The Day of Atonement is a day of fasting and prayer (Lev. 23:26-32; Acts 27:9; see church calendar for the date this year). We abstain from food, but water and/or juices can be consumed. The Hebrew term for “food and drink” means food and alcoholic drinks. This is a day of personal prayer, Bible study, meditation, and celebration of the release of all we have surrendered to Jesus on this day. We seal this meditation with a communion at the end of Atonement after sunset.
It is the day for calling back that which was lost or stolen by deception -- a day of redemption (Isa. 44:21-23). We claim redemption from all past, present and future attacks from Satan. We forgive all debts and sins in others and ourselves, reject all curses and declare ourselves and our families redeemed by the blood of Jesus. We claim our rightness before God and man, so Jesus can take action to give us complete justice. We claim release from all gifts from Satan, and declare in this day we refuse to take them back. We call on the blood of Jesus for the redemption of the earth, past, present and future. Our Father wants to see us make room in our souls for His love, His glory and His wisdom.
The Hebrew words related to this day reveal its meaning. Apply them to yourself and claim them all! Kophar (to atone) comes from the root “to cover.” Its meanings include: cancel all sins, debts, false vows, penalties and ties; do what is necessary to appease or satisfy God, including obeying Him; cleanse from all impurities, addictions, anxieties and traumas; disannul Satan’s claims over our lives and accept Jesus’ claims; forgive all sins, debts, heresies and falseness; call down God’s mercy over our lives, to overcome Satan’s attacks; pacify the requirements of the law; be pardoned from eternal death; pitch away all false doctrines, cares, fears, torments; put off evil’s control over self, family, job or business, community, society, church, country.
The close cousin kaphar includes these concepts: village of protection; under the wings of God; high tower to run into; time of protection from Satan’s wrath.
Kopher includes: a covering; village or church residing on a firm foundation, having a permanent covering of the Holy Spirit over it; a coat that covers completely, covered by the glory of God; price agreed upon as a redemption price; a ransom paid to free a person and/or land; person hired to guard a camp; a sealing of complete protection; be satisfied with the joy of a family reunion (estranged family returned to us); sum of money or blood to be paid a thief; wall in one who seeks to steal, kill or destroy (we wall in Satan by Jesus’ blood and wall him out by the keeping of the Sabbath days.)
Kippur includes: expiation; day set aside for atonement, being at one with God; end an era of captivity, persecution or hardship; be returned to one’s rightful status, ownership or family; washed clean by Jesus’ blood; set free from all past encumbrances.
This is the holy day Satan hates the most, for it prefigures the day when he will be banished. It loudly declares that he is the loser. The live goat of Leviticus 16 is Satan. We fast to be filled with the Holy Spirit on this day so that we can chase Satan away. He is afraid of those who keep this day. He only looks for those he can devour. We show we mean business by fasting. We show our determination to seek God, showing that we – not Satan – have control over our bodies. We show that our bodies are not as important as God. We show by fasting that we hate Satan and his ways. We thus become too hard for him to deal with.
We demonstrate our hunger and thirst for God. In so doing we picture our eternal future when we will not have to eat to live (although we will be able to eat for enjoyment). We feel in a small way the hunger that God feels for having all mankind in His family. In fact, this fast is the spiritual preparation for the calling forth of all our ancestors to salvation at the great resurrection after the Millennium (Rev. 20:5). We fast for Satan’s yoke to be taken off them at that time. And on the Last Great Day we call forth all our families 50 generations back, which means all mankind, to come to Jesus at that second general resurrection.
This is payback day! Satan has to pay us back sevenfold for all he has stolen from us and our families. We can also claim that on behalf of others. We make out a list of those things that Satan has stolen, as well as his unwanted gifts. God calls us to make a joyful offering of appreciation on this feast day (Deut. 16:16-17). We lay down our offering and our list at God’s altar. We surrender these sins, pains, cares, burdens, habits and losses to Jesus and declare they are no longer ours. They belong to Jesus. Now they are His concern. We can even lay down the extra pounds Satan has inspired us to put on and ask for God to restore us to our ideal weight! Church leaders burn this list at sunset at the end of the fast, destroying by the anointing of this day the works of Satan in our life. If you are not able to attend a meeting, you can send the offering to a ministry that feeds you and the head of the house can burn the papers.
Some fast food chains have apple and cherry turnovers. This day we abstain from those turnovers. As is the weekly Sabbath in a lesser way, it is the day of care turnover, sin turnover, debt turnover – all turned over to the great Caretaker and Burden-bearer. Our God who deals in exchange takes them all and in return gives us the joy of Jesus and all His glory.
We turn over all this to Jesus so that our position as His bride will be secure. This day brings us closer to our Father, makes us more like Him – sin-free and debt free. We claim the blood of Jesus to protect us from Satan’s wrath and as a protection for all our family “camp.” We include our job so Satan cannot attack us at the work place. The blood seals us so we can walk on level ground, free from Satan’s traps, snares and obstructions. We call upon the ransom power of the blood to defend us and to claim back our loved ones. It is our right to declare them redeemed in the blood of Jesus.
We call on Jesus’ atonement to bring an end to Satan’s era, an end to his ability to hold the world captive, a return to mankind’s rightful status as sons of God, a return of our dominion of the earth, of our home, family, and workplace. We celebrate our redemption from all Satan’s bondages and yokes. This day prophesies the time when upon returning to earth Jesus binds Satan and throws him into the abyss. The whole world will be free from his yoke!
By this fast we declare to Satan, “The Holy Spirit and I control my body – not you. I am not hopeless, helpless and abandoned. Jesus lives in me and He is always with me. I am walking in the will of my Father. I am showing you that I am willing to lay down my life to keep the Word of God. It is more important to me than even my food. Jesus’ blood has ransomed me. I am forgiven and I forgive myself. I belong to Jesus – not you. You are a defeated foe and you don’t scare me! I am free! Your gifts don’t interest me!”
In summary, Atonement is an eloquent teacher. Here is what we learn: the spirit must rule over the flesh; fasting for others gets us to look outside ourselves and reap the blessings of love; we come into greater unity with God (“at-one-ment” -- to make a play on words in English) and each other; to meditate on the power of God’s Word and Jesus’ blood and name; to stand firm and know our authority in Jesus over Satan, and to identify the devil’s works; have restored what Satan has stolen sevenfold; the power of redemption; our obedience opens the windows of heaven’s blessings upon us; we learn to rest in Jesus. It is a day of complete rest. We don’t have to make the bed or do any dishes.
Let’s come together in all joy, unity and holiness to obey God by keeping this day holy. Let’s claim the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus. We shouldn’t torment each other, but the keeping of this day torments Satan in a big way. Let’s terrorize the arch terrorist. Let’s give Satan a monstrous migraine headache!
Want to understand Atonement more in depth? Pastor Robert Scott gave a resent sermon entitled, “The Day of Atonements.” Why is Atonement in the plural in Hebrew and French? Click to find out: The Day of Atonements?