Why the Investigative Judgment Applies to the Righteous as Well as the Wicked

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I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. (Eccl 3:17 KJV)

Many SDA's as well as non-SDA's question the pre-Advent Investigative judgment, contending that Christ knows who are His and He needs no such investigative judgment. That is very true. However, since Christ is our Judge and Advocate (lawyer), and since He is fair and just, He does not merely pronounce the repentant righteous as saved and the unrepentant wicked as not saved. Like a good lawyer, He defends the righteous and indicts the wicked. A good lawyer does not merely stand up in court to pronounce his client as innocent. He attempts to prove the innocence of his client.

Why Proof of the Righteous is Provided by Christ in the Investigative Judgment

We are told that Satan stands before the throne day and night accusing even the repentant righteous. So how does God handle this court situation? He will set up a heavenly court of justice. Christ is the appointed Judge and Advocate (lawyer). The Jury is the saints, and the rest are the heavenly court spectators.

A typical argument against the Investigative Judgment is like the following one that I took from an SDA Internet e-group:

"Who is going to challenge the saved? The saved? The saved judge the unsaved and the wicked angels, not the saved. Do you really think that one of the saved will question Jesus and ask, "Why did you save Joe Blow? He was a real jerk on earth, what gives, Lord?" The saved won't be challenging Christ on that score. The saved KNOW that there's only ONE way for salvation -- faith in Christ. They won't be challenging Joe Blow's salvation. Rather, I suspect that the saved will rejoice in Joe Blow's salvation."

The above argument is foolish in light of the fact that God has elected to assign jury judgment to the saints, and the above argument is a slight to God's purpose in so doing. If all are just to say Amen to Christ's judgment, why then does He appoint a jury to judge the saints? Let's answer the first question from the above stated argument: "Who is going to challenge the saved?" This is a most naive question such as a novice in the Word might pose. Why? Because Scripture tells us that Satan accuses us day and night before the throne of God. What more than that, he convinced a third of unfallen angel's to become fellow accusers of the righteous and they question the justice and fairness of God in imposing laws, rules and regulations upon His creatures. God could have settled the issue by merely pronouncing Satan a tyrant and a rebel. But did God choose that path? Absolutely not! He chose to let sin (rebelliousness against His standard of government--His law) play out the results over nearly a six-thousand year period of time to demonstrate the superiority of His way of dealing with Satan and the fallen angels, as well as fallen man. His purpose was to PROVE that Satan was errant rather than merely pronounce him as errant. Being a fair and just God, Judge and Advocate, He determined to PROVE His case and not just arbitrarily pronounce Lucifer errant without any proof whatsoever.

For the very same reason, and because Satan accuses us day and night before the throne of God, God has chosen to prove the innocence and/or guilt of His clients, Satan, the fallen angels, and fallen man. The objective of such a plan providing PROOF of the results of sin, is so that no created being will EVER AGAIN in eternity question the requirements of God as regards His Law, the standard of government of the Universe. Being provided with the results of sin over a great expanse of time and maturity, things will become so bad that men would rather die than live--they will call on the mountains to fall upon them. This condition of things will be the natural result of sin and will be its greatest deterrent in the eternal ages to come.

Zechariah 3 1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. 5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. 6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, 7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. 9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.

Every Secret Act, Whether Good or Evil, Brought into Judgment

Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.

If no one else questions God's authority and justice in pronouncing the repentant righteous and the unrepentant wicked, Satan and his fallen angel's will. This is why God has set up a jury of saints to go over the record books and judge the righteous and the wicked. The judgment of the righteous will be only to vindicate. The judgment of the wicked will be to prove the judge as fair and just before the universe, because Satan will not only accuse us, he has accused God as being unjust and questioned His standard of authority and rule.

The Saints Are the Jury and They Thus Judge--It is They, Not Christ, Who Need the Record Books of the Investigative Judgment

We are told that the saints will judge: Notice:

1Cr 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

1Cr 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Every secret work will be judged whether it be good or evil, for the reason that the saints will be rewarded according to their works. Without a record of Investigative Judgment by the Judge, how could the Jury, the saints, judge anything?

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

God will prove to the saints and the universe that their reward is fair and just. Who has questioned His justice? Satan. Another reason there will be a judgment of the righteous is to prove the innocence of the saints, especially to Satan and his angels. The righteous will be justified by the books of record to vindicate them from Satan's charges. The wicked will be indicted by the books of record. This knowledge is not necessary to Christ, for He certainly knows who are His, but it will be necessary for the saints who judge all, even angels. They are not God. They do not know all the reasons why some will be lost and some will be saved. God's record book of life (judgment) will answer all the questions and challenges FOREVER. Otherwise, it would be God telling us who was and was not safe to save. He does not operate that way, and proof of that is the fact that He did not operate that way wherein Satan and the mutinous angel's were concerned.

Ron Beaulieu