"The hour has come, the hour is
striking and striking at you,
the hour and the end!"Eze. 7:6 (Moffatt)
Ancient of Days Did Sit
When we began
this series of studies on the Sanctuary, we noted what Dr. Donald Grey
Barnhouse, one of the Evangelical conferees of the infamous SDA-Evangelical
Conferences of 1955-1956, said in regard to the "investigative
judgment." [4(03)]. He also wrote that he and his fellow conferees did
"not believe that there is even a suspicion of a verse in Scripture to
sustain such a peculiar position." In this issue of WWN, we study closely
Daniel 7 in which is found the declaration, "the judgment was set and the
books were opened" (ver. 10). It becomes evident when such a study is made
that there is no suggestion of an "investigative judgment" in the
chapter. Rather, it is noting the first session of a two part judgment which is
concluded when the books are again opened, "and the dead (are) judged out
of those things which (are) written in the books" (Rev. 20:12; see
footnote, p. 4, col. 1).
Since the objective of God is to
bring an end to sin so that it will never arise a second time, we develop the
premise that for sin to be eradicated, the judgment must begin where sin began
and the issue that sparked sin must first be adjudicated.
There is also the matter of the
"books." In the final session of the Heavenly Assize, the books are
revealed as containing the record of the "works" done in this life,
while a single book, "the book of life," contains but
"names." This "book" is pictured as belonging to the
"Lamb" (Rev. 13:8). The whole picture of the judgment must be considered
in the light of Jesus' own declaration that "the Father . . . hath
committed all judgment unto the Son" (John ), with the "authority to
execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man" (). All - incarnation, atonement,
judgment - are one theme. The "everlasting gospel" includes them all
as fundamental truths.
"THE ANCIENT OF DAYS DID SIT"
Sin began in Heaven: It did not begin in the Garden of
Eden. The Garden of Eden was the place on earth where sin intruded. It began at
the throne of God. It did not begin with Adam and Eve; it began with a
"covering cherub" at that Throne (Eze.
28:14). The sin problem must first be adjudicated where it began. Then from
that point, it can continue to be eradicated until Christ can come "the
second time without sin unto salvation" (Heb. ). Did His coming the first time
"to make an end of sins" (Dan. ) provide a sufficient redemption
for the accomplishment of that objective? From God's viewpoint, Yes; but would
the free moral agents in whose midst sin originated concur?
First, what was the issue which
ignited the rebellion against God? Our Bible opens with a revelation of God's
intent and purpose in the creation of man - "Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness, and let him have dominion" (Gen. 1:26). But there was
at the Throne another - Lucifer - who desired the status that was to be
accorded man. He said in his heart - "I will be like the most High"
(Isa. ). This discontent with his place as a "covering
cherub" infected the angelic host, and war ensued in heaven. Lucifer was
cast out (Isa. ; Luke ).
In pursuit of his continued
rebellion against God's design, Lucifer attacked man himself. The divine
likeness was corrupted in man. His success in overcoming Adam also gave him the
opportunity to vent his jealousy against Him who made man, and who would come
to redeem man, so that the original plan might be carried out.
Since Daniel 7:9-10 introduces the
sitting of the Ancient of days in judgment which ultimately ends when "all
dominions shall serve and obey Him" (verse. 27), we need to give careful
attention to this initial session of the judgment convened to settle the sin
problem. It was the sitting of the Ancient of days that set the judgment and
caused the books to be opened. To this session were called the angelic hosts.
For what purpose? This is the question that must first be answered. Too often,
we have pictured the assembled hosts of heaven as merely "traffic
cops" verifying the citations they gave to the speedsters of earth on the
highway of life. There are other questions of far more import involving man,
such as, the original plan and the purpose God had in his creation. Can God
re-make man as He originally designed him to be, "in His likeness,"
and give to him the "dominion" He intended to bestow? Then, what
about the "books"?
