COLOSSIANs 2


2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;


A well-known outsider once charged Christadelphians with making converts by convincing them on a few points, and inducing them to take the rest for granted. Although the charge is not true, the method complained of is possible, and we may be guilty of it without realising that it is wrong and injurious.

To keep up the health of the Christadelphian body, we must see that those who come among us are scripturally convinced and well-grounded in all the items of the faith. We want members who make it their endeavour to cite chapter and verse-who can quote a "thus saith the Lord" for the hope that is in them.

We must do our utmost to prevent the blind swallowing of any item simply because we have shown other items to have been wrong, or because our friends are overcome with joy on account of discovering that we were in accord with them on certain truths (such as no immortal devil, or no eternal torment) which they have cherished for years.

Our wisdom lies in encouraging a thorough and intelligent examination of all the first principles. Let us converse freely on all points of the truth with any who are about to apply for baptism. Let brethren also who have charge of the official interviewing see to it that they linger in their questioning where a candidate shows signs of doubt or hesitation.

To be timid in examining-to endorse errors of belief-or to take anything for granted-is unwise, and a sure way to bring our community into trouble-into the flabby believe-what-you-like condition of the sects. Also to pass candidates with defective knowledge for the sake of increasing numbers, or through fear of upsetting, is more than unwise-it is shamefully wrong.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Nov 1905



3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

In the Captain of our Salvation the conditions of love exist in their fulness. Presented to us as the object of supreme attachment - attachment to whom is the indispensable condition of discipleship - we have in him, as Paul expresses it,

"all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"

He is the wisdom of God manifested in an individual of our race. He is the "power of God," to whom is committed all power in heaven and earth. He is the goodness of God;

"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Cor. 5:19).

Wisdom, power, excellence, goodness, and authority combine to make him altogether lovely, and this loveliness is made to shine with greater power into our hearts by the fact that he died for and gives life to us, but for which, we should never have risen above the level of the perishing races around.

We can love him without danger of recoil. No inferior manifestation on his part will ever cool our ardour or tire our preference. He is the focus of the covenanted goodness; the head of the body; the centre of the circle, the nucleus of the glorious family, the beginning of the new creation; the spirit of the system; the life of the community.

Seasons 1.53.



3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

How much of this divine treasure have WE laid up?

FOOL'S GOLD


There is a mineral called "fool's gold." It resembles gold in glitter and appearance and is often gathered by inexperienced miners. This thought strongly presents itself to the mind when the scriptural picture regarding wisdom and treasure is considered, as also do the searching words of Christ-

"Thou FOOL, this night thy life shall be required of thee: THEN whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" (Lk. 12:20)

HEAVENLY treasures knit brethren together in love: EARTHY treasures separate them, as they did Abraham and Lot (Gen. 13:6-7). Lot's choice of Sodom was the result of this separation. Trouble followed, then disaster. Was the wealth worth it?

Bro Growcott - Straight Words to the Colossians



5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

Harmonious order and steadfast faith present a beautiful picture. The spiritual mind will delight in orderliness. All God's vast creation, from infinitely great to microscopically small, reflects the beauty of ORDER. Disorder is destructive, and alien to God. Voluntary and mutually - agreed order - faithfully complied with - is essential to spiritual growth together. As Paul told the Corinthians (1 Cor. 14:33-Revised Version)- "God is NOT a God of confusion."

AN EASY, BUT UNHEALTHY, WAY


The larger an ecclesia is, the more order is necessary - IF all are to take a part. Of course, if the work is left to a FEW, then forms of procedure and detailed arrangements may be greatly reduced - this is an EASY, but UNHEALTHY, state. ALL should work while it is day.

Bro Growcott - Straight Words to the Colossians



7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.


The‭ ‬Christadelphian has lasted much longer than we imagined possible at the beginning‭; ‬but it will certainly not be for ever.‭ ‬One of these days,‭ ‬it is certain to stop,‭ ‬either by the Editor having finished his days and his ways,‭ ‬or by the Judge of all the earth having arrived on the scene,‭ ‬to render to every man according to his works,‭ ‬in spite of all scoffing sneers.‭ ‬But till then,‭ ‬while the Editor keeps his senses,‭ ‬the‭ ‬Christadelphian will continue to be what it has been.‭ ‬If some non-sympathetic friends,‭ ‬in the wealth of an elastic and adjustable vocabulary,‭ ‬consider this is obstinacy,‭ ‬muleheadedness,‭ ‬and Egyptian mummification,‭ ‬we beg to remind them that there is another version,‭ ‬and that the other version may be the correct one.

There is such a thing as being‭ "‬established in the faith,‭" ‬as being‭ "‬grounded and settled,‭" ‬as‭ "‬holding fast to the form of sound words delivered at the beginning.‭" ‬There is such a thing as full assurance of faith,‭ ‬and standing fast and striving for the faith of the Gospel‭; ‬and such a thing as being steadfast and immoveable,‭ ‬contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.

These apostolic features,‭ ‬while compatible with growth in knowledge‭ (‬which is not a change of foundation but a development on an unchanging foundation‭) ‬are not compatible with that restless and fickle state of mind that is ever on the alert for the sensation of novelty,‭ ‬and which consequently is‭ "‬ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth,‭" ‬because flying from position to position,‭ ‬instead of retaining position after position till the whole situation is covered.‭ ‬We moored to the stabilities forty years ago,‭ ‬and we cannot ship with those who prefer to be on the drift.

We distinctly refuse to regard the truth as a thing requiring to be investigated.‭ ‬It is a thing that has been discovered,‭ ‬fully discovered,‭ ‬finally discovered.‭ ‬The business in hand is the business of applying it.‭ ‬The apostles did not go about asking,‭ "‬What is truth‭?" ‬That was a heathen's question.‭ ‬The apostles occupied themselves in preaching the truth.‭ ‬This is the business of all who follow the apostles.‭

Though the apostles are dead,‭ ‬the truth they proclaimed is not dead.‭ ‬It survived them,‭ ‬and has been preserved during all the ages since in a divinely written form,‭ ‬from which we can learn it.‭ ‬In the goodness of God we have been permitted to learn it,‭ ‬first by Dr.‭ ‬Thomas pointing us to the records,‭ ‬and secondly by a daily and unintermitting intimacy with these records ever since.‭ ‬If some do not know it,‭ ‬or doubt it,‭ ‬or are dim about it,‭ ‬let them not insist on others getting down into the bog where they flounder.‭ ‬If they won't allow those who stand on the firm ground to help them out,‭ ‬let them at least cease their invitations for the people on the firm ground to come down into the welter where they are.‭ ‬Their invitations will be regarded only by the simple.‭ ‬Wise men will shut their ears.

