The Final Atonement, Part 3
The Father’s throne was in the holy place, or first apartment, of the heavenly sanctuary until 1844, at which time the Father moved into the most holy place, or second apartment, of the heavenly sanctuary and was seated. (See Daniel 7:9,10.) This concept was Biblical and was confirmed by the Spirit of Prophecy. (See Early Writings, 54, 55.)
Some theologians of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have propagated erroneous concepts regarding the place and the work of God, the Father, and of Jesus, our Mediator.
Elmer Ellsworth Andross
E. E. Andross was the first Seventh-day Adventist to publish the erroneous concept that God’s throne has always been located in the most holy place, and that "at His ascension" Christ entered the most holy place to appear before the Father to be confirmed. Then He returned to the holy place, or first apartment, of the heavenly sanctuary to perform the "first phase" of His heavenly ministry. (See E. E. Andross, A More Excellent Ministry, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, CA., 1912.)
The concept that Christ entered the most holy place and then returned to the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary was never taught by early Adventists, nor was it ever confirmed by the Spirit of Prophecy. Where in the world did E. E. Andross get the idea for such an erroneous concept?
Andross Influenced By Ballenger
E. E. Andross was associated in England with A. F. Ballenger, an Adventist minister who taught erroneous concepts on the sanctuary doctrine. Ellen White opposed all the erroneous concepts presented by Ballenger. Arthur White wrote, "Associated with him [Elder A. F. Ballenger] in the work in Britain were such men as Elder E. W. Farnsworth and E. E. Andross." Arthur White, EGW: The Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, 1900-1905, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C., 1981, 405, 406.
"In his 1911 talks at the Oakland Camp meeting, Elder Andross carefully traces through various texts and were employed by Ballenger in support of his views…" Arthur White wrote. Ibid.
Ellen White did not confirm the erroneous concept that Christ entered the most holy, or second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, at the time of His ascension to appear before the Father to be confirmed. Nor did she confirm that He then returned to the holy, or first apartment, to perform the first phase of His heavenly ministry. (See Ibid.) Although this erroneous concept cannot be found in the Bible, or the Spirit of Prophecy, it is promoted by some contemporary Seventh-day Adventist theologians.
Roy Adams Praises Ballenger’s Erroneous Concept
Roy Adams, current assistant editor of the Adventist Review, supports this erroneous concept. "Ballenger’s stress on...Christ’s entry into the most holy place at His ascension may be retained," Roy Adams stated, "and shown to be compatible with the notion of an anti-typical day of atonement commencing in 1844." Roy Adams, The Sanctuary Doctrine, "Andrews University Doctrinal Dissertation Series," Berrien Springs, MI., 255.
Ballenger’s erroneous concept of Christ’s entry into the most holy place at His ascension "may be retained," according to Roy Adams. Moreover, Roy Adams believes that Ballenger’s erroneous concept can be "shown to be compatible with the notion of an anti-typical day of atonement commencing in 1844." Ibid. This is liberal "new theology" Adventism in its most subtle and deceptive form. This is what prompted Ellen White to warn, "Omega would follow in a little while. I tremble for our people." Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 341.
The Work Of Jesus In the Most Holy Of the Heavenly Sanctuary
At the end of the 2,300 days [years], Jesus came before the Father to serve as our High Priest. Daniel saw this great event in vision.
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [Jesus] came with the clouds of heaven," Daniel wrote, "and came to the Ancient of days [the Father], and they brought him near before him." Daniel 7:13.
It was at that time that Jesus was given His kingdom. This event was the marriage of the Lamb. Pioneer Adventists’ saw the fulfillment of this prophecy in the parable of the ten virgins (See Matthew 25:1-13) and the "midnight cry" given in the summer of 1844. "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." Matthew 25:6.
"And there was given him [Jesus] dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him," Daniel wrote, "his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:14.
At this time "the judgement was set, and the books were opened." Daniel 7:10. "And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." Revelation 11:18.
Pioneer Adventists saw that the work of Jesus, our High Priest, in the heavenly sanctuary consisted not only of judgement but in the blotting out of sins. In the blotting out of sins, Jesus is making the final atonement.
Pioneer Adventist Writers On the Final Atonement
What about other pioneer Adventists? Was O. R. L. Crosier the only one who believed the final atonement is finished in heaven by our High Priest? No, indeed! Notice carefully a few statements from the most acknowledged pioneer Adventists.
