JUDGING the infirm in faith is forbidden in view of the
dais (Rom.14:13). The believer will escape the judgment of his sins at the great white
throne, but few can avoid condemnation by their fellow saints in the present life! A man
of faith has no religious scruples as to what he eats, but one infirm in faith may make
much ado about foods. Possibly he wishes to conform to the law of Moses. So also in regard
to the observance of days. Some go in for Sabbath or Sunday observance, as specially
dedicated to God. Others see it as a shadow of our cessation of work for salvation, and
dedicate every day to the Deity. Who is right? Should not those who are filled with faith
judge those who fail to see the fullness of our salvation, and set them right? No. They
should rather bear with their weakness and graciously seek to confirm them in faith.
are believers today who stress these very things. They would have it that the observance
of a day is essential, that Sunday is the mark of the beast, and that food is the very
foundation of godliness. This is based upon the law of Moses, and the failure to see that
it was given to Israel, not to the nations, and that it was intended to test, and not to
save them, but to show them that works can never save. Judging will not help, but hinder,
at the present time. It may be well to acknowledge the presence and value of these things
in Gods dealings with His earthly people, and so lead the weak ones on to the
realities which the law foreshadowed.
Paul makes it plain who is at fault, yet he does not force anyone to walk according to
a faith that he does not possess. Paul leaves little doubt as to his own conviction.
It is the infirm who confine themselves to greens. Paul evidently believed in eating all
things. Eating or not eating and observance or non-observance are not vital. The
essential thing is our attitude toward God. Unbelievers, in judging, condemn
themselves (Rom.2:1). So, also, no individual saint is equipped for judging in such
matters, for all of us shall be presented at the dais of God, where all will be adjusted
to the ideal.
THE PATH OF EXPEDIENCE
In his first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul elaborates on this
theme. He says All is allowed me, but all is not expedient. All is allowed
me, but I will not be put under its authority by anything. Foods for the bowels and the
bowels for foods, yet God will be discarding these as well as those (1 Cor.6:13).
There is, therefore, great latitude allowed, and need for wisdom in the choice of nurture
for our bodies. While we are not under the law of Moses, we may rest assured that its
precepts, as regards food, are based on a superhuman knowledge of their qualities and
values, as well as a perfect understanding of the human frame and its needs, for they come
from the Creator and Sustainer of all that lives. Careful consideration of His connections
with human nourishment will help us to judge the many different and conflicting teachings
of men intelligently.
preparing mankind for their future mission, God has varied their food in the course of the
administrations. This great principle seems to be unknown to food-specialists today, who
reason from the tiny sphere in which they move, but do not take into account Gods
program or His future plans for the race. To begin with, in the garden of Eden, Adam was
confined to herbage and trees seeding seed (Gen.1:25), This, no doubt, was the
ideal food for the time, before death came in and his body began its prolonged period of
dying and decay. Evidently this diet could sustain life, but not cure the curse of
mortality. Yet it kept Adam and the antediluvians alive much longer than any of the race
after the flood.
realizing that our present life is only a prelude to that which is to come, and is devoted
to the experience of evil, that man may be humbled by it (Ecc.1:13), we are prone to envy
the long-lived mortals of that early day, instead of being thankful that we are not called
upon to suffer so long. God has mercifully shortened the lives of men, even as He has
condensed all judgment periods, for that is His strange work, the necessary, though
painful, preparation for the real life which follows resurrection and vivification.
Conditions since the great catastrophe in Noahs day are much more trying on our
physical frames than they were before, when there were no repeated changes from the cold
to heat, no summer and winter. Our experience of evil is condensed into a shorter
life-span, but is probably more replete with suffering and decay than that of the
the deluge, God, in His wisdom and in accord with His purpose, changed the diet of mankind
to include every animal of the earth and every flyer of the heavens and all that crawls on
the ground and all the fishes of the sea, as well as the green herbage (Gen.9:1-3). In
order to avoid added suffering for the animals, however, their blood, in which their soul
or sensation resides, could not be eaten, hence must be poured out. So it was decreed in
connection with the sacrifices also. The animals did not suffer death pangs because the
blood was first drained away. To this day the Jews often have their own shochat for
they do not deem the usual methods of slaughter to be in conformity with their law or the
earlier directions to Moses.
next great change in the regulation of human food was revealed in the law given through
Moses to Israel. In this the eating of animals was restricted to those termed
clean in contrast to the unclean. This distinction had already
been made by Noah, when he took the animals into the ark. Only the clean were
fit for sacrifice (Gen.7:2). It was not applied to human diet except in Israel. It was
never given to the other nations. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly a very wise regulation,
in accord with nature and human flesh, and well worthy of our consideration, but purely as
a matter of expedience. In Israel any failure to observe the least precept was a
transgression and brought condemnation. There can be no condemnation for us, since we are
not under the law and have Gods righteousness, not our own.
the reader will pardon a personal word, a single example will illustrate the matter. I am
not a Jew, and I like the taste of pork, but my stomach absolutely refuses to digest it.
