Holy Criticism and Critical Holiness

Criticism is holy. Critical thinking is absolutely necessary to holiness. Holy criticism avoids unholy commonness. Being critical and offering criticism marks the thinking and manner of God, and all His representatives must be equally interested in making clear distinctions the produce separations.

Criticism, defined Biblically as “judgment,” means, “separation,” or “distinction,” in its functional application, so criticism draws lines of separation to and distinction among to clarify relationship with. The Bible term is “krinó,” and means, “separate, distinguish, make distinction as part of process of reaching a conclusion or decision, thus, to judge.”

Criticism comes naturally to sacredness and sanctification. To be “separated to” requires the application of critical thinking to behavior. While behavioral considerations alone do not create holiness, holy people live holy lives and apply their holiness to lifestyle and behavior. Holy people, by definition, do not engage in common, or unholy behaviors else they are not holy at all!

It is impossible to be holy without defining “holiness.”

God is holy, and He clarifies the definition of “holy.” Consecration moves common things toward holiness, sanctifying ourselves from commonness as God is separated to Who He is from any mention in the line up of gods, so-called. “Holy” answers to the phrase, “There is no one like our God.”

The opposite of “holy” isn’t “sinful.” Holy relieves life of commonness.

Holiness is more about being “separated to” that being “separated from.” In this the difference resides the vast gulf between religious ugly and kingdom purity. In this distinction we find the fork in the road that leads to horrible misrepresentations of our holy God or healthy oneness among the saints (the holy ones).

The Bible presupposes criticism. It assumes that we can separate to holiness and distinguish a saint from a sinner. The word, “saint,” simply translates the words, “a holy person.” The Bible assumes that kingdom people are holy people, the Ecclesia is composed of saints, and the people of God know who is a holy one or not.

(While that statement seems so obvious to God and the Bible, it has become a matter of “controversy” to modern church-anity for all the reasons modern christianism has lost its Biblical authority.)

Ask a simply question of yourself: “How do I obey the Bible’s expectations about how I relate to other believers if I cannot tell the difference between a believer and a non-believer?” And, “How do I properly distinguish authentic from fraudulent if I cannot properly judge?” Criticism produces good judgment.

Note the translation of Romans 1 concerning those that have no critical thinking about behavior: “God gave them up to a reprobate mind.” “Reprobate mind” translates, “a mind without judgment.” Without any sense of “separated to” that clarifies purpose, people cannot “separate from” the behaviors that destroy purpose. The catalogue of sins included in Paul’s discussion all point to the destruction of family, culture, and personal purpose.

Holy Matrimony

Let us consider the difference between being separated to one lifelong partner or being separated from all other partners. One should the result of the other: that is, “separated from” is not the proper definition of marriage. In this tiny distinction rests the mammoth difference between success and failure in marriage, between God’s way and marriage models that produce less than spiritual oneness and kingdom dominion.

Marriage can be holy only when it applies critical thinking, creating separation and clarifying distinction. What was common becomes uncommon, “separated to” oneness becomes more than “separated from” individualism. That is, a holy marriage relationship redefines all other relationships by removing “commonness” from a person’s life.

Marriage “criticizes” and “judges” all other relationships producing a clear distinction in relationship unlike any other relationship available to man and woman. The critical thinking of holy marriage immediately produces a lifestyle and behavior.

That is, marriage is only holy when the people in the covenant are holy in their intentions and behaviors. The covenant does not sanctify them; their holy intentions and behaviors sanctify the covenant’s holy potential. People can be “married” and make their marriage unholy by avoiding the critical thinking necessary to holiness.

Holiness and Oneness

In this sense alone can we understand the word, “koina,” from which we derive concepts of community. That is, “shareholding” is a common uncommonness in which Ecclesia operates towards oneness.

“Holy” equally defines person and purpose. When the purpose of a person becomes the priority of their preparation, that person approaches greater purity. This is why the phrases “pursue peace with all people and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” flow together. The reality that you will not have peace with all people answers to the emphatic sense of the word, “pursue.” The same reality applies to “holiness without which.” The pursuit of both infers haste, urgency, and prioritization. Of course, one of the ways you pursue peace with all people is through holy criticism the properly defines your relationships.

You cannot enjoy peace with someone at cross-purposes with you. No Biblical or rational mandate demands that you sacrifice sanity and sanctity to do so.

Applying “holiness” to your life without critical thinking and judgment is impossible, and the Bible presumes that believers will use critical judgment to make decisions that separate them to holy relationships and living in ways that produce separation from. Without separation to, we never properly apply separation from.

Be certain of this, the Bible assumes that holiness will begin with separated to as a means of producing a separation from. In this way, criticism defines holiness so that God’s people can be holy as He is holy.

Painful Examples

Sexual sin remains one of the most obvious and painful examples of “reprobate mind” conditions that capture believers as well as non-believers. Sexual sin especially defines “holy” and “unholy” because all intimacy should occur within holy matrimony in order for it to be “holy.” The “mind void of judgment” condition comes when something so obviously “unholy” becomes a “norm” for human behavior culturally or personally.

Ralph stands on the platform to lead worship, yet his personal struggle with sexual behaviors that substitute for sex including pornography and unclean imaginations keeps the door open for dominating shame. Gary preaches a strong word with powerful demonstrations of kingdom Gospel ministry while his wife lives thousands of miles away broken by their lack of oneness in marriage, opening Gary to dysfunctional relationships with other women in his ministry who meet adulterous emotional, mental, and spiritual needs for him that finally lead to odd physical improprieties. Mary prays for hours with other intercessors and watchmen of the kingdom, fasting often, hearing God’s voice with clarity, yet she continues to define her relationship with her husband by a “I’m more spiritual than he is” motif that separates them from the possibility of deep unity, let alone oneness, and continues to feel that intimacy invades her life like a lesser consideration, perhaps even evil in nature.

