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HE WILL JUDGE THE NATIONS

My name is Johnny Rogers.  Following is my paper, "HE WILL JUDGE THE NATIONS".  This paper replaces my book with the same title which was previously in this location. 

This paper is about that judgment to come and what may be waiting out in eternity for each one of us, both believers and unbelievers.  

Speaking of judgment and what is to come in eternity the scriptures may be telling us some things that could be much different from what has been passed down to us by our church fathers.  At least that appears to be true in my case. 

I had been told by many of my teachers and preachers and elders that all believers will be saved and they will receive that heavenly home and that all unbelievers will be condemned to eternal hell fire.  

After many years of studying the scriptures I now believe that things may be much different from what I had been taught and what I had believed.  

In recent years I have come to realize that my view of judgment had been restricted because I was not listening to what the scriptures were saying.  Because of my beliefs about the subject, I had been reading in things that were not there and ignoring some things that were there.  

After years of ignoring what some of the scriptures are saying, I decided to take a new look at what the future holds with regard to judgment and beyond by listening to all scriptures that I can find that address the issue. 

I will try to show how some of our Christian beliefs about judgment and the hereafter may not be supported by scripture.  I will also present some possible alternatives that could be scriptural. 

Read what I have written but your requirement is to believe God’s word, not what our church fathers and teachers have said or what I think the scriptures may be saying. 

I have shown all scripture in red because Christ was the Word from the beginning (John 1:1-14).  He is speaking the Father’s word through all of the inspired scriptures. 

Let's listen to Jesus describe how judgment of the nations will take place.  He says, "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then 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.  "Then 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.” (Matthew 25:31-34)

Jesus will tell those on the right hand side how they are heirs to the kingdom that had been prepared for them because they did good deeds for Him.  They gave Him food when He was hungry, water when He was thirsty, etc.  

He will explain to them how they did those good deeds for Him when they did them to, “one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them”.  

He tells those on the left they are accursed and to depart into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels because they did not do those works of love for His brothers.  Jesus says, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46) 

He will judge them based on their good deeds for Christ’s brothers.  Why does Jesus not mention faith as He is judging the nations?  The scriptures tell us repeatedly about how we are justified by our faith in Jesus, and not by our works.  Some scriptures, however, do mention people being judged based on their deeds (Ezekiel 24:14 and Revelation 20:12-13).  

Based on what I had been taught, I pictured every person who will ever have lived being out there before Jesus and each one would be selected for one side or the other.  The saved would be on the right and the damned on the left.  We know that the saved will be saved by faith and not by works.  Where are those scriptures that explain it all?

We have just seen what Jesus said about how He will judge the nations on that day when He comes in glory.  Other scriptures mention that day and what will take place when He comes.  What else is mentioned about that day?  One thing has to do with how that day will begin.  If we back up one chapter in Matthew, we can listen to Jesus speak of how the day will begin.

He says, "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.  "And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)  

That is how the last day will begin when Jesus comes in glory.  It will begin with the sign of the Son of Man appearing in the sky.  When His sign appears in the sky all of the tribes of the earth will see Him and mourn. 

When John spoke of that day and of Christ’s coming with the clouds he said, "BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him." (Revelation 1:7)  

Every eye will see Him coming with the clouds of heaven and that will include those soldiers who crucified Him.  If those who will have crucified Him will see Him coming with the clouds then the resurrection will be taking place as it happens.  Every person who has ever lived will be resurrected. 

Jesus was speaking of that resurrection when He told a crowd of Jews, “Do 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.” (John 5:28-29)  Judgment will be based on their deeds. 

That last day will begin at different times of the day, depending on time zone, but it will be the beginning of a new day, Judgment Day.  Jesus will send forth His angels and gather together His elect from the four winds; from one end of the sky to the other and then He will judge the nations.  

In Mark He said they will be gathered, “from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven” (chapter 13).  No matter where they have been scattered, Christ’s elect will be found and brought to Jesus.  His elect are really His brothers, so He will be gathering together His brothers from every nation on earth.

