BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 16, Day 5: Revelation 12:13-17

Summary of passage:  When the dragon was hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.  The woman was given wings so that she might fly to the desert where she would be safe for the Great Tribulation (3 1/2 years or time, times and half).  However, the serpent spewed water and swept the woman away but the earth saved the woman by swallowing the water.  Angry, the serpent made war against believers.


12)  The woman who had given birth to the male child and her offspring–“those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus” i.e. believers.

13a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Enmity would be put between the serpent and his offspring and the woman and her offspring.  Constant warfare between good and evil, to sin or not to sin.  Same.  Fighting temptation to sin all the time.  Watching wars and strife and evil in the world and death.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  The provision of Jesus and his death on the cross (his act of righteousness) justified and brought life for all men and all men were made righteous though the obedience of Jesus.  It offers hope and eternal life with God to believers.  Same.  It gives me hope and encouragement and the will to do His work in my life.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Immense.

Conclusions:  Question 13b and 14 lead to the same answer.  With so much here, why only one question on the passage and three on other biblical passages?

End Notes:  We see how Jesus overcame Satan in Revelation 12:11 so Satan’s last hope is the woman and the remnant.  On Day 2 we established that the woman is most likely the nation of Israel or the Messianic Jewish community.  If the woman is the church here, then who are her offspring?  Another reason scholars say she’s not the entire church.  Those who believe Christians are on earth for the Tribulation point to this passage as evidence.

Why is Satan targeting the Jews?  Well, the Jews are God’s special people from Abraham forward.  Jesus came from them.  God won’t bring the End Times until all of the Jews have accepted Jesus (Luke 13:34-35, Romans 9-11 specifically Romans 11:25-27, Revelation 7).  They are the key to God’s plans and Satan wants to thwart God.  God will save the Gentiles first and then in the Millennial will bring all of His people (the Jewish nation) back to Him.  How He uses the Jews to save the Gentiles who in turn save the Jews.  Does this mean all will be saved?  No.  Some will never turn.  But God will make sure all those chosen will be saved (Romans 9:18).

In Exodus 19:4 we see eagle’s wings as God delivered His people from Egypt into the wilderness.  Isaiah 40:31 says God’s people shall have eagle’s wings and be strengthened.

Some scholars see the flood as an army or the military which will be defeated by God (swallowed up).  Hosea 2:14, 23 speak of this time.  No matter what form, the flood waters is persecution.

David describes his persecution and rescue as flood waters as well in Psalm 18.

This fury was foreshadowed by Jesus in Matthew 24:15-22.  Satan knows his time is now limited on earth (Revelation 12:12) so now he wants to prevent the Messiah’s Second Coming, which will end his time altogether.  So he attacks Israel, knowing God’s intent is to save them, so they won’t be saved.  Again, Satan wants to thwart God’s plans.

Who are the rest of her offspring?  Verse 13 says “those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”  Scholars believe this is the Gentiles.  Some say those who come to know Christ during the Tribulation times.  I say all believers.

We’ve already seen the martyrs in this period in Revelation 6:9-11 and Revelation 7:9-17 and again in Revelation 20:4.

Summation of Revelation 12:  The woman is most likely the remnant of Israel who were spiritually true to the Lord and brought about the child, Jesus.  She is attacked by Satan but is preserved.  Now, Satan turns to the future and her offspring, which includes the church and those who keep God’s commandments and Jesus’ testimony.  In Chapter 13 we will see Satan attack the future church.

Conclusions to Lesson 16:  Excluding Day 1, we see the word “you” or “your” 11 times in 8 questions. Sometimes I like to think it’s not all about me (read sarcasm here).  Because it should never be about me.  Only Him.  Note my summary above on Revelation 12 which no where mentions “me” or “you.”  But these days are hard when you are constantly being asked about yourself.  Really deflated right now and can’t quite put it into words so I’ll give up now while I’m ahead.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 16, Day 4: Revelation 12:10-12

Summary of passage:  A loud voice announces that the kingdom of God has come and the accuser has been hurled to earth.  He was overcome by the blood of the Lamb.  Heaven rejoices but woe to earth for the devil has been flung down and he is full of fury as he knows his time is limited.


