RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT
CONT., page 7
We have found in the Scriptures two specific primary periods of judgment and purification: the judgment in the Millennial Reign when Immanuel comes to this earth to kindle the promised fire, and the great white throne judgment following the Millennial Reign. Yet we would be remiss to not note and anticipate that even before these two judgment periods, there would of necessity be judgment and purification that comes upon the second Remnant who precede and prepare the way for Immanuel. For the sake of thoroughness, let us examine what the Scriptures tell us where “judgment” is specifically spoken of.
When we examine the passages regarding Yahweh’s judgments, we find that some apply as general statements, some apply to the second Remnant, some apply to the Millennial Reign, some apply to the great white throne judgment, and some apply to both of the latter two. We will first consider these passages that apply in a general manner.
All will be judged by Yahweh, therefore the wise will live their lives with that judgment in the forefront of their minds, they will make preparations for it, and their dedication will be evidenced in their actions. Peter soberly warned, “If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth” (1 Peter 1:17). But the foolish are shortsighted and live for the day and for their own self-gratification and pleasures. When Yahweh clearly states that He will judge every one of us, we are wise to live in anticipation of that judgment. As it is written in Galatians 6:7, so should we heed: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” This is a very simple and exceptionally wise law to live by.
Following now are the passages that evidence a more general message regarding judgment. In each case we will be brief in comments and let the passage speak for itself. To begin with, though the word “judgment” is not specifically used in this first passage, the effectuating of judgment is clearly in practice. This is a passage we have already mentioned, and very much deserves repeating here. From Mark 9:43-50, Yahshua stated, “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; … If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; … If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out;” then He added:
“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
If we fail to judge ourselves, salting ourselves with fire, then Yahweh will effect that correction. As Paul states, “if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31). These are words well spoken. Another passage that demands careful and circumspect application in one’s life is the like instruction of the One to whom all authority has been given by the Father (Matthew 28:18). Again, the wise will be VERY careful to uphold this, lest they pile up guilt.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. … But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” [Matthew 12:33, 36-37].
This is a very straightforward statement. Here now is a passage that many men, and most certainly women (who do not have the authority to teach), should have heeded and thereupon remained silent. James plainly warned:
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment [James 3:1].
In the section, “The Lake of Fire,” we spoke of the necessity to read the fine print in the contract. The passage in Hebrews 10 was mentioned, and is added here in full. Sadly, believers practice the very thing that Jude identifies—the grace of God being turned into a license to sin, or “licentiousness” (Jude 1:4). Paul declared in like regard in Romans 6:1-2: “Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” Far too many people are lulled into shameful error and deception regarding forgiveness of sin so as to cheapen it, and as this passage states, they insult the Spirit of grace.
For if we sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God [Hebrews 10:26-31].
This is a very sobering passage, calling every believer to accountability for their own actions. Again, “The Lord will judge His people.” Furthermore, let us add this equally sobering warning from Yahshua that is given to the believer who knows the Master’s will:
“And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled” [Luke 12:47-49]!
This second group of verses applies to the judgment of the second Remnant. To begin with, we know that the book of Malachi more specifically addresses the Elijah work that averts Yahweh’s wrath and prepares the way for Immanuel. In this regard, the Old Testament begins to close with the following calling that is made just before the coming of Immanuel:
Then those who feared Yahweh spoke to one another, and Yahweh gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear Yahweh and who esteem His name. “They will be Mine,” says Yahweh of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession [the Bride], and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him [Malachi 3:16-18].
Then in the next and final chapter of the Old Testament, verses 1 and 5 conclude with the following regarding Elijah:
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says Yahweh of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. … Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet during the coming great and terrible day of Yahweh.”
Obviously, that day of burning is the Millennial Reign where Immanuel kindles the fire that He promises. But, there is no doubt that fire will first be kindled amongst the second Remnant, purifying them, even as we saw in these preceding verses. As written in Revelation 19:7, the Bride must make herself ready, and that in truth and righteousness.
This purification of the second Remnant is most certainly confirmed in yet another clear and revealing testimony, here concerning Elijah himself. During the three-year drought proclaimed by him, he abided at two specific locations, identifying the two Remnant. The first-Remnant testimony was his initiating stay at the brook Cherith until it dried up. He then left there, passed though the breach, and went to second-Remnant Zarephath where a widow provided for him (1 Kings 17:1-10). Revealingly, “Zarephath” means “smelting place,” or “place of refining,” even “place of purification with fire,” and comes from the very word used in Malachi 3:3 concerning Elijah—a “smelter.” Following are verses 1-3:
“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple. And the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, he is coming,” says Yahweh of hosts. “But who can endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to Yahweh offerings in righteousness.”
