Eddie & Alice Smith

B. Childress
Jan 22 2012

When our requests are such as honor God, we may ask as largely as we will.  The more daring the request, the more
glory accrues to God when the answer comes.
                                                                                    A. W. Tozer

Comedian Flip Wilson coined the phrase "Here come da judge!"  As we all know, the judge is the central figure in any
courtroom.  Everything hangs in the balance awaiting his or her decision.  An effective attorney knows the judge and
knows how the judge tends to rule.  Effective spiritual attorneys who plead their cases in court must also know the Judge
and how He tends to rule.

Throughout history God has allowed very few of His servants to actually see the Judge's throne.  They include Micaiah
(I Kings 22:19), the psalmist David (Psalm 47:8), and the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1).

However, in the fourth chapter of the Book of Revelation, the apostle John records his amazing tour of heaven's
courtroom while exiled on the island of Patmos.  Jesus appeared to John, showed him an open door to heaven, and
invited him to enter.  John wrote, "At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone
sitting on it" (Revelation 4:2).

Isn't it interesting that John didn't notice the angels, the streets of gold, or the heavenly choir first?  The first thing that
caught his attention was the throne of the Almighty.  The first view of the throne was so overwhelming to John and so
central to the message of his book that seventeen of the twenty-two chapters of the Book of Revelation refer to the
throne.  Who was seated on the throne at the center of heaven's courtroom?  It was none other than Judge Jehovah,
the eternal Judge of the universe (Psalm 93:2).

Thousands of years earlier, David had recorded, "The heavens proclaim his righteousness, for God himself is judge"
(Psalm 50:6).  In the Hebrew language, this one intriguing verse gives three descriptions of God: El, Elohim and
Jehovah.  These three impressive names present to us three major characteristics of God.

  • El - the God of might, El means "one God."  He is the mighty One, the all-powerful One, the One of authority and

  • Elohim - God of majesty.  Elohim is plural.  He is one God who exists in three persons.  He is the Creator God, the
    God of greatness, the supreme God who is sovereign over all.

If these two awesome names of God were our only revelation of Him, He would be unapproachable to us, for they
present Him only in His
transcendence.  Transcendence means preeminent, supreme, someone beyond the material
universe and our natural perception.  But He describes Himself in this same verse by another name.  This name
presents His
immanence, which means He is ever present and abiding.

  • Jehovah - the Lord.  He is God our redeemer, the God of mercy who sent His Son to die for us that we might live
    in covenant fellowship with Him forever!  He graciously responds with full understanding to His people.

But our desire is to see Jehovah and look upon His face.  We might ask, "What does He look like, John?"

John continues to describe the Judge he sees seated on heaven's throne as one who has the appearance of jasper
and carnelian.  What?  Jasper and carnelian are precious stones.  Jasper is a diamond, and carnelian is a beautiful
blood red stone.  One would think these precious stones might describe the inanimate throne on which He sits.  No,
John is describing God in terms of these colorful stones - or rather the vivid light that radiates from them.  In fact, John
wrote in another book, "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5).  Paul describes God as living in an
unapproachable light (I Timothy 6:16).  The psalmist wrote that God is clothed in a garment of light (Psalm 104:2).

Then we remember another passage John wrote: "No one has ever seen God" (John 1:18).  In fact, God told Moses, a
man who spoke with him face-to-face, "You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live" (Exodus 33:20).

In the Book of Revelation, John also describes a glistening emerald-green rainbow encircling the throne.  We might say
that the sparkling
white light emanating from the diamond represents God's holiness, the fiery red light of the
carnelian stone represents
the shed blood of Jesus, and the emerald-green rainbow represents His mercy.  Since
Noah's day, the rainbow has been the promise of salvation.  God blends His holiness with His blood and His mercy and
reveals Himself as transcendent God, our immanent redeemer!

John is startled to see flashes of lightning and to hear rumblings and peals of thunder coming from the throne.  God is
not waiting to rule.  He is ruling right now.  As He listens to the prayers of His people, He continuously decrees and
implements His purposes from this throne.  The throne of God literally vibrates with divine activity.  Interestingly, this is
the very phenomenon that Moses and the children of Israel experienced at Mount Sinai, the place where God gave the
original Law to Moses (Exodus 19:16-20).  But Sinai's fireworks were small compared to this nuclear blast!

