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Saturday, February 2, 2013
Unity # 24: Enlightened to Judgment
Unity # 24: Enlightened to Judgment
Theme Song: I’ll Be With You Till the End of the World
You are our Judge. Lord, You are our Lawgiver and King. You will save us. (Is 33:22) You said that He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. (Prov 17:17). Your Son, Jesus Christ delights in the fear of the You, Lord. He does not judge by what His eyes see, nor makes a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; He will strike the earth with the Rod of His Mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt around His waist. (Is 11:3-5) In the end, Your final judgment of the wicked will be terrible. You are righteous, who are and who were, O Holy One, because of these judgments on the wicked. For they poured out the blood of the saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it. Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments. (Rev 16:4-7).
In Jesus Christ’s Name,
In last week’s letter, we discussed the Nature of our Lord. Christ’s Lordship involves both our willing reverence and obedience to Him as our worthy exalted Master as well as the loving power of the Lord to effect these heart conditions within His bondservants. To trust in Christ as Lord is to believe that He will keep us firm in faith, growing obedience, and growing repentance until the end when He finishes the work which He started in us. This letter is about God’s Judgment. As we read through the Old Testament prophecies of God’s judgment against the wicked and His rebellious people and the final judgments described by Jesus, the apostles, and in the book of Revelations, we must make certain that our hearts have been completely cleansed of any false notion that God is tyrannical or unduly extreme in His judgments. For He is perfect in His righteousness, justice, love and mercy. In His vast hatred against evil and those who practice wickedness unto damnation, we see the glorious nature of His righteousness. For Him to truly be the essence of all goodness, He must abhor and condemn all that stands in opposition to Himself. What a horrifying thing it would be if the God of the universe were unjust, if He refused to condemn the wicked! King David prayed, “O that You would slay the wicked, O God; depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. For they speak against You wickedly, and Your enemies take Your Name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; they have become my enemies” (Ps 139:19-22). Here King David, does not harbor pride or malice, but the attitude of God towards the wicked, those who will never repent and trust in Christ and thus be damned, has been imparted to King David.
Before we go on, let us remember the great Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world, who drank the whole cup of the Father’s wrath for our sake. He was cursed, judged, and crushed by His Father that we may be blessed, granted eternal Life, and be new creations made like Christ in true righteousness and holiness. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36).
Until the final judgment of God, the wheat, or the children of God, and the tares, or those who commit lawlessness and all stumbling blocks of idolatry, will grow together. But at the harvest time or the time of Judgment, the Son of Man will send forth His angels and the tares will be thrown into the furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. (Matt 13:30-43). Similarly, the Kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea which gathers up both good and bad fish. The good fish were gathered into containers and the bad fish were thrown away. So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire. (Matt 13:47-50) When the Son of Man comes in His glory, all the angels will be with Him, and He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the Shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. The King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” Then Jesus will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me. 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt 25:31-46)
In the last days, mockers will come with their mocking, following after their lusts. They will ask where the promise of His coming is. They think that ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation. In their thinking, it escapes their notice that by the Word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His Word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But we should not let this one fact escape our notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient towards us, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought we to be in holy and Godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the Day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since we look for these things, we must be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. (2 Pet 3:3-15)
When God described the judgments He would bring upon the Israelites to Ezekiel, He said that He would bring sword, famine, wild beasts, and plague to cut off man and beast from the land. He said that even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in the midst of the land, by their own righteousness that came from faith, they could only deliver themselves. Yet, God would bring out some survivors with His great salvation whose conduct and actions would bring comfort to the people of God, for they would know that He had not done in vain what He did in His justice. (Ez 14) For when God’s judgments come on the earth, its people learn righteousness (Is 26:9) God knows how to rescue the righteous from His judgment. The judgment of the wicked from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the Godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. (2 Pet 2:4-10)
Remember that the angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode through their lack of fear of God are kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great Day. They are wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. Enoch prophesied about these men in the seventh generation from Adam that the Lord would come with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But we, beloved, ought to remember the Words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to us that in the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts. These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But we, beloved, building ourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And we must have mercy on some, who are doubting and save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some we must have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. (Jude 6-23)
Jesus told us that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the Day of Judgment. For by our words we will be justified, and by our words we will be condemned. (Matt 12:36-37). So we must speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:12-13) We must make sure that none of us suffers as a murderer, thief, evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, we are not to be ashamed, but to glorify God in this Name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the Gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the Godless man and the sinner? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. (1 Pet 4:15-19) For it will be given to the antichrist to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe, people, tongue, and nation will be given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and faith of the saints. (Rev 13:7-10) God is faithful, and He will keep us firm until the end! Dear saints, if we have truly been regenerated, we will continue to bear good fruit, and we will not continue in rebellion against God characterized by the practice of wickedness. Our good works will be the evidence of our justification by grace through faith in the blood of the Lamb on the Day of Judgment!
The Father has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, He tells us that he who hears His Word, and believes in the Father who sent Him, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. An hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. We should not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. Christ does nothing on His own initiative. As He hears, He judges, and His judgment is just, because He does not seek His own will, but the will of His Father who sent Him. (John 5:22-30) Jesus said that now judgment is upon the world and the ruler of this world will be cast out (John 12:31). This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil (John 3:19). The Spirit who has come convicts the world of guilt in regard to judgment because the prince of the world stands condemned (John 16:11). Christ is the Rider on the white horse called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His Head are many diadems; and He has a Name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothes with a robe dipped in blood, and His Name is called the Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. These are the saints clothed in the righteousness of Christ. The saints will judge the world (1 Cor 6:2). From his Mouth comes a sharp Sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a Rod of iron; and He tread the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His Thigh He has a Name written, “KING OF KINGS, and LORD OF LORDS”. (Rev 19:11-16) There is a great white throne. When the Judge of all the earth sits on it, in His Presence earth and heaven will flee away, and no place will be found for them. The dead, great and small, will stand before the throne, and books will be opened; and another book will be opened, the book of life; and the dead will be judged from the things written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea, death, and Hades will give up the dead in them and they will each be judged according to their deeds. Then death and Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he will be thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:11-16)
Dear saints, inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Heb 9:27-28) Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, here is a mystery; we will not all sleep, but will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your Victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:50-57)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:20)
We praise God for the birth of Neethi (righteousness) Faith David to Anand and Prasanna.
6 lbs 14 oz 19.5 in long.
Love in Christ,