The prophecy of Daniel 9.
What it means to make atonement for iniquity.
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The prophecy of Daniel 9.
What it means to make atonement for iniquity.
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Terms & Abbreviations used:
Human Good = Evil + Good Deeds while not in fellowship with God
Old Sin Nature = Old Sin Nature
TLJC = The Lord Jesus Christ
SSE = Spiritual Self Esteem
PVTD = Positive Volition Towards Doctrine [Bible Truth]
+H - The Happiness of God
NVTD = Negative Volition Towards Doctrine
Doctrine = Bible Truth
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Unless otherwise noted, scripture quotes and references are from the NASB – New American Standard Bible. However, a few may be corrected translations developed from the exegetical study of the original languages.
The prophecy of Daniel 9.
What it means to make atonement for iniquity.
We are noting the six different manifestations of the prophecies given in Dan 9:24 that our Lord either already fulfilled or will fulfill in the future. In Dan 9:24. there are six different prophecies mentioned that our Lord would fulfill.
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. These six prophecies 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.
We have already noted and completed the first two and we are ready to complete the third: “to make atonement for iniquity; “The 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. The word atonement comes from the Hebrew noun kopher and the verb is kapher which means to make reconciliation; or to satisfy and repair a wrong for injury; or to make amends. All of these definitions are in view in some capacity.
However, what we are now concerned with is the relationship between the atonement and what is known as the ark of the Covenant. In fact, the ark of the covenant is the key to understanding the doctrine of the Atonement. This is what the writer of the book of Hebrews reveals in Heb 9:1-2, 3, 4.
Heb 9:1-2, 3, 4, Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. This refers to the rules of worship in the Old Testament. The Old Testament was filled with rules on how to worship and honor God. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. And behind the second veil, there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant.
All of this is the background to what Daniel prophesied in Dan 9:24 when the third prophecy is mentioned: “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,”
Iniquities contain a lot more negative consequences than sin, and when our Lord died for us He also set us free from the guilt that accompanies the most wicked sins that could ever be committed. However, notice I did not say that He freed us from the consequences of the sin because whether we like it or not Gal 6:7 still applies: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. I would love to say to some of you who are reaping the consequences of your decisions that they are now taken away…but I can’t!
There comes a time when we have to answer for the decisions that we make no matter how loving and merciless our God is, there are times when we must answer or pay the price for what we have done! However, the atonement says that God is satisfied with us even though we are reaping what we have sown. There were three things in the tabernacle which were used to illustrate eternal salvation and the atonement. God had instructed the Jews to build the ark of the covenant. The ark was a box made of acacia wood and overlaid with Gold. The wood spoke of the humanity of Christ, the gold spoke of the deity of Christ, and together it revealed the Hypostatic-union. Therefore the ark was a picture of the Lord bearing our sins.
Inside of the box are three things which represented certain categories of sin: There was the Tablets of the Ten Commandments. There was also a Pot of Manna representing Rejection of God’s provisions. Then there was Aaron’s rod that budded: Revolt against God’s authority (Levitical tribe). The point is that the ark of the covenant was filled with items that represented man’s sins and pointed to 2Co 5:21, “He who knew no sin was made sin for us.”
Over the top of the box was a Mercy Seat (a solid gold throne) and on each end of the throne was a cherub (highest ranking of all angels). 1st cherub represented the absolute righteousness (+R) of God. The 2nd cherub represented the justice of God. The first cherub reveals that +R looks down and condemns sin in man, because in Rom 3:23 Man has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, The second cherub represents the justice of God which reveals the penalty for man which is Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because the righteousness of God and the justice of God sees the mercy seat, both the righteousness of God and the justice of God are completely satisfied because they see the mercy seat, then man is free from eternal condemnation.
So we have in the Ark and Mercy Seat a picture of God’s satisfaction with the work of Jesus Christ (Propitiation) or the divine viewpoint of salvation. +R and Justice are satisfied.
When it comes to the subject of atonement we are interested in the items that were placed within the ark which are given in Heb 9:1-2, 3, 4, however, we need to go to Hebrews 8 beginning at verse 8 where the writer reveals that: Again we must begin for the sake of content with Heb 8:8-9, 4, For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers On the day when I took them by the hand To lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, And I did not care for them, says the Lord. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them upon their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people. And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ For all shall know Me, From the least to the greatest of them. “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.” When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. And behind the second veil, there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant.