If He will gather together His brothers from among the nations and then He will judge the nations based on how they treated His brothers, why not keep His brothers with Him as He judges the nations.  Is it possible that He will be doing exactly that?  Was the mental picture that I had of what would be taking place on that day wrong?  Where will His brothers be when He will be judging the nations?  

We will begin our study with these basic questions and search the scriptures for answers.  All scripture is true and it all must be consistent with other scripture.  

As we study about judgment and what is to come, more questions will come up.  We will see some possible answers but some things will remain unanswered. The true answers must be consistent with all of the scriptures because Christ is speaking through all of the scriptures and He does not lie. 

Christ is speaking through all of the scriptures and that includes the Old Testament scriptures.  Nothing can change what we previously heard Jesus say about what will take place on Judgment Day but other scripture might help us understand what the true meaning is.  

One of the things that will take place on that day is the resurrection of the dead.  We heard Jesus speak of that resurrection in John 5:28-29.  He said that all who are in the tombs will come forth, some to a resurrection of life and some to a resurrection of judgment. 

Just before He spoke of the resurrection He told the crowd, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)  

He was speaking the Father’s word to the crowd.  Those who heard His word and believed that he meant what He said will pass out of death into life and they will have eternal life. 

Before they heard Him and believed His word they were dead, spiritually speaking.  When they believed His word they were made alive.  They will come forth from the tomb to a resurrection of life. 

If those who will have done evil deeds will be raised to judgment, will that be the same judgment that Jesus was speaking of when He spoke of judgment of the nations?  He will judge them based on their deeds. 

How can that be true when scripture says that all will be judged, including Christians? 

We know that we will all be judged because Paul told the church at Corinth, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10) 

In another place Paul told the church in Rome, “- - For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God” - - - “So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10 and 14:12) 

Paul said that "we" will all be before the judgment seat of God.  He was including himself.  All people will be judged based on their deeds and that includes Christians.  

If we all will stand before Christ and be judged, why did Jesus tell the crowd that he who hears His word and believes Him has eternal life and does not come into judgment but has passed out of death into life? 

Was He speaking of believers not coming into judgment with the nations when they are judged?  Judgment of the nations will take place after the resurrection.  Those people will come before Jesus in their resurrected bodies.  

Will the souls of believers be judged before that last day comes and before the resurrection of the dead?

Was Peter speaking of that judgment in his first letter?  He said, 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?” (1 Peter 4:17) 

It appears that there are two different judgments; one for Christians and one for everyone else.  It also appears that judgment of God’s household began in Peter’s day.   

Peter says that judgment will begin with the household of God first and that time had come in the first century.  It appears that all of the departed faithful have already been judged and it apparently happens as each one departs this life. 

It also appears that unbelievers will be judged on that last day, after all true believers have been judged. 

Can we see God’s people being judged after they depart this life in the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)?

In that story the rich man let the poor man (Lazarus) starve at his door.  Jesus said, “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried”.  

Jesus says of the rich man who had died, “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom”.

The rich man was in torment in Hades but Lazarus was in a place of comfort.  The rich man asked Abraham for help for himself and when it was refused he was then concerned about his brothers still living on earth. 

He wanted Lazarus to go back and warn them about that place.  Abraham told him that his brothers had Moses and the prophets to warn them. 

If his brothers were still living on earth then Judgment Day had not come and the resurrection had not taken place.  The bodies of Lazarus and the rich man were still in the tomb.  Only the rich man’s soul would have been in torment, in Hades.  The poor man’s soul was in a place of comfort. 

It appears they (Their souls) were all in Hades but in separate sections, one a place of torment and one a place of comfort.  Their souls would remain there until the day of their resurrection. 

The rich man’s brothers were still living on earth and they had time to hear the scriptures give them warning so they could repent and avoid that place of torment in Hades. 

For those who would hear God’s word, and believe it, we heard Jesus say, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” 

Speaking of the rich man and Lazarus, their bodies will not have been resurrected and judgment of the nations will not have happened but the souls of those two would have already been judged.  The rich man was condemned to torment because he had not done works of love for his poor needy brother. 

