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The subject of Seventh-Day Adventist Theology that likely stands out the most is that of the Investigative Judgment. Yes we have the wonderful truths of the Sabbath and the state of the dead, but there are other christian groups who hold to these beliefs as well. This is probably why when people attach the SDA church, they attack the Investigative Judgment and Ellen White. So this discussion is concerning the former.


Effort will be made in this study to show that the fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation are dealing with this very thing. First, for the sake of space, I as you all to read Revelation chapters 4 and 5 and then continue on.


Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.


--Let us look at the first part of this verse. We know that a door is being opened in heaven. The greek word for "open" in this verse is "anoigō". This word is a verb which literally means "to open". The reason I mention this is because some translations say here "a door standing open". Now that we see that a door is being opened in heaven, we must discern which door it is.


--Seeing that "Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true; but into heaven itself"-Heb 9:24 we know that heaven it self has the two apartments of the sanctuary.


Heb 9:12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.


-This shows us that when Christ went into heaven, he went into the holy place(first apartment) of the heavenly sanctuary with his own blood. Then also he sat at the right hand of His Father according to Hebrews 8:1


Heb 8:1  Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; (see also Heb 10:12; Acts 7:56; Mark 16:19)


--The first door is the door into the holy place(1st apartment). Let us see the second door:


Heb 9:7  But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

Heb 9:26  For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:


--When the second door is opened, it is the end of the world, after the time "appointed unto die". This time is called judgment(the day of atonement).

--Since John had his vision about 96AD and Christ entered into the first apartment in about 31AD, we know that the door being opened in Rev 4:1 must be the door to the Most Holy place(the second apartment). We know this because the voice that spoke to John said, "Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter". More proof can be brought forward to show the same point, but we shall move on to verse 2 to see what it has to offer:


Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.


--It will be noted that God has 4 thrones. Two stationary and two traveling. The two stationary thrones are brought to view in Rev 4 and Rev 22. The two traveling thrones are seen in Ezekiel chapters 1, 10 and 11; the other in Isaiah 6.

-This throne here is being "set", not assembled or built, but placed. This same view is given by the prophet Daniel


Dan 7:9  I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
Dan 7:10  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.


--The Hebrew word for "cast down" is "remah" and literally means "set". Also the word "thrones" here is actually singular in the Hebrew. What this tells us is that "I beheld till the throne was set, and the Ancient of days did sit". After this it says that thousand thousands ministered unto him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. This same thing is brought to vew in Rev 5:11 saying:

Rev 5:11  And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;


-In the 1888 version of the Great Controversy page 414 it makes it very clear that this is the Most Holy place.


NOTE: In the typical day of atonement the work of the High Priest was not restricted to the second appartment. (See Leviticus 16:7,16,17,20) Likewise in the anti-type, the work of our High Priest(Christ) is not restricted to the Most Holy. In fact, on the day of atonement, the veil was lifted and the two apartments became one. This is why no man was allowed in to the tabernacle of the congregation on that day(Lev16:17), the presence of God filled the entire sanctuary.

-We know that the work of Christ is not restricted to the second apartment based not only on the type, but also from the fact that Revelation 4 mentions the seven lamps(A first apartment item), also because DA 568 shows Jesus at the alter of incense even now:


DA 568

Christ might commission the angels of heaven to pour out the vials of His wrath on our world, to destroy those who are filled with hatred of God. He might wipe this dark spot from His universe. But He does not do this. He is today standing at the altar of incense, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help.  {DA 568.4}


--Something important to notice as well in Daniel 7 is that the throne was not set up till after the little horn came into power as seen in the following:


Dan 7:8  I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
Dan 7:9  I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.


-Also, after the Ancient of Days sat, the Son of Man came and stood before Him:


Dan 7:13  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.


--This is very different from when Christ went into heaven after his resurrection. At that time he entered into the first apartment and sat at the right hand of the Father. Here, however, He enters into the second apartment and stands before the Father. The same thing is seen in Revelation 5 with the lamb standing before the Father.


Rev 5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.


-I encourage everyone here to read EW 55 speaking of the movement from the Holy Place to the Most Holy place. We have seen from Hebrews and from Daniel now that at this point, the judgment is to begin, and Daniel specifies that it is investigative by mentioning the books(Dan 7:10). In Revelation we can also see that it is judgment by the fact that there is a "judicial throng" we have a judge - the Ancient of Days; witnesses - the angels; an advocate - the Lamb; the jury - the elders; the defendants - the beasts(this will be shown later) also we have their leader being "the Lion of the tribe of Juda." When is this judgment to take place?


Dan 8:14  And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.


- In this study we will not be getting into the details of the 2300 day prophecy, but sufficient to say for now that it ended in 1844.The only other point I'll mention now is that both the doors in heaven are mentioned in Rev 3:7-8 and spoken of in EW 42.


Rev 4:3  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.


-In Gen 9:12-13 we find the significance of the rainbow:

Gen 9:12  And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
Gen 9:13  I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.


-Since we have already seen from Dan7:9 that the one sitting on the throne is the Ancient of Days, the Father, we shall move on to the next verse.


Rev 4:4  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.


-The key to unlock who this mysterious company is is found in Rev 5:8-9

Rev 5:8  And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;


-Seeing that 24 elders and 4 beasts together equal 28 and there are far more that 28 nations in the world, we see that the beasts represent groups(classes) of redeemed. What we do know for sure from these verses is that they are saints, redeemed from earth. Some translations remove this, but the greek is clear. It is just as clear as in Gal 3:13 that it is speaking of redemption.


Rev 4:5  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.


-The lightnings, thunderings, and voices are seen later Rev 8:5 and also Rev 11:19. What will be seen is that each time it happens, it signifies the opening of judgment. That the investigative judgment takes place at 3 different times on three different times is seen by the following:


Act 10:42  And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.


