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Response to AToday article Ellen White or the Bible


RonCorson
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This is a response to the recent Adventist Today article by Daniel Mora entitled  “Who has more Authority: Ellen White, or the Bible” While there are numerous problems I see in this article I would like to deal with one that has been seen on Adventist Today for many years.

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Daniel Mora writes: “She perceived her writings on a lower level than the Bible, referring to her messages as the “lesser light.”[2]

While Daniel’s article really only hints at a common Adventist misinterpretation it can be summed up as “Ellen White always made it clear that she was the lesser light leading to the greater light of God’s Word.”

 

In the Summer 2011 issue of Adventist Today there is an article by J. David Newman entitled Is Ellen White Really a Lesser Light?

 

In this article he states in the fourth paragraph:

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“Ellen White herself called her writings a “lesser light” to lead people to the greater light— the Bible.4 There is a growing trend in the Adventist denomination today to make Ellen White the infallible interpreter of Scripture. See, for example, The Remnant Study Bible, in which the words of Ellen White are interleaved with the words of the Bible.5

4Ellen G. White, Colporteur Ministry, p. 125.”

 

The problem I would like to deal with is the idea that Ellen White ever made the representation that the Greater Light was the Bible. If we trace the lesser light quotation back through the numerous compilations we see that it was first used in the Review and Herald January 20, 1903  ( I place the quote with context at the end of this article.) The subject of the quote is the spreading of Ellen White books. She actually specifically says that she is not the originator of these books:

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“Sister White is not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during her life-work God has been giving her. They contain the precious, comforting light that God has graciously given his servant to be given to the world. From their pages this light is to shine into the hearts of men and women, leading them to the Saviour…”

The Part that is most often quoted is this:

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“The Lord has sent his people much instruction, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light. O, how much good would be accomplished if the books containing this light were read with a determination to carry out the principles they contain!”

When you read her statement in context you see that the lesser light is a reference not to Ellen White as lesser to the Bible but that she is acting as the reflector of the light she is given by God. This fits in with her earlier statements:

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“Christ makes no apology when he declares, "I am the Light of the world." He was, in life and teaching, the gospel, the foundation of all pure doctrine. Just as the sun compares with the lesser lights in the heavens, so did Christ, the source of all light, compare with the teachers of his day. He was before them all; and shining with the brightness of the sun, he diffused his penetrating, gladdening rays throughout the world. (Youth Instructor.1897-09-16.004)”

 

God the greater light gave Sister White the light in the material she wrote. Thus compared to God the source of all light she is a lesser light. She did not mean that she was a lesser light to the Bible, after all in her own statement she misuses the Bible using the Isaiah quotation which derides those who take line upon line precept upon precept, even if the King James Version were correctly translated the context makes it clear it is not a description of how to arrive at truth. From the quote in context Ellen White is claiming that she did not originate these books but that she is presenting the God given instruction she received. Further it is God who declares that these books should be scattered throughout the world. The instruction is attributed to God as is the instruction to scatter the books, it is not instruction she received from the Bible. It is instruction she received during her lifetime from God Himself, according to her own writing.

Once I had an interesting experience at Sabbath School which further points out the fiction that Ellen White intended her writings to lead people back to the Bible. In the class a dear follower of Ellen White read some quotes from her handy Ellen White book to show us that in the Cain and Abel story both brothers had been instructed from their youth by Adam and Eve how to offer sacrifices to God. That in fact, not only the method of sacrifices was described to them but also the ultimate future fulfillment of the symbolism of the sacrifices, something which of course the Genesis story says nothing about or any later writing of the Old Testament explains the sacrificial system as prefiguring the coming Messiah.

But how could it be that Ellen White's purpose was to draw people back to the Bible as the greater light when the vast quantity of her extra biblical information would not be found in the Bible and if not found in the Bible it should not be used for faith and practice, correct?

 

Daniel Mora is correct to be concerned about Ellen White being used as an interrupter of Scriptures (though all these people inserting infallible into such sentences is rather foolish as I have never once heard a believer in Ellen White say she was infallible in anything it has a history of being used of the Roman Catholic Pope derogatorily so they don’t tend to use it of people they support.) However in practice Adventism tends to use Ellen White as an Inspired Interpreter of the Bible. But in all honesty we can't go around saying that someone is directing people back to the Bible by adding volumes of information to the Bible stories. And she does it over and over again. The whole purpose of the original quote...not the compilation quote, the actual author's words is about the importance of spreading her books, not spreading the Bible.

