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the fire in Matthew 25

14-08-2012 - Posted by Andre Piet

From a visitor to this site, I received the next question:

In Matthew, Jesus speaks about the judgment of the nations. Those who have “treated” Israel “well” will be placed at God’s right hand. Here, there is no resurrection preceding this judgment. Yet, there is mention made of the punishment of Revelation 20, the lake of fire, comparative with the fact that they are thrown into the fire with Satan and his minions. However, I do think it to be a different judgment, because there is no resurrection preceding it. How is that exactly to be understood?

ANSWER: Here, in Matthew, it is about the gathering of the nations in Jerusalem, prior to the thousand years (Rev.19:19-21). Meanwhile, “the Son of Man” (Ben Adam) has taken His place on “the throne of His glory” (Matthew 25:31). Those who have not been good for the least of His brethren (= brethren in the flesh = Israelites) are dispatched to the fire, prepared for the devil and his messengers (Matthew 25:41). In this connection, we are to think of his messengers as the beast and the false prophet. Of these three, we read that they will be thrown into the lake of fire and of brimstone (Rev.19:20; 20:10). This judgment will take place in the region that at one time burned with fire and brimstone, near the Dead Sea (Gen.19:24,28). In this environment, also the “goat” (= unwilling) nations will perish. The judgment in Matthew 25 runs parallel with what we find at the end of Revelation 19. There also, mention is made of a gathering of nations, as well as the end of “the beast and the false prophet”. In one breath it is added: “and the rest (> goats) were killed with the sword” (Rev.19:21). Also in Joel 3:1 and 2, we read about this judgment:

For, behold, in those days, and in that season, when I shall turn back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also convene all the nations and bring them down to the vale of Jehoshaphat (=the Lord judges). And I enter into judgment with them there concerning My people, and My allotment, Israel, whom they disperse among the nations, and My land which they apportion…

Please note the sequence: the restoration of Israel, the convening of all nations in “the land” and a judgement “because of my people” (cp. “the least of my brethren”).

Delen: