Lesson Number Twenty-Six
Man’s Judgment Hour
“Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:1, 2.
Judgment is a time of accountability. All the good done does not vindicate an evil heart or nonconformity to the laws of the land.
How have we regarded right acts? How have we treated one another? How have we related to the natural laws of health and harmonious interaction? Has God’s righteous law of the Ten Commandments been given a place in our heart? Even more important, where does God fit into our lives?
Christian religions have devised several views as to one’s state after death (as studied in Lesson Number Eighteen), but despite the varied opinions, God says that after the grave all must face the heavenly judgment.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27.
All human beings, good or bad, must appear before the heavenly Judge to receive the reward of their deeds. The dead and the living will be judged by their record, written in the books of heaven.
No mistake is made in the heavenly judgment. The guilty will not be released, nor will the righteous be condemned. Judgment will be made in righteousness and truth. This is heaven’s measuring rod.
“Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.” 1 Kings 8:32.
The Highest Court of Law
The high court of heaven has a legal system administered in righteousness. There is no possibility of misrepresentation or deception.
“But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.” Psalm 9:7, 8.
“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10.
Structure of the Heavenly Court
To form a legal system we need to establish a court with the accused and his legal defense, the accuser and his legal prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the nation’s laws by which the accused is to be judged. In most cases attendants are permitted in the court room. Heavens court is similar.
A) The Judge Is God
“But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Psalm 75:7.
“And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.” Psalm 50:6.
“. . . and to God the Judge of all . . . ” Hebrews 12:23.
B) The Jury Is Made Up of the 24 Elders
“And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats l saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” Revelation 4:4.
“And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.” Revelation 19:4.
C) The Accused Are the Human Race
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. . . . For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10, 23.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12.
“And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that in iniquity was there.” Ecclesiastes 3:16.
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12.
“Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 32:19.
D) The Defense Is Jesus Christ
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1.
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34.
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25.
E) The Accuser and Prosecutor Is the Devil
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:9, 10.
“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” Zechariah 3:1.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.
F) The Attendants Are the Innumerable Host of Angels
“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” Hebrews 12:22.
“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” Revelation 5:11.
G) Heaven’s National Laws
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.
“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12.
The Procedure of the Judgment
There are several books of record in heaven. All our deeds, words, and thoughts, good and evil, are faithfully registered. The different books are:
A) The Book of Life
The names of all who entered into the service of God are written in the Book of Life. These have been fellowshipped into His church.
“. . . and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1.
“. . . but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20.
“. . . and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15.
B) The Book of Remembrance
The book of remembrance contains every good deed, every victory won, every temptation overcome. All that has pleased God, the reporting angels faithfully recorded.
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16.
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Psalm 56:8.
“Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.” Nehemiah 13:14.
C) The Book of Death
“Behold, it is written before me: . . . your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord . . .” Isaiah 65:6, 7.
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:36, 37.
Every person has an accompanying angel. These angels take notice of all our deeds, words, and thoughts and record them faithfully in these books. Satan takes our sins and accuses us before God. Jesus our High Priest and Advocate is prepared to make intercession for us. All sins which we confess and forsake will be blotted out from the Book of Death. Our names will be kept in the Book of Life, while our goods deeds are kept in the Book of Remembrance. If there is no repentance of sin, our name is blotted out from the Book of Life and our sins remain recorded in the Book of Death. This question should be of utmost interest to us and make us decide to come to the throne of grace while Jesus is still in the court to plead in our behalf. Today we have an opportunity to hand our case over to the defense. Without an advocate our case may close unconfessed, and without a plea.
The judgment is in progress now and is called the investigative judgment because the lives and cases of every person are examined in the heavenly court. The execution of the judgment comes after the prosecution. First, the investigative judgment reviews the case of every follower of God, beginning with the dead.
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17.
“And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12.
When the books are opened and our case is presented to the Judge, we will need a lawyer of the highest order for our defense. If we plead and confess our case to Jesus personally, He will be more than willing to represent us. But we must do this before our case is raised in the court: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:5.
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32.
Should we neglect the opportunity to employ the free services of the perfect Advocate, the result will be: “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7, 8.
Execution of the Judgment
When our Attorney finishes His work of intercession on behalf of guilty sinners, He announces the conclusion of His mediation before leaving the heavenly sanctuary: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11.
As soon as Jesus leaves the sanctuary, the judgments forewarned of God begin to fall upon the wicked in the outpouring of the seven last plagues. Our next few lessons will briefly cover these closing prophetic events. After the seven last plagues, Jesus comes to redeem the righteous and to reward every one according to their deeds. Execution of the final judgment of the wicked will take place after the one thousand years (Revelation 20), this will be studied in one of the coming lessons.
Once probation closes there will be no advocate to plead on our behalf. Jesus is the only intercessor, but after the judgment closes, He will execute the judgment. We read: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10.
“Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:31.
Having in view that every one of us must face the judgment, it is our privilege and duty to come to the throne of grace. Today we are to turn from the path of evil and disobedience: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18:20.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
Quiz For Lesson Number Twenty-Six
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