Cracking the Genesis Code

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pastor Stephen Bohr


Series Code: CGC

Program Code: CGC000038

01:12 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
01:15 Father in heaven, we thank you once again
01:17 for the awesome privilege of being here to study
01:19 Your Holy Word. We ask that as we study
01:23 the concept of the judgment in the book of Genesis
01:26 that Your Holy Spirit will be with us to instruct us.
01:29 I ask, Lord, that You will help us to understand
01:32 that we are now living in the hour of Your judgment
01:35 and that we need to prepare to pass through that awesome
01:40 moment in time when our name comes up
01:42 before the judgment bar.
01:44 We thank you for the promise of Your presence
01:47 and we thank you for hearing our prayer.
01:49 For we ask it in Jesus' name, Amen.
01:54 The title of our study today is
01:57 Innocent Until Proven Guilty.
02:01 Now it might be surprising to
02:04 some of those who are here that
02:05 that's the way in which
02:07 God operates.
02:09 It is not a modern concept of jurisprudence.
02:14 You know, in the United States we say that you're innocent
02:17 until proven guilty.
02:19 But this aspect of the judgment
02:22 that we have in our system of government
02:25 actually is based on a divine principle that we find
02:30 in scripture. Now what I want to do is
02:34 go through several stories that we find in the book of Genesis
02:38 that deal with the issue of judgment.
02:41 And then we will end our study by noticing
02:44 the concept of judgment in the book of Revelation.
02:48 And we'll see that the same sequence of judgment
02:51 in Genesis is found also in the book of Revelation.
02:55 Now let's being our study in Genesis chapter 2
02:59 and verses 16 and 17.
03:02 Genesis chapter 2 and verses 16 and 17.
03:08 It says there, and we've read this in previous context before:
03:38 Now there are three things that I want to underline
03:42 in these two verses with which we began our study today.
03:46 First of all, in these verses there is a moral authority
03:51 who is God.
03:52 Secondly, that moral authority
03:56 has a moral code or a moral law.
04:00 In this case, it's the command to not eat from the tree.
04:05 So the moral ruler has a moral commandment
04:10 or a moral law. And in these verses
04:13 God who is the moral authority who has this moral code
04:18 tells man that if he eats from the tree
04:22 the penalty is going to be what? Is going to be death.
04:27 So you have a moral authority.
04:29 You have... In the second place, that moral authority has a law
04:34 or a code and disobedience to that law
04:37 or to that code brings as a result death.
04:42 Now let's go to Genesis chapter 3 and verse 6.
04:46 Did man break that moral code?
04:51 Yes he did.
04:52 Notice Genesis chapter 3 and verse 6. And by the way,
04:56 when I say man here I'm referring to man AND woman
04:59 because they're both called man in the book of Genesis.
05:03 It's a generic term.
05:05 And so it says in Genesis chapter 3 and verse 6:
05:28 Question: did Adam and Eve break God's moral code?
05:35 Yes they did.
05:36 Did they commit the crime? Yes.
05:40 Crime is breaking the law.
05:43 And so Adam and Eve broke the moral code
05:46 of the moral ruler, and the penalty for committing the crime
05:52 was what? Was death.
05:54 Now did Adam and Eve attempt to cover up their crime?
06:00 You know, when somebody commits a crime, what do they try to do?
06:04 They try to cover it up.
06:06 They try to hide the fact that they committed the crime.
06:09 Do we have this in the story in the book of Genesis?
06:13 Yes we do.
06:14 Notice Genesis chapter 3 and verses 7 and 8.
06:20 Genesis 3 verses 7 and 8.
06:29 We'll come back to that in a few moments.
06:39 And now notice verse 8:
07:03 Did these criminals - so to speak - try to hide
07:07 what they had done? Yes.
07:09 First of all, by covering up their nakedness with fig leaves
07:13 and secondly by doing what? By hiding from the presence
07:18 of the Lord. And so we find a very interesting process
07:22 being followed here. You have a moral ruler
07:25 who has a moral code.
07:27 He expects His creatures to obey His moral code.
07:30 He says: "If you don't, that will bring death. "
07:34 Adam and Eve committed the crime.
07:37 And now that they commit the crime
07:39 they tried to hide the crime because they know that they're
07:43 responsible before the moral ruler.
07:47 And by the way, we're told in Genesis chapter 3
07:50 that they were afraid.
07:54 Criminals... when they commit a crime, are they afraid
07:58 of getting caught? They most surely are.
08:01 And so you see the same basic characteristics taking place
08:05 in Genesis as takes place when an individual commits a crime
08:10 today. And by the way, before this Adam and Eve
08:13 delighted to be in the presence of God.
08:15 But when they committed the crime
08:17 they knew they had something to hide.
08:19 And they no longer felt delight to appear before God...
08:22 they were afraid, because they knew that God was going to
08:25 judge them and God was going to execute the sentence
08:29 upon them.
08:31 Then I want you to notice that the evidence in the case
08:35 is examined. There's an inquiry in other words.
08:39 There's not a sentence first.
08:42 There's not the execution of the sentence first.
08:44 There is an inquiry or an investigation into the case.
08:49 Notice what we find in Genesis chapter 3 and verse 11.
08:54 Genesis chapter 3 and verse 11.
08:58 We're told here... God speaking:
09:16 Let me ask you: did God know that Adam and Eve had eaten from
09:19 the tree? Did He know that?
09:21 He most certainly did.
09:23 So why is God asking the question: "Have you eaten
09:28 from the tree that I told you not to eat from? "
09:31 Because God is investigating the case.
09:35 God wants to show us that in the judgment
09:38 He first of all examines the evidence.
