1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment - Jhn 7: 24.

We are not permitted to judge each other, but as brethren and sisters mingling together, with a common object, we are permitted to exhort one another, and so much the more, as we see the day approaching.

The Christadelphian May, 1870

No one can judge another, for a just judgment requires that the judge know all, which mortal man cannot do. It is not for us to judge one another, but to exhort each other, pointing to the commandments delivered unto us, and the glorious inducements God has associated with their obedience.

By this course, obedience will grow in ourselves and others, and the abounding evil of our present state be a little modified and overcome by the good that God has brought to bear upon us in His Word.

Seasons 2.37

This command can be infringed in several ways: by attributing a wrong motive to another without sufficient ground; by condemning another for an act for which he may have been truly sorry; by deciding in our minds (apart from the Word) as to who and who will not be saved.

James also characterises evil speaking as judging. (4:11.) It is the easiest thing in the world to be disobedient in this matter. Let us be cautious. Let us not be backward in giving another the benefit of a doubt. Let us not forget that we are all erring. God has said, "I will judge."

But although prohibited from judging in the manner stated, we are called upon to decide between right and wrong. Paul writes,

"withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."

Christ has told us how this obligation can be fulfilled-

"By their fruits ye shall know them."

Manifest lying, manifest drunkenness, manifest covetousness, are not to be condoned. Let us not hesitate to condemn the unfruitful works of darkness, but let our condemnation be directed against the wrong deeds rather than against the brother. Let us keep in view the brother's reclamation.

Let us correct with love, meekness, gentleness, and forbearance. If the commandments of Christ call for us to withdraw or stand aside from others, let us do it, not in the spirit of "I am holier than thou" but in humility and sorrow.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Jan 1888

‭J‬udge not

It came to be a simple question of how much of the truth Aberdeen insisted upon,‭ ‬as a basis of fellowship.‭ ‬Let them define this,‭ ‬and if sufficiently comprehensive and explicit,‭ ‬the Editor would endorse it.

‭ ‬ one precept should be set up against another.‭ ‬It was as much a duty to‭ "‬Try the spirits whether they were of God,‭" ‬as to‭ "‬Take heed not to offend one of the little ones.‭"

‭...‬withdrawal was not judgment in that sense,‭ ‬but a mere washing of our hands‭; ‬a mere preservation of our own position from complicity with wrong.‭ ‬The act was subjective,‭ ‬not objective.‭ ‬We had no judicial power.‭ ‬It was not for us to condemn:‭ ‬the Lord would do that‭; ‬but it‭ ‬was for us to step aside from wrong for fear of being ourselves condemned.

‭ ‬We had the power given to us in all the precepts prescribing‭ "‬withdrawal‭" ‬from every one walking unapostolically.‭ ‬Without this power,‭ ‬we must needs remain helplessly in Romish communion as the dominant church.‭

If we had not this power of self-protection,‭ ‬in a moral sense,‭ ‬we were all schismatics together in separating from the sects.‭ ‬Jesus commended the Asiatic ecclesias for standing apart from those whose working was evil.

‭—‬It was finally concluded that as Birmingham had already defined the principles upon which they stand,‭ ‬Aberdeen should examine that definition and report assent or dissent,‭ ‬as the case might be,‭ ‬previous to any further attempt to adjust the situation.

The Christadelphian, May 1873

Probably no command is more often broken than this. Much of our conversation is judgement, criticism or condemnation of others.

This is an evil condition, and displeasing to God. We must truly judge circumstances and conditions where our own conduct is affected, or where fellowship is involved; but unless it is necessary for us to judge others in order to know what we ourselves should do, we should very carefully refrain from forming any judgment of another, and especially we should not express judgment.

This is a very important first principle of the Truth. The warning is ...*

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Therefore, it is always wisdom to judge with mercy and kindness and compassion and fellow-feeling, wherever we must judge at all.

When we indulge in the flesh-satisfying practice of judging and criticising others, we are not only directly disobedient to this command - we are also manifesting that we do not have the mind and spirit of Christ, and therefore are none of his.

As we judge, so shall we be judged.

If we judge others charitably and sympathetically, seeking to understand and to help rather than condemn, we ourselves shall be so judged.

If we judge suspiciously and condemningly, we ourselves shall be judged suspiciously and condemningly.

As we drive hard bargains in natural things, so shall we be treated in spiritual things.

