Chapter 4 Who Judges?

The question, who judges this world should be a hot topic in any religion, Christian and otherwise. It seems every religion has its groups of saved and lost people. Some religions have stages in between. We are not here to discuss that.

In the Christian realm, Jesus is accepted as the judge of this world. Jesus came to this world, lived in this world, experienced this world, was condemned and slain by this world, and rose from a grave in this world. No one has the experience to judge that Jesus has. No other person has earned the right to judge. Only Jesus was given the right to judge, because He is the only one who earned that right. Judging is a right and a responsibility. We will look at one popular story in the Bible about that subject.

John 5:19-30 RSVA Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. (20) 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.

Download the completer eBook here

It is rather difficult to break the judgment process into sections so one detail at a time can be covered and explained. The judgment process is better understood as a whole. But some Christians think one part of the judgment process is the whole. This is a good place to begin, by looking at the question, who judges. Once we look at that answer, we can go unto other aspects of the subject.

As we see in John chapter 5, God gave Jesus authority to Judge. Most Christians will agree with that. Then there may be some with another concept. And of course there are other judgment processes at different times. We will cover those in a later chapter.

For now it is important to understand, God gave Jesus the authority to judge. Jesus and God are on the same page. We have to agree, perfection has the same mind, motives, process, and timing. Everything is perfect between God and Jesus. Who can ague with that? On the other hand, we have to admit our short comings. We are not perfect. We have no chance of joining that meeting of the minds shared by God and Jesus. The point being, we have to rely on the Bible and Jesus to understand information about the judgment process that is open to us. Along with that is the fact, certain information will be revealed to this world at the proper time. We looked at how the beginning of the judgment process was neither understood nor revealed until after the process in Heaven began. I would think God will follow the same pattern with other facets of the judgment process.

I have no idea why William Miler was able to find the date when Jesus entered the Heavenly Sanctuary to begin the judgment process, but not understand exactly what that date pointed to. But that should show us, God is in control. God only reveals what is necessary, when it is necessary, and we have to be obedient and wait. That missing detail also shows us, no person has all the answers. It will be much easier to be misled than to find the truth. We should also learn the fact that when God does reveal details, He supplies confirmation. Those are the lessons we have to learn. And like those Bible Study Rules William Miller recorded, we have to look at the set of rules God follows, but may not be included in any list.

Believing and honoring both the Son and the Father is important. Notice how that detail is repeated in this story as well as other stories and books in the Bible. That’s why it makes me wonder why people like the argue about the entity and make up of God and His Son. Some people like to sweat the details and for lack of a better term, miss the forest for the trees. Why is it important to honor and believe in both the Father and the Son? We have to remember, John was writing to a predominantly Jewish community. John and other apostles had the job of convincing Jews that Jesus was the Messiah, God’s Son. Jesus tried to teach about that relationship. When we read those accounts, we seldom look at the details involved. When we take a little time and focus on a particular subject like the judgment, details begin to pop out. That’s what makes Bible Study so interesting. When we focus on a particular subject, we see details we never saw before. Of course God and Jesus know all of those details. They know how some details are mixed together, and how interacting subjects help bring details to the surface.

We only have to look at a few aspects of this story to move on in our study of the judgment process. We need to accept Jesus as our Savior. That is the only way to avoid the judgment process that leads only to condemnation. We also learned, we have to also honor God because the Father and Son are one.

There is another judgment we have to look at. Another judgment process Jesus talked about and taught. That second judgment process may seem a little confusing to some people. Since Jesus introduced the subject, we should look into it.

Matthew 19:28 KJV And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22:28-34 KJV Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. (29) And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; (30) That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (31) And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: (32) But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (33) And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. (34) And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

Here we have two authors recording Jesus’ words. Jesus told His disciples, they will one day sit on thrones judging the 12 tribes f Israel. Do those 12 tribes represent the world? In all likelihood they do. When will this take place? After Jesus receives His throne. When will that happen? To answer that question we have to get a little ahead in this book and look at a few details on the God’s timeline.

