Interesting post--thank you! I have been seeing too many things in scripture that show that there are HIS PEOPLE, a remnant, preserve THROUGH the bad times. They are the overcomers...and may eventually lose their lives, but they are the ones that will rule and reign with Messiah t/o the Millennial reign over the earth. The rest sleep until that day.
That's another point - if we lose our life for His testimony and sake, we still OVERCOME:
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
7And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
INTERESTING HEBREW WORD STUDY ON THE WORD 'atonement' or 'kippur'....
The word for atonement in Hebrew is 'kippur'. Strong's Number H3725 matches the Hebrew כפר (kippur). The etymology of this word shows a Hebrew root of Strong's Number H3722 which matches the Hebrew כפר (kaphar).
The Hebrew word "kaphar" means:
1) to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch
a) (Qal) to coat or cover with pitch
1) to cover over, pacify, propitiate
2) to cover over, atone for sin, make atonement for
3) to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites
1) to be covered over
2) to make atonement for
d) (Hithpael) to be covered
The interesting thing is that the first use of this word in scripture is in Genesis 6 regarding the command for Noah to make the ark and cover it with pitch:
By obeying this command and covering it with pitch, Noah made atonement before Yahweh!
Matthew 24 says:
32Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Master doth come.
New Testament believers like to erase the "OT" feasts and say that they are done away with (they replace them with pagan feasts/holidays such as Ishtar/Easter, Halloween, Valentines Day, Xmas, etc...)
However, the book of Zechariah clearly states that in the future kingdom, there will be NO RAIN upon the land of any nation who does not come up to Jerusalem for the feast of Tabernacles. That nation will be judged with plagues.
Well, if scripture says that these are 'perpetual statutes t/o all our generations' to be observed 'forever'....(see Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy for instructions on these feasts), then I think we should take note and do them!
Perhaps there is some BENEFIT that the Creator had in mind for commanding us to do so!