9 - THE CONTROVERSY OVER PATTERN-FULFILLMENT
Hebrews 8 and 9
Edited March 25, 2018
Seventh-day Adventists use pattern-fulfillment
to explain why the Day of Atonement did not occur at Calvary, but, instead, began in 1844. Rather than agreeing with Miller's
final admission and most early Adventists that nothing happened in 1844, a very small group re-defined the sanctuary of Daniel
8:14 from their first guess of earth itself to the “heavenly” sanctuary. Not knowing Hebrew, they equated the
KJV word, “cleansed” (tsa-daq), in Daniel 8:14 with the “cleanse” (ta-heer) in Leviticus
16:19, 30. Instead of Christ coming to judge the wicked by destroying the earth with fire, they decided that He only moved
from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary to only begin judging the lives of professed believers
in order to determine whom to recreate from annihilation.
Since, until 1844, Christians everywhere (including
SDAs) had believed that Jesus had entered the Most Holy Place as High Priest at his ascension, then justification was needed
for this completely different explanation. While ignoring pattern-fulfillment for every other aspect of the sanctuary, the
new explanation demanded the use of pattern-fulfillment concerning the Day of Atonement in 1844.
[Ellen G. White] But the most important question remains to be answered: What is the cleansing of the sanctuary? That there
was such a service in connection with the earthly sanctuary is seated in the Old Testament scriptures. In Hebrews 9 the cleansing
of both the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries 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; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these” (Hebrews 9:22-23),
even the precious blood of Christ.
GC418: But how could there be sin connected with the sanctuary, either in heaven or upon earth? This may be
learned by reference to the symbolic service; for the priests who offered on earth, served “unto the example and
shadow of heavenly things.” Hebrews 8:5.
GC420: And what was done in type in the ministration
of the earthly sanctuary is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary.
SDA Pattern-Fulfillment: Even before her statements in GC417-420, The Great Controversy stated that Christ only ascended
into the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary by quoting Revelation 4:5 and 8:3 (GC414-415). Next, a brief statement
about Daniel 8:14 says that it “unquestionably refers to a sanctuary in heaven.” Moving back to Hebrews 9:23-24,
the reality of the “patterns” requires that the heavenly things be purified with the blood of Christ (GC417).
The new “light from God” was in their “discovery” that the cleansing is necessary because Christ’s
sacrificial blood had “transferred sin” to the sanctuary and defiled it with the atoned sins of God's people
(GC418-420). This was because the sin had not been canceled by the blood of the sacrifice (GC420). Their pattern-fulfillment
then moved away from Calvary to 1844 to the second coming because the removal of sin from the heavenly sanctuary must still
be occurring “in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary” (GC420). Since the sins of the saints
still remain on the books of record in heaven, they must be removed before Christ can return. This removal began in 1844 (GC421).
Truth about Pattern-Fulfillment
In context, the book of Hebrews does NOT teach that the Old Covenant sanctuary service
provided a must-follow “pattern,” “example,” “copy,” “shadow” or blueprint
for New Covenant Christians. In fact, in context, many texts in Hebrews and almost every text in chapters 8 and 9 teach pattern
CONTRAST. Hebrews teaches that the Old Covenant sanctuary patterns ended at Calvary by replacing the Old Covenant
shadows with a new better New Covenant purified blueprint.