9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  The accuser was hurled out of heaven unto earth.  Honestly, I don’t feel guilty.  I let them go.  The past is in the past and I know God has forgiven me and I know Jesus has defeated the devil and cleansed me.  Take to heart Hebrews 9:14:  “How much more then will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Romans 8:1:  “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”  Romans 8:33-34 are good as well.

By not fully allowing Jesus’s sacrifice into our hearts and by letting feelings of guilt overwhelm us we are doing a huge disservice and dishonor to his sacrifice and letting Satan win.  Please.  Let go.

Note on Question 10:  This question is very confusing.  The emphasis should be on the three ways the saints (who are the pronoun “they” here) and ultimately us as believers overcame the devil:  1)  by the blood of the Lamb  2)  by the word of their testimony  3)  by not loving their lives so much to fear death.  By separating out the verb (triumphed or overcame in NIV), the meaning is lost and jumbled and befuddled.

10)  Personal Question.  My answers:

“They triumphed over him”:  It means just that:  we overcame the devil.  Period.  The scriptures they give here are not very helpful.

“By the blood of the Lamb”:  Jesus paid the price for my sins, making me righteous and able to stand before God.  God chose me through unimaginable grace as His.

Note here:  BSF missed the more important verse in Romans!  Romans 5:8  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!”  It is God’s love that brung us back to Him.  He sent His only Son to die for us.  In Romans 5:7, Paul astutely points out:  what person do you know would die for you?  Someone who loves you.  But a stranger?  And would they die for a sinner like you?  A righteous man, maybe.  God’s love saved us.  He is so good.  See also:  (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14, and Hebrews 9:14).

“And by the word of their testimony”:  Knowing and remembering God’s work in my life is my testimony.  It allows me to overcome the lies Satan whispers in my ear.  As I walk in God with faith, my life is a powerful testimony to unbelievers as I proclaim His power in my life.  See End Notes for explanation on testimony.

Should say Revelation 1:2, not Revelation 1:3 here in my opinion since 1:2 uses the word “testimony”.  This is referring to the Gospel as John says “the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ”.  John is using Jesus’ life to overcome the devil.  And so should we.

“They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”:  Remembering my home is in heaven instead of here on earth and we find life by losing it to Jesus (Mark 8:35).  The Greek word here for love is “agape”, the love that is all-encompassing, self-sacrificing, profound love.  Willing to sacrifice for my faith even my life marks a Christian.

11a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  As my faith has grown, my reliance on Him to overcome not only the evil in my life but the evil in the world has grown.  I give it to God and let Him take it from there.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  So many!  Scripture foremost is Philippians 4:6; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Exodus 20; Romans 8:31 to name but a few.  Songs:  My Savior My God by Aaron Shust is my all-time favorite.  Others:  Great I Am by Phillips, Craig & Dean and Help Me Find It by Sidewalk Prophets.

Conclusions:  All personal questions but only a part of one directly asking what’s happening here.  Again, asking about worship when we see here the beginning of God’s final victory over Satan and soon we’ll see his capture and banishment.  This is to be celebrated!

Question 9:  Sometimes I think questions like this do the opposite:  we feel guilty because we don’t feel guilty over our past sins when you shouldn’t feel guilty at all.  Living in the past and dwelling on guilt from past sins robs you of your life today.  Give it to God.  He will handle it.  Know you are His and move on!  You life will dwindle away moment by moment until one day you realize you didn’t accomplish God’s purpose for your life because of the past.  Live for Him today.  That’s all you have.  Tomorrow you may not be here.  And then what?

BSF’s worst lesson in Revelation in my opinion so far.  So I made it my own.  By researching what exactly are the saints telling me here THEN AND ONLY THEN can I tell you what they mean to me.  Since I am a saint, I need to know this!

I personally feel beaten up by the “how my worship has been affected” questions.  Because I don’t feel my worship has been affected and thus being asked the question makes me feel guilty because I feel like it should be affected.  I spoke of this as well in Lesson 14 Day 3 and counted the number of times we’ve been asked.

The same goes for “comforted” and “encouraged.”  Right now, I’m not.  But I feel I should be.  So guiltily, my response is “I’m not affected” or “I’m not comforted” or “I’m not encouraged.”  Or I’m just cynical, hard-hearted, or shallow.  In time I pray.  In time.

