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Crosscurrents in Adventist Christology

by Claude Webster


B. The Work of Jesus Christ

After having viewed Heppenstall's concepts regarding the Person of Christ we now come to the picture of His work. While Christ's work encompasses His earthly life of obedience and victory and His glorious second advent and eternal reign, we have chosen two intermediary aspects of the work of Christ as presented by Heppenstall. The first will be Christ and the cross, and the second, Christ and His heavenly ministry.178

l. Christ and the cross

While Heppenstall emphasizes the sinless life of Christ as a substitution for our disobedience and often links the life and death of Christ together,179 there is no question but that Heppenstall singles out the cross for special attention and treatment.180  Let us look at Heppenstall's teaching regarding the centrality of the cross, the revelation of the cross and the accomplishment of the cross.

a. The centrality of the cross

Heppenstall emphasizes the central place occupied by Jesus Christ and the cross of Calvary in the plan of God and the drama of the ages.181  The cross was not an afterthought, but was a foreordained plan as part of the everlasting covenant.182  When it comes to the history of this world and its relation to the cross, Heppenstall divides salvation history into three broad periods, namely, promise, redemption and judgment.183  Redemption is central and points primarily to the events surrounding the cross of Calvary.184  The promise in the Old Testament pointed forward to the redemption of the cross and the judgment looks back and is based on the accomplishments of Calvary.

For Heppenstall salvation issues forth from Christ and the cross.185  He upholds the greatness and wonder of salvation in Jesus Christ with the pivotal point being in the cross.186  The cross becomes the turning point for all men and is upheld as the stupendous act of God.187  Heppenstall sees all lines of salvation history meeting at the cross.188  When it comes to the gospel of salvation, he finds the "death and resurrection of Christ" to be "the central core of the gospel."189  The cross occupies the central place in salvation history and is the climax of Christ's work.190 

b. The revelation of the cross

Heppenstall sees the cross as a medium of revelation to this world and to the entire universe. Firstly, the cross is a revelation of the character of God. If one's spiritual eyes have been enlightened the cross will be seen to reveal the tremendous love of God for a lost race.191  That love was so strong and deep that God was willing to go to the cross in the person of His Son. But, not only is the cross a revelation of the love of God; it is also an unveiling of His righteousness.192  God's character is holy and righteous and if sin and the transgression of the law called for nothing else than the cross of Calvary, one can appreciate to a limited extent the righteousness of God. Furthermore, the cross is a revelation of the justice of God.193  The transgression of the law called for the death of the sinner and God's heart yearned to forgive. But God's justice called for the offering of Himself upon the cross that He might lawfully accept repentant sinners on the basis of Christ's substitutionary death.

Heppenstall also sees the cross of Calvary as a revelation of the character and nature of sin.194  Seen in the light of Calvary, sin is not something superficial or insignificant. If sin called for the death of God's beloved Son, it must be a condition of deep and grave consequence in a universe where love reigns. Finally, the cross is also a revelation of man at his worst.195  It was the work of men and the sin of the world which placed Christ upon the cross. The events surrounding the cross brought out some of the worst traits of humanity. And yet, the same events also revealed that man can respond to the love of God, and Calvary shows us that sinners can be transformed into the image of God by His grace and power.196 

c. The accomplishments of the cross

Heppenstall sees certain divine moral issues and necessities within the Godhead which called for reaction to the sin problem.197  These issues involved God's character of holiness together with His love, justice and mercy. God could not ignore the problem of sin and evil and He chose to settle this problem at Calvary.198  and called for the death of His Son.199 

The cross was God's judgment At the cross of Calvary a full and complete atonement was made for sin.200  Redemption was accomplished and provided for all. Heppenstall has a ring of finality about Calvary where the work of expiation of sin was performed. Christ's sacrifice on the cross was a once-for-all offering and will never be repeated. Nothing more needs to be done beyond Calvary to make salvation secure. The words of Christ, "It is finished," have significance for the work of the cross.

On the cross Christ bore the sins of all men and with His precious blood He paid the full penalty for the broken law.201 This accomplishment has provided a full salvation for all repentant sinners. The death of Christ on the cross has brought vindication to a righteous God and to His moral law before the universe.202 These events at Calvary brought defeat to the originator of evil and sin.203

2. Christ and His heavenly ministry

While Heppenstall believes in the centrality of the cross and that a complete atonement was there achieved, he places great importance on the continuing priestly ministry of Christ as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary beyond the cross.204 "With the resurrection and ascension of Christ, the center of the drama shifted to the sanctuary in heaven."205 Here Christ is still engaged in a ministry of reconciliation, based on the finished work of Calvary. This work is certainly not sacrificial,206 for this aspect was accomplished by Christ once-and-for-all on earth. Neither is it bearing sin,207 for this work Christ also did once on the cross. Rather, Christ's work is one of redemption and judgment208 corresponding to the earthly sanctuary.

While Heppenstall has presented a threefold scheme in the divine plan consisting of promise, the act of redemption and the work of judgment,209 he has presented a similar scheme in the work of atonement. This is a complete atonement at the cross, an ongoing atonement of intercession and redemption, and finally, atonement through judgment.210 Here, Heppenstall follows the Adventist concept of a tension in the atonement between the now and the not yet; between the accomplished and the yet to be realized.211 With his anchor tied firmly to the cross, he can reach out to an ongoing ministry of intercession and judgment in which the benefits of the atonement are applied to man.212

For Heppenstall the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary is truly good news.213 At the Father's right hand Christ is engaged in the work of redemption, in directing the progress of the church on earth, and in supervising God's designs throughout the universe.214 Everything in this ministry of Christ is dynamic, genuine and vital.215

Heppenstall sees the intercession of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary as based on the shed blood of Christ.216 For him "the blood of Christ is heaven's currency."217 It provides the basis for all intercession in the heavenly sanctuary. The New Testament speaks of the blood of Christ exercising positive redemptive action.218 The blood justifies, reconciles, redeems, cleanses and sanctifies.219 "Nowhere does the blood of Christ defile. Only sin defiles."220

The mediatorial work of Christ is given emphasis and wide scope by Heppenstall.221 One important aspect of this work of Christ as Mediator is the work of intercession and redemption from the heavenly sanctuary. Flowing from the cross, Christ performs His work of intercession before the Father. This must not be taken to indicate an antithesis between the Father and the Son.222 There is total harmony as Jesus Christ provides access for man, perfect security for the repentant, salvation to the uttermost, saving faith leading to works of faith, and merit for the deficiencies of the saints.223

In traditional Adventism, the third phase of Christ's work of atonement was referred to as the 'investigative judgment' and was pictured mainly as an examination of the character of the saints.224 Heppenstall has been responsible for introducing the term 'pre-Advent judgment'225 rather than 'investigative judgment.' He also has taught that the scope of this judgment work of Christ should be widened and broadened to include a judgment against the 'little horn' and the enemies of God.226 Furthermore, when it comes to the saints, Heppenstall has taught that the judgment is "in favor" of them rather than against them.227 This shift in emphasis has been followed by a number of present-day Adventist scholars.228

Heppenstall sees this judgment phase of Christ's High Priestly work from the throne as an important aspect of the prophetic message of Daniel and the Revelation.229 Only a correct understanding of the 'pre-Advent' judgment will give a proper perspective to these messages. The ministry of Christ in the work of judgment during the antitypical Day of Atonement is also based on Christ's finished work on the cross.230 Christ's ministry from the throne will finally expose the total effects of sin, bring final vindication to the character of God before the universe,231  provide evidence for a favorable verdict on behalf of the saints,232 establish the responsibility of Satan for sin and rebellion, and open the way for the total eradication of sin and rebellion in God's universe.233


178 While Heppenstall believes in Christ's resurrection and in the Parousia, the emphasis in his three main works refers to the two aspects we have chosen. [back]

