Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of the Psalms which is a composition of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs which were written by various different authors. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-six through thirty-one of this Old Testament book. JUDGE ME! EXAMINE ME! PROVE ME! TRY ME! TRY MY REINS AND MY HEART! I HAVE TRUSTED ALSO IN THE LORD; THEREFORE I SHALL NOT SLIDE! I HAVE WALKED IN MINE INTEGRITY! I HAVE WALKED IN THY TRUTH! I HAVE NOT SAT WITH VAIN PERSONS! NEITHER WILL I GO IN WITH DISSEMBLERS! I HAVE HATED THE CONGREGATION OF EVIL DOERS! AND WILL NTO SIT WITH THE WICKED! I WILL WASH MINE HANDS IN INNOCENCY! SO WILL I COMPASS THINE ALTAR, O LORD! LORD, I HAVE LOVED THE HABITATION OF THY HOUSE, AND THE PLACE WHERE THINE HONOUR DWELLETH! AS FOR ME, I WILL WALK IN MINE INTEGRITY! REDEEM ME, AND BE MERCIFUL UNTO ME! MY FOOT STANDETH IN AN EVN PLACE! IN THE CONGREGATIONS WILL I BLESS THE LORD!
THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND MY SALVATION; WHOM SHALL I FEAR? THE LORD IS THE STRENGTH OF MY LIFE; OF WHOM SHALL I BE AFRAID? THOU AN HOST SHOULD ENCAMP AGAINST ME, MY HEART SHALL NOT FEAR! THOU WAR SHOULD RISE AGAINST ME, IN THIS WILL I BE CONFIDENT! ONE THING HAVE I DESIRED OF THE LORD, THAT WILL I SEEK AFTER; THAT I MAY DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, TO BEHOLD THE BEAUTY OF THE LORD, AND TO INQUIRE IN HIS TEMPLE! FOR IN THE TIME OF TROUBLE HE SHALL HIDE ME IN HIS PAVILION! IN THE SECRET OF HIS TABERNACLE SHALL HE HIDE ME! HE SHALL SET ME UPON A ROCK! AND NOW SHALL MINE HEAD BE LIFTED UP ABOVE MINE ENEMIES ROUND ABOUT ME! THEREFORE WILL I OFFER IN HIS TABERNACLE SACRIFICES OF JOY! WHEN THOU SAIDST, SEEK YE MY FACE; MY HEART SAID UNTO THEE, THY FACE LORD, WILL I SEEK! THOU HAST BEEN MY HELP; LEAVE ME NOT, NEITHER FORSAKE ME, O GOD OF MY SALVATION! WHEN MY FATHER AND MY MOTHER FORSAKE ME, THEN THE LORD WILL TAKE ME UP! TEACH ME THY WAY, O LORD, AND LEAD ME IN A PLAIN PATH, BECAUSE OF MINE ENEMIES! I HAD FAINTED, UNLESS I HAD BELIEVED TO SEE THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING! WAIT ON THE LORD! BE OF GOOD COURAGE, AND HE SHALL STRENGTHEN THINE HEART! WAIT, I SAY, ON THE LORD!
UNTO THEE WILL I CRY, O LORD MY ROCK! BE NOT SILENT TO ME! IF THOU BE SILENT TO ME, I BECOME LIKE THEM THAT GO DOWN INTO THE PIT! HEAR THE VOICE OF MY SUPPLICATIONS, WHEN I CRY UNTO THEE, WHEN I LIFT UP MY HANDS TOWARD THY HOLY ORACLE! BLESSED BE THE LORD, BECAUSE HE HATH HEARD THE VOICE OF MY SUPPLICATIONS! THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH AND MY SHIELD! MY HEART TRUSTED IN HIM, AND I AM HELPED! THE LORD IS THEIR STRENGTH, AND HE IS THE SAVING STRENGTH OF HIS ANOINTED!
