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As of today, no one has seen Pastor Raymond Koh in exactly two years. Twenty-four months ago, he disappeared as a result of a coordinated abduction carried out in broad daylight. Sadly, Pastor Koh remains missing to this day and there are still more questions than answers.
Remarkably, in the midst of the pain of grief, good things are still happening. Last night about 100 people attended a gathering held to remember and pray for Pastor Koh. Those gathered also prayed for the missing Christian convert Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth, as well as Amri Che Mat—a Shia Muslim who disappeared in circumstances similar to what happened to Koh.
The group consisted of church members and leaders from across the denominations. “It is a miracle that one family’s life has united all of us,” said a participant.
Even in the midst of her sorrows, Susanna—Pastor Koh’s wife—is able to see how God has been at work since her husband disappeared. She shared that churches in Malaysia have come together to say that these disappearances are not acceptable. “This is the first time we see the evangelicals and the Roman Catholics come together. They hold hands and pray. And I know that God is pleased with this.”
Please pray for strength for Susanna as she continues to wait for justice for her husband.
Pray the memorandum submitted to the Prime Mahathir Bin Mohamadtoday will find favor with him and that he will seek to resolve these disappearances.
Pray that the unity that has been sparked by these disappearances will continue to grow.
*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.
Photo: Facebook/Everybody Loves Raymond Koh
7. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
8. If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
9. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
10. If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
11. Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
12. And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.
Is the LORD unjust when He judges peoples and nations? I think not, if they repent of their evil & wickedness He spares them from the judgment prepared for them.
Yet mankind in all their glorious ignorance continually rejects the GOD who created them saying “…
There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. ...”
14. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.
15. What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest.
The Fathers forgiveness & patience are beyond our comprehension, yet the LORD has His limitatons. Israel/Judah reached that limit.
Intercessory prayer is important but it can have a limited affect if GOD’s judgment is going to fall on a nation.
1. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2. Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
3. Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
4. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
5. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.
6. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
7. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
8. As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;
9. Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
10. Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
11. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.
12. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
13. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
14. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.
15. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.
16. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
17. And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.
18. Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?
19. And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.
20. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.
21. Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;
22. Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.
23. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
24. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.
25. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
26. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
27. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.
28. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.
29. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.
30. Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD.
31. And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.
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Friends, please continue to pray for Nigeria as the country prepares for presidential elections on February 16. Nigerians are hungry for peace and stability, but no one feels safe.
Just weeks before the elections, President Buhari—who is seeking a second term in office—thrust the country into a constitutional crisis when he suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen. Chief Justice Onnoghen, who is a southern Christian, is now facing charges of allegedly failing to declare his assets.
Because disputes over elections sometimes reach the Supreme Court, Buhari is facing criticism for his decision, with many pointing out that his action against the Chief Justice is unlawful. Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki said Buhari cannot act alone in a process that involves all three arms of government. The Nigerian Bar Association called his actions against Onnoghen an “attempted coup against the Nigerian judiciary” and directed its members to boycott courts across the country in protest.
Atiku Abubakar, Buhari’s top election opponent, agreed the suspension is illegal and stated, “This act of desperation is geared towards affecting the outcome of the 2019 presidential elections.”
The U.S. and European Union added that Buhari’s actions could undermine the credibility of the vote and could incur repercussions, including visa restrictions, for election interference and election related violence.
Please pray for the country as the race to the elections continues.
Pray the armed forces will be able to maintain peace and that people will be able to vote in peace.
Pray for calm amid the storm surrounding the suspension of Chief Justice Onnoghen and the appointment of Justice Muhammed in the interim. Pray that justice will prevail in this matter.
Pray for Christians to be able to live out clear testimonies during the time leading up to the elections.
*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.
Learn more at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org/PrayerApp
Recently, Adeeb Yassa—a 55-year displaced Christian—was kidnapped for being a Christian in Egypt. The armed men stopped the bus and checked the ID-cards of each passenger. When they found out Adeeb was a Christian, because each person’s religion is listed on Egyptian ID cards, they forcibly took him off the bus and put him in a vehicle. No one has heard from him since.
The Muslim passengers on the bus were allowed to continue on their journeys. They informed Adeeb’s family of what they had witnessed.
Please pray that Adeeb would be filled with peace and cling to Christ.
Pray the kidnappers would release Adeeb without harming him.
Pray the kidnappers would come to know Christ.
