Message 12 - By Jerry D. Green

Thou Shalt Not Judge?


This message was written in the 1990’s shortly after the attempt by congress to impeach then President Clinton for his affair with the intern. I had never before been so perturbed with our congressional leaders; Watching them as most seemingly saw no wrong in what had been done.  How, I asked myself, can this be? Then I realized that a person cannot condemn someone else for something when they would, or would like to do, the same thing. And then it really hit me. These people were of the world, so how could they possibly see any wrong in what they were doing when many of the church leaders of the day were doing the same things. Some of the prominent church leaders of the day had previously had their own scandals which were equally as bad, or worse. So as I pondered these things the Lord gave me this message for the church; because it is the church which must set the standard for the world, and not vice versa. I sincerely hope and pray that God will use this message to enlighten all those who call themselves Christians, to the truth of this message. JDG


Thou Shalt Not Judge?

Is there an “Eleventh Commandment”? To hear many in the church today one would surely think so. This new commandment seems to be the “in” quote for today’s church. When anything comes up in the church which calls for discerning, decision making, or taking a stand for right, or against wrong, the scripture is quickly quoted, “Judge not that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37). If the devil ever smiles, it must be when he thinks of the “shenanigan” he has put on a gullible, naive, irresponsible church. Rather than to take a stand for or against anything, the church has used these scriptures for a copout to evade its God given responsibilities; while the devil’s messengers are busily going about spreading and establishing this erroneous teaching in the minds of a listless, sleeping, uncaring church. How could the church have gotten to such a low ebb of thinking and teaching which is so much like the WORLD? It is because the church is filled with preachers, teachers, and church joiners who are “…of the WORLD…” (I John 4:5). Jesus never told anyone not to judge, that is, not to discern. He simply tells us to “…judge righteous (just) judgment” (John 7:24). 

To better understand what Jesus was really saying in Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37, let’s look at the meaning of the Greek word which was translated judge in both of these scriptures. Perhaps there is no equivalent English word, for it is #2919 in Strong’s Greek Dictionary, and means “properly, to distinguish, i.e., decide (mentally or judicially),” all which is good, but “by implication, to try, condemn, (and) punish,” which is not good. In short, we’re not to be the whole judicial system. That is, we are not to try (judge), condemn (pass sentence), and punish (carry out the sentence). “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). God will judge all of us with righteous judgment by His Son Jesus Christ. That is to say, not according to (outward) “…appearance…” (John 7:24), i.e., not by the seeing of the eye and/or the hearing of the ear, and He (God) will mete out righteous punishment in due season (John 5:22-27). The condemning (the sentencing to death [or other punishment]) and the punishing (the carrying out of the sentence) phase is not our job; but the trying (judging, or discerning) phase is our job AND responsibility. Trying, condemning, and punishing is what the law of Moses was about. According to the law of Moses the woman caught in the act of adultery could lawfully have been stoned to death. But Jesus said to the woman, “Neither do I CONDEMN thee: go, and SIN NO MORE” (John 8:11). Thank God for grace! “For God sent not his Son into the WORLD to CONDEMN the WORLD; but that the WORLD through Him… (*) be saved” (*Might in the New Testament, KJV, is always a translator added word; John 3:17). The answer to sin under the law of Moses was to destroy the sinner. But the answer to sin by the gospel of Jesus Christ, is to destroy only the SIN that is within the sinner, thus saving the soul of the sinner from eternal damnation. Jesus continues in Luke 6:37, “CONDEMN NOT and ye shall NOT be CONDEMNED.” The Greek word here is Strong’s #2613, and means to “adjudge against, i.e., pronounce guilty.” Again, it is not our job to condemn (pass judgment or pronounce guilty of death [or any other punishment]), for the “…condemnation…” (the sentence of death; Romans 8:1) is already passed upon all those who have “…NOT believed in the name of the only (physically) begotten Son of God” (for) “…he that believeth NOT is CONDEMNED ALREADY…” (John 3:18). The “…CONDEMNATION…, or sentence of death was, and still is, upon all those who are of the WORLD (Ezekiel 18:20). The very purpose of the coming of Jesus and of Calvary was to make an escape for the WORLD (lost humanity) from, the sentence of death. Contrary, however, to what many believe, it does NOT take away the penalty of death; it takes away the source and the reason of death, which is sin. As long as there is sin in a person, there must of necessity be death; for “…by one man (Adam) SIN entered into the WORLD, and death (entered) by SIN; and so death passed upon all men, for…all have (sin, and therefore have) SINNED” (Romans 5:12). “The sting…, “…the wages…, the result of sin and sins, is still death regardless of what many would have us to believe (Romans 6:23; I Corinthians 15:56).

