Chapter 5 How Are We Judged?

How are we judged? When we look at the many different beliefs in this world today, we are going to get dozens of different explanations. Christian denominations read the same Bible, the same books in the Bible, compare the same proof text, and come up with a wide range of conclusions. The strange thing is, other religions parallel Christian beliefs on how this world will be judged. Or in some cases, has been judged, or is being judged. How do we determine which explanation is true, and which explanations are added to, or subtracted from the Bible? The first step is to remove all those explanations and start from scratch with an open mind, and a vision of learning at Jesus’ feet.

This may seem rather strange to you at this time, but look at the John’s Gospel as a whole. John’s Gospel seems to be the easiest story to follow. Jesus taught in a particular sequence. How many times did Jesus quote scripture? How many times did Jesus tell His followers and His enemies, He was doing His Father’s will? That included teaching this world about Heaven, and the judgment process in particular. When you read John’s Gospel with an open mind while focusing on the judgment process, you will see dozens of references Jesus made to the judgment process. Every time Jesus mentions the judgment process, let you mind go over previous stories, parables, chapters, and explanations Jesus offered. You will find yourself putting the judgment process in the prospective Jesus explained it. All those cloudy areas will disappear.

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Jesus emphasized another important subject. Being born again. Hearing the Shepherd’s voice, born of water, living water, and other stories all were focused on that subject. The need to put aside preconceived ideas. That included all the ideas and concepts men taught about the judgment process. When we take one little portion of a story and attempt to explain what it means, we will fail. When we try to explain a story in the Bible based on our limited human knowledge, we will fail. Why is that? Look at how Jesus taught. Jesus repeated lessons with His followers. That was because they were listening. But not to the degree they needed to listen. They were in the process of learning. When and who to listen to was part of that learning process. Jesus explained subjects to His enemies once. Later Jesus built on those lessons. Why? Jesus didn’t feel a need to repeat Himself because His enemies were not listening, and would not listen. Why repeat yourself when the other person or party refuses to listen? The subject matter was important and had to be covered. Jesus had no choice but to offer the information. It was up to the listener to either accept or reject those messages. Chances were, if they missed the first lesson, the second, third, and all future lessons were lost. It was up to the individual to go over the entire process and put all the pieces together. In other words, look back. We have the opportunity to look back when we read John’s Gospel as a whole. We can compare one story with previous stories and see the spiritual meaning unfold. Bits and pieces should be fitting together. We should be able to see how Jesus added to subjects such as the judgment process. The moment we think we have it all figured out, we loose our connection with the Holy Spirit, our guide and teacher. We are left on our own. Whether or not we admit it, subjects become confusing, out of sequence, and difficult to explain. Why? Explanations in the Bible do not agree with what we have been taught. We lost our ability to look back and see how Jesus was given one subject from His Father, and added to that subject at a later date. Why did Jesus teach that way? The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit worked as a team. God gave the messages to Jesus who of course delivered them. People needed time to digest messages, and time for the Holy Spirit to work with them. Some people took advantage of that simple process while other people rejected the Holy Spirit, and of course they rejected Jesus. They thought they were serving God. They convinced themselves they were following God, But in fact they rejected God.

The same is true with the Holy Spirit. Try arguing or correcting the Holy Spirit during a study and the Spirit will withdraw. That’s it. You can continue to study, but everything will be interpreted by you and what the world has taught you. There is little chance any of your interpretations will be correct. They may sound good. The world may accept them. But that does not make them right.

We will begin our study in John’s Gospel. We could go all the way back to chapter 1 to see where this discussion actually began. But that is a task for you to accomplish. I will look back at the previous chapter so I can add a few examples showing how information in the Bible is introduced and build upon.

John 12:37-50 NLTse But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. (38) This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: “LORD, who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm?” (39) But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said, (40) “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts– so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.” (41) Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. (42) Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. (43) For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. (44) Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. (45) For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. (46) I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. (47) I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. (48) But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. (49) I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. (50) And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

This story makes a distinct reference to previous stories in the Bible. We should know what miracles Jesus performed and why they were rejected. When we look at the beginning of the chapter we see the story about Lazarus. Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. Isn’t that a direct reference to the judgment? Of course it is. This is one example showing how Jesus taught in a particular sequence. First Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. That of course was an example showing Jesus had the power and authority to raise the dead. Of course Jesus needed His Father’s cooperation as well as permission. This also showed how they worked together.

Looking back a few more chapters we see Jesus also healed a blind man. That attracted the attention of the religious leaders who questioned and rejected that miracle. In chapter 12, Jesus quoted from Isiah where he predicted that would happen. Now we not only have a prophecy and its fulfillment together, we also have something in Isaiah to consider. But first, let’s look at parallel chapters a moment. Parallel chapters are the prophecy matched to the fulfillment recorded elsewhere in the Bible. They are parallel chapters based on the fact, the two chapters cover the same subject. They will have similar introductions and summations. When you study those chapters together, the Bible will reveal more than ten time the information you ever expected to see. That’s one of the ways the Bible works and confirms itself. Now we can look at a little bit from Isaiah.

Isaiah 53:1-6 NLTse Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? (2) My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. (3) He was despised and rejected– a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. (4) Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! (5) But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (6) All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.

Many Christians are familiar with Isiah chapter 53. This chapter explains how Jesus was executed. What would have happened if His followers and enemies read this chapter? Would they take it to heart? Isiah was telling the future. Jesus was showing people the future. Of course we can look back and see how all of this was planned, and how it turned out. But if we are in fact more advanced than those people who missed the message Jesus gave, why aren’t we using this knowledge? The Bible just showed us a simple way to study the Bible. Why don’t we all take that lesson and put it into action?

In terms of the judgment, Isiah also offered some information.

Isaiah 53:10-12 NLTse But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands. (11) When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (12) I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

In simple terms, Isiah explained how Jesus died for our sins and how this was part of God’s plan. We are not given a great amount of detail, but when we see additional explanations given in John chapter 12, we should be able to see the pieces of the puzzle come together.

I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. (48) But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. (49) I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. (50) And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

Now we have a few pieces of the puzzle in writing to examine. Jesus died for our sins. That is true, but there is more to it than that. Jesus had to earn the authority to judge. The Father granted Jesus that authority. But with authority comes responsibility. Jesus was also responsible for telling the world about God’s plan of salvation. We can’t be held responsible for a plan we don’t know. On the other hand, ignorance is no excuse.

We are not judged by our knowledge of this plan. But we are judged on our willingness to either listen to that plan, accept, or reject that plan. Why do you think Jesus and the prophets talked about that plan so much? That plan was introduced through baby steps over a great amount of time. People in the Old Testament understood next to nothing about the plan of salvation. They did have the responsibility of knowing God, His laws and commandments, and obeying those laws. Of course everyone failed at that task. That was why Jesus had to come to this planet to die. But what about those people who knew the laws and ignored them? What about those people who never heard about God? What happens to them? I hope you don’t expect me to answer that question. But maybe with a little more studying, we can begin to get a clearer view on that subject.

What about those people who never heard of God or Jesus? Let’s take another look at that list of religions and their beliefs on the judgment in Wiki. They all seem to be pretty much the same. Christian religions should be the same. They all got their information from the same book. On the other hand, what about those other religions? How did they get a concept on God’s judgment if they never heard about God or Jesus? They must have gotten their information from somewhere. That brings us to the obvious answer.

We can all agree God’s judgment is in the future. Where did all those religions get the ability to see into the future? We have only two choices. Either God or the devil told them about the future. Of course the devil lacks the ability to see into the future. The devil didn’t see how Jesus defeated him in the wilderness. The devil had no idea Jesus was going to raise from that grave. Those simple facts leave us with one conclusion to draw on. Only God could have reached those people with ideas and concepts on the judgment process. Judgment must be a rather important subject for God to reach the entire world on the idea and concept of judgment. So where does that leave us on our search to find out what happens with those people from other religions? They seem to be in the same boat as all the different Christian religions. All the Christian religions claim to communicate with God in one way or another. So why do they all seem to have different concepts on what God told them? Easy. Some people listen better than others. And of course some people like to add their own ideas to what they heard. Others prefer to eliminate a few details because they don’t entirely agree with God. Where does that leave us? Look at how much Jesus blended the judgment process with the Holy Spirit, listening to the Spirit, and learning from the Spirit. If anything, this book has shown how the judgment process is learned step by step. People don’t tear apart a V8 engine without first starting on a small single cylinder engine, learning the concepts, and moving onto bigger and better things. What makes people think they can master the plan of salvation after a five minute conversation with God?