‭"Hear the other side" is a plausible motto; but it is only applicable when men have not made up their minds, or are ignorant of the other side. When men have embraced the faith of our Lord Jesus, they have made up their minds, and, as a rule, men do not make up their minds until they have seen all round the subject. When they have done this, they feel it is trifling with them to ask them to hear the other side. They will even indignantly refuse the invitations. There is a time for everything. Everlasting investigation is not the function of enlightened conviction. It is only the office of everlasting uncertainty and developes everlasting muddle and unsettlement.

Everlasting listening to the truth is everlasting upbuilding,‭ ‬comfort,‭ ‬and growth.

The history of the last‭ ‬40‭ ‬years sufficiently illustrates the working of the two systems.‭ "‬Discussing everything and settling nothing‭" ‬has produced in some quarters a race of spiritual starvelings,‭ ‬lean and bony,‭ ‬and cold and sharp,‭ ‬and in many cases scarcely alive,‭ ‬and in some cases actually dead-twice dead,‭ ‬plucked up by the roots.‭

If there is any healthy saintship on earth at the present moment-fair and comely and well-favoured,‭ ‬glorifying God and blessing man by the abundance of the fruits of the Spirit-in all faith and confidence,‭ ‬and zeal and joy and love,‭ ‬it is to be found where the truth has been preached as the apostles preached it,‭ ‬not as a thing of root hunting and scholastic disputation,‭ ‬but as a thing of broad demonstration of fact and faith for the purification and comfort of men.

There is a great difference between crotchets and‭ "‬the glorious Gospel of the blessed God.‭" ‬To the latter the‭ ‬Christadelphian is devoted:‭ ‬the former it notices only enough to brush the wasps off.‭ ‬For the support of all who are in love with this rational policy,‭ ‬we shall be thankful.‭ ‬To the opposition and condemnation of the other class,‭ ‬we have been accustomed from the beginning,‭ ‬and will continue to endeavour in all patience to endure it-frown friend or smile foe.‭ ‬Reason has hoisted her banner,‭ ‬from which nothing in this dispensation can draw or drive us.

The Christadelphian, Oct 1894. p394



8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

BEWARE of the teaching of the clergy


This was the warning of Dr. Thomas and brother Roberts. Fathers and mothers in Israel will act wisely and faithfully if, in regard to this warning, they copy these scripturally enlightened and noble men.

There is a growing need for the caution. The clergy are the proprietors and managers of a powerful, influential system, which is as offensive to God, and as inimical to the eternal interests of man, as were the institutions of Baal.

The clergy are the perpetuators of pagan doctrines, of that deadly apostacy which in the early centuries dethroned the glorious and life-giving religion of Christ. Let those of us who are disposed to worship these "spirituals of the wickedness," who "reign in the court of the Gentiles without the temple," take more to heart what God has revealed in the Apocalypse on the subject. It is by an understanding of this book that we shall be able to see the leaders of Christendom as God sees them.

We read the writings of the prophets, and are quick to realise the dark and evil-mindedness of Israel's religious leaders. We do the same in regard to New Testament teaching concerning the corrupters of the truth in apostolic times.

But when we come to the Apocalypse-which is in part God's revelation respecting the true character of the clergy for the past fifteen or more centuries-many of us are of uncertain mind, and therefore fearful to take God's estimate of the clergy. We want more study of the Apocalypse, more deep, earnest reading of Eureka. This will safeguard us against being captivated by the clergy.

Are there not among us brethren who are competent and willing to write, during 1911, a few robust, bright, pithy articles on Rev. 17:5, with particular reference to its bearing on our times?

Yes, the clergy have to be watched and shunned. They are the saints' enemies, and will remain so till Christ is again in the earth to destroy once and for ever their wicked Babylonish system.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Jan 1911




Paul's description, through the Spirit, is -"vain deceit, traditions of men, rudiments of the world," all of which is in opposition to Christ. Paul says of such, "Beware." Why?

Because it is detrimental to life in the Truth. It will hinder us from "occupying." It clutters up the mind. It puts things in the mind that have no need to be there. And the more we have in the mind of things of the world, the harder it is to make a clear, concise decision. Solomon tells us-

"Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established" (Prov. 16:3).

This is good advice. Fill our minds with the Word of God and there is no problem in making a decision when we need to make it. Paul agrees when he says-

"But I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3).

Now, to successfully contend with an enemy, we must know something about him. What are his strengths? What are his weaknesses? Of what is he capable? Where is he? What is likely to be his next move? And what is his overall strategy? This enemy, philosophy, that Paul speaks of is easy to be found, "IF" (this is most important), if we are determined not to be in his camp.

But the problem is, his camp is very large. It covers the whole world. Philosophy is subtle and cunning. It has a tremendous advantage to start with. It deals with self, self-preservation, self-esteem, self-centeredness, selfishness and self-gratification. It is the father of the "me" generation. This system is highly developed and easily embraced, simply because it appeals to the flesh. And how gratifying it is when something appeals to the flesh.

But why should Paul speak to brethren and sisters, of all people, in this way? After all, he is talking to people who have "put off the old man" in baptism and "put on the new." But baptism, as we know, is only a start on a road that leads to the Kingdom. That "old man" is still there. He never really dies until we are made immortal. He loves to be pampered and satisfied. This is why Jesus tells us to crucify the flesh daily. Get in that habit of crucifying the flesh. Keep it as dead as possible on a daily basis.

We are no different than the Corinthians of Paul's time or the Children of Israel in the wilderness. We are all subject to that "lust of the eye, and the lust of the flesh and the pride of life." This is our greatest hindrance to "occupy till He come." We don't have to go to school to learn about this philosophy. It is drilled into us from the cradle to the grave. We find it in almost everything we read and see and hear. We are subconsciously affected, unless we consciously resist.

