THE CREEDAL VIEW. VARIOUS MEANINGS OF THE WORD "JUDGMENT." AS INSTRUCTION. AS TESTING. AS CHASTISEMENT FOR CORRECTION. AS PRONOUNCING SENTENCE. THE LENGTH OF THE JUDGMENT DAY. ITS IDENTITY WITH THE MILLENNIUM. OTHER JUDGMENT DAYS INDICATED. NECESSITY OF THE JUDGMENT DAY. THE CHARACTER OF THE JUDGES. ITS TYPES. ITS RESULTS. ITS JOYOUS ANTICIPATION.
THE seventh main object of our Lord's Return, or of the Millennium, as enumerated in Chapter I, is the testing of the whole human family as to its fitness or unfitness for everlasting life, and rendering the final decision in each case. In this chapter we will give many additional details on this point.
The current or creedal view of the great Judgment Day may be expressed about as follows: At the end of time, accompanied by the angels and the departed saints, and by convulsions of nature through which the graves will be opened and the Universe will be annihilated, Christ will come in His Second Advent, riding on a literal cloud, manifesting Himself in a body of shining flesh to the actual sight of all peoples. According to this theory, He will blow a trumpet loud enough to be heard around the earth, awakening the 20,000,000,000 dead, separating them into two classes, putting the one class on His right, the other on His left, and sending all of them, excepting the comparatively few who will be living at that time, back again whence they came—a few to bliss eternal, the many to everlasting torture. All of these things, according to the theory, are expected to be done within a day of twelve or of twenty-four hours. Surely such a view, to say the least, is very crude. For example, on account of the rotundity of the earth, how could those living over a thousand miles away, either toward the poles or toward the antipodes, see Him or the literal
cloud on which He is expected to ride? Yea, how could they with their natural eyes see Christ at all and live (1 Tim. 6:16)? Since in the late war the report of artillery that could not be heard over fifty miles away broke the ear-drums of those near-by, how could a trumpet sound loud enough to be heard around the earth without breaking the ear-drums of those within 12,000 miles and more of the place where that trumpet would be?
Furthermore, if, as the theory implies, each one is infallibly judged at death, why judge the vast bulk over again, since there could be no possible reversal of the previous decision? And how could twenty-four hours' time suffice for the stupendous work of annihilating the Universe, awakening all the dead, collecting before the Throne those living at distances varying from a few hundred feet to 12,500 miles, hearing their verbal account of their deeds, examining the nature and quality of their deeds, separating the 20,000,000,000 into two companies, one to the right and the other to the left, and then sending the vast bulk of them to eternal torture and a small minority of them to everlasting bliss? Surely, as we examine these things in the light of the Bible, reason and facts, we must conclude that there is something radically wrong with this theory, so widely believed, so terribly pictured in art and so solemnly set to music and poetry. Additional to these objections, another trouble with this theory is that, contrary to proper rules of interpretation, it is based upon a literal interpretation of parables, like that of the Sheep and the Goats, and of symbols, like those of Revelation, etc. But probably the worst evil in the theory is the limited meaning that it gives to the word judgment as expressing the kind of work that will characterize that day. According to this theory, the Judgment Day means the Sentence Day, or as some call it, Doomsday, while both Biblical and secular usage favor a broader meaning for the word judgment than that of sentence. It is
The Judgment Day.
true that there will be a sentence as the end of the judging process; but it will be preceded by other features of this judgment process.
VARIOUS MEANINGS OF THE WORD "JUDGMENT"
Even in ordinary language we use the word judgment in a broader sense than sentence. Thus we use the word to signify wisdom, knowledge, e.g., we say, "Use judgment!" when telling a person to act in harmony with good knowledge and common sense. Again, when we test a horse as to speed, strength or endurance, or when we test a metal as to its purity, we are submitting it to a judgment, a judgment process, in order to form a decision, a sentence on it, according as to how it stood the test. Then, we frequently use the word judgment to mean to correct by punishment, e.g., we speak of the correctional punishments experienced by various nations as judgments sent to them by God. So turning to the Bible we find that it uses the word judgment in these various ways in connection with the judgment Day.