"The Final Atonement" and "The Blotting Out Of Sins"
"By many, the idea of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary will be treated with scorn, ‘because’ say they, ‘there is nothing in Heaven to be cleansed,’" Andrews began. "Such overlook the fact that the holy of holies, where God manifested His glory, and which no one but the High Priest could enter, was, according to the law, to be cleansed, because the sins of the people were borne into it by the blood of sinoffering." Leviticus 16. James N. Andrews, The Sanctuary and Twenty-Three Hundred Days, Steam Press of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, Battle Creek, MI., 1872, 90.
"And they overlook the fact that Paul plainly testifies that the heavenly sanctuary must be cleansed for the same reason. Hebrews 9:23, 24. (See also Colossians 1:20.) Andrews continued. "It was unclean in this sense only: the sins of men had been borne into it through the blood of sin offering, and they must be removed." Then Andrews added, "This fact can be grasped by every mind." Ibid., 91.
"The work of cleansing the sanctuary changes the ministration from the holy place to the holiest of all. Leviticus 16; Hebrews 9:6, 7; Revelation 11:19," Andrews continued. "As the ministration in the holy place of the temple in heaven began immediately after the end of the typical system, at the close of the sixty-nine and a half weeks (See Daniel 9:27), so the ministration in the holiest of all, in the heavenly sanctuary, begins with the termination of the 2300 days." Ibid., 91.
"Then our High Priest enters the holiest to cleanse the sanctuary," Andrews concluded. "The termination of this great period marks the commencement of the ministration of the Lord Jesus in the holiest of all." Ibid.
"This work, as presented in the type, we have already seen was for a two-fold purpose, viz.:  the forgiveness of iniquity,  and the cleansing of the sanctuary," Andrews stated. "And this great work our Lord accomplishes with His own blood; whether by the actual presentation of it, or by virtue of its merits, we need not stop to inquire." Ibid.
"No one can fail to perceive that this event, the cleansing of the sanctuary, is one of infinite importance," Andrews wrote. "This accomplishes the great work of the Messiah in the tabernacle in heaven, and renders it complete." Ibid.
Notice, that Andrews concedes that the work of final atonement and cleansing of our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary "renders it complete." This is done in heaven, not at the cross.
"The work of cleansing the sanctuary is succeeded by the act of placing the sins, thus removed, upon the head of the scape-goat, to be borne away forever from the sanctuary," Andrews concludes. "The work of our High Priest for the sins of the world will then be completed, and He will be ready to appear `without sin unto salvation.’" Ibid., 92.
Notice that Andrews states that, "The work of our High Priest for the sins of the world will then be completed." Ibid. Is this statement in harmony with Crosier?
Yes, indeed. "In the heavenly Sanctuary, our High Priest, with His own blood, makes the atonement and we are for-given," Crosier stated. Day-Star, Extra, February 7, 1846.
Is this statement by Andrews in harmony with Ellen White? Yes, again.
"His [Christ’s] work as high priest completes the divine plan of redemption by making the final atonement for sin." Manuscript 69, 1912, 13.
Contemporary SDA Opposing Position
Are these statements by Andrews, Crosier, and Ellen White in harmony with contemporary Seventh-day Adventist doctrine? No, they are not! "When, therefore, one hears an Adventist say, or reads in Adventist literature—even in the writings of Ellen G. White—that Christ is making atonement now, it should be understood that we mean simply that Christ is now making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross." Representative Group of Seventh-day Adventists, Questions on Doctrine, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C., 1957, 354.
Satan’s conspiracy against the Advent truth is so subtle, so deceptive, that, without constant study by the Christian, detection is almost impossible. Did not Jesus warn that "if it were possible it should deceive the very elect?" Matthew 24:24. Notice very, very, carefully the two opposing statements below, the truth as stated by Ellen White, followed by the error as stated by the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church:
Ellen White’s Statement
"When Christ, the Mediator, burst the bands of the tomb, and ascended on high to minister for man,  He first entered the holy place, where, by virtue of His own sacrifice, He made an offering for the sins of men. With intercession and pleading He presented before God the prayers and repentance and faith of His people, purified by the incense of His own merits.  He next entered the Most Holy Place [in 1844], to make an atonement for the sins of the people, and cleanse the sanctuary. His work as high priest completes the divine plan of redemption by making the final atonement for sin." Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 54.
Erroneous Contemporary Adventist Church Statement
"This becomes all the more meaningful when we realize that Jesus, our surety, entered the "holy places" and appeared in the presence of God for us. But it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time. No! He had already obtained it for us on the cross. [emphasis theirs]And now, as our High Priest, He ministers the virtues of His atoning sacrifice." Representative Group of Seventh-day Adventists, Questions on Doctrine, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C., 1957, 381.
