Crucial Question 24: Does Ellen White teach an incomplete atonement, and does her teaching diminish the sacrifice of Christ on the
Ellen White’s teaching about the Investigative Judgment being the reality behind the Day of Atonement required her to state that the atonement is ongoing; therefore, it was
not completed at the cross as the rest of Christianity affirms.
From the Pen of Ellen White:
“Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies and there appears in the presence of God to engage
in the last acts of His ministration in behalf of man--to perform the work of investigative judgment and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its
benefits” (GC 480).
"As the priest entered the most holy once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the
heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary” (EW
“The intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His
death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven” (GC 489).
“The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was
not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement . . . . Then by virtue of the atoning blood of Christ,
the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. Thus the sanctuary will be freed, or cleansed, from the record of sin” (PP
A comparison of the Ellen White quotes on the incomplete atonement with Romans 5:11 reveals that her Christology is incompatible with that of scripture.
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Rom. 5:11).
Questions on Doctrine, a book published by the SDA leadership in 1957, states that “the sacrificial atonement was made on the cross and was provided for all
men, but that in the heavenly priestly ministry of Christ our Lord, this sacrificial atonement is applied to the seeking soul” (QOD 348). The QOD
explanation is inadequate because it fails to change the fact that the SDA prophet diminished the cross and highlighted the atonement supposedly taking place in the Investigative Judgment:
“The intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His
death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven” (GC 489).
During the period when the New Testament was being written, false teachers were denying that Christ had come in the flesh (I John 4:2). Ellen White doesn’t
deny that Christ came in the flesh, but if her Christology is faulty, is she in violation with the principle behind I John 4:2? The modern application of this text is that genuine
prophets must uphold biblical teachings regarding the nature and ministry of Christ; Ellen White does not, as evidenced by her teaching of the incomplete atonement.
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Rom.
“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for
us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the
world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb. 9:24-26).
“Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God” (I John 4:2).
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (II Pe. 2:1).
Continue on to Crucial Question #25: Humanity of Christ
Go back to Crucial Question #23: Confusion About Trinity