When Lazarus, the brother of Martha died, Jesus said that he would get a resurrection. Martha’s reply was that she believed that he would be resurrected on the last day. It is likely that Martha’s faith in the resurrection was based on Daniel 12:13 and possibly also on Isaiah 26:19. The Gospels show that the Jews in general believed in a future resurrection.
Solomon and Jesus say that people will be judged on the basis of their deeds and their words. This does not mean that those who get a resurrection on Judgment Day will be judged on the basis of what they said and did before they died because Paul says in Romans 6:7 that a person who dies is acquitted of his sin. Jesus shows that it will be more difficult on Judgment Day for some than for others to follow God’s laws. The reason may be that what they said and did before their death formed their personality in a bad way.
Who will get a resurrection on Judgment Day? Jesus speaks about this resurrection in Matthew chapters 10, 11, and 12. He says that the inhabitants of Chorazin, Capernaum, and Bethsaida, as well as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, will get a resurrection on Judgment Day. The members of the Governing Body rejects the words of Jesus that the mentioned inhabitants will get a resurrection. By his ransom sacrifice, Jesus bought all of Adam’s descendants. This requires that most of the people who have lived on the earth will get a resurrection on Judgment Day. That Jesus said that so many wicked people will get a resurrection supports this.
Paul connects the judgment of the living and the dead with “the Kingdom.” Of the four kingdoms that have existed, only the future earthly Kingdom can be the reference of Paul. Based on different words of Paul and on Revelation, we can identify those who will be judges, kings, and priests on Judgment Day, These are the 144,000 the firstfruits and therefore experience the first resurrection.
The second resurrection is mentioned in Revelation 20:11-13. The dead in the sea, in the death, and in hades are included in the second resurrection during the thousand Year Reign of Jesus. But some see a problem here: How can these people get a resurrection during the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus when Revelation 20:5 says that “the other dead would not come to life before the 1,000 years were ended”?
I show that the words “come to life” do not refer to a resurrection. But those who have been resurrected still have the sin that they inherited from Adam, and therefore they are referred to as “the dead.” When they no longer have the inherited sin after the 1,000 years have ended, they have “come to life.” But their resurrection occurs early in the 1,000 years.
The basis for the judgment on Judgment Day is whether a person’s deeds accord with the content of the scrolls that are mentioned. These scrolls cannot contain the deeds of the resurrected ones that they did before their resurrection. If that were the case, most persons who were resurrected would be condemned. There is no purpose to resurrect billions of people and when they have been resurrected they are eternally annihilated. These scrolls must be written at the beginning of the 1,000 years in order to be used as the basis for the judgment.
The members of the heavenly are kings, judges, and priests. And they will help those who survive the great tribulation and the resurrected ones in the same way that the kings, judges, and priests in Israel helped the people. During Judgment Day the earth will become a paradise. And those that pass the test after the 1,000 years will have a guarantee that they get everlasting life in the earthly Paradise.
THE RESURRECTION ON THE LAST DAY
After the death of Lazarus, Jesus Christ spoke with his sister Martha. According to John 11:23, Jesus said, “Your brother will rise (anistēmi, “cause to stand up; raise up”).” The answer of Martha was, “I know he will rise in the resurrection (anastasis, “a raising; resurrection”) on the last day (eskhatos, “last”; hēmera, “day”).” What was the basis for the belief of Martha? Probably, her basis was the words in Daniel 12:13. Below I have translated the Hebrew text, the Greek text of the Septuagint, and the Greek text of Theodotion.
And you, go (hālak, qal imperative), and you will rest, and you will stand up (‘ãmad, qal imperfect) to your lot at the end (qets, end) of the days (hēmera, plural).
And you, go (bainō, aorist imperative), you will rest (anapauō, present middle imperative) until days and hours until the fulfillment (anaplērōsis) of the conclusion (synteleia). And you will rise (anistēmi) to your glory at the conclusion (synteleia) of the days (hēmera, plural).
And you, until now, rest (anapauō, present middle imperative), and you will rise (anistēmi) at the conclusion (synteleia) of the days (hēmera, plural).
The Greek word anastasis (“resurrection”) is not found in the Septuagint. However, Isaiah 26:19 uses words that clearly refer to a resurrection. My translation follows.
And your dead (mūt, “to die”, qal participle) will live (hāyā, qal imperfect), and your carcass (nēbelā, carcass, singular) will stand up (‘ãmad, qal imperfect). Cause them to wake up (kits, hifil imperative) and let them sing with joy (rānan, piel imperative) you who dwell in the dust. For the dew of light is your dew, and the earth will cause the dead (refaim) to fall down (nāfal, hifil imperfect).
The Hebrew words are clear. The expression that the dead will live is the same as speaking of resurrection. The word “carcass” is singular and is evidently used in a collective way, such as for example nefesh (“soul”) often is. The words that they will wake up also show that Isaiah speaks about a resurrection. A Hebrew woman could give birth in a standing position, just as does many animals. That the earth will cause the dead to fall down may indicate that they are born, which also refers to a resurrection.
Three different synonyms for dead persons, metim (from mut) nēbelā, and refaim are used, and three different ways of referring to a resurrection are used: “will live,” “will stand up,” and “will fall down (like newborn).”
Martha was a god-fearing woman who evidently was very well versed in the Hebrew Scriptures. Therefore, we must assume that she was both familiar with Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:13. Jesus used the verb anistēmi (“rise”) the same word that both the Septuagint and the Theodotion translation uses in Daniel 12:13. The substantive anastasis (“resurrection”) correspond to the verb anistēmi (“rise”), and it is used 40 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures mostly referring to the resurrection.