2Ti 4:1  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;


1Pe 4:5  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.


-"quick" means "living"


Isa 4:3  And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:


1SM 125

In 1844 our great High Priest entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, to begin the work of the investigative judgment. The cases of the righteous dead have been passing in review before God. When that work shall be completed, judgment is to be pronounced upon the living. How precious, how important are these solemn moments! Each of us has a case pending in the court of heaven. We are individually to be judged according to the deeds done in the body. In the typical service, when the work of atonement was performed by the high priest in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary, the people were required to afflict their souls before God, and confess their sins, that they might be atoned for and blotted out. Will any less be required of us in this antitypical day of atonement, when Christ in the sanctuary above is pleading in behalf of His people, and the final, irrevocable decision is to be pronounced upon every case?  {1SM 125.1}


5T 526

It is no time to be ashamed of our faith. We are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. The whole universe is looking with inexpressible interest to see the closing work of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. At such a time as this, just as the great work of judging the living is to begin, shall we allow unsanctified ambition to take possession of the heart? What can be of any worth to us now except to be found loyal and true to the God of heaven? What is there of any real value in this world when we are on the very borders of the eternal world? What education can we give to the students in our schools that is so necessary as a knowledge of "What saith the Scripture"?  {5T 526.1}


-More quotations can be given upon request. So far we have seen the two judgments, first for the dead beginning in 1844, then for the living beginning at a later date. The next judgment is the one to take place during the 1000 years upon the wicked dead.


Rev 20:12  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.


-So first it takes place for the dead professed people of God from the beginning up to 1844, and then for the living. After that the next investigative judgment takes place during the 1000 years for the wicked dead.

Rev 4:6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.


-Since there was no punctuation in greek, it can be seen that a more accurate way of stating this would be without the colon after the word "crystal", for the sea of glass is in the midst of the throne, not the four beasts, they are round about the throne. If they were in the midst of the throne, they would be taking the place of God. The sea of glass is seen also in Rev 15:2

Rev 15:2  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.


-Since they have victory, and salvation, we can see that the sea of glass is signifying that they have eternal live (John 4:14; Rev 21:6; TM 226)


-That the beasts are full of eyes before and behind, it shows that they always have sufficient light in every age. (remember that since they are the ones being judged, and since the judgment is for the righteous since the beginning of earths history to its close; they are symbolically representing 4 classes of the redeemed from the beginning of earths history to its close). The Bible mentions that they are full of eyes "before and behind" showing that they had prophetic light, showing them the past as well as the future.


Rev 4:7  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.


-Here is something to consider, even though I do not believe that everything in regard to these beasts has been revealed:


Lion: King of Beasts. First. Those from Creation to the Ceremonial Law

Calf: Sacrifical, those in the typical, ceremonial section.

Man: Christian period, Christ being the man, the 2nd Adam.

Eagle: King of Birds. Flying denotes translation. So the Eagle would represent the living to be translated.


-While the judgment of the dead starts with the King of Beasts, the judgment of the Living is to start with the King of Birds.


Rev 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.


-Wings, it will be seen represent numbers of periods of time. This is seen in Dan 7:4-6. Since the subject of Rev 4 and 5 lead into the seven seals, the six wings denote that the Investigative Judgment is  to begin during the time of the sixth seal.


Rev 4:9  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
Rev 4:10  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Rev 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.


-These verses are fairly self explanitory. Chapter 5 will be dealt with at a later time, but it is perhaps important to touch on the first verse now:


Rev 5:1  And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.


Dan 7:10  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.


Rev 20:12  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.


GC 479-480

"And, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him
dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away." Daniel 7:13, 14. The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion and glory and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not His second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844. 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.  {GC 479.3} 
     In the typical service only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of Atonement. 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, and takes place at a later period. "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?" 1 Peter 4:17.  {GC 480.1} 
     The books of record in heaven, in which the names and the deeds of men are registered, are to determine the decisions of the judgment. Says the prophet Daniel: "The judgment was set, and the books were opened." The revelator, describing the same scene, adds: "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." Revelation 20:12.  {GC 480.2} 
     The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the service of God. Jesus bade His disciples: "Rejoice,
because your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20. Paul speaks of his faithful fellow workers, "whose names are in the book of life." Philippians 4:3. Daniel, looking down to "a time of trouble, such as never was," declares that God's people shall be delivered, "everyone that shall be found written in the book." And the revelator says that those only shall enter the city of God whose names "are written in the Lamb's book of life." Daniel 12:1; Revelation 21:27.  {GC 480.3}


Rev 13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.


Isa 41:4  Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.


-Hopefully these references are clear enough to show you that the book with the seven seals is the lambs book of life, the book from which all are to be judged. If this is the case, then the book of the seven seals was opened in 1844 and actually written therein are deeds of all people since the world began. If this is true, then Revelation 4- is describing the actual events of the investigative judgment in heaven, going through the books, opening the seals, reviewing the history; investigating, and judging.


9MR 7

The Book With Seven Seals Contains the History of the World.-- "And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon" (Revelation 5:1-3).  {9MR 7.1} 
     There in His open hand lay the book, the roll of the history of God's providences, the prophetic history of nations and the church. Herein was contained the divine utterances, His authority, His commandments, His laws, the whole symbolic counsel of the Eternal, and the history of all ruling powers in the nations. In symbolic language was contained in that roll the influence of every nation, tongue, and people from the beginning of earth's history to its close.  {9MR 7.2}


-I hope this information has and will be a blessing to you. More information can be given upon request and this may be taken up sometime soon with the rest of chapter 5.


May the Lord Bless you all.



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