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Sabbath School Lessons on The Gospel, 1844, and Judgment
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 38 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 12: The Pre-Advent Judgment *
Introduction: In our last lesson we learned that salvation by grace
alone was the important issue in whether the "Little Horn" was
Antiochus Epiphanes or Rome. It turned out that "1844" is an issue of
righteousness by faith: we have a Mediator in the Heavenly sanctuary
who has given His life and offers His blood on behalf of our sins.
Why do we need a mediator? Doesn't God the Father love us? Isn't He
taking everyone to heaven with Him? Let's dive in and find out why
we need Jesus as our mediator!
- The Judge
- Read Daniel 7:8-9. What seems to be the timing of the
Little Horn and God taking a seat? (They seem to be going
on at the same time.)
- God is obviously old. Do you think He needs to take a seat
because He gets tired?
- If not, what does "the Ancient of Days took His seat"
mean? (He is sitting on His throne. That means He is
getting ready for some official task.)
- God has white hair and is wearing a white outfit. Why?
I've heard of women who choose their clothes color to
bring out the color of their eyes. Do you think something
like that is going on here - white clothes to match white
- Read Leviticus 16:3-4. Who is Aaron? (The High
Priest). What color is linen? (White). Why does the
High Priest wear white? (It is a symbol of holiness,
- Is that why God wears white? (Yes. God is sitting
down on His throne to take part in some holy, sacred
- Notice in Daniel 7:9 that God's throne has flaming wheels.
(And you thought that you had some nice rims!) What point
is being made to us?
- What do you think "fire" represents? (Power. Purity.)
- What do you think "wheels" represent? (Speed.
- Read Daniel 7:10. Fire flows like a river from God's
throne. What is the meaning of that? What does that
symbolize? (Have you seen a volcano erupt? Anything in the
way of the river of fire gets destroyed. Again, I see the
symbolism as power and purity. Nothing impure can stand
- Read Jeremiah 23:29-31. How is "fire" used here? (In
the sense of judgment and discernment.)
- In Daniel 7:10 we read about "people" standing around. Are
they also a symbol? Or, are they something else? Are they
even people? (Read Hebrews 12:22. Daniel does not say
these are people. He just says they are "thousands" who
"attend" God. I think they are angels and that they, once
again, reveal to us the power of God.)
- What is the purpose of all of this? (Judgment. The "court"
is seated and the "books" are opened.)
- Think about modern judges. What are some of the questions
that arise about judges of today? (Whether they are fair?
Whether they are being honest? Whether their judgments can
be enforced? Whether their judgments should be enforced?)
- Given our discussion so far, how are all of these
questions resolved when it comes to the judgment of
God? (God is holy, sacred, pure and powerful. His
fire consumes what is wrong.)
- The Judgment
- How would you like to be standing before God in the scene
that we just studied? (All of the older American federal
court rooms I have seen were designed to instill a sense
of awe in the people coming before the judge. Judges
always sit higher than the lawyers or anyone else. As we
have contemplated this judgment scene in the Bible, the
"awe" factor off the charts.)
- In addition to being an awesome scene, what else
worries you about being before this Judge? (Purity.
Holiness. I have a clear vision as to at least some
of my sins. How could I ever stand alone before such
a Judge? I could not.)
- Read Daniel 7:11 and Daniel 7:21-22. How does the Little
Horn fare before the Judge? (Judgment is pronounced
against him. He is slain.)
- Is the Little Horn insane? How can he stand before
God and speak boastful words? (It seems absolutely
impossible to believe that the Little Horn is
actually in the presence of God being boastful. The
scene would hardly permit such a thing.)
- If the Little Horn is not in the presence of God, why
does Daniel emphasize the "boastful" words in the
context of God's judgment? (Remember last week we
discussed that Rome qualified as the Little Horn
because of its flawed approach to sin. From the very
beginning of time (compare Daniel 8:10 with
Revelation 12:3-4) the Dragon/Little Horn symbol has
stood apart from God, not depended on God. The
forgiveness of sins comes from confessing them to
Jesus and the application, through faith, of Jesus'
sacrifice on our behalf. We concluded that all of
the "works" religions are included in the symbolism
of the "Little Horn." If we can visualize from
Daniel 7 just a bit of the power and purity of God,
how incredibly arrogant, stupid and boastful is the
idea of standing before our Holy God based on our own
- Our Lawyer/Mediator
- Read Daniel 7:13-14. Who is the "one like a son of man?"
(Jesus! This is Jesus after His birth as a human so that
now He looks like us.)
- As opposed to the Little Horn, how does Jesus fair
before the pure, holy and all-powerful Father God?
(He is welcomed. He has the same attributes as God
the Father: "authority, glory and sovereign power.")
- Is that "the Guy" you want representing you
before God in heaven? Is He the one you want to
stand in your place?
- Our Choice
- Read again Daniel 7:21-22. If we are right that this
judgment begins around 1844 (that is to say some modern
time and not the time of Antiochus) and takes place before
the Second Coming of Jesus, how is the Little Horn waging
war against the saints and defeating them? (It is
defeating them by taking away their concern about a final
judgment and taking away their active faith in Jesus as
their Mediator. It defeats them when it convinces them
that they can stand alone before God.)
- Friend, does the war between good and evil seem
remote to you? Is your expectation for Jesus' Second
Coming something that you have pushed to the back of
- Read Daniel 7:24-25. We have a specific time period
mentioned here. Do you recall what we studied about this?
(In Lesson 4 of this series we studied that this 3.5 year
period covered 1,260 days. Under the "a day = a year"
symbolism we have studied, this gives us 1,260 years.)
- How does this 1,260 year period fit into our picture
of the Little Horn waging war against the saints
until the Heavenly Court sits and gives the saints
victory? (Consider two possible answers. A
Commentary, Critical and Explanatory refers to "the
1260 years of papal misrule" and "persecution." This
can date from 529 A.D. This commentary also points
out that the secular power of the church began in 752
A.D. when the church began to grant title to rulers
of Europe. If we started the 1,260 year period with
the 752 A.D. date, that would bring us right to the
- If you agree with me that the symbolism of the
"Little Horn" encompasses not simply Rome, but
any religious group that teaches salvation by
something other than Christ's righteousness, are
Christians at war today with these kinds of
- Read Revelation 16:13. What familiar "face" do we see
here? (The dragon again!)
- Who does he have with him? (Frogs, the beast and the
- Are these companions also symbolic of the
"little horn" theme of salvation by works? (Levi
de Paula Tavares, who for many years has
translated these lessons into Portuguese, points
out that the "frogs" represent spiritualistic
religions who believe in gradual purification
through successive reincarnations. I believe
the "false prophet" is Islam - another "works"
religion. We see a group of "works advocates"
- Friend, do you see the final line-up of powers? Do you see
the choice you must make? A judgment is taking place.
Will you stand alone, on your own merits, before an
awesome God? Or, will you choose Jesus as your
representative, your substitute? For me, the choice is a
"no-brainer." I choose grace!
- Next week: The Gospel and Judgment.
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.