"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
Much Work for the Judges to Do
By Fred O. Blakely
It is made clear by Scripture that "the saints shall judge the world," and angels as well (I Cor. 6:2-3; cf. Ps. 49:14; Dan. 7:22; Lk. 22:30; Rev. 2:26-27; 20:4). It is also declared that "the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son" (J no. 5:22). Still, the Father is said to have "appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness,·· although He will do it "by that Man whom He hath ordained," that is, by Christ His Son (Acts 17:31). Obviously, the harmony of these representations is in the fact that whatever is done by the authority and under the rule of a person may properly be said to be done by him.
By application of that principle, it is apparent that the saints' judgment of the world and angels, under the Headship of Christ, is essentially the judgment of Christ, and, beyond that, of the Father Himself, who is the Head of Christ (I Cor. 11:3). Hence, we read of "the world to come" being "put in subjection" to man, with Christ as the federal Head of mankind, now exercising that dominion, as the firstfruits and earnest of the whole mass of redeemed humanity which is to follow in due time (Heb. 2:5-9).
The exalted King is currently judging "among the nations" and rebuking "many people," we are told (Isa. 2:4). and He shall not cease to do so "till He have set judgment in the earth" (ch. 42:3-4), and righteousness cover the earth "as the waters cover the sea" (ch. 11:9). And the promise to the overcomers in the good fight of faith is that they shall be granted to sit with Christ in His throne, betokening a joint reign with Him (see Rev. 5:10; 22:5), even as He also overcame, and is "set down" with the Father "in His throne" (Rev. 3:21).
The question of the jurisdiction of these future kingdom judges and rulers is considerably enlightened by consideration of some facts of sacred history. Although in past times God, on occasion, executed fierce vengeance upon man for his sins, a vast amount of sin clearly went unpunished. It seems that only token visitations of wrath occurred here and there, in order that men might know how God felt about sin, and that He retained strict surveillance of His creation. The great bulk of human transgression, however, went unpunished for the present. Now, the justice of God obviously requires that, in the world to come, this sin be properly dealt with--that is, that it be duly judged and requited. And this is at least some of. the area in which the future work of the saints appears to lie. "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (Eccl. 12:14; cf. I Tim. 5:24).
His children, having been schooled in the Divine Mind and kingdom principles during their time in the flesh, will be wholly competent to execute that Mind in vindication of God's justice, and the maintenance of His sovereign rule over the works of His hands. "The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works," is John's account of the great assize which he was given to see represented (Rev. 20:12). And it is altogether in keeping with all that Scripture has to say on the subject to suppose that the judging will be carried out by the glorified saints under the Headship of Christ and the Father, in that order, as viewed from the standpoint of the judges.
What an incentive for imbibing the "Mind of Christ" and developing in its use here and now! To do so is to build for eternity and prepare for the glorious destiny therein appointed by God for His children. Let us, therefore, ever seek to be "filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding . . . so increasing with "the increase of God" (Col. 1:9-10; 2:19).
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).