It may seem rather strange to some people when a modern writer talks about the connection between the Holy Spirit and the judgment process. Can we call it God’s plan of salvation for a moment? I’m not making this stuff up. I’m taking popular proof text major Christian denominations use to explain the judgment process and reading a few extra sentences found in those chapters. In other words, I am simply doing what every good Christian should do. I am testing what is being taught, preached, and spoon fed all around this world. Is it a crime to go a little further in the Bible. Or in most cases, review the introduction to that popular proof text? I don’t think so.

John recorded a lot about what Jesus taught on the judgment process. To me it would be a crime not to look at what John and other inspired authors wrote about the judgment process and study exactly how those inspired authors introduced and explained this subject. You see, I know I have two choices. I can either accept what people are teaching. Since I already know different religions have different concepts on the judgment process, I feel it is my responsibility to look into this subject myself. Not by myself. But as the Bible teaches, and the point Jesus tried to make. I want to study along side the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7-13 KJV Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

I decided to use the KJV for this part of the story because I know there is at least one word we need to look up in the Greek dictionary. If you didn’t see at least one word to look up, you’re not listening to the Spirit. That is one thing the Spirit does during Bible Study. The Spirit will tell you to look up certain words. When you follow instructions, you’ll see how the definition of certain words in the Bible have been twisted around. In this example we will look at the word REPROVE.

REPROVE

G1651 ἐλέγχω elegchōb el-eng’-kho

Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: – convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.

In most cases the definition of the word reprove many people use and teach will omit that part about conviction and telling a fault. When we look at the word sin, we can see how conviction falls into place. But when we get to the word judgment, that conviction part of the definition is often left out, or is changed to something along the lines of, “we can prove we are right and the world is wrong.” But who is right and who is wrong? Why did Jesus tie in judgment with a word that means, “to tell a fault.” Common sense would tell us, judgment has a very close relationship to pointing out faults. But who is supposed to point out those faults? It has become common practice for churches to substitute words and phrases like, “church, God’s chosen people, and the saints,” with what John actually recorded. Take a look at what John recorded. Jesus said, “the Comforter.” Who of course is the Holy Spirit. Go ahead. Check the chapter. Jesus was talking about an increased relationship with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was not teaching about some modern church age with some new enlightenment that somehow replaced the Holy Spirit. To a large degree it has become acceptable for the modern church to replace the Holy Spirit with one term or another pointing to their particular church. Is that correct? And is that acceptable in Heaven’s court?

When we look at how Jesus presented His defense to the Jewish authorities, we not only see Jesus answering their questions based on their level of knowledge, but we see Jesus going far into the future establishing a new set of warnings for a church that was not even conceived in the mind of a single person back in those days.

Jesus introduced the concept of the Holy Spirit early in His ministry. One night a religious leader by the name of Nicodemus came to see Jesus. Jesus tried to explain the concept of the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus,who seemed rather lost on the subject. Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? (John 3:10 NLTse). Was Nicodemus saved at that moment? We have to admit, Jesus did explain the concept of being saved to Nicodemus. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. (John 3:14-18 NLTse).

One of the most famous verses in the Bible is found in John chapter 3. But most modern Christians start and stop at one verse, knowing little to nothing about the rest of the story that spans more that one chapter. Looking at the context, which is the verses around John 3:16, we can’t help but see there is much more to the story that most modern philosophers are able or willing to explain. We see how Jesus pointed Nicodemus back to a rather short story Moses recorded. This brings up a few valid points to consider. Jesus sent an advanced student of the scriptures back to a story he needed to review. Something was in that story Jesus knew Nicodemus didn’t understand. The story is short and blunt. Israel was once again complaining about the long journey and the manna they grew tired of eating. We know manna was a physical bread from Heaven and also contained a spiritual meaning. It wasn’t by chance that Jesus also sent Nicodemus to a story about that spiritual bread and also talked to Nicodemus about spiritual water. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. (John 3:3-6 NLTse).

Many people will miss the majority of those points because they don’t understand how Jesus and the scriptures point willing students to the right information at the proper time. As Jesus made clear to Nicodemus, you may think you are an advanced student of the Bible, but you will never stand a chance of understanding the Bible until you make a connection with the Holy Spirit and learn to follow directions given by the Spirit. Jesus followed those instructions and was able to give Nicodemus the instructions he needed to open his mind and heart to the Spirit. Between John chapter 3 and chapter 7 we find evidence showing us how the Nicodemus established a connection with the Spirit and the effects of that connection. Much like Jesus, Nicodemus was able to send the Pharisees back to the right scripture at the proper time. Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked. They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself–no prophet ever comes from Galilee!” (John 7:50-52 NLTse).

Ir took more than an understanding of the spiritual water Jesus talked about. Nicodemus also had to read the story about the snake Moses made and see the connection between salvation and the living bread Jesus also talked about. Jesus added more information about the Spirit the second time we see Nicodemus mentioned in John’s Gospel. On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) (John 7:37-39 NLTse). That reminded Nicodemus about their first meeting when Jesus introduced the living water. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. (John 3:3-6 NLTse). When we put those two stories together we can see how the Holy Spirit had been teaching Nicodemus to see the spiritual meaning behind that living water and how to put real life events together to see the deeper meaning of spiritual symbols.

Jesus used more than water as a spiritual symbol. Jesus mixed the spiritual water with the spiritual bread. When Nicodemus had only one symbol to consider, he was confused. When Nicodemus put the bread and water together, he began to see spiritual lessons his counterparts could not understand. Jesus and the Holy Spirit placed Nicodemus in a unique position. Nicodemus could see and understand spiritual symbols. Nicodemus could also see how his fellow teachers misunderstood and misused those symbols and other information in scripture.

No one can argue the point, it is easy to see how Jesus pointed out the symbol of living water. John recorded that portion of the conversation. It may be a little difficult to see where the bread comes in. That takes a bit of investigation. Which is what faith means, an investigation. We how see Jesus point directly to bread when He told Nicodemus about the bronze snake Moses made.

When we look at how this information was presented, we have to ask why. Jesus of course was trying to teach Nicodemus how to connect with the Holy Spirit. Jesus used some of the best teaching methods known to mankind. Jesus used actually life examples. In this case, a real life experience. The lesson goes much deeper than that. When the Spirit uses life experiences to teach, the student has to learn how to look back at events. Bible study follows the exact same standard. Notice how the story in John chapter 7 references miracles. Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?” (John 7:31 NLTse). To find out what miracles they were referring to, we have no other choice but to look back in John’s Gospel. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. (John 6:11 NLTse). With a free meal comes a free lesson. That is the way Jesus operated. Jesus physically and Spiritually fed people.

After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.” Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. (John 6:31-36 NLTse).

Jesus went a step further by tying in spiritual bread with spiritual water. No one made that connection except for Jesus. Now we have a direct connection between spiritual bread, water, and of course the Holy Spirit. We also see how scripture established a connection between spiritual bread, water, the Holy Spirit, salvation, and judgment. According to scripture they are all related, connected, and need to be studied together. Which is what we are doing after we see how those subjects have been linked in scripture.

What does all this teach us on the subject of judgment? There is no doubt, everyone will be judged. It doesn’t matter what denomination you are, or what religion you are. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you know about the judgment process. What matters is, the connection you establish with the Holy Spirit and how much you are willing to learn. Is there salvation without a learning process? Based on the evidence we gathered from two short stories about Nicodemus, we see there is a learning curve. We also see two sides of the story. The Pharisees and other religious leaders rejected the Spirit. They wanted to kill Jesus. They questioned everything about Jesus and judged Him based on their personal understanding of the scriptures. When we look deep enough, we can’t help but notice how the groups disagreed and had different views on the Messiah. They went as far a contradicting themselves. We have to read the entire story to see that. Based on what we’ve seen and read, we should begin to see how those stories not only showed the mentality in Jesus’ day, we also see a prophetic warning for our day.

Denominations still can’t agree on who Jesus was, His role in Heaven, nor the judgment process. That is a living fact today. We cannot trust anyone. We owe it to ourselves to investigate the judgment process by teaming up with the Holy Spirit to find out what that process is, what role we play if any, and exactly what we need to do to be saved.? Is that so difficult to understand?

