Why are we commanded to “afflict our souls” by fasting on the Day of Atonement? What is so solemn, so somber, about this day that it requires fasting? Here, from your own Bible, is the truth about the Day of Atonement.
The world in which you and I live is a God-rejecting, God-defying world. It is a world of hundreds of “religions,” yet a world of chaos, violence, disease and war.
Paradoxically, some of those nations whose religions permeate all facets of life seem to be among the most impoverished, millions of their citizens living in squalor beyond comprehension. Some humans still worship cows, just as rebellious Israel made a golden calf in Sinai, believing, from their experience in Egypt, that God looked like a cow.
The world is not “at one” with God. It does not acknowledge the one true God, nor His Son who died for the sins of all mankind, Jesus Christ.
In the so-called “Christian” world, millions profess the name of Jesus Christ, yet refuse to follow His example, or to do what He plainly commanded. “Why call ye me, ‘Lord, Lord,”‘ cried Jesus, “and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
“In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). Millions profess to worship Jesus Christ. They call Him “Lord,” and claim to have “accepted” Him as their Savior. Yet, they refuse to obey Him! They will not follow His example. Peter wrote……. Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: Who did no sin [He kept His Father’s laws perfectly], neither was guile found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:21,22).
Paul described our world as being filled with those who are “…Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those who are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of Godliness [man-made religions; religious creeds, rituals, ceremonies], but denying the power thereof'” (2 Timothy 3:3-5).
Mankind does not accept God as RULER. They refuse to surrender to God in abject repentance for sin, which is the transgression of God’s perfect law (1 John 3:4).
The nations of this world are far from being “at one” with God. Instead, they are in opposition!
This is Satan’s world, not God’s.
The governments of this world are neither of God’s choice, nor of His design. God is not the Author of this world’s commerce and industry, of its science or education, of its institutions or its religions.
Can anyone doubt this?
This world’s governments are not capable of bringing peace and prosperity to their citizens. Instead, the teeming billions of human beings in all their hundreds of countries are in the grip of poverty, squalor, disease, malnutrition. Chaos, confusion, anarchy, rampant crime reign supreme.
Your news tells you of massacres–wholesale murder all over the world. In Brazil, lustful would-be gold miners brutally massacred virtually an entire tribe of “stone-age” Indians–covetous of their land, and corrupt police “death squads” massacred unarmed civilians, including children, in a slum in Rio De Janiero. In former Yugoslavia, so-called “Christians,” either Roman Catholics or Greek Orthodox, slaughter Muslims. In Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, and many other Arab countries, more than a dozen Arab terrorist groups of varying sizes continually plot the overthrow of their own governments, or plot how to launch terrorist attacks against Israelis and Americans all over the world. As the PLO and Israel search for peace and Palestinian autonomy, rival Palestinian terrorist groups murder, riot, and threaten assassinations. Israel launches attacks into Lebanon in what amounts to full-scale war in retaliation for the most recent wave of terrorist murders of its citizens. If these events fade quickly in the past by the time you read this booklet, rest assured they will be replaced by equally vicious crimes.
Look at your own local news, no matter where you live. Continually, you read of violence, mayhem, drugs, child abuse, kidnappings, robbery and murder. Today, many European tourists are becoming fearful of visiting Florida because of vicious murders there; youths targeting tourists because they believe they are carrying large amounts of money. The murderers are usually teenagers, out on parole. One had a list of arrests several pages long.
Earlier, I had wanted to visit our brethren in the Philippines during 1993. However, because of several kidnappings of Americans by communist terrorist groups, I was advised against going. From Britain, where Mr. Ronald Dart described hearing an IRA bomb exploding nearby, to Germany, where “skinheads” in a Neo-Nazi group are murdering Turks and other foreigners, it is the same. Violence and murder reign. Chaos and confusion prevail. There is no fear of God in our lands, no respect for human rights and decency, and no remorse.
Suddenly, following the end of the cold war, the whole world seems to have erupted in a satanic frenzy of ethnic and racial hatreds, in political strife and confusion, in economic duress.
As if to match this turbulence among nations, world-wide weather has been convulsing in violent cataclysms. Destructive hurricanes have smashed into south Florida, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Japan, and other countries. Massive earthquakes have taken terrible tolls in life and property from San Francisco to northern Japan. Record-breaking floods have cost countless billions in America’s heartland. Drought grips part of America, while massive floods soak other parts.
Need I go on? All you need do is to watch morning news on CNN, or one of the other news stations.
What is going on? Will we look back some day and surmise that the prophesied GREAT TRIBULATION (Matthew 24:21,22) really began to gradually come upon us in the mid 1990s?
Are we living in the time prophesied in God’s Word when “…the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12)?
Satan is the “God” of This World
God says Satan the devil is that arch-demon who “deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). That deception began with the beginning of human history, in the Garden of Eden, and the first lie, spoken to our first parents.
God had said Adam and Eve would suffer the penalty of death if they disobeyed God, and partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan said, in effect, “God knows better than that. Why, that fruit is to be desired to make you wise like He is. You will not surely die.” (See Genesis 3:4,5). He hinted that man has an “immortal soul,” that there is something eternal within man.
The Bible is replete with examples of how Satan has continually conducted his campaign of attempting to overthrow God. Study Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, which give insights into Satan’s earliest origins, his expulsion from heaven to this earth.
From the beginning, Satan has appeared at the most crucial moments in man’s history. He was present in Eden, to deceive our first parents through Eve, bringing about original sin. He was allowed to appear before God to chide Him about Job (Job. 2:1-7). He was present at the birth of Christ to inspire Herod to kill thousands of innocent children (Matthew 2:16). He was present to tempt Jesus Christ shortly after His baptism (Matthew 4:1-11). He entered personally into Judas Iscariot to betray Christ to be murdered (John 13:27). He continually attempted to influence Peter, and it was only through Christ’s own prayers his hand was stayed (Luke 22:31,32).
