Almighty God Jehovah
"has set a day in which He purposes to judge the
inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed".
That "man" is Christ Jesus our Lord Michael. Consequently,
"Seek the Lord, all in the land who live humbly by His
laws, seek righteousness,
seek a humble heart; it may be that you will find shelter in the day of the
(From Acts 17:31
Zeph 2:3 NEB).
But what is
righteousness, and how do we seek it? Righteousness is the subjection of one's
spirit to the spiritual requirements of the moral
Law of God. These requirements
are set out in His inspired Word the Holy Scriptures.
"All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving,
for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness".
(2 Tim 3:16).
"Disciplining in righteousness"
by God is an essential part of one's spiritual training and development as one
of His sons. Those "whom Jehovah loves He disciplines;
He scourges every one whom He receives as a son."
(Heb 12:6). It is through His Word and righteous disciplines that one's
"perceptive powers" are
"trained to distinguish both right and wrong"
and one acquires accurate knowledge of the righteousness of God. Those who have
been trained by the
yield peaceable fruit, namely righteousness, and "walk
orderly by this rule of conduct".
(See Heb 5:13,14
12:5,11) (Gal 6:16).
NOT BY WORKS OF LAW.
Some believe that
having a zeal for God without
accurate knowledge of His spiritual requirements is enough for one to be
considered righteous before Him. Do not be deceived. This
mistake is already being
made by Jews endeavouring to live solely according to the requirements of the
Mosaic Law. Of these the Apostle Paul wrote: "For I
bear them witness that they have a zeal for God; but not according to accurate
knowledge; for, because of not knowing the righteousness of God
but seeking to
establish their own,
they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God (through
Christ). For Christ is the end of the Law, so that
everyone exercising faith (in him)
may have righteousness."
(Rom 10:2-4). Consequently, those seeking to establish
their own righteousness through works of
Law, are without
accurate knowledge from God, and cannot be declared righteous before Him.
ACTIVE FAITH THROUGH RIGHTEOUS
"A man is declared righteous, not
due to works of
Law, but only
(Gal 2:16). The Mosaic Law was intended as a "tutor
leading to Christ",
that we might be declared righteous due to faith in him. (Gal 3:24).
died once for all time concerning (our)
sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God".
Peter 3:18). Does this mean that
those who say they believe in God but have not come to know His spiritual
requirements or subjected themselves to His Will, are thereby forgiven for their
sins and declared righteous?
For the apostle James wrote:
"You believe there is one God, do you? You are doing
quite well. And yet the demons believe and shudder." (James 2:19). It
is not enough for a person to rely upon belief in God for salvation.
exercise faith in Him through our works and word in Christ, that we may be
declared righteous by Him. "A man is to be
declared righteous by works, and not by faith alone."
(2:24). Indeed, "faith without works is dead."
(2:26). We are declared righteous by active faith in Christ as disciples under
DECLARED RIGHTEOUS ALSO BY OUR
The apostle Paul
wrote: "With the heart one exercises faith for
righteousness, but with the
mouth one makes public
declaration for salvation."
(Rom 10:10). Those exercising faith for righteousness from their heart do so not
only by their works, but also by their word. The Christ said:
"By your words you will be declared righteous, and by
your words you will be condemned." (Matt
12:37). Since we must render
an account to God in the Judgement concerning every unprofitable saying we have
said, let us use "wholesome speech which cannot be
condemned", that we might be declared righteous before Him through
The Christ. (Titus 2:8)
PERSECUTIONS PROVE ONE'S
Remaining faithful to
the spiritual requirements of God, one must expect to suffer persecution for
righteousness' sake. So why did Christ pronounce happy those
"persecuted for righteousness' sake"?
Because "exercising faith for righteousness"
while suffering persecution from Godless ones leads to our being counted worthy
of the Kingdom of God for which we are suffering. (2 Thess 1:4-10. Matt 5:10)
(1 Peter 3:14). Consequently, "Happy are you when people
reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing
against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in
the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you."
FALSELY CALLED KNOWLEDGE.
As we acquire
accurate knowledge of the spiritual requirements of God, we must put into
practice His righteousness in our lives to be counted among those
(1 John 2:29). But "take good care not to practice your
righteousness in front of men in order to be observed by them; otherwise you
will have no reward with your Father who is in the heavens." Those
who make an outward display of making "gifts of mercy"
to "appear righteous to men", do so merely
to be glorified by them, and are full of "hypocrisy and
lawlessness". (Matt 6:1-4
& 23:28). Those who refuse
to give glory to God in righteousness, and seek glory from men through a show of
falsely called 'knowledge' have "deviated from the
faith". Indeed, to declare oneself righteous before men is
"a disgusting thing in God's sight".
(1 Tim 6:20,21). "Hence when
you go making gifts of mercy, do not blow a trumpet ahead of you
(to let everyone
know), just as the hypocrites do in the synagogues
(where people gather) and in the streets
that they may be glorified by
"purposes to judge the inhabited earth in
righteousness" through the one to whom He has committed all powers of
judging: The Christ Michael. (Acts 17:31. John 5:22-24).
"And he will not judge by any mere appearance to his
eyes, nor reprove simply according to the thing heard by his ears."
(See Isaiah 11:1-3). The Christ Michael is not deceived by those who disguise
their hypocrisy with "an appearance of wisdom"
and "misleading inspired utterances". (Col
2:23. 1 Tim 4:1,2). "With the
Spirit of his lips" he will put such
wicked ones to death. (Isaiah 11:4). This Spirit
"flooding through in righteousness" will
sweep away all those rejecting the righteous decrees of God and taking refuge in
lies and falsehood. The Lord Jehovah has said: "I will
make justice the measuring line and righteousness the leveling instrument;*
and the hail must sweep away the refuge of a lie, and the
waters themselves will flood out the very place of concealment."
final destruction "justice in full flood" is
poured out, those refusing to be subjected to the righteous spiritual
requirements of God shall be "wasting with sickness,
yet overflowing with righteousness" toward their eventual
extermination. (Isaiah 10:22