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The Scapegoat and the Sanctuary — 39 Comments

  1. William, through the years there has been several intriguing questions concerning the Day of Atonement exercises that have mystified me that never have been fully answered:
    • Why were two goats involved? Why not one goat and one lamb or one goat and one calf which could represent Baal? Why were lots cast rather than explicitly declaring what the first goat was to be and then the second?
    I have always wondered if texts such as "For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:14 NKJV) and the business of the serpent in the wilderness (Num 21:8; ref Jn 3:14) along with, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us" (2 Cor. 5:21 NKJV) has something to do with the ambiguous nature of the selection.
    • Why did the High Priest take off all the ornamental trappings and enter the Most Holy Place with clothing that consisted essentially of white linen only. The sash is the only item of clothing that raises a question on this because it had scarlet and blue threads in it unless there was a set of clothes specifically set aside for that day. Since there is nothing specifically said about a special set of clothing we must assume those items were the same as normally worn.
    Matthew Henry comments on this:

    The attire of the high priest in this service. He was not to be dressed up in his rich garments that were peculiar to himself: he was not to put on the ephod, with the precious stones in it, but only the linen clothes which he wore in common with the inferior priests, v. 4. That meaner dress did best become him on this day of humiliation; and, being thinner and lighter, he would in it be more expedite for the work or service of the day, which was all to go through his hands. Christ, our high priest, made atonement for sin in our nature; not in the robes of his own peculiar glory, but the linen garments of our mortality, clean indeed, but mean. (Matthew Henry Commentary on Lev 16:4)

    Even though I can see Matthew Henry's point I feel there is more to it than that. I wonder if the controversy between Christ and Satan has something to do with the whole thing. For instance why was it said of the Old Testament prophets, "To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven-- things which angels desire to look into: (1 Pet. 1:12 NKJV). What was it about what the New Testament manifested that drew the interest and curiosity of the angels? Furthermore, if the entire church is the body of Christ with Jesus being the head or the entire church was the building while Jesus is the cornerstone then was the church the only thing being judged and justified on the Day of Atonement? Was Jesus also being justified? If so why?

  2. Let me share some thoughts that I have recently considered on this subject of the scapegoat found in Leviticus 16.

    Our first need is to understand the meaning of atonement. It is simply to be at-One again with God. Satan will not in death be at One with God, so how does he figure into this at-one-ment brought about by the scapegoat?! May I suggest it is for OUR at-one-ment, not his. Keep reading...

    Perhaps this is where others (rightfully) are concerned with our claims of the scapegoat being satan.

    True atonement is when there is nothing between us and God, and sin is a true obstacle, and so would be any accusations or reminders of those sins. (Do you see where this is going?)

    Let's consider the woman who was dragged before Jesus (and all those present with Him, which was usually a large crowd. Keep in mind she was probably there without her clothing, hopefully wrapped in a sheet at least. Either way her guilt was obvious.), and compare this with the principle of the scapegoat. Could this woman have been "at one" with Jesus if the accusers remained, constantly reciting their eye-witness report with exact detail? The very first thing Jesus did for her was remove her accusers, then He gave no accusation Himself, which was lawful for He was not an eye-witness (along with other infractions of the law concerning this case) and therefore could not witness against her. Also, He was headed towards the shedding of His blood for her sin, "according to the scriptures". He also saw the true contrition in her heart that now existed due to this turn of events that helped her see more clearly her true guilt and the sinfulness of her deed. The right kind of guilt can bring wonderful change to our understanding, which God often allows for our own good.

    Could you have perfect at-one-ment with Jesus in heaven if Satan were allowed to remind all who are there of your sins? Remember, he is the "accuser of the brethren" and accuses "day and night". That's his mission in life and only in his removal from the camp will this end. Jesus will silence him forever as demonstrated by the ritual of the scapegoat, and with him the very remembrance of our sinful record will be gone from the camp forever. The sanctuary will be clean of all record of wrong forever! (Who is the sanctuary? Rev 21:22)

    Psalm 37 says that the saved will "delight themselves in the abundance of peace". Perfectly AT ONE with God, without one remaining record of their sins. Jesus' blood paid for every sin that is found in the sanctuary (placed there by true repentance and faith in Jesus) and removed with the accuser, and notice, that in Leviticus 16, there is no blood shed by the scapegoat, which is required for the remission of sin. Satan will die for his sins, which includes purposefully tempting me into sin.

    The record of our sins and any reminders by Satan will be gone...forever. Only Jesus' scars will remind us of why we will have perfect peace throughout eternity, and He has promised to "remember your sins no more" and has removed our accuser.

