The Seven Judgments
June 6th, 1973 @ 7:30 PM
THE SEVEN JUDGMENTS
Dr. W. A. Criswell
6-6-73 7:30 p.m.
Tonight we are going to look at The Seven Judgments. There is no such thing in the Word of God as a general judgment. I would suppose that practically all of the theological world will say that there is to be one great final judgment, and that ends all the discussion, all the revelation, all the factual realities that lie ahead for us. But that is not in the Bible. The Bible will present to us seven different judgments, and we are going to name them tonight and look at them.
The first judgment is upon sin; and this was at the cross and is in behalf of all believers in Christ [Luke 23:33-46]. It happened about 30 AD in a place called Calvary, and the result of the judgment was death for Christ and justification for the believers. For example, in Romans 8:1-2—and let us turn to that—in Romans 8:1-2; there the apostle Paul writes by inspiration, “There is therefore now no”—and we have it translated in our King James Version “condemnation”—“There is therefore now no katakrima, katakrima”—katakrinō is “to judge, worthy of punishment, to condemn”; so katakrima is “judgment worthy of punishment.” “There is therefore now no judgment worthy of punishment to them who are in Christ Jesus … For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” [Romans 8:1-2]. So there is no judgment, no condemnation worthy of punishment to the believer in Christ for his sins; for that judgment was taken by the Lord in His own body when He was nailed to the tree and died for us [2 Corinthians 5:21]. The judgment upon sin is death; and Christ died for us.
Now for example, in John 5:24 it will read, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and is passed from death unto life; and shall not come into judgment, into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” The word krinō, “to try, to sit in judgment on,” and krisis, and we took that Greek word and put it in English: in Greek you’d spell it k-r-i-s-i-s; when you make an English word out of it you put a “c” there, c-r-i-s-i-s, krisis in Greek is “judgment, condemnation or punishment.” There is no krisis, there is no judgment, there is no condemnation, there is no punishment to the child of God because of his sins. This judgment, as I said, was in 30 AD, and it is already past [Luke 23:33-46].
There was a traveler aboard a ship. And in the morning he got up and went out on deck; and the sky was lowering, and the waves were mountainous, and the wind was fierce. And the man said, “Surely we are going to have a great storm.” And the captain replied, “No, this is the aftermath of the storm; for the storm has already passed.” And the mountainous waves, and the wind that was blowing, and the lowering skies were just the aftermath of the storm that was already over. So it is with us who are Christians. The judgment upon our sins is already past; it is over with, it is done with. And when you go to the Lord and say, “Dear God, this sin…” and the Lord says, “What sin?” and you say, “Why, Lord, don’t You know that sin I committed?” and the Lord says, “No, I do not know that sin you committed,” for God says, “I have buried your sins in the deepest sea” [Micah 7:19]. God says, “I have blotted them out like a thick cloud” [Isaiah 44:22]. God says, “And I remember them no more” [Isaiah 43:25]. God says, “And they are washed away in the blood of the Lamb” [1 John 1:7]. And when people go to God again and again and again about their sins, that is one of the most terrible signs of lack of belief in the Word of God, lack of confidence in the atonement of Christ [Romans 5:11]; there’s not any thing that one who has gone to Jesus for refuge that could do more to insult God, and to violate the very character of God, and to do dishonor to the Word of the Lord than to bring to God again, and again, and again, and again our sins.
Now, all God expects us to do is, “He that is washed is every whit clean, and needeth not to be washed except his feet” [John 13:10]. Day by day as we walk through this world, we get our feet dirty; we commit wrong, and transgression, and sin, shortcoming, every day. So every day we ask God to forgive us the sins of that day, as we walk through those hours. But to go to God and ask God to forgive us the sins that He said that He had already forgiven us yesterday, and the sins that He said He had already forgiven us the day before, and the sins that He said He had already forgiven us the day before that, and the sins of our youth, and the sins of young manhood, to go back and to ask God to forgive us again and again and again is something that is contrary to the word and nature and promise of our Lord. The judgment upon our sins is already past [Luke 23:33-46]. The daily sins that we strive with now are due to the old fleshly carnal nature. Like Paul says, “What I want to do, I do not do; and what I do not want to do, that I do” [Romans 7:15, 19]. So every day we bring to Him the sins of that day and ask Him to forgive us. We have an Intercessor, an Advocate in Christ. “I write unto you these things that you sin not; but if we sin, we have an Advocate, a Mediator, even Jesus Christ”; 1 John 2:1. And we are to confess daily to our Lord, our sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” [1 John 1:9].