This seems to indicate that the more sensitive we are, the more we will be in harmony with
the dietetic regulations of the Mosaic law. There seems to be little doubt that, even
though the Jews did not live up to it fully, the measure in which they did so gave them a physical
stamina and vitality exceeding that of the other nations. They have probably suffered
more, as a nation, than any other, but they survive, nevertheless. Yet, though I cannot
eat pork, I do not by any means object if others use it for food. Since God has not
prohibited it, why should I? For me it is expedient not to eat pork. That is not
binding on anyone else.
to clean flesh, the words and example of our Lord should be conclusive. He
alone, of all mankind, was not dying as He lived, so that His body was absolutely free of
all impurity. Yet there can be no doubt that He ate the passover lamb every year. And,
when He wished to provide His disciples with a meal, He gave them food fish (a special
term, opsarion) on a charcoal fire, with bread (John.21:9). When I lived in Tiberias, on
lake Galilee, the best single item of food was fish, freshly caught and served Jewish
style, in the restaurant where we took our noonday meal. I found it very palatable and
wholesome, and was thrilled to be on a diet recommended by the example of the greatest
Dietician of them all. In a parable He spoke of a fish and an egg as good gifts (Luke
11:12). He fed four thousand men, and their women and children by miraculously multiplying
a few small fishes (Matt.15: 34).
seems that the infirm believers to whom Paul refers were vegetarians, who confined their
food to greens. Much could be said in favor of a meat-less diet, especially in an
ultra-civilized community, and particularly in a warm climate. Flesh decays rapidly, and
in doing so becomes more tender. Hence some dealers even pride themselves on
aging it. Others use preservatives, which are harmful. So that it may be
expedient not to eat meat, not because it is meat, but because it is tampered with and
spoiled before it reaches the consumer.
priests and Levites in Israel lived largely on the flesh of the sacrifices. This they did
for many generations, century after century, so probably constituted the best practical
test ever made of the effect of meat on the human constitution. This is all the more
conclusive in view of the fact that they were required to be physically perfect. Any
defect barred them from exercising the priesthood. If feeding on flesh is in itself
harmful, it might not be apparent in one generation. But when it is the principal part of
the diet of father and son continuously for more than a thousand years it surely should be
evident. So it seems clear from the Scriptures that whatever harm comes to us from
meat-eating is due to abuses connected with it rather than from the flesh itself.
same is true of many other foods, even vegetables. Because the soil is depleted and does
not produce healthy plants, they are the prey of blights and insects. To rid them of
these, sprays and chemicals are used which not only kill the parasites, but are poisonous
to the consumer. So that it may be expedient not to eat vegetables, also, if they are
grown under injurious conditions. In fact, in these days of processed and
synthetic foods, grown on soil prodded by chemicals, the only course that is
absolutely safe is to abstain from all food which has not been grown and prepared under
ideal conditions. For many of us this would mean starvation, so it is wiser to leave the
matter in Gods hands and seek to secure such foods as seem to approach the ideal.
is often cited in favor of vegetarianism. But his scruples were of a different order. He
refused the kings rich food on religious grounds, because it had been offered to
idols, and the law forbade the eating of such things. Nor did he eat vegetables. The
Hebrew word denotes seeds, that part of plants which contains the germ of a new
life. This is most nutritious, as all who feed animals are aware. A horse must have grain
to supplement hay, if much work is required. We may include peas and beans under
vegetables, for they are also seeds.
THE FOOD OF THE FUTURE
Such has been the food situation during the evil eons. In the next
two eons, after the return of Christ to the earth, when man no longer is allowed to ruin
the soil, and the Prince of Peace rules over the nations, then will come the turning point
in human nutrition. Many efforts have been made to produce a cure-all for mans
mortal ills, but the best are only temporary palliatives, for it is Gods intention
that man learn his own limitations during the eons of evil. He planted the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil in Eden which brought upon mankind their many miseries. In the
future this will be reversed. Not only will the trees of the field yield their fruit
(Ezek.34:27), but He will plant an entirely new variety of fruit tree on the banks of the
river of life, that flows out from the temple in the holy oblation.
THE TREE OF LIFE
This is the tree men are looking for, but cannot find! Ever so
often our attention is called to some wonder plant which will keep us in health and cure
all our ills. And there is no doubt that many are highly beneficial, when used aright.
Just now papaya is highly recommended. But, alas, there never was a river of life like
that in the next eon, and no trees like those, for they not only bring forth fruit
monthly, but their leaves are an infallible healing agent (Ezek.47:12). Yet in the next
eon, on the new earth, we will see it again in an even more potent form. It will bear
twelve fruits, suited to each month, and the leaves will suffice for the cure of the
the millennium, under the benign rule of the great Healer, Who not only can cure disease,
but control the very elements which are so important in the production of food, there will
be a return to nature, which will eliminate most of the ills which inhere in our present
artificial mode of life. This is beautifully expressed in the Scriptures by seating each
family under its own vine and fig tree. I have tried several times to imitate this. In the
first garden I planted I had a trellis of grapes, as well as a fig and olive tree. But my
health broke down and I started another in the country. Then my wifes health
demanded that we return to the city. Now we have a fig tree, but there is not enough soil
to support it, and the figs are bad. Alas! this is not the millennium! And all my efforts
have not availed to transform it into that healthful and happy era.
nations will take a secondary place, even in the thousand years, hence we do not read of
any food or medicine for them. But in the new earth the leaves of the tree of life will be
devoted to the cure of the nations. Priesthood and the temple are gone, so God
dwells with the aliens and provides for their mortal ills. Death will not have been
abolished, so it still operates in mortal men. But God Himself provides a cure-all, so
that food will no longer affect their health. The only diet which is mentioned is fruit,
as it was in the beginning, in the garden of Eden.
who form the figurative body of Christ, who are blessed with every spiritual blessing
among the celestials, will need much more than the leaves of a tree of life to keep us
from perishing in our new environment. Humanity cannot exist outside earths
atmosphere. The warmth of the sun, the oxygen of the air, the plants of the soil are all
essential to the race of mankind as at present constituted. Therefore our bodies shall be
changed from soulish to spiritual bodies, like that of our Lord, who poured out His soul,
or shed His blood, and reappeared in resurrection without it. He spoke of His body as
flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), rather than the usual flesh and blood.
To be sure, He ate part of a broiled fish before them, but that was not because He was
hungry, or needed it, but to prove to them the reality of His resurrection.
the energy on earth comes from the sun. We may get it indirectly, through coal or water
power, or we may derive warmth from it directly by means of sunshine. So it is with the
vital energy needed for life and activity. With a soulish body we must get it indirectly
through food. But it seems that a spiritual, immortal body may be equipped to derive it
directly from its source in God. In that case we will need no intermediate carriers of
energy, no food, no warmth, to replenish our supply. To put it figuratively, we replace
our coal stove with an electric heater, we are tuned by radio or radar to the infinite
source of life. No longer do we dig for coal and feed it into our furnace. All this is
done for us. The God Who created us and vivified us also sustains us by His infinite
one can draw up a diet suitable to every place on earth. In the polar regions, where there
are no plants, there is no food except flesh. At the other extreme, on the equator, the
requirements are almost the reverse. And so throughout the range of climates, the food
should conform to conditions. A menu of oranges and bananas served north of the arctic
circle might taste delicious, but it would never sustain anyone in those cold regions.
Neither would a dish of blubber be acceptable when crossing the equator. So also we should
conform to Gods varied program. The food provided for mankind in Eden was changed
after the deluge. It was modified later by the law, in Israel. In this era of spiritual
blessings it takes a minor place. In the millennium it includes healing as well as
sustenance, and in the new earth this is expanded to include the nations.
to the present administration, we have a few hints which show that physical perfection is
not now in view. Paul had his thorn or splinter in the flesh, lest he should
be lifted up, as well he might at the transcendent revelations he received. Paul
entreated, not once nor twice, but thrice, for its removal. Then he was given the reason
why he should bear it. The Lord protests to him, Sufficient for you is My grace, for
My power in infirmity is being perfected. This is the era for the revelation
of Gods grace, in which His spiritual power, not our physical
perfection, is to be displayed.
of us today are able to sympathize with Timothy, Pauls spiritual heir, for he was
frequently infirm due to his weak stomach (1 Tim.5:23). How striking! The two leading
characters in the present administration suffer from physical infirmities. There was a
time when even a handkerchief that had touched Pauls skin was sufficient to drive
diseases away from others (Acts 19:12). That was when he was still connected with the
heralding of the kingdom to Israel. But now he cannot even heal himself or Timothy.