179 Note Heppenstall's thought: "The divine source of saving righteousness is Jesus Christ, His person and His work on earth" (Salvation Unlimited, p.33). Also: "Had Christ disobeyed the law in the slightest degree, there would not be a divine righteousness to reckon to man's account" (Ibid., p.39). See also "Should Christians Obey the Law of God," These Times, March 1969, p.12. In connection with the life and death of Christ being linked, notice: "In His life on earth and by His death on the cross Christ made possible eternal salvation for us" ("Anchored to Christ," The Signs of the Times, June 1966). Heppenstall also speaks of the claims of the life and death of Christ upon the human heart (see "What is man worth?" These Times, January 1969, p.6). Note the chapter "Saving Righteousness Revealed," in Salvation Unlimited, pp. 26-43. [back]

180 The cross is certainly central in Heppenstall's thinking and writing. See, for example, the following: "Christ our Sacrifice," Our High Priest, pp. 33-48; see the five chapters in Syllabus for Bible Doctrines, Vol. 1, devoted to the cross - "The Place of the Cross in the Redemptive Plan," "The Place of the Cross in the Life of Christ," "The Place of the Cross in Christian Experience." The last chapter is repeated three times, devoted to justification, regeneration and sanctification. See pp. 29-47. For Heppenstall the goal of the Incarnation is the cross. [back]

181 Note especially Heppenstall's chapter, "The Place of the Cross in the Redemptive Plan," in Syllabus for Bible Doctrines, Vol. l, pp. 29-31. Here he shows the centrality of the cross in the origin of the plan of salvation and then during salvation history in the Word of God. See also Access to God, p.7. [back]

182 Speaking about the plan of salvation and the covenant of mercy Heppenstall says: "Notice that this is the eternal covenant made between the Father and the Son in eternity, called 'the everlasting covenant" (Syllabus for 8ible Doctrines, Vol. 1, p.29). Heppenstall sees, therefore, the cross as part of God's plan from eternity in the light of his foreknowledge of sin. [back]

183 Heppenstall speaks of "the promise, with which the Old Testament is largely concerned; the act of redemption at the cross and its subsequent proclamation; and finally, the work of judgment" ("Sin, Salvation, and the Sanctuary," The Ministry, March 1977, p.13). This appeared first in his book, Our High Priest (1972), p.14. See also "How God Works to Save Us," These Times, February 1973, p.12. We note that redemption at the cross is pivotal for Heppenstall. [back]

184 See "The Place of the Cross in the Life of Christ," Syllabus for 8ible Doctrines, Vol. 1, pp.32-34; Our High Priest, pp.33-48. [back]

185 Heppenstall states: "All salvation stems from Christ and His work on the cross...God has provided re-conciliation in Christ and in the gospel and nowhere else" (Access to God, p.8). If there is any central point in Heppenstall's theology it is Christ and the cross. [back]

186 Heppenstall says we must recognize the awfulness of sin "in order that we may trust in the exceeding greatness of salvation in Christ" ("Getting Rid of Sin," The Signs of the Times, August 1965, p.13). [back]

187 Heppenstall speaks of it as the "turning point for all men" and the "stupendous act of God" (Ibid.). [back]

188 Heppenstall writes: "All the lines of human history meet at the cross...Christ, the perfect Man, covers the believer with the robe of His righteousness" (Salvation Unlimited, p.43). [back]

189 Heppenstall, Our High Priest, p.37. [back]

190 Heppenstall is emphatic: "Christ crucified is central" (Our High Priest, p.21). Also: "The cross constitutes the climax of Christ's work for the salvation of men" (In Touch with God, p.19). [back]

191 Heppenstall speaks of: "The foolishness of the cross as the great revelation of God's love for lost men" ("The Love your Heart is Needing," The Signs of the Times, April 1958, p.22). See also Access to God, p.11; Our High Priest, pp. 38-48.[back]

192 Observe: "So the cross is the marvelous revelation of the loving and righteous character of God" (Heppenstall, Our High Priest, p.48). "God was there at His sublimest" ("The Love your Heart is Needing," The Signs of the Times, April 1958, p.23). Heppenstall can adequately combine the love and righteousness of God at Calvary. [back]

193 Heppenstall shows that the cross of Calvary reveals not only the love of God but also His justice. See Our High Priest, pp.40-48. "Both love and justice are real in God" (Ibid., p.47).For Heppenstall the demands of God's broken law call for a just penalty. This was provided in Christ. [back]

194 Heppenstall observes: "Calvary testifies to the horrible nature of sin, the terrible price God paid because of man's departure from the law of God" ("Why Don't we Delight in God's Law?" These Times, September 1965, p.26). The whole sanctuary service dealt with the problem of sin. See Heppenstall, Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary, 1958.Also his entire book Our High Priest. [back]

195 In speaking of the cruelty, hostility and lovelessness of man revealed at Calvary, Heppenstall writes: "The cross exposes forever the true nature of man, as it reveals the true nature of God" ("The Love your Heart is Needing," The Signs of the Times, April 1958, p.22). On the evil nature of man see Heppenstall, Salvation Unlimited, pp.7-25 .[back]

196 See Heppenstall, "Christ's Gift is Life," Salvation Unlimited, pp. 120-143. [back]

197 Note Heppenstall's treatment of "God's problem with Sin," in Our High Priest, pp. 38-48. Here he says: "The sacrifice of Christ, then, first meets necessities within the Godhead itself" (Ibid., p.42); "The necessity for Christ's death lies in the righteousness of God rather than in the radical nature of man's rebellion" (Ibid., p.43); "The cross met divine moral issues" (Ibid., p.44). [back]

198 Heppenstall speaks of the "sacrifice of the Son of God as the divine solution to the sin problem" (Our High Priest, p.39). He also wrote in 1967: "The atoning work of Christ is the complete answer to the sin problem" ("Does Gospel Nullify Law?" The Signs of the Times, August 1967, p.13). [back]

199 "The cross is also a divine expression of judgment on sin" (Heppenstall, Our High Priest, p.43). Note a similar thought: "Since Christ passed judgment on our sins at the cross, it is imperative that we agree with that judgment" ("The Gospel of Reconciliation," Review and Herald, September 1, 1966, Vol. 143, No. 41, p.5). See also Salvation Unlimited, pp. 52,54. [back]

200 This idea of a complete atonement at the cross has always been a major theme with Heppenstall. See Heppenstall's Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, January 1958, pp.6-8 where he discusses the meaning of the completed atonement on the cross. (See also the syllabus, Doctrine of the Atonement, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, 1966, which is identical to the above. Here he deals with the charge of a double atonement made against Seventh-day Adventists. Heppenstall says: "If one speaks of the redemption price paid for sin and sinners, the actual redemption of the human race in the heart and mind of God, then the atonement is complete at the cross" (Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary, p.6). If, however, one means by the atonement the complete eradication of sin as represented by the typical Day of Atonement, including the banishment of Satan, then obviously, the atonement is not complete at the cross (see Ibid.). Taking the first meaning, Heppenstall produces arguments for a completed atonement at the cross (see Ibid., pp.6-8). Note some of his observations: "Our acceptance of the atonement does not in any way add to the completion of the atonement...God has done it all....It is a work outside of man in which 'God has reconciled the world unto himself.' Reconciliation, the atonement is something which is done. There is a work called the atonement which is in process, but it has as its basis the finished work of Christ...Nothing else can be added to that which has been wrought out on the cross" (Ibid., p.7). See also Our High Priest (1972), pp. 33, 34, 171, ("His complete atonement at the cross"); Salvation Unlimited (1974), pp.104,179; In Touch with God (1975), pp.37, 100, 213. In this stand Heppenstall was in agreement with such other Seventh-day Adventist representatives as Walter Read, Roy Anderson and Leroy Froom, chief architects of Questions on Doctrine (1957). This book also advocated the completed atonement on the cross. Other Seventh-day Adventists felt that this position denied the special emphasis on the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary and the significance of the antitypical Day of Atonement service in the heavenly sanctuary beyond 1844. They looked upon this 'final atonement' in the heavenly sanctuary as something in addition to the atonement on the cross. One representative of this group was M. L. Andreasen, a former professor of the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary in Washington, D.C. He opposed both Heppenstall and Questions on Doctrine, especially on the atonement and the nature of Christ. He wrote his Letters to the Churches, Palmwoods, Queensland: Judgment Hour Publishing Company, [n.d.]. These were really underground letters of opposition which he distributed, and unfortunately, the experience embittered Andreasen. The relationship between himself and the church administrators became strained, but fortunately, a better understanding was reached before his death. Froom's Movement of Destiny (1971) appeared later confirming the position of Heppenstall and Questions on Doctrine regarding the atonement and the nature of Christ [back]

