(Read Part 20)

We last left off looking at the sheep and goats judgment, which is described in Matt. 25:41-46.

Put yourself at this judgment. You are standing before the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of the tribulation period and Jesus begins to separate the true believers who received the gift of salvation during the tribulation period from those who never gave their hearts and lives to Him. Jesus asks you why He should let you into His millennial kingdom. You state you tried to do your best, and were better than most people were, and therefore you deserve to enter His kingdom. Jesus asks you to step to His left side. What a horrible, intolerable end to life that would be for you.

However, today, you can change that outcome immediately. The Bible makes it crystal clear that you are a sinner (Rom. 3:23) and deserving of eternal punishment and separation from God (Rom. 6:23). However, God loves you. Jesus, God’s Son, literally left heaven, was virgin born, sinless, and He became the God-man who went to the cross, suffered, died, was buried and the third day rose again to pay for your sins (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Right now, the choice is yours. Accept what Jesus did for you and make Him Lord of your life, or make the eternally fatal error of rejecting God’s gift of salvation.

This distinctly dispensational truth is your decision to make.

The following chart reminds us of the distinction between this sheep and goats judgment and the great white throne judgment, which is found in Revelation 20:11-15:

How many catastrophic judgments will take place during the future seven-year tribulation period, and why do these judgments take place? Over the next several blogs we will investigate the Biblical account of the numerous judgments that God will execute on the earth after the rapture of the church-age saints (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54).

This segment will provide a summary overview of 28 specific judgments that God promised will take place on the earth. This distinctly dispensational doctrinal truth is essential to understand as we study the eschatological (i.e., study of the future) third temple period, and the God’s preparation for the fourth temple period.

The Four Major Categories of Tribulation Judgments: Introduction

The Apostle John, the author of the book of Revelation under the inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16), wrote an account of the judgments that God will inflict upon the earth during the seven-year tribulation period (Rev. 6-18).

John’s prophetic account uses a great deal of symbolism, which can result in confusion for the reader regarding the specific meaning of the text. The use of symbolism in Revelation and other Biblical books such as Daniel, Ezekiel and Zechariah has a theological classification of apocalyptic literature. The simplest way to define apocalyptic Biblical text is to look at the Greek word and determine how God used the word in our English Bibles. The Greek word, for our scholarly audience, is ἀποκάλυψις (apokalypsis), which is translated appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation in the Bible.[1]

Revelation 1:1 provides a perfect example of the use of the word “apokalypsis”:

The Revelation (αποκαλυψις – apokalypsis) of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.

Therefore, God veils the 28 judgments, which we will examine, in symbolic language that requires the faithful student of the Word of God to follow the instruction to:

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)

The King James Version here provides a more pointed way to express the command of God to study His Word:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


Here we stand; we cannot, and must not, be moved from this distinctive dispensational doctrine.

(Read Part 22)

Dr. Richard Schmidt is the founder of Prophecy Focus Ministries, having previously served as a pastor and church planter. His love for the prophetic Scriptures resulted in writing a doctoral dissertation on a dispensational perspective on the mystery church age existing between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. Dr. Schmidt offers seminars on a variety of prophetic topics to local churches and conferences. We are very excited to involve him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.

Copyright © 2017 by Dr. Richard Schmidt. Used by permission of the author.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated,
are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked KJV are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

[1] James Strong, The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996), p. 583.

All blog posts are the opinions of the author alone.