THE HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT
“Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water” (Revelation 14:7). The people of the world who have been ignoring God or worshiping Him in vain are now called to attention, to give God the respect, awe and glory that He deserves, and to understand that the time for the judgment has arrived.
The last-day judgment consists of several phases of both investigative and executive judgment. The first phase of the investigative judgment (which was presented in chapters four through seven) is the “pre-advent judgment” (pre-advent means before the Second Coming of Christ). It is “a judgment made in favor of the saints of the most high” which enables them “to possess the kingdom” (Daniel 7:22). It is obvious that this judgment takes place before the Second Coming of Christ, because when He comes “His reward is with Him,” showing that a determination has already been made.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> A second investigative phase takes place during the thousand year reign with Christ, described in Revelation 20:4-
The executive judgment, in which the sentences pronounced in the investigative judgment are carried out, has three phases. The first phase involves the pouring out of the seven last plagues and the destruction of
The “hour of His judgment” referred to in Revelation 14:7 applies to the first phase of the investigative judgment. This can be seen by the fact that it is given in the context of the final appeal “to those who dwell on the earth” to “fear God and give glory to Him”—in other words, the last call to repentance. Repentance is only possible during the first phase of the investigative judgment; the other phases of the judgment take place after the close of probation (see 5: The Investigative Judgment and 15:5-8 The Close of Probation).
In chapter four we saw that the investigative judgment was foreshadowed by the Day of Atonement in the sanctuary service of the Old Testament. It was a day when the people who had come to the sanctuary throughout the year to confess their sins and make sacrifices were to “afflict their souls.” On that day “the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord” (Leviticus 16:30, 16). This final atonement and cleansing of the sanctuary was a symbol of the investigative judgment that takes place in the heavenly sanctuary, when the angels verify that those who have been written in the Book of Life have remained faithful. In Daniel 7 this judgment was identified by the statement “The court was seated and the books were opened…and a judgment was made in favor of the saints”( Daniel 7:10,22). In Daniel 8:14 this same time is identified with the statement “for two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed”. A study of these prophecies allows us to pinpoint the time (“the hour”) that the heavenly judgment begins.
Continue to next section: WHEN IN HISTORY?
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> “Behold I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” Revelation 22:12. See also Isaiah 40:10, 62:11, Matthew 16:27.