DUTY OF GOD'S PEOPLE IN THE DAY OF ATONEMENT AND IN VIEW OF THE TIME OF TROUBLE

Anyone who will study the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel with an open heart, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach them, will find that since 1844, we have been living in the 'anti-typical' day of atonement. The time in which Jesus as our High Priest, is judging the world with the Father, seeking to blot out our sins. So this page is to explore the duty of God's people during this time of judgment. Further down the page we will also explore the duty of God's people in view of the soon coming time of trouble. But first, let us look at the text dealing with the typical day of atonement in the Old Testament:

Leviticus 23:26-32 ...'And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.'

While the literal feast days containing animal sacrifices of the old covenant have been fulfilled in Christ and are no longer binding upon God's people today, God still requires the same heart service and sacrifice today, just as He did from His ancient people. Even though the congregation was responsible as a whole for sins committed by certain persons, as in the case of Achan in Joshua 7, we can see from verses 29-30 above that God did not save the congregation as a whole, but salvation was an individual work.

Leviticus 23:29 ...'For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.'

How many people in the churches today think they are safe because they are a member of a particular church? How many think ..."As long as I am with God's people, I will be fine."? How many people today follow the teachings of their church, rather than studying for themselves? Were not many of the ancient Jews destroyed through sin, even though they were "with God's people" and a "member of God's church"? Each person will answer for himself before God in the judgment and will not be able to rely upon other people or their church.

So what is the first lesson? We need to stop trusting in our church membership, thinking we are safe as part of a certain group. We need to stop blindly following the teachings of our church or church leaders and we must start cultivating a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our only means of salvation and truth! - Please see our page - WE ARE COMPLETE IN CHRIST

There are two things that will happen in the judgment. Either our sins will be blotted out of the record books and 'laid upon the scapegoat' (Leviticus 16:20-22), or our sins will remain upon us and our names will be blotted out of the book of life (Revelation 3:5). And just as there were requirements placed upon ancient Israel during the typical day of atonement - those requirements, in a spiritual sense, are required of God's people today, during the great anti-typical day of atonement - the investigative judgment, which has been ongoing since 1844. Those requirements, as we can see from Leviticus 23 above, were 1 - "ye shall afflict your souls." 2 - "offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord." 3 - "ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement." So let us examine these three requirements and apply them to today.

YE SHALL AFFLICT YOUR SOULS - Each person was to afflict their soul, or 'humble and search their heart.' For what purpose was this? Well, think about the event. It was the day of atonement, when the sins of the people were to be forever separated from them. So this is to do with separation from sin. King David said the following in Psalm 139:

Psalm 139:23-24 ...'Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.'

David was asking God to reveal any sin in him, so that he could forsake it and be 'led in the way everlasting.' This was what ancient Israel were to do during the day of atonement - to be sorrowful for their sin and to seek that the Lord would reveal and remove their sin. And so God seeks this of His people today. We should be deeply afflicted and sorrowful for our sins, knowing what it cost the Father and His Son to redeem us.

Psalm 38:17-18 ...'For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.'

Proverbs 28:13 ...'He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.'

Psalm 51:1-2 ...'Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.'

And what did Leviticus say above about those who did NOT afflict their souls over their sin? They were to be "cut off" from the people. And the same will happen to us today if we are not afflicted over our sins. This is a serious matter!

We should spend much time in prayer, as this is connected with afflicting our souls, seeking for the Lord to not just forgive us of our sins, but to REMOVE them from our lives. This is so important, because as Revelation 21:8 and Revelation 22:14-15 reveal, those who continue to live in sin, not being sorrowful for sin, not afflicting their souls before the Lord and not gaining that victory over sin through faith in Jesus Christ, will NOT enter the kingdom. Their names shall be blotted out of the book of life.

"The individual who realizes that the judgment is going on in the heavenly sanctuary, and that his name will surely be presented before that great tribunal, will search his heart and pray earnestly that God will accept him. We need often to meditate upon the work of our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, lest by having the mind filled with earthly thoughts, we, like the foolish virgins, will find when too late that the bridegroom has come, the door is shut; that the work is finished, and we have no part in it." (S.N.Haskell, The Cross and its Shadow, 1914, p.223)

So this is a time of putting away of sin so that we are ready to dwell in that most holy place of God's heavenly kingdom. And this is achieved only through dying to self and allowing Christ to dwell within, so that He can cleanse us of all sin. Let us 'afflict our souls' and seek the Lord's sanctifying presence - Please see our page CHRIST AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS for more on this.

