Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14
Vol. 9, No. 1 Straight and Narrow January 2000
Where We Stand
It seems very difficult to believe that this issue begins the ninth year of publication of Old Paths. Eight years ago we had hoped that the Lords return would have been a reality before the year 2000. We are not discouraged because of the seeming delay . Paul could write in his time, And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11) Brethren, if there was ever a time that this verse applies, it is today.
When we began publishing, every wind of doctrine was blowing in Adventism. Today, the intensity of that wind is greater than ever! It was our desire to print in clear, unmistakable tones, the truths of the three angels messages that God entrusted to His people. The name Old Paths was chosen to represent our desire to present the great truths that God delivered to the Advent people shortly after 1844 and to encourage Adventists today to walk in those truths because they are the good way and will bring rest for their souls. (See Jeremiah 6:16.)
We believe that God gave our people a solid foundation that need not be moved. That which the Holy Spirit testified to as truth after the passing of the time, in our great disappointment, is the solid foundation of truth. Pillars of truth were revealed, and we accepted the foundation principles that have made us what we areSeventh-day Adventists, keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus. (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 58)
One of these great pillars of truth is the sanctuary doctrine. Sadly, some brethren we know see no need for this truth as it has been understood, and some even believe it must be discarded. We wish to make our position crystal clear. While we love these brethren, we cannot agree with this giving up of the truth. The editors of Old Paths and those of Smyrna Gospel Ministries wish to state with great unanimity that we believe Daniel 8:14 reaches to 1844; that there is a two apartment heavenly sanctuary; and that the work of Christ is a work of atonement.
While discussing this article with Brother David Clayton of Jamaica, he asked if his name could be attached as well, signifying that he too stood by the landmarks of truth, so that no one who reads this paper would need to doubt his position either.
It is not our desire to single out any individual or attack anyone. We have no desire to try to produce a list of names that disagree with us. However, the favor of the Lord is far more important than the favor of man and we wish there to be no mistaking where we stand.
point we wish to be clear on, that is related to and directly affected by what
we teach, is the subject of financial support. We wish no one to feel in any
manner obligated to continue to support what he or she cannot agree with. If any
have made financial commitments to help this ministry, but are not at ease with
the truths we stand for, then we would wish for all such persons to be released
from their commitments and to be at perfect liberty to follow their conscience
as they believe the Lord would direct them.
Recently some questions concerning financial support have come to our attention which we wish to address.
Those who wish to support this publication and its editors may send funds to Smyrna Gospel Ministries as they are led by the Holy Spirit. While we have endeavored to work closely with other ministries and ministers, our goal is not to be a distribution center for funds to others.
By Gods grace, we have helped some ministries and ministers in the past. This we will continue to do as the Lord leads. However, if you wish to support someone not directly connected to Smyrna Gospel Ministries, you should send your help directly to those parties where possible. We make this request so that there will be no confusion and that all funds sent here will be faithfully used as requested. ?
The Nature Of Christ
By A. T. Jones
And the Word was made flesh. (John 1:14)
When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman. (Galatians 4:4)
And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
We have seen that, in His being made of a woman, Christ reached sin at the very fountain head of its entrance into this world; and that He must be made of a woman to do this.
And thus all the sin of this world, from its origin in the world to the end of it in the world, was laid upon Him: both sin as it is in itself and sin as it is when committed by us; sin in its tendency, and sin in the act; sin as it is hereditary in us, uncommitted by us, and sin as it is committed by us.
Only thus could it be that there should be laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. Only by His subjecting himself to the law of heredity could He reach beyond the generation living in the world while He was here. Without this there could not be laid upon Him our sins which have been actually committed, with the guilt and condemnation that belong to them. But, beyond this there is in each person, in many ways the liability to sin, inherited from generations back, which has not yet culminated in the act of sinning, but which is ever ready, when occasion offers, to blaze forth in the actual committing of sins. Davids great sin is an illustration of this. (Psalm 51:5; 2 Samuel 11:2)
In delivering us from sin, it is not enough that we shall be saved from the sins that we have actually committed; we must be saved from committing other sins. And that this may be so, there must be met and subdued this hereditary liability to sin: we must become possessed of power to keep us from sinninga power to conquer this liability, this hereditary tendency that is in us, to sin.
