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Tuesday: The Court was Seated — 29 Comments

  1. This week I have given a brief summary of the period from the Neo-Babylonian kingdom to the end of the papal period from an essentially secular record. Any reading of history does not paint a pretty picture and is often described as "Man's inhumanity to man" and "The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history!" The real history, as it happened is even more frightening than its symbolic representation in the four beasts. I think Daniel understood that. But for Daniel, to be given a glimpse of the future like that, it must have been somewhat of a shock.

    I think this vision was given close to the end of the prophesied seventy years of captivity and he was looking forward to the return of the Hebrews to their "Promised land". And to be given a vision of subjugation, turmoil, persecution, from kingdom after kingdom, must have been very discouraging indeed. Even the promise that in the end, there would be a judgement where God and his people would be vindicated left him deeply troubled. He had been given a shock. He had bitten off more than he could chew.

    It reminds me of the time I found a small leak in the plumbing that supplied the toilet cistern in our house. I thought that a quick turn of the joint with a spanner would fix the problem. Then I discovered that the cistern valve was leaking, then the new valve would not seat properly and I had to buy a whole new cistern because I could not buy the parts, then in the process the isolating tap and the connecting pipe needed replacing. In the end, a task that I thought would take a couple of minutes and no cost, ended up taking a day and a half, three trips to the hardware shop and a couple of hundred dollars.

    Daniel had wanted a short term fulfilment and had been given a much bigger picture than he wanted. or even thought he needed.

    • Not to divert from the comments you have posted Elder Maurice! However it very important that we realize our incompetence. (we need the Saviour) You might want to say, Nah, I can fix this, (whatever) I got this covered. What we should do is go to the 'Right Source' in the first place. This do it yourself religion that we practice will cause us a lifetime, a few hundreds of dollars, several trips to the store when we could be helping to rescue the perishing!

      • I don't disagree with what you are saying Ronald, but I was not proposing a "do it yourself" religion in my comment. It was merely to illustrate the point that Daniel really got a lot more than he expected and it overwhelmed him.

  2. The intriguing part of today's lesson study somehow troubles me! The Judgement and Christ pleading to The Father, My blood this sounds scary. As an SDA I was taught that this Court scene should be dreaded because when your name is called and you appear before the courts of heaven if there is one unforgiven sin you will be blotted out of heaven.
    If it's not too much to ask would you be so kind as to comment on the Judgment, The Court, The advocacy of Christ, I await your comments

    • Awhile ago there were some good article!es on the investigtive judgment on this blog maybe they can be re-posted?

      Although it seems to me that Daniel 7 is more a judgment between the dominion of the pompous, persecuting horn and Jesus dominion not on individuals?

      • Shirley, you are correct that the 'judgment' scene in Daniel 7 is 'judgment' (ie revelation: as per, for example, 1 Corinthians 4:5; Daniel 2:22) of the nature, character and consequential outcome of 2 kingdoms as per Daniel 7:26,27.

    • Ronald, it is such a pity that what you have outlined is unfortunately how things have been portrayed all too often. I, along with so many others, was raised on that view too.

      Having done much more study since (and continuing to do so), I find that many things have been taken literally that are in fact metaphors in scripture.

      I used to be a school teacher (and I still teach in my current role outside of school education). I am constantly trying to help people begin to understand something they don't yet know by starting with illustration of what they do know. Jesus did this a lot in His time on earth, asking the question "what shall I compare the kingdom of heaven to?" (Luke 13:18,20). See also Matthew 25:1 for one example comparison. Apocalyptic prophecy (eg Daniel and Revelation is full of metaphors - such as the 4 hybrid beasts in this weeks study). When we fail to acknowledge metaphors as metaphors, we mistakenly believe them to be the reality. And that takes us way off track! This is an essential background point.

      Another point is our tendency to impose our understanding of a concept onto biblical words/terms. I would propose that Isaiah 55:8,9 acknowledges that we have this tendency and therefore prompts us to go beyond what we know and try to learn how things operate in God's higher ways.

