Repentance is something we must do with our God-given free moral agency. Reconciliation is an ongoing process that enables us to draw closer to what God is.
The cleansing of Joshua's filthy robes in Zechariah 3 is a future application of the cleansing in Leviticus 16, when Jesus Christ cleanses Israel in the future.
God's solution to mankind's separation was sending a second Adam, Jesus Christ, to make reconciliation possible. Fasting shows our dependence on God.
Atonement, when we are commanded to afflict our souls, is a time of self-evaluation and repentance. This is the only way to have real unity with God.
A suitable sacrifice had to be offered so that the sins of mankind could not only be covered, but be completely paid for, forgiven, removed, and forgotten.
On the Day of Atonement, the one goat's blood cleansed the altar of all the sins, while the azazel took them away. Jesus Christ fulfilled both these roles.
Refraining from work on the Day of Atonement symbolizes our inability to atone for our sins. We, humble and poor in spirit, depend upon God for everything.
In Israel, sins were symbolically placed on the altar throughout the year. On Yom Kippur, one goat's blood cleansed the altar; the second took away the sins.
The prospect of atonement and salvation is available to everybody, but only those called by the Father—not by an evangelical altar call—are eligible.
Man's estrangement from God is wholly man's fault. Atonement denotes the way harmony is achieved, making the entire world at one or reconciled with God.
If we do not keep God's holy days, we will deprive ourselves of the knowledge of God's purpose. Jesus and the first century church observed and upheld these days.
From Passover to Pentecost to Trumpets to Atonement to the Feast of Tabernacles, these days should solidify our vision of he Father, Jesus, and one another.
On the Day of Atonement, we are to afflict our souls by fasting. We do no work, signifying that we did absolutely no work to attain our salvation.
Some say the scapegoat (azazel) prefigures the Devil, others say it has been fulfilled by Jesus. Tradition teaches one thing; Scripture reveals another.
The first goat is a blood sacrifice to cleanse the altar. The second goat—the 'azazel' or 'complete removal'—is led away and freed (not bound by a chain).
While the church of God has long taught that the azazel goat of Leviticus 16 represents Satan, this traditional view has no biblical support.
Hebrews 10:9 does not say that God's law or the Old Covenant has been done away, but that the system of animal sacrifices has been set aside for now.
Hebrews 9 and 10 clarify the Atonement ritual of Leviticus 16. The author makes no mention of Satan, but says that Jesus bears our sins like the azazel goat.
The gospels show Jesus observing the Passover at the beginning of the 14th. Should we use the time when He observed it or the time He died as our guide?
On the Day of Atonement, the live goat bears the sins of the nation. Many think this represents Satan as the source of sin, yet Scripture reveals the truth.
Only when we do not think so much of ourselves, feel helpless and weak, will we listen with the intensity required to truly believe, repent, and submit to God.
The Day of Atonement is not fulfilled with the binding of Satan. Rather, there are numerous prophecies of God atoning for the sins of physical Israel.
Moral failure compounds when self-loathing sabotages happiness. Only atonement can turn this depression around, providing the comfort of mental and spiritual health.
The goat for azazel (complete removal) bore the sins of the nation out of sight. Jesus Christ likewise had our iniquities laid on Him, and He bore them.
All that we have has come from others, especially God. The Day of Atonement points out how needy and dependent on God we are; fasting shows our frailty.
The Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 53, plus the testimony of Peter and the author of Hebrews, show that Jesus fulfilled the azazel goat's role by bearing sin.
Fasting puts us in a proper humble and contrite frame of mind, allowing God to respond to us, freeing us from our burdens and guiding us into His Kingdom.
Though Satan influences, the choices an individual make are totally his own, even for those without God's Spirit. We sin when we are drawn away by our own desires.
Being poor in spirit is a foundational spiritual state for qualifying for God's Kingdom. Poor in spirit describes being acutely aware of one's dependency.
The world will learn that God judges—that He has the ultimate decision over everything. After Satan is bound, God will bring about seven reconcilements.
Here are the foundational principles to keep in mind in observing the Feasts of God throughout the year.
Since the beginning, God's purpose has been to bring all things into harmony with Him, giving mankind a respite from the heaviness of a sin-laden world.
Jesus was crucified late on Abib 14, yet the Passover lambs were to be killed at the beginning of the 14th. The time of Christ's death is highly significant.
The fall holy days picture various judgments by God, bringing about liberty, reconciliation, regathering, and restoration.
When God calls us and redeems us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we suddenly come under obligation—a debt we cannot pay but overshadows all we do.
John Ritenbaugh focuses on the perverse drive in human nature to take risks, pushing the envelope to the limits, taking unwise chances, foolishly gambling away the future. God has provided for all of us wisdom literature, including Proverbs and Ecclesiaste. . .
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