As students of the Bible, we also want to exercise our freedom, privilege, and responsibility to check other sources. Up to this point we have been looking at information provided by John, Isaiah, and of course Jesus. What did Paul add to this subject?

1 Corinthians 6:1-6 KJV (1) Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? (2) Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (3) Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (4) If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. (5) I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? (6) But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

Paul pointed out the responsibility we will take on in the judgment process. We will judge the world as well as angels. That explains why we have to develop an understanding of that judgment process. It is not as simple as some people make it sound. Maybe those people do not want to face or take on the responsibilities. That does not add up to a valid excuse for anyone to use.

Paul is not giving the church any authority to judge, but simply pointing out how important it is to study the subject. “It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NLTse). Paul pointed people back to Deuteronomy chapter 22 which has a collection of laws. Most of which dwelt with adultery. Which has a spiritual meaning all its own. Along side of those laws on adultery are a number of other laws. Some are plain and simple to understand. Others seem to have more of a spiritual meaning than a physical real life application. The lesson is. The Pharisees couldn’t agree on all the laws. The Pharisees often twisted laws to suit their own ideas. In any case, an honest Christian with an open mind should see how confusing those laws can be and the point Paul was making. When it comes to the law, we need help from Heaven. We also need help from Heaven to understand any type of judgment. In short terms, no one with less than a perfect understanding of the law should be judging anyone. If the Pharisees couldn’t understand the law, what chance do we have? Sure you can go with the old excuse, “we have Jesus and the New Testament.” Well ask yourself this question. Do you really have Jesus? Or do you have the word of a modern day teacher of the law? Do they have it right? Are they correctly interpreting the New Testament? In most cases, I could prove them wrong. I’m not bragging. Based on what you learned from this book, take those Bible Study concepts and go over what people teach. Test them yourself. Get into the Bible yourself. Not by yourself, but with Jesus. You see, having Jesus is the main thing. The most important thing. The only thing that will keep you on the right side of the judgment process. The only side you want to be on. We don’t have to understand every detail about the judgment process. But based on what we’ve read and studied in this chapter, there is a lot more to the judgment process that most Christian denominations are wiling to teach. The easy way draws crowds, new members, and money. That’s a sad fact in modern Christianity, but it is true. Christians have been making their own brand of nets for hundreds of years. When Jesus called His first disciples, they dropped their nets, their main source of income, and left them behind. Today the fondness of income has become a necessary evil. Income at all cost has became the driving force for some denominations. You know who they are. At least the worst offenders. But how much of that drive has your church borrowed from the money making prosperity movement? I’ve studied the history of a few major denominations to see how they grew from their original conception when they were called from God to break away. Sad to say, they seemed to loose touch with God after a while. Then began to form their own opinions, write their own rules, doctrines, whatever you want to call them. They broke away from the world, then rejoined the world to a degree they felt was safe. Like Cain, they each compromised on the sacrifice they owed God. How could this be? We call that human nature. We go so far with God then reach a point where we say, “God really doesn’t understand how this world works.” That’s when we join with the world to better reach the world. It seems like a plan that cannot fail. It seems like a good plan. We may be able to collect a hand full of scripture to build a base concept. But when YOU look at what they used for proof text, I can bet that the context will show it was from something similar to Paul’s letters where Paul used a man made concept as an example to show what NOT to do. I see that happen all the time. That is what makes proof text so dangerous. A dusty Bible on a shelf may look harmless and innocent, but the devil has uses dusty Bibles to steal eternal life from more people than you can imagine. You’ll never know. You’ll never have an idea how much control the devil has been enjoying in this world until you pick up your Bible and begin reading.

The Beginning of the Judgment Sequence

Revelation 6:7-11 RSVA When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” (8) And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (9) When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; (10) they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” (11) Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

There may be no better Bible Study Rule than to gather all the information on a subject BEFORE you come to a conclusion. That is an interesting rule. One I wish everyone followed. One of the reasons people find the Bible difficult to understand is the fact, they have to forget so much before they are ready to take a look at what the Bible is actually saying. With that said, let’s see what this chapter is telling us, and how the chapter explains what all those signs, visions, and symbols actual represent.

This chapter of course deals with a series of seven seals. The seals are of course symbolic. The Lamb is symbolic, and of course everything in the vision John saw is symbolic. There is no doubt, John saw those visions in Heaven. There shouldn’t be any doubt, that after each of those visions, someone in Heaven came to John to explain what those symbols represented.

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:13-17 RSVA).

At times an angel in Heaven explained one detail. Other times an angel had to go back in history to explain how certain events unfolded, and why the world is going to find itself in some rather precarious positions. The key to understanding Revelation is to pay attention to each vision, and the beginning of each explanation. The entire book follows a pattern of, visions then an explanation for each vision. Common sense tells us the angels provided John with a detailed explanation of the vision he just saw. Why would an angel in Heaven begin a conversation about some unrelated series of events when John expected to hear an explanation for the question at hand? But that’s what some people believe and teach. John saw a vision, then an angel in Heaven came to John and began a conversation about some unrelated event. On the contrary. John did not record a book with the idea of hiding or withholding any information. John did not record a series of events placed in some random, hidden, or coded order. The book of Revelation was recorded with every detail John saw in the order those events unfolded in Heaven. The conversations John experienced in Heaven illustrate Heaven’s perfect order and ability to answer questions. God’s intention was to tell this world what will happen and the sequence those events will follow. God did not lie, and neither did any of those angels. The only deceivers are those people who claim John’s book is a set of events presented in some unknown, mysterious order, and God left this world on its own to figure out the proper sequence.

In other words, the visions John recorded in Revelation are events that would happen in the future, after John wrote his book. Most visions were followed by an explanation. Those explanations backed up in history, then led to the time frame of the vision John had seen. With that in mind, the Book of Revelation begins to clear up. For some reason that seems to confuse people.

The events in Revelation chapters 6 and 7 all pointed to future points in history. An angel asked John what he saw. Of course John didn’t know what any of those symbols represented. So the angel explained what those people in the white robes represented. In this case both the vision and explanation are based on future events. But they are the same event. This writing style is common throughout the Bible beginning in Genesis where chapter 2 added more details to chapter 1. At the very beginning of the scriptures, God explained how all the scriptures are interpreted. One chapter provided an introduction and the following chapter added details. God used this pattern as a type of signature or fingerprint on His Word. That is one method scholars used to verify authentic inspired books and weed out copies, or commentaries non inspired authors wrote. There are of course other patterns and fingerprints God used to verify the books He inspired.

John was not given a specific time frame in this vision. The events could have taken place any time after John wrote his book. Some people think those events happened in our past. Other prefer to think the are going to happen in our future. And some think those events will repeat themselves over time. When we look at a few facts, we can see how death and pestilence have been repeated since John’s time, and even before Johns time. The fifth seal is a controversial issue.

The fifth seal has some facts to consider. “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”

When we see souls in Heaven, we tend to jump to the world and its views to interpret scripture. But we are not going to do that here. We are going to allow scripture to interpret scripture. Where does the Bible tell us who those souls are, and what they are doing in Heaven? Let’s look at a few details.

No time frame is given. Without facts from the Bible, all we can do is guess. We also have to remember, those souls are symbols. By rule, a symbol always points to something far greater. Some people prefer to think those souls are not symbolic, but are physical. We have to consider all the facts to determine if those souls are physical or spiritual.

The souls are under the altar. What altar? If we began to guess or assume, we may be playing with fire. The Tabernacle had two alters. The sacrificial altar that was outside the tent. And the altar of incense. If we assume the altar of incense, what did that altar represent? We only have to look back one chapter to see that explained.

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; (Revelation 5:8 RSVA).

Now we see how the Bible explains the Bible and how symbols are interpreted within the story they are found in. There is never any reason to guess. Now we notice that those souls cried out to God. When we put two and two together, we see how the alter is the altar of incense, and the souls under represent those who pray earnestly to God.

After listening to them, God gives them white robes, and tells them to rest a little longer. We are given the first time frame in this section of Revelation. “Rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete.” From that we know this event takes place before the judgment process is complete.

Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:2-3 RSVA).

After John saw those seals opened, he saw a new vision with four angels holding back the four winds. We know those winds are also symbolic. What about that seal in the saints foreheads? I’ve seen thousands of people studying and telling the world what they think the mark of the beast is. But how many people study God’s seal? Something seems rather strange about that.