If the rich man was listed among God’s people but he did not heed what was written in scripture, then he was not a true believer.  Will he be raised for final judgment with the nations and likely be cast into hell in body and soul? 

The nations will come before Jesus for judgment in their resurrected bodies and those who will be condemned will be condemned in both body and soul.  As Jesus once said, “fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).  

Speaking of all souls going to Hades after we depart this life, we know that Christ’s Soul went to Hades.  Remember, Peter said that David spoke of God’s promise to seat one of his descendants on his throne and said that, "he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY." (Acts 2:31)

After He died, Christ's body was placed in the tomb but His soul went to Hades.  If Christ’s soul was not abandoned to Hades then His soul would have been with Abraham in that place of comfort until His body was resurrected and reunited with His soul at His resurrection. 

He was the Firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18) so the same thing will happen for us (Christians) when that last day comes and the dead are raised, except that our bodies will have decayed and returned to dust.  God will reassemble our dry bones and put flesh and skin on them and put life in those regenerated bodies (Ezekiel, chapter 37).  

Christ is speaking through Ezekiel to tell us how we will come forth from the dead.  He says, I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 37:14)

We (Christians) know that when we depart this life we will see Jesus.  Paul says, “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.(Philippians 1:23-24)

If Paul knew that he would see Jesus when he departed this life, then it should also happen for all Christians.  Will we appear before Jesus to be judged on that day when our body dies?  If so, we will be judged before the nations are judged.

Was Peter telling us about that when he said that it was time for judgment to begin with the household of God?  Remember, we heard Jesus speak of that last day when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” 

It sounds like Lazarus would come forth to a resurrection of life and the rich man to a resurrection of final judgment.  Jesus did say of the unfaithful slave that He will assign him a place with the unbelievers (Luke 12:46). 

Peter spoke of that final judgment and said, "the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment" (2 peter 2:9).  

If the unrighteous will be kept under punishment until that last day, will it not happen to the rich man who refused to do good deeds for his poor brother?

We are looking at the day when Jesus will come in glory and judge the nations.  Was Paul speaking of that day in 1 Thessalonians chapter 3? 

Paul wrote to encourage them to endure their afflictions.  He ended that chapter by asking the Lord to cause them to increase in love for each other and for all people, “so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints”.

He says that Jesus will come with all His saints.  What did he mean by that?  In chapter 4 Paul continues to speak of Christ’s coming.  He will descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God.  He says that, “God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” (Verse 14) 

Those coming back with Jesus are the saints who will have fallen asleep in Him.  Their bodies will not yet have been resurrected so it appears that their spirits will be coming back with Jesus to receive their resurrected bodies.  

Remember, Paul said that his desire was to depart and be with Christ.  His spirit would depart to be with Christ when his body fell asleep in death.   

How will the departed faithful be with Christ when we die but our souls will end up in Hades (With Abraham)? Christ is not down in Hades (Hades is referred to as being down in scripture); He is in heaven with the Father. 

Is it because there is a difference between the soul and the spirit of man and the soul will be in Hades but the spirit will be in heaven? 

After Paul spoke of Christ’s return and how He will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus, he ends his letter by saying, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Paul says the soul and the spirit are not the same thing.  He says that we have a spirit and a soul and a body.  Paul’s wish was for them was to have all three so they could be preserved complete.  One can only be sanctified entirely if they have all three components. 

Is he saying that we could end up without having all three components after judgment?  Remember, we will be judged by the word (John 12:48). 

The Hebrew writer spoke of that judgment and said, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) 

He is speaking of the word causing a division of soul and spirit and body components.  It appears that some will not be preserved complete in Judgment.  If some will have their souls and spirits separated will the soul and spirit go in different directions after Judgment? 

We know that Jesus spoke of bodies and souls being cast into Hell (Matthew 10:28).  The body and soul would, therefore, go to the same place.  There is no mention of man’s spirit being cast into Hell.  Paul did, however, say in another place that we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed. 

