New Studies

A New Frontier In Theology


In Seventh-Day Adventist theology there are two major areas of prophecy and biblical typology that have yet to be addressed by church theologians. These two areas center around the final cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary, a work that can only be accomplished by Messiah Yahshua (Jesus Christ) in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and in the earthly sanctuary, "the tabernacle of David" (Ps. 15:1; Isa. 16:5; Amos 9:11; Acts 15:16) that is spoken of for the end times.   What is the relationship between these two Sanctuaries, one in Heaven and one in the earth?  Who is the Priest of the earthly tabernacle, that is, since Calvary?  What is the nature of that ministration?  Who is affected by this ministration in the earth?  The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70, completely.   What is the difference between "the tabernacle of David" and the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem before it was destoryed?  There is a difference!

The second area of theology is regarding the covenant promises made to Israel of old, given to Abraham, in a unilateral promise of blessing, unconditional. Our surety of promise is, “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise,” Gal 3:29. What promise? The promise was that land, the Promised Land (Gen. 12:7 ; 13:15-17 ; 15:17,18 ; chap. 17). 

The corporate promise(s) to Abraham were actually two-fold, that Abraham’s seed (descendants) would become as the “sand of the sea” and as the “stars of heaven”, a numerical promise. God put Abraham to sleep; he did not pass through the sacrifice, hence, the promise is unilateral. God alone is obligated to fulfill His promise to Abraham, to his descendants…. to the Jews, and to us, to literal Israel, to all "the Twelve Tribes which are scattered abroad." (James 1:1), still existent today.  These unconditional promises were never fulfilled to the extent of the promise given to Abraham, not even close to the borders described in the Genesis promise, nor the victory and prosperity promised to ancient Israel. Ellen White provides an interesting commentary in the book Prophets and Kings, further evidenced in the original full title of the book, “The Story of Prophets and Kings as Illustrated in the Captivity and Restoration of Israel”. Please take a moment to prayerfully ponder this title.

Concerning the first area of theology, since 1844 Seventh-Day Adventists universally have not considered the whole of the Leviticus 16 symbolism, the second phase, the scapegoat imagery, other than the Ellen White comment that Satan is symbolized by the scapegoat. In an ultimate sense, yes, the sins of all the redeemed are put upon Satan’s head, at the very end of time. However, in express reference to the Leviticus 16 symbolism, is it possible that Satan has a part in the Atonement, meaning, since either goat could have been chosen as the goat for the LORD, to make the sacrificial atonement? No, this could not be possible that Satan has any part in the redemptive atonement. Satan pays a price of retribution at the very end, but he does not pay ANY price of redemptive atonement, the part that only Deity has the ability to pay and provide! Ellen White did address this latter phase of the Great Day of Atonement, but only briefly. No further light was given in her time other than the two key statements in The Great Controversy 425, 490, and Volume 5 of the Testimonies 472-475, concerning the soon approach of the period of the judgment known as “the Judgment for the Living”, and that “new duties would be revealed.” This period of time did not begin in her lifetime.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church has made a unique contribution in Christianity, in our understanding of the Heavenly Sanctuary by introducing the Investigative Judgment doctrine in 1844, the final work of our Great High Priest near the end of time. Ultimately however, the purpose of the message of the Sanctuary in 1844 was to bring to fruition the Firstfruit harvest of Revelation chapter 7, the gathering and dedication of the 144,000 Firstfruit saints (Early Writings 15) after this Divine investigative process in the Heavenly Sanctuary, evidenced in the sealing (Rev. 7), was complete.

The two key statements referenced above state as follows, “Zechariah’s vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God’s people in the closing up of the Great Day of Atonement.” 5T 472-475. And, relating to “a special work of purification” in the antitypical Day of Atonement, she states, “While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sins, among God’s people upon the earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.” The Great Controversy p. 425.

“Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon – none know how soon – it will pass to the cases of the living.” The Great Controversy p. 490.

And finally, Ellen G. White wrote, “I saw that God would raise up a Joshua that would lead us into the kingdom.” Review and Herald, May 29, 1860.

The time has come that we must define what is “the closing work of the Atonement” as Ellen White coined the phrase. By now, we should have greater knowledge of what the “Judgment of the Living” is, and when it begins. We need to look at the Leviticus 16 typology to get a better general understanding of the two phases of the Atonement for Israel in the type. The first phase of the Atonement work was the “goat for the LORD”, the goat sacrificed, whose blood was taken into the Most Holy Place and sprinkled upon the Ark of the Covenant. The second phase of the sacrifice was when the High Priest took the sins of Israel out from the Tabernacle, to the door of the Tabernacle, and placed the sins upon the head of the Scapegoat, “the goat for removal”. The scapegoat was a live offering. It was commanded that this goat was to be lead far out of the camp by the hand of a fit man and left there, where it could not find its way back. There was no command given for its sacrificial death.

We know that our Great High Priest Yahshua (Jesus) is Himself represented as the High Priest and also the slain sacrifice, symbolized as “the goat for the LORD”, a typological merging or overlap of both the Passover sacrifice and the Day of Atonement sacrifice in the shadowy types, it would seem. But now, we have come to the time we are confronted with the question, WHAT or Whom does the “scapegoat” represent in the Leviticus 16 typology? And, in the “closing work of the Atonement”, how are the sins in the Heavenly Sanctuary removed from the veil of the Sanctuary, from our Great High Priest Himself? All of the sins of humanity are recorded in the Veil of the Heavenly Sanctuary. Remember, the shadowy types show that the High Priest places His hands upon the scapegoat at the door of the tabernacle (in Heaven), not on earth. We know that Satan has no access to Heaven now, or ever again. Therefore, he cannot be the scapegoat brought to view in Leviticus 16

Whom does our Great High Priest place His hands upon, at the door of the tabernacle, to transfer the record of sins, and remove from the Heavenly Sanctuary, and where are the sins taken to, in the wilderness (earth), in this final climactic drama in the Leviticus 16 symbolism of the Day of Atonement?

The answers to these questions and many more are found in The Branch Message.  The Shepherd's Rod Message and The Branch Message, appearing in 1930 and 1955 respectively, constitute the two missing messages in the Advent Movement.  In the final breakdown of each of these messages since 1844, the truth seeker will discover seven prophetic messages, seven final steps of unfolding truth in total, that must be accounted for.

James White saw these last two messages as a whole, as message-movements, connected with the Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14.  For, there are “FIVE distinct messages prior to the Advent or we are left without a rule to interpret this chapter (Rev. 14).” James White, A Word to the Little Flock, page 10,11.

Speaking of the experience of the Advent people in 1844, Ellen White made the comment: "But the people were not yet ready to meet their Lord.  There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them.  Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in His ministration there, new duties would be revealed.  Another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church." The Great Controversy, page 425.   

In the Leviticus 16 typology, what "new duties" in the Heavenly Sanctuary are here referred to?

Are you ready to investigate the evidence?