Certain Christians have long held that the cases of the dead are undecided until the “Investigative Judgement” beginning in 1844. They base this on their interpretation of Dan.8:14 in the King James Version using the day for a year principle. For two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. This they say is the “cleansing” of the sanctuary of all the sins that have been confessed and taken there by Jesus, preparing the way for the Second Coming. This, in the minds of these traditional, conservative Christians has stood the test of time and stands true. Others point to the fact that this verse is translated differently in most modern translations. For example the English Standard Version has this verse, “For 2300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.” It should be noted that the term “Investigative Judgement” is not found in the Bible. This of course doesn’t make it wrong in itself. The term has been created to describe a perceived event. If the Investigative Judgement is true it would only work on the basis of the belief that the state of man in death is sleep. In other words those who have died haven’t yet gone to their final rewards. This is the one teaching that makes this doctrine at all feasible. It is feasible on the basis of the “death is a sleep” teaching. That is, people do not receive their rewards at death but wait in a state of ‘sleep’ until the resurrection morning. What if something different began in 1844? Is there really an investigative judgement beginning in 1844 when the cases of all are decided for eternity? This may sound credible on the surface but does it really bear honest scriptural analysis? In actual fact it can appear less than credible. An “investigative judgement” when God already knows those who are His? (The Lord knoweth them that are his. 2 Tim.2:19) But it is said that this judgement is for the sake of all of God’s creation (angels and unfallen beings) to show that His dealings are fair. But if this time of judgement is seen to fit in with other scripture on the sanctuary could Dan.8:14 then be seen to be, not so much a time of judicial cleansing and judgement but a time of intercession and hope. This is something that has been overlooked by many . Sure there is hope in the sense that going to church on a certain day and believing certain doctrines makes us unique and ‘commandment keepers’. But in reality this is nothing more than a law based hope, very narrow in its perspective, and witness. Such a belief system can cause a people to become isolated, not just from mainstream Christianity, but have trouble identifying with real people in the real world. Not unlike the Jews of old who rightfully believed that they held the “truth” but could not perceive the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Jesus life and teachings and the writings of apostle Paul are all about correcting this misconception. What if “restoring the sanctuary to its rightful state” meant something else? What if this has something to do with God’s people on planet Earth rather than simply an event transpiring in Heaven? The sanctuary has always been God’s way of showing, not in how He condemns but in how He saves people. After all, this has always been the role of the true church. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Cor.5:18 Think about this. Does the sanctuary service teach a ministry of condemnation or ministry of reconciliation? The teaching that death is a sleep is one of 3 doctrines that were established by some of those who went through the ‘great disappointment’ of 1844. These 3 distinct teachings are: the Sabbath, the Sanctuary and the State of the Dead. As we have tried to show on this website and hopefully in this article again, these 3 teaching are inextricably linked together. A correct understanding of the message of the burnt offering which was the first article of furniture encountered as an Israelite approached the sanctuary is a prerequisite for understanding the sanctuary service. This is covered in the article on this website called “The Burnt Offering”. Christians who understand the principle of ‘total surrender’ have the privilege of entering the true “Sabbath rest” that Paul talks about in Hebrews the fourth chapter. Contrary to what some believe this has nothing to do with what day on which we go to church. This fact would be hard for many to come to terms with. Rather than rejecting this thought perhaps it is well to take an honest look at Scripture. In the book of Romans Paul dispels any idea that he thought that going to church on a specific day was imperative and sacrosanct. Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.” Rom.14:5 And again in Colossians. Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Col.2:16,17 NRSV This great man of God, imparts no such requirement on any Christian or group of Christians. Except in one passage. And that is the 4th chapter of Hebrews. So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did from his. Heb.4:9,10 If we read this whole chapter carefully we see that here he equates the true Sabbath rest with the rest that we have in Christ. Comparing with Romans we should be able to see that this has nothing to do with what day we worship. God’s people in the last day’s will find it necessary to walk very closely with God every day. This is no cursory relationship with Christ, this is entering into a deep experiential relationship with Him. This is the true “Sabbath Rest”.
