SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS’ PLAN OF SALVATION
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
September 23, 2023
The Born-Again Experience
Like most conservative Christians, Seventh-day Adventists believe in being born again by personal confession of sins and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Seventh-day Adventists believe in soul-sleep, rather annihilationism. The “soul” is the person; it ceases to exist at death and is re-created at the resurrection of all the dead for the Great White Throne judgment in Revelation 20.
Like Arminians, Seventh-day Adventists believe that true believers still possess free will and can choose to stop believing, fall into habitual sin and fall from grace. They teach that the atonement was not complete at Calvary (GC4210-421). Arminians believe that names can be blotted out of the book of life (Ex 32:32-33; Deut 29:20; Rev 3:5). The SDA “condition” is literal sinlessness” (GC486-487).
“The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central part of the advent faith was the declaration, “Unto two thousand three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed, Daniel 8:14.’” (GC409)
The unique SDA interpretation of Daniel 8:14 intertwines their plan of salvation, books in heaven, the cleansing of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment. Together, they are the same doctrine.
The Plan of Salvation
Those who have accepted Christ have been conditionally saved by continued faith. They will only remain saved as long as they continue to confess, repent of and renounce every sin. John 8:31 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” However, for Seventh-day Adventists, this means reaching sinless perfection. Read The Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White, Conflict Series, chapter 28, pages 479-491, especially 486-487.
The Books of Heaven
Unlike most Arminians who teach a possible, but rare, fall into habitual sin, SDAs teach that unconfessed and unrepented sin will cause one to fall from grace, almost always after death. Names will be blotted out only after Jesus has researched that professed believer in the books of heaven. Unless sinless, those who have already died have no assurance of salvation (GC486-487).
According to Ellen G. White it is almost impossible for anybody to be saved. “Our acts, our words, even our most secret motives, all have their weight in deciding our destiny for well or for woe. Though they may be forgotten by us, they will bear their testimony to justify or condemn” (GC482, 486-487).
Sacrificial Blood Defiles God’s Sanctuary
SDAs teach that the sacrificial blood does not wash away sin at the entrance to the sanctuary when the sacrifice dies and sheds its blood. They teach that the blood of the sacrifice subsequently defiled both the sanctuary on earth and in heaven itself.
“A substitute was accepted in the sinner’s stead; but the sin was not cancelled by the blood of the victim. A means was provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood, the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law” (GC420). “For eighteen centuries (until 1844) … 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” (GC421).
Jesus’ Sacrificial Blood Carries
Sins into the Sanctuary and Continues Defiling it.
“As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed 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” (GC421). Jesus is a greater defiler than pagan Rome or papal Rome in Daniel 8:9-14.
The Cleansing of the Sanctuary
Extremely unique to Seventh-day Adventism is its cultic doctrine of the cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven. They teach that the confessed, forgiven and forsaken sins of believers have been brought into the heavenly sanctuary and have defiled God’s dwelling place (GC421). In the New Covenant, Jesus is the High Priest who is still carrying atoned sins into the heavenly sanctuary to defile it (GC421). And, by linking Daniel 8:14 with Leviticus 16’s Day of Atonement, Jesus must cleanse the sanctuary before His second coming.
The Investigative Judgment
When the heavenly sanctuary has been cleansed from its defiling atoned sins of God’s people, the plan of salvation can be completed and Jesus will return as King of Kings. Beginning with the first to die, and, with Satan at His side, Jesus began reading the books of heaven on October 22, 1844, the SDA end of Daniel’s 2300 day-years of prophecy. Jesus meticulously reads every recorded deed and thought to determine if the person died with every sin confessed and forsaken. Names are blotted out of the book of life. This investigation has already lasted 179 years.
“Jesus does not forgive their sins, but shows their penitence and faith, claiming for them forgiveness” (GC484). “Sins that have not been repented of and forsaken will not be pardoned and blotted out of the record” (GC486).
Without a Mediator at Second Coming
For those living when Jesus returns, the SDA doctrine of salvation will become clear. Believers will not be able to repent and receive forgiveness after Jesus leaves heaven as king. Since Jesus will cease His priestly ministry (SDAs teach) and will put on His King of Kings garment, no sin committed afterwards can be mediated and believers must have achieved a state of sinless perfection. They will appear before Christ without a mediator (GC425).
SOME ERRORS OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM
1. SACRIFICIAL BLOOD DEFILES: The most disagreeable doctrine concerns the SDA teaching that the sacrificial blood carried by Old Testament priests and Jesus carries sin into the sanctuary and defiles it.
