“ORDER OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE APPEARING OF CHRIST AND HIS MILLENNIAL REIGN”
We come to Part 11, which covers from page 353 to the middle of page 356. A large portion of this extract is made up of a *note.
But whilst the saints individually and collectively, are thus filled with all fulness in Him; there will also be awarded to each, the individual meed of grace. Each will be placed before the tribunal *
* I have used the word tribunal in preference to judgment-seat, because less liable to misapprehension—the thought commonly connected with judgment-seat being that of arraignment as a criminal.
Indeed the thought of criminal arraignment ought to be connected with the ·”great white Throne,” before which the wicked dead raised at the close of the millennium will stand, to be judged out of things written in books according to their works. This is strictly judgment; but it is said that he who believeth shall not come into judgment. See John V. 24. All who have believed in Jesus previously to His return, will be raised in the first resurrection, and will reign with Him during the millennium: consequently, they will not stand before the great white Throne at all. Nor will the saints who live during the millennium stand before it to be arraigned, because the Book of Life will be opened, and their names will be found written there. Consequently, they too will not come into judgment. The prayer of every saint, in every dispensation must be, “Lord, enter not into judgment with Thy servant; for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified.”
But although the saints are not to be brought before this judgment-seat of Christ to be arraigned, they are to stand before the tribunal of Christ to “give account” of their past services and ways, in order that He ,;nay discriminate between that which is precious in those ways, and that which is worthless-and, having already forgiven them the evil, may reward them for that which is good. Thus, the victorious General of old, was accustomed, at the close of a campaign, to call his soldiers before his tribunal, not to arraign them, but to enquire into their conduct, and to reward them.
There is one passage in. 2 Cor. v. 10, which seems to teach, that believers will stand before the tribunal of Christ, to receive according to that which they have done, whether good or bad; in which case, saints would receive according to their evil. But the passage, rightly translated, does not teach this. It does not state that the saints are to receive according to that which they have done, but with reference to that which they have done. If a parent, at the close of the day, were to call his children before him, in order to enquire into their conduct, and after pointing out to them those things which they had done amiss, were to say, “These are things which, although I forgive them, I cannot reward ; but these other things which are praiseworthy, I will reward” — in such a case, the children would receive with reference to what they had done, but they would not receive according to that which they had done.
It would appear, from the close of the twenty-fifth of Matthew, that those who are found professing the name of Christ at His return, will instantly be separated by the Angels into two bodies; according to the reality or falseness of their profession. After having been thus divided, they will be placed for a short moment before the Throne of His glory in the air, in order that the evidences of the one being His people, and the other not being His people, might be declared, and the one be rejected, the other received. But although the sentence that consigns the one to misery, and the others to blessedness, is openly pronounced ; yet the goats are not then finally judged, nor the sheep definitely rewarded. The first are, at the close of the millennium, to be placed before the Great White Throne, to be judged according to their works—the latter are to stand before the Tribunal of Christ to be rewarded. The separation therefore of the sheep and goats is not strictly a judgment scene. It is merely the public declaration of that principle, which is already every day acted on by the Lord, in consigning some to the place of torment, where their souls are reserved for judgment, and in taking others to Himself in Paradise. This is not called judgment, although in a certain sense it is judgment. The ground of His thus acting is to be openly proclaimed by-and-by: but before that hour comes, He teaches us respecting it in this prophetic parable, in order that it may bear influentially on us throughout this dispensation. “Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
of Christ—not to be judged (he that believeth shall not come into judgment John v.) but to be rewarded-to receive from Him, recognition of all that He can recognise for praise, in their past services and ways. Then the cup of cold water will be remembered-then it will be seen, that he who has received a Prophet in the name of a Prophet, shall receive a Prophet’s reward, and that he who has received a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man’s reward. To one it shall be said, Have thou authority over five ; to another-over ten cities, This difference of reward is not inconsistent with each individual saint being made like unto Christ. The promise is not restricted which says-when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. All shall “awake up in His likeness and be satisfied.”
After these things the Heavenly City, which is one especial sphere of the saints’ glory, descends from God out of Heaven. But although descending from, and therefore contrasted with, Heaven ; yet it does not descend into the Millennial Earth. The Adamic Earth is not adapted to its glory. It remains therefore throughout the Millennium, connected indeed with the Earth, but not in the Earth—and it is not until the first Heavens and Earth have passed away and new Heavens and a new Earth created, that it descends again, and finds in the new Earth a place suitable for the habitation of its glory.