Day of Atonement—2012

Fred R. Coulter - September 26, 2012

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Day of Atonement, 2012! The Day of Atonement is a great and fantastic Feast of God. Yes, it is a feast where we fast—drink no water, eat no food—we afflict our souls, and the soul then is the physical part of our body, that's how we afflict it; we don't feed it. And it's the day that we find our that we're weak, we really understand that. Also, it is important from this point of view:

It shows us that, spiritually, we can do nothing without the Holy Spirit of God! We need to think on that! We need to understand that and realize that in order to really be at-one with God:

  • we have to grasp
  • we have to think
  • we have to live
  • we have to understand

that

  • We cannot accomplish spiritual things by physical means!
  • We cannot of our works—of our self—bring eternal life!

It is the gift of God!

On this day, this is a very unusual day indeed, because it is a day of fasting. Let's look at a parallel here that we have between the Passover and Atonement. Before we come to God for eternal life, Christ had to come and do His ministry and then be offered as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

But that only applies to the firstfruits at this time, even though He died once for the sins of all mankind, but the question becomes: with the firstfruits, why does God only have the firstfruits? Because He's got to prepare to save the world and we're called to help save the world.

Not only that, being the firstfruits and in the first resurrection, we must have the sacrifice of Christ always. Before you can approach God, you must have a sacrifice. That sacrifice is Christ. We also know that God has to reach down and call us. He's not calling the world, but let's look at the pattern that we have:

  • Christ came
  • We have the Passover
  • Then the three days and three nights in the grave and the resurrection during the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the weekly Sabbath
  • Then the ascension to heaven by Christ on the first day of the week.
  • During the Feast of Unleavened Bread we have two Holy Days
  • Pentecost—pictures the resurrection

When we come to the fall we have a very similar pattern. The days are numbered differently, but nevertheless, the pattern is similar:

The first day of the seventh month is when the Kingdom of God is setup. But something must take place before it can come to the whole world. Just like with us, Christ died and was resurrected. That had to happen before God could call us.

Likewise, in the fall Christ had to come and then He has to get rid of Satan the devil and then the sacrifice of Jesus Christ will apply to the world; then it will be opened to them. Just like we have a seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, there is the Feast of Tabernacles that pictures the salvation of the world and mankind for a thousand years. Then there is the Last Great Day, which pictures the greatest work of God.

Let's focus right now on the Day of Atonement. We will begin, as we do for all of the Holy Days 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 and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.'" (vs 26-27). We know that bringing and offering to God, and especially on the day that pictures that we're going to totally at-one with God, even though it is not included in Deut. 16. Nowhere does the Bible tell us not to give an offering on the Day of Atonement.

For those who think otherwise, you better ponder that fact for a while. Here they're to bring an offering made by fire. This is why we take up an offering on the Day of Atonement.

This is such a special day that God gives us a command, v 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…. [In other words, God is not going to deal with it.] …And whoever does any work in that same day, the same one will I destroy from among his people." (vs 28-30).Sooner or later God brings about His judgment.

Verse 31: "You shall do no manner of work. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings." This is mighty important day. It's so important to God that we are not tend to any of our business at all on this day. We know from other Scriptures that we are not eat food nor drink water.

Verse 32 is also very interesting verse, because the way that people with their own human reasoning and human tradition—remember this, brethren; never, never forget this: human beings cannot add to or take away from the perfection of God! He does that! That's the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Men can't come along and improve it.

You need to ask: How many times does God need to say something in order for it to be binding. Well, the Protestants think that unless all the Ten Commandments are listed in the New Testament they don't have to keep the Sabbath. The Old Testament has been done away. They need to think again!

Likewise with keeping time. When is sunset? When is 'ba erev'? The Jews say it's between noon and sunset? Really? Other Jews say the day or the Sabbath doesn't begin until you can see three stars. Is that so? What does God say?

  • It doesn't matter what the Jews say!
  • It doesn't matter what the rabbis say!
  • It doesn't matter what any man thinks when it comes to what God had defined for us!

This is very clear to understand, v 32: "It… [the Day of Atonement] …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." This defines perfectly the tenth day of the seventh month when 'ba erev'—sunset—takes place, the sun goes below the horizon ending the ninth day, that's the beginning of the tenth day—correct? And you go clear to the next sunset, which then ends the tenth day. Could anything be more clear? Can anything be more understandable than that? No!