      Below, in a nutshell, is what I have learned to be the meanings behind the terms you asked about.

      The court. What Daniel would have seen in the vision was a king's court that Daniel would have been familiar with back in his day. Daniel served in the king's court. It is very unlike our modern notion of a courtroom. Follow Maurice's lead and do a little research into what a king's court was like in ancient near eastern society. As a start, google "ancient Babylonian-Hammurabi court" and click on images. You should see a picture/illustration to give you an initial idea. And as Maurice has written previously, courts back in ancient Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish times were based on a very different premise to our modern courts.

      Judgment: rather than a determination process, it is a revelation process where rather than a judge determining whether a person is innocent or guilty, there is a revealing of the state of a person's "heart" (another metaphor). See 1 Corinthians 4:5 as but one example verse illustrating this principle. See also John 3:18-21 which does not make sense under a traditional view of a courtroom judgment view but does make sense under a healing view (ie diagnosis & prognosis as revelation of what actually is and what it will lead to/result in via inherent cause and effect). This is 'evidence that speaks for itself' - no determination or interpretation needed. Why is God revealing a person's heart condition (1 Samuel 16:7)? Our heart is a metaphor for the 'place' where we will find our deepest desires that drive our behaviours. There are only two options for our heart: self-renouncing (Christlike) or self-seeking (Satan/beast-like).

      A self-renouncing heart is what those who genuinely desire to live by the principles of the Kingdom of God have. And this is the heart that leads to abundant life. On the other hand, a self-seeking heart is what those who genuinely desire to live in accordance with lawlessness have (see Genesis 6:5 in conjunction with 1 John 3:4). This heart can never lead to abundant life because lawlessness can only result in (self)destruction.

      What heart condition did Adam and Eve have before Genesis 3 when they were living the abundant life? A self-renouncing heart (ie Christlike: see John 15:13).

      What heart condition did Adam and Even adopt in Genesis 3? Self-seeking that causes death (via a cause and effect relationship: see Genesis 2:17).

      The notion that Adam and Eve 'sinned' by disobeying God and therefore needed to be punished does not represent the reality of what happened. Consequently, the notion of someone taking their punishment instead also doesn't represent the reality of what was actually needed to reverse and repair humanity's terminal heart condition (outlined above).

      Jesus life unto death (Philippians 2:8) and His ongoing advocacy are how God/Jesus actually fixes and restores what got broken. Though a judicial/forensic metaphor is sometimes used in scripture, it is just that - a metaphor. If you notice carefully, you will actually find that a healing metaphor is more frequently used in scripture and more closely conveys what is actually going on in the process of salvation - we are being healed and restored back to what should have been all along (ie the abundant life that Adam and Eve were created to experience and did experience prior to Genesis 3 and which is restored in Revelation 21 and 22). Notice carefully the words chosen in the end of Isaiah 53:5 - by His stripes we are healed. Healed is not the language of a legal/forensic system. But it is the language of actual restoration and recovery.

      I am not trying to 'bag' any person or denomination - but the truth of the matter is that a very distorted picture of things has predominated. If you do some careful searching out, you will find a very different picture of things that is sobering and encouraging - but not scary. It is a heart that desires sin/lawlessness that we need to fear and therefore be healed from (as per Psalm 51:10), not God.

      Paul was correct: the truth is that if God is for us (which He is: see 2 Peter 3:9), who can be against us(Romans 8:31-34)? Certainly not God!

      It takes considerable time and effort, but search out the truth of these things - for the truth really will set you free from the fear and dread of God that you mentioned. The Loma Linda University Press book Servant God (edited by Brad Cole) is one start point if you are interested in researching further for yourself.

      • Thank you for your response, Paul! at times I do ask questions to agitate a discussion because a vast majority of the time I do have a basic knowledge of the subject that is addressed.

