The Investigative Judgment Has Three Main Problems


(James Peterson) #21

I’ll tell you what else can be said; or rather, what else SDA say. SDA are quite clever. They have said, and do say, that Jesus being at the right hand of God is quite correct. They would agree with you completely. But …, and here is where they would look at you with a smile of triumph, “God’s throne is mobile!

Before 1844, it was in the Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary. On Tuesday October 22, 1844 precisely, the following happened:

I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies [the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary] within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him. I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He arose, and they were left in perfect darkness.

Those who arose when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way. Then He raised His right arm, and we heard His lovely voice saying, “Wait here; I am going to My Father to receive the kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to Myself.”

Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. There I beheld Jesus, a great High Priest, standing before the Father. On the hem of His garment was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. Those who rose up with Jesus would send up their faith to Him in the holiest, and pray, “My Father, give us Thy Spirit.” Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost. In that breath was light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.

Source: The Early Writings of Ellen G. White on the End of the 2,300 Days,

Now, put yourself in the shoes of an SDA who in good conscience really believes that Ellen White was a prophet of God whose visions were equally authentic as the Biblical prophets’. Don’t you see his dilemma in light of “Desmond Ford’s Danielic hermeneutics”?

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(George Tichy) #22

It is sad that the cultic idea has been so strong in the SDAC’ history.

I am lucky to live in an area where this cultism has been reduced to a minimum, some churches don’t talk about it for a long time. I feel like a normal Christian here (SoCal, Riverside).
But I can’t even think of attending a SDA church in regions where the cultic mentality is the locomotive of the church.


(Cfowler) #23

Yes, James…this is so true. I do understand the dilemma.

So, it sounds as if God (as well as Jesus) was not in the MHP either. Okay…:scream:

It just got worse!!!


(reliquum) #24

Does God desire to sit, alone, in some fanciful building, in the holiest of holies-
or does that sanctuary/temple message we’ve overdone six ways to sunday but still choke on, actually point to where He desires His temple to reside (in our hearts)?

Which temple is polluted, and requires cleansing?
Or is the heavenly temple a representative surrogate, a ritual receptacle, where some more feng shui and magic incantations will be recited (ostensibly to cleanse our hearts?)?

I think we need a little child to lead us to the heart of the father, and straighten those of us with too far much knowledge to where we’ve forgotten what its all about…
Still majoring in the symbolic,
utterly failing the practicum.


(jeremy) #25

well, like i’ve said, the jews made the decision to stick with their moses bibles, which they believed was telling them something different than what they were hearing from john the baptist and jesus…and look where it got them…and don’t forget the opposition paul got from the jews who, guess what, were using their moses bibles to oppose him…these examples show that it is possible to follow one’s bible closely and still miss the boat leaving the familiar shore…

the difference between egw’s and the bible prophets’ visions, and ours, is that their visions weren’t self-generated…they originated from a supernatural source…1 Pet 10-11 clearly teaches that genuine prophets have to search around them for the meaning of their visions…visions don’t always come with an explanation, and the fact that they have to search for explanations, using what they can access around them, is neither here nor there…

sure…here’s a text:

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” Jn 16:13.

“shew you things to come” is a reference to the fact that new, unknown things will be revealed as time passes…the holy spirit isn’t simply regurgitating what the church has already been taught by jesus and the apostles…

it’s always been this way…the apostles knew more than the OT prophets, who knew more than moses, who knew more than abraham, who knew more than noah, who knew much more than adam…we in turn know more than the apostles, or even the reformers, because we have the visions of egw…

and btw, this isn’t the end of the revelation story…god will be using prophets in the future to teach the church things that they don’t need to know now…i fully expect a prophet to explain to us Dan 11, and tell us when human probation is closing…we will likely also have a prophet explain to us when we’re in the time of the latter rain, and then the time of trouble…god isn’t going to leave us to figure out these important events on our own…he’s given us the outline of these things through egw, true…but the job of filling in relevant and culturally appropriate details will undoubted fall on the shoulders of a future prophet or prophets…