201 Heppenstall writes: "On Calvary Christ bore our sins and paid the penalty for them" (In Touch with God, p.37). He says Christ was our sin-bearer and took upon Himself our guilt and paid the penalty for sin (see Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary, p.12) on the cross. See also Access to God, pp. 17,19; "The Gospel of Reconciliation," Review and Herald, September l, 1966, pp.2,3; Our High Priest, pp. 35,169; Salvation Unlimited, p.54. Heppenstall has Christ dealing with the guilt and the penalty of sin at the cross. [back]

202 Heppenstall says that the atonement on the cross is "vindication of a righteous God, vindication of the moral law of God, in a moral universe" (Our High Priest, p.44). It will be important to note that for Heppenstall vindication of God comes from the acts of Christ in His life, death on the cross and subsequent ministry in heaven and not from man. [back]

203 "The throne of God is eternally secure because Christ defeated Satan at Calvary" (Heppenstall, Our High Priest, p.22). Identical statement found in "Sin, Salvation, and the Sanctuary," The Ministry, March 1977, p.16. This article is a repeat of a portion of chapter one of Our High Priest (1972), pp.14-23. [back]

204 After discussing the importance of Christ's ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, Heppenstall says: "This is not in any way to deny the complete atonement for sin made once for all at the cross" ("The Hour of God's Judgment is Come," Doctrinal Discussions, p.164). Heppenstall has consistently emphasized the significance and importance of the priestly ministration of Christ in heaven. See his La Sierra emphasis (1940-1955) in the first seven chapters of Syllabus for 8ible Doctrines, Vol. 11, 1955, pp.l-42. The same emphasis at the Theological Seminary (1955-1967) is seen in his Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary 1958, (his Doctrine of the Atonement Syllabus 1966, is identical); "The Hour of God's Judgment is Come," The Ministry, June and July 1961, later appearing in Doctrinal Discussions, pp. 158-186. His former emphasis is only sharpened at Loma Linda and in retirement years, see Our High Priest (1972) and "The Pre-Advent Judgment," The Ministry, December 1981, pp. 12-15. On the importance of this ministry observe: "Christ's ministry in the heavenly sanctuary is as vital and important as His sacrifice on the cross" ("God Will Win," The Signs of the Times, November 1975, p.15). [back]

205 Heppenstall, Our High Priest, p.16. See also "Anchored to Christ," The Signs of the Times, June 1966. [back]

206 Heppenstall says: "Sacrifice is not part of Christ's work before the throne of God, where He is a priest forever" (Our High Priest, p.50). Note further this observation regarding Christ's heavenly work: "Sacrifice it cannot be, for He did that once on earth" (Ibid., p.55). [back]

207 See Heppenstall's thought on Christ as our Sin-8earer in Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary (1958), p.12. Here he indicates that Jesus Christ bore our sin, our guilt and our penalty or punishment at the cross of Calvary. This is not a work Christ is doing in the heavenly sanctuary. Note also: "Christ bore man's sins once - on the cross. He does not bear sins now" (Our High Priest, pp. 35,36). [back]

