|TO JUDGE? or NOT TO JUDGE?|
There is the insistence by many modern-day Christians that we are not to judge others, especially our fellow Christians. But is this belief Biblical? Jesus told us to Judge not (Luke 6:37). But then Jesus told us to judge righteous judgment (John 7:24). A contradiction? Only if taken out of context. When Jesus told us not to judge he said it in the context of judging someone as to condemn them. Read the rest of the verse: Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: (Luke 6:37). When Jesus told us to judge he said it in the context of rightly dividing the word of truth to prove all things to try the spirits to discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not (II Tim. 2:15; I Thess. 5:21; I John 4:1; Mal. 3:18). Isaiah said that if they speak not according to this word [the Holy Bible], it is because there is no light in them. (Isa. 8:20). For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: (Prov. 6:23).
It is a very sad fact that people cannot see the blatant hypocrisy of using a scripture verse to bolster the erroneous claim that Christians should not Judge. In the first place, there is no such thing as a non-judgmental person, for one would have to be comatose and brain-dead to be non-judgmental. And, the very act of trying to use the Bible to say that Christians should not be judgmental is both judgmental and hypocritical. The apostle Paul tells us that All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (II Tim. 3:16).
The time has come when many modern-day non-judgmental Christians will not endure sound doctrine. These non-judgmental moralists take select Bible verses out of context and then refuse to receive correction for their erroneous application of scripture (Jer. 5:2-4; Rom. 16:18). They will say something like, We're not supposed to judge others because only God knows what is in a person's heart. However, this is very misleading, because while we may never know everything that is in another person's heart, we can certainly know some of the things that are in another person's heart. The Bible tells us that those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart (Matt. 15:18). The non-judgmental moralists will often quote 1st Samuel 16:7 to help prop up their bogus view: the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. But Samuel was not rebuked for judging; he was rebuked for mis-judging (see 1 Samuel 16:7 taken out of context). Paul said, he that is spiritual judgeth all things (I Cor. 2:15). It is the carnal natural man that looketh on the outward appearance (I Cor. 2:14; 3:1-3). The true born again Christian has been renewed in the spirit of your mind and has the mind of Christ and seeth not as man seeth and does not judge according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (Eph. 4:23; I Cor. 2:16; John 7:24). Paul said, For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (I Cor. 2:16). Paul talked about the fruit of our lips; and Jesus said that every tree is known by his own fruit: for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Heb. 13:15; Luke 6:44; Matt. 12:34). The apostle James said, Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (James 3:10). Jesus said, For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (Luke 6:43). James said, A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8). Unlike the flip-flopping double-tongued preachers of today, our Biblical forefathers reproved, rebuked and exhorted with all sound doctrine. Jesus said, Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matt. 7:20; Matt. 12:36,37).
The apostle Luke said, Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, (Luke 9:46,47). Jesus perceived the thought of their heart: for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt. 12:34). Some might say, But that was Jesus the Lord; he knows everything. Alright then, read what the apostle Peter told Simon the ex-sorcerer: Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. (Acts 8:22,23). Peter perceived the thought of Simon's heart because those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart (Matt. 15:18). If I see my neighbor watching a porn movie I know that he has adultery in his heart because Jesus said That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matt. 5:28). Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators,... nor adulterers,.. shall inherit the kingdom of God. (I Cor. 6:9,10; I Thess. 4:3; Rev. 9:21). If I hear my married neighbor having phone-sex with someone other than his or her spouse I know that they have adultery in their heart because Jesus said that those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (Matt. 15:18); For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, (Mark 7:21). Jesus said That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matt. 12:36,37).