Moses was ‘resurrected’ (Deut 34:5-7; Jude 9) Elijah was ‘translated’ in a fiery chariot. (2 Kings 2:11) These two men were ‘types’ of all the saved. They, with, “many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.” (Matt.27:52) did go to heaven. These possibly correspond to the 24 elders of Rev.4:4. These are a relatively small number of people and they do not correspond with all of the saints who will “judge the earth” after the 2nd Coming. (Matt.19:28; Lk.22:30; Rev.2:26,27; 5:10; 20:4) No, the so called “Investigative Judgement” or what is more correctly translated “restoring the sanctuary to its rightful state” takes place at the end time before the 2nd Coming. But why would an investigative judgement be necessary when God knows those who are His? The Lord knoweth them that are his. 2 Tim.2:19 It is claimed that it is for the benefit of the watching universe (unfallen worlds) to show that God is fair and just. That may be true but one would wonder why any perfect unfallen beings would need it proved to them that God is love and perfect in all his dealings. While there may be a semblance of truth in this, we need to open our hearts to a deeper meaning.
Recounting, we have 3 alternative viewpoints here. # People go straight to their rewards at death. This is the general Protestant and Catholic viewpoint hinging on the doctrine of the inherent immortality of the soul. Some Christians believe that people sleep in the grave awaiting the “investigative judgement” which began in 1844. These people do not believe in the inherent immortality of the soul. They believe that immortality is a gift from God. # Scriptural evidence could point to a different alternative than both of these viewpoints. An understanding of the Sanctuary is pivotal to this 3rd understanding. Dan.8:14 – Investigative Judgement – A different understanding of the teaching would involve a paradigm shift of our understanding of last day events. This is imperative for any Christian who above all else, longs for the coming of the Saviour back to this earth. Is the judgement a time when God’s people actually have an active role to play in saving souls or are they just absentee observers in some great judgement event in Heaven?
In discarding the doctrine of the ‘investigative judgement’ as heresy, as some theologians have done, they may be denying the church, and the world, the greatest revelation of God’s character that has ever been witnessed. The Psalmist said that he couldn’t understand the destiny of the wicked until he went into the sanctuary: ..until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. Ps.73:17 NRSV Why did the sanctuary have this affect on the Psalmist? He was so overwhelmed with the fact that the wicked seemed to dominate and have everything their way that it caused him to become bitter in his soul. When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you.(vs.21,22) But the outworking of the sanctuary service showed him the saving grace of God and this had a wonderful softening influence on his heart. Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honour. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.(vs.23-26) The sanctuary service, although it contains the 10 commandments which have always been representative of the anger and justice of God, is really a demonstration of the great love and mercy of God. As stated in the article “A Message for Sabbath Keepers”, the 3 elements for the salvation of all the redeemed are contained in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. These are distinct from the law, which represents the anger and justice of God and is hidden away under the mercy seat in the second apartment. This law represents the justice of God. But best of all for all struggling believers, the law is hidden away under the mercy seat and their salvation is assured because of what is happening in the first apartment. The ten commandments are ‘hidden’ on the basis of what is happening in the first apartment. The articles of furniture in the first apartment of the sanctuary represent the 3 imperatives of salvation of all the redeemed. Jesus, the Saviour of the world, represented by humble loaves of bread. Of somewhat more magnificence, the 7 branched candlestick. This is significant when we remember the words of Jesus.Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Matt.12:31,32
The character of God represented by His Son Jesus Christ is humility. Jesus promoted the role of the Spirit as so important as being absolutely essential to the salvation of every man woman or child. Because of the glorious work of Jesus, the work of the Holy Spirit is, …the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me.. Jn.1:9;16:13,14
