By Warren Zehrung – September 14, 2013
Today is the Day of Atonement. It is one of the Feasts of the Lord listed in Leviticus 23. Atonement is a Feast Day filled with deep meaning. Today we fast from all food and water – from evening to evening. But Atonement is not an exercise in hunger and thirst.
4 These are the Feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.”
27 On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls.
By “afflict your souls” is meant that Atonement is a day of fasting where we are not to take any nourishment – neither food nor drink. Atonement is a spiritual Feast.
What is the meaning of this Day of Atonement?
Jesus proclaimed the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God to be established over the entire earth – but that cannot take place just yet because this world is still locked in sin.
Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong used to say, “The whole world is in bondage to Satan.” What this world believes and practices, is not the Word of God, but the philosophy of Satan. This is Satan’s world.
God will therefore hold Satan accountable for his sin at the fulfillment Day of Atonement after Christ’s return. The people of the world are separated by sin from the Father. Sin separated one from God. Everyone in the world is in bondage to Satan.
That is not a popular fact and no one wants to believe it. The people of Jesus' day argued back when He explained to them that they were not free and that they were cut off from God in heaven. They retorted:
33 We are Abraham's seed [children], and were never in bondage to any man: how can you say, ‘Ye shall be made free?’
Jesus shows that mankind is indeed in bondage to sin. The Feast of Atonement pictures the release and freedom of humanity from the subjugation and suppression of Satan.
Let’s realize that everyone is hopelessly bound in Satan's clutches – unless Christ frees them. True Christians have been reconciled to God the Father through Jesus Christ. But those people in the world are not yet reconciled to God that will come when Atonement comes to the full.
Thankfully, we who are baptized and have become Children of God by receiving God's Holy Spirit, and have been reconciled to God the Father – we are no longer cut off from God.
At one time, our sins stood between us and the Father, preventing a right relationship with Him, but Jesus Christ has resolved that breach through His blood. Notice:
13 Now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off [from God the Father] are made near [to Him] by the blood of Christ.
That is the story of Passover and the process of reconciliation of the Church brethren. But, Atonement pictures how the world will escape the bondage of Satan.
2 Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.
It is Sin that has cut man off from God. But Leviticus 16 – as we shall see in a moment – shows us that God’s placing of guilt and responsibility for mankind’s sins squarely on Satan’s head is an integral part of the Atonement process – allowing for salvation to come unhindered to all mankind.
15 Then shall [Aaron- the High Priest] kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail [into the Holy of Holies], 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: [which represents the throne of God.]
Atonement pictures Jesus Christ, raised in glory by His Father, offering His life’s blood at the eternal mercy seat in heaven at the very throne of God the Father.
In Temple times the High Priest placed his hands on the Azazel goat – representing Satan. By doing so Aaron figuratively placed the sins of the people of Israel on Satan the Devil – the deceiver and source of temptation and father of sin.
The other goat – representing Jesus Christ – was sacrificed as an atonement for sin.
16 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:
That is how Paul knew that the blood of Jesus Christ Atoned for us as we saw in:
13 Now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off [cut off from God the Father] are made near [to Him] by the blood of Christ.
Do not be confused. The slain goat of Leviticus 16 represents the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our place – for our sins.
Jesus took upon Himself the death penalty that we have earned by our sins.
The live goat of Leviticus 16: shows that Satan the devil will ultimately bear the culpability of man’s sins. All sin is the fault of Satan the devil.
The Feast of Atonement tells the story of how mankind was separated from God at the foundation of the world – with the sin of Adam and Eve – and how all mankind will be set free from captivity to sin and be reconciled to God.
Atonement will take place soon after Jesus returns to this earth in great power – and prior to the millennial rule of Jesus Christ – making it possible for all mankind living thereafter to have a direct relationship with God their Father – the direct relationship with God their Father that only the brethren of the Church of God enjoy today.
The entire world will be reconciled to the Father.
