This is the first post in a series I am blogging on the Investigative Judgment. To kick this off I am going to cover the teaching of Ellen White that Jesus did not enter the Most Holy in heaven until 1844. Without this piece of the Investigative Judgment the rest of the doctrine falls with it. To summarize, Ellen White taught that when Jesus Christ first ascended into heaven he entered only the first apartment of the temple in heaven where he performed an intercessory mission until October 22 1844.
According to the motif, on that date Jesus entered the Most Holy section of the temple in heaven for the first time. This is very important to SDA because in their early days the advent movement lead by William Miller had predicted that the world would end on that date. When the second coming didn’t happen it was a huge blow to all of those who held the belief. Many had sold their farms and possessions expecting to leave the planet.
Shortly after what SDA call the “Great Disappointment” a member of the advent movement claimed to receive a vision.
“Heaven seemed to open to my view, and I saw distinctly and clearly, that instead of our high priest coming out of the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary to come to this earth on the tenth day of the seventh month, at the end of the 2300 days, that he for the first time entered on that day the second apartment of that sanctuary; and that he had a work to perform in the Most Holy before coming to this earth” -Hiram Edson 1844 Cornfield Vision
This vision was given a prophetic blessing by Ellen G White when she affirmed with the following:
“Thus those who followed in the light of the prophetic word that, instead of coming to the earth at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the Most Holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory to his coming.” The Great Controversy, p. 422
What I am addressing in this post is that a fundamental flaw in this view is that the Bible clearly teaches Jesus went to the Most Holy place directly after his ascension. There is no teaching in scripture that he waited ~1811 years first. Please review the verses pasted below:
“So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19 ESV
“that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,” Eph 1:20 ESV
“But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56 ESV
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Rom 8:34 ESV
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Col 3:1 ESV
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Heb 1:3 ESV
“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Heb 6:19-20 ESV
“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,” Heb 8:1 ESV
“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,” Heb 10:12 ESV
“looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2 ESV
“who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.” 1 Ptr 3:22 ESV
“The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Rev 3:21 ESV
“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? Matt 22:44 ESV
Please notice the following verbiage that is used in the above passages, particularly that there was no time gap in between the ascension and the arrival of Christ to the right hand of the Father.
“is seated at”
“he sat down”
“who is at”
Clearly these phrases are all in the past or present tense, not in the future. In response many SDA will assert that Jesus had to pass through the Holy Place before getting to the Most Holy because of the construction and layout of the earthly temple. The problem with that argument is that by the time the apostles are writing the above verses Jesus was already in the Most Holy place in the universe. They refer to it as a place that he both already went to and currently resided in the first century. For SDA theology to be correct Christ would have had to enter into the most holy place on Oct 22, 1844.
Some SDA assert that the throne room must be in the holy place instead of the Most Holy. This doesn’t even work with their system of teaching. The reason for that is SDA believe that the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary is an anti-type fulfillment of the earthly sanctuary. If this were true one would have to note that God resided in the Most Holy of the earthly sanctuary, therefore to be in keeping with that motif the same must also be true in the Heavenly Sanctuary.
For the record I don’t believe there is any Biblical reason to assume that the temple on earth was a replica of the one in heaven. That is an SDA-ism not cleary taught in scripture anywhere. But even if it were true, the fact is that in the earthly temple God always dwelt in the Most Holy. In these verses Jesus is sitting right next to God the Father, so even if the temple in heaven is the same then that is where Jesus would have gone immediately to in ~33 A.D. not 1844.
Bear in mind, as the quotes above from SDA teaching clearly state, for the Investigative Judgment to be relevant with regards to the date of Oct 22 1844 then all of the above scripture must be false. You have to choose between Ellen White and scripture on this, you can’t have both.
I’m amazed that anyone could believe this false doctrine, but I’ve seen it in my own family. The IJ is so hopeless and depressing. It tears away any assurance of salvation, but instead instills a life full of fear and dread. I just wish more mainstream churches were aware of it and would help these people!
Very clear, precise explanation. Good job, thanks!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hey thanks for reading and I’m glad you were blessed by it. I’ll be on this topic for a while.
This is a great write. Thanks for sharing. I remember when I was young, being raised SDA having fear that I may have ‘missed a sin’ when praying for forgiveness. I see now that came from EW false doctrine and the IJ teachings.
Hey thanks for your story and I’m glad that you enjoyed the post! More to come if you are interested in this topic.
That is the clearest and most concise explanation of why that doctrine does not agree with the Bible. Thank you for putting effort into this and sharing it with us all. I pray that my mother and step father will eventually have the veil lifted from their eyes. If i have the opportunity to discuss this with them…..this will be very valuable.
Amen to that! Glad you enjoyed it! I’ll be on this topic for a while.
