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A Big Question
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Submitted: Apr 23, 2013
By Preston Foster

 

 

 

I am sure there's a simple, credible preferably biblical explanation to this question.  The subject has been batted around -- at least within Adventism -- for decades.  By now, a clear, compelling answer should have emerged.
 
Hebrews 9:11-12 says very plainly:
 
“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”
 
Significantly, these texts speak, in the past tense; about Christ in His role as our High Priest (the referenced events in the texts clearly took place before 1844, as they were written more than one thousand seven hundred years before that date).  The texts also speak of Christ having performed that role, specifically, in The Most Holy Place in heaven.  The texts specify that Christ entered the Most Holy Place -- “once for all” to obtain our redemption, which could only be paid by His blood.
 
Thus, the question: How is the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment explained when juxtaposed with these texts?
 
A brief (but not at all comprehensive) description of the Investigative Judgment doctrine is that in 1844, the eschatological end of the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8, Christ entered The Most Holy Place in heaven to cleanse the sanctuary and, also, to execute judgment, prior to His Second Coming. 
 
However, it seems (or at least one could interpret from these Scriptures) that the cleansing of the Sanctuary had already occurred:
 
“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.  For Christ did not enter a foreshadow sanctuary made with human hands; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.  Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself,” Hebrews 9:22-26.
 
Again, the texts (seemingly) make it clear that not only did Christ appear in the Most Holy Place to atone for our sins (Hebrews 9:22), but also to cleanse (e.g., to purify “the copies of the heavenly things’) the sanctuary (Hebrews 9:23).
 
How could Christ have entered the Most Holy Place in 1844 to cleanse the Sanctuary if, as some interpret Hebrews 8-10 to say, Christ had already accomplished this (much earlier -- soon after His ascension) “once and for all,” then sat down on His Father’s right hand (Hebrews 10:12, Mark 16:19)?
 
This issue has, obviously been raised before by Bible scholars and rebuffed by other scholars and administrators.  Scholars and administrators can be very efficient at mudding the waters.  It is not an overstatement to say that, in the U.S. and Australia (at least), Adventism of the early 21st century is largely defined by the wake of the inquiry into this question. 
 
The question is a big one.  Like many important questions, the response is, too often, focused on the questioner instead of the question itself.  Scapegoating (i.e., name-calling, labeling, or ascribing negative motives) or martyring (i.e., victimizing) the questioner avoids the issue.
 
Can we (at least on this site) take on this issue directly?  Is the Adventist narrative of the Investigative Judgment consistent with the Bible?  Does the Bible itself contradict the Adventist narrative? Is the Adventist interpretation of the 2300 day prophecy a necessary rationalization to explain what was incorrectly predicted to happen in 1844?
 
Is there a clear, Bible-based answer to this big question?

 

 

Stephen Ferguson
2013-04-25 12:24 AM

'This issue has, obviously been raised before by Bible scholars and rebuffed by other scholars and administrators.'

Yes, and one notable Bible scholar was Desmond Ford - and we know how administrators handled him asking that question.

Preston, a very interesting topic to bring up though - well done.  

earl calahan
2013-04-25 1:09 AM

Preston, i believe you have just put the final nail in the coffin of the IJ starting in 1844. i have always believed that judgement of all, of all time, occurred after JESUS entered the Most Holy Place upon HIS ressurection from Earth, having shed His Precious Redeeming Blood, ONCE for all. Then HE sat on HIS throne at the right of the HOLY FATHER. Praise God. Whom so ever will is saved. Approch
the throne of GRACE with thanksgiving and into HIS courts with PRAISE. AMEN

cb25
2013-04-25 6:32 AM

"Is the Adventist narrative of the Investigative Judgment consistent with the Bible?.."

NO. It can, perhaps, be "made" to be consistent with a narrowed and selective reading of Daniel and Leviticus. It is not consistent with the Bible, specifically the New Testament. (Even Daniel 7:13, if one answers the question, "in which direction, and from where is the "son of man" moving, when he comes into the presence of the Ancient of Days, the 1844 doctrine is completely undermined)

"Does the Bible itself contradict the Adventist narrative? "

Yes, the NT in Hebrews specifically contradicts this teaching. Your blog has highlighted an area where this is so. One cannot read Hebrews as it stands and fit the 1844 doctrine into its framework.

"Is the Adventist interpretation of the 2300 day prophecy a necessary rationalization to explain what was incorrectly predicted to happen in 1844?"

It depends how you mean "necessary". If you mean "effort justification", absolutely. There is no lie so convincing as the one we tell ourselves, and if by believing it we can justify the immense effort and public position we have taken on a matter, we will have validated our position, effort and purpose.  Precisely what our pioneers did. We have faught many a theological war, and shredded many a sincere person and their career in defense of the position since.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-25 9:22 AM

Stephen, even the average older member cannot articulate 1844 and teh IJ.  It is a convoluted hotch-potch of unbiblical misinformation, as Preston has easily shown by his breifest of references to but a few of the relevant texts in Hebrews.  And since Des Ford so utterly discredited it in 1980, the last in a long list of such detractors starting with Canright in the late 1900's, it appears that it is being allowed to slowly die a death as a doctrine.  Like a household with an unfortunate secret, there is unspoken agreement....... we will never speak of it again!

FACT is, Jesus said, in AD31 - John 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.  Judgement AND Theodicy in one all-encompassing cosmic act.

William Noel
2013-04-25 9:41 AM

Amen, Preston!  Our church has a rich (but now ancient) history of open discussion of questions without recrimination and name-calling.  It was a time when we were seeking to know God better and discover the depths of knowledge it offered about God.  But somewhere along the way we got the idea that we had arrived at a point of complete knowledge about scripture and claimed our place on the summit of Mount Arrogance.  How I long for a time when we will come back down into the Valley of Humility where we can return to digging deeply into scripture and discovering more about God!

laffal
2013-04-26 1:36 AM

Preston,

Let me take a shot at the Big Question.  If we understand Daniel 7:9.10 to be the opening of the IJ, then the text itself gives us some help in answering your question.  In the sanctuary services / temple there were 2 thrones:
  1. And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about... And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
  2. Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. (Exodus 25:10-24 KJV)
My personal understanding of the answer to the Big Question is this... The Table of Shewbread... with its crown molding represented a throne... "You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north" (Isaiah 14:13 ESV)  According to our understanding of how the Tabernacle was ALWAYS set up with the entrance at the east facing west, the location of the Tabernacle... the Holy and Most Holy place... which puts the Table of Shewbread upon the... NORTH.

When the judgment is set... 1844 comes into play.  The focus of the heavenly ministry moves from the north to the west... The Most Holy Place... and the beginning of the IJ.

But that's just my point of view...

Stephen Ferguson
2013-04-26 7:16 AM

Iaffal:  ‘Let me take a shot at the Big Question… And they shall make an ark of shittim wood Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood… The focus of the heavenly ministry moves from the north to the west...’
 
I am not commenting on the merits or otherwise of Iaffal’s statement.  In fact, to be honest, I am not entirely convinced that 1844 isn’t significant. 
 
However, it would seem conservative Adventists must engage in the sort of theological gymnastics that would put the average liberal theologian, trying to discuss evolution or homosexuality, to absolute shame.  No one could deny that to get out of the pretty clear statement in Hebrews 9:11-12 conservatives must read the Bible in something quite contrary to the plain, ordinary and literal meaning of the text!
 
This in turn made me reflect on something Kevin said on the ‘Going Forward’ post.  He said:
 
Kevin: ‘But for me, the essence of theological liberalism is the replacement of an objective measure of authority with a variety of substitutes---usually a combination of human opinion, human scholarship, and the vagaries of personal experience. Subjecting the inspired Word to any of these elements is what theological liberalism is all about.’
 
But do conservatives do this very thing themselves?  Do they make a square theological tradition fit a round biblical hole?  I am not complaining about them doing that, because we all do that to some extent.
 
No one can or should read the Bible in a vacuum, and to interpret the Bible just through the Bible is an absolute impossibility. Rather, I am complaining that they perhaps criticise others for something they do themselves – when it suits them. 

laffal
2013-04-26 11:15 AM

Just want to make a clarification... we are told that Moses was to make the sanctuary according to the pattern.  I'm not all together convinced that the eartthly and heavenly sanctuaries are identical in every detail.  The earthly was designed as an instructive / interactive method of teaching the plan of salvation in a way that we would get it in a visual / participatory process.

Elaine Nelson
2013-04-26 11:24 AM

So heaven operates on earth time, not universal time?  Where is heaven located?  Where in the city, region, or place of heaven in there an altar?  Is there an actual temple there?

So many assumptions they would fill a 18-wheeler truck.  Before deciding on the details, first show that there is a basis  for all the questions above.

Such ideas even make the Mormon belief of the early American settlers very reasonable in comparison.  At least, those ideas are based on terra firma, and the inhabited planets is no less realistic than the SDA concept of a heaven operating on earth time and with earthly furniture.

laffal
2013-04-26 1:01 PM

Elaine,

The point of clarification was as follows: "I'm not all together convinced that the eartthly and heavenly sanctuaries are identical in every detail." (Hebrews 8:5) In other words, I believe the Lord showed Moses what He wanted to be constructed for the purpose of teaching / experiencing the truth of the plan of salvation (the New Covenant) thru the visual / interactive components of the sanctuary services.  Again, I personally do not believe that there is a sanctuary as it were in heaven that the eartly sanctuary replecates perfectly in a scaled down model.  But in the wisdom of God, and His love for man, He told Moses to "make me a sanctuary that I may dwell them." 

As for time... it's not about God working on earth's time... it's about God working out the plan of salvation in terms of the sin problem which is at the heart of the Great Controversy.  Time is more of a marker then anything else.  We are the time bound who live in this world.  After the Great Controversy is over there will be no more time.
 

Preston Foster
2013-04-26 12:56 PM

Thanks to all for your engagement and responses.

laffal, thanks for your input.  Still, to me, Hebrews 9 is explicit, redundant, and clear (in regard to reporting something that has already occurred) -- once and for all, in The Most Holy Place.

Elaine, the Bible in both Testaments, describes the earthly temple, built on the model of the heavenly one.  Hebrews 9 explicitly speaks of the Christ entering the tabernacle in heaven ("not made by human hands," or part of this creation).  For some of us, who believe the Bible is authoratative, this is the proof.

Serge, your reference, John 12:31, points to the possibility that one interpretation of judgment on the world might be the judgment that was rendered on Christ, on our behalf, at the cross.  It was there that sin (at least for those who are in Christ) was punished.  If so, this might make it possible for Christ to have entered into The Most Holy Place, soon after his ascension, to obtain our redemption and, also, to cleanse the sanctuary.  This, also, is what allows US to enter THE MOST HOLY PLACE and, by the blood of Jesus, speak to the Father, without any intercessor except Christ (Hebrews 10:19).

Hebrews 10:12-13 reiterates this point:

"But when this priest (Christ) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.  For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."

Still, I remain open to any compelling Bible-based explanation of the IJ narrative.  But, clearly, Hebrews 8-11 is (particularly the verses previously cited in Hebrews 9), for me, a scriptual basis for doubting its accuracy.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-26 1:59 PM

Preston Foster,

The real, vital question is why you chose a faulty translation of Heb. 9:11-12 to base your article on. The article begs the question as to whether the translation is accurate, and then builds everything else on the faulty, assumed premise that was never proved.

Heb. 9:11-12 says very plainly, "But he entered the holy places once for all by his own blood." It doesn't say Christ entered the Most Holy Place. Nowhere does the book of Hebrews mention either the heavenly Holy Place or the heavenly Most Holy Place by name. And these facts have been out there for decades, have they not?

When dealing with these verses, Catholic versions tend to be more accurate, while Protestant versions tend to be skewed by the theology of the translators. In contrast, the KJV inconsistently translates the same phrase, ta hagia, as "the sanctuary," "the holiest of all," "the holy place," and "the holiest" (Heb. 8:2; 9:8, 12; 10:19; 13:11).

Preston Foster
2013-04-26 5:13 PM

Bob,

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that it is the CATHOLIC versions of the Bible that are MORE ACCURATE in THIS specific case, while the PROTESTANTS had MORE motivation to mis-translate the Bible -- in THIS case, based on differences in theology.

Honestly, it will take me a while to digest that.

I cited the NIV in the Bible quotations offered in the column.  Yet, you say that "the KJV inconsistently translates the same phrase, ta hagia, as "the sanctuary," "the holiest of all," "the holy place," and "the holiest" (Heb. 8:2; 9:8, 12; 10:19; 13:11)."

Which Catholic versions (or translations) of the Bible to you recommend that we use to understand what Christ did in the heavenly sanctuary . . . and why should Protestants consider them to be theologically reliable?

Elaine Nelson
2013-04-26 7:21 PM

The ASB, one of the best translations is as Bob writes.

Remember:  the Adventist pioneers who studied and preached this message used the very poorly translated version, the KJV.  Today, there are many beeter and more accurate translations.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-26 9:46 PM

Totally agree Elaine, re KJV accuracy.  But no other translation has matched the beauty and form of the language.  I use KJV for that reason mainly, but with constant reference to the original languages, via Strong's, to determine a fuller sense of the meaning of word/verse/passage.  Also referencing other translations is helpful.  I particularly like Young's Literal translation for precisely that...... a literal, non-airbrushed translation of the original.  To mis-paraphrase Confucius: Many translations make Light work.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-26 8:13 PM

Bob is right about the translation of Heb. 9: 11-12   as far as the Greek is; it is not specific.   It could be the sanctuary as a whole or possibly one of the rooms.   In these cases ‘context’ helps define terms.
 
However 9:12 uses the expression ‘entering in Once for all’ as Hebrews 9:26, 28.  This ‘once for all’ language in very much in harmony with the Great Day of Atonement.    Especially the climatic language of verse 26 - “He came once for all, at the end of the ages to do away with sin . . .”  where we find unmistakable allusion to the Day of Atonement Finale.   
When reading regarding the sanctuary in Heb. 8 and 9 one must keep in mind the monumental statement made regarding Christ and the sanctuary symbolism in Hebrews 6:19-20.   Christ’s entering within the veil here is without question the Holy of Holies.     The ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματος – into the esoteric veil, or enter veil, refers to the second veil into the holy of holies.   This exact expression is used in the Old Testament translations ‘LXX’ in Greek exclusively for the Holy of Holies--Ex.26:33, Lev. 16:2, 12, 15.   
 
This does not mean there is not an end time judgement beause Hebrews 9:27 refers to it by name.   Hebrews is simply telling us that Christ’s death was a complete fulfillment of the requirements of salvation for us, a complete Atonement was made in Him and as is stated in Hebrews 6:19 fact is like an “anchor for the soul.”  Complete assurance of God’s love and forgiveness. 
 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-27 12:27 AM

Nice work, Darrel.  I wasn't aware of the LXX use of the ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματο formula.  Most interesting.
The word, esoteric, carries a lot of meaning hidden within it also.  SDAs generally are wary of the word, as it implies all sorts of arcane potential, and demands that one look as far beneath teh surface meaning as is humanly possible.  Nothing like the usual 'plain, literal meaning' of a word or phrase which is the preferred point of reference for most.  But the author of Hebrews had already stated that he would be challenging his readers to partake of some 'strong meat of the Word,' which those with a taste for the mere milk might find unappetising.

And so it is in Heb 10 we have a summary of the thesis of the book and its implications for our spiritual experience, here and now, and from AD 31 onwards.
v.11  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
V. 11 specifically denies any kind of 'daily,' 'holy place,' pre-1844 activity.  It is 'one sacrifice,' mission accomplised, AD31, sit down, job done!  This is further emphasised in v.14.

14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Note: one offering, perfected forever, the holy ones.  1844 denies the truth of this text.

But the climax, and crux, of the whole book is found in the next few verses:
19 ¶  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21  And having an high priest over the house of God;
22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

We are being exhorted to, ourselves, ENTER, the most holy place!  And to enter boldly!  How is this possible if the MHP is a building on an unknown planet in an unknown galaxy far far away?  And we are told we can boldly enter because our consciences are 'sprinkled,' (DofA language if ever there was), bodies purified!  Of what need did the early believers therefore have of another 'purification' or 'cleansing' some 1800 years hence?  Indeed, such a teaching, 1844, is anathema to the one just taught in Heb 10.  !844 is a case of false 'new light' becasue it so clearly contradicts this light in Heb 10, and infact the whole of Hebrews.
Come out her, My people.
 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-27 3:04 AM

Darrel, I meant to add a breif reference to Heb 1.3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (KJV)

This is an example of a case where a mix of translations is helpful.  And here, Young's literal is interesting:
—through himself having made a cleansing of our sins, sat down at the right hand of the greatness in the highest,
Now I am not aware of Young having any opinion regarding SDA doctrine, but this translation, if it is even close to accurate, does not leave much room, or necessity, for a 'cleansing' in 1844.  The 'cleansing' was made in AD31.  It is preposterous to suggest God got it wrong by 1813 years.


Robert Hoyt
2013-04-26 10:26 PM

It is clear here that our brothers who are ready to jump on the bandwagon of disputing our waymarks are interpreting personal opinions.
Jesus entered into the Most Holy Place, so why is not the Holy Place included?
Study to support our belief, not accuse it. Hebrews 10:20 tells us that Jesus is the veil that seperates the Holy from the Most Holy and no matter where He is in the Sanctuary in heaven, He is in the Most Holy Place.
Daniel tells us the Judgment will come far in the future before Jesus Comes "Shut up the book until the time of the end"
Jesus appeared to the Father to have His sacrifice accepted, then began His ministry on the Holy Place side of the curtain.
In 1844 afrer Daniel's prophecy ended He began the work in the Most Holy without moving an inch since He Himself is the Veil.
Judjment could not begin at His ascension since the Latter day people had not been born yet. He must finish His work of judgment before He can leave the Sanctuary. His death certainly made salvation and judgment possible but He could not complete the judgment until the last individual living has made a choice.
Our pioneers knew what they were doing spending whle days at a time on their knees in prayer.
How much time do the antaganists spend in prayer to try to take it away.
 

Preston Foster
2013-04-26 10:55 PM

Robert,

My purpose is not to defend or support, neither to tear down or accuse "our belief."  My purpose is to challenge it, by The Word, and, in doing so, to find the truth.  I am not a member of a "team" -- pro or con, regarding the IJ.  One would think that, if the "defenders of the faith" are confident in their position, inspection would be welcomed.  Given the contentious history of this issue, that, I know, is a naive assumption.

If, in your scenario, Christ is the veil, was not the veil in the temple torn (destroyed) from top to bottom at the time of Christ's death, signifying the end of the separation in the sanctuary -- because The Final Blood Sacrifice had been offered -- and accepted?  If that symbol was a type of what occured in heaven, would not His body (the veil, in your reading) perform the same function in heaven? 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-27 1:20 AM

It is clear here that our brothers who are ready to jump on the bandwagon of disputing our waymarks are interpreting personal opinions.
Robert, in a sense I am no longer a 'brother,' having been led of the Lord (because I earnestly asked Him to lead me) into a rather different understanding of this 'waymark.'  I have found it, 1844 and IJ, to be in fact, very wide of the mark.  One cannot study it for very long before realising that it is a greivous error requiring urgent correction to bring true believers back into teh truth as it is in Jesus.

You say Heb 10.20 says that Jesus is the veil.  Look again.   'through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;'  or as teh Greek puts it, 'the flesh of him.'  Now I know that SDAs teach a monist materialist view of human nature, so therefore Christ must forever be 'flesh,' however 'glorified,' but this in not NT teaching.  There is clear distinction between flesh and spirit in teh NT, (that whihc is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the spirit is spirit) and true personhood resides in teh spritual aspect, not the fleshly.  But this text teaches that the 'flesh' serves to 'veil' the spiritual nature.  Hence we are exhorted to enter into our spiritual inheritance through flesh, albeit, Christ's flesh and all that He accomplished in it.

Daniel tells us the Judgment will come far in the future before Jesus Comes "Shut up the book until the time of the end" 
This is another of the errors flowing form William Miller's miscalculations.  Hebrews 1 is quite clear when 'the end' began.
Heb 1.1 ¶  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,
The Greek word used is 'eschaton.'  The end times came with Jesus first Advent.  All of the authors of the NT write with this idea firmly at front and centre of their thinking.

And if Daniel was to be 'shut up until the time of the end,' (by which I presume you mean post-1844), why did Jesus exhort his followers then, regarding events in their immediate futures:  
Mark 13:14  But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

Was He playing some kind of sick joke on them, telling them to understand Daniel, knowing that they never would?  They would have to wait til 1844?  When they did wait til 1844, they got it wrong anyhow!

Judjment could not begin at His ascension since the Latter day people had not been born yet. 
Robert, this has to be your personal opinion also.  By that logic, judgement could not have begun in 1844 because the people of 2013's latter days had not been born then, 1844, either!  Hebrews 1, the book about judgement and atonement, says that the last day people were born then, ie, AD31!  See also my response to Darrel above, but also I repeat it for emphasis here:
1 ¶  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2  Hath in these last  (eschaton) days spoken unto us by his Son,

How much time does this antagonist spend in prayer, seeking understanding of the meat of the Word, the deep things of God?  You'd better believe this, my brother, I pray, study, contemplate, without ceasing, for this.  Forty plus years and far from exhausted .......


Stephen Ferguson
2013-04-27 4:52 AM

Again, very interesting discussions with good arguments from both sides.  However, I am astounded by how complex these discussion are.  Adventist theology certainly doesn't seem to be the 'plain, literal and ordinary' reading of the Bible that we 'common folk' of the laiety can readily understand. It seems one needs a degree in ancient languages, history, Jewish culture, logic and philosophy - and that's just to follow the arguments, let alone work out which is correct!  

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-27 5:46 AM

You are hardly in the 'common folk' category Bro Stephen.  Tell me, given your useful grasp of church history generally, can you direct me to a doctrine in the history of Christianity which has been more convoluted, contrary and contentious than 1844 and the IJ?  Maybe you could, while at it, attempt to describe what it adds to the relatively 'simple' gospel message as it is usually told.  OTOH, what do you think the rest of the Christian world loses by not ascribing any truth status to this doctrine?

Stephen Ferguson
2013-04-27 6:00 AM

'You are hardly in the 'common folk' category Bro Stephen.'

LOL.  I am still a member of the laity though and not one of the clergy.  I was just reflecting on Kevin's earlier point:

'First, I do not apologize for believing that inspired writings can be understood by the simplest folk among us, and do not require advanced degrees or in-depth study of a given culture in order to find their true meaning.  It was Christ Himself who said, "I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes" (Matt. 11:25).  Yes, there are complexities and profound truths in the Scriptures and the writings of Ellen White, but I believe it is fair to say none of the issues we have been addressing in this conversation fit that category.'

The IJ is testament that there is much in Adventist theology that is far from being understood by the 'simplest folk amongst us!'  It is all well and good to say we should only take the 'plain, ordinary and literal' meaning of the Bible, and interpret the Bible against itself without relying on external formative factors, but the IJ doctrine illustrates just how impossible that can be!  

Moreover, it shows how what one person argues is an 'obvious' answer where a 'literal' reading of the Bible is sufficient, a different person shows the complexities.  Look how Preston started with a simple, literal reading of Heb 9 - and then it generated into a very complex textual criticism about different translations.

My main point being:

What is so interesting is that Preston was promoting the 'plain, ordinary and literal' view of the Bible.  And then it was actually the conservatives, who said you can't take that literal view,  and pointed to external sources and complex arguments about ancient grammar and translations.  So it shows both liberal and conservative minded Christians seek support from literal and not so literal readings of the Bible - when it suits them.

Stephen Ferguson
2013-04-27 6:03 AM

'OTOH, what do you think the rest of the Christian world loses by not ascribing any truth status to this doctrine?'

For me, the important part of the IJ is that there is a high priest in heaven working as a mediator for our salvation.  The Bible seems pretty clear on that point.  To me, whether that mediation process began in 33 CE or 1844 doesn't really matter - why would it?  

I get why it mattered to our pioneers, but when you think about it, in all seriousness, it doesn't matter that much. Given we are all being tried 'in absentia', does it matter to know when our trial date is?  Rather, what matters is our lawyer also happens to be the judge, and He has already worked out a plea bargain in advance.

In fact, I find it somewhat annoying that we are so focused on the date 1844, which is only actually a very small aspect of the wider doctrine about an IJ.  Even Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox believe in an investigative, pre-Advent Judgment.  

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-27 10:13 AM

Seems, Stephen, your understanding of these matters may be more 'common folk' than initially suggested.  May I ask a couple of questions?

1. Just what do you imagine is going on/ happening / occurring / taking place when you say "that there is a high priest in heaven working as a mediator for our salvation."  What is the exact nature of the 'work' being performed and where/how is it being done?  WHo are the participants in the work / process?

2. Given we are all being tried 'in absentia', does it matter to know when our trial date is?  Rather, what matters is our lawyer also happens to be the judge, and He has already worked out a plea bargain in advance.
I understand you are a lawyer.  Does the legal process you have jsut described sound anything like 'natural justice'?  I know God's ways are past finding out, but doesn't this scenario strike you as manifestly unfair?  And the outcome, a fit-up between Judge and lawyer, who are actually the same Person, all cosily decided in advance?  That scenario is no God-justifying, man-redeeming process, its beyond farce!  Why do we use modern western legal process as metaphor for a jsudgement process conceived in ancient, Eastern minds? Whatever happened to Justice being seen to be done, at least by the on-looking universe?

3. I was going to ask about Par.3 but your par. 2 really makes that a pointless exercise.
 

Preston Foster
2013-04-27 8:44 AM

Stephen,

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article on the IJ called "The Critical Path to Salvation,(http://www.atoday.org/article/606/columns/foster-preston/2011/the-critical-path-to-salvation) making the your point that, regarding salvation, how one interprets the High Priest's role (e.g., literally or by the traditional Adventist narrative), is not vital to salvation.  I still believe that to be the case.

But I do think that it is time to take on the issue directly -- from the Bible, to see if a clear conclusion reveals itself.  

Hopefully, we'll see.