Sin is the natural proclivity, affinity, tendency, that we have to evil. And “sins,” plural, is the outward acts, which is a result of our tendency to sin. So on Christ are all of our sins laden, all of them [1 John 2:2]. And on the cross He paid for every one of them [Hebrews 9:26]. And when we accept the Lord as our Savior, all of our sins are forgiven; it is just that—day by day we’re to ask God to forgive us the sins of that day. Now that is the judgment upon our sins.
All right, second judgment: the second great judgment, the second great judgment is with believers, it concerns believers; and it has to do with their works, their rewards. The time is when Jesus comes, at the bēma of Christ; and the result will be for some of us it will be a reward, and for some of us it will be loss: we’ll be saved as if by fire. In 1 Corinthians chapter 3, verses 12 to 15, every man’s work shall be tried: the day shall declare it, fire shall burn against it; all of our works shall be tried before the Lord. And if a man’s work abide, he shall receive a reward. If his works are burned up, he shall suffer loss, though he himself shall be saved as if by fire [1 Corinthians 3:12-15]. That is, as if his house burned down and he escaped just by the skin of his teeth, just run out of the house naked; he has nothing. Everything he’s done has been burned up. If we build on the foundation of Christ—wood, hay stubble, gold, silver, precious stones—when the fire tries it, if it’s made out of wood, hay, and stubble it is burned up: all of our works are gone and we enter heaven naked; don’t have any reward, don’t have anything [1 Corinthians 3:15]. That is what’s going to happen to the believer at the bēma of Christ.
Now I want you to notice that the judgment of the believer is not a trial, not a court judgment to see whether we’re saved or not, saved or lost, because that is already. “He that believeth on Him is not condemned; he that believeth not is condemned already.” Now there’s your krinō again, your “judgment” again, John 3:18. “He is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. So the judgment as to whether we’re saved or lost is here; it’s already done. I’m either saved or lost now! That judgment is never in the future, that’s now, past [John 3:18]. But at the bēma of Christ, we’re going to be judged according to our works. So in 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul will say, “For we must all appear before the bēma of Christ.” Now, a bēma is originally a step; it was a raised dais, and the judge on the tribunal of a Grecian game sat there. And when the contestants appeared before that elevated seat called the bēma, why, there he received a corruptible crown of laurel leaves. But in 2 Corinthians 5:10, we stand before the bēma of Christ to receive an incorruptible crown, the reward of our deeds done in the flesh.
Now, this is at the end of our lives, on the resurrection day before the Lord. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, it says, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: And we who are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air”; and that is the bema of Christ [2 Corinthians 5:10]. That’s when we are going to receive our rewards. Well, why don’t you receive it when you die? Because a man doesn’t die when he dies, his influence goes on, and his rewards accumulate, for or against him. But this is done at the consummation of the age, this great judgment upon the believers [2 Corinthians 5:10].
Now I have listed here the five crowns of reward that are given the believer. One: in Revelation 2:10 and James 1:12, the believer is given the crown of life. This is given to some who are martyred; the martyr crown. Number two: in 1 Peter 5:2-4, there is the crown of glory, which is given to a faithful pastor. That is the pastor’s crown. In 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, and Philippians 4:1, there is the crown of rejoicing, the soulwinner’s crown. Number four: in 2 Timothy 4:8, there is the crown of righteousness; those who love His appearing, who are not ashamed at His coming, as 1 John 2:28 would have it. And number five: in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, there is the incorruptible crown; there is the crown of victory. These are the five crowns mentioned in the Bible that are given to the believers when they stand at the bēma of Christ [2 Corinthians 5:10].