Peter wrote, “Be sober [notice! Combating Satan requires sobriety; solemnity, not rejoicing], be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
“Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8,9).
Satan is described as “the god of this world.” Listen! “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world [this age, this time, this society] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4).
He is also the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). God actually allowed Satan limited power over the weather in the case of Job, when Satan caused a tornado to destroy Job’s house and family.
From Genesis to Revelation, Satan the devil appears continually as the “accuser of the brethren,” as the “adversary,” as a “roaring lion,” as “the tempter,” as a “serpent,” or whispering enchanter, as a rebel against God, as a dragon. He is called Abaddon, and Apollyon in the Greek.
Throughout the seasonal pattern of God’s plan as revealed in His annual holy days, Satan’s evil dimension is noted.
In the typology of the Passover, for example, Pharaoh is a type of Satan, while Egypt is a type of sin, under Satan’s domain. The name of the wilderness (a type of trial and testing during the Christian life) was “Sin.”
Leaven, which is not to be eaten for seven days during the Days of Unleavened Bread, is a type of sin, of which Satan is the author. He is the first sinner in the history of the creation.
Satan, the present evil world ruler, has held sway over the minds and hearts of men for thousands of years. Here and there, God has called a few men and women to receive the gift of repentance. He has opened the minds of a few rare individuals who have chosen to obey God; to surrender to God in heartbroken repentance, be baptized, and receive God’s Holy Spirit.
But those who have answered God’s call are in a tiny, insignificant minority. Never did God’s Word prophesy that the church Jesus built (Matthew 16:18) would become a large, visible, politically active, wealthy religious organization which would be a part of this world; involved in various community, county, state, or national causes; trying to make this evil world a better place!
Nor would Christ’s church attempt to win the favor of those lost in Satan’s world. “Woe be unto you when men speak well of you,” He warned. Never would God’s church seek approval from the world, or from its religious organizations. Never would it compromise God’s truth in order to win favor with man and their worldly churches and organizations. Never would it compromise God’s Word in order to avoid persecution!
Jesus said, “Fear not, little flock, it is my Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Everywhere in prophecy, the true church is described as a persecuted few; a small, scattered, weak church, consisting of those individuals who “have not denied [Christ’s] name,” and who “…keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 3:8; 12:17).
God is Not Intervening in This World Today
This world is completely opposed to God. Its governments, institutions, societies and its religions are not of God, but are, instead, influenced by Satan.
Do you fully realize what you have been reading? Do you know that advancing this very truth nearly resulted in Christ’s murder at the very beginning of His public ministry? Satan’s religious leaders were VIOLENTLY OUTRAGED when Jesus told them this obvious truth, and immediately attempted to murder Him!
Notice it, in your own Bible.
Jesus Christ was invited to read from the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth, where He had spent His youth……. and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
“And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book [scroll], He found the place where it was written:
“’The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
“To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’
“And He closed the book, and He gave again to the minister, and sat down.
“And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him.
“And He began to say unto them, ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.’
“And all bare Him witness [listened intently], and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?”‘ (Luke 4:16-22).
Put yourself into the picture. Try to understand what was happening here. The Pharisees (“Apartists,” or “Separatists”) and the Sadducees (a more “liberal” religious sect, which had charge of the temple in Jerusalem) were the “spiritual” leaders. Their proud history stretched back to the days of the Maccabees–to the time just following the Jewish return from Babylonian captivity during the time of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel, and the rebuilding of the temple.
To the Pharisees, just as in the case of millions of Americans, Britons, Australians, South Africans, and Canadians, they lived in “God’s country.” Theirs was the “true religion,” they thought. Whatever God was doing, He was doing it there!
Just like many an American “evangelist,” they no doubt claimed, “God is moving mightily among us just now!” They pointed to acts of charity, or demons cast out, or real or imagined hearings, and spoke of how “God is working miracles” here among us!
Their proud history was all GOD-CENTERED, so far as they were concerned. From their clothing styles to their fastings; from their alms-givings and tithing to their many meetings and special “love feasts” for the poor–they were involved deeply in doing God’s work, so far as they were concerned. They were “God’s people” doing “God’s will,” and having “God’s authority.”
It was the pagan world around them that was in darkness. They dwelt in the light! They were the “chosen ones,” dwelling in “God’s country.” All around was Gentile heathenism. In their synagogues, and in their streets; in their private meetings and public assemblies; in their banquets and feasts, and in their temple was GOD, and HIS TRUE RELIGION! They were GOD’S OWN MINISTERS!
Or so they believed.
But here was Jesus Christ, saying to them He had been sent to preach the gospel to the “poor.” He had been sent to “heal the brokenhearted” who were right there, seated in that synagogue, under the “spiritual” leadership of those rabbis, in that city, Nazareth, on that day! He had been sent to set spiritual captives free–captives who were seated there, in that synagogue, in that city, right then!
He had been sent to give the spiritually blind the ability to see; to set at liberty those who were being “bruised,” and exploited! He boldly proclaimed that this prophecy was being fulfilled right there and then in that synagogue.
Immediately, the Jewish leaders were furious!
This was preposterous to them! “Spiritual captives” THERE, in their own synagogue? Ridiculous! Were they not the spiritual leaders of their docile, obedient congregation? How dare this young upstart say such outrageous things? He might as well have accused them of being under Satan’s influence, deceiving their people, placing grievous burdens upon them, exploiting them!
As is always the case, when a carnal human mind is confronted with the Word of God, which is sharp, like a two-edged sword, and whichcuts and stings when it is wielded; when the carnal mind refuses to look into that spiritual looking glass and repent, it instead resorts to personal denigration, personal attack!
They scathingly said, “Wait a minute! Isn’t this just a local boy? Isn’t this old Joseph’s son?”
