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In the great eschatological (Matt 10:15, 11:22, 24, 12:36, 12:41, 42, 19;28, Luke 11:31, 32, 22:30, John 12:48, Acts 17:31, 24:25, Rom 2:16, 2 Peter 3:9, Jude 6) judgement by God (Acts 7:7, 17:31, Rom 2:16, 3:6, 11:33, 14:10, 2 Tim 4;1, Heb 13:4, 1 Peter 1;17, 2:23, Rev 16:6, 18:8, 20, 19:2, 11), we must all appear (Rom 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10).

OK then, - Why does the NT repeatedly claim that this final judgement is conducted by (or delegated to) those other than God? such as:

  • Satan/demons or pharisees?: Matt 12:27 - And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. See also Luke 11:19, 1 Tim 1:20.
  • The 12 Apostles: Matt 19:28 - Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. See also Luke 22:30
  • Ourselves: 1 Cor 6:2, 3 - Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels?
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  • As it stands I’m confused about the question. Could you please clarify because I’m curious and intrigued by this subject. Are you asking if God judges? If satan judges? If we do God’s job of judging? Are you asking to qualify which cases are assigned to whom and in what context? Thank you Dec 1 '20 at 21:26
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    Ok let me dwell on this some, the title is throwing me off still. also I don’t see anywhere that satan pronounces judgment. They will be your judges is speaking of the sons of Israel (humans) delivering people from demons, they are those that will testify against the Pharisees. 1Tim1:20 is a judgment again from Paul and the punishment is from satan. I don’t see satan being a judge in the examples presented. He is always the accuser hence his Hebrew name satan. In modern court rooms he would be called the prosecutor, not the judge. Dec 1 '20 at 21:35
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    Do any of those verses say that it is only God that gives the final judgement? Do the demons/apostles/ourselves verses explicitly say that they are judging in the final judgement? I don't think there's enough clarity here for a productive contradiction resolution question.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 2 '20 at 0:48
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    Initially I thought this question didn't have enough clarity too. It was maybe because Satan/demons appear inthe first example and I didn't find any base to support that. Yet, Revelations and even Matthew addresses the other cases, that Jesus is the ultimate judge and that saints and apostles will have a certain degree of authority and will contribute in some way during the judgement. (+1) Dec 2 '20 at 8:46
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    +1 to the question, but suggestion for rewording it to emphasize how given that Jesus is delivering the ultimate final judgment on the saved vs. unsaved, what kinds of judgments to the 3 cited passages mean and why Jesus potentially delegate those 3 kinds to others? Dec 3 '20 at 4:03
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Considering your references,

Satan/demons or pharisees?: Matt 12:27 - And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. See also Luke 11:19, 1 Tim 1:20.

I don't see enough evidence in the given passages to support the idea Satan/demons or pharisees will judge the world.

The 12 Apostles: Matt 19:28 - Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. See also Luke 22:30

This could somehow relate to Revelations 4:4 («Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads).

Ourselves: 1 Cor 6:2, 3 - Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels?

Ourselves / saints having a certain degree of authority is something we can see in Revelations 2:26 («The one who overcomes, and the one who keeps My deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations;») and 3:21 («The one who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne.»).


God Leaves Judgement to Others?

Not necessarily and based also on Matthew 25:31-46 I'm more inclined that all saints (ourselves and apostles) will sit on thrones with Jesus and participate in some way during the judgement; yet in Him is final word.

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Firstly, if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, is rhetorical. They accused Jesus of calling other forces into play rather than God - not having any belief in who Jesus really was. In other words, it's like saying, 'he who lives by the sword, will die by the sword'. Matt 26:52 By what you trust in, that will be your standard. (Just as he rebuked the Jews, saying, the devil was their father, they will be held to account under the law if they live by self, evil and lies instead of honouring God John 8:44)

Jesus came to deal with sin and death - he cannot do that under authority of Satan - hence the 'kingdom divided' spiel in v25, he does it under God's authority. Satan will never forgive anyone - if they appeal to him as a judge, they are dead already!

Apostles judging the twelve tribes of Israel and the saints will judge the world are the same thing in that they will be under Christ as chief judge - this authority given him by the Father.

And He (God) has given Him (Jesus) authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. John 5:27

The apostles/disciples are from Israel and have been appropriately chosen to judge their fellows. The saints (others and gentiles) will do similarly over the rest of humanity.

Jesus is the one true judge, who has earned the right to call all men to account and pass sentence - all guilty!

There is none more qualified to judge than one of our own. Jesus, as Timothy points out - is one of us.

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

He (God) will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. Acts 17:31

The model of being an agent for judgement is shown in Exodus 18:22 where Moses found he was overwhelmed with judging the people all day … God told him to get organised and prepare others to do this work with him - not for him - as they are all working for God - just as Jesus is under God's authority, working for Him.

Exodus 18:13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.

And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

The role of Jesus' judgement is not to condemn, but to bring to salvation. He warned to not judge one another,

1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matt 7:1-2

Jesus is the only way to salvation, but first, each must be brought to account of their total failure at 'being good' - then, through the repentant heart that God provides, they may finally accept Jesus' sacrifice to cover their sins too. Judging is under the law of life and grace, OR the old law of sin and death. If one does not recognise God's authority in Jesus (as the Pharisees did not), they reject God and are left with the hard result of sin - death! If one refuses grace, through Jesus' sacrifice, the law still stands and eternal death awaits.

Of course, believers (in theory - sheep and goats aside) are already judged and have been included in Christ as saved and await their rebirth into the kingdom when Jesus returns.

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