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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 26

The Last Judgment
 

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Let us pray together:

Our Father,

Will there be a judgment?

If so, how will this judgment take place? When will it take place? Who will be judged?

Your Word can answer these questions, if You send Your Holy Spirit to enlighten us on this subject. This is why we humbly ask You to guide us during this lesson.

We thank You in the precious name of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.




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John 16:12

I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

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In order to have a better understanding of this lesson, it is necessary to study first the lessons «The Two Sanctuaries» and «The Seventy Weeks».

We therefore strongly encourage you to review these two lessons before going on.




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Job 19:29

(...) that you may know there is a judgment.

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The Bible clearly declares that one day, a judgment will take place.




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The Bible clearly declares that one day, a judgment will take place:

«God shall judge the righteous and the wicked.» (Ecclesiastes 3:17)

«When I choose the proper time, I will judge uprightly.» (Psalm 75:2, NKJV)

«[God] has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness.» (Acts 17:31)

«I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead.» (2 Timothy 4:1)

«It is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment.» (Hebrews 9:27)

«The heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved to fire against the day of judgment.» (2 Peter 3:7)




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Our thoughts, words, and deeds will be brought to trial:

«Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.» (1 Corinthians 4:5)

«But I say to you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.» (Matthew 12:36)

«Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know you, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.» (Ecclesiastes 11:9)




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2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.

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Romans 14:10

We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

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Hebrews 10:30

The Lord shall judge His people.

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The case of each person will be brought to trial.

Whether or not we profess to follow God, the Bible is clear: one day, we will be judged.




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John 5:24

[Jesus said,]

«Truly, truly, I say to you, he that hears My word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life.»

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Now, how can Jesus declare that he who believes in God will not come into judgment («shall not come into condemnation»), while the Word of God declares that we must all appear before the judgment seat of God?

Simply because those who accept God’s salvation will be represented by Jesus Christ Himself, as their Advocate before the Father.




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If we really desire it, Jesus will plead and win our case before God!

«For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.» (Hebrews 9:24)

«We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.» (1 John 2:1)

«Much more then, being now justified by [Christ’s] blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.» (Romans 5:9)

«Whoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.» (Matthew 10:32)

«There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.» (Romans 8:1)




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Daniel 7:9-11

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool.

His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.

The judgment was set, and the books were opened.

I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke.

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The judgment will begin before Jesus’ second coming.

Indeed, this vision of the judgment takes place as «the horn» (a power that we will soon identify) is still committing its misdeeds here below.

Now, can we know the date of the beginning of the judgment?




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Daniel 9:22,23

[Gabriel] talked with me, and said,

«O Daniel, I am now come forth to give you skill and understanding.

At the beginning of your supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show you; for you are greatly beloved. Therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.»

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To better understand the subject of the judgment, we must first go back into the book of the prophet Daniel.

In the lesson «The Seventy Weeks», we saw the angel Gabriel helping Daniel «understand the matter, and consider the vision», that is, the previous vision he had received in Chapter 8 and which still remained unexplained: the prophecy of the 2300 days.




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Daniel 9:24,25

Seventy weeks are determined on your people and for your holy city (...).

From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (...).

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We also saw that these 70 weeks, symbolizing a period of 490 years, were cut off from a longer period, that is, the 2300 years.

The 70 weeks began in 457 B.C., that is, «the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem», and ended in A.D. 34, when Stephen was stoned by the Jews.

Now, to complete the period of 2300 years, we must add 1810 years (2300 - 490 = 1810) to A.D. 34, and we arrive to A.D. 1844.

Here is now a summary of the 70 weeks prophecy and the 2300 days prophecy.




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Summary of the 70 weeks prophecy and the 2300 days prophecy




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Daniel 8:13,14

«How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?»

And [the angel] said to me,

«To two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.»

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To understand the judgment, we must go through the 2300 days prophecy and the cleansing of the sanctuary.

The 2300 days designate a 2300-year period which started in 457 B.C., and ended in A.D. 1844, the year in which the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary began.

What does this cleansing consist of? This is what we are going to study now.




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Numbers 28:3

This is the offering made by fire which you shall offer to the Lord; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.

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In the lesson «The Two Sanctuaries», we saw that God asked the people of Israel to build a sanctuary.

Two services took place there:

- First the daily service, in which lambs were sacrificed for each person’s sins. Day after day, sins were thus moved to the sanctuary.

- At the end of the religious year, a second service had to be performed to purify the sanctuary.




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Leviticus 23:27-29

On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement.

It shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.

And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.

For whatever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

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The cleansing of the sanctuary took place once a year, on the Day of Atonement.

The sins of the truly repentant were then totally erased.




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Hebrews 9:24

Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.

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We have also seen that the earthly sanctuary was really a model of the heavenly sanctuary, where Jesus is now working.