End Notes:  The loud voice is NOT Jesus or God or an angel.  We know this because of the text says “the accuser of our brothers”, our being humanity.

Once Satan is thrown out of heaven, the accusing stops.  Until then, we must fight the good fight.  However, Satan’s accusations are meaningless if we have Christ.

Jesus’s victory is our victory.  Imagine if we lived our lives every day knowing that one Truth.

Definition of testify according to Webster’s Dictionary:  “to make a statement based on personal knowledge or belief: bear witness; to serve as evidence or proof.”

Definition of testimony according to Webster’s Dictionary: “firsthand authentication of a fact; evidence; a public profession of religious experience.”

In the book of Revelation, testimony refers to the Gospel (Revelation 1:2).

“by the word of their testimony”.  John, being the symbolic guy that he is, speaks of testimony in 1 John 5:6-12.  Water may be Jesus’ baptism.  Blood is his death on the cross.  The Spirit is the Holy Spirit.  He says these three together are God’s testimony about Jesus.  We are saved eternally through God’s testimony of His Son, Jesus Christ–as long as we believe this in our hearts.

Thus, the saints who are speaking here know what they’ve seen and heard and experienced in their lives from God and can recognize Satan’s lies that go against God.

Also, here, notice “the word”.  This doesn’t explicitly apply to God’s Word (the Bible) but we can use that as a testimony against the devil.  The more we know the Word, the more we can use that against the devil.

The angels and all of heaven is relieved Satan is gone.  It’s like when a visiting relative overstays their welcome and they finally leave!  You can almost hear the sigh of relief upon the door closing forever to Satan’s presence.

Satan’s release upon the earth is the third and final prophetic “woe” announced earlier upon the inhabitants of the earth (Rev.8:13).

In Revelation 20, we will see what ultimately happens to Satan.  Looking forward to it!

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 16, Day 3: Revelation 12:7-9

Summary of passage:  War in heaven between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels.  The dragon (or Satan) lost and he and his angels were hurled to the earth.


6)  Michael and his angels.  The dragon lost and was hurled along with his angels to earth.

7)  God allows Satan to do evil in this world but with God’s restrictions.  Most importantly in Job (and why I believe we are reading this along with this passage) is in this passage we see Satan in heaven come before God’s throne.  In verse 9, we see God throw Satan out of heaven for good to the earth.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  I know God is more powerful.  God does not give me more than I can handle nor does he allow the devil to tempt me with things I cannot overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13).  How can one not be comforted by that?

Conclusions:  The question referencing Job seemed to come out of left field–that is until I read the commentary and its significance.  Sometimes I wish BSF would just point that out.  Maybe it’ll be in the notes but it would be awesome to understand that WHILE I’M DOING MY LESSON instead of a week later when I forgot what I was working on and have to go back.  Most of us (me included) would have never connected those dots without help.

I was wondering about Michael and who he is.  I explore that in the End Notes.

The study of the End Times seems to me like solving a big jigsaw puzzle.  Bits and pieces of knowledge are scattered throughout the Bible and God leaves it to man to connect the dots and form the whole picture.  I bet God did that on purpose–so we’ll know His word even better and Him in the process.

End Notes:  We are at the mid-point of the Great Tribulation.  How do we know this?  Daniel tells us in 12:1 that Michael will arise.  First war was on earth as we’ve read and now it’s in heaven where Satan will be overcome and defeated and no longer have access to either.

This is happening at the same time Israel is fleeing to the prepared land we saw in the previous passage in Revelation 12:6.

Some religions believe Michael to be Jesus.  This is just not so.  Wouldn’t John had just identified Michael as Jesus?  This is the best argument but scholars have scores more as to why this is NOT Jesus.

Michael seems to be of the same rank as Satan here–an archangel.  Satan and Michael have met before–in Jude 9.  They are arguing over the body of Moses as God will raise Moses again as we see in the Transfiguration (Luke 9:30-31).  Daniel 12:1 tells us he is the protector of Israel who will deliver her from the Great Tribulation in the last days.

