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Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Message and Mission - Contents
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    A. The First Angel’s Message

    The three angels’ messages (Revelation 14:6-12) were considered intimately related to events transpiring around the change in Christ’s high-priestly ministry in 1844. The first angel, however, was specifically associated with Christ’s pre-Advent judgment and the atonement.FSDA 165.2

    The question of atonement was of special missiological significance because since 1850 the mission efforts resulted in conversions among non-Adventists while there was not yet a theological formulation of the sanctuary theology allowing for pardon or forgiveness of sins during the antitypical Day of Atonement.FSDA 165.3

    1. Christ’s high-priestly ministry

    a. The pre-Advent judgment and God’s people.FSDA 165.4

    In 1850, as a result of the sanctuary theology, Christ’s heavenly ministry in the most holy place was seen as consisting of two tasks: (1) The cleansing of the sanctuary associated with the blotting out of sins; (2) the reception of His kingdom. 2See e.g., J. White, “The Sanctuary, 2300 Days, and the Shut Door,” The Present Truth, May 1850, p. 76; Bates, “Laodicean Church,” p. 8; Bates, “Midnight Cry in the Past,” RH, Dec. 1850, p. 22; J. White, “The Parable, Matthew 25:1-12,” RH, June 9, 1851, p. 101 (The Parable ... [1851], pp. 15, 16). By this time Crosier’s idea of a continued atonement during the post-Disappointment period had been accepted and Bates referred to this period as “the great day of atonement.” 1Bates, “Midnight Cry,” p. 22. Later, R. F. Cottrell stated that the first angel “announces the commencement of a period called, ‘the hour of judgment’” (“Faith in Prophecy,” RH, Sept. 3, 1867, p. 177). When the idea of the “hour of his judgment” (Revelation 14:7), which had been interpreted by Millerites as a reference to the Day of Judgment, was applied to the post-1844 period, the foundation was laid for the concept of a pre-Advent judgment. The relevance of the term “hour of his judgment” became clear through a consistent application of the topological to the functions of the high priest under the Old Covenant and those of Christ as High Priest under the New Covenant. As had earlier been done, 2See supra, p. 132, n. 173. Bates applied Exodus 28:29, “And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually,” to Christ’s high-priestly ministry implying that “he like his pattern in the type, entered the Most Holy Place, bearing upon his breastplate of Judgment the twelve tribes of the House of Israel. See Exo. 28:29, and Revelation 7:4.” 4Bates, TAS, p. 10. He remarked that in harmony with Daniel 7:9, 10, 13 and Revelation 14:6, 7 both the Father and the Son had moved to the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary “to set [sic] in judgment.” There, according to Bates, Christ as the Bridegroom, High Priest, Mediator and crowned King of Israel stood before the Father “advocating the cause of all presented on his breastplate of judgment. As Daniel sees it, the judgment is now set and the books open.” The Father, he said, was the judge who was “to decide who is, and who is not worthy to enter the gates of the holy city.” Both Bates and J. White saw the “day of judgment” as being distinct from “the hour of judgment.” J. White differed from Bates in the fact that to White the judgment testimony of the first angel “could only signify, that the period had come for this generation to be tested by the second advent truth.” There was a participation of believers in this judgment trial before the close of probation, he said, because “they bear the cutting truths of God’s word, which separates the wheat and tares ... but the work of judging to be done in the great day of judgment, and executing the ‘judgment written’ is the work of immortal saints.” The fact that in 1854 J. White also used the term “breast plate of judgment” was no evidence of a shift to a pre-Advent judgment.FSDA 165.5

    In 1854 J. White acknowledged a kind of judgment going on under the present sounding of the seventh angel (Revelation 11:15-18), but he indicated that this was distinct from the Day of Judgment, stating “that judgment has begun at the house of God, that this is, in a certain sense, a period of judgment and decision, we freely admit; but the judgment, the day of judgment, the time of the dead that they should be judged, is evidently in the future.” 1[J. White], “Seventh Angel,” p. 52.FSDA 166.1

    In 1855 Uriah Smith 2Uriah Smith (1832-1903) was a prolific writer, being editor of the RH for many years. One of the most influential publications on SDA prophetic teaching was his exposition of Daniel and Revelation. This was a good example of his ability to synthesize the thoughts of his fellow believers and other commentators into a coherent framework. defined more clearly the pre-Advent judgment. On the basis of Daniel 7:10 and Revelation 20:12 he concluded that “a record is kept of the acts of all men; and from that record, their reward is given them according to their deserts.” 3Smith, “The Cleansing of the Sanctuary,” RH, Oct. 2, 1855, pp. 52, 53. The judgment of these records as indicated by 1 Peter 4:17 and 1 Timothy 5:24, he said, “must begin at the house of God,” inferring that it had to be of “the same nature and can refer to no other work than the closing up of the ministration of the heavenly Sanctuary, hence that work must embrace the examination of individual character.” 5Ibid. He felt, therefore, that the judgment was a vital part of Christ’s sanctuary ministry, and indicated that “the lives of the children of God, not only those who are living, but all who have ever lived, whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, will during this time pass in the final review before that great tribunal.”FSDA 167.1