  3. The courts were seated and there was judgment and dominion will be taken away from the pompous, persecuting horn and given to the the people of the Most High.

    There is judgment on this kingdom because he made war on the saints, persecuted them and tries to change laws and times.

    Which laws and times concern the people of God? It can only be the fourth commandment that says the 7th day is the Sabbath Day, but could also be the second law, one that prohibits the making of images and bowing down before them.

    How and why did this pompous horn persecute the saints? Like all the other kingdoms it was for power to make the people obey them. How - often by excommunicating them - is that happening in our community of faith?

  4. Being who we are, when and where we were born, ther is no way we can get anything right. We are physically prepared to do things wrong. But God can fix the unfixable! God left us with a choice for salvation, His Son. The complicated or impossible can be easily solved by His blood. The price to have our clothing clean has already been paid! We doubt, because we stop believing! God can turn our mess into something beautiful! We need to trust solely on Him until all this madness is completely done away with on His return to rescue us from ourselves.

  5. 1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ
    Being guided by the Holy Spirit in all we do.

    The Court Was Seated.
    In the court system there are some prominent people.
    Have we ever been part of the court system as a Judge, juror, witness, defendants, or plaintiff. It can be scary depending on what side you stand. You can be the defender and loose/ be condemned or the plaintiff and win the case. Or visa versa.
    Rom 8:1 In Jesus court, those who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit will not be condemned. Our life will be rapped up in Christ. We live the law daily and it is the law and law alone is the standard that will be used to judge us. The Ten Commandments. Love the Lord will all our heart soul body and mind and neighbor as ourselves. 1Cor 13: 1-13 pen it so beautiful.

    While the Christian’s life will be characterized by humility, it should not be marked with sadness and self-depreciation. It is the privilege of everyone so to live that God will approve and bless him. It is not the will of our heavenly Father that we should be ever under condemnation and darkness. . . . We may go to Jesus and be cleansed, and stand before the law without shame and remorse. GC 477

  6. Good morning everyone!
    Brother Maurice, I read your comments and I am grateful for your comment today and for your personal analogy with your plumbing system and Daniel biting off more than he could have chewed at that time.

    However, I have a question in relation to brother Ronald's sobering comment... when one's name is called in judgment and if there's one un-forgiven sin, that individual would be blotted out from heaven. Since we don't know when our names would come up in judgment, I'd like to know, would the Holy Spirit impress on our minds at the time our names come up about the particular sin/s that are un-forgiven so that we could seek forgiveness?
    I'm asking in relation also to sins that we would have committed and maybe didn't seek forgiveness for or we may not have known that it was a sin.

    I await an answer as a sincere seeker of truth from anyone who is willing to explain.

    • Athlete; We as human beings of this fallen earth are covered by Christ righteousness.!.!.! We need only except this gift in faith. We are never in our life here without an intercessor. God is not in heaven trying to find a place where we erred to keep us out of Heaven He is in heaven trying to find a viable reason to save us i.e. find us with a pure heart. True love, i.e. God’s love, is always totally other centered...Royce

      • Thank you Royce!

        I like what you said "God is not in heaven trying to find a place where we erred to keep us out of heaven..."

        Praise the Lord, saving us eternally is His goal.


    • Hi Athlene

      Perhaps you have read my reply to Ronald above.

      And as Royce too has outlined below, essentially it is our 'heart condition' that 'determines' our future via direct cause and effect. That is why God looks beyond our behaviours to our heart (1 Sam 16:7) to see its 'trend direction' so to speak. Though the English translations of Romans 2:5-10 can easily be misperceived, if you look carefully you will see that this is what Paul is talking about. Verse 7 most explicitly supports the notion of a 'trend condition' where Paul says those who by persistence in good seek ....(the values consistent with)... eternal life. And verse 6, correctly understood, most explicitly conveys the idea that it is a cause and effect phenomenon. Verse 5 also explicitly portrays that judgment is a process of revealing of God's righteous judgment - or as we might say to today, God's accurate diagnosis (and associated prognosis) is being revealed. Put this with 1 Corinthians 4:5 and you will see its is God's revealing of the truth of our hearts trend condition/direction that has resulted in us being reunited once again with eternal life or has resulted in us perishing eternally via self-destruction.

