The Original Covenant

Yes, misread your psalm citation, Jeremy. Interesting that the NIV renders Ps. 77:13, “Your ways oh God are holy…” This would focus more on God himself, his power, and his rescuing of his people Israel in history from their adversaries, than the sanctuary service, and the forgiveness of individual sins.

This is the context of the psalm. The writer is grieved that God has forgotten not just himself personally, but his promise and hesed to his people as a whole. He appeals to God’s powerful deliverance of them in the past, including an allusion to the exodus, the Red Sea, and Moses and Aaron leading them through, at the end.

This is not a lament by the writer over his individual state. It is his lament for the state of his people, the collective whole. We, as modern, western, individualists, often miss the collective emphasis in the scriptures, as you have here. You have also managed to make this about the sanctuary to fit an Adventist theological hobbyhorse, when that isn’t what the psalm is about. At all, it seems.

This is the same type of problem, with the focus on the sanctuary that you make in Hebrews. The heavenly sanctuary in 1844 is not the point. It is used in an illustrative fashion to support the main point that Christ has supplanted and rendered obsolete the Jerusalem temple, its services, and its priesthood. He, what he has done, his own status as mediator, and the better promises and hope he gives, is the ultimate reality, and way to God. 1844 and the IJ is an eisegetical circus trick read into Hebrews, detracting from its point to its original audience… don’t go back to your former way of life and worship. Don’t trample the son of God under foot by doing so. Hold onto your faith under pressure and opposition, and to the end.

Again, it’s not really about heavenly furniture and architecture 1800 years later. It’s about Jesus and the issues and challenges to their faith in him that they were facing then. It is still relevant today.


I like what you’ve said here, Frank, but I don’t think you go far enough in rejecting the OT and Adventist dogma.

If Jesus is still with us in the “form” of the Holy Ghost, or what I prefer to think of in the more secular term of “consciousness “, we also need to move past the NT, EGW, et. als., given that each of has a more certain and direct link to our creator.

In other words, there is no point in reading and rehashing words that others have written about god when our maker is inside us; is, in fact, one and the the same thing as us, according to Jesus and countless other mystics. (This is risky, I admit, as this message is precisely the one for which the fundamentalists of his time wanted to stone Jesus…!)

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to say that god is functioning in his sanctuary, as opposed to saying simply that god is functioning, doesn’t detract from the reality that god is functioning…it doesn’t shift our focus from god himself, or his power, or his rescuing his people from their adversaries…

i think you have a stumbling block over the whole idea of sanctuary…for you, saying that jesus is now our high priest in the heavenly sanctuary, which is the overwhelming message in the book of Hebrews, detracts from the NC experience of having his law written in our hearts…in fact, for you, having god’s law written anywhere is a problem…

but here you veer from the mindset and understanding that the audience of the book of Hebrews would have necessarily had…because they were, as is reasonably assumed, cradle hebrews, their mindset of approaching god through priests in a sanctuary service of animal sacrifices wouldn’t have imposed any obstacles whatsoever to the NC concept of approaching god through the priesthood of christ in a heavenly sanctuary service centred around his personal sacrifice on calvary…in fact their sanctuary mindset would have facilitated this NT teaching as a natural, sequential step, a facility obviously recognized by the author of Hebrews…

no-one is saying that 1844 is the point of Hebrews (which the author of Hebrews likely didn’t understand)…what use would the author of Hebrews or his audience have had for an event far into the future…their attention was fixed on the transition from the OT sanctuary to the heavenly sanctuary, where it necessarily needed to be fixed…what’s important in their focus is not that it wasn’t directed on IJ, or the great anti-typical yom kippur…what’s important is that their background and intimate knowledge of the OT sanctuary obviated any need for an excessive delineation of the heavenly sanctuary services…in their moment in time, when the sacrifice of christ had essentially just been completed, christ hadn’t entered the MHP of the heavenly sanctuary to essentially begin a countdown to the end of time, as evangelicalism and the NIV want to have it…rather, he had entered the most holy places of the heavenly sanctuary to initiate its role and locus in universal salvation under NC terms…had the author of Hebrews been living and writing subsequent to the movement of christ into the MHP of the heavenly sanctuary, that is, had he been living and writing after 1844, we can safely extrapolate that he would have been as excited, if not more so, by that event and its spiritual significance as he was by the movement of christ into the heavenly sanctuary as a whole…

