Cleansed from Iniquity

Day of Atonement 2021

(Sermon Notes)  By Warren Zehrung 9/16/2021

The Day of Atonement is the most solemn of the seven Feasts of the Lord.  

In today’s sermon we will be looking at the historical fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.  Who will be left on earth on that Day?

John the Baptist announced who bears away the sin – but this world in which we live still does not know it.  They do not realize their need for Jesus.

John 1:29  The next day John [the Baptist] saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, who bears away the sin of the world. 

Our take away:  It is Jesus who bears away the sin of the world – no one else.  Here, Isaiah is prophesizing of Jesus, the coming Messiah:

Isaiah 53:11  He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities

Isaiah 53:12  … He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. 

In both verses, it is Jesus who bares the sin of many—those who believe and repent.  In learning about what God has revealed to His Church concerning His Plan – we have found out that the Plan of God is revealed to us by the Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23).  And vice versa, the Feasts of the Lord teach us about God’s Plan.  

I thought it would be good to take a brief look at the historical fulfillments of each of God’s Holy Days.

Passover fulfilled:  A most somber day.

Jesus had the Old Testament Passover Meal with the disciples – followed by the institution of the New Testament Passover and Footwashing – where Jesus taught the apostles to serve others to the point of death – by laying down their lives.  After that, Jesus went over to the Mt of Olives practically alone – because all the apostles fell asleep.  Jesus was alone dying on the cross while 4 individuals looked on with John the beloved Mary, Jesus’ mother and three other ladies at the foot of the cross.)

The Feast of Unleavened Bread Fulfilled:

Jesus laid in the tomb as the High Day arrived. Three days later, Jesus was resurrected by His Father in exceeding great power during the Days of Unleavened Bread.  Witnessed by no one!  We was within a carved out stone tomb.  Appearing to the apostles.  We know that Jesus is the unleavened Bread of sincerity and Truth.

1Corinthians 5:8  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth

Pentecost fulfilled:

There are at least Three major historical fulfillments of Pentecost.  The giving of the Law on Mt Sinai.  The Church received the promise of the Father – God’s Holy Spirit:

Acts 1:4  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

Something truly extraordinary happened on that Pentecost there were many witnesses.  God’s Holy Spirit came upon the first 120 Church saints.  There were remarkable spectacles of sounds and languages to punctuate the fact that something truly breathtaking had occurred.  And looking forward, the coming Pentecost when the Church brethren will be resurrected and wed Jesus Christ

Feast of Trumpets fulfilled:

Jesus will return against evil rulers in high places(Revelation 19).  When the wrath of the Lamb is finished, there will be only a small percentage of this earth’s population left alive.

Day of Atonement fulfilled:

Jesus ended His 40 day fast at the conclusion of a Day of Atonement. Jesus began His public ministry. I think the fulfillment of Atonement will be a greater spectacle than Pentecost was – and of a glory and magnitude we cannot imagine.  What an incredible day that will be when mankind has obtained Godly reconciliation restored.  Once again mankind will have the opportunity to know and worship their true Creator God.  It’s critical to restore that relationship.

Everyone there at that yet future Day of Atonement will know that a singular event is taking place that will change the earth forever more. What will take place on that Day to mark that tenth day of the seventh month that will show the reconciliation of God and man in a brand new world?

Feast of tabernacles Fulfilled:

There will only be a relative few of the remnant Israelites at the start of the Millennium – the Kingdom of God on earth.

Last Great Day Fulfilled:

That Feast Day is still 1,000 years ahead.  Let’s come back to the present day:  This world thinks they are doing just fine – in need of nothing – not even the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  

In their minds, they do not need to repent of anything. So it will not matter how many pandemics, wars, and plagues come upon this earth as warnings to repent—the world’s population will not believe that they need to change to God’s way of doing things.

Today, when a child is born—he is bound to die.  God allotted 6,000 years for humanity to go its own way in order for man to learn the futility of his way of self-governance compared to the efficacy of God’s guidance in the issues affecting mankind.

That terrible curse of death that came upon mankind will be reversed when Atonement is fulfilled—and all through the Millennium children will be born with the hope of life.