      This is how/why Jesus could say to the woman (who was actually caught in the act of adultery), neither do I condemn you - go and sin no more (John 8:11). Jesus knew the direction of the desires of her heart. Genesis 6:5 on the other hand is an indication of the heart of those who perish (ie self-destruct as opposed to being destroyed by God for God destroys no-one: He doesn't need to because sin is self-destructive by its inherent nature as lawless).

      That you are a sincere seeker of Truth Athlene says something about your trend heart condition.

      If you or others have any further questions or concerns, please ask...

      • Duly noted Phil!
        "God's revealing of the truth of our hearts trend condition/direction" is indeed a fact.
        I sincerely thank you for your insight and clarity on the issue I raised.

        God be praised!
        Continue to enlighten others for the kingdom.


    • Hi Athlene, Thank you for your comment and I am sorry that I did not get back to respond to your question earlier - time has been a short commodity for me this week. However, others have responded with some very good insights on this question. We are all students here and it is good to get so many responses.

  7. The Bible presents the judgment as something desirable for the people of God.
    We need to see the judgment in a different picture, not as standing alone before a court. For if we stand there alone, indeed it is a terrifying thought. But Daniel 7 does NOT present it that way. In Daniel we see the court seated, God the Father takes His place, and then Someone is brought before the court. WHO? The Son of Man, Jesus, is brought before the court. He, who became the son of man in order to save us, to stand at the head of the human race in the place of Adam, is brought before the court. And to HIM is given the dominion that Adam lost. Read there in Daniel seven. He who won back mankind's lost inheritance stands before the court and He is given the rights to the dominion!
    He presents the names of all who walk with Him and have applied His blood and righteousness to their lives, overcoming in His strength, they are judged according to HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and they inherit the earth with Him.
    We want HIM to present our names before the Father and the angels!

    Psalms 35:23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
    Psalms 35:24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
    Psalms 43:1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
    Psalms 54:1 Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.
    Acts 7:7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.
    Rev 6:10-11 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them.
    Rev. 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

  8. A snip from George Knight's book might help. The judge is FOR us, not AGAINST us.

    "Judgment in Daniel 7

    There is not the slightest doubt that Daniel 7 has a pre-Advent judgment of or for the saints.
    But some of us have so much baggage between our ears that it is difficult to focus our eyes on what the text actually says.
    We should note that the judgment in Daniel 7 has two aspects:
    1. It is against the little horn.
    2. It is for the saints. . .
    The tragedy is that we made the pre-Advent judgment a fearful thing built upon a less-than-biblical understanding of sin, law, perfection, and even judgment itself.
    Spiritual insecurity and lack of biblical assurance was the result.
    “God is out to get you” was the message in the era of bony fingers.
    But that is not the Bible teaching of judgment.
    In Scripture the Judge is not against us or even neutral.
    The Judge is for us: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for our salvation (John 3:16, 17). John 5:22 even tells us that “the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son.”
    The purpose of judgment in the Bible is not to keep people out of heaven, but to get as many in as possible.

    (Source: George Knight, The Apocalyptic Vision and the Neutering of Adventism

    • Thank you Sister Priscilla!

      "The Judge is for us: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for our salvation (John 3:16, 17). John 5:22 even tells us that “the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son.”

      Glory to God!

  9. Dan 7:23 says, “The fourth beast ... will be different from all the kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.” Is that Rome? Was Rome that different from the other kingdoms? Why wasn’t that kingdom named like all the others? Didn’t Jesus specifically name the ruler/prince of this world before He was glorified and given dominion by judgment?(Dan 7:13,14,22; Ps 2:1-12; Matt 28:18-20; Eph 1:22; Phil 2:9; Col 2:10; 1 Pt 3:22).

