The Sanctuary Doctrine: Cultic or Biblical?

Part 1

by Pr. Kevin D. Paulson

A Book That is Shaking Adventism.1

So read the recent headline of a liberal Adventist magazine describing the impact of a book called The Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists.2 Written by one Dale Ratzlaff, a former Adventist pastor and Bible teacher, the book launches yet another attack on the Seventh-day Adventist sanctuary doctrine, declaring it to be un-Biblical, anti-gospel, and guilt-producing.

It isn’t the first time we’ve heard this claim, and it certainly won’t be the last. But the present writer believes that those who rightly cling to the Biblical roots of Adventism have an obligation to affirm what the Bible truly teaches in the face of these charges. We cannot take the chance that anyone will assume from our silence that persuasive answers don’t exist. Our review of the Bible’s evidence may not convince the stubborn critic, but it may help the honest truth-seeker.

I have known Dale Ratzlaff for years. I was his student in my Bible Doctrines class during my junior year at Monterey Bay Academy in central California. I still count him and his family (one of whom was a classmate) as friends. For more than twenty years I have watched the New Theology work its inescapable logic on this man’s mind, leading him away from Scripture, away from the Spirit of Prophecy writings, and away from God’s remnant church. Another book by Ratzlaff, which attacks the seventh-day Sabbath,3 gives further evidence of how Ratzlaff’s view of salvation compels him to reject Adventism’s basic doctrines.

Like Desmond Ford and others, Ratzlaff denounces the Adventist sanctuary doctrine as contrary to Scripture and the gospel message there contained. Like Ford he insists that the Adventist understanding of the sanctuary and salvation comes from Ellen White rather than the Bible.4 But this article, the first in a series of three, will demonstrate that it is Ratzlaff himself who contradicts the plain teachings of the Bible.

The Key to the Whole Controversy

Never should we begin a discussion of Bible topics without answering the most basic question: Who, what, and where is our authority? Ratzlaff himself agrees:

The first issue is authority. This must be settled in the mind of the reader once and for all. If we do not agree here, there is no further dialogue.5

Ratzlaff continues:

What is the final authority for the Christian? Evangelicals will immediately answer, ‘The Bible and the Bible only.’6

While Ratzlaff claims to hold to Scripture alone as his authority, he is in fact very selective in his use of Scripture. The most basic difference between Adventism and evangelical Protestantism is that the former uses Scripture comprehensively while the latter uses it selectively. A classic example of this is Robert Morey’s book Death and the Afterlife, in which he seeks to defend the doctrine of natural immortality against the beliefs of Adventists and others who hold that the dead are unconscious. Morey claims that Adventists, “instead of giving priority to the clarity of the New Testament,” “feel safer staying with the blurred vision found in the Old Testament.”7 He then warns,

We should appreciate the distinctive vagueness of the Old Testament and the distinctive clarity of the New Testament. We should avoid leveling the distinction between the testaments.8

But one has a hard time reconciling this claim of “vagueness” about the Old Testament with the praise accorded the Bereans in the book of Acts, who “searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Some of the modern translations are even clearer in rendering this verse, stating that the Bereans “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (NIV). In other words, they were testing Paul’s teachings by the Old Testament Scriptures, which of course were the only Scriptures they had at the time.

Paul himself wrote to Timothy: “From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:15, 16).9 Here we not only see that all Scripture is to be the source of doctrine, but specifically the Old Testament Scriptures are described as able to make us “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” As with the Bereans, the only Scriptures Timothy could have been taught from his childhood were those of the Old Testament. It is clear that Paul believed, in contrast with the teachings of modern evangelicals, that the entire Bible was the source of his doctrine of righteousness by faith.

We should keep the above verses from Timothy constantly before us as we review the evangelical doctrine of salvation, which Ratzlaff strongly promotes. Instead of following the Bible’s rule that the whole of Scripture should be our source of doctrine (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 3:15, 16), and that Scripture should be its own interpreter (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14), evangelicals typically select a few passages from Paul’s writings as the nearly-exclusive focus of their study, ignoring not only the Old Testament but much of the New as well. In forming their doctrine of justification, for example, evangelicals typically select a few verses from Paul’s writings which speak of the “works of the law” not justifying anyone, ignore a host of verses which clarify the meaning of these statements, then impose on Paul’s justification statements the opinions of uninspired theologians.

