Category Archives: Judgment

The Christian Calling

the_call_webThe New Testament continually calls Christians-the “church.”  Remember the Greek word translated “church” means “called out ones.” In other words, a minority is called out from the majority of the human race.

Consequently, many scriptures use the words “elect,” “elected,” “election,” and “elect’s” (sometimes translated “chosen”) to denote God’s dealing with Christians. Matthew 24:31; Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:10 and 2 Timothy 2:10 are a few examples of this usage.

This word describes the special selection of a smaller class (“little flock”) from the human race before all of humanity has its opportunity for salvation in the Kingdom.

What is this special calling or selection of the church? Christians are called to the multiple profession of judges, priests and kings of mankind in Christ’s Kingdom. What an honor! At first our faith staggers. But the Scriptures are explicit on this point. 1 Corinthians 6:2 states that “the saints shall judge the world.” 1 Peter 2:9 shows Christians are called to be a “royal [kingly] priesthood.” Similarly,
Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 states we are called of God to be “kings and priests” and “we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 20:6 states that Christians “shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Judges, priests, kings! What a profession Christians have been called to! But what a rigorous training course the Christian must pursue to attain this profession. Do you as a Christian see God working in your life-preparing you for this profession?

Judges

Christians will share with Christ in judging the world (1 Corinthians 6:2; John 5:22). John 5:28, 29 states that “ALL that are in the graves. . .shall come forth, they [Christians] that have done good, unto the resurrection of life [live and reign with Christ, Revelation 20:4]; and they that have done evil [the remainder of men] to a resurrection by krisis [Greek].” Many translations say, “resurrection of judgment,” but the Greek is literally “resurrection of krisis.” A doctor will speak of a patient reaching his crisis. He doesn’t mean the patient will die. Rather, the crisis time is when the patient will take a turn for the better or the worse.

The “krisis” or probation time for the remainder of men will be in Christ’s Kingdom. Therefore, their trial will not be based on the works of this life but their works during the Kingdom. Thus, the risen Lord says in Revelation 22:12, “Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work SHALL BE.” Christians will share with Christ in judging people according to their works in the Kingdom, their probation time.

The word “krisis” has been incorporated into many different languages. The Chinese write in symbols. And they use two symbols to denote “krisis.” One symbol denotes danger, the other conveys opportunity. Humanity’s trial or “krisis” in the Kingdom will offer the opportunity to attain eternal life. But it will also be a time of danger.
Those who fail to meet God’s conditions for attaining eternal life will be condemned to Second Death (Revelation 20:13-15).

Priests and Kings

Christians will not only be judges, but also merciful and sympathetic priests who will bless each member of the world with every possible help and opportunity to attain eternal life. Thus, the Scriptures show that Jesus and his church (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6) will not only be rulers over the remainder of men but also priests,
blessers. Hebrews 9:23 reveals that Israel’s tabernacle was a picture
of better things to come. After Israel’s high priest provided sacrifices for reconciliation on the Day of Atonement, the priests during the remainder of the year instructed, judged and blessed the people. Hebrews 5:1,2, states that Israel’s priests could have “compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.” Jesus was perfect, but he is able to sympathize with our infirmities as our High Priest because he was tempted in all points like us yet without sin (Hebrews 2:17,18; 4:15).

Being Made Christ-like

Unlike Jesus we have physical infirmities and moral weakness. Additionally, every hardship and tragedy that happens to the human race also happens to Christians (1 Corinthians 10:13). The word “temptation” would better be rendered trial, actually a test permitted of God to instruct us. But “God is faithful, Who will not suffer [permit] you to be tried above that ye are able.” If we are “babes in Christ,” God might remove the trial or hardship. But there is “a way of escape” that our “faithful God” would prefer to provide
during our hardships and tragedies-that His Holy Spirit would develop in us the spiritual maturity “that ye may be able to bear [endure] it.” But why should we endure tragedies instead of having God remove them? Remember God is training us to be sympathetic priests. Thus Peter says in 1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at
the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Christians who are rightly exercised by their difficulties are changed from glory to glory into the character likeness of Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Their exercising the spirit of Christ while struggling with their infirmities and hardships develops in them love, sympathy and understanding for their fellowman.

Just as the firstborn of the nation of Israel was representative of each family in Israel so the “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23) will have experienced all the problems, hardships, tragedies mankind has endured. This preparation will qualify them to be merciful and  sympathetic priests, judges and rulers of mankind in the Kingdom. Are your difficult experiences making you
sympathetic and merciful to others?

There is much more to the Christian life than accepting Jesus. Peter observed in 2 Peter 1:5-11, “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness
love. . .for if you do these things, ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into
the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Only if we develop these character qualities will we qualify to reign with Christ as kings and priests in his Kingdom (Revelation 20:6).

