Mo’ed: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Future Judgment

Two male goats: One for the sin offering and the other as the “scapegoat” (Heb. Azazel).

Leviticus 23:26 The Lord [lit. Yahoah] spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord. 28 You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim]. 29 If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.” (NASB 1995)

In accordance with the calendar discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), the tenth day of the seventh month on the sixth day of the week — which coincides with the “evening” of 9/27 and “morning” of 9/28 of the pagan Gregorian calendar — marks the Day of Atonement (Heb. Yom Kippur).  As is stated in the Leviticus passage above, it is an annual or High Sabbath.  In fact, the modern Jewry considers it the holiest day of their liturgical calendar — the “Sabbath of Sabbaths.”  Although the TaNaKh (OT) does not explicitly state that it is holier than any other Sabbath — weekly or annual, vv29-30 stresses the importance and seriousness of its observance for the sons of Israel; it certainly bears repeating:

Leviticus 23:29 If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. (NASB 1995)

Even with its importance, it is not one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Heb. Shalosh Regalim); therefore, I personally reject the notion of its being holier than the other appointed times (Heb. mo’edim).

Nowhere in the TaNaKh (OT) does it state that Yom Kippur is a fast day (Heb. tsom).  Many have falsely stated that “afflict your soul” in Leviticus 16:29 — in the KJV, for example — implies fasting.  The better translation is “humble your soul” as in NASB.  The actual Hebrew word is anah; see here.  However, if one would prefer to fast on Yom Kippur, there is nothing prohibiting it, either.

The term scapegoat (Heb. Azazel), which is a misnomer introduced in the KJV, originates from the following Biblical practice on Yom Kippur when one of two goats is selected by lot to serve as the scapegoat to carry the sins of Israel into the desert wilderness to the east of Jerusalem while the other serves as the sin offering:

Leviticus 16:7 He shall take the two goats [lit. sa’iyrim; pl. of sa’iyr] and present them before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 8 Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats [lit. sa’iryim], one lot for the Lord [lit. Yahoah] and the other lot for the scapegoat [lit. Azazel]. 9 Then Aaron shall offer the goat [lit. sa’iyr] on which the lot for the Lord [lit. Azazel] fell, and make it a sin offering. 10 But the goat [lit. sa’iyr] on which the lot for the scapegoat [lit. Azazel] fell shall be presented alive before the Lord [lit. Yahoah], to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat [lit. Azazel]. (NASB 1995)

There are a couple of interesting things of note here.  The most important is recorded in the Book of 1 Enoch — which was the third most frequent manuscript discovered among the DSS behind Psalms and DeuteronomyAzazel was among the 200 fallen angels (aka Watchers) who abandoned their Heavenly stations and descended on Mount Hermon (Heb. Har Hermon) in the opening of Genesis 6, which corresponds to 1 Enoch 6.  Among other things, these fallen angels (i.e., the “sons of God”) had sexual relations with women (i.e., “the daughters of men”) and produced giants (Heb. Nephilim) as their progeny.  This abomination was the primary reason that lead to the Biblical Flood.  This is what 1 Enoch specifically states concerning Azazel:

1 Enoch 8:1 And Azâzêl taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals〈of the earth〉and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all coloring tinctures.

1 Enoch 9:6 Thou seest what Azâzêl hath done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were (preserved) in heaven, which men were striving to learn.

Essentially, Azazel was the father of blacksmithing (esp. for warfare), jewelry, and make-up; he was not to divulge that information to humankind.  But, here is the coup de grâce in v8 below:

1 Enoch 10:4 And again the Lord said to Raphael: “Bind Azâzêl hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dûdâêl, and cast him therein. 5. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. 6. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. 8. And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azâzêl: to him ascribe all sin.”

Wow!  That last sentence certainly casts Yom Kippur in a different light, doesn’t it?  So, the “scapegoat” of the KJV was actually a reference to a fallen angel named Azazel unto which all of humanity’s sins were ascribed!  That certainly lends more credence to the canonicity of 1 Enoch (not to mention that Jude 1:14-15 quotes 1 Enoch 1:9).

Another item of note was that the Hebrew word for a “male goat” (Heb. attud) was not used in the Leviticus 16:7-10 passage; instead, the term employed was sa’iyr (pl. sa’iyrim) meaning “devil.”  It is the basis for the mythological beast known as a satyr; Pan is an example.  What is even more interesting is that Pan is associated with the Banias spring at the foot of Mount Hermon, which is a tributary of the Jordan River (Heb. Nahar HaYarden).  The River Jordan could not have served as a gathering of “living water” (Heb. mikveh) without this spring.  More information on Christ’s full-body immersion (Heb. tevilahFeast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh).

