The Day of Atonement

The Day of Atonement

Scripture: Micah 7:18-19, Leviticus 16:1-34, Deuteronomy 19:16-21
Date: 11/09/2013  Lesson: 6
"This week we will study what happened on the Day of Atonement in the earthly sanctuary, specifically the rituals with the two goats, which helps us to better understand deeper truths regarding salvation and the final disposition of sin."
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. It is by no mistake that you have joined us to study God's Word together. A very special welcome to you that are here in our sanctuary with us and around the world, across the ocean, here in the United States - wherever you are, welcome. And we know that, again, you will truly be blessed studying God's Word with us and that we can grow closer to him and closer to his coming. Amen.

This morning we are going to sing together so pull out your hymnals if you are at home and sing along. Hymn #506 - 'a mighty fortress' is our God. This comes as a request from maisie, karl, and keryl in France, edrice in haiti, suvarna in india, iya in italy, magalie and micha in mauritius, and nathan, naomi, rose and natasha in vanuatu. So hymn #506 and we're going to sing all four verses. Amen.

If you have a special hymn that you would like to sing with us on a coming study together, it's very simple. You just go to our website at 'saccentral.org' and you click on the 'contact us' link and you can request any hymn in our hymnal and we are happy to sing that with you. As you know - those of you that tune in on a very regular basis - we are making our way through the hymnal and learning all the new songs that kind of get passed over or never heard of before. So this morning is no exception. Hymn #77 is what we'll be learning together and this is actually known by three people in the world - josefin in ireland, joyce in kenya, and maisie and karl in mauritius.

I guess that's four so you'd have a quartet. 'O love of God most full' - we will sing all four verses and it's just a beautiful song. When we were singing this earlier - beautiful harmonies, beautiful words - it's a prayer. Dear Lord, we thank you so much for the opportunity that we have to come together and worship you in heart and in spirit and in truth. And we thank you that Your Word does warm our heart and it kindles a fire in us like no other and Lord, as we learn more about you today through our study, help that kindle - that kindled fire to burn bright as we leave this place and as we leave our study - that we can shine for others and draw them closer to you and uplift you in everything we do and say.

And Lord, just help each of us to do our part to hasten your coming. We know you're coming soon. Please just keep us close to you and keep us faithful to the end. Please bless Pastor Doug as he brings us Your Word today. We pray these things in your name Jesus, amen.

Our study today will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Thank you very much to our musicians. I keep thinking the singing gets better and better and I sure appreciate jo and the musicians and the singers and it's always fun to hear The Song requests coming in from around the world and everywhere from small pacific islands to countries in the middle east. It's neat to know so many people are listening and studying with us. Welcome, those who are watching on tv and I want to welcome those who might be part of our Sacramento central extended members that - we have people scattered around the planet that don't have a local church that they can attend and they're our online members and we want to welcome you as well and those who might be visiting here today in our class.

We're glad you're here. We're going to be getting into our study in just a moment - lesson 6 - dealing with the subject of the sanctuary. We do have a free offer I'd like to bring to your attention. Almost every week we like to provide something free that will encourage you and in some way go along with the study. And right now we're offering the Amazing Facts study guide and it's called 'no turning back'.

If you want a copy ask for offer #146 and call the number on your screen. For those listening on radio that number is 866-study-more - 866-788-3966. Something else that I learned this week - I thought I would share with you - that is just some practical information. The writer of our lesson, professor martin, who teaches at bogenhofen - I've been there - in germany, they have recorded kind of an introduction to each one of these lessons that deals with the sanctuary. And so, if you would like to hear the teacher's introduction - he's got it both in german and in english - you can do that real simply.

There's a website - it's 'sanctuarylesson.org' - that's easy - 'sanctuarylesson.org'. So for those of you who are teaching or are part of a class and you want to find out 'what's the teacher got to say about this?' That's just taking advantage of some of the modern conveniences of the internet. Now you can take a look at that. Okay, now to our lesson. And, you know, I've had to really pray as I've studied for this lesson because there's so much here - it's on the day of atonement - what the jews called 'yom kippur' - 'yom' being 'day', 'kippur' meaning 'atonement' and, typically, it falls in the month of - latter months - or latter weeks of September or October.