Bro. Roberts puts it this way, and we quote-

"We always speak like the company we keep. If we are all the while among the foul-mouthed gabbers of the flesh, we cannot expect to be free of their Sodomite brogue. If we read nothing but the literature of atheistical refinement, we shall never rise above that thin, proper, superficial, cold talk in which a practically godless state of mind expresses itself"

An example - we are at different ages baptized into the Truth, young, middle-aged and older. There are different things that will affect us in the world. Popular mediums of appeal to the motions of the flesh are increasing in ungodly expression, and their devotees identify with the scenes depicted. Even political tides on the local and international arena become matters of personal debate.

If we should read a book, a novel, or exercise our minds with any of the world's visual pastimes, we are exposing ourselves to the dangerous influence of all that is evil, for this reason. First, we are receiving in our minds a world of fantasy, an unreal world, and if that book or plot has to deal with a wicked villain and an innocent victim, it is very easy to get so engrossed in those in the story that we are helping them make decisions in our own mind.

Because we are engrossed, we become part of the plot and we don't correct ourselves. That old man of the flesh just keeps making these decisions. We think of revenge. And what does the Bible say about thinking? 'as a man thinketh, so is he" (Prov. 23:7). We are saying, in effect, as we think these things, that "if we were in the same position, we would do the same." The old man comes to the fore, and if we don't stop to correct him, we continue on with the story, making spur-of-the-minute decisions as a reaction to what is happening.

This is the real problem. We can plan our lives by knowing the Truth and say we are going to do this, that or something else, and have the best of intentions and all of it is correct, but if we have put certain worldly ways into our mind by partaking of its offerings and something unexpected happens, we react in the wrong way immediately. And when we react, that's the real us.

We will be judged on reactions at the judgment more than actions. Think about that, consider it well. The real person comes out in reactions. But we tend to rationalize. The philosophy of the world says, "I'm due a little entertainment; I've been denied this or I've been denied that. Life is just passing me by. I don't feel fulfilled. I believe it is time I think of me for a change." But what does the Bible say?

"If you suffer with him, you shall reign with him." "Through much tribulation shall we enter the Kingdom." "Be content in whatever state you find yourself"

"Think of your brethren as better than yourself"

"Be always abounding in the work of the Lord."

"Present your bodies a living sacrifice."

"Suffer yourselves to be defrauded."

Granted, pleasurable things are hard to give up, but let us make a beginning if we really want salvation and to please God. A suggestion like this - we want to turn the tables around. For every hour we spend in doing something we want to do, or some type of pleasure, spend at least an equal amount of time in real honest study of the Word of God and the Works of the Truth. If we do this constantly, with complete sincerity, we will be surprised with the results. We are told the Word of God is quick and powerful. It can and will make a difference in our lives. We will see then just how shallow these great pleasures of the world really are. It will be easier for us to attend all classes and lectures and be completely supportive of all ecclesial work.

Bro Don Newcomer - Occupy Till I Come


The traditions of men

It is almost inevitable that we shall be influenced by the thinking of the world. The world puts on such an imposing show of knowledge and learning in its science and education.

Much, of course, of what it teaches is true. This is where the great difficulty arises, for theory and presumption and the thinking of the flesh are so inseparably mixed with fact in all the world's educational system.

"Philosophy and vain deceit"—subtle reasoning and plausible arguments. He bids us beware of the thinking of the natural mind. The human mind unaided has not the capacity for sound reason. Apart from direct divine guidance and revelation there is no restraint to the foolishness the most respectable intellect will accept.

The Scriptures are very strong in their warnings against the deceptions of the world's wisdom, teaching us that the only safety is measuring everything by the rule of Christ

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.40



9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

This term "Godhead" does not carry a very clear meaning...the word really means that which is related to God. All that is godly—all that God is—dwells in Christ. God is manifested in him in perfection.

It is God's purpose and desire to be manifested in perfection in a multitude. This is the essence of His eternal plan.

Christ is the Head of that multitude—the Forerunner and perfect Example—the great Pattern for all to follow.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.40 


10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Literally this is: "Ye are filled full"—the whole thought is:

"In him is the full manifestation of God, and ye are filled full in him."

He is the reservoir and medium of transmission. He is the golden bowl of the Zechariah lampstand, containing and transmitting the golden Spirit oil to the 7-fold ecclesial lamp.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.40



11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

God has been pleased to make advances: it is those advances that sinners must receive and adjust themselves to.

The nature of them is indicated in this Mosaic parable. There stands the tabernacle in the midst of its court--formed by the white curtains of righteousness. Righteousness is that only which God considers right. People not in harmony with this--who neither know nor conform to His revealed will--are by the sheer necessity of things outside the encampment of reconciliation, which He has set up in the earth in Christ.

Even when they see this and want to enter, circumcision is required. In the case of the Jew after the flesh, circumcision of the flesh was the sufficient part in the shadow of things. But in the substance of all this shadow, there must be circumcision of heart' the cutting off of "the desires of the flesh and of the mind" as the rule of life--and the recognition of God's choice, God's appointment, God's invitation, God himself--as the only basis of approach' "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:11).

As we look at the shadow again, we see circumcised men approach "the door of the congregation" with something in their hands: either a lamb or a kid of the goats, or it may be, leading a sheep or bullock or goat or heifer. Their circumcision is not enough' they must offer sacrifice to be accepted. This is connected with the leading feature of the court, inside the gate--the great altar of sacrifice--"hollow with boards"--a temporary structure covered with brass, and measuring about eight feet long and broad, and nearly five feet high from the ground, with horns at the four corners on which to bind the heaped-up sacrifices with cords; and four rings for the insertion of staves to carry it when on travel; a brazen net-work underneath to give free action to the consuming fire: and accessory utensils--such as pots, shovels, basins, flesh hooks, fire-pans,--all made of brass (Exod. 38:1-7).

The language of this part of the type is unmistakable. It tells us that sinful man, even with the utmost docility of spiritual circumcision, and desiring to come within the walls of righteousness, cannot approach God acceptably except by sacrifice. What the significance of this is we have often had to consider. In the type, it was an animal, whose life-blood poured out was a confession that God is just in requiring death as the visitation of sin; that He who is so great in the underived and deathless nature and vastness of His being; Who is so unsearchable in the greatness of His Power and the perfection of His wisdom--is righteous in making disobedience and slight a capital offence not to be passed over even by mercy, except when His dreadful sovereign supremacy has been asserted, recognized, and vindicated.