    This is my 5¢ on this subject presently. Perhaps someone else will shed more light? I only know that I'm glad about the tidings concerning the removal of our accuser from the "camp", and that all those who remain behind will be just like Jesus, who remembers...no more!

    • Robert I agree with you totally, Heaven would not be a very pleasant place if the devil was allowed to go around constantly accusing everyone. Certainly the plan of salvation was put in place to get rid of sin and those that cling to it.

      As for the word "atonement" I can agree that the separation of God and His people will be one of the major things that will be healed so that both will be "at-one-ment." The word itself is strange and according dictionary.com had its origin, "1505–15; from phrase at one in harmony + -ment, as translation of Medieval Latin adūnāmentum" (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atonement). Apparently William Tyndale wanted a Bible that was understandable to the common Englishman and used better understood words in his Bible translation rather than theological ones besides he was at odds with the Roman Catholic understanding of several words. The word "atonement" was one of those he used in substitution. From his translation it found its way into the King James Version and on to more modern translations.

      The Hebrew word that "atonement" is translated from is "kaphar" {kaw-far'} which many people will recognize as camphor, that has a "strong, aromatic odor" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camphor). A derivation of that word is used that way by Solomon, "Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard (Song of Solomon. 4:13 KJV) which is translated in the NKJV as, "Fragrant henna." According to Strongs data the word used here (kopher) comes from kaphar (the one in Deuteronomy) so the two words are very closely related.

      What is even more interesting is that both words are also used for Noah covering the ark, "Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch (kaphar) it within and without with pitch (kopher) (Gen. 6:14 KJV). The New King James Version renders the verse, "Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch" (Gen. 6:14 NKJ) which brings up the base usage of the word, "to cover." According to strongs data the main definition of kaphar is, "1) to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch."

      Tyndale had a problem with the Day of Atonement actually being a "day of covering." To him that didn't make much sense for the average person so he used the word atonement instead but it actually makes perfect sense in that is what justification does; it covers our sins by declaring us sinless. That to me that is what the Day of Atonement is all about - justifying the body of Christ while laying the blame where it belongs.

      • Tyler, thank you very much for bringing out the original meaning for the word translated as "atonement" in the English Bible. It puts a whole different slant on things. (Incidentally, it is the same point brought out by my husband Andy who was doing a study of the word "atonement."

        It seems that almost all English translations have followed Tyndale's lead in using the word "atonement" for "kaphar."

        The word "atonement" has taken on a totally different meaning in society than the original word "kaphar." I believe that most people look at "atonement" as something that is paid to make up for a transgression.

        I note that Luther translates the same term in the OT with a word meaning "reconciliation" (Versoehnung). That harmonizes with Paul's teaching.

        I note that even the KJV uses the word "atonement" only once in the NT, and that is in Romans 5:10. Again, Luther translates it as "reconciliation." Of all English translations, it seems that the CEB uses "reconciliation" more often than the others, though it also uses "atonement" frequently. The NLT translates the KJV's "received the atonement" as "made us friends with God."

        Some food for thought here ...

        • Some food? A feast you mean!
          I did have difficulty as well because my understanding is also reconciliation as opposed to payment.

          I have a little disagreement or difficulty with saying that we can "pay for" our own sins.
          Who exactly are we "paying"?

          I more understand the text to mean that *sin* pays us the wage, which is death.

        • Andrew I can see it both ways. Yet Ellen White says, " He paid the whole debt for all who would believe in him as their personal Saviour." -Signs of the Times May 30, 1895. Jesus paid the debt. Sin did not pay Jesus. Either way we "pay the consequences."

    • Robert you said, "Who is the sanctuary? Rev 21:22." That is certainly true but the text is speaking of a time after the Second Advent when all things are made new. However, Jesus did equate the sanctuary with Himself (Jn 2:19-21) during His ministry on earth but was He only thinking of Himself?

      The thing is that Jesus identifies Himself so closely with His church that He becomes one with us where He is the vine and we are the branches (Jn 15:5). He is the head and we are the other parts (Col 1:18; 1 Cor 12:12). He is the cornerstone and we are the different parts of the temple (Eph 2:19-22) which we are (1Cor 3:17). He also says that we are one with Him just as He is one with the Father (Jn 14:20).