It could vary from year to year. This was the end of the Jewish year. Now, in most of the world now we believe that the year will end and begin with the ending and beginning of the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, but it didn't work that way for the jews. They were on a lunar calendar. Now they had a civil calendar and then they had the ceremonial calendar and according to the ceremonial calendar it would fall - based on when the moon was lining up - it would be somewhere near the end of September beginning of October.

And this was the high day of the year. Their - we learned in our last study - their religious practices revolved around the sanctuary. Why? Why was this? Well, for Moses, starting out in the wilderness, it was in the desert, this structure - a tent - sort of a mobile temple - why would that be the center of who they are and their worship? A number of reasons. One is God says, 'thy way, o God, is in the sanctuary.' The way that God saves was illustrated in the sanctuary. It helped them understand that they were separated from God.

It was telling them how to get back to God. There was one door and there was one nucleus goal - it was the presence of God - we've been separated from the presence. And it taught about how to get back to the presence of God. It was the place where the cleansing from their sin took place. It was the place where they would bring their offerings to God and where they did their giving and it just became the very core - it was the dynamo of their whole worship experience - was this tabernacle - later permanently called the temple or the sanctuary.

Once a year they had the most solemn sacred service and it was called 'the cleansing' of the sanctuary. Now why did they need to cleanse it? How many of you get kind of annoyed when you drive up the street and there's some new nice development. They've got a nice white brick wall or some masonite wall and some kid, during the night, decided to become artistic with a can of spray paint and they vandalize this wall? Isn't that discouraging when you see that? And then, you know, the owners come out and they try and find some paint that's almost the same color of the brick and try and paint over this awful graffiti and then it becomes sort of an endless battle and it's really sad. And, you know, if you even go to the store and try and buy spray paint they want to see your social security number and your id and it's all because of this - it's just the vandalizing. So why did the sanctuary need to be cleansed? Had it been vandalized somehow by gangs? I hear you say because of sin.

How did it get sinful? Now every day - there's two kinds of services in the sanctuary - they had a daily sacrifice where the priest would minister in the courtyard in the holy place on a daily basis to go through - and then they had special sacrifices on the Sabbath so there was a weekly, you could say, too. But things were done on a daily basis and people would come confessing their sins - we learned about that. There were sacrifices that were made and when a person placed their hands on the head of the victim and they confessed their sins and that lamb or that goat was slain and then some of the blood was brought in and sprinkled before the Lord, where did the sin go when you confessed your sin to the victim? It went to the lamb or the goat, the oxen - it could even be a dove. And then when they took some of the blood from that animal and they sprinkled it in the sanctuary, symbolically - you realize sin is not like some kind of hydrochloric acid that was stored there or something - symbolically that sin went where? It's in the sanctuary. And boy, that's sort of a build up after awhile.

And, you know, it needed a cleansing. And so, symbolically, once a year there was a final cleansing representing that God does not want us to have an experience, indefinitely, of sinning and repenting, sinning and repenting. He wants to separate his people from sin. Will we be continuing to sin and repent in heaven? So, at some point, that cycle has to stop. Is that right? And so this represented that there's a time coming when God wants his people to turn from sin, be separated and sin be separated from them.

You know, I thought it might be a good idea, and I hope this won't be tedious, but turn in your Bibles to the book of Leviticus - Leviticus chapter 16 - and I'm going to quickly read through this chapter where you find 99 percent of the information on the ceremony called the cleansing of the sanctuary. And I'll just start with verse 1 - I might do a little commentary along the way but, you know, there's nothing that really beats just reading the Bible. "Now the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of aaron, when they offered profane fire before the Lord, and died;'" - some of you remember that the Bible tells us that they were only supposed to use holy fire, meaning that fire that had first been kindled there on the altar when fire came down from God out of heaven. And they brought some fire from the campground and brought it in before the Lord and put it in the censer and they had been drinking and they were inebriated and hofni and phineas - the two sons of aaron - no, nadab and abihu - sorry, I got them mixed up with The Sons of eli. Nadab and abihu, they went in before the Lord inebriated, they took profane fire and they started to March off into the holy place and lightning of some sort - fire came down from God and destroyed them.

After that is when God is saying, 'do not come at all times into the holy place'. This, you know, God's presence is holy. His presence is a consuming fire. It is a unique person on a unique time that can come in before the Lord and you must come in by invitation. You go into the presence of a king uninvited, what was the decree? Remember the book of Esther? And so going into the presence of a king uninvited was serious business.

