Holy Place Confusion
By Dirk Anderson
For God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33)
It is a fundamental teaching of Seventh-day Adventism that Jesus left the Holy Place in 1844 and moved into the Most Holy Place. Mrs. White writes:
"This door was not opened until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the holy place of the sanctuary in 1844. Then Jesus rose up and shut the door of the holy place, and opened the door into the most holy, and passed within the second veil, where He now stands by the ark, and where the faith of Israel now reaches. I saw that Jesus had shut the door of the holy place, and no man can open it; and that He had opened the door into the most holy, and no man can shut it (Rev. 3:7,8)."1
Confusion about where Jesus is
Despite saying that Jesus "ceased His ministration" in the Holy Place, Mrs. White seems confused about just exactly where He is. She has Him bouncing back and forth between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place:
Mrs. White mentions Jesus standing by the altar of incense, but according to the Bible, the altar of incense is in the Holy Place:
And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the veil: And he burnt sweet incense thereon... (Ex. 40:26,27)
Ellen White is also very specific about where the altar of incense is located. She even claimed to have seen it in the heavenly sanctuary while in vision:
"I passed into the Holy Place. Here I saw the Altar of Incense. Before the altar was the table, on which was the candlestick, with seven lamps, and the showbread, &c. After viewing the glory of the Holy, Jesus raised the second veil, and I passed into the Holy of Holies."7
There can be no doubt at all that Mrs. White understood the altar of incense to be in the Holy Place. She never indicated otherwise in her writings.
In 1886, according to Ellen White's manuscript 6a (see above) Jesus was standing in the Most Holy Place. But two years later, in 1888, He is back in the Holy Place before the altar of incense. Then a year later, in 1889, Jesus is back "within the veil where he ministers above the ark of God in the Most Holy Place."10 However, nine years later, in 1898, Jesus is ministering by the altar of incense in the Holy Place! If Jesus moved to the Most Holy Place on October 22, 1844, then how and when did He move back to the Holy Place? Look what Ellen White wrote from one of her visions in Early Writings:
"I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him. I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He arose, and they were left in perfect darkness. ... Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. There I beheld Jesus, a great High Priest, standing before the Father."11
Here we have the Father and Jesus moving into the Most Holy Place in 1844. Now look what happens to those poor souls who did not realize that Jesus moved from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place in 1844:
"I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, 'Father, give us Thy Spirit.' Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence..."12
Ellen White sees Satan in the Holy Place that Jesus has just recently vacated in 1844, trying to carry on the work of God! But in 1888, Jesus has apparently returned to the Holy Place. The question is, where is Satan? Is he still there in the Holy Place with Christ? Are they working together? Or did they swap places? Did Satan move into the Most Holy Place when Christ entered the Holy Place? Does it get any more confusing than this?
1. Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 42.
2. Ellen G. White, Great Controversy, p. 428.
3. Early Writings, p. 42.
4. Ellen G. White, 1888 Materials, p. 865.
5. Ellen G. White, MS 6a, 1886. See also the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1109.
6. Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 568.
7. Ellen G. White, Broadside 3, April 7, 1847.
8. Ellen G. White, Great Controversy, 1888 edition, p. 412. See also Great Controversy, 1911 edition, p. 412, Spirit of Prohpecy, vol. 4, p. 260.
9. Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 348.
10. Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times, Apr. 22, 1889.
11. Early Writings, p. 55.
12. Ibid., p. 56.
Category: Confused Teachings
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