Seventh-day Adventists Teach That Jesus
is the Anti-Christ Little Horn Who Defiled the Sanctuary in Heaven
By Russell Earl Kelly, Ph.D.
September 6, 2021 (end printing)
In their effort to explain their Seventh-day Adventist Investigative Judgment interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the most bizarre consequence inadvertently equates the actions of Jesus Christ as worse than those of the Anti-Christ little horn in 8:9-12.
Seventh-day Adventists repeated William Miller’s faulty principles of interpretation by disconnecting Daniel 8:9-12 from 8:14. Re-connecting the context reveals their greatest error.
HERE’S HOW THEY DO IT
STEP ONE: Seventh-Day Adventists teach that pagan Rome (the WHO), the little horn of Daniel 8:9-10 defiled the literal sanctuary on earth by destroying it in A. D. 70 (the HOW) with its army (the WHAT).
According to the SDA interpretation of Daniel 8:9-10, the “prince of the host” who was “cast down” was Jesus Christ” and God’s literal earthly “sanctuary was cast down” by pagan Rome. Pagan Rome’s destruction of the Temple is called “desolations” in Daniel 9:26.
STEP TWO: Seventh-Day Adventists very extensively teach that papal Rome (the WHO), the little horn of Daniel 8:11-12 “cast down” and defiled the heavenly sanctuary (the WHAT) using its theology and the confessional to replace Christ’s ministry in heaven (the HOW). This is the most time-consuming portion of SDA evangelists when preaching on the necessary cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8. According to the SDA interpretation of Daniel 7:25; 8:11-13; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10 and Revelation 13:1-9, the little horn of pagan Rome merged into the little horn of papal Rome. Papal Rome’s defilement of the sanctuary is called the “transgression of desolation” in Daniel 8:13 and the “overspreading of abominations” in Daniel 9:27. The sanctuary has very definitely been defiled and very definitely requires cleansing.
VALIDATING SDA DOCUMENTS
“The little horn of chapter eight ‘takes away the daily sacrifice and casts down the ‘place of his sanctuary’ (v11) [papal Rome], but after a period called ‘two thousand and three hundred days’ (v14), the sanctuary is ‘cleansed” (KJV) or ‘restored to its rightful state” [by Jesus] (The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, 1960, “little horn,” page 656).
“The two systems [pagan and papal Rome] are mutually exclusive, since the setting up of the abomination of desolation is accompanied by the trampling down of the sanctuary (8:13) and by the taking away of the ‘daily’ (11:31; 12:11). This substitute system of worship is abominable, or detestable, because it stands in implacable opposition to that of the true God. It desolates the sanctuary by replacing its services with its own. This turn of events naturally appalls worshipers of the true God. In the symbolic prophecy of Daniel 8, it is the power represented by the “little horn” that terminates the worship of the true God in His sanctuary and institutes a false system of worship in its place (8:9-12). At the end of “two thousand and three hundred days” the sanctuary was to be cleansed (v 14) by the restoration of the worship of the true God” (The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, 1960, “abomination,” p7).
Notice that the “two systems” are pagan and papal Rome. Jesus’ defilement of the literal sanctuary using atoned sins is not mentioned. Notice also that the “restoration of true worship” appears to be a reference to all SDA doctrines rather than removing atoned sins from the sanctuary.
THE PIVOTAL TEXT
Dan 8:13 How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
First, if Daniel 8:13 belongs to 8:9-12, then 8:14 must remain a discussion of the sanctuary which was defiled by the little horn of 8:9-12 and 8:14 concerns a cleansing of a sanctuary defiled by the little horn. Second, if 8:13 only belongs to 8:14, then 8:14 is a complete disconnect from 8:9-12 and the sanctuary and cleansing of 8:14 have nothing in common with the little horn of 8:9-12. This is the SDA application. Third, if 8:13 connects 8:9-12 with 8:14 (as logic dictates) then 8:9-14 is a complete unit and all of it concerns the cleansing of a sanctuary defiled by the little horn. Fourth, if the defiling of the sanctuary in 8:9-12 has no relevance to the cleansing from defilement in 8:14, the discussion of 8:9-12 has no purpose.
