Messenger of the Lord


Chapter 44—The Shut Door—A Case Study

“Clearer light came with the investigation of the sanctuary question.... When Christ passed from the holy to the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary, the door, or ministration, of the former apartment was closed, and the door, or ministration, of the latter was opened. Christ had ended one part of His work as our Intercessor, to enter upon another portion of the work; and He still presented His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners.” 1 MOL 500.1

Critics have called the “shut-door” issue “the darkest page in our denominational history,” 2 “the most serious error ever taught by Sister White.” 3 On this question they have said that the “battles that have been fought ... have not been mere exercises in academic hair-splitting.” 4 MOL 500.2

In 1885 General Conference president George I. Butler wrote: “Perhaps there has never been anything connected with the Advent movement that our enemies have tried harder to use to our reproach than the shut-door doctrine.” 5 Yet, he could say: “When we understand all about the facts connected with the ‘shut-door doctrine,’ as it is called, we shall find nothing of which we need to be ashamed.” 6 MOL 500.3