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Investigative Judgement, History


Gregory Matthews
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Excellent article!!!

It is such a shame that so many Adventists read into the Investigative Judgment such a negative view of what God does for us, and assumes that the negative view is the correct view and just want to do away with it, instead of giving it the benefit of the doubt. 

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I assumed that the I.J. was a defined Doctrine in Adventism? If individuals have to read into it (either in a negative way or as Kevin H said in a way that gives it the benefit of the doubt) doesn't that indicate that there is an issue with the Doctrine or the existing definition of it? 

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Members of the SDA Chruch have some differences in understanding most SDA doctrines.  In some cases those differences are minor and in other cases they are not minor.

 

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On 9/18/2022 at 11:51 AM, Gustave said:

I assumed that the I.J. was a defined Doctrine in Adventism? If individuals have to read into it (either in a negative way or as Kevin H said in a way that gives it the benefit of the doubt) doesn't that indicate that there is an issue with the Doctrine or the existing definition of it? 

We all have two filters that we filter information through. These are our knowledge filter and our values filter. Our knowledge filter is where we compare information with what we have already learned to try to make sense out of it. 

Some important aspects here is how do you understand hell to be, what definitions of atonement are you aware of and how do you fit the information with what you have in your knowledge filter. 

We have many Adventists who have basically the same view of "hell fire" that we find among traditionally among say Catholics and Baptists, only that they have the fire burning the people up and the flame eventually burning itself out.  Many non-Adventists evaluating have in their knowledge filter this view of hell, but where the person is burned but kept alive in this torture forever and ever. 

Among the views of the atonement; there is the Jewish idea of kippur such as in Yom Kippur. This is anytime God does something special that can deepen our relationship to Him. And we have the view of atonement which developed over church history of defining atonement as "How do I get God to let me go into heaven instead of sending me to hell?" The Catholic church had her answers, and the reformers rightly recognizes that the only way of salvation is what Jesus did for us on the cross. 

What view of atonement are they comparing this information with?

Many of the understandings of "Judgment" tends to be standing before the throne of God with your knees shaking and either being told that you can go into heaven and you wipe the sweat off your brow and run into heaven before God changes His mind.  Or else you are dragged off kicking and screaming to hell. 

So give the information of the Investigative judgment and have it meet in someone's knowledge filter these views of hell fire, if you only understand the word "Atonement" with in the view of "How do I get God to let me into heaven and not send me to hell?" And the view of judgment of the knee knocking event of which of two places we can go, this can give a very negative understanding of the investigative judgment. 

But there is another understanding of hell were the "fire" is God's love, beauty and glory; where God treats us all the same at the end, but while some people find living with God to be heaven, while others become slaves of how their selfishness does not fit heavenly life, Being unforgiving people they cannot comprehend that God actually forgives them, Contrasting their life to the purity of Christ, instead of responding with "Worthy is the Lamb!" Their response is to picture in their minds what they would do to someone like them if they were God, and they torture themselves with pictures of what they think God should do, and sooner or later will do to them. Yet, above all this, Jesus is their deepest desire. They long to run into his arms of forgiveness, but they pull back, refusing to yield to their deepest desire. And rejecting the heaven of all reality that God offers them; they create their own morbid heaven of the pleasure we all have that comes from complaining, blaming, sulking.

Do we see the issues as being limited to me and my personal salvation; or the universal aspects of answering the issues of the the great controversy. 

Do we leave room for the idea of "kippur"?

These other views can give a different understanding when the information of the investigative judgment goes through our knowledge filter. 

What our background and items in our knowledge filter we use when trying to make sense of the information does not make the information itself wrong.

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The Investigative Judgement is subjective to an individual's personal and private interpretation. This makes sense to me now. Thanks Kevin. 

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1 hour ago, Gustave said:

The Investigative Judgement is subjective to an individual's personal and private interpretation. This makes sense to me now. Thanks Kevin. 

The IJ teaching is heavily dependent on sanctuary typology and Apocalyptic interpretation. The judgment aspect is based on Daniel 7. The opening of the books after the Ancient of Days sits for judgment implies an investigation or review of the books. Matthew 22 is also cited by some as support for an investigation, prior to the return of Christ.

