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Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Epiphany - 1844

I had an epiphany a few months ago. Maybe it only makes sense in my head, but I'm going to try to share it anyway, for those interested. I believe that everyone - whether they believe Ellen White was fully inspired, partially inspired, or not at all inspired - would agree that if her writings and the Bible ever contradicted each other we should believe the Bible. That being said, I'm opening up a larger can of worms here. I'm open to the idea that this is not the only explanation, but it's the only one that I see and it seems pretty clear to me.

As I shared previously, one area that I believe is a pretty clear disagreement between Ellen White & the Bible is the issue of when Jesus moved into the Most Holy Place in heaven. While many of you may wonder why this even matters, please bear with me. It ends up being so fundamental to the Adventist church, though we may not realize it. Please read at least the part of the previous note where it compares what she says and what the Bible says on the subject. The two give very different accounts. The Bible has Jesus moving into the Most Holy Place after His ascension to heaven. Ellen White says it occurred in 1844. Who do we believe?

Here's the part that really struck a chord with me today. The original message of 1844 was that Jesus was returning on that date. When that didn't happen, eventually Ellen White had a "vision" where she was revealed what really happened. At that point, because of Ellen White's vision, people believed that the significance of 1844 was that Jesus moved into the Most Holy Place. This led to the birth of the Adventist Church as well as the Investigative Judgment, the SDA interpretation of the Sanctuary, the idea of Adventists being the remnant church, the 3-Angels Message, and several other church doctrines.

Think about the ramifications of this.

What happened in 1844? Jesus didn't return. According to the Bible, Jesus was already in the Most Holy Place. So what happened? As far as I can tell, nothing. The previous note shows how the 2300 day prophecy was fulfilled (or at least appears to have been fulfilled), and it has nothing to do with 1844.

Not only did William Miller admit he was wrong about 1844, but if we believe the Bible then it seems that Ellen White was wrong about 1844.

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Read Hebrews 9:24-26, specifically verse 25. This is the KJV, for clarification (since the NIV is very clearly saying the Most Holy Place).



Verse 25 says, "Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others;" The first thing I noticed was that, yes, it does say "holy place". However, read the rest of the sentence - "every year". In the earthly sanctuary the high priest only entered the MOST Holy Place once a year - on the Day of Atonement.

It is clear, given the context of the sentence, that Hebrews 9:25 is referring to the MOST Holy Place.

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In the passage, it says, "but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." It sounds to me (and it's even more clear in the NIV) that he has already appeared there. The NIV says, "But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages..." It has already happened.

Here's another thought. What was it that made the Most Holy Place what it was? I haven't studied into the sanctuary very much (I had been studying about the covenants, law, sabbath, etc.), but from my understanding, it was God's presence that made it the MOST Holy Place. After all, what could be more holy than God? So in the heavenly sanctuary, where or what is the Most Holy Place? Would it not be the presence of God?

The sacrificial system was no longer needed after Jesus' death. They had the real thing now. Even at the moment of His death, the veil in the temple separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn. And when the high priest made the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement, did he wait 1813 days (to signify 1813 years which would put it to 1844 - after Jesus' death) or however long to take the sacrifice into the Most Holy Place? To my knowledge, no - he did it immediately. Why would Jesus return to heaven after completing the sacrifice (Himself), and then not finish it for over 1800 years? That doesn't make sense to me. I'm sure Ellen White probably elaborates on the subject, but does the Bible have anything to say about that?

As far as the investigative judgment, what is there to go over? What is required for salvation? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. We need to believe in Jesus and accept His sacrifice for us. Having the whole universe go over the records (according to Ellen White - that the angels are hovering over our shoulder and writing down every error we do & every opportunity missed) is irrelevant and not Biblical. Yes, we are sinners. Yes, we will still be sinners after we accept Jesus. True, with God's help we can become more like Him, but that isn't what saves us. All anyone needs to know is "Is he/she covered by Jesus' blood?" I am no more worthy of salvation if I got angry fewer times than you did, or messed up fewer times.

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Hebrews 6:19 & 20 (NIV) "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

And since some prefer the KJV - " Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec."

Jesus went behind the veil or within the veil into the Most Holy Place. It had already happened.

Compare the phrase "within the veil" in this passage to Ex. 26:33, Lev. 16:2 & 12 & 15, and Numbers 18:7.

It is clear (to me) that even in the KJV it is speaking about the Most Holy Place.

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