He that will reprove the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11) and rebuke them that sin (I Tim. 5:20) shall save a soul from death (Jam. 5:19,20). When Jesus called the religious leaders blind guides, and said, Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matt. 23:16,33), Jesus was not condemning them, he was warning them. When the apostle Paul said to Elymas the sorcerer, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10), Paul was not condemning Elymas, he was warning him. The non-judgmental attitude which is so pervasive in the church-world today is un-biblical. By not wanting to offend someone or hurt someone's feelings many preachers today are no longer preaching sound doctrine, and are falling away from the faith which was once delivered unto the saints, and have turned away their ears from the truth and are turned unto fables (II Tim. 4:2-4; II Thess. 2:3; Jude 1:3). Jesus Christ did not spare people's feelings when preaching to the multitudes. The apostles did not spare people's feelings when preaching the gospel of our salvation to the lost and to the saved. Jesus called the religious leaders of his day hypocrites to their faces (Matt. 15:7; 16:3; 22:18; 23:13,14,15,23,25,27,29; Mark 7:6; Luke 11:44; 12:56). The apostle Stephen told the religious people of his day that they were stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears (Acts 7:51). Jesus Christ, Stephen, Paul and the other apostles were rejected, ridiculed, persecuted and eventually murdered for preaching the true scriptures and exposing the self-righteous hypocrisy and sins of their generation.
When the disciples in the early church sinned or walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel they were promptly rebuked (Gal. 2:14). We hear this phrase repeated often in some Christian circles today, Rebuke not an elder, as if an elder in Christ should not receive correction from his fellow Christian (I Tim. 5:1). Peter was the elder apostle to Paul, but that didn't stop Paul from correcting Peter. The apostle Paul said, But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. (Gal. 2:11). Paul said, Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (1 Tim. 5:20). The Bible tells us that Open rebuke is better than secret love. (Prov. 27:5). Those who sinned in the New Testament were promptly rebuked; their sins were exposed and their names were made public But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:8-10). The apostle Paul said, Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. (II Tim. 4:14,15). And Paul exposed others as well ...of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. (II Tim. 2:17,18).
Many of our Christian churches today are engaging in un-biblical and even anti-biblical practices of covering up sins under some pretense of godliness. But in the New Testament not only were the sins of those who committed transgressions made known, the names of the offenders were also made known. Note that not only were the un-believers' sins exposed, but the believers' sins were exposed as well. In Paul's letters to the Corinthians he said, It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you; and he spoke of many which have sinned (I Cor. 5:1; II Cor. 12:21). The scriptures tell us that both Peter and Barnabas walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel: and God used Paul to openly rebuke Peter's hypocrisy before them all (Gal. 2:11-14). We are instructed to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (to charge with a fault; to make it manifest) (Eph. 5:11).
Using a gentle and compassionate approach is enough to touch some folks' hearts and cause them to feel true remorse and they will repent of their sins, confessing their faults one to another. But other folks are more stubborn and their hearts are more hardened, and using an open rebuke approach may be in order. These folks may not immediately appreciate such an exhortation, as no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, if they will humble themselves and receive correction they will understand that reproofs of instruction are the way of life: and afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Heb. 12:11; Prov. 6:23; II Tim. 3:16). And what about a brother or sister in Christ who commits a sin against his or her fellow Christian. If a brother in the Lord commits a sin against you personally, Jesus said to first go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (Matt. 18:15-17).
Some people today believe that we are not supposed to be angry with our fellow servants in Christ. But this is not a biblical belief. This is an ecumenical practice which is being promoted by those who will not endure sound doctrine (II Tim. 4:3), Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things (Isa. 30:10). The apostle Paul warned us that good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Rom. 16:18). Jesus said, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Rev. 3:19). The Lord said That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: (Matt. 5:22) without a cause is the operative phrase. We can be angry with those who refuse to repent, and we can still love them. God is angry with the wicked every day, and he is still kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. (Psa. 7:11; Luke 6:35). Being angry with our brother is not a sin. The apostle Paul said, Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. (Eph. 4:26,27). When a brother or sister refuses to receive correction, not from the priest, and not from the prophet, but from the Lord by way of the scriptures, we can be angry with them and mark them and avoid them without holding a grudge (Rom. 16:17; Lev. 19:18). We can love them and still be angry with them, for it is not without a cause. (Incidently, the words without a cause in Matthew 5:22 are virtually omitted in all new bible versions which follow the same corrupt text types that the Catholic church used to translate their Rheims New Testament. The NKJV also casts doubt on the authenticity of the true scriptures by using a footnote to assure their readers that the words without a cause does not belong in their so called nothing has been changed clearer bible translation.)
