Section 11... Cults
Seventh Day Adventists


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Seventh Day Adventist
Chapter III... Investigative Judgment Part 2

Carol Brooks
Edited by Vicki Narlee

Index To Chapters

 Introduction and Index: Deception in the church. Judge by the right standard, i.e. the Bible, not tradition, creeds, or so-called orthodoxy.

History and Beliefs

  Chapter I -  History and Beliefs: Mission and distinguishing doctrines. The prophetic ministry of Ellen White. Origin of the Seventh Day Adventist Church - William Miller and the second advent of Christ.

Investigative Judgment - Shut Door

 Chapter 2 - Investigative Judgment, Part 1: A 'spiritual" fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy? Four questions.

001orange This Page - Chapter 3- Investigative Judgment, Part 2: The cleansing of the Old Testament Temple. What was the Sanctuary defiled by? Daniel's vision in 8:13-14 - Context, context, context. Cleansing the Heavenly Sanctuary. The overshadowing theme of Hebrews. When is the Atonement finally complete or, to put it another way, when are we finally saved?

Chapter 4 - The Doctrine of The Shut Door: The metamorphosis of the Shut Door Doctrine. Ellen White's shut door visions. An extremely eenuous defense. So when does the door actually shut?

 Ellen White

Chapter 5 - Ellen White True Prophet of God? Life, career and position in the SDA Church. Biblical tests for a genuine prophet of God do not include dreams and visions or fulfilled predictions. Ellen White's false prophecies.

Chapter 6 - Ellen White  Vs. The Bible: Out of context and partially quoted verses, contradictions and additions to the word of God.

Chapter 7 - Ellen Whites Health Reform: Biblical dietary restrictions. Ellen White's health reform included some very embarrassing statements

Chapter 8 - Ellen White's Other Teachings: Phrenology, photography, furnishings, jewelry, labour unions etc. Vitriolic criticism of Others. Preposterous opinion on leisure activities including various sports, chess and checkers, singing, concerts and reading. Examples of plagiarism.

Chapter 9 - Ellen White's Visions: Had little or no importance in the general scheme of things. Much to the contrary, they ranged from the childish and farfetched to the petty and inconsequential. Many simply served to bolster the Adventist message. The source of Ellen White's visions and her 'guides'. Advice from a dead husband.

The Sabbath and Clear Word Bible

Chapter 10 - The Sabbath: Will those who do not keep the Sabbath eventually receive the 'mark of the beast'?

Chapter 11 - The Clear Word Bible: Widely used within the Seventh-day Adventist churches, the CWB is a paraphrase that includes the teachings of Ellen White, with many words and phrases altered to reflect those teachings.


Note: All emphasis in the quotes from Ellen G. White Writings (both the underlining and the occasional bolded text), has been added. Also, unless otherwise stated, Bible quotations are from the NASB with all emphasis added)


The Cleansing Of The Old Testament Temple - Four More Questions
Q1 - Why Did The Temple Need "Cleansing"?
Q2 - Were The Sins of The People Transmitted To The Animal?
Q3 - Did The Priests Carry Sins Into The Sanctuary by Eating The Flesh Of The Sacrificial Animal?
Q4 - If Not By Blood, What Was The Sanctuary Defiled by?

Daniel's Vision... Context, context, context

Cleansing The Heavenly Sanctuary

The Overshadowing Theme of Hebrews

Summary and Conclusion

When Does the Atonement Actually Happen, i.e. When Are We Finally Saved?

The Cleansing Of The Old Testament Temple

Question 1... Why Did The Temple Need "Cleansing"?
Several verses in Leviticus 16 emphasize that not only was the Day of Atonement designed to cleanse the Israelites from all their sins (16:30), but that it was also the day on which atonement was made for the sanctuary, tent of meeting, and altar.

    1. He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.  (Leviticus 16:16 NASB). Note: This verse specifies that atonement is made for the "holy place" Nothing is said about the "Holy of Holies".