With a hope like this we can only conclude as Jesus did, that no suffering or tragedy is too great. Hebrews 12:2-4, “. . .who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be
wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” With a hope like this let us follow in his footsteps and “consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter
various trials” (James 1:2, NAS).

The Judgment of the Nations

The people of Egypt and Assyria were, for the most part, enemies of God; yet he has promised to bless them. Concerning the time when they are awakened from death we read: “In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing In the midst of the land: whom the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of mind hands, and Israel mine inheritance.”—lsa 19:24,25 The words “captive,” “captivity,” and “prisoners” are often used in the prophecies to refer to the death condition and to those held “captive” in death. Job refers to those in death as “prisoners” who “rest together.” (Job 3:11- 19) Referring to those who die in the great Armageddon struggle, the Prophet Isaiah wrote, “They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.”—Isa 24:22 In a definite statement that the people of Sodom and Samaria and the nation of Israel shall be restored to their “former estate”—that is, the estate of life—their awakening from death is described as a bringing again of their “captivity.” The text reads, “When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then wilt I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them.”—Eze 16:53 The 48th chapter of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 48) describes the complete destruction of ancient Moab; yet In the last verse of the chapter we are given the promise, “Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the Lord.” This means that the Moabites are to be  awakened from death and given an opportunity to enjoy God’s premised blessings.

The Ammonites were also a wicked people, yet the Lord has promised to “bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon.”—Jer 49:6

Jeremiah 49:34- 39 describes God’s wrath against the Elamites, resulting In their destruction as sinners; but in verse 39 he says, “It shall come to pass In the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam”— bring them forth that Is, from their captivity in death. God destroyed Egypt’s firstborn, as well as Pharaoh and his Army. He also destroyed certain wicked kings because of their position to his people. Concerning these the Prophet David explained that God  destroyed them because “his mercy endureth forever.” (Psalms 136:10,15,18,19,20) How different Is his explanation from that which, with a restricted viewpoint, some might offer as to why God destroyed those wicked)people. Some would probably be inclined to say that God destroyed them because he had no more mercy for them forever. But this  would not be true. From God’s standpoint it vas a merciful act to destroy them, for he was merely causing hem to sleep until his due time came to further extend his mercy by enlightening them and giving them an opportunity to receive his promised blessings of everlasting life.

That the wicked are to be resurrected in order to come into harmony with God, If they will, is shown in the promise that the Sodomites and Samaritans are to return to their “former estate.” (Ezekiel 16:53- 56)

Verses 60 to 63 ((Ezekiel 16:60- 63) reveal that the purpose of their awakening, as well as the awakening of the Israelites, Is that they might be brought Into covenant relationship with God.

Ezekiel explains that in the resurrection the “shame” of the Israelites, because of their more favorable opportunity, will be greater than that of the Gentile nations then resurrected. Evidently Jesus had this prophecy In mind when he said it would be more tolerable, or “endurable,” for Sodom and Gomorrah In the day of Judgment than for the Jews who rejected him. (Matthew 10:15) But even these are to be raised from the dead and given an opportunity for salvation. Paul emphasizes this. Speaking of those who stumbled and fell In their rejection of Jesus and including them in God’s grace, he said: “All Israel shall be saved; as it Is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer [Christ and his church] and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this Is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins.” —Ro 11:26,27 The “covenant” here referred to by Paul is the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31- 34, a covenant which Is to be made with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. For the Israelites who rejected Jesus to be saved under the terms of this covenant means that they must be raised from the dead. And this, indeed, is Just what the apostle declares, “What shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”—Ro 11:15 Paul had good authority for this statement. Near the close of Jesus’ ministry he addressed the Jews who rejected him, and particularly his persecutors, saying: “0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:37- 39) Herein one grand sweep Jesus speaks of the wicked Jews throughout the entire Jewish Age, including those who rejected him, and said that In the future they would see him and accept him and would say, “Blessed is he that cometh In the name of the Lord.” There Is no possible way this statement could be fulfilled apart from the resurrection of these wicked Israelites whom the Master addressed.

True, Jesus did say to the Israelites of his day, “Your house Is left unto you desolate.” But this had reference to the loss 01 their opportunity of continuing to be God’s royal, or kingdom, nation. It did not mean that as individuals they would not have the opportunity of receiving the blessings of Christ’s kln9dom. The “kingdom” was taken away from them and given to a “nation bringing forth the fruits thereof,” but their opportunity to receive life through Christ was not taken away.

