Seventh-Day Adventists/IJ / Pre-Advent Judgment


QUESTION: "The SDA’s need to repent for thinking Daniel 8: 14 is the PAJ and return to the serious search for Gospel Truth in the New Testament.  The IJ is false and foolish doctrine for the blind. "

So how do you understand these verses?
2Co_5:10; 1Pe_4:17; Rev 20:12

"The work of the investigative judgment and the blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. Since the dead are to be judged out of the things written in the books, it is impossible that the sins of men should be blotted out until after the judgment at which their cases are to be investigated. . . . When the investigative judgment closes, Christ will come, and His reward will be with Him to give to every man as his work shall be." EGW

Ellen White claimed to have had these things revealed to her by God. Was she just blind and foolish? Are these just doctrines of devils or was she just lying or is she in fact in harmony with the Bible texts above?

ANSWER: Today, the Adventist Community is very disoriented and divided; millions have left and more leave all the time.  In spite of amassing a large membership and great wealth, ($35 billion) their teachings are no longer considered correct or sustainable.  Their incoherent doctrines only lead to endless confusion and debate, not Gospel insight and truth.  

Although many in all denominations are interested in how the world will end, the SDA’s have nothing worthwhile to say.  They have lost their once cutting edge understanding of prophecy, replacing the historic and genuine formulation of the Three Angels Messages with a fabricated and false version that features the IJ/ PAJ.

The modern Adventists don’t even correctly understand their own brief history, much less the fundamental teachings of co-founder Ellen White, nor do they care about such facts.  They have become a typically stale and corrupt religion; focused on money and mind control, not truth.  All of which explains why they are self-destructing in a great crisis of self-identity almost 40 years after Glacier View.

The only way out of this ongoing crisis is for the Adventists to become honest about their history and return to the primary fundamentals of the original Three Angels Messages.  They must embrace what made them famous and functional, and move forward in their understanding of Gospel prophecy.

Moreover, Adventists must stop being so arrogant, thinking they have all possible truth.  This is obviously not true.  This fragmented group must return to the proper attitude of searching for truth as opposed to defending worthless traditions that they claim is truth.  Tradition is rarely truth, and the SDA’s are full of much false tradition and anti-Gospel doctrine.

Ellen White Does Not Write Scripture”

As for Ellen White, she does not write scripture, or anything close to it.  Thus one should never refer to her writings as if there were like verses of scripture, which is what you did in your question.

You wrote:  “So how do you understand these verses?

2Co_5:10; 1Pe_4:17; Rev 20:12.”  

Then you quoted Ellen White, as if she too writes verses of scripture.  “The work of the investigative judgment…”

This is a great mistake, one that has ruined the Advent Movement.  Ellen White has no doctrinal authority, and she never said otherwise.  Moreover, much of what she teaches has not been honestly communicated to the SDA community.

Ellen White

While Ellen White did have some genuine “spiritual gifts,” she never claimed to have doctrinal authority, much less that her writings were sacred, on the same level as the Bible.  Nor did she ever believe in the IJ/PAJ as the Takoma Park apologists promoted.

Is Ellen White a true or false Prophet

Until the SDA’s stop embracing so much historical fraud and theological error, and start honestly dealing with the issues, the dysfunctional Advent Movement will continue to self-destruct.  Their present doctrines are not credible, true, or sustainable, and neither is the Advent Movement until there is genuine Gospel Reform and a return to the original theology of the Three Angels Messages.

So your question assumes many things that are not historically accurate or theologically valid.  The fact that errors and myths have been taught and published by Adventists for generations does not make any of them true.  It only makes Gospel Reform more difficult for SDA’s to understand.   Regardless, it is past time for an honest discussion about the doctrine of the IJ/PAJ and the Three Angels Messages.

IJ Texts?

First, let’s address the supposed IJ texts you listed, starting with Rev 14:7, which is the key NT text that SDA’s claim contains the IJ.  I am surprised you failed to ask about this most famous passage, which is very misunderstood by modern Adventists.

Rev. 14:7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

This famous passage, also known as the 1st Angels Message, is foundational for all Adventist eschatology.  It became the hallmark passage for the Millerites, the reason why they existed.  

Miller correctly taught that this prophetic passage was only about the 2nd Coming and the end of the world.  Thus the term “hour of his judgment has come” was exclusively viewed by all early Adventists as meaning ONLY the 2nd Coming.  

The terms “Adventist” or “Adventism” are references to the 2nd Coming, having nothing to do with the IJ/PAJ whatsoever, which doctrine and concept had not been invented as yet.  

