Friday, 28 December 2012
The Great White Throne Judgment
At the end of last week,'s Blog I asked the question, 'what happens to those who remain asleep until the end of the thousand years?'....and what happens to those who survive The Great Tribulation as unbelievers, or as those who do not win the 'prize' of the First Resurrection?
Following a comment on last week's Blog, I will give my proposed answer to the second question. The Prophets Isaiah and Zechariah explain:
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, ..no more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.....
My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and ...they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,says the LORD.
It seems that those who survive and have children in the Messianic Age will have until they reach one hundred years old to decide whether they will accept Jesus as their Messiah and to keep His Commandments. If not, they will die and 'sleep' until the end of the thousand years. However, if they do decide....they will probably receive their resurrected body. This seems to be the logical outcome.
It shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.
Secondly, those who refuse to come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts....will not be able to grow any crops, and will therefore starve, because on them there will be no rain.
It will, of course, be much easier for all the survivors of The Great Tribulation, and there will be many, many thousands of them, to both trust Messiah and to come up to Jerusalem, because Satan will be bound throughout the thousand years.
At the end of the thousand years of the Messianic Age, Satan is released and is destroyed for ever in the final battle. Please,please, note that the final Battle of Gog and Magog occurs at the end of the Messianic Age, NOT at the end of The Great Tribulation that preceeds His Second Coming.
Revelation 20.7-8 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
Revelation 19.11-15 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses…..Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Verses 13 and 15 are a clear fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah 63:1-3 and Genesis 49.9-12:
Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His
apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength?; ‘I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? ‘I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes.’ Isaiah 63:1-3
...To Him shall be the obedience of the people. Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes.
I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury refers to the final battle of Gog & Magog described in Ezekiel 38 and 39:
Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it?Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes. …….
I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord GOD. "Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD."…..21 "I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.…..When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD."
Ezekiel 38.14-16,21-23, 39.21-29
The Great White Throne Judgment, The Last Judgment
Following the final battle and the destruction of Satan, The Great White Throne Judgment is described. Paul explains to the Corinthians why every person who has ever lived will get their physical body back at The Great White Throne Judgment:
1 Corinthians 15.21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
Revelation 20.11-12 Then I saw a Great White Throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.The ‘books’ are the five books of the Torah; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
The phrase ‘according to their works’ means how they kept God’s Commandments in His Torah. ‘works’ is the Hebrew word ‘mitzvot’, and it always refers to the Torah:
The LORD said to Moses, 'Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the Torah and Commandments (mitzvot), which I have written, that you may teach them. Exodus 24:12
They are the same Commandments to which Jesus referred when He said:
If you keep My Commandments, (mitzvot), you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s Commandments (mitzvot) and abide in His love. John 15.10
The precise wording is very important in Revelation 20.12-13:
...the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books...and they were judged, each one according to his works.
The wording is important because The Great White Throne Judgment is the Last Judgment at the end of the Messianic Age. At this point everyone who has ever lived will be resurrected in their body because of the essential fact that Jesus destroyed death at His Resurrection.
Because God is so compassionate and merciful, He judges ALL, at this Last Judgment, on the basis of how they lived their lives against the standard, the target, of His Torah, His Commandments, His Teaching, in the ‘books’ of Genesis to Deuteronomy. This means that anyone in the history of the world who never heard of God, Jesus, or Messiah, can be judged on an equitable basis. God's ultimate plan is to dwell with Man....not to punish as many of Man as He can by denying them the opportunity to dwell with Him.
The preaching of 'Hell and damnation' for all those who do not accept Jesus is Scripturally wrong, theologically incorrect, and displays a tragic lack of underestanding of Who God is, and what His plan for Man is. The reality of The Great White Throne Judgment will be that God will condemn very few to the 'second death'.
Until next week....and what the 'second death' really is....