God says, 'I'll tell you when you should come.' And it was coming for a purpose - a unique time, a unique person, a unique purpose. "'Tell aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. Thus aaron shall come'" - now this is not the cloud of incense that came from that altar of incense, this is a cloud of shekinah glory that is like a miniature - what was on the top of Mount Sinai when God gave the Ten Commandments? Cloud of glory, right? Smoke and cloud - so it's like the presence of God was somehow veiled above the ark - they called it the mercy seat during this time. In verse - it says, "'I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.'" - Verse 3 - "'thus aaron shall come into the holy place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. He shall put the holy linen tunic and the linen trousers on his body; he shall be girded with a linen sash, and with the linen turban he shall be attired.

These are holy garments. Therefore he shall wash his body in water, and put them on.'" - See the very sacred preparation that's happening - he was to be cleansed. He was to do a sacrifice in his own behalf for cleansing and he was to put on these sacred cleanse garments when he came - sin cannot survive in the presence of God. And it says then - it says, "aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

Then aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat." - Now it's important to understand these two goats are very different. You've got the Lord's goat - that goat dies and the blood is brought into the sanctuary. The scapegoat does not and we've got a section in a minute, we'll get to that. They cast lots. What does that mean? Well, there's a few different ways you can do it.

You ever heard about people drawing straws and whoever gets the short stick or the short straw? They didn't do it quite like that in the Bible, but it was the same principle, I mean, we flip coins. If you only have two choices you can flip a coin. If you've got three choices - unless it stands on its edge it's not going to work, right? When they were on the ship with all the sailors, they cast lots to see who caused the storm - all the sailors cast lots. How did they do that? They had a jar and it had a narrow opening - big, round, bulbous jar or a gourd - had a narrow opening and they had all these round stones that were approximately the same size and they'd get all white stones and one black stone - for instance - and then they would shake the stones and which ever one - it was predetermined - which ever one got the black stone, they were the one chosen if it was one. So somehow they cast lots between these two goats and they shook out the stone and the one that got the black stone, for instance, became the scapegoat and the other one the Lord's goat.

So they said, 'Lord, you pick which one.' They didn't just flip a coin or go eeny meeny miney moe - "then aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. And aaron will bring the goat on which the Lord's lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness." Now that word 'atonement' there is really talking about a purification that happens - not that the goat is being purified, but the goat is used as a purifying of the sanctuary. Now what we're going to get into here is really controversial. How many of you know that? Let me give you an example of how controversial this is.

Did you know that when you read in Daniel chapter 9, the 70-week prophecy - how many of you are acquainted with that prophecy? And it talks about the Messiah and it talks about the antiChrist - that there are some verses in there that about half the Christian church says is the Lord - it's talking about the Lord - and the other half says it's the antiChrist. Wow, you don't want to get that wrong. I mean, how much wronger can you get it? Is that such a word? But really, I mean, they're total opposites. We believe the one who makes the sacrifice cease is Jesus. He caused the sacrifice to cease when he died on the cross.

He's the one who confirmed the covenant. And a lot of our 'left behind' evangelicals, they believe that one is the antiChrist who makes the sacrifice to cease who confirms the covenant. The antiChrist confirming the covenant? What covenant did the antiChrist ever make? Anyway, so it's - that's one of those things you say, 'well, you know, is this symbolic or literal?' And 'what do you think about the seven trumpets and the 144 - and there's a lot of things that are sort of in this spiritual gray area that we may not know, but when you get God and the devil mixed up. I remember I was preaching one time about Jesus and the millennium and I became flustered in what I was saying and I got Jesus and satan mixed up - just in talking. You know, you're thinking one thing and something else comes out of your mouth.

You get tongue-tied - and I was glad Karen stopped me. She said, 'don't you mean Jesus?' I said, 'what did I say? Oh satan! Oh no - yes, Jesus!' I said - you know, you want to correct that, right? I want - you know, our two youngest boys, their names are stephen and nathan and one time, out in the courtyard, they were really acting up. This was a long time ago, you know, we've been here a long time now. And when they were little, Karen - pastor's wife - she became very irritated. They were both young, they were both running around and getting in the fountain - whatever they were doing, I don't know, but in her frustration she didn't know whether to call out stephen or nathan and she said, 'satan come here!' People looked at her like.