First, sacrificial blood washes away sins (Rev 1:5; 7:14). It cleanses and brings total forgiveness; it does not defile. Exodus 12:13 “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Acts 20:28 Christ has “purchased” believers with “His own blood.” Rom 3:25 “through faith in the blood to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past.” Rom 5:9 “being now justified by his blood.” 1 Cor 11:25 “the new testament in my blood.” Col 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Heb 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” “Heb 9:22 “without shedding of blood is no remission.” 1 Peter 1:19 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 Peter 1:19 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Rev 1:5 “washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Rev 5:9 thou “hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.” Rev 7:14 “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
The blood of the sin and trespass offering is always called “most holy.” In Exodus 24:4-8 sacrificial blood made holy both the covenant and the people. In Exodus 20:20-21, Leviticus 8:14-15 and 30:9 the sacrificial blood made the priests and their garments holy and prepared the altar for use.
When the sacrifice died as a sin offering at the entrance of the sanctuary, the payment for the confessed sin was complete and the sin itself was exterminated. The ministering “most holy” priest collected the “most holy” blood of the now “most holy” sin and trespass offering and either placed it on the ‘most holy” altar or ate portions of the “most holy” sacrifice (Ex 29:37; 30:26-29; Lev 6:17-18, 25-27; 12:8; Num 18:9).
Read the verses above again and the underlined words. No Christian should teach that the blood of Christ defiles! The Passover blood allowed God to pass over sins. Without blemish or spot, Christ’s precious blood provides forgiveness, justification, our purchase price, remission of sins, redemption, washes away sin and cleanses believers. It is pure blaspheme to blame Christ’s blood for defiling God’s throne.
2. GOD IS NOT OMNISCIENT: It has already taken 179 years (1844 to 2023) for Christ to examine the books of heaven and finally blot out previously atoned sin --- and He is still defiling God’s throne every time he ministers to believers!!! By teaching that God does not know who will be saved in the future, SDAs deny the Omniscience of God concerning the final state of believers. The necessity of the Investigate Judgment means they do not believe that God has foreknowledge of everything in the future. See Isaiah 46:10).
3. SACRIFICIAL BLOOD BOTH CLEANS AND DEFILLES: SDAs teach that the identical ritual of confessing sins over a sacrifice daily throughout the year and yearly on the Day of Atonement have opposite effects. The daily brings partial atonement and defiles the sanctuary while the yearly cleanses the sanctuary. Yet, the Day of Atonement sacrifice includes 10 days of intense soul-searching for unconfessed sins (Lev 23:27-34; Rev 7:14).
4. ATONED SIN DOES NOT PASS THE DOORWAY: Sins did not enter the sanctuary through the sacrificial system; they were always washed away at the entrance where the sacrifice was offered and its blood was shed. See Lev 1:3; 3:2; 4:4, etc.
Beginning in Leviticus 4:20 “a sin offering … and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.” “Atonement” occurs 49 times in Leviticus. The blood of the sacrificial sin offering made aa full atonement for those sins confessed over it. It was not a partial atonement. God does not require double payment for the same sins.
Those who entered the sanctuary grounds with any uncleanness were cut off (Lev 22:3). Unclean priests were put to death (Ex 12:19; 23:18; 29:44-45; 34:25; Lev 2:11; 6:17; 10:12; 23:17). All of the offerings were “most holy” (Lev 6:17, 25; 7:1; Num 18:7-10).
5. JESUS, AS ANTICHRIST DEFILES: SDAs make Jesus the Antichrist who is responsible for bringing sins into the heavenly sanctuary to defile it. While pagan Rome only destroyed the earthly sanctuary (Dan 8:9-10 per SDAs) and papal Rome only replaced it with the confessional (Daniel 8:11-12 per SDA theology), Jesus Himself personally brought atoned sins of believers into the heavenly sanctuary and defiled it Dan 8:13-14). This is utter confusion.
6. WITHOUT A MEDIATOR: God knows the end from the beginning and is just. He will not cast out life-long believers for minor unconfessed sins. First John 1:9 promises that God goes beyond forgiving known sins to “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” --- that includes forgotten unconfessed sins.
The SDA plan of salvation requires Jesus to first read the books in heaven in order to determine who died with every sin repented and forsaken (GC483-484). First John 1:9 is not quoted in The Great Controversy which teaches that God does not forgive forgotten and unconfessed sins.
7. DANIEL 8:9-14: SDAs fail to interpret Daniel 8:9-14 as a whole. They fail to see that their interpretation makes Jesus Himself the Antichrist responsible to bringing sins into the sanctuary and defiling it.
8. THE PURPOSE OF SACRIFICIAL BLOOD BEING CARRIED INTO THE SANCTUARY: It recorded the payment for sins (Jer 17:1); it was evidence that the price had been paid. .
9. HOW THE SANCTUARY WAS DEFILED: The earthly sanctuary was defiled by its location “in the midst” of a sinful people (Lev 16:16). Lev 15:31 “Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them.” Num 19:20 “But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean.” See also Lev 18:28; 20:3; Num 5:2-3; 19:13; 35:34; Eze 2:62.