Let us, first, observe what the
Bible states in regard to God's original placement of man whom He created in
His own "likeness." David sang:
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
And the son of man, that thou hast visited him? For thou madest him a little
lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest
him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things
under his feet. (Ps. 8:4-6)
The "sanctuary" book of
the New Testament, in its preface to the consideration of Jesus Christ as High
Priest of our profession, gives a unique interpretation to these verses from
Psalms 8. It reads - "Thou madest him a little while inferior to the
angels" (Heb. 2:7 margin). The Greek
bracu ti - when used of time
signifies, "a short time, or for a little while" (Thayer; see also,
Arndt & Gingrich.) Then, in comment on "dominion," Paul wrote -
"For that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not
put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus who was made a
little while inferior ( bracu ti
) to the angels for the
suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour (vs. 8-9; emphasis supplied).
As Jesus was for only a little
while inferior to angels, so likewise "the many sons" whom He, the
captain of their salvation, will bring to glory shall be for only a little
while lower than the angels. In Christ, the "divine likeness" was
once more revealed in humanity,
and through Him as High Priest, the "divine likeness" is to be
restored to man. The "first dominion," lost by the first Adam, is
regained by the second Adam as He stands at the head of the human race. (Micah
Not only does Paul present this
understanding of the redemptive process in Hebrews, where he sets forth the
sanctuary doctrine of the new covenant, but in his general Epistle to the Ephesians. He wrote:
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the
knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may
know what is the hope of His calling, and what (are) the riches of the glory of
His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power
to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He
wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own
right hand in heavenly places, . . . and hath put all things under His feet. .
But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great
love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us
together with Christ, (by whose grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up
together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His
kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (-20, 22; 2:4-7; emphasis supplied).
What was done "in Christ
Jesus" will be revealed "through Christ Jesus" in the "many
sons" whom He will be bringing to glory. As High Priest, He prayed -
"Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where
I am" (John ). Can the Father answer that prayer in the planned
"exaltation of the redeemed" and "one pulse of harmony"
still beat "through the vast creation"? It didn't the first time when
He attempted to carry out His plan. Rebellion ensued among the host of heaven
led by the highest ranking angel of that innumerable creation - the covering
cherub, Lucifer. Thus when the Judgment is set, the angelic host are the first
to be assembled. The original objective of God in the creation of man is at
issue. "The hour of the judgment of Him is come."
In the typical sanctuary service,
there had been given a unique representation of this. The high priest provided
his own bullock for himself and his "house." Though an "offering
for sin," no hands of confession were placed on this bullock. Its blood
was the first to be sprinkled in the most holy place on the mercy seat (Lev. ). It did not enter into the
services of that day again until it was mingled with the blood of the Lord's
goat with the objective of removing "the uncleanness of the children of Israel" (v. 19). This was performed
at the Altar in the Court. Further, the antitypical significance of this first
ministration in the most holy place on the typical Day of Atonement is alluded
to by Paul in Hebrews as he wrote his call to "consider the Apostle and
High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus" (Heb. 3:1-6). Aaron stood for
Moses (Ex. ; 7:1), who was as Christ, faithful in "all his
The first witness in the judgment
before the Throne is the "Lamb as it had been slain" (Rev. 5:6); and
the first question before the Heavenly hosts was: Has God paid enough to carry
out His original plan regarding man? There can be but one answer, as they look
upon the One standing before them. They could but recall those hours in Gethsemane, when the cup trembled in the
hands of that Divine Sufferer. Their mind's eye could see again the agony He
endured at Calvary.
We need to see this Judgment scene
given in prophetic vision to Daniel in the context of the whole vision before
considering the second aspect of the prophetic scene - "the books were
opened." It is a prophecy in continuity, and must be carefully studied
from that viewpoint.
Four "great beasts"
arise before Daniel in vision. "The first was like a lion." (7:4).
The very word, "first" indicates a sequence. It is followed by
"another beast, a second, like to a bear." (7:5). "After this . . . lo another, like a
leopard." (7:6). "After this . . . behold a fourth beast." Then there
arose a "little horn" out of the beast, which was never separated
beast (7:8). Next to appear before
the eyes of Daniel was the judgment scene. (7:9-10).
The continuity continues. "I
and he continued to behold "till the beast was slain, and his body
destroyed, and given to the burning flame" (; see also Rev. 19:20). This is
followed in the "night visions" by the coming of the "Son of man
. . . to the Ancient of days" () not to enter into judgment but
to receive “an everlasting dominion." ().
