Seventh-Day Adventists/Sins after the Cross

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Question
When we confess our sins, are our sins literally laid upon Jesus before they are transferred to the heavenly sanctuary?
Does that mean that Jesus is still taking fresh sins upon His Person, even today, even in heaven???
I have heard some different things being taught by Seventh Day Adventists and I want to know the truth, as this has caused me great consternation.

Answer
Dear Brent, Sorry for the delay in writing.  I live in Staten Island and we have experienced (and still have) many problems from “Sandy” the hurricane.  For now I am just going to copy some sections from chapter 23 of E.G White’s writing that will give you a better understanding to your questions.  Also Hebrews chapters 9 and 10 give you an understanding of Christ’s role in His ministration.  If you want you can read Leviticus chapter 16 which describes the typical “Day of Atonement” and get an idea how this relates to the anti-typical heavenly “Day of Atonement.”  When you read Hebrews 9 and 10 please note that some of the key passages I copied below state “He entered in once”, “He offered Himself once”, “offered one sacrifice for sins forever”, etc.  But anyway Brent there is no need for worry and concern.  Isn’t it enough to just know that “if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”?  Even if you are unsure of how all that works it’s nice enough to know that it does work.  Besides, as you continue to read His word God will give you all your answers. If you want to discuss this further please write back in a week or so when hopefully things here return to normal.  So the short answer to your question is a paragraph or two from the bottom of this writing with the first few words and the last few in caps.  Our sins are already atoned for by faith in what Christ did and transferred to the heavenly sanctuary.  In the final judgment one thing or the other is blotted out.  If saved our sins are blotted out of the book of record, if lost our name is blotted out of the book of life.  May the Lord bless you as you continue seeking Him, anthony     

9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.   
10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;  10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

   



Chapter 23—What is the Sanctuary?