10. ENTIRE SANCTUARY REQUIRED CLEANSING: SDAs do not teach that the entire earthly sanctuary required periodic cleansing because of its location in the midst of a sinful people. It is wrong to stress the necessary cleansing of the Most Holy Place and ignore the remainder of the sanctuary (Lev 16:16-20).
11. LEVITICUS 16 AND DANIEL 8:14 CONTRAST: SDAs fail to see a disconnect between Leviticus 16’s one-day, Day of Atonement to 179+ years and ignore the two different Hebrew words used for “cleansing” in Leviticus 16 (taheer) and in Daniel “tsadaq” (righteous).
13. SATAN IN THE MOST HOLY PLACE: SDAs teach that Satan is alongside Jesus in the Most Holy Place accusing believers while Jesus is examining the books of heaven (GC484). Satan is not omni-present like God.
14. SINS OF IGNORANCE: SDAs say very little about Israel’s judges and judicial system. In reality the priests only ministered minor sins of ignorance or accident and only those sins would be recorded in God’s book of remembrance. See Leviticus 11, 13,, 14, 15, 19; Num 5. Presumptuous sins and willful sins were handled by the judges and would not be recorded in the books inside the Most Holy Place. See Exodus 21:24; 22:18, 20; 30:21; 31:14; Leviticus 7:21, 25-27; 10 all; 18 all; 20 all; 24:16, 20; Deut 19:21. The guilty persons “bore their own iniquity. See Numbers 5:31; 30:15; Ezekiel 18:20.
15. WILLIAM MILLER WAS A FARLSE PROPHET: Jesus did not return to earth in 1844, earth did not burn up in 1844 and those who rejected his message were not Babylon. SDAs refuse to admit that William Miller was a false prophet and call his message the first angel’s message of Revelation 14. Miller’s “judgment” message was the second coming of Christ to destroy earth by fire in 1844. They also teach that the second angel’s message of Revelation 14 occurred in the summer of 1844. Today, SDAs teach nothing in common with William Miller who admitted error and returned to his local church.
A CONDENSED SUMMARY OF ELLEN G. WHITE’S FALSE TEACHINGS:
Pages are from The Great Controversy, Confllict Series, Volume 5, 1888, 1907, 1911, 1939, 1950.
GC305, 306, 333: [An earthquake in 1755, a dark day in 1780 and a star shower in 1833 were signs of the soon coming of Christ.]
GC324, 336, 339, 351: [William Miller was a true prophet who prophesied of the Investigative Judgment.]
GC334-335: The 1840 fall of the Ottoman Empire fulfilled Revelation 9.
GC335: William Miller possessed the wisdom of heaven. His thorough knowledge of the Scripture enabled him to refute error and expose falsehood.
GC351-352: As Jesus’ disciples were mistaken about the kingdom being at hand, early Adventists were mistaken about the second coming. … Both fulfilled the will of God.
GC354: God accomplished His own beneficent purpose in permitting the [false] warning of the judgment to be given just as it was.
**GC373-374: God’s hand covered a mistake in the reckoning of the prophetic periods. (SC from spring 1844 to October 22, 1844)
GC379: The first angel’s message of Revelation 14 … was designed to separate the professed people of God.
Correction: In other words, those who rejected Miller should have stayed with him. Miller’s message was false; his “judgment” was earth destroyed by fire.
GC379-380: The unscriptural hope of a temporal millennium was abandoned.
Correction: Miller’s view of a destroyed earth would also destroy the later SDA view of Satan on a desolate earth 1000 years.
GC380: The message [Miller’s] which God had sent for the testing and purification of the church … In refusing the warning of the first angel [Miller] they rejected the means which heaven had provided for their restoration. … Here was the cause of … backsliding … in 1844.
GC389: The second angel’s message of Revelation 14 was first preached in the summer of 1844.
CORRECTION: Miller preached “Babylon is fallen” when most of his followers returned to their own churches. See GC391.
GC401: Of all the great religious movements since the days of the apostles, none have been more free from human imperfection and the wiles of Satan than was that of the summer of 1844.
CORRECTION: This refers to a time when Adventists were still preaching the end of earth by fire in October 1844.
GC405: Miller fulfilled prophecy …
GC405-406: The ablest of their opponents had not succeeded in overthrowing their system of prophetic interpretation.
***GC410: But God had led His people in the great advent movement.
GC417: “… the sanctuary to which it (Dan 8:14) refers must be the sanctuary of the new covenant.
