Investigative Judgment – What’s THAT All About?

April 22, 2011 at 4:32 PM 4 comments

Ellen G. White, considered to be a prophet by most if not all within the Seventh-day Adventist movement, has offered a number of theories and theological doctrines that many (to most) within Seventh-day Adventism hold near and dear.

Since it is clear that within the confines of the SDA movement, White is considered to be a prophet, then her words, beliefs, and theological positions come under greater scrutiny.  This is certainly fair and exactly what Jesus emphasized and taught during His earthly ministry, about those who were teaching God’s law (the Scribes, the Pharisees and other religious leaders).  These, Jesus said, would be held to greater accountability (cf. Luke 20:46-47).

The previous reference to Luke is merely one example of the greater accountability that teachers of God’s Word will face because they are in essence, speaking FOR God.  If they get it wrong, they are essentially making God out to be a liar.  This is the difficult part of being a “mouthpiece” for God; the tremendous responsibility that comes to bear on the individual is massive and it would appear that many do not take that seriously.

If you take the time to look around the landscape today, there are so many different views on the same theology.  Does this mean that God’s Word is not clear or that people are not taking the time needed to prayerfully discern His meaning?  I would say it is the latter.  I would also hasten to add that simply because I have an opinion about something, it does not necessarily mean I am correct.  I believe I am correct, otherwise it would serve no purpose to hold a particular view.  That said, I realize that I have not come to the end of my learning yet and will never reach that point in this life.

In light of this, it behooves me (and every teacher) to approach His holy Word with care and humility.  If/when I arrive at viewpoints that I believe are solidly based on His Word, I must still endeavor to have and maintain a humble attitude.  Even if it turns out that I am correct in my view(s), I did not arrive to that view devoid of the indwelling Holy Spirit and His guidance, for which I can take credit.

The Holy Spirit teaches and He does that mainly through His Word.  There are any number of things that I believe that God’s Word teaches and I have arrived to the point of being comfortable enough in many of those beliefs.  Because of that, I also believe there are certain non-negotiables within Christianity; things that are not debatable like salvation by faith alone.  There are no works that a person can do to help achieve or maintain salvation.  Salvation is a process by which a person is born again (cf. John 3), or born from above.  Once this new birth takes place, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell a person and begins the process of creating the image of Jesus within that person.  This will continue for as long as the person lives on this planet.

These and a few other doctrinal positions are non-negotiables as far as I’m concerned.  There is no room for debate though people continually try to debate the merits (or not) of eternal security, etc., and salvation by grace or grace plus works, etc.

Anyone who teaches theology or doctrine based on God’s Word will come under greater condemnation  if they are wrong because they will be speaking for God and possibly leading people astray.

A person who is called a prophet comes under even far greater scrutiny as far as God’s Word is concerned.  A prophet is normally seen in Scripture as foretelling aspects of the future.  This separates the person from simply being a medium, or a person who has what the Bible terms a familiar spirit.  In this case, the person is relying on a demonic entity who lies about the future to make the person believe that the medium has power to define the future.

A prophet speaks for God.  For a prophet to speak for God, they must be correct 100% of the time.  There is no room for making mistakes.  If that occurred in the Old Testament, the person was to be taken outside of the camp and stoned to death.  Retribution was quick then and if were just as quick today, there would be far fewer people who either call themselves prophets, or accept the title foisted upon them by their followers.

It is an incredibly dangerous thing to step out as an alleged prophet of God, deigning to speak His Words only to find out later that it was all vein imaginings that held little to no truth.

Because Seventh-day Adventism has roots going back to Ellen G. White and because many to most (if not all) consider White to be a person of supreme importance within the movement (if not a prophet outright), then it is permissible and fair to learn what she taught and what she meant.

As I present some information here, there will be undoubtedly people who believe that I am misunderstanding what White meant and therefore misrepresenting her teachings.  In an effort to keep this to a minimum, I will refer back to White’s teachings directly, as often as possible.  There may be a number of places where the quotes will be long to avoid missing the context of White’s comments.  The more context is provided, the greater the understanding we will have in the end.

The goal here is not to rip apart Ellen G. White, or Seventh-day Adventism, or those who are Seventh-day Adventists.  The actual goal is to learn the truth about Investigative Judgment.