*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.
A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.
1. O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
3. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
4. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
6. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
7. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
9. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
10. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
11. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
12. They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
13. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.
14. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
15. For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
16. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.
17. For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
18. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
19. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
20. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.
21. Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.
22. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.
1. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
2. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4. Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
5. Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
6. Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
7. For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
8. Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9. And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
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Pakistan’s Supreme Court has upheld its decision to acquit Pakistani Christian mother Asia Bibi—clearing the way for the 47-year-old woman to now leave her home country where she spent eight years in a prison on death row.
On October 31, 2018, the Court overturned Asia’s 2010 blasphemy conviction and death sentence. Outraged by the acquittal, Islamic extremists filed a petition to challenge the court’s decision and staged violent protests, calling for her death.
“Based on merit, this hardliner’s petition is dismissed,” Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said in court on Tuesday.
Asia—also known as Asia Noreen—was unable to leave Pakistan while an appeal request was pending. In November under protective custody, she left the women’s prison and was flown to Islamabad to an undisclosed location for her safety, authorities said.
She is now free to leave her home country.
Pray for Asia’s continued protection and safety, her family and others around her as she makes her way out of Pakistan and to her family.
Pray for Asia’s lawyer Saif-ul-Malook, who sought refuge in The Netherlands after the violence erupted in Pakistan in November, returned to Pakistan to defend Asia. Because he returned, he loses his asylum status. Pray for his protection.
Pray for peace in Pakistan. Ask God to intervene against plans for any violent protests and attacks on Christians and churches.
*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.
Restaurant to Pay $7K in Penalties, Legal Costs After Employee Tells Man Not to Use Women’s Restroom https://christianjournal.net/news/restaurant-to-pay-7k-in-penalties-legal-costs-after-employee-tells-man-not-to-use-womens-restroom/
WASHINGTON — A restaurant in the nation’s capital has agreed to a settlement that includes the payment of $7,000 in penalties and legal costs after the attorney general of Washington, D.C. found the eatery guilty of discrimination against a man who identifies as a woman.
The cult of “Do not Judge”
This article is being written on behalf of all the ministries and people that defend the faith with the truth and are accused of judging because they test those who teach falsely with the Word of God.
The premise-Does God tell us not to judge?
The Bibles answer-No He does not.
John 7:24 Jesus says: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” What Jesus does tell us is not to judge by our own opinions, but instead judge by the word of God, that is what it means to judge righteously. He always encouraged the people to judge. God told Israel to judge the prophets in the Old Testament. He had the true prophets judge the false but the people reacted saying the very same things people are saying today. Your being negative oh you never have anything good to say. In the New Testament we are told to judge prophecy, to discern, to test the spirits and we are told to test ALL things. We are told to do this because it helps keep us away from what is false and evil. The apostle Paul showed us how to judge so there would be no second guesswork. The apostle Paul said, “If anyone preaches another gospel let him be accursed” Would anyone say to Paul’s face “your judging.” In 2 Thess. 3:14-15 “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” Strong guidelines that many avoid to do today. These are done not to condemn but to bring repentance and restoration.
Lets let God decide whose right or wrong. Does this sound familiar? Except this particular statement was from a Muslim. But it can be anyone from any religion. Even Christians say we should not pursue a matter to find the truth. I realize that when one’s favorite teacher or leader is questioned the initial human response can be one of agitation and turn to over emotionalism. But when feelings do not subside and escalate into anger, rage, and maliciousness, it is not godly at all. Despite that they believe they have a cause to protect their teacher, it is not advantageous for anyone to have their emotions rule if they are trying to arrive at the truth.
There has been a trend going on for a number of years that has dulled the spiritual senses of the church and leavened the convictions of many a Christian. It has risen to new heights as of late where if anyone has anything to say about another they are told, “Don’t judge, “touch not my anointed” “do my prophets no harm” etc. Maybe if some of the people that quote these verses would look at what they actually say “in context,” they wouldn’t have such flawed arguments, they would not find themselves becoming entangled emotionally. Its not just finding a few words to prove a position, but what do they mean in the Scripture in its context and can they apply to us today.
