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Someone Cares Series
Information brochure No. 10

God's Court
and the Judgment


In our last lesson we learned that Jesus is working (ministering) for us in the heavenly sanctuary. We might call this sanctuary Jesus' and His Father's office or court. The ministering angels are their staff. There are many types of work carried on in the sanctuary, but one of the most important is that of judgment. Sometimes we think of judgment in negative terms, but the purpose of this judgment is to declare us "not guilty" -- if possible! In this lesson we shall study the work of the judgment as carried on in the heavenly sanctuary.

1. What court summons do we hall have pending?

"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" (2 Corinthians 5:10).

We must all stand in the judgment to answer for the things done in this life, whether they are good or bad. To Christ has been committed all judgment because He is the Son of man. Nothing escapes His knowledge. However high the rank and great the power of spiritual apostates, One higher and greater has borne the sin of the whole world. He will see that obedience to God's commands is rewarded and that transgressors receive judgment according to their works. To His Son the Father has committed all judgment.

2. There are three parts to a court case: (1) investigation, (2) sentencing, and (3) execution of the sentence. When will the investigative part of the judgment be done -- before or after Jesus comes?

"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12).

When Jesus comes He is able to reward everyone as their work shall be because the investigative part of the judgment will be completed. There is not a second probation [preparation time] for anyone. God has not revealed to us the time when this message will close or when probation will have an end. The Word of the Lord reveals the fact that the end of all things is at hand, and its testimony is most decided that it is necessary for every soul to have the truth planted in the heart so that it will control the life and sanctify the character

3. Has God appointed a time in which He will judge the world?

"Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world. Before any can enter the mansions of the blessed, their cases must be investigated and their characters and their deeds must pass in review before God. All are to be judged according to the things written in the books and to be rewarded as their works have been. This judgment does not take place at death. Here the apostle plainly stated that a specified time, then in the future, had been fixed upon for the judgment of the world.

4. Must we appear in person, or is there a record of our lives that will be reviewed?

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12).

We are all judged out of the books of record in heaven. When we become children of God our names are written in the Lamb's book of life, and they remain there until the time of the investigative judgment. then the name of every individual will be called and his record examined by Him who declares, "I know thy works." If in that day it shall appear that all our wicked deeds have not been fully repented of, our names will be blotted from the book of life and our sins will stand against us.

5. With whom does this investigation of people's life-record begin.

"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?" (1 Peter 4:17).

In the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God, those who claim to be His followers. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work and takes place at a later date. The books of record in heaven, in which the names and deeds of men are registered, are to determine the decisions of the judgment.

6. What will happen to the record of the sins of God's people who were converted and who repented of their sins?

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;" (Acts 3:19).

Many are neglecting the preparation so needful, and are looking to the time of refreshing and the latter rain to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. None can share the refreshing unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action, so that our sins may be blotted out of the record in heaven. Then we will receive the refreshing from the Lord. He will give us a special measure of His Spirit.

7. There are various books of record in heaven. What is the name of the register that records the names of those who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour and Advocate?

"And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Revelation 21:27).

There are various books of record in heaven and it is only those whose names are retained in the Lamb's Book of Life who shall enter into the Holy City. All their sins have been confessed, pardoned, cleansed and blotted out of the Book of iniquity in heaven.

8. What will happen to those who were once "saved" and registered in this book of life, but who continue to cherish sin?

"And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book." (Exodus 32:31-33).

God has promised that those who have sinned against Him and do not repent will be blotted out of the Book of Life. As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon earth our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God's remembrance.

9. Will all who profess that Jesus is their Saviour, and who claim to be saved, ultimately be saved?

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:31-23).

The test of sincerity is not in words but in deeds. Christ does not say to any man, what say ye more than others, but what do you more than others (Matthew 5:47)? Full of meaning are His words, "If ye know these things happy are ye if ye do them" (John 13:17). Words are of no value unless they are accompanied with appropriate deeds. This is the lesson taught in the parable of the two sons (Matthew 21:23-32).

10. Will we be judged by our religious profession, or by some other means?

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).

God will bring every work into judgment. It has to do with all our acts and thoughts and feelings. It follows us and reaches every secret spring of action. Bu indulgence in sin men are led to lightly regard the Law of God. Many conceal their transgressions from their fellow men and flatter themselves that God will not be strict to mark iniquity. But His Law is the great standard of right, and with it every act of live must be compared in that day, when God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil. Purity of heart will lead to purity of life. All excuses for sin are vain. Who can plead for the sinner when God testifies against him?

11. Although we are saved by grace through faith alone and not by works (for it is by faith that our sins are forgiven and our lives are changed), by what will we be judged?

"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16:27).

When Christ shall come in Glory with His holy angels the whole earth shall be ablaze with the terrible light of His presence. "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the Gospel" (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8). The unsullied light will shine from His splendor, and Christ the Redeemer will be admired by all who have served Him. While the wicked flee Christ's followers will rejoice in His presence. Then it is that the redeemed from among men will receive their promised inheritance.

12 How do our works reveal our faith?

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:16-20).

The good tree will produce good fruit. If the fruit is unpalatable and worthless, the tree is evil. So the fruit born in the life testifies as to the condition of the heart and the excellence of character. Good works can never purchase salvation, but they are an evidence of the faith that acts by love and purifies the soul. And though the eternal reward is not bestowed because of our merit, yet it will be in proportion to the work that has been done through the grace of Christ. It is not enough, He says, for you to hear My words. By obedience you must make them the foundation of your character.

13. When God showed Daniel the future of the earth (Lesson 7), He depicted the rise of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome by four symbolic beasts. He then used ten horns to depict the splintering of the Roman Empire into European fragments. Wheat did Daniel see happening in the heavenly sanctuary, where God's throne is, sometime after the division of Rome into the European nations?

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened" (Daniel 7:9, 10).

The books of record in heaven, in which the names and the deeds of men are registered, are registered are to determine the decisions of the judgment. Says the prophet Daniel, "The judgment was set, and the books were opened." The revelator (John) describing the same scene adds, "Another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works" (Revelation 20:12). The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the service of God.

14. Jesus offers to be our advocate in this court of justice, but He does not plead everyone's case. Jesus said He had never "known" (never represented or been the advocate of) those who called Him "Lord" in Matthew 7:21-23. How can we make sure that He will be our advocate, and thus win our case, in the judgment?

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked" (1 John 2:1-6).

How careful is the Lord Jesus to give no occasion for a soul to despair. How He fences about the soul from Satan's fierce attacks. If through manifold temptations we are surprised or deceived into sin, He does not turn from us and leave us to perish. No, no that is not our Saviour. Christ prayed for us. Our crucified Lord is pleading for us in the presence of the Father at the throne of grace. He will not forget His church in the world of temptation. He looks upon His tried and suffering people and prays for them.

True religion is the imitation of Christ. Those who follow Christ will deny self, take up the cross and walk in His footsteps, following Christ means obedience to all His commandments. No soldier can be said to follow his commander unless he obeys orders.


The judgment in the heavenly sanctuary has eternal consequences for every one of us. Do you desire to have Jesus as your advocate in this judgment? Will you continue to learn from Him, and to walk in the light that He is revealing to you, so that you may have the assurance of eternal life in Him?

Page created: 7/26/98 Updated: 08/10/2006
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