The investigative judgment is a unique Seventh-day Adventist doctrine, which asserts that the divine judgment of professed Christians has been in progress since 1844. It is intimately related to the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and was described by the church's prophet and pioneer Ellen G. White as one of the pillars of Adventist belief.
The investigative judgment is a unique Seventh-day Adventist doctrine, which asserts that the divine judgment of professed Christians has been in progress since 1844. It is intimately related to the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and was described by the church’s prophet and pioneer Ellen G. White as one of the pillars of Adventist belief. It is a major component of the broader Adventist understanding of the “heavenly sanctuary”, and the two are sometimes spoken of interchangeably. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigative_judgment)
These are the arguments in support of the Investigative Judgment (IJ):
A) Pattern of Investigation
Adam and Eve eat from the tree of Good and Evil, and God investigates and asked them “where are you?”, “What have you done?” These investigations were more for Adam and Eve to search their motives rather than for the all-knowing God to know where they were and what they have done. (Genesis 3:9-11)
Cain killed his brother Abel, and God investigated and asked Cain “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?” This investigation again is for Cain to consider what he has done. (Gen 4:9-10)
The Angels came to Abraham to investigate what was going on at Sodom and Gomorrah: Gen 18:20-21, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah because their sin is so flagrant. I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.” This shows a pattern of investigation before execution, even to an all-knowing God. The investigation if for humans than it is for God.
Another example of the pattern is the investigation of the saints before Jesus comes the second time, to give them their rewards.
The period of the millennium – 1000 years in heaven is another investigation period of the wicked before the execution takes place at the second resurrection.
Therefore, the investigative part of the Judgment is a pattern that God uses for the benefit of humans (before executions) so they can see that He is a just God.
The first time the word “Judgment” was mentioned in the Bible (KJV) is found in Genesis 18:19 “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” The other version translated that section to be “what is right and just”.
“Judgment” as defined in the dictionary – “the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.” So when 1 Peter 4:17 said “For the time has come for judgment (the ability to make sensible decisions for who will inherit everlasting life), and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?”
When Jesus said in Rev 22:12, that “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” This is at this second coming. So the decision of who will get their rewards (good or bad) has already been decided at an investigative judgment period.
Ephesians 2: 10 Reminds us of that reward: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
The earthly sanctuary was built like the sanctuary in heaven – Exodus 25:8-9 “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.”
The sanctuary services – the animals were sacrificed in the other court. Jesus was sacrificed outside of Jerusalem.
The High Priest ministers the blood in the inner court where there is the candlestick, showbread, and altar of incense (Exodus 30:22-30). John saw Jesus, dressed as a High Priest, standing in the heavenly sanctuary after He was ascended to Heaven – Revelation 1:13 – “And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest.”
Paul said in Hebrew 9:11-12, that Jesus was officiating as High Priest, just like the earthly High Priest would do for the sins of the nation – “So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.”
Daniel was given a vision in Daniel 8:13-14 “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days (2300); then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” This is a prophecy that started in the past and end in the future. The 2300 days/years prophecy started in 457 BC (Ezra 7:13) and ended in 1844 AD.
Cleansing the sin of the saints by Jesus started in the year 1844 – “then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
The timeline of Daniel 7 points to the date of the Investigative Judgment.
The Lion – Babylonian Era – 626-539 BC – Daniel 7:4
The Bear – Meads and Persia Era – 539-331 BC – Daniel 7:5
The Leopard – Greece Era – 331-146 BC – Daniel 7:6
The Strange Beast – Roman Era – 146 BC – 538 AD – Daniel 7:7
The Little Horn – Papacy Era – 538 AD – 1798 AD – Daniel 7:8
The Judgment Set – Investigative Judgment – 1844 – Present – Daniel 7:9
These are the arguments against the Investigative Judgment doctrine:
1) That Jesus did not go to a sanctuary in heaven, but he went to God’s throne – Hebrew 8:1 “Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.
2) Revelation 21:22 said that in heaven, there are no physical temples – “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”
3) The Jewish Day of Atonement – that the cleansing of the Sanctuary never goes into the fall (e.g. October 1844). It normally ends in September.