1844 and IJ is for us and our time…in the same way that jesus and his sacrifice on the cross could have had little use for the newly freed hebrew slaves from egypt, but was still truth, christ’s movement into the MHP of the heavenly sanctuary in order to initiate IJ and draw up his book of life could have had little use for hebrew, or any, believers suffering under the persecutions of nero…the book of Hebrews, like the books of moses, had a primary audience with localized concerns…it doesn’t mean that issues and truth they don’t specify don’t exist…we need to remember that the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day…what the morning doesn’t see or anticipate doesn’t negate what the evening is looking at full face…

Exactly! First century Jews would have been comfortable with that idea, because it was anchored in their world.

But, since you are speaking of progressive light, do you really still believe that God is anchored to a physical structure that is a one to one correspondence to the Jerusalem temple, or desert tabernacle? Do you believe that there are apartments to a celestial temple? Is there a laver? Why or why not? Are there candlesticks that are tended to, especially in light of Christ calling himself and then his followers the light of the world? How about the necessity of a dividing curtain, especially since Hebrews says that it is Christ’s body? Is there a table of the presence bread, especially since Christ elsewhere called himself the true bread? How about the idea that Hebrews ends up equating heaven itself, the place of God’s presence, with the sanctuary… saying essentially that any place where God is, and can be met, is most holy.

This is the point, Jesus has made the way, through his own self giving sacrifice, resurrection, and intercession, for us to come all the way into the presence of God. With no barriers. Heaven and earth meet together in Christ and his Spirit, the way that Jews viewed the temple/sacred space. This is the most holy place, where humans meet with God, in Christ himself, the sanctuary imagery giving context, even though it is not a one to one correspondence. To then try to extrapolate the IJ, as truth for our time, from this imagery, and updated through a distortion of Daniel 8:14, is an exegetical house of cards.

As far as the law written on the heart, you completely misconstrue or ignore what I’ve said about that in other posts, and have completely misrepresented what I believe by a flip comment.


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Yes, I believe that Jesus is with us through the spirit. I believe that someone such as Paul was placing this in the center of the life the church, as opposed to the Torah/OT.

However, I don’t get that the substance of Jesus’s teaching, like the mystics, was that God is in each one of us, or is one and the same thing as each or all of us. Jesus didn’t come proclaiming our godhood, or our natural connection with God, he came preaching the kingdom of God arriving through him. His call to all who heard him was to repent… to turn and follow him, because God’s present rule was now at hand. Indeed, that rule was powerful, healing, and transformative, bringing God’s very presence to all who would respond.

I find the closest passage to the idea that God’s presence naturally dwells in all people is in Luke 17, where the common translation of what Jesus was saying to a group of Pharisees is, “The kingdom of God is within you.” But, contextually, the alternate translation, “The kingdom is in your midst/among you,” makes more sense. Jesus was speaking to a group looking for signs of the kingdom. He was letting them know that in their preoccupation with sign watching, they were missing the presence and gracious reign of God already being enacted through him, right in front of their noses. We, especially apocalyptically minded Adventists, are prone to doing the same today.

If you have other ideas about what Jesus taught that you find more meaningful, that’s fine. I just can’t read the NT, toss out what Jesus was recorded there as teaching, and substitute a different framework as being representative of what he taught. I find no exegetical basis for such.


well, i think the balance of biblical evidence is that there is a physical structure for the sanctuary in heaven, a model of which is what the OT sanctuary was based on…i don’t think we need to conclude that this model was covered in badger skins, or if it was, that the actual heavenly sanctuary is (it’s doubtful that even solomon’s temple was)…and i don’t think this means that god is “anchored”, or in any way stuck, in the heavenly sanctuary…after-all, we know from the visions of daniel and ezekiel that god’s throne is mobile, which implies his own mobility…Rev 9:20 says idols don’t walk, implying that god does…

