THERE are some things in the Bible which we may not understand; but there are many things which are too plain to be misunderstood.  And one among others is the fact that “God hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.”  (Acts 17: 31).  As to just how or the circumstances under which this judgment is to take place, however, there is a diversity of opinion, and may be room for discussion.

     For many years I thought of heaven as one great audi­torium, with a platform on one side, while just before the door was a stand.  At the judgment I thought Christ would sit in the door, while upon this platform would be gathered all nations and peoples; an angel would call the roll, beginning with the first man that ever lived, and continuing throughout Adam’s race; each one as his name would be called taking his place upon the stand, and, bowing his knee, would give an account of his life to God; the Judge setting the one on His right hand and the other on His left, according to his works.  Then would He say to those on His right hand, “Come,” and to those on the left, “Depart.”  I had this idea of the judgment, not because my heart was not open to the truth, but because to me the truth had never been presented; and I was unable from a mere study of the Word, to get hold of the facts in the case.  Later I saw the light, and I found that these ideas of the judgment are erroneous.  While I may not have given above your exact ideas of the judgment, yet the majority of people do think of it just about as I did.  In this chapter we wish to give you a Biblical presentation of the judgment.  May the Lord grant us wisdom to receive the truth.







     An erroneous idea of the judgment arises from the fact that many misunderstand the purpose of the resurrection and translation of the saints.  The resurrection and translation of the church do not precede nor introduce the judgment of the church, but they are a part of the judgment of the church; or, better still, they are a result of the judgment already past.

     “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?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”—1 Peter 4: 17, 18.  “It is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.”—Acts 10: 42.  “The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.”—2 Tim. 4: 1.  This Scripture, taken as it is, throws much light upon the subject of the judgment.  If words have any meaning, “quick” can not mean dead, neither can “dead” mean quick.  The word “quick” means alive.  It does not refer to souls separate from the body.  The word “dead” does not refer to souls in the body, neither before death nor after resurrection.  Christ is ready to judge the “quick” as quick, that is, men in the body; He is ready also to judge the “dead” as dead, that is, men who are out of the body.  If, as some teach, at the close of this age all the dead are to be resurrected and brought, together with all the quick, upon one common platform to judgment, then Christ is the Judge of the quick and not of the dead; and if, as others teach, all the quick are to be “struck dead” and brought, together with all the dead, upon one common platform to judgment, then He is the Judge of the dead, and not of the quick; and so this Scripture, which we have woven into our creeds for centuries, and upon which we base our hope, falls to pieces.  But God’s Word must stand; in the face of op­position, contrary to ideas and theories of men, “One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”— Matt. 5: 18.   So let us lay down all erroneous ideas and







theories, and with an open heart ask God to help us to harmo­nize and understand the Scriptures concerning the judgment.

     The fact is, the judgment sets in before Jesus comes to catch away His Bride.  In the twenty‑fourth chapter of Mat­thew we learn the circumstances under which the resurrection and translation of the Bride will take place.  “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”—Matt. 24: 40, 41.  Luke says, “In that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.”—Luke 17: 34.  At one time I thought that one of the two in the field, one of the two in the bed, and one of the two at the mill was a sinner, and the other a Christian.  Now I am persuaded that they are both Christians.  They are associated together.  They work together.  Like the wise and the foolish virgins, outwardly they appear to be the same.  They are both occupied alike; but the one is taken, and the other left.  The one who is caught away, however, is caught away, not to be judged, but to receive the rewards of the judgment already past.  The catching away of the one and the leaving of the other is the making of a discrimination between the two.  How could there be a discrimination without a judgment?  God is no re­specter of persons.  Here we see that the dividing line has already been drawn—the judgment of these two, or at least of one of them, has already taken place; and as a result of this judgment, the one is taken, and the other is left.

     The judgment day is not a day of twenty‑four hours, as we tried to make clear in our last chapter.  We learned there that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thous­and years as one day.  The judgment day begins before the resurrection and translation of the Bride, and it continues for more than a thousand years.  Judgment begins at the house of God.  The highest order of saints are judged first.  God will never give a saint his full reward until that saint has been judged; neither will God fix the final doom of any sinner until







