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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Church and the World, #9
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11)
When the Lord God builds up His Church the nations of the earth will behold the righteousness and Glory of the Lord.
For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles [nations] shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. (Isaiah 62:1,2)
The twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew portrays Christ the King assigning some nations to everlasting fire and other nations to eternal life.
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: (Matthew 25:32)
Notice that the basis of separation in this instance is not their receiving Christ as Lord and Savior or their repenting or their being baptized in water or their being born again. The judgment of the nations is based on how they treated the Lord's brothers, His elect, His witnesses, His saints.
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: (Matthew 25:35)
It is our understanding that the "sheep" and "goat" nations represent all the nations of history, including the people who are alive on the earth when the Lord returns. The principle of assisting or rejecting God's witnesses, whether Jewish or Gentile, with the resulting rewards or punishments, holds true for all of human history. If we are correct, then the judgment of the sheep and goat nations will take place at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, the time when the dead are raised.
The following is an example of someone assisting the Lord's witnesses:
And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. (Acts 16:15)
And then an example of rejecting the Lord's witness:
And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. (Acts 16:22)
Matthew 25:31-46 may be speaking especially of how the nations of the earth treated the Lord's witnesses during the period just prior to His return from Heaven, during the great tribulation. Perhaps this is the meaning of "the earth helped the woman" (Revelation 12:16).
It is the writer's point of view that the Spirit-anointed elect will be forced to flee from the face of Antichrist after the latter-rain testimony (the testimony symbolized by the "two witnesses" of Revelation, Chapter 11) has been concluded. The true Israel of God, the elect Jews and Gentiles, will, we believe, be protected and nourished in the wilderness areas of the earth throughout the great tribulation.
To be continued.