GIVE UNTO THE LORD, O YE MIGHTY! GIVE UNTO THE LORD GLORY AND STRENGTH! GIVE UNTO THE LORD THE GLORY DUE UNTO HIS NAME! WORSHIP THE LORD IN THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS! THE VOICE OF THE LORD IS UPON THE WATERS! THE GOD OF GLORY THUNDERETH! THE LORD IS UPON MANY WATERS! THE VOICE OF THE LORD IS POWERFUL! THE VOICE OF THE LORD IS FULL OF MAJESTY! THE VOICE OF THE LORD BREAKETH THE CEDARS! THE VOICE OF THE LORD DIVIDETH THE FLAMES OF FIRE! THE VOICE OF THE LORD SHAKETH THE WILDERNESS! THE VOICE OF THE LORD MAKETH THE HINDS TO CALVE, AND DISCOVERETH THE FORESTS! IN HIS TEMPLE DOTH EVERY ONE SPEAK OF HIS GLORY! THE LORD SITTETH UPON THE FLOOD! THE LORD WILL GIVE STRENGTH UNTO HIS PEOPLE! THE LORD WILL BLESS HIS PEOPLE WITH PEACE!
I WILL EXTOL THEE, O LORD; FOR THOU HAST LIFTED ME UP, AND HAST NOT MADE MY FOES TO REJOICE OVER ME! O LORD MY GOD, I CRIED UNTO THEE, AND THOU HAST HEALED ME! O LORD, THOU HAST BROUGHT UP MY SOUL FROM THE GRAVE: THOU HAST KEPT ME ALIVE, THAT I SHOULD NOT GO DOWN TO THE PIT! SING UNTO THE LORD, O YE SAINTS OF HIS, AND GIVE THANKS AT THE REMEMBRANCE OF HIS HOLINESS! FOR HIS ANGER ENDURETH BUT A MOMENT; IN HIS FAVOUR IS LIFE! WEEPING MAY ENDURE FOR A NIGHT, BUT JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING! WHAT PROFIT IS THERE IN MY BLOOD, WHEN I GO DOWN TO THE PIT? SHALL THE DUST PRAISE THEE? SHALL IT DECLARE THY TRUTH? HEAR, O LORD, AND HAVER MERCY UPON ME! LORD, BE THOU. MY HELPER! THOU HAST TURNED FOR ME MY MOURNING INTO DANCING! THOU HAST PUT OFF MY SACKCLOTH, AND GIRDED ME WITH GLADNESS! TO THE END THAT MY GLORY MAY SING PRAISE TO THEE, AND NOT BE SILENT!
IN THEE, O LORD, DO I PUT MY TRUST! LET ME NEVER BE ASHAMED! DELIVER ME IN THY RIGHTEOUSNESS! BOW DOWN THINE EAR TO ME! DELIVER ME SPEEDILY! BE THOU MY STRONG ROCK, FOR AN HOUSE OF DEFENCE TO SAVE ME! FOR THOU ART MY ROCK AND MY FORTRESS! FOR THY NAME’S SAKE LEAD ME, AND GUIDE ME! PULL ME OUT OF THE NET THAT THEY HAVE LAID PRIVILY FOR ME! THOU ART MY STRENGTH! INTO THINE HAND I COMMIT MY SPIRIT! I WILL BE GLAD AND REJOICE IN THY MERCY! FOR THOU HAST CONSIDERED MY TROUBLE! THOU HAST KNOWN MY SOUL IN ADVERSITIES; AND HAST NOT SHUT ME UP INTO THE HAND OF THE ENEMY! HAVE MERCY UPON ME, O LORD, FOR I AM IN TROUBLE! MINE EYE IS CONSUMED WITH GRIEF, YEA, MY SOUL AND MY BELLY! MY STRENGTH FAILETH BECAUSE OF MINE INIQUITY, AND MY BONES ARE CONSUMED! FOR I HAVE HEARD THE SLANDER OF MANY: FEAR WAS ON EVERY SIDE: WHILE THEY TOOK COUNSEL TOGETHER AGAINST ME! THE DEVISED TO TAKE AWAY MY LIFE! BUT I TRUSTED IN THEE, O LORD! I SAID, THOU ART MY GOD! MY TIMES ARE IN THY HAND! DELIVER ME FROM THE HAND OF MINE ENEMIES, AND FROM THEM THAT PERSECUTE ME! MAKE THY FACE TO SHINE UPON THY SERVANT! LET ME NOT BE ASHAMED, O LORD; FOR I HAVE CALLED UPON THEE! OH HOW GREAT IS THY GOODNESS, WHICH THOU HAST LAID UP FOR THEM THAT FEAR THEE; WHICH THOU HAST WROUGHT FOR THEM THAT TRUST IN THEE BEFORE THE SONS OF MEN! THOU SHALT HIDE THEM IN THE SECRET OF THY PRESENCE FROM THE PRIDE OF MAN: THOU SH ALT KEEP THEM SECRETLY IN A PAVILION FROM THE STRIFE OF TONGUES!