William Noel
2013-04-27 9:13 AM

Preston,

You have articulated the real challenge: from the Bible.  I've been focusing my study on the topic in scripture alone and have discovered some things that I have never heard in any discussion of the topic.  I'll share the details in another setting but will state the sum: our concept is upside-down. 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-27 10:37 AM

Preston, let me be clear.  You consider that it is not vital to salvation as to how one 'interprets the High Priest's role?'  Given that Hebrews was written to Christians of Jewish origin, in order to help them understand the new covenant system as opposed to the old Abrahamic covenant, you may very well have a point.  But SDAs, for reasons best know to the pioneers, have chosen to model themselves, to a great degree, on that old Jewish economy.  So it seems that these Jewish metaphors of temple and Preistly roles etc become of greater significance.  Perhaps this is largely the reason that the 1844 and IJ doctrine is seen as rather Byzantyne, if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor.  Modern Westerners are not good at comprehending arcane, ancient, Eastern, cultic mindsets.  However, 1844 and IJ can be said with another word, Atonement, which as it happens is also a Jewish concept, but is one which does extend to all Christians whether they be of Hebrew/Jewish origins or Gentile.  

But I have a very basic question.  What do you mean by 'salvation?'  This is relevant because it may not mean the self-same thing to everybody.  For some it means transportation of one's self in physical/bodily form away from a destroyed planet earth to another planet out there, called Heaven.  For others, such as myself, it means complete loss of the bothersome physical aspects, and trasformation of the real/inner self, known as spirit, through union with the divine nature. (2Peter 1.4, 1Cor 6.17).  For others, it may be some combination of these attributes, or something else entirely.

For on the answer to this question will turn the means one considers is/are necessary to achieve it.

How readest thou?

Preston Foster
2013-04-27 2:23 PM

Serge,

I do believe that it is important that we understand that Christ is our High Priest.  

However, (for believers) I think that it is VITAL that we understand that Christ is the Lamb of God who paid the price for our sins and that we accept that payment -- and the grace He has granted to us.  We are saved by grace through faith IN CHRIST.  Understanding His role as High Priest is important, but, in my opinion, that understanding is not vital to our salvation.  Christ's has different roles: Lamb, High Priest, Judge.   I believe the only vital (e.g., indispensible) role for us to understand regarding salvation is that of Lamb (this is not to say that those who are ignorant of God / Christ cannot be saved).

By "salvation," I mean being "saved" -- ultimately; "saved" as in "not lost," or going to heaven when Christ comes;  "saved" as in receiving God's reward of eternal life.

I do believe that salvation has current benefits as well (peace of mind, the ability to claim God's promises, and, most importantly, the power of Holy Spirit).  But, in the context of this discussion, by "salvation" I mean gaining God's gift of eternal life.

Preston Foster
2013-04-27 2:27 PM

One more clarification: I do believe Christ's ROLE as High Priest is vital to our salvation; I do not believe our UNDERSTANDING of that role is vital.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-27 10:47 PM

Darrel (& Preston),

"Christ’s entering within the veil here is without question the Holy of Holies." I believe this widely believed idea is faulty. Consider: (a) Paul in Hebrews does not follow the LXX's nomenclature. As one example, he speaks of the entrance to the Most Holy as being "the second veil" (Heb. 9:3), even though in the LXX it is the third veil, since the entrance to the courtyard in the LXX is called a veil too. If Paul doesn't follow the LXX, we must be cautious in drawing conclusions based on similarities with the LXX.

(b) The LXX always qualifies the word "veil" in some way so that you know which veil is being discussed. Paul doesn't do this in Hebrews, which means that, since he acknowledges that there are two veils, either or both could be what he is referring to in the verse(s) in question.

(c) The noted similarity between Heb. 6:19 and Ex. 26:33, Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 is too superficial. None of those verses contain the direct article that Heb. 6:19 has before the word esoteron, and none of them use the same verb. But if we scan the LXX for other verses, we do find a couple which seem to be closer in the Greek to Heb. 6:19 than Ex.26:33, Lev. 16:2, 12, 15. They seem closer because they do have the neuter direct article, even though the preposition isn't the same or in the same form.
  • "to esoteron tou katapetasmatos" (Heb 6:19).
  • "panta ta kata ton bomon kai eso tou katapetasmatos" (Num. 3:10).
  • "to endothen tou katapetasmatos" (Num. 18:7).

Both these verses speak of Aaron and his sons ministering "within the veil." Since Aaron's sons were not allowed within the second veil, these verses must be speaking of the first veil. And if Heb. 6:19 is using the language of the LXX and we must draw some sort of conclusion from it, then that conclusion must be that Heb. 6:19 is referring to the first veil, not the second.


Bob Pickle
2013-04-27 10:52 PM

Preston,

Regarding the NIV, I think it is inexecusable for the NIV to have omitted the word "having," or some variant, from Heb. 10:1. The word is clearly in the Greek, and the omission drastically changes the thought, making the verse support some form of antinomianism, which I suspect was more in, line with the translators' theology. It was the NIV's mistranslation of Heb. 10:1 that made me think it should be called the NIP instead of the NIV, as in New International Paraphrase.

Dynamic translations are supposed to reproduce the thought of the verse. The NIV failed to do so in Heb. 10:1. So it shouldn't surprise us if it fails in other parts of Hebrews as well.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-27 11:10 PM

Preston,

"A couple of years ago, I wrote an article ... making the your point that, regarding salvation, how one interprets the High Priest's role (e.g., literally or by the traditional Adventist narrative), is not vital to salvation." And yet we have the testimony of Jesus on GC 488 rather pointedly saying that such an understanding is vital today. So we have Preston Foster vs. the testimony of Jesus. Who should we put our faith in?

I think anyone who raises questions about 1844 or the IJ needs to really come to grips with Rev. 11:1. Thus far I have yet to see any other explanation for the biblical parameters than basic Adventist theology. Those parameters are:
  • The one part of Daniel explicitly said to be sealed until the time of the end is the 2300 evening-morning of Dan. 8:14 (Dan. 8:26), after which the sanctuary is to be cleansed.
  • When is the time of the end? A being in Dan. 12:6-7 lifts both hands to heaven and swears by him who lives forever that it is for a time, times, and half a time.
  • In Rev. 10 a being described in a similar way has a little book opened, lifts a hand to heaven, and swears by him who lives forever that there shall be time no longer.
  • In that context, John is told in Rev. 11:1 to measure the temple, altar, and worshipers.
  • In Lev. 16 the sanctuary, altar, and worshipers are cleansed, the same three entities measured in Rev. 11:1.
  • Mat. 7:1-2 uses "measure" to mean "judge." What sort of judgment is a measuring judgment? Not an executive judgment, that's for sure. It's an investigative judgment.
So Rev. 11:1 ties together Dan. 8:14's 2300 days, Lev. 16's cleansing of the sanctuary, and some sort of investigative judgment. Only Adventism, to my knowledge, explains why those things are tied together.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-28 7:19 AM

Bob, thank you.  I have been trying ot come to grips with Rev 11.1.  I am fine with the idea that measuring represents a kind of judgeing, but I am not convinced that it is necessarily to be described as investigative.  But I am most curious.  Perhaps you might be able to clear up some questions. 
1. What/which temple of God is being judged here?  
2. Is this the same heavenly temple in which Jesus performs His high priestly ministry?  
3. What is the altar?  
4. Is this altar in Heaven?  
5. Is it the same as the altar of sacrifice?  
6. Have any sacrifices ever been offered on it?  
7. Is it the same as the altar mentioned in Rev 6.9 ? The one with the souls under it. 
8. Who are the worshippers in this temple, the ones being 'judged'?  
9. Where are they?
10. Is there any connection between the temple of Rev 11.1 and the tabernacle of Rev 13.6?

6  And he opened his mouth for blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, even them that dwell in the heaven. (ASV)

11. Did the author of Hebrews get it right or wrong when he said that the end times, the eschaton, came with Jesus? (so I take that to be from AD 27 onwards).  Heb 1.2 'Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son ...'
Any suggestions/ideas greatly appreciated.

Preston Foster
2013-04-28 12:46 AM

Bob,

You are free not to take my advice.  I depend on the Bible (sola scriptura) to define God's grace and requirements. But, at least for me, "The Great Controversy" is NOT the testimony of JESUS.  That, to me, is the definition of blasphemy.  To believe Mrs. White was inspiried is one thing; to equate her words to the testimony of Jesus Christ is quite another.

Is there a Bible text that requires me to fully understand the role of Christ as a High Priest in order to receive salvation or an adjunct requirement?

Preston Foster
2013-04-28 12:52 AM

Correction: "  . . . or IS THAT an adjunct requirement?"

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 8:26 AM

Preston, there is much confusion on what you state here.   The context found in the book of Revelation must define the expression 'testimony of Jesus.' 

At the very beginning (Rev. 1:2) John, as a prophet sees his work as a part of the ‘testimony of Jesus,” but more specifically “the testimony of Jesus” being the content of what Jesus showed him.
. . . signified it by his angel unto his servant John:  “Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, that is [οσα], all things that he saw.”  Rev.1:2 NIV
Even to all that he saw,” (Rev.1:2 NAS)  would naturally refer to the content of the book of Revelation.  The next verse confirms this.  “Blessed is he that reads and they that hear and keep the things that are written here.” 
At the end of Revelation (Rev. 22:7,10,8) Jesus himself refers to “The sayings of the prophecy of this book” as his “testimony.”

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 8:50 AM

And if these texts Darrel has given are insufficient:

"Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, ... Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified ..." (1 Pet. 1:10-11).

"Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers" (2 Ki. 17:13).

"Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets" (Neh. 9:30).

So we have a number of passages that explain why the gift of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus/the Spirit of prophecy.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 6:10 AM

“The noted similarity between Heb. 6:19 and Ex. 26:33, Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 is too superficial. None of those verses contain the direct article that Heb. 6:19 has before the word esoteron, and none of them use the same verb.”    

The exact verbs are variants having no bearing on the “phrase.”  The article τοῦ is used before veil in all the above passages.  The expressions are identical.  The closing thoughts of Hebrews Chapter 2, 4 and 6 are also identical.   "The Throne of Grace" is in the Holy of Holies. 
 

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 8:23 AM

Darrel,

The throne of grace is in the Holy Place until 1844. That is why John in Rev. 4 sees the throne of God in the Holy Place around the time of the ascension (Rev. 5:6).

The expressions are not identical since only Heb. 6:19 has the direct article to before esoteron. And if "the exact verbs are variants having no bearing on the 'phrase,'" then certainly it matters not which "preposition" we use, whether esoteron, eso, or endothen.

Would you not agree that in the LXX, "within the veil" in Num. 3:10 and 18:7 is referring to within the first veil?

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 8:40 AM

Serge,

If measuring is not an investigation, an examination of the dimensions of a subject, give me some sort of idea of what else it could be.

1. In Rev. 11:19 the temple is the temple in heaven. There is no indication that the temple of Rev. 11:1 is anything different.
2. Yes.
3. Why not the altar of Rev. 8:3-4? That was the altar that was cleansed in Lev. 16, I believe.
4. Yes.
5, 6, & 7. No.
8. Those who have professed faith in Christ.
9. Literally, on earth, though texts like Eph. 2:6 put us in "heavenly places" in Christ now. Note that when the time comes for the 7 last plagues to be poured out, no man can enter the temple in heaven (Rev. 15:8, 5), which means that we can enter there by faith now.
10. Yes.

11. I appreciate Ed Reid's clock illustration on this. If there is only an hour hand on the clock, and if each minute mark represents 100 years, then one revolution would be 6000 years. Take 12 noon as being creation. 2pm would be about the death of Adam, 3pm about the flood, 4pm about Abraham, 5pm about the Exodus, 6pm about David's reign, 7pm about Daniel's time, 8pm about Christ's time. Viewed in this way, at Christ's time the world's history is 2/3's over, and could be called the last days. But the time of the end does not begin until the end of the 1260 days. See Dan. 11:33, 35 for additional support for this idea.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-28 10:25 AM

Thanks Bob, but now I'm a bit more confused.  Yes, I agree, an investigation could be an aspect of measuring.  I jsut don't see that John's being asked to Rise and Measure, presumably, while he was in vision back then, is going to lead directly to 1844 and IJ.  But that is not the main issue arising.

1. The temple is in heaven, literally, but those who 'worship therein' are not actually 'therein' but on earth.  They are only 'therein' by faith?  Have I got that straight?
2. There is more than one altar in the heavenly temple?  Allowing for altar of sacrifice and altar of incense, are these the only altars described in the various passages in Rev?  Which altar would you say is represented here?  And the altar of  Rev 6.9? whihc one is it?  Any others?
3. Rev 11.2 speaks of the courtyard of the temple.  Its not to be measured, but given over to 'the nations,' who 'tread the holy city under, forty and two months.'   Is this 42 months any kind of equivalent to the time, times and half a time of Dan 12 you mentioned earlier?  If so, does this 42 months end, by the standard timetable, around 1789?  
If so, it would appear that a lot of investigating/measuring has been going on PRIOR to the official start of the investigative judgement in 1844.  
4. Is this courtyard also in heaven?  Are the heavy-footed nations also in heaven or only there 'by faith?'  If not, how is that there is a temple in heaven, but its courtyard is 'down here,' ... somewhere?
5. John saw the temple in heaven in Rev 11.19, and heard/saw lightning, thunder, earthquake and hailstorm.  Are these violent phenomena also 'in heaven?'
6. What/where is 'the holy city' to be trodden underfoot by the nations in v. 2?  Is this holy city different to the one mentioned in Rev 21,22?
7. You agree there is conncetion between the temple of Rev 11.1 and the tabernacle Rev 13.6.  What do you see that connection to be?  Are they one and the same?  
8. If its ok with you, I'll take the revelation of our Lord in Heb 1.2 that the eschaton came with Jesus in preference to Ed Reid's clock.  It seems like a dicky ticker to me.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 11:13 AM

Serge,

"I jsut don't see that John's being asked to Rise and Measure, presumably, while he was in vision back then, is going to lead directly to 1844 and IJ." Fine. Then I would suggest finding another meaning for "measure," something other than the 2300 days in Daniel that was sealed that could be unsealed in Rev. 10, and/or some other reason why those three entities are measured in Rev. 11:1. And really, before anyone should quibble over some fine detail, they ought to find alterantive positions for one of these three points.

1. That's how I understand Rev. 15:8.
2. Like I said, I believe the altar in 11:1 is that of 8:3-4. There is no hint that I know of that the altar of 6:9 is in heaven. The courtyard was where the lamb died, and Christ died on earth, not in heaven.
3. a. Yes. b. 1798. c. 11:2b ff. is given within the timeframe of John's own day, while 11:1-2a is given from the time frame of post-1798. I believe we have a clear principle laid down in this passage that what John sees in vision is within a different time context than what John is verbally told outside of a visionary scene. This distinction is important when looking at Rev. 17's 7 kings. At what point are 5 fallen and 1 is? In John's day or at some future point in time? Conversations outside of scenes are always in the prophet's day.
4. "How is [it]"? I guess we can ask the One who designed it all about why He designed it that way.
5. Those phenomena are associated with the voice of God at the second coming.
6. a. That repesents the church (GC88 266; 4SP 188). b. Yes and no.
7. I see no reason why not.
8. What do you mean? Are you saying that you deny that the time of the end began in 1798 at the end of the 1260 days?

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 9:02 AM

Preston,

"Is there a Bible text that requires me to fully understand the role of Christ as a High Priest in order to receive salvation or an adjunct requirement?"  (a) A Seventh-day Adventist who takes a sola scriptura position will accord the writings of a divinely inspired prophet the status of "testimony of Jesus."

(b) Before taking the position that at the end of time a knowledge of what Christ is doing now in the heavenly sanctuary is unnecessary, such an individual would want to find an explicit verse to that effect, since GC 488 very explicitly says otherwise. I can think of no such text.

(c) On the typical Yom Kippur: "For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people" (Lev. 23:29). Clearly, in the type, you had to understand what the high priest was doing. Thus, in the antitype, it should not surprise us that an understanding of what the High Priest is doing is necessary, as GC 488 states. We won't ever "fully understand" if we are going to be studying it and learning from it throughout eternity, but we must understand it now to a point. "Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill."

Preston Foster
2013-04-28 1:24 PM

Bob,

"A Seventh-day Adventist who takes a sola scriptura position will accord the writings of a divinely inspired prophet the status of 'testimony of Jesus.'"

I am quite conservative -- and literal.  "The testimony of Jesus" is, to me, exclusive and limited to Christ Himself.  Would not the most conservative position be that Christ is unique and equating His Name with the non-scriptual writings of ANYONE is to take liberties with the Name which is above all names? 

I take the term "sola scriptura" literally to mean "the Bible and the Bible, alone."  As such, I hold the Bible as the sole authority of things spiritual.   Other inspiration must coincide with what the Bible says.  Everything any prophet claims must be tested and be consistent with what the Bible says.

Likewise, I take the "testimony of Jesus to be just that: the things that Jesus Himself said or said to His biblical "reporter."  The testimony of Jesus is not the testimony about Jesus.  Testimony is an exact term.  It is what a specific person says and attests to.  There is a difference between a witness and a corroborating witness.  The testimony of a named witness and the testimony about that named witness may or may not be consistent.  

Paul was explicit when he was relaying the direct testimony of Jesus: " I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ," Galatians 1:11. As this is found in Scripture, it is, for me, both authoratative and the testimony of Jesus (in contrast to inspiration of Holy Spirit, for example).  I agree with Darrel's analysis regarding Revelation being "the testimony of Jesus" and "the spirit of prophecy."  I take Revelation 19:10 KJV to mean exactly what it says.  Others may have the gift of prophecy.  For me, only what Christ Himself said can be "the spirit of prophecy."

In the case of this column and this discussion, we are trying to discover if a narrative found outside of Scripture is consistent with Scripture itself.  If the non-scriptural source of the narrative is defined as "the testimony of Jesus," the question is moot.


"Before taking the position that at the end of time a knowledge of what Christ is doing now in the heavenly sanctuary is unnecessary, such an individual would want to find an explicit verse to that effect, since GC 488 very explicitly says otherwise. I can think of no such text."


Here, you have misrepresented what I have posited.  I did not say or imply that Christ's role as High Priest was not necessary.  If fact, I said it WAS VITAL.  In responding to Serge and Stephen Ferguson, I differentiated between what I believed to be VITAL and what I believed to be IMPORTANT.  I said, "I do believe that it is important that we understand that Christ is our High Priest.  However, (for believers) I think that it is VITAL that we understand that Christ is the Lamb of God who paid the price for our sins and that we accept that payment -- and the grace He has granted to us.  We are saved by grace through faith IN CHRIST.  Understanding His role as High Priest is important, but, in my opinion, that understanding is not vital to our salvation.  Christ's has different roles: Lamb, High Priest, Judge.   I believe the only vital (e.g., indispensible) role for us to understand regarding salvation is that of Lamb . . . One more clarification: I do believe Christ's ROLE as High Priest is vital to our salvation; I do not believe our UNDERSTANDING of that role is vital."

There is no biblical requirement to understand the role of the High Priest in order to receive the salvific gift of grace.  The Old Covenant was a covenant of laws.  The New Covenant is a covenant of finished work.  All the requirements for our salvation have been accomplished -- by HIM. What Christ has done for us is VITAL.  All that is left is for us to accept it, by faith.  In our part of the salvation equation, faith is vital.

 


Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 2:36 PM

Preston,

I too take a sola scriptura position, which is why I must disagree with your position on the meaning of "testimony of Jesus." Darrel gave you some texts from Rev., and I gave you 1 Pet. 1:10,11, 2 Ki. 17:13, Neh. 9:30. These texts, sometimes explicitly, state that Christ/God testifies by His Spirit through the prophets. You prefer the position that what a divinely inspired prophet says is not the testimony of Jesus, unless their book happens to be in the Bible, a qualification not found in any of the cited texts, and which would exclude every biblical book from being the testimony of Jesus prior to its inclusion in the canon. Do you have any text that would limit Rev. 19:10, 1 Pet. 1:10,11, 2 Ki. 17:13, Neh. 9:30 in the manner that you suggest?

"The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose" (GC 488).

In trying to correct what you believe to be my misrepresentation of your position, you unintentionally misrepresented my position, while at the same time confirming my concern. The testimony of Jesus, the testimony of the Holy Spirit, in GC 488 says that a knowledge of these things is vital. You are saying that that's wrong. I have a real problem with that, but it seems par for the course around here where some folks routinely attack Adventist beliefs, plain Bible teachings, and the Spirit of Prophecy.

Stephen Foster
2013-04-28 2:45 PM

My question, which I raised in a recent traditional Adventist Saturday night Rook session, is does/should it make any difference to me exactly WHEN, after His resurrection, Christ began His role as our High Priest.
 
What practical difference does it make ‘when’?

William Noel
2013-04-30 3:26 PM

None if your focus is on winning souls.  Perhaps plenty if your focus is not.

Preston Foster
2013-05-02 7:52 AM

William,

It may be possible to win souls from within the church by pointing them back to the Scriptures, encouraging them to search it, to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to embrace what Christ has already accomplished for us.  There is, I believe, some soul winning potential there.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 10:00 AM

Hi Bob,  The throne room in Rev. 5 is the holy of holies.  There is no reason to think that the throne room is not in the holy of holies as is normal.  Yes, in the english translation you have within in the veil in Numbers.  The expression 'within the veil' can mean any veil, but the 'esoteric veil' is a specific expression for the second veil, which can be translated in English to the "enter veil"  as is in Heb. 6:19 and Ex. 26:33, Lev. 16:2, 12, 15.   

Of course Paul was intimently familar with the LXX, he was a scholar by training.   Our english translations confuse us at times in these kinds of details,  but there is no doubt that ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματος – the esoteric veil, refers to the second veil into the holy of holies with out exception.  This exact expression in Greek is used exclusively for the Holy of Holies.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 11:46 AM

Darrel,

GC 414-415 explicitly says that Rev. 4:5 and 8:3 are referring to the Holy Place. I know of no biblical basis for saying otherwise, especially since the 7 lamps of fire and the altar of incense are in the Holy, not the Most Holy. So God's throne was in the Holy until 1844, and that's why Dan. 7 has the Father arriving for the IJ in a chariot of fire.

Since Paul was intimately familiar with the LXX, it is more likely that he was being intentional in his rejection of the LXX's nomenclature regarding the veils and the holy places.
  • "το εσωτερον του καταπετασματος" (Heb. 6:19).
  • "τα ... εσω του καταπετασματος" (Num. 3:10).
  • "το ενδοθεν του καταπετασματος" (Num 18:7).
My point has been that Num. 3:10 and 18:7 are a closer match in the Greek to Heb. 6:19 than those other verses are, because those other verses don't have that neuter (nom. or acc.) article. Do you have any evidence that εσωτερον differs so much from εσω in meaning that εσωτερον must refer to the second veil even though εσω clearly doesn't? Certainly the construction can't be translated "the esoteric veil" since it says εσωτερον, not εσωτερου.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 12:56 PM

"My point has been that Num. 3:10 and 18:7 are a closer match in the Greek to Heb. 6:19 than those other verses"  I understand that Bob, and  I do not mean to be difficult, but this is simply not the case.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 2:09 PM

How is that not the case?

Or, if you prefer, what does το mean in Heb. 6:19, the το before εσωτερον? What is το referring to, and where do you see that same thing being referred to in Ex. 26 or Lev. 16?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 2:15 PM

ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματος – theesoteric veil, refers to the second veil into the holy of holies with out exception.  This exact expression in Greek is used exclusively for the Holy of Holies.  

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 2:18 PM

One can not find this technical term used anywhere for the holy place.  The type of article or lack of article is not relavent.   

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 2:48 PM

ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματος = within the veil, not the esoteric veil. That being so, we may also look for corresponding phrases that use other words as prepositions.

The presence or lack of an article is relevant, since a proper understanding of Heb. 6:19 requires that we know what was supposed to be within the veil. The article, I assume, is relevant to that question.

Note the similarity of the article in Lev. 16:2 as compared to Heb. 6:19. το αγιον εσωτερον του καταπετασματος vs. το εσωτερον του καταπετασματος. But certainly you wouldn't say that το in Heb. 6:19 is referring to the Most Holy Place, right? The gender and/or number would be off as far as the terminology Paul uses in Hebrews for the places of the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries. And if Paul isn't following the LXX of Lev. 16:2 in Heb. 6:19, if he didn't mean το αγιον when he said το, that further distances Heb. 6:19 from Lev. 16.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 2:53 PM

"Certainly the construction can't be translated "the esoteric veil" since it says εσωτερον, not εσωτερου."  I remember many of my Greek students having trouble with these case ends Bob.  The 'ton' ending and the 'tou' ends that you refer to do not change the word but ony indicate the grammatical function.   The first is Genitive the second is Acusitive the word remains. ' Esoteric'

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 3:01 PM

That was my point, I believe, that the case ending shows that the words aren't "the esoteric veil," as if εσωτερον is being used as a adjective modifying veil. εσωτερον is instead being used as a preposition. My analytical LXX says that εσωτερον in Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 is a preposition.

If εσωτερον is being used as a preposition to simply mean "within," why can't we look for other verses that might use synonyms of the prepositional εσωτερον?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 3:24 PM

Bob, you misunderstand me.  The case endings Do Not change the meaning of the word or how it modifies 'veil.'  It seems you are trying to make "the enter veil" mean the first veil and I don't understand why.  In Kennedy's Sources of the New Testament or any other grammer will say the same:". . . εσωτερον is therefore the inmost shrine into which the Jewish worshipper could not  enter but only the High Priest once a year."  When one looks at the context of Heb 6:19-20 how could it be otherwise?

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 3:58 PM

But if εσωτερον is being used as a preposition, it isn't modifying "veil" at all. Since Kennedy did not understand the two-apartment ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, he wouldn't likely say otherwise, even though there is nothing in the context of Heb. 6:19-20 that mandates that the veil of 6:19 be the second veil. Note in particular that Kennedy overlooks the fact that the Jewish worshipper couldn't enter within the first veil either. Thus his basic justification for the veil being the second veil also supports it being the first veil.

When Paul speaks of the heavenly temple, he consistently refers to "holy places." Why would Paul in Heb. 6:19 restrict his meaning to but one of the holy places if he nowhere else does?

"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" (GC 420). Note that the very next paragraph references Heb. 6:19.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 4:43 PM

Prepositions in Greek can act adjectively (See Strongs G2080), this is strange in English I admit. The preposition you are thinking of comes with the verb, before εσωτερον, it is “εισοισει.”