      Besides that the controversy is over the character of God. The Godhead was maligned by Satan and was made to appear like Satan is. Because of that the righteous needed to be justified in the eyes of the universe (see Deut 25:1 and ask yourself how the righteous can be justified). That is one of the big reasons why the cross was so important for it showed everyone the real characters on both sides of the battle. So, in a way the cross provides a kind of judgment where it not only justifies the repentant sinner but also justifies the Son of God.

      There are also other reasons for considering the entire body of Christ (including Jesus) as being symbolized in the sanctuary. Certainly Jesus is the High Priest but there was also a levitical priesthood that did most the priestly ministry during the year under the supervision of the high priest which included assistance in the sacrifices and maintenance of the sanctuary such as the lighting of the lamps in the tent and burning the incense. While Jesus today is our High Priest we are a, "chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" (1 Pet. 2:9 NKJV) and He, "has made us kings and priests to His God and Father (Rev. 1:6 NKJV). All of this makes the levitical priesthood a type of the church that functions in the same capacity today. So, in every way we are also symbolized by the sanctuary and involved in the services of the sanctuary as part of the intercessory process.

  3. I think being right with God, has to do with things being made right, whether it be death or life, the appropriate needed action has been taken to deal with sin in God's eyes. Also, we don't ever talk about the other angels' sins. What will be done to deal with them in Judgement? Is the scapegoat (Satan) atoning for all the sins of the angels that he tempted into destruction? When are their deaths to happen?

  4. How were persons forgiven between the time of Adams sin and the establishment of the earthly sanctuary with the work of the earthly priests and the sacrifice of the lambs?

    Also, why would the heavenly sanctuary require cleansing as in Hebrews 9:23?

    • Katrena, that is a good question I hear often. The answer is found in Revelations 13:8. Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. From Adams sin to our sin we all are saved by the blood of Jesus. This is seen again in Titus 1:2 "in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.'

      Your second question about Hebrews 9:23 is answered in Monday's section of this week's lesson. https://ssnet.org/blog/2012/12/heavenly-sanctuary-part-2/

    • The sacrificial offerings for sin were given first in Eden after Adam and Eve sinned. Before the sun set they were reconciled by the offering of animals as shown in Genesis 3:21. If this was not the case, Adam and Eve would have died that day, and their death would have been eternal. This was the "promise" of God to them if they ate of the forbidden tree.

      But upon their sin, Grace was offered and accepted. It wasn't until Abraham raised the knife that God interposed and provided a substitute for Isaac. God knows best how to teach us truth and uses the best ways to help keep it before us.

      These offerings were passed down to each generation that would accept them and we see Able, Noah, Abraham and others showing their faith in our Redeemer through these offerings. In time, the knowledge of God was nearly forgotten in Egypt and God set up the Sanctuary services to teach the lost truths to a nation expected to share these truths with all the world, and today, these truths continue to instruct us if we will accept them by faith.

  5. Robert you bring another slant to the Sanctuary which is valid. The sanctuary is an awesome topic which can never be exhausted. There are many ways to look at the sanctuary and plan of salvation. One being right, does not make the others wrong. All these views together help make the whole. I am not saying every opinion is correct. I am saying there are many correct opinions.

    Kelli, according to Matthew 25:41 the devil and his angels meet their doom in the lake of fire at the end of the world. After the thousand years. Satan is their leader and is most responsible. The angels, like Satan atone for their sin by dying an eternal death.

    To answer both your questions, at-one-ment means to be on even terms. It does not necessarily mean a friendly relationship. It can also mean a business or legal relationship, where both parties are on equal terms, nothing being owed to the other. If I back my car into your car, I can atone for it by paying for your car to be repaired, but that does not mean that you and I will be hanging out together as best friends all the time now. It simply means I have atoned for the damage I caused to your car and there are no more hard feelings. At that point we can each go our own separate ways.

    Romans 6 says the wages of sin is death. Wages don't have to come with a relationship. When I supervised the package car loaders at UPS I was friends with the loaders, but they really did not need me to be. They just needed me to give them their wages and I just needed them to load the package cars. The wages did not have to involve a friendship or relationship. Satan pays he wages and atones for his sin with no friendship. However Romans 6:23 also points out that the gift of God is eternal life. Gifts usually involve a relationship. This is what God hopes we choose.

    • William, I agree with you on atonement not having to be a positive friendly thing. It is just absolutely necessary because God is just. Thanks so much for the text in Matthew regarding the evil angels. They aren't talked about alot. I think people often think sin is only human and that there is only Jesus, the devil, and us involved in the Great Controversy. They must die too before sin will end.