For example, the following list contains descriptions
of Christ from Hebrews 1:1 to 7:28. With one exception (4:15 to 5:4), all are contrasts to the Old Covenant high
priest -- not pattern-fulfillment. There are seven (7) separate references to Christ's High Priesthood after the order
of Melchizedek who was not even an Israelite. Contrast, not pattern-fulfillment, is clearly taught. Unlike the old pattern,
as high priest Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of the Majesty (1:3); worshiped by angels (1:6); called “God”
by the Father (1:8); personally anointed by God (1:9); called Creator by the Father (1:10); called Eternal by the Father (1:12);
all things are subject to him (2:8); dies for all men (2:9); his person made reconciliation for the sins of the people (2:17);
is an Apostle (3:1); is greater than Moses and is the son of God (3:3, 5, 6); is a house builder (3:3, 4); provides rest (Moses
and Aaron did not) (4:3); is the Great High Priest in the heavens (4:14); commands believers to approach the throne of grace
with confidence; was appointed High Priest by God’s oath (5:5); is after the order of Melchizedek (1st time) (5:6);
is the author of eternal salvation (5:9); is after the order of Melchizedek (2nd time) (5:10); is a sure, steadfast, anchor
of the soul (6:19); is after the order of Melchizedek (3rd time) (6:20); blessed Abraham (7:1); received tithes from Abraham
(7:2); is the called King of Righteousness (7:2); is the King of Peace (7:2); is an eternal priest (7:3); is not related to
the Levitical priests (7:6); received tithes from Levi (thus Aaron) (7:9-10); is after the order of Melchizedek (4th time)
(7:11); His High Priesthood demands the Law be changed (7:12); if from Judah, not Levi (7:13-14); is after the order of Melchizedek
(5th time) (7:15); His Priesthood is based on eternal principles (7:16); is after the order of Melchizedek (6th time) (7:27);
necessitated the annulment of laws governing the Levitical priesthood (7:18); proved that laws concerning the Levitical priesthood
could not perfect anything (7:19); is a better hope providing all direct access to God (7:19); became a priest through God’s
oath (7:20); is after the order of Melchizedek (7th time) (7:21); is the guarantor of a better covenant (7:22); has one unchangeable
eternal priesthood with no death (7:23-24); is an eternal intercessor (7:25); is holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from
sinners and exalted above the heavens (7:26); offered one sacrifice (7:27); is perfected rather than weak (7:28). Again, none
of these was seen in Aaron; contrast, not pattern-fulfillment is the theme.
Aa mentioned earlier, Seventh-day
Adventists are not really interested in teaching pattern-fulfillment except when it involves their own view of the Day of
Atonement. Even then they fail to follow their own once-a-year Day of Atonement pattern and make it over 170 years already.
In order for all pattern-fulfillment requirements to be true for New Covenant believers, the heavenly sanctuary would have
(1) many Aaronic priests and Levites, (2) daily evening and morning sweet savor offerings, (3) weekly Sabbath-day offerings,
(4) monthly new moon offerings, (5) yearly Passover, Pentecost and the Day of Atonement offerings, (6) regular replacement
of the 12 loaves of bread, (7) daily refilling of the candlestick oil, (8) daily burning of incense, (9) a laver for washing
and many other comparable pattern-fulfillments and (10) utensils and animal skinners. Therefore, the following statement in
GC420 actually causes more problems than it solves – “What was done in type in the ministration of the earthly
sanctuary is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary.”
When Hebrews 9:9, 23; 8:5;
and 9:24 (from GC417-418) are studied in order and in context, Hebrews 8 and 9 also clearly teach that the patterns
only lasted as long as the Old Covenant sanctuary and have no continuing relevance to New Covenant believers. They were only
“a figure for the time then present” (Heb 9:9).
Heb 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set
on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
Contrast: Chapters 1 through 7 are summed up in
8:1. The high priest pattern-functions which cycled from one year to another have ended with the Melchizedek high priesthood
of Jesus who, unlike Aaron, has sat down in heaven. This is pattern ending.
Heb 8:2 A minister of the
sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Contrast: Nobody sat down in the earthly sanctuary.
Heb 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer
gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
When SDAs teach that Christ's ministry from His ascension to 1844 was that of ordinary priests (GC421), they miss the
point. He had already fulfilled His once-for-all-sins-for-all time High Priestly Day of Atonement pattern and was already
in the very Presence of the Father. That is why he is seated.
Heb. 8:4 For if he were
on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law.
The Law ended at Calvary. Christ was not required by Law to follow the sequence of sanctuary events required by the Law. This
verse teaches “pattern-dissolution,” not “pattern-fulfillment.” (1) Christ was “out
of Judah [not Levi] of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood” (7:14). (2) Since Christ was after the
order of Melchizedek, it was “far more evident” that he was not following the Aaronic law-pattern (7:15). (3)
Christ's priesthood came into existence specifically “NOT after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power
of an endless life” (7:16) --- meaning that it was NOT patterned “according to the law.” As long as the
Law was in place, Christ (from Judah) and Melchizedek (not even a Hebrew) could not be in place.
8:5 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, he said, that you make all things according to the pattern shown to you in the mount.
Christ was NOT a priest “who offered gifts according to the Law” (8:4). Neither was He a priest “who serve
unto the example and shadow of heavenly things” (8:5). It is wrong to quote 8:5 and act as if 8:4 and 8:6 did not exist.
Yet SDAs quote 8:5 to prove that the heavenly New Covenant sanctuary must also follow the same pattern given to Moses for
the Old Covenant sanctuary. The priests were still serving even while these words were being written. Heavenly things refer
to “according to the Old Covenant Law” (8:4). The example and pattern were only while the Law lasted. Galatians
3:19 says that the “law” was “added” “til the seed should come.”
8:6 But now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better
covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Contrast: Jesus was never the “mediator”
of the Old Covenant Law. Four strong inspired pattern contrasts must mean something important: “but now,” “more
excellent ministry,” “better covenant” and “better promises.”
8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Again, the pattern was only for the “first covenant” --- for the “time then present” (9:9). Since
God would not allow a faulty covenant to be repeated in heaven, its patterns, or blueprint” must be changed, or purified.
As early as David's Psalm 110:4 prophecy stated that the Aaronic Law-pattern would end with a high priesthood after the
order of a non-Hebrew, Melchizedek.
Heb. 8:8 For finding fault with them, he said, Behold, the
days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (Jer
Contrast: It was to be “new” – not the “old” reworded. The
quotation in Hebrews 8:8-13 is from Jeremiah 31:31-34. While the only part of the Old Covenant which did NOT change was is
primary application to the “house of Israel” and the “house of Jacob, SDAs reject this and replace national
Israel with their own remnant SDA church. The New Covenant church exists because it thrives off the “crumbs” which
Israel has temporarily rejected (Mt 15:26; 21:42; Mk 7:28; 12:10). Also, see Matthew 23:39. The new covenant does not follow
the pattern of “faulty” Israelites failing to obey it (Heb 7:11, 12, 18, 19; 10:1-10).
8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out
of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord (Jer 31:32).
The new covenant was explicitly “NOT according to” the [old] covenant (8:9). How much clearer can God
teach pattern-dissolution! The New Covenant would NOT follow the pattern of the Old.
Heb 8:10 For this is the
covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and
write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people (Jer 31:33).
God moved the focus of His Law from the Most Holy Place of the Old Covenant and placed it inside every believer. Jesus came
as Second-Israel and fulfilled the Law by living a sinless life (Heb 10:4-10).
Heb 8:11 And they shall not
teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the
greatest (Jer 31:34).
Contrast: The teaching ministry of the Old Covenant priests and Levites has been replaced
by the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:13).
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Contrast: This is probably the strongest text that
the O.T. patterns ENDED at Calvary. While the one-day Day of Atonement pointed to the one-day of Calvary in which God would
“remember sins no more,” Ellen G. White says this will not occur until the close of probation before Christ returns
(GC485, 1st para). (1) SDAs do not follow their own day-for-a-year pattern for the Day of Atonement (170 years
+ already. (2) Since the Investigative Judgment is all about God remembering sin and having to cleanse His sanctuary of those
defiling sins, SDAs definitely do not teach that God does not remember atoned forgiven sin (GC417-422)!
Hebrews 10:3 says “in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year,”
it is referring to the entire repeating cycle, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come” (10:1). The
Day of Atonement was the time that Israel “remembered” their residual unconfessed sins once a year (Lev 23:29).
The “shadow” of the Day of Atonement met its “reality,” not in 1844, but at Calvary! Even Arminians
teach that, at the very least, previously confessed, forgiven and atoned sins of believers have already been forever washed
away by the blood of Jesus Christ, never to be remembered again. Yet SDAs apply the final fulfillment of this promise to the
end of the Investigative Judgment immediately before Jesus returns when He has completed cleansing the heavenly sanctuary
(which He defiled by transferring atoned sins into it) (GC418-422, 485).
