“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The scapegoat and the sacrificial goat

We have historically seen Satan in Azazel. Just as the scapegoat was taken by a strong man into a land not inhabited after the atonement was made, so we see in Rev. 20, after Jesus comes on a white horse and destroys the beast and false prophet, that Satan is bound on a desolate Earth with no one alive to tempt.

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
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, till the thousand years should be fulfilled.” (Rev. 20:1-3).

I believe the reason both goats are identical to start with is because both Lucifer and Christ were High Priests before the Great Controversy began. Just as Aaron was the recognized high priest for Israel—but faulty, and Moses was the real mediator between God and Israel—yet not recognized as the high priest, likewise, I believe that Christ was the great High Priest, and Lucifer was the under-high priest. This mightiest angel was clothed with all the colors of Aaron’s breastplate. “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 wast created.” (Ez. 28:13).Like Aaron, whose garments were “for glory and for beauty” (Ex. 28:2) in order to appeal to the natural desires of the people, so was Lucifer given the special ability to shine out in glorious colors, represented by Aaron’s breastplate, to honor his office and to aid this privileged angel in his leadership of the angelic hosts.

But the Son of God, as the true mediator between the angelic hosts and His Father, was simple and unadorned in His glory. He was like the lowliest of angels. And as Moses wore plain common clothing, without even a nice looking staff, so was Christ in heaven. Yet, He had something very special in His character that Lucifer could never have, and it drew the angels to Him in a special bond of friendship and reverence, which eventually made Lucifer envious.

He was doing his job right; he was giving the Father’s commandments and pronouncements as they were given to him. He was ordering the worship convocations impeccably. “Why did the Prince always do everything better? Why was He able to win the hearts of the angels so infinitely more than I? How was the Creator’s will accomplished so gracefully by the Son?”

The more Lucifer thought about his inability, the less he could see himself as just another angel, and the less he could see Christ’s superiority by inheritance. Eventually, he thought the Prince was no different than he, just another angel whom God had treated with unfair, preferential favor. (Are you familiar with the same idea floating around that Christ’s nature was like Adam’s fallen nature, that is, just like ours? Satan has infused this into the minds of many who want a low standard of salvation. EGW continually and emphatically exalted Christ’s nature to the heavens.)

It was insanity for Lucifer to think like he did about the Prince, but that is what happens when we refuse to humble ourselves before reality as God makes it. We make our own reality and delude our eyes and brains into seeing and believing just what we want to see and believe.

Lucifer wouldn’t allow himself to die to self in view of the perfection of the divine Heir. Neither the angels nor even the Holy Spirit could deter him from his decision to spread his white lies and murmur against the Son. So he bent all his energies to destroy Christ and His holy influence over the hosts of heaven.

This is why the goat that escaped death and sacrifice could not atone for the defiled sanctuary, and the goat chosen to die was able to atone for it. God is a God of sacrifice. And His chosen representatives must always be sacrificial. Lucifer would not sacrifice self, therefore he was allowed to continue living, but in a dismal and dreary state of mind, as it were a dry and thirsty land, apart from the living God.

But, God’s Son intimately knew His Father’s sacrificial nature and work as Source of life and Judge of performance to His creation. Only the Son of God knew the burden that His Father carried for the existence and happiness of His angelic hosts and unfallen worlds, and how much pain His Father suffered because of their imperfections. “Behold, He putteth no trust in His saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight.” (Job 15:15).

The Son’s nature was like His Father’s—sacrificial. Lucifer’s, and the angelic force, were not. There role in the courts of heaven and unfallen worlds was for the protection and preservation of the Government. They were about obedience and law. They were the policemen of the empire, and they bare not their sword in vain. It took Satan’s attack on God and the cross of Christ to change that in them. In their innocent King and His Prince they saw humility and gentleness toward accusers and aggressors, mixed with righteous judgment. This added forgiveness to their minds and added balance to their role.

Therefore, Satan having acted as unreasonable belligerent to his unprotected King, has nothing to say when God justifies a sinner. God is just; He has proven Himself in that He willingly died under the unprovoked character assassination of Satan, abdicating His authority to His Son, and depending on His Heir for advocacy. When He justifies a sinner, it is because that sinner has died to self, and only due to death to self. The supplicant for God’s lovingkindness is a brand plucked from the firestorms of Satan’s kingdom of hate. That saint has followed in God’s footsteps in dying, and thus is qualified as a son of God to be in God’s family and Government. But, Satan never dies to self, and neither do his children. They are like their father, the devil. “He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:34).

Cain couldn’t bring himself to die with a dying lamb. His sacrifice substitute is the first instance of avoiding death to self through a religious look-alike. The golden calf was another clean “path to God” that involved no bloody sacrifice. The unmessy Mass is another form of avoiding the death to self. Everyone who will not immerse himself in the Bible and see the gory, abhorrent death of Christ for what it was, subconsciously evades the death to self and never arrives at transformation of the fallen nature. Until they come to the cross, they will never be a candidate of heaven, despite their greatest display of religion or morality.

But God will make sure that everyone who wants to die to self will get to Jesus and see in His innocent death what Abel saw that broke him down. Self will be crucified as he sees Christ hang between heaven and earth, caught in a satanic hurricane of evil. That humbled, redeemed woman or man will be a firstfruit of Christ’s harvest, and heaven will be their home.

Will we die or not die? That is the question. If we die, then we will have eternity with the living God. If we don’t die, we will have only a few days on this messed up world, and then be dead without God for eternity. I hope I make the right choice in the end and all along the way.


Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

This post has answered some important life question. As a student of the Sanctuary, I have had to learn a lot. In my siting room is a picture of the OT worship where the Tabernacle is, I love the topic and I read it over and over. Without knowing you cannot understand the book of Hebrew. And understanding it you appreciate better the cross. Thanks David

6/09/2011 4:37 AM  
Blogger David said...

Very true, Daniel. Thank you for your comment.

6/09/2011 6:51 AM  

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