In the explanation which follows,
Daniel was told that "the little horn" would have dominion for a
period of time - "until a time and times, and the dividing of time" (); "but the judgment shall
sit."(). In other words, the sitting of the judgment comes
between the time allotted to the "little horn" and the "great
words" which that "horn" spoke (). It must be noted that the
"words" which the "little horn" spoke "against the
most High" during the time of dominion (the 1260 prophetic days) are not
the "great words" which the horn utters after the "judgment was
set." (The word, "great" is supplied in Dan. 7:25.)
Further, in the explanation given
to Daniel, only two decisions are noted as coming from the judgment before the
Ancient of days in this first judicial session of the Heavenly Court:
1) I beheld, and the
same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the
Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High.
2) The judgment shall
sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it unto the
The time when the Judgment is set,
and the books opened in the continuity of Daniel 7 is between the end of the
allotted time given to "the little horn," 1798, and 1854 when the
"horn" promulgated the first of its "great words" in the
Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Thus the time when "the cleansing of
the sanctuary" () was to begin, 1844, coincides
with the sitting of the judgment. But it is to be noted that nowhere in the
visions given to Daniel is there a suggestion of an investigation of the
individual records contained in those books. That awaits the final session of
the Heavenly Assize. (Rev. 20:12).
Another picture also emerges from
the prophecy. The little horn "made war with the saints" even to the
point of wearing "out the saints of the most High," until the Ancient
of days came. (7:21-22, 25). This prophetic picture is paralleled by the fifth
seal in Revelation, with the souls under the brazen Altar (6:9-11); however, in
taking away the "dominion" of the "little horn" by the
judgment (Dan. ), the focus changes. It moves to the sanctuary (), and to the "great
words" spoken by the little horn. The taking away is done by the same ones
over which during the 1260 day period the "horn" prevailed, in other
words, "the saints." (Note - "them;" and - "they") We dare not
forget that the last great conflict is a battle "between the religion of
the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition."
We turn our attention next to the
"books." There can be no question, but that these books from the
archives of Heaven contain a precise record of the deeds of each human that has
ever lived. (Rev. 20:12). It is also an inescapable fact that they are still
being written. In each prophetic description in Daniel and in Revelation, there
is associated along with the "books," the fact "that another
book was opened" (Rev. 20:12; Daniel 12:1). While "works" are
associated with the "books," only "names" are emphasized in
reference to "the book" (Rev. 13:8). With this prophetic differentiation,
there must be recalled the confession
of Isaiah - "all our
righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (64:6).
The first reference to "the
book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" is found
in Moses' petition in behalf of Israel. There it is called "Thy
book which Thou hast written" (Ex. 32:32). Moses was in communion with the
same I AM who had appeared to him at Horeb before (Ex. 3:1, 14); and Who was to
come as a Surety for those whose names are recorded in the book. (John 8:58,
Heb. 7:22-25). It should be carefully noted that the Scriptures indicate
clearly that the I AM writes the names in His book. They, and they alone,
escape the judgment. This Jesus stated plainly:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life and
shall not come into condemnation (Gr.
judgment), but is passed (metabebhken - perfect tense) from death unto life. (John 5:24).
A Biblical example of this
acquittal is the thief on the cross paying the penalty for his transgression
against society, hearing the promise of Jesus - "Verily I say to thee
today, thou shalt be with Me in paradise" (Luke ). While the penalty for his sins
was being paid that very day by Another, he passed in relationship to God,
"from death unto life."
The typical service on the Day of
Atonement indicates plainly that all records are blotted out even the recorded
confessions finger-printed on the horns of the altars. The former shall not
come into mind. There remains only the identity, the name, for the "life
is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3).
Returning to the theme of Bible
prophecy, the great controversy between good and evil, we find the elements of
Daniel 7 re-emphasized as the second section of Revelation (Chapters 12 through
19) is introduced. The first beast of Revelation 13 is "like a leopard,
and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion:
and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (v.
