Fit Man and the Scapegoat
By Present Truth NZ
To understand the Fit Man and the Scapegoat transaction, we need to take our minds back to the time of ancient Israel, to see what was required by God of Israel in relationship to their annual Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement was observed by ancient Israel on the tenth day of their seventh month – originally called Ethanim, and later called Tishri – which corresponds to September and October of our calendar year. This was the day – and the only day of the year – when the high priest went into the second apartment – called the most holy place – of the earthly sanctuary, where the Ark of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments – God’s Covenant – was always placed, and where God’s presence was manifested in the Shekinah Glory.
“Christ Himself was the Lord of the temple. When He should leave it, its glory would depart – that glory once visible in the Holy of Holies over the mercy seat, where the high priest entered only once a year, on the great Day of Atonement, with the blood of the slain victim (typifying the blood of the Son of God shed for the sins of the whole world), and sprinkled it upon the altar. THIS WAS THE SHEKINAH, THE VISIBLE PAVILION OF JEHOVAH.” Bible Commentary Volume 4 1139
“Beyond the second veil was the holy Shekinah, the visible manifestation of God’s glory, before which none but the high priest could enter and live.” Great Controversy 414
“There, above the mercy seat, overshadowed by the wings of the cherubim, dwelt the Shekinah of His glory, the perpetual token of His presence.” That I May Know Him 101
“ON THE TENTH DAY OF THIS SEVENTH MONTH there shall be A DAY OF ATONEMENT: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye 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. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people….Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.” Leviticus 23:27-29; 31,32
“And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.” 1 Kings 8:2
The Jewish month Ethanim was called “the month of gifts”. After the 70 years exile in Babylon, it was called TISHRI, and corresponds to part of our September, and part of our October. It was the first month of the Jewish civil year, and the seventh month of their ecclesiastical year. As you would understand, the 10th day of the 7th month would fall on a different day of the week in every year – sometimes it would fall on the 1st day of the week, or the 5th day of the week, or the 3rd day of the week, and on special occasions it would fall on and coincide with the normal 7th day of the week – the Sabbath. Whatever day of the week in each year on which the annual Day of Atonement fell – that day was regarded by the Jews as more sacred than any other day in their yearly round of religious services. IT WAS ALWAYS KEPT AS A SABBATH DAY AND A FAST DAY – NO MATTER ON WHICH DAY OF THE WEEK IT FELL IN EACH YEAR. The Jewish name for the Day of Atonement is Yom Kippur.
In the year 1997, the Day of Atonement – the 10th day of Tishri – fell on a regular 7th-day Sabbath, and would have been recognized by the Jews as a High Day – like a double Sabbath. On our calendar, it corresponded to the 11th day of October 1997.
Because the Jews do not recognize B.C. or A.D. [through their rejection of Jesus as their promised Messiah], the year 1997 was, to the Jews, the year 5758. In 1998, the 10th day of the 7th month [the Day of Atonement] fell on Wednesday, the 30th day of September [in the Jewish year 5759]. That day was observed as a Sabbath, even though it fell on a Wednesday. In the year 2000, the 10th day of the Jewish 7th month Tishri fell on Monday, the 9th day of October – in the Jewish year 5761. Even though a Monday, that day was religiously observed by the Jews as a Sabbath.
“So sacred is the day regarded, even at the present time, that, although the Jews have rejected Christ…yet when the tenth day of the seventh month comes, no Jew will do any business or work upon that day, however wicked he might be.” S. N. Haskell, The Cross and Its Shadow, page 209
God’s people today, modern Israel, are no longer required to keep the Old Testament Day of Atonement, but the Day of Atonement itself, and all the services and transactions that took place upon that important and significant day in Ancient Israel, have far-reaching lessons and instructions from God to His people who are living in these last days of the earth’s history, just before Jesus comes.