Since some people receive a seal, and other people do not, there had to be some sort of decision process before this event. Can we call that a judgment process? It seems as if Revelation is getting ahead of itself. And to a certain degree, it is. But the entire Bible is written with examples showing how God provided a series of warnings. All those warnings pointed to the same event. Each successive warning contained more details. Put them all together and what do you have? A clearer picture of what is about to happen in the future. But there is a catch. No one seems to understand a prophecy until it has been fulfilled. That’s just the way this world is. We have to accept that fact.

So far John was shown a series of visions that eventually led to a brief introduction to the judgment process. Remember, we are going to stick to the judgment process in this series of studies and not get side tracked by guessing at any particular event, or attempt to rely on what the world has been teaching about the symbols John say and wrote about. Instead we are going to allow the Bible to slowly reveal each and every event and symbol concerning the judgment process. I have to warn you. The temptation to interpret symbols based accumulated knowledge is great. And most times nearly impossible to avoid. Let’s be honest about how how the the world views the judgment process. For one thing, very little is known about the actual judgment process God inspired authors to write about. On the other hand, man made concepts thrive in this world. Some people are hooked on the concept, their understanding of the judgment process plays a part in their salvation. Look at how human nature exposes its flaws. Some churches claim they are God’s chosen church. Their proof is rather flimsy to say the least. They claim to hold a sort of key by claiming God revealed more to them then to other churches. But what is that truth they cling onto, and exactly how did God reveal that extra bit of truth to them? I’ve heard churches or at least evangelists claim they have all the truth. If they had all the truth, they would have no problem explaining the law of the prophets Jeremiah wrote about, nor would they have any problem explaining exactly what method God used to provide the exclusive information they are privileged to have.

Thus far we have looked at one example showing how the Bible is designed to answer questions. We have also seen how visions John saw in Heaven were explained by angles and other beings living in Heaven. Based on the few facts the Book of Revelation has revealed, we can fasten onto a few basic study concepts. Symbols are explained in the story they are located. Angels and other beings in Heaven understand the visions and symbols John was shown in Heaven. That tells us not only how the Bible is interpreted, but where to go for those interpretations. No where does the Bible tell us to rely on this world, its teachers, evangelists, or preachers. John never told us, one person or institution will understand his letter, and the rest will be lost. That is a man made concept. If you are stuck on that concept, you have to work to get yourself out of that belief. If you prefer to rely on the world to interpret John’s book for you, that is your loss.

I am going to skip over a great deal of Revelation so we can stick to the judgment at hand. The next mention of the judgment is in chapter 11.

Revelation 11:15-19 MKJV (15) And the seventh angel sounded. And there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever. (16) And the twenty-four elders sitting before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, (17) saying, We thank You, O Lord God Almighty, who are, and who was, and who is coming, because You took Your great power and reigned. (18) And the nations were full of wrath, and Your wrath came, and the time of the judging of the dead, and to give the reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to the ones fearing Your name, to the small and to the great, and to destroy those destroying the earth. (19) And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant, and there occurred lightnings and voices, and thunders and an earthquake, and a great hail.

Some people may argue the point, how can anyone jump from Revelation chapter 6 all the way to chapter 11 and possibly explain God’s judgment process? This is really following basic Bible Study concepts. Search the Book of Revelation yourself. The judgment is found in chapters 6, 11, 14, 16, and 17-20. I didn’t write the Bible. God did. And that is the way He laid out the judgment process in Revelation. I know we slipped over some of the favorite chapters some people claim to have studied. I hear it all the time from PhD’s and well as common people. There are a number of chapters I skipped over that people talk about all the time. Some churches hold seminars based on some of those chapters. Some churches hang their claim to fame on some of the chapters I skipped over. And yes, some will claim those chapters hold the key to understanding the judgment process. Well they don’t. Go ahead and search the words judge and judgment in Revelation. They jump from chapter 6 to 11. That’s just the way it is and all the arguing isn’t going to change a word in scripture.

After writing a number of chapters on how to get saved, and what Paul, Peter, James, and John wrote about faith, salvation, and the quest to draw closer to God, I have to leave the major part of this study in your hands. I know how people will question this book based on the fact, it covers Revelation, but not the chapter they are familiar with. They will question how anyone can make a comment on God’s judgment process without their coveted chapters.

I’ve attended a lot of seminars, watched a lot of videos, and listened to a lot of sermons on those chapters I decided to omit. I’ve heard so much about those chapters, I could write a dozen books on each of them. But after preparing the material for this book, leaving it sit, praying about it, and waiting for an answer, I decided to go with what was recorded in Revelation and how John recorded it. As I look back at what was covered in those other chapters, I could see how answers the world is familiar with concentrates on the best guesses on what is going to happen in this world. When I follow the sequence John laid out in this book, I can see how we should be concerned with what is happening in Heaven. In my book we will stick with what is happening in Heaven.

The seventh trumpet is the last trumpet in this sequence of events. Like many other books in the Bible, and the collection of books found in the Bible, facts are offered here and there. And it is up to us to gather those facts, verify that they are discussing the same subject, then look at the subject the hand with all the facts we’ve gathered. We aren’t supposed to stop, then look at facts the world has to offer, or tends to offer. Whenever we deal with a future event in prophecy, we are supposed to rely on the Bible and Bible only. I think we can all agree with that fact.

The seventh trumpet obviously points to the closing moments of this world. It is safe to assume, since we are still here, the events symbolized by the seventh trumpet are in the future. When we see something mentioned in the Bible like, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever.” What are we supposed to do? Number one, admit we don’t know the answer. We can look at different scenarios, but we still have to keep the door open to information we find in scripture at a later date. What could John mean when he makes reference to the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of the Lord and Christ? Obviously the introduction of the seventh trumpet is pointing us to a time when God gives the kingdoms of this world over to Christ. That is a good place to begin a study on that time period and events describing that particular period. That I can leave up to you so you can hone your skills.

Once we identify a particular time frame, do we guess at the actual events? No. We stick to the facts. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:15-16 KJV).

Of course it helps when you know where to look. The Book of Revelation tells us, King of Kings is a title Jesus will wear. The seventh trumpet pointed us to Jesus’ return. And the Book of Revelation chapter 19 explained why the seventh trumpet introduced the concept of God taking possession of the kingdoms of this world. Of course Revelation chapter 19 contains a lot more details you can read on your own.

John mentioned one important event, the judgment of the dead. Why only the dead? This is showing an import part of the judgment sequence. Those people symbolized by death receive judgment. Saints receive a reward. If we gathered all the facts on this subject, we would find a judgment period only the lost will face.

And I saw the dead, small and 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 which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12-15 KJV).

So far we have seen how the Book of Revelation introduced one judgment period and explained what that judgment period was in a later chapter. This is not unusual for the Bible to explain itself. And for books in the Bible to explain the symbolism they contain. There is another event or symbol we have to look at. “And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant, and there occurred lightnings and voices, and thunders and an earthquake, and a great hail.”

What event was this describing? We know the Tabernacle was designed to explain events in Heaven. Many of those events were to be fulfilled long after the Tabernacle disappeared. One service in the Tabernacle describes how the high priest is to enter the Most Holy place once a year.

And he shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle the blood with his finger seven times. “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood within the veil, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat; thus he shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which abides with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. (Leviticus 16:14-16 RSVA).

Once again, it is up to you to read the entire chapter. If you do you will see numerous parallels to the few chapters in Revelation mentioned in this chapter. An atonement is a covering. Plain and simple. Strange as it may seem, the same Hebrew word for atonement was also used to describe the covering of tar Noah used to cover his ark. If you think of that and give it some time, you will see a host of underlying spiritual parallels between the flood and Jesus’ return. Also the cleansing of the sanctuary that once a year ceremony inside the Tabernacle represented.

As we move forward in our study on God’s judgment, we have to realize one simple fact. The Bible can and will point us in the right direction to answer questions, identify symbols, and events. That is just what the Bible was designed to do.

Chapter 3 Lessons from the Past

In the previous chapter we looked at why it is so important to study the Bible with God’s Spirit. That requires a high degree of communication with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Moses learned to increase that communication skill. But Moses was restricted by the group he had to serve. But how far can we get with our communication with God? We’ll never know until we try.