Who exactly is Michael?  In Hebrew his name means “who is like God.”  He is only mentioned 5 times in the entire Bible, most in Daniel and in Revelation.  He is called a “chief prince” in Daniel 10:13.  He is mentioned again in Dan 10:21.  In 12:1 Daniel prophesied his presence at the Great Tribulation.  He appears in the New Testament in Jude 9 where he’s protecting Moses’ body.  The last time he is mentioned is here in Rev 12 as fighting with the devil.  These are the only times he is mentioned by name.  Some scholars equate him with nameless archangels that appear in the Bible, but these are the only ones we know for sure.

He’s a protector of God’s people.  Both throughout history, today, and in the End Times. I would equate him to a general in God’s army, fighting God’s war against the enemy.

Is this a spiritual or physical batter?  Amongst mankind it’s spiritual.  But angels?  This could possibly be hand-to-hand combat.  The great John Milton believed so as he imagined it in his masterpiece Paradise Lost.

Up until this point, Satan has had access to heaven as demonstrated clearly in these verses.  We also see this in Job 1:6-12 where Satan presents himself before God’s throne in heaven.

It is a mistake to believe God can have nothing unholy in His presence.  First, God being God, He can have whomever He wants in His presence.  The truth is that we cannot have a relationship with God and be with Him if we are unholy.  We (humans) have to be cleansed first to have eternal life with Him, which  Christ did for us.  But God, being God, can and does allow unholy beings (angels or Satan or even mankind) in His presence.

Here, we see Satan (or the great dragon, ancient serpent, the devil, he who leads the whole world astray) cast out for good.  Satan has many titles, all of which speak to his malevolent nature.  Devil in Greek (diabolos) means slanderer or defamer.  Satan means adversary.

Satan falls 4 times in the Bible:

  1. When he turned to sin (Ezekiel 28:14-16)
  2. Here in Revelation 12 where he had access to heaven (Job 1:12, 1 Kings 22:21, Zechariah 3:1, Revelation 12:10) to being restricted to earth
  3.  Taken from earth and thrown into the Abyss for 1,000 years (Revelation 20: 2-3)
  4. From the Abyss, let loose to deceive the nations, and then thrown into the lake of burning sulphur to be tormented for eternity (Revelation 20:7-10)

Jesus refers to one of these falls in Luke 10:18, either the first fall or looking ahead to the second fall.

In John 12:27-33, Jesus speaks of Satan’s defeat as well as he explains his victory on the cross, which we’ll see in verse 10 in the next day.

The angels that go with Satan are his followers or demonic spirits.  Most scholars believe they are the same third of the stars flung to the earth in Revelation 12:4.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 16, Day 2: Revelation 12:1-6

Summary of passage:  A pregnant woman appeared wearing the sun with the moon at her feet and crown of 12 stars on her head.  A red dragon appeared in heaven with 7 heads, 10 horns, and 7 crowns.  His tail swept 1/3 of the stars out of the sky upon the earth.  The woman birthed a male child who was taken by God to his throne before the dragon could eat him.  The woman fled to the desert to be cared for by God for 1,260 days.


3)  Pregnant woman–nation of Israel;  Dragon–devil;  a son–Jesus

4a)  Genesis 3:1-15:  The devil is more crafty than anything other wild animal God made.  He deceives people.  God curses the devil who will eat dust all the days of his life.  He will send a mediator (Jesus) to crush him.

John 8:44:  The devil was a murderer from the beginning and a liar.  He is the father of lies and speaks in different languages.

1 Peter 5:8:  The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

b)  Satan perverts human nature and encourages sin.  God does not intervene.  Romans 1 says man gives in to lusts and engage in same-sex activities.  They have a depraved mind, filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, God-hatred, insolent, arrogant, and boastful.  They invent more ways to do evil.  They disobey their parents.  They are senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless.

Timothy says people will be lovers of themselves and money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, and lovers of pleasure.

Romans 8 says a person’s only hope is Jesus to be free from sin and death.

5a)  It snatched the child up to heaven before the dragon could devour it and it sent the mother to a prepared place in the desert so God could care for her for 1,260 days.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Same way.  Sheltered me.  Prepared a place for me in heaven.  Cared for me and my family.  Been the refuge He promises to be when times are tough.

Conclusions:  You knew 5b was coming.  Again, straight-forward.  No meat.  See End Notes for the meat.