208 Heppenstall speaks principally of these two aspects of Christ's heavenly mediatorial work. Note, after speaking of the work on the cross, Heppenstall writes of Christ's "continued ministry of redemption and judgment from the heavenly sanctuary" (Our High Priest, p.23; see also pp.18, 180, 199). See also "Sin, Salvation, and the Sanctuary," The Ministry, March 1977, pp.13-16. By 'redemption' in this setting Heppenstall includes the concept of Christ's intercessory work as especially typified by the first apartment phase of the earthly sanctuary ministry. Note also Christ as "Redeemer and Judge" ("Who Will Plead My Case?" These Times, May 1975, p.13). See also "God Will Win," The Signs of the Times, November 1975, pp. 14-16. [back]

209 See footnote 183 in this chapter. [back]

210 Notice Heppenstall's explanation: "The first is the atonement at the cross when Christ brought redemption to sinful man. The second is the priestly ministry of Christ (comparable to the daily ministry of the Levitical priesthood), His intercession and re-presentation before the Father on our behalf, and His guidance of the church to its ultimate triumph. The third is the atonement through judgment" (Our High Priest, p.31). Thus beyond the cross Heppenstall sees Christ performing the two phases of intercession and judgment as typified by the first and second apartments of the earthly sanctuary. [back]

211 Ellen White has maintained this tension. She speaks of the Father seeing the "completion of the atonement" at the cross (The Signs of the Times, August 16, 1899) and yet she can write: "All need to become more intelligent in regard to the work of the atonement, which is going on in the sanctuary above" (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p.575). For a fuller treatment of Ellen White's views see Questions on Doctrine, pp.661-692. In our evaluation of Heppenstall we will have occasion to note his contribution to a greater emphasis on the completed atonement on the cross in contrast to the general Adventist position which had been to lay greater emphasis on the atonement in the heavenly sanctuary from 1844 and beyond. [back]

212 Speaking of these benefits Heppenstall writes: "Christ our High Priest procures for His people all the riches and the blessings that flow from His complete atonement at the cross" (Our High Priest, p.171). Concerning the ministry from heaven Heppenstall says: "Christ ministers with love and power to translate His redeeming work on the cross into human regeneration and growth into His likeness. By His Spirit He restores the image of God in those who trust in Him" (Ibid., p. 180). [back]

213 Heppenstall comments: "The message from the divine sanctuary is good news" (Our High Priest, p.19). See also "How God Works to Save Us," These Times, February 1973, p.13; "Sin, Salvation, and the Sanctuary," The Ministry, March 1977, p.14 - both these two articles being reprints from Our High Priest (1972). Heppenstall's picture of Christ's heavenly ministry is a positive one. [back]

214 Regarding the work of redemption and intercession, we note Heppenstall's constant emphasis in all his sanctuary material. See especially, Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary (1958), pp.9-11; Our High Priest, pp.49-76. In connection with Christ's work of directing His church on earth see Our High Priest, pp. 17,31. With regard to Christ's work on behalf of the universe from the control centre of God's throne, Heppenstall speaks of Christ's work "to restore the absolute sovereignty of God throughout the universe, to make His throne forever secure" (Doctrinal Discussions, p.173). See also Our High Priest, pp.157-185. [back]

215 Heppenstall writes: "In the heavenly sanctuary all is vital, dynamic, genuine, and concerned with eternal issues" (Our High Priest, p.19) Note: "Christ did not ascend to the heavenly sanctuary and sit at the right hand of the Father to do nothing" (Ibid., p.17). For Heppenstall the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary is not nebulous. See also Heppenstall, "Anchored to Christ," The Signs of the Times, June 1966. [back]

216 In this connection see "Pleading the Blood," Our High Priest, pp. 57-61. Observe: "The shed blood of Christ plays a key role in the work of intercession" (Ibid., p.57). See also Syllabus for Bible Doctrines, Vol. 11, 1955, pp.22,23; Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary (1958), pp. 10,11. [back]

217 Heppenstall, Our High Priest, p.56. [back]

218 Note Heppenstall's words: "The New Testament always speaks of the blood of Christ as exercising positive redemptive action" (Our High Priest, p.58). [back]

