While the church of God has long taught that the azazel goat of Leviticus 16 represents Satan, this traditional view has no biblical support.
Some say the scapegoat (azazel) prefigures the Devil, others say it has been fulfilled by Jesus. Tradition teaches one thing; Scripture reveals another.
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.
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 live goat bears the sins of the nation. Many think this represents Satan as the source of sin, yet Scripture reveals the truth.
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.
God employs a winnowing process in selecting those who will enter the Millennium. The process includes punishment for Israel's failure to serve as priests.
Human nature has a perverse drive to take risks, pushing the envelope, taking unwise chances, foolishly gambling away the future. Foolishness is 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.
Here are the foundational principles to keep in mind in observing the Feasts of God throughout the year.
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.
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.
We should count every day as a day of awe. We also must realize that all sins are against God, and that sins against other people do not have less importance.