The Pre-Advent Judgment 5: The IJ is Not Entirely Unique to Adventism

The third aspect of the pre-Advent judgment I would like to explore is the allegation that it is an attempt “[i]n trying to defend 1844 after the failure of Christ's return.”[1] This critique presupposes that “the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the pre-Advent investigative judgment… [is a] unique Adventist contribution to biblical theology.”[2] However, “…it is misleading to say that the doctrine of a pre-Advent judgment in Daniel is unique to Seventh-day Adventism.

After all, many others have found a pre-Advent judgment in Daniel 7.”[3] If this is so, then the allegation that the investigative judgment is simply a “new way of explaining the Great Disappointment”[4] is not true. Indeed, Seventh-day Adventists are far from the only ones to ever discover the doctrine of the pre-Advent judgment. Gerhard Pfandl, author of Daniel: The Seer of Babylon identifies several non-Adventist theologians who have taught the pre-Advent judgment. “Lutheran Joseph A. Seiss, for example, wrote: ‘The resurrection, and the changes which pass… upon the living, are themselves the fruits and embodiments of antecedent judgment…. Strictly speaking, men are neither raised nor translated, in order to come to judgment. Resurrections and translations are products of judgment previously passed.”[5] In addition, Pfandl quotes Catholic author F. Dusterwald and Protestant interpreter T. Robinson as having understood the book of Daniel to teach a pre-Advent judgment.

[1] Martin Weber, “Never Before Published Desmond Ford Dialogues About the 1844 Judgment, Ford And Weber Dialogue, Section II: Ford’s Critique Of Weber,” Scribd, [accessed Mar 31, 2012]. Note: The Millerites originally thought that 1844 marked the date for the return of Jesus. After Jesus did not come back many went back to their Bibles to discover what had gone wrong. In the process they discovered that Christ was not meant to return but that he was engaging in the second phase of His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary on that date. Thus, many critics have taken the pre-Advent judgment to be an attempt to “explain away” why Christ did not return.
[2] Gerhard Pfandl, Daniel: The Seer of Babylon [Hagerstown: Review and Herald, 2004], 68.
[3] George R. Knight, The Apocalyptic Vision and the Neutering of Adventism: Are We Erasing Our Relevancy? [Hagerstown: Review and Herald, 2008], 70.
[4] Teresa and Arthur Beem. It’s Okay NOT To Be A Seventh-Day Adventist: The Untold History and the Doctrine that Attempts to Repair the Temple Veil [North Charleston: BookSurge Publishing, 2008], 107.
[5] Gerhard Pfandl, Daniel: The Seer of Babylon [Hagerstown: Review and Herald, 2004], 70.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, if one studies history we find that here and there all around the world there was a religious awakening before 1844. Amazing stories of people, through Bible study, knew that something big was about to happen. Most thought that Jesus was coming again. There were some European countries where young children were given visions and then stood up and preached that the judgment was about to come.
    Thank you for sharing your research on this topic!


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