What is ironic is that to tell people they are judgmental is to judge them. What people are doing is recommending for us not to judge by the word of God, but dispense with any discernment, just like they do it. Some even threaten and curse those who test because they cannot deal with the Scriptural proof presented to them. Christians are not to threaten or curse others because they disagree. Neither should they be warning that they are going to prayer, as though God will answer their prayer of vengeance and avenge the persons teaching that was examined and found false. The facts more often than not are; those who say not to judge are incredibly more judgmental then those they accuse of judging.
One person wrote, “Whether _______ is right or wrong is not up to you to discuss with anyone.” Lets look at this illogical statement. Now we can never discuss doctrine and peoples teachings. This means they too cannot discuss anything that they think, even if it is beneficial! But Heb.6:1-3 tells us we can discuss doctrine. “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.” In other words many of these things should be settled, but there are many things that are not.
What I have found is very few challenge back quoting from the Bible to prove their position. Rarely do they say this person does not teach this or you misunderstood, he really means this. What they argue is just don’t test it, or don’t say this because I know such and such for years and they are doing great things for God. That’s judging isn’t it? And it is done by appearance. Then when this does not work they will respond by calling names and threatening people using Bible cliché’s as “don’t judge” “don’t touch God’s anointed,” “do my prophets no harm,” etc., all taken out of context. If they were to think biblically they would realize we are all anointed, not just some, and to come against another brother or sister that is trying to obey Scripture means they too are coming against God’s anointed. Everyone in the body of Christ is anointed; nonetheless what someone teaches is to be tested. How do we know this? Paul commended the Thessalonians for doing so, even when it was Paul himself that was being examined by Scripture (Acts 17:11).That is a right Spirit.
So many have been indoctrinated into the constraint of don’t say anything against another no matter how far off they are. Let God will deal with them. If this were true, then why are we given all the commands in Scripture to judge? Why all the warnings that deception and falsehood will permeate the Church in the end and we are to be on guard? We are told to deal with it and not allow it to continue. It’s not to say that we make mountains out of molehills, but some are already mountains that need to be moved. So lets speak to the mountain, speak to those who congregate at the foot of it and tell them.
We should take note, we all judge things all day: let me give some examples. When you sit down you make sure you’re comfortable, you’re judging whether or not you are comfortable. When you eat food at restaurant you judge whether it taste good or bad, and you judge the service you were given. When you bring your car to a mechanic you look for a good one and then you judge if he did a good job. When you buy a product you make sure it works as advertised. When you receive bills in the mail you judge whether they were recorded right. Even in conversations you judge whether someone is telling the truth. So we judge not only every day, but throughout the day. You can’t help but judge! All these things mentioned do not necessarily have an affect on your spiritual life. But the things that actually can affect your spiritual life people are saying, “don’t judge.” If ever a lie of the Devil was told this was it. When the Devil tempted Eve he hoped that she would not judge what he was saying with what God had already spoke. During the conversation (Gen.3) she began to challenge him by the word of God but he responded by bringing doubt on God’s word, saying “has God said?” By the time he was finished she believed the Devil over what God said. She didn’t judge, and instead she and Adam were judged!
What Has God said?
Jethro gave advice after seeing Moses was going to be burnt out on ruling. Moses responded in Deut. 1:15-18 “So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and knowledgeable men, and made them heads over you, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officers for your tribes. “Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who is with him. ‘You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.’ “And I commanded you at that time all the things which you should do.” This was the law to Israel and a principle of how they were to live. So they were to judge even the menial matters among themselves. This is made clearer in the New Testament about doctrine.
This is again repeated in Deut.16:18-19 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment.” You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.”
Why are some of the most drastic things said by famous people ignored, these scriptures show that it is because people are partial, loyal to the renowned, not caring if they are wrong or right. A bribe can be money or it can be other things such as promises or blessings that will be lost. The outcome is that it twists the words of the righteous when they are manipulated not to say the truth.
Judges 2:18-19 “And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.” The judges were to implement the commands from the word. Notice what happens when there is no judgment to decide what is right or wrong, the people do what they feel like and reap the consequences. The end of the book of judges it tells us what happened, every man did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6, 21:25).
The judges were restored under Jehoshaphat king of Judah. 2 Chron.19:4-7 “So Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem; and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim, and brought them back to the LORD God of their fathers. Then he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.” Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.”
For even Asaph said in Ps. 82:1-4 “God stands in the congregation of the mighty; he judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked? Selah “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.” People are defenseless from the wicked when they put aside judgment. Today there are many people that are abused by those who Lord it over them, by manipulation, by teachings and promises that never come true. If you have a heart of compassion you cannot just sit idly by while this takes place, even to those you may not know personally. It is being done to the body of Christ and the body of Christ needs to say something.