Martha uses the word “day” in the singular while Daniel uses the word in the plural. But this does not necessarily be a difference because a singular noun can have a collective meaning, and a plural word can refer to a single point. One reason why Martha uses the adjective eskhatos (“last”) while both the Septuagint and Theodotion use the noun synteleia (“conclusion”) may be that synteleia in Daniel’s time only had a temporal meaning, while it had both a temporal and a spatial meaning in the days of Jesus. In Matthew 24:3, for example, NWT13 correctly translates synteleia with “system of things.” Martha spoke Hebrew and may have used kets (“end”) just as does Daniel. But because of the changed meaning of the word synteleia, John may have used the Greek word exkhatos instead of synteleia in his translation of the words of Martha. In that case, John used the word eskhatos, which has about the same meaning as synteleia had in the days of Daniel.
THE JEWS IN GENERAL BELIEVED IN A FUTURE RESURRECTION
When we read the texts with the occurrences of the Greek word anastasis (“resurrection”) in the Christian Greek Scriptures, we see that there was a belief in the resurrection of the dead among the Jews in general. The only ones who did not believe in the resurrection were the Sadducees. (Mark 12:18) Of the 40 occurrences of anastasis, 22 are preceded by the definite article with the meaning “the resurrection,” the resurrection that we know about and believe in. This is confirmed by Paul in Acts 24:15
And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection (anastasis) of both the righteous and the unrighteous.
Paul says that “these men” believed in a resurrection from the dead. And verse 9 shows that “these men” were the Jews. Martha referred to the resurrection on “the last day,” and Paul refers to the Jewish belief of a resurrection of both righteous and unrighteous. Hebrews 9:27, 28 says:
27 And just as it is reserved for men to die once for all time, but after this to receive a judgment (krisis), 28 so also the Christ was offered once for all time to bear the sins of many; and the second time that he appears it will be apart from sin, and he will be seen by those earnestly looking for him for their salvation.
The words of Hebrews that judgment will occur after death, and the word of Paul regarding the resurrection of both righteous and unrighteous connect the judgment and resurrection with Judgment Day.
WHAT DOES IT MEEN THAT A PERSON IS JUDGED FOR HIS DEEDS AND WORDS?
As already mentioned, the words “Judgment Day” are not found in the Hebrew Scriptures. However, in the Christian Greek Scriptures, Luke uses the words “the judgment” with the same meaning as “Judgment Day” in the book of Matthew. This is seen by a comparison between Matthew 10:15 and Luke 10:14. This indicates that when an author in the Hebrew Scriptures uses the word “the judgment” referring to the future judgment of humans, this is a synonym for Judgment Day. The only writer in the Hebrew Scriptures who uses “judgment” and “judge” in connection with humans with future reference is Solomon in Ecclesiastes 11:9 (above) and 12:14 (below):
9 Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and go where your eyes lead you; but know that the true God will bring you intojudgment for all these things.
14 For the true God will judge every deed (ma‘asæ, “work; labor; deed”) including every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.
The main point is that God will on Judgment Day judge the actions of each person, whether they are good or bad.
Jesus said according to Matthew 12:35, 36:
35 The good man out of his good treasure sends out good things, whereas the wicked man out of his wicked treasure sends out wicked things. 36 I tell you that men will render an account on Judgment Day for every unprofitable saying (argos, idle; careless; unprofitable”) that they speak.
Solomon shows that a person will be judged for “all these things” that he or she does and for all his or her deeds that are manifest or hidden. Jesus says that persons will be judged “for every unprofitable saying.” The Greek word argos is not a strong word that refers to swearing or using bad language. But it refers to what is idle or careless. How can we understand the words of Solomon and Jesus? The words of Paul in Romans 6:23 (above) and 6:7 (below) seem to contradict the words of Solomon and Jesus:
23 For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.
7 For the one who has died has been acquitted (dikaioō, to make or render just or right, acquit) from his sin.
The words of God to the first two humans were that those who sinned would be sentenced to death. Paul expresses the same view in Romans chapter 6, and he shows that when someone dies, he or she has experienced the sentence, and therefore he or she is acquitted from sin. When a person has served his jail sentence, he has paid for his wrongdoing, and he cannot be sentenced a second time for this wrongdoing. The same is true with death. When a person dies, the death sentence acquits him of his sin. When he gets a resurrection, he or she has no sins on the basis of which he can get an adverse judgment. This means that on Judgment Day the resurrected ones cannot be judged on the basis of what they did or said before they died. But what then is the meaning of the words of Solomon and Jesus?
In chapters 10, 11, and 12 in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus spoke about Judgment Day and the resurrection. In Matthew 11:20-24 we read:
20 Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his powerful works had taken place, for they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Cho·raʹzin! Woe to you, Beth·saʹi·da! because if the powerful works that took place in you had taken place in Tyre and Siʹdon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more endurable for Tyre and Siʹdon on Judgment Day than for you. 23 And you, Ca·perʹna·um, will you perhaps be exalted to heaven? Down to the Grave you will come; because if the powerful works that took place in you had taken place in Sodʹom, it would have remained until this very day. 24 But I say to you, it will be more endurable for the land of Sodʹom on Judgment Day than for you.”
The last clause in the quotation (in red) throws light on the issue we are discussing. The Watchtower of January 15, 1987, page 25, compared the actions of the inhabitants of Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, Sodom, and Gomorrah and said:
Jesus goes on to single out for reproach the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, where he has performed most of his powerful works. If he had done them in the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon, Jesus says, these cities would have repented in sackcloth and ashes. Condemning Capernaum, which apparently has been his home base during his ministry, Jesus declares: “It will be more endurable for the land of Sodom on Judgment Day than for you.”
What does Jesus mean by this? Evidently he is showing that, during Judgment Day when proud ones in Capernaum are resurrected, it will be more difficult for them to admit their mistakes and accept Christ than it will be for the resurrected ancient Sodomites to repent humbly and learn righteousness.