The Hebrew verb ordinarily used in the Old Testament in treating of the Day of judgment, to convey the idea of judging is shaphat, from which is derived the noun mishpat, judgment. The corresponding Greek verb ordinarily used in the New Testament in this connection is krino, I judge, from which two nouns (krisis and krima) are derived, which are used to designate work connected with the judgment Day. The Hebrew verb shaphat and the Greek verb krino we find have four meanings: (1) to teach, instruct, indoctrinate, (2) to try, test with reference to character connected with an opportunity to qualify for everlasting life, (3) to chastise for correctional purposes, (4) to sentence. The Hebrew noun mishpat and the Greek noun krisis have the same meanings in noun form; but the Greek noun krima has the meaning of sentence only. We will briefly examine some of the Scriptures containing these words, and from them we will readily recognize these definitions as true ones.
JUDGMENT MEANS INSTRUCTION
(1) We will show that shaphat, mishpat, krino and krisis convey the first of the four meanings just suggested—to teach, instruct, indoctrinate, or teaching, instruction, indoctrination. "The judgments [mishpatim, the plural of mishpat] of the Lord are true [margin, truth] and righteous altogether [the Lord's teachings are true and just]. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb ["How sweet are thy words (teachings) to my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth" (Ps. 119:103). If we should take the judgments in this verse to mean sentences, and then understand the sentences to be to eternal torment, how sweet would they be?]. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned [the instructions of the Lord warn us against sin and its results (Ps. 119:11)]; and in keeping of them is great reward" (Ps. 19:9-11). This passage very clearly proves that one of the meanings of judgment is instruction. Ps. 25:8, 9 is also clear on this point: "Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will He guide in judgment [the parallelism of the next clause proves that to guide the meek in judgment means that], the meek will He teach His way." Ps. 106:3 gives proof to the same effect: "Blessed are they that keep judgment ["Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it" (Luke 11:28). But if judgment here meant sentence, and the sentence were to eternal torment, they would indeed keep it; but how blessed would they be?]." "The Lord … hath filled Zion [the Church] with judgment [truth] and righteousness" (Is. 33:5). This we also see to be the meaning in Is. 56:1, 2: "Keep ye judgment and do justice [practice truth and righteousness] … Blessed is the man that doeth this" (Luke 11:28). In Is. 42:1-4, in the following words, we have a splendid description of the Messiah instructing the people: "Behold My Servant whom
The Judgment Day.
I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth. I have put My Spirit upon Him; and He will bring forth judgment [instruction, truth] to the Gentiles [nations]. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall He not break; and the smoking flax shall He not quench [so gentle will be His manner of teaching and helping]: He shall bring forth judgment [instruction] unto [or in] truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set [victoriously established] judgment [true instruction] in the earth." Compare with Matt. 12:18-20. How clearly the term to judge means to teach can be seen from Ezek. 22:2: "Son of man, … wilt thou judge the bloody city? … shew her [teach her, or as in the margin, make her know] all her abominations."
One of the best ways to recognize the meanings of words is to note the words with which they are compared and contrasted. Is. 59:4, 8-11, 13-15 gives us a splendid example of this in connection with the terms to judge and judgment: "None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth [shaphat, literally, judges—teaches] for truth; [on the contrary] they trust in vanity [error] and speak [teach] lies [false doctrines] … The way of peace [Truth is the way of peace, Prov. 3:17] they know not; and there is no judgment [doctrinal truth] in their goings [it is because these lack judgment (truth) that they know not the way of peace. Instead of the straight paths of truth]; they have made them crooked [misleading, erroneous] paths; whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore [by way of contrast as a result of the errors of their teaching] is judgment [doctrinal truth] far from us, neither doth justice overtake us; we wait for light [truth], but behold [by contrast] obscurity [a mixture of truth and error]; for brightness [clear truth], but we walk [by contrast] in darkness [error]. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as in the night [all because of the
absence of judgment, doctrinal instruction] … In transgressing and lying [teaching errors] against the Lord … conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood; and [consequently] judgment [Truth] is turned away backward [is perverted] … for truth is fallen in the street." How forcefully the comparisons and contrasts of this passage prove that to judge means primarily to instruct, and that judgment primarily means instruction, truth.
So, too, the Greek of the New Testament shows this with respect to krisis, judgment, and krino, I judge. We will give one illustrative passage on each point: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin [the smallest of seeds], and have omitted the weightier matters of the Law [God's Word], judgment [krisis, doctrinal truth], mercy [a proper relation to their neighbor], and faith [a proper relation to God; in other words, they had neglected to teach and practice the chief things of God's Word]; these [weightier things] ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other [the less weighty matter of tithing little things] undone" (Matt. 23:23). Here from the contrast that our Lord makes between doctrine [judgment] and practice [mercy and faith] we can recognize readily that krisis means, among other things, doctrinal instruction. Col. 2:16 is a passage that proves krino to mean I teach: "Let no man therefore judge you [krino, indoctrinate you with the thought that the Mosaic ordinances obligate you] in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, which are a shadow of [good] things to come."