But let us not think of ourselves only. For in Christ dwells a deep love for others. So we not only need to put away our own sins, walking in the Spirit of Christ, so that we don't fulfil the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). We also need to lovingly warn others, so that they too can be saved from their sins.

Jude 1:22-23 ...'And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.'

James 5:19-20 ...'Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.'

OFFER AN OFFERING MADE BY FIRE - The offerings that ancient Israel made were consumed by fire on the altar. In the anti-type we do not offer burnt offerings of bullocks and rams; but God expects us to fulfil this in making a complete sacrificial offering of our lives to Him, so that we can be ready to be used as the Lord directs.

Luke 10:27 ...'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.'

How little the above command is obeyed by professed Christians today. The majority of professed Christians excuse their rejection of the ten commandments, especially the 4th, by quoting the above Bible verse and saying "it is all about love now." Yes! But what kind of love is Jesus speaking about above? He is telling us that God will only accept the ENTIRE surrender of heart, mind and life to Him. How many professed Christians in the world today have surrendered their lives entirely to the Lord? Look at what the apostle Paul said:

Romans 12:1-2 ...'I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.'

What does it mean to make a 'living sacrifice'? It means we lay EVERYTHING down, sacrificing all for the Lord Jesus Christ. We should be coming to God each day, presenting our very lives to Him, saying .. 'Lord, I am yours and all I have is yours, do what you will with my life.' Forget about entertainment. Forget about personal pleasure. Stop being controlled by appetite. We should be willing to lay everyside aside, in order to be used for the Lord's kingdom, presenting our bodies a 'living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God.'

Sadly, many people today are slaves to appetite, which is one of the main reasons God instituted fasting. This was to help us gain the victory over our appetite. What would the Jews have done during the day of Atonement? They would have fasted and prayed. Their minds would not have been on food, instead they would be focused on the Lord and the work He was about to do in taking away their sins. This should be the same attitude of God's people during this time of judgment. We should be fasting and praying, getting the victory over our appetite, which will help us gain victory over many sins also. For if we gain the victory over appetite, we can gain the victory over many sins. But all through abiding in Christ Jesus (John 15:5).

Matthew 24:37-39 ...'But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.'

Proverbs 23:20-21 ...'Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty.'

What were the people doing before the flood? 'Eating and drinking.' In other words, they were controlled by appetite, and looking forward to the end of time, Jesus saw that the world would be in the same condition. Man would be focused on filling their bellies, rather than 'presenting their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God.' (Romans 12:1). An inestimable sacrifice has been made for us, and we should be willing to lay ALL aside, sacrificing anything and everything to gain that 'pearl of great price.' And that includes our money and possessions. What are you doing with your money and possessions? Using them for personal gain and pleasure? These things belong to God and we should lay these on the altar also, seeking to use them to further God's kingdom, not for our own pleasure.

So this is a time of sacrificing ALL for the Lord and the kingdom. Nothing should be allowed to get in the way of our relationship with Christ. So let us present our lives a 'living sacrifice', loving the Lord with ALL our heart, mind, soul and strength. Laying ALL on the altar for God.

YE SHALL DO NO WORK, FOR IT IS A DAY OF ATONEMENT - The day of atonement was kept as a ceremonial sabbath by the ancient congregation (Lev.23:31). All work was laid aside, and the entire thought was given to seeking God and serving Him. God's work was given the first thought during the entire day. Such was the type, as it covered only one day. But as the anti-type covers a period of many years, it does not follow that we should also 'do no work.' But the principle remains for us today, and that is to give our FIRST thought and time to God. Look at what Jesus said:

Matthew 6:31-33 ...'Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.'

What needs to be our first and foremost thought each and every day? The kingdom of God and His righteousness. And Jesus said in Matthew 5:6 that those who 'hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.' This should be constantly on our minds each day. But how many people are focused more on their careers than on the kingdom of God? How many are more focused on money, appetite, clothing, entertainment, possessions, than on Christ? People are so busy with the 'cares of this life' that they have little time for Bible study, or for prayer. Yet the Saviour warned us in Luke 21:34 that we must 'take heed that our hearts are not overtaken with the cares of this world, lest that day [the second coming] would come upon us unawares.' We need to be 'watching and waiting' so that we enter NOT into temptation and be led away by Satan with the cares of this life (Mark 13:35-37; Matthew 26:41).

