BE THE JUDGE
by George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
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When anyone mentions the word "judge" or "judgment", we are instantly informed:
"Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1
This is the most used Scripture on judging. The Greek word used for judge is KRINO and means "to separate, select, choose and pronounce judgment". It also means "to condemn". There are other forms of this word: DIAKRINO and ANAKRINO. These words mean "to discern". The word judge has both the aspect of condemning and discerning.
Webster informs us that the word judge is made of two Latin based words; JUS which means "law or right" and DICO which means "to pronounce". The combined meaning is "to pronounce rightful decision based upon the law or what is right".
A judge is an unbiased arbitrator; one who makes righteous judgment based upon the facts, not on personal feeling or loyalty to one side or the other. If we make judgments to be condemning or judgmental, then we are no longer an unbiased arbitrator. We have become unrighteous judges, and are unacceptable in the sight of God.
When Jesus said we should not judge, He went on to say:
"For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matthew 7:2
If our judgments are made as unbiased arbitrators and our judgments are righteous judgments, then a true person of God should not be concerned about being judged righteously. God has promised that if we judge righteously, we will receive righteous judgment. If our judgments are condemning and judgmental, then this is what we can expect in return.
Jesus spoke much on judging:
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." John 7:24
It would appear that, many times, we are viewing all the facts when we are only being exposed to the results of the facts; or the real issue of the matter. This is why the Lord cautions us not to judge in the flesh by what we see.
Jesus told the Pharisees they judged after the flesh, and He judged no man, John 8:15. Jesus tells us how we should judge.
"And yet if I judge, My judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me." John 8:16
When Jesus judged, He judged righteously because He had the Father with Him. He judged as the Father directed. The Spirit of the Father witnessed with His Spirit that His judgment was true. In the testimony of two witnesses it shall be established, John 8:17. Jesus spoke of this in the book of John:
"I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me." John 5:30
Jesus could do nothing of Himself, as we can do nothing of ourselves. But Jesus judged righteously because Jesus sought not His own will in any matter; only the Father's will.
So many times in our lives, we may have the best ideas and intentions, but there is always the ulterior motive of self-involvement. Therefore, our judgment is tainted by a carnal attitude that could be condemning or judgmental. Because of a self-seeking, natural will, we are unable to raise ourselves into the supernatural state of "selflessness" that is necessary to judge righteously as Jesus, our example, did.
When we come to the place of only seeking the Father's will, then we will have come to the place where we can judge. We must learn that we will be expected to judge all things.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul addressed the subject of judging.
"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but He that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." I Corinthians 4:3-5
Paul was not concerned about being judged by man. Paul said he did not even judge himself. Paul did not judge his own life before God, because Paul was under God's subjection. When we come under subjection to God, we are no longer responsible for our actions.
When a wife comes under subjection to her husband, she is no longer responsible for the outcome of any situation. She has subjected herself to the authority of her head. When the man is under the headship of Christ, totally submitted to Christ, then he is no longer responsible for the situations in which he has submitted himself to in Christ.
This is the place that Paul came to. He did not judge himself, nor his actions. Paul did not mind being a fool for Christ. Paul wrote 3 times in II Corinthians about being a fool.
". . .As a fool receive me . . ." II Corinthians 11:16
". . .I speak as a fool. . ." II Corinthians 11:23
"I am become a fool in glorying. . ." II Corinthians 12:11
Paul could say these things, because he was not trying to be acceptable before man, but before God. Paul went on to say:
"I know nothing by myself." I Corinthians 4:4
Paul knew that without the Spirit of Truth in his life, he only had carnal knowledge, and was therefore a mere man. It was only when he came out of himself, to be justified before God, that he could say, "He that judgeth me is the Lord."
We need to come to this place in God where we cease to look for acceptance from man, and only stand before God to be judged by His standard. We need to desire to be righteous in His sight and stop desiring to be accepted by man.
