Fred R. Coulter—September 18, 2010

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Greetings, brethren, welcome to the Day of Atonement. We certainly have had a lot of things happen this summer and now here we are past the day of Trumpets and into the Day of Atonement and getting ready for the Feast of Tabernacles. This day is really the day that the world is waiting for and needing, and a day which then is going to signal a day of great triumph of God.

Let’s begin, as we always do, in Leviticus 23, where we have all the Holy Days listed. Let’s pick it up here in Leviticus 23:26: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Also, on the tenth day of this seventh month, is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a Holy convocation to you. And you shall afflict your souls… [means to humble yourself, don’t eat any food, don’t drink any water with the exception of those who are on strict medications] …and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD’” (vs 26-27). We’ll cover the special offerings for the ceremony of the Day of Atonement, and we will see that this can only be interpreted by the book of Revelation.

Verse 28: “‘And you shall do no work in that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, in order to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God, for whoever is not afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people…. [meaning that he will not be recognized by God as the people of God.] …And whoever does any work in that same day, the same one will I destroy from among his people…. [That doesn’t mean literally to take his life, because there are many ways that people can be destroyed, etc.] …You shall do no manner of work…. [He says it three times, so not working is very important, critical, for understanding the Day of Atonement.] …It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. In the ninth day of the month at sunset, from sunset to sunset, you shall keep your Sabbath.’” (vs 28-32).

That’s why God starts and ends the day at sunset. Everyone can see when the sun sets—right? Yes! Now, on this Day of Atonement we’re also going to take up an offering, and as we normally do for offerings (and please put your full name and address on the offering envelope). We’ve covered offerings many times so you well know what the situation is and what God expects, so according to your blessing give an offering to God from your heart.

(pause to take up the offering)

Now let’s come to Leviticus 16 and we will go through certain parts to see the special ritual that was done by the high priest on the Day of Atonement. There is no other offering in the whole Bible like this. Then we will go to the New Testament and we will see where this was fulfilled in part by Jesus Christ at the very beginning of His ministry. On this day the priest was to bring a special offering for himself and for his household, to make an atonement for himself and for all the Levites and then there was a special ceremony that would take place. This special ceremony was really quite something.

There were two live goats that were brought before the Lord. The high priest would stand outside the temple, between the temple and the altar of burnt offerings, which was out further in front of the temple. There they would cast lots upon these two identical goats. Let’s see what this whole ritual was. It was very different.

Leviticus 16:7: “And he shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation…. [Why should he do that?] …And Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats; one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel…. [Azazel means the one removed. It is also a name for Satan the devil. Why would Satan be involved with this? That’s the whole thing we’re going to find out on this Day of Atonement.] …And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer it for a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement upon it and sent away into the wilderness for Azazel.” (vs 7-10). Then it gives all the instructions that he needs to do.

With the goat that was offered for the children of Israel, that was offered as a sin offering. Verse 15: “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil…. [right into the Holy of Holies] …And he shall do with that blood as he did with the blood of the young bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. And he shall make an atonement for the sanctuary because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel and because of their transgressions in all their sins. And so he shall do for the tabernacle of the congregation which remains with them in the midst of their uncleanness” (vs 15-16). So this was a very different ritual.

When there is a sin offering, all the sins are covered. But why then would God have Aaron confess the sins over the live goat. And since it’s a name for Satan, and since he is a spirit being, he cannot be offered as a sacrifice, nor have his sins forgiven. Here we find something very interesting with the Day of Atonement and this goat, which is this: Whenever Satan is around, sin immediately follows! So unless he’s removed, there will always be sin! We will see this is why, when we come to the book of Revelation, Satan is put away. Did that not happen in the Garden of Eden when Satan was let into the Garden? Did not Adam and Eve sin? Yes! Didn’t Jesus say that Satan the devil is the ‘father of liars’; and he ‘sinned from the beginning’? Yes, He did! And there’s no atonement for the sins of Satan—is there? Can’t be!

So this is why this ritual! And when you stop and think about it, Satan the devil is the author of sin. Even the children of Israel—if they were living in the Millennium—would not have sinned the way that they sinned had Satan not been around. So, being around, he causes sin wherever he goes.

Verse 21: “And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the sins of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away by the hand of a chosen man into the wilderness. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities to a land in which no one lives. And he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.” Completely away from where people were living;

  • get rid of him
  • he carries his own sin
  • he bears his own guilt
  • there is no atonement for him

But this is necessary for there to be atonement for the children of Israel—and as we will see a little later—atonement for the whole world.

Then after he was let go, the man who let them go would come back, wash himself with water. All of the sin offerings that were offered were taken out and thoroughly burned.

Verse 29 tells us that this special ritual was done on the Day of Atonement: “And it shall be a statute forever to you: in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country or a stranger who is living among you, for on that day an atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you, so that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It shall be a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever. And the priest whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement and shall put on the linen clothes, the Holy garments. And he shall make an atonement for the Holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar; and he shall make an atonement for the priests and for all the people of the congregation. And this shall be an everlasting statute to you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for their sins once a year….” (vs 29-34).

