Built Upon the Rock
by E.H. ‘Jack’ Sequeira

Appendix C:  The Investigative or Pre-Advent Judgment

Both the doctrine of 1844 (covered in Appendix A and Appendix B) and the Investigative Judgment form part of the 24th Fundamental belief of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, “Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary.”  Since these two beliefs play a very important role in the theology of the church, however, we will study them separately.  We now turn our attention to the Investigative, or Pre-Advent Judgment.

The doctrine of the last judgment of the human race is a key teaching of Scripture.  Almost every book in the Bible, Old and New Testaments, mentions or alludes to it.  The doctrine teaches that the lives of the believers will indeed be scrutinized before Jesus comes:

Romans 14:10
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister?  Or why do you treat them with contempt?  For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.  At that time each will receive their praise from God.
Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Another book was opened, which is the book of life.  The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

This review of the lives of the saints is referred to as “The Investigative Judgment,” or “The Pre-Advent Judgment,” in Seventh-day Adventist Church teachings.  To be correctly appreciated, the Investigative Judgment must be understood in the context of the everlasting gospel:

Revelation 14:6-7
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people.  He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come.  Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

This is especially true of the Investigative Judgment of believers since, more than other doctrines, it has produced fear and insecurity in some members’ lives.  Note the observation of the late evangelical scholar Walter Martin who, at one time, categorized Adventism as a cult:

Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter Martin, Page 479
Holding as they do to the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment, it is extremely difficult for us [evangelicals] to understand how they [SDAs] can experience the joy of salvation and the knowledge of sins forgiven.

By studying the Investigative Judgment in context of the everlasting gospel and the truth of justification by faith alone, we will discover that this belief is good news indeed.

Judgment Defined

According to Scripture, the judgment — whether of believers or unbelievers — involves three steps:

  1. The work of investigation or scrutinizing the lives of the human race.  This is equivalent to a trial:

    Romans 14:10
    You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister?  Or why do you treat them with contempt?  For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
    1 Corinthians 4:5
    Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.  At that time each will receive their praise from God.
  2. The rendering of a verdict by a judge, or jury, regarding the person on trial:

    Deuteronomy 25:1
    When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty.
    Romans 5:16
    Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin:  The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
    Revelation 16:5-7
    Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say:  “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were; for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
    And I heard the altar respond:  “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”
  3. The execution of the verdict in the form of a sentence, rewarding the just and punishing the wicked:

    Jude 14-15
    Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them:  “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
    Revelation 22:12
    “Look, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”

Three different words appear in the original languages of Scripture to describe and distinguish the three stages of judgment.  Most English Bibles, however, translate them all as “judged” or “judgment.”  This can make it difficult to distinguish which of the three stages is being addressed in Bible passages.

The Objective Facts of the Judgment

To correctly present the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment as a function of the gospel, we must begin with what the Bible teaches about the objective facts of the judgment.  According to Romans, sin entered the human race through one man, Adam:

Romans 5:12, 16
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned....  Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin:  The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.

Accordingly, Adam’s sin brought the judgment of condemnation on all humanity.

This condemnation on all of mankind was executed in Christ on the cross.  This is how Christ Himself expressed it:

John 12:31-33
“Now is the time for judgment on this world [human race]; now the prince of this world [Satan] will be driven out.  And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”  He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

By Christ’s death on the cross, the sentence of condemnation to death was changed to justification to life for all mankind:

Romans 5:18
Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.

This is the incredibly good news of the gospel!

1 Corinthians 15:21-22
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

This good news of the gospel has made it possible for every individual to change his or her legal status from condemnation to justification:

Acts 17:30-31
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.  He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.

This is the foundation of the judgment of individual believers that takes place in the Investigative Judgment:

Hebrews 2:2-3
For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?  This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.

This legal change, or justification, is realized the moment one accepts the good news of the gospel from the heart:

Mark 16:15-16
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Through Christ, every believer passes from death to life, from condemnation to justification:

John 5:24
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

Wherever the everlasting gospel is proclaimed in context of the hour of His judgment...

Revelation 14:6-11
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people.  He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come.  Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
A second angel followed and said, ““Fallen!  Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice:  “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.  They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever.  There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

...the gospel demands a human response, either for or against Christ:

Hebrews 10:26-29
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

The end of the world cannot come until this gospel of the kingdom has been preached in all the world for a witness:

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Two Main Objections Against the Investigative Judgment

Critics of the concept of an Investigative Judgment generally object to the teaching on two grounds.  First, they note that the New Testament suggests that the judgment of both believers and unbelievers takes place at Christ’s Second Advent:

Matthew 25:31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Why then, they ask, do Adventists teach a pre-advent judgment for believers?

In response, we must point out that, to God, time is insignificant, since He works in the framework of eternity:

2 Peter 3:8
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

Major prophesied events are often lumped together in the Bible, though their fulfillment may be separated by centuries.  A good example is Matthew 24, where Jesus combines the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. with the end of the world, which is still future.  Another good example is the first, second, and third comings of Christ.  Often, in the Old Testament, these are lumped together, especially in the book of Isaiah.

A second important point in favor of the Investigative Judgment is that the New Testament states that believers will receive their reward at the Second Coming of Christ:

Revelation 22:12
“Look, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”

Their judgment, therefore, must have taken place prior to the Second Advent.  Daniel 7, which deals with the Investigative Judgment, clearly implies this very thing:

Daniel 7:9-10, 22, 26-27
As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.  His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.  His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.  A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him.  Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.  The court was seated, and the books were opened.
...Until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
...“But the court will sit, and his
[the little horn’s] power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever.  Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High.  His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’

And finally, Christ is now High Priest for humanity (intercessor and advocate) in the heavenly Sanctuary:

Hebrews 7:25, 8:1-2
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.  ...Now the main point of what we are saying is this:  We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.
1 John 2:1
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

Before He comes to earth, He will remove His priestly robes and come as King and Conqueror.  The question that we must ask is this:  If the believers are judged at the Second Advent itself, who will serve as their advocate?