correct, but the right hand of god has been misunderstood to be a descriptor of sanctuary location, which it isn’t (this is one of the major errors of desmond ford, and a.f. ballenger before him)…the visions of ezekiel in Ezek 1 and 10 clearly portray a mobile throne…Dan 7:9 clearly portrays a mobile god the father on a mobile throne, who is being seated where he wasn’t before…Rev 4:1-5, through its menorah imagery, is a clear portrayal of god the father in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary…these kinds of texts, and there are others, clearly lend credence to egw’s vision which pictures both god the father and the son move into the most holy place from the holy place, as noted by james peterson…

the mistake ford and others make is to look at the fact that the shekinah glory in the OT sanctuary was centered over the mercy seat in the most holy place, and use this as a fixed locator for god the father at all times…this false assumption is why they believe christ must have entered the most holy place at his ascension…but what is not being recognized is that the OT sanctuary was necessarily compartmentalized to keep the daily ministry separate from yom kippur…to insist that god the father is permanently stuck in the most holy place, like an immobile heathen idol, merely because the shekinah glory in the OT sanctuary was centered in the most holy place, is to overlook important mobile imagery for deity in Ezekiel, and as i’ve already pointed out, important mobile and locator information in Dan 7 and Rev 4…above all, it overlooks the mobile nature of the shekinah glory in the OT sanctuary, itself, most notably during events associated with the rebellion of korah, Num 16:41-42, which clearly depicts the shekinah glory not only outside the most holy place, but outside the sanctuary as a whole…

i would do a word search on BRI’s website for more info…there are numerous references to the biblical foundation of 1844/IJ…our eschatology is hardly dependent on egw, but it is the fact that her visions have led us to see these distinctive doctrines, and the biblical verses that allude to them, which all other denominations have overlooked (because, of course, they don’t have egw, or anything remotely close)…


(Elmer Cupino) #26

Z[quote=“vandieman, post:25, topic:2443”]
their visions weren’t self-generated…they originated from a supernatural source…
[/quote]

Do you really believe that EGW received visions from “a supernatural source” but was unable to describe it herself so that she had to “reach out” to others to help her describe that which they were not witness to?

How much more mental gymnastic can there be to explain EGW? How about just describing her as an inspired believer?


(George Tichy) #27

Elmer, remember that religious fanaticism is easily fueled by “supernatural” occurrences. Therefore, for people who are prone to fanaticism, mysticism, elitism, separatism, etc., the idea that the “supernatural” is blowing on them is actually a refreshing feeling.


(jeremy) #29

yes, I do…her early visions were public, and there were numerous witnesses to the fact that she didn’t breathe, had supernatural strength, never blinked, etc., during these visions…even if someone tried, and were on drugs, they wouldn’t be able to duplicate all of these phenomena…

I think we have to understand some of egw’s insecurities, one major one of which was her lack of education…she always felt out of place explaining or describing things to a church which she knew was full of educated individuals…given the undeveloped sense of plagiarism in her day, especially among the uneducated, I think it’s perfectly natural for her to have reached out to educated authorities around her, when she saw they described and wrote what she wanted to describe and write in a way better than she knew she could…

it is true that her writing was heavily edited by assistants, and did show growth over time…these facts, and in a perfect world, would seem to have made her plagiarism somewhat unnecessary…but I think it’s clear that she always had insecurities with coming across as the uneducated woman she was…in addition, she was strapped for time, and probably couldn’t always focus her thoughts even if she’d tried…I also think she developed a bit of a dependency on other writers to cope with these problems…plagiarism was too easy a solution to pass up…by using the words of others, she believed she was making an efficient use of her time…the alternative would have been struggling all day to find the words to express what she felt urged to express on a mere page or two, and then going to bed with a headache every night…


Do We Really Have the Freedom to Choose?
(James Peterson) #30

Perhaps, you should take some time to read Paul’s explanation about why “the OT sanctuary was necessarily compartmentalized.”

He said, “Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience — concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.” (Heb. 9:6-10)

  1. The Holy Spirit would have us know that the MHP was a symbol of the Christian era, so that those who lived before Christ could not walk about and interact and worship there. But now with Christ having come, we can and do enter and remain there through faith.

  2. In other words, the two apartments of the sanctuary were symbolic of two great eras: Before Christ (in which time the Jews of the Old Covenant lived) and Anno Domini (In the Year of Our LORD, in which time we Christians live).

