Please take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to be your Guide as we continue. This is the only way to know we are not being deceived. Thank you. For the most part, all major Churches have a clear understanding that the Great White Throne Judgment will happen at the end of the Millennium; the thousand year period John wrote about in Revelation. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST Resurrection; on such the Second Death hath no power, but they shall be Priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Rev.20:6)!
First and Second Resurrection
Again, most major Church Denominations understand and teach that there are 2 Resurrections and that these resurrections are separated by a 1000 years. A few have tried to maintain that there is only 1 Resurrection. Following is the Scripture they base this on: "Marvel not at this, for the HOUR is coming, in which ALL that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth! They that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (Jn.5:28-29)! If this were the only Scripture about the Resurrection, one could assume there was only one "Hour" that all dead persons would be resurrected. However, several years later, on the Isle of Patmos, Jesus appeared to John and explained that there will be a 1000 year separation between the Resurrection of the Righteous and the Wicked. If we are willing to accept this 1000 year separation that Jesus explained to John, several other statements Jesus made during His ministry can be better understood. Throughout Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, information is given that seems to say a certain thing, but as more info comes from the Holy Spirit and often this latest information clarifies earlier statements. With this in mind, let's look at a few that will make the Great White Throne Judgment easy to understand.
The Sheep and the Goats
Pre-Trib Rapture Promoters use this Parable/Prophecy from Jesus to establish an Earthly Millennial Kingdom. We will assume the Reader is familiar with the "Sheep and Goats" Jesus spoke about in His Olivette Discourse. Let's look at a quick overview: "When the Son of Man (Jesus) shall come in His Glory, and all the Holy Angels with Him, He shall sit upon the Throne of His Glory" (Matt.25:31)! Because Jesus had just spoken of His Second Coming a few moments earlier, many, probably most, Bible Students assume that He is still talking about His second Coming. Again, when we look at Revelation where Jesus later gave additional information to John, we can see that this event is actually 1000 years after His Second Coming. The Great White Throne Judgment scene takes place AFTER the 1000 years. John was shown "New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven" (Rev.21:2)! A few verses earlier John was shown that at this same time, 1000 years AFTER the Righteous dead are resurrected at Christ's Second Coming, the wicked would be Judged. "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the Books were opened" (Rev.20:12). "And the sea gave up the dead! And death and hell delivered up the dead that were in them! And they were JUDGED every man according to their works" (vs13)!
Sheep and Goats at the End of 1000 Years
Now let's tie together the texts that show the Sheep and Goat Parable/Prophecy Jesus gave is NOT the Second Coming. When telling the Sheep and Goat illustration, Jesus said, "When the Son of Man shall come in His Glory, and all the Holy Angels with Him" (Matt.25:31). On the surface, it certainly sounds like His Second Coming because He used the same words earlier in which there is no doubt He was referring to the definitely to His Second Coming. Notice His words describing His Second Coming: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven...the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His Angels with a sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together His Elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matt.24:30-31)! Jesus told His Disciples how these angels would "Gather His Elect." "Then shall 2 be in the field; the ONE SHALL BE TAKEN, and the OTHER LEFT" (Vs.40)!
Notice there is a difference between these events. At the Second Coming Jesus sends His Angels to "Gather the Elect." "One is Taken (His Elect), the Other Left (the Wicked Lost)." At the Sheep and Goats, "Before Him shall be gathered ALL NATIONS" (Matt.25:32)! If "All Nations" are gathered, the Angels would have to "Gather Everybody," not just "Gather His Elect."
Great White Throne Judgment Seat
At the Great White Throne Judgment Seat, EVERY person who has ever lived on this Earth will be "Gathered!" If we just take the time to read these Scripture passages carefully, "Comparing Scripture with Scripture," the Bible is perfectly clear with NO Contradictions! All Prophecies fit like a glove if we just take the time to prayerfully study and ask God's Holy Spirit to help us.
Parable of the Wheat and Tares
This is another Parable/Prophecy that has caused some confusion for those promoting a Rapture and an Earthly Millennial Kingdom. In this Parable/Prophecy Jesus told of a man sowing his field with Wheat, and an enemy coming in at night and sowing Tares (Weeds) in the field. Jesus said the Wheat and Tares would grow together and at the harvest the workers would gather the tares and burn them. Jesus said the Wheat represents the Righteous and the Tares represent the Wicked Lost. Jesus then explained that at the "end of the world (age)" angels would "Gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them who do iniquity and cast them into a furnace of fire" (See Matt.13:24-30 and 37-43)!
This is exactly what happens at the end of the 1000 years after the Great White Throne Judgment. The wicked dead are resurrected and assembled before the Judgment Seat. After Judgment, "Fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them" (Rev.20:9)!
If we get a clear understanding of these events, exactly as Scripture outlines them, there will be no confusion about a Rapture, a Millennial Kingdom here on Earth, a 7 year Tribulation, or any of the confusing Theories that have been made so popular. The Bible is its own interpretator, and when we ask for God's Spirit to be with us as we study, we will know the Truth.
Thanks, Dear Reader, for your time and interest. Please leave us any comments you have. If you disagree with us, please let us know. Your comments will not be used in any way for argument purposes. If we have not explained things satisfactorily, we want to know so we can do better.
Yours in Christ
Walter C. Martin Jr.
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