1 CORINTHIANS 4
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5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
The laws of England give suspected persons the benefit of all doubt. How much more the law of Christ. Remember this when you are tempted to indulge in evil surmise concerning matters of which a full knowledge is necessary for a just judgment. Discretion suspends judgment and observes silence where the full knowledge does not exist.
...You cannot do better than act on Paul's advice-
"Judge nothing before the time until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts" (1 Cor. iv: 5).
It is true that some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment. In such cases there is no difficulty as to how we are to act, but where there is one case of this sort there are hundreds where evil surmise may inflict great injustice, and may be sinful. It is best to be quiet and wait.
The Christadelphian, Jan 1887
The book of remembrance
But the restoration of identity with Deity is neither impossible nor difficult. The dead are historical characters, who lived and moved and had being in Deity (Acts xvii.28). Hence, all their thoughts and actions, constituting their characters, are recorded in Him as in " a book of remembrance " (Mai. iii. 16).
Therein is written their history ; and, with the exception of their incorporeal dust in sheol, their characters inscribed upon the divine page, are the all that remains of them in the universe.
This scroll of record is the broad sheet of spirit, styled by philosophers, ether and electricity, which, filling the universe, enwraps the world. All thoughts and actions are vibrations excited
in this spirit of the Creator, by corporeal agents. These subtle vibratory impressions are never obliterated, unless He wills never to revive them.
Many such impressions He has willed to blot out; as in the case of those who are consigned to " a perpetual sleep " ; and of sins that have been forgiven. But there are impressions, at present latent, that are to be intensified and made manifest; and "whatsoever doth make manifest is light" (Eph. v. 13).
The electrical, and electrically recorded, thoughts and actions to be manifested, are " the hidden things of darkness, and the counsels of the hearts " of the just, who have accepted, and of the unjust, who have rejected or extinguished, the light. These two classes, evolved from the dust of sheol, in the first stage of their raising, are " earthward and speechless." They may be said to be like a man newly aroused from deep and heavy sleep, who fails to realise his exact condition ; and is in doubt where, what, and how, he is, being in a state not inaptly termed quandary.
A recent evolution from dust, what can he know, or what language can he speak ? He is like
a babe, without speech or knowledge, and, therefore, without identity ; so that with Daniel, when he acquires speech, he can say, " I set my face toward the earth, and I was dumb."
What then remains for the establishment in these resurrected men and women of a consciousness of having existed as members of human society three thousand years, more or less, before ? All that remains is that, like Daniel, their lips be touched with the lightning
of divine power-" He touched my lips : then I opened my mouth, and spake."
This magic and enlightening touch restored to him the consciousness he had lost on falling into the deep sleep, in which all his vigour was turned in him into corruption, and he retained no strength. The electrical vibrations of his former self, by that potent touch upon his lips, were flashed upon his brain ; and he was enabled to give an account of himself as affected by the vision before he slept. And so with the just and the unjust in general. Their histories will be flashed upon their brains, being transferred thitherby Almighty power from the divine and electrical page upon which they are all inscribed. So that truly of the dead it may be said,
" they all live to Him " (Luke xx. 38).
7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
Humble service one of another is the characteristic of all who conform to the mind of Christ. It will be found on closest reflection to be the most reasonable and the most beautiful deportment on the part of a human being. A man appears at his best when sincerely and unaffectedly humble.
The greatness of any gift he may have will only add to the beauty of modesty, and will certainly not detract from the reasonableness of it, for what can a man have that he has not received? Even the power of application and perseverance by which he may attain results is a gift: he did not create it.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 38
8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.
At the time the Apostle labored, Corinth was a thriving metropolis of wealth, luxury, commerce and corruption. This is the background of the Corinthian ecclesia, and it is to some extent reflected in the epistle. Paul gives indications that the ecclesia there was well-to-do, and in good standing with the world. Ύe are full," he says, contrasting them with himself,
"Ye are rich, ye are honourable."
And as is almost inevitable in such circumstances, they gave too much thought to worldly wisdom, to imposing appearance, to polished eloquence, to the meaningless husks of worldly convention. Because of this they did not grow inthe Truth, they remained vacant-minded babes when they should have been growing into men. They lost their hold on spiritual values, with sad results to their conduct and course of life.
Envy and contention sprang up; immorality was being tolerated; greediness and revelling disgraced their solemn assemblies; spiritual gifts were prostituted to a confused babble of vain glory and pride; elements of the Truth were in danger, and the Apostle who had begotten them in the faith was openly despised for his poverty, his rude speech and his unpretentious simplicity.