i also don’t think christ’s identity as the living water, bread of life, or light of the world implies that the substance of the sanctuary in heaven is nothing more than metaphysical…after-all, he made these proclamations about himself when the temple of jerusalem was visible, standing, and still in operation…that is, he had no problem spiritualizing aspects of that sanctuary while it existed as a physical structure…

i think the strongest direct evidence for a physical structure for the heavenly sanctuary is Heb 8:2, which explains to us that the heavenly sanctuary is the “true tabernacle, which the lord pitched, and not man”…this is saying that the heavenly sanctuary is a physical structure built by god…this statement is categorically false if there isn’t a physical heavenly sanctuary built by god…

but equally compelling, in my view, is Rev 21:22, which explains to us that there is no temple in the new jerusalem because god the father and the son are its temple…while this doesn’t rule out a temple outside of the new jerusalem, it does imply that the qualities of deity supply everything needed for worship in a perfect, and glorified, environment…this fact, of course, adds particular meaning to christ’s equation of himself with some of the features of the sanctuary, almost as if he’s alluding to a future condition of things…but in the context we are discussing, the absence of a physical temple in the new jerusalem, as a special thing john notes, says clearly that there was a temple in heaven before the new jerusalem, which is the time we’re living in now…this raises the intriguing possibility that the sole purpose and function of the heavenly sanctuary is to manage the salvation of lost humanity, and that when this great work is completed, there is no need of a heavenly sanctuary…

God didn’t write the OT.
Jesus didn’t write the NT.
Further, one cannot prove a text by the selfsame text.
Thus I find no reason to believe that either is sanctioned by the subject.

I understand your point. But what basis do you have to characterize Jesus’s teaching as equivalent to that of the mystics? What basis is there to say that he affirmed the godhood of human beings?

I’m using the NT and the gospels as a source, considering they date from the first century, and were recognized from that time as authoritative by the church. What sources do you base your views on? And, what is their reliability?


This was discussed in my original post.

God inside of each one of us? Bruce, you’re pointing to an entirely subjective experience. I’ve heard enough people in my life say, “The Spirit told me,” while saying the most off the wall, bizarre stuff. How can that be considered a reliable picture of who God is?

Paul spoke of the Spirit’s presence and power in conjunction with the preached gospel of king Jesus. Not as an amorphous, subjective, mystical experience. He also located this as a shared experience, amongst those who had joined up in faithful allegiance to Jesus.

Then again… I’ve heard enough people say the most bizarre stuff with the Bible in their hands, as well. Including myself over the years Lol!

There is something to be said for the idea that we see through a glass but dimly, and that our knowledge is in part. Guards against the idea that we have all the answers.



Very good, Jeremy. Some good points! Thanks for the discussion…


Quoting scripture to a person who doesn’t believe scripture is god’s preferred means of communication is like trying to scare an atheist with the concept of hell.

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I get that. But, saying that Jesus taught mystical experience, and the innate divinity of all people to someone who does believe the gospel from the NT, is like speaking in non sequiters.

We’re speaking different languages and from different loci.



You’re welcome, Frank, although I’m not sure for what, given that you don’t find any value in anything I’ve said and that it is all subjective, according to you.

Further, you almost certainly won’t thank me for pointing out that you are demonstrably wrong on at least two points.

First, we both live on planet earth and second, each of us speaks English.

However, the even greater divergence from what I consider to be rational discourse—as opposed to your lecturing to me like a teacher talking down to a bizarre kid in his class—is that I think you would do well to take your own advice and resist the temptation to think that you have all the answers, particularly regarding the essential nature of a person 2,000 years gone and about whom you’ve apparently only ever read stories.

I understand you believe the NT but if so, you also admit that it is, by its own admission, incomplete as well as being, of an absolute necessity, an abridged version of “The Truth”.

(No one could or would write a book that starts “At six o’clock, I woke up. At 6:00.07, I rubbed sleepers from my eyes. At 6:00.27, I threw back the covers. At 6:01…etc., much less expect anyone to read that book.)

Further, none of authors of the four versions accepted into the biblical canon, nor any of the dozens of other “gospels”–whoever may have produced any of them—ever tried to, or could prove that they were publishing their “good news” with the imprimatur of Jesus.