But this terrible truth, which is the basis of all acceptable worship, was only asserted and acknowledged in the shadow when the worshippers under Moses approached with the appointed sacrifice. It had to be enforced in fact as well as in token, before the forbearance of God could grant the remission of sins unto life eternal. Granting life eternal is taking a man into His eternal fellowship without reserve: such abounding grace could only be vouchsafed in connection with the strictest enforcement of His unchallengeable supremacy -- of which He declares Himself "jealous", as is reasonable: for who should be supreme but the Eternal?

He proposed this enforcement in the actual blood-shedding of an actual representative man, in whom the individuality of all other accepted men should be merged in the way appointed in the institutions of the Gospel. And even this man, to be acceptable, had to be faultless as regards the principle that had been set at naught--the principle of absolute submission: though a sufferer from the evil effects springing from its subversion in the first Adam, and its continuing subversion in all his sinful descendants.

Such a man could not be found in the ordinary propagation of flesh and blood. Therefore He had to provide him, which he did in the way recorded in Luke 1:35. It was, therefore, all the work of His own favour (or grace) in subserviency to the indispensable assertion of His own supremacy and holiness.

Law of Moses Ch 16




13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Quickened together with him

In our natural state we are dead—dead in sins, and dead in our Gentile separation from the Abrahamic covenant which is the keystone of the world's destiny.

As we look out upon the sea of humanity—all are dead in God's sight—a vast multitude of dead.

We must get the scriptural viewpoint; we must see them in this light; we must be constantly aware of the complete separation of our position as made alive in Christ—not in pride but in the deepest humility of constant self-examination; not in indifference, but in deepest sympathy and benevolent desire.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.40




Having forgiven you ALL trespasses

In Christ, all is washed away. How infinite is the graciousness of God! How free and unrestrained the operation of His mercy—nothing measured or meted out, but boundless forgiveness! We must be the same. We dare not be small and calculating like the petty little hoarders of the world.

—having swept them all away with one glorious motion of transcendent love. Can we give less than everything in return? Can we give limited service in return for such unlimited grace?

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.40



14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Because, therefore, the Mosaic law condemned to death those who should disobey any of the ten commandments, or their engrafted corollaries, and because no man was capable of a spotless obedience (save Christ), they were in their totality a "ministration of death, written and engraven in stones"; and had they continued in force against men, their condemnation would have been inevitable and their salvation impossible.

Consequently, it was necessary that they should be "done away", as Paul three times expresses it in 2 Cor. 3:7-14; or "taken out of the way", as he has it in Col. 2:14--not taken out of the way, in the sense of being abandoned as a rule of acceptable behaviour before God, but taken out of the way in the sense of Christ discharging their whole claims in every sense and then dying under the curse of the law of which they formed the kernel or foundation--a law which in another clause enacted "Cursed is he that hangeth on a tree", and therefore cursed Jesus who so hung as Paul declares, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree" (Gal. 3:13).

When Christ rose after thus bearing the curse of the law, the law had expended its cursing power on him, and was therefore "taken out of the way" in him, so that all who put on his name and came under his authority in faith and baptism were "free from that law" This is Paul's argument in Rom. 7:1-4, to which the reader is referred. The pith of it is in the assertion of verse 4,

" Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead";

and in the further statement in verse 6, "We are delivered from the law, that (law) being dead wherein we were held". Therefore, as he says in Rom. 6:14, and substantially in Gal. 4 (the whole chapter), "Ye are not under the law, but under grace" (or favour), being recipients of the kindness of God in the forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake, and participating jointly with Christ in the heirship of the good things wrought out by the righteousness of Christ.

But though the covenant of Sinai is thus "done away in Christ ", it is not done away in the sense of abolishing the excellent rules of action which that covenant enjoined. The new law in Christ, which believers come under, revives those rules in a stronger and more efficient form. Paul is very clear on this point, in which he is supported by the highest demands of reason. He enquires,

"Shall we sin (that is, shall we do the things that the law forbids), because we are not under the law, but under grace ?" (Rom. 6: 15).

He meets the suggestion with an emphatic "God forbid". "Being made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" '(verse 18). The new form of God's wisdom in Christ is that "the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit" (Rom. 8: 4). The meaning of this is practical, and not mystical and ceremonial as some people make it. Paul interprets for us thus:"...

Love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this (the ten commandments), Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom. 13: 8-10).

The position of the matter is therefore perfectly clear. The law, so excellent in itself, would have given life, if men had been able to keep it, as Christ and Paul unitedly declare (Luke 10:25-28; Rom. 7:10), but because they were unable to keep it in the absolute perfection required, it condemned them, and stopped every boasting mouth, and made all the world guilt3; before God (Rom. 3: 19), establishing such a situation that if salvation was to come, it could only come by the kindness of God, in the particular form He might appoint, which indeed was the result aimed at, as Paul declares in Rom. 5:20-21.

The law was unable to confer life because men were unable through weakness to keep it; it became instead a cause of death (Rom. 7: 10; 8:3; Gal. 3: 21). Salvation, therefore, could not come by the works of the law, but had to come in another way, namely, by forgiveness through grace (or favour); but not unconditional forgiveness. Through Christ forgiveness was preached and offered: that is, "By him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses" (Acts 13: 39).

Law of Moses Ch 3.


****


He was born under the law and redeemed from the law, that we might be redeemed by sharing his redemption. This view of the matter enables us to understand Paul's allusion to what the death of Christ accomplished in relation to the law: that he "abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of the commandments contained in ordinances" (Eph. 2:15); "blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Col. 2:14). But the result was achieved in himself.

This is the whole principle: redemption achieved in Christ for us to have, on condition of faith and obedience. It is not only that Israel are saved from the law of Moses on this principle, but it is the principle upon which we are saved from the law of sin and death, whose operation we inherit in deriving our nature from Adam.

Christ partook of this nature to deliver it from death, as Paul teaches in Heb. 2:14, and other places: "Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil", Understanding by the devil, the hereditary death-power that has reigned among men by Adam through sin, we may understand how Christ, who took part in the death-inheriting nature, destroyed the power of death by dying and rising.

