(374) – MINISTRY OF CONDEMNATION

The apostle John declares in his gospel: “For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). Let us analyze the text: The Father does not judge anyone. Where? In the New Testament only? Did he judge and condemn in the Old Testament? The judgment of God, the Father, is in the hands of Jesus Christ, for Paul says: “He [the Father] has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). If God, the Father, has determined one specific day for the judgment of this world which is only going to take place at his coming and in his kingdom (2 Tim. 4:1), and gave this responsibility to his only begotten Son, and in this day the living and the dead will be judged, then the dead are all those since Adam and Eve who are not alive in this world any longer, and the living are all those who will be alive at his second coming. Peter says the same: “He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that this is He who is appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42).

In Acts 17:31, Paul reveals that the judgment of Christ is the only one in which there will be justice; therefore all the judgments that have happened from Jehovah over the nations, over cities and over people were unjust. Besides being unjust they were rash, cutting off innocent lives together with the guilty ones. The very Jehovah declares these injustices by the mouth of Ezekiel when he commanded him to say: “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and drop [your word] toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy against the land of Israel; and tell the land of Israel, Thus says Jehovah: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: and all flesh shall know that I, Jehovah, have drawn forth my sword out of its sheath; it shall not return any more” (Ezek. 21:2-5).

If Jehovah declares that he is unjust, no theologian has the right to change the meaning of his words. The prophet Jeremiah, sent by Jehovah, thus said: “If you will still live in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I grieve over the distress that I have brought on you” (Jer. 42:10). If he repented from something bad he had done, then he recognized he had been unjust.

The judgment of Christ happens in two stages, and has already begun. What is the justice of the Judgment of Christ? Paul explains: “For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus became flesh like us, suffered our miseries, our pains, our abandonment in this dark world, was tempted as we were, and loved us to the point of taking to himself our sins on the cross of Calvary to ransom us from death and from the eternal condemnation. It is proper for us only to believe. Paul said to someone: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household’” (Acts 16:30-31).

Jehovah gave the law at Mount Sinai in order to condemn and kill; therefore Moses declared that the law is a testimony against the sinner (Deut. 31:26). Nehemiah confirms this (Neh. 9:34). Paul declares that the ministry of the law was the ministry of death engraved on stones (2 Cor. 3:6-7). And this is not the ministry of Christ, for the ministry of Christ is the ministry of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was shed on the New Testament since Pentecost (Acts 2:2-4). There was not a pouring of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, for this promise made by Jehovah would only be fulfilled after the restoration of Israel (Ezek. 11:17-20; 36:24-28). The spiritual restoration of Israel did not happen; therefore the promise of Joel has not been fulfilled, yet. The Pentecost of the Church, of Acts 2:2-4, was a promise of Jesus (Acts 1:4). Joel also said that that would happen after the restoration  (Joel 2:19-27). As the pouring of the Spirit promised by Jehovah never happened, and the pouring of Acts 2:2-4 happened only after the resurrection of Christ, there was not a ministry of the Spirit in the Old Testament, but only the ministry of the law, which is the ministry of death.

On the other hand, as there will be condemnation only after the final judgment, when all men will come back from death to be judged (Rev. 20:11-15), it follows that all condemnations in the Old Testament under Jehovah’s rule were brought forward; therefore they were not just and true, for they angled for the destruction of men by the wrath and fury of Jehovah. This god, sitting as king over the Flood, destroyed all humanity minus eight people (Gen. 6:7; Ps. 29:10). And in the book of Job it is written that the Flood cut off humanity before its time (Job 22:15-16). THE MINISTRY OF CONDEMNATION CONDEMNS BEFORE THE JUDGMENT OF THE TRUE GOD.

The dwellers of Sodom and Gomorrah were corrupt sinners, according the Bible. Jehovah condemned Sodomy, so he destroyed those cities — that were four: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim — with fire from heaven (Deut. 29:23). Jude, on his Universal Epistle, says: “Angels who didn’t keep their first domain, but deserted their own dwelling place, he has kept in everlasting bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having, in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 6-7). It is written there that they will suffer the punishment of eternal fire; therefore, the judgment of Jehovah was without pity.

Jesus performed many prodigies and miracles in the city of Capernaum, but it did not turn to God. Then Jesus cried out, saying: “You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, you will go down to Hades. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, on the day of judgment, than for you” (Matt. 11:23-24). Jesus, in this text, said three things:

  1. Jehovah did not move to save those poor sinners. If Jesus were there, he would certainly have done prodigies and many would have been saved, and the city would not have been destroyed.
  2. All the dwellers of Sodom will be in the tribunal of Christ to be judged; therefore the judgment and condemnation of Jehovah have been cancelled.
  3. As Jesus has been sent by the Father to save and not to condemn, thus cancelling out the judgment of Jehovah, he proves that Jehovah is not the Father, for the Father does not judge anyone and gave all the judgment to the Son. Jehovah spent his time judging and condemning men, and what is worse, he did what God, the Father, has never done and will never do; for the Father is love and wants to save every man (1 Tim. 2:3-4; 4:10).

We, Christians, share in the ministry of righteousness, which is of the Holy Spirit. Paul says: “But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which was passing away: won’t service of the Spirit be with much more glory? For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For most certainly that which has been made glorious has not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasses” (2 Cor. 3:7-10). This last sentence, in Greek, goes like this: FOR TRULY, THAT WHICH HAS BEEN MADE GLORIOUS IS NOT GLORIOUS IN COMPARISON WITH THE SOVEREIGN GLORY.

 

By Olavo Silveira Pereira

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