Month 7:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5939:207 AM|
2Exodus 2/40, 4th Sh'mittah - Year 49/50
Global Judgment - Day #T-92
Gregorian Calendar Monday 12 October 2015
Justice and Judgment
Their Theology and Nature Explained
"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the mishpat (judgment)" (Heb.9:27).
Shabbat shalom mishpachah and welcome to this final sabbath assembly of the seventh month. We also send greetings to brethren and sisters assembling in South Africa, Germany, the United States, Ireland, East Africa and elsewhere who, though they cannot assemble with us in the flesh, are able to be with us in spirit and sometimes in Skype. I am happy to say that we have totally upgraded the software in our our aging computer equipment so that we should now be able to hold multiple video conversations. It's yet to be fully tried out - we still need to ascertain how much traffic the new system can manage - but we are optimistic. We hope, eventually, to be able to have large conferencing sessions and so bridge the geographical distance between us.
Death Followed by Judgment
My task today is to give you a very clear and concise theology of the nature of mishpat or judgment. Today's passage is well-known to all of you and is one of those proof-texts used to debunk any claim that the Bible teaches reincarnation: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the mishpat (judgment)" (Heb.9:27). The Bible repesents Yahweh-Elohim, our Heavenly Father, as the ruler of men, as the giver or Torah (Law, teaching) and as final Judge. The apostle James said:
The Father and Son as Judges
"There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and destroy" (James 4:12, NIV).
Sometimes the Father is the Judge (Heb.12:23) and sometimes it is the Messiah (2 Tim.4:8; Ac.10:42) as His executive officer and plenipotentiary (a diplomatic envoy invested with, or actually possessing, full toqef or authority), as it is written:
So we see that the Judgment Seat of the Father (Rom.19:10) and of our Messiah (2 Cor.5:10) are one and the same.
"For He (Yahweh) has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man (Yah'shua/Jesus) He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31, NIV).
As you study the Scriptures on the topic of judgment one thing becomes extremely clear: it is impossible to identify a series of distinct and separate judgments. What the Davar Elohim (Word of God) is most occupied with is the fact of judgment, not with a timetable even though there clearly is one. Yah'shua's (Jesus') prophecy on the final judgment of the nations is an extended simile or figure of speech that expresses the resemblance of one thing to another of a different category. That simile is based on the daily agricultural experience of the ancient Hebrews of separating the mixed flocks of sheep and goats.
Judged by the Way We Treat Yahweh's Emissaries
Do you remember the time when Yah'shua (Jesus) was about to send His talmidim (disciples), respresentatives or "brethren" (Mt.12:48-50; 23:8) into the world? That's when He said that the final destiny of men - whether it be to "eternal (aeon-long) punishment... [or] to eternal (aeon-long) chayim (life)" (Matt 25:46, NIV) - will be determined by the way they receive and treat His emissaries? He said:
Mode of Delivery of the Word
"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a navi (prophet) in the name of a navi (prophet) shall receive a navi's (prophet's) reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward" (Matt.10:40-41, NKJV).
It is obviously rather important that we discern who are Yah'shua's (Jesus') true emissaries and who are not since it will affect the way we are judged. What is not important is the men (and women) themselves but what message they convey. Are they conveying the Davar Elohim (Word of God) or someone else's word, whether of their own flesh or the Devil's own words (which are much the same)? Also important is a second question: In what ruach or spirit are they conveying their Message? For the Devil and his servants are expert at quoting Scripture but in using it they breathe death and not chayim (life). For I have often said that delivery is as important as the Davar (Word) itself. A man may speak the Davar (Word) of Scripture and destroy it in the souls of his listeners because his heart is corrupt. The Davar Elohim (Word of God) must be conveyed by the power and toqef (authority) of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) or it is a dead and destructive davar (word).
The Spirit of Conveyance
Have you ever heard someone convey a Scripture in a spirit of hatred, strife, bitterness or fleshy condemnation? This can lead unbelievers to conclude that the Davar (Word) is something terrible precisely because its human vehicle is evil. This will lead him to a judgment that may delay his salvation - it may turn him off religion altogether because he senses that the messenger of the Davar (Word) is evil.