(The notion that Paul nee Saul was a “Christian”, by any definition other than the one he had come up with personally, I reject as he—like EGW—only ever met Jesus in his dreams or perhaps in some sort of seizure.)

Also, while I will not do the exegesis for you by reciting chapter and verse, the record we have states that Jesus had secret lessons he taught only to certain disciples, that he repeatedly chided those closest to him for “not getting it”, that he had other sheep in other flocks, that he told his listeners—quoting Psalms–“Ye are gods”, that he believed his followers would achieve things which would make his accomplishments seem childish by comparison, that he wanted his message disseminated orally and person to person as opposed to the opposite of that which is putting it in writing and attempting to do so, en masse, etc.

I even suspect—based on the fact that none of the disciples to whom the four gospels are attributed, except perhaps for the book of John, actually wrote the books with their names attached to them—that Jesus implored his disciples to follow his example of not writing anything at all, as he knew the pitfalls associated with doing so and that few, if any of the 12, violated this dictum. But—not surprisingly—I can’t find any mention of that admonition in the bible, either!

Most important to keep in mind—at least from my perspective—is the fact that words are not and cannot be the things they attempt to describe, and thus language can only ever convey relative truth.

So, no.

If you go looking for a text saying “Jesus was a mystic.” you won’t find it.

Which might be significant, in some existential way I suppose.

But which may merely result from the fact that this word was not in common usage during either Jesus’ or King James’ day.

And even beyond that, there are lots of other things the NT doesn’t tell us about Jesus. For example, we do not know if Jesus experienced what most human consider “normal bodily functions”.

I assume he did, but I do so speculatively and with no proof.

While you, along with every other NT-believing Christian, are free to believe that Jesus never, ever blew his nose, based on nothing other than that the NT doesn’t specifically mention those times when he did. :wink:

Having said all of that, however, I agree that to pursue the conversation further without your acknowledgment of at least the possibility of an interpretation and/or understanding of scripture other than the one which you prefer (and which you cannot objectively and conclusively show is the view which aligns completely and correctly with that of Jesus himself) would be tantamount to having an “I’m OK, You’re a Fool”-type conversation, which both Solomon and Mark Twain have heartedly advised against. :slight_smile:

Again, you are most welcome,


Bruce…I didn’t thank you for anything, except for at least reading my last post to you.

Secondly, you don’t seem to see that everything you hurl at me can be turned around. Anyone who believes the gospel as recounted in the gospels is a poor benighted idiot…that’s the way your posts come across.

I’ve challenged statements you’ve made and their underlying rationale, and you’ve taken it as me lecturing a problem child. I’m sorry for that. I never intended that. You’ve also been challenging statements I’ve made, and their underlying bases. Assertions can be challenged, mine and yours.

And, you make assertions based on what? You’re own shaping of evidence, or what you deem lack thereof, and your own cherry picked assumptions… like Jesus implored his disciples not to write anything? Where do you get that? On what basis? Or that people like me don’t believe that “Jesus blew his nose?” Really now? You don’t know what I believe concerning his humanity, and yet you throw that kind of shade.

Or, that Paul became a follower and proclaimer of the Christ because of a seizure? That’s fine if you believe that, but how is your assertion any less subjective than making assertions from the NT itself concerning Paul’s experience and motivations? Again, on what basis do you hold this as fact?

The bottom line is, the gospels and the NT, with their limitations of language and culture hold no weight for you as being reliable for just about anything. That’s fine. But, don’t pretend that you don’t come to the table with your own pre determined biases.

I’m under no illusion that the gospels are an exhaustive history of Jesus, in the way we understand and do history today. That wasn’t their purpose. I understand they are theologically shaped documents. But, I do find enough internal consistency in them to think that they give an idea of what Jesus taught and did, even with their variations and agendas. I also have found power in the gospel like nothing else I’ve encountered in life. Again, my own experience.

I was merely sharing with you how I understand the gospels and the NT within their context, if we take them for what they claim to be… witnesses to Jesus the messiah, and how they internally expressed that understanding.

I said that I believe that all our knowledge is partial. That Includes our understanding even of the existence or non existence of God. It can’t be proven. I’m open to that possibility. Are you open to any other than yours?


