Ellen G. White -- the Myth and the Truth

by Å. Kaspersen


6 -The Ballenger case

Within the Seventh-Day Adventist church, "heretics" have arised from time to time, who, after a thorough Bible study, have concluded that certain fundamental elements in the teachings of the church were having problems with the Word of God.

Albion F. Ballenger, Dudley M. Canright, Ellet J. Waggoner, Louis R. Conradi, William W. Fletcher, R.A. Greive, Desmond Ford - just to mention some of the most prominent "heretics". Maybe it will come as a surprise to some that E.J. Waggoner from the 1888-General Conference belongs to this category, but if we are to judge from his "last confession" from 1916, we can safely put him there. Waggoner had become - at least privately - a "heretic" in the 1890's. Or perhaps he, with so many others, had discovered something in the Bible that was not in harmony with the official teachings of the establishment? Wasn't that the reason why "heretics" were burned at the stake during the Middle ages?

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at one of these frowned-upon adventists, and we are going to listen to his own defense against the accusations that was aimed at him during his own lifetime and after his death. A(lbion F(ox) Ballenger (1861-1921) received quite a few beats and strokes from the pen of Ellen White and from the SDA leadership. For that reason, it will be of some benefit to listen to his own words, and some of his teachings that provoked such wrath. After his death he got a name as a first rank heretic in the eyes of adventists, an error-promoter who "rejected the sanctuary doctrine". That's at least what we have learned from Ellen White and the official SDA-literature. But how many have read his book "Cast Out for the Cross of Christ" from 1909, and thus got a chance to listen to his own defense?

The ninth commandment in the Law of God says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." I'm afraid that many today are guilty of transgressing the ninth commandment when they tell how an "apostate heretic" Ballenger really was. From where did they get that idea? They learned it from others - that is, Ellen White and official SDA-literature that are white-washing themselves. Can you imagine a lawsuit where the case proceeds without ever giving the accused a chance to explain? Lawsuits like that take place only where "truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." (Is. 59:14.) Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was another "adventist-heretic" who suffered the same fate.

It seems that some people delight in mentioning Ballenger's name in certain contexts, without having the slightest idea about which arguments he built his case on. Maybe he was more right in some of his main arguments than we used to believe.

What did Albion F. Ballenger teach, and how did he prove his arguments? Looking from a traditional adventist point of view, he certainly questioned some important elements in the sanctuary teachings, as presented by the SDA-church, but how did his calling of evidence harmonize with the Bible? That's the big question.

Let's take a look at a letter A.F. Ballenger wrote to Ellen White - a letter she never replied to. In this letter he analyzes among other things, the expression "the veil", as used in the Bible,

"Dear Sr. White: For some time I have been constrained to write to you regarding my convictions on the sanctuary. Many of my friends have urged me to do this, while others have thought it useless inasmuch as, in their opinion, the letter would never reach you.

"Nevertheless I have decided to write, and state my difficulty frankly. My first difficulty is with the interpretation which you give to the following scripture found in Heb. 6:19,20, 'Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil, whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.'

"I cannot help believing that this term 'within the veil' refers to the holy of holies of the heavenly sanctuary and the scriptures which convinced me, are given below.

"On one side I have placed the interpretation given this scripture by the Word of God and on the other side the interpretation which you have given it. You will note that you merely assert that this term applies to the first department of the heavenly sanctuary, but you do not refer to any scripture which uses the term and applies it to the first apartment. What I am pleading for in this letter, is, that if there be a 'thus saith the Lord' to support your statement, that, out of compassion for my soul you furnish it.

'Within the veil'As the Bible Interprets it.

"'And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.' Ex. 26:23. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat." Lev. 16:2.

"'And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil." Lev. 16:12. "And he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with his blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat.' Lev. 16:15.

"'Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for everything of the altar, and within the veil.'Num. 18:7.