If we were to step into the first apartment of the sanctuary we would observe with reverence these items. But what of the 3rd item of furniture? It is the altar of incense, the aroma of which passes beyond the curtain to the presence of the Father, Himself, who we are told receives it as a “pleasing odour”. This incense represents none other than the prayers of the struggling saints upon this earth…golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. Rev.5:8; 8:4 These prayers spoken of in Rev.5:8 and 8:3,4 are obviously important and they seem to talk of events happening in the end times. Are they for people who are still alive or are they for people who have died? This is a valid question. The contextual evidence could be seen to favour the latter view for very soon after in the next chapter we read, When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given; they cried out with a loud voice, “Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” Rev.6:9,10 These represent people who have died and are waiting. This principle of ‘progressive revelation’ is seen in both the book of Daniel as well as in Revelation. For example Daniel chapter 2 contains a time line of the worlds history. Subsequent chapters contain the same time line but from different perspectives, with added detail. The same principle can be used in the book of Revelation. When it talks about the prayers of the saints in chapter 5 and then talks about comforting words of hope to those who have died in the very next chapter, might there not be a message there for us? Are we not following the counsel of Scripture which speaks of, ….rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15 But we have always prayed for those who are alive. What if God had laid a burden on you for someone who has passed on? Many of God’s people have had such burdens. Are they to isolate themselves from the love and the grace of God believing that their loved ones are beyond help? Such saints are indeed reassured by the promise in Isa.59:1, Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: According to the Psalmist, anxiety about the ultimate fate of all people, both good and bad, lies in the sanctuary. (Ps.73) Ours is not the role of vengeance or punishment. …for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Rom.12:19 Our role is that of burden bearer or intercessor for those whom we love. Is their an example in Scripture for this? We quote from the Living Bible, Christ also suffered. He died once for the sins of all us guilty sinners although he himself was innocent of any sin at any time, that he might bring us safely home to God. But though his body died, his spirit lived on, and it was in the Spirit that he visited the spirits in prison and preached to them – spirits of those who, long before in the days of Noah, had refused to listen to God, though he waited patiently for them while Noah was building the ark…….. 1 Pet. 3:18 Jesus is our example in all things. One of his first concerns after the resurrection was for souls who had died right back in Noah’s day. This was to show us that He is Lord both of the living and the dead. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Rom.14:9 NRSV We do not know them. He obviously did. These souls were precious to Him as anyone we know who has died is precious to us. Again we go to this text in Revelation, And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: Rev.6:9 These souls had obviously gone through a baptism of fire as those praying for them were also to undergo. And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed. as they [were,] should be fulfilled. vs.11 When we read passages like this we think of martyrs who have been physically slain and it’s easy to relegate these texts to some past or future time. Might not they be talking about our own baptism of fire now? When God’s people, like Paul are dying daily! For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 2 Cor.4:11,12 We speak about a baptism of fire on behalf of others. The text in 1 Peter goes on to talk about …..baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], 1 Pet.3:21 These are words of intercession for others which parallel the words of Rev. 6. This raises an interesting point when reading the Word of God. Jesus often spoke by hyperbole. Namely an exaggerated statement to drive home a point. Why does He do this? Because our ears are dull, we are slow of comprehension. Examples of this in Scripture are, Matt.5:29,30; Luke 16:19-31; Rev.6:9 He is not telling believers here to maim themselves, nor is He saying that heaven is a place of seeing souls in torment. Jesus, the author of Revelation (Rev.1:1), in talking of “souls under the altar” is using the same principle as he uses elsewhere is Scripture. Namely an exaggerated statement to drive home an important truth. Some will say, God has to be true in every sense. He would not utter a falsehood. This willingly overlooks the fact that God is sovereign. He is not subject to natural or man made laws. The Book of Revelation, being the testimony of Jesus Christ, can be understood using this principle. These prayers are the fulfilling of the work that Christ begun. Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. Col.1:24 NIV This gives new meaning to the verse, The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. James 5:16 Amplified Bible There is no time constraint in our prayers. We are led by the Holy Spirit. (Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. Rom.8:26) The Holy Spirit is called “the eternal Spirit” (Heb.9:14) This means that He is not constrained by our lack or by time. There is no time constraint in the burden that the Lord lays upon us. God may lay a burden on us for a great uncle who died 100 years ago. Could this be what Paul is talking about when he says in Corinthians. Otherwise, what will those people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptised on their behalf? 1 Cor.15:29There is a baptism of fire for all Christians. (Matt.3:11) This is especially true for the generation living at the end of time before the second coming of Christ. This involves spiritual warfare on behalf of those for whom we pray. Not, as is often portrayed, dramatic and aggressive. But more often than not, quietly in the privacy of our own personal place of prayer. The epitome of this of course is Jesus in the garden of Gethsamane where we read, Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Matt.26:38-40 NRSV Jesus was calling for His disciples to pray for Him. Likewise merely being there on behalf of those whom we love or for whom the Lord has given us a burden is His calling for us today. Is this unrealistic? Could it be that we will be called upon to suffer, intercede on behalf of those who are gone? Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptised for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptised for them? 1 Cor.15:29 Is this text talking about those who are alive but ‘spiritually dead’ as some commentators believe, or is it talking about those who are asleep in the grave? ‘Restoring the sanctuary to its rightful state’ might mean more than we have realised up to this point of time. The gospel can still save, even if some pass away who are prejudiced against it – sometimes for good reason. Our prayers for these people are important. Provided there is intercession by Christ and his Church and provided there is the inner softening influence of the Holy Spirit, they can be saved. We should never limit His power. Remember, our prayers under the influence of the Holy Spirit are timeless. Those for whom we pray have been placed there for a reason. Many will be amazed in that day at how they came to merit this great salvation. They will say, …Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matt.25:37-40 Through the love and compassion of Christ for his people Jesus will say, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. vs.23 These verses are not just describing praying saints, they are describing the recipients of those prayers.
Our salvation has always been totally dependant upon the grace and mercy of God. Lest we think that we can do anything to merit our salvation we read the following in the Aprocryphal book 2 Esdras, …it is because of us sinners that you are called merciful. For if you have desired to have pity on us, who have no works of righteousness, then you will be called merciful…. For in truth there is no one among those who have been born who has not acted wickedly; among those who have existed there is no one who has not done wrong. For in this, O Lord, your righteousness and goodness will be declared, when you are merciful to those who have no store of good works. 2 Esdras 8:31,32,35,36 In case some are doubtful of using the Apocrypha we read the following from two church pioneers of the mid nineteenth century. Ellen White says: “I saw that the Apocrypha was the hidden book, and that the wise of these last days should understand it.” 16 Manuscript Release Page 34
James White also wrote in the Review and Herald dated Feb. 2, 1869 page 48 “The Association will probably issue an edition of the Apocrypha with references soon, which, well bound, can be sold for about seventy-five cents a copy.” Also in the Review and Herald dated Aug. 5, 1858 page 96 in a response “To Correspondents” we read “Concerning the Apocrypha, we regard portions of it as containing much light and instruction. If we were asked to specify, we should mention 2 Esdras, Wisdom of Solomon, and 1 Maccabees.”