Most Christians know, Jesus will sit on a throne in Heaven. But when? Some may think Jesus occupied a throne long before this world was created. That may be true. But there is a time when God will give a throne to Jesus. That is not so much a symbol as it is a show of love. A lesson for us to learn from.

Christians talk about the love Jesus had for this planet. The vast majority of Christians tell people, “Jesus loves you.” But what does that mean, and what examples can we use to help express that love? Many people only use the example of Jesus dying for us, along with a few choice text. Other examples exist. Some people point out the good Jesus did in a person’s life. How prayers were answered, the unexpected happened, and some of the really good things about this planet. But how many people look at what God did for His Son? God gave Jesus a throne. That was such a selfless act, God had no choice but to follow with whatever act could help draw attention to Jesus’ sacrifice. Not equal the act Jesus did for this planet, but another act to build upon it and help to draw attention to it.

Acts 7:54-56 RSVA Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth against him. (55) But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; (56) and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.”

Stephen saw Jesus standing at God’s right hand. Why would Jesus be standing? Maybe certain criteria was not yet fulfilled. Maybe something had to be finished. Jesus already died and was raised from the grave. What else had to be done?

Romans 8:34 RSVA who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?

Paul didn’t place Jesus on a throne next to God, but only pointed out, Jesus was on God’s right side. Jesus was once asked a question. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” (Matthew 20:21-23 RSVA).

Purchase the print book on Amazon

After looking into the subject we can see why Jesus told His disciples that it was up to God to choose who will sit next to Jesus. We can see the disciples had one idea. But we are not totally clear on that idea. Based on the fact James’ and John’s mother asked Jesus to assign the seat to His right and left to her two sons shows us, she had no idea Jesus would be on God’s right side. Would Jesus ever place anyone between Himself and His Father. No! So why would she ask Jesus to place one of her sons in that position. That doesn’t seem to make much sense. So we have to assume she didn’t have much of an idea what role Jesus would play in Heaven. The point being, when we see the mistakes people in the Bible made and how those mistakes were recorded, we have to take another step back and reconsider our view on the Bible.

Colossians 3:1-2 RSVA If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

In Colossions, Paul places Jesus on God’s right side again. But this time Jesus is seated. Does that make a difference? It could to some people.

Some people place Jesus on God’s throne. Some people insist God and Jesus are the same person. So there would only be a single throne. Maybe that was the train of though Jame’s and John’s mother had when she asked Jesus her question. Maybe James and John had the same belief. Some people think God will give His throne to Jesus. More than likely there are dozens of other beliefs. What do we do with all those beliefs? Are they worth considering? Are they worth studying? Those details may seem interesting when we run across them during our personal studies. But are they details worth sharing with other people? I guess that can be a personal choice. It’s not uncommon for people to get stuck on one detail or another and find a way of working it into just about any and every conversation.

When we look at the twelve thrones the disciples will occupy, we are not given the location. Will those throne be in the Heavenly Sanctuary? Where will they be? Does it really matter? If you were promised one of those thrones, would it matter where it was located?

I guess there are more questions than answers. We can look at the Bible all day long and not run out of new questions to ask. When did Jesus take His place on God’s right side? Why is Jesus standing in one story and sitting in another? If nothing else that makes Jesus a bit more human. A bit more approachable. Isn’t that what Jesus wants to achieve? As a matter of fact why not pray about those questions? By pray, I mean ask Jesus those questions. To me it seems like this book and the questions we are looking at will achieve one thing. They will give us more reasons to approach Jesus. No matter where He is, or what He is doing.

Chapter 16 Judgment of the Whore

We all know the whore sitting on that beast will be judged. We all think we know why and how. But when will that whore be judged. And who or what does that whore include?

