28. The Scapegoat

By John Thiel, The Sanctuary Series, study 28, mp3

This study is a conclusion of the whole sanctuary service. The scapegoat was the last activity in the sanctuary. Everything that was written in the Law of Moses was to be fulfilled concerning Christ and the whole plan of salvation. Everything that the sanctuary unveils, Gods way in the sanctuary, leaves us with one more item.

Leviticus 16:20 And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy [place], and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:  21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon 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 upon 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 upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

This was the final act of the activities of the sanctuary of the whole year of the Hebrews. At the end of the year on the day of atonement all the sins that had been confessed upon the animals that were sin offerings, were transferred in symbol into the sanctuary sprinkled in front of the altar of incense or placed on the horns or eaten by the priest. These sins had now accumulated in the sanctuary and at the end of the year the sanctuary was cleansed and the sins were confessed. The sins of all the Israelites that had been accumulating were now confessed. All the sins were mopped up and taken by the priest and confessed upon the scapegoat.

Leviticus 16:7 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 upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him [for] a sin offering. 10 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, [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

One goat was allotted for the Lord. The other goat was allotted for the scapegoat. The one for the Lord was the sin offering and the other one was not a death sacrifice, it was a live goat sent into the wilderness. Our focus in our study is on the scapegoat. We have studied at length the sin offering which was Christs sacrifice on the cross. This focus of the scapegoat is the question. Of whom does this scapegoat symbolise? All Christendom applies the scapegoat as well as this sin offering and the scapegoat to Jesus.  They can’t accept what Adventism has researched that this is someone else. They identify us as a cult because we do not believe the scapegoat is Jesus. The sacrifice for sin was a sacrifice where in symbol the goat was slain as Jesus was slain and Jesus became a high priest. But what was the scapegoat that was not slain? Who can this be? As we need to establish our doctrines on the bible we will do that, but to trigger our mind to look for it not as a proof but as a trigger point to research we will read Early Writings.

While Jesus had been standing between God and guilty man, a restraint was upon the people; but when He stepped out from between man and the Father, the restraint was removed and Satan had entire control of the finally impenitent. It was impossible for the plagues to be poured out while Jesus officiated in the sanctuary; but as His work there is finished, and His intercession closes, there is nothing to stay the wrath of God, and it breaks with fury upon the shelterless head of the guilty sinner, who has slighted salvation and hated reproof. In that fearful time, after the close of Jesus’ mediation, the saints were living in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. Every case was decided, every jewel numbered. Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while He was in the most holy place were placed upon Satan, the originator of sin, who must suffer their punishment. {EW 280.2}

Here in vision Ellen White was shown that when the work of the heavenly sanctuary was completed, those who had slighted the work of salvation who hated reproof were left without hope and those who had accepted al that had now had their sins removed from the heavenly sanctuary and the sins were now placed upon Satan. Was what she saw in vision true?  The records in the heavenly sanctuary the reception of the people’s sins which are practical living activities which were sinful were transferred into the heavenly machinery which was living creatures. They were recorded in their memory bank as living pictures. Now they were to be transferred to another living creature into his memory bank. That of course was Lucifer.

Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon 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.

An angel who had the key of the bottomless pit lay hold of Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal upon him. The word bottomless pit is translated from the Greek the word abyss which is the same word in meaning as what we read in Genesis were it says the earth was without form and void. The word bottomless pit in the trumpets was the Saracens, the locusts that came up in reference to the desert and it was called a bottomless pit. The word abyss without form and void, empty space wilderness concept is introduced. The meaning of bottomless pit is found in Jeremiah, a place that is empty and void.

Jeremiah 4:23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, [it was] without form, and void; and the heavens, and they [had] no light.

4:24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

4:25 I beheld, and, lo, [there was] no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

4:26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place [was] a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, [and] by his fierce anger.

The wrath of God was poured out after Jesus finished his work in the sanctuary as high priest and the earth was made a wilderness as a consequence of the outpouring of God’s wrath. The cities were all broken down and the earth was without form and void. The word wilderness and without form and void are synonymous. Here is the picture of the scapegoat and the wilderness. Satan was taken and was cast into that bottomless pit, into that wilderness.

Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Lucifer was up there right beside God.

Isaiah 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

14:17 [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners?

14:18 All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.

14:19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.

14:20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, [and] slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

Lucifer has created a wilderness by his activity.  It’s the wilderness that he has created, this planet.  It is the wilderness of his making.  We see that whatever God does it is always in conjunction with what man does.  Man destroys himself, Satan destroys the planet and God says okay that is where you can be.  It is man and Satan in their destructive elements upon the planet.

Isaiah 24:4 The earth mourneth [and] fadeth away, the world languisheth [and] fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.

24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

24:6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

24:19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.

Isaiah 24:22 And they shall be gathered together, [as] prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.

This relates to Revelation 20 that the host of the high ones, Lucifer and his wicked angels are marooned on the planet they have made a wilderness.  The earth is described like bottomless pit.  You can imagine what it looks like if it is rocking two and fro like a drunkard, consider the activities of gravity and what it does to the surface of the earth is like. One person described it like a cement mixer, it’s just mush.  This is the wilderness, the bottomless pit.  Lucifer is the one who carries the sins and iniquities that he himself has affected upon the people so he has to walk amongst the product of his own making. That is what the symbol was.  This is the live goat, not the one who transferred the sins from one to the other but the one that receives the full brunt of the sins that he has been responsible for.  We see this elaborated and expanded upon in Great Controversy. It is nothing unscriptural but what we have been reading in the bible.

Now the event takes place, foreshadowed in the last solemn service of the day of atonement. When the ministration in the holy of holies had been completed, and the sins of Israel had been removed from the sanctuary by virtue of the blood of the sin-offering, then the scape-goat was presented alive before the Lord; and in presence of the congregation of high priest confessed over him “all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.” [Leviticus 16:21.] In like manner, when the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then in the presence of God and heavenly angels, and the host of the redeemed, the sins of God’s people will be placed upon Satan; he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit. And as the scape-goat was sent away into a land not inhabited, so Satan will be banished to the desolate earth, an uninhabited and dreary wilderness.  {GC88 657.3}

The Revelator foretells the banishment of Satan, and the condition of chaos and desolation to which the earth is to be reduced; and he declares that this condition will exist for a thousand years. After presenting the scenes of the Lord’s second coming and the destruction of the wicked, the prophecy continues: “I saw an angel come down from Heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon 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.” [Revelation 20:1-3.]  {GC88 658.1}

Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years. Limited to the earth, he will not have access to other worlds, to tempt and annoy those who have never fallen. It is in this sense that he is bound; there are none remaining, upon whom he can exercise his power. He is wholly cut off from the work of deception and ruin which for so many centuries has been his sole delight.  {GC88 659.1}

Here is bitterly isolated.

For six thousand years, Satan’s work of rebellion has “made the earth to tremble.” He has “made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof.” And “he opened not the house of his prisoners.” For six thousand years his prison-house has received God’s people, and he would have held them captive forever, but Christ has broken his bonds, and set the prisoners free.  {GC88 659.3}

Even the wicked are now placed beyond the power of Satan; and alone with his evil angels he remains to realize the effect of the curse which sin has brought. {GC88 659.4}

For a thousand years, Satan will wander to and fro in the desolate earth, to behold the results of his rebellion against the law of God. During this time his sufferings are intense. Since his fall, his life of unceasing activity has banished reflection; but he is now deprived of his power, and left to contemplate the part which he has acted since first he rebelled against the government of Heaven, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future, when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done, and be punished for the sins that he has caused to be committed.  {GC88 660.1}

Isn’t God a just God?  He permits punishment to be self-inflicted. He causes people to suffer the infliction of their own guilt and Lucifer suffers the most.  Here is the scapegoat.  The scapegoat was not killed, it was left to wander in the wilderness.  Like any goat wandering in the wilderness they can only live so long and eventually come to their death and this is also the case of Satan.

God’s way, thy way O God is in the Sanctuary.  Everything we have studied, all the aspects of God’s way now culminate on dealing with sin and sinners in conclusion.  The psalmist was so perplexed as he considered sin and all his sufferings under sin that he was in perplexity thinking why are the wicked enjoying themselves and he is so conscious of his condition.  He nails it down when it becomes clear to him.