Brain-Deep Ideas Only
One thing you must always remember is that unbelievers live in two contradictory realities. Tozer noted:
The Contradiction of Atheist Morality
"The idealists and relativists are not mentally sick. They prove their soundness by living their lives according to the very notions of reality which they in theory repudiate and by counting upon the very fixed points which they prove are not there. They could earn a lot more respect for their notions if they were willing to live by them; but this they are careful not to do. Their ideas are brain-deep, not life-deep. Wherever life touches them they repudiate their theories and live like other men" .
This is extremely important to realise when you are witnessing to people. In their minds they may believe all kinds of nonsense (like atheism) whilst in many of their attitudes and life-dispositions they act like believers. They acknowledge goodness and morality which, though atheism claims to have some version of these of its own, is actually nonsensical because in the evolutionary and atheist view of existence there can be no 'goodness' or 'morality' - they are just mental constructs. The true atheist is, in fact, a brutal Marxist whose believes the ends justify the means to achieving their goals. The red-claw 'law' of the jungle is what shapes his 'morality' To him, the imagined 'good' of the collective supercedes the good of the individual. So a good evangelist appeals to the life of a person first of all - to goodness which exists simply because Elohim (God) exists and which could not exist without Him. We must treat the realms of the mind and the heart separately to some extent because each has a separate logic. You cannot calculate love - you can only give it or receive it. You cannot argue for something which is already known by experience.
Administrators of Salvation or Death?
The way we witness is therefore extremely important. If your heart is wrong, don't witness - you are already a negative witness because of what emanates from your being. Rather, make teshuvah (repent) and then you will be able to handle the Davar Elohim (Word of God) in a way that administers salvation rather than obstructs it. Though the Davar (Word) has its own chayim (life), that chayim (life) cannot be manifested or incarnated unless the human vessel of that chayim (life) has itself become chayim (life). You must becoming that living chayim (life) or your witness will either be completely useless or positively harmful.
Witness of the Life You Actually Have
So witness of what you have already become and know experientially to be true, at least as far as salvation and Besorah or Gospel chayim (life) is concerned. When your heart is burning withy Ahavah (Love) for the Creator and your fellow man, you are ready to witness. Then you must come to a true knowledge of the Davar (Word) so that you do not in ignorance bear witness of something that is false because you have misunderstood it. And though we all make mistakes because of ignorance, I have to say this: it is better to have witnessed than not at all, as it is better to have loved than not at all. We have to step forward in emunah (faith), warts and all, and learn by our mistakes. What's important is your heart-attitude and the one hearing your witness will, if he is honest, know whether you are fake or the genuine article.
Now I labour this point because I believe it to be critical for this end-time witness. We are all called to witness of what we know and are convicted of by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). We are Yah'shua's (Jesus') representatives which means we bear a heavy responsibility to convey His Davar (Word) in the way He would have done in mortality. Since judgment is tied in with our witness - the judgment of the wicked who reject an authentic Davar (Word) given by an authentic soul - so we must ensure that we are authentic talmidim (disciples), living in true emunah (faith) and according to the eternal standards of Torah.
Judgment, Works and Faith
When the Final Judgment of mankind comes, it will rest on two issues: works and emunah (faith) in Messiah:
Judgment by and of Light
"The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire (Hagan haEish). This is the second death (Mavet haShanee). And anyone not found written in the Sepher haChayim (Book of Life) was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev.20:13-15, NKJV).
How will this judgment be administered? In accordance with light. Those who never had the Torah of Moses will be judged without the Torah:
Declared Right Even Without Torah
"For as many as have sinned without torah (law) will also perish without torah (law), and as many as have sinned in the Torah (Law) will be judged by the Torah (Law) (for not the hearers of the Torah/Law are just in the sight of Elohim/God, but the doers of the Torah (Law) will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the Torah (Law), by nature do the things in the Torah (Law), these, although not having the Torah (Law), are a torah (law) to themselves, who show the work of the Torah (Law) written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when Elohim (God) will judge the secrets of men by Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), according to my besorah (gospel, good news)" (Rom.2:12-16, NKJV).
That's quite a mouthful though it's an important mouthful. What Paul is saying is that those who never knew or heard of the Torah will be judged according to their conscience. This is not, however, an excuse to reject the Torah, as so many Christians do. Moreover, knowing your Torah isn't enough either. At N.T.Wright puts it in his paraphrase translation:
"After all, it isn't those who hear the law (Torah) who are in the right before God (Elohim). It's those who do the law (Torah) who will be declared in the right!" (Rom.2:13, Kingdom New Testament/KNT).