When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the psalmist David praying what I would without a doubt call a “dangerous and vulnerable prayer.” I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the opening two verses of the twenty-sixth chapter, and I have to admit that the words which David prays before the LORD are absolutely astounding—not only because of the tremendous vulnerability and transparency before the LORD, but also because of the sheer and utter danger that is found within them. Please note and understand that when I speak of the words which are found within this passage as “dangerous,” I am in no way referring to them as being words that would bring any hurt or harm to David when praying them. When I speak about the words found within this particular chapter as being dangerous, that which I am speaking about and referring to is the fact that it takes a tremendous amount of courage and bravery to utter such words before the LORD in the prayer closet. I can’t help but be absolutely and completely captivated and gripped with the words found in this chapter, for these words demonstrate and prove the absolutely tremendous confidence David placed in the LORD his God to pray and utter such words. We dare not miss and lose sight of such words, and we must strive to not allow them to get lost in translation and lost in transition, for the words found in this chapter are absolutely courageous and bold within the heart of David. Pause for a moment and consider what type of fortitude, what type of strength, what type of courage it takes within your heart and soul to get alone with the LORD in the prayer closet and call upon Him to judge you. Stop for a moment and consider the fact that David was confident enough in his integrity, confident enough in his character, and confident enough in his obedience before the LORD that he was able to come boldly before the throne of God and ask for Him to judge him. What’s more, is David not only asked and invited the LORD to judge him, but he also asked and entreated the LORD to examine him, to prove him, and to try the reigns of his heart. It’s absolutely and incredibly intriguing to read the words which are found within the opening two verses of this passage, for not only did David declare that he walked in integrity, but David also emphatically and boldly declared that he trusted in the LORD.
Pause for a moment and consider the tremendous courage and boldness that would be needed within the heart and soul of David to not only ask the LORD to judge him, but also to examine him, to prove him, and to try his reigns and heart. There is an adage and phrase that is used a lot—particularly and especially as it pertains to the court of law in our culture and society—and that phrase is simply “innocent until proven guilty.” This reality of being innocent until proven guilty is actually quite remarkable when you think about it in light of the words which David prayed in this psalm, for that which David did was essentially invite the Judge of all the earth to judge him. This particular reality cannot and should not be treated casually, nor should it be treated lightly, for it is a bold and powerful thing to stand before and within the presence of the LORD and to invite Him to judge you. Consider the tremendous confidence you would have to have—not only in your own character and integrity, but also in the character and integrity of the LORD to invite Him to judge you. It takes a tremendous amount of confidence and trust to cast yourself upon the mercy and grace of the LORD, and one of the things we must understand and recognize concerning David is that he was a man who did not escape this life without the sting of sin piercing his heart and soul. If and as you read the words which are written within the book of the Psalms—particularly and especially in the fifty-first chapter, the sixth chapter, and even the thirty-second chapter you will find David speaking before the LORD, and doing so from a place of humility and brokenness as he asked the LORD for forgiveness for his sins, his trespasses and iniquities. Even the apostle Paul would write concerning the blessedness of that man whom the LORD does not impute transgression, and that man whom the LORD graciously and mercifully pardons. In order to truly understand and recognize the words which are written and recorded within this passage of Scripture it is absolutely necessary to consider the words found within these particular psalms, for they help us to understand what undoubtedly serves as the foundation for our willingness to cast ourselves upon the mercy and grace of the LORD our God. What’s more, is that we must recognize and understand the reality of the confidence we have to come boldly before the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within these three psalms found in this Old Testament poetic book:
“O LORD, rebuke me not in mine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: Oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: In the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; The LORD will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly” (Psalm 6:1-10).
“Blessed is whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will sin truck thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart” (Psalm 32:1-11).
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in infinity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Created in me a clear heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver m e from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O LORD, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: Thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, o God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:1-17).