This ridiculous charge bears studious contemplation. As Christ Himself said, a prophet has no honor in his own country, or among his own kin. Familiarity breeds contempt. This is a Satanic emotion, not a Godly one.
The greatest respect, the greatest love displayed in all the universe, is the love between God the Father and Christ the Son of God. No contempt here, in spite of countless billions of years through endless eternity of familiarity.
But the carnal mind, influenced by Satan, is a mind of vanity, jealousy, lust and greed. It is a mind which is also afflicted with a sizable case of inferiority.
Those who accuse, “He is one of us,” as if such a statement discredits a person, do not realize how they are indicting themselves with their ridiculous accusations.
Many years ago, I read some cheap religious tracts which accused my father, Herbert W. Armstrong, of having been “one of us,” meaning the denomination which published the tract. To these vain, accusative religious bigots, the worst thing they could say about my father was that he had supposedly once been one of their own number. He never was. He had never darkened the door of one of their churches, to my certain knowledge. He had never met with their ministry, never attended a single one of their meetings.
These religious zealots, in their eagerness to attack and ridicule, were either deliberately lying, or simply didn’t know what they were saying. Think about it. What was it about them which was so discrediting, so evil, so utterly contemptuous, that association with them automatically discredited anyone who had once fellowshipped with them?
Human nature seems to say, “If I know him, he can’t be anybody worthwhile, or important. “What is unsaid is, “If I know him, since Iam of no worth or importance, he must really be a no-account.”
The Pharisees likewise didn’t understand what they were accusing. To them, it would have been impossible for anyone of any importance to have come from their town of Nazareth. They didn’t realize their accusations were actually directed at themselves; that they were saying, “We can’t be of any importance or account.”
Their anger deepened to murderous rage when Jesus said, “Ye will surely say unto me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal thyself: Whatsoever we have heard done in Capemaum, do also here in thy country.’
“And He said, ‘Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.
“But I tell you of a truth, [note this well!] many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon [this was in modem-day Lebanon, a city then populated by Gentiles, not Jews], unto a woman that was a widow.
“And many lepers were in Israel in the days of Eliseus [Elishal the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman, the Syrian” (Luke 4:23-27).
Do you understand what Jesus was saying?
He was telling them that God was not working among the nation of Israel or Judah to heal, or to perform miracles, during the powerful ministry of witness and warning of Elijah or Elisha! Instead, God did not intervene in the case of destitute widows, or those starving due todrought sent as a national punishment. He intervened only in the case of the Gentile widow in Sidon, and a Syrian king!
This was historically true, and they knew it!
Yet, because it stung them and plainly showed how God had rejected their forefathers because of their sins, they were outraged! Jesus used these examples to back up His bold statement that, at last, God had sent His Son to release spiritual captives right there, in Nazareth–that God had not been working there previously!
Jesus was shattering all their carefully-arranged hierarchical pomp and religious pretense! He was plainly telling them God has not been among you! He has not been working here until NOW, THIS DAY, THROUGH ME!”
Notice: “And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath.
“And rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereupon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong.
“But He, passing through the midst of them went His way,
“And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days” (Luke 4:28-3 1).
Imagine this! From the middle of a religious service on the Sabbath day to a raging, hate-filled mob in only moments of time, this group of venomous, pompous, vain, self-righteous religious bigots sought to do murder, with no hearing, no trial, no appeal! They were rendered so insanely furious with the indictment Jesus Christ had hurled at them they wanted to kill Him right then and there!
Jesus Christ looked very average. No doubt, in the melee, some of His disciples managed to gather around Him. He could have pulled his hooded cloak around him, and, as those in the front ranks milled about, pushing and shoving, shouting, throwing dust in the air, and falling down, He made good his escape, not being recognized in the confusion.
Fascinating piece of history, isn’t it?
Ironically, there are thousands of professing “Christian” ministers who would be rendered just as furiously angry TODAY if a true servant of God told them plainly that GOD HAS NOT BEEN WORKING AMONG YOU!
To be told this is not God’s world seems so strange to so many! To be informed that this is a world under the sway of Satan seems preposterous!
Yet, this is precisely what your Bible says!
The nations are deceived! Millions, who profess Christ, refuse to surrender to Him, refuse to obey Him!
Christ said, “Why call ye me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
He said, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
“But IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:7-9).
Paul wrote, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Obviously, there are those who are involved in a “form of godliness,” in “organized religion,” but who possess all the evil attributes of Satan so thoroughly described in the preceding verses!
Strangely, one sees more of the abominable, hateful, Satanic attitudes of vengeance and hedonism among “religious” organizations than in the public at large!
This is not God’s world! It is AT-ODDS with God, contrary to God, in rebellion against God.
It is a world lost in a Babylon of religious, political and ethnic hatred and confusion!
God says, “Come out of her [spiritual Babylon!], my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).
Now, perhaps we can see more clearly WHY God revealed to His people Israel all the important typology of the somber, holy Day of Atonement. “Atonement” means “at-one-ment.” It pictures the human condition, under Satan’s influence, as being lost in sin; being in opposition to God, desperately needing reconciliation and forgiveness. More, it pictures the ultimate cause of sin, the first sinner, and the “father of liars,” being put away to never more influence mankind!
Rejection and Betrayal
Have you ever experienced rejection from someone you loved? Have you ever been deserted by dear friends? Have you experienced the trauma of divorce, or abandonment? As I write, it is now more than twenty long years since I was completely rejected and abandoned by some I counted among the very closest friends I ever had. Friends with whom I shared hundreds of thousands of miles of travel, hundreds of dinners, hunting expeditions, fishing, sports-countless hours of close contact. Furthermore, some of these former “friends” were ordained into the ministry! Not only dear friends, but my own human father!
To this very moment, I have never received a letter or a telephone call from them.