09:41 He examines the case
09:43 before pronouncing sentence and before executing the sentence
09:48 upon the sinner. And so He says:
09:51 "Have you eaten from the tree
09:54 that I told you not to eat from? "
09:57 By the way, what is the action of Adam and Eve
10:00 being compared with?
10:02 I don't know whether you've noticed this
10:05 but God says: "Have you eaten from the tree I told you not to
10:08 eat? " Are their actions being compared with God's commandment?
10:13 Is the law of God the standard in this judgment?
10:18 It most certainly is! God is saying: "Did you obey
10:20 My law or did you disobey My law? "
10:23 So the law is the standard that is used
10:26 to compare the deeds of Adam and Eve.
10:29 Are you understanding what I'm saying?
10:31 And so the law is the standard of the judgment.
10:34 Now I want you to notice that God does not look for
10:38 Adam and Eve and say to them:
10:40 "You ate, didn't you? You ate! I told you not to
10:42 eat. Now you're going to really suffer for that. "
10:45 No. God comes down. He examines the case.
10:48 He examines the evidence.
10:50 He says: "Have you eaten from the tree? "
10:52 And then when it's proven that they ate from the tree
10:56 He's going to pronounce sentence.
10:58 Now let's go to Genesis chapter 3 and verses 12 and 13.
11:02 You know, it's said that there is no greater fool
11:05 than he who represents himself in a court of law.
11:09 Now did Adam and Eve try to defend themselves
11:13 as they were arraigned before God's tribunal?
11:16 By the way, have you noticed that in this story
11:19 Adam and Eve were arraigned by God before His tribunal?
11:23 I want you to notice Genesis 3 verse 9.
11:25 Before we go to verses 12 and 13 let's notice verse 9,
11:29 the arraignment of Adam and Eve.
11:31 It says there in verse 9:
11:41 Did God know where he was?
11:44 So why does He ask?
11:46 He's calling Adam to appear where? Adam and Eve to appear
11:50 before His what? Before His judgment seat
11:54 to answer for their actions.
11:57 So is there an arraignment
11:59 in Genesis chapter 3?
12:00 There most certainly is.
12:02 Now notice how these fools defend themselves in the court
12:04 of law. Genesis chapter 3 and verses 12 and 13.
12:09 Genesis 3 verses 12 and 13.
12:22 What is she doing? She's passing the buck.
12:26 She's blaming somebody else.
12:29 Is she really sorry for what she did?
12:33 At this point, does she have sorrow for sin?
12:37 No... she's sorry that she got... That she got what?
12:41 Or that he got what? Caught,
12:44 because this is the case of Adam.
12:45 Now let's notice Eve. Verse 13:
12:59 So notice that man says: "that woman that You gave to me
13:05 gave me the fruit and I ate. It's her fault. "
13:09 And the woman said: "That serpent that You made
13:12 gave me the fruit and I ate. So it's the serpent's fault. "
13:16 Are Adam and Eve truly repentant at this point?
13:19 They most certainly are not.
13:21 They're actually sorry that they got caught
13:24 and they're sorry about the consequences that they're going
13:27 to suffer because of the sin that they have committed.
13:31 But they're not really sorry for what they have done.
13:35 Now I want you to notice that this crime had an accessory.
13:40 Who was the accessory in the crime?
13:42 It was actually the serpent... the devil.
13:45 Did God have something to say to the serpent, to the accessory?
13:48 Did he have a sentence pronounced upon him?
13:51 Most certainly. Notice Genesis chapter 3 and verse 15.
13:55 Genesis 3 verse 15.
14:10 And then what does God do?
14:12 God pronounces upon Adam and Eve the sentence
14:17 for their actions. And I'm just going to read one verse
14:20 where it speaks about the sentence for man
14:22 but we know that it happens with the woman as well.
14:24 Genesis chapter 3 and verse 19.
14:28 It says here in Genesis 3 verse 19...
14:33 God is speaking specifically to Adam:
14:50 Is God pronouncing sentence upon man in this verse?
14:54 He most certainly is.
14:55 He said: "I told you that if you broke My law
14:58 you were going to surely... " What?
15:00 "you were going to surely die that day.
15:02 And now I'm telling you that you are dust, and to dust
15:06 you shall... " What? "and to dust you shall return. "
15:10 This is the sentence that God pronounces
15:13 upon Adam and also upon Eve.
15:17 Now I want you to notice once again Genesis chapter 3
15:20 and verse 7. Could Adam and Eve appear before God
15:25 without fear in their naked state?
15:28 Absolutely not.
15:31 Notice Genesis chapter 3 and verse 7.
15:42 In other words, they covered their own nakedness.
15:45 Let me ask you: did that really solve the problem of
15:49 their nakedness? Could they appear before God
15:51 in full assurance knowing that God now was going to
15:54 receive and accept them?
15:56 Absolutely not!
15:58 In fact we notice in verse 10 that even after they covered
16:01 themselves they still feel naked.
16:03 Notice Genesis chapter 3 and verse 10.
16:13 Was he already covered with the fig leaves at this point?
16:17 Sure. But he says: "I was naked. " In other words
16:21 he's saying that even though he had covered himself with the
16:23 fig leaves he still felt what? Guilty and naked before God.
16:28 So what needed to happen?
16:29 The shame of their nakedness needed to be what?
16:33 Needed to be covered.
16:35 Now let me ask you: was the execution of the sentence
16:41 given that very day?
16:43 God said: "Dust you are and to dust you shall return. "
16:46 Was the death sentence executed that very day?
16:51 Yes it was.
16:53 You say: "Now wait a minute. Adam died when he was
16:55 930 years old. How is it that you say that that very day
17:00 the sentence of death was executed? "
17:03 I don't know whether you've noticed something very
17:05 interesting as we have studied this story in Genesis chapter 3.
