Introduction: Last week, our study of Daniel 7 taught us that Daniel
had a grand dream in which the entire sweep of history was brought to
his mind. The dream was very much like the prophetic dream of
Nebuchadnezzar, which we studied in Daniel 2. Daniel’s dream,
however, has some curious differences that add detail to the period
of time after the fall of Pagan (secular) Rome. These details include
the description of a world power portrayed as a “little horn” which
holds power over the saints for 1,260 years. This reign is followed
by a glimpse into a heavenly court which sits to begin business.
Let’s dive into our continued look into Daniel’s future and ours!

  1. Rush to Judgment?

    1. Let’s pick up at the end of a story that you know very
      well. Adam and Eve have sinned by disobeying God and
      eating fruit from the forbidden tree. Read Genesis 3:8-13.
      God asks three questions in these verses, what are those
      questions? (“Where are you?” “Who told you that you were
      naked?” “What is this you have done?”)

      1. What kind of answers did God get? Were these
        confessions of sin? (None of these answers are an
        unqualified confession. They all blame the problem on
        something or someone else.)

      2. Did God know the answers to these questions before He
        asked? (He certainly knew the correct answers.)

        1. If God knew the correct answers, why did He ask
          them? (Notice that Adam and Eve wanted to run
          away from their sin. They did not want to take
          personal responsibility for their sin. God
          wanted them to face their sin.)

      3. The following verses in Genesis 3 detail God’s
        judgment for this sin. If God had not declared His
        judgment on this sin, how would Adam and Eve have
        described these events in the future? (They would
        have told the same evasive story, “What, me?” in the

    2. Read Matthew 22:1-3, 8-11. Here is another familiar
      story. What is this story intended to illustrate? (The
      kingdom of heaven.)

      1. We have God, portrayed as a king, asking a question
        of a wedding guest. Do you think God knows the answer
        to the question posed in Matthew 22:12?

        1. If so, why does God ask this question?

      2. Why is the wedding guest speechless? (Apparently, he
        has no adequate explanation.)

      3. The following verse in Matthew recites God’s judgment
        on the man who did not wear wedding clothes to the

    3. Both of these stories deal with God entering judgment
      against humans. What do we learn about God’s approach to
      judgment? (God does not rush to judgment. Even though He
      is God and knows the answers, He still investigates
      matters and lets us attempt to explain what we have done.)

      1. For whose benefit is the investigation before the
        judgment? (In these two stories the culprits knew
        what they had done (or not done). God also knew. It
        seems that God’s questions and the insufficient
        answers are for the benefit of the reader. We are
        “looking over the shoulder” of God to consider how He
        deals with sin, judgment and the Kingdom of Heaven.)

        1. What does this tell us about God? (That He is
          more than “transparent” in His dealings with
          humans. He wants us to know that His judgments
          are just.)

  2. Investigative Judgment

    1. Read Matthew 19:28. What authority does Jesus promise to
      His disciples? (The authority to judge His people.)

      1. In what event will the disciples participate? (It
        seems the judgment of the “twelve tribes of Israel”
        in Jesus’ coming kingdom.)

    2. Read Revelation 20:4-6. How many resurrections do we find
      in these verses? (Two.)

      1. Of which resurrection do you want to be a part? (The
        first! This is the resurrection of the righteous.)

      2. Who do you think are seated on these thrones
        mentioned in verse 4? (Jesus and His disciples.)

    3. Read Revelation 20:11-15. We have at least two books
      mentioned in connection with this judgment: a book of life
      and the book(s) of death. Which book would record what
      (v.12) “they had done?” ( Psalms 51:1 & 9 and Revelation
      3:5 give us this picture that our sins are written down in
      a book. In addition, the names of the saved are also
      written in a book. These are logically the books of life
      and of death. The suggestion in Psalms 51 and Revelation
      20 is that the saved have their sins blotted out of the
      book of death and the unsaved have their names blotted out
      of the book of life (or never recorded). Thus, the picture
      in Revelation 20:12 must be the judgment of the unsaved.)

      1. If Revelation 20:11-15 recites the judgment of the
        unsaved, when does the judgment of those whose names
        are written in the book of life take place?