CORRECTION: This is a fundamental error which completely ignores the context of Daniel 8:1-13 and, especially, the question it answers from Daniel 8:13. It also demands that 2300 “evenings and mornings) could only be interpreted as prophetic years rather than literal days or even 1150 literal days. The sanctuary of the new covenant was inaugurated when Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father and began ministering there as a high priest and was the entire sanctuary --- not just one room. The one “day” Day of Atonement lasted one “day.” When SDAs claim that Christ has been ministering in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary since his ascension, they inadvertently admit that he inaugurated the entire sanctuary at that time.
***GC417: “Is there anything in heaven to be cleansed? … It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [the blood of animals]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these" (Hebrews 9:22, 23), even the precious blood of Christ.
CORRECTION: Hebrews 9:22,23 refers to an inauguration ceremony, not the Day of Atonement. Actually, there were three different times that the earthly sanctuary/Temple was “cleansed”: (1) its inauguration, (2) its re-dedication/restoration after being defiled and (3) Day of Atonement. EGW and SDAs confuse the actual “restoration” cleansing required from Daniel 8:11-12 with the Day of Atonement cleansing of Leviticus 16. SDAs create their own confusion by disconnecting 8:9-13 from 8:14. The Hebrew word for “cleansed” in Daniel 8:14 (tsadaq) is never associated with the Day of Atonement cleansing in Leviticus 16 (taheer).
CORRECTION: The “cleansing” described in Hebrews 9:13-14 is neither the second (re-dedication), nor the third (Day of Atonement) which required sin to be confessed over the sacrifices. Rather, it was the first (inauguration) of both the old and new covenants which did not require sin to be confessed over the sacrifices (Exodus 24:3-8).
GC417-418: But how could there be sin connected with the sanctuary, either in heaven or upon the earth?
CORRECTION: Fundamental error. Atoned sin never entered either sanctuary. The sin ceased to exist the moment the sacrifice died (Ex 12:13; Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18. EGW keeps repeating Hebrews 9:22 but does not apply it to the moment the sacrificial blood was shed. Every aspect of both sanctuaries reflected the sinless holiness of God. The two sanctuaries are vastly different because the earthly sanctuary was located in the middle of millions of sinners, whereas the heavenly sanctuary is not, and could not possibly contain sin which cannot abide in the Presence of God. See chapter 11 of my book, Exposing Seventh-day Adventism. Willful sins were punished by judges. There was no sacrifice prescribed for willful sins (Ex 21: 17, 23-25; 31 14; Lev 20 2; 24:16).
GC418: The ministration of the earthly sanctuary consisted of two divisions; the priests ministered daily in the holy place, while once a year the high priest performed a special work of atonement in the most holy, for the cleansing of the sanctuary.
CORRECTION: Atonement and cleansing were performed every day of the year. Atonement was pronounced after every sacrifice. The entire sanctuary was cleansed before it entered service (Ex 29:36; 2 Chron 29:15), lepers' houses (Lev 14:49), Levites (Numb 8:6) and, especially, individual sins (Ps 51:2). Since there was such a great importance placed upon clean and unclean, it is wrong to limit cleansing to the residual cleansing of the Day of Atonement (Lev 10:10). Also, "the special work of atonement in the most holy" is really "the special work of atonement which began in the most holy and spread to include the entire sanctuary; this fact really annuls the SDA interpretation.
GC418 Day by day the repentant sinner brought his offerings to the door of the tabernacle, placing his hand upon the victim's head, confessed his sin, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice.
CORRECTION: At the door of the tabernacle the blood of the perfect sinless substitute sacrifice (Jesus Christ) atoned for and washed away the sin at the instant He died. Christ "did not know sin" before or at Calvary. God the Father (not the sinner) "made Him to be sin for us" (2 Cor 5:21) --- He legally imputed sin to Christ. Christ did not become a sinner; He was affected by sin but not infected by it.
GC418: The animal was then slain. "Without shedding of blood," says the apostle, there no remission of sin. The life of the flesh is in the blood." Hebrews 9:22; Leviticus 17:11.
COMMENT: Yes, yes, yes. Remission of sin occurred the moment the sacrifice died as the blood was shed on a daily basis. Again, the instant the Substitute died, its blood atoned for and washed away the sin. The sin itself did not enter into and defile the sacrificial blood, the priest or the sanctuary!!! Everything and every person in the sanctuary must maintain holiness at all times in order for the sanctuary to function properly. Words such as "And the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them" occur over 40 times in Leviticus alone.
GC418: The blood representing the forfeited life 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.
CORRECTION: "No! No! No!" A thousand times "No!" The blood, representing the holy, perfect, sinless, life of the Substitute sacrifice, was evidence (the receipt) that the perfect redemption price had been paid!!! The blood recorded the finished atonement and redemption. Jeremiah 17:1 reads "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars.” At least in this quotation, EGW correctly identifies “the holy place” and “the veil.”
GC418: By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary.