Jesus said, Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. (Luke 17:3,4). Jesus said that if he repent, then and only then can we forgive him. Jesus said to forgive the brother who sinned against you if he comes to you and confesses to you, not to the Lord, not to his minister, but to you. [I]f he repent this is the determining factor that most modern-day non-judgmental Christians take lightly or overlook. The Holy Bible instructs us to forgive one another as Christ forgave you (Col. 3:13). Is Christ's forgiveness unconditional? No, it is not. Christ forgives us only after certain conditions are met that is, we are to repent, which means that we must first confess our sins with sincere remorse and then forsake them (Prov. 28:13; Acts 3:19). But, are we any more able to forgive those who sin against us if they refuse to repent and confess their faults to us, than God is able to forgive those who sin against him if they refuse to repent and confess their sins to him? The apostle Paul said that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us; but Christ cannot forgive us before we repent: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Rom. 5:8; I John 1:9; Luke 13:3). The idea of forgiveness without repentance is an absurdity that steers people farther away from the goodness of God that leadeth thee to repentance and closer to their own destruction. (Rom. 2:4; II Pet. 3:16). But what about Stephen in the book of Acts, some might say, didn't he forgive those who stoned him to death? The Bible tells us no such thing. Just as the Lord is desirous to forgive men their trespasses, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, Stephen, willing to forgive those who set up false witnesses against him, and concerned for the souls of those who were in the process of stoning him to death, cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. (Acts 6:13; 7:60; II Pet. 3:9). The Bible does not tell us that Stephen forgave them, but that Stephen's last prayer was for God to forgive them. The servant is not greater than his lord (John 13:16; 15:20).
We don't know how many of those who were involved in Stephen's death eventually repented. What is certain, though, is that the Bible is clear on the conditions and requirements of repentance and forgiveness. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; Jesus expounded, and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:23). This verse is often misunderstood, seldom appreciated and even misused by some to justify the popish doctrine of auricular confession (by the way, auricular confession was not an official doctrine of the Roman Catholic church until twelve centuries after Christianity had begun). The forgiveness of the transgressors' sins is not subject to any priest's judgment: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (I Tim. 2:5). (David said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. (Psa. 32:5); the Jews were right when they said, Who can forgive sins but God only? (Mark 2:7); John said, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9); Paul said, Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,...Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:14,16); For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (Heb. 7:17); But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Heb. 7:24,25); he is the mediator of the new testament,... Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (Heb. 9:15,24); Jesus the mediator of the new covenant (Heb. 12:24); Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Heb. 13:8). The forgiveness of the transgressors' sins is not subject to any man's personal judgment or feelings; neither is the forgiveness of sins subject to our own willingness or unwillingness to forgive. The forgiveness of the transgressors' sins is contingent upon whether or not he or she has repented according to the clear conditions set forth in the Bible and whether or not he or she has received by faith the free gift of God's salvation: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8,9). And we, that is true Bible believing Christians, as kings and priests unto God are to search out a matter and judge righteous judgment according to those standards clearly and plainly established in the scriptures (Rev. 1:6; Prov. 25:2; John 7:24).
The apostle Paul said, 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? (I Cor. 6:2,3). We are to be tenderhearted, longsuffering, patient toward all men, and ready to forgive one another (Eph. 4:2,32; I Thess. 5:14). We are not to avenge, nor bear any grudge, for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Lev. 19:18; Rom. 12:19). But neither are we to naively pretend to forgive the unremitted sins of those who refuse to confess their sins and their faults (Prov. 28:1). Confession is such an important part of the healing process which every one of us must go through in order to be reconciled with God and with one another that Jesus Christ said, Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (Matt. 5:23,24).