All our sins which we have actually committed were laid upon Him, were imputed to Him, so that His righteousness may be laid upon us, may be imputed to us. And also our liability to sin was laid upon Him, in His being made flesh, in His being born of a woman, of the same flesh and blood as we are.
Thus He met sin in the flesh which He took, and triumphed over it, as it is written: God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin IN THE FLESH. (Romans 8:3) And again: He is our peace, having abolished in His flesh the enmity. (Ephesians 2:14, 15)
And thus, just as our sins actually committed were imputed to Him, that His righteousness might be imputed to us; so His meeting and conquering, in the flesh, the liability to sin, and in that same flesh manifesting righteousness, enables us in Him, and Him in us, to meet and conquer in the flesh this same liability to sin, and to manifest righteousness in the same flesh.
And thus it is that for the sins which we have actually committed, for the sins that are past, His righteousness is imputed to us, as our sins are imputed to Him. And to keep us from sinning, His righteousness is imparted to us in our flesh, as our flesh, with its liability to sin, was imparted to Him.
Thus He is the complete Saviour: He saves from all the sins that we have actually committed, and saves equally from all the sins that we might commit, dwelling apart from Him.
If He took not the same flesh and blood that the children of men have, with its liability to sin, then where could there be any philosophy or reason of any kind whatever in His genealogy as given in the Scriptures? He was descended from David; He was descended from Abraham; He was descended from Adam; and, by being made of a woman, He reached even back of Adam, to the beginning of sin in the world.
In that genealogy there are Jehoiakim, who for his wickedness was buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 22:19); Manasseh, who caused Judah to do worse than the heathen (2 Chronicles 33:9); Ahaz, who made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord (2 Chronicles 28:19) Rehoboam, who was born of Solomon after Solomon turned from the Lord; Solomon who was born of David and Bathsheba; there are also Ruth the Moabitess, and Rahab as well as Abraham, Isaac, Jesse, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah; the worst equally with the best. And the evil deeds of even the best are recorded equally with the good. And there is hardly one whose life is written upon at all of whom there is not some wrong act recorded.
Now it was at the end of such a genealogy as that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. It was at the end of such a genealogy as that that He was made of a woman. It was in such a line of descent as that that God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. And such a descent, such a genealogy, meant something to Him, as it does to every other man, under the great law that the iniquities of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations. It meant everything to Him in the terrible temptations in the wilderness of temptation, as well as all the way through His life in the flesh.
Thus both by heredity and by imputation, He was laden with the sins of the world. And, thus laden, at this immense disadvantage, He passed over the ground where, at no shadow of any disadvantage, whatever, the first pair failed.
By His death He paid the penalty of all sins actually committed, and thus can justly bestow His righteousness upon all who will receive it. And by condemning sin in the flesh, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, He delivers from the law of heredity; and so can, in righteousness, impart His divine nature and power to lift above that law, and hold above it, every soul that will receive Him.
And so it was written: When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4) And God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for [on account of] sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:3, 4) And He is our peace, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, for to make in Himself of twain [God and man] one new man, so making peace. (Ephesians 2:14, 15)
Thus in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:17, 18)
Whether temptation be from within or from without, He is the perfect shield against it all, and so saves to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. ?
(The Faith of Jesus, by A. T. Jones, found in Miscellaneous Materials by A. T. Jones on the Adventist Pioneer Library CD-Rom.)
Update on $1,000 Reward
The August, 1999, issue of Old Paths carried an article about some incorrect accusations which had been made by Pilgrims Rest publications concerning the book Did They Believe in the Trinity? written by Brother Beachy. Those accusations were that the book taught that our Lord Jesus Christ was a created being and that there was no Holy Spirit. Since this is not at all what the book teaches nor what we believe, we offered a $1,000 reward to the first person who could produce a quotation from the book positively teaching either of these doctrines. At the time of the writing, the publisher at Pilgrims Rest who made the accusations was being sent Old Paths and we made sure that his August issue was correctly addressed.
