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THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD AND OF THE LIVING

          

       Before we get in-depth into the Mideast crisis we would like to illustrate how intimately connected is the Mideast conflict and the Judgment of the Living in the house of God. 

      “Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God's people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried.  The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it?  He commands His servants to present the last invitation of mercy to the world. They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls. Christ's ambassadors have nothing to do with consequences. They must perform their duty and leave results with God.” {The Great Controversy p. 609.1}.

     Providentially this third quarter Sabbath School Lesson is on the judgment, but how many of us realize that the judgment is in two phases that of the dead and the living.  Surprisingly enough the time line of the Judgment of the Living is very much linked with a war in Palestine.  With the current world crisis and Mid-East development it becomes very necessary and appropriate to elaborate on this  issue so that as the remnant church we may be prepared for the final crisis.

        If God saw fit to send a message to us pertaining to the Judgment of the Dead, how much more necessary is it to inform us of the details of the Judgment of the Living.  Pertaining to the Judgment of the Living, Inspiration says:

       “Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon--none know how soon--it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time, above all others, it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour's admonition: "Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." Mark 13:33. "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." Revelation 3:3.  {The Great Controversy  p. 490.1}

       The Investigative Judgment of the Dead is just a mere book work.  That is to say the Lord is to cleanse the books in Heaven of the unworthy names.  With the Judgment of the Living on earth He is to cleanse His church of the unworthy members so that He can have a church without spot or wrinkle at His second coming.  The following references testify of this fact. 

       Malachi  3:1-4.  “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.  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:  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. 

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

       We all will agree that the coming of the Lord is near, but that has been the Christian expectation for the past 2000 years.  What evidence do we have to validate such an expectation as it relates to the current world events.  Let us bear in mind that before the second coming of the Lord He is to have a pure sanctified church reflecting His image.  Before going into detailed exposition on the Judgment for the living, the following Scripture will make us aware of what that will entail.

       Isaiah 4:1-4.  “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.  In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.  And it shall come to pass, [that he that is] left in Zion, and [he that] remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, [even] every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:  When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning..”

       According to Jeremiah 6:2, “woman” represents a church.  Seven is a symbol of completeness.  Thus all church members are baptized in the name of Jesus (the one Man),-and are called Christians,  but choose to put on their own apparel of self righteousness and eat their own spiritual food, which results in a deplorable condition in God’s church.  This necessitates the Lord’s intervention to cleanse His church as is further seen from the following passage.

      “God declares: "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." The Lord comes to His temple to find those who are sincere. He measures the worshippers. He knows those who are true-hearted and self-sacrificing. "Who may abide the day of His coming; and who shall stand when He appeareth?" Who will stand in the day of investigation. This does not mean the time when the books are opened. It is a preparatory work. "For He is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap." To those who have felt unconcerned, the Spirit comes as a reprover, and shows them that they need to do something to cleanse the temple. He investigates the temple and the worshippers thereof. "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 God an offering in righteousness."  

    “Page after page might be written in regard to these things. Whole conferences are becoming leavened with the same perverted principles. "For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth." The Lord will work to purify His church. I tell you in truth, the Lord is about to turn and overturn in the institutions  called by His name.  Just how soon this refining process will begin I cannot say, but it will not be long deferred. He whose fan is in His hand will cleanse His temple of its moral defilement. He will thoroughly purge His floor. {Testimonies to Ministers, pp.  372, 373}.

      Malachi indicates that this purifying process will be a surprise to the church, they were not expecting it, and that is why it was a sudden coming of the Lord to His temple.  Foremost pertaining to the living, Malachi said that the purified living ones will then offer an offering in righteousness unto the Lord.

      Let us also be informed that the Judgment of the Living is in two sections; one for the church, and the other for those in Babylon,-the world.

      1 Peter 4:17.  “For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? “

     “There are many with whom the Spirit of God is striving. The time of God's destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have had no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter.”  {Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9 p. 97}.

THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD AND OF THE LIVING

    Before we get in-depth into the Mideast crisis we would like to illustrate how intimately connected is the Mideast conflict and the Judgment of the Living in the house of God. 

   “Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God's people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried.  The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it?  He commands His servants to present the last invitation of mercy to the world. They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls. Christ's ambassadors have nothing to do with consequences. They must perform their duty and leave results with God.” {The Great Controversy p. 609.1}.

   Providentially this third quarter Sabbath School Lesson is on the judgment, but how many of us realize that the judgment is in two phases that of the dead and the living.  Surprisingly enough the time line of the Judgment of the Living is very much linked with a war in Palestine.  With the current world crisis and Mid-East development it becomes very necessary and appropriate to elaborate on this  issue so that as the remnant church we may be prepared for the final crisis.

   If God saw fit to send a message to us pertaining to the Judgment of the Dead, how much more necessary is it to inform us of the details of the Judgment of the Living.  Pertaining to the Judgment of the Living, Inspiration says:

  “Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon--none know how soon--it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time, above all others, it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour's admonition: "Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." Mark 13:33. "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." Revelation 3:3.  {The Great Controversy  p. 490.1}

   The Investigative Judgment of the Dead is just a mere book work.  That is to say the Lord is to cleanse the books in Heaven of the unworthy names.  With the Judgment of the Living on earth He is to cleanse His church of the unworthy members so that He can have a church without spot or wrinkle at His second coming.  The following references testify of this fact. 

   Malachi  3:1-4.  “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.  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:  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. 

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

   We all will agree that the coming of the Lord is near, but that has been the Christian expectation for the past 2000 years.  What evidence do we have to validate such an expectation as it relates to the current world events.  Let us bear in mind that before the second coming of the Lord He is to have a pure sanctified church reflecting His image.  Before going into detailed exposition on the Judgment for the living, the following Scripture will make us aware of what that will entail.

  Isaiah 4:1-4.  “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.  In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.  And it shall come to pass, [that he that is] left in Zion, and [he that] remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, [even] every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:  When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning..”

  According to Jeremiah 6:2, “woman” represents a church.  Seven is a symbol of completeness.  Thus all church members are baptized in the name of Jesus (the one Man),-and are called Christians,  but choose to put on their own apparel of self righteousness and eat their own spiritual food, which results in a deplorable condition in God’s church.  This necessitates the Lord’s intervention to cleanse His church as is further seen from the following passage.

  “God declares: "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." The Lord comes to His temple to find those who are sincere. He measures the worshippers. He knows those who are true-hearted and self-sacrificing. "Who may abide the day of His coming; and who shall stand when He appeareth?" Who will stand in the day of investigation. This does not mean the time when the books are opened. It is a preparatory work. "For He is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap." To those who have felt unconcerned, the Spirit comes as a reprover, and shows them that they need to do something to cleanse the temple. He investigates the temple and the worshippers thereof. "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 God an offering in righteousness."  

  “Page after page might be written in regard to these things. Whole conferences are becoming leavened with the same perverted principles. "For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth." The Lord will work to purify His church. I tell you in truth, the Lord is about to turn and overturn in the institutions  called by His name.  Just how soon this refining process will begin I cannot say, but it will not be long deferred. He whose fan is in His hand will cleanse His temple of its moral defilement. He will thoroughly purge His floor. {Testimonies to Ministers, pp.  372, 373}.

   Malachi indicates that this purifying process will be a surprise to the church, they were not expecting it, and that is why it was a sudden coming of the Lord to His temple.  Foremost pertaining to the living, Malachi said that the purified living ones will then offer an offering in righteousness unto the Lord.

   Let us also be informed that the Judgment of the Living is in two sections; one for the church, and the other for those in Babylon,-the world.

   1 Peter 4:17.  “For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? “

   “There are many with whom the Spirit of God is striving. The time of God's destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have had no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter.”  {Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9 p. 97}.

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WORLD WAR III A PRECURSOR TO THE JUDGMENT OF THE LIVING