Notice, Ellen White states that Jesus "entered the holy place, where...He made an offering for the sins of men." Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 54. The contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church says, "No." They admit that Jesus did enter the "holy places" and appeared in the presence of God for us. "But it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time." Representative Group of the Seventh-day Adventists, Questions on Doctrine, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C., 1957, 381.
Ellen White says, "He next entered the most holy place, to make an atonement for the sins of the people, and cleanse the sanctuary." And, "His work as high priest completes the divine plan of redemption by making the final atonement for sin." Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 54. The contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church says, "No! He had already obtained it for us on the cross." Representative Group of the Seventh-day Adventists, Questions on Doctrine, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C., 1957, 381.
"The sins of those who have obtained pardon through the great sin-offering, are, at the close of our Lord’s work in the holy places, blotted out (Acts 3:19)," J. N. Andrews concluded, "and being then transferred to the scape-goat, are borne away from the sanctuary and host forever, and rest upon the head of their author, the devil." J. N. Andrews.
James N. Andrews then endorsed the writings of O. R. L. Crosier: "The following valuable remarks on this important point are from the pen of O. R. L. Crosier, written in 1846." Ibid. Bates
"First, then to be perfect in time it must begin on the 10th day of the 7th month, and no where else," Bates stated. "Then please look back to the 10th of the 7th month, 1844, where all the virgins were out looking for the Bridegroom, or as in the type, waiting for Jesus our great High Priest, to finish the atonement for the sanctuary and ourselves, and bless us by his glorious appearing." Joseph Bates, Eighth Way Mark, "Bridegroom Come," 101.
"Then we say at the commencement of this second type, the symbol of our trial, was where the Bridegroom came, and commenced the cleansing of the sanctuary," Bates concluded. "When God speaks and shakes earth and heaven, Joel says Jerusalem will be holy, the sanctuary will be complete, the atonement finished; for God will then be the hope of his people." Ibid., 102.
Stephen N. Haskell
"In Acts 3:19 we read: ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.’ Then your sins are blotted out when the times of refreshing come. We are, today, in the time of the blotting out of our sins. We are now looking for the times of refreshing, and the outpouring of the Spirit. The Lord teaches knowledge to those who are weaned, and those who study the Word have the refreshing. The refreshing is the outpouring of the Spirit of God in the time of the blotting out of sins, and that is where we are now." Stephen N. Haskell, "Preparation For Reception Of the Holy Spirit," 1909 General Conference Daily Bulletin, May 20, 1909, 106. [Address given at 9:15am Thursday, May 20, and Friday, May 21, 1909].
Alonzo Trevor Jones
"We are also in the time of the utter blotting out of all sins that have ever been against us," A. T. Jones wrote. "And the blotting out of sins is exactly this thing of the cleansing of the sanctuary; it is the finishing of all transgression in our lives; it is the making an end of all sins in our character; it is the bringing in of the very righteousness of God, which is, by faith of Jesus Christ, to abide alone everlastingly.
Therefore now as never before we are to repent and be converted that our sins may be blotted out," Jones concluded, "that an utter end shall be made of them forever in our lives and everlasting righteousness brought in." A. T. Jones, "The Times of Refreshing," The Consecrated Way To Christian
J. N. Loughborough
Loughborough writes, "Still later Elder [J. H.] Waggoner wrote a third pamphlet of about the same size, entitled, The Atonement in the Light of Reason and Revelation. About the year 1884 this was revised and enlarged to a volume of some 400 pages. It is a clear and concise treatise upon the subject indicated by its title." J. N. Loughborough, Great Second Advent Movement, 334. [Note: J. H. Waggoner was the father of E. J. Waggoner.]
E. J. Waggoner
"The blotting out of sin is the erasing of it from the nature, the being of man. . ., the erasing of sin is the blotting of it from our natures, so that we shall know it no more." E. J. Waggoner, Review and Herald, September 30, 1902.
"`The worshipers once purged’—actually purged by the blood of Christ—have ‘no more conscience of sin,’ because the way of sin is gone from them…," This is the work of Christ in the true sanctuary which the Lord pitched, and not man,—the sanctuary not made with hands, but brought into existence by the thought of God." Ibid.