    2. Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord and make atonement for it.... (Leviticus 16:18 NASB) (Also See Exodus 30:10)

    3. and make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar. He shall also make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. (Leviticus 16:33 NASB)

There is some question as to whether the "holy Sanctuary" in the third verse above means the tabernacle in general or the Holy of Holies. However, the Hebrew word used is miqdsh, which has been used for the entire tabernacle. For example

    "Let them construct a sanctuary (Heb. miqdsh) for Me, that I may dwell among them. "According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it. (Exodus 25:8-9 NASB)

    'Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary  sanctuary (Heb. miqdsh) until the days of her purification are completed.  (Leviticus 12:4 NASB)

In which case, the OT never says the Holy of Holies needed cleansing. The reason probably being that the only person that ever entered the inner sanctuary was the High Priest and that only once a year, after he had cleansed himself. The rites implied that everything else in the tabernacle had been defiled in some way.

But how?

According to Ellen White who, it should be noted, only quoted only part of Leviticus 10:17. (The part she omitted actually refutes what she says, which I will come to further down). (All Emphasis Added)

    The blood, representing the forfeited life of the sinner, whose guilt the victim bore, was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary. In some cases the blood was not taken into the holy place; but the flesh was then to be eaten by the priest, as Moses directed the sons of Aaron, saying: "God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation." Leviticus 10:17. Both ceremonies alike symbolized the transfer of the sin from the penitent to the sanctuary. [01]

Samuele Bacchiocchi, a well known Seventh-day Adventist author and theologian, wrote (All Emphasis Added)

    On the one hand the purity of the sacrificial animal (Lev 4:3, 23; Num 19:2) was transmitted symbolically through the blood rites to the impure, sinful person. On the other hand, the sins of the penitent sinners were transmitted to innocent animals by confession and the laying on of hands on their heads. In turn the sins assumed by the animals were brought into the sanctuary through the manipulation of the blood or the eating of the flesh by the priest. The result was that the sanctuary was defiled by the sins deposited there and needed to be cleansed on the Day of Atonement.

    The function of blood in the Old Testament sacrificial system was equivocal, since it was both a cleansing and defiling agent. The blood of sacrifices purified penitent sinners defiled by sin, yet the same blood defiled the sanctuary because it symbolically carried there the sins which had been atoned for. The daily accumulation of sins deposited in the sanctuary necessitated its annual cleansing of the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. [02]

Which brings us to a couple of additional questions...

Question 2... Were The Sins of The People Transmitted To The Animal?
There are many problems with this doctrine beginning with the fact that not a single verse in the Old Testament says the sins of the people were symbolically transferred to anything, much less into the sanctuary.

I have absolutely no idea why we seem to delight in complicating even the simplest of Biblical concepts. The word "atone" means to make amends or reparation for an offense or wrong doing. In Biblical terms, it means to pay the price for sin. And what is the price of sin? The Bible is very clear.... ALL sin carries the death penalty

    For the wages of sin is death...." (Romans 6:23 NASB)

Since life, both symbolically and physically, is in the blood, the penalty for sin is the shedding of blood, i.e. death. As Hebrews 9:22 says

    "... all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  (Hebrews 9:22 NASB)

Blood, in the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament, was a graphic reminder that God demanded death as a punishment for every wrongdoing [Leviticus 17:11]. The animal functioned as a substitute for the offender, and bore the punishment of the person who had sinned. In other words, the sins weren't magically transferred to the animal, nor did the animal become 'sinful' by nature. The animal symbolically carried the responsibility for the sins and paid the price.

Look at it this way. If God had not instituted the animal sacrifices and (temporarily) accepted the death of the animal as a substitute for the death of the person who had sinned, the Israelites would have had to pay the ultimate price themselves. In which case, remembering that judgment in the Old Testament was swift, few if any of them would have been left standing after the first Yom Kippur.

However, once the animal was executed, no one in their wildest dreams could imagine that the sin still lives on in their blood and could be, symbolically or otherwise, transferred to anything. Sin is a wrong-doing, not a virus. Death pretty much spells the end of both the sinner and the sin. Once the sinner dies, sin ceases to exist.

In other words, the blood was not an instrument of defilement, symbolically transferring sins to the sanctuary. Much to the contrary, sacrificial blood sanctified and cleansed as the author of Hebrews clearly stated

    For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:13-14 NASB)

So why was the blood of sacrificed animals taken into the Holy of Holies? As Russell Kelly so aptly says it was a "recorded receipt of the finished atonement". [03] It was 'proof 'that the price had been paid.

Similarly, we have to ask...