A FALSE DOCTRINAL FOUNDATION
STEP THREE: Seventh-day Adventists make exceedingly great proclamation that Jesus Christ is the wonderful hero who first entered the heavenly Most Holy Place in 1844 to begin cleaning the heavenly sanctuary.
The SDA transformation from 8:9-12 to 8:14 is incredible, bizarre and totally illogical. First, instead of the sanctuary being defiled by pagan and papal Rome who persecuted believers in 8:9-12, SDAs make an “about face” 180 degree turn and blame the defilement on the atoned sins of believers in 8:14! See GC17-422 later.
“WHO brought the atoned sins of believers into the heavenly sanctuary to defile it?”
This one simple question destroys SDA logic, the Investigative Judgment and the reason for the existence of Seventh-day Adventism. Since the (SDA) defilement of 8:14 is literal and has already taken over 170 years to complete, Jesus Himself MUST be a far worse defiler of the sanctuary than pagan and papal Rome combined! Like it or not, admit it or not, Seventh-day Adventists inadvertently teach that Jesus Christ is the WHO, the worst of three defilers of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:9-14. SDAs teach that Jesus (the WHO) carried (transferred) atoned sins into the heavenly sanctuary (the WHAT) and defiled it by sprinkling His blood before the Most Holy Place (the HOW). That is SDA theology at its very worst. The “transgression of desolation” against the “sanctuary” in 8:13 must be the context of the question asked in Daniel 8:13 which is answered in 8:14.
Therefore, the greatest “truth” of Seventh-day Adventism is actually its greatest error. This error was caused by completely separating Daniel 8:14 from its context. While most SDAs know WHAT and HOW (SDAs teach) the heavenly sanctuary was defiled, they have ignored the extremely obvious WHO of Jesus Christ. Jesus is made hero cleansing the sanctuary, but not villain for defiling it with His same time sacrificial blood.
THE EVIDENCE FROM ELLEN G. WHITE
The SDA Bible Commentary, The SDA Bible Dictionary and SDA evangelists go into great detail describing the terrible deeds of the pagan and papal Roman little horns who defiled the sanctuary in Daniel 8:9-12. Next, they even more vigorously hide the fact that the defiler of Daniel 8:14 must be worse because he literally and physically defiled heaven itself, the very sanctuary of God. .
The most respected and deliberately mass-distributed SDA publication is Ellen G. White’s, The Great Controversy. Yet, in 719 pages their prophetess does not quote or reference Daniel 8:9-13. Although she refers to the papal little horn of Daniel 7:25 four times, not a word is said about the little horn of Daniel 8:9-13 defiling the heavenly sanctuary and thus requiring it to be cleansed from the little horn’s defilement.
I urge all Seventh-day Adventists to carefully read every word of chapter 23 in The Great Controversy, What is the sanctuary?, pages 409-422.
GC418: … The blood, representing the forfeited life of the sinner, whose guilt the victim bore, was carried by the priest into the holy place, and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary. … Both ceremonies alike symbolized the transfer of the sin from the penitent to the sanctuary.
(1) Sacrificial blood does NOT represent the “forfeited life of the sinner”; it represents the substitute life of the sacrifice (Jesus Christ). (2) Sacrificial blood washes away sins; it does NOT symbolize the transference of SIN “from the penitent to the sanctuary.” Rather it records the fact that full atonement has been made by the perfect sinless sacrifice (Jesus Christ).
(3) The phrases “carried by the priest,” “by this ceremony the sin was through the blood transferred in figure to the sanctuary” and “transfer of the sin from the penitent to the sanctuary” should prove SDAs teach that Jesus defiled the heavenly sanctuary even worse than pagan or papal Rome. And the SDA Jesus qualifies to be called the Anti-Christ little horn who defiled the sanctuary in heaven which He has been cleaning since 1844. According to SDAs, Christ blood simultaneously defiles and cleans.
GC419: Such was the work that went on day by day throughout the year. The sins of Israel were thus transferred to the sanctuary, and a special work became necessary for their removal. God commanded that an atonement be made for each of the sacred apartments. …
(1) If atoned redeemed forgiven sins of believers defile the sanctuary daily, then the heavenly sanctuary has been defiled since Adam was forgiven in Genesis 4:21 and is still being defiled every time a believer is forgiven even today.