So I have decided to test what you have said and here is what I find.
In The book of revelation John is taken to the heavenly sanctuary in vision while on the Isle of patios.
Most of The scriptures you presented say Christ went and sat at the right hand of God. You said sda believe there was a throne in the holy place and you shared nothing to prove there wasn’t.
In my study of revelation there is substantial evidence that God’s throne is in The holy place and later in the most holy place. Please note that it is a biblical fact that God’s throne can move.
Here’s what I found from the first 8 chapters. ..
John first sees into the holy place. He talks about the articles of furniture in order.
THE GOLDEN LAMP STAND/ THE SEVEN CHURCHES
then John sees the throne. If he was already behind The veil he could not have seen the golden lampstand that stood in the holy place.
Please read the. Following chapters, they declare that the lampstand was before (or in front/ ahead) of the throne. This indicates that the throne was near or at the table of showbread and the lampstand in the sanctuary was accordingly directly across from the table. The sea of glass is the vast open floor of the holy place.
Add to this the fact that the bible shows God’s throne is in the sides of the north. Which is where the table was.
THE TABLE OF SHOWBREAD/ THE SEVEN SEALS
Chapter 7 is a detailed account of some of the events transpiring the the previous opened seals. Then the seal opening continues after that intermission.
Now its clear that John sees the throne after the lampstand. Right? I assert from the scriptures that the throne is at the table of showbread at this point. So the following chapters must continue as I have shown they started. Remember I said John is going through the sanctuary in order of articles of furniture. So next after the throne (at the table of showbread) He must go to the altar of incense right? That’s exactly what happens.
THE ALTER OF INCENSE/ THE SEVEN TRUMPETS
please read all The chapters with these things in mind.
From chapter 11 onwards John sees into the most holy place and could not have been there previously.
So to be clear I’m presenting one point here. That all but one of the scriptures you shared to prove jesus went into the most holy are not proof at all and could just could apply to the actual throne in the holy place.
Please let’s study and discuss to find the truth.
Actually as I recall I presented that the presence of God was always in the most holy on earth. There was no throne or ark in the Holy place only the most holy.
Also your argument is predicated on two flaws.
First, is that you need John to be referring to the lampstands of the earthly sanctuary. He says the seven lampstands are the seven churches. So its reasonable to assume that he means this figuratively. Can I pour oil into our heads and light a wick? No I can’t.
Second you’re also assuming that the sanctuary on earth was a replica of the one in heaven.
There is no clear scripture we see to support this it has to be eisegeted. And without that your argument is moot. Especially in the case of so much clear scripture that negates your view even if it is patterned the same. Even if the earthly sanctuary is a replica, then that only makes your argument weaker as it would place God in the most holy. And if that is the case then when Jesus went to the right hand of the father he did so in 33 AD rather an 1844.
The bible is very clear that the earthly was a representation of the heavenly. Studying The chapters as I mentioned will prove to you without a doubt that the sanctuaries are the same layout. Don’t argue with me but discuss when you have gone over the chapters in The way I pointed out.
I have read them, and there is no clear textual support whatsoever. I can see where Moses was given directions to build a sanctuary. I can see that there exists a sanctuary in heaven. But I cannot see that they are identical.
Just an example would be the most holy with the throne room. There are supposed to be 24 elders and the train of the glory of God and a throne with spinning wheels, fire, etc. That sounds like a rather large room to me.
You need a verse that actually states that the sanctuary on earth was a replica of the one in heaven. Otherwise you are eisegeting that concept.
And what really busts your bubble is once you do prove its a replica you have just disproven investigative judgment.
As I said, God dwelt in the Most Holy over the ark. If the sanctuary in heaven is the same then that is where the throne would be.
The Bible is clear that Jesus went straight to the throne at the ascention.
To move the throne around in your imagination after my pointing that out is begging for special pleading. I’m not going to entertain that. You would need a verse that says
“Christ ascended to the throne in the most holy that will one day move into the most holy when the investigative Judgement begins”
That’s another thing, the new testament is the clear Revelation. I have a post on this go check it out.
You’re wanting me to read types and shadows of an eschatological fulfilment as if the new testament is pointing to your life. I reject that. The old testament is types and shadows pointing to Christ. Since we can expect clarity in the new testament any doctrine relying on unclear renderings of new testament text must therefore be wrong. Pure and simple.
LikeLiked by 1 person
well I have read his comment and he is actually out of context, what I think is a seed in all that you are saying is that there is or was a false doctrine in the SDA church and that it is not biblically supported. I am looking at the seed in the piece of article you posted and the seed is that Christ Jesus ascended to heaven and seated at right hand side of the Father. Whether in the holy or the holiest temple , there was no systematical or periodical movement to the right hand side if the father. And I say that it is a false doctrine and it must be condemned, we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free. kudos brother and keep it up. This is my first time of reading your post
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thanks for reading my post BTW.