Paul, in the wisdom he had obtained by the Spirit, spoke:
"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come..." I Corinthians 4:5
Paul certainly was not talking about the return of the Lord Jesus. He was speaking of waiting until we receive Spiritual insight into every situation and problem before making a judgment. Then, we, as Jesus, can say, "If I judge, I judge righteously, because the Father is with me." If we, with patience, wait until the Lord comes, He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness. He will make manifest the counsels of the heart in every situation. We can only understand that which appears on the surface, but God will bring into light the hidden things, those items that are retained in the heart; the hidden matters of lust, greed and corruption of the mind.
God sees what we are unable to perceive. If we are patient, God will reveal the heart. Then our judgment will be based on the true motives, instead of the apparent motives presented. As an unbiased arbitrator, we can then give judgment; ". . .and then shall every man have praise of God," that he has righteously judged the matter.
We can also judge by the Word.
"And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth Me and receiveth not My words hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." John 12:47-48
If man hears Jesus' words and does not believe, he is not judged by God. He that rejects God and rejects His word is judged by the Word. If the unregenerate man will be judged by the Word, then the Word is the basis for judgment. Therefore, the Word is our standard to judge by.
God's Word states a condition, or term, that must be met. If we, or another, are not meeting the terms, or conditions, set by His Word, we can not judge righteously by the Word. But, those who are meeting the requirements of the Word have the basis to confront those who are not. The Word will bring conviction and repentance. If the Word is reflected, the Word will judge that situation in the last day.
It should be every saint's desire to be convinced and convicted by the Word in this hour, so that judgment will not be necessary in the last day. We should desire to be in righteousness, and thereafter found righteous in the sight of God.
We witness God's people being put down, admonished, criticized, and condemned because they discern an error in someone's life. They are instantly put down as being in error because of judging one another according to God's Word. We will find that Paul admonished the church at Corinth because they did not judge among themselves.
"Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do 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? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church." I Corinthians 6:1-4
Paul inquired of the church at Corinth if they were aware that they were called of God to judge the world and the angels. Knowing this, he asked them if they were unworthy to judge the smallest matters. So many look at the word, "judgment", as something bad. Yet, many boast of having the Spirit of discernment which is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Why, then, are Spirit-filled people put down because they discern error, untruth and disorder by the Spirit?
Again, we find that the Greek words KRINO, ANAKRINO and DIAKRINO are translated "to discern or to judge". If we used the word discern instead of judge, it would be more acceptable.
Paul wrote if there was a dispute, they were to set the least esteemed to judge. He wrote that where there is a matter pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
"I speak this to your shame." I Corinthians 6:5
Paul was not saying to pick out the member in the church who was of least importance, least thought of, or least respected to be their judge. He was still addressing his first statement of having a matter against another, buy going to the unjust instead of going before the saints.
Those least esteemed in the church were the unjust judges of the world, not our brothers and sisters in the Lord. God has no "least" important or "more" important. He is no respecter of persons. Paul goes on to say:,
". . .Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?" I Corinthians 6:5
Certainly the wise are not the least esteemed in the church. God is proclaiming to us that we need to learn to judge among ourselves.
"But 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." Romans 14:10
"Let 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." Romans 14:13
The word for judge in this verse is the Greek word KRINO. We are not to separate, select, choose, or condemn our brothers. It certainly does not mean that we are to stand by and watch our brother or sister walk in error, or follow a path that will lead to Spiritual loss in their lives.
We, as unbiased arbitrators of God, must know our position in God. Our motives must be correct. We must always operate in love. When we have, ourselves, lined up with God and the Word, then, certainly, we can help our brother or sister with the mote in their eyes.
We look at the mote and say, "My, my". But how can we help when we have a log in our own eye? Take care of your log before God, then help your brother. Nature, itself, tells us that a mote, or grain of sand, will greatly mar our vision and cause a lot of irritation. But one who can see clearly, can help us walk and clear up our own vision, if we are willing. Paul said this very clearly:
"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." I Corinthians 11:31-32
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18
We are not condemned. We are justified and sanctified in the beloved. If we judge ourselves by the gauge that God has given, then we will not be judged with the world. James speaks about judging our brother:
"Speak 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." James 4:11
When we speak evil of our brother, we are speaking evil of the law; and we are judging the law. We are to judge, or discern one another, but in righteousness. We are to love as unbiased arbitrators. If we are judging with a condemning spirit, then we have violated the law of God. All the law is fulfilled in one word "love", Galatians 5:14. If we are to fulfill the law in our lives, it must be in love. If we love our brother, we will not speak evil of him, nor will we judge the law. We will be a doer of the law of love.
