Investigative Judgment (Judgement)

By Anthony MacPherson

×

Anthony MacPherson, Ph.D. (Avondale University College, Cooranbong, Australia) is currently serving as a lecturer in systematic theology at Avondale University in Australia. From 2001 to 2015 he served as a pastor in Western Australia and Melbourne. From 2016 to 2019 he served as Head of Theology at Fulton Adventist University College in Nadi, Fiji.

First Published: September 26, 2022

The investigative judgment is a central doctrine in Seventh-day Adventism’s highly developed theology of judgment and eschatology. One of the churches most misunderstood doctrines, it has been the subject of much scrutiny, severe criticism, dynamic defense, and continued affirmation.

Introduction

Seventh-day Adventists understand God’s plan of judgment as a cosmic process involving many stages, all working to bring about eternal salvation and peace.1 Before final judgment begins there are 1) the earthly judgments (Flood, Sodom, Exile, etc.) in the Old Testament, 2) the saving judgment of the cross (John 12:31; 16:11), and 3) the judgment in an individual’s life when they accept or reject the gospel (John 3:18, 19; 5:24; 9:39). The eschatological stages of final judgment include the 4) pre-advent or investigative judgment of professed believers (Heb 10:30).2 This is followed by 5) the execution of judgment at the Second Coming. After this is 6) a judgment of the wicked during the Millennium, and then 7) the final annihilating judgment which removes sin, sinners, and death, at the end of the millennium. Within this cosmic framework, the specific doctrine of the investigative judgment refers to the first phase of this final judgment (see Table: Stages of the Final Judgment). The pre-advent judgment is understood by Adventists to begin in 1844 and to continue until just before the return of Jesus. An authoritative statement on the Investigative Judgment can be found in the official statement of belief for Seventh-day Adventist (Fundamental Belief 24).3

Table: Stages of the Final Judgment

EVENT/

TIMING

Pre-Advent

Judgment

Second

Advent

Post-Advent Millennial Judgment Post-Millennial (‘Third’) Advent
LOCATION Heaven Earth Heaven Earth
NATURE Investigative Executive Investigative Executive
GROUP Concerns Righteous Rewards Righteous Concerns Unrighteous Rewards Unrighteous

Just judgment entails there is first an open, transparent investigation before full exoneration or execution takes place. For Adventists, the investigative judgment is a crucial part in portraying God as the just judge who reveals the divine evaluation of all the vast evidence of world history before angels and intelligent unfallen beings (Dan 7). Later during the millennium God allows the redeemed the same privilege (1 Cor 6:2, 3; Rev 20). God gives created beings time to evaluate all of fallen history in light of both his saving mercy and his moral law. The end result is that God is “proved right” when He judges, and his children gain new insight into His character and “ways.”4

There are thus two heavenly judgments involving created beings before and after the second coming. The pre- and post-advent judgments examine different groups and accomplish different things. During the pre-advent investigative judgment, the lives of all who have professed to follow God are justly and graciously reviewed by God with the purpose of fully revealing his saving work and their continued trust in his grace. In contrast, the post-advent or millennial judgment concerns those who have rejected or never professed God’s grace. This millennial judgment allows the saints to review all of history and God’s judgments before the final elimination of evil at the end of the Millennium.

The Development of the Doctrine

The teaching of the investigative judgment arose among Adventists in the aftermath of the Millerite Great Disappointment of October 22, 1844. During the later stage of a protestant religious revival centered in North America and historically known as the Second Great Awakening (1790-1840), a distinctive Adventist awakening also emerged in which people awaited the soon return of Jesus. While the Adventist awakening was global, its greatest focus and energy took place in America among the Millerite Adventists. During the 1830s and early 1840s the Baptist lay preacher William Miller galvanized a large inter-denominational movement of Christians looking for the fulfillment of the “2300 days” (understood as 2300 years), the time prophecy given in Daniel 8:14,5 which states, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Miller interpreted the days as years, the sanctuary of this verse as the earth, and its cleansing as the purifying fires of the Second Advent of Jesus. Tens of thousands of believers awaited the return of Jesus on October 22, 1844. Instead, they experienced bitter disappointment as Jesus did not return.6

The failure of their interpretation led the Millerite movement to split. Many returned to their traditional churches. The largest group continued to look for the return of Christ but soon gave up any significance for 1844. In contrast one of the smallest groups retained the 1844 date. Impressed by the depth of their experience as Millerites and convinced of the value of much of what Miller had taught, this group reacted by an intensive re-examination of Scripture. This tiny group would go on to become the Seventh-day Adventist church and formulate the doctrine of the investigative judgment but only after an extensive re-studying of the biblical text.

The pre-advent investigative judgment is often thought of as a unique Seventh-day Adventist teaching, without precedent or parallel. However, a simplified version appeared before the Great Disappointment, being taught by Josiah Litch in 1842 and George Storrs in early 1844.7 And something like it re-emerged simultaneously and independently among the Millerites after the Great Disappointment. These Millerites argued that on October 22 Jesus came to the heavenly wedding of Matthew 25 or to the Ancient of Days of Daniel 7 to receive his kingdom. During this time there was a judgment or examination of God’s people to take place.8 There was thus a period of delay or tarrying and the need to wait for the appearance of the bridegroom. Once this judgment process was finished then the Second Coming of Jesus would take place.9 This view of a literal coming of Jesus to a heavenly wedding review before his earthly return would soon be discarded by many or replaced with a belief that Jesus had come spiritually to the world. However, a small group retained this concept and developed the idea of October 22 as initiating a heavenly work of Jesus. But it would take some time until this group reached a consensus on what that new work of Christ involved.10

The most significant early explanation of the meaning of Daniel 8:14 and October 22, 1844, was that of O. R. L. Crosier, first presented in the Day-Dawn, 1845, and later in a more expanded form in the Day-Star Extra, Feb 7, 1846, with the title “The Law of Moses.”11 Crosier’s discussion was not directly about a pre-advent or investigative judgment but explored the typology of the ancient Israelite sanctuary service. Typology is the study of Old Testament persons, events or rituals which prefigure future corresponding figures that are fulfilled in the New Testament. Typology had played an important role in the Millerites focusing on the Day of Atonement, October 22, as the end of the 2300 days. The fulfillment of the spring feasts such as Passover, First Fruits, and Pentecost in the death and resurrection of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit suggested a similar fulfillment of the autumn feasts in connection with the second advent of Christ. Therefore, Crosier undertook a closer examination of this typology and argued that the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14 referred to the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary (not the earth as Miller had taught). To understand this Crosier explored the relationship between the daily sanctuary service and the once-a-year Jewish feast of the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. He concluded that in the daily ritual of the sanctuary service people’s sins were forgiven and transferred to the sanctuary throughout the year via the blood of the sacrifice. This contributed to the need for the sanctuary to be cleansed of this defilement. This cleansing and removal of sin took place once a year on the Day of Atonement when the High Priest entered the sanctuary, beginning in the Most Holy Place, and applied blood in both apartments of the sanctuary as well as on the altar in the outer court. On this day, the people afflicted themselves while the High Priest atoned for their sins with the pure blood of the Lord’s goat and placed them on the head of the scapegoat to be borne away from the Israelite camp.12 Only after this was done was sin completely removed. Crosier thus typologically linked the daily service in the Holy Place to the priestly intercession of Christ from his ascension to 1844, and he linked the Day of Atonement in the Most Holy Place to the newly transpiring period after 1844.

The work of Crosier established the importance of typology for the Adventist position. It enabled the early Adventists to retain the significance of the time prophecy of Daniel 8 but clarify the event it pointed to. It shifted their focus to the heavenly sanctuary (Heb 8) as a vital component of Christ’s atoning work. And it outlined an intervening heavenly work which, when finished, would usher in the return of Jesus who will reward “every one according to his work” (Rev 22:12).

This post-1844 heavenly work was soon explained primarily in terms of an investigative/pre-advent judgment. The key passage was Daniel 7 with its judgment scene before the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man coming to this judgment hall to receive his kingdom. This heavenly work would be closely connected with a final new phase in God’s earthly work. While judgment took place in heaven, there would be a special work of purification of God’s people on earth who would proclaim the final message of warning outlined in the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12. The first message consists of a proclamation that God’s judgment had now come. This is interpreted as a reference to the investigative judgment.

The ideas of a pre-advent judgment and a cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary developed side by side and eventually the former was used to explain the essence of the latter.13 In 1854 J. N. Loughborough asked, “What was that work of cleansing?” (referring to Daniel 8:14) and answered that it is a work of judgment.14 Elon Everts first used the phrase “investigative judgment” in a letter in the Review and Herald on December 17, 1856.15 The editor of the periodical, James White, had consistently opposed the idea of a pre-advent judgment for several years, beginning from at least 1847.16 During this time White was more focused on the millennium as the Day of Judgment.17 He saw a trial judgment of the wicked followed by an executive act of destruction at the end of the millennium. Other Adventist writers argued for a pre-advent trial judgment of the saints followed by the executive reward of the resurrection at the second coming. In time it was realized that these understandings were not in opposition to each other but were complementary and together they outlined the progression and scope of the final judgment.18 On January 29, 1857, four weeks after Elon Evert’s letter, James White publicly embraced the concept and terminology of an investigative judgment, though he may have accepted it privately even earlier.19

By 1857 the synthesis of apocalyptic prophecy (Dan 7; 8:14; Rev 14:6-12), typology (Lev 16, 23), parable (Matt 25), and numerous other verses (Eccl 12:14; Rom 14:10, Heb 8-10, 1 Pet 4:17, etc.) had come together to form the doctrine of the investigative judgment. Thereafter a steady stream of articles and works were produced in which the investigative judgment featured as a key explanation for the meaning of the cleansing of the sanctuary. The doctrine of both the Sanctuary and the investigative judgment developed over time with input from many Adventist Bible students.20 While Ellen White contributed little to the initial studies, later writings confirmed and enriched findings of other Adventist writers. George Knight clarifies her role by noting that “we can best view Mrs. White’s role in doctrinal development as confirmation rather than initiation.”21

Canright and Ballenger: Early Challengers

After the 1860s Adventists continued to refine their expositions and defenses of the doctrine from external attack. The 1880s saw a significant attack by the prominent ex-Adventist minister Dudley M. Canright (1840-1919) in his influential book Seventh-day Adventism Renounced.22 Canright’s comments against the sanctuary teaching or investigative judgment are comparatively brief. They occupy one chapter out of 22 chapters, while he devotes 13 chapters to issues of the law and Sabbath. However, he sets out some key objections that would be repeatedly used against the Adventist position.23 He argued that if one believes in a literal heavenly sanctuary and reads Hebrews 6:19-20 where Jesus is said to have entered “within the veil” then Jesus ascended into the Most Holy Place at his ascension in AD 31 and consequently the 1844 date is meaningless. His own view was even more radical. He argued that “there is no need of a temple in heaven just like the old Jewish one. The Adventist idea of the sanctuary in heaven is an absurdity.”24 Canright ridiculed the idea of a “literal” heavenly sanctuary, opting for a figurative understanding.