“But now (since Calvary, and since you have repented of your sin and sins, and have believed the gospel) being MADE FREE from SIN, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end (the result, the outcome, is) everlasting LIFE. For the wages of SIN is death; but the gift of God is eternal LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:22-23). The gospel of Jesus is a complete (finished) work. “Being justified freely (without cost to us) by His (God’s) grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (an atoning victim; a sacrificial offering) through FAITH in HIS (Jesus’) blood, to declare HIS (God’s) righteousness (justice) for the remission of SINS THAT ARE PAST, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:24-25).

God first deals with past sins. Past sins, that are truly repented of, are forgiven (remitted; pardoned) through faith in the blood of Jesus. God forbears (pardons) past sins and we are justified freely (without cost to us). There are no vows, no money, or anything else of earthly value exchanged. We are “…washed… FROM our (sin, and) SINS IN His own blood (Revelation 1:5) and we are “…sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ (which He offered) once for all (for all mankind, for all time, and, for all eternity); (Hebrews 10:10). We are given a clean new start. But just as, or even more importantly, we are also given a clean new heart (a new spirit, a new divine nature) without which, we will revert back to doing the same old sinful things we have always done. But praise be to God, He makes “…all (*true believers) new…” (*THINGS is another word in the N.T., KJV, which is always a translator added word; II Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5). “To declare, I say, at this time HIS (GOD’S) RIGHTEOUSNESS (or, JUSTICE) that HE (GOD) might (would) be JUST, and THE JUSTIFIER of him (whosoever that wills) which BELIEVETH in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). God remits (forgives, forebears, pardons) our sins that are past, and makes us partakers of the endless, sinless LIFE of His first and only physically begotten Son, Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:3; I John 5:1, 5:18). And to all those who truly believe that which He accomplished through His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, “there is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION (no death sentence) to them which are IN Christ Jesus, who walk NOT after (according to)  the flesh (the old man with all of the old religious laws and religious works thereof) but (who walk) after (according to) the (new; the law of the) Spirit…of LIFE (the new divine nature, which is) IN Christ Jesus (and) hath made… (us) free from (both the old fleshly nature, and the old written) law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2). LIFE, which for us can only be had, by and in Jesus, the Christ, and which can only be obtained by faith in the true Gospel of Jesus, the Christ, is the only means of escaping the condemnation of death (the death sentence) which is upon all sin and all sinners.

Now to address the trying phase. Many think we should never try; that is, to test, distinguish, or make any kind of judgment concerning anyone or anything in the church or even in the WORLD. Well I must tell you, this is one of the reasons sin is so rampant in the church today. We are told by many “we are all sinners and always will be”; and, that “we could never do anything that would keep us out of heaven if we have ever believed in and/or on Jesus.” This kind of thinking eliminates the need to seek an answer for sin. With sin so tolerated and condoned, and being told that sin doesn’t matter, the devil has lulled the church into a deep sleep (I Thessalonians 5:58). How wrong and dangerous this kind of thinking is; for John says, “…believe NOT every spirit, but TRY (test, prove, discern) the spirits whether they are of God (or not. Why?) because many false prophets are gone out into the WORLD” (I John 4:1). Here is testing, distinguishing, or judging, and John tells us how. The entire epistle (letter, or book) of I John is concerning the trying, testing, or judging of false brethren, teachers, preachers, and prophets, so that we could know whether they are of God or not. In fact, the entire epistle is just an in depth version of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-16.  “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” So how shall we know them? “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles”? Certainly not! How desperately we need to try the spirits of the ministries of today. “…Every spirit that confesseth not (assents, agrees, acknowledges not) that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth (assents, agrees, acknowledges) NOT that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is NOT of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already (in John’s day) is it in the WORLD (I John 4:3), … even now (in John’s day) are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (I John 2:18). Please notice that it is the confession of the spirit of the person, and not necessarily that which the person says with their mouth, which defines the antichrists (plural). Even as it was in John’s day and much more so today, the WORLD is flooded with antichrists. Antichrists are everywhere. Perhaps through ignorance, or maybe just to draw attention away from themselves, they, the antichrists (plural) have come up with the doctrine of THE antichrist (singular) which is not mentioned in the scriptures. Yet the sin filled church staggers drunkenly onward, oblivious to the antichrists (plural), “…sleep(ing) in the night…” (I Thessalonians 5:69), enjoying “…the pleasures of SIN for a season…” (Hebrews 11:25), and waiting for THE antichrist (singular) to come when they will go flying sinlessly off to heaven while the old sinful WORLD which has not believed in, or on, Jesus, stays behind to suffer the wrath of God for their unbelief (I Thessalonians 5:67; Hebrews 11:25-26). Brother and Sister, it will NOT happen that way. All sinners will suffer the wrath of God no matter what they have professed to believe.