Now, with a different understanding…

Leviticus 16:20 “When he [Aaron] finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat [lit. sa’iyr]. 21 Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat [lit. sa’iyr], and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat [lit. sa’iyr] and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. 22 The goat [lit. sa’iyr] shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat [lit. sa’iyr] in the wilderness. (NASB 1995)

The following are the passages above in Hebrew with a Strong’s concordance:

Yom Kippur completes what the modern Jewry calls the High Holy Days also known as the Days of Awe (Heb. Yomim Nora’im), which commences with the Memorial/Day of Blasting/Shouting (Heb. Zichron/Yom Teru’ah) on the first day of the seventh month on the fourth day of the week.

Every seventh year, Yom Kippur serves as an agricultural sabbatical year in which the land is to lie fallow in accordance with a Jubilee “week of years” (i.e., a grouping of seven, contiguous years):

Leviticus 25:1 The Lord [lit. Yahoah] then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. 3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, 4 but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 Your harvest’s aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. 6 All of you shall have the sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. 7 Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat. (NASB 1995)

Leviticus 25:18 ‘You shall thus observe My statutes and keep My judgments, so as to carry them out, that you may live securely on the land. 19 Then the land will yield its produce, so that you can eat your fill and live securely on it. 20 But if you say, “What are we going to eat on the seventh year if we do not sow or gather in our crops?” 21 then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. 22 When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in. (NASB 1995)

Every forty-nine years, or seven “weeks of years,” a Jubilee year (Heb. yobel) is marked by the sounding of ram horns (Heb. shofr’ot) during Yom Kippur on the last year of the “week of release.”  All Israeli property is to be returned to each family every jubilee among other things; it is certainly a time of second chances and redemption!  God meant for His people to be redeemed.  (But, this is no longer practiced today.  So, does the modern Jewry REALLY follow the Law as they claim?  Only when it is considered convenient and/or advantageous — just like most other religions).

Leviticus 25:8 ‘You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. 9 You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. 10 You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field.

13 ‘On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property. 14 If you make a sale, moreover, to your friend or buy from your friend’s hand, you shall not wrong one another. 15 Corresponding to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your friend; he is to sell to you according to the number of years of crops. 16 In proportion to the extent of the years you shall increase its price, and in proportion to the fewness of the years you shall diminish its price, for it is a number of crops he is selling to you. 17 So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God. (NASB 1995)

The Law of Redemption

Leviticus 25:23 ‘The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me. 24 Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land.

25 ‘If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold. 26 Or in case a man has no kinsman, but so recovers his means as to find sufficient for its redemption, 27 then he shall calculate the years since its sale and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so return to his property. 28 But if he has not found sufficient means to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of its purchaser until the year of jubilee; but at the jubilee it shall revert, that he may return to his property.

29 ‘Likewise, if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then his redemption right remains valid until a full year from its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year. 30 But if it is not bought back for him within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city passes permanently to its purchaser throughout his generations; it does not revert in the jubilee. 31 The houses of the villages, however, which have no surrounding wall shall be considered as open fields; they have redemption rights and revert in the jubilee. 32 As for cities of the Levites, the Levites have a permanent right of redemption for the houses of the cities which are their possession. 33 What, therefore, belongs to the Levites may be redeemed and a house sale in the city of this possession reverts in the jubilee, for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the sons of Israel. 34 But pasture fields of their cities shall not be sold, for that is their perpetual possession.

Of Poor Countrymen

35 ‘Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you. 37 You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.

39 ‘If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. 40 He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. 41 He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. 42 For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. 43 You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God. 44 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have — you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. 45 Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. 46 You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.

Of Redeeming a Poor Man

47 ‘Now if the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family, 48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49 or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. 50 He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him. 51 If there are still many years, he shall refund part of his purchase price in proportion to them for his own redemption; 52 and if few years remain until the year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he is to refund the amount for his redemption. 53 Like a man hired year by year he shall be with him; he shall not rule over him with severity in your sight. 54 Even if he is not redeemed by these means, he shall still go out in the year of jubilee, he and his sons with him. 55 For the sons of Israel are My servants; they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (NASB 1995)

For all OT passages regarding the Day of Atonement, see Leviticus 16; 23:26-32; 25; Numbers 29:7-11.  There is also an indirect NT reference in Hebrews 9:1-10 concentrating on v7.

