Elder Dean Coridan and I are greatly troubled by some teachings we recently learned are being promoted in our conference regarding the “fit man” who leads the scapegoat into the wilderness at the end of the prophetic Day of Atonement. I feel convicted to address it in hopes that we will stay focused and reliant on Christ and not on ourselves during these final days of earth’s history.

It is being taught that the “fit man” is a final generation of humans who will lead Satan into the wilderness at the end of time and vindicate God’s law by living a life of perfect obedience.

Make no mistake, if this were true then this group—not Christ—becomes the final factor or redeemer in the plan of salvation. Friends, this is as anti-Christ as a human priesthood that takes the place of our Savior in His mediatory work of redemption. Christ alone deals with Satan, and Christ alone vindicates God through His life, death, resurrection and mediation. God’s redemptive plan and the ministry of Christ in it reveals God’s love and grace on behalf of mankind and answers all arguments against Him and His government. “The history of the great conflict between good and evil, from the time it first began in heaven to the final overthrow of rebellion and the total eradication of sin, is also a demonstration of God’s unchanging love” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p.33).

Humanity’s Role in the Last Days

Christ is depicted as both the Lamb and Priest in the Sanctuary imagery, symbols and services. Therefore, He alone can be the Fit Man in this final phase of ministry in the plan of salvation. Humanity’s only role in this heaven-born effort is to accept and trust in Jesus to save us by grace through faith in Him alone. Never does our obedience play a part in reconciling us back to God. Christ alone has reconciled us back to God, and He alone will put away Satan and sin forever. Man’s obedience can never accomplish what Christ’s perfect obedience has already accomplished for us through His life, death, resurrection and mediation.

Christ’s work in the Sanctuary today, while seated at the right hand of the Father, is to be inviting and pleading with us with outstretched arms to come to Him/Them in surrender and faith. That’s the real battle we fight. It’s the fight of faith. To keep our eyes and faith on the Lamb—The Fit Man, the Second Adam—and not ourselves.

The Church’s Role in the Last Days

The Church, the body of believers, has a role in the final days while probation lasts. But it isn’t vindicating God. Rather, it is expressed in the following statement:

“The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ (Ephesians 3:10) the final and full display of the love of God” (Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, p.9).

As a body of believers, this is our collective role on earth. We have no part in the vindication of God and His law of love. Our role is to receive His salvation through faith in His grace and then to make known His love and truth to others.

This article is an abridged version of a two-part series published on the conference website. To read the articles in their entirety, visit imsda.org/the-fit-man.