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Registered user
Username: Shimsheree

Post Number: 6
Registered: 4-2013
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 2:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Could someone please explain the investigative judgement simply for me? I'd like to explain it to my husband why it matters that Adventists believe it. We talked last weekend about it and he didn't see why it mattered if they believed it, and I couldn't think of an answer on the spot.

Registered user
Username: Philharris

Post Number: 3238
Registered: 5-2007

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 4:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Investigative Judgement/sanctuary doctrine was invented to give importance to Oct. 22, 1844 when Jesus didn't return to earth at that date. The first problem is to note that when Jesus ascended into heaven he sat down at the side of the Father forever meaning he has always been since then at the most holy place there is in heaven. Obviously there could be no holier for him to go to than at the side of the Father. Jesus didn't move anywhere ever since he sat down. He sat down because atonement was complete and didn't need to be repeated yearly.

The Hebrew yearly Day if Atonement included the sacrifice of two goats which were both selected as being 'without blemish' meaning they both represented a sacrifice that was without sin. Adventism teaches that the Scapegoat, one of the two goats, portrayed Satan. This is heresy since both goats were one sacrifice that portrayed Jesus at Calvary. At death he descended into a 'place unknown' where the Scapegoat went.

Adventist have no assurance of their salvation if they believe Ellen G. White because she says we don't know we are saved until the end of the supposed 'Investigative Judgement' and we stand before God at the Great White Throne to hear the results of this investigation which is thought to be happening as we speak. When you study Romans chapter eight you will learn that the saints who know they are eternally secure in the kingdom of God can never be separated from the love of God.

(Message edited by philharris on February 14, 2017)

(Message edited by philharris on February 14, 2017)
Registered user
Username: Leifl

Post Number: 131
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 5:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

1. Jesus or the apostles never taught such a theory. That's important.

2. It undermines Jesus' atonement. “[In 1844] our great High Priest entered the Holy of Holies … to there make atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to his benefits.” “Christ entered the holy of holies to perform the closing work of the atonement” The Great Controversy, 308, 428.

Jesus did not enter into heaven to make atonement for sin. He did that completely on the cross. There is no salvation in a false atonement - there is only one way of salvation, and that is by the completed work of Jesus on the cross. To alter that is serious, as it removes the means of salvation.

Simply put, the question is whether Jesus completed His work of atonement on Calvary, or whether he is making atonement now for our sins. The Bible is plain.

In the IJ, Jesus never actually pays for our sins. They were put on Him on the cross, he bore tem into heaven, and at the end of time will put their punishment on Satan. Jesus is never punished for our sins; Satan is the one who makes ultimate atonement for our sins, bearing the wrath of God.

Such an idea is not only foreign to Scripture, it is a serious and damning heresy.
Registered user
Username: Chris

Post Number: 1904
Registered: 7-2003

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 8:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Proclamation! Magazine.

In researching the theology of Seventh-day Adventism, it is important to consult primary, authoritative Adventist sources. The official Seventh-day Adventist Church website, as well as numerous other published Adventist sources, list the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of Adventism. To refer to these beliefs as "fundamental" is to say that they support the existence of, determine the essential structure of, and are of central importance to the organization's belief system (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). In other words, without any one of these fundamentals, the belief system would represent something other than Seventh-day Adventism.

Adventist Fundamental Belief #13 deals with the remnant church and its mission of proclaiming what is referred to as "The Three Angels' Messages". In order to understand fully these unique Adventist messages we must also turn to another Fundamental Belief. Adventist Fundamental Belief #18 teaches that the writings of Ellen G. White are considered by the organization to be a prophetic, inspired, "…a continuing and authoritative source of truth…". There is no more authoritative source to which we can go for the Adventist understanding of the Three Angels' Messages. Ellen White has much to say on this topic. Her "authoritative" views will be synthesized and summarized here, but for those wishing to more deeply research White's teachings on this topic, the Testimonies for the Church, volumes 6-8 as well as The Great Controversy are primary references.

Adventism sees itself as a movement comprising the remnant people of God who have been called in the last days to proclaim the Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14:6-12. The first angel proclaims the everlasting gospel which, according to Adventist belief, includes the concept of a heavenly investigative judgment which supposedly began in 1844. The second angel's message is a call to depart "Babylon" which is interpreted as Roman Catholicism and all the Protestant churches (the daughters of Babylon) which have been influenced by Catholicism. The influence of Roman Catholicism within Protestantism is believed to be demonstrated primarily by the fact that most Protestant churches meet for worship on Sunday. This brings us to the third angel's message which is believed to be a warning against worshiping on Sunday. Adventists teach that those who worship on the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) will receive the seal of God while those who worship on Sunday will eventually receive the mark of the beast and be lost.

The first angel

Let us more closely examine each part of the Adventist message beginning with the first angel. The first angel carries the idea of a "gospel" defined by an investigative judgment. In Adventist belief Jesus is pictured as returning to heaven after His resurrection to minister as a priest in a sanctuary building with two compartments. Jesus is believed to have initially returned to the lesser compartment and did not enter the most holy place until the year 1844 A.D. The resurrection was not the culmination of a finished work, but merely the event that prepared the way for a new phase of work referred to in Adventist literature as "the investigative judgment", "pre-advent judgment", "sanctuary ministry", or other related titles. We will use the most oft-used term, "investigative judgment" (IJ). Because this is the founding doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, it is necessary to understand something of this essential belief in order to understand how it informs Adventist theology, including the theology of the resurrection.