Kennedy understood this very well. One of our own great scholars Dr. Roy Adams wrote: “I mean that as one studies the statement in the book of Hebrews in the light of the use of the expression “within the veil” in the Old Testament, it would seem clear that the focus is truly on the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary if one accepts the idea of a two-part heavenly temple.” The Sanctuary Pg. 107

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 5:04 PM

Another great Adventist resource is 'The Sanctuary and The Atonement' (Biblical, Historical, and Theological Studies)  "('the inner of the veil') This expression, which is found in Heb.6:19, occures in the LXX only in Ex. 26:33 and Lev. 16:2,12,15; and in each case it refers to the inner veil." R&H
pg. 384

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 5:36 PM

Darrel,

See my reply below.

Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
2013-04-28 5:29 PM

RE: Mr Preston Foster said: "The testimony of Jesus" is, to me, exclusive and limited to Christ Himself."
------------
This simply is not the case nor is it blasphemy as can be seen in Rev 19:10.

Rev 19:10 shows that the Angel, John and the brethren of John, all have (hold or are in possession of) 'the testimony of Jesus' and therefore have 'the spirit of prophecy.'

Note: the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy which they have.  This is very plain.  The verse does not teach exclusivity as it denotes that prophets also receive the testimony of Jesus which is called the spirit of prophecy.  To claim it means something else contradicts what this verse plainly says.  Anyway, that is what is written in this verse.  Also, where is there a verse or passage which condemns such an interpretation as blasphemy?  Nowhere - because the bible does not teach otherwise.
  • (Rev 19:10 [UKJV])
    And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
To call this blasphemy is clearly not in line with what the bible teaches here.  One just has to read the verse to see this.  To buttress this further, Rev 22:9 reveals John's brethren as those who are prophets which further implies (in conjunction with Rev 19:10) that these prophets have - guess what?  The spirit of prophecy  - which is - guess what? The testimony of Jesus.

If that isn't enough, we also find that in Rev 12:17 the same word 'have' is used when the remnant is described as those who 'have the testimony of Jesus.'  The remnant also are said to keep the commandments.

Preston Foster
2013-04-29 11:30 AM

The book of Revelation is, clearly, the testimony of Jesus Christ.  The proper title of the book is "The Revelation of Jesus Christ."  Christ introduces the book, in 3 chapters, directly.  The writings of other prophets, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is evidence of the gift of prophecy.  They are different (though complementary) things. They are not, in my opinion, to be conflated.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 5:35 PM

My analytic LXX identifies esoteron in Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 as being a preposition, and # 2080. However, Heb. 6:19 is supposed to be # 2082 and an adjective, not a preposition. So in your opinion, is the word an adjective, a preposition, or an adverb, in reality and/or in function, in Heb., Ex., and/or Lev.?

(a) I would not call Roy Adams a great scholar if he took the position that there is no furniture in the heavenly sanctuary, thus contradicting Hebrews, Revelation, and Ellen White. (b) Does not The Sanctuary and the Atonement take the position that Heb. 6:19 could be referring to both veils?

When I researched this before, I concluded that in the "LXX, the word for veil is almost always qualified so that there is no question which veil is meant. Paul did not so qualify it in Heb. 6:19." Look at Lev. 16:2. There is a definite clarification there, and there isn't one in Heb. 6:19. "Within the vail before the mercy seat." If Paul was following the LXX, even though we know he wasn't since (a) he did not call the Most Holy to hagion, and (b) he called the last veil the second veil rather than the third, why didn't Paul add some sort of qualification in Heb. 6:19 to make sure that no one misunderstood which veil he was talking about?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 6:03 PM

Yes, prepositions can act adjectively in Greek.  Take 2 Cor. 8:2  for example--"κατὰ βάθους."  How would one translate this?     You will see κατὰ as the prepositional, but acting here as an adjective, thus κατὰ βάθους simply means ‘deep.’  In 2 Cor. 8:2 being “deep poverty.” 


"Does not The Sanctuary and the Atonement take the position that Heb. 6:19 could be referring to both veils?"  Not that I am aware of.
 

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 8:39 PM

Which word is Lev. 16:2 really using? 2080 or 2082? Which word is Heb. 6:19 really using? 2080 or 2082? And in each case, are we talking about an adjective that is functioning as a preposition, or vice versa, or an adverb that is functioning as a preposition, or vice versa?

The DARCOM series' book on Hebrews, fn. 162 on or about p 183, does say, "... it is very possible that in 6:19,20 the reference is to the veil before the holy place, or perhaps in the collective sense to the veil(s) both before the holy and Most Holy Places."

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-28 6:10 PM

" why didn't Paul add some sort of qualification in Heb. 6:19 to make sure that no one misunderstood which veil he was talking about?"  What scholars, Adventist and other are saying is that Paul did qualify by using the known wording for the second veil-esoteron (εσωτερον) veil as is in Ex. 26:33, Lev. 16:2, 12, 15.  
 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-28 8:42 PM

Bob, Darrel,

Break it up.  Paul, (ok, lets say it was he who wrote Hebrews), has CLEARLY DEFINED which veil he is talking about in Heb 10.20 -
19 ¶  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
 ην ενεκαινισεν ημιν οδον προσφατον και ζωσαν δια του καταπετασματος τουτεστιν της σαρκος  αυτου 

There is only one veil spoken of in Hebrews, and it is described as 'the flesh of Him.'  Arguments about first and second veils date back to 1844 more than likely.  All are based on the agreed notion that there is a literal building on planet Heaven called a temple, or a tabernacle, some say 'heaven itself.'  But how can it be 'literal' when Paul is using Christ's 'flesh' in such an obviously symbolic way?

And does it help to realise that even Ellen said, in SofT, February 14, 1900:   The chuch of God on earth IS THE TRUE TABERNACLE.

For once, this fits perfectly with the remainder of the NT which sees the new temple in purely symbolic terms as the church, the body of Christ.

 

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 8:46 PM

Serge,

Heb. 9:3 says, "And after the second veil." It is false to say that there is only one veil spoken of in Hebrews. And though the OT temple represents our bodies, the church, and Christ's body, it doesn't change the fact that Hebrews, Revelation, and Ellen White said that it also represents a literal temple in heaven.

Since Hebrews and Revelation are in the NT, it is also false to say that "the remainder of the NT ... sees the new temple in purely symbolic terms as the church."

Bob Pickle
2013-04-28 8:42 PM

Esoteron is not what identifies the veil under discussion in Lev. 16:2. It is "before the mercy seat" that provides that qualification. Heb. 6:19 contains no LXX-like clarification as to which veil is intended. Scholars may say that Heb. 6:19 is clarifying it by using the wording of the LXX, but that wording in the LXX is not what is clarifying which veil the LXX is referring to.

When we can make a solid biblical case for the position that the Spirit of Prophecy takes, why adopt a different position?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 9:55 AM

"Esoteron is not what identifies the veil under discussion in Lev. 16:2. It is "before the mercy seat" that provides that qualification" 

Esoteron is never used to discribe the first veil.  It means  "enter"  as in 'the inside one' !!


"before the mercy seat" also discribes the Holy of Holies yes, you are right.   So you would agree that Heb. 4:16 is ask us and 1st Century Christian to 'draw near' into the Holiest of All to find complete acceptance and mercy. Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need. Heb. 4:16

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 12:59 PM

"Esoteron is never used to discribe the first veil.  It means  "enter"  as in 'the inside one' !!" As I have already pointed out, according to Hatch & Redpath, eso/esoteron is used in Num. 3:10, and in that verse it most defintely refers to the 1st veil.

Heb. 4:16 uses the word "mercy." It does not use the word "propitiation" ("mercy seat"). One might argue that Heb. 9:24 is saying that Christ has not entered the Holy Place made with hands, since the construction there appears to match that of 9:2's reference to the earthly Holy Place. Therefore, Hebrews affirms the idea that we can find mercy in the Holy, not just the Most Holy.

Ranald McLeish
2013-04-28 8:46 PM

Hi Preston,

You wrote. "A brief (but not at all comprehensive) description of the Investigative Judgment doctrine is that in 1844, the eschatological end of the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8, Christ entered The Most Holy Place in heaven to cleanse the sanctuary and, also, to execute judgment, prior to His Second Coming."

However it appears this is no longer the Adventist understanding of Daniel 8:9-14, or verses 13 and 14 in particular, if one is to believe the current positions presented by the BRI, the  SDA Bible Commentary, The SS Quarterlies since 2002, and leading Adventist scholars.

Consequently, I suggest the whole subject is now wide open, as the current SDA teachings regarding Daniel 8:9-14 reveal.

1. The Little Horn of Daniel 7 and 8 represents the Papacy only.
2. The Roman Empire is not present in chapter 8.
3. A Papal host has  invaded heaven, overthrown the heavenly host, and killed some of the people there.
4. A Papal host currently controls the MHP of the heavenly sanctuary.
5. The LH rules for 1260 years in Dan 7 and 2,300 years in Dan 8.  

Consequently it appears Fundamental belief  Number 24 is being challenged by leading Adventist scholars, as the current teachings are considered to be an alternative interpretation of Daniel 8:9-14.

Thus it appears the subject of the Investigative Judgment stands or falls on establishing whether there are one or two little horns in Daniel 7 and 8, and establishing the identity of the LH of Daniel 8, and how long that LH power ruled. 

If there is only one LH that has a two phase rule that consists of 1260 years in Dan 7, and a further 2,300 years, or even a rule of 2,300 years, in total, in Dan. 8, then the traditional Adventist doctrine of the Investigative Judgment appears to be history, as Jesus was most likely one of the people killed when the heavenly host was overthrown by the Papal host. 

Perhaps if the discussion was to focus on the current SDA teachings of Daniel 8:9-14, and the deeper understanding of this challenging passage that is waiting to be revealed, that deeper understanding  may also shed additional light on the IJ question!!   

 

 

Preston Foster
2013-04-28 10:11 PM

Thanks Randal.  This is news to me.  

It is striking to me that asking a question, based on the Bible, is seen by some as an attempt to "take down" Adventism.  Adventism will not fall because of a continuing search of biblical truths.  If it does fall (I have NO desire to see this!), it will result from avoiding it.  For my part, at least, questioning the IJ narrative FROM THE BIBLE is an attempt to find what God intended us to know from the prophecies He provided to us.  To me, it is logical to look to the Bible for the intended meaning of any prophecy.  

If pivoting to Daniel 8 provides a clearer understanding of the related prophecies, lead on!  As long as we are grounded in the Bible, I am sure the Holy Spirit will lead us to the truth.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 8:10 AM

Preston,

You didn't "ask a question, based on the Bible." You asked a question based on a mistranslation, and this is what I objected to. You called Adventism into question based on what you said that a text "plainly says," when it doesn't plainly say that all. And you did that on a website where some bloggers routinely attack Adventist beliefs, such as a 6-day creation. So it shouldn't surprise you if some misunderstand your intentions.

Do note that in the ensuing discussion you elevated your personal, private views above the Spirit of Prophecy, which is something that can't be justified biblically from a sola scriptura position. Not once do we find anyone commended in Scripture for doing such. Asa is certainly not commended for putting his views above those of the non-canonical prophet Hanani in 2 Chr. 16:10. And 2 Chr. 25:16 is even more explicit.

Is it not possible to ask questions about the IJ and 1844 without attacking or undermining the SoP?

Preston Foster
2013-04-29 10:37 AM

Bob,

Where did I attack the SoP?  I defend it.  I believe your definition of the term is "LIBERAL." I simply define the term differently -- and conservatively.  I've stated how I define the SoP (by the Bible: " . . . The testimony of Jesus IS the spirit of prophecy," Revelation 19:10 KJV -- the only place in the Bible where the specific term is used -- and defined).  "IS" is present tense, pointing to what currently exists (or will from the specific source referenced). The texts you've cited are, to me, unconvincing in regard to your more liberal definition of the term.  Those texts seem, to me, to point to the Holy Spirit as who speaks to the prophets.  The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are, in terms of their roles, not interchangable.  The inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of Jesus Christ are distinct.  So we should likely agree to disagree.

What you believe I am "attacking" or "undermining" are the writings of EGW (see how easy it is to confuse this with the "testimony of Jesus?").  Again, all I have asked in my column is that  VERSES IN THE BIBLE be reconciled (if possible) with the Adventist narrative of the IJ -- using the Bible.  If the Adventist narrative of the IJ is correct, would not inspection serve to bolster that narrative?  Is the Bible somehow dangerous or subversive to the writings of EGW?  Are we not counseled (by Mrs. White) to try all things by the Bible?  "All" is an absolute term, inclusive of EVERYTHING. 


Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 11:49 AM

Preston,

You definitely undermined the SoP by contradicting what the SoP says in GC. That's why I said "without attacking or undermining the SoP."

You assert that the texts I cited "point to the Holy Spirit as who speaks to the prophets." And yet 2 Ki. 17:13 didn't mention the Holy Spirit at all, and Num. 9:30 explicitly said that the Lord was the one who was doing the testifying. So there really isn't anything here to agree to disagree about, if we are going to take a sola scriptura postion, unless you can show me from the Bible that 2 Ki. 17:13 and Neh. 9:30 state that the Holy Spirit, not the Lord, is doing the testifying.

Thus, according to Scipture, the writings of Ellen White are part of what constitutes the testimony of Jesus. "Is the Bible somehow dangerous or subversive to the writings of EGW?" Have you found yet any Bible verse that says that a knowledge of what Jesus is doing now in the heavenly sanctuary is unneccessary for us today? If not, then your question is inapplicable to the point I've raised. Find such a verse and you have removed the issue from merely being your own personal and private opinion.

Preston Foster
2013-04-29 2:57 PM

Bob, 
 
The verses you cite (2 Kings 17:13 and Numbers 9:30) refer to God the Father, who, like the Holy Spirit, has a different role than Jesus Christ.  Though this is God speaking, it in not the "testimony of Jesus," per Revelation 19:10, KJV (why do you think that verse is so specific, directly correlating a person to the only reference to that term in the Bible?).  2 Kings 17:13 speaks of The Father speaking to Judah about His commandments and statues.  With whom did Moses meet on Sinai to receive the commandments?  Who is The Law Giver?  Nehemiah 9:30 is, again, specifically speaking about God the Father speaking through the Holy Spirit to His prophets.  Verses 13-14  provide the context -- and identify who is being referenced:

"You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses," (Nehemiah 9:13-14).

God the Father and the Holy Spirit spoke to the prophets.  Christ spoke while living on earth as a man and spoke also directly to His apostles and prophets (e.g., Paul and John) after His ascension.  They reported this not as inspiration, but as Christ's testimony to them, for us. The testimony of Jesus (Revelation 19:10, KJV) is very specific and exclusively constitutes, in my view, the spirit of prophecy.

You said that you could not find a Bible verse that made made understanding Christ's role as High Priest vital (as in "indespensible") to our SALVATION.  So, now, you ask me to find a verse that says that understanding the High Priest role is NOT as requirement (this is called, "proving a negative," and is usually difficult, if not impossible).  However, regarding salvation, the Bible is clear: we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Period.  That is a declarative statement with ONE contingency: "through faith." There is no mention of the requirement to understand the sancturary process, its symbols, or Christ's role (other that His being the Lamb of God whose blood pays for our sins).  Futher, Ephesians 2:8.9 writes about our salvation in the present or past tense (depending on your preferred version): ". . . are saved . . ." (KJV) or " . . . have been saved . . . " (NIV and many other versions), making you last day salvific requirement of understanding Christ's role as High Priest a moot point.  Understanding Christ's role as High Priest is important and, no doubt helpful.  But it is not a requirement for salvation.

The real question is, does your interpretation of The Great Controversy, page 488, trump the Bible's clear description of how we have been saved (Ephesians 2:8.9)?

You cannot be sola scriptura and yet, define things that are not in Scripture as scripture.  Sola scripture means "The Bible."

 

Preston Foster
2013-04-29 11:40 PM

Bob, 

You said:

"You didn't 'ask a question, based on the Bible.' You asked a question based on a mistranslation, and this is what I objected to."

The text was quoted, verbatim, from the NIV.  How many traditional Adventist sermons are preached weekly from the NIV or, even more, from the KJV (not to mention the NET)? When was the King James Version determined to be unacceptable for Adventists or a "mistranslation?"  Is the same true for the New Living Translation?  Or is this objection specific, conveniently so, to these particular verses?  In fact, the question rose DIRECTLY from the Bible (sola scriptura).  It is not the Bible that you object to, but the question itself.

You said:

"Do note that in the ensuing discussion you elevated your personal, private views above the Spirit of Prophecy, which is something that can't be justified biblically from a sola scriptura position. Not once do we find anyone commended in Scripture for doing such. Asa is certainly not commended for putting his views above those of the non-canonical prophet Hanani in 2 Chr. 16:10. And 2 Chr. 25:16 is even more explicit."

So it is the question that you object to, is it not?  Note that the question n the column is BASED ON THE BIBLE.  Yet, you say that I have elevated "my own personal opinion" above "the spirit of prophecy."

No, I have asked that the narrative of an extra-biblical (e.g. "lesser light") source be reconciled with THE BIBLE (sola scriptura), "The GREATER LIGHT."  My so-called "personal opinion," in this case, comes DIRECTLY from THE BIBLE.  You imply that it is the Bible that must be reconciled with the IJ narrative -- and then commend me to be struck down (per your reference to 2 Chr. 25:16)  for having the termerity to elevate the Bible above the narrative.

This was predicted in the article: "Like many important questions, the response is, too often, focused on the questioner instead of the question itself.  Scapegoating (i.e., name-calling, labeling, or ascribing negative motives) or martyring (i.e., victimizing) the questioner avoids the issue."

Should we or should we not test ALL THINGS by the Bible?
 

Bob Pickle
2013-04-30 12:32 AM

Preston,

Your question is a common one that has come up over and over for decades, and I heard the answer in college more than 30 years ago. I think the better part of wisdom would have been to be more familiar with the issues before using a mistranslation to call into question Adventist beliefs.

Why are you insisting that your question is based on the Bible? What if I called into question Adventist beliefs about the length of creation and the Sabbath using the NWT rendering of Gen. 1 & 2, and then stubbornly insisted that my question arose directly from the Bible, and demanded that folks try to reconcile the SoP to the NWT? That would be unreasonable.

As far as your final three paragraphs go, I have yet to see where you have provided here one single Bible verse to support your personal, private idea that a knowledge of what Jesus is doing now isn't necessary. So I really can't comment until you do. Ellen White explicitly said that such a knowledge is necessary for us today, and you here have explcitly said it isn't necessary, without, as far as I know, giving a single Bible verse, even a mistranslated Bible verse, in support of your mere assertion. And neither have you given any Bible verses to contradict the clear warnings of 2 Chr 16:10; 25:16. This is not a sola scrtiptura approach.

Preston Foster
2013-04-30 1:02 AM

Bob,

You say my question (regarding the viability of the King James, the NIV, and New Living Translation is an old one, but you have supplied no answer to it.  This is not disputable: my question came directly from the Bible.  Because the specifics of the question are incovenient to you, you call the Bible(s) that most Adventists (and Christians, for that matter) use a "mistranslation."  You just don't like my Bible -- on this issue.

Regarding your belief that understanding the role of Christ as our High Priest is a requirement for salvation, I will simply reprint what I said a little earlier in this strand.  Perhaps you missed it:

You said that you could not find a Bible verse that made made understanding Christ's role as High Priest vital (as in "indespensible") to our SALVATION.  So, now, you ask me to find a verse that says that understanding the High Priest role is NOT as requirement (this is called, "proving a negative," and is usually difficult, if not impossible).  However, regarding salvation, the Bible is clear: we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Period.  That is a declarative statement with ONE contingency: "through faith." There is no mention of the requirement to understand the sancturary process, its symbols, or Christ's role (other that His being the Lamb of God whose blood pays for our sins).  Futher,Ephesians 2:8.9 writes about our salvation in the present or past tense (depending on your preferred version): ". . . are saved . . ." (KJV) or " . . . have been saved . . . " (NIV and many other versions), making you last day salvific requirement of understanding Christ's role as High Priest a moot point.  Understanding Christ's role as High Priest is important and, no doubt helpful.  But it is not a requirement for salvation.

The real question is, does your interpretation of The Great Controversy, page 488, trump the Bible's clear description of how we have been saved (Ephesians 2:8.9)?

You cannot be sola scriptura and yet, define things that are not in Scripture as scripture.  Sola scripture means "The Bible."  

 

Bob Pickle
2013-04-30 9:07 AM

Preston,

"... but you have supplied no answer to it." I did answer your question in my very first post. You cited a mistranslation. The text really reads, "holy places," not "Most Holy Place," and Darrel and Elaine said I was right regarding the Greek.

I have a real problem with any Seventh-day Adventist who has the audacity to declare their own personal, private opinions to be right and the SoP, the testimony of Jesus, to be wrong. They come across to me as being on some sort of ego trip. It certainly is an unbiblical position to exalt one's own opinions above what Jesus has clearly testified.

But let's address directly your fallacious argument from Eph. 2:8-9. Saved by grace through faith in what? Does the text say? No it does not. You express unbelief in the testimony of Jesus found in GC 488. By definition, unbelief is the opposite of faith. Heb. 11 speaks of people being saved by faith in divine messages sent through non-canonical prophets. As one example, those who believed the canonical prophet Noah's message enough to get on the ark were saved. It is therefore unbiblical to say that we can have unbelief in almost everything and still be saved, as long as we believe in Christ's death for us. If this were the case, one could wonder why we ever were lost to begin with, since Eve's unbelief had to do with a piece of fruit, not with the atonement.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-30 9:16 AM

"You cannot be sola scriptura and yet, define things that are not in Scripture as scripture.  Sola scripture means "The Bible." " 

That hasn't been my point. My point has been that your position on the SoP is unscriptural, unbiblical, and thus you come across to me as if you reject the principle of sola scriptura. Sola scriptura certainly means the Bible, but when faced with the biblical way to view divine messages sent rhrough true prophets, you reject the biblical way in favor of holding to your personal, private opinion, even though you can cite no Bible verse that says that knowledge of what Christ is doing is not necessary for us today.

Preston Foster
2013-04-30 11:08 AM

Bob,

Your personal attacks convince me that your position on the issue presented is weak, making it necessary to divert your attention from the issue presented to me.  I think it is clear to most objective readers that what you object to is my asking a question, from the versions of the Bible that you have quoted to make OTHER points, that challenge the traditional Adventist narrative of the IJ.  I've simply asked that we reconcile those verses with the traditional narrative.  I drew no conclusions.  I simply pointed to the gap between what I read and the traditional narrative and asked readers to comment, and, if possible, close the gap.  For some reason, this bothers you.  I ask, again: are we or are we not to PROVE ALL THINGS BY THE BIBLE?

Regarding my belief that UNDERSTANDING the role of Christ as High Priest is important, but not vital, I'll try to explain, one last time, Bob, as you seem, purposefully or not, to hear what I have said or to see what I have written:

I believe that Christ's ROLE as High Priest IS VITAL to our salvation.  I believe our understanding of that role is IMPORTANT, but not VITAL.  Ephesians 2:8-9 declares what is VITAL for salvation: grace.  The ONLY caveat to that declaration is faith.  The UNDERSTANDING of the the role of the High Priest is not part of what the Bible, in Ephesians 2:8-9, outlines as VITAL.

Preston Foster
2013-04-30 11:17 AM

Bob,

Also, it is not insignificant that although Darrel and Elaine may agree with you that the interpretation of the Greek in the  KJV is not the best, as far as I can tell, NEITHER agree with your CONCLUSION about the issue.  Darrel, in my reading, has been very clear about that.

Preston Foster
2013-04-30 12:22 PM

Finally, of this I am certain, I am NOT saved by faith in ANYTHING, but the blood of Jesus Christ.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 8:46 AM

And in what way is this being sola scriptura when you fail to cite a single Bible verse in support of this idea when I already cited Heb. 11 and the story of Noah to the contrary?

But Paul in Galatians likened Abraham's begetting Ishmael and Isaac to salvation by works vs. salvation by faith. Was what made the difference between the two was that Abraham failed to believe in the blood of Jesus, and that's how Ishmael was conceived? In a sense, yes, but only in a sense. The core issue at the time was whether he believed the promises enough that he wouldn't stoop to bigamy in order to help God out.

And Paul also says that Israel in the wilderness failed to enter in because of unbelief. Unbelief in the blood of Jesus? In a sense, yes, but only in a sense. The core issues were such things as whether they believed that God would provide them with food and water, and often whether God had REALLY spoken to them through Moses.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 8:38 AM

That is irrelevant, to a point. Your original question was based on a mistranlation of the Greek, and so the whole basis of your original question was flawed. Darrel may think the question is valid on other grounds, but not on the original grounds.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 8:36 AM

Preston,

What "personal attacks" have I made regarding your using a mistranslation to attack Adventist beliefs? Are you not instead referring to my comments regarding your audacious public declaration that the testimony of Jesus is wrong and your private, personal opinion is right re: whether a knowledge of what Christ is doing is vital for us today?

"Regarding my belief that UNDERSTANDING the role of Christ as High Priest is important, but not vital, I'll try to explain, one last time, Bob, as you seem, purposefully or not, to hear what I have said or to see what I have written:"

Then how come you proceed to repeat exactly what my understanding of what you are saying is? You then went right on to say that our understanding of what Christ is doing is not vital, when Jesus Himself testified by His Holy Spirit that such knowledge is vital for us today.

Stephen Foster
2013-04-30 1:29 PM

Bob Pickle,
 
What would be best, in my opinion, would be for you to either 1) admit that you are arguing SDA doctrine as explained to us by Ellen White, or 2) address Preston’s questions as if you were discussing this issue with someone who is not Seventh-day Adventist; in which case you wouldn’t mention EGW.
 
I’m not advocating or defending a position on this, but it might help further this discussion to use the Bible exclusively. 

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 9:37 AM

Stephen,

I admit that, in responding to Preston's assertion about whether certain knowledge is vital, I am arguing SDA doctrine about Ellen White from a sola scriptura basis.

If Preston's assertion was based on the alleged biblical usage of esoteron, or on whether the papacy fits the specifications of the little horn in Dan. 8, then I would have an easier time discussing the matter without reference to Ellen White. But the only text I've seen cited so far is Eph. 2:8-9, a text that doesn't say that we can be saved in unbelief as long as we believe in the blood of Jesus.

Preston Foster
2013-05-01 10:31 PM

Bob,

"But the only text I've seen cited so far is Eph. 2:8-9, a text that doesn't say that we can be saved in unbelief as long as we believe in the blood of Jesus."

Huh?

The text DOES say, definitively, how we are saved.  It is a gift -- not allowing us to boast about what we believe we understand or have earned.

Just to be clear, are you saying that if I believe in the blood Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, but either question an interpretation of Ellen White or do not have an adequate understanding of Christ's role as High Priest, I cannot be saved?

Please, again, tell me where that is in the Bible -- sola scriptura.

Preston Foster
2013-05-02 8:18 AM

Bob,

Here is another way of examining faith vs. unbelief:

Some believe that salvation is a function of the Savior: it is ALL about Christ.  He saved us by His Blood.  His Blood provides the gift of grace, which, through faith, is all that is required for salvation, per Ephesians 2:8-9.

Others believe that, in addition to believing in the Blood of Christ, we have work to do that qualifies us for salvation.  

Which of the two requires MORE faith?

Bob Pickle
2013-05-02 9:04 AM

I don't think we can use logic to negate the clear message of Heb. 11 and 3:19. We must believe.

And I would not think it appropriate to say that our faith qualifies us for salvation, because then it sounds like less than grace.

Works reveal faith, and are referred to in Eph. 2:10.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-02 8:50 AM

Preston,

From a sola scriptura perspective, using the Bible alone, we know that the faith that saves and the unbelief that damns is focused on more than just the single topic of faith in the blood of Christ. Saving faith is manifested in many ways.

We also know that we are admonished to believe the messages of true prophets, even non-canonical ones. Another text on that is 2 Chr. 20:20 where Jehoshaphat said as much regarding the counsel of the prophet Jahaziel. I'm saying that you better think long and hard before expressing unbelief in anything found in the Word of God or the testimony of Jesus, as had we all.

I already gave you Lev. 23:39 where those who were oblivious to what the high priest was doing on Yom Kippur were cut off. Please, again, tell me where in the Bible it says that a knowledge of what Christ is doing today is not vital for us today. (Consider Heb. 12:21 where we have a detail added to an OT story by an inspired author. A Jew might demand that we show him where in the OT it says that, which it doesn't. More importantly, the OT doesn't say that Moses didn't say that. Thus, it is biblical for inspired prophets to add non contradictory details to earlier accounts. Thus, in this question of whether such knowledge is vital for us today, the burden is on you to provide a Bible text to the contrary.)

Preston Foster
2013-05-03 10:32 AM

Bob,

It is by faith that grace is accessed.  We are saved by grace THROUGH faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We live in and are saved under the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:13, Hebrews 9:15).  It is a covenant defined by righteousness by faith (Romans 3: 21-28).  It says:

"But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished —  he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law."

My position is that the Bible is the Word of God -- The GREATER LIGHT.  It does not have to conform to the writings of ANY non-canonical writer or prophet.  If the Bible says we are saved by faith through grace and someone else adds amendments to that, I'm going with the GREATER LIGHT, without hesitation. It is by the Bible that all other light is tested.

The Bible defines the critical path to salvation: grace through faith.  The verse that you cite in Hebrews 12:18-24 makes my point: we are no longer called to Mt. Sinai (law and works), but to Mt. Zion (to grace, mercy, and a Spirit-led life). Any other requirements are man-made.  Galatians 2:16 says it clearly: ". . .  know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified."

Bob Pickle
2013-05-03 10:52 AM

Perhaps, Preston, you should ask yourself, Why resist the points being made?

This is how it comes across to me: You raise the issue of conforrming the Bible to a non-canonical prophet, which isn't even a point I'm making. The Bible must be the test of all, including prophets, and you and I. The bottom line is that we are saved by faith, but you are arguing that you can be saved in unbelief regarding a divine message sent by Jesus despite your not having a single Bible verse to show that that message came from Satan rather than from Christ.

In contrast, I contend that the apostle Paul was right, that we are saved by grace through faith that works by love (Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 5:6), and I don't limit the arena that faith must be exercised in since the Bible itself doesn't limit that arena.

Preston Foster
2013-05-03 11:16 AM

Bob,

The point that I am making is that if the non-canonical prophet and the Bible are in contradiction, THE BIBLE IS CORRECT.  Sola scriptura.

I am arguing that we are saved by faith (belief) in what THE BIBLE says about salvation.  You seem to be saying that there are additions to the Bible that off-set the critical path to salvation defined in the Bible.  Clearly, we disagree.

Preston Foster
2013-05-03 11:59 AM

Bob,

"You raise the issue of conforrming (sic) the Bible to a non-canonical prophet, which isn't even a point I'm making."

To be clear, I did not ask that the Bible be conformed to a non-canonical prophet.  That is your song.  I asked that, if possible, the non-canonical narrative of a prophet BE CONFORMED WITH THE BIBLE -- BY THE BIBLE.  

This is the crux of the misunderstanding -- and the locus of your need to include non-biblical writings as Scripture.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-03 9:57 PM

Preston,

I honestly think you're changing the topic, though it may just be a misunderstanding. (a) I agree that if the Bible and a non-canonical prophet are in true contradiction, the Bible is correct, and I always have.

(b) You are adding to the Bible when you say that we are saved by faith in only what the Bible says about salvation. Again, you aren't being sola scriptura since you aren't basing your position on this point on the Bible.

(c) My song isn't "that the Bible be conformed to a non-canonical prophet." There's no conforming necessary either way since Heb. says that Christ entered the holy places, and the Bible doesn't say that knowledge of what Christ is doing now isn't vital for us today. (d) I don't include non-biblical writings as Scripture, and never have.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-03 10:02 PM

Preston,

If you want to present what you believe is a genuine contradiction between the testimony of Jesus and the Word of God, I'll take a look. But I would ask that we look at each issue with an attitude of faith rather than of doubt.

Preston Foster
2013-05-04 8:15 AM

Bob,

We can't really discuss this, as we will be debating apples v. oranges. As I have said to you, repeatedly here, I believe it is inaccurate and blasphemous (per Revelation 19:10 KJV) to refer to the writings of Ellen White (or any other non-biblical prophet) as "the testimony of Jesus,"  or "the spirit of prophecy" even if they are inspired by the Holy Spirit.  I believe the testimony of Jesus is a specific, subset of the Bible, the Word of God, that was either spoken directly by Christ Himself or by Christ directly to His apostles or prophets and reported as such.  On this, we have to let it rest.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-04 9:02 AM

Preston,

We don't have to let it rest if we are operating sola scriptura. I gave you 2 Ki. 17, 1 Pet. 1, and Neh. 9. That last one made plain that it is the Lord that is testifying through the prophets. Thus far you have not presented any Bible verse that limits the testimony of Jesus to only canonical prophets.

Further, since according to the Bible (2 Ki. 17, Neh. 9, 1 Pet. 1), Jesus did testify directly to Ellen White, on what basis can you deny that her writings constitute the testimony of Jesus?

It should not surprise us that Jesus introduced HImself to Laodicea as the faithful and true witness since elsewhere it predicted a revival of the gift of prophecy in the end of time.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-04 9:05 AM

Preston,

Let me illustrate one point this way:
  • "And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man" (Acts 9:7).
  • "And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me" (Acts 22:9).

Which Bible verse shall we conform to the other? Neither, because there is no contradiction. The Greek word for "voice" is in different forms cases in these two verses because of being different, and thus there is a shade of difference in the meaning of "hear" in the Greek. In 22:9 it means to hear with understanding, and in 9:7 it just means to hear the sound. Thus, the men with Paul heard the sound of the voice, but couldn't understand what the voice was saying. There is therefore no real contradiction, and neither verse needs conforming to the other.

This illustrates why I said that nothing has been presented that needs conforming one way or the other.

Stephen Foster
2013-05-04 9:43 AM

Bob, I wonder if Fundamental Beliefs are doctrines. If the Fundamental Beliefs simply explain where we stand on Bible doctrines, then there is no SDA doctrine about Ellen White; especially from a Sola scriptura basis. There is no identifying scripture regarding her. The reality of the gift of prophecy is a doctrine; but the de facto recognition of Ellen White’s prophetic gift isn’t. By doctrine, I mean something taught directly from the Bible or from Biblical interpretation.
 
To be in unbelief while simultaneously believing in the blood of Jesus is oxymoronic. In the interest in furthering the discussion, why not continue as if you have been witnessing to a non-Adventist evangelical Christian. Your evidence should be essentially the same; but then references to EGW aren’t applicable.
 
That may be the best way for you and Preston to advance this discussion. Otherwise instead of addressing the ‘Big Question’ you’ll get bogged down on interpretation of Revelation 19:10; which is another ‘big question.’

Preston Foster
2013-05-04 6:20 PM

Redundacy is tedious, but, apparently necessary.

You are conflating two things.  1) God the Father and the Holy Spirit speaking through prophets is not the same thing as the testimony of Jesus. God the Father and the Holy Spirit are, obviously part of the Godhead, but they have different roles and functions than Christ's.  That is why they are referred to differently -- and specifically.  As I pointed out earlier in this strand (including verbatim quotes of the texts your referenced, in their respective contexts), it was God the Father (the Lawgiver) who spoke to the prophets in 2 Kings 17:13 and Nehemiah 9:30.  Again, in Nehemiah 9:13-14, God the Father identifies Himself as the Speaker. Note that in 2 Peter 1:10-11 KJV, the Spirit of Christ (who spoke to the prophets) is differentiated from the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:12 who inspired those who preached the gospel ABOUT Christ to Peter's contemporaries.  God the Father and the Holy Spirit spoke (and, likely speak) to prophets.  The testimony of Jesus, either spoken Himself (e.g., "the red text") or reported by apostles and prophets (e.g., Paul and John) is distinct from the other members of the Godhead.

Secondly, you conflate the spirit of prophecy, which is distinctly identified by a named person (Jesus) in Revelation 19:10 KJV, with the gift of prophecy, which is the Holy Spirit speaking to and through prophets.  I believe the specificity of Revelation 19:10 KJV is purposeful.  It is the only place in the Bible (sola scriptura) that the term "spirit of prophecy" is used.  That reference must, then, define the term.


Separately, you have stated that our understanding of Christ's role as High Priest is vital (i.e., indespensible) to our salvation.  Again, to be clear, I believe understanding the High Priest's role is IMPORTANT, but not vital to our salvation. Your belief is based on a quotation from The Great Controversy (pg. 488) -- not anything from the Bible. Somehow, in your view, the biblical description of how we are saved (by grace through faith, Ephesians 2:8-9) doesn't preclude other requirements not found in the Bible.

The Bible is clear on how we are saved: we are JUSTIFIED by Christ's blood (Romans 5:9).  It is faith in this blood -- not in any other writings or any understanding of theology or the inner workings of heaven -- that saves us.

Christ's role as High Priest WAS vital to our salvation.  It is in this role that our atonement was completed (Romans 5:11).  Christ Himself did not seek the role, but was appointed to it by The Father (Hebrews 5:4-5).  Again, the role was vital; our understanding of it is important.  The role was an interaction between Christ and God the Father.  If we accept the blood of Christ as payment for our sins and accept Christ as our Lord, what affect does our understanding of the function of High Priest have on our salvation?

You have asked that an extra-biblical requirement that is not found anywhere in the Bible be disproved BY the Bible.  The proof is in what the Bible specifies as the requirements for salvation: justification by the Blood of Christ and our acceptance of that gift.  Nothing else.

If the Bible does not speak to it (understanding Christ's role as High Priest) as a requirement for salvation, why would it speak about it as a non-requirement?  The origin of the requirement (if, indeed, it is one) is extra-biblical. 

To Stephen's point, this is a diversion from the work we chartered in this column.  The need to justify and include other sources other than the Bible to validate what the Bible says (about the timing of the atonement and cleansing process in the Most Holy Place) hints of a discomfort with sola scriptura as a source of finding the truth.  

Preston Foster
2013-05-04 7:20 PM

Major corrections: In the second paragraph above, the reference in Peter should be 1 Peter 1:10-11 KJV and 1 Peter 1:12 KJV, respectively.  Sorry of the confusion.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-05 8:58 AM

Preston,

(a) Why are you assuming that the Lord in 2 Ki. 17, etc. is God the father? (b) Rev. 19:10 uses four terms which are found in 1 Pet. 1:10, 11. The two texts put together make clear that the Spirit of Prophecy is referring to the gift of prophecy. Also, Rev. 22:9 makes it clear too.

(c) Again, Eph. 2:8-9 does not limit faith to only faith in a certain topic. You are adding to the text when you try to so limit it, and then using your addition to declare the testimony of Jesus wrong. Stick with just what the text says, without adding to it or taking away from it. (d) We are justified by the blood, yes, but that is a far cry from saying that we only need to believe in the blood and can disbelieve everything else.

(e) I have given a biblical basis for Ellen White's statement in GC, and yet you deny that I have. Did I not more than once point out that they were required to afflict their souls on Yom Kippur or would be cut off? Would not that requirement mean that they understood what was the high priest was doing?

Bob Pickle
2013-05-05 10:38 AM

Stephen,

Maybe what Preston and I should both agree to is to stick with the Bible alone and not add any detail to any text that isn't stated in the text. No personal opinions imposed on any text. I can see possible progress if we would agree to that and stick with that.

But if we are going to add personal opinions to any text, such as that knowledge of what Christ is doing today is not essential, then I think it is fair game to cite the testimony of Jesus to the contrary. Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Ellen White are higher authorities than Bob Pickle and Preston Foster.

Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
2013-04-29 2:52 AM

The vision of Daniel Chapter 8 without doubt points to the 'time of the end' [Dan 8:17, 19].  Other verses in the book also teach that the visions are applicable for the 'time of the end' [Dan 11:36, 36, 40].  Furthermore, it is quite clear that the anti-Christ comes into power at the time of the end [Dan 7:8].  To assume that all this just happened only at the cross creates conflict with the prophecy as interpreted to Daniel by Gabriel [Dan 8:16].  Another important bit of information helpful in the understanding of Daniel 8 is that there is a historical application of this prophecy in terms of the World Powers it depicts which continue right down to our day and can be correlated with Daniel Chapter 2.

For what it’s worth, I would say that the verses from Hebrews Chapter 9 cited in the blog are related more to Dan 9:27 rather than having much correlation with Dan 8:14.  The Investigative Judgment deals primarily with both the work of Christ as High Priest and as Judge, which undeniably includes the significance of the Day of Atonement and the investigative stage shown in Dan 8:14.  Whilst the Hebrew verses are good passages of scripture, I think that it isn’t particularly addressing what is revealed in the prophecy of Daniel 8.  I think that Hebrews 9 is looking that the Priestly role of Christ and Daniel 8 is a prophecy concerning not only a Priestly function involving the Sanctuary but also points to a time of the end where this occurs in conjunction with a Judgement.  Dan 8:24, 25 both show it as time of the end events which directly relate to the Prophecy of Daniel 2 [Dan 2:44, 45], which accordingly is confirmed by the fact that Gabriel confirms that the vision in Daniel 8 concerning the 2300 days as a long term event saying “it shall be for many days” [Dan 8:26].
 
There is really no conflict regarding what Hebrews 9 is saying and what is taught in Daniel 8.  Juxtaposing these verses to me, is comparing apples and oranges.  Both are good fruit (verses) but aren’t exactly describing one and the same thing in their context at least.

Heb 4:14 shows Christ is our High Priest in Heaven which obviously takes this to a time after the Cross and the Resurrection to after His Ascension.  Heb 4:16 speaks in the present tense that because we have Him as our High Priest we are encouraged to "come boldly" so that we "may obtain Mercy" and "find Grace".  The fact that Jesus examines the human heart and will judge accordingly doesn't make this a scary experience because He is our High Priest and Advocate [1John 2:1; 1Tim 2:5; Heb 7:25].  It is because of Him we can 'enter boldy' into all the phases of the Judgement, including the Investigative phase too.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 7:49 AM

Darrel,

I have a Hatch and Redpath Concordance to the Septuagint. It lists Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 under the entry "εσω, εσωτερον (εισω)," not under the entry "εσωτερος, εσωτατος." The separate entry "εσωτερον" reads simply "vid. εσω."

So what does that mean? It means that the word in these verses is εσω (# 2080), not εσωτερος (# 2082). And do we have a verse in the LXX where εσω is also used with "veil" to mean the first veil? Yes, we do: Num. 3:10. So εσω(τερον) του καταπετασματος is used in the LXX to refer to both veils, not exclusively the second veil.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 9:39 AM

“So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons that athey may keep their priesthood, but bthe 1layman who comes near shall be put to death.”    Totally confused!!

Ranald McLeish
2013-04-29 9:19 AM

Hi Preston,

Thank you for the invitation to continue. Due to space I will present just one quote to establish a point, and follow with a key point or points. As history plays an important role in confirming fulfilled prophecy, the Scriptures and History are the main sources.

The traditional identity applied to the little horn of Daniel

Others, including many of the Reformers have identified this little horn as Rome in both its pagan and papal phases. This last interpretation fits exactly the specifications Daniel gave, --- (a). The little horn power extends from the fall of the Greek empire till the “time of the end” (Dan. 8:17). Only Rome, pagan and papal, meets these time specifications. Seventh-day Adventists Believe, 27, p. 321.


Key points
 
  • As the weight of evidence reveals each horn of the ram, the goat, and the fourth beast, represents a new king and kingdom, the little horns of Daniel 7 and 8, if we are to be consistent, must represent new and different kingdoms, not different phases, or actions, of the same kingdom.
  • History reveals Rome, pagan and papal, did not rule from the fall of the Greek Empire till the time of the end.
  • Daniel does not provide any time specifications that apply from the fall of Greece to the time of the end.

A Synopsis of Current Church teachings regarding the little horn.

It is acknowledged some Adventist scholars still consider the little horn of Daniel 8:9 initially represents Antiochus Epiphanies. However, since the Glacier View meetings in 1980, it has been difficult, if not impossible to determine from Adventist publications, and the writings of leading Adventist scholars, whether the little horn of Daniel 8 represents 1. the Roman Empire, 2. Rome pagan and papal; 3. the Papacy only, or 4, another possibility, cf. below.
 
  1. On a historical level, this means that following the dissolution of the Roman Empire, a new power would take over, a religious one, though related more or less to the political power of Rome.” Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, p. 34.
  2. This last interpretation fits exactly the specifications Daniel gave, --- The little horn power extends from the fall of the Greek empire till the “time of the end” (Dan. 8:17). Only Rome, pagan and papal, meets these time specifications.” Seventh-day Adventists Believe --- 27, p. 321.
  3. From our study so far, we have seen that the fourth beast is Rome and that the 10 horns symbolize the division of the one Roman Empire into many different nations. But which power does the little horn represent? Church history indicates that only one power in history fits the description of the little horn - the Roman Catholic Church. “Out of the ruins of political Rome arose the great moral Empire in the ‘giant form’ of the Roman Church. Pfandl, Daniel, p. 63.
Martin Probstle, a former student of mine, wrote his dissertation on Daniel 8:9-14. He concluded that in Daniel 8 not only is Babylon missing but also pagan Rome. He sees the little horn in both chapters describing only the papacy; and the textual evidence seems to support him. Pfandl, for BRI, email, 23/08/2011.
 
 4.   Thus the possibility should be left open and not rule out a priori that these two   prophetic symbols could refer to different historical entities. --- Shea, DARCOM, Vol. 1, p. 38.



Key points.
 
  • While the volume Seventh day Adventists Believe --- 27 does not support many of the current teachings regarding Daniel 8:9-14, it is unfortunate, and disappointing, the Church continues to censure those who question various aspects of the Church’s current understandings of Daniel 8:9-14.
  • Former GC President Jan Paulsen was aware of the danger of ignoring those who raise difficult questions, cf. below.
We tend not to like those who ask difficult questions.… Questions lead to a dialogue, which in turn contributes to the bonding between God’s people. And questions keep us alert.” … “As an Adventist leader, don’t be afraid of questions. Instead, fear silence, for apathy is far more hazardous to the body of Christ than is critical thinking. Jan Paulsen, Where Are We Going? Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2011:110.

Before proceeding further, do you consider the above quotes represent a fair cross section of current Adventist teachings regarding the identity of the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8?
 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 9:57 AM

On the money in my book Ranald

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 10:15 AM

Darrel,

"'So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons that athey may keep their priesthood, but bthe 1layman who comes near shall be put to death.'    Totally confused!!"  That's because you didn't read it in the LXX. You read it in a Bible that follows the Masoretic text. But the question is how the LXX reads, not how the Masoretic text reads.

"And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons over the tabernacle of witness; and they shall keep their charge of priesthood, and all things belonging to the altar, and within the veil; and the stranger that touches them shall die." "και ααρων και τους υιους αυτου καταστησεις επι της σκηνης του μαρτυριου και φυλαξουσιν την ιερατειαν αυτων και παντα τα κατα τον βωμον και εσω του καταπετασματος και ο αλλογενης ο απτομενος αποθανειται." (Num 3:10 LXX).

Since Aaron's sons weren't allowed within the second veil, Num. 3:10 LXX must be referring to the second veil, using the same wording (according to Hatch & Redpath) found in Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 10:34 AM

Yes, totally get what you are saying.  you are confusing  εσω  with the word esoteron.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 10:43 AM

Aaron and his sons were to be appointed by Moses to take charge of the priesthood; as no stranger, no one who was not a son of Aaron, could approach eso the sanctuary (in general)without being put to death (cf. Num_1:53 and Lev_22:10).


Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 10:57 AM

Darrel,

According to Hatch & Redpath, εσω and εσωτερον are the same word, and you are confusing εσω/εσωτερον with εσωτερος/εσωτατος. Did you see where I detailed that above? I wrote above the following two paragraphs:

I have a Hatch and Redpath Concordance to the Septuagint. It lists Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 under the entry "εσω, εσωτερον (εισω)," not under the entry "εσωτερος, εσωτατος." The separate entry "εσωτερον" reads simply "vid. εσω."

So what does that mean? It means that the word in these verses is εσω (# 2080), not εσωτερος (# 2082). And do we have a verse in the LXX where εσω is also used with "veil" to mean the first veil? Yes, we do: Num. 3:10. So εσω(τερον) του καταπετασματος is used in the LXX to refer to both veils, not exclusively the second veil.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 10:23 AM

Serge Agafonoff
 
 
Bob, Darrel, Break it up.  Paul,CLEARLY DEFINED which veil he is talking about in Heb 10.20 -
19 ¶ Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
ην ενεκαινισεν ημιν οδον προσφατον και ζωσαν δια του καταπετασματος τουτεστιν της σαρκος αυτου"

Thank you Serge for this reminder, of course you are correct.  This is why the enter veil in the temple was opened at the death of Christ.  We are really not talking about rooms and veils but symbols of realities of assurance and hope in God and what the Cross was all about.  The enter veil that we have been discussing was symbolic for the record of sin the separated us from God.  THe message of Hebrews and the Gospels is that we have by Grace Complete acceptance with God throught the forgiveness of our sins.

"Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need." Heb 4:16

"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holy place ( "the holies" των ἁγιων· in Greek, short for 'Holy of Holies') by the blood of Jesus."   Heb 10:19

This is an allusion to the case of the high priest going into the holy of holies. He went with fear and trembling, NOT boldly.

"by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh"  Heb. 10:20

The real question we have been dancing around with this 'veiled' discussion is do we have complete atonement at the Cross. 

 


Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 10:30 AM

Ranald,

I can't presently answer your final question because the points you are raising sound so odd. For example, "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up." Egypt was the last of the Macedonian kingdoms to go down, around 30 BC. How can anyone hope to prolong "the latter end" of the Macedonian kingdoms until the papacy arose? It sounds so unreasonable and contrary to history, and I find it hard to believe that any significant portion of Adventist scholarship would buy into such an idea.

The Roman Empire waxed exceeding great toward Carthage in the south, the Macedonian kingdoms in the east, and the pleasant land, in that precise order. Can anything similar be said of the papacy? I'd be surprised.

One metal, iron, in the legs, feet and toes in Dan. 2 represented Rome in both its pagan and papal phases. One beast with ten horns and a little horn in Dan. 7 represented Rome in both its pagan and papal phases. One horn in Dan. 8 represented Rome in both its pagan and papal phases. I see no reason why we can't acknowledge this parallel between one metal, one beast, and one horn between the three chapters.

Preston Foster
2013-04-29 10:56 AM

Bob and Darrel,

We appreciate your exhaustive examination of the Greek interpretation the applicable verses.  For many of us laypeople, it would be helpful to re-frame the context of your disagreement (the "so what?").  The trees in this forest are getting pretty high ("LXX," Greek text etc.).

It is somewhat clear that you are debating whether the language in the texts refers to the first or second veils in the temple as they relate to Hebrews 9:11-26 and other texts.  Can you synthesize the "so what" your debate (and Serge's input to it, as well, if you would)?  Doing so would, I believe, engage many others.
 
Thanks much.  

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 11:12 AM

Preston,

It is common among critics of Adventism to use the similarity between Heb. 6:19 and Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 to say that Christ entered the Most Holy at His ascension rather than in 1844, and that Adventism is therefore wrong in its interpretation of Dan. 8:14, etc.

In at least recent times, some Adventist scholars have countered that even if Heb. 6:19 is referring to the second veil, that doesn't necessarily negate such Adventist beliefs. For example, Christ could have initially entered the Most Holy in 31 AD as part of an inauguration of the entire sanctuary. There may be other variations of this line of thought as well. The end conclusion of this thinking is that it really makes no difference what Heb. 6:19 means: Christ still ministered in the Holy Place until 1844 after initially inaugurating the Most Holy.

I prefer, however, to find ways to demonstrate that Heb. 6:19 refers to both veils, especially given what GC 414-415 says regarding Heb. 6:19. And if I had not been looking for such 10 years ago to counter Desmond Ford's assertion regarding Heb. 6:19, I would never have found Num 3:10; 18:7. So in my experience, sometimes looking for ways to vindicate our old beliefs as well as the SoP's positions has led to new insights from the Bible that I haven't seen before.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 11:37 AM

 Excellent question  Excellent point.  I am thankful to Bob to discuss the Greek language background.  

We are really not talking about rooms and veils but symbols of realities of assurance and hope in God and what the Cross was all about. The enter veil that we have been discussing was symbolic for the record of sin that separated us from God. THe message of Hebrews and the Gospels is that we have by Grace Complete acceptance with God throught the forgiveness of our sins.

"Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need." Heb 4:16

"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holy place ( "the holies" των ἁγιων· in Greek, short for 'Holy of Holies') by the blood of Jesus." Heb 10:19

This is an allusion to the case of the high priest going into the holy of holies. He went with fear and trembling, NOT boldly.

