The Promise of Hope for all of mankind
Atonement: Removal of Sin’s Cause and Reconciliation to God.
The Day of Atonement involves not only the forgiveness of sin; it pictures the removal of the primary cause of sin, Satan.
Satan is the author of sin
The Day of Atonement involves not only the forgiveness of sin; it pictures the removal of the primary cause of sin—Satan and his demons. Until God removes the original instigator of sin, mankind will simply continue to fall back into disobedience and suffering. Although our human nature has a part to play in our sins, Satan the devil bears great responsibility for influencing mankind to disobey God.
Even though many people doubt the existence of a devil, the Bible reveals Satan as a powerful, invisible being who can sway all man-kind. Revelation:12:9 tells us that his influence is so great that he “deceives the whole world.”
The devil blinds people to the understanding of God’s truth. The apostle Paul explained this to the Corinthians: “If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians:4:3-4).
Paul also teaches us that Satan has influenced every human being to walk in the ways of disobedience. He notes that those called into God’s Church “once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians:2:2). Paul warned the Corinthians that Satan can present himself as righteous to lead people astray: “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians:11:14-15).
Yahushua Mashiach plainly stated that Satan introduced sin and rebellion into the world. In John:8:44 Christ declared to those who were antagonistic to His teaching: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Tying these scriptures together allows us to see the power and the influence of Satan. Paul warned us to beware of the deceitful methods of the devil: “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ
” (2 Corinthians:11:3, NIV).
Christians who struggle to resist Satan and stop sinning fight a spiritual battle against the devil and his demons. Paul explains: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness” (Ephesians:6:12, NASB).
Paul further explains here that Yahushua Mashiach will deliver us from the influence of the devil (verses 13-18). Of course, God is much more powerful than Satan, but we must do our part by actively resisting the devil and the pulls of the flesh (James:4:7). The Day of Atonement looks forward to the time during which Satan’s deception will be removed and he will no longer be free to influence and deceive mankind (Revelation:20:1-3).
To be continued…