2). Here are parts of the very symbols of Daniel 7 in identical reverse order
as given in Daniel, now a part of another non-descript beast. The time of this
latter beast's authority to act, is the same time as was given "the Little
Horn" of Daniel 7. He also does the same thing - "it was given him to
make war with the saints, and to overcome them" (13:7). However, into this
picture a new factor is introduced - the dragon. This "dragon" is
clearly defined - "that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan"
(Rev. 20:2). Here again, are the same two antagonists, as presented in the
services of the Day of Atonement - the Lord's goat, and the one standing for
The prophetic scene in Revelation
12 presents the warfare between the two contenders. Michael overcomes; sin is
condemned in the flesh, the Man-child is caught up to God and His throne, there
to be High Priest and Surety of the everlasting covenant. A loud voice is heard
proclaiming the restoration of the kingdom of God, and "the power of His
In this prophetic continuum (Rev.
12-14), a series of angelic voices are heard proclaiming the everlasting gospel
which produces a group of saints which keep, not are trying to keep, the
commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. (14:6-12) The first angel announces
that the hour of God's judgment has come, thus paralleling Daniel 7:9-10; and
setting the time factor - 1844.
Once the angelic host assents that
God has paid a sufficient price to carry out his original plan in the creation
of man, then God will "set His hand the second time to recover the remnant
of His people" (Isa. 11:11; Rev. 12:17) Against the dragon's wrath, they
too shall prevail. They will overcome him, "by the blood of the Lamb, and
by the word of their testimony" (). It should be evident to any
observant student of the picture in Revelation, that the conflict begins with
the attack on the woman and the "Man-child." It was the
"Seed" of the woman who was to bruise the serpent's head (Gen.3:15).
That "Seed" was the Man-child.
In the Greek, there are three
words for "man." One is anqrwpoV, a human being, from which is
derived our English word, "anthropology". A second is
anhr, an adult male as opposed to a child, or a female. The third is
arsen, the male sex. An example of its use in Scripture is Rom.
1:27. This is the word which is used in Rev. 12:5. Christ did not come into the
world bereft of the powers and forces which plague human kind. He was "made
of a woman, made under law" including the law of heredity. (See Gal.
4:4-5; in each use of the word "law" in these verses, the article is
omitted in the Greek text) Also, it is on this issue - the incarnation - that
the battle ground of theology begins.
The Three Angels' Messages is
"the everlasting gospel." This "gospel of God" is declared
to be concerning "His Son Jesus Christ which was made of the seed of David
according to the flesh." (Rom. 1:1, 3). No sooner had God begun
the final work toward His original objective, than the "beast" which
received its authority and power from the "dragon" uttered its first
"great words" (Dan. ). In the Dogma of the Immaculate
Conception, promulgated in 1854, it was declared that Mary, "unlike the
rest of the children of Adam . . . was never subject to sin, even in the first
moment of (the soul's) infusion into the body. She alone was exempt from the
original taint." (The Faith of
Our Fathers, p. 171, 88th edition).
The tragedy of this whole picture
is that the "saints" which God raised up to "take away" the
dominion of the "little horn" (Dan. 7:26), so compromised the faith,
that they were willing to declare of Christ, that "although born in the
flesh, He was nevertheless God, and exempt from the inherited passions that
corrupt the natural descendants of Adam" (Questions on Doctrine, p. 383; emphasis supplied). How can they
overcome the dragon with a corrupted testimony?