What do you mean when you say its subjective to individual and private interpretation?

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7 hours ago, Gustave said:

The Investigative Judgement is subjective to an individual's personal and private interpretation. This makes sense to me now. Thanks Kevin. 

Everyone is both objective and subjective. There is the evidence, but everyone filters the evidence through things they have known before; including every piece of information that you have become aware of. Spiritualism deals with the personal and private interpretation being the final and absolute authority, at least for you. The Beast is where another makes their interpretation the final authority and your job is just submit to what they say you should do.  Fellowship is where we share with each other and discuss and thus grow our knowledge filter. 

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On 9/22/2022 at 7:42 AM, GHansen said:

The IJ teaching is heavily dependent on sanctuary typology and Apocalyptic interpretation. The judgment aspect is based on Daniel 7. The opening of the books after the Ancient of Days sits for judgment implies an investigation or review of the books. Matthew 22 is also cited by some as support for an investigation, prior to the return of Christ.

What do you mean when you say its subjective to individual and private interpretation?

It would have been more accurate to say (or I meant to say) the I.J. Doctrine is subjective to individual or private interpretation. At least that's how I understood Kevin explaining it.  

I've been buried at work lately hopefully by the end of October I'll have more time. 

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12 hours ago, Gustave said:

I've been buried at work lately hopefully by the end of October I'll have more time. 

The IJ doctrine was developed in response to Christ not returning in 1844.  It was sometimes referred to as the cleansing of the sanctuary, not the investigative judgment, depending on who wrote the article, pamphlet, or book. Uriah Smith, not EGW, wrote one of the early, most extensive treatments in 1857.  EGW wrote on the topic decades later, including an emphasis on the investigative nature of the judgment.

 Psalm 130:3 says If the Lord  marked iniquities, who could stand? but there is forgiveness with Him.... That word "mark" can refer to "finding fault." This psalm contradicts any IJ interpretation that positions God as our enemy, looking for reasons to shut us out of heaven. The IJ doctrine leads some people into perfectionism, legalism and uncertainty. The gospel leads us into rest in Christ. If people don't like the IJ doctrine, they can be delivered from diabetes, obesity, hypertension, constipation, etc. through the SDA health message. A person must have faith in Christ to appreciate [?] the IJ. An atheist can be benefitted by the teachings found in "Counsels on Diet and Foods."

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It's  ( the Investigative Judgement ) still understood to be a specific Doctrine within the SDA Church, right? Just so I can know, is the cleansing of the Sanctuary Doctrine the same thing as the Doctrine of the Investigative judgement and so when someone "cleansing of sanctuary" that term is synonymous in meaning with the investigative judgement Doctrine?  

 

"Assurance of salvation is an issue for Seventh-day Adventists. Why? Our doctrine of the investigative judgement may have something to do with it. Adventists teach that a cosmic investigative judgement is happening right now. It began in 1844 as the fulfilment of the time prophecy in Daniel 8:14. As the antitypical Day of Atonement, the heavenly sanctuary is being cleansed from our sins with the blood of Christ. In this process our individual records may come up any day to reveal our destiny. Is the Adventist’s personal assurance of salvation undermined by the doctrine of the investigative judgment? This question has haunted Adventists for at least 40 years. This article addresses pastoral concern regarding the investigative judgement doctrine, not its biblical accuracy." page 14 of AAR20181201-V123-24.pdf (adventistarchives.org)

 

 

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9 hours ago, Gustave said:

Just so I can know, is the cleansing of the Sanctuary Doctrine the same thing as the Doctrine of the Investigative judgement and so when someone "cleansing of sanctuary" that term is synonymous in meaning with the investigative judgement Doctrine?  

YES. All believers through the ages have a record of their lives preserved in God's book of remembrance. Those records are reviewed [investigated] to determine who will be saved. The cleansing of the sanctuary, investigative judgment, blotting out of sin and the atonement are all elements of the IJ teaching, according to Uriah Smith. EGW wrote the most authoritative version in the Great Controversy.