We then understand how "He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself". We may also understand how "our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed" (Rom. 6:6), and how he "died unto sin once", but now liveth unto God, to die no more (verses 9-10).

All of which enables us to understand why the typical holy things were purified with sacrificial blood, and why the high priest, in his typical and official capacity had to be touched with blood as well as anointed with the holy oil before entering upon his work. When we say, as some in their reverence for Christ prefer to say, that the death of Christ was not for himself but only for us, they destroy all these typical analogies, and in truth, if their view could prevail, they would make it impossible that it could be for us at all' for it only operates "for us" when we unite ourselves with him in whom, as the firstborn, it had its first effect.

Law of Moses Ch 18




The rule now in vogue among the friends of Christ is the one formulated by Paul: "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer" (1 Tim. 4:4). He says this in contrast to those who should arise among the brethren "commanding to abstain from meats",

But things signified by the distinction established by the law between things clean and unclean, remain unchangeable parts of eternal truth--that those men only are acceptable to God who are given to feeding and reflecting on His truth, and to directing their ways in harmony with His commandments.

The classification of fowls and fishes as clean and unclean was necessarily based upon different features from those selected in the case of animals: but the lesson involved, though more dimly discernible, appears to be the same.

The birds forbidden are all those that are birds of prey and feed on carrion, such as the eagle, the vulture, the raven, the owl, the swan, etc., which would naturally stand as the types of men of low tastes and predaceous instincts.

The fishes forbidden are also those from which human appetite would naturally shrink; all those approaching the reptilian type in lacking fins and scales, and having therefore a heavy, greasy texture of flesh.

Scales and fins appear to sustain the same analogy to chewing the cud and dividing the hoof: the scales rendering the creature more accessible to the watery element of life around it than when clad in an impervious skin; and the fins giving greater power of guidance in "the paths of the seas" than where motion has to be obtained by contortion of the body.

Among insects, all mere creepers, or having more feet than four, were forbidden as food.

"Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them shall ye not eat; for they are an abomination. Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the Lord your God; ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy, for I am holy .... I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten" (Lev. 11:42-47).

All that is odious and unwholesome among the creatures is forbidden; all that is beautiful, innocent, and good for food, is allowed. We have only to apply this in the amplest way to see with new force the spiritual comeliness that is required at the hands of those whom God will take into His eternal fellowship.

Law of Moses Ch 29



Sabbath keeping

The observance of the seventh day by absolute rest from every kind of work and pleasure-taking, accompanied by a peculiar sacrifice on the brazen altar of the temple, and spiritual delight in its blessedness, was its Mosaic celebration enjoined upon the Israelites, and their dependents in Palestine, and upon them alone.

Its profanation by citizens of the commonwealth of Israel was punishable with death by stoning.

Israel was especially commanded to remember the seventh day and keep it as appointed by the law; because God in creating their world brought them out of Egypt, and rested from the work of its creation when he gave them a temporary and typical rest under Joshua in the land of Canaan.

For an Israelite to remember the seventh day to keep it holy, spiritually as well as ceremonially, so as to obtain the blessing which it shadowed forth, he must have had an Abrahamic faith in the promised blessing, and have ceased or rested from the works of "sinful flesh."

The blessing promised to Israelites, who were Abraham's sons by faith as well as by fleshly descent, for a spiritual observance of the seventh day (and which, until "the handwriting," or Mosaic law, was blotted out and nailed to the cross, could not be spiritually observed and ceremonially profaned) was, that they should "delight in the Lord, ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob their father," when the time to fulfil the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, should arrive.

The blessing pronounced on a national observance of the seventh day was, the uninterrupted continuance of the throne of David and great national prosperity. Its desecration to be punished by the breaking up of the commonwealth of Israel and desolation of their country.

The Mosaic observance of the seventh day was appointed as "a sign" between God and the twelve tribes of Israel. It was a holy day to them, and to be observed perpetually throughout their generations.

It was lawful for Israelites to do good on the seventh day; but they were not permitted to be the judges of the good or evil. This was defined by the law. The priests profaned the sabbath by hard work in slaying and burning the seventh day sacrifices on the altar, yet they were blameless; because this was a good work which the Lord of the sabbath commanded them to do.

Having finished the work the Father had given him to do, on the sixth day of the week, Jesus, while suspended on the accursed tree, cried with a loud voice,

"It is finished!" "All things were now accomplished,"

so that the Mosaic hand-writing was blotted out, being nailed with him to the cross, and taken out of the way as a rule of life. The Lord Jesus "rested from his labours" on the seventh day in the silent tomb, and "his disciples rested according to the commandment."

He abode in his place, and did not go out of it until the sabbath was at an end. But, on the eighth day, styled also the first day, God gave him liberty, he left the tomb and "was refreshed."

Having "spoiled the principalities and the powers" constituted by the handwriting, he made the spoliation manifest, "triumphing over them in himself" (ενἁυτͅ) that is, in his resurrection; thus forever delivering men from the bondage of the law, which Peter says,

"was a yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able bear."

With the abolition of the Mosaic handwriting the obligation to keep the seventh day as a rule of spiritual life was cancelled as a matter of course.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Jan 1859


The handwriting of ordinances

The Colossians were in danger of slipping back into a religion of ordinances, living under the rule of "Thou shalt not." They forgot that the purpose of the Law was to bring all flesh under condemnation—to show all men that it is impossible for them to earn life on their own merits by obedience to a law— because of the weakness of the flesh. The better the Law, the more impossible the obedience.

Law is a schoolmaster—a "pedagog"—a "child-leader"—to bring us to Christ—to lead the Jewish nation, to lead mankind, to lead every individual—up to Christ.

How vividly this principle is manifested in the growth of children! When we have completed the slow, painful, but glorious transition from the rule of Law to the rule of Love, then we have finally reached maturity and manhood—the full stature of the perfect man in Christ Jesus.

That is the great lesson Paul is teaching here. "Thou shalt" must give place to "If ye love me." All the "Thou shalt's" were nailed to the cross—all the hopelessness of man's weakness and failure.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.40



16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

The Old Covenant was never given to the Gentiles.

