Submitted by: Deacon N. Wells
Related scriptures: Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 & Psalms 119:137-152
Faithful Believer’s in Yeshua are called to distinction. However it does not agree with boastful arrogance. In keeping the proper perspective of what Adonai desires:
- Distinction is a difference or contrast between similar things or people. Distinction sets someone or something apart from others.
Shouldn’t this character be the natural outflow from those who walk and abide in the presence of the Most High, Almighty G-D, the One Who’s very Name is Holy?? We who are called by His Name, and set apart for holiness, should be distinct. Yet, by Adonai’s standard we do not walk in distinction. For this reason the Emissary Shaul (Paul), has to call this to our attention today, as well as those Believers in Corinth.
In this passage we are being called to discern and make a distinction concerning the wordly/anti-messiah spirit at work amongst those who we would like to call “brethren”, but in fact in Mark 7:6, Yeshua calls them, “hypocrites”, who honor him with their lips, but whose hearts are far from him.
We are being called to make a distinction and not to become allies with those who profess to know Yeshua as L-RD and Messiah but are not obedient to His Word or His Spirit. We are to distinguish those “brothers” who are obedient to their old nature, as noted also in Galatians 5:20 and as a result have no share in the Kingdom of G-D. The Bible says, by these practices, they are slaves to the old nature. 1 John 5:4 tells us the opposite is true for Children of G-D, “everything that has G-D as its Father has overcome the world”. No longer tied to a yoke of slavery, instead they are heirs to the Kingdom. We must know and distinguish the difference. These contrasting character traits are first spiritual and therefore must be assessed by the spirit.
Many of us may be saying, “but L-RD, I love my “brother”, I love my “sister”“. But when confronted with a similar situation, Yeshua replied,”whoever does what G-D wants is my brother, sister or mother.” Trust Yah with your “brother” or “sister”. The Bible teaches, through the power of our L-RD, the old nature is destroyed, in order that our spirit is saved! Adonai Elohim is holy and his purpose in judgment is our deliverance and progressive sanctification.
The judge Yeshua calls for, engaged by the Holy Spirit, has qualifications to assess and authority for giving decisions. The L-RD’s commissioning of this qualification and the authority to judge is granted amongst a community of G-D for the first time in Exodus 18:21-23. Adonai used Jethro to instruct Moshe regarding granting of spiritual authority on 70 leaders, qualifying them to assess, conclude and settle matters within the community. Jethro encouraged Moshe saying, “and God is directing you to do it — you will be able to endure; and all these people too will arrive at their destination peacefully”.
Shaul/Paul emphasizes, in exercising judgment, although there may be pain, the authority and integrity of the Body of Believers cannot be compromised. There is no room for people pleasing at the cost of someone’s deliverance, or further entrapments of others in the community affected by confederate spirits being allowed to work. Our authority should model the spirit and goal of Torah which is salvation in Christ.
Judging involves discerning and rendering critique concerning Torah principles such as: holy vs. profane, obedience or rebellion, unity in spirit vs. discord, arrogance vs. humility, integrity vs. a lying spirit, and ultimately proper vs. misplaced worship. For those not so readily apparent motives, we’re to patiently rely on the ministry of the Holy Spirit, trusting in time He will bring hidden motives to light.
Although it is not pleasant to bring criticism against a “so-called” brother, we are entrusted to do so. The purpose of Shaul/Paul’s directive is not for spiteful condemnation or a practice in self-righteousness, but for protecting the people of G-D, in order to preserve the holiness of the community. As well as serve as a potential impetus for repentance and deliverance for the one who’s practicing wicked behaviors. Shaul/Paul later goes on to declare G-D’s people will judge the universe and even angels, are we incompetent to judge these “minor matters”?
By the enablement of His spirit, our obedience to Adonai’s instruction concerning judging is necessary for our sanctification. Firm adherence to His standard is what will make us a people of distinction, being equipped to rule and reign with Yeshua.
Three Summary Points
In executing judgment, YHVH is paving the way for our deliverance. He’s anticipating our eventual repentance; He stands ready to receive those who will turn back to Him. (Judges 2:16, Luke 15, 1 Cor. 5:4-5, 2 Cor. 2:5-11)
Anyone entrusted to judge must know the L-RD, His rulings and standards (Exodus 21-23) entreat wisdom and discernment from YHVH (1Sam. 2:18, 1Kings 3:9, Ezek. 44:24) and without intimidation or complicity, execute this great responsibility in Yeshua’s name (John 7:24, 1 Cor. 6:5) (Opposite character found in Eli & Samuel’s sons- 1 Sam 2:12 and 8:1)
By enablement of the Holy Spirit, our obedience to Adonai’s instruction concerning judging is necessary for our sanctification. Firm adherence to His standard makes us a people of distinction, being equipped to rule and reign with Yeshua. (1 Cor. 6:2-3)