The Special Sin Offerings On The Day Of Atonement
“Thus shall Aaron come into the [Most] Holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle…. And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.” Leviticus 16:3,4,6
On the Day of Atonement the high priest also brought two goats to the door of the Tabernacle. Upon these goats lots were cast to decide which one was to be sacrificed for the Lord, and which was to become the Scapegoat. The goat upon which the first lot fell was slain as a sin offering for the people, and represented Jesus. Its blood was carried into the Most Holy Place, and sprinkled by the high priest with his finger upon the mercy seat above the tables of the Law, and before the mercy seat seven times. The high priest then went into the First Apartment, or Holy Place, and touched the horns of the golden altar of incense with the blood, and sprinkled the blood upon it with his finger seven times. [Leviticus 16:18,19]
“And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering….And he, Aaron, shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. AND AARON SHALL CAST LOTS UPON THE TWO GOATS; ONE LOT FOR THE LORD, AND THE OTHER LOT FOR THE SCAPEGOAT. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 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….Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail..and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat [in the Most Holy Place]…And when he hath made an end of reconciling the Holy Place, and the Tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar [of incense], HE SHALL BRING THE LIVE GOAT, 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: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he [the fit man] shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” Leviticus 16:5-22
“Once a year, on the great Day of Atonement, the priest entered the Most Holy Place for the cleansing of the Sanctuary. The work there performed completed the yearly round of ministration. On the Day of Atonement two kids of the goats were brought to the door of the tabernacle, and lots were cast upon them, ‘one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the Scapegoat.’ The goat upon which fell the lot for the Lord was to be slain as a sin offering for the people. And the priest was to bring his blood within the veil and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. The blood was also to be sprinkled upon the altar of incense that was before the veil. ‘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: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited.’ The Scapegoat came no more into the camp of Israel, and the man who led him away was required to wash himself and his clothing with water before returning to the camp.” Great Controversy 419
The Meaning Of This Transaction
“Since Satan is the originator of sin, the direct instigator of all the sins that caused the death of the Son of God, justice demands that Satan shall suffer the final punishment. Christ’s work for the redemption of men and the purification of the universe from sin will be closed by the removal of sin from the heavenly Sanctuary and the placing of these sins upon Satan, who will bear the final penalty. So in the typical service, the yearly round of ministration closed with the purification of the Sanctuary, and the confessing of the sins on the head of the Scapegoat.” Patriarchs and Prophets 358
WHY SATAN WORKS SO HARD TO TEMPT, ATTACK, DISCOURAGE, AND DESTROY GOD’S PEOPLE, AND TO KEEP AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE IN HIS OWN CAMP
“Satan could still work against the government of God. It would be for his own interest to keep from Jesus as many as possible. FOR THE SINS OF THOSE WHO ARE REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST WILL AT LAST BE ROLLED BACK UPON THE ORIGINATOR OF SIN, AND HE MUST BEAR THEIR PUNISHMENT, WHILE THOSE WHO DO NOT ACCEPT SALVATION THROUGH JESUS WILL SUFFER THE PENALTY OF THEIR OWN SINS.” Early Writings 178
“The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, BUT FOR ALL THE SINS WHICH HE HAS CAUSED GOD’S PEOPLE TO COMMIT. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived.” Great Controversy 673
The first goat, whose blood was shed as a sin offering, represented Jesus. The goat whose blood was NOT shed – the Scapegoat – represented Satan. The sins of Israel were placed upon the Scapegoat [Satan] – by the High Priest [Jesus]. THE SINS OF ISRAEL WERE NOT PLACED UPON THE SCAPEGOAT UNTIL THE MINISTRY IN THE SANCTUARY – REPRESENTING THE WORK OF JESUS AS OUR HIGH PRIEST IN THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY – WAS FINISHED. The Scapegoat was then led into the wilderness to be forever separated from the congregation of Israel.
The mainline Protestant Churches believe and teach that the Scapegoat represents Jesus – because it had the sins of Israel placed upon its head. But the Scapegoat CANNOT represent Jesus – Why? BECAUSE THE SCAPEGOAT NEVER HAD ITS BLOOD SHED; Because the scapegoat was led away into the wilderness; Because the scapegoat was to be forever separated from Israel; AND BECAUSE THE SCAPEGOAT ONLY HAD THE SINS OF ISRAEL PLACED UPON IT AFTER THE YEARLY WORK IN THE SANCTUARY WAS FINISHED.
Jesus shed His blood for the sinner. Jesus was never to be forever separated from the camp of Israel as the Scapegoat was. The Scapegoat represents Satan – not Jesus. Those who say that the Scapegoat represents Jesus as their Saviour are unwittingly worshipping Satan instead of Jesus.
AFTER the high priest had ‘made an end of reconciling the Holy Place, and the Tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar,’ he, in figure, took the sins of all the people upon himself and left the Sanctuary. Anyone who had not confessed his sins at that time, was ‘cut off from among his people.’ In the Sanctuary service, this represented the final close of probation.
Jesus did not die to immediately cancel sin, but His death upon Calvary opened up the way for God to deal with sin. Jesus shed His blood, as was represented to Israel in the shed blood of the sacrificial offerings, so that a means might be provided to transfer sin to the Sanctuary. Jesus made an atonement for the sinner, to release him, through repentance and confession and forgiveness, from the guilt of sin, but He did not die to cancel the sin – until the destruction of all sin and sinners in the lake of fire. The sin was to remain upon the Books of Record until the Final Atonement.