17:08 You have... The first stage of the judgment is really
17:10 the investigation of the case.
17:13 The second stage of the judgment
17:15 is the pronouncing of the sentence
17:17 based on the examination of the evidence.
17:20 They're guilty, so God says: "This is going to be the
17:22 punishment. " And in the third place you have
17:25 the execution of the sentence
17:28 that has been pronounced by God upon Adam and Eve:
17:31 the sentence of death.
17:33 You say: "But they didn't die that very day. "
17:35 Well, the fact is that there was a death that day.
17:39 Notice Genesis chapter 3 and verse 21.
17:42 And by the way, the death that took place that day
17:46 actually covered the shame of their nakedness
17:49 so that they could then appear before God without any shame
17:52 and without any guilt. Notice Genesis chapter 3
17:55 and verse 21. Genesis chapter 3 and verse 21.
18:00 It says:
18:11 Tunics of what? Skin.
18:14 Now... skin from what?
18:17 Certainly not from an onion.
18:20 This word is used over 50 times in Leviticus
18:24 to describe the skin of animals, sacrificial animals.
18:28 Now skins... plural. How many people were there?
18:31 Two that needed their nakedness covered.
18:34 So you have these skins.
18:36 What needed to happen in order for God to get the skins?
18:40 The animals had to what? The animals had to die.
18:45 And when those animals died God took the skins
18:49 and He made garments and He clothed the nakedness
18:54 of Adam and Eve.
18:55 Now did you notice that in Genesis 2 God said
18:58 to Adam and Eve:
19:00 "The day that you eat of the tree, that day
19:03 you will surely die? "
19:05 Well, Adam lived until 930 years old.
19:09 He didn't die that very day.
19:10 You say: "Well, he began to die spiritually. "
19:12 Yes... but he didn't die in the fullest sense -
19:16 second death - on that day.
19:18 So how do we understand God saying: "The day that you eat of
19:22 the tree that day you will surely die? "
19:24 The fact is that that very day there was a death.
19:26 It was the death of lambs, and those lambs represented
19:32 what? Represented the future death of Christ.
19:36 In other words, when those
19:37 animals were sacrificed on earth
19:40 it was an earthly announcement
19:43 that at that very moment Jesus was presenting Himself
19:46 before His Father in heaven and saying:
19:49 "Father, I will pay. "
19:52 In fact, allow me to read you a very interesting statement
19:55 that's found in the book The Faith I Live By page 75.
19:59 It's a devotional book written by Ellen White.
20:02 And she says this... notice:
20:48 Isn't that a beautiful statement?
20:50 Now we understand why Adam and Eve did not die that very day.
20:53 Because a substitute was found.
20:55 You remember the story that we studied about Abraham
20:58 and Isaac? The sacrifice of Isaac
21:01 where a substitute was found in place of Isaac?
21:04 Here you have the first indication of substitution
21:08 already at the very beginning of human history.
21:12 And so in Genesis chapter 3 we have the method that God
21:17 is going to use in the process of judgment
21:21 all throughout the Bible.
21:23 Let's review what we've studied.
21:25 Was there a moral authority here in the book of Genesis?
21:29 Yes, God... like the government is the moral authority.
21:34 Did God have a moral code or a law that he expected to be
21:38 obeyed? Just like the government has a law.
21:41 Did God say what the penalty would be if the law was broken?
21:44 Civil codes have a penalty if certain crimes are committed.
21:48 Did Adam and Eve commit the crime?
21:51 They most certainly did.
21:53 And when they committed the crime
21:55 did they try to hide the crime?
21:57 Yes... by covering their naked- ness and by hiding from God.
22:01 Now they're afraid to appear before the great judgment seat
22:05 of God in their naked state because they know that they're
22:09 guilty and God has said that if they appear in that state
22:13 that day they are going to what? They are going to die.
22:17 Let me ask you: are they arraigned before God's judgment
22:20 seat? Just like in judgments today we have arraignments.
22:24 Absolutely. God says: "Where are you?
22:26 Come and appear before My judgment seat. "
22:29 Absolutely. Is there an examination
22:31 of the evidence in Genesis chapter 3? Sure.
22:34 "Have you eaten from the tree
22:36 that I told you not to eat from? "
22:38 God knew that they had eaten
22:40 but God wants them to present the evidence in the case
22:45 before He actually pronounces the sentence upon them.
22:51 Did they try to defend themselves in the court of law?
22:54 Was it very successful?
22:56 It was actually very foolish because there was really
22:59 no self defense for what they had done.
23:03 Was there an accessory that also received a sentence
23:07 that very same day? Absolutely.
23:09 Was there a pronouncing of the sentence that very day
23:14 based on the examination of the evidence?
23:16 The fact that they were found guilty? Absolutely.
23:19 Was there on that very day an execution of the sentence?
23:23 Absolutely... but the execution was made upon the substitute
23:29 not upon Adam and Eve.
23:32 Several years ago I was at Andrews University
23:35 speaking at the Spanish church there in Berrien Springs.
23:38 And, of course, during the day - I only preached at night
23:42 so during the day I went to the James White Library
23:44 to do research on the book of Genesis.
23:47 And it was really a blessing to be in that library
23:50 for 9 hours a day among the thousands - ten thousands -
23:54 of books on theology.
23:56 And of course I was examining especially the first 3 chapters
24:01 of Genesis. And, you know, as I read the different
24:05 commentaries I discovered that the commentaries caught this
24:09 very point that I'm sharing with you
24:11 in our lecture today, and that is that in Genesis you have
24:14 the same basic idea of jurisprudence that we have
24:17 in our American court system.