As we glory in mercy and for­giveness and liberality and returning good forevil, and imputing no evil, so shall it be done to us in the day of final account when we shall need every measure of mercy and forgiveness we can get-

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.

"With the same measure that ye mete, withal it shall he measured to you again."

We each, by out treatment and judgment of others, set the pattern of our own judgment. How few, how few, have the wisdom to put aside the flesh and walk in the way of life!

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.24

6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

This seems to be a counterbalance to the command not to judge. It parallels another command elsewhere -

"Be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

We are not being harmless, but very harmful and fleshly, when we talk about the faults of others.

But though we must view all with love and compassion and sympathy, still we must use care in exposing the things of God to the unholy and profane.

I believe the reference is more to the inner aspects of the Truth, the intimate aspects of association and fellowship, rather than to preaching the Truth. Paul's injunction to "Lay hands suddenly on no man" would be parallel.

This is a fitting and balancing warning in conjunction with the command to judge with compassion, lest out of misguided love we make the mistake of being too lenient in guarding the purity of the Truth. The Truth and the fellowship of the Spirit are holy and sacred and must be jealously guarded from the worldly and profane. *

7 ASK, and it SHALL be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

This is certainly the most glorious of the commands. Let us note well that it is a COMMAND. We must believe it, and we must ask.

We can never hide behind a plea of weakness or inability to obey, for here we are commanded to ask for whatever strength and wisdom we need, and God guarantees it. (Mark 11:24):

"What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, BELIEVE that ye receive them, and ye SHALL have them."

With that guarantee of success, there can be no excuse for failure. *

Wisdom in the advocacy of any cause prescribes the employment of those arguments only that cannot be turned.‭ ‬Good generalship prefers to select impregnable positions.

The Christadelphian, May 1872

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

Bread comprehends every form of need, physical and spiritual; and stone every fleshly reaction of unkindness, thoughtlessness, rebuff, harshness, impatience, and neglect.

Our children look trustingly to us for guidance, example, comfort, assurance, understanding, maturity, Christ-like tenderness and compassion, love, appreciation, encouragement,

companionship, and a personal manifestation of the joy and beauty of holiness. Are we giving them bread, or a stone? Whose fault is it if they starve spiritually?

It is Jesus who brings out in its full beauty this exalted relationship in which we stand. In him the fullness of God's Fatherhood is manifested.

Bro Growcott - 144 000 on Mount Zion

"Having his Father's Name." - Rev 14:1

What a wealth of beauty, comfort and promise is contained in that one word,


A true father-of which God is the perfect example-is a tower of protection, comfort, counsel, companionship, understanding, inspiration, and firm but kindly discipline and an

ability to enter with infinite patience into the hearts and hopes and problems of childhood.

God's Fatherhood is His greatest promise and blessing-

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the SONS OF GOD!" (1Jhn. 3:1).

"If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?" (Matt. 7:9).

There is great depth in this parable of fatherhood. Bread comprehends every form of need, physical and spiritual; and stone every fleshly reaction of unkindness, thoughtlessness, rebuff, harshness, impatience, and neglect.

Our children look trustingly to us for guidance, example, comfort, assurance, understanding, maturity, Christ-like tenderness and compassion, love, appreciation, encouragement,

companionship, and a personal manifestation of the joy and beauty of holiness. Are we giving them bread, or a stone? Whose fault is it if they starve spiritually?

It is Jesus who brings out in its full beauty this exalted relationship in which we stand. In him the fullness of God's Fatherhood is manifested. This beautiful truth, like so many others, is destroyed by the Trinitarian doctrines of the churches of the world.

At Jesus' first public manifestation, this is his theme-

"My Father's House . . . My Father's business."

Bro Growcott - The 144 000 on Mount Zion

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 

The "Golden Rule" - best known and perhaps least obeyed command of all. It has a pleasing, soothing sound, and many pay it zealous lip-service, but how it rarely is practiced!
Note that Jesus says this command is "all the Law and the Prophets" - this is the whole spirit of the Old Testament, as well as the New. *

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Appropriate Now [following the clean flesh heresy division]

Eight years ago, Dr. Thomas wrote to the Editor as follows:—

Dear brother, you have entered upon a very arduous enterprise. If I understand you right, you are where I was some twenty-five or thirty years ago. You are now more intelligent in the faith than I was then. I was seeking for it with no one to help me to find it; but many ready to mislead or misdirect me. You have found it, with many ready, and rejoiced to help you to walk in the way of the kingdom; and therefore you have more power for immediate usefulness than I had.