THREE GREAT WORDS
As we have noted in the above
study, the Papacy in 1854 promulgated the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
In his book, Faith of Our Fathers, James Cardinal Gibbons quotes that Dogma as proclaimed:
define that the Blessed Virgin Mary in the first moment of her conception, by
the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in virtue of the merits of
Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from every stain
of the original sin.(p. 171)
Since we have already noted its
conclusion in contrast to the Biblical "Seed" of the woman, we pass
to the next dogma which validated such papal promulgations as infallible. In
1870, Vatican Council I formulated a new article of faith in these words:
teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed, that the Roman pontiff
when he speaks ex cathedra - that is, when, in discharge of the office
of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic
authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the
universal church, . . . is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine
Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed for defining doctrine
regarding faith and morals. (The New Schaff-Herzog
Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. V, p. 489)
Cardinal Gibbonsdeclares this decree of Vatican
Council I to be "the keystone in the arch of Catholic faith," (op. cit., p. 125), yet seems to modify
its thrust by first stating what the dogma is not establishing, and then asking
and answering the question, "What, then, is the real doctrine of
Infallibility?" In answer, he wrote:
Pope, therefore, be it known, is not the maker of Divine law; he is only its
expounder. He is not the author of revelation, but only its interpreter. (ibid.,
While we may have some
reservations to these limitations placed by Gibbons because of the attempted
change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week which
alters "Divine law;" however, there can be no question, this dogma
empowers the Pope to infallibly interpret the Scriptures. This was a direct
challenge to true Protestantism which had declared "the Bible and the
Bible only" as its religion. If the "Everlasting Gospel" is
God's design to "consume and destroy" the "dominion" of the
little horn "unto the end,"
then care needs to be exercised so
that we do not establish a "magesterium" of our own to interpret the
In 1950, the reigning pope, Pius
XII, proclaimed a "holy year," and being a devotee of the Virgin
Mary, defined the church's teaching on her bodily assumption into Heaven. The
year was closed in Fatima, Portugal, at one of the great Marian
shrines of the Catholic world. This Dogma opened the door to manifestations of
Spiritism under the guise of apparitions of the Virgin Mary. In the book, Thunder
of Justice, this
summary statement is made:
number of Marian apparitions throughout the world have increased at an alarming
rate, especially in the past ten years, we are reminded of the writings of
Saint Louis de Montfort (1673-1716), in which he
shared his conviction "that a Reign of the Blessed Virgin would precede a
Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as Mary preceded the first coming of Jesus
on earth, so too the Trinity has ordained that she would precede Christ's
Second Coming." Never before in history have we experienced the number of
apparitions and supernatural phenomena as we have in this century, particularly
the latter half. On December
8, 1990, Mary stated to Father Gobbi:
"I was driven by the Most Holy Trinity to become the Mother of the Second
Advent, and thus my motherly task of preparing the Church and all humanity to
receive Jesus, who is returning to you in glory. (p. 20; emphasis supplied)
It is not difficult to see how
this dogma of the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven, opens the door for
these spiritistic manifestations.
The current Pope, also a strong
devotee of the Virgin Mary, would like to promulgate the Dogma that Mary is the
co-mediatrix with Jesus Christ. Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Propagation of
the Faith, authorized the writing and release of information about this
intended dogma. It was published May 27, 1993. It is being put on hold because
of the negative reaction it might have on current ecumenical dialogues.
IN THE WRITINGS
Not only is the Great Controversy
motif emphasized in the Writings, but also certain specific statements are made
as to the beginning of the conflict, and God's purpose in the creation of man.
Lucifer was "once an honored
angel in heaven, next to Jesus Christ." Further, he "wished to be
consulted concerning the formation of man." The status planned for man by
God triggered the rebellion. See Spiritual
Gifts, Vol. 1, p. 17.
This status is also clearly
heaven took a deep and joyful interest in the creation of this world and of
man. Human beings were a new and distinct order. (R&H, Feb. 11, 1902; emphasis supplied)
created man a superior being; he alone is formed in the image of God, and is
capable of partaking of the divine nature; of cooperating with his Creator and
executing His plans. (R&H,
the crowning act of the creation of God, made in the image of God, and designed
to be a counterpart of God; . . . (R&H,
June 18, 1895; emphasis supplied)
When the catalyst which sparked
the sin problem is understood, the session of the judgment described in Daniel
7:9-10 takes on new meaning, as well as the validity of the premise that the
sin problem must first be settled where, and over what, it began. Further, in
our consideration of the judgment of Daniel 7:9-10, we must limit our
conclusions as to the renderings of that session of the Heavenly Assize to what
is actually stated to Daniel in the explanation. (7:22, 26). There are two
other factors which dare not be overlooked:
1) God has "committed all judgment unto the Son" (John
; emphasis supplied).
2) The Son says: "He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that
sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment; but is passed
from death unto life" (; same Greek word in both verses -
krisin - for "judgment")
books of record in heaven, in which the names and the deeds of men are
registered, are to determine the decision of the judgment. Says the prophet
Daniel, ' the judgment was set, and the books were opened.' The revelator,
describing the same scene, adds, 'Another book was opened, which is the
book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written
in the books, according to their works."' The Great Controversy, p.