As we take a closer look at ourselves as unbiased arbitrators (judges), we must understand a little about judges:
1 Judges never accuse. They do not bring the charges
2 They have risen above the situation and they only consider the evidence as it is presented.
3 They depend on a higher realm to seek their judgments; the law or decisions from higher courts. They never make the law they judge by.
4 Their decision must be rendered for the good of all; unbiased.
We, as unbiased arbitrators, are to judge thusly:
1 Judges never accuse. It is only by the gift of knowledge and the Spirit of conviction that we are apprised of certain situations which God has set before us. Through the Spirit, we then become unbiased arbitrators between man and man, or man and God.
2 Judges depend on a higher realm and seek the judgment of the higher authority. We are not to depend upon carnal knowledge or ability. We are to judge nothing before the Lord comes. We are to wait upon the Father to judge righteous judgment through us. The Word of God is our Spiritual guide.
3 It is the law, as set forth by God. We also have the Law of Moses. We were given the law, that we may have knowledge of sin. The law is righteous. We are not under the law, but the law can be a guide unto righteousness; not by keeping it in the flesh, but using it as a Spiritual guide.
4 As an unbiased arbitrator, our judgment must be totally unbiased if we are to render righteous judgment. It must be fair to all, and the Lord must be glorified in every decision.
The only way we can give true judgment is to wait until the Lord comes (the Father's presence) who is the true judge, and then render the judgment. If we do this, our judgments will always be righteous judgments and bring glory to the Father. If we can remember these four steps, then we can judge righteously.
God is raising up judges in the earth who will not only judge the small matters, but the whole earth. Paul understood this. When he was on Mars Hill, he told the Athenians:
"Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by man whom He hath ordained; He hath given assurance unto all, in that He hath raised Him from the dead." Acts 17:31
The italicized words were omitted to bring forth the true words of Paul. The italicized words were added for clarity and to bring forth man's understanding of the Scripture. When they are omitted, we can understand what the Holy Spirit spake through Paul.
We are that first resurrection who have been resurrected from among the dead, on whom the second death has no power, Revelation 20:6. Those who have become part of that first resurrection will judge the earth righteously. This is their ordination in God. The writers of the Old Testament saw the day ahead when the saints would judge the world:
"And saviours shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Esau; and the Kingdom shall be the Lord's." Obadiah, verse 21
Saviours shall come on Mount Zion (the High Place in God) to judge the Mount of Esau (those who have sold their birthright in God). The word saviours is plural and means "deliverers, to set the captives free". The only thing that can set the captive free is righteous judgment. Those who have been held captive by their religious system will be set free by those who have come into the high place in God. He will set them to judge the nations, His house and the world.
God made a promise to this people in Zechariah:
"Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge, then thou shalt also judge My house, and shalt also keep My courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." Zechariah 3:7
Those who will judge His house will keep His courts; and they will stand in His presence. The unbiased arbitrators will be those who will judge righteously and establish peace in the earth. These are the peace-makers Jesus spoke of in Matthew:
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9
The peacemakers are the children of God; the children of the King. And, as children of the King, they are princes and princesses. These are those who have entered into the Son realm, the overcomers, who will become the righteous judges.
So, when someone says, "Judge not, that ye be not judged," our answer should be, "Judge me, but judge me by the righteous standard of God in love." If we cannot submit to this type of judgment, then we should not stand in a place to judge. We need to repent and get right before God.
"I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of My Father. . ."John 5:30
God has given us a place in His presence if we will become peacemakers; the unbiased arbitrators.
You be the judge!
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
Come visit our online catalog at: http://www.newfoundationspubl.org/titles.htm