In researching the doctrine that gave birth to Adventism, we must again consult primary, authoritative Adventist sources. Fundamental Belief #24 sets forth the investigative judgment (IJ) doctrine as one of the 28 beliefs which are essential to Adventism. In order to better understand the details of this doctrine, we will turn to that authoritative source of Adventist truth, Ellen White (Fundamental #18). One of White's most revered and oft-quoted books is The Great Controversy, and it is the chapter entitled "The Investigative Judgment" (in older editions) or "Facing Life's Record" (in newer editions) that most thoroughly outlines the authoritative teaching on the IJ. If we examine this chapter by asking the journalistic "five W's and an H", we learn the following about the Adventist understanding of Jesus' supposed work in the investigative judgment:

Q: When is the IJ?
A: It began in 1844 and is going on today (p. 480).

Q: Where does the IJ take place?
A: In heaven in "the holy of holies" (p. 480).

Q: Why is an IJ needed?
A #1: To make an atonement [apparently the atonement was not completed at the cross] (p. 480).
A #2: To determine who is entitled to the benefits of atonement (p. 480).

Q: Who is judged?
A: Believers only, not unbelievers (p. 480).

Q: What is judged?
A: Every believer's work down to the smallest detail, even wasted moments (p. 482).

Q: How are people judged?
A: According to how well believers' characters and lives meet the standard of the Law (p. 482).

Q: Why are works judged?
A #1: To determine which believers are accounted worthy of eternal life (p. 482).
A #2: To reject believers who have any unconfessed sins still on the books, to blot those believers out of the book of life, and to erase any good deeds those believers had (p. 483).
A #3: To determine the weight of each work, good or bad, in deciding the believer's destiny for weal or woe, counting against the believer even a completely forgotten sin which he had not specifically confessed (p. 486, 487).

Q: What should believers do, given that they are on probation, under judgment, and the weight of their works will decide their destiny?
A: Afflict their souls before God (p. 490).

The investigative judgment is not the gospel. It's not good news. Rather, it's an anti-gospel. If a person embraces this doctrine, there is no way one can know if one is saved or not until such time as Jesus comes to his or her name in this supposed judgment and judges his works to see if he or she is entitled and worthy. In this anti-gospel, Jesus' resurrection is the culmination of nothing, settles nothing, and assures us of nothing. Why celebrate an event of so little import?
Registered user
Username: Shimsheree

Post Number: 7
Registered: 4-2013
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 9:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you so much for these explanations. I will keep reading them till I completely understand them. When I took a religion class at Walla Walla College, I asked Alden Thompson about the Investigative Judgement and even he admitted to me that it wasn't biblical. I remember being surprised that he would admit that to me.

Thanks again.
Registered user
Username: Rossbondreturns

Post Number: 426
Registered: 10-2009

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 11:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

a video I made 5 years ago on The Investigative Judgment

You might want to check it out.
Registered user
Username: Chris

Post Number: 1905
Registered: 7-2003

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 12:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


I think the bottom line is that a judgment of believers' works to determine their eternal destiny is antithetical to the Christian doctrine of salvation. Evangelical Christians believe that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. You cannot truly believe in salvation by grace alone if you also believe a judgement of works determines who is saved and who is not. The two ideas cannot logically co-exist.

If any single doctrine places Adventism outside the the realm of Christianity, it's this one. I actually think there are quite a few SDA scholars and pastors who understand this to be true which is why so many will admit, quietly and in private, that they don't believe in this core SDA doctrine. It's just too bad they're not allowed to explain the problems with the doctrine to lay people.
Registered user
Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 15474
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 1:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Shimsheree, the fact that Adventists can believe that the investigative judgment is not biblical and still stay loyal to the organization, dismissing the IJ as if it weren't there, demonstrates that for them, religion is not about the Lord Jesus and His salvation of depraved humanity. They rationalize their doctrines and beliefs in order to keep their Adventism, and they allow its pious health practices and spiritual-sounding teaching soothe them into believing that their sincerity is what matters.

They miss the point that their unbelief or belief is what matters. The IJ removes the central command of Scripture: to believe in the One whom the Father sent (John 6:29). The IJ makes the law, a mere shadow, "the thing" that defines the saved and the lost. The Bible makes our belief or unbelief the determiner of whether one is saved or lost.

Registered user
Username: Resjudicata

Post Number: 771
Registered: 4-2014
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 5:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Thief on the Cross was the world's best Christian.


He lived the perfect model Christian life, never having kept the silliest, most obscure part of the law in his entire life, let alone any of the Big Ones. He passed the "Investigative Judgment" while he was hanging from a Cross. He was crucified, just like his savior was. Together, they hung together. Two convicted and condemned criminals.

One was saved. One was the Savior.

The thief lived John 9:16 perfectly, better than you or I ever will. We can never do it any better.

He believed.
Registered user
Username: Milan

Post Number: 3
Registered: 3-2017
Posted on Friday, March 31, 2017 - 1:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember a very good friend of mine when I quote to her: Heb 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent ( not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)
Heb 9:12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
Heb 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh,
Heb 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
and asked her: When ths think happened? She answered: 1844.
I said: But Paul said before it was written Hebrew epistle. She was shocked.
Than I quote to her: Col 2:16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
Col 2:17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
and explained that Day of Atonement was finished on the cross, she was speechless.
Registered user
Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 15482
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 - 4:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great point, Resjudicata.

Milan, that is so revealing. What an amazing conversation you had! Did your Adventist friend show any signs of being influenced by your explanations?

Welcome to the forum, by the way!

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