Post three of three.
The original merely had eight bulleted points with no explanations. Here, I continue as I look at point number five.
(The) “Sheep and Goat” judgment (Matt 25:31-46).
If you had asked me about the sheep and goat judgment, this is where I would have initially directed you. It is, the same scenario as the great white throne judgment of Revelation twenty, verses 11-15, however, Matthew shows us, Jesus, while Revelation 20 seems to show the judge as God. Keep this in mind as you read the Revelation, it is a Revelation of Jesus Christ. There are very precise reasons I feel comfortable saying that are the same, and we may touch on some of them here.
In Matthew 25 we see this.
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.” (Matthew 25:31 NASB)
It is the Son of Man sitting on His glorious throne. You should know at this point in time, that all judgment has been placed into Jesus’ hands.
“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;” (Matthew 25:32 NASB)
Here in Matthew, all nations are gathered before Him.
Can you make an assessment as to whether those gathered are alive or dead?
We are not given that information.
Can you define dead, in God’s eyes?
Death is only a separation from God.
Notice that it is Jesus that creates the groups and places the people in their appropriate group
“and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
(Matthew 25:33-34 NASB)
The King, that’s Jesus, makes the announcement to the group on the right – the sheep, Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Before the foundation of the world, doesn’t that imply that their names were written in that book this entire time?
If that is the case why wouldn’t they have been called up in snatching away of the church?
I don’t know the answer to that, but this is speaking to me of the religious judgments that I have been inappropriately taught to make.
Perhaps those being shown God’s mercy, are having the same questions because Jesus seems to respond with an explanation.
‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;” (Matthew 25:35 NASB)
Wow, giving someone something to eat or drink doesn’t really seem like much. But in God’s eyes it is acting in the nature and character of the Son. His nature and character is LOVE, in case you did not know. This exchange of questions and answers goes on for four more verses.
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
(Matthew 25:40 NASB)
“…To the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
Have you ever given that any thought? He, Jesus, is projecting, and appropriately so, His persona upon these.
If we could end it here that would be enough for me, but NO, He has to go on.
“Then He will also say to those on His left (the goats,) ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;”
(Matthew 25:41 NASB)
Verse 40 applies to these people as well, only in the opposite. “To the extent that you did (NOT do) it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did (NOT do) it to Me.”
Millennial Reign of Christ on earth (Isa 2:2-4, 9:6-7, 11:1-10, 65:22-25, Rev 20:1-10) righteous (outside of the Church) resurrected, unrighteous of all time not resurrected until the end.
First, the millennial is the 1000 year reign of Christ over the earth. It is also the time when Satan gets thrown into the Lake of Fire for a thousand years, where he cannot bother any of us in the outside world. Wow, if that is the case, then how do you explain what we see in Revelation 21 where it is talking about the New Jerusalem.
“and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
(Revelation 21:27 NASB)
It would seem that God has allowed for free will, and based on their actions, I would say they have chosen not to follow after Jesus.
“Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.” (Isaiah 2:2-4 NASB)
Interesting how many usages the phrase “last days” refers to. It can imply Jesus’ return for His church, the seven-years of God’s wrath, known to many as the great tribulation, and the millennial reign of Jesus. Here, in Isaiah, it is speaking of the thousand-year period.
The mountain of the house of the Lord will be established. There are scriptures that speak of Satan being tossed from heaven, stripped of power, and all power being given to the Son. With statements like this, you would think that we, the followers of Christ, would walk about in power and victory; but we don’t, do we. The millennial reign is when this actually happens.
“That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” Sadly, you have had this opportunity to learn His ways and walk in His paths all along.
During the 1000 years, He (we assume that this is God, but no, all judgment has been given to the Son, Jesus,) will judge between the nations, and (He,) will render decisions for many people.
And, as a result of this judgment, they (the nations,) will hammer their swords will be turned into plow-blades, and their spears into vine-knives.
The BBE Bible puts the end in this manner.
“No longer will the nations be turning their swords against one another, and the knowledge of war will be gone for ever.”
Can you imagine how many people live in a constant state of fear?
What a relief a life like this would be.
It is a wonderful thought, and it will end with a final judgment.
Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15)
This is the same judgment that you saw when we talked about the sheep and goat judgment. Yes, there seem to be differences, such as here in Revelation 20 it talks how He (we assume it’s God here,) calls the nations before Him. While in Matthew’s account, He (in this case it is the shepherd – which we understand to be Jesus,) calls the dead before Him.
Since our spirits live on forever, is anybody truly dead?
Death is nothing less than your permanent separation from God, and hence, that is why there is a hell.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15 NASB)
The eternal order (Rev 21-22:5)
I have no idea what Mr. Garcia is talking about and I will tell you that I have never heard this preached in church. Let’s see what the passages say and see if we can make any sense out of it.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” (Revelation 21:1 NASB)
“A new heaven and a new earth.” I was recently told by someone that they wanted to talk about these very chapters. I have read them on several occasions, and I thought they made sense. Immediately one of the questions I was asked popped into my mind, and it had to do with the earth burning up. In trying to find an answer for this person, I did an extensive search. This is about all I could find.
2 Peter 3:4-7 NASB “and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” (5) For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, (6) through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. (7) But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
I, and a few others, will tell you, that the Revelation is a Jewish book immersed in the Old Testament, and prophecy to the Jew is based in repetition. I find nothing in scripture that shows me the earth being consumed by fire, except for 2 Peter 3. Should I then reject any allusions to the old earth burning up and being replaced? I don’t think so, if for no other reason than to purge the earth of it’s pollution; and I can see pollution on two levels – Satan’s and that made by humans.
If Mr. Garcia is trying to make a point, perhaps the point lies in the chronological order of things. Albert Barnes, who published his commentaries around 1847, tells us that John assigned no time frame to what these two chapters convey. So I am not sure a chronological order is going to work.
If, like the Apostle, Peter tells us, that it is all reserved for fire, then how does God manage to show mercy to those living throughout the millennial years?
My question is anchored in the scriptural understanding that non-believers enter the millennial reign; and since these people will continue to live with a freedom of choice, among their own people, outside of the New Jerusalem, then births will continue and each individual will have to be shown God’s mercy, hopefully leading them to Jesus Christ. You cannot merely burn them up and we see an ample opportunity for them.
In Revelation 21:2 we see the Holy City, 1500 miles square, coming down. For this to land on a level pad, there has to have been a tremendous shaking, and we see that as we read the scriptures. I have always pictured Holy City being in place throughout the millennial reign. A piece of evidence for this comes from this statement, which Mr. Garcia did not point you to.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” (Revelation 22:14-15 NASB)
If we do not see the Holy City until after the sheep and goat judgment, where the goats are thrown into the lake of fire (to be burned eternally,) then how is it that there people like this walking around outside the city of God?
Another question arises. How could a just God allow these people to enter the millennial kingdom and continue with such horrid desires? Perhaps the answer lies in His mercy.
We have one more clue in that Satan will be released after the 1000 years and he deceives the nations; they, in turn, driven by his passion to kill God and take His power, attack the Holy City. God stops that nonsense by, you got it, burning them up. Satan is then cast permanently into the Lake of Fire, while all these new deaths get to join the others at the great white throne judgment. This is the same judgment as what we see in Matthew 25 where the “goats” are cast into the fire. In either case, among those books used to judge is the Book of Life. The mere thought that God is scouring the books to see if there is a shadow of a reason to give those before Him life, should keep you awake at night.
So, if the Holy City was sitting on earth when God burns the heavens and the earth, would it also be consumed in the fire?
I suspect that God can do anything and maintain what is His. Revelation 21:4 tells us that there will no more death, sorrow, nor crying, for the former things have passed away.
Ah, but when does that happen?
Does it happen, for the church, at the catching away – the rapture?
Beyond the rapture the martyred saints, murdered during the time of wrath, should no longer have to deal with death, sorrow, or crying, and yet we see them crying out, how long Lord until the rest can come home, almost as though they are still aware of grief. So I am not sure this thought process works to define the order of heaven.
Perhaps this has more to do with the beginning of the millennial reign because it seems that immediately after Jesus shows up peace will take over. I have struggled to comprehend this peace all my life, as I have had to deal with bullies, just as many of you.
Look, the “Order of Heaven” is irrelevant as God will do what He intends, and His intent is to give us back the world and the relationship Adam had with the Father before the fall. No more Satan, therefore, no more prodding to sin. For the believers, we will be immortals, impervious to pain, death, and aging. And one other thing that I long to understand, is the companionship of such a powerful God.