Last week, we looked at the little horn power that ruled from 538 AD to 1798, the period of “time, times, and half a time.” Daniel 7 indicates that sometime after the rise of the little horn power, but before the second coming, a judgment will take place in heaven.
Notice that Daniel 7 is in chronological succession, each of the kingdoms presented in the order that they appear in history. This is an important observation when it comes to the judgment scene in heaven (vv. 9, 10).
- Terrible Beast
- Ten Horns
- Little Horn (538–1798)
- Judgment in Heaven
- Second Coming
The judgment comes chronologically after the little horn power and yet before the second coming of Jesus. After reading through Daniel 7, one comes to the conclusion that there is a pre-Advent judgment, meaning a judgment before the coming of Christ. Daniel 7 pinpoints the time of judgment as taking place after 1798 but before the second coming.
The judgment scene in heaven is public before the universe; “ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened” (Dan. 7:10). In other words, this is a moment of transparency for God before the inhabitants of the universe. God has an open judgment of every name written in the books. This is not because God needs to know. Rather, this happens so the universe will know the decisions that God is making. The beneficiaries of the open judgment in heaven are the inhabitants of the universe who have not fallen into sin.
The open judgment reveals that the issues at stake in the great controversy are issues regarding the character of God. God wants to ensure that every question the inhabitants of the universe have in regard to God’s salvific decisions is answered. God knows what decisions need to be made, but He wants the intelligences of the universe to know. Before God brings anyone who has been infected by sin into the heavenly gates, He goes through an open, transparent process of judgment before the entire universe. Then the whole universe can say, “True and righteous are His judgments” (Rev. 19:2).