“Important truths concerning the atonement are taught by the typical [Old Testament daily services of the Sanctuary]. A substitute was accepted in the sinner’s stead; BUT THE SIN WAS NOT CANCELLED BY THE BLOOD OF THE VICTIM. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the Sanctuary. By the offering of blood the sinner acknowledged the authority of the Law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the Law. On the Day of Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the Most Holy Place with the blood of this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directly over the Law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and bore them from the Sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the Scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people.” Great Controversy 420
“The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the Law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the Sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the Sanctuary until the Day of Atonement.” Patriarchs and Prophets 357
“Important truths concerning the atonement were taught the people by this yearly service [on the Day of Atonement]. In the sin offerings presented during the year, a substitute had been accepted in the sinner’s stead; but the blood of the victim had not made full atonement for [the blotting out of] the sin. It had only provided a means by which the sin was transferred to the Sanctuary. By the offering of blood, the sinner acknowledged the authority of the Law, confessed the guilt of his transgression, and expressed his faith in Him who was to take away the sin of the world; but he was not entirely released from the condemnation of the Law. On the Day of Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering for the congregation, went into the Most Holy Place with the blood and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, above the tables of the Law. Thus the claims of the Law, which demanded the life of the sinner, were satisfied. Then in his character of mediator the priest took the sins upon himself, and, leaving the Sanctuary, he bore with him the burden of Israel’s guilt. At the door of the Tabernacle he laid his hands upon the head of the Scapegoat and 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.’ And as the goat bearing these sins was sent away, they were, with him, regarded as forever separated from the people. Such was the service performed ‘unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.’ Hebrews 8:5.” Patriarchs and Prophets 355,356
The Correct Teaching Of The Church Pioneers On The Scapegoat Transaction
1:- From “The Cross And Its Shadow” 215,216 – by S. N. Haskell
“While Jesus pleads as our High Priest, there is hope for every repentant sinner; but when He at last comes forth from the Sanctuary, mercy’s door will be forever closed. There will be no Intercessor then. [This will be the final Close of Probation] In the type, when the high priest came out of the Sanctuary, he had ‘made an end of reconciling.’ When our High Priest comes forth from the Sanctuary, He will proclaim, ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ Every case is decided for eternity. PROBATION IS FOREVER ENDED. ALL WHO WAIT UNTIL THAT TIME, HOPING TO BE SAVED, WILL BE ETERNALLY LOST.”
2:- From “Bible Lessons” page 139 [Church publication on Theology]
“When Jesus will come forth from the heavenly Sanctuary and proclaims, ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ – THEN HE WILL PLACE OUR SINS UPON SATAN, THE SCAPEGOAT, the originator of all sin, AND SATAN WILL BEAR THE FINAL PENALTY, first upon this desolate wilderness earth during the thousand years when the redeemed are in heaven, and at last in the lake of fire.”
3:- From “The Cross And Its Shadow” page 216 – by S. N. Haskell
“In the type, AFTER THE HIGH PRIEST had finished the work within the Sanctuary on the Day of Atonement, he came forth bearing the sins of all Israel, and placed them upon the head of the Scapegoat. THE SCAPEGOAT HAD NO PART IN RECONCILING THE PEOPLE TO GOD. THE WORK OF RECONCILING WAS ALL ENDED WHEN THE SCAPEGOAT WAS BROUGHT FORWARD TO ACT HIS PART IN THE SERVICE.”
In the final Judgment, Satan will bear his own sins, AND HE WILL ALSO BEAR, IN ADDITION TO HIS OWN SINS, THE SINS OF ALL THE REDEEMED. The wicked, who have rejected God’s mercy and God’s plan for their salvation through Jesus, will bear their own sins.
Any teaching that tries to show or suggest that Satan only bears HIS PART IN the sins of God’s people, is a wrong teaching. Notice the wrong teaching that has now come into the Church:-
The Wrong “New Theology” Teaching On The Scapegoat Transaction
From Questions on Doctrine pages 397,399
“The other goat [the scapegoat] symbolized Satan, who must bear the responsibility not only for his own sins BUT FOR HIS PART IN all the sins he has caused others, both righteous and wicked, to commit . The other goat [the Scapegoat], we believe, stood for Satan, who is eventually to have rolled back upon his own head, not only his own sins, BUT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR all the sins he has caused others to commit.”
This is contrary to Bible and Spirit of Prophecy teaching. Satan’s responsibility for, and his part in the sins of others, are his own sins anyway. Satan must bear the final punishment for his own sins, BUT HE MUST ALSO BEAR THE FULL PUNISHMENT FOR ALL THE SINS OF THE REDEEMED, NOT JUST HIS PART IN, OR HIS RESPONSIBILITY FOR, THOSE SINS.
In the Old Testament Sanctuary service, the Scapegoat did not have the sins OF THE WICKED placed upon its head at all – only the sins of those who had had their sins transferred to the Sanctuary, through repentance and confession and acceptance of the sacrifice provided to cleanse them from all sin.
That is why Satan fights so hard to keep the wicked in the broad road that leads to destruction, and why he fights so hard to have those who have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus, to backslide again into the broad road that leads to destruction.
That is why he fights so hard to keep lost souls where they are, in a lost condition, and why he fights so hard to have those who do accept Jesus as their Saviour, to give up their allegiance to Him, or to yield to their doubts and their discouragement, and to give up the battle before Jesus finishes the work for their salvation in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and before Jesus comes to claim them as His own.