    Finally, in 1857 J. White had completely accepted the idea of a pre-Advent judgment and affirmed that “the 2300 days ... reached to the cleansing of the Sanctuary, or to the great day of atonement in which the sins of all who shall have part in the first resurrection will be blotted out.” 6J. White, “Judgment,” p. 100. Like his colleagues, he interpreted 1 Peter 4:17, 18 as a prophetic statement referring to the last period of God’s church during the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary. 1 Timothy 5:24 he read as follows: “Some men’s sins [the righteous] are open before hand, going before to judgment, and some men [the wicked] they follow after,” which he paraphrased by saying “some men lay open, or confess their sins, and they go to judgment while Jesus’ blood can blot them out, and the sins be remembered no more; while sins unconfessed, and unrepented of, will stand against the sinner in that great day of judgment of 1000 years.” 7Ibid. (Brackets his.) The “great day of judgment of 1000 years” signified to him the millennium. Cf. J. White, A Word to the Little Flock, 24. Additional support he found in 1 Peter 4:5-7 which showed that “the investigative judgment of the saints, dead and living, takes place prior to the second coming of Christ.” 8J. White, “Judgment,” p. 100. This may have been one of the earliest uses of the well-known term of “investigative judgment” used among SDA to distinguish the judgment of God’s people before Christ’s return from the judgment at or after the Second Advent. At first, E. G. White employed the term “judgment” 1E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 1:198. for the pre-Advent judgment but later she also used the term “investigative judgment.” 2See e.g., E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy 4:266, 307-15. Cf. E. G. White, The Great Controversy, 352, 422-29, 479-91. R. F. Cottrell 4Cottrell, “Unity of the Remnant Church,” RH, March 10, 1859, p. 125 (Unity of the Church, 1859, p.14). referred to the term “judicial judgment” which he differentiated from “the executive judgment at his coming, when his reward is with him ‘to give to every man’ according to the decisions of the judgment in the heavenly Sanctuary, previously made.”FSDA 167.2

    It was thought that the judgment of God’s people, which had begun on October 22, 1844, would first deal with the righteous dead, then with the righteous living. 5See e.g., E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 1:198. The judgment of the living was obviously considered as a very important occasion for which the Sabbatarian Adventists should be fully prepared. The Laodicean message (Revelation 3:14-20), 6In 1856 there was a shift in the ecclesiological self-understanding from the Philadelphian church to the Laodicean church. See infra, pp. 244-48. according to J. White, was “a special call to the remnant,” directing the attention of believers to a work of preparation for the imminent judgment of the living so that their sins would be blotted out before the completion of Christ’s sanctuary ministry. Their salvation depended on a total obedience to this counsel. 7J. White, “Judgment,” pp. 100, 101. Cf. E. Everts, “‘Be Zealous and Repent,’” RH, Jan. 8, 1857, p. 75; Letter, Albert Stone to Smith, RH, Jan. 29, 1857, p. 101.FSDA 168.1

    b. The pre-Advent judgment and the 1335 days.FSDA 168.2

    Additional evidence for a pre-Advent judgment was seen in the passage: “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou [Daniel] thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (Daniel 12:12, 13). Soon after the Disappointment references were made to Daniel standing in his lot in the judgment 8See supra, p. 132, n. 173. but it was not until much later that this text was employed by J. White as evidence for a pre-Advent judgment. He stated thatFSDA 168.3

    in the great day of atonement for the blotting out of sins of all of every age, the cases of patriarchs and prophets, and sleeping saints of all past ages will come up in judgment, the books will be opened, and they will be judged according to the things written in the books. It is thus, at the end of the 1335 days, [Daniel 12:13,] that DANIEL STANDS IN HIS LOT. 9J. White, “Judgment,” p. 100. (brackets his.)FSDA 168.4

    An analysis of the Hebrew word from which the word “lot” was translated and its use in Scripture led White to conclude that “Daniel does not stand in the ‘lot of his inheritance,’ as it has been expressed, at the end of the 1335 days, but he stands in his lot in the decisions of the judgment of the righteous dead.” 1Ibid. Cf. E. G. White, The Great Controversy, 488.FSDA 168.5