All right, summarize again: the Christian never stands at the judgment bar of Almighty God, only to receive the reward of his deeds, that’s all. The judgment, whether we’re saved or lost, is already past for us [John 3:18]. He paid that price for our sins on Calvary [Luke 23:33-46]; we never face that. He faced that [2 Corinthians 5:21]. We don’t face that. The only thing we ever shall have before us is when we stand at the judgment seat of Christ to receive from Him the reward of what we’ve done in His name [1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10].
All right, the third judgment: this is upon the Jews; this also will be after the appearing of the Lord [Ezekiel 20:37]. It will be in Judea; and the result of it will be that some will enter into the Promised Land and some will not enter into the Promised Land. This is before the millennium [Ezekiel 20:40]. No one shall enter the millennium unsaved. And the Jews who enter the millennium will be judged. The Jews will be back in Palestine; they’ll be gathered back to the Holy Land in unbelief, where a great tribulation awakes them. This is in Ezekiel 22:17-22. And it’s called “the time of Jacob’s trouble”; Jeremiah 30:4-7 and Daniel 12:1.
All of us hope and pray that there’s going to be peace in the Middle East. There will be no peace in the Middle East, none. But there is going to be, in the future, a time of unprecedented tribulation for the Jewish people rejecting their Messiah. They’re going to be gathered back in unbelief; they are going back in unbelief [Ezekiel 36:24-28]. There are not enough Jews in Palestine that believe in Jesus to fill that choir. I don’t suppose there’s enough Jews in Palestine that believe in Jesus to … there is so few it’s to be almost non-existent; it is practically non-existent. The Jews go back in unbelief. My impression of the Jew in Palestine is that he’s an atheist. That’s my impression of them. That’s one of the most unusual things in the earth. But there in Palestine God will judge them one by one—the Bible calls it “under the rod” [Ezekiel 20:37]; you know, like a shepherd takes the sheep and he puts his rod across the sheepfold, and the sheep come in, and he calls them by name because he knows them so intimately, and he numbers them. And God’s going to take His people, and one by one they’re going under the rod [Ezekiel 20:37]. And there God, having pled with them, will purge out all who reject and save all who accept, Ezekiel 20:33-44.
Now the results of that judgment upon the Jewish people. One: in their misery they will call upon their Lord, Zechariah 12:10. Their Messiah will come back to the Mount of Olives, Zechariah 14:4. They will look upon Him whom they pierced, Zechariah 12:10. They will mourn over their past rejection, Zechariah 12:11-13:1. And they will be converted in a day, those who accept the Lord Jesus, Isaiah 66:8. This is the judgment upon the Jews, before the millennium, before the millennium. The Jewish people who enter the millennium, all of them, will be saved; and those that are not saved do not enter the millennium, but are cast out. Is the Jew saved any other way than anybody else is saved? No, we are all saved alike, all of us. We accept the Lord, and we’re saved [Acts 16:31]. We reject the Lord, and we’re not saved [1 John 5:12]. And that has been God’s way of salvation through all the centuries and will be to the end of time [Acts 4:12]. God’s not done with the Jew; He’s not done with us.
