Reply to Des Ford's 12 Points

Point One

"It is the little horn, and not the sins of the saints, which defiles the sanctuary." 


The Little Horn power in Daniel 7 and 8 is Rome. It is not the work of the cleansing experience within the heavenly Sanctuary to remove from it Rome’s sins. But Desmond Ford believes that the Little Horn power is Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a minor Syrian king of the second century B.C. It is inconceivable that this petty king is all there is to this Judgment.

The cleansing or restoration of the Sanctuary in heaven that takes place at the end of the 2300 year prophecy of Daniel 8:14, is understood by comparing Scripture with Scripture. The daily sacrifices in the earthly sanctuary typified the death of Christ, and with it the daily ministration in the heavenly Sanctuary by which the sins of God’s people who asked for forgiveness were transferred to the records of the heavenly Sanctuary. As in the earthly type, the transgressions of God’s people were transferred to the Sanctuary by means of the sacrificial blood carried into it.

At the end of the year, the cleansing or justifying of the Sanctuary took place. This was done by cleansing the record of sin from the Sanctuary. This occurred at the time of the final atonement or Day of Atonement experience (Lev 16). Down near the end of time, at the termination of the 2300 year prophecy, the Heavenly Sanctuary must also be cleansed of the records of sin contained within it. All who have ever professed faith in Christ are recorded in the Book of Life. During the Investigative Judgment, the records of their life deeds are examined to see whether or not their profession was a genuine one. In some cases, names are removed, and in others names are retained. And their sins are blotted out. Read Great Controversy, pages 417-422, and 479-491 for a thorough study and many Biblical references.


"The cleansing of Daniel 8:14 has to do with restoring the damage done not by the saints but by the little horn." 


Point Two is closely related to Point One. Ford is again speculating. In the earthly type, it was not the sins of the surrounding nations that were taken within the sanctuary in the daily service, it was the sins of God’s people that were transferred into it. This is repeatedly shown in Leviticus, the first ten chapters (read Lev 10:17). And in the yearly service—the Day of Atonement service—described in Leviticus 16, only the sins of God’s professed people were involved, not some particular apostate religion or some heathen people. The little horn power— Rome,—in the antitype, did not defile the sacrifice—Calvary—nor did it defile the work that followed it, within the heavenly Sanctuary, which in 1844 culminated in the beginning of the Investigative Judgment and the Cleansing of the Sanctuary.

The principle of "transfer of sin’‘ is clearly taught in the Bible. And it is only the sins of God’s people that are transferred. This is the only thing that, in Scripture, ever defiles the sanctuary.—And we cannot understand the heavenly Sanctuary without first understanding the principles underlying the earthly. A man sins and because of this he, himself, "bears his iniquity" (Lev 5:17). He must come to the priest with the sacrifice and confess "that thing" (Lev 5:5). The priest makes an atonement for the sinner (Lev 4:30-31) as he transfers the sin to himself by eating of the flesh (Lev 8:26, 10:16-18). In doing this the priest is symbolic of Him who "bare the sin of many," upon whom the Lord laid "the iniquity of us all" (Isa 53:12,6). "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows," for His soul has been made "an offering for sin," and by this He shall "justify many for He shall bear their iniquities" (Isa 53:4,10,11). (Lev 16:21).


"The meaning of the key verb in Daniel 8:14 is not basically ‘cleanse,’ but justify, vindicate, restore." 


The Hebrew word used here in Daniel 8:14 is nisdaq, a word that is rather broad in its spectrum of meanings. Its basic one is "make right," "justify," "vindicate," or "restore," but "purify" or "cleanse" may be included within its range of concepts. Narrowing the word down closer than this is difficult, because in 8:14 the verb nisdaq is in the passive (niphal) form, and this is not found elsewhere in Scripture. Nisdaq comes from the root word, sadaq, which includes all of the above meanings. The basic thought of nisdaq in 8:14 is "to be put in a rightful condition." And this is exactly what took place on the Day of Atonement—the Sanctuary was restored to its rightful condition—it was cleansed.

