We need to understand that judgments are not only about punishments. Many people are afraid of the judgments because they believe that God judges and punishes. They try not to touch this part of God’s character at all, because it is painful. No man likes punishment. But the judgments of God are the will of God. Our God has the Name of the Judge. Righteous Judge.
We will declare the Scriptures of this revelation of justice.
For example, some people ask: “Lord, reveal Your justice, because I am unlawfully accused!” And when the retribution of righteousness suddenly comes, it can be called judgments.
“Turn away my reproach, which I fear, for Your judgments are good” (Psalm 119:39). Here the psalmist understands that if the Lord doesn’t turn away the reproach that was unjust to this man, then there will be injustice. But he speaks of good judgments. He understands that evil judgments isn’t what refers to God, but the judgments of God are good. We call these judgments today to Marseilles, these judgments we call to Europe – good judgments, that is, the revelation of righteousness. If we take this understanding today, then we will not be afraid of the judgments. An innocent man is not afraid of judgment because he is justified. The lawyer, the prosecutor tells him that he is innocent, then he goes without fear to the court, because he knows he is innocent. The judgments of God are good.
«I remembered Your judgments of old, o Lord, and have comforted myself» (Ps.119:52) Think of that – the man comforted himself with the judgments. He must have realised that the manifested judgments were not meant for him, but for the guilty ones.
«Let my soul live, and it shall praise you; and let your judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; Seek your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments.» (Ps.119:175-176)
«With my soul I have desired you in the night. Yes, by my spirit within mw I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let grace be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord» (Isaiah 26: 9-10)
If we have a close look at what is happening outside the church we will see that the Lord is fulfilling His judgments. It exhorts us and brings revelation of righteousness.
«They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: «Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgment have been manifested». (Rev.15: 3-4)
The result of the revelation of the judgments shall be repentance of nations. And my prayer today is that God’s judgments be revealed.
Many Christians, who don’t penetrate into the reve
lation will judge this sermon – «How can you release judgments?!» – Yes, but not in the sense they mean. We release the revelation of the Righteous Judge and revelation of judgments that shall manifest. And through that nations shall come, shall be drawn and worship Him.
In the world of people there are examples of righteous judgment, when a criminal, who has committed serious crimes, like pedophilia or raping, are punished with serious sentence. And he has to be punished, otherwise he will continue in his wicked ways. We understand that righteous judgment ought to be here on earth.
I would name five types of the judgments that we should know.
The greatest judgment is the Judgment of White Throne for those people, who have not been justified by Christ – they shall stand before the White Throne. The white color is not actually the color of the Throne, because God is the One Who sits on cherubim, and the Throne has the appearance of fire. But white symbolizes neutrality, pure judgment with no compromise.
As the result of this Judgment the devil, death, hell, antichrist, the false prophet, Babylon and all who are not written in the Book of Life shall be cast in to the lake of fire. And it is of this judgment that Jesus said: “He who hears My Word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment” (John 5:24) But he will go straight to Christ the wedding feast.
The second judgment is the judgment seat of Christ, that’s a different thing. The Scripture says: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). There the Lord shall distribute rewards, recompense for the measure of the good we did in the body. I pray we are not put to shame at this judgment seat of Christ, where Christ Himself shall judge His children, Christians.
The next judgment that happens here on earth is the judgment of the Church. The Scripture says: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
When the Church separates people for their sinful ways, taking discipline measures, if a man doesn’t accept it this is foolish of him, because this is the decision of the church, not just one pastor. But when the church does it as the Lord’s Body, especially in issues of judgment or justification, it works, because the Scripture says, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matt.18:18)
“He breathed on them and said to them, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”(John 20:22-23). That is the kind of authority Jesus gave to His Church.
