Posted by Lonnie Henderson on February 03, 2017
DIVINE AUTHORITY TO JUDGEFar too many Christians lack understanding of God’s word as it relates to judging because they take God’s word out of context. Let’s review scripture regarding God’s call on our lives to be judges.To begin with, God has given all Christians the responsibility to be judges. He has ordained us all judges and has equipped us to judge righteously.John 10:34Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?(KJV)There is no such thing as “little gods” as many have wrongly interpreted this scripture because of often printed lower-case “g” in gods.The English translation of gods in this verse is derived from the Hebrew equivalent of elohim and in this verse means judges since there is only one God. Let’s review Old Testament Scripture to see what Jesus was referring to before He was made human. Remember Jesus’ proclamation “I said Ye are gods”. He in effect was saying that He is the Almighty God who spoke to the writers of the law.Psalm 82:6I have said, Ye [are] gods; and all of you [are] children of the most High.(KJV).The word gods in this verse is translated from the Hebrew elohim.Now, elohim has several meanings depending upon the context. One meaning, in which it is most often used, is Creator. In this context it is a plural noun and speaks of the Triune nature of the Creator; God the Father, God the Word (Jesus the Messiah), and God the Holy Spirit.Another English translation of elohim is angels. We see such a translation in Psalm 97:7Psalm 97:7Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all [ye] gods.(KJV)The word gods in this verse clearly does not refer to the Creator because He is the object of worship. It does not refer to another term we are going to discuss; judges, because it is not referencing children of the most High who worship Him already. It is a command that the angels worship Him because satan had chosen to exalt himself above God which resulted in war in heaven and his eviction from the third heaven:Isaiah 14:12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!(KJV)Isaiah 14:13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:(KJV)Isaiah 14:14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(KJV)Isaiah 14:15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.(KJV)Revelation 12:7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,(KJV)Revelation 12:8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.(KJV)Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.(KJV)The proper translation, of elohim in the context of Psalm 97:7Psalm 97:7Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all [ye] gods.(KJV)is angels.So Jesus has in deed said that we, who are children of the most High God; Jews and Christians, are judges. We have been given the authority to judge. But, we have another command from the Lord that is worthy of note:Matthew 7:1Judge not, that ye be not judged.(KJV)Matthew 7:2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.(KJV).The word “mete” in this verse is translated from the Greek metretes and is a measure of capacity. The Scriptures provide an illustration of this command in the following recorded event:John 8:3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,(KJV)John 8:4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.(KJV)John 8:5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?(KJV)John 8:6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not].(KJV)John 8:7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.(KJV)John 8:8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.(KJV)John 8:9And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.(KJV)John 8:10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?(KJV)John 8:11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.(KJV)Here was a woman whose character was judged as an adulterous because of the evidence against her. She was convicted according to the law of Moses:Exodus 20:14Thou shalt not commit adultery.(KJV)The penalty of that sin, according to the law of Moses was death:Leviticus 20:10And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man's wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.(KJV)And so the people eagerly brought this woman ( notice that there was no mention of the man with her) to Jesus, and they sited the law, for Him to condemn her. They had tried her based on her behavior, judged her to be guilty based on the evidence against her, and condemned her to death, based on the law.Their judgment against her did not stand, they were not authorized to judge her character, not even based on her behavior. This is the reason why:John 8:7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.(KJV)Notice Jesus’ response. He did not say he that did not commit adultery among you, He said he that is without sin among you. God makes no difference between the sin of adultery and any other sin. Sin is sin. One for example, is not justified to judge one’s character as an idolater who still holds fast to images of man and portray that image as Jesus in their worship of Him even though it is sin:Acts 17:29Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.(KJV)Acts 17:30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:(KJV)Just as one does not have the authority to judge one’s character to be a homosexual or any of the other name ascribe to them or fornicator or adultery because of their practice. Such ungodly sexual behavior is sin and has the same penalty: death. We are to judge the behavior, not the person’s character.As a matter of truth, and in accordance with God’s prohibition regarding judging a person’s character by their behavior, the moment one does that, they have sinned. It would have been wrong to judge the Apostle Paul’s character as anti-Christ because of his behavior of persecuting Christians.Sin is anything that exalts itself against the word of God, or the Holy Spirit whether it is in word, thought, or deed. The Greek word is hamartano and it is any offense in relation to God with the emphasis on guilt.Clearly the woman found in the act of adultery had committed sin, clearly she was guilty. Her sin was adultery, but those who judged her also had sin in their lives and the Holy Spirit brought it to their remembrance and they knew that they were guilty. It may not have been adultery but it was surely other acts that were an offense to God.The Bible clearly tells us what offends God, some of which are in the following scriptures:Galatians 5:16[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.(KJV)Galatians 5:17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.(KJV)Galatians 5:18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.(KJV)Galatians 5:19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,(KJV)Galatians 5:20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,(KJV)Galatians 5:21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.(KJV)Ephesians 4:29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.(KJV)Ephesians 4:30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.(KJV)Luke 6:37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:(KJV)The woman’s accuser saw that they were not in position to judge or condemn because they themselves were guilty of sin that had not been brought before him. So this is what Jesus has to say regarding them that judge the character of other’s based on their behavior:Matthew 7:2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.(KJV)Matthew 7:3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?(KJV)Matthew 7:4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye?(KJV)Matthew 7:5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.(KJV)Clearly the Bible tells us that we are in no position to judge or condemn the character of any man, especially those in the Body of Christ:Romans 14:4Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.