24:19 That is: you're innocent until the evidence is examined
24:22 and you're found guilty. And then the sentencing takes place
24:25 and then the execution of the sentence.
24:27 There was only one element missing in those commentaries.
24:31 They all had, yes, the arraignment. In fact,
24:33 the subtitles many times in those commentaries said
24:36 the arraignment. You know, and other commentaries would
24:40 say the inquiry or the examination of the evidence.
24:43 And they would say the sentencing.
24:46 But there was one point which every commentary
24:48 missed and that is the execution of the sentence.
24:51 They didn't catch the idea that that very day
24:54 the sentence of death was executed.
24:57 It was executed upon those two animals
25:02 that represented Jesus who was going to come to die
25:05 for the human race. And by the way, that's the reason
25:08 why in Revelation chapter 13 and verse 8 we find
25:13 a description of the fact that Jesus is the Lamb of God
25:17 slain from when? He is "the Lamb of God
25:21 slain from the foundation of the world"
25:24 it says there.
25:26 Now was Jesus actually slain - empirically slain -
25:29 at the very beginning? Of course not.
25:31 But the promise of redemption was what?
25:35 The promise of redemption was made.
25:37 Now do you know that in the book of Genesis we have other
25:40 stories that follow this same sequence?
25:42 Not in all of the details that we've studied
25:44 but the three main steps are there
25:46 which is first of all the examination of the evidence,
25:50 second, the pronunciation of the sentence,
25:54 and third, the execution of the sentence.
25:56 Now let's notice a few other stories in the book of Genesis
26:00 that have this concept that before the sentencing
26:04 and before the execution of the sentence
26:06 there is an examination of the evidence.
26:08 This is very important for when we get to the idea
26:12 of the judgment in the book of Revelation.
26:14 Go with me to Genesis chapter 4 and verses 9 and 10.
26:18 This is the story of Cain and Abel.
26:20 Genesis chapter 4 and verses 9 and 10:
26:24 the story of Cain and Abel.
26:25 And I want you to notice that the first thing we have
26:28 is an examination of the evidence.
26:30 It says in verse 9:
26:32 "Then the Lord said to Cain: 'Where is Abel your brother? ' "
26:38 Did God know that Cain had killed his brother Abel?
26:42 Yes. What is God giving Cain an opportunity to do?
26:47 He's giving Cain an opportunity of what?
26:51 Of admitting his guilt. That's right.
26:54 But God doesn't say: "You killed your brother,
26:56 didn't you? You killed your brother. "
26:57 No... He doesn't accept him as guilty
27:01 before the case is examined and Cain himself admits
27:05 that he's committed the crime.
27:07 And then notice verse 10:
27:09 "And He said: 'What have you done?
27:12 The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me
27:17 from the ground. ' " Is the blood of Abel
27:20 crying out for justice here?
27:21 It most certainly is.
27:23 So the first point that you have
27:25 is an examination of the evidence.
27:26 God is giving Cain
27:28 an opportunity of expressing his guilt.
27:31 The second step is the sentencing.
27:34 Did God then sentence Cain?
27:37 Yes. Notice verse 11.
27:39 Verse 11... it says:
27:41 "So you are... " What? "cursed from the earth
27:46 which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood
27:49 from your hand. ' " And then God pronounces
27:51 a series of judgments upon Cain.
27:54 And then let me ask you: does Cain actually
27:57 flee from there and become errant like God said he was
28:01 going to? Absolutely.
28:04 Notice Genesis chapter 4 and verse 16.
28:07 Genesis 4:16 says: "Then Cain went out from the
28:11 presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod
28:14 in the east of Eden. "
28:17 And so once again you have the idea of the inquiry.
28:20 "Where is Abel your brother? "
28:22 "Have you done something to Abel your brother? "
28:25 And then God says: "This is going to be your sentence. "
28:28 And then Cain actually has to leave.
28:30 The sentence is executed upon Cain.
28:33 Do you see the three steps?
28:35 Now let's notice another story, the story of the flood.
28:39 Go with me to Genesis chapter 6. And by the way,
28:42 I'm trying to make a very important point here
28:44 as we examine the concept of judgment in Genesis
28:47 because this is the process that God is also going to follow
28:50 in the book of Revelation.
28:51 In fact, we are going to discover that we are NOW
28:54 in the hour of God's judgment.
28:56 Notice Genesis chapter 6 and verse 3. It says:
29:14 Now that little word "strive" is very interesting.
29:18 "My Spirit shall not strive. "
29:22 It's the Hebrew word diyn.
29:24 You say: "Why is that such an important word? "
29:26 Because in most places where it is translated in the
29:30 Old Testament it is translated judgment.
29:34 It's not translated strive.
29:37 In most references in the Old Testament
29:41 it's translated judgment. Let me ask you:
29:43 was the message of Noah separating the human race
29:47 into two groups? Based on his preaching,
29:52 were people making decisions either for or against the Lord?
29:55 Absolutely! And so the preaching of Noah
29:59 was a preaching of judgment
30:02 where people chose to be on one side or the other.
30:05 In other words, first of all you have the taking of sides.
30:09 And then let me ask you: what happened
30:12 as soon as everybody had made their decision?
30:15 Noah preached his last words...
30:18 what did God do? He came and He what?
30:21 He shut the door of the ark.
30:27 Let me ask you: is that the close of probation?
30:32 Yes. Has the sentence been pronounced at that point
30:36 against the wicked and in favor of the righteous? Yes!
30:41 But is the sentence executed that very moment?
30:45 Is the execution of the sentence the moment that the door closes?
