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The Judgment

 

What assurances have we that there will be a judgment?

 

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30,31.)

 

Was the judgment still future in Paul’s day?

 

“As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” (Acts 24:25.)

 

How many must meet the test of the judgment?

 

I thought in my heart, “God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (II Corinthians 5:10.)

 

What reasons did Solomon give for urging all to fear God and keep His commandments?

 

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14.)

 

What view of the judgment scene was given to Daniel?

 

 “As I looked, thrones were set into place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze, a river of fire was flowing, coming out before him, Thousands upon thousands attended him; and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:9,10.) 

 

Out of what will all be judged?

 

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and the books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (Revelation 20:12.)

 

 

 

For whom has a book of remembrance been written?

 

“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who had feared the Lord and honored his name.” (Malachi 3:16.)

 

The Judgment Scene

 

Who opens the judgment and presides over it?

 

“As I looked, thrones were set into place and the Ancient of Days took his seat.” (Daniel 7:9.)

 

Who will minister to God and assist in the judgment?

 

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne, the living creatures, and the elders.” (Revelation 5:11.)

 

Who is brought before the Father at this time?

 

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Daniel 7:13.)

 

What does Christ as the advocate of His people confess before the Father and before His angels?

 

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32,33.)

 

Note –During the judgment scene both the righteous and the wicked dead are still in their graves. The record of each one’s life, however, is in the books of heaven, and by that record, the characters and the deeds of all are well known. Christi is there to appear in behalf of those who have chosen Him as their advocate. (I John 2:1.) He presents His blood as He appeals for their sins to be blotted from the books of record. As the place of judgment is in heaven, where God’s throne is, and as Christ is present in person, it follows that the work of judgment is also in heaven. All are judged by the record of their lives, and thus answer for the deeds done in the body. This work will not only decide forever the cases of the dead but also the close of probation, during the Great Tribulation of all who are living, after which Christ will come to take to Himself those who have been found loyal to Him.

 

 

 

After the subjects of the kingdom have been determined by the investigative judgment, what is given to Christ?

 

“He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:14)

 

Christ’s Second Coming

 

When He comes the second time, what title will He bear?

 

“On his robe and on his thigh he has the name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:16.)

 

What will He then do for each one?

 

“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. (Revelation 22:16.)

 

Where will Christ then take His people?

 

“In my Fathers house there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may be where I am. (John 14:2,3.)

 

How many of the dead will be raised?

 

“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:28,29.)

 

What time intervenes between the two resurrections?

 

“And I saw thrones on which were seated those who have been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who have been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:4,5.)

 

The Saints in Judgment

 

What work did Daniel see finally assigned to the saints?

 

“As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. (Daniel 7:21,22.)

 

How long will the saints engage in this work of judgment?

 

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them… and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4.)

 

Who will thus be judged by the saints?

 

“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! (I Corinthians 6:2,3.)

 

Christ Executes Judgment

 

How will the decisions of the judgment be executed?

 

“Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He trends the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.” (Revelation 19:15.)

 

Why is the execution of the judgment given to Christ?

 

“For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself, and he has given authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” (John 5:26,27.)

 

How was the opening of the judgment to be made known to the world?

 

And then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear god and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6,7.)

 

Note – There are three phases of the judgment mentioned in the Scriptures: the investigative judgment, proceeding the second advent; the judgment of the lost world and the wicked angels by Christ and the saints during the thousand years following the second advent; and the executive judgment, or punishment of the wicked at the close of this period. The investigative judgment takes place in heaven before Christ comes, in order to ascertain who are worthy to be raised in the first resurrection, at His coming, and who among the living are to be changed in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trump. It is necessary for this to take place before the Second Advent, as there will be no time for such a work between the coming of Christ and the raising of the righteous dead.  The executive judgment on the wicked occurs after the saints have examined their cases during the thousand years. (Revelation 20:4,5; I Corinthians 6:1-3.) The investigative judgment is that which is announced to the world by the angel’s message of Revelation 14:6,7.

 

Recap:

 

Christ ministers today as our High Priest and Advocate before the throne of His Father in the heavenly sanctuary. He is the only mediator between God and man.

 

Every individual must face judgment for deeds “done in the body,” whether good or evil. And we should not forget that the standard of that judgment is the holy law of God, the Ten Commandments.

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