The Day of Atonement

The Hebrew feast of the Day of Atonement is the judgment of the righteous. Judgment starts in the house of God.

In today’s program we’ll be studying the second fall feast, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. This teaching and this message are critical for our generation. We are the generation that will see Jesus come back in the clouds of glory. We will be given the most difficult obedience test ever given to mankind: to take the mark of the beast or the seal of God.

The seal of God is dispensed in the Most Holy Place. We have to enter it by faith to receive the seal. Yet most Christians are still in the outer court, some are in the Holy Place, and very few are in the Holy of Holies.

Why are most Christians still in the outer court? Because they don’t understand the precious truths of the sanctuary. They’ve only heard the spring message: the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection. They worship on Sunday supposedly because Jesus resurrected on Sunday.

Most Christians are completely oblivious to what’s going on in heaven right now. They don’t understand that the final battle will be over God’s law. The spring message was sufficient for many centuries. Salvation by grace through faith is what the Protestant Reformers fought for in the 1500’s. That was present truth in their time.

Today however, we need to preach the gospel for the season. We’re in the last month of the religious calendar. The season we’re in is the time of the final judgment, a time of expectancy of things to take a sudden turn for the worse, a time of watching the signs and praying that we may be found worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).

So lets jump right in and start our study of the Day of Atonement. This study will give you the solid foundation you need to enter the last great trial armed and ready.

The Daily Service

In order to better understand the Day of Atonement, we need to understand the daily service. The daily service was a daily ritual or sacrificial offering made twice a day, in the morning at the third hour meaning 9:00 am, and in the evening at the 9th. hour, meaning 3:00 pm. We learned that in the Jewish time reckoning 3:00 pm is the mid-point between “the two evenings”.

The daily service is described in Exodus 29:38-42 and Numbers 28:1-8. It consisted of a male lamb of the first year without blemish that was burned on the altar together with a drink offering and a flour offering. On the Sabbath this basic offering continued to be made, augmented with an additional two lambs.

The daily service had many similarities with the sin and trespass offerings described in Leviticus 4 and 5. These sacrifices were to reconcile men to God after sinning either through ignorance or knowingly. The priest himself had to offer a bull as a substitutionary sacrifice for his own sins and those of his family to enable him to officiate as high priest.

The principle for all of these services is the same:

  • The sinner brought a lamb or goat offering.
  • The sinner put his hands on the head of the offering and confessed his sins.
  • The sins were thus transferred to the sacrificial animal.
  • The animal became the substitutionary sacrifice that would die in the place of the sinner.
  • The victim was sacrificed and usually burnt.
  • Some of the blood was applied to the horns of the altar of burnt offering, then most of the blood was placed at the base of the altar.
  • The priest applied the blood in the Holy Place to make atonement for the sinner’s sins. The priest interceded on behalf of the sinner, asking God for forgiveness, and sprinkled the blood 7 times before the veil that separated the Holy from the Most Holy Place.
  • The sinner could go home at peace with God, knowing that he’d been reconciled with the Lord.

Why was there so much death and blood of innocent animals? Because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Hebrews 9:22 says: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (of sins)”. The Lord also says in Leviticus 17:11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul”. The only way to atone for sin was through blood. Someone had to die.

The Apostle Paul explains in the Book of Hebrews: “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:1-4).

Therefore: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

The type – the ancient Hebrew sanctuary sacrifices – were replaced by the anti-type – the once-for-all perfect sacrifice of Jesus. “Anti” sometimes means against, but often means “in place of”, “in replacement of”. Jesus’s perfect offering of Himself came to replace the imperfect offerings of the Hebrew sanctuary that needed to be offered continually because they couldn’t atone for sin.

The Day of Atonement Ceremony

Now that we understand the daily service we can consider the ceremony of the Day of Atonement. This feast was only celebrated once a year, in the last month of the religious calendar, Tishrei.

We learned in our last session together that the Feast of Trumpets took place on the first day of Tishrei, to announce the coming Day of Atonement that took place on the 10th. day of Tishrei. The purpose of the Day of Atonement was to remove from the sanctuary the sins that had been deposited there throughout the religious year.