Daniel 8:14 connects Daniel 7 and 8 with Leviticus 16. Now, Leviticus 16 deals with the righting of the Sanctuary by the putting away of sin from it, but Daniel 7 and 8 are concerned with the other aspect of this work-the vindication of the character of God in this final work of cleansing-and these two chapters in Daniel explain the Investigative Judgment and give the prophetic date when it shall begin. God’s decisions in the Investigative Judgment regarding who will be saved and who will be lost will justify His work in the Sanctuary, and will evoke from all men the confession, "Thy way, 0 God, is in the Sanctuary" (Ps 77:13), and "Just and true are Thy ways" (Rev 15:9). No longer will "the place of His Sanctuary" be "cast down" (Dan 8:11)—for God and His work in the Sanctuary will be declared right (Dan 8:14). The Sanctuary will be cleansed from the records of sin and restored to its rightful place, God will be vindicated before all, and the people of the Sanctuary will be made right and restored to their original home.


"There is no obvious verbal link between Daniel 8 and Leviticus 16." 


Daniel 8:14 and Leviticus 16 are indeed connected by a very obvious verbal link. 8:14 is speaking about the restoring of the sanctuary to its rightful place. How this was done in the type is revealed only in Leviticus 16. The daily service, explained in Leviticus 1-10, involved a continual transfer of sin to the sanctuary. The yearly service, explained in Leviticus 16, explains how this sin was ultimately blotted from the sanctuary. Ford is trying so hard to keep us from seeing the obvious, that he no longer sees it himself. Daniel 8:14 tells us the length of time of this time prophecy. Daniel 9:25-27 explains the events at the beginning and first part of this prophecy. Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, 22, 26-27 explains the Investigative Judgment that would begin at its conclusion. Leviticus 16 explains the cleansing that follows this examination. —And these are the two phases of the "righting" of the sanctuary—an investigation, followed by a blotting out. Leviticus 16 reveals the cleansing that would come at the end of the sanctuary cycle of events. In the antitype, it comes down at the end of time, just prior to the second coming of Christ. The investigation must precede the rewards, for when He returns He will give every man according to his works (Rev 22:12).

As a result of God’s decisions regarding who shall live forever and who shall die an eternal death, all will say, "Thou art righteous, O Lord" (Rev 16:5), and, "True and righteous are Thy judgments" (Rev 16:7). Satan himself will be led to acknowledge God’s justice (G. C. 670-671). The word translated "just" and "righteous" in these passages in Revelation is dikaio, which is equivalent to the Hebrew word, saddiq, derived from sadaq, which is used in Daniel 8:14.

Four events occur as a result of the work of the antitypical examination and cleansing of the sanctuary: (1) The Sanctuary itself will be cleansed from its records of sin and it will be restored to its rightful place. (2) The God of the Sanctuary and His Law will be vindicated before all the universe. (3) The people of the Sanctuary will be made right and restored to their original home, forever to live with Jesus. And (4), the dominion of Satan and his followers will be removed and they will be as the chaff which the wind driveth away. The little horn power—Satan through Rome—has sought to destroy God’s people (7:21,25), dishonor the character of God (7:25), and take away from men’s minds the truth of Christ’s mediatorial work in the Sanctuary (8:11), and as Ford is doing, cast it to the ground. But the little horn and its errors will be destroyed.


 "The year-day principle is not explicit in Scripture."


The year-day principle of prophetic interpretation is very clearly given in Scripture. In Numbers 14:34, a number is given-forty days (Num 13:25, 14:34) and then we are told that it will be fulfilled in an actual span of forty years (Num 14:33-34). This is a Bible Time Prophecy, and this instruction is part of a direct quotation from God, found in verses 27-35. If we cannot accept what is Biblical and that which is told us directly by our Creator Himself, what will we believe? There is nothing left for us to accept but error. Then there is Ezekiel 4:5-6. A number is given—forty days. We are then told that it will be fulfilled in a predicted time span of forty years. This is the day-year principle—a valid principle of interpreting time lengths of prophecies given to us in the Bible. We didn’t dream up this day-year principle as a speculation apart from the Bible. We found it a distinctive principle given us within the Bible.

There are two main types of Bible prophecy—Classical and apocalyptic. Classical prophecies dealt with ancient Israel and the surrounding nations. Literal predictions are involved. Literal persons, places and events are described. Time-spans in years are generally given. These were literal prophecies and employed literal time.

Apocalyptic prophecies, on the other hand, very frequently made use of symbols. Angels frequently appear. Scenes from both heaven and earth were shown to the prophet. The overall struggle between good and evil is a persistent theme. Symbolic descriptions are primarily used, and time periods in very short periods, generally days, are usually given. These are symbolic prophecies and employ symbolic time.