'Within the veil'As you interpret it

"'The ministration of the priest throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary, 'within the veil' which formed the door and separated the holy place from the outer court, represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension. It was the work of the priest in the daily ministration to present before God the blood of the sin offering, also the incense which ascended with the prayers of Israel. So did Christ plead his blood before the Father in behalf of sinners and present before him also, with the fragrance of his own righteousness, the prayers of penitent believers. Such was the work of ministration in the first apartment of the sanctuary in Heaven. "Thither the faith of Christ's disciples followed him as he ascended from their sight. Here (in the first apartment) their hopes centered, 'which hope we have,' said Paul, 'as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever.'' G.C. pp. 420,421.

"Sr. White, you refer the terms "within the veil" to the first apartment, while the Lord applies the terms "without the veil" and "before the veil" to the first apartment, as appears from the following scriptures.

"'And thou shalt set the table (of shew bread) without the veil.' Ex. 26:35.

"'And thou shalt command the children of Israel that they bring thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always in the tabernacle of the congregation, without the veil, which is before the testimony.' Ex. 27:20,21.

"'And he put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle northwardwithout the veil.' Ex. 40:22.

"'And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the veil.' Ex. 40:26.

"'And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation: and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the veil of the Sanctuary.' Lev. 4:5,6.

"'And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock's blood to the tabernacle of the congregation, and the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord, even before the veil.' Lev. 4:17.

"'And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel that they bring thee pure olive oil beaten for light, to cause the lamps to burn continually without the veil of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation.' Lev. 24:1-3.

"Five times the Lord uses the term 'within the veil' and in every case it is applied to the second apartment of the sanctuary, and not to the first. Seven times the Lord uses the terms 'without the veil,' and 'before the veil,' and in every instance he applies it to the first apartment or tabernacle of the congregation, and never to the court outside of the door of the tabernacle. But if 'within the veil' applies to the first apartment as you teach in your interpretation of Heb. 6:19,20, then the term 'without the veil' must apply to the space in the court outside the tabernacle door. Every one of these seven scriptures which plainly state that "without the veil" and "before the veil" is in the first apartment, is a divine witness to the truth that "within the veil" in Heb. 6:19,20, must apply to the second apartment.

"There are therefore twelve witnesses, a twelve-fold 'thus saith the Lord' testifying that the term 'within the veil' refers to the holy of holies, and not to the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary as you assert. At my secret trial four years ago, three leading brethren were chosen to answer me. (It is interesting to note in passing that two out of the three were then and are still under your condemnation inasmuch as they both teach that the 'daily' of Dan. 8:13 refers to the heavenly service instead of paganism as taught by you in Early Writings.) In private conversation with me one took the position that 'within the veil' meant within the sanctuary, but did not refer to either apartment. Another asserted at the trial that the term applied to the first apartment as you have interpreted it. The third, compelled by the witnesses quoted above admitted in his answer that the term 'within the veil' does apply to the holy of holies, but that it is spoken prophetically, and although the scripture says Christ is entered 'within the veil' we are to understand it to mean that he will enter in 1844. This babel of voices did not help me to see my error, if error it be.

"Before publishing my MS, I sent it to several ministers holding official positions, whose loyalty to the denomination is unquestioned, and asked them out of love for the truth and my soul, to show me from the Scriptures, where I was in error. I promised that should they do this I would never publish the MS. Not one of these brethren attempted to show me my error from the Word.

"One wrote thus: Candor compels me to say that I can find no fault with it from a Bible standpoint. The argument seems to be unassailable.

"Another said: I have always felt that it was safer to take the interpretation placed upon the Scriptures by the Spirit of Prophecy as manifested through Sister E.G. White rather than to rely upon my own judgment or interpretation.

"This last quotation expresses the attitude of all those who have admitted that my position seemed to be supported by the Scriptures, but hesitated to accept it.

"Honestly, Sister White, I am afraid to act upon this suggestion; because it will place the thousands upon thousands of pages of your writings in books and periodicals between the child of God and God's Book. If this position be true, no noble Berean dare believe any truth, however clearly it may seem to be taught in the Scriptures, until he first consults your writings to see whether it harmonizes with your interpretation. This is the principle always advocated by the Roman church and voiced in the following quotation:

"'Like two sacred rivers flowing from Paradise, the Bible and divine Tradition contain the Word of God. Though these two divine streams are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still of the two, tradition is to us more clear and safe.' Catholic Belief, p. 54.