Let everyone understand: There was no doctrine of the IJ when the Advent Movement started.  It was added later, in 1857, as an appendage to the 3rd Angels Message.   There was no IJ in the 1st or 2nd Messages, as the White Estate and the Review have taught for generations.

I repeat, All 19th century Adventists, including William Miller, Joseph Bates, James and Ellen White, Uriah Smith, Andrews, etc, unanimously viewed Rev 14: 7 as only a reference to the 2nd Coming.  Never to the IJ.  There are no exceptions.  It was a unanimous point that has not been honestly explained to the modern Adventist.  

What was once so critical and fundamental to SDA eschatology in the 19th century has become marginalized, mythologized even denied by modern Adventists.  And they have become dysfunctional as a result.  This is the result when serious theology becomes discarded and replaced with myth.

The SDA’s have become corrupt, contaminated by false and impossible teachings that no Adventist Pioneer would support.  This is very wrong.  Neither the history or theology of the Three Angels Messages can be changed and manipulated.  Adventist eschatology only functions properly when the hermeneutical rules are respected and followed.  Misunderstand the Three A’s and the Advent Movement will self-destruct.  Mission accomplished.

"I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps-- the first, second, and third angels' messages. Said my accompanying angel, 'Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance.'"

Early Writings of Ellen G. White, 1858, also known as: Spiritual Gifts / and The Great Controversy. Page 158, Chapter Title: A Firm Platform.-


New View of 1st Angels Message

When did the SDA’s change their view of Rev 14: 7 and change the fundamentals of the 1st Angels Message in the process?   When did the IJ/PAJ become linked to “the hour of his judgment has come”?  

Answer:  In Takoma Park, following the great Battle Creek schism; after the death of Ellen White.  

In order to deal with their critics, the Takoma Park apologists changed the historic meaning of the Judgment in the 1st Angels Message to mean something that it never meant to any 19th century Adventist.  They claimed the IJ was linked to Dan 8:14 and also located in the 1st Angels Message, in Rev 14:7, and that it was a prophetic marker that could never be changed.  

In Takoma Park, the IJ was hailed as the linchpin doctrine, even the foundation of the Three Angels Messages.  Thus the White Estate indoctrinated generations to believe that the IJ was the most special, historic, and fundamental of all SDA doctrine, when this was never true.  

The White Estate is an incompetent and corrupt institution.  Contrary to what they teach, Ellen White does not agree with this 20th century viewpoint that places the IJ in the 1st Angels Message, elevating it to “pillar” status.  

In fact, Ellen White would never approve the outcome of Glacier View, or what SDA’s teach today about the Three Angels Messages and the Pre-Advent Judgment, or even the Gospel.  She does not agree with most of what is being taught by the SDA’s today in her name.

Moreover, Ellen has also made it very clear that no changes could be made to past messages.   Once a theological phase or “message” was over, it became “fulfilled” history and prophecy.  It was no longer an active prophetic message.  Moving forward to the next “message” was the correction and change necessary to keep the church moving forward within the Three Angels Messages.  

Such a hermeneutic makes it impossible for anyone in the 20th century to go back and change the fulfilled, 19th century interpretation about the 2nd Coming. But yet, this is exactly what has taken place, in direct opposition to what Ellen White and all the Pioneers teach.  

The IJ is a false doctrine and no “pillar” at all.  It has replaced the historic doctrine of the 2nd Coming for modern SDA’s, thus destroying the eschatological foundations of the Advent Movement.  This is why the SDA’s are self-destructing in confusion and incompetence.  They have forgotten their history, theology, and their mission, and it shows.

Listen to Ellen White warn about the importance of not forgetting the Three Angels Messages:

We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.  LS 196

"In like manner those who have had no experience in the first and second angels messages must receive them from others who had an experience and followed down through the messages."

"As Jesus was rejected, so I saw that these messages have been rejected. And as the disciples declared that there is salvation in no other name under heaven, given among men, so also should the servants of God faithfully and fearlessly warn those who embrace but a part of the truths connected with the third message, that they must gladly receive all the messages as God has given them, or have no part in the matter."

Early Writings of Ellen G. White, page 188, 189, Chapter Title: Spiritual Gifts. 1858

The first, second, and third angel’s messages are all linked together.

The evidences of the abiding, ever-living truth of these grand messages, that mean so much to us, that have awakened such intense opposition from the religious world, cannot be extinguished.

Satan is constantly seeking to cast his hellish shadow about these messages, so that the remnant people of God shall not clearly discern their import, their time, and place; but they live, and are to exert their power upon our religious experience while time shall last.

The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, page 926, paragraph 3.

