While there were those who saw clearly the binding claims of God’s law and began to observe the Seventh-day Sabbath as set forth in the law of God, they encountered strong opposition. Of this and the reasons for it, Ellen White explains: {CIHS 9.1}

“Many and earnest were the efforts made to overthrow their faith. None could fail to see that if the earthly sanctuary was a figure or pattern of the heavenly, the law deposited in the ark on earth was an exact transcript of the law in the ark in heaven; and that an acceptance of the truth concerning the heavenly sanctuary involved an acknowledgment of the claims of God’s law, and the obligation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Here was the secret of the bitter and determined opposition to the harmonious exposition of the Scriptures that revealed the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary.”—The Great Controversy, 435. {CIHS 9.2}

It is little wonder that those in subsequent years defecting from the Seventh-day Adventist Church should make the sanctuary truth a point of opposition. It was so with Elders Snookand Brinkerhof, conference officers in Iowa, who withdrew in the middle 1860’s, and with D. M. Canright, an influential minister, who left the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1887 to become a bitter enemy and critic. Nor is it strange that the pantheistic views at the turn of the century, espoused and advocated by both medical and ministerial workers, should strike directly at this fundamental doctrine. It was in this setting that Ellen White in warning words wrote on November 20, 1905: {CIHS 9.3}

“To those medical missionaries and ministers who have been drinking in the scientific sophistries and bewitching fables against which you have been warned, I would say, Your souls are in peril. The world must know where you are standing and where Seventh-day Adventists are standing. God calls for all who have accepted these soul-destroying delusions no longer to halt between two opinions. If the Lord be God, follow Him. {CIHS 10.1}

“Satan, with all his host is on the battlefield. Christ’s soldiers are now to rally round the bloodstained banner of Emmanuel. In the name of the Lord, leave the black banner of the prince of darkness, and take your position with the Prince of heaven. {CIHS 10.2}

“‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ Read your Bibles. From higher ground, under the instruction given me of God, I present these things before you. The time is near when the deceptive powers of satanic agencies will be fully developed. On one side is Christ, who has been given all power in heaven and earth. On the other side is Satan, continually exercising his power to allure, to deceive with strong, spiritualistic sophistries, to remove God out of the place that He should occupy in the minds of men. {CIHS 10.3}

“Satan is striving continually to bring in fanciful suppositions in regard to the sanctuary, degrading the wonderful representations of God and the ministry of Christ for our salvation into something that suits the carnal mind. He removes its presiding power from the hearts of believers, and supplies its place with fantastic theories invented to make void the truths of the atonement, and destroy our confidence in the doctrines which we have held sacred since the third angel’s message was first given. Thus he would rob us of   our faith in the very message that has made us a separate people, and has given character and power to our work.”—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 16, 17. {CIHS 10.4}

It was in the setting of this pantheistic crisis that Ellen White, attending the General Conference session of 1905, declared in words significant to us today: {CIHS 11.1}

“In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith. Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years?”—Counsels to Writers and Editors, 53. {CIHS 11.2}

The pantheistic views, so earnestly advocated by some, Ellen White declared, would “do away with God” (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 16) and invalidate the sanctuary truth. {CIHS 11.3}

At about the same time one of our ministers, whom we will identify as “Elder G,” espoused the view that when Christ went back to heaven after his ministry on earth, He went into the presence of God, and that where God is, must be the most holy place, therefore on October 22, 1844, there was no entering into the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary as we believed and taught. These two concepts, both of which struck at the doctrine of the sanctuary as we held it, led Ellen White several times to refer to the soundness and integrity of this point of faith. In 1904 she wrote: {CIHS 11.4}

“They (the children of God) will not, by their words and acts, lead anyone to doubt in regard to the distinct personality of God, or in regard to the sanctuary and its ministry. {CIHS 11.5}

“We all need to keep the subject of the sanctuary in mind. God forbid that the clatter of words coming from human lips should lessen the belief of our people in the truth that there is a sanctuary in heaven, and that a pattern of this sanctuary was once built on this earth. God desires His people to become familiar with this pattern, keeping ever before their minds the heavenly sanctuary, where God is all and in all. We must keep our minds braced by prayer and a study of God’s Word, that we may grasp these truths.”—E. G. White Letter 233, 1904. {CIHS 11.6}

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