What did Jesus actually say on judging?
Protectors of false teachers will say Jesus said, “not to Judge,” quoting Matthew 7:1, therefore that we cannot “judge.” At first glance it appears that Jesus does forbid judging, but lets continue to read the passage. Matthew 7:1-5: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?” Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
In other words you can judge as along as you are not doing the same thing. If you want to help another and have taken care of yourself in this area, then you are able to see and operate on your brother. Jesus does not say don’t operate under any circumstances, but allows us to remove the speck when we can see. But Jesus goes on and says in v:6: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” What He is saying is that we need to make sure whom we are engaged with. When you try to correct someone with the Holy Word and they are haters of truth they will not receive the pearls and will turn on you. So we are to weigh out whom we give the Word of God out to.
Christ kept this theme throughout His ministry rebuking the people in Luke 12:55-57 “And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is.” Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?” This was said right after Jesus lectured on His coming, how it would bring division, not unity (Luke 12:56-57).
Jesus also said “Beware of false prophets!” (Matthew 7:15) this is a warning but comes as a command from our Lord. But how could we “beware” of “false prophets” unless we test what they say? Instead of obeying what Jesus said, some actually ignore this and support them. How? By saying, “don’t test it,” “don’t touch God’s anointed.” They do this because they have been taught “by them” not to question them. Loyalty and respect are good qualities but we cannot fall into the trap that because so and so was in ministry for 20-40 years or we know them personally that they can’t say something terribly wrong. True men of God are willing to be corrected from the Word, no matter who spoke a certain teaching or prophecy.
“Ye shall know them by their fruits,” Christ said (Matthew 7:16). In judging their “fruits,” we must judge by God’s Word. So what is fruit? Well to understand fruit we need to take a few steps backwards. The seed is the word of God, it is what gives us the new life. As it grows in us we mature until we become like a tree (Psalm 1), for a tree bears fruit. Christ is using a natural example of a spiritual principle– a mature tree bears fruit. If the seed is the word, than the tree and the roots of the tree must be of the word. So a good tree bears good fruit. The fruit can’t be good if it is not based on the word, in other words they need to have correct doctrine and teach right to have good fruit. This does not mean one is right on everything but they will hold to the core teachings and are consistent in these. They will not say one thing one time, and contradict themselves another time.
In the New Testament this statement sums up what Jesus meant on judging. In John 7:24 says: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” Jesus is saying we can “judge” only do it correctly, not by what you see or hear but by the Word of truth. Just because you don’t want to judge does not mean you have the right to tell others not to. To accuse others of doing what the Bible tells us to do– is to judge without a righteous judgment.
Jesus said in John 5:30 “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” To seek God’s will in a matter is to go to Scripture to see what he says on something. Jesus had perfect judgment because he heard from the Father. He also delivered this word to us and says it is not only His Word but the Fathers (Jn.14:24). So if the Word of God is used correctly it is not you or I judging but God, therefore it becomes a righteous judgment.
Jesus again made it clear how to judge unrighteously “You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. “And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me” (John 8:15-16). Jesus did not judge by appearances, He was able to know the heart. While we do not have the same ability, He has given us directions on how we can judge and be accurate in it. A crooked stick by itself may not show that it is bent, but it will always be seen as crooked when laid next to the straight stick of the word.
Paul wrote in Phil. 3:15-17 “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” Paul used himself and the other apostles as our physical examples in everything. Paul could not deal individually with the many false teachers springing up like weeds in the different areas. Paul said to follow his example as he followed Christ. Christ openly showed what is false, so did Paul, and so did the other apostles. Much of the New Testament was written to publicly correct false teaching within the Church itself. Every second epistle written by an apostle is for correction or judging false doctrine. In 2 Timothy 4:10, Paul judges and warns about a man named Demas. Later in the same epistle (2:17) he warns of the heresies of two others naming them. Paul did a lot of judging and warning when it came to false teachers that could influence the church, because he cared. What if Paul didn’t judge and allowed Alexander to continue teaching, what if Peter let Simon Magus stay in the Church? Think it through!
We also have permission to judge false doctrine, and those who really care do so.
What about love?
