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And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (JOH 12:47-48).

This is synonymous with what we read in 1 PET 2:21-23, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."

It is difficult to sit as a judge in matters in which we are involved because we tend to justify our own thinking. The Lord Jesus is showing us that He does not sit as judge in matters pertaining to Himself. When the holy Word of God comes into the heart and reveals your own thoughts and intents, your own conscience by the Word becomes judge. You wind up passing judgment on yourself by the Word that He has spoken.

No church leader, nor any other person, may exercise unwarranted control over a person. At Jesus' discretion Jesus may dispatch authority to certain degrees, but not to the degree of controlling your mind, your heart or your thinking. 1PE 2:12-15 says, "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men."

The authority of an elder begins and ends within the covers of that book, the Bible. 1PE 5:1-3 says, "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." The elders are to lead the flock just as Christ led the flock. 1PE 2:21 says, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." Leadership begins in the eldership by setting an example of godliness and holiness.

The phrase, "being lords over," comes from the root word kurios (koo'-ree-os) in the Greek, which means "supreme in authority, i.e., as controller, to exercise lordship over." So where it says "neither being lords," it means that we are not to exercise control, we are not to exercise lordship, we are not to try to dominate the hearts and the minds of the people. This is also the root for the Greek word kuriakos (koo-ree-ak-os'), which means belonging to the Lord. This lordship, this authority, this control, belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. All authority was given to the Lord Jesus Christ. No human has any right to exercise lordship over you. That control is vested in only One, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is telling us is that we are not to take the place of God over one another.

This position of authority was the Father's reward for the humble obedience of His well-beloved Son as we find in PHI 2:8-11. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." The Lord has given no man on the face of the earth the authority to control you.

We are under the power of the prince of this world, by nature, because of the fall, but this power and control are transferred by the Lord. JOH 12:31-32 says, "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." The Lord Jesus Christ does not control with the whip of the law. The Lord Jesus Christ does not control with a dominating spirit. He says, My word will judge you. You are going to appear before the court of conscience, and in the court of conscience the Word will do the judging.

Satan is a hard master who rules by the law of sin. ROM 6:16 says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" We come under the service of Christ. We serve Him from a motive of love, not by constraint, but willingly.

ROM 8:1-2 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The power of the law of sin is broken. Sin controls. Satan controls, but that control is broken, and we are now brought under the service of Christ.

Our Saviour will not settle for any compromise of His rightful authority. We cannot serve two masters. MAT 6:24 says, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." There cannot be two controllers in our hearts. When we are walking under the banner of Christ, we are not walking after the flesh but after the Spirit. When we see that we come into the service of Christ and He becomes our Master, we cannot serve mammon.

When Jesus said, "All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers," in JOH 10:8, He made no exceptions. Anything that we place ahead of Christ, anything that controls our affections, is a thief and a robber. Does something control my affections besides Christ? Is there any person or anything that comes before Him in our affections?

HEB 4:13-14 says, "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession."

Not only in this life shall the Word be our light, but throughout all eternity. REV 21:23-24 says, "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." Those who approach the gate of heaven will have to come to that light. The light is the unbearable presence of the Word, which is sharper than any two-edged sword, revealing the thoughts and intents of the heart. The Word becomes your judge.

REV 21:25-27 says, "And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." In Jerusalem, in the Old Testament, the gates were always closed at night to keep out the enemy, but the gates of the New Jerusalem are never shut day or night because of the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. The hedge that shall prevent that which defileth from coming into the city is the light of the Word.

GEN 3:23-24 talks about the fall of man. "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John on the Isle of Patmos seems to be silent about these cherubims and the flaming sword. When they come to that precious light that is in that city of New Jerusalem, their deeds get revealed. That is what keeps them out of heaven. They are not able to approach the light because they have hated the light lest their deeds should be made manifest. For them "the heaven [shall depart] as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island [shall be] moved out of their places" as we see in REV 6:14.

People can come together and have secret conniving and secret plotting, but then every thought and intent of the heart will be laid naked and open. PSA 64:4-7 says, "That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep. But God shall shoot at them with an arrow." The Lord will shoot at them with one arrow-the Word of God. Suddenly the light comes on, and every thought and intent of their heart now is laid naked and open before them, and there they stand before the court of conscience. Those who have rejected the light will flee as the rejected Saviour becomes their judge.

The words of our Saviour, which are contained in the law of love, will be brought forward as basis for separating the sheep from the goats in that great day. MAT 25:34-36 says, "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." These deeds of charity were not done out of legalism. These who were being called by our Saviour and commended for their deeds of charity were motivated by loving service to their Master. Verses 37-39 say, "Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." They did not do it out of merit. They did not even realize how pleasing their actions were in the eyes of the Lord. They did not do it to earn heaven. They were doing it out of a motive of love.

If the Holy Spirit has worked grace in our hearts, then our Saviour controls our affections. When He is lifted up, the love of Christ constrains us. It is that love of Christ that comes irresistibly and draws us from under the power and from under the influence and the control of Satan and sin.

That self-sacrificing spirit is given to you and me as an example of our life. JOH 15:7-10 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." The Lord Jesus teaches us to be imitators of Jesus Christ. He teaches us that if you have not the spirit of Christ you are none of his.

Our great question is, What controls our affections? Jesus said in JOH 8:34-36: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Free from the service of sin. Sin will no longer sit in control of our affections. Sin will no longer control that which is our chief delight.

Can you imagine on the day of judgment, the heart of those who have rejected Him as they hear the loving tone of His voice, and to have that echoing in their ears through all eternity, that they loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.

These on-line sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a  daily devotion and sermon notes.

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