So this is a time where we must not be focused on the 'cares of this life.' Instead, our first thought each day should be in seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Our time must be devoted to the Lord and His work. Yes, we can work ourselves to self support the Lord's work, but in everything, we must seek to bring glory to God, giving Him our first thought and most time.

REMEMBER - those who would not undertake this work of 'afflicting soul' and 'offering sacrifice' and 'putting God first' were "CUT OFF" from among God's people. And what will Jesus say to those people when He returns? "depart from Me, I never knew you!" - This is very serious friends! Do you REALLY love the Lord?

Duty of God's People in View of the Time of Trouble

This section is taken from a little Christian book called 'A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views, 1851.'

The Lord has shown me repeatedly, that it is contrary to the Bible to make any provision for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that if the saints had food laid up by them, or in the fields, in the time of trouble, when sword, famine and pestilence are in the land, it would be taken from them by violent hands, and strangers would reap their fields.

Then will be the time for us to trust wholly in God, and he will sustain us. I saw that our bread and water would be sure at that time, and we should not lack or suffer hunger; for God was able to spread a table for us in the wilderness. And if necessary, he would send ravens to feed us as he did to feed Elijah, or rain manna from heaven, as he did for the Israelites.

Isaiah 33:16 ...'He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.'

I saw that houses and lands would be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they would then have to flee from their possessions, before infuriated mobs, and at that time they could not be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. I was shown that it was the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God by sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar, and earnestly inquire of God for duty, he will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble, and have no clogs to weigh them down.

I saw if any held on to their property, and did not inquire duty of the Lord, he would not make duty known, and they would be permitted to keep their property, and then in the time of trouble it would come up before them like a mountain to crush them, and they would try to dispose of it, but would not be able. I heard some mourn like this: 'The cause was languishing, God's people were starving for the truth, and we made no effort to supply the lack, and now our property is useless. Oh ! that we had let it go, and laid up treasure in heaven.'

I also saw that God had not required all of his people to dispose of their property at the same time, but in a time of need he would teach them, if they desired to be taught, when to sell and how much to sell, and that some had been required to dispose of their property in time past to sustain the Advent cause, while he permitted others to keep theirs until a time of need. Then as the cause needs it, their duty is to sell.

I saw that the message 'sell that ye have and give alms,' had not been given, by some, in its clear light, and that the object of the words of our Saviour had not been clearly presented. I saw that the object of selling was not to give to those who are able to labor and support themselves, but to spread the truth. It is a sin to support and indulge in idleness, those who are able to labor. Some have been zealous to attend all the meetings; not to glorify God, but for the 'loaves and fishes.' Such had much better been at home laboring with their hands, 'the thing that is good,' to supply the wants of their families, and to have something to give to sustain the precious cause of present truth.

Now is the time to lay up treasure in heaven, and to set our hearts in order, ready for the time of trouble. Those only who have clean hands and a pure heart will stand that trying time. Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds (foreheads,) and written in our hearts. The Lord has shown me the danger of letting our minds be filled with worldly thoughts and cares. I saw that some minds were led away from present truth and a love of the holy Bible, by reading other exciting books; and others were filled with perplexity and care for what they shall eat, drink and wear. I saw some, looking too far off for the coming of the Lord.

Time has continued on a few years longer than they expected, therefore they think it may continue a few years more, and in this way their minds are being led from present truth, out after the world. In these things I saw great danger; for if the mind is filled with other things, present truth is shut out, and there is no place in our foreheads for the seal of the living God. I saw that the time for Jesus to be in the Most Holy Place was nearly finished, and that time cannot last but a very little longer; and what leisure time we have should be spent in searching the Bible, which is to judge us in the last day.

My dear brethren and sisters-Let the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ be in your minds continually, and let them crowd worldly thoughts and cares from the mind. When you lie down and when you rise up let them be your meditation. Live and act wholly in reference to the coming of the Son of man. The sealing time is very short, and soon will be over. Now is the time to make our calling and election sure, while the four angels are holding the four winds.

Revelation 3:5 ...'He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.'