Other judgments we (the church) are to make are spoken of by Paul to the Corinthians (I Corinthians chapters 5 and 6). A church which considered itself very spiritual indeed, yet, like so many churches today, it was filled with much wickedness, including fornication: even to one who had taken his father’s wife. Like so many churches today, the Corinthian church was “…puffed up…” (proud). They were “…glorying…” in their toleration of this sin. But Paul tells them, “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (I Corinthians 5:6). Sin in the church which is not dealt with will soon increase to the point where there is no difference between the church and the WORLD. Sadly, this is the case with much of the church today. Paul’s judgment was that the church should have “…rather mourned…” (been grieved) concerning those things which were being done among them and that such a one be put out of the church, not as a punishment, for that is not for the church to do, but that such a one be delivered “…unto (turned over to) Satan (whom they have chosen to serve) for the destruction of the flesh (the physical body) that they might come to a “…godly sorrow (for their sin, which) worketh repentance (un)to salvation…” (II Corinthians 7:8-10), that the spirit (their soul) may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (I Corinthians 5:5). He goes on to say however, that it is NOT the church’s business to judge the WORLD, but for the church to judge itself. “Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (I Corinthians 5:13).

Concerning trivial and/or other matters pertaining to this life, Paul also says that the church is not to go before the unjust courts of the WORLD, but for the church to judge these matters itself. Is there “…not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” Don’t you “…know that the saints (the true children of God) shall judge the WORLD…, and even “…angels…” (with Jesus, after He returns; Revelation 20:6). Also, a better way in many cases is Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer (allow or permit) yourselves to be defrauded (I Corinthians 6:17; Proverbs 20:22)?” This would settle many matters in the church as well as gain a brother or sister in many cases.

What should those in authority do if they discern a person with an unclean spirit, or see those who are obviously doing wrong, holding an office, and/or having a place on the platform of the church (i.e., deacons, teachers, singers, those who play instruments, etc.)? It’s not enough just to preach strongly against that which they are doing, or even go to them and tell them they shouldn’t do those things and hope that they will repent and change, or that God will move them out? No! God didn’t put them in those offices and/or positions and He’s not obligated to move them out. And if the matter is something obvious, God is not obligated to warn the person in authority concerning that person; but He will hold those in authority responsible for moving them out of those positions, whether they do it or whether they don’t. Eli rebuked his sons concerning the evil things they were doing in the house of God, but God still made an end of his house because he did not restrain them (because he was weak in his correction; I Samuel 2:22-25 and 3:12-13). It’s not enough just to tell a person they should or shouldn’t be doing something. They must be restrained (stopped or removed) from those positions. The same applies to children. The parents are responsible to God for the soul’s of their children, not just to rebuke them, but to train them up, initiate, dedicate, discipline them in the way they should go as the need warrants (Proverbs 22:6). It is extremely detrimental to the church Jesus suffered and died for when the world sees them doing anything that is wrong while claiming to be a child of God.

The conclusion is this. There is a judging we must NOT do, but there is also a judging we MUST do. So, as a member of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ (His true church), let us not shirk our just duty and responsibility. But rather, let us preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ, “…rightly dividing the word of truth,” and judging those things we should judge. Only let our judging be “…righteous judgment…, worthy of the children of God.

Message 12 - Thou Shalt Not Judge?






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