“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Rev. 14: 7)
Some religions believe that there will be a Judgment Day sometime in the future, while others don’t. Christians believe that the judgment is definitely going to take place, because one of the central themes of the Bible is the Day of Judgment. Let’s see what the Bible has to say on the subject.
(Acts 17:30-31.) - “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
God has appointed a Day of Judgment, and if God has appointed it, we can be sure it will come in due time.
The urgency of the presentation of the everlasting gospel in the three angels messages is necessitated by the awesome fact that this message has been preserved for the time in earth’s history when God is judging the world. When Christ returns, every individual who has lived upon this earth will have been judged. At His coming Christ will have already made the decision most important to every human, for He informs us,
“And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).
Jesus said “and my reward is with me”, which means that there must be some kind of judgment before He comes, because He will give to every man according to his work. So before Jesus comes there must be an investigation of every person’s life to be able to assess what kind of a reward to give each person. It is very important that we understand when and where the judgment will take place.
“... the hour of his judgment is come”. (Rev. 14: 7)
If God has chosen a day to judge the world, how can we know the way in which He has chosen to do it?
(Psalm 77:13.) “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?”
“Thy way is in the sanctuary”. God’s way is best understood in the place where He is worshiped, and from the principles revealed there. Sanctuary is closely related to judgment. God has chosen the sanctuary as the means to help us see which day He has appointed to judge the world. This is a good reason we should become more familiar with the sanctuary, the sanctuary service and how it operated.
(Heb. 9:1-5.) “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.”
Note: It describes the earthly sanctuary, with two departments and all its furniture. And in the ark were the Ten Commandments.
(Heb. 9:6, 7) “Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:”
The two apartments were called the Holy Place and The Most Holy Place. The priest entered and ministered in the Holy Place daily, and Paul said, “but into the second went the high priest alone once every year”.
Let’s go to Leviticus to see what took place in the First apartment.
(Lev.4:1-7.) “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD. And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation: And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”
Note: - If anyone sinned and broke God’s commandments, they were to bring a sacrifice, for example a lamb. This service was held every day. And the priest was to put some blood upon the horns of the altar of incense.
And what does that blood on the horns of the altar mean or represent?
(Jeremiah17:1) “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;”
That means that the sins of the people are recorded on the horns of the altar by placing blood upon them. The record of their sins accumulated through the year.
In Leviticus Chapter 16 it shows the purpose of the Most Holy place.
(Lev. 16:29, 30.) “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.”
Note: - This was the yearly ministration known as the Day of Atonement. On that day every person was cleansed of their sins, and the record of their sin was blotted out. That is the way the sanctuary was being cleansed.
Sanctuary will be cleansed by what?
(1 John 1:7) – “The BLOOD of Jesus Christ his Son CLEANSETH us from all sin.”
What was the only hope of the Israelites on the earthly Day of Atonement [judgment]?
(Leviticus 16:30) – “For on that day the priest shall make ATONEMENT for you, to CLEANSE you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD”
(Leviticus 17:11) – “For it is the BLOOD that maketh an ATONEMENT for the soul.”
What did God tell Moses the Israelites should make?
(Exo. 25:8.) “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”
God wanted to dwell with His fallen children, and the sanctuary was God’s chosen method for achieving this. The sanctuary also provided a visible center for the worship of the one true God, and was thus a safeguard against the worship of the many gods of the heathen. It brought God near to His people and made His presence among them real. This too was a protection against idolatry. God didn’t need a home to live in, but He wanted to teach the Israel nation something.
Where did Moses obtain the blueprint for the sanctuary?
(Exo. 25:40) “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.”
God gave Moses a pattern of the sanctuary, a copy of the heavenly temple. Anything we build here on earth is flawed, and only an inferior copy. The service in the earthly sanctuary was meant to teach the Israelites by types the meaning of the antitypical service which was to take place in the heavenly sanctuary.
Does the Bible teach that there is a sanctuary in heaven?
(Heb.8:1-5.) “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”
These verses clearly show that there is a sanctuary up in heaven. Earthly sanctuary was the copy of the heavenly sanctuary, which is also described in- Rev.11:19, Rev 15:5, Psa.102:19. God is in the heavenly sanctuary.
When is the heavenly Day of Atonement [judgment]? When did the hour of judgment begin?
