XXXV - 1 (02)
what of the night?”
"The hour has come, the hour is
striking and striking at you,
the hour and the end!" Eze. 7:6 (Moffatt)
Them Make Me A
A Terroristic Attitude
With this first issue of WWN for 2002, we will begin an analysis of a basic teaching of Adventism with the goal of seeking to "learn" - finding new insights - and to note areas wherein we need to "unlearn," so that the truth we hold may be "pure and unadulterated." We do not set forth these findings as infallible, but rather as suggestive where there needs to be deeper study.
The key doctrine of Adventism is the teaching and understanding of the Sanctuary of which God gave the blueprint to Moses. The Psalmist could sing, "Thy way, O God is in the sanctuary" (77:13). The God of Israel was revealed as One who "dwellest between the cherubim" (80:1). The conclusions drawn and the lessons to be learned are based on the principle of type and antitype. But to correctly state the truth of the antitype, one must be sure that all that the type reveals is included in the deductions made. One cannot take one part of the type as just ceremonial, and a corresponding part typical. For example: On the Day of Atonement, Aaron in his capacity as High Priest was instructed to provide a bullock "for a sin offering ... for himself and for his house." He provided the sacrifice, but he did not place his hands on it in confession as he did the bullock he was required to bring should he lead the people into sin. Is one situation to be considered just a literal ceremonial act with no typical significance, and the other typical, or were both to have typical significance? We dare not make an interpretive error on this point, as the blood of the bullock provided by the High Priest for the Day of Atonement became a part of the blood used in the final cleansing at the Altar in the Court.
While preparing this issue of WWN (in October) we received a copy of a page from the August issue of OFF (really "off "). It is tragic, yet revealing how far the corrupted heart of man will take their theology and vent their antipathy. (See p. 7).
"We have many things to learn, and many, many things to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible."
them make me a sanctuary;
that I may dwell among them."
In the directive given to Moses by God on the mount - "Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them" - two factors are indicated: 1) The sanctuary was to involve human construction - "Let them make Me" - and 2) God would dwell therein - "I will dwell among them." The very essence of this directive was prophetic. Of the Word, John would write:"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (). Here again are the same two factors. The Word came to be (egeneto) flesh - He came into humanity - and tabernacled (eskhnwsen) among us." Further, it shall ever be. In the revelation of the earth to come, a great voice out of heaven is heard saying, "Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them" (Rev. 21:3).
In the holy city, New Jerusalem, there is "no temple for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it" (Rev. 21:22). However, Scripture reveals another tabernacle, designated "the true tabernacle (skhnhV), which the Lord pitched, and not man" (Heb. 8:2). Here the contrast is emphasized. The one at Sinai, man was asked to make; the heavenly, the Lord "pitched." The relationship between the two as defined in Scripture forms the basis of the doctrine of the sanctuary.
Perhaps we should summarize what the above revelation in Scripture is telling us:1) Both the tabernacle "pitched" by Moses, and the "true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched" were of temporary duration, 2) Only the "Word made flesh" who in Himself embodied all that the "tabernacle" pitched by Moses symbolized remains eternally. It was He who could say to John: "I am the Living One, and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen" (Rev. 1:18, Gr.). 3) The "true tabernacle which the Lord pitched" was set up in Heaven. It was not heaven itself.
The heavenly "tabernacle" was pitched" to serve as the place of ministry for Jesus Christ as High Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedec. The earthly tabernacle "reared" by Moses (Ex. 40:17-18) was served by the Order of Aaron. The relationship between these two Orders needs to be clearly understood for this is basic in the doctrine of the sanctuary.
"The pattern . . shewed . . in the mount"
Following the directive that
The question that must be determined is whether the relationship between the earthly tabernacle and the heavenly is structural or is it the services performed by the priests which typify the reality of Christ's priestly ministry. The context in Hebrews 8:4-5 where Exodus 25:40 is quoted, the KJV translation indicates the service motif over the structural comparison. It reads, speaking of the earthly temple:
There are priests that offer gifts according to the law; who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed thee in the mount."