 

Anyone that receives light from God and then processes it through their speaking or writing would be a reflector of the light of God.  There is a corollary that asks what of the idea that her writings derive their authority from scripture and therefore are meant to point us back to scripture?

 

We don't have to go very far to test that idea we can do it directly from the material we saw in the Review and Herald quote. So let us ask the question where in the scriptures do we find God telling us to scatter the writings of Ellen White throughout the world? Of course we don't so what about scattering the writings of any Prophet to the world? Again the answer is no. Paul passed his writings on and some of the other New Testament writers likely distributed their letters to several places. But again that was not some instruction of God recorded in the New Testament to scatter their writings. One could say that scattering the books is simply spreading the gospel therefore scattering the books of Ellen White or anyone else who talks about God or claims their writings lead people to God should have their books scattered throughout the world. I would like my writings to be scattered throughout the world also, but I can't say that is what the Bible tells me to do or that it is what the Lord has declared. Doing something because one thinks it is the right thing to do is not the same as doing something because the scriptures have actually instructed that it should be done. The Bible does not give someone authority, the Bible gives us methods to test if someone has authority from God.

 

-------------------------

 

 

 

The Review and Herald, January 20, 1903:

Many more of our larger books might have been sold if church members had been awake to the importance of the truths these books contain, and had realized their responsibility to circulate them. My brethren and sisters, will you not now make an effort to circulate these books? and will you not bring into this effort the enthusiasm that you brought into the effort to sell "Christ's Object Lessons"? In selling this book many have learned how to handle the larger books. They have obtained an experience that has prepared them to enter the canvassing field.

Sister White is not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during her life-work God has been giving her. They contain the precious, comforting light that God has graciously given his servant to be given to the world. From their pages this light is to shine into the hearts of men and women, leading them to the Saviour. The Lord has declared that these books are to be scattered throughout the world. There is in them truth which to the receiver is a savor of life unto life. They are silent witnesses for God. In the past they have been the means in his hands of convicting and converting many souls. Many have read them with eager expectation, and, by reading them, have been led to see the efficacy of Christ's atonement, and to trust in its power. They have been led to commit the keeping of their souls to their Creator, waiting and hoping for the coming of the Saviour to take his loved ones to their eternal home. In the future, these books are to make the gospel plain to many others, revealing to them the way of salvation.

The Lord has sent his people much instruction, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light. O, how much good would be accomplished if the books containing this light were read with a determination to carry out the principles they contain! There would be a thousandfold greater vigilance, a thousandfold more self-denial and resolute effort. And many more would now be rejoicing in the light of present truth.

My brethren and sisters, work earnestly to circulate these books. Put your hearts into this work, and the blessing of God will be with you. Go forth in faith, praying that God will prepare hearts to receive the light. Be pleasant and courteous. Show by a consistent course that you are true Christians. Walk and work in the light of heaven, and your path will be as the path of the just, shining more and more unto the perfect day.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought that Ellen believed the lessor light to be herself and the greater light to be the writings she produced (the Spirit of Prophecy). The Bible was fine for back in it's day but the Spirit of Prophecy was a more sure word. 

Ellen White
"The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God's mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God's penmen, not His pen." (Selected Messages, Vol. 1, Chapter One "The Inspiration of the Prophetic Writers")

 

A common other name for Ellen White is "The Pen of Inspiration" is it not? 

 

Ellen White
As soon as I take my pen in hand, I am not in darkness as to what to write. It is as plain and clear as a voice speaking to me, ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go’” (2MR 319).

 

The following is where I believe the rubber meets the road. 

 

Ellen White
We are NOT to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. . . . And while the Scriptures are God's word, and are to be respected, the application of them, IF such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God” (1SM 161; CW 32; The Early Elmshaven Years 426).

 

Mass of Scripture = abundance of Scripture, mob of Scriptures, mountain of Scripture, huge amount of Scripture.

Application = the action of putting something into operation - i.e. using the Bible to test a teaching or something along those lines.

