Clear Word vs Bible: Heavenly Sanctuary

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One of the particulars about Seventh Day Adventist Theology is their beliefs centered around the Sanctuary in Heaven.  There are a lot of details and nuances to this SDA belief, but a critical thesis is that the Sanctuary described in the Torah was a replica of the one that is in heaven.

Below I am going to present some passages from the Holy Bible and others from the Clear Word.  What I want you to look carefully for is whether or not SDA felt it necessary to add this concept into the scripture, or if they actually believe it is already there on it’s own.

 

The Holy Bible

The Clear Word

“Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.” Exodus 25:9 ESV  “I want you to supervise its construction and see that its furnishings are exactly like the plan I’ll show you, which is patterned after things in heaven.  My Sanctuary will have its own measurement.  A hand’s breadth is to be added to each cubit, making a Sanctuary cubit twenty-two inches.”

 

Wow, looks like this only took one verse for us to see a difference.  The Clear Word adds the phrase “which is pattered after the things in heaven”.  In the Holy Bible we don’t have this at all.  God has simply given a pattern to Moses for the tabernacle just as he did with Noah and the Ark.  Would it be okay to presume that there is also a giant wooden boat in heaven?  The answer to that is no, when the Bible speaks we are to speak and where it is silent we should also be silent.  Instead of doing that SDA have added in an entire concept to scripture.

 

The Holy Bible

The Clear Word

“And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.” Exodus 25:40 ESV “Be very careful that you make everything according to the plan which is patterned after the heavenly Sanctuary I showed you on the mountain.”

 

Later in the same chapter we see that the Clear Word has added the very same concept yet again.  The bible simply has God giving Moses a pattern and the Clear Word is specifying that patter as modeled after the heavenly sanctuary.  This is really weird, we don’t even see a concept of a heavenly sanctuary in this verse in Exodus.  Where did the author of the Clear Word get that concept from?  If it wasn’t from this verse why did he feel the need to add it in?

My only conclusion is that this is a concession on the part of SDA that the Bible doesn’t teach what they believe.  If they felt that it did then they wouldn’t feel the need to import concepts foreign to the text.

 

The Holy Bible

The Clear Word

“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” Hebrews 9:24 ESV  “That’s why Christ, who is the better Sacrifice, did not stay here to minister in the man-made Sanctuary on earth, which is only a copy of the true one in heaven, but entered heaven itself to appear in the presence of God on our behalf, who is not confined to the Most Holy Place.”

 

Notice that in the Holy  Bible the grammatical referent for “true things” is the “presence of God”.  This is consistent with Biblical typology where lesser things in the Old Testament pointed to fuller things in the New.  Instead SDA hold to a change of address as being anti-type fulfillment.  What do I mean by that?  Instead of presenting a one time sacrifice for sin in the presence of God at the ascension as antitype fulfillment of the Old Testament ceremonies, SDA present that the ceremonies are simply being done by Christ in heaven to this day.

You can discern where they are doing this in the clear word though by noticing that a new concept of man-made Sanctuary vs. Heavenly Sanctuary is added to the narrative.  This concept isn’t in the Holy Bible at all.

Also the Clear Word has added a clause informing the reader that the Father is not confined to the Most Holy Place.  I would find this funny were it not so sad.  But the fact is that the Bible teaches Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven.  So it is fair to say that if the Sanctuary in heaven were truly identical to the one on earth, that would logically mean that Christ entered the Most Holy Place at least once before 1844.  Because the Holy Bible and the Clear Word are not teaching the same things this back door had to be added in by the author.

 

The Holy Bible

The Clear Word

Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own” Hebrews 9:25 ESV   In heaven everything is not done exactly the same as it was in the earthly Sanctuary.  On earth the high priest offered a sacrifice for himself every year before he went into the holy places of the Sanctuary to appear in the presence of God with blood that was not his own.”

 

Notice the past tense referent to the actions being performed in the Holy Bible.  The writer of Hebrews is pointing chronologically backwards in time to speak about what Christ has done in heaven.  In the Clear Word though the tense is changed to the present.  This is because SDA believe that Hebrews 9 is speaking about an on-going ministry by Christ as the High Priest in Heaven that continued until 1844.

To squeeze this into the Bible though they felt the need to alter the tense of the text.  To me this is evidence that SDA themselves don’t believe this verse is teaching the same thing that they believe, otherwise they would not have felt the need to change it.

 

The Holy Bible

The Clear Word

“For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.” Hebrews 10:1 ESV “There’s no doubt that the law of Moses with its sacrificial system pointed forward to something better.  The Sanctuary here on earth was only a shadow of the realities of things in heaven.  Even though sacrifices were offered every day, they had no power to make people spiritually perfect.”

 

Notice that the “Law” in the Holy Bible is changed to the “Law of Moses” in the Clear Word.  You need to understand a little inside SDA Baseball to know why they would do this.  While scripture uses many terms to refer to old testament law in general, SDA distinguish between the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments.  So the writer of the Clear Word seems to feel the need to point out we are not talking about the Ten Commandments in this passage.  Of course, a Biblical understanding would see the Torah as a single unit.

Also notice that the writer of the Clear Word has again put in his distinction between earthly and heavenly sanctuary.  A concept which is again foreign to the Biblical text.

 

Conclusion

I can only conclude that even SDA don’t believe that the Bible teaches their heavenly sanctuary doctrine.  The obvious truth is that they are attempting to connect the teachings of Ellen White to the Bible to round out their hermenuetic.  This becomes apparent when you see that it is her concepts they are adding to the Clear Word.  So at the end of the day you have a doctrine which relies on extra biblical revelation for critical theses and assumptions.

 

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About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
This entry was posted in Leaving Adventism, The Clear Word and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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