219 Heppenstall gives the following Scriptural support for his contention regarding the blood of Christ: "It cleanses (l John 1:7; Rev. l:5). It justifies (Rom. 3:24,25; 5:9). It reconciles (Eph. 2:13) It redeems (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Rev. 5:9). It sanctifies (Heb. 10:29; 13:12)" (Ibid.). [back]

220  Ibid. Note Heppenstall's contrasting thought: "Sin defiles. Blood cleanses" (Ibid., p.83). Heppenstall was beginning to think this way at La Sierra (1940-1955). Note his question and observation: "Does the blood cleanse or does it defile? - Not defiled by confession of the sinning member but by the sinning of the individual" (Syllabus for Bible Doctrines, Vol. 11, 1955, p.26). See a more extended treatment in Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary (1958), pp.10-12, as he established his views on this question. Here he takes the same position as in Our High Priest (see footnote 219) that Christ's blood cleanses, justifies, reconciles, redeems and justifies. Heppenstall then points out that it is the sacrifice of Christ which is the basis of judgment. He says that the shedding of Christ's blood makes valid the recording of man's sins. The sacrifice of Christ is the basis of God's judgment upon us. "The blood does not record but it makes valid the recording. Obviously, sins are recorded when they are committed, not when they are confessed" (Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary, p.11). Heppenstall's views on the blood cleansing rather than defiling has brought a new perspective to the Adventist sanctuary doctrine. The general conception amongst Adventists prior to Heppenstall has been that the blood defiles in the symbolism of the sanctuary service. This idea was based on the earthly sanctuary ritual, where sins were in figure transferred from the individual to the sanctuary through the blood of a sacrifice. This necessitated a 'cleansing" of the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement (see Leviticus 16). However, even a careful reading of the earthly sanctuary symbolism would reveal that it is sin that defiles while blood provides some form of mediation, covering, forgiveness and substitution. For an Adventist presentation see Ellen White, "The Tabernacle and its Services," Patriarchs and Prophets, pp.343-458. For a differing view from Heppenstall see Gerhard F. Hasel, "Studies in 8iblical Atonement I: Continual Sacrifice, Defilement// Cleansing and Sanctuary" The Sanctuary and the Atonement, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1981, pp.87-114; also "Studies in Biblical Atonement II: The Day of Atonement," Ibid., pp. 115-133. [back]

221 Heppenstall had already developed his ideas on the wide scope of Christ's mediatorial work at La Sierra. For this foundational treatment see Syllabus for Bible Doctrines, Vol. II, 1955, pp.14-18. Here he presents Christ as Eternal Mediator, as Mediator in Creation, in preserving all things, as Prophet, Priest and King, as Mediator in Redemption, through the Incarnation, through His sacrifice on the cross and, finally, Christ as Mediator in the heavenly sanctuary. See a similar position in Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary (1958), p.4. [back]

222 Heppenstall does not see a picture of an angry God that must be placated by Christ's intercessions. "Does Christ need to plead with His Father in order to persuade Him to do something He is reluctant to do? Obviously not" (Our High Priest, p.61). For Heppenstall the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are united in the work of man's redemption. Intercession is but one of Christ's redemptive functions that harmonizes with God's character of love. [back]

223 See Heppenstall, Our High Priest, pp. 63-76. [back]

224 See S. N. Haskell, The Cross and its Shadow, South Lancaster, Massachusetts: The Bible Training School, 1914, pp. 209-219; Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation, Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1897, p.135; W. A. Spicer, Our Day in the Light of Prophecy, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1918, p.236; Ellen G White, "The Investigative Judgment," The Great Controversy, pp. 479-491. [back]

225 Heppenstall evidently felt that the term 'Investigative Judgment' could carry the connotation of a judgment carried out by God to discover who really belonged to Him. In his book, Our High Priest (1972), Heppenstall introduced the term the 'Pre-Advent Judgment' (see Ibid., pp. 107-129). This term would apply to the same judgment and the same time-period but would allow for a wider scope to the event. See also Heppenstall, "The Pre-Advent Judgment," The Ministry, December 1981, pp.12-15. [back]