Question 3... Did The Priests Carry The Sins Into The Sanctuary by Eating The Flesh Of The Sacrificial Animal?
Samuele Bacchiocch also wrote that there were two ways sins were deposited in the sanctuary which made it necessary to cleanse the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement.... "the manipulation of the blood or the eating of the flesh by the priest" [04]

Yet, several verses in the Old Testament tell us that the sin offering was "holy". How can something be holy and, at the same time, be an instrument that polluted the sanctuary. (Note that Ellen White only quoted the middle section of the first quote, ie. "God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation." She omitted the part that said the sin offerings was "holy").

    Why did you not eat the sin offering at the holy place? For it is most holy, and He gave it to you to bear away the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord.  (Leviticus 10:17 NASB)

    This shall be yours from the most holy gifts reserved from the fire; every offering of theirs, even every grain offering and every sin offering and every guilt offering, which they shall render to Me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons.  (Numbers 18:9 NASB)

In fact, not only were the priests to be very careful with the sacrificial gifts, but an unclean person would be cut off from the Lord should they even approach the offerings...

    Tell Aaron and his sons to be careful with the holy gifts of the sons of Israel, which they dedicate to Me, so as not to profane My holy name; I am the Lord.

    Say to them, 'If any man among all your descendants throughout your generations approaches the holy gifts which the sons of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from before Me; I am the Lord. (Leviticus 22:2-3 NASB)

Also let us bear in mind that the...

Priests Dared Not Profane The Sanctuary In Any Way
Because the Old Testament priests, had the enormous responsibility of representing the people before God, they had a special call to holiness and ritualistic purity. Because the consecration of the anointing oil of God was on them, Leviticus chapter 21 lists what the priests were NOT to do, so as to avoid defiling the sanctuary (Vs. 12).

They could not have any physical defects and, except for near relatives, could not mourn for the dead nor participate in burial rites. They could not touch any dead body or imitate the mourning practices of the pagans, i.e. cut their flesh or shave the edges of their beards etc. They were not to marry a harlot nor a divorced woman but only a virgin of their own people. etc. etc.

    Yet it is believed that they consistently profaned the sanctuary by symbolically carrying into it the sins which had already been atoned for.

Which brings us to the question

Question 4... If Not By Blood, What Was The Sanctuary Defiled by?
Since, as we have seen, the sanctuary could not have been defiled by the blood of the animal, or the eating of the flesh of the sacrificed animal, why was it necessary to make atonement for not only the sanctuary, but also the tent of meeting and altar. Leviticus 16:16 says it was because of the transgressions of the sons of Israel. (Also See Leviticus 16:32-33)

    because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.  (Leviticus 16:16 NASB)

Note that there were two kinds of defilement mentioned in the verse above.

    a) the impurities (Heb. tm'h) of the people

    b) "their transgressions (Heb. pesha) in regard to all their sins".

a) The first "impurity" that contaminated the Israelites could come from many sources. The word is translated from the Hebrew tm'h which is derived from tm ... to be made foul. Both words are used several times in the following verses. 

    Or if a person touches any unclean (Heb. tm) thing, whether a carcass of an unclean (Heb. tm) beast or the carcass of unclean (Heb. tm) cattle or a carcass of unclean (Heb. tm) swarming things, though it is hidden from him and he is unclean (Heb. tm), then he will be guilty. 'Or if he touches human uncleanness (Heb. tm'h) , of whatever sort his uncleanness (Heb. tm'h) may be with which he becomes unclean (Heb. tm), and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty. (Leviticus 5:2-3 NASB)

While impurity contracted through death, disease, etc. was not morally culpable, they still rendered the individual unclean and their uncleanness defiled the Sanctuary.

    Anyone who touches a corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean (Heb. tm); his uncleanness (Heb. tm'h) is still on him. (Numbers 19:13 NASB)

    But the man who is unclean (Heb. tm) and does not purify himself from uncleanness (Heb. cht), that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord; the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean (Heb. tm). (Numbers 19:20 NASB)

b) The second is flat out disobedience to the commandments of God. The Hebrew word translated "transgressions" is pesha, defined by Strong's as a revolt or rebellion. It comes from the root word psha, which means to break away. It is worth noting that the two words have different meanings - a verse in Job says he "For he adds rebellion (Heb. pesha) to his sin (Heb. chatta'ah) ..." (Job 34:37 NASB). Cht literally means "to miss" or "to go astray". .