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On 10/1/2022 at 10:45 AM, Gustave said:

It would have been more accurate to say (or I meant to say) the I.J. Doctrine is subjective to individual or private interpretation. At least that's how I understood Kevin explaining it.  

I've been buried at work lately hopefully by the end of October I'll have more time. 

I'm sorry for not being clear. Many Christians are very directly or indirectly educated in the traditions developed from say the Church-

synagogue split of 135 AD, The views of Augustine, and Reformation Theology, and view the Bible through this lens. Others, more through archaeology and studies of the ancient world. Those who have trouble with the investigative judgment tend to want to fit it into the thoughts of the events of 135 AD, Augustine and the Reformers; and they don't see how it fits. But it fits much better when we read in the context of the ancient world. 

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On 10/2/2022 at 4:53 PM, GHansen said:

YES. All believers through the ages have a record of their lives preserved in God's book of remembrance. Those records are reviewed [investigated] to determine who will be saved. The cleansing of the sanctuary, investigative judgment, blotting out of sin and the atonement are all elements of the IJ teaching, according to Uriah Smith. EGW wrote the most authoritative version in the Great Controversy.

Looking at your (& Kevin H's) or perhaps better said SDA understanding on the Investigative Judgement and it's start in the year 1844 I'm not understanding why God would need to perform such an investigation when it's something God already knows? 

Philippians 4,3
I entreat Eu-o′dia and I entreat Syn′tyche to agree in the Lord.  And I ask you also, true yokefellow,
help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the
rest of my fellow workers, whose names
are in the book of life.

There would have already had to have been some form of "investigation" for the above to be true would it not? If prior to the year 1844 there were those who were already written into the book of Life. Scripture speaks of names already written in the book of life being blotted out (removed) by Christ (providing more support for the OSAS shibboleth we both already reject).

Revelation 3, 5
And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
“‘I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead.  Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on 
the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God.  Remember then what you received and
heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will 
come upon you.  Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk 
with me in white
,
for they are worthy.  He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name 
out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels

The way this seems to read to me is God knows who's going to be saved prior to their birth and the act of blotting out a name is a formality only, likely for the benefit of others (as in some sort of transparency for the General judgement at the end of days). 

I've unfortunately been too busy at work lately to spend any amount of time on the forums so my input will be minimal for the next couple months - hopefully the new year will bring some free time without it being permanent LOL! I fear it's going to get pretty rough with the economy at large. 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Gustave said:

Looking at your (& Kevin H's) or perhaps better said SDA understanding on the Investigative Judgement and it's start in the year 1844 I'm not understanding why God would need to perform such an investigation when it's something God already knows? 

Hi Gustave,

According to J.N. Andrews in his "The Judgment. Its Events and their Order," every professed believer has their name in the book of life. It is the book of remembrance which contains the record of our life. We are actually judged out of the book of remembrance. If our life record is suitable, our names will remain in the book of life. If not, our names will be blotted out.

That's how Andrews saw it. 

 

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6 hours ago, Gustave said:

Looking at your (& Kevin H's) or perhaps better said SDA understanding on the Investigative Judgement and it's start in the year 1844 I'm not understanding why God would need to perform such an investigation when it's something God already knows? 

 

 

Of course God already knows. The purpose for the Investigative Judgment is a reflective twofold. Too often we study salvation as in me and my personal salvation. God is working from the great controversy theme for the safety of the entire universe. Events leading up to what ever was here turning into complete chaos lead to the two sides of the great controversy being formed; at that time God moved from purely evidence to a little bit of proof as he hovered over the chaos and said "Let there be light" both starting an amazing week; but also announcing that history was moving in a way where they could learn more things about God, thus let there be light about God. This starts the history of what was to become the fallen race. Now, although the two sides of the great controversy were formed; they did not yet close their probation. 

They watched the events of history, especially the life of Jesus, then his passion. At the cross all but humans closed their probation one way or another. 

However, even though those who choose to be faithful to God learned enough to never ever want to leave him not matter what, and having total trust in him. God is infinite, finite beings are unable to grasp all the knowledge and greatness of God; but we will be learning more and more through out eternity. 