The New American Standard (NAS), as well as the New King James (NKJ), wrongly capitalize the “h” in these verses in the pronouns “his” and “he.” On the other hand, Young’s Literal Translation made the correct distinction with the lower case “h.” As we have noted, the book of Malachi is concerning the Elijah, and not Immanuel per se. Thus, the correct identity of this person is the messenger, Elijah, who “will clear the way before” Immanuel. The Elijah “will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver.” In other words, he will purify the second Remnant, which is consistently identified as silver.
In addition, in John 14-16 Yahshua speaks of the former rain and the latter rain. More specifically, the latter rain is seen in chapters 15 and 16 (read The Best Is Before Us—The Latter Rain, page 2). As we see in chapter 16, the latter rain of the Spirit comes to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment.
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment …” [John 16:7-8].
This work of the Spirit is also seen in that the Elijah comes as the Noah before the flood of the Spirit that will ever increase until it covers the earth. The Elijah is equally the preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5).
The next period of judgment will be the Millennial Reign. Three passages that evidence a relevance specially to this period are found in Matthew and Jude. We have already noted that the promise to the first Remnant was that they would not die: “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death unto seeing the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matthew 16:28). This promise will be fulfilled by the second Remnant who will live to see Immanuel come and judge men, holding them accountable for their every deed, as we read in preceding verse 27:
“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds” [Matthew 16:27].
In Matthew 25:31-33 Yahshua also declared:
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.”
You will notice that the distinction being made here is in regard to the nations—the goat nations and the sheep nations. This passage does not indicate that these will be individuals, but nations. This is quite fitting, for the nations have possessed the right to judge both Him (His crucifixion) and the kingdom for the last two thousand years. But now, He will come to judge the nations.
Next, in Jude 1:14-15 we read:
It was also about these men [the “ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness,” verse 4] that Enoch, in the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
The remarkable evidence of this passage is that the “seventh from Adam” would speak to the seventh millennial period of mankind. This is where we are now. Of course the thousands of holy ones would be the Remnant. We know that there were at least five thousand in the first Remnant (Acts 4:4), and Revelation 7:9 simply tells us that the second Remnant will be a “great multitude … from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues.” The latter is in clear contrast to the first Remnant who were located solely in Jerusalem.
Next, of course, is the great white throne judgment. As with the second Remnant and the Millennial Reign, we once again look at those passages that speak specifically to this event. Beginning in Hebrews 9:27 we read the simple statement:
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment ….
This could only apply to the second resurrection, insomuch that at the first resurrection, the first Remnant immediately ascend alive. Next, in John 5:26-29 we read the words of Yahshua:
“For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for a time is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”
In concluding this examination of specific passages regarding judgment, we find that some passages could apply to both the Millennial Reign and the great white throne judgment, and as you will see, even beyond when the angels are judged. Let us note here as well though, what you are reading in this section is not an exhaustive list of these passages dealing with judgment, but some of the more obvious accounts, primarily in the New Testament. We begin here once again with the words of Yahshua where we read His reply to Peter:
Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” [Matthew 19:27-28].
Of course the twelve tribes will be resurrected at the great white throne judgment; but as will be addressed in the next section, the regeneration begins with the advent of Immanuel and the Millennial Reign. Next are three passages from Paul, who aptly warned both Christians and the nations:
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, age-during life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation [Romans 2:5-8].
Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God [1 Corinthians 4:5].
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad [2 Corinthians 5:10].
We close this list with a passage that looks even beyond the great white throne judgment. In 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 , we read:
Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?
Addressed in Seedtime and Harvest, in Yahweh’s work to restore all creation, the last to be restored will be the angels: first the Bride, then the Body of Christ, then the nations, and finally the angels. They too will have to learn righteousness.
In closing this section, let us restate the words of Peter, who well knew the sobering and bitter taste of failure:
“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth” [1 Peter 1:17].
And again from Paul, let us pay heed:
“But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged” [1 Corinthians 11:31].
Continue to page 8 of Resurrection and Judgment for BORN FROM ABOVE, VERSUS BORN AGAIN