Nature of the New Covenant
"Whenever [Gentiles - those not raised in Torah] do what the law (Torah) says, they are a law (torah) for themselves, despite not possessing the law (Torah). They show that the work of the law (Torah) is written on their hearts" (v.14b-15a, KNT).
And that's a pretty important teaching emet (truth) because Paul is simply affirming what the navi (prophet) Jeremiah taught about the B'rit Chadashah or New Covenant:
All Believers are Torah-Obedient...to Some Degree
"Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will make a b'rit chadashah (new covenant) with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- not according to the [Mosaic] b'rit (covenant) that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My b'rit (covenant) which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says Yahweh. But this is the b'rit (covenant) that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put My Torah (Law) in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim (God), and they shall be My people" (Jer.31:31-33, NKJV).
The substabnce of the B'rit Chadashah (New Covenant) in Messiah (Christ) is the Torah (Law, Teaching) supernaturally written into the minds and hearts of all true believers. All regenerated, born-again believers have part of this Torah (Law) written in their minds and hearts - that portion which they willingly-obey. Every born-again, saved Christian and Messianic is Torah-obedient to some degree and that's the main problem, because we are not allowed to pick and choose which mitzvot (commandments) we want to obey. We are judged on the basis of what we rejected and what we accepted. Trusting in Yah'shua (Jesus), receiving the New Birth and maintaining it through obedience - partial or whole - will gain us entrance to Heaven. But if our obedience is only in part then we cannot expect the highest rewards. We will receive judgment and punishment even if we are saved according to what we willfully rejected. We cannot be judged for sins or ignorance.
The Form of Judgment in Fire
In what form does that judgment take? He will be cast into the fire! Indeed, everyone will be cast into the purifying fire of Elohim (God) even as it is written:
Are Only the Wicked Cast into the Fire?
"Each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames" (1 Cor.3:10-15, NIV).
Christians have this erroneous and unscriptural idea that only the wicked will be cast into fire. Not so! All are cast into it and if their works are of the flesh, they will be painfull burned out. If their works are of the Ruach (Spirit) the fire will not touch them. Yes, Babylon the Whore "will be consumed by fire, for mighty is Yahweh-Elohim who judges her" (Rev.18:8, NIV) and she will perish utterly, but so must anything that is of Babylon that yet remains in the believer when he or she passes into Final Judgment. That is what judgment is about - not 'punishment' in the sense that someone is punished on earth by being fined, thrown into prison or executed as a way of paying off ones debt to society - but 'punishment' in the sense that all that is unkosher and impure must be burned out because Yahweh will not settle for a cosmos that is in any way polluted after the ages are wrapped up and the Creation is glorified. The more dross in a soul, the greater the burning and pain - inevitably. Every soul is 'judged' and 'rewarded' according to his or her choices - it is perfectly fair.
Each According to His Desserts
So judgment is in accordance with light - the light that is present or absent in the soul. Thus it is written:
Who 'Has' and is Judged by the Torah?
"Elohim (God) 'will give to each person according to what he has done.' To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, he will give eternal chayim (life). But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the emet (truth) and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger" (Rom.2:6-8, NIV).
Again, those who have had the Torah (Law) of Moses (and anyone today who owns a Bible 'has' it in plain print) will be judged by Torah - by the Davar or Word which is the Bible (Rom.2:12). What is the basic principle of judgment? It is, consistently, and always, the justice of Elohim (God):
The Failure of Men to Live Up to the Light
"Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen.18:25, NIV).
"What if some did not have emunah (faith)? Will their lack of emunah (faith) nullify Elohim's (God's) faithfulness? Not at all! Let Elohim (God) be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: 'So that you may be proved right when You speak and prevail when You judge'" (Rom.3:3-4, NIV).
The problem is men have not lived up to the light Yahweh has given them and therefore stand under condemnation. The Gentiles have perverted the light of general revelation (Rom.1:21ff.) and the Judahites have failed to fulfil the Torah (Law):
The Relational Basis of Judgment and the Book of Life
"For those who are servants of Torah are still under a curse, for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not act' on all that is written in this book of Torah' (Dt.27:26). But that no man is made righteous by Torah before Elohim (God) is evident, for it is written, 'the righteous will live by emunah (faith, trusting)' (Hab.2:4). Thus the Torah is not made by emunah (faith), 'but whoever will do the things that are written in it, will live in it ('by them' - HRV)' (Lev.18:5)" (Gal.3:10-12, AENT).