Day after day sinners brought their sin offerings and burnt offerings and transgression offerings, and their sins were transferred to the blood of the animals. The blood of the animals was placed at the base of the altar of sacrifice and some of it was brought into the Holy Place to be sprinkled seven times before the veil. This blood that carried sin now transmitted the sin to the sanctuary and defiled it. The other way that sin entered the sanctuary was when the priest ate the flesh of the animals in the Holy Place (see Leviticus 10:17-18).

By accepting the sinner’s sins into the sanctuary, God resolved the sin problem for the sinner but brought it into His sanctuary. The sprinkling of the blood on the veil is the equivalent of forgiven sins being recorded in the books in heaven. The sanctuary received the sins until they could be placed on the head of the one ultimately responsible for sin: Satan. In the Hebrew Day of Atonement the scapegoat Azazel represented Satan.

Once a year the sanctuary needed to be cleansed from all the defilement and uncleanness that had accumulated over the year. The blood and the eating of sacrificed flesh by the priest transferred the sins of God’s people to the sanctuary, and they needed to be blotted out. That was the priest’s mission on the Day of Atonement. The ceremony of the Day of Atonement is fully described in Leviticus 16. Four animals were to be ready for that day:

  • First, a bull to be offered in atonement for the sins of the priest and his family.
  • Second, a ram was to be burned as a burnt offering.
  • Third, there were two kid goats. The high priest would cast lots upon the goats to decide which goat would serve which function. One goat was to be a sin sacrifice to the Lord. That goat would make atonement for the sins of the children of Israel. The other goat would become the “scapegoat” that would symbolically bear the sins of the children of Israel on its head and be loosed in the wilderness, thus taking the sins out of the sanctuary.

The priest would kill the bull that would atone for his sins and his family’s. Then he would come into the Holy Place, change into his priestly attire made of linen, and take a censer full of burning coals and incense. Very cautiously he would move into the Most Holy Place. The smoke of the incense would conceal the mercy seat so that the priest wouldn’t be consumed by the Lord’s wrath. Let’s read directly from Leviticus 16:14-19:

“He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. 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. 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.

There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel.  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. 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 16:14-19).

After all this was done, it was time for the scapegoat ceremony. An important detail to note here is that the scapegoat did not make atonement for sin. We saw that only blood can make atonement for sin. It was the goat that was sacrificed as a sin offering that made atonement for sin. Although Leviticus 16:10 says that the scapegoat would make atonement for sin, what that means is that the scapegoat was to carry sin away from the sanctuary, the sins that had been forgiven.

Let’s pick up again in Leviticus 16:20-22:

“And when he (the priest) has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 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 (the KJV says “a fit man”, we’ll come back to that later).  The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness”.

What was really happening here? Why was the Day of Atonement so important in the life of the children of Israel? It was a day of judgment for the children of Israel. If they were found worthy their sins were being blotted out from the sanctuary. Only the sins that were atoned for meaning forgiven would be blotted out.

The Duty of the Congregation

If we continue reading Leviticus 16:29-31 we find out that the congregation had a duty to perform:

“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.  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. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls”.

Let’s read a couple of verses from Leviticus 23 to understand the solemnity of this day: “For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.  And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings” (Leviticus 23:29-31).

This is telling us that the blotting out of sins was not a blanket pardon for everyone. Forgiveness was not granted automatically. The priest and the people had to co-labor for the forgiveness of sins. Only those who were fasting and praying and searching their souls would have their sins blotted out. Those who didn’t care, who didn’t do their part, their sins would go back upon their own heads. They would be cut off from the rest of the congregation. They would be destroyed. Death would be their portion.

The priest’s tunic had beautiful pomegranates and bells sown onto a blue ribbon all around the hem. When the priest penetrated into the Most Holy Place the congregation could no longer see him. They listened intently for the bells that tinkled every time the high priest moved. The tinkling of the bells indicated that the priest was still alive. They only saw the priest again when he re-emerged through the Holy Place back into the court to place the sins of the people on the head of the scapegoat. There would be a great sigh of relief from the congregation that the work was finished.