This scripture in Matthew chapter five is another scripture that is often misunderstood or taken out of context or just plain ignored. Jesus said that when thy brother hath ought against thee, not thee against thy bother but thy brother against thee (Matt. 5:23,24). If you commit a trespass and a brother in Christ exercises righteous judgment by rebuking you, and if you refuse to heed his admonition, that brother hath ought against thee and has good cause to be angry with you (Matt. 5:22,23; John 7:24). And if you come to God and bring thy gift to the altar to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name and thy brother hath ought against thee, it is incumbent on you, the professing Christian, to go to your brother and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (Heb. 13:15; Matt. 5:23,24). This is true biblical Christianity, to be full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another being doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (Rom. 15:14; James 1:22).
Christian converts in the Bible did not hide their faults, but openly confessed their sins and their wrong-doings, even going so far as to have a public book burning of their wicked books (Acts 19:18,19). How wonderful it is to know that the Lord can forgive even our big sins. John three sixteen says that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. What a beautiful scripture. All we have to do is believeth in him. Right? Not so, according to the scriptures. We will end up deceiving ourselves and those we witness to if we think that all it takes to be saved is belief in Jesus. For Jesus himself said that we have to first repent and then believe in order to have everlasting life (Mark 1:15). Jesus said that his disciples must first repent and believe the gospel, keep the commandments of God, deny himself, and take up his cross daily, be converted, be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. (Matt. 18:3; 19:17; Mark 1:15; 4:12; 16:16; Luke 9:23; Acts 2:38; 8:16; 19:5; Rev. 14:4). We are to confess our sins to the one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; and Confess your faults one to another, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (I Tim. 2:5; Jam. 5:16; Matt. 5:24). Jesus said to repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:15). He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Prov. 28:1). Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:19).
The apostle Peter said, The Lord is... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (II Pet. 3:9). Unfortunately, not all will come to repentance. It is a sad fact that many people will only repent in word and will not repent in deed and in truth and will end up losing their souls for all eternity. Christ's love is not unconditional or else he would forgive even those who do not repent and no one would end up in hell. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt. 7:22,23). These are some pretty harsh words coming from such a loving and gentle saviour. But Jesus said these things out of love to wake up his people out of their self-righteous sleep. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (I Thess. 5:6). And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Rom. 13:11). Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; (Psa. 94:12).
We see this all too often among spouses, family members and even church members, issues left unresolved because some people take one or two scriptures out of context and end up playing a forgive and forget game, a lets just pretend that it never happened and it will go away attitude, not understanding the importance of confessing our faults one to another. Yes, the Lord will cast all your sins into the depths of the sea, but not before ye remember your own evil ways and acknowledge thine iniquity and confesseth and forsaketh your sins (Micah 7:19; Ezek. 36:31; Jer. 3:13; Prov. 28:13). Some people just sweep their sins under the rug, or covereth his sins, rather than confesseth and forsaketh them (Prov. 28:13). But leaving our sins buried, for whatever reason, will only hurt us in the long run. As long as we have sins hidden in the closet, so to speak, hidden in our deceitful and desperately wicked heart, we will remain under the burden of those sins (Jer. 17:9). By humbling ourselves and repenting and confessing our sins to God and to those whom we have sinned against, and confessing our faults one to another, we are acknowledging our iniquities, thereby being released from the burden of those sins, as the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and will even forgive our secret sins and secret faults (Psa. 19:12; 90:8; I John 1:9).
