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Sabbath: The Pre-Advent Judgment — 18 Comments

  1. The judgement is good news for me because in the typical service the high priest, having made the atonement for Israel, came forth and blessed the congregation. So Christ, at the close of His work as mediator, will appear, "without sin unto salvation," to bless His waiting people with eternal life.

  2. The introduction of the lesson reminds me of Habakkuk 2:20 The Lord is in His Holy temple,let the whole earth keep silence before Him.
    Now by His providence and divine revelation we know that He is in the most Holy place,where as prefigured in the typical service pointed to the end time judgment.The Daniel 2300 days prophetically dates us to 1844.The lesson enlightens us as to what Christ has been doing and is doing in the Holy of holies.....and what we should do in response to this divine revelation.FROM 1844 NO OTHER PROPHECY IS TIME BOUND,IN OTHER WORDS WE CAN'T CALCULATE WHEN THE PRE-ADVENT JUDGMENT WILL END!!WE CAN'T DATE WHEN WILL PROBATION END,However by studying the Daniel and Revelation prophecies we know that it is nigh due to the signs given.All we have to do is get prepared!!!

  3. The way I look at the judgement, is based on the Genesis 17 storical. Like Abraham and Sarah, we are all chosen. Are we going to choose to be chosen? If so, we have passed the test. I love simplicity. His kingdom is ours to share forever. And we will find joy in service and obedience to Him forever, the saints of the Almighty. Daniel 7:27.
    Christ is my light and my salvation, I don't fear the pre advent judgment. Christ is my strength, I need not be afraid of the end of time day of atonement. Psalms 27:1.
    After all we did learn last week that the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse our conscious of dead works, giving us the opertunity to serve Him. Hebrews 9:14

    • I like the way you describe our status as "chosen" before God. We are all His children whether we accept Him or not, because He gives us life. But to respond to Him by accepting our status as His children, surrendering to Him, gives us the covering of Christ's righteousness.

  4. My prayer and clamor is request to my LORD to help me to be conscious of my actions through the amazing helping of His Holy Spirit, because only His Spirit make us obedient,even we do well in obeying we continue to be sinners because our nature. Nevertheless I trust in His wonderful love and compassion that His precious blood cover my sins and His grace clean the track of those spots of sin in me. Knowing He is encourage me, loving me, helping me to do well the judgment gives me the assurance that He is saving me so I don't need to be afraid.
    His judgment must encourage us to do well, because our Savior Jesus is working for us . As He is winner He is giving us the power to overcome sin by the power of His Spirit.

  5. Today’s lesson says, “As the book of Hebrews so clearly shows, after His death and resurrection, Jesus began a new phase of work for us. He became our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.”

    There are two kinds of intercessors of sorts between man and God. There is the prophet who is God’s mouthpiece, His ambassador, where he/she represents God to man. Then there is the priest who is man’s representative and ambassador to God. In the New Testament Jesus is called the intercessor between God and man because He actually is involved in both roles.

    For the purposes of this discussion Jesus is OUR High Priest who represents us in the courts of Heaven. This role of being our advocate defending us against the accusations of the devil is shown in many places in the Old Testament in the form of a shield and protector of God’s people. As examples I will use two outstanding illustrations of this.

    The first is found in Jude, “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ (Jude 1:9 NKJV). Now why was Jesus contending with the devil over the body of Moses? I would like to suggest that Jesus was interceding on man’s behalf, not as a prophet but as his High Priest.

    In consequence of sin Moses had come under the power of Satan. In his own merits he was death’s lawful captive; but he was raised to immortal life, holding his title in the name of the Redeemer. Moses came forth from the tomb glorified, and ascended with his Deliverer to the City of God. (Patriarchs and Prophets, p 479.1)

    The second is the business concerning Joshua the high priest in Zechariah:

    Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" (Zec 3:1-2 NKJV).

    Again we need to ask why was the Lord contending with Satan concerning Joshua? I am again going to suggest that it was essentially the same situation as that concerning Moses. Jesus was standing as man’s advocate defending him against Satan’s charges before the entire universe – and winning.

    What is important here is that both these incidents occurred long before Jesus ascended to Heaven as our High Priest. To me, therefore, the typology of the sanctuary as described in Hebrews concerns phases of ministry that is not confined by time even though there is a date given for the official start of the judgment. But, that doesn’t mean that judgment was never conducted before 1844 it only means that the date for the formal proceedings was set. Again I think it needs to be said that we should be looking at the business of the sanctuary from a symbolical theological view rather than a literal one. Besides, Christ has always acted as our High Priest on our behalf.

