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[Taken from the New Mind Papers  by Walter R. Dolen
 Copyright 1977-2003 by Walter R. Dolen and/or BeComingOne Church]

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NM 24: Last Judgment

Day of Judgment: An Old Idea
Universal Salvation
Great White Throne Judgment
Biblical Teaching on Judgment
Two Groups
Lake of Fire
When is the Judgment?
Last Day
Gathering of the Nations
Hell Fire, Mankind, Real Judgment
Three Orders or Divisions

NM24 Abstract

In many religions there is a day of judgment, scales of Justice, a lake of fire, and hell. In this paper we are going to learn what the Bible says about judgment and hell. Is there a hell, and will people go to hell? Because of much confusion on these ideas, we will take a close look at these subjects.

nm1031 Before we see what the Bible says about the Judgment we will briefly examine some other ideas about it. We ourselves have heard various legends pertaining to hell and the judgment of the dead so we will recognize some of the following ideas. But the only ideas that count are the ones actually taught in the Bible, not the ideas that are alleged to be in the Bible.

Day of Judgment: An Old Idea

nm1032 The idea of the day of judgment has existed in most religions at least as far back as ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. One book by S. Brandon, called The Judgment of the Dead, finds the idea of the judgment in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Greco-Roman culture, among Hebrews, among Christians, among Islamites, among Iranians, among Hindus and Buddhists, and among those in China and in Japan. Brandon believes that, "it is in Egypt that the earliest evidence is found of the idea that judgment awaited a man after death" (p. 6).

nm1033 Actually, this idea can be traced from the Biblical statement about not eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, "for in the day that you eat thereof, in dying, you will die" (see Hebrew text). Thus, If you sin, then when you die, you will really be dead, for you will be part of those called the "dead" in the Bible. The idea of the judgment of the dead is indeed very old, and not new.

Scales of Justice

nm1034 Brandon after expounding for pages about various ancient Egyptian writings about the weighing of good deeds and bad deeds of people at death writes about the tale of Senosiris, "Those whose misdeeds outweigh their good deeds are delivered to Amait, the bitch belonging to the lord of Amentit, so that their bodies and souls are utterly destroyed. Those who pass the awful test are conducted to heaven. The man, whose good and bad deeds equally balance, is placed among the dead furnished with amulets who serve Sokarosiris." Brandon goes on, "Belief in a judgment after death, symbolized by the balance or scales, can be traced on into the Roman period of Egyptian religion, and, as the curious History of Joseph the Carpenter shows, it passed in turn unto Coptic Christianity. The idea of weighing the deeds of men had already been adopted into Jewish apocryphal literature, and the variant concept of the weighing of souls had entered into Greek thought, as we shall see. Ultimately the idea found expression in mediaeval Christian art, with the archangel Michael assuming the role of 'Master of the Balance' which Thoth had held in ancient Egypt."(p . 45,

Pit of Fire; Lake of Fire

nm1035 "In the Amduat, which purports to describe the underworld, these 'enemies,' represented either in human form or by hieroglyphs denoting 'shadows' or 'souls,' are shown in pits of fire" (p. 46). In the Book of the Dead it speaks of the " double Lake of Fire" (p. 186, 342 in Budge's Dover ed.).

nm1036 In The Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg writes about what Enoch saw in hell, "He saw there all sorts of tortures, and impenetrable gloom, and there is no light there, but a gloomy fire is always burning. And all that place has fire on all sides, and on all sides cold and ice, thus it burns and freezes. And the angels, terrible and without pity, carry savage weapons, and their torture is unmerciful" (Vol. I, p. 132). In Ginzberg's books there are about 60 or more sections that speak about the Jewish legends concerning hell.

nm1037 The Apocalypse of Peter, a once popular book, which dates from approximately the early second century, shows the horrors of hell: "hanging by their tongues, and those were they that blasphemed the way of righteousness, and under them was laid fire flaming and tormenting them ... And in another place were gravel-stones sharper than swords or any spit, heated with fire, and men and women clad in filthy rags rolled upon them in torment" (Brandon, p. 116-117). These and other torments were to last forever, for the sinners, "shall be tormented eternally, for God willeth it so" (Brandon, p. 117).

Second Death

nm1038 "With these indications of the perpetual torments of the damned must also be set the idea of 'second death,' about which concern is shown in the Book of the Dead. From this conflict of eschatological imagery we can, accordingly, only safely deduce that the Egyptians believed that some awful fate awaited those whose hearts were found to be not right with Maat in the judgment after death" (p. 46-47). In the Book of the Dead, there are sections that deal with what one must do to escape the second death. These sections start out with the phrase, "chapter of not dying a second time [second death] in the netherworld." (p. 105, 184, 341 in Budge's Dover ed.)

Judgment After Death

nm1039 Greek Thought. In Brandon's opinion, "there was a significant body of opinion which affirmed that after death men would be judged on their conduct here. This belief was authorized by the poetry of Homer, which was truly the 'Bible of the Greeks.'" (p. 87) From Plato's Republic we see Socrates fearing what may come after his death. At one time Socrates "laughed at the tales about those in Hades, of punishment to be suffered there by him who here has done injustice. But now his soul is tormented by the thought that these may be true" (P. 87).

Are the above descriptions of a forever torture in a hell fire, and others tales even worse, really what hell is all about?

Trial and the Thousand Years

nm1040 Among the Greeks, if Plato's writings are any indication, was the idea of the judgment or trial of the souls after death: The souls are "on the termination of their first life, brought to trial; and, according to their sentence, some go to the prison-houses beneath the earth, to suffer for their sins, while others, by virtue, of their trial, are borne lightly upwards to some celestial spot, where they pass their days in a manner worthy of the life they have lived in their mortal form. But in the thousandth year both divisions come back again to share and choose their second life, and they select that which they severally please" (Plato,

Notice that the idea of the millennium was also in Greek thought in Plato's time. And notice that after 1000 years both divisions would come back again (are resurrected) and do as they please.

Koran: Those on the Right and Left

nm1041 In the Islamic holy book, the Koran, the tales of hell and judgment are told. "The sinners will be in punishment of hell, to dwell therein" (Sura 43:74). At the end of the world, "when the earth will be shaken to its depths, and the mountains shall crumble to atoms" there will be those on the right and left of God, those on the right have "fruits in abundance" they are given "shade," "thrones," and virgin companions, but those on the left go off into "the midst of a fierce blast of fire and in boiling water" (Sura 56:4, 8, 27ff, 41ff).

Universal Salvation

nm1042 Not all shared in the idea of the forever judgement to hell. The great Alexandrian scholar Origen (about 185-254 AD) believed in universal salvation. "According to his doctrine of apokatastasis, in the end all souls, and even the demons, would be purified and reunited with God. Although Origen's views greatly influenced many Eastern Christians, Christians generally found it easier, and, it would seem, more congenial, to believe in both a Purgatory and a Hell where sinners would suffer physically the most horrible and revolting tortures that a morbid imagination could devise" (Brandon, p. 118).

nm1043 In Ginzberg's books on the legends of the Jews, he relates the legends of how God revealed to Enoch "that the duration of the world will be seven thousand years, and the eighth millennium will be a time when there is no computation, no end, neither years, nor months, nor weeks, nor days, nor hours" (Vol. I, p. 135).

nm1044 In some forms of Zoroastrianism all men are saved after the Good ultimately prevails over the Evil, "and all men become immortal for ever and everlasting" (Brandon, p. 163).

nm1045 Hosea Ballou in his book, The Ancient History of Universalism (1) attempts to show the belief in universal salvation from Titus Flavius Clemens (190 AD) to Origen (230 AD) and those who agreed with him , and onto the other traces of it in history to about 1498 AD. So the belief in universal salvation is not new. Some today who believe in it are called universalist. Ballou was pastor of the Universalist Church in Roxbury in the early 1800's.

Great White Throne Judgment

nm1046 The popular Christian belief concerning the judgment of the dead is not new and can be stated as follows:

  • At the return of Christ there will be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked. (The Pre-millenarians teach a double resurrection: one of the just at the return of Christ, and another of the unjust a thousand years later.) Christ will judge those resurrected. This is called the great white throne judgment. All people will be judged at that time. This final judgment will be at the end of the world. Those judged the "wicked" will be consigned to hell or the lake of fire, and will suffer pains in body and soul for ever and ever. Those judged righteous will be given heaven as a reward. This heavenly state will be eternal. The resurrected will enjoy the fullness of life in communion with God for ever and ever.