False View of IJ/PAJ

In order to make the IJ seem credible, the 20th century apologists, including the White Estate, incorrectly claimed that this doctrine defined the true meaning of Rev 14: 7; it was a landmark doctrine from Historic Adventism, from the time period of the 1st Angels Message that could not be questioned or changed. But this position was never true and it is not true today.

Although Dr. Ford correctly pointed out that the IJ cannot be located in, or defined by, Rev 14: 7, the Takoma Park legalists could not understand such facts that proved them wrong.  This fatal error about the location and validity of the IJ became the basis for the Glacier View and the new creed called the 27 Fundamentals.  The Advent Movement has been self-destructing ever since.  The IJ/PAJ is a very misunderstood and false doctrine that is destroying the Advent Movement.

False IJ Passages

2Co_5:10; 1Pe_4:17; Rev 20:12

As for these three NT passages that SDA’s claim supports the IJ, they do no such thing.  No passage in either the OT or the NT supports the doctrine of the IJ, because there is no such doctrine in the Bible.  

Moreover, when this IJ/PAJ doctrine was invented, in 1857 by the SDA’s, they never claimed it was based on Rev 14: 7 as all modern SDA’s have been taught.  The Pioneers knew better.  They never changed Miller’s original interpretation as being exclusively about the Second Coming.  They always associated this (incorrect) Pre-Advent Judgment, known as the IJ, with the 3rd Angels Message, (Rev 14: 9-12).  

This historical fact changes the discussion for the Adventist Community and proves that Glacier View was a sham.  Dr. Ford was correct to repudiate the IJ as the PAJ in 1980 and he is still correct today.  There is no such “pillar” as the IJ in the Three Angels Messages, much less in the 1st Angels message, as modern SDA’s teach.

The SDA leaders have been very dishonest, legalistic, and incompetent about the IJ/PAJ.  They have not told the truth about the doctrinal development of the Advent Movement or the teachings of Ellen White.  

All modern SDA’s have been horribly misled by their leaders, especially the White Estate.   For generations they have pretended that Ellen White supports the IJ/PAJ in the 1st Angels Message, when this was never true at any time.  

No wonder the SDA’s are so confused and dysfunctional?  They don’t know the fundamental pillars that define the Advent Movement.  They don’t even know what Ellen White teaches on this point or many others that they have also misunderstood.

Let’s take a closer look at the doctrinal development of Dan 8:14.  It has gone through numerous changed interpretations, none of which has ever been correct.  (In fact, Dan 8: 14 is not the PAJ of the church.  That is another prophetic passage in the NT, which the SDA’s have failed to locate, much less understand and embrace.)

The Changing Sanctuary Doctrine

While many SDA's think the Sanctuary/IJ/PAJ doctrine is an important fundamental that must be preserved at all costs, the facts are very different.  No teaching associated with Dan 8:14 has ever been "solid" or fully correct at any time.  From the very beginning of the Adventist Movement, there has ALWAYS been serious error with the understanding of the Sanctuary doctrine in Dan 8:14.  Which is why this doctrine has been changed and revised so many times.  And why it is still so full of problems and even more revisions today.

The First Two Interpretations

From the very first attempt to understand Dan 8:14, Miller had the doctrine wrong when he declared that the Sanctuary was the earth to be "cleansed by fire" at the Second Coming.  When this event failed to take place within Miller's original time frame, other Adventists, against his advice, revised the date for this "Sanctuary Cleansing" by proclaiming the end of the world would take place on October 22, 1844.    This was the first revision to Dan 8:14.  And it soon proved to be as wrong as Miller’s initial interpretation.

A Third Interpretation

Following the Great Disappointment of 1844, the two previous Sanctuary positions were declared to be erroneous and Dan 8:14 was dramatically re-interpreted to mean the Heavenly Sanctuary was to be "cleansed" of sin prior to the Second Advent.   This was the third interpretation of Dan 8:14.   This is the view of the early SDA Pioneers.

By 1845 there had been THREE revisions of Dan 8:14, and there were at least THREE more to come.  Why?  Because this process of error and reinterpretation would continue well into the 20th and even the 21st century.   In fact, there was never a time within the history of the Adventist Movement when Dan 8:14 and the Sanctuary doctrine was without error or debate.  Even today, the teaching is still very controversial, wrong, and polarizing.   Few realize how many times this dubious doctrine has been adjusted, revised, and changed over the years.  It is a doctrine of clay, not a solid pillar of theology like the 2nd Coming.