What has our investigation thus far disclosed? Manifestly this: that the first meaning of the words used to describe the things done by the Lord in judging is to instruct, to teach the Truth, to indoctrinate. Consequently, the first work of the Lord on the Day of judgment, as He judges the individuals, will be to teach them the Truth (John 17:17; Rev. 20:12).
The Judgment Day.
JUDGMENT ALSO MEANS TO TEST
(2) But these words as connected with the judgment process have a second meaning, i.e., to test. Such tests, according to the Scriptures, involve the proving of character by trials. These trials, according to the Scriptures, must be undergone in order to qualify one for everlasting life (Jas. 1:2-4, 12; 1 Pet. 1:7). Accordingly, in addition to receiving doctrinal instruction on the judgment Day, when every one of the books of the Bible will be opened to the whole world's eyes of understanding (Rev. 20:12), the world so instructed will be given opportunities amid testings to prove themselves worthy or unworthy of everlasting life. Let us look at some Scriptures that prove that the judgment process involves a testing of character designed to qualify the faithful for everlasting life and to manifest the unfaithful as worthy of death eternal: "Judge [test, try] me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity [and am thus prepared to be tested]: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide [into sin under the test]. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins [motives] and my heart. [This verse shows that the judging is done by examining, proving and trying the character by the various experiences of life.] For Thy loving-kindness is before mine eyes [I know Thy Truth, whose learning is the first of the judgment processes]; and [after I was instructed and before I am tried as the second part of the judgment process] I have walked in Thy Truth" (Ps. 26:1-3). This passage shows that in the judgment process people are first instructed, after which they are given a chance to cultivate a character in harmony with their doctrinal instruction. Then, following their efforts or lack of efforts to cultivate a good character, they are by trials tested, as the second part of the judgment process. Ps. 139:23, 24 is quite similar and even clearer in proof of the second Judgment process: "Search me, O God [by the trying experiences of life], and know my heart [cause its real character to be
made known by these tests]: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me [by these trials manifest my faults so that I may put them away], and [amid such experiences] lead me in the way everlasting [that as a result I may attain eternal life]." Jer. 11:20 shows clearly that testing is a part of the judging process: "O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, trying [so the Hebrew] the reins and the heart." Jer. 20:12 gives the same thought. 2 Thes. 1:4, 5, using the word krisis, is a clear proof of the second meaning of the judgment process. "We ourselves glory in [praise] you in [among] the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure [their trials consisted of persecutions and tribulations amid which they manifested loyalty by their patience and faith, and thus stood their trials aright], which [the fact of their being faithful in their trials] is a manifest token [sure proof] of the righteous judgment [krisis, trial, test] of God [who was giving it to the intent], that ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer." The above Scriptures are sufficient to prove that the second part of the judgment process consists of trials, tests, given to qualify one for everlasting life.
JUDGMENT AS CHASTISEMENT FOR CORRECTION
(3) The third part of the judgment process, according to the meanings that the Bible gives the words that describe this process, is to stripe, to chastise, in order to correct, reform, those who amid their tests fail to do well, or who amid them do evil. We will quote one passage from the Old and one from the New Testament in proof: "When Thy judgments [chastisements] are [abroad; punishing the evil-doer on the spot] in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Is. 26:9). This passage refers to the Millennium, during which wrong-doing will be stopped in the effort to commit it, by summary chastisement meted out on the would-be wrong-doer. And
The Judgment Day.
this passage not only calls these chastisements judgments, but also says that they will realize their designed use—the reformation of wrong-doers. The New Testament passage that we will quote on this point is 1 Cor. 11:31, 32: "If we would judge [criticize and correct—krino is not the word here used] ourselves, we should not be judged [krino, chastised by the Lord]. But when we are judged [krino], we are chastened of the Lord [this proves that to judge means also to chasten, which is done to us by the Lord to secure our reformation and thus to prevent our losing everlasting life], that we should not be condemned with the world." These passages prove that in the judgment process there is a third feature—chastisement—which is given for reformatory purposes.
JUDGMENT AS PRONOUNCING SENTENCE
(4) The final part of the judgment process is that of a sentence. After the necessary teaching has been given to enable one to develop the Lord's Spirit, for which the necessary opportunities are given to him, and after he has undergone the necessary trials to manifest his character, accompanied with reformatory chastisements, the judgment process must come to a conclusion, which is done by passing a decision on one as to his conduct—to life or to death, as the case requires. That the Hebrew and the Greek words mishpat, shaphat, krisis and krino also mean sentence, and that krima means sentence, a few passages will prove. First we will use a passage in which krino and krima occur: "Judge [krino, sentence] not, that ye be not judged [sentenced]. For with what judgment [krima, sentence] ye judge [krino, sentence], ye shall be judged [sentenced]" (Matt. 7:1, 2). John 7:24 proves that krisis can mean sentence. "Judge [sentence] not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment [krisis, sentence]. Deut. 1:16 is a passage clearly showing that shaphat means to pass sentence: "And I charged your judges, … Judge righteously [pass righteous sentences] between every man and his brother." In Ps. 17:2
the word mishpat is directly translated sentence. Accordingly, we have proved the Scripturalness of all four definitions of the Hebrew and Greek words translated to judge and judgment. Hence the verbs shaphat and krino mean (1) to teach, (2) to test, i.e., test character for fitness for life, (3) to chastise, i.e., for reformation, and (4) to sentence, to pass a decision, according to how the instructions, tests and chastisements were used in connection with an opportunity of gaining life. We have likewise found that the nouns mishpat and krisis, derived respectively from these verbs, have the same meanings in noun form. And we have found that krima means sentence, but does not have the other three meanings that the other words have which were herein examined.
This leads us to remark that the expression, Day of Judgment, in the Bible is never the translation of the expression, the Day of krima, the Day of sentence, or as some call it, Doomsday. It is always the translation of the expression, the Day of krisis, i.e., it is the translation of the word that has all four meanings. Therefore, the Day of Judgment is the Day in which God, in judging the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31), (1) will take away from the people all the errors by which they have been deceived, and will thoroughly instruct them in His Word (Rev. 20:12); (2) will test their characters as to fitness for everlasting life, i.e., give them amid tests an opportunity of proving whether they will qualify for eternal life; (3) will chastise them for their correction when they do wrong or fail to do well amid their tests; and (4) will, after the completion of their trial time, pass a decision on their conduct during the period of their trial. In other words, the expression, The Day of judgment, implies an opportunity for gaining everlasting life. Therefore the Judgment Day is Salvation's Day, not Doomsday.
THE LENGTH OF THE JUDGMENT DAY
Another thing which is connected with the creedal view of the Day of judgment, and which is contrary
The Judgment Day.
to Scripture, Reason and Facts, is that this Day is one of twelve or of twenty-four hours. When we consider the many things that must be done on that Day, surely we must conclude that this Day is much longer than a period of twelve or of twenty-four hours. The following will prove this: In the beginning of that Day there was to be world-wide war, followed by worldwide revolution, and subsequently by world-wide anarchy, completely overthrowing Satan's empire. Christ's Second Advent was to set in. The First Resurrection, that of the true Church, was to take place. Later the rest of the dead will be awakened, and these are to be assembled before the great white Throne of Judgment. Then they are to be taught to understand everything in the Bible. Opportunities amid testings are to be given to qualify them for everlasting life. They are to be encouraged to reform, chastisements being one of the means which will be used to secure this result. They are to be separated into two companies by a final, severe trial. Sentence will then be pronounced, and finally those on the right will be rewarded with life eternal and those on the left will be punished with death eternal. How could these things occur within a period of twelve or twenty-four hours? Manifestly the Scriptural Program for the Day of Judgment cannot be enacted within a period of twelve or twenty-four hours.