The problem of course, when anything like this is discussed, people become upset, or offended.  I can certainly understand that, because it was not that long ago when I would become offended with someone who accused me of being a heretic for believing in the PreTrib Rapture.  It seems people want to argue about all sorts of things today, but the reality is that the most important thing Christians should be doing is witnessing to the lost.  My particular view of Eschatology (the end times) doesn’t really affect my salvation at all.

So for those of you who are Seventh-day Adventists and who read this blog of posts dealing with aspects of the SDA theology and Ellen G. White, please understand that I am merely attempting to discover the truth about SDA.  Does Investigative Judgment as taught by Ellen G. White affect how a person is saved?  Is it truth – biblical truth?  Is it a necessary part of orthodox Christianity?

There will also be a need to take the time to discuss aspects of White’s life and how her life was affected not only by being proclaimed a prophet, but by the affect she had on others; namely those who became Seventh-day Adventist in large part, due to her teachings.

We’ll start off with our next blog on these things.

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Mr. Obama is Increasing His Voting Public through Immigration Reform Investigative Judgment – What Do We Know?


  • 1. Corazon  |  March 19, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Wow, what a silent way to Quarrel about a DIVINE topic!

    Fred, as you are the author of this blog, you seem to be OVER UPSET of Simon’s comment. You should expect that as you offered to post it in public any one who responds to your post is correct to whatever is in his mind.

    You sounded so irritated and ANGERED about his statements, when Simon’s statements are so plain, humble and HONEST to himself. You have shown in public that you want other readers to believe that you are correct than him and want him simply NOT to comment at all.

    So what is this room for REPLY after all?

    If you don’t want people to argue with you, much less to debate with your opinion and explain their theology as opposed to yours, why, end this blog it or close it forever and be FREE from stress about how people would reply to it.

    Friend there is no room to get upset or angered these days of what people think or believe about anything, specially about Bible facts, after all we are human beings and God gave us the power of CHOICE. We have no room to impose on anyone to believe what we think is correct…when for him it is wrong?

    If someone’s belief is not with us after we have explained to him the honest truth which we believe in….well no regrets on your part you know what will happen to him when Christ returns right?

    But for your condition now, you have expressed in public that you are not meek, not gentle…the conclusion is where did the fruit of the spirit go? Don’t worry, I will pray for you that the spirit of meekness and lowliness will come back to make you a more effective vessel of truth.

    You will know that the Fruit of the spirit hovers over you because you will never be affected by whatever people may say or respond to you…..when you know that what you have in mind is of the LORD….4

    This reply is long ….so again you will get UPSET . Sorry but I suggest you end this blog if you only welcome people’s positive response and welcome only what you feel is pleasant.

    After all if we claim to have the fruit of the spirit in us, there will be no room for HATE, no room to get UPSET or irritated with what others may say to us.

    No hurt feelings my friend…lets keep calm and meek in the Lord.
    For Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.


    • 2. modres  |  March 19, 2012 at 7:32 PM

      Corazon, I’m not quite sure how to respond to your judgment of me.

      I can assure you that NOTHING in my response is based on HATRED. Have I been upset that Investigative Judgment is something I believe to be anti-biblical in its entirety and it is leading people astray? Absolutely.

      Was Jesus upset when He created a whip and overturned the money changer tables in the Temple? Was He angry toward the religious leaders of His day? Was Paul upset with the Judaizers of Galatia?

      While the fruit of the Spirit is evidenced by the things you state, why are you yourself not evidencing them toward me? Instead you have adopted a position of judgment.

      You have judged me as a HATER, when I am not. Do you believe this judgment of yours to be an attribute of the Holy Spirit?

      I fully and firmly believe your view of what constitutes a Christian to be very skewed. The idea that Christians walk around with flowers in their hair and never get irritated or upset with anything is not found in Scripture. By your own words, you would judge Jesus wanting because of some of His Words and actions. You would do the same with Paul.

      I’m not saying I’m perfect, but neither are you and what you have stated to me could have been stated in an email to me, but you preferred to to have it posted (even though I am under no obligation to post your comments). How is this in keeping with Matthew 18?

      This is my blog as you yourself have stated. I am not required to post anyone’s comments and I most certainly do not simply post those comments that agree with my position. Most of the time I believe my decorum as a Christian is something that brings glory to the Lord, however, I am not perfect, still having the fallen nature until the day I stand before Him.

      You’re attitude leaves a good deal to be desired my friend and I would suggest you take the time to do as Christ says and clear the board out of your own eye before you jump into a conversation that has nothing to do with you attempting to clean out the speck here and there.