Since Yahweh in His mercy has provided a way of salvation by the redeeming work of Messiah, the final basis of judgment is relation to Messiah. This is one meaning of the "Sepher Chayim" or "Book of Life":
It All Depends on Attitude
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the 'Ets Chayim (Tree of Life) and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood" (Rev.22:14-15, NIV).
"Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits (demons) are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20, NKJV).
"He who overcomes will, like them (the Sardisians), be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the Sepher Chayim (Book of Life), but will acknowledge his name before My Father and His malakim (angels)" (Rev.3:5, NIV).
"All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have not been written in the Sepher Chayim) (Book of Life) belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world" (Rev.13:8, NIV).
Yah'shua (Jesus) plainly taught that the destiny of men and women rested on their attitude to Him before anything else:
Salvation is Eschatological
"Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven" (Matt.10:32-33, NIV).
This is the heart of the Besorah (Gospel): salvation, which is primarily eschatological, that is to say, concerning the end of the world:
Salvation and Judgment Past, Present and Future
"The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed" (Rom.13:11, NIV).
I want you to remember this passage when I come to dissect judgment further in a minute. Just as salvation is not just the moment you accepted Messiah ('salvation-past') but is also 'salvation-present' and 'salvation-future' (the 'once saved, always saved' folk just don't get this), so judgment may likewise be viewed in three categories along a similar time line: judgment-past, judgment-present and 'judgment-future'. These things, which are eternal events, also have their manifestations in time, but because we are creatures trapped temporarily in time, we have a tendency to view eternal things through the lenses of temporality. So long as we are 'earth-bound', having to deal with earthy things, we will have to continually struggle to maintain a spiritual focus which views events down here in terms of the spiritual and the eternal. And this is not nearly as easy as you might think.
Retaining Hope in Your Salvation
So please don't forget that salvation is not just the day you were born-again otherwise why would we be admonished by Paul to retain a tiqveh or hope in it if we have a 'guarantee stamp', as it were, that so many OSAS evangelicals claim?
The Final Delivery and the Reason for Hope
"Since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on emunah (faith) and ahavah (love) as a breastplate, and the tiqveh (hope) of salvation as a helmet" (1 Thess.5:8, NIV).
Salvation is not finally delivered to us until "the day of Yahweh" (1 Thess 5:2, NIV). This does not mean, of course, that you should live in fear or terror of your salvation for all the many sins and failures that you manifest in your life. It doesn't work like that. So long as our eyes are firmly on Yah'shua (Jesus), so long as we are striving to overcome and always have the goal clearly in mind, so long as we are repenting of sin and not allowing it to become habitual, we remain in Messiah and in our salvation. And that is our tiqveh - our hope. We can have confidence, assurance and security. So long as we are in Him and reaching out and moving forwards. It is only when we become stationary or fall back that we need to be concerned. We "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which Elohim (God) has called [us] heavenward in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus)" (Phil.3:14, NIV).
A Question of Balance
It is all a matter of balance and not being extremist - of being driven by fear on the one hand, or of being careless and slovenly on the other. There is shalom (peace) in the true walk and we need not fear judgment so long as we are properly positioned. So remember that judgment, like salvation, has past, present and future aspects. The future concerns escaping Yahweh's condemnation of the faithless and reprobate in the Day of Judgment (Jn.5:24) and it is Yahweh's gift to be received by emunah (faith) in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) (Ac.4:12; 16:30-31) and to be retained in our response to that initial salvation by obedience of His Torah (Law) and submission to His lordship in every aspect of our lives (Rom.10:9).
Judgment Has Already Taken Place
Now we come to the interesting part of Judgment because a further aspect of the realised eschatology or 'final things' of the Bible is seen in the fact that Judgment, though it belongs to the Last Day, has essentially already taken place in history.
Default Condemnation and the Unenforced Penalty
What do I mean by that? Well, let's look at the unbeliever. What is the status of the unbeliever in Scripture? He stands under condemnation! If a person is condemned then judgment has already taken place! So what's the difference between one who is already judged and one who has yet to be judged? The penalty has not yet been enforced:
Passed from Death to Life
"Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of Elohim's (God's) one and only Son" (John 3:18, NIV).
The believer - the one who continus to trust as he did on the first day he believed - will not experiencce condemnation at the Final Judgment or Day of Yahweh because he has already passed from death (the condemnation) to life:
Doctrines That Lead to Carelessness
"I tell you the emet (truth), whoever hears My Davar (Word) and believes Him (Yahweh, the Father) who sent Me has eternal chayim (life) and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to chayim (life)" (John 5:24, NIV).