As I sit here and meditate upon the words which David prayed here within thieve passages of Scripture, I can’t help but think about the tremendous courage it takes to place ourselves squarely and solely at the mercy of the living God. It takes a tremendous amount of confidence to ask God on this side of eternity to judge us, and the truth of the matter is that I am convinced there aren’t many men and women who would be willing to pray such a prayer. We know in Scripture that it is appointed unto men once to die, and then the judgment, however, there is a judgment before the judgment, and there is a judging before the judging. I consider these words and I can’t help but get the strong sense that it is absolutely vital and critical to cast ourselves before and upon the Judge of all creation here on this side of eternity than to wait before it’s too late and to stand before the Great White Throne Judgment that will take place when the wicked hear the words “Depart from me, ye worker of iniquity; I never knew you.” Within Scripture we recognize and understand that there is the judgment seat of Christ, and there is the Great White Throne—both of which serve two different and distinct purposes and accomplish two drastically different things. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which are written and recorded in the fifth chapter of the second epistle which was written unto the Corinthian saints, as well as the words which are written and recorded in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ. What’s more, is that I can’t help but also be reminded of the words which the apostle Peter wrote in the fourth chapter of the first epistle which he wrote unto the saints which were scattered throughout Asia. Consider if you will the following words which are written within these passages, as well as the words which are found in the twenty-fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel account written by the apostle Matthew:
“Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the LORD, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God; or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as thou God did beseech you by u s: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:9-21).
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:12-19).
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall e gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 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 a 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. 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 I n? 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. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, D part from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did I t not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:31-46).
“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:24-28).
THE JUDGMENT OF GOD! THE JUDGMENT OF MAN! ROMANS 2! MATTHEW 7! LUKE 6! JAMES 2! I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be absolutely and completely captivated with David’s plea before the LORD to judge him here in this life, and I find myself coming face to face with the tremendous reality that the prayer which David prayed is actually one that not only has significance in the here and the now, but it also has eternal significance. The passages I just presented to you clearly reveal the reality that it is appointed unto men once to die, and then after death is the judgment. The apostle Paul very clearly wrote and spoke of the judgment seat of Christ in which the saints of God and disciples and followers of Jesus will be judged and will receive a crown of life. What is actually quite intriguing when you take the time to think about it is that there are essentially two judgments which are mentioned and spoken of within Scripture. The apostle Paul wrote of the judgment seat of Christ which is the judgment of the righteous according to what they have done in this life, but there is also a second judgment—one that takes place after the Millennial Reign of Jesus the Christ and the destruction of Satan once and for all. You will read in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ how there will come forth out of heaven an angel having the key to the abyss, and with that key and a large chain he would bind Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit where he would be bound for one thousand years. It would be during those one thousand years where Jesus Christ will sit upon David’s throne in the city of Jerusalem and will rule the nations together with His saints. During those thousand years the earth will not only have been rid of the beast from the sea and the beast from the earth, but Satan himself will be bound for one thousand years. Once those thousand years are up, however, Satan will be loosed from the bottomless pit and will go to the four corners of the earth to deceive them into going to make war with Jesus the Christ and His holy saints in the city of Jerusalem. Scripture reveals how fire will come down from heaven and utterly destroy the army which Satan amassed within and upon the earth, and Satan himself will be bound and captured and cast alive into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet were. What happens in the final portion of this chapter is a scene unfolding in heaven when all those who were dead in their iniquity, and dead in their transgressions, and dead in their rebellion and wickedness will rise once more that they might stand before the Great White Throne. It would be there at this throne where the books will be opened, and all those whose names were not written in the book of life would be cast into the lake of fire burning with sulfur and brimstone where they will spend an eternity separated from the presence of the living God. What’s more, is that death and hell will themselves also be cast into the lake of fire together with all the evil spirits, all manner of spiritual wickedness, all principalities, all rulers of darkness, and everything man has contended with since the creation of Adam.