On the other hand, the NIV reads:
There are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. [The NKJV follows the NIV closely)
Which is right? Both the words "example" (upodeigmati) and shadow (skia) are in the dative case. A. T. Robertson observes that in the use of the dative case, there was "originally no idea of place in it." It is purely a grammatical case "used of a person, not
place." (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 536). The emphasis is not that the priests served in a "copy" (NIV, NKJV); but that they "serve unto the example and shadow" (KJV) of the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ.
This distinction is basic to a Biblical doctrine of the sanctuary. The doctrine of the sanctuary is based in typology. Is the emphasis of this typology, a typology of structure, or a typology of service? The latter can be sustained Biblically as well as linguistically, as noted in the above paragraph. On that concept we shall seek to find answers to questions raised in a study of the doctrine of the sanctuary as we "learn" as well as "unlearn."
In the earthly "pattern," many priests served. (Heb. 7: 23). In the heavenly tabernacle, only One. In the earthly, various animals were offered, and their blood mediated. In the heavenly, there was but one sacrifice, "the Lamb of God , which taketh away the sin of the world" (John ).
Note: The book of Revelation indicates that certain services performed by the common priest in the earthly tabernacle, are performed by "redeemed" men and angels in the heavenly. (4:8-10; 8:3)
The main services of the earthly can be divided into two divisions, the daily and the yearly.
The Sin Offerings
While a morning and evening sacrifice was offered daily (Ex. 29:38-42), there were also prescribed offerings by which corporate and individual confession was to be made for sins committed. These required offerings are listed in Leviticus 4. Four categories of sinners are given and what each was to offer and the result to be expected stated. The corporate transgressions involved the high priest - "the priest that is anointed" (4:3) - when acting in his official capacity; and the whole congregation (). Individual transgressions involved the rulers (), and the common people ().
The result to be grasped by faith was forgiveness. In each category, save one, the statement is made - "it shall be forgiven them" or "him" (, 26, 31, 35). Further, the forgiveness followed the mediation by the officiating priest. "The priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him." There was an atonement made in these confessional sacrifices. There were also other variations. The high priest - "the priest that is anointed" - officiated at the sacrifice of confession for corporate guilt (4:5, 16), while the common priest officiated in the sacrifice brought by the ruler or common person (, 30, 34).
The application of the blood of the sacrifice varied. The blood of the offering confessing corporate guilt was taken within the sanctuary, and sprinkled before the veil separating between the holy and most holy place, and a record was made by placing some of the blood on the horns of "the altar of sweet incense before the Lord" (4:6-7, 17-18). In the case of the individual sin offering, whether offered by ruler or common person, the blood was not taken into the sanctuary, but the common priest marked the record of confession in blood on the horns of the Altar in the Court (4:25, 30, 34), and ate a small bite of the sacrifice (6:25-26). In all four categories of these sin offerings the remaining blood was poured at the base of the Altar of Burnt Offering (4:7, 18, 25, 30, and 34). In the sacrifice of the sin offerings, the focus was centered around the Altar of Burnt Offering in the Court, not in the sanctuary.
The focus of the Christian faith is centered in the cross set up on earth upon which the Lamb of God was offered in making provision for the sin of the world. It was the Word made flesh Who provided the atonement by which forgiveness can be offered. He, as a common priest, officiated in the sacrifice of Himself for the individual who would come to Him in confession of sin. It was the atonement of the cross which provided the forgiveness. But the sinner requires more than forgiveness; he needs to be cleansed (I John 1:9). This must await His ministry as High Priest in "the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man" (Heb. 8:1-2).