    This Dan 7 judgment was specifically for Christ’s enthronement, and it was according to Ps 75:2-7. Daniel emphasized that it was God who “changes times”(Dan 2:21,22). Nebuchadnezzar thought to change times setting up an image all of gold. The Horn thought to change times, but HIS DOMINION was taken away and given to Christ and the saints (Dan 7:14,26,27; Matt 21:42-44). Belshazzar’s dominion was taken away and given to Darius by judgment also.
    The Horn thought to change law - “Therefor when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel, the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)...”(Matt 24:15,16; Lev 16:17; Heb 9:8-10; Gal 4:21,25,30).
    This Horn opposed Christ and persecuted the saints until the judgment scene of Dan 7 (Matt 23:29-36; Gal 4:28-30).

  10. Good morning, I just read a question by Athlene, and here is what I have learned about sins, or I should say what I understand about sin; God is not looking for sins that we committed and haven’t asked forgiveness for. We are sinful. Almost everything we do is from a sinful heart. Is it possible that the sins we are to be searching for are the ones we are clinging to? David prayed for God to give him a clean heart and to show him any wicked thing in him. I believe that should be our prayer. That is the soul searching we need to be doing.

  11. "The Heavenly Day of Atonement?" I find absolutely nothing in THE BIBLE to support any kind of idea that there is a "Heavenly Day of Atonement." The Apostle Paul in Romans 5:11 is quite clear that in Jesus "...we have now received the atonement." Paul wrote this over 2,000 plus or minus years ago. It is in Jesus that God's people started being blessed by this very truth about what "yearly" at the O.T. Day of Atonement way back then, Jesus accomplished for ALL BELIEVERS at Calvary "The Atonement." So now, please explain to me what "a heavenly day of atonement" is?

    • I agree with you Pete.

      I find that Hebrews 9:28 and 10:14 in particular (along with the surrounding context) affirm that Jesus life of obedience unto death was the fulfillment of what the OT Day of Atonement typified - the means by which salvation would be attained via actual reversal of what had gotten broken in Genesis 3 in the first place. Because Jesus as the second Adam (Romans 5) successfully walked the path that the first Adam should have (ie Adam and Eve should have retained humanity's connection with abundant/eternal life through maintaining self-renouncing rather than self-seeking choice), that connection was re-established: At-one-ment was again restored for humanity as a 'species'.

      The OT Day of Atonement was a 'corporate' phenomenon - not an 'individual' phenomenon. I would propose that this 'corporate' phenomenon equates to what Jesus as the second Adam did for humanity as a race/species (see Romans 5:19 in conjunction with Philippians 2:8) in reversing the terminal condition that the first Adam had subjected the human race/species to (see Romans 5:14). Consequently, the intercession/priestly ministry Jesus now lives to carry out is for each individual within the human race/species to personally be part of the salvation that has been achieved for humanity as a race/species.

      To anyone who might be thinking I am promoting the idea of 'universalism', I am not. Salvation encompasses two 'dimensions'. The first and overarching dimension is the reversal of the terminal condition of humanity under the first Adam (as per Romans 5:14) by the life of obedience unto death of the second Adam (Romans 5:19 plus Philippians 2:8). In addition to this, every human must choose whether to be part of salvation restoration via cooperating with (rather than resisting/opposing) the Holy Spirit's salvific initiatives in each individual (as per John 3:3-6).

      • Thank you Phil. The Apostle Paul, in the book of Hebrews uses the Day of Atonement symbolism to solidify that Jesus went to "Heaven Itself" after He ascended there before Jesus then chose him to become a great evangelist for Christianity. Heaven itself is symbolized there as being the second compartment of The Heavenly Sanctuary. In other words, The universe is God's "Heavenly Sanctuary" and Heaven Itself is where Jesus went after His ascension.


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