We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2. {GC 413.1}
Here is revealed the sanctuary of the new covenant. The sanctuary of the first covenant was pitched by man, built by Moses; this is pitched by the Lord, not by man. In that sanctuary the earthly priests performed their service; in this, Christ, our great High Priest, ministers at God’s right hand. One sanctuary was on earth, the other is in heaven. {GC 413.2}
Further, the tabernacle built by Moses was made after a pattern. The Lord directed him: “According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” And again the charge was given, “Look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.” Exodus 25:9, 40. And Paul says that the first tabernacle “was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices;” that its holy places were “patterns of things in the heavens;” that the priests who offered gifts according to the law served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,” and that “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews 9:9, 23; 8:5; 9:24. {GC 413.3}
The sanctuary in heaven, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original, of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy.
The ark that enshrines the tables of the law is covered with the mercy seat, before which Christ pleads His blood in the sinner’s behalf.
He “shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.” Not now “upon the throne of His glory;” the kingdom of glory has not yet been ushered in. Not until His work as a mediator shall be ended will God “give unto Him the throne of His father David,” a kingdom of which “there shall be no end.” Luke 1:32, 33. As a priest, Christ is now set down with the Father in His throne. Revelation 3:21
What is the cleansing of the sanctuary? That there was such a service in connection with the earthly sanctuary is stated in the Old Testament Scriptures. But can there be anything in heaven to be cleansed? In Hebrews 9 the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary is plainly taught. “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [the blood of animals]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these” (Hebrews 9:22, 23), even the precious blood of Christ. {GC 417.2}
The cleansing, both in the typical and in the real service, must be accomplished with blood: in the former, with the blood of animals; in the latter, with the blood of Christ. Paul states, as the reason why this cleansing must be performed with blood, that without shedding of blood is no remission. Remission, or putting away of sin, is the work to be accomplished. But how could there be sin connected with the sanctuary, either in heaven or upon the earth? This may be learned by reference to the symbolic service; for the priests who officiated on earth, served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” Hebrews 8:5. {GC 417.3}
The ministration of the earthly sanctuary consisted of two divisions; the priests ministered daily in the holy place, while once a year the high priest performed a special work of atonement in the most holy, for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Day by day the repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle and, placing his hand upon the victim’s head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. The animal was then slain. “Without shedding of blood,” says the apostle, there is no remission of sin. “The life of the flesh is in the blood.” Leviticus 17:11. The broken law of God demanded the life of the transgressor. The blood, representing the forfeited life of the sinner, whose guilt the victim bore, was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary. In some cases the blood was not taken into the holy place; but the flesh was then to be eaten by the priest, as Moses directed the sons of Aaron, saying: “God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation.” Leviticus 10:17. Both ceremonies alike symbolized the transfer of the sin from the penitent to the sanctuary. {GC 418.1}
Such was the work that went on, day by day, throughout the year. The sins of Israel were thus transferred to the sanctuary, and a special work became necessary for their removal. God commanded that an atonement be made for each of the sacred apartments. “He shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.” An atonement was also to be made for the altar, to “cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.” Leviticus 16:16, 19. {GC 418.2}
Once a year, on the great Day of Atonement, the priest entered the most holy place for the cleansing of the sanctuary. The work there performed completed the yearly round of ministration. On the Day of Atonement two kids of the goats were brought to the door of the tabernacle, and lots were cast upon them, “one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat.” Verse 8. The goat upon which fell the lot for the Lord was to be slain as a sin offering for the people. And the priest was to bring his blood within the veil and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. The blood was also to be sprinkled upon the altar of incense that was before the veil. {GC 419.1}
“And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited.” Verses 21, 22. The scapegoat came no more into the camp of Israel, and the man who led him away was required to wash himself and his clothing with water before returning to the camp. {GC 419.2}
The whole ceremony was designed to impress the Israelites with the holiness of God and His abhorrence of sin; and, further, to show them that they could not come in contact with sin without becoming polluted. Every man was required to afflict his soul while this work of atonement was going forward. All business was to be laid aside, and the whole congregation of Israel were to spend the day in solemn humiliation before God, with prayer, fasting, and deep searching of heart. {GC 419.3}
Important truths concerning the atonement are taught by the typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner’s stead; but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law. On the Day of Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood of this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directly over the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and bore them from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people. {GC 420.1}
Such was the service performed “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” And what was done in type in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary. After His ascension our Saviour began His work as our high priest. Says Paul: “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews 9:24. {GC 420.2}
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 precious 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. {GC 420.3}
For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record. As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ’s work for the redemption of men is completed there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work—to cleanse the sanctuary. {GC 421.2}

{AS ANCIENTLY THE SINS OF THE PEOPLE were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins WHICH ARE THERE RECORDED.}

But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation—a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12. {GC 421.3}
It was seen, also, that while the sin offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a mediator, the scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally be placed. When the high priest, by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, removed the sins from the sanctuary, he placed them upon the scapegoat. When Christ, by virtue of His own blood, removes the sins of His people from the heavenly sanctuary at the close of His ministration, He will place them upon Satan, who, in the execution of the judgment, must bear the final penalty. The scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, never to come again into the congregation of Israel. So will Satan be forever banished from the presence of God and His people, and he will be blotted from existence in the final destruction of sin and sinners. {GC 422.2}  

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Anthony

Expertise

Can one know God and not keep His commandments? Let John answer (1Jn2:4). He that says, I know Him and keeps not His commandments (including the 4th) is a liar and the truth is not in him. Since Seventh-Day Adventists derive their teachings from the Holy Bible, I will answer questions on any Biblically related subject or topic and questions on distinct Adventist practice and doctrine. Remember Paul`s words that state in the last days there will be deceivers seeking to lead astray many, yet the sincere believer can take comfort in the Lord`s promise that anyone desiring to know His truth will know it. May the Lord bless you as you seek Him.

Experience

I graduated from an Adventist University with a major in Behavioral Science and a minor in religion including an intermediate study of the Greek written language. I earned a master in religion from Liberty University a Baptist seminary. I have been a student of the Bible and of Biblical history for over 30 years.

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