End Notes:  This is the first of 7 signs, called mega or great in Greek.  We are going to see 7 figures of the Tribulation as well, 3 are introduced here.  They are:

· The woman, representing Israel
· The dragon, representing Satan
· The man-child, referring to Jesus
· The angel Michael, head of the angelic host
· The offspring of the woman, representing Gentiles who come to faith in the Tribulation
· The beast out of the sea, representing the antichrist
· The beast out of the earth, representing the false prophet who promotes the antichrist

Who is the woman?  Since this is a sign, scholars don’t expect this woman to appear on earth.  Scholars define biblical signs as an extraordinary spectacle or event that points beyond itself.   She’s a symbol who has been given authority (moon under her feet and crown of 12 stars).

We have seen Jezebel in Revelation 2:20 representing false teaching.  We will see a Great Harlot in Revelation 17:2 pertaining to false religion and the Bride in Revelation 19:7-8 for the church.

Catholics see this woman as Mary.  Art often depicts Mary as standing on a crescent moon with 12 stars around her head.

Some say she represents the believing Messianic community

Some scholars say, however, this woman is Israel.  In Joseph’s dream (Genesis 37:9-11), the sun represented Jacob, the moon represented Joseph’s mother, Rachel, and the eleven stars were the sons of Israel which bowed down to Joseph.  In this sign Joseph is the twelfth star since at the time Joseph was just a boy with no sons yet.

In other Old Testament passages, Israel (or Zion or Jerusalem) is often represented as a woman (Isaiah 54:1-6, Jeremiah 3:20, Ezekiel 16:8-14, and Hosea 2:19-20).

The woman has to be either Mary or Israel since she gave birth to Jesus.  It can’t be the church since Jesus gave birth to the church (Matthew 16:18).  The rest of Revelation 12 will show this is Israel.

Historically, the woman has been viewed as Mary since the Catholic church dominated the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  It has only been recently viewed in a wider sense.  Good article HERE debating who she is.

Some scholars say the pain represents the Roman occupation of Israel during the first century AD.  I say it’s the pain of childbirth woman was cursed with from the Garden (Genesis 3:16).

We have seen this imagery used before when Micah uses it to describe Israel carted off by Babylon to captivity (Micah 4:9-10).  He continues in 5:2-4 to say Israel will suffer to purify the people and allow the remnant to emerge.

Who is the dragon?  The dragon, another sign, represents power (7 heads & 10 horns) and authority (7 crowns).  7 represents completeness so complete power and authority.  The Greek word for crowns (diadema) is only used in the book of Revelation.  It is different than the crowns the woman wears in verse 1 (stephanos).  The crown is permanent victory whereas the diadema is simply power and authority.

The dragon appears in every major civilization in their myths.  Up until the end of the Renaissance and even into the Industrial Revolution, people believed in dragons.

In the Old Testament, we see dragons as symbols of enemies of God or Israel (Psalm 74:14; Isaiah 27:1; Ezekiel 29:3).

Some scholars say the dragon is the Roman empire and cite Revelation 13:1 and Daniel 7:7-8: 2.  However, in verse 9, he’s revealed to be Satan along with Revelation 20:2.

The dragon is evil, plain and simple.

Many believe the 1/3 of the stars flung to earth is 1/3 of Satan’s angels flung to earth in light of the next few verses (Revelation 12:7, 9).  Some say they’re nations or kings.

The dragon has tried before to devour the child.  The devil used Herod (Matthew 2:16-18) to kill the first-borns.  The devil tried himself (John 8:58 & Mark 4:35-41).  Esther saved her people when Haman tried to exterminate the Jews (Esther 3:6).

Who is the child?  We know Jesus rules with an iron scepter (Psalm 2:7-9; Revelation 19:15).

Again, we see 1,260 days (or 3 1/2 years), which is the time of the Great Tribulation.  Verse 5 shows the ascension of Jesus and this time frame in verse 6.  We are in-between both.

This passage foreshadows the Great Tribulation.  Those who believe believers will be spared from the Tribulation (mid-tribulationists) point to this passage.  At the end, 1/3 of God’s people (the remnant) will go into hiding (or be raptured) for 3 1/2 years and emerge at the end to heaven on earth.  Post -tribulationists use this passage as well to say Christians will still face the tribulation before the rapture.