Yet, in some sort, our situation is similar. I was one and nearly alone against the world; and the world against me as soon as it discovered that I was for the truth, whatever that might be, and wherever found, 'on Christian or on heathen ground;" and that, too, without regard to the dogmata of sects, Romish or Protestant, or mere human authority.

This discovery brought down their anathemas upon me thick and heavy. Power was upon the side of the oppressor; and they would have swallowed me up, if God had permitted them to triumph. Now, if you are courageous, faithful and valiant for the truth; if you are really a good and useful man in your day and generation, you may lay your account with being misrepresented, slandered and abused in various ways: but if you turn traitor in faith or practice, or in both, you will become popular, and obtain the applause of the ignorant and hypocrites.

This is my experience, and it will certainly be yours. And how can it be otherwise? Human nature is the devil; and, if ignorant and uncontrolled by the truth, will act devilishly. Nothing good is to be expected from it, for there is in it 'no good thing.' Now, you are not to suppose that in its devilish working, it will work undisguisedly. No, it will be as careful as possible to conceal the cloven foot; though for lack of wisdom, it is not always successful in so doing.

The ordinary disguise assumed is scripturally styled 'sheep's clothing.' It makes great profession of piety; pretends to be extraordinarily conscientious; it strains enormously at gnats; and has a great zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

It is not the naked wolf, or roaring lion, that comes out against the faithful to trample and rend them in these times The devil undisguised thus would have but little chance of success; for pietism is the fashion of the day; and it is one of the devil's proverbs, that 'a man may as well be out of the world as out of the fashion.' Piety being the fashion, then the devil is prudent enough to conform to the fashion; and he is sure to run into extremes; he is pious to excess.

Now the devil intensely pious is 'a wolf in sheep's clothing;' in other words, Human Nature pretending to be what it is not—pretending to be a partaker of the Divine Nature: is a wolf pretending to be a sheep. But such a pretender is a hypocrite and only a hypocrite, and can naturally be nothing else but a hypocrite.

A hypocrite is one who personates a character, a playactor. The Pharisees were denounced as hypocrites because 'they feigned themselves just men.' Here the just man's character became the garb of the hypocrite. They played the part of just men for the purpose of ruining the Holy and the Just One; which he perceiving, his indignation was aroused, and he exclaimed, 'Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?' . . . .

With the court generally it is not worth troubling ourselves just now. We are more especially related to those who profess to be the Ecclesia.' But we have lived long enough in this evil world to know that 'profession is not principle.' We have a great many speculators in the faith on this side the Atlantic; mere theorists, who are a sort of amalgam made up of a little Storrism, a little Adventism, a little Campbellism, and a hodge-podge of traditions, of which water, pork, alcohol, tobacco, salt, leaven, raisins ... are the prolific 'head centre.'

But of believers, intelligent in 'the unadulterated milk of the word,' by which they have grown into 'young men' and 'fathers' in Christ, we have very, very few. There are few in whom 'the word of Christ dwells richly in all wisdom' and in whom this word rules so as to induce them 'to deny themselves of all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly and righteously and godly in the present world".

These are the exception to the rule: the generality do not seem to allow what they call 'their faith' to stand in the way of trade, money-making convenience, or enjoyment. Conscious of their own hypocrisy, or worldly-mindedness, they zealously assail those whose opposite course is a standing, though silent, rebuke to them."

The Christadelphian, Feb 1874

Stereotyped confessions

... called by themselves "Common Prayer."

Common enough it is, and as impious and valueless as it is common. In this very common prayer they remind the Lord every Sunday that they are miserable sinners.

He knows that well, and that they have been such for ages; and are no better now, no nearer being saints than they were when they rallied round the royal adulterer and murderer, Henry VIII., when he rebelled against the Pope, because this arch-knave favoured the family interests of his Spanish wife rather than her husband's.

These "miserable sinners" decorated with pompous titles as incense to the pride of life, undertake, we say, to impart God's holy spirit to Oxonian Bachelors and Masters of Arts according to the following printed formula—

"receive thou the Holy Ghost by the imposition of my hands for the work of a priest in the house of God: whosesoever sins you remit they are remitted, and whosesoever sins you retain they are retained; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost Amen."