A more substantial challenge to the doctrine of the investigative judgment and cleansing of the sanctuary came from Albion Ballenger (1861-1921). Ballenger “did not reject the sanctuary teaching” but “retained and radically modified the SDA doctrine.”25 He maintained the reality of a heavenly sanctuary and the 1844 date but placed the date within a very different and unusual theological scheme.26 Among the more unusual elements was his belief that throughout the Old Testament era Melchizedek and angels ministered pardon for sinners as priests within the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. He taught Christ was not part of this ministry and only ministered in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary after the cross.27 Few have embraced Ballenger’s view of a heavenly Melchizedek or angelic-priests but a number of his criticisms of the investigative judgment and sanctuary message have repeatedly surfaced to cause controversy within the Adventist Church.28 The most enduring of these criticisms are his claims that 1) Christ entered “within the veil” into the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary at his ascension in AD 31 and not in 1844 (here he repeats Canright’s view);29 2) blood cleanses and never defiles the sanctuary; 3) sins automatically defile the sanctuary when committed, and not just when they are confessed;30 and 4) atonement for sin and the cancellation of guilt was completed at the cross and, therefore, there was no need for a later investigative judgment to deal with sin.

Ellen G. White rejected Ballenger’s views as a misapplication of scriptural verses but did not specify exactly how he had done so. That was left to church leaders and scholars who uniformly rejected Ballenger’s position but often struggled to agree on how to answer his claims. A good example concerns the meaning of “within the veil” in Hebrews 6. Haskell said it referred to the first veil and Prescott suggested it pointed to either the first or second veil, while Wilcox said it was the second veil that was spoken of proleptically.31 The most direct response to Ballenger’s work was from E. E. Andross who wrote the book A More Excellent Ministry (1912).32 Andross agreed that Hebrews 6 is referring to the second veil into the Most Holy Place but argued that it refers to the act of dedicating the heavenly sanctuary and not to the Day of Atonement.

Departures by Kellogg and Waggoner

Around the same time, John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. (1852-1943) was advocating views even more controversial and far-reaching than those of Ballenger. Kellogg’s “pantheistic” (more accurately ‘panentheistic’) views of God rejected the very idea of a real, tangible heavenly sanctuary and thus an investigative judgment. W. A. Spicer recalled a conversation with Kellogg in which Kellogg indicated “The cleansing of the sanctuary that we taught about was not something in a faraway heaven. ‘The sin is here . . . [Dr. Kellogg said, pointing to his heart], and here is the sanctuary to be cleansed.’”33

It is of interest to note that E. J. Waggoner (1855-1916), who helped initiate a renewed focus on righteousness by faith in 1888, eventually rejected the teaching of the investigative judgment.34 In the late 1890s Waggoner increasingly came to conceive of salvation and atonement as an essentially subjective experience of personal transformation and perfection. Sin was a problem within that is cleansed through a reception of the mystical life of Christ within the believer. Eventually, just before he died in 1916, he believed that God only needed to internally cleanse our inward enmity against him. There was no external need to investigate sin or cleanse a legal record from the heavenly sanctuary.35

The Period of Quiet Unease (1920-1960)

The church reacted strongly against the views of Ballenger, Kellogg, and Waggoner, and secured the place and importance of the sanctuary teaching and investigative judgment for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Despite this, a small but steady number of Adventist leaders continued to raise objections like those of Canright and Ballenger. In the late 1920s W. W. Fletcher (1879-1947), a Bible teacher at Avondale College, raised objections to the sanctuary teaching and, as a result, left the church.36 In the early 1930s a prominent former European church leader, Ludwig R. Conradi (1856-1939), left the church to become a Seventh Day Baptist. Rejection of the investigative judgment was one of the reasons. Conradi argued that the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 pointed to the restoration of the Reformation Gospel in 1844 and not an investigative judgment.37 In addition to these internal challenges, there were several external challenges from non-Adventist scholars.38

While the general church membership continued to maintain confidence in the sanctuary doctrine, a few Adventist teachers seem to have quietly held a mix of uncertainty, avoidance, and doubt. In the middle of this period, M. L. Andreasen voiced his concerns in a letter to J. L. McElhany. He noted that every time an attack on the sanctuary took place the church would react but “as soon as the immediate crisis was past, we did little or no further official study.” He expressed concern that “we shall be unprepared when another crisis occurs” and expressed “dread to see the day when our enemies will make capital of our weakness. I dread still more to see the day when our ministry will begin to raise questions.”39 His concerns would prove prescient.

In the period from the 1920s to the 1960s, the church affirmed the investigative judgment doctrine but neglected to perform serious academic work or find new responses to critics. One attempted exception to this was a small and confidential committee that met in the 1950s to look at problems regarding the book of Daniel and the sanctuary doctrine. It met for five years, presented 45 papers, but made little progress. In the end no report, recommendations, or even minutes were published.40

Meanwhile, Andreasen had combined an emphasis on character perfection with later developments in Waggoner’s and Jones’ thought and produced what became known as “Last Generation Theology.” In his view, atonement was not completed on the cross but would be completed only in the last stages of the investigative judgment with the blotting out of sins and would culminate in the production of an all-important perfect final generation of believers. This final generation would overcome Satan, vindicate God, and provide the crucial final victory in the great controversy.41 Of great concern to other Adventists, Andreasen saw that Christ’s victory was crucial but not sufficient. This theology generated considerable excitement and support among some but led others to a shattering despair and lack of personal assurance of salvation.42

Open Controversy

In the 1960s controversy over the investigative judgment arose among the wider church membership. It was not initially due to exegetical issues in the books of Daniel and Hebrews but concerned conflicting understandings of salvation and how they relate to the investigative judgment. Both streams of Adventist thinking claimed to build on the themes of the 1888 meetings. One focused on the centrality of the cross, saving faith, justification, forgiveness of sins, and personal assurance in Christ. Atonement was understood as provided or achieved at the cross and its benefits were applied by Christ in his priestly and judging work. Desmond Ford, Edward E. Heppenstall, and Hans K. LaRondelle are representative of this perspective.43 This stream of thought did not discard the investigative judgment but emphasized the assurance of salvation for the believer in Jesus. Another stream of thinking, also based on 1888, stressed justification by faith as an experience as well as pardon, sanctification as a necessary part of the salvation process, the power to live without sinning, and character perfection. Herbert Douglass and C. Mervyn Maxwell are representative of this perspective.44 It is hard to account for the deep feelings toward the investigative judgment in the 1970s and 1980s unless one understands the close association in many people’s minds between Andreasen’s Last Generation Theology, with its perfectionistic focus, and the investigative judgment.

The “Ford Crisis”

All of these previous developments are crucial in understanding the most significant period of debate about the doctrine of the investigative judgment, which would take place in the late 1970s and 1980s and would become specifically associated with Desmond Ford (1929-2019). Ford later claimed that he had always had questions about some elements of the investigative judgment.45 As he became a pastor and later a theologian, he quietly dialogued with Adventist scholars and leaders about these issues and sought answers. He endeavored to resolve these issues himself. These efforts found their way into his publications, including his 1978 Daniel commentary, which he later repudiated.46

Meanwhile, advocates of Andreasen’s last generation theology in Australia were wrestling with the daunting need to be perfect enough to endure the time of trouble without a heavenly mediator and end the great controversy. How was it possible to have assurance within such a teaching? A dynamic and talented lay preacher by the name of Robert Brinsmead (1933-) claimed that the answer to this riddle lay in a special new understanding of the sanctuary message. His theology and following became known as the Sanctuary Awakening movement. Brinsmead built Andreasen’s theology onto a more Reformed understanding of sin and the gospel. He also added new elements. Since he taught that sin is inseparable from a person’s human nature received at birth, he claimed that Christ’s final work of blotting out sins in the judgment would necessarily and instantaneously cleanse the believer’s conscious and unconscious minds (a special work, which he believed was represented by the High Priest’s work in the Holy Place and Most Holy Place of the sanctuary, respectively). This work would completely remove the internal corruption that constituted the sinful nature and sinful acts, resulting in a perfect character and producing a sinless final generation of believers.47

Church leaders in Australia were troubled by this theology and called upon Desmond Ford, then head of the theology department at Avondale College, to counter it. Ford spoke strongly against this perfection-orientated theology. The efforts of Ford and others proved effective and in the early 1970s Brinsmead repudiated his previous perfectionist positions and pivoted to a forensic-justification-only view of salvation based on his retained concept of sin as nature. The forensic view of justification is defined as a declaration by God that the person is pardoned of sin and declared right with him. There is no change in the person. By the late 1970s Brinsmead, with Ford, went on to reject the entire sanctuary doctrine.48

In challenging Brinsmead’s and similar understandings of the investigative judgment, Ford further applied his forensic-only-justification view of the gospel to the sanctuary doctrine and began to voice publicly his concerns about the investigative judgment teaching itself. The pivotal turning point was Ford’s public repudiation of the doctrine in the Association of Adventist Forums meeting at Pacific Union College (PUC) on October 27, 1979 in a presentation entitled “The Investigative Judgment: Theological Milestone or Historical Necessity?” Ford questioned many aspects of the traditional teaching, asserting, “In 1844, the Lord drew the attention of this people [Seventh-day Adventists] to the torn veil on Calvary.” In other words, the sanctuary doctrine was a historical necessity and had no basis in Scripture.49 News of the presentation spread swiftly and generated passionate reactions of both affirmation and alarm. In response, church leaders granted Ford a six-month leave of absence to write up his understanding of the issues. After this, the church would meet to examine his position.

In the intervening time, a General Conference Session convened in Dallas, Texas, on April 16–26, 1980. The major action of the session was the acceptance and adoption of a statement of Fundamental Beliefs50 that expressed the official understanding of the church’s teachings. Included was a clear affirmation of the investigative judgment in a fundamental belief entitled “Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary” (originally number 23 but now 24). The statement shows elements of similarity and difference from the first Seventh-day Adventist statement of belief (1872).51 The similarities are the affirmations of the reality of the heavenly sanctuary; Christ’s ongoing High Priestly ministry; 1844 as the endpoint of Daniel 8:14’s prophetic time period; and the cleansing of the sanctuary as an antitypical Day of Atonement with the investigative judgment being its explanation. The differences included an affirmation that a full sacrificial atonement was made on the cross (the notion of an atonement made on the cross was denied in the 1872 statement, which separated the sacrifice on the cross from the application of the blood as an atonement made in the heavenly sanctuary), and that the benefits of that atonement are then applied and made available through Christ’s ongoing priestly work.52 The 1980 statement also differs from the 1872 statement in that it speaks of Christ in 1844 entering on a second and last “phase” of atoning ministry rather than entering into a heavenly second apartment. Whereas the 1872 statement had the investigative judgment’s purpose as “to determine who . . . is worthy” of eternal life, the language chosen in the 1980 statement indicates more of an interest in revelation and theodicy. The judgment “reveals” who is worthy, “makes manifest” who is abiding in Christ, “declares” that the loyal will receive the kingdom, and “vindicates the justice of God.” Four months later, Ford’s positions would be evaluated against a closer investigation of the biblical evidence and this authoritative consensus statement of the church.