The Wicked

Psalms 73:1 Truly God [is] good to Israel, [even] to such as are of a clean heart.

73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.

73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, [when] I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

73:4 For [there are] no bands in their death: but their strength [is] firm.

73:5 They [are] not in trouble [as other] men; neither are they plagued like [other] men.

He goes on to describe his envy that Gods people tend to be suffering while the wicked are really enjoying themselves.

Psalms 73:13 Verily I have cleansed my heart [in] vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

Psalms 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; [then] understood I their end.

We now understand what he means.  We have seen the end of the wicked in that they came through the wrath of God by rejecting the sacrifice of Jesus by being unwilling to be reproved they finally were destroyed in the wrath of God and Lucifer is left to wander in the morass and now he is left to meditate on all his ways for a whole thousand years. That is the end of the wicked.  Until I went into the sanctuary, until we study the sanctuary we cannot find our way through the perplexities of mind that he describes in Psalm 73. How many times this this happens to me where I look around and I ask why me?  Look at how they have their money.

Psalms 73:7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

Why can’t I have all that wealth?  It sometimes wants to get the better of me.  God wants us to occupy till he comes to live and not make ourselves fat on this planet. This perplexity can only be answered as we study and appreciate the sanctuary.  The final destruction is after the 1000 years where the wicked are resurrected and Satan works with them and the true nature if the wicked had the opportunity to live in the land of the godly they would still do damage it is proven. Then comes the final destruction where they are all obliterated and Satan is finally destroyed but he is suffering the sins those to commit who have been redeemed and submitted themselves to Christ’s work of mediation and sacrifice. The sins are mopped up and placed on him and he has to face the consequence of that.

In conclusion on the series of studies we have gone through, the system of God’s way in the sanctuary that we have covered, there is much greater depth that can be studied into.  We have scratched the surface and there is so much more depth but here is what the early Adventists discovered in the bible.  The whole prophecy of Daniel culminates in this detail.

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

This is to a direct reference to the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary on the day of atonement. The 2300 days pinpoint 1844 and since 1844 the finishing work of the sanctuary culminating in the scapegoat exercise was to take place.

Daniel 8:15 And it came to pass, when I, [even] I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.

8:19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end [shall be].

The explanation of this angel was in reference to the 2300 day prophecy of the cleansing of the sanctuary and it has to do with the last end of the indignation. From 1844 onwards this subject was clearly laid out.

The Pioneers

The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people. As the disciples of Jesus after the terrible night of their anguish and disappointment were “glad when they saw the Lord,” so did those now rejoice who had looked in faith for His second coming. Now in the holy of holies they again beheld Him, their compassionate High Priest, soon to appear as their king and deliverer. Light from the sanctuary illumined the past, the present, and the future. {GC 423.1}

Until I went into the sanctuary then I understood. The subject of the sanctuary as it was portrayed to the pioneers of Adventism was a clear scriptural outline we have studied. It brought to light the position and work of Gods people.

But the people were not yet ready to meet their Lord. There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them. Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in Heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in his ministration there, new duties

would be revealed. Another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church.  {GC88 424.3}

How imperative it is that the subject we have studied be carefully restudied and gone over again.  Here is a complete system of truth that will explain the whole drama to our understanding and we will know what our duties are.  We will know the past present and future thoroughly.  The scapegoat study is a beautiful conclusion so we can gain a courage that we do not need to go through the death pangs of that experience but go through the terrible sufferings now.

1 Timothy 5:24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some [men] they follow after.

That is the painful experience we are to go through now and some others follow after. They are the people who will meet the anguish of soul that we are never to meet. Our series have explored that complete system of truth connected and harmonious.  God’s people are to be developed by the study of this system of truth.  It is imperative that we are connected with the truths taught by the pioneers of Adventism as this has been lost today.  Gods way of dress, food, healing, all these different ways are all part of the system of truth. God’s way of cleaning up the whole mess that we can be part of it needs to be clearly upheld.

