Jackson on Judgment
Justice from the Highest Justices
Day 364, Week 52, Article 51
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the death of the King of Pop, Michael Joseph Jackson. Some are still calling his death murder, and they want "Justice for Michael." This is how one of several banners read at the June 14, 2010, court hearing for Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's one-time physician. Family, friends, and fans of the Gloved One were bitterly disappointed that Judge Michael Pastor was not empowered to deny Murray a license to practice medicine. Be that as it may, what may be encouraging for some is that Jackson himself firmly believed in justice that'll eventually emanate from a higher source.
Judge Jesus: "For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father." (John 5:22-23, New World Translation) Yes, Michael believed that Jesus' Father Jehovah "committed all the judging to the Son." Unlike any human judge, Jesus "was in no need to have anyone bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man." (John 2:25; Matt 9:4) In this Jesus was like his Father.
For of God Paul wrote: "And there is not a creation that is not manifest to his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting." (Heb 4:13) So no matter who we are, God penetrating eyes can discern what's really in our hearts as if the "thoughts and intentions of [our] hearts" (Heb 4:12) were "naked and openly exposed." Indeed, all will be judged. This is true, too, of those masquerading as slaves of the Almighty serving in his "house."
Jolting Judgment: "For it is the appointed time for the judgment to start with the house of God." (1 Pet 4:17a) Jehovah's Witnesses, the teachings of whom Michael subscribed to, believe their organization is exclusively "the house of God"-well, almost. At least on one occasion "the house of God" included the wicked. Regarding this scripture, The Watchtower, March 15, 2010, states: "Shortly after the beginning of the last days, or the 'conclusion of a system of things,' the judgment started for those who claimed to be genuine Christians-whether they were actually 'sons of the kingdom' or 'sons of the wicked one.'"
Some see this conclusion as running counter to the full "pattern of healthful words" on the subject. (2 Tim 1:13) The "us" the inspired apostle Peter wrote were spirit-anointed Christians who he identified as "the temporary residents scattered about," and, "the ones chosen." (1 Pet 1:1) These chosen ones were "temporary residents" here on earth. They were "temporary" because as the inspired apostle Paul said, "as for us, our citizenship exists in heaven." (Philippians 3:20) Not surprisingly, Peter concurred.
He declared that "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...gave us a new birth...to an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance." Where? "It is reserved in the heavens for you." (1 Pet 1:3, 4) For a certainty, Peter asserted that "divine power has given us freely all the things that concern life and godly devotion, through the accurate knowledge of the one who called us through glory and virtue. Through these things he has freely given us the precious and very grand promises, that through these you may become sharers in divine nature." (2 Pet 1:2-4) One would be hard pressed to prove that these verses at some point in time applied to "the sons of the wicked one" as alleged in The Watchtower.
In fact, that the "house of God" is speaking exclusively of his people can be seen from the fact that the New World Bible Translation Committee (composed of Jehovah's Witnesses' Governing Body members) in their New World Translation refers the reader of 1 Peter 4:17 to Ezekiel 9:5, 6. There, those symbolizing angels of death were instructed to "'Pass through the city after him and strike. Let not your eye feel sorry, and do not feel any compassion. Old man, young man and virgin and little child and women you should kill off-to a ruination. But to any man upon whom there is the mark do not go near, and from my sanctuary [or, 'my house'] you should start.' So they started with the old men [or, "elders," New International Version] that were before the house." (Ezek 9:5, 6)
Starting with the elders is consistent with the text found at James 3:1, which states: "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment." Michael noted that "the house of God" at 1 Peter 4:17 in Hebrew retro versions of the original Greek is rendered beth elohim, or, as it is translated elsewhere in the Biblical text, bethel. A jolting judgment indeed!
Peter didn't mince words. "Now if it starts first with us, [those residing in "the house of God"], what will the end be of those who are not obedient to the good news of God?" (1 Pet 4:17b) In plain language, the 'good guys' here ("us") are contrasted with the 'bad guys' ("those who are not obedient to the good news of God"). It appears that in God's house or earthly organization there would be a few counterfeit Christians who are in line for adverse judgment that necessitates that God cleans his own house before turning to non-believers in Satan's world.
Bottom line, many sincere ones believed that whoever you are and wherever you are, you're going to answer to God for whatever wicked thing you've done-including, if it applies to you, murdering Michael Jackson. Though not inspired of God, one of Michael's favorite artist, Pigmeat Markham, gives us all a sobering reminder in what was perhaps Markham's greatest hit. The song? Here Comes the Judge. My response? "Amen! Come, Lord Jesus."-Rev 22:20.
Dr. Firpo Carr can be reached at