The modern Adventist crisis over the doctrine of salvation traces its roots to these unscriptural, arbitrarily selective methods of Bible study. Desmond Ford, whose theology and research are similar to Ratzlaff’s, best epitomized this approach with the astonishing claim—made at the 1976 Palmdale Conference—that only Romans 3:21-5:21 contains the Bible’s definitive word on salvation/10 He then defends his view with copious references to Protestant scholars.11

Here, at the bottom line, is the basic problem with Ratzlaff’s assault on the sanctuary doctrine, and that of every other critic I know who shares his views. They claim the biggest problem with the Adventist sanctuary doctrine is its presumed hostility to the New Testament gospel. Yet the New Testament gospel cannot be defined unless the entire New Testament is considered. The words of Jesus as well as those of Paul and the other apostles must be taken unto account. Only when all this evidence is put together, along with the Old Testament, can a true understanding of salvation be found.

Because Ratzlaff departs from the comprehensive method of Bible study on which Adventism is based, turning instead to the selective, evangelical method of Bible study, he finds himself at odds with both the Bible’s view of salvation and the Bible doctrine of the investigative judgment. What follows will demonstrate just how seriously Ratzlaff has departed from Bible truth.

The “Gospel Test”

By his own admission, the core of Ratzlaff’s argument is his understanding of the gospel. For this reason, far more than any of the others he gives, he finds himself forced to reject the Adventist sanctuary doctrine. In his own words:

Does the SDA doctrine of the cleansing of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment distort, undermine, or contradict the one and only new covenant gospel of grace? This is the acid test. All that has been said thus far—as important as it is—fades, in comparison with this test.12

Ratzlaff correctly understands that what one believes about salvation has everything to do with how one relates to the Adventist sanctuary doctrine. If one accepts the popular evangelical gospel, which teaches salvation by justification alone, one will have a very serious problem with the investigative judgment doctrine. But if one believes that salvation is accomplished by both justification and sanctification, the investigative judgment is found to be in perfect harmony with the gospel.

Which gospel does the Bible teach?

Repeatedly Ratzlaff talks about the “new covenant gospel of grace” which he claims is contradicted by Ellen White and the Adventist sanctuary doctrine.13 The problem is, Ratzlaff never permits the Bible to define what the new covenant is. He even makes the incredible statement that “in the new covenant the focus is not on law, but on belief in Christ.”14 We will let the Bible speak for itself:

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which My covenant they broke, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it is their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

The New Testament repeats this new covenant promise in Hebrews 8, verses 8-10. In both of these passages, the writing of God’s law in the human heart is the means whereby the new covenant is established. Similar passages can be found throughout the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments (Deuteronomy 30:14; Psalm 119:11; Romans 10:6-8; 2 Corinthians 3:2, 3).

Ratzlaff claims: “Paul was very bold in his comments toward people who came to the churches he had founded with the additional requirement of law-keeping for salvation.”15 Ratzlaff seems not to have read Paul’s writings very carefully. Paul declares pointedly, in Romans 2:13:

For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Is Paul then contradicting himself in the next chapter, where he writes that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28; see also Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8, 9; 2 Timothy 1:8, 9)? Not at all. Rather, the apostle is talking about two different kinds of works. The second chapter of Romans—often ignored by evangelicals in their study of this epistle—explains in depth the difference between those who make their boast of the law while disobeying its precepts (Romans 2:1-5, 17-23), and those who obey because of “the work of the law written in their hearts” (verse 15). Here we see two different kinds of “works of the law”—the one kind which can’t justify (verses 17-23), the other which are the condition of being justified (verses 13-15).

Here Paul again reflects the teachings of the Old Testament, which declares that confession and the forsaking of sin must precede God’s forgiveness:

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy (Proverbs 28:13).

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 55:7).

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14, 15).

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Ratzlaff declares: “These good works (in sanctification) in no way whatever enter into the foundation of (the Christian’s) acceptance by God for salvation.”16 He also makes the following comment about Adventism’s historic view of justification by faith:

Most Historic Adventists would also say that they believe in justification by faith. However, in this latter group, their understanding of this doctrine is often limited. They see justification as taking care of their past sins, but are often unclear about it providing present and future righteousness. Justification by faith is often seen as only one half of the process of salvation. The other half is sanctification. Often their concept of the gospel—the ground of salvation—includes both. In this way, human works—even if these works are works of faith—are included in sanctification, which is also included in the basis of salvation.… We conclude, therefore, that only the Evangelical Adventists clearly understand justification by faith. In the other two schools of Adventist thought (historic and liberal) there is often some confusion on this most important doctrine.17

Yet the apostle Paul is clear that sanctification and the Spirit’s inward work are part of the means of our salvation:

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12, 13).

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5).

The Bible nowhere confines the believer’s salvation to the work of justification or forgiveness exclusively, nor does Scripture ever exalt one aspect of Christ’s work as having greater saving value than another. Nor does Scripture ever teach that God’s forgiveness covers any more than the believer’s past sins. We noted above those verses which speak of how confession and the forsaking of sin are prerequisites for God’s forgiveness (Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 55:7). The New Testament declares: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (2 John 2:1). Notice that forgiveness is available if we sin, not when. The Bible knows nothing of any “advance” forgiveness for sins we might commit in the future, nor is there Bible support for the idea of continuous forgiveness on account of inevitable shortcomings. Rather, forgiveness (justification) is provided if we sin (2 John 2:1), the reception of which is conditional on forsaking sin (Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 55:7). Nowhere does Scripture teach that Christians are continuously covered by Jesus’ righteousness while falling into sin which they supposedly can’t avoid.

Ratzlaff follows the typical line of evangelical theology in claiming that sinless perfection is not a condition of salvation, and that to hold to the necessity of such perfection is to deny the gospel of grace.18 But Ratzlaff fails to understand—as do so many others—that being saved by grace includes both justification and sanctification, as we have already seen from Scripture (2 Thessalonians 2:13). The problem with evangelicals is that when they see phrases in the Bible like “by grace are ye saved” (Ephesians 2:8) and the “gift of righteousness” (Romans 5:17), they think this means salvation by justification only. But the Bible teaches no such doctrine. Being saved by grace through faith includes sanctified obedience (Philippians 2:12, 13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 5:9), and this sanctification will indeed be perfect before the coming of Christ:

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? … Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless (2 Peter 3:10-12, 14).

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure (2 John 3:2, 3).

Ratzlaff condemns Ellen White for teaching that “the second coming of Christ is tarrying until the character of Christ (which was sinless) is perfectly reproduced in His people.”19 Yet the above Bible verses make it clear that Ellen White borrowed this teaching straight from Scripture.

Ratzlaff condemns Ellen White for teaching that “the fulfillment of God’s promises to us are conditional upon our perfect obedience.”20 But the following Bible passage makes plain where she got this idea:

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Ratzlaff denounces Ellen White’s teaching that “as Christ was perfect in His life, His followers are to be perfect in their lives.”21 But again, the following verses demonstrate the Biblical source of her views:

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:3, 4).

For even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in His steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth (1 Peter 2:21, 22).

For then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin (1 Peter 4:1).

And in their (the translated saints’) mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God (Revelation 14:5; see also Zephaniah 3:13).

The Conditions of Eternal Life

In a presumed “contrast” between the investigative judgment and the gospel of Scripture, Ratzlaff states:

The focus of the investigative judgment is on personal deeds in order that one might be found worthy of eternal life. The good news of the gospel is that the Father has already qualified us, who believe in Christ, to share in the eternal inheritance in Christ.22

He goes on to denounce Ellen White’s teaching that “the people of God are to be tested and proved on the basis of the Ten Commandments”23

Ratzlaff had best take up his argument with Jesus, not with Ellen White! It was Christ who declared to the rich young ruler, when asked about the conditions of eternal life: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). The Saviour gave an identical answer to the lawyer to whom He told the Good Samaritan story (Luke 10:25-28). Jeus is clear, of course, that such obedience is possible only through His strength: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). “Without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). The apostle Paul agrees with Jesus on the conditions of eternal life:

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile (Romans 2:7-9).

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live (Romans 8:13).

And being made perfect He (Christ) became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).

Notice that Paul, like Jesus, is clear that only the impartation of the Holy Spirit makes possible the obedience required for salvation. He affirms this truth again in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

When Ratzlaff denounces Adventists for believing that “God will judge them on the basis of the Ten Commandments,”24 he is colliding directly with God’s Word, for this is exactly what it teaches:

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For He that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty (James 2:10-12).

Ratzlaff claims that believers living in the new covenant are no longer subject to the authority of the Ten Commandments, as well as to the ceremonial law:

Paul says that the problem with the Galatians was that they wanted to be under law. It is clear from the Epistles that the old covenant law is seen in its totality. It includes both the Ten Commandments and the other laws.25

But Paul makes a very clear distinction between the obsolete ceremonial law and the still-binding moral law when he writes:

Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God (1 Corinthians 7:19; see also Romans 2:25).

Ratzlaff denounces as legalism certain Ellen White statements which speak of our words, actions, and secret motives deciding our eternal destiny.26 After citing these references he asks in horror, “Who could meet this test? Whose motives are one hundred percent right all the time? … This is not the gospel, it is condemnation.”27 But again, Ratzlaff had best take up his argument with the Bible. Jesus Himself declared:

That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12:36, 37).
Solomon wrote:

Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14; see also 3:17).

And once again, the New Testament duplicates the Old:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Ratzlaff makes a common but unscriptural distinction when he writes:

We must be careful not to confuse the investigative judgment with the judgment of rewards which is taught in Scripture. The investigative judgment is a salvation judgment to see who is worthy of eternal life. In the new covenant, as we will see more fully in Chapter 15, salvation judgment is based upon faith in Christ and not upon works, not even works of righteousness.28

But the Bible is very clear that “salvation judgment,” as Ratzlaff calls it, is based upon righteous works or the lack thereof. In the parable of the sheep and the goats, Christ declares to His faithful followers, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34), then continues, “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat,”—and so forth (verses 35-45). The structure of this passage makes it pointedly obvious that obedience or disobedience is what ultimately decides one’s eternal destiny, not merely the degree of one’s reward. We have already seen Christ’s statement about “every idle word” requiring an account in the judgment, that “by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36, 37). Such clarity is repeated elsewhere in the Saviour’s declaration, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17), and His statement concerning commandment-keeping: “This do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:28).

Paul too, as we have seen, writes of how God “will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6), then declares that those “who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality” will receive eternal life (verse 7), while those “who do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness,” will experience God’s wrath (verse 8). Romans 8:13 is clear that believers’ salvation is conditional on whether they “through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body.” Not the slightest distinction can be found in these verses between a “judgment of rewards” and a judgment which decides salvation.

In short, there is nothing paradoxical about the Biblical teaching of salvation by faith and judgment according to works. In the first place, Biblical salvation is the saving of people from sin (Matthew 1:21). The New Testament is clear that the means of saving us from sin include sanctification as well as justification (2 Thessalonians 2:13), the work of Christ in us as well as His work for us (Titus 3:5). To be saved by faith is to not only experience forgiveness through faith (2 John 2:1), but to permit faith to remove our sins through the Spirit’s power working within (Philippians 2:12, 13; Colossians 1:27-29).

By contrast, the works which can’t save (Romans 3:20,28; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8, 9) are those originating from human beings in their unconverted state (Romans 2:17-23). Here we discover the Bible’s easy solution to the centuries-old squabble over whether Paul and James contradicted each other. When James writes that “by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone” (James 2:24), he is describing religious activity produced by conversion, whereas Paul, when he states that “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified” (Romans 3:20), he is speaking of religious activity apart from conversion. This distinction becomes evident as we observe that Paul’s illustration of the justification by works which he condemns is Abraham’s relationship with Hagar, which Abraham performed in his own strength (Galatians 4:22-24). Whereas James’ illustration of the justification by works he teaches is Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (James 2:21), an act performed by Abraham in God’s strength. Either way, according to Scripture, behavior decides our destiny. The only question is, Will this behavior be empowered by God, or empowered by self?

Will Believers Be Judged?

Ratzlaff places great emphasis on the words of John 5:24, which states:

He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death unto life. Ratzlaff uses the New American Standard Bible in his book, which follows most other modern translations in rendering the word “condemnation” as “judgment.” Ratzlaff therefore maintains that this verse teaches that believers in Christ won’t have to face the judgment:

He who believes is not judged.… In other words, the truth of justification by faith is that the verdict of ‘not guilty’ has already been given to those who believe! And that is the good news of the gospel! And that is why true believers do not ‘come into judgment,’ because they have already been judged ‘in Christ.’29

But when the Bible is allowed to be its own interpreter, it is clear that the King James Version, as well as the New International Version, are correct in using the word “condemnation” in John 5:24. “Judgment” in Scripture can refer either to condemnation or examination. Context and the Biblical consensus tell the difference. We have clearly seen, in both Old and New Testaments, that all must appear before God’s judgment seat to have their actions evaluated, whether they be good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The following verse is too plain to be misunderstood:

God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work (Ecclesiastes 3:17).