This is a clear explanation of the words “more endurable.” All the resurrected ones are acquitted of their wrong deeds and words by their death. But their wrong deeds and words have influenced their personalities, and because of this, some persons may have more difficulties in adjusting their lives on Judgment Day to the laws of Jehovah than others.
For example, the inhabitants of Chorazin, Capernaum, and Bethsaida had heard the preaching of Jesus and they had seen his miracles. Nevertheless, they had not accepted him as the promised Messiah. We do not know why they did not accept him. But the words of Jesus show that their personality had been formed in a hard and unyielding direction. So, their words and deeds before their death could be factors that would prevent them from accepting the ransom sacrifice and the laws of God on Judgment Day.
WHO WILL GET A RESURRECTION ON JUDGMENT DAY?
I have already mentioned that Jesus speaks about the resurrection and Judgment Day in Matthew chapters 10, 11, and 12. Luke also refers to these sayings of Jesus in chapters 10 and 11. I quote from Luke 10:10-15 (above) and from 11:29-32 (below).
10 But wherever you enter into a city and they do not receive you, go out into its main streets and say: 11 ‘We wipe off against you even the dust that sticks to our feet from your city. Nevertheless, know this, that the Kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you that it will be more endurable for Sodʹom in that day than for that city. 13 “Woe to you, Cho·raʹzin! Woe to you, Beth·saʹi·da! because if the powerful works that have taken place in you had taken place in Tyre and Siʹdon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 Consequently, it will be more endurable for Tyre and Siʹdon in the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Ca·perʹna·um, will you perhaps be exalted to heaven? Down to the Grave you will come!
29 When the crowds were massing together, he began to say: “This generation is a wicked generation; it looks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Joʹnah. 30 For just as Joʹnah became a sign to the Ninʹe·vites, so will the Son of man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the south will be raised up in the judgment with the men of this generation and will condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solʹo·mon. But look! something more than Solʹo·mon is here. 32 The men of Ninʹe·veh will rise in the judgment with this generation and will condemn it, because they repented at what Joʹnah preached. But look! something more than Joʹnah is here.
I have already quoted the excellent comments on the phrase “it will be more endurable” in The Watchtower of January 15, 1987. However, the study note to Luke 10:12 in the online NWT13 contradicts these comments. And it shows that the members of the Governing Body and the translators of NWT 13 reject the words of Jesus. They claim that the words of Jesus represent a hyperbole (an exaggeration) and that the meaning of the words of Jesus is the very opposite of the literal meaning of these words. This is a rejection of the full inspiration of the Holy Bible and it is a false teaching!
it will be more endurable:
Evidently used as a form of hyperbole that Jesus may not have intended to be taken literally. (Compare other graphic hyperboles that Jesus used, such as those at Mt 5:18; Lu 16:17; 21:33.) When Jesus said that it would be “more endurable for Sodom in that day,” that is, on Judgment Day (Matthew 10:15; 11:22, 24; Lu 10:14), he was not saying that the inhabitants of Sodom must be present on that day. (Compare Jude 7.) He could simply have been emphasizing how unresponsive and culpable most people were in such cities as Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. (Lu 10:13-15) It is worth noting that what happened to ancient Sodom had become proverbial and was often mentioned in connection with God’s anger and judgment.— 10:14 10:13-15 1:9; La 4:6. (bold types in the original)
Why do not the members of the Governing Body believe in the words of Jesus? The reason evidently is that they do not believe in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ as this sacrifice is presented in the Christian Greek Scriptures.
Let us now look at the words of Jesus and consider what he really was saying. According to Luke, Jesus speaks about “the judgment,” which is the same as Judgment Day. In Luke 10:10, 11, he speaks of the inhabitants of a city that would not accept the Christian message. In 10:12, Jesus says that it will be more endurable for Sodom than for this city on Judgment Day. This requires that both the inhabitants of the mentioned city and the inhabitants of Sodom must have been resurrected on Judgment Day.
In Luke 11:29, Jesus says that the present generation of Jews was wicked. In 11:31, Jesus says that the queen of the south “will be raised up (egeirō) with the men of this generation.” The verb egeirō means “to wake up; to rise from the dead.” The words of Jesus in John 5:21 shows how the verb egeirō can be used:
21 For just as the Father raises (egeirō, present indicative) the dead up and makes them alive (zōopoeiō, present indicative), so the Son also makes alive (zōopoeiō, present indicative) whomever he wants to.
The Greek word zōopoeiō has the meaning “to cause to live” and is a parallell to egeirō. So, we see that “raise up” (egeirō) is the same as “cause to live.” Returning to Luke 11:31, Jesus says that the queen of the south will come to life together with the men of this wicked generation on Judgment Day. The words of Jesus are crystal clear. But they do not fit the view of the members of the Governing Body as to whom will get a resurrection. Therefore, they reject the words of Jesus.
I will now bring in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The teaching of the Christian Greek Scriptures is that Jesus by his death bought all the descendants of Adam who have lived on the earth. Jesus presented this sacrifice to Jehovah, his Father in heaven. And because of the righteousness of God, every individual who has been bought must get a chance to accept or reject the ransom sacrifice.
History shows that most of those who have lived on the earth have not had this chance, and therefore, they must get a resurrection and get this chance. The members of the Governing Body have expressed the view that those who died in the great flood in the days of Noah, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, most of the members of the wicked generation in the days of Jesus, and those who live when the great tribulation comes will not get a resurrection but are eternally annihilated. This viewpoint does not have any basis in the Christian Greek Scriptures. The only persons who will not get a resurrection according to the Scriptures are those who have sinned against the holy spirit. And the way they are portrayed shows that they are only a fraction of Adam’s descendants.
