I have been on a quest for so many years. I literally have set this aside so many times in the last 12 years. I have always wanted to understand why two goats are used during the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur. What I have read and what I have studied just didn’t add up. Maybe now because my core values line up with the truth and I can see God much more clearly for Who He is, has finally helped me with this subject. I am also less afraid to look at things, I no longer live with fear that if I research a topic the enemy is going to have an open door to attack me or my family. I whole heartily believe that I live under the Shadow of the Most High God and what can anyone or anything do to me. Because of this it was like Christmas for me as I opened each door in anticipation of what God was going to show me. This topic is expansive and I still have not fully been able to explain everything. I have left certain things open for your own pondering with God. If you have questions please feel free to write it down below in the comments or you can message me via Messenger on FB. You can find my link to the left. Without further ado……
God isn’t punitive
The last few weeks I have come back to this subject because a friend had texted me stating: “….I think the one thing I can’t embrace is God being punitive. I lived most of my life thinking He’s a punitive God and getting out of that mindset is taking some time.” I could completely relate to my friend. I have
felt the same way. It was like a whirlwind or maybe better described as my life flashing before me; but it wasn’t my life it was understanding. When this happens for me I know it is Holy Spirit driven wisdom. I wrote back to her: “Yes you are right, God isn’t punitive….sin is.” This was the beginning of the reminder of some things:
- Sin is a noun and a verb in the Greek. You need to understand which one is being used and read in context.
- If sin is a noun then it is a person place or thing ie: God is love (noun) and He loves (verb) or Look at the ship (noun) on the water and We need to ship (verb) the package.
- I went back to the book of Enoch, which is mentioned in the book of Jude and saw something I hadn’t noticed before.
- It was coming back to Azazel, one of two goats that a lot would fall to on Yom Kippur, which is mentioned in Leviticus 16:8, 10 and 26.
Everything always leads back to Jesus and what He has done at the Cross. Many people will point to Yom Kippur and say both goats pertain to Jesus. And like the Penguins of Madagascar playing the 20 question game the answer here is,
One of the things I find interesting is how there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). When I began processing this outloud to my sons, my oldest son was quick to point out what I was talking about was so similar to the game, Warhammer 40K. He began telling me the similarities and it was of course interesting. One of the reasons why I enjoy C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien books is because much of their fiction revolves around the possibilities of what other cultures have believed and their similarities to God’s supernatural kingdom. Actually, even if you look through every cultural story of the beginning there is mention of a flood in each one. I believe all of the Jewish Holy Days are associated with God’s plan on earth. They tell a story of what is was and will be. I also believe that the time we are living in, just like themes of the Israelites, is also a foreshadow of things to come. Certain things may remain hidden; but I see clues that were intentionally left in scripture to help us. Just like Jude mentioning the book of Enoch (Jude 1:14). Here let’s read this scripture:
‘It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” ‘ Jude 1:14-15
Jude takes the statement from Enoch 1:9 and re-states it in his letter. The Book of Enoch tells the story of Jesus and the story of before the flood. I am not here to prove the Book of Enoch as true. I am here to talk about the two goats. You will be able to pray and ask God for yourselves. Azazel is also mentioned in this same book of Enoch. He is mentioned starting in Enoch 8:1-3:
“And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all coloring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways.”
Then in 10:9 “And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: ‘to him ascribe all sin.'”.
And also in 13:1 “And Enoch went and said: ‘Azazel, thou shalt have no peace; a severe sentence has gone forth against thee to put thee in bonds: And thou shalt not have toleration nor request granted to thee, because the unrighteousness and sin which thou hast shown to men.’
From here Enoch goes to speak with the watchers and writes a petition down for them in which he will take, on behalf of the Watchers, to God to hear how they are lamenting their choices. Enoch has already established that Azazel will not even have this luxury. When I have read about Azazel in this book, I have seen a distinct difference between him and the Watchers who fell. I do not believe Azazel is a Watcher. Who he is though is the same in both Leviticus and the Book of Enoch. Both times all sin is ascribed to Azazel. This is an important point to note. I believe it is a clue to who Azazel is and what he is. The word ascribe means: impute attribute as a quality; assign; to credit or assign as a cause or source. This very definition gives us an idea of maybe who or what Azazel is. Remember sin can be a noun or a verb.
Now, let’s look at the Yom Kippur holy day in Leviticus.
“He is to take from the community of the people of Isra’el two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. Aharon is to present the bull for the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and his household. He is to take the two goats and place them before Adonai at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then Aharon is to cast lots for the two goats, one lot for Adonai and the other for ‘Az’azel. Aharon is to present the goat whose lot fell to Adonai and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat whose lot fell to ‘Az’azel is to be presented alive to Adonai to be used for making atonement over it by sending it away into the desert for ‘Az’azel.
“Aharon is to present the bull of the sin offering for himself; he will make atonement for himself and his household; he is to slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself. He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before Adonai and, with his hands full of ground, fragrant incense, bring it inside the curtain. He is to put the incense on the fire before Adonai, so that the cloud from the incense will cover the ark-cover which is over the testimony, in order that he not die. He is to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the ark-cover toward the east; and in front of the ark-cover he is to sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.
“Next, he is to slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, bring its blood inside the curtain and do with its blood as he did with the bull’s blood, sprinkling it on the ark-cover and in front of the ark-cover. 16 He will make atonement for the Holy Place because of the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el and because of their transgressions — all their sins; and he is to do the same for the tent of meeting which is there with them right in the middle of their uncleannesses. 17 No one is to be present in the tent of meeting from the time he enters the Holy Place to make atonement until the time he comes out, having made atonement for himself, for his household and for the entire community of Isra’el. (LY: ii) 18 Then he is to go out to the altar that is before Adonai and make atonement for it; he is to take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on all the horns of the altar. 19 He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, thus purifying it and setting it apart from the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el.
“When he has finished atoning for the Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he is to present the live goat. Aharon is to lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the transgressions, crimes and sins of the people of Isra’el; he is to put them on the head of the goat and then send it away into the desert with a man appointed for the purpose. The goat will bear all their transgressions away to some isolated place, and he is to let the goat go in the desert. Vayikra (Lev) 16:5-22
The High Priest would sacrifice the bull for himself and his household. He then enters the Holy of Holies with fragrant incense and sprinkles the blood on the atonement seat (first entry). He then presents the goat to Adonai and sacrifices it and does the same with it’s blood the same as the bull (second entry). Next, the High Priest mixes the blood of the goat and the bull and cleanses the altar with it. Lastly, the High Priest will lay his hands on the head of the second goat to Azazel and says:
Ah, Jehovah! they have committed iniquity; they have transgressed; they have sinned-Thy people, the house of Israel. Oh, then, Jehovah! cover over (i.e. atone for), their iniquities, their transgressions, and their sins, which they have wickedly committed, transgressed, and sinned before Thee. As it is written in the law of Moses, Thy servant, saying: “For on that day shall it be covered over (i.e. atoned) for you , to make you clean from all your sins before Jehovah you shall be cleansed.”
After this is when the priests remove half the red scarlet sash and the appointed man would lead the sin burdened goat out to the wilderness. Many believe the goat to Azazel is also Jesus. But I have a different theory. I believe that Jesus, the High Priest of all High Priests did this very thing to Azazel when Jesus went into the earth for three days.
Let me explain. Jesus is the Passover Lamb and also the Yom Kippur sacrifice. All of the sins, iniquity and transgressions He bore for the entire world for all time and it pleased God to crush His own Son if His Son would offer Himself as a guilt offering (Isaiah 53). God’s wrath for all of these sins was placed on Jesus at the Cross because God is a just God. The Cross is the bite on Eve’s seed’s heal. But that is the only way to break the curse of death. Jesus (Eve’s seed) would crush the head of the serpent’s seed. The serpent’s seed I see as Azazel. Jesus is the once and for all perfect sacrifice so there would no longer be a sacrifice to Adonai needed. Let’s start with Hebrews:
‘…..nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all……….then He said, ” behold , I have come to do your will .” He takes away the first in order to establish the second……… but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God , waiting from that time onward until his enemies be made a footstool for his feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. ‘ Hebrews 9:25-28 & 10:1-4,9-10,12-14
Sin is annulled,
has any influence
There is so much to these verses. Please, if you can, go and read Chapters 9 and 10 in Hebrews, slowly and carefully. First, I want to point out there is no mention of the Azazel goat here but definitely the goat and bull during Yom Kippur where both are sacrificed to Adonai for the High Priest himself, his family and also the people of Israel. There is no mention of the Azazel goat because Jesus does not represent this one. Second, we should have no recollection of sin because Jesus has put it away. The word “put away” is “athetisis” (115) in Greek and means: annulment (cancellation), i.e. what is rendered “no longer in effect” (literally, “no longer having a place”). Sin (noun) no longer has a place, it no longer has an effect (1. Something brought about by a cause or agent; a result. 2. The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result; influence). Sin (the noun) no longer has influence. It has been dealt with by The Highest of Priests, Jesus. Thirdly, we are sanctified by Jesus. Sanctified (hagiazo 37) means to regard as special (sacred), i.e. holy (“set apart”), sanctify. Fourth, Jesus took away the first covenant (us performing the law Exodus 19:8) to establish the second covenant (Grace John 6:54-56).
So, where did Jesus put away the sin (noun) in which is sin (verb). Before I go further I want to make it very clear there are three words in Hebrew that make up the one word in Greek sin (verb). You can find this description here: Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4). Jesus bore all three Hebrew words according to Isaiah 53. Remember, as we trust in Who Jesus is all of our iniquities, transgressions and sin is forgotten as far as the east is to the west because of what His Son did. Jesus was the Yom Kippur sacrifice and He is also the High Priest. What He did while He was three days in the earth is important. He took back the keys to death (Revelation 1:18) and many scholars believe Jesus went into the earth (Matthew 12:40) to preach the Good News to those that have fallen asleep. I also believe He went and spoke with the Watchers who had fallen. I also believe He went to Azazel and pronounced the same prayer the High Priest did every Yom Kippur. I believe Jesus completed the prayer said on Yom Kippur on the head of the goat of Azazel (the foreshadow of things to come) with the real Azazel. I also believe that there will come a time when Jesus returns and His enemies will be made a footstool for His feet. This sounds like the curse God spoke to the serpent in the Garden of Eden:
‘And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.“‘ Genesis 3:14
The consummation or the entire fulfillment of this prophecy “of ascribing all sin to Azazel” will come when Azazel is thrown into the fire. I want us to understand and see the entirety of what Jesus did. Once He had laid all the sin on Azazel, He rose from the dead, saw Mary and asked her not to touch Him for He had not yet ascended to His Father. (John 20:17). After Jesus completed His full mission by laying the sin (verb) on the one that is sin (noun) which is the head of the serpent’s seed, Azazel, He could then ascend to His Father and sit down by His right hand.
Lastly, Jesus will come again a second time without reference to sin but for salvation (Hebrews 9:28 above). The words “without reference” is the Greek word chorus (5565). This word means apart from, separately from; without. This time we live in, as believers in Jesus , we are a foreshadow of the second coming in that we should understand or believe (faith) Jesus has made us (those living in Him) able to live with the belief that sin(noun) no longer has any influence. The noun sin has been dealt the blow. This is why my drawer of transgressions, iniquities and sin is empty. They have been taken care of between God and I and the High Priest Jesus has also laid them all on Azazel. Yom Kippur not only sanctified the Israelites it also attributed the sin of the entire community onto Azazel. This had to be done year by year; but no longer with Jesus Who was the One to come to do God’s will. When we fully acknowledge or understand that our High Priest Jesus was our atonement and also laid on the head of the one whom has the attribute sin, we are then better able to visualize the fact that our rebellion is removed from us as far as the east is to the west (Psalm 13:12). We can also understand that sin the noun (Azazel) has no power over us; not because of what we do or don’t do but because of what Jesus did to justly lay on Azazel’s head what he had caused. The only thing we are to look forward to is salvation. This is what Jesus comes to do the second time. The Greek word for salvation is soteria (4991) and means: sōtēría (from 4982/sṓzō, “to save, rescue”) – salvation, i.e. God’s rescue which delivers believers out of destruction and into His safety. Since this word comes out of the Greek word sozo, let’s look at this definition also: sṓzō (from sōs, “safe, rescued”) – properly, deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety). Sozo is the same word for all the times Jesus healed someone. We will not see this complete end of sin (noun) until it is swept into the fire. Remember, I believe we are living in the foreshadow of even greater things to come. Yet, we don’t need to be sin conscious (which is fear) but Jesus conscious (which is faith). Let’s read about this in Hebrews:
‘let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, ‘ Hebrews 10:19-22
We are living in the foreshadow of things to come: all sin (noun) which will cause all sin (verb) to be non-existent will be finished when Azazel is thrown into the fire and Jesus’ enemies will be made a footstool. Later in Hebrews 10 it is stated, ‘For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries . Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? ‘ Hebrews 10:26-29
Let me make it clear here the word willfully above translates as: 1596 hekousíōs (an adverb, derived from 1595/hekoúsion) – properly, willingly (willfully), i.e. “what is of free-will“. Sin here is a verb and means making decisions apart from faith in Jesus. When your faith is in Jesus and what He did for you, I mean simply in what He did for you and not in your own actions, then you aren’t sinning (verb). I do not want you fearing that you do not have faith. Faith is simply belief or trust that Jesus is Who He said He is. Let’s look at what the writer of the Hebrew letter said; making it very clear what sin (verb) is in the New Covenant. Sin is trampling under foot the Son of God and regarding the blood of the new covenant as unclean by which he is sanctified.” I have written about this in the blog post: Spirit Of??? , The Realization and The Unforgivable Sin. Yet, let’s break this down again within this scripture.
How much more severe do you estimate one will be deemed worthy, based on the value system of God, of punishment the one having placed the Son of God from a higher plane to a lower plane and then treading upon Him and having his first thought be that the blood of the New Covenant is common, dirty, unclean in which he is made holy and pure; and the gift of the Spirit is insulted because of arrogance. (My version of Hebrews 10:29 from the Greek)
There are many people who live according to the law and have chosen to lessen the blood of Christ, all it has done and have insulted (shown arrogance that it is not needed) the gift of the Spirit; and instead rely on their good behavior to make themselves right with God. There are also those who do not believe in Who Christ is even after being told the Good News. This is unbelief and is in direct opposition to what Jesus Christ did for us. Please remember Christ is the Way, Truth and the Light. We all have a free will to choose. It is simply trusting Who Jesus is.
And let me end here:
‘Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. ‘ (Hebrews 10.18).
We don’t need to focus on sins, transgressions or iniquities because they have been dealt with. We need to know within ourselves we are completely forgiven for all time and simply enter his courts with thanksgiving. Thank you Jesus for ALL you have done for me.
(I know this subject is difficult. It has been challenging to put into words what I understand within myself. Even now I don’t feel this is explained completely well…as it would take pages and pages and cross referencing with my other blogs. Suffice it to say there will be more blog posts regarding this……I really want to delve into the “original sin” next.)