    • The focus of Jesus' prayer in John 17 is Oneness between God and man, made possible only through Him. His life and death alone can bring this to pass as there is no other way for it to be achieved with God and the sinful race on earth. The Sanctuary teaches this truth through it's types, and yes, this is an inexhaustible subject. I can see the broader meanings that might be applied to kaphar whether with Satan or the Saints, but given the prayer of Jesus and the purpose of His whole existence on earth as a man, I do not see Satan reconciled except as he acknowledges God's Truth and Justice. I can see that, as it is written: "every knee shall bow and tongue confess..." And what is the evidence that seems to bring this to pass? The redeemed from the earth and their complete healing from sin and sinning. This is how Satan is overcome by them. (Rev 12:11) In a moment of honesty, even Satan will acknowledge God as good and himself as erring, but without repentance.

      I pray that soon the evidence of complete atonement will be seen in God's people.

      I appreciate all the thoughts expressed on this subject.

      • I should add that I agree with you William, there are many wonderful facets to Truth and together they add to it's brilliance and beauty. In this case, your thoughts add more to what I have understood and the view is becoming more complete, even though through eternity it will never find completion. God is gracious. There can be no narrow interpretations to all that the Infinite God has revealed and continues to reveal to those who do His will. Obedience opens the door to understanding and that is our part in this search for complete atonement with our Creator and Redeemer. (for anyone who might think this: I am not talking about obedience in my own strength, but rather, being fully surrendered to the power of our promised Helper, and dying to self as a living sacrifice in order to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.)

  6. Hi William,

    I love what you wrote: "However Romans 6:23 also points out that the gift of God is eternal life. Gifts usually involve a relationship. This is what God hopes we choose."
    Relationships, where people are free to really exchange what is in their hearts and minds, are hard to come by. It is easy to have acquaintances. It's easy to talk to people or listen to people and not have a relationship. To love others and accept them and truly care is not common. Somehow, in the church, we have to get to the point where we can have relationships with each other and love each other, even if we don't agree with each other. Then we will demonstrate the reality of the atonement. Jesus is waiting to come back for a body of believers.

    You also wrote in another place: "The word Salvation comes from the Word salve which means to heal. The atonement, seeing Satan is repsonsible for suffering, not God, heals our relationship with God." I didn't know the meaning of the word salvation. God wants to heal our relationship with Him and the proof that our relationship is healed is loving others.

    Thanks for another thought provoker and thanks to everyone who wrote their ideas.

  7. Can anyone "atone" for his own sins? He can certainly pay for them by dying. But then he is dead and gone. Then there is not only a lack of "one-ness", there is no relationship at all. Consistent with Robert's comments, in Leviticus 16:10, it is the priest who is making the atonement, doing it because of the sins of the people, sins which would separate them from God. The goat is not making atonement for itself. Nor does the destruction of the originator of sin bring him into harmony with God, even in business sense. Satan will be gone.

  8. Thanks everyone for your comments. John, Ellen White answers your question in Great Controversy page 485-6. " In the typical service the high priest, having made the atonement for Israel, came forth and blessed the congregation. So Christ, at the close of His work as mediator, will appear, "without sin unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:28), to bless His waiting people with eternal life. As the priest, in removing the sins from the sanctuary, confessed them upon the head of the scapegoat, so Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, the originator and instigator of sin. The scapegoat, bearing the sins of Israel, was sent away "unto a land not inhabited" (Leviticus 16:22); so Satan, bearing the guilt of all the sins which he has caused God's people to commit, will be for a thousand years confined to the earth, which will then be desolate, without inhabitant, and he will at last suffer the
    full penalty of sin in the fires that shall destroy all the wicked. Thus the great plan of redemption will reach its accomplishment in the final eradication of sin and the deliverance of all who have been willing to renounce evil.

  9. William, the issue of scapegoat is misinterpreted in this article. Leviticus 16:21 clearly states that after the ministration of the high priest in the sanctuary, he comes out ate the door/gate of the Sactuary and confesses all sins onto the scapegoat. A symbolic process of transferring the sins from the sanctuary to the scapegoat. The cleansing process of the sactuary would not have been completed without this process. This to me is the waste pipe which cannot be ignored if you need to have a clean kitchen or a washroom.

    • Henderson, I'm not certain just what you are referring to. However, it seems to me that Lev 16:20 indicates that the cleansing of the sanctuary was complete before the sins were pronounced upon the head of the scape goat. In one sense I think that the cleansed sanctuary represents God being justified before the universe. No one blames Him for the sin problem any more. (There are other aspects as well.)

