What is the Day of Atonement and why is it God's statement against war and evil?
[Darris McNeely] In the last BT Daily, I talked about Pope Francis' call for a day of prayer and fasting this past Saturday, and his statement against evil and as a protest against the war in Syria and any possible American or other national action into the situation there in the Middle East at this time. And he made a statement at that time that if we cannot war against evil, then what good is it, what do we do.
I noted in that daily that the Pope's call came one week before God's call to a day of prayer and fasting, which is the Day of Atonement, God's Festival, God's summon, God's call to all of us, to all peoples at all times done thousands of years ago as He gave the Holy Days to Israel in Leviticus chapter 23, a fascinating chapter where all of God's festivals are mentioned and especially the Day of Atonement here. This is God's call to a day of prayer and fasting and a statement against evil that is the most effective statement that you and I and any other person could ever make in our life because it is in that day that God gives us an understanding of where evil comes from, the source of evil in the world today and how it will be removed from mankind's life and from all of the deception, the problems, and the suffering of this world.
Let me take you back to Leviticus chapter 23 and beginning in verse 26 and the following verses, let's look at what God says regarding this basic festival because you may not fully understand that this day is for you.
It's not just for the Jews. It's not just for ancient Israel. It's not just for some, you know, something beyond us and our world and our life where we are today. This day is from God. It's His summons. It's His call to a day of fasting and prayer and making the statement for you and I today against evil because God shows us the true source of that evil.
Let's begin reading. It says that "Also, on the 10th day of the seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you and you shall afflict your souls and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord" (Leviticus 23:26-27 Leviticus 23:26-27  And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.
American King James Version×). So God tells us here in verse 27 that it is on the 10th day of the 7th month. Now this is by God's calendar, God's reckoning, which when we translate that to our calendar today, the Roman calendar that we use this year in the year 2013 it falls on Saturday, God's Sabbath, September 14th, 2013.
That's why I found it interesting the Pope made his call for prayer and fasting one week before what God calls us to do through the Day of Atonement. This scripture goes on to show that it is an atonement, a day of atonement to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. And it goes on to show that it is an affliction, you will afflict your souls on that day, which means you fast. That's the basic meaning of it.
You go without food and water for a 24 hour period of time. "On that it will be a day of solemn rest." Verse 32 shows us, "You will afflict your souls on the 9th day of the month at evening" or at sundown. In this case it will be on Friday at sundown, "From evening to evening you shall celebrate the Sabbath" (Leviticus 23:32 Leviticus 23:32It shall be to you a sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even, shall you celebrate your sabbath.
American King James Version×). So this coming Saturday, September 14th, 2013 from the sundown on Friday to the sundown on Saturday is the actual 24 hour period for the Day of Atonement as are the way God calculates time, days, and especially festivals.
And so understanding that day, doing that along with all the other intended meaning of what that day pictures, which not only Leviticus 23 but other sections of the Old Testament give us and especially sections of the New Testament and teaching from the Apostle Paul about the very role of Jesus Christ and how it ties into the Day of Atonement and the ultimate spiritual meaning and also the binding of Satan, putting him away, turning off his influence, his spiritual deception upon all the nations.
All of this is tied up in the wonderful Day of Atonement that you really need to understand and you need to educate yourself about. And we're going to do that in a few more dailies this week in the run up to the actual Day of Atonement this year so that you can understand this because sometimes we get to where we want to make a statement. And we too get fed up with the evil of this world, with the suffering of people, and the wars, and the problems that no one seems to have a solution to. We all are like that. I'm like that, and I've suffered in terms of just agonizing over the plight of mankind just like you have so many times.
When we keep the Day of Atonement through fasting, through prayer by turning to God, by understanding what that day pictures for all of mankind when it is fulfilled finally in the future, then we understand that we are making the most important and the most significant statement against evil, against war, and against suffering that we could ever be called to make. And it comes because God has called His day of prayer and fasting. And that's why it's important. And that's why it's important to you. We'll come back to this. We'll go a little bit deeper into it in the next daily.
That's BT Daily for today. Join us next time.