Posts tagged Angels
The Pre-Advent Judgment 11: Benefit for the Angels

Seventh-day Adventist’s believe in what they call the Great Controversy. The Great Controversy is the panoramic view that scripture gives of the battle between Christ and Satan. The Great Controversy points out that before there was sin, heaven was in perfect harmony. This was the state of things until Lucifer rebelled.[1] The rebellion of Lucifer centered on the character of God.[2] Lucifer accused God of being unjust, unfair, and that His law was arbitrary.[3] Lucifer was then cast out of heaven and came to the earth where he continued His rebellion.[4] We notice this in Satan’s temptation of Eve which was based on questioning the character of God. 

From there, Satan deceived Eve and both she and Adam sinned. The result of their sin is the sinful world that we now live in. Today, many people ask the question, Why didn’t God just kill the devil when he first rebelled? The Great Controversy has the answer. Had God killed the devil, what would all of the other angels have thought? Scripture shows that Satan’s campaign against God was so deceptive that he took one third of the angels of heaven with him.[5] Had God simply killed Satan the other angels would have thought that God was trying to silence him and that perhaps Satan was on to something. Therefore, it was necessary for God to allow Satan to reveal to the angels who he truly was so that all of the angels could see that God was, is, and will forever be trustworthy. This revelation was fulfilled at the cross when every angel of God saw the self-sacrificing love of God come face to face with the self-centered malice of Satan. However, the battle is not over. Satan is “the accuser” and he accuses God’s people of being “unworthy” of salvation.[6] Even though God “knows them that are his”[7] the angels don’t. 

Therefore, the pre-Advent judgment is an opportunity for heavens angels to examine Gods decisions versus Satan’s accusations and see for themselves that God’s decisions are right and that Satan’s accusations are without foundation. “Heaven's pre-advent judgment does not investigate whether we are good enough but whether we have accepted our position in Christ's new humanity. God does not question our salvation but displays and defends it against the accusations of the devil. Therefore the judgment for believers is not a threat but a favor.”[8] In this way, the judgment is a benefit for the angels not for God. “When the unfallen beings in the universe examine the records of the saints during the pre-Advent judgment, they will conclude that God has indeed been just and merciful in each case. In this way the character of God, which has been at the center of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, will be exonerated.”[9] 

The official position of the Seventh-day Adventist church with regard to the pre-Advent judgment says, “The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection.”[10]

Further Reading: Why Does God Need to "Investigate?"

[1] Isa. 14:12., Eze. 28:12-19.
[2] Gen. 3:1-5., Job 4:12-18.
[3] Job 1:6-11.
[4] Luke 10:18., Rev. 12:9.
[5] Rev. 12:4.
[6] Rev. 12:10., Zec. 3:1-4
[7] 2 Tim. 2:19.
[8] Martin Weber, “What's the bottom line relevance of the judgment in my life for Christ today?” SDA for Me, [accessed March 29, 2012].
[9] Gerhard Pfandl, Daniel: The Seer of Babylon [Hagerstown: Review and Herald, 2004], 73.
[10] Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 17th ed., 18; emphasis added. quoted in Marvin Moore, The Case for the Investigative Judgment, Its Biblical Foundation, [Nampa: Pacific Press, 2010], 44. Note: The term “worthy” refers to Christ’s righteousness, never our own.