At the end of Ford’s six-month leave of absence, on August 10-15, 1980, at the Glacier View Adventist camp in Colorado, the church leadership convened the Sanctuary Review Committee as a special meeting of administrators and Bible teachers to examine Ford’s 991-page manuscript entitled “Daniel 8:14, the Day of Atonement, and the Investigative Judgment.” The meetings proved pivotal and important. Ultimately Ford’s position was rejected, and he was subsequently terminated from employment and defrocked. This outcome comforted and reassured many while shocking and angering others.

The Issues

The main issues at the heart of the debate with Ford can be seen in his Glacier View manuscript, the consensus statement,53 the ten-page working document outlining where Ford differed from church teaching54 (both documents emerged from Glacier View), and Ford’s correspondence with Keith Parmenter, president of the Australasian Division.55 Together these clarify what the major issues were in the 1970-1980s. Ford’s challenges can be grouped into several areas that reflect his criticism of the sanctuary doctrine and his opposing theological position.

Issues Concerning the Nature of Prophecy

Ford disputed the Adventist understanding of prophecy on which the investigative judgment was based. The church saw this as the major underlying issue, as it called into question Adventist history, teaching, identity, and mission. Ford rejected historicism and the year-day principle. He believed all prophecy, including apocalyptic prophecy, is conditional and may have multiple fulfillments. This is Ford’s “apotelesmatic principle”56 which became the centerpiece of his theological views. In his understanding, Jesus could have come in the first century. Dates beyond the cross were never envisioned by the original prophecy. Prophetic dates thereafter are secondary reapplications by believers that God in his providence later utilized. In this way, Ford claimed to affirm early Adventist history, not, however, as the intended fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy but as a providentially permitted and utilized secondary reapplication. This means the reapplication may not be able to be exegetically substantiated but reflects at least some elements of the original prophecy.57

Issues in Daniel

Consequently, Ford rejected the Adventist interpretation of Daniel’s prophecies. Ford said that the initial and primary fulfillment of Daniel 8 occurred with the second century BC persecutions by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (215-164 BC). The 2300 evenings and mornings of Daniel 8:14 referred to only 1150 literal days and the sanctuary to be cleansed was the temple in Jerusalem. He argued that the word “cleansed” (nitsdaq) should actually be translated as “justified” or “restored,” that the Hebrew word meaning “cleanse” is not there. Ford raised doubts about all the dates the church assigns to Daniel 8-9 (i.e., 457 BC, AD 27, AD 31, AD 34, and 1844). He argued that the sins of the little horn, not the saints, defiled the sanctuary. Similarly, he said that the judgment in Daniel 7 is a response to the sins of the little horn and not of God’s holy people. He rejected linking Daniel 8 with Leviticus 16 and any typology based on such a move. He argued that in the Old Testament and New Testament blood always cleanses, it does not defile.58

Issues in Hebrews

Ford noted that the Hebrews 6:19 reference to “within the veil” referred to the second or inner veil before the Most Holy Place. He argued that the book of Hebrews makes the claim that at his ascension in AD 31 Christ entered into God’s presence in the Most Holy Place and completed the antitypical Day of Atonement. He also claimed that in Hebrews 9:3, 8, 12, 24, 25; 10:19; 13:11 the Greek words ta hagia (holies/sanctuary) always refer exclusively to the Most Holy Place. All of this eliminated the need or possibility of a future entry by Christ into the Most Holy Place in 1844 to then undertake a future antitypical Day of Atonement. All atonement, judgment, and blotting out of sin was completed at the cross.59

Issues in Relationship to the Gospel

At the heart of Ford’s objections was his understanding of the gospel. He later stated that “The doctrine of an Investigative Judgment that began in 1844 denies the finality of the Cross, God’s omniscience, and the reality of saving faith.”60 If the atonement is finished at the cross, and salvation is granted in a once-for-all manner via forensic justification when one believes, then there is no need for a future investigative judgment. The believer has passed from death to life and will not enter into judgment (Ford used John 5:24 as a favorite proof text).

Ford, aware of discussions in modern New Testament scholarship, did allow for a “now-not yet” understanding of the Day of Atonement. That is, the Day of Atonement is initially and primarily fulfilled by Jesus at the cross and will have a future fulfillment at his second coming (not 1844). But he rejected the “not yet” element as involving an investigative judgment. Yet Ford also maintained that he still believed in a pre-advent judgment, although it was radically reduced to a momentary activity of Christ just before he returns (no investigation, court, thrones, angels, books, or open deliberative process).61

What distinguishes Ford from all previous critics is how Ford brought together virtually all previous criticisms, theological, historical, and exegetical, as well as criticisms of related issues (the role of Ellen G. White; the nature of apocalyptic prophecy; etc.) in a comprehensive and extremely persuasive rhetorical manner. Ford attempted to position the controversies over salvation and the gospel within the Adventist church as essentially an argument about the validity of the investigative judgment. But more than this he offered a different theological position that he claimed still preserved Adventist identity and history. The dual scholarly and popular nature of Ford’s work forced the church to confront issues with the investigative judgment previously ignored and prevented a repeat of the pattern of negligence that Andreasen had spoken of earlier. There was no ignoring this crisis. New answers and a more comprehensive response had to be found.

The Church Responds

In response to Ford’s work, the church set up a special Daniel and Revelation Study Committee (DARCOM).62 This committee produced seven volumes responding to Ford’s work, but it also went beyond responses to Ford and made significant scholarly contributions to broader areas. Ford’s challenges and DARCOM’s responses stimulated a flood of studies that continue to this day. The findings of DARCOM and subsequent studies were made accessible through the more popular works of writers like Marvin Moore (1937-2021), Martin Weber, and Clifford Goldstein.63 Scholars also produced more accessible works in the form of books or articles.64 It is helpful to map out these responses, which represent current understandings of the doctrine.

Clarifying the Nature of Prophecy

The DARCOM series strongly affirmed historicism. William Shea (1932-2020) offered over 20 different lines of evidence in support of the year-day principle.65 Exploration was made of the differences between classical prophecy and apocalyptic prophecy. It was argued that classical prophecy is often conditional and may have more than one fulfillment, while apocalyptic prophecy, is unconditional and has only one fulfillment.66

In place of Ford’s relatively indiscriminate apotelesmatic principle, in which the number of fulfillments and the events selected seemed to rely on the subjective whim of the interpreter,67 study was given to find scriptural guidelines and controls on multiple fulfillments. Richard Davidson argued that the answer lay in a better understanding of typology. Fulfillments of prophecy happen within a threefold structure of typology in which there is an initial inaugurated fulfillment in Christ, followed by an appropriated fulfillment in the church by the Spirit, and then a final consummating fulfillment at the end of history.68

The authors of the DARCOM volumes, like Ford, saw the idea of “now-not yet” eschatology as supplying a helpful framework for understanding the fulfillment of typology and classical prophecy in the New Testament while rejecting it as a method of interpreting apocalyptic prophecy.69 For example, the typical sacrifices of the Day of Atonement did receive fulfillment at the cross but the cleansing of the sanctuary, the people’s affliction of soul while their judgment takes place, the ultimate removal of sin and placement on the scapegoat, constitute the “not-yet” fulfilment and is outlined in the apocalyptic prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.70 This perspective appeared to integrate “now/not-yet” eschatology, classical prophecy, apocalyptic prophecy, typology, and the idea of protracted fulfillments all together in a way that provided a powerful exegetical and theological framework supportive of Adventist teaching. And it did so with hermeneutical controls that Ford’s apotelesmatic principle and theological system lacked.

Adventist scholars also argue that the investigative judgment is the predominant and essential way God engages in judgment throughout Scripture. Divine judgment is by nature investigative judgment.71 The implication is that the weight of evidence is upon critics to show why God would suddenly reject his defining mode of judgment in the ultimate final judgment.

Tackling Issues in Daniel

The DARCOM volume on Daniel offered a substantial critique of the Maccabean thesis in terms of presuppositions, history, and exegesis. It attempted to demonstrate the range of major problems that arise if Antiochus IV Epiphanes is seen as the little horn.72 The DARCOM volumes and later Adventists concede that the word translated “cleansed” in Daniel 8:14 is not the word used in Leviticus and may not be best rendered as “cleansed.” But far from finding this to disprove the Adventist position, it has been argued that the broader range of meaning (encompassing justifying, restoring, vindicating, and cleansing) better aligns with the Adventist understanding of the sanctuary. It especially affirms a judgment or judicial connection.73 The DARCOM series offered evidence for the various dates assigned by the church to events predicted by the prophecies of Daniel 8 and 9 (457 BC, AD 27, AD 31, AD 34, and 1844), and subsequent research has continued this work.74

Later studies have built on, and go beyond, DARCOM’s work and provide additional support for Adventist positions.75 Paul Petersen’s work on Daniel showed that the sins of God’s people, and not merely those of the little horn, are a concern in Daniel 8 and 9.76 Ángel Manuel Rodríguez’s various writings have shown the importance of heavenly books to biblical thought and judgment, strong and extensive connections between Daniel 8 and the Levitical sanctuary, and that blood can “defile” or transfer sin.77 Roy E. Gane’s specialized works in the book of Leviticus have provided support for the foundation of Adventist sanctuary typology by providing detailed exegetical evidence for two phases of atonement, with the second phase on the Day of Atonement as a time of judgment to vindicate God’s character. Thus, Gane has brought this two-phase interpretation into the outside scholarly mainstream.78

Tackling Issues in Hebrews

Ford saw the imagery of ‘within the veil’ and ‘entrance into heaven’ in the book of Hebrews as pointing to the cross and ascension of Christ as the fulfillment of the antitypical Day of Atonement. Many Adventist scholars now tend to affirm that the phrase “within the veil” in Hebrews 6:19 refers primarily to the inner veil to the Most Holy Place.79 However, this does not indicate the antitypical Day of Atonement. A prevalent position argues that the imagery in Hebrews is better understood in connection with the antitypical inauguration of the heavenly sanctuary, its new priesthood, the new covenant, and Christ’s heavenly enthronement as a kingly priest. All of these aspects are emphasized in Hebrews, all are linked to inauguration, and none of them have any connections with the Day of Atonement. Hebrews 10:20 explicitly refers to ‘inauguration’ itself (enekainisen ‘to inaugurate’). Hebrews is seen as highlighting the better access of the newly inaugurated new covenant in Christ, in comparison to limited access and ineffectiveness of the old covenant. The focus of this position is now a much narrower claim about the antitypical Day of Atonement.80

Other studies have shown that the phrase, ta hagia, in the first century was always used to refer to the Sanctuary as a whole and never to just the Most Holy Place.81 This confirms that Hebrews has a general focus on the heavenly Sanctuary as a whole and Christ's work within it, and not to any one apartment (either first or second) within the Sanctuary.