The scribes and Pharisees were the religious leaders of Israel and, as such, “sat In Moses’ seat.” They were about to lose that honored position, and concerning this Jesus pronounced “woe” upon them. He called them a “generation vipers” and asked, “How can ye escape the damnation of hell (Gehenna]?” (Matt. 23:33) obviously their willful opposition to Jesus and his message resulted In a considerable hardening of their hearts, which will make it much less tolerable for them In the future Judgment day than r those less favored in this life. But Jesus did not say there as no hope for them to escape the condemnation of Gehenna. His question merely suggests the difficulties they , would encounter, difficulties which they could overcome only by humbling themselves and, together with the remainder of mankind, Joyfully and wholeheartedly acclaiming, “Blessed is He that cometh In the name of the Lord.”

In Romans 11:26 we read, “All Israel shall be saved.” And, s Paul further explains, this will be in keeping with God’s promise to take away their sins and to make a New Covenant with them. (Romans 11:26, 27; Jeremiah 31:31- 34) The “Deliverer” who will “take away their sins” and save Israel will “come out of Sion”—Christ and his church In heavenly  glory. It will be then that the Israelites will be restored to divine favor— those who have died, as well as the living generation, Including the scribes and Pharisees who were instrumental In crucifying Jesus.

The majority of the Jews in Jesus’ day refused to believe on him. A few did believe partially, but Paul explains that “God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon au.” (Romans 11:32) How vast, Indeed, is the mercy and grace of Jehovah! “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his Judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33) The reason God will be able to extend his mercy to the unbelieving Israelites Is that receiving them back Into his favor will, as Paul explains, mean “life from the dead.”—Ro 11:15 In setting forth this great fact of Israel’s restoration, Paul was merely emphasizing the verity of God’s promises which are recorded in the Old Testament. In Ezekiel 37:1- 14 is presented a remarkable prophecy of the restoration of Israel, a prophecy in which the “whole house of Israel” is symbolized by a valley of dry bones. “Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts,” they are represented as saying. This has been very true of the Israelites throughout the centuries.

But the prophecies show that this scene would change, that they would be restored eventually to their own land. (See Jeremiah 31:8- 12; Amos 9:14,15; Jeremiah 30:3- 7; 16:14- 16; Ezekiel 20:33- 37) The last prophecy cited Indicates that the regathering would take place in times of great stress. The Lord declares, “I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye were scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. … And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.”

This indicates that the Israelites are to be regathered to Palestine prior to their acceptance Into the New Covenant. In another prophecy the Lord says, “I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you Into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and: ye shall be clean; from all you filthiness, and from alt your idols, will I cleanse you.” (Ezekiel 36:24,25) This also shows that they are regathered In unbelief.

The prophecy of Joel 3:1,2 reveals that the regathering of Israel would take place during the “last days” assembling of the nations for the great Armageddon struggle. We have been witnessing the fulfillment of this prophecy. The fact that the Jewish people themselves do not yet recognize the significance of what is occurring does not mean that the Lord’s hand is not overruling In their restoration to the land. This however, is but the first phase of their restoration. Their ‘dry bones” are coming together, but not until they are clothe with flesh and the Lord puts his Spirit In them, will the Israelites turn to the Lord. The prophecy reads, “When have opened your graves, 0 my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shaII live, … then shall ye know that I the Lord hath spoken it, saith the Lord.”—Eze 37:13,14 This prophecy refers to the national resurrection of Israel as well as to their individual restoration to the Promised Land, and it includes those who are in their graves. How right, therefore, was Paul, when he wrote that the receiving again of Israel would be “life from the dead”! How true also is his statement that “all Israel shall be saved” and that God had counted them all in “unbelief that he might have mercy upon ill.”And this Is also In full harmony with Jesus’ assertion to the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees that while the “house” of Israel was left desolate, they would later see him, and would say, “Blessed Is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” But only after the Lord has awakened them from the sleep of death will they thus discern that Jesus is the messiah and, recognizing his blessedness, acclaim and serve him, and serve Jehovah who sent him.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Judgment Day

watchtower-judgmentdayThe Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that only they will survive the “Battle of Armageddon”, all non-witnesses will be destroyed on site, and that the birds of heaven will be called to eat the flesh of the dead (Revelation 19:19, 20) They teach that the world will be in peace for a thousand years, at that time Satan will be allowed one last chance to deceive the people, at that time Satan and all those who side with him will be destroyed in the second death. What do the Scriptures really say about Armageddon? Below are a list of Scriptural comments examining the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses on this subject.

People who live in so-called “judgment periods” will be resurrected. All final judgment for the world is reserved for the Millennial Judgment Day.

Adam was a sinner and was justly sentenced to death. But so are all of his children.

Romans 3:10 just as it is written: “There is not a righteous [man], not even one.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

If Adam had not sinned, no ransom would be needed. The ransom (corresponding price) consisted of the sacrifice of the perfect man Jesus to redeem the perfect man Adam who had sinned. Incidentally Adam’s offspring were condemned and incidentally they are redeemed.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Romans 5:18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense [judgment] came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act [the] [free] [gift] [came] to all men, resulting in justification of life.

