Category Archives: healing

Is God A Judge? What Is God’s Judgment? Who Gets Judged?

What is God’s judgment and who gets judged?

Many Christians believe God’s judgment happens when He comes back. He will separate the goats from the sheep. God will get those nasty evil people who refused to repent and ask Jesus into their lives.

My goodness what a vindictive and punitive mindset to have about God who loved the world!

Scary judgment versus True judgment

Judgment is a confusing and scary topic. Religion makes it so.

If we do not understand His judgment through His everlasting lovingkindness, then it will continue to be intimidating, unsettling, and fearful.

Understanding of true judgment comes when we recognize that everyone is made in the image of God, God does not make bad reflections, and He sent His Son to restore this truth.

Is God A Judge?

Does God judge?

Sadly religious Christianity preaches that God is a judge – meaning, someday He will deal with all this sin in the world and all those sinners. He will pound the gavel and declare “guilty” or “innocent”.

Really?

What do we do with the following scriptures that negate this religious vindictive punitive mindset?

  • God didn’t send His Son to judge the world, but that the world be saved through Jesus. (Jn 3:17)
  • The Father judges no one (nothing) but gave all judgment to the Son. (Jn 5:22)
  • I can do nothing of Myself. 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. (Jn 5:30)
  • You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. (Jn 8:15)
  • …I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. (Jn 12:47)
  • God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them. (2Cor 5:19)
  • While we were sinners, Christ died for us and justified us by His blood and saved us. (Rom 5:8,9)
  • When we were enemies we were reconciled to God through His Son’s death, and since reconciled we are saved. (Rom 5:10)
  • Through one man’s offense judgment resulted, so through one Man’s righteous act resulted justification (GR. acquittal, absolution, approval) to all. (Rom5:18)

Sure looks like God is a non-judge Judge! Or His definition of judging is certainly different than ours.

Example of non-Judge judging

When Jesus said, “you judge according to the flesh, I judge no one”, He was speaking to those judging the woman caught in adultery. The self-righteous wanted to stone her to death, because the law commanded it.

But, Jesus had no words of condemnation. He came to fulfill (perfect) the law. Its perfection meant He spoke to her true identity. When He said ‘go and sin no more’, He didn’t mean do not commit adultery ever again. Jesus was exposing her emptiness and speaking of her true identity.

Sin (hamartia) means to have no share, to have no part, to be without, to be empty, to have no substance, to miss the mark.

Our mark, our identity, our part, our origin is God and He made us to enjoy and reflect His fullness of goodness. When we do things that don’t reflect Him we are without substance, without share. We are left empty as are others affected by our lack.

Jesus did not judge her actions, He spoke to her true being and for her “to be” so!

Meaning of Judge and Judgment

judge (krínō) – I judge, decide, to separate, distinguish, think good

judgment (krísis) – a decision, a judgment, divine judgment

Now, isn’t it interesting that ‘judge’ also means ‘think good’?

If “God is good and all the time God is good.”, then why wouldn’t His judgment be to ‘think good’ of all of us? Certainly something to think about.

Dig In

  • We tend to see judgment as a negative thing. We hope to escape God’s judgment because we believe it will be fierce. How quick we are to gloss over – God did not come to judge, but to save the whole wide world!
  • God’s judgment is reconciliation, restoration, salvation. The Greek word for salvation means deliverance, preservation, healing, wholeness. God is not against man, He is for man – His wondrous reflection. We have believed lies about ourselves. God’s judgment dealt a death blow to those lies and falsehoods. One day He is coming to make it very clear who we all really are, in the meantime He is bringing this truth here and now. Yay!
  • If we understood what His judgement really means, then exceeding joy would be our confidence and perspective. One big result – we would judge with a “righteous judgment” – just like His.

Does Faith Have Joy or Works?

We tend to think of faith as something we do.

In my former religious-traditions-walk I was taught there were things I needed to do to prove my faith and grow in faith. For example:

  • Memorize scripture, especially ‘faith’ passages
  • Declare scriptures out loud – the thinking is that if you speak it then it has more power
  • Fasting is necessary
  • Have quiet time and worship time
  • Pray in the Spirit often
  • Listen to faith teachings
  • Have positive confessions and don’t acknowledge negative circumstances
  • ‘Name it and claim it’

Looks like, to have faith, we must do something. It is up to us. Many Christians have been taught that without faith you can’t do mighty signs and wonder, can’t heal, and can’t advance the kingdom of God. He is looking for spiritual giants – after all there is a war to fight and we need more faith!