These people suffer from a lack of criticism and judgment. The Bible provides them an eternal revelation from which to form such critical thinking, make decisions, and solve problems, but they substitute for Its principles and protocols in ways that leave them “void of God’s judgment” and end up “void of any judgment.”

They represent the pandemic plague of unholy people standing in holy places that limit and diminish the kingdom of God on earth. They cannot seek first the kingdom without also seeking first His righteousness. “Righteousness” is right behavior. God is holy, and His behavior is righteous. God asks us to be holy as He is so we can represent Him in kingdom behavior. Kingdom has a culture, and the culture of the kingdom assumes the kingdom citizens are holy people.

For people like these I presented with a blend of real life examples, changing their names to avoid identifying them individually, kingdom leadership is needed. That kingdom leadership must be ready to judge, criticize, and distinguish so that decisions are made and problems are solved. Mercy does not mean ignore; mercy is simply opportunity as time to repent and change. Grace does not mean ignore (and certainly cannot be forced into a context of “already forgiven” as if grace is the new indulgence mechanism for sin); grace is the enabling capacity to live what Law without grace could not produce.

Leaders in the kingdom are assumed to be critical in order to make judgment decisions and enforce opinions consistent with those of heaven. Leaders have a responsibility to live holy and expect holiness from the saints (the holy ones) because kingdom leaders establish kingdom culture.

So, leaders “separate to” in ways that redefine relationships, often this means some form of “separate from” will result in the distinguishing between “holy” and “common.”

Water Baptism: Repentance, Readiness, Response

The Spirit and Power of Elijah

Ten years ago I wrote, “The spirit and power of Elijah accurately anticipates what is coming next and prepares the Lord a people ready to respond when the new season arrives.” This mantle fell back to the earth when Elijah was lifted up into the heavenlies so Elisha could pick up an available anointing. Later, Malachi prophesied the coming of John. Many Jewish scholars believed John wore the actual mantle of Elijah that had been preserved in the wilderness for prophetic leaders of succeeding generations: in any case, John arrived in the spirit and power of Elijah.

The angel reveals, “He will proceed the Lord, arriving in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn fathers’ hearts to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous: to prepare a people ready for the Lord.”

The spirit and power of Elijah continues to be available to prophetic leadership: prophetic leaders of every function of kingdom leadership dynamics can operate in a prophetic anticipation. Any leader can lead prophetically; and every leader should lead prophetically. All kingdom leaders should lead prophetically, especially when the season change is drastic and dramatic.

We live in such a season change, and every kingdom leader should be leading with prophetic anticipation, preparing the Lord a people ready to respond to Him when He arrives with Great Awakening Revival!


Repentance means, “I change to be changed.” The Greek term means, “having received and believed new revelation, I change my mindset in ways that alter my behavior and lifestyle.” In the redemptive sense, repentance means a spiritual shift that produces a transformed life, inside out.

We confess to be forgiven and restored to wholeness. We repent to be changed.

John announced repentance as the preparation response of his season of ministry because the Lord was arriving, and “being ready” would require a fundamental, dramatic shift in life and living for any person to be ready to respond to Him when He arrived. “Repent, Someone’s on the way! Repent, the kingdom is about to arrive. Repent, it is kingdom come!”

“Repent and produce the fruit of repentance: a changed lifestyle filled with the rich and mature behaviors of a person who is ready to respond to the Lord! Then, be baptized with water as part of the repentance process and announcement, the physical prophetic symbol signifying and sealing that sincere internal change.”

Returning to the foundation of repentance means a believer has walked away from the fundamental shift that initial repentance produced, walking back what he or she received and believed that produced the initial behavior change, and a general recognition that repentance isn’t a one time, “been there, done that” historic marker. Repentance is a discipline of the maturing, expanding, transformed life that renews the mind (the meaning of repentance) to prove the what-God-wants of your life.


Water baptism, in John’s ministry, prophesies lasting life change based upon a spiritual transformation. The born anew experience we now live likewise applied the victory of the Cross and life of the Resurrection to our lives, but prophesies this in a way not yet available in John’s ministry. That is to say, that water baptism hasn’t changed in its power or significance, but redemption provision has reached ultimate and eternal finality in Jesus!

Being water baptized still prophesies radical lasting life change produced by repentance, an “I change to be changed” shift that comes from receiving and believing new revelation.

For John’s ministry, the revelation was “Messiah is coming! Get ready to receive and respond! Kingdom come will soon be reality! And, you are not ready because the present spiritual atmosphere and kingdom culture inadequately represents the Law and Prophets. The spiritual generations are not joined, so you have not inherited the spiritual purpose for which Heaven chose Israel. Without radical life change right now, you will not be ready for the Lord’s arrival!”

Apply that principle and protocol to the present season: the present spiritual atmosphere and kingdom culture is inadequately representing the Revelation of Jesus. The spiritual generations are not joined, and you have not been properly prepared to inherit. Without radical life change right now, you will not be ready for the next season of Great Awakening Revival.

That season is here and now, but the response of kingdom people is inadequate because they are not prepared: what most leaders now call “revival” and “Awakening” remains the preparation of the Remnant for the season of visitation.

Nonetheless, “Ready or not, here He comes!”


The rapid deterioration of manifestations of Glory into manufacturing centers and traveling Glory shows reveals that we intend to hammer the next season into the existing structures instead of breaking the molds of mechanization. We are insisting that God restore “what is” when God is ready to establish “what is coming next.”

Definitions of “revival” still insist that God make what we are doing now bigger, grander, and so validated by Glory that everyone will finally recognize that we are right.