Ellen White
At that time one error after another pressed in upon us; ministers and doctors brought in new doctrines. We would search the Scriptures with much prayer, and the Holy Spirit would bring the truth to our minds. Sometimes whole nights would be devoted to searching the Scriptures and earnestly asking God for guidance. Companies of devoted men and women assembled for this purpose. The power of God would come upon ME, and I was enabled clearly to define what is truth and what is error. As the points of our faith were thus established, our feet were placed upon a solid foundation. We accepted the truth point by point, under the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. I would be taken off in vision, and explanations would be given me. I was given illustrations of heavenly things, and of the sanctuary, so that we were placed where light was shining on us in clear, distinct rays.--Gospel Works, p. 302. {3SM 32.1}"

 

I'll grant I may be wrong here but I believe the above is talking about DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES that SDA's believed between 1855 to 1905 AND that even if people from the outside (other Churches) come to them [SDA's] with a "MASS OF SCRIPTURE" AND if the application of that huge pile of Scripture happens to disagree with ONE PILLAR from the foundation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that existed between 1848 and 1898 which was "ESTABLISHED" by the power of God moving through Ellen White as she defined doctrinal truth from error - the Adventist are to REJECT the MASS of Scripture and go with what the demonstration of the Holy Spirit ( Ellen's White's Spiritual gifts ). That doesn't sound like Sola Scriptura to me

 

 



 

 

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I have decided not to wait to a furure time to respond here.  So, I will give a brief response;.

*  The standard SDA understanding has been that EGW referred to the Bible as the greater light and to herself as the lessor light.  It has not been that of God being the greater light and her being the lessor light.   However, EGW did not believe in a dictated, word for word, verbal inspiration of the Bible.  Therefore, she did believe in God being greater than the Bible as a book.

*  EGW never taught that she was infallible.  Multiple examples of her teaching on this could be given.  the following is one such:

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In regard to infallibility, I never claimed it; God alone is infallible.  His word is true, and in Him is not variableness or shadow of turning.  See I SM 37.

*  Yes, EGW was doctrinally wrong at times.  She was not perfect, and never claimed to be.  She, like you and I, grew in her doctrinal understandings over time as all humans dop, or at least should do.

*   Yes, some of her teachings are not represented in the Bible.  She gave a lot of administrative guidance that you can not find in the Bible.  The SDA emphasis on vegetarian eating goes beyond what the Bible says.   This is one of the reasons why the SDA Church has teachings that are not required for membership. 

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Just now, Gregory Matthews said:

Reserved for future use.  

 

NOE:  I have eye injections today and may not be able to get back to this until tomorrow.

OUCH! Good luck with that Pastor Matthews! 

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The Bible is without a doubt the ultimate source of truth. I reject any and all statements made by EGW or the White Estate that are not explicitly backed up by scripture.For example, EGW states that Jesus did not enter the Most Holy Place until 1844.  The Book of Hebrews is quite clear that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place soon after His Ascension. I'll believe the writer of Hebrews rather than EGW.  

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17 minutes ago, JoeMo said:

The Bible is without a doubt the ultimate source of truth. I reject any and all statements made by EGW or the White Estate that are not explicitly backed up by scripture.For example, EGW states that Jesus did not enter the Most Holy Place until 1844.  The Book of Hebrews is quite clear that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place soon after His Ascension. I'll believe the writer of Hebrews rather than EGW.  

I should add to what I said earlier by saying I'm not by any means an expert on Ellen White and while I may be familiar with what she and the Pioneers said I want to be clear that I may have assigned weight or theological meaning to those things that might in fact not be there to the degree I think. 

Just like some folks might be extremely well versed in the English translations of Martin Luther's writings but may reach incorrect conclusions about Luther and assign more weight to those statements than the author who made the statements did. 

You bring up an interesting topic and I would agree with you on the point of Christ not going into a literal heavenly temple most holy place almost 2000 years after He ascended.  

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1 hour ago, JoeMo said:

EGW states that Jesus did not enter the Most Holy Place until 1844.  The Book of Hebrews is quite clear that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place soon after His Ascension.

1. Entering the Most Holy Place. What does that mean?

2. What part of Hebrews indicates that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place almost immediately on His return to heaven (as opposed to 1844)?

3. What exactly did Daniel mean by saying after 2300 days the sanctuary would be cleansed. What does that mean?

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5 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

What exactly did Daniel mean by saying after 2300 days the sanctuary would be cleansed. What does that mean?

