A "SCAPE-GOAT" QUERY
WHY is it that after telling of the Atonement Day sacrifices and of the application of their blood--the first for the sins of the priest and his house or the Levitical family and the second "for the sins of all the people"--then we read of the confessing of the trespasses of the people on the head of the Scape-goat? What sins would remain after the atonement for all with the blood?
We reply that the antitypical sacrifices of the Atonement Day for the sins of all the people cancel all of the Adamic guilt and condemnation for all; and this includes all hereditary sins and blemishes. None of these sins remain to be confessed over the head of the Scape-goat.
But there are other sins of measurable wilfulness committed against a measure of light and knowledge. These are not Adamic and are not covered by the sin offerings. It is these sins and trespasses that are represented as put upon the Scape-goat class--the "Great Company." In the antitype, shortly to be enacted, the "great company" will be allowed to suffer for some of the partly wilful sins of the world--especially "Babylon's."
Glancing back to the "harvest" of the Jewish Age we see there a picture of what is coming here. There the Jewish people, cast off from divine favor, went into an awful time of trouble. And our Lord, referring to that trouble, said, "Upon you shall come [the penalty for] all the righteous blood shed upon the earth--from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias. ...Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation."--Matt. 23:35,36.
Similarly, all the blood of God's holy ones, from the beginning of this Gospel Age, will be required of the present generation, and will bring about the great "time of trouble, such as was not since there was a nation." The martyrs of the past, "the souls under the altar," are represented as crying out symbolically for [R4016 : page 191] this vindication of Justice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge the world and avenge our blood upon them that dwell on the earth." They were bid wait until others, their brethren, should be killed similarly, when the guilt for all would be avenged.--Rev. 6:9-11.
Why require the full payment for all the wrongs of the ages at their closing?--is it asked?
Because the chief light of each age comes at its close, and because those who sin against such light are worthy of more severe judgment than similar evildoers preceding them who had less light.
It was on this principle that our Lord charged the Jews of his day, who opposed the true light, with being more guilty than all their predecessors who had persecuted the just. And on the same principle he declares to us, "Come out of her ['Babylon'], my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues." Those who remain in Babylon now, in the light of Present Truth, are endorsers of Babylon and indirectly endorsers of all of her past wrong doing. And to endorse the wrongs of the past in the light of the present is to double the responsibility and to deserve the plagues of the whole, is the Scriptural argument.
Let us, then, see that in the Scape-goat type the Lord pictures the sending into the "wilderness" of isolation and persecution the "Great Company," who after consecration were unwilling to go voluntarily "outside the camp, bearing the reproaches" of the Christ. They shared not in the sin-atonement, but will be permitted, yea forced, to bear the weight of the world's sins and thus to become dead to the world--that their spirit-being may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.