Sunday: The Vision and the Judgment
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“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened” (Dan. 7:10).

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Read Daniel 7:1–14. What is happening here?

After Daniel sees the four beasts, he observed another horn coming up among the horns of the fourth beast. This “little horn” became the main enemy of God and His saints. Then, suddenly, Daniel’s attention turned from the dark earth to a bright judgment scene in the heavenly throne room (Dan. 7:9–14).

The judgment scene is the pivot of the entire vision and involves two key figures, the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man. Angels also are there, witnesses to the judgment. The scene unfolds in three steps: first is the court scene (vss. 9, 10), then the outcome of the judgment on the beastly powers on earth (vss. 11, 12), and finally the transfer of dominion and kingdom to the Son of Man (vss. 13, 14). God the Father is portrayed as the majestic Ancient of Days, the wise and sage judge par excellence. “The Son of Man” represents humanity, Jesus Himself, in the heavenly court. Jesus used this title many times to refer to Himself, and at least twice He clearly evoked the images of Daniel 7 (Matt. 24:30, 26:64).

The Day of Atonement functions as the most natural typological setting for this heavenly temple scene. In fact, it is portrayed as if the heavenly High Priest comes, surrounded by clouds of incense, to the Ancient of Days. In Daniel 7:10, the “books were opened.” Books play a major role in the heavenly judgment. There are several books of heavenly origin known in the Bible: the “book of life” (Ps. 69:28, Phil. 4:3, Rev. 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, NASB), the “book of remembrance” (Mal. 3:16), the books of “deeds” (Rev. 20:12), and God’s “book” (Exod. 32:32-33; Ps. 56:8).

Imagine being judged by God (you will be). Imagine everything you have ever done being judged (it will be). If you have to stand on your record, your own deeds, your own good works, what hope do you have? What, then, is your only hope in judgment?

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Sunday: The Vision and the Judgment — 16 Comments

  1. What a database!!!!Books..and in the books written therein are good works and bad works!!
    I can't imagine how God makes the records all in order!!From Adam to our time every pertinent issue has been recorded.The question however is:"Is my name written in the book of life?"
    If yes may God be praised!!
    If not:God is still ministering for me and you,why not make radical changes in Him.
    The Ancient of days.....God the Judge and the Son of Man Jesus the High priest are ready to forgive,to clean us,to purify,to justify,to sanctify and to glorify the ones who abide in Him.

    Like(25)
  2. The judgement scene is bad news for us minus Christ,is difficult to conquer.But with Him,it is good news.Human depravity in every form is not easily brought into subjection to the Spirit of Christ. But all of us should be impressed with the fact that unless this victory is gained through Christ, there is no hope for us.

    Like(6)
  3. I'm moved at the Intervention and Provisions of our Elohim who has given Daniel the vision and us the understanding if we would obey and believe Him.

    Like(2)
  4. Judgment tends to evoke emotions of fear and a fiery stream does not seem inviting. Judgment also references law, which is not so popular these days. The KJV Bible actually uses the word law 523 times (not including the plural form, laws, or the various synonyms such as commandment, statute, precept or charge). By contrast faith occurs 247 times and grace 170 times.

    One reason for the Biblical emphasis is to underscore the sacred value of law to the Creator. God’s Law is original and eternal. As applied to salvation both faith (not trust) and grace are derived and temporary. They were not of original intent, although they have become necessary, and we will not spend eternity claiming these gifts (although there will be occasion to reflect on them), hoping to be saved. However we will need to keep the law perfectly in the hereafter.

    Talk of law is sometimes avoided to shun the appearance of legalism. However, we ought not to shrink from magnifying the law, but join Christ (Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17-19). Like the Psalmist we may freely express our love for the law and delight in it (Psalm 1:2; Psalm 119: 96-105). We cannot love God and not love His law, which is an extension of God.

    Fear of judgment need only arise if the professed lover of God is lukewarm towards His law. It is then that the fire of the Divine is a consuming prospect (of Hell). Otherwise judgment is vindication and fire is refining. The redeemed will dwell in fire (in God’s presence) with joy unspeakable. The judgment separates out the people who God can trust in the Kingdom of Heaven not to incite disaffection because of discomfort with the law which they find too restrictive. In evangelism and church growth the people should not be led to believe otherwise, even as we share righteousness by faith.

    Like(16)
    • The judgment is done in favor of us believers and therefore it is just right that we should rejoice during the judgment day because it is the time that all of us will be vindicated.

      My question is, why are we commissioned to tell the world "FEAR GOD (not rejoice in God)..FOR THE HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT HAS COME, Rev. 14: 7". And if I remember it correctly, the Israelites were literally fearful and trembling during the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary. Reconcile pls. Thanks

      Like(1)
    • We must more closely magnify the "new commandment" of the New Covenant introduced by the Lord Jesus Christ:...love your neighbor as yourself; love your enemies....God is Love. God is not Thou Shall Not which is for slaves of sin.

      Like(0)
      • Hi Kenny,

        I agree that we should focus more on the core principle of God's Law than on the do's and dont's. :)

        However the only "new" commandment that I'm aware of Christ giving is the commandment to love as He loved. (John 13:34)

        The "new covenant" was based on the same law as the "old covenant." (Jere 31:33; Heb 8:10) The difference is between the "promises." (Heb 8:6) The "old" covenant was based on the promises of the people. (The thought they could keep the Law.) The New Covenant is based on the promises of God, i.e. grace. It is the same covenant as was made with Abraham, among other things.