To date, (December 12, 1999) there have been no offers to collect the money from Pilgrims Rest nor from any others. The reason is, of course, that the book in question was falsely accused and the evidence could not be produced.
Ironically, we received a postcard from the publisher of Pilgrims Rest postmarked October 27, 1999, which stated in part, You may drop our name from your mailing list for your publication Old Paths.
Watch and Pray
Take ye heed, watch and pray, were the words of our Saviour spoken in reference to the time of the end, and His second coming to take his faithful children home.
First, you are to watch. Watch, lest you should speak hastily, fretfully and impatiently. Watch, lest pride should find a place in your heart. Watch, lest evil passions should overcome you, instead of your subduing them. Watch, lest a careless, indifferent spirit comes upon you, and you neglect your duty and become light and trifling, and your influence savor of death, rather than life.
Second, you are to pray. Jesus would not have enjoined this upon you, unless there was actual necessity for it. It is well known to Him that of yourself you cannot overcome the many temptations of the enemy, and the many snares laid for your feet. He has not left you alone to do this; but has provided a way that you can obtain help. Therefore He has bid you to pray.
To pray aright, is to ask God in faith for the very things you need. Go to your chamber, or in some retired place, and ask your Father for Jesus sake to help you. There is power in that prayer that is sent up from a heart convinced of its own weakness, yet earnestly longing for that strength that comes from God. The earnest, fervent prayer will be heard and answered. Go to your God who is strong, and who loves to hear children pray, and, although you may feel very weak, and find yourself at times overcome by the enemy, because you have neglected the first command of our Saviour, to watch, yet do not give up the struggle. Make stronger efforts yourself than before. Faint not. Cast yourself at the feet of Jesus, who has been tempted, and knows how to help such as are tempted. Confess your faults, your weakness, and that you must have help to overcome, or you perish. And as you ask, you must believe that God hears you. Plead your case before God, through Jesus, until your soul can with confidence rely upon Him for strength, and you feel that you are not left to do the work of overcoming alone. God will help you. Angels will watch over you.
But before you can expect this help, you must do what you can on your part. Watch and pray. Let your prayers be fervent. Let this be the language of your heart, I will not let thee go unless thou bless me. Have a set time, a special season for prayer at least three times a day. Morning, noon, and at night Daniel prayed to his God, notwithstanding the kings decree, and the fearful den of lions. He was not ashamed, or afraid to pray, but with his windows opened he prayed three times a day. Did God forget his faithful servant when he was cast into the lions den? O, No. He was with him there all night. He closed the mouths of these hungry lions, and they could not hurt the praying man of God.
Children, you cannot live without food; you would soon feel the cravings of hunger, and your bodies would pine and die. You need spiritual food just as much, and often, as your body needs temporal food. Three times a day is none too often to draw strength from heaven, or sap and nourishment from Christ, the living vine. Read the words of our Saviour in Matthew 5:6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. (Ellen G. White, Youths Instructor, October 1, 1855)
Did You Know?
Working alone, a bee would have to make 60,000 trips of about one and one-half miles (2.4 km) each to make one pound (454 grams) of honey.
Bumblebees make their nests in grass or shallow holes in the ground.
When a fly walks, little pads on its feet secrete a sticky liquid that holds the fly to slippery surfaces.
There are more than 8,000 different kinds of ants.
An ant can lift an object 52 times its own weight. This is like a person being able to lift four tons.
Only female mosquitoes bite.
(These facts courtesy of, I Bet You Didnt Know That Fish Sleep With Their Eyes Open and Other Facts and Curiosities, pp. 12, 13)
Imagery in Revelation?
Revelation is the last book in the Bible, and probably the most puzzling book in the entire Bible, yet, paradoxically, the most important book for those who live upon the earth in the final moments of time.
In former times, many pronounced Revelation to be an impenetrable mystery and discouraged its study. However, with the evident approach of the final crisis and the climax of this earths history, there has been an explosion of interest in the book and many Christians are now seriously engaged in the study of Revelation.
Unfortunately, many of the interpretations of the prophecies of this book have been unsound, illogical, fantastic and even outright ridiculous. Many have attempted to twist the symbols of Revelation to make the prophecies fit in with their pet theories and the results have been, in many cases, laughable.