Most Christians know the stories about Israel crossing the wilderness was a lesson. All those people didn’t die for nothing. We have to learn to look back at a few of those lessons. Israel turned their backs on God. Israel rejected God. Israel second guessed God. They also decided to look at the promised land based on their own senses and ignore God’s command to walk right in and take it over. Israel could not get past their worldly, human senses. That is one lesson we have to learn before we can understand the judgment system.

There’s no doubt, God judged Israel and the outcome was not good for the people who decided to put Moses between themselves and God. All the people who chose to accept the eyewitness account of the promised land over God’s view lost their lives. They never made it to the promised land. Which of course is a symbol of reaching eternal life in the Promised Land. Here we will take a look at a few of the warnings God shared with Israel.

Deuteronomy 28:44-48 NLTse (44) They will lend money to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, and you will be the tail! (45) “If you refuse to listen to the LORD your God and to obey the commands and decrees he has given you, all these curses will pursue and overtake you until you are destroyed. (46) These horrors will serve as a sign and warning among you and your descendants forever. (47) If you do not serve the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, (48) you will serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. The LORD will put an iron yoke on your neck, oppressing you harshly until he has destroyed you.

See entire chapter

What does that have to do with God’s judgment process? We have to look at the lessons that were supposed to be handed down from one generation to the next. Whenever we place anyone between us and God, who are we serving? Are we serving God with joy and enthusiasm? Or are we looking for an easy way out? Are we serving God or the person we place between ourselves and God?

Do you know how to test what you are taught by human beings? Do you read the entire story they quote from? Do you compare what they tell you to other stories in the Bible? If you’re not, all you are doing is taking the easy way out. You are cheating yourself of time with God. And cheating Jesus who is patiently waiting for you to spend time with Him.

You will be left spiritually hungry, thirsty, and naked. Where will that leave you? When you hear something new, will you reject it? Or will you run to your teacher to have them test it for you? Neither one of those choices does nothing to get you closer to God. In a sense, you are serving an idol. Is that idol yourself or another person you put in place of Christ? Let’s take a look at another part of Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 29:17-21 NLTse (17) You have seen their detestable practices and their idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold. (18) I am making this covenant with you so that no one among you–no man, woman, clan, or tribe–will turn away from the LORD our God to worship these gods of other nations, and so that no root among you bears bitter and poisonous fruit. (19) “Those who hear the warnings of this curse should not congratulate themselves, thinking, ‘I am safe, even though I am following the desires of my own stubborn heart.’ This would lead to utter ruin! (20) The LORD will never pardon such people. Instead his anger and jealousy will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will come down on them, and the LORD will erase their names from under heaven. (21) The LORD will separate them from all the tribes of Israel, to pour out on them all the curses of the covenant recorded in this Book of Instruction.

Here is a reference to God’s judgment. Taking your name out of the names under Heaven is a rather serious action. It points to a loss of eternal life. When we look at those lessons under the viewpoint of the judgment process, we can see a few spiritual lessons. Idols and false gods take on a whole new meaning. False gods can be anything. Money, items, people you idolize, sometime it can be beliefs or doctrines contrary to the Bible. Those can be muddy waters.

A stubborn heart can be an idol and false god. Those are the ones we have to learn to put away. Do you know everything about God’s judgment? Of course you don’t. If you did, you’d know exactly what Jesus is doing today. There are a lot of questions we don’t have the answer to. We have to learn to be patient. We have to learn to be open. We have to learn to know God’s voice and instructions. We don’t seem to hear God’s voice the way Israel did. But we have the New Testament with a much clearer view of God’s plan of salvation. We have all that information at our finger tips, but what are we doing with it?

The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:35-37 RSVA).

Jesus built upon those lessons Moses recorded and explained those lessons in plain, easy to understand language. A good man does good. A evil man hands out evil. That includes all kinds of problems. In the end, your words will either justify you, or condemn you.

Do your words really justify you? That all depends on what your words are. If your words plead with Jesus to forgive you and claim His blood and sacrifice as your shield and protection, you will be forgiven. And on the other hand, of you depend on yourself, you think you have everything figured out, and try to appear like you know it all, you better watch out. Let’s take a look at the next story in Matthew chapter 12.

Matthew 12:40-45 KJV For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (41) The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. (42) The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. (43) When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. (44) Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. (45) Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

We see the word judgment pop up in this story. It appears some of the last people we would expect to see in Heaven will he there judging other people. We can take a closer look at that process later. The point here is, the judgment process is noting like any of us imagine it to be. When it comes to God’s plans, there are always twists and turns we find difficult to wrap our human minds around.

Then Jesus told a story about a demon leaving a person and returning with seven other spirits. In other words, when you begin that transformation process, that preparation process to accept the scriptures, don’t turn back. The devil is patiently lying in the weeds ready to send out reinforcements.

The Wisdom of God

I wanted to jump right to the sequence of the judgment. That sequence is in the Bible and it is written out. And written out in order. It is so easy to find. And when you read it, the sequence makes total sense. The problem is, the sequence God had recorded in the Bible is not the sequence of events most people believe in, accept, and teach.

As I was lying in bed praying, I could go through the sequence of events recorded in the Bible. I could see how I could quickly introduce that sequence, show you where it is, and explain how most people do not and will not accept the order of events God recorded. Then comes the hard part. You have the sequence in front of you. You read it. It is there in black and white, Every detail is backed up by scripture. I don’t need to add a thing or comment because God put it all together. The problem is, the chances of that sequence agreeing with what you’ve been taught is from slim to none. Even if you accept the sequence taken straight out of the Bible, there will be details you’ve been trained to add. And you will think, there are a few details that need to be rearranged because God doesn’t understand this modern world. And there are a few symbols you think you have figured out. The Bible will show how those symbols existed in the past, but not in the modern age. That doesn’t matter. A good threat from the past is a good threat to keep your eyes on today. There may be million reasons for you not to accept the judgment process God recorded in scripture. There may be a billion reasons why one person or another, or the next person will not accept that sequence of events. I have no idea knowing why one person will accept that sequence and why a million people will reject it. All I know is, the sequence will be rejected for one reason or another.

How do I know that? It’s simple. I prayed about it. Before I prayed, Jesus set up a sequence of events in my life to confirm the answer He gave me. That may all seem simple, but I suppose a few people will need an in depth explanation. So bear with me while I explain the prayer process I use and how it was confirmed before I prayed.

Prayer is simple. Prayer is talking to the ultimate source of knowledge in the Universe. Prayer is talking with God. I think everyone will agree with that. But 90% of prayer is listening. That is that hard part. For some people listening to God is nearly impossible. Moses wrote four books showing how difficult it was for the vast majority of Israel to listen to God. So we have more than adequate information from the Bible showing us, listening to God is an acquired skill. Moses had to learn how to listen to God. If you read the books Moses wrote, you will see how Moses began with fear, and wound up knowing God as the best friend He could not live without. Along side of that is a story about the majority in Israel who either didn’t want to talk to God, were afraid to talk to God, or didn’t believe a human can hear God. The devil took off on those human traits and created a few beliefs and doctrines designed to discourage people from listening to God. The term, “fear of God,” is one of them. People say they are God fearing. What does that mean? They can’t explain it. All they know is, other people say it. What they don’t know is, if they never grow and mature past that fear, they will never learn to listen to God.

Another monkey wrench the devil threw into the mix is the term Trinity. Is there a Trinity? All I can say is, I’ve seen too many people wasting too much time on the subject. They love to appear as if they can explain everything about an infinite God. A God they never met, talked to, or obviously listened to. The fact of the matter is, if they knew God, they would actually be able to explain God, and how He communicates with this world.

Abraham talked with God. God told Abraham to go there. And Abraham packed up and moved. One day Abraham saw three people coming down the road. They turned out to be angels on their way to Sodom to destroy the city. Abraham tried to save the city and everyone in it. Now think about that for a moment. Abraham a mere human negotiating with an angel. How does that happen? And what does that teach us? We can and should communicate with Heaven. If Abraham could do it, why not us?

Image result for abraham and angelsSome people think one of those angels was Jesus. Some believe one of those angels was God in the flesh. At any rate, either God or Jesus took on a human form and talked face to face with Abraham. What about that old saying, “if anyone looks upon God, they will die.” Is that true? What scripture is that based on? I’m going to copy that phrase, “if anyone looks upon God, they will die,” and paste it into an Internet search engine. I suggest you do the same.