226 Heppenstall has called for a widening of the scope of this pre-Advent Judgment which would include not only the saints, but especially the 'little horn' power and the enemies of God. We note this already in his Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary (1958, p.15; also in his early 1960 Ministry articles, where, in referring to this judgment he said: "both sides of the controversy are to be seen in proper perspective... It is the restricted concept that often throws the picture out of focus and gives ground for criticism of our position" (In Doctrinal Discussions, p.169); furthermore, he said that this "is no contradiction of our previous position, but a widening of the perspective" (Ibid., p.172). Note also that the "judgment is against the enemies of God and for the saints" (Our High Priest, p.115; see the whole chapter pp. 107-129). This is the burden of his article, "The Pre-Advent Judgment," The Ministry, December 1981, pp.12-15, where he calls for this wider view of the Pre-Advent Judgment which will involve both the saints and the antichrist. He writes: "There is no reason to insist that the pre-Advent judgment is concerned only with the saints" (Ibid., p.15). [back]

227 Already in Heppenstall's Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary (1958), where he deals with the issue of the judgment as the destruction of the dominion of the 'little horn' and the establishment of the dominion of Christ (see p.15) this tendency is apparent. Very clearly in Doctrinal Discussions, Heppenstall advocates that the judgment is "in favor of the saints" (see pp.168, 169). See also Our High Priest, pp.89, 107, 115, 117, 121, 122, 201 ("The saints are not in jeopardy"); also "The Pre-Advent Judgment," The Ministry, December 1981, pp.12-15. While this is true, Heppenstall believes that the judgment will be based on the realities of our lives, for Christ did not come "to reduce the moral order of the universe to an anarchy of love in which, regardless of how men live, God will overlook it all" (Heppenstall, "Who Will Plead My Case?" These Times, May 1975, p.12). [back]

228 See G. F. Hasel on Aspire tape, July 1981, in the presentation, "Implications-Sanctuary Doctrine;" also W. G. Johnsson, "The Heavenly Assize," Adventist Review, July 9, 1981, p.13, where he writes concerning the pre-Advent judgment and says: "Judgment is given 'to the saints' (verse 22), that is, for, or on behalf of, the saints." His whole thrust in the first section of this article is that the pre-Advent judgment brings a note of hope; see also the consensus statement made at Glacier View, held August 11-14, 1980, entitled, "Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary" and quoted in the October 1980 issue of The Ministry. [back]

229 See Heppenstall, Doctrinal Discussions, pp.158-186. See also Our High Priest, pp. 187-217. [back]

230 Heppenstall sees the finished work of Calvary as the basis for both Christ's intercession and work of judgment: "The finished work at the cross cannot mean anything unless there is continued action in and from the heavenly sanctuary in terms of redemption and judgment" ("The Pre-Advent Judgment," The Ministry, December 1981, p.13). [back]

231 Heppenstall states that what is at stake in Daniel 8 is "the vindication of God and His people over against the forces of evil" (Our High Priest, p.175). The little horn power has competed for the saving ministry from the sanctuary and Jesus Christ, the true High Priest, is the one in whom the perfect action of the Godhead is concentrated in forgiveness and judgment. And He will fully vindicate God's character and purposes. (see Ibid., pp.157-185). See also Heppenstall, "Your Turn in Court," These Times, September 1977, pp. 14-16; "God Will Win," The Signs of the Times, November 1975, pp.14-16. [back]

232 This favorable evidence is one of the purposes of a judgment according to works. Works are not meritorious as a means of salvation, but they do provide evidence of one's relationship with Jesus Christ. See Heppenstall's chapter, "Judgment according to Works," Our High Priest, pp. 131-140. [back]

233 Christ's death on the cross and His priestly ministry of intercession and judgment will eventually fully expose evil and will result in the banishment of Satan and the final eradication of evil. "Only the action of judgment by the living Christ can possibly end the conflict, banish sin, and establish righteousness" (Heppenstall, Our High Priest. p.191). See Syllabus for Doctrine of the Sanctuary (1958), pp.13, 14; see the entire chapter, "The Hour of God's Judgment," Our High Priest, pp.187-217. [back]

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