There is a danger to over-simplify the Besorah (Gospel) and arrive at heretical doctrines like OSAS (One Saved, Always Saved) which gives false tiqveh (hope) that in turn leads to carelessness which may in turn, when all callings to repent and overcome sin have been persistently and implaccably rejected, lead to condemnation. What a tragedy if that happens! And it will happen because false teachers, hidebound by traditions, have spread their lies to the lazy believers who have failed to seach the Scriptures and find out the emet (truth) about salvation past, present and future for themselves. Believing themselves to be untouchable, they failed to understand that initial salvation is but the alpha or alef of salvation and that there was a spiritual journey ahead of them which they failed to complete, let alone really start! It's like someone being admitted to college and supposing they would obtain a degree without ever doing any work.
The Doctrine of Justification
The doctrine of justification is prescribed by the same emet (truth). What does 'justification' mean? Justification is, first of all, a forensic or legal term that Paul often uses. A believer who is justified is is someone who is acquitted of guilt, which is another way of saying he has been declared righteous before Yahweh. It is the opposite to being condemned or sentenced to punishment for a crime. Justification, like salvation and judgment, is an eschatological truth, that is to say, it concerns the Final Judgment - at the end of our time here on earth. To be justified means to be acquitted from the guilt of sin by a favourable decision of the Judge on the last day. The opposite of justification is condemnation by the Judge.
By Our Words
For example, Yah'shua (Jesus) taught:
"For by your devarim (words) you will be acquitted, and by your devarim (words) you will be condemned" (Matt.12:37, NIV).
"Who will bring any charge against those whom Elohim (God) has chosen? It is Elohim (God) who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), who died - more than that, who was raised to chayim (life) - is at the right hand of Elohim (God) and is also interceding for us" (Rom.8:33-34, NIV).
Justification Past, Present and Future
And yet, because of the death of Messiah, the justification of believers has already taken place!
"But now a righteousness from Elohim (God), apart from torah (law), has been made known, to which the Torah (Law) and the Nevi'im (Prophets) testify. This righteousness from Elohim (God) comes through emunah (faith) in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of Elohim (God), and are justified freely by His grace (undeserved loving-klindness) through the redemption that came by Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus). Elohim (God) presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through emunah (faith) in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have emunah (faith) in Yah'shua (Jesus)" (Rom.3:21-26, NIV).
And because of present justification, we shall be saved ('salvation-future') from wrath in the Day of Judgment:
Righteousness is Acqittal
"Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from Elohim's (God's) wrath through Him (Messiah)!" (Rom.5:9, NIV).
Are you now getting the overall picture? Judgment remains an eschatological fact, even for believers. The righteousness we hope for is acquittal at the final judgment:
"But by emunah (faith) we eagerly await through the Ruach (Spirit) the righteousness for which we hope" (Gal.5:5, NIV).
We must all appear before the Judge to give account:
No terror for the Justified
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Messiah, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" (2 Cor.5:10, NIV).
"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken" (Matt.12:36, NIV).
The Besorah, Gospel or Good News is that because of the redemption made for us by Yah'shua (Jesus) on the cross, the Day or Yahweh, which is the Day of Judgment, has lost its terror for the man or woman in Messiah:
Evidence of Salvation
"In this way, ahavah (love) is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Yom haMishpat or Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like Him" (1 John 4:17, NIV).
The evidence that we have clung on to our salvation-past - the day when we were born-again - is that we are becoming more and more like our Saviour as we overcome sin more and more through our emunah (faith) in His cleansing and empowering blood. That is our salvation-present. And the evidence that we will be saved on that Final Day of Judgment will be, as John testified, that "we are like Him" in spiritual nature and behaviour. We will thus know each other, recognising one another as being of the same substance, because He is truly in us and we are truly in Him.
Living in a Day of Judgment Now
Though we have not yet arrived at the Day of Judgment, we are, without a shadow of a doubt, living in a Day of Judgment. Indeed, we have already passed from one aeon to a new one. There has been a spiritual reset which most of us are struggling to understand as we become aware that things are somehow 'different' and we want to get a handle on reality. We want to understand what's going on so that we can both relate and witness.