If you have been divorced, you know how horribly painful such an experience truly is, most especially if you were the one who was rejected.
Your Father in Heaven, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth, know the feelings of rejection and betrayal!
In the very beginning of our physical universe, the divine creating Family, Elohim, (which we refer to as “God”) created a fabulously beautiful, perfect universe, a perfect world. Millions do not know that there is a completely misleading mistranslation in the second verse of Genesis 1.
Notice: “In the beginning God [Elohim, a plural noun] created the heaven and the earth.
“And the earth was without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:1,2). As you read the remainder of the chapter, you are left with the impression that God created the world in blackness, with tossing waves completely covering the land surface; that all was chaotic, and in confusion.
The Hebrew words for “without form, and void” are tohu and bohu. Here is what Dr. Builinger says in his notes on Genesis 1:2: “Without form = waste. Heb. tohu va bohu. Fig. Paronomasia. Ap. 6. Not created tohu (Isa. 45:18), but became tohu (Gen. 1:2. 2 Pet. 3:5,6). “An enemy hath done this” (Matt. 13:25,28,39. Cp. 1 Cor. 14:33). See Ap. 8″
Isaiah 45:18 plainly says, “For thus saith the Eternal that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain [Heb. tohu], He formed it to be inhabited: ‘I am the Eternal.”‘
The Companion Bible note on this phrase: “In vain = tohu. The same word as in Gen. 1.2 (“without form”). Therefore it must have become tohu: which is exactly what Gen. 1:2 declares.”
Now, HOW did God’s original, beautiful, flawlessly PERFECT creation become a chaotic scene of death and destruction; of stygian blackness covering a raging sea; of continents submerged beneath the water?
To read of the original condition of earth, turn to Ezekiel 28:12, where the “king of Tyrus” is used as a type of Satan, the devil (see Bullinger’s marginal notes, or any commentary): “…thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets [drums] and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou was upon the holy mountain of God: thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
“Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity [sin; lawlessness] was found in thee.
“By the multitude of thy merchandise [your trafficking, or going about from here to there; your “busyness,” which means “calumniator, or slanderer,” as one who slanders and gossips in a moral sense] they [these many occasions of sin] have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, 0 covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness [splendor]…” (Ezekiel 28:12-17).
Lucifer was breathtakingly beautiful. His name meant “Shining Star of the Dawn,” or “Lightbringer.” This description of Lucifer’s original condition bears very careful inspection; careful meditation.
For comparison, and a few additional details, notice Isaiah’s description: “How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
“For thou hast said in thine heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides [recesses] of the north:
“‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the MOST HIGH [Hebrew: Elyon, which is from El, and Elohim, as the “Possessor of heaven and earth.”]”‘ (Isaiah 14:12-14).
Here was a splendid, bright, shining, beautiful creature, an archangel, whose very name connoted his shining countenance. He was given command of this earth. He walked up and down in a land called “Eden” which existed perhaps billions of years ago, not the “Eden” of the recreation of earth long after its destruction, but the original “holymountain of God,” probably located somewhere in what is today the “Middle East.” This was a land of fabulous jewels; sparkling emeralds, topaz, diamonds, were everywhere about. Gold was common.
We are not told how long Lucifer ruled over the earth, nor how much power God allowed him during that period. One thousand years is to God like only one day to you and me. How long did God enjoy the beauty, the charm, the magnetism, the friendship, loyalty, and easy-going camaraderie of Lucifer?
God says he was a perfect creature in all aspects. Could not God have enjoyed His association with Lucifer, originally?
We are told, however, that Lucifer began “merchandising.” That is, he began to talk to the countless angels under his control, and perhaps to others who were under Gabriel or Michael. He began to allow jealousy of God’s supreme position of authority to eat on him. He began to see God in an unfavorable comparison with himself.
His reasoning is extant in billions of humans. “I am better than you are,” reason many. Vanity consumed Lucifer. Like most vain people, he suffered from a deep-seated inferiority complex, for he knew, deep within himself, that he was inferior to God; that God was more powerful. As Lucifer contemplated all that God controlled, envy and covetousness crept in. Lucifer began to become dissatisfied with his fabulously beautiful portion of God’s realm. Now, the jewels and gold seemed commonplace. The earth, down here under the clouds, was truly ,’mundane.”
He began to exacerbate the situation, continually gossiping, talking, excusing and justifying himself, dropping innuendoes and hints that God was somehow not fair. The more he engaged in this “trafficking,” the more corrupt he became, morally and spiritually.
Finally, he betrayed God, and, taking his angels (all of whom had been completely subverted by his charm, and his charismatic personality), he attempted to attack God on His throne and overthrow Him! He attempted the very first palace coup in all the history of the universe.
We cannot even begin to imagine the titanic struggle that took place. It was the original, primeval, “star wars” that ensued; planets and stars collided, were hurled out of their orbits. The earth’s surface was wrecked, utterly destroyed.
Today, when we gaze into space, we can see the results of this titanic struggle for control of the universe. The lifeless, pock-marked hulks that are the moon, or Mars and many other planets with their ugly, misshapen moons; the poisonous Venusian atmosphere; billions of meteorites, which are just so much space debris from explosions; all present mute testimony to us of vast events in the ancient past which caused all this wreckage.
Evolutionists speak of their pet theory about the “big bang,” as if it were a mindless act of “nature,” which was the original creation. It was not. The debris they see is the result of the destruction of an earlier, perfect creation.
Did Lucifer’s betrayal and attack upon God affect God’s attitude at all? God is love, according to His Word. He is gentle, kind, good, giving, merciful, longsuffering, and forgiving. Since God’s very nature is love, and since God desires man’s love in return, was it not painful and deeply disappointing to God to see the most beautiful creature of His handiwork, Lucifer, turn into a vicious, hating, lying, spiteful rebel, trying to overthrow his own Creator?