Take a look at a few of the comments and studies on the Internet. What did you find? I found a few people who looked at both sides of the subject. The Bible has a few verses telling us, no one has seen or can see God. Is that in the physical or spiritual sense? Does the context of the story center on communication, choices, or the gulf between human and Heavenly understanding? You would have to open your Bible and read the entire story to find out the answers to any and all of the questions drifting through your head. But wait. There is another way to answer all those questions. You can rely on your memory, what you read, heard, been taught, what you were thinking at the moment, and a host of other, well earthly ways to come to a conclusion. In other words, form a personal opinion. Is your personal opinion based on – whatever – the same as an answer from Heaven? People may think so. People like to believe their thoughts are totally in line with Heaven. People like to believe they think exactly like God. Or is that the other way around? Does God modify His thoughts, actions, and plans to agree with this world? Come on now. Investigation is investigation. Research is research. Are you going to investigate a question or rely on a gut feeling? No wonder why no one can see God. If they ever listened to God and took God at His word, that person would die of embarrassment.

In fact, we can use science to prove God exists. Some people do. But other people use science to prove other theories. The problem is, people are focused on proving whatever it is they want to prove. If they want to prove evolution, their mind is focused on evolution and will not accept one shred of evidence God does exist. People like that are bound and determined to skip over, miss, and reject every shred of evidence proving God created this world and the Universe. On the other side of the coin, a person dedicated to proving God created the Universe will be so focused on their train of thought. They can and will miss the majority of information and facts that should have been obvious. The point is, we have to train our minds to be open to Jesus when we are talking with Jesus. And we should be listing as well as expecting the unexpected.

Lesson number 1. We have to have an open mind. Lesson 2. We have to focus on the subject Jesus is teaching. Take the Trinity distraction. Imagine yourself opening the Bible to go over the same subject over and over again to prove your point. Is that Bible Study? Not by a long shot. That type of study cancels out common sense. Let’s use Abraham’s story as an example.

Does it matter if God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit took on a human form to talk to Abraham? It doesn’t matter. Whoever it was, they were on a mission from Heaven. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all agreed on the outcome, the reason behind it, the lesson that event would teach, and how that lesson would be used in the future. It wouldn’t matter which one you talked to, God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. You would get the exact same answer. I know it may be difficult for people to envision such an agreeable nature. But Heavenly beings are not human. We have to accept that and get onto more important issues. Like how Heaven communicates with this world. And why the devil wants to obliterate or at least confuse that communication. Now we can look at one of the ways Satan introduced static to God’s communication with this world. Or better yet, one of the ways God does communicate with this world. Through His Word.

The concept of dying if you ever look upon God is based on two verses. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. (Exodus 33:20 KJV). No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18 KJV).

Let’s take a look at those two verses. First of all, we have to agree on a study method. Using a Concordance to research the definition of key words seems to be one study method most people agree on. In Exodus 33:20 we will look at two key words, face and live.

FACE

H6440 פּניםnnpa^ni^ym paw-neem’

Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פּנה pa^neh, paw-neh’; from 6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.): – + accept, a (be-) fore (-time), against, anger, X as (long as), at, + battle, + because (of), + beseech, countenance, edge, + employ, endure, + enquire, face, favour, fear of, for, forefront (-part), form (-er time, -ward), from, front, heaviness, X him (-self), + honourable, + impudent, + in, it, look [-eth] (-s), X me, + meet, X more than, mouth, of, off, (of) old (time), X on, open, + out of, over against, the partial, person, + please, presence, prospect, was purposed, by reason, of, + regard, right forth, + serve, X shewbread, sight, state, straight, + street, X thee, X them (-selves), through (+ -out), till, time (-s) past, (un-) to (-ward), + upon, upside (+ down), with (-in, + stand), X ye, X you.

As you can see, the word face has many different meanings. Which one do we choose? How do we know which definition to use in that particular story? When we look at the definition of the word face, we see a host of words related to emotions. Accept, against, anger, battle, employ, endure, inquire, heaviness, and honorable are related to emotions in one way or another. When we see a Hebrew word that focuses on one aspect, and was translated outside of that realm, we have to ask why. Was God focusing on the His emotional aspects or the physical face? To answer that question we have to look at the context of the story. In other words, back up a bit and look at what lead into that particular event.

After Moses had gone in, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the door of the Tent, and the LORD would speak to Moses from the cloud. As soon as the people saw the pillar of cloud at the door of the Tent, they would bow down. The LORD would speak with Moses face-to-face, just as someone speaks with a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp. But the young man who was his helper, Joshua son of Nun, stayed in the Tent. Moses said to the LORD, “It is true that you have told me to lead these people to that land, but you did not tell me whom you would send with me. You have said that you know me well and are pleased with me. Now if you are, tell me your plans, so that I may serve you and continue to please you. Remember also that you have chosen this nation to be your own.” The LORD said, “I will go with you, and I will give you victory.” Moses replied, “If you do not go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you are pleased with your people and with me if you do not go with us? Your presence with us will distinguish us from any other people on earth.” The LORD said to Moses, “I will do just as you have asked, because I know you very well and I am pleased with you.” Then Moses requested, “Please, let me see the dazzling light of your presence.” The LORD answered, “I will make all my splendor pass before you and in your presence I will pronounce my sacred name. I am the LORD, and I show compassion and pity on those I choose. I will not let you see my face, because no one can see me and stay alive, (Exodus 33:9-20 GNB).

At first glance it appears the Bible contradicts itself. In fact we could say, Moses contradicted himself. Moses wrote the Book of Exodus. Why would Moses contradict himself? Especially on such a serious subject. Would you say anything like, “I talked to God face to face.” Then later tell people, “God told me, I can’t see His face. Because if I did, I would die.” That doesn’t make sense. So the problem must be in the translation.

If the word face was actually meant to be something along the lines of emotions, we would see that in the previous conversation. As a matter of fact we do. Moses requested, “Please, let me see the dazzling light of your presence.” The entire conversation dwells on the emotional level. Moses does not want God to depart or leave. Moses relies on God’s presence, instructions, guidance, and protection. All of those words are related to other aspects found in the definition of the word translated as face in this story. If the entire story dwells on emotions, why would the main focus suddenly switch to God’s physical face? Before we can answer that question, we have one more word to look at, live.

LIVE

H2425

חיי

cha^yay

khaw-yah’ee

A primitive root (compare H2421); to live; causatively to revive: – live, save life.

Maybe revive would have been a better translation in this verse. If Moses ever saw all of God’s emotions, would he ever revive? Would Moses ever return to the same person he used to be? Did God need Moses with all of his faults? Was Moses a sort of bridge between God and Israel? Of course he was. Israel rejected God. Israel turned down the offer to talk directly with God. Israel wanted Moses between themselves and God. Israel demanded a man with faults. What would have happened if Moses saw all of God’s emotions and spirituality? That would have changed Moses forever. God knew what Israel needed and could only take Moses so far. God could only take Moses as far as Israel permitted. In a sense, Israel held Moses back. And we tend to face the same problems today. We can only tell people what they want to hear about God. We can only teach people what they are ready to accept. We need the Holy Spirit to prepare people for a message. If people aren’t ready, the message will be lost, disregarded, slandered, and trampled.

How do we get people past their fear of God? How do we get people past that belief that no one sees God, and that God doesn’t really talk to people? We can point out a few verses like the one in Exodus where Moses talked to God face to face like talking to a friend. We can show people a few of David’s experiences with God. We can show how God communicated with every prophet in the Bible. Some prophets received messages in visions, dreams, and some heard God’s voice. The Bible is filled with examples of people communicating with God. Not only prophets, but other people. Sometimes God sent angels as messengers. Pick a story. Any story. A story you can relate to. It’s up to you to either prove or disprove the fact, God has and continues to communicate with this world.

When I pray, I keep it simple. I ask to be forgiven. I think every Christian asks Jesus to be forgiven. At least those who plan on seeing eternal life. After that, I throw in a few sentences to remind me, Jesus created this world, the Universe, and everything in it. That sets my mind on the fact, I am communicating with a higher form of intelligence. Of course I thank Jesus for a few things that I remember at that particular time. Then I go over a list of details to pray about. You know, work, bills, income, and of course a list of people to pray for. Going over that list in my head shows me how little I remember. That opens up my mind to the next phase of prayer. What does Jesus want to talk about? What does Jesus want to tell me, teach me, warn me about, and in many cases, review a few details about my life. Ouch. That one can hurt. That is only a portion of the fear we have to learn to overcome.