What a misunderstanding of faith!

Little did I realize, back then, all those ‘to do’ things were keeping me from TRUE faith and joy, and fullness.

Do you realize that joy is a natural part of faith?

Paul effortlessly and gladly demonstrated this faith dynamic in his repetitive words of, “Rejoice! Again, I say rejoice!”, while imprisoned in a dark cell. (Php 4:4)

Paul acknowledged the Philippians’ “joy of the faith”. (Php 1:25)

Then Paul extolled how he was filled with joy remembering the genuine faith that was in Timothy. (2Tim 1:4,5)

Check out the Greek to get the fullest meaning of Paul’s joy about faith:

Paul was

  • filled (plēróō  – to make full, complete)
  • with joy (chara – joy, delight greatly, gladness)
  • when he called (lambanó – to take hold of, to lay hold by aggressively (actively) accepting what is available)
  • to remembrance (hupomnésis – remembrance, recollection, putting in mind, a reminder
  • the genuine (anupokritos – unfeigned, without hypocrisy, sincere, no phoniness from a hidden agenda)
  • faith (pistis – faith, trust, belief, confidence. From root peithô – to persuade, be persuaded. Faith is God’s divine persuasion on the human heart. Faith is always received from God, never generated by us.)

that was in Timothy.

Was Paul working up joy when he was in the midst of prison? No! Paul’s joy flowed from the faith by which he was persuaded. He knew who he was in Christ Jesus, and circumstances did not alter his confidence, trust, and faith. Joy remained because it is naturally and spiritually a part of true faith.

Paul saw this same faith in Timothy. It was genuine. True faith has no pretenses, no striving, no performance, no requirements, no hype. True faith is rock steady, full of rest, and certainty. Now, who wouldn’t have joy with that kind of faith?!

If you have uncertainty in your walk with God, if you think you waver in your faith, then please realize you have not heard the truth about genuine faith. He wants to persuade you with the truth of real faith and joy. And He will do it because having His faith is knowing your true identity. He wants you to get it. He wants to whack you with the joy of faith!

Dig In

  • Paul said, “I live by the faith OF the Son of God.” (Gal 2:20, emphasis mine) Okay, it’s His faith. Then remember how much joy Jesus has over us? (Prov 8:31) His great delight came out of His faith about us. He was fully persuaded that who He made in His image was perfect. What a huge gift His faith is to us!
  • If you have gotten caught up in all the ‘works’ of faith that religion says you need to do, then ask Him to free you from all that misunderstanding and striving. Then enter into His joy of faith.His Gift of Joy of Faith! Receive! Go ahead, receive – there are no ‘strings’ attached, but hey, maybe a bow of ribbons for fun!
  • “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence on account of His faith.” (Eph 3:12) When we grasp we have His faith – talk about certainty! Let’s get certain! It is part of fullness upon fullness!

Prophetic Senses In The Newtown Tragedy

How does one not break into tears or get choked up when viewing the images of the aftermath of Newtown’s devastating loss? Indeed, the untimely death of so many precious little lives and the adults that cared for them is gripping to the core. Truly our nation mourns for these families that have suffered such loss.Newtown aftermath
In the midst of watching these events unfold via television newscasts I was struck by the word “inexplicable” that someone used while being interviewed about the horrendous tragedy that struck Sandy Hook Elementary School. That seemed like an appropriate word – how do you explain such carnage?

But ‘in the Lord’ it does not have to be “inexplicable” and there can be clarity. There is a prophetic dynamic in the Lord that is available for us to access in the midst of difficulty, confusion, heartache, and needed answers.  He wants us to walk in wisdom, understanding, and discernment.

He brings light to dark situations. In fact the word says, “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”(Jn 1:5) Even in the natural before dawn can break forth it takes the dark night. If we look to the Lord in the darkness, light will surely come. Understanding will unfold even as the dawn will progress to the noonday sun and shadows will be no more. His Light will cause all shadows of fear, confusion, and doubt to flee.

The world’s way can only process at a lower level when trying to figure out great loss – looking for motive, for mental or emotional issues, for broken relationships, etc. to try and explain the inexplicable. These certainly play a part and might seem to be the root causes. But there is another hidden deeper root that is usually not spoken of because of complete ignorance or lack of understanding.

Without knowing this deeper dark root it is easy to just blame God. If He is so good and He is in charge, then how could He allow this?  Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Again, if we do not go deeper in understanding we will walk this life angry, bitter, confused, and/or hindered. We will miss out on His fullness. He wants us full no matter the difficulty.

A television anchor came close to exposing this hidden dark root. He said, “Evil has visited Newtown.”

Evil is the operative word here and indeed evil visited Newtown. The demonic is very real. Satan and his demons are malicious and relentless. They work through man’s selfish and broken flesh to incite destruction, perversion, fear, and doubt, along with other negative effects. They hinder us from living  abundant lives. They work to twist our understanding of who God really is. Most of the world and, even many Christians, fail to realize or grasp the cosmic warfare that is going on around us, let alone the demonic influence among us and for some, within.

Though these dark forces might look like they are in charge or winning, the good news is this is one of the very reasons Jesus came –  “to destroy the works of the devil”. (1Jn 3:8) Further good news – He has empowered His people to deal with these dark forces.

As I waited on the Lord to look for prophetic signs in this tragedy several things became evident. The dark side was obviously at work, but the Lord was clear and present. These prophetic indications bring me great hope and confidence. He always trumps Satan.

The meanings of personal names, words, titles, functions, etc. can be significant. Symbolic meanings of numbers and colors can be also important. Processing these types of things help  in trying to understand difficult or confusing circumstances, and are also of benefit in interpreting dreams. For my limited exposure to this tragic situation I found the following to bring some understanding and eternal perspective.

Prophetic things to consider:

  • Sandy Hook Elementary – the meaning of the name Sandy is ‘defending men’. Much defending and protecting happened at this school on that fateful day.
  • Adam, the killer – meaning of Adam is ‘to be red, earth’. Adam, the name of the first man, is symbolic of God’s marvelous creation of man and also, sadly, fallen man. The name Adam can symbolize the brokenness and depravity that resides in our flesh as a result of the fall. Yet One came to rescue ‘man’ from dark ways and broken relationship with Him. All because He so loved the world.
  • Nancy, shot by her son Adam, – the meaning of Nancy is ‘grace’. Satan hates grace and would like to annihilate it. But he never will. “Of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” (Jn 1:16) “Where ‘sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.” (Rom 5:20) Amazing grace is being poured out profusely in Newtown.
  • 20 children were killed – the number 10 is scripturally symbolic of ‘trial or testing’. Here, the ten is doubled – hence, double the trial and testing. He can use this trial to increase faith and endurance, that His people may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (Ja 1:2-4)
  • 8 boys were killed – the number eight is scripturally symbolic of ‘new beginnings, regeneration’. Also the sum of Jesus’ name in the Greek is ‘888’. In Jesus there is always new beginning and regeneration for ‘man’ (symbolized by the eight boys).
  • 12 girls were killed – the number twelve is scripturally symbolic of ‘divine government, apostolic fullness, divine power, rule, anointing’. Those in Christ are known as His bride. She is called to rule and reign with power and authority. Satan hates the Bride of Christ. The loss of so many little girls is symbolic of the enemy’s hatred of the love of His life, His Bride. God told Satan in the garden after the fall – “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Gn 3:15) Jesus triumphed over the enemy and He will do it through His reigning Bride.
  • 6 adults at the school were killed – the number six is scripturally symbolic of ‘man, the Beast, Satan, imperfection, sin, fallen human nature’.  It is also scripturally symbolic of a ‘place of refuge’. Though the enemy manifest himself that day by destroying six adults and using the  fallen flesh of a hurting young man, those six adults were a refuge to all those little ones in that school.
  • The children were a picture of Jesus’ love for children – “Let the children alone, do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Mt 19:14 “Unless you are converted and become like children you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3-4) The openness, dependency, simplicity, and abandoned love of children is dear to the Lord. Satan thought he could take a swipe at them but the word says these little ones angels in heaven continually see the face of Jesus’ Father who is in heaven. (Mt 18:10) God’s huge love and care were encircling these little ones even in the midst of horror and death. He will also be ministering to the surviving Sandy Hook Elementary children who were there on that horrendous day.
  • The teachers were targeted. Teachers are so special in their ingrained desire to impart life lessons and knowledge to children. They have a genuine care for their students, their well being, and their success. They are passionate in wanting others to learn and grow. Jesus was also a Teacher who imparted eternal truths to His students. He deeply desires that His disciples mature and grow. The enemy hates life-giving teaching and the heart found in good teachers. Satan thought he could destroy some teachers but they rose up to the higher call to protect and comfort those in their charge. The heart of these teachers won, not Satan.
  • Newtown – I found that name very prophetic. Newtown is picture of community, of family. God is our Heavenly Father who cares deeply about family. He loves community. His heart aches for their loss and pain. He will heal them. Newtown also speaks of ‘new’, and in light of this situation speaks of hope. He will do something new in Newtown. (Is 43:19)