Do you see? The very first estrangement, the first time there was OPPOSITION, the first time there was betrayal, rejection, and war against God came perhaps billions of years before Adam!
The Rejection and Betrayal of Christ
Jesus Christ was the Son of God. He was God in the flesh, the original “Spokesman” of the Godhead, who did the creating!
“In the beginning was the Word [Greek: Logos, meaning “Spokesman”], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
“The same was in the beginning with God.
“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
“The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
“He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world
knew Him not.
“He came unto His own, and His own received Him not…” (John 1:1-11). Here is irrefutable proof that the One who became our Savior, the Member of the Godhead who was born Jesus of Nazareth, is the Divine Member of the Godhead who did the creating! He is the One who said, “Let US make man in OUR image” (Genesis 2:26), who dealt with Abraham, who parted the Red Sea, who gave Moses the law at Sinai.
Notice that He was with God, the Father, and yet “was God.” Our English word “God” is often taken to mean “God, the Father,” though it actually comes from any number of divine titles, and must be understood from the original languages, such as Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Jesus Christ plainly spoke of His “Father” in heaven. He said He had come to reveal the Father. He prayed to His Father, talked to Him, and said He spoke not of and by Himself, but that “The Father hath given me a commandment; what I should say and what I should speak.”
Those who espouse the nonsensical “Jesus Only” theory ignorantly deny dozens of plain scriptures which proves the duality of the Divine Family.
Notice that the Creator, now in the human form of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, “came unto His OWN.” He was born into the Jewish race.
Paul wrote, “For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood” (Hebrews 7:12). The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well asked, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, asked drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? (for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans)” (John 4:9).
In both Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogies, Jesus’ legal human ancestry is plainly traced back to His eponymous ancestor, Judah, whose name “Judahite,” or “Yehudi,” became shortened to “Jew.” Those antisemitic bigots who refuse to accept Jesus Christ’s Jewish ancestry show themselves to be exactly what they are-racist, hate-filled, prejudiced, arrogant, and completely ignorant of the Scriptures.
Christ came unto His own people, His own race, His own tribe! He was to say, on various occasions, “A prophet hath no honor in His own country, or among His own kin.”
Notice Isaiah’s inspired prophecy: “For He shall grow up before Him [Jehovah is implied] as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness: and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not” (Isaiah 53:2,3).
Jesus Christ knew rejection. Though He was perfect, though He preached love and forgiveness, He was hated by the Jewish religious leaders, rejected by His own family and near kindred.
Satan, the original traitor, appeared immediately at Jesus’ birth, and, through Herod’s pogrom against thousands of innocent little babies, sought to destroy Him. Satan appeared to Jesus at His testing in the wilderness, during a forty day fast, attempting to overthrow His faith; attempting to charm, enchant, persuade, influence–trying his best to get Christ to worship Satan.
Christ passed each grueling test, finally commanding the devil to leave, and then, exhausted, received succor from angels (Matthew 4:11).
All during Christ’s ministry, Satan was present. He attempted to deceive Peter (Luke 22:3 1). He did deceive, heavily influence, and finally enter personally into Judas Iscariot. Satan, through Judas, continually attempted to influence the other disciples against Christ, just as Lucifer had originally become corrupted by his “trafficking,” or his “merchandising”–talking, accusing, influencing, justifying, attempting to persuade other beings against God and His authority (see John 12:4 with Mark 14:5 and Matthew 26:8,9).
Finally, Satan entered into Judas at the last supper (John 13:27) and betrayed Christ to the Sanhedrin, leading to His murder.
Satan, the great traitor toward God, was continually present at every great and momentous event concerning God’s plan of redemption and salvation, attempting to wreck God’s works; derail the plan of salvation.
Notice that Christ was a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Do you know what it is to have beloved friends, even close family members, “hide their faces” from you, cut you off, refuse to see you, or even talk, or write? I do. If you have, you know there is no physical pain which is equal to this decades-long mental and emotional pain of rejection–knowing others despise you!
The estrangement of this world against God is a total alienation. It is complete.
As they rejected Christ, so did the world reject His disciples, as He prophesied: “They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God a service.
“And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father nor me” (John 16:2,3).
Now do you understand how complete, how total is the spiritual darkness and Satanic confusion that grips this world–yes, including the world of religion?
There is need for the world and the very solar system itself to be restored to a condition of being “AT ONE” WITH GOD!
Because the process of alienation has been so painful, the holy day which pictures the reconciliation and final removal of all the sources of hostility, rejection, and hatred also features something painful: an”affliction” of our lives, through fasting!
A “Feast” of Fasting
Now, let’s come to understand the symbolism and typology of the somber Day of Atonement.
“And the Eternal spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation [a commanded assembly] unto you; and ye shallafflict your souls … and ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Eternal your God.
“For whatsoever soul [person] it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among His people” (Leviticus 23:27-29).
That “afflicting your souls” means fasting; abstaining from food and water during that entire twenty-four hour day, is crystal clear from the Scriptures.
For example, fasting for the wrong reasons is depicted by the prophet Isaiah: “‘Wherefore have we fasted?’ say they, ‘and Thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul and Thou takest no knowledge?’ Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors.
“Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high…” (Isaiah 58:2-4).
Fasting for the wrong reason is merely going hungry. Christ showed how the spiritually proud Pharisees did this: “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure [contort; twist] their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
“But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head [wash and comb your hair-this is not a “spiritual” ritual, but instructions to appear properly groomed], and wash thine face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:16-18).
Fasting means completely abstaining from food and drink for the period of the fast. Notice how the Assyrian king of ancient Nineveh, at the warning from Jonah, proclaimed a fast: “…and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
“And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, ‘Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
“‘But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
“‘Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?’
“And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not” (Jonah 3:6 -1 0).