Fourth Revision in Battle Creek

As the Adventist Movement went forward after the Millerite disappointment, the Battle Creek SDA's in the late 1850's made further revisions to the Sanctuary Doctrine.  This FOURTH revision added the concept of a Celestial Judgment of the saints to the previous teaching about the "Cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary."  This is when the SDA's added the legalistic teaching that individual characters of the saints would be judged to see if they were good enough to be saved.   This interpretation would also become known the Pre-Advent Judgment of the church.  Prior to this date, there was no concept of a PAJ.

The FOURTH revision to Dan 8: 14 is the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment as the PAJ.  The IJ slowly developed within Battle Creek and became famous, thanks primarily to Uriah Smith, the long time Review Editor.   He is the champion of the IJ, even writing a large book in the 1870’s that detailed this evolving and unique SDA doctrine.   Uriah Smith’s doctrine of the IJ IS an extremely legalistic teaching that was very different from the earlier doctrine of "the Cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary."

The FIFTH Revision in Takoma Park

Following the great Battle Creek schism and the relocation of the denomination to Takoma Park, the Sanctuary Doctrine would not remain static.  It would soon undergo its FIFTH revision; a change, which would never have been approved by Uriah Smith, Ellen White, or any of the Pioneers.  

Surprisingly, the Takoma Park apologists began to incorrectly teach that the IJ was located and anchored in the1st Angels Message of Rev 14: 7.   This 20th century fabrication about the PAJ was proclaimed to be part of Historic Adventism that could never be challenged or changed.   Although this was never true, the White Estate and the Review promoted so much propaganda on this point, supposedly from Ellen White, that this position became normative for all 20th century Adventists and even today.  Thus the IJ as the PAJ was taught as fundamental doctrine for generations of modern Adventists.

However, this incorrect and legalistic position would have dire consequences because it elevated the IJ into the status of a  "Pillar" that was unknown to the Battle Creek Pioneers.   Those, like Dr. Ford, that would not accept this fifth revision of Dan 8:14 would eventually be ostracized from the Adventist Movement and considered traitors.  

Thus, in 1980, Glacier View turned this fifth version of the Sanctuary into an official Creed called the 27 Fundamentals, thus creating great confusion and controversy that has effectively derailed the Adventist Movement. In fact, Glacier View created such a major schism within the Adventist Community that it precipitated a massive exodus from the church unparalleled since the Battle Creek debacle at the turn of the 20th century.  

With such an IJ backlash, it didn't take long for the leaders to realize that they had made a serious mistake.  Therefore they went to work to make more adjustments to the ever-changing Sanctuary doctrine.  

The SIXTH Revision

Glacier View was an instant disaster for the SDA’s.  It was their greatest mistake of the 20th century, and one that they must soon correct or it will destroy them.   This failed attempt to defend the IJ has backfired as Millions left the church, and more leave every day over this issue.

Notwithstanding the exile of Dr. Ford in 1980, the Adventist leaders quickly realized that the IJ was not sustainable or defendable. While they understood that Dr. Ford’s view of the Gospel was clearly more reassuring than Uriah Smiths doctrine of the IJ, they wanted to find a way to keep both.  Thus the leaders tried to, once again, reconfigure Dan 8: 14 making it sound more Gospel friendly.  This would be the 6th revision to Dan 8: 14.

The post Glacier View leaders now declared that Dan 8: 14 was not about who was "good enough" to be saved--but rather--who had saving faith in Christ.   Such a viewpoint does not represent the original Battle Creek doctrine of the IJ, nor does it make any theological sense today.  It is just double-talk from those that refuse to repent.

In addition, instead of the saints and their character being on trial, as Uriah Smith taught, the SIXTH version placed God on trial, claiming that he needed to prove that he was just and fair to the universe.  Smith would not have supported this revised position any more than he would have supported the fifth version that had incorrectly placed the IJ in the 1st Angels Message.   He never taught that point either.  

But regardless, this new, post –Glacier View spin about the Sanctuary/IJ/PAJ is officially being promoted by the Denomination today, as if Glacier View had never taken place.   And it is this 6TH and latest version that is being presented to the church through the Review and the Sabbath School lessons.

Although the Conservatives loudly protested this SIXTH change from the 5th Revision of Dan 8:14, which was upheld and made official at Glacier View, it was to no avail.   It was obvious that Dr. Ford's Gospel was far superior to Uriah Smith's legalistic theology, and therefore, another revision of Dan 8:14 would take place.  

Within a decade after Glacier View, the Review backtracked about the Sanctuary Doctrine and started to promote Dr. Ford's version of the Gospel, (without ever admitting this), even as the church took steps to silence the legalistic Conservatives.  They also introduced a new policy called "pluralism," which allowed both sides of the debate to embrace either the fifth or the more recent and Gospel friendly sixth version of the Sanctuary/IJ/ PAJ doctrine.  Such a compromise was designed to stop the post Glacier View schism and allow the church to move forward without having to admit that they had been wrong about Dan 8:14, or Glacier View, or anything.   