    This whole thing has a lot to do with our assurance of salvation and our understanding of what is being judged during the investigative judgment.

    • When Christ entered the Most Holy Place, his objective is to cleanse the sanctuary. But when he comes out we are told in Leviticus 16 that it is not only the sanctuary that was cleansed but even the people who are waiting outside the sanctuary and those people who were not cleansed were "cut off" from the congregation.

      When Christ entered the Most Holy Place in heaven, he became our High Priest and at the same time a Judge to cleanse the sanctuary in two ways.

      1. As High Priest, He is cleansing people by blotting out their confessed sins and at the same time helping them to live a perfect life through the help of the Holy Spirit. When Christ comes out of the sanctuary, these cleansed people will be able to stand against Satan.

      2. As a Judge, Christ is blotting out sinners' names from the book of life. When he comes out of the sanctuary only the names of those who will be saved will be left in the book.

      So cleansing the sanctuary to me means blotting out of sins and blotting out of sinners' names in heaven.

      • Merwin, thank you for your comment. I think the vast majority of Seventh-day Adventists will agree with what you say here even though I prefer not to think of the investigative judgment in that way for many reasons. The first big one is that it tends to put up a very big question mark with respect to our salvation. I mean, what kind of real faith in God’s promises says, “I don’t know if God is going to save me?” This has been a very long standing problem in the church which many people far better than I am have moaned and groaned over.

        The first thing we need to instill in our minds is what John told those who he was writing to, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1Jn 5:13 NKJV). Paul says it in a different way, “For by grace you have been saved through faith” (Eph 2:8 NKJV). The words “have been” are translated from the Greek word “este” which is the second person plural of “to be” and is in the present tense. Unlike English the Greek present tense it can be thought of as something that has happened in the past and is continuing to happen. All of the active versions that I have for display in my BibleWorks program renders that verse in the English past tense including KJV, NKJV, NET, NIV, TNIV, NAS, and Youngs Literal Translation. “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb 10:14 NKJV, “sanctified” is also in the present tense in the Greek and "perfected" is in the perfect tense). Concerning the perfect tense, in Eph 2:8 the word “saved” is in that tense which “describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated” (Strongs data in BibleWorks). BibleWorks cites as an example of the perfect tense what Jesus said on the cross, “it is finished”. In other words, it is done, period! We need to remember that all these things were said to people in the present and perfect tense 1800 years before the judgment was to start.

        In fact, the only way that the promise of salvation can be broken is by a person turning his/her back on God and refusing what He offers and that is something that happens before the judgment as a matter of the unpardonable sin. I mean how many of us will actually think that some of the angels that were cast out of Heaven with Satan will be saved (Mat 25:41) or that some of the people who died in Noah’s flood will be saved. Who needs a judgment in those cases – they are judged already the same as Satan, “because the ruler of this world is judged” (Jn 16:11 NKJV, perfect tense).

        • Hello Tyler,

          What do you make of Christ's parable of the King who forgave His servant a huge debt, only to restore the debt when He found out that the servant did not forgive a much smaller debt owed him by one of his fellow servants? (Matt 18:22-35)

          This parable teaches the very same lesson as is taught by the OT sanctuary services - that our sins are covered by the blood of Christ when we confess them and repent of them. But if we turn our back on Christ, we, in effect, claim our sins again, and God restores them to our record.

          Thus what is forgiven and covered as we confess and repent must be accompanied by the cleansing God will do in us, as we permit it. Otherwise we are rejecting the grace of God and will face judgment for our full record of sins.

          Our assurance is contingent on our full and constant surrender of our life to Christ the Forgiver and Cleanser. We have nothing to fear as long as we allow Christ to lead us.

          To those who understand the lesson God sought to teach His children in the sanctuary services, the Investigative Judgment is Good News, indeed, for that is when the record of sin is forever blotted out. That thought was well captured in "May You Be Sealed."

        • Wow! Thanks Tyler for sharing your deep understanding of salvation.

          May I have the correct translation and explanation also if you may of
          2 Cor. 1: 10. Thanks

        • Hello to you too, Andy, nice to hear from you. There is no disagreement here. Our ticket to Heaven is always contingent upon our choice just as it was with Adam and Eve so it will be in Heaven, we will always have the freedom to turn our backs on God and choose death rather than life.