The more I think about and consider the words which were spoken by David in this particular chapter, the more I can’t help but come face to face with and encounter the reality that David’s plea and David’s invitation for the LORD to judge him is actually an incredibly dangerous prayer—one which the living God delights in and desires to answer. I find myself thinking about the fact that there is a great and powerful need within this life in the here and the now to invite the LORD to judge us, for through our allowing and inviting the LORD to judge us in the here and the now can and will prevent us from standing before the Great White Throne and discovering that our names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. Oh beloved, there is going to be a day when the books will be opened, and scores will be settled and a great reckoning is going to take place. There is coming a day when the sea will give up the dead that is found within it, and when death and hell will give up their prisoners—both that the ones who were bound and contained within will stand before the throne of God in that day. I think about this absolutely incredible reality, and I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the author of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews wrote—not only in the sixth chapter of the epistle, but also in the tenth chapter of the epistle. I am convinced that if you and I are truly going to invite the living and eternal God into our hearts, into our souls, into our minds, and into our lives that He might judge us, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize the words which are found within these passages. It is what we find within these passages that help us further understand the great and powerful need in this life for the living and eternal God to judge us—and not only judge us, but also to try us, to prove us, and to examine us. Consider if you will the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews, followed immediately by the words which are written in the sixth chapter of the same epistle:
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of som is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, and unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the LORD. And again, The LORD shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whist ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spieling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:19-39).
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves s the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour or love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do m ininster. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:1- 12).
If you read the words which are found within the New Testament epistle of Hebrews you will find a great deal of language that speaks directly to our having confidence—and not only confidence, but also boldness—to come boldly before the throne of grace, and to receive mercy and grace to help in time of need. The author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews called and invited their audience to the place where they would come before the throne of the living God in order that they might allow themselves to be cleansed, pardoned, forgiven, redeemed, purified, sanctified and made holy. The author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews made it very clear to their audience that Jesus Christ died once and for all for sins, and that there remains no more need for sacrifices to be made, for Jesus Christ is and was the sacrifice needed for the penalty and curse of sin. The author of this epistle—in the fourth chapter spoke of us coming boldly before the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need, while in the tenth chapter spoke of us having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way. What’s more, is the author of this epistle invited us to draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil confidence, and our bodies washed with pure water. This New Testament author would further go on to invite us to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, and to consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works. It is necessary that we pay close attention to the words which are written and recorded within the epistle written unto the Hebrews, for there is a powerful invitation to come to a place—a place where we not only need boldness, a place where we not only need assurance, a place where we not only need confidence, but a place where we also need courage to appear before by and through the blood of Jesus Christ, and according to His flesh which was broken for us. There is absolutely no mistaking the words which are found within the epistle written unto the Hebrews that the author was inviting us to a a new and living place—unto a better place—where we might have access into the holiest by and through the body and blood of our Lord Jesus. This is truly necessary, for when we think about and consider this reality we must allow ourselves to come face to face with the great confidence and assurance needed to come boldly before and unto the throne of grace in order that we might find grace—and not only find grace, but also mercy to help in time of need.
The more you read the words which are written and recorded within the book of the Psalms, the more you will encounter and come face to face with the fact that David was a man who was full of confidence and full of assurance before the LORD his God. David was a man who was fully confident in the character and nature of the God whom he served and worshipped—and so much so that he was willing to invite the LORD to judge him. The psalmist David was willing to invite the LORD to look into every area of his life, and to go into every corner, every crevice, and every hidden and secret place in order that he might not only be tried and proven, but also that he might be made righteous. You will recall in the thirty-second chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms how David emphatically declared that blessed is that one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. What’s more, is David would go on to write and declare that blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Please don’t miss and lose sight of these realities, for there is something to be said about that man whose transgression is forgiven, and that man whose sin is covered. Even more and even still, David would take this a step further and speak about that man being blessed whom the LORD imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. The apostle Paul would reference the words of David in the epistle which was written unto the Roman saints when he spoke about the justification of faith alone without and apart from works. Oh, there is something truly powerful and truly beautiful about that man and that woman who is not only willing to invite the Lord to enter into their lives to judge, to try, to examine and to prove them, but who are willing to cast themselves upon the mercy of the living God. Even when David sinned and transgressed against the LORD and the prophet came to him with three distinct options, David chose to cast himself upon the plague that would come upon the city, for he recognized that it was better to cast himself upon the mercy of the LORD. David recognized that the LORD was indeed gracious, and merciful, and slow to anger, and that he would rather cast himself upon the mercy and grace of the living God than casting himself into the hands of men who would not show mercy, nor would they show grace. David was absolutely no stranger to casting himself upon the mercy of God, for not only would he reference and speak of this reality unto the prophet, but he would also go unto mount Moriah and the threshingfloor of Ornan in order that he might build an altar and make a sacrifice before and unto the LORD that the plague might be stopped, and the devastation might not continue. Moreover, David sought for the forgiveness of the living and eternal God there at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, and the LORD would answer David by fire coming down from heaven upon the altar and sacrifice.