Heb. 8:13 In that he says,
A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which is decaying and waxing old is
ready to vanish away.
Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which
decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Contrast: The patterns and blueprint for the Old
Covenant ended at Calvary, not 1844. Though the new covenant began at Calvary, the unbelieving Jews continued its pattern
until the Temple was destroyed in A. D. 70 (Mt 26:28). Therefore, the SDA argument for exact pattern-fulfillment ignores the
context of 8:1-13 and only partially quotes 8:5 out of context.
Hebrews 9:1-7 describes the old covenant sanctuary with past tense verbs. It continues pattern-dissolution, as contrasted
to SDA pattern-fulfillment. It continues contrasting Christ's New Covenant ministry in heaven with the Old Covenant ministry
in the entire earthly sanctuary. While verses 2 and 6 describe the daily ministry in the outer holy place, verses 3, 4, 5
and 7 describe ministry inside Most Holy Place of the Old Covenant.
Heb. 9:8 The Holy Spirit this signifying, that
the way into the holiest of all [toon hagioon] was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.
The continuing activities at the first (old) covenant tabernacle were “signifying” that the way into
the “holiest of all,” the entire heavenly sanctuary, was not yet ready until the Law and Old Covenant ended (8:4;
Gal 3:19). From God’s perspective these activities ended at Calvary (Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38; Lk 23:45). At His ascension
Christ’s New Covenant ministry in the heavenly sanctuary began (Ps 110:1; Acts 2:33-34).
Heb. 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts
and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience.
This is an extremely important text. The patterns given from heaven concerning the (old) covenant sanctuary were only “a
figure for the time then present.” They were NOT “a figure for the future.” They do not depict reality in
heaven. Contrast GC418-422.
Heb. 9:10 Which [time then present] stood only in food and drink, and various washing,
and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Contrast: “Until the
time of reformation” must refer to the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ (Gal 3:19). The O. T. worship “ordinances”
ended when the “time of reformation” arrived.
SDAs part with the majority of Christians at Hebrews
9:9-10. The truth is that all of the patterns, examples and shadows given to Moses in the Law were only temporary blueprints
of Old Covenant pre-Calvary reality! (Gal 3:19, 23-25).
In order to establish their Investigative Judgment
doctrine of the 1844-beginning of the Day of Atonement, Seventh-day Adventists would have us believe that heaven itself has
“reality counterparts” for many blood-ministering priests, twice-daily whole burnt offerings, daily animal sacrifices,
grain offerings, drink offerings and ritual washings.
Heb. 9:11 But Christ being
come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say,
not of this building.
Contrast: Christ came as a High Priest from Judah after the king-priest rank of Melchizedek
(Heb 7:11-18). He did not come as an Old Covenant Aaronic High priest from Levi who was required to follow the Law-patterns.
Heb. 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy
place [ta hagia], having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Contrast: “Neither … but” is
contrast, not pattern fulfillment. In its context “entered once” does NOT refer to the Day of Atonement in Leviticus
16. It refers to Christ’s inauguration of the New Covenant when He entered it after Calvary (per 9:19-21).
holy place” is literally “the holies” or “the holy places” in Greek. (1) If the phrase only
refers to the outer Holy Place, then “goats and calves” is meaningless because the high priest daily entered the
outer Holy Place with blood from both. And (2) if the phrase only refers to the Most Holy Place on the annual Day of Atonement,
then the SDA argument fails because Christ entered into the Most Holy Place at His ascension.
9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying
of the flesh:
Note: Again, the blood of bulls and goats and sprinkling with the ashes of a red heifer were part of the
daily ritual. The ashes of a heifer were not part of the Day of Atonement ritual.
9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your
conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Contrast: As long as the (old) covenant ritual
kept repeating itself year after year, the worshipper had no clear conscience that his/her sins had truly been atoned. The
contrast is between shadow (old) covenant animal blood purifying the flesh and reality New Covenant Christ's blood purifying
the conscience. Hebrews 9:19-21 will clearly places 9:13 in the context of the inauguration of the (old) covenant in Exodus
24:3-8 and not the Day of Atonement.
