This Day, The Day of Atonement, is the only annual Sabbath Day of seven annual Sabbaths we are to observe where we are to fast. That means we are to abstain from food and water for 24 hours-from sunset to sunset.
Fasting is to humble us, to help us to see ourselves as we are and to see God as He is. It also strengthens us spiritually, to enable us to withstand our enemy, Satan the devil.
This Day has a great deal to do with the adversary and his evil influence on humanity.
SATAN MAKES EARLY ENTRY ON THE FIRST HUMANS
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
So we see here how this “serpent” (Hebrew nachash, meaning, “to hiss, mutter, whisper, as do enchanters.” from “The Companion Bible”, Appendix 19.), used subtlety and craftiness to deceive this first woman. He appealed to her human nature, which at this time, was mostly innocent. She was able to convince her husband, Adam, this was the right thing to do. Here was the incident where Satan initiated the first and great LIE that human beings have an immortal soul.
But God had plainly told them in Chapter 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Both Adam and Eve were merely physical beings, subject to death (Chap.3:19 shows wersquo;re just dust). Sin brings on the death penalty. (Romans 6:23)
On through history, this evil being continues to be around, to deceive, harass and falsely accuse human beings. Notice II Chronicles 18:20 “Then there came out a spirit, (probably a demon or consort of Satan) and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. and the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? 21.And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.” Here we see the LORD allowed this lying spirit to entice evil king Ahab, to bring him down. He allows this in modern day “preachers” of Satan to deceive people. (II Cor.11:13,14)
Turn now to Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” Then ensues a conversation where God allows this former cherub angel to make accusations against an “upright” Job, who “feared God”. (read thru ver.12.) You probably know of the severe trials that Job had to endure to prove his faith. Why God allowed this, I can’t fully explain, except to reveal Job’s self righteousness. Ch.27:6
THIS EVIL DECEIVER HAS BEEN AROUND FOR A LONG TIME!
Job 38:4 “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 6. Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the cornerstone thereof;” This is God’s inspired account of the CREATION OF THIS EARTH!
(And we believe this was achieved at the same time God created the entire universe.
Verse 7 “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.”
Do you grasp the enormous truth revealed here? The ANGELS OF GOD WERE THERE! And they were rejoicing at the MARVELOUS CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE!!
WHO WAS AMONG THEM?
It was none other than LUCIFER, Gabriel and Michael, the three great archangels (or cherubs), named in the Bible, along with the millions and millions of other ranks of angels. But one of these powerful archangels TURNED BAD—Lucifer!
First, I want to read to you, a short explanation from Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s book: “Mystery of the Ages”, under the section, “Mystery of Angels and Evil Spirits”, Pg.61: “Angels inhabited this earth before the creation of man. It is revealed in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, that God placed the archangel Lucifer, a cherub, on a throne on the earth. He was placed there as a ruler over the entire earth. God intended him to rule the earth by administering the government of God over the earth. And the government was administered on earth until the rebellion of the sinning angels.” (End of quote.) Now, turn to Isaiah 14:4 “Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased? ( Here the “king of Babylon” is used as a type of Satan, but the type becomes the reality in a few more verses.) 7. The whole earth is at rest, and is quite: they break forth in singing. 8. Yea, the fir trees (a type of humans) rejoice at thee to meet thee at thy coming, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.”
It appears that this “type” is referring to the time when Satan will ultimately be brought down to his final judgment. Then the real personage, Satan, is revealed. Verse 12 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! (His name originally meant “light bringer” or “day star” ) how art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations? (by his deceptions) 13. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars (angels) of God: I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Rev. 20:1) Then the following verses, through 20, revert back to the human type of the king of Babylon. Now, go to the other account of Satan’s attempted coup.
Here, in Ezekiel 28:12, Satan is the “type” is the “king of Tyrus”. “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God, Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. (Obviously not referring to a man now) 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 and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth: and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy (remove or make void) thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”
And, God did cast this rebellious cherub back to this earth where he languished in total darkness, on an earth covered completely in water. We find those conditions extant in Genesis 1:2“--and darkness was upon the face of the deep--”. Then God began a renewing of this earth’s surface, as revealed by Psalms 104:6 “Thou coverest it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. 30. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”
NOW COMES THE ULTIMATE CREATIVE ACT OF GOD
He will now begin His Awesome Plan to REPRODUCE HIMSELF, IN MANKIND. (Read Genesis I: 26 -- 27; 2:7) That Plan is shown by the seven annual Holy Days that God gave to His chosen people, Israel (Leviticus 23:2--26). By observing these days, and with the Help of the Holy Spirit, we can understand what God is about to accomplish in a few years from now.
