The High Holy Days are, in the biblical sense, the feast days of Yom Teruah (Day of the Awakening Blast; Rosh Ha Shana) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and the ten days in-between known as the Yamin Noraim, or “days of awe.” We are going to deal with Yom Kippur in this article and discuss how this fits into the Lord’s eschatological plan.
Yom Kippur is known by several idioms such as the Day of Redemption (Yom Ha Pedut); the Great Fast (Tzomah Rabbah); Face to Face; the Day Adam sinned; the Books are closed; the Great Trumpet; the Day of Judgment (Yom Ha Din) and the Closing of the Gate (Neilah). On this day the High Priest will go behind the veil in the Temple several times, into the presence of God “face to face’ and burn incense and sprinkle blood. This “moed” (appointment) and “mikrah” (rehearsal) will teach us about the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah to Jerusalem.
Lev 16.1-34 gives the instructions for the High Priest on Yom Kippur. You will find two very key words there: sprinkle and cleansing. We will not go into the actual ceremony at this time, that will be a later teaching, but we will look at the eschatological implications.
There is a 7000 year plan of God. The pattern for this is the seven day week we have all over the world. In God’s plan we work six days and rest on the seventh day, called the Lord’s Day. Likewise, man will “work” 6000 years (six days) and then enter that last 1000 year period called “the Sabbath of God”; “the Lord’s day” or “day of the Lord.” This final 1000 years will begin on a Yom Teruah (Tishri 1, year 6001 from creation). Ten days later we have Yom Kippur and the Time of Jacobs Trouble and the Birth-pains will begin on that day. That means that Yeshua will return to earth at the second coming on Yom Kippur (Matt 24.30-31 at the sound of a Great Trumpet (an idiom for Yom Kippur). Let’s look at Joel 2.1-17 for a picture of this.
In Joel 2.1-2 we have the days leading up to Yom Teruah and the Yamin Noraim. Then from v 3-14 we have the Birth-pains and then we come up to v 15-16 where it says: “Blow a trumpet (shofar) in Zion, consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly (Num 10.10). Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the Bridegroom come out of his room (bedroom, wedding chamber) and the bride out of her (bridal) chamber (chupah).” Let’s break these verses down to see what is happening.
First we have a fast (an idiom for Yom Kippur-Acts 27.9) and then a trumpet and an assembly. Yom Kippur is the only fast with a trumpet. Then we have the bride and groom coming out of their wedding chamber. How long have they been in there? A “shavuah” or a period of a seven. Eschatologically speaking, it will be seven years. The bride was taken on Yom Teruah and they come out on Yom Kippur. Now, let’s look at v 17 ; “Let the priests and the Lord’s ministers weep between the porch and the altar and let them say ‘spare thy people, O Lord and do not make thine inheritance a reproach, a byword among the nations.'” There is only one day that the priests minister between the porch and the altar, and that is Yom Kippur (Lev 16. 17-20).
So, we have a fast, the bride groom/bride coming out of the wedding chamber where they have been 7 years on the same day that the priests are ministering between the porch and the altar, with fasting and trumpets! Messiah Yeshua will return to earth with his bride and come “face to face” with his friends and enemies. He will destroy “Azazel” (the false messiah, Leviathan) and sprinkle the nations ( Isa 52.15; (Zech 12.10 through 13.1) with a blast of the shofar (great trumpet-Matt 24.30-31; Isa 27.12-13). So, let’s look at some other concepts associated with this day.
During the time of Jacob’s trouble, the “chata’im”, has had time to repent, do “teshuvah” and return to God. He could’ve be killed at any time during the High Holy Days that have been playing out for the last seven years but hasn’t. He survives the bowls, the trumpets, the seals, the false messiah and accepts Yeshua the day before the Yom Kippur of his coming, so what happens? He will enter into the Messianic Kingdom. But, if he waits till he sees Yeshua coming, it’s too late. Remember, Yom Teruah (Rosh Ha Shana) teaches that “the gates are opened” (an idiom for this day) to let the righteous nation (people) enter (Isa 26.2; Rev 4.1).
Yom Kippur has a closing ceremony called “neilah” and it means the “closing of the gates” (neilat shearim). You must make your decision before then. Now, let’s switch gears for a moment and discuss two other concepts associated with Yom Kippur. Two goats stand before the Lord (Lev 16.7-8). One will be called “L’Adonai” (to the Lord) and the other “L’Azazel) (for Azazel), but who is Azazel? This goat is a type of the false messiah, and also Satan.
In the days of the Temple, this goat was taken to a mount called Chudo near the Dead Sea and pushed over a cliff. When this happened, a crimson cloth that was tied in the Temple turned white (Isa 1.18). On a side note, Jewish history says that for the last 40 years leading up to the destruction of the Temple it did not happen (Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 39b). Also, an allusion to these goats are seen during the trial of Yeshua before Pilate.
Of course, Yeshua is the goat for the Lord, and Barabbas was Azazel. By the way, Barabbas means “son of the father” and his first name may have been Yeshua. What does that mean? The false messiah will say he is Yeshua, be what many think the Messiah should look like and deceive many, but he really isn’t. Just like the number of his name (Rev 13.18), you will need wisdom to tell the difference. For more information on the false messiah, see the article on this site called “The False Messiah” for more detail. This concludes our study on the High Holy Days, Yom Teruah to Yom Kippur and their eschatological significance. There is no way to cover all the aspects of what these feasts mean, but this will help you to have a clearer eschatological picture of the days to come.