No death or destruction instigated by demons or man’s flesh can match the resurrection power of God. He is good and He cares. He will redeem this awful tragedy. There will be many testimonies of His grace and goodness. The enemy thought he won, but God always trumps evil.

His grace, comfort, and love will prevail in Newtown.

Dig In:

  • As His children, we do not have to be confused and overwhelmed by difficult  or horrendous circumstances that happen at large or that directly impact our lives.
  • He wants us to grow in prophetic understanding no matter what happens. When we look for and discover the prophetic in any situation we will find encouragement, edification, reassurance, comfort, insight, and rest.  He really is at work in every situation. He wants us to see that. Ask Him to open your eyes to really ‘see’.
  • We are not to be ignorant of or fearful of Satan, demons, or their schemes. (2Cor 2:11) Spiritual warfare is happening all the time. He has equipped us to fight. (Eph 6:11-12) We have been given authority and power over every dark force. We are called to defeat them and be more than overcomers. It is part of growing in God’s fullness.

Fullness for Aurora, CO

How does one make sense of vicious random murder of innocent movie goers and a booby trap of bombs in the murderer’s apartment?

Where is God in this kind of slaughter? Where is fullness of life among so much death? Where is fullness among so much physical and emotional pain?Aurora vigil

When we can get past the loss, the shock, the anger, the outrage, the confusion then there is hope of finding answers in Him.

It is easy to focus on the natural realm and forget, or don’t even know, about our enemy in the spirit realm of evil. These demonic forces can take advantage of or may I say ‘feed off of’, man’s flesh (in all its selfishness, anger, hurts, abuse, neglect, loss, despair, rejection, etc.) for its own destructive purposes. The enemy hates people, for they are made in the image of God and have great destiny in Jesus Christ. The enemy and his demonic hordes will do ‘whatever’ to keep people from coming into truth and bring doubt on God’s goodness and sovereignty.

One third of Jesus’ ministry was casting out demons, and He sent His disciples to do the same. Why would we think this spiritual warfare has ceased? Paul said we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and rulers of the darkness…and that…the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritually minded for the pulling down of strongholds raised up against the knowledge of God. (Eph 6:12 2Cor 10:3,4)

With that awareness, what kind of demonic influence was going on prior to and during the movie premiere of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’? What kind of dark knight really rose that night? Does that let James Holmes off the hook? Absolutely not! But what is the bigger picture? What is the cosmic battle going on for lives?

What happened to Holmes that opened him up to such dark thoughts and actions? Desperate people do desperate things. Only God knows a heart. Only God knows the whole story of a man. Where does fullness fit in for someone like this mass murderer? The word says, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” Jn 1:16   I have to say ‘all’ is ALL – that is all of us. How God works all this out for good and life is part of the mystery and goodness of His beauty. Somehow, sometime God’s love and redemption will wind its way into the hearts of those that have suffered loss in this Aurora tragedy. His justice is pure and sure. His mercies are new every morning. He is grace upon grace.

Darkness seemed to triumph on that dark night when the Joker seemed to have his day. But Light always shines in the darkness. (Jn 1:5) Light overcame darkness and Light will overcome this darkness. Because of that fullness will come.

Lord, You are the God of all comfort. Bring Your supernatural Comfort to those affected by this painful night. Thank you for the comfort of others touching those in need. May Your healing presence be profound and real upon those in emotional and physical pain. Give us eyes to see the bigger picture. We need understanding. Where the enemy meant evil You always have a way of bringing forth life and good. Thank you for Life moving in many lives because of this tragedy. Release Fullness for Aurora. Amen