1 Timothy 2:6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

[NOTE: In all three of these verses the same Greek word PAS is used. It is also used in Matthew 24:14 “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” In these four instances the New World Translation is inconsistent, rendering it “all” in Matthew 24:14 and in 1 Corinthians 15:22, but “all kinds” in Romans 5:18 and footnote of 1 Timothy 2:6.]

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

This text cannot be understood to contradict the thought of a ransom for all, since in Romans 5:19 The same Greek word polus rendered “many” or “all” – “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

The slaying of animal sacrifices in the Old Testament pointed forward to Christ’s scarifice to cover sins. Since it was God’s intention to redeem Adam from death, He provided him with a cost of skin.

Genesis 3:21 And Jehovah God proceeded to make long garments of skin for Adam and for his wife and to clothe them.

There are no Scriptures to show that Adam is excepted from the benefits of the ransom.

The World in Noah’s Day

The disobedient angels, who were largely responsible for the evil and corruption in Noah’s day, were not then judged. Since their judgment day is still future, it seems reasonable that the people will also be judged in the future.

Genesis 6:4-12 The Neph’i·lim proved to be in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of the [true] God continued to have relations with the daughters of men and they bore sons to them, they were the mighty ones who were of old, the men of fame. Consequently Jehovah saw that the badness of man was abundant in the earth and every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only bad all the time. And Jehovah felt regrets that he had made men in the earth, and he felt hurt at his heart. So Jehovah said: “I am going to wipe men whom I have created off the surface of the ground, from man to domestic animal, to moving animal and to flying creature of the heavens, because I do regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah. This is the history of Noah. Noah was a righteous man. He proved himself faultless among his contemporaries. Noah walked with the [true] God. In time Noah became father to three sons, Shem, Ham and Ja’pheth. And the earth came to be ruined in the sight of the [true] God and the earth became filled with violence. So God saw the earth and, look! it was ruined, because all flesh had ruined its way on the earth. [NWT]

2 Peter 2:4 Certainly if God did not hold back from punishing the angels that sinned, but, by throwing them into Tar’ta·rus, delivered them to pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment.

Jude 6 And the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place he has reserved with eternal bonds under dense darkness for the judgment of the great day.

Romans 5:12-14 That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned-. 13 For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not charged against anyone when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death ruled as king from Adam down to Moses, even over those who had not sinned after the likeness of the transgression by Adam, who bears a resemblance to him that was to come.

There are no Scriptures to show that the people in Noah’s day are excepted from the benefits of the ransom.

Sodom and Gomorrah

The Sodomites would have repented and not been destroyed if they had received as much light as Capernaum in Jesus’ day. Sodom’s judgment day is yet future.

Matthew 11:23-24 And you, Ca·per’na·um, will you perhaps be exalted to heaven? Down to Ha’des you will come; because if the powerful works that took place in you had taken place in Sod’om, it would have remained until this very day. Consequently I say to YOU people, It will be more endurable for the land of Sod’om on Judgment Day than for you.”

The Scriptures definitely prophesy the return of the Sodomites from Death.

Ezekiel 16:55, 61-62 And your own sisters, Sod’om and her dependent towns, will return to their former state, and Sa*mar’i*a and her dependent towns will return to their former state, and you yourself and your own dependent towns will return to YOUR former state….And you will certainly remember your ways and feel humiliated when you receive your sisters, the ones older than you as well as the ones younger than you, and I shall certainly give them to you as daughters, but not owing to your covenant.’…”‘And I, I myself, will establish my covenant with you; and you will have to know that I am Jehovah.

Jude 7 So too Sod’om and Go·mor’rah and the cities about them, after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had committed fornication excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural use, are placed before [us] as a [warning] example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire.

[NOTE: If this Scripture id understood to mean Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and are not to come forth in the resurrection, it would contradict the scriptural promises just cited. A harmonious understanding is obtained by noting that “eternal” is from the Greek AIONIOS, meaning “age lasting”. Thus the people of these cities were blotted out not for all eternity, but only until the close of the age, that is, the Gospel Age, and will come forth in the resurrection of the Millennial Judgment Day.]

Fleshly Israel in Jesus’ day

Jesus clearly said that the period of his earthly ministry was not a time of judgment.

John 12:47-48

But if anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I came, not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that disregards me and does not receive my sayings has one to judge him. The word that I have spoken is what will judge him in the last day.

[NOTE: The last day is the time of resurrection.]

The Scribes and Pharisees must come forth from the dead in the Kingdom in order to “see” Abraham , Isaac and Jacob. They will be “thrown outside” of the position of rulership due to their unfaithfulness.

Luke 13:28 There is where [YOUR] weeping and the gnashing of [YOUR] teeth will be, when YOU see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown outside.

Even those who crucified Jesus were considered as doing it in ignorance.

Acts 3:12-17 When Peter saw this, he said to the people: “Men of Israel, why are YOU wondering over this, or why are YOU gazing at us as though by personal power or godly devotion we have made him walk? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his Servant, Jesus, whom YOU, for YOUR part, delivered up and disowned before Pilate’s face, when he had decided to release him. Yes, YOU disowned that holy and righteous one, and YOU asked for a man, a murderer, to be freely granted to YOU, whereas YOU killed the Chief Agent of life. But God raised him up from the dead, of which fact we are witnesses. Consequently his name, by [our] faith in his name, has made this man strong whom YOU behold and know, and the faith that is through him has given the man this complete soundness in the sight of all of YOU. And now, brothers, I know that YOU acted in ignorance, just as YOUR rulers also did.

Spiritual Israel, the Church class, gains the chief favor, the heavenly reward, but natural Israel is not cast off.

Romans 11:2, 15, 25-26, 32 God did not reject his people, whom he first recognized. Why, do YOU not know what the Scripture says in connection with Eli’jah, as he pleads with God against Israel?…For if the casting of them away means reconciliation for the world, what will the receiving of them mean but life from the dead?…For I do not want YOU, brothers, to be ignorant of this sacred secret, in order for YOU not to be discreet in your own eyes: that a dulling of sensibilities has happened in part to Israel until the full number of people of the nations has come in, 26 and in this manner all Israel will be saved. Just as it is written: “The deliverer will come out of Zion and turn away ungodly practices from Jacob… For God has shut them all up together in disobedience, that he might show all of them mercy.

The New Covenant is yet to be made with natural Israel and their iniquity forgiven.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Look! There are days coming,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I will conclude with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant; 32 not one like the covenant that I concluded with their forefathers in the day of my taking hold of their hand to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt, ‘which covenant of mine they themselves broke, although I myself had husbandly ownership of them,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.” 33 “For this is the covenant that I shall conclude with the house of Israel after those days,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “I will put my law within them, and in their heart I shall write it. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people.” 34 “And they will no more teach each one his companion and each one his brother, saying, ‘KNOW Jehovah!’ for they will all of them know me, from the least one of them even to the greatest one of them,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “For I shall forgive their error, and their sin I shall remember no more.”

Only natural Israel was scattered, not the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Thus natural Israel is unmistakably referred to in the following prophecies:

Ezekiel 11:16-20 therefore say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “Although I have put them far away among the nations, and although I have scattered them among the lands, yet I shall become to them a sanctuary for a little while among the lands to which they have come.”‘ 17 “Therefore say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “I will also collect YOU from the peoples and gather YOU from the lands among which YOU have been scattered, and I will give YOU the soil of Israel. 18 And they will certainly come there and remove all its disgusting things and all its detestable things out of it. 19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I shall put inside them; and I shall certainly remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 in order that they may walk in my own statutes and keep my own judicial decisions and actually carry them out; and they may really become my people and I myself may become their God.”‘

Jeremiah 32:37-41 ‘Here I am collecting them together out of all the lands to which I shall have dispersed them in my anger and in my rage and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in security. 38 And they will certainly become my people, and I myself shall become their God. 39 And I will give them one heart and one way in order to fear me always, for good to them and to their sons after them. 40 And I will conclude with them an indefinitely lasting covenant, that I shall not turn back from behind them, for me to do them good; and the fear of me I shall put in their heart in order not to turn aside from me. 41 And I will exult over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land in trueness with all my heart and with all my soul.’”

Jeremiah 24:6-7 And I will set my eye upon them in a good way, and I shall certainly cause them to return to this land. And I will build them up, and I shall not tear down; and I will plant them, and I shall not uproot. 7 And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am Jehovah; and they must become my people, and I myself shall become their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

Amos 9:14-15 And I will gather back the captive ones of my people Israel, and they will actually build [the] desolated cities and inhabit [them], and plant vineyards and drink the wine of them, and make gardens and eat the fruit of them.’ 15 “‘And I shall certainly plant them upon their ground, and they will no more be uprooted from their ground that I have given them,’ Jehovah your God has said.” [NOTE: captivity is from the Hebrew, SHEBOOTH, meaning figuratively “a former state of prosperity.]

The Jews are to be used as a “teacher nation” in the Millennium.

Zechariah 8:13 And it must occur that just as YOU became a malediction among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I shall save YOU, and YOU must become a blessing. Do not be afraid. May YOUR hands be strong.’

Zechariah 8:22 And many peoples and mighty nations will actually come to seek Jehovah of armies in Jerusalem and to soften the face of Jehovah.’