A man of another nation never came under it, unless he became an adopted citizen of the Hebrew Commonwealth. The Gentiles were not even called by the gospel until Beauty was cut asunder, or the Mosaic covenant was broken "with all the people." There is no obligation on Gentiles to keep the Jewish Sabbath.

There is no one on earth, Jew or Gentile, that keeps it according to law; and any other obeservance of it only brings into condemnation. Gentile Sabbatarianism is a fig-leaf of the apron devised by the Old Man of the Flesh for the concealment of his shame. His teaching concerning it is mere twaddle.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Jan 1858



The rule now in vogue among the friends of Christ is the one formulated by Paul: "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer" (1 Tim. 4:4). He says this in contrast to those who should arise among the brethren "commanding to abstain from meats",

But things signified by the distinction established by the law between things clean and unclean, remain unchangeable parts of eternal truth--that those men only are acceptable to God who are given to feeding and reflecting on His truth, and to directing their ways in harmony with His commandments.

The classification of fowls and fishes as clean and unclean was necessarily based upon different features from those selected in the case of animals: but the lesson involved, though more dimly discernible, appears to be the same.

The birds forbidden are all those that are birds of prey and feed on carrion, such as the eagle, the vulture, the raven, the owl, the swan, etc., which would naturally stand as the types of men of low tastes and predaceous instincts.

The fishes forbidden are also those from which human appetite would naturally shrink; all those approaching the reptilian type in lacking fins and scales, and having therefore a heavy, greasy texture of flesh.

Scales and fins appear to sustain the same analogy to chewing the cud and dividing the hoof: the scales rendering the creature more accessible to the watery element of life around it than when clad in an impervious skin; and the fins giving greater power of guidance in "the paths of the seas" than where motion has to be obtained by contortion of the body.

Among insects, all mere creepers, or having more feet than four, were forbidden as food.

"Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them shall ye not eat; for they are an abomination. Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the Lord your God; ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy, for I am holy .... I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten" (Lev. 11:42-47).

All that is odious and unwholesome among the creatures is forbidden; all that is beautiful, innocent, and good for food, is allowed. We have only to apply this in the amplest way to see with new force the spiritual comeliness that is required at the hands of those whom God will take into His eternal fellowship.

Law of Moses Ch 29


Answers


Sabbath Observance


H.R.C.-Christs' advice to his disciples, to pray that their flight, during the troubles that were to come on the land, should not be on the Sabbath Day, was on a par with the same advice about the winter. Flight during the winter would be a much more rigorous experience than flight during the summer, and so would flight on the Sabbath than flight on the week day; for it is on record that the invader redoubled his activity on that day because the Jews abstained from fighting.

It has nothing to do with the question of Sabbath keeping; it was always a doctrine of Christ's that it was lawful to do well on the Sabbath Day. This Sabbath question is a hurtful crotchet when the Sabbath keepers would impose their practice as a law on their neighbours.

That they keep the Sabbath themselves is permissible, on the principle laid down by Paul in Rom. 14:6, but they must not put a yoke on the necks of their brethren. It is especially intolerable as they are in the wrong in their constructions.

Col. 2:16 sets the believer free from Sabbath observance. To say that this verse means "the ceremonial Sabbaths, and not the seventh day," is an assertion for which no ground can be shewn. If it apply to the ceremonial Sabbaths, it must apply to the other as well, because they both stood on the same foundation, viz. the Mosaic

"handwriting of ordinances which was against us."

Besides, as you point out, 2 Cor. 3:7-11, specifically includes what was "written and engraven on stones," (and therefore the seventh day), as among the things "done away in Christ."

The seventh day in Eden was a day of rest by divine example. There is no evidence to shew that Adam was commanded to keep it in the Mosaic sense.

The Christadelphian, June 1890

Amplified in daily post (Exodus 20) 'Sabbath keeping' TC Nov 1879

Lecture by Bro Thomas Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Aug 1853.

See also Aug 1878 (Bro FR Shuttleworth daily post)



This is a clear charter of freedom from the ordinances of the Law of Moses, of which the most ardently advocated element today is the SABBATH. But God does not go backwards. If He THEN, in days of shadow, required one full day in seven for His service, He certainly requires NO LESS today. As Paul clearly shows later in this epistle, the ONE-day Mosaic sabbath has become the SEVEN-day Christian sabbath (3:17, 23-24)-

"WHATSOEVER ye do in word or deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord . . . WHATSOEVER ye do, do it HEARTILY to the LORD, and not to men, knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward."

To what extent do WE consciously do ALL things as to the Lord? The COMMAND is clear enough. Its PURPOSE is self-evidently good and fitting. It gives ALL an opportunity for limitless service to God-regardless of circumstance. It fixes the mind ALWAYS upon God. Properly followed, it would completely eliminate from our lives all activities that could NOT be sincerely done as service to God, and it would ennoble all others and give the meanest task value and dignity.

"WHATSOEVER YE DO, DO IT HEARTILY"

God HATES half-heartedness. There is no pleasure in it to Him, or satisfaction to the doer. It is a burden on both sides. God requires our enthusiastic BEST in all things-lovingly given-because the only frame of mind that is pleasing to Him is that which is ever eager and ANXIOUS to give Him its utmost. Jesus said (Mk. 12:30)-

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy mind, and with ALL thy strength: THIS is the FIRST commandment."

The accent is on the "all." Its essence lies in its COMPLETENESS, because unless it is complete and all-embracing, then it is not the genuine thing at all. Unless it consistently dominates the whole life, it is a mere EXTERNAL "form of godliness," lacking the living power.

EVERY DAY A SABBATH

Unless we are truly keeping ALL days as holy sabbaths to God, and doing ALL things heartily as unto Him, we have a very unconvincing case against the sincere but misguided advocates of the old Mosaic "shadow" sabbath.

Bro Growcott - Straight Words to the Colossians



The Sabbath Question

H.L.B.-"I debated the Sabbath question with him two years ago. We went over the ground thoroughly, with the result of convincing some that the Sabbath is not binding on believers in this dispensation. One argument against the (universal application of) fourth commandment that I had never seen in print before, was brought out, viz.,

'nor the stranger that is within thy gates,'

which proves that it was a national as well as an individual law; and that therefore it requires a nation to keep it-a nation having a peculiar form of government, that is, a Theocracy."