Classical prophecies dealt with situations which were to arise in the immediate or near future. They were accompanied by predicted time-spans covering many years. But apocalyptic prophecies were strikingly different. Long-range, panoramic views were given, such as the interlocked prophecy of Daniel 2, 7, and 8, which carries us from Nebuchadnezzar’s time (Dan 2:38) down to the Second Advent (2:44). Yet time-span prophecies are given in connection with this dovetailed prophecy that would be only a few days in length—if interpreted literally. These apocalyptic prophecies, so gigantic in scope and so powerfully given in symbol, were not to be interpreted in literal time. We were to use the key God has given us—the day-year principle. And this principle is clearly given to us in the Bible.


"Hebrews 9 does draw on the Day of Atonement to illustrate that which Christ did by His sacrifice." 


In other words, did Christ enter the Most Holy Place and complete the atonement in 31 A.D.? According to the sanctuary types of Leviticus 1-10, and 16, He did not. According to the time prophecy of Daniel 8:14, He did not. According to the teachings of Paul in Hebrews 9, He did not. Let us consider Hebrews 9:

(1) The Greek word for "sanctuary" in this chapter is ta hagia which means "the— plural." hagia means "holies," or "holy places." Paul is speaking of the sanctuary of two holy places, or rooms. Ta hagia is used only nine times in the N.T., and all are in the book of Hebrews (8:2; 9:1,2,8,12,24,25; 10:19; 13:11). Paul defines terms in 9:1-3, where he tells us about the entire sanctuary, then the first apartment, and then the second apartment. He gives us two meanings of ta hagia: 9:1 ("sanctuary")—the entire sanctuary of two apartments, and 9:2 ("sanctuary")—the first apartment. Ta hagia means the entire sanctuary, but in 9:2 he applied it only to the first apartment. Can ta hagia also mean "second apartment?" No, it cannot, for in 9:3, Paul specifically tells us the word he has in mind when he speaks of the most holy place,—and he uses a different Greek word: hagia hagion ("holy of holies"—literally). The King James Version correctly translates ta hagia in 9:24 ("holy places"), and incorrectly translates it in 9:8 ("holiest of all"), and 10:19 ("the holiest"). In 9:12 and 9:25 it gives "holy place." Ta hagia can only mean "first apartment" or "two-apartmented sanctuary," and nothing else. On the basis of the correct meaning of ta hagia, Jesus did not enter once and for all into the most holy place in 31 A.D. He entered the sanctuary and first apartment then.

(2) The message of Hebrews 9 also disproves Ford’s theory. Chapter 7: Jesus is our priest. Chapter 8: His priesthood is carried on in the Sanctuary in heaven. Chapter 9 is divided into four sections: [1] 9:1-7, [2] 9:9-11, [3] 9:12-23, and [4] 9:24-10-18. It is by a misreading of verse 8 that Ford introduces his error. Here is the error: Verse 6 speaks about second apartment, and verse 8 speaks about holiest of all, therefore verse 8 and the following verses are speaking about the Day of Atonement. Here is the truth: 9:1-5 tells about the two rooms and what is in each one. 9:6-7 tells about the two phases of its work—the daily and the yearly services. 9:8 begins a new development of thought: Here is what it says:

In view of all we have so far learned (in the book of Hebrews), the Holy Spirit is teaching us that the priest would not enter the heavenly Sanctuary (ta hagia-incorrectly translated "the holiest" in KJV) as long as the earthly one still had a significance, or meaning, before God. 9:13:23 brings a still further development of thought: Christ has entered this sanctuary with His own blood, not with animal blood. 9:2410:18 tells us more: Christ*s ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary will take away our sins, and this is something that animal blood and the sacrificial "shadow" laws could near do. 9:19-39 is an appeal to come to Jesus in the Heavenly Sanctuary today, by faith, and have patience and continuence in right living, while His entire work on our behalf continues. Endure to the very end of your life,— and you are to do this by faith. Which leads us into chapter 11.


"Within the veil" applies to the second veil, not the first, and points to access to the Most Holy Place." 