The temple was cleansed numerous times in the OT e.g., during the times  of Josiah (2 Chron. 33), Hezekiah (2 Chron. 29), Nehemiah (ch. 13). It was repaired in the days of Joash (2Chron. 24). Always the word taher  (Strong's #2891)  is used to describe the cleansing. Taher is used in Leviticus 16 to describe the DoA service (vss 19,30). The word translated in Daniel is as cleansed is normally used to describe the justification of people ( SN# 6663 tsadak).  The word translated cleanse in Daniel 8:14 is used again in Daniel 12:3. There, in Young's Literal translation, it is translated "And those teaching do shine as the brightness of the expanse, and those justifying the multitude as stars to the age and for ever." Young translates Daniel 8:14 like this: And he saith unto me, Till evening — morning two thousand and three hundred, then is the holy place declared right. Declared right is the usual meaning of justify. Job 4:17 uses both the words for cleanse(2891) and justify (6663) together in a way that indicates they have the same meaning.

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9 hours ago, Gustave said:

I thought that Ellen believed the lessor light to be herself and the greater light to be the writings she produced (the Spirit of Prophecy). The Bible was fine for back in it's day but the Spirit of Prophecy was a more sure word

That interpretation is a possibility. It would be hard or even impossible to differentiate between herself and her writings though. But you are on the right track. She believed she was a lesser light in comparison to God. The problem is Adventism has inserted the Bible as the Greater light and that simply does not work at all with the context of what she was saying. It would be interesting to see when the idea of EGW as the lesser light to the greater light of the Bible began to be used by Adventist. Sometime after her death I would guess

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From Chabad's site.

"The Yom Kippur service mirrored the typical holiday service with the two daily sacrifices, twice daily incense, special holiday offerings, and the lighting of the menorah. In addition, atonement offerings were brought for the High Priest, his family, the priests, and the nation as a whole. On Yom Kippur, however, the High Priest was required to carry out all of the services himself. An additional incense offering was also brought; this was the unique service performed in the Holy of Holies."

Jesus is described as seated to the right of throne of the Father. He is seated because His work was done. 

 

Hebrews 8,1:  Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We HAVE such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

Scripture identifies the mercy seat as God's throne in the Tabernacle / Temple.

Exodus 25, 21: 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.

The mercy seat was 'through the veil". 

Hebrews 9, 6:  Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 9 identifies it's the "holiest of all" area of the holy place as not having been made manifest under the Old Covenant and at the point of Hebrews 9 it HAD BEEN made manifest by Christ. If Christ is to the right of The Father's throne and the Father's Throne is in the holiest of all than Christ acted as a High Priest, it's DONE. 

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1 hour ago, RonCorson said:

That interpretation is a possibility. It would be hard or even impossible to differentiate between herself and her writings though. But you are on the right track. She believed she was a lesser light in comparison to God. The problem is Adventism has inserted the Bible as the Greater light and that simply does not work at all with the context of what she was saying. It would be interesting to see when the idea of EGW as the lesser light to the greater light of the Bible began to be used by Adventist. Sometime after her death I would guess

 

Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 298
We MUST follow the directions given through the Spirit of Prophecy. ... God has spoken to us through His Word. He has spoken to us through the Testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy

 

Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 66
If you lessen the confidence of God's people in the testimonies he has sent them, you are rebelling against God as certainly as were Korah, Dathan and Abirum

By rebelling against Moses Korah and company were rebelling against God -  by rebelling against Moses the people were rebelling against God - Ellen is claiming the same thing applies to those who reject her writings.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, GHansen said:

The temple was cleansed numerous times in the OT e.g., during the times  of Josiah (2 Chron. 33), Hezekiah (2 Chron. 29), Nehemiah (ch. 13). It was repaired in the days of Joash (2Chron. 24). Always the word taher  (Strong's #2891)  is used to describe the cleansing. Taher is used in Leviticus 16 to describe the DoA service (vss 19,30). The word translated in Daniel is as cleansed is normally used to describe the justification of people ( SN# 6663 tsadak).  The word translated cleanse in Daniel 8:14 is used again in Daniel 12:3. There, in Young's Literal translation, it is translated "And those teaching do shine as the brightness of the expanse, and those justifying the multitude as stars to the age and for ever." Young translates Daniel 8:14 like this: And he saith unto me, Till evening — morning two thousand and three hundred, then is the holy place declared right. Declared right is the usual meaning of justify. Job 4:17 uses both the words for cleanse(2891) and justify (6663) together in a way that indicates they have the same meaning.