See Old Testament Word Study

The main purpose of the rituals on Yom Kippur were to cleanse the temple from pollutants that knowingly or unknowingly, were introduced into it over the course of the previous year- a ritual that served to underscore the holiness of God. Note that eventually many other things were done that defiled the Father's sanctuary. See Footnote I

Let us also bear in mind that, as previously mentioned, Leviticus 16 speaks about atonement being made for the holy sanctuary, the tent of meeting, the altar, the priests and the people.  Nothing was ever said about the Holy of Holies because the only person that ever entered was the High Priest and that only after he had cleansed himself.

However, there came a time that one man desecrated the entire temple which then had to be cleansed and re-dedicated -  a time that Daniel prophesied some 400 years earlier.

Daniel's Vision
What Was He Talking About?

If the reader remembers, the entire 'Investigative Judgment' doctrine stemmed from William Miller's conviction that Daniel's words in 8:1314  meant that, at the end of this period, God would return and cleanse the earth, then believed to be "the sanctuary", with fire. I have quoted the King James Bible translation of these two verses because it was the dominant version used in both Anglican and Protestant churches at the time.

    Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed (Heb. tsdaq). (Daniel 8:13-14 KJV)

In these verses Daniel overhears a "holy one" (presumably an angel) asking how long the defilement of the holy place and the oppression of the host (mass of people) will continue. In verse 14, the other holy one does not answer the one who made the inquiry, but speaks directly to Daniel saying the holy place will be restored after 2,300 evenings and mornings.

Miller interpreted the "day" to refer, not to a 24-hour period, but to one calendar year. Thus Daniel's 2,300 "days" became 2,300 years. He further became convinced that this period would commence in 457 B.C. when Artaxerxes I of Persia issued a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Counting 2,300 years from 457 B.C. takes one to the year 1844. Thus Miller believed meant that Jesus was coming to 'cleanse the sanctuary' in that year.

Years Or Days?

To begin with, the original Hebrew did not say "days" but used the words ereb (dusk) and bqer (dawn). The same two words are used several times in the creation account in Genesis 1. For example, God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening (Heb. ereb) and there was morning (Heb. bqer) one day.  (Genesis 1:5 NASB)

In other words, although "days" is a perfectly legitimate rendering, the literal translation would be "evenings and mornings" which, quite specifically, means a 24 hour period. (The CLV renders the verse so..."Till two thousand and three hundred evenings-mornings. Then found just is the holy place.")

2,300 days is roughly six and a third years - six years and 110 days to be precise.

Context, context, context.
The second problem is that Daniel 8:13-14 has been hopelessly wrested from the context of the chapter. Since no Scriptural passage is independent from the statements around it, the meaning of every single verse is determined not by the interpretation we choose to read into it, but by the surrounding text. To accurately determine what any passage means, we have to read the immediate surrounding verses, the entire chapter or, in some cases, several chapters. See Context is Crucial

Daniel, chapter 8, says absolutely nothing about sins, the offering for sin, or the Day of Atonement. And the silence is deafening when it comes to the sanctuary being defiled by sins.

Much to the contrary, the chapter begins with a powerful two horned ram being vanquished by a male goat with a conspicuous horn between his eyes. Eventually, the horn was broken, and was replaced by four others, from which came a little horn that became exceeding great and mighty. But read it for yourself.

    Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper. [Daniel 8:9-12 NASB]

The very next verse has the angel asking how long the transgression (obviously the above mentioned transgression) will continue. The answer? "For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored."

    Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, "How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled?" (Daniel 8:13 NASB)

It is very clear that the sanctuary had to be cleansed and restored from the defilement by the 'little horn'. But who (or what) was this little horn?

The Interpretation of the Vision
Daniel was told that the ram represented the Medo-Persian empire, and the goat (who magnified himself exceedingly) the Greeks. However, "as soon as he was mighty", the goat's horn was broken, replaced by four other horns. Additionally, in the vision, Daniel revealed that from one of the four horns, there would arise a "little horn," who would bitterly persecute the Jews.

In the light of hindsight, we know that, in 331 B.C., Alexander the Great (the goat) decisively defeated the Persian king King Darius III (the ram) in the battle of Gaugamela. By the age of thirty two he had conquered much of the known world, creating one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt and into present-day Pakistan. However, at the very height of his power, he suddenly contracted a fever and died ten days later. He was just 32.

