Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 041915
God made Atonement for Iniquity, even the worse sins of all.
We are now noting in DAN 9:24 the six different prophecies of our Lord fulfilling what I like to call “The Purpose of the Seventy Sevens or the 490 years mentioned in DAN 9:24.”
DAN 9:24, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.”
Notice that this section lists six specific things that the Jews or Israel could expect their Redeemer and our Lord and Savior to fulfill. Three of them have negative connotations, three of them have positive connotations, though all six of them are divinely inspired. And of course they are as follows, though I did change the presentation of the order but didnt touch the fulfillment of the order at all.
So, in the order given in verse 24 they are:
1. to finish the transgression;
2. to make an end of sin;
3. to make atonement for iniquity;
4. to bring in everlasting righteousness;
5. to seal up vision and prophecy;
6. to anoint the most holy place.
First, we noted my first principle that I mentioned which was found in the phrase in DAN 9:24, “to make an end of sin” which is a prophecy of our Lord dealing with the main problem of mans sin which is his sin of unbelief. By unbelief, I mean unbelief toward the person of Christ, the work of Christ and mans need for Christ. I started out by mentioning this one first even though in the order given in DAN 9:24 it is the second prophetic fulfillment that is mentioned. I did so because I wanted to deal with mans first major spiritual problem which is the problem of spiritual death and the only sin that can truly separate man from God forever and ever, and that is the sin of unbelief.
Which is why I believe our Lord also mentioned it first in the Gospel of John concerning the first thing the Holy Spirit convicts man of in JOH 16:8-9, “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;” The sin of unbelief is the only sin again that can take an individual to lake of fire forever and ever.
The second principle we studied from the phrase in DAN 9:24, “to finish the transgression” which refers to not only the payment for all of our sins but also dealing with the problem of the entire OSN. ISA 26:11; EZE 36:24-27; JER 31:31-34. Sometimes these good things man produces are called “dead works” as we noted inHEB 6:1, 9:15.
HEB 6:1, Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Repentance from dead works means that they had already learned the difference between divine good and human good which resides in one phrase and command, “Be filled with the Spirit.” Also HEB 9:14 talks about being free from the bondage of performing human good when it says; How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
We are ready to deal with the third prophecy our Lord would fulfill mentioned in verse 24 referenced by the phrase “to make atonement for iniquity.” Just like our second principle went beyond our personal sins, but also included our Lord dealing with the entire OSN. So this third part of the prophecy deals with our Lord dealing with iniquity which is not only sin against God, but sins and crimes against divine establishment principles as well. In other words, iniquity also takes into account sins against the laws of the land, especially sins against others. So, here is the question, the Atonement or the answer to the question “For whom did Christ die and why?”
You need to understand that these doctrines we are going to talk about are at the very heart and soul of our Theology. They are the very doctrines that were dealt with in the great Reformation Period when the Church was rescued out of the darkness of religion, legalism and the influence of Roman Catholicism. First of all, the Reformation Period refers to a time when the Church was taught that revealing the Bible, not tradition, should be the sole source of spiritual authority. Tradition has deceived many believers even as it does today. In fact, in the OT or the Torah, to the Jews our Lord said in ISA 29:13, This people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
Rote means routine or learning by a habitual or mechanical course of procedure. Rote is like repeating yourself in such things as prayer which our Lord forbade in passages like MAT 6:7, “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.”
In fact, look at MAR 7:5-9, And the Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.’ But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.”
So, notice how the tradition of religion has caused individuals to ignore and neglect the Word of God. It was Martin Luther and the other reformers who became the first to skillfully use the power of the printing press to give their ideas to a world-wide audience. For many years, the Roman Catholic Church had prohibited those who claimed to be Christians from reading the Bible. At the time, there were no printing presses and the Bible was on scrolls and parchments during the early centuries of Christianity. And therefore, no one had a Bible. Even into the Middle Ages, each Bible was written by hand.