When I open the floor to Jesus, I can hear His voice. Or at least thoughts that for the most part, are more detailed and make more sense than my usual thought patterns. In this case I focus on one subject. This book and this particular subject. I wanted to do one thing. But that didn’t turn out to be a very good idea. I had a conversation with Jesus that went like this.

Me: “Thank you for that list of events in the Bible that shows the process you are going to follow in the judgment process. As soon as I get this written out and posted, it will change the world.”

Jesus: “Go ahead. Copy and paste that sequence in our book. But what are you going to do after that?”

Me: “I don’t know. I guess I really don’t have to do a thing. You already explained everything.”

Jesus: “And how long has that been sitting there?”

Me: “About 2000 years.”

Jesus: “And didn’t you just write a chapter about all the different beliefs? Didn’t you just read about how all those denominations changed the sequence of events, added to it, omitted important details, wrote cannons and doctrines on the subject?”

Me: “Well yes I did. But we agree on most points.”

Jesus: “You already know, when you agree with people, they consider you a reliable source of information. As long as you agree with them, you are a genius. But as soon as you bring up one point they don’t agree with, you turn into an idiot in their eyes. You go through that almost everyday. Haven’t you learned anything from those experiences?”

Me: “Well I guess I did. So what do I do next?”

Jesus: “ How did you end your last chapter?”

Me: “ With some scripture about you being the all knowing God, and people in this world have a difficult time accepting that fact.”

Jesus: “Can you tell me that story word for word?”

Me: “Well no.”

Jesus: “I can.”

Me: “Okay. So what do you want me to do next?”

Jesus: “The reason people do not seek my knowledge is because they don’t understand how to communicate with me. So you have to explain how you communicate with me.”

Me: “That makes sense.”

Jesus: “So we agree. That sequence of events has to wait. There are steps people have to learn before they can, for lack of a better term, open their minds and hearts to understanding.”

Me: “I see.”

Jesus: “Are you ready now?”

Me: “Yep. Now I am.”

Jesus: “Then let’s get to that book.”

Me: “Okay. Where do I start?”

Jesus: “By admitting you had the wrong idea.”

Me: “Ouch!”

Communicating with Jesus is not very difficult. But there are a few things you need to learn to put together. One of those things is the way Jesus sets a course in your life. Before you can hope to accept and understand the sequence of events concerning the judgment process, you have to learn how Jesus establishes events in your life for a purpose.

During this past week I was thinking of William Miller. You can search William Miller on the Internet and do some research on his life. You will notice, a lot of articles are biased. They either support Miller, or totally reject him. Why? William Miller is mostly known for his prediction of Jesus’ return in October of 1844. Of course Miller was wrong. We are still here. That is about all most people know about William Miller. But what prompted Miller to make that prediction? That is where the story gets interesting.

There is a popular second level some people follow William Miller on. That is based on the field and study of prophecy. Some people dwell on that level and never get past it. They think if they are able to see a few details in the future, they have some sort of security. I’m not sure what that is.

Image result for william MillerWilliam Miller was a self taught student of the Bible. Or at least that is what main stream religion wants people to believe. Although William Miller was focused or restricted to time studies in the Bible, he did come up with s number of interpretations that are now accepted by quite a number of major denominations. Those denominations had to either rewrite a lot of their beliefs or add to them. It’s sad to think people focused and restricted their view on Miller to prophecy when Miller had so much more to offer.

Before Miller, the subject of Bible study had few if any rules. Miller came up with a set of Bible Study Rules. He published that list of Bible Study Rules with the scripture to back them up. Those rules became the back bone of theology institutions all over the world. The sad part is, people either ignored, or were afraid of Miller’s explanation of how he found and gathered that list of Bible Study Rules.

Main stream Christianity saw or created a threat out of Miller’s explanations. William Miller was not self taught in the art of Bible Study. Miller never claimed to be self taught. Miller never took an ounce of credit. Miller gave all the credit to God. Miller explained how God took him from one step to the next. There is a book called the Memoirs of William Miller. It is a great book and I would suggest you read it. That was one of the ways Jesus communicated with me throughout the week and confirmed our conversation before we had it. After about 3 years, I ran across my copy of the book, The Memoirs of William Miller. I gave it to a friend. I had no idea I gave away that book. It is a great reference source. A book I read three times. You see, William Miller was not ashamed to describe how Jesus communicated with him. Miller was not afraid to tell the world, Jesus taught him how to study the Bible. Miller was not afraid to tell the world, Jesus gave him that list of Bible Study Rules. Miller gave all the credit to God. I have no idea why main stream Christianity is afraid of a guy who gives all the credit to God. But that’s the way it is today. We just have to learn to deal with it.

To make a long story short, William Miller thought he was working on a prophecy about Jesus’ return to this world and end of this world as we know it. He worked out so many details, it sort of spun his mind around. Miller made one fatal error. He set his mind on proving something he believed was true. Miller was convinced he was working on a prophecy about the end of the world. The prophecy was about cleansing the Sanctuary. Miller interpreted the Sanctuary as the earth. Cleansing the earth has to point to its destruction. But of course the Sanctuary pointed to the Heavenly Sanctuary. And cleansing the Sanctuary pointed to the beginning of the judgment phase of Jesus’ ministry in Heaven. We will look at more of that later.

The point is. William Miller wrote a book about how Jesus communicated with him, taught him, and every detailed step. That scares the stuffing out of religious institutions. William Miller is one of the few modern men to write an account of how he communicated with Jesus. And that information is being buried. Why? I really don’t care to ask why. I am more concerned with reviewing Miller’s book and learning from it.

Some institutions actually support Miller to one degree of another. They mostly rely on the prophetic interpretations Miller recorded. But to keep Miller’s communication with God at a minimum, they slice out the prophetic portions of his book, claim their highest ranking theologians studied his book, and saved you the problem of reading all 400 or so pages. Gee thanks. Those institutions made prophecy a path to God’s throne. They made prophecy the main focus and basically used prophecy as a smoke screen to hide the lessons Miller really focused on, his relationship with Jesus. The institutions replaced a relationship with Jesus with a handful of prophecies and the idea they can see into the future.

The fascinating part of the story is, Jesus allowed Miller to follow his idea in one particular area. The belief that the prophecy was about the end of the earth. History shows us, Miller was wrong on that detail. History also shows us, no one was able to explain the prophecy actually pointed to Jesus entering the Heavenly Sanctuary to begin the judgment process until after that prophecy was fulfilled. That is just the way God works. No one is certain about any prophecy until after it is fulfilled. The Bible contains over 300 prophecies about Jesus’ ministry on earth. No one was able to understand any of them until all were fulfilled, and Jesus rose from that grave and went back to Heaven. We just have to accept the fact, that’s the way God operates.

So do we condemn a man because he was wrong on one point? That’s ridiculous. Many of the prophecies Miller interpreted are accepted by many major religions. It took some time, but people began to see, you can’t argue with scripture. When Jesus entered the Heavenly Sanctuary, it was basically a repeat of history. No one understood the prophecies about Jesus’ ministry on earth until after they were fulfilled. Only a small number of people grasped onto the truth at the very beginning. It took years for other people to catch on. The same pattern was followed for Jesus’ ministry on earth, and His ministry in Heaven.

Here is an interesting fact I want to add here. Miller had between 50,00 and 500,000 followers world wide. Out of all of those people, only about a dozen took his Bible Study Rules and the information Miller taught about his relationship with Jesus seriously. That is well under 1%. Some groups accepted Miller’s Bible Study Rules and tried to continue the studies. They soon fizzled out. Other groups concentrated on the relationship side of what Miller taught. They didn’t last long either. The few who kept the two combined, in other words, Bible Study with Jesus’ Spirit, went on the write hundreds of books, teach a handful of other people, and see the world accept portions of Miller’s interpretations for some of the major prophecies in the Bible. It took time and the learning process it not over.

I thought it would be interesting to look at a few other facts. I looked up the book ranking on The Memoirs of William Miller. Here are the numbers.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,302,360 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

#332 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Denominations & Sects > Protestantism > Seventh-Day Adventist

#440 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Denominations & Sects > Protestantism > Seventh-Day Adventist

#446440 in Books > Religion & Spirituality

Surprisingly, the book ranks rather high. The book is also available as a free PDF download from a number of sources. The question is, if this book is that popular, why do we hear so little about the relationship William Miller had with Christ? The only logical reason is, people reading that book focus on the prophecies in that book and are not interested in the parts about his relationship with Christ Miller painstakingly recorded. Just another fact showing how the mind can quickly be closed to learning.