So when John 5:24 speaks of believers not coming “into judgment,” it is condemnation that is referred to, not examination. We have already seen Christ’s statements about our having to give account for “every idle word” in the judgment (Matthew 12:36, 37), and that divinely-empowered commandment-keeping is the condition for receiving eternal life (Matthew 19:17; Luke 10:25-28; John 15:5). Jesus certainly didn’t contradict Himself, nor did He contradict the apostle Paul, who declares that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

We must also recognize that when belief is stated in the New Testament to be the condition of salvation (John 3:16; Acts 16:31), this belief is never defined in contrast with the obedience belief produces. Biblical belief is not mere intellectual acknowledgement; it is the surrender of the heart and life to God’s transforming power, which is what the new birth and true obedience are all about (John 3). Those who have this belief, which includes obedience (see John 3:36, RSV), will escape condemnation (John 5:24).

Judged by the Scriptures

Ratzlaff’s book insists that the Adventist sanctuary doctrine has been “judged by the gospel” and found wanting. The problem is that Ratzlaff’s view of the gospel has been judged by the Scriptures and found wanting. The doctrine of salvation by justification alone, the belief that we are saved entirely by the work of Christ for us and not by His work in us, the belief that new covenant grace makes belief the condition of salvation rather than obedience to the Ten Commandments, the denial of sinless perfection in this life—all represent a “gospel” foreign to the pages of the Bible. What Ratzlaff calls “the acid test”—agreement between one’s theology and the new covenant gospel of grace,30—is notably flunked by his own “gospel” theology.

We therefore conclude that the most basic dispute of evangelicals like Ratzlaff against the Adventist sanctuary doctrine is without Biblical support. Our next article will examine other arguments by Ratzlaff against the sanctuary doctrine itself.


1. “A Book that is Shaking Adventism,” Adventist Today, March-April 1998, p. 7 (emphasis original).
2. Dale Ratzlaff, The Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists: An Evangelical Resource/An Appeal to SDA Leadership (Sedona, AZ: Life Assurance Ministries, 1995).
3. ________, Sabbath in Crisis: Transfer\Modification? Reformation\Continuation? Fulfillment\Transformation (Sedona, AZ: Life Assurance Ministries, 1996).
4. ________, Cultic Doctrine, pp. 36, 182, 222, 223.
5. Ibid., p. 32.
6. Ibid.
7. Robert A. Morey, Death and the Afterlife (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1984), p. 23.
8. Ibid., p. 25.
9. Unless otherwise noted, all Bible texts are from the King James Version.
10. Desmond Ford, Documents from the Palmdale Conference on Righteousness by Faith, p. 4.
11. Ibid., pp. 2-4,11-13.
12. Ratzlaff, Cultic Doctrine, p. 319.
13. Ibid., pp. 210, 215, 319, 325, 333, 340, 345, 352, 353.
14. Ibid., p. 261 (emphasis original).
15. Ibid., pp. 319, 320.
16. Ibid., p. 338 (emphasis original).
17. Ibid., pp. 302, 303 (emphasis original).
18. Ibid., pp. 215, 216.
19. Ibid., p. 215.
20. Ibid.
21. Ibid., See also pp. 210, 211.
22. Ibid., p. 260.
23. Ibid., p. 268.
24. Ibid., p. 267.
25. Ibid., p. 324 (emphasis original).
26. Ellen G. White, Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, p. 311; Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, p. 36, quoted by Ratzlaff, Cultic Doctrine, pp. 162, 235, 236.
27. Ibid., p. 236.
28. Ibid., p. 212 (emphasis original).
29. Ibid., p. 259, 260 (emphasis original).
30. Ibid., p. 319.

(Note: The above article was published on on December 3, 2004 and has been posted here with the permission of the author and Please click here to go to the original link.)

About the Author: Pastor Kevin D. Paulson serves on the pastoral staff of the Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Through the years he has published articles in many publications. He is also editor of Quo Vadis, a truth-filled magazine predominantly featuring the work of SDA young people. Kevin is also the speaker for “Know Your Bible,” a radio program broadcast each Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on WMCA 570 AM, in Hasbrouk Heights, New Jersey. Pastor Paulson received his BA in Theology from Pacific Union College in 1982 and an MA in Systematic Theology from Loma Linda University in 1987.