But true repentance takes a humble heart and a broken spirit: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psa. 51:17). A major stumblingblock in some people's lives is a lack of genuine humility. Some people outwardly appear humble, but within they are full of pride and hypocrisy (Matt. 23:28). Pride will often cause a person to have a propensity to proclaim his own righteousness. Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? (Prov. 20:6). The self-righteous Pharisee stood praying and proudly proclaimed his own goodness (Luke 18:9,14). When one seeks to appear righteous unto others, it is most often a front erected to cover-up some un-confessed un-repented sin in his or her own life. The prophet Obadiah said, The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee (Obad. 1:3). Pride makes it difficult for people to face the truth and admit their own culpability. Some of these people end up carrying feelings of resentment towards others because their pride will not allow them to confess their faults one to another. Jesus said that if a brother trespass against you and he refuses to humble himself and repent after you rebuke him to let him be unto thee as an heathen (Matt. 18:17; Luke 17:3). The apostle Paul said, And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (II Thess. 3:14,15).
These particular scriptures pose a problem for some dishonest modern-day Christians who, rather than confess their faults, take a few select verses out of context in order to maintain their position of purported innocence and to justify their own private interpretation of the scriptures. Some proudly proclaim that their hearts are clean from all sin being washed in the blood of the Lamb, yet their sins are only buried under some pretense of holiness as they remain unreconciled with their brother because they refuse to follow the scriptures' clear instructions on repenting and forgiving. And this is not man's word, but God's word that shall judge us in the last day if we reject it: Jesus said, the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:48). Some people believe that we can be reconciled with our family members or our Christian brethren without having to go through the biblical formula of going to our brother or sister and confessing our faults to them and being truly reconciled according to the scriptures. But we must be reconciled in deed and in truth, not just in word. Not because we feel that it is right in our heart, but because we know that it is right according to the scriptures: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged (Rom. 3:4).
We are instructed to let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom. 3:4). And how do we let God be true ? The Bible again gives us the clear answer: he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. (Jer. 23:28). The apostle Paul said, If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (I Cor. 14:37). We are instructed to compare spiritual things with spiritual (I Cor. 2:13). Jesus said, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit (John 6:63). Jesus said, the words... are spirit. We are instructed to compare the scriptures with the scriptures, rightly dividing the word of truth: For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little (II Tim. 2:15; Isa. 28:10): so that the Holy Bible, God's word, will be our final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
Remember to always check the context of the scripture and not just the verse or phrase. In the words of Bible translator Myles Coverdale, [I]t shall greatly help ye to understand scripture, if thou mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom, and unto whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstance, considering what goeth before, and what followeth after. (The Bible that is, the holy Scripture, A Prologe, Myles Coverdale Unto The Christian Reader, 1535). In both the Old and New Testaments God commanded us not to kill: Thou shalt not kill. (Ex. 20:13); Thou shalt not kill (Rom. 13:9). But does this mean that we are not supposed to kill someone if they are trying to kill us? If someone breaks into your house and is attempting to rape your wife and kill your children does the Bible forbid you from killing such a wicked person? Jesus said, Do not kill (Mark 10:19). But that was not the end of the lesson. The context of Do not kill is put into perspective in Matthew 19:18 where Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder (Matt. 19:18; Mark 10:19). To murder someone is to kill with malicious intent. To kill someone out of self defense is not murder. The Bible always clarifies itself if we will have the humility, the patience, and the hunger for the truth to read the Bible every day like we should.
When Jesus told us in Matthew chapter seven and Luke chapter six, Judge not, that was not the end of the lesson. Jesus went on to say, Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (Matt. 7:1; Luke 6:37; John 7:24), reaffirming the Old Testament law of righteousness, Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. (Lev. 19:15). A Christian is instructed to judge between his brethren, and to try the spirits, and to know the difference between the holy and profane, and to discern between the unclean and the clean, and to discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (I John 4:1; I Cor. 6:5; Ezek. 44:23; Mal. 3:18). Jesus said that Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures (Matt. 22:29). It is only after we Search the scriptures and know what saith the scripture concerning a subject can we judge righteous judgment (John 5:39; Gal. 4:30; John 7:24). Paul said, I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. (I Tim. 5:21).