Now we have something very unusual with this—don’t we?—and that is that Jesus Christ was crucified on the Passover Day. So, for the Church, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is applied with the Passover. However, for the children of Israel—the physical nations of the children of Israel—it does not apply. For the New Covenant one has to be called. For the children of Israel all they had to be is born of Israelite parents and they belonged to the community. It’s very interesting when we look at this and we understand it, and we see how this is applied. The sacrifice of Christ will not be applied to the world until Satan is removed.

Come back here to the Gospel of 1-John, the second chapter, and we will see that John wrote of it very similarly, however, not applying directly the difference between the Passover and the Day of Atonement. He shows in 1-John 1 that we have forgiveness of our sins when we confess them to God the Father through Jesus Christ.

1-John 2:1: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin….” Of course, those of us today who have the Holy Spirit of God, that’s how we are to overcome. So, it’s ‘may not sin,’ because all the choices are set before us. When we’re led of the Holy Spirit of God and keep the commandments of God in the spirit—through His Grace, mercy and understanding—then we have access to God the Father in heaven above, on a daily basis. Whereas, with the children of Israel, the high priest could only go in there once a year on the Day of Atonement. Today, we have direct access through prayer into the Holy of Holies in heaven above every single day and many times during the day—every time we pray! That’s a tremendous thing to know and understand, brethren. That’s why he says, “…that you may not sin….” Just like Jesus told the man that He healed, ‘Go and sin no more.’

“…And yet, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous—and He is the propitiation for our sins…” (v 1-2)—‘propitiation’ means continual atonement seat or mercy seat for the forgiveness of sins.

Notice what he says next, because this is important and this shows that the world—because it’s right now in the hands of the evil one, Satan the devil, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ will not be applied to them until Christ returns and Satan is removed just like that goat was removed into the wilderness, and then the forgiveness of sin will be offered to those people—through the sacrifice of Christ. First of all to the children of Israel—correct? Yes! They’re going to be brought out of captivity. And, as we know, God is going to deal with them first.

Verse 2: “…and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” So the Day of Atonement pictures when God is going to open the door of forgiveness for those who are in the world. That’s why Satan is removed before the Millennium begins.

Let’s come to Luke, the fourth chapter, and let’s see something that is very important concerning the Day of Atonement. In Lev. 25, God gave the instructions that there was to be a Jubilee year every 50-years. There were to be seven years and the seventh year is a sabbatical. In that year nothing would be planted. In the sixth year they would receive double from the crop, because God would bless them. Then there would be seven sabbatical years—total of 49 years; very, very similar to counting Pentecost. So Pentecost could be called a mini jubilee. The year that Jesus began His ministry in 26A.D., that Day of Atonement was the beginning of a Jubilee year. We’re going to see that this is important because the beginning of Jesus’ ministry was not an open proclamation to the world.

First of all, He was baptized by John the Baptist. In Luke 4, let’s see what happened right after that. And because the Jubilee year—beginning with the ministry of Jesus Christ began on the Day of Atonement in 26A.D.—Jesus had to have the temptation from Satan the devil begin on that Day of Atonement which began the Jubilee year, and the announcement of His ministry came on the Day of Pentecost. When He’s here in the wilderness, He could not make the announcement to the world.

  • first He had to overcome Satan the devil
  • first He had to defeat him
  • first He to show that as God manifested in the flesh

Yet, still having human nature, would not succumb to the power of Satan the devil.

Luke 4:1: “And Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness….” Where was the goat of Azazel let out? In the wilderness! Now, let me just say this very clearly: All of the other commentaries that try and explain that both goats represent Jesus are null and void. They don’t understand it. So, like many things, the commentaries written years ago—some two or three hundred years ago—we can’t rely on them for accurate interpretations for the understanding of the Holy Days. They didn’t understand them. They didn’t realize them. They didn’t keep the Sabbath—that is those who wrote the commentaries and things. Sure there were a good number of Sabbath-keepers in those years, and in America, this is where the Sabbath-keeping really has flourished as no other country in the whole world.

So, Jesus had to go out there on the Day of Atonement—not just the one day. This was the battle of the whole salvational plan of God. Here was the true God, the Creator. Jesus Who made everything that there is, battling against the counterfeit usurper Satan the devil who proclaims himself to be God. Even the New Testament says that he’s ‘the god of this world.’ He’s the one who rebelled and took a third of the angels with him, and they were cast down into the earth. He was the one who said, ‘I will ascend into the heavens. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will sit in the sides of the north. I will be like the Most High.’

In order for Jesus Christ to defeat him, He didn’t take him on as God, because obviously, as God, He could defeat him—correct? Jesus didn’t transform Himself into an angel and take him on with angelic strength, because He would have overcome him without a doubt at that level. So Jesus became a human being because the whole purpose of what we have on earth here is for God’s work being done with human beings that He is now calling, and His soon to be established Kingdom of God, which Jesus will bring after the resurrection, and all the saints with Him. So Jesus chose, in this way, not only to fulfill the prophecy that since we are made in the image of God, and after His likeness, that He would come as a human being after divesting Himself of all of His glory and all of His power to become a human being to meet Satan the devil head-on in the confrontation of the ages to see who would win this battle. Jesus had to win it by Himself in the weakest possible condition—fasting! That’s why fasting is without food and without water.