In the mid-1840s earth had reached a point in history where the ancient world was starting to be re-discovered. This was the opening of a time where we could study the Bible like never before. In ancient though events in heaven and earth reflect each other. This time of deeper investigation of the pages of scripture were met by it's heavenly counterpart of God reviewing with the angels and beings from other worlds the lives of those who claimed to follow him. They see those who claimed to accept him, such as Judas, and see what God tried to do for them and what went wrong. They also see those who claimed to accept him such as Abraham, and what went right. They review the difference Jesus made in the lives of sinners on earth. This gives them a clearer understanding of just how God saves us. And in the process this gives them a clearer picture of how God saved them. This lets there be more light, more of an understanding of God. We will have these mile stones all through out eternity. This is just one of these that corresponded with the events on earth in how say the Rosetta Stone gave the key to understanding strange ancient languages; Edward Robinson's first trip the the Bible lands being published and read, which opened the door to Biblical archaeology, including coming across ancient writings and the culture and increased knowledge of the Bible which can lead to increased knowledge of God; better knowledge of ancient words in more of their richness. And of course the increased spread of knowledge that started with and grew out of the telegraph.   

The investigative judgment is simply Earth's history reached the changing point described above; and ancient understandings of how events in heaven and earth reflect each other opens not only for humans the chance to get to know God better through what we are learning about the ancient world, but that the heavenly counterpart can get to know God better through learning about first, whether or not we really responded to his workings on our hearts, and thus how he saves us, and this gives them a deeper knowledge of their own salvation and awakens discoveries that lead to knowledge that gives them more love for Christ. 

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Cleansing of the sanctuary and the investigative judgement are terms often used for the same event.    The two terms help us better understand what it's all about.
Like someone suggested earlier, the understanding leans quite heavily on the old testament sanctuary shadows. 
 

The ancient Day of Atonement was also known as the day of the cleansing of the sanctuary/temple. 

With what was the sanctuary/ temple  defiled? This is not dealing with mere physical hygienic issues; this is dealing with the principle of being cleansed from sin.
Leviticus 16:16 states that this atonement for the holy place must be made because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins, — that is why the Priest must make this atonement for the tabernacle of meeting which stands in the midst.

Obviously, the tabernacle has been defiled by the sins of the people, and on the day of atonement, the scriptures clearly state an atonement must be made for the tabernacle itself, it would be cleansed.

During the Jewish year, there was an ongoing experience of sins being brought to the temple.  The sanctuary needed to be cleansed because of the sins of the people which had been transferred from the confessing sinners upon the sacrificial animals throughout the year, and then transferred into the sanctuary, either by the priest sprinkling the blood, or eating the flesh of the sacrifice. On the day of atonement, an atonement is made for the tabernacle, to cleanse the sanctuary because of these sins accumulated there.
The sins of the repentant people were then taken out into the wilderness, while the unrepentant were cut off from the congregation.

Hebrews 9:22-23
“Almost all things are by the law purged (#2511) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
It is therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified (#2511) with these: but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”



So how do we understand this for us today?
If we repent and confess our sins. We are forgiven, BECAUSE Christ's blood covers our sin.  
Psalm 32:1
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered!

Romans 4:7-8“Blessed are they whose lawless acts are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

Yet those sins have been transferred into the heavenly sanctuary.   When those books are opened and the heavenly court is seated (Daniel 7) the first person who comes in is Jesus, the Son of man.  He presents our names before the Father see Revelation 3:5 "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." 
How do we get white robes?   Rev. 7:14 They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

So when those books are opened, we may shudder because we have sinned, BUT all who repented and confessed their sins, (If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9)  will NOT face their sins, for they are covered by Christs blood, their sins will not be counted against that person.  They have walked with Christ, they have trusted in Christ's blood to cover their sins,. they have been led by the Holy Spirit.   Christ will confess their names before the Father and the Holy Angels and their names will stand in the book of life!   

The whole universe is watching, millions of angels are watching, to see whose names will remain in the book of life?  Who will have their sins blotted out when the sanctuary is cleansed.
But others will have their names removed, for their sins are not covered?   Why?  Because they never responded to God's love, with repentance and confession of sin, so Christ could not cover their sins.    


 

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