The second objection to the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment is that, since all believers are already justified by faith in Christ, apart from law-keeping or any good works...

Romans 3:28, 4:5
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.  ...However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.

...what is the purpose of an investigation of their behavior, since “God knows those who are His”?

2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription:  “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

In response, we must remember that the Investigative Judgment of Christians is supported by the Bible itself:

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

The New Testament clearly states that even the believers will have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ:

Romans 14:10
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister?  Or why do you treat them with contempt?  For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Second, the purpose of the Investigative Judgment is not to determine which of God’s saints deserves heaven, but to vindicate the saints against Satan’s accusations:

Revelation 12:10
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:  “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.  For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”

The Father and the Son are both on the believer’s side in the judgment:

Romans 8:31-34
What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns?  No one.  Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

This is equally true of the Holy Spirit:

Romans 8:16-17
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

As already mentioned, Satan accuses the saints day and night.  That accusation has to be silenced before Christ can lawfully take the saints to heaven:

Zechariah 3:1-4
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.  The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan!  The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you!  Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.  The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

The Problem Facing the Investigative Judgment

The New Testament contains two groups of texts that seemingly contradict one another.  On the one hand, the Bible clearly teaches that salvation is by grace alone, offered to sinners as a free gift, through faith in Jesus Christ, apart from law-keeping or any good works they have done:

Romans 3:28; 4:5
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.  ...However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.
1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:  Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.
Titus 3:5
...He [Jesus] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit....

On the other hand, we read in other verses that believers who are justified by faith alone in the doing and dying of Christ, are judged and rewarded according to their works:

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
John 5:28-29
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out — those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”
2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
1 Peter 4:17
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Another book was opened, which is the book of life.  The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

How do we reconcile these two groups of apparently contradictory texts?  Many Christians ignore the problem by emphasizing one group of texts at the expense of the other.  But the unity of Scripture will not allow such a solution for, in some cases, the very same Bible author seems to write in favor of both sets of texts.  Certainly there must be an underlying harmony that eludes us on first reading.

We discover that harmony in yet a third group of texts, which explains that, while salvation is a free gift to underserving sinners, genuine faith is always manifested by good works.  In other words, the gospel saves the believers from condemnation itself and leads them forward to a life of good works:

Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
John 14:12
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Titus 2:14; 3:8
[Jesus Christ] who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  ...This is a trustworthy saying.  And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.  These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

This is why the apostle James condemns those who claim to have faith in Christ, yet do not manifest this faith by works:

James 2:17-19
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.  You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that — and shudder.

He continues:

James 2:20
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

James does not contradict Paul when he declares:

James 2:24
You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

According to James, Abraham’s offering of Isaac (which took place more than 40 years after Abraham was justified by faith) simply proved that his faith was perfect:

James 2:22
You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

According to Hebrews 11:17-19, God was testing Abraham’s faith when He commanded this father of all believers to sacrifice “his one and only son.”

Hebrews 11:17-19
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.  He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”  Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

Works, while they do not save or contribute toward salvation, nevertheless prove that one’s faith is genuine and, therefore, vindicate one’s justification by faith.  This is James’s point:

James 2:20-26
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.  You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.  In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Like James, Paul also upholds works of faith:

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.  We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Titus 3:8
This is a trustworthy saying.  And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.  These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

What Paul condemns is “works of the law,” that is, legalism — using law-keeping as a method, or means, of salvation.

Vindicating the Saints in the Investigative Judgment

In the Investigative Judgment, Satan’s accusations are rebuked and the saints’ justification is vindicated.  How does Christ — the High Priest, Intercessor, and Advocate — accomplish this vindication?

The believers’ works of faith are investigated in the judgment, not to prove they are good enough to go to heaven (they will never be good enough for that), but to prove that their faith is genuine.  In other words, their works of faith are used in the Investigative Judgment as a witness to their faith, not as a means of salvation.

Once the believer’s faith in Christ’s righteousness is established, it gives Jesus (the Advocate, Substitute, and Representative) the lawful right to vindicate their justification by faith.  This is why the apostle John declares:

1 John 4:17-18
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment:  In this world we are like Jesus.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears [the judgment] is not made perfect in love.

In analyzing the Investigative Judgment, as portrayed by the prophet Daniel in chapter 7, we notice that all three steps of the judgment are mentioned.  Verses 9 and 10 describe the investigation, or trial:

Daniel 7:9-10
As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.  His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.  His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.  A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him.  Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.  The court was seated, and the books were opened.

Verse 22 gives us the verdict:

Daniel 7:22
...Until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.

Verse 27 mentions the reward:

Daniel 7:27a
“Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High.”

This will take place at the Second Advent:

Matthew 25:31-34
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’”

And since Daniel 7 parallels Chapter 8, we can link the date 1844 of Daniel 8:14 with the Investigative, or Pre-advent Judgment of Daniel 7.

We may therefore conclude that the Investigative Judgment is an integral part of the good news of salvation.  At last Satan’s accusations will be silenced and the believers’ justification by faith will be vindicated forever.  Their iniquity [sinful nature] will be subjectively blotted out and replaced by the glorified nature of Christ, which He obtained for humanity in His earthly mission and will be fully imparted to the saints at the Second Advent:

Zechariah 3:1-4
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.  The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan!  The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you!  Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.  The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”
Romans 5:19
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Philippians 3:20-21
But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Revelation 22:20-21
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.  Amen.

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