Another scripture frequently taken out of context is Colossians chapter 2 verse 16. Many modern-day Christians misuse this verse to justify their refusal to keep the seventh day sabbath thereby breaking the fourth commandment of God, and to justify their keeping of heathen festivals and pagan holy days (holidays). Any honest person who reads this scripture in its proper context will understand what the apostle Paul was saying: Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (Col. 2:16). Paul did not say to let no man judge you in respect of a Christianized pagan holiday, but to let no man judge you in respect of a biblical holyday. And as far as breaking the fourth commandment, you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line nullifying the seventh day Sabbath or sanctifying a first day sabbath. In fact, even after Jesus Christ was risen from the dead the Bible tells us that the sabbath day is the seventh day of the week (Saturday) (Mark 16:1,2). (See What Law Was Nailed To The Cross?)
We have been given the charge to Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine (II Tim. 4:2,3). A non-judgmental Christian is a Christian who does not know the scriptures. A Christian is supposed to judge between his brethren and know the difference between the holy and profane (I Cor. 6:5; Ezek. 22:26). A Christian is not supposed to be non-judgmental, as some mistakenly believe. Proverbs says, He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. (Prov. 18:13). A Christian is supposed to hear out a matter and then judge righteous judgment (John 7:24). When Christ died on the cross and the veil of the temple was torn, the royal priesthood passed to all who come to God through faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 27:51; Luke 23:44; Mark 15:37,38; I Pet. 2:9). And as kings and priests unto God every believer is instructed by God to search out a matter to know the difference between the holy and profane, between the unclean and the clean, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not (Rev. 5:10; Prov. 25:2; Ezek. 22:26; Mal. 3:18). Job said, the cause which I knew not I searched out. (Job 29:16). As the royal priesthood of believers, we are all commissioned by God to Preach the word and reprove and rebuke with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God which is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, as All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (I Pet. 2:9; II Tim. 3:16; 4:2; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12) Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge. but he that refuseth reproof erreth. (Prov. 9:8; 19:25; 10:17).
Earlier we discussed first Samuel chapter sixteen verse seven, a scripture that some modern-day Christians wrest 180 degrees backwards in order to excuse one another and recuse themselves from judging righteous judgment (Deut. 16:19; II Pet. 3:16; John 7:24). When Samuel was about to choose Eliab to reign over Israel, God admonished Samuel and said, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (I Sam. 16:1-7). God did not admonish Samuel for judging Eliab; God admonished Samuel for judging according to the appearance and for not judging righteous judgment (John 7:24). God admonished Samuel for looking on Eliab's appearance and for not looking any deeper into Eliab's life both his public and private words and deeds for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Matt; 7:20; 12:34; John 7:24). Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. The apostle James said that these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. (Jam. 3:10-12). Jesus said to Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. (Matt. 12:33).
Jesus said that every tree is known by his own fruit, his own words, for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:44,45). There are evil trees; and there are righteous trees; and there are self-righteous trees (Luke 18:9-14). All Christians fall into one of these categories. Now, some Christians are more than willing to judge the murderer who went into a college and killed dozens of helpless students in cold blood and then killed himself. Some Christians believe that they are justified in saying that the murderer is surely burning in the flames of hell (Matt. 25:25:41,46; Luke 16:24). And some Christians are more than willing to judge an adulterer, believing that they are justified in saying that the adulterer shall not inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21). But at the same time these righteous Christians will give themselves and their friends a pass for transgressing the law of God in telling their little white lies. They apparently overlook the fact that all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire (Rev. 21:8), and not just adulterers, fornicators, thieves, drunkards and murder[ers] (I Cor. 6:9,10). Jesus said that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matt. 12:36,37). Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:2,3). The apostle James said, But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. (James 2:9). To have one standard of judgment for friends and family, and to have a different standard of judgment for strangers and enemies, is to commit sin. This is called having a double standard. These unrighteous or self-righteous trees do err, not knowing the scriptures, that It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment (Matt. 22:29; Prov. 24:23).