    The view was further developed by various others. Smith’s presentation in 1871 was one of the clearest, stating that Daniel stood in his lotFSDA 169.1

    in the person of his Advocate, our great High Priest, as he [Christ] presents the cases of the righteous for acceptance to his Father. The word here translated lot, does not mean a piece of real estate, a lot of land, but the decisions of chance, or determinations of Providence. At the end of the days, the lot, so to speak, was to be cast. In other words, a determination was to be made in reference to those who should be accounted worthy of a possession in the heavenly inheritance. And when Daniel’s case comes up for examination, he is found righteous, he stands, a place is assigned him in the heavenly Canaan. Does not the language of the psalmist have reference to this time, when he says, Psalm 1:5, “The ungodly shall not stand in the Judgment?” 2Smith, “Thoughts on the Book of Daniel,” RH, July 18, 1871, p. 37 (Thoughts ... on the Book of Daniel, 1873, pp. 370, 371). Cf. Edson, “Daniel Standing in His Lot,” RH, July 30, 1857, p. 101. In this context he defined the cleansing of the sanctuary as “the canceling and atoning for and blotting out and putting away the errors and sins of the whole Israel of God, and that this would be the judging or judgment of the house of God, or in other words, it would be the time when all Israel would stand in their lot, when all Israel should be judged and acquitted and divine providence would determine and award to them eternal life” (ibid.).FSDA 169.2

    Already in 1850 E. G. White had written that “the 1335 days were ended,” 3Letter, E. G. White to the Church in Hastings’ House, No. 28, 1850. without specifying the time of their completion. J. White thought the evidence was “conclusive that the 1335 days ended with the 2300, with the Midnight Cry in 1844.” 4J. White, “Judgment,” p. 100. For his earlier position, see supra, p. 132, n. 173. For arguments on the end of the 1335 days, see supra, pp. 39, 40. He felt he could not assign a later date thinking that no prophetic periods were to extend beyond October 22, 1844 because of the expression “that there should be time no longer” (Revelation 10:6). 6J. White, “Judgment,” p. 100. He concluded, therefore, that “the judgment of the righteous dead commenced at that time, and has been progressing more than twelve years.”FSDA 169.3

    Not everyone agreed that the 1335 days had terminated in 1844. A few years later Smith made an attempt to preserve the Millerite chronology on the relationship between the commencement of the 1290 days of Daniel 12:11 and the 1335 days 7See supra, pp. 39, 40; [Smith], “Synopsis of the Present Truth,” No. 12, RH, Jan. 28, 1858, pp. 92, 93; [Smith], “The 1335 Days,” RH, Feb. 27, 1866, p. 100, [Smith], “The Daily and Abomination of Desolation,” RH, April 3, 1866, p. 139. so that both periods would commence in 508 A.D. with the termination of the 1290 days in 1798 and the 1335 days in 1843. 8[Smith], “Synopsis,” No. 12, pp. 92, 93. Cf. supra, pp. 39, 40.FSDA 169.4

    Because of the fact that the 2300 days ended in 1844, the question arose as to the “blessing” that was to mark the termination of the 1335 days in 1843. Smith placed the “blessing” in the setting of “the great proclamation of the near coming of Christ,” stating thatFSDA 170.1

    the new and stirring doctrine of the setting up of God’s kingdom, was shaking the world. New life was being imparted to the people of God.... A Spirit of revival was awakened, unknown since the days of the Great Reformation. And thousands can testify to the blessing they received, and the infinite gratitude of heart with which they hailed, the newly-risen and glorious light. 1[Smith], “The 1335 days,” p. 100.FSDA 170.2

    Later he paraphrased the “blessing” by pointing out that “about the year 1843, there was a grand culmination of all the light that had been shed on prophetic subjects up to that time. The proclamation went forth in power.” 2Smith, “Daniel,” pp. 36, 37 (Daniel, 367, 368). To anyone who questioned whether these events were the blessing of Daniel 12:12, he remarked, “Listen to the Saviour’s words: ‘Blessed are your eyes,’ said he to his disciples, ‘for they see; and your ears, for they hear.’ Matthew 13:16. And again he told his followers that prophets and kings had desired to see the things which they saw, and had not seen them. But ‘blessed,’ said he to them, ‘are the eyes which see the things ye see.’ Luke 10:23, 24. If a new and glorious truth was a blessing in the days of Christ to those who received it, why not equally so in A.D. 1843?” (ibid., p. 37; [Daniel, 367, 368]). Cf. [Smith], “The 1335 Days,” p. 100.FSDA 170.3

