The Investigative Judgment Heresy

By David J. Stewart

Investigative Judgment Verses Biblical Redemption

First, there is NO such thing as "Investigative Judgment," it is an exclusive heresy of Seventh-Day Adventists.  This is the unbiblical teaching that Jesus entered into the Holy of Holies in 1843 to begin his work of Investigative Judgment, i.e., the process of deciding who is "worthy" to enter heaven or not. In sharp contrast, the Word of God teaches that NO ONE is worthy of Heaven (Romans 3:23). Christ's work of redemption was FINISHED long ago, and is not continuing today as Adventists foolishly teach.

Many preachers sincerely, but ignorantly, teach that Christ's work of redemption was completed at Calvary; BUT, the blood needed to be applied to the mercyseat in Heaven. When Jesus said, "It is finished," He hadn't yet died, been buried, or rose again. How could the Gospel by finished if Christ hadn't even died yet? So what did Jesus mean? In John 19:28-30, we read...

"After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished...

What was finished? All of the prophecies concerning Christ up until that time. Jesus meticulously paid attention to every detail that had been prophesied concerning Him. Notice that Jesus said, "It is finished," after He received the vinegar.  So, Christ's work of redemption wasn't finished at the time He spoke those words. 

Furthermore, "atonement" is an Old Testament word. The blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin (Hebrews 10:4); BUT, only cover (atone) for those sins. Look up the Greek word for "atonement" and you will see that it means "to cover." Interestingly, this is the same Hebrew word used for the "pitch" used to cover Noah's ark. Thus, the blood of the Old Testament animal sacrifices only temporarily atoned for the sins of the people. In contrast, Jesus' blood sacrifice didn't atone for our sins; BUT, rather, TOOK OUR SINS AWAY (Hebrews 9:12). Hebrews 9:24 states, "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." Notice Jesus' words in John 20:17, "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father..." Jesus needed to take His shed blood to Heaven, to APPLY to the heavenly mercyseat. 

In the time of Moses, God required the people to apply the blood of a slain lamb to the lintel (top of the door) and door posts of each home, or else the firstborn would surely die. We read in Exodus 12:13, "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you..." If the family killed the lamb, but didn't APPLY the blood, then the firstborn died! The blood had to be applied! Likewise, Jesus' blood had to be applied to the mercyseat in Heaven. This is why I so zealously EXPOSE heretics like John MacArthur who claim that Jesus' blood is only representative of Christ's death, and that the blood by itself has no significance. The Word of God proclaims the blood of Jesus, from the blood sacrifice which Abel offered (Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 12:24), to the blood of the Lamb in Revelation (Revelation 7:14).We read these wonderful Words in 1st Peter 1:18,19, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ..."

I only mentioned these Bible doctrines because some of the Christians exposing Seventh-Day Adventism claim that Jesus atoned for our sins at Calvary. As we have seen from the Bible, Jesus didn't atone for our sins, He TOOK OUR SINS AWAY forever. The only mention of the Word "atonement" in the New Testament is in Romans 5:11, and is a mistranslation. It should be the word "reconciliation." Also, Jesus didn't finish His work at the cross, He still needed to ascend into Heaven with the blood that He had shed, to apply it to the mercyseat on our behalf. When Jesus returned from Heaven, He allowed Thomas to TOUCH His scars; whereas, He had told Mary not to touch Him at all. Once the blood had been applied to the mercyseat in Heaven, Christ's work was FINISHED!  What a Wonderful Savior!!!

The Lie of Investigative Judgment

Now, having laid the foundation, let's look at the Seventh-Day Adventist teaching of "Investigative Judgment." The following quote by Ellen G. White is from The Great Controversy...

"As in typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ's work for redemption of men is completed, there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary.  This is the service which began when the 2,300 days ended (according to Mrs. White this was in the year 1844!  Evidently the nineteenth century was more wonderful than we had imagined!-Ed.).  At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our high priest entered the most holy to perform the last division, of his solemn work to cleanse the sanctuary . . . in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ, and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary . . . so the actual cleansing to cleanse the sanctuary. . . in the new covenant the sins of moval, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded.  But, before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement.  The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation–a work of judgment.  Those who followed in the light of the prophetic word saw that, instead of coming to earth at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844 (as Prophet William Miller had so dogmatically and widely proclaimed.—Ed.), Christ then entered in the most holy place of the heavenly, to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory to his coming."