He fasted forty days and forty nights and “For forty days to be tempted by the devil…. [This was an intense battle!] …And He ate nothing in those days; and after they had come to an end, He hungered. Then the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that this stone become bread.’ But Jesus answered him… [as a human being, and he represented all mankind at this level, too, because He was the Creator of all mankind.] …saying, ‘It is written… [What did Jesus rely upon? His own thoughts? No! His own strength? No! After 40-days fasting He didn’t have any! He relied on the Holy Spirit of God and the Word of God! That’s what we always need to keep in mind, too, in our situations.] …“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.”’” (vs 2-3). It says there in Deut. 8:3 and Matt. 4:4 that ‘proceeds out of the mouth of God’! We have it here—don’t we? Are these words of God manifested in the flesh, written for us, so we know what His words are? Yes, indeed!

“Then the devil led Him up into a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time…. [I always picture this as some giant video screen—the biggest one in the history of the world so to speak.] …And the devil said to Him, ‘I will give You all this authority, and the glory of them all; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I desire’” (vs 5-6). Men deliver it to Satan. Every time people agree with Satan, they give themselves over to him. And Satan likes to come and try and get those who are true Christians. We’re going to see that today, and we’re going to see for us this Day of Atonement also represents our continuous battle

  • with sin
  • with Satan
  • with self

And that through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God—the washing of the water by the Word—we are likewise able to overcome and conquer Satan through Jesus Christ our Lord. So there’s a great deal of meaning here in this temptation in Luke 4.

There is a requirement to receive from Satan all the kingdoms of the world. He wants to be worshipped as God, and that’s what this verse means, v 7: “‘Therefore, if You will worship me in my presence… [right here before me] …all things shall be Yours.’” Jesus knew that He was going to inherit all kingdoms in God’s plan, at the time that it should be. But here, in His very weakened condition, Satan was offering it to Him ahead of time:

  • ‘Look, You can have it now.
  • Why should you suffer this way?
  • Obviously, God has abandoned You.
  • Look at You, You’re thin, You’re emaciated, You’re weak.
  • I can help You.
  • Why don’t You end this misery.
  • Make some break out of stones and worship me.
  • After all, I have been given all of this!’

Notice what Jesus said: “But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Get behind Me, Satan; for it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.”’” (v 8). Now, the ‘You’ there is not talking about Satan going to worship and serve God only—because he refuses to—he wants all the demons to worship him and say ‘yea, how great we are.’ No, ‘You’ means any human being that Christ was referring to Himself with the Word of God, to apply it to Himself.

“Then he led Him to Jerusalem and set Him upon the edge of the temple… [that’s about 650-feet from the bottom of the Kidron Valley] …and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down from here; for it is written…’” (v 9). Satan likes to quote Scripture; so do his ministers.

I’ll just interject here: I saw a very interesting sermon given by a well-known evangelist on a recent Sunday, and I wanted to see what he had to say. He gave a very good sermon, very Scripturally oriented, quoted Scripture:

  • showing people how to overcome depression
  • showing that God can help them
  • showing that God is for them

And then at the end he said what? He said in his own depression, the thing that kept him alive, kept him going in his ministry was that he had to prepare a sermon for every Sunday. And then he said that he was waiting to go to heaven. I thought, isn’t that interesting? Here there is about 85% Truth, and it sounded good, it looked good. He was sincere, but unfortunately he is deceived concerning Sunday, Christmas, Easter, New Years, going to heaven and the immortality of the soul. Yet, he’s got the Bible right there and he even told the people that, ‘you can overcome your depression if you get into the Word and study it!’

Really! Well, my thought was at that point that I hope they really do, and what are they going to do when they discover the Sabbath, because it’s not a certain high percentage and you’re in good shape. This is the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth, the Spirit of God, the love of God, the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. There is no piecemealing this to placate any human being or to placate Satan the devil or to make things go easy or easier for us living in this world.

So, here’s Satan, quotes a Scripture, v 10: “‘He shall give His angels charge concerning You to keep You; and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone’” (vs 10-11).

Notice Jesus’ answer, because this is interesting. Doesn’t matter how much Scripture you quote, if you apply it wrongly you’re tempting God. It doesn’t matter how close you are to the real thing, but if you’re not there, it doesn’t help. I’ve said many times over. It’s like this: There’s a chasm you need to jump cross, and if you get 95% of the way across you fail! If you get 99% of the way across and you just grab the edge of it and it crumbles and you fall to the bottom, you haven’t succeeded! This is why it has to be

  • all the Word of God
  • all the grace of God
  • all the love of God
  • all the Truth of God

the way God wants it, not the way men or Satan wants us to accept it in its authentic counterfeit. That’s kind of contradictory—isn’t it? Have you ever heard of an ‘authentic’ counterfeit? or a counterfeit that looks authentic?

“…But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It is clearly stated, “You… [as a human being, speaking to Himself] …shall not tempt the Lord your God”’ (v 12).