So, water baptism was a significant public “coming out” for a new movement, an action that immediately challenged the status quo with rejection and reappraisal. Water baptism said, “What is can never prepare me for what is coming next. So, I reject it. I separate from it. I reset my life and living to the next season now before that season even arrives. I believe Messiah is coming! I believe it so much that I’m changing my entire life. I am not in Awakening mode!”

If you wait for Awakening to respond to awakening, you are already playing catch up to the move of God.

Awakening Water Baptism

When revival came to my life, after more than a quarter century of ministry leadership, I wanted to be baptized in water. I knew this water baptism prophesied the greatest life change of my present and future destiny. I felt it was appropriate, and I still feel it was appropriate. I didn’t get saved, but I did repent.

So, awakening water baptism will soon be coming to FreedomHouse!

The Enemy’s “Anything But That” Method

The enemy functions with a “anything but that” method of distraction and substitution.

At a very simple level, we can recognize the methods of hell in the preeminent problem of idolatry. If we see idolatry as substitution, then we see the “anything but that” method at play in the fundamentals of false religion.

To accomplish substitution, the adversary uses distraction. If he plants enough seeds of distraction, he will eventually grow a crop of substitution, some form of “anything but that” in a person, ministry, region, or nation. In this way, he frustrates, limits, or eliminates the production of “the what-God-wants” in those arenas of spirit and history.

If hell can get you distracted, hell can move you away from your purpose, frustrate your preparation enough to offer you a substitute destiny or some aspect of that destiny, and bring you into a dead-end detour. This process may take a moment, month, or lifetime, but when you awaken or “come to yourself,” you realize that you have invested in something other than what God had in mind.

Personal Distraction and Substitution

Personally, this plays out through our vulnerabilities: hell doesn’t play fair. The enemy always takes advantage of our vulnerabilities, using our weakness to distract us from our strengths, and move our investments into a substitute for our destinies. Remember, hell is happy for your strengths to get stronger as long as your weaknesses get weaker.

Pride is the great deception that displaces the renewed mind with input from the environment in order to mold us by this world instead of through transformational experiences. Only through transformational experience do we discover and prove by producing the what-God-wants. Pride is deception, and pride compensates for perceived weaknesses by substitution, opening our lives to deeper distractions.

When a kingdom leader or citizen begins to copy someone else, hoping to become more than they are by rejecting who they are, either in the sense of “I want to be greater than I am so I’m going to attempt to be someone else” or a spirit of wannabe takes over their minds, pride is the root issue. Beware the cancer of discontent that eats away at your vitals: “I want respect, honor, dignity, acceptance, love, success, or any other component part of purpose except to prove what God wants!

Listening to someone minister and dialogue, I hear myself asking myself inside, “Where’s the real person?” because the person in front of me is attempting to be someone they are not. This is radical distraction becoming substitution: God will not give you grace to become someone else. The anointing available to produce a different purpose from your true purpose diminishes. The frustration drives you to assume that everyone else should start doing a better job of recognizing your brilliance, beauty, and bravery when, in fact, you aren’t even pursuing our purpose at all.

Giving up on your true assignment to pursue the development of a substitute may be the most obvious work of pride and delusion. And, this may be the very limitation that keeps people from completing their assignments.

The kingdom is diminished by this method on every hand, and nothing but radical reset will fix this problem. The person who accepts the substitute shuts off discussion of their authenticity.

Ministries Can Be Distracted

A ministry can also move away from its assignment in pursuit of distraction to the point of substituting something else for its original mission. Attend enough conference and symposiums, because you have become dissatisfied with your condition, and the leaders of a ministry may begin to invest their energies in becoming something other than who they really are.

Many ministries, even mini-movements, have strayed from very reason for their existence because they wished “to be like,” or they began to seek approval from different sources than the One who called them. They wish to become like others in order to win approval, success, or honor. They begin to substitute, moving away from their grace flows, then substituting fleshly energies for spiritual anointings.

Regions and Nations

When Israel desired to be “anything but that” and demanded a king “like the other nations,” they received Saul for a leader, to their own hurt. God made it clear to Samuel, “They have reject Me as their King, not you as their prophet.” This is gross substitution!

The nations all suffer from this terrible curse of limitation! To set them free, we must discern their God-given purposes and apply kingdom redemption and restoration.

God isn’t destroying nations, He is redeeming cultures. When nation reach the point of no return and destruction comes, even to the point of wiping out those nations, the purposes they failed to fulfill remain. Nothing can destroy God’s purposes. He will find a way to reset and restore them!

Please Start Judging Immediately!

If you’ve stopped judging, get at it again. If you never judged, get started. If you are judging some, please increase judging now! If you have been or just starting judging, get better and better at it!

The Meaning of Words

Hearing differing discussions of criticism, judgment, and optimism, we first consider the meaning of words. Most of the time the meaning of words separates people in the discussion and leave a misunderstanding between them.

When you say, “Criticism is always bad,” you must define your terms lest you call Jesus, Paul, James, John – the Bible – and every decent kingdom leader of history “bad.” The difference between judgment in a condemning sense and judgment in a proving sense is considerable. In reality, the use of the word “judgment” is often as misleading as the fact that people have assumptions about it’s meaning: many assume any judgment means “punishment” when the word does not always mean condemnation.

Even then, the question of condemnation is simply that condemnation is built into creation. If we sin, our sin condemns us: we are already condemned. That’s why Jesus came to save us, not condemn us. We were already condemned.

People mistake the need for discipline with the need for punishment. Both are God designed but we don’t do punishment as parents or kingdom leaders. Punishment is for civil government and God in the ultimate sense. The question of punishment always comes back to pardon: we are punished for what is not pardoned.