. See the article, “The members of the Governing Body have devalued and restricted the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ” in the category, “The Governing Body.”
. The article, “The urge to worship God trumps accurate knowledge” in the category, “Bible Study” has a detailed discussion of the Greek preposition meta (“with”) pointing out that the men of this wicked generation would be resurrected and come to life together with the queen of the south.
. Arguments in favor of the view that most people who have lived on the earth will get a resurrection on Judgment Day are found in the article, “Snippets related to work and views of the Governing Body,” in the category, “The Governing Body.”
THE JUDGMENT DAY IS ONE THOUSAND YEAR LONG
The words “Judgment Day” is a familiar expression among the people of Norway, and it is used by many people in different circumstances. But very few have scrutinized the Scriptures in order to find out what the words refer to and what will happen on Judgment Day.
Judgment Day is connected with “his kingdom”
Hebrews 12:23 speaks about “God the judge of all.” However, while he is the supreme judge, he has appointed his Son Jesus Christ as the judge of the living and dead. In his speech to the Greek philosophers on Mars hill, Paul referred to Jesus of Nazareth and said according to Acts 17:31:
31 Because he has set a day on which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he has provided a guarantee to all men by resurrecting him from the dead.”
The object of the judgment according to Paul is “the inhabited earth.” But in 2 Timothy 4:1, Paul refers to the judgment from a different angle and says:
I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his Kingdom.
On the basis of Paul’s words, we understand that Jesus has been appointed to judge all the descendants of Adam, the living and the dead. The words of Paul to Timothy also use some words that say something about the time of Judgment Day, namely, the words “manifestation” (epifaneia) and “kingdom” (basileia). Because the Greek words for “living and dead” and “manifestation and Kingdom” all are in the accusative case, the judgment is connected with his “manifestation and Kingdom.
The word epifaneia occurs five times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. In 1 Timothy 6:14, Paul admonishes Timothy to live a Christian life “until the manifestation (epifaneia) of our Lord Jesus Christ. We see that the mentioned manifestation refers to the future. But none of the five occurrences of the word indicate the exact time for this manifestation.
However, the use of the word basileia (“kingdom”) by Paul may say something about the time of Judgment Day. There are four different Kingdoms that are mentioned in the Scriptures.
- God’s Kingdom in Israel where the kings in the line of David sat on Jehovah’s throne.
- The Kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). This Kingdom refers to the power Jesus had over the Christian congregations as their Lord.
- The heavenly Kingdom that was prepared before the founding of the world (Ephesians 1:4).
- The earthly Kingdom that was prepared from the founding of the world. (Matthew 25:34)
To which of these Kingdoms did Paul refer in 2 Timothy 4:1 when he connected the judgment of the living and the dead with the word “kingdom”? He could not refer to God’s Kingdom in Israel because this kingdom did not longer exist. Neither could he refer to “the Kingdom of his beloved Son” because this Kingdom was only related to the Christian congregations. The heavenly Kingdom that was established in 1914 could not be Paul’s reference because both righteous and unrighteous persons would get a resurrection when the mentioned Kingdom existed. So, Paul could only refer to the earthly Kingdom that was prepared from the founding of the world.
The Thousand Year Reign of Jesus is mentioned in Revelation chapter 20. The word basileia(“kingdom”) is not mentioned in that chapter. But we will analyze several other important words, such as “thrones.” “judge,” “rule as king,” “resurrection,” “the dead,” and “their deeds,” These are words that describe different sides of Judgment Day, and by making a synthesis of these different sides, we will understand what will happen on Judgment Day.
Those who are judges, kings, and priests who experience the first resurrection
We have seen that “God is the judge of all,” and we have seen that God has appointed Jesus Christ “to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness.” But there are also others who will serve as judges. According to Matthew 19:28, Jesus had promised his 12 apostles that they would serve as judges:
28 Jesus said to them: “Truly I say to you, in the re-creation, when the Son of man sits down on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.
In addition to the 12 apostles, other Christians should also serve as judges, as Paul shows in 2 Timothy 2:10-12.
10 For this reason I go on enduring all things for the sake of the chosen ones, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is through Christ Jesus, along with everlasting glory. 11 This saying is trustworthy: Certainly if we died together, we will also live together; 12 if we go on enduring, we will also rule together as kings; if we deny, he will also deny us;
We note that Paul says that in order to serve as a judge one must “go on enduring.” And Revelation 20:4-6 gives some details as to what a person must endure:
4 And I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. Yes, I saw the souls of those executed for the witness they gave about Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had not worshipped the wild beast or its image and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for 1,000 years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and they will rule as kings with him for the 1,000 years.
The persons who are mentioned in these verses should be judges. But they should also rule as kings with the Christ and be priests. Their functions as priests are confirmed in Revelation 1:5, 6 (above) and 5:9, 10 (below).
5 and from Jesus Christ, “the Faithful Witness,” “the firstborn from the dead,” and “the Ruler of the kings of the earth.” To him who loves us and who set us free from our sins by means of his own blood— 6 and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—yes, to him be the glory and the might forever. Amen.
9 And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”
Those who should be a kingdom and priests were bought from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. Revelation 14:1-5 gives a further identification of these people.
Then I saw, and look! the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who have his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads. 2 I heard a sound coming out of heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; and the sound that I heard was like singers who accompany themselves by playing on their harps. 3 And they are singing what seems to be a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders, and no one was able to master that song except the 144,000, who have been bought from the earth. 4 These are the ones who did not defile themselves with women; in fact, they are virgins. These are the ones who keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes. These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, 5 and no deceit was found in their mouths; they are without blemish.