Revelation 17:1-6 RSVA Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, (2) with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” (3) And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. (4) The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; (5) and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations.” (6) And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her I marveled greatly.

When we look at the judgment of the whore, or harlot in this translation, we can see that woman was a symbol. Water is a symbol, drunk, blood, and the beast are all symbols. There is a general rule in Bible Study that tells us when our study begins at the beginning of a chapter, we can’t help but admit, we don’t stand a chance of understanding this chapter until we review the end of the previous chapter.

That simple rule takes us back to the end of the last seven plagues. An angel announces the end with the simple words, “it is done.” The world ends with an earthquake and hailstones of fire falling from Heaven. But are those also symbols?

Download the complete eBook here

When we look back, we also have to question if those sores on people and water turning to blood are also symbols. They are so easy to accept as physical attributes because they were physical plagues in Egypt. But was the exodus as a whole one giant symbol pointing to something far greater?

When we consider those sores as a symbol, we have to also allow scripture to define the symbol. What clues and definitions does the Bible provide? The sores are only on the people who received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. That gives us only one clue. A clue that will aline itself with the end of the chapter.

And I heard the angel of water say, “Just art thou in these thy judgments, thou who art and wast, O Holy One. For men have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink. It is their due!” And I heard the altar cry, “Yea, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are thy judgments!” (Revelation 16:5-7 RSVA).

Something happened between the first and second plagues that caught the angel’s attention. The people with the mark of the beast showed the angel, God’s judgment was accurate beyond question. When we look at those sores, we look at them as an identifying mark that sort of takes the place of the mark of the beast, or joins it. In a way amplifies the mark of the beast. We know the mark of the beast exists today. And we know it is not a physical, but a spiritual mark. It represents what people actually worship, how they worship, and why they worship what they worship.

As we progress to the plague that turns water into blood, the same must be true. The blood must be a symbol. But representing what? Everything in the water died. In other parts of the Bible, water repents people. And he said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the harlot is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. (Revelation 17:15 RSVA). The Bible identified the waters as people later in the story when one of the angels explained the vision to John.

We have to realize one thing. When an angel explains a symbol they typically back up in earth’s history to a point John can relate to. When we go back to John’s time, we can see how not only he, but thousands of other Christians were persecuted. Satan lost his battle with Christ when He rose from the grave. Satan had no other thought than to annihilate every Christian in the world and eliminate every influence Christ left behind. But Satan failed at that. So he altered his plan. If he couldn’t eliminate the Christians, he could at least mislead them. So he introduced every false form of worship from his bag of tricks. Hence the mark of the beast was born. It is a combination of what Christ taught mixed in with a measure of the false gods and forms of worship Satan was able to introduce over the years.

The blood represented all those Christians who Satan killed from Steven up to the Christians who Satan had slaughtered during those last plagues. They killed the Christians, partied in their blood, and now they were given a taste of their own medicine.

Now let’s go back a bit further to the judgment period when Christ will judge the living. Have you given that any thought? What will it be like when your name is called? We can’t write an accurate account of every detail during that trial, but we know enough facts that we can piece together an idea of how that trial will proceed.

A name is called. If the person follows Christ, what will happen? Will Christ offer His blood to cleanse that person, cover the law, and make that person acceptable in God’s eyes? Will that person be found innocent with no evidence presented? Is Jesus’ word all that is required, or does Jesus have to present witnesses and evidence? Will angels come forward to tell stories about how they were able to help that person, and how that person gave all the glory to God? Will angels tell how that person remained humble throughout the entire process? Will angels tell God how that person was thankful and wanted to return the favor in any way they could? Will angels tell God about the messages they gave to that person and how they faithfully delivered those messages without adding to them, or subtracting from them? Will angels tell God about the people that person was able to reach, and how that person was able to turn souls to God?