What is God’s Judgment?

How do you begin writing a book about God’s judgment? That is a great question. On one hand the judgment is a simple subject. On the other hand it has more facets than most people imagine. Then again, how many people talk about the judgment of this planet? Why do people avoid the subject? Why do few people study the subject? Let’s begin by taking a look at what the Greek definition of judgment is. Did you know John used three different Greek words for judgment in the Book of Revelation? Krima, krino, and krisis are the three Greek words John used in specific stories in Revelation. Let’s first begin by establishing John’s book and the Bible as inspired writings or revelations from Heaven. We are never going to get anywhere unless we approach the Bible as an inspired book written by the living God who created this world, the universe, and something referred to as the plan of salvation. In plain and simple terms, if we want to search the truth, the best place to begin is the original author and architect of not only this planet but the plan to save it. With that being said we can open up a Concordance and look at the definition of the three Greek words John used for judgment.

JUDGMENT

G2917 Rev_20:4

κρίμα

krima

kree’-mah

From G2919; a decision (the function or the effect, for or against [“crime”]): – avenge, condemned, condemnation, damnation, + go to law, judgment.

G2919 Rev_11:18 Rev_16:5 Rev_18:8 Rev_19:11 Rev_20:12 Rev_20:13

κρίνω

krinō

kree’-no

Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: – avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

G2920 Rev_14:7 Rev_16:7 Rev 18:20 Rev_19:2

κρίσις

krisis

kree’-sis

(Subjectively or objectively, for or against); by extension a tribunal; by implication justice (specifically divine law): – accusation, condemnation, damnation, judgment.

After looking at those three words there has to be a few thoughts drifting around in your head. The first may be, the word krisis is really close to the English word crisis. Why is that? Maybe the word crisis came from the Greek word krisis. I don’t know. I am not about to get side tracked by looking at the development of the English language. Although there are a few details we will examine. The first detail in the English language will look at is the modern definition of judgment.

Worldly Definition of Judgment

judg·ment

/ˈjəjmənt/

noun

noun: judgement

1. 1.

the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.

“an error of judgment”

synonyms:

discernment, acumen, shrewdness, astuteness, sense, common sense, perception, perspicacity, percipience, acuity, discrimination, reckoning, wisdom, wit, judiciousness, prudence, canniness, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, powers of reasoning, reason, logic; More

2. 2.

a misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment.

“the crash had been a judgment on the parents for wickedness”

One detail I noticed is the fact, there are two ways to spell judgment. With and without the extra – “e”. Why? I don’t know. Maybe that’s God’s way of showing us, the world cannot even agree on how to spell the word judgment.

The main difference between God’s judgment and the world’s view of judgment is the outcome. Of course the world is going to disagree with the outcome of God’s judgment. This world as we know it will be on the loosing end of the judgment, They are not going to accept the final decision without a lot of screaming and kicking.

Looking at the definition of the three Greek words, krima, krino, and krisis, we should see something missing. When we look at the worldly definition of judgment, we see there is always a chance the final decision will fall in our favor. No one would proceed with a court case without hopes and thoughts the judge will agree with them and condemn their opponent. In human understanding, there has to be a winner and looser in every judgment. But when we look at the definition of those three Greek words John used, there is no winner. All three of those Greek words agree. Judgment only leads to condemnation, sentencing, and damnation. What happened to the winner? I have news for you. Based on the inspired word of God, there is no winner. If you reach the point of being judged, you are already a looser. Does that mean God’s court of law is fixed? That’s what the devil wants this world to think. He has been busing trying to convince the world they have a chance when they face God’s judgment, In plain and simple terms, the devil wants to defend you in God’s court of law. How do you feel about that? I’m sure you never heard that one from any preacher. But those are the cold hard facts.

Satan had to change the worldly view on the word judgment. Satan wants the world to believe they have a chance in God’s court system. After all, don’t we serve a loving, forgiving God? Of course we do. God made the sunshine, flowers, cuddly little animals, and a host of other things. Why would God just condemn this planet?

It boils down to a basic understanding of God’s plan of salvation. Most Christians agree Jesus came to this world, died for our sins, and if you believe in Jesus, or call on His name, you are saved. The one part most churches don’t teach is the fact, when you follow Jesus, you completely skip that judgment process. Only the losers face any type of judgment. Let’s look at that from a perspective much easier to understand than the worldly definition of judgment and much easier to understand than any court system in this world. Let’s look at the obvious example. Does everyone on this planet have to appear in front of a judge and defend themselves in a trial? No. Common sense tells us, only people who have been accused of a crime have to prepare to defend themselves in front of a judge. So let me ask you a question here. Why does the world think God’s judgment or court system is different? Why do we hear so many Christians walking around preaching that everyone stands in front of God? Why does the world teach us, you have to stand in front of God to be judged. And there are winners and losers. That’s not what John said. That’s not what the definition of not only one or two, but three Greek words tell us. Nothing in the Bible tells us, Jesus’ followers will be judged. I got news for you. Only the condemned will be judged. So if you are preparing your case to present in front of God, the outcome will not be good.

Okay so there are a few verses people can pull out of the Bible and argue that point. I’m not going to look at those just yet. Let’s just say, those verses used different Greek words and refer to different aspects or points of time in the plan of salvation. We will cover those verses in later chapters. At this point we will keep the plan simple and look at a few key thoughts.

John 5:20-30 RSVA For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. (21) For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. (22) The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, (23) that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. (24) Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (25) “Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. (26) For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, (27) and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. (28) Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice (29) and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. (30) “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

This sums up the judgment process in a nutshell. There are two choices. The resurrection of life, and the resurrection of judgment. Here John used the Greek word krisis. Which we know means only condemnation and damnation. There is no chance of a good outcome, second chance, or a defense that will somehow get you off the hook.

The world likes to teach something along the way of, “believe in Christ and be saved.” Of course there are 100 versions of that. But we are not here to study all the different versions or flavors of salvation. We are here to take a series look at judgment and what it means.

When it comes to the subject of judgment, the world has a variety of ideals and concepts to choose from. I looked the judgment up on the Internet and was, well a little surprised at what I found. Few people are able to stay on track. In other words stick to the subject. They swerve off in all kinds of directions. We are not here to examine every belief the world has. That would be a waste of time. It may result in a best selling book. But I want to keep this book rather brief, to the point, and Biblical as possible. Later we will look into scripture explaining the judgment process in more detail. Today we you can look at some of the beliefs the world teaches about God’s judgment process. One of the best sources I found on the Internet comes from all places, Wikipedia. Here is the link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Judgment

You can look at the site yourself. It lists many of the modern day beliefs and doctrines on God’s judgment. Going through those I noticed, most of the Christian religions agree on about 80% of the points. But they vary on a few points. I’m not going to get into those disagreements but only point out the fact, for the most part Christian religions have a lot in common on the judgment process. Something in the back of your mind should be telling you, that opens a ton of doors to reach people. As a matter of fact, the Wikipedia article lists a few non-Christian religions that share some major points. That opens up a few extra doors.

Paul wrote a few letters showing how the subject of God’s judgment should open doors for discussion. We will examine those letters in later chapters in this book. For now we will look at a few basic concepts you have to know to number 1, understand the judgment process, and number 2, be able to teach what that judgment process is. Let’s look at the one of those criteria.

1 Corinthians 2:7-16 RSVA (7) But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. (8) None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (9) But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” (10) God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (11) For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. (13) And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. (14) The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (15) The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. (16) “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

The first concept you have to know, understand, and accept is, this world knows about God’s judgment but doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of explaining what God’s judgment is, the process, sequence, or anything else. We’ve already showed how the devil got into the mix, changed the definition of the word judgment, and gave this world a false hope of defending themselves, looking for a favorable outcome, and in the long run, changed one word to create dozens of new worldly beliefs about the judgment process. After looking at the article on Wikipedia you would agree.

The point is. We don’t stand a chance of getting on track if we don’t have the Spirit of God to guide us and explain God’s judgment process. That goes without saying. Another important point to consider is, we cannot avoid the judgment and condemnation that goes along with that process if we don’t know Christ. Without Christ we are going no where. So let’s get in tune with the Spirit, get to know Christ, and start our education process on God’s judgment.