The Anti-typical Day of Atonement

We just learned the role and the importance of the Day of Atonement in the spiritual life of the children of Israel. Now we’re going to fast-forward to the year 1844, year in which was fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 8:14. We’re told that in a vision Daniel overheard a conversation between two holy beings, one of them was most likely Jesus, and the other one was an angel, most likely Gabriel: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed”.

In our last study we learned that the 2300 days were actually years (in prophecy a day equals a year, called the year-day principle). We count 2300 years from the year 457 B.C. and that takes us to the Day of Atonement of the year 1844. So we know when the prophecy would be fulfilled. But what was this vision referring to? We find the answer in Daniel 7. Let’s read:

“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9-10).

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

Two things are being described here:

  • First, the beginning of the judgment. “The judgment was set” (meaning the court did sit) and “the books were opened”. This took place on the Day of Atonement of the year 1844.
  • Second, Jesus comes into the Most Holy Place into the presence of the Father to receive the kingdom: “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed”.

It’s very interesting that the prophet Isaiah also prophesied the way in which Jesus would receive the kingdom. Listen to this:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

So according also to Isaiah, Jesus’ kingdom would be established with judgment and with justice. He takes possession of His kingdom in heaven by starting the work of judgment upon His people.

What was the purpose of the typical Day of Atonement? In other words, in ancient Israel we saw that the Day of Atonement served to cleanse the sanctuary from the defilement of the sins accumulated throughout the year. It also served another purpose, which was to decide whose sins would be forgiven and whose sins would not, based on the sincerity of their repentance.

Having said that, what is the purpose of the anti-typical, in other words, of the real Day of Atonement? This is the real thing, the real cleansing and the real judgment upon which ancient Israel’s Day of Atonement was patterned. The Hebrew feast only symbolized and pointed forward to this greater heavenly reality called the Final Judgment.

The Final Judgment actually takes place in phases. The judgment that started in heaven in 1844 is the first phase of the Final Judgment. We’re living in that phase today. The first phase is called “the Investigative Judgment” and it only concerns God’s people.

When we’re saved, when we accept Jesus as Lord and are baptized or otherwise profess to be Christians, our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. During the first phase, the Investigative Judgment, only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be called to appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

The goal is to determine whose sins will be blotted out from the sanctuary – meaning they will be granted forgiveness and salvation – and whose sins will not be erased – meaning they won’t be granted forgiveness and won’t be saved. Those whose sins are forgiven will go to heaven with Jesus. Those whose sins are not erased will pay in themselves the penalty for their sins. And we know that the wages of sin is death.

During the Investigative Judgment the wheat is separated from the tares based on what is written in the books. There are tares in the church as well as ministers of unrighteousness. The judgment is the end-time harvest: the earth is actually reaped before Jesus comes. Those who are not true commandment-keeping Christians won’t make it to heaven. The Book of Revelation is very clear about that.

Judgment begins in the House of God

Why are God’s people the only ones being examined in the first phase of the judgment? For several reasons:

  1. The scripture says “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17). According to 1 Timothy 3:15 the house of God is the church.
  2. Jesus says in Revelation 22:12: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be”. When Jesus comes back to the earth He will bring His reward with Him. Therefore the judgment must take place before He comes so that He can bring that reward with him.
  3. The inhabitants of heaven need to be reassured that the saved are truly worthy of being saved and will be able to live peacefully in heaven without rebellion arising a second time.
  4. Jesus took possession of His kingdom, meaning His subjects. He needs to perform a work of judgment to know whose are really His and whose are pretending to be His but are not. Only those who are proven in the judgment to be truly faithful to Him will be taken to heaven when He returns.

The basis of the judgment

There are two kinds of “books” in heaven that are written about us: the Lamb’s Book of Life and the books that contain the records of our lives.