The fourth type of the judgment, which the Lord does on earth is punishment, when the Lord Himself punishes people. The Scripture says: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, when He scourges you. And scourges every son whom He receives.”(Heb.12:5-6) That is mercy, because if you aren’t punished here, then you will be punished in heaven. “But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world” (1Cor.11:32). Therefore, it is a great good when the Lord punishes His saints on earth, because if He doesn’t it means the man is a stranger to Him. You will never scourge someone else’s children, but if it’s your child behaving wrong you will certainly discipline him. “If you are without chastening… then you are illegitimate and not sons”. So we are not to reject God’s discipline. If the Lord punishes us that is good. That is why the prophet says, “Your judgments are good”. Do you understand? This is very powerful! This is a global revelation, so that we don’t fear His judgments, but even draw them, walk in the judgments or even take part in them as partakers in God’s grace.
In the book of Acts we read how Paul not once shook the dust off his feet, thus releasing God’s righteousness in those places. He used this method to release the power of their rejecting God and moved on.
The fifth kind of judgment is the best one, which will allow us to avoid all other judgments – that is to judge oneself. The Scripture says: “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world” (1Cor. 11:31-32)
I remember how brothers received a prophecy that God would judge them for their unrighteousness. Having mature understanding they said there was only one way to escape the revelation, which is to punish ourselves.
So this judgment of judging ourselves is the best kind when we prevent all other judgments. How can we judge ourselves? First of all, with our confession. Confession stirs shame, risk that people would not understand you, they will criticize you… Well, that’s part of the punishment. It’s this complex, this element, when you judge yourself there’s pain of the shame for your sin, and that’s part of punishing yourself. Therefore, do not be afraid, but go and confess.
“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged”. If God punishes us here it is so that in eternity we are not punished.
I remember one sister, whom we took from the street. She was unstable in her ways, she kept falling and then returning all the time. And she stole things from those sisters who received her. But once they called me to hospital where this Natasha was. I came to see her and saw she had no legs up to her hips, she got under a train being drunk and was thus crippled. But her face was shining, and she said: “Brother Roman, I am so grateful I lost my legs and not my soul”. I thought, Lord, was it so necessary for things to happen this way? The Scripture says: “It is better for you to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye…” Such weird things happen, but it is all for the sake of the eternity.
When we judge ourselves and receive this shame, restrain from taking the Lord’s Supper, we try to return debts or do good works, ask for forgiveness – this all is no pleasure, we do it all tearing off a piece of our heart, but we must have this custom, to judge ourselves. The Scripture tells us to judge ourselves and not our neighbor, begin with ourselves.
We need to understand the revelation of the judgments and not be afraid of them. People of God, who walk with Him, they move in cooperation with the judgments. This is my desire and I pray, Lord, take me into Your judgments, turn away this fear of the judgments. If you judge a city, and I have to prophesy to it, I shall prophesy it to the city, because I want to be a partaker, a helper in the judgments. Christ, being the Assistant of the Judge is not afraid of the judgments, but He does the same work.
The saints shall judge the world. We do not judge people, but we condemn sin.
«For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness». And «All the nation shall come and worship for Your judgments have been manifested». Today I urge us all that we do. have revelation of judgments.
Today here in Marseilles on these ancient ruins of the fourth century, in a sense, we are prophets who release the revelation of God’s judgments. We condemn what they did with Christians, how they shed their blood. Saint Victor was martyred with millstones – who of us could endure that today?
And we release mercy, which is also part of the judgment, because the judgment fell on Jesus, He became the curse. That is the apogee of the judgment, the highest revelation of the judgment – that Jesus took the curse upon Himself. Christ crucified is the revelation of God’s judgment, that is God condemned His own Son, put the curse for the world’s sin on Him, and the Son died condemned by God. It was neither Romans nor even Jews who crucified Him – God brought Him as an offering, like Abraham did, in order to save this world, to justify it.
Therefore, we ought to carry this revelation of the judgment. This is a difficult question, a revelation is required to comprehend, and I continue to dig this revelation, because the revelation of the judgments is one of the deepest, and it is incredibly sweet. It’s just that Christians don’t understand it, they are afraid of this revelation, because it sounds threatening. But if you are hidden in Christ, God’s judgments are good, therefore, we do not dread those judgments, because Jesus said, Whoever believes in Me shall not come into judgment».