Offertory: Just a Closer Walk
We begin with the offertory on this High Holy Day of Atonement, also known as Yom Kippur in the Hebrew.
God does not answer the prayers of those in the world the same way He hears and answers the prayers of His Children. God is not yet working with those in the world – as He is with us. Certainly, God knows absolutely everything that is going on everywhere… in the world, and in the Church. But He is not obligated to answer those in the world…
John 9:31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does His will, that is who God hears.
Brethren, we are now the Children of God – we seek and do the will of God – and so God is very active in our lives – answering our prayers according to His will. On this Holy Day we are especially thankful to Him – that we, of all people – have been singled out to have our prayers answered by God.
1John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
1John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1John 3:24 And He that keeps His commandments dwells in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us.
1John 5:14 And this is the confidence [faith] that we have in Him [God], that, if we ask any thing according to his will, He hears us: [He hears us – that means that God answers the prayers of His people.]
1John 5:15 And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.
God is actively working in our lives! The reason we have the petitions that we desire of Him – is because He is actively working in our lives – bringing us to perfection.
We seek God’s will always. The world is not thinking about the things of God. Those people who are of the world – live unto themselves. They are self-serving – not caring about others – caring only about themselves. They do not know God, nor do they know His Son, Jesus Christ.
2Corinthians 5:15 [Jesus] died for all [yes, all mankind], that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but live unto Him [Jesus Christ] who died for them, and rose again. [Jesus died and rose alive.]
Only that set of people who have been called by God unto Himself – and who have been given of the Spirit of God are able to live unto Jesus. What does it mean to live unto Jesus? To live unto Jesus – means to walk in His steps continuously, because “walk” is Biblical terminology for living. Let’s look at a few of those verses that speak of walking with God.
1John 2:6 He that says that he abides in [Jesus Christ] ought himself also so to walk, even as Jesus walked.
To live unto Jesus means to follow His teachings in one’s daily life – every principle of Christianity, from keeping even the spirit of God’s Commandments—to faithfully laying down one’s life is spiritual sacrifice – daily walking worthy of the Lord.
Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
1Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who has called you unto his kingdom and glory!
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with [Jesus] by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
Certainly, God is able to know and hear.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
The Day of Atonement shows that access to God the Father is only by Jesus Christ – we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son.
2Chronicles 7:13 …if I send pestilence among my people;
2Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Special Offertory Music:
Title: “Just a Closer Walk”
I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee;
Just a Closer Walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
And, When my feeble life is o’er,
And, Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er,
To Thy Kingdom shore, to Thy shore.
“Just a Closer Walk” :by Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson
Bear the Sin of the World
(Sermon Notes) by Warren Zehrung 9/28/2020
Atonement has to do with mankind being reconciled to God the Father—the Church brethren first—then the people of the world. Paul writing to Roman Christians:
Romans 5:8 But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified [made right in God’s sight – imputing the righteousness of Christ to us] by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Christ’s death on the cross washed us of our sins, paid our death penalty, and reconciled us to the Father, but His death did not pay for our salvation. The Bible is very clear; we shall be saved by the life of Jesus Christ. We see here the expiation of sin by Jesus Christ; the taking away of our guilt.
Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Every human being has sinned on his own account! Everyone is responsible for, and guilty of his own sins. Salvation is the process whereby we are being saved. But, how are we saved by Christ’s life? Being resurrected to life eternal, Jesus continues His work of sanctification in us—bringing us to perfection—a lifelong course of action making us a holy people (Hebrews 6:1).
We have had a problem in God’s Church down through the years of replacing Jesus Christ with Satan on this day – a very grievous error. By substituting Satan into Leviticus 16 – instead of Jesus Christ as the second goat, it hides / obscures / all of the redemptive work that Jesus now accomplishes as a living Savior, His work of sanctification in us—bringing us to perfection—a lifelong course of action making us a holy people. Jesus is the azazel goat.
Leviticus 16 is beautiful when correctly tied to the principles we have learned in the New Testament. The day we were baptized, we could say, “I’m converted, I’m saved.” That was correct – but we had not yet gone on to perfection (Hebrews 6:1)
The day we were baptized, we had not yet learned life’s lessons that would perfect us to be able to serve with Jesus Christ in the Millennium. We were far from perfect! The process of sanctification – becoming a holy people begins when were are Called, Converted, receive God’s Spirit – so that we might go on to perfection.