“Judge Not”

Oswald Chambers: “Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, ‘Don’t.’ The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized.”

Mr Chambers, as well as others, reads the word “judgment” in the sense of punishment or permanent condition. Ascribing to a person a set condition: You are a liar with the sense that “you will always be a liar” is much different than identifying that someone has told a lie. By definition, telling a lie makes someone a liar, but that doesn’t mean that “liar” should be carved on his or her forehead as if their lying is intrinsic to their identity.

Identifying a lie that identifies a liar isn’t judgment for punishment, at least, it isn’t forbidden to recognize a lie and recognize a liar. However, doing so is judgment.

Chambers continues: “The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.”

Here is powerful Biblical truth! The identification of the problem is different from the discipline of the behavior it produces. The work of Holy Spirit both internally within people and toward people through His operation in leaders and other believers takes people to places inside themselves they shouldn’t go without Him.

The ministry of freedom always engages in the discovery of hidden things, at the root of the behaviors they produce. Only Holy Spirit operating through leaders and within a person can provide the pathway of discovery so the grace of the Cross can be applied to the roots issues.

Discerning these spiritual conditions isn’t license to offer criticism but to wait for Holy Spirit to surface what He intends to heal, cleanse, break, and destroy that is foreign to spiritual wholeness.

On the other hand, this “trying of spirits” is critical mass for leadership because it is the stuff of kingdom leadership.

As Mr Chambers points out, the fear of man becomes a demanding desire, a motivation, for superiority, and the penchant to bite and devour in order to diminish others opens ways to elevate the person offering the criticism. This is the negative sense of the term “criticism.” We call this “blind criticism” because it doesn’t seek to apply critical thinking through spiritual discernment and revelation to the process. It merely wishes to find something to gripe about so the individual offering the destructive criticism can diminish others.

This condition we avoid through maturity and submission to Holy Spirit and leaders who examine our hearts: but, this process of maturity doesn’t assume that the work of Holy Spirit or leaders is “criticism.”

Then, Mr Chambers offers this: “There is no escaping the penetrating search of my life by Jesus. If I see the little speck in your eye, it means that I have a plank of timber in my own (see Matthew 7:3-5). Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. [Emphasis mine.] Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-24).

“Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.”

Powerful! “I have never met a person I could despair of!” That means I see the power of the Cross, not that I become blind either in criticism or denial of root issues.

Of course, applying Mr Chambers’s words generally to leadership dynamics negates clear Scriptural instruction, but his analysis of blind criticism is powerful. His conclusion should be our conclusion: if I reach a place of despair with any person, I have missed the meaning of “judge not,” and “without the measure you use to measure, you will also be measured.”

Critical thinking and blind criticism helps us reach the meaning of Jesus’ words. Our definition of “criticism” and “judge” may be inadequate if they become generalizations that contradict with Bible thinking.

Prove by Test

When I “prove the spirit to be of God,” I do not criticize in the sense of “blind criticism.” I use critical thinking with spiritual discernment to reach a SpiritFirst conclusion and decision. I assess, as a form of judgment, with no regard for punishment, only discipline.

My goal is to agree with God’s assessment, to recognize God by distinguishing other spiritual sources. John is giving instruction about this to others because he has a history of expertise and experience about this very thing.

Note that John is functioning at the level and scope of his leadership, and he is asking those to whom he addresses this inspired teaching to do the same. He isn’t saying, “You are responsible for everything spiritual thing in the universe. You are responsible for the spirits that influence you at whatever level you live. “Don’t trust everything spiritual.” Not everything spiritual is good.

The critical thinking applied here doesn’t involve punishment since we aren’t authorized to punish spirits that are not of God. John speaks of the critical thinking that produces discipline.

Discipline means I embrace or reject, as a process of training and practice, what should be included and avoided by separation, making a decision or solving a problem about what should be given permission to influence my life.

This is a critical spiritual exercise, especially one for kingdom leaders since it is a measurement of their leadership.

We prove the spiritual sources so that we trust what comes from God and reject what comes through the influences available in the cosmic system (the world) controlled by the enemy of the Father.

Proving and Testing

The Bible gives clear instructions for proving. Proving and testing require critical thinking, not blind criticism. The Bible word translates, dokimazo, a term meaning, “test, prove, examine; distinguish by testing, approve after testing; determine to be fit by a process.”

Here are some Bible examples:

We prove the leaders sent to us by what the leaders who prepared and positioned have to say about them. [2 Corinthians 8:22 and others.] We prove leaders that we allow into leadership and send to other as leaders. [For example, those that serve, as in 1 Timothy 3:10, and others.]

We prove all (in the sense that we are responsible to test whatever comes into our level and scope of authority and responsibility). [Ephesians 5:10] We prove God’s good, acceptable, and complete will. [Romans 12:2]

Immediately we engage in proving and testing, we operate in discernment and revelation from Holy Spirit, and use critical thinking to organize our thoughts with the information we receive to reach conclusions. With this critical thinking, we make decisions and solve problems. That’s leadership at any level and scope: personal, family, and kingdom, cultural, spiritual.

“The Measure by Which You Measure”

Jesus didn’t have any problem mentioning to the woman at the well that she had had several husbands and the man she was with at that time wasn’t. He didn’t do that to judge her, but He did make a judgment decision when He spoke those words. He didn’t contradict His own, “Judge not,” but He did make a decision to speak those words that certainly assessed her present condition.

Did He judge her? No. Did He judge her? Yes. It is inescapable that He judged her by the proper definition of the word, but He didn’t judge her in the sense that He was about to punish her with everlasting judgment. He wasn’t condemning her because she was already condemned. He was judging the reality of her previous decisions and present situation however, in the sense of critical thinking, not blind criticism.