30:50 Absolutely not. Seven days go by,
30:53 and then what happens? The sentence is what?
30:57 Is executed. Do you see once again in Genesis chapter 6
31:02 these three steps of the judgment?
31:04 You have an investigation of the case.
31:06 The preaching that separates individuals into one group
31:11 or the other. Then you have the pronunciation
31:13 of the sentence which is indica- ted by the closing of the door.
31:17 The righteous will be righteous still
31:19 and the wicked will be wicked still.
31:21 And then seven days later you have what?
31:24 You have the execution of the judgment.
31:26 The same three steps.
31:29 Now let's go to another story.
31:30 Genesis chapter 11 verses 5 through 9.
31:33 I wish we had time to study other stories in Genesis
31:36 because this characteristic appears time and again.
31:39 Notice Genesis chapter 11 and verses 5 through 9.
31:45 This is the story of the Tower of Babel.
31:48 And it says in verse 5... very interesting:
32:04 What did God do?
32:07 He came down to what?
32:10 To see the city that they had built.
32:13 What is God actually doing here?
32:15 Actually God is investigating and inquiring to see whether
32:19 they have gone what? Whether they have gone too far.
32:24 Then what does God do? By the way, does God literally
32:27 have to come down in person and say: "I'm going to check
32:29 this out. " No, God is actually telling us
32:31 the way in which He operates for our good.
32:35 Not for His good... He knows everything.
32:37 But He wants to show that He never pronounces sentence
32:40 and never executes a sentence without our choice.
32:45 He's telling us that He examines things thoroughly
32:48 before He sentences and before He executes a sentence.
32:52 Now let's continue reading.
32:54 We stopped at verse 5. It says in verse 6:
33:12 So is God pronouncing a sentence here?
33:15 In fact, notice verse 7:
33:23 Where is this decision being made?
33:26 Where is this judgment... the decision of this judgment
33:30 being made? Is it being made before
33:33 the languages are actually confused
33:35 and before the tower comes down?
33:38 Absolutely. God... He comes down and He sees.
33:41 And then in the heavenly council He says:
33:45 "You know, let's go confuse their language
33:47 so they can't understand one another's speech. "
33:50 And then what does God do? Does God actually
33:52 come down and confuse their languages and execute
33:56 the sentence which He has determined? Absolutely.
33:59 In fact, let's notice that.
34:01 Once again let's read verse 7. It says:
34:03 "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language... "
34:24 Once again the same idea.
34:26 God sees, God sentences,
34:30 and God executes the sentence.
34:33 Now let's go to one more example in the book of Genesis
34:36 before we actually go to the book of Revelation.
34:39 Let's go to Genesis chapter 18 and verses 20 and 21.
34:45 Genesis 18 and verses 20 and 21.
34:48 This is before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
34:52 It says here in verse 20:
35:17 Now isn't that a strange concept?
35:20 God saying "I'm going to go down; I'm going to check things
35:22 out. " And basically He's saying: "I'm going to see
35:25 if they've gone beyond the point of no return. "
35:30 Is God investigating this...
35:32 these cities before they're
35:33 actually destroyed?
35:35 He absolutely is investigating
35:36 them. But then let me ask you:
35:39 were the inhabitants of the city divided into two groups
35:44 before the destruction?
35:46 And was there a closing of the door before the sentence
35:50 was executed? Absolutely!
35:53 Do you remember when the wicked men of Sodom
35:55 gathered around Lot's house and they wanted to do violence
35:58 to the two angels that were inside Lot's house?
36:01 That the angel pulled Lot inside?
36:05 And what did he do? He shut the door.
36:08 Let me tell you: when the door is shut
36:10 the righteous and the wicked were separated or divided.
36:14 The righteous could no longer become wicked
36:17 and the wicked could no longer become righteous.
36:20 In other words, the closing of the door
36:23 marked the moment of the close of probation.
36:26 The sentence was sure at that point.
36:29 But... was the sentence executed at that moment?
36:33 Absolutely not.
36:35 Now go with me to Genesis chapter 18 and verses 23-25.
36:40 Here's where things really get interesting.
36:42 Genesis chapter 18 and verses 23 to 25.
36:47 This is the conversation of Abraham with the Lord,
36:51 with God. It says there in verse 23:
36:54 "And Abraham came near and said:
36:57 'Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? ' "
37:02 What is Abraham's concern?
37:05 Are You going to destroy the righteous
37:07 and the wicked together?
37:08 In other words, aren't You going to make a separation
37:10 between the righteous and the wicked before You actually
37:13 destroy? Notice verse 24:
37:16 "Suppose there were 50 righteous within the city.
37:21 Would You also destroy the place
37:24 and not spare it for the 50 righteous that were in it? "
37:31 And now notice verse 25... very important verse:
37:34 "Far be it from You to do such a thing as this:
37:38 to slay the righteous with the wicked so that the righteous
37:43 should be as the wicked.
37:45 Far be it from You. Shall not the Judge of all the earth
37:51 do right? " Is there a separation
37:55 of the righteous from the wicked
37:57 before these cities are destroyed? Absolutely.
38:01 Are both groups established before the sentence is executed?
38:05 Absolutely. Does the door close before the sentence is executed?
38:10 Absolutely. And so in the book of Genesis
38:13 time and again we find this idea
38:17 of an examination of the evidence,
38:19 the pronouncing of the sentence,
38:22 and eventually the execution of the sentence.
38:26 Now it's interesting that we find the same concept
38:29 in the book of Revelation
38:31 with concern of the final judgment
38:35 that is taking place in this world and that will take place.
38:38 Now allow me to say that in the book of Revelation
38:41 you have three stages to the judgment.
38:45 You have first of all the stage where the righteous
38:49 are judged. The second stage - and we're going to study these
38:53 so don't worry... I'm just giving you the concept -
38:56 the second stage is the millennial stage
38:59 where the wicked are going to be investigated.
39:02 And then there's a third stage which is the post-millennial -
39:06 in other words, after the millennium.
39:08 The wicked are going to be alive and they are going to
39:12 see their cases presented before them
39:15 on the basis of the records that God has kept.
39:18 Now let's talk first of all about the judgment
39:21 of the righteous.
39:24 Go with me to Revelation chapter 14 and verses 6 and 7.
39:29 Revelation chapter 14 and verses 6 and 7.
39:33 There are several important elements in these two verses.
39:38 It says there in Revelation chapter 14 and verse 6:
39:55 At this point is the door of probation still open?
40:00 Is the door of mercy still open?
40:01 It has to be. You say: "Why? "
40:04 Well, what good would it be to preach to every nation,
40:06 kindred, tongue, and people if the door of probation is closed?
40:09 I mean, the preaching would be fruitless.
40:12 There would be no reason to preach if all cases were
40:14 already decided. So when this angel preaches this message
40:18 to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people
40:20 the door of probation is what? Is open.
40:23 And based on the message, people are supposed to make what?
40:28 Decisions... either for or against.
40:31 Now notice verse 7... verse 7:
40:34 Notice what this angel says:
41:00 Question: does the judgment - this judgment -
41:04 begin before Jesus comes?
41:07 Yes it does.
41:09 Does it begin before probation closes?
41:15 Absolutely. How do we know that?
41:18 Because it begins when this angel is preaching...
41:21 the first angel. And by the way,
41:24 after the first angel there's a second angel's message.
41:27 And after the second angel's message there's a third,
41:29 and THEN probation closes.
41:31 So does the judgment begin before the close of probation
41:36 and before Jesus comes? Absolutely!
41:38 Now who is going to be judged in this judgment?
41:42 "The hour of His judgment has come. "
41:45 Folks, it's only the righteous who are being judged.
41:50 And by the way, where is this judgment taking place?
41:54 It must be taking place where? In heaven.
41:59 It's not taking place on earth.
42:01 God is judging His people where?
42:05 He's judging His people in heaven... not on earth.
42:09 And so we find that when the 1st angel proclaims his message
42:13 the hour of God's judgment begins.
42:17 You say: "Why would God have to judge the righteous
42:20 before Jesus comes? Before the door of probation closes? "
42:23 It's very simple.
42:24 You see, God has to determine or has to announce to the
42:28 universe which people He has a right to bring home with Him.
42:33 And that's why He needs to investigate the cases of the
42:36 righteous. Because those are the ones that He's going to take
42:40 with Him when He comes.
42:42 And so those have to be determined urgently
42:44 before He comes. With the wicked there's no problem
42:47 because the wicked are going to be left behind.
42:49 The wicked are going to actually be destroyed
42:52 after the millennium. So there's no urgency with the
42:54 wicked to judge them at this point in human history.
42:57 The urgency is to judge them before Jesus comes...
43:02 the righteous before He comes... because those are the ones that
43:05 He's going to show that He has a right to take to heaven
43:07 with Him when He comes. Are you understanding
43:09 what I'm saying? And so we find here
43:11 "the hour of His judgment has come. "
43:14 It takes place in heaven before the second coming
43:18 and it deals with the righteous.
43:20 You remember Abraham pleading for the righteous?
43:22 "Are You going to destroy the righteous with the wicked? "
43:25 He's concerned about the survival of the righteous
43:28 and he's interceding before God for the righteous.
43:31 "Are you going to destroy
43:32 the righteous with the wicked? "
43:34 God said: "Don't worry.
43:35 I'm going to be just.
43:37 I'm going to separate
43:38 the righteous from the wicked
43:39 and then I will destroy the cities of the plains. "
43:43 Now somebody's probably thinking: "Pastor Bohr,
43:45 this is kind of a fearful situation...
43:50 you know, the idea that all of us are going to have to
43:52 pass through the judgment. "
43:54 Let me ask you: must we fear the judgment?
43:57 Must we be afraid of passing through the judgment before
43:59 Jesus Christ? Well, it all depends.
44:03 You see: "It depends on what? "
44:05 Well, let me talk to you for a moment about the
44:07 Hebrew sanctuary. You know when an individual
44:09 committed a sin in the encampment
44:11 they were supposed to bring
44:13 a lamb. You can find this, for example, in Leviticus 4.
44:16 They brought a lamb. And then what did they do?
44:19 You would understand that they were repentant
44:21 because they're bringing this animal.
44:23 And then they were supposed to place their hand on the
44:25 head of the animal and what?
44:27 And confess the sin upon the head of that animal.
44:30 In other words, they repented, they confessed their sin.
44:34 and then what did they do?
44:36 They slew the animal
44:38 representing the fact that they were repentant.
44:42 They confessed their sin,
44:43 and in this way sin was being transferred to the animal
44:46 and the animal died in their place.
44:49 This, by the way, represented what happens with sinners.
44:52 You know: we repent of our sin; we confess our sin.
44:55 We place our sin upon Jesus Christ
44:58 and Jesus Christ takes our place.
45:01 But there's something else.
45:02 The blood which bore the record of sin
45:05 was then taken into the sanctuary and was sprinkled
45:08 in the sanctuary. Which means that the sin was
45:10 actually being transferred from the sinner to the victim
45:14 to the sanctuary. The record of the sin was in the sanctuary.
45:18 You say: "Well that's not a good thing
45:20 'cause the Israelites... they were threatened by having
45:22 their sin written in the sanctuary. "
45:25 Not really. You know what they had to fear?