Judgment Day (aka “the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”)

Now that the topic of atonement and redemption have been discussed in regard to Yom Kippur, let’s discuss the flip-side of what is to come:  Judgment Day.  Those two words strike dreadful fear in most everyone.  And, it should to a degree as it is literally everyone’s “day in court” before the living God — both for the righteous and the wicked.  The only ones who will NOT participate in Judgment Day are those who will be beheaded for their testimony of Christ during the Great Tribulation, will be part of the FIRST resurrection, and who will serve as priests during Christ’s literal Millennial Reign; see Revelation 20:1-6.  Regardless, for those who truly believe in Christ (and He will inspect our hearts!) there is absolutely NOTHING to fear — because we will be granted Grace, which is a judicial pardon or clemency.  With Grace, it is as if our “crimes” (i.e., sins) had never occurred; we are completely absolved.  Isn’t that a comforting thought?  That is the true meaning of the following passage:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (NASB 1995)

During Christ’s First Coming, He came as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 as our Savior and Redeemer — to provide Grace.  During His Second Coming, He will appear as the expected, conquering Messiah (Heb. Mashiach).  To learn more about the Light referenced in vv19-21 above, read my article entitled “Creation Week: Yom Rishon (First Day).”  One passage from that article requires reiteration:

The Deity of Jesus Joshua Christ (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach/Gr. ‘Iesous Christos)

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The Witness John Johanan (Heb. Yochanan/Gr. ‘Ióannés)

6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John [lit. ‘Ióannés]. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Word Made Flesh

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John [lit. ‘Ióannés] testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus [lit. ‘Iesous] Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (NASB 1995)

Let’s fast forward to the End Times…  In a nutshell, the following will occur:

For more information as to the timeline with additional details, read my article entitled “Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events.”

Regarding Yom Kippur, what is important to note is Judgment Day (aka “the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord [lit. Yahoah]”).  It is “great” for those written in the Book of Life but “terrible” for those who are not!  In that passage in Malachi, Elijah is one of the Two Witnesses of Revelation who will appear mid-Tribulation; the other is Enoch.  Neither has experienced death as both were taken up into Heaven in preparation of their prophesying for 1,260 yomim (slightly less than 42 months).  However, Leviathan will certainly kill them (Revelation 11:3-13 concentrating on vv7-10).  Besides Christ Himself, they are the only two born of this Earth residing in Heaven.  Note, however, in v5 that they are no longer quite human as literal fire will come from their mouths to devour their enemies.  Note also in v8 that Jerusalem is mystically called Sodom and Egypt because modern Israel covertly practices Babylonian paganism — including the mysticism of Kabbalah to this day.  This is further proof that Jerusalem — and by extension Israel — is Mystery Babylon; hence, the requirement for an undefiled New Jerusalem!

Christ will certainly act as the final judge/authority on Judgment Day:

John 5:19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. (NASB 1995)

Although this passage is speaking directly of ancient Babylon, it is also prophetic as modern Jerusalem is Mystery Babylon:

Judgment on the Day of the Lord

Isaiah 13:6 Wail, for the day of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] is near!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore all hands will fall limp,
And every man’s heart will melt.
8 They will be terrified,
Pains and anguish will take hold of them;
They will writhe like a woman in labor,
They will look at one another in astonishment,
Their faces aflame.
9 Behold, the day of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] is coming,
Cruel, with fury and burning anger,
To make the land a desolation;
And He will exterminate its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark when it rises
And the moon will not shed its light.
11 Thus I will punish the world for its evil
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.
12 I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold
And mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
And the earth will be shaken from its place
At the fury of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] of hosts
In the day of His burning anger.
14 And it will be that like a hunted gazelle,
Or like sheep with none to gather them,
They will each turn to his own people,
And each one flee to his own land.
15 Anyone who is found will be thrust through,
And anyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
16 Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces
Before their eyes;
Their houses will be plundered
And their wives ravished. (NASB 1995)

History certainly does repeat itself, and the adage holds true that:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana in Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1

The “sons of Israel” have proven time and time again to have short-term memories throughout the Bible — to the point of not recognizing their own Messiah!  However, we, as Christians must remember that they are “God’s Chosen,” and their hearts are currently hardened so that we may be adopted as “children of God” (Romans 11).  There is no “replacement theology” in play as some churches incorrectly teach.  The following passage states it well — we can choose Christ or Judgment…

Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (NASB 1995)

Life and death, blessing and curse…  CHOOSE LIFE!

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (NASB 1995)

Once Christ is rightfully recognized as the Messiah, it will realized there is no more need for a sacrificial system — including Yom Kippur!  The Living God GAVE HIS OWN BLOOD FOR A NEW AND BETTER COVENANT!

Hebrews 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 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? (NASB 1995)

Hebrews 7:26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. (NASB 1995)

Read Hebrews 7-10 in its entirety to understand why the order of Melchizedek (Heb. Malki-tsedeq) is greater than that of the imperfect Levitical priesthood and why a New Covenant was required as was prophesied.

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz.  All rights reserved.

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB 1995)

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

Afterlife: Believers’ Souls Do NOT Go to Heaven!