"It was against this putting of an infallible interpreter between the man and his Bible that the Reformation waged its uncompromising war.

"The Romanists robbed the individual of his Bible, denouncing the right of 'private interpretation'; while the Reformation handed the Bible back to the individual while denouncing the papal dogma that demands an infallible interpreter between the child of God and his Bible.

"The brethren urge me to accept your interpretation of the Scriptures as clearer and safer than what they call my interpretation. But I have not interpreted this Scripture, I have allowed the Lord to do this and have accepted his interpretation. Let me illustrate:

"The first mention of the Sabbath in the New Testament is found in Matt. 12:1. It does not there tell us which day is the Sabbath, assuming that the reader knows which day is referred to, or if not, he will be able to learn from the Old Testament, which day it is. When one turns to Ex. 20:8-12 and reads, 'The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord,' is not that God's interpretation? Has any one the right to reply, 'That is your interpretation.' Surely not.

"In like manner, the first and only instance where the term, 'within the veil,' is used in the New Testament, is found in Heb. 6:19. It is taken for granted that the reader will know to which apartment the Holy Spirit refers; but if not, the searcher can learn from the Old Testament which place is meant. Now, when I turn to the Old Testament and find that in every instance this term is applied to the holy of holies, can it honestly be charged that this is my interpretation? I have not interpreted it, but have given that honor to the Holy Oracles themselves. And now Sister White, what can I do? If I accept the testimony of the Scriptures, if I follow my conscientious convictions, I find myself under your condemnation; and you call me a wolf in sheep's clothing, and warn my brethren and the members of my family against me. But when I turn in my sorrow to the Word of the Lord, that Word reads the same, and I fear to reject God's interpretation and accept yours. Oh that I might accept both. But if I must accept but one, hadn't I better accept the Lord's? If I reject his word and accept yours, can you save me in the judgment? When side by side we stand before the great white throne; if the Master should ask me why I taught that 'within the veil' was in the first apartment of the sanctuary, what shall I answer? Shall I say, 'Because Sister White, who claimed to be commissioned to interpret the Scriptures for me, told me that this was the true interpretation, and that if I did not accept it and teach it I would rest under your condemnation?" (A.F. Ballenger, Cast Out for the Cross of Christ (1909). Emphasis supplied.)

So far Ballenger's letter to Ellen White. There are several things to take note of in this letter. What the matter really concerns, is the SDA-teaching that Jesus went into the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary at his ascension, in order to begin there an 1800 year ministry "according to the type". To support this view, SDA's quote Hebrews 6:19-20, and interpret the verses to the effect that the phrase "within the veil" means the veil before the first apartment - that Jesus went in "within" that first veil and into the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary at his ascension in 31 A.D.

But as we have noted from Ballenger's letter, the phrase "within the veil" in the Old Testament means only, without exception, the second veil which separated the Holy from the Most holy. The phrase was never being used when talking about the first veil. The two phrases, "before the veil" and "without the veil" was being used without exception in connection with the ministry in the first apartment. "Within the veil" did always point to the second veilwhich separated the two apartments.

When we analyze the phrase "within the veil" in Heb. 6:19-20, it shouldn't be that hard to understand which "apartment" Jesus went into at his ascension. But adventists need to manipulate the verse to find "support" for their sanctuary teaching. Some say that the verse (Heb. 6:19-20) is "prophetic", and "pointed forwards to 1844". Others say that Jesus of course went into the Most Holy at his ascension, but went back into the first apartment to begin an 1800-year ministry there. Such are unjustifiable manipulations with an otherwise plain text of scripture.

The Great Controversy

In his letter, Ballenger quotes from pp. 420-21 of the book "The Great Controversy" by Ellen G. White. In the two short paragraphs quoted, we find three gross errors.

1. Ellen White claims that "within the veil" means the first apartment in the heavenly sanctuary. As we have seen, this is not correct.

2. Ellen White claims that the priest during his daily ministry went to the altar of incense in the first apartment with the blood of the sinner. Neither this is correct. The blood from the common sinner was always poured out at the foot of the altar of burnt offering in the court. This is a plain fact everyone should find out by investigating his Bible for himself.