A proper understanding of the Revelation is dependent upon the approach which we take in studying the book. It is evident that God had something to say to His people and deliberately chose this very unusual way of saying it. These messages were intended to be specifically for the benefit of His people; the spiritually wise, who are the only people who possess the tools for unlocking the secrets of this book.
The imagery and the names are mostly based on the Old Testament. One needs to be a deep student of the entire Bible to even begin to understand the message of this book.
The action is focused on two places: heaven and earth. Basically, we could say that the message of the book is based on a description of things happening in heaven with corresponding, or consequential, events taking place on earth. Moves are made in heaven; the effects are seen and felt on earth. In consequence, the book of Revelation is full of glimpses of the activities taking place in heaven. It may be fairly said that it is the book that most completely draws aside the veil and gives us a picture of heaven and the activities that are taking place there.
When we bear all of this in mind, it is of striking significance that almost every time we get a glimpse of a scene in heaven, it is packed with references to the Sanctuary. The language, the furniture, the building, the ceremonies of the sanctuary fill the entire book of Revelation. Why is this so? In attempting to find an answer to this question a person may come up with several different possibilities, but chief among them must be the fact that God is showing us that the meaning of Revelation can only be discovered by a study of the sanctuary and its services, and also that certain ceremonies involving the sanctuary have their antitypical fulfillment in the last days, during the time when the prophecies of Revelation are being fulfilled. It seems to me that this is the most obvious conclusion.
Interestingly, many Seventh-day Adventists are now saying that the sanctuary message is basically irrelevant. One Seventh-day Adventist minister even told a friend of mine recently that the emphasis on the sanctuary is totally unnecessary, and that there are far more important truths that need to be focused on. However as we have stated, Revelation is Gods view of the last days and in it, He over and over again directs our attention to the sanctuary. Let us just look at a few of the places where the sanctuary, its furniture or services, are mentioned:
Clearly, in the last days God wants our attention to be focused on the sanctuary! This is the only way that we will be able to understand the activities taking place in heaven and to respond and cooperate with these activities in an appropriate way.
Another consideration comes to mind: Are the sanctuary scenes in Revelation representations of literal places and things in heaven, or are they strictly figurative representations? Most of us will probably agree that Revelation uses many symbols. However, we will also agree that every symbol in Revelation has a literal reality. For example, a woman represents a Church (a literal Church) and a beast represents a Kingdom (a literal Kingdom). Therefore, we conclude that the temple, the altar, the candlesticks, and the censor all have a literal equivalent in heaven.
The emphasis on the sanctuary and its furniture in the last book of the Bible convinces us that not only are the sanctuary and its services of vital importance for the last-day people of God, but that there is a very real sanctuary in heaven where the equivalent of the earthly sanctuary services actually takes place. (See Hebrews 9:1.) ?
Difficult Bible Texts
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15)
The Apostle Peter tells us we should always be ready to give an answer for our faith. However, there are some Bible texts that are more difficult to explain than others. Here is a brief examination of some texts dealing with the truth about God.
What about Isaiah 9:6, where the Son of God is called the Father?
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting [for ever (of future time)] Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Is Christ the Father? If so, how can He be the Son? And if He is both Father and Son, then how can there be a trinity, for a trinity is three persons. This verse is obviously not supporting of a trinity doctrine. Jesus is referred to as the Father; not the Father of Himself, but of the children which His Father gave Him.
Isaiah 8:18 says, Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me This verse is quoted by Paul in the New Testament and directly attributed to Jesus Christ: And again, I will put my trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (Hebrews 2:13)
Christ is called everlasting, which is appropriate, since He will last forever. He is called Father, not of Himself, but of the children which God has given Him. Many Trinitarians have said that the term everlasting that applies to Christ in this verse means that He always was, and that He never had a beginning. Yet when the term is applied to us, i.e. everlasting life, they all must admit that it means simply that we will live forever in the future, not that we always were in existence.