    Thus, in order to harmonize Daniel 12:11-13 with Christ’s ministry after 1844, the passage was interpreted in the light of the pre-Advent judgment while retaining the Millerite calculation of terminating the 1335 days in 1843. This interpretation of Daniel 12:13 affirmed the idea of a pre-Advent judgment, for it was after 1843 that the time would arrive for Daniel, as part of God’s people, to stand in the pre-Advent judgment which was to begin in 1844.FSDA 170.4

    c. The pre-Advent judgment and the atonement.FSDA 170.5

    Since the beginning of 1850 the mission of Sabbatarian Adventists had resulted in the conversion of various non-Adventists through the contents of the proclamation of the three angels’ messages. The possibility of their salvation was principally based on the argument of “ignorance” which implied that they had not rejected the Advent doctrine because it was not fully understood. They, therefore, had not grieved the Holy Spirit and closed their individual probation. Yet, at the same time, there was the important influence of Crosier’s sanctuary theology which advocated a continued atonement but interpreted Christ’s ministry before 1844 as an atoning ministry for the forgiveness of sins for mankind, and after 1844 as an atoning ministry for the blotting out of sins for the house of Israel. Two attempts were made to reconcile the sanctuary theology with the phenomenon of non-Adventists joining the Sabbatarian Adventists. The first attempt came through the “breastplate of judgment” concept which permitted those ignorant of the Advent doctrine in 1844 to enter the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to receive the benefits of Christ’s intercessory ministry before the Father. The concept was based on the assumption that the names of these individuals had already been written on the breastplate of the High Priest before October 22, 1844. When the transition in Christ’s ministry occurred, they were assured of His continual mercy because of their presence on His breastplate. This implied, according to Edson, that “all who were borne in on the breast plate of judgment, and have not sinned wilfully, may repent and find forgiveness.” 1Edson, “Appeal,” p. 3. See supra, p. 160. The second attempt came through an analysis of the sacrifices offered on the Day of Atonement and their antitypical significance which revealed that on that specific day besides the blotting out of sins there was an opportunity for forgiveness of sins. Edson commented that “in the type, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the daily, the morning and evening sacrifice, and other offerings for the forgiveness of sins were kept up. See Numbers 29:7-11.” 2Ibid. This signified the possibility of forgiveness of sins during the antitypical Day of Atonement. Thus in 1850 there was, at least in the mind of Edson, a theological breakthrough of the limited soteriology of the sanctuary theology. One should add that it was especially the mission praxis which forced Sabbatarian Adventists to define more specifically the implications of a continued atonement for non-Adventists.FSDA 170.6

    In 1853 Andrews provided the first extensive exposition on the possibility of forgiveness of sins in the context of the sanctuary theology. Analyzing the function of the blood shed on the typical Day of Atonement, he stated that it was offered for two purposes: “1. ‘To make an atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins.’ 2. To cleanse, or ‘make an atonement for the holy sanctuary.’” 3Andrews, “Sanctuary,” p. 146 (Sanctuary, p. 57). From Leviticus 16 he concluded thatFSDA 171.1

    in the most holy place, blood was offered for the sins of the people to make an atonement for them. Verses 5, 9, 15, 17, 30, 33, 34; Hebrews 9:7.... the two holy places of the sanctuary, and also the altar of incense were on this day cleansed from the sins of the people, which ... had through the year been born[e] into the sanctuary and sprinkled upon it. Verses 16, 18-20, 33; Exodus 30:10. 4Ibid., p. 146 (Sanctuary, p. 58).FSDA 171.2

    The implications for the antitypical Day of Atonement, according to Andrews, were that “our High Priest stands by the MERCY-SEAT (the top of the ark,) and there he offers his blood, not merely for the cleansing of the sanctuary, but also for the pardon of iniquity and transgression.” 5Ibid., p. 148 (Sanctuary, p. 71). Cf. Smith, “The Sanctuary,” RH, April 4, 1854, p. 84 (Sanctuary, p. 23). This meant to him an “open door in the heavenly sanctuary [Revelation 3:7, 8, Isaiah 22:22-25],” to which he invited “those to come for pardon and salvation, who have not sinned away the day of grace.” 6Andrews, “Sanctuary,” p. 148 (Sanctuary, p. 71). (Brackets his.) Cf. Smith, “Sanctuary,” p. 84 (Sanctuary, p. 23). He said also that Christ “is now performing his last ministration for a fallen world” (ibid.). This exposition signified the end of the limited soteriology, which confined Christ’s post-1844 ministry to blotting out of sins, and was immediately published in pamphlet form and recommended as “the best work that has been published on present truth.” 1[J. White], “Bro. Andrews’ Work on the Sanctuary,” RH, March 31, 1853, p. 184.FSDA 171.3

