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17 September 2014

Judging Others


How do we judge another person, or decide what we think about them? Initially, we judge by appearance. As we get to know someone, our opinions become based on their actions. The more we are around a person, the better we get to know them. Spouses know their partners better because they live with them, and see both the positive and negative things about them.

Proverbs 20:27: The spirit (h5397) of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly (KJV). [neshama (h5397) (nesh-aw-maw) properly is a current of air, breath, used as a symbol for the spirit] Proverbs 20:27: The breath of man [is] a lamp of Jehovah, Searching all the inner parts of the heart (YLT). The KJ used the symbols of spirit and belly, where Young interpreted the symbols, putting the proper meaning for “spirit”, and a spiritual meaning of “belly” (cf Proverbs 1:23; 18:8). In the Hebrew, the same word is used for belly and womb (h990). When we eat spiritual bread (words), it goes into our spiritual belly; our minds give birth to thoughts based on our knowledge and experience. Our breath/spirit carries our words, or thoughts of the heart/mind. So, if we speak God’s words, the things which He has taught us, then out of our mouths come holy spirit (Jn 7:37-39). If we speak our own words, as when we judge another, then the spirit out of our mouths is an “unclean spirit.” The Lord knows what is in the heart of man by what comes out of the mouth (cf Mt 15:11).

Matthew 7:1: Judge (g2919) not, that ye be not judged (g2919). The Greek word krino (g2919) properly means to separate (mentally), then to select, to choose. The word is used as to pronounce an opinion; to rule, govern (by presiding over, making judicial decisions); or in a forensic sense go to law - i.e. make a decision or determination. In this context, to judge another is to form an opinion based on one’s own understanding. But, what does it mean that ye be not judged?

John 5:28-29: 28. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of condemnation (g2920) . The Greek word krisis (g2920) is another word meaning judgment. There are two resurrections mentioned here: Those who receive the words of Jesus when he comes in the spirit, are resurrected into life. Those who reject the spirit of Christ at their spiritual judgment, will come up in a second resurrection to face an actual judgment (spoken of in Revelation 20:11-12). So, judge not, that you be not judged with the wicked in the second resurrection.

Why would someone not recognize a time when Jesus comes to them in the spirit? Revelation 3:3: Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Initially, I thought salvation was going to church and reading the Bible, not remembering that it was the Spirit which turned my heart to God. For those who refuse to hear, Jesus comes to them unexpectedly twice!

Matthew 7:2: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Judgment in these first five verses are in the sense of giving a negative opinion about another person. This is very serious. If a person persists in giving a negative opinion, or condemning others, they will be judged by the same measure in the resurrection with the rest of the wicked.

Notice how Paul states the same principle: 1Corinthians 4:1-5: 1. Let a man so account of us, as of ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2. Here, moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. 3. 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. 4. For I know nothing against myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judges me is the Lord. 5. Wherefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall each man have his praise from God (ASV).

Paul said that I judge not mine own self... he that judges me is the Lord. This principle applies to all professed Christians, and yet it is not always practiced. Notice verse 4: For I know nothing (against) myself; yet am I not hereby justified. This should read For I know nothing of myself; yet am I not hereby justified. In others words, he does not know his own heart (cf Jeremiah 17:9). Justification comes only from God, and never from man. So, it is not wise to condemn or justify any person based on a man’s understanding.

How well does God know us as compared to how another human being knows us? Matthew 7:3-5: 3. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4. Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? 5. You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye (RSV). (hypocrite = an actor: one who affects virtues and qualities he does not have)

The eyes are a symbol of understanding (Ephesians 1:18). So, what we do and say is based on our thoughts. The faults we see in others are but a speck compared to what God knows about us. Usually, when we see something in others, it is because we have the same problem. Maybe it is not as big a problem in our lives, but never the less we have it, because everyone inherited a sin-nature.

1John 3:13-16: 13. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death. 15. Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

John makes a distinction between brethren in Christ and those in the world. Just because the world hate Christians, does not give us the right to hate the world. Jesus died for them too. We cannot, on our own fully discern another person’s heart, even our own children whom we have known from birth.

Here is one last example: Someone does something, or says something to make you angry, and the anger may be justified. What are you to do? Ephesians 4:26: Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Metaphorically, the sun is a symbol for light from the Son (Malachi 4:2). The principle is: “Be angry, sin not, let not the thoughts of Christ be suppressed by your anger.” He that loves not his brother abides in (spiritual) death. Let us not focus on those “specks” (faults) in others, but focus on getting rid of our own, and leave the other to God. Amen.

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