Seventh-Day Adventists/The scapegoat


Dear Anthony,
"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."Leviticus 16:10 (KJV).
According to Adventist doctrine, Satan is the scapegoat. Then why is the scapegoat presented to make an atonement with the Lord? Doesn't "to make an atonement" mean that the scapegoat is purified to reconcile it (i.e. bring it back into a harmonious relationship) with the Lord? Thank you. Mike.

Hi Mike and thanks for writing.  The meaning of words (semantics) often change over periods of time.  Please don't think that "atonement" in this verse means that Satan has a part in your salvation.  This verse is speaking of the "typical" to represent the "anti-typical".  It is a natural or earthly description of a supernatural or heavenly event that is to take place just before the second coming of Christ.  This is not Adventist doctrine but Biblical doctrine.  The "atonement" that the scapegoat makes could simply be understood as the "role" he plays in the plan of salvation.  His role is that of the originator of sin.  Though the translators have done a wonderful job interpreting the Scriptures from the original tongues of Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek there are however instances when a better word or words could have been used.  Anyway, I pasted a few paragraphs from The Great Controversy on the subject of the scapegoat for your consideration.  Sister White explains it better than I ever can.  Incidentally Mike, though it is good for us to study different subjects in Scripture the most important part is concerning our relationship with the Lord Jesus.  It is so necessary for us at these latter times to be abiding in Christ.  I'm sure you are familiar with the first few verses of John chapter 15 about the Vine and the branches and how we must abide in Christ just as the branch abides in the vine because without Christ "we can do nothing."  Please continue to maintain your close personal relationship with the Lord and talk with Him often because He loves you very much.  Thanks for your question and comments, your friend, anthony
It was seen, also, that 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.
The work of investigative judgment and blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. In the typical service the high priest 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.

The priest, in removing the sins from the sanctuary, confessed them upon the head of the scapegoat. Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, the instigator of sin. The scapegoat was sent away “unto a land not inhabited.” Leviticus 16:22.
Satan, bearing the guilt of sins he has caused God’s people to commit, will for a thousand years be confined to the desolate earth and will at last suffer the penalty of fire that shall destroy the wicked. Thus the plan of redemption will reach its accomplishment in the final eradication of sin.

Now the event takes place foreshadowed in the last solemn service of the Day of Atonement. When the sins of Israel had been removed from the sanctuary by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, the scapegoat was presented alive before the Lord. The high priest confessed over him “all the iniquities of the children of Israel, ... 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 on Satan; he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit. As the scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, so Satan will be banished to the desolate earth.  

Seventh-Day Adventists

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Can one know God and not keep His commandments? Let John answer (1Jn2:4). He that says, I know Him and keeps not His commandments (including the 4th) is a liar and the truth is not in him. Since Seventh-Day Adventists derive their teachings from the Holy Bible, I will answer questions on any Biblically related subject or topic and questions on distinct Adventist practice and doctrine. Remember Paul`s words that state in the last days there will be deceivers seeking to lead astray many, yet the sincere believer can take comfort in the Lord`s promise that anyone desiring to know His truth will know it. May the Lord bless you as you seek Him.


I graduated from an Adventist University with a major in Behavioral Science and a minor in religion including an intermediate study of the Greek written language. I earned a master in religion from Liberty University a Baptist seminary. I have been a student of the Bible and of Biblical history for over 30 years.

©2017 All rights reserved.