All of you out there who are ‘doctrinal tinker-toys’ and—I’m revealing my age, because I’m ‘tinker-toy’ and ‘erector set’—plastic blocks [Lego]. It doesn’t matter what you build, if it isn’t built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, truly you’re tempting God! So whatever you try to build. ‘Oh, well, he has this Truth.’ That’s fine—why doesn’t he have the other part of the Truth? ‘Oh, well, he understands this over here.’ That’s fine. ‘It looks like God is blessing him because he understands that.’

  • Does That mean that he has salvation?
  • Does that mean he has the Holy Spirit of God?
  • Does that mean that he really is one that God has called?

We need to get our perspectives straight! Jesus had them straight.

Verse 13: “Now when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from Him for a time.” There is a break right here, and if you go through the Harmony of the Gospels you will see John 1-4 shows what Jesus did after this temptation was over. He returned back to the Jordan and John the Baptist said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God.’ He first met some of the disciples and Peter there. Then they had the wedding at Canaan. Then He went up to the temple. He did not announce that He was the Messiah at the temple—did he? No! There was another day in which to announce it, which was the mini-jubilee.

So after the things at the temple, during the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, He had the encounter with Nicodemus, and then there were some other teachings, then there’s a final witness of John, the last part of John 3 to the scribes and Pharisees and priests. Then in John 4 Jesus and the disciples come down to Samaria and then they go on in after that to Galilee. And when He got to Galilee He heard that John was cast into prison. Then He went and made His announcement on the Day of Pentecost, at the synagogue in Nazareth.

Verse 15: “And He taught in their synagogues, and was glorified by all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and according to His custom, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. And there was given Him the book of the prophet Isaiah; and when He had unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written” (vs 15-17). What I want you to understand is this: What He reads here, and is quoted in vs 18-19, was to be read on the Day of Atonement when the Jubilee Year began. But since Jesus was in the wilderness being temped by Satan the devil He could not make the public proclamation as to Who He was. So on the mini-Jubilee, Pentecost, and Pentecost pictures the resurrection when we will truly be free:

  • free from sin
  • free from Satan
  • free from our sinful selves

—and we will be spirit beings. So that’s a very appropriate day to make this announcement—isn’t it? But since the Gospel had not yet really begun to be preached, here’s where He began to preach it, in Nazareth where He grew up.

Verse 18: “‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; for this reason, He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal those who are brokenhearted, to proclaim pardon to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord’” (vs 18-19). Wow! After that, after He rolled it up, everyone was looking at Him—who is this? Maybe they were so astonished because He was reading not in the order that it was set to be read for the Day of Atonement, but on the Day of Pentecost instead!

What we’re going to see is, just like with Adam and Eve, Satan is there wanting to come after the disciples, and wanting come after those who have the Spirit of God. He’s going to come, and just like he offered Jesus, with many, many benefits. If you’re hungry: ‘change this stone to bread, I’ll feed you.’ If you want power: ‘come to me, I’ll make you wealthy.’ Isn’t it true, if you want to know who worships Satan and who rules the world, just look of the elite of the world. They’re not of God. And if they’re not of God, who are they of? Well, I think this clearly tells us.

Let’s come to Matthew, the sixteenth chapter, and let’s see something which was really quite a thing concerning Peter. We find close to the first part of Matt. 16, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am?’ (v 13). Some say Jeremiah, or one of the prophets (v 14), but Peter said, Matthew 16:16: “…‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father, Who is in heaven.’” (vs 16-17). So, God was working in Peter’s life!

Verse 21—let’s see what happened here. We have Peter being inspired of God the Father to say the right thing, and look—Satan on the spot; let’s put it this way: Azazel on the spot! How’s that? “From that time Jesus began to explain to His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem, and to suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised the third day…. [notice what Peter did and notice Jesus’ reaction]: …But after taking Him aside, Peter personally began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Godwill be favorable to you, Lord. In no way shall this happen to You.’” (vs 21-22). There’s Peter wanting to protect Jesus—isn’t that nice? Aren’t those good words: ‘no, this isn’t going to happen to You. You’re the Christ. You’re the Son of the living God. How can that happen to You?’ It shows, at that point, he didn’t understand very much of the Scripture—right?

Verse 23: “Then He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, because your thoughts are not in accord with the things of God, but the things of men.’” How about that? Wasn’t Satan the devil right there, Azazel on the spot, to try and capture Peter? Yes, indeed, he was! So notice the less that Jesus gave to everyone here:

Verse 24: “And Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself.... [you deny yourself through repentance and baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit] …and let him take up his cross… [whatever your problems and difficulties are] …and follow Me.’” That’s what we’re to do, not our thoughts. Even ‘good’ thoughts can be sin against God, because they’re oriented toward doing the things of men. There is the tree of what? The knowledge of good and evil! So all good does not necessarily come from God. It can come from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Verse 25: “‘For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it; but whoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what does it profit a man… [notice how this ties in with Luke 4 and Matt. 4] …if he gains the whole world… [Isn’t that what Satan offered Jesus? Give Him the whole world? Yes!] …but loses his life?…. [If Jesus would have succumbed to the temptation of Satan the devil, He would have died for His own sins!] …Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?’” (vs 25-26). Quite something—huh?