He was speaking of our body being our house and our clothing when he said, For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.  For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life."     (2 Corinthians 5:1-4)

Our spirit is clothed with our body on this earth.  From what Paul says, it appears that some spirits will be unclothed in eternity (Spirit with no body).  When we die our body will go into the tomb, our soul goes to Hades and our spirit will go to God’s heavenly home. 

Solomon did say that when the silver cord is broken (Our death), “then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

When he spoke of Christ's return in Thessalonians Paul says that, “- - the dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.(Verses 16-17) 

Paul is speaking of the same day that we heard Jesus speak of when He told of His coming in Matthew, chapter 24.  In Matthew, Jesus said that He will come on the clouds and send forth His angels to gather together His elect from the four winds. 

Paul said that Christ will descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, bringing with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.  The dead in Christ will be raised first and then we will all be caught up to meet Jesus in the air. 

If it is the same day, the elect will be gathered to Jesus before He sits in judgment of the nations.  If so, they will not be out with the nations being judged because Paul said that we will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and we will always be with Him. 

If Christ’s people will be caught up to Him to always be with Him we would not be separated from Him and be out there with the nations when they are being judged. 

Is that why Jesus will not tell those on the right that they are blessed of the Father because they did those good deeds for each other?  He will tell them they did them to, “one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them”.  

It sounds like they will be with Him at His throne.  If the saints will be with Jesus at His throne when He judges the nations will they be involved in judgment of the nations?  Jesus told the twelve that they would be involved in that judgment. 

Peter had asked Jesus what they would receive for having left everything to follow Him; And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28)

The regeneration will happen on that day when the last trumpet sounds and our perishable bodies will become imperishable.  

Paul says that we will all be changed.  He says that it will happen, “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.” (1 Corinthians 15:52)

When Jesus is judging the nations it appears that the saints will be with Him.  All of His saints will be with Him at His throne, not just the twelve.  The twelve will judge Israel.  Will the rest of His saints be judging the Gentile world? 

Was Paul speaking of that in his first letter to the church at Corinth?  Some among them were taking their brethren into outside courts of law to settle disputes. 

He told them, “Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?  Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:1-3)

The nations of this world will be judged on the day when that last trumpet sounds.  Jesus told the twelve that when it happens they will be judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  Paul told the Gentile church at Corinth that they would judge the world and that they will judge angels. 

Those angels who rebelled are being kept under darkness for the judgment to come on that great day (Jude 1:6). 

It sounds like Jesus may judge His servants first, based on their faithful service and then He and His faithful brothers would judge the world based on their deeds, especially the deeds they will have done for the saints.  

The parables of Jesus repeatedly tell us how the Master will judge his servants based on how faithful they were in their service to Him.  We can see examples of that in the parables of the ten virgins and of the talents.  Jesus spoke those parables just before He spoke of judgment of the nations in Matthew, chapter 25. 

The parable of the talents tells us how He will judge His servants based on their faithful service.  In that parable the master was to go on a journey and he left his slaves in charge of his possessions while he was away.  Scripture says, “To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.” (Matthew 25:15)

The one who had the five talents gained five more talents.  In the same way, the one who had two talents gained two more.  The one who had the one talent hid it and did nothing with it. 

When the master returned, he settled accounts with his slaves.  The slave who had been given five talents reported how he had gained five more talents. 

Matthew writes, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)

The one who gained two talents was praised and told the same thing as the one who gained five talents.  “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (Verse 23) 

Each of the master's slaves was judged based on their faithfulness to Him.
 Were they faithful in how they used their master's talents?

Those who were faithful in their service were put in charge of things in His kingdom.  For the slave that did nothing with his talent, Jesus said, “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.  

That parable speaks of judgment of Christ’s servants, not outsiders.  Only those servants who will have been faithful in their service to the master will be praised and placed in charge of many things in the Master’s kingdom. 

After Jesus told that parable of the talents His next words were, "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne."  He then speaks of judgment of the nations. 

