Sabbath, March 31, 2007
THE JUDGMENT SET IN HEAVEN
1. How was the judgment in heaven presented to a prophet of old?
Daniel 7:9, 10 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
“Thus was presented to the prophet’s vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to every man should be rendered ‘according to his works.’ The Ancient of Days is God the Father. Says the psalmist: ‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.’ Psalms 90:2. It is He, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the judgment. And holy angels as ministers and witnesses, in number ‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,’ attend this great tribunal.” –The Great Controversy, p.
2. How will repented sinners be defended in this judgment?
Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him
1 John 2:1, 2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Hebrews 9:24, 7:25 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: … Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
“The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion and glory and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not His second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844. Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies and there appears in the presence of God to engage in the last acts of His ministration in behalf of man–to perform the work of investigative judgment and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.” –The Great Controversy, p. 480.
“Jesus will appear as their advocate, to plead in their behalf before God.” –The Great Controversy, p. 482.
THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT
3. Whose cases are to be investigated in this judgment?
1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
“In the typical service only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment the only cases considered are those of the professed ”–The Great Controversy, p. 480.
4. When will unrepented sinners be judged?
Revelation 20:12, 13 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and 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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
1 Corinthians 6:2, 3 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
“The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later period.” –The Great Controversy, p. 480.
5. How will all evidence of accusation be presented in the investigative judgment?
Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Matthew 12:36, 37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
“The books of record in heaven, in which the names and the deeds of men are registered, are to determine the decisions of the judgment.” –The Great Controversy, p. 480.
6. How many kinds of books are there in heaven?
(1) “The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the service of God.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 480-481.
See also: Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Daniel 12:1; Revelation 21:27.
(2) “‘A book of remembrance’ is written before God, in which are recorded the good deeds of ‘them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name.’”–The Great Controversy, p. 481.
See also: Malachi 3:16; Nehemiah 13:14; Psalm 56:8.
(3)A book of records. “There is a record also of the sins of men.” –The Great Controversy, p. 481.
See also: Matthew 12:36, 37; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Isaiah 65:6, 7.
7. How will all cases in this judgment be determined?
Ecclesiastes 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 law of God is the standard by which the characters and the lives of men will be tested in the judgment.” –The Great
8. What is the most dramatic part in the investigative judgment?
Exodus 32:33 And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Ezekiel 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to All the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
“As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance.” –The Great Controversy, p. 483.
9. What will be done with the sins of those who will be justified?
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Matthew 10:32, 33 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
“All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life.” –The Great Controversy, p. 483.
10. When will the judgment in heaven be completed?
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
“The work of the investigative judgment and the blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. Since the dead are to be judged out of the things written in the books, it is impossible that the sins of men should be blotted out until after the judgment at which their cases are to be investigated.” –The
11. What will be the fate of those whose sins have not been pardoned?
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
“Sins that have not been repented of and forsaken will not be pardoned and blotted out of the books of record, but will stand to witness against the sinner in the day of God.” –The Great Controversy, p. 486.