STUDY 4: THE JUDGMENT DAY
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
THE seventh main object of our Lord’s Return, as enumerated in Study 1, is the testing of the
whole human family as to its fitness or unfitness for everlasting life, and rendering the final
decision in each case. We will give many more details in this Study.
The creedal view of the Judgment Day is that Christ will come in His Second Advent, riding on
a literal cloud, manifesting Himself in a body of shining flesh to the actual sight of all peoples.
He will blow a trumpet loud enough to be heard around the earth, awakening the dead,
separating them into two classes, and sending a few to eternal bliss and many to everlasting
torture. And all of these things are to be done in a day of twelve or twenty-four hours.
But as we examine these things in the light of Scripture, reason and facts, we conclude that there
is something radically wrong with this theory. One of the problems is that it is based upon a
literal interpretation of parables, like that of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25: 31-46), and
of symbols, like those of Revelation, etc. But perhaps worst of all is the limited meaning that it
gives to the word judgment. According to this theory, the Judgment Day means the Sentence
Day, or Doomsday, while both Biblical and secular usage give the word judgment a broader
meaning than that of sentence.
The Hebrew verb shaphat, from which is derived the noun mishpat, in the Old Testament; and
the Greek verb krino, from which is derived the noun krisis, in the New Testament, are used in
connection with the judgment process of the Judgment Day. The two verbs have four meanings:
(1) to teach, instruct, indoctrinate; (2) to try, test with reference to character connected with an
opportunity to qualify for everlasting life; (3) to chastise for correctional purposes; and (4) to
sentence; and the two nouns have the same meanings in noun form.
Judgment as Instruction
The first meaning of the Judgment process is to teach, instruct, indoctrinate, or teaching,
instruction, indoctrination. One example is Psalm 19: 9-11: “The judgments [mishpatim, the
plural of mishpat] of the LORD are true and righteous altogether [the Lord’s teachings are true
and just]. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than
honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned [the instructions of the Lord
warn us against sin and its results]: and in keeping of them there is great reward.”
Another example is Matthew 23: 23: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin [the smallest of seeds], and have omitted the weightier
matters of the law [God’s Word], judgment [krisis, doctrinal truth], mercy [a proper relation to
their neighbor], and faith [a proper relation to God (they had neglected to teach and practice the
chief things of God’s Word)]: these [weightier things] ought ye to have done, and not to leave
the other [the less weighty matter of tithing little things] undone.” The contrast that our Lord
here makes between doctrine [judgment] and practice [mercy and faith] enables us to recognize
that one of the meanings of krisis is doctrinal instruction.
The first work of the Lord on the Day of Judgment, as He judges the individuals, will be to teach
them the Truth (John 17: 17) (Revelation 20: 12).
Judgment as To Test
The second meaning of the Judgment process is to test. Such tests involve the proving of
character by trials; and such trials must be undergone in order to qualify one for everlasting life
(James 1: 2-4, 12) (1 Peter 1: 7). An example proving this point is Psalm 26: 1-3: “Judge [test,
try] me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity [and am thus prepared to be tested]: I have
trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide [into sin under the test]. Examine me, O
LORD, and prove me; try my reins [motives] and my heart. [This verse shows that the judging is
done by examining, proving and trying the character by the various experiences of life.] For thy
lovingkindness is before mine eyes [I know Thy Truth, whose learning is the first of the
Judgment processes]: and [after I was instructed and before I am tried as the second part of the
Judgment process] I have walked in thy truth.”
During the Judgment Day, after having received instruction, the world will be given a chance to
cultivate a character in harmony with their instruction. Then, following their efforts or lack of
efforts to cultivate a good character, they will by trials be tested to prove themselves worthy or
unworthy of everlasting life.
Judgment as Chastisement for Correction
The third part of the Judgment process is to stripe, to chastise, in order to correct, reform, those
who amid their tests fail to do well, or who amid them do evil. One example is Isaiah 26: 9:
“When thy judgments [chastisements] are [abroad; punishing the evil-doer on the spot] in the
earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”
This passage refers to the Judgment Day, during which wrong-doing will be stopped in the effort
to commit it, by chastisement meted out on the would-be wrong-doer; and that these
chastisements will accomplish the reformation of wrong-doers.
Judgment as Pronouncing Sentence
The final part of the Judgment process is the sentence. One example is Matthew 7: 1, 2: “Judge
[krino, sentence] not, that ye be not judged [sentenced]. For with what judgment [krima,
sentence] ye judge [krino, sentence], ye shall be judged [sentenced].
During the Judgment Day, the Judgment process must conclude by passing a decision on one as
to his conduct – to life or to death, as the case requires.
The Length of the Judgment Day
Considering the many things that the Scriptures teach must be accomplished during the
Judgment Day, we conclude that this Day is much longer than a period of twelve or twenty-four
hours. Those things include: world-wide war, followed by world-wide revolution, then world
wide anarchy, completely overthrowing Satan’s empire; the First Resurrection of the Church,
followed by the awakening of the rest of the dead; and finally, the world undergoing the four
Though we usually associate the term day with a period of twelve or twenty-four hours, we
frequently use it to designate longer periods of time, such as the day of Washington, of Lincoln,
etc. By such expressions we mean a period of years during which these men were influential in
human affairs. The Bible also uses the term day to cover periods of time that last many years,
such as the entire Creative Period (Genesis 2: 4); the forty-years’ period of Israel’s wilderness
experiences (Psalm 95: 7-10); the Period of Wrath with which the Gospel Age ends, called the
Day of Vengeance (Isaiah 61: 2); the Jewish Age (Isaiah 65: 2); the Gospel Age
(2 Corinthians 6: 2); and the Millennial Age (Isaiah 25: 9).