So, on this Day of Atonement, that’s what we also need to think about.

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Let’s see where Satan loves to get right in with the people of God. He did with the disciples on the Passover night, in the person of Judas Iscariot. Let’s come to John 13:2—let’s see this, right there during the Passover: “And during supper… [means right at the beginning of supper] …(the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that he should betray Him.”

There’s some man who sends me—so if you’re listening, please listen—a postcard saying, ‘Satan can’t inspire anybody.’ Well, what do you suppose “the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that he should betray Him”—if that isn’t inspiration from Satan the devil, I don’t know what is. Would you please be honest and quit sending me those postcards? Thank you!

He says, concerning the foot-washing, v 17: “‘If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of you all; for I know whom I have chosen, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me”’” (vs 17-18).

When the time came, v 26: “Jesus answered… [Peter wanted to know, ‘Who is it?’ So he said to John, ‘Ask Him who it is.’ Peter’s in the middle of lot of things here.] …‘It is the one to whom I shall give a sop after I have dipped it.’ And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son. And after the sop, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly’” (vs 26-27). So there’s Satan right in the middle of it, possessing Judas Iscariot. Put it in his heart first, inspired him, and came in, invisibly, into the foot-washing ceremony of the Passover service. Then Jesus, when He gave Judas the sop, Satan jumped right into and possessed Judas Iscariot and he ran off to betray Him to the chief priests and the elders.

A little after that happened, and after Judas left, there was an argument among the disciples as to who would be the greatest. Luke 22:24: “And there was also an argument among them, even this: which of them should be considered the greatest. And He said to them, ‘The kings of the nations lord over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called benefactors’” (vs 24-25). Hallelujah! What a wonderful government we have. They’re all ‘benefits’—right? What did I say about benefits coming from Satan, and the do-gooders are from Satan the devil to get you all entrapped into government control. Satan’s way is control! God’s way is you stand before God individually, and you have a relationship with Him! That’s what’s important! Not control! God wants you to have Christ rule in your heart and be led of the Holy Spirit, with the laws and commandments of God written in your heart and in your mind. That’s how God wants you to run your life. He does not want to control you. He will lead you! You control your own thoughts! You control your own life! And the minister is not to be the controller of people, as in a corporate business where you have workers that must be controlled. Do you understand the difference in that?

Jesus said, v 26, “But it shall not be this way among you; rather, let the one who is greatest among you be as the younger, and the one who is leading as the one who is serving. For who is greater, the one who is sitting at the table, or the one who is serving? Is not the one who sits at the table? But I am among you as one who is serving. Now you are the ones who have continued with Me in My temptations…. [the trials that He was going through] …And I appoint to you, as My Father has appointed to Me, a kingdom; so that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and may sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (vs 26-30).

Then He turned to Peter and notice what He said to him after this. This also ties in very, very closely with John 21 about ‘feeding My sheep.’ Verse 31: “Then the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon, listen well. Satan has demanded to have you, to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren’” (vs 31-32) He wasn’t converted at this point; none of the disciples were, because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given.

  • No one is converted unless they receive the Holy Spirit.
  • No one is going to receive the Holy Spirit unless they are baptized and had hands laid on them.
  • No one is going to be baptized unless they have repented.

There may be a lot of people out there, as I explained in the sermon The Seven Spirits of Godand the Holy Spirit of God. God’s Spirit may be with them because they are doing some things that are right and good in God’s sight, but that does not mean they’re converted. Conversion is another whole different understanding and perspective, which is only revealed in the Word of God. You can never, never,never be at-one with God unless you go through that first. You will never be at-one with God until you are resurrected and changed from flesh to spirit. So we need to keep all those things in mind.

Notice Peter’s answer. He didn’t say, ‘Thank you, Lord. I’m so glad You prayed for me. I’m so glad that You asked God to strengthen me. Yes, and when I am converted, I will strengthen the brethren.’ Verse 33: “And he said to Him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death.’” ‘Yes, I am strong, I’m a leader, I’m well-intended; I know what to do, Lord. I’ll go with You.’ You couldn’t have a greater volunteer—could you? What did the Lord say to him. ‘Oh, Peter, you are so good, I really appreciate those kind thoughts toward me. Thank you.’

No! What did He say? Verse 34: “But He said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the cock shall in no wise crow today before you with me in a little nonsense have denied knowing Me three times.’” Did that happen? Yes, it did! This is showing something that is very, very true:

  • No one is going to do the will of God his way.
  • No one is going tell God what to do or how to do it under any circumstances!

That’s why Sunday-keeping, holiday-keeping and communion are an abomination to God!—period! That is the truth of the matter. A lot of people don’t like to hear that, because after all, ‘I’m trying hard.’ Well, unless you’re trying with Christ with you, it doesn’t make that much difference—does it?

Let’s come to 2-Corinthians 12[corrected]; let’s see about the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul was one of those who had a lot of personal strength, power and vanity; he was dedicated to arresting those Christians and causing them to be put to death. He had favor with the high priest. He was ready to be the #1 man in Judaism and carry out the orders of the high priest to eliminate all of those Christians. Well, after God got done with him, he was a whole lot more humble and said, ‘Yes, Lord, what would You have me to do.’ Here Paul was talking about the visions that he had, that he was caught up to the Third Heaven and heard things and saw things which were absolutely astounding.

