"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).

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The Day of Judgment
 
By Michael Zaucha
 
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).
 
Through the words of the Lord Jesus Himself and through the preaching and teaching of His Apostles comes a very vivid and clear revelation of the events of the soon coming Day of Judgment, opening the truth of the great and notable Day of the Lord (Acts 2:20).
 
This soon coming day, in which the Prophets spoke of as well, is the day in which God Himself has appointed. And this day will be like none other – nor will the like of it be ever again. And neither will no one will be exempt from being there, nor from standing before the Judge of All the Earth (Gen.18:25): “for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:10, 12).
 
While the very thought of this day strikes fear and terror in the hearts of men - praise God – it doesn’t have to be so. For God has made ample provision to cause men to pass through the judgment (Ps. 78:13), “to bring them into the land which He promised them” (Deut. 9:28), “so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Th. 4:17). And that provision is His Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. To all who have been planted in the likeness of Jesus’ death, and have been raised to walk in the newness of His life, who even now continue to live and walk by faith, this is the day that we have been waiting for.
 
Knowing this – let your heart be comforted and encouraged in this – that “He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth” (Ps. 96:13). Men’s definitions of righteousness and their twisting and turning of the truth will not stand in this day, nor will any place be found for it. The judgment will not be according to men’s standards or their concept of right and wrong, but you shall be judged according to God’s righteousness and God’s truth, which Christ is the embodiment. The judgment will be in strict accord with righteousness and truth – God’s righteousness and God’s truth. This most glorious aspect of God’s character will neither be abandoned nor compromised when He judges each and every offspring of Adam. He will neither overlook what He hates nor fail to honor and reward that which He loves.
 
For this Judge shall do right, for Jesus will judge according to God’s righteousness and according to God’s truth. “Because (God) hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead (Acts 17:31).
 
This point of this announcement is that those in Christ Jesus can now be confident of the reality of the Day of Judgment – for those who look for it, it is coming, and it will be the day of the manifested glorified Lord reigning, judging in righteousness, and Jesus is fully qualified and able to judge so. For His “judgment (shall) run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24).
 
It is in our seeing the Judge, our Lord Jesus Christ, that we know this to be true, for He will not be identified with judges of the earth: “He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon His head; and He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies” (Isa. 59:17). “Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne. A fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about” (Ps. 97:2-3). “He shall judge the world in righteousness, He shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness” (Ps. 9:8). All His judgments will be right and God glorifying.
 
In the judgment, witnesses will be called, and their testimony shall be heard. But know this saint of the Most High God, Jesus is able and will judge righteously and in truth, and if any “and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage (portion of the inheritance) of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness (a righteousness which no weapon shall prosper against) is of Me, saith the LORD” (Isa. 54:17).
 
But, in the judgment, this heritage will not be for all. For those whose righteousness is not of the Lord, the testimony of the witnesses will not be able to be refuted, and they will be condemned by the testimony of the witnesses which the Judge will enforce, even the sentence of death. “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” (Mt. 12:41). The men of Nineveh, who lived approximately 750 years before the generation to which Jesus was speaking, had some vital testimony that would bear on their eternal outcome. The men of Nineveh will testify of their own wickedness. They will not argue or dispute this truth, “for their wickedness is come up before Me” (Jon. 1:2). But through His mercy, they will testify, God sent unto them His prophet with a message for them from God: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jon. 3:4). For three days, they heard this word of the Lord. And because this was a word from God for them, when it was believed, it caused the city to repent and turn from their evil way, and “God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not” (Jon. 3:10). What a powerful word and work of God, and a God honoring effect.
 
But a greater than Jonah had come to this generation to whom Jesus was speaking to - even the Son of God – consider how favored was this generation – Immanuel (God with us) had come! This generation was given to see the fulfillment of Him that Moses and the Prophets and the Psalmist wrote of - “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto Me; unto Him ye shall hearken” (Deut. 18:15)  - for Jesus’ message came with exceedingly more power and authority than that of Jonah – a message of sins being put away, a declaration of peace and acceptance before God, a promise of a world to come and a kingdom to come, a promise of eternal life, all things which the Scriptures spoke of, all which pointed to the One whom God sent to taste death for every man, the very scriptures which this generation was very familiar with, and yet, they did not believe the very One they were cultured all their lives to receive when He came into the world – Messiah the Prince (Dan. 9:25) – and so, unto this generation, Jesus said: “ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life” (Jn.5:40). On that day of judgment, by their testimony, the men of Nineveh will reveal the hardness of the hearts of that generation – “that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (Jn. 3:19), their testimony condemning the generation of Jesus’ time.
 