What we are interested in is what was inside of the ark which was placed inside of what we call the Holy of Holies which was inside of the tabernacle. And it is those three items mentioned in verse 3 that is our subject, the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the Law, or the Ten commandments. The contents of the box is not only described here in Hebrews 9:4 but also in Numbers 17:8, 9, 10. So we have the urn of manna representing sin in the sense of rejection of God’s provision. It is just like some believers, they have neglected Bible doctrine and are therefore losing out on the fantastic blessings God has designed for them from eternity past. Secondly, we have Aaron’s rod which germinated and sprouted some kind of a flower. The sprouting of the flower revealed God’s choice of what tribe had the authority and the priesthood over all the other tribes. The Jews rejected this and therefore Aaron’s rod was placed inside the ark as a sign of their rejection and rebellion against God’s order and God’s authority. God chose Aaron as the high priest. When God sets up authority it may not look like much but if God sets it up it has His backing.
The third item was the tables of the law. These represent sin as a transgression of God’s rules and laws for His people.
Now, 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. So, those commandments were put in the ark as a sign of the rebellion and sins of the Jewish people. Then there was Aaron’s 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 His brother Aaron who both were of the tribe of Levi whom God had chosen to rule His people and who rebelled against God’s man and God’s appointment.
So the Jews rebelled against God’s appointment and therefore Aarons rod was placed inside the ark as a symbol of their rejection of God’s authority. Well, let us look at the story again because we have been through the passage rather quickly just to give you some background to it.
In Numbers 17, we have The Budding of Aaron’s Rod
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 17:1-2, 3. Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and get from them a rod for each father’s household: twelve rods, from all their leaders according to their fathers’ households. You shall write each name on his rod, and write Aaron’s 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, Ps 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 rod demonstrated 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 Levi’s rod inscribing Aaron’s name, God would declare which tribe possessed priestly authority by choosing one of the rods. This was the issue at hand in light of Korah’s rebellion.
Now, notice in verses 4-5, the rods were to be placed in the tabernacle for God’s 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. And believe it or not, 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 Aaron’s 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.
In verse 6-7, God gave them tests and the tests would vindicate Aaron as God’s priestly leader.
Num 17:6-7, 8, 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, Aaron’s rod – and only Aaron’s 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 you would think a miracle would have been convincing enough. After all, God could have merely made a little green sprout come forth from Aaron’s rod alone, and that would have, or should have been enough.
But God gave, as in the words of Acts 1:3, many infallible proofs, to demonstrate His approval of Aaron’s 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 God’s chosen priest, and the nation was required to recognize it. And notice the last 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 Aaron’s 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 Aaron’s 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. Aaron’s priesthood would always be Aaron’s priesthood. The phrase to bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony means that Aaron’s rod was to be kept in the ark of the covenant, as another example of Israel’s failure and rebellion. And so when God looked down from heaven into the ark, He saw emblems of Israel’s sin: The tablets of the Law they broke, the manna they complained about, and Aaron’s 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.”
Inside of the ark our Lord atoned for or paid the price for the sin of rebellion which is such a very serious sin that the prophet Samuel wrote in 1Sa 15:23, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.”
And so we have noted the Jews and their rejection of the Ten Commandments in the past. And then we just looked at the teaching of Aaron’s rod that budded. Now, let’s take a look at why the urn of manna was placed inside of the ark as a sign of the Jews rebellion against the provisions of God. We can learn something about this beginning in
Exo 16:1, 2, 3, 4, Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.”
Now God called this bread lechem meaning food or bread. However, that it wasn’t they called it.
They called it manhu meaning: What is it? And then they finally called it manna. The manna was logistical grace provisions from God. It was God making sure that the Jews would be provided everything that they would need to sustain their life. Furthermore, manna was a challenge to the daily function of the faith-rest drill, for God had specified definite requirements which are equivalent to a challenge of positive volition toward the word of God.
In other words, the Lord not only gave them the manna, but he also gave them instructions to follow concerning the manna. And if they did not follow these instructions properly, then the manna would not benefit them at all. In fact, just the opposite, the manna would become a snare to them, it bred worms. Here again, we have the importance of following the Lord’s directions or doing a right thing in a right way. This is the whole principle behind God’s plan for the Church-age believer…which is what we call the Pre-designed Plan of God (PPOG). The PPOG is a strict system of procedure based upon the accurate teaching of the word of God. It is based upon the very simple statement that a right thing must be done in a right way! It must be precise and correct in its’ procedure. There is nothing sloppy in the procedure of the Christian way of life.
