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Exposing Adventism - Adventist Investigative Judgement Assumptions

Key points of the Investigative Judgment doctrine:

  1. Satan has charged God with being unfair and with creating a law that can not be kept.
  2. God must be vindicated of these charges in front of the angels and people from planets that have never sinned.
  3. In order to be vindicated, God must prove that His law can be kept and that He is fair.
  4. Jesus came in sinful flesh to provide our example of how to keep the law.
  5. A group of people in the final days will keep the law just as completely as Jesus did, and thereby provide the final answer to Satan's charge and fully vindicate God in front of the universe.

Quotes:

In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. When men broke the law of God, and defied His will, Satan exulted. It was proved, he declared, that the law could not be obeyed; man could not be forgiven. Because he, after his rebellion, had been banished from heaven, Satan claimed that the human race must be forever shut out from God's favor. God could not be just, he urged, and yet show mercy to the sinner. {DA 761.4}

From the first the great controversy had been upon the law of God. Satan had sought to prove that God was unjust, that His law was faulty, and that the good of the universe required it to be changed. In attacking the law he aimed to overthrow the authority of its Author. In the controversy it was to be shown whether the divine statutes were defective and subject to change, or perfect and immutable. . . . {RC 50.5}

The only begotten Son of God came to our world as a man, to reveal to the world that men could keep the law of God. Satan, the fallen angel, had declared that no man could keep the law of God after the disobedience of Adam.--6MR 334. {TA 155.3}

Satan claimed that it was impossible for human beings to keep God's law. In order to prove the falsity of this claim, Christ left His high command, took upon Himself the nature of man, and came to the earth to stand at the head of the fallen race, in order to show that humanity could withstand the temptations of Satan.--UL 172. {TA 155.4}

In his dealing with sin, God could employ only righteousness and truth. Satan could use what God could not--flattery and deceit. He had sought to falsify the word of God, and had misrepresented his plan of government before the angels, claiming that God was not just in laying laws and rules upon the inhabitants of Heaven; that in requiring submission and obedience from his creatures, he was seeking merely the exaltation of himself. Therefore it must be demonstrated before the inhabitants of Heaven as well as of all the worlds, that God's government was just, his law perfect. Satan had made it appear that he himself was seeking to promote the good of the universe. The true character of the usurper, and his real object, must be understood by all. He must have time to manifest himself by his wicked works. {GC88 498.1}

The discord which his own course had caused in Heaven, Satan charged upon the law and government of God. All evil he declared to be the result of the divine administration. He claimed that it was his own object to improve upon the statutes of Jehovah. Therefore it was necessary that he should demonstrate the nature of his claims, and show the working out of his proposed changes in the divine law. His own work must condemn him. Satan had claimed from the first that he was not in rebellion. The whole universe must see the deceiver unmasked. {GC88 498.2}

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets;" Christ declared; "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." I have not come to destroy the law, but to show its immutability, and the holiness of its claims. God could not change His law to meet man in his fallen condition. By suffering the penalty of transgression, I will redeem the race. I have become man's substitute and surety. I have taken human nature, and have come to this earth to pass over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell. In human nature I will bear the test and proving of God. Satan has declared that man can not keep the law. I will show that his statement is false; that man can keep the law. I have come to remove deception from the minds of men, to make plain that which Satan is trying to make obscure. I have come to establish the law Satan is seeking to make void, to show how far-reaching are the principles of this law. I have come to strip from it the burdensome exactions with which man has loaded it down. I have come to show its length and breadth, its dignity and nobility. I will open before men its purity and spirituality. Not to introduce a new law, have I come, but to establish the law which to all eternity will be the standard of obedience. {ST, January 25, 1905 par. 2}

(it is important to keep reading here as you might be fooled into thinking that Christ's obedience in our place was sufficient to fulfill the law, but the Prophet makes it clear just a few paragraphs later when she clarifies)

From every one God requires perfect obedience. Of himself, man can not obey the law. Never could he pay the debt incurred by transgression. Christ came to this world to bring man power to obey. He came in human nature that He might know the temptations and trials to which man is subjected. He who accepts Christ as a personal Saviour will receive divine aid in the struggle against sin. Through the merits of the Saviour, he will become an obedient subject of God's kingdom. In the strength of Christ he will overcome every temptation of the enemy. {ST, January 25, 1905 par. 6}

In the day of judgment, every one will receive sentence according to his deeds. Every mouth will be stopped, as the cross is presented, and its real bearing seen. Sinners will stand condemned. Every subterfuge, every excuse, will be swept away. Sin will appear in all its sinfulness. The mystery of the incarnation and the crucifixion of the Son of God will be plainly discerned, and every condemned soul will read clearly the result of a rejection of truth. Those who have chosen to transgress will then understand that they have sinned, and come short. They will read the sentence, Thou, O man, hast chosen to stand under the banner of the great apostate, and, in so doing, thou hast destroyed thyself.
{ST, January 25, 1905 par. 7}

(If you have chosen sin, if you have not overcome every temptation, you will have stood under the banner of the great apostate and been marked for destruction. This is Adventist "grace".)

