The Hour of His Judgment

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(Reveltion 14, Daniel 8 & 9, Romans 5, Hebrews 8 & 9
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 6

The Hour of His Judgment

(Revelation 14, Daniel 8 & 9, Romans 5, Hebrews 8 & 9)

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: When we began this study we learned from Revelation 1:1 that a central purpose of Revelation is to alert Christians about the future. God has always been in the business of telling us what He has in mind. We see it in Genesis 3:15 when God tells us that in the conflict between good and evil He will “bruise [the] head” of the serpent that lead us into sin. This week we study a prophecy that gives us specific details about the defeat of sin. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible an learn more!

  1. Questions, Questions
    1. Read Daniel 8:11-12. Daniel has just seen a vision of animals fighting and horns growing. He then receives this information about the sanctuary being overthrown. If you were Daniel, what would you think? (Remember that Daniel had been taken captive after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. This would sound like old news to him.)
    2. Read Daniel 8:13. Is Daniel overhearing a private conversation?
      1. Is this conversation something that interests Daniel? (It would be of great interest because it concerns “how long” will be the time of the destruction. That directly affects Daniel’s life.)
    3. Read Daniel 8:14. We now know whether this was intended to be a private conversation. What is the answer? (It was not a private conversation because the answer is given directly to Daniel.)
      1. Is this good news? (It is exciting news because it tells Daniel that the sanctuary (which he would believe is the temple in Jerusalem) will be restored. His nation will be re-established. Perhaps he is going to be able to go home.)
    4. Read Daniel 8:15-16. Does Daniel understand this vision? (No. He wants to understand but does not.)
      1. Who is asked to help Daniel? (The angel Gabriel is told to help Daniel understand.)
    5. Read Daniel 8:17. What is the problem with being taught by Gabriel? (He is a frightening being. Recall two weeks ago we discussed what it means to “fear God?” One argument in favor of real (trembling) fear is that the typical human reaction to seeing an angel is to be frightened.)
      1. Despite his fright, Daniel records Gabriel’s instruction. What is this message about? Is it about the rebuilding of the temple during Daniel’s lifetime? (Daniel does not know that the temple will be destroyed twice. Gabriel says this is about “the time of the end.” Unless the world ended soon, Daniel would not understand the message.)
    6. Read Daniel 8:18-19. This is odd! Daniel falls asleep when he is frightened? What do you think really happened? (Daniel fainted. He is overcome by the message and the presence of Gabriel.)
      1. What power does Gabriel have? (He can bring you back to sensibility by just a touch.)
      2. What message does Gabriel repeat? (The time period - this is about the end of the world.)
    7. Read Daniel 8:26-27. Does Daniel need another touch from Gabriel? (He is alert, but he is sick.)
      1. Why do you think Daniel is ill? (The message has overcome him. He does not understand it, despite Gabriel’s best efforts. Daniel finds the vision to be appalling.)
        1. Do you think Daniel finds the message appalling because the temple will not be rebuilt until the end of time? (Daniel is undoubtedly thinking about his situation and the destruction of his temple. I would be sick if I knew it would not be rebuilt for a very long time, in fact, not until the end of the earth.)
  2. Answers
    1. Read Daniel 9:17-20. What is Daniel praying about? (The same topic. He asks God to rebuild the sanctuary soon. He does not want the delay that Gabriel was telling him about.)
    2. Read Daniel 9:20-21. Was Gabriel told to give it another try? (Apparently!)
      1. Let’s inject a personal note. Do you have times when you cannot understand what God is doing? When you think He should act quickly and He does not? What does this return of Gabriel teach us? (God is concerned about our understanding and our attitude. He wants to reassure us.)
    3. Read Daniel 9:23. Why does Gabriel come to explain? (Daniel is “greatly loved” by heaven.)
    4. Read Daniel 9:24. What happens during those seventy weeks? (A lot. The most important are atoning for iniquity and bringing in everlasting righteousness.)
    5. Read Daniel 9:25. What is the first bit of good news for Daniel? (That his temple will be rebuilt.)
      1. Is this a vision that is in answer to Daniel’s concern about his temple laying in ruins? (This is a much bigger message. Let’s try to understand it.)
        1. What is at the heart of the larger message? (The coming of the “anointed One,” a “Prince.”)
  3. The Bigger Message - 70 Weeks
    1. Read Daniel 9:26-27. Notice that we have three periods mentioned - 62 weeks, 7 weeks and 1 week. Together these add up to 70 weeks.)
      1. There may be some quibbling about exact dates, but historically Bible-believing Christians have set the decree to restore the temple Daniel was concerned about at 457 B.C. If you add 62 weeks and 7 weeks (69 weeks), and understand that a day equals a year, you come to 27 A.D. That is the date that Jesus was baptized by John and began His ministry.)
        1. What does this teach us about the reliability of the Bible? What does this teach us about the truth that Revelation was written to tell God’s followers what would take place?
    2. Look again at Daniel 9:26-27 and this time focus on the one week and the “half of the week.” How does this fit the ministry of Jesus here on earth? (Jesus ministered for three and a half years before He was crucified. See the language “an anointed one shall be cut off.” In this we see that the crucifixion of Jesus is also the subject of this vision given to Daniel.)
      1. What about the statement regarding the destruction of “the city and the sanctuary?” (That also took place after Jesus was crucified.)
  4. An Even Bigger Heavenly Message - 2300 days
    1. Go back and read Daniel 8:14 and Daniel 8:17. When Gabriel comes a second time to explain what we just studied, he does not give a remedial course on “the time of the end” and the longer, 2,300 day prophecy. Why is that? (Daniel did not understand it and Daniel 8:26 says to “seal up the vision.”)
      1. What is prophesied to happen at the end of the 2,300 days? (The “sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful place.”)
        1. Historically Christians have understood the 70 weeks (490 days), but there is disagreement over the larger 2,300 day period. Many think the 2,300 days are literal days and have to do with a military leader who, long before Jesus came, defiled the Jewish temple by sacrificing a pig on it. Is the timing right for that theory? (No. Gabriel said (Daniel 8:17) that the vision had to do with the time of the end.)
        2. Let’s continue with the so far correct assumption that days equal years. Re-read Daniel 9:26. This tells us that years before the 2,300 day period ends the sanctuary will be destroyed again. Should we, like Daniel, declare we cannot figure this out? A destroyed sanctuary cannot be restored, or can it? If it could, why would we need it after Jesus died as our sacrifice?
    2. Read Hebrews 8:1-2, and Hebrews 8:5-6. What does this tell us about another sanctuary? And where is it? (The sanctuary on earth was patterned after the one in heaven. Hebrews tells us that after the earthly sanctuary was destroyed, Jesus ministers for us in a heavenly sanctuary.)
    3. Read Hebrews 9:8 and Hebrews 11-12. How does Hebrews unlock the meaning of the 2,300 day prophecy? (This “restoration” is in heaven. Jesus ministers on our behalf in the heavenly sanctuary.)
    4. Friend, this is great news! The Bible is reliable in telling us when Jesus would come, live, and die on our behalf. And it shares the great good news that our Savior is working on our behalf in heaven right now! Why not ask Him to intervene on your behalf?
  5. Next week: Worshiping the Creator.