The Ontological Status of the Heavenly Sanctuary

Debates over the nature of the heavenly sanctuary have continued into more recent times. It is helpful to distinguish between the primary debate over the existence of a real sanctuary in heaven, and the secondary debate over the exact nature and degree of correspondence or similarity that a real heavenly sanctuary shares with its earthly copies (how many apartments, what furniture, dimensions, composition, etc.).

With the primary debate, Adventists have always affirmed a real heavenly sanctuary in opposition to efforts to spiritualize away its reality, whether these efforts are due to platonic dualism, medieval-style allegorizing, post-great-disappointment spiritualizing, Kellogg’s panentheism, or any tendency to reduce the heavenly sanctuary to merely a theological metaphor. The early Adventists were strongly suspicious of such theological-philosophical traditions. Both historic and contemporary Adventist ontology affirms the concrete reality of a real Creator-creature encounter in space-time, a real meeting of beings in a real tangible place, with real history, and real activity.82 The investigative judgment (and the idea of a great controversy) requires a heavenly meeting place with the potential for deliberation, conversation, audience, dialogue, decisions, discovery, learning, movement, and drama. This historical-dynamic view of heavenly realities contrasts with metaphorical or ahistorical ideas of heavenly realities as timeless spiritual truths which tend toward the static and abstract. In the end, the language of literal versus spiritual may not be the most helpful, as something can be both literal and spiritual and real. It may be more helpful in understanding the Adventist position to see the dispute as being between historical versus ahistorical understandings of Christ's priestly and heavenly work.83

In the secondary debate over the degree of correspondence between heavenly and earthly sanctuaries there is a spectrum of views among Adventists ranging from maximalists, for whom there is a higher correspondence between earthly and heavenly sanctuaries, and minimalists, for whom little can be said or known about the level of correspondence. Maximalists tend to see the heavenly sanctuary as a larger (but vastly more glorious) version of the earthly sanctuary with two apartments.84 The minimalists tend to see the heavenly sanctuary as a real heavenly place but remain hesitant about its physical structure and interior composition.85 Some opt for one apartment instead of two.86 Maximalists affirm two apartments and two phases of ministry; the minimalists only insist on phases. The early Adventists were maximalists.87 More recently, Adventists tend to affirm a real heavenly sanctuary but also emphasize the different phases of Christ’s heavenly ministry.88 The language of the Fundamental Beliefs refers to the ‘phase’ of ministry rather than apartments. This affirms a minimum consensus as a baseline but is not a rejection of the maximalist position. Maximalism is permissible and quite common but is not pressed as a doctrinal requirement.

Clarifying the Relationship to the Gospel

Ford often claimed that the real issue in his disagreements with the investigative judgment involved the gospel. Adventists who have shared similar understandings of the gospel, such as Gerhard Pfandl, argue that this was not the case. Pfandl states that the defining issues were Ford’s rejection of the sanctuary and his views on prophecy. Others disagree with Ford in regard to his understanding of the gospel as well as his rejection of the sanctuary doctrine.89

It may be true that some presentations and understandings of the investigative judgment have undermined gospel assurance. The question is whether this doctrine is necessarily incompatible with Christian assurance. Historically, Adventists have sometimes neglected the gospel90 but differences may also be due to certain emphases. For example, Ellen White could give presentations of the investigative judgment that emphasized warning and preparation91 or ones that emphasized assurance.92 Different emphases do not constitute contradiction. There are many examples of assurance-based understandings of salvation within Adventism. This emphasis appears in 1888 and is found thereafter to varying degrees. Gospel assurance, for example, was a notable emphasis in Questions on Doctrine. Since the 1970s many presentations of the investigative judgment have combined a biblical understanding of justification and sanctification with a high view of assurance.93 The Adventist Fundamental Belief, “The Experience of Salvation,” explicitly affirms “the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment.”

Relevance and Meaning

The challenges to the biblical basis for the investigative judgment also led to a re-examination of the meaning and relevance of the doctrine. The doctrine has always had profound relevance in terms of Adventist history, identity and mission. In more recent times other areas have been explored or emphasized. For Richard Rice, the doctrine pulls us out of an individualistic concern for our personal salvation and reminds us that there are larger issues at stake, such as our collective destiny, suffering and theodicy, cosmic justice, and insight into the beauty of God’s character and rule. He notes that a review of all of history is only possible at the end and is vital for God’s created community. Only then can we see how bad sin is and how truly wonderful God has been.94 The judgment foregrounds the gospel, as shown by the fact that God’s end-time judgment is a gospel message in Revelation 14:6-7.95

Paradigms

The history of doctrinal development of the investigative judgment has highlighted the essential role played by theological paradigms and frameworks. For example, disputes over apocalyptic prophecy are part of wider disputes over hermeneutics and reveal clashes between competing schools of interpretation (historicism versus preterism, futurism, and idealism) as much as differences in exegesis.96 Early Adventists realized that controversy over the pre-advent nature of the judgment is directly linked to disagreements over anthropology. Theological dualists have a judgment happening immediately after death (termed ‘particular judgment’) and this makes a collective, cosmic, pre-advent investigative judgment unthinkable.97 The dualistic paradigm excludes the possibility of an investigative judgment before Scripture can even be examined.

The role of philosophical presuppositions and its direct impact on the investigative judgment has been highlighted by Adventist philosopher and theologian Fernando Canale. Both classical Christian theology, indebted to Greek philosophy and its timeless view of God, and modern process theology, with its view of God who Himself exists within an evolving process of becoming, conceive of sanctuary language as metaphorical. Both reject the idea of a real, tangible heavenly sanctuary where God meets his creation in a special way and engages in a historical investigative judgment involving other beings.98

Much of the criticism of the investigative judgment has been driven by those operating within an Augustinian-Calvinistic paradigm. Such criticisms are not necessarily due to tensions with Scripture but are simply differences arising from a Calvinistic paradigm. This became very clear in the 1950s with evangelical dialogues that lead to the book Questions on Doctrine. In that book, there is an extensive discussion of the role of free-will and the necessity of an Arminian theological framework for properly understanding the investigative judgment.99 By contrast, if God, in a Calvinistic manner, unilaterally predestines from all eternity the elect to be saved, then they cannot lose their salvation and an investigative judgment is absurd. The same is true of non-Calvinists who hold to functionally similar teachings such as the doctrine of “once saved always saved.” Here final judgment is not an openly revealing, evaluating, vindicating review but merely the calculating and dispersal of rewards. In clear distinction to this, an investigative judgment seems unavoidable for an authentically biblical-Arminian theology. Arminian theology wants to acknowledge the possibility of human apostasy due to free will while strongly affirming the assurance of salvation grounded in the profound graciousness of God’s effective saving work.

Ford was not a Calvinist but an Arminian, nor did he explicitly affirm ‘once saved always saved,’ but his rhetoric and explanations were sometimes indistinguishable from those views. The resulting ambiguity has led more recent scholars to question the consistency and coherence of his theology and rhetoric concerning faith, freedom, judgment, and the possibility of apostasy.100 A similar inconsistency is found in the writings of Ballenger.101

Additionally, the deterministic God of Calvinism who meticulously controls all events cannot be involved in a genuine great controversy with Satan that originates from the abuse of freedom. In a strictly Calvinist theology, which is strongly shaped by a belief in God’s eternal election and double predestination, the role of sin, the origin of evil, and the eternal fate of the unregenerate leaves unresolved questions about God’s justice and love. By contrast, according to the biblical understanding of Adventists, God reveals to all that he is in no way responsible for causing or ordaining sin and evil.102 The investigative judgment is one of the final great theodicy actions of God to vindicate the goodness and justness of His character and government and to legitimately give the believers what they deserve: eternal life.103 Indeed the importance of the connection between the investigative judgment and theodicy has only increased with time within Adventism.

Current Situation

While being one of the most debated of all Adventist teachings, the investigative judgment retains considerable support from church members, although this support is not as strong as for other distinctive beliefs. The Global Church Member Survey (GCMS) has shown a slight increase in affirmation of the doctrine in more recent times. In 2013 the GCMS showed 62 percent of Adventists strongly accept the investigative judgment and 13 percent accept it because the church teaches it (75 percent when combined). 15 percent were uncertain (10 percent had some questions and 5 percent had doubts) while 6 percent did not accept it and 4 percent said it was irrelevant. By 2018 a similar survey found 64 percent strongly accept it and 18 percent because the church teaches it (82 percent when combined). About 18 percent had either questions, doubts, or did not believe. Other distinctive Adventist doctrines have considerably higher approval ratings, a circumstance that may be due to a neglect to explain the investigative judgement and its relevance clearly.104

Conclusion

The investigative judgment has been one of Adventism’s most controversial doctrines. It seems to suffer or benefit from wider theological understandings. When the church was struggling with legalism the doctrine was often taught legalistically, but when the church has been gospel-focused the doctrine is taught with gospel-based assurance, as reflected in the church’s current statement of Fundamental Beliefs. The modern teaching is in clear continuity with the views of the Adventist pioneers, though there have been discernible shifts in emphasis and a deeper understanding of its meaning over time. The more recent, softer focus on phases of heavenly ministry still strongly affirms the reality of the heavenly sanctuary. The various challenges have led to a greater awareness and exploration of the role of presuppositions and paradigms in understanding the doctrine and a more robust defense of it from Scripture. It has also led to a more Christ-focused, gospel-centered understanding of the doctrine.

Sources

“Consensus Document.” Ministry, October, 1980, 16-19.

“Parmenter- Ford Correspondence.” Ministry, October 1980, 10-11.

“Seventh-day Adventist Global Data Picture. Report on Global Research.” 2011–13 Annual Council. 2013. Accessed January 17, 2021. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Statistics/Other/ACRep2013.pdf.

“Statement on Desmond Ford Document.” Ministry, October 1980, 20-22.

Adams, Roy. The Sanctuary Doctrine: Three Approaches in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Andrews University Seminary Doctoral Dissertation Series 1. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1981.

Andreasen, M. L. The Sanctuary Service. Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald, 1947.

Andrews, John Nevins. The Sanctuary and the 2300 Days. Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press, 1872.

Ballenger, Albion Fox. An Examination of Forty Fatal Errors Regarding the Atonement. Riverside, CA: The Author, 1907.

———. Cast Out for the Cross of Christ. Tropico, CA: Private Press, 1909.

Blazen, Ivan T. “Justification and Judgment.” In The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 3, 339-388. Washington, D.C.: Biblical Research Institute, 1986.