The verses above show that those who will be judges, kings, and priests, number 144 000. They are bought from the earth, and they stand on the heavenly mount Zion (Hebrews 12:22). This shows that they are kings, as Psalm 2:6 indicates. One important mark of identification is that they “were bought from among mankind as firstfruits.” This shows that they are identical to the group that is mentioned in Revelation 20:4-6 who were priests and judges, and ruled as kings with the Christ for 1,000 years because this group will experience the first resurrection.
Those who experience the second resurrection
When there is a first resurrection, there must also be a second resurrection. This resurrection is described in Revelation 20:11-13:
11 And I saw a great white throne and the One seated on it. From before him the earth and the heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. The dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up (didomi, “give”) the dead in it, and death and the Grave gave up (didomi, “give”) the dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds.
The Greek word anastasis (“resurrection”) is only mentioned two places in Revelation, in 20:5, 6, in the phrase “the first resurrection.” And egeirō (“to raise”) is only mentioned in Revelation 11:1 with the sense “measure.” The word used for the resurrection in 20:13 is the verb didomi, whose basic meaning is “to give.” But according to Mounce it can also have the meaning “bestow; present; deliver.” So, when the text uses didomi in connection with “the sea” and “death and hades,” we understand that the dead were delivered from these places, they received life again.
When would this “deliver” occur? The setting of Revelation chapter 20 is the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus Christ. So, this resurrection must occur during this time. Supporting this is Revelation 20:1-3 where we learn that Satan the Devil is bound for 1,000 years so that he would not mislead the nations anymore during this time. The word “anymore” is translated from the Greek word eti (“yet; still; again”). Satan has for several thousand years misled the nations. The reason why Satan is thrown into the abyss is that he should not mislead the nations anymore. These words show that there are “nations” during the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus. Who are these “nations”?
The dead are delivered from three sources, from the sea, from the death, and from hades. A literal translation of the first part of 20:13 is:
The sea delivered the dead, those who were in it, and the death and the hades delivered the dead, those who were in them.
The clear meaning of these words is that all the dead in the sea came to life, all the dead in the death came to life, and all the dead in hades came to life. I have shown in several articles that the teaching of the Bible is that only a small fraction of all those who have lived on the earth will not get a resurrection, namely those who have sinned against the holy spirit. The reason for this, is that Jesus bought all the descendants of Adam when he died. Therefore, each individual must get a chance to accept or reject the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. Almost no person who lived before Jesus came to the earth had this chance. The word “almost” indicates that there may have been some persons during this time who sinned against the holy spirit, and this is tantamount to a rejection of the ransom sacrifice.
Almost no person who lived in the centuries after Jesus have had this chance, and very few persons who live today have had this chance. When 20:13 says that all the persons who died in the sea will get a resurrection, contrary to the belief of the members of the Governing Body, this must include those who died in the great flood in the days of Noah. When it is said that all those who are in hades will get a resurrection, this includes most persons who have lived on earth. In most instances where the word “nations” (ethnos) is used in Revelation and other books in the Christian Greek Scriptures, the reference is to the political nations on the earth. I have shown that most individuals who have ever lived will get a resurrection in the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus. The words showing that the inhabitants of the “nations” also will be there corroborate the view that most persons will get a resurrection.
The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended
Jesus said that the wicked generation of his time, the inhabitants of Chorazin, Capernaum, and Bethsaida, as well as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, will get a resurrection on Judgment Day, that is, the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus. But some see a problem in connection with this, namely the words of Revelation 20:5: “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended.” How can we say that the dead will get a resurrection during the 1,000 years in light of verse 5?
I will first discuss a linguistic issue. Does the clause say that the rest of the dead came to life after the end of the 1,000 years, or at the end of the thousand years? Louw and Nida define the verb teleō as “to cause to happen for some end result — ‘to make happen, to fulfill, to bring to fruition, to accomplish, fulfillment.’” Because Revelation 20:2 says that Satan will be bound for 1,000 years, and 20:7 that “when the 1,000 years have ended (teleō), he will be released from prison, the rest of the dead will come to life when the 1,000 years have ended. So, the situation is that the dead come to life, and then Satan is released in order to test them.
But let us now return to the words “come to life” (zaō, aorist active indicative). As we have seen, the Greek verb meaning “raise up” is egeirō, and it is not used in 20:5. And neither is the Greek substantive anastasis with the meaning “resurrection.” In 20:13 where the resurrection from the sea and from hades is mentioned, the verb didomi (“give; deliver”) is used. So, the word zaō is not used with reference to the resurrection in Revelation. But what is the meaning of this verb?
According to Mounce, the Greek word zaō has the meaning, “to live, to be possessed of vitality, to exercise the functions of life.” This means that we cannot at the outset take the verb zaō in Revelation 20:5 with reference to the resurrection from the dead. Instead, I will argue that the meaning is that at the end of the 1,000 years, those who have been resurrected have reached human perfection and have been freed from the sin they inherited from Adam. In this sense, they “have come to life.” I will now give some examples of the use of the verb zaō.
In 1 Corinthians 9:14, the verb zaō has the meaning to use the good news as a breadwinner.
14 In this way, too, the Lord commanded for those proclaiming the good news to live (zaō) by means of the good news.
In Luke 2:36, the verb zaō has the meaning to live a normal life.
36 Now there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanʹu·el, of Ashʹer’s tribe. This woman was well along in years and had lived (zaō) with her husband for seven years after they were married.
In Luke 15:13, the verb zaō has the meaning of living a bad life.
13 A few days later, the younger son gathered all his things together and traveled to a distant country and there squandered his property by living (zaō) a debauched life.
In John 4:10, the verb zaō refers to water in motion that Jesus used in a symbolic way.
10 In answer Jesus said to her: “If you had known of the free gift of God and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living (zaō) water.”
In 1 Thessalonians 3:7, 8, the verb zaō has the meaning “to be possessed with spiritual vitality.
