And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Hebrews 9:27

A threshing sled (upturned) at Neot Kedumim. A wooden sled with iron teeth on the underside.

Judgment

God judges and will judge individuals and nations. Let's clarify this a bit.

Judgment for the individual

Judgment after death for every man; how will this play out? I suggest our judgment will not a trial, a hearing of evidence to determine guilt - God knows that already. It will be a matter of passing sentence. There can be no appeals - they should have been made during life.

Yom Kippur is regarded as Judgment day in Judaism , but is seen in terms of good or ill for the coming year. This is not so for Christians, although Yom Kippur can be seen as foreshadowing Judgment when Yeshua comes / returns.

Application of Judgment
Judgment is not meted out directly when one does a bad enough thing
Many writers in the Bible ask why the wicked prosper and are not destroyed.
We need to take a long term view, but JUDGMENT comes after death and will be sure and just.
Each will die for his own sin (not his nation's)
Some will suffer in life because of the outcomes of their sin but this is not Judgment,

What is the basis for judgment ? What is the pass mark ?
This is the bad news - a 100% passmark- no sin. No good deed will atone for sin.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God does not want to live with people who are (not were) even a bit sinful.

 

We need the good news
Jesus' coming is the good news for every sinner. That is all of us, because nobody has a lifetime 100% score. Forgiveness and inclusion in Jesus' kingdom is on offer to all who will accept the verdict that they are sinners. Jesus' parable about the wedding feast - ends with 

Matthew 22:12 'Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.

The host of the Kingdom wedding feast, YHVH, God the Father provides wedding clothes for those who will accept his offer.

So we must not try to show up in our own (imagined ) righteousness. Revelation 21:27 explains
Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

But notice how the book that allows or bars entry is not a book of our sins, or good deeds but the book that records that we have accepted Jesus' atoning sacrifice for us as our plea.

But how can God preserve his justice while offering such mercy ?
While there is no good thing that a man can do that will be sufficient to pay the price of his sins, the one and only sinless man - Jesus - Yeshua the Messiah - made the bloody sacrifice that was acceptable as atonement for all mankind, for all time.

 

What about Israel - the Jews ?
The Jews who accepted, and are still accepting, Yeshua from Nazareth as the promised Messiah who brought in the new covenant of Jeremiah 31, are God's remnant - his olive tree into which we Gentile believers have been grafted.

"Here, the days are coming," says , "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah."
The Jews that accepted this became "Messianic Jews"

The position of Jews who rejected, and are still rejecting Yeshua is a difficult subject to discuss. Yeshua wept over Jerusalem as it was about to reject him as he came as saviour.
Yeshua said this - and he said it to the Jews ....

"I AM the Way—and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

So, when the leaders of first century Judaism rejected Yeshua as Messiah and persecuted those Jews who did believe, they rejected this new covenant that had been promised through Jeremiah. (31:30)

"Here, the days are coming," says ADONAI, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them," says ADONAI. "For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days," says Adonai: "I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.

When they rejected this New Covenant that Yeshua was bringing they had to trust in the covenant that Moses had delivered with the Torah. But, by turning Judaism away from God's plan they had to restructure the "old" covenant because they had lost valid atonement and other sacrifices needed to take away their sin, when the Temple was destroyed.


For this reason, wildolive takes the more difficult position of rejecting Dual Covenant Theology which holds that New Covenant is for the Gentiles and the Old covenant is sufficient for Jews.

While this theology makes Christian - Jewish dialogue easier, it forbids us sharing Jesus' words that he is The Way the truth and the life, effectively denying New Covenant salvation to the Jews we wish to reach in love.

 

Should I Judge ?


Jesus said, (Luke 6:37)
 "Don't judge, and you won't be judged. Don't condemn, and you won't be condemned. "Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

One of the worst social sins today is being "judgmental" meaning that we should be accepting of others regardless of how wrong their actions may be in light of the Bible.


So Jesus and the world are in agreement - right ?
I suggest that, as remarked above, there is an essential difference between judgment and discernment. Judgment is about passing sentence after the truth of guilt has been discerned (proven).
This being true, we are not to close our eyes and minds to the evil around us but help each other to be discerning. This places upon us a responsibility to act wisely, honestly and lovingly towards those we see as transgressors of God's standards.
This is not going to be easy and will very likely get us into trouble with the world and with political correctness. Jesus foresaw this

 "How blessed are those who are persecuted because they pursue righteousness! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (Matthew 5:10)

To say and do nothing brings us up against God's word to Ezekiel about the responsibilities of a watchman, in chapter 33.

 

Judgment on nations

Do Christian Zionists say too much about judgment based upon one's attitude towards Israel ?

We are very familiar with Genesis 12:3 that says,

 "I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; ......"