 

Questions

nm1047 Is there a judgment of the dead? What is the judgment of the dead? Does this judgment last forever? Is there a hell fire? Who goes into the hell fire? Are people tortured forever? Can people's flesh burn forever? Will people be tortured? When is the Judgment? What happens to Satan and his angels? Is there a heaven?

Biblical Teaching on Judgment

Know Three Things

nm1048 In order to understand the real last judgment mentioned in the Bible you must know three things.

 

  1. That God judges righteously. See "God's Wrath" [PR4] to understand God's righteous judgment. In short, "the Lord is known by the judgment which he executes: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands" (Pss 9:16). In short, God's wrath and judgment is righteous: he lets those who do evil destroy themselves.
  2. That the word translated "forever" or "everlasting" or "eternal" in the English Bible literally means age or aeon or aeonian. See our "Age Paper" [NM 7] for proof on this matter. In short, there are ages in God's plan.
  3. There is a difference between immortal life and aeonian life. Knowledge is distinguishing between facts that superficially may seem to be the same (see below & NM 11).

Resurrection of the Dead and the Judgment

nm1049 There is Biblical doctrine pertaining to the resurrection and judgment (Heb 6:2).

  • "Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. 22 The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has aeonian life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 "Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; 27 and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and will come out-- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:21-29).

Christ given the power of the Resurrection and Judgment

nm1050 So in John 5 we have scripture that says the Father gave the authority to Christ ("Son of Man") to execute judgment. Remember the Father gave Christ all the power (Mat 28:18). One of these powers was to execute judgment and to give life to "whomever he wishes." In other words, Christ has the power to resurrect people. In verse 29 it speaks about the resurrection of life and the resurrection of judgment. Those who have done good will be in the resurrection of life, but those who have done evil will be in the resurrection of judgment. To be resurrected, you must have first died. So in the book of Acts 24:15 we see Paul saying "I have a hope in God - a hope that they themselves also accept - that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous." Paul called this the resurrection of the dead (Acts 24:21; 1Cor 15:21). Jesus Christ himself was resurrected from the dead by the Father (1Pet 1:3; see GP 5). Daniel spoke about the resurrection of the dead, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to life of olam, and some to shame and contempt of olam." (Dan 12:2).

Two Groups; Two Destinies

One on the Right, One on the Left

nm1051 Notice that there are two groups or divisions: one of the just and good, and one of the unjust and evil (Dan 12:2; John 5:29; Acts 24:15).

  • "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' 40 And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the aeonian fire prepared for the devil and his angels.' 46 And these will go away into aeonian punishment, but the righteous into aeonian life" (Mat 25:31-41,46).

One group, the just, at Christ's right hand, is given the kingdom, the other group on the left hand side is sent to the aeonian fire.

Lake of Fire

Second Death is the Lake of Fire

nm1052 Notice in the book of Revelation, 20:11-15:

  • "Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. 13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to their works. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; 15 and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire."

nm1053 Those not written in the book of life are thrown into the lake of fire, and this is the second death - the lake of fire (Rev 20:14). Notice that all were judged according to their works (Rev 20:13; see NM 12). Those who overcome evil "shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone [lake of fire], which is the second death" (Rev 21:7-8). Thus the lake of fire is the second death.

Lake of Fire: More Information

nm1054 As we have just seen in the book of Revelation, chapters 20-21, there is going to be a "lake of fire," and the lake of fire is the second death. The lake of fire is not a myth. This is not a myth. But at the beginning of this paper we wrote about the mythical Book of the Dead wherein a lake of fire is also mentioned. Also in many of the "myths" of ancient civilizations, pits of fire, hell of fire, lakes of fire, and other such descriptions are mentioned in connection with the fate of those judged evil in the day of judgement, or at the last judgment. There seems to be a collective-subconscious idea about some fiery fate for those who are evil, or for those who do not do enough good works while they are on earth. These myths are not the truth; they only have some aspects of the truth. The spirits of this age know something about a future judgment for them (Mat 8:28-29). Do they somehow project this subconsciously to mankind? (See, "Old Mind" paper [NM 21])