After his death, four of his generals (the four horns) divided the empire between them. One of them was Seleucus I Nicator, who served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, then went on to found the Seleucid dynasty.

Judea was eventually incorporated into this Seleucid Kingdom ruled at the time by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 BC). At first, relations between the Seleucids and the Jews were cordial but as the relations between the hellenized Jews and the religious Jews deteriorated, Antiochus IV attempted to ban Jewish religious rites and traditions. According to the book of Maccabees... Note: While I and II Maccabees are not included in the canon, they are considered reliable historical accounts of the events of that time.

    Not long after this the king sent an Athenian senator to force the Jews to abandon the customs of their ancestors and live no longer by the laws of God; also to profane the temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and that on Mount Gerizim to Zeus the Hospitable, as the inhabitants of the place requested...They also brought into the temple things that were forbidden, so that the altar was covered with abominable offerings prohibited by the laws. A man could not keep the Sabbath or celebrate the traditional feasts, nor even admit that he was a Jew. At the suggestion of the citizens of Ptolemais, a decree was issued ordering the neighboring Greek cities to act in the same way against the Jews: oblige them to partake of the sacrifices, and put to death those who would not consent to adopt the customs of the Greeks. It was obvious, therefore, that disaster impended. Thus, two women who were arrested for having circumcised their children were publicly paraded about the city with their babies hanging at their breasts and then thrown down from the top of the city wall. Others, who had assembled in nearby caves to observe the Sabbath in secret, were betrayed to Philip and all burned to death. [2 Maccabees 6:111]

This sparked a national rebellion led by Judas Maccabeus. In 164 BC, Jerusalem was recaptured by the Maccabees led by Mattathias and his five sons. The Temple was then purified and rededicated, an event that is celebrated by the Jewish festival of Hanukkah which apparently even Jesus celebrated (John 10:22-23). See The Seven Feasts of Israel

In other words, history confirms that an evil man defiled the sanctuary for a period of time until it was reclaimed by the Jews. What is also interesting is that Daniel 8:25 says "he will be broken without human agency". 2 Maccabees 9:5 tells us that Antiochus died of an "incurable and an invisible plague".

But how long was the temple defiled?

Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the eighth in a succession of twenty-six kings, ruled for 11 years from 175164 BC over the Syrian section of Alexander's empire. If one were to take into consideration not only the three and a half years Antiochus forbade the daily sacrifice, but the whole series of events whereby it was practically interrupted (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary) we come astonishingly close to the 2,300 days prophesied by Daniel.

In summary, the 2,300 day prophecy in the book of Daniel referred to the retaking and rededication of the temple in Jerusalem. I have no idea how the jump can be made from a powerful human ruler who banned Jewish rituals and desecrated the temple in Jerusalem to sins of the believers polluting the sanctuary.

It is very interesting that O.R.L. Crosier (cited earlier), whose views Ellen White endorsed, says the angel did not

    ... tell Daniel what sanctuary was to be cleansed at the end of the 2,300 days but called it THE SANCTUARY, as though Daniel well understood it, and that he did is evident from the fact that he did not ask what it was. [05]

I am afraid that Crosier's words only serve to substantiate the fact that the earthly sanctuary in Jerusalem was being referred to simply because there is no other sanctuary that Daniel would have known or cared about.

BTW: As a very important side note, this prophecy has more than one fulfillment. Not only did it point to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, but also to the coming antichrist. See the Abomination of Desolation Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24:15-33

Just like Antioches, the antichrist will begin as a "little horn" but will grow into a great power. Daniel prophesied that he would magnify himself "to be equal with the Commander of the host", whereas the beast emerging from the sea seen by John saw spoke "arrogant words and blasphemies" (Revelation 13:5). The antichrist will also persecute and kill as many people of God as he possibly can. See The Antichrist

Cleansing The Heavenly Sanctuary
Seventh Day Adventists believe that just as sins were transferred to the sanctuary by the blood of a sacrifice in the Old Testament, the sins of believers are transferred to the heavenly sanctuary where they are recorded. And, just as the Old Testament sanctuary was cleansed of sins once a year, the sins of believers remain in the heavenly sanctuary until they are blotted out and removed during the Investigative Judgment which, of course, cleanses the sanctuary. Ellen White wrote

    So, in the antitype, "the blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement." [06]