I have a question, when it says in the Young translation "then is the holy place declared right". the "holy place" stands for the total footprint of the structure [the Temple], right? The reason I'm asking this is because in Hebrews 9, 12 it says; 

"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."

I've heard it argued by Seventh-day Adventists that Christ stayed in "the holy place"  for over 1800 years and THEN, in 1844 went through the veil and entered into "the most holy place". To my understanding the Jewish High Priest could only effect on YOM Kippur so that it could be said he made amends for the people. 

I'll just be frank and upfront and say I don't know much about this aspect of SDAism. 

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30 minutes ago, Gustave said:

By rebelling against Moses Korah and company were rebelling against God -  by rebelling against Moses the people were rebelling against God - Ellen is claiming the same thing applies to those who reject her writings.  

 

I don't think that helps the position of her meaning her writings are the greater light as in the quote it includes "His Word" That would go along with my position that the Greater light is God. 

My point in this is not to say I agree with what EGW says of her writings, but what she means when she says greater and lesser lights.

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17 minutes ago, RonCorson said:

I don't think that helps the position of her meaning her writings are the greater light as in the quote it includes "His Word" That would go along with my position that the Greater light is God. 

My point in this is not to say I agree with what EGW says of her writings, but what she means when she says greater and lesser lights.

What I was trying to convey was like the Pythia Ellen White asserted she was in possession of the Spirit of Prophecy. As Ellen stated the power of God chose to come into her and then she was able to define Doctrine. My idea was that by Ellen pointing to her writings or verbal teachings [that she claimed were from God] she was pointing to God as she claimed God was the real author of her material.  She minimized herself (her hominid husk) and elevated her claimed office. 

I'll read what you wrote earlier again. 

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Recent posts have raised a number of issues related to a Sanctuary (Temple) located in heaven.  I shall attempt to respond to those. However, I will point out that there will likely be individual SDA members who do not agree with some of what I say.

In ancient times, I will suggest that the Sanctuary, as given to the Children of Israel as they traveled to their future home, consisted of three parts.

·         A structure that consisted of two (2) parts; a so-called Holy place and also a Most Holy Place.

·        A central courtyard that surrounded that structure.

The central message to the Children of Israel in the description of the Sanctuary was to communicate to a spiritually ignorant group of former slaves what they needed to know about salvation.    As humans, God could not communicate to them with a heavenly reality, as that would have been outside of their understanding.  God had to communicate to them in anthropomorphic terms that are in terms within their human understanding.  So, God used symbols that communicated truth.  But, that intent was not to tell Israelites that there was a building somewhere up in heaven constructed of bricks and mortar of animal skins and fabric draperies hung on poles.  God was not telling those people that in heaven there was actually a container (ark) with either two images of gold cherubim or two living beings on the top of that container.  God was not intending to tell Israel that in heaven there existed an altar of Burnt Offering which had to do with the sacrifice of animals.  All of those instructions to Israel related to this sanctuary (Temple) were simply designed to teach them about salvation in terms that they would understand.

The Bible does teach that Heaven does have a temple, (‘sanctuary).  But it says very little about it.  It simply says that the temple in heaven is where God is.  Those descriptions in the New Testament book of Revelation are highly symbolic, in an effort to teach us in human terms that we can understand.

·        * * * *

It is important to understand that if you want to understand the meaning of a Biblical word in either Greek or Hebrew that you consult a Lexicon.  A lexicon is somewhat like a dictionary is for the English language.  However, it is slightly different in that it goes more into historical differences in meaning than does our typical English dictionary.

People writing in this forum often refer to either Strong or Young for a definition of a biblical word.  This in inappropriate.  Both Strong and Young report on how biblical words have been translated into English.  The actual meanings of the biblical words may have meanings that were not so translated into our English bibles.  This is why Strong and Young should not be used to understand the definition of the Biblical words.

NOTE:  I am aware that Strong does claim to have a lexicon.  In actual fact that usage is simply based on how translated and does not have the value of a real lexicon.

·        * * * *

The ninth chapter of Hebrews contains several references to the ancient tabernacle.  There is a phrase used in that chapter that has been subject to translation in more than one way.  It has been translated to reference:  1) The Most Holy Place, 2) The Holy Place and 3) the entire tabernacle.  Context should probably be used to decide on how it should be translated in each case.  That is somewhat subjective and subject to differences of opinion.   A major discussion of this is beyond my level of understanding.

