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Seventh-Day Adventists/The Judgment of the Little Horn Power


As far as current Seventh-day Adventist understanding, Does the Judgment scene in Daniel 7 represent the "investigative" judgment time of the little horn power?  If so, then when did it begin, as well as end when its dominion taken away (verse 26)?

Eschatology is an important component of Gospel theology.  However, understanding last day events, in any age, is very difficult, even as the continued delay of the 2nd Coming causes many to lose their focus and hope.  

Luke 12:40 “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”

The apostles thought they would see the 2nd Advent and the end of the world in their lifetime.  Some in Thessalonica thought they had missed the 2nd Advent.  Neither view was correct.

2Th. 2:1  Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,

2Th. 2:2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

2Th. 2:3  Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

2Th. 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

1Th. 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

1Th. 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

The early church’s eschatology was primitive, imbued with prophetic symbolism and code words for those that persecuted them.  But these details faded away with the next generation’s view of how the world will end. Thus every generation had their own contemporary eschatology, which was soon outdated and proven wrong by history.  The world has not come to an end as yet.

1Pet. 5:13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.

Rev. 13:16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,

Rev. 13:17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Rev. 14:9  Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

No church or denomination has correctly articulated how the world will actually end, although there have been numerous attempts, especially in the 19th century with the rise of Adventism.  

Rev. 18:2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.

Matt. 24:21 “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

2Pet. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Although every age fears it may be the last, the end will take place at some point.  As it comes near, knowledge is increased and the specifics of the last day events will emerge. Thus ancient prophecy will become clear for those that are paying attention at the end of time.  What seemed so certain and correct in the 19th or even 20th century, no longer works within our 21st century knowledge base.  

The Adventists have failed to comprehend many things correctly and it is a mistake to think otherwise.  Their eschatology needs to be updated and re-positioned for the 21st century.

Dan. 12:4 “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”

Luke 21:36 “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The church today lives in the 21st century, not the 19th.  Thus we need to understand contemporary, eschatology, not the confused and failed assumptions from the past.  Eschatological history, which contains many failed predictions and strange views, is not to be confused with what is actually around the corner.  The reality about how the world will end will be very different from what has been incorrectly envisioned.

Rev. 18:1  After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.

Rev. 18:4  I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;

Rev. 18:8 “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.

Rev. 7:13  Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”

Rev. 7:14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

While there should be no debate that Jesus teaches a great time of trouble prior to the 2nd Advent, the end of our modern world will look very different from what has been envisioned in the past.  This is especially true for SDA’s that have so many eschatological points wrong.

While the Advent Movement should be given credit for correcting the 19th century church about the literal and pre-millennial 2nd Coming of Christ, they need to stop defending their many false traditions, like the IJ, as if they were faultless.   Rather, they need to repent and develop credible, contemporary Gospel eschatology.  

The NT does not support what SDA’s teach about Sunday laws on earth, or the IJ in heaven.  Which is to say that SDA eschatology is not fully developed or correct as yet.  So they should not only repent, but also update their incorrect views, as should every church in Laodicea.

Rev. 3:19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

As for your specific question about the IJ, here is the passage you referenced:

Dan. 7:8 “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.

Dan. 7:9  “I kept looking
  Until thrones were set up,
  And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
  His vesture was like white snow
  And the hair of His head like pure wool.
  His throne was blaze with flames,
  Its wheels were a burning fire.

Dan. 7:10 “A river of fire was flowing
  And coming out from before Him;
  Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
  And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;
  The court sat,

  And the books were opened.

Dan. 7:11 “Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.

According to Adventist teaching, the works of all men and women are written down in "books of record", kept in heaven.

During the Investigative Judgment, these books are opened (as described in Daniel 7:10 and Revelation 20:12), and the lives of all people both living and dead are examined to establish who has responded to Christ's offer of salvation.[72]

"The books of record in heaven, in which the names and the deeds of men are registered, are to determine the decisions of the judgment." "

As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated."[73]

The SDA teaching of the Investigative Judgment is a very misunderstood, confusing, and impossible doctrine.  While it made some sense in the mid 19th century to handful of former Millerites, it no longer has any theological credibility today.  None.  It was false eschatology when invented in 1857, and it is still false doctrine today. Which is why no other denomination has embraced this legalistic error, which is not taught in the Bible.

Pre-Advent Judgment of the Saints:

One of the many errors associated with the IJ, is the claim that the saints are to be examined and judged, in deep space, starting in 1844.  If true, this is not what is taking place in Dan 7.  A close look shows that the saints are not being judged whatsoever.  Rather it is their enemy that is under examination and judgment.  

So this passage in Dan 7 does not fit with the basic alleged concept of the IJ. And neither does any other passage, like Dan 8:14, that has been associated with this worthless and confused eschatology.

Let’s be blunt: There is no Celestial Judgment of the Saints taking place in deep space, as the SDA’s alone claim.  Much less one that started in 1844. The book of Daniel does not teach this, nor does Jesus or his Apostles.

Such failed and outdated 19th century positions are not true or acceptable for the 21st century church.  Time and the increasing amount of Bible knowledge have proven such errors wrong.

In 1980, Dr. Ford, a world-class SDA theologian, debunked the IJ.  He was exiled for telling the truth.  Among many other points, he was correct to point out that Dan 7 is not a judgment of the saints.  Such a point is fatal, along with many others that could be cited.

Dr. Ford writes;

Daniel 7:9,10 uses apocalyptic imagery for the memory of God, but it should be closely observed that it is the host of Antichrist, not the saints, which is in focus here.