Contrary to SDA theology, the “cleansing of the sanctuary”
is not about removing sin from the sanctuary per the old covenant pattern. Rather it is about a new pattern which cleanses
the believer with the sinless blood of Christ. While the Old Covenant inauguration and ministration only “purified [cleansed]
the flesh” through shadow animal sacrifices (9:13), the New Covenant inauguration and ministration with the blood of
Christ is much more effective. Not only does it purify [cleanse] the flesh, but it also “purges your conscience from
dead works” (9:14). The “conscience” of believers is purged (cleansed) – not the heavenly sanctuary!!!
When the (old) covenant was inaugurated in Exodus 24:7-8 half of the blood was sprinkled on the congregation.
This is obviously not a law-pattern fulfillment from the Day of Atonement!
Heb. 9:15 And for this cause
he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were
under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (also Rom. 3:25)
Although Christ is “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8), because of its repetition the
(old) covenant ministry could not convince the worshipper that his/her confessed sin had actually been “cleansed”
(Heb 10:1-11). Their conscience was not clean. However, that blemish is not carried over into the New Covenant.
Christ has already redeemed every daily sin and every Day of Atonement residual sin confessed in the Old Testament (and also
the New Testament). This makes Ellen White's often-repeated “but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation
of the law” nonsense. Every sin mediated in the Old Covenant was unconditionally forgiven because of the future perfect
sacrifice of the sinless Lamb of God. SDAs teach that the first application of Christ's blood conditionally atones and
a second application finally atones after one’s life record has been reviewed and approved (GC423-432, 479-491).
Heb. 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the
law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and
all the people,
9:20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God has commanded you.
Heb. 9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all
the vessels of the ministry.
Contrast: Caution! Hebrews 9:19-21 refers to the inauguration of the Old Covenant in
Exodus 24:3-8, It does not refer to the inauguration of the 2-room Hebrew sanctuary nor to the Day of Atonement ritual.
24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with
one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD has said will we do.
Ex. 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning,
and built an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
Ex. 24:5 And he sent young men of the children of
Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD.
Ex. 24:6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put
it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
Ex. 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people:
and they said, All that the LORD has said will we do, and be obedient.
Ex. 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold
the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.
“cleansing of the sanctuary” in Hebrews 9 fulfilled all shadows and types of the (old) covenant sanctuary in its
ONE DAY inauguration day --- including the Day of Atonement! Israel had agreed to enter into the (old) Covenant stipulations
with God (Ex. 24:3). Since this was before the first sanctuary had been built (Exodus 30), it had no connection with the Day
of Atonement. Moses had erected a temporary altar (24:4) and made burnt offerings and peace offerings (24:5). Those who were
ritually clean within the camp were sprinkled with the blood (24:6). Those who had been ritually unclean outside the camp
were sprinkled with the ashes of the red heifer (Heb. 9:13, 22).
Heb. 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged [NAS, NIV: cleansed] with blood; and without shedding
of blood is no remission.
This text brings the discussion from 8:1 to 9:22 to its goal. The Law required almost
every ritual to be made with cleansing blood. This is not the Day of Atonement cleansing; it is every-day cleansing. The “almost”
refers to exceptions such as the ashes of the red heifer and grain offerings allowed for the poor which were not performed
on the Day of Atonement.
Heb 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should
be purified [cleansed] with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these
Important Note: This verse, Hebrews 9:23, is the
most important SDA proof text that the heavenly sanctuary is defiled and requires pattern cleansing. SDAs totally ignore the
many pattern-dissolution texts of chapters 8 and 9 and they also totally ignore the consequence of their teaching that makes
Jesus Himself the defiler of the heavenly sanctuary by transferring sin into it. This faulty logic actually makes Jesus the
worst defiling Anti-Christ little horn of Daniel 8:9-14.