The word "But" (In the above scripture) is not in most modern translations but it is in the NASB translation.  It appears that He will first judge His servants based on their faithful service "But" He will then judge the nations based on the works of love they will have done for His brothers. 

Remember, Peter said the household of God will be judged before outsiders are judged.  It sounds like His brothers will have been those servants who had been judged as faithful in their use of the Master’s talents and have entered into the Master's joy.  If so, they will be with Him when He judges the nations. 

Jesus will judge the nations based on the good deeds they will have done (Or not done) for the saints.  Some of them will be blessed and some will be cursed.  

Was that what God was speaking of when He called Abraham and made His promises to him?  God asked him to leave his country and his father’s house and go to a land that God would show him. 

God then made some promises to him.  He promised to make Abraham’s name great (His name was Abram at the time) and to make him a great nation and He made that promise that includes the gospel message.  

He told Abraham, And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse.  And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”  (Genesis 12:3)

The gospel message was hidden in the last part of that promise to Abraham.  Paul referred to that promise being to those descendants who would be of faith and said, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU. (Galatians 3:8)

All people of the nations who are of faith in Christ Jesus, Abraham’s true descendant, will be blessed in Him.  Paul tells that church (And us) how it happens a little later in that chapter.  

He says, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)

Those who will have believed and obeyed the gospel and been baptized into Christ will be blessed in Christ and become heirs to the kingdom of heaven with Him.  God will keep that promise to give them that new world and the kingdom on Judgment Day.  

Will God keep the first part of that promise on that last day also?  If the last part of God’s promise to Abraham applies to those faithful ones who will be blessed in Christ, the first part applies to those who are outside of Christ. 

If some outsiders will be blessed and others be cursed based on how they will have treated Abraham’s descendants, that sounds like what we heard Jesus say about judgment of the nations. 

Remember, those on the right will be blessed of the Father and those on the left will be accursed.  

Christ will tell those on the right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” 

He will tell those on the left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels”.

Jesus says of those accursed ones on the left, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46) 

From the wording it sounds like everyone from both sides will “go away”, some to eternal punishment and some to eternal life.

Christ’s brothers will not be going away.  We heard Paul say of those who will have been “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air, “- -and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)  

If they will always be with Jesus after they have been caught up to Him, they will be with Him when He judges the nations.

Notice, Jesus will not tell those blessed ones on the right that they are heirs to the kingdom of heaven.  Will they be heirs to other kingdoms out in that new world?  Remember, after our present heavens and earth have been destroyed, there will be a new heaven and a new earth.    

John tells us about that new earth in Revelation, chapter 21.  John says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away” - - -“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:1-2). 

In that chapter John mentioned something about the nations on that new earth.  He said, The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.  In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.” (Revelation 21:24-27)

God’s sons were His faithful servants of this earth. They will be Christ's brothers and will live with God in that city of gold, but from what John was told there will be nations out in that new world that will walk by the light of that city.  

Will they be the ones from the nations who were on the right side in judgment?  Will they also be the ones that would be blessed because they blessed Abraham?

Will those who will have shown love for God’s children on this earth be granted to rule over those nations of that new earth?  If so, they will be in subjection to God’s sons who will rule the world from that heavenly city because they will have inherited that whole new world. 

Paul knew that God had promised to give that land of Canaan to Abraham and to his descendants but he tells us the true promise was for the whole world. 

He said, “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:13)

When God told Abraham that He would give to him and to his descendants after him that land of Canaan as an everlasting possession He was not promising to give them a land on this earth; His promise was for that everlasting new world.   

Abraham would come to know it was a heavenly promise because scripture says, “By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:9-10)

Abraham was looking ahead to that same holy city that John saw in Revelation, chapter 21.  He was looking for that home with God in His city but God’s promise was for that whole new world. 

We can hear God speak of that promise after John saw that new world and that city. 

John hears a voice tell him, “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.  But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Verses 7-8)

God told John that he who overcomes will inherit “these things”.  The KJV translation says they will inherit “all things”.  Will they not inherit that whole new world?  

