Things are changing rapidly around the world and, more specifically, here in the U.S. Yes, that is a huge understatement, especially when we consider it from a spiritual perspective. In a recent survey put out by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research, 53% of adults in our country now believe that scripture is not literally true. That is up from 41% in 2014. Spiritually speaking, the scale has tipped.
What is the significance of this data? It means that the majority of Americans are now disbelieving in God. If His word is not true, then in essence, they have no spiritual foundation. The Apostle Peter describes this condition and what it means. “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Act 4:11-12, ESV). Christ, and therefore our Father, have been rejected by the majority. The problem is that those who might still in their own minds desire some sort of spiritual deliverance or salvation, will not be able to attain it. Without genuine faith in God, a person can easily be deceived into believing in a false Christ.
There is always a counterfeit for Christ. “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14, NKJV). If Christ is rejected, it is because Satan has deceitfully masqueraded himself to look like Christ. He is the living representation of evil that has been made to look good. An undiscerning mind is not able to distinguish between the two. That is one of the great lessons of the Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement symbolizes God and man being set together as one. That unity can only happen when the great deceiver/counterfeiter, Satan, has been identified and banished from a believing humanity. From Leviticus 16 we know that he is represented as one of two goats to be presented before God on the Day of Atonement. “And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel” (Leviticus 16:8, ESV). One goat was to represent Christ and the other was a symbol of Azazel – the goat of departure. Satan the devil is the one who departed from and turned away from God. He is Azazel.
In symbol, the goats looked so much alike that lots had to be cast to determine which one was which. Today, looking at the data, we can know for certain why the spiritual scale has tipped away from God. We can also clearly see why we are commanded to fast and draw close to God on the Day of Atonement. That is the course of the believing, and therefore the discerning, who will be at one with God.