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29th August 2007

Righteous  Judgment vs  the 'Judge Not Deception' !!!

By Michael Jennings


My name is Michael Jennings and I am part of a prison ministry team that has gotten to know some prisoners rather well. While spending time with these men over the years, I met some of the greatest men the church will ever know in this generation. These men are true disciples of Jesus Christ and are in constant pursuit of the three major components that characterize a mature relationship with God- covenant, knowledge and worship. I witnessed real fruit and true humility in their lives. They lead daily lives of sacrifice, have a hunger and thirst for righteousness, refuse to be controlled by carnal inclinations and desire to know Jesus more fully in the power of His resurrection and in the fellowship of His sufferings. Outside of prison, I’m sure saints can know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings. But on the inside, it’s a whole lot easier and quicker to experience it.

While they are not perfect (none of us are while enclosed in this veil of flesh), they are pressing toward the mark while others have replaced that responsibility with legalistic conformity, empty extremes, fleshly dominated cycles of behavior or partial to adopting apathy and compromise. I was blessed to be able to fellowship with these real Warriors and Lovers of God. At the same time I was sadden to see others in such extreme hypocrisy and bound up in religious traditions and commandments of men. If you believe those observations are judgmental and uncalled for, I give you Jer. 2:34b and I Tim. 5:24-25 NKJV..”I have not found it by secret search, but plainly on all these things” “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.”

Awaken to Righteous Judgment

Righteous judgment is being restored to the church. A religious spirit has deceived us for far too long into believing that we are not to judge. In fact, you’re probably quoting Matt. 7:1 to yourself right now (or is that a religious spirit ministering to you)?

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” That seems to be pretty clear cut. Some ministers have pounded it into our heads from pulpits for so long, that we all are real quick to pound someone else with it if they try to speak a word of correction to us, “you’re judging me brother, judge not lest you be judged!” We desperately need to rightly divide this passage of truth, and not with the human reasoning and American dictionaries that has led to such wrong understanding resulting in a destructive lack of knowledge.

It was Jesus Himself who said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” but then we find Paul saying in I Cor. 5:3 “For I.. have already judged.. concerning him who has so done this deed.” Was Paul being directly disobedient to the words of Jesus here? Of-course not! But he would have been told that by the religious church today- “Now Paul, you’re judging that man, judge not.”

Yes, Paul is judging and rightfully so! Paul goes on to tell the Corinthian Church to deliver such a one to Satan and put away from yourselves that wicked person, and that they were to do it in the name of Jesus and with the power of Jesus (I Cor. 5:4,5,13). Then in verse 12, Paul openly challenges them in an attempt to awaken them to righteous judgment, “Do you not judge those who are inside?” I Cor. 5:12 in the T.E.V. reads like this- “But should you not judge the members of your own fellowship? The Anderson Greek N. T. - “But isn’t it true that you people must judge those in your own group?
It would seem as if we do have a contradiction here; the instruction of Jesus in Matt. 7:1 vs. Paul’s actions in I Cor. 5:1-13. Why is it, that when we know God is leading us to speak a word of correction into a situation that needs it and we have already discerned the heart of the Father about it, that the very words “judge not” shuts us down? It’s because we have a wrong understanding of Matt. 7:1, and ministers have beat the sheep with it for so long that we now beat each other with it ourselves.

So what is the right understanding?


The Greek word for judge #2919 Κρινώ, pronounced Krino, means here in Matt. 7:1- to condemn, to damn, to punish and avenge. Whereas, in I Cor. 5:3&12 it means- to judge properly, an issue of decision, to distinguish. This living understanding, rightly dividing the word of truth, sets us free to now obey both Scripture passages. Let’s remove the controversy and the ignorant & demonic attempts to stop righteous judgment.
We are to obey Jesus’ instruction not to condemn lest we be condemned. For with what condemnation we damn with to punish and avenge, the same measure will be measured back to us. We will reap what we sow. And at the same time, we must obey our responsibility to judge. In fact, this life within our church experience prepares us to execute righteous judgment on a much larger scale- one day we shall judge angels and the world (I Cor. 6:2-3).
Also consider this, Jesus went on to say in Matthew 7:15-16, “Beware of false prophets... you will know them by their fruits.” For us to be able to beware and know calls for a judgment which allows us to distinguish and produce a decision. This truth can free you and destroy that false mind-set. The entrance of His words give light. The NAS says- The unfolding of Thy words gives light, It gives understanding to the simple.

Prerequisites for Righteous Judgment


There are prerequisites required of us to be used by God in any significant capacity, especially righteous judgment.

Knowledge and Understanding. What is righteous judgment? It is to be judged or governed by a pronounced verdict which is just and fair. “I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are righteous.” (Ps. 119:75 NASB). Judgments here is the Hebrew word #4941 Mishpat, meaning- a verdict pronounced judicially, to be judged or governed to promote justice. “The LORD is a God of [Mishpat]” (Isa.30:18) and “loves [Mishpat]” (Ps. 37:28).