(Dan. 8:14) – “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
“Unto 2300 days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” In Bible prophecy a day represents a year. (Eze.4:6; Num.14:34.) So when the Bible says 2300 days, those days are symbolic, they represent years. The Bible is saying that the sanctuary will be cleansed in 2300 years.
Note: The hour of judgment began after 2300 years. The same way, earthly sanctuary was cleansed on the typical annual day of atonement (Lev. 16:30), the Bible says the heavenly sanctuary needed cleansing (Heb. 9:22-24); this day of atonement signified a day of judgment when all the sins of the people were blotted out or cleansed. Daniel 8:14 gives us the time when the judgment in heaven would begin and the sanctuary will be cleansed. Adding 2300 [prophetic days] from 457 B.C - the date for the beginning of the 2300 day prophesy brings us to the autumn of 1844. Therefore, “Unto 2300 days, then the sanctuary will be cleansed”
Cleansing of the sanctuary is the Day of Atonement, and the sins of the people were blotted out. The Jews sometimes called this day the Day of Judgment.
Is this cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14 talking about the sanctuary here on earth?
(Mark 15:37, 38.) “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”
It couldn’t have been talking about the sanctuary here on the earth. When Jesus died the veil in the sanctuary that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn in half, from top to bottom, signifying that Jesus was the last sacrifice. The Bible records this incident in which God tears the veil from top to bottom to show that the earthly place of atonement was no longer sacred, but an ordinary place, open for everybody to see.
(Hebrews 10:12) “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;”
This verse states clearly that Jesus offered the final sacrifice at His crucifixion, and that earthly sanctuary is not operational any more.
Jesus Christ, our High Priest is ministering in the sanctuary which God built, and not man. He offered His body a perfect sacrifice for your sins and mine. If we have truly repented our sins will be blotted out in the antitypical Day of Atonement.
The sins of those who have failed to repent, who have not diligently sought to know God’s will by prayerful study of His word, will not be blotted out in the judgment. This is one of the great truths of the three angel’s messages.
“While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God's people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14”. (GC 425)
All human beings who have claimed the name of Jesus, face God’s great act of obliteration. The question that confronts all is whether God will blot out our sins and call us His own children or whether He will blot out our names from His book of life and disown us as if He had never known us.
Let’s now turn to the book of Daniel because in chapter 8 Daniel sees a vision of a ram and a he-goat.
(Daniel 8:1-13.) “In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?”
(Also verse 14). ”And he said unto me, Unto 2300 days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed”.
Let’s go back to the vision that Daniel saw. In Dan.8:20,21 Gabriel explains who the ram and the he-goat or who the two powers are.
(Dan 8 20,21). “The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.”
The ram represents the Medes and the Persians and the he-goat represents Alexander the Great and the Greek Empire. Daniel now understood this vision.
In verses 26,27 it explains what Daniel didn’t understand.
(Dan 8:26,27.) “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.”
Daniel obviously understood the part about the ram and the he-goat, because Gabriel explained it to him, but he didn’t understand the 2300 year prophecy.
From Daniel 8:14 we learn 2 very important things, but we don’t get the third. First one - we get the time or the duration of time- 2300 years. Second – we know what takes place at the end of that time- the cleansing of the sanctuary. But what don’t we have? The beginning of that time prophecy.
Let’s now go to Daniel chapter 9.
(Daniel 9:20-22.) “And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.”
Gabriel comes to give Daniel understanding. What is he trying to make Daniel understand? The beginning of the 2300 years prophecy.
(Verses 23,24. ) “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”
“ seventy weeks are determined”. The word “determined” in Hebrew means “cut out of”, or “taken from”. Seventy weeks is time, and time can only be taken away from time. In Dan 8 the only time prophecy is 2300 day/year prophecy. He says, seventy weeks are taken out of the longer time of 2300 years. Because a day equals a year in Bible prophecy, seventy weeks represents 490 years. There are two things we find in verse 24. The duration of time and what was to take place at the end of that time, - (They were given 70 weeks to finish transgression, or put away sin).
What he is saying here is that God is giving the Jews 490 more years to clean up their act or it would be over for them. The 490-year and 2300 day/year prophecies begin at the same time, because neither of them has a starting point mentioned.