With the introduction of human power and energy of the flesh function, sloppiness occurs. Therefore, God has developed, in His grace, a system which is totally impossible for human power to live in. In fact, it frustrates human power constantly. So the children of Israel followed their own plans concerning the provisions of God. Instead gathering the manna daily, they tried to gather more than they needed and the manna ended up becoming spoiled.
As far as the manna was concerned, first of all you had to learn and get to know the doctrine, and then you had to believe it. And then once you believe it, then you have the availability of the faith-rest life.
So God provided the perfect food for them every day. Every day except one, food was provided. Sunday – Friday, every morning food was provided for the rebellious children of Israel. And they had to gather every day, just enough for one day only. On Friday morning, they gathered a double portion because Saturday was the Sabbath and they were told to rest and eat the double portion that God gave them on Friday to sustain them for Saturday only. However, they became greedy and gathered up too much every day and the manna became spoiled and tasted rotten and was filled with maggots and worms. And so they ended naturally complaining once again.
So on Friday the Jews had a test to use the faith rest drill and trust God to provide but they failed. You see, God had a system, and you had to know the system. You had to do it God’s way! You couldn’t gather a double portion whenever you wanted to! You had to do it God’s way. And if you went out on the Sabbath day and looked for something to eat because you refused to gather a double portion on Friday…there would be nothing there. Why? -You had to do it God’s way. And so an urn of manna was placed inside the ark symbolizing the Jews and their murmurings and complaints and their ungratefulness and implacability and TLJC atoned for that as well!
Exo 16:4, Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.”
The test was to see whether or not they would follow the Lord’s directions and do things “His way.” They would have to gather a double portion on Friday or else they would have nothing to eat on the Sabbath. In other words, there would be one day a week in which they would have to rely on what they had gathered previously. And this required faith. Now this was all very simple to those who lived by doctrine, but not simple to those who lived by their emotions. And their attitude was their real problem for in Exo 16:2, 3, 4, And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.”
The reason that the Lord did this is because they are complaining again…they are dissatisfied and they are expressing it. And notice the word walk. It says that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. Walking is a daily thing! And doctrine is a daily thing. It isn’t something you do once and a while. It is a daily thing. And notice that he tested them to see whether they would walk in his instruction…daily! This is where they would get their spiritual strength to get their problem solving devices. Walking in instruction daily.
Eph 5:15-16, Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. so then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
So we are to walk in the plan of God and in the will of God, walking is analogous to life in the PPOG.
1Jo 1:6-7, If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1Jo 2:6, The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
2Jo 1:6, And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
3Jo 1:3-4, For I was very glad when brethren came and bore witness to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
Notice in all of these passages that walking and truth are mentioned. The two go together and for us in application, walking refers to walking in the PPOG. This is why we have different commands to walk throughout the New Testament.
Rom 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Notice it says that as Christ was raised from the dead. And how was Christ raised from the dead?
Through the power of God. Therefore, the last part of this verse says “so we too might walk in this newness of life.”
The same power that raised the Lord from the dead is the same power that we are to walk in…. which is the power of God.
Gal 5:16, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Gal 5:25, If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Gal 6:16, And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them,
Eph 2:10, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Eph 4:1, I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
Eph 5:8, For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
Col 1:10, So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 2:6, As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
1Th 2:12 So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
1Th 4:1, Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more.
Please notice that in all of these verses walking a certain way is mentioned. And you should be concerned with that certain way. If not, when a problem or a disaster comes, you will be spiritually weak and freak out and not faith-rest.
Exo 16:5, “And it will come about on the sixth day [Friday], when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”
Note that if the manna was kept overnight, it spoiled. They did not listen to Moses, what’s new? And some left part of it until morning, In other words, they got greedy and filled their tents with the manna, and in the morning they had the biggest mess you could imagine. Maggots all over the place. And it bred worms, or as the Hebrew says…it was filled with maggots. And became foul; or it really began to stink. And so this is why an urn of manna was placed inside the ark and falls under the doctrine of atoning iniquities because one of the worse sins a believer can commit is being ungrateful, implacable, followed by murmuring and complaining to the man of God (in this cases Moses), and then God Himself. As the Lord said to Samuel in 1Sa 8:7b, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me.
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Ticket to Heaven, it was written for anyone not absolutely certain about their eternal future.