"by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" Heb. 10:20

The real question we have been dancing around with this 'veiled' discussion is do we have complete atonement at the Cross.


Some not understanding correctly have thought that Jesus work of atonement was not complete and hence the focus on Jesus not yet in the Holy of Holies.   Many have misunderstood that as in the daily ministry their forgiveness was tenetive, awaiting the Day of Atonement.  Paul message is we do not have to wait to have complete assurance of forgiveness.   We do not have to wait until we pass the judgement to know we are forgiven.  We do not have to wait to gain complete perfection to know we are truly saved in Christ.  We can come NOW Boldly to the throne of Grace and find Mercy.


Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 11:54 AM

Why not take Heb. 10:19 as it reads? Why not translate it as "the holy places," rather than assume that it is short for "holy of holies"?

"This is an allusion to the case of the high priest going into the holy of holies." How can we say that when the text clearly says, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holy places by the blood of Jesus"?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 12:05 PM

Answering this question will settle the whole question.  Which veil was it that was torn open when Jesus died?    Yes, now do we see. The veil which was hung between the "holy place" and the "holiest of all," shutting out all access to the presence of God as manifested "above the mercy seat and from between the cherubim" -


Into this holiest of all none could enter, not even the high priest, but once a year, on the great day of atonement, and then only with the blood of atonement in his hands, which he sprinkled "upon and before the mercy seat seven times" (Lev_16:14) - to signify that access for sinners to a holy God is only through atoning blood.

But as they had only the blood of bulls and of goats, which could not take away sins (Heb_10:4), during all the long ages that preceded the death of Christ the thick veil remained; the blood of bulls and of goats continued to be shed and sprinkled; and once a year access to God through an atoning sacrifice- but, symbolical actions - nothing more. 

But now, the one atoning Sacrifice in the precious blood of Christ, access to this Holy God could no longer be denied; and so that thick veil which for so many ages had been the dread symbol of separation between God and guilty men was, without a hand mysteriously "rent in twain from top to bottom" - "the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was NOW made manifest!" 

Come boldly now to the Throne of Grace; the veil is clean gone; the mercy seat stands open to sinners, and the way to it is sprinkled with the blood of Jesus - "who through the eternal Spirit hath offered Himself without spot to God!"

Before, it was death to go in, now it is death to stay out.


Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 12:13 PM

"The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holy places was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:"

Heb. 9:6-8 is therefore telling us that for this lesson, the holy place of the earthly sanctuary represented the entire earhtly sanctuary, and the most holy of the earthly represented the entire heavenly sanctuary. In v. 8 the "first tabernacle" is the entire earthly tabernacle, and "the holy places" is the entire heavenly sanctuary.

Darrel, did you see above my citation of Hatch & Redpath regarding eso, esoteron, and esoteros?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 12:35 PM

Hi Yes I did.  They are not the same words in usage.  Anyway, we are forgetting the Number One rule of definition--context!

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 12:51 PM

Hatch & Redpath says they're the same word, and they're used in the same sort of construction with the same word for veil in the same case. In what way is the usage different? And how are we forgetting context when it is the context of Num. 3:10 that dictates that the veil there be the first veil?

The point Desmond Ford and others have made is that the Greek construction of Heb. 6:19 is only found in reference to the second veil. Given the fact that Hatch & Redpath says that that construction is also found in Num. 3:10, Ford's assertion is false.

Are you inclined to say that Hatch & Redpath are incorrect, and that they should have listed entries for esoteron under esoteros instead of under eso?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 1:18 PM

What veil was torn in the temple when Jesus died Bob?

Preston Foster
2013-04-29 1:58 PM

This is a key question.  

And, did that not signify the same in heaven?  If so, what are the implications of this?

laffal
2013-04-29 3:02 PM

The veil between the 1st and 2nd apartment was rent.  But what did that mean / signify?  The barrier between and Holy God and sinful man was now removed.  But the veil in the sanctuary / temple is now signified by the humanity of Christ, His flesh (Heb 10:20).  The God/man Jesus is now in the presence of God for us (Heb 6:20; 9:24).  We still need a mediator... As free / real as the gift of salvation is, the priestly ministry of Christ alone can make the benefits / blessings real in the hearts / souls of those who receive the gift (Heb 5:1-5, 5-10). 

We must also keep in mind the reason Paul wrote the letter to the Hebrews.  It wasn't written as an exposition on the sanctuary services proper, earthly or heavenly.  Its purpose was to encourage the Hebrew believers to continue in have faith in Christ who were being tempted to return to Judaism.  The key term in the book is "better."   Christ is demostrated as being the "better" as the reality of the sanctuary services which was a shadow / type of His work in the plan of salvation, both earthly and heavenly.  When we get to heaven, Paul might have to tell us that we've missed the point here.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 3:05 PM

I don't see it as being a key question.

The veil that was torn in the earthly was the second veil, and Heb. 9:6-8 tells us part of the significance of it, that while the earthly tabernacle was still in operation, the way into both of the heavenly holy places was not yet manifest.

"And, did that not signify the same in heaven?" How could it? There is no third sanctuary beyond the heavenly temple that the way into was not yet manifested while the 2nd was still standing.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 3:07 PM

Darrel,

Since I answered your question above, and since this discussion started with the assertion that the Greek of Heb. 6:19 unquestionably points to the Most Holy, could you address my question above regarding whether you think that Hatch & Redpath erred in putting entries for esoteron under eso instead of esoteros?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 3:23 PM

I don't know who they are, but have explained many times that esoteron a word meaning 'the enter.'
it is really not complex.  

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 5:53 PM

Hatch's bio is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Hatch. I don't see the same for Redpath. They produced a concordance for the LXX around 1889. Amazon has it at http://www.amazon.com/Concordance-Septuagint-Testament-Including-Apocryphal/dp/0801021413

Here we have a good authority that identifies the word esoteron in Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 as being the same as eso in Num. 3:10, while esoteros is listed as a totally different word. You've made the assertion, in effect, that Hatch & Redpath were wrong in listing entries for esoteron under eso instead of under esoteros. But you have failed to support your assertion with any evidence at all. Of course, they could be wrong, but why should I accept a mere assertion when their position supports GC 414-415?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 7:40 PM

Bob I am sorry, but if this source actually says that esoteron in Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 is the same as eso in Num. 3:10, while esoteros is listed as a totally different word, that is a complete mistake.  My first quarter Greek students would be able to recognize the 'on' 'os' endings and that esoteron and esoteros are the same word functioning differently in sentences with the exact same meaning.

Ranald McLeish
2013-04-29 6:25 PM

Bob,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You You  say: "One metal, iron, in the legs, feet and toes in Dan. 2 represented Rome in both its pagan and papal phases. One beast with ten horns and a little horn in Dan. 7 represented Rome in both its pagan and papal phases. One horn in Dan. 8 represented Rome in both its pagan and papal phases. I see no reason why we can't acknowledge this parallel between one metal, one beast, and one horn between the three chapters."

Because the weight of evidence provided by Daniel, John, and history, does not support this view.
 
  • In Dan. 2 there are two symbols that represent statecraft and churchcraft kingdoms, the iron and the clay of verse 33, cf. 4BC 1168.
  • The little horn that arose in the midst of the 10 horns of Dan. 7:8  represents the "man of sin" and the Papacy, a churchcraft power.
  • The little horn of 8:9 that waxed great toward the south etc. etc. was the Roman Empire, a statecraft power, represented by the fourth beast king, cf. 7:17.
  • In Revelation 13 we have two beasts, a sea beast, and a land beast, to represent two specific end time political and religious powers.

As there are two symbols in Dan 2, two symbols in Dan 7 and 8, and two symbols in Rev. 13, that represent political and religious powers, I don't see any reason why we can't acknowledge this parallel. 

The weight of evidence reveals the Roman Empire is represented by the fourth beast king in chapter 7, cf. 7:17 , not the LH of 7:8, while the LH of 8:9 represents the Roman Empire in chapter 8, not the Papacy. In Daniel 7 and 8 we have 12 different kingdoms represented by 12 horns, two of which are little horns. The first Kingdom, the Roman Empire a statecraft kingdom is represented by the first little horn, after it the ten horns arise, and finally the last horn, another little one, cf. 7:24, representing the Papacy arises in the midst of the 10 horns.    
 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-29 8:47 PM

While Greek is on the agenda, does anyone care to comment on Heb 1:1,2 ?

1 ¶  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,    επ εσχατων των ημερων τουτων ...

What are the implications, of an eschaton which commences at this time?

 

William Noel
2013-04-30 8:57 AM

Serge,

Look at how much result came from speaking through the prophets as compared to the life and teachings of Jesus.  The latter was far more powerful and effective than all the prophets who came before (or since).

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 9:23 PM

“In these last days” is a good translation.  Understood by the Jews to be the time of the Messiah, but not to mean the end of world as such.   “God hath spoken in these last days by his Son”; 1Pe_1:20, “Was manifested in these last times for you”; 2Pe_3:3; 1Pe_1:5; 1Jo_2:18.

“In these last days” is a good translation.  Understood by the Jews to be the time of the Messiah, but not to mean the end of world as such.   “God hath spoken in these last days by his Son”; 1Pe_1:20, “Was manifested in these last times for you”; 2Pe_3:3; 1Pe_1:5; 1Jo_2:18.
 
The above is different than - kαιρου περας   time of the end in Dan. 8: 17 &18,  It is a different expression which refers to ‘the end of the last days’ as such. 
 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-29 11:18 PM

kαιρου περας ......... LXX translation of Hebrew / Aramaic....... is this serious evidence that the NT writers DID NOT consider themselves to be in the 'eschaton' of days?  Your other references confirm teh same concept, not the opposite.
Oh William Miller, what distortions of understanding you have wrought.

William Noel
2013-04-30 3:22 PM

Serge,

I'd like you to answer the same question I've been asking others: How does this discussion make you more effective at bring souls into the Kingdom of God?

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-01 8:27 AM

William,  Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  It is incumbent on each of us to know Him in each of these aspects.  Truth is not a concept empty of content.  He is the Eternal Logos.  It is our privilege to be led of the Spirit into all Truth.  Sharing understanding with others of sincerity is part of God's ordained means of keeping us all in the faith.  Besides this, He has challenged us to move on from taking only the milk of the Word to teh challenges of srong meat.  He intends that we grow spiritually stronger by such meat of the Word.  The author to Hebrews is one such challenging author. Heb 5.12,14.  Perhaps, William, you might care to address the issues in these texts?

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 10:24 PM

Darrel,

Can you point me to any authority out there that says that Hatch & Redpath are in error regarding this question of LXX Greek (not NT Greek)? I want more than just a mere assertion. And really, it shouldn't be that hard to find some sort of critique along these lines if such a long-standing standard work had really made what you consider such a glaring error.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 10:56 PM

Ronald,

If I understand you correctly, you object to the idea that the iron of the legs, feet, and toes represents Rome in both its pagan and papal phases because you believe that the iron is statecraft and the clay is priestcraft. Thus you appear to confine the idea of the papacy to the clay and exclude it from the iron.

Based on your discussion, you appear to believe that the 1st beast of Rev. 13 is the papacy. Yet if we apply your distinction re: Dan. 2 to that beast, we would not be able to include the entire beast in the term papacy, since the 10 crowned horns on that beast would correspond to the iron of the feet and toes, the statecraft portion of the medieval papal system. So I don't think we can dissect it all to this degree. (Just as the clay held the iron fragments together, somewhat, so the 1st beast of Rev. 13 holds together the 10 crowned horns, somewhat.)

So you favor the idea that Dan. 8's little horn is the Empire, not the papacy? The little horn magnifies itself to the Prince of the host and stands up against the Prince of princes. To me this provides the biblical basis for the NT word "antichrist," since anti- means both "against" and "instead of." Magnifying "to" to me conveys the same sort of idea as "instead of." Thus: How would the Empire qualify as being "antichrist," especially since 1 Jn. 2:18 and 2 Th. 2 indicate that the Empire had not become the antichrist by the time they were written?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 11:00 PM

I have used two adventist sources obove.  I will dig out my Expositors Greek Commentary and look it up.  I am really not trying to be difficult, I am a littel OCD with Greek maybe, but it is important.
what is the glaring error now?

William Noel
2013-04-30 8:52 AM

Darrel,

I used to be really OCD with the Greek.  Then God showed me how I was wasting my time because it contributed to my illusion of being powerful for God when I had become utterly impotent at bringing people to Jesus.  So I'd like to know how all this discussion about the Greek is helping you bring people to Jesus.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-29 11:20 PM

This what the 'The Expositors’ Greek Testament Vol. 4  pg. 305 says - “esoteron is the inmost shrine into which the Jewish worshipper could not enter but only the High Priest at the end of the year. For the expression see Exod. XXVi.33.”

As far as usage in the New Testament notice how “esoteron” is translation in Acts 16:24   “. . . . he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.”
 

Bob Pickle
2013-04-29 11:44 PM

Darrel,

The glaring error is the mistake you said that Hatch & Redpath makes in listing esoteron references with eso references instead of with esoteros references.

A problem I see is that the reference you just referred to is a NT Greek reference, not a LXX Greek reference. We already have a discrepancy between LXX Greek references on Lev. 16:2 and NT Greek references on Heb. 6:19, and citing more NT references that fail to directly comment on why LXX authorities don't say that esoteron is a form of esoteros doesn't really help.

I just downloaded the analytic LXX from http://forum.theword.net/download/file.php?id=1260 and it agrees with Hatch & Redpath that esoteron is not the same word as esoteros. That also agrees with my Bible program's analytic LXX. Compare esoteron (esoteron) in Lev. 16:2 with esotatou (esoteros) in 1/3 Kings 7:36. And the analytic LXX at http://www.denisowski.org/Septuagint/Septuagint.htm shows the same. Can you find any analytic LXX anywhere out there that identifes esoteron in Lev. 16:2 as being Strong's # 2082 (esoteros)?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-30 8:00 AM

Bob, lev.16:2 and Heb 6:19 are both εσωτερον.     There is no discrepancy. 
The word "interior" as Strongs translates.  Greek words can have many different endings depending on is place gramatically.  εσωτερον εσωτεροs εσωτεροu  εσωτεροi  εσωτεροusi  εσωτερwn  ect.

Ranald McLeish
2013-04-30 12:31 AM


Desmond & Gillian Ford
2013-04-30 1:37 AM

 http://adventiststudies.com/category/assumption-re-daniel-814/.
For those interested in studying this area, a friend suggests you read Roy Ingram's articles at the above address. 

earl calahan
2013-04-30 2:28 AM

It was the sacrificial death of Jesus, our Creator, that opened the Most Holy Place of Grace & Mercy to all. The barrier that seperated man from God was removed for all time. To those of "OT times", the blood of innocent animals, symbolic of the purity of the innocent Lamb of God, was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat on the day of atonement, signifying their sins were forgiven. After the crucifixion of Jesus, and His ascension to the heavenly sanctuary, His bood cleansed the Holy Of Holies, ONCE,  for all who lived in OT times, and for all time since, & until He returns in glory. The sins of all mankind have been forgiven to all who do not grieve the Holy Spirit, by refusing to accept the RANSOM PAYER, the LIFE GIVER, the LIGHT OF THE WORLD, this JESUS CHRIST. HALLELUJAH.
 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-30 7:40 AM

Amen!

Ranald McLeish
2013-04-30 3:41 AM

Hi Bob,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

You said: (1). "If I understand you correctly, you object to the idea that the iron of the legs , feet, and toes, represents Rome in both its pagan and papal phases because you believe the iron is statecraft and the clay is priestcraft. (2). Thus you appear to confine the idea of the Papacy to the clay and exclude it from the iron." 

There are two issues here, your understanding is correct regarding the first, but not the second. In Daniel 2 the apostate churchcraft powers are represented by the symbol of "miry clay. When the Iron power, Rome, united with the clay power, the Papacy, these two statecraft and churchcraft powers are represented by the symbol of "iron mixed with miry clay." Around 800 A.D this union fell apart, the Papacy broke away from Rome and  united with the Germanic kingdoms and formed a union commonly referred to as the Holy Roman Empire, that union is also represented by the symbol of "iron mixed with miry clay."  Eventually that union was broken by France in 1798 at the end of the 1260 years. Currently the Papacy, represented by the sea beast, and the USA, represented by the land beast, are forming a union that will also be represented by the symbol of "iron mixed with miry clay" in the time represented by the toes, and as we know from Rev. 17:16, this union will not last either, just as Daniel said.

Re the Papacy and the antichrist little horn. Both horns represent antichrist powers, however only the LH of 7:8 represents "the man of sin." There are many antichrists, but only one "man of sin", also referred to as the "mystery of iniquity", the "son of perdition," and "that wicked". As there is more than one political or statecraft power represented by the silver, brass, and  iron of Daniel 2. there are two little horns there are two little horns, not one, to represent the Roman Empire and the Papacy in Dan. 7 and 8.

Re your question: "Thus: How would the Empire qualify as being "antichrist". As the Roman Empire is represented by the LH in verses 9-11, and as the only power that has killed Christ was Rome, we find Dan. 9:26-27 is a repeat and expansion of 8:9-11.As it was Rome who persecuted God's people, crucified Christ, and destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, there is no doubt Rome was the principle antichrist power of the first century A.D.  
   
 

Bob Pickle
2013-04-30 8:41 AM

Darrel,

"Bob, lev.16:2 and Heb 6:19 are both εσωτερον.     There is no discrepancy. 
The word "interior" as Strongs translates.  Greek words can have many different endings depending on is place gramatically.  εσωτερον εσωτεροs εσωτεροu  εσωτεροi  εσωτεροusi  εσωτερwn  ect."


Please, please address the point being made. What you write above makes no sense given what we have already discussed. Thus far, as I have stated, every authority on the LXX I can find links Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 to esoteron and not esoteros. When I say this I'm not talking about the form of the word found in the text. R&H lists Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15 under "eso, esoteron," not under "esoteros," and the interlinears give the original word in these verses as esoteron, not estoeros. It's not as if these authorities don't think esoteros exists since R&H gives it as a separate entry, and the interlinears give it as the word behind occurrences of esotatos.

So what I'm looking for is some sort of explanation as to how every last LXX authority I can find so far is wrong regarding the etymology behind esoteron in Ex. 26:33; Lev. 16:2, 12, 15, since you are asserting that they are indeed wrong.

William Noel
2013-04-30 8:46 AM

Would you mind explaining how parsing the Greek makes you more effective at bringing souls into the Kingdom of God?  I thought that was what Jesus told us to be doing.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-01 10:05 AM

etymologies are interesting, it is usage and context that defines!

Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
2013-04-30 9:25 AM

Some have been kind enough to share some links that may assist in seeking answers and understanding regarding the questions raised in this blog.  There is one particular document prepared at a time when this same issue came to the fore and it is one that simply cannot be left out of the fray.  It was written by Dr Robert W. Olson.  Here is the link (URL).

http://egwtext.whiteestate.org/publicationtoc.php?bookCode=QSEW&lang=en&collection=6&section=all

As an aside, I came across some sad news whilst checking on the link above.  My sincere condolences to Dr Olson's family.  He will be remembered by many Seventh-day Adventists for his significant work during his time at the Ellen White Estate as well as in the other areas of his career.
  • Dr. Robert W. Olson, former life trustee and director of the Ellen G. White Estate, 1978-1990, died at his residence in Hendersonville, North Carolina, on April 15, 2013, at age 92.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-30 9:38 AM

You are correct William.  We have many many good translations in English.  The point of Hebrews is that as believers we have complete assurance of acceptance with God through Jesus our Lord.  This is assurance is "an anchor of our soul" keeping us stable in the love of God.  Jesus fulfiled the symbol of the Day of Atonement at the Cross.  The final judgement will come, but as Jesus taught us:
"He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.  5:24
Understanding this is important because it is the Gospel itself, and because some confusion exists regarding the idea that we must stand on our own without a mediator at some point.  This is totally unbiblical, but plagues many people, destroying the “anchor of the soul” that should be placed fully in assurance in Christ.
The message of Hebrews is that Christ fulfilled the meaning of both rooms both veils, he took our sins upon Himself, and the only part left unfulfilled is the judgement when Azuzel (the second goat) is punished with all evil at the end of time.
Heb 9:23  It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24  For Christ entered not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us:
Heb 9:25  nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place year by year with blood not his own;
Heb 9:26  else must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
 


Darrel Lindensmith
2013-04-30 9:42 AM

So my answer William would be that we must understand the Gospel before sharing it, but you are so correct we must help people see how wonderful our Lord is, how good, how just and loving.
Bringing people to know Christ is what it is really all about.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-04-30 10:12 AM

Hearty Amen to both posts, Darrel.

William Noel
2013-05-01 8:39 AM

Heard, understood and agreed.  But you still haven't answered the root of the question: How has this information made YOU a more effective soul-winner?  Are you bringing people into the Kingdom?

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-01 9:18 AM

William, you are starting to sound like a conference President.  As a doctor, my 'ministry' is rather different to the kind you might imagine.  But then again, SDAs are a mission field in themselves.  As Paul visited the synagogues in the cities he visited first, so too it is appropriate to share Truth with the good folks here who consider themselves spiritual Israel.  Besides that, I do hold gatherings in my home, where folks who are not as acquainted with Christ can share fellowship.  But since I do not believe in anything more formalised than 'home churches,' I am guessing that by your definition, I do less than nothing.  But 'My kingdom is not of this world,' so I feel no requirement to be bound by your definitions.  I know this, the Truth as it is in Jesus is NOT INFORMATION.  You have got that dead wrong.  

 John 6:63  It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life.

William Noel
2013-05-01 12:08 PM

Serge,

My concept of the church is far broader than just a group of people inside a dedicated building with particular architecture.  I have great respect for those who lead and develop home churches.  Home churches are the primary means of growth for many denominations in places like China.  My question was an attempt to change the focus of discussion from debating theology to practical application.  There are those here for whom debate is obviously their passion.  I wish they could develop the same passion for winning souls that I am happy to see you have. 

Please forgive me for sounding like a conference president.  I'm have an MBA and work in project management so I am quick to ask if a particular activity actually produces results and measure those results.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-01 10:51 PM

That may be another area where we differ, William.  I just try to hear what my Manager tells me, and I do that.  Thankfully, I can leave the management, and the results, to Him.

William Noel
2013-05-02 8:29 AM

Serge,

We may be far closer to agreement than disagreement.  I've had several situations where I wondered why the church was doing something and the answer was some variation on "that's the way we've always done it so it has to be the only way we'll consider doing it."  They didn't care that it wasn't producing positive results and actually delivered negatives.  When you're working with a small group or a home church you are where the "rubber meets the road" and you learn more quickly to follow where God is leading and to do what He wants done to produce results for the Kingdom.  How I wish the larger church could learn some of those lessons!

Bob Pickle
2013-04-30 10:28 AM

Ranald,

I see you say that I am mistaken that you want to confine the papacy to the clay and exclude it from the iron, and yet your discussion seems to support my understanding of what you are saying.

Your response to my point about the antichrist seems to say that the idea of the papacy being the antichrist is a derivation from the Roman Empire being the original antichrist, original in the sense that the biblical basis for the word is found in Dan. 8, if the little horn is the Empire and not the papacy.

Bob Pickle
2013-04-30 10:29 AM

Ranald,

You say that "Dan. 9:26-27 is a repeat and expansion of 8:9-11." In light of Dan. 11, I do not see how this can be. "And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate" (11:31). You would agree that the abomination of desoliation of ch. 11 is the same as the transgression of desolation of ch. 8?

I note that "stand on his part" in the Hebrew mirrors that of Dan. 8:22, and thus these arms could easily be the 10 horns arising out of Rome. It is "they," not "he," that takes the daily away in ch. 11. These observations point to viewing the 10 horns as part of the little horn of Dan. 8.

And in reality, the 10 as well as the papacy were at some point part of the Empire, which is why they qualify for being described as coming out of the 4th beast rather than being a new, distinct beast in ch. 7. They were part of the Empire, part of the 4th beast, and at some point went independent. So I don't know how we can exclude the 10 and the papacy from being part of the little horn of Dan. 8, unless we end the little horn's existence prior to the 10 being adopted into the Empire as federati.

Ranald McLeish
2013-04-30 9:15 PM

Hi Bob,

Allow me to put  it  another way, consider the following statement.
 
Others,including many of the Reformers have identified this little horn as Rome in both its pagan and papal phases. This last interpretation fits exactly the specifications Daniel gave, --- (a). The little horn power extends from the fall of the Greek empire till the “time of the end” (Dan. 8:17). Only Rome, pagan and papal, meets these time specifications. Seventh-day Adventists Believe, 27, p. 321.

As I am sure you will agree, there are many statecraft kingdoms today, possibly even binding into ten end time unions, cf. Rev. 17:16.  This is why the iron and the clay represent statecraft and churchcraft kingdoms that rule during the fourth beast's kingdom age of man and the world. The horns of the ram, goat, and the T Beast represent individual statecraft and churchcraft kingdoms that ruled during the 2nd., 3rd., and 4th., kingdom ages. Obviously Daniel does not provide a complete list, as the horns of the beast stop with the rise of the Papal little horn.

Consequently the little horns of Dan. 7 and 8 represent a specific repeat and expansion of the iron and the clay symbols of Dan. 2. The LH of 7:8 that all Adventists agree represents the Papacy is a specific expansion of the clay of 2:33, and the LH of 8:9 that some agree represents Rome, is a specific expansion of the iron of 2:33. Furthermore as the Papacy is also an antichrist power it is represented by the symbol of miry clay. Thus when the Papacy united with the various statecraft powers of Scripture and history this union is represented by the symbol of iron mixed with miry clay. But just as Daniel said, these unions do not hold together.

The first union with Rome lasted just over 200 years, in 751 the Papacy ended this relationship and united with the Germanic kingdoms, an alliance commonly referred to as the Holy Roman Empire. This alliance ended at the hand of France in 1798. Revelation reveals the final alliance is the union of the two beasts of chapter 13.

Nowhere does Daniel say the iron of the toes represents Rome, if we are to be consistent it represents the statecraft kingdoms of the world, during the time of the toes.    
 
 
 

Ranald McLeish
2013-04-30 10:19 PM

Hi Bob,
 
Re Dan  9:26-27  etc. etc.
 