John the Baptist called both the Pharisees and Sadducees “a generation of Vipers” (snakes) (Matt. 3:7), he rebuked Herod the king. Today, he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, no respect for leaders and most of all un-Christian. Jesus and Paul would also be accused of being judgmental if one would examine what they actually said. I believe God has been training the Church to recognize error and deception because the real deception that could deceive the elect may be just around the corner. If you can’t judge today’s falsehood you will certainly be unable to tomorrow when things escalate. Is it now unloving to stop someone from going over cliff when you already know where the road ends.
How else do you protect the sheep if you do not speak out? Let me give a simple example: If someone is selling a false product in your city and numerous people are buying it and becoming sick. What would you do? What if you tried to go to the manufacturer but he would not meet with you because he is an important man in the community and you are not? Do you keep silent and just let it go or is it your duty to let others know? James says not to do something you know is right is sin. So you are sinning if you have any idea it could be wrong. Here in lies the problem, the people who say don’t judge do this for protection of their teachers. But they will often admit that they know there are things wrong, but they have not come to the conclusion of how wrong it is.
The Apostle Paul also writes: “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all discernment (judgment) that you may approve things that are excellent in God’s sight.” It is this same love that he applies to Eph. 4:14-15 “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ” This truth would be the word that would challenge the words from deceivers who are deceived and affecting the body with “winds of doctrine.”
We are to identify certain people for the brethren’s own safety. We are to identify false teachers for the purpose of protecting the sheep in Christ’s Church, and we certainly don’t need to apologize for this. We are our brothers keeper. This love is a discriminating love, a love that cares enough for others and is not concerned with what people think of you, especially when you know that you are right from the Word.
Hanging with people who teach falsely will rub off on you, the cliché for self protection “touch not my anointed” becomes “let it be,” it is grinded into the followers and moaned by them toward those who have anything to say about their favorite teachers. One needs to hear both sides before they can make a just decision. Find the proof that what they teach is from the Bible and not from their own imagination of what they think the Bible says.
Lets look at what those who say not to judge are actually saying the Word of God states, next to what the Word of God actually says.
Those who say “Don’t judge- 1 Thess. 5:21-22 “Don’t Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
The BIBLE-1Thess. 5:21-22 “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
Is it evil to test-NO it is not! We are told to test ALL things, not just pick and choose what and when to test. Now this does not mean we become the judge and jury or walk around with a critical eye on everything. It means we are to be sober and vigilant and not take for granted that everything said is the Gospel.
Those who say “Don’t judge- I John 4:1-3 “Beloved, do believe every spirit, don’t test the spirits, whether they are of God”
The BIBLE- I John 4:1-3 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
“Do my prophets no harm.” Meant not to lay hands on them. False prophets were to be rejected and stoned in the Old Testament (Deut.18:20). Instead , Israel killed the true prophets (Mt.23:35-37). No one is laying hands on anyone today. The Bible tells us to judge prophets. 1 Cor. 14:29 “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.” It does not just say let only the other prophets judge, but the “others.” These others may have the gift of prophecy or those gifted in the word and Spirit. This would also relate to 1 Cor.12:10 which tells us one of the gifts of the Spirit is a discerning of spirits. (judging, determining what is from God or not). Exactly what John writes in I John 4:1-3 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God” Here again we are told to judge, and in this case it could mean the whole congregation. The “discerning of spirits” is probably the most needed gift in the end times where Jesus said many false prophets and teachers would be around us. When there is a need God raises up a standard. As Paul continues to write “the spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” This does not mean we turn over a meeting to false prophets to validate the prior false prophets that spoke. Today we have a repetition of the error of the people in Jeremiah’s time “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” (Jer. 5:30-31) He asks a question that we need to answer today. What will you do?
No person is to be prevented from the right of investigating and comparing with the Bible what is said. Who would desire to prohibit the people from a full and free examination of what is said? Certainly it would not be God who tells us to judge in the Word. The guideline of testing and judging stresses the importance of truth being accepted and error being rejected. It gives accountability for what one says as a teacher to many people, this reduces the margin of error spread to the people.
Believers are not to avoid judging, just avoid judging with a final condemnation (the eternal destiny of someone). This word judge (Greek-krino) is used over 80 times in the New Testament and it means to call in question, discern, conclude, decree, and determine. The meaning does not mean to condemn in judgment; the context shows we are responsible to correctly evaluate a thing or an act. It does not mean to glean the truth and ignore the false because their good outweighs the bad. We cannot always judge someone’s motives, only God has this kind ability. We are commanded to judge what they spoke, their teachings. God is the ultimate judge on eternal life but we the church are to be keepers of the truth, to do this one must test what is said and reject falsehood.