Scriptures that Point to the Last Judgment

nm1055 The following verses, through type and antitype (BP4; NM15; Nm16; PR1; etc.), in their higher meaning all point to the real last judgment:

  • 2Pet 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
  • Zeph 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the LORD's wrath; in the fire of his passion the whole earth shall be consumed; for a full, a terrible end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
  • Mal 4:1 See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
  • Isa 29:6 you will be visited by the LORD of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
  • Ezek 38:22 And I will judge against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
  • Isa 30:30 And the LORD will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and tempest and hailstones.
  • Ezek 13:13 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: In my wrath I will make a stormy wind break out, and in my anger there shall be a deluge of rain, and hailstones in wrath to destroy it.
  • Jer 10:10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.
  • Ezek 31:16 I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to Sheol [hell] with those who go down to the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that were well watered, were consoled in the world below.
  • Rev 16:18 And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a violent earthquake, such as had not occurred since people were upon the earth, so violent was that earthquake.
  • Rev 11:19 Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
  • Job 38:22 have you entered into the treasures of the snow? or have you seen the treasures of the hail, Job 38:23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
  • Rev 16:21 and huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, dropped from heaven on people, until they cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague.
  • Rev 11:13 At that moment there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
  • Rev 8:5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
  • Rev 18:8 therefore her plagues will come in a single day-- pestilence and mourning and famine-- and she [spiritual Babylon] will be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her."
  • Rev 19:20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed in its presence the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
  • Rev 20:10 And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night into the ages of ages [not, forever and ever].
  • Rev 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

nm1056 The scriptures above and others point to the great fire, great earthquake, great hailstones, great wind, great thunder, great lightning, thus, a great tribulation. This is the Last War. I write about in the "Last War and God's Wrath" paper [PR5]. See an outline of scripture concerning this Last War in "God's Wrath, An Outline" [PR6]. This Last War has to do with a great atomic war with a massive fiery wind storm caused by the abundance of weapons going off in close proximity to each other.

Hell Fire: Who is it For?

nm1057 There is a lake of fire, but who is it for? Is the fire for humans? Myths say that humans in bodily form will be tortured in a hell fire forever and ever for the evil they committed on earth. Does the Bible teach this?

  • "Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the aeonian fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Mat 25:41).
  • "And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night into eons and eons" (Rev 20:10).
  • "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while" (Rev 20:2-3).

Jesus Christ said that the fire of hell was prepared or made for the devil and his angels. In the book of Revelation it prophesies about the Devil (Satan that old serpent) being sent to a pit of fire for one thousand years.

nm1058 Peter and Jude also wrote about Satan and his angels being reserved unto the day of judgment.

  • 2Pet 2:4: For if GOD spares not [the] angels who sin, but casts them chained into the hell [Tartarus] of darkness to be kept [there] for judgment;
  • Jude 1:6: And angels who had not kept their own original state, but had abandoned their beginning, for [the] judgment of [the] great day; chained perpetually (2) under gloomy darkness, he keeps [them].

And In Proverbs, "The Lord has made all things for a purpose, Yes, even the wicked for the day of evil" (Prov 16:4).

nm1059 This is much like the heavens and earth being kept in store for the day of judgment:

  • 2Pet 3:7: But the present heavens and the earth by his word are laid up in store, kept for fire unto a day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

nm1060 And this day of judgment will be with fire so hot the elements will melt:

  • 2Pet 3:12: waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of the GOD, by reason of which [the] heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and [the] elements, burning with heat, shall melt?
  • Isa 64:1: Oh that you [God] would rip the heavens, that you would come down, that the mountains might flow down at your presence. Isa 64:2 As when the melting fire burns, the fire causes the waters to boil, to make your name known to your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at your presence! Isa 64:3 When you did terrible things which we looked not for, you came down, the mountains flowed down at your presence. Isa 64:4 For since olam past men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God, beside you, what he has prepared for him that waits for him.
  • Pss 97:1 The BeComingOne [YHWH] reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Pss 97:2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. Pss 97:3 A fire goes before him, and burns up his enemies round about. Pss 97:4 His lightning enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. Pss 97:5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the BeComingOne, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. Pss 97:6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

Names for the Judgment

nm1061 A day will come when God will Judge the world. Various phrases are used in the Bible to describe it.

