Updated: Jan 13
The nauseating cry of “judge-not” (expressed in more ways than one) is a sign of the ungodly and apostate day we live in. This heretical philosophy has spread everywhere in these end times and is one of the philosophies that lies at the heart of the formation of the one-world apostate church. It is the devil’s winning ticket, attempting to forbid God’s people to judge everything by His Word and reject all that is contrary to it. Essentially this error calls good (judging) evil and evil (not judging) good, in the name of tolerance and sentimentalism.
Some cloak their dislike for judging by misusing and abusing Rom 14 or Matt 7:1 (amongst other verses) claiming we shouldn’t judge the actions and decisions of others. That’s both egregious and dangerous, revealing attendance to scripture with preconceived biases and eisegetical (false) interpretation or simply an inability to interpret. There are only few specific areas that we don’t judge, wherein we have liberty. Namely the food we eat and holidays we keep, things the bible is silent on, which is what Rom 14 teaches. There is absolutely no liberty in not judging anything scripture commands or speaks of. Matt 7:1 interpreted in context (vv. 1-5) is a warning to the hypocrite who is always the lost.
Their judgment is always hypocritical (read Lk 6:37-45 and Rom 2:1-5). This chapter (Matt 7) itself requires judgement of peoples fruit, what sort of tree they are, whether they’re false teachers (wolves, dogs and pigs) or true teachers, and to discern the narrow way from the broad way (vv 6-20). Gods Word demands and commands us to judge, and those of the truth will judge indeed, for it an evidence of the new birth: e.g. Lev 19:15, 35-37; Ps 37:30; Pr 21:3, 15; Ze 8:16; Matt 7:5-6, 15-20; Jn 7:24; Lk 12:57; Ac 17:11; Rom 16:17-18; 1 Cor 2:15; 5:1-13; 6:1-5; 10:15; 14:29; Phil 1:9-10; 1 Th 5:21; 1 Jn 4:1-2; 2 Jn 1:9-11. This is not an exhaustive list by any means; the Bible is full of this teaching.
“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?” (1 Cor 6:2-3).
Jesus commanded, "Judge not according to the appearance [the visage], but judge righteous judgment,” (Jn 7:24), a quote from Lev 19:15,35-37. God loves judgment: “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice" (Pr 21:3). Christ told a man, "Thou hast rightly judged" (Lk 7:43), always expecting judgment from people: “Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?" (Lk 12:57). Paul demanded his teachings to be judged: “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say” (1 Cor 10:15), including his gospel (Gal 1:8-9). Those that did exactly that, he called noble (Ac 17:11). Wise men—the saved—judge. Fools—the lost—do not, but believe every word (Pr 14:15,18; Rom 16:18).
The fool is yet in his natural estate, and doesn’t have discernment to judge (1 Cor 2:14), “But he that is spiritual [saved] judgeth all things,” for he has “the mind of the Lord.” (1 Cor 2:15-16). It is an inherited right for the true believer to judge, inherited at conversion when he received the indwelling Holy Spirit of truth (2 Jn 1:2; 1 Jn 2:27) and the mind of the Lord (1 Cor 2:9-16). Is judging grievous? Absolutely not. "It is joy to the just to do judgment" (Pr 21:15). JOY. God’s Word says that. Is it unloving to judge? Quite the opposite. True Biblical and godly “love … abound[s] yet more and more in knowledge and in ALL judgment;” (Phil 1:9-10). God is love. No love, no God. God is also a Just God, a God that loves justice above everything. “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (Pr 21:3).
Discernment is judgment based on a standard. If you can judge, then you have a basis for judgment. If you can't judge, then it wouldn’t matter. The basis is God’s Word, and by it he will test, prove, reprove, warn, etc; he will judge everything. But what these truths further indicate, is that those who claim not to judge or don’t judge righteously (which is by God’s Word) and/or do not like to be judged, are actually unsaved hypocrites (Matt 7:1-5; Rom 2:1-5; Lk 6:37-49). The Bible says it's the "wicked [that] … refuse to do judgment" (Pr 21:7) for "Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things” (Pr 28:5), therefore they “judge all things” (1 Cor 2:15).
In 1 Cor 6:1-6 Paul says its a shame to not judge, a mark of someone potentially lost (It’s no coincidence that the immediate context contrasts the lost—1 Cor 6:9-10, and the truly saved—1 Cor 6:11). “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? …I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” (1 Cor 6:2,5). He demanded the Corinthian church to establish people to judge! “If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.” (1 Cor 6:4).
Those like Paul that are truly saved have no problem judging and being judged, because they walk in righteousness and obedience to Gods Word, not as servants of men but servants of Christ (1 Cor 7:22-23; Gal 1:10). “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Ps 119:165). Scripture says it’s lost people (hypocrites) that don’t like to be judged, they hate reproof and rebuke, to be corrected (Pr 19:25; 12:1; 13:1). “An ungodly witness scorneth judgment” (Pr 19:28). Hypocritical judgment is one of the “evil treasure[s]” that comes forth out of the lost heart, which “bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” (Lk 6:45).
Righteous judging (Jn 7:24), even though it may be bold and “harsh” (as seen throughout scripture, e.g. Matt 23; Ac 13:8-12), has always been a characteristic of the saint. The judgment of the just is just, just like their Justifier: “I [Jesus] can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (Jn 5:30). Righteous judging is using Gods Word as the standard by which we judge, by just balance and weight, not opinion or speculation. Throwing around opinions and philosophies is not righteous judgment. The basis must be Scripture. The issue is people don’t want to be judged.
What saith the Scriptures should always be the question, but sadly often not the case, in spite of the lip-service to it. Instead of righteous judging (Pr 18:13), a matter is answered before its heard; truth isn’t pursued but fables. Perhaps fodder to feed an appetite of carnal curiosity or maybe power and control? Or maybe evil intentions of defamation and libel? It’s foolish nevertheless and often proof of a lost estate. Paul says in Rom 15:14, “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish [reprove, warn—judge] one another.” Notice the condition for judging: “full of goodness, filled with all knowledge.”
Sometimes judging is judged as being not very “nice.” Being “nice” is more important than being Biblical. Soft spoken and tolerant dialoguing is what people want, which may be sentimentalism, but it’s not love. They put up a serious front and call you all sorts of things when you judge (e.g. “legalist,” “Pharisee," “hater," “mean,” ”unloving,” “sower of discord,” “divisive,” “air of superiority,” or some other personal attack). Instead of condemning the error/sin or heretic, they condemn the one who warns and judges, the very opposite of what De 25:1-4 demands and become guilty of Pr 17:15: “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.”
Wasn’t Paul “nice” when he called false teachers “liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.” (Ti 1:12)? Or when Peter said: “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed…” (2 Pe 2:12)? John judged pastor Diotrephes to be an evil and unsaved man (3 Jn 1:9-11). John the Baptist judged the Pharisees and Sadducees as unsaved and under God’s wrath (Matt 3:7-10). God the Son did the same (Matt 23; Jn 8). John the Baptist judged king Herod “harshly” and lost his head for it (Mk 6). Paul did not hesitate to judge people as saved if there was evidence (1 Th 1:3-4, 9-10; Col 1:4-6; 1 Cor 1:4-9) or unsaved if they didn’t continue in obedience to Gods Word (1 Cor 15:2; Gal 2:4-5; 5:1-12; etc).
The “judge-not” crowd is attempting to “muzzle the mouth of the ox that threadeth out the corn” (1 Cor 9:7-9; De 25:1-4). Sentimentality, an enemy of true Christianity, is the “love” of man divorced from the love of truth. Under the specious guise of broadened sympathies it cloaks a big lot of hypocrisy and moral decay. The “Christian” sentimentalist in our day is so kind to his fellow man that he’s willing to ignore the plain instructions of the Book of his alleged faith rather than bring him to account for error and any ungodly conduct. “Judge not that ye be not judged,” he quotes, unable to discern what Matt 7:1-5 actually teaches or what 1 Cor 2:15 says: “he that is spiritual judgeth all things.”
Righteous judging is, as we see, an evidence of true conversion (Lev 19:15, 35-37; Pr 21:3, 15; Ze 8:16; 1 Cor 2:9-16; 6:1-11; Phil 1:9-10). It started with salvation where the lost sinner, wicked and justly deserving of hell, judged himself to be just that, and fled to the mercy throne of God in repentance and faith in His Son and was gloriously born again. Indeed, “mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” (Jam 2:13). A life is then lived of self-judgment (1 Cor 11:28-32). One of the things we receive at salvation is the position of “kings and priests unto God” (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 1 Pet 2:9), ministers and ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor 5:17-20) and one element of these positions, among many, is judging all things (Jn 7:24; 1 Cor 2:15–6:6).
Judging is certainly not optional and includes judging sin (Eph 5:6-11; 1 Cor 5:1–6:6), error (Pr 19:27; 1 Tim 6:3-5), false doctrine and teachers (Rom 16:17-18; 2 Cor 11:4; Matt 7:15-20; Phil 3:17-19; 2 Jn 1:9-11), false brethren (Gal 2:4-5; Mal 3:18), false gospels (2 Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6-9; Ju 1:4), spiritual standing—saved or unsaved (1 Jn 1:1-3; 4:1; 2 Jn. 1:9; 1 Cor 2:14-16; Ezk 44:23; Mal 3:18), etc. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but TRY [to test; examine] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 Jn 4:1). Everything heard, read and watched must be judged, in church or personal (Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21; Jn 7:24; 1 Cor 2:15).
No church leader or teacher or otherwise is above being judged, corrected and reproved, and leaders even the more need to be tested, judged and proven (Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21; 1 Cor 10:15; 14:29; Jam 3:1). All sin and error is evil and every true believer will “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Rom 12:9), for they “that love the LORD, hate evil” (Ps 97:10) and “hate every false way” (Ps 119:128), yea they “Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate” (Am 5:14-15). Leaven must always be judged, reproved and corrected, whether sin (1 Cor 5:6) or false doctrine (Gal 5:9), for “a little leaven, leaventh the whole lump.”
Righteous judging is the byproduct of God’s Word “in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jer 20:9). To not judge is to not love the person (Pr 27:6; 28:23; 24:11-12; Ezk. 3:16-21; Rom 15:14; Phil 1:9-10) and its blatant disobedience to God’s Word, which may mean you don’t know God (1 Jn 2:3-5; Eph 2:10; Heb 10:36) or love God (1 Jn 3:22-24; 5:1-3; Jn 7:16-18; 14:23-24; 15:10-14) because “this is love, that we walk after his commandments.” (2 Jn 1:6).
“The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” (Ps 37:30-31).
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.” (Ze. 8:16-17).