Judging Righteous Judgment


Word at Ministry Meeting, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Tuesday, 29 December 1970
Deryck Noakes

audio recording  (2.2Mb)

Deuteronomy 1 :  17-18

Ye shall not respect persons in judgment: ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment is God's; and the matter that is too hard for you shall ye bring to me, that I may hear it.

And I commanded you at that time all the things that ye should do.

This is Moses speaking in the fortieth year, and the eleventh month (v. 3) – going on to the end of the journey, like we are in this dispensation, brethren; and he’s speaking here about journeying, and he’s speaking about strife – “wear, and . . . burden, and . . . strife” (v. 12). It refers to how he took chiefs of tribes, and judges, to “hear the causes between your brethren and judge righteously between a man and his brother.” What he brings up then is that respect of persons can obscure judgment. Are we then encouraged to be in the assembly tonight? I am thinking of the universal position as it exists today. I think what the Lord would encourage us in is to judge righteously; and not to be afraid of the face of man. It doesn’t matter who a man is – it doesn’t matter who he is; it doesn’t matter what his name is, or where he comes from – that does not matter. What matters is whether you can judge whether it’s the spirit of the belovèd still, or whether it’s not. And you never have that judgment righteously and fully unless you are afraid of no man. It doesn’t matter what his initials are, and what his locality is, and how long he’s served the brethren – it makes no difference. He says here, ‘Your judgment must depend on righteousness and not on respect of man.’ Respect of man can turn aside judgment to what is wrong. And it doesn’t matter on numbers, and it doesn’t matter on status. He says, ‘Don’t take these things into account at all.’ He says, ‘You hear the small as well as the great and judge righteous judgment.’

We’ve only got one thing to do to get through, like he said, ‘and I will bring you through,’ because the spirit of Caleb was there – it brought them through. It can bring us through, too, as long as we judge righteously. Judge what is of the spirit of our belovèd and approve of that, and reject everything else, regardless of who it comes from. You’ve got to have this straight, and then he says, ‘If it is too hard for you, bring it to me.’ Always do that – always bring things that are too hard for us to him. It would be Moses, I suppose, but we have the ministries; we have the blue books, we have the red books, we have J.N.D.’s books; we have the green books, which you’ve got to start with every time – every time, I think. And you find in them the answer to everything.

So it’s a critical time we’re in. Not to depress the brethren, but it’s a critical time that we’re in. I think if you want to be clear, absolutely clear – and who doesn’t want to be clear? – if we want to be clear, you’ve got to come to a judgment that you’re not going to respect persons. You’re not going to say, because he’s important, what he says must be right; and, because he’s not important, what he says must be wrong; but to judge according to principle. And you’re helped in regard to judgment according to principle by seeing whether it’s the spirit, the same spirit – the spirit of our belovèd.

He says, “Ye shall not be afraid of the face of man.” That’s what I would like to leave with the brethren. You needn’t be afraid – if you’re a brother, you’ve got status! If you’re a brother, you’ve got a right to state your convictions! You’ve got a right to do that, if you’re a brother. If you’re a sister, you’ve got a right to state your convictions! It doesn’t matter who you are, you’ve got a right to state your convictions, and no one can take action against you for stating your convictions! They can, and could do it, if what you’re saying was wrong; they could point out that it was wrong. But action cannot be taken against the brethren – the brethren have got a right to judge. As it says, ‘Let one speak, and another judge’ (1 Cor. 14 : 29). The brethren have got a right to these things; in fact, this is how the truth is preserved amongst the saints – that there’s a spirit of judgment amongst the brethren. They’re not afraid of man. It doesn’t matter who he is, they’re not afraid of him, because you know that it’s the truth that counts.

It also suggests that things might be too great, too hard for you. You go back – don’t go away from them, go to them. My one concern is that we might depart from the line of the recovery, by something else coming in that’s not it. I say to one and all here, I say, ‘You search out the line.’ That’s what I say, ‘You search out any other line. Before you commit yourself to anything, you search it out, and make sure that you commit yourself to only the line of the recovery.’

May we be preserved.

Originally published by The Bible and Ministry Depot, 101 Heugh Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


This prophetic word was given two days after GR Maynard’s blasphemous meetings in Barbados, and exactly one week before the assembly in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, was cut off from fellowship with brethren around the world – through unrighteous judgment and respect of men – resulting in an almost universal departure from the spirit of Christ.

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