3. The verse in Heb. 6:20 is cut off with a period - perhaps to "support" the adventist interpretation of Christ's ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. The book "The Great Controversy" quotes, ". . .which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever." (p. 421.) But the Bible says, ". . .which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for everafter the order of Melchisedec." "The Great Controversy" puts a period after the words ". . .for ever," and omitted the words ". . .after the order of Melchisedec." Maybe this was being done because the last words in the sentence did not fit so well into the sanctuary teaching of the SDA church. However, Paul makes it completely clear that Jesus was not made a priest after the order of Aaron, but after the order of Melchisedec, and that the priesthood was changed (Heb. 7:11.) In the book "The Great Controversy" you will also find other manipulations of Scripture.

The first veil

In his book "Cast Out for the Cross of Christ", Ballenger emphazises that in the Old Testament, the entrance to the Tabernacle, into the first apartment, never is called a "veil", not to say "the veil". It is called "an hanging for the door of the tent" (Exodus 26:31-36), "the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle" (Ex. 35:15), "the hanging for the court gate" (Ex. 39:38,40), "the hanging of the door to the tabernacle" (Ex. 40: etc. It is nevercalled "veil", in contrast with the separation between the Holy and the Most Holy, which alwaysis called "veil". This phrase, "veil", which is being used 25 times in the OT, always means the veil which separates the two apartments. This is a plain "thus saith The Lord!" Why is that so hard to accept?


Some say that in the greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuagint, LXX), the entrance to the tabernacle sometimes is called "veil". To this, Ballenger comments,

"An effort has been made to weaken the force of this rigid distinction which the Hebrew Scriptures make between the two curtains, by referring to the Septuagint, which as all my brethren know, is a translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew into the Greek. It is claimed that in the Septuagint the first curtain is sometimes called a veil. This is true. And that the first curtain was a veil, both as to construction and use has never been denied. But I have contended that God had so clearly distinguished between the two curtains that when he uses the term 'within the veil' in the book of Hebrews, the reader is compelled to apply it to the holy of holies in the heavenly sanctuary. Never in the Septuagint is the first curtain called a veil except in the directions for the making and moving of the tabernacle and then only when the connection plainly shows to which curtain it is applied. To illustrate: In Ex 28:16 we have 'the veil of the gate of the court' and in Ex. 37:5 we have 'the veil of the door of the tabernacle.' Whenever the term veil appears in the Septuagint without qualification it refers to the veil separating the holy from the most holy. Never in the Septuagint is the first curtain called a veil in the book of Leviticus, which contains the law governing the sacrificial system. Never in the Septuagint is the term 'within the veil' applied to any other than the holy of holies. Lev. 16:3,12,15. Never in the Septuagint are the terms 'before the veil' and 'without the veil' applied to any other than the first apartment. Lev. 24:3." (Cast Out for the Cross of Christ.)

The veil in the New Testament

The book of Hebrews makes it plain that Jesus entered "within the veil", eg. The Most Holy at his ascension, and sat down at His Father's right hand. Adventists cannot accept this plain teaching because it doesn't square with their sanctuary teaching. In his book, Ballenger examines more closely the phrase "within the veil" in the New Testament.

"Passing from the Old Testament into the New, we find the Holy Spirit, still referring to the curtain between the holy and the most holy as 'the veil.' The Greek word translated 'veil' iskatapetasma, and it appears six times in the New Testament. The first reference is in Matt. 27:50-52, 'And Jesus when he had cried with a loud voice, yielded up the Ghost; and behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.'

"The next instance of the use of the term 'veil' in the New Testament, as applied to the sanctuary, appears in Mark 15:37,38. 'And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the Ghost: And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.'

"The third instance occurs in Luke 23:44,45, 'And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.'

"The reader will notice that the Holy Spirit in all these three instances calls the veil between the holy and the most holy places 'the veil of the temple'. . . .

"There are but three more instances where this Greek word appears in the New Testament, and all of these three instances are to be found in the book of Hebrews. And can we suppose for a moment that the Holy Spirit in the hook of Hebrews would contradict the whole testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, and its own previous testimony in the New, with this overwhelming evidence, both from the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, that the term 'veil' when used without qualification applies invariably to the curtain between the holy and the most holy, and the term 'within the veil' applies just as invariably to the most holy place, let us now read again the Scripture in Heb. 6:19: 'Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil, whither our forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.'