Oh dear brother, dear sister—there is something which we must recognize and understand when we read the words which David prayed before and unto the LORD, for David wasn’t afraid to cast himself upon the mercy and grace of the LORD in this life that he might find forgiveness, and that he might find grace and mercy. It’s important to note that this was long before the death of Jesus Christ would take place, and this was long before the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews would be written. Long before the cross, and long before the body of Christ would be broken and His blood would be shed, David would cast himself fully and completely upon the mercy and grace of the LORD, for he was confident the LORD could and would grant mercy, and extend grace. David was not afraid to invite the LORD to judge him, and this reality is expressed even further when you come to the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms. If you begin reading with and from the seventh verse of the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms you will find David speaking of the Law of the LORD with all its statutes, all its precepts, all its commands, and how they were incredibly beneficial for the saint of God who worshipped and served Him. What’s more, is that David would go on to write about a man understanding his errors—and not only understanding his errors, but also being cleansed from them. Consider if you will the following words which are written and recorded in the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms beginning to read with and from the seventh verse:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:7-14).
Concerning this reality of standing before the LORD with full confidence and assurance in His character and nature to invite Him to judge us—and not only judge us, but also try us, prove us and examine us—I am reminded of the great danger we as the saints of God face in thinking that we are qualified to judge others. When we speak about our standing before the throne of God and inviting Him to judge us, it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that directly linked and connected with this is the temptation we can and will face to want to judge others. There is, and there always has been a great danger and temptation in our seeking to judge others, as though we are somehow qualified and positioned to be able to judge another man. I find it absolutely necessary to emphatically and boldly write to you who are reading these words that there is a great and inherent danger in allowing ourselves to enter into a place where we feel qualified to be able to judge others—judge others of their sin, and even to judge others in their righteousness before the LORD. There is and there has always been the temptation to seek to judge others, and yet Scripture is very clear concerning our thinking and believing that we are somehow able to judge others. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote and spoke of this in the epistle which was written unto the Roman saints. Moreover, James wrote and spoke of the same thing in the second chapter of the epistle which he wrote. Both of these men, however, would be inspired by the words which our Lord Jesus spoke while upon this earth. Consider if you will the following words and warnings which are found in Scripture concerning the great temptation that surrounds us thinking and believing that we are somehow qualified to judge others:
“Therefore 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? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do n to obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the tings contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are most excellent, being instructed out of the law; and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of baes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not theylsef? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou c commit adultery? Thou that abhorerest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written, For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore, if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision and shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:1-29).
“My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the witch ye are called? If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For h e that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not k ill, Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:1-13).
“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 ensured to you again. And 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 7:1-5).
“And He spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciples is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall e as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; n either doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speakest” (Luke 6:39-45).
It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand these words, for it is absolutely true and without a question that we are all going to be judged for the deeds which we have done within and upon this earth. Scripture makes it very clear that we can and will given an account and will have to answer for what we did within this life—and even what we didn’t do in this life. The words which we find within these words express the tremendous danger that surrounds our thinking and believing that we can somehow judge others. What’s more, is that not only do these words speak about judging others when we ourselves do the very same things which they do, but they also speak about our pointing out the speck in someone else’s eye without even thinking about—much less considering the log or plank that is within our own eye. There is not a doubt in my mind that in this life we have great need to cast ourselves with full assurance and full confidence before the throne of the living God, and upon His mercy and grace in time of need. We have great need within this life to come boldly before the throne by and through a new and living way which is the broken body and shed blood of Jesus the Christ for the remission of sins. The words which David prayed as he invited the LORD to judge him, to try him, to prove him, and to examine him are absolutely incredible and necessary, for within this life these should be the words found within our hearts. In fact, I would dare say that these words should be a regular practice within our lives as we not only examine ourselves, but also as we invite the Holy Spirit to examine, to test, to try and to judge us. In regards to and speaking about this need for self-examination, I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote—not only in the eleventh chapter of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints, but also in the thirteenth chapter of the second epistle which was written unto the same congregation. Consider if you will the words which are found within these passages beginning first and foremost with that first letter which was written unto the Corinthian saints:
“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and rink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And rest I will set in order when I come” (1 Corinthians 11:27-34).