 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Gustave said:

My idea was that by Ellen pointing to her writings or verbal teachings [that she claimed were from God] she was pointing to God as she claimed God was the real author of her material.  She minimized herself (her hominid husk) and elevated her claimed office. 

Then we are largely in agreement, she the reflecting lesser light of the greater light which is God. That I think is what she believed. That is way different then her reflecting the greater light that is the Bible.  I don't think that works yet it is the main idea we find in Adventism for at least the last 50 years. My purpose is not to go on a tangent on whether that view of herself is true or not but rather what was her belief as laid down in her written material.

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9 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

1. Entering the Most Holy Place. What does that mean?

2. What part of Hebrews indicates that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place almost immediately on His return to heaven (as opposed to 1844)?

3. What exactly did Daniel mean by saying after 2300 days the sanctuary would be cleansed. What does that mean?

1 and 2. In the TANAK (what we tend to call "Old Testament") the high priest would enter the most holy place on two different occasions; when dedicating the sanctuary to inaugurate the service and then on Yom Kippur. Dr. Richard Davidson pointed out that in the Septuagint (the best known and most complete copy we have of the TANAK in Greek) uses two different words for the two different reasons for entering. When Hebrews talks about Jesus entering the most holy place, the author of Hebrews decided to use the same word that the Septuagint for inaugurating the start of a new service in the sanctuary, NOT the word that the Septuagint used for entering on Yom Kippur.

3. This is a bit complicated. First; when we look at how other Bible writers quote other Bible writers, they tend not to use what is called "exegesis" which is all the context of the original text. They either use analogy to apply the principles of the text to an analogous situation (Such as how Matthew uses Isaiah 7) or else they use the language to make an application.  Thus it is safe to assume three correct ways of using a Bible text: Exegesis; it's immediate context and all that implies. Analogy: Applying the principles to a very similar situation. And what I've heard called "Homiletical" drawing lessons from the words, but not focused on the exegesis or even what can be called an analogy. (Such as when Ellen White said that "we preach the law the law the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa").

We rarely find prophets using exegesis on other prophets; they usually draw analogies or homilies. Mrs. White was frustrated in how people kept wanting to use her writings for exegesis and kept getting questions for exegesis. She saw her job as making application of Biblical principles. She tended to either deliberately ignore requests for exegesis, or tell people that it was their job to study out what it meant, including saying things like "My writings are not to be used to interpret the meaning of the daily." She seemed to enjoy looking at the tools of exegesis. She visited the archaeological finds in museums in Europe and longed to stay studying the finds, but she needed to leave to do her job. To me, some of her statements seem to be baffled that we as church members were not interested in doing our job of studying the exegesis of a text and wanted her work to be the exegesis. 

A second principle is found in the SDABC vol 4. an article titled "The Role of Israel in Old Testament Prophecy". A while back I found a book covering similar information titled "Old Testament Eschatology". When we do an exegesis of a text we tend not to find very long prophecies. We find God offering his people two ways of spreading the gospel: Either living in the land, blessed by God and have the trade caravans bring messages about them to the world and the world come to learn about the gospel. The other is if not faithful that God would send them curses to encourage change and if nothing else worked, they would go into exile. In exile they were to share with their neighbors their unfaithfulness and God's faithfulness; thus spread the gospel and the exile could end with a second great exodus lead by the messiah. 

Most of the theological theories about Daniel 8:14 were developed at a time when Belshazzar had been forgotten. We did not know when his third year was until archaeological discoveries in the 20th century. In class at AUC a professor did a little experiment. Taking what we now know was the 3rd year of Belshazzar, and adding 1150 days to it we come to business as usual in Babylon. But if you add 2300 days to it, we come to a year when Medio-Persia was breathing down Babylon's neck, Belshazzar's feast and the early days of the Medio-Persia empire. With the understandings of Old Testament Eschatology; the emphases is that time is running short for sharing the gospel if they wanted the exile to end in a second great exodus lead by the messiah. 

Daniel 9 is an analogy of the other texts for Old Testament eschatology and Daniel 8. Daniel is saying that the exile was not going to end in the second great exodus lead by the messiah, but that there will be a return to the land and another 70 weeks of years of how God could to bless them in the land and thus lead to the ministry of the messiah. 