(2) The Day of Atonement ended a year-end final cleansing of confessed residual sins (Lev 23:24-32). Confessed sins were washed away when the blood of the sacrifice was shed (Lev 4:20).
(3) SDA theology denies that the Holy Place and the remainder of the sanctuary were also defiled and required cleansing on the one-day Day of Atonement because Jesus had been in the Holy Place before 1844 and because it is still defiled by current forgiven sins (their theory) (Lev 16:20).
(4) The sentence “The sins of Israel were thus transferred to the sanctuary” proves that SDAs make Jesus a greater defiler of the heavenly sanctuary than pagan or papal Rome and a worse Anti-Christ little horn.
GC420: A substitute was accepted in the sinners behalf, but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. … 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.
(1) Here Ellen G. White correctly calls the sacrifice a Substitute; previously she erroneously said it represented the forfeited life of the sinner.
(2) It is wrong to teach that the Christ’s blood does not entirely cancel sin; the one price had been paid at Calvary and a life had been given.
(3) Like the daily offerings, the Day of Atonement “offering from the congregation” contained the confessed residual sins of the nation (Lev 23:29). Therefore, if the daily offerings defiled the sanctuary, so would the yearly.
(4) The sentence “A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary” refers to the “means,” Jesus Christ, via His sinless (yet sin-carrying) blood. E. G. W. and SDAs dare not say that Jesus is the “means,” the “who” by whom the heavenly sanctuary was defiled. Such admission would destroy Seventh-day Adventism.
GC421: As anciently the sins of the people were placed by faith upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary.
(1) Again, sin did not go beyond the door of the tabernacle where the sacrificial victim died. Only unatoned sins defile. Sacrificial blood “records” that the payment for sin had been made (Ex 12:13; Jer 17:1; Lev 4:20). (2) The phrase “in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred in fact to the heavenly sanctuary” clearly teaches that Jesus is even today (long after 1844), still defiling the heavenly sanctuary while He is unable as Omniscient God to complete its cleansing quickly.
(3) Much more than mere records of sins, E. G. W. makes it absolutely clear the sins ‘in fact’ are still defiling the heavenly sanctuary. (4) The combined abominations of desolation by the little horn of pagan and papal Rome do not compare to the defilement of Jesus Himself. .
GC421: For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary [the holy place]. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record. … there is a work of atonement for the removal of SIN from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. …
(1) SDAs do not discuss when the first compartment was cleansed to allow Christ to minister there. If part of the sanctuary was defiled, all of it was defiled. In Leviticus 16 the Most Holy Place was cleansed before the Holy Place; SDAs reverse the sequence.
(2) The blood of Christ does not (at the same time) both “secure pardon” and defile the sanctuary.
(3) Records of sin do not defile.
(4) If the work of atonement was “the removal of sin from the sanctuary,” Daniel 8:9-13 makes no sense if the sanctuary was not being cleaned from its defilement by the un-atoned sins of pagan and papal Rome.
(5) Whether for dedication, re-dedication or Day of Atonement cleansing, each only lasted one day as Daniel 8:14 teaches – not “begin to be cleansed” as SDAs teach. Even their “day-for-a-year principle would only extend to one year --- 1844-1845.
(6) The phrase “there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary” credits Jesus with beginning to cleanse the sanctuary but He is never credited with defiling it.
GC421-422: And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded.
It is utter folly to think that God would allow the Most Holy Place in the universe to be defiled. The entire Investigative Judgment doctrine is the result of fatalistic clinging to William Miller’s false prophecy that Daniel 8:14 pointed to some great event in 1844.
Only unatoned sin defiles. “Defile” is the same as “casting down” in the context of Daniel 8:9-12. In Exodus 31:14 one who did not keep the Sabbath “defiled” it and was put to death. In Leviticus 21 priests who touched dead relatives were defiled and unfit to serve. In Numbers 19:13, 20-21 those who refused to purify themselves defiled the tabernacle, or sanctuary. In Nehemiah 13:29 those who marred unbelievers defiled the priesthood. In Revelation 21:27 nothing that defiles will enter heaven. Run away from any church which teaches that Jesus has defiled heaven with the atoned sins of believers.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
Author of: Exposing Seventh-day Adventism