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The Reformation Herald Online Edition

Jesus, Fully God

Meeting the Great Judge Face to Face
A Bible and Spirit of Prophecy compilation submitted
Even Etienne
Meeting the Great Judge Face to Face

Satan invents unnumbered schemes to occupy our minds, that they may not dwell upon the very work with which we ought to be best acquainted. The archdeceiver hates the great truths that bring to view an atoning sacrifice and an all-powerful mediator. He knows that with him everything depends on his diverting minds from Jesus and His truth.

“Those who would share the benefits of the Saviour’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. The precious hours, instead of being given to pleasure, to display, or to gain seeking, should be devoted to an earnest, prayerful study of the word of truth. The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days.”1

Why will a judgment take place?

“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).

“Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some [men] they follow after” (1 Timothy 5:24).

Where will this judgment stand?

“Behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald” (Revelation 4:1­–3).

“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 thou-sand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9, 10).

Where must this judgment begin?

“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).

“As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance. The Lord declared to Moses: ‘Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book’ (Exodus 32:33). And says the prophet Ezekiel: ‘When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, ... all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned’ (Ezekiel 18:24).”2

“In the typical service only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later period. ‘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?’ (1 Peter 4:17.)”3

What are some important elements for a judgment?

1. We need the Law

“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12).

“The law of God is the standard by which the characters and the lives of men will be tested in the judgment. Says the wise man: ‘Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14). The apostle James admonishes his brethren: ‘So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty’ (James 2:12).”4

2. We need a judge

“The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us” (Isaiah 33:22).

“I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4).

“[Daniel 7:9, 10 quoted.] Thus was presented to the prophet’s vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to every man should be rendered ‘according to his works.’ The Ancient of Days is God the Father. Says the psalmist: “Before the moun-tains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God’ (Psalm 90:2).”5

3. We need record books

a. The book of life

“Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

“The books of record in heaven, in which the names and the deeds of men are registered, are to determine the decisions of the judgment. Says the prophet Daniel: ‘The judgment was set, and the books were opened’ (Daniel 7:10). The revelator, describing the same scene, adds: ‘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).

“The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the service of God. Jesus bade His disciples: ‘Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven’ (Luke 10:20). Paul speaks of his faithful fellow workers, ‘whose names are in the book of life’ (Philippians 4:3). Daniel, looking down to ‘a time of trouble, such as never was,’ declares that God’s people shall be delivered, ‘everyone that shall be found written in the book.’ And the revelator says that those only shall enter the city of God whose names ‘are written in the Lamb’s book of life’ (Daniel 12:1; Revelation 21:27).”6

b. A book of remembrance

“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).

“ ‘A book of remembrance’ is written before God, in which are recorded the good deeds of ‘them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name’ (Malachi 3:16). Their words of faith, their acts of love, are registered in heaven. Nehemiah refers to this when he says: ‘Remember me, O my God, . . . and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God’ (Nehemiah 13:14). In the book of God’s remembrance every deed of righteousness is immortalized. There every temptation resisted, every evil overcome, every word of tender pity expressed, is faithfully chronicled. And every act of sacrifice, every suffering and sorrow endured for Christ’s sake, is recorded. Says the psalmist: ‘Thou tellest my wanderings: put Thou my tears into Thy bottle: are they not in Thy book?’ (Psalm 56:8.)

“There is a record also of the sins of men. ‘For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ ‘Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.’ Says the Saviour: ‘By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned’ (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36, 37). The secret purposes and motives appear in the unerring register; for God ‘will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts’ (1 Corinthians 4:5). ‘Behold, it is written before Me, ... your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord’ (Isaiah 65:6, 7).”7

Conclusion

We need an attorney/advocate

“Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24).

“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).

“Jesus will appear as their advocate, to plead in their behalf before God. ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1).”8

“As the features of the countenance are reproduced with unerring accuracy on the polished plate of the artist, so the character is faithfully delineated in the books above. Yet how little solicitude is felt concerning that record which is to meet the gaze of heavenly beings.”9

“Those who in the judgment are ‘accounted worthy’ will have a part in the resurrection of the just. Jesus said: ‘They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, ... are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection’ (Luke 20:35, 36). And again He declares that ‘they that have done good’ shall come forth ‘unto the resurrection of life’ (John 5:29). The righteous dead will not be raised until after the judgment at which they are accounted worthy of ‘the resurrection of life.’ Hence they will not be present in person at the tribunal when their records are examined and their cases decided.”10

“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).

References
1 The Great Controversy, p. 488.
2 Ibid., p.483.
3 Ibid., p.480.
4 Ibid., p.482.
5 Ibid., p.479.
6 Ibid., p.480.
7 Ibid., p.481.
8 Ibid., p.482.
9 Ibid., p.487.
10 Ibid., p.482.