Ford is here referring to Hebrews 6:19, Jesus went "within the veil" into the Heavenly Sanctuary at His ascension in 31 A.D. He entered directly into the presence of God at that time, as He went "within the veil" into the first apartment (G. C. 412:0) before the throne of God (EW 55-56). The first apartment veil is mentioned 11 times in the O. T., and in the King James Version is called a "hanging." The second apartment veil is mentioned 24 times. The sanctuary veil is mentioned six times in the N.T. Three of these refer to the veil rent at Christ’s death (Matt 27:51, Mk 15:38, Lk 23:45); the other three are found in the book of Hebrews: (6:19, 9:3, 10:29). The key is 9:3. Describing the parts of the sanctuary, Paul tells us the "second veil" is before the hagia hagion—the holy of holies. Paul recognizes and points out that there are two veils in the sanctuary (although Ford says there is only one). In 31 A.D., Jesus went within the veil into the Sanctuary. The early Christians were to follow Christ "within the veil" into His first apartment mediation. We today are to follow Him "within the veil" into His final atonement ministry within the second apartment. In Hebrews, Paul speaks of "within the second veil" when specifically discussing the veil before the second apartment (9:3). He thus shows that he considered both veils to be "entering veils." Where he only spoke of "veil,’ we must use our knowledge of the daily and yearly ministry types given us in the Old Testament in order to understand the meaning. And these types reveal a continuous daily mediation within the first apartment, prior to briefer yearly service within the second that would cleanse the sanctuary of sin. Thus we see that "within the veil" in Hebrews 6:19 refers to the first veil that leads into the first apartment,


"Hebrews does not teach a two-apartment ministry (or two phases)." 


Point Eight is closely related to Point Ten. Ford artificially divides Scripture in order to eliminate its basic truths. He says that the book of Hebrews does not teach a two-apartment ministry. (1) He says this, well-knowing that the other primary explanations of the sanctuary service—Exodus and Leviticus—very clearly teach a two-apartment ministry. Read Exodus 25 over to Leviticus 11, and also chapter 16. (2) He says this, well-knowing that the book of Hebrews teaches it also (Heb 9:1-7).

In Hebrews we find Paul’s most carefully organized book, more so even than Romans. Step by step he introduces and develops his concepts to the Hebrew Christians of his time. But it is not until Chapter Eight that he brings in the fact that Christ our priest has a Sanctuary that He mediates in, and then we are immediately told that this Sanctuary is in heaven. Then in Chapter Nine Paul for the first time explains what this Sanctuary is like. In 9:1-5 he tells us about the two apartments of this Sanctuary and what is in them. In 9:6-7 he mentions the daily and the yearly services. Then in verse 8 he continues by telling us that the way into the heavenly Sanctuary (ta hagia, incorrectly translated "the holiest" in the KJV) was not to be clearly revealed as long as the earthly still had meaning in God’s eyes. At the death of Christ this took place. At this point in Hebrews Nine, Paul turns His attention to explaining about the blood of Christ and how greatly inferior to it is the blood of animals.

In Paul’s explanation of the Sanctuary service, he clearly shows the similarities between the heavenly and the earthly sanctuaries, that the earthly  is patterned after the heavenly, that within the sanctuary there are two apartments, and that within each is a special priestly service.

This truth that the earthly sanctuary and its services are patterned after the one in heaven is clearly stated in Scripture. The earthly was to be constructed according to a divinely given pattern (Ex 25 :8-9,40, 26:30, 27:8, Num 8:4). Paul, in introducing the fact of the heavenly Sanctuary in Hebrews Eight, carefully fills out this picture. The ministry of the earthly priests was an "example and shadow of heavenly things" (Heb 8:5), and in proof of this he then quotes Exodus 25:40 (Heb 8:5). Jesus is the priest of the heavenly, not the earthly sanctuary (Heb 8:1-2). He is the priest of the tabernacle "not made with hands" (Heb 9:11), the one which "the Lord pitched and not man" (Heb 8:2). The "shadows" of earth (Heb 10:1) help us to more clearly grasp the realities of heaven.


"Christ, not the Father, is the great Judge in the final judgment." 


There is no disagreement here. First, let us consider the New Testament teaching: Jesus is the Judge—John 5:30; 8:16, Matt 19:28 (Lk 22:30), Ac 10:42, 2 Tim 4:1. Jesus is not the Judge—John 8:15; 8:59. God is the Judge—Rom 2:2,3; 3:6; 11:33, Heb 12:23; 13:4, 2 Thess 1:5, Rev 20:12-13. The Lord is the Judge—2 Tim 4:8, 1 Cor 4:4, Heb 10:30, Rev 7:10; 14:7; 16:5. The Lord God is the Judge —Rev 18:8; 19:2. The One on the white horse [Jesus] is the Judge—Rev 19:11.

