Who can do this and who is able to do this but God and His Son? Does the title suggest judging when in fact Christ in Scripture says not to do so?—some will question, using this passage; Matt 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.” But hold on just a moment, that is Scripture but didn’t Christ himself also say in John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." The next question may well be; “is this some kind of contradiction dealing with the subject of judging”?
Not really, when several scriptures are examined on the subject. But perhaps there needs to be some explanation for a better understanding of some of what the Scriptures are saying on certain things, such as the two passages just used dealing with judging. Hopefully this article will aid in that. You see, as you read on in Matt.7:2 “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” These are also Christ’s Words and here it seems to indicate, along with John 7:24 that when someone judges, it should be with righteous judgment. So it appears that when other passages are searched out and put together, by rightly dividing Scripture (See last part of 2Tim.2:15) a different picture or message may begin to emerge, other than just with a surface reading of some passage without understanding. We will see this as we go on with this article about judging angels and who will be able; adding in a little better understanding of the subject of how to and how not to be judging. (I am using the NKJ unless otherwise noted.)
The Bible does say, through the pen of the apostle Paul, that some who have been called into the COG are to judge angels! We will see this very statement a little later in the article but, when ARE WE—you and I or any human—GOING TO BE ABLE TO JUDGE ANGELS, if we cannot and do not learn now what these passages of Scripture really means and what the Scriptures mean about how to be judging? Are we to be properly “judging” the things that go on around us in the world, (and even ourselves and all these differing Church organizations; even little groups today who claim they are the COG) as Spirit led brethren should be ABLE to be doing? Do God’s called out ones have the responsibility to judge this world and even some others once thought to be brethren that may now have turned aside and be enemies of the Church? Remember, Christ also said “by their fruits you shall know them” twice and that we should judge the good and the bad, the true and the false by the fruits! (Matt.7:16 & 20)
Follow the Scriptural texts used here, as you go thru this article, in your own Bible for some Scriptural information on how the true COG should approach this subject of judging and how it will relate to judging angels in the future. Did you know that we, if true Christians, are actually told that we should be coming to the point of being able to judge angels? However, we are still in training in the COG, which is by how we do judge ourselves and judge matters in the Church and between brethren today! Many passages may have a much deeper meaning than one can read on the surface, as we have just seen.
Now, 1 Cor.6:2 says; Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? (You see, right here, with the first part of this, we can begin to see some duality in these words! We are in training now for what will come in the future. Paul is speaking to the COG as the saints, saying they should be able to look on the world they live in today and be able to judge it for what it is; by the Bibles standard though, and not their own! The world is an evil and corrupt system for the most part, LIVING AND GOING TOTALLY CONTRARY TO GOD’S way of life, which we are (Again, if Christian) to come out of and the way for us to do that is laid out for us all in the Bible!) Continuing on now,-“And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (When we are to judge the world is future but what are these smallest matters? That reveals to us the duality. Paul explains these two different times and kinds of judging in this context.) 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? (The “shall” is clearly future, AFTER we are resurrected and made spirit which we are now in training for, but this is not the “smallest matters” that the apostle is referring to!)
Going on he says; “How much more, things that pertain to this life? (Once again Paul brings this right back to the here and now for every true Christian! There are things that pertain to this life that we have to judge, but Paul also brings into this another point to understand!) 4 If then you have (Note this) judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? (This is the real context here and the crux of what Paul is trying to get across! This deals with the “HERE AND NOW”—this life—but also in the Church and for the wise, not the least esteemed—as he said—so keep that in mind as we move on! That could also be a character issue that has to be determined or judged as well!)
V.5 I say this to your shame. (WOW, what a directive for Spiritual self-examination!) Is it so, that there is not a (Note it) wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren”? Paul really and specifically gets right to the point of what he is talking about, to the Corinthians and to the COG today, here in this statement! Some of these people in Corinth did not know how to judge even the “smallest matters” and were really messing up at times, just like some do today, who may not search the Scriptures for how they should conduct themselves or judge matters with others! A good case in point is divorce and the marriage bond or vows. (See the articles “Broken Vows” and “Divorce Vs. Commitment” for more on the judging in marriage aspect.)
So what is the Apostle Paul really getting at here? Well, it seems to me, he is making it very clear to the Corinthians that they were not using the wisdom that comes from God and the study of His Word, in all of their dealings with one another nor were they even paying attention to their responsibility of properly judging. They were even going to outsiders and the worldly courts to settle certain matters, which is indicated as shameful for true Christians to be doing! This is certainly something the ministry today, as the leadership in the Church, should be paying close attention to so they can be better guides to the brethren in various matters requiring judgments! However, we have to consider that we are in Laodicea today and in some situations, with all the various splinters and the different approach of “leaders”, a person perhaps could get better results and much faster and maybe even more justice - from the outside courts than one gets from some in these organizations; which is a shame, just like Paul said! That is not the way it should be, so why is it that way today? Well, as was just mentioned, this is no longer the era of Brotherly love, but of lukewarm Laodicea; but there are other reasons.
As H.W.A. brought to our attention so many times, teaching from the word of God, “WE ARE TO BE TEACHERS”—and of course we should know that God expects the true convert to be learning not only to believe His Word but to learn more and grow Spiritually over time. No one will enter into the Kingdom of God without learning truth from God (John 6:45) nor teaching and believing wrong things and with a head full of wrong ideas! Those and all sins have to be overcome! Many show partiality and very poor judgment (if it can even be called judgment) in their ministry and among other brethren, using a different standard of discipline for themselves, than they use for their own membership, then yet another for those not in their particular organization! A minister may act very swiftly to correct what seems to be an injustice toward one of his family or extended family members, yet fail to give the same attention needed to one in his congregation, especially one he may not like that much. Anyone who cares to take notice can easily see these kinds of things do happen and is going on today.
Did God give instruction, admonition or warning in Scripture, against this kind of behavior among the ministry? Mal 2:9-10 "Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base before all the people, because you have not kept My ways but have shown partiality in the law." (this can and does also apply among the lay-members, even though it is directed at the “priests” as you see in V.7) 10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?” (See “Partiality” bible study for more on the sin of showing favoritism or respect of persons.)
Going back now to I Cor.6 and to gather more of the whole context of the matter. Is there a bigger picture and does this context continue from Chapter five? What is chapter five dealing with? Isn’t he admonishing the Corinthians (and surly their leaders and even us individuals today) for not handling a matter in the way that they should have? Yes he is! Notice it in verse 12 of chapter 5: “For what have I to do with judging” (here it is again, SAME CONTEXT AS SEEN LATER IN CHAPTER SIX) “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you (the Church) not judge those who are inside? (In other words, they were supposed to be—but in righteousness, (not their less than half-witted statements in a rage, as some do today!) V.13 But those who are outside God judges. (He will deal with them in His own time and way) Therefore "put away (notice it) from yourselves the evil person." This is not just to the Church and its leadership in this one particular congregation that he is really talking to! He is talking to YOU, me and the whole body of Christ (Spiritual organism) including the ministry today as God inspired this for the whole COG of all time! Then we go into chapter six, which continues the context of judging and tells us that we are to judge angels in the future and should be able to judge matters in the COG, in the proper way of course and by the proper channels or positions of authority; but always from the standpoint of Biblical instructions and not by someone who has no understanding, even lacking many of the facts of a particular situation they may be judging!
This takes us back to Christ’s own words; "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." (John 7:24, seen earlier) The Scriptures give the example that those making a judgment are to take the time to gather all of the facts one can find on any given situation before starting to pass out any kind of judgment against another true Christian who may only have a speck in his/her eye, as opposed to the huge log that is still in their own! You find that example in the OT and the New. For example; Matt 18:15-18 says "Moreover if your brother (or sister, as the case may be at times) sins against you, (This “brother” could also be your minister, so he is not excluded or above you in these matters but we still must be respectful to the office. However, it probably would not be wise to go to him for a solution if he is the problem or a friend of the “sinner”!) Go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. (Now today, with all of this advanced technology, some of these more –“holier-than-thou” people of such great “integrity” simply just don’t answer the phone—or respond in essence, ignoring this passage of Scripture and allowing its instructions to run their intended course.)
16 "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' 17 "And if he refuses to hear them, (These witnesses presented) tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, (In other words, doesn’t take correction, change or repent nor has any desire to do so) let him(/her) be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. (To be treated as an outsider, having no fellowship with. Eph.5:11 & 2Cor.6:14) 18 "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (That is, if they follow the guidelines of Scripture and don’t take it upon themselves to judge apart from Scripture, with their own human reason, which sometimes happens! Deut.19 also gives the principle of judging matters between brethren on various issues, including lying and being a false witness, as it was given to Israel; note V.16-19— “If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, 17 then both men in the controversy shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. (Ministry today)18 And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, (or sister)19 then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you.”