      Yet the use of the "waste pipe" is still needed to cleanse the whole universe of the sin problem forever. For that, the blame for all the sins Satan caused God's people to commit were rolled back on Satan, the scape goat. When he perishes, the issue is forever solved.

      I thought the whole subject was covered in William's post. Could you be more specific about your concern? Do you have something specific to add to the discussion?

  10. Since atone means "to become reconciled", "to bring into agreement",and atonement is "the act of atoning", Jesus Christ's death is the only death, which could satisfy the law's requirement for human beings to die an eternal death. In the earthly sanctuary, the high priest did not represent Jesus Christ. The Lord's goat represented Him. And, the Lord's goat's blood removed the sins and reconciled the congregation to God. Sin separates us from God, and its removal permits us to be reconciled to Him. The scapegoat received the punishment for sin, but it did not remove sin from the earthly sanctuary. It was not the atoning agent! However, Lev. 16:10 says, “But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him .." Clearly, the scapegoat had a role to play in atonement, and that role was to symbolically receive the eternal punishment for sin. Likewise, Satan will receive the eternal punishment for sin. So will everyone who rejects Jesus Christ's offer to remove sin from their life and be reconciled to God. How beautiful and how simple and wonderful is God's plan of salvation!

    • Melvin, actually there is a choice here concerning the satisfying of the broken law. Death is the price(wages) of sin and it doesn't matter which death it is. Choice A: myself, would result in the law being justified but would leave me in an eternal grave. Choice B: Jesus' death on my account, would grant me eternal life.

      Jesus' death is not the only death that can atone, but it is the only death that can save me from the penalty which is eternal death. He did not remain dead because He was sinless, but I am not.

      Concerning the High Priest, it is Jesus represented as clearly revealed in the book of Hebrews. He alone can offer Himself for us and continues in that office at this time until He is finished. He is the lamb,the red heifer, the bullock, the Lord's Goat, the incense, the veil, the bread, the light, the coverings, etc. These all are they which testify of "Him". There is only one Savior and it is Jesus. The scapegoat is clearly our accuser. With his removal from the camp "alive" (he sheds no blood in this ceremony, but will ultimately die) our accusations will be removed forever. They are only in the sanctuary today because as with Job, Moses and all the brethren, Satan accuses "day and night" without ceasing. But this service points to the day of him being silenced forever. I have come to realize that complete atonement includes even the removal of the reminder of our sin, though forgiven.

      Forgiveness = forgetting.

      Ultimately, Satan will die for his sins, which include tempting me to sin. He will not pay for my sinning, Jesus did that, but he will pay for his sin of purposefully leading me to sin with intent to steal me from our heavenly Father. Satan breaks the whole law with his efforts to lead us to sin.

  11. Henderson, are you referring to my post, or the post by Ellen White in Great Controversy, Pages 485-6 where she clearly says Satan is the scapegoat? I am not sure if that is what you are referring to, or maybe you did not read that comment. God's prophets have the final word for me.

    • It seems to me that the conclusion in GC 485-486 that Satan is the scapegoat drives the study of who the scapegoat represents; rather than letting the study and biblical analysis of who the scapegoat represents drive toward a conclusion.
      What biblical analysis concerning the representation of the scapegoat has been conducted? Does the Bible say that Satan will be the ultimate bearer of the sins of the saved? It is common knowledge that the Jews held the notion of the scapegoat representing Satan. But with all the New Testament evidence of Jesus as the sin bearer and Peter's note regarding Jesus, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree..." (1Pe 2:24)could one find any better parallel on the day of atonement that the scapegoat "bare our sins in his own body"? Surely, the Lord's goat did not bear the sins of the congregation although it's blood was the vital ingredient in the expitation rite. Did the Jews have any idea of Christology in the sanctuary rituals?

  12. The selection of two goats “for a sin offering” (Lev 16:5) on the Day of Atonement, is the only instance in the Jewish ritualistic worship where two goats form “a sin offering” – one offering.

    Leviticus shows that making a sin offering identifies 6 definite steps.
    1. Animal’s selection.
    2. Presentation to God.
    3. Transfer of sin to the animal’s head -atonement
    4. Killing the animal - atonement
    5. Sprinkling of blood - atonement
    6. Animal’s disposal.
    This order is important for the successful execution of the ritual.

    Although the Day of Atonement sin offering has these 6 steps, using two goats for this sin offering, coupled with the cleansing of the sanctuary (rather than defiling the sanctuary), requires creative adjustment for the successful execution of the ritual, causing a partial reversal of the order of proceedings as seen below.

