Wednesday: On The Day of Atonement
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“Thus in the ministration of the tabernacle, and of the temple that afterward took its place,

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

the people were taught each day the great truths relative to Christ’s death and ministration, and once each year their minds were carried forward to the closing events of The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, the final purification of the universe from sin and sinners.”—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 358.

Read Leviticus 16:29-31 and 23:27-32. What did God expect the Israelites to do on Yom Kippur? How do these principles apply to us today, living as we are in what has been called the “antitypical Day of Atonement”?

If someone in ancient Israel did not follow these instructions, he was to be cut off and destroyed (Lev. 23:29-30). The Day of Atonement was truly about nothing less than life and death. It demanded the believer’s complete loyalty to God.

Imagine that someone had confessed his sins during the first phase of atonement during the year; that is, the daily sacrifices, but then did not take the Day of Atonement seriously. By his disregard of what God had planned to demonstrate on this day, such a person proved himself to be disloyal to God.

What this means is that a person who professes faith in God can still lose salvation. As Seventh-day Adventists, we do not believe in once-saved-always-saved, because the Bible does not teach it. We are secure in Christ just as long as we live in faith, and we surrender to Him, claiming His power for victory when tempted and His forgiveness when we fall.

Read Matthew 18:23-35. What lesson should we take away from this powerful parable?

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Wednesday: On The Day of Atonement — 19 Comments

  1. The church of the antitypical day of atonement of which we are a part ought to manifest a selfless spirit and reveal expressions of self-sacrificing love, born of a desire to be like our Savior, and in honor of the Supreme Sacrifice.

    Given the well documented cases of abject poverty, starvation, uncontrolled diseases, lack of basic resources, illiteracy, etc. among people groups in Africa, Asia, South America and elsewhere can we be comfortable with our stewardship and benevolence in this solemn time? Are we like our high priest touched with the feeling of the conditions of the destitute? Are we burdened with the clear and present needs of others, sufficient to divert our next planned treat to the relief of suffering? ADRA and other humanitarian agencies are waiting to facilitate...

    Sometimes the question arises why does God allow so much suffering? Might Jehovah ask of us, why do we allow it? We do not need to be rich, just willing to sacrifice, to transfer a little of the suffering of others to ourselves, so that they might be set at liberty. To the extent we are better positioned than any other in real need we have an obligation. Daily we ought to pray for bowels of mercy, and really mean it.

    Above all the sanctuary services and the day of atonement are about becoming like Christ by His enabling, as we behold Him. Salvation is about the restoration of the moral image of God in man by divine power. We are to be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Does Jesus care? Yes, Yes, Yes! Well then, do we? How much?

    Like(15)
    • Hugh, we often perceive of the suffering of other "people groups" because they don't have all the amenities that we have. But, when we visit these people, we find they are blissful in their poverty and ignorance. Perhaps they are the ones who are living in peace and sincerity, and we westerners with our shiny cars, computers, cell phones and tablets are the ones who are in poverty and suffering. Perhaps their struggle for survival is the greatest blessing they have which is something that the average western man, woman or child cannot even conceptualize!

      Like(11)
      • [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

        No one lives in peace and security in this world whether in city or in rural area, poor or rich. Everyone is blessed with different environment and situation, there is no greater blessing for city or rural survival. Things happen to city guy as well as rural poor fellows, both need helps, however, the rural will suffer more if thing happen like tsunami or earthquake, they don't have the basic amenities to reinstate quickly.

        Like(0)
    • Jesus is health for the abuse we suffer as a christians, He was so abused that understands our life, His grace is working in our life.

      Like(1)
  2. Oh what a privilege!
    Oh what a Savior!
    Oh what love divine!
    Oh what a Redeemer!
    Lead us home Father,lest we fall upon the wayside,lead us safely home.
    Child you are forgiven,forgiven and free!!!
    Hallelujah,Praise the Lord.Glad tidings of great joy!

    Like(13)
  3. My comment or rather question, comes from tuesday's lesson. From the text in Jeremiah 31:34, God says that He will forgive us our iniquities and remember our sins no more. The question in the lesson asks on the importance of us forgetting our sins and it's relevance to our salvation. My question is how do we forget our sin? What does "forgetting" mean in this context? Does it mean to wipe from memory or to let go of the guilt of the sin? I would really appreciate any help on this matter... Thank you.

    Like(3)
    • May I try to suggest to you Mercy, that you have to accept fully what the word says there is no middle ground. The text state He will remember our sins no more. We just have to accept that and rest it

      Like(0)
    • God says in the Bible "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins" (Isaiah 43:25 Heb. 8:12; 10:17).
      God chooses not to remember our sins. He chooses never to bring them up again. He doesn't forget because He cannot, but He doesn't remember them either; that is, He will never bring them up again. Why? Because they have been forgiven in His Son Jesus.
      This is why, when you read Hebrews 11, you will see a listing of great people of faith: Abraham, Moses, David, etc. Yet, none of their sins are listed even though they were sinners. Why? Because God remembers their sins no more.
      One other point: Jesus told us to forgive as the Father has forgiven us (Eph. 4:32). If someone does something wrong against you, then later asks for forgiveness and you forgive him, you are never supposed to bring up that offense again ever! Maybe you won't ever forget the offense, but then again you can choose not to remember it. This is what forgiveness means for those of us who have been forgiven by Jesus.