    Two years later (1855), Smith and Andrews provided additional support for the possibility of pardon or forgiveness of sins on the antitypical Day of Atonement. The blood of Christ, Smith said, was ministered in both apartments of the heavenly sanctuary, and as long as this was the case “mankind” had the “privilege to avail themselves of the merits of his blood by faith in him [Christ].” 2Smith, “Cleansing of the Sanctuary,” p. 54. He added that “while Christ exercises the office of Priest he is a mediator between God and man, and those who will come unto him may avail themselves of his mediation. He is Priest in the second apartment as well as the first. If we confess our sins, he is yet ‘faithful and just to forgive us our sins.’” 3Ibid. Andrews indicated that the two-fold nature of Christ’s work in the most holy place-the cleansing of the sanctuary and the forgiveness of the sins of God’s people-is taking place simultaneously, stating that “the sins of the whole church for 6000 years may be disposed of as individual cases, and all the while that the great work is being accomplished, the blood of Jesus still may avail for us in the presence of God.” 5Macknight, Apostolic Epistles, pp. 555, 556. James Macknight (1721-1800) was a Presbyterian divine and Bible critic. He studied at the Universities of Glasgow and Leiden. The complete translation of the “Apostolic Epistles” was published in 1795. His text was reprinted several times in Britain and the U.S.A. He argued on the basis of the James Macknight translation of Hebrews 10:19, “Well then, brethren, having boldness in the entrance of the holy places, by the blood of Jesus,” that “the blood of Jesus avails for us in both the holy places of the heavenly tabernacle,” indicating a “complete refutation of the doctrine that probation closes with our Lord’s entrance within the second vail.”FSDA 172.1

    The theme of forgiveness was further worked out by another SDA leader, J. H. Loughborough, 7John N. Loughborough (1832-1924) was a preacher among Adventists for three years before he accepted the third angel’s message in 1852. He served as a pioneer missionary, administrator, and writer. He was the author of Rise and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists ... , 1892, the first general SDA history. in 1865. He saw evidences of continual intercession and mercy on the typical Day of Atonement with post-1844 implications in the fact that on that day other offerings were offered (e.g. the continual burnt offering) besides the offering of blood to cleanse the sanctuary which required the service of the priests and high priest. 1Loughborough, “Thoughts on the Day of Atonement,” RH, Aug. 15, 1865, p. 82. He also remarked that “we would not understand from the fact that an offering was made after the work of blotting out sins in the type [Leviticus 26:23, 24], that there is to be mercy after Christ has completed the work of blotting out sins, but this shows in the clearest manner that the entire day of atonement in the type was a day in which pardon for sins might be found” (ibid.). Textual evidence for the continual burnt offering was Numbers 29:7-11; Leviticus 6:12, 13; 16:3, 5; Exodus 29:38-42 (ibid.). He remarked that these other sacrifices made on the Day of Atonement “meet their antitype in that consecration to God, and devotion to his cause, which must now be manifest on the part of those seeking an interest in the atonement of Christ our High Priest.” 2Ibid. As additional evidence for forgiveness of sins on that special day he pointed to Leviticus 23:29; 16:33, suggesting that an atonement “was made for the entire congregation which availed in the case of every individual who afflicted his soul,” and to Leviticus 16:18-20, indicating that the cleansing of the altar represented the removal of sins placed upon it during the Day of Atonement. 3Ibid.FSDA 172.2

