Before the Lamb of God…

The first Witness states:

The Day of Atonement

After the death of Aaron’s two sons—they died when they came before God with strange fire—God spoke to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron not to enter into the Holy of Holies, barging inside the curtain that’s before the Atonement-Cover on the Chest whenever he feels like it, lest he die, because I am present in the Cloud over the Atonement-Cover.

“This is the procedure for Aaron when he enters the Holy Place: He will bring a young bull for an Absolution-Offering and a ram for a Whole-Burnt-Offering; he will put on the holy linen tunic and the linen underwear, tie the linen sash around him, and put on the linen turban. These are the sacred vestments so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on. Then from the Israelite community he will bring two male goats for an Absolution-Offering and a Whole-Burnt-Offering.

“Aaron will offer the bull for his own Absolution-Offering in order to make atonement for himself and his household. Then he will set the two goats before God at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and cast lots over the two goats, one lot for God and the other lot for Azazel. He will offer the goat on which the lot to God falls as an Absolution-Offering. The goat on which the lot for Azazel falls will be sent out into the wilderness to Azazel to make atonement.

“Aaron will present his bull for an Absolution-Offering to make atonement for himself and his household. He will slaughter his bull for the Absolution-Offering. He will take a censer full of burning coals from the Altar before God and two handfuls of finely ground aromatic incense and bring them inside the curtain and put the incense on the fire before God; the smoke of the incense will cover the Atonement-Cover which is over The Testimony so that he doesn’t die. He will take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the Atonement-Cover, then sprinkle the blood before the Atonement-Cover seven times.

“Next he will slaughter the goat designated as the Absolution-Offering for the people and bring the blood inside the curtain. He will repeat what he does with the bull’s blood, sprinkling it on and before the Atonement-Cover. In this way he will make atonement for the Holy of Holies because of the uncleannesses of the Israelites, their acts of rebellion, and all their other sins. He will do the same thing for the Tent of Meeting which dwells among the people in the midst of their uncleanness. There is to be no one in the Tent of Meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Holy of Holies until he comes out, having made atonement for himself, his household, and the whole community of Israel.

“Then he will come out to the Altar that is before God and make atonement for it. He will take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and smear it all around the four horns of the Altar. With his finger he will sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times to purify and consecrate it from the uncleannesses of the Israelites.

“When Aaron finishes making atonement for the Holy of Holies, the Tent of Meeting, and the Altar, he will bring up the live goat, lay both hands on the live goat’s head, and confess all the iniquities of the People of Israel, all their acts of rebellion, all their sins. He will put all the sins on the goat’s head and send it off into the wilderness, led out by a man standing by and ready. The goat will carry all their iniquities to an empty wasteland; the man will let him loose out there in the wilderness.

“Finally, Aaron will come into the Tent of Meeting and take off the linen clothes in which he dressed to enter the Holy of Holies and leave them there. He will bathe in water in a Holy Place, put on his priestly vestments, offer the Whole-Burnt-Offering for himself and the Whole-Burnt-Offering for the people, making atonement for himself and the people, and burn the fat of the Absolution-Offering on the Altar.

“The man who takes the goat out to Azazel in the wilderness then will wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. After that he will be permitted to come back into the camp. The bull for the Absolution-Offering and the goat for the Absolution-Offering, whose blood has been taken into the Holy of Holies to make atonement, are to be taken outside the camp and burned—their hides, their meat, and their entrails. The man assigned to burn them up will then wash his clothes and bathe himself in water. Then he is free to come back into the camp.

“This is standard practice for you, a perpetual ordinance. On the tenth day of the seventh month, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you are to enter into a solemn fast and refrain from all work, because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. In the presence of God you will be made clean of all your sins. It is a Sabbath of all Sabbaths. You must fast. It is a perpetual ordinance.

“The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father is to make the atonement:

He puts on the sacred linen garments;

He purges the Holy of Holies by making atonement;

He purges the Tent of Meeting and the Altar by making atonement;

He makes atonement for the priests and all the congregation.

“This is a perpetual ordinance for you: Once a year atonement is to be made for all the sins of the People of Israel.”

And Aaron did it, just as God commanded Moses.

I went up to the middle ground only to honor and bless my Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the one and only lamb of God ever slaughtered to put away the sins of the world, once and for all. The air was clearer than Hawaii and life in the flora and fauna were already blooming again, and there was pure water again.