Notice also that Isaiah 9:6 says, His name shall be called The mighty God. Some may use this phrase to mean that Christ is the supreme God. This may have been a good argument if the verse had referred to Christ as the Almighty God, however it uses the term mighty God. We read of mighty men, but never of Almighty men. It certainly is appropriate to refer to the Son as mighty, for He is powerful. It is also appropriate to refer to Him as God, for the Most High God Himself refers to His Son as God in Hebrews 1:8. Therefore the terms everlasting Father and The mighty God can rightly apply to the Son.
1 John 5:7, 8
What about 1 John 5:7, 8? For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (1 John 5:7, 8)
Let us notice what the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary says about this verse:
Textual evidence attests (cf. p. 10) the omission of the passage in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth. The resultant reading of vs. 7, 8 is as follows: For there are three that bear record, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. The passage as given in the KJV is in no Greek MS earlier than the 15th and 16th centuries. The disputed words found their way into the KJV by way of the Greek text of Erasmus (see Vol. V, p. 141). It is said that Erasmus offered to include the disputed words in his Greek Testament if he were shown even one Greek MS that contained them. A library in Dublin produced such a MS (known as 34), and Erasmus included the passage in his text. It is now believed that the later editions of the Vulgate acquired the passage by the mistake of a scribe who included an exegetical marginal comment in the Bible text that he was copying. The disputed words have been widely used in support of the doctrine of the Trinity, but in view of such overwhelming evidence against their authenticity, their support is valueless and should not be used. In spite of their appearance in the Vulgate A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture freely admits regarding these words: It is now generally held that this passage, called the Comma Johanneum, is a gloss that crept into the text of the Old Latin and Vulgate at an early date, but found its way into the Greek text only in the 15th and 16th centuries (Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1951, p, 1186). (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume seven, page 675)
2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. (2 Corinthians 13:14) Many suppose that this verse supports the Trinity doctrine. Lets examine the facts.
This verse speaks of the communion of the Holy Ghost. The same Greek word that was here translated communion was translated fellowship in the following verse: truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3) When we are having fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ we are certainly doing this through their Spirit and partaking of the communion of the Holy Spirit.
God the Father has a Spirit. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. (Matthew 10:20) The Son of God has a Spirit. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6) The Father has a Spirit, the Son has a Spirit, but does the Holy Spirit have a Spirit? We never read about the Spirit of the Holy Spirit. Could it be that the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God are the same thing? If the Holy Spirit was a third God completely equal with God the Father, and His Son, then He would have to have a Spirit also. Yet the Bible is completely silent on this, and it even sounds ridiculous to say that the Holy Spirit has a Spirit.
Have you ever asked yourself, if they all are equal, then why is it forgivable to blaspheme the Father, or His Son, but not the Holy Spirit? From this, it would seem that the Holy Spirit is greater, or has a higher rank than the other two. Maybe the Holy Spirit is not a third being, but rather the Spirit of God, and blaspheming the Holy Spirit is not calling the Holy Spirit some bad name, but rather it is continually rejecting the prompting of the Spirit of God, until there is no remedy.
Ask yourself a couple simple questions. Why did the Father never speak to the Holy Spirit? Why did Jesus never speak to the Holy Spirit? Why didnt the Holy Spirit ever speak to Jesus? Why didnt the Holy Spirit ever speak to the Father? Yet the Father spoke to His Son over and over again all throughout the Bible, and Jesus spoke to His Father over and over again all throughout the Bible.
Why isnt the Holy Spirit mentioned when Jesus was reasoning with the Jews, and claimed that He had a witness to the things He was telling them? It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. (John 8:17, 18) Certainly if Jesus had another witness to mention, He would have done it here.
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3) We have fellowship with two beings. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9) He hath BOTH the Father and His Son. Think about it!
Who was involved in the council of peace? And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (Zechariah 6:12, 13) Certainly if there was a third God-being, He would want to have been included in the council of peace. But no third being is mentioned.
Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his sons name, if thou canst tell? (Proverbs 30:4) Here we have mentioned the Father and His Son, no one else.
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2) If Peter knew of a third God-being, he certainly would have included Him in this salutation.
Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (2 John 3) Why didnt John mention a third being in this verse?