This was first promised to Abraham, but the promise was reiterated to Isaac and Jacob (whose name God changed to Israel)

Remember that the Hebrew uses two different words translated as "curse"; the second being much heavier than the first. More like - those who make light of Israel will be spewed out.

I suggest this blessing or curse is not speaking of eternal judgment but a blessing or curse in the here and now.

Perhaps we need to ponder the dilemma that churches might be causing God when they malign and seek to damage Israel. Surely God wants to bless his church, but then they go and call curses upon themselves. Would we be seeing more blessing but for Israel hatred?

Observers in the USA have catalogued disasters coming upon the nation following government moves to Israel's harm. This is not to single out the USA - arguably a historically god-fearing nation. Maybe these events are a call for repentance. But for how much longer - has God given up on USA for its falling away and withdrawn his hand of protection.
If other nations do not suffer Israel related disasters is it that we have just not noticed the connections or are we already doomed for our national godlessness and immorality?

When Yeshua spoke of sheep and goats, (Matthew 25) it was in the context of what they "did to my brothers" he was warning individuals - not nations. And when Jesus spoke of his brothers and sisters, he was speaking of his followers - not his ethnic people. So the idea of judgment of nations as either sheep or goat nations on the basis of their treatment of Israel is not justified.

God does speak of judging the nations

I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Y'hoshafat [ judges]. I will enter into judgment there for my people, my heritage Isra'el, whom they scattered among the nations; then they divided my land. Joel 4:2..

Note - The word here translated as nations is goy (plural Goyim) Goy is simply the word for people or nations that are not Jews - English equivalent Gentiles.

Note also, "divided my land" should be taken as a warning for today, but this judgment takes place at a time yet to come.
Note that Joel 4 speaks of both "the nations" and "all nations" while Ezekiel 38 speaks about the Gog Magog horde - specific nations that invade. These prophecies appear to point to the same event but maybe with a different perspective.

There also appears to be a difference in location between the valley below Jerusalem and Megido in the Galilee, generally considered Armageddon,

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (Revelation 16:16)
Armageddon is assumed to be a transliteration of Har Megido (Mount Megido), but Megido is not a mountain but a tel (a mound caused by successive rebuilding of a city on its earlier ruins ). - see Armageddon for an interpretation that reconciles adresses this issue.

Zechariah also covers this day of reckoning

12:3 - When that day comes, I will make Yerushalayim a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who try to lift it will hurt themselves, and all the earth's nations will be massed against her.
12:9 - "When that day comes, I will seek to destroy all nations attacking Yerushalayim;
14:3 - Then will go out and fight against those nations, fighting as on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, .....
14:12 - will strike all the peoples who made war against Yerushalayim with a plague in which their flesh rots away while they are standing on their feet, their eyes rot away in their sockets, and their tongues rot away in their mouths.
This verse appears to come after the battle is over, so will there be further retribution?

Does the destruction of nations precede the ending of autonomous rule as they become part of Messiah's millennial kingdom ?

Finally, everyone remaining from all the nations that came to attack Yerushalayim will go up every year to worship the king, Adonai-Tzva'ot, and to keep the festival of Sukkot.  If any of the families of the earth does not go up to Yerushalayim to worship the king, -Tzva'ot, no rain will fall on them.Zechariah 14:16
Notice both "the nations that attacked" and "any of the families of the earth." - what is the significance of this difference ?

Nations and empires have been destroyed down through history as a result of the evils they have done to Israel, as and when justified by the fullness of their guilt. (Think - empires of the Assryians through the Romans to the British and the USSR)

Of course, reading the prophets, we see judgments on nations and empires on account of the excessive cruelty with which they executed God's judgment on Israel.


Israel suffered terrible judgments for their sins against their God, as Ezekiel acted out to the people.

At the end of Deuteronomy Moses listed the blessings or cursings that would come upon Israel depending on their faithfulness to God. History contains many instances of the curses that came to pass, and there may be some still to be completed before the end.

Zechariah 13:8 In time, throughout that land," says Adonai, "two-thirds of those in it will be destroyed—they will die, but one-third will remain.

It is not easy to contemplate two thirds (of those in the land) being killed before the remnant is sanctified. Maybe this refers to something that has already happened, but the Holocaust destroyed one third of world Jewry - not two thirds.

Will the remnant include the Messianic Jews, preserved by heeding Yeshua's teaching as the Messianic believers did when Rome destroyed Jerusalem ?

Mark 13:14 "Now when you see the abomination that causes devastation standing where it ought not to be" (let the reader understand the allusion), "that will be the time for those in Y'hudah to escape to the hills.

At the end of all this there is Zechariah 12:9,

"When that day comes, I will seek to destroy all nations attacking Yerushalayim; and I will pour out on the house of David and on those living in Yerushalayim a spirit of grace and prayer; and they will look to me, whom they pierced."

See Thirsting for Armagedon ? for advice on how to understand these weighty matters.

Posted 13/02/21

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