Today, after SIX revisions of Dan 8:14, no one should be under any illusion that the Sanctuary/IJ/PAJ doctrine is solid or unchangeable, much less correct.  As if it has not undergone numerous and repeated revisions that has dramatically changed its meaning over time.  The fact of the matter is that Dan 8:14 is the most problematic, revised, and controversial doctrine in the SDA church.

Few today correctly understand its complex and checkered history that has destroyed the mission and the message of the Adventist Movement and brought great perplexity to modern Adventism.  The IJ/ PAJ is ruining the Advent Movement.

Today, the failure to correctly understand the Pre-Advent Judgment has left the SDA church mired in theological chaos and endless schism that will never be resolved until the Seventh and final interpretation of the PAJ emerges.  Therefore it is time for the Adventist Community to understand the Gospel meaning of the Pre-Advent Judgment; and to resolve this embarrassing and counterproductive situation that is preventing the Adventist Community from moving forward in unity and apocalyptical purpose.

False IJ Texts

2Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

This passage is about the 2nd Coming.  We will all have to stand in front of Christ.  The IJ teaches that we are being judged from the record books, and thus we are not there in person, as this text requires.  This is one of many ways to disprove this false judgment of the SDA’s.

Matt. 25:31  “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

Matt. 25:32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;

Matt. 25:33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

Matt. 25:34  “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

John 12:48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.

Rom. 14:10  But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

Rom. 14:11 For it is written,

Rom. 14:12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

Acts 17:31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

None of these passages apply to a pre-Advent judgment, supposedly taking place, far out in deep space.  Rather, they are about the final Judgment of the world, which takes place on earth, where we will be present in front of Christ.

Judgment as Persecution

1Pet. 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

This passage references Christian persecution as part of the judgments of God upon the Jews. See previous verse 16 “but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.”   This is the context, not some future judgment in heaven.

Clark’s Commentary on 1Peter 4:17 states:

Verse 17. Judgment must begin at the house of God. Our Lord had predicted that, previously to the destruction of Jerusalem, his own followers would have to endure various calamities; see Matt. xxiv. 9, 21, 22; Mark xiii. 12, 13; John xvi. 2, &c. Here his true disciples are called the house or family of God. That the converted Jews suffered much from their own brethren, the zealots, or factions into which the Jews were at that time divided, needs little proof; and some interpreters think that this was in conformity to the purpose of God, (Matt. xxiii. 35:

That on you may come all the righteous blood shed from the foundation of the world,) “that the Jewish Christians were to be involved in the general punishment; and that it was proper to begin at them as a part of the devoted Jewish nation, notwithstanding they were now become the house of God, because the justice of God would thereby be more illustriously displayed.” See Macknight.

But probably the word krima, which we here translate judgment, may mean no more than affliction and distress; for it was a Jewish maxim that, when God was about to pour down some general judgment, he began with afflicting his own people in order to correct and amend them, that they might be prepared for the overflowing scourge.

In Bava Kama, fol. 60, 1, we have the same sentiment, and in nearly the same words, as in Peter, viz.: “God never punishes the world but because of the wicked, but he always begins with the righteous first. The destroyer makes no difference between the just and the unjust, only he begins first with the righteous.”

See Ezek. ix. 1–7, where God orders the destroyer to slay both old and young in the city: But, said he, begin at my sanctuary.

And if it first begin at us. Jews, who have repented, and believed on the Son of God; what shall the end be of them — the Jews who continue impenitent, and obey not the Gospel of God? Here is the plainest reference to the above Jewish maxim; and this, it appears, was founded upon the text, which St. Pet. immediately quotes.

Matt. 23:34  “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,

Matt. 23:35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

Matt. 23:36 “Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Matt. 23:37   “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

Matt. 23:38 “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

John 16:2 “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

Lighfoot says:

[Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted.] To this relate those words of 1 Peter 4:17, “The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God”; that is, the time foretold by our Saviour is now at hand, in which we are to be delivered up to persecution,

The Judgment of the Wicked Not The IJ

Rev. 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things, which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

Rev 20 speaks about the binding of Satan, the millennial reign of the saints with Christ, and the last judgment of the wicked.  This is not to be confused with the Judgment of the 2nd Coming, which has already taken place.

There is no reference here to the IJ.

Research Links:

The Judgment in the 1st Angels Message


Tom Norris, Ellen White, & the IJ

First Angel's Message & the Pre-Advent Judgment


Today, the Adventists are in a great crisis.  They have “forgotten” where they came from and where they are supposed to be going.  They have horribly misunderstood the Three Angels Messages, even as they long ago became blind to the teachings of the Apostles and Adventist Pioneers.  