The World from 1918 to Armageddon

Some will definitely survive Armageddon who were unrighteous and disobedient.

Zephaniah 3:8-9 “‘Therefore keep yourselves in expectation of me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ’till the day of my rising up to [the] booty, for my judicial decision is to gather nations, for me to collect together kingdoms, in order to pour out upon them my denunciation, all my burning anger; for by the fire of my zeal all the earth will be devoured. For then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language, in order for them all to call upon the name of Jehovah, in order to serve him shoulder to shoulder.’ [NOTE: The righteous already new the pure language.]

Psalm 46:1-10 God is for us a refuge and strength, A help that is readily to be found during distresses. That is why we shall not fear, though the earth undergo change And though the mountains totter into the heart of the vast sea; Though its waters be boisterous, foam over, Though the mountains rock at its uproar. Se’lah. There is a river the streams of which make the city of God rejoice, The holiest grand tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of [the city]; it will not be made to totter. God will help it at the appearance of morning. The nations became boisterous, the kingdoms tottered; He sounded with his voice, the earth proceeded to melt. Jehovah of armies is with us; The God of Jacob is a secure height for us. Se’lah. Come, YOU people, behold the activities of Jehovah, How he has set astonishing events on the earth. He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth. The bow he breaks apart and does cut the spear in pieces; The wagons he burns in the fire. “Give in, YOU people, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Zechariah 14:1-3, 12-19 “Look! There is a day coming, belonging to Jehovah, and the spoil of you will certainly be apportioned out in the midst of you. And I shall certainly gather all the nations against Jerusalem for the war; and the city will actually be captured and the houses be pillaged, and the women themselves will be raped. And half of the city must go forth into the exile; but as for the remaining ones of the people, they will not be cut off from the city. “And Jehovah will certainly go forth and war against those nations as in the day of his warring, in the day of fight….”And this is what will prove to be the scourge with which Jehovah will scourge all the peoples that will actually do military service against Jerusalem: There will be a rotting away of one’s flesh, while one is standing upon one’s feet; and one’s very eyes will rot away in their sockets, and one’s very tongue will rot away in one’s mouth. “And it must occur in that day [that] confusion from Jehovah will become widespread among them; and they will actually grab hold, each one of the hand of his companion, and his hand will actually come up against the hand of his companion. And Judah itself also will be warring at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the nations round about will certainly be gathered, gold and silver and garments in excessive abundance. “And this is how the scourge of the horse, the mule, the camel, and the male ass, and every sort of domestic animal that happens to be in those camps, will prove to be, like this scourge. “And it must occur [that], as regards everyone who is left remaining out of all the nations that are coming against Jerusalem, they must also go up from year to year to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies, and to celebrate the festival of the booths. And it must occur that, as regards anyone that does not come up out of the families of the earth to Jerusalem to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies, even upon them no pouring rain will occur. And if the family of Egypt itself does not come up and does not actually enter, upon them also there shall be none. The scourge will occur with which Jehovah scourges the nations that do not come up to celebrate the festival of the booths. This itself will prove to be the [punishment for the] sin of Egypt and the sin of all the nations that do not come up to celebrate the festival of the booths. [NOTE: Some that are left, were aggressors (in Armageddon) and again shall be disobedient]

Isaiah 24:19-22 The land has absolutely burst apart, the land has absolutely been shaken up, the land has absolutely been sent staggering. The land absolutely moves unsteadily like a drunken man, and it has swayed to and fro like a lookout hut. And its transgression has become heavy upon it, and it must fall, so that it will not rise up again. And it must occur in that day that Jehovah will turn his attention upon the army of the height in the height, and upon the kings of the ground upon the ground. And they will certainly be gathered with a gathering as of prisoners into the pit, and be shut up in the dungeon; and after an abundance of days they will be given attention. [NOTE: This being “given attention” (or “visited” KJV) shows that the rulers, etc. who went down in death at Armageddon, will be resurrected from the dead.]

The marking and slaying of Ezekiel 9:4-6 and Revelation 7:1-3 are not literal.

Ezekiel 9:4-6 And Jehovah went on to say to him: “Pass through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and you must put a mark on the foreheads of the men that are sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done in the midst of it.” And to these [others] he said in my ears: “Pass through the city after him and strike. Let not your eye feel sorry, and do not feel any compassion. Old man, young man and virgin and little child and women YOU should kill off-to a ruination. But to any man upon whom there is the mark do not go near, and from my sanctuary YOU should start.” So they started with the old men that were before the house.

Revelation 7:1-3 After this I saw four angels standing upon the four corners of the earth, holding tight the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow upon the earth or upon the sea or upon any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the sunrising, having a seal of [the] living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying: “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads.”

[NOTE: The Revelation account continues that only the 144,000 were sealed, showing the marking to be symbolic or acceptance in the heavenly bride class, and the slaying symbolic of rejection or casting off from this position, not the sealing of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the destruction of all others.