The next great judgment: judgment number four is upon the Gentiles. The time again is at the appearing of the Lord. And the place is the valley of Jehoshaphat. And the result will be some declared saved and some declared lost [Matthew 25:46]. And the basis is the treatment of those whom Christ calls “My brethren” [Matthew 25:31-46]. Now, lest we get confused here now, remember when Jesus comes He is going to take us away, He is going to take us away, that’s the rapture [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17]. And where are we going? We’re going up to the bēma of Christ, going up to the bēma. And all of us who are saved are going to stand before the bēma of Christ [1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10]. Now, when we’re taken out of the world, the rapture, God’s church is taken away, and we’re up there with the Lord in heaven [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17]; what’s happening down here in the world? You’re going to have a tremendous, a tremendous preaching of the gospel, and a tremendous revival. And if you want to know the effectiveness of that revival, you just read the seventh chapter of the Book of the Revelation [Revelation 7:1-17]. When John looked on that throng up there, he said, “I never saw so many people before God’s throne; I never saw so many in my life” [Revelation 7:9, 13-14]. And the elder said, “Do you know any of them?” and John said, “No, I never saw a one of them; I do not know one of them. I never saw any of them, this great throng that no man could number out of every nation and tribe and family under the sun, I do not know a one of them” [Revelation 7:9-14]. Well, you know that in itself would be an unusual thing; for if those people up there before the throne of God were just we, all of us, well, surely John recognized his mother, surely he’d recognize Peter, surely he’d recognize his own brother James, who was beheaded by Herod Agrippa I [Acts 12:1-2]. Wouldn’t he have known some of the disciples? Wouldn’t he have known some of his converts in Ephesus? Well, what’s the matter? John says, “I don’t know any of them!” [Revelation 7:13-14].
Well, the answer is very apparent. “These are they who hoi erchomenoi, who are coming out of he thlipsis he megale, the tribulation the great [Revelation 7:14]—These are they who are coming out of,” going on at the time, “who are coming out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” [Revelation 7:14].
Now I want to show you something in Christian history: the darker it gets, the more you’re going to have a bursting out of revival. It never fails. It never fails. And the time of the darkest in this world is in the time of the tribulation [Matthew 24:21], when the rapture has taken the people of God out of this world [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17]. And I think—here again is my biblical literalism—I think the one hundred forty-four thousand sealed in the seventh chapter of the Revelation are one hundred forty-four thousand Jewish converts [Revelation 7:1-4] that are going to preach the gospel in fervor and in fury and in fire to the whole world, and these are their converts [Revelation 7:9-14]. And they’re going to all the people of the world, and now you’re going to have a judgment of those people. And that judgment is in Matthew 25:31-46.
Many combine this judgment with Revelation 20:11-15, making of it one final general judgment. But there are two things that bother. One, they’re not at all alike. In Matthew 25 there’s no resurrection; in Revelation 20 it’s a resurrection judgment [Revelation 20:12]. In Matthew 25 the living Gentiles are judged; in Revelation 20 the dead are judged [Revelation 20:12-13]. In Matthew 25 it’s on earth [Matthew 25:31]; in Revelation 20 its heaven and earth have fled away, it’s in the renovation [Revelation 20:11]. In Matthew 25 there are no books mentioned; in Revelation 20 the books are opened [Revelation 20:12]. In Matthew 25 there are three classes, sheep, goats, and brethren [Matthew 25:33, 40]; in Revelation 20 there is one class, the wicked dead [Revelation 20:12-15]. In Matthew 25, that’s before the millennium [Matthew 25:31-46]; in Revelation 20 it is after the millennium [Revelation 20:11-15]. And to identify the judgment in Revelation 20 with Matthew 25 is to put two things as dissimilar together as they could be.
All right, another thing: why I don’t think the judgment in Matthew 25—you know that’s the story of the sheep and the goats [Matthew 25:32-33], and Revelation 20 is the great white throne judgment [Revelation 20:11]—all right a second reason why I think they’re not the same thing: the basis of eternal life in Matthew 25 is how the Gentiles have treated Christ’s brethren [Matthew 25:33-46]. Now the Scriptures teach the righteous are saved by faith, not by works [Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-9]; and the wicked are lost because they reject Christ [John 3:17-18]. So let us look closely at Matthew 25. The people there are called ta ethnē, or singular, ho ethnos. Now the word is used one hundred fifty-eight times in the New Testament. Ninety-two times it is translated “Gentiles”; five times it is translated “heathen”; sixty-one times it is translated “the nations”; but it never is applied to the dead or the resurrected, and it never is applied to the Jews. The Jews are not in it. They are not reckoned among the Gentile nations; that’s plainly stated in Numbers 23:9. The Christians, the church, are not it; the church is associated with Christ in the judgment. The people of Christ are with Christ judging, 1 Corinthians 6:2. The time when Christ is come in glory is in Matthew 25[Matthew 25:31]. And the basis of the judgment is how the people received the message and the messenger of Christ’s brethren, the Jews, during the tribulation, the sealed of Revelation 7, these Jews [Revelation 7:1-4]. And their converts are these who have accepted their message. And those who refuse the message are rejected; they are lost and turn in to everlasting perdition.