There are many places in the Bible where it speaks about the day of judgment for the enemies of physical Israel. But in the Spiritual view or higher meaning they pertain to the Last War, and the Last Judgment against the enemies of Spiritual Israel.

When is the Judgment?

nm1062 The next question is, when will this Judgment begin? "Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" (2Tim 4:1). At the appearance of his kingdom Christ will judge the living and the dead.

Right and Left Side

nm1063

  • Mat 25:31 But when the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit down upon his throne of glory, 32 and all the nations shall be gathered before him; and he shall separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and he will set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left. 34 Then shall the King say to those on his right hand, Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the world's foundation: Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also to those on the left, Go from me, cursed, into aeonian fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into aeonian punishment, and the righteous into life aeonian.
Last Trumpet

nm1064 This judgement of the right and left side occurs when Christ comes with his angels at the last trumpet,

  • "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect..." (Mat 24:31).
  • "For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first" (1Thess 4:16).
  • "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed, for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality" (1Cor 15:52).
  • "Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet [last trumpet], and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign into the ages of the ages.'" (Rev 11:15)

When are those on the right and left separated? When is the last trumpet, when the angels help gather the elect, when immortality is given, when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of God?

Last Day

nm1065 The Bible mentions the day of the Lord, the day of wrath, the day of anger, the day of judgment. And the Bible also mentions the last day:

  • John 6:39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
  • John 6:40 This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have aeonian life; and I will raise them up on the last day."
  • John 6:44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day.
  • John 11:24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
  • John 12:48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge,

nm1066 What happens on this last day? There is a resurrection for those who are drawn Spiritually, who see Spiritually, and believe Spiritually. But those who reject Christ are judged by the words Christ spoke (Hos 6:5; John 12:48).

nm1067 When is this resurrection? From the "last trumpet" section above we see that the resurrection is at the last trumpet, just as the kingdom of God begins its reign on earth. "Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" (2Tim 4:1).

How will Christ Judge?

nm1068 At Christ coming in his kingdom he will judge (2Tim 4:1). He will let his words be the judge (Hos 6:5; John 12:48). One is judged according to their works (See NM 12). He judges righteously (PR4). Note the books (Bible) being opened in Rev 20:12, "and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." In other words, those who are "just" according to their works and are on the right are given the kingdom and aeonian life (Mat 25:33-34,46); those who are "unjust" according to their works and are on the left are sent away from the glory of the kingdom and given aeonian punishment (Mat 25:41,46). This is the righteous judgment, you are judged according to your works. The evil other-minds will be destroyed in the lake of fire of their own creation - the results of the Last War (see "Last War and God's Wrath" paper [PR5]).

  • "The Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire [caused by Satan's war], inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will suffer the punishment of aeonian destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might" (2Thess 1:7-9).

nm1069 The judgment and the resurrection occur at the very time Christ comes with the power of his kingdom.

  • Dan 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they [Saints] shall take away his [Satan & Beast's] dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is a kingdom of olam, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

nm1070 This in context with Dan 7:12-14,21-22, pictures the time when Christ and his saints take the kingdom away from Satan, and when the judgment is set to happen, which is at the time the Beast and its kingdom are destroyed (See

  • "And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city: and fire came down and devoured them. And the Devil who deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and where the Beast and the false prophet [are]; and they shall be tormented day and night into the ages [aeons] of ages [aeons]. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled, and place was not found for them" (Rev 20:9-11; see Rev 20:15 & 19:19-21).

Last Day = Thousand Years

nm1071 There are patterns in the Bible. One of them is the cycle of seven: Six similar units; the seventh different (See NM 15). In the beginning was the pattern of the week: six days of work; one day of rest (Gen 1:1-2:3; Exod 20:8-11). There is type and antitype in the Bible ("Duality Paper" [BP 4]). As Paul made much of the scriptures about Adam and Eve and Christ being the second Adam and the Church being the second Eve (3) (1Cor 15:45; Eph 5:23-32; etc), I will also make a great deal about the antitypical week of creation, in which each "day" equals 1000 years. When Peter was talking about the judgment, he wrote about a day for the Lord is as a thousand years (2Pet 3:7-8). Rev 20:2-5 speaks about a rest from Satan lasting for 1000 years. Putting this together and knowing about type and antitype, we conclude that the "last day" Christ was speaking about in the book of John pertaining to the resurrection and judgment is the "day" of one-thousand years as mentioned in the book of Revelation.

