judge ye not??

‘Do not judge, ..’ Mathew 7:1

This verse at the beginning of Mathew chapter 7 is commonly used within the church to control and prevent people checking out the word of God for themselves or for identifying false prophets by their teaching. It is also used by well meaning Christians who are simply deceived, not having checked out the scriptures fully.

It is a very important subject and one which deserves full Biblical scrutiny as there is a danger, especially with young Christians, of them being led astray.

Jesus did say, ‘Do not judge’ but he then goes on to say in verses 2-5,

‘For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hippocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.’  

It is important to read the words very carefully here. What Jesus is saying is, ‘don’t judge someone for their sin when you yourself are sinning. In other words we can judge, as long as we are not doing the same thing.

Verse 6 goes on to say, ‘Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet. and turn again and rend you.’

How do we identify the dogs or swine – obviously this would involve judging.

Many have been indoctrinated into the constraint of don’t say anything against another no matter what, using the argument that it is up to God to deal with the person concerned.

This may be true when it comes to judging the heart (1 Corinthians 4:5) or secrets of individuals (Romans 2:16), as this is for Jesus to do. However, their are many commands in scripture telling us to judge and some of them are listed below. 

‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.’ John 7:24

This means that we shouldn’t judge by our own opinions but judge by the word of God, i.e. righteously.

‘Thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgement and righteousness … Jeremiah 22:3

‘Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.’ 1 Corinthians 14:29

‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.’ 1 John 4:1.

One of the gifts of the Spirit  is ‘the discerning of spirits'(1Corinthians 12:10)

‘I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thy canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them that say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.’ Revelation 2:2

In the above verse from Revelation Jesus is commending those in the Eshesian church who judged and arrived at the truth, i.e. ‘found them liars.’

The following verses tell us that Christians are specifically instructed to judge the actions of those within the church.

‘For what have I to do to judge them also that that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 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 judgements of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.’ 1 Corinthians 5:12-6:4

Not to do so results in much sin within the body of Christ. In fact, God’s word teaches,

‘But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man’. 1 Corinthians 2:15

Much of the New Testament was written to publicly correct false teaching within the church. In 2 Timothy 4:10 Paul judges and warns about a man named Demas, and in 2:17 he warns of the heresy of two others.

We too are also called to identify false teachers for the purpose of protecting the sheep.

‘That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.’ Ephesians 4:14

How can we protect the sheep if we don’t speak out? Jesus warned us again and again to be on our guard against false prophets and deception in the church. 

‘And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘take heed that no man deceives you’. Mathew 24:4

And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. Mathew 24:11

For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders in so much that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Mathew 24:24

Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6

Let no man deceive you by any means. 2 Thessalonians 2:3

How are we supposed to spot a false prophet or false teaching if we don’t judge?

Those who don’t judge are called ‘babes’ in the Bible

‘For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe.’ Hebrews 5:12-13

The above two verses mean that ‘mature’ Christians are those who have trained themselves to exercise judgement, to discern between good and evil, through the Word, not feelings. Those that don’t judge are ‘babes’ in the Word. One of the ways to show that you are spiritually mature is to seek the truth in the Word under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, without being persuaded by public opinion, church tradition or a person’s status.

Why should we as Christians judge and speak up risking falling out with others, when Jesus will undoubtedly do it when He returns? Well, first of all, I have witnessed new Christians being led astray by false teaching and it breaks my heart. We should love them enough to ‘speak the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15), and point out their error.

In a like manner, if we love brothers and sisters who are living a life of sin, we should judge righteously, and tell them. This gives the person the opportunity and choice of whether or not to continue sinning or to repent – the opportunity to choose between life and death!

So there is a right way to judge, and that is according to the truth of God’s word, which is the same measure by which each of us will be judged when Jesus returns.

But let’s do it in love, with no ulterior motives, and let’s be like the Bereans.