What about a person who is judged guilty? What would their trial look like? Would angels present evidence of how they tried to reach that person, but all their attempts were rejected? Would angels tell God how they tried to direct their way through scripture, but those people decided to look to human sources for information? Would angels tell God how those people always took the easy way out accepting one or two sentences out of a story in scripture and never reading the entire story? Will angles tell how preachers and teachers were able to substitute old wives tales for the truth, and they accepted those tales without question? Will angels tell God how they tried to give that person simple messages to deliver, but they delivered messages hatched in boardroom meetings? What will God’s decision be when He sees someone who tried a little bit, but never really applied themselves? They never seemed to have the time or will power to take one additional step towards His Son. All that person knew was, Jesus died for their sins. But they never knew what that meant. They never searched out the meaning, or a personal relationship with Jesus. How will Jesus answer when God asks, “did you know this person?” What will be the decision in that trial?

Revelation 17 deals with the judgment of their leader, the devil. To understand chapter 17, we have to see how chapter 16 ended.

The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as had never been since men were on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found; and great hailstones, heavy as a hundred-weight, dropped on men from heaven, till men cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague. (Revelation 16:17-21 RSVA).

When we look at the two chapters together, we can’t help but notice the connection between the harlot and Babylon. Most scholars agree the harlot and Babylon represent the same thing. Then the differences arise. Some insist they represent Satan. Others insist Babylon and the harlot represent some earthly entity or great religious power. Either way, that entity is controlled by Satan. Or at least Satan has a great influence over them. The question should be, is it only one entity, a collection of entities, or the total sum of how that one entity was able to spread its influence over the Christian world?

Order the paperback book from Amazon

I would vote for the later case. When Rome got involved in the Christian religion, of course the emperor had to merge in his own brand of religion with Christianity. That was not much different that what Paul and Peter recorded when Jews wanted to merge their Jewish beliefs with the Christian faith. Paul said it was wrong. Peter agreed with Paul. Both had messages from God telling us what would happen. A few hundred years later Rome wedges their way on the scene. Rome was a republic that survived by accepting every general religion. So it seemed normal to blend a little from each of those religions into what the emperor wanted to turn into a new, nationalized religion. A fool could have seen what was happening. Satan had his foot in the door and was not going to give up. Once that door was opened, a flood of idols and false ideas came in and set up housekeeping. A new religion was born and in the eyes of the world, it was exactly what they needed.

Most of us know how that went. A new sort of world religious order was created. A religion who claimed they were serving God, but distanced themselves far away from what Christ came here to establish. In fact, most of that was preserved in scripture was lost. The words in scripture didn’t change, but how they were viewed was changed for what seems like forever. Or almost forever.

The new church developed structure, placed people in charge, gave them credentials, developed centers and levels of learning, and of course decided to develop their own methods of Bible Study. One of the first and their favorite is commonly referred to as proof text.

The proof text method of Bible Study took one or two sentences out of scripture and placed in in the hands of one of their appointed Cardinals or Bishops for interpretation. The context didn’t matter. Their leaders were given authority over God’s Word, and their decision was final. A new interpretation was reviewed, voted on, and then made into a law in their established church. This kept common people away from scripture, and voided any claims the Holy Spirit was our appointed Guide and Teacher.

That type of thinking has been around for generations. Some people may think, only a gifted few hear God’s voice or have any connection with the Spirit. Others think God has somehow left this planet. But that was not what Jesus promised. Jesus said, when He went away, He would send the Spirit to take His place. As far as I know that promise is still valid and in force. God does not give into popular belief. Especially when that belief harms His people or stands in the way of His relationship with them.

No One Knows

I am really surprised at what the LORD revealed about the condition of this world by using of all things, toilet paper. Has anyone prayed about this situation? Well that is the first thing the LORD revealed about this world, how people have no idea how to pray. In the LORD’s eyes, many self professed Christians decided to use prayer to direct God. They wanted to be the first to tell Jesus and the Holy Spirit how to solve this virus problem. They are as guilty and self centered as those people hoarding toilet paper and other goods. Imagine, people actually believing they have the solution to this epidemic and thinking all they need to do is tell God how to solve the problem and God will follow their directions. Those people don’t know the first thing about being Christian. They are doing more harm than good.