Notice it was not the fasting which moved God to change His mind. The fasting moved the people of Nineveh to change THEIR EVIL WAYS. It was the fact that they repented, that they turned from their evil way of life, from violence and crime, that moved God.
Fasting is not for the purpose of “getting God’s attention.” It is, instead, for getting our attention on God.
Fasting is temporary rejection of, and control over, our human, physical appetites. Hunger is a powerful feeling.
Millions of people, especially in the Western world of affluence, are terribly overweight. Millions are accustomed to satisfying every whim of appetite; greasy, fat-laden, poor quality quick foods; candies, ice cream, desserts. Millions “snack” at the first little twinge of hunger, devouring grease-laden potato chips, Fritos, “snacks” of all kinds, laden with chemicals, artificial flavorings and colorings, sodium and salt. Go to any good book store, and purchase a good book on nutrition, and learn of the incredibly debilitating eating and drinking habits of millions of our people. Then, you will come to understand much more about such terrible diseases as cancer, heart disease, emphysema, diabetes, and so many more, and why it is that “health care” is such a major economic and political issue in our time!
Millions are eating themselves to death without realizing it! Millions never allow themselves to experience hunger, while, in the “third world,” hundreds of thousands are dying of starvation.
The Christian life of overcoming is one of controlling our physical appetites! Solomon wrote, “Be not among winebibbers [excessive drinkers]; among riotous eaters of flesh [selfish, gluttonous eaters]:
“For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty” (Proverbs 23:20,21).
Jesus Christ said “…when ye fast” not, “if” ye fast. When the disciples of John, the Baptist, complained about Jesus’ disciples ignoring weekly, ritualistic “fasts” like those of the Pharisees, they asked, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
“And Jesus said unto them, ‘Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast”‘ (Matthew 9:14,15).
He was referring to his being killed, resurrected, and assumed into heaven, saying after His departure His true disciples would fast.
Fasting, controlling the human physical appetites, and drawing close to God in prayer is part of the Christian life. Are there those who fast only one day in the year? Probably.
Strangely, there are those “spiritual liberals” who like to deceive themselves into rationalizing away the requirement to fast on the Day of Atonement! Others, completely captive to their own stomachs and physical appetites, like to argue that they can “fast” but merely drink water during the Day of Atonement.
Such people are plainly carnal, “of the flesh,” concerned with physical, fleshly appetites! To them, it is “unfair” that they should go as much as a single day of their lives without food and water! They want to “argue” and “reason” their way around God’s commands, allowing their stomachs to rule their minds, instead of the other way around. Like Esau, many are willing to miss out on the Kingdom of God for a mess of pottage!
But God says that those who do not fast shall be cut off from God, and His people!
No so-called “Christian” can argue that Jesus did not enjoin fasting upon His church! The Bible is replete with examples. Christ chided His disciples on one occasion when they attempted to cast out a demon, and could not. Christ told them that “this kind cometh not out, but by prayer and fasting!” (Matthew 17:21).
Since every converted member of God’s church is commanded to fastfrom time to time, WHAT BETTER DAY TO DO IT–TOGETHER, AS A CHURCH–THAN ON THE HOLY DAY OF ATONEMENT?
Luke, the historian, notes how the “fast,” which is the Day of Atonement, was so prominent in their seasonal reckoning that it was commonly used as the point in the Autumn when the winter storms would begin in the Mediterranean.
He wrote, “Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was already past, Paul admonished them…” (Acts 27:9). The Companion Bible accompanying note says, “i.e., the tenth day of the seventh month, the day of Atonement, about Oct. 1st.”
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance explains the Greek word used for “fast,” which is nesteia, to mean, “abstinence (from lack of food or voluntary and religious); spec. the fast of the Day of Atonement.”
Luke wrote between 59 and 61 A.D., or about thirty years after the resurrection of Christ! Everything that had supposedly been “nailed to the cross” had disappeared thirty years before. Yet, here was Luke, one of Christ’s close confidants and a writer of the account detailing the events in the life of Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, and casually using one of God’s annual holy days as an important point in the seasons!
Notice how God’s prophet Joel said the time would come when, during the Great Tribulation, just before the terrible Day of the Lord, the leaders of the nation should call fasts for His people: “Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Eternal your God, and cry unto the Eternal,
“Alas for the day! for the day of the Eternal is at hand, and as a destruction from the ALMIGHTY [El Shaddai] shall it come…” (Joel 1:14,15). In the next chapter, Joel wrote, “Therefore also now, saith the Eternal, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mouming:
“And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Eternal your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil.
“Who knoweth if He will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind Him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Eternal your God?
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly…” (Joel 2:12-15).
Since God’s Word commands us not to “forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching,” (Hebrews 10:25), it behooves God’s church to obey God in observing His holy days; to obey Him in fasting and prayers, as He commands, on the solemn, meaningful, somber, most holy DAY OF ATONEMENT.
Notice carefully how God has arranged His holy days so they reveal, progressively, His great PLAN of redemption and salvation.
The Day of Atonement falls between the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles. Just as the book of Revelation reveals, Satan is bound and hurled away from the earth after the Second Coming of Christ (which Trumpets foreshadows), and before the beginning of Christ’s 1,000 year reign, foreshadowed by the Feast of Tabernacles.
Very briefly, the Passover depicts the first step in the plan of redemption; the slaying of the lamb pictures Christ’s sacrifice and our acceptance of it. The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures Christ becoming part of us, through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Christ said He was that “Bread of Life” that was come down from heaven, and said, “He that eateth of me shall never die.” Not only does eating unleavened bread show we are partaking of a sinless life, but the unleavened bread pictures Christ.
Next comes Pentecost, or the “Feast of Weeks,” or “Feast of the Firstfruits.” The word Pentecost is from the Greek, which merely means “fiftieth.” God told His Levites to count from the morrow after the Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread seven weeks (seven meaning perfection, completion). On the morrow after the seventh Sabbath was the “Feast of Sabbaths,” or “Firstfruits.”