    It was not until 1858 that E. G. White made any statement in reference to an atonement in connection with Christ’s ministry after 1844. She employed the terms “special atonement” and “final atonement.” The term “special atonement” seems to refer to an atonement specifically related to the pre-Advent judgment. She pointed to the necessity of Jesus’ entering into “the Most Holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary to cleanse it; to make a special atonement for Israel, and to receive the kingdom of his Father, and then return to earth and take them to dwell with him forever.” 4E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 1:149. It was in 1844, she said, that Jesus “had gone to cleanse the Sanctuary, and to make a special atonement for Israel.” 5Ibid., p. 158. The term “final atonement” seems to include the whole atoning ministry of Christ after 1844. She remarked that Jesus entered “the Most Holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by his mediation, and to cleanse the Sanctuary.” 7E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 1:163. She indicated that now He made “his final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers, and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living.” Here she added the new perspective that “Jesus makes an atonement for those who died, not receiving the light upon God’s commandments, who sinned ignorantly.” 1Ibid. During His ministry, she said, when there was “the atoning blood to cleanse from sin and pollution,” 2Ibid., III, 1864, p. 134. the judgment of the righteous dead was going on, and was to be followed by that of the righteous living. 4Ibid. At the end of the antitypical Day of Atonement “Jesus had blotted out the sins of his people. He had received his kingdom, and the atonement had been made for the subjects of his kingdom.” E. G. White’s term “final atonement” could be equated with her term “final intercession,” for this intercession was designated as an atonement. The final atonement, therefore, was an atonement dealing with the righteous living and the righteous dead. In view of the new formulations of the pre-Advent judgment and Christ’s atoning ministry of forgiveness and blotting out of sins, the significance of the “final atonement” could be described as follows: (1) It provided an atonement for the forgiveness of sins “for all those for whom mercy still lingers,” implying a continuation of Christ’s pre-1844 ministry; (2) it provided a special atonement for the pre-Advent judgment which included three atoning phases: (a) pardon or forgiveness of sins “for those who died, not receiving the light upon God’s commandments, who sinned ignorantly”; (b) blotting out of the sins of the righteous dead; (c) blotting out of the sins of the righteous living. Thus, she confirmed both the ideas of a pre-Advent judgment and the continual availability of mercy for pardon through the intercession of Christ.FSDA 173.1

    Not all her comments on the atonement seem to pertain to the post-1844 period. In 1858 she remarked that after the Crucifixion, when “the great Sacrifice had been offered,” the Holy Spirit directed the attention of the disciples to the heavenly sanctuary “where Jesus had entered by his own blood, and shed upon his disciples the benefits of his atonement.” 6E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 1:170. Cf. Spiritual Gifts 4a:149, 1864. At that time various views on the atonement circulated among believers. It seems likely that those who applied the concept of the atonement exclusively to Christ’s sanctuary ministry 7See supra, p. 128. Because of the influence of Crosier’s sanctuary doctrine it can be assumed that many would adhere to this view. There developed a trend which seems to limit the atonement to the cleansing of the sanctuary; see e.g., The Bible Student’s Assistant: or A Compend of Scripture References, 1858, p. 11; Waggoner, “The Atonement-Part II,” RH, Nov. 17 and 24, 1863, pp. 197, 206 (The Atonement ... , 1868, pp. 103-12; 2nd ed., 1872, pp. 109-18); A Declaration of the Fundamental Principles ... , 1872 (Appendix II, Principle II). Cf. Smith, The Sanctuary and the Twenty-Three Hundred Days of Daniel 8:14, 1877, pp. 179-85; A Brief Sketch of ... the Seventh-day Adventists, 1888, p. 41. would interpret her remark as a reference to His atonement in the heavenly sanctuary. Other believers who included Christ’s death on the cross as a significant aspect of the atonement 1This aspect of the atonement was advocated in Andrews, “The Perpetuity of the Law of God,” RH, Jan. and Feb. 1851, pp. 34, 35, 41 (Thoughts on the Sabbath ... , 1851, pp. 10, 16 25); J. M. Stephenson, “The Atonement,” RH, Aug. 22, Oct. 31, Nov. 21, Dec. 5, 1854, pp. 9, 90-91, 114, 123 (The Atonement, 1854, pp. 3-5, 93-97, 150-56, 181-86), Snook, Review of W. G. Springer ..., 1860, pp. 87, 88; Moses Hull, “The Two Laws, and Two Covenants,” RH, May 13, 1862, p. 189 (The Two Laws ..., 1862, p. 27). Stephenson’s book was highly recommended for a number of years. See [J. White], “New Works,” RH, Dec. 19, 1854, p. 144; RH, 1855-57. might have interpreted her remark as a reference to Christ’s atonement on the cross. 2Against the background of a charge that SDA were “minimizing the atoning sacrifice completed on the cross, reducing it to an incomplete or partial atonement that must be supplemented by Christ’s priestly ministry,” several commentators interpreted her term “his atonement” in the light of her later comments as being Christ’s sacrificial atonement on the cross which was followed by His heavenly ministry during which “the benefits” of this sacrificial atonement were applied. Thus it was felt that her remark supported the view that “Christ is now making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross” (Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine ..., 1957, pp. 349, 355, 661-64). For early references to the term “atoning sacrifice,” see e.g., Stephenson, “Atonement,” RH, Nov. 21, 1854, p. 114 (Atonement, pp. 150-56); [Andrews], “Christ As an Atoning Sacrifice,” RH, Oct. 5, 1860, p. 120; Andrews, Sermons on the Sabbath and Law ... , 1869, p. 94. This term was frequently used by E. G. White after 1876. One of the first instances in which E. G. White clearly referred to the atonement as Christ’s death was in 1864, when the term “atonement” was used to describe Jesus’ offer “as a sacrifice for man, to take their guilt and punishment upon himself, and redeem them from death by dying in their place, and thus pay the ransom.” 4E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 3:228. She also indicated that the deliverance of Israel from Egypt “was typical of the great atonement which Christ made by the sacrifice of his own life for the final deliverance of his people,” and stated that “the sacrifices which they [Jews] performed under the law were typical of the Lamb of God, and illustrated his great atonement.” In 1869 she seems to refer to Christ’s afflictions and death on the cross as “the great work of the atonement” and “the atonement,” though the context of these terms suggests that the atonement could include every aspect of Christ’s sufferings throughout salvation history.FSDA 174.1