Revelation 7:4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel

Some Scriptures speak of mankind or certain ones not rising again. This refers to their not rising throughout the reign of sin and death, but in the Millennial Age they will come forth in the resurrection.

Job 14:10-15 But an able-bodied man dies and lies vanquished; And an earthling man expires, and where is he? Waters do disappear from a sea, And a river itself drains off and dries up. Man also has to lie down and does not get up. Until heaven is no more they will not wake up, Nor will they be aroused from their sleep. O that in She’ol you would conceal me, That you would keep me secret until your anger turns back, That you would set a time limit for me and remember me! If an able-bodied man dies can he live again? All the days of my compulsory service I shall wait, Until my relief comes. You will call, and I myself shall answer you. For the work of your hands you will have a yearning.

Isaiah 26:14-19 They are dead; they will not live. Impotent in death, they will not rise up. Therefore you have turned your attention that you might annihilate them and destroy all mention of them. You have added to the nation; O Jehovah, you have added to the nation; you have glorified yourself. You have extended afar all the borders of the land. O Jehovah, during distress they have turned their attention to you; they have poured out a whisper [of prayer] when they had your disciplining. Just as a pregnant woman draws near to giving birth, has labor pains, cries out in her birth pangs, so we have become because of you, O Jehovah. We have become pregnant, we have had labor pains; as it were, we have given birth to wind. No real salvation do we accomplish as regards the land, and no inhabitants for the productive land proceed to fall [in birth]. “Your dead ones will live. A corpse of mine-they will rise up. Awake and cry out joyfully, YOU residents in the dust! For your dew is as the dew of mallows, and the earth itself will let even those impotent in death drop [in birth].

Jeremiah 51:57 And I will make her princes and her wise ones, her governors and her deputy rulers and her mighty men drunk, and they must sleep an indefinitely lasting sleep, from which they will not wake up,” is the utterance of the King, whose name is Jehovah of armies.

Psalm 9:17 Wicked people will turn back to She’ol, Even all the nations forgetting God.

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Psalm 90:3 You make mortal man go back to crushed matter, And you say: “GO back, YOU sons of men.”

The Judgment and separation of the sheep and goats is not taking place now.

Matthew 25:31-46 “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, YOU who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the founding of the world. For I became hungry and YOU gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and YOU gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and YOU received me hospitably; naked, and YOU clothed me. I fell sick and YOU looked after me. I was in prison and YOU came to me.’ Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.’ “Then he will say, in turn, to those on his left, ‘Be on YOUR way from me, YOU who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I became hungry, but YOU gave me nothing to eat, and I got thirsty, but YOU gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger, but YOU did not receive me hospitably; naked, but YOU did not clothe me; sick and in prison, but YOU did not look after me.’ Then they also will answer with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them with the words, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did not do it to one of these least ones, YOU did not do it to me.’ And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.”

First the Church class must be completed and glorified, since they are the “angels” who are with Jesus at the time. “Angels” is from the Greek word AGGELOS, meaning “messengers”, as in James 2:25 – Rahab the harlot was justified by works, when she had received the messengers.

(Revelation 3:21) To the one that conquers I will grant to sit down with me on my throne, even as I conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

(1 Corinthians 6:2) Or do YOU not know that the holy ones will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by YOU, are YOU unfit to try very trivial matters?

(Colossians 3:4) When the Christ, our life, is made manifest, then YOU also will be made manifest with him in glory.

The judgment is based on the works done: feeding the strangers, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison and the sick, etc. These are symbolic of an attitude of love and helpfulness to fellow men, assisting each other up the highway of holiness toward perfection during the Millennial Age.

Jesus’ bothers (verse 40) are those who do God’s will: “Whoever does the will of God, this one is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:34-35)

The term “brothers” need not be limited to the Church in the Gospel Age, but can also be applied to those who do God’s will in the Millennial Age. Those who would so limit it (to try to prove the setting is not future) run into the inconsistency of having the sheep class (earthly) ministering food etc., (truth) to Christ’s brothers (the Church Class) while they really believe the reverse is true – That the spirit-begotten remnant of the Church class ministers the truth to the other sheep class.

A similar acount of the judgment day is given in Revelation 20:11-15, and is definitely shown to be during the reign of Christ and the Church.

“And I saw a great white throne and the one seated on it. From before him the earth and the heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. And the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Ha’des gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds. And death and Ha’des were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire. Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire.”

The Millennial Age – the Judgment Day taught in the Bible.

There is a day of judgment, the Millennial Age, rather than various judgment periods.

Acts 17:31 because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He appointed, having given proof to all by raising Him from the dead.

