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What is the Spiritual Significance of the Scapegoat?

Posted May 13, 2009


Hi D____,

Thank you for your question.

You ask,

No, the scapegoat is not Ishmael or Esau. Both those men typify our body of flesh, but neither of them is a sin offering as are both of these goats.

Apply these words of our Lord to every verse that puzzles you and it may help your understanding.

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Are you a human? If you are, then you will "live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." This does not mean that you will do every sin every committed, but it does mean that you will be brought to see that "all the blood of all the prophets, will be required of this generation... whosoever reads."

Luk 11:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

I am fully aware that most people will not understand that statement, but Christ's words were not meant to be understood by most people at this time. For the multitudes Christ spoke in parables "lest they should understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God, be converted and be healed."

Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Here is what the scriptures actually say concerning this scapegoat:
Lev 16:5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.
Lev 16:6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.
Lev 16:7 And he shall take the two goats for a sin offering, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Lev 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
Lev 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
Lev 16:10 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.

The scapegoat is "presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with Him." So both goats typify two different works of Christ. Both are sin offerings but one is, as you correctly note, sin while it is still alive in the flesh, and in the sense that Ishmael and Esau are you and me while we are still "children of disobedience," the scapegoat is Christ in us, Christ in our flesh, "filling up what is behind of the sufferings of the Christ," while we are still living in this sinful world called in scripture "the wilderness." Here is Christ speaking of this 'scapegoat:'

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Here are the scriptures for Christ's second work as the scapegoat in us as we are "falsely accused for Him."

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

"Christ in MY flesh?"  Is Christ's "second coming" yet future to you? I am going to inject another verse of scripture here to demonstrate this second ongoing work of Christ as typified by the scapegoat released into "the wilderness," and then we will continue Paul's thoughts here in the first chapter of Colossians:

Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Hidden under the poor King James English of this verse is the function of the scapegoat "released into the wilderness by the hand of a fit man." As with all things concerning the temple and its priesthood and sacrifices, Christ is all and in all. Christ is the door to the court, He is the court itself, He is the altar, and all that is offered thereon. Christ is the Priest who offers the offering, He is the laver which cleanses the priesthood of Aaron, and He is the Tabernacle, the veil, and the five pillared door to the tabernacle. I could go on through out the tabernacle and mention the bread and its table, the candles and their stand, the golden altar and its incense. It is all our Lord in His many and varied functions. He is the veil on the four pillared door of the holy of holies, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat and the cherubim upon the mercy seat. If there is any thing which I have omitted, it is our Lord and what He is doing in and through us, and that is what is hidden in the King James Translation of Romans 4:25. Christ died for our sins, this is true, but that is not what this verse is saying. The word twice translated 'for' in this verse is not the Greek word 'gar,' which does mean 'for,' or 'because of.' The Greek word here is 'dia,' and it means 'through,' as in this verse of God's Word:

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through [Greek - dia, G1223] him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

It is through the offenses of  the scapegoat that Christ was delivered up to be crucified, and it is through the justification of the scapegoat that Christ was resurrected, and now performs this function in His elect and will later perform this function, as "saviours upon mount Zion, judging the mount of Esau."

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Col 1:26 [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Neh 9:27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.

Oba 1:21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.

The "afflictions of Christ in our flesh are for His body the church." That is the work of Christ as the scapegoat.

These "saviors" are our Lord's saviors. They are those through whom He will bring all others to His Father. These are what is referred to so many times as "the Christ of our Lord," or "our Lord and His Christ." Read the study notes on this subject from the 2007 Dallas conference, and listen to that talk on the Christ of Christ on iswasandwillbe.com.

The scapegoat is also a sin offering but instead of being killed, it is released into the wilderness "by a fit man," that "fit man" being "Christ in you the hope of glory, filling up in our flesh what is behind of the afflictions of the Christ," the scapegoat, the second work of Christ.

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

I hope this helps you to see what is the scapegoat. The scapegoat is "Christ in my flesh" (Col 1:24). But more than that I hope this has helped you to understand that you cannot place any word which proceeds out of the mouth of God upon Ishmael or Esau or any of the other symbols of the man of sin in scripture. The names Ishmael and Esau, proceeded out of the mouth of God and are to be lived in me and in you. That is where the man of sin resides if you are given eyes to see and ears to hear.

When you read about any story with any lesson in God's Word and you cannot see how that story is personally applied, then you will never see yourself as "chief of sinners." When that is the case then you have simply missed "what the spirit had to say to the churches," and you will be incapable of repenting of that you do not even recognize as being in your flesh.

I pray that God will give you eyes to see and ears to hear the mysteries of "the kingdom of God which is within you"

Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Your brother in the Christ of Christ,

Mike