OUR JUDGMENT AS BELIEVERS
LT.-COL. G. F. POYNDER *
[* I have been informed that Lt.-Col. G. F. Poyander, after his understanding of kingdom truths, resigned his commission. - Ed.]
vision the seer of Patmos views the Lord of the
Harvest as a Son of Man sitting on a cloud waiting for the word from the inner
Hence we may conclude all believers, bondslaves, and true Christians arise at the first resurrection,* having heard the Lord’s Word of Command; but those who are not counted worthy to stand before Him, as unprofitable, wicked and slothful servants, are not only deprived of their reward, their crown, but are also cast for a time, we know not for how long, into the outer darkness or prison house, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, till they have paid their debt to the uttermost farthing(Matt. 5: 25, 26 and Matt. 18: 33-35); awaiting the second or general resurrection, after the millennial age; when they will arise as possessors of eternal life - if their names have not been blotted out of the Book of life (Rev. 3: 5); - and thus they will escape the condemnation (Comp. John 5: 24) of those whose names are not found in that Book, and who are, therefore, "cast into the lake of fire." (Comp. John 5: 28, 29, with Rev. 20: 12-15.) "This is the second death." It becomes, then, a matter of vital importance that all believers, bondslaves and Christians take most, earnest heed to the Lord’s very solemn warning as given to US who are disciples - not to the world - in Matt. 5: 29, 30, and Mark 9: 43-50.
Again, why is a special promise given to the Overcomer, that he shall not be hurt of the second death (Rev. 2: 11); and, to the one who is worthy of the first resurrection, that "on such the second death hath no power" (Rev. 20: 6)? Further, the qualifications for those who have part in, and obtain their reward at the first resurrection are plainly laid down. They must "be converted and become as little children" (Matt. 18: 3), "and if children ... heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified together" (Rom. 8: 17). They must be born "out of Water and the Spirit" (John 3: 5). They sleep through (the agency) of Jesus. (Gk.) They hear His Voice when He descends "from Heaven with a shout ... and with the trump of God" (John 5: 25, and 1Thess. 4: 13-18). They are his witnesses, martyrs who "were tortured not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection" (Heb. 11: 35). "Beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God," which neither worshipped the Antichrist nor his image, nor received his mark upon their foreheads nor in their hands, "on such the second death hath no power" (Rev. 20: 4-6). They held fast and permitted no man to take their crowns. (Rev. 3: 11.) Again it is well to remember that the Apostle Paul, by precept and example, shows the Saints of God the great importance of holy living, and the terrible consequences of disobedience to the laws of God, e.g., the case of the incestuous believer who was to be delivered "unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." He urges also that the greatest care was to be exercised in building on the one and only Foundation, that which would stand the fire, which "shall try every man's work; ... if ... (it) shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire" (1Cor. 3: 11-15).
Are these solemn passages culled from the teaching of our Lord and His Apostle to be treated as mere platitudes, or discarded as hyperbole? Nay. Rather may we, as His bondslaves, take the solemn warnings to heart, that when we come to appear before His Judgment-Seat, we may render a good account of our stewardship, and enter into the joy of our Lord. Oh, dear friends, is it not of vital importance we should ask ourselves as before God, am I following along that narrow, pressed-in way "which leadeth into life"? for there be but few that are doing so. Or have we enlisted under His banner, but are walking the broad easy way amusing ourselves, living for the world, its pleasures, its frivolities, refusing to do what He would have us to do, and doing that we want to do?
In a word will our works stand the fire? Are we obeying the command given to us in Luke 21: 36, and 1 John 2: 28? If not, how can we expect to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ? (Comp. Psa. 1: 5.) How can we hope to escape the Great Tribulation? How can we hope to have confidence, when called to stand before that awful Judgment Seat? I beseech you don’t neglect these important questions. Settle the answers as in the presence of God, now; and from this time forth may you determine, as never before, so to run the race set before us, as earnestly desirous of winning the prize of the up-calling of God in Christ Jesus. So to fight the good fight of faith, "not as one that beateth the air", but keeping under our bodies, and bringing them into subjection, denying ourselves, bearing our Cross. So may we be more than conquerors through Him Who loved us, ever remembering that He has said, "Behold I come quickly and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be"! (Rev. 22: 12.)
[On the contrary: "all believers, bondslaves, and true Christians" will NOT "arise at the ‘First Resurrection’. Rev. 20: 4-6. . Furthermore, all who are resurrected - (whether it be at the Lord’s return, or at the end of the Millennium)- cannot die any more: "for they are equal unto the angels" (Luke 20: 36). This same teaching of immortality is attached to all future resurrections and applies also to the unsaved who, we are told, are "cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20: 15) – the Second Death. The regenerate believer therefore, who does not attain unto the [select] resurrection [out] from the dead (Phil. 3: 11), must remain in Hades - the place of the dead - until the Millennium has ended: at that time they, "shall of the flesh reap corruption" (Gal. 6: 8). That is, their bodies will remain under the influence and grip of death; while, at the same time, their souls remain in Hades: for resurrection is the reuniting of soul and body. Therefore, the Judgment of a regenerate believer’s works, will determine ‘a just recompense of reward’; and therefore Christ’s judgment - (to determine who will be resurrected at the time of His return) - must occur before the time of the “First Resurrection”.
The Second Death is a description of the condition of souls after resurrection unto immortality has occurred. Could this same description (of not being “hurt” by the Second Death) not apply also to the regenerate souls - (who will remain in Hades, not having attained to the First Resurrection) after the resurrection of those “accounted worthy” of the “Age” to come, (Luke 20: 35)? To imply that all the regenerate will be resurrected at the same time; and then to conclude those amongst them – (not worthy to inherit the Kingdom) - will go into the ‘lake of fire’ before Hades will be emptied - (at the end of the Kingdom Age) - is, in my opinion, to go beyond what is written. It is a contradiction the words: “Those whose names were not found written in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire.” Therefore, it is logical to conclude that there will be regenerate believers resurrected at that time, whose names will be found written in the ‘book of life’ and, therefore, they will not be cast into ‘the lake of fire’. - Ed.]