I am not quite sure how a repentant sinner can be released from the condemnation of the law yet have his sins "stand on record" in the sanctuary. Especially since, in the book of Acts, Peter exhorted the Jews to

    "... repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away (Gk. exaleipho), in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;  (Acts 3:19 NASB)

The Greek word exaleipho is also used in Revelation where it clearly signifies permanent erasing

    He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase (Gk. exaleipho) his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Revelation 3:5 NASB)

    for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe (Gk. exaleipho) every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:17 NASB)

Besides which, Jesus taught that His blood, the blood of the New Covenant, gives life. It cannot possibly give us life and defile the heavenly sanctuary at the same time. (See what else the blood of Christ does. Footnote II)

    So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.  (John 6:53 NASB)

In any case, as there is absolutely no evidence that the sins of the Old Testament Hebrews were transferred into the Holy of Holies, there is no precedent for believing that our sins are placed upon Christ and transferred to the heavenly sanctuary. (Note: A superficial reading of Isaiah 53:6 and 12 , and 2 Corinthians 5:21, has led many non-adventists to believe that sins were transferred from the sinner to the Christ. However, this is incorrect and a topic in itself).

However, the book of Hebrews does say

    Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things (Gk. epouranios ) themselves with better sacrifices than these. (Hebrews 9:23 NASB)

While we can understand why the earthly sanctuary had to be cleansed, it is near impossible to understand why the "heavenly things" have to be.

The Overshadowing Theme of Hebrews
In order to understand what the author of Hebrews meant in 9:23, we need to step back from the details for a moment and endeavor to grasp the overall picture the author of Hebrews painted. We need to understand the overriding theme that runs through the entire book which, by the way, is an excellent thing to do with all the books of the Bible

Hebrews can be summed up by four words ..."The Superiority of Christ". The book can be divided into sections, each of which details Jesus' superiority over various ancients, the temple sacrifices, and the Old Testament covenant itself. Each section also usually includes a warning.

Note the points below have been condensed from an excellent article entitled Hebrews: Introduction, Argument, and Outline by Daniel B. Wallace. As he says the author of Hebrews contrasts the old covenant with the new (8:7-13). The inadequacy of the old covenant is demonstrated by scripture (8:7-9), as is the adequacy of the new covenant. (8:10-13). [07]

Note: points 4 and 5 are direct quotations. The entire article is well worth reading HERE

    1) Christ is Superior to the Prophets (1:1-4). The prophets were servants of spokes persons of the Lord. Christ is the Son of God.

    2) Christ is superior to the angels (1:52:18) inasmuch as He has inherited a more excellent name than the angels.

    3) Christ is superior to Moses (3:14:13). The faithful Moses was a servant of the Father. Christ was faithful as a Son over His house"

    4) "Christ is superior to Aaron (4:147:28). The priesthood of Aaron is first mentioned (5:1-5), followed by scriptural proof (based especially on Psalm 110) for the priesthood of Christ (5:6-10) after the order of Melchizedek (5:6, 10) proof which is necessary since Jesus Christ was not from the tribe of Levi." [07]

    5) Fifth, Christ's ministry is superior to the old covenant ministry (8:110:18).

It is the last point (5) that particularly concerns us in the context of this article.

In chapters 9 and 10, Hebrews compares the inadequacy of the Old Testament sacrifices with the perfection and permanence of Christ's sacrifice in the New Testament. Because the Levitical system only prefigured Christ's one time sacrifice for sin, there was no longer any need of the Old Testament sanctuary and its rituals after He died.

In other words, we need to read Hebrews 9:23 in the context of the overarching 'superiority of Christ' theme of Hebrews, not that the sanctuary in Heaven literally needs to be cleansed.

God Is Omniscient
God is instantly and completely aware of every one of our words and deeds, past, present and future and does not need a long period of time in which to closely investigate the lives of every professed person of God. In any case, many centuries before the Investigative Judgment was ever said to have begun, Jesus not only knew His sheep (John 10:27) and clearly stated that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 8:11), but that the thief on the cross would be as well. (Luke 23:43).

This fact alone renders the doctrine of Investigative Judgment invalid and without foundation.

However there is plenty more.

Christ Did not Wait until 1844 to Enter the Holy of Holies.
There are plenty of verses that state that, upon His ascension, Christ sat down at the right hand of God. Eg. Luke 22:69, Acts 7:55-56, Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 8:1, 10:12, 12:2.