So likewise, we need to realize when we understand these things, then through all the parameters that God has set in His love and His goodness for us, then we can truly love God with all our heart, mind, soul and being. God made us to need Him totally in everything in our lives.

We'll cover some more detail concerning the Day of Atonement, but let's go ahead and take up an offering.

(pause for offering)

Now let's continue this Day of Atonement by going to Leviticus 16. Lev. 16 is a very long chapter covering all the details that God has given concerning the rituals that were to take place on the Day of Atonement. What we need to understand is that all the rituals, all of the tabernacle, all of the implements, all of the dress of the Levites and the priests, were all patterned after things that God gave to Moses.

The tabernacle itself is patterned after the Holy One as Paul wrote in Heb. 9. On this day was also a special day. That was the day in which the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies. In order for him to enter into the Holy of Holies he had to have the appropriate sacrifices that are laid out in Lev. 19. He had to have on his special garb. That was the only day that the high priest was allowed to go into the Holy of Holies.

The Holy of Holies was absolutely dark. He would have to go in there with the incense. I imagine the glow from the incense gave just a little bit of light. Then he had to take the blood and sprinkle it on the altar, sprinkle it on the Ark of the Covenant over which two cherubim are. Then he had to come out and there was this special ceremony that took place. There were to be two goats that were to be taken. This is the only ceremony in which this happens. It's one of those things that, for some people, is very difficult to understand why it was done this way.

This was a symbol of the spiritual reality that only the New Testament can explain. These two goats were to be identical. There was a special determination for which goat would be sacrificed to the Lord for the sins and transgression of the people, and which goat would be for Azazel. Azazel became another name for Satan the devil, which is true. These lots: the priests had to reach down and bring out the lot and the one on whom the lot fell for the Lord, that was the one that was to be sacrificed and the blood sprinkled upon the altar. The one chosen for Azazel, we'll see the special ceremony that was there.

Leviticus 16:15: "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil. 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…." (vs 15-16). I mention that because if you have all your sins forgiven, they're forgiven—correct? Yes!

"….And so he shall do for the tabernacle of the congregation which remains with them in the midst of their uncleanness" (v 16).

No man is going to come into the tabernacle of the congregation when he goes to make atonement in the sanctuary until he comes out and made atonement for himself, his household, and all the congregation of Israel. After all of that is done, when he's made an end of it, then the special ceremony continues.

Verse 20: "And when he has made an end of reconciling the sanctuary and the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 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" (vs 20-22).

What an unusual ceremony. Why is done this way? Why is one goat killed and the other not? Some say that the live goat represents Christ ascending to heaven. But when has the throne of God ever been compared to a wilderness? The truth lies in this: Who is the author of sin? Satan! All sin comes from him!

Stop and think about it. There was no sin from Adam and Eve until Satan came with his clever arguments; then they sinned. So, Satan is responsible for all sin!

Another thing that we'll see later is that when Jesus was fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, and the Day of Atonement was the day on which He began His ministry with the temptation against Satan the devil, where did He go? Did He go to heaven? NO! He went into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil for 40 days and 40 nights. That's why the goat is let go in the wilderness.

Now we see another parallel with this: When the goat is sent away, that pictures when God binds Satan the devil (Rev. 20). Let's read what the man who took the goats out there was to do. He was to come back, bathe himself, get rid of his clothes, make an offering for himself, and then he could come into the camp.

Verse 29: "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" (vs 29-30). And also we have to figure on this, too, is that the only time that can happen is when we're changed and we become at-one with God.

Let's come to Revelation 20 and let's see the fulfillment of this. Then we will see and analyze Satan is still on the earth here. We have things we need to work on. We have things we need to overcome. We need to look at the world the way it's going to be before Christ returns and it's going to be amazing, indeed!

Revelation 20:1: "Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain in his hand." The strong man in Lev. 16 was a type of the angel.

Verse 2: "And he took hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent… [the goat for Azazel pictures Satan the devil] …who is the Devil and Satan and bound him for a thousand years. 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…" (vs 2-3). At the end of the Feast of Tabernacles we'll find out why that takes place.

We need to understand how pervasive everything is with Satan the devil. How then He is the ruler of darkness. We will see how Satan works, just like he did with Adam and Eve, being the 'god of this world.' Here's the power that he has:

Ephesians 2:1: "Now you were dead in trespasses and sins."—because you have the 'law of sin and death' in you:

  • you sin
  • your mind is carnal
  • your mind is incomplete
  • you don't have the Holy Spirit of God
  • you're just a walking dead man

Verse 2: "In which you walked in times past according to the course of this world…" The way the world is setup.

It says in 2-Cor. 4 that Satan the devil is the 'god of this world.' He has 'power over this world.' That's why when the temptation with Jesus took place, Satan showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time and told Jesus that he was offering to Him his kingdom ahead of time. But the kingdom is really Satan's, and he told Jesus: 'You see all of this, it has been delivered to me and I give it to whom ever I desire. If You will fall down and worship me as God, all of this will be Yours.'

What did Jesus say? Get you behind Me, Satan, for it is written, ' You shall not tempt the Lord your God'! Look what he does in the course of this world, "…according to the prince of the power of the air…" (v 2). That spiritual power that rules over this world.

Right now it is growing in intensity, in scope, and affecting more and more people in the whole world. Hardly is there a place anymore in the world where you don't get radio and television and the printed word. Satan uses all of those!

God does, too, to preach the Gospel! To warn what's going to happen in this world! But look at this world, "…according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience" (v 2).

We also have to remember this: We cannot go back into the world because the latter end is worse than the beginning!

  • when you understand the Truth of God
  • when you understand what God is doing
  • when you realize the plan of God

Why would anyone want to go back into the world? Here's how he does it:

Verse 3: "Among whom also we all once… [not now, but once before, and we're going to look at a couple of Churches of God that allowed Satan in and we'll see what happened to them.] …had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world. But God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us" (vs 3-4).

  • He has called us out of it!
  • He has saved us from it!
  • He personally has rescued us!

That's really the important and profound thing! Let's see how pervasive it is. Paul writes this:

Ephesians 6:10: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the might of His strength. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (vs 10-11). It's hard for people to grasp, but Satan is able to manipulate words and manipulate the mind of those that he controls, because he can put into their heart, put into their mind—through being 'prince of the power of the air'—to take the Truth and change it incrementally a bit at a time, a bit at a time,a bit at a time, and then when it reaches a certain point—BANG!—the whole deception is let loose.

That's happened several times in history, and we're going to see it happened again in our time to the whole world.

Verse 12: "Because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual power of wickednessin high places."

  • How high is going to go?
  • How pervasive is it going to be?

Everything is changed! That's what they do politically: they take the words that they know people will respond to and redefine them. For example: The argument for homosexual marriage is that all love is the same love, so therefore, if that is so, you're discriminating against homosexuals who want to marry. And, of course, they conveniently leave out the Scriptures that God says that those things are 'an abomination' to Him, and those who do so are 'worthy of death.' They twist things around: Instead of saying 'homosexual,' they're saying 'gay.'

All of this rhetoric was deliberately planned, deliberately executed to chip away at the morals of the people. At the same time, the foolish religions that Satan has setup, has been setup to destroy them, to ridicule them, to get people to worship him by not believing in God and then once they don't believe in God they are totally under Satan's control. And just as it is today, sooner or later, he leads them full circle back around to himself as God.

That's what we see going on in the world. That's why there are more atheists than ever before. Young people are growing up and 15-20% of them don't believe in God at all! They are atheists because they have been totally brainwashed

  • by a satanic government
  • by a satanic educational system
  • by satanic religions

so that Satan can deceive the whole world at the end-time in a profound way!

In the book that we publish, Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? I have a chapter warning that the occult is taking over the world: Warning! Satan Worship will Sweep the World and Usher in the Antichrist! (pgs 219-225). Let's see how it's happening. We're seeing unfold right before us today. Let's see from where it's coming.

The Christianity of this world, though they were near to God when they started, gradually, incrementally over the years—decades and centuries—has now been rendered null and void and exposed as a clever counterfeit of Satan the devil. You need to understand that.

We're seeing Rev. 13 unfold right before us, and Satan has to have many crises to bring these things about. It's a difficult task, indeed, because his kingdom and Jesus said His kingdom was divided, and it's awfully hard to bring it together, but He's going to bring it together in one grand last finale.

John saw this, Revelation 13:1: "And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea… [Doesn't it look like all of these governments coming up are 'of the people'? Don't be fooled with that! This beast pictures the world government]…having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." Every abomination, blasphemy and evil thing that is coming on this world is from Satan the devil

  • through Babylon the Great
  • through the businesses of this world
  • through the religions of this world
  • through the economics of this world

That's all demonstrated in this beast.

Verse 2: "And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, and his feet like the feet of a bear… [this goes clear back to the book of Daniel, taking the civilizations of the past and now molding them into a modern end-time world government. It is coming!] …and his mouth like the mouth of a lion; and the dragon…"

Who is the dragon? Rev. 12:9—the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan and is deceiving the whole world! Present tense, is deceiving now, through every means possible!

"…[the dragon] gave him his power, and his throne and great authority" (v 2). This is typified in the world government and also singularly in the man called the beast who will be the antichrist.

Verse 3: "And I saw one of his heads as ifit were slain to death… [There are going to be some last minute diehards wanting to get rid of him. He's going to be wounded] …but his deadly wound was healed; and the whole earth was amazed and followed the beast."

Think about the ability to make that happen with all the modern communications that we have today. Remember this: the great deception is seeing is believing! There's going to be the false prophet who is the second beast of Rev. 13, who will be able to do miracles and wonders and call fire down from heaven.

It's going to be an awesome thing, indeed! What we're fighting, brethren, what is out here today, what is in the world today is from Satan the devil and that's why we've got to be stronger than ever before. But we also know that this Day of Atonement pictures when that system is going to come to an end! All the lies, all of the deceptions, all of the sins are going to be put on Satan the devil and his demons and they will be bound for a thousand years. Then after the Millennium the final judgment, cast into the Lake of Fire and when that is over then the blackness of darkness forever! That's Satan's fate!

Notice what the world is going to do. Not only are they amazed and follow the beast, v 4: "And they worshiped the dragon, who gave his authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who has the power to make war against him?' And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to him; and authority was given to him to continue for forty-two months" (vs 4-5). The last three and a half years! That's something!

Verse 6: "And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven." They're coming after every Christian. There is going to be a martyrdom of Christians that's going to take place.

On this Day of Atonement we have ask ourselves: Are we going to stand for God all the time?:

  • with zeal?
  • with strength?
  • with love?
  • with understanding?
  • with purpose?

or...

Are we going to continue to play 'Tiddlywinks' religion?

We need to think on those things, because it says, v 7: "And he was given power to make war against the saints, and to overcome them; and he was given authority over every tribe and language and nation." That is a world government.

With all the technology and all the means that is available today, that is going to be so much more improved beyond what we have ever imagined, there is not going to be one Christian anywhere in the world who will not be found out. We have to ask ourselves the Apostle Peter question:

Peter said to Jesus, when Jesus told him how He was going to die, 'Oh no, Lord, that will never happen to You. If that happens to You, I'll go to the death with You. I will never deny You!' Jesus said, 'You're going to deny Me three times in this night.'

So, the question for us becomes, as things get tougher—as they're going to get; as things get more desperate—which they are going to happen:

Are we still going to...

  • love God?
  • be faithful to God?
  • stand for God?

Are we going to be able to have that strength...

  • to not submit to Satan the devil?
  • to not give into the system that is here?
  • but to always love God?

There are those of us who are going to have to give our lives—it says so, right here! Notice what's going to happen to the rest of the world, because that is the dividing line that is coming.

Verse 8: "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear" (vs 8-9). Just like Jesus said to the seven churches: He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches!

That system is coming. It's coming upon us in a way never before imagined! Yes, there is coming a one-world religion. It's going to be interesting—isn't it? How are they going to tame the Muslims? That is the key! That is going to be interesting! They won't be able to tame them completely! But enough so that all the world will worship 'the beast.'

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Brethren, we're going to see these things become more intensified and unfold as we go forward like never before. Let's read this again, and let's really understand how important the Word of God is in applying what's going to take place in this world.

Revelation 13:8: "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Profound! Meaningful!

Let's understand something here. This means that we, in our individual lives, and in the Church, have to be ever watchful against the influences of Satan the devil and his agents as never before.

We need to realize what happens when the Church looks at things in the world and then sees a system of Satan the devil that looks really, really good. It does work in the world. Then they incorporate into the Church. One of those things is the Nicolaitans, the works of the Nicolaitans. The works of the Nicolaitans is especially brought out here in the Church to Pergamos. Let's see what happens. This also tells us that Satan has a throne. What happens to the churches when Satan worms his way in through his agents, through people? They come sounding very nice—don't they? Yes, indeed!

Revelation 2:12: "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos, write: These things says He Who has the sharp two-edged sword." You're not going to be able to fiddle around with Christ. We need to understand that!
Verse 13: "I know your works and where you dwell, where the throne of Satan is… [Right there in the midst of Satan's power structure!] …but you are holding fast My name, and did not deny My faith, even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells." If you want to know what that would be like today, that would be like having your church right next to the Vatican.

Verse 14: "But I have a few things against you because you have there those who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication." Wrong doctrine! Amalgamating paganism and the way of God!

What took down the Churches of God in our day? They went to the Protestants to find out how did they understand things. Look what happened. We need to ask God to give us

  • His understanding
  • His Truth
  • His righteousness

—not see what makes a false Christianity in this world appear to be prosperous and for the sake of numbers and money we say we are going to do the same thing!

Verse 15: "Moreover, you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate." A hierarchical, top down government. Remember the great preacher who said, 'If there's any one thing that the Catholics have right, it is government.' They have it wrong! That places a man between you and God! That deprives you of the grace of God! God doesn't want that:

  • He wants you to love Him directly
  • He wants you to pray to Him directly
  • He wants you to be responsible to Him directly

If we all do that with a pure heart, led by God's Spirit, when we come together on the Sabbath Day, then our Sabbath Days and our services and fellowship is the way that God wants it; not ruled from the top down. Jesus said, 'You shall not do like the Gentiles'—'katakurieuo': lord it over down. You shall not do it as the 'great-ones'—kata-exousia': to exercise authority from the top down. "…you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate."

So, God says, v 16: "Repent! For if you do not repent, I will come to you quickly, and will make war against them with the sword of My mouth." Christ will fight against His own Church. Think about that!
Now, let's see what happens to the Church of Thyatira; here's what they did, v 20: "But I have a few things against you, because you allow the woman Jezebel… [the daughter of the high priest of Baal, the sun-god.] (That religion): …who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants into committing fornication and eating things sacrificed to idols."

And so much so that Jesus says that unless there was repentance…. They didn't repent, so Jesus says, v 22: "Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their works. And I will kill her children with death…" (vs 22-23).

And that, brethren, is the Lake of Fire! If you kill the children, are they not dead? But if you kill them "…with death…" is that not the second death—the spiritual death? Have to be!

"…and all the churches shall know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts… [individually] …and I will give to each of you according to your works…. [notice how bad it got; we need to take heed to that today, brethren] …But to you I say, and to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine… [Yes, doctrine is important—isn't it? Yes, indeed!] …and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak… [How far can people fall?] …the depths of Satan…" (vs 23-24). That's pretty bad—isn't it? It can't get any worse than that! No wonder He says that He's going to kill her children "…with death…"

"…who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak…" All of these twisted words that sound so good and sound so nice and sound so lovely, compassionate, helpful, good and all of this sort of thing. The intricate incremental twisting of words by Satan the devil to make evil look good. That's what's happening in the world.

If you don't believe me, just watch some of the tactics that are going to take place in the last days of this campaign! Just watch how twisting and evil the words will be!

Let's see what Peter says, 1-Pet. 5. This is a very interesting thing that we need to be well aware of here. Let's see what Peter says to the elders. Let's see what he also says concerning Satan the devil, because we are going to have to fight off the greatest forces of Satan the devil. We're going to have each, individually:

  • identify the tools
  • identify the technological means
  • identify the twisting of the words that Satan the devil can do to make things sound good
  • identify and know the Truth of God
    • to love God
    • to love His Word
    • to love His Truth
    • to stand for it

Brethren, you need to understand that!

1-Peter 5:1: "The elders who are among you I exhort, even as a fellow elder, and an eyewitness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker of the glory that is about to be revealed: Feed the flock of God that is among you…" (vs 1-2). That's the duty of every elder, minister and teacher—feed the flock!

Remember, Jesus had to tell Peter that three times. So, Peter learned the lesson. The question is: After all that we have gone through, will we learn the lessons? Why?Why? I ask some brethren in the Church: Why do you cling to the things and the methods that Satan introduced into the Church of God to cause it's destruction when Jesus Christ came against it with the sword of His mouth and the judgment of His Word to take away everything that the Church had? Why are those ministers there who want to become like the evangelicals of this world?

You better repent! The judgment of God is going to be swifter and more harsh than it was the first time around! You're not to do this:

"…exercising oversight not by compulsion, but willingly; not in fondness of dishonest gain, but with an eager attitude… [to love God and serve God] …not as exercising lordship over your possessions… ['they belong to you'—no they don't! Christ paid for them, they are HIS!] …but by being examples to the flock of God. And when the Chief Shepherd is manifested… [returned] …you shall receive an unfading, eternal crown of glory" (vs 2-4).

Then he says 'let there not be political struggles within the ministry, v 5: "In the same manner, you younger men be subject to the older men; and all of you be subject to one another, being clothed with humility because God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble." Satan the devil loves the proud. Satan the devil inspires the arrogant.

So, Peter says, v 6: "Be humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you" (vs 6-7).

Notice his strong admonition, v 8: "Be sober!…." Spiritually and physically, because who holds the 'golden cup of the wine of her fornication'? The whore of Babylon the Great, the mother of all the religions that we see today! And the world is going to all come together under one religion, and it is coming! It is coming!
"…Be vigilant!…." (v 8). Not lukewarm; not having works that are not complete; not incorporating the things of Satan within the workings of the Church—whether in doctrine or whether in structure or whether in authority

"…For your adversary the devil is prowling about as a roaring lion, seeking anyone he may devour" (v 8). Oh, yes! But he can also purr mightily, mightily purr to make it sound so good!

Verse 9: "Whom resist… [we have to be sober, vigilant, resist] …steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are being fulfilled among your brethren who are in the world…. [notice that when we do this, what does God do?] …Now, may the God of all grace… [God is the One Who is going to help us through this] …Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, Himself perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (vs 9-10). That's what we're going to have to do in the churches, brethren.

The Churches of God ought not be places where there is hierarchical authority, where there are political shenanigans, where there are doctrinal deceptions—all of them the ways of the world and Satan the devil. We have to be on guard!

Now let's see what Paul tells Timothy. Let's understand this, brethren. Stop and think—I pray about this everyday—Jesus said, 'And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come.' Because the 'love of many shall grow cold' because 'lawlessness is multiplying. But the one who endures to the end, the same shall be saved.'

I think about this all the time. Look at the Churches of God today, and you wonder:

  • How are we going to preach the Gospel as a witness to the whole world? What are we doing?
  • Where are we going?
  • How are we accomplishing these things?

Someone will say, 'Well, the two witnesses will do it.' Even one churches says that they don't need to preach to the world anymore because the two witnesses are going to do that. Really? Jesus said you have to be doing until He comes.

Paul admonished Timothy, 2-Timothy 2:15: "Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of the Truth." Paul is telling him how to conduct his ministry.
Verse 22: "But flee youthful lusts; and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who are calling on the Lord out of a pure heart." That's how our faith needs to be, brethren."

So, on this Day of Atonement what we need to do is set our course, set our mind, set our will, let the Spirit of God flow through us, let God do through us, let God use us as we yield and humble ourselves to God. That's what it's all about. Pray tell, may the ministers and brethren quit playing church!

God has called us to eternal life! So, Paul tells Timothy, v 23: "But foolish and ignorant speculations reject, knowing that they engender arguments. Now, it is obligatory that a servant of the Lord not be argumentative, but gentle toward all, competent to teach, forbearing… [We need to, but that doesn't mean that we're 'milquetoast.' We've got to stand for the Truth!] …in meekness correcting those who set themselves in opposition; if perhaps God may grant them repentance unto acknowledging of the Truth, and thatthey may wake upand escape from the devil's snare, who have been taken captive by him to do his will" (vs 23-26).

  • How bad did it get?
  • How bad have we seen it get?

Here's what it is in the last days, 2-Timothy 3:13: "But wicked men and imposters shall become worse and worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves. But as for you, continue in the things that you did learn and were assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them" (vs 13-14). Then stay close to God, brethren!

Let's see some of the things that even the apostles experienced. Yes! Things that appeared good! Satan comes along and makes these things really look good. Matt. 16 is a very interesting chapter from this point of view: That's where Peter had revealed by the Father to him that Jesus was the Christ. Notice what happened a little later. You can really have God working with you and then Satan's going to come and try and lead you away.

Matthew 16:21: "Then He charged His disciples not to tell anyone that He was Jesus the Christ. 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" (vs 21-22).

Notice what Peter did. Notice the extremes of Peter. The Father revealed things to him, then he comes and tries to correct Christ. Then he says that he would go to the death with Jesus, and Jesus had to say, 'You're going to deny Me three times.' Then Jesus had to have Peter answer Him three times, 'Do you love Me? Feed My flock!'

Verse 22: "But after taking Him aside… [Peter took Jesus aside] …Peter personally began to rebuke Him, saying, 'Godwill be favorable to you, Lord. In no way shall this happen to You.'" Notice what Jesus did; this is quite astonishing; this is why

  • we need to be alert
  • we need to be sober
  • we need to resist Satan in the faith

Not letting these thoughts come into our mind, because he's 'the prince of the power of the air' and:

  • he works through lust
  • he works through flesh
  • he works through the mind
  • he works through the sight of eyes

All of those things are out there molding and getting this generation ready for Satan's grand finale.

Let's see what Jesus had to do: "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.'"

  • There is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death!
  • Every way of a man is clean in his own eyes!

Satan comes along as a 'do-gooder' in disguise. After all, wasn't Peter trying to do good for Jesus? Wasn't Peter trying to be comforting to Jesus? After all, Jesus just said that He was going to have to suffer horrible things and die. Peter is only trying to reassure Him and say, 'Lord, no, this won't happen to You.' Then Jesus had to say, "…you are an offense to Me, because your thoughts are not in accord with the things of God, but the things of men."

Then Jesus makes this distinction. Here is how, brethren, we can overcome Satan the devil and we can get him out of our lives now! God is going to have bind him, and bind him permanently after the thousand years are over when He has Satan perform his last finale. We can't wait for that. We have to do it now. On this Day of Atonement we need to resolve in our mind: How are we going to resist Satan the devil? Jesus shows how to do it:

Verse 24: "And Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and let him take up his cross and follow Me.'" Whatever your burden to bear is, you take it up and follow Christ!

Here is the heart and core of the whole matter, v 25: "For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it; but whoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it." Because God is going to give you eternal life—you'll find it! We only find our lives in Christ

  • in loving God
  • in serving Him
  • in the Word of God
  • in yielding to God in
  • true humility
  • true obedience
  • true diligence

That's how we find our lives! We don't find it in the world, so Jesus said, v 26: "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world…" Who controls the whole world?

You want to know those who worship Satan openly in secret? The ones who rule and control the world because they don't get the power to do so, or the money to do so, or the ability to do so unless they worship Satan and go his way!

Verse 26: "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?" That's important for us to understand.

Let's see something else the way that Satan works. He works in ways that appear good to men. Here again it was the same thing. Here would be a 'good deed.'

Luke 9:51: "Now it came to pass, when the days were being fulfilled that He should be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. And He sent messengers before His face. And asthey went, they came to a village of Samaritans to prepare for Him; but they did not receive Him, because His face was as if He were going to Jerusalem" (vs 51-53). The disciples got indignant! They wanted to retaliate. Notice their attitude:

Verse 54: "And seeing this, His disciples James and John… [the sons of thunder] …said, 'Lord, will You have us… [Yes, Lord, give us the power!] …call fire to come down from heaven and consume them, as Elijah did?'" Lord, we're fighting for You! We're doing this because we love You! After all, isn't it good to get rid of the competition?

Verse 55: "But He turned and rebuked them, and said, 'You do not understand of what spirit you are…. [That is the self-righteous spirit of Satan the devil.] …For the Son of man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.'…." (vs 55-56). Isn't that something?

Let's think about what else He said here, because they went on, v 57: "Now, it came to pass that as they were going along the road, someone said to Him, 'I will follow You wherever You may go, Lord.' But Jesus said to him, 'The foxes have holes, and the birds of heaven have nests; but the Son of man does not have any place to lay His head.' Then He said to another, 'Follow Me.' And he said, 'Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.'" (vs 57-59). Let me do that first, Lord.

Verse 60: "But Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the Kingdom of God.' And another also said, 'I will follow You, Lord, but allow me first to bid farewell to those who are at my house.' But Jesus said to him, 'No one who sets his hand to the plow, and looks back at the things behind, is fit for the Kingdom of God'" (vs 60-62). Satan is there to get us to look to the things of this world!

Let's see some important things that we need to understand. This Day of Atonement is also a day of being at-one with God! Where we come to God fasting—not eating, not drinking water—calling out to God knowing that our very lives and existence is in His hands; that He alone can save us!

Let's understand that the word 'atonement' breaks down into three parts: at-one-ment. So, for us, the Day of Atonement not only gives us the understanding that God is going to get rid of Satan the devil, but that also tells us that it is the only way that we will be at-one with God. As long as Satan the devil is around, there is no way! That's the whole reason why Jesus came to the earth, died, was resurrected and is now the Head of the Church and directing the things that goes on, overseeing the things that are taking place in the world, carrying out all the prophecies of God.

This is really the Lord's Prayer, John 17:1: "Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You.'" Brethren, may we glorify God through:

  • love
  • truth
  • humility
  • righteousness

—motivated by the Spirit of God! Not the ways of this world, not the ways of Satan the devil, so that we can be strong. He says here that He had a work that He had to finish, and we have a work that we have to finish. We have to endure to the end! Let's look at this prayer; a great and marvelous prayer:

Verse 2: "Since You have given Him authority over all flesh, in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him." That Father has called us and given us to Christ through His sacrifice.

Verse 3: "For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send." Because at the time of this prayer, Jesus, being manifested in the flesh, was not true God. Only the Father was at that time. After Jesus was resurrected from the dead and ascended to heaven He too His place as God again. But in the meantime, before that occurred, the Father was the only true God.

Jesus said, v 4: "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do." Brethren, we have to finish the work that God is doing in us. We have to yield to God to let Him complete it in us.

Now He knows everything is going to take place; He knows what's going to happen. He realizes everything that He's going to go through because He gave all the prophecies in great detail showing what He would suffer.

Verse 5: "And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You have given them to Me, and they have kept Your Word" (vs 5-6). That's what we need to do, brethren: Keep the Word of God!

Verse 7: "Now they have known that all things that You have given Me are from You. For I have given them the words that You gave to Me… [He gave everything that the Father wanted Him to teach. Isn't that something?] …and they have received them and truly have known that I came from You; and they have believed that You did send Me. I am praying for them…" (vs 7-9). Here's a prayer, an ongoing prayer. Of course, Christ will be beseeching the Father for us—correct? Yes!

"…I am not praying for the world, but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and all Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one, even as We are one. When I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. I protected those whom You have given Me, and not one of them has perished except the son of perdition, in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to You; and these things I am speaking while yet in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in them" (vs 9-13). The complete joy will not happen until the resurrection takes place.

Verse 14: "I have given them Your words, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." We have to live in the world, that is true, but we're not of the world! That's why we have the fight and battle that we have.

Verse 15: "I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them from the evil one." Satan the devil!

  • This day pictures when he will be bound!
  • This day pictures his final judgment!
  • This day pictures when we will be at one with God

—and no longer have to worry about Satan the devil, his ways or the world or any of those things, brethren.

Verse 17: "Sanctify them in Your Truth… [that's how we're made Holy: with the Truth of God, with the washing of the water by the Word; the power of God's Spirit within us] …Your Word is the Truth." Brethren, never ever forget that! God's Word is the Truth!

Verse 18: "Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word" (vs 18-20). That's on down through time.

Here's the goal, the purpose and this is what we are to do: To set our mind; have our mind put in this frame of mind before we go to the Feast of Tabernacles:

Verse 21: "That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us… [that will happen at the resurrection] …in order that the world may believe that You did send Me." The world may have believed it in some degree, but when Christ returns and the saints inherit the kingdom and we rule with Christ as kings and priests, they are going to know that that is so, without any doubt.

Verse 22: "And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me…" Receiving the Holy Spirit. This is also prophetic that we will have glory as the sons of God, as the daughters of God, to shine like the sun. As Jesus said, to have 'our vile bodies transformed to be made like to Jesus' glorious body.'

"…in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one… [that's why we have to grow, change and overcome; all of that is being perfected, brethren] …and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (vs 22-23).

Here is Jesus' desire, v 24: "Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me where I am, so that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world." An amazing thing, brethren!

  • God's plan is so great!
  • God's plan is so fantastic!
  • God's plan is absolutely perfect!

Part of that perfection is getting rid of Satan the devil! That's what this day pictures, so that we can be at-one with God the Father and Jesus Christ for all eternity!


Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:26-32
  • Leviticus 16:15-16, 20-22, 29-30
  • Revelation 20:1-3
  • Ephesians 2:1-4
  • Ephesians 6:10-12
  • Revelation 13:1-9, 8
  • Revelation 2:12-16. 20, 22-24
  • 1 Peter 5:1-10
  • 2 Timothy 2:15, 22-26
  • 2 Timothy 3:13-14
  • Matthew 16:21-26
  • Luke 9:51-62
  • John 17:1-15, 17-24

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 16
  • Hebrews 9
  • Leviticus 19
  • 2 Corinthians 4
  • Revelation 12:9

Also referenced: Book:
Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? by Fred R. Coulter

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