November 13, 2004 – November 19, 2004
“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.” Revelation 14:7.
Suggested Reading: The Faith I Live By, 207; The Great Controversy, 352.
“[Jude 14, 15; Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 quoted in part.] God places every action in the scale. What a scene it will be! What impressions will be made regarding the holy character of God and the terrible enormity of sin, when the judgment, based on the law, is carried forward in the presence of all the worlds. Then before the mind of the unrepentant sinner there will be opened all the sins that he has committed, and he will see and understand the aggregate of sin and his own guilt.
“When the loyal overcomers are crowned, God would have present all who have transgressed His law and broken their covenant with Him. And not one of the righteous will be absent. They see in the Judge, Christ Jesus, the One whom every sinner has crucified. The Son of man shall come in His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations. The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 953.
1 What does Acts 17:31 tell us has been appointed? In the days of the apostles, was this event past, present, or future? Acts 24:25, first part.
note: “Mark the words of Paul: [Acts 17:31 quoted]. Here the apostle plainly stated that a specified time, then future, had been fixed upon for the Judgment of the world.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 367, 368.
“The ambition of every soul should be to make straight his paths, that the feet of others may not be led astray. But the care and anxiety with many is to shape their course to be admired by men. The highest effort of their mental powers is directed to this end. They speak and act that they may float upon the tide of popularity. There is no dependence to be placed upon this class; for they will betray sacred trusts, if by so doing they can serve their own interests. They study their own purposes so intently that they have no time for the study of God’s word. The day of retributive judgment is coming on apace, and it will find them unprepared.” Review and Herald, December 29, 1896. [Emphasis supplied.]
2 What work have we found to be synonymous with the judgment? When did the angel tell Daniel that event would begin? Daniel 8:14; 9:24.
note: “As the 2300 days was the only period of time mentioned in chapter 8, it must be the period from which the seventy weeks were cut off; the seventy weeks must therefore be a part of the 2300 days, and the two periods must begin together. The seventy weeks were declared by the angel to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. If the date of this commandment could be found, then the starting point for the great period of the 2300 days would be ascertained.
“In the seventh chapter of Ezra the decree is found. Verses 12–26. In its completest form it was issued by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, 457 b.c.” The Great Controversy, 326.
3 When did the 2300 days end? Since a.d. 1844, what has been the message of “present truth”? Revelation 14:7.
note: “The preaching of a definite time for the judgment, in the giving of the first message, was ordered by God. The computation of the prophetic periods on which that message was based, placing the close of the 2300 days in the autumn of 1844, stands without impeachment. The repeated efforts to find new dates for the beginning and close of the prophetic periods, and the unsound reasoning necessary to sustain these positions, not only lead minds away from the present truth, but throw contempt upon all efforts to explain the prophecies. The more frequently a definite time is set for the second advent, and the more widely it is taught, the better it suits the purposes of Satan. After the time has passed, he excites ridicule and contempt of its advocates, and thus casts reproach upon the great advent movement of 1843 and 1844. Those who persist in this error will at last fix upon a date too far in the future for the coming of Christ. Thus they will be led to rest in a false security, and many will not be undeceived until it is too late.” The Great Controversy, 457.
4 For what has God prepared His throne? Who will be judged? Psalm 9:7, 8.
note: “I [Ellen White] appeal to every man and woman who shall read these words, to remember that a reckoning is to be made by the One whom God hath appointed to judge the world. Every one must then give account of the talents intrusted to him.” Review and Herald, October 6, 1891.
5 To whom has the Father committed the work of judgment? John 5:22. Why? Verse 27.
note: “To His Son the Father has committed all judgment. Christ will declare the reward of loyalty. [John 5:22, 27 quoted.] Christ accepted humanity and lived on this earth a pure, sanctified life. For this reason He has received the appointment of judge. He who occupies the position of judge is God manifest in the flesh.” Review and Herald, June 18, 1901.
6 How many of us will be brought into the judgment? What reward will each one receive? 11 Corinthians 5:10.
note: “The whole world stands condemned before the great moral standard of righteousness. In the great day of judgment every soul that has lived on the earth will receive sentence in accordance as to whether his deeds have been good or evil in the light of the law of God. Every mouth will be stopped as the cross with its dying Victim shall be presented, and its real bearing shall be seen by every mind that has been sin blinded and corrupted. Sinners will stand condemned before the cross, with its mysterious Victim bowing beneath the infinite burden of human transgression. How quickly will be swept away every subterfuge, every lying excuse! Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character. Men will see what their choice has been. They will then understand that they have chosen Barabbas instead of Christ, the Prince of Peace.” The Signs of the Times, March 7, 1895.