On this day, Christ sent the Holy Spirit upon His apostles (Acts 2). This is the “birthday” of the church–the first time in all history when God made His Holy Spirit available, freely, to all who would repent. Christ is the FIRST of the “firstfruits” of mankind. He is called “…the Firstborn among many brethren,” and “…the Firstfruits of them that slept” (Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:20). This important holy day shows the incredible truth we have been discussing previously; how only a very rare, tiny minority are being called now; that God is NOT TRYING TO “SAVE” THIS WORLD NOW; that only a small firstfruits for God’s kingdom has been converted, and called into God’s true church.
Next comes The Feast of Trumpets, which pictures the announcement from heaven of God’s intervention in human affairs. Not only does it look forward to the great final trumpet (Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 15:50-52; Revelation 11:15), but it represents all of God’s continual witness and warning down through the centuries. Isaiah said, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). The ultimate meaning of the Feast of Trumpets is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this earth, after God has caused the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which is the good news of Christ’s soon coming to RULE this world, to be preached among all nations.
The method of mass communication used in ancient Israel was the trumpet call, or the blowing on the horn of a ram, called the “shofar.” There were various sounds for the calling of assemblies, for marching orders, for the announcement of holy days, and for warning of approaching enemies.
God promised He would not leave this world without a witness; thatthe world would be warned of impending punishments for sin; of disease, economic collapse, and war. Throughout history, God has sent His special messengers; first, the prophets, then Jesus Christ, then His apostles, and finally His church, to blow the trumpet of witness and warning, as watchmen (Ezekiel 33) to inform people of what was to come!
Eventually, the whole world will hear the blast of the trumpet of God (Matthew 24:3 1), announcing Christ’s return.
But when Christ comes back to this earth, the world will not immediately accept Him. Peace will not immediately prevail. Instead, Christ will administer, personally, the immediate punishment for sin upon the “beast” and “false prophet,” and then God will send a powerful angel to hurl Satan away from this earth and BIND him for one thousand years so he can no longer influence mankind.
Notice one of the very first acts to be accomplished by Jesus Christ when He returns to this earth in power and glory: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.
“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written; that no man knew, but He himself.
“And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.
“And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
“And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall RULE them with a rod of iron [see Revelation 2:26]: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
“And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS … and I saw the beast [the coming military leader of the “beast power,” a ten-nation combine which will fight Christ at His coming (see Revelation 17:12-14)], and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army.
“And the beast was taken [captured; arrested], and with him the false prophet [see 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10 with Revelation 13:11-18] that wrought miracles before him, with which he had deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
“And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit [abyss, a metaphor for “the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13)] and a great chain in his hand.
“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
“And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Revelation 19:11-21; 20:1-3).
Men divided the manuscripts into chapters. The original scrolls had no such divisions. Here, the thought flow continues, uninterrupted, from the Second Coming of Christ to the binding of Satan.
First, then, Christ administers the death penalty–death by fire to the vicious, mass-murderers, the beast and his religious cohort, the false prophet. The very next event is the binding of Satan, and removal of him from the earth into some far off “black hole” in the universe pictured as an “abyss,” where he is to remain alive, yet completely powerless to influence the world, for the entire millennial reign of Christ with His saints.
With this information in mind, turn to and study Leviticus, the 16th chapter, and come to understand the interesting typology.
Types and Shadows of Things to Come
Only once each year was the high priest to come into the “holy of holies” inside the tabernacle (later, the temple). Read carefully through Hebrews 8 and 9 for a fuller understanding.
“And the Eternal said unto Moses, ‘Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat [a type of the throne of God], which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.
“Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering” (Leviticus 16:2,3). Verse six explains that the young bullock for a sin offering is for Aaron and his family to make an “atonement” for himself and them. The ram for the burnt offering was on behalf of the congregation of Israel (verse 15).
“And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and for his house. And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Eternal at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
“And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Eternal, and the other lot for the scapegoat” (Leviticus 16:6-8).
Notice that the first lot is “FOR THE ETERNAL.” It follows that the second lot, the goat which is called an “azazel” in Hebrew, falsely translated “scapegoat” into the English, is NOT FOR THE ETERNAL, but for some other representation.
Hastings says, “The living goat was then brought near; and the high priest, having placed both hands upon its head, confessed over it all the sins and offences of the Israelites; after which the goat was led away by a man standing in readiness, into the wilderness for ‘Azazel,’ that it might bear the iniquities to a land ‘cut off,’ i.e., to one remote from human habitations, from which there was no chance of its bringing back its burden of guilt” (Dictionary of the Bible, James Hastings, Vol. 1, p. 199).
Here, the sins are not forgiven, not expiated by the shedding of blood, but instead are still alive, the guilt still remaining upon the head of the live goat, which is led by a man specially selected for the task into a remote wilderness, from which it will never return.
This is a perfect type of what you read in Revelation 20:1-3: “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit [metaphor for an “abyss,” or an empty void, without human habitation] and a great chain in his hand.
“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
“And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that that he should deceive the nations no more…”
When does the binding of Satan occur?
Immediately after the Second Coming of Christ and following Christ having thrown the beast and false prophet into a lake of fire!
Note this sequence of events well! Satan is bound after Christ’s coming, which is pictured by the Feast of Trumpets, yet before the beginning of the Millennium, which is foreshadowed, in part, by the Feast of Tabernacles. Which holy day comes between Trumpets and Tabernacles? The Day of Atonement.
The forgiveness of sin requires the shedding of blood.”…. without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). The Passover lamb, the daily and special sacrifices; the slaying of the bullock for Aaron and his family, and the slaying of the goat “for the Eternal” all picture CHRIST’S SHED BLOOD for the sins of mankind. But the second goat, the “Azazel,” is NOT FOR THE ETERNAL, but is for the purpose of remaining alive to bear the sins and guilt of Israel far, far away into a distant, uninhabited wilderness.
This does not picture forgiveness of sin, for no blood is shed. Therefore, the theory that the live goat, or “Azazel,” which is sent into a desolate, uninhabited wilderness pictures “forgiveness of sins” is utterly impossible. Instead, it pictures how Satan, who will remain alive for eternity, will be burdened with memories of his iniquities and sins for ever and ever.
Think of it! Laying upon the head of the live goat, like virulent bacteria and viruses, all the sins of the world, the goat is sent into a remote, desolate wilderness. The wilderness, or “Arabah” was always used as a type of sin.
While God will forgive and forget our sins, Satan the Devil has no capacity for remorse or forgiveness and will NEVER FORGET. He will remain alive, REMEMBERING!
Therefore, though God, our Creator, completely forgives and forgets your sins and mine, our “partner in sin,” the original sinner, the one who influenced us to sin, will remain alive, continually remembering! He will be alone. There will be no light to see. There will be no companionship. He will remain alone with his torturous thoughts, his bitter memories, for all eternity.
Many of the major religious beliefs of this world have been subtly implanted by Satan–doctrines that picture him, his state of being, and his future, rather than the plan of God.
Satan has deceived the world into believing God is part of a great spiritual triumvirate, while Satan, himself, is one of only three archangels mentioned in the Bible. The Divine Family of God consists of Father and Son. DUALITY is seen throughout nature: two magnetic poles, two sexes; man has two eyes, two hands, two arms, two feet, two ears, two legs. There is the “first man Adam” and the “second man Adam” (referring to our first parent and our spiritual Savior–1 Corinthians 15:45-49). The Bible has the Old Testament and the New Testament. There is the physical and the spiritual. Everywhere, God has placed duality throughout creation. Electricity has a positive and a negative charge, and there are many other examples in the physical creation to illustrate duality. Yet, millions believe in the false doctrine that God consists of a “Trinity” of Persons.
Satan has also deceived mankind into believing man has an “immortal soul.” But Satan has been created as an immortal spirit, who will live forever. Satan has convinced mankind that sin is punished by eternal punishing, not eternal punishment. Yet, Satan will be punished for all eternity in the “blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13).
Thus, the live goat, with all the sins of Israel laid upon him, represents Satan, remaining alive, with the bitter memories of his betrayal, his rebellion, his unceasing sins.
Betrayal, Estrangement, and Atonement
Previously, I asked if you had ever been rejected, perhaps divorced–whether you had ever been despised by someone you loved. Now, think of that person. How painful would it be if, even at this late state, a complete reconciliation could occur?
It is much easier to ask forgiveness than it is to give it! The penitent one is emotionally moved; ashamed, disgusted with himself. When true repentance occurs, it is a natural desire to ask to be forgiven, to shed the painful feelings of guilt that weigh like a terrible burden on the mind.
The one who is wronged, however, experiences far different feelings. Because it is so difficult to forgive; much more difficult than to ask for forgiveness, Jesus instructed His disciples about forgiveness. Peter had asked, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? ‘Till seven times?
“Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21,22). Then Christ instructed them about the parable of the unjust servant, who, when forgiven a huge debt, turned about and had a man who owed him but little thrown into jail.
The landowner who had originally forgiven his servant the large debt heard of it, had him arrested, and thrown into prison.
Jesus said, “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:35).
Continually, Jesus Christ stressed forgiveness as a part of the character of a Christian! Why? Because it is contrary to human nature to forgive! Instead, the one wronged is prone to demand far more display of contrition; far more restitution than the repentant one is able to give.
How many times have we heard the terms, “I will never forgive him for that”? Or, “That is absolutely unforgivable”? Jesus said……. if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14,15).
It is part of God’s nature to be a FORGIVING God. He had said, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
As we have seen, God was betrayed by one of the most beautiful creatures in all the universe, Lucifer, who became twisted and perverted into the embodiment of hatred, spite, contempt, bitterness, sin and evil!
Does God have no feelings? Did not this grieve our Heavenly Father, and the “Logos,” or the One who became our Savior? Of course it did!
Did it not grieve Christ to see all His disciples forsake Him as He suffered on the stake? God commands us: “…grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
It is because both parties feel affliction when a reconciliation occurs; because BOTH parties have been grieved–especially the one who was wronged–that removing the wrong, assuaging the guilt, becoming “at-ONE” again is so painful!
Joyous at the end, the process of repentance, and being forgiven is painful while it occurs.
Perhaps now we can see, as never before, why our Heavenly Father commands us “…ye shall afflict your souls” during the somber Day of At-One-Ment!
David cried out, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: But now have I kept thy word” (Psalm 119:67).
When we abstain from food and drink from sunset to sunset during the holy Day of Atonement, we should not think about how pitiful we are, how hungry we are, how we desire food! This defeats the purpose of Atonement.
Rather, we should get our minds off physical things, and think only of spiritual things. We should think, again, of how much God has suffered for mankind! How God was betrayed by Lucifer; how Satan destroyed the original creation; how Satan deceived our first parents; how he attacked Job; how he influenced Herod to kill thousands of innocent babies; how he tempted Christ; how he influenced Judas to betray Christ; and how he is our adversary, “accusing” us before God, day and night!
We should realize that we have had an evil partner in sin! We should soberly contemplate how GREAT is God’s mercy toward us, that He should say He will “remove our sins from us as far as the East is removed from the West,” realizing how Satan, laden with his share of our guilt, will be hurled into the “blackness of darkness for all eternity”!
Only when all this is accomplished will this world, under the righteous reign of Jesus Christ, become once again truly “at one” with God!
How fervently we should pray, “Thy Kingdom Come…”
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