10 October is Now Judgment-Past
I have spoken so far of individual judgment and by extension (though I haven't really covered it much today), the collective judgment of Messianic Israel. It's interesting that hardly anybody has commented on that to me because everyone has been wrapped up in the Mishpat Yahweh of the United States and are trying to grasp what has happened, what is happening and what is about to happen. They're all looking for signs. As for nations - and we're not just talking about the United States here but all nations - there is judgment-past, judgment-present and judgment-future. Judgment-past was on 10 October, two days ago. But what does that mean practically-speaking?
The Functioning of Heavenly Courts
Those of you who have had some experience of court procedures know they can be protracted or long, drawn-out affairs. There are lawyers to defend or accuse, witnesses who have to be examined and evidence which must be presented and weighed. Everyone is allowed his say in the Heavenly Court, including the devil who stands as the chief accuser before the Judge. It often surprises believers to learn that in addition to the Great Judge, Elohim (God), that there are involved cases running more or less continually. Just as earthly courts are busy, so too are the heavenly ones. We are given insight into one such heavenly court hearing in the Book of Job. It further surprises many believers to learn that the reason many judgments take time is because court procedures have to be followed in Heaven as on earth. The fallen Lucifer - Heylel or Satan - still has rights as a Prosecutor even though he is fallen. He still has his office, even if he has perverted it. It is the same here. We retain our offices and giftings down here even if we choose to pervert them. That is why false nevi'im (prophets) are allowed a hearing along with the true ones.
When a judgment is passed - innocent or guilty - the business is still not over. The Judge must still pronounce sentence. If a person found guilty has committed several crimes, then he will receive multiple sentences which he will be forced to serve concurrently. A number of years are assigned for each offence and then they are added up. The offender then serves the total number of years assigned to him by the judge.
A Variety of Penalties
The Torah details different penalties for different offenses. When Yahweh judges a whole nation, then different punishments are assigned for different breaches of Torah. Some offences demand the death sentence, some a lashing, some indentured service and some a fine, depending what they are.
When Judgments are Postponed
As we have already seen when it comes to individual judgment, some punishments are postponed to some future time. Though the secular law may punish us for crimes as we commit them, and though there are always definite consequences for people when they break Yahweh's laws, final judgment, as we have seen, is not until mortality is concluded. Not only that, but because He extends grace or unmerited favour to the sinner, He postpones judgment giving us time to come to our senses and make teshuvah (repent). Then, as we have already seen during the Countdown commentaries, judgment can suddenly fall on us like a ton of bricks (Is.48:3; 1 Thes.5:1-3). Satan lulls us into a false sense of security, persuading us not to repent, and when nothing seems to happen, we forget we have sinned. But we experience judgments while we are alive none the less.
When and How Nations are Judged
All the nations wwill be judged at the Last Day - on the Day of Yahweh - but just as we as individuals receive judgments during our lifetimes, so too do nations. You only have to look back in history to see all the national judgments that have been passed - in recent times against Napoleonic France, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to name but three. Now it is the turn of the United States, once a God-fearing nation and now post-Christian hedonistic. It crossed a line where the ungodly outnumbered the godly who elected governments that blaspheme the Most High. The leaders represent the nation, and like fathers whose families are judged when the father sins (like Achan), so nations are judged on the basis of what their elected governments do or permit their people to do.
How Nations are Punished
What are its crimes against Yahweh? I don't propose to list them all but they are many: Moloch-worship in the form of abortion, murder, ungodly wars, idolatry, the love of mammon, paganism, satanism, and oppression of believers to name a few. Each crime has a punishment. Some may be executed at the same time, some concurrently. Unlike judgment against individuals, there are different means of punishment wielded against nations that can include such things as disease and pestilence, famine, drought, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods, war, meteorite bombardment, mudslides, sinkholes, financial manipulation, government theft in the form of ungodly taxes, instruments of government used to oppress the people such as imprisonment of the innocent and assassination of dissidents, and so on. Preliminary sentences have been executed each Sh'mittah or Sabbatical Year but now we are approaching a Yovel (Jubilee) year too. It is my conviction that we are going to see various sentences executed over the next six months. 9/11 was just a tiny sample.
