G. White -- the Myth and the Truth
by Å. Kaspersen
-The Ballenger case
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
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
"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
"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.
"'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.'
"'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.'
"'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
"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.
40:184.108.40.206.26.28) 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
"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
"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
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,
"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
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
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