Certainly he would have sent him a handkerchief if it would have cured him!
Instead, he prescribes a sip of wine in place of water. To this day much of the water in
Eastern lands is dangerous to drink. In Athens, though I detested the taste of the wine, I
dared not drink the water. I cannot drink the chlorinated water of modern science, so am
forced to buy special spring water for drinking purposes.
reason why the subject of food was prominent at the beginning of the present
administration was that the kingdom apostles and elders at Jerusalem had written a decree
to the saints among the nations enjoining them, among other things, to abstain from what
is strangled and from blood (Acts 15:20). But later, when the secret of the present
administration was made known, with its purely spiritual blessings, the apostle writes to
the Colossians Let no one, then, be judging you in food or in drink...If, then, you
die together with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as living in the world, are
you subject to decrees...which things are all for corruption from use, directions and
teachings of men...not of any value, toward the surfeiting of the flesh
is a great relief to realize that God operates through spiritual forces today, and can use
physical infirmity to accomplish His ends. Nevertheless, those who seek to have a part in
His service should eat, not that which appeals to their palate, for their souls
satisfaction, but that which fits them for His service. But let us not judge others in
such earthly, transitory matters in this era of spiritual blessing. Especially let us not
imitate Jobs associates and charge those with sin who are being humbled in
Gods great school of evil. Let us leave all judging until the dais, when the motives
of all will be revealed and all will have praise of God.
DISCRIMINATIONS OF REASONINGS
The cause of many of the innumerable differences which afflict the
saints in both doctrine and deportment is accurately described by Paul as discriminations
based on reasonings. Instead of believing precisely what is revealed in
Gods word, deductions are loosely made without proper premises and by means of
illogical reasoning. We can easily forgive the early believers for this practice, as only
a portion of the truth for today was revealed, and they were eager to know more. In fact,
we owe much in Pauls corrective epistles to this false method, for he provides the
saints with premises and straightens out their logic by means of further revelations for
once was of the opinion that the remedy for this was lessons in logic, so I gave some
attention to the science. I have seen special articles explaining the proper processes of
reasoning intended to help believers in their study of Gods Word. No doubt this and,
indeed, any clarity of thought may assist in avoiding some of the worst practices used in
Biblical interpretation. But long experience has shown me that the mortal mind is far too
poor an instrument to reason out from revelation beyond what is written. I have seen what
appeared to be perfectly logical deductions from one part of Scripture refuted by the
plain statements of another.
connection with the infirm in faith it is said that everything which is not out of
faith is sin (Rom.14:23). And this seems to be the case especially when reasoning
replaces faith. It is a mistake to apply our wits to the inspired record, partly because
our faith itself is so feeble, but mostly because the impressions we receive from His
written word are sometimes so cloudy and lacking in definition and exactitude that they
form no adequate basis for logical deductions. They are almost always tinged or tainted
with unscriptural preconceptions and traditional notions which influence and distort the
reasoning process and lead it to false conclusions.
is this very thing. It is supposed to be a systematic restatement of divine revelation in
scientific form. It puts a part from here and a portion from there together to set forth
the existence, character, and attributes of God, and His laws and government.
But separating what God has joined from His context and uniting what He has kept apart
into our own context can only produce a confused, composite picture. As this can be done
in a great variety of ways with contradictory results, the theologians have devoted a
large part of their labors to debating their differences, but seldom convincing one
another, and never producing a satisfactory solution which could stand the test of
individuals and groups vary in their social, national and religious background, they are
almost certain to differ in their reasoning postulates and processes, so that, even if
they start with the same scriptures as premises, they may arrive at totally different
conclusions. Then, if they only partially and imperfectly believe the passages to begin
with, we cannot expect aught but discord. And this is what we see around us, not only in
apostate Christendom, but among zealous, earnest saints, eager to do Gods will, and
wishing above all things to please Him and to hold nothing but His truth in its fullness
there a more excellent way? Can we avoid the pitfalls of our own mental infirmities and
the handicaps of our environment? There is. It is faith, raised to its highest
decree of certainty and exactitude. It lies in the microscopic examination of Gods
revelation. In the study of nature men seldom reason, but examine and compare and use
every means to assist their physical infirmities. Because we realized this very early in
our career we determined to help the saints as well as ourselves by providing instruments
of precision to aid our feeble senses to determine as accurately as possible the meaning
of each word in the divine vocabulary as well as the force of the grammar by means of
better concordances. If consulted they will help to counteract our bias and prejudice, and
correct our misconceptions, as no other means of which we know.