      This is how i understand Mercy regarding your question.

      Like(0)
    • Hi Mercy,

      You ask some very good questions. I believe that we should take God's word literally both when He says that He will remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 10:17; Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 31:34) and when He commands us to forgive others as He forgives us (Matthew 6:14-15). Many people do not like this command to forgive AND forget because it seems so unnatural and impossible to do. And indeed, by our own power it is impossible. But with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

      I realize that many people agree that we must forgive but disagree that we must forget because, well that just doesn't seem fair or just. I would suggest that God asks us to do other things that may not make sense to us and are exceedingly difficult if not impossible by our own power (e.g., "love your enemies" Matthew 5:44). That does not negate nor diminish God's command.

      This topic has come up before on SSNET and it seems to me that many felt that while we should forgive, we were under no obligation to forget. I believe that stance is contrary to what the Bible says and to what God commands. Imagine the most horrendous sin (e.g., child abuse) that one refuses to “forget.” Do you honestly think we will be allowed to carry that memory around with us in heaven??? I think not.

      Even in the parable in Matthew 18:23-35, some might argue that the King “took back his forgiveness” (did not forget) and punished the debtor who refused to forgive his debtor. God does not renege since God cannot lie (e.g., Numbers 23:19). The unforgiving debtor was punished not for his old debt but for his new sin of unforgiveness.

      Forgive AND forget? Yes, that’s what God does for us and what He expects us to do for others… not by our strength, but by His.

      Blessings…

      Like(1)
      • I agree with you and thanks for the comments. I'm thinking also about forgetting the sin/sins that were/are/shall be done to us...and not forgetting them after we have forgiven them. Not forgetting, I believe leaves the door open for the enemy to get in for some of us. I have be sexually abused by several people from my childhood. Really, some of the abuse never comes to mind because I guess I have suspressed it...it being too painful to remember. But all of my absurers have died except one. I'm not sure if I will ever see him again-face to face which is ok with me, but I pray that if and when that happens I will be able to love him as though it never happened. The Lord blessed by allowing me to actually talk with and forgive one of my abusers before he past away about 2-3 months later. God is so good! I can only imagine what he had gone through in his life to commit such a thing. The way I see it---my affliction has been for my good. So now I praise God for it because through it,I have come to know that I have a savior that loves,accepts, and keeps me...nevering condemning me. So its for Him that I do the same for those that hurt or harm me (my brothers and sisters-His children also)It is a privilege to remember everything done to us as long as we know that the Lord has allowed it for this honor and glory---He knows what He is doing...May we trust Him with all our hearts!!!Prov.3

        Like(3)
        • God bless you Vicki. You are an example of why one of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28.

          "Faith is realizing that I am useful to God not in spite of my scars but because of them." — Pamela Reeve

          Like(1)
        • May God continue to bless you, Vicky, as you continue to walk in His ways.

          You have taken a healing approach. Before forgiving an abuser, it is necessary to "blame" the abuser - to recognize and acknowledge the wrong done. Only then can you forgive. (Pretending that nothing wrong happened does not prepare the way for forgiveness.)

          As for "forgetting," I think that would depend on the circumstances. Certainly God would not want you to place His property (that's you!!) back in a situation where you would be abused again. Thus you need to remember to stay out of the way of people who would or could abuse you.

          God asks us to forgive from the heart and we can do that only by His grace. But to forgive is not the same as to have amnesia. :)

          Like(0)
    • Mercy, I think you are on the right track when you suggest that we need to let go of the guilt of sin. When we confess our sins to Jesus, He forgives us and takes the responsibility for our sins on Himself. We need to trust Him that He actually does it, and that means letting go of the guilt.

      I believe it is important to remember from what Christ has rescued us. It is the foundation of our gratitude and love for Him.

      Like(1)
  4. Happy birthday William,
    Thank you very much to share with us.
    Comparing our selves with others on one hand can lead to improvement to
    a positive personal, on the other hand it can lead to disappointment.
    Salvation can only be achieved by walking with Jesus.

    Like(0)
  5. Thank Williams. I am one of those who grew up in poverty but today my life is fairly good. When I was poor I thought once I got the materials things of this world I will be over with Spiritual deficiency of this world. But alas. The fear of not getting a meal has gone but I am still even more insecure and unsatisfied like before. At least when I was poor I had hope that once I achieve decent material living I will be happy; now I don't even know what can make me happy except the hope of Second Coming of Jesus. The major problem is that we sometimes doubt it and when we do, life becomes even more empty. No wonder people commit serious crimes especially in the developed world and suicide in the rest. Lets pray that God can reveal himself to his people so that we can remain hopeful and hence comfortable.

    Like(3)
    • Hi Mercy!

      Have you experienced broken up by someone you love so much?

      Can you forget that person/experience even after you have forgiven him?

      To forgive and to forget seem to be impossible.

      To God, sins that are forgiven are forgotten. This is what is happening in heaven. He is blotting out every sin that is confessed and will never be used against your name in the judgment.

      On the other side, If you ask forgiveness, don't doubt. Believe that God has already forgiven you.

      Like(2)
  6. How can you advise people who emphasize only that GOD had finished all,they say that we are saved ,as our actions meaningless before our LORD?to what degree the two are necessary.thank you

    Like(0)

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