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AZAZEL & PSALM 22-

There is one God and Yeshua haMashiach/Jesus Christ is His prophet. Messiah is God who manifest Himself in the flesh. My God spoke by Himself, for there was none greater!

He came to His own, but His own received Him not. He sought a man to stand in the gap, but there was none, so His own arm brought salvation. The book of Hebrews says: God prepared Himself a "body" in the person of haMashiach, that He might tabernacle among men. He walked among men and performed His mighty deeds. Yeshua/Jesus said: No man does the works that I do! He paid the ransom for sin with His own blood. He raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven. From heaven, He speaks. He spoke to Saul of Tarsus, that murderer of Christians. He said: Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me. (Acts 9)

I awoke to the sun rise all mauve, robin-egg blue, gold and rose, and worshipped the Lord in the light of the rising sun, as the light rose over the valley of the river.

In my spirit was hearing prayers around the world...I had a burden to pray which has not lifted totally all day. This prayer burden is particularly difficult for me, because it's as if I am closer to this person than their very breath, in the nearness of haMashiach/Christ's intercessory Spirit. I see your searching after God through the prophetic word of knowledge, which is one of the 9 gifts of the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12)

I sense your feelings of futility. I see you looking in a prayer book in England, and in this church and that. But now, they are seeking after Christ, in their own personal way, not just in a religious system. The word of the Lord is this: When you search for me with your whole heart, you will find me. You know of the cross of Messiah. You know you are the very worst of sinners, and your sins are daily in your face. It has seemed foolish that Christians do not spread their gospel with violence. But with that Sword which is called "The Living Word," for He is God. THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTATE! (John 1:1-15)

You feels as if the threat of death is very near. It is camped about you as it were. I prayed: Oh Jesus, speak to them in their heart. Of your so-great salvation. He who knew no sin became sin, that you might be the righteousness of God in Him. You have known a good deal more about religion than people think. Speak Lord, of Psalm 22, and of Aiyeleth Shahar, the Hind of the Morning, when dogs encompassed him. Of Psalm 91, the Secret Place of the Most High. It seems as if there are snakes under the very place where you rest. You feel it is not long. I pray, God one who has searched so for you cannot go in such a manner as this. They must have opportunity to know you, and to bask in your presence. To glory in you alone, Lord.

I saw in a vision of the Lord, a casket, and I saw men from many mid-eastern nations come, and throw a handful of dirt onto it. You do not want to die like a dog. But your pride is such that you do not like to acknowledge your need. If you fail to humble yourself and to acknowledge your sins, and your need for the holy God, those about you will never know Him, whom a million goat sacrificial offerings in the Old Testament personified.

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD." (Lev. 23:26-27).

In the Old Testament, God commanded a day called Yom Kippur (which means literally "day of covering" and it falls on the tenth day of the month of Tishri and brings to a close the period of repentance begun on Rosh Hashanah. (The Head of the Year, or New Year, according to the Jewish calender.) On this national Day of Atonement, the high priest of the temple enacted and imparted by the command of the Lord, Old Testament ritual which showed forth forgiveness in Messiah who would yet come, in the fulness of time, and extend to all men, forgive the sins.

According to the Old Testament; for 7 days prior to Yom Kippur, every effort was taken to ensure that the high priest was kept in a state of ritual purity. On this day of days, he would undergo five immersions and some 500 Levites from among the courses of priests, accompanied him everywhere that he went, and helped to preserve him from anything that may in any way defile him.

On every other day of the year, the high priest dressed in his ceremonial garments which included the golden mitre or crown, his glorious robes, breast plate, and magnificent jewels inscribed with the names of the tribes of Israel. On the Day of Atonement, however, he set aside these robes for glory and for beauty, and wore only a simple white linen robe, that symbolizes "purity."

Because the Day of Atonement was a day in which sacrifice was offered, the high priestís white linen robe, following the ritualistic sacrifice, was splattered with the blood of the slain animal. To atone for his own sins, he sacrificed a bull before the Lord.

AZAZEL!

The Azazel is found in Leviticus 16:22, where we read of the atonement for the sins of the nation. The Jewish high priest would take two previously selected kid goats and cast lots to determine their individual fate. Based upon the outcome of how the lots fell, one would be sacrificed as a sin offering for the nation. When this goat was slain, the high priest pronounced, "For Jehovah," and the worshipers would fall on their faces and call out, "Blessed be the Name; the glory of His kingdom is forever and ever." Then the sacrifice was slain.

The other goat, known as the Azazel, or scapegoat, became a second word picture of the atonement of the sins of the nation. First the high priest symbolically placed the sins of the nation on the head of the live goat. He liad his hands on the goatís head while confessing the sins of the people. The term AZAZEL, is a rare Hebrew word meaning "dismisal," or "entire removal." As the priest's hands were laid upon the head of the goat, representing the imputed sins of God's people, the high priest drove the Azazel off into the wilderness.

We read in scripture: And Yahweh has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6) In the goat sacrificed, we see the way in which the blood of Messiah cleansed the heavenly sanctuary, (Hebrews 9:23) and the Israel of God. (Lev. 16:17) As Azazel, Messiah bore our sins, and removed them from us forever!

This demonstrates to us, Godís willingness to remove sins from His people, and to separate His people from their sins. Following the building of the second temple, (approx. 515 BC to AD 70), the scapegoat was led to a cliff and forced over the brink to make sure it didnít return.

Only this one day of the year, did the high priest riskd his life to carry the sacrificial blood of the animal slain for the sins of the people, into the Most Holy Place of the Lordís house of worship. Going through the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, the high priest entered the presence of God to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the golden Mercy Seat that covered the Ark of the Covenant. If any aspect of the ritual was not fulfilled according to Godís instructions (Lev. 16), the high priest could be slain by the hand of the Lord. Only when the high priest came forth from the holy of holies alive did the nation rejoice that for one more year God had accepted the sacrifice for their sins.

During the second temple period, it's recorded that the Levites tied a scarlet thread of wool around a horn of the Azazel.When the goat was driven over the cliff, witnesses were sent to examine the thread, to asure that it was truly he. For centuries, this thread is reported to have miraculously turned white, indicating that God had accepted their sacrifice and forgiven the nation of Israel. It was believed that this was in fulfillment of Isaiah 1:18, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Jewish and Gentile believers both recognize in the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement a foreshadowing of a Messiah who would come to make atonement for our sins. Many believe that Isaiah 53 speaks of this suffering Savior when it says, "It pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand." (v.10). The message seems to be that our Messiah is pictured as both the sin offering and the Azazel, carrying our sins away into the wilderness of Gehenna (hell) so that our scarlet sins could be white as snow, and so that our sins could be wiped away before the Judge of all the earth.

That God would accept the messianic sacrifice for sin is still an incredible concept for many people to believe. But the concept of such a sacrifice is based upon the covenant God made with Israel under the Old Testament.

YOM KIPPOR: A TIME TO EXAMINE MY OWN HEART BEFORE GOD:

What is the significance of Yom Kippur for us today? For those who see that the sacrifice for our sins has been made by Messiah once and for all, the truth of Yom Kippur has great meaning. Instead, we can reflect back on an empty tomb and on the compelling evidences of the appearances of the One whose bodily resurrection proved that the price for our sins has been paid in full and that we have been accepted by God. I can confess, I have gossiped. Or, I have held envy in my heart. I've been angry with my mother, or my father, for they did a thing I did not like. Or they chose not to do something I requested of them. I have been proud and arrogant. I have withheld good when it was my perrogative to do it. I have not honoured God as first place in my life. I have failed to love my neighbor as myself. Yes, I have sinned, but by the blood of His own Messiah, the Father has paid the penalty.Ē As I have trusted Him, so He has forgiven me, and He will you.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a day to remember, not merely our neighbors sins against US, but of our own sin in the eyes of a holy God; and the sin offering that was made on our behalf. It is a day to ponder and to reflect and to appreciate God's grace, looking through the perfect, everlasting sacrifice, of Messiah Yeshua/Jesus.

YOM KIPPOR: LOOKING FORWARD TO THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF OUR GREAT GOD AND SAVIOUR: JESUS CHRIST

The Day of Atonement also points us to the future. Following this great end-time, call to repentance there will be a day of final reckoning for all who have not repented of their sins. According to Hebrew prophets, in the last days there will be a great and awesome Day of the Lord that will reveal the judgment that awaits those who have not taken advantage of the atonement of God. Here we can let the Scriptures speak for themselves.

The LORD gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it? . . . The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD (Joel 2:11,31). "Behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up," says the LORD of hosts, "that will leave them neither root nor branch." (Mal. 4:1).

No one can afford to be "uncovered" or "unatoned for" on the final Yom Kippur. That day will be inexpressibly hopeless for all those who have spent the days of their lives resisting the evidence and claims of Godís Messiah! It will be the kind of regret anticipated by the prophet Zechariah when he wrote:

I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself (Zech. 12:10-14).

What is the future hope of those who, rejecting Jesus as Messiahóstill have no temple, no priest, and no Yom Kippur sacrifice to assure them of Godís mercy and forgiveness? Can they find assurance in their repentance, prayer, and good deeds, hoping that God will forgive? Moses said:

The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul (Lev. 17:11).

Yes, in fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, there is evidence declaring that God has not left us without hope or atonement. He has not left us withou hope, without a sin sacrifice, or without a way of appropriating His mercy. In the the sin offering of Yom Kippur, we see the character and foreshadowing of Godís Messiah, our assurance of salvation. These pictures are not just remarkable parallels or coincidences. They are Godís revelation to Israel and all nations.

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