Until the SDA’s repent for being so wrong about the Three Angels Messages, especially the IJ/ PAJ, and for being so incompetent and dishonest about Ellen White and church history, they will continue to self-destruct.  Their present course and doctrines are not correct or sustainable.  There is no hope for the Adventists unless they can repent for Glacier View and tell the truth about the Three Angels Messages and the PAJ.

I hope this helps.

Tom Norris for Adventist Reform and All Experts.Com

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for such a lengthy reply.

Having read the diatribe I think I understand better what happens to people described by Ellen White in A Word To The Little Flock:

While praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell on me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them—when a voice said to me, “Look again, and look a little higher.” At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry. This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted Hallelujah! Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spake the time, he poured on us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai.—A Word to the Little Flock, 14 (emphasis supplied). SDD 53.4

Understand that the people on the path are those who accepted the Advent message regarding the IJ, Rev 14:7 "The hour of His judgement IS come" not is coming!

As all good Adventists know this judgement began in 1844 in fulfilment of Dan 8:14.

Desmond Ford thinks Jesus went into the Most Holy Place at His ascension which cannot be supported from Scripture. The only place the Most Holy place is mentioned is in Hebrews 9:3 not in 9:12!

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgement 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 of God?

This beginning of Judgement is not the Second Coming as you suggest.

You seem to be confused over the IJ and the executive judgement. Everyone knows that court cases consist of evidence being considered and deliberated before verdict and sentance.

Having rejected the inspired council from God to His Remnant people as stated above, is it now impossible for you, Desmond Ford and others to get back on the right track as stated above?

The IJ/PAJ Delusion

Like many SDA’s, you are on the wrong path.  You seem to think that what you have been taught by the Denomination is true, regardless if the facts show otherwise.  Such loyal “belief” is delusion and Gospel blindness.  This is the same dangerous mind set that caused the Jews to disregard Jesus’ Gospel teaching.  They were blind to the facts that condemned them, being very stubborn, legalistic, and unteachable.

Please understand, this is not a debate of opinions; a he said, she said, type of discussion.  No.  It is a discussion about the facts of church history and theology.  Our personal opinions and views don’t really matter, nor does tradition or the official myths taught by religious leaders.

Let me try to clarify some points and see if you can comprehend and process the real issues.

1) Ellen White has no doctrinal authority:  Like many SDA’s, you seem to think that Ellen White’s writings are like scripture.  This is not true, nor was it ever true.  

Such error is fatal, if not corrected.  It will, and it already has, prevented the church from properly understand the Gospel, much less the paradigm of the Three Angels Messages.  While Ellen White is a good source to understand the doctrinal development of Adventism, her writings are not like scripture and she is not like either an OT prophet or a NT Apostle.

2) Ellen White Does NOT Support the IJ in the 1st Angels Message: Ellen White is very misunderstood about many things because the White Estate is an incompetent and dishonest archive.  They have brainwashed millions into thinking Ellen White believes, teaches, and supports this official view that the IJ is located in the 1st Angels Message.  While this is what the White Estate and the Denomination teach, they are very wrong.  

Ellen White NEVER taught that the IJ was part of the 1st Angels Message or that it was a fundamental pillar from 1844.  (Neither did anyone else in Battle Creek).  She NEVER said or wrote that the IJ was the meaning of “the hour of his Judgment has come.”   The only “judgment” in Rev 14: 7, for all Adventists, was the 2nd Coming.  

This is not an opinion, or sour grapes, but an irrefutable fact of church history and theology.

No 19th century SDA ever claimed “the hour of his Judgment has come” in Rev 14: 7 was the IJ.  NO ONE, least of all Ellen White.  The Denomination’s current view is pure myth and fabrication that should not be tolerated, much less believed.  The official view about the IJ and the Three Angels Messages is horribly wrong.  Ellen White in no way supports such mythical, legalistic, and worthless eschatology.

What you and many others think is heaven sent truth, supported by Ellen White, is neither.  The IJ is not the reason why Adventism exists.  That distinction goes to the doctrine of the 2nd Coming as the day of Judgment and the end of the world.  The IJ is the reason why the Advent Movement has crashed and burned.

The IJ is not a “pillar,” much less a doctrine in the 1st Angels Message.  The IJ is foolish error and double-talk that Ellen White does not support.  You and all SDA’s have been misled and deceived.  Let me show you.

The IJ Delusion

First, you quoted one of the earliest SDA documents, “A Word to the Little Flock,” 1847.  