Returning to the instruction regarding the sin offerings, we find that these offerings were for sins of ignorance. The preface reads:
If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, . . . (4:2)
Then "when the sin which they have sinned ... is known" () confession is required. The directive reads for the ruler and common persons: "if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge," then he shall bring a sacrifice. Not only did the sinner place his hand upon the head of the victim, thereby giving evidence of his intent to transfer the guilt so that the victim paid the price for the sin committed, death; but
he also was to "confess that he hath sinned in that thing" (5:5). The sin had already been committed and a record made even though the sinner was in ignorance. But when convicted, he was to respond with a proper confession. That made it necessary for an offering to be made so that the sin might be forgiven.
The record of the sacrifice marked in blood upon the Altar in the Court, or on the Altar of Incense did not record the sin (it had already been recorded); but the confession, which was made so that the sin might be forgiven. (I John 1:9; Lev. 4:26) The Scripture is clear that our sins are known and recorded (Eccl. 5:6), even though we may be in ignorance. If the confession of sin is the means by which the sins are recorded, then the best way to have a clean record is not to confess or recognize the Substitute. This concept strikes at the very heart of the plan of redemption.
The Day of Atonement
The Day of Atonement is listed among the "feasts of the Lord" in Leviticus 23. Today, in Judaism, this Feast is the most important day of their yearly religious rites; yet in the Old Testament, there is no record of any celebration of this feast. In the Gospels there is no mention of Christ ever attending this feast as He did the Passover. This we can understand; Jesus needed no cleansing since He did no sin. There is an allusion to the day in Acts 27:9. "The day" in Hebrews 10:25 could refer to the Day of Atonement.
The preface to the listing of the "feasts" in Leviticus 23 notes the Sabbath commandment as a "holy convocation" even as the "feasts" were to be so proclaimed (verses 2-3). There is a reason. Concerning the Sabbath, the commandment specifies - "ye shall do no work therein: it is a sabbath of rest in all your dwellings" (ver. 3). All the other feasts - the Passover, Pentecost, the Memorial of the Trumpets and the Tabernacles, the command was simply - "Ye shall do no servile work therein" (verses 8, 21, 25, 35). However, the command concerning the Day of Atonement carried the same injunction as the Sabbath - "Ye shall do no manner of work" (ver. 31). The significance of the Sabbath rest would likewise be the significance of the rest for the Day of Atonement. In Hebrews () speaking of the Sabbath in connection with the "rest" of God promised in Christ Jesus (Matt. -30), it reads that one who enters into that rest "hath ceased from his own works." Likewise, the one who receives the final atonement must cease from his own works, and rely solely on the High Priest. If not, he will be destroyed "from among his people" (Lev. ).
There is another interesting aspect to the Day of Atonement not indicated in the KJV. The text reads:
On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonements (plural in the Hebrew): it shall be a holy convocation unto you; ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is the day of atonements (plural in the Hebrew), to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. (Lev. 23:27-28).
Why the plural? There are two possibilities. In the outline of the services to be performed on the tenth day of the seventh month, there is enumerated a series of atonements to be accomplished by the High Priest (Lev. -33), thus it was literally a "day of atonements." The other possibility is that it is the use of the pluralis majestaticus v. excellentiae (majestic plural) as is ascribed to the word, Elohim, the plural form for God in the Hebrew. If it is this latter possibility, the use elevates this day above all the other ceremonial feast days.
The services to be performed by the
High Priest alone on that day are outlined in Leviticus 16. There are some
details of a typical nature that need to be carefully considered not only for
"learning" but also for some "unlearning." [It needs to be
kept in mind that the term, "holy" coupled with the supplied word,
"place" in this chapter refers to what we often call the "
The instruction given to Moses for
Aaron begins with a specific warning. He was not to come into the
If Aaron so functioned, then there is significance in the fact that he provided the "young bullock" which he offered. Since the great High Priest must Himself "have somewhat also to offer" (Heb. 8:3), He pres-
ents Himself as the Mediator of His own
blood. In the typical services of this day, the blood of the young bullock is
carried into the
Two other factors need to be observed in regard to Aaron's offering. In both his corporate capacity, should he lead the congregation into sin, and now in his functioning on the day of Atonement, a "young" bullock was involved (Lev. 4:3; 16:3). In the reality of the offering provided for both forgiveness and for cleansing, it was made by One who "was cut off out of the land of the living" (Isa. 53:8). He gave Himself in the prime of His earthly experience.