          What I presented is not the same as saying “once saved always saved” which to me is a very arrogant presumptuous faith. The point is, once we accept the atonement and desire to be with Christ and His government and choose to stay there then our salvation is absolutely guaranteed because God chose us through His pre-knowledge (Isa 46:10) of our eventual choice before we were created as Paul says:

          Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began (2 Tim 1:8-9 NKJV).

          That is one of the reasons that, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph 1:13-14 NKJV; 2 Cor 1:22; 5:5). Of course this whole thing raises the question of exactly what the investigative judgment is really all about which I think needs some discussion.

        • There are two comments in your (Tyler's) post which I would like to explore a little further:

          First comment:
          “I don’t know if God is going to save me?”

          God wants to save you and He has made all sufficient provision for you to be saved. There is no question on God's willingness or His provision in your salvation.

          The second comment:
          "In fact, the only way that the promise of salvation can be broken is by a person turning his/her back on God and refusing what He offers"

          This sounds like only a deliberate action on the part of a person can cause them to be lost. However, scripture shows that a person can lose salvation through neglect and presumption as well. False security will find many outside the pearly gates who thought they were saved.

          Yet, in a sense your statement is correct -- for in reality they did turn their backs on what Christ had to offer, (His cleansing power in their lives through the work of the Holy Spirit) yet it was not a deliberate (I don't want anything to do with God) type of thing, it was simply believing they were saved by what happened at the cross and it didn't matter what they did as far this life was concerned.

          We are judged by our works -- not because they save us, (only Jesus can do that) but because they show if we have been led by the Holy Spirit
          Romans 8:13-14 For if we live after the flesh, we shall die: but if we through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

        • Andy: "This parable teaches the very same lesson as is taught by the OT sanctuary services - that our sins are covered by the blood of Christ when we confess them and repent of them. But if we turn our back on Christ, we, in effect, claim our sins again, and God restores them to our record."

          Are you suggesting that God is misleading us when He repeatedly says "I will remember your sins no more?" Are you suggesting that what Jesus meant to say on the cross is "It is partly finished?" God does not hold our sins in a secret vault for later use "if necessary." That is what we humans do. That is not what God does.

          The parable you were referring in Matthew 18:22-35 shows that the nonforgiving man was punished for his unforgiveness. He wasn’t punished for his old debt (which amounted to ~ 1 million days of salary and was thus unpayable anyway). That debt was forgiven… forever. His punishment was for his unforgiveness (i.e., he sinned again after he was forgiven and was punished for that latter sin).

          The Bible teaches that we can be "lost" at any time if we turn our back on Jesus and choose Satan instead. In that case, God does not have to resurrect old sins to deny us eternal life.

          In most civilized cultures on earth, a person cannot be tried or judged for the same crime twice (Double Jeopardy). I can find no place in the Bible that says we can be judged twice for the same crime (sin) in Heavenly Courts either.

        • Sieg, you wrote that

          He wasn’t punished for his old debt (which amounted to ~ 1 million days of salary and was thus unpayable anyway). That debt was forgiven… forever. His punishment was for his unforgiveness (i.e., he sinned again after he was forgiven and was punished for that latter sin).

          But that is not what I read in the rest of the parable, specifically Matt 18:34: "And his lord, moved with anger," handed him over to the torturers until he should reply all that was owed him." There is no mention of a new debt incurred - only the debt of "ten thousand talents," so the natural reading of the text would seem to refer to the original debt. You are quite right that this debt is not payable. And sinners who refuse to recognize their helplessness and thus throw themselves on the mercy of God, to be covered by the righteousness of Christ, have no hope of ever "paying" for their sins any other way than the "wages" of death.

          The sanctuary services teach that sins are "covered" by the blood of the sacrifice, which is symbolic of the blood of Christ. They are not "blotted out" until the Day of Atonement. I believe this is because God does not take away freedom to choose another master.

          I think we have a difficult time harmonizing some biblical teachings because the meaning of the word "forgive" has evolved to mean something very different from the Hebrew words which have been translated as "forgive." For a partial treatment of this topic, pleas see "Forgiveness in the Light of the Hebrew Language," by V. Norskov Olsen, in Ministry Magazine, April 1963. (A word translated as "forgiveness" originally meant "freedom.")