45:28 They had to fear that their sin wasn't in there covered by
45:30 the blood. That's where they had to be afraid.
45:33 Because if the sin was on them and had not gone into the
45:37 sanctuary through the blood of the animal
45:40 they would have to suffer the penalty for the sin
45:43 if they didn't bring the animal and sacrifice it
45:44 and if the sin was not transferred into the sanctuary
45:47 by the blood. In other words, the greatest
45:50 assurance for the sinner in Israel was to have their sin
45:54 in the sanctuary covered by the blood of the lamb.
45:57 If it wasn't in there, it was here.
46:01 And so they didn't have to fear because on the day of judgment -
46:05 the great Day of Atonement - you know God wasn't out to
46:07 get the Israelites. What God was out to do was
46:11 to open the books... By the way, that's what the veil
46:14 represents where the blood was sprinkled, the transfer of sin,
46:17 you know, goes into the heavenly books.
46:19 Every time we sin, when we repent, when we confess our
46:22 sin, you know God writes it down but He writes next to it
46:25 "forgiven through the blood of Jesus. "
46:28 And so when those sins come up in the judgment
46:30 you know, God... I hate to say this but
46:34 God rubs it in Satan's face.
46:36 He says: "Yes, I realize that so and so sinned, but
46:40 look. I want to show you here that that sin was actually
46:44 covered by the blood. "
46:47 In other words, the Day of Atonement had the purpose
46:50 of pronouncing God's people not guilty
46:54 because they had repented of sin. They had confessed their
46:57 sin and they had put the sin in the sanctuary
47:00 through the blood of the lamb... through the blood of Jesus.
47:03 In other words, we don't have to fear the judgment
47:05 as long as we've repented from sin.
47:07 As long as we confessed our sin
47:09 and our sin has gone into the sanctuary through the blood
47:12 of Jesus and is covered there even if it's recorded.
47:16 Are you understanding what I'm saying?
47:18 You know, it kind of reminds me a little bit of
47:21 several years ago when I lived in New Jersey.
47:25 You know, Pastor Finn lived... he's actually from across the
47:28 river from Brooklyn. But I used to take the train
47:32 from Trenton, New Jersey, up to New York
47:35 'cause I didn't like to drive.
47:37 You know, the traffic in New York City is terrible.
47:40 You had gridlock all the time and so
47:42 I would take the train. And interesting, you know,
47:45 when you took the train. You'd buy the ticket;
47:46 you'd get into the train. And in the back of the seat
47:49 they had this little pocket. And you would take the ticket
47:52 that you had brought and you would put it in the pocket
47:54 and then the train attendant would come and he would take
47:58 out the ticket and he would punch it
48:00 to show that it was used.
48:03 Now when I got on the train and I purchased my ticket
48:07 do you think that when I saw the attendant coming down the aisle
48:11 of that train car that I was saying: "Oh no, he's coming down
48:15 the train car. Oh, I'm so afraid he's going to
48:19 examine to see whether I have a ticket or not. "
48:22 Do you think I was worrying and fretting about it?
48:24 No... because I have a ticket.
48:27 You see, we don't have to worry about God examining our case
48:31 as long as we have a ticket.
48:34 Now if somebody sneaks into the train
48:37 and doesn't have a ticket
48:39 there's where you have a problem.
48:42 By the way, Jesus told a parable of an individual who snuck in
48:46 without the wedding garment.
48:48 And he had reason to fear.
48:50 But those who have their sins go into the sanctuary
48:53 through the blood of Jesus have absolutely nothing to fear
48:57 as long as you've repented from sin, you've confessed your sin
49:01 and the sin has gone into the sanctuary through the blood
49:04 of Jesus Christ. So the judgment that takes place
49:07 in heaven of the righteous is with the purpose of
49:10 God showing to the universe "I have a right to bring these
49:13 people home because they're repented from sin.
49:16 They've confessed their sins and therefore they're My children.
49:19 I can bring them home. "
49:22 And when Jesus comes He comes to pick them up.
49:24 Let's go to our second stage
49:27 of this judgment before the second coming of Christ.
49:30 What's going to happen after everybody has made their
49:34 decision? Is the door of probation
49:36 going to close for the world?
49:39 It most certainly is.
49:41 Go with me to Revelation chapter 22.
49:43 Revelation chapter 22 and let's read verse 11.
49:47 This is the conclusion of the judgment. Notice:
49:50 God has examined the cases.
49:51 "The hour of His judgment has come. "
49:53 He's examining all the cases of those who claim Jesus
49:56 to see whether they were truly repentant
49:59 and whether they confessed their sins.
50:01 Whether there was real sorrow for sin.
50:03 When He finishes this work notice what happens.
50:06 A sentence is pronounced.
50:09 Revelation 22 and verse 11 says:
50:26 Is God pronouncing here that all cases are decided
50:31 for life or for death
50:32 as soon as the angels have proclaimed their messages?
50:35 Absolutely.
50:37 And then what is Jesus going to do?
50:38 Is He going to reward His people after this pronouncement?
50:42 You have the third stage which is actually the execution
50:45 of the sentence. By the way, the execution of the sentence
50:48 is to give His people their reward.
50:50 Because a judgment execution is not only negative
50:54 but it is also what? Positive!
50:56 Notice Revelation 22:12.
50:59 Here you have the actual reward
51:01 or the execution of the judgment.
51:03 And so it says in Revelation chapter 22 and verse 12
51:06 immediately after the sentence is pronounced...
51:09 it says:
51:21 If Jesus is going to come to reward everyone
51:23 according to his work, must He have examined
51:26 what that work was before He came?
51:29 Are we on the same wavelength?
