James White on the Investigative Judgment, 1857

Review and Herald, January 29, 1857, page 100

“Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.”

THE JUDGMENT.

FOR the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God, and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 1 Pet. iv, 17, 18.

This text we must regard as prophetic. That it applies to the last period of the church of Christ, seems evident from verses 5-7, 12, 13. In the judgment of the race of man, but two great classes are recognized—the righteous and the sinner, or ungodly. Each class has its time of judgment; and, according to the text, the judgment of the house, or church, of God comes first in order.

Both classes will be judged before they are raised from the dead. The investigative judgment of the house, or church, of God will take place before the first resurrection; so will the judgment of the wicked take place during the 1000 years of Rev. xx, and they will be raised at the close of that period.

It is said of all the just, “Blessed and. holy is to that hath part in the first resurrection,” therefore all their cases are decided before Jesus comes to raise them from the dead. The judgment of the righteous is while Jesus offers his blood for the blotting out of sins. Immortal saints will reign with Christ 1000 years in the judgment of the wicked. Rev. xx, 4; 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3. The saints will not only participate in the judgment of the world, but in judging fallen angels. See Jude 6.

“Some men’s sins [the righteousj are open before hand, going before to judgment, and some men [-the wicked ] they follow after.” 1 Tim. v, 24. That is, some men lay open, or confess their sins, and they go to judgment while Jesus’ blood can blot them out and the sins be remembered no more ; while sins unconfessed, and unrepented of, will follow, and will stand against the sinner in that great day of judgment of 1000 years.

That the investigative judgment of the saints, dead and living, takes place prior to the second coming of Christ seems evident from the testimony of Peter. “Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick [livingj and the dead. For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according [in like manner] to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Pet. iv, 5-7.

It appears that the saints are judged while some are living, and others are dead. To place the investigative judgment of the saints after the resurrection of the just, supposes the possibility of a mistake in the resurrection, hence the necessity of an investigation to see if all who were raised were really worthy of the first resurrection. But the fact that all who have part in that resurrection are “blessed and holy,” shows that decision is passed on all the saints before the second coming of Christ.

The judgment of the house of God is evidently shadowed forth by the events of the. tenth-day atonement of the house of Israel. That, in a certain sense, was a day of judgment. The high priest wore the breast-plate of judgment on which was represented the tribes of Israel. Ex. xxxix, 8-21. “For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that day, he shall be cut off from among his people. Lev. xxiii, 29.

The 2300 days [Dan. viii, 14] reached to the cleansing of the Sanctuary, or to the great day of atonement in which the sins of all who shall have part in the first resurrection will be blotted out. Those days terminated in 1844. We think the evidence clear, that since that time the judgment of those who died subjects of the grace of God has been going on, while Jesus has been offering his blood for the blotting out of their sins.

THE BLOTTING-OUT TIME.

When are sins blotted out? Is it at the time when they are forgiven? We think not. We must look to the great day of atonement as the time when Jesus offers his blood for the blotting out of sins. It is at the time of the cleansing of the Sanctuary. Said Peter to the wondering multitude who witnessed the lame man healed, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come- from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Acts iii, 19-21.

Here the time for blotting out of sins is placed forward just prior to the second appearing of Jesus. It is evidently the last great work in the ministry of Christ in the heavenly Sanctuary.

ARE SINS WRITTEN IN HEAVEN?

We think the Scriptures fully warrant the view that a record of the acts of all accountable men are written in heaven. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God ; and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life : and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Rev. xx, 12; Dan. vii, 10. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of retnembrance was written before him for them that
feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.”
Mal. iii, 16.

The book of life contains the names of all who become the special subjects of divine favor, See Dan. Xii, 1; Rev. iii, 5 ; Phil, iv, 3. In the other books are recorded sins, also the pardon of sins repented of, and forgiven with those good works necessary to secure the favor of God. This whole account stands, as written during the probation of every subject of special divine favor since the fall of man, till the time of the judgment of the house of God till Jesus enters the Most Holy to offer his blood for the blotting out of the forgiven sins of all the just.

CHRIST OFFERS HIS BLOOD IN THE HOST HOLY FOR THE BLOTTING OUT OF THE SINS OF THE WHOLE ISRAEL OF GOD.

Christ is the only Saviour offered to the race of man. All who are saved will be saved through him. All, of every age, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, who shall be redeemed, will be redeemed to God by the blood of Jesus Christ. His blood was shed for all. At the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, he is ready to plead the cause of every repenting sinner, and through him sinners may find pardon. He also offers his blood in the Most Holy for the blotting out of the sins of all the just of every age.