Likewise, “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” (Mt. 12:42). After the queen of the south’s testimony, and by that of the men of Nineveh, at the mouth of two witnesses, the matter is established (Deut. 19:15). And “at the mouth of two witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death” (Deut. 17:6). And the righteous Judge shall then pronounce the everlasting judgment: “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt. 25:41), and when this reality comes upon such, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
 
Let not these testimonies go unheard in our generation – an even more favored generation than that which Jesus sojourned in the earth with. For our generation is able to partake of the reality of the promises of God – being dead to and freed from sin (Rom. 6:2, 7); to walk in the likeness of Jesus’ resurrection (Rom. 6:5); being alive unto God (Rom. 6:11); being servants of God (Rom. 6:22); having fruit unto holiness and the end, everlasting life (Rom. 6:22); the Spirit of God dwelling in you (Rom. 8:90; and the benefits of the glorified Christ ruling and reigning from the right hand of the Majesty on High (Ps. 110:1-2, Heb. 1:3, 7:25). If the men of Nineveh and the queen of the south’s testimony condemned the generation who received not their own (Jn. 1:11), how much more will those be condemned that likewise deny the Son of God now, of His atoning death and glorious resurrection – of all those who did not repent by the preaching of the Gospel of Christ.
 

 

Behold the truth of that day, when all shall receive the due rewards of our deeds (Lk. 23:41) – some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Dan 12:2). While this day will be shown to be a separator by the Righteous Judge – the goats from the sheep, the tares from the wheat, the unrighteous from the righteous – there is one thing that God Himself has ordained for all the creation to participate in: “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Rom. 14:11), that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10).
 
This day is God’s appointed day to reveal His Beloved Son in all the fullness of His glory and Majesty for who He is before God, and for what He has done – “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn. 4:34) Jesus announced. And God has and will honor Jesus above all –  for God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9), and not only for that day, but for the entirety of the world to come and throughout the ages to come. To the glorified Son of God, every knee will bow down to Jesus, the Christ of God, and every tongue will confess Him as Lord before all creation. Even the most hardened haters of God and His Christ, those filled with unrighteousness and unbelief will see Jesus for who He truly is, and on that day, they will bow down and do obeisance to God’s King and Conqueror, God’s Mighty Man. But it will have no effect in the changing of their condemnation of being separated from God and His Christ forever, “who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (II Th. 1:9).
 
But for others – those who are born again (Jn. 3:3), and who “continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Col. 1:23) -  this will not be a new thing, bowing to Jesus, confessing Him as Lord. The saints have been and already are doing this act of worship to Jesus. We are willingly and thankfully bending our knee to Jesus – confessing Him as our Lord to God now, not only by the words of our lips, but also by the very conversation of our lives. In view of what God has wrought in us by Jesus Christ, in Him opening the eyes of our understanding to what He has done for us and continues to do, we bow in humble adoration to our Savior now.
 
But in view on this coming day, be of good cheer, saint of the Most High God. You have been chosen to come before our Lord Jesus Christ, in the full view of all creation and to bow down before Jesus and to confess Him to God – before the innumerable company of God’s creation – and this is something that the saints desire with great desire to do. To be part of them that are counted worthy of God to honor His Son, to give Him the praise and the glory that is due Him and to thank Him face to face – for His great love wherewith He loved us (Eph. 2:4), is the high calling of the saints of the Most High God. In view of this, the saints are looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:13), to join in with the heavenly hosts in praising Jesus: “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Rev. 5:12). May God keep readying us for that day, and our part in it.
 
The Day of Judgment, then, has a twofold working of the Judge in the revealing of the person of God – behold the goodness and the severity of the Lord (Rom. 11:22) – a day when “Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged” – praise God, there is more to come! -  “and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great” (Rev. 11:18). The reward on that day to the saints is – because of their faith in Christ - that they have been counted worthy to partake of what is to come. Their hearts have been purified by faith now (Acts 15:9); they have been sanctified by faith now (Acts 26:18); partaken of the righteousness of God now which is by faith (Rom. 3:22); having been justified by faith now (Rom. 5:1); we stand before God by faith now (Rom. 11:20), and faith having done its work in us bringing us through the day of judgment, the promise will turn to reality: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh (by faith) shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son (Rev. 21:1-7).
 
In the new heavens and the new earth, the saints will have a place of prominence – “(God) hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6). This is the place where the saints would shine – having the glory of God (Rev. 21:11). “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Mt. 13:43).  Then shall we walk in the light of the glory of God and the Lamb (Rev. 21:23); then shall there be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve himAnd they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever (Rev. 22:3-5).
 
Unto all the saints passing thru that soon coming day, unto the receiving of the full reward of the good things of God, the saints are in need NOW of exhortation, edification and comfort. And it is through the God ordained means of declaration and affirmation of truth. In the words of the Scripture: “pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul” (Prov. 16:24). And like Jonathan, who “put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened” (I Sam 14:27), and confessed: “see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey” (I Sam 14:29). This event happened for our understanding, revealing to the saints the benefit of imbibing the word of God. The saints, who are in the better covenant with the better promises have more than the opening of the physical eyes. The saints, having the eyes of their understanding being enlightened, (Eph. 1:18), that we all would “know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (I Jn. 5:20).
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"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).

 

 

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