Just so. The Sabbath was national and theocratic; and connected with divinely prescribed sacrifices, a divinely instituted tabernacle of worship; a divinely chosen land; and a divinely constituted kingdom. These have long since ceased to exist as an organised institution.

The land is there, but the nation is scattered to the four winds. The whole matter will be put together again when the time arrives to favour Zion; but meanwhile Sabbaths and sacrifices of the Mosaic type have been superseded by the sacrifice of Christ, and the rest from the service of sin that is required of every pilgrim son and daughter of the new covenant.

With the believers of the first century the Sabbath gave place to the first day of the week, on which Christ rose from the dead; concerning which there is no law except the law of love, that constrains the brethren of Christ to come together to break bread, after the manner of the first century disciples; and the law and custom of the Gentiles, which so happily, in this country at least, provides us with a day of leisure for which we are ever thankful, and which we use in quite as divine a way as any first-day Sabbatarian could well desire; seeing it is our custom to consecrate the whole day to the Lord's work, and to cease from our own work to an extent that was only exceeded by the most rigid observance of the law.

The Christadelphian, Sept 1888



An attempt is made to get rid of the force of this passage by saying that it is a Jewish Sabbath, not the Sabbath of the Lord, which was blessed and hallowed from creation. The simple answer to this is that Paul makes no such distinction. This is a modern invention. The apostle says distinctly,

"Let no man, therefore, judge you . . . . in respect of our holy-days, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days."

It makes no difference whatever, whether "days" be quoted or not. It is in italics, and, therefore, not in the original text. Correctly speaking it should be Sabbaths instead of Sabbath days. But if this expression does not exclude the necessity for Sabbath observance, the word "holy-day" is sufficiently comprehensive to do so.

The Sabbath instituted at the creation was "blessed" and "sanctified." To sanctify is synonymous with making holy. Therefore, the seventh day was made a holy-day, and so comes under the apostolic injunction that no man is to be judged in respect of it. If this is not sufficient, how are the words of the same apostle in Rom. 14:5, 6, to be regarded? He says,

"One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it."

These words were addressed to a mixed community of Jews and Gentiles, the former of whom were zealous for the observance of the Mosaic law. Hence they were for setting apart certain days as holy-days, or days devoted to the Lord. If it were necessary, in this dispensation, to keep any day holy, Paul could not have passed by such a dispute as this without giving specific injunctions about it. But he makes no command that any one day is to be observed above another.

He refers the disputed point to the conscience. So that Gentiles who had never been in the habit of keeping Sabbaths or other holy days need not commence the practice, and Jews who were so wedded to the customs in which they had been trained from infancy, could still observe certain days as holy, or sacred. Thus, provision was made by which the consciences of both could be satisfied. If it had been an absolute command, this could not have been done.

Whatever is relegated to the conscience, cannot be binding on all; it is simply binding on those who think it ought to be done. The conscience was not allowed to judge as to the observance or non-observance of the Ten Commandments. Neither is it in the present age in regard to baptism. In each case the command when given was absolute.

The non-necessity for keeping the Sabbath in this dispensation is further shown by Acts 15:24, 28, 29. If the Sabbath had never been abrogated, the apostles and the Holy Spirit would not have omitted it from the Mosaic injunctions which the Gentiles were to observe.

Bro J. J. Andrew.

The Christadelphian, July 1872



17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

In him we see a chosen mediator (1 Tim. 2:5)--not self-appointed: "No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron" (Heb. 5:4). It was God who said, "Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek" (Psa. 110:4). We see him offer blood--not the blood of bulls and goats, but his own blood: he alone entering the holiest, "heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Heb. 9:24).

We see him the perfect one, without spot, without sin, without superfluity, or incongruity--and this, his character from the beginning: yet assisted by his originally blemished sons in the ultimate development of his priesthood; for his children--his seed--the forgiven saints, are to reign with him as priests as well as kings (Heb. 2:13-14; Isa. 53:10; Rev. 5:10)

Law of Moses Ch 17



18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

He has granted a dispensation to no set of men to worship him "according to the dictates of their own conscience". This is a liberty and right that he has granted to none.

All that he has granted is liberty to enter his august presence, and to do him worship according to the dictates of his word. All else is mere "will-worship and voluntary humility," of which he has recorded his contempt (Col. ii. 18,23).

This is the character of the worship offered by the State Harlots and Dissenting Abominations of their Great Mother.

They are worships according to their unpurified, and therefore evil, consciences; for none of them are to be found in the living word of the Deity of the heaven. All of them, therefore, being of this category or order of things, they are an offence to him, as offerings superseding his appointments, and which he has not required at their hands.

Such worshippers as these are the worshippers of the unmeasured or excommunicated court; the worshippers of the Beast and of his Image, and the mark of whose name is indelibly impressed in their foreheads.

Eureka 11.2.4.




Voluntary humility

...includes everything we self-pleasingly impose upon ourselves and others that is not part of the basic simplicity in Christ.

Our one great duty in Christ is the overcoming and complete transforming of our character, but our natural tendency is to seek an easy satisfaction in self-imposed tasks which cater to the pride of humility but do not touch the basic problems of real character.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.40



20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

Paul's soul was vexed with all these modern speculations of the flesh in their original form. He was continually troubled, on the right hand and on the left

He admitted that they had a "show of wisdom"—nevertheless, he rejected them as the mere loathsomeness and garbage of corruption.

Speaking of these commandments of men, he says in Tit. 1:15,

"to the pure all meats are pure; but unto them who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure (not even beef, mutton, or vegetarianism), but both their mind and conscience are defiled."

Again, in Rom. 14:14, he says,

"I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself."

This vindicates the cleanness of swine's flesh, and knocks out the brains of the physiologists without ceremony. "But," he continues,

"to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean."

So, then, if any one deem pork unclean, to him it is so, but not therefore unclean to other people.

There was a ground of objection to the eating of certain meats in Paul's day that does not obtain now. It was not so much a question among Gentile Christ[adelphians] about meats Mosaically clean or unclean; but about the eating of meats offered in sacrifice to idols. It was customary in those days to expose the animals, offered but not consumed in the temple, for sale in the shambles as holy meat.