“This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spears: since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in I’m, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we would appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfect. Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction” (2 Corinthians 13:1-10).
As you read these words you will notice that there is an incredibly powerful link and connection between our invitation of the LORD to judge us, as well as the need to examine ourselves. Scripture makes it perfectly and abundantly clear that within this life we are to examine ourselves as it pertains to partaking of the sacred bread and the sacred cup—and not only when it comes to the sacred table before the LORD, but we must also examine ourselves whether we be in the faith. It’s interesting and worth noting that in the second epistle which was written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were in Corinth—not only did he instruct them to examine themselves, but he also instructed them to prove themselves and to know themselves. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely tremendous and incredible reality, for this reality must be carefully understood in order that we might find ourselves walking in a manner that is worthy of the calling that is upon our lives, and in order that we might walk in a manner that pleases and glorifies the living and eternal God. It is something to be said about that man and that woman who are both willing to not only invite the LORD to judge them, to examine them, and to prove them, but who are also willing to—through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit as He leads them through the Word of God—examine, prove and test themselves. What’s more, is that as you read these words you will find the apostle Paul instructing the Corinthian saints to examine themselves to know whether or not they actually be in the faith. With this in mind, I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Peter wrote in the first chapter of the second epistle he wrote unto the saints and Christians which were scattered throughout Asia. If you begin reading with and form the third verse of the first chapter of this epistle you will find the apostle Peter speaking of the divine power of God giving unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, as well as there being given unto us exceeding great and precious promises. What’s more, is that the apostle Peter would go on to write and speak about the fact that these are necessary in order that we might be partakers of the divine nature that we might escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. In addition to the words which are written within this passage, I would also invite you to consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle which was written unto the churches in Galatia, as well as the words which were written unto the saints which were at Rome:
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the father, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:3-11).
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the work of the law: for by the works of the law shall not flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of god, who l over me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the l aw, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:16-21).
“What shall we say then? Shall. We continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that l Ike as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: k noting this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall. Also live with him knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth. No more; death hath. No more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto. God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:3-14).
As I bring this writing to a close I feel compelled to state that I am fully aware that I have literally taken a couple verses out of the twenty-sixth chapter of the book of the Psalms and have engaged in this entire writing based on David’s invitation of the LORD to judge him, to examine him, to try him and to prove him. With that being said, I feel a strong tug and pull within my spirit for the saints of God—those who recognize and understand that judgment must needs begin in the house of the Lord—to not only invite the living and eternal God to examine them, but also for them to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith. There is not a doubt in my mind that we have great need to not only judge ourselves, but also to allow the Lord to judge us in this life that we might not be judged. It was the apostle Paul who—when writing to the Corinthian congregation—declared unto them that if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. Furthermore, the apostle Paul would go on to emphatically declare that when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. I am absolutely and completely convinced that in the days and times in which we are living there is a great and powerful need for us to examine ourselves, and for us to judge ourselves in order that we might truly recognize and understand whether or not we be in the faith. Moreover, I would rather have the Lord judge me here in this lifetime, and here upon the earth than be judged on the other side of time in the realm of eternity. There was a popular song that emphatically declared that “Only God can judge me,” and I have seen a meme that takes this and builds upon it by stating that the thought of God judging you should scare you. The truth of the matter is what we must not only come boldly before the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace to help in time of need, but we must also cast ourselves with full assurance on the character and nature of the living God. We must allow ourselves to be completely and utterly vulnerable and honest in the sight and presence of the LORD, and invite His Spirit and His presence to examine every fiber of our beings, and every nook and crevice within our hearts and minds. There must not be any part of us we are unwilling to offer before and unto the LORD that He might throughly examine and prove us. We must be willing to without fear and without reservation invite the living and eternal God to not only judge us, but also to walk us through judging ourselves that we might not be judged on that great and terrible day. When the seventy whom Jesus sent before His face returned, they returned rejoicing that even the unclean spirits were subject them in His name. To this Jesus responded and declared that He saw Satan fall like lightning from the heavens, and would go on to instruct and correct them to not rejoice that evil spirits are subject to them in His name, but rather that their names are written in the book of life. Oh that we would judge ourselves, and that we would allow the Lord to judge us that we might confidently know and be assured that our names are indeed written in that book and life.