XXXVI - 7(03)

“Watchman,

what of the night?”

"The hour has come, the hour is striking and striking at you,
the hour and the end!"            Eze. 7:6 (Moffatt)

The Ancient of Days Did Sit

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THREE GREAT WORDS

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In the Writings

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Editor's Preface

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 5:22), with the "authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man" (5:27). All - incarnation, atonement, judgment - are one theme. The "everlasting gospel" includes them all as fundamental truths.

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"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. 9:28). Did His coming the first time "to make an end of sins" (Dan. 9:24) 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. 14:14). This discontent with his place as a "covering cherub" infected the angelic host, and war ensued in heaven. Lucifer was cast out (Isa. 14:12; Luke 10:18).

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

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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 4:8).

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. (1:17-20, 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 17:24). 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. 16:14). 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. 4:16; 7:1), who was as Christ, faithful in "all his house."

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 from the

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beast (7:8). Next to appear before the eyes of Daniel was the judgment scene. (7:9-10).

The continuity continues. "I beheld then" and he continued to behold "till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame" (7:11; 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" (7:13) not to enter into judgment but to receive “an everlasting dominion." (7:14).

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" (7:25); "but the judgment shall sit."(7:26). 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 (7:11). 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]

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. (7:21-22).

2)   The judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it unto the end. (7:26).

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" (8:14) 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. 7:26), the focus changes. It moves to the sanctuary (8:14), 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 7: 21 - "them;" and 7:26 - "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

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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. krisin 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 23:43). 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 Azazel.

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 Christ."

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" (12:11). 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.

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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. 7:11). 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:

We 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:

We 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 Gibbons declares 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:

The 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., pp. 123-124).

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,"

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then care needs to be exercised so that we do not establish a "magesterium" of our own to interpret the Bible.

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:

As the 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 defined:

All 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)

God 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, April 21,1885)

Man was 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 5:22; 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" (5:24; same Greek word in both verses - krisin - for "judgment")



[1] "The 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. 480