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The Antitypical Day of Atonement

Part One

We who have adopted the basic knowledge of Seventh Day Adventism are acquainted with the phrase “We are living in the Anti-typical Day of Atonement”. Many of us were introduced to those beautiful images of Jesus clothed in the garments of a High Priest standing before the Ark of the Covenant bringing atonement for all mankind. The inspiration for these visual depictions emits from the writing of Ellen G. White who was shown in vision “As Jesus ended His ministration in the holy place and closed the door of that apartment, a great darkness settled upon those who had heard and rejected the message of His coming, and they lost sight of Him. Jesus then clothed Himself with precious garments. Around the bottom of His robe was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. A breastplate of curious work was suspended from His shoulders. As He moved, this glittered like diamonds, magnifying letters which looked like names written or engraved upon the breastplate. Upon His head was something which had the appearance of a crown. When fully attired, He was surrounded by angels, and in a flaming chariot He passed within the second veil”. (Early Writings Page 251)

I want you to look carefully at the pictures below and note the extreme differences between the two figures which the artists have drawn. We see that Mrs. White’s vision of Jesus the High Priest (depicted on the left) does not correspond to the description of the Levitical High Priest described in the book of Leviticus (shown on the right). "This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area…He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on.” (Leviticus 16:3-4) According to the Book of Leviticus, the High Priest stands before the Ark of the Covenant unadorned, clothed only in white linen. But according to Ellen White, once Jesus enters the Most Holy Place, he remains there fully adorned as the High Priest and exits as a warrior King. However, in the event sequence of the Levitical system, the High Priest moves in and out of the sanctuary compartments multiple times clothed in white linen, finally emerging from the sanctuary fully adorned as the High Priest (not as a King). 















These two depictions are not at all anti-typical in nature because neither their dress, nor the sequence of their actions resemble each other. Upon first glance we are forced to determine which version of the Day of Atonement to believe in order to be on the righteous path; the sequence described by Moses or Ellen White? Now the fundamental test of biblical truth for a Seventh Day Adventist is this: In order for a prophet’s message to be true, the alleged supernatural communication must be consistent with the writings of Moses. “To the Law (the writings of Moses) and to the Testimony if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). If you are of Seventh Day Adventist heritage, you may be recoiling. If your first reaction is to trade off the authority of Moses (the foundation of the Biblical Faith) for the Writings of Ellen White; you will lose your biblical credibility with the masses looking for Bible truth. You could sweep this observation under the rug and ignore it. But I assure you that as we enter into the “Last Days” the church will be forced to answer for these apparent contradictions. As the pressure of persecution becomes imminent, many will come face to face with contradictions such as these and abandon the faith. 

If Mrs. White truly did receive a vision given from a divine source, then the revelations must be reconcilable with the Law of Moses. In addition, the revelations must not contradict what has been previously stated by the Prophets who are also in agreement with the Law of Moses. As we adopt this line of thinking, the Seventh Day Adventist will find that the events described in Ellen White’s vision are not anti-typical at all, but rather, they are complimentary. Note the following vision Mrs White receive about the Close of Probation: “I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven. An angel with a writer's ink-horn by his side returned from the earth and reported to Jesus that his work was done, and the saints were numbered and sealed. Then I saw Jesus, who had been ministering before the ark containing the ten commandments, throw down the censer. He raised His hands, and with a loud voice said, "It is done." And all the angelic host laid off their crowns as Jesus made the solemn declaration, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." (Early Writings page 279)

Who is this Angel with a Writer’s Ink-horn who communicates to Jesus in Most Holy Place in Heaven? You can find out more about him in the Book of Ezekiel. “Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, "Bring the guards of the city here, each with a weapon in his hand." And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a “man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side”… Then the LORD called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it." (Ezekiel 9:1-4) Here we see a man with the Writers Ink-horn clothed in Linen moving in and out of the heavenly sanctuary just as the Israelite High Priest was commanded. He is also clothed in linen garments which make him compliant to the garments of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement ceremony as described by the Law of Moses.

I am only touching on part of what I would call “reconcilable differences” between the visions of Ellen White and the Torah. There is much more that can be shown as I continue this series of Posts.

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