Revelation is admittedly a book of symbols. Therefore, generally one has to treat Revelation as FIGURATIVE and must not be interpreted literally.
Revelation is quite a unique book compared to the other books of the New Testament. Its literary genre is Jewish Apocalyptic, a literary style with heavy use of Old Testament terms, symbols, images and conversations of heavenly beings, which, more often than not, are symbolic and must not be taken literally.
The key to understanding Revelation is set out at the very first verse, that it is the “revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1). Divine revelation was made in time and history. History is the stuff of revelation. God revealed Himself, His character, will and purpose for man by acting in human history now recorded in the Bible. Some call this “salvation history,” others “redemptive history.” The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Christ Event for the sake of brevity, was the consummation of that history. Divine revelation is “historical event plus God’s own interpretation of the event.” For example, the event of the crucifixion of Jesus, a plain reading of this historical event reveals that Christ was condemned to die under Jewish Law for blasphemy and under the Roman Law for sedition and rebellion. But God’s interpretation of that event is that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3).
While events in divine revelation ended with Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven, God’s interpretation of those events has been continuing through the illumination of the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-15). In the book of Revelation, the Holy Spirit continues illuminating the Christ Event with His own interpretation of it. We must see the book of Revelation as the revelation of the Christ Event if we are to correctly interpret it.
The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was but a SHADOW, a SYMBOL of which Christ is the REALITY. The Temple was a symbol of God’s presence in Israel, it was God’s dwelling place. Being Christ’s symbol, everything in it was a symbol of Christ. The whole Temple was a symbol of the HUMANITY of Jesus Christ wherein the FULLNESS of the Godhead dwelt (John 2:19-22; Col. 2:9). That is what “Temple” means, God’s dwelling place.
Every ornament in the Temple symbolized Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb being slain on the altar of burnt offering. He is the living water (laver), the bread of life (shewbread), the light of the world (Lampstand), the sweet-smelling savor (incense), the glory of God (shekinah), the moral perfection of God (represented by the Ten Commandments in stone tablets), the perfect righteousness of God (represented by the white linen in and around the Temple), the God-Man Mediator (represented by the veil between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place), the High Priest (as represented by the Aaronic high priests).
What does all of this teach us? That Jesus Christ is the REAL TEMPLE of which the Jewish Temple was but a SHADOW! In other words, there is no literal Temple in heaven! Jesus is that Temple in heaven. That is why at the end of Revelation John says of Jerusalem, “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:22).
What John saw as the Temple of God in heaven is symbolic of Christ, as He projects His will upon heaven and earth which are under His authority as the Messianic King in the kingdom of God! (Matt. 28:18; Rev. 1:5). Angels coming out of the Temple in heaven simply means messengers are being sent by King Jesus to earth to illumine God’s people of the Truth and the events that are coming upon the earth because of the Christ Event.
To say that there is a literal Temple with literal furnishings in heaven is to miss the God’s revelation of Jesus Christ!
Truth be told I agree with you 100%, the argument I make in this post is mostly directed at internal inconsistencies in the SDA interpretation. To demonstrate them effectively I attempted to use their own assumptions and false theology against the investigative judgement.
For example, I believe that Jesus can and does exercise omnipresence in his flesh when and how he wills to do so. Not by mixing the two natures per se, but certainly they do commune.
Obviously that would render my argument in this post obsolete because it’s based on a zwinglian christology that SDA employ. The post is for SDA though, and the goal is to show how inconsistent their own theology is so that they might listen and read the next post a bit more closely.
In the final post of this series I present the false gospel that hinges on the investigative judgement and then the actual biblical gospel to surpass it.
The idea is that you start out with law against false theology and then overcome it with the gospel at the end. 😀
God doesn’t live in two apartments in heaven or move between them in an office chair. Also another point the commenter above failed to take account of is that of course John could see the items of the Holy And Most Holy as the veil of the earthly sanctuary was torn from top to bottom at the crucifixion and so in essence it became one room.
LikeLiked by 1 person
The rending of the veil on earth had no impact on The true sanctuary in heaven. The rending if the veil on earth brought an end to that system. It had no more meaning. The sacrifices then offered by the priests meant nothing fire a further 40 years God was not there to hear them and then came deduction of Jerusalem.
Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
You have a problem.
John already saw into the temple in The previous chapters. Now he says it opens and suddenly he can see the only article missing from the previous chapters.
This is because at first he had only entered into the holy place of the temple. But in this verse he then sees past that veil, the door into the most holy place of the temple and sees that ark that was previously unseen.
Its not me who isn’t in accordance with the word but yourself.