very few saints today have grasped even the elementary truths of Pauls early
epistles, they are prone to Prove their propositions by false premises from
previous revelation, and irrational reasoning based on these, instead of believing
Pauls distinct message and going on to the maturity of his prison epistles. In this
regard most of the saints are immature, if not infirm, in faith, even those who are
reputed to be giants in that realm so far as confidence in God for their daily needs is
concerned. But even an infant can trust its nurse. Such reliance is not a sign of
maturity. We bear the babe in our arms which has not learned to walk. So should we bear
with the infirm in faith.
would be very easy to convict and condemn all who do not grasp the full revelation given
to us by Paul, and, as a consequence, do not comport themselves accordingly, and have part
in that fearful spectacle called Christendom, which is an utter outward contradiction to
its inward reality. It should be the highest expression of vital, harmonious unity, like
the human body, yet it appears to be a conglomeration of warring factions. It is more
difficult to attain religious than political unity, and even when many church members do
unite, it is usually because they have no vital faith or profound convictions. The
disunity in the nominal church is evidence enough to condemn them.
few practical examples may assist us in seeing how easy it is in these days for even
earnest, enlightened saints to be deceived. First we will consider a case in which the
A.V. supplies a false premise. When what purports to be Gods Word itself misleads,
the reasoning is bound to go astray, and the only recourse, apart from a correct
translation, is another scripture, correctly rendered. Even then it may not be clear which
is right and which is wrong until we are further enlightened.
years ago, when the place of Paul in present truth began to be grasped by a few, there was
a tendency to overshoot the mark and make almost everything Jewish. Based on
Eph.2:15 and Col.2:14, Having abolished...ordinances, as the major
premise, and the popular ecclesiastical idea that any rite or ceremony is an
ordinance, especially the so-called communion and baptism, as the
minor premise, both of these were denounced as Jewish. The logic is clear.
Ordinances are abolished. The Lords dinner is an ordinance. Therefore, the
Lords dinner is not to be observed in this administration.
we examined the contexts carefully, we never would have included the Lords dinner,
for razing the central wall of the barrier, nullifying the law of precepts in the
decrees, that He should be creating the two, in Himself, into one new humanity,
etc., is all out of line with it. Abolishing the Lords dinner would not make a new
humanity. The ordinances were divisive, the dinner is not. They contained a
law of precepts. Not so the dinner. We took the word ordinances out of Gods context
and gave it a theological meaning.
Colossians this conflict is still clearer. How can erasing the handwriting
refer to the dinner? Was it hostile to us, so that it was taken out of the midst and
nailed to His cross? Such words cannot refer to the recollection of His death, which He
gave to His disciples and, later, repeated to Paul, with variations to accord with this
economy. A careful reading of the Authorized Version should have shown us that their
ordinances were evidently very different from those so-called by theology. The
mistranslation ordinances, in place of decrees, has led to much false
who realize that our blessings are spiritual, and that in us, that is, in our
flesh, dwells no good thing, reason that the Lords dinner is for the flesh,
hence can have no place today. But the word flesh is not used in connection with
it, for it represents the Lords body, broken for us. We must remember that
the word flesh, used in this connection, is a figure which uses that part of
the body which most easily goes to decay and corruption, for that which is evil in
mankind. Our Lord might have used literal flesh and blood as His memorial. Instead he
substitutes bread and the fruit of the vine, neither of which decay readily, and, at the
same time show that we are not to take it literally, but as expressive of the
sufferings and the blessings which we are to remember, which He has brought to us. He
would not give a fleshly reminder even to the Circumcision, the fact that He repeated it
to Paul, shows that it is not confined to His people according to the flesh.
scripture which kept me from being deceived was 1 Cor. 11:23, For I received of the
Lord that which I also delivered unto you. Here was a long passage which clearly
showed that the so-called supper was Pauline, not Jewish.