7 That is why, brothers, in all our distress and tribulation, we have been comforted because of you and the faithfulness you demonstrate. 8 Because we are revitalized (zaō) if you are standing firm in the Lord.
In 1 John 4:9, the verb zaō has the meaning to get the right to live forever. This meaning is rather close to the meaning I have suggested for the meaning of the verb in Revelation 20:5. During the Thousand Year Reign the resurrected ones gradually will grow toward perfection when the ransom sacrifice is applied to them. When the 1,000 years end, the resurrected ones are perfect and free of sin. Now they are no longer dependent on the ransom sacrifice. But as perfect humans free of sin, they have the right to live forever.
9 By this the love of God was revealed in our case, that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might gain life (zaō) through him.
In Revelation 3:1, the verb zaō has a meaning that is close to my definition in 20:5. The members of the congregation in Sardis were living literally speaking. But because of their deeds, they were dead from a spiritual point of view. If they would repent and show this by Christian deeds, they might come to life.
3 “To the angel of the congregation in Sarʹdis write: These are the things that he says who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your deeds, that you have the name that you are alive (zaō), but you are dead.
The important point to keep in mind is that the word zaō never is used with the meaning “to rise up,” that is, to be resurrected. But the examples above show some of the ways the verb has been used.
There is one phrase in Revelation 20:13 that is supporting my explanation of the verb zaō in 20:5. This is the phrase that “death gave up its dead.” The word “death” is used in different contexts with different meanings.
In order to understand the meaning of the word “death” in Revelation 20:13, we need to discuss the situation of the 144 000 who will get a heavenly resurrection and serve as judges, kings, and priests. When the books of the Christian Greek Scriptures were written, all the Christians were among the 144 000 and had the heavenly hope. Thus, the epistles and letters in the Christian Greek Scriptures were addressed to persons with the heavenly hope.
The subject we are discussing is Judgment Day. But those who have the heavenly hope will not be present in the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus Christ. But they must also be judged, as Paul says in Romans 14:10-12 (above) and 2 Corinthians 5:10 (below):
10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you also look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says Jehovah, ‘to me every knee will bend, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.’” 12 So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ, so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body, whether good or bad.
As I will discuss below, those who get a resurrection during the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus Christ have been acquitted of their sin by their death. Therefore, they will be judged on the basis of what they do after their resurrection. Those who have the heavenly hope will be judged on the basis of what they “practiced while in the body,” that is, when they lived on this earth. Paul discusses different sides of sin and righteousness in connection with those who have the heavenly hope. In Romans 5:17 he says:
17 For if by the trespass of the one man death ruled as king through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of the undeserved kindness and of the free gift of righteousness rule as kings in life through the one person, Jesus Christ!
All humans have inherited sin because of Adam’s trespass, and death ruled as king. This means that the bodies of all the descendants of Adam were subject to death. But because of God’s undeserved kindness and the free gift of righteousness, the Romans, to whom the letter was addressed, will rule as kings with Jesus Christ. Paul continues his discussion of those who have the heavenly hope in Colossians 2:13 (above) and Ephesians 2:1-5 (below):
13 Furthermore, though you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcised state of your flesh, God made you alive together with him. He kindly forgave us all our trespasses.
1 Furthermore, God made you alive , though you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. 3 Yes, among them we all at one time conducted ourselves in harmony with the desires of our flesh, carrying out the will of the flesh and of our thoughts, and we were naturally children of wrath just as the rest.4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 5 made us alive (syzōopoieō) together with the Christ, even when we were dead in trespasses—by undeserved kindness you have been saved.
24Most truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes the One who sent me has everlasting life, and he does not come into judgment but has passed over from death to life.
14 We know that we have passed over from death to life, because we love the brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.
Those who believed in Jesus Christ and his Father had already received a positive judgment. They had passed over from death to life. That persons were viewed as dead because of their trespasses and sins is also expressed in Revelation 14:13.
13And I heard a voice out of heaven say, “Write: Happy are the dead who die in union with the Lord from this time onward. Yes, says the spirit, let them rest from their labors, for the things they did go right with them.”
The words above refer to those “who are in union with the Lord,” those who have his approval. When they die, they will rest because the “things they did go right with them.” Paul shows in 2 Corinthians 5:10 that those with the heavenly hope “will appear before the judgment seat of the Christ,” and that “each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body.” When Revelation says that “the things they did will go right with them,” it shows that they get a positive judgment and get a heavenly resurrection. But did you note how they are described? They are called “the dead” because they are viewed as dead due to their sinful body. We have the same expression in Revelation 20:12, 13. The resurrection is described, but those who literally had gotten a resurrection are called “the dead” two times in verse 12.
Now we have a good basis for our understanding of the words that “the rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended” in Revelation 20:5. All those who are resurrected during the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus Christ still have their inherited sin. So, from the viewpoint of God, they are dead. After their resurrection, the 144 000 judges, kings, and priests, will help those who are resurrected to proceed toward becoming perfect like Adam. When the 1,000 years end, this process comes to an end. Because they are perfect and without inherited sin, they are no longer viewed as dead. But they “have come to life.”
. For a detailed discussion of the four Kingdoms, see the article, “For many are called, but few are chosen — What members of the Governing Body do not understand,” in the category “The Governing Body.”
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON JUDGMENT DAY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THOSE WHO ARE KINGS, PRIESTS, AND JUDGES
The requirement for being in the heavenly government of 144 000 kings, judges, and priest, and for continuing to live in the earthly paradise without ever dying is stated in John 3:16, 36:
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith (pisteuō) in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life…
36 The one who exercises faith (pisteuō) in the Son has everlasting life; the one who disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.