Now, in Daniel 8:14 Daniel does not use the word "days" or "Years" but evenings-mornings, indicating cyclic time. We modern western Greek thinkers think in terms of a time line. The ancients and the east thought in terms of cycles. (An excellent book to read about this is "Before Philosophy" 1946 University of Chicago Press, by Henri Frankfort et. el. I don't know why our church does not get the publishing rights and reprint it. that book would answer many of our arguments). We find the Hebrew Cycles in Leviticus 23 and here and there in Deuteronomy. Leviticus 23 gives the Hebrew week: 6 days and the Sabbath. 6 months and either Passover or Yom Kippur, 6 years and the Sabbatical year or 6 Sabbatical years and the Jubilee. Thus the Hebrew daily cycle would be a day, a month, a year, or in Leviticus we have the possibility to count a 7 year cycle, but Deuteronomy does not have this. So 2300 evenings-mornings would be in ancient cyclic time with Hebrew emphases 2300 days, 2300 months or 2300 years. And it is reapplied in Daniel 9 from the end of Babylon to the 70 weeks of years. 1844 was not the ONLY time that COULD have fulfilled Daniel 8:14, but it is one of the possibilities that Daniel could agree to. 

I'm sorry that I've gone into the more modern studies and thus evidence that is more complicated than the way we usually share it, back before we learned the additional evidence. For me this additional evidence shows that as we learn more, we find us on the right track and continue to study. 

No matter which context, Daniel's 2300 evenings-mornings are focused on us developing a deeper relationship with God and us sharing the gospel with the world. So what happened in 1844 for this? While I did not learn the details enough to explain (ok, after my treatise above you can offer a sigh of relief) but Dr. Waterman from Andrews University did a study and found that, according to the early date for the exodus, Yom Kippur 1844 was a Sabbatical year going into a Jubilee. These were historically times of new beginnings.

We find shortly before this two huge events, the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone and Edward Robinson had completed his first trip to the Holy Land and published his findings and they were starting to be read. So what was the big deal about these? The deciphering of the Rosetta Stone opened the door for the understanding of ancient languages, and Robison was the first serious scientific study of Biblical Geography which opened the door to Biblical Archaeology. 

Prior to the 1840s, exegesis was limited to only a fairly small understanding of what the words meant, many words translators had to guess at, and limited knowledge of the geography, culture and history. These two events was the dawning of a whole new age of Biblical studies. A time where we started studying the Bible like never before. 

Referring back to Frankfort's book: The ancient cycles were also cyclic places, and the idea of the sacred mountain. It was believed that things happening in heaven were reflected on earth and visa versa. Another aspect that we had forgotten about in the ancient world, that Mrs. White has explained to us (and archaeological discoveries confirmed this) is the importance of the Great Controversy in the ancient world, including the Bible.

In heaven we have what, I think it was James White, coined as the "Investigative Judgment" to explain what some Adventists had come to describe what happened. The Investigative Judgment is where the angels and beings on the unfallen worlds evaluate the lives of those who claimed to have accepted God into their life. They see if the person did really accept him or just gave an empty claim, and if they did accept him, what difference did Christ make in their lives. As they study us in light of these two questions, they get a better understanding of their own salvation and a deeper love for Jesus. 

On earth, we get to investigate the pages of scripture like never before. We get to investigate Abraham like never before, and Paul, and other people and events of Biblical history. As we learn more about these, we get a deeper knowledge of the God of the Bible, and the more we know about the God of the Bible, the more we can love the God of the Bible.  The two work together. 

I hope this helps!

  

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Elon Everts conceived the IJ doctrine several years after 1844. He was a pastor in Illinois at the time. He discussed the issue with James and Ellen White, had a letter on the IJ published  in the Advent Review on January 1, 1857. (Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Early Years, 1827-1862, Vol. 1 (Takoma Park, MD: Review and Herald, 2002), pp. 353-354). 

James White later  (ARSH January 29, 1857) wrote an article on the topic. Uriah Smith (1877) and J.N. Andrews (prior to 1883) wrote at greater length on the subject. EGW wrote on it much later (1884 Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4). The IJ doctrine had been circulating  around the denomination for ~25 years before EGW wrote on it. There is a detailed article on the development of the IJ doctrine in the Fall 2016, AToday magazine.

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12 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

The Bible does teach that Heaven does have a temple, (‘sanctuary).  But it says very little about it.  It simply says that the temple in heaven is where God is. 

