By Bob Barney
Tonite starts the Day of Atonement (Sept 24th) at sunset and ends the following day (25th) at sunset.
#1 The Day of Atonement proves when the Day begins
(The following excerpt is from Joe Kovacs' book The Divine Secret -click on link to buy it!)
In the fall, in the seventh month, the Day of Atonement (called Yom Kippur in Hebrew) takes place, and the Bible specifically instructs:
"It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath." (Leviticus 23:32 NKJV)
Now, I can understand why many people rush to these two verses and assert something like, "See?! The words on the page show us that every single day starts in the evening!"
But do they actually say that? As a matter of fact, they don't. Let's be clear. These two verses do not say anything specifying when days in general begin or end. They are ambiguous at best. They are merely telling when to observe the festivals. The very fact that they mention evening here while other annual sabbaths such as Pentecost or the Feast of Tabernacles (or even typical calendar days) do not mention evening suggest they're an exception to the pattern of the morning day which had long been established since creation week!
Day of Atonement
Let's look at the Day of Atonement to help you understand what I mean. Here's what the Bible says about it in the Torah:
"Also the TENTH DAY of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.
"And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God.
"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.
"It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the NINTH DAY of the month AT EVENING, FROM EVENING TO EVENING, you shall celebrate your sabbath." (Leviticus 23:27-32 NKJV, emphasis added)
God places the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of the month, but interestingly, it's commanded to be observed from the ninth day of the month at sunset, to the following evening, the evening of the tenth. Many people think this is saying the ninth day of the month ends at sundown and that's when the tenth day of the month begins. But those words are simply not on the page. Again, the very fact that two different calendar days – the ninth and the tenth – are mentioned instead of one calendar day is more proof that there's a calendar-day change between the start and end of this Atonement festival.
To put this in modern perspective, if you're renting a car for a 24-hour period, you actually rent it over two calendar days. Let's say you need a rental car from 6 p.m. on the ninth day of the month until the following evening, 6 p.m. on the tenth day of the month. That's a 24-hour period, but there is a change in the calendar day from the ninth to the tenth of the month in the midst of the rental. In our modern age, the day change takes place at midnight. But in ancient Israel, the calendar-day change for the Day of Atonement would have been at sunrise! Again, there are TWO calendar days mentioned for this holy day. The ninth and the tenth! If every single day truly started at sunset in the evening, there would be absolutely no need to tell us to observe the day from evening to evening, since everyone would already be aware that ALL days began at sundown. If such were the case, Scripture would just say to observe it on the tenth of the month, without having to give any extra language about observing it from evening to evening. The reason the evening is mentioned for Atonement and not for the Feast of Tabernacles, for instance, is because Tabernacles is following the general rule of days beginning at sunrise, and Atonement is something out of the norm.
Now, why might God be instructing the Day of Atonement to be observed from evening to evening instead of morning to morning? Let's remember that God commands His people to afflict their souls, and this is understood to mean going without eating and drinking for 24 hours. It's a full day's worth of fasting. The New Testament even refers to this holy day as "the fast" in Acts 27:9. So, by having this holy day begin on the previous calendar day of the ninth day of the month at sundown, it means by the next morning, when people are awake, they would already be hungry. For this annual Sabbath, God actually wants people to have some sense of hunger, afflicting their souls, during the time they're awake! By commanding them to stop eating at sunset from the previous day is a guarantee they'd be afflicted with hunger pangs all through their waking hours on the tenth day. Otherwise, if the festival started at sunrise, people could have eaten all through the night and then not be quite as famished throughout that tenth day.
#2 Christ is in Atonement! All of God's Holy Days represent Christ. Many Christians think atonement is only some Old Testament, Mosaic law thing, but in reality the Bible shows us that the ancients saw the need for atonement long before the time of Moses. When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, they hid from God because they were ashamed (Gn 3:8). God, by killing an animal, and using the skin to cover the naked bodies of the two, began the redemption of sin thru blood, that was finished with Christ Himself dying for our sins. CHRIST IS OUR ATONEMENT! While animals served as temporary sacrifices for our sins during the OT era, they could not ultimately atone for humans (Heb 4:10). We needed God Himself, who created everything to die for His creation to take away all sin!
Jesus Christ is both the subject and fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. Read Isaiah 53 for yourself. It is NEVER READ by most Jews today!
#3. The Day of Atonement will be observed in the millennium! Reading of Ezekiel 42-46 shows that during the millennium there will be all the principal Holy Days first seen in the Old Testament. The early church also followed this day. Acts 27:9 "Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them..."
Although NOT REQUIRED, God is pleased when people follow this Holy Days that He will command you to follow when He returns! How do you follow? Simply eat no food, drink no water from 6PM tomorrow night (Sept 24th) until 6 PM the following Day. Ask God's Blood to atone for your sins, love God and obey His every word, found in ALL Bible translations.