Those who advocate a judgment Day of twelve or of twenty-four hours do so regardless of the events that must then transpire, solely because it is called the Day of Judgment, which they claim means a period of twelve or of twenty-four hours. It should be conceded that usually a period of twelve or of twenty-four hours is called a day, but such a meaning by no means exhausts the significance of the term day. Frequently we use it to designate longer periods than this, e.g., we speak of the day of Luther, of Washington, of Napoleon, of Lincoln, etc. By such an expression we mean, not twelve or twenty-four hours, but the
period of years in which these men were influential in human affairs. Just so the Bible uses the term day to cover not only periods of twelve or of twenty-four hours, but periods that last many years. Thus the entire Creative Period is called a day (Gen. 2:4); and the forty-years' period of Israel's wilderness experiences is called a day (Ps. 95:7-10; Jer. 31:32). So, too, the Period of Wrath with which the Gospel Age ends is called the Day of Vengeance (Is. 61:2). The Gospel Age, which already has lasted over 1900 years, also is called a day (2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:13, 15). Thus, too, the Jewish Age, which lasted 1845 years, is called a day (Is. 65:2; Rom. 10:21). We likewise find that the Scriptures call the Millennial Age, a period of a thousand years, a day (Is. 11:10; 25:9). Thus we see that the fact of the Scriptures calling the Judgment Period the Day of Judgment by no means proves that it must be a period of twelve or of twenty-four hours, since the Bible uses the term to cover any definite period of time. And since the things that are to occur in the Judgment Day cannot occur in a period of twelve or of twenty-four hours, we are, in harmony with Biblical usage of the word "day," to look for a longer period of time as the duration of the Day of Judgment.
JUDGMENT DAY AND MILLENNIUM IDENTICAL
In 2 Pet. 3:7-12 we find that the Word teaches that the Day of Judgment is a period of a thousand years. In this passage St. Peter speaks (v. 7) of the period of the Judgment as the Day of Judgment. Then in v. 8 he cautions us not to forget that a day of God's time lasts a thousand of our years. Having made this statement as to the length (in our time) of a Day of God's time, St. Peter explains (v. 9) that this fact accounts for God's waiting so long as men consider time, in working out His Program, thereby seeming to them to be very slack. Then in vs. 10 and 12, he calls the Day of Judgment the Day of God, the Day of the Lord, with whom (v. 8) a thousand
The Judgment Day.
of our years makes one Day. Thus we see that this Scripture teaches that the Day of Judgment is a period of a thousand years. This fact, that the Judgment Day lasts a thousand years, is evident from another Biblical fact, i.e., that the Day of Judgment and the Millennial Kingdom are identical. 2 Tim. 4:1 proves this by showing that Jesus will judge the dead during His Kingdom. Luke 22:29, 30 and Matt. 19:28 also prove it by the fact that the faithful Apostles while reigning, "sitting on thrones"—which will be during the Millennium—will judge Israel. Obad. 21 likewise proves it by showing that it is because the Kingdom will be the Lord's that the saints will judge the non-elect. It is The Messiah as King, hence the reigning Messiah, that shall execute justice and judgment in the earth (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:14-16). It is while the King (Christ) is reigning in righteousness that the judgment will be going on (Is. 32:1). So too, our Lord's Millennial Reign is beautifully described as being the Period of Judgment (Ps. 72:1-4). See the remainder of this Psalm as a further description of this fact. Since, according to these passages, the Millennium and the Day of Judgment are the same period, and since the former is a period of one thousand years (Rev. 20:4, 6), the Day of Judgment is a period of one thousand years. Thus in two ways we prove that the Day of Judgment is a period of a thousand years: (1) St. Peter's directly speaking of it as a period of a thousand years; and (2) its identity with the Millennium, a period of a thousand years. The Day of Judgment, then, being a period of one thousand years, there will, of course, be ample time for doing all of the things that the Bible teaches will be done therein, things that we have seen cannot be done in a twelve or a twenty-four hour day.
Thus we have Scripturally proved that the Judgment Day and the Millennium are one and the same and will last one thousand years. The identity of these helps us to understand more clearly the
nature and purpose of the Judgment Day. Their identity most emphatically proves that the Judgment Day is not Doomsday, but is Salvation Day; for if they are identical, everything that will happen in the Judgment Day will happen in the Millennium. And what are some of the things that will happen in the Judgment Day? Early in the Judgment Day Christ returns to the earth and awakens all the dead. Consequently, early in the Millennium Christ returns to the earth and raises all the dead. Reversely, since both are the same period, everything that will happen in the Millennium will happen during the Judgment Day. And what will happen during the Millennium? Satan will be bound, imprisoned, his empire will be overthrown, Christ's Kingdom will be established, the Church will become His Bride, He will become the Second Adam and she will become the Second Eve, the Second Father and Mother of the human race. They will put down all the effects of the curse (1 Cor. 15:24-26) and introduce every good thing for the reformation and uplift of the race. And the deliverance from the curse and the blessing of Restitution will be offered to everybody on the earth. This means that those of the dead who were excluded from the privilege of becoming the Elect will, after their recovery from the tomb early in the Judgment Day (the Millennium), be given the opportunity to gain the salvation of Restitution that will operate during the Millennium. Thus in the Judgment Day all of God's Millennial blessings will be lavished upon the race; and this proves that the Judgment Day is Salvation Day, not Doomsday. For this we praise God!
