Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)


Ms 75a, 1900

Judge Not


December 18, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 366; HP 34. +Note

“Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” [Matthew 7:1, 2.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 1

These words were spoken by the divine Teacher, our Lord Jesus Christ. God has not given men power to read hearts. He has not placed them in the judgment seat, to pass sentence upon their fellow men. God has committed all judgment to His Son. Why are not human beings more careful in regard to passing judgment upon one another? Let us seek to realize our own ignorance. When we have a full realization of this, we shall not speak evil of our brethren. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 2

God has forbidden us to think or speak evil of our brethren. “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law. But if thou judgest the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save or to destroy. Who art thou that judgest another?” [James 4:11, 12.] Those who act toward their fellow men without mercy will one day feel themselves the need of mercy. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 3

Christians have a most important work to do. They are commissioned by God to watch for souls as they that must give an account. They are to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering. God said to the prophet Ezekiel, “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, if he do not turn from his iniquity, he shall die in it, but thou hast delivered thy soul.” [Ezekiel 33:7-9.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 4

To speak the Word of God with faithfulness is a work of the greatest importance. But this is an entirely different work from continually censuring, thinking evil, and drawing apart from one another. Judging and reproving are two different things. God has laid upon His servants the work of reproving in love those who err; but He has forbidden and denounced the thoughtless judging so common among professed believers in the truth. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 5

Actions speak louder than words, and those who draw apart from their brethren in the ministry show plainly that they do not wish to work with them, that they surmise evil of the men to whom the Lord has given a place in His work. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 6

Those who show a lack of faith and confidence in their brethren grieve the Spirit of God. The Lord calls upon us to put away all haughtiness, to manifest sincere sympathy for the erring, who are seeking to recover themselves from the snare of the enemy. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 7

“Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye, and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:3-5.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 8

“Who is a wise man, and endued with wisdom among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.” [James 3:13, 14.] Let not those who cherish feelings of envy and strife claim advanced spiritual knowledge, for by so doing they lie against the truth. “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” [Verses 15-17.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 9

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. ... the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and is set on fire of hell. ... The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” [Verses 1, 2, 6, 8.] Only by the Lord’s help can we bring our thoughts and words into subjection to Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 10

The very first work we are to do is to unite in the bonds of Christian fellowship. Those who are working for God should put away all unkind criticism, and draw together in unity. They need to study the Lord’s teaching in regard to this. Christ desires His soldiers to stand shoulder to shoulder, united in the work of fighting the battles of the cross. He desires the union between those who work for Him to be as close as the union between Him and His Father. Those who have felt the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit will heed the lessons of the divine Instructor, and will show their sincerity by doing all in their power to work in harmony with their brethren. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 11

“Take heed to thyself and to the doctrine; for in so doing thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” [1 Timothy 4:16.] “Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren; behold, the Judge standeth at the door.” [James 5:7-9.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 12

“Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.” [Matthew 5:7-9.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 13

“Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” [Romans 2:1-3.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 14

It is the one who has every reason to distrust his own principles who is keenly alive to the failings of others. If there were not some lack in our own experience, we would not be so suspicious of our brethren. It is he whose conscience condemns him who passes judgment so readily. Let every one tremble and be afraid of himself. Let him see that his own heart is right with God. Let him weed his own garden; he will find enough to keep him busily employed. If he does this work faithfully [he] will not have time to find fault with the gardens of others. Instead of judging others, let us judge ourselves. Let us make sure that we are among the number who are “elect according to the knowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” [1 Peter 1:2, 22.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 15

Peace and righteousness and love should fill the heart of every believer in Christ. Let the leaven of truth work by its sanctifying power in your lives. Truth is a working element. It leads us on to aggressive warfare, not against our brethren, but against satanic agencies. The battle in which we are called upon to fight is not a warfare “against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12.] Do not think that you are doing God’s work by warring against one another. This work is done to the shame of those who claim to believe the truth. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 16

Criticize yourself as closely and severely as you know you deserve. Let your anxiety be not to find fault with your brethren, but to obtain more and still more knowledge of Christ, and to exert an influence which is a savor of life unto life. “Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” [Verse 13.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 17

Christ’s death and resurrection has opened before every soul an unlimited source of power from which to draw. This power will enable you to overcome the most objectionable traits in your character. God’s supply of grace is waiting the demand of every sinsick soul. It will heal every spiritual disease. By it hearts may be cleansed from all defilement. It is the gospel remedy for every one who believes. It unites human beings with Christ in the performance of good works, enabling them to run in the path of obedience, representing to the world the meekness and lowliness they have learned from the Saviour. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 18

He who is wearing Christ’s yoke has no time to judge others. His whole time is devoted to the rescue of sinners. He watches for opportunities to show that he has something worth imparting, something of the highest value, even the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 19

Christ says to His followers, “Abide in me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.” But in order to bring forth much fruit, we must be imbued with the vivifying, sanctifying power of Christ, for He says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:4, 5.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 20

Our churches have no excuse for being without faith and without power. Christ says, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you, continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” [Verses 7-12.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 21

We are rapidly nearing the end. Strife and war and bloodshed and wickedness of every kind are making our world as it was in the days of Noah. Shall Christians war among themselves, when their one interest should be to advance God’s kingdom? 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 22

The first chapter of First Corinthians contains instruction which all who are workers together with God should follow. Paul heard that there was contention among the church at Corinth, and he wrote to them, saying, “I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment.” [Verse 10.] Those who practice this instruction will reveal in their lives the purity of Christ, and will manifest His love to one another. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 23

Paul says, “I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” [1 Corinthians 2:2.] Instead of seeking to find fault with our brethren, let us dwell on the great love of Christ. The Saviour humbled Himself to bear the reproach of men. Step by step He descended in the valley of humiliation that He might stand at the head of humanity, a perfect pattern in human flesh for every son and daughter of Adam. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5.] Let those who name the name of Christ study His work. When divine inspiration comes to them, there will be repentance and confession and humiliation of soul in every church. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 24

Listen, all who have ears to hear: “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, I will liken him unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” [Matthew 7:24-27.] 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 25

Let the church arise in the name of the Lord, and cast off all the works of darkness. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord hath riseth upon thee.” [Isaiah 60:1.] Heed the instruction God has given regarding the cultivation of patience, kindness, and longsuffering. Bear with one another and forgive one another. God has placed us in this world in companionship with one another. Let us walk together in love, bending our energies to the work of saving souls. As we thus serve God in holy companionship, we shall prove that we are laborers together with Him. 15LtMs, Ms 75a, 1900, par. 26