In Leviticus 16, the offering of Aaron is defined as "for himself, and for his house" (v.6). Is this to be considered as "for himself" as a sinner, or is it typical of the fact that the great Antitype gave Himself for us, as just noted above? No hands of confession were laid on this bullock by Aaron, even though designated as a "sin offering." It was a sin offering "for his house." Was this for his own family? It does say in a summary of the "atonements", that one was an "atonement for the priests" (v. 33). It needs to be kept in mind that the take off point in the book of Hebrews for the discussion of the high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ was His being "a son over his own house."
Hebrews 1 presents Christ as God, worthy of worship, and as a Son through whom God has spoken. Hebrews 2, presents Him as a man of "the seed of Abraham, ... made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest." Then Chapter 3 asks us as "partakers of the heavenly calling" to "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession." The first thing Paul presents is a comparison between two "houses" - the house of Moses, and the house of Christ. It also needs to be remembered that Aaron was to be only a spokesman to Moses (Ex. ). It was Moses who erected and anointed the tabernacle of the congregation, as well as dedicating Aaron to the priesthood (Exodus 40). Aaron served as Moses' "alter ego" with whom God had made the "typical" covenant (Ex. 34:27).
Returning to the services performed on the Day of Atonement, we note that besides the "young bullock," there were to be two goats provided by the congregation, both of which were to be for "a sin offering" (v. 5). Lots were to be cast over these goats, and one was to be the Lord's goat and the other for Azazel (v. 8; margin). Both goats in the type would bear the consequences of sin, one vicariously, the other as the recipient of the due judgment on sin.
On the Day of Atonement, the High
Priest went three times into the
1) With a golden censer "full of live coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense" (v.12).
2) With the blood of the bullock which was sprinkled once upon the mercy seat, and seven times before it. (v.14).
3) With the blood of the Lord's goat which was ministered the same as the blood of the bullock. (v.15).
Inasmuch as the live coals were
taken from the Altar of Burnt Offering, and each of the two sacrifices were
made at the same altar, the High Priest on the Day of Atonement moved three
times from the Altar in the Court into the
The ministration of the blood in the
The passing from the Most Holy to
the Alter of Incense in the
Exodus 30:10. Atonement was "to be made upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements." On it only was placed the record of confessed corporate guilt. Is the brevity of the instruction concerning the ministration in the Holy Place indicative of how hard it is for religious leaders to acknowledge their transgression in leading God's people into apostasy, or for corporate groups to confess their guilt as a body, and thus so little repentance, if any, is recorded.
The final cleansing at the Altar in
the Court needs careful study. While the ministry in the Most Holy cleared the
record of sin, the atonement at the Altar reached to "the uncleanness of
the children of
Let us review so as to see the overall picture. Let us retrace the steps placing ourselves in the typical yearly services. We sin, and becoming conscious of our guilt, we bring the specified offering. On it we place our hands in full weight, confessing our sin. We then slay the victim. The officiating priest takes of the blood, and by it, places the record of confession on the horns of the Altar. In his priestly ministration, the priest makes the atonement for us, and we are forgiven. The Day of Atonements comes. The record of sin is to be confronted, and carried away. We are to be cleansed. What can we do? Afflict our souls, and cease to trust in any of our works. Again it is a priest that ministers; however, on this day, it is the High Priest and he alone. He ministers with the blood from victims on which no hands of confession are laid. For the final phase, part of the blood of cleansing, he himself has provided; the other part is blood from a goat that has become by lot the Lord's. We come in the words of the hymn, "nothing in our hands to bring" but simply to the Cross to cling.