He brings up the subject, and she doesn’t feel condemnation from Jesus even though His words uncover her root issues.

Beware the rather ridiculous assumption that awareness of a person’s condition is criticism and judgment. To identify a liar isn’t to judge him or her even though a person who lies is a liar: to act as if they tell the truth or they can be trusted or they are honest so you avoid being judgmental is purely ridiculous!

Judgment has to do with decision-making, and redemption affords all kingdom leaders with the glorious privilege of providing good news. “You are indeed messed up, but God can clean up your mess. I’m here to help and lead you through that process.”

Beware the modern mistake of assuming the only way to avoid judging people is to ignore sin, the devil, or call it good through some weird mental gymnastic that helps you say, “You don’t know that God loves you and as soon as you figure that out all will be well. God is here now to ignore your condition into oblivion. He is the great denier of reality.” Duh.

There is no Gospel of the kingdom in that!

Let’s hear Jesus speak before we tell Jesus what He means by what He says.

“Judge not that you be not judged. For by what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and by what measure you measure, you will be measured.”

Actually, Jesus doesn’t say, “Judge not.”

Reading Mr Chambers above, however, I firmly agree. With regard to judging, Jesus is clear, “Don’t.” Of course, Mr Chambers goes on to make it clear that he defines “judge” in this sense as “blind judgment,” not critical thinking that reaches a conclusion. He says, “The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized.” That is blind criticism.

What Jesus actually says is, “Judge not if you can’t be judged by the same judgment, for judging exposes more you as well as others, and the measurement by which you measure will measure you.”

Mr Chambers immediately sees this conclusion in the matter as well: “There is no escaping the penetrating search of my life by Jesus.” We always judge from a position in which the process penetrates our own lives with Truth because we are using SpiritFirst critical thinking. We always destroy ourselves with deception when we engage in blind criticism because we further cover the sin that needs cleansing.

Consider the “restore the one who errs with meekness lest you also be tested” phrase from Galatians in this context. You cannot restore someone who sins if you cannot decide that he has does so, but the process of restoration engages critical thinking and your own heart must be examined by the other person’s failure to pass the test.

Blind Criticism

Blind criticism would simply identify the person. Critical thinking engages the process of restoration, discipline, leadership, and reconciliation. Decisions must be made, but punishment is never in the framework of the process.

In my experience, the people carrying the “Judge not” signs in the protest parade are the ones engaging in the blind criticism most. They judge those they consider to be judging. They measure those they accuse of measuring. They dishonor those they accuse of dishonor. They hate those they accuse of not loving. This is the mark of blind criticism. It is destructive to the person engaging in the process because they are not positioned to function or refuse to function in critical thinking according to God’s order.

In other words, we see kingdom leaders consistently and constantly engaged in critical thinking in order to make decisions and solve problems. They make judgments and enforce judgments, but they never punish. Unlike government and God, kingdom leaders do not punish: punishment comes only where there is not pardon.

In terms of kingdom leadership, both in the family and the kingdom per se, the roles and responsibilities of leaders include critical thinking, discipline, measurements, testing, and proving. They command and demand, but they never put you in jail if you don’t follow orders; disobedience requires no such punishment in the kingdom because the rebellious simply disqualify themselves from the process. Then, we behave toward them as illegitimate children or outsiders to the kingdom, beginning the process of evangelizing them all over again.

Those who engage in blind criticism punish those they judge and measure with biting words designed to diminish and destroy them. They poison people with pain. They bite and devour to intimidate. They manipulate and mangle, overcompensating their sense of powerlessness by attacking others in what they perceive to be or actually are areas of weakness.

Word Study

We judge using critical thinking, “intelligent comparison and contrast based on God’s word” [Thayer], arriving at conclusions by which we approve (prefer above another option) what is correct and reject what is inferior not preferred in the conclusions we’ve reached.

Jesus says, “I am not empowered to do things of Myself. I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me.” (John 5:30)

Consider the discussion points above now in this light: Jesus is authorized to judge by His Father, but He makes it clear that He represents the Father and Jesus judges only by SpiritFirst critical thinking using discernment and revelation.

“Judge” comes from the sense of making distinction, separating, assessment, and may be applied in several ways to what happens when distinction are being made the leaders role of the person making them.

Parents judge every day, as do kingdom leaders. Government leaders judge every day but applied the conclusions of the critical thinking in very different ways because of their role in society.

So, the application of judging depends upon the role of the person, who has authorized them, and the level and scope of their authority and responsibility. When we step out of that place, we encounter the response of judgment equal to what we have released.

For example, if a parent judges the behavior of a child for the purpose of nurture, training, and discipline, the child has no recourse but obedience or disobedience in terms of receiving their decision and problem solving. If the child judges his parents, he immediately steps into judgment at the level and scope of decision making and problem solving he judges. He suddenly finds himself judged as if he were the adult, the parent, the person positioned by God to rear children. He cannot do that and maintain honor, so he breaks the commandment and condemns himself by his decision.

In this same light we can better understand Paul’s comments in discussion of dealing with the man living in matrimonial perversion: ‘deliver this man over to satan for the destruction of his fleshly nature.’

At first glance, we are left to wonder about what that means! Yet, we understand that this man refuses to receive discipline, mocks marriage, and is called a brother, so the discipline necessary comes from Jesus, Paul being present in spirit, and the action taken positions this man to be judged by the judgment that he has used to judge his leaders.

He instantly experiences the nature of his own condemnation; his sin condemns him already, and punishment comes only from lack of pardon.

Paul says, “I have already judged this man.”

The man’s sin already condemns him. God has already made a decision about this kind of immorality, severe enough that the entire Ecclesia should be ashamed that someone continues to be identified as a brother while committing this sin. The judgment comes from God’s previous decision, and with the power of Jesus present, and Paul visiting in spiritual reality, the leaders are to do a delivery that bring judgment distinction to the situation. The result desired will be the full restoration of this man to the faith as he ceases this sinful behavior. This is not punishment but redemptive response!

In Conclusion

Basic meaning of “Judge not so that you will not be judged” would be, “Don’t position yourself to make a judgment when that position will judge you as well.” Don’t be a hypocrite, by the modern meaning of the terms.

First of all, Jesus never says, “Judge not.” He always says, “If you wish to avoid what judging will produce in your own life, don’t do it.” [In both the Matthew and Luke recordings, at two different times of teaching.] He never says that no one can judge except God in the sense that no one can know what God thinks about someone or something.

Second, we can know for sure what God thinks about a lot of things because God has already told us His judgment decisions and opinions in His Word. God is also actively involved in the judging process here and now and has sent representatives through whom His decisions and opinions are communicated and enforced.

Third, judging means “distinguishing, separating, assessing, and deciding” with these various meanings being used based upon the level and scope of the person’s leadership and the nature of the critical thinking being applied to a persons or situation. So, we have distinct instances of God, Jesus, and their human representatives judging throughout Scripture.

Fourth, the statement, “only God can judge” does not ultimate significance in that God is the Source of judgment both here and now and the ultimate sense. But, that is a million miles from the idea that no judgment is going on here and now or that only God has any business making decisions and solving problems. God is the One who has given humans leaders to do exactly that in the family, kingdom, and cultures of man.

Fifth, the concept that all judgment was done at the Cross leaves a big whole to be filled with explanation, so I don’t jump to the conclusion that a person who makes the statement means to spout a slogan. I don’t know what each person who makes that statement means by it. If the idea here is that punishment and judgment is the same thing, we have an inadequate definition of both. If we are using this concept to say that no one can properly correct, confront, discipline, lead, train, love, honor, protect, nurture – well, you get the idea – we can’t do anything to lead without making decisions and solving problems. Judgment is critical thinking applied through leadership that ultimately comes from God and ultimately returns to God for final outcomes.

What Makes Church Work Properly?

The modern approach to Scripture starts with what we want and fits Scripture to it so that God appears to say what we are doing pleases Him. One of the best examples of this dysfunction comes from the often quoted “equipping the saints.”

Kingdom Leadership Dynamics for the Ecclesia

Paul opens our eyes to God’s leadership strategy in Ephesians 4. Jesus leaves earth, and bestows five different kinds of leaders upon the kingdom Ecclesia that function to prepare and position saints (holy ones) to serve within the Body to make the Body function efficiently and effectively. Paul uses the body metaphor to explain how these leadership dynamics produce the results Jesus wants for His church.

In one particular phrase, Paul uses the Greek word, katartizo, to define how these leadership dynamics operate and what they accomplish when they are doing what He designed them to do. Jesus gave the five dynamics of leadership to “katartizo” the holy ones so they can work the ministry within the Body of Christ.

“Equipping the saints” becomes a fundamental, spiritual health issue for the Ecclesia, and the proper meaning of the term, katartizo, grows in importance for a good understanding of how leadership works in the kingdom.

Like many words, this term has different facets of meaning depending upon the context in which it is used. For example, when the word is used in a medical sense, it can have the meaning of setting a bone so that it will heal properly. When it is used to speak of fishermen working on their nets, it means the nets are being repaired so that fish won’t slip through holes torn in the nets by previous use or strains from daily use. When the word is used to speak of military preparation, it speaks to the position and provision for soldiers, lining up archers with bows and arrows, putting horsemen who can ride on horses would be a way of understanding how the term fits military “equipping.”

Luke 6:40 says, “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” “Fully trained” being katartizo as that term operates in the context of discipling. The meaning of “equipping” can be measured in discipling terms.

Should we use the medical context because Paul discusses the Ecclesia in the metaphor of a body? Should we use the military context since the Ecclesia has a warfare assignment that the gates of hell cannot withstand? Should we use the “perfecting” translation as if the context calls for a “maturing” of individual members of the Body? Or, should be use the discipling context because we are speaking of kingdom leadership dynamics bestowed by Jesus upon His kingdom Ecclesia?

Contextual Meaning

I propose that this term means, “Prepare and position,” in this context, and that this dual meaning best describes what Paul says about kingdom leadership. I see Paul’s point as “leaders position members of the Body to function, preparing them to function at optimum levels in ways consistent to and in coordination with the systems of the spiritual Body, the Ecclesia.

We cannot see the results Paul describes without both concepts; we need to see a discipling leadership method that both “prepares and positions.” The uses of the term all point to both these aspects.

Medically, preparation and positioning is needed for proper function as a part of a living organism, operating within the systems of that body. Militarily, preparation and positioning is needed for proper battle plan execution so each soldier is not only where he needs to be but ready with tools and weapons to do what he is prepared to do. Leadership wise, discipling methods that prepare and position are needed to realize the end results Paul describes, for he speaks of the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, reaching to a mature man.

This leads me to conclude that a great deal of the discussion about “equipping the holy ones” merely forces this important revelation into modern church growth structures and institutional organizational charts, as if teaching people to greet, usher, host, or watch the kids resembles what this Scripture pictures in this passage. Paul could not envision such an inadequate conclusion! Neither did Jesus bestow these five leadership dynamics upon the kingdom in order to get the floor swept, or Sunday morning service moving with efficiency.

Such an approach to Ecclesia is like taking an aspirin for an earthquake. (I think Oswald Chambers said.)

What is Church?

If you begin with the modern definition of “church,” you end up with a picture of “equipping” that Paul would not recognize. Paul would ask, “Nice, but where’s the Ephesians 4 implementation I wrote about in Ephesians 4?” Paul wasn’t imagining nor what Holy Spirit inspiring the apostle to describe church growth methods for modern churchanity. Paul was thinking of the kingdom Ecclesia representing Jesus as a called together into assembly cultural and legislative body capable of making kingdom decisions and enforcing kingdom influence with spiritual power for lasting impact!

Paul saw a game plan for conquest, a blueprint for construction, a training module for champions, and a method of leadership that prepared and positioned body parts to do their jobs well enough that the whole organism would represent the Son of God in society.

Church is “ekklesia.” This does not mean, “Call out.” Another Greek term was used to say, “Call out.” This does not mean, “called out of the world” since it doesn’t mean “called out” at all. Of course, we are called out of the world, but that is not what Jesus or any other Bible author says when the term “ekklesia” is used. So, the metaphor of the Ecclesia as a body, building, or bride, offers us a picture by which to understand Ecclesia, but none of them is Ecclesia because they are metaphors.

People are not really bladders, arms, eyeballs, and lymph nodes. People are not really bricks, windows, shingles, and electrical wiring. People are not really unmarried maidens wearing engagement rings and planning for their wedding day pictures.

Church can be understood from these, and the word Paul uses in Ephesians 4 speaks to the body metaphor in particular. It does not mean only that broken bones need to be set so they will properly heal, however, because there are many other body parts besides those that make up the skeletal system.

Ecclesia is the “called together assembly” that comes from within the kingdom, assembled to for specific assignment, to accomplish specific kingdom economic, cultural, governmental, and military purposes. In that sense, the “preparation and positioning” of the holy ones becomes more clear in any one of the metaphors for church.

The leaders Paul mentions are kingdom leaders and the people they prepare and position are kingdom citizens. The citizens obey and submit to the King’s sent representatives so the process of preparation and positioning can proceed. The leaders have the King’s blueprints for building, the King’s understanding of His body to produce His stature, and the King’s expectations for a prepared and positioned bride. While none of these metaphors “walk on all fours,” each of them helps us understand “prepared and positioned” in a fuller way.

The King Ain’t the One Doing This

The King isn’t doing this becomes the most obvious part of the kingdom leadership dynamics. The King doesn’t disciple anyone. The King doesn’t prepare and position anyone. The King doesn’t provide the leadership directly to the saints because He sends representatives to do that for Him.

Oddly enough, this challenges many modern believers. They confuse what Jesus does personally through His Holy Spirit in believers with what Jesus does corporately through His called together in assembly Ecclesia. What Jesus can do for a person individually and what Jesus wants that believer to do corporately are two very different things.

He has a strategy for preparing that includes discipling, testing, maturing, teaching, training, nurturing, correcting, and restoring. He has a strategy for positioning which includes blueprints, schematics, team building, relational covenant, and oneness.

Kingdom includes every person born into kingdom. A person must be born anew to see the kingdom; a person must be born anew to enter kingdom. Once they are born anew, their enlivened spirit begins to encounter Holy Spirit Who teaches, reveals, leads, convinces, motivates, and testifies within them. Once they are born anew, their kingdom citizenship brings them into contact with the king’s representatives who prepare and position them to function within the kingdom, a reality that Paul uses the “members of His Body” metaphor to explain in Ephesians 4.

How to Deal with False Accusations

Problem solving is a leadership dynamic. The wisdom to govern was the request of Solomon, for example, because he needed to make decisions and solve problems if he was to be king. Obviously, we are not kings, but we do represent the King as kingdom leaders.

As a kingdom leader, you deal with false accusations as a leader. I’m not talking about making this personal, because it is kingdom when a kingdom leader is falsely accused.

You cannot allow false accusations to take on a life of their own because you have authority and responsibility as a representative of the King. Saying, “Well, Jesus didn’t answer His accusers,” doesn’t fit the scenario if the false accusations our against your leadership assignment. Being passive is just another excuse to justify cowardice. On the other hand, dealing with the situation in fleshly anger, vengeance, unforgiveness, or pride makes your leadership response worse than the false accusation.

You don’t step back and allow someone else fill the capacity He has given you. You lead! And, if there is anything that makes you vulnerable to the false accusations, you make this an opportunity to step toward the flaw and become a better leader. You allow your life and leadership to stand the scrutiny of those to whom you are accountable even when the accusations are false. You will certainly discover another opportunity to be improved in this moment of testing.

“Do not listen or receive an accusation against an elder until two or three witnesses establish is validity.” [See 1 Timothy 5:19.]

This particular is usually ignored by people because they are so unaware of the principle, think they have the right to be part of the process when they have no leadership standing to listen, and because people simply love to diminish leaders in order to feel more important.

False accusations pretty much come with the territory of leadership. Some measure of blending usually occurs between accusations and false accusations. Seldom is the false accusation void of a twisting serpent’s tongue of deceit, using actual events, prevailing impressions, or available information.

I’ve been dealing with both accusations and false accusations all my ministry life, the “how to” of dealing with false accusations becomes part of leadership life.

Step 1 – Release the gift of forgiveness first, not after you get the facts or understand the motivations. Forgive. If you wait, you may get into denial as a means of dealing with the pain and neglect the fundamental responses of kingdom leadership. Forgive. If you do not do this first, your Father will not forgive you when you overreact or internalize your defense. You may step into anger, frustration, fear, or retaliation; so forgive first and short circuit the enemy’s offense trap. Forgive first so you have a completely forgiven heart before God.