We are told to judge righteous judgment and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (John 7:24; Mal. 3:18). If we are born again Christians, born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, we should know better than to have respect of persons in judgment, and we should have the capacity to know the difference between the holy and profane, between the unclean and the clean (I Pet. 1:23; Ezek. 22:26). We are warned to believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: (I John 4:1). How do we try the spirits? By the scriptures, by the word of God (Isa. 8:20; Matt. 22:29). The Holy Bible is the sword of the Spirit, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God is our measuring rod and our final authority in all matters of faith and practice (Eph. 6:17; II Tim. 4:1-4; Heb. 4:12): All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (II Tim. 3:16). Regardless of who or what we judge and prove and try, whether it be a good feeling in our own heart, or a book or new bible version, or a messenger with a message, whether they be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers or an angel from heaven, the Holy Bible is the only ruler by which we should measure their words and deeds, and not only their's but our own words and deeds as well. And as we judge all things by the word of God contained in the Holy Bible, we will know the truth just as Jesus promised: If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth [thy word is truth 17:17], and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31,32).
Modern new age gurus are misleading untold numbers of souls to hell by telling them that to know God is not to believe in the doctrine of God our Saviour but to feel his presence (Titus 2:10). Misguided spiritualists, such as Oprah Winfrey, Rick Warren and others, believe that God is not about a belief in a doctrine, but a feeling in our heart. But note that the Lord Jesus Christ did not say that ye shall feel the truth, but that ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (Acts 10:37). Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD (Isa. 1:18). Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? (Prov. 22:20,21). And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (II Tim. 3:15). Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (II John 1:9,10).
Most of the people in our Christian churches today have come to trust in their feelings and intuitions instead of that which was written, the holy scriptures, the words of truth, the Holy Bible (Eccl. 12:10; Prov. 22:20,21; II Tim. 3:15). Instead of using sound doctrine and the words of truth to try the spirits, to judge righteous judgment and prove all things, most people have come to rely on their feelings and emotions. Instead of hearing It is written, what saith the scripture? and Search the scriptures (Matt. 4:4; John 5:39; Gal. 4:30), we are hearing touch not thy brother's calling, and search your heart for a confirmation of the truth. Most people today rely on their feelings and emotions when it comes to rightly dividing the word of truth and discerning between the holy and profane... between the unclean and the clean (II Tim. 2:15; Ezek. 22:26; 44:23). Nowhere in the Bible are we told to trust our good or bad feelings when it come to discerning what is true and what is not true. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to trust a confirmation in our heart when it comes to try[ing] the spirits whether they are of God and discerning what is good and what is evil (I John 4:1; Deut. 12:8).
Some people believe that as long as they have a sincere heart God will not allow them to be mislead. Someone might say, I don't believe that God would allow me to be deceived because I have good honest intentions. And as long as I have a sincere heart the Holy Spirit will confirm the truth to me by giving me a good feeling in my soul. But this is not a biblical belief based on sound doctrine. For if truth could be determined by a feeling in our heart, then not only is our preserved English Bible true, but every religions' sacred book, including the book of Mormon, is also true. The book of Mormon states that if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.(Moroni 10:4). The 2004 edition of the Mormon handbook states, In answer to our prayers, the Holy Ghost will teach us through our feelings and thoughts...Heavenly Father will answer their prayers, typically through feelings of their hearts and thoughts in their minds.(Preach the Gospel, p.39). But is this what the Holy Bible teaches? The Bible warns us that The heart is deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9), and He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool (Prov. 28:26), and There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Prov. 16:25). Jesus' disciples did not trust in their sincere hearts or their good intentions. Neither did they trust in a good feeling in their souls. Jesus' disciples believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2:22). For three sabbath days the apostle Paul reasoned with them out of the scriptures (Acts 17:2). Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: (Isa. 1:18).
Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes. (Deuteronomy 12:8).