The Judgment Day a Thousand Years
The Bible proves that the Day of Judgment is a period of one thousand years:
(1.) St. Peter directly speaks of it as a period of a thousand years (2 Peter 3: 7-12). He speaks of
the period of the Judgment as the Day of Judgment (v. 7). He then cautions us not to forget that a
day of God’s time lasts a thousand of our years (v. 8). Then he explains that this fact accounts for
God’s seeming to be very slack (v. 9). He calls the Day of Judgment the Day of the Lord and the
Day of God (vs. 10, 12), with whom a thousand of our years makes one Day (v. 8).
(2.) The Day of Judgment and the Millennial Kingdom are identical. Jesus will judge the dead
during His Kingdom (2 Timothy 4: 1). The faithful Apostles while reigning, “sit upon twelve
thrones” – during the Millennium – will judge Israel (Matthew 19: 28) (Luke 22: 29, 30). Our
Lord’s Millennial Reign is beautifully described as being the Period of Judgment
(Psalm 72: 1-4). The Millennium and the Day of Judgment are the same period, a thousand years
(Revelation 20: 4, 6).
From the foregoing, we recognize that the Judgment Day is not Doomsday, but Salvation Day,
for during the Judgment Day (the Millennium), those of the dead who were excluded from the
privilege of becoming the Elect will, after their recovery from the tomb early in the Judgment
Day, be given the opportunity to gain the salvation of Restitution that will operate during the
Various other Judgment Days
There have also been other Judgment Days:
(1.) A Judgment Day in the Garden of Eden for the race then in Adam, in which our first parents
were on trial for life. After they were given instruction, the serpent tested them as to obedience;
and when they failed in their test, they were sentenced to death, and therefore we are all
suffering death by heredity.
(2.) During the Old Testament period God gave the Old Testament Elect, such as Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, etc., their Judgment Day as to faith and obedience. These people were instructed,
tested, striped for correction and were finally sentenced, with the faithful receiving a good
report, or sentence.
(3.) During the Gospel Age there has been a Judgment Day for the Gospel Age Elect, in which
the same four judgment processes have been active. The faithful among these will be used by
God, under Christ, to operate the judgment process on behalf of the world.
Necessity of the Judgment Day
But one might ask, Why should there be another Judgment Day for the world, since Adam and
all in Adam’s loins lost out in the first Judgment Day? We know that God was just in
condemning Adam and his race. Rather, it was the love of God and the Ransom-sacrifice of
Christ, who paid the debt of Adam and the race in his loins, providing an offset for the
condemnation of the world, that necessitates a judgment for the world.
Furthermore, the character of the Judges in the world’s Judgment Day is a guarantee of a
favorable trial for the world. Our Lord will be the chief Judge. His loyalty to God and the
principles of Truth and Righteousness, and His unselfish love to the world that prompted His
sacrifice for their deliverance, guarantee that He will be faithful, merciful and helpful toward all,
as He assists the obedient upward out of their ruined condition. The faithful Ancient and
Youthful Worthies as the earthly judges, and the faithful Bride of Christ and the Great Company
as the heavenly judges, having by experience tasted the degradation and woes of sin and the
difficulties of overcoming it, proves that such Judges will exercise all the mercy and faithfulness
necessary to assist all those who are willing to reform.
Types of the Judgment Day
The Scriptures furnish us with examples of judges in Israel who, in their persons and works, type
the persons and works of the Millennial Age Judges. In the book of Judges, we see that the office
and work of the judges was to deliver the people from their enemies and to give them prosperity.
They were the Divinely ordained helpers and deliverers of the people. In one example, the
Israelites did evil against the Lord, who punished them by delivering them over to oppressive
enemies; but when they repented, He raised up Othniel, who ruled over them, led them against,
and delivered them from their enemies, and gave them great prosperity (Judges 3: 7-11).
This story is a type, which we understand as follows: As the Israelites before they went astray
were in God’s favor, so the human race in Eden before Adam and Eve sinned was in God’s favor.
When Israel sinned it was delivered over to its oppressors, so when Adam sinned the race was
delivered over to the arch-oppressors, Sin, Error, Death and the Grave. But as Israel’s sufferings
brought them to their senses and they repented, so vast multitudes of the race will by the
sufferings of the curse be brought to their senses and repent. As God raised up Othniel to deliver
Israel from their oppressors, so God raised up The Christ to deliver mankind from Sin, Error,
Death and the Grave. And just as Othniel as Israel’s judge led them forth to war with, and
delivered them from their enemies, and then gave them peace and prosperity, so will the Christ,
as the world’s Judge, lead them forth to war with, and deliver them from their enemies, Sin,
Error, Death and the Grave, and then will give them eternal rest and prosperity.
Well may we joyfully anticipate the world’s Judgment Day. Though many, through the blinding
effect of sin and error fear the coming of that Day, the Scriptures teach us that after the
tribulation which will introduce it shall have passed, all will recognize its happy and beneficent
character (Psalm 96: 10-13) (Psalm 98: 1-9).
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