Satan’s Council With The Evil Angels
“Satan held a council with his angels. He had prevailed nothing against the Son of God, and now they must increase their efforts, and with their power and cunning turn to His followers. THEY MUST PREVENT ALL WHOM THEY COULD FROM RECEIVING THE SALVATION PURCHASED FOR THEM BY JESUS. By so doing Satan could still work against the government of God. ALSO IT WOULD BE FOR HIS OWN INTEREST TO KEEP FROM JESUS AS MANY AS POSSIBLE. FOR THE SINS OF THOSE WHO ARE REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST WILL AT LAST BE ROLLED BACK UPON THE ORIGINATOR OF SIN, AND HE MUST BEAR THEIR PUNISHMENT, WHILE THOSE WHO DO NOT ACCEPT SALVATION THROUGH JESUS WILL SUFFER THE PENALTY OF THEIR OWN SINS.” Early Writings 178
“For the sins of those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ, and overcome, at last will be rolled back upon the originator of sin, the Devil, and he will have to bear their sins, while those who do not accept salvation through Jesus will bear their own sins.” Spiritual Gifts Volume 1 61
“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 Scapegoat was presented alive before the Lord; and in the presence of the congregation the 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 the heavenly angels and the hosts of the redeemed, the sins of God’s people will be placed upon Satan; and he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit. AND AS THE SCAPEGOAT WAS SENT AWAY INTO A LAND NOT INHABITED, SO SATAN WILL BE BANISHED TO THE DESOLATE EARTH [for a 1000 years – the millennium] – AN UNINHABITED AND DREARY WILDERNESS.” Great Controversy 658
“For a thousand years, Satan will wander to and fro on 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.” Great Controversy 660
“The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, BUT FOR ALL THE SINS WHICH HE HAS CAUSED GOD’S PEOPLE TO COMMIT. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived.” Great Controversy 673
THE SINS OF GOD’S PEOPLE ARE PLACED ON THE SCAPEGOAT AFTER THE FINAL CLOSE OF PROBATION
“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.” Early Writings 280,281
“As in the final atonement the sins of the truly penitent are to be blotted from the records of heaven, no more to be remembered or come into mind, so in the type they were borne away into the wilderness, forever separated from the congregation.” Patriarchs and Prophets 358
“At the last great day when the judgment shall sit and the books be opened, when every man shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body – the sins of God’s repentant, sanctified people shall be heaped upon the Scapegoat, the originator of sin.” Signs of the Times April 28 1890
THE WORK OF PREPARING TO PLACE THE SINS UPON THE SCAPEGOAT BEGINS WHEN THE LATTER RAIN IS POURED OUT
“When the Times of Refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, THEN the sins of the repentant soul who has received the grace of Christ and has overcome through the blood of the Lamb, will be removed from the records of heaven, and will be placed upon Satan, the Scapegoat, the originator of sin, and be remembered no more against him [the child of God] forever.” 3 Selected Messages 355,356
PLACING THE SINS OF THE REDEEMED UPON THE SCAPEGOAT TAKES PLACE WHEN JESUS HAS FINISHED HIS WORK IN THE SECOND APARTMENT OF THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY
“While the sin offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a Mediator, the Scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally be placed. When the high priest, by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, removed the sins from the Sanctuary, he placed them upon the Scapegoat. When Christ, by virtue of His own blood, removes the sins of His people from the heavenly Sanctuary at the close of His ministration, He will place them upon Satan, who, in the execution of the Judgment, must bear the final penalty. The Scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, never to come again into the congregation of Israel. SO WILL SATAN BE FOREVER BANISHED FROM THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND HIS PEOPLE, AND HE WILL BE BLOTTED FROM EXISTENCE IN THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF SIN AND SINNERS.” Great Controversy 422
SATAN WILL BEAR HIS OWN SINS AND THE SINS OF THE REDEEMED RIGHT THROUGH UNTIL HE IS DESTROYED IN THE LAKE OF FIRE
“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.” Great Controversy 485,486
“Fire from God out of Heaven is rained upon them…Satan and his angels suffered long. Satan bore not only the weight and punishment of his own sins, but also of the sins of the redeemed host, which had been placed upon him; and he must also suffer for the ruin of souls which he had caused.” Early Writings 294,295
SATAN’S CHARGE AGAINST GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT GOD’S LAW CANNOT BE KEPT, AND THAT EVEN ISRAEL COULD NOT KEEP IT
“Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven – that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the Law.” Desire of Ages 29
“Satan represents God’s Law of love as a Law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts.” Desire of Ages 24
“Satan had pointed to Adam’s sin as proof that God’s Law was unjust, and could not be obeyed.” Desire of Ages 117
GOD’S ANSWER TO SATAN’S CHARGE HAS EVER BEEN THE SAME – THAT MAN CAN KEEP GOD’S LAW