        The two "great commandments" are quotes from the books of Moses, so they are very old summaries of the Ten Commandments. (Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV. See also Deut. 6:4-6 and Lev. 19:18)

        It may help to review what the "law of God" referenced in the Bible really refers to. (Hint: It's a brief description of what love to God and man looks like in action.) See also "God’s Law: The One, the Two, the Ten and the Many"

        It seems to me, then, that the chief difference between the "old" and "new" covenants is in our attitude - whether we focus on our "doing" what the Law requires, or whether we focus on our own behavior, or whether we focus on Christ and His love for us, in us, and through us.

        Like(2)
  5. I used to think that judgment and the law were fearful terms because I would have to clean myself up and stand perfect before God or else be lost.

    Now I believe God's law is His guarantee of what I'll be like if I surrender my all to Him. When I surrender to Christ, He covers me with His righteousness (I reflect Him), the Holy Spirit begins the task of creating in me a reflection of Christ. As long as I surrender all to Him, I learn to love what God loves and hate what He hates.

    It's no longer fear that makes me respond to Him, it's my love and gratitude. Then, as with a loving parent, I not only want to do what He says do, I want to be like Him in every way possible. In the great controversy, by my choice to give Jesus my all, I'm agreeing that God isn't arbitrary, controlling or harsh. It is possible to do God's will in His strength, which He gives freely.

    It's not enough just to follow orders that would be legalism. I want to do what He asks but also know Him in a relationship and be like Him in thought, word and action. My motivation is no longer fear, but awe, respect, dependence, belonging, affection, love, and full surrender of my wants and understanding so He can direct my paths.

    Like(16)
    • Nanci, I love how you expressed it. I feel that way,too. I want to love and obey my Heavenly Father and not fear. There is peace and love in that kind of relationship.

      Like(1)
  6. [Moderator's Note. Please use full names when commenting. Comments without full names may not be published. Thank you.]

    Because of Chrit's forgivenes I am no longer fearful of the judgement, but hopeful.

    Like(0)
  7. Thank God, he is good and will remain good to everyone of us I have a questions that're troubling me.
    here are my questions, "if we are judged in favor and we are saved by grace how then do we become guilty by sinning? If for example say I sin today and confess and repent for my sin and I sin again tomorrow I become guilty again, unless I repent I will be condemned to perish How is that judgement not depending on my works??
    And another thing, " from Rev. 20:12 the bible reads I saw the dead,... standing before God and books were opened and they were judged", does that mean, the dead are communicating with God during judgement? someone make a clear elaboration please

    Like(0)
    • Hi Marwa! May I try to answer your questions.

      God does not need judgment. In fact He knows who will be saved and not, even before the judgment day. God is omniscient. The only reason why there are judgments is for the benefit of His created beings. Remember the question that is at stake here is the justice of God. Satan claims that God is unfair and unjust. WILL GOD BE JUST AND FAIR IN SAVING AND PUNISHING MAN. Let me explain one by one.

      INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT. Who are involved in this judgment? Yes, God and the angels. If there is no investigative judgment and the angels saw you in heaven and did not see your pastor who is more religious than you are, then there's a big problem. The justice of God will be in question. Remember angels are not omniscient so they are not aware of our secret sins. But because there is an investigative judgment that is being done today, our records are open to them and their questions are already answered why that brother makes it to heaven and the other brother does not make it to heaven. Every question will be answered in the investigative judgment and the angels cannot say anything but to praise and acknowledge the fairness of God.

      MILLENNIAL JUDGMENT. Who are involved in this judgment? Yes, God and the saved. THIS JUDGMENT IS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SAVED. The same question will be asked. Why is my pastor not saved? (only an example). Because of Millennial judgment, the records will be shown to the saved and all their questions will be answered and again the saved will declare, God is truly just and fair.

      EXECUTIVE JUDGMENT. This judgment will take place at the end of the millennium. It will be done for the benefit of the lost. It is only during this time that all men saved and lost together will face God to receive the reward and punishment. God will show everything why some are saved and some are not. Even the lost including Satan will be convinced during this time of the justice and love of God. Everything will be answered and all will bow down before God and will declare that God is just.

      The doctrine of sanctuary does not only teach us about the THREE PHASES OF SALVATION (salvation of the righteous) but also the THREE PHASES OF JUDGMENT (eradication of sin/evil). This is how I summarize the cleansing of the sanctuary.

      I hope somebody will elaborate clearer. Thanks

      Like(1)
  8. These are really great questions. The bible reads, "I saw the dead standing before God and books were openned and they were judged." When the Lord comes in the clounds on that glorious day, he will raise the dead from their graves. They too will be judged before be raised in the clouds with the Lord. Please read these texts: 1 Corinthians 15:52; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 Corinthians 6:14

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  9. [Moderators note:We prefer that commentators use their full names as it helps with integerity.]

    We are urged to tell the world to fear God for the hour is come because judgement is really a scary thing and God happens to be the one bringing it, so for us to love the day we need to love Christ (john 14;15) first who is our advocate and intercessor.

    Like(1)
  10. There is no where a dead person will stand before God to be judged.
    We all know that in 1844 Judgement began. This judgement, first began with the dead- the dead are judged from their records that are written in these books. In other words judgement of the dead is book work. Inspiration records that as soon as this done, it will be transfered to the living- which will result in bodily separation- meaning the righteous will be taken to heaven while the wicked will remain on earth- die by His brightness when He appears- in the Gospels there is record- one is taken, the other remain- these who remain, where they are, also the vultures are there!

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