OTHER JUDGMENT DAYS INDICATED
We will still better appreciate the character of the Day of Judgment when we remember that there have already been other Judgment Days. For example, there was a Judgment Day in the Garden of Eden for the race then in Adam. And in that Judgment Day we recall that our first parents were on trial for life. We further note that in that Judgment Day Adam and Eve
The Judgment Day.
were first instructed as to what to do and what not to do. We also note that, after they were given that instruction, the serpent tested them as to obedience; and that when they made a failure of their test they were sentenced to death, not eternal torment; and thus we are by heredity suffering death (Gen. 2:17; 3:19; Rom 5:12, 15-19; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22). So, too, during the Old Testament period God gave the Old Testament Elect, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., their Judgment Day as to faith and obedience. Many of the Scriptures quoted in the preceding parts of this treatise prove this, notably such Scriptures as Ps. 19:9-11; 25:7, 8; 26:1-3; Jer. 11:20. In this Judgment Day these people were instructed, tested, striped for correction, and finally a sentence was passed upon them, the faithful for their faith and obedience receiving a good report, or sentence (Heb. 11:4, 5, 16, 39). Furthermore, since our Lord came, there has been a Judgment Day going on in respect to the Elect of the Gospel Age (2 Thes. 1:4, 5). In this judgment Day as in all others there have appeared the four judgment processes—instruction, trial, chastisement and sentence; and by the time the Gospel Age will be fully over, the cases of all those under trial during this period will have been disposed of; and then the Faithful of the Old Testament and the Faithful of the Gospel Age, having stood well in their trial period, will be used by God as subordinate Judges under Christ to operate the judgment process on behalf of the world (1 Cor. 6:2; Is. 32:1). These three Judgment Days—the first resulting disastrously for Adam and the whole race by heredity, the second and third resulting successfully for the faithful of the Elect classes, and disastrously for the unfaithful of these classes—will greatly assist us to a proper understanding of the nature and purpose of the world's Judgment Day (Acts 17:31; Ps. 72:1-4).
NECESSITY OF THE JUDGMENT DAY
But one might ask, Why should there be another Judgment Day, for the world, if the world lost out in its
first Judgment Day—which it had in Adam's loins in Paradise? Our answer is that surely it cannot be that God was unjust in condemning all in Adam's loins; for He is righteous in all His works and ways (Rev. 15:3, 4). Rather, the love of God and the Ransom-sacrifice of Christ in payment of the debt of Adam and the race in his loins, providing an offset for the condemnation upon the world, necessitate a judgment for the world. It was not the Justice of God that necessitated another Judgment Day for the world; for Justice very properly condemned the race, and has very properly left it in condemnation. But the loving heart of our God, compassionating the poor, lost, fallen and undone race, ardently longed to recover from their ruin whosoever will. Therefore, at the direction of His Wisdom, God's Love gave up to His Justice His Only-Begotten Son unto death as a Substitute for Adam and all in his loins; and by this action furnished a Ransom which was both satisfactory to the demands of God's Justice for the life of the race, and conducive to the dictates of God's Love for the rescue of all the willing and obedient of the race. Hence as all without their fault were condemned in the loins of one, and received this condemnation by the law of heredity (Adam transmitting to them, not perfect life, for he had none to transmit, but death, to which he was sentenced, and which was working in him before he begat any offspring), so without their merit the love of God provided the merit of Jesus, Adam's and the race's Substitute, who, having met the sentence for Adam and the race in His own person, and having unforfeited life-rights for them, rescues them from the sentence, that they, becoming through faith and obedience His children, may inherit perfect life from Him. Hence the Judgment Day has been appointed by God that the world may have the opportunities through a Judgment process to obtain life from Christ the Life-Giver, the Savior (Acts 17:31; Rom. 5:15, 18, 19; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22).
The Judgment Day.