More specifically, you quoted from an early vision of Ellen White:

“To The Remnant Scattered Abroad.”

As God has shown me in holy vision the travels of the Advent people to the Holy City, and the rich reward to be given those who wait the return of their Lord from the wedding, it may be my duty to give you a short sketch of what God has revealed to me…

While praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell on me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them—when a voice said to me, “Look again, and look a little higher.” At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path.

Then you said:

“Understand that the people on the path are those who accepted the Advent message regarding the IJ, Rev 14:7 "The hour of His judgment IS come" not is coming!”

Really?  Who told you the IJ represents the proper “path” for the Advent people?  Ellen White?  Hardly.  

All SDA’s today think the IJ was “revealed” to Ellen White in vision, --because this is what the church teaches.  But this point is mythical, absurd, and very wrong.  It never happened.  

When this 1847 vision was given to Ellen White, the IJ did not exist!  It would not become a concept for another 10 years, and then it took another 20 years for the doctrine to be articulated and published in book form by Uriah Smith.  But even then, he never said the IJ was located in Rev 14: 7.  He correctly placed it as an appendage to the 3rd Angels Message.

So Ellen White could not, not, not, not, be speaking about the IJ in vision as you claim. Do you understand this simple point?  The White Estate has deceived millions on this point.

The IJ is not only false, so too is any configuration of the Three Angels that claims the IJ is located in the 1st Angels Message.  It was never there, and it can never be there.  The Takoma Park apologists should never have placed it there.  

This is madness.  Ellen White would not be pleased with you or the church she co-founded.  

Why are you trying to change the 1st Angels Message?  Why are you so far off the Advent path?

Why are you repudiating Ellen White and trying to blame Dr. Ford for telling the truth?  What is the matter with you?  

What don’t you understand about not changing these original messages?  Listen to Ellen White on this point.

"I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps-- the first, second, and third angels' messages. Said my accompanying angel, "Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance."

(Early Writings of Ellen G. White, page 258, paragraph 3, Chapter Title: Spiritual Gifts A Firm Platform.)

"The proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages has been located by the Word of Inspiration. Not a peg or pin is to be removed. No human authority has any more right to change the location of these messages than to substitute the New Testament for the Old. " {2SM 104.2}

The original eschatology of the Three Angels Messages cannot be changed.  The IJ was never a pillar in any of the Three Angels Messages, much less the 1st.  The IJ is a Trojan horse; a fraud that has been used to contaminate, change, and destroy the original eschatology of the Three Angels Messages.

No wonder the Advent Movement has become so dysfunctional?  They are not even close to understanding or following the Three A’s or Ellen White, much less the Gospel, which is the first Pillar in the 1st Angels Message.  The SDA’s have followed the fraud of the IJ off the Advent “path” and over a cliff.

SDA Pillars

I repeat, the 19th century SDA’s never claimed the IJ was located in Rev 14: 7, aka, the 1st Angels Message.  This fatal myth originated from the Takoma Park apologists and was made official at the sham trial of Dr. Ford at Glacier View.  Ellen White would not support any of the various Takoma Park views of the IJ, much less the outcome of Glacier View.  Those that think otherwise have been badly misled.

I find it ironic, as well as very dishonest, that those who claim to support Ellen White as having doctrinal authority, repudiate what she teaches about the IJ and many other things.  They are blind to the facts, which condemn them.

While the IJ supporters THINK they are following Ellen White by insisting that the IJ is part of the 1st Angels Message, they are taking a position directly against the facts of history and her teachings and warnings.  Anyone that supports the IJ today, is an enemy of Ellen White, not her friend as they pretend.  

Ellen White condemns anyone that tries to change the history and theological development of the Three Angels Messages.  Those that insert the IJ into Rev 14: 7, are not, not, not, following the original Three A’s or Ellen White whatsoever.  They are repudiating her core teachings that define and empower the Advent Movement.  

This IJ error is why the modern SDA’s are self-destructing.  They have long ago turned away from the genuine eschatology that made them famous and gave them purpose, mission, and hope.  The Denomination has turned away from the genuine Three Angels Messages, and also away from the real Ellen White, happily embracing the fraud the White Estate created.  Sad.

3) The SDA’s were very correct to understand that there must be a Pre-Advent Judgment of the last Church.  I am not saying otherwise.  This point became evident as they pushed eschatology forward, trying to understand from the Bible how the world would end.

However, the Adventists were wrong to 1) think the PAJ was located in Dan 8: 14 and 2) that it was the IJ.  