“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Heb. ix. 13-16.

In the great day of atonement for the blotting out of the sins of all of every age, the cases of patriarchs and prophets, and sleeping saints of all past ages will come up in judgment, the books will be opened, and they will be judged according to the things written in the books. It is thus, at the end of the 1335 days, [Dan. xii, 13] that

DANIEL STANDS IN HIS LOT.

The first and second definitions of the word lot, as given by Webster, are. 1. “That which in human speech, is called Chance, hazard, fortune, but. in strictness of language, is the determination of Providence; as, the land shall be divided by lot. 2. That by which the fate or portion of one is determined; that by which an event is committed to chance, that is, to the determination of Providence; as, to cast lots; to draw lots.”

By reference to the Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance, we find that the Hebrew word from which lot in Dan. xii, 13 is translated, is ”goh-rahl” This word occurs, and is translated lot, seventy-five times in the Old Testament, besides Dan. xii, 13. That the reader may be able to determine the signification of the word, we will give the seventy-six instances of its use.

” Lev. xvi, 8. Aaron shall cast lots.
one lot for the Lord, and the other
lot for the scape-goat.
9. upon which the Lord’s lot fell.
10. on which, the lot fell.

Num.xxvi 55. the land shall be divided by lot.
56. according to the lot shall the.

See also Num. xxxiii, 54; xxxiv, 13; xxxvi, 2, 3; Josh. xiv, 2; xv, 1; xvi, 1; xvii, 1,14, 17; xviii. 6,
8, 10, 11 J six. 1, 10, 17. 24, 32, 40, 51; xxi. 4, 5J 6,
8. 10, 20, 40; Jud. i. 3 ; xx, 9; 1 Chron. vi. 54. 61,
G3, G5; xxiv. 5, 7, 31; xxv. 8, 9; xxvi, 13,14; Neh.
x, 34 ; si, 1; Est. iii, 7 ; is, 24; Ps. xvi, 5 ; xxii. 18;
cxxv, 3; Prov. i, 14; xvi, 33; xviii, 18; Isa. xvii,
14; xxxiv, 17; Ivii, 0: Jer. xii, 25; Eze. x?iv. 6;
Dan. xii, 13 ; Joel iii, 3 ; Obad. 11; Jonah i, 1;
Micfth ii, 5 ; Nah. iii, 10.

There is another word [gheh-vel] which is translated “region,” “country,” ”lot of inheritance,” &c., as in Deut. iii, 4, 13,14; xxxii, 9 ; Josh, xvii, 5, 14; xix. 9, 29.

It will now be seen that Daniel does not stand in the “lot of his inheritance,” as it has been expressed, at the end of the 1335 days, but he stands in his lot in the decisions of the judgment of the righteous dead.

When did those days end? Evidences are conclusive that the 1335 days ended with the 2300, with the Midnight Cry in 1844. Then the angel [Rev. x, 1-6] swore that time should be no longer. Time here cannot mean duration, as measured in months and years, for 1000 years are measured after this; but it must refer to prophetic time, which was the burden of the angel’s message. As Daniel was to stand in his lot at the end of the days, we must conclude that the judgment of the righteous dead commenced at that time, and has been progressing more than twelve years.

When will the cases of the living saints pass in review in the investigative judgment of the house of God? This is a question worthy the candid and most solemn consideration of all who have a case pending in the court of heaven, and hope to overcome. In the order of heaven, we must look for their judgment to follow that of the dead, and to occur near the close of their probation.

It is most reasonable to conclude that there is a special call to the remnant, and a special work to be performed by them, and for them, preparatory to the decisions of the judgment in regard to them, and that their salvation depends upon fully obeying the calls and counsel to them. And we most solemnly believe that this preparatory call and work is brought to view in the testimony to the Laodiceans, and parallel portions of the word of God.

The judgment call and counsel to the Laodiceans finds them lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot. It finds them in a state where it is necessary for them to be zealous in the work of repentance, that they may find pardon, and obtain that preparation necessary to stand in the judgment. Those who do not fully receive and obey this testimony, but remain lukewarm, Christ will spue out of his mouth, or cast them from his favor and blot their names out of the book of life. The decisive hour is at hand. In this awful hour either sins or names will be blotted out. Those who are zealous and repent of all their sins buy the gold tried in the fire, (true faith,) the white raiment, (the same as the wedding garment, or white linen, which is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that saints will be clothed with—but one place to buy it —Jesus says, buy of me,) and have their eyes anointed with eye-salve, (the anointing of the Holy Ghost,) will have their sins blotted out, while those who remain careless, disobedient and lukewarm, will have their names blotted out of the book of life. Life and death are in this judgment call of the dear Saviour. It is life to fully receive it; death to be careless and neglect it. Now is the time to fully understand what it is to

OVERCOME.

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Rev. iii. 5.

The white raiment in this text is the same as that offered by the true Witness. Hence we conclude that the overcoming, which is necessary in order to have the names of the people of God retained in, and not blotted out of, the book of life, consists in obeying the testimony to the Laodiceans.

Dear brethren, perfect faith by works, be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and get the anointing of the Holy Ghost, which will enable you to see sin in its sinfulness, holiness in its beauty, and the path to life as straight and as narrow as it really is and retain these priceless treasures, for in this you overcome. And your names will be retained in the book of life, and Jesus, in the judgment of the living just, will confess your names before the Father, and your sins will be blotted out.

We feel confident that but very few realize the consecration necessary to stand the judgment. Behold that dying saint. He first gives up the world and all its hopes. How carefully he reviews his past life, and confesses from the heart every wrong act and feeling. He then commits his family to the Lord, and himself he throws upon the mercy of God. 0 what a struggle! But when this work is done, Jesus smiles; and leaning upon the bosom of his Saviour, the saint breathes his life out sweetly there. His probation is closed, and his case rests till the record of his life is opened, and his case passes in review in the judgment. His sins were all repented of, therefore, in the great day of atonement, the blood of Jesus Christ can blot them out.

A consecration every way as complete as this will be necessary in order for the names of the living saints to be retained in the book of life, and their sins blotted out. What a struggle to die to this world while in full strength! We feel confident that many will go with the people of God who will fail in their feeble efforts to overcome. But very few realize what a real Bible death to this world is. 0 church of Christ awake! arise! The judgment is passing! Very soon will your names either be confessed by Jesus Christ before his Father, or they will be blotted out of the book of life. Consecrate all to God, then you will be prepared to act your part in saving others from ruin. The great work of consecration now required is set forth in the following scriptures :

” Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Zeph. ii, 3.

” Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God.” Joel ii, 12,13.

“Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God. and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James iv. 6-10.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent.”

We leave this subject for the present and give room for the pointed communications from Brn. Ingraham and Stone.

J. W.

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH1857-V09-13/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=4

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2 Responses to “James White on the Investigative Judgment, 1857”

  1. Russell Earl Kelly, PHD Says:

    Not one thing you have written is biblcally true in its context.

    The judgment of all sins took place atd Calvary.
    Those who are born again have the verdict of the final judgment placed upoln them at the moment of justificfation;–eternal life per John 3:16.
    The ujbelievrs will be judged after the millennium per Revelation 20.
    The Investigate Judgment is a fair tale dreamed up to explain William Miller’s false prophecy in 1844.
    The IJ doctrine makes SDAs a false cult.

    http://www.exposingseventhdayadventism.com

  2. newsman777 Says:

    Hi Dr. Kelly,

    This is a document written by James White in 1857. Jesus’ death on Calvary saves, I agree. When Peter says that Judgment begins with the house of God, what did he mean? Do you believe that a Christian can be “spewed” out of God’s mouth as described in the message to Laodicea (Revelation 3)? Isn’t that an action of judgment against a professed Christian, or once saved, individual (or church)? Do you believe that the Christian must take heed lest he fall? Or is the Christian secure against falling and losing out in the end?

    The Investigative Judgment seems to be an extension of Methodism where one’s Christian faith applied in the daily walk comes into assessment.

    You may consider it a fairy tale, but doesn’t Daniel describe the judgment set and the books opened. Isn’t it important to keep one’s name in the Lamb’s book of life as admonished in John’s messages to the churches? Didn’t Paul speak of a judgment to come where all stand before God?

    Didn’t Jesus tell a parable where a man forgiven loses his forgiveness because he wouldn’t forgive his neighbor. This seems like a judgment after justification, doesn’t it?

    Can a person lose their justification?

    Show from the Bible that James White’s use of the Bible texts is misapplied. It is easy to label SDAs a false cult. It is harder to demonstrate the truth of the label.

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