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The Sanctuary Doctrine and 1844

Issue Paper Karl S.Wagner February 13, 2011 The day after the expected return of Jesus, on October 23, 1844, a New York farmer had a vision in a corn field opening up to him the possible reason why Jesus had not returned. Hiram Edson, along with his teacher friend, O. R. L. Crosier and Dr. F. B. Hahn spent the next six months studying out what had happened on that fateful day when the Millerite movement came to its end. Their first paper, published in Hahn's circular letter, The Day-Dawn, was shared with some 300 Adventists in early 1845. Revised and enlarged a year later, it was published in the Day-Star Extra, of February 7, 1846 under the title, "the Law of Moses."1 Crosier and his friends suggested Jesus had begun atonement in the heavenly sanctuary, concluding that the earth was not the sanctuary and that the cleansing was not by fire. When Jesus finished His work in the heavenly holy of holies, He would return to earth in glory. This doctrine, which forms the basis for the Seventh-day Adventist church, did not come to us fully formed. It had to be hammered out bit by bit over a period of years, and in some ways is still continuing to divulge new truths today. Some early treatments on it, aside from a number of articles written on the subject for our periodicals include J. N. Andrews' The Sanctuary and the 2300 Days (1853 and revised in 1872) and S. N. Haskell's work, The Cross and Its Shadow,2 1914. While we read of the cleansing of the sanctuary, we read very little of the crux of the judgment. What we do read implies a

The Day-Dawn article had for years been lost until recent discovery by Merlin Burt who found a copy in 1995 of the first article in the Canandaigua, New York paper, the Ontario Messenger, March 26, 1845. Burt, Merlin D. "The Day-Dawn of Canandaigua, New York: Reprint of a Significant Millerite Adventist Journal." Edited by Jerry Moon and John W. Reeve. Andrews Univiversity Seminary Studies (Andrews University Press) 44, no. 2 (2006): 317-330. 2 Haskell, Stephen N. The Cross and Its Shadow. South Lancaster, MA: The Bible Training School, 1914.

discovery process by God to determine who is worthy of heaven, such as Andrews' statement, "But when our Lord does blot out the sins of the his people, he must present their cases individually before his Father, and show from the 'book of remembrance' that they have severally repented of their sin, and have completed their work of overcoming."3This was typical of the work in the early day and even the early twentieth century work by Haskell was weak and left many questions unanswered. This was bound to raise questions and those questions would not be so readily answered. The one event that stands out in the development of the doctrine was in late 1856 and early 1857 that gave us the theological term, "investigative judgment." James and Ellen along with two friends, Elon Everts and Josiah Hart took a sleigh ride from Round Grove, Illinois to Waukon, Iowa to reclaim two stray preachers. Right after their return, Everts writes a letter to the editor of the Review bearing the date of December 17, 1856. Everts uses the term "investigative judgment" and James White picks up on this and writes an article for the January 29, 1857 edition titled, "The Judgment" in which he uses this term theologically in our publications for the first time. Take note that it has been over 12 years since the great disappointment of 1844. As I mentioned before, this doctrine, important as it is to Adventist identity, did not come to us fully formed. James states, "When will the cases of the living saints pass in review in the investigative judgment of the house of God? This is a question worthy the candid and most solemn consideration of all who have a case pending in the court of heaven, and hope to overcome." (Emphasis supplied)4

Andrews, John N. The Judgment: Its Events and their Order; the Bible Students Library, No. 55. Oaklad, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1990. 4 White, James "The Judgment" The Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald, Vol. IX, No. 13, January 29, 1857, page 100.

While this doctrine places the Advent people in place and time with an end-time message, making us a prophetic people; others suppose this doctrine to be unbiblical and developed as a face saving device for those who held to their faith after 1844. Problems arose within when criticism came from those who once walked with us beginning with Dudley M. Canright who left the church in1887 and by1889 published a diatribe against the church and many of its doctrines, including the sanctuary doctrine. He notes, "Seventh-Day (sic) Adventism make everything turn upon their view of the sanctuary. It is vital with them. If they are wrong on this, their whole theory breaks down."5 His criticism against this teaching is laid out in this chapter. Some of the points he mentions are 1) the concept of the shut door (to salvation), 2) it is based on a mistake in the original Millerite chart of which "Not one in fifty of the original Adventists ever found out the real mistake they had made" (regarding the date 1843 versus 1844) and "Only a mere handful out of the great mass of 1844 Adventists found out the truth about the sanctuary, and these were men of no note in Miller's work."6 Other critics in the church would follow. Just sixteen years later, Albion Fox Ballenger, an Adventist minister working in England was called to answer for his views on the sanctuary at the then new world headquarters of the church in Takoma Park, Maryland while attending the General Conference Session in May at Washington, D.C.7 .He asserted that Jesus went into the Holy of Holies upon His ascension and did not wait until 1844 to do so as also noted by another who came after him. His name was, W. W. Fletcher, and he came from Australia. He too would

