The Judgment in Daniel


Series: Daniel

Title: 8. The Judgment in Daniel The investigative judgment. #theology


  • 2016-10-22: White Rock Lake
  • 2018-01-27: White Rock Lake


  1. 412: Cover with His Life

Scripture: Zechariah 3:1-5

  1. Introduction: This day in history, 172 years ago: October 22, 1844, the Great Disappointment
    1. The Advent Movement
      1. William Miller: Began to preach in 1831 that Jesus would return “about the year 1843”
      2. After 1843, some of Miller’s associates began preaching that Jesus would return on October 22, 1844.
      3. The key verse for the Millerites was Daniel 8:14: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” (KJV).
        1. Miller taught that this cleansing of the sanctuary was the Second Coming of Jesus.
        2. After the Great Disappointment, the Advent believers who didn’t give up sought to understand where they had gone wrong in their interpretation.
        3. The day after, Hiram Edson had a vision in which it was explained that the cleansing of the sanctuary was in fact Jesus entering the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary, to begin what became known as the investigative judgment.
        4. After Bible study on the topic, many Advent believers, including those who would go on to establish the Seventh-day Adventist Church concluded that the doctrine of the investigative judgment was, in fact, scriptural.
    2. The investigative judgment
      1. This doctrine is the one doctrine that no other denomination besides the Seventh-day Adventist Church holds.
      2. However, in recent years, there has been some skepticism regarding the doctrine. There have been a number of prominent people who have challenged the doctrine and left the church over this issue.
      3. For a long time, I myself had questions about this doctrine, as some of you may know. However, I have recently done a bit of study on the subject, and have reached the conclusion that the investigative judgment is, in fact, in harmony with the Bible.
      4. The topic of the investigative judgment is much too large to cover in one sermon. We will focus today on a few select points which relate to our study of Daniel.
      5. Recommend: The Case for the Investigative Judgment: Its Biblical Foundation by Marvin Moore.
  2. The Investigative Judgment
    1. Daniel 7: Review four beasts and the little horn.
    2. Judgment passage: vv. 9, 10 (p. 864): Location?
      1. Judgment scene.
      2. Where is this scene located? In heaven, at God’s throne
    3. When does it take place?
      1. After the rise of the little horn
      2. Vv 11, 12: Near the time of the end of the little horn’s power (other verses fix the time more precisely, but this is close enough for our purposes)
      3. Vv 13, 14: Prior to the Second Coming
      4. (Regarding 1844: I don’t want to go into those specifics now because it’ll take quite a bit of time and if we understand some key points about the judgment, many of the objections to 1844 become moot. See The Case for the Investigative Judgment for more. We’ll hit some highlights later, though.)
    4. Who will be covered in the judgment?1
      1. Daniel 7 speaks of the judgment of the little horn.
        1. Vv 21, 22: Judgment is made for/in favor of the saints as deliverance from the little horn’s persecution
        2. Vv 25-27: The little horn will face judgment
      2. Some have argued that this is the sum total of the judgment: God’s enemies face judgment, while the saints, those who are followers of Jesus, are exempt. They argue that a belief in the Gospel forces us to reject the idea that the saints will also face judgment. They say that a belief in such a judgment means that Jesus’ death was insufficient. But, we have to consider more than just Daniel 7.
      3. Romans 14:10-12 (p. 1096): The judgment is universal: everyone, good and bad, will face it.
      4. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (p. 1114): Everyone, even the saved, will be judged according to their works
        1. Some people say this is salvation by works. They reject it because the Bible says we’re saved by grace and not by works. Hold on to that thought, because we’ll come back to it once we get to the Day of Atonement
    5. What happens before the judgment? A consistent pattern in the Bible is that before judgment there is investigation.
      1. In the judgment of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4, there is a watcher, demonstrating that this is no hasty decree from God, but one that is based on factual evidence.
      2. Genesis 6:5, 7 (p. 5): God investigated before the flood (and Jesus compared the end times to the days of Noah)
      3. Genesis 11:5-7 (p. 9): The tower of Babylon
      4. Exodus 32:7-10, esp. v. 9 (p. 83): The golden calf
      5. There are many more such passages
      6. So will there be an investigation before the final judgment? Of course. Some more evidence:
        1. Back to Daniel 7:10 (p. 865): The books were opened: There would be no purpose in opening the books unless they had previously been filled with the results of an investigation.
        2. Revelation 22:12 (p. 1190): “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done” (HCSB). If Jesus is figuratively bringing His reward with Him as the Second Coming, that reward must have already been decided.
    6. So, does the Bible support the idea of an investigative judgment of all people, taking place sometime between the end of the little horn’s 1260-day rule and the Second Coming? Yes!
    7. Now that we’ve seen that the idea of an investigative judgment is biblical, we need to change gears and consider the Day of Atonement, because this will teach us how this doctrine applies to us today.
  3. Daniel 8:14 (p. 866) and the relevance of the judgment today
    1. Last week, Dustin talked about the OT sanctuary and how it symbolizes the plan of salvation. Brief overview.
    2. 2,300 days
      1. Daniel 8 and 9 connected
      2. 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 gives us the reference point
      3. Therefore, the 2,300 days of Daniel 8 must expire sometime around 1844
    3. Cleansing of the sanctuary
      1. Context is sanctuary
      2. 2,300 evenings-mornings is sanctuary language
      3. Cleansing is at Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, which is a judgment period (Cf. the sequence of the feasts and their significance)
      4. Instructions to Israel were to afflict their souls during that time
  4. Application: So what?
    1. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (p. 1114): We’ll all be judged by our works, so our works matter.
    2. However, we don’t possess righteousness on our own.
      1. Zechariah 3:1-5 (p. 919): A judgment scene, where Jesus replaces Joshua’s filthy garments with clean ones.
      2. This is justification by faith.
      3. Our works, then, become the evidence of our faith. This is sanctification.
    3. How to stand in the judgment? Only through faith in Jesus


  1. Note: This section borrows extensively from The Case for the Investigative Judgment, pages 100 and 101.