    1. Selection of the animals
    2. Both are presented to God (Lev. 16:7). (As if to reinforce the concept that the scapegoat formed part of the sin offering, he is again presented before the Lord (Lev. 16:10) at the time of the final rite of expiation.) Lots are cast - one goat as the Lord’s goat of the sin offering, the other as the scapegoat of the sin offering.
    Then comes a reversal of the established order.
    3. The Lord’s goat of the sin offering is killed (Lev. 16:14, 15) without the laying of hands on the head of the animal and confession of sins over it.
    Why this departure from the established procedure? The sins to be transferred to the goat must be first cleansed out of the sanctuary and borne by the High Priest, before they can be transferred to the goat. At the time of the killing of the Lord’s goat, the High Priest was not yet bearing the sins of the congregation.
    4. The High Priest now sprinkles the blood on everything to be cleansed. Now, bearing all of Israel’s transgressions, he can make atonement with the goat, transferring the sins of the congregation to its head. But lo, the goat is already dead!! What a dilemma! The need for the second goat is now made abundantly apparent. One goat as a sin offering is totally inadequate here. Two goats are therefore necessary for this special sin offering to complete the cleansing.
    5. Standing yet alive before the Lord is the scapegoat of the sin offering. (Lev. 16:10). Now the High Priest can confess over him all the transgressions of Israel and it is made to bear the guilt of all the congregation. Thus the reason for the reversal of steps 3, 4 and 5 of the procedure and the use of two goats!
    The Lord’s goat of the sin offering pays the penalty for sin and its blood cleanses the sanctuary; the scapegoat of the sin offering bears the sin and guilt of the congregation! The Day of Atonement sin offering can only be accomplished with two goats – the Lord’s goat and the scapegoat - two goats – one offering.
    6. The disposal of the animals.
    One goat cannot be used in this day of atonement sin offering for the high priest cannot enter the Most Holy place without blood. The one goat must necessarily be killed to begin the cleansing ritual; the other left to stand alive before the Lord for atonement to be made with it. Both goats must represent Jesus our sin offering for He paid the death penalty and also bore our sins.

    • Yes, the goats were both blameless!! The sins of the people were transferred to a blameless/spotless goat... this cannot be Satan.. he is not blameless or spotless!!

      • Amanda, do you have a better interpretation that fits within the sanctuary demonstration of the plan of salvation? Where do you get the certainty that the scapegoat represents a "blameless" being? Remember that the goat representing Christ had already died in the cleansing ritual.

      • Inge, while Amanda can give you her own answer, her thoughts doesn't strike me as misaligned with Scripture. God required the victims offered as sin offerings to be "without blemish" (Lev 4:3,23,28,32). Furthermore Scripture declares sin offerings to be "most holy" (Lev 6:25-26).

        Sis White and others understood "azazel" to be the type representing Satan, which naturally our church has taught. I'm sensitive to the difficulty this presents us as an organization, but no one who reads Lev 16 can say it depicts anything other than TWO animals "WITHOUT BLEMISH" doing ONE WORK of making "ATONEMENT" for PERSONS HAVING SIN (Lev 16:5,10). In fact, while Lev 16:5 identifies both animals as "sin offerings" on the people's behalf, it only says explicitly of the one we understand to be a type of Satan as securing "atonement" (Lev 16:10,21) for the people. Only in an indirect way does that chapter say that of "the Lord's" goat that is killed (Lev 16:15-16). Leviticus 16 has caused us a lot of theological pain over the years and we've been too scared (by Sis White's recorded understanding) to seek the Great Physician for care.

        • Hi Lynrol, again as is explained in the post, the goat sent into the wilderness atones for its own sin by dying an eternal death. The wages of sin is death, and those who die the 2nd death will atone for their sins.

          • William, based solely on Leviticus 16 I see some problems with your understanding of the symbols.
            1) Where within that chapter does it state that azazel is perishing "for its own sin by dying an eternal death"? However, that chapter is rife with the teaching that the second goat apparently perishes and secures "atonement" for INDIVIDUALS HAVING SIN (Lev 16:10,15-16,22,30,33-34). Does this concept resonate with the one you appear to be defending, or more with Isaiah's (Isaiah 53:5), John's (Jn 1:29), Jesus' (Jn 6:51) and His Apostles (1 Pt 2:24-25; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Jn 2:2)?