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7) Surely Paul wouldnt pass up this opportunity to give glory to all three members of the Trinity, if indeed there are three beings. In fact, Paul wrote a similar greeting in every one of His letters, but never included a third being. Could it be that Paul believed what he himself wrote? But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6) Paul knew there was only one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, so he certainly wouldnt try to add another god.
Acts 5:3, 8
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. (Acts 5:3, 4)
Many Trinitarians use this as conclusive evidence that the Holy Spirit is God, therefore being a third separate being, God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30) The word holy is an adjective in every instance. God has a Spirit, and His Spirit is holy. To lie to Gods Spirit is to lie to God. That is because His Spirit is Himself. If I were to lie to your spirit, you would not suppose that I lied to someone other than yourself.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9) In Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead. Notice Colossians 1:19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. (Colossians 1:19) God the Father was pleased to have His Son filled with all the fulness of the Godhead. How did this take place? For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (John 3:34) God gave His Spirit to His Son without measure. Jesus was filled with all the fullness of God.
Does Colossians 2:9 say that Christ is the Godhead? No, it says that Christ was filled with all the fullness of the Godhead. How? To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19) God the Father was in His Son, filling Him with all the fullness of the Godhead.
The word Godhead is used three times in the Bible. Here is the first time it is used, Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and mans device. (Acts 17:29) We are the offspring of the Godhead. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26) Who is the Godhead? But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3). The ultimate Godhead is God the Father, who is head over all.
Because Jesus is said to be filled with all the fullness of the Godhead does not mean that He is the Godhead. In fact, the Bible tells us that we can be filled with all the fullness of God. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19) Please do not misunderstand. Jesus is the Son of the Most High God, and by very nature He is God by virtue of the fact that He is His Son. ?
By David Clayton
During the 1960s when Robert Brinsmead emphasized the fact that the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary involved also a cleansing of Gods people here on earth, his agitations got him branded as an offshoot and a heretic by the Seventh-day Adventist church. The church, erroneously, wanted only to emphasize what was taking place in heaven, making it irrelevant to us here on earth. Now the opposite thing is being done. All the emphasis is being placed on what is being done in us here on earth, making the work in heaven irrelevant. In fact, many are denying entirely that any literal work is taking place in heaven. In reality, this means that we have no concept of heavens activities and therefore have nothing on which to fasten our faith. All we have is vague words about sanctification and perfection, but no real concept of what is happening or of how it happens. Thus, we cannot exercise faith in Gods work or cooperate in its accomplishment.
The recognition of a literal sanctuary building in heaven leads us to the logical conclusion that the cleansing of the sanctuary must involve some kind of removal of impurity, or sin, from the building itself. This understanding, of course, led the Adventist pioneers to discover the truth of the investigative judgment and its place in Gods plan for His last-day people. Rejection of the literal sanctuary, automatically means there can be no such thing as an investigative judgment. Both these truths, then, the literal heavenly Sanctuary and the Investigative Judgment, go hand in hand (we might also add, in passing, that critical truths such as the supremacy of God the Father, the literal Sonship of Jesus Christ, and the real and literal mediatorial work of Jesus Christ as our High Priest, are also inextricably tied to the truth of a literal heavenly sanctuary).
Bible Reveal a Literal
Sanctuary Building in Heaven?
1. The book of Revelation, in several places, speaks of a temple in heaven. (Revelation 11:19; 15:15) It may be argued that the representation here is symbolic, but symbolic of what? Jesus is the temple, some confidently state. Others state that the temple is the believer, basing their idea on 1 Corinthians 6:19. While we accept that these are used to represent the temple, we find it impossible to understand how reasonable persons could claim that in all cases, the temple is a representation of Jesus or the believer. Consider the following verses:
And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. (Revelation 14:15)
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. (Revelation 14:17)
And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. (Revelation 15:6)
What are we suppose to understand here? That God wants us to believe that angels come out of Jesus or the believer? Furthermore, as we look at verse 15, of chapter 14, we see that an angel came out of the temple and spoke to Jesus who was sitting on a cloud. Surely, this ought to be plain enough for even the blindest person to see.