Step 2 – Make yourself accountable to spiritual leaders who have the place and position to confront your true feelings. Make yourself available. Don’t wait to prepare your defense, and then call them in. Immediately, go to them and confess openly your perspective on the accusations with full expression of your authentic feelings about the situation. Don’t be afraid of expressing your true feeling with those to whom you are accountable. If you are required to cover up your true feelings, you may need a different accountability group. You need to “get real” about the situation to avoid receiving a wound or dropping into disgust or despair about the betrayal. You should run right to your accountability group.

Step 3 – Get the facts yourself. Lead so someone else doesn’t. You heard about the false accusations from someone, so find out what was actually said or is still being said. Never listen to someone’s drama queen or king presentation of gossip, the story of someone flying off the handle, or fall into knee jerking. Don’t jump to conclusions about the accuser’s motivations and the meaning of what you initially hear without getting the facts. Many “false accusations” are actually someone’s poorly produced complaint system at work, a cry for help, a tantrum for attention that you feed if you don’t understand what really happened or was actually communicated. Reality and truth always walk together, so get some of both.

Step 4 – Shut down the lineup of defenders who wish to pick sides to defend you before there’s anything to defend, who get into false accusations of their own to discredit the person or persons falsely accusing you. Don’t allow people who love you to get out of position, out in front of you, defending what needs no defense. Stop the feud before it becomes a feud, so the enemy doesn’t have the opportunity to feed the situation or control the agenda and message of the moment. Lead! Leaders lead in crises so someone else doesn’t gain leadership in their places. Be as aggressive as is needed, without anger or overt intimidation in our voice or behavior, but be certain that everyone realizes God’s representative will represent God in this situation, not some bozo on a ego booster high. Do not remove yourself from the situation unless your accountability group finds that this will be the next step in bringing a Biblical response.

Step 5 – Answer all false accusations at the appropriate level of exposure. Don’t make a private matter public; don’t leave a public matter to private discussion. The reach of the accuser’s communication is the scope of the leader’s response. The actual source of the false accusations is where you start. The wording of your response is not nearly as important as your heart in the matter. Seek to meet with the person or persons making the false accusations to see if they will retract or make it clear that their words were taken out of context or misunderstood, if that is the case. Try to avoid allowing them to lie their way out of the corner from which they falsely accused lest they simply repeat the behavior the next time they are angry or afraid. But, communicate your response without creating a sense of self-pity or victimization on your own part. Again, lead. Solve problems, as every leader is required to do. Seek to end the issue, put that thing in the grave, and settle it as much as is possible.

Step 6 – Establish some final definition to the relationships involved. Either the person responded to the opportunity to retract or clarify, and you can reset the relationship, or tragically, they chose to ignore every outreach of your leadership and must be identified for their behavior to protect the Ecclesia. Do this at the level of their communication; keep the scope as small as possible, but you must always settle the issue at the Ecclesia level when the person refuses to face the reality of such a serious misdeed. If the person or persons involved are not believers, the issue must be dealt with in a totally different way: in this article, I am speaking strictly of believers. If the believers do not acknowledge your leadership in this matter, other leaders must be involved to press for kingdom integrity. If that fails, you are left to settle the matter as best as you can and move on. since you have exhausted your leadership reach. Establish finality from that point of reference.

Step 7 – Establish closure in yourself, your family, and the other leaders in your scope of leadership so no residue of unsettled bitterness or unforgiveness clouds the atmosphere or leaves open doors to further hellish intrusions. As a leader, protect those you lead from unresolved issues so they don’t continue to process the situation without reaching a point of closure.

You will discover a great deal of dysfunction among kingdom leaders, and the most likely scenario of dealing with false accusations will find you watching other leaders accepting the false accuser in as a victim of abuse or “misunderstanding.” You will watch in dismay as other leaders justifying the accuser’s victimization with false mercy, placating them for being treated so unjustly and setting them up to repeat their behaviors. Other leaders will give them permission to be rebellious, even continue to speak the false accusation after it is obvious to those actually involved that it is a false accusation.

Do not allow the closure to be reopened once you’ve done all you can do. Let it go! Do not enter into accusation yourself against your accuser, but speak the truth in love. Do not operate in the same spirit, but don’t mince words about truth and reality. Allow the confrontation to speak for itself: the accusations are false, and the perpetrator of false accusations stands accused by his or her own actions. Don’t build a case and enter into a courtroom for punishment. Your goal is always reconciliation and restoration, but the people actually involved are the only one who can accomplish that process. So, if the process gets short-circuited, all you can do is all you can do.

Do not fear that this process will be repeated. Know that it will definitely be repeated, but do not fear it! Be ready to lead when it happens. That’s what leaders do.

The Burning Whirlwind

We don’t know from whence it comes or to where it blows, but we see it manifest at the point of confrontation. There is fire in God’s breath, but we only see it when it meets with the breath of hell.

We assume that God will do this while we watch, but we are wrong. I only see the whirlwind where God’s people breathe out what God has breathed into them. Only the burning Remnant can release this wind, and it only burns when they release it with authority and power to alter atmospheres, to push back the breath of a systematic delusion.

Whatever release the breath of God from us counters the prevailing spiritual conditions around us. Simply burning is not enough to represent heaven on earth. Simply being a burning one isn’t enough to fulfill the purpose of the flame. Simply breathing in, even being consumed by the fire, isn’t enough because we cannot represent heaven on earth by consuming or being consumed. Simply being without doing isn’t enough.

So I declare,  Breath of God, confront the contrary winds of systematic delusion. Let the flames burn hot at the points of confrontation. Let the whirlwind arise from the effects of spiritual causes so that they are identified by their spiritual nature more than their natural consequences. Let the revelation of “where comes this atmosphere” be revealed by this confrontation, burning off the masks of deception, consuming the systems of delusion. Let the fire in God’s breath, released through a burning Remnant, do more than identity His people – let the fire identify His purposes!”