Notice what happened in Paul’s life, 2-Corinthians 12:7: “But in order that I might not be exalted by the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to buffet me, so that I might not be exalted…. [How about that! God will even use Satan as a corrective instrument so that we yield to God.] …I besought the Lord three times for this, that it might depart from me; but He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you; for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly will I boast in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (vs 7-9). So that’s another way Satan has done.

Let’s see what also he did to the Church. Let’s come to 2-Corinthians 11; let’s see how easy it was for them to go after Satan. Paul wrote in 1-Tim. 5:15 that there are those who have turned away to follow Satan. We’ve seen that, too—haven’t we? Yes! That’s why the Day of Atonement is so important. That we understand, brethren, that only through the power and Spirit of God and Christ in us will we be saved! It’s not going to be because of who we are or what we are or what great things we can do or how great our thoughts are that we think are good. It has to do with our humble, yielded relationship with God. That’s what it has to do with!

On this Day of Atonement and the way that Satan operates, this is very good for us to read and understand. 2-Corinthians 11:1: “I would that you might bear; but indeed, do bear with me. For I am jealous over you with the jealousy of God because I have espoused you to one husband, so that I may present youas a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (vs 1-3). Isn’t that what happens?

I get doctrinal papers all the time. I just got a paper of this man who has this wonderful calendar that goes back so many, many years—clear back into 3700-something B.C.; and he has ‘proved’ that Sunday is the day to keep. People say, ‘Oh my, look, he’s got all of these letters after his name. He must be important. He must be wise. Look at how he writes.’ Well, the truth is, God says, ‘He’s a fool!’ God gave us the calculated Hebrew calendar to stop all those kinds of events. We have to choose to use God’s calendar. Every other calendar is by men’s means, out of their vanity. And their minds are corrupted.

Here they were supposed to be baptized members, but what were they? Carnal, fighting about ‘Who’s your favorite minister?’ I like Peter! I like Apollos! I like Paul! Hey, I want Christ! Paul said, ‘You’re carnal.’ The truth is, you need to be yielded to God the Father and Jesus Christ. So, because of their carnality, here comes a little messenger, Satan the devil:

Verse 4: “For indeed, if someone comes preaching another Jesus… [Remember, every Sunday-keeping Jesus is ‘another Jesus.’ Everyone who preaches that Jesus was not God manifested in the flesh, that He was not God before He came in the flesh, is preaching another Jesus. Do you understand that? How many people, even within the Church of God, open the doors to their minds and let that in. Same way with sacred names. Now, if you’re a Hebrew, use the Hebrew names, that’s your language. But, even if you have those names and understand the Hebrew names of the Old Testament, and you’re relying on Jesus Christ for your salvation—what did Jesus reveal? And whom did Jesus reveal? The Father! What was the only name given for the Father? The Father! That’s the sacred name of the New Testament. God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son! That’s why Jesus said, ‘Call no man on earth your ‘father’ in what we could say, a religious sense.

Yet, the greatest, so-called ‘Christian’ church in the world—the Roman Catholic Church—they’re all called ‘fathers.’ When Jesus said, ‘Don’t do it!’

  • Do they have another Jesus?
  • Do they have another gospel?
  • Do they have another way?
  • Are they of God?

or

  • Are they of Satan?

We ought to be able to figure that all out, because we have the Bible—the whole Bible—and we need to understand it.

“…comes preaching another Jesus… [‘Oh, isn’t that wonderful?’] …whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive… [Yes, there is a spiritual power with them, too. The Apostle Jude said they’re psychic’! What is psychic? That is using demonic powers and spirits—right? Yes!] …or a different gospel… [If you have an immortal soul, go to heaven, that’s a different gospel. If the Kingdom of God is already on earth today, that’s a different gospel. You see how easy it is?] …which you did not accept, you put up with it as something good” (v 4). ‘Oh, let’s get all the facts.’ Like Fox News, fair and balanced. ‘Oh, let’s have a religious debate.’ In the latest version of TheJournal there’s a whole long spread about a religious debate concerning the nature of God. Well, Jesus settled it. Read John 17, read the whole Gospel of John, and if you’re still not convinced then go someplace else, because that’s a false doctrine!

Notice who he says who these people are. What are they? Are they real ministers of God? Does everyone who professes Jesus—is he or she a real Christian or minister of God? No! Here’s what Paul said they are, v 13: “For such are false apostles—deceitful workers who are transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And it is no marvel, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his servants also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness—whose end shall be according to their works” (vs 13-15).

  • Do we understand that?
  • Do we realize what God is really telling us?