When the Beast system is destroyed is when the judgment occurs, and when the kingdom of God takes over. This is also the time of the gathering of the nations to fight against Christ and his saints.

Gathering of the Nations

nm1072 The following pertain to the time of the gathering of nations, Gog and Magog:

  • Ezek 38:2 Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, Ezek 38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus says my Lords the BeComingOne; In that day when my people of Israel dwells safely, shall you not know it? Ezek 38:15 And you shall come from your place out of the north parts, you, and many people with you, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: Ezek 38:16 And you shall come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the end of days, and I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in you, O Gog, before their eyes. Ezek 38:17 Thus says my Lords the BeComingOne; are you he of whom I have spoken in old days by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring you against them? Ezek 38:18 And it shall come to pass at the same day when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says my Lords the BeComingOne, that my fury shall come up in my face. Ezek 38:19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; Ezek 38:20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the living creatures of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. Ezek 38:21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, says my Lords the BeComingOne: every man's sword shall be against his brother. Ezek 38:22 And I will judge against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Ezek 38:23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the BeComingOne.
  • Rev 20:8 and [Satan] shall go out to deceive the nations which [are] in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war, whose number [is] as the sand of the sea. Rev 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city: and fire came down and devoured them. Rev 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and where the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night into the ages [aeons] of ages [aeons] Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled, and place was not found for them.
  • Rev 19:19 And I saw the Beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and the false prophet that [was] with him, who worked the signs before him by which he deceived them that received the mark of the beast, and those that worship his image. Alive were both cast into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone; Rev 19:21 and the rest were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which goes out of his mouth; and all the birds were filled with their flesh. Rev 20:2 And he [Christ] laid hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent who is [the] Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, Rev 20:3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut [it] and sealed [it] over him, that he should not any more deceive the nations until the thousand years were completed; (after these things he must be loosed for a little time.) Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones; and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them [Christ & Saints, Dan 7:22]; and the souls of those beheaded on account of the testimony of Jesus, and on account of the word of the GOD; and those who had not done homage to the Beast nor to his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and hand; and they lived and reigned with the Christ a thousand years: Rev 20:5 (the rest of the dead did not live until the thousand years had been completed.) This [is] the first resurrection. Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy he who has part in the first resurrection: over these the second death has no power; but they shall be priests of the GOD and of the Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years have been completed, Satan shall be loosed from his prison.

nm1073 Gathered Against Christ. Here we have Gog and Magog, with the gathered nations and their armies going against Christ and his "army." Christ's army is, "And the armies which [are] in the heaven followed him upon white horses, clad in white, pure, fine linen" (Rev 19:14).

Who are those Dressed in White

nm1074 And who are those dressed in white?

  • Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying to me, These who are clothed with white robes, who are they, and whence came they? Rev 7:14 And I said to him, My lord, you know. And he said to me, These are they who come out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Rev 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of the GOD, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sits upon the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them. Rev 7:16 They shall not hunger any more, neither shall they thirst any more, nor shall the sun at all fall on them, nor any burning heat.

Thus, those clothed in white are the saints (Rev 3:5,18, 6:11). They came out of the great tribulation.

Great Tribulation

nm1075 There are two senses to this tribulation: (1) The greatest and last tribulation at the very end, and (2) the whole tribulation since the time of Adam (cf. Rom 8:22; 2Cor 7:4; 1Thess 3:4; Rev 1:9; ). By reading our newspapers and by reading history, we know that the whole world has been in tribulation: and we know this is the result of sin.

To review. We see that the time of the last judgment is right at the time Christ comes to take over the kingdom or rulership from Satan. Christ does not destroy the world, the world destroys itself, for Christ comes to save not destroy (see God's Wrath papers [PR4, PR5, PR6]).