The Greek word for “believe” is pisteuō, and in both verses, it is present participle. This means that “exercising faith” is an excellent rendering. These two verses alone show that most people who had lived on this earth will get a resurrection. No person who lived between Adam and Jesus had the chance to exercise faith in him. And few persons who have lived between Jesus and the present had this chance. Because of the righteousness of God, all these persons who have not had the chance must get a resurrection on Judgment Day, so they can choose if they will exercise faith in Jesus and his ransom sacrifice or not. Revelation 20:11-15 describes Judgment Day.
11 And I saw a great white throne and the One seated on it. From before him the earth and the heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. The dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, and death and the Grave gave up the dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds.14 And death and the Grave were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire. 15 Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire.
The text mentions scrolls and the dead were judged on the basis of whether their deeds accorded with that which was written in the scrolls. Most persons who call themselves Christian or read the Bible believe that these “scrolls” contain the deeds that each person performed before his or her death. But this conclusion is impossible because of the words in Romans 6:7. 23:
7 For the one who has died has been acquitted from his sin.
23 For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.
When a person dies, he pays for his sin with his or her death. And when the sins are paid, they are blotted out and the person is acquitted. There is another important point as well. The requirement for everlasting life is to exercise faith in Jesus Christ. Most of those who get a resurrection have not exercised faith in Jesus. So, if the scrolls contain the deeds of all persons that they did before they died, then most of the resurrected ones will be condemned and thrown into the lake of fire, which is the second death.
There is no purpose in resurrecting billions of people, and when they have been resurrected, they will be eternally annihilated. Such a viewpoint contradicts God’s righteousness, wisdom, and love. And it contradicts the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ by which Jesus bought all the descendants of Adam. So, the conclusion is that the scrolls with their contents will be written at the beginning of the Thousand Year Reign. And those who follow the instructions in the scrolls and are faithful to Jehovah when Satan is released after the end of the 1,000 years will continue to live on the earth as perfect humans without ever dying.
The earth will become a paradise on judgment Day
In his speech to the philosophers of Mars hill, Paul said according to Acts 17:31:
31 Because he has set a day on which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he has provided a guarantee to all men by resurrecting him from the dead.”
As I have shown above, Jehovah is the supreme judge. But he has appointed his Son Jesus Christ as the judge on Judgment Day. Paul shows that he will judge the inhabited earth in righteousness. Jesse was the father of David, and Jesus was born in the line of David. Isaiah has a prophecy in 11:1-9 that refers to Jesus and his role as judge. He will judge the lowly in fairness and righteousness will be the belt around his waist. This means that the stump of Jesse will judge the inhabited earth in righteousness.
1 A twig will grow out of the stump of Jesʹse, And a sprout from his roots will bear fruit. 2 And the spirit of Jehovah will settle upon him, The spirit of wisdom and of understanding, The spirit of counsel and of mightiness, The spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah. 3 And he will find delight in the fear of Jehovah. He will not judge by what appears to his eyes, Nor reprove simply according to what his ears hear. 4 He will judge the lowly with fairness, And with uprightness he will give reproof in behalf of the meek ones of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth And put the wicked to death with the breath of his lips. 5 Righteousness will be the belt around his waist, And faithfulness the belt of his hips. 6 The wolf will reside for a while with the lamb, And with the young goat the leopard will lie down, And the calf and the lion and the fattened animal will all be together; And a little boy will lead them. 7 The cow and the bear will feed together, And their young will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the bull. 8 The nursing child will play over the lair of a cobra, And a weaned child will put his hand over the den of a poisonous snake. 9 They will not cause any harm Or any ruin in all my holy mountain, Because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah As the waters cover the sea.
The reason for peace between the animals, and between the animals and the humans, as the prophecy says, is that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah.” Animals will not become peaceful because of the knowledge of Jehovah. This suggests that the description is symbolic. There are good reasons to believe that the prophecy was fulfilled when the Jews returned from Babylon. And persons who were like wild animals would behave in a different way.
There is a similar prophecy in Isaiah 65:9-10, 17-25
9 I will bring out of Jacob an offspring And out of Judah the one to inherit my mountains; My chosen ones will take possession of it, And my servants will reside there. 10 Sharʹon will become a pasture for sheep And the Valley of Aʹchor a resting-place for cattle, For my people who search for me…
17 For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be called to mind, Nor will they come up into the heart. 18 So exult and be joyful forever in what I am creating. For look! I am creating Jerusalem a cause for joy And her people a cause for exultation. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people; No more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or a cry of distress.” 20 “No more will there be an infant from that place who lives but a few days, Nor an old man who fails to live out his days. For anyone who dies at a hundred will be considered a mere boy, And the sinner will be cursed, even though he is a hundred years of age. 21 They will build houses and live in them, And they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. 22 They will not build for someone else to inhabit, Nor will they plant for others to eat. For the days of my people will be like the days of a tree, And the work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full.23 They will not toil for nothing, Nor will they bear children for distress, Because they are the offspring made up of those blessed by Jehovah, And their descendants with them. 24 Even before they call out, I will answer; While they are yet speaking, I will hear.25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together, The lion will eat straw just like the bull, And the serpent’s food will be dust. They will do no harm nor cause any ruin in all my holy mountain,” says Jehovah.
The prophecy shows that the animals will live together in peace, and this shows that the setting is the same as the setting in Isaiah 11:1-9. Because Sharon, the valley of Achor, and Jerusalem are mentioned, the fulfillment of this prophecy more clearly relates to the return from Babylon than the prophecy in chapter 11. The “new heavens” that God would create was the new leadership at the return from Babylon, and “the new earth” was the new society that was established in Judah and Jerusalem.