The following verse is taken out of contect from Matthew 5. Nowhere does it say that "When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own."

"When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come." Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 69)


Quotes from others:

In the remnant Satan will meet his defeat. The charge that the law cannot be kept will be met and fully refuted....A serious situation arose in heaven when Satan made his charges against God. The accusations in reality constituted an impeachment. (M.L. Andreasen The Sanctuary Service, Review and Herald, 1969 printing, p. 315)

In order for God to sustain His contention, it is necessary for Him to show that He has not been arbitrary, that the law is not harsh and cruel in its requirements, but contrawise, that it is holy, just, and good, and that men can keep it. It is necessary for God to produce at least one man who has kept the law. In the absence of such a man, God loses and Satan wins. The outcome therefore hinges on the production of one or more who keep the commandments of God. On this God has staked His government. (M.L. Andreasen The Sanctuary Service, Review and Herald, 1969 printing, p. 316)

In the last generation God gives the final demonstration that men can keep the law of God and that they can live without sinning. God leaves nothing undone to make the demonstration complete. The only limitation He puts on Satan is that he may not kill the saints of God. He may tempt them, he may harass and threaten them; and he does his best. But he fails. He cannot make them sin. They stand the test, and God puts His seal on them. Through the last generation of saints God stands fully vindicated. (M.L. Andreasen The Sanctuary Service, Review and Herald, 1969 printing, pp. 318-19)

 

 
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Public Comments

ric_b - Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2008:

I would like to provide a brief description of just how false the IJ doctrine is when viewed with a little more detail. Not only are key elements of the doctrine based on assumptions that can not be verified from Scripture, but the doctrine results in salvation coming from the creature rather than the creator. I will start with a quick overview of the key points of the IJ doctrine:

  1. Satan has charged God with being unfair and with creating a law that can not be kept.
  2. God must be vindicated of these charges in front of the angels and people from planets that have never sinned.
  3. In order to be vindicated, God must prove that His law can be kept and that He is fair.
  4. Jesus came in sinful flesh to provide our example of how to keep the law.
  5. A group of people in the final days will keep the law just as completely as Jesus did, and thereby provide the final answer to Satan's charge and fully vindicate God in front of the universe.

Each of these points is dependent upon all other points in order for the doctrine to be true, so a failure in even one of these points refutes the doctrine. However there are serious weaknesses in each of the points.

There is no Scriptural account of Satan bringing either of these charges (that God is unfair and that His law can not be kept) against God. This is an assumption that is at the heart of the SDA theological system of beliefs. Consider for a minute that all of the remainder of the IJ is dependent upon this one point. According to SDA doctrine the entire process of vindicating God is required to refute this charge. Yet this charge is not recorded anywhere in Scripture.

Seventh-day Adventists base the idea that God must be vindicated of these charges on Job 1:6-12 and Ezekiel 36:23. However the text in Job gives no indication that God must vindicate anything about Himself. And the text in Ezekiel provides no evidence about God vindicating His name against any charges brought by Satan. There is nothing in either of these verses, or any of Scripture, about God vindicating His name because of claims that His law can not be kept. There is nothing in these texts, or anywhere else in Scripture, about vindicating God's name to the angels and the unfallen people of other planets.

But it is the final points that deny the true Gospel. The life, death and resurrection of Christ are no longer the means by which Satan is defeated and vanquished. Instead it is the perfect lives of mortal men following the example of Christ that is necessary for the defeat. Since the defeat of Satan and of sin is accomplished by mortal men rather than by Christ, salvation and eternal life is the results of the lives of men rather than the death of Jesus.

How different is this from the proclamation of the Gospel in Romans 5:15-19. Paul is abundantly clear in this chapter that Jesus accomplished all this is needed to complete the reconciliation of God and man.

15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.


djrz - Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2008:

Ric, This post is one of the more important statements about SDAism I have seen.

As Victor noted, this explains a great deal about the thinking behind some of the most perplexing attitudes we see from SDA apologists.

THIS is the anti-Gospel, the "other" gospel against which many of us fight here.

This is a "gospel" of a weak God and a strong Satan.
This is a "gospel" of an ineffective, nearly helpless Jesus.
This is a "gospel" of people who think they hardly need the Grace of God except as a crude little badge pinned on their lapel.
This is a "gospel" of people who live to proclaim their own righteousness "earned" by their own efforts.
This is a "gospel" that needs Jesus only for a moment and NOT for the rest of their lives.