  3. But how then, one would ask, did Christ, as High Priest, enter into the MHP with a sacrifice? The sacrifice was his body so that he entered into the MHP through death, i.e. the Atonement, the offering of his life for us. And since the symbolism must be preserved to the end, that he must enter into the MHP, we see him resurrected and ascended into heaven. Therefore, it is said that the MHP is heaven; where the throne of God is, the true tabernacle not of this creation and which God Himself pitched and not man.

And so it is evident that the MHP was symbolic of heaven, of our time in which Christ is at the right hand of God, having passed through the veil of his flesh (i.e. he died and was resurrected) 1900+ years ago. “To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Heb. 9:28)

There is no such thing as an investigative judgment since 1844.Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16); and that since the resurrection.

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#31

I’m very encouraged that you are calling plagiarism by its right name these days, Jeremy.

And I am not without empathy for Ellen White having painted herself a corner.

What does she say about her own writing process?

Although I am as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet the words I employ in describing what I have seen are my own, unless they be those spoken to me by an angel, which I always enclose in marks of quotation.

http://www.whiteestate.org/vault/Inspiration.html

Fred Veltman, who was commissioned to study this issue for the church, was asked:

How do you harmonize Ellen White's use of sources with her statements to the contrary?

His response:

I must admit at the start that in my judgment this is the most serious problem to be faced in connection with Ellen White's literary dependency. It strikes at the heart of her honesty, her integrity, and therefore her trustworthiness.

As of now I do not have - nor, to my knowledge, does anyone else have—a satisfactory answer to this important question.

http://www.truthorfables.com/Desire_of_Ages_Veltman.htm

In a paper entitled Ellen White and Truth Telling, Dr. James Walters, LLU ethicist, while putting as generous an interpretation on this behavior as possible, nevertheless pointed out that a Christian’s standards, at a minimum, should not be inferior to worldly standards, and brought out the issue of Special Pleading:

Special pleading (or claiming that something is an overwhelming exception) is a logical fallacy asking for an exception to a rule to be applied to a specific case, without proper justification of why that case deserves an exemption.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special_pleading

Jeremy, surely we can agree that Ellen White’s theoretically avoiding headaches was not a justification for throwing the church into turmoil for decades, with no end in sight.

James Walters: ...the point isn’t whether Ellen White can be exonerated through some legal theory or by any particular attorney. As important as it is, the issue isn’t even whether Ellen White’s copying practices were appropriate for writers in her time — or ours. Although law and social ethics are vital, the issue here is religious: Prophetess White set a high standard of honesty for others in her public writings, and she failed to measure up to that standard in her private literary practices.

This has to be dealt with squarely: we have lost our innocence, and the way back into the Garden is barred by a flaming sword.

No special pleading, just facing into “the full catastrophe” with faith and courage will suffice, surely.

Far from being the end of Adventism, it will be the dawn of hope.

Our innocence can’t be regained: once we start finding out how our heroes and heroines lived and what they did, we can never go back to our first pure infatuation with what they made. But our innocence should never be forgotten: and if it is remembered, infatuation matures into admiration, as we blend our knowledge of the creators’ failings and vicissitudes with our gratitude for what they created. Art is for adults, even when it is made by children. Children, left to themselves, tear up each other’s stuff.

—Clive James

The problems with the Investigative Judgment must needs be dealt with later.


(Elmer Cupino) #32

You mean other authors were able to better describe in detail what EGW saw in her visions that they themselves did not see? How deep are you going to dig your hole? I’ve got three grand sons, all below 9 years old who could describe on their own their dreams and nightmares without going through their library to help them describe their dreams.


(George Tichy) #33

Yes Elmer, but be prepared, because if one of them becomes a prophet (or all of them!), that ability will be lost, and they will have to then rely on the local public library. The problem is that the hours of those libraries are not convenient for “borrowing” late at night. So get them some books at home, to make sure they will describe their visions accurately.
This makes a lot of sense, uh?..


(jeremy) #34

james, i’m glad you recognize that paul wrote Hebrews…i strongly suspect that the opening of this important epistle is missing, which is why it opens so differently from paul’s other epistles…that is, my hunch is that Heb 1:1 isn’t the real beginning of this epistle…

the passage you are citing really needs to be read as part of the full discussion of Heb 8-10, which outlines in detail the context paul is discussing, which is the contrast between the earthly OT sanctuary and the heavenly NT sanctuary…by jumping into the middle of Heb 9:6, as you do, and stopping at Heb 9:10, you are mistakenly thinking that paul is contrasting the holy place ministry with the most holy place ministry of the OT sanctuary, and drawing a NT application from that contrast…

but what you have bolded, with respect to Holiest of All, in Heb 9:8, isn’t talking about the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary, at all…it isn’t even talking about the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary…it’s talking about the heavenly sanctuary as whole, which paul is saying is more efficacious in terms of the spiritual opportunities available to god’s people than what was available through the earthly sanctuary…paul is saying that the way into the heavenly sanctuary, and the spiritual experience available to god’s people under the new covenant, was not available while the earthly sanctuary, and its two compartment ministries, were still standing and running…the lesson you are drawing is wholly off…it isn’t being faithful to the proportions of the analogy between the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries paul so carefully establishes in a complete reading of Heb 8 - 10…

we can see this immediately be reading Hebrews 9:11:

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say not of this building;”

here paul is associating jesus’ NT ministry, not in terms of a most holy place ministry, but a heavenly sanctuary ministry…paul is contrasting what jesus is doing, not in terms of what the OT high priest did as opposed to the OT ordinary priests, but in terms of a new ministry in a new sanctuary, “not made with [human] hands”, which he describes as “a new and living way”, Heb 10:20…

again, the contrast between the holy place ministry and most holy place ministry in either the earthly sanctuary or the heavenly sanctuary is not paul’s subject…his subject is the whole ministry of the earthly sanctuary giving way to the whole ministry of the heavenly sanctuary, opened to us by jesus and his sacrifice on the cross…this is not abrogating either 1844 or IJ…that there is no such thing as an investigative judgment since 1844, as you put it, is an unwarranted conclusion that isn’t supported from a contextual reading of Heb 8-10…


(jeremy) #35

my whole feeling about this is that the turmoil of the church has been wholly unwarranted…people were thinking she’d claimed verbal inspiration, or that when she said the words she employed were her own, she was saying she hadn’t used words and phrases she found in references in her library…but as i read her, it’s clear to me that she claimed ownership of words she found in references in her library, and that she distinguished between this and using words she heard from someone in a conversation…to her, whatever she found in her library wasn’t owned by anyone…it didn’t occur to her that using words in print is the same as using words from a conversation…

of course all of this is not how we see it, or even how others saw it at the time…but it is how she saw it…

i think what needed to happen was that someone knowledgeable, whom she trusted, and didn’t suspect of undermining her gift, should have sat down with her and explained how others were perceiving and had the potential to perceive what she was doing…but because she was the acknowledged prophet, she was left to her own devices…it was only individuals like fanny bolton who bucked this and other trends, but unfortunately, fanny had issues that precluded her from having a positive impact…

it is the case that egw was persuaded, towards the end of her ministry, most notably in the 1911 Great Controversy, to attribute her sources…but you can see that even here, there was a learning curve that was remarkably steep…she attributed sources only when pressed to do so, not because she thought inherently that it was the right thing to do…

in egw, we had a meat-eating plagiarist, just like we had a drunk in noah, a liar in abraham, isaac and jacob, an adulterer and murder in david, a misogynist in paul, and an anti-semite in martin luther…no-one that we know anything about seems to have represented a clean slate…but original sin is another subject…


Do We Really Have the Freedom to Choose?
#36

Or maybe Ellen White used Fannie’s perceived flaws as an excuse to take the bit in her teeth and go her headstrong way.

The worst part of it is that Ellen White had a vision about Fannie being her enemy.

This puts the whole Adventist enterprise on such shaky ground that it makes me tremble to consider what is coming.

Adventism has a very dark shadow side which it resolutely refuses to own, while ironically acknowledging that it is Laodicea.

For my part, I can easily, easily understand how Fannie could have lost her sanity trying to grapple with the double binds imposed on her by Ellen White, in the name of God.

I nearly lost my life trying to come to terms with this woman and her frenzied followers.


(Cfowler) #37

Absolutely…I can’t imagine trying to deal with “the Prophet”. I think if anyone, or anything, got in her way, she would conveniently have a vision (from God, of course) condemning that person.

Very dark…


(jeremy) #38

this is what happens when the wrong person takes it upon himself or herself to issue corrections…it exacerbates the situation, because the person being corrected can see that the person issuing the corrections is all off…

fanny was hospitalized in a mental asylum twice, as i recall reading…i don’t believe that a person with normal perception, and knowing fanny for some time, would have missed that there was something not quite right with her…it may be that egw had a vision showing her that fanny was being used by satan to obstruct her ministry, but i believe egw would have dismissed her without that vision…egw had to know that she was probably the most important target of satan at that time, and that she needed to be on the look out for anything irregular…


#39

I have faith in you Jeremy. You’re very smart and very sincere, and I like you a lot.

It’s all good.


(James Peterson) #40

james, i’m glad you recognize that paul wrote Hebrews…i strongly suspect that the opening of this important epistle is missing, which is why it opens so differently from paul’s other epistles…that is, my hunch is that Heb 1:1 isn’t the real beginning of this epistle…

It is the conventional wisdom of SDA that he did. The debate is not relevant to this discussion.

the passage you are citing really needs to be read as part of the full discussion of Heb 8-10, which outlines in detail the context paul is discussing, which is the contrast between the earthly OT sanctuary and the heavenly NT sanctuary…by jumping into the middle of Heb 9:6, as you do, and stopping at Heb 9:10, you are mistakenly thinking that paul is contrasting the holy place ministry with the most holy place ministry of the OT sanctuary, and drawing a NT application from that contrast…

Very well. Let’s begin at 8:1.

Why is Jesus Christ called, not simply priest but rather, High Priest? “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest …” (Heb. 8:1) And again, “For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.” (v.3)

What is the significance of the High Priest’s ministry distinct and apart from the role of normal priests?

but what you have bolded, with respect to Holiest of All, in Heb 9:8, isn’t talking about the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary, at all…it isn’t even talking about the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary…it’s talking about the heavenly sanctuary as whole, which paul is saying is more efficacious in terms of the spiritual opportunities available to god’s people than what was available through the earthly sanctuary…paul is saying that the way into the heavenly sanctuary, and the spiritual experience available to god’s people under the new covenant, was not available while the earthly sanctuary, and its two compartment ministries, were still standing and running…the lesson you are drawing is wholly off…it isn’t being faithful to the proportions of the analogy between the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries Paul so carefully establishes in a complete reading of Heb 8 - 10… we can see this immediately be reading Hebrews 9:11: “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say not of this building;”

May I remind you again that Paul is speaking about the ministry of the high priest, saying that he prefigured the once-for-all-time atonement of Jesus Christ in his once-a-year Day of Atonement service when he alone went into the MHP, “But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this …” (9:7)

here paul is associating jesus’ NT ministry, not in terms of a most holy place ministry, but a heavenly sanctuary ministry…paul is contrasting what jesus is doing, not in terms of what the OT high priest did as opposed to the OT ordinary priests, but in terms of a new ministry in a new sanctuary, “not made with [human] hands”, which he describes as “a new and living way”, Heb 10:20…

Look carefully at the comparison Paul draws between the high priest and Jesus Christ:For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (9:13-14)

It is obvious that Chapter 8 – 10 is about the High Priestly ministry, about entering into the MHP with the proper sacrifice, about the cleansing of the sanctuary, being interpreted, the removal of guilt from the collective conscience of all believers. (9:14)

again, the contrast between the holy place ministry and most holy place ministry in either the earthly sanctuary or the heavenly sanctuary is not paul’s subject…his subject is the whole ministry of the earthly sanctuary giving way to the whole ministry of the heavenly sanctuary, opened to us by jesus and his sacrifice on the cross…this is not abrogating either 1844 or IJ…that there is no such thing as an investigative judgment since 1844, as you put it, is an unwarranted conclusion that isn’t supported from a contextual reading of Heb 8-10…

Rather consider this: “Brethren, having boldness to enter the [MHP] by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:19-22)

Therefore, if by faith I believe in the atonement offered by Christ at Calvary, like the “thief on the cross”, I too can rest in the full assurance Christ gave to him, “I will not forget you. You will be with me in Paradise.” And that was ages before a supposed investigative judgment since 1844.

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(Johnny Carson) #41

Interesting discussion but germane to my salvation only in an informational way rather than one that actively saves me. For those who have an academic curiosity about things Godly, it can inform, maybe even comfort. Overall however, the doctrine of the IJ, be it right or wrong, can be a distraction and even a hinderance if wielded is such a way as to abuse or exclude, which has been the case within Adventism.