Bible Truth Examiner

Studies

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

Judgment processes.

 

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

Millennium.

 

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).

 

Return to Studies Main Page

Contact Us