If we profess to be Christians our name appears in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That book contains the name of every believer that ever lived and that is alive today. When our cases are examined in heaven by the record of our words and deeds contained in the books, our names may be confirmed in the Book of Life if we’re found worthy, or they could be blotted out if we’re found wanting.

How do we know that names can be blotted out? In Exodus 32:32, when Moses was interceding on behalf of the children of Israel, Moses said to the Lord: “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” So it’s possible for names that have been written in the Book of Life to be blotted out in the judgment if they’re found not worthy.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). We “stand before the judgment seat of God” by the record of our lives that’s kept in heaven.

God keeps a record in heaven of our deeds, words, thoughts and secret things. This is why Daniel 7:10 says “the books were opened”. The recording angels observe us constantly and write everything they observe in the books.

On what basis are we being judged? Let’s go to the Book of Revelation. Revelation 11:15 describes what happens right before Jesus prepares to come to the earth, immediately after the angel sounds the seventh trumpet. Jesus had already been given the kingdom, as we read earlier in Daniel 7. But here His kingdom is proclaimed in heaven by the angels and the 24 Elders with loud voices. Listen to the last verse in Revelation 11: “Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail” (Revelation 11:19).

The door to the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the Ark of the Covenant was seen. What was seen in the Ark? The Ten Commandments. Woe to those who say that we no longer need to keep the Ten Commandments, that they’ve been nailed to the cross. Right before Jesus comes back to get His people those same Ten Commandments are seen in heaven.

Do you still think they’re no longer relevant? Do you believe they’re obsolete? I don’t think so! Exodus 31:18 tells us that God Himself wrote the two tablets of the law with His own finger. In the verses directly preceding Exodus 31:18, God is giving the Sabbath commandment to His people, saying that they’re a sign between Him and His people forever. For the endtime generation the obedience test will be the Sabbath. And the Sabbath commandment is right in the middle of the ten.

The End of the Atonement Ceremony and the Close of Probation

Let’s review now how the judgment or the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary ends. When Jesus is done performing judgment on His people the angels will know who are the elect they’ll be gathering up from the four corners of the earth. Mark 13:27 says: “And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven”.

When will this work be finished? The Bible says that only the Father knows.

Jesus the High Priest then comes back out of the Holy of Holies through the Holy Place and stands at the outer door of the Holy Place. He takes the sins of all those who were found worthy and whose names were confirmed in the Book of Life are places them, symbolically, on Satan’s head. (I say symbolically because Satan is on earth and the Day of Atonement ceremony is taking place in heaven).

This is what the Azazel scapegoat ceremony in the Old Testament pointed to. Let’s read from Leviticus 16:21: “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness”. Jesus will do the same with our sins.

The placing of the sins of the righteous upon Satan’s head is absolutely critical and indispensable to the completion of the Plan of Salvation. Jesus’ death on the cross was only Part 1, and it also pointed forward to the ultimate crushing of Satan’s head by the weight of the sins of the righteous. It’s not a coincidence that Jesus died in Golgotha, which means “place of the skull”. The prophecy of Genesis 3:15 is at long last fulfilled:

“And I will put enmity

Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

The sins of those who were found wanting and those who took the mark of the beast return upon their own heads. There is no atonement for those sins. The blood of Jesus won’t cover those sins. Therefore they need to pay for their own sins, meaning they must die, for the wages of sin is death.

After Jesus has disposed of the sins of the righteous upon Satan’s head, the sanctuary will be closed. There will be no more intercession for sin. The sanctuary is closed for human intercession, and the door only opens to let the plague angels out carrying the vials of God’s wrath.

“And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” (Revelation 15:5-8).

At this point whoever is saved remains saved and whoever is lost remains lost. Jesus now changes into kingly garments – different from the priestly garments – and starts the journey back to earth with the clouds of angels.

The Second Coming of Jesus

The wicked will be consumed by the fire of his breath and will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

No human being will remain on the planet. Between the effects of the plagues and the second coming, the earth will go back to its pre-creation state, without form and void. “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light” (Jeremiah 4:23).