Revelation 21:22 says, I saw no temple therein [the holy city]. Does this literally mean that there is no sanctuary building? That is what we accept it to mean. John says he did not see any temple, because God and Christ are the temple of it. We accept that what he saw (or did not see) represents a true picture of the city. No temple will be there, for God and Jesus will be the citys temple. So then, when he says in another place (Revelation 11:19, etc.) that he saw a temple in heaven, why is it now so difficult in this case to believe that he was seeing aright?
The words sanctuary and temple have been used interchangeably to mean, basically, the dwelling place of God. (See Exodus 25:8.) However, a temple is also a place for the worship of God. In Revelation 21:22, this must be the sense in which the temple is used. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. This, obviously, is not intended to say that Gods dwelling place is Himself, but rather that there will be no central place of worship in the new Jerusalem, because the glory and presence of God will fill the entire city (Revelation 21:23, 11; 22:5). The focus is on how and where men will worship.
Evidently, this is also the chief purpose of the heavenly temple. In heaven, there is a place where God manifests His presence; a place where He may be seen. This is His temple; His dwelling place, and obviously, the central place for assemblies and worship in heaven.
Consider that heaven is probably much larger than the planet earth. Angels in one corner of heaven cannot worship in the visible presence of God unless they travel to that central place where He manifests His presence, which is His temple.
The scriptures describe God as an infinitely awesome Being. As we read some of the things which are said about Him, our minds are filled with wonder. Words fail us. He exists from everlasting to everlasting. He inhabiteth eternity. He fills heaven and earth. He was and is to come. Of Him alone it may truly be said, thou only art holy. There is none like Thee. It is beyond controversy that no building in earth or heaven can encompass this God. As Solomon said, but will God indeed dwell in the earth? Behold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? (1 Kings 8:27)
Nevertheless, the very person who spoke these words, Solomon, built a temple for the worship of God, emphasizing the point that though God may not be confined to a building, yet He manifests His presence in certain appointed places. After all, it was God Himself who told Moses, let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8)
Gods Spirit fills every corner of the universe. In this form God is everywhere present, invisible, incomprehensible. Nevertheless, God does have a bodily form as the scriptures so clearly testify. He does reveal Himself as an unspeakably glorious Being, sitting on a throne in a specific location in the universe. This location is called heaven Thy dwelling place. (1 Kings 8:30) The same scriptures testify that in heaven, Gods specific dwelling place is the temple. (See Habakkuk 2:20; Revelation11:19.) There is a heaven. There God dwells. Heaven is the headquarters of the Universe; a vast place. In what specific part of heaven does God dwell? Where can we find His throne located? In His temple!
The evidence of scripture is abundant and unanimous in the declaration of the fact that there is a temple in heaven. A real, literal place which is the dwelling place of God. Those who are requiring scriptural evidence, and scripture only, with the claim that Ellen White was often guilty of misunderstanding what she saw, or of expressing her own opinion, are strangely inconsistent here. Reason demands that they believe in a literal temple in heaven unless there is plain scriptural testimony that there is no such place. Without any such scriptural evidence they reject the idea of there being any such place. Upon what basis we ask? Upon the basis of human reasoning!! This is the plain fact of the matter. What a dangerous and shaky foundation upon which to build!! And indeed, this is the foundation of the whole structure of error which is being built by those who reject the teachings of original Adventism. Upon this basic false premise, the idea that there cannot be any sanctuary building in heaven, the whole maze of confusion is erected.
The Testimony 0f Paul
In Hebrews 8:1, 2, the Apostle Paul testifies that Jesus ministers in the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, (or set up), in the heavens. Then in verse five, he states that the work of the Levitical priests on earth were an example and shadow of heavenly things. Now we know that an example, or a shadow, resembles the real thing but is not in every way like the reality. The earthly example had a real sanctuary building. Does the real ministry of Christ in heaven also have a real sanctuary building? The apostle Paul states in clear and unmistakable language that it did. He says:
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount. (Hebrews.8:5)
Paraphrased and amplified this verse says: We know there is a real sanctuary in heaven because when Moses was about to make the earthly tabernacle, God told Him that he must make it according to the pattern which he showed him. So Moses was shown the design of the heavenly sanctuary, and was instructed to make the earthly one according to the same pattern.