7 What reason is given why we should not judge one another? To whom must every knee bow and tongue confess? Of whom will each one be called to give an account? In view of this, what should we not do any more? Romans 14:10–13.
note: “ ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.’ [Matthew 7:1.] Do not think yourself better than other men, and set yourself up as their judge. Since you cannot discern motive, you are incapable of judging another. In criticizing him, you are passing sentence upon yourself; for you show that you are a participant with Satan, the accuser of the brethren. The Lord says, ‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.’ This is our work. ‘If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.’ 11 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Corinthians 11:31.” The Desire of Ages, 314.
8 Who besides man are reserved to judgment? 11 Peter 2:4, 9. See also Jude 6.
note: “Satan has been blessed with great advantages. There can be no one greater or more talented, none more wise and good, than was Satan before he apostatized. But he allowed a spirit of selfishness to take possession of him, and he fell through self-exaltation. Angels fell with him because they placed themselves on the side of the great rebel instead of on the side of Christ. We read in Jude : ‘And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.’ ” Review and Herald, July 6, 1897.
9 Has time been established for the judgment? Ecclesiastes 3:17. What are those doing who judge one another now? When will be the time for judgment? What will then be brought to light? What will every man then have? 1 Corinthians 4:5. When will the living and the dead be judged? 11 Timothy 4:1.
note: “To hate and reprove sin, and at the same time to show pity and tenderness for the sinner, is a difficult attainment. The more earnest our own efforts to attain to holiness of heart and life, the more acute will be our perception of sin and the more decided our disapproval of any deviation from the right. We must guard against undue severity toward the wrongdoer, but we must also be careful not to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. There is need of showing Christlike patience and love for the erring one, but there is also danger of showing so great toleration for his error that he will look upon himself as undeserving of reproof. . . .” Conflict and Courage, 347.
10 How many events are associated with the judgment? Revelation 11:18.
note: “I [Ellen White] saw that Jesus would not leave the most holy place until every case was decided either for salvation or destruction, and that the wrath of God could not come until Jesus had finished His work in the most holy place, laid off His priestly attire, and clothed Himself with the garments of vengeance. Then Jesus will step out from between the Father and man, and God will keep silence no longer, but pour out His wrath on those who have rejected His truth. I saw that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead were separate and distinct, one following the other, also that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced. The nations are now getting angry, but when our High Priest has finished His work in the sanctuary, He will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the seven last plagues will be poured out.” Maranatha, 258.
“We are standing upon the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecies are fulfilling. Strange, eventful history is being recorded in the books of heaven. Everything in our world is in agitation. There are wars, and rumors of wars. The nations are angry, and the time of the dead has come, that they should be judged. Events are changing to bring about the day of God, which hasteth greatly. Only a moment of time, as it were, yet remains. But while already nation is rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, there is not now a general engagement. As yet the four winds are held until the servants of God shall be sealed in their foreheads. Then the powers of earth will marshal their forces for the last great battle.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 14.
11 According to what will men be judged? Romans 2:16.
note: “Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God.” The Desire of Ages, 638.
12 What is the conclusion of the whole matter? What is declared to be the whole duty of man? What will God bring into judgment? Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.
note: “In the book of God’s remembrance every deed of righteousness is immortalized. There every temptation resisted, every evil overcome, every word of tender pity expressed, is faithfully chronicled. And every act of sacrifice, every suffering and sorrow endured for Christ’s sake, is recorded. Says the psalmist: ‘Thou tellest my wanderings: put Thou my tears into Thy bottle: are they not in Thy book?’ Psalm 56:8.
“There is a record also of the sins of men. ‘For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ ‘Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.’ Says the Saviour: ‘By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.’ Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36, 37. The secret purposes and motives appear in the unerring register; for God ‘will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.’ 1 Corinthians 4:5. ‘Behold, it is written before Me, . . . your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord.’ Isaiah 65:6, 7.” The Great Controversy, 481.
These lessons are adapted from International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Oakland, California, January 1, 1904.