It is heresy for anyone to claim that Christ's work of redemption wasn't completed at the mercyseat. There is NOTHING in the Scriptures teaching otherwise. There is nothing even remotely indicative of an "investigative judgment" (as they term it), where Christ completes His work of redemption. Such a doctrine is damnable heresy! SDAs cannot KNOW they are saved, because of their faulty understanding of Christ's work of redemption. SDAs believe that Jesus is still in the process of redeeming them. 

On the contrary, Hebrews 9:26 teaches, "...but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Jesus didn't need to go into the Holy of Holies repeatedly as did the Old Testament high priests; BUT, only once (Hebrews 9:25)! The very concept of an "Investigative Judgment" would require Jesus to enter into the Holy of Holies AT LEAST TWICE, the second time being in 1844. Clearly this is extremely unbiblical. The heresy of "Investigative Judgment" denies Christ's COMPLETED work of redemption.

According to

"In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He [Christ] entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry."


Blasphemy! There is nothing taught in the Scriptures about a "second phase" of Christ's atoning work. If this be true (which it is not), then salvation can ONLY be found through Seventh-Day Adventism. The notion of a "second phase" of redemption is exclusive to SDA. The Investigative Judgment is a bizarre teaching, not based upon genuine Scriptural teachings. Oh that men would seek the truth of God's Word, and forsake the demonic whore of religion. SDA will take you to Hell.



By Robert K. Sanders, former SDA for 37 years!

LeRoy Froom, an Adventist leader wrote that if the church didn't have the Investigative Judgment message that...

"One would have no justifiable place in the religious world, no distinctive denominational mission and message, no excuse for functioning as a separate church entity today."

SOURCE: Movement of Destiny, p. 542.

The Investigative Judgment is a complex doctrine, unique only to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is complex because the Scriptures have been twisted and manipulated to make this doctrine appear Biblical. Most SDA Church members probably would not be able to explain it without Ellen G. White material in front of them to guide them. 

The false doctrine of Investigative Judgment has been the most controversial and debated doctrine within the SDA Church since it's invention. Ellen White put her visionary stamp of approval on the doctrine, and the SDA cult cannot discard this doctrine without admitting Ellen G. White was a false prophet. They have a tiger by the tail.

I hope to make Ellen G. White's Investigative Judgment doctrine simple to understand, so that sincere Christians can see that it is without Biblical foundation, and that it was the invention of religious fanatics. 

How Did the Investigative Judgment Begin?

Thousands of people from all denominations took part in the "Advent Movement" also known as "The Millerite Movement" and also "The Great Disappointment." These misguided people believed that Christ would return to earth and save them and destroy the wicked including those that rejected William Miller's "date setting" with hell fire raining down from heaven. The first date set for the "end of the world" was in the fall of 1843, then the spring of 1844 and finally they settled on October 22, 1844.

Needless to say all these failure dates passed without the Savior's return. Hence the term, "The Great Disappointment." The failure of Christ not returning to earth divided the Millerites into two groups. The largest group was led  by Wm. Miller who renounced his belief of anything prophetically happening in 1844 and also renounced the SHUT DOOR DOCTRINE. The Millerites went back to holding evangelistic meetings and winning souls for Christ. 

The splinter group led by Ellen G. Harmon (later the wife of James White), James White, Captain Joseph Bates and others held on to the SHUT DOOR DOCTRINE, that the door of salvation to the world was closed. They called themselves, "The Little Flock". 

There was a rift between the Millerites and the Whites/Bates group. "The Little Flock" were trying to prove to the Millerites that they were not mistaken about the 1844 date and THE SHUT DOOR and that something happened. Ellen White blamed God for the failure for Christ not returning, as she claimed that God put his hand over the figures of the chart and they could not see their mistake. EGW claimed the figures were correct, but the event was wrong. She went on to say that instead of Christ coming to earth to cleanse the Sanctuary on earth, he move from the holy to the most holy apartment in 1844 to begin an Investigative Judgment to cleanse the Sanctuary in Heaven. 

It was shortly after the October 22, 1844 DISAPPOINTMENT that the Investigative Judgment theory developed. The I J is not an ancient doctrine from the Bible but is of modern origin.

Ellen White Explains the SDA Investigative Judgment Heresy

Please read carefully and understand what Ellen White says to us from her book, The Great Controversy. In the chapter which deals with the event "that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844," Ellen G. White writes...

         "Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies, and there appears in the presence of God, to engage in the last acts of His ministration in behalf of man - to perform the work of investigative judgment, and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits. 

           "...So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment, the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, at a later period" (The Great Controversy, 1950 edition, page 480).

        "As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected". (The Great Controversy, 1950 edition, page 483). "At the time appointed for the judgment –the close of the 2300 days, in 1844– began the work of investigation and blotting out of sins. All who have ever taken upon themselves the name of Christ must pass Its searching scrutiny. Both the living and the dead are judged 'out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works ". (The Great Controversy, 1950 edition, page 486).

        "Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet He will examine the cases of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Every one must be
tested, and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing". (The Great Controversy, 1950 edition, page 490).

        "The Judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. Forty years has this work been in progress. Soon – none know how soon  – it will pass to the cases of the living." (The Great Controversy, 1884 edition, page 315).



Seventh-Day Adventism is a Demonic Cult!

Seventh-Day Adventists claim that Jesus entered TWICE into the heavenly Holy of Holies; BUT, the Word of God says Christ entered only ONCE...

"But by his own blood he entered in ONCE into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." -Hebrews 9:12

The SDA doctrine of the Investigative Judgment implies that Christ's work of redemption was insufficient, and that Jesus needs to continue His redemptive work in Heaven. The Bible does NOT teach such nonsense. It is blasphemy against the Word of God! The blood which Jesus applied to the heavenly mercyseat was all-sufficient and acceptable to the Father. Christ's work of redemption was complete. It is tragic that men and women, in their woeful stubbornness and pride, are willing to corrupt the Scriptures in order to justify their foolishness and sin. SDA wouldn't exist today if it were not for the foolishness of William Miller, who errantly predicted the Lord's return in 1843. SDA was born out of a failed prophecy!!! This fact alone proves incontrovertibly that SDA is a scam, a hoax, and a false religion rooted in man's sinful pride and wickedness.

SDAs talk out of both-sides-of-their-mouth. On one hand they say that Jesus died once; YET, they simultaneously claim that there is a "second phase" to redemption, i.e., their devilish heresy of Investigative Judgment. Clearly, something is not right with SDA. You'll find it to be true that one lie always requires another lie to prop it up. For example: Catholics sinfully teach that Mary was born without a sin-nature, and that she never sinned one time. They call this the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. But this new doctrine posed a big problem for Catholics, because if Mary never sinned, then Mary couldn't die... For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). 

So to remedy the problem, Catholics fabricated another lie to support the first lie, and called it the Assumption of Mary, i.e., the false doctrine that Mary was bodily assumed into Heaven and never saw death. Do you see how the Devil does things? William Miller fabricated a big lie when he predicted the Lord's return in 1844, and then his followers fabricated an even bigger lie to cover it up, calling the new doctrine, Investigative Judgment. SDA is nothing more than a BIG LIE, as a cover-up to a previous lie.

Clearly, Ellen G. White was a heretic, way out in left field doctrinally. By the way, the David Koresh cult in Waco, Texas was an offshoot of a Seventh-Day Adventist church. Please read, The Hidden Heresies of Seventh-Day Adventism for the incontrovertible truth about the SDA false religion. Seventh-Day Adventism is of the Devil. I plead with you to forsake the Seventh-Day Adventist false religion if you are a victim.  Acts 16:31 is the only invitation which God ever gave for men to be saved ... "Believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."

Sabbath Keepers EXPOSED!