Brinsmead, Robert. Judged by the Gospel: A Review of Adventism. Fallbrook, CA: Verdict Publications, 1980.

———. “1844” Re-Examined Syllabus. Fallbrook, CA: International Health Institute, 1979.

Burt, Merlin D. CHIS 674 Development of Seventh-day Adventist Theology. 5th ed. Berrien Springs, MI: Center for Adventist Research, 2019.

Canale, Fernando L. “Philosophical Foundations and the Biblical Sanctuary.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 36, no. 2 (1998): 183-206.

Canright, D. M. Seventh-Day Adventism Renounced. 14th ed. Reprint; Chicago: Fleming H. Revell, 1914.

———. “The Two Absurdities.” ARH, January 19, 1869.

Cortez, Félix. Within the Veil: The Ascension of the Son in the Letter to the Hebrews. Studies in Jewish and Christian Literature. Dallas, TX: Fontes Press, 2020.

Cosaert, Carl P. “The Use of Hagios for the Sanctuary in the Old Testament Pseudepigraphy, Philo and Josephus.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 42, no. 1 (2004): 91–103.

Davidson, Richard M. A Song for the Sanctuary: Experiencing God’s Presence in Shadow and Reality. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, Review & Herald Academic, 2022.

———. “Assurance in the Judgment.” In Salvation: Contours of Adventist Soteriology, eds. Martin Hanna, Darius Jankiewicz, and John W. Reeve, 395-416. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2018.

———. “Christ’s Entry ‘Within the Veil’ in Hebrews 6:19–20: The Old Testament Background.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 39, no. 2 (2001): 175–190.

———. “Inauguration or Day of Atonement? A Response to Norman Young’s ‘Old Testament Background to Hebrews 6:19–20 Revisited.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 40, no. 1 (2002): 69–88.

———. “Sanctuary Typology.” In Symposium on Revelation: Introductory and Exegetical Studies, Book 1, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 6, 99-130. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992.

———. “The Divine Covenant Lawsuit Motif in Canonical Perspective.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 21, nos. 1–2 (2010): 45–84.

———. “The Meaning of Nisdaq in Daniel 8:14.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 7, no. 1 (1996): 107-119.

Edwards, Calvin W. and Gary Land. Seeker After Light: A. F. Ballenger, Adventism, and American Christianity. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2000.

Everts, Elon. “Communication from Brother Everts.” ARH, January 1, 1857.

Ferch, Arthur J. “Commencement Date for the Seventy Weeks Prophecy.” In The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 3, 64-74. Washington, D.C.: Biblical Research Institute, 1986.

Fletcher, William W. The Reason of My Faith: An Appeal to Seventh-day Adventists, Concerning Vital Truths of the Gospel. Sydney, NSW: Brooks, 1932.

Ford, Desmond. “Daniel 8:14, The Day Of Atonement, And The Investigative Judgment.” Paper presented at the Sanctuary Review Committee, Glacier View, CO, August 10-15, 1980.

——— and Gillian Ford. For the Sake of the Gospel: Throw Out the Bathwater, But Keep the Baby. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2008.

Ford, Desmond. The Investigative Judgment and the Everlasting Gospel. A Retrospective on October 27, 1979. N.p.: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016.

Gane, Roy E. Altar Call. Berrien Springs, MI: Diadem, 1999.

———. Cult and Character: Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2005.

———. Leviticus, Numbers. NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004.

———. “Privative Preposition min in Purification Offering Pericopes and the Changing Face of ‘Dorian Gray.’” Journal of Biblical Literature 127 (2008): 209-222.

———. “Purification Offerings and Paradoxical Pollution of the Holy.” In Writing a Commentary on Leviticus: Hermeneutics – Methodology – Themes, eds. Christian A. Eberhart and Thomas Hieke, Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 276, 115-125. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019.

———. “Re-Opening Katapetasma (‘Veil’) in Hebrews 6:19.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 38, no. 1 (2000): 5-8.

———. The Sanctuary and Salvation: The Practical Significance of Christ’s Sacrifice and Priesthood. Madrid, Spain: Editorial Safeliz, 2019.

———. Who’s Afraid of the Judgment? Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2006.

Goldstein, Clifford. False Balances. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 1992.

———. Graffiti in the Holy of Holies: An Impassioned Response to Recent Attacks on the Sanctuary and Ellen White. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2003.

———. 1844 Made Simple. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 1988.

Gordon, Paul A. The Sanctuary, 1844 and the Pioneers. Silver Spring, MD: Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2000.

Graf, Roy E. The Principle of Articulation in Adventist Theology: An Evaluation of Current Interpretations and a Proposal. Adventist Theological Society Dissertation Series 11. Berrien Springs, MI: Adventist Theological Society Publications, 2019.

Gulley, Norman R. Systematic Theology: Creation, Christ, Salvation. Vol. 3. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2012.

Guy, Fritz. “Good News from the Sanctuary in Heaven: God’s Continuing Initiative.” Spectrum 14, no. 1 (1983): 39-46.

Hale, Apollos and Joseph Turner. “Has not the Savior Come as the Bridegroom?” Advent Mirror, January 1845.

Heppenstall, Edward. Our High Priest. Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald, 1972.

Hoekema, Anthony H. The Four Major Cults. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1963.

Holbrook, Frank B. The Atoning Priesthood of Jesus Christ. Berrien Springs, MI: Adventist Theological Society Publications, 1996.

Jacobs, Enoch. “The Time.” Western Midnight Cry, November 29, 1844.

Jankiewicz, Darius W. “The Theological Necessity of the Investigative Judgment: Albion Ballenger and His Failed Quest to Subvert the Doctrine.” In Eschatology from an Adventist Perspective: Proceedings of the Fourth International Bible Conference: Rome, June 11–20, 2018, eds. Elias Brasil de Souza, A. Rahel Wells, Laszlo Gallusz, and Denis Kaiser, 519-558. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 2020.

Johnsson, William G. “Conditionality in Biblical Prophecy with Particular Reference to Apocalyptic.” In The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 3, 259-287. Washington, D.C.: Biblical Research Institute, 1986.

———. “The Heavenly Sanctuary—Figurative or Real?” In Issues in the Book of Hebrews, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 4, 35-51. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1989.

Jones, E. B. Forty Bible-Supported Reasons Why You Should Not Be a Seventh-Day Adventist. 5th ed. Minneapolis, MN: Author, 1946.

Kaiser, Denis. “Ellen White’s Role in Biblical Interpretation: A Survey of Early Seventh-day Adventist Perceptions.” Reflections, October 2017, 1-6.

Knight, George R. A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 1999.

———. End-time Events and the Last Generation: The Explosive 1950s. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2018.

———. Millennial Fever and the End of the World. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 1993.

———, ed. Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine. Annotated edition. Adventist Classic Library. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2003.

———. The Cross of Christ: God’s Work for Us. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 2008.

Litch, Josiah. Prophetic Exposition. Vol. 1. Boston: Joshua V. Himes, 1842.

Livingston, Eric C. “Investigative Judgment Scriptural Concept.” Ministry, April 1992, 12-14.

Loughborough, J. N. “The Hour of His Judgment Come.” ARH, February 14, 1854.

MacPherson, Anthony. The Redeemed Good Defence: The Great Controversy as a Theodicy Response to the Evidential Problem of Evil. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2021.

———. “Theodicy and Contrasting Eschatological Visions: The Investigative Judgment and the Problem of Evil.” In Eschatology from an Adventist Perspective: Proceedings of the Fourth International Bible Conference: Rome, June 11–20, 2018, eds. Elias Brasil de Souza, A. Rahel Wells, Laszlo Gallusz, and Denis Kaiser, 457-476. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 2020.

Martin, Walter R. The Truth About Seventh-day Adventism. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1960.

Maxwell, C. Mervyn. “The Investigative Judgment.” In The Sanctuary and the Atonement: Biblical, Historical, and Theological Studies, eds. Arnold V. Wallenkampf and W. Richard Lesher, 545-80. Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald, 1981.

Miller, William. “Letter from Bro. Miller.” Day-Star, April 8, 1845.

Moore, Marvin. The Case for the Investigative Judgment: Its Biblical Foundation. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2010.

Moskala, Jiri. “Toward a Biblical Theology of God’s Judgment: A Celebration of the Cross in Seven Phases of Divine Universal Judgment (An Overview of a Theocentric-Christocentric Approach).” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 15, no. 1 (2004): 138-165.

“New Data: Views on the Doctrine of the Sanctuary.” Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. March 20, 2019. Accessed March 14, 2022. https://www.adventistresearch.info/new-data-views-doctrine-sanctuary/.

Norman F. Douty, Another Look at Seventh-day Adventism. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1962.

Owusu-Antwi, Brempong. The Chronology of Dan 9:24-27. Adventist Theological Society Dissertation Series 2. Berrien Springs, MI: Adventist Theological Society Publications, 1995.

Pahl, Larry. “Where is Robert Brinsmead?” Adventist Today, May/June 1999.

Peckham, John C. “Toward a Systematic Theology of the Sanctuary – Part I.” Theologika 33, no. 2 (2018): 212-217

———. “Toward a Systematic Theology of the Sanctuary – Part II.” Theologika 34, no. 1 (2019): 3-31.

Petersen, Paul Birch. “The Prayers of Daniel.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 7, no. 1 (1996): 51-63.

———. “The Theology and the Function of the Prayers in the Book of Daniel.” Ph.D. diss., Andrews University, 1998.

Pfandl, Gerhard. “Desmond Ford and the Righteousness by Faith Controversy.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 27, nos. 1-2 (2016): 344-51.

———. “The Reality of the Heavenly Sanctuary.” Perspective Digest 19, no. 3. Accessed January 17, 2021. https://www.perspectivedigest.org/archive/19-3/the-reality-of-the-heavenly-sanctuary.

———. “Understanding Biblical Apocalyptic.” In Biblical Hermeneutics: An Adventist Approach, ed. Frank M. Hasel, 265-290. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute/Review and Herald Academic, 2020.

Pröbstle, Martin. “Truth and Terror: A Text-oriented Analysis of Daniel 8:9-14.” Ph.D. dissertation, Andrews University, 2005.

———. Where God and I Meet: The Sanctuary. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 2013.

Read, W. E. “The Investigative, or Pre-Advent, Judgment: Does This Teaching Have Any Biblical Basis?” Ministry, July 1960.

Rice, George E. “Hebrews 6:19– Analysis of Some Assumptions Concerning Katapetasma.” In Issues in the Book of Hebrews, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 4, 229-234. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1989.

Rice, Richard. The Reign of God: An Introduction to Christian Theology, 2nd ed. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1997.

Rodríguez, Angel Manuel. “The Heavenly Books of Life and of Human Deeds.” Shelf document, Biblical Research Institute, Silver Spring, MD, November 2001. https://adventistbiblicalresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/Heavenly-books.pdf.

———. “The Sanctuary.” In Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, ed. Raoul Dederen, Commentary Reference Series 12, 375-417. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 2001.