It should be noted that the quotes from 2 Esdras above are perfectly in accord with those of the apostle Paul. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us…. Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. Rom. 5:8; 2:1 NRSV
Never, in the history of this world, have prayers ascended with such intensity as these prayers ascend in the final days of this world’s history. Do you see, Christian brothers and sisters, these prayers are so significant because the redeemed are not in heaven having received their rewards they are asleep awaiting their final redemption on the resurrection morning. Could it be that they are also awaiting our sincere prayers on their behalf? To overlook these things and to say that the prayers of God’s people are not significant here is denying the purpose of the altar of incense in the 1stapartment of the heavenly sanctuary. This gives real meaning, heretofore unrealised, to the sanctuary truth being restored to its rightful place. The salvation of all was secured legally upon Calvary 2000 years ago. But the full implementation of that will be realised fully in the final generation of Christians upon this earth understanding the truth of the sanctuary. Something is different in these final hours of earth’s history. The gospel is the same as in Paul’s day. What then is different? We are living in a time when God’s people are aware that Christ is coming soon. They will not sit aside idly waiting for this to happen. They will be in prayer for the salvation of the lost around them as no generation of Christians has ever done before. God has waited for millennia for His people to enter into this state. There have been generations of people lost for eternity because God’s people have not entered because of unbelief. (Heb.4:1 The reader is directed to the article, “Thought on Last Day Events”. So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did from his. Heb.4:9,10 The final generation will have a unique experience. God will prepare His people for this through their life’s experiences. This won’t be their own doing. God himself will be taking a hand in individual lives. Surrender to His will is paramount as is exemplified in the spiritual lessons of the burnt offering. Knowledge is essential. All such revival will be based on childlike trust and knowledge of the word of God. If truth is revealed it is imperative to reveal it. Hence this website. Desperate to share the truths that have been learnt through experience. So, in summing up. There are 3 areas of doctrine that are unique to these latter day Christians.(Sabbath, Sanctuary, State of the Dead) Likewise there are 3 elements of salvation that are imperative to the salvation of all. (contained in the lessons of the burnt offering and the 3 articles of furniture in the 1st apartment of the Heavenly Sanctuary) All these truths are there to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. So how did we get from “Investigative Judgement” to prayers for the honest in heart? Firstly we realize that the Investigative Judgement is not a Biblical term. It is a man made term however good its intentions. Secondly a more accurate translation of Dan.8:14 is “restored to its rightful state” rather than “cleanse”. That restoring to its rightful state includes a more subjective understanding of what the sanctuary stands for. And that wider understanding involves surrender, empowering, and a genuine love and concern for those around us. This is not something that we can engender within ourselves. It, like everything in the Christian life, is a gift from God, a knowledge of which is empowering. Perhaps the reason that Protestants haven’t done anything with this text (1 Cor.15:29 ) is that they believe that those who pass away go straight to heaven or hell at the point of death. In this they are holding onto one of the flow-over doctrines of the Papacy. Not all truth was fully restored during the reformation. By understanding the true state of man in death the way is opened for us to understand these things. We quote again from the oldest to the more recent books of the Bible. So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. Job 14:12 Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep….Jesus spoke of his death.. John 11:11,13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 1 Thess.4:13,14 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection…. Rev.20:6 We live in the era of the Holy Spirit. This power will intensify at the end of time. It is called the ‘latter rain’. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain…. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God….. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:23,27,28 And we read in the one of the minor prophets, Look at the nations, and see! Be astonished! Be astounded! For a work is being done in your days that you would not believe if you were told. Hab.1:5 NRSV New things are to be revealed. God’s people will not be constrained by church fundamentals or belief systems. Many will not cope with this. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matt.24:12 By accepting the above truths the way is open for a more open clearer understanding of this text. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they baptized for the dead? 1 Cor.15:29 And we include a companion paragraph to this text, which, if the reader has a copy of the Apocrypha, is well worth reading in context. It is a very interesting chapter which concludes with these verses: For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin. 2 Macc.12:44,45 These are two passages of Scripture that have been relegated to the ‘too hard’ or the ‘heresy’ basket. They are part of Scripture and they do need to be honestly looked at. Our faith is never based on proof. There is no such thing in the Christian walk. But our faith is based on evidence. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb.11:1 We are reminded again of the words of Jesus: At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Matt.11:25,26 NRSV We have looked at evidence. To the doubters this will be insufficient but to the believers there may be incomparable rewards.
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