After the great disappointment there were few who set themselves to seek the Word with all their heart. But some souls would not settle down in discouragement and deny that the Lord had led them. To these the truth was opened point by point, and entwined with their most hallowed recollections and sympathies. The searchers after truth felt that the identification of Christ with their nature and interest was complete. Truth was made to shine forth, beautiful in its simplicity, dignified with a power and invested with an assurance unknown before the disappointment. We could then proclaim the message in unity.  {2SM 109.4}

How important that the people who are living now can grasp hold of this so we can be in unity with them. It overwhelms me that people are hazy on the old Adventist truths.  As I share these messages and all that has been held dear by original Adventism I find myself a lone preacher with others who have taken hold of this and there is always something missing from those old truths that they were embracing. The spirit of prophecy brings this solemn reality to our attention if we would be Gods people in these last moments of earth’s history. We need to depend on that great system of truth that the pioneers held and developed through their study in the past.

Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His Word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority. {1SM 208.2}

Adventists have raised many other things to take the place of that because this carries this entire system of truth but they are side tracking into other things.  The pioneers sought it out by prayerful study.  Isn’t it precious to be witnesses today of that which has been preserved?  I see it has been lost in so many.  Here is where we are to apply ourselves to this study and with a grip of faith permit nothing to interfere with this as you know how easy it is to be distracted.

In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith. Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years?– Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.  {CW 53.2}

The doctrine that there is no two apartment sanctuary has taken root.  From 1905, fifty years and there you have a system of truth that has been established that Satan has tried and succeeded in the majority to dismantle but we are to hold onto it and to safeguard it.

The Call

As a people we are to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial. We are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we are. The lapse of time had not lessened their value.–  {CW 52.2}

It becomes more intensely valuable in a time where there have been so many twists by false teachers within Adventism so people are in a state of flux and they don’t know anymore.  The lapse of time hasn’t lessened their value but increased. Whatever subject comes in under any guise that is not exactly true to that which has been established must be immediately repulsed.

No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are, is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world.–Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 17.  {CW 52.3}

Today it has been removed a lot of the  it must not even be weakened let alone removed.  This is the call of the study of the sanctuary series.  What we have studied we are to live by.  We are to make this our credentials of being Gods people.  Without this we would just be like the others.  If we have studied carefully into these details and put them into practise and permit nothing to be weakened then our life would be prepared for its final scenes.  Without this we will not be able to stand.  May God help us to take these studies very seriously seeking them out being like the Berean’s going over them to contemplate and to let them affect our life.  Seeing the positions of Gods people so we can stand in those positions.


Further reading;


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Posted on 01/09/2009, in The Sanctuary (Series). Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. xolani zuma

    i wish to know who is the fit man that will take out the goat into the wilderness?


  2. While Jesus had been standing between God and guilty man, a restraint was upon the people; but when He stepped out from between man and the Father, the restraint was removed and Satan had entire control of the finally impenitent. It was impossible for the plagues to be poured out while Jesus officiated in the sanctuary; but as His work there is finished, and His intercession closes, there is nothing to stay the wrath of God, and it breaks with fury upon the shelterless head of the guilty sinner, who has slighted salvation and hated reproof. In that fearful time, after the close of Jesus’ mediation, the saints were living in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. Every case was decided, every jewel numbered. Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while He was in the most holy place were placed upon Satan, the originator of sin, who must suffer their punishment. {EW 280.2}


  3. The wicked suffer the penalty of their own sins in the lake of fire and Satan bears the brunt of the sins of the righteous in the lake of fire. Jesus paid the penalty for all mans sins but its only efficacious if they take hold of the atonement. Satan is dreading it when he will pay for the sins he made the redeemed do. See also;


  4. The scape goat is Jesus Christ. Since when are all of our sins put on Satan? This is another Gospel, or you are saying it is actually Satan that died for our sins. The scapegoat is the resurrected Christ. Does Jesus stay dead in the sanctuary service? Lots were cast right? The lot lands on the goat that is killed. Who is the other goat. The resurrected Christ who bears our sins even to this day in the wilderness. The woman did flee into the wilderness did she not? Is the woman Satan?


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