Introduction: Judgment! Who wants judgment? My general observation in
life is that everyone wants other people to be judged, but they do
not want it for themselves. Yes, the police should stop and give
tickets to other people who speed. No, the police should not stop me
and give me a ticket for speeding! The “problem” with God’s judgment
is that it is for everyone. If we finally come to terms with a
personal judgment, what difference should that make in our life? When
I’m arguing a case in court, I need to know what legal standard
applies, I want to know about the judge, and I want to know about the
process. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and see what we can
learn about God’s judgment!

  1. Judgment

    1. Read Daniel 7:1. Daniel has a dream. What gives us some
      confidence that Daniel’s report about his dream is
      accurate? (First, Daniel tells us when this happened. He
      tells us the circumstances and he wrote it down
      afterwards. All of this is an indication of a reliable

    2. Scan Daniel 7:2-7 and read Daniel 7:15-18. What do these
      beasts represent? (Daniel gives us the key to the
      interpretation of his dream. I consulted several older
      commentaries and they all agree that Daniel’s dream is
      about a series of powerful nations that followed each
      other in history. Thus, the animals that arise represent
      the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.)

      1. Why would God reveal something like this to Daniel
        (and to us)? (To give us confidence in the future. To
        let us know that our God is in charge and He knows
        the future.)

      2. Why would that message be especially important to
        Daniel? (Recall that Babylon destroyed the temple in
        Jerusalem, and took Daniel and many others captive.
        God’s people, God’s nation, were in deep trouble.
        They might conclude that God was not in charge of
        world events.)

    3. Read Daniel 7:23-24. What does this tell us about the
      Roman Empire and the ten horns? (That ten kingdoms will
      come after Rome.)

    4. Read Daniel 7:8-9. What time frame is indicated here? (The
      discussion of the horns shows that we are looking at the
      nations that came out of the Roman Empire. We know from
      history that the union of territories that rose to power
      after Rome was known as the “Holy Roman Empire.”
      Historians would place the dates of the Holy Roman Empire
      from 926-1806 A.D. Thus, the reference to the “Ancient of
      Days” taking His seat seems to follow 1806 A.D.)

    5. Let’s consider this in more detail. Read Daniel 7:9-10.
      What is happening here? (This is a courtroom setting. The
      reference to “books” being opened indicates that the court
      is in session and some sort of judgment is being made.)

    6. Read Revelation 20:11-15. What is being described here?
      (This seems very much like what is being described in
      Daniel 7.)

      1. What is the standard for the judgment of these
        people? (“What they had done.”)

      2. We have another time marker here. When do you think
        this judgment takes place? (It must be the end of the
        world. “Death” is thrown into the fire. 1 Corinthians
        15:26 tells us that the “last enemy to be destroyed
        is death.” This is at the end of time.)

    7. Read Daniel 7:8 and Daniel 7:20-22 and Daniel 7:24-27.
      What is the relationship between God’s people and the last
      horn? (There is war between the horn and the saints. The
      horn wins for a while, but God pronounces judgment in
      favor of the saints and they win.)

      1. What is the reasonable conclusion to be drawn from
        all of these texts talking about God’s court and
        judgment? (That some sort of judgment is taking place
        in heaven. It began sometime after 1806 and continues
        until the end of the world at which time the saints

    8. What do you think God wants us to learn from this dream?
      (Just as revealing the future gave confidence to Daniel,
      so Christians are told that we have an ongoing war on
      earth that will be ended when God finishes His final
      judgment. By God’s power we will win!)

      1. What about the general timing of this? What is
        important about that? (To some it might seem that God
        is doing nothing. We are two thousand years after the
        resurrection. Where is God? Why has He not returned
        yet? These texts show us that God has a plan, that
        the final judgment began around 1806 (other texts
        could refine that date) and will continue until the
        end of time – when the saints possess the kingdom. We
        are living in the last days.)

  2. Intercessor

    1. Read Daniel 7:13-14. What figure enters this scene? (This
      is Jesus!)

    2. Read Hebrews 8:1-2. What have we learned in the prior
      lessons about what Jesus is doing in heaven? (He is our
      High Priest, ministering on our behalf.)

      1. What relationship do you see between Jesus’ ministry
        in heaven and the judgment prophesied by Daniel? (The
        purpose of the sanctuary system was to transfer sin
        to the animal sacrifice so that the believer would
        not die. The final judgment is about who lives and
        who dies. What Jesus is doing in Hebrews is part of
        this final judgment of Daniel 7.)

    3. Read Hebrews 9:11-15. What is the basis for the judgment
      of the saints? (Jesus died to free us from our sins! He
      ransomed us from sin.)

    4. Read Hebrews 9:24-28. What is Jesus doing in heaven during
      this time of judgment? (He is taking away our sins and
      bringing salvation to the righteous.)

      1. Re-read Revelation 20:12-14. We looked at this
        before. What is the basis for the judgment here?
        (According to what they had done.)

      2. Read Hebrews 10:12-14. What is the standard for the
        judgment of “those who are being made holy?” (Jesus’
        sacrifice makes us perfect.)

      3. How do you explain these two standards? (Those who
        are lost are judged by their works. Those who claim
        Jesus’ sacrifice on their behalf are judged to be
        perfect forever!)

    5. I recently read “the anticipation of the judgment
      encourages [people] to live a life of loyalty and
      accountability.” Do you agree?

      1. In light of what we have studied, do the righteous
        need to fear the judgment? Will the fear of judgment
        encourage them to live a proper life?

      2. Or, will the sacrifice Jesus made on their behalf
        because He loves them encourage them to live a proper

      3. Will the fact that Jesus died to preserve the rule of
        law, rather than just changing the law, encourage the
        righteous to live a proper life? (I disagree with the
        quote. Christians should not be motivated to right
        behavior by a fear of judgment. They should be
        motivated to right behavior because they love God.
        They should be motivated to right behavior because
        they understand the war between good and evil, and
        they want to stand on the side of good and God’s

  3. God’s Law and the Judgment

    1. In the last few lessons I’ve been talking about the “Rule
      of Law.” On the surface, emphasizing God’s concern about
      the rule of law when we are discussing judgment seems
      contrary to the idea of righteousness by faith. Let’s see
      if the two can be reconciled. Read Galatians 2:15-21. What
      is the standard for the judgment for those who accept
      Jesus? (When Jesus died we “died to the law.” “The life I
      live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God.” The
      standard is not the law, but rather whether we place our
      faith in Jesus.)

    2. Read Galatians 3:10. If the law is so bad that we are
      cursed if we rely on it, how can the rule of law be a good
      thing? (The problem is not with the law, it is with us.)

    3. Read Galatians 3:11-14, Galatians 3:21-22 and Galatians
      3:26-28. The law is good and we are bad. If we rely on
      keeping the law we are in big trouble, for we are under
      the curse that comes to law breakers. As you consider your
      name coming up in the final judgment, how do you think you
      will do? (If you have clothed yourself with Christ, if you
      have confessed your sins and asked Jesus to cover your
      sins with His blood, then in the final judgment God looks
      at what Jesus has done instead of what you have done. On
      the other hand, if you have not accepted Jesus, then you
      are judged based on what you have done.)

    4. Friend, do you want to stand alone in the final judgment,
      responsible for your sins? Or, do you want Jesus to take
      your place? The judgment is going on right now. Jesus is
      standing there in the heavenly court ready to act on your
      behalf. You need to decide today!