In fact, Hebrews 6:19-20 specifies that He entered into the veil. This could not have been a reference to the outer veil which was the doorway to the entire tabernacle, because the only place the Father appeared was in the Holy of Holies, which was separated from the Holy Place by the second veil.

Sin Was Never Transferred to The Sanctuary
There is not a single verse in the Old Testament that says, or even implies, that sin was transferred to the sanctuary by means of the blood of the sacrificial animal or by the eating of the flesh by the priest.

Blood, in the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament, was a graphic reminder that God demanded death as a punishment for every wrongdoing [Leviticus 17:11]. The animal functioned as a substitute for the offender, and bore the punishment of the person who had sinned. In other words, the sins weren't magically transferred to the animal, nor did the animal become 'sinful' by nature. Sins were "imputed" to the animal which means it carried the responsibility for the sins and paid the price. Sin is a wrong-doing, not a virus and once the animal died, the sin no longer existed.

Several verses in the Old Testament tell us that the sin offering was "holy". Something cannot be holy and, at the same time, be an instrument that polluted the sanctuary.

However, on the Day of Atonement, the sanctuary, tent of meeting, and altar all had to be cleansed of the impurities and transgressions which took many forms such as those contracted through death, disease, etc. While not morally culpable, they still rendered the individual unclean and their uncleanness defiled the Sanctuary. And Scripture lists many other things that defiled the sanctuary. conspicuous by it's absence is the blood of the animals.

The Cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary (Hebrews 9:23) has to be read in the light of the overarching 'superiority of Christ' theme of Hebrews, not that it literally needs to be cleansed.

In any case, we assume it was the case, but have NO evidence that Moses' sanctuary was an exact replica of the heavenly one. we simply do not know what God showed Moses on the mountain. What John described as physical objects were not the heavenly blueprint of objects in the Old Testament temple, but a type of something spiritual... usually a portrayal of future events.

In other words, we do not even know if there are two "apartments" in heaven. However, since God currently dwells in the sanctuary in the highest Heaven, it would be more closely akin to the Old Testament Holy of Holies, for which no atonement was ever made.

Finally, Jesus taught that His blood, the blood of the New Covenant, gives life. It cannot possibly give us life and defile the heavenly sanctuary at the same time.

The 2,33 Day Prophecy
The original Hebrew did not say "days" but used the words ereb (dusk) and bqer (dawn) which, quite specifically, means a 24 hour period.

The 2,300 year hypothesis was arrived at by hopelessly wresting Daniel 8:13 and 14 from the context of the chapter. A jump was made from the desecration of the temple by a powerful anti-God entity who banned Jewish rituals to the sanctuary being polluted by sins of the nation.

In summary, the 2,300 day prophecy in the book of Daniel referred to the retaking and rededication of the temple in Jerusalem after the 'little horn' (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) had defiled it. He only ruled for 11 years, the first part of which were cordial. However, he later banned ban Jewish religious rites and traditions and desecrated the temple itself.

If one were to take into consideration not only the three and a half years during which the daily sacrifice was forbidden by Antiochus, but the whole series of events whereby it was practically interrupted (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary) we come very close to the 2,300 days prophesied by Daniel.

There is little question that the doctrine of Investigative Judgment is unbiblical, but I do not see it as a dangerous one that will jeopardize salvation. If we want to talk about unbiblical doctrines, lets start with the really dangerous ones.

    Doctrines of Demons: A large portion of the once Christian church has almost literally become the devil's playground if you will. We have lost all rights to call ourselves Christians by our Counterfeit Revivals and our wholesale adoption of doctrines and practices DIRECTLY derived from the occult...Tongues, The Word of Faith Movement, Labyrinths, Contemplative Prayer, Slain In The Spirit and Santa Claus - See The Modern Church's Literal Doctrines and Practices of Demons


    Once Saved Always Saved: Admittedly most of the Calvinists that I know of also preach holiness, however, human nature being what it is, many who believe this ridiculous doctrine come to the conclusion that if they cannot fall away from the faith and there is no fear of losing their salvation, and no repercussions other than losing a reward or two, they may as well go ahead and live just as they want.  Scripture is not only replete with warnings about persevering in the faith and not falling from grace, but is also clear that NO LIVING CHRISTIAN can claim to be finally saved. See This Section

However, the doctrine of Investigative Judgment doctrine does bring up one HUGELY important question - and that is...