Contrast: The first “these” of 9:23
refers to the old covenant blood of bulls, goats and the ashes of a heifer from 9:13. Such were sufficient to “purify”
the “patterns” which were only “figures for the time then present (9:9). The second “these”
in 9:23 refers to the perfect sinless once-for-all atoning blood of Jesus Christ when He inaugurated the New Covenant in heaven
Notice that it was necessary to “purify” the “patterns” of heaven (its old covenant
blueprints) --- not heaven itself! Up until Calvary God’s blueprint of correct worship for Israel was the Law with its
sanctuary service (9:1-7). “These” were based on strictly old covenant patterns (blueprints) and “signified”
that “the way into the holiest (temple in heaven) was not yet manifest” because they were only “a figure
for the time then present” (9:6-9).
At Calvary “these” ended (Rom 10:4; Gal 3:19, 23-25). The
“patterns, “blueprints, needed to be “purified,” “cleansed,” or revised to change their
(old) covenant application into their New Covenant application.
SDAs greatly err when they force 9:23 to refer
to the Day of Atonement which only began in 1844 and has already lasted over 170 years. That which happened on Earth was only
a “figure for the time then present.”
Heb. 9:24 For Christ is not entered into
the holy places [hagia] made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now
to appear in the presence of God for us.
Contrast: “Christ is not” is contrast, not pattern
fulfillment. Since Christ is the veil (Heb 10:20), there are no separate “rooms” in God's dwelling place.
Whatever “figures of the true” means, no sane person would quote this text to prove that God lives in a 2-room
house in heaven. The “now” of 9:24 means first century, not 1844. The “presence of God” means exactly
what it literally says. Also contrary to the Old Covenant pattern, God's throne room in Revelation contains a rainbow,
24 elders, 7 Spirit-lamps of fire before the throne, a sea of glass and 4 creatures surrounding the throne --- all in contrast
with the O. T. patterns (Rev 4:2-8). The 1844 theology of two rooms is pure nonsense (Heb 9:24).
Again, “now” means first century A.
D. --- not 1844. The Old Covenant sanctuary had already been replaced by “heaven itself.” The Aaronic priesthood
had already been replaced with the non-Hebrew Melchizedek priesthood (Heb. 7:11-18). The everyday shadow rituals of the literal
altar of burnt offering, the water laver, the loaves, the candlestick, and the altar of incense had all ended in the reality
1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth?
Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have built?
40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretches
out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in.
Heb. 9:25 Nor yet that he
should offer himself often, as the high priest entering into the holy place every year with blood of others.
Contrast: “Nor yet” completes 9:24.
Since Christ is already “now” in the Presence of God (9:24), “neither” (nor yet) does He need to further
fulfill the Day of Atonement yearly ritual.
Contrast: Unlike Aaron, Christ became a High Priest-King
after the order of Melchizedek of which the Law and the Old Covenant pattern said absolutely nothing (7:12-19)! The
“sum” from 8:1 is that Christ is now seated (not standing) at the right hand of God in heaven itself
because He had finished His atonement. What did it take to place him there? It took completely replacing the law-patterned
priesthood with an eternal Melchizedek priesthood patterned after eternal principles (7:16, 19-22). It was “necessary
to change” the law-pattern and to bring in a newer better covenant (7:12; 8:7).
Covenant believers need to stop thinking about the New Covenant using Old Covenant terminology. “Christ is not”
in a tiny building in heaven that has compartments like that of the Old Covenant. “Christ is not.” Again, He “is
not.” He is “in heaven itself.” Since the first century He is “now” already in the “presence
of God for us” –- in the Most Holy since his ascension to the right hand of God.
9:26a For then he must have often suffered since the foundation of the world ...
Contrast: “For then
he must” --- if Christ had not ended the patterns, then he must repeat them! If Christ did not end the daily
sacrifices, then he must still die daily. If Christ did not end the yearly sacrifices (Day of Atonement), then he must still
Heb. 9:26b ... but now once in the end [consummation] of the world [ages] he has appeared
to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Contrast: “Now” refers to the first
century, not 1844 --- as also does “he has appeared.” On the one hand the Old Covenant inauguration needed to
be fulfilled by a better inauguration sacrifice in order to bring in a New Covenant. On the other hand, Christ did exactly
that and “now” (since Calvary) ministers using "new" covenant principles. The one important pattern-fulfillment
carried over from the Old to the New Covenant is that remission is only obtained through the shedding of blood (9:16-22).