Canright, Dudley M. Seventh-Day Adventism Renounced, New York, NY; Fleming H. Revell Company, 1889, page 117. 6 Ibid, page 118. 7 Edwards, Calvin W. and Land, Gary Seeker After Light: A.F. Ballenger, Adventism, and American Christianity Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press-2000, pages 95, and 113ff

hold to many of the points made by Ballenger.8 The following chart shows most of the major dissenters, bringing us to two modern critics still active today. Internal Challengers to the Sanctuary Doctrine 1 Owen R. L. Croiser (18201913) Rejected both Sanctuary and Sabbath not long after his 1846 article, "The Law of Moses" Adventist preacher who resigned in 1887 and became a Baptist minister. Wrote, Seventh-Day (sic) Adventism Renounced. In 1905, he presented his views on the Sanctuary and was defrocked. Wrote Cast Out for the Cross of Christ that was responded to by E. E. Andross book, A More Excellent Ministry. Australian who unveiled his views in 1929 concerning the sanctuary. Severed his connection with the SDA church not long after his 1930 presentation to the GC at Washington. Former worker in Europe over Germany and Russia. Held divergent views on the sanctuary for decades which came to light in an article of May 1931. He would became a Seventh Day Baptist minister Severed his connection with SDA in Sept 1943, joined First Baptist Church of Minneapolis and later became a minister there.

Dudley M. Canright (18401919)

Albion Fox Ballenger (18611921)

William W. Fletcher (18791947)

Louis Richard Conradi (18561939)

E. B. Jones (fl. 1919-1949)

The first current critic would be Desmond Ford. A professor from Australia, he was brought to Pacific Union College in the last half of the 1970's. It was figured that he was a big

ibid, page 139.

fish in a small pond while down under, but once he was brought in to play with the big boys, he would settle down. He only became a big fish with more of an audience in a big pond, and by the fall of 1979 at an Adventist Forum meeting, he laid out his views regarding the sanctuary doctrine, the 2300 days and the investigative judgment. There were a number of retired GC workers in the audience and all at once he was called to answer for his beliefs at a meeting in Glacier View, Colorado after being given a six-month leave to prepare his defense. Regardless of Ford's correctness or incorrectness, he was never judged on what he said, but rather, his verdict of condemnation, like that of Hus from the 15th century, was based on whether or not he held to Adventist orthodoxy. Of course, it was evident he did not, so no other verdict could be given but "guilty."9 While I do not hold to Ford's position, I have been disappointed a number of times at the way the denomination treats her wounded. 10 It became a matter of preserving the institution and not a search for truth. Desmond Ford was officially defrocked the following month, though he has remained a Seventh-day Adventist these long years. I am not sure since his return to Australia in 2000 if he has found a church to take him in, but I believe he has. The result of his fall brought swift results with a number of Adventist ministers leaving the ministry, most of them from the South Pacific Division. There was one noted American from California, who at the time served in anonymity as a Bible teacher at Monterey Bay Academy who would make a name for himself among the dissidents of Adventism. His name is Dale Ratzlaff. Dale left the church after he was asked to commit to the sanctuary doctrine and the 2300 days with its investigative judgment. He could not make such a profession of faith, so he

Cottrell, Raymond "The Sanctuary Review Committee and Its New Consensus" Spectrum Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 2, November 1980, page2-26 10 The Spectrum Magazine review of the committee is reported to have been true, though biased. This was shared with me in a now lost personal email from Leroy Moore sometime around September 2004. Leroy Moore was there at Glacier View in August 1980. I am a member of sdanet.org and the ongoing posts on Desmond Ford at that time initiated several off net emails to me from Elder Moore.