"And when (the High Priest hath
made an end of reconciling the (most) holy place, and the tabernacle of
the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat" (Lev. ). This live goat, by lot belonged
to Azazel, as much as the sacrificed goat belonged to the Lord. (ver. 8, margin). While the two goats were taken for "a
sin offering" (v.5), only the Lord's goat was so sacrificed. With the live
goat, "an atonement" was to be made with
him, but not a blood atonement (v. 10). After "an end" of
reconciliation was made with the mingled blood, then the goat for Azazel was
brought into the typical ceremony. The High Priest was to place both of his
hands on the head of the live goat, and "confess over him all the
iniquities of the children of
It should be observed that the High
Priest bore the sins of
To "Learn" and to "Unlearn"
1) We observed in our study, that both the sanctuary built under the direction of Moses according to the "pattern" given by God in communion with him on Mt. Sinai, and the "true tabernacle which the Lord pitched," were of temporary duration.
2) The "true tabernacle" which the Lord pitched" and in which He ministered was "pitched" in heaven, and was not heaven itself.
3) The sin offerings were not to record sin, or to transfer it to the sanctuary, but were confessional of sins already committed, and the record of that confession.
4) There was an atonement in connection with the daily sin offerings which resulted in forgiveness.
5) The high priest on the Day of Atonements functioned in all his duties as a type of the high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ. This included his offering of the bullock for himself and his house.
6) On the Day of Atonements, the High
Priest went three times in and out of the
not remain in the Most Holy all day, in fact the last act of the Atonement was completed in the Court at the Altar of Burnt Offering.
A Connecting Link
On the Day of Atonements, special holy garments were designated for the High Priest to wear. He was to be clothed in linen from his head mitre to his ankles. (Lev. 16:4). Careful observation of this fact, links other Scriptures into the study of the Day of Atonements and God's design in its realization.
In Ezekiel 9, the man with a "writer's inkhorn" by his side was "clothed with linen" (v.2). This is emphasized three times (vs. 2, 3, 11). In Zechariah 3, there is another symbolic representation of filthy garments and a change of raiment. An interesting comment is made concerning this text of Scripture: "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). We shall note these two visions of Scripture as we continue our "learning" and "unlearning" investigation.
A Terroristic Attitude
In World Press Review (November 2001, p.45) is a picture of
Since 1950, Elders Wieland and Short have sought to bring to the church the grave consequences of rejecting the message of 1888. In 1967, the General Conference made a final rejection of the manuscript submitted by these brethren in 1950. Then in 1994 a Primacy of the Gospel Committee studied the understandings of the 1888 Message Study Committee which had been formed since the 1967 rejection. This past year the convictions of the Study Committee were rejected.
One reaction to the rejection - echoing the same "terroristic" mind set as the Palestinians - is found in Our Firm Foundation (OFF), (August, p.14). It reads:
We applaud the General Conference for rejecting the "message" of the 1888 Message Committee, with its diabolical teachings of Donald K. Short, Robert J. Wieland, and Jack Sequeira. Their teachings and twisting of the gospel are indeed dangerous winds of doctrine.
Basically, it is a choice between the Pauline concept of faith that works, and the Council of Trent's position of faith and works as a basis of salvation. OFF's position coincides with the Council of Trent. This is only one of OFF's "network" of questionable doctrines. In describing the Incarnation, Ron Spear wrote - "In the prenatal experience, while in her womb, Christ was inheriting Mary's love for God." (Waymarks of Adventism, 2nd Edition , p.39) Was the incarnation not God manifest in the flesh, and is not God the very essence of love? Why all of this Mariology? Papal oriented? Then they charge "dangerous winds of doctrine"! OFF further compounds their "network" of dangerous doctrines by advocating the doctrine of the Incarnation as taught by the Holy Flesh advocates at the turn of the 20th Century, that Christ came "born, born again."
While there are certain points that have been connected by Wieland and Short to their presentation of the 1888 Message which need further study and clarification, there can be no justification of applauding the decision of a church which is itself in apostasy.