“God has given no commandments which cannot be obeyed by all.” Desire of Ages 204
“The only begotten Son of God came to our world as a man, to reveal to the world that men could keep the Law of God.” Selected Messages Book 3 136
“His life testifies that it IS possible for us also to obey the Law of God.” Desire of Ages 24
“God makes no requirement without making provision for its fulfilment. Through the grace of Christ we may accomplish everything that God requires.” Christ’s Object Lessons 301
“His life testified that by the aid of the same divine power which Christ received, it is possible for man to obey God’s law.” Selected Messages Book 3 132
“Abundant provision has been made that finite, fallen man may so connect with God that, through the same Source by which Christ overcame in His human nature, he may stand firmly against every temptation, as did Christ.” Selected Messages Book 3 130
“Christ bears the penalty of man’s past transgressions, and by imparting to man His righteousness, makes it possible for man to keep God’s holy Law.” Bible Commentary Volume 6 1092
“’God with us’ is the surety of our deliverance from sin, the assurance of our power to obey the Law of heaven.” Desire of Ages 25
JESUS CAME AND TOOK FALLEN MAN’S NATURE SO THAT HE COULD PROVE SATAN’S CHARGES TO BE FALSE
“Laying aside His royal crown, He condescended to step down, step by step, to the level of fallen humanity….The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to reveal what a God could do, but what a man could do, through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency.” Selected Messages Book 3 128,140
“He came into our world to maintain a pure, sinless character, and to refute Satan’s lie that it was not possible for human beings to keep the Law of God.” Selected Messages Book 3 130
“Christ came to the earth, taking humanity and standing as man’s representative, to show in the controversy with Satan that man, as God created him, connected with the Father and the Son, could obey every divine requirement.” Selected Messages Book 1 253
“The world’s Redeemer, the only-begotten Son of God, by His perfect obedience to the Law, by His life and character, redeemed that which was lost in the fall, and made it possible for man to obey that holy Law of righteousness which Adam transgressed.” Fundamentals of Christian Education 429
“By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments.” Christ’s Object Lessons 312
“By His own obedience to the Law, Christ testified to its immutable character and proved that through His grace it could be perfectly obeyed by every son and daughter of Adam.” Mount of Blessing 49
“He was tempted in all points like as we are. He redeemed Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall, and was conqueror, thus testifying to all the unfallen worlds and to fallen humanity that man could keep the commandments of God through the divine power granted to him of heaven.” Selected Messages Book 3 136
“One honoured of all heaven came to this world to stand in human nature at the head of humanity, testifying to the fallen angels and to the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds that through the divine help which has been provided, every one may walk in the path of obedience to God’s commands. The Son of God died for those who had no claim on His love. For us He suffered all that Satan could bring against Him.” Selected Messages Book 1 309
“We are ever to be thankful that Jesus has proved to us by actual facts that man can keep the commandments of God, giving contradiction to Satan’s falsehood that man cannot keep them.” Selected Messages Book 3 139
WHO, THEN, IS REPRESENTED BY THE FIT MAN, WHO LEADS THE SCAPEGOAT AWAY SAFELY, WITHOUT ESCAPING, INTO THE WILDERNESS?
After the sins had been placed upon the Scapegoat, the Scriptures say that the Scapegoat had to be led away by the hand of a Fit Man into the wilderness. This Fit Man was NOT the High Priest. The High Priest represented Jesus, therefore the Fit Man to lead the Scapegoat away is not Jesus. The Fit Man was one chosen from the children of Israel, and he carried the heavy responsibility of making sure that the Scapegoat did not escape until it was safely taken away into the wilderness. As the Scapegoat was being led away, it would naturally make a mighty struggle to escape, yet it could not escape, because it was held fast by the chosen Fit Man.
The Fit Man at the end is the angel Revelation 20:1-2;
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,
The 144,000, who will be a special company of people living upon this earth, who have been able to do what others before them have not been able to do, and who will be a company of God’s people who will be “wondered at” for what they have done.
THE SPECIAL EXPERIENCE OF THE 144,000 GROUP
The 144,000 are those of God’s people – right around the world – who enter by faith into the Second Apartment – the Most Holy Place – of the Heavenly Sanctuary – by faith with Jesus – into the Judgment of the Living – to have their sins blotted out, and to receive the Seal of God in their foreheads. They will have passed the Final Test of the Sunday Legislation, and will be the ones who have the Holy Spirit poured out upon them in mighty power, to benefit from and to participate in the Latter Rain, and the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message when it takes place.