Atonement will make it possible for all mankind – for a thousand years – and into the Great White Throne Judgment – to enjoy God’s justice, His Law, His love – and eternal redemption.
This is the beautiful meaning of the Day of Atonement for all mankind. The world cannot see this Truth because they have rejected the God of Israel. Today we are going to be looking at Satan – from his beginning to – what God has revealed to be – his ending.
Let’s turn in the Bible to the time before there was anything. Even before ‘time’ itself was created.
The real beginning, in order of time sequence, is found in the New Testament, in the first chapter of John, verse one. The event recorded in John 1:1 reveals an existence long prior to the time God created the earth and the material universe.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
The term "all things" is translated in Hebrews 1:3, in some versions, as the entire universe.
Originally there existed only these two Spirit beings – God the Father and Jesus Christ of supreme wisdom and character. There was no matter – no nothing!
The first thing that we are aware of is the formation of their PLAN – the Plan of God to recreate themselves. The creation of the universe was billions of years ago.
11-13]tab]God says, Thus says the Lord, the holy One of Israel, and His Maker:… I have made the earth, and created man on it. I – My hands – stretched out the heavens, and all their host [the stars, planets, etc.] I have commanded.
Note God’s purpose and PLAN for His creation:
18 For thus says the Lord who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons and daughters unto glory.
The earth was created in a perfect, beautiful condition capable at the time of its creation of supporting life. It was beautiful and perfect in every way. That is not the way that we find the earth described in Genesis 1:2.
The 1st Order of business was the Creation of Angels
We find that Angels have not lived forever. Speaking of the angels we read in:
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
6 He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.
The created angels did have a beginning.
Paul confirms this in:
16 [For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
The dominions, principalities, etc. refer to angels. We also know that they were created before the Earth and Universe:
4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth… when the morning stars [that is the angels] sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Lucifer was one of the beings of this angelic creation...the most brilliant in fact – the highest in ranking. Lucifer was perfect at the time of his creation (Ezekiel 28:12, 15), but he was created with free moral agency; that is, he had free will and could choose for himself.
We know from scripture that Satan led a rebellion of one-third of the angels. It is not difficult to imagine his tactics and witness the results ( Isaiah 14:12-18; Ezekiel 28:11-17; Matthew 4:1-11; Genesis 3:1-6; Revelation 12 and Luke 10:18).
Satan from that time, and that is why he rebelled, because he could not stand the intention that once those human beings who are made out of the dust of the earth enter into the Kingdom of God and are transformed to spirit beings in the very Family of God – they would be above Satan – who wanted to be like God.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou was created.
But Satan came and tried to destroy everything he had been a part of bringing to beauty and perfection.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covers [the very throne of God in heaven]; and I have set thee so: thou was upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up [prideful] because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
We see Satan’s demise:
18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate [ruling the earth], but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Lucifer’s task was the development of the earth and everything that pertained to it. He was put on earth to tend it with the help of myriads of lesser angels. Before he was sent to earth, Lucifer had been trained in heaven before the very throne of God, and he had angels under his command. We read in Ezekiel 28:14 that he was the anointed cherub who covers. Only Michael and Gabriel cover God’s throne today – because Satan was thrown down.
16 By the abundance of your trading You [Satan] became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.
13 For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds…
He had to ascended from somewhere – earth. This shows us that he was here on earth, because he wanted to ascend above the clouds of the earth to go to heaven.
The Fall of Lucifer and Demons:
12 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground.
Christ later said that He saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning:
18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Lucifer wanted to "ascend to heaven" to dethrone God (Isaiah 14:13) - he wanted to "ascend above the heights of the clouds" (Isaiah 14:14).
Also, we read in Jude :6 about angels who did not keep their own domain (the earth), but left their own abode (to go to heaven to dethrone God). They are now reserved in everlasting chains under darkness – that is, they are the angels of darkness, still ruling on this earth, who are "chained" or held captive. There was no humility is Satan – only pridefulness.
4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.