As the Lamb of God, He takes upon Himself the sins of repentant men, and transfers them to the heavenly sanctuary.

So, will the heavenly sanctuary also have to be purified one day, just as the earthly sanctuary did?




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Hebrews 9:23

It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

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Yes, the heavenly sanctuary must also be purified.

According to the prophecy of Daniel, this purification began in 1844: this is the first phase of the judgment.

Just as the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary concerned only the people of Israel, the purification of the heavenly sanctuary concerns only those professing to follow God.




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1 Peter 4:17

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.

And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

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The judgment began in the heavenly sanctuary in 1844, with the examination of each believer’s case.

On the day of the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary, each Jew who had persisted in his sins was cut off from his people, even if he had offered lambs during the year.

Likewise, many people claim to follow Christ, but the judgment will identify the true converts.




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Matthew 7:21-23

Not every one that said to Me, «Lord, Lord,» shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to Me in that day, «Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and in Your name have cast out devils, and in Your name done many wonderful works?»

And then will I profess to them, «I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity.»

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Since 1844, the judgment has been separating true Christians from false ones.

Let’s note that performing miracles is not absolute proof of a genuine conversion.




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The names of all false Christians will be erased from the Book of Life:

«He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life.» (Revelation 3:5)

«The Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.”» (Exodus 32:33)

«Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.» (Psalm 69:28)

«But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die.» (Ezekiel 18:24)




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Revelation 20:12

And the books were opened.

And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.

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Many books will be consulted during the judgment.

First there is the Book of Life, containing the names of all those claiming to follow Jesus Christ.

As we have just seen, before Jesus’ return, God will erase from this Book the names of all those whose conversion was not true, keeping only the names of the genuine believers who will have done the Father’s will until the end.




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Malachi 3:16

Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another: and the Lord listened, and heard it.

And a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought on His name.

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Revelation 22:12

And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

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There is also the book of remembrance, containing all the good works of God’s children, which will justify the reward of each one on the New Earth.




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Amos 8:7

The Lord has sworn by the excellency of Jacob,

«Surely I will never forget any of their works.»

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Jeremiah 2:22

«For though you wash you with nitre, and take you much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me,» said the Lord God.

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Finally, there are the books containing the bad works of all those who rejected God’s offer of salvation in Jesus Christ.

These books will justify the punishment of each unrepentant person at the end of times.




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Romans 2:12,13,16

As many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.

For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified, (...) in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

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James 2:12

So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

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The basis of the judgment will be the Law of God, the subject of a future lesson.




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Luke 12:47,48

And that servant, which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.

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Acts 17:30

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent.

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The judgment will take into account each person’s level of knowledge.




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Revelation 22:11,12

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

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The cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary will soon be completed.

This will put an end to the first part of the judgment, having separated the true Christians from the false ones.

The fate of each person will then be fixed, and Jesus Christ will finally return to gather His people.




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Revelation 20:4

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them.

And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands.

And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

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As we have seen in the lesson «The 1000 Years of Revelation», a period of 1000 years, the millennium, will follow the return of Jesus.

This will be the second part of the judgment, in which the people of God will judge the wicked.




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1 Corinthians 6:2

Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world?

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Luke 22:29,30

[Jesus said,]

«I appoint to you a kingdom, as My Father has appointed to Me; that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.»

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During these 1000 years, God’s people will study the individual cases of the wicked, their responsibilities, their degree of guilt according to their thoughts, words, and deeds.




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Revelation 20:12,15 and 21:8

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 whoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (...)

They shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

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At the end of the 1000 years, the wicked will come back to life to receive their verdict of guilt.

Having rejected God’s call to salvation, their sentence will be a total and final destruction.




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Revelation 14:6,7

And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice,

«Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.»

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Yes, the hour of the judgment of God has come.

Do we all rely on the only Advocate who can really help us, Jesus Christ, that He may appear for us before the throne of God, and obtain forgiveness for our sins?




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Acts 24:25

And as [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered,

«Go your way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for you.»

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Or are we perhaps like Felix, afraid of the judgment because we have not yet put our lives into the hands of Jesus Christ, the one and only Savior and Lord?




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Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

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Let’s remember that we must all appear before the divine court.

The only way to be acquitted is to accept Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord.

His presence within us will enable us to keep God’s commandments, which express His will for each of us.




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Let’s thank God for inviting us to receive salvation:

Heavenly Father,

We now know that Your judgment has already begun. Without a good Advocate, our case would be lost.

But You loved us so much that You gave us Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that He may be our atoning sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, and also our Advocate before Your throne.

Now, as we pray, we want to accept Him as our personal Savior and Lord of our life. Through His presence within us, we want to do Your will from now on, so that our names may not be blotted out of Your Book of Life.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.


The test of Lesson 26 is waiting for you!


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