By the way, this was one of the main reasons that they used stained glass windows and art to tell the stories in the Bible. The printing press was not invented until 1436 by Johann Gutenberg. So prior to 1436, the idea of everybody having a Bible was out of the question, even if they could read. However, with the invention of the printing presses, there was a communications explosion, and suddenly lots of people began making some very poor and heretical translations of the Bible and popularizing them throughout Christendom...and so the Church tried to stop this. One of the most misunderstood subjects at the time is our subject this morning which is what we call the atonement. So, this morning, we begin with the importance of understanding the third prophecy mentioned in DAN 9:24 by the phrase, “to make atonement for iniquity,”
First of all, what does the Bible mean by the word atonement? Let’s look at the word atonement. It begins with is the Hebrew noun kopher and the verb is kapher which means to make atonement; to make reconciliation; or to atone by offering a substitute. The word also refers to the reconciliation of God with mankind through Jesus Christ. It also connotes a satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; or to make amends. All of these definitions are in view in some capacity as we will see this morning. Atonement is the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God to man accomplished through the life, suffering, and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.Biblically, it also means to remove guilt of man.
All of these things were done on behalf of us by our Lord and Savior who did these things as the Bible says for us. The Old Testament atonements offered by the high priest were temporary and a foreshadow of the real and final atonement made by the Lord. This is why we are told that Jesus atoned for the sins of the world (1JO 2:2). And that this atonement is received by faith (ROM 5:1). We are also taught that because man is a sinner (ROM 5:8), he cannot atone for himself. Therefore, it was the love of the Father that sent His Son, (1JO 4:10), in our place, (1PE 3:18), and for our sins; (1Pe 2:24). Therefore because of the atonement, our fellowship with God is restored (ROM 5:10).
All of these principles are in view when it comes to our Lord fulfilling the third prophecy mentioned in DAN 9:24, to make atonement for iniquity or even the worse sins of all! I believe that sin is sin and that in JAM 2:10, For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. And I also believe asJAM 2:11 says, For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
However, you cannot tell me that adultery has the same effects as murder. One you will be put in jail for and even killed for because of committing it, the other you will not. This verse is not saying all sins are equal, it is saying all sinners transgress the same law, the law of God. But there are different consequences for different sins, but the Lord even took care of the most wicked ones man could commit as well, called in our passage iniquity!
The apostle Paul taught the extent of the atonement when he said in 1TI 4:10, For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. In fact, it is the last part of 1TI 4:10 that is really vital to understand because it reveals the extent or the entire scope and magnitude of what is known as the unlimited atonement. Notice that it says we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. It is that word especially that makes a distinction between believers and the entire human race. Especially is the Greek comparative adverbmalista which means most of all, or in a greater degree, referring to the distinction between believers and the entire human race.
You see what is known as the limited atonement says that Jesus Christ only died for a certain segment of the human race, whereas the unlimited atonement says that He died for all and that because He died for all that makes Him the Savior of all, especially, believers who have accepted His sacrifice for them. This is brought outespecially in the original language of scripture by the word malista translated especially!
Now, when it says “He is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. The verb “to be” translated is also vital to understand because it is a pres-act-ind of the verb eimi which means “He keeps on being.”
The present tense = He always is or He keeps in being the Savior. In ACT 4:12, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.The active voice means the Lord produces the action of the verb. The indicative mood is a dogmatic principle of doctrine, who keeps on being the Savior. Savior is the word soter and means God or Christ and it refers to everything that Jesus Christ did on the Cross.
For example, there is propitiation. Propitiation is the Godward side of salvation whereby the essence of God is satisfied with the salvation work of the Lord. Man is sinful and incapable of saving himself. But, +R cannot have fellowship with sinfulness so the Lord was judged for our sins and He satisfied the righteousness of God the Father who represented the perfect righteousness of the entire Trinity. Then there is the separation that has been dealt with through the Lord. There was a separation between God and man. The atonement also dealt with this separation, as we will see.
Heres how God did it:
First there was the problem with sin, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, ROM 6:23. The atonement solved this problem.