Joseph Harvey Waggoner
"And yet another question has been raised, on which some minds have been perplexed. If the blotting out of sins is done in the closing work of the priest, when the sanctuary is cleansed, that is to say, in the Judgment, then the sins of all the saints must stand on record till that time. Now it has been shown (See Chapter Three) that justification by faith and salvation are not identical; the former is a fact of experience at the present time, while the latter is contingent on ‘patient continuance in well-doing’ on the part of the justified one. As was remarked, ‘justification by faith is not a final procedure; it does not take the place of the Judgment, nor render the Judgment unnecessary. It looks to something beyond itself to be accomplished in the future.’" Joseph Harvey Waggoner, "The Judgement," The Atonement, 226. James White
"How natural, then, the conclusion, that as the Jewish priests ministered daily in connection with the holy place of the sanctuary, and on the tenth day of the seventh month, at the close of their yearly round of service, the high priest entered the most holy place to make atonement for the cleansing of the sanctuary; so Christ ministered in connection with the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary from the time of His ascension to the ending of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, when, on the tenth day of the seventh month of that year, he entered the most holy place of the heavenly tabernacle to make a special atonement for the blotting out of the sins of His people, or, which is the same thing, for the cleansing of the sanctuary. The typical sanctuary was cleansed from the sins of the people with the offering of blood. The nature of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary may be learned from the type. By virtue of His own blood, Christ entered the most holy to make a special atonement for the cleansing of the heavenly tabernacle. James White, "The Sanctuary," Bible Adventism, 185, 186.
The doctrine of a "final atonement in heaven" is stated by James White in several places. Three other references are, Life Incidents, 192, 193; Life Sketches, 111; and Our Faith and Hope, 175, 176.
Pioneer Adventists taught the "final atonement" completed in heaven in perfect harmony with the Day-Star, Extra as written by O. R. L. Crosier. Many other examples could be presented. This position was one of the "foundation" truths that was endorsed by the Spirit of God at the beginning of the Advent movement.
"A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was plainly marked out before me," Ellen White wrote, "and I gave my brethren and sisters the instruction that the Lord had given me." "Establishing the Foundation of Our Faith," Manuscript 135, 1903, 3.
Ellen White On the Final Atonement
The Spirit of Prophecy teaches that the "atonement" was not completed on the cross, as the fallen churches of Babylon and the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church now teach. Although there are many more examples, the following are seven clear statements by Ellen White that the "atonement" was not completed and finished on the cross, but is finalized in the heavenly Sanctuary.
Early Statement – 1852
"As Jesus died on Calvary, He cried, ‘It is finished,’ and the veil of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom. This was to show that the services of the earthly sanctuary were forever finished, and that God would no more meet with the priests in their earthly temple, to accept their sacrifices. The blood of Jesus was then shed, which was to be offered by Himself in the heavenly sanctuary. As the priest entered the most holy once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days (Daniel 8,) in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary." Early Writings, 253, 1852.
Later Statement, 1912
"When Christ, the Mediator, burst the bands of the tomb, and ascended on high to minister for man, He first entered the holy place, where, by virtue of His own sacrifice, He made an offering for the sins of men. With intercession and pleading He presented before God the prayers and repentance and faith of His people, purified by the incense of His own merits. He next entered the Most Holy Place [in 1844], to make an atonement for the sins of the people, and cleanse the sanctuary. His work as high priest completes the divine plan of redemption by making the final atonement for sin." Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 54.
Notice the dates of these two statements, 1852 and 1912. After sixty years the Spirit of Prophecy was yet consistent with the original message of the "final atonement" completed in heaven.
"As in the final atonement, the sins of the truly penitent are to be blotted from the records of heaven," Ellen White wrote, "no more to be remembered or come into mind, so in the type they were borne away into the wilderness, forever separated from the congregation." Patriarchs and Prophets, 358.
"As He [Christ] repeated these words He pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living." Early Writings, 254. "Jesus makes an atonement for those who died, not receiving the light upon God’s commandments, who sinned ignorantly." Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 162, 163.
"The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement," Ellen White stated, "so in the type the blood of the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement." Patriarchs and Prophets, 357.
"In the typical service, only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment, the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. . .." The Great Controversy, 480. (See also, The Faith I Live By, 210.)
"In the type, this great work of atonement, or blotting out of sins, was represented by the services of the Day of Atonement—the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary, which was accomplished by the removal, by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, of the sins by which it had been polluted." Patriarchs and Prophets, 358.
This teaching of the final atonement in heaven, the blotting out of sins, was the true message of the First Angel, the "Present Truth" as taught and believed by pioneer Seventh-day Adventists and endorsed by the Spirit of Prophecy. Are these statements by Ellen White in harmony with the Day-Star, Extra article written by O. R. L. Crosier? Indeed they are!
To be Continued…
March 2000 Table of Contents