51:32 I certainly hope so.
51:34 You see, He cannot bring His reward with Him
51:36 to give everyone according to their work
51:38 unless He has examined their cases in the judgment before.
51:42 So do we have the three stages
51:44 of the judgment
51:46 in Revelation chapter 14
51:48 and Revelation chapter 22?
51:50 We most certainly do.
51:51 Do we have an investigation of the case?
51:53 Absolutely. Through the preaching of the gospel
51:56 God is separating one group from another.
51:58 Do you have the pronouncing of the sentence
52:02 when the door of probation closes? Absolutely.
52:05 And do you have the execution in favor of the saints
52:08 of the Most High when Jesus comes with His reward?
52:11 Absolutely.
52:12 And so you have in Revelation the same idea that you have
52:16 in the book of Genesis: investigation, sentence,
52:20 and execution of the sentence.
52:23 In the case of the second coming it's an execution of the
52:26 sentence in favor of the saints of the Most High.
52:29 But I want you to notice that there are two other stages
52:32 to the judgment. There's a millennial stage
52:36 and there is also a post-millennial stage.
52:39 Now if the judgment before the 2nd coming is for the righteous
52:43 the judgment during the millennium must involve whom?
52:47 It must involve the wicked.
52:50 Now I'm just going to mention these verses because
52:53 time is short, but when Jesus comes according to
52:56 I Thessalonians chapter 4
52:59 Jesus is going to come all the way down to the earth
53:01 and set up His kingdom here, right?
53:04 No. I Thessalonians 4 says that He will come
53:08 and God's people will be what? Caught up in the clouds
53:12 to meet the Lord where? In the air.
53:15 And then John chapter 14 verses 1 to 3 says
53:18 that God's people will be taken to "My Father's house"
53:25 Jesus said. Where is the Father's house?
53:27 In heaven. "Our Father which art in heaven... "
53:30 And so Jesus comes. We're caught up in the air
53:33 and then Jesus takes the righteous where?
53:36 To His Father's house.
53:39 And what are the righteous going to do up there in
53:40 the Father's house? Well, it's going to be a working vacation.
53:46 You say: "How's that? A working vacation? "
53:49 Well actually Revelation 20:4
53:52 says that the righteous were given
53:57 the right to what? To judge.
54:07 So what is committed to God's people
54:10 who are in heaven at the Father's house?
54:13 Judgment is committed to them.
54:15 Question is: what are they going to judge?
54:19 Not the righteous 'cause the righteous are there.
54:22 It must be that they're going to judge the wicked.
54:25 And by the way, the devil and his angels.
54:28 This is the second stage of the judgment
54:31 or the second phase of the judgment.
54:33 See, the first stage is before Jesus comes.
54:35 "The hour of His judgment has come. "
54:37 It involves the righteous.
54:38 It's so that the heavenly beings... the angels and the
54:40 heavenly beings can see that God has a right
54:42 to bring these people home.
54:43 Not to inform God. It's to show the universe
54:46 that these people truly repented. They confessed
54:48 their sins. God has a right to bring them home.
54:50 The purpose of the millennial judgment is to show
54:54 God's people who went up there
54:57 why the individuals on earth were left behind.
55:01 Are you understanding what I'm saying?
55:03 In other words, it is to convince the righteous
55:06 along with the heavenly beings that God was right
55:08 in leaving those people on planet earth...
55:11 leaving those people behind.
55:14 The apostle Paul says in I Corinthians chapter 6
55:16 and verses 1-3. He says: "Don't you know that the saints
55:19 will judge the world? "
55:21 In fact, he goes on to say "Don't you know
55:24 that the saints will judge angels? "
55:28 That's the same judgment of Revelation 20:4
55:32 where it says: "judgment was committed to them. "
55:34 So let me ask you: are God's people going to
55:36 investigate the wicked during the thousand years?
55:38 Absolutely.
55:40 What's going to happen as they examine each case?
55:42 Are they going to pronounce the sentence upon each of those
55:44 individuals who were left behind?
55:46 Yes or no? Absolutely!
55:48 When is that sentence going to be executed?
55:52 It is going to be executed after the millennium.
55:56 Does God do the same thing with the wicked?
55:59 He most certainly does. Now, the final point
56:01 that I need to mention is the third phase of the judgment.
56:03 That's the post-millennial.
56:05 At that time all of the wicked will be alive
56:07 because the wicked are not convinced that God was right.
56:09 The heavenly beings? Yes.
56:11 The righteous who went to heaven to the Father's house?
56:13 They're convinced that God is right.
56:15 But the wicked haven't been convinced.
56:17 So God is going to resurrect them all.
56:19 The wicked are going to live according to Revelation 20:5.
56:24 And they are going to see the record of their lives.
56:27 You can find this in Revelation chapter 20
56:29 and verses 11 to 15.
56:31 They see... each one of them sees their life.
56:33 Sees their works.
56:35 And they see that their name is not in the Book of Life.
56:38 By the way, it was erased during the 1,000 years
56:42 on the basis of what was examined.
56:44 And they'll see all of their works.
56:45 They'll see that their name is not in the Book of Life.
56:49 And then God will say: "This is the sentence that was
56:52 pronounced against you. " And the Bible says
56:54 that they will say: "Just and true are Your ways
56:58 O God. " Even the devil will say that.
57:00 And then God will execute the final penalty
57:04 against Satan, sinners and He will have a clean universe.
57:11 Isn't this a marvelous concept?
57:14 I pray to God that we will all claim Jesus as our lawyer.
57:18 Let's not try and defend ourselves.
57:20 Let's adopt Jesus as our lawyer and representative
57:23 so we might pass the judgment.


Revised 2014-12-17