Hell-Fire; Mankind; Real Judgment

nm1076 We know by various scriptures that the hell-fire will be for Satan and his angels (Mat 25:41; Rev 20:2-3,10). But according to myth some of mankind will suffer in a fire forever for their sins. How can this be since physical bodies will burn-up in a fire? This whole idea is nonsense. They make God out to be sadistic. But our God is Love. (The Parable of Lazarus is logically explained in the "All Saved" paper [NM 13]) Yet Augustine in his book called, the City of God, quotes from Mat 13:41-43; John 5:29, and Mat 25:46 as proof of "the perpetual punishment of those condemned with the devil." In Augustine's answer to the question "whether bodies can survive in a burning fire," he says, "what proof then can I offer to convince unbelievers that it is possible for human bodies, endowed with soul and life, not merely never to be decomposed by death, but also to outlast the torments of eternal flames? They refuse to accept from us an appeal to the power of the Almighty, but press us to cite a precedent by way of argument. We can reply that there are animals, which are certainly liable to destruction, since they are mortal, but still survive in the midst of flames" (Book 21.1). This animal Augustine is speaking about is the so-called "fire-salamander" which never existed, except in myth. Later Augustine goes on and says, "we say that there will be living human bodies which will always burn and suffer, yet will never die" ( 21.5, Loeb Classical Lib, p. 31). He goes on about this, "In many things it is unclear to us what His will is. This [human bodies in hell, never dying], however, is very certain, that none of the things which He has willed is impossible, and we believe His predictions since we cannot question either his strength or his truth" (Loeb Lib, p. 31).

nm1077 God's Will. Augustine tries to argue with things in nature, but fails, so he falls back on his corrupt idea of God's will. But what is God's will? "God our Savior, who wishes all to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1Tim 2:3-4). And the Lord is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2Pet 3:9). Because Christ does his Father's will (John 6:38; Heb 10:7), then what Christ wills is also what God wills. As shown in the paper called "All Saved" [NM 13], God willed that all will eventually be saved, and He will make this happen, irrespective if Augustine or you or anyone else believes otherwise. See "All Saved" paper [NM13] for details.

nm1078 By his own arguments, we can see that Augustine knew that the word translated into "forever" in many Bibles can mean an "age" or "long period of time" and not an eternal period of time. In order to disprove that the Greek word aionios or the Latin word aeternus means forever and not aeonian, Augustine agues thus,

  • Then what sort of reasoning is it, to take the eternal [aionios] punishment of the wicked as a fire of long duration and believe that eternal life is without end? For Christ said in the very same place, including both in one and the same sentence: "So these will go into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." If both are eternal, then surely both must be understood as "long," but having an end, or else as "everlasting," without an end. For they are matched with each other: in one clause eternal punishment, in the other eternal life. But to say in one and the same sentence: "Eternal life shall be without end, eternal punishment will have an end," is utterly absurd. Hence, since the eternal life of the saints will be without end, eternal punishment also will surely have not end, for those whose lot it is.

(See "Context Argument Two in the "Age Paper" [NM 7] for a fuller explanation of this.)

nm1079 What Augustine does here is mix-up two things: (1) Christians are given immortal life when they are resurrected at Christ's coming; and (2), they are given aeonian life in the same age that the "dead" and Satan are given their aeonian punishment.

nm1080 Notice that Paul in the so-called resurrection chapter in the first book of Corinthians, mentions Christian's immortality:

  • 1Cor 15:42: So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable [immortal].
  • 1Cor 15:51: Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

Thus Christians will receive immortality as a gift. There is a difference between immortal life and aeonian life (NM11).

Three Orders or Divisions

nm1081 Three Orders: This resurrection chapter is also talking about the sequential order in which mankind will be given immortal life.

  • 1Cor 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruit of those who have died. 21 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22 for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruit, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power.

This thus pictures the three times that mankind will be resurrected from the dead and given immortal life. This fulfills the typical three times physical Israel was ordered by God to stand before him (See NM 16).

The first was Christ

nm1082

  • 25 "Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; 27 and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and will come out-- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment (John 5:25-29).

Christ was resurrected from the dead by the power of his Father (Rom 1:4; 1Pet 1:3; GP 5). He was first, "If then you see the Son of man ascending up where he was the first?" (John 6:62; see Greek text) Christ was the "beginning of the creation of God" or the new creation of God (Gal 6:15; Rev 3:14), "the first born of all creation" (Col 1:15), thus "first born of the dead" "who is the beginning" (Col 1:18) "He is the first-born among many brethren" (Rom 8:29).