Are you saying he is seeing past the veil? Interesting.
How are you sure we are not looking at apocalyptic imagery?
Where does it say the temple is a replica?
How do you know the rending of the veil had no more meaning? Where are you getting that. Please support the claim.
It’s amazing how SDAs read the book book of Hebrews and get the exact opposite message of what it’s really saying. When I read it for myself, it was an eye opener and it settled my doubts about the IJ. I used to teach Sabbath School and I was always worried that one day I would face problems because the topic of 1844 would come up because I always had a bad feeling about it and didn’t quite believe the whole 1844 theory. But reading Hebrews made me see how wrong that doctrine is and i left the SDA long before i was faced with teaching 1844 to anyone, thank God.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Wow! I was told that it was all explained in romans 9. I took their word for it which was a mistake. Then one day I read the chapter and it wasn’t there! Imagine that!
That must have been scary learning all of this while being an SDA teacher.
This is so amazing i like this stuff.
Keep up the good work Armchair Theologian!
LikeLiked by 1 person
There is a light there
Please direct me to understand this verses Daniel 1, to chapter 7 about the statue
I have not yet done a blog post study on those things yet. But I’ll share a bit with you. How one interprets the statue usually depends on their millennium beliefs. I favor amillenialism.
So I would argue that the statue is the nations leading up to Rome. Re in its hay day would be the iron legs. The feet with clay and irons I suspect is the last few centuries of Rome before they completely fell.
There is language about the feet that suggests marriages between those of iron and this of Clay intended to strengthen the whole. We see that at the end of Rome where nobles from the east marry those of the West to keep the government running.
But it doesn’t work. The stone not cut by human hands I believe is Christ and his church. Over the coming years it grows to fill the earth. I would believe this is in time rather than filling the earth at a particular ending point. That is to say, over the succeeding generations Christianity grows on the earth ultimately filling every corner at least at one point in history. And in human history Christianity is the greatest nation of them all, it is the only one that never falls.
This next part is more my opinion that from the statue vision. But I think that Christianity will make its course through every corner of the glove generationally speaking. Once we were in the middle East and then Europe. Today we have all but left those places but are still strong in other Western countries.
In the future I suspect the West will go fully pagan and collapse. But Africa, China, and possibly some other areas will become predominantly Christian. Then the cycle will repeat.
I think this pattern will complete until there is barely any Christians at all and they are hated by the vast majority. When the last person has entered the body of Christ that ever will I believe it is then that the end will come. This could be centuries or millennia from now. I think the end times fever everyone has these days is related to the slow collapse of Western civilization. It’s worth grieving but it’s not the end of the world or Christianity.
That’s my eschatology friend. I intend to blog it more fully in the future but I have a great deal more study to do before I’m confident enough. And my understanding may change. So do your own homework and feel free to share.
As long as you’re confessing that Christ will return to judge the living and the dead and that his kingdom will have no end. And that you don’t make a works righteousness false gospel out of the end times, then you’re free to kinda come to whatever conclusion your study leads you to. We will all find out in the end either way.
This post is hilarious. If God’s throne was in the Most Holy, why wasn’t scripture posted about that? (insert cricket sounds here…), and why didn’t anyone catch that???
All the scripture references about God’s Throne is the temple itself. The Isaiah 6 vision tells us DIRECTLY:
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”
And what about Rev 4? That’s not the Most Holy either!
If God’s Throne was the most Holy Place it would be in scripture. It’s not. Thusly you have crafted your own doctrine and maligned White. Your attempt to disprove the IJ only proves you provided a very sloppy exegesis (I dare use that word with your post) and didn’t even bother to consult scripture. What’s even more sad is the “support” posts – did you guys ever consult scripture???
So you’re saying the most holy place doesn’t have God there? Is his throne room less Holy?
I don’t think you have thought this through.
Keep in mind there are no scriptures that say the temple on earth was a replica of the one in heaven. I’m just demonstrating how the SDA hermeneutic fails when compared to Scripture.
You are assuming alot in your post
The aim of the post is not to present a christological argument or doctrine, but more to demonstrate how unbiblical a Zwinglian view of Christs humanity, which SDA hold to, is when it collides with the investigative judgement.
Thenx I Will Read More Posts Of You
I left the SDA church in the early 1990’s. In addition to Col 2:16, 17 I also based my reformation of theology on Heb 9:12. It says, “…with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (NKJV). Obviously the New Testament, and this passage was written in the First Century AD. Therefore Jesus had already entered the Most Holy Place by the time this passage was written. He entered the Most Holy Place at His ascension.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for this message.
I would like you to throw more light on standing and sitting of Jesus Christ in heaven. When did each happen? Thank you.
This is the most precise and well articulated explanation of the IG
I truly am blessed by it.