    From these sources one discovers that E. G. White supported the developments of the pre-Advent judgment in the sanctuary theology. Her remarks on Christ’s post-1844 ministry were qualified by terms like “special” and “final” atonement, and by 1864 it was clear that she did not support Crosier’s idea that the atonement began after Christ’s ascension when He commenced His high-priestly ministry. By introducing terms like “the atonement,” “the great atonement,” and “the great work of the atonement” to include Christ’s death she stimulated a development toward a broader view of the atonement. It took, however, decades before her view was accepted by the main body of believers. E. G. White’s concept of atonement, depending on the context, could refer to Christ’s death on the cross, His sanctuary ministry, or both. The “special” and “final” atonement could be interpreted as a “special” and “final” benefit of the atonement for mankind through Christ’s death on the cross and high-priestly ministry in the sanctuary. The “special atonement” referred to Christ’s atonement during the pre-Advent judgment, the “final atonement” to both the “special atonement” and His atonement for pardon or forgiveness of sins. In this context the function of the pre-Advent judgment seems to be an agency in determining who is eligible for receiving the “special atonement.”FSDA 175.1

    d. The relational significance of Daniel 8 and Daniel 9.FSDA 176.1

    The calculation of the 2300 days as expounded by the Seventh Month movement 1See supra, pp. 93-95. remained the standard interpretation among the Sabbatarian Adventists. In 1850 J. White emphatically stated “THE 2300 DAYS-this prophetic period has been, and still is, the main pillar of the Advent faith,” 2J. White, “Our Present Position,” RH, Dec. 1850, p. 13. Cf. J. White, “Parable,” p. 100 (Parable, p. 12); E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy 4:258. which signified, as it did to the Millerites, that this “pillar” was based on the presupposition that Daniel 9:24-27 was the key to an understanding of Daniel 8:14, implying that both the 70 weeks and the 2300 days had a common starting point: 457 B.C. as the seventh year of Artaxerxes. 4J. White, “Present Position,” p. 14; “Lecture on Chronology,” AH, March 2, 1850, p. 36. See supra, p. 94, n. 96. Commenting on the accuracy of the 457 B.C. date, J. White said, “it is by the Canon of PTOLEMY that the great prophetical period of seventy weeks is fixed. This Canon places the seventh year of ARTAXERXES in the year B.C. 457; and the accuracy of the Canon is demonstrated by the concurrent agreement of more than twenty eclipses.” Among SDA the year of Christ’s death never had the importance in calculating the termination of the 2300 days that it had among the Millerites.FSDA 176.2

    Referring to the significance of Daniel 9:20-27 for Daniel 8:14, Andrews pointed out that the 70 weeks indicated how much of the 2300 days pertained to the earthly sanctuary ministry. 6Andrews, “Temple in Heaven,” p. 115. The reference to the anointing of “the most holy” (Daniel 9:24), he said, signified “the heavenly sanctuary receiving its consecration preparatory to the priesthood of Christ therein,” and indicated that “at the very point where the earthly sanctuary ceases to be the subject of prophecy, the heavenly sanctuary is introduced, and with it the prophecy is filled out.” 1Ibid. See supra, p. 87, n. 57. The contribution of Daniel 8 and Daniel 9 to the understanding of the different phases of Christ’s high-priestly ministry was expressed by J. White in the following words: “As the ministration in the holy place of the temple in Heaven began immediately after the end of the typical system, at the close of the sixty-nine and a half weeks, Daniel 9:27, so the ministration in the holiest of all, in the heavenly sanctuary, begins with the termination of the 2300 days.” 2J. White, “Faith and Hope,” RH, March 22, 1870, p. 105 (Sermons, p. 164).FSDA 176.3