‘(The Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so’, Acts 17:11

 

 

Responses

  1. I would simply like to simply pose a few questions about this message. Firstly you say ” we can judge, as long as we are not doing the same thing” does this count if the person previously committed the same sin but is currently not? Secondly you quote Matthew 7:2-5 which starts with “For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” does this mean that if you judge someone else you will be judged more, this portion of the verse is not addressed. Thirdly in this same quote it has the portion “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” You address this to mean the beam represents a singular type of sin, but since this is held to be a parable/metaphor could it possibly refer to all sins?
    Also the literal meaning of the word “Judge” in this passage means “to condemn” while the word “Judge” used in 1 Corinthians 2:15 means to “try or preside over as a Judge”, so could this change your argument seeing as they mean separate and distinct things? Finally is it possible to decide if someone is a false prophet or is deceiving you without judging them but rather by comparing their words to the Bible, because a pastor can lead a church astray yet we are called to not set ourselves against our authorities for they are Gods servants, so what does this mean in the context of your message? See Romans 13:2-4.

    • Eric, do you know what it means to “stir up the hornets nest?” It means to cause trouble. Brother, you’re comment to Tony is like that of the Pharisees who followed Jesus around, constantly picking away at his words, dissecting them and trying to find fault with Him and his teachings. You have taken an accurate, well written, Scripturally backed commentary (either written by Tony or posted by him), and have stirred it up, which causes dissension, not correction or further clarification. Your seemingly innocuous “questions” are not really innocuous. Whether you realize it or not, they’re contentious.

      Your kind of comment, Eric, results in confusion and causes division among the body of Christ. It does not build up, nor does it correct something that might accidentally be in error. Such, tears down and wears down the body of Christ so that the preaching of the Gospel gets waylaid. Jesus, and Paul later on, had to deal with this kind of dissension all through their ministries. What a glory it would have been to the Kingdom of God, if people would have simply listened to their words of truth out of a desire to understand, rather than constantly challenging their words.

      I am exhorting you in all sincerety, brother, to pray and ask Jesus to open your eyes to the truth of what Tony is trying to convey in his commentary. It was written for the purpose of dispelling confusion in regard to what Jesus said about judging. Jesus’ words concerning judgment have been misunderstood by ears that do not hear to understand and, ironically, have resulted in a lot of unrighteous judgment being pronounced against those who stand against heresy, or who would exhort others, in love and truth, for the purpose of correction and clarity. Christians often preceive the meaning of such Scriptures wrongly, not because they were presented wrongly, but because they’re not reading them in the light of the Spirit of which they were given.

      James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

      Psalms 49:3 “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.”

      God be with you, brother, in Christ Jesus

      Kathy

  2. Excellent! Your right, it’s a very common refrain used by many christians and non- christians

    To this you can also add Matthew 10:11-15:

    ‘Whatever town or village you go into, seek out someone worthy and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his house, salute it, and if the house deserves it, may your peace come upon it; if it does not, may your peace come back to you. And if anyone does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, as you walk out of the house or town shake the dust from your feet.
    In truth I tell you, on the Day of Judgement it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.Look, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as snakes and yet innocent as doves.

    None of this would be possible if the disciples did not exercise discernment and judgement.

    Peace and love to all brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.

    From a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  3. interesting to see this site seeing as I came from Haydock and moved to NZ.
    Also on a journey of discovery which most certainly can be a lonely journey but God is faithful and will complete the work He has begun. After getting one of those ‘degrees’ am finding it difficult to continue in ‘paid’ ministry. It seems that the church prefers to maintain the status quo and is not really seeking the face of the Father.

  4. This is sooooooo wonderful. I have been trying for the last year or so to enlighten mny brothers and sisters in Christ of this very EVIDENT fact in the Bible. Thank you much for the truth. Wonderful

  5. Amen!

    • Thank you Jesus for not giving up on me, and showing me the thuth for the last five years. evein when I was lost in my own sin. Jesus set’s us free! Thank God for this site. God Bless you Tony and Pat.


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