THE BIG PICTURE:  We see the birth of Jesus as calm and soothing as a baby in a manger worshiped by three magi.  Smiling animals are in the manger and a star leads the way.  Here, John is saying, “No!”  We see Jesus’ birth how the devil did: a battle for earthly authority with a dragon waiting to eat a newborn baby.  Here, on earth, God and Satan fight for control.  We see this in the choices we make.  However, in the supernatural universe, there is a war going on constantly.  Here, in Revelation 12 and throughout the rest of the book, we will see the final outcome of that battle being told.  And, of course, God wins!

Just for Fun:  Cool pictures of Woman and Dragon HERE and HERE

Images of Mary with stars and moon:  This one is an altar image in Germany HERE  This one is in Strasbourg Cathedral HERE  Papal Mitre HERE

Great article of history of Mary in art world.  She was the most painted woman in art until the eighteenth century.  She was painted by every major artist up until then.  HERE

My Confusion Over Leviticus Has Ended!

So for the last 4 weeks (the whole time we’ve been doing Leviticus), I’ve been confused over the ordering of the chapters and their readings.  For the longest time, I thought we had skipped Leviticus 24.  Then I go back and see we skipped Leviticus 21-24.  What happened?  What was I missing?  So I got out all of my lesson questions and lined them all up and this is what I found:

Leviticus 1-7–Lesson 14

Leviticus 8-10–Lesson 15

Leviticus 11-15–Lesson 14

Leviticus 16–Lesson 16

Leviticus 17-20–Lesson 14

Leviticus 25-27–Lesson 17

So where’s Leviticus 21-24?  Well if you look at Day 6 of Lesson 14, it says to read Leviticus 17-24.  However, we are not asked any questions on Leviticus 21-24.  Almost always (in fact, this is the first time I have seen this) Day 6 is a re-reading of the passages you have already read in the lesson.  Apparently, not for Lesson 14.  You were supposed to read Leviticus 21-24 for Day 6.  I noticed this when I did lesson 14, but thought it was typo or that we’d come back to it since we weren’t asked any questions on it.

Therefore, if you were like me and missed this, you need to read Leviticus 21-24.  Even in the notes, it’s glossed over as well.  Now, in lesson 16 day 5 we are asked to read a small part of Leviticus 23 so if you read that, you need to read the rest.

Not being a Bible scholar, I’m unsure why we skipped over these parts of the Bible.  I’m assuming too much to cover and not enough time.  But I’m a stickler for thoroughness (I’m also a stickler for chronological order as well which I’d recommend here) so as a stickler who didn’t read it on Day 6 of Lesson 14 since I had assumed it was a review day, I’m reading it.  Focus on Leviticus 24 since it’s so often quoted and misunderstood.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 16, Day 5: Leviticus 16:29-34 & 23:26-32

Summary of passages:  Leviticus 16:29-34:  The Day of Atonement is to be a lasting ordinance made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.  The people are not to do any work and are to fast and the high priest is to make atonement for you.

Leviticus 23:26-32:  The Day of Atonement is to be a fasting and an offering made of fire.  No work is to be performed and if you do, you will be cut off from your people and destroyed.  This is to be a lasting ordinance.


11a)  Once a year forever

b)  It was to be on the tenth day of the seventh month.  All were to gather together and fast and do no work and offer sacrifices to God.

12a)  Jesus made one sacrifice–himself and his blood–to take away the sins of the people completely.  The Day of Atonement had to be done once a year and only covered the people’s sins–never truly eliminated it–because the blood of goats and lambs and bulls would never be sufficient.  Only the blood of Our Savior cleanses us forever and makes us holy to be with God–justified–and gives us the Holy Spirit.

The blood of animals was a holding pattern per se, a temporary solution or a “shadow” as Hebrews calls it until Jesus was sent.  It was what would do for now until the goal (Jesus) arrived.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By living God’s way and not mine or the devil’s.  By doing His work here on earth.  By sharing the gospel with others.  By preparing my heart and the hearts of those around me for Jesus’s second coming and being prepared for life everlasting.  Constantly pray and thank Him for sending His son, for choosing me, for forgiving me.  Having a heart of gratitude continually and trusting Him with everything.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Oh, Lord, thank you for sending your Son to die for my sins once and for all.  To cleanse me, to forgive me, to justify me, to reconcile me to you.  Thank you, Jesus, for bearing a burden that was not yours to bear, for loving me enough to bear it, and for doing so without any regrets.  Words will never be enough so I pray my heart is.