Daniel 9:24-27 is, as I am sure you will agree, the answer to Daniels prayer, regarding what he saw in the chapter 8 vision. Daniel would not have been so concerned for His people, his city, and his temple, if he had not seen the these things in the chaoter 8  vision. He was aware the 70 years are finishing, but he did not understand the 2,300 years.
 
You will notice Gabriel’s answer in 9:24-27 answers Daniels questions  regarding the events concerning his people, Jerusalem, his Lord, and  the temple. Consequently, in the light of the current church teachings, the primary issue regarding Daniel  8:9-11 is the identity of the LH of vs. 9, does it represent the Roman Empire or does it represent the Papacy?
 
The current church position is that there is no Rome in chapter 8, and the LH of Dan. 7 and 8 represents  the Papacy only. Now I am sure that you will agree, this is a major development regarding the current  Adventist understanding of Daniel 8:9-14.
 
I propose Daniel  9:24-27 answers the questions that worried Daniel, and made him sick, in  8:27. If this is the case then Rome must be present in the Chapter 8 vision, irrespective of when the 2,330 begin and end. Therefore I suggest the answer to your questions lies, first of all, in determining who the LH  of  8:9 represents, and  determining which verses of 9-12 apply to the LH of verse 9.  If  the current Church teaching are correct, and there is  no Rome  in chapter  8,  then you are  right, Daniel  9:26-27 is  not a repeat and expansion  of  Daniel 8. However until  recently  most, if not all  Adventist scholars believed Rome was present in chapter 8, and  that  chapter 9 is either a part of chapter 8, or an expansion of it.
 
  

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 8:10 AM

Darrel,

I went by two university libraries yesterday and photocopied pages from four Greek-English lexicons. So I've now consulted the following authorities:
  • Hatch and Redpath's Concordance to the Septuagint, an old and highly respected authority.
  • Several analytic Septuagints.
  • The 9th edition (Oxford 1940) of Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon, a lexicon covering everything Greek with a heavy emphasis on the classics.
  • An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford 1889), which is an abridgment of the 7th edition of Liddell and Scott.
  • Muraoka's A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (2002).
  • The 3rd edition (2000) of Danker's A Greek-English of the New Testament and Other Christian Literature.
The only possible conclusion is that there is nothing inherent in εσωτερον as used in Heb. 6:19 that mandates that the veil at issue be the second veil, and that the basic meaning of ενδοθεν του καταπετασματος, εσωτερον του καταπετασματος, and εσω του καταπετασματος are pretty much the same.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 8:14 AM

What the new authorities say:
  • Danker: "ε. func. as prep. w. gen." in Heb. 6:19, "what is inside (--behind) the curtain." Thus in Heb. 6:19, εσωτερον, an "adv. of place," is functioning as a preposition. It is not functioning as an adjective, and thus is not modifying the word "veil." Εσω and ενδοθεν are also "adv. of place," with εσω being used "w. gen. of place (already Hom.)."
  • Muraoka: Εσωτερον is the comparative of εσω and εσωτατος is the superlative. (I therefore suspect that between the time the LXX and the NT was written, εσωτερος is believed to have taken on superlative connotations, or to have replaced εσωτατος, which is why H&R linked εσωτατος with εσωτερος.) Under εσω it says: "II. prep., εσωτερον 'farther inside than, beyond': + gen.., του καταπετασματος 'inside beyond the veil' Ex 26.33, Le 16.2." Under ενδοθεν it says, "within: το ε. του καταπετασματος 'that which is within the screen' Nu 18:7."
  • Liddell & Scott, the intermediate one that has some additional material added: Under εσωτατος: "Sup. of εσω, innermost, Lat. intimus: --εσωτερος, α, ον, interior, N.T." (So the adder of this reference to the NT believed that in the NT εσωτερος had replaced εσωτατος. Yet even so the adder did not say that εσωτερος meant "innermost" in the NT.) Under ενδοθεν it says, "from within," which explains why Num 18:7 might use ενδοθεν while the other texts might use εσωτερον: It's the difference between "from within" and "into within."

In summary:

  • Εσωτερον in Heb. 6:19 is functioning as a preposition, not as an adjective, and thus is not modifying "veil."
  • In the LXX, εσω, εσωτερον, and ενδοθεν in the constructions in question mean nearly the same thing, and in Num. 3:10; 18:7 these constructions do not refer to the veil in front of the Most Holy Place.
  • In the LXX there are three veils, the one before the Most Holy being the 3rd. Since Paul identifies the veil before the Most Holy as being the second veil, he is not closely following the LXX.
  • The LXX fairly consistently clarifies which veil of the three is being referred to, and εσωτερον by itself doesn't count. Since Heb. 6:19 contains no such clarification, there is nothing in the text that mandates that the veil be the one before the Most Holy.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-01 9:46 AM

Notice how “esoteron” is translation in Acts 16:24. . . . he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.” Esoteron is acting adjectively, modifing "cell." 

Does Jesus going to the Most Holy Place, symbolizing the acomplishment of complete atonement cause some unspoken theological problem that we are not talking about?

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 10:07 AM

Darrel,

In Acts 16:24 it is esoteran, and it is an adjective there, not a preposition, and thus is different in its function than in Heb. 6:19.

In my view, there was a complete atonement made on the cross, which would be before Christ entered the heavenly Holy or Most Holy. So where Christ entered according to Hebrews does not cause any theological problems for me regarding whether Christ made a complete atonement on the cross.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-01 10:29 AM

Thanks Bob,  this is what thought, but just trying to understand the full picture.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 11:03 AM

Our pioneers were not united on when the atonement was made. Some said there was an atonement at the cross, others said there was no atonement until the ascension, and yet others said there was no atonement until 1844.

My thought is that there was a complete atonement at the cross, a complete atonement after the ascension, and the atonement since 1844 will be complete. In my mind, each of these atonements make up THE atonement.

Maybe that needs tweaking, but that's how I've reconciled it all at present.

Preston Foster
2013-05-01 9:35 PM

Bob,

For me, it would be very helpful to define the word "complete" in the context you've described here.  Usually, "complete" means "whole" or "finished."  I'm not clear on how you are using the word in a 3-tiered process. 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-01 10:09 PM

Careful with words please.  eg, when a young man meets his true love, he is complete.  When he marries her, he is finished.  Adventism seems able to alter the usual meanings of words in order to fit a very dubious theology.  Bob now has three atonements.  When Paul (probably not but for sake of agreement) said, 'Once for all' atonement, Heb 10.10,12,14, I think he meant ONCE, for ALL TIME!   One cannot wring three atonements, extending to 1844, out of the book of Hebrews!

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 10:39 PM

Serge, Heb. 10:10, 12, 14 say nothing about "one atonement." They only speak about "one sacrifice" and "one offering."

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-02 12:26 AM

And they say 'nothing about "one atonement"' because the word 'atonement' is not used at all in Hebrews.  Only the act, 'one sacrifice,' 'one offering,' which provides atonement is described.  And it is described as 'once for all time.' Fact is, the word 'atonement' is only translated thus once (in the KJV) in NT, Rom 5.11.  katalasso, which is usually translated 'reconciliation.'  The author of Hebrews (ok, I agree, it probably wasn't Paul) uses a more technical term, hilaskomai, which is derived from the word for mercy, hileos.  And which also provides mercy-seat in Heb 9.5. (hilasterion).  Hilaskomai is translated 'reconciliation' in the KJV. Heb 2.17.

And you will note, Paul says quite clearly in Rom 5.11, 'And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.' (KJV).  For folks to say, as they have since 1844, that the Atonement is not complete until the IJ is over, is a direct contradiction of Paul's clearest of statements, 'we have now received the atonement.'  1844 and IJ is therefore, ANTI the Gospel.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-02 12:40 AM

PS...... the NASB has translated hilaskomai in Heb 2.17 as propitiation, an even more technical version of reconciliation.  Does anyone still doubt the value, and necessity, of consulting the original languages of scripture translations?

Bob Pickle
2013-05-02 8:08 AM

My oh my, Serge. So you think that Jesus' testimony is anti-gospel! Can you provide me with any Bible verse where katallasso is used in the LXX as a translation for the Hebrew words for "atone" or "atonement"?

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-02 9:38 AM

Bob, I prefer to allow the NT to interpret the old as far as how we are now to understand the significance or meaning of the 'shadow.'  It wasn't me who translated katallasso as 'atonement' in Rom 5.11.  And it wasn't me who translated hilaskomai as 'reconciliation' in Heb 2.17.  Obviously, NT authors/translators consider both words encompass very similar meanings.  Its quite interesting to see how few NT references there are to the the more technical aspects of atonement/reconciliation, particularly as seems to be required by SDA doctrine.  But the NT itself, generally speaking, appears content to state that all of the Atonement laws and ceremonies are neatly summed up in the one act of the death and yes, resurrection of Christ.  'Once for all time' is the phrase which neatly sums up the essential concept of the NT that the daily and yearly round of sacrifices and atonements are ALL summed up in Calvary.

Tell me, given your skill and resources, are there any uses of the greek word exilasasthai, exilasomai or any of its cognates (the usual LXX translations of kippur or kaphar) in Hebrews or the NT generally?   

Bob Pickle
2013-05-05 8:47 AM

Those words are not found anywhere in the NT.

I don't see where the NT ever says that there is only one atonement. One offering, yes, one atonement, I don't see that.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 10:53 PM

Preston,

The typical service, as I believe Crosier points out, spoke of atonement as something the high priest did after the sacrifice had already been offered. For this reason he believed that the atonement did not begin until after the ascension.

I at present disagree, and yet he does make a valid point which can be seen elsewhere. For one thing, Paul says that if Christ be not raised, then we would all be lost. Thus something had to happen after the cross in order for us to be saved. Arguably, the intercession of Christ after His ascension is also necessary, as would be the atonement Christ has been making since 1844, both of which are applying the benefits of the atonement made on Calvary.

So what nomenclature do we use to refer to each of these works of Christ? Froom referred to the atonement at the cross as the atonement, and the atoning work of Christ since then as the applying (or some such word) of the benefits of that atonement. Leroy Moore maintains that Froom held the same view as Andreason, but was trying to express it to evangelicals in a way that they could understand. Inspiration speaks of Christ making an atonement after 1844, and seems to speak of a complete atonement being made on Calvary. James White and J.N. Andrews, I believe, also believed an atonement was made at the cross. The way I have suggested looking at it in my mind harmonizes everything, and does not contradict Scripture.

Preston Foster
2013-05-02 7:41 AM

Bob,

I think the difference in our approaches is this: you seek to harmonize Scripture with "inspiration," Froom, and other sources.  I seek to understand Scripture from Scripture (sola scriptura).  I understand how the IJ narrative emerged from Scripture.  I don not, however, understand how it is consistent with Scripture. To me, the words "once for all" preclude any 3-tiered or sequential process, as the term, in Hebrews 9:12, is written in the past tense:

" . . . but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

Even if you quibble with the translation of the NIV, KJV, and the NLT regarding "The Most Holy" place, when Christ left the heavenly sanctuary the Bible says that He had OBTAINED our ETERNAL  redemption, then sat down on the right hand of The Father.

Hebrews 9:22-26 reiterates that Christ has, already, entered the heavenly sanctuary, to cleanse it and to gain our eternal redemption:

" “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a foreshadow sanctuary made with human hands; he entered heaven itself, NOW to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.  Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself,” Hebrews 9:22-26.

The phrase, "Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own," precludes your sceanario.  

Bob Pickle
2013-05-02 8:28 AM

Preston,

I approach questions such as these with an attitude of faith rather than of doubt, looking for answers. We tend to find what we are looking for. And if Jesus has made a comment on a matter in His testimony, I'm sure not going to ignore it.

Heb. 9:25 says that the high priest entered the holy places each year. Compare the wording of vs. 25 with vs. 2. Note that hagia is present in both verses, but without the article in vs. 2. Thus, either we translate it in vs. 25 as "holy places," or we translate it as "Holy Place." I see no other possible options.

(a) Christ entered in once into the heavenly holy places. This does not exclude His moving from the heavenly Holy Place to the heavenly Most Holy Place at some point in time after entering these holy places. (b) What verse do you have to show that Christ sat on the right hand after already leaving the heavenly sanctuary? (c) What Bible evidence do you have that Paul in Heb. 9:22-26 is saying when the heavenly sanctuary will be cleansed?.

Preston Foster
2013-05-02 9:10 AM

Paul, in Hebrews 9:22-26 says that He entered the heavenly sanctuary to cleanse and to sacrifice.  Paul is saying the sanctuary HAS BEEN  cleansed.  The word "NOR" speaks to a duel purpose of His entry to the (Most) Holy Place: 

1) for cleansing: " . . . It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a foreshadow sanctuary made with human hands; he entered heaven itself, NOW to appear for us in God’s presence."  The heavenly things were cleansed by the "better sacrifice" (Christ's blood).  The sacrifice served both to cleanse the heavenly things and to obtain our ETERNAL salvation.

2) for sacrifice and atonement: "Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.  Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

The Bible is clear that when Christ  completed His sacrifice, He sat down on His Father's right hand:

Hebrews 10:12-14:  "But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,  and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.  For by one sacrifice he HAS MADE perfect FOREVER those who are being made holy."

Sola scriptura.
 

Bob Pickle
2013-05-05 8:32 AM

Preston,

(a) You really think that Heb. 9:22-26 is saying that Christ was not sacrificed until after He entered the heavenly sanctuary? (b) The passage does not say when the cleansing will take place. It just says that the heavenly sanctuary needs cleansing.

(c) The words "did he enter heaven" do not appear at all in Heb. 9:25, but were added by the NIV. Perhaps you should use a more literal translation when dealing with these verses, rather than the NIV. (d) What's your point about Christ sitting down at the right hand of the Father? I certainly agree that that's what He did.
 

Preston Foster
2013-05-05 9:34 AM

Bob, 

In evidence, this is known as a "smoking gun."  You will have to look far and long (likely to "The Clear Word") that does not interpret this passage, redundantly, in the present and/or past tense:

The King James Version:

"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, NOW to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but NOW once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself," Hebrews 9:22-26.

The Revised Standard Version, The New Living Translation, and other Bibles read similarly.

The passage says that Christ ENTERED the sanctuary to PUT AWAY SIN by the atoning sacrifice and to cleanse the heavenly things.  It is all in the present or past tense.

You asked, "What verse do you have to show that Christ sat on the right hand after already leaving the heavenly sanctuary?"

My point in quoting Hebrews 10: 12-14 is to respond to you direct querry, asking for biblical proof that Christ sat down on His Father's right hand AFTER HE LEFT THE SANCTUARY.  Clearly, in Hebrews 9, Christ entered the sanctuary to present the sacrifice  ("he entered by his blood," spilled at The Cross, per Hebrews 9:12).  After presenting the sacrifice and cleansing the sanctuary -- in His role as High Priest (Hebrews 9:11-12), "this priest" (Hebrews 10:12) sat down on the right hand of God.
 

Bob Pickle
2013-05-05 10:51 AM

Preston,

Last things first: You never presented a text that says that Christ left the sanctuary and sat down at the right hand of His father outside of the sanctuary. And again, Heb. 9:22-26 doesn't specify when the cleansing of the sanctuary takes place. It only states that it must take place, and that Christ had already entered the holy places.

"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year" (Heb. 10:1-3).

Obviously, in context, the cleansing of Heb. 9:23 hasn't been fully accomplished, or else we would not have any more conscience of sins, and any more remembrance of sins. Something is ongoing. (I object to the approaching of these subjects in an attitude of doubt rather than of faith.)

Preston Foster
2013-05-05 11:39 AM

Bob,

Regarding everything you've posed:

". . . ONCE FOR ALL."  

I don't have a clearer way of saying it.

I have COMPLETE faith in what THE BIBLE SAYS.

laffal
2013-05-05 11:57 AM

Preston,

The "once for all" is clear in terms of the sacrifice of atonement that paid the penalty for mankind's sin in full.  But... it does not address the application of the atonement in the hearts / minds / lives of the people Christ came to save.  Only in the judgment will the reasons for why we do what we do will be brought out.  1 Corinthians 4:5  As long as there is an "accuser of the brethren", the process of investigation will continue... until... the necessary cleansing of the hearts / minds / lives of God's people will have taken place as the ultimate application of the atonement that was made "once for all."

Preston Foster
2013-05-05 1:18 PM

laffal,

True, the atonement in hearts and minds is, for us, current work.  But in terms of what Christ did in the sanctuary (entering by His own blood, presenting the sacrifice, and purifying "the patterns of things in the heavens," it seems "once for all" is inclusive.  If Hebrews 10:12-14 is connected (I believe it is) to the continuum of Christ's work in the sanctuary, it, at a minimum, calls into question the traditional 1844 narrative.

laffal
2013-05-05 5:19 PM

Preston,

The question to asked here is, are you suggesting that when Christ entered the presence of God as our Priest, that the presentation of His sacrifice and blood, purified "the patterns of things in the heavens"?

Preston Foster
2013-05-05 7:22 PM

laffal,

That is how I am reading it.  I am open to other biblical interpretations and/or information.

laffal
2013-05-05 8:07 PM

Preston,

The next question then is, what needed to be purified if it is a matter of a already being accomplished?

Preston Foster
2013-05-05 9:15 PM

laffal,

There's a question!  Could it be that the ceremonial process (i.e., the sprikling of blood and the burning the sacrifice) left a residue that must be cleansed?  What does that residue represent?  We'll study and listen more.  What are your thoughts?

laffal
2013-05-05 10:42 PM

Preston,

It is my understanding that Christ as Priest offers the virtues of His perfect obedience and shed blood (gifts / sacrifices Heb 5:1) on behalf of those who come to Him for the need of mercy and grace, there is no question there.  But why the need of a cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary that requires "better sacrifices then these"?

What is it that defiles the sanctuary?  In the OT services, it was that record of sin made thru the confession / sacrifices / blood...  This record of sin was to be cleansed / blotted out by the ceremony of the two goats (Lev 16). It is important to understand that each goat was to be without blemish.  The goat that was chosen by lots (the Lord's goat), was sacrificed without the confession of sin upon it pointing to Christ who "was made sin for us, who knew no sin."  It was the blood of this goat that was used to do the work of cleansing / blotting out of sin.

What's the issue?  Why was each goat to be without blemish?  A central question in the Great Controversy is, who is responsible for sin?  Especially when you take into account what Paul says about why we struggle to do what's right when we want to, and with doing wrong when we don't want to, because of sin in our members (Romans 7:18-23).  On the DofA in Leviticus 16 we have the other goat identified as the "scapegoat", Azazel (in Hebrew = the angel that revolted).  As Adventists, we have understood this to represent Satan, of which we have been accused of making him our sin bearer.  But this ceremony is the process by which Satan (Lucifer) will be clearly seen to be the cause of all sin and it's consequence.

At some point, the confession of sin has to cease to enter the Heavenly Sanctuary.  How so? 

  • For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (Heb 10:1-4)
In the OT services, the people were to be cleansed before the sanctuary could be cleansed.  (Lev 16:30.33)  So what it the significance of 1844 in all of this, along with the IJ?  At what point does Revelation 14:6.7 become present truth?  It could not be the case at the time that John wrote the Revelation, because he first see Christ in His work of mediation in chapter 1 about 55 years after the ascension. 

Each dispensation... Jewish (Abraham to the stoning of Stephen) and the Gentile / Christian (The stoning of Stephen to 1844) was allowed by God to develop / execute the will of God for them as chosen people to witness to the world.  At some point judgment must come into play, because for the most part it is a universal rule of law that all the evidence must be presented before a proper ruling can be rendered. 

As I understand it, there are special circumstances that "the hour of His judgment" presents to us all.  The principle issue is, not His judging, but "His judgment."  The cross of Christ, the Everlasting Gospel (Rev 14:6 / the Lord's goat slain) is the central feature of the gospel in "the hour of His judgment."   Those that enter into judgment with God thru the Cross of Christ, will go to the ends of the earth to witness the God of love, who sacrificed Himself in His Son, that those would accept His unspeakable gift, would not only be forgiven, but cleansed.

As far as the judgment of God's people (Laodicea), Zechariah 3 gives us the clearest picture I know of how the process is implemented.

That should be enough to chew on for now...  

Preston Foster
2013-05-08 2:46 PM

laffal,

The way I am interpreting Hebrews 8-10 is in the context that it has been all accomplished at the cross and, at least, by the time of Christ's ascension.  It is important to define what "it" is.  Specifically, I am speaking of Christ's finishing the work of salvation.  Clearly, His role as the Lamb of God was finished at the Cross.  This is what allowed Him to enter the Most Holy Place "by his own blood thus obtaining eternal redemption," Hebrews 9:12.

Your question -- what needed to be purified -- is important.  To that, I add, regarding this matter, another key question: when was the sanctuary purified (assuming, per Hebrews 9-10, that it had already occurred)?

Obviously, Christ performed His priestly duties sometime after the Cross.  To me, it seems plausible that Christ completed His work (e.g., presented the sacrifice, had the sacrifice accepted, and, thus, obtained our redemption) as our High Priest BEFORE He was resurrected.  In my reading, Christ could not have be resurrected had the sacrifice not been accepted -- as He would have still been bearing our sins, (1 Corinthians 15:14-17).  The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  If the bearer of those sins had not gained forgiveness, how could He be resurrected and prepared to sit on the right hand of The Father? 

  

laffal
2013-05-08 3:27 PM

Preston,

I'm with you on your focus on what was accomplished at the cross.  But when it comes down to the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan 8:14; Heb 9:23), I believe that the DofA service is instruction in the process / order of the what is cleansed when.  1844 and IJ are relevent when we rightly understand the truth of Christ and Him crucified.  It's the misunderstanding of Christ's finished work that causes so  many problems... IMHO.

Preston Foster
2013-05-09 8:32 AM

laffal (Ranald and Darrel and others),

You may have already done so, but if you don't mind, please share your interpretation of the "finished work" in the context of Hebrews 9.  With all the scholarship and Bible study spent on this strand by you and others, I still do not understand your view of continuum (from the Cross to 1844) of those who have a (slightly) different view of the  traditional IJ narrative, yet hold that 1844 has some significance (in the context of Daniel 8).

Thanks very much.

laffal
2013-05-09 11:29 AM

Preston,

I need to ask a question that would, hopefully, enable me to address your question more clearly.  Is it your understanding that the '"finished work" in the context of Hebrews 9'" includes the "Hour of Judgment" of Revelation 14? 

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 10:00 AM

Ranald,


"Nowhere does Daniel say the iron of the toes represents Rome, if we are to be consistent it represents the statecraft kingdoms of the world, during the time of the toes."  Dan. 2:40 identifies the iron rather than the legs as Rome. Note also that vs. 42 refers to the feet and toes as a "kingdom," singular, even though vs. 43 refers to "they" and vs. 44 to "kings." Thus vss. 42-44 refer to kings or kingdoms in some sort of confederacy forming a single kingdom.
 

"The current church position is that there is no Rome in chapter 8, and the LH of Dan. 7 and 8 represents  the Papacy only."  Based on what you quoted from Seventh-day Adventists Believe, this is incorrect. While I don't have the context of Pfandl's email which you earlier cited, I do know what Shea taught in DARCOM. Vol. 2 p. 509 fn. 5 identifies the little horn of Dna. 8 in its waxing great toward the south, east, and pleasant land as being "Imperial Rome," thus suggesting that there has been a misunderstanding regarding the citation you gave from Shea in vol. 1.


earl calahan
2013-05-01 1:36 PM

Yes, Jesus shed His blood on the cross, ONCE, for atonement for all Earth time. Jesus is The Most Holy Place.
 

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 6:07 PM

"The little horn extended out to the south, the east, and the "glorious land" or Palestine for its conquests. The directions of conquest obviously fit Imperial Rome quite satisfactorilyas it extended into the eastern Mediterranean and conquered Syria, Palestine, and Egypt" (W. H. Shea, "Spatial Dimensions in the Vision of Daniel 8," DARCOM, v. 2, p. 509, fn. 5).

I favor having Carthage be the south, and then lumping Syria, Macedonia, and Egypt together as the east. But I agree with you now that in your quotes, at least the first ones, that Shea did express a different view. I disagree with his view at this point in time. I believe that both pagan and papal Rome are brought to view in the little horn of Dan. 8.

I wonder if sometimes in our zeal to show another view to be false if we sometimes adopt unsound positions.

Ranald McLeish
2013-05-01 10:47 PM

Hi Bob,

Re  "Obviously, some scholars changed their minds, but I think it goes too far to say that the position of some scholars is the position of the entire church."

When people are officially censured by the "due process" of the Church for questioning the current teachings, that makes  the new teachings pretty official, I suggest. I am not saying that it is the position held by the entire church. 

Re. " There is no first little horn in Dan. 7 before the 10 horns.  "... or the current Church position, the Papacy only."

Most, but not all Adventists acknowledge the Bible is not written in chronological order, and this, I suggest, is the case in Dan. 7 and 8. In Dan 7 the fourth beast King of 7:17 represents the Roman Empire, however the focus of verses 7 and 8 is not the Roman Empire, but the Germanic kingdoms who are on the scene of action and the "another horn a little one" that arises in the midst of the 10 horns. This horn did not arise after Greece, as I am sure you would agree. Consequently the little horn of 8:9 that comes from one of the four winds, and represents the Roman Empire in chapter 8, must be a different little horn, cf 7:24.

I am not posponing the end of the Grecian kingdoms to the time of Constantine, I have no idea how you arrived at that conclusion. History is clear the last Greek kingdom fell in 30 B.C. However most Historians consider the Greek kingdom fell in 168 B.C.

Re Dan.11:31. I agree 11:31 is an expansion of 8:12, just as 8:12 is an expansion of 7:8. 8:12 says a host was given against the daily that is in transgression, Most Adventists have believed this host, these armies, were the armies of France and Rome who assisted the Papacy to oberthrow the three Germanic kingdoms who were restricting the Papacy. After the thre horn kingdoms were plucked up, the Papacy was free to practice, and she prospered for 1260 years. (In the KJV "him" is an added word based most likely on 11:30-31. History  reveals the Papacy requested help to overthrow the last two kingdoms. Consequently it was Justinian the Emperor of Eastern Rome who set up, or placed the Papacy, referred to as the abomination of desolation in 11:31 and 12:11)  

Bob Pickle
2013-05-01 11:01 PM

Ranald,

My mistake. It's the view you disagree with that calls for the little horn of Dan. 8 to arise long after the end of the Grecian kingdoms. Or is it? Your last paragraph kind of makes it a muddle to me as to exactly what you believe. I think for now I'm just going to stick with the one metal/one beast/one horn parallel I mentioned earlier.

Ranald McLeish
2013-05-02 2:43 AM

Hi Bob,

Re. " t's the view you disagree with that calls for the little horn of Dan. 8 to arise long after the end of the Grecian kingdoms."

No Bob, please go back to my first post, where I list five of the current Church teaching re Dan 8:9-14.

Re point 1. the Church teaches the HL of 8:9 represents the Papacy, however in spite of questions spanning 11 years the GC has not been able to find anyone who can answer this and other questions. The nearesr answer, presented in the SS Quarterly is that the LH rules for 2,300 years. Pfandl considers both time periods of Dan 7 and 8, the 1260 and the 2,300 years apply to the LH, while it appears Shea applies both time periods to Rome pagan and Papal. Rome represented by the fourth beast and the Papacy represented by the little horn of Dan. 7 and 8.

​If anyone can make sense of the current teachings I am all ears.

Re. positions 2-4, no one at the GC has responded, other than to say they are an alternative understanding of Daniel 8 and FB 24.

Re the last paragraph. I thought you would be conversant with the position that claims it was Justinian who who gave the Papacy her power in 538, cf 4BC 826-27. Justinian's decree of 533 was not put into effect until 538, the year when the Papacy began her 1260 year rule.

You are free to stick with whan you wish, but I can assure you one metal, one beast, one horn, is not a paralell as far as the context of Daniel 2, 7 and 8 is concerned.     

Blessings Bob. 
 

Bob Pickle
2013-05-02 9:00 AM

Your last paragraph was a muddle to me not because of the subject material but because I can't follow what you are really trying to say.

Your saying that the view you disagree with is not as I describe just muddies it more. You've already quoted Pfandl as saying that the two little horns are the same power. That being so, how could the papacy possibly arise prior to 30 BC? That makes no sense. And yet you say that Pfandl et al's view does not have the little horn of Dan. 8 arising long after the end of the Grecian kingdoms. It's a muddle!

Dan. 8 explicitly says that the little horn arises in the latter end of the Grecian kingdoms, when the transgressors come to the full. The rise of Dan. 8's little horn cannot therefore be extended past 30 BC.

earl calahan
2013-05-02 3:36 PM

Greek scholars, also, endlessly, debate their differences in interpreting seemingly every word. Has God
Himself, edited every word in the finished translations? i think not. So i must, because of my faith, and not a student of Greek, Syriac, Aramaic, or Latin, accept "actual translations" as sufficient wisdom for me to know my Lord & my God.
As i have studied the Earthly Sanctuary and its description of services, it tells me of the clean animals killed & the blood carried into the most Holy Place, by the HIGH PRIEST, (ONCE A YEAR ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT) and sprinkled on the Mercy Seat, which signified that the peoples sins were forgiven. This Earthly Sanctuary service was a type of the Heavenly Sanctuary Service.
When JESUS CHRIST was crucified, HE DIED, ONCE, FOR ALL, FOR ALL TIME, the sacrificial pure, innocent, LAMB of GOD, to pay the debt, DEATH, for every believer. At the moment of His death the inner veil was torn open, revealing the MOST HOLY PLACE. He then ascended to the HEAVENLY SANCTUARY, where the veils were removed, and placed His precious BLOOD on the Mercy Seat of God, ONCE, FOR ALL, FOR ALL TIME, THE ATONEMENT COMPLETED. And He sat at the right hand of GOD, the FATHER.
 

Ranald McLeish
2013-05-02 7:13 PM

Hi Bob,

Forgive me I thought the five points I listed in my first blog made it very clear the Church has a new understanding of Daniel 8:9-14, one that is considered to be an alternative understanding of FB 24. 

As Preston's topic is the IJ, and as I cannot see how the new position supports the doctrine of the IJ commencing in 1844, I thought AT readers may be  interested in considering, and commenting on this alternative understanding of Daniel 8:9-14 and how it effects the traditional SDA undestanding of the IJ.

Thus the question do the current Church teachings support the doctrine of the IJ commencing in 1844?   

 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-02 11:19 PM

The issue of Dan 8:14 has always been context.   The judgment happening in 1844 seems to be straight forward against the religious horn power.   The verses above 8:14 decry the horn power’s attempts to  take truth and trample it by setting-up a revival sanctuary on earth, and the question is asked  ‘How long will this continue?’   The answer is the cleansing in judgment of 8:14. 
Due to the context and question, the answer must be a historical event or events that would “set the sanctuary right.”   This is accomplished by “cleansing and judgment upon the religious horn power.
Dan. 8:13-14 and Rev. 17:12 poetically depict that European politics would turn on a corrupt church to cleanse it.
Atheist Revolutions throughout Europe begun in France by the “reign of terror,” ripped the church from its political/religious hegemony. The churches’ claims of supreme authority and spiritual control over people inspired this hated.
The date 1844 seems to be a hub for this latter secular revolution.
The Atheist Revolutions of Karl Marx (1844) Charles Darwin (1844) Friedrich Nietzsche (1844) would disabuse the church of its political power and intellectual respect.
One layer of meaning of Dan. 8:14 must be that God would de-corrupt His church and purify it through the anti-religion regimes and philosophies also depicted in Rev.17:16.    This “cleansing of the sanctuary” we are still experiencing the results of, good and bad.   
 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-02 11:20 PM

The issue of Dan 8:14 has always been context.   The judgment happening in 1844 seems to be straight forward against the religious horn power.   The verses above 8:14 decry the horn power’s attempts to  take truth and trample it by setting-up a revival sanctuary on earth, and the question is asked  ‘How long will this continue?’   The answer is the cleansing in judgment of 8:14. 
Due to the context and question, the answer must be a historical event or events that would “set the sanctuary right.”   This is accomplished by “cleansing and judgment upon the religious horn power.
Dan. 8:13-14 and Rev. 17:12 poetically depict that European politics would turn on a corrupt church to cleanse it.
Atheist Revolutions throughout Europe begun in France by the “reign of terror,” ripped the church from its political/religious hegemony. The churches’ claims of supreme authority and spiritual control over people inspired this hated.
The date 1844 seems to be a hub for this latter secular revolution.
The Atheist Revolutions of Karl Marx (1844) Charles Darwin (1844) Friedrich Nietzsche (1844) would disabuse the church of its political power and intellectual respect.
One layer of meaning of Dan. 8:14 must be that God would de-corrupt His church and purify it through the anti-religion regimes and philosophies also depicted in Rev.17:16.    This “cleansing of the sanctuary” we are still experiencing the results of, good and bad.   
 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-03 10:20 AM

Darrel, totally agree that if Dan 8.14 is about an 1844 event, then it is certainly directed towards teh little horn, ergo, it occurs on earth.  But you seem to be saying that as part of setting the sanctuary (the Church) right, involves a 'cleansing' of RC church.  But SDAs usually take RC to be the little horn.  So I don't think it can be both sanctuary and LH.  And keep in mind that the political power as well as the social and intellectual basis for Rome's authority had been chipped away for hundreds of years prior.  Galileo, Copernicus et al on the scientific front, the Medicis on the humanist front.  Keep in mind also that the Medicis had as part of their vast accumulations of human treasure, a lot of Hermetic literature, via Constantinople, which formed the basis for later secret, but powerful forces via Freemasonary and Rosicrucianism.  There also appears to be very strong connection between Luther and teh early Rosucrucian manifestos.  The French Revolution had been largely brought about by the members of multiple secret societies, Freemasons being the chief.  The leaders of the American Revolution a few years earlier were almost to a man, Freemasons.  Ben Franklin was in Paris during the revolution there.  Gotta wonder.....

Karl Marx did publish in 1844.  Darwin delayed as long as he could, because of his religious beliefs, but finally published becasue he was convinced he would be beaten to the punch by another, whose name I can't recall.  It is not altogether convincing to call Neitzche an atheist.  But generally, these three represent a huge groundswell of 'enlightened' thinking which has seen RCC decline to where it is today, and barely able to rally a congregation in Western countries.  The healing of its deadly wound in the West seems less likely now than at any time in history.  The oh so neat dating system used by evangelists for all those years and dates is equally unlikely to even approximate reality.

ps.... any thoughts re 'pawlmene' of Dan 8.13 ?

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-04 7:41 PM

Pawlmene  = an uncertain one -- Daniel did not know the names of the persons speaking, but simply saw that one was speaking to another.  My Hebrew is basically very very poor.
 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-05 6:43 PM

I've seen it translated as 'Wonderful Numberer.'  From the same word that Isaiah uses in 'Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace, etc' and Mene as in 'mene mene tekel upharsin.'  With a name like that, in a context of Dan 8.14 I'm surprised there isn't more made of it. My Hebrew is poor also.

William Noel
2013-05-05 9:01 AM

Satan understands prophecy and acts in whatever ways he is able to distract people away from understanding it.  Look at all the false concepts that have been promoted, initiated or widely expanded since the early 1800s.  To list a few: communism, mormonism, socialism, an explosion in the number and diversity of churches, etc. 

I think what at one time appears to be the pending downfall of Catholocism is just Satan setting-up circumstances to make resurgence all the more amazing.  You mentioned about Catholic churches that barely attract a congregation any more.  Recently the Archdiocese of New York announced the closing of more than 200 Catholic schools in their area after the current school year ends.  On the other hand, I live in North Alabama and just a few miles from one of the largest and fastest-growing Catholic schools in the country and the Catholic church is building new schools in a number of cities in the area.  The majority of their members and clients are not immigrants from traditionally Catholic countries but affluent professionals. 

We are already seeing signs of Catholic resurgence following the election of the new pope.  Part of that resurgence is his decision to remain the person that he is and lead in the same way he has led for many years instead of letting the bureaucracy church overtake and control him.  For example, I have a co-worker who was raised Catholic but has not attended church for many years.  A few days ago I heard her expess to another co-worker about how impressed she was with Pope Francis and how his actions were making her feel more positive about the church.  What really surprised me was the response of the other co-worker to whom she was talking.  That person was not raised Catholic but has become an admirer of the pope.

Bob Pickle
2013-05-03 11:03 AM

The only passage outlining the Yom Kippur ceremonies is Lev. 16, which begins with a reference to two renegade priests, Nadab and Abihu. Dan. 8:14's reference to the cleansing of the sanctuary is likewise prefaced by a discussion of the renegade priests that make up the little horn.

Ellen White stated that the judgment and cleansing of the sanctuary from 1844 to the second coming only concerns the professed people of God. The little horn of Dan. 8 should qualify if it includes the papal power.

An examination of every Bible reference regarding the polluting or defiling of God's name or sanctuary revelas that even unconfessed sin can defile. I see the defiling as a calling into question of God's character, which questions are then resolved during the IJ. The papal system has indeed raised more questions about God's character than many or most.

earl calahan
2013-05-03 1:54 PM

Bob. if Jesus entered the heavenly most holy place upon His ascension, not 1800 years later, and
presented His blood, ONCE, for all time, there is not need of a second blood offering, it was completed upon His ascension. Just as those of OT times were accepted by His sacrifice, so also all others till His return in GLORY. Doesn't seem logical He would have delayed the answer for the sin
problem for 1800 years??

Bob Pickle
2013-05-03 9:49 PM

Earl,

There is only one blood offering, but the Bible is fairly clear that Jesus entered the Holy Place at His ascension (for example, the 7-branched candlestick is seen in Rev. 4, a little before Christ's ascension in Rev. 5), and entered the Most Holy Place in 1844 (for example, the Most Holy is not opened until Rev. 11:19, during the 7th trumpet).

The sacrifices of the Yom Kippur services pointed to Christ's death on Calvary, but what happened after the slaying of the animals has to do with things at the end of time.

It seems equally logical that He wouldn't have delayed the answer to the sin problem for 4000 years until Calvary. But there is a flaw in logic here. It seems more logical that He would delay the judgment's determination of rewards until the effects of everyone's influence is clearly seen, something that isn't necessarily readily apparent until years later.

Elaine Nelson
2013-05-02 11:56 PM

Does any one or any group place 1844 with the same importance as Adventists?  What is the significance of 1844 to such figures as mentioned?  Adventists are not content with giving it such importance, but now are getting famous names to add to their support?

 

Setting 1884 for a non-event in no specific geographic location, and presuming actions in this location that can only be symbolic, shows the same creativity as the Golden Tablets and Mohamed's horse taking him to heaven.  What is most amazing that otherwise intelligent humans would believe this, and willing to stake their lives on something originating in one person's mind of almost unknown identity and qualifications.


All4Him
2013-05-03 5:46 AM

While sailing from Hawaii to Kirabati I had a discussion with a Bahai friend and they take the 1844 as a very important date due to the Bab's declaration.  He looked at that date as the beginning of the Bahai era.....

William Noel
2013-05-03 9:18 AM

How curious!  Since I know so little about them I had no idea they held that view.  I have been told that several other faiths hold similar views, though I have no details about them, either.  If other faiths place emphasis on that date, it appears has God helped them realize there is something very significant about that date. 
 

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-03 9:48 AM

On May 23, 1844 Siyyid `Alí-Muhammad of Shiraz, Iran proclaimed that he was "the Báb" (الباب "the Gate"), referring to his later claim to the station of Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam of Shi`a Islam.[4] ....
Bahá'ís see the Báb as the forerunner of the Bahá'í Faith, because the Báb's writings introduced the concept of "He whom God shall make manifest", a Messianic figure whose coming, according to Bahá'ís, was announced in the scriptures of all of the world's great religions, and whom Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, claimed to be in 1863.   (from Wikipedia).

Seems more like a mere conincidence of dates to me.  Although, I am quite curious about their three main teachings/beliefs.  They sound more than reasonable.
 

Stephen Ferguson
2013-05-03 10:40 AM

Indeed some years ago I made a good uni friend who was Bahai.  We were both astonished to discover both of us in effect belonged to groups who read the same prophecy in Daniel as pointing to a significant eschatological event in 1844!

Bob Pickle
2013-05-03 10:55 AM

When we stopped by a small store so my son could use the restroom, and I discovered that the owner had converted from Islam to Bahai, I went out to my car, got a magabook GC, and showed him the chart about 1844. He bought the book.

I recommend that everyone everywhere use a similar approach to place GC among the Bahai. It's a golden opportunity.

Ranald McLeish
2013-05-03 2:22 AM

Hi Elaine,

The question that I am raising is: Do the current teaching of the SDA Church, (cf. my first blog), reveal 1844 is important?

Is it possible the current teachings reveal a major shift by Adventist scholars, and leaders, in this regard?

Surely some one must have an opinion regarding the doctrine that is, or was, considered to be the central pillar of Adventism!! 

Preston Foster
2013-05-04 6:25 PM

Ranald,

Perhaps one reason that no one seems to be willing to engage this question is the fear of what comes with addressing a related question posed in the column: "Is the Adventist interpretation of the 2300 day prophecy a 'necessary' rationalization to explain what was incorrectly predicted to happen in 1844?"
 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-03 2:40 PM

Good question Elaine,  the three main individuals that have contributed the most to atheist movements that changed history and physically and spiritual have gutted the church in the last 100 years are 
 Revolutions of Karl Marx his his main book written in (1844) Charles Darwin, whose main book written in (1844) the foundation of modernist philosophy-Friedrich Nietzsche born (1844). These revolutions would punish the little horn religious power (cleaning the sanctuary) thus fullfling Dan 8:14's prophecy of judgement on the beast power.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-03 4:15 PM

Of course, just as Daniel suffered, when God allow Babylon to overtake Israel, so everyone suffers.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-05 6:04 PM

Events surrounding the dates 1798 and 1844 forebode changes in history that sowed the seeds for atheist revolutionBa siring fire of secular seduction and persecution that would forever change the Christian world and in a sense purify the faith.
 
The French Revolution and the “reign of Terror”(1793) has long been recognized as the fountain head of the anti-religioncounter-reactions against spiritual abuse–thousands of priests were killed, churches were attacked, catechisms and Bibles were burned. The goddess “Reason” was set up as the new object of worship in the cathedral of Notre Dame.
 
In 1902 France witnessed another vigorous expulsion of the church from public life,
complete with further expropriation of church property and the further establishment
of a hardline secular state school system.
 
Thus the French Revolution became the template for subsequent deconstructionist reprisals against religion that would follow.
                                 Christopher Hibbert, The Days of the French Revolution 1980:230-232
 
Hitler points to the roll the French Revolution had in the subsequent revolutions and revolts against the church throughout Europe (America’s Revolution being an exception.)  
                                        
“Let no one believe that the French revolution would ever have come about through philosophical theories if it had not found an army of agitators who whipped up the passions of the people until at last there occurred the terrible volcanic eruption which held all Europe rigid with fear. And likewise the greatest revolutionary upheaval–The Bolshevist Revolution in Russia.”      
 
Mein Kampf pg. 475
 
Revelation 17:16-17 seems to be expressing the same cleansing/punishment of the church system that Daniel 8:14 promises will happen after 1844.
 
Revelation 17: 12 -17 brings to view the familiar A10 kingdoms@ and their allegiance to the church of the Dark Ages-Catholic Europe.  
 
These prophecies are actually shocking; The Christian Religion would "make war with the Lamb," oppose Christ as well as, pose as Christ.  "He magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and  by him the sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.    Daniel 8:11

The church did this by establishing its own priesthood to obscured Christ's work:
"Papal Rome effectively obscured the priestly ministry of Christ in behalf of sinners in the heavenly sanctuary (see Heb. 8:1,2) by substituting a priesthood that purports to offer forgiveness through the mediation of men. This apostate power would be quite successful, for 'he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered' (Dan. 8:12)."
 
Seventh-day Adventists Believe, p. 322, Review and Herald (1989).
 
Revelation 17:16 adds irony to irony to predict that the countries of Christian Europe will turn on the Church to dismantle it.  Beginning with the French revolution to Marx and Stalin, Moa, Darwin and Nietzsche ,Musslinin and Adolf Hitler would burn and scorch the religious world in modern times to the point of death.  But the wound will be healed, and an image of what was before will return.  Rev. 13

Ranald McLeish
2013-05-05 6:15 PM

Hi Preston,

I think you have hit the nail, or the nerve, or both, above. Perhaps recognizing our individual fear, or fears, and dealing with it, or them, is the big challenge. cf below.

We believe before we reason. Once beliefs are formed, we seek out confirmatory arguments and evidence to justify them. We ignore contrary evidence or make up rationalizations to explain it away. We do not like to admit we are wrong. We seldom change our minds."" Michael Schemer, The Believing Brain --- How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truth.

“We have been tempted to replace love with power ... Much Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy and intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead” (p60).  He adds that “it seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people” (p59).   Such tensions mean that we are often engaged in “political battles for power [rather] than spiritual searches for the truth” (p31). Michael Pearson, DPhil, Principal Lecturer in Philosophy, Newbold College. Leadership Development Journal, October 2011.

“We tend not to like those who ask difficult questions.… Questions lead to a dialogue, which in turn contributes to the bonding between God’s people. And questions keep us alert.” … “As an Adventist leader, don’t be afraid of questions. Instead, fear silence, for apathy is far more hazardous to the body of Christ than is critical thinking.” Jan Paulsen, Where Are We Going? Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2011:110.

The Mount Carmel fear?'

How long halt ye between two opinions --- and the people answered him not a word. 1Kings 18:21.

It is necessary that our unity today be of a character that will bear the test of trial. . . . We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and Heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed. {CET 203.2}.




 

Ranald McLeish
2013-05-05 11:24 PM

Hi Darrel,

An interesting "a porori," can it be established as an "a posteiori'? 

The terms a priori ("from the earlier") and a posteriori ("from the later") are used in philosophy (epistemology) to distinguish two types of knowledge, arguments: A priori and a posteriori – Wikipedia.  

If we are to establish whether the position qualifies as an "a posteori" we need to examine the evidence. If you wish to explore the position further, we need more information regarding the passage of Dan. 8:9-14. For example, beginning with versse 9, who does this little horn represent, and if for example, the answer is Rome, pagan and papal, which verse of 8:9-12 does the transition occur, and which year, or centuary did the Roman Empire fall?  
 
 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-05 11:41 PM

Hi Ranald,   difficult question!

"And out of one of them [four winds of heaven] came forth a little horn" Dan. 8:9  As one reads on, it seems clear that from verse 10 the stages of Rome are blended.
 

 

 


Ranald McLeish
2013-05-06 8:23 AM

Hi Darrel,
You say, "it seems clear that from verse 10 the stages of Rome are blended." Where do you find textual, or other evidence, for a blending of the stage of Rome in verse 10?  In a few words, what do you mean by "the stages of Rome" how many, and what are the stages you are referring to? 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-06 8:30 AM

Hi Ranald,  well there were the pagan religious rome and the christian rome.  The language of verse 10 equally applies to both characteristically it seems.

Ranald McLeish
2013-05-06 7:03 PM

Hi Darryl,

May I suggest this is an example of "believing before reasoning" that can be traced back to the Jews of Hellenistic Greece. The two phase rule of Rome, "Rome pagan and papal," is never applied by historians. Historians are very clear Rome and the Papacy were two very different  powers, Rome was a political or statecraft power, while the Papacy is a religious or churchcraft power. History also reveals the Roman Empire and the Papacy arose at different times and places, fell at different times in history, and ruled  concurrently from 538 to 1453. 1453 being the date when the Ottoman Turks finally overthrew Constantinople, the Capital of the Roman Empire after 330 A.D.

These facts of history are  important, and cannot be glossed over, as there cannot be a mixing of the iron and clay applying to Rome and the Papacy, if the Roman Empire fell in 476 as Adventism continues to believe.  

It appears Adventist scholars are generally unaware that the doctrine of “Translatio imperii,” the doctrine of the “sequential transfer of rule,” (i.e. Rome, pagan and papal), is a Papal emendation that is consistent with the claims of the Papal forgery, the Forgery of Constantine. "The Roman Church in this way privily pushed itself into the place of the Roman World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation;" Malachi Martin, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church, p. 105.

When these aspects of history are applied to Daniel, we find the iron and  the clay of Dan. 2 represents statecraft and churchcraft powers or kingdoms, cf. 4BC 1168, and that the LH of 7:8 is a churchcraft power,and the LH of 8:9 is a statecraft power.

As most, if not all Adventist scholars, agree there is no textual evidence for a transition from Rome to the Papacy in verses 9-11, we should not dismiss this fact lightly; especially in the light of Daniel 7:17 and 7:24. Furthermore, Daniel is very clear each horn of the ram, goat, and the terrible beast, represents a new king and kingdom. Nowhere do we find Daniel says a horn symbol represents two phases of a kingdoms rule.

Consequently it is proposed that in chapter 8, we find the Papacy does not appear on the scene of action until verse 12, where it is identified verbally as the the power that "cast the truth to the ground, and practiced and prospered." This position is consistent with Daniel's application of the horn symbols, The LH of 8:9 applying to the Roman Empire only, and the LH of 7:8 applying to the Papacy only. As both Rome and the Papacy are on the scene of action in 8:12, there are two little horns to make it plain Rome and the Papacy are two different two kingdom powers, as opposed to the Adventist position of one little horn representing two phases of Roman rule in chapters 7 and 8. Daniel does not apply the LH of 8:9 to represent the Papacy and the Roman Empire in verse 12.

This identification and  application of the LH's of Daniel 7 and 8 allows Rome and the Papacy to rule concurrently, and it accomodates a union between Rome and the Papacy, that is represented by the iron mixed with miry clay, symbol of 2:41, 43. 

 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-06 7:37 PM

You have made your case Randal.  You are probably correct "the Papacy does not appear on the scene of action until verse 12, where it is identified verbally as the the power that "cast the truth to the ground, and practiced and prospered."

 "The Roman Church in this way privily pushed itself into the place of the Roman World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation;" Malachi Martin, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church, p. 105."   you know I have never read Martin's book.  I really must!  So you agree with this thought I am understanding? 
 

Ranald McLeish
2013-05-06 10:43 PM

Hi Darryl,

No, I do not agree with the doctrine of “Translatio imperii,” or the position that the Papacy is an extension of the Roman Empire. The Papacy as you will recall arose in the midst of the 10 Germanic kingdoms, that had overthrown  the Western Roman Empire. As Rome and the Papacy are different kingdoms, the Papacy is not an extension of the Roman Empire. However the Papacy could be considered to have been a vassal kingdom of Rome until Western Rome finally broke away from Eastern Rome around 800 A.D. Eastern Rome fell because the West refused, or could not afford to assist Eastern Rome fight the Ottoman Turks. 

The point is this: If the Papacy does not arrive on the scene of action until verse 12 of chapter 8, then the current Adventist teachings regarding the Judgment and the 2,300 years needs to be re-assessed. That is: do the 2,300 years apply to a Judgment that commenced in 1844 ,or to the persecuting rule of th little horn, or to something else? 

​Currently the church appears to be splitting between those who support the traditional teachings of Daniel 8:9-14, and those who support the new teachings of daniel 8:9-14, very few are open to considering the possibility of another position, as Adventists generally believe what the Church teaches. Consequently it appears the Church continues to split, as the Administration is not prepared to state which position is the Church's preferred position today. This is not new, Adventism has a history where different teachings, presented through the official channels of the Church, have divided the church, individual churches, and  families. 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-07 8:43 AM

Personally, I think that that judgement is clearly "to the persecuting rule of th little horn."

Ranald McLeish
2013-05-07 6:13 PM

Hi Darryl,
Re the 2,300 years.

Des Ford stated: "We must assume the 2300-day prophecy began in 457 BC even though nothing relating to the desolation of the sanctuary took place then, nor within the subsequent three centuries."

The current SDA position appears to be:  "The Little Horn – Part 1 (Dan. 8:9, 10, 23-25). --- After a discussion on how this little horn would oppose truth, it is revealed that it would be allowed to do so for “two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Dan. 8:14).” Teachers SS Quarterly, April-June, 2002, p. 44-45.

“The same picture is used in Daniel 8. The little horn attacks the heavenly host and casts “down some of the host”. (vs 10); it then goes into the sanctuary where he “exalted himself as the Prince of the host(vs. 11, NKJV). The little horn is attacking heaven and a ministry in heaven. --- p. 48. Hence the text says that the horn misappropriated the daily ministry of Christ and then “set over,” or appointed, its own host to control or minister it.” 2002 Teachers SS Quarterly, p. 44, 48.