Ancient Concept of the Universe

Luke 16:23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ (NASB 1995)

One of the biggest hoaxes that modern churches have thrust upon us is concerning the disposition of the soul after death — aka the afterlife. Almost universally, Christians will vehemently state the souls of deceased believers immediately go to Heaven, but that is NOT what the Scriptures state. So, if not Heaven, then where (if anywhere)?

Most Christians believe they belong to “New Testament churches;” therefore, they have no use for the Old Testament (OT). But, what did Christ say on this subject? Examine Matthew 5:17-19. Is He a liar? Have all things been fulfilled? If you think so, then why is there a need for His Second Coming?

In fact, this ALL revolves around His Second Coming and the appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) in the Fall — known by the Jewry as the Days of Awe. So, where do ALL souls go after death — both the righteous and the wicked? The Bible calls this specific place by three names:

  1. She’ol (65x in the OT);
  2. Hades (10x in the NT; 4x in Revelation); and
  3. Paradise (3x in the NT; this portion of She’ol/Hades is for believers in Christ only; see where Lazarus went in Luke 16:19-31).

To be perfectly clear, none of these is Hell (which is a misnomer) nor the false precept of Purgatory.

This is what the Bible states, and this is but a sampling of each:

The passage in Acts 2 is important as even Christ’s soul descended into the netherworld of She’ol/Hades/Paradise. Recall that He was dead and buried for THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS (15-17 Abib) in accordance with the sign of Jonah. [Note: The source passage is found in Jonah 1-2.]

Examine the Greek word translated as “Paradise” again; it is a park, a garden, an enclosure! The souls of both the righteous and the wicked DESCEND to the netherworld — using whatever name desired: Sheol, Hades, or Paradise.

Can you handle the truth? Judgment Day — aka the great and terrible Day of the Lord — will occur on a future Yom Kippur (=Day of Atonement). The flip-side of atonement is… JUDGMENT!

Those who are TRUE believers in Christ will be given Grace, which is a judicial pardon/clemency on Judgment Day after His Second Coming and Millennial Reign! (Yes, Judgment Day is a thousand years AFTER the Great Tribulation!). His First Coming — incarnate — was as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 who brought salvation to the world. His Second is as the conquering priestly king of the order of Melchizedek (Heb. Malki-tsedeq; =my king is righteous[ness]) vanquishing all evil and establishing His Kingdom — where believers will ultimately reside — on the New Earth.

Those who do not believe in Him will be judged by the Law of Moses, found guilty, and will be thrown into the lake of fire known as Gehenna, thereby experiencing the second death.

Only three people, who were born incarnate on Earth, are currently in Heaven: 1) Christ, who was resurrected, transfigured, and ascended to the right hand of the Father; 2) Enoch; and 3) Elijah. The latter two are the witnesses (or the metaphorical lampstands [representing the Light of the Word] and olive trees [representing the anointing of the Word]) of Revelation. As ALL humans MUST die (i.e., the first death), the two witnesses will as well in Jerusalem; see Revelation 11:3-13.

Note: Jerusalem is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt in this passage. She is also called Mystery Babylon as rabbinic Jews follow the Babylonian calendar in which the fourth (or tenth!) month is named after the Babylonian deity Tammuz, put more faith in the Talmud Bavli (=Babylonian Talmud) than they do in the TaNaKh (OT), and recite Adonai for the Tetragrammaton which invokes the Greek Adonis (aka the Babylonian Tammuz). That’s why it’s necessary for an undefiled New Jerusalem to descend from the New Heaven to the New Earth. Also, the two witnesses are taken back up into Heaven after they are resurrected. Their bodies/temples were specially prepared (or at least Enoch’s was documented as being so); in the Book of Enoch, what appeared to be a hot coal was pressed to his lips to purify him. Focus on Revelation 11:5 if anyone desires to harm them before their time of prophesying is completed. They are no longer normal human beings as we know them.

After the wicked are thrown into Gehenna in perpetuity, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb between Christ and the New Jerusalem will commence on Sukkot (=Feast of Tabernacles); see Revelation 21:9-14.  For more on the End Times, read “An Overview of Eschatological Events.”

To recap, this is the order of the second resurrection that will occur just before Judgment Day; see 1 Corinthians 15:20-58. But, to reiterate the central theme of this discussion:

John 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. (NASB 1995)

So, there you have it, folks… The souls of the deceased — even the righteous/elect — are certainly NOT in Heaven. Not Adam, who was a literal son of God (see Luke 3:38); not Abraham; not Moses; not David; not Mary — NO ONE save Christ at this time.

Be sure to examine the articles, calendrical documents, maps, and figures in the following series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)


Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB 1995)

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew