Book: God's Plan for Mankind

September 25, 2004

And greetings brethren. Welcome to the Day of Atonement, 2004. And of course this is a very important holy day, and also we’re going to see that just as the Passover prepares those who are in the church for Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, so likewise Trumpets and Atonement prepares the world for what God is going to do as pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles and later the Last Great Day. So there’s quite a connection between the two of them. So we’re making our way through the holy days of God, the annual feasts of God. And of course as we have been learning all of the Bible is structured around the Sabbath, Passover and the holy days. And without those it’s impossible to understand the plan of God. And without that knowledge men go ahead and do their best in creating what they think is a plan of God, and the will of God. And in the various religions and denominations that are in the world, unfortunately their best intentions can never match the will of God.And greetings brethren. Welcome to the Day of Atonement, 2004. And of course this is a very important holy day, and also we’re going to see that just as the Passover prepares those who are in the church for Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, so likewise Trumpets and Atonement prepares the world for what God is going to do as pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles and later the Last Great Day. So there’s quite a connection between the two of them. So we’re making our way through the holy days of God, the annual feasts of God. And of course as we have been learning all of the Bible is structured around the Sabbath, Passover and the holy days. And without those it’s impossible to understand the plan of God. And without that knowledge men go ahead and do their best in creating what they think is a plan of God, and the will of God. And in the various religions and denominations that are in the world, unfortunately their best intentions can never match the will of God.

Now let’s come to Leviticus 23, and we’ll pick it up here in the flow of the holy days. Verse 26 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,…” Now you see, as we have learned these are the days of God. So God spoke to Moses, Moses then told the children of Israel. “…On the tenth day of this seventh month [which is today] there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls,…” And of course we know from Psalm 35:13 that that is without food. And in the case of Moses up on the mountain, it was without food and water for forty days. Now God doesn’t require that of us, but we are to fast this one day as a commanded feast in addition to other times during the year whenever it is necessary. “…And offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”

Now let’s come to Numbers 28 and 29 because this depicts all of the official offerings that were to be given throughout the whole year. And it starts out in Numbers 28 with the daily offering and then the Sabbath offering, and then the monthly offerings, and then the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And of course as we have noted concerning the Passover, at the temple or tabernacle there were no sacrifices required for that day. You can read that in Numbers 28:16.

But let’s come over here to Numbers 29. It comes from Unleavened Bread down to Pentecost and then there’s a break because it goes to Numbers 29. Now I don’t think in the Hebrew there is a break there. There very well may be, but it groups all of the commanded offerings at the temple; This was in addition to the individual offerings of burnt offerings and peace offerings and meal offerings that people would give.

Now here are the commandments for the Day of Atonement found in Numbers 29:7. “And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein: but ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD for a sweet savour; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year; they shall be unto you without blemish: and their meat [meal] offering shall be of flour…” (Num. 29:7-9). And it gives a description there. And then it explains concerning the goats for the sin offering, and so forth. And so whenever we come to the holy days, when we come before God on these special occasions, we do take up an offering. And an offering that we give to God is not measured in terms of dollars, though in a sense it is, in a physical way. But our offerings to God should be a measure of our love to God, our attitude toward God, and our willingness to serve Him and obey Him. And also our willingness to prove Him, as He says there in Malachi 3 that He says, “Now prove Me herewith, that you shall not have sufficiency in all things, whether you will or not” (Mal. 3:10, paraphrased). Because we will. And God also promises that. Many of the blessings of God that come from God are not counted in terms of monetary equivalency, or remuneration. The blessings of God include many, many, many different things: Our life, our health, our protection, our family, our employment, the things that we are doing. And as we will see today, keeping us from the evil one. All of those are blessings that God gives. So in taking up the offering, we’ll pause in just a minute and take up the offering, but you do it according to the blessings that God has given you, and realize that on this Day of Atonement we are to be atone with God.

Isn’t it a marvelous thing indeed, that that which men count the least or the most unimportant, are the very things that God uses to teach and reveal His will and purpose? Such is the case of the holy days being all listed together. And this is the only chapter in the whole Bible that has all the holy days listed together—and it’s in the Old Testament. A lot of people say, “Well, you know, we don’t need to keep this. It’s nailed to the cross”, and so forth. And all they are doing with that is cheating themselves out of the true knowledge of the plan of God. See, because it is true, anytime anyone thinks that they know better than God they’re going to get themselves in trouble. They’re going to cut themselves off from God. Now the Day of Atonement is a particular holy day, which emphasizes that.

Now let’s continue reading here in Leviticus 23:28, “And ye shall do no work in that same day:…” Now you see when we read this it makes it very clear. These are not hard to understand words. This is not some secret allegorical meaning that is contained in here. It’s very simple. “…For it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.” He’s still among them, but he’s cut off from them. Isn’t that interesting? Think about how many people today who used to be in the church of God. Whether they were converted or not, that’s in God’s hands. Only God knows. But how many people have been cut off from God and from among the people and from the church because they no longer keep the Day of Atonement? It’s an amazing thing when you think about it.

Look at it on the other hand this way: It is an amazing thing how much God reveals to us when we do keep these days year after year, after year, after year. And every year we learn more. And every year we understand more because that’s the way God has inspired and caused the Bible to be written. We’re reading the things which are inspired by the mind of God, though a man wrote it. Though Moses originally wrote these words down, and though they have been translated, the meaning of it is very clear.

Now let’s continue on, verse 30. “For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted [that is fast without food and water in that day, with the exception of some who are pregnant or childbirth, or medical situations like that] in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.” Now how God is going to do that, you can just look out and see how God has intervened in different ones lives.

Now to emphasize it again He says in verse 31, “Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” Now then, how long does that mean? Well, if we are the descendants of the children of Israel physically, it’s binding upon us. And if we are the children of Israel spiritually because we, as Gentiles have been grafted into that tree, and then the branches drink of the sap that comes from the roots and is fed by the roots, then it means for us—in your generations, in your dwellings.

“It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest,…” Now all the holy days are called Sabbaths. And it’s strange that the Seventh Day Adventists really don’t understand that. Now they can keep the seventh day but how much do they lose because they don’t keep the holy days of God? So you see, there are the contradictions that come along here [in their thinking]. “…And ye shall afflict your souls:…” Again He mentions it, so that’s three times.

Now also it gives us a definitive time of when the day begins and ends. “…In the ninth day of the month at even [Hebrew ba erev, meaning the sun has just dropped below the horizon. That beings the new day. Ba erev of the ninth ends the ninth day, so when the sun drops below the horizon you’re beginning the tenth day. “…From even unto even [from the even of the ninth to the even of the tenth], shall ye celebrate [observe] your sabbath” (Lev. 23:26-32). And it’s very interesting because in the Septuagint the Greek means, you shall sabbathize your Sabbath. Quite important, isn’t it? So there we have it.

Now let’s go to Exodus 31 and let’s see again how these things are binding upon us. Now every time God asks us to do something, why does He ask us to do it? Why does He command us to do it? 1) Because God is love; 2) God loves us; 3) God has called us; 4) God wants us to be in right standing with Him through Jesus Christ and the sacrifice for our sins, and having been justified from them. And He wants to bless us so that in doing the things that He commands us, He will bless us because He loves us, because He’s called us, because we are those that He has called to be in His family. So in order to prepare for that we need to have the education and understanding which comes from God through His word and through His Spirit, so we can learn to have the mind of Christ, and so when the resurrection takes place we will be able to work with Christ and do the things that He wants and help usher in the kingdom of God on the earth. So you see that’s why God commands these things.

Now here again in Exodus 31:12, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel [and we are the spiritual Israel of God], saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.” And then you combine that with the New Testament where Jesus said, “Your Word is truth, sanctify them with Your Truth.” Now this is part of where it’s God’s Word, isn’t it? Yes, it is. So keeping the Sabbaths, and it’s plural therefore it includes all of them.

Now it mentions the seventh day Sabbath as the main one on which all of these are sanctified and it says you will keep it. It says, verse 15, work six days. Now verse 16 says, “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It [that is the keeping of the sabbaths] is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever: [and to always remember that God is Creator] for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” So that’s a tremendous thing that God has given here.

Now after He gave that commandment, verse 18, “And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Ex. 32:12-18). You think about it for a just a minute. How dare a man take upon himself the prerogative to change the Word of God and to change what God has spoken, and to alter or reject what God had written with His own finger on those two tables of stone.

Now let’s continue on with the Day of Atonement. Let’s see when sin entered into the world, because sin and the removal of sin has everything to do with the Day of Atonement. And we’re going to see that just the removal of sin alone without the removal of Satan the devil is not sufficient. By the time we get all the way through the holy days, we’re going to understand that Satan, the author of sin, must be removed and dealt with forever. That’s all in God’s plan.

Now we know the account here in Genesis 3, of how God told them “You shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” And of course Satan came in, and God wanted to test them. Would they obey His voice or not? Would they keep His commandments or not? Would they eat of the tree of life, and would they not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? See, God had to do that because in giving free moral agency, God did not make us robots. And if you give free moral agency you have to give free moral agency so that a person can choose one way or the other. Now just like He told the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 30, “I command you to choose life that you may live.” So likewise He commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because He loved them, He created them, and His plan was to come forth from them. But He had to know—did they really love Him; did they really believe Him; were they willing to do what God had said?

So, you know the story. The serpent came and said to the woman, “Is it really true that God said you can’t eat of any of the fruit of the trees in the garden?” Bringing up a preposterous proposition because he knew that was not so. And so Eve had to correct him and say, “No, we can eat of the fruit of all the trees except the one that’s in the midst of the garden. God said, ‘You shall not eat of it neither shall you touch it lest you die.’ ” And of course Satan always wants to get you on his side. And he makes sin appear as if it’s not sin. So he said, “You shall not surely die.” And isn’t that the way it is in the world today? Don’t people want to live in their sins and yet receive the blessings for obedience? But it doesn’t mix. It’s not that way. And then he accuses God. Anyone who accuses God, especially of what God has done, then you’ll never, never, never understand the Word of God. What you need to do is admit that you don’t understand and ask God for understanding, and He will give it as you study His Word, and as you pray, and as you live according to God’s will. But Satan lied. He’s the father of lies, he did not stand in the truth and there’s no truth in him. So when he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own because he’s the father of it.

So Satan said, “You shall not surely die, for God knows in the day that you eat thereof your eyes will be opened [the exact opposite happened—their eyes were closed], and you shall be as gods.” No, they weren’t as gods. Isn’t it interesting here—“be as gods”? Does Satan consider himself to be a god? But of course. So he’s saying, “You’ll be like me.” Not the true God. But the only way that they would become “as god” is if some of the qualities of God would be: 1) they took upon themselves to judge God instead of accepting and believing in faith what God had told them and commanded them; 2) to judge for themselves (by exercising their free moral agency incorrectly) what they would determine to be right and wrong. And that’s the whole story of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So you know they took it. It appealed to the senses. Why didn’t Eve say, “Well, God told us no. We’re not going to. We believe God, we love Him, we’re not going to do it.” End of the story. They didn’t do that. I did a tape years ago called “What would the world have been like if Adam and Eve had not sinned?” Well, it would have been a different world indeed. So if you want that tape you can write for it. However, please understand this: They did sin, and we are the end result of the progeny of mankind from Adam and Eve, and we still sin.

So it appealed to her senses, it was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, a tree to be desired to make one wise, and she took of the fruit, she ate of it, she gave it to her husband and he ate it. The eyes of both of them were opened—not to spiritual reality, but to sin and evil. Whenever Satan says, “Your eyes shall be opened,” they will be—to evil and wretchedness, and sin. Not opened to understand the plan of God. Only God can do that, only through Christ.

So, their eyes were opened, they were both naked, and you know what happened. God came and judged them, and in sentencing and judging them He started right out with the serpent. Let’s come back up to verse 11 after Adam and Eve hid themselves. Of course God knew where they were all the time. Someone wrote and said, “Well, it’s kind of dumb of God to walk through the garden and say “Adam, where are you?” You see, that kind of attitude is never going to understand the Bible. He knew where he was, but He wanted Adam to respond to Him. So Adam said, “I hid myself when I heard Your voice because I was naked.”

Now verse 11, “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman…”, of course he didn’t want to say, “Yeah, I did it.” He pointed immediately to the woman and said, “The woman You gave me. God, it’s Your fault, You gave me this woman.” “Well boy, when I gave her to you, hey, that was the greatest thing there ever was, wasn’t it? And now you’re accusing her.”

“…She gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat [I was tricked into it]. And the LORD God said unto the serpent,…” So He began to meet out the punishment. Even if you are tricked into it, even if you are deceived into it, you still have a penalty to pay because sin is sin and the wages of sin is death. And that’s what God told them about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

So He said to the serpent, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee [the serpent] and the woman, and between thy seed [that is all the physical serpents and the demons] and her seed [Who was to be the Christ];…” So right at the first sin God revealed there had to be a redeemer who had to overcome the power of sin and Satan. And that’s what this day pictures. “…It [that is the seed] shall bruise thy [the serpent’s] head, and thou shalt bruise his heel [a prophecy of the crucifixion that it would take the death of God to pay for the sins of mankind].”

And then the woman—she had her punishment. “…He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;…” And because the women bring forth the children and when the children do wrong as they’re growing up and the different things that happen, they have sorrow and grief and look at how it is in the world today, and look at how women suffer because of the very nature that their offspring have. And just imagine the sorrow that was there when Cain killed Abel. So it’s not just the pain of the child labor alone.

And He says, “…And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened [listened] unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:1-19). And that’s the fate of all human beings. No one has escaped death except Jesus Christ. No means that man or Satan have devised to try and trick man into thinking that he has an immortal soul and he’s going to live forever, causes any life to be at all is because life comes from God, life comes from love, life does not come from sin, life does not come from death. Now let’s see how it affected the whole world. So you see, it says that Eve was deceived, but Adam sinned.

Now let’s come to the New Testament, Romans 5, and see what happened to the world when Adam and Eve sinned. Because it was quite a thing. The sentence that God gave them was the sentence of death within their members. And also as Paul wrote of later, to have along with that the law of sin—the corrupted human nature which naturally sins.

Now here in Romans 5 Paul explains it very clearly. Let’s begin in verse 12 because here’s where it brings us to Christ and His sacrifice for us on the Passover day, and then likewise when we come to the Day of Atonement then we will see this is when God is going to make that sacrifice of Christ available on a universal basis to everyone in the world—but not until the meaning of the Day of Atonement has been fulfilled, which we can summarize in this way: You can never be atone with God as long as you have a sinful nature, and as long as you are in the flesh you can never be totally atone with God. That cannot happen until there is first the process of conversion, and then enduring to the end, and then the resurrection, and then being born into the family of God. Then and only then can we be atone with God. But it is sin that separated all mankind. And we know that Satan is the author of sin.

Now Romans 5:12, “Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death;…” The sentence of death was passed on and we all inherit it. The scientists know that there is a death gene in us, and it activates upon certain things that happen. But even if we have a good long physical life and live a long time, the death gene still activates and we die. “…And by means of sin came death; and in this way, death passed into all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned.” Because you see, with a nature of death there is no way that human beings can avoid sin, because it is a more imperfect product because of that (the nature of death) than what God originally created Adam and Eve to be, which is another whole different story. So the Day of Atonement pictures when God is going to open the way for all.

Now let’s come here to II Corinthians 4, and we’re going to see that Satan the devil is called the god of this world. And of course as we have seen, Satan likes to come in and twist and turn the Word of God, and he has many willing agents to do it. He has many willing people who desire to do this—and they think they are doing the will of God, but they’re not. So he says here, II Corinthians 4:1, “Therefore, having this ministry, according as we have received mercy, we are not fainthearted. For we have personally renounced the hidden things of dishonest gain [now, that has to be], not walking in cunning craftiness [not having another agenda secretly below doing the will of God], nor handling the Word of God deceitfully;…” And that’s what all the false apostles have done. And as we have been seeing in “Lies From The Pulpit” they handle the Word of God deceitfully. “…But by manifestation of the truth, we are commending ourselves to every man’s conscience before God. But if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing; in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe,…” Because Satan the devil is deceiving the whole world (Revelation 12:9), and he has all of his agents out there doing it. The powers, the principalities, the demons, those in government, education, and everything. This whole world is in the grips of a diabolical deception that comes from Satan the devil. Yes, there is a little good here, and a little good there, but we’re going to see that the evil is going to triumph temporarily. But the Day of Atonement pictures when God is fully triumphant. Because not only must you get rid of sin on an individual basis, which God does through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His mercy, forgiveness, and justification, but you also must get rid of the author of sin who is called the god of this world.

And here is what he does: “…Blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Corinthians 4:1-4), to have the knowledge of God in truth and understanding. See, any time anyone rejects any part of the Word of God, they are rejecting God in degree. And as we have learned from the Days of Unleavened Bread, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. So a little sin breeds more sin.

Now let’s come back to Leviticus 16 and let’s see in the ceremony on the Day of Atonement that God commanded the children of Israel to do, that here He pictures one of the strangest offerings that we find in the entire Bible. And it’s only on this one day—on the Day of Atonement.

This was to be done at the tabernacle or the temple. The priest was to go through his ritual—bathe himself and dress himself with the holy garments. And the thing concerning the Day of Atonement is this: This is the only day in the entire year that the high priest could go into the holy of holies. Once a year. And he had to give the offerings for himself, and so forth, as Paul said not without blood. Now I want you to compare that to the blessing that God has given to those who He has called, and who have the Holy Spirit now, that we have the ability through prayer to come in to the very presence of God anytime we desire. Quite a different thing, isn’t it? Yes, indeed.

And so through this there is the offering of the two rams. 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.” Now that’s not even before the altar, nor the tabernacle of the congregation. That’s right up past the altar of burnt offerings, right up where you go into the temple itself. And there he was to perform a special ceremony. This is not done on any, any other sacrifice that is done, because these two goats were to be as identical as possible. And there was a special ritual that was done by the priest to show which of these two goats was the true sin sacrifice of God.

And so he cast lots. “…One lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.” And the Hebrew there is Azazel, which is another name for Satan the devil. Before Satan fell he was the cherub that covered, and he comes to this world saying, “I am God.” And the world can’t distinguish the difference between the true Christ and the false christ; between the true God and the false god. So this is symbolized by these two goats, where then God would have to select the one which was the true sin offering. Then the one that was the true sin offering, he was told after he went in and cleansed the ark and everything, verse 15, “Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring it’s blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: and he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in All THEIR SINS:…” Now here was one sacrifice that was given to represent the forgiveness, or the atonement of all the sins of the children of Israel. And once they have been atoned for they have been atoned, so the live goat is another proposition. And it’s interesting that the ceremony took place at the temple, but the live goat was never sacrificed. Because the live goat is symbolic of Satan the devil, who’s the god of this world, who is the author of sin. Because as soon as Satan was let into the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve sinned. And as we are going to see when we come to the final conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles where God yet has another mission for Satan to do, that unless the author of sin is removed, sin will occur again. And that’s the whole lesson we have within our bodies with the law of sin and death, and overcoming, and things like this.

Now then when he has done that, then we come down here to verse 20. “And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel,…” Because you see, all of the sins that people do as instigated by Satan the devil, and of course since he’s the author of sin, all sin comes back to him. So therefore, having their sins forgiven, now God goes to the one who has caused them, Satan the devil, and puts it upon his head that he bears his own sin. There is no atonement for Satan the devil.

“…Putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” Now the wilderness is a very important part of this whole thing, as we will see. And very important in relationship to Satan the devil.

Then the fit man, as we will see a little later, is a type of an angel who binds Satan the devil. He would come back and wash himself. The priest would wash and cleanse himself. Now notice verse 29. “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: for on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.” And then it says here, verse 34, “And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses” (Lev. 16:7, 15-16, 20-22, 29-31, 34). Now we’re going to see in just a little bit, the significance of the wilderness and what that has to do with removing Satan the devil that Jesus Christ will do, and to atone for our sins.

Now let’s see the connection between the wilderness and Satan. Let’s come in the New Testament now to Matthew 4, and here we have one of the most important battles of the entire ministry of Jesus Christ. Now it’s important from this point of view: Jesus could not begin His ministry until He had conquered Satan the devil. Now let’s think about this. If Jesus manifested Himself as God is God, to fight a battle with Satan, obviously He would win because He won the battle when Satan rebelled and a third of the angels went with him and they were cast back down to the earth, weren’t they? So there’s no question that He would win. Now when you come to this: If Jesus were an angelic being (we see in the book of Daniel that the angels of God fight against the angels of Satan, and there is war that goes on), He probably could have beaten him, and overcome him if He would have been manifested in angelic form. But now, here Christ was manifested, God in the flesh, as a human being. Now in order to overcome Satan the devil it was necessary that He do so in the flesh. Because Satan is the one who has caused all human beings to sin. So before He began His ministry He had to overcome Satan the devil, and to defeat him, which He did.

Now after He was baptized, Matthew 4:1, “Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit in order to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was famished. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ ” Now we’ll notice in all the answers that Jesus gave, He gave the answers that God gave to man in order to serve God.

“But He answered and said, ‘It is written,…’ ” Good example. How do you overcome demonic and satanic problems but by the Word and the Spirit of God. There it is right there. “ ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God [Deuteronomy 8:3].” ’ ” Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him upon the edge of the temple,…” From the highest pinnacle of the temple to the floor of the Kidron Valley is 650 feet. So this was like being on a 65 story building. “And [Satan] said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down; for it is written, “He shall give His angels charge concerning You, and they shall bear You up in their hands, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.” ’ ” Jesus said to him, ‘Again, it is written, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” ’ ” And that’s quite a statement isn’t it? No human being is to tempt God.

Now that’s another whole sermon in itself. You tempt God by not believing; you tempt God by accusing Him; you tempt God by imputing to Him things that are not His such as imputing to Him the things that Satan the devil does. That is how you tempt God. And you shall not tempt Him to make a spectacle of yourself so that you, by your actions, are commanding God to do something which God will not do. And so the whole bottom line of this is that no one is going to command God. That’s what this is all about.

Now verse 8, “After that, the devil took Him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory,…”, and Luke adds “in a moment of time.” Now notice what he said to Him. “ ‘All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me.’ ” Well, the meaning of that is, “You worship me as God. Instead of God, You worship me.” That’s exactly the same test that Adam and Eve failed by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They didn’t believe God. They didn’t listen to His voice, and that is the most important thing. And the Word of God that we have here today is the voice of God. That’s what’s important. That’s why it’s so absolutely important that whoever does any preaching and teaching, and this applies to everyone of us, that we better teach the Word of God as Paul said, in season and out of season, because these are the Words of God. And we better handle it with love, and respect, and obedience, and fear, and awe because this is God’s Word.

So what did Jesus say to him? “ ‘Begone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.” ’ ” And of course that’s to human beings—not to Satan. Satan would never worship God. But that’s quite a statement, isn’t it? You take this to yourself. You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. Even Job had to learn that lesson, didn’t he? Without a doubt. So “Then the devil left Him…” (Matt. 4:1-11), and as it says in Luke “for a short season.”

Now let’s see how we are to look at these things. Let’s see what God tells us to do in praying every day. Let’s come over here to Matthew 6:13. This is what we need to pray: “And lead us not into temptation (or that we don’t have to be led into trials), but rescue us." Now that’s from the Greek—deliver, save, rescue us all applies here, from the evil one, who is Satan the devil. Now we are rescued from Satan the devil by the power of God through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit of God. And by yielding to Him, and obeying Him, and not living in sin and doing the will of Satan the devil. So we have to be rescued from it.

Now let’s see how great this rescue was. I don’t think many of us realize it. You know, many people have come out of this socalled Christian church or that socalled Christian church and all you’re doing in many cases is changing Saturday for Sunday and the holidays for the holy days, which you need to do. There’s nothing wrong with that. That needs to be. But the question comes down to this point: Are we really converted? Do we really believe? And do we really understand that even in that religious setting, which was a Satanic deception cleverly interwoven with the Word of God to make it look really good and Christian, because you see that’s the whole lesson of the two goats of Leviticus 16. You cannot of your own self discern the true God from the false god. And unless you have the Word of God and the Spirit of God, you can’t discern between Satan as god and God. You cannot discern between false prophets and false apostles and false brethren, and all of these things, and you’re going to fall as a dupe again for Satan the devil. How else can you explain: Where have all the brethren gone? Well many of them were false brethren. And many of them came not for the reasons of loving God and obeying His voice, and believing Him and having faith in Christ. Many of them came because they saw the institution, and they saw the elegance of it and the desire of it. So they didn’t come to serve God. You might say they were fair weather Christians, as it were. Just like it says in the parable: When persecution and trouble comes, they give up and flee.

Now here in Colossians 1:9, Paul is also setting the stage (as we have seen in Colossians 2) to avoid the subtlest most powerful deceptions of Satan the devil through philosophy and angel worship. So in what he’s writing, he’s trying to establish them firmly in the truth of God and for them to know and understand what God has done for each one of them, and hence for each one of us.

Verse 9, “For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthily of the Lord,…” Remember what we’ve said: You walk in faith, believe in hope, and live in love. And that is the core of your relationship with God. And that’s what he’s talking about here. “…Unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God;…” And that is continuous “…Being strengthened with all power…” That’s what God wants to be in us. To be strengthened with the power of God’s Holy Spirit, “… according to the might of His glory,…” Since we live in the world “…unto all endurance and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light;…”

Now notice verse 13. This is one of those middle voice Greek verbs. “…Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness…” Now, you think about that for a minute. Why are you here in the church of God, with the knowledge of God, and the Word of God, and the Spirit of God, and the understanding of God, and you are not out there—that is, in the world? Because God has called you, and God is the one Who qualifies you. Not because we are greater than anybody else because we’re not. We’re the least. That’s just the way it is. And that’s why the Day of Atonement is a tremendous holy day, brethren, because it is to be a spiritual feast that we feast on the Word of God and on the Spirit of God and not the flesh. So it’s tremendous.

“…Personally rescued us from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love…” (Col. 1:9-13). Now we’re not in the kingdom of God yet. That won’t come till the resurrection because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. But we are under the jurisdiction of the kingdom of God through the Holy Spirit of God, through Jesus Christ, through the Word of God. And then all of our allegiance, and all of our politics, as it were, are in heaven and not on earth. We await the kingdom to come and we will enter into it. So, isn’t that something? “…Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness.” Quite a fantastic thing.

Now let’s come to I John 5 and let’s compare that with what the world is. I John 5:19), “We know that we are of God,…” We have to know that. If you have any doubts whatsoever, you take it to God in prayer through Jesus Christ, and study the Word of God and know that you have the Spirit of God, and know that you understand and do these things because God has given you the desire to do it, and that you are of God.

“We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one.” Or, lies in the wicked one, but it means the power of the wicked one. Isn’t that something? It reminds me of the song… “He’s got the whole world in his hands, he’s got the whole wide world in his hands…” And the Day of Atonement pictures when it’s going to be taken out of his hands. Quite an important thing, and profound for us to realize and know and understand.

Now let’s see what God is going to do. Let’s see what the Day of Atonement pictures in dealing with Satan the devil. Let’s come to the book of Revelation and see this, then we will see how God will begin to deal with Israel and grant to them repentance. But first, this must be done: The author of sin must be removed. Now notice as we saw on the Feast of Trumpets, how Christ and all of us, the saints, are going to return to the earth. There’s going to be this great battle on the earth and the first thing that happens is that Jesus sends an angel to take the beast and the false prophets and cast them into the lake of fire where they are burned to a crisp. So in order to stop that kind of human activity you have to get the two top leaders—the beast and the false prophet. Then you have to go one step further: You have to get rid of Satan the devil who set up the beast and the false prophet and brought sin to the whole world. So here we see the fulfilling of Leviticus 16 where the goat is taken to the wilderness and let go. Taken away, gotten rid of. Now then we have an addon at this point as revealed in the book of Revelation. Something has to happen in order for Satan to be removed and for the Millennium to start.

Let’s begin. Revelation 20:1, “Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain in his hand.” Now that is the prison of the demons and Satan—the abyss. “And he took hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” Now He doesn’t get rid of him entirely. He binds him. “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” (Rev. 20:1-3). And when we come to that last part of the Feast of Tabernacles we’ll see what happens. Namely this: As soon as he is let loose sin reigns again. So the Day of Atonement pictures that you must get rid of the author of sin. You cannot bring in everlasting righteousness with him around. It is an impossibility.

Now let’s see what God is going to do with Israel. Let’s come to Ezekiel 36. Quite an amazing thing. See, once you get rid of the author of sin, and you get rid of the blindness, and you get rid of all of those wrong influences—and remember what they all went through, it’s really quite a thing that is done here.

Ezekiel 36:16, “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way…” Now isn’t that interesting? “There is a way that seems right to a man, the ends thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 16:25, paraphrased). And it seems right. “…By their own way and by their doings: their way was before Me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured My fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: and I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned My holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of His land.” Isn’t that true? Even today there are people who say, “We’re the people of God”, but they’re not.

Now then He says, “But I had pity for Mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name’s sake…” God is going to save the world and Israel, and all nations because of His plan and His holiness, and as we know, because of His covenant with Abraham.

He says, “I’m going to do this for My holy name’s sake…which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD…” Though Israel didn’t know God, now God is going to reveal Himself not only to Israel but to the heathen. He says they, “…shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.” In other words, what God is going to do when He brings Israel out of captivity, and grants them repentance, which this Day of Atonement pictures, and restores them back to Him, all the heathen are going to know that it is God. “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries,…” And that’s what this Day of Atonement pictures the regathering of the children of Israel back to the land. “…And will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you [get rid of all the filthiness and so forth], and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:…” So not only is it going to be a recreation of the earth because of the desolation of all the things that take place on the earth, as we saw from Pentecost and Trumpets, but also now that Satan is removed He’s going to take away the penalty that He gave to Adam and Eve when they first sinned in giving them a sinful nature.

So now He says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” That means a normal human mind and heart and capacity without all of the pulls of human nature. Now that’s going to change the world, see. But in order to change the world you’ve got to change the people. This is what God is doing. That’s why we’re called first. That’s why we live in this world though we’re not of the world, because in order for God to do this and bring it to the whole world we have to be changed, we have to be converted; and just count that all the saints from Abel on down to the last two witnesses. We all have to be changed first before we can do what God wants us to do. So before He puts them back in the land, He’s going to take away this hardheartedness and blindness that they have. Verse 27, “And I will put My spirit within you [they’re going to be converted], and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezek. 36:16-27). Hello! What does it take to keep the commandments and judgments of God? His Spirit. That doesn’t do away with them, does it? No, it gives you the means and the ability to keep them. But you see, since the carnal mind that they had before, the heart of stone, they had a religion where they did not want to do the will of God. They wanted the part of it that they agreed with, but the other part they wanted to remake in their own image, and polluted it and caused all the deception and lies, and Satan the devil was right there saying, “Yeah, do it.” Now it’s going to be changed. You can’t change the world unless you change the people. And you can’t change the world unless you get rid of Satan the devil. And you can’t change the people unless you have the proper leadership through Christ and the saints.

Now let’s go to Ezekiel 37:15 and let’s see another way of explaining it here. “The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.” That is part of the meaning of the Day of Atonement bringing back the children of Israel—all twelve tribes, all together, all serving God.

Now, verse 18, “And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in Mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land [bring them back as one]: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God.” There is the meaning of the Day of Atonement for the future repentance, conversion, and bringing atonement the whole nation of Israel. Just as Paul wrote, so all Israel shall be saved. And here it is. This is for the Day of Atonement. And we know, as He says in Zechariah 12, He starts out with the tribe of Judah first. He’s going to save the tents of Judah first. And we found that confirmed in Revelation 7 when we saw the sealing of the 140,000 of the children of Israel [Judah is first].

Now let’s see what also God is going to do, verse 24. “And David My servant shall be king over them [Christ will be King over all the earth, and David will be king over Israel]; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them.” You see, it’s amazing isn’t it, how that in the Old Testament it shows that you need the Spirit of God to keep the commandments of God. And that’s what God was saying all along. Clear back when He first dealt with Israel and gave the Ten Commandments, He said, “O that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me, and keep My commandments always,…” (Deut. 5:29). Here we see, they have a new heart. Here we see the Day of Atonement then paves the way for the beginning of the Millennium.

“And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and My servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them:…” So now we’re getting in to the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles. “…Yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore” (Ezek. 37:15-28).

Now then, that takes care of the children of Israel. Now let’s come back to us, and see the prayer that Jesus gave to us so that we can understand that in order to be in the kingdom of God the Day of Atonement pictures for us being atone with God. And this was the prayer that Jesus gave at His last prayer there in John 17. So let’s turn there and let’s see the prayer that Jesus gave.

Let’s pick it up here in verse 13, “ ‘But now I am coming to You [that is, to the Father]; and these things I am speaking while yet in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in them.’ ” Now that’s after the resurrection and we’re in the kingdom of God. For the fullness of that, see. We are to have joy now, but just think what it’s going to be after the resurrection and we’re one with God.

“ ‘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.’ ” So in order for us to be atone with God we have to have the Spirit of God, we have to be sanctified by God. Even though we’re not of the world, now notice what He says here. “ ‘I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them from the evil one.’ ” When we stay atone with God knowing His plan and purpose, and having His Spirit and His grace and His love, God will keep us from the evil one. We will not be deceived. We will not go astray. “ ‘They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in Your truth; Your Word is the truth [that’s how it’s accomplished]. Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world [referring to the apostles]. 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;…’ ” And this prayer of Jesus is being fulfilled right to this very day, and will continue to be down through until He returns and beyond.

Now notice, here is the prayer, here is the ultimate goal—that is, spiritual Israel, “ ‘…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, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me, in order that they be may one, in the same way that We are one: I in them [Christ in you], and You in Me [Christ and the Father working together], that they may be perfected into one…’ ” (John 17:13-23).

So this Day of Atonement pictures that perfection, and pictures when we will no longer have any sin at all but be totally atone with God. This is the meaning of the Day of Atonement.

(End of Sermon)

Transcriber: Carolyn Singer

The Day of Atonement—Sermon II—Holy Day
September 25, 2004
Scriptural References

  1. Leviticus 23:26-32
  2. Psalm 35:13
  3. Numbers 28:16
  4. Numbers 29:7-9
  5. Malachi 4:10
  6. Exodus 31:12-18
  7. Genesis 3:1-19
  8. Romans 5:12
  9. II Corinthians 4:1-4
  10. Revelation 12:9
  11. Leviticus 16:7, 15-16, 20-22, 29-31,34
  12. Matthew 4:1-11
  13. Deuteronomy 8:3
  14. Matthew 6:13
  15. Colossians 1:9-13
  16. I John 5:19
  17. Revelation 20:1-3
  18. Ezekiel 36:16-27
  19. Proverbs 16:25
  20. Ezekiel 37:15-28
  21. Deuteronomy 5:29
  22. John 17:13-23