When Does the Atonement Actually Happen -
OR When Are We Finally Saved?

If asked, Christians will give you a wide variety of answers to the question of when a person is fully and finally saved.

Some will tell you that God's elect were saved in the dim mists of God's eternity. Others that a person is saved when he prays the sinners prayer, when he is baptized, or when he joins a church. Yet others will say that salvation comes when the person has received the Holy Spirit and spoken in tongues, or been born again. Some Christians are apparently able to recall the specific date on which they thought they were saved, and the specific circumstances surrounding that event.

On the other hand, Ellen White wrote that, after His ascension, Christ first entered the holy place where He presented "the prayers and repentance and faith of His people" to the Father. He next entered the "Most Holy Place (in 1844), to begin judging who would be saved, and to make an atonement for the sins of the people, and cleanse the sanctuary. His work as high priest completes the divine plan of redemption by making the final atonement for sin " [08]

However, those who are actually interested in what the Bible says on the subject, as opposed to what parents, pastors, friends, or denomination believe or teach, will run across some rather confusing statements regarding this extremely crucial crucial matter. Statements that, more often than not, seem to flatly contradict each other.

The New Testament sometimes says that salvation is an accomplished reality but, at other times, says it is still in the future, a seeming contradiction that is not limited to salvation alone. This inconsistency also occurs with bewildering regularity in statements about other topics of crucial importance... justification, redemption, glorification, and adoption.  See The Two Phase Atonement 


Continue on To Chapter 4.... The Shut Door

Footnote I - Things that defiled the Fathers Sanctuary

Sacrificing children

    'I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name.  (Leviticus 20:3 NASB)

    Again, they have done this to Me: they have defiled My sanctuary on the same day and have profaned My Sabbaths. "For when they had slaughtered their children for their idols, they entered My sanctuary on the same day to profane it; and lo, thus they did within My house. (Ezekiel 23:38-39 NASB)

Adopting the abominations of the surrounding nations

    Furthermore, all the officials of the priests and the people were very unfaithful following all the abominations of the nations; and they defiled the house of the Lord which He had sanctified in Jerusalem.  (2 Chronicles 36:14 NASB)

The unconverted

    when you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to profane it, even My house, when you offered My food, the fat and the blood; for they made My covenant void--this in addition to all your abominations.  (Ezekiel 44:7 NASB)

Priests who violate God's law and ignore His Sabbath

    Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.  (Ezekiel 22:26 NASB)  [PLACE IN TEXT]

Footnote II
Not only does the blood of the Savior give life, but it ...

Allows sins to be forgiven

    for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.  (Matthew 26:28 NASB)

    but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 NASB)

    And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood-- (Revelation 1:5 NASB)

    I said to him, "My Lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14 NASB)

Redeems us and reconciles us to God

    But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13 NASB)

    and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20 NASB)

    In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7 NASB)

Purchased the church

    Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28 NASB)

Cleanses our consciences

    how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14 NASB)

Enables us to enter God's presence

    Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, (Hebrews 10:19 NASB)

Enables us to overcome

    And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.  (Revelation 12:11 NASB)   [PLACE IN TEXT]

End Notes. Investigative Judgment Part II

[01] Ellen White. Great Controversy. Pg. 418.

[02] Samuele Bacchiocchi. Gods Festivals In Scripture And History Volume Ii: The Fall Festivals. Chapter 4... The Day Of Atonement In The Old Testament  http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/books/festivals_2/4.html

[03] Russel Kelly. Does Blood Defile The Tabernacle? http://www.lifeassuranceministries.org/proclamation/2010/2/doesblooddefile.html

[04] Samuele Bacchiocchi. God's Festivals In Scripture And History Volume Ii: The Fall Festivals. Chapter 4... The Day Of Atonement In The Old Testament. http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/books/festivals_2/4.html

[05] The Sanctuary. O. R. L. Crozier. Part Three of Four. http://www.sdadefend.com/Our%20Firm%20Foundation/Crosier-sanctuary.pdf

[06] Ellen White. The Investigative Judgment in the Writings of Ellen G. White, Page 6.

[07] Daniel B. Wallace.. 19. Hebrews: Introduction, Argument, and Outline.

[08] The Ellen G. White Estate, Inc. Ellen While. Manuscript 69, 1912, 13.

Investigative Judgment Part 1