The Father is the Judge (1 Pet 1:17; 2:21-23), but elsewhere, the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son (Jn 5:22, 27). For this purpose Jesus came into the world (Jn 9:39), but He was not at that time the Judge (Jn 12:47), although its basis was laid then (Jn 12:31). The judgment takes place at the time of the decisions over the Mark of the Beast, prior to the Second Advent (Rev 14:6-12, cf. 11:18-19, Mal 3:1-4, G. C.424:3, 426:1 and Dan 12:1).The Second Advent will be a time of Judgment or separation (Matt 25:31,2 Tim 4:1). There will be a Judgment during the Millennium (Rev 20:4), when the saints will sit on judgment thrones judging the world and angels (Rev 20:4, 1 Cor 6:2-3). This will be followed by a Judgment after the Millennium (Rev 20:12-15). God will judge the world by Jesus Christ (Rom 2:16; 3:6) and will stand before His judgment seat (Rom 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10 (cf. Matt 27:19, Ac 18:12). Jesus will execute the Judgment (Jude 15).

The Spirit of Prophecy clarifies the picture very nicely: At Calvary, the Father assumed the character of Judge toward Christ (TM 246 ["Now is come the Judgment"—Jn 12:31] . In the Investigative Judgment prior to the Second Advent, the Father presides as the Judge (GC 479), Jesus appears as our Advocate (GC 482-4), and Satan is the accuser (GC 484). The Judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work and takes place at a later time (GC 480). Following the Investigative Judgment, the separation between the good and bad takes place at the Second Coming (COL 122-123). Christ is the Judge in the Sentencing Judgment of the wicked during the Millennium (DA 210, EW 52-53, 291, GC 661). The redeemed will participate in it (EW 52,290-1, GC 661). Satan and his angels are judged at this time (EW 291, GC 661). At the close of the Millennium, the Executive Judgment occurs, and again Christ is the Judge (DA 210, EW 52-54, 291, GC 666) and will pronounce the final sentence (GC 666). Christ has been appointed to execute the judgment (DA 210).


"We should not speak of our Lord’s heavenly ministry in terms of apartments." 


In the book of Hebrews, Paul tells us that the Old Testament sanctuary had two apartments and he carefully describes them and the work done within them (Heb 9:1-5). And he tells us that its holy places were "patterns of things in the heavens" (9:23). [See Point Eight for more information on this.] The Sanctuary in Heaven is the Great Original, of which the Sanctuary built by Moses was but a copy.

This abiding place of the King of Kings, where "thousand thousands minister unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before Him" was prophetically seen by Daniel in a vision of the last days (Dan 7:10). John the Revelator in vision saw "a door opened in Heaven." He was called to enter it (Rev 4:1), and within he was granted a view of the Temple of God in Heaven, there to behold "seven lamps of fire burning before the throne" (Rev 4:5). According to what he there saw, the throne was in the first apartment, for John saw the seven-branched lampstand beside it. And he saw One come and stand before the altar—the altar of incense—having a golden censer in His hand, "and there was given unto Him much incense, that He should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar (the altar of incense within the first apartment) which was before the throne" (Rev 8:3).

John the Revelator thus beheld the coming of Christ to the golden altar to begin the daily mediation within the first apartment of the Sanctuary in Heaven (Rev 8:3-4), just as Daniel the Prophet beheld the coming of Christ to the second apartment of that Temple to begin the Final Mediatorial work of the Investigative Judgment (Dan 7:9-10, 13-14, 22, 26-27), the same work that Malachi saw in Malachi 3:1-3. Thus, in Revelation 8:3, John looked within the first of the two apartments of the heavenly Sanctuary and viewed the Mediatorial Work of Christ on behalf of His people. "And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the Angel’s hand" (Rev 8:4). Then, in his view of the last days, John beholds another entering within the Sanctuary. "The Temple of God was opened" and he looked within the inner veil upon the holy of holies, and beheld the ark of the testament. Thus in our day attention was to be directed to the heavenly Sanctuary and the Law of God within the ark.


"The N. T. viewed the second advent as imminent in its day."


This is something of a strange objection to Adventism. One would think that Ford should be able to find better reasons for rejecting the Third Angel’s Message and the Advent Movement than this. Here is his point: Christ was supposed to return for His Second Advent shortly after his resurrection and ascension to heaven, therefore it is not possible for there to be an Investigative Judgment and a Second Advent in our day. This may seem to be ridiculous reasoning, but theologians sometimes use strained arguments in order to convince others of their ideas. Here is the Scriptural truth of the matter:

The hope of Christ’s return was the joy of the Christian world in early New Testament times. But by the time of the second letter that Paul wrote, recorded in Scripture, the early Christians were frankly warned against any such anticipation (2 Thess 2:1-8). He outlined the progress of history from his day forward, showing an understanding of several key points in Daniel’s prophecy relating to the fall of the papal power. Although Paul recognized that "these last days" began with the first advent of Christ, he also understood that there was not to be an abrupt end of "these last days" for some time to come. Certain events, requiring time, must take place prior to the Second Advent.

Another example is the prophecy of Revelation Twelve, in which it is shown that though Satan viewed the period following the birth of Christ to be a "short time" (Rev 12:12), yet following this, the predicted flight of the woman—the true church—into the wilderness for 1,260 years would occur.

Then there are the words of Jesus Himself. He did not indicate that there would be a rapid preaching of the gospel to "the cities of Israel" to be followed immediately by His return, before the rest of the world was warned. Read Acts 1:8, Matt 28:19-20, and 24:14. Our safety is in the words of Inspiration.

Desmond Ford has tried so hard to convince himself that his errors are correct that he has officially stated that Christ was incorrect— in error in regard to some of His ideas. "As we have seen, Christ expected the End [of the world] in His generation, and viewed Jerusalem’s fall as part of the eschatological woes."—Manchester Thesis, page 109. Learning from liberals produces error and self-delusion.


"Sacrificial blood purifies rather than defiles." 


Point One and Two are closely related to this Twelfth Point. In Scripture, sin is transferred to the sanctuary through blood. This is solidly Biblical, and is explained in the Reply to Point Two. This principle of transfer of sin is taught not only in the first ten chapters of Leviticus, it is also taught in Leviticus 16:21. Great Controversy, 417-422 carefully explains this principle of transferral of sin to the sanctuary by means of blood. Ford is making an issue that does not exist: It is not the blood that defiles, but the sin that it transfers.

Day by day, throughout the year, the sins of Israel were thus transferred to the earthly sanctuary. The blood represented Christ who thus was transferring sin from His repentant child to the sanctuary. On the yearly Day of Atonement these were then cleansed from the sanctuary itself with blood (Lev 16). This is the message given us in Scripture.

The earthly sanctuary service teaches us that a substitute was accepted in the sinner’s stead; but the sin was not thus canceled by the blood of the victim. Rather, a means had been provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood, the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law of God, confessed his guilt in transgression of it, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in the Redeemer,—but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of that law. This did not occur until the Day of Atonement, at which time the high priest went into the most holy place with blood, and sprinkled it upon the mercy-seat, directly over the law that had been transgressed, to make satisfaction for its claims.

Such was the service performed "unto the example and shadow of heavenly things" (Heb 9:24). And what was done in type or symbol in the earthly sanctuary is done in fact—in reality—in the heavenly. This work of atonement for the removal of sin from the heavenly Sanctuary began in 1844, at the termination of the 2300 year prophecy. But before this can be accomplished, there must first be an examination of the books of record in order to determine who, through genuine repentance and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. At its conclusion, sins are blotted out of the heavenly Sanctuary—and Christ returns for His people.


The final decision of PREXAD to recommend that the Australasian Division revoke Dr. Ford’s ministerial credentials, was partly based on his "Twelve Points." These were twelve beliefs appended at the close of a letter he sent to Elder K. S. Parmenter, President of the Australasian Division on August 26, 1980. about ten days after the end of the week-long Glacier View session that dealt with his case. 

A reply to these "Twelve Points" is given in the upper sections of the tract you are now reading. A brief review of the proceedings leading up to his issuance of these "Twelve Points," and the events that quickly followed it, are summarized in the lower sections. It is based on historical data given in the October, 1980 issue of the Ministry magazine (pages 4-10,14-15).