———. “Transfer of Sin in Leviticus.” In The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 3, 169-197. Washington, D.C.: Biblical Research Institute, 1986.

Shea, William H. “Supplementary Evidence in Support of 457 B.C. as the Starting Date for the 2300 Day-Years of Daniel 8:14.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 12, no. 1 (2001): 89-96.

———. “When Did the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9:24 Begin?” In Symposium on Revelation: Introductory and Exegetical Studies, Book 1, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 6, 375-394. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992.

———. Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, rev. ed., Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 1. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992.

Sigvartsen, Leanne M., Jan A. Sigvartsen, and Paul B. Petersen. Beyond Beliefs 1: What Millennial Young Adults Really Think of the 28 Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. N.p.: ClergyEd.com, Andrews University Department of Religion & Biblical Languages, 2014.

Smith, Uriah. A Declaration of the Fundamental Principles Taught and Practiced by Seventh-day Adventists. Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press, 1872.

———. The Sanctuary and the Twenty-three Hundred Days of Daniel 8:14. Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press, 1877.

Storrs, George. “Resurrection of the Dead.” Bible Examiner, January 1, 1844.

Strand, Kenneth A. “Foundational Principles for Interpretation.” In Symposium on Revelation: Introductory and Exegetical Studies, Book 1, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 6, 3-33. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992.

Treiyer, Alberto R. “The Day of Atonement as Related to the Contamination and Purification of the Sanctuary.” In The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series 3, 198-256. Washington, D.C.: Biblical Research Institute, 1986.

Trim, David. “Reaching the World: How Did We Do?” The Global Church Member Survey 2018 Annual Council Report. Accessed January 17, 2021. https://www.adventistresearch.info/wp-content/uploads/AC2018-Global-Church-Member-Survey-Data-Report.pdf.

Waggoner, E. J. The “Confession of Faith” of Dr. E. J. Waggoner. N.p.: n.p., 1916.

Wallenkampf, Arnold V. “A Brief Review of Some of the Internal and External Challengers to the Seventh-day Adventist Teachings on the Sanctuary and the Atonement.” In The Sanctuary and the Atonement: Biblical, Historical, and Theological Studies, eds. Arnold V. Wallenkampf and W. Richard Lesher, 582-99. Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald, 1981.

Weber, Martin. Some Call It Heresy. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 1985.

Whidden, Woodrow W. The Judgment and Assurance: The Dynamics of Personal Salvation. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 2012.

———. “Adventist Theology: The Wesleyan Connection.” Biblical Research Institute. Accessed January 18, 2021. https://adventistbiblicalresearch.org/materials/adventist-theology-the-wesleyan-connection/.

White, Arthur L. Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years, 1900-1905. Vol. 5. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 1986.

White, Ellen G. Selected Messages. 3 vols. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 1958, 1980.

———. Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1923.

———. The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1911.

———. Prophets and Kings. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1917.

White, James, ed. A Word to the Little Flock. Gorham, ME: James White, 1847.

———. “The Day of Judgment.” ARH, September 1850.

———. The Sanctuary, the 2300 Days and the Shut Door. Oswego, NY: n.p., 1850, 1859.

Young, Norman H. “The Day of Dedication or the Day of Atonement? The Old Testament Background to Hebrews 6:19-20 Revisited.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 40, no. 1 (2002): 61-68.

———. “The Sanctuary: The Essence of Adventism.” Spectrum 33, no. 1 (2005): 61-66.

———. “Where Jesus Has Gone as a Forerunner on Our Behalf (Hebrews 6:20).” Andrews University Seminary Studies 39, no. 2 (2001): 165-173.

Notes

  1. A most helpful short work on the Adventist theology of judgment is Jiri Moskala, “Toward a Biblical Theology of God’s Judgment: A Celebration of the Cross in Seven Phases of Divine Universal Judgment (An Overview of a Theocentric-Christocentric Approach),” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 15, no. 1 (2004): 138-165. The most comprehensive book on the doctrine of the Sanctuary and investigative judgment is the volume by Richard M. Davidson, A Song for the Sanctuary: Experiencing God’s Presence in Shadow and Reality (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, Review & Herald Academic, 2022).

  2. “The present judgment is called pre-advent, denoting its time, and investigative, denoting its method (Rev. 14:6–7).” Norman R. Gulley, Systematic Theology: Creation, Christ, Salvation, vol. 3 (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2012), 500.

  3. Fundamental Belief 24: https://www.adventist.org/christs-ministry-in-the-heavenly-sanctuary/

  4. Gen 18:23; Ps 51:4

  5. Size estimates vary from 50,000 to 200,000 followers (with some estimates suggesting up to a million were brought under his influence). George R. Knight, Millennial Fever and the End of the World (Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1993), 213. This was at a time when the population of United States was about 17 million. All of this happened within a ten-year period.

  6. One of the reasons so many had such confidence in such an admittedly startling teaching is that the Millerite claim came as the climax of a long tradition of historicist interpretation which believed much of prophecy, including other time prophecies, had already been fulfilled. These fulfilled prophecies could be rationally and publicly demonstrated using Scripture and history. This tangible line of demonstratable fulfilments thus made the next step in the line of fulfilment proposed by Miller to his audience eminently credible.

  7. Josiah Litch, Prophetic Exposition, vol. 1 (Boston, MA: Joshua V. Himes, 1842), 49–54; George Storrs, “Resurrection of the Dead,” Bible Examiner, January 1, 1844, 40.

  8. Merlin Burt details two different views. Those who held to a “One day completed atonement” view. James White initially held this view and believed that Christ’s heavenly atonement work was completed on or by October 22. The other group was the “extended atonement view” which Jesus heavenly work as extending for a undefined period of time. See Merlin D. Burt, CHIS 674 Development of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, 5th ed. (Berrien Springs, MI: Center for Adventist Research, 2019), 55-61.

  9. Among this group were Enoch Jacobs, “The Time,” Western Midnight Cry, November 29, 1844, 19; Apollos Hale and Joseph Turner, “Has not the Savior Come as the Bridegroom?” Advent Mirror, January 1845, 1-4; and even William Miller (letter to the Second Advent Brethren, March 20, 1845), later printed in “Letter from Bro. Miller,” Day-Star, April 8, 1845, 31-32).

  10. It is important to note here “that the concept of a pre-advent judgment was originally conceived by persons other than the founders of the SDA church and independently of the visions of Ellen White.” C. Mervyn Maxwell, “The Investigative Judgment,” in The Sanctuary and the Atonement: Biblical, Historical, and Theological Studies, eds. Arnold V. Wallenkampf and W. Richard Lesher (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1981), 555.

  11. Crosier’s views also represented those of Hiram Edson and F. B. Hahn.

  12. Adventists do not see the goat for Azazel as a sin-bearer or instrument in atonement. Cleansing and atonement are made and finished by the sacrificial blood and Aaron’s High Priestly work (Lev 16:20). Only once this final work is finished are sins transferred to the scapegoat. “Seventh-day Adventists … repudiate in toto any idea, suggestion, or implication that Satan is in any sense or degree our sin bearer. The thought is abhorrent to us, and appallingly sacrilegious. Such a concept is a dreadful disparagement of the efficacy of Christ and His salvation, and vitiates the whole glorious provision of salvation solely through our Saviour.” George R. Knight, ed., Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine, Annotated edition, Adventist Classic Library (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2003), 319.

  13. “The pioneers regarded the cleansing of the sanctuary as a work or process of judgment. Frequently, they interchanged the terms and sometimes considered them as synonymous.” Paul A. Gordon, The Sanctuary, 1844 and the Pioneers (Silver Spring, MD: Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2000), 146.

  14. J. N. Loughborough, “The Hour of His Judgment Come,” ARH, February 14, 1845, 29-30.

  15. Elon Everts, “Communication from Brother Everts,” ARH, January 1, 1857, 72.

  16. “Some have contended that the day of judgment was prior to the second advent … This view is certainly without foundation in the word of God.” “The Day of Judgment,” ARH, September 1850, 49.

  17. James White saw 2 Pet 3:8 “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years” as evidence that the day of judgment would extend through the millennium. See James White, A Word to the Little Flock (Gorham, ME: James White, 1847), 24. Maxwell suggests this preoccupation with the Millennium may have been a reason why White was slow to affirm the investigative judgment. See Maxwell, Sanctuary and Atonement, 571.

  18. Maxwell, Sanctuary and Atonement, 569.

  19. James White, “The Judgment,” ARH, January 29, 1857, 100-101. Maxwell argues that White’s change may have occurred earlier, suggesting that he had started to embrace the idea by 1854 or even earlier. Sanctuary and atonement. Maxwell, Sanctuary and Atonement, 570-571.

  20. See works such as: James White, The Sanctuary, the 2300 Days and the Shut Door (Oswego, NY: n.p., 1850, 1859); John Nevin Andrews, The Sanctuary and the 2300 Days (Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press, 1872; Uriah Smith, The Sanctuary and the Twenty-three Hundred Days of Daniel 8:14 (Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press, 1877), 214-219. Paul A. Gordon estimates over 400 articles were published on the sanctuary between 1849-1905, see Gordon, The Sanctuary, 9.

  21. George R. Knight, A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 1999), 37; Denis Kaiser, “Ellen White’s Role in Biblical Interpretation: A Survey of Early Seventh-day Adventist Perceptions,” Reflections, October 2017, 1-6.

  22. D. M. Canright, Seventh-Day Adventism Renounced, 14th ed. (reprint; Chicago: Fleming H. Revell, 1914).

  23. Canright makes much of the fact that many of the architects of elements of Adventist doctrine never accepted the Adventist synthesis. Canright, Renounced, 118-119.

  24. Canright, Renounced, 127.

  25. Arnold V. Wallenkampf, “A Brief Review of Some of the Internal and External Challengers to the Seventh-Day Adventist Teachings on the Sanctuary and the Atonement,” in The Sanctuary and the Atonement: Biblical, Historical, and Theological Studies, eds. Arnold V. Wallenkampf and W. Richard Lesher (Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald, 1981), 587.

  26. Albion Fox Ballenger explains his views in two principal books Cast Out for the Cross of Christ (Tropico, CA: Private Press, 1909), and An Examination of Forty Fatal Errors regarding the Atonement (Riverside, CA: The Author, 1907).

  27. For Ballenger the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary typified the heavenly first apartment angelic ministry before the cross and the second apartment of the earthly sanctuary typified Jesus ministry in the Most Holy Place ministry of heavenly sanctuary after the cross. See Cast Out for the Cross of Christ, chap. 4. During the pre-cross era Christ did not enter “within the veil” into God’s presence or function as our High Priest or Mediator in the Old Testament. “For four thousand years Christ was barred from the Father’s face because he was the sinner’s substitute.” See Cast Out for the Cross of Christ, chap. 5.