Righteous judgment is required when disobedience, idolatry, arrogance, cruelty, persistent unfaithfulness, abominations, ect.. continue. Most of the time, the desired end result of righteous judgment is to produce repentance and bring restoration- “Brethren, if anyone among you wander from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one..” (Gal. :6:1). Know and understand that it’s not condemnation, but rather righteous judgment if someone has determined that you have wandered from the truth into error or have been overtaken in a trespass if they seek to restore you. Quit telling people not to judge you if you need to be judged. What you don’t need is condemnation. That’s not righteous judgment, and neither is slandering, criticism or false and malicious statements which are injurious to a persons’ character or a ministries’ reputation.

There are other prerequisite conditions that must be met before one is to administer and execute righteous judgment.

Self Examination. Ministry without self-examination will never be used by God to execute righteous judgment. Too much ministry is built on unresolved anger, unhealthy needs for approval, and the instinct to control. Failing to explore our own soul for unwholeness will only lead to hypocrisy and partiality when we try to judge a situation and bring correction, it will not minister the wisdom that is from above.
Jesus said, “Hypocrite! First remove the plan from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:5). “First remove the plank from your own eye.” First before what? First before what would follow and be second- “..then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Jesus desires for us to be able to remove the speck out of our brother’s eye, but He demands that we first examine ourselves and purify our motives. We must first remove any obstacles that would obstruct or pervert our vision to see clearly to minister to our brother. Let us remove the planks of pride, arrogance, ignorance, contention (a quarrelsome spirit), insincerity, operating out of a wounded spirit and especially presumption (to speak or act without warrant, performing actions without authority). Our brother will be delivered by pure hands (Job 22:30). “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1). “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).

We must abound in Love and be Spiritually minded. “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment so that you may approve the things that are excellent [or distinguish between the things which differ. Note from NASB] (Phil. 1:9-10 NASB). Love precedes everything, including real knowledge and all discernment.
We also must be spiritually minded to make righteous judgments and restore those overtaken in trespasses. “..he who is spiritual judges all things..” (I Cor. 2:15). “..if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). This verse in Galatians also shows us right approach- spirit of gentleness; and right motive- to restore. This verse also reinforces the self-examination principle- considering yourself. The NASB says “looking to” yourself. The Greek word is #4648 ,,κο,,έώ, pronounced skopeo, and means - to look toward, to contemplate, to spy out. God will always speak the truth in love and by His Spirit.

Authority. Those who have heard the teaching of In the Name of Jesus by Warriors and Lovers, have been exposed to a revelation of what true New Covenant authority really is Scripturally in the Greek. It is not a verbal expression, but a position of authority. And you can learn how to operate from that position of Jesus’ authority in your everyday life. It is a powerful truth which is characterize by at least three different manifestations before one ever arrives at the Luke 10:19 delegation of “Behold, I give unto you power” (KJV). There are no shortcuts to be able to operate on that level of authority. It’s the level everyone wants to get to, but they’re totally ignorant of the first three prerequisite levels. Jesus literally means there in Luke 10:19- Behold, I give unto you the right to exercise the power of My Authority, but there is a price to pay to operate on that level, and few be there that find it. We never attain to that level without obedience to the first three. Likewise, we will never see clearly to remove the speck out of our brothers eye until we first remove the plank from our eye. But removing the plank only clears our vision; the act of removing our brother’s speck requires authority!

Authority is the lawful right to enforce a delegated power!

Paul says that the Lord gives authority for edification- “..if I should boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you..” (2 Cor. 10:8 NASB). Even rebuke is aimed at producing repentance and bringing restoration. In Titus 2:15, ministers are instructed “to rebuke with all authority.”

I found something in the Psalms that is very crucial for understanding authority. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne” (Psalms 89:14). It’s righteousness and justice being operative in our life that allows God to build His authority in us. Then Psalms 97:2 says- “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.” I also personally believe that the chronological order of these two Scripture verses are very important. Just as it is in the Word, I believe this truth must first come to us as revelation and become part of our worship to Him. Then it becomes part of our declaration and proclamation to others about Him.

Glory to God! I love His Word! I love the unfolding revelation that is alive, living and capable of going into a situation and giving birth to life. Have some life...

ZION

Righteousness and justice are the foundation, the very place where He will establish His throne- the governmental seat of His authority where He rules as King! And “Where the word of a king is, there is power..” (Eccl. 8:4 KJV). On Mt. Zion was the Tabernacle of David and the King’s palace. Zion was the seat of worship and government. It was the place of Priestly and Kingly Authority! God’s covenant people would ascend Mt. Zion to the Tabernacle of David and praise and worship their God. And He would enthrone Himself upon the praises of Israel with His manifested presence and His demonstrated power and people were in awe of the LORD.

Michael's website: www.myspace.com/warriors_and_lovers