Heb. 5:12-14 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
The author tells us that believers who are “mature,” are those who have trained themselves to exercise judgment, to discern between good and evil through the Word, not by feelings. That is judging; those who do not judge are babes in the word. One of the ways to show you are spiritually mature is to seek out a matter on its own without being persuaded by public opinions or the status of a person. People today often trust a person’s position or fame more than the Holy Spirits discernment given in the Word. Error can only be seen as error only when it is measured against the truth. This means judging. If you accept anything everyone says because of who they are you are just a sponge that will soak up both the good and the bad equally. Then the only way we can get rid of the bad is for God to wring it out of you. That is not always a pleasant experience.
When we ignore the false we are helping the devil’s cause because the truth becomes hidden. The Devil hates the truth because it exposes anything that is false: sometimes it is well hidden. Jesus warned us that false prophets and false disciples would arise and He told us how to know the difference. When somebody says that you are judging, they are wrong, we are inspecting the fruit that comes from the tree and we are told to do so. When we decide what someone is teaching is wrong by the Word that is not our judgment but God’s. But if we decide simply by loyalty and allegiance this does not prove it is true and it becomes what Jesus called judging by appearance.
Attacks without a biblical case– without the facts proves that one is relying on their feelings and having blind loyalty. One needs to make a case from the Bible or they become guilty of the very thing they accuse others of. Proverbs tells us to hear both sides of a matter before we make a decision.
When sheep follow sheep instead of the shepherd they will reap the consequences. It’s well known that sheep are some of the dumbest animals on God’s green earth, you and I both are not as smart as we think we are. Peter quotes Isa.53 “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls (1 Pet. 2:25). Matt. 9:36 “But when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” There are some Christians that confess Jesus as their Lord but instead of him being their shepherd they allow other men to lead them, they listen to their voice telling them what God has said. Certainly God has appointed teachers in the body of Christ, but no one is above scrutiny. Jesus said “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:26-27). We see this in cults where what the leader of the group says becomes more important than what the Scriptures say. People listen to other men’s interpretation and what “they say God said” without ever going to Scripture to see if it is true. Lets make sure we are listening to the shepherds voice and not another’s.
What we are not to judge?
These are just a few things to think about. Col 2:16 “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths.”
We are to avoid judgment on days of worship and food lest we stumble someone. Rom 14:10-15 “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.” The point Paul is making is not to stumble a brother or sister by your freedom from the Old Testament law. But to allow false teaching to freely take place would be to stumble them.
Why do I call this movement of “do not judge” a cult? Because for the most part they follow there leaders advice and not the shepherd of their souls. They are not thinking, as the Bible tells us “to test ALL things.” Many are not being taught to think, instead they have been taught what to think. I know this may be harsh to some, but its telling it straight. When we willfully do what we are told, without our checking it out ourselves, we become like the cults. Those who do not judge teaching are actually disobeying what the Bible tells us to do. And they are telling others to do the same, sometimes by intimidation.
The early church was apologetic and polemic. They contended for the faith to those outside and had to do the same inside. If we do not take up this same attitude that is clearly presented in the Scriptures, we will be leavened beyond belief. Many of us see this as a very dangerous trend going on inside the Church. It needs to stop and we need to get back to what the Bible actually says.
2 John 10-11: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” It may not say the word judge or test but its obvious one must do so to know there is a difference in doctrine. And it is in this “spirit of the text” many other Scriptures are written. Paul writes to Titus about the insubordinate, idle talkers and deceivers “Wherefore rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13).
Jesus commended those who judged to arrive at the truth, “I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false” (Revelation 2:2). All the apostles approved judging those who claimed leadership positions.
Paul wrote Timothy who was new to the ministry “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:1-5).
What afflictions is he talking about? Those who came against Timothy in doing things that are required of God. What things? Convincing, rebuking, and exhorting those who have turned from the truth, God’s word.. If you are one who has learned to discern truth from error, continue to do so, don’t be intimidated. If you have been called to be a watchman and God has given you discernment, use it and don’t let anyone discourage or threaten you, fulfill your ministry.
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