.. So you don't want to get that mixed up. But a lot of people mix up who is the scapegoat. Is the scapegoat talking about a sin-bearer for us? A type of Jesus? Or is it a type of satan? And there are many who say, 'well, the Lord's goat's the one who dies - his blood is shed.' And everyone virtually agrees on that. But because the other one - it says - makes atonement, that also must be a symbol of the Lord.

But, oh no, no, no - many Christians and jews said that was a type of the devil and we'll get to that in a minute but that's really important to understand. That's one of the most important things we should have clear for this study. "But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat" - verse 10 - Leviticus 16, verse - "shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. And aaron will bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull as the sin offering which is for himself. Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil.

And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the testimony, lest he die." - There's the - might be smoke to separate the presence of God - "he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat" - the blood of what goat? He's talking about - well, the blood of the sacrifice - it's not the scapegoat - "...and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. So shall he make atonement for the holy place because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the holy place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel." Alright, I'm going to stop there and get into our lesson and then maybe we'll pause again and read another segment of that. Now, you know, I realize as I was reading, I don't think I read our memory verse yet, did i? We're going to do it together - Micah - the memory verse in our lesson - Micah 7, verses 18 and 19 - and I'm reading from the new king James version.

Micah - the book of Micah 7, verses 18 and 19 - you ready? "Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." Now at what point are all the sins cast into the depths of the sea? Has that happened as soon as you confess your sins? I'm not answering that yet. Okay, someone look up for me Daniel 9:20. I think we gave out some verses so you've already got that.

Let's give you a microphone - jolyne's got that here. And while we're setting up for that I'm going to read, again, Leviticus 16:16, "so he shall make atonement" - notice - "for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness." Notice, it says he's making atonement - holy place - and it says tabernacle - for their sins. What you can't miss here is that somehow their sins are connected with the tabernacle and the holy place. Did we all get that? Somehow the sin is symbolically or in some way transferred there. Now, there's two ways that we confess sin - well there's many different ways but two ways I want to focus on.

One is you come before the Lord and you confess your sin. The day of atonement was not just an individual confession, it was corporate confession. When I say 'corporate' I don't mean like a corporation, I'm talking about a collective - as a group of people. With that in mind, go ahead jo. Why don't you read Daniel 9:20.

"Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God." And it goes on and says that the angel gabriel appeared. What was Daniel doing? 'While I was praying confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel.' Later in the lesson we talk about Isaiah's tabernacle day of atonement experience and he says, 'woe is me' - this is Isaiah chapter 6 - 'for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.' You've got the individual confession then you've got the corporate confession. When we pray the Lord's prayer do we say 'forgive me my sins'? Or is it forgive us? Is that corporate or individual? So something that's happening is this is not just cleansing an individual from sin, this is cleansing the church or his people - his nation - from sin. This is an all-encompassing thing. They were to come together.

It's like when God said there in Solomon's prayer, 'if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways'. Sometimes it's not just about me, it's about us as a people. Let me give you one more on that. Judges 10:10, "and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, saying, 'we have sinned against you, because we have both forsaken our God and served the baals!'" Baal worship - so there was a corporate confession. And so the day of atonement was not just for the individual, that could be accomplished on a daily basis, it was for the nation as well as the individuals.

Now just in the book of Revelation - to show you how this principle - and how central this day of atonement and the sanctuary cleansing was, I want you to notice - three Scriptures, very quickly - for instance Revelation chapter 1, verses 12 and 13, "then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands one like The Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band." Alright, who is that standing among the lampstands? It's Jesus. Why seven lampstands? Where do you find seven lampstands otherwise? It's in the sanctuary place - in the holy place of the sanctuary. Alright, jump with me to Revelation 8, verse 3. I love hearing the rush of pages turning.

"Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne." Now there was an altar in the courtyard but this was an altar that has incense offered on it before the throne - the throne a type of the holy of holies - so what altar is this? It's the altar of incense. Alright, so you've gone from the candlesticks, you've got the altar of incense, go to Revelation 11. You notice we're moving sequentially through Revelation? Revelation 11:19, "then the temple of God was opened in heaven," - now this must be talking about what part of the temple? The center - "and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

" Now something I want you to notice is the last part of that verse: 'there are lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.' You know, the Bible tells us when Jesus comes, at the time of the second coming there are thunderings and lightnings, an earthquake, and a great hail. So here you've got the ark being revealed immediately before the second coming - or simultaneously, at least, with it. And so here you've got a sequence that is happening. It's like you, in Revelation, are moving through the sanctuary towards the presence of God. And you know what it says at the end of the book? God, himself, will be with us.

So it starts our we're on the outside and you're moving in. All through the book of Revelation it's talking about the journey back into the presence of God. It's happening in the context of the sanctuary. The vision that John has in Revelation is in that context. Now, the reason the day of atonement is very important is because Christ ascended into heaven following his sacrifice back in 31 ad and his sacrifice was declared victorious.

The disciples worshiped him in the upper room. He said, 'all hail'. They held him by the feet and they worshiped him. And after he ascended forty days later - to heaven - he said, 'I will come again'. He had been working as our high priest.

Does anyone question - the Bible is very clear in Hebrews - that we have a high priest? The earthly high priest was a type of our high priest - our high priest after the order of melchizedek - because Jesus didn't come from the tribe of levi. He was a unique high priest all the other high priests pointed to and he is now at the right hand of God ministering in our behalf. The type of his ministry for those first 1900 years from the time he ascended would be something like what the priest did on a daily basis. But before Christ comes back there is a heavenly day of atonement. That was a time of judgment - the people would humble themselves - when only the priest went in.

And there was this sacrifice - all the sins had been stored and the people were praying for complete separation - if they were cherishing sin in their lives the priest could die in there. Matter of fact, I've not read it in the Bible but I've read it in several extra biblical sources that the high priest used to wear a blue cord around his ankle when he went into the holy of holies because nobody could go in there and it was sort of an emergency procedure. What if he should be an older priest and have a heart attack? No one could go in and get him. And so, it's like when they had to go cover up Noah in his tent. Rather than look on their father's nakedness, shem and japheth put a garment over their shoulders and walked in backwards.

And it's like how do you go into the presence of God? You know, there's something else I've got in my lesson here that I think - look with me in your Bibles - 2 Chronicles 7, verses and 2 - when Solomon built his temple - 2 Chronicles - you ought to read this. This is - you don't find this in Kings - when they dedicate the temple - you'll only find it in this verse. Chronicles 7, verses 1 and 2, "when Solomon had finished praying," - his dedication prayer on the most magnificent of all the earthly temples - "when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house." It was like a gigantic arc welder in there with the glory of God and they just couldn't go in - they couldn't survive it. So if the high priest should die or have a heart attack or if he went in with sin in his life unconfessed, like nadab and abihu, something could happen.

And so they had a cord around his ankle and if he didn't come out at the proper time and it seemed like - he had bells on the bottom of his garment, you know, if they could hear him - the little bells tinkling - that meant that he was going from place to place sprinkling the blood and ministering for them - if they didn't hear the bells and too much time went by, they'd pull his body out. And so nobody could go in, it was that serious. Well, on a daily basis it was like what the priest did in the holy place - that's what Jesus did for the first 1900 years. The last age of the church - you know you've got the age of ephesus and smyrna and philadelphia - those represent different phases or ages of church history - the last age of the church is called what? Laodicea. Do you know what the word 'laodicea' means? A judging of the people.

And when that age of the church began - we believe that was 1844 - Christ entered into his final phase - his day of atonement-type of ministry - of cleansing God's people. That's also when our movement began, where Christians came together from many different religious backgrounds, they said, 'let's get back to the Bible.' Not only cleansing of the heavenly temple, it was a cleansing of his temple on earth. Don't you know that you are the temple of God? We - ye are the temple of God, not just your body, but it says 'ye are the temple of God' - collectively. We are living stones in that temple. And he began to cleanse his people from all these false teachings that had come in over the dark ages and when that's complete he's coming back.

He'll stand up and at that point God's people need to be purged from their sin. So now's the time - what should our attitude be as a people? What was the attitude of the Israelites during yom kippur? Even jews today, they spend 25 hours in prayer. Some of them stay in the temple all day long. It's supposed to be a time of humiliation, humbling, putting away of sin, seeking after holiness, reconciling with others that they've had odds with. It's just really a very serious time of saying, 'hey, prepare to meet thy God, o Israel.

' It was the end of the year and so we, as God's Spiritual Israel, should have at least that kind of attitude of 'we're living in an age of higher expectations.' You know, people think, 'well, you know, if I lived back during the time of the apostles when Jesus was here - when he walked the earth - I could see it would be really important to live a Godly life. But, you know, it's such a sinful world right now and it's so hard to be holy right now and God doesn't expect as much of us today as he did of them back then because, after all, Jesus was there with them.' That's not biblical. You can't support that. Christ said, 'these things that I have done, greater things than these will you do because I go to the father.' Does the Lord expect less, the same amount, or more from his people in the last days? More? I won't respond but let me ask a question another way. Is the devil the same, better or worse at tempting God's people in the last days? He's better at it, which means he's worse! Right? Do you all agree with that? Has he been practicing.

So is he getting better at it? Where sin abounds does grace much more abound? And so if the devil is getting better at what he is doing, is he beating the Lord or can God's people get better at living like Christians? the Lord is going to come for a people that have proven to the universe and the devil that it is possible for us to be Christians and be Christ-like. And so this is a time - we're living in an age where we are to be seeking after that holiness. Alright, moving right along, 'beyond forgiveness' is our next section - beyond forgiveness. Hebrews 8, verse 3 - someone look up for me Hebrews 8:6 - who has that? We've got a hand right here. Let's get you a microphone.

Now the primary function of the high priest was to mediate between God and mankind. Do some of you remember those old cook stoves - whether it was electric or gas there were three settings on your plates on the stove. Do you remember what those three settings were? Low, medium and high. Why was medium called 'medium'? Medium means 'in between'. It's where you get the word 'mediator'.

It means a go-between. And Jesus is a mediator between God and man. That's why he's portrayed as the ladder that connects heaven and earth. And so the high priest was to mediate. That's what aaron symbolized.

Alright, go ahead please, read for us Hebrews 8:6. I think we're ready. Hebrews 8 and 6, "but now he has obtained a more excEllent ministry, inasmuch as he is also mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." Alright. Now why are the promises better? Because God failed his first promise? No. The first promises are dealing with symbols of, you know, goats and sheep - types - aaron being a type of Christ - those aren't as good as the real thing.

The first promises are based on types and symbols. The promises now are being realized with the real Lord and the real sacrifice that he offered. And so Jesus is a mediator of a better covenant. What's better? The blood of a lamb that's a symbol or the blood of Jesus that really does take away our sin? And so Christ is a mediator and that's the work that the high priest represented. Let me read a quote to you from that classic book 'patriarchs and prophets' - this is, by the way, page 357 - I think it's in your lesson.

"The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so is the type of the blood record in the sanctuary" - let me see - I'm sorry - "so is the type - the blood of the purification offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the day of atonement." Now some of you are going, 'ah! You mean when I tell God I'm sorry for my sins and he says 'you're forgiven' that I'm not really forgiven - not totally forgiven? No, you're forgiven, but the record of your sin is not destroyed yet. I might get pulled over for speeding. I might go to traffic court and they might say, 'we're not going to put this on your record so the insurance company is going to raise your rates.' But, you know, if I get pulled over again in another six months, the record of my first speeding is still there. How many of you know that? They will not treat you - if you repent and go to traffic school - they'll say, 'alright, we're not going to let your insurance company raise your rates. We're not going to post it.

' But if you get another one, they're going to dig back into your computer file and say, 'you know, you've been three times speeding.' And I'll say, 'but, but, but - you forgave me that first one.' 'Well, it's still on the books. We didn't fine you for it. We didn't release it but it's still there.' Now some people struggle - they say, 'you mean when I confess my sin he doesn't cast it in the depths of the sea and it's never discovered - never looked at again?' No. Follow me. Let's suppose you have a person that says, 'Lord, I'm sorry for my sins.

' They're genuinely repentant. They accept Jesus. Jesus comes into their life and they serve the Lord. But then, for whatever reason they say, 'you know, I'm just tired of serving God.' And they turn to drugs, they run off on their wife, and run off with a girlfriend and go into a life of crime and just say, 'I'm not going to live for God anymore.' When they stand before God in the judgment are they accountable only for the sins that they committed after they backslid or are they accountable for all the sins they ever committed? I'd say all. I don't see anything in the Bible that tells us there's a partial forgiveness for the lost.