Appeals and Postponments
It is not uncommon the punishments to be delayed after sentencing by a court. Criminals awaiting execution may be shot at dawn or may be incarcerated for years before the sentence is carried out. For one thing, appeals can be made which can delay the execution of a sentence or judgment. Intercessors have the right to go before the Throne of Yahweh and plead for postponment. There are many scriptural precendents for this. Look how long Judah was spared final judgment and destruction. Why? Because of one or two righteous kings. Yahweh had already pronounced sentence on Israel after the rebellion at Horeb while Moses was up in the mountain communing with Him. Moses pled for Israel and the sentence was commuted. Here is a case of a successful appeal before the Heavenly Court.
The Appeals Made by Intercessors
There are those who have trouble accepting the way the Kingdom of Heaven is ordered. We shall probably never fathom grace. I know for a fact that there are those right now pleading for mercy for America and I don't just mean people from this ministry. Sentence was passed on 10 October and now the Appeals are probably being considered. Abraham pled for Sodom and Gomorah. Sentence was delayed for a short while to allow the righteous to make good their escape from the cities of destruction. I speak, of course, of Lot's family. Once they were out, fire and brimstone descended on those cities of wickedness as the sentence was executed.
I do not know how America will come out of all this. I have been shown some things, which I have recorded. Some sentences may be reduced, some may be commuted and others may well be executed. Or maybe all of them will be. I don't know. Right know there are people who are annoyed with me because I didn't say that this or that disaster would happen on 10 October when I have never specified anything would happen on that date. Some have said - and will say - that what I am writing now is just my way of squirming out of a false prophecy. Certainly there have been plenty of false nevi'im who have given dates on which specific things would happen like the 'rapture' or the Second Coming, and they have their reward. Others have cleverly wriggled their way out compromising statements they have made. I am not here today to defend myself but rather to give a complete scriptural exposition on the nature of judgment. I have prepared this exegesis for the benefit of those who do not understand what the Bible says about these matters and counsel them not to expect non-biblical patterns to apply to today.
I have many friends and family in America and I am concerned for those who have not made preparations and who are not right with Yahweh. Those who are right with Him have nothing to worry about. They must simply trust and obey. All I know is that a jurisdictional proceedure was completed on 10 October, I do not know its details and frankly it's none of my business unless Yahweh chooses to reveal them to me, in part or in whole. I honestly couldn't give a fig what my detractors have to say about me - most of them have ulterior motives because of doctrinal controversies or are seeking to justify apostacy. They are in Yahweh's hands and as I have said before I am no man-pleaser. I have given my witness and now I have given a theoloigical exposition, as far as I have had time to delve into what is actually a much more involved and bigger subject.
No Pleasing Sign-Seekers
It is the nature of the carnally-minded to want signs. They will aolmost certainly get them by the time a year has passed but it will not be unto salvation. Some may no longer even be in the land of the living though I would never wish that on them or anyone. I remember once, years ago, getting into conversation with a man on the Besorah (Gospel) when I was living in Oxford. He told me that if I would walk on water for him that he would believe and become a Christian. I laughed and told him that his heart would be unchanged because he would simply devote his time trying to debunk what he had seen. I was right - he admitted it. You cannot tempt the Most High and get what you seek. Israel saw greater miracles than this in the wilderness but it did not cure them of their carnality or tendency to rebellion. In the end they had to be swallowed live into the ground or suffer snake bites to cure the double-minded of their doubts. Signs are not for the conversion of the unbelieving but are the reward of those who already believe.
Accusing Yahweh of Unfairness
How pathetic carnal man is. Yahweh foreknew their mentality which has remained consistent throughout the ages:
"When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die. Yet you say, 'The way of Yahweh is not fair.' Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of Yahweh is not fair.' O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?'" (Ezek.18:24-29, NKJV).
You are going to hear a lot more of this complaining from immature, bratty Christians and unbelievers who will not repent, so be prepared. Many will shake their fists at the heavens when their re-invented gods fail to deliver them from tribulation.
The Demans for Miraculous Signs
Yah'shua's (Jesus) original exposé and judgment against the Judeans of His day remain true today:
"Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders...you will never believe" (John 4:48, NIV).
My witness is for believers and for those who want to believe. The rest are in Elohim's (God's) hands. A separation has already occurred and a Heavenly Judgment has been made. When the appeals are over, assuming that they are even granted, then you will know whether what I have said is true or not. In the meantime, our Besorah (Gospel) witness goes out and the righteous continue to be saved. I invite you to be a part of that witness and not relent until the job is done. May Yahweh's blessings be upon you and your houses in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.
 A.W.Tozer, The Pursuit of God (Empire Books, USA, p.32)