Seventh-Day Adventists/Sins transferred to Jesus


Please help me understand something I've heard taught by a Seventh Day Adventist.
Is it true that when we confess our sins, are our sins literally laid upon Jesus before they are transferred to the heavenly sanctuary? and that Jesus is still taking fresh sins upon His Person when confession of ion is made to Jesus in heaven???

(1) Is it true that, when we confess our sins, our sins are literally laid upon Jesus before they are transferred to the heavenly sanctuary? (2) and that Jesus is still taking fresh sins upon His Person when confession of sin is made to Jesus in heaven?

Rather than simply giving a yes or no answer for each question, I'd also like to give the Biblical background for the topic.

The concept of sins being laid upon Jesus comes from the imagery of laying hands upon the head of a sacrificial animal in the Old Testament. "And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering" (Lev 4:33.) Isaiah applied this symbolism to the Messiah. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa 53:4).

Sin is defined as violating the law (1 John 3:4) and as acting apart from faith (Rom 14:23). The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), but the sinless Son of God bore our sins in His death. "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" (Heb 9:28). Peter alludes to Isaiah's prophecy in describing Christ's work of bearing our sins: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Pet 2:24). He took our sin upon Himself on the cross: "For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor 5:21). Is that literal ? It was certainly something Jesus felt. He tangibly felt the separation from His Father that sin brings (Mat 27:46; Mark 15:34).

Thus, the only laying of sins on Jesus was on the cross. Yet, it is helpful for us to realize when we do something wrong that it was that sin that made Calvary necessary. Our sinning hurts. It certainly hurts us and those around us, and it hurts God as He sees the damage of our sin. "The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him. 'In all their affliction He was afflicted: . . . and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.' Isaiah 63:9"  (E. G. White, Education , p. 263).

The part about transferring sins into the sanctuary also comes from the symbolism of the Old Testament. The blood of the sacrificial animal was brought into the sanctuary (Lev 4). It was the blood, which was sprinkled before the presence of God in the sanctuary, that brought reconciliation between God and man. The blood still reconciles, and it still cleanses us from sin. As the Apostle John said: "... the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

The Seventh-day Adventist you heard this from may be trying to make the point about the price tag of sin. Sin is a big deal. We should not gloss it over. That is why confession of sin is still required. The promise is: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). An old hymn uses this symbolism in the present tense to portray confession of sins: "I lay my sins on Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God; He bears them all and frees us from the accursed load" (Horatius Bonar).

I hope that helps.

Pastor Kevin L. Morgan

Seventh-Day Adventists

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Kevin L. Morgan


Questions regarding Seventh-day Adventist doctrine and history, especially pertaining to Ellen G. White.


26 years pastoral experience; edited two books on Seventh-day Adventist history; published articles on theology; published one book on Adventist doctrines and one on Ellen G. White

Pastor Warrensville Seventh-day Adventist Church

Ministry magazine

BA Theology, with minor in Biblical languages MA homiletics

Awards and Honors
Graduated magna cum laude Distinguished preaching award

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