The context clearly has Antichrist at the center and it states that the judgment "shall sit and take away his dominion" (see Daniel 7:26 which immediately follows the account of the wicked deeds of the little horn).

The saints are automatically vindicated as their oppressors are condemned. Apocalyptic always has as its heart, the vindication of the faithful through condemnation of their enemies. Thus Revelation 18:10 explains Revelation 14:6. Both verses deal with judgment on wicked Babylon, not believers in the gospel.

As far as the little horn is concerned, it is Antiochus Epiphanes.  

Regarding the little horn of Daniel 8 and its parallelism in Daniel 11, Dr. Ford holds that "only Antiochus Epiphanes fulfilled the chief specifications of Daniel 8's little horn, and the vile person of Daniel 11. All other fulfillments, such as pagan and papal Rome, are fulfillments in principle rather than in detail" (Glacier View document p. 469).

Listen again to Dr. Ford:

In his book 1844 Made Simple, Adventist author Clifford Goldstein argues that compared with Persia and Greece, Antiochus was not "exceeding great," and therefore could not have been the little horn of Dan. 8:9.

A careful reading of Dan. 8:9 reveals that the prophecy never says the little horn will be exceeding great in comparison to Persia and Greece. The little horn is not compared with other powers, but merely said to wax "exceeding great" in three regions: to the south, the east, and the pleasant land. Antiochus was not a big horn on a big stage.

He was a little horn that played a big role on a little stage. His conquering of Egypt and his attack against Judaism can certainly be described as "exceeding great" on the stage of Middle Eastern history during this time period.

It can be argued that of all the foes of Judaism, Antiochus Epiphanes came the closest to stamping out the religion. His attack upon Judaism can only be described as "exceeding great.

Listen to Dr. Raymond Cottrell agree with Dr. Ford.

"My first great shocker about the "IJ, Daniel 8:14 and 1844" was when I read a Hallmark Hanukkah Card in a store that explained the entire story about how the FIRST Hanukkah, and how it lasted for 8 days because that's how long the oil lasted that they'd found in the Temple, once they had "cleansed" the Sanctuary" and set it back up for proper worship.

The Jews had even carried OUT every single stone that had been used in the alter because they couldn't take a chance of having a stone in the alter of God that would have such a history of holding up a pig at one time! The Hallmark Card Company had gone to great lengths to tell this story correctly, and they did it!"

And there I was reading the story WELL OVER 2000 years later that fit a part of the puzzle that at one time had me greatly perplexed.
You don't need to go to what "the Christians" think Daniel 8:14 is talking about, but just go to the JEWS who it was written for and ask THEM what the meaning was all about and you'll see that it had nothing to do with 1844, but everything to do with 165 B.C. instead! "

Dr. Raymond Cottrell

1844 & Dan 8: 14- Error upon Error:

Let all SDA’s understand that Dan 8: 14 has gone through 6 (Six) different interpretations.  All of them wrong.  The 7th and final interpretation has been found.  It is the Hanukkah Story.  

Dan 8:14 was NEVER about 1844 or the IJ as the Pre-Advent Judgment of the Church.  It is about the Hanukkah Story.  Period!  Silly Gentiles.  All they had to do was ask the Jews.  The Old Testament is their history, not ours. … .asp#histo...
See also:

Doctrine determined by faulty hermeneutics: by
Desmond Ford

Investigative judgment made simple: By Robert K. Sanders


The Development of the Concept of the Investigative or Pre-Advent Judgment

It is time for the Advent Movement to repent for the error of the IJ and apologize to Dr. Ford.  This admission will allow for credible Gospel Reform to take place, including the development of updated, 21st century eschatology.  The New Covenant must be the basis for all Christian doctrine and prophecy.  

I hope this helps,

Tom Norris for Adventist Reform and All Experts.Com

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Tom Norris


I can answer most any question about church history and theology, starting from 1818 when William Miller articulated the 1st Angels Message that became the foundation of the Adventist Movement. While this first prophetic message terminated in the spring of 1844, it was followed by what Adventists refer to as the 2nd Angels Message, which dates from the spring of 1844 until the great disappointment of October 22, 1844. By 1847, the 3rd Angels Message had been developed and this Sabbatarian theology represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Moreover, I can explain the historical and theological development of the SDA denomination from its beginning and on through the great Battle Creek schism that forced the SDA's to retreat to Takoma Park. Here the 20th century church recovered from their internal battles that had erupted at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis over the definition of the law and the Gospel. Fearing another repeat of this disaster, President Daniels, determined to hide this debate. However, this policy led to more conflict, especially over the role and authority of Ellen White, a unique and accomplished religious writer that had remarkable spiritual gifts. However, by the decade of the 1970`s, the church once again erupted into debate. The hierarchy settled the turmoil in 1980 with the trial of Dr. Desmond Ford at Glacier View. Here Dr. Ford was exiled because he supposedly disagreed with Ellen White over the Fundamentals. But this controversial action resulted in another major schism that is still in progress today.


Tom Norris was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist in Takoma Park, Md. He attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate. Over the years he has also interviewed a number of prominent Adventist scholars, theologians, and Pastors ranging from the late Arthur White to the exiled Dr. Desmond Ford. In addition, he has amassed a large private library, which includes numerous rare books and manuscripts about Adventist theology and history. He is presently the online editor of Adventist Reform, and can be found at Adventist for Tomorrow answering questions online about SDA theology and history as well as promoting Adventist Reform.

Tom Norris attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate.

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