that sinner has been judged.  Of course, our walk in this world determines our final dwelling place; yet, no one will ever reach his everlasting abode until he has been judged.  Neither a reward nor a punishment without a judgment preceding could be exact.  The highest order of saints receive their reward first, hence they are the first judged.  Their reward is given to them subsequent to their judgment.  After the judgment of the house of God, the judgment passes on to the world.  Some men are judged while they are living; others, while they are dead.  “If judgment first begin at the house of God, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”  From this we see that the judgment passes from the house of God to them who obey not the gospel of God.  “If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?’  This does not mean that a righteous man will have difficulty in getting into heaven.  The thought rather is that judgment is brought to the house of God, and in the face of the judgment a number of the righteous will fail.  The judgment of God means, not just the passing of a sentence, but a trial.  God judges His house by presenting Himself to His people for a closer union with them.  The sentence of God depends in a great measure upon the attitude of the believer toward God’s work and bless­ings.  If a believer will accept God’s highest will concerning him at all times, God will judge him worthy of the greatest reward, and he will be among the first to be judged.  Those who refuse to accept God’s highest will concerning them may have mercy continued to them for a while, and may have one oppor­tunity of receiving God’s best after another; but the time will come when the fatal die will be cast, and the eternal destiny fixed.  Many of God’s children refuse to go with the Lord all the way, and a number of them fall altogether.  If scarcely all the righteous are saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?  God’s judgment of the ungodly and sinner begins in mercy.  God puts them on trial.  His judgment of any class of the quick begins with the offer of mercy.  Sentence is passed








according to acceptance or refusal of His offers of mercy. God is merciful.  He is long‑suffering.  He cuts down no man with­out first sufficiently warning him.  He bears long. Hence, the judgment day continues for more than a thousand years.

     Just when the judgment of the house of God begins we may not be able to determine.  The Pentecostal movement is, in some sense, judgment come to the house of God.  Whether it be the final judgment set in, I do not know.  One thing we know to be true, it is clearly drawing a line among the saints.  The movement must be a kind of judgment, because it de­mands that all the house of God either receive or reject it.  At least every saint must come face to face with the movement.  Those who see the light, but wilfully resist it, will likely aposta­tize.  God holds us to a strict account for all the light given us.  Many, however, who fail to get in the Bridehood, will reach the shores of everlasting bliss in other companies.  But judgment must begin at us, and then be extended to all the world.  When the final judgment day begins I do not know.

Immediately after the Bride is gone The Great Tribulation will set in, which is itself one phase of the judgment.  During The Tribulation many of the “left ones” seem to be judged, and go up by companies to join the band already in the air. (Rev. 6: 9; 7 :9‑17; 14: 1, 13‑16). Another company is called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb just before the close of The Great Tribulation. (Rev. 19: 9).  Then Jesus comes down from the Supper, lays hold on the devil, binds him, casts him into the bottomless pit, shuts him up, and sets a seal upon him for a thousand years.  He then sets up His throne at Jeru­salem, and reigns on earth a thousand years, during which time He and His saints are engaged in judging the nations then living on the earth.  The parable of the talents in Matt. 25: 14‑30 gives us a picture of the Millennial judgment.  Thus the Mil­lennium itself is only another phase of the judgment. “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.”  After going out and deceiving many Gentiles







who have been saved during the Millennium, and getting them to believe if they will follow and obey him they can capture the King and take the world for their own, Satan compasses the camp of the saints about and the beloved city: then fire comes down from God out of heaven, and devours him and all his crowd.  Then the devil that deceived them is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.  All these things are part of the judgment.  From the time of the sounding of the trump of God (1 Thes. 4: 16) till now the saints have been gathering on the right hand of the Judge (Matt. 25: 33).

The last part of the 25th chapter of Matthew undoubtedly refers to the judgment day as a whole, but with special refer­ence to the latter part of that day.

“When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.”  “The throne of His glory” may refer to either the throne set in the air at the catching away of the Bride (Rev. 4: 2), or to the Millennial throne (Rev. 20: 4), or to the great white throne after the Millennium (Rev. 20: 11), or it may refer to all of them; and I am of the opinion that it refers to all.  The catching up of the Bride is the first gathering of the sheep to God’s right hand.  During The Great Tribulation the sheep keep gathering to God’s right hand, and thus the separa­tion of the sheep and goats goes on.  The judgment during the Millennium will continue to separate the sheep from the goats.  By the close of the Millennium all the sheep will be gathered to the right hand in company with the Bride.  Then comes the great white throne judgment of Rev. 20: 11, in which judgment all the wicked are placed on the left hand, and in which John says, “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.”—Rev. 20: 12‑15.

Thus we have given you a brief Bible picture of the judg­ment day.