Let me read something to you from the Bible that I think will explain it. Ezekiel 18:24 - Ezekiel 18:24, "but when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness" - this is a man who is righteous. He's Godly. He's on his way to heaven, right? Forgiven - righteous man - but he turns away from his righteousness - whether you say it's turning away from righteous deeds or turning away from the righteousness of Christ, it doesn't matter, he's turned away - "and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die." Let me give you another example in the Bible. There was - this is really important so I'm dwelling on it.

This is a very important point because what I'm talking about here is when you confess your sins to Jesus and you're forgiven, you don't get to keep that forgiveness unless you keep it a hundred percent. You remember in the parable of the unmerciful debtor that you find in Matthew chapter 18? This man has a terrible debt he cannot pay, he pleads for mercy - he actually tells the King, 'forgive me and I'll pay it all back.' the King shows him mercy - he's forgiven - he forgives the debt. Well that guy, instead of going out and praising the Lord and being nice to everybody because he's been forgiven this incredible debt, he goes out and finds a fellow servant, takes him by the throat and says, 'you owe me forty dollars. Pay me back or I'm throwing you in jail.' His friend says, 'look, have mercy on me. I'll pay you all back.

Forty dollars. I can do it.' He wouldn't have patience with him. Threw him in jail to be tortured for forty dollars. When the King found out about it he had that wicked servant drug before him and he said, 'I forgave you ten thousand talents because you asked me and you would not forgive your fellow servant forty dollars when he asked you? Now you're going to be punished for all ten thousand talents.' You see what's happening here? He doesn't say, 'well, now you're going to get punished for the other fifty cents you didn't pay back since I forgave you the ten thousand talents.' He says, 'the original punishment that I had set aside will be reinstated because you did not retain my mercy.' Is that clear? You want another example? This is important to understand because you're going to hear a lot of Christians out there say, 'what? You folks believe that somehow the sins are stored until the day of atonement? Don't you believe that it was finished at the cross?' Yes, I think the work of Christ providing salvation was a hundred percent finished at the cross. What we do with what he's provided is the issue here.

See what I'm saying? One more example. There was this man named shimei of the tribe of Benjamin when David was fleeing Jerusalem because absalom was pursuing him. Shimei threw stones and cursed David. And David, when he was dying, he told Solomon, 'look, I've forgiven shimei but he's a rascal and you've got to keep your eye on him. If he turned on me he's liable to turn on you because he thinks that Benjamin should be the monarchy.

And so, after Solomon became king he brought shimei in and said, 'look, my father forgave you and you'll get to keep your forgiveness on the condition you never leave Jerusalem.' Because he thought he'd go out and stir things up with the tribe of Benjamin. He said, 'alright, fair enough, I'll stay here.' He couldn't handle it. After a couple of years his slaves ran away and he went down to gath looking for his slaves and it was told to Solomon, 'shimei broke the conditions of his mercy.' Solomon brought him before him - he said, 'didn't I tell you in the day you leave Jerusalem you're going to be executed? As long as you obey me you're forgiven of what you did to my father, but when you break the rules, your forgiveness is withdrawn and you're going to be punished, not because you left Jerusalem, you're going to be punished because you cursed the Lord's anointed, David.' And so his sin that had been forgiven, because he did not abide by the conditions of forgiveness, was withdrawn. Now that ought to - it's very enlightening - that ought to make you shudder. So, you live 80 years like a Christian, you only sin for ten years, now you're a hundred years old - don't worry about the math in this - I often do equations that equal 150 percent - and, but you decide the last five years of your life you're just going to turn from God.

Do you only, in the judgment, suffer for five years of sin or your life of sin? All of your righteousness that you have done will not be remembered. Isn't that what we just read? That ought to be a motivator. Some people think, 'well, you know, as long as I - God's going to weigh my good deeds with my bad deeds and if I have more good deeds then I don't have to pay for so many bad deeds.' No. You're either forgiven and covered by the blood of Jesus or you pay for your own sin. Isn't that a terrible - there's no he pays for some and you pay for some.

I'd like it that way but it's either a hundred percent one way or the other. Jesus said, 'if you're not with me you're against me.' So that's really important to understand. If you understand that principle you'll see that there is a library - there is a record - where sin is stored - for lack of a better word - and in the final judgment those that have been consistent in trusting in Christ and following Christ, they then are completely declared citizens, you might say, or whatever analogy you want. But if they found that they're hypocrites like Judas who followed Jesus for three and a half years but in the end Jesus said that it would be better for that man if he was not born. Judas is not going to suffer just for that one sin of betraying Christ.

He's going to suffer for his life of sin because he denied the forgiveness of Christ which means he's got to pay for all of his sin. Alright, I spent a lot of time on that and now I've got to hurry. 'The azazel - the scapegoat. Now we read about the scapegoat. The scapegoat - even the ancient Jewish rabbis understood it was a symbol of the first angelic sinner - that first angelic rebel.

Who would that be? That's who we call satan or lucifer, the devil, beelzebub, apollyon - I mean, take your favorite name for the arch villain. This is a symbol for the devil. Who instigated all sin in the universe? The devil did. And some people say, 'well, the Lord made the devil so he's somehow accountable.' No, God made a beautiful angel named lucifer with a free will and he chose to rebel. The seeds of sin originated and were spawned in him.

God cannot sin. Everything God does is good. Everything God does is perfect. It's so important to know that he made lucifer free and lucifer chose of his own to rebel. In the final judgment do people pay for - can sin - let me say this differently - can I be responsible, to some extent, for your sin? Yeah, if I encourage you to sin.

Is charles manson in jail because he murdered? He actually didn't commit the murders, did he? He inspired the others to do the murders but he's still in prison, isn't he? Who inspired all the evil in the world? Instigated it? The devil. Does he have to bear responsibility for that? So what better party - and satan can be cast into a lake of fire - does it tell us in Revelation? Someone look up Ezekiel 33:6. Alright, you going to read it for them mike? Read it since - you got it? Alright, go ahead. Okay, Ezekiel 33:6, "but if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand." Alright. Here God made lucifer the chief of the angels.

He was supposed to guard the good of the universe. And, yes, people will be taken away for their own sins, but at whose hand does he require the guilt? The one who is responsible and satan is the party who is responsible. That azazel - that scapegoat - is the one upon whom the sins of the people are ultimately transferred. It's not slain like a sacrifice. the Lord's goat - Jesus - died.

It is carried off into a wilderness - desolate place. You know the Bible says when the Lord casts a demon out the demon goes in desolate places. And the devil said in Mark chapter 5, 'do not cast us out into the nothingness.' And so this goat was taken out, you know, one - it's not in the Bible but one legend is that this capable person who would take the goat out would find a high precipice and kick him off to make sure he didn't come back because if that goat followed them back into the camp, that was the worse omen possible - that somehow their sins had returned. And so this was to represent completely and forever separating God's people from their sins. Now is Jesus forever going to bear our sins? Then that goat that forever bears the sins - that bears responsibility - that never comes back - cannot really be a type of Christ.

You can read in Hebrews - oh, let me see here - Hebrews 9:27, "and as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for him he will appear a second time," - he's coming back - "apart from sin," - he's not coming with sin - "for salvation." After the day of atonement sacrifice aaron offered another sacrifice for his family to represent he was clean, because he had been touching and dealing with things that were impure - the sins of the people. Christ is coming back clean. So who ultimately takes the sin to the lake of fire? Satan. It's all finally transferred.

You know, Jesus suffered, yes, for all of our sins, but there's a responsibility for sin. Those who do not repent bear that responsibility. Does the devil ever repent? So does he bear responsibility? Yeah. So I just wanted to make it clear who the scapegoat is - it is not Jesus. the Lord's goat represents Jesus.

The scapegoat represents who? Satan or the devil. And with that we're out of time. Now you might be thinking, 'Pastor Doug, there's so much more on the day of atonement you didn't get to.' Do not fret, friends. I looked ahead in the lesson. I didn't want to cover everything because the other lessons cover a lot of that.

Let me remind you we do have a free study guide. Just ask for it. 'No turning back'. We'll send it to you. It's offer #146.

And God willing we'll be together to study about this subject again next week. God bless. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week, millions of people worship on the first day.

What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who was behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit Sabbathtruth.com.

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