Again, No, no, no. THIS IS A GREAT FUNDAMENTAL ERROR: Although EGW once softens the language to "record of sins," her declaration that "sin [itself] was transferred [by Jesus Himself] through the blood" is predominant. God would never allow the Most Holy Place to be defiled; such would stop the entire sanctuary service. Records do not defile. As will be seen soon in following statements, beginning here, Seventh-day Adventism makes its greatest error!!!
GC418: In some cases the blood was not taken into the holy place, but the flesh was to be eaten by the priest, as Moses directed the sons of Aaron saying “God has given it unto you to bear the iniquity of the congregation.” Leviticus 10:17. Both ceremonies alike symbolized the transfer of the sin from the penitent to the sanctuary.
CORRECTION: This is the greatest error of the SDA view of the sanctuary. Sacrificial blood "atones," "cleans” and “washes away” sin! (Ex 29:36; Lev 12:8; 14:20, 53; 16:30; Numb 8:21). Sacrificial blood does not “transfer” sin from the sinner to the sanctuary. No sin entered the sanctuary through the atonement ritual! Sacrificial blood never “defiles” anything! Everything about the priest, his physical body, his clothing, his anointing, and his deportment within the sanctuary, must be holy and without blemish! Everything about the sacrificial animal must also be “most holy” or it would be rejected! When any part of the sanctuary was defiled, such as with Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 B. C., the entire ritual immediately ceased. The SDA doctrine insults the holiness of God and turns the Most Holy Place of the entire universe into the most defiled place with the accumulated atoned sins of every believer since Adam! (See Ex 33:22, 23; Lev 16:13; Isa 6:3-5; Lev 6:25-27; Numb 18: 9; Lev 4:20; 5:6; 6:7; 7:6; Heb 9:13, 14). It is contradictory to teach that everything about the sanctuary was either holy or most holy while teaching that the priests routinely defiled it through their daily ministry of blood. The priests merely bore the responsibility of mediating sins.
CORRECTION: Lost in this discussion is the indirect and inadvertent admission by SDAs that Jesus is the WHO, the Source, the ONE who DEFILES the sanctuary by literally bringing the sins of believers into it.
GC418: 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.
CORRECTION: This is EGW and SDA cultic doctrine at its contradictory worst. It forces them to teach that the daily sacrifices (representing Jesus as priest, sacrifice and His blood) “defiled” the sanctuary while the identical yearly Day of Atonement sacrifice “cleansed” it. However, SDAs dare not equate the word “transfer” with “defile.” Neither would they ever blame Jesus for defiling the sanctuary even though it is clearly what they teach! The Bible does not teach that the purpose of the Day of Atonement was to remove previously forgiven sins which had been placed there via sacrificial atonement blood! It was only for residual sin (Lev 16:29, 31; 23; 27, 32).
GC418-419: God commanded that an atonement be made for each of the sacred apartments. "He shall make an atonement for the holy place because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.' An atonement was also to be made for the altar "to cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel." Leviticus 16:16, 19.
CORRECTION: There is a serious problem here for SDAs. While EGW admits that the entire sanctuary was cleansed on the Day of Atonement, both she and other SDAs tend to ignore this statement. It means that Jesus was ministering in a defiled holy place until 1844.
GC419: Once a year, on the great Day of Atonement, the [high] priest entered the most holy place for the cleansing of the sanctuary. The work there performed completed the yearly round of ministration. On the Day of Atonement two kids of the goats were brought to the door of the tabernacle, and lots were cast upon them, "one for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat." Verse 8.
CORRECTION: (1) No mention is made of the high priest's personal sin offering because Jesus had no sin and such is not patterning fulfillment (16:3, 6). (2) Neither is mention made that both goats from the congregation were for one sin-offering (16:5) as this disagrees with the SDA interpretation of the scapegoat at Satan. (3) Again, no mention is made that the entire sanctuary was cleansed on the Day of Atonement.
GC419: The goat upon which fell the lot for the Lord was to be slain as a sin offering for the people.
CORRECTION: When both goats were presented before the LORD for one sin offerings (Lev 16:5, 7), both goats became most holy (Num 18:9). Both goats were equal because the lot could have fallen on either (16:8). The first goat would immediately die for the LORD (16:8, 9); the second goat became a living sacrifice to carry the memory of sins away (16:10; Heb 8:12). Compare Leviticus 14:54. Both goats were types of Jesus Christ.
GC419: And the priest was to bring his blood within the veil and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. The blood was also to be sprinkled upon the altar of incense which was before the veil.
CORRECTION: EGW has no problem interpreting "within the veil" correctly here compared to pages 420-421. Also, she fails to point out that the entire sanctuary was cleansed on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:16).
GC419: "And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited. Verses 21, 22. The scapegoat came no more into the camp of Israel, and the man who led him away was required to wash himself and his clothing with water before returning to the camp.