To be sure, the Book of Revelation is not casual reading.  However, if you are familiar with the book of Revelation, you
know that its themes include awful human suffering, including plagues, tribulation, and even martyrdom.  It is no mere
accident that God reveals His throne before He reveals our future, for heaven's throne is the place of His ultimate rule!  
He reveals our future, for heaven's throne is the place of His ultimate rule!  There is a certain comfort in knowing that no
matter what tomorrow holds for us, God our redeemer rules in the kingdom of men (Daniel 4:17).  He is the Judge to
whom we make our intercessory appeals as advocates on behalf of others.

The psalmist David announced:

    Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.
    Our God comes, he does not keep silence,
    before him is a devouring fire,
    round about him a mighty tempest.
    He calls to the heavens above
    and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
    "Gather to me my faithful ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"
    The heavens declare his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge!

Psalm 50:2-6 (RSV)

Our God is
unique.  Nothing and no one compares to Him.  Anything said about Him must be based entirely upon His
revelation of Himself to us.  The reality of His person is greater than any human mind can understand or express.  But
what do we know of this Judge?

Well, we know that He is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (ever present), and omnipotent (all powerful).  He has no


Most of us are familiar with Paul's explanation of the fruit of the Spirit.  He wrote, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law"
(Galatians 5:22).  The usual application of this passage is that these characteristics are evident in our lives when we
are filled with the Spirit.  In fact, Paul explains the very process God is performing in us.  "For those God foreknew he
also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brothers"
(Romans 8:29).  In God's desire to conform us to His likeness, He encourages us to be filled with the Spirit so the Spirit's
fruit can be produced in our lives.  We are created after His image.  But did you ever stop to think that the fruit of the
Spirit - since He is God - describes the Judge as well?  Read on to see this description.

Love: Heaven's Judge is loving.

    He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.  (Song of Solomon 2:4)

In his book, Written in Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion.  
The doctor had explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier.  Her only
chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease.  Since the two
children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.

"Would you give your blood to Mary?" the doctor asked.

Johnny hesitated.  His lower lip started to tremble.  Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister."

Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room - Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy.  Neither
spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned.

As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny's smile faded.  He watched the blood flow through the tube.  With
the ordeal almost over, his voice, slightly shaky, broke the silence.  "Doctor, when do I die?"

Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had trembled when he had agreed to donate his
blood.  He had thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life.  In that brief moment, he had made his
great decision.

Fortunately, Johnny didn't have to die to save his sister.  But we have a Savior who loved us so much that He did give
His life to save us.  That is why Paul freely told us, "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have
power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this
love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:17-19).

When we pray, we pray to the Father's heart of love.  Perhaps we should take more care to couch our praying in "love

Joy: Heaven's Judge is joyful.

We serve a joyful God.  The prophet Zephaniah wrote, "'The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will
take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).    Our
God is not angry with us.  The shed blood of Jesus, who became the propitiation for our sins, has satisfied and calmed
His outraged holiness.  The God who killed sinners in the Old Testament died for them in the New Testament.  Paul said
it this way:

    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  
    Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!  
    For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more,
    having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

    (Romans 5:8-10)

Like any good daddy, God enjoys His children.  He delights in them!  He delights in you!  Joy should be one of our
attributes also.  Billy Bray, an uneducated drunkard saved by God and who became the most famous Methodist
preacher of the early nineteenth century, named one of his feet "Glory" and the other "Hallelujah."  So whether things
went well or not his feet said, "Glory, Hallelujah! Glory, Hallelujah!"

Knowing that we serve a joyful God should help us frame our prayers correctly.  We are not praying to an angry God.  
However, we do find Him grieved at times over our sin.  Therefore we don't pray
against people - we pray for them in
concert with His heart!  We don't curse those who curse us, for instance.  Jesus taught us a template for life in Matthew
5:44 and Luke 6:27-28:

  • We are to love our enemies.

  • We are to do good to those who use us despitefully.

  • We are to bless those who curse us.

  • And we are to pray for (not against) those who persecute us.

Does this template for living describe your petitionary prayers in heaven's court?  If our prayers don't line up with Jesus'
standards, we shouldn't expect the Judge to decide in our favor.  We must align our praying with His character if we
expect to win our cases in court.

It is our
spiritual enemies, Satan and his demonic hosts, that we are to abhor.  Paul said that we are to "hate what is evil;
cling to what is good" (Romans 12:9).  The prayers that David prayed against his
physical enemies (men) in the Book of
Psalms, we are to pray against our
spiritual enemies (demonic forces).  God's instruction to us is to hate that which is
evil, not
those who are evil.  We must, as God does, learn to hate sin and love sinners.

It is vitally important that we hate what God hates and love what God loves if we expect Him to render decisions in our

Peace: The Judge is peaceful.