Second, there was the problem concerning the penalty of sin which is spiritual death which our Lord took care of an atoned for in MAT 27:46. The atonement solved this problem.
Thirdly, there was the problem of our birth, we are born spiritually dead and physically alive, this was atoned for. The problem of physical birth is removed by the doctrine of regeneration.
Fourth, mans righteousness is unable to meet the demands of +R. The problem of mans righteousness is removed by the doctrine of justification and imputation.
Fifth. our Position in Adam was a problem because in Adam all die, 1CO 15:22. The problem of our position in Adam is handled by our new position in Christ, or the doctrine of positional truth through the baptism of the Spirit.
Sixth, the problem of sin is removed by the doctrine of redemption i.e., unlimited atonement.
Seventh, the penalty of sin is removed by the doctrine of expiation, the satisfying of the holiness of God.
All of these things were barriers that we could not get around, over or under...but His atonement for us took care of them all. We cant get there (i.e., to God) by religion, works or deeds, but the Lord solved these problems because He is truly the only Savior. By believing in the Lord, man can now have fellowship with God forever. The apostle Paul selected one specific type of doctrine to reveal all of these problems and their solutions which is the doctrine of the atonement. A doctrine that has divided many believers and may I say one that is vital for the glorification of the Lord and for the magnification of Gods justice and +R who is the Savior of all men
This means when the Lord was on the Cross He was judged for all members of the human race. That’s why it says “whosoever believes” over 45 times. He is called the Savior of all men, especially those that believe. This statement deals with one particular aspect of salvation known as the atonement also mentioned as a part of our Lord fulfilling the third prophecy mentioned in DAN 9:24. And so when 1TI 4:10 says, He is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
Doctrine of the Unlimited Atonement.”
Back in the O.T., Lev 16 there were three things in the tabernacle which were used to illustrate eternal salvation and unlimited atonement. First of all, there was a copy of the tables of the Law or the Ten Commandments and they were put in the Ark of the Covenant. It was made of Acacia wood and then it was gold plated. The wood spoke of the humanity of Christ and the gold spoke of His deity. Along with the copy of the Mosaic Law there was also Aarons rod that budded, and a Pot of Manna. They were all placed in this box because they all spoke of different categories of sin. The Mosaic Law spoke of sin being a violation of divine standards. Aarons rod that budded spoke of sin as rejecting God’s authority. The pot of manna spoke of sin in the failure to utilize logistical grace as the individual was kept alive in order to have an opportunity for salvation.
Most of you are familiar with the Mosaic Law and how the Jews made a golden calf when Moses was on the top of Mount Sinai receiving the ten commandments from God. And you will recall when Moses came down the Mountain that he saw the Golden calf that the Jews had made in his absence and he broke the 10 commandments that God had given him that he wrote in stone. He did so because he was angry at the sins of the Jews in making a golden calf in his absence. Those commandments were put in the Ark as a sign of the rebellion and sins of the Jewish people.
Then there was the manna God gave the Jews from Heaven and they complained about that. So, the Lord told Moses to put some of the manna inside of the Ark because it simply spoke of Israels rejection of the food that God gave them in the wilderness. So far then we have the ten Commandments and the manna put inside of the ark which represented the Lord Jesus Christ as the God-man and why it was make out of acacia wood and gold.
Then finally, let me take you to Numbers 17 and show you the story of Aarons rod that budded that represented the rebellion of the Jews against the authority given to Moses by God. The Jews rejected the authority God gave His man Moses and rebelled and therefore Aarons rod was placed inside the Ark as a symbol of their rejection of authority. Well, let us look at the story at least and give you some background to it.
First of all, in verses 1-3, we have a test commanded by God where we have the gathering of rods, identified with each tribe.
NUM 17:13, Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and get from them a rod for each fathers household: twelve rods, from all their leaders according to their fathers households. You shall write each name on his rod, and write Aarons name on the rod of Levi; for there is one rod for the head of each of their fathers households.