Now, the purchasers that ate them as sacrifices, were considered as partakers of the altar; and therefore fellowshipping the idol to which the meat was offered. When men abandoned idolatry for Christ, they held the sacrifices in contempt. Still some could not divest themselves entirely of the old superstitious feeling. They saw in the meat what when eaten identified the eater with the idol; so that when they saw a brother eat of it, it appeared to them like fellowshipping idolatry, which hurt their feelings exceedingly. Others, however, said,

"Why, what nonsense to be offended! In eating, I do not fellowship idolatry; for the idol is nothing, and all meats are alike, one kind not being more holy than another."

This was true enough in the abstract, but it had the appearance of evil, and might lead to Christ[adelphians] doing upon a principle of expediency and worldly policy, what those who had knowledge seemed to do, in the judgment of the weak. And so it turned out; for, to avoid persecution, "those who held the doctrine of Balaam, taught" their brethren of the house of "Balac to cast a stumbling-block before" the believers "to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication."

This eating was done in the conscience, not of the Christ[adelphian] eater, who despised idols, but in the conscience of the other—of the idolater, whom he sought to propitiate to the restraining of his persecuting spirit.

Here, then, were two mental conditions among the saints, opposed to one another; the one termed "the strong," and the other "the weak." Paul was evidently one of the strong. He taught that

"meat commendeth us not to God; for neither if we eat are we better; nor if we eat not are we worse."

Still, for the sake of the weak brother, who, seeing the strong brother eat, might follow his example without his knowledge, and eat; and in so doing, eat in fellowship of conscience with the idol, and thus be destroyed; Paul cautioned the strong, saying,

"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling-block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee who hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish for whom Christ died? But when ye sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore if meat make my brother to offend," or stumble, "I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend" in fellowshipping of idols—1 Cor. 8:4–13.

Thus, in the question of eating meats, Paul said furthermore, "all things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient;" and because, "all things do not edify," or build up.

"Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience' sake."

Now, here is a command to eat swine's flesh. A swine was a sacred animal with the heathen. That is, they used to offer it in sacrifice, and expose it in the shambles for sale. When, therefore, Paul says, "whatsoever is sold in the shambles eat," the saying comprehends all animals in use as food; and consequently, swine among the rest.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Jun 1860

21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?


22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

That is, they are not matters of eternal value; they do not affect the basic issues of godliness and holiness. The ordinances of the Law were shadows of the true—the cleanlinesses of the Law were types of the true cleanliness of the heart—the sacrifices of the Law were symbols of the true living sacrifice that the love of Christ requires.

Of themselves they all accomplished nothing but the teaching of lessons and pointing to what must be done to the character and life. External regulations and ordinances do not go deep enough—they do not transform the heart.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.40



23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour [but] to the satisfying of the flesh.

A comma after "honour" would make the sense clearer, or the insertion of "but," as indicated. All these self-pleasing labours and devotions [self-imposed tasks] have no divine honour or virtue, but are simply to the satisfying of the pride of the flesh.

Instead of mortifying the flesh and really improving the character, they are actually pleasing the flesh, as when men—in violation of God's law—seek worldly wisdom and worldly wealth on the plea of desiring to "use it in God's service."

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.40




v8,18,23

Origen, who had received christianity hereditarily, became catechetical tutor at the school in Alexandria at eighteen. He was a man of very presumptuous spirit, which impelled him to philosophize to the destruction of the faith. He was never content with plain truth, but ever hunting after something singular and extraordinary. He converted the school into a theological academy, which became the Collegiate Alma Mater of the Apostasy -- the Mother of all future Divinity Schools. He maintained himself by the sale of the profane books which he had been wont to study. The christians of the unfallen ecclesia at Ephesus would have burned them (Acts xix. 19).

But the times had changed; and Origen was a Thyatiran of the house of Jezebel, and a disseminator of "the depths of the Satan as they teach." He was "a perfect christian" after the type of his master's Gnosticus He multilated himself for the kingdom of heaven; made no provision for the morrow; inured himself to cold, nakedness, and poverty; abstained from wine, and in general lived so abstemiously as to endanger his life. Many persons imitated his excessive austerities, and were at that time honored with the name of "philosophers;" and some of them patiently suffered death.

The reader is referred to Col. ii. for a comment on the conduct of Origen and his Alexandrian converts. One of these, a female named Potamiaena, told a soldier who protected her from the insolence of the mob on her way to execution, that after her departure she would entreat the Lord for him. Some time after her death, the soldier was imprisoned on the charge of being a christian. The Origenites visited him, and on being questioned as to the cause of the sudden change, he declared that Potamiaena, three days after her martyrdom, had appeared to him by night, and informed him that she had performed her promise, and that he should shortly die. After this he was put to death.

This anecdote of the times, shows the prevalence of fanatical philosophy, will-worship, and the like. The soldier, Basilides, is converted by a fiction, is ignorant of the word, and dies without baptism; nevertheless, he is called "a christian." We have a multitude of such christians in our day, but what are they worth? They only illustrate a delusion, and adorn a tale.

Eureka 3.4.4.



Will worship

Many have undergone that kind of martyrdom whom Christ will not acknowledge in the day of his coming. In the early centuries, many rushed into that kind of martyrdom upon the same principle as that which leads the votaries of the Roman Catholic religion to submit to painful penances.

Dreadful things have been suffered in the way of penances. The Emperor Charles V, who was one of the mightiest potentates in Europe for nearly half a century, after his abdication, lacerated his flesh, with thorns and instruments of torture, ordered his coffin and lay in it, conducted his own burial service, and went through many physical sufferings, with the idea that by going through all those sufferings he would appease God for all the misdeeds of his life, and earn a place in the world to come.

But Charles V was an unjustified sinner. We know that God is not pleased with will worship, that is, with anything man can devise for His satisfaction. He is pleased only with our compliance with what He appoints; and all His appointments aim at the very contrary result secured by penances. For, if you examine such matters to the root, you will find that they have their root in self-satisfaction and the desire to pay God off.

Wicked people feel that God has a claim on them, so to speak, and they want to pay Him off, and be independent; whereas, the true worship which God exacts excludes that feeling entirely, and brings us to the recognition of the fact that we cannot pay God off. All we can do is to obey Him in thanksgiving for His goodness in offering us forgiveness on the recognition of our position.

Bro Roberts - Present suffering, Seasons 1.32.