Between the slit of the tent flap and the veil, I lifted my voice and cast down these crowns:

In the veil I lifted my head up and threw myself to the floor for I was terrified. There was no blood on the alter! No blood on the alter! It was spotless! This is bad, very bad! And worse, it was not the lamb of God, who is Jesus the Messiah and there is no other like him, who was slain to put away the sins of the world once and for all. On the seat of honor sat the One, Lord God Almighty, all to himself and He was spotless. The Son and the Father and the Spirit all three were in One. I had only seen this in the Throne room far above! How could this be good?!

He rose and started walking toward me. I buried my spirit face first in the floor and it shook wildly and cried out, “I am not worthy! Crush my spirit! Receive my soul! Burn my body! For I am not worthy!” As he walked towards me the whole middle ground shook and loud noises exploded outside the tent. All space unfolded like smoke and time became fire about him as he approached. I had fallen in the middle of the veil, legs still outside the veil. Melchizedek pushed me all the way in saying, “come on man, in you go.” How could this be good?!

In my terror and noise inside my body, I heard the One and Melchizedek say together “Peace and rise!” The One put both hands on my head and raised me up as the priest behind supported my back. And as they lifted me, time/space settled and quiet settled round about us. I kept my face downward but the One said “look at my face.” And the other behind me said “man, look up and live.” The tent had flown away, upward were all the saints above and all the stars of His creation; and they all sang to Him. All their lights of praise were sent to His head, and He said again to me “look at my face and live.” I thought in my head, “how could this be good?”

The One smiled all those lights at me and said, “this is good, very good, very very good.” And my spirit was still so stupid that I only thought, “okay, it might be good?” The one behind me said a third time “come on man, it is good.” The One smiled and asked me to say “peace” with Him. So we all said “peace” together, and I felt much better but I did not understand. Then He said understand this and say it with us, we all said together:

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon us,
    because he has anointed us
        to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent us to proclaim liberty to captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
        to let the oppressed go free,
 and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

The One said “understand this” and I heard three different words all in one word “peace, shalom, and a word I cannot write but I did understand.” Our Father spoke first, “find a people that we can trust with my Son.” And that heat went to my heart and flooded my chest and guts with peace. It was a good word. Then the Son, who I knew best of the three said, “my friend, my good friend, my old friend.” And I thought only to myself, “old, who‘s old?” And my Friend almost laughed but continued, “please be my brother-in-arms once again, help me, help us, help all we love. Make war for peace the way we always have… one… last… time. Offer my shalom and find a trustworthy people and work with us to make disciples of them, so that all things might be better than good.” And the heat of that word entered through the seven gates of my head and it was very good.

I asked in our Spirit, “what next my Lord and God?” And He handed me a piece of paper from my past and said,” take this and have it nailed to the right post of tent flap. So I took it and turned outside the veil. As I did Melchizedek reached through the veil, slapped me on the back and said “there you go Beta.” I thought how odd, and they all smiled and said from behind the veil, “peace, it is good.”

Here is the paper from my past that I had the guard nail it to the right hand post of meeting which says, again:

“Do not build a monument, witness a movement. He is not a god of earthworks but the Eternal Lord of Life. He is not a name in a place but a global anthem of living grace that will never cease.”

The second Witness states:

The Sacrifice of Jesus

The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since that old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete those who followed it. No matter how many sacrifices were offered year after year, they never added up to a complete solution. If they had, the worshipers would have gone merrily on their way, no longer dragged down by their sins. But instead of removing awareness of sin, when those animal sacrifices were repeated over and over they actually heightened awareness and guilt. The plain fact is that bull and goat blood can’t get rid of sin. That is what is meant by this prophecy, put in the mouth of Christ:

“You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year;
    you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice.
It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar
    that whet your appetite.
So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God,
    the way it’s described in your Book.”

When he said, “You don’t want sacrifices and offerings,” he was referring to practices according to the old plan. When he added, “I’m here to do it your way,” he set aside the first in order to enact the new plan—God’s way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.

Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. The Holy Spirit confirms this:

This new plan I’m making with Israel
    isn’t going to be written on paper,
    isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
This time “I’m writing out the plan in them,
    carving it on the lining of their hearts.”

He concludes,

I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.

Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them.

Don’t Throw It All Away

So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.” Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.

Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.

It won’t be long now, he’s on the way;
    he’ll show up most any minute.
But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust;
    if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy.

But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.

In the name of the Father, God, and his only/uniquely begotten son, Lord Jesus The Messiah, and in our Holy Spiritwe offer our shalom to everyone now, repent and return to the will of God, shalom. For, “it is the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.”

Initium sapientiae timor domini

And this song played across the middleground and all creation here and above sang this:

I was called back into the tent and wept so hard and smiled so big and shook so bad, but I walked because I no longer would fear anything but the Lord my God…it was good, it was very good…

[rest, pray, and return at sundown tomorrow]

(3/7)

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