"I appeal again to the reader: How can I, in the face the testimony of Scripture, teach that this term refers to the first apartment? The next reference is in Heb. 9:3,

"'And after the second veil, the tabernacle, which is called the holiest of all . . .' Here, as before stated, we have the Lord calling the second curtain the 'second veil,' and by implication calling the first curtain 'the first veil.'

"And now from our study of the Old and New Testaments, which one of these veils does the Lord refer to when He uses the term 'within the veil'? Unquestionably, the second. . . .

An Appeal to the Reader

"And now I appeal to the reader: When the Holy Spirit in Heb. 6:19 tells us that Christ, our forerunner, has entered 'within the veil,' which department am I to understand is referred to by this term? Let me again call attention to the fact that the term 'within the veil' is used in Heb. 6:19 without qualification, it being taken for granted that the reader is familiar with the term, and will know without explanation to which apartment it refers. Never for a moment would the student of the Hebrew Scriptures think of applying that term to the first apartment. When we go to the Old Testament to see which apartment is referred to by the expression 'within the veil,' we find the term applied invariably to the holy of holies. How dare I, then, in the face of this overwhelming testimony of Scripture, apply the term 'within the veil,' to the first apartment, a place to which the Spirit of God never applied it?

"If I should teach that 'within the veil' applies to the first apartment, the Word of God would condemn me. When I teach that it refers to the second apartment my church condemns me. May the Lord have mercy upon me and sustain me in the trial!" (Cast Out for the Cross of Christ. Emphasis supplied.)

The Throne of God

Seventh-Day Adventists are teaching that the Throne of God was located in the first apartment in the heavenly sanctuary for 1800+ years - from the ascension of Jesus in 31 A.D, to 1844 A.D. This view creates quite a few problems. In his book, Ballenger comments upon this,

Where is the throne room?

"The next all important question is, Which apartment of the heavenly sanctuary contains the throne of God? which apartment is the 'throne room' of Jehovah? In the Mosaic sanctuary, the pattern of the true tabernacle, God's dwelling place in heaven, the throne of God abode in the second apartment. 'Let them make me a tabernacle that I may dwell among them.' Ex. 25:8. 'And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark, and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony which I shall give thee. And there will I 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 testament, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.' Ex. 25:21,23. . . .

"Those who are well informed regarding the teachings of the Seventh-Day Advent denomination will be prepared to admit that when Christ ascended, he sat down on the throne with his Father in the heavenly sanctuary; but some of these will maintain that the throne of God was moved from the holy of holies to the first apartment at that time, and there remained until 1844. However, there are a goodly number, even of ministers, who have expressed surprise when it was stated that this was the denomination's position.

"One minister who has preached the message for many years, writes as follows concerning this point:

"'I am sure there cannot be found a single line in any book, pamphlet or periodical, written by our people, that ever intimates that the throne of God ever abode in the holy place or first apartment; and I have never heard it mentioned either in public or private. . . .It is the most unscriptural position that could be taken and involves more unreasonable and absurd positions than the Sunday keeper offers for keeping Sunday. Why was one part of the sanctuary called 'the most holy place'? Was it not because that part contained the throne of God which was between the cherubim over the mercy seat under which was the constitution of the universe? Now, if the throne made that place most holy, then if it be moved into the first apartment, would it not make that apartment the most holy place?'

"For the benefit of those who desire, like the brother referred to above, a definite statement from the denomination in proof that it teaches that the throne of God was in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary at the ascension of Christ, the following is submitted:

"'When Christ commenced his ministry above, on the throne of his Father, that throne was in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary.' Looking Unto Jesus (Uriah Smith), page 134

"'Thus the scene opens with the commencement of Christ's ministry, and at that time the throne of God was in the first apartment of the sanctuary, where the antitype of the golden candlestick was seen.' (Ibid.)

"This teaching that God's throne was in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, raises some very serious questions.