Victor - Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2008:

Thanks - it should have been intuitive, but you know how rabbit holes are.
All of these are appaling, but one of these paragraphs stands out above the others, and I wanted to comment on it:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets;" Christ declared; "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."(1) I have not come to destroy the law, but to show its immutability(2), and the holiness of its claims(3). God could not change His law to meet man in his fallen condition. By suffering the penalty of transgression, I will redeem the race(4). I have become man's substitute and surety. I have taken human nature, and have come to this earth to pass over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell. In human nature I will bear the test and proving of God. Satan has declared that man can not keep the law(5). I will show that his statement is false; that man can keep the law(6). I have come to remove deception from the minds of men, to make plain that which Satan is trying to make obscure. I have come to establish the law Satan is seeking to make void, to show how far-reaching are the principles of this law. I have come to strip from it the burdensome exactions with which man has loaded it down. I have come to show its length and breadth, its dignity and nobility. I will open before men its purity and spirituality. Not to introduce a new law, have I come, but to establish the law which to all eternity will be the standard of obedience(7). {ST, January 25, 1905 par. 2}

(1) First this builds on Matthew 5:17, where Jesus proclaimed that He came to fulfill the law. Ellen White never understood this to show that He had come to make propitiation for us, and atonement is rejected in Adventism. They give it lip service via "perfect atonement" in their Fundie #9:
"This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God's law and the graciousness of His character"
Atonement is reconciliation, but this is reconciliation with God's "law", and not to God Himself. And of course there is the verbiage about vindication of this same law.
Adventists: Rip Matthew 5 and Romans 3 out of your Bible.

(2)The immutable law, meaning it can't be changed.
Well, there goes the priesthood under the order of Melchisedek, of which officiation is dependent on a change of the law, since the law Moses had conveyed contained no provision for a priest outside Levi (Hebrews 7:11-14).
Adventists: Rip Hebrews 7 out of your Bible.

(3)The "holiness of its claims" is complete antithesis to salvation, for this holy claim is a death sentence. The Blood of Christ means nothing within the contraints of Adventism.
Adventists: Rip Galatians 3, 2 Corinthians 3, Acts 15 and Acts 21 out of your Bible.

(4) "I will redeem the race" - From What!?! There isn't anything that this "christ" is purchasing a race from!
Adventists: Rip out Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians from your Bible.

(5) Where oh where and when did satan make any such claim? This enters the realm of outlandish fiction.
Adventists: Throw away the whole Bible for the "prophet".

(6) When Romans 11:32 proclaims that God has concluded all Israel disobedient in order to pave a way for mercy to be extended to the Gentiles, Ellen's "christ" is going to defy God's decree.
Adventists: Rip out Romans.

(7) "Not to establish a new law, but to establish the (existing) law" - is why our popular Adventist cleric cannot answer the most simple, banal question as to a second what Hebrews 8:7 is referring to. There is no New Covenant for Adventism.
Adventists: rip out the entire New Testament and throw it away as your "prophet" did.

The SDA Bible should be very short; just a few pages from Moses, if it were not for the 6-foot tall stack of Ellenisms you need to use in lieu of the Holy Writ Christianity relies on (special thanks to Gilbert for showing us the stack a number of times).

What a pathetic mess - and there's actually people with red blood in their unredeemed veins who actually believe Ellen White was a prophet? And why is it there is no mention of mercy for the Gentiles? After all, Ellen White's message is applicable only to the Jews who even had the Mosaic covenant to begin with!


Sophia7 - Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2008:

There are so many different facets to the Adventist sanctuary doctrine, and it has changed so much over time, that it can be hard to make sense of people's posts unless you know where they're coming from. Are they proponents of Last Generation Theology (like Dennis Priebe and Larry Kirkpatrick)? Do they take the view (as did Hasel and currently Davidson) that Jesus entered the heavenly MHP at His ascension but only to inaugurate the sanctuary, or do they deny that Jesus went into the MHP at all until 1844? Do they accept that Hebrews includes Day of Atonement references but reject the full import of that by saying that Hebrews concerns only the sacrifice and the provision for cleansing but not the actual application of blood in the MHP (Johnsson's view)? What is their view of "the daily"? (The original view of the SDA pioneers isn't very widespread today, even with many Historics.) These are all things that different segments of Adventism disagree on.

The failure of the 1843/1844 predictions was only the beginning of a long, convoluted process of arriving at "present truth." I'm quoting a couple of portions from an article by George Knight in the Adventist Review. I don't agree with everything he says, but I've found his article helpful in presenting a basic overview of the early historical development of some of the Adventist doctrinal pillars.

They would formulate a second doctrinal understanding in the months following the Great Disappointment. That second position involved the meaning of the sanctuary that needed to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days. It became progressively clearer to them that the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 could not be the earth as Miller had taught and that the cleansing was not the Second Advent. However, it was one thing to come to those negative conclusions, but quite another to determine the actual nature of the sanctuary and its cleansing. The Sabbatarians would come to agreement on the nature of the sanctuary by 1847, but they would not arrive at a consensus on the meaning of the cleansing until the mid-1850s.
_______________________________________

Crosier’s article did not go unnoticed by those who would become the leaders of Sabbatarian Adventists. In early 1847 Joseph Bates recommended Crosier’s treatment of the sanctuary as being “superior to any thing of the kind extant” (Opening Heavens, 25). About that same time Ellen White penned that “the Lord shew me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary, &c; and that it was his will, that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star, Extra, February 7, 1846” (WLF 12).
Andreasen came along later, and his theology had a big influence on my parents' and grandparents' generations, but his views aren't as popular among the younger generations now (except among the more conservative and Historic factions). Most of our church members had no clue how to explain the IJ and didn't care about it anyway. However, I often heard the older people in SS talk about how their names could come up in the IJ at any moment, and if they weren't perfect enough, they would be lost even though they wouldn't know it.
 
 
Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.