Dan 8: Adventists have never correctly understood 14.  NEVER.  In fact, this passage was originally viewed as the 2nd Coming and the end of the world.  There was no Pre-Advent Judgment assigned to it whatsoever.  

However, after 1844, during the period of the 3rd Angels Message, this passage was changed to supposedly mean the PAJ.  This was the FOURTH, change and there were more to come.

History shows that there has been 6 (six) different interpretations of Dan 8: 14.  And it is still not correct today!   

Dan 8: 14 is not about the IJ or even the concept of a PAJ.  It is primarily the story about the Jews taking back their Temple from their enemies.  It is the story of Hanukkah, not the IJ.  This is the 7th and correct interpretation of Dan 8: 14 for the Adventist Community to understand.  

If Dan 8: 14 is not the PAJ, then what passage is?

Answer:  The genuine PAJ of the last church cannot be in the OT.  Rather, it must be in the NT.  It is the Laodicean Message of Rev 3:14.  

Here is new doctrine for the Advent church!  The genuine PAJ is the key to moving Adventism forward to the 4th Angels Message.  The IJ is a fraud and will only continue to divide and destroy the Advent Movement.

4) Today, the SDA church has embraced a false view of the Three Angels Messages with both hands: However, the 1st Angels Message does not contain the IJ, or even the concept of a PAJ.  

The only Judgment in the 1st Angels Message is the 2nd Coming. The IJ, even though wrong, is linked to the 3rd Angels Message, - and not as a “pillar.”  Thus, the present theology of the Three A’s is fatally flawed and must be corrected.  If not, the Advent Movement will continue to collapse.

Ellen White makes it clear that the Advent Movement will fail if they stray from their core eschatology, which is the Three Angels Messages.  This is what has taken place. They are on the wrong path, following a distorted, legalistic, and worthless view of the Three Angels Messages.  Don’t shoot the messenger.  Repent and embrace Gospel Reform before it is too late.

Desmond Ford was very correct to expose the IJ as a false pillar, located within a fabricated and changed version of the Three Angels Messages.  Unless the Denomination repents for Glacier View and returns to the genuine and original version of the Three A’s, they will continue to self-destruct and look very foolish.

Today, the SDA’s are very confused and wrong about Ellen White and the Judgment that made them famous.   Unfortunately, they have replaced the 2nd Coming with a mythical, and secret Judgment way out in deep space.  This IJ error will be fatal if they do not soon repent and return to the genuine version of the Three A’s, which is based on the Protestant Gospel and the doctrine of the 2nd Coming.

I hope this discussion will open your eyes and enlighten your mind.  It is a glaring and dangerous error to think Ellen White placed the IJ in the 1st Angels Message, or that the PAJ is located in Daniel.  

The SDA leaders have been, and still are, very incompetent and dishonest.  They have misled millions and you are one of their many victims.  You, and many other SDA’s need to wake up, repent, and understand what is true and what is not.

Mark 4:23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Tom Norris for Adventist Reform and All Experts.Com

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Tom Norris


I can answer most any question about church history and theology, starting from 1818 when William Miller articulated the 1st Angels Message that became the foundation of the Adventist Movement. While this first prophetic message terminated in the spring of 1844, it was followed by what Adventists refer to as the 2nd Angels Message, which dates from the spring of 1844 until the great disappointment of October 22, 1844. By 1847, the 3rd Angels Message had been developed and this Sabbatarian theology represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Moreover, I can explain the historical and theological development of the SDA denomination from its beginning and on through the great Battle Creek schism that forced the SDA's to retreat to Takoma Park. Here the 20th century church recovered from their internal battles that had erupted at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis over the definition of the law and the Gospel. Fearing another repeat of this disaster, President Daniels, determined to hide this debate. However, this policy led to more conflict, especially over the role and authority of Ellen White, a unique and accomplished religious writer that had remarkable spiritual gifts. However, by the decade of the 1970`s, the church once again erupted into debate. The hierarchy settled the turmoil in 1980 with the trial of Dr. Desmond Ford at Glacier View. Here Dr. Ford was exiled because he supposedly disagreed with Ellen White over the Fundamentals. But this controversial action resulted in another major schism that is still in progress today.


Tom Norris was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist in Takoma Park, Md. He attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate. Over the years he has also interviewed a number of prominent Adventist scholars, theologians, and Pastors ranging from the late Arthur White to the exiled Dr. Desmond Ford. In addition, he has amassed a large private library, which includes numerous rare books and manuscripts about Adventist theology and history. He is presently the online editor of Adventist Reform, and can be found at Adventist for Tomorrow answering questions online about SDA theology and history as well as promoting Adventist Reform.

Tom Norris attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate.

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