Calvary Road Baptist Church

“THE FOURTH OF CHRIST’S JUDGMENTS, THE JUDGMENT OF LIVING ISRAEL”

John 5.22 

It may have been as much as a year after the beginning of our Lord’s public ministry, after His baptism, after His miracle of turning the water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana, after visiting with Nicodemus in Jerusalem, and after meeting with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, that He returned to Jerusalem. It was while He was back in Jerusalem, on the Sabbath, that John’s Gospel account records the healing by the Lord Jesus Christ of an impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, which is very near Herod’s Temple. Being in the home region of the Jewish religious leaders, and especially it being the Sabbath, their negative reaction to Christ’s miracle healing is easy to understand. They felt our Lord was invading their domain. Working a miracle in far off Galilee was one thing, but it was quite another thing to perform such a deed in their city, on the Sabbath. It struck a nerve.

That said, the hostile reaction of the religious leaders to the Lord Jesus Christ, as is anyone’s less than enthusiastic reaction to the Savior, was based upon their failure to appreciate Who He is and what His relationship with Almighty God happens to be. To give you some idea of that relationship with God, turn to John 5, and we will read from John 5.16. When you find that verse I invite you to stand and read along with me silently as I read aloud: 

16  And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

17  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

19  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

20  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

21  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

22  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

23  That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 

We could spend a great deal of time pondering the implications of our Lord’s comments in this passage, as well as what follows. However, I would like to continue exploring the aspect of our Lord’s relationship with God the Father that He makes mention of in John 5.22. It serves to help explain His claim “that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” The verse reads, 

“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” 

I have mentioned before that this statement causes a bit of consternation for some in the evangelical community whose view of Christ is frequently a one-dimensional figure Who is only capable of love, sentiment, tenderness, compassion, and other obviously related characteristics. That the Lord Jesus Christ will also render judgment makes a great many people uncomfortable. However, the Bible says what it says. The Lord Jesus Christ does render judgment, and His future judgments should be taken into account as we plan to live our lives. Consider the Apostle Paul’s correction of the Corinthian Christians in First Corinthians 4.1-5, where he wrote, 

1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. 

And again, in Second Corinthians 5.10, where he wrote, 

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

Having established that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to judge, the plan I have been pursuing is to treat each of the Lord Jesus Christ’s various judgments in consecutive Sunday evening messages. I began with the first of Christ’s judgments, the Judgment Seat of Christ, which was Christ’s judgment of the Church Age saints caught up in the Rapture and occurring in heaven near the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. I anticipate being subject to that judgment, which is obviously a judgment of saints of this era who have departed this life for the eternal state. The second judgment we considered of Christ’s judgments is His judgment of Old Testament saints. This, too, is a judgment of saints who have left this life for the next, that takes place just following Christ’s second coming and before the establishing of His millennial kingdom here on earth. They, too, will for that judgment have been resurrected and suited for the eternal state.

Taking place at about the same time, which is following our Lord’s glorious return to earth following the Tribulation, is Christ’s judgment of the Tribulation martyrs, those individuals who came to faith in Christ after the Rapture and who lost their lives for the cause of Christ by either being beheaded for refusing to worship the antichrist or by starving to death because they were unable to buy food when they refused the mark of the beast.[1] Like the two judgments we have already considered, this one will be Christ’s judgment of those already promoted to the next life. Also, like the two groups already judged, the Tribulation martyrs will be resurrected for their judgment and rewards at the hand of their Savior.

Unlike the three judgments we have already considered, the judgment of living Israel will be Christ’s judgment of those Jewish people who are still alive at the time of Christ’s return. At the beginning of the Seventieth Week of Daniel, there were no believers left on earth. Every living saint will have been caught up in the Rapture.[2] Some who come to Christ during that seven year period will be Jewish people, yet there will also be among the survivors of that terrible time Jewish people who have not trusted Christ. Once the Tribulation begins with the arrival on the scene of the seemingly peaceful antichrist and the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, there will be a three-and-one-half year span of relative peace in which the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, the young Jewish evangelists will traverse the earth preaching the Gospel, environmental catastrophes will become widespread leading to many deaths, and considerable numbers of Jewish people will embrace the claims of Jesus Christ, be converted, and migrate to Israel. Other Jewish people will return to Israel because of a rising tide of anti-Semitism. This will be the predicted return to the Promised Land of the Diaspora that I will say a bit more about later.

Throughout this time things are occurring. And when the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week takes place three related events occur, two on earth and one in heaven. In heaven the Devil will be cast out, confining him to earth and signaling that the end of his freedom is rapidly approaching, Revelation 12.12-17: 

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. 

The phrase “a time, and times, and half a time” corresponds to the last half of the Tribulation, known because of the intensity of suffering and persecution as the Great Tribulation.[3] What Revelation 12.12-17 deals with from a heavenly perspective Matthew 24.14-22 shows from a human perspective: 

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 

Persecution will be unlike it has ever been before. The Jew-haters will be in fine feather as they join with the antichrist to hunt down and kill the Jews. The Jews who have trusted Christ, however, will have been forewarned when to run and hide. It will be when the antichrist violates the terms of the peace treaty he has signed to consolidate his power when he enters the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and desecrates it. That will be “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet” . . . “in the holy place.” Corresponding to Satan’s expulsion from heaven, the antichrist will be inflamed with Satanic rage to openly hunt and seek to destroy the Jewish people.

It will also be at this time that the two witnesses who serve God during the first half of the Tribulation will be overcome by the antichrist and killed in Jerusalem, Revelation 11.7-8. Who are these two men? I kinda think they are Enoch and Elijah, the only two men who have never yet experienced death. Of course, these two deaths will make the unsaved of this world very happy, and they will celebrate their deaths, Revelation 11.10. But after 3½ days the Spirit of God will bring them back to life, and they will be called to heaven in front of everyone, Revelation 11.11-12. For the next 3½ years, it will be very, very bad. Many will be martyred, and those martyred for Christ’s sake will be raised from the dead by the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns, for their judgment and rewards. We addressed that last week. However, those who succeeded in hiding out and avoiding capture and execution, who hung on to their lives in desperation and prayer, will be well taken care of by our glorious and conquering king upon His arrival. He will judge those Jewish survivors, the believers among them being among the first citizens to populate Christ’s millennial kingdom.

Rolland McCune writes, 

The judgments of living Israel and living Gentiles are not final judgments for the unsaved within these groups, and perhaps not for the saved among them either. The unsaved will stand finally at the Great White Throne. The saved will probably have a judgment at the end of the Millennium, although Scripture is silent.[4] 

Though he may be correct in his opinion that those surviving Jewish believers whose judgment we will now consider before they enter into Christ’s millennial kingdom will be judged once more at the conclusion of the millennium, I have no decided opinion.

As is our custom, five main points related to the Lord Jesus Christ’s judgment of those Jewish people who survive that terrible time known as the Tribulation: 

First, THE TIME OF THE JUDGMENT OF JEWISH TRIBULATION SURVIVORS 

The appropriate time for this judgment is after the Tribulation, occurring, as will the two coming before this judgment, during the 75 days between the Tribulation and the Millennium, Daniel 12.11-12. The judgment will come after God’s wrath is poured out on Israel, and after her final regathering to the Land of Promise, Ezekiel 20.33-34: 

33 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:

34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.

Make no mistake about it. The 70th week of Daniel is a time in which God deals with Israel’s sin. He will pour out His wrath during this time, the partial result of which will be many Jewish people fleeing the hostility of anti-Semitism to return to the Promised Land.

If the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25.14-30 depicts this judgment, then it will occur after the bridal party (Christ and the Church) descends from heaven at the end of the Tribulation, Matthew 25.1-13. 

Next, THE PLACE OF THE JUDGMENT OF JEWISH TRIBULATION SURVIVORS 

This geographical location is mentioned in Ezekiel 20.35 as “the wilderness of the people.” It is probably the Kadesh-Barnea region where Israel was judged after the Exodus and those twenty years of age and older were sentenced to die during the wilderness wanderings, Numbers 13-15.

It is likely also the place where the two previous judgments, the judgment of Old Testament saints and the judgment of Tribulation martyrs, is to be held, though those two judgments are judgments of individuals who have died and been raised from the dead. Not so with this group. 

Third, THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE JUDGMENT OF JEWISH TRIBULATION SURVIVORS 

As if the label of this third main point isn’t enough of an indication, this judgment concerns the surviving Jewish people who come out of the Tribulation period in their natural bodies. Of course, by this time they have all been regathered to the land promised to Abraham.[5]

God will bring them to the place of judgment via His poured out Tribulation wrath, Ezekiel 20.33. The promise is that “I will bring you out from the people (literally, from Gentile nations), and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered,” Ezekiel 20.34.

So much for those who deny that God has a plan for Israel. And so much for those who deny that God has a land for Israel in the future. 

Fourth, THE BASIS OF THE JUDGMENT OF JEWISH TRIBULATION SURVIVORS 

The basis for this judgment seems simply to be their response to the Gospel kingdom message. That message will be the Gospel of the kingdom preached first by the two witnesses who were killed by the beast and then raised from the dead and subsequently called to heaven, as well as by the 144,000 sealed Jewish evangelists.

These young Jewish men will be the dominant preachers of this good news of the impending kingdom, especially during the last half of the Tribulation after the two witnesses are raised up and translated to glory. 

Finally, THE RESULTS OF THE JUDGMENT OF JEWISH TRIBULATION SURVIVORS 

This judgment results in the Jewish people who are saved through faith in Christ entering the messianic kingdom and those who are unsaved still surviving being put to death. Pray tell, what is the point of surviving great dangers, overcoming horrific obstacles, demonstrating astonishing personal courage, so that you can pass from this life to Hellfire? At this judgment, all will be made to “pass under the rod.” The saved will be brought “into the bond of the covenant” and the “rebels and those who transgress against Me” will be purged from the group “and will not enter the land of Israel,” Ezekiel 20.38: 

“And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” 

In the Olivet Discourse, the five foolish virgins (the unsaved Jews) are excluded from the kingdom, and the five wise virgins (the saved remnant of Israel) enter into the kingdom, Matthew 25.1-13: 

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. 

In Malachi’s language, God will sit over Israel as a refiner’s fire and will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, adulterers, false swearers, oppressors and others, Malachi 3.1-6: 

1  Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

2  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:

3  And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

4  Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

5  And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

6  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 

According to Paul, all Israel will be saved when the Deliverer comes out of Zion, Romans 11.26: 

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” 

This refers to the saved remnant of Israel, those who will inherit the New Covenant and enter the kingdom. Only believing Jews will enter the millennial rule and their saved status will be revealed, not determined, at this pre-kingdom judgment. 

Allow me to restate several important details related to Christ’s judgments, and to point out how this judgment is like the others yet different from the others. All four judgments, the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Judgment of Old Testament Saints, the Judgment of Tribulation Martyrs, and the Judgment of Surviving Tribulation Jews, are conducted before the Lord Jesus Christ establishes His millennial kingdom here on earth. Of the four judgments we have considered so far, only the Judgment Seat of Christ is conducted after the Rapture and before the Tribulation, the 70th week of Daniel. The Judgment of Old Testament Saints, the Judgment of Tribulation Martyrs, and the Judgment of Surviving Tribulation Jews are conducted after Christ’s visible return to earth and before He establishes His millennial kingdom here on earth.

Additionally, of the four judgments considered so far only the Judgment of Surviving Tribulation Jews is a judgment of those who have not yet been resurrected. The Judgment of Surviving Tribulation Jews is a judgment of those still naturally alive. Very important to point out is that none of the judgments considered are to decide anyone’s eternal destiny. The Judgment Seat of Christ is a judgment to ascertain the rewards to be given to those who were Raptured and are at the time of judgment already in heaven. The Judgment of the Old Testament Saints is a judgment to ascertain rewards to be given to those who were believers from Old Testament times raised from the dead at the time of Christ’s second coming. The Judgment of the Tribulation Martyrs is a judgment to ascertain rewards to be given to those who were believers from the Tribulation who died before Christ’s return but were raised from the dead at the time of Christ’s second coming.

Different from the previous three judgments, the Judgment of the Surviving Tribulation Jews is a judgment of those who have not yet died, have not yet passed from their natural lives, and have not been raised from the dead. Additionally, this is the first of the judgments in which some of the participants are not believers in Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is crucial to understand that while this Judgment of Surviving Tribulation Jews is not a judgment to decide the eternal destiny of those judged, it is a judgment to discover the eternal destiny of those judged.

As with everyone else who has ever lived and ever will live, one’s eternal destiny is a consequence of the means of faith by which the sinner is reconciled to God. Trust in God’s provision for your sinful soul and your future with God in eternity is established. Live and die without saving faith in God’s provision for your sinful soul, and you will suffer the unending punishment of God in the lake of fire.

These things understood, the Judgment of Surviving Tribulation Jews is a judgment whose purpose is to reveal what has already taken place or to reveal what has not already taken place. Trust Christ and live eternally. Without trusting Christ, the Jew who survives the Tribulation will suffer eternal torment.

__________

[1] Revelation 13.16, 17; 14.9, 11; 15.2; 16.2; 19.20; 20.4

[2] 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17

[3] Matthew 24.21; Revelation 2.22; 7.14

[4] Rolland McCune, A Systematic Theology Of Biblical Christianity, Volume Three: The Doctrines of Salvation, the Church, and Last Things, (Detroit: Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2010), page 419.

[5] Genesis 12.7; 13.17; 15.18

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org