Great news!  There is no panic in heaven today!  God is not nervous!  In fact, Isaiah's prophetic announcement
concerning the birth of the Messiah (Jesus) says, "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The
everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6, KJV).  The mighty God, the everlasting Father, is also the Prince
of Peace!  Jesus said of Himself, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).

  • When we are born again, we receive peace with God.

  • When we are being filled with the Holy Spirit, we receive the peace of God.

  • When we keep our minds focused on the Lord, Isaiah 26:3 says, we are kept in perfect peace!

Before you plead your case in court, know this: Judge Jehovah is never surprised.  Nothing amazes Him.  Oops is not
even in His vocabulary.  Unlike earthly judges, He will never be distracted, deceived, or manipulated by anyone.  We are
told in I Peter 5:7 to "cast all [our] anxiety on him because he cares for [us]."  Boldly petition Him.  He is not worried!

Longsuffering: Heaven's Judge is patient.

Have you ever complained in your heart to God about folks who seem to get away with sin?  We have.  It's the old, "If I
were God..." syndrome.  We are all tempted to don the Judge's robe and step behind the bench to render a decision or
two at times.  Aw, go ahead and admit it; you have too!

The good thing is, He is God, and we are not.  He is the Judge, not us.  And with that in mind, perhaps we shouldn't wish
judgment on others, lest judgment (not grace) be extended to us.  The bottom line is this: all sin will be completely
judged.  But the omniscient God of heaven will judge it in accordance with His eternal timing!

    But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years
    are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with
    you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    (II Peter 3:8-9)

Intercessory warriors can easily become impatient.  After all, one of the characteristics common to intercessors is that
we are seldom satisfied with the status quo.  One night I (Eddie) preached that statement, and an intercessor near the
front of the auditorium shrieked spontaneously, I stopped and asked, "Are you all right?"

"Oh, yes," she replied.  "But you have just affirmed me.  I've always thought there was something wrong with me,
because the whole time I was growing up my family would complain, 'You're just never satisfied, are you?'"

A holy dissatisfaction with the way things are is common to God's intercessors. However, we must not let that carry over
in the way we approach Jehovah.  We need to yield our burdens to His timetable.  Pray confidently with boldness.  Then
expect answers.

That's why Hebrews 11:13 challenges each of us who plead our cases in prayer to pray in faith and to leave the results
to God.  It says, "All these people [Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others] were still living by faith when they died.  
They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance."  They died, having
not received that for which they were praying.  But they died in faith, believing!  If we insist on operating on our own
timetable, we may become impatient with God.  We want to see revival, and we want to see it now - even sooner if
possible!  But God has His own schedule to keep.  The tough question we must answer is this: Will I faithfully plead the
prayer cases that God has assigned to me even if I don't live to see the results?  This is the true mark of faith.

Don't forget.  Our omniscient God knows the end from the beginning.  He doesn't meter justice on the scale of time.  He
meters justice on the scale of eternity.  You are praying today to a patient God.

Kindness:  The Judge is kind.

We were watching a political commercial for a judge who was running for reelection.  Judge Scott Brister was listening to
the tick of a stopwatch in his hand.  He looked up and said to the viewing audience, "Everyone should have a fair trial in
court.  I am not short on fairness or justice.  But time is of the essence.  That's why I will, as your judge, make sure that
the cases in my court will be dealt with fairly, quickly and with justice."  Aren't we grateful to have a judge who is not only
fair and just, but He is all knowing as well?

In Galatians 2:6, Paul promises, "God does not judge by external appearance."  

Peter said in Acts 10:34-35, "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every
nation who fear him and do what is right."  Our God is no respecter of persons.  There is level ground at the foot of the
cross.  Our Judge has feelings and is touched with our infirmities.  He listens, and He is never "too tired to talk."

My (Alice) mother told me about a time when I was around four years old and came out of my Sunday school class

"Why are your crying, Alice?" she asked me.

"I feel sorry for Jesus," was my tearful response.

"Why do you feel sorry for Jesus?" my mother asked.

"Because Jesus doesn't have any blue jeans.  He only has a nightgown to wear." was my dramatic reply.  My
compassion was immature but real.  But of God's compassion for us, Isaiah 66:13 says, "As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you."

King David told God, "You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways" (Psalm 139:3).  
Isaiah said of Him, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering" (Isaiah 53:3).  
We see this in Paul's description of the ministry of the Holy Spirit: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  
We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot
express" (Romans 8:26).  What a kind and compassionate God we have!

Our heavenly father longs to express His compassion, yet when the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, from atop
Mount Olive, with great emotion, Jesus wept, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent
to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you
were not willing" (Matthew 23:37).

