Judges—Justice and Judgment

“O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee?. . . Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face.”  Psalm 89:8, 14

The untimely, sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia opened up a lightning fast political response with much controversy.

Justice for the People  

One may question why?  Would it not be consistent with those who claim to be upholders of a country’s Constitution to follow Rule of Law? Ideally, and in principle, personal political bias about this subject—either way—should remain out of the picture. The principle of balances and checks between the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary, as stated in the Constitution should be applicable to allow an “equitable process” for the benefit of all people.

Students of American Government—its processes and history—come face to face with principles of government expounded by early thinkers. The political logic set forth by John Locke in England, as well as the philosophies Jean Jacques Rousseau and Baron de Montesquieu in France—set forth the principles of liberty, human rights and separation of powers. Those ideals provided a pattern to model the newly born United States government. One might say they served as a compass.

However, winning a truly just society with “Liberty and Justice for All” has had a long and somewhat tortuous history. Gaining equality in voting rights—universal suffrage for men alone—took decades. It took a war to break the shackles of slavery. Achieving true practical equal rights for African Americans and others seems an endless task in a biased society. Granting the vote to women was hard won—taking over a century. Equal pay for equal work trudges along at the pace of a snail.

In 2016, the United States, being in a presidential election year, was already faced with many challenges and debates. With the unexpected passing of Associate Justice Scalia, a spotlight was cast on the Constitution’s procedure and timing of a nomination and confirmation of a replacement to the Supreme Court Bench.

Governance of a society functions best when the Rule of Law is both agreed upon and followed by all. “All” includes the highest ranking members of the government itself—down to those who are not even citizens. No one—not even a President—should be considered above the Law of the Land. Presidential candidates and members of political groups have already taken strong positions as to when such an Associate Justice should be nominated. Unfortunately, because of strongly held conservative and liberal positions, the minds of average citizens will likely be led to believe that the most important qualifications of the nominee may be boiled down to which end of the political spectrum—right or left—the nominee is aligned.

Qualified Judges  

Qualifications for such judges—without question—should include their knowledge, high personal integrity and their ability to use their life term of office as a Supreme Court Justice to enable them to act independently. They have generally, in fact, been considered among the most trustworthy members of society.

Biblically speaking: Moses charged judges of Israel to “judge righteously.” Though if the case was too complicated, the case should be referred to him for the final word.

Deuteronomy 1:16-17

“And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.”

Judges of Israel  

After Moses, Joshua judged Israel—and following him, judges continued to lead and rule in Israel for a period of 450 years—until Samuel the Prophet.

Acts 13:20-21

“And after these things [conquering and dividing the Land], about four hundred and fifty years, He gave judges — till Samuel the prophet; and thereafter they asked for a king. . . .” (YLT)

When Samuel was old, he appointed his sons also as judges. Sadly, Samuel’s sons were not of the same caliber as their father, “They were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice” (1 Samuel 8:1-3). When fallen human nature faces temptation, it cannot be trusted to judge justly—equitably.
In the days when King David made his son king over Israel, he appointed six thousand of the Levites to be officers and judges (1 Chronicles 23:1-4). Managing the nation was certainly going to require much judicial action!

Principles of Judgment  

Many people today tend to distrust the legal system as favoring the rich and fearfully assume that unless they can afford a very expensive lawyer—they will lose any their appeal for equity and justice. In a remarkably insightful in Proverbs (29:14 NIV), we read: “If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will be established forever.”

It should not surprise us that Jesus said specifically that his Father had given him authority to judge—in his Kingdom—which Apostle Peter identified as actually a thousand years long! God will then give all a fair opportunity to come to repentance in a safe and secure world in order to make their recovery.

1,000-Year Day of Judgment Judging is not merely handing down a guilty verdict and sentence. It actually first includes investigation and evaluation. In fact, the word for “Judgment” in the “Day of Judgment” is “krisis”(Greek) and definitely indicates a trial period—not just sentencing. Why? Because a “crisis” can go either way. Yes, God has planned the benefit a of period of judgment with Satan bound, “to deceive the nations no more” during His 1,000-year Kingdom ruled over by His Christ (Revelation 20:1-3).

Acts 17:31

“Because he hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained….He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead.”

Thus, while a small minority of earth’s billions has already chosen righteousness and have been following in Jesus’ footsteps for a “resurrection of life” in heaven—the majority of mankind will come back from their tombs for an opportunity of a “resurrection of judgment [krisis],” an opportunity in crisis for life on earth!

But, sadly, virtually all Christians have not understood (much less seen) the word “judgment” in its proper context. Biased translators have falsely rendered the Greek language incorrectly and what the readers are given is the word “damnation.” How can anyone take the liberty to falsify God’s Word, and smear His character, portraying Him as some monster that would torture his creation for eternity? Christians have had the hope stolen from them. Note the correct translation of John 5:29:

John 5:25-29

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in himself; and He gave him authority to execute judgment [St. 2920], because he is the Son of Man.

Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to [1] a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to [2] a resurrection of judgment [St. #2920].”  NASU

Kingdom on Earth  

In God’s Kingdom—for which we always pray (Matthew 6:10)—faithful Christians will not only reign as “kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6; 5:10), but they will also be Judges! “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? (1 Corinthians 6:2).” They will be sympathetically teaching and guiding mankind up the “Highway of Holiness” during those Thousand Years (Isaiah 35).

That “Highway” will be easy and wide—compared to the “Narrow Way” (Matthew 7:14) the Christian walks on now.  There will be “no lion” (vs. 9) as Satan to tempt people.  Satan will be bound. For each step of progress in righteous character, people will be rewarded with more and more perfect health and strength.

“A Ransom for All”  

God’s Plan for mankind has been and will be very successful. By providing his Son to die as a “ransom for all’ (1 Timothy 2:6), all people are assured of having a real opportunity under His Judges to be granted salvation for eternity.

Isaiah 35:8-10

“A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it.No lion [Satan] will be there. . . .But the redeemed will walk there, And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

Those who will have been rewarded with “the first resurrection” will sit on “thrones” and “will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4-7) But can they be trusted to do that kind of judging? They, Christ’s Bride, will have been found faithful as God’s New Creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). They will be the “first fruits,” but the “after fruits” will be the rest of the world who will be saved in the Day of Judgment. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:22, 23). So, after the trouble climaxes on earth—God’s Kingdom will bless all!

Who can be trusted?  Please write for a free copy of the Bible Study: The Judgment of the New Creation