Those who mastered the art of listening to God’s voice see this epidemic for what it is. The saints can see how God just showed us a glimpse of the judgment process. Remember, when we finally reach Heaven, the first thing we are going to do is join Heaven in praising God because His judgment is just, true, and perfect. How are we gong to praise God from the heart if we don’t know that judgment process and we had no idea it was happening in front of our eyes?

I’ve always known God to have a sense of humor. But to sit back, watch Satan manipulate the world through fear, then use of all things, toilet paper to teach what will be the most important lesson in this generation. We truly serve a living and all knowing God who shows us He is in total control.

I’ve been waiting for someone, anyone to use scripture to compare the object lessons in scripture to what we see in this world during the great toilet paper crisis. There are dozens of stories. God opened a window of opportunity to reach out to people. But for the most part, Christians are wrapped up in themselves and the answers they come up with using their own imaginations. I have seen saints opening their doors and hearts to help people. But they are few and far between. Let’s look at a few stories that could help this world.

So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. (Numbers 21:9 RSVA).

When we look at any story in the Bible we have to ask if the context matches the situation in this world we are comparing it to. We see that parallel when we pray and read the entire story. In the story about the bronze serpent we see parallels. Israel was not happy with what God gave them. That brought out God’s wrath. The only thing to save them was a symbol of Jesus none of them understood at the time.

For thus says the LORD the God of Israel, ‘The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'” (1 Kings 17:14 RSVA).

With a single prayer Elijah stopped the rain. People were starving. You can believe people had been hoarding food and supplies. They had no faith in God. They relied on themselves and their selfishness. Just like today. The point of that story is, the plague will continue until people turned back to God. The God who made sure the oil and flour would not fail.

Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” (1 Kings 18:38-39 RSVA).

Even the people who witnessed this unquestionable sign turned to God for a time, then eventually left Him. We see people praying, demanding God stop this epidemic. People use prayer to direct God like they are in charge and God was created to serve them. They are from the order of Baal. They chant, repeat themselves, but will never direct God to do a thing that would only bring glory to themselves. One man acting alone made the difference. No one offered to help Elijah move those stones to build an alter. No one believed God existed until they saw fire come down from Heaven. Then they only believed for a short time. God will not allow people like that into Heaven.

So he went and did according to the word of the LORD; he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. (1 Kings 17:5-6 RSVA).

And he lay down and slept under a broom tree; and behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came again a second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, else the journey will be too great for you.” (1 Kings 19:5-7 RSVA).

And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12 RSVA).

How many more stories in the Bible were designed to share at times such as these? Plenty. But it seems few people know how to pray and listen to that still small voice. Hardly anyone wants to get out of the spectator stands, put on their pads and get into the game for the LORD.

And they ate, and were satisfied; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. And there were about four thousand people. (Mark 8:8-9 RSVA).

Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. (John 6:10-11 RSVA).

There are dozens of stories people could have shared on social media. But no one was listening. How do you know what story to share? How do you know when to share that story? How to you know who to share that story with? God knows everything. God knows what people need and when they need it. Those people praying for an end of that virus never met God. They don’t know God, the Holy Spirit, or the way God operated. Look at all those stories. The people had to wait until they were ready to receive the message. They had to be broken. They had to face a situation where there was no place to turn. They had to see their priests and leaders fail. They had to be prepared to return to God. The main theme from all those stories was to return to God. Telling God to stop His plans is not Christian. It is not even close to Christian. Telling God to fix this world and leave them alone is exactly why one Israelite generation died in the wilderness. Listening to God is what saved Elijah and gave him that power. Are you beginning to see the power of Elijah now?

“Behold, I will send you Eli’jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6 RSVA).