“As the people of God afflict their souls before Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is given, ‘Take away the filthy garments’ from them, and the encouraging words are spoken, ‘Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.’ [The Blotting out of their sins] The spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, yet faithful children of God. THE DESPISED REMNANT ARE CLOTHED IN GLORIOUS APPAREL, NEVERMORE TO BE DEFILED BY THE CORRUPTIONS OF THE WORLD. Their names are retained in the Lamb’s Book of Life, enrolled among the faithful of all ages. They have resisted the wiles of the deceiver; they have not been turned from their loyalty by the dragon’s roar [the Sunday Legislation]. NOW THEY ARE ETERNALLY SECURE FROM THE TEMPTER’S DEVICES [through the special experience of having had their sins blotted out, in order to receive the Seal of God in their foreheads]. THEIR SINS ARE TRANSFERRED TO THE ORIGINATOR OF SIN [the Scapegoat transaction, of having their sins placed upon the head of the scapegoat while they are still alive]. And the remnant are not only pardoned and accepted, but honoured [because of having passed through this special experience]. ‘A fair mitre’ is set upon their heads. They are to be as kings and priests unto God. WHILE SATAN WAS URGING HIS ACCUSATIONS AND SEEKING TO DESTROY THIS COMPANY, HOLY ANGELS, UNSEEN, WERE PASSING TO AND FRO, PLACING UPON THEM THE SEAL OF THE LIVING GOD [having the mark or seal of God on their foreheads]. These are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having the Father’s name written in their foreheads [the seal]. They sing the new song before the Throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. [Only the 144,000 can sing that song] ‘These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.’ [They have followed the Lamb, their High Priest – Jesus – into the Most Holy Place, by faith, to receive the Judgment of the Living experience]. ‘These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the Throne of God.’ [A text in Revelation that applies to the 144,000] Now is reached the complete fulfillment of those words of the Angel: ‘Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: FOR THEY ARE MEN WONDERED AT: for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the Branch.’ [The Second Advent of Jesus]. Christ is revealed as the Redeemer and Deliverer of His people. Now indeed are the remnant ‘men wondered at,’ as the tears and humiliation of their pilgrimage give place to joy and honour in the presence of God and the Lamb. ‘In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem.’ [The final Translation Group – the 144,000]”. Testimonies Volume Five 475,476
“The image of the beast [the Sunday Legislation] will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided….THIS IS THE TEST THAT THE PEOPLE OF GOD MUST HAVE BEFORE THEY ARE SEALED. ALL who prove their loyalty to God by observing His Law, and refusing to accept a spurious sabbath, will rank under the banner of the Lord God Jehovah, AND WILL RECEIVE THE SEAL OF THE LIVING GOD. Those who yield the truth of heavenly origin and accept the Sunday sabbath, will receive the mark of the beast.” Bible Commentary Volume 7 976
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. And they sung as it were a new song before the Throne…and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the Throne of God.” Revelation 14:1-5
“I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a High Priest in the Sanctuary through the Time of Trouble. Those who receive the Seal of the living God and are protected in the Time of Trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.” Early Writings 71
SATAN’S CHARGE AGAINST GOD
All through the ages, those who have become followers of God have sometimes, and even many times in their experience, fallen under Satan’s temptations, and have needed to go to God with tears of repentance, to seek His forgiveness for their sins.
Because of this, Satan still challenges God by saying :- “I concede that Jesus defeated me. He kept the Law of God. I must admit that Jesus kept it. But where are Thy people who WILL keep it, or CAN keep it? You cover your people with the garments of your righteousness, but every now and again they commit sin, and they fall. I still claim that your Law is unjust and impossible to keep. Where is there a people who CAN and WILL keep the Law of God perfectly, as Jesus did – without ever breaking it?”
And the whole universe of God – the angels and the inhabitants of all the unfallen worlds – need to be totally reassured that, when God accepts all the redeemed into Heaven, that not one of them will EVER fall back into sin again – throughout all eternity. Some of that number have even accepted Jesus as their Saviour in the 11th hour of their lives, and some even on their sickbeds, just before dying. What about the thief on the cross? If some of these final subjects of God’s kingdom had been able to continue living for a few more years, they might very well have fallen into sin through temptation, and needed to be forgiven by God.
So God says to all His loyal and unfallen subjects – relating to Satan’s charges:- “I will produce a people who will prove that Satan is wrong – a people who will demonstrate that, right throughout all eternity, not one of My redeemed ones will ever fall into sin. SIN WILL NOT RISE UP THE SECOND TIME. I will produce these people in the most degenerate age of this fallen world’s history.”
God say’s: “I will blot out their sins and place My seal upon them. They will reflect the image of Jesus fully. I will step out of the Sanctuary, and they will live in the sight of God without a Mediator or Intercessor. They will go through the severest test that could be put to them – the final Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation, with Satan and all his hosts, and all the wicked of the earth against them. Through this company of special people which I Myself have chosen to call the 144,000, Satan will be forever defeated.”