THE CHARACTER OF THE JUDGES
Furthermore, the character of the Judges in the world's Judgment Day is a guarantee of a favorable trial by the judgment process for the world of mankind. The chief Judge will be our Lord Jesus (Matt. 25:31; Acts 17:31; 2 Tim. 4:1). On the one hand, His loyalty to God and to the principles of Truth and Righteousness maintained even amid suffering unto death, and on the other hand, His unselfish love to the world that prompted Him to sacrifice His life for their deliverance, sufficiently guarantee that He will be faithful, merciful and helpful toward all, as He assists the obedient upward out of their ruined condition. The fact that the faithful Ancient and Youthful Worthies as the earthly judges, and the faithful Bride of Christ and the Great Company as the heavenly Judges, have by experience tasted the degradation and woes of sin and the difficulties of overcoming it, sufficiently attest their qualification in sympathy and service to deal with and uplift those who in that life will be in the same undone condition as were the Elect in this life. Such Judges will surely exercise all the mercy and faithfulness necessary to assist all to reform who will at all co-operate in the effort to uplift them. Hence the character of the Judges guarantees that the Judgment Day will afford the world every help to reform.
TYPES PERTAINING TO THE JUDGMENT DAY
In the Scriptures the Lord has furnished us with examples of Judges in Israel who, in their persons and works, type the persons and works of the Millennial Judges. We refer to the book of Judges, where the office and work of the Judges in Israel are seen to have been designed for delivering the people from their enemies and for giving them prosperity. They were not simply men who sat in courts and examined evidence on past conduct, and then passed sentences according to the evidence; but they were the Divinely ordained helpers and deliverers of the people. For example, we read in Judges 3:7-11 that the Israelites did evil
against the Lord, who in punishment delivered them to oppressive enemies; but when they repented, He raised up a deliverer for them, Othniel, who judged them, i.e., ruled over them, led them forth against their enemies and delivered them from the latter by defeating them and giving the former great prosperity. Nor is this simply a story; additionally, it is a type, which we understand as follows: As the Israelites before they went astray were in God's favor, so the human race in Eden before Adam and Eve sinned was in God's favor. Then just as when Israel sinned it was delivered over to its oppressors, so when Adam sinned the race was delivered over to the arch-oppressors, Sin, Error, Death and the Grave. But as Israel through suffering from their oppressors were brought to their senses and then repented, so vast multitudes of the race will by the sufferings of the curse be brought to their senses and will repent. As God raised up Othniel [a name which means the powerful man of God] to be a deliverer of Israel from their oppressors, so God raised up The Christ, the powerful Agent of God, to deliver the world of mankind from Sin, Error, Death and the Grave. And just as Othniel while acting as Israel's Judge (ruler) led them forth to war with, and delivered them from their enemies, and then gave them peace and prosperity, so will The Christ, acting as the world's Judge (Ruler), lead them forth to war with, and deliver them from their enemies, Sin, Error, Death and the Grave, and then will give them eternal rest and prosperity. Thus through the types of the Bible has our Heavenly Father impressed upon our minds what He means by the Judgment Day, its Judges, their works and their achievements.
THE RESULTS OF THE JUDGMENT DAY
In Matt. 25:31-46 there is given a brief description of the results of the Judgment process. V. 31 shows our Lord's Second Advent with His faithful angels, or messengers; and the next verse shows how He gathers all nations before His Millennial Throne, making them
The Judgment Day.
subject to Him as their King. Then briefly the work of dividing them into two classes is set forth. Those who, during those thousand years, reform their hearts and lives by casting out evil from them and by filling them with love to God and man, will more and more as the years go by gain His favor, i.e., will be put on His right, the place of favor; while those who do not reform their hearts and lives, by failing to cast evil out of them more and more as the years go by, will be put into His disfavor, i.e., will be put on His left (v. 33). Those who will heartily reform are fittingly pictured by the teachable sheep; and those who will fail heartily to reform are pictured by the stubborn goats. Those who will continue meek like sheep toward the Shepherd-King will be given the earth as their kingdom-inheritance (v. 34); and those who will continue to be stubborn like goats toward the Shepherd-King will be destroyed in the Second Death, which is pictorially set forth in the parable as fire (v. 41, 46), because as fire destroys, so God uses it to picture forth the destruction of the Second Death (Rev. 20:14; 21:8). The figurative sheep will be told that they will receive their reward because of well-doing, the Shepherd-King considering that what they will have done to His least brethren (the Elect are His greatest brethren, the angels are His lesser brethren and the non-elect are His least brethren) they will have done to Him. As His least brethren will have hungered and thirsted for the bread and waters of life and they will have supplied these to them, they will have been so doing to Jesus. As His least brethren will have been strangers to God's people, naked of righteousness, sick from sin and in the prison of the grave, and they will have shown His least brethren how to become parts of God's people, will have helped clothe their nakedness of righteousness with the garments of salvation, will have visited them in their sin-sickness, nursing them back to physical, mental, moral and religious health, and will have visited them while in their graves with prayers to the Lord for their
recovery from the tomb, they will have been doing these things to the Lord in His least brethren. In other words, those who at the end of the Millennium will be at the right hand of the Lord, in His full favor, will have used the Millennial opportunities to fill their hearts with Divine love and their lives with acts expressive of Divine love, in helping their fellows to recover from the effects of the curse. And the Lord will appreciate these acts of theirs as though they did them to Him. Hence their great reward.