  28. For a fuller analysis and critique of Ballenger’s view see Roy Adams, The Sanctuary Doctrine: Three Approaches in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Andrews University Seminary Doctoral Dissertation Series 1 (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1981), 95–164.

  29. Ballenger, Cast Out for the Cross of Christ, chaps. 1 and 2.

  30. Ballenger, Cast Out for the Cross of Christ, chap. 6.

  31. Calvin W. Edwards and Gary Land. Seeker After Light: A. F. Ballenger, Adventism, and American Christianity (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2000) 141.

  32. E. E. Andross, A More Excellent Ministry (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1912).

  33. Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years, 1900-1905, vol. 5 (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 1986), 289–290.

  34. E. J. Waggoner, The “Confession of Faith” of Dr. E. J. Waggoner (N.p.: n.p., 1916), 14-15. Waggoner claimed that he had done that about 1891, yet evidence suggests that he still advocated the idea of a millennial judgment in heaven. The Everlasting Covenant (London: International Tract Society, 1900), 225, 315-320, 365-367, 386, 482-484.

  35. Waggoner, The “Confession of Faith” of Dr. E. J. Waggoner, 11-12.

  36. William W. Fletcher, The Reason of My Faith: An Appeal to Seventh-Day Adventists, Concerning Vital Truths of the Gospel (Sydney, Australia: Brooks, 1932).

  37. For a summary of Conradi’s views see, Wallenkampf, “A Brief Review,” 589-591. Other dissenters could be listed, such as former Adventist missionary, E. B. Jones (1919-1949), see his book Forty Bible-Supported Reasons Why You Should Not Be a Seventh-day Adventist, 5th ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Author, 1946). Ford suggests W. W. Prescott entertained strong doubts at the end of his career, he also lists Harold Snide, R. A. Grieve, R. Brinsmead, R. A. Cottrell and others. See Desmond Ford, “Daniel 8:14, The Day Of Atonement, And The Investigative Judgment” (paper presented at the Sanctuary Review Committee, Glacier View, CO, August 10-15, 1980), 82-103.

  38. Walter R. Martin, The Truth About Seventh-day Adventism (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1960); Norman F. Douty, Another Look at Seventh-day Adventism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1962); Anthony H. Hoekema, The Four Major Cults (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1963).

  39. “As soon as the crisis was past, we felt our work done.” M. L. Andreasen to J. L. McElhany and W. H. Branson, December 25,1942, quoted in Ford, Daniel 8:14, Glacier View, 159.

  40. This committee was prompted by the convergence of several factors. Scholars were working on Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, which included the Book of Daniel, and were struggling with exegetical and interpretative issues. The meeting with the Evangelicals Walter Martin and Donald Barnhouse, that would lead to the production of Questions on Doctrine, was taking place and with it were the evangelical objections to Adventist teaching. Ford, “Daniel 8:14,” 98-99.

  41. M. L. Andreasen, The Sanctuary Service, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1947), 299-321.

  42. Edward Heppenstall, Our High Priest (Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1972), 202.

  43. See the papers presented by Desmond Ford at the Palmdale Conference: “The Scope and Limits of the Pauline Expression ‘Righteousness by Faith’” and “The Relationship between the Human Nature of Christ and Righteousness by Faith.” Also, see Edward Heppenstall, “Let Us Go On To Perfection,” 57-88, and Hans LaRondelle, “The Biblical Idea of Perfection,” in Perfection: The Impossible Possibility (Nashville, TN: Southern Pub. Assn., 1975), 89-136.

  44. See Herbert E. Douglass, “Men of Faith—The Showcase of God’s Grace,” in Perfection: The Impossible Possibility, 9-56; and C. Mervyn Maxwell, “Ready for His Appearing,” in Perfection: The Impossible Possibility, 137-200.

  45. Desmond Ford and Gillian Ford, For the Sake of the Gospel: Throw Out the Bathwater, But Keep the Baby (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2008), 20.

  46. Desmond Ford, Daniel (Nashville, TN: Southern Pub. Assn., 1978).

  47. Brinsmead explained that “I taught sanctification by atonement, not by attainment.” Larry Pahl “Where is Robert Brinsmead?” Adventist Today, May/June 1999, 12.

  48. Robert Brinsmead, “1844” Re-Examined Syllabus (Fallbrook, CA: International Health Institute, 1979); Robert Brinsmead, Judged by the Gospel: A Review of Adventism (Fallbrook, CA: Verdict Publications, 1980).

  49. Desmond E. Ford, “The Investigative Judgment: Theological Milestone or Historical Necessity” (talk given at the Adventist Forum in Angwin, CA, October 27, 1979).

  50. Originally there were 27 fundamental beliefs in number but later this number expanded to 28 after an additional belief was inserted in 2005.

  51. Uriah Smith, A Declaration of the Fundamental Principles Taught and Practiced by Seventh-day Adventists (Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press, 1872).

  52. This reflects theological developments that coalesced and found strong expression in Questions on Doctrine. Adventism can refer to the cross as a complete sacrificial atonement (an event) but also to atonement as a process involving the whole work of Christ (incarnation, death, resurrection, intercession, judgment, return, etc.) of which the cross is the crucial work of justice and mercy, and the second advent is the culmination of the plan of salvation.

  53. “Consensus Document,” Ministry, October 1980, 16-19.

  54. “Statement on Desmond Ford Document,” Ministry, October 1980), 20-22. This document was not an official work of the committee but played a decisive role in the meeting.

  55. “Parmenter- Ford Correspondence,” Ministry, October 1980, 10-11.

  56. “The apotelesmatic principle . . . affirms that a prophecy fulfilled, or fulfilled in part, or unfulfilled at the appointed time, may have a later or recurring, or consummated fulfilment.” Ford, “Daniel 8:14,” 485. Cf. the helpful overview and discussion of the Apotelesmatic Principle in Gerhard Pfandl, “Understanding Biblical Apocalytic,” in Biblical Hermeneutics: An Adventist Approach, ed. Frank M. Hasel (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute/Review and Herald Academic, 2020), 279-281.

  57. See Desmond Ford, “Daniel 8:14, the Day of Atonement, and the Investigative Judgment.”

  58. See Ford, “Daniel 8:14,” chap. 3.

  59. See Ford, “Daniel 8:14,” chap. 2.

  60. Desmond Ford, The Investigative Judgment and the Everlasting Gospel: A Retrospective on October 27, 1979 (N.p.: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016), 3.

  61. Ford and Ford, For the Sake of the Gospel, 21.

  62. Frank B. Holbrook, ed., Daniel and Revelation Committee Series, 7 vols. (Silver Springs, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1986-1992).

  63. Martin Weber, Some Call It Heresy (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 1985); Marvin Moore, The Case for the Investigative Judgment: Its Biblical Foundation (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2010); Clifford Goldstein, 1844 Made Simple (Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1988); Clifford Goldstein, False Balances (Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1992); Clifford Goldstein, Graffiti in the Holy of Holies: An Impassioned Response to Recent Attacks on the Sanctuary and Ellen White (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2003).

  64. Frank B. Holbrook, The Atoning Priesthood of Jesus Christ (Berrien Springs, MI: Adventist Theological Society Publications, 1996); Roy E. Gane, Altar Call (Berrien Springs, MI: Diadem, 1999), republished (slightly revised) as The Sanctuary and Salvation: The Practical Significance of Christ’s Sacrifice and Priesthood (Madrid, Spain: Editorial Safeliz, 2019); Roy E. Gane, Who’s Afraid of the Judgment? (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2006); Martin Pröbstle, Where God and I Meet: The Sanctuary (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 2013); and Richard M. Davidson, A Song for the Sanctuary.

  65. William H. Shea, Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, rev. ed., Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992), 1:67-110.

  66. William G. Johnsson, “Conditionality in Biblical Prophecy with Particular Reference to Apocalyptic,” in The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Washington, DC: Biblical Research Institute, 1986), 3:259-286. See also Pfandl, “Understanding Biblical Apocalyptic,” 266-271.

  67. For example, Ford believed that the little horn of Daniel 8 could have at least 5 “fulfilments:” Antiochus Epiphanes; pagan Rome; papal Rome; and Satan before and at the end of the millennium. Even more seem to be envisioned by his statement that “every era of revival of the truths symbolized in the sanctuary may claim to be a fulfilment of Dan. 8:14.” See Ford, “Daniel 8:14,” 486.

  68. Richard M. Davidson, “Sanctuary Typology,” in Symposium on Revelation: Introductory and Exegetical Studies —Book 1, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992) 6:99-130; see also the discussion in Davidson, A Song for the Sanctuary.

  69. Kenneth A. Strand, “Foundational Principles for Interpretation,” in Symposium on Revelation: Introductory and Exegetical Studies, Book 1, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992) 6:18.

  70. Davidson, “Sanctuary Typology,” 130; Davidson, A Song for the Sanctuary, 313-333..

  71. See chapter 17 in the book by Davidson, A Song for the Sanctuary. See also Richard M. Davidson, “The Divine Covenant Lawsuit Motif in Canonical Perspective,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 21, nos. 1–2 (2010): 45–84; Eric C. Livingston, “Investigative Judgment Scriptural Concept,” Ministry, April 1992, 12-14.

  72. Shea, Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation, 1:31-66.

  73. Richard M. Davidson, “The Meaning of Nisdaq in Daniel 8:14,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 7, no. 1 (1996): 107-119.

  74. Arthur J. Ferch, “Commencement Date for the Seventy Weeks Prophecy,” in The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Washington, D.C.: Biblical Research Institute, 1986), 3:64-74; William H. Shea, “When Did the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9:24 Begin?,” in Symposium on Revelation, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992), 6:375-394; Brempong Owusu-Antwi, The Chronology of Dan 9:24-27, Adventist Theological Society Dissertation Series, vol. 2 (Berrien Springs, MI: Adventist Theological Society Publications, 1995); William H. Shea, “Supplementary Evidence in Support of 457 B.C. as the Starting Date for the 2300 Day-Years of Daniel 8:14,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 12, no. 1 (2001): 89-96.

  75. Martin Pröbstle, “Truth and Terror: A Text-oriented Analysis of Daniel 8:9-14” (Ph.D. diss., Andrews University, 2005).

  76. Paul Birch Petersen, “The Theology and the Function of the Prayers in the Book of Daniel” (Ph.D. diss., Andrews University, 1998), 209-210; Paul Birch Petersen, “The Prayers of Daniel,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 7, no. 1 (1996): 51-63.

  77. Angel Manuel Rodríguez, “The Heavenly Books of Life and of Human Deeds” (shelf document, Biblical Research Institute, Silver Spring, MD, November 2001), 1-15, https://adventistbiblicalresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/Heavenly-books.pdf; Angel M. Rodríguez, “Transfer of Sin in Leviticus,” in The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Washington, DC: Biblical Research Institute, 1986), 3:169-197. See also Alberto R. Treiyer, “The Day of Atonement as Related to the Contamination and Purification of the Sanctuary,” in The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Washington, D.C.: Biblical Research Institute, 1986), 3:198-256.