It is just as if God says to Satan, as He said to Satan of Job “Here are My people, Satan. Do with them as you wish, only you cannot take their lives.” It will seem as if God has hidden Himself from them, as they pass through the period known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. They will be put through every trial that Satan could ever devise against them. They will seem to be shut out from God’s presence – and they have no Intercessor in the Sanctuary. Satan has full charge of the world, and the wicked join with all the legions of darkness, to come against God’s people, even with a death decree, to try to overthrow them and destroy them. Oh, if Satan could lead one of the 144,000 into sin, after the final close of probation – if he could lead just one of them to depart in the least particular from keeping God’s Law, he would triumph.
THE MIGHTY STRUGGLE OF THE SCAPEGOAT TO ESCAPE
“Then I saw that Jesus’ work in the Sanctuary will soon be finished. And after His work there is finished, He will come to the door of the first apartment, and confess the sins of Israel upon the head of the Scapegoat. Then He will put on the garments of vengeance. Then the plagues will come upon the wicked, and they do not come till Jesus puts on that garment, and takes His place upon the great white cloud. THEN WHILE THE PLAGUES ARE FALLING, THE SCAPEGOAT IS BEING LED AWAY. HE MAKES A MIGHTY STRUGGLE TO ESCAPE, BUT HE IS HELD FAST BY THE HAND THAT LEADS HIM. IF HE SHOULD EFFECT HIS ESCAPE, ISRAEL WOULD LOSE THEIR LIVES. I saw that it would take time to lead away the Scapegoat into the land of forgetfulness after the sins were put on his head.” Spalding and Magan Collection page 2 – An Early Vision, Dorchester, Maine, October 23 1850
This explains why there must be a final Time of Trouble before Jesus comes.
“Different times were repeatedly set for the Lord to come and were urged upon the brethren; but the Lord showed me that they would all pass by, for the Time of Trouble MUST come before the coming of Christ.” Early Writings 22
WHY ALL ISRAEL WOULD BE LOST
“Since ‘the Law of the Lord is perfect,’ every variation from it must be evil. Those who disobey the Commandments of God, and teach others to do so, are condemned by Christ. The Saviour’s life of obedience maintained the claims of the Law; it proved that the Law could be kept in humanity, and showed the excellence of character that obedience would develop. All who obey as He did are likewise declaring that the Law is ‘holy, and just, and good.’ Romans 7:12. On the other hand, all who break God’s Commandments are sustaining Satan’s claim that the Law is unjust, and cannot be obeyed. Thus they second the deceptions of the great adversary, and cast dishonour upon God. They are the children of the wicked one, who was the first rebel against God’s Law. To admit them into heaven would again bring in the elements of discord and rebellion, and imperil the well-being of the universe. No man who willfully disregards one principle of the Law shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” Desire of Ages 308,309
If the Scapegoat should escape, all Israel would lose their lives, not just the 144,000. God is waiting for a people through whom He can demonstrate that all of Satan’s charges are false. God is going to risk everything upon the 144,000, for if the Scapegoat should escape, the Plan of Salvation would be proved to be insufficient, and Satan’s accusations would prove to be justified.
What a tremendous responsibility rests upon the 144,000. No wonder they go through such anguish during the Time of Trouble, and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. It is not that they fear that they themselves might lose their lives, for they would not shrink even from torture or from death. They will reach the place where they would, for the sake of others, even gladly sacrifice their own lives. They would be prepared to sacrifice everything, as did Jesus before them. But there is one thing they fear – they fear that they will bring disgrace to God’s eternal Throne, and to the One they love, who sits upon that Throne.
In the Plan of Redemption, Jesus not only demonstrates to all the unfallen angels and the unfallen worlds His wonderful redeeming love, and the immutability of His Law, but He also gives them an everlasting assurance that, having seen the results of Satan’s rebellion and downfall, and the results of his lying charges against God’s government and against God’s Law of love – THAT SIN WILL NEVER RISE UP THE SECOND TIME, RIGHT THROUGHOUT THE CEASELESS AGES OF ETERNITY. The unfallen angels and the inhabitants of all the unfallen worlds could not perhaps be sure that those who have died, when raised, would not fall again. Many of these, if they had continued living instead of dying when they did, might still have fallen and sinned and needed forgiveness, before they eventually did die. But God is going to have, right in the very end of time, and under the very worst and most trying conditions, and just before Jesus comes, a demonstration that there will be a people who WILL be able to live through the worst Time of Trouble this world has ever seen, WITHOUT A MEDIATOR – BY BEING KEPT BY GOD’S POWER ALONE TO KEEP HIS LAW, without sinning, through that time. This will be God’s demonstration to all the universe that SIN WILL NEVER RISE UP THE SECOND TIME. THESE PEOPLE, THE 144,000 WHO GO THROUGH THE FINAL TIME OF TROUBLE WITHOUT A MEDIATOR, become the “Fit Man” who holds fast the Scapegoat that it does not escape – from the time that Jesus places the sins of Israel upon Satan’s head right through until Jesus comes – when Satan is finally “led away” and banished to the wilderness of this desolate earth for the 1000 years – the Millennium.
