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Reference: Judgement


1. PENAL JUDGEMENT. This may be administered on earth in God's government of men or of His people, in accordance with the principles of the economy in force at the time; or hereafter for eternity, in accordance with God's decrees. God's four sore judgements on the living were threatened against Jerusalem, and have often fallen upon mankind generally, and will fall upon them in the future, as shown in the Revelation.

1. War, death by the sword either from an enemy from without, or in civil war.

2. Famine, which may arise from a dearth in the land, or by a city being besieged.

3. Noisome beasts, which doubtless includes the ravages of locusts, because they spoil the land and make it desolate.

4. Pestilence, which has often swept away its thousands. Eze 14:13-21.

Besides these there are in various parts of the earth conflagrations, earthquakes, eruptions, cyclones, avalanches, floods, frosts, shipwrecks, sea-waves, etc., some of which happen every year. These occur in the providential government of God, and by them He continually makes Himself heard, and manifests His power: cf. Job 37:13. But beside this providential government, there are often direct judgements, hence the prophet said, "When thy judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." Isa 26:9. Such judgements are, alas, too often accounted as natural phenomena or mere accidents or calamities, without any recognition of God, and are soon forgotten. They should warn men; as a slight shower often falls before a storm, so these frequent judgements are but the forerunners of the great storm of the wrath of God that will surely fall upon this guilty world, when the vials of His fury are poured out: cf. Rev. 6 - 20.

All judgement, that is, the act of judging (??????), whether of dead or living, has been committed to the Lord Jesus. He is represented as coming from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, when He will tread the people in His anger, and trample them in His fury, and their blood will stain all His raiment. Isa 63:1-3. His judgement falls on the living nations; also before Israel is restored to blessing, judgement from God will fall upon them. See TRIBULATION. Upon professing Christendom also God will execute judgement. See BABYLON THE GREAT. The eternal punishment of the wicked is called "eternal judgement." Heb 6:2. The fallen angels are reserved unto judgement, 2Pe 2:4; and everlasting fire is prepared for the devil and his angels. Mt 25:41.

2. SESSIONAL JUDGEMENT. The common expression 'the General Judgement' does not occur in scripture. By this term is commonly understood that all mankind on 'the day of judgement' will stand before God, or rather the Lord Jesus, to be judged according to their works, and there to hear their eternal destiny. But this is not according to scripture. In all the passages (except 1Jo 4:17, where it speaks of the Christian having boldness in the day of judgement) it is 'day of judgement;' not the day of judgement, as referring to one specified time.

Besides the sessional judgement of the empires in Da 7:9-14, there are two other such judgements in scripture, with more or less of detail, which do not take place at the same time, nor embrace the same people. The Lord Jesus has been appointed to judge the living and the dead. Ac 10:42. In Matt. 25 the living are judged, and in Rev. 20 the dead are judged, both of which cannot refer to the same judgement.

In Matt. 25: In Rev. 20.

It is the living nations, and no } {It is the dead, and no mention of

mention of the dead, this earth } { the living, the earth having 'fled

being the scene of it, to which } { away' before His face who sits

the Son of man comes. } { upon the great white throne.

Some are saved and some are lost.} {No mention of any saved: all are lost.

Judged solely according to their } {Judged according to general sins,

treatment of the Lord's brethren, } { and no mention made of their

and no mention of general sins.} { treatment of the saints.

It is plain that these are separate and distinct judgements. The judgement of the 'living' will be at the beginning of the Lord's reign. After the Church has been taken to glory, Christ will still have His own servants doing His work upon the earth, such as His two witnesses in Re 11:3; cf. also Mt 10:23. When He comes to reign, the nations will be judged as to how they have treated these whom He calls His 'brethren.' The judgement of the wicked 'dead' will be after the millennium, and will embrace all who have died in their sins from the creation of the world. They will be judged according to their works, and the secrets of men will then be judged.

Then the question arises as to the saints who may be alive at the coming of the Lord, and the thousands who have died. They cannot be included in either the judgement of Matthew 25 or of Revelation 20. As to their persons, whether they are to be saved or not, it is plainly stated in Joh 5:24, that they will not come into judgement at all. "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement; but is passed from death unto life." The A.V. reads 'condemnation,' but the word is ?????? and is translated 'judgement' in the same chapter

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