Lucifer was not alone, when he rebelled against God. His angels accompanied him and became demons in the process. A reference to that rebellion is made in Revelation 12:4 – one third of the angels followed Satan and became demons – which means that the other two third of the angels stayed loyal to God.
Satan attempted to destroy Everything
After Satan’s destruction – God recreated the Earth – Genesis 1:1
An interesting passage describing the re-creation or the renewal of the surface of the earth can be found Psalms:
30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth.
The Temptation of Man
Scripture tells us that the Devil lusts and was a murderer from the beginning and the father of lies (John 8:44). Lucifer or Satan was already here on earth, when Adam and Eve were created:
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
When Adam and Eve were created and placed in the Garden of Eden, the serpent was already here. The serpent is later identified as Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9).
Satan’s iniquity Results in the Great Flood – and Satan’s Powers being Restrained
The earth was full of sin and iniquity.
2 Peter 2:
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to tarturus and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.
Satan Tempted Jesus
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
8 Again, the devil takes Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Jesus has overcome Satan and qualified to establish and rule the Kingdom of God over the entire earth. Luke adds to the conclusion of the temptation of Jesus:
13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
For a season because Jesus will yet deal with Satan when the Day of Atonement is fully come. ‘Fully come’ points to the actual fulfillment of that Holy Day in the Plan of God, as we saw when God sent His Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Until Atonement is fully come, Satan will continue his war of destruction, deception and temptation on God’s people, until he himself shall be bound by Jesus – represented by Atonement, which comes 10 days after the Feast of Trumpets.
2 Peter 2:
4 If God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.
Satan Tempts and Tries to Destroy the Church Today
Satan is still doing the exact same evil work today. Make no mistake about it. Jesus Christ taught us to pray daily:
4 … And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from the evil one [Satan].
Brethren, we need protection from Satan – the wicked one.
1 Peter 5:
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith.
19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then cometh the wicked One, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
2 Corinthians 4:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
12 We are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The earth continues as Satan’s domain
From before Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to now:
1 Peter 5:
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Satan, the prince of darkness, is still ruling on this earth. Revelation 2:13 tells us expressly that Satan has a “throne” here on earth. Offered Christ the kingdoms of this World (Matthew 4 and Luke 4) He holds the people of this world captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). He has authority over all the kingdoms of this world (Luke 4:5–7).
He is called the “ruler of this world” in John 14:30.
He is called the “god of this age” in 2 Corinthians 4:4.
Satan is called “the prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2.
Satan will remain the ruler of this world until Jesus Christ who qualified to replace him returns.
Satan will be Released in Power for the Tribulation
Satan Bound During the Millennium
1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more.
Satan is bound away during the millennium where he cannot deceive those in the millennium. Satan must be restrained so that the world, humbled by the tribulation and brought to the point of repentance, can finally be reconciled to God.
1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit [abyss] and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
This will be all throughout the millennium – so that the people will not live in temptation.
Satan Released a little While at the end of the Millennium
21 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, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
22 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.
God, in His infinite wisdom has seen fit to allow Satan to test us now – and to test the world at the end of the Millennium. Because of his own iniquity, he has been judged as evil - and only awaits his final fate. Satan will be so utterly “cut-off” in a spiritual way that is beyond our comprehension – sent away into the dark wilderness that is so remote as to equal annihilation – like ashes under our feet. (Malachi 4:3)
Paul – mixing a few metaphors – said:
20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
At the end of the millennial rule of Jesus on earth Satan will be allowed one last great deception. He will then receive his ultimate and final punishment from God for his rebellion and sin. (Revelation 20:7-10)
When Satan and his demons will be placed in the 'abyss' at the beginning of the Millennium, they will be as good as dead-unable to influence and deceive the nations any longer during that time period (compare Revelation 20:3).
What will be the Ultimate Disposition of Satan
The goat was turned loose in the wilderness – notice how Jude explains where Satan is cast:
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. [the ultimate wilderness]
Satan is responsible for sin – he must be dispatched – sent away – gotten rid of -- so that he can no longer deceive the hearts of men.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
God is not limited
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
From this scripture it seems likely some evil angels will remain in a prison of blackness and darkness forever.