We are fasting today to draw near to God.  We want to see things as He does.  The closer we are to Him—the more we will be able to become like Him.  We choose to submit to God in obedience to His Way and His Truth.  

James 4:8  Draw near to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Title: Be cleansed of iniquity.  The Day of Atonement is the most solemn of the seven Feasts of the Lord.

Adam and Eve in their innocence and naiveté were instructed by their Creator God to look to, and trust in Him as the source of all Godly wisdom. Indeed, it was Jesus Christ who taught them His way of Life.  In their innocence, Adam and Eve were given a choice to make.

Had they chosen the Tree of Life, they would have received God’s Holy Spirit which leads to eternal life.  But they took of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – which broke their relationship with God and they separated themselves from God, and which ultimately led to their death.

Brethren, let’s not fool ourselves – we would have made the same mistake.  We are weak.  Satan is cunning.  When Adam sinned, it constituted the foundation of this present evil world.  From the foundation of the world, God knew that it would take Jesus Christ to bear the iniquity of the entire world.  God Himself would bring about the reconciliation.

Ephesians 1:3-4 God the Father has chosen us – – in our Lord Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: (1Peter 1:19-21, Revelation 13:8)

God the Father had to willingly yield up — that is literally sacrifice His only Son. Jesus had to die—in order for man to have access to God and to eternal life (Revelation 13:8)

There was a momentous choice set before Adam and Eve.  God allowed them to choose their family tree—by deciding for themselves who their father would be. God presented the choice of life or death to them.

The Fall of Man resulted in – not only his eviction from the Garden of Eden – but the assurance of death (Genesis 2:17).  Now the separation is very clear, and mankind is cut off from God and cut off from the Holy Spirit.  

When it comes to Atonement, the Church is different from the world.  The timing is differentfor us.  We in God’s Church received our reconciling atonement through Jesus Christ’s offering of Himself on Passover.  

We Christians received our reconciling atonement when we were called, granted repentance, had faith in Jesus sacrifice, and were baptized.

When we were imbued with God’s Holy Spirit – we were reconciled to the Father.  It is a great thing – we have access to the throne of the father. Paul said it this way:

Hebrews 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 

For Christians, we normally think of Passover in terms of being reconciled to God.  I bring it up here because Passover and Atonement are inextricably bound.  Passover involves reconciliation, so does Atonement.

At Passover, Jesus eradicated our sin, redeemed us, and delivered us from sin’s bondage, and reconciled us to the Father (Titus 2:14, Colossians 1:14).  Passover’s great salvational work is for all of mankind, but is being utilized by converted Christians alone.  The world needs Atonement – before it can enter the Millennium.  With our calling and conversion, a major change takes place in us.

2Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 


2Corinthians 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation

Reconciliation is not only for the Church – but eventually – the entire world.  We are sinners.  We moved away from God.  The separation is entirely our fault.  Nevertheless, God Himself, in order to accommodate us, makes the first move toward reconciliation and He sacrificed His Son in order that reconciliation could be possible.

Again, notice:

2Corinthians 5:19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation

This great gift of reconciliation is given to us so freely that God removes the blame from us – “not imputing their trespasses unto them.”  Our Father allows Jesus to entirely bear away the sin of the world. 

2Corinthians 5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 

2Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that wemight be made the righteousness of God in Him

Reconciliation is not instantaneous – it takes a lot of work on our part. Reconciliation is an ongoing process, and its objective is that we become the righteousness of God—that we become like God—that we become righteous, as God is righteous, as Jesus Christ is righteous.

Destruction followed the sin of Adam and Eve.They were thrust from the Garden of Eden. God the Father and Jesus Christ knew that only a great sacrifice of Godly proportions could save mankind. Together, God the Father and Jesus Christ each agreed to make that inestimable sacrifice.  God the Father would yield His Son to be slain, and Jesus, would give His life.  Only Jesus Christ – the Creator and Owner of all things – was worthy to pay the price of all sin and iniquity.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

John 3:17  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.

The world thinks it understands these verses – but they do not.  Just as Jesus Christ loved us while we were enemies, we, too, have to love the brethrenfirst. It takes humility to do this—willingly submitting ourselves to God.

Passover’s counterpart in the Plan of God is the Day of Atonement.  Atonement’s great salvational work will be for all the world. The Day of Atonement pictures the world receiving this same salvational cleansing that the Church received at Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.  

This present evil world does not enjoy access to God the Father.  Paul explains that converted Christians are now reconciled to God the Father.

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 

Romans 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 

Romans 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 

Romans 5:11  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the [reconciling] atonement

The Temple veil was rent in two, showing that wenow have direct access to the Father (Matthew27:51, Hebrews 9:3, Hebrews 10:19).

Jesus atoning sacrifice has been applied to the converted, called out ones – but not yet to this world.  We in God’s Church have been atoned for – and have direct access to God the Father.  The world, living in sin, has not yet been atoned for.

Spiritual cleansing leading to salvation must be made available to the men and women of all the world, beginning with those surviving the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord, the remnant of Israel. (Revelation 7, 12,000 from each tribe.)

God will grant repentance to the remnantIsraelites returning to Jerusalem just as He granted us repentance when we were called.  There will be the Highway of Holiness bringing all men unto Him (Isaiah 11:6).  Those returning from captivity will be young people – child bearing age.  They will probably use Personnel Carriers – the troop transports will be left behind by a defeated enemy.

Joel 2:9  They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in [”thru the windows leap”] like a thief. 

There will be drones and equipment by the multiple millions left over from the 200,000,000 man army.

Last week we were all reminded of 9/11/2001 and of people wandering – dazed in the streets – covered with thick ash to where they were having the life chocked out of them.  It will be just like that on a worldwide scale.

A spectacular day (not just hunger pangs like from today’s fasting) – they will be familiar with hunger and cold like in the Nazi Germany’s extermination camps / death camps in WWII in the Holocaust.

Those young Israelites will resemble the victims ofAuschwitzBirkenau (the camp of annihilation, where over a million Jews were brutally killed), Treblinka, Bełżec, Chełmno, Mauthausen, Dachau, and Buchenwald and others…

There can be no reconciliation unless there is repentance, and there can be no repentance without belief in God—first of all that God exists and secondly that His word is true.  Certainly, the remnant survivors are going to have to go through the same processes of repenting and growing in Godly character, just as we do.

The repentance, followed by God’s forgiveness, and reconciliation we Christians received at our calling is typical of what the remnant will be going through at the fulfillment of Atonementand during the Millennium and what people are going to be going through when they come up in that second resurrection at the Great White Throne Judgment.

These remnant survivors will be the most excellent and unique group of physical individuals God has ever called, selected, and assembled at one time. The elect remnant will be the survivors of the Tribulation and the first people who walked in darkness to see the great light: they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined.

Isaiah 9:2  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 

Those of the remnant Israelites returning to the Promised Land will have come to see the light, and begun to choose God’s way of excellence. It will have become abundantly clear to them that this world’s society has brought nothing but chaos and misery. For the first time, they will begin to believe that Jesus Christ will usher in an entirely new set of moral standards in His coming Kingdom:

The Feast of Trumpets was fulfilled on the first day of the seventh month.  Ten days later (perhaps 10 years – but I don’t think so) only God knows. The fulfillment of Atonement will be a most glorious reunification – effecting all humanity left alive after the Tribulation.  

2Corinthians 3:11  For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious.

Atonement will take place in the time setting between Christ’s return on the Feast of Trumpets, and the Feast of Tabernacles.  Tabernaclesdepicts the establishment of God’s Kingdom beginning with the Millennial Kingdom of God.

Jeremiah 33:7  And I will cause [those of] the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 

Title from here:

Jeremiah 33:8  And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 

Jeremiah 33:9  And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honor before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. 

How will Christ’s cleansing of the nations take place?  Jesus applies His sacrifice to all men.  In the same way that Jesus cloaked the meaning of parables from the public, significant happenings on the Day of Atonement are not readily available to the world (Matthew 13:13-15). God deliberately follows His Plan to a T on His Holy Days – or better yet, down to very last jot and tittle (Matthew 5:18).

Fasting on the Day of Atonement is not an exercise of physical hunger, but a spiritual reminder of Christian humility.  Atonement is a spiritual Feast Day – without physical food or drink.  The Lord says:

Isaiah 58:1  Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. 