        1. Would it have logically taken place before the
          judgment of the unsaved? (Look again at
          Revelation 3:4-5. The phrase “acknowledge his
          name [the saved whose names are in the book of
          life] before My Father and the angels” sounds
          like Jesus is interceding for the saved in a
          judgment. This is reinforced by the picture in
          Hebrews 8 of Jesus working in heaven
          (interceding) on behalf of the saved just as the
          High Priest worked on behalf of Israel on the
          Day of Atonement. See 1 Timothy 2:5-6.)

    4. Now, let’s get back to Daniel 7 and see if we can put this
      in place. Review Daniel 7:9-14. We have judgment in
      heaven, we have Jesus entering the judgment with (v.14)
      “authority, glory and sovereign power.” At the same
      time(v.12), Babylon, Persia, Greece and Secular Rome – or
      at least some of them, are “allowed to live” stripped of
      their authority. Which judgment does this seem to be: the
      judgment of the saved or the unsaved? (This clearly seems
      to be the first judgment, the early judgment. Italy,
      Greece, Iran and Iraq all exist today – but are hardly
      world powers.)

    5. Read Daniel 7:21-22. Who is the subject of this first
      investigation? (The saved! This bolsters our conclusion
      that there are two judgments, and the saved are the
      subject of the first judgment. This is the judgment which
      results in the names of the saved being written in the
      book of life. This is the judgment in which Jesus
      mediates on behalf of the saved. This is the judgment
      referred to in Revelation 20:4.)

  3. The First Judgment: What Time?

    1. Read Daniel 7:24-26. Last week we concluded that this
      “little horn” power was Papal Rome. Leaving aside the
      “time, times and half a time” of verse 25, what other time
      markers do you see in these verses? (First, we see that
      the “little horn” subdues three of the ten kingdoms that
      arise out of the decline of secular Rome. That seems to be
      the beginning time marker. The ending time marker seems to
      be this first judgment which begins the last days of
      earth. Daniel 7:21-22.)

      1. Would 3.5 literal years cover this span of time? (No
        way. History gives us a general fix on the timing for
        this “little horn.” A Commentary, Critical and
        Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments tells us
        that Justinian’s edict acknowledging Pope John II as
        the head of the Church was set by Elliott at 529 or
        533 A.D.. Luther sets the date at 606 A.D., because
        this was when Phocas confirmed Justinian’s grant.
        This same Commentary sets the date at 752 A.D.,
        because it says this is when “the temporal dominion
        of the popes began.” Our lesson (Thursday) picks
        another date in this same time frame, 538 A.D. at the
        proper starting date. There is no doubt in my mind
        that this general time frame (500-700 A.D.) is
        correct. Since the world did not end shortly
        thereafter, it is hard to imagine that the 3.5 years
        are literal. Instead, using the 1 day = 1 year
        prophetic principle we discussed last week, gives us
        1,260 years. (3.5 years = 42 months = 1,260 days. If
        a day = a year, this translates to 1,260 years.))

    1. If you add 1,260 years to any of these dates, what time
      frame do you have? (This would mean that God’s first
      judgment is going on now!)

    2. Let’s have a little fun now. I’m not a “date setter” for
      the Second Coming of Jesus – Matthew 24 tells us this is
      not possible. Assume with me that one of these dates
      others have recited is the appropriate starting date for
      the 1,260 years. The earliest date, 529 A.D. brings us up
      to 1789 A.D.. The latest date, 752 A.D., brings us to 2012
      A.D.. I came across a chronology web site
      ( which calculates that 2024 A.D. is the
      6,000th year since Creation. (I cannot vouch for the
      accuracy of that date.) The IVP Bible Background
      Commentary (on Revelation 20:1-3) tells us that some early
      Jewish traditions divided history into seven one-thousand
      year periods. This was based on the application of Psalms
      90:4 (a thousand years for us is like one day for God) to
      the seven days of Creation. Revelation 20:4-6 indicates at
      least a thousand years pass between the first and second
      judgments. Thus, early Jewish tradition would suggest our
      world will end after 6,000 years and Revelation 20
      suggests that the saints will spend the last, (the Sabbath
      millennium), in heaven. A very rough mix of all of this
      information suggests that we are living in the last part
      of earth’s history! I like that thought!

    3. Friend, are you ready for Jesus’ Judgment? While the dates
      we have discussed are subject to debate, what seems clear
      from Daniel’s dream is that we are living in the last days
      of earth’s history. If you are not ready to be judged,
      you need to repent and accept the offer of Jesus’
      righteous sacrifice on your behalf!

  1. Next week: The Sanctuary Attacked.