      Thanks for writing and so we’re clear, I’m not filled with hatred toward you, nor am I upset. If you could see me face to face and hear my voice, you would know that.


  • 3. Simon  |  April 29, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    Fred, I left a comment on your other post re the Investigative Judgment. I look forward to seeing what exactly you find heretical with the doctrine. In particular, is it:

    – the wider concept of a phased judgment with judicial and executive parts (similar to the Particular Judgment vs General Judgment found in most other Christian traditions, and in Dispenationalism I thought); or

    – the SDA idea that the investigative judgment (i.e. phase #1) began in 1844, rather than immediately upon Christ’s return the heaven; or

    – something else or in addition?

    By the way, you say prophets have to be 100% correct all the time. I thought Nathan was wrong and had to be corrected by God when he told David he could build the Temple? I thought many of Jesus’ own disciples were wrong in relation to the issue of circumsision? I thought Peter had to be corrected in vision about mixing with Gentiles? Was Jonah wrong when he said Ninevah would be destroyed – no because God reserves the right to change His mind in bestowing judgment. What about the inconsistencies between the 4 Gospels about the same events? When it says in Genesis that God cursed the snake and made it eat “dust”, was this literal or a metaphor (because I am pretty sure snakes eat mice not dirt). I could go on, but my point is prophesy is perhaps not as simplistic as you suggest.

    Sure, the visions from God are 100% correct, but the prophets themselves are still human, as is the historical, cultural and linguistic context of their writings. Do you believe prophecy is verbal-inspired or thought-inspired – there is a big difference? And it prophets are 100% correct all the time, why were there so many disagreements in the Early NT Church, when so many of them had the gift of prophecy?

    Not arguing or debating; just asking or stating.


    • 4. modres  |  April 29, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      Simon, your post is too long, but I’ll post it.

      And I WILL get into these things.

      As for your “not arguing or debating; just asking or stating,” please give me a break here. Based on your past comments, OF COURSE you are debating and you’re doing it AHEAD of time. You are no more interested in my responses than anyone else’s who has already dissected this aspect of SDA theology (unique solely to SDA).

      Please – if you are going to respond to my posts, at least be honest about it, all right? Don’t try to hand me something that is an obvious lie, simply because you are trying to get your points across and you try to do it in an impartial way. There is nothing about you that is impartial where SDA is concerned.

      You know, it amazes me how folks like yourself can complain or question my comments (prophets should be 100% correct), yet that is based on what – MY words? No, it is based on God’s WORD. So in the case of Nathan, or anyone else (and NONE of the apostles are considered to be prophets in my book; which is a completely separate office than apostle), their words come under the direct supervision of God’s Word.

      You are full of arguments, but they are all man made. Was Nineveh EVENTUALLY destroyed? Yes.

      Does God ACTUALLY change His mind? Think about it, Simon.

      The “inconsistencies” between the four gospels and the same events? Have you ANY idea how many times those “charges” have been more than adequately responded to, Simon? Apparently, you haven’t done enough research.

      You are also confusing metaphors (snakes eat dust) with literal meaning. It is OBVIOUS that snakes do not eat dust for food. However, it should also be clear that anything crawling along the ground would get dust and dirt IN its mouth. That was the point.

      If I said “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse” would you expect me to eat a horse? If you did, then I would obviously place you on the autism spectrum simply because autistic individuals take words literalISTICALLY most of the time.

      I do NOT consider the early church fathers to be prophets as you obviously do.

      Simon, you are sounding more and more like an atheist every time you respond. All you are doing is trying to throw up a smoke screen in the hopes that no one will figure out what is actually wrong with Investigative Judgment or SDA for that matter. You don’t want people saved. You simply want people to believe lies told by the SDA church and especially “prophet” Ellen G. White.

      Your only motivation is to defend SDA theology.

      Simon, you are mired in false pride and an inability to grasp basic meaning of Scripture. I have published over 24 books, many of the subject of prophecy. I have also published a book called “Interpreting the Bible Literally (is not as confusing as it sounds)” and “The Anti-Supernatural Bias of Ex-Christians,” and others. I’m NOT saying that to brag. I’m simply saying that to make you aware that I have already responded to MANY of the things you mention in this one post of yours and I don’t feel like rehashing it here.

      It is sad that you firmly believe you are so insightful, but in truth, you seem to have no reasoning abilities at all where Scripture is concerned, I’m sorry to say.


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