Show my people their transgression – that is a part of the Gospel message.  God says, here is what the people think:

Isaiah 58:2  Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. 

Brethren, understand that the religions of this world only “play church” in approaching God. Rhetorically, the people wonder why their prayers are not answered by God:

Isaiah 58:3  Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge?

God answers them that they only want to have fun on His Holy Days

Isaiah 58:3  cont. Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors[Work as usual]

God answers them that they when they fast – they do so self-righteously to get the best of others.

Isaiah 58:4  Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: [Then God says that is not the correct approach] Ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. 

God says you are fasting only to get your own way.

Isaiah 58:5  Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? [exercise in hunger pains?] is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? 

God says to the people, “You miss the whole point of fasting.”  God says this is the way to fast.  Be a peacemaker.

Isaiah 58:6  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 

What does Jesus mean, “Loose the bands of wickedness?”

Brethren, there are many who warm a seat at services every Sabbath who will not be at the fulfillment of Atonement because they will not be qualified.  They will not be in the first resurrection, and they will not be in the Millennium.  They attend in God’s churches around the world today!

They hold grudges, they refuse to reconcile, they take every opportunity to exercise their one-upmanship, they engage in verbal putdowns of humble brethren who only wish to fellowship with other Godly brethren.  They have their exclusive bunch – their clique that does not welcome others – their small group of people who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.

3John 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, received us not

Even the beloved apostle John was barred fromthe church door.

3John 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbids them that would receive the brethren, and casts them out of the church. 

Brethren, it is happening this day!

3John 1:11  Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil, hath not seen God. 

God says this is the way to fast.  Be generous and giving to the needy.

Isaiah 58:7  Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou see the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 

Isaiah 58:8  Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy guardian

God says, “Don’t be accusatory” – blaming others for your problems:

Isaiah 58:9  Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, and stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!, and speaking vanity; 

Isaiah 58:10  And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: 

We see world conditions at the great Day ofAtonement and going into the Millennium:

Isaiah 58:11  And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 

Isaiah 58:12  And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 

Christ’s sacrifice late on Passover day both sealed the Covenant and fulfilled the meaning of the Day of Atonement—cleansing from sin.  The Feasts of Passover and Atonement are distinguished by when the blood of Christ is applied to the Church of the first resurrection, and when the blood of Christ will be applied to the balance of mankindthat will live in the Millennium and in the second resurrection at the Last Great Day.

1John 2:2 Jesus is the propitiation [atonement] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

The Day of Atonement pictures the cleansing from sin and the reconciliation of all mankind – the entire world – to God.

2Corinthians 5:19 God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.

The Day of Atonement is to the entire world what Passover is to the called, chosen and faithful Christians.  As a reminder, let me issue a caveat here:

To make Satan’s being bound and carrying our sins[which he does not] the focus of Atonement wouldremove our personal responsibility for sin, and the absolute need for what only God can provide—the resurrection to life.

Only Jesus Christ can expunge our sins.  Yes, Satan will be bound for a thousand years on the Day of Atonement just prior to the start of the Millennium. Once Satan is bound, God’s Kingdom of peace may be formally established on earth.  That is why Satan hates Atonement and tries to deceive people by interjecting himself into the meaning of the Holy Day.

That binding of Satan on the Day of Atonement fulfilled will be the second time that Jesus overcomes over him (Luke 4:12, Revelation 20:2). Then, the final time that Jesus will overcome Satan is when Satan is dispatched forever! (Revelation 20:10).  All three of Satan’s defeats occur on the Day of Atonement.

The Day of Atonement pictures two things Jesus does for us: He paid the price of sin for us; andHe removes the guilt of sin from us.

God the Father declares us innocent of all charges. In God’s eyes, we are completely innocent and exonerated before the High Court of heaven. That is how clean Passover leaves a Christian, and, that is how clean the Day of Atonement will render mankind. It is Jesus who shows up in the highcourt of heaven as our Advocate, and not Satan, our Adversary.

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered [in sacrifice] to bear the sins of many. [Jesus Christ was raised from death for our salvation.]

The Day of Atonement will see all mankind cleansed of iniquity, and their ultimate reconciliation to God the Father.

End:  Cleansed from Iniquity