Please examine Hebrews 8:5 very carefully and you will see that this is what Paul is saying. You may say that the apostle Paul was faulty in his reasoning (if you dare), but you cannot honestly say that this is not what he is saying. In Hebrews he clearly teaches that there is a literal sanctuary building in heaven where Jesus performs His priestly ministry.
Then verily (truly) the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service and a worldly sanctuary. (Hebrews 9:1)
Can any honest person examine this verse and deny the truth that there is a heavenly sanctuary in which ordinances of divine service, are performed? Why is the word also used? It means as well as.
The first covenant had ordinances of service and a sanctuary, as well as the second covenant! Moses saw the pattern of the heavenly sanctuary, then he went and built a tabernacle resembling as closely as possible the one whose pattern he had been shown. Solomons temple, constructed hundreds of years later, was a far more elaborate and stately structure, embellished with the most precious earthly materials, and was the most magnificent building this world has ever seen. When Herods temple was constructed during the time of Roman domination, it too was made of the best material which this world had to offer, and was in many ways much different from that first simple structure which Moses had constructed in the wilderness. However, it is of great significance that no matter how the outside of the temple was changed, and no matter what materials were used in the building, some things basically remained the same:
These were the absolutes. These were the unchangeables. Why? Because this is what Moses saw when he was shown the pattern. He saw a building, more magnificent than human words can describe. A vast structure, immense beyond human imagination, the dwelling place of the Almighty One, and the central place of worship in the universe. He could never hope to make something even closely resembling such a structure, but he took careful note of the basic plan, the structure, the layout, and he built a tabernacle with two apartments. These are the plain facts, and if the truth be told, this is the crux of the matter.
Most of the enemies of Adventism have never had any problems with the idea of a sanctuary in heaven. They would willingly accept that all of heaven is one vast sanctuary. However, whenever there is the suggestion of a two-apartment sanctuary, there is an immediate outcry because this is the basis upon which the distinctive truths of Adventism are founded. Take away this truth and historic Seventh-day Adventism is destroyed. No wonder the devil attacks this truth so unrelentingly. However, as we have seen, the Biblical evidence is too clear to be misunderstood. There is a literal two-apartment sanctuary building in heaven where Jesus Christ, our true High Priest, performs ordinances of divine service on behalf of Gods earthly children. These are the truths of the Bible and all who truly believe that it contains the Word of God must accept, believe and live by these truths. ?
(Brother David Clayton writes from his home in Jamaica. You may write to David at P. O. Box 23, Knockpatrick, Manchester, Jamaica, W. I. Davids e-mail address is: email@example.com.)
Special Tape Offer
Pastor David Clayton, of Restoration Ministries in Jamaica, has completed production of a video tape on a subject that we know will be very helpful. The message is entitled, The Sanctuary in Hebrews 9.
I have personally heard Brother Clayton give this study on at least three other occasions. Each time my heart has thrilled to hear the message so clearly presented. I am greatly pleased to share this tape with the readers of Old Paths because I believe that, by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit, through David, has made an even clearer presentation!
David discusses the usage of the Greek expressions hagion, hagia,and hagia hagion in Hebrews nine, clearly demonstrating the Scriptural teaching of a two-apartment heavenly sanctuary. The quality of the recording itself is not on a level of professional standards, but the message more than makes up for it.
The suggested donation for a copy of this powerful, Scripture filled tape, is $6.50 plus actual postage. Send your requests to Smyrna Gospel Ministries at the address listed on page twelve.
All are to a great extent under the influence of their own words. They act out the sentiments expressed in their words. Thus the government of the tongue is closely bound up with personal religion. Many by their own words are led to believe that a wrong course is right. Thoughts are expressed in words, and the words react upon the thoughts, and produce other words. The influence is felt, not only upon one's self, but upon others. The Lord God alone can undo the mischievous result of unwise words. (Ellen G. White Australian Union Conference Record, September, 1905)
Old Paths is published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. It is sent free upon request. Office phone: (304) 732-9204. Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.
Editor: Allen Stump - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail email@example.com
This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013