The Ark and the Throne

"If the throne of God was moved into the first apartment at the ascension of Christ, did that include the ark? . .

"If this teaching of the denomination be true and the mercy seat of Exodus is a type of the throne of grace of Heb 4:16 then it must follow that if the throne of God was located in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary from the ascension of Christ to 1844; then the real ark was in the first apartment during all that time. But this does violence to the type which put the ark in the second apartment with a veil between it and the rest of the furniture of the sanctuary.

"It also does violence to the type by putting all the furniture of the heavenly sanctuary in one apartment and leaving the holy of holies empty and abandoned for eighteen centuries.

Separating the Throne from the Ark

"Some have seen the dilemma into which this teaching leads, and have tried to escape the difficulty by separating the throne of God from the ark of God, and placing the throne of God in the first apartment in the heavenly sanctuary, and leaving the ark of God in the holy of holies as represented in the type. While this relieves the situation in the one direction, it greatly complicates it in another.

"If God moved his throne from the holy of holies at the ascension of Christ, did he leave the mercy seat or throne of grace behind him in the holy of holies? And did he then minister the gospel for eighteen centuries from another seat than the mercy seat, from another throne than the throne of grace? . . .

"If the throne was moved into the first apartment and not the ark containing the law, was the gospel ministered for eighteen centuries divorced from the law? . . .

"Does the reader not see that this doctrine which moves the throne from the holy of holies into the first apartment, divorces God and his Son from the mercy seat and the law, and changes the center of God's government and gospel from the mercy-covered law in the holy of holies to the first apartment which according to the type never contained either law or mercy seat; and that for a period of eighteen hundred years? . . .

"During the last four years I have laid this difficulty before the leading men of the denomination and no one has ventured an explanation. No one has dared to say that when the throne was moved out into the first apartment the ark and law went with it; and on the other hand no one has dared to affirm that the law and mercy seat were deserted - left behind in the holy of holies, while the gospel was ministered for eighteen hundred years from a seat which was not the mercy seat and from a throne divorced from the divine law by a separating veil." (Cast Out for the Cross of Christ.)

The idea that both the Father and the Son were in the the first apartment from 31 AD to 1844 AD, comes from a vision Ellen White had in 1845,

"In February, 1845, I had a vision of events commencing with the Midnight Cry. I saw a throne and on it sat the Father and the Son. . . . And I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming Chariot go into the Holy of Holies, within the veil, and did sit. There I saw thrones that I had never seen before. Then Jesus rose up from the throne. . . .And I saw a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, and Angels were all around it as it came where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the Holiest where the Father sat." (From the Broadside, To the Little Remnant Scattered Abroad. Emphasis supplied.)

This vision has been put into the book Early Writings (pp. 54-5), but somewhat amputated. The sentence "There I saw thrones that I had never seen before," has been removed. Please note that Ellen White says that The Father rose from the throne and was carried into The Most Holy. It then becomes obvious that the throne they sat upon in the first instance, was located in the "first apartment." This whole scene, as related in the vision, takes place in the 1844-frame, and is an unbiblical teaching.

If the adventist teaching of the sanctuary has a strong biblical foundation, as they assert, then why has this teaching not created anything but problems through the years for people who have a mind of their own? We are to note that none of the leading brethren, none of the ministers who were confronted with the problems, were able to give a satisfactory answer with a "Thus saith the Lord!" Why?

Other problems

In 1905 A.F. Ballenger submitted a list containing nine propositions to the leaders of the General Conference. I want to mention three of these points.

"5. The shadow placed the death of the Lord's goat, whose blood met the penalty of the law in type, on the great day of atonement. The denominational view places the death of Christ, whose blood meets the penalty of the law, more than eighteen hundred years before the great day of atonement is supposed to begin.

"6. The shadow represents the high priest going from his ministry in the court where he obtained the blood, directly into the holy of holies on the day of atonement. (He did not stop in that first apartment; he obtained his blood, and then carried it straight through into the holy of holies.) The denominational view teaches that Christ went from His ministry in the first apartment, and not from the court, into the holy of holies, in 1844."