He had not received it from Peter or the twelve, as one would expect, but got it by a
special revelation from the Lord, and he delivered it to the Corinthians, who were not
Jews. And he added that it was to continue until He come. In the very next chapter
Paul intimates the great change from minority to maturity (13:10), but he did not say that
the dinner should last until then, but until the Lords coming. All this is not
logic, not a deduction, but plain fact, set out in detail. How can this contradiction be
explained? It is always safer to believe an extended passage with many particulars than to
base a conclusion on a single word or phrase, which may easily be misconstrued or
were to be abolished. There is no scripture which says that the Lords
dinner was abolished. Is it an ordinance? The word so translated in the A.V. is
rendered decrees elsewhere. We read of decrees of Caesar (Luke 2:1; Acts 17:7) and decrees
of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem (Acts 16:4). These decrees were not anything like
ordinances. They demanded that the believers among the nations abstain from ceremonial
pollution with idols, and prostitution, and what is strangled, and blood (Acts 15:20). In
other words, the heads of the Kingdom put the nations under a shorter law. These
precepts were nullified in order to break down the barriers between the Circumcision
and the Uncircumcision in the new humanity (Eph.2:15). There is no thought of any
case of reasoning by one of the greatest teachers God gave the saints in these latter
days, will show how even the best of us may err if we substitute reasoning for revelation.
Dr. Bullinger saw clearly that what he called the great mystery was not made
known until Paul wrote Ephesians, for it is written, Yet now, in Christ
Jesus, you, who once are far off, are become near by the blood of Christ (Eph.2:13).
The now is emphatic both in form and position, so admits of no compromise. What,
then, of the last paragraph of Pauls Roman epistle (16:25-27)? Long before Ephesians
was written it referred to a secret. How could this be?
Bullinger took the position that, as the secret certainly had not been revealed
until Pauls imprisonment, it must have been added to Romans at that time.
But, when we study these secrets carefully, we see that they are not the same.
Romans, very appropriately, concerns the conciliation of all mankind, discussed at length
in the fifth and eleventh chapters. It concerns all humanity and Gods changed
attitude toward them due to the callousness of Israel. In Ephesians the secret is limited
to believers and speaks of the Circumcision and the Uncircumcision as joint enjoyers of a
celestial allotment, and a joint body, and joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus,
in spirit (Eph.3:6). There is no need to remove the end of Romans. It fits perfectly in
failure to distinguish the various secrets was a serious hindrance to their acceptance and
apprehension. In opposition to the plain and emphatic now (Eph.2:13), opponents set
the words as it was now revealed (Eph.3:5), and inferred that the
mystery had been revealed previously but not in the measure in which it is now made known.
This allowed them to find the church anywhere in the Bible, as they had been
doing. But, once again, the secret was not the same, but concerned Christ Himself and His
headship. His rule over the earth had been divulged, but His celestial sovereignty was not
made known until the saints, destined for the celestials, were in view. Practically all
the reasoning about the mystery was futile and false. It was a hindrance
rather than a help.
us take the subject of this series, the dais. How illuminating it is to see that, no
matter what we may imagine, it is not connected with judgment or sin,
as most of us supposed. How could we ever understand it when our version continually
called it a judgment seat? This casts a black shadow on our justification, for
a just man, especially one with Gods righteousness, should never be brought
before the Judge. It would call Gods righteousness into question! But we need
not be distressed about it, for Gods Word, as reflected in a concordant version,
does not lead us into this dilemma.
will not be considered at the dais, for all who will be presented there are sheltered by
the blood of Christ. In this case our popular version is not to blame, for, though it
follows the reading which should be rendered evil (kakon 2 Cor.5:11, see
superlinear) it translates it bad, which seems to be the best reading and
rendering. We have already pointed out the vast difference between evil and sin.
We will see, as we delve deeper, there is also an important distinction between sinning
and badness. Even before we grasp this, may the fact that sin is not in view at the
dais appeal to our faith, and keep us from dragging it down to the level of the judgment
accorded to those outside of Christ, without the righteousness of God.
is the view of the dais presented in Romans. It is a plea to graciously bear with those
who are infirm in the faith, rather than to judge them, because we are to imitate God in
His loving course at present, and leave the matter until the dais, when our Lord will
review the conduct of all and give each his due. It may be compared with, or rather
contrasted to, Gods judgments which introduce the coming kingdom. Then His
indignation will devastate the earth, and Israel will be purged to play its part in the
millennium. But, even as the heavens are higher than the earth, so also is the grace which
is ours at the dais in the heavens superior to the justice that will visit the earth when
it is renovated at the crisis of the eons.
observance of days also comes under this rule. On account of its importance to many of the
saints, we will give it a chapter for itself, and see if we can get beneath the outward
shell and realize what it signifies, not only to us, but to God and His purpose in Christ.
A. E. Knoch