While in Washington for his six-month research, "the General Conference put an office at his disposal, along with such facilities as the White Estate, [General Conference] Archives, and secretarial help." The fourteen-member Guidance Committee that was to counsel with him as he wrote his paper, met three times:

April 4-6, 1980 at the General Conference; May 29-30 and June 15-16 at Andrews University. "Attempts were made to guide Dr. Ford in his exegesis, use of sources, and conclusions. . As

Dr. Ford wrote the final draft of his document, we hoped he would take into consideration at least some of the suggestions offered. But when the final manuscript [his "Glacier View Thesis"] came out, it was a definite disappointment to find that there was no apparent change in any theological position. In other words, after meeting with Des for approximately fifty hours, during which time numerous suggestions both spoken and written were shared with him, the committee was unable to find any evidence that he had accepted a single suggestion. In fact, in some instances, instead of accepting suggested changes, Des added extra pages to his document to give additional arguments for his original position. . In all honesty, I must state that Des’ unchangeable and inflexible stand on every position, major or minor, seemed to give the impression of an attitude of inerrancy [infallibility]." Copies of his so-called "thousand-page thesis" [the "Glacier View Thesis" containing 691 pages, plus appendized papers by others] were sent to the 125 men who were asked to attend Glacier View about the first of July for this historic gathering.

At the opening session at Glacier View Elder Wilson said: "‘I Also want to make it clear that the church is not searching for a [doctrinal] position and that the church is not on trial. The burden of proof is for others to prove that we are wrong.’" About the Adventist Review, Elder Wilson said that "the Review editors did what was expected of them by leadership. We would expect articles that would uphold the position the church holds. We do not expect the Adventist Review to give equal time to positions opposed to the beliefs of the church, or to new light until it has been cleared by other [official church] groups.’"

By the end of the week it appeared from questionnaires that the members at Glacier View were closer to our fundamental beliefs than they were when the meetings convened.

During the question-and-answer sessions "some delegates made public, emotional appeals for him [Ford] to yield some of his doctrinal positions. Others made forthright challenges to his theology."

These meetings took place from August 10 to 14, 1980. On noon, Friday, they ended. At 4:00 p.m., a group of nine individuals met informally with Dr. Ford and his wife. These nine were Neal Wilson, Ralph Thompson, Francis Wernick, Charles Bradford, Keith Parmenter, Charles Hirsch, Duncan Eva, A. N. Duffy, and Robert Spangler. During the meeting which lasted three hours, Elder Wilson told Ford that if he "‘considers himself to be the final authority, ever the teacher and never the learner, the problem is aggravated, and the church, finds it extremely difficult not only to deal with him but to understand him.

When questioned about his position on Ellen White, "Dr. Ford replied, in effect, that the statement of ‘Fundamental Beliefs,’ voted by the church at Dallas showed a very definite shift away from Ellen White’s interpretation in the area of the sanctuary. He declared that the statement on the sanctuary voted at Dallas says nothing about two apartments in the heavenly sanctuary. He professed to be very comfortable preaching under the umbrella of the Consensus Paper just voted at Glacier View. In his opinion that paper showed a definite shift away from Ellen White’s interpretations of the sanctuary. He said that the church had moved considerably from its past position toward his direction, and that in a few years the church will eventually come to see things as he does."

"Several appeals were made to Dr. Ford along the following lines— ‘Please come with us, Des. For the sake of the church and its people and for your own sake. Your ministry is of great value to the church." "Strong appeals were made by both Pastors Parmenter and Wilson urging Des to pray about the matter, to think it through carefully, and not to be hasty in answering."

"Dr. Ford was then asked whether his doctrinal positions were more than tentative, to which he responded that the brethren had made tremendous progress in the past few days [at Glacier View] and that the church’s position was closer to his than it had ever been before. He expressed the thought that if we have come this far in four days, imagine how far the church will go in [the next] four years in changing its position."

In concluding this Friday afternoon meeting, Ford was urged to take time and consider staying within the church.

On September 2, PREXAD (the General Conference President’s Executive Advisory Committee) reviewed the situation. They noted that in his August 26 reply to Parmenter [his employing source, the Australasian Division President], Ford had listed TWELVE POINTS of doctrine that he stood by. [These are the "twelve points" replied to in this tract.]

Prior to this meeting of PREXAD, Elder Wilson met with Ford on the morning of August 22. In this meeting Ford consistently refused to recognize Ellen White as having any doctrinal authority, and he declined to reconsider other disputed positions. "He expressed a willingness to keep silent on these things, but said it would be impossible for him to preach or support the commonly held Adventist positions . . Pastor Wilson told him that a minister cannot be silent on . . such distinctive matters" and that those who "cannot conscientiously support significant doctrines of this church" can know that they may not continue in the Adventist ministry. After prayer, they parted.