Jesus working in us guides, motivates and accomplishes that spiritual growth within each of us. That process requires a resurrected, living and active Savior – living in us.
Before the world began, God, in His infinite power and wisdom, came up with a Plan whereby His Son would have to do both—die and live—a seemingly impossible task!
Justification means being made right in God’s sight. Jesus died for our justification and reconciliation, and yet He has to be a living Savior in order to complete His work in us.
Jesus is the author of everlasting righteousness, by which he justifies his people; that is, acquits and absolves them, pronounces them righteous, and frees them from condemnation and death.
In Leviticus 16:5, God gave ancient Israel an Atonement ritual with a sin offering depicting this very progression in His Plan.
“[Aaron] shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two shaggy and rough goats for a [single] sin offering.”
One goat will be a slain sacrifice, while the other will be let loose alive—God Himself would decide which was which.
Leviticus 16:8 Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat azazel [departing goat].
Leviticus 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him [a slain sacrifice] for a sin offering.
This goat was chosen by God to be a representation of Jesus dying for our sins. This goat was chosen by God to be a representation of the resurrected Jesus Christ – alive evermore.
Ephesians 1:19-20 And what is the exceeding greatness of [God the Father’s] power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, Which he worked out in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead [back to eternal Life].
That is a part of Leviticus 16. Jesus is the dead goat – and then, Jesus is also the live goat – together the two goats comprise a single sin offering.
In Isaiah’s Messianic Prophecy, this slain goat is shown to be cut off out of the land of the living—depicting the crucified Christ—for the transgression of my people was He stricken, and He made His grave with the wicked (Isaiah 53:8-9).
When God chose which goat was to die, He was also indicating which goat was to represent the resurrected living Jesus Christ. The slain goat was chosen by God to be a representation of Jesus dying for our sins, while the azazel goat of departure would be turned loose alive.
God’s work of Atonement was not yet complete – it required the death of Jesus – and it requires a living Savior to complete the task.
Leviticus 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat azazel [departing goat], shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement [Yom Kippur Leviticus 16:29] with Him, and to let him go for an azazel into the wilderness. That is precisely where Israel was – in the wilderness.
The Hebrew for scapegoat is azazel from aiz, a goat, and azal, meaning to depart. The live goat was chosen by God to be a representation of the resurrected Jesus Christ – alive evermore. Nowhere in the Scriptures is it said that Satan bears our sin, or bears our iniquity.
Only Jesus Christ is said to bear our sin and iniquity. Continuing in Isaiah’s Messianic Prophecy, it is said of the resurrected Jesus Christ, “He shall bear their iniquities… and He bare the sin of many (Isaiah 53:11-12).
That is the exact same thing that John the Baptist exclaimed when he saw Jesus. “Behold the Lamb of God, which bears away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
John the Baptist knew that it was the Christ, the Messiah who would take away the sin of the world – bear away the sin of the world.
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered [in sacrifice] to bear the sins of many. [Jesus Christ was raised from death for our salvation.]
John the Baptist recognized that Jesus was fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah 53. These verses are specific to both Passover and Atonement.
In Leviticus 16, one goat could not suffice – it took two goats: Jesus is the dead goat, and Jesus is the live goat – together the two goats comprise a single sin offering.
Where Passover concerns the redemption of the firstborn, the justification and reconciliation of the Church brethren, the saints, the Christians, the Body of Christ, the Day of Atonement reveals the reconciliation of all humanity that has ever lived or will live to God – the entire world.
Everyone in the Millennium will have access to reconciliation – whereby God will hear their prayers.
Leviticus 16:22 And the [azazel] goat [of departure] shall bear upon Him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
Only Jesus is able to bear our iniquity: Jesus Died and He Lives Again
Brethren, I am going to Preach Jesus to you. Please notice in the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch:
Acts 8:27 And [Phillip] arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Acts 8:32 The place of the scripture which the Ethiopian read was this, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:”
How appropriate that the Ethiopian eunuch is reading from Isaiah 53:7:
Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not. [Jesus Christ was not respected, admired or honored.]
Isaiah 53:4 Surely [Jesus] has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.
Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken. [He died]
Isaiah 53:9 And He made His grave with the wicked [two thieves on the cross], and with the rich [Joseph of Arimathea] in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.
Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin [Leviticus 16:5], He shall see His seed, He shall prolong his days [be resurrected], and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
Leviticus 16:5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a [single] sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.
Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Romans 6:10-11 In that [Christ] died, He died once unto sin: but in that He lives, He lives [continuously] unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our sins and iniquities are too much for us to bear – they are a burden too heavy – they bring death:
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul is telling us that our debt for sin has been paid – but there is much more to the concept of Atonement. The saving of mankind is necessary because everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God and is deserving of death (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Jesus Christ Himself makes it possible to overturn a sinner’s guilty verdict and subsequent death penalty and grant him salvation unto Life. Jesus said:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Our sins are paid for by the first goat.
John 3:17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
The everlasting life comes with the second goat. We saw this earlier:
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts purified from a guilty conscience…
Jesus died to pay the penalty of man’s sins which began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Without His death – we would still be in our guilt. We would not be reconciled to God the Father. But, we are saved by Jesus Christ’s life (Romans 5:10).
Adam and Eve’s demise necessitated a Savior of mankind who would not only qualify to replace Satan, but who would redeem—buy back—Adam, Eve and their children who had come short of salvation. Jesus provides a necessary spiritual cleansing at the Footwashing each Passover so that we are able to remain holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27).
At Passover, Jesus purged our sins so that we might have a right relationship with God – having been justified [past guilt removed] and made innocent by His blood, we shall have salvation by His life and resurrection (Romans 5:9-10; 6:5). That word “justified” means a clean slate with God—our guilty past wiped out—cleansed by the death and blood of Jesus. Justification means becoming righteous in the sight of God. Justification means rendered innocent.
We saw that our Savior died, but the important thing is that He Lives forever more! He had to die for mankind or the Plan of God—bringing many sons and daughters to eternal glory—could not come to fruition. Man had sinned and the price of sin is the death of mankind.
Jesus died to pay that price in our stead. Interestingly enough, a great deal of the world understands that concept. God became a man with a nature like man’s sinful nature, to condemn sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3).
The world raves about the resurrection of Jesus to life—not knowing when it took place or the significance of it:
1Thessalonians 4:14 …We believe that Jesus died and rose again.
The apostle Paul explained Jesus’ direct role in Atonement:
Romans 5:9-10 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
The Day of Atonement is about the complete cleansing of sin through the work of Jesus Christ—alone. Jesus’ death paid for our sins—He was pierced for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5).
John 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
Jesus lay dead in the grave for three nights and three days, and man’s transgressions were covered (Galatians 3:13).
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us [bought us back] from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:
But, that did not save us, because mankind was certainly not worthy of salvation or eternal life. Jesus had not yet become man’s Savior. Paul said, “We shall be saved by His life,” – not His death. Romans 5:10 says it best!
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, [Brethren, there is more] we shall be saved by His life.
Reconciled by death Saved by life.
How does Christ’s life save us? How is man saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Sin is the crime of breaking law – God’s law (1John3:4). There are two aspects to sin that must be considered. Sin has a penalty and a stigma attached to it. Even when the penalty has been paid – the shame, disgrace and tarnish of sin remain.
1John 2:1 …We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
So the point is that even when Jesus has paid the death sentence penalty for our sins, we remain tarnished with the guilt of our crime, and the stigma of our being sinners still stains our conscience and our reputations with God. That “guiltiness” needs to be eradicated. How do we become a new creation (2Corinthians 5:17)?
Christ’s death only paid the debt called for by God’s law (Romans 6:23). Because Christ died for us, we do not have to die eternal death – and yet, God the Father still knows what sinners we have been – and why would He want to have anything to do with us? He knows good and well that we are actually guilty of sinning against Him. At that point, why would He give us the gift of eternal life? Jesus announced Himself to the apostle John:
Revelation 1:18 I am He who lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.
Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
There is more to the process of salvation than just having our sins covered and paid for by Jesus Christ’s death. That is because sin against God, not only destroys our relationship with Him, but it leaves us with a residual consciousness of guilt. Blaming Satan cannot remove our guilt. How can we ever have a clean conscience? God sees to it that even our conscience is cleansed:
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
What is needed is a complete removal, obliteration, and expunging of the guilt of our sins – even the taint of sin. Our transgressions and iniquities must be forgotten by God. And He does just that! For our sake, He blots out of His mind (Only God can do that) our transgressions and He will not remember our sins (Isaiah 43:25).
Isaiah 43:15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am He that blots out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Peter addresses this by explaining that baptism has two parts: Repentance from dead works (the filth of the flesh), and the faith of Jesus Christ, including His resurrection to life. He tells us how the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the answer to a clean and clear conscience before God. That means that we can now turn to God the Father free from guilt, because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Wow! Blaming Satan does not remove the guilt of our sins, or clear our conscience toward God.
1Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the resulting good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Colossians 1:27 … Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Jesus had to be made alive to live in us. In Leviticus 16 we see the annual Day of Atonement ceremony that pictured the covering and expiation of Israel’s transgressions. The covering of sin was only a part of what this day depicts. This ritual is all about Jesus and how He brings justification and reconciliation to the world.
A goat was needed to picture the reconciliation process whereby Jesus died and rose again.
But, in Old Testament Israel it was not possible to perform this ritual because once the goat was killed—it was then impossible for the single dead goat to live again.
Therefore, two goats were needed. One was slain, the other released alive into the wilderness where Israel would wander for forty years.
Do not read more into the Scripture than is intended. The second goat was released alive into the wilderness. Nowhere in the Holy Scriptures is anything said about a goat being thrown over a cliff onto craggy rocks.
‘Azazel’ simply means the departing goat! Goat of departure.
Leviticus 16:21 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:
Joshua 5:6 The children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness… [A land not inhabited (Leviticus 16:22).]
We are not saved by Jesus’ death. We are justified by His death—our past sins wiped out, making us innocent and right with God (Romans 5:9). Paul speaks often of Christ’s two-fold, life/death combination, which is necessary for our justification and reconciliation with God to take place. It is the fulfillment of the two goats of Leviticus 16. Jesus has to die for us to be right with God.
Colossians 1:22 In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: [That is where we want to be – right with God.]
Colossians 2:12-13 [You are] buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised Him [alive] from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has He quickened [made alive] together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
By attempting to make Satan bear our sins and carry our sins the focus of Atonement, grossly minimizes our own personal responsibility for sin, and plays down the absolute need for what only God can provide—the resurrection to life.
Romans 5:21 As sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 8:6 To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. [Sin brings death (Romans 6:23)].
It takes a living Savior.
Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
“Walk in newness of life” has two meanings. Yes, we are to live our lives as the sinless Christ lived His life. But, it also means that just as Christ lives, we will live also. Our death penalty has been taken away, and we have salvation through Christ’s life and resurrection.
Romans 6:5 If we have been buried together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection [to life]:
Is Paul belaboring the point? I think not!
Romans 6:8 If we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him:
Paul is making a vital point. Not only the world, but much of the Church of God is deceived in this matter. That is why Paul goes to such great lengths to drive the point home. Perhaps if Paul doubles up his emphasis – it will finally come across to us. Paul did not have bold and italics to stress a point – so notice his emphasis:
Romans 6:10-11 In that [Christ] died, He died once unto sin: but in that He lives, He lives [continuously] unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We have seen clearly in Leviticus 16:5 where Paul finds his inspiration for Christ’s two-fold, life/death combination, which is necessary for our reconciliation with God to take place.
In Leviticus 16 the two goats begin by being indistinguishable, but by the end of the ceremony – one is dead and the other is alive. On Atonement God wished to have a sin offering that would be sacrificed and yet live—to represent both the sacrificed, and the resurrected Jesus Christ—the two characteristics of Atonement.
The two goats comprise one offering—two goats for a [single] sin offering (Leviticus 16:5). God satisfied the single-sin-offering by requiring two identical goats be used to represent each of two characteristics of Atonement.
One goat was sacrificed unto death – as Jesus Christ was – and the live goat bore away the iniquities of mankind away as Jesus Christ. Only Jesus bears our sins (John 1:29).
Again, in the Holy Scriptures, Satan is never said to bear our sins. Satan plays no part in the removal of our sin, nor can his binding expiate either our sins or his own. Each person is ultimately culpable for his own sins – no one made him do it – not even Satan.
Only Jesus is able to bear our iniquity: Jesus Died and He Lives Again.
End: Bear the Sin of the World