Let's thank God for His kindness to us.

Goodness: Heaven's Judge is good.

Around the Judge's head fly four living creatures continuously crying above the thunder and lightning, and above the
roar of the praising multitudes, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord who was, who is, and who is to come!" (see Revelation 4:8.)

One day I (Eddie) quipped, "God, I think to have those six-winged creatures flying around my head like gnats, crying
twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, would drive me crazy!"

God gently said, "Eddie, now you can see how unlike Me you are."  Ouch!

God announces, "Be holy, because I am holy" (I Peter 1:16).  God is a holy judge.  After all, holy is the first name of His

He is righteous judge who knows our thoughts before we think them and our words before we speak them.  He actually
judges us according to the intents of our hearts!

His judgments are righteous and just for two reasons.  First, because nothing less can proceed from Him.  Second,
because His decisions are based on perfect knowledge.  Contrast that with the limitations of an earthly judge.

A mother of three young children is pulled over by a patrolman for failing to stop at a stop sign.  What happened?  She
was seriously distracted by one of her small children and failed to see the sign in time to stop.  In essence, she didn't
know there was a sign there at all.  God's Word says, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't
do it, sins" (James 4:17).  She clearly didn't know.

An earthly judge hearing this case would have no choice but to punish the young mother for failing to stop.  Why?  
Because the earthly judge, unlike God, doesn't have all knowledge and can't possibly know the intent of the heart.  We
are interceding to the heart of a good and holy God who judges righteously.

Faithfulness: Heaven's Judge is faithful.

From the top of Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National Park, a bald eagle gracefully glides on pinions, motionless,
two thousand feet above the surface of the earth.  He descends.  Then he ascends again on the warm currents of air.  
That eagle would drop like a rock could he not trust his wings.  Trust in God is not an indefinite feeling amid vacancy.  
Trust is a definite grasp that can lift you where you otherwise could not go.  But there must be someone to whom your
trust and faith can be attached.  That someone is God.  We all find comfort in these words: "Even youths grow tired and
weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope [trust] in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar
on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:30-31).

There is comfort in realizing that a God who cannot lie has promised, "I the LORD do not change" (Malachi 3:6).  
Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

    Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my father,
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
    As Thou has been, Thou forever wilt be.

We are to be expressions of His faithfulness.  As we live lives empowered by the Holy Spirit, we will be faithful.  And as
we plead our cases in prayer, we do so before a faithful judge!

Gentleness: Heaven's Judge is gentle.

James wrote, "Mercy triumphs over judgment!" (James 2:13).  What a comforting thought, especially when we stand
before Him, charged with a crime.

    The story is told about an earnest Christian man who became a judge in his local town.  One morning there
    appeared before him in the court a friend of his youth who had strayed and committed an offense against the law
    of the land.  Those who knew the relationship between the two men expected the judge to deal mercifully, but
    they were very much surprised when he went to the officer of the court and took from his own pocket the money
    to pay the fine.

    He did his duty as a judge and upheld the law, but he showed something of the mercy of God for his friend when
    he paid the penalty.  There is little wonder that the lawbreaker was brokenhearted in his repentance.

If our God is a God of mercy, we should be people of mercy.  Jesus taught, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be
shown mercy" (Matthew 5:7).  We reap what we sow.  Always remember that anything you have received from God was
on its way to others when it got to you.  Since you are a
recipient of mercy, become a distributor!  When you plead in
prayer, plead for mercy!

Self-Control: Heaven's Judge exercises self-control.

While watching a television special on the panda bears of China, we were amazed at how tiny their offspring are when
they are born.  Although they will weigh several hundred pounds when they are full grown, at birth they are mouselike in
size.  The mother panda held her tiny baby completely inside her mouth!

Imagine the grace with which an omnipotent, indestructible God deals with this fragile planet and the people who live on
it.  Imagine the self-control our all-powerful God exercises when dealing with the likes of us.  It would take one
distraction, and the entire earth and everyone on it would vanish in a puff of smoke.

Finally, we should know that the Judge's decisions are sometimes
yes, sometimes no, and sometimes not yet.  Many of
His decisions are
if/then decisions.  They are decisions that are contingent upon our responses.  A perfect example can
be found in the following familiar verse:

    If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their
    wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

    (II Chronicles 7:24, emphasis added)

Clearly, if we don't humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wickedness, then He won't hear, forgive,
and heal our land.

It's no more possible to be a Christian without prayer than it is to be alive without breathing.

                                                                               Martin Luther


SPIRITUAL ADVOCATES, by Eddie and Alice Smith, Copyright 2008, Charisma House.