Who will be God's Judges?
Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son." "The
saints shall judge the world... we shall judge angels!"
the attention of the press and the public is the choosing of the
right person to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme
Court. The selection has heartened some and divided and dismayed
others. The appointed candidate, his character, his background,
his values, his philosophy and even his loyalties to Constitution
or "natural law" have been rehearsed, questioned and
mulled over before confirmation to that respected position.
said, the people of the United States, their Congressional representatives
and their "watch dog" media have serious concerns about
who will now sit in judgment over them and decide on issues for
the next thirty some years.
contrast to the hearings in this confirmation process and its
media attention, a process of confirmation of "associate
judges" is going on that the nation and even the world knows
little or nothing about. More remarkable, this selection has been
in progress for almost 2,000 years.
the Gospel according to John (5:22,23), it is clear God's supreme
choice is His Son: "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath
committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men should honour
the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not
the Son honoureth not the Father which sent him." While God
does not ask us to pass approval on his appointment, we are asked
to join God in honoring His Son!
Jesus will not judge alone. God has determined to have other judges
with Jesus. Who will they be? "Do ye not know that the saints
shall judge the world. Know ye not that we shall judge angels?"
I Corinthians 6:2,3
are these associate judges who will seemingly have so much power?
How can any be trusted to "judge the world," let alone
angels? The Apostle Paul himself says he does not even have the
capability of judging himself, "Yea, I judge not mine own
self." He chides the brethren for judging each other, "Why
dost thou judge thy brother?" (Romans 14:10)
for centuries have shamefully judged other Christians. The Papacy
through the years has judged and persecuted Protestants. In our
own country Protestants have persecuted Catholics. Where has God's
when Israel was an infant nation in the land of Israel, God "raised
them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge and delivered
them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge."
(Judges 2:18) There was no king. This system prevailed for longer
than U.S. American history—450 years. The people prospered
with their judges. One of their greatest judges was Samuel. However,
his sons, who were also judges, abused their authority. Instead
of waiting for another appointment of a judge after Samuel, the
people in their frustration chose another system. They wanted
a king just like all the other nations around them. The new kings
over Israel were a mixed blessing.
question remains, how will the Church whom Paul is addressing,
judge the world and angels? Where will these judges come from?
What will be their background? Will they have weaknesses? What
will be their "record"? Their qualifications? On what
Law will their decisions be based? Then, just what will be their
you see God's way of calling you. There are few among you who
are wise as the world counts wisdom; there are few who are influential;
there are few of aristocratic birth." (I Corinthians 1:26)
Even Jesus, "though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became
poor." (II Corinthians 8:9) The background of God's judges
is evidently humble. Why is this so? God wants sympathetic judges
to represent Him, ones who understand because they have plumbed
the depths of human experience. These first-hand experiences with
the needs and frustrations of life will make them sympathetic
when finally reaching a position of judicial authority. They will
simply being poor and exposed to trials "common to man"
(I Corinthians 10:13) will not automatically qualify a person
to be a good judge. The Christian who is being prepared to "judge
the world" in God's Kingdom is sensitive. He is sensitive
because through his life's ordeals he or she has not become bitter
or vengeful. These overcoming Christians will be qualified judges
because they have fought against their own fallen conditions.
They have learned compassion and are effective in their sympathy
because they understand human nature.
Christians who are to be judges with Christ have a perfect record?
If "perfect record" means no mistakes, No! There will
be dark corners in their lives, seeming inconsistencies. But in
those dark corners and inconsistencies, the struggle against sin
will be obvious. There may be failures, but there will be no hypocrisy.
what Law will these overcoming Christians judge in the future?
Will it be their own law—or interpretation of God's Law?
of the recent concerns aired during the Supreme Court confirmation
hearings has been the question of "natural law." The
position taken by many has been that a judge should be responsive
to the U.S. Constitution and not to his own conception of a higher
"natural law." In American judicial history, "natural
law" has been cited to justify decisions. "Natural Law"
was cited to affirm that slaves confiscated from a pirate ship
should be freed—while in another case "natural law"
was cited to affirm that a slave, as property, should be returned
to his owner! No wonder Senators were concerned about the nominee's
comments about "natural law." We should not be surprised
that men not governed by God's Laws would be nervous about someone's
interpretation of "higher laws."
judges will understand His Laws. Their interpretation and application
of those Laws will be consistent with God's wisdom, justice, love
and power. God's judges will be nurtured on his Law while they
walked the earth. "O, how love I thy law! It is my meditation
all the day. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou
hast taught me I have sworn and I will perform it, that I will
keep thy righteous judgments." (Psalm 119:97,102,106)
what is God's Law? Jesus summarizes the whole Law, "Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, soul and
strength and thy neighbor as thyself." But that Law has been
the farthest from man's experience. How to apply it? How to enforce
sensitive is God to the suffering of humanity? He is described
as the God of the widows, the fatherless, the needy and poor.
(Psalms 68:5; 72:4) Yet the widows, the fatherless, the needy
and poor have suffered long centuries with barely any justice
at all. Indeed, the whole groaning creation waits "for the
manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:19,22) They
are waiting for God's judges.
will share authority under Jesus, who is God's "Holy arm."
"Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad before
the LORD for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth. His
right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory for he
cometh to judge the earth with righteousness shall he judge the
world, and the people with equity." (Psalms 96-98) This time
has not come yet. Valiant have been the attempts of man to dispense
justice and judgment. Sad has been the success.
will this righteous judgment be established in the earth? Each
man deserves dignity and just rights. "Out of Zion shall
go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
(Isaiah 2:3) God's judges in heaven will have their visible representatives
on earth. Addressing Israel, God says, "And I will turn my
hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross and take away
all thy tin: And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and
thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called,
The City of Righteousness, the faithful city." (Isaiah 1:25,26)
judges will be Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the worthies of old.
They are fathers of faith to the Christian. But they will be children
of the Church in the Kingdom: "Instead of thy [the kings
daughter's] fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make
princes in all the earth." (Psalm 45:12-16)
one of the closing promises of Jesus to his followers will be
fulfilled. The Church will be able to render equitable judgment
to the groaning creation crying for justice. "Ye are they
which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint
unto you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto me, that ye
may sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
(Luke 22:28-30) Then no citizen of the Kingdom need fear an unfair
decision when God's judges represent Him.
I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given
unto them and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."