During the Time of Trouble, God allows Satan to try His people to the utmost – just as He allowed Satan to try Job, “but without taking their lives.” Satan will do everything within his power to hurt, and tempt, and persecute God’s people, even by bringing the whole world against them, causing them terrible mental and physical anguish and suffering, all in his endeavour to try to cause them to sin. In this way “he makes a mighty struggle to escape” but he will be held fast by the hand that leads him. Although God’s people go through a time of terrible anguish, described as the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” yet they are “eternally secure from the tempter’s devices,” AND THEY WILL NOT WANT TO, NOR WILL THEY SIN during that time. If they did, then Satan’s charges that “man cannot keep God’s Law” would be shown to be correct. But “the Scapegoat is held fast by the hand that leads him.” And when the battle is finally finished, and Satan, the Scapegoat, is led into the wilderness, NEVERMORE TO COME INTO THE CAMP OF ISRAEL, then there will be shouts of triumph from not only the redeemed, but from all the angels, and from all the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds.
THE 144,000 WILL BE THE TEST PEOPLE WHO WILL DEMONSTRATE TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE WHOLE UNIVERSE THAT GOD’S POWER CAN KEEP ALL THE REDEEMED FROM FALLING
“They show that there is a spiritual power that CAN enable men and women not to swerve an inch from truth and justice for all the gifts that men can bestow.” Testimonies Volume Nine 24
When men build a prototype of a new type of aircraft, with features different to anything else that has ever been taken into the air, to fly at speeds that have never ever yet been reached by men, their greatest concern is that the aircraft will stay together, and not fly apart, under normal flying conditions, and especially under unexpected and unprecedented weather conditions as can sometimes be experienced. So what do they do, before the first text flight takes place. They put that aircraft into a test tunnel, while it is still on the ground, and subject it to wind and turbulence forces many times exceeding that which it will ever meet under all and every flying condition in the air. If the plane passes that rigid wind-tunnel test, it is ready to be produced and flown with the precious lives of others entrusted to it.
The 144,000 are like that – God’s test-tunnel company, who, after probation is closed and they have to live without a Mediator in the Heavenly Sanctuary, they are put through God’s test-tunnel experience of the final Time of Trouble, to show that they can withstand the fiercest attacks of Satan and his followers, and not sin or break God’s Law under the most extreme test – in thought, word, or deed. They will prove that, through the strength of God, and the height and depth of their own special Christian experience, they are eternally secure from the tempter’s devices. All the rest of the Redeemed will never fall throughout all eternity, because the 144,000 have never fallen through their final and supreme test of the Time of Trouble experience.
The 144,000 will demonstrate that – “There is no power in the whole satanic force that can disable the soul that trusts, in simple confidence, in the wisdom that comes from God.” Sons and Daughters of God, 91
Through this special company, the 144,000. God will demonstrate that His Word is true that says:- “I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
Through the 144,000 God will demonstrate the eternal truth that:- “The life that Christ lived in this world, men and women CAN live through His power and under His instruction.” 9 Testimonies 22
In and through the 144,000….”God will have a people zealous of good works, standing firm amid the pollutions of this degenerate age. There will be a people who hold so fast to the divine strength that they will be proof against every temptation. Evil communications in flaming handbills may seek to speak to their senses and corrupt their minds; yet they will be so united to God and angels that they will be as those who see not and hear not.” Testimonies Volume Three 472
“I heard shouts of triumph from the angels and from the redeemed saints, which sounded like ten thousand musical instruments, BECAUSE THEY WERE TO BE NO MORE ANNOYED AND TEMPTED BY SATAN AND BECAUSE THE INHABITANTS OF OTHER WORLDS WERE DELIVERED FROM HIS PRESENCE AND HIS TEMPTATIONS [for all eternity].” Early Writings 290
No wonder the counsel to all of us today is:- “Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand.” Bible Commentary Volume 7 970
This special experience and work of the 144,000 explains why they will be a people wondered at, and will enjoy special privileges in the Kingdom of God.
“Reference to our published works will show our belief that the living righteous [the final Translation group – the 144,000] will receive the Seal of God prior to the close of probation; ALSO THAT THESE WILL ENJOY SPECIAL HONOURS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” Selected Messages Book 1 66
“Mount Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies….And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, ‘Only the 144,000 enter this place,’ and we shouted, ‘Alleluia.’” Early Writings 18
“Now is reached the complete fulfillment of those words of the Angel: ‘Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: FOR THEY ARE MEN WONDERED AT: for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the Branch.’ Christ is revealed as the Redeemer and Deliverer of His people. Now indeed are the remnant ‘men wondered at.’ ‘In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem.’” Testimonies Volume Five 475,476
Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among that number.
“Tell them to pray much that their sins may be confessed upon the head of the Scapegoat and borne away into the land of forgetfulness. A little longer and Jesus’ work will be finished in the Sanctuary.” Manuscript Releases Volume Nineteen 131,132