            2) What does "atonement" involve?
            William, atonement means that a fractured or estranged relationship becomes repaired. What are the elements necessary for the repair of a damaged relationship?
            Let's imagine just one awful but real occurrence that takes place, I'm sure, hundreds of times around the world daily: a male rapes a female. If that male is arrested or even killed by an angry group of relatives/friends, does the perpetrator's demise REMOVE the female's traumatic memory, anger, guilt, distrust of other males, fear of being alone etc? Does it minister to her father, mother, siblings, husband (if she's married) etc with their trauma, anger, suspicion/judgment and fear? Atonement, by its very meaning, MUST restore ONENESS between violator and violated (2 Cor 5:18-20; Mt 5:43-44; Eph 2:14-17). God sent His Son to minister to REAL people, with REAL SIN ROOTED WITHIN and any doctrine that suggests that Satan's removal restores humanity's broken relationship with our Creator and among ourselves diminishes the nature and scope of the Gospel of God's Christ (Heb 13:20-21)--not to mention the inherent danger of attributing to satan the work of God (1 Jn 3:8-9; Mt 12:24,28).

            • Lynrol, unfortunately an atonement does not always mean the relationship is repaired, or that there was any telationship to begin with. If a throw a rock through a neighbors window, I atone for it by fixing their window regardless if we ever were or will be friends. As stated in the post the goat in the wilderness is symbolic of Satan during the thousand years.

          • William, God purposely made provision for the relationship between Himself and His creation to be atoned for and fully repaired. His only co-providers being His Son (2 Cor 5:19) and, if it isn't too shocking, His Holy Spirit, symbolized in the "suitable (NKJV) or fit (KJV) man" leading "scapegoat" to the wilderness of Earth (Lev 16:21 compare Mk 1:12-13). That unmistakable truth is woven into the symbols of the OT sanctuary system (Lev 4:27,29,31). I also noted your last sentence, "As stated in the post the goat in the wilderness is symbolic of Satan during the thousand years.". It sounds like your final answer, but I'd encourage you to reconsider the evidence of Scripture.

            1) Jesus' own declaration of Himself (Jn 3:14).

            One does not ordinarily associate a "serpent" as a symbol of God's Christ, but that's what He said regarding Himself. That actually settles it for me...but there's more.

            2) Isaiah's declaration of Christ (Isaiah 53:12).

            Isaiah prophesied regarding the dual nature of Christ's ministry by revealing that His Father would appoint Him a place of great honor (Heb 1:3-4) "BECAUSE He POURED OUT His soul unto DEATH", symbolized in "the Lord's goat" (Lev 16:15) "AND He was NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS", symbolized in the "scapegoat" (Lev 16:21) and in harmony with Jesus' own declaration regarding Himself (Jn 3:14; 12:31-33; Gal 3:13).

            3) David's declaration (Ps 40:6-8,12)

            Keeping in mind that Christ is symbolized in both the High Priest (Heb 9:11) and the offerings (Heb 9:14), David revealed that instead of the required "burnt offering and SIN OFFERING" (Lev 16:3 compare Ps 40:6), Scripture says, "my ears You have opened" causing Messiah to "delight to do YOUR WILL, O MY GOD" because God's "law is WITHIN MY HEART" (Ps 40:8). This prophesied unadulterated obedience of Christ to His Father's will would be the FIRST indispensable element of God's reconciliation plan (Heb 10:9-10; 9:14; Jn 8:29). This also harmonizes with the symbol of Aaron (high priest) FIRST putting on "the HOLY linen tunic" (Lev 16:4) on the symbolic day of atonement.

            However, consider the contrast of the unadulterated obedience of Messiah in Ps 40:8 with His depiction in Ps 40:12..."OVERTAKEN" by "MY INIQUITIES...therefore MY HEART FAILS ME", resulting in the Father's abandonment of His Son (Ps 22:1-3)--to benefit INDIVIDUALS HAVING SIN, like me! This is the SECOND, and similarly, indispensable element of God's reconciliation plan taught by the early church (Acts 8:33-35; 1 Pt 3:18; 2 Cor 5:20-21).

            It is not accidental that this SECOND aspect of Messiah's ministry is followed by the high priest's removal of the holy linen tunic (Lev 16:23), symbolizing Messiah's prophesied (Is 53:12) exaltation from High Priest/Offering (Heb 9:7,26) to High Priest/King (Heb 8:1; 7:21-22; 1:3,8-9).
            Again, Leviticus 16 is about God's actual intention for Earth, symbolized in TWO animals "WITHOUT BLEMISH" (Lev 4:23) and "MOST HOLY" (Lev 6:25), for the accomplishment of a SINGLE purpose of RECONCILIATION or "AT-ONE-MENT" (Lev 16:10) of INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE SINNED against God (Lev 4:2). Earth needs to hear the clear truth from God as to whether His RECONCILIATION plan is solely a gift from Him to us (Rom 5:5-6,15,18; Act 15:8-9,11) or a hybrid plan of Him and us or Him and satan.