resigned his position. He became a pastor for a Calvary church and wrote two books before retiring to Glendale, Arizona around 1997 or so.11 I met him in October 1997 while purchasing a photocopy of Canright's book on the life of Mr. Ellen G. White. I had been out of the church since the fall of 1976 and was on a journey back to Christ and faith. I also began my study of the sanctuary doctrine by purchasing Ford's published Glacier View manuscript. Before I started it, I wrote and asked him if he still held to the beliefs he noted regarding Ellen White and her ministry. A busy man, he was kind to respond, though on a personalized note pad dated Nov. 17, 1997. I figured he had already done the research into many facets of the subject, so rather than reinvent the wheel; I took advantage of the privilege to stand on his shoulders. I recommend this as a good place to start, but not to stay. As I developed my 13 to 14 part class on this subject for my church family, I sought to bring in the major relevant parts of his study to supply an answer for the church and myself. Of the many criticisms brought against this doctrine, the most fundamental one was the charge that it was not biblical. While listening to a San Diego Forum presentation by Jerry Gladson, he stated that the judgment could not be found in Daniel 8. Of course, the judgment is not discovered in Daniel 8 anymore than the Sabbath is discovered in Revelation 1:10. The context leads us to Daniel 7 to find the judgment. I wondered why he would make such a statement considering he was to teach these things. It very well couldn't have been ignorance, or did he really not know? I know he was referring to Daniel 8:14 as the center text to the doctrine, regarding the 2300 days and the cleansing of the sanctuary; but that has to be understood from the judgment we see in the previous vision recorded in chapter 7.


Sabbath in Crisis and Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists. See the bibliography for details. Both can be purchased on his website, Life Assurance Ministries.

I understood the critics to reject, 1) a judgment, that was 2) investigative in nature, 3) which was pre-advent, and 4) that included the saints. It was these four points that I attempted to establish as biblical in my class and to which I believe I did. The judgment we read about in Daniel 7:9-10 occurs by reason of the little horn. Regarding the vision, the little horn rises within the ten horns of the "terrible" beast during the decline of the Roman Empire. That gives us the Roman See in the early part of the sixth century. The "little horn" power, 1) blasphemed God, (Daniel 7:8), 2) sought to persecute God's people for a time, times and half a time, (Daniel 7:25) and 3) sought to take onto itself the prerogatives of God by seeking to change times and laws (Daniel 7:25). The question in the judgment, which was called by reason of the little horn might be, "Will the real saints please stand up?" Davidson responded to Ratzlaff's book, "The purpose of the judgment is to reveal to the universe why God saves who he saves."12 The judgment is not a discovery process, rather it is a verification process to the unseen universe to verify the true saints as opposed to the system who claimed to be "the" saints and attempt to sit in God's seat. The verdict not only condemns the little horn (Daniel 7:11) but also finds favor for the saints (Daniel 7:22). They win! The four points Daniel shows us in chapter 7 are that there is a judgment and it has books opened in order for the evidence to be investigated (Daniel 7:9-10). So we have a biblical Investigative Judgment. We see that this tribunal passes a verdict of condemnation on the little horn because the body of the slain beast is handed over for burning (Daniel 7:11). This is "before" the consummation (see verse 12), so we know this judgment is pre-advent in nature. Lastly we find that judgment is found in favor of the saints, they win (Daniel 7:22). The judgment includes the saints. Desmond Ford acknowledges this when he wrote concerning


NPUC Addresses Ratzlaff Book, AToday Magazine, March/April 1998

Daniel 7:22, "Judgment is always a 'doubleheader.' It condemns the wicked and vindicates the
righteous. " 13 The sanctuary doctrine continues to find its critics, but it is also bringing to light many glorious truths such as the vindication of the saints. As we begin to understand it, I mean, really understand it and its implications to the church we realize that we are here today giving a very special end-time message because of it. Without it, we will have lost our bearings. It places us where we are in time. We run because we know our place and we do not run in vain. Like Paul, we can say, " I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:" (1 Cor. 9:26).

Bibliography Adventist Today. "NPUC Addresses Ratzlaff Book." March/April 1998. Andrews, John N. The Judgment: Its Events and their Order; the Bible Students Library, No. 55. Oaklad, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1990. Burt, Merlin D. "The Day-Dawn of Canandaigua, New York: Reprint of a Significant Millerite Adventist Journal." Edited by Jerry Moon and John W. Reeve. Andrews Univiversity Seminary Studies (Andrews University Press) 44, no. 2 (2006): 317-330. Canright, Dudley M. Seventh-Day Adventism Renounced. 14th. New York, NY: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1889. Edwards, Calvin W., and Gary Land. Seeker After Light: A.F. Ballenger, Adventism, and American Christianity. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews Univeristy Press, 2000. Ford, Desmond. Daniel. Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1978. Haskell, Stephen N. The Cross and Its Shadow. South Lancaster, MA: The Bible Training School, 1914. Ratzlaff, Dale. Sabbath in Crisis. Sedona, AZ: Life Assurance Ministries, 1990. . The Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists. Sedona, AZ: Life Assurance Ministries, 1996. White, James. "The Judgment." Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, January 29, 1857: 100.


Ford, Desmond Daniel Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1978, page 148