"8. The shadow sends the high priest directly through the first apartment into the holy of holies as soon as he has in his hands the blood of the Lord's goat, or the blood which pays the penalty of sin ... The denominational view stops our great High Priest in the first apartment when He has in his hands His own blood which pays the penalty of sin."

According to the type, the High Priest, on the Day of Atonement, obtained the blood from the Lord's goat and went immediately into the Most Holy with the atoning blood. He did not stop to perform some duty or ministry with this blood in the first apartment, but stopped just a moment to pick up a censer with burning incense, which he waved as he went "within the veil". The Seventh-Day Adventists teach however, that Jesus - after having obtained the atoning blood on Golgatha's cross, stopped up for 1800+ years in the first apartment, where he performed some kind of ministry with the atoning blood. This view does not harmonize with either Scripture or the type. In addition, Jesus was made an High Priest forever "after the order of Melchisedec" (Heb. 6:20), while the ministry performed by earthly priests in the earthly Tabernacle, was a ministry after the order of Aaron. Paul makes it clear that this Aaronic ministry was abolished. The second veil in the earthly tabernacle (Herod's temple) was rent from top to bottom when Jesus died to show that the earthly ministry - the Aaronic/Levitic priesthood - was fulfilled. When he died on the Cross, Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" No, no, the adventists assure us. It was not finished at all. "By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven." (The Great Controversy (1911), p. 489.) The Adventists have used needle and thread, mending the rent veil. After that, they moved the entire Aaronic/Levitic priesthood up to heaven itself, where they let Jesus perform his ministry with the atoning blood for 1800+ years in the first apartment. And this in spite of the Bible's plain teaching that Jesus is not a priest after the order of Aaron, but after the order of Melchisedec. (Heb. 6:20; 7:11-15.), and in spite of the Bible's plain teaching that Jesus went into the Most Holy at his ascension.

Ellen White's response to Ballenger's letter

Previous in this article, we have been reading portions of the corteous and pleading letter A.F. Ballenger wrote to Ellen White, with sound biblical arguments no one were able to refute. Neither is it easy to refute the other arguments he presents - at least not from a biblical standpoint.

Ellen White did not reply to Ballenger's letter. In stead she wrote some testimonies and letters, in which she depicted the man as if he stood in league with the devil himself,

"There is not truth in the explanations of Scripture that Elder Ballenger and those associated with him are presenting." (A.L. White, The Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, p. 409. Emphasis supplied.)

A plain "Thus saith the Lord!" was obviously not enough to Ellen White!

"I declare in the name of the Lord that the most dangerous heresies are seeking to find entrance among us as a people, and Elder Ballenger is making spoil of his own soul." (Ibid. Emphasis supplied.)

It is a very serious matter to call plain, biblical truth - a "Thus saith the Lord!" for "dangerous heresies", and condemn a man to perdition because he presented sound. biblical doctrine!

"I testify in the name of the Lord that Elder Ballenger is led by satanic agencies and spiritualistic, invisible leaders. Those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will turn away from these seducing spirits." (Manuscript 59, 1905. Manuscript Release #760, p. 4. Emphasis supplied.)

Folks, this is a very serious matter. Even the leading brethren at the General Conference could not refute Ballenger's sound, biblical arguments, and had to admit that they were unassailable from a biblical standpoint.

In this article the reader now have had the opportunity to look at the arguments for himself. It is crystal-clear that "vithin the veil" in the Bible unvariably points to the Most Holy, the second apartment. The Bible teaches that this was the place where Jesus went at his ascension. But as a consequence of that plain, biblical teaching, the foundation of the sanctuary doctrine, as teached by the Seventh-Day Adventist church, crumbles and fall. No wonder that the reaction from Ellen White was strong! She says that such a view is inspired from spiritism an satanic agencies! However, we are being forced to ask the question, Which spirit does Ellen White manifest through her statements about Ballenger? Certainly not the Spirit of God. Our loving, compassionate heavenly Father does not manifest such an attitude against honest, truth-seeking souls. But far more serious is the fact that she takes God Himself as a witness to this blatant transgression of the ninth commandment. This is to swear falsely in the name of the Lord! A very serious matter indeed! Sad to say, she had done this repeatedly every time she sent out false testimonies, false visions and false revelations in the name of the Lord: "It was shown me," "My accompanying angel said," etc. But now the matter is far more serious. Ellen White is calling a biblical truth for dangerous heresy - she makes truth to lie - and testify this in God's name! In addition she lies about Ballenger. She would have nothing more to do with him, and there is no record of Ellen White ever apologizing for her offense.