Well, that’s a summary that we could talk about some time. Are you confused in that? You’re confused. Well, I don’t know what to do for the lack of time. I have sensed that you are confused. I very much have a sense. Well, let’s go on and we’ll get us another series on Wednesday night and catch up our confusions. Oh my!
Judgment number five is upon the wicked dead. The time is after the millennium [Revelation 20:1-6], and the place is before the great white throne. And the result is these are cast into everlasting perdition, Revelation 20:11-15. Now the righteous dead arise at the first resurrection, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Revelation 20:5-6. The righteous dead arise before the millennium [Matthew 25]. Now these are raised after the millennium [Revelation 20:1-6]. Now they’re not judged as to whether they’re saved or lost, that is here and now [John 3:18]. But they are judged according to works, rewards, degrees of punishment. And they are cast into hell [Revelation 20:11-15]. There’s no one in hell yet. Remember we talked about that; there’s no one in hell yet. But in Revelation 19:20 the beast and the false prophet, the Antichrist and the false prophet are cast into it first. And then in Revelation 20:10, after a thousand years, Satan and his angels are cast in it. In Matthew 25:41, “It was prepared for the devil and his angels.” And in Revelation 20:15 the lost are cast into hell.
Now, there are two of these judgments that are alike, except one is for the saved and one is for the lost. The Christian stands before the bēma of Christ [1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10], there to receive the rewards of his deeds. The lost man stands at the great white throne, there to receive the rewards of his deeds [Revelation 20:11-15]. And the Christian that stands before the bēma of Christ enters into the glory of the Lord. “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” [Matthew 25:21]. But the lost man stands at the great white throne judgment, there to receive the reward of his deeds [Revelation 20:11-15]. The Christian to receive his deeds [1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10], the lost to receive his deeds [Revelation 20:11-15]; but in neither case are they judged as to whether they’re saved or lost, that judgment is already past [John 3:17-18]. I’m either saved or I’m lost right now, one or the other, in this life; not out there in the life that is to come. That’s the fifth judgment, the great white throne judgment [Revelation 20:11-15].
You know what I believe? One of the causes of our confusion is we’re not taking time to read these passages in the Bible. But if I do, we’d never get through. Well, as I say, we’re going to have another series here just to study all the things that we are stumbling before.
All right now, there are two other judgments that I mention here. There’s a sixth one: there’s a judgment of our own upon us who are believers. “If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged”; that is, chastened of the Lord. That is especially mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11:31-32, and 1 Peter 4:17, “Judgment must begin at the house of God.” We must judge ourselves; and if we do not, the Lord will chasten us; God will chasten us [1 Corinthians 11:31-32].
Now the seventh judgment is upon fallen angels. The time is the great day; that’s in Jude 6 and 2 Peter 2:4. The place is not revealed, and the result is eternal fire into which the devil’s angels are cast. And Christians are associated in this judgment, according to 1 Corinthians 6:3.
