Beloved, many of us are having our judgment, trial, or probation now, so that we may not come under the general judgment of all mankind. We are told to judge ourselves lest we be judged, and in doing this we voluntarily take the place where God’s just judgment puts every sinner, as seeing ourselves as dead and lost apart from grace, seemingly helpless but to fall on Christ as our only hope and thus pass through the educating, developing and perfecting process of “the probation” to reach the image of God Himself.
This is the way to “the first resurrection,” beloved. This is the way of voluntarily yielding ourselves to God as living sacrifices, humbling ourselves before Him to the extent that the deeds of the body are mortified, the flesh is crucified, and self is reckoned dead.
“Whosoever shall fall on this stone (Christ) shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder” said Jesus. This means that we must voluntarily FALL ON CHRIST and submit to be broken, crucified, mortified, i.e. perfected through suffering, beloved.
But what of those who will not submit to this process, of those who desire to go another way? Well, for them who will not fall on the stone the stone will fall on them – they shall eventually be threshed. “Ground to powder” is actually a bad English translation of the original. The original language describes a rather violent separation of grain from its chaff, and this is a figurative way of saying that these souls will be cleansed from wickedness but through a process that will be rather severe, yet these will be benefited in the end, separated from the chaff of sin and death, cleansed from their wickedness and made pure.
With regard to those entering into the judgment/probation now, not only will they not come under the general (severe) judgment of the world, but they shall be FITTED AS JUDGES in the day of judgment. Yes, Jesus Christ is THE GREAT JUDGE of the quick and dead, but there are to be ASSOCIATE JUDGES with Him, as He Himself said, “Ye that have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world, beloved? John saw a company of saints seated upon thrones and executing judgment, “and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4). These are “the saviors” who shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau (Ob. 21). In other words, the saints shall judge the world IN ORDER TO SAVE THE WORLD. These are the “Sons of God” for whom the whole of creation waits (Rom. 8:19), and the promised “Seed in whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Thus, the process, nature and purpose of judgment is being made plain to us now, beloved. Judgment begins “at the house of God” so that members of this household can be made FULLY ALIVE and be constituted as “kings and priests” and “judges of the world” for the ages to come. Eventually, through God’s judgments through His saints, the whole of creation will be delivered from its bondage to sin and death, every heart even brought back into harmony with God with every knee bowing and every tongue praising Jesus Christ as Lord, to the Father’s glory. Just how awesome is that?!!