CORRECTION: Far from being a reference to Satan, "presented alive before the LORD" ensures that the scapegoat is a holy living sacrifice "to make an atonement with him" (16:10; Num 18:9). The high priest literally placed both his hands upon both goats. If the scapegoat had represented Satan, he would have been defiled. The fact that neither the high priest nor the man who led the goat out were required to offer sin offerings after their tasks proves that they were not handling sin (16:24, 26). Both only had to wash with water.
Gc419-420: The whole ceremony was designed to impress the Israelites with the holiness of God and His abhorrence of sin and, further to show them that they could not come in contact with sin without becoming polluted. Every man was required to afflict his soul while the work of atonement was going forward. All business was to be laid aside, and the whole congregation of Israel were to spend the day in solemn humiliation before God, with prayer, fasting and deep searching of heart.
CORRECTION: Again, notice that neither the high priest nor the person handling the scapegoat were required to offer a sin offering for becoming defiled. The one-day Day of Atonement was symbolic of one final Judgment Day in which God would once-for-all time deal with sin (Heb 10:1-14). Israelites afflicted their souls to reveal any residual un-confessed and un-atoned sins from the previous year. Since SDAs cannot cease doing business every day for over 178 years, the prophetic symbolism is lost (Lev 16:29, 31; 23:27, 32).
GC420: Important truths concerning the atonement are taught by the typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner's behalf.
COMMENT: Ellen G. White has changed from saying "the blood represents the forfeited life of the victim" to the correct saying "a substitute was accepted in the sinner's behalf."
GC420: … but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim.
CORRECTION: This is insane unbiblical theology! In other words, "the perfect sinless blood of Jesus Christ was unable to completely atone for and wash away sin when first confessed." Then why keep repeating Hebrews 9:22 “without the shedding of blood is no remission”? When the sacrificial blood was shed daily at the entrance to the sanctuary, remission occurred. The phrase “and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven” occurs in Leviticus 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7; 19:22). Indeed, the sin was canceled because the debt had been fully paid. The responsibility for the atonement sin was transferred --- not the sin itself. There is no mention of the transfer of sin into the sanctuary in the Bible.
GC420: A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary.
GREAT ERROR: Here is born the Seventh-day Adventist doctrine of the Investigative Judgment to remove atoned sins which have defiled the heavenly sanctuary.
GREAT ERROR: (1) Pagan Rome literally defiled the literal sanctuary with its army in A. D. 70 per the SDA interpretation of Daniel 8:9-10. (2) Papal Rome spiritually defiled the sanctuary with its theology and confessional in A. D.121t5 per the SDA interpretation of Daniel 8:10-12. (3) Jesus Himself becomes the worst defiler by transferring atoned sins of believers into the heavenly sanctuary per the SDA interpretation of Daniel 8:14. Therefore, Jesus is the Anti-Christ little horn of Daniel 8. Although they must strongly deny such obvious consequence and blame the sins of believers, in context, “transfer sin” and “defile” mean the same thing! The WHO is Jesus and the HOW is “using the sins of the saints.”
GC420: By the offering of blood the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law.
CORRECTION: This is another example of SDA theology at its worst. Ellen G. White failed to grasp that the sinner was offering the perfect sinless blood of Jesus Christ which certainly released the sinner from the condemnation of the law. The perfect sacrifice had been brought and accepted; Jesus’ life-blood had been shed; the atonement-redemption price had been fully paid, and the priest had announced “it shall be forgiven” (Lev 4:26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7; 19:22). Yet EGW erroneously says that the sinner was “not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law.” Thus, none can be in heaven and none can have assurance of salvation until their records had been scrutinized sometime after 1844.
GC420: 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.
CORRECTION: No, no, no. “To show that satisfaction had been made and accepted the moment the sacrificial offering died.” This compares to when Christ uttered from the cross, “It is finished.” Like every other daily, weekly and seasonal sin offering, the meaning was to prove that satisfaction had already been made! This was a most holy spotless sin offering which had been presented before the LORD (Lev 16:5, 7; Numb 18:9) and the residual sins of the congregation (which had remained to be confessed) had been confessed over it (Lev 16:29, 31; 23:27, 32). Again, satisfaction was made the instant the sin offering died (Ex 12:13). Its blood was brought into the Most Holy Place as proof, or evidence, that the payment had already been made (Jer 17:1). Since God does not require double atonement for the same sins, the Day of Atonement ritual was not a second redemption for sins covered by the daily ministration. Rather, it was a final residual cleansing of all remaining “un-atoned” sinfulness of Israel. Atoned sins are the only ones which do not defile! (See Lev 15:31; 18:28; Numb 5:2, 3; 19:13; 35:34; compare Lev 16:16-20, 30).