    2. The identification of the first angel with the angel of Revelation 10

    In the preceding years many Adventists had realized the special relationship of the angel of Revelation 10 to the angel of Revelation 14:6, 7. 3Edson, “The Commandments of God ...,” RH, Sept. 2, 1852, p. 65. The chapters of Revelation 9 and Revelation 10:1 were seen as a chronological sequence of salvation-historical events, for it was thought that only after the termination of “the second woe,” which terminated with the end of the political domination of the Ottoman empire on August 11, 1840, the angel of Revelation 10 descended from heaven to proclaim the message of Revelation 14:6, 7. 4Cf. e.g., Andrews, “TAR,” p. 169 (TAR, p. 20). Andrews remarked that “the angel of Chap. 10, preaches from this little book [Revelation 10:2], and it is this prophecy of Daniel [Daniel 8:14] that contains the prophetic time on which the angel of Revelation 14:6, bases his proclamation.” 6Smith, “Thoughts on the Revelation,” RH, Oct. 21, 1862, p. 164, p. 164 (Thoughts ... on the Book of Revelation, 1865, pp. 179, 180). Smith suggested the following arguments that the two angels were identical: (1) They both proclaimed a special message; (2) they did it with a loud voice; (3) they used similar language in referring to the Creator; (4) they proclaimed time: the one, that time shall be no more, and the other that the hour of God’s judgment has come.FSDA 177.1

    This identification provided believers with another argument of seeing the Advent movement in the light of a successive series of events in salvation history. No wonder this awareness was an additional stimulus to their self-image and especially important in view of the fact that witnessing about their past experience was an integral part of their present mission.FSDA 177.2

    3. The first angel and mission

    During the 1850s many Sabbatarian Adventists still adhered to the Millerite view that the proclamation of the “everlasting gospel” of the first angel’s message (1840-44) had been fulfilled in the proclaiming of “the gospel of the kingdom” (Mt. 24:14). 7E.g., J. White, “Signs of the Times,” RH, Sept. 8, 1853, p. 70 (The Signs of the Times, 1853, p. 90); Andrews, “TAR,” p. 169 (TAR, p. 21); [J. White], “Signs of the Times,” RH, Oct. 1, 1857, p. 169. Although arguments for this position were taken from Millerite literature and did not contribute new insights, the interpretation of Mt. 24:14 as a fulfilled sign of the times continued to focus attention on the imminent return of Christ.FSDA 177.3

    In harmony with this view of the first angel and the current idea that the three angels represented successive periods in salvation history, J. White interpreted the first angel in 1850 as the “last mission of mercy to the world” given by the Millerites, 1J. White, “TAM,” p. 65 (TAM, p. 3). and stated that “it closed up for the world more than six years since,” 2J. White, “Present Position,” p. 14. indicating that its relevance was in the past. He felt, however, that the “everlasting gospel” (Revelation 14:6) still had significance for the few non-Adventists who joined the Sabbatarian Adventists at that time, explaining that it “has not lost its power to affect the hearts of those who are still within the reach of mercy, and salvation; but that it has ceased to arouse any more men to repentance as in 1843, no sane man will deny.” 4Andrews, “Thoughts on Revelation XIII and XIV,” AH, May 19, 1851, p. 81. In referring to Revelation 14:6, 7 as a major event in the past, Andrews remarked that “the world and church have been tested by this great truth.... It has tested the present generation as the great truths of the first advent tested the people of that time,” indicating that the burden of the message of the first angel was in the past.FSDA 178.1

    It was E. G. White who called attention to the continued relevance of the first angel’s message for missionary outreach because she felt it was essential for an explanation of their present position. 6She said that “such subjects as the Sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement, show what is our present position, and establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell” (CEV, p. 51 [Early Writings, 63]). Said she, “the burden of the message should be the first, second, and third angels’ messages, and those who had any hope in God would yield to the force of that truth.” 7E. G. White, Manuscript 11, 1850. Even in the missionary approach to Seventh Day Baptists the need was seen to provide background information of the first and second angels’ messages. 9E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 1:165, 166. A few years later E. G. White stated that the three angels’ messages formed a “perfect chain of truth” and that non-Adventists would embrace them in their order, and follow “Jesus by faith into the heavenly Sanctuary. These messages were represented to me as an anchor to hold the body.”FSDA 178.2

    The developments in the understanding of the first angel’s message in the light of Christ’s high-priestly ministry and increasing mission work among non-Adventists added to the importance of the message and made it an indispensable prerequisite for a comprehension of the significance of the third angel’s message and the SDA theology of mission.FSDA 178.3

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