BUT SOMETHING MUST TAKE PLACE BEFORE THAT CAN BE COMPLETED!
This Day of Atonement depicts this very event. The INSTIGATOR of all the evils on this earth-the wars, the murders, the rapes, the lies, the cruelty between people and nations, the thievery, the chicanery and deception that we observe continually- MUST BE DEALT WITH!
We can’t fully RECEIVE OUR FULL ATONEMENT WITH GOD, before this takes place.
Various scriptures in the O.T. reveal this coming event: It’s about TWO GOATS.
Leviticus 16:2-5-7, 8, 9 Notice, this “goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell”, was to be offered “for a sin offering, representing the slain Christ; His blood atoning for our sins. Verse 10 then deals with the “scapegoat” or “Azazel”, which is “let go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.” (Then the high priest goes through a ritualistic procedure, Ver.11-14, using the blood of a bullock to make atonement for himself, the altar, the Holy Place, etc. Verse 15, again covers the killing of the “goat of the sin offering”. It’s blood was to be “the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people”. (Along with this, read Heb. 9:2-12, 24-26.) The blood was also sprinkled upon the “mercy seat”, representing the very Throne of God. Verse 20 brings us back to the Azazel or “live goat”.
Some are trying to confuse and deceive people by saying this goat, also, represents Christ! This idea is absolutely false! They get OFF TRACK, by misinterpreting verse 21 and 22! Because it says, 21. “And Aaron shall lay both hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. 22. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited : and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” (This not Heaven, where Christ is!)
Again, I want to refer to a clear, logical, and TRUE explanation of these two verses, from the “Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course”, lesson No.37, pg. 5, 6, Quote: Comment: “This did not take place until after the high priest had finished his work in the Tabernacle. This typified an act to take place after the Second Coming of Christ. 4. Did he symbolically place the sins of Israel on the head of Azazel? Verse 21. Whose sins were they really? Comment: The laying on of hands symbolizes setting apart and bestowing some characteristic attribute. When Christ died He fully paid for our sins. By His payment our debt to the law of God ceases to exist. So these cannot be our sins again placed on Christ, for Him to carry a second time, nor are they our sins to be placed on someone else.
It is actually Satan who is principally responsible for every sin of mankind from the first theft by Eve down to the present. Christ paid for our part in every sin of which we repent. But He did not pay for Satan’s part in those sins, or the sins of the other demons. Demons are not offered salvation through repentance! They, by nature, live forever. They cannot be born again into the family of God, and they refuse to repent! So here are Satan’s sins being put right back on his own head--where they belong. God is a God of justice.
This world is in total confusion on the sin question. It does not know who is to blame for sin and how sin is to be paid for. Therefore, Satan finds it easy to deceive people into assuming that the sin-carrying Azazel must be Christ.” (end of quote)
It’s obvious that the “slain goat” of Leviticus 16 was a type of our Savior, Jesus Christ who became our “sin offering”. The “live goat”, Azazel, represented Satan the Devil, who will ultimately, be cast into “chains of darkness”. Romans 5:8 “But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, we shall be saved by His life. 11. And not only so, but we also joy on God through our Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom WE HAVE NOW RECEIVED THE ATONEMENT.” Yes, Christ’s blood has made us AT-ONE with God!
BUT WE STILL HAVE AN ENEMY TO CONTEND WITH!
I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” So, there is still another event that must occur before we reach that final DAY OF TRIUMPH! Satan, the instigator of all this worlds problems much be punished. Read Revelation 20:1 “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. 3. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, 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.”
Shortly after this, comes this DAY OF TRIUMPH for God’s people! Continue reading, verse 4. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and thy lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” After this millennium, and after the “little season” of the 100 year judgment period of those in the second resurrection (Ezekiel 37:1--14) (Isaiah 65:20), Satan receives his final judgment and punishment. Jude 6 “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”13. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” This is the end of the adversary and the deceiver of the whole earth! It is our Day of Triumph!