But those who will fail to fill their hearts with Divine love and their lives with ministries of Divine love to others, will, as symbolic goats, do and fare quite differently. They will not give the Bread and Water of Life to those hungry for them; they will not spend their time trying to help others who are strangers to God to become God's people; they will not clothe those who are destitute of righteousness with the garments of salvation; they will not visit the sin-sick and seek to cure them with the medicines found in God's Word; they will not offer at that time the prayer of faith for the recovery of dead ones from the tomb. In other words, though constrained to avoid open sin, they will spend the thousand years in selfishness; and, as they continue in this selfish course, they will fall more and more into Christ's disfavor, represented in the parable as their being placed at His left hand. Their fate will be the Second Death, the figurative fire that will destroy the figurative goats. That this fire represents destruction is manifest from the fact that the Devil also will be cast into it (v. 41); and his final fate is declared to be annihilation (Heb. 2:14). In other words, as now, so then the good will gain everlasting life and the evil everlasting death (v. 46; Rom. 5:21; 6:23).
A DAY TO BE JOYOUSLY ANTICIPATED
That the Judgment Day is a period toward which the whole world should look with the most joyous anticipations, is taught throughout the Scriptures, although the Scriptures also prophesy that through the blinding
The Judgment Day.
effect of sin and error many will fear the coming of that Day. But the Scriptures teach us that after the tribulation which will introduce it shall have passed, all will recognize its happy and beneficent character. Most joyful should be its anticipation, as many Scriptures declare (Ps. 96:10-13; 98:1-9). We ask all to read these Psalms and others treating on this subject and see how every one individually and all classes collectively, addressed in symbolic terms in these passages, are bidden to be jubilant in anticipation of that glad Day. It is indeed a glad Day; for it is the Lord's Day and Christ's Day, a Day of healing and health, a Day of joy and gladness, a Day of salvation and deliverance, a Day of glory to God in the Highest, and of peace on earth to men of good will, a Day of hope and reunion, a Day of truth and righteousness, a Day of reform and betterment, a Day long desired and much prayed for, a Day that will witness the complete overthrow of Satan and all for which he stands, and the full triumph of God and all for which He stands. Well may we therefore pray, "Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth as in Heaven!" O Lord, grant it in Jesus' name and through His merit!
We have already mentioned the close relationship between the objects of our Lord's Return and the Millennium. With the conclusion of this chapter we have completed our more detailed study of the seven main objects of both. We trust that all have been blessed, encouraged and uplifted through this study, and that it has awakened in all a more intense longing for these glorious events to come to pass. How appropriate it is, therefore, that in succeeding chapters of this book we examine the Scriptures concerning the manner of our Lord's Return, its various stages and works therein to be accomplished, and the sign and time prophecies connected with it!
ALL THINGS NEW
The world is old with centuries,
But not for these she bows her head;
Close to her heart the sorrow lies,
She holds so many dead!
Sad discords mingle in her song,
Tears fall upon her with the dew,
The whole creation groans—How long
Ere all shall be made new?
Yet brightly on her smiles the sun,
A bounteous heaven delights to bless;
Oh, what shall be that fairer one
Wherein dwells righteousness?
Christ comes to judge! Oh, happy time!
When wrong shall die and strife shall cease,
And all the bells of heaven chime
With melodies of peace.
No place shall be in that new earth
For all that blights this universe;
No evil taint the second birth,
"There shall be no more curse."
Ye broken-hearted, cease your moan;
The day of promise dawns for you;
For He who sits upon the throne
Says, "I make all things new."
We mourn the dead, but they shall wake!
The lost, but they shall be restored!
O! well our human hearts might break
Without that sacred Word!
Dim eyes, look up! sad hearts, rejoice!
Seeing God's bow of promise through,
At sound of that prophetic voice
"I will make all things new."