(Daniel 9:25.) “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
Notice that “from going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem and then he gives you the time “shall be seven weeks, threescore and two weeks,”- which is 69 weeks. Verse 25 helps to explain in relation to the starting point. Going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem is the starting point of both the seventy weeks, and the 2300 day/year prophecy.
Let’s go now to Ezra 7. (Artaxerxes was the king of the Persian Empire. At that time, there were men like Ezra and Nehemiah and these were men of God. After the Babylonian captivity of 70 years, God had commanded His people to return to Jerusalem to restore and rebuild it).
In Ezra chapter 7, we have a decree.
(Ezra 7:11,13) “Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.”
(Ezra 7: 25.) “And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.”
What has Artaxerxes allowed them to do? To have magistrates and judges. In other words restoring theocracy, the order of government that they had once possessed.
(Ezra 9:9) “For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.”
- you will see this decree mentioned again. What did the commandment in Dan. 9:25 say? To restore and build Jerusalem….and later it says “even in troublous times.” By looking at historical records we can find out that this decree was completed and went out in the year 457 BC. - Now we have a starting point - 457 BC.
Let’s go back to Daniel 9:24.
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”
490 years were given to the Jewish people to make things right with God, and if they didn’t, they were going to be cast aside.
(Verse 25) “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
“and after seven weeks and threescore and two weeks is the time for the Messiah the Prince to appear”. That is 69 wks=483yrs.Who is the “Messiah”? Messiah means anointed one. Jesus was anointed when John the Baptist baptised Him in 27AD. From 457BC. to 27AD, is exactly 483 yrs.
(Verse 26) “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
The verse says that after threescore and two weeks the Messiah would be cut off. After 27AD. Jesus would be cut off. What does it mean to be cut of? But not for Himself.
After this period of time, Jesus would die, but He didn’t die for himself, but He died for you and me. (It’s very interesting that in this prophecy it also predicts the destruction of Jerusalem in 70A.D by Titus. (Matthew 24) ).
(Verse27) “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
Here it is 490 years are given to the Jews, and some time after 483 years, Christ would come in 27A.D. That’s 69wks.From 27A.D.the last week ends in 34A.D.In the midst of the week Jesus would be cut off. In exactly 31 AD. Jesus was crucified. It is showing us the exact year of the coming of the Messiah, and the year He was crucified. In the midst of the week Jesus would die. But there still remained the last part of the week given to the Jews, the end of the 490 years, which ended in 34A.D. If they didn’t repent, they were to be cast off.
We are going to see what happened in the last year of the 70th week?
(Acts 7:59, 60.) “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
It talks about the stoning of Stephen. And do you know when that happened? In 34AD. That was the end of the 490-year prophecy. So, instead of forsaking their sins, and repenting, the Jews killed the Messiah and His followers!
And do you know what Paul did after that?
Let’s turn to Acts 13:46
“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
From that time, Paul started preaching the Gospel to the gentiles. God took Gentile people, and made from them a nation that would properly represent Him. God has given the Jews 490 years to repent. They kept rejecting Him all through the 490-year period and their final rejection was when they killed Stephen. Then God rejected the Jews as His nation, and salvation was to be offered to anybody who accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
But it doesn’t stop there, because here we have 490 years. If you take 490 years, and subtract it from 2300 years, you have 1810 years left. From 34 AD. adding 1810 years, you come to the year 1844 AD. From 457 BC. to 1844 AD. is exactly 2300 years. In 1844 Jesus went from the Holy place into the Most Holy place in heaven to begin the judgment and to make final atonement for sins. The cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary began in 1844.
Since that time, the final work for man’s salvation has been going forward. This work involves an examination of every man’s character, because it consists in the remission of sins of those who will be found worthy, and determines who among the dead will be raised. It also decides who among the living will be changed at the Second Coming of the Lord, and who of the living and the dead will meet Jesus in the air to witness the destruction of all the wicked beings of this earth.
If you have a judgment, then you must have a standard by which you are going to judge an individual. What is God going to use as a measuring rod while judging the people?
Let’s turn to Eccl. 12:13, 14.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
The Bible Says that the commandments were to be kept by all mankind. God is going to use the Ten Commandments as a standard in the judgment. (Also Jam. 2:12)
The most reassuring thing about the judgment is that we have Jesus standing here with us today, as our blessed High Priest, to mediate on our behalf. He is inviting us to come, to accept Him as our only hope, so that we can stand in the Day of Judgment.