Jesus spoke through John of something else that will be granted to those who overcome (Overcome this world) earlier in that book of Revelation.  From what He says, it sounds like the promise is for that whole new world.  

Near the end of the chapter Christ tells us that, “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father” (Revelation 2:26-27).  

Those who overcome this world and keep Christ’s deeds to the end of life on this earth will not rule over the nations of this earth.  It appears that they may rule over the nations of that new earth.  

That sound like what Daniel saw in a vision.  He writes, “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.”   (Daniel 7:13-14)

We know that Daniel foresaw Jesus come before the Father to receive His kingdom.  That happened after Jesus had paid our debt on the cross.  He would receive a kingdom and an everlasting dominion where all peoples and nations will serve Him. 

That will not happen on this earth.  He has received His kingdom but all people have not recognized Him as king and most people do not serve Him.  His servants serve Him on this earth but they will reign with Him on that new earth. 

We can see that when we keep reading and hear Daniel say, But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.” (Verse 18)

The saints will take possession of the kingdom but they will face some tough times before that happens.  Daniel saw one waging war with the saints and overpowering them, “until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” (Verse 22)

Daniel speaks of the last evil king and writes, “But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.  Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.” (Daniel 7:26-27) 

The saints will receive the kingdom when the court sits for judgment on Judgment Day.  

Verse 22 (Above) says that judgment was passed in favor of the saints.  The KJV translation says that, “judgment was given to the saints of the most High”. 

If the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess it forever and it will be the kingdom where all peoples and nations will serve the Lord, will those nations be the kingdoms that Jesus spoke of when He blessed those on the right hand side in judgment?  He said they will inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world.  

John heard God tell him that the evil ones from this earth will be cast into that lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).  John continued to describe that city of gold in chapter 22. 

He spoke of those who have a right to enter the gates of that city but says that “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”  

Those are the same ones that He said will be in the lake of fire in chapter 21.  It sounds like that lake of fire may be outside that heavenly city on the new earth.  If so, that would fit with something that an angel told John in Revelation, chapter 14. 

The angel said of anyone who had worshipped the beast and his image and receives his mark of that beast, “he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:10-11)

The condemned will be burning in hell but smoke from their fire will go up in the presence of the Lamb and His holy angels.  How would Christ and His angels be near that burning? 

Christ and His brothers and the angels will be dwelling with the Father in that holy city.  Will the smoke of that lake of fire go up outside of that city?  That would explain how they were being tormented in the presence of Christ and the angels. 

Will it be a spiritual fire for those who will be burning in it but not to others out there in the nations?  Will it be like the spiritual fire that burned when our sin offering was offered on the cross? 

That old covenant sin offering was an earthly copy that foretold our spiritual sin offering.  The Hebrew writer said of that earthly copy, For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.  Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.(Hebrews 13:11-12)

Therefore Jesus had to suffer and burn in a spiritual fire outside the city gate because the old Law commanded them to burn that animal's body in an earthly fire outside the camp. 

Jesus has commanded us to take up our cross and follow Him and suffer with Him.  Peter was speaking of how we suffer with Christ when he told the first century Christians, Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Those who profess Jesus as their Lord will be reviled for His name in this life but those who will have caused affliction for us will be judged on that last day and they will pay with affliction in that next life. 

From what we have seen in scripture it sounds like they may be repaid with the same kind of fiery affliction that they will have caused for Christians but they will pay the penalty for all eternity. 

It must be a spiritual fire because Jesus said of that wicked slave who did nothing, “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30)  

Some will be condemned to hell fire but they will also be in outer darkness.  

Jude spoke of those who are hidden reefs in our love feasts, caring for themselves and said they are like, "wild  waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever." (Jude 1:13).  

If Hell will be an eternal darkness, its fire must be a spiritual fire.  Will that black darkness also be a spiritual darkness?

Johnny Rogers 9-29-05

Revised 5-3-16

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05-08-10&k=Cross+at+Sunset

 


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