Well, for five minutes I want you to take your Bible and turn to Matthew 25; turn to Matthew 25, and put your finger at verse 31 [Matthew 25:31]. And then I want you to take your Bible and turn to Revelation 20, and put your finger at verse 11 [Revelation 20:11]. Now Matthew 25 says, “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, the holy angels with Him, He shall sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all ta ethnē, all the Gentiles” [Matthew 25:31-32]. You have it translated here “nations”; “all the Gentiles,” and that’s the way you ought to translate that. “And before Him shall be gathered all the Gentiles” [Matthew 25:32]. Now, He is going to separate them as the sheep from the goats. And the basis of it is that some of these—look at verse 40—“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me” [Matthew 25:40]. Forty-two: “I was hungered, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, in prison…” [Matthew 25:42-43]. I want you to look at that theologically. Here I’ve been preaching all my life that a man is saved by faith, by trust, “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” [Ephesians 2:8-9], saying, “I did it, I’m here in heaven because of what I did. I worked and I got here. I’m worthy to walk these golden streets and mingle with God’s redeemed because I am, I’m the best man. I’m just so fine, I’ve just lived right.” The Bible repudiates a spirit like that! “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy God saved us” [Titus 3:5]. Now that’s what the Bible teaches us: I’m saved by confessing the Lord as my Savior [Romans 10:9-10]. I’m saved by trusting Jesus [Acts 16:30-31]. I can’t save myself.
All right, now I want you to look at these people here. In the twenty-fifth chapter [Matthew 25], He will say, “The King,” now verse 34, “The King shall say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom. . .I was hungered and you gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and you took Me in: I was naked, and you clothed Me: I was sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me” [Matthew 25:34-36]. And they say, “Lord, we never saw Thee hungry and thirsty and what have you” [Matthew 25:37-39]. And He says, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me” [Matthew 25:40]. Now here the basis of salvation is all of these good works that we think of as a social gospel, a social ministry; to feed the hungry, and to clothe the naked, and to visit those in prison, and to pass social legislation in their behalf—that’s the basis of their salvation. Now there’s something wrong: it is manifestly something wrong! If I’ve been preaching here all my life that a man is saved by grace, by faith [Ephesians 2:8-9], and then here in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew I am taught that we’re saved by feeding the poor, and clothing the naked, and passing social legislation to help us with the prisoners [Matthew 25:34-40], then something is sure wrong with God or with us, one or the other. Why, there’s nothing wrong anywhere, nothing wrong anywhere.
That’s why I have said a thousand times that if you get this Bible going straight, every little old jigsaw piece will fit exactly. But you can’t mix it up, saying that Israel is the church and the church is Israel. And you can’t mix it up, saying we’re all going to be at one general judgment. And you can’t mix it up, saying we’re all going to be resurrected in one great resurrection. When you do, the Bible becomes a sheer shambles to you, and finally you just put it down and say, “Well, the thing just contradicts itself. Why, no man could follow the thing. It’s just full of contradictions.” Isn’t that what the infidel says. And that’s what the liberal says? And so he just throws it away and says it’s a piece of antique literature written by people that didn’t understand and didn’t know, and we’re just going to work out our own system. And so they start preaching about war and peace, and economics, and politics, and on and on and on. Well, I can understand that. If I believed the Bible as they believe it, I’d start preaching politics and economics and book reviews too; because the Bible becomes enigmatic and senseless, and you’ve got troubles, and rather than try to straighten it out you, well, just quit.
All right, what happens here is a very simple thing, very simple thing. When we’re gone, when we’re gone, we’re all gone, we’re up there in glory, down here in this earth, in this awful and troublous age called the tribulation [Revelation 7:14], there are down here in this earth one hundred forty-four thousand [Revelation 7:1-8]—now maybe God means one hundred forty-four thousand to represent one million four hundred forty-four thousand, I don’t know; so because I don’t know I have to stay with that one hundred forty-four thousand—just like heaven, because I don’t know, I stay with the golden streets and the pearly gates [Revelation 21:21] and the jasper walls [Revelation 21:18-19], because I don’t know anything except what God says. And when God says golden streets, I say golden streets. Maybe they’re something else; maybe the gold stands for something else, but I don’t know it. And God has misled me if it is something else, because He said gold! [Revelation 21:21]. So I just take it as it is. I don’t know what else to do. I cannot find what else to do. So in the Revelation, in chapter 7, when God says one hundred forty-four thousand sealed out of those Jewish people [Revelation 7:1-8], I don’t know anything to do but just to stay with it, one hundred forty-four thousand. And when it says that all of that one hundred forty-four thousand preaching the gospel, these redeemed coming out of that tribulation [Revelation 7:14], I don’t know anything to do but just to state that they are going to have a revival in that day, there are going to be uncounted numbers turned to Jesus in that day, in that dark tribulation [Revelation 7:9-15]. Just as I said, it’s in the darkest time that you’ll have the greatest revival. When you think things are just insolution, the end of the world has come, there’s nobody that is righteous, you’re going to have a great revival, going to have a great outpouring. Well, so it is in the tribulation: you’re going to have the greatest revival the world has ever known in the days of tribulation [Revelation 7:9-15].