Contrast: “But now -- once -- in the end of the combined ages” is contrast,
not pattern fulfillment. In a one-time event which occurred about 2000 years ago, all sacrificial ends (sun-teleo)
of all the ages were brought together and fulfilled by Jesus Christ. This includes the daily, monthly, seasonal and yearly
Day of Atonement sacrifices! As far as believers are concerned, the patterns of sacrificial-blood time from Adam's first
sin until the last daily morning sacrifice before Calvary have all ended in the “now” over 2000 years ago. Christ’s
sacrifice of Himself at Calvary reached from the “foundation of the world [kosmos]” to the “end
of the world.” “The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool”
“The LORD has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Ps.
110:4). These are Calvary events which forever ended the Old Covenant patterns.
Hebrews 9:25-26 clearly tell
everybody (except SDAs) "now” Christ “cleansed” all of the heavenly things (not in 1844), but at His
death, ascension and enthronement.
When 9:25 says “as the high priest entered into the holy place every
year,” there can be absolutely no doubt that it is referring to the “every year” in the Most Holy Place
on the Day of Atonement. Ta hagia, translated “holy place” in the KJV can also be translated “the
holies” and is translated “Most Holy Place” in both the New KJV and the NIV.
SDAs proclaim 1844 as the heavenly Day of Atonement and as a last day event warning about the nearness of the end of the age,
they ignore 9:26b which clearly places the event at the “now” of Calvary. This same “end of the age,”
“fullness of time” and “these last days” application of Calvary is also found in Acts 2:17; First
Corinthians 10:11; Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10; Hebrews 1:2 and First Peter 1:20 --- and none of these refer to 1844.
9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment [krisis].
Heb. 9:28 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 [not to deal with sin: RSV] unto salvation.
death the souls of unbelievers immediately go to Hades-Hell because they have rejected the gospel and are guilty (Lk 16:23;
Jn 3:16-21; Phil 1:23; Heb 12:1). They have an appointment at the Great White Throne to stand before God in order that the
entire Universe will know that God is just. Afterwards Hades will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-13).
On the other hand, for believers, Jesus Christ, the Melchizedek High Priest-King, ended the law-pattern and died “once.”
He did not die daily as a whole burnt offering, sin offering or trespass offering; neither will He again die yearly as the
Passover lamb or Day of Atonement goat. He died once!!! This is still all-inclusive terminology which began in verse 25. The
“end of the age” judgment” appointment for un-believers in verse 27 is missing in verse 28 because the believers’
sins were judged in Christ at Calvary. The “judgment” for believers was brought forward from the end of literal
time to the “end” of salvation-time at Calvary. Since only the sins of believers were involved in the sanctuary
ministry, Christ's death at Calvary fulfilled the one-day Day of Atonement for believers.
This is also the meaning of John 3:16. The judgment decree of “eternal life”
brings the decree from the end of literal time forward to the moment one “believes.” In John 4:14 Jesus promised
that believers would “never thirst” again for salvation. In John 5:24 Jesus said “He that hears my word,
and believes on him that sent me, [already] has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [krisis: judging process]
but has passed [already] from death unto life.” Romans 8:1 says “There is therefore now no condemnation [kata-krima:
contrary judgment sentence] to them which are in Christ Jesus.” There is no room in these texts for an 1844 new judgment
Contrast: According to First Thessalonians 4:13-17 and First
Corinthians 15:51-55, believers were looking for Christ to return even in the first century. With such expectation, there
is also o room for an 1844 judgment phase. They did not foresee a delay because Christ had not begun to read the books of
heaven in 1844. Jesus had already completely dealt with their sins at Calvary, had applied His atonement at the moment they
accepted Him as Lord and Savior and, under the New Covenant terms, had claimed the promise that “their sins and iniquities
will I remember no more” --- forgotten even in the first century.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD