Welcome to Pomopastor.com. In this blog I share, among many other things, thoughts, ideas, articles and papers I have written on my person...

The Pre-Advent Judgment 1: My Struggle with The Pre-Advent Judgment

Welcome to Pomopastor.com. In this blog I share, among many other things, thoughts, ideas, articles and papers I have written on my personal experience with Jesus through the lens of Seventh-day Adventism. I am going to start it all off by sharing a paper I wrote on Adventisms most unique doctrine (the Investigative Judgment) and what it has come to mean for me. Feel free to comment, share, link, and redistribute any of this work. All I ask is that you do not alter any of the materials and that you give proper attribution. With that said, here is part 1.

The Pre-Advent Judgment

“The uniqueness of the sanctuary doctrine helps make it a prime target for attack.”[1] Although many of our doctrines are shared in other denominations the pre-Advent judgment “‘being uniquely our own, has also laid us open as a church to more opprobrium, ridicule, and scorn from other Christian churches than any other doctrine.’”[2] If this wasn’t bad in and of itself, “writing in Christianity Today, former Adventist David Neff has said that ‘few contemporary Adventists can explain it [the investigative judgment] and few Adventist theologians still teach it.’”[3] Neff’s statement has in fact been a reality in my own life. Therefore, as I prepared to write this paper, I told my wife that the outcome of my research would determine whether or not I remained a Seventh-day Adventist.

Like the vast majority of Seventh-day Adventists, the pre-Advent judgment was a doctrine that I knew little about. Had I been required to defend it or simply to teach it, I would have been entirely incapable of performing the task. This is a sad reality considering the fact that the understanding and embrace of the pre-Advent judgment doctrine is rather unique to Adventism (though not fully as we will later see). After weeks of study on the topic from both proponents and antagonists to this teaching, I have come to realize that the doctrine of the pre-Advent judgment is the simplest, and most logical conclusion to be derived from the Bible. In the pages that follow, I will attempt to retrace some of the steps of my journey to this discovery. In the process I will demonstrate that the Bible truly supports the idea of a pre-Advent judgment, that the pre-Advent judgment correlates perfectly to righteousness by faith, and that Ellen G. White is not necessary to believe in the pre-Advent judgment. I will then conclude at last by exploring some of Ellen G. Whites “legalistic” statements with relation to the pre-Advent judgment and the difference that such a doctrine would make in the life of a born-again Christian.

Before I begin I must make a few qualifications. Number one, this is not an exhaustive resource on the topic of the pre-Advent judgment. There are many aspects of the pre-Advent judgment that I will not cover in this paper such as the prophecies of Daniel 7-9, the validity of Adventism’s understanding of the prophetic timeline, and the sanctuary service, its differing components, and how they each relate to the pre-Advent judgment. Number two, in presenting the doctrine of pre-Advent judgment I will use the Bible and the Bible alone. Ellen White will only be mentioned in a section designated specifically for an analysis of her relationship to the doctrine, but will not be used in any way as a basis, supplement, or substitute for the Bible. Likewise, Adventist’s have been accused of basing the doctrine of the pre-Advent judgment on Daniel 8:14: “He said to me, ‘It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.’”[4] Therefore, I will establish the validity of a pre-Advent judgment without any mention to this text.

Note: To download this entire paper in PDF format click here.
[1] Clifford Goldstein, False Balances [Boise: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1992], 24.
[2] ibid.
[3] ibid., 23.
[4] Dan. 8:14.


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