Let’s see what he also warned Timothy. We need to be on our guard. As long as I’ve been a minister, it’s almost like a cycle—every one of these cycles of false doctrine come rolling in/rolling out. On the website I have what I call ‘broiler-plate letters’ that I stylize in e-mail answers to people because they keep coming up with the same questions and the same silly doctrines. I’m much nicer to them there. However, after a lot of insistence, I tell them straight out exactly how it is, because that’s what it has to be. Listen, brethren, we don’t have time today to play ‘tiddly-winks’ dominoes and mickey-mouse games. This is the real thing and we need to be about, as Jesus said, ‘our Father’s business.’ And we need to know how to resist Satan.

Let’s see how those even in Timothy’s church that he was in charge of there, that were being led away by Satan the devil. Some people fell for it so easily. Notice Paul’s instruction, 2-Timothy 2:25: “In meekness correcting those who set themselves in opposition… [many times we end up with people opposing one thing or another] …if perhaps God may grant them repentance unto acknowledging of the Truth… [This is what we need to do, because right now the Churches of God are going through upheavals again. And guess who is Azazel on the spot to stir up a lot of trouble.] (notice what he says here, they need to acknowledge the Truth): …and that they may wake up and escape from the devil’s snare, who have been taken captive by him to do his will” (vs 25-26). Amazing—isn’t it? Right in the Church of God!

Let’s see what James has to say about this. Sometimes it gets down to a personal battle. We need to realize this, living in today’s world Satan has all kinds of helpers, he has all kinds of workers, he has all the media, he’s got everything on his side.

  • Do you resist Satan the devil?
  • Do you acknowledge the Truth?

That’s what we have to do!

Here’s what we need to do, brethren. Not only is this the day picturing putting away Satan the devil and ending satanic misery for mankind, but also it is a day in which we need to be alerted and to know and to understand that we have got to resist Satan the devil; that we’ve got to do so in the faith, not with our devices. We’ve got to have the Spirit of God in our minds, and we have to be strong in the Word of God.

James 4:6: “But He gives greater grace. This is the reason it says, ‘ God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (vs 6-7). Just like Jesus said, ‘Get you behind Me, Satan.’In the name of Jesus Christ, be gone! And he must leave, because it’s the name and the power of Jesus Christ:

  • not your own abilities
  • not your own strength
  • not your own thoughts
  • not your own little devices

Then what you do is this, v 8: “Draw near to God… [What do we have? Acknowledging of the Truth! Drawing near to God, resisting the devil!] …and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded!” That’s true. There are a lot of ‘double-minded’ people in the various Churches of God. They come to Sabbath services and they’re all fine and wonderful and spiritual on the Sabbath Day and the rest of the week they’re out there in the world jumping in full-bore! Double-minded, indeed!

Verse 9: “Be grieved and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into grieving, and your joy into mourning. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you” (vs 9-10).

Then he talks about something interesting here in the next verse, because it couples in with how Satan works within congregations of God. Stop and think for a minute. If Satan was there on Jesus’ last Passover—during the foot-washing, and already put in Judas Iscariot’s heart to betray Him—don’t you think that Satan the devil would like to make inroads into the Church of God? Yes, indeed!

  • to get people lifted up in vanity
  • to get them to act on their own devices, rather than the Spirit of God
  • to water down the preaching
  • to have power struggles among ministers
  • to have fights within the Church
  • to talk against each other

Verse 11: “Brethren, do not talk against one another. The one who talks against a brother, and judges his brother, is speaking against the law, and is judging the law…. [This is what happens with a lot of doctrinal questions. They get all carried away with wild, stupid ideas! Rather than following The 14 Rules of Bible Study and find out exactly what it has to say. I’ve seen that over and over again. I’ve had to handle that this past summer, as well, too. It’s about time we grow up in Christ! It’s about time we are mature in Christ!] …But if you judge the law… [listen to this]: …you are not a doer of the law; rather, you are a judge.” Think about that!

Verse 12: “But there is only one Lawgiver, Who has power to save and to destroy. Who are you that you presume to judge another?” We have to know them by their fruits, but we should not judge their hearts. We need to stand for the Truth. We need to resist Satan the devil! We need to make sure that we have a daily, personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, through prayer, through study, through living the way that God wants us to live.

Let’s come to Revelation 2 & 3. What are we going to see there? We’re going to see that Satan the devil is trying to come into the Churches of God. That’s where he wants to be. He’s got the whole world deceived! So who else does he need to deceive but those who are in the Churches of God—right? Yes! That’s who he’s after. That’s why seven churches are there in Rev. 2 & 3, as we covered before Pentecost, and as I did in the sermon series Assaults Against the Church of God. He is there, yes! Trying to cause people to lose their first love.  then also to work up the world, through a synagogue of Satan, and to persecute and martyr the true Christians; like in Pergamos. His favorite way of doing things is ‘Church organization.’ The Nicolaitanes. Yes, they rule from top down. No! Christ is to rule us, not the ministry. Jesus said that if you didn’t repent of the ‘deeds of the Nicolaitanes’ He’s going to fight against you. He’s going to come after you with the ‘sword of His mouth.’

Then how about the Church of Thyatira—compromising, listening to that ‘prophetess Jezebel.’ This is something here! He gave them a chance to repent, but notice how bad it got with some in Thyatira, Revelation 2:24: “But to you I say, and to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan…” I wonder what those doctrines may have been? Probably some of the same ones we see extant in the world today, too!