He will likely just leave them in another dimension where there is no escape.
The destiny of these demons is to have their own twisted, perverted minds torment them.
They will forever reside in the darkness of existence
They will be their own tormentors, their own worse enemy, forever.
God will cast Satan into the lake of fire after the millennium (Revelation 20:10).
1 John 3:
8 For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
We see in Hebrews 2:14, the apostle Paul wrote that Christ would “destroy” Satan through His sacrifice. They are spirit and were created as immortal beings (read Luke 20:36).
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy [nullify – make void] him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
1 Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things," says the LORD Almighty. [with]:
17 I will bring you to ashes upon the earth, before the eyes of all who see you. All who know you among the people shall be astonished at you; you became a terror, and you will not be any more.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more.
God the Father reserves to himself the power to destroy spirits-beings as well as humans who violate his principles and laws. God has absolute and total control over life and death.
In his letter to Timothy, apostle Paul refers to the Sovereign God who has authority and control over all that exists and all that is eternal or immortal.
13-16 I charge you in the sight of God, Who gives life to every living thing, and Jesus Christ, Who in testifying before Pontius Pilate gave the exemplary profession of faith, that you keep this commandment without fault and without rebuke until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; Which in His own times the blessed and only Sovereign will make known, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who alone has immortality, dwelling in light which no man can approach; Whom no man has seen, nor has the ability to see; to Whom belong eternal honor and power.
Eternal life is a continuance of life that is sustained by God the Father. It is conditional based on obeying Him.
At the present time only God the Father and Jesus Christ possess immortal life. It is not true, however, that all spirit-beings are immortal simply because they are composed of spirit. Jesus reveals not only the punishment of those who refuse to live righteously but also what will ultimately happen to Satan and other evil spirits:
41 Then shall He also say to those on the left, 'Depart from Me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.’
33 Now a man who had an unclean spirit was in the synagogue; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying, Ah! What have we to do with You, Jesus the Nazarean? HAVE YOU COME TO DESTROY [cause to perish - utter destruction] us? I know Who You are, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be silent, and come out of him.
Demons (evil spirits) are fully aware they can be destroyed forever for their sins. Jesus has the power to destroy disobedient spirits.
14 I WILL DESTROY YOU, O covering cherub, from among the stones of fire.
He will be put to a final disposition and turned into ashes. The ultimate penalty for committing willful sin is eternal death (Romans 6:23).
Because both evil spirits and people will be tossed into the same fire (Revelation 20:7-10) and become ashes that will be trodden under the feet of the righteous (Malachi 4:1-3).
The question of the ultimate destiny of Satan and demons has been hotly debated for millennia. Just based on the revelation of the Bible, we cannot conclude that Satan and his fallen angels will ever cease to exist. If they will cease to exist, then the Bible has simply not revealed that positively to us. What is revealed points at a never-ending life of Satan and his demons, cut off from God and existing in the blackness of spiritual darkness forever.
Their final fate is revealed in Jude 13, referring to 'wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.'
Compare, too, 2 Peter 2:17. God knows what is in store for them, and so do they.
2 Peter 2:
17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom
the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
36[tab]Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels;
The demons asked Christ whether He had come to "torment" them "before the time" (Matthew 8:29). Luke 8:31 adds that they begged Christ not to command them 'to go out into the abyss.' At this point in time, they are not yet in that 'abyss.' Satan is not in it either; rather, he will be placed in it at the beginning of the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-3, 7 – the word 'abyss' is translated there as 'bottomless pit.' What is the 'abyss'? The word is used in Romans 10:7, where we read, 'Who will descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).'
In Romans 10, the 'abyss' is used as an analogy in association with the dead who are buried. It is also used as an analogy in Luke 8 and in Revelation 20.
What a wonderful day that future Day of Atonement will be when Satan is defeated and dispatched forever.