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No thank you, Frank.

Once one knows that our maker’s omnipotence includes the power to interact directly with any of his creatures–which is what I consider to be a non-mysterious, working definition of mysticism–the idea of going back to reading books about what God is “really” like according to some 2,000 year old hearsay simply no longer holds any emotional appeal and is logically uncompelling.

I spent the first 25 years of my life being forced to accept the concept of “sola scritura”–well, that and the mountain of “supposedly” divine disinformation served up by EGW–and, to take Paul up a notch, for me, personally, sliding back into that would like a dog returning to anther dog’s vomit…

I can respect where you’re coming from, Bruce.


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[quote=“vandieman, post:20, topic:21585”] [capitals are from the original Hebrew]
2300 doesn’t refer to 2300 sacrifices, or 1150 days

Hey, Dan 8:14 gives the answer to the question of how many of the identical evening and morning (tamid) sacrifices the people would have to miss. The answer given is 2300. Since the sacrifices are identical, twice per day, that’s 1150 days. So where did the Jews get the idea that the subject was their sacrifices and not a papacy. (What’s that?)

11…by him the daily SACRIFICE was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.]

12 And an host was given him against the daily SACRIFICE

13 How long shall be the vision concerning the daily SACRIFICE ,

14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred EVENINGS AND MORNINGS; then shall the sanctuary be RESTORED. [Capitalized words are from the original Hebrew] (Dan 8:11-14).

The sacrifices were separate, identical services, not sets of two and fit the number that Antiochus prevented. There were never any sacrifices going on in heaven to be interrupted and resumed!

(I recognize that you’re supporting our pioneers’ penchant for finding a pope under every rock because I used to sing from the same songbook. :wink: )


it isn’t a question of our pioneers’ penchants, or of finding a pope under every irrelevant rock…first of all, the identification of the papacy with antichrist, and all that that entails in the books of Daniel and Revelation, didn’t originate with our pioneers…centuries before them, reformers and martyrs were doing the same…

i was just reading an interesting article by SAU’s pettibone on luther’s reluctant conclusion that the papacy was indeed antichrist (this article is here: )…luther believed that the pope took on some of the prerogatives of god, such as law making (not with respect to changing the sabbath from the 7th day to the 1st day, but in other matters), and that some of the catholic church’s teachings, which he referred to as the doctrine of merit, directly interposed between believers and the grace of christ and the centrality of justification, or imputed righteousness, in the salvation equation…luther felt that the papacy effectively encompassed Matt 24:15’s abomination of desolation reference to Dan 11:31…

luther sounds like an adventist, doesn’t he :slightly_smiling_face:

but several other reformers, such as huss, wycliffe, and oldcastle; bishops like arnulf of orleans (A.D.991); and even catholic orders, like the fraticelli; not to mention all the victims of the centuries of catholic persecution, like the waldensians and the albigensians, all held the papacy to be the antichrist, and a direct fulfillment of apocalyptic prophecy…

so there are very good reasons to find “a pope under every rock” of prophecy, and we are in very good company when we do so…my view is that the catholic church’s claimed change of the seventh-day sabbath to sunday, with the current pope calling for a universal sunday rest day, is all that is needed to see that the papacy is the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8, and the sea beast of Rev 13…i think it’s impossible to ignore biblical warnings against it, even though its resurgence is obviously still developing…

Imagine we’re above the north pole the moment the first sabbath began and we could see the sabbatth “dayline” and the growing area where it’s sabbath. Presume the sabbath began on the seventh day of earth’s existence… It’s pre-flood so we can’t see any landmarks. Our sabbath doctrine defines the weekly sabbath today to begin in exact seven-day synchronization with that first one.

We teach that Jesus didn’t have access to knowledge we don’t have, so we can’t use His timing. In any event, it can be shown that Saturday was the first day off the week until Constantine dropped a day to make Sunday the premier day of the week.

In some parts of Europe calendars show that Sunday is the 7th day of the week. By international agreement the first day of the week is Monday. Knowledgeable Jewish historians declare that the the weekly sabbath began at dawn until a couple of millenia ago.

How could a Sunday law make things any worse? :upside_down_face: