The Binding of Satan Pictured on the Day of Atonement

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The Binding of Satan Pictured on the Day of Atonement

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Jesus Christ’s second coming (Revelation 19:11-16 Revelation 19:11-16 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a clothing dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he has on his clothing and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
American King James Version×
) will be followed almost immediately by the devil being bound by one of God’s angels: “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:2-3 Revelation 20:2-3 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
American King James Version×
).

Every year in ancient Israel one segment of the solemn ceremonies held on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) pictured the time when Satan’s deception of “the whole world” (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×
) would be stopped. The people were instructed: “Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement [as a sacrificial cleansing] is made for you before the Lord your God. Anyone who does not deny himself [by fasting] on that day must be cut off from his people” (Leviticus 23:28-29 Leviticus 23:28-29 28 And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For whatever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
American King James Version×
, NIV).

The events of that day were rich in symbolism. The main feature of that day’s ceremonies was the selection of two goats, the first to serve as a type of Christ’s atoning sacrifice for cleansing Israel of her sins committed in ignorance and the second to represent the removal of Satan.

“The Lord said to Moses: Tell your brother Aaron not to come just at any time into the sanctuary inside the curtain before the mercy seat that is upon the ark . . . Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place . . . He shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering . . . He shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting; and Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel [to represent Satan’s role in promoting sin]” (Leviticus 16:2-8 Leviticus 16:2-8 2 And the LORD said to Moses, Speak to Aaron your brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is on the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud on the mercy seat. 3 Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches on his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen turban shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. 5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. 7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8 And Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
American King James Version×
, NRSV).

Leviticus 16:15-16 Leviticus 16:15-16 15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remains among them in the middle of their uncleanness.
American King James Version×
state: “He shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering [representing the shed blood of Christ] that is for the people and bring its blood inside the curtain . . . sprinkling it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. Thus he shall make atonement for the sanctuary, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins” (NRSV).

This goat symbolized Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice for the sins of all humanity. But additional spiritual cleansing must be done. Satan’s evil influence, not only over the Israelites but also over all of humanity, must also be removed before Jesus Christ can fill the earth with true righteousness.

Leviticus 16:21-22 Leviticus 16:21-22 21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands on 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 on the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the goat shall bear on him all their iniquities to a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
American King James Version×
: “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and sending it away into the wilderness by means of someone designated for the task. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a barren region; and the goat shall be set free in the wilderness” (NRSV).

Like Satan, this goat is sent to an uninhabited location where he can do no harm. The ceremonial banishing of this male goat, with all the blame for the deception and sin of Israel (and the whole world) placed on him, was intended as a portrayal of the banishment of Satan when Jesus Christ returns to set up His Kingdom.

To learn more about Satan and his influence on the world, and how it will finally be brought to an end, read the free Bible study aid booklet Is There Really a Devil?