The earth is totally devastated. This is very well described in Isaiah 24, a chapter referred to as the little apocalypse of the Old Testament. “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof: (Isaiah 24:1). Let’s read this other passage in Isaiah 24 – a very good summary of what will happen when Jesus comes back:

“Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.

And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.

The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.

The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.

And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited” (Isaiah 24:17-22).

What exactly will happen to Satan? A strong angel will bind Satan to the earth so that he can’t escape. Remember that we read in Leviticus 16 that “a fit man” would conduct the goat into the wilderness? Well, the expression “fit man” is used a couple of times in 1 Chronicles, referring to men of war ready for the battle, fit for the battle. This fit man – a strong angel – will probably have to wrestle Satan to the ground who won’t give in that easily.

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Revelation 20:1-3).

Satan has no more people to deceive. He and his fallen angels will have 1000 years to contemplate the fruits of their rebellion against God.

The wicked are all dead, their corpses strewn across the earth. While God’s people are taken up to heaven for the marriage supper with the Lamb, the wicked will be supper for the vultures. What happens with the righteous is precious and beautiful. That’s what we’ll learn in our next program when we consider the last feast, the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Duty of the Last Generation

Our generation has the highest calling of any generation before us. We will see Jesus come in the clouds of glory. Those who have received the seal of God will say: “This is our God. We have waited for Him and He shall save us” (Isaiah 25:9). Those who have taken the mark of the beast “… said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:16).

What is our duty as the last generation? How do we prepare for that great test of faith? that great test of obedience? How do we make sure that we’ll be counted among the righteous? The season we’re in calls for a certain tone, a certain sound of the trumpet. We’re living in a very solemn time. This doesn’t mean we need to fast every day or be heavyhearted. But we need to be engaged in sincere soul-searching and constant prayer.

Have we confessed every sin? Just as importantly, have we forsaken every sin? Are we living holy lives? Are we keeping the Ten Commandments? Jesus said: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Obedience is a key criterion for salvation. You can’t sin your way into the kingdom.

We also need to redeem the time because the days are evil. Are we about the Father’s business? Are we taking every opportunity to witness to others? Are we partnering with the Holy Spirit and the angels to bring others to the knowledge of the truth? Do we ourselves have the love of the truth? Or are we believing “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16)? Are we drunk on the wine of Babylon? Are we seduced by false prophets and false teachers?

God’s remnant people have no guile in their mouths. They have been entrusted with a very important mission: to proclaim the Three Angels’ Messages of the Book of Revelation Chapter 14. That’s the gospel for this season. The Three Angels’ Message is the fall message. There’s nothing wrong with teaching about Jesus and the cross. But it’s not enough.

The Three Angels’ Messages in Revelation 14 say:

  1. First Angel: Worship God the Creator – the Creator is worshipped on the Sabbath, which was given in memorial of creation. It also says that the hour of God’s judgment has come. This first message clearly links the Sabbath with the judgment (Revelation 14:7).
  2. Second Angel: Babylon is fallen because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (Revelation 14:8). Babylon gave the nations wine to drink: her wine is spiritual deception and false teachings. She is an adulterous church, an apostate church. “and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Revelation 18:2).
  3. Third Angel: Revelation 14:9-11 warns of the terrible consequences of taking the mark of the beast. Those who take the mark of the beast will receive the full wrath of God, without any mercy. The worst curses in the entire Bible will fall upon them who choose to worship the beast.

Human beings were created to worship God. He intended for us to live with Him throughout all eternity. Sin disrupted that plan, and separated us from the presence of God. There is no greater desolation for human beings than to be eternally separated from the presence of God.

In His infinite mercy, from the foundation of the world, the Lord put in place the Plan of Redemption. The redemption story is told in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Every prophecy is fulfilled. Every manner of divine assistance is provided that we may be saved. The redemption story is the most beautiful love story ever told. We only have to choose to be saved.

Right now, Jesus our High Priest is in the Holy of Holies of the Heavenly Sanctuary. As He moves about, interceding on our behalf and performing the work of judgment, the bells on the hem of His robe tinkle. Do you hear them? Will you be prepared when your name is called?

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