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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 1

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    XVIII. THE TRIAL MUST PRECEDE THE EXECUTION

    This is so clear a proposition that it is sufficient to state it No human tribunal would think of executing judgment on a prisoner until after his trial; much less will God. He will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil.PREX1 50.2

    But the resurrection is the retribution or execution of judgment; for “they that have done good shall come forth to the resurrection of life.” “We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, who shall change our vile bodies, and fashion them like unto his glorious body.” “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” Here is clearly a retribution in the resurrection. It will be administered when the saints are raised. But no more certainly than they that have done evil will come forth damned, or “to the resurrection of damnation.” They will come forth to shame and everlasting contempt. The saints will be raised and be caught up at once to meet the Lord in the air, to be forever with the Lord. There can be no general judgment or trial after the resurrection. The resurrection is the separating process, and they will never be commingled again, after the saints are raised. No matter how long or short the period to elapse between the two resurrections; it is all the same so far as the separation which the resurrection produces, is concerned. If there is no more than a second which elapses between the two resurrections, the separation it makes is final.PREX1 50.3

    These two senses of the judgment are recognised in Revelation 20:12, 13. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” This is the trial of the dead in the invisible and spiritual world, before Jesus Christ comes in the clouds of heaven. The only evidence on which the trial proceeds, is, the books and the book of life. They tell the whole story, and we must abide the issue of the trial on that testimony. The dead, as dead, were judged. Then follows, in the next verse, the penal judgment, in connection with the resurrection. “The sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged (judgment was executed on them) every man according to their works.” There is no reference here to a trial or the opening of the books; but simply a penal judgment. Judgment will be executed finally, on each party, the righteous and the wicked, each one at the time of their resurrection; the righteous at the first resurrection, and the wicked at the final resurrection.PREX1 51.1

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