(This principle could be a man & wife in the case of counseling, situations which may lead to divorce today—but those insisting on going to the courts and ignoring the biblical procedure to resolve matters will ignore this. However, the courts cannot determine if the two are bound, only God does that through the word of God, the ministry in gathering of facts and judging the overall situation once the facts are gathered. See the links within, dealing with marriages for more on this particular aspect) Very seldom is this done properly today, even in some COG organizations—but it will be among true converts that are zealous to follow the guidelines of Scripture. God will guide them into all truth by the power of His Spirit, if they are willing to be led! (John16:13) The trouble is, it is the one wanting a divorce that usually distorts the facts and goes to the outside courts—making a victim of any true convert who has not asked for a divorce and has sought reconciliation. It is a sad thing when the ministry is found siding with a false witness and has not diligently sought the facts and the truth, but it does happen!
Prov. 17:15 says; “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.”
So how can you and I do this judging of things that “pertain to this life”, as Paul is explaining—judging between the righteous and the wicked—or just right and wrong approaches to various matters, if we are never to make any judgments? And how are we going to be able to judge angels in the future if we cannot judge properly even the smallest matters in the Church, as Paul says? Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we must make certain judgments on our own that may affect our personal salvation and be a matter of justice; especially if the ministry fails to do their part when called upon.
What about just keeping silent when you see those in authority making wrong or unjust judgments, contrary to Scripture, that ends in deception or even persecution to some brethren? Your silence most always will make the person (Not just the ministry) who is doing wrong feel justified in what they have done, because by your silence and failure to voice disapproval, he/she may feel you continue to support him/her in what they have done, are doing or saying! So we need to reflect on the passage we just read, there in Proverbs. It takes us back to the points of Scripture we saw in the beginning. Them, along with others reveal it is those called, chosen and faithful who are with Christ (Rev.17:14) and are Spirit born Sons and daughters of the God family who will be judging angels in the future.
So now we know who will be able when the time comes to be judging angels! Sometimes it is our own personal job or responsibility as true Christians, to discern these matters of how to be judging the smallest maters that pertain to this life, for ourselves! (Phil.2:12) If we have the Holy Spirit of God working in us, then we can ask Him for this gift of discernment to judge with righteous judgment and He will grant it! 1 Cor.12:4 “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” Now verse 10 “to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, --and dropping down now to verse 11 “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” We use the Spirit of God to judge but we must seek the truth (John 8:32) found by gathering all of the facts and that is our guide to judge by. The truth and a desire to follow it sets us free from restrictive and wrong decisions, false witnessing and the skewed facts of carnal man; and helps us to stay on track with God and the right way to follow the instructions of His word!
So in conclusion; where do any of us stand at this point in life, when it comes to rightly judging and those who will be judging angels?
For those who have been called, perhaps even chosen but then turn aside by any means; II Thes.2:10-12, shows the penalty for letting go of the truth for whatever the reason! Satan the devil is the father of habitual liars, as Christ Himself said. (John 8:44) Note Rev 3:9 “Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—(here are liars that are mixed in with believers) behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you. (This verse shows that these “LIARS” will not be made Spirit when the others are unless there is clear and genuine repentance in this life!) 12 He who conquers, (overcomes-NKJ) I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.” (RSV)
In order for us to be qualified to sit in judgment over angels, WHICH IS PART OF OUR JOB IN THE FUTURE, IF CALLED CHOSEN AND REMAINING FAITHFUL; we must be learning now to judge things pertaining to this life, in the Church, among brethren and ministry alike, AND WE MUST DETERMINE TO JUDGE WITH RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT, FROM THE WORD OF GOD, HERE AND NOW!
The choice is ours and you and I must make choices in matters that we are confronted with in this life! The hope is that we will make the right ones and based on the Word of God! Let’s be zealous to learn now, how to do the job we are going to have in that wonderful world tomorrow and beyond; to learn to judge, not with prejudices or partiality and without proper facts, but with righteous judgment, as Christ through the Holy Spirit directs each of us! Then we will be qualified to judge angels in the future!
(Article produced by the editor for TCOGMSO)