To judge righteous judgement is not to judge things by our feelings, but to judge things by the scriptures (Acts 18:28; Rom. 16:26). This is the difference between subjective feeling, that is judging things by a certain feeling we get in our heart, and objective reason, that is judging all things by the scriptures. And this is why God gave us his pure, inspired, inflatable, preserved words the Holy Bible. God gave us his written word to give us hope and comfort and the promise of eternal life, everlasting life (Rom. 15:4; John 3:15,18; 6:63). And God also gave us his written word to keep us from deceiving ourselves and to keep us form being deceived by others (Matt. 24:4; I Cor. 3:18). The scriptures are given to us for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: to keep the Lord's people from wondering off course and to keep the feet of his saints: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Moreover by them is thy servant warned (II Tim. 3:16; Psa. 19:11; 119:105).
The practice among some Christians of praying about the truthfulness of a certain message or book or bible version or other material is no different than the Muslim or Mormon praying about the truthfulness of their respective holy book. To know the truth, the Bible tells us to search and trust the scriptures, and not to search and trust our heart. The Lord warned us against trusting in the emotional feelings of our heart. God said to let us reason together which is objective reasoning out of the scriptures, and not let us get goose bumps and good feelings together which are subjective feelings and emotions (Isa. 1:18). God warns us in Jeremiah that the heart is deceitful above all things, which is why we should never leave the safety of the scriptures (Jer. 14:14; 17:9; 23:26). God reapetedly warns us not to trust in our own heart (Prov. 28:26): There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Prov. 16:25).
The Bible says that there is one faith, by which we all speak the same thing with one mouth that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (I Cor. 1:10; 10:3,4; Gal. 5:14; Eph. 4:5; Rom. 15:6). King David said, Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psa. 133:1). The apostle Paul added, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: (I Cor. 1:10; Heb. 10:25). In order to avoid divisions and dwell together in unity, brethren must be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. Paul said, To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. (Philip. 3:1). He said, Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. (I Cor. 11:17,18). Paul said to let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. (Philip. 3:16). Paul went on to say that our spiritual fathers did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink (I Cor. 10:3,4).
This theme is repeated again and again in the scriptures: walk by the same rule, all speak the same thing, the same spiritual meat, the same spiritual drink, in the same mind and in the same judgment. Using different bible versions which use different words in the same scripture passage is not only un-biblical, but it is discouraging the memorization of scripture, and it is an un-safe practice. We know that God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). Therefore, the various conflicting/confusing bible versions and translations can not be from God, because that divides the body of Christ. With one version, God is the authority. When there are conflicting authorities, as there were when the serpent challenged God's words in the garden, man becomes the arbiter, choosing which authority to follow. Hence man usurps the authority of God, and will be as gods, deciding for themselves which rendering is good and which is evil (Gen. 3:5). Instead of the word correcting, dissecting, and judging us, we judge it. We can choose to be as gods, as our first parents (Adam and Eve) did, and correct the word of God. Or we can humble ourselves and be born again as little children and let the word of God correct us (James 4:4-10; John 3:7; I Pet. 1:23; Matt. 18:3; II Tim. 3:16). When we allow the Holy Bible to be our final authority, only then can we judge righteous judgment (John 7:24).
In conclusion, we are most certainly instructed to judge all things by the scriptures. And we are also instructed not to use our own personal opinions or our own subjective feelings when judging any matter. Jesus did not say, Ye do err, not knowing the Spirit. Jesus said, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures (Matt. 22:29). Jesus said, I 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: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember 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. (Rev. 2:2-5). For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. (Deut. 4:24; Heb. 12:29). He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: (Deut. 32:4). And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Matt. 21:44). If you have not already done so, why not humble yourself today and repent and submit yourself to God and allow the word of the Lord to break your stony heart (James 4:6-10; Jer. 23:29). A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (Ezek. 36:26). Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Mal. 3:16-18).
They all teach that you cannot trust nor believe the Holy Bible; and that you must put your faith in their theologies, traditions, customs and rituals in order to please God and have everlasting life.
THE EVANGELICAL SEDUCTION
GOOD FEELINGS or SOUND REASONING?