(KJV)Romans 14:5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.(KJV)Romans 14:6He that regardeth the day, regardeth [it] unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it]. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.(KJV)Romans 14:7For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.(KJV)Romans 14:8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.(KJV)Romans 14:9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.(KJV)Romans 14:10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.(KJV)You see, here is the truth:The Bible tells us that those who confess the Lordship of Jesus with their mouth and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, they shall be saved:Romans 10:9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.(KJV)There is a spiritual transformation; they are a new creation:2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.(KJV)The thing that has become new is their spirit:Ezekiel 11:19And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:(KJV)That one heart is the Spirit of the Lord; they become one spirit with Him:1 Corinthians 6:17But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.(KJV)They no longer have a nature or character to sin because they have God’s divine nature:2 Peter 1:2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,(KJV)2 Peter 1:3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:(KJV)2 Peter 1:4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.(KJV)They are no longer wicked, even though they may behave wickedly and will suffer a worse sentence if there is no repentance:2 Peter 2:10But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.(KJV)2 Peter 2:11Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.(KJV)2 Peter 2:12But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;(KJV)2 Peter 2:13And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;(KJV)2 Peter 2:14Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:(KJV)2 Peter 2:15Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;(KJV)2 Peter 2:16But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.(KJV)2 Peter 2:17These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.(KJV)2 Peter 2:18For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.(KJV)2 Peter 2:19While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.(KJV)2 Peter 2:20For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.(KJV)It does not matter if the sin is illicit sexual activity (word, thought, or deed), posting and exalting pictures or graven art of corruptible man and holding it out to be images of the incorruptible Lord, or allowing corruptible communication to flow from the temple of God:Matthew 15:17Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?(KJV)Matthew 15:18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.(KJV)Matthew 15:19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:(KJV)Matthew 15:20These are [the things] which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.(KJV)1 Corinthians 3:17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.(KJV)God has not disowned them as His; they are still the temple of God. If we judge others based on their behavior and call them wicked, or any other name degrading the temple of God then we stand in judgment and will be the cast away. The most we can do is judge the behavior of the person as wicked. That person’s character is still righteous, even though they have departed from the righteousness of God. It is God who is their judge, not us, it is God who knows their end, not us.David committed adultery and murder, but he repented and was forgiven. God is the one who declares the end from the beginning, not us. We are in no position to judge the character of any man, we simply are not privy to man’s heart.Surely Jesus Himself has proclaimed us judges, even before He was made human. Does the Bible then contradict itself, has Jesus flip-flopped? God forbid. Let’s study further to rightly divide the word of truth with the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.Truly, by the pronouncement of God, we are judges. However, there are areas of jurisdiction were we are to judge and God identifies this authority.We have the authority to judge evidence, but that evidence must not be biased in terms of a person’s behavior. The evidence presented must include the good that they have done as well is the bad:Jesus gives a great illustration of this in the book of revelation when He is judging the churches:Revelation 2:1Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;(KJV)Revelation 2:2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:(KJV)Revelation 2:3And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.(KJV)Revelation 2:4Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.(KJV)Revelation 2:5Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.(KJV)In fact, the Apostle Paul had sent letters to the churches of Ephesus admonishing them to put on the whole armor of God which is love and not to contend among themselves because the wrestling was between them as individuals and the demonic spirits that were influencing their thoughts and behavior towards people. This whole book, by the way, has been misunderstood by many and some have gone so far as to misrepresent Ephesians 6:12 to be a call to spiritual warfare, when in reality it is a call to spiritual repentance.Jesus noted the good that was being done at the churches of Ephesus, but He also noted the offense against Him. He was judging the evidence at this point.Likewise God tells us that we are to judge the evidence to include one’s behavior:Galatians 6:1Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.(KJV)1 Corinthians 5:9I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:(KJV)1 Corinthians 5:10Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.(KJV)1 Corinthians 5:11But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.(KJV)1 Corinthians 5:12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?(KJV)1 Corinthians 5:13But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.(KJV)Notice in these aforementioned verses, while we judge the behavior, it is God who judges the character. We are to judge the behavior of the brethren to determine our fellowship with them, not our relationship. It is God who judges there character:Romans 8:33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? [It is] God that justifieth.(KJV)Romans 8:34Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.(KJV)Romans 14:13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in [his] brother's way.(KJV)We are to judge the affairs of man:1 Corinthians 6:2Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?(KJV)We are to judge angels to discern those which be of the True Light (Jesus) or the false light (satan):1 Corinthians 6:3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?(KJV)So while we are prohibited by God from judging the character of man; because only God knows his heart:Amos 4:13For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what [is] his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, [is] his name.(KJV)Hebrews 4:12For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.(KJV)James 4:11Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of [his] brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.(KJV)We are admonished to judge evidence regarding a dispute to include man’s behavior, affairs of man to include policy and decision so that we may take it before the Lord, and angels so that we will not be deceived by satan.The word of God does not contradict itself. We are judges; we are to judge, but God has identified our jurisdiction of judgment. If we go outside of that jurisdiction to judging the character of an individual, then we have slipped into sin. We have exalting ourselves above the law.
Tags: judge not, pointing fingers, authority to judge
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