INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT DOCTRINE
The investigative judgment doctrine, peculiar to Seventh-day Adventists, teaches that in fulfillment of Old Testament sanctuary typology, Christ entered into the second apartment of the sanctuary in heaven in 1844 in order to begin a work of "investigative judgment" to see who was worthy of eternal life, both of those still living and those dead.
A brief background for this teaching is called for. Ellen G. White, under the influence of William Miller, an early Adventist, agreed with his date for the visible return of Christ. October of 1844 was set for the second coming of Christ. Christ obviously did not return on that date, so in order to "save face" over a false prophecy, "investigative judgment" was born.
SDA's use Daniel 8:14 in their reasoning,
"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed". (Authorized Version).
The SDA reasoning is faulty on two points regarding this scripture. First, the Hebrew word for "cleansing" is not used. The translators of the King James Bible would have been more accurate had they said "restored" rather than "cleansed".
Also the SDA's try to turn the Hebrew words "ereb boqer" for "days" into "years", but these words literally mean "evening-mornings". Obviously an actual solar day of 24 hours is referred to, not "years", as SDA publications state.
The New American Standard Bible more clearly says in Daniel 8:14, "And he said to me, "For 2300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored."
Despite all this, including the fulfillment of this scripture, 1844 nevertheless came to be the date in SDA theology when a work of final atonement, a "cleansing" which would blot out a believer's sin would supposedly begin.
This teaching is the opposite of the full atonement taught by the Christian church, and also mocks at the words of our Savior from the Cross, "It is finished." (John 19:30). Hebrews 10:12 also states,
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, FOREVER, sat down on the right hand of God." (NAS).
Christ paid fully for our sins, atoning for them fully. No scripture teaches otherwise.
SERIOUS RAMIFICATIONS OF THE
1844 INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT TEACHING
In 1877, Uriah Smith, an early Adventist, declared, "Christ did not make the atonement when he shed his blood upon the cross. Let this fact be fixed forever in the mind".
(The Sanctuary and the Twenty-Three Hundred Days of Daniel VIII, 14, p. 276, quoted in "Are the Gospel and the 1844 Theology Compatible?" by Robert D. Brinsmead, p.17).
Ellen White herself declared (or plagiarized) in The Great Controversy that,"before Christ's work for the redemption of men is completed, there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended." (1844).
We will not be citing page numbers for "The Great Controversy" since so many editions were printed, but by looking in the index for the subject, the quotes can be found. So, Ellen White places the time of Christ's atonement after 1844.
While plagiarizing various evangelical writers of this time she did also copy statements teaching that redemption was finished at the cross, and some SDA's like to quote only these references, but in all honesty, they must admit the SDA view was and is a denial of the absolute atoning work of Christ at Calvary.
There is even found in "The Great Controversy" this denial of Him as our absolute mediator.
"Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above, are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort, they must be conquerors in the battle with evil."
Later in the same book this statement is made,
"In that fearful time the righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor."
What a terrible thought to have to stand before God without Christ as our mediator! Thank God for the assurance found in l John 21,
"...And if any man sin, we have an advocate (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
WHO BEARS OUR SINS?
The answer to the above question comes quickly to the Christian because the scriptures plainly teach that Christ "bore our sins IN HIS OWN BODY on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that Christ was "made...to be sin for us".
The SDA's go one step further, and say that Christ will in turn lay our sins on Satan, and he will bear them! Their strange interpretation of Leviticus 16, making Satan the Scapegoat, is unsupported by Christian theologians, and is further proof that by using "The Great Controversy" as their guide, they would add to Christ's finished work of atonement.
NO FURTHER JUDGMENT IS REQUIRED
A thorough reading of the bible book of Hebrews shows no references at all to two compartments in heaven. At the Glacier View Conference of Adventists, the Sanctuary Review Committee admitted the "two-phased" concept was absent from the Book of Hebrews, and that no reference was made in the book of Hebrews to Daniel at all. This was fully reported in Ministry Magazine of October 1980, page 21, an SDA publication.
Indeed, Hebrews 10:10 plainly says, "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all." Hebrews 10:14 carries on the same thought,
"For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified".
Truly, Christ did it all on Calvary. The "investigative judgment" of the SDA's, born of failed prophecy and incorrect interpretation of scripture should be abandoned by all lovers of truth.