Editorial – The Day of Atonement

A correct understanding of Daniel 8:14 shows us that we are living in the day of atonement. Under the old covenant, the Passover was celebrated every year, but under the new covenant, there is only one Passover—the death of Christ on the cross (1 Corinthians 5:7) which will never be repeated.

In the same way, under the old covenant there was a day of atonement every year, but in the new covenant there is only one day of atonement, which takes place during the time of the end (see Daniel 8:14–17). This day of atonement was also called the cleansing of the sanctuary, because on that day the sanctuary and the people were all to be cleansed from their sins (see Leviticus 16:16–20, 30–33).

Notice, we are not speaking here about receiving a pardon for sin. Obtaining a pardon and being cleansed from sin are not the same thing. To be cleansed from sin means that all sin within you (the Bible teaches that men have sin within—see Isaiah 6) has been removed. This is what must happen to every person who is saved at last. For almost all of mankind this blotting out of sin occurs after death, and in the resurrection they awake with the divine likeness, just as Adam and Eve were created (see Psalm 17:15).

The big question, however, is, Are you prepared to have this done for you? Following is a meditation on this that was made in 1886:

“If there ever was a time when serious reflection becomes every one who fears God, it is now, when personal piety is essential. The inquiry should be made, ‘What am I, and what is my work and mission in this time? On which side am I working—Christ’s side or the enemy’s side?’ Let every soul now humble himself or herself before God, for now we are surely living in the great Day of Atonement. The cases even now of many are passing in review before God, for they are to sleep in their graves a little season. Your profession of faith is not your guarantee in that day, but the state of your affections. Is the soul-temple cleansed of its defilement? Are my sins confessed and am I repenting of them before God, that they may be blotted out? Do I esteem myself too lightly? Am I willing to make any and every sacrifice for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ? Do I feel every moment I am not my own, but Christ’s property, that my service belongs to God, whose I am?” Last Day Events, 72, 73.