Investigative Judgment from Genesis to Revelation

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Genesis 3:6-13 – Here, God’s children sinned against His command.  God came down, knowing all too well what had occurred, and asked, “Where are thou?”  “Who told thee that thou art naked?”  “Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”  “What is this that thou hast done?”  Before God pronounced judgment upon sin and sinners, He asked four questions.  In those questions He made His creation to know, from one end of the universe to the other, all things that were necessary to be understood before pronouncing judgment upon His creatures.  Judicially, in this order He dealt with the His creatures: the serpent, the woman, then the man. Notice, God was wondering whether or not His earthly children were obedient to His commands, and this was the premise upon which He judged the situation.

Genesis 4:1-15 – Cain slew his brother Abel.  God did not judge Cain without first investigating the situation.  After questioning Cain prior to his sin, and then after the sin of murder, God asked these questions, “Why art thou wroth?” “Why is thy countenance fallen?” “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” “Where is Abel thy brother?”  “What hast thou done?”  In these five questions God made His entire creation to know, from one end of the universe to the other, all things that were necessary to be understood before pronouncing judgment upon His creature.  He then dealt according to His mercy with Cain—he was left alive. Notice, God wondered whether or not His earthly child was obedient to His commands, and this was the premise upon which He judged the situation.

Genesis 6:3-12 – God, in His mercy, gave the inhabitants of the earth 120 years to repent.  During that time He went down to see if the wickedness of man was great enough to be destroyed.  Notice, “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Vs. 5).  He went down and investigated for Himself before pronouncing judgment. “God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth” (Vs. 12).  After 120 years of questions and answers from both God and Noah, and the other preachers of righteousness, He finally fulfilled His judgments upon the inhabitants of the earth. His command was to get into the ark; most forsook the counsel, and were judged accordingly.

Genesis 11:1-9 – At Babel, “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.”  After He saw the situation, He gave a brief explanation of what He was about to do, and then confounded their language.  He investigated first, and then gave explanation, so that all of the inhabitants of the universe would see the reasoning behind His actions. What those people planned to do was contrary to God’s command; therefore, He judged them (See Gen. 9:1).

Genesis 18:20-26 – The Good Lord heard the cry of the righteous in Sodom. Their prayers came up before Him into His holy temple.  Notice the fair words spoken by the Master, “I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know.”  Praise the Lord, He is merciful, He is just!  Notice His justice and love as He conversed with man, when Abraham said to Him, “Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” (Vs. 23) What was the answer of our God? “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake” (Vs. 32).  He came down to know for Himself that which was spoken to Him in prayer, concerning the cities of the wicked! He wished to make His creation know, from one end of the universe to the other, all things that were necessary to be understood before pronouncing judgment upon His creatures. God’s commandments were being broken. This was why He pronounced judgment upon His creatures. (For the Angels commissioned of God to go and see the city in person, before the judgment, see chapter 19.)

Exodus 2:23-25; 3:7-9 – God came down to see the affliction of His people in Egypt. He had heard the cry of His children; and as the Father of a captive son, He was about to do something to release them (Ex. 4:22-23). Before God pronounced His Divine judgments (Ex. 6:6), He went down personally and viewed the severity of the situation.  This was done, that all might know, that He was just and righteous for doing what He planned.  This also will be expressed in the seven last plagues of Revelation 16:5. How can this be said?  Because prior investigation will have been made, evidence will be found and displayed, and a due recompense will be their reward (Rev. 16:6-7).

Exodus 32:7-10 – God watched and listened to His children as they, “turned aside quickly… made them a molten calf… worshiped it… sacrificed… and said…” etc.  He then said, “I have seen this people.”  Again, God came down to personally see and hear what His children had done, so that He would pronounce His judgments intelligently.  They had broken God’s law, and on that premise, He would judge them.

Time would fail us to go through the entire Bible to show all of the incidents that God came down to hear and see that which humans have said and done.  The most important things to remember are these: God came down in the form of the Son of Man to hear and see what humans say and do.  We killed the Son of Man by our sin; we would no more receive Him today than the Jews did two thousand years ago.  We are wicked creatures that would crucify again the Christ if we were not subdued by the magnificent grace of our God.  Let’s reflect on our own lives.  What do we say and do on a regular basis?  If God were to come down to the area where we live, at any given time, what would He find us saying and doing?

Daniel 7:8-14, 21-22, 24-27 – This section of Scripture clearly describes a succession of events: The little horn’s activity, the judgment, and the kingdom. The kingdom is not given to the Son of Man until after the judgment. This occurs, in the same order, three undeniable times in this chapter. God’s point through His prophet was that there will be the time of the horn (or antichrist power), and then there would be a judgment that precedes the coming of our King.

Matthew 22:11-13 – The King Himself came in to the marriage feast, He saw those that were there, measured them by the standard of apparel by which He had set up (representing the robe of Christ’s righteousness), and then pronounced judgment on the one that had not followed His will. God, pictured in this parable as the King, pronounced judgment after He investigated the situation.

Revelation 22:11-12 – “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as His work shall be.” He previously investigates, just as He did in His past, and then comes “with” His reward, not to create, or make it up—He comes with His reward.

Psalm 102:19-21 – “For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem…”  (See also Ezekiel 33:11).

The only question asked in the judgment will be, “Have they been obedient to My commandments?” (GW 315.1) Obedience can only be accomplished by having Christ in us, the Hope of Glory. Does Christ Jesus have full reign in your heart?