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Revelation 21:21-23

This verse (22) has had me re-evaluating the Sanctuary doctrine. Oh, I still believe it very much, but my view of it has changed. I keep finding other verses in the Bible that have also "refined" my view of the sanctuary. I don't usually talk about it much because it "scares" people when I have brought it up!

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When I consider the life changing impact of the gospel on my life, there is no question regarding the efficacy  of the blood of Jesus to change my life. That blood was shed for me ~30 A.D., no question. I'm not sure what the IJ accomplished for me. It's a very complicated teaching. It's currently based upon the word of scholars who are paid to defend the teaching. Scholars who are not paid to defend it, such as the Daniel committee or the group that met at the 1980 GC to work on the fundamental beliefs, don't believe it. According to Gill Ford, there were a dozen or more scholars who didn't believe it at GV. Not one spoke up.

Dr. Davidson's articles on the IJ and related subjects rely heavily on material most of us can not access, much less understand. The primary statement on where Christ went upon his ascension in Hebrews 9 and 10 includes references to both the dedication of the sanctuary and the DoA. This appears to be a direct reference to the DoA:  

Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
9:26  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.

When Hebrews 10:3 refers to a remembrance of sins every year, isn't that a reference to the DoA? Perhaps it depends on which translation one uses. Maybe fluency in Greek would make things more plain; however, if translators can't be sure or if there are legitimate alternate translations, we are left with a teaching that is simply too complex for any but a very few scholars to understand. I don't see scholars who can read Greek fluently, from other denominations,  flocking into the SDA church so they must not be convinced.

Pastor Larry Christoffel recounts a meeting in 1989 where highly respected SDA scholars agreed with a Baptist Greek scholar that, according to the Greek Jesus went directly into the MHP.

09_larry_christoffel.doc (live.com)

I can't be sure but since my employment, paycheck, medical insurance [with eyeglass benefit]  and retirement are not connected to that belief, it's difficult for me to affirm something I can't be sure about.

 

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7 hours ago, GHansen said:

When I consider the life changing impact of the gospel on my life, there is no question regarding the efficacy  of the blood of Jesus to change my life.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Romans 5:10

I think there is a misunderstanding of the shedding of the blood of Jesus. Romans makes it pretty clear that the death of Jesus only reconciles (i.e., restore friendly relations) us to God, but it is the life of Jesus which saves us. How this all relates to the sanctuary is all very interesting. If we only needed the blood of Jesus, the sanctuary could have been done away with. All you would need is a courtyard with the alter for the slaying of the sacrifices. 

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13 hours ago, GHansen said:

Elon Everts conceived the IJ doctrine several years after 1844.

Actually, many give credit to O. Crosier for the cleansing of the sanctuary, however, like other things Everts may have applied the name to it. Kind of like people getting on the Andreasen's idea of a Last Generation Theology when all the important parts of it were clearly in the Bible and the writings of EGW and other early church pioneers.

Here is a four part document written by Crosier:

http://www.sdadefend.com/Our Firm Foundation/Crosier-sanctuary.pdf

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1 hour ago, B/W Photodude said:

Romans makes it pretty clear that the death of Jesus only reconciles (i.e., restore friendly relations) us to God, but it is the life of Jesus which saves us

"How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God"

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sin"

"whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood,"

I wouldn't describe reconciliation with the word "only." Having my conscience purged i.e., being delivered from the guilt of sin is something only Jesus could do through the shedding of his blood.

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1 hour ago, B/W Photodude said:

Actually, many give credit to O. Crosier for the cleansing of the sanctuary, however, like other things Everts may have applied the name to it.

Crosier, Hiram Edson, and Franklin Hahn understood that Jesus entered the MHP. Edson thought that Jesus had a work to do in the MHP but he doesn't describe it as an investigation. Everts described what Jesus was doing there. His realization came as he was wondering what Jesus had been doing in the MHP for several years. Edson spoke of the cleansing of the sanctuary but not the investigative judgment.

If you can show that the Day Star article evinces an understanding of the investigative nature of the work in the MHP, I'd like to see it. It's certainly possible that I missed it. Perhaps the cleansing of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment are the same thing. Is that what you are saying?

Interesting remark you make about LGT being in the Bible. Could you elaborate on that?

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Reference has been made to so-called Last Generation Theology, popularized by Andreason.  As  it developed it became quite legalistic. and is not current thinking of SDAs.  Although one can probably find some who accept it. For some information on this see:

https://www.adventistreview.org/2013-1528-p42

 

 

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