Then He talks about the Church of Philadelphia who was true, honest and faithful; resisted Satan the devil and even resisted the synagogue of Satan. So we do have that battle out there. We don’t have succumb to it. We don’t have to give into it. Between now and the time that Jesus Christ returns, let’s come to Ephesians, the sixth chapter, and let’s see what we are to do. We are to do this constantly, not just whenever we hear a sermon. We are to be on guard

  • mentally
  • spiritually
  • physically
  • in every way that we can, brethren

We live in a world that is so absolutely saturated with evil. Have you ever had your shoes filled with water? You walk along and it goes squish, squish, squish. That’s the way the world is with the saturation of the Satan’s way. It is everywhere!

This is why Paul wrote; here’s what we are to do, and after this we will see where Satan is removed in Rev. 20 to fulfill Lev. 16. Ephesians 6:10: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord… [that’s what we need to do. We need to have strong faith spiritually. All of this motivated

  • by the Spirit of God
  • by the Word of God
  • by the Truth of God

—so that we will have the strength to resist the devil. We will have the strength to not succumb to the pulls of the flesh and the wiles of Satan to deceive and to bring people into captivity.] …and in the might of His strength.” That’s what it is! Not our own!

“Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (v 11). They are there; he is there, and he has fiery darts of missiles that he fires at people. He can send out thought waves. He’s called ‘the prince of the power of the air’—isn’t he? The spirit that operates within ‘the children of disobedience’ (Eph. 2)—right—‘among we all had our conduct’ in the ‘lust of the flesh and the pride of life’ and all of that sort of thing. But God in His mercy has called us out of it.

We are to fight against it. We are going to enter into a time when we really have to be ‘wise as serpents and harmless as doves.’ We need to resist these things. Verse 12: “Because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood… [it’s not just people] …but against principalities and against powers, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual power of wickednessin high places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand” (vs 12-13). The truth is if you can’t stand for the Truth; if you can’t stand for Jesus Christ; if you can’t stand for what is right and good and let Christ rule in your life—then will you fall for anything? What will be your Achilles’ heel?

“Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with Truth, and wearing the breastplate of righteousness, and having your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Besides all these, take up the shield of the faith, with which you will have the power to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one; and put on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (vs 14-17). It is the Word of God. We have all the Word of God here today. We have the Word of God today, brethren, so that we can become really, truly converted and deeply faithful in loving God and serving God in every way possible:

  • so we don’t get carried away with vanity
  • we don’t get carried away with power struggles
  • we don’t get carried away with strange and twisted doctrines
  • we don’t listen to fables and stupidity and myths.

No!

Notice, you have “…the Word of God; praying at all times with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and in this very thing being watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” (vs 17-18). Yes, there is a real Satan the devil. He really is the ‘god of this world.’ He really does put it into the hearts of men to sin! So, before the Kingdom of God can come to this earth in full force, there has to be:

  1. the return of Christ
  2. the resurrection of the saints
  3. the battle at Armageddon—which is the final battle
  4. the removal of Satan the devil

—because at the end of the Battle of Armageddon the beast and false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 20—let’s see the first thing that comes against Satan the devil. After his armies are destroyed, after the beast and false prophet have been cast into the Lake of Fire, his kingdom has come to an utter end! After all the thousands of years, because Adam and Eve let him into the Garden of Eden and sinned and passed that sin to all humanity, and Satan was given the whole world. Now it’s all gone. The last battle is over before the Millennium begins. Just like the ‘hand of the fit man to lead Azazel out into the wilderness’ here comes an angel:

Revelation 20:1: “Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain in his hand. And he took hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years…. [The Millennium cannot begin until Satan is removed—and that’s the whole meaning of the Day of Atonement!] …Then he cast him into the abyss, and locked him up, and sealed the abyss over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were fulfilled; and after that it is ordained that he be loosed for a short time” (vs 1-3). You’ll find out what that is on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles and why God does that.

So, on this Day of Atonement, brethren, let’s understand how much

  • we need God
  • we need His Spirit
  • we need His blessing
  • we need His righteousness
  • we need His Truth

—so that we can truly be at-one with God the Father and Jesus Christ!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:26-32
  • Leviticus 16:7-10, 15-16, 21-22, 29-34
  • 1 John 2:1-2
  • Luke 4:1-19
  • Matthew 16:16-17. 21-26
  • John 13:2, 17-18, 26-27
  • Luke 22:24-34
  • 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
  • 2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15
  • 2 Timothy 2:25-26
  • James 4:6-12
  • Revelation 2:24
  • Ephesians 6:10-18
  • Revelation 20:1-3

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Leviticus 25
  • Deuteronomy 8:3
  • Matthew 4:4
  • John 1-4
  • Matthew 16:13-14
  • John 21
  • 2 Timothy 5:15
  • John 17
  • Revelation 2 & 3
  • Ephesians 2

Also referenced:

  • Book: Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • Sermon: Seven Spirits of God and the Holy Spirit of God
  • of God
  • Magazine: The Journal
  • Article: The 14 Rules of Bible Study (cbcg.org)
  • Sermon Series: Assaults Against the Church

BOOKS