It appears there is just as much confusion regarding the 2,300 years today, as there is regarding the identity of the little horn of Daniel 8.

Isn't Daniel clear that all of the metal and beast kingdoms are judged, i.e. destroyed, so why limit 8:13-14 to the Papacy? Furthermore if the current position is correct, when do the 2,300 years end, and who restores Christ's ministry at the end of the 2,300 years, or at any other time?

It appears we still have much to learn and much to unlearn, if we are tocontinue advancing in the truth.

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-07 9:55 PM

Hi Ranald,  Well, are you asking if the little horn in Dan. 8 represents "all of the metal and beast kingdoms" to be judged/destroyed?


Ranald McLeish
2013-05-08 12:16 AM

Hi Darryl,

No. Daniel is clear the LH of 8:9 that arises after the four Greek kingdoms, belongs to the terrible beast, therefore when the beasts are destroyed, all of the kingdoms that are represented by the beasts, and the horns of Daniel 7 and 8 are destroyed, not just the Papal little horn of 7:8.   

Preston Foster
2013-05-11 8:44 AM

laffal,

I've tried to respond to you on the strand we were corresponding, but for some reason, the server will not allow it.  So I'll try here, so we can continue the conversation.

The way I (now) read Revelation 14:7, it  reads as though the judgment itself has occurred; now it will be executed.  The context for this comes from Hebrews 9:11-26, Revelation 14:1-5 (particulary verses 4-5) and, also, Revelation 14:14-19.  In this context, the angel emerges from the temple with a sickle to reap that which has already been identified.  In the context of "once for all" in Hebrews 9:11-26, I read Revelation 14 as the announcement of the execution of the judgment.

I hope that this helps . . . and posts.

laffal
2013-05-12 2:05 PM

Preston,

If the judgment that has "itself already...occurred" is what Jesus spoke of in John 12:31-33, I do hardily agree with you.  But I cannot conclude that this judgment is equal to what the NT says about each individual having to stand in judgment.  (2 Corinthians 5:10)  Yes, by Christ's life, death, and resurrection, the penalty / curse of the law has been met / paid for, releasing the human family from the fear the death (2nd death - Heb 2:15), and triumphed over Him who had the power of death (Colossians 2:14.15).  But that gospel demands a response, and each individual and generation of people must have the opportunity to respond to the gospel. 

Let me put it this way, the Jews were God's representative people (Jewish dispensation) for 1490 years, and by default, this priviledge / blessing was taken from them and given to the Gentiles.  For the next 1810 years the Christian Church (Gentile dispensation) would have the time to run it's course in the promulgation / witness of the gospel of which you so ardently profess / believe.  When you take into account that when you or I may die (God forbid), our life / witness does not stop with the cessation of life.  The influence continues on for how long.  And at some point the judgment that we have understood to have begun in 1844, is not by any means a process by which God determines who will be saved or lost... the gospel has given salvation full and free to all men, but as it says in Revelation 12:10, there is an accuser of the brethren.  IMHO, this is the heart of the IJ, Christ answering the accusations of Satan levied against God's people, and the determining factor will be our motives.  (1 Corinthians 4:5; Matthew 7:21-23) 

Your emphasis on the objective / accomplished facts of the gospel are sorely needed, but the judgment in terms of our personal lives being scrutinized, not by God, but by Satan is the real deal in the judgment.  The only question that remains is, will Christ rebuke Satan (Zechariah 3:1-4) because of you faith / trust in His righteousness as a free gift witnessed in your life... faith working by love?  The IJ is about shutting Satan's mouth when it comes to us when he asks his favorite question, how can you destroy me and save Preston and laffal, and here is the evidence I have against them?  If our faith is in the finished work of Christ, experiencing new / fresh every day... Christ will simply say, I rebuke you Satan, is this not a branch plucked out of the fire?  ... Next

Preston Foster
2013-05-12 8:50 PM

laffal,

Thank you, for sharing your thoughts and reflections, My Friend.

I want to check to see if I'm understanding your correctly.  What I hear you saying is that the traditional interpretation of Christ entering the Most Holy Place in 1844 to judge the righteous from the unrighteous is inaccurate in that the determination was settled at The Cross; it is only our acceptance or rejection of that gift that determines our salvation.  However, 1844 has prophetic import in that, in the context of the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8, it initiates the judgment of Satan, the accuser or, perhaps more accurately, the judgment of Satan's accusations against God.

What I am struggling to understand is how our motives enter into this judgment (I do not dispute that our motives play a major role in how our integrity to The Kingdom).  My question is understanding the judging of these motives and how that is different from determining who is saved -- and when.

Please let me know if my general interpretation of your view is on target and, then, if you wish, help me better understand your view on the latter.

Preston Foster
2013-05-13 9:10 AM

Correction: "I do not dispute that our motives play a major role in how our integrity to The Kingdom IS JUDGED . . ."

Preston Foster
2013-05-13 9:12 AM

" . . . ARE JUDGED . . ."

laffal
2013-05-13 4:10 PM

Preston,

Your very welcome my friend.

Satan was judged at the cross.  It was at this point by which he could no longer claim himself to be the prince / god of this world in terms it ownership which he received from Adam in Eden.  Satan also has no legal right to claim humanity as his own because of sin.  Job 1:6.7; 2:1.2; John 12:31-33; Colossians 2:15  Satan has been conquered once and for all by Christ.  But there are two dimensions / aspects to this victory.  1) What Christ accomplished thru the gospel is a free gift to all.  When God gave us His Son, as far as the Father is concerned, Christ belongs to us... His life, death, and resurrection.. the resurrected / eternal life of God.  But... 2) that free gift must be received to be enjoyed / experienced.  1 John 5:10-13 

I believe Danial and the Revelation give us a clear picture that the judgment of the saints / wicked take place at the end of time.  Danial's viewpoint involves the history of the Jews as God's people, and then fast forwards to the time of the end.  The Revelation gives us the viewpoint of the history of the Christian Church up unto the end of time.  I believe the judgment hour of Revelation 14:6.7 has two dimensions:  the character of God (His plan of Salvation) clearly portrayed thru the everlasting gospel, witnessed by His people (Matt 24:14).   Only then will the end come.

How does our motives determine who and who is not to ultimately saved?  As 1 Corinthians 4:5 says, "So don't judge anyone until the Lord returns. He will show what is hidden in the dark and what is in everyone's heart. Then God will be the one who praises each of us."  What's the issue?  The NT tells us that we are saved by grace thru faith, and are to be judged by our works.  Historically, people have taken one side or the other predominantly in these apparent contradictory statements.  The only way to reconcile them is to understand that the reason why we choose to proclaim / follow Christ will be the determining factor in whether or not we will be saved at the end of the day.  It has nothing to do with what Christ has already completed / finished... that's a historcial / Biblical fact.  The IJ will determine if our faith is genuine or not.  Matthew 7:21-23; James 2:14-26  Do we serve / follow because we appreciate the unspeakable gift, or because we want to go to heaven and don't want to burn in hell?  It envolves the process of the Lord shutting Satan's mouth in terms of his accusing God's people day and night, 24/7.  And Daniel 7 adds the dimension that the judgment will be in favor of the saints of the Most High God... they will receive the kingdom. The last judgment will simply make plain to the lost why they are there... they chose to reject the finished work of Christ on their behalf and therefore have no mediator / advocate before God. 

 

Preston Foster
2013-05-13 6:04 PM

laffal,

Thanks again.

For me, the big question is how does your view and Christ's "once for all" entrance into the Most Holy Place in Hebrews 9:11-26 work?  If there is judgment at the end of time (re: our acceptance or rejection of Christ's finished work on the Cross), yet Christ entered the Most Holy Place "once for all," is this judgment of our acceptance of the gift taking place elsewhere in heaven -- after 1844?

Ray Smith
2013-05-17 9:40 PM

Much of the discussion in Adventism about the IJ involves the parallels between the old covenant sanctuary as built by Moses and the heavenly sanctuary of the new covenant. The trend has been to reproduce the earthly sanctuary in heaven but on a grander scale. For example, this led to the necessity of Christ moving from one apartment to another in 1844 to begin the IJ. At the same time, God's throne physically shifted from the Holy to the Most Holy Place and the door into the Most Holy Place was shut and many uninformed Christians were left destitute in the Holy Place. The result has been that the IJ doctrine is based on a mix of old covenant and new covenant concepts. But, Hebrews 7:22 tells us, "...Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant." This new covenant then has made the old obsolete and so it has disappeared or it should have disappeared. Just two views of the new covenant will illustrate this important change.

1. Revelation 1:20 concludes, "... the seven lampstands are the seven churches." Is there a Holy Place in a heavenly sanctuary with the seven branched candlesticks? I think not. The lampstands in Revelation are but a symbol, the reality is the new covenant body of Christ, His church on earth. Further,  the seven churches of Revelation, real as they were in John's day are but symbolic of the world-wide church of God in all ages, the body of Christ. Where does this leave the concept of a literal Holy Place in a literal, physical heavenly sanctuary? Where is heaven but where God dwells? 1 Peter 2 expands the meaning of this new covenant temple, the one that Christ promised to raise up in three days when they destroyed it. Those who are Christ's are living stones built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ Himself is the precious corner stone of this new covenant temple. Jesus and His church are the temple, the sanctuary of the new covenant, built on the foundation of the new covenant teachings revealed through the Apostles. God is Spirit and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

2. Hebrews 6:20 makes it clear that Jesus is "a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." Jesus cannot be an Aaronic priest because he is not of the tribe of Levi and so He cannot replicate all the rights and ceremonies of the old covenant law. Therefore, Hebrews 7:12 is the key, "for when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also." In other words then, we conclude that the Mosaic law and the Aaronic priesthood all pointed to the once for all atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The veil, His flesh, was rent and opened the new and living way under the new covenant into the very heart of a holy, loving God. The first covenant was but external washings and ceremonies that never made anybody clean. Everything pointed to Jesus, the great reality, the true sacrifice for sin. We must always remember that God was in Christ on the cross, reconciling the world to Himself. Calvary was the great Day of Atonement, there the blood of Christ was poured onto the true mercy seat in the Holy of Holies, the very heart of God. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are our temple today and for eternity as ratified by Christ's spilled blood on the cross. Jesus Christ is our sanctuary under the new covenant and the wonder of it all is that He condescends in love to build us individually into that temple as living stones.

Does it matter what is supposedly happening in the IJ according to Adventist doctrine as Christ officiates as High Priest in the Most Holy Place? Absolutely! How many faithful church members have gone to their graves with no assurance of salvation, never sure if their sins would be blotted out in the work of the IJ? Who could know the mind of God and the state of the records? Are we preparing a new generation of young people who will have to live with this lack of assurance in Christ? Many of us lived through that time of youth, wondering if there was one unforgiven sin on the record books.

Thank God that in His own time, through His Holy Spirit, He revealed to us the simple but profound gospel truth of righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ. Forgiveness, cleansing, acceptance, assurance, peace, redemption, eternal life are all wrapped up in grace, the gift of Jesus Christ, the slain Lamb. "It is finished" was the cry from the cross and there we take our rest, there we enter God's eternal rest because His work and ours are finished. It is this daily resting in God that gives us the verdict of the judgement now, through faith in the precious atoning sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary - not guilty and accepted in the Beloved.

When the IJ doctrine shifts to 1844 and beyond that which was completed at Calvary by Christ, only confusion in the minds of God's saints can result.

Preston Foster
2013-05-17 11:19 PM

Ray,

Thank you for your thoughtful input.

As a New Covenant believer, I am inclined to embrace your interpretation.  Hebrews 7:22 certainly has meaning, likely beyond what we have traditionally attributed to it.  Hebrews 7:12 has been, traditionally, limited to mean a change in the ceremonial law (an interpretation that, to me, is both convenient and unlikely, given the context of the verse and the scope of its application).

It is ironic that some of those who hold to the traditional interpretation see risk in considering that the Bible is saying something different that what we have understood.  Some see a spiritual risk in believing that, indeed, it was finished at the cross.  As you point out, the IJ narrative provides a basis for sustaining doubt about the surety of our salvation -- because, in that narrative, we still have a lot of work to do.  If so, that (in my view) defines the real risk.  If we are part of the salvation equation (in terms of either its availability or earning the reward), we are in very big trouble.

Christ did the work for us, ". . . thus OBTAINING our ETERNAL salvation," Hebrews 9:12.

Ray Smith
2013-05-18 1:39 AM

Preston,

Thank you for bringing in Hebrews 7:22 which declares Christ to be the guarantee of a better covenant, the New Covenant. Law is central to the understanding of the two covenants which in turn are central to the IJ doctrine. There are several passages of Scripture that we navigate our way around when it comes to the Law and the IJ. Adventism has been built on the centrality of the 10 commandment law delivered from Sinai, as separate from the ceremonial law. My childhood memories go back to paintings of the IJ with the lone figure, supported by Christ,  standing in front of the Divine Judge with the huge tables of stone off to the side with the 10 commandments inscribed. But, there is a problem.

1 Corinthians 3:6 and onwards picks up on a passage of Scripture that does not fit well with the IJ doctrine. Paul clearly states that the New Covenant is not of the letter but of the Spirit. The letter kills, the Spirit gives life. Verse 7 hits the nerve. The letters are engraved on stones and these 10 commandments belong to the old covenant and they are a ministry of death. Paul speaks of the fading glory of the Old Covenant and specifically the letters on tables of stone. Paul reminds us that even in the early years of the New Covenant era, whenever the Old Covenant, the 10 commandments, were read, the veil remained unlifted.

Under the New Covenant, the Lord is the Spirit and this brings liberty and a glory that far transcends the law of Moses, including the law on tables of stone. We no longer live under a ministry of condemnation from the broken law. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The ministry of the Spirit is a ministry of righteousness. Christ is our intercessor, our mediator, our High Priest under the New Covenant. God's law as spelled out by Jesus infinitely transcends the law of the Old Covenant written on tables of stone. Christ's new command is that we love one another "as I have loved you." Nobody could understand this love until Calvary. This is the law the Spirit writes on our heart. In other words, Christ Himself  is the law under the New Covenant. What greater revelation of holiness and righteousness can we ever hope for than Jesus Christ Himself who came to reveal the Father?

It was Horatius Bonar, the great Scottish preacher, who once said, "The cross is the axle on which the Universe turns." It's not Sinai, it's not an 1844 IJ but Christ crucified that is the wisdom and power of God. We serve a living High Priest who is both Priest and King after the order of Melchizedek. It was this High Priest who became sin for us so that we never have to face our sins again when we accept Him as our personal Saviour. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the word."
 

Preston Foster
2013-05-18 7:39 AM

Correction to my last paragraph: Christ did the work for us, ". . . thus obtaining ETERNAL REDEMPTION," Hebrews 9:12. 

Darrel Lindensmith
2013-05-17 10:36 PM

Well spoken Ray!

earl calahan
2013-05-17 11:38 PM

i agree, Ray and Preston, and Darrel. AMEN AND AMEN.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-18 5:26 AM

Amen from this quarter also.  Ray has with great clarity shown that the language of hte NT, whether in Revelation, Paul or Peter is symbolic in nature.  Symbolic of the non-material, non-literal and spiritual reality which is the divine realm.

Does anyone still think in terms of a literal building on a literal planet Heaven as Harry Anderson would depict it?  

Heb 3. 5  And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6  But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

We are His house!


 

Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
2013-05-22 1:16 AM

The Bible, in the NT, (incidentally, only in the book of Hebrews), teaches that Christ ministers as our High Priest, especially in terms of ‘high priest’ being used as a direct reference to Christ [Heb 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5-6, 10; 6:20; 8:1, 3; 9:7, 11, 25; 10:21].  The fact that this specific reference only occurs in this letter, in which Paul takes time to heavily emphasise Christ’s role as our ‘high priest’-  is quite significant.  It shows a clear demarcated context in which he carefully addresses the Hebrew constituent of the first generation church which was experiencing some ‘teething problems.’  We all do. 

Paul’s emphasising of Christ being our great High Priest, not only strengthens our historical Dan 8:14 position with regards to the validity and credibility of an end time ‘cleansing of the sanctuary’ in which only the High Priest could officiate, but also, it implies that an adjudicated process is involved, in terms of the High Priest interceding on behalf of the congregation.  An advocate of sorts.  In fact ‘the’ Advocate, Christ our High Priest [1John 2:1].  Apart from officiating in the cleansing of the alter [Ex 30:10; Lev 16:18] and the congregation [Lev 16:16, 17], where the sin of the congregation was transferred to the Sanctuary, thus clearing the guilty; there is also the ‘cleansing of the Sanctuary’ on the Day of Atonement which the High Priest also officiated in [Lev 16:33, 16].  Furthermore, this High Priestly work of ‘cleansing the sanctuary’  as represented in the earthly sanctuary, takes place at the time of the end in accordance to the interpretation given by angel Gabriel [Dan 8:15, 16, 17].  It should also be noted that the Dan 8:14 ‘event’ is not addressed by Paul in the context of his letter to the Hebrews, for good reason of course: it pertains to an event at the time of the end.

The fact is that Christ is our High Priest, as taught in Hebrews.  When this (fact) is juxtaposed with Daniel 8, which centrally culminates with Dan 8:14, it further confirms that a Priestly ministerial role clearly takes place at the time of the end, just as the prophecy, thereby indicating a very credible explanation indeed and further showing that there is evidently a Cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary where Christ our High Priest ministers and intercedes on our behalf – at the time of the end; which, as per 2300 Day Prophecy brings us to 22 October 1844.

Therefore, based on the fact that Christ is acknowledged as our High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary as confirmed in the book of Hebrews, the Adventist Doctrine of the Investigative Judgement has a strong biblical basis and is an essential Doctrine of the Christian Church for the 'end times' - including, being an integral part of the Three Angel's Message [Rev 14:7].  Whether one cuts it down fine, right down to the language used (or context) and testing it with scripture, the IJ is a 'hard nut' to crack.  The best theologians on the planet have tried but to no avail.  Let's face it.  Perhaps it is best that we repent and except that the IJ as a vital part of our important message meant for the world today?

William Noel
2013-05-22 9:16 AM

My study of Daniel 8:14 has led me to a considerably different view than the church has forced onto the verse.

The overarching question Daniel is asking God that gets answered in Daniel, chapter 8 is simply this: When will the Temple in Jerusalem be rebuilt so that true worship can be restored?  God's answer is not about the earthly temple, which Daniel does not understand.  The "cleansing" of the sanctuary God is talking about is the restoration of true worship.  It contains not even the scent of judgement, yet that is the exclusive focus we have forced onto it.  The emphasis in the Day of Atonement is not judgement on God's people but on what God has done to remove what separates Him from His people so they can be together, all limits on their relationship removed and true worship restored. The discussion in Hebrews about the role of Jesus as our high priest is entirely consistent with this.  It is not about judgement but about God removing sin from His people so the last separation between Him and them can be removed and true worship can be restored. 

This means the significance of Oct. 22, 1844 is not the beginning of a period of judgement, but the beginning of the final phase of earth's history concluding with the Second Coming of Christ.  That is when all barriers between God and His people are finally removed, the restrictions removed on our relationship with Him and true worship restored.

Preston Foster
2013-05-26 11:28 PM

William,

I think your assessment is worth serious consideration.  If Daniel 8 and Hebrews 8-10 are related, it seems it is about atonement (reconciliation and access to The Father, thru Jesus), not judgment.

Thanks.

Preston Foster
2013-05-23 12:14 AM

Dear 22oct1844,

Thank you for your studied input.

Christ's role as our High Priest is not disputed here.  He is, indeed, praise God!

What Hebrews points out is that this High Priest has, already, entered to Most Holy Place (Hebrews 9:11-12), "once for all," to deal with sin, including (it seems) cleansing and presentation of the sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22-26).

How does your scenario deal with the specificity of "once for all" being framed in context of a past event (relative to when the text was written)?

Preston Foster
2013-05-26 11:42 AM

Ranald,

No doubt, all sides should re-evaluate their interpretations of Daniel 8.  I believe a large part of the problem is that both the traditionalists and the so-called progressives approach the issue with an agenda to protect their "positions."  Protecting a position means you have already arrived and are determined not be be moved.  It is quite different from finding the truth, wherever the evidence leads.  One side has an agenda to protect the 1844 date which has, demonstrably, already been saturated whic error.  The other side seeks to prove that EGW is a wrong about this.  Neither or either side may have a point.  But approaching the issue with those ends in mind breeds suspiscion in the minds of those who are skeptical of the motives of the investigators.

Daniel 8 means something.  So does Hebrews 9.  They do not, necessarily, have to be dovetailed.

Elaine Nelson
2013-05-26 12:30 PM

What difference would it make to your  salvation or relationship to God if this entire prophecy were not taught, as it wasn't for 1800 years?

Stephen Ferguson
2013-05-27 7:09 AM

Probably as much difference as learning Michael the Archangel of the OT was the pre-existent Christ.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-27 8:05 AM

Anf just how much difference would that be, Stephen?   Could you be more specific?

Stephen Ferguson
2013-05-27 8:36 AM

My point is Michael the Archangel being pre-existent Christ is 'official' SDA teaching - yet it isn't a 'fundamental belief.'  There is nothing wrong with promoting Michael, but if people disagree, no one really cares much, because it doesn't seem to be a 'salvation issue'.  It isn't fundamental.

That is how I see the IJ and 1844.  I don't think the Church should stop teaching it, but they should be prepared to downgrade it out of the 'essential' and 'fundamental' list.  And they might as well take a bunch of doctrines with them.  

I did a survey of my teen SS class last week with 30 questions.  It was anonymous and I made it clear they were free to answer without fear of a lecture later from me about 'right' or 'wrong' answers. I was quite suprised to learn:

- Most didn't believe the Bible 100% factually true in every little part.
- Most don't believe they should follow what Ellen White taught.
- Most didn't know (let alone believe) in the IJ doctrine.
- Most didn't know (let alone believe) about the RC and USA being beasts of Revelation.
- Most were against gay marriage, but didn't believe homosexual orientation was in itself a sin.
- Almost all believed it was ok for Adventists to join the military.
- About half were divided on whether drinking alcohol, even in moderation, was a sin.
- About half were split on the question of YEC vs evolution.
- Virtually none believed only Christians (let alone Adventists) would go to heaven.

I can't remember the rest of the results.  Some of them suprised me.  Whether you are happy with the results or not - that was how a group of 'middle-class' teens from Australia answered. Be pleasantly suprised or horribly shocked.

Serge Agafonoff
2013-05-27 10:45 AM

Neither surprised nor shocked, Stephen.  The church is going the way of all flesh anyway.  Heard of Laodicea?

But I am shocked by your view that teh IJ is not essential / core belief of SDAism.  Haven't you read of Ellen's vision of the heavenly sanctuary, and in that sanctuary is the Ark, containing teh ten commandments, written on stome.  And teh fourth commandemnt had a halo of light about it, for emphasis.

The moral of that vision being, that the sabbath doctrine derives directly form teh doctrine of the heavenly sanctuary and the IJ.  Surely you remember the sequence?  Miller taught that the earth was to be cleansed by fire, Oct 22, 1843....... oops, sorry, my mistake, 1844.  But it didn't turn out that way.  Someone, Hiram Edson? was in a cornfield and he got the idea that the sancturay to be cleansed was the one in heaven. (But was he meditating?)  So the intrepid group set about trying to prove that Oct 22, 1844 was a big day on God's calendar, and He had to cleanse his own house in heaven.  

And thus the literal heavenly building with its literal furniture found its way into Adventist consciousness and has remained ever since.  So if you downgrade (is that a nice term for throw out?) that most basic of doctrines, out goes everything else that followed from it.  

How many of the 28FBs flow from, or rely on, the literal heavenly temple idea?  
Number one on the list is Sabbath.  I would say tithing also, since it invokes the OT system, with its tithing for the priests.

Anyone care to add to the list, and show Brother Ferguson the error of his ways

Stephen Ferguson
2013-05-27 11:05 AM

Didn't you read the results of the survey.  The next generation doesn't care what Ellen White said.  Whether the Sabbath is true has nothing to do with her - either way. Besides, how exactly is the IJ linked to the Sabbath - I think you are pushing the link a bit. The reason for the Sabbath in Ex is different to the reason in Deut.  Point being, people can come to the same conclusion by different routes.

Preston Foster
2013-05-26 1:07 PM

Elaine,

As you might remember, I asked a similar question a couple of years ago http://www.atoday.org/article/606/opinion/foster-preston/2011/the-critical-path-to-salvation).

Then, my answer, regarding salvation, was, "None."  Now, my answer is slightly different.  I think the result is the same (neutral), but how I relate to what Christ has done is quite different.

Under the traditional interpretation, I was living under condemnation, unsure about how I "measured up," frightened about how I would fare when/if the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the earth.  Frightened about how if I could survive if placed before The Father without a mediator.

Now, those fears are gone.

The effect is, likely, neutral to my ultimate salvation, but, hopefully to make me more effective in sharing the gospel.  It is now, more than ever, good news.  Salvation is both spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally more accessible to me.  It is a done deal (e.g., "It is finished.").  As such, I believe I can, via the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, convince others of the same.

earl calahan
2013-05-26 8:51 PM

Yes, Preston, the Holy Spirit has led you to the understanding truth of God's love for you, and all on Earth who desire it. Hebrews 7 -9 has set you free of the laws of condemnation. How many times in the past had you studied this, but failed to comprehend God's grace herein. Jesus Christ, our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Saviour, Lord of the NEW COVENANT. There is now no condemnation of man. Praise Jesus Christ, our ALMIGHTY GOD.

Elaine Nelson
2013-05-27 11:24 AM

I also have no fear.  But not for the reasons you have given. Most fears are taught.

Abishalom Goldberg
2013-07-28 3:03 AM

Dude Dude you are rockin some serious topics. I love it. You bring up a good subject. The truth is Christ did go into the most holy by his blood once for all. The context is plain. His ministry mirrored the day of atonement and where did the priest go once a year with blood? Thats right. The most Holy. That is good news. He entered once for all and secured salvation for everyone who would believe. 

Ed Dickerson
2013-07-28 3:24 PM

Amazing how literalism pops up where you least expect it.

I went to the church to get married once and for all.
I went to the church to explain why our marriage was a positive influence on my life.

 

I went to the church two separate times for two different purposes. I got married once and for all, but that didn't mean we set up housekeeping there. I returned for a different purpose, but that didn't somehow make my marriage temporary.


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