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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Moral failure compounds when self-loathing sabotages happiness. Only atonement can turn this depression around, providing the comfort of mental and spiritual health.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
God has used famine as one of the tools to get the Israelites' attention when they violated the terms of the Covenant with Him, forsaking His holy law.
The intent of fasting is to deflate our pride—the major taproot of sin—the biggest deterrent to a positive relationship with God. Humility heals the breach.
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.
Human nature has a perverse drive to take risks, pushing the envelope, taking unwise chances, foolishly gambling away the future. Foolishness is sin.
The fall holy days picture various judgments by God, bringing about liberty, reconciliation, regathering, and restoration.
Here are the foundational principles to keep in mind in observing the Feasts of God throughout the year.
We cannot assume that angels are immortal and share the same kind of spirit God Almighty has; we cannot assume they are indestructible.
Paul never taught any Jew to forsake the Law of Moses, but he did warn against Pharisaical additions for the expressed purpose of attaining justification.
Charles Whitaker, reflecting on the events taking place as Christ bid His disciples farewell upon His ascension into Heaven, suggested that the approximately 75 days between the resurrection of Lazarus and Pentecost- brought about tumultuous activity and earth-shaking events. The disciples wanted eagerly to know what would happen next, just as we do do today. In that relatively short period of time, many miraculous and dramatic events occurred, including: (1) the resurrection of Lazarus, (2) the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, (3) the Passover , (4) the ripping of the Temple veil, an event which reverberated throughout the entire Jewish world , (5) the opening of tombs, populating the region with many people who had earlier died,, (6) the resurrection of Christ, (7) the ascension of Christ, and (8) Pentecost (the miraculous beginning of the New Testament Church). But then God seemed to turn off the fulfilled prophecy machine; God did nothing further dramatic during 31 AD. Years and months rolled by, speculations emerged and fizzled, with hope that Christ would re-appear on one of the impending holy days. Paul, who thought Christ would return in his lifetime, urged people to be eternally vigilant never letting down, reminding us to earnestly love His appearing. Those who love His appearing will receive a crown of righteousness. The apparent discrepancy in the number of days in Daniel's prophecies equal 75 days, perhaps duplicating the 75 dramatic days occurring between the resurrection of Lazarus and the resurrection of Christ. We may not see those 75 days, but will receive the blessing on day 1,335 if we continue to look forward to Christ's appearing.
Forgiveness is not a feeling that washes over us, but a conscious choice. It does not mean that the offense will never come to mind, nor that all the pain vanishes.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on our olfactory nerves, suggests that categorizing smells seems very imprecise, forcing us to describe them with analogies to something else. Surprisingly, our sense of smell comprises 85% of our taste. Actually humans have been known to detect 10,000 different odors or aromas, but dogs have 1,000 times that capacity. The sense of smell seems to be intricately attached to memory. We can remember smells from early childhood, triggering all kinds of lateral visual and audio memories of people and events from long ago. Smells are a big part of our lives. What kind of odor do we have before God Almighty? The altar of incense in the Tabernacle was designed to create a pleasing odor, representing the sweet aroma of Jesus Christ, which covers our uncleanness. The cloud of incense (about five pounds per day) drifted through the veil to the Mercy Seat, symbolizing God's closeness to us when we pray, symbolizing also God"s desire that we do not hold back on our communication with Him. We are to keep our incense altar (our prayers) unmixed with the sacrifices any other altar or unpolluted with pagan forms of religious exercise. Every time we pray, we must be reminded that we are in a perpetual and pure covenant with God. Before we pray, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ must already cover us. As the priest had to grind the incense finally, we are admonished to grind and sift our petitions finely, thinking deeply and carefully what we want to say to Him, bringing the full range of our concerns from bitter to sweet. As long as our prayer conforms to God's will, filtered through the intercession of Jesus Christ, who currently serves as our High Priest, it will have a pure aroma and savor.
Nine steps had to be included with the Passover observance, all within the house until morning. It takes place between sun's setting and complete darkness.
Jesus Christ's priesthood is superior to the Aaronic priesthood because Christ tenure is eternal rather than temporal, guaranteeing both continuity and quality.
John Ritenbaugh affirms that Jesus Christ's sinlessness was not the result of being a programmed automaton, but instead as a result of volition or choice—actively struggling against carnal pulls and temptations, enabling Him to fully empathize and have compassion on those tempted in like manner. He experienced exactly the same kind of temptations and suffering we experience, qualifying Him for the role of High Priest, bridge-builder between man and God, the same role for which members of God's called-out Family are also qualifying. Like our Elder Brother, we must learn righteous judgment by continually exercising our spiritual muscle, practicing making choices, distinguishing right from wrong, but building godly character and spiritual maturity through the enabling power of God's Holy Spirit.