A rod was a symbol of authority, because shepherds would use a rod to guide and correct the sheep,
PSA 23:4b, Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
As a shepherd, Moses had a rod in his hand when tending sheep in the wilderness (EXO 4:2); this rod later became known as the rod of God,- a symbol of the authority God gave to Moses (EXO 4:20). This same roddemonstrated Moses authority in action, by miraculously becoming a serpent, and then becoming a rod again and was used to bring about the 10 plagues on Egypt. In gathering rods, and inscribing each with the name of a tribe, and on Levis rod inscribing Aarons name, God would declare which tribe possessed priestly authority by choosing one of the rods. This was the issue at hand in light of Korahs rebellion. Notice in verses 4-5, the rods were to be placed in the tabernacle for Gods choosing.
NUM 17:4-5, “You shall then deposit them in the tent of meeting in front of the testimony, where I meet with you. And it will come about that the rod of the man whom I choose will sprout. Thus I shall lessen from upon Myself the grumblings of the sons of Israel, who are grumbling against you.”
When it says in verse 5, the rod of the man whom I choose will sprout or blossom, the blossoming of dead wood spoke of miraculous fruitfulness being present when godly authority and leadership is being practiced. The Jews also rejected this. Even though the Lord said in verse 5, I will rid Myself of their grumblings and murmurings. This did not mean that the children of Israel would never complain again, it simply refereed to their murmuring and complaining about only Aarons rod blossoming while theirs did not. And so God demonstrated more and more sufficient evidence to their murmuring and complaining and said he would no longer pay attention to them regard their murmuring. Though indeed, He would eventually judge their murmuring.
NUM 17:6-9, Moses therefore spoke to the sons of Israel, and all their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers households, twelve rods, with the rod of Aaron among their rods. So Moses deposited the rods before the Lord in the tent of the testimony. Now it came about on the next day that Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. Moses then brought out all the rods from the presence of the Lord to all the sons of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod.
When Moses checked on the rods the next day, Aarons rod - and only Aarons rod - had sprouted. It not only sprouted, it had put forth buds. It had not only put forth buds, it had produced blossoms. It had not only produced blossoms, it had yielded almonds. It had not only yielded almonds, it yielded ripe almonds! This was a place where a small miracle would have been convincing. After all, God could have merely made a little green sprout come forth from Aarons rod alone, and that would have - or should have - been enough.
But God gave, as in the words of ACT 1:3, many infallible proofs, to demonstrate His approval of Aarons leadership. God gives us more than enough evidence; our problem is a lack of willingness to see what He has made clear. The whole test meant Aaron was Gods chosen priest, and the nation was required to recognize it. And notice the lat phrase in verse 9, that each man took his rod: This was a dramatic scene. Each murmurer from the different tribe took his rod, and clearly saw that his had not budded or borne fruit, and that Aarons had. Therefore, as a symbol and sign of their rebellion notice what we read in verses 10-11.
NUM 17:10-11, But the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put an end to their grumblings against Me, so that they should not die.” Thus Moses did; just as the Lord had commanded him, so he did.
Notice in verse 10, that Aarons rod was be kept as a sign against the rebels: The rod of Aaron was to be kept as a museum piece, to remind the children of Israel that God had chosen a priesthood, and nothing would change that. Aarons priesthood would always be Aarons priesthood. The phrase to bring Aarons rod back before the Testimony means that Aarons rod was to be kept in the ark of the covenant, as another example of Israels failure and rebellion.
So, when God looked down from Heaven into the ark, He saw emblems of Israels sin: The tablets of the Law they broke, the manna they complained about, and Aarons rod that they rebelled against. All three items were designed to illustrate the wickedness of man but how it is about to be solved by the mercy of God. In the spiritual realm, this was all covered paid for and fulfilled when our Lord fulfilled the third prophecy mentioned in DAN 9:24...”to make atonement for iniquity.” This will be revealed as we continue our study and see the covering blood of sacrifice which was applied to the lid covering over these reminders of Israels sin. And when God “saw” the blood “covering” their sin, atonement was made.