Further, she says that the sanctuary doctrine was formed by men who were under the influence of the Spirit of God, but we have seen that they made gross errors in their interpretations, and came up with things that were not in harmony with the Word of God.

It is important to note that Ellen White never came up with a single biblical argument to support her tirades, just a series of condemnations, supported by "visions". Such attitude is unforgiveable from a person who received a pleading like this,

"What I am pleading for in this letter, is, that if there be a 'thus saith the Lord' to support your statement, that, out of compassion for my soul you furnish it." (Cast Out for the Cross of Christ.)

The Scriptures and a 'thus saith the Lord' never came, just condemnations and warnings which she testified to in God's name! According to Ellen White, the man was in league with the devil himself. He would be lost. The prophetess, who admonished other people to sit down with "led astray"-brethren with Bible in hand and show them from Scripture their "errors", did not practice this admonition herself. In Ballenger's case even the leading brethren were not able to refute his arguments with Bible in hand. Obviously, neither Ellen White was able to do this. She did not produce one single verse from Scripture to refute his arguments. To the contrary she hints indirectly that we are to trust her "visions" rather than the Word of God. In cases like this, it was convenient to produce a strong "testimony" - a "thus saith the Lord" to stop what she perceived as a threat against the established teachings of the church - teachings that obviously had problems - and statements that could create some doubts about her credibility

No wonder that A.T. Jones wrote in 1905 that, after his opinion, there were no religious denominations that in their spirit resembled the Papacy more than the SDA church! (Some History, Experience and Facts, p. 24.) This is something to ponder.

In 1984, pastor Henry F. Brown, who had been a minister in the SDA church for sixty years, told that they learned that A.F. Ballenger's daughter still lived in California. At that time she was a lady in her eighties. Pastor Brown paid her a visit,

"In later years, being down in Riverside, California we learned that his daughter was still alive, a lady in her 80's. We went to visit her, a very pleasant lady, and she told us how, when they dropped him from the work, there wasn't a cent of remuneration, just left to themselves and how they wept and wondered how they would get along. He was a godly Christian until his death." (Elder H.F. Brown's Personal Testimony, Dec. 5, 1984.)

"There was no attempt of our leaders to bring one back. For instance; Elder Ballenger, with the tenderest of emotions, begged Sr. White, wrote her a letter, "Point out my difficulty. Show me where I am wrong. Help me. You once considered me a faithful brother and now you won't talk to me." She utterly ignored his plea and refused to have anything to do with him." (Ibid. Emphasis added.)

Again we are obliged to ask, What kind of spirit does Ellen White in this case manifest against a pleading brother? Certainly not the Spirit of Christ. A.F. Ballenger had committed the "grave sin" as noble Berean to ask some testing questions about the writings of Ellen G. White. She could not bear this - it would undermine her reputation as "God's prophet", and her credibility. She could never bear this. Consequently, if noble Bereans pointed out errors in her writings, they would be labeled by the prophetess as Satan's faithful instruments, led by spirits from the abyss. This is an inevitable conclusion after having investigated the available documentation about the Ballenger case. Other persons in similar situations have been experiencing the same sort of things.

The Seventh-Day Adventist church expects that what the "noble Berean" may discover in the Word of God, harmonizes with "the official teachings of the SDA church" and "Sister White". The Word of God is to be interpreted through "Sister White" - as some of the leading brethren told Ballenger. Consequently, there is no place for noble Bereans in the SDA-denomination. However, the noble Berean does not want to be an echo of others, a parrot on its perch. God has given him an independent judgement-ablity and a brain to think with, and he wants his people to make use of the abilities he has given them. But where the spirit of Papacy reigns, the noble Berean is considered a thorn in the eye, an extraneous element that has to be removed at any cost. And removed they were - with the help of Ellen White and her "testimonies". She would even resort to lies when her own credibility as "God's prophet" was at stake.

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