CORRECTION: If confessed and atoned DAILY sins defiled the sanctuary, so also would confessed and atoned YEARLY sins defile it. This means that, while Jesus has been removing sins from the heavenly sanctuary since 1844, He has also been daily transferring sins to it and daily defiling it by daily forgiveness.
GC420: Then, in his character of mediator, he [the high priest] took the sins upon himself and bore them from the sanctuary. [to place upon the scapegoat]
CORRECTION: The cost of forgiven sins had been paid. As occurred daily, the high priest now removed the record of forgiven sins from the sanctuary to the scapegoat. If the high priest had touched sin, he would have been instantly defiled, unfit to serve and would require another sin offering for cleansing. The Bible does not state that the high priest on the Day of Atonement removed sins from the Most Holy Place. Exactly as in daily sin offerings, the residual sins of all Israel had been atoned and washed away the instant the LORD's goat died at the doorway (Ex 12:13; Heb 9:22). The record of all atoned sins was removed from the entire sanctuary --- beginning with the Most Holy Place. Read Leviticus 16:16. Compare with the last phrase of 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
GC420: Placing his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people.
CORRECTION: Atoned sins never made it past the doorway where the sacrifice died! And the high priest certainly did not carry “sins” inside the sanctuary because he would have been defiled and unclean! The scapegoat, the equal second half of the ONE most holy sin offering from the people (16:7), presented a visual demonstration to Israel that even their residual sins were forever removed. “All these sins” refers, not to previously confessed and atoned sin, but to the residual general sinfulness of Israel. See Lev 16:16-20, 30. It is noteworthy that neither the high priest nor person who handled the second goat was considered defiled afterwards. Since the New Covenant sanctuary in heaven is not located “in the midst of a sinful people,” then it does not require a later corresponding Day of Atonement ritual. The cleansing described in Hebrews 9 is comparable, not to the Day of Atonement, but to the inauguration to begin the new ministry. Compare Exodus 24:4-8 and 29 with Hebrews 9:17-22.
GC420: Such was the service performed "unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." And what was done in type in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary.
CORRECTION: How much “example” was actually performed in the heavenly sanctuary (Hebrews 8:5)? Almost every text in Hebrews 8 and 9 is contrast, not fulfillment. Hebrews 9:9 says the old ritual was “a figure for the time then present.” It seems that SDAs only want to keep the Day of Atonement and even then, they do not make it a whole year as per their guiding principle.
CORRECTION: The "real" heavenly sanctuary already existed during Old Testament times. Did Christ mediate sins since Adam and Eve in it? Was there a yearly Day of Atonement every year in the heavenly sanctuary?
CORRECTION: Since Jesus is both priest and sacrifice, SDAs inadvertently make Jesus the guilty defiler of the sanctuary transferring sin to it. Their theology has Jesus bearing His own “sin-laden” blood into the sanctuary and defiling it. This is very obviously wrong.
GC420: The ministration of the priest throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary, “within the veil” which formed the door and separated the holy place from the outer court, represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension.
CORRECTION: This is goofy theology laughed at by all Bible scholars outside Adventism. It was invented as a weak attempt to justify the 1844 false interpretation where Christ, for the first time since His death, entered the Most Holy Place in haven over 1800 years after Calvary.
GC421: So did Christ plead His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners, and present before Him also with the precious fragrance of His own righteousness the prayers of penitent believers. Such was the work of ministration in the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven.
COMMENT: This is the first time Ellen G. White has referred to the priest as Christ and to the blood as His blood. It has previously been "the blood represented the forfeited life of the sinner" (GC418).
GC421: Thither [only into the holy place] the faith of Christ's disciples followed Him as He ascended from their sight. Here their hopes centered, "which hope we have," said Paul, "as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest forever.”
CORRECTION: Again, EGW teaches that “within the veil” only refers to the veil between the outer courtyard and first compartment. No other church denomination has dared offer such a different explanation of where Jesus ascended.
GC421: “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 6:19, 20; 9:12.
CORRECTION: Compare GC414-415. SDAs are the only group who teach that Christ only ministered in the Holy Place (instead of the Most Holy Place) from his ascension until 1844. EGW takes the reference to “within the veil” from Hebrews 6:19 and changes it into the outer veil instead of the inner veil. However, with one exception (Heb. 9:3), five of six references to “veil” in the New Testament refer to the veil between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place --- not to the curtain separating the Holy Place from the courtyard (Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38; Lk 23:45). Also, the phrase, “within the veil (vail)” occurs six (6) times in the Old Testament and always refers to the Most Holy Place, particularly on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16. See Ex 26:33; Lev 16:2, 12, 15; Nu 18:7. The phrase, “without the veil (vail)” occurs four (4) times in the Old Testament and always refers to the Most Holy Place. See Ex 26:35; 27:21; 40:22; Lev 24:3.