Conclusions:  Ever wonder why God even did the Old Covenant.  Why not just send Jesus?  Why not just institute the New Covenant straight away?  Why make His people go through all of this elaborate rituals that never really did the job in the first place?  My instinct is to say because God was testing man–testing his will, his desire, his strength, his dedication, his faith.  Growing man to be ready to receive Christ.  Making sure man’s heart was right for Jesus and not just going through the motions for a temporary fad or new religion.

One scholar says if God had created Christianity first, man would not have known he needed a Savior.  He would have thought he’d be alright himself as long as he performed the sacrifices and be saved.  That didn’t work, now did it?

God instituted the Old so we could understand the New such as the need for sacrificial blood.  Basically, man was not yet ready for Jesus; he slowly had to be led to him.  Great article HERE on this topic.

I liked this lesson.  The Hebrews passages (and I’d read all of Hebrews from 7-10 to get the full argument) paired with the Day of Atonement passages really is what hit home with me in terms of how much Jesus did for us with one sacrifice and how grateful we should be to him for his mercy and grace.  I’ve never read the Day of Atonement along with the Hebrews passages before and this was brilliant to me.  All around good stuff!

End Notes:  Most of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are about the tabernacle and the sacrifices and offerings for sin.  It’s the largest single subject in the Bible.  Yet, Jesus eliminates all of that with the cross.  Powerful!

The Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur is still celebrated today by Jews and included a period of rest and fasting.  It falls on the tenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar.  It is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people.  Usually no sacrifices are made as the Jews believe either good works, charity, or sufferings are a suitable sacrifice.

Interesting Fact:  The Old Covenant was only ever binding on the Jews, which they say ended at the fall of the temple in 70 AD and not at Jesus’ death.  Gentiles did not have to become Jews first and then Christians–they were merely Christians first and always.  This is why in Acts we see some of the apostles still practicing the Old Covenant rules and regulations and debating them.  Thus, scholars say the Old Covenant was binding upon the Israelites until 70 AD.  After that, the New Covenant was instituted for all.  This is cool to me because as a Gentile I never really considered how and when the Old Covenant faded since it never affected me.  Neat stuff!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 16, Day 4: Leviticus 16:20-28

Summary of passage:  After atoning for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting, and the altar, Aaron shall bring in the goat and lay all of the sins of the people on its head and send it out into the desert.  Then Aaron is to take off his clean garments and leave them in the Most Holy Place, bathe himself, and put back on his regular garments.  Then he will sacrifice up the burnt offering for himself and the people and the sin offering.  The man who led the goat into the desert must wash his clothes and bathe before returning.  The bull and the goat are to be burnt up and the man who burns them is to bathe and wash his clothes as well.


9a)  Aaron lays both hands on the head of the live goat and confesses over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites–all their sins–to put them on the goat.  Then he sends the goat out into the desert.

b)  Jesus took upon himself all of our sins and carried them away as well except he made it permanent with his blood.  Hebrews tells us that just as Jesus was sacrificed outside the city walls, the goat was sent away to make the people holy.

10a)  Then Aaron is to go the Tent of Meeting and take off the linen garments he put on before he entered the Most Holy Place and leave the clothes there.  Then he was to bathe himself and put on his old garments.  Then he was to sacrifice the burnt offering and the sin offering.

b)  The burnt offering made atonement for himself and the people and the fat of the sin offering.  This was in accordance with the normal sin offering which was offered on regular days as well–nothing special here (Leviticus 4:8-12 , 8:14-17).

Conclusions:  Lots of copying out the passage here.  Not sure why the huge focus here except to say how Jesus was the goats here and emphasize the comparison.  Basically, how the High Priest of the Old Testament compares to the High Priest of the New Testament–Jesus Christ.

End Notes:  Note how the goat was still alive, bearing the people’s sins so the people’s sins were never really buried or eliminated.

Christ is also the High Priest.  Two goats represent Jesus as well–one that dies for our sins and the second goat which remains alive that takes away our sins so that we can live.

Some scholars say the High Priest entering into the Most Holy Place represents us entering into heaven that Christ paved for us to do.  The High Priest comes out again as does Jesus who forever lives.