From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 7- The Day of Atonement, continued
YE SHALL AFFLICT YOUR SOULS
There is no question as to what God would teach us by the Day of Atonement: it is the actual taking away from the congregation, of their sins and carnal ways. Israel could rejoice in the fact that the Passover Lamb had been killed in the first month, and the Feast had been observed according to all the ordinances of the Law. And that was their acceptance before God as a nation: “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” But now, six months later, we have the Day of Atonement–the day when Israel is called to a new repentance and a humbling of themselves before God in preparation for the Great Feast of Tabernacles. Israel had to have a new Passover every year, and a new Day of Atonement every year–because their sacrifices served only to call sins to remembrance, and to revive their sin-conscience. But Christ died once-for-all, and so effectual was His redemptive work that there is “no more conscience of sins” (Heb. 10:2). And yet we are constantly giving the lie to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, by falling into sin and being hampered by the works of the flesh, and harboring a sin-conscience. We testify on the one hand that God has taken away our sins and nailed them to the Cross–and that is true–but the next moment we are beset by sin and suffer defeat. We rejoice in the righteousness of Jesus Christ which has been placed to our account–and that is true–but how little of that righteousness have we been able to reach and appropriate. How little do we know and experience of real, vital holiness of life, and purity of thought, word, and deed.
Thank God, therefore, for the pattern we find in Israel’s Feasts, and for the knowledge that there is a place of real victory over sin and the flesh for the Church of Jesus Christ. We know that many have been preaching this for years, and testifying to having received it; but actually men have never experienced it to any degree of fullness. Those who have sought to go on with God can testify to having received a measure of victory, that is true enough; but real victory over sin and the carnal nature is still ahead for the Church of God. This, then, is the day and hour when God would call us to repentance, that we might receive from His hands that real, genuine victory over sin that the Bible teaches.
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THIS VICTORY?
Let us stop trying to justify ourselves, and insisting on our holiness of conduct, when it is apparent to everyone about us that we do not possess it. “Living epistles” of Christ do not have to tell the world how holy they are. The world will see it and will be amazed to discover something real and genuine in the midst of this wicked and perverse generation. This victory of which we speak is the very victory of Christ Himself. When we attain to this victory, there will be no need to formulate weak excuses why the victorious Christian can again fall into sin and suffer defeat–for this place in Christ knows no defeat. We will not have to explain how Satan gained an advantage over us and planted a new seed of sin in the heart, and the victory we once had was lost; for this victory is the very victory of Christ. “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once…” (Rom. 6:9, 19). He that overcometh according to the Bible enters into the very victory and triumph of Christ–a victory which can never be lost or forfeited. It is the very victory of Jesus Christ Himself, and the overcomer is therefore “more than a conqueror” through Christ that loved him. GHW
Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:2-3, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
When it comes to the promises of Christ and His provision for our holiness, we cannot earn them. He has provided everything needful for us. But we must appropriate them by faith. Appropriation means to make something one’s own.
The power that saves us is the same power that sanctifies us. The power that takes away our punishment for sin is the same power that gives us victory over sin. But we have to access that power by believing it is ours.
Jesus signed the deed on a life of freedom and victory for us. But, by faith, we must move in and take possession of it.