The “holy place” from Hebrews 9:12 (except for SDAs) is universally understood by Greek scholars and Bible translators as referring to the Most Holy Place (NKJV and NIV) of “heaven itself” (9:24). Again, the context of Hebrews 9:12 is that of inauguration of the New Covenant and not that of the Day of Atonement. Compare 9:18-21 with Moses’ inauguration in Exodus 24:3-8.
GC421: For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued [only] 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.
CORRETION: This is an SDA oddity. While the Father and the Law are located inside the Most Holy Place, Christ was not there until 1844. While “pardon and acceptance” had been “secured,” they really were not because a reversal might occur when Jesus read the books. No Bible texts validate that the atoned sins themselves literally “remain on the books of record.” While it is true that Arminian Methodists believe one can fall from grace, they attribute the fall to unconfessed sins following an initial justification experience. However, here SDAs refer to previously confessed and atoned sins still on the books of heaven. Ps 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
GC421: As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year …
CORRECTION: The “work of atonement” at the end of the year did not involve previously confessed and atoned sins. Rather, it involved yet unconfessed and yet unforgiven residual sins. It compared to a seasonal house-cleaning.
GC421: This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet [GC479; Dan. 7:9, 10], our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work --- to cleanse the sanctuary.
CORRECTION: To SDAs in 1844, this sounded like Jesus might return soon. It has taken Ellen G. White 421 pages to justify the existence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church following the false prophecy of 1844 by William Miller. Yet it has already taken an Omniscient God over 178 years to research the books of heaven to determine who shall finally be saved. In reality, the "one-day" Day of Atonement prophesied Christ's "one-day" act of once-for-all-time redemption at Calvary (Heb 9:24-26). The First and Second Angels’ Messages (“from God” EGW earlier wrote) preached by Miller have now been completely rejected by SDAs and replaced by the much worse false doctrine of the Investigative Judgment. Daniel 8:14 is now the cornerstone of 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.
CORRECTION: Both examples are wrong! The sins were washed away by the blood of the innocent sacrifice at the moment the sacrifice died. Here is positive proof that SDAs teach that Jesus Christ Himself is personally responsible for transferring sins to the heavenly sanctuary and defiling it! It is absolutely incredible that SDAs make Jesus Christ, the sinless Substitute and Sacrifice, into the Anti-Christ responsible for carrying sins into the heavenly sanctuary and defiling the Most Holy Place in heaven! “Yes,” they say, the very same atoning and purifying blood of Jesus Christ is also defiling blood which carries SIN into the holiest place in the Universe and pollutes it! Therefore, the worst offender is not the "little horn" but Jesus Christ Himself.
GC421-422: And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the SINS by which it had been polluted [by Jesus], so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the SINS which are there recorded.
CORRECTION: This is speaking of blotting out sins which have already been forgiven an atoned. At this point EGW does say “sins which are there recorded.” However, all of her other quotations plainly say “sins” which have “defiled” heaven. Mere “records” of sins would not defile, yet, according to EGW, heaven is defiled by atoned sins of believers which were carried there by Jesus through His blood.
GC422: But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of his atonement.
CORRECTION: Notice “to determine.” This cancels the previous statement that “pardon and acceptance” is already secured (GC421). Otherwise, there would be no reason to examine the lives of the faithful. And, by extension, it also means that nobody is in heaven yet because nobody can claim to have been fully saved before 1844.
GC422: 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.
CORRECTION: How can the blood of the sin offering “remove” sins when the blood of the sin offering “placed” sins there?
GC422: 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.
CORRECTION: Again, SDAs dare not admit they teach that “Christ, by virtue of His own blood, PLACED the SINS of His people INTO the heavenly sanctuary.”
GC422: 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.
CORRECTION: As a final review: (1) Both goats were chosen by the congregation as ONE sin offering (Lev 16:5). (2) When sacrificial animals were "presented before the LORD" they became "most holy" (Lev 16:7; Nu 18:9). (3) The scapegoat was presented as a living sin offering similar to Leviticus 14:53. And (4) if the high priest and goat-handler had contacted sin, they would have been required to bring a sin offering.
GC423: The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844.
CORRECTION: It was the excuse for not admitting Miller’s error. It was a greater error to explain a lesser error.
CONCLUSION: This is just a very small sample of EGW errors catalogued on my web site, Exposing Seventh-day Adventism. As a theologian, I get dizzy reading the utter absurdity and nonsense found in The Great Controversy.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD.
Author of Exposing Seventh-day Adventism
1211 Bluefield Ave
Elizabethton, Tn 37643
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD.
Author of Exposing Seventh-day Adventism
1211 Bluefield Ave
Elizabethton, Tn 37643