Several prophecies that were fulfilled in the past on the Jewish nation would get a bigger fulfillment in the future. There are two sides of the prophecies in Isaiah 11 and 65 that suggest a bigger fulfillment in the future. One side is the words in 65:17 that God will create new heavens and a new earth, and 2 Peter 3:13 says:
13 But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.
We note that Peter refers to new heavens and a new earth as something that will come in the future, and he says that the basis for this is God’s promise. This promise is found in Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22. The words of Peter show that Isaiah chapters 11 and 65 will have a fulfillment in the future.
The other side of these prophecies showing that they will get a fulfillment in the future are the words about wild and tame animals that live in peace. The account in Luke 23:42, 43 throws light in this issue:
42 Then he said: “Jesus, remember me when you get into your Kingdom.” 43 And he said to him: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”
When Jesus was fastened to a stake at Golgotha, one of the criminals that were hanging by his side wanted that Jesus should remember him when he got into his Kingdom. Because the criminal expected to die, this must be an expression of his belief in the resurrection on the last day. In his answer, Jesus equated his Kingdom with Paradise.
By his words, Jesus shows that there will be a future paradise because this was the only paradise that the Jews were aware of. This has an important bearing on the prophecies in Isaiah chapters 11 and 65. When Isaiah lived, there was no peace between wild and tame animals, but this was the case in the Garden of Eden. The description of the animals is taken from the first paradise, and when Jesus said that when his Kingdom came, there would be a paradise on the earth, this means that the prophecies must get a literal fulfillment in the coming earthly paradise. And in our context, it means that during Judgment Day the earth will be a paradise.
All humans will be helped to proceed toward perfection
We should note that those who are kings, priests and judges are taken from of every tribe and tongue and people and nation according to Revelation 5:9. The description of those who have the heavenly calling in the Christian Greek Scriptures shows that they include persons with ranks of life and with all kinds of experience, as well as men and women. Some were poor while others were rich. Some had a good health while others had a poor health. The purpose with this diversity is that there will always be someone in the heavenly government that have the same experience of those who live on earth and can help each one. Exactly how this help is given we do not know. But we know that everyone who wants will be helped to progress toward human perfection. Through their functions as kings, priests, and judges they will give their help in different ways.
Isaiah 9:6, 7 has a prophecy about the king:
6 For a child has been born to us, A son has been given to us; And the rulership will rest on his shoulder. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 To the increase of his rulership And to peace, there will be no end, On the throne of David and on his kingdom In order to establish it firmly and to sustain it Through justice and righteousness, From now on and forever. The zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.
We have already discussed prophecies showing that there will be peace between all animals and between the animals and humans. One primary role of the function of being kings is to establish this peace as the quotation above shows.
The members of the heavenly government should also be judges. According to Judges 2:16, the judges in Israel should deliver the people from their enemies. Isaiah 65:20 suggest that some persons during the Thousand Year Reign will not repent and progress toward perfection, and removing these persons will be one of the duties of the heavenly judges. They will also gradually deliver those who live in the Thousand Year Kingdom from their sinfulness and imperfection. At the end of the 1,000 years, there will be a rebellion against God, questioning his sovereignty, according to Revelation 20:8, 9. The judges will also act against these wicked people and protect those who serve God.
The members of the heavenly government should also be priests. The priests in Israel served at the temple in connection with sacrifices. And in a similar way, the priests on Judgment Day will apply the perfect ransom sacrifice of Jesus to the humans to the effect that all humans on earth will be perfect at the end of the 1,000 years. And they who had been dead because of inherited sin will at that time “come to life.” The priests in Israel were also teachers of the law, and the heavenly priests will oversee the great education work that will occur on Judgment Day
According to John 3:36, “the one who exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life.” All humans on earth will be educated in the purpose of Jehovah, including how he gave his son as a ransom sacrifice. They will also be educated in the instructions of the scrolls that will be opened at the beginning of the 1,000 years, and according to Revelation 20:12, “the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds.” So, we see that when the members of the heavenly government are said to be kings, judges, and priests, each of these functions are important for helping the humans to reach the same perfection that Adam had.
According to 1 Corinthians 15:53, 54, the members of the heavenly government have immortality, which means that they cannot die. All those who exercise faith in the Son and reach human perfection at the end of the 1,000 years do not have immortality. This means that they will continue to live on the paradise earth without dying as long as they serve God. But is it possible that some of them will at some time sin against God and will be thrown in the lake of fire? The Watchtower of August 15, 1967, page 509, has some very interesting thoughts regarding those who pass the final test after the 1,000 years and who will live forever.
EVERLASTING LIFE ASSURED
On the part of any of those who stand faithful during the final test there will be no fear that they will ever become such wicked challengers of God’s sovereignty. The test administered by Jehovah himself will be complete, thorough, guaranteeing the everlasting obedience of those who pass it successfully. He issues the judicial decisions approving or justifying them, declaring them righteous, with a right to a permanent place on earth. Under his everlasting sovereignty they can be assured that he knows that their faithfulness is such and their integrity is such that they will never turn from him. They look forward to life a million years, yes, a thousand million years in the future with full certainty that the loving God Jehovah will protect and sustain their lives for all eternity. He will provide them with progressively marvelous things from his inexhaustible storehouse of riches through the continued administration of his beloved Son and Chief Agent, Jesus Christ.—Rom. 11:33-36; Phil. 4:19; 2:9-11.
Judgment Day is identical with the Thousand Year of Jesus Christ. The resurrected ones will not be judged on the basis of what they did before they died. But they will be judged on the basis of the scrolls that will be written on Judgment Day, whether their deeds accord with the instructions in these scrolls.
The earth will be a paradise and the members of the heavenly government will help all those who are present on Judgment Day to proceed toward perfection. After the 1,000 years everyone has become perfect. Those who pass the test at that time will have a guarantee of everlasting life.