Then when you get to the end of that tribulation, Jesus is going to come openly, visibly [Matthew 24:27; Revelation 19:11-16]. How does He come the first time? [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17]. Secretly, clandestinely, furtively; He is going to steal away His jewels as a thief in the night [1 Thessalonians 5:2]. He has a treasure in a field He is going to take away [Matthew 13:44]. The first time He comes for the rapture of His people, He will take them away stealthily, silently, without advertisement, without announcement. That’s the first time He comes [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17]. But the second time He comes at the end of the tribulation, when the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him [Matthew 25:31]—and we’re going to share in that great judgment: “Before Him shall be gathered all of the Gentiles of the earth” [Matthew 25:32]. Now we’ve got a judgment for the Jews [Ezekiel 20:37], remember that? All the Gentiles of the earth are going to be gathered before Him. And the judgment is going to be, “When I sent you that messenger of Christ, did you receive him and his message? Or did you reject him and his message?” [Revelation 7:1-17]. If you received him and his message, you are going to be saved. If you rejected him and his message, you are going to be lost. And that’s at the end of the great tribulation [Revelation 7:14], and just before the glorious millennium [Matthew 25:31-46].
Well, I wish we had time for you to talk to me. We will pick it up some time later.
Where did we close in our—we got three minutes left—where did we close in our, in our, where? At Numbers? Numbers, Numbers, we didn’t get through Numbers? All right, all right, Genesis, Leviticus, Numbers. Numbers 1:2, we said that’s where it’s got the book, and because they were numbering Israel. Numbers chapter 6:24-26 was the beautiful benediction; and we all said that together. All right, Numbers 10, Numbers 10:29-31, that’s where Moses’ [father]-in-law talks to him [Matthew 25:32]. And in verse 29, “Come thou with us, and we will do thee good” [Numbers 10:29]. I’d underscore that, verse 29. All right, that’s chapter 10, verse 29.
Now, Numbers chapter 21, you ought to underscore the story of the fiery serpent. I have a red line from verse 6 through verse 9. “And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived”—21, verses 6 to 9 [Numbers 21:6-9]. All right, 23, chapter 23, verse 10, “Let me die the death of the righteous, let my last end be like his!” [Numbers 23:10]. Verse 19, “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” [Numbers 23:19]. And verse 21, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a King is among them” [Numbers 23:21].
I want to expatiate on that just a second. That is exactly what I was talking about while ago. I want you to tell me—look at this—“God hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel” [Numbers 23:21], when God Himself says that they are the most stiff-necked people that ever lived, and all they did was to go a-whoring after other gods [Judges 2:17]. And yet it says here, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel” [Numbers 23:21]. Well, why not? Simply because in Christ all our stubbornness, and all our perverseness, and all of our sins and transgressions and iniquity, all of it is taken away [Psalms 103:12]. And the Lord looks at us through the blood of Jesus, and we are righteous in Him [1 John 1:7]. And that’s a good illustration of it, how the Lord looks at His people.
Now, Numbers 32, Numbers 32, Numbers 32:6, when he says to the children of Reuben, “Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?” And then that famous verse in 23, “If you do not help your brethren, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out,” verse 23, chapter 32 [Numbers 32:23].