          To rightly interpret Scripture, we must interpret it in such a way that passages harmonize, rather than contradict each other. We can't just throw out a central teaching of the sanctuary services because of the way we would like to read certain other texts.

          Isa 42:25 NIV reads "I, even I am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." The text does not refer to a specific point in time, but the sanctuary services tell us when this takes place - namely when the sanctuary is cleansed on the Day of Atonement from the sins carried there through the blood of the sacrifices.

          Jer 31:34 NIV is part of a new-covenant promise that "they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest." Would you say that that has been already fulfilled? Or is Christ working towards that goal, as we have been studying in our lessons? (Heb 8:12 quotes Jeremiah.)

          In practical terms, it probably doesn't matter to individuals whether previous sins remain forgiven when a sinner turns back to his/her sins. But it does matter in the overall picture of salvation and judgment. It matters in moving the focus away from individual acts of sin to the attitude of sin from which acts of sin proceed. If we see God's forgiveness as including both the covering of past sins and cleansing the soul temple, then it makes sense that if we refuse to yield ourselves to Him, we return to our previous state of sin. (Also see Christ's Object Lessons, p. 251)

          As for Christ's cry on the cross, "It is finished!" He didn't say what that "it" was, and I we should hesitate put words in His mouth that contradict other biblical teachings. Christ had finished the work He came to this earth to do. He had been faithful to the covenant made with the Father. But what was that work? I believe that the sanctuary services we have been studying provide some clues.

          One thing is certain, Christ's death on the cross was not the end of his work for the salvation of man. After having fulfilled the typology of the sacrifice, Paul tells us that Christ entered upon His work of ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, thus fulfilling the typology of earthly priests and, specifically, the earthly high priest.

          You also wrote:

          In most civilized cultures on earth, a person cannot be tried or judged for the same crime twice (Double Jeopardy). I can find no place in the Bible that says we can be judged twice for the same crime (sin) in Heavenly Courts either.

          Indeed, all men will be judged once in the heavenly court, and the parable speaks of only one judgment - the judgment that the man should be handed over to "the torturers." Before that, the master had graciously covered his debt and let him go free. The Bible does not refer to many judgments of each person - just one.

          The Bible tells us when we are to be judged: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." (Heb 9:27) The only exception to the general rule would necessarily be those who are still alive when Christ comes. Since Christ comes to bring His reward with Him, those living at His coming will have been judged beforehand.

  6. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. Comments without full names might not be published.]

    ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER,Don't fear who wiii judge us had saved us early lets surrender all to him,let us think his love every minute.i ask to pray for me.thank you

    • Tyler, I totally understand where you are coming from and it may not seem like a big deal but it might be. You say God chooses us because He had foreknowledge that we would choose Him. I believe God had chosen all of us whether or not we will ever choose Him, and thus by rejecting Him we are lost. On page 660 of Desire of Ages, Ellen White says, "To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life." Therefore Christ has chosen both those who love Him and those who do not. The question is, do they choose Him? I believe this is important, otherwise you get into Calvinism, which is God only died for those Which He chose to save.

  7. we need to understand that whenever God Judges his people there is always justification and deliverance for the faithful who believed and lived according to his ways. However, at the same time, it involves condemnation of sin, punishment of the sinners and destruction of evil See the story of Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah,among others in the Holy Bible; therefore as the pre- advent judgement is on going we as Christians and ADVENTISTS in particular who are waiting for his second coming need to always repent and be ready so that as the investigation is going on in the heavenly sanctuary we be found clean as white as snow with no stain of sin so as to reign with Christ when He comes.

  8. In capturing Andy's statement---"that our sins are covered by the blood of Christ when we confess them and repent of them. But if we turn our back on Christ, we, in effect, claim our sins again, and God restores them to our record."---I do believe this is what Christ was talking about when He said "then I will tell them, "I never knew you"" Matthew 7:23. The same with wearing the wedding garment. Matthew 22:1-14 We are not chosing to wear the wedding garment when we turn our backs on God. Rather when we turn to Him on a daily basis, our minds can't comprehend this, because we look at ourselves as fifty rages. Just the same we are covered with the wedding garment of Christ Righteousness. Lets pray the prayer daily. "Give me Lord the mind of Jesus, make me holy as He is. May I prove I've been with Jesus who is all my righteousness." We trully are sitting at the feet of Jesus when we turn face to face with Christ our Saviour.


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