  78. Roy E. Gane, Cult and Character: Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2005; Roy E. Gane, Leviticus, Numbers, NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), especially 102-107, 277-297, 366-368. See also Roy E. Gane, “Privative Preposition min in Purification Offering Pericopes and the Changing Face of ‘Dorian Gray,’” Journal of Biblical Literature 127 (2008): 209-222. Roy E. Gane, “Purification Offerings and Paradoxical Pollution of the Holy,” in Writing a Commentary on Leviticus: Hermeneutics – Methodology – Themes, ed. Christian A. Eberhart and Thomas Hieke, Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 276 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019), 115-125.

  79. George E. Rice concluded that the veil could be any of the three veils in Sanctuary as seen in “Hebrews 6:19– Analysis of Some Assumptions Concerning Katapetasma,” in Issues in the Book of Hebrews, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1989), 4:229-234. But see the alternative interpretation by Roy E. Gane, “Re-Opening Katapetasma (‘Veil’) in Hebrews 6:19,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 38, no. 1 (2000): 5-8.

  80. See the discussion between Young and Davidson in, Norman H. Young, “Where Jesus Has Gone as a Forerunner on Our Behalf (Hebrews 6:20),” Andrews University Seminary Studies 39, no. 2 (2001): 165-173; Richard M. Davidson, “Christ’s Entry ‘Within the Veil’ in Hebrews 6:19–20: The Old Testament Background,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 39, no. 2 (2001): 175–190; Norman H. Young, “The Day of Dedication or the Day of Atonement? The Old Testament Background to Hebrews 6:19-20 Revisited,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 40, no. 1 (2002): 61-68; Richard M. Davidson, “Inauguration or Day of Atonement? A Response to Norman Young’s ‘Old Testament Background to Hebrews 6:19–20 Revisited,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 40, no. 1 (2002): 69–88. See also Félix Cortez, Within the Veil: The Ascension of the Son in the Letter to the Hebrews, Studies in Jewish and Christian Literature (Dallas, TX: Fontes Press, 2020), 146-258.

  81. Carl P. Cosaert, “The Use of Hagios for the Sanctuary in the Old Testament Pseudepigraphy, Philo and Josephus,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 42, no. 1 (2004): 91–103.

  82. Johnsson argues that Hebrews affirms a “real deity, real humanity, a real priest, a real covenant, a real sacrifice, real purification, real access, and in keeping with these, a real heavenly sanctuary and ministry,” see William G. Johnsson, “The Heavenly Sanctuary—Figurative or Real?,” in Issues in the Book of Hebrews, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1989), 4:50.

  83. Richard M. Davidson, “Sanctuary Typology,” in Symposium on Revelation: Introductory and Exegetical Studies, Book 1, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992), 6:102-106.

  84. Angel Manuel Rodríguez, “The Sanctuary,” in Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, ed. Raoul Dederen, Commentary Reference Series 12 (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 2001), 382, 383, 389.

  85. Gerhard Pfandl, “The Reality of the Heavenly Sanctuary,” Perspective Digest 19, no. 3, July 1, 2014, accessed January 17, 2021, https://www.perspectivedigest.org/archive/19-3/the-reality-of-the-heavenly-sanctuary.

  86. Marvin Moore, The Case for the Investigative Judgment: Its Biblical Foundation (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2010), 277.

  87. Uriah Smith, The Sanctuary and The Twenty-three Hundred Days of Daniel 8:14 (Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press, 1877), 214-219.

  88. Modern maximalists are careful to emphasize that the heavenly sanctuary is not identical to any particular Old Testament type (wilderness tabernacle, Solomon’s temple, Herod’s temple) but it is only like what the various sanctuaries have in common (two apartments). Modern maximalists tend to be more careful and restrained in their continuity than in the past, See chapter 2 of the book by Davidson, A Song for the Sanctuary.

  89. Gerhard Pfandl, “Desmond Ford and the Righteousness by Faith Controversy,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 27, nos. 1-2 (2016): 344. In the discussion about the understanding of biblical justification, the Palmdale Conference (April 23-30, 1976) played an important role, where nineteen scholars and administrators from Australia and America met at Palmdale, CA, to discuss the topic of salvation. The delegation was let by Elder Robert H. Pierson, the General Conference president and included Raoul Dederen, N. R. Dower, W. Duncan Eva, Desmond Ford, R. R. Frame, W. J. Hackett, Gordon M. Hyde, A. S. Jorgensen, C. D. Judd, Hans K. LaRondelle, L. C. Naden, Don F. Neufeld, Robert W. Olson, Robert H. Parr, Alwyn P. Salom, C. R. Stanley, S. M. Uttley, and Kennth H. Wood. The following papers were read and discussed at Palmdale: D. F. Neufeld, “Word Studies in the area of Righteousness by Faith”; A. P. Salom, “The Concept of Righteousness in the New Testament”; R. W. Olson, “E. G. White’s Concept of Righteousness by Faith”; R. Dederen, “Justification by Faith as Understood by the Reformation Leaders”; D. Ford, “The Scope and Limits of the Pauline Expression ‘Righteousness by Faith’”; K. H. Wood, “The Historic Adventist Concept of Righteousness by Faith”; H. K. LaRondelle, “The Eschatological Dimensions of Righteousness by Faith”; A. S. Jorgensen, “A Conspectus of the Righteousness of God”; D. Ford, “The Relationship between the Human nature of Christ and Righteousness by Faith”; and K. H. Wood, “The Historic Adventist Concept of the Human Nature of Christ”. A report of the Palmdale Conference can be found in the article “Christ our Righteousness” in Review and Herald, vol. 153, no. 19 (May 27, 1976), 4-7.

  90. See the admonitions in Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, 3 vols. (Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1958, 1980), 3:168; Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1923), 92.

  91. Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, rev. ed. (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1911), 479-491.

  92. Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1917), 582-592.

  93. Ivan T. Blazen, “Justification and Judgment,” in The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Washington, DC: Biblical Research Institute, 1986), 3:339-388; Woodrow Whidden II, The Judgment and Assurance: The Dynamics of Personal Salvation (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 2012); Richard M. Davidson, “Assurance in the Judgment,” in Salvation: Contours of Adventist Soteriology, eds. Martin Hanna, Darius Jankiewicz, and John W. Reeve (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2018), 395-416. Many more examples could be given.

  94. Richard Rice, The Reign of God: An Introduction to Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1997).

  95. Richard Davidson devotes the 28th chapter of his book, A Song for the Sanctuary, to exploring the teaching’s relevance. Marvin Moore does something similar in his book The Case for the Investigative Judgment: Its Biblical Foundation (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2010), 335-343.

  96. Recognized by W. E. Read in “The Investigative, or Pre-Advent, Judgment: Does This Teaching Have Any Biblical Basis?” Ministry, July 1960, 4.

  97. See the pre-defection comments of Dudley M. Canright, “The Two Absurdities,” ARH, January 19, 1869, 27.

  98. See Fernando L. Canale, “Philosophical Foundations and the Biblical Sanctuary,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 36, no. 2 (1998): 183-206. See also further implications of different philosophical conceptions of God (such as impassibility) in John C. Peckham, “Toward a Systematic Theology of the Sanctuary – Part I,” Theologika 33, no. 2 (2018): 212-217; John C. Peckham, “Toward a Systematic Theology of the Sanctuary – Part II,” Theologika 34, no. 1 (2019): 3-31.

  99. Knight, ed., Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine, 321-336. See also W. E. Read, “The Investigative, or Pre-Advent, Judgment: Does This Teaching Have Any Biblical Basis?” Ministry, July 1960, 4; and Woodrow W. Whidden, “Adventist Theology: The Wesleyan Connection,” Biblical Research Institute, accessed January 18, 2021, https://adventistbiblicalresearch.org/materials/adventist-theology-the-wesleyan-connection/

  100. Roy E. Graf, The Principle of Articulation in Adventist Theology: An Evaluation of Current Interpretations and a Proposal, Adventist Theological Society Dissertation Series 11 (Berrien Springs, MI: Adventist Theological Society Publications, 2019), 179-180.

  101. Darius W. Jankiewicz, “The Theological Necessity of the Investigative Judgment: Albion Ballenger and His Failed Quest to Subvert the Doctrine,” in Eschatology from an Adventist Perspective: Proceedings of the Fourth International Bible Conference: Rome, June 11–20, 2018, eds. Elias Brasil de Souza, A. Rahel Wells, Laszlo Gallusz, and Denis Kaiser (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 2020), 519-558.

  102. See Anthony MacPherson, The Redeemed Good Defence: The Great Controversy as a Theodicy Response to the Evidential Problem of Evil (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2021).

  103. For a discussion of the investigative judgment and theodicy see Anthony MacPherson, “Theodicy and Contrasting Eschatological Visions: The Investigative Judgment and the Problem of Evil,” in Eschatology from an Adventist Perspective: Proceedings of the Fourth International Bible Conference: Rome, June 11–20, 2018, eds. Elias Brasil de Souza, A. Rahel Wells, Laszlo Gallusz, and Denis Kaiser (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 2020), 457-476.

  104. Cf. David Trim, “Reaching the World: How Did We Do?” The Global Church Member Survey 2018 Annual Council Report, October 15, 2018, https://www.adventistresearch.info/wp-content/uploads/AC2018-Global-Church-Member-Survey-Data-Report.pdf; “New Data: Views on the Doctrine of the Sanctuary,” Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research, March 20, 2019, accessed March 14, 2022, https://www.adventistresearch.info/new-data-views-doctrine-sanctuary/. “Seventh-day Adventist Global Data Picture. Report on Global Research,” 2011–13 Annual Council, 2013, accessed March 14, 2022, https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Statistics/Other/ACRep2013.pdf; Leanne M. Sigvartsen, Jan A. Sigvartsen, and Paul B. Petersen, Beyond Beliefs 1: What Millennial Young Adults Really Think of the 28 Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (N.p.: ClergyEd.com, Andrews University Department of Religion & Biblical Languages, 2014), 376, 377; “Seventh-day Adventist Global Data Picture. Report on Global Research,” 2011–13 Annual Council, 2013, accessed March 14, 2022, https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Statistics/Other/ACRep2013.pdf; Leanne M. Sigvartsen, Jan A. Sigvartsen, and Paul B. Petersen, Beyond Beliefs 1: What Millennial Young Adults Really Think of the 28 Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (N.p.: ClergyEd.com, Andrews University Department of Religion & Biblical Languages, 2014), 376, 377.

×

MacPherson, Anthony. "Investigative Judgment (Judgement)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. September 26, 2022. Accessed November 29, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7FOL.

MacPherson, Anthony. "Investigative Judgment (Judgement)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. September 26, 2022. Date of access November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7FOL.

MacPherson, Anthony (2022, September 26). Investigative Judgment (Judgement). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7FOL.