Second Order

nm1083 The second time mankind will be resurrected to immortal life is at Christ's coming (1Cor 15:23). This is the resurrection of life (John 5:29). This is the group on Christ's right at his coming who are given the kingdom and rule during the 1000 years (Rev 20:1-6). Satan and his angels, on the left side, are counted as unjust, and are put into the bottomless pit for 1000 years (2Thess 1:9; Rev 20:2-3,11-15, 21:8). Those counted as good are given immortal life and also the 1000 year aeonian life (Num; Rom 2:7 11). We explain the difference between the immortal life and the aeonian life in our paper called "Reward for Christians." [NM 11] They will rule with Christ during the 1000 years (Dan 7:27; Rev 2:26, 3:21, 5:10). This is the first of the last two resurrections to immortal life (Rev 20:5b).

Third Order

nm1084 But the others "will suffer the punishment of aeonian destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power" (2Thess 1:9). While the "just" are enjoying the wonders of the kingdom during the 1000 years, the "unjust" will be taken from the kingdom for 1000 years. It is at the "end," after the 1000 years, when the "unjust" are resurrected (Rev 20:5a; 1Cor 15:24). This is the resurrection of the dead (John 5:29).

Conclusion:

nm1085 The "just" are given immortal life and given the 1000 year aeonian life, but the "unjust" go for the 1000 year aeonian punishment (Mat 25:46 w/ Rev 20:1-5). This is the aeonian judgment (Heb 6:2). The judgment for sin is death (Gen 2:17; Ezek 18:11-13; Rom 6:23). "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is aeonian life, through Jesus Christ" (Rom 6:23). What God said in Gen 2:17 was that if they ate from the forbidden tree they would in dying, be dead: "in dying, you will die" or "in dying, you will be dead" (see Hebrew text or BCB). What God was doing was projecting to us the group called the "dead" in the Bible (Luke 9:60; 2Tim 4:1; 1Pet 4:6).

In Short: Judgment is

nm1086 Those who overcome will inherit all things (1Cor 3:21-22; 2Pet 1:3; Rev 20:7). Those who don't overcome or are unjust or are evil are sent to the lake of fire to be destroyed from the presence of the Lord and his glory (Mat 13:41-42, 25:41; 2Thess 1:9; 1Pet 3:7,10-11; Rev 20:10,15, 21:8), for the 1000 years (Rev 20:4-5). Those who overcome eat from the tree of life, are not hurt by any second death, given a new Name, rule over nations in the 1000 years, will not be taken out of the book of life, will have God's Name, and will sit in/on Christ's throne ( cf. 21:8). But after the 1000 year judgment there will be the coming together of all, so that God will be all in all (1Cor 15:28; NM15; NM16; GP6).

nm1087 Christians will also judge, so to speak, the angels and the world at Christ's coming (Dan 7:26-27; 1Cor 6:2-3). Their good works judge-down the evil works of the world, Satan, and his angels.

Remaining questions:

What happens to Satan and his angels? (See, NM 13,14, 15; GP 6, 7, 8) Is there a Heaven? (See, NM 25)

Footnotes:

1. Published in Boston, 1828

2. Strong's # 126 (from #104) = always, continual, perpetual, not necessarily "forever." See NM 24.

3. Christ the second Adam; the Church the second Eve returns and becomes one with her Husband: the marriage of the Bride and Lamb (Rev 21:2,9). Etc.


What is heaven? What is the Kingdom of God? Click "next" to continue.

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Index 
NM1  New Mind & Christianity
NM2  Church of God
NM3 Repentance
NM4  Baptism
NM5  Begotton, Born
NM6  Body, Soul, & Spirit
NM7  Age Paper
NM8  Predestination
NM9  Free Will v. Predestination
NM10  Proof Paper
NM11  "Reward" for Christians
NM12  According to Works
NM13 All Saved?
NM14  Does all mean all?
NM15  1000 Years
NM16  Times & Seasons
NM17  Freedom & Law
NM18  Other Papers
NM19  Reason Why
NM20  Other Mind
NM21  Old Mind
NM22  Spirit of man given by God
NM23  Judging
NM24  Last Judgment
NM25  Kingdom of God
NM26  Plan of Creation

 

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