2 Pet. 3:7-8 But the present heavens and the earth being kept in store by the same word, are being kept for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But, beloved, let not this one thing be hidden from you, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

That time is yet future.

Micah 4:1-4 But it shall be in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. And many nations shall come and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And He shall judge between many peoples, and will decide for strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, And they shall not still learn war. But they shall sit each one under his vine and under his fig tree; and there shall be no trembling; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken,

Psalm 96:10-13 Say among the nations, the LORD reigns; and the world shall be established; it shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples in uprightness. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness of it. Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; then shall all the trees of the forest rejoice before the LORD; for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.

Isa. 26:9-10 With my soul I desired You in the night; yea, with my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. Let favor be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

Psa. 72:2-8 He will judge Your people in righteousness, and Your poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people; He shall save the children of the needy, and shall crush in pieces the cruel one. They shall fear You as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. In His days the righteous shall flourish; and abundance of peace, until the moon is not. He shall also have the rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

That judgment day will be for the whole world.

John 5:28-29 Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced evil to the resurrection of condemnation. [judgment] [NOTE: The New World Translation is misleading in rendering the Greek word MNEMEION as “memorial tombs” since the correct definition is “monument, grave, tomb, or memorial”, which gives the thought of man’s memory of his loved ones, and does not refer to God’s memory at all. All the dead are in God’s memory and will be raised for judgment. Those who then prove unfaithful will be destroyed eternally.]

Acts 24:15 And I have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Phil. 2:10-11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of heavenly ones, and of earthly ones, and of ones under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Rom. 14:10-11 But why do you judge your brother? Or also why do you despise your brother? For all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

Second Death.

The Ransom sacrifice releases Adam and his offspring from first death (Adamic), but second death is a death from which there will never be a resurrection.

An individual must be released (reckonedly or actually) from Adamic death before it is possible to suffer second death.

Before the Gospel Age none were released from Adamic death, so none were released from Adamic death.

2 Tim. 1:10 But it is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has made death of no effect, bringing life and immortality to light through the gospel

During the Gospel Age, only those who are enlightened with the truth, justified by the blood of Christ (reckonedly released from Adamic death), and spirit begotten, and who then deny Christ and fall away from the truth go into second death. Only the prospective members of the body of Christ are now justified and on trial.

Heb. 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the world to come, and who have fallen away; it is impossible, I say, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify the Son of God afresh to themselves and put Him to an open shame.

Heb. 10:26-29 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He who despised Moses’ law died without mercy on the word of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will be thought worthy to receive punishment, the one who has trampled the Son of God, and who has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Matt. 12:31 Therefore I say to you, All kinds of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to men.

During the Millennial Age, after coming forth in the resurrection (actually released from Adamic death), those who continue to be disobedient to God will fall into second death. The whole world will then be on trial for life or death (second death).

Acts 3:23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.”

Jer. 31:29-30 In those days they shall not say any more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of the sons are dull. But every man shall die in his iniquity. Every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be dull. Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will cut a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah,

Psa. 145:20 The LORD watches over all those who love Him; but all the wicked He will destroy.

Rev. 20:12-15 And I saw the dead, the small and the 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. And the sea gave up the dead in it. And death and hell delivered up the dead in them. And each one of them was judged according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. And if anyone was not found having been written in the Book of Life, he was cast into the Lake of Fire.

Conclusion

Adam and all his children are under God’s condemnation and dead in his sight, without any standing before him, until they learn of and exercise faith in the ransom. It makes no difference whether one dies at an early age by a specific act of God or later in life by so-called natural causes; both are the results of sin and divine condemnation.

Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Matt. 8:22 But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and let the dead bury their dead.

John 3:18 He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.

1 Tim. 2:4 who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The view that God desires to destroy all people except those of one denomination is not in harmony with God’s will. God desires to bless, not to destroy mankind.

Luke 9:53-55 And they did not receive Him, because His face was going toward Jerusalem. And seeing, His disciples James and John said, Lord, do You desire that we command fire to come down from Heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did? But He turned and rebuked them and said, You do not know of what spirit you are.

Isa. 60:2-5 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but the LORD shall rise on you, and His glory shall be seen on you. And the nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawning. Lift up your eyes all around, and see. All of them gather themselves; they come to you. Your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall fear and become bright, and your heart shall throb and swell for joy; because the abundance of the sea shall turn to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you.

Acts 3:25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, “And in your Seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” [NOTE: Other texts where this promise is recorded use the word “nations”, but here the promise is made more all-inclusive with the word “kindreds”, or “families” as in the New World Translation}

John 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.

Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them, Do not fear. For behold, I give to you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Eze. 18:21-23 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins which he has committed, and keep all My statutes, and do justice and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions that he has done, they shall not be mentioned to him; in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Jehovah. Is it not that he should turn from his ways and live?