            • Hi Lynrol,

              Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Please allow me to explain that while I see where you are coming from in how the world atonement is used, to me, in my opinion and understanding it was used for the scapegoat this way.

              make amends or reparation.
              "he was being helpful, to atone for his past mistakes"
              synonyms: make amends for, make reparation for, make restitution for, make up for, compensate for, pay for, recompense for, expiate, redress, make good, offset; do penance for
              "how shall I atone for my mistakes?"

    • Michael Murrell after years of hunting for an explanation that did not require mental gymnastics nor a tome, I daresay I might have found it. I do not accept the SDA explanation. I know that it is incorrect but I just could not find a simple treatment of what was wrong. Thank you. God bless and keep him always.

  13. Michael, I am glad that you appreciate all things coming from Scripture. Fact is, the Bible does not need to come right out and say word for word that Satan is the scapegoat. It is obvious from Scripture that the blame for sin is upon Satan. It is also obvious that while Jesus atones for our sins, He does not atone for Satan's sins. Satan atones for those himself.

    • Robert has hit the nail on the head when he said,
      "Ultimately, Satan will die for his sins, which include tempting me to sin. He will not pay for my sinning, Jesus did that, but he will pay for his sin of purposefully leading me to sin with intent to steal me from our heavenly Father. Satan breaks the whole law with his efforts to lead us to sin."
      Satan pays for tempting me to sin, but when I sin, I must pay for the sin that I comit, not Satan. When I accept Jesus as the ramsom sacrifice for my sins, I accept that He has paid with His blood for my sins, thus I do do not have to pay for those sins - neither does Satan - because they are forgiven, cast innto the depth of the ocean, forgiven and forgotton. (If Rbbert is correct, Forgiveness = forgetting)There are no sins to be placed on Satan, for with forgiveness, those sins no longer exist.
      If our sins are placed on Satan, he therefore, dies not only for his sins but also for our sins - but that cannot be, since those sins have alrady been done away with by the cross event!

  14. I'm now catching up with last weeks lesson study and I came across something strange in the book "Where God and I Meet" by Martin Probstle on page 68. Where is 1 Enoch 10:8 in the Bible?

    • Hi Sheryce,

      As you know, there's no such book in the Bible. It's not even in the usual apocrypha in Catholic bibles. However, the book of Enoch is an apocryphal book probably written in the intertestamental period. Such books (including the books of Maccabees, for instance) are useful insofar as they reflect some of the thinking among Jews at that time. Note that Dr Proebstle just gives the reference. He does not say it is in the Bible.

      For the benefit of other readers, this is the full paragraph which you mention:

      Who or what is "Azazel"? It cannot be the name of the goat or a geographical location, as some have suggested. This would not explain the antithetical mentioning of the names Yahweh and Azazel. Rather, Azazel is a name for a personal being like Yahweh, but antagonistic to Him. (verses 8-10). Azazel must represent Satan. Incidentally, early Jewish interpreters indentified Asasel as the original angelic sinner and prmary author of evil, even as the leader of evil angels, who is responsible for human sin as well: "All the earth has been corrupted by the deds of the teachings of Azazel; and upon him write all the sins" (1 Enoch 10:8)

      We should also mention that Where God and I Meet, The Sanctuary, by Martin Proebstle is available in electronic Kindle format. It is also available in hard-copy at your local Adventist Book Center.

  15. The way I understand it is that Azazel is brought forth after the atonement is complete(Lev 16:20-21).Azazel is not a sacrificial animal representing Christ. He is not blameless. He represents the one who has escaped punishment for all the miseries in the world!Therefore he is also known as the scapegoat which is short for escapegoat. Human beings have suffered ever since sin entered the universe,but Satan has never suffered or felt the pain that he has caused us! Well at the very end for one thousand years just like in the type he will get to feel some of the misery he has caused us by being thrown into a wilderness to think about it for a thousand years.Notice that in Lev 16 the evil goat is not killed as a sacrifice. James White explains it very well in his Bible studies and The Great Controversy chapter about the thousand years parallels the type pretty good.That is the way I see and understand everything when I study it out.I am not knocking other views just giving my view from where I stand.


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