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Nov 1861

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Here is a place where we must judge-not in condemnation, but in self-protective discernment-care concerning being mislead into association with such as have all the appearances of zealous, harmless, hard-working sheep.

How are we to judge? "By their fruits."

Now, many apparent "fruits" we may find the sheep and wolves have in common-

"Have we not prophesied in thy Name?"

"And in thy Name done many wonderful works?"

We must search deeper to discern the wolves. We would perhaps prefer not to face this issue, but to leave all judging to Christ. But here is the last and crowning command- "Beware of false prophets."

It must be very urgent to be put as the closing warning. It would not be faithful to ignore it. It must be a real danger.

We must endeavour, whatever the present cost in friendship and association, to faithfully keep that which has been entrusted to us, and which previous generations of faithful brethren have preserved and defended. Where false teaching is tolerated, there can be no true fellowship, though many may themselves not follow the falsehood *

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Self-congratulation is a dangerous luxury on the part of either individuals or communities. Be thankful for privileges and attainments, but make no boast. Enjoy the goodness of God in meekness; flourish it not in the eyes of neighbours as a matter of superiority; for what have we that we have not received; and it may be that we have not received so much as we think.

Let us take care that we deceive not ourselves. The boast of Christadelphian superiority to the sects is rank abomination in the sight of God, if we are reprobate to His commandments.

Bro Roberts - The day of the Lord (SoC 1:30)

No man who merely believes the truth and speaks of it to his neighbour, will be saved; for we find mention of some to be rejected in that day who will say "Have we not preached in Thy name, and in Thy name done many wonderful works?" If our fitness rises no higher than an apprehension and agitation of the theory of the truth, we are not fit for the kingdom of God. The truth is intended to hew us, intellectually and morally, into a certain shape: that shape is the shape of Christ.

We have him for an example, and if we do not follow his example, we shall not stand with him in the day of his glory.

The Christadelphian, June 1872

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Success is simply a matter of pleasing God: happiness is simply a matter of God manifesting His pleasure in our hearts. All else is illusion and delusion: all else is vanity, and -- finally -- sorrow and death.

Life can be ALL deep, quiet, trustful pleasure, even in its pain.

Life can be all empty tragedy and failure, even with its glitter and "success." Don't build anything on anything but solid rock. If there is no eternal foundation beneath it, then the better we build and the harder we labour, the greater the ultimate loss and remorse.

God is the Rock: the only Rock. Build everything you do on Him.

It will then stand firm to all eternity *

* Bro Growcott - Be Ye therefore Perfect

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

Enlightened rejection

We come now to three other ideas, which call for more careful consideration. The first is the contention that if an alien becomes sufficiently enlightened, he is sure to connect himself with Christ by baptism. This idea is excluded by Christ's doctrine concerning

"every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not" (Matt. 7:26).

It is strange and illogical, inasmuch as it makes human nature different today from what it was in Bible times. Man, who could be wilfully perverse then, can be equally so now. At the same time, the idea is comparatively harmless, so long as it is kept generally subservient to the teaching of the Scriptures.

If the holders of it are given time, and are not unfairly pushed into contending for it, many, no doubt, will ere long allow it to fall captive to the all-conquering Spirit-Word. This idea, however, ceases to be harmless when it is exalted to attack the truth. So far, it has not been so used, and it simply calls for kindly, admonitory treatment-not for withdrawal. It exhibits mental weakness, which stronger brethren should nobly shoulder.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Feb 1901

The second idea is that which doubts whether, owing to the absence of miracle, there is now sufficient evidence to justify us in saying that any present-day rejectors of the truth will be raised to judgment. This view is also strange and illogical. Surely where there is sufficient evidence for the purpose of salvation, there is sufficient evidence to bring condemnation. Here, again, we have to consider the strength and use made of the idea.

Those who hold it know that they do so as a mere private opinion-that they cannot demonstrate its truth. If they admit that light (where it sufficiently exists) is the ground of resurrectional responsibility, and they do not antagonise the proclamation of this truth, they should not be withdrawn from.

Clearer and more scriptural views may ultimately prevail, and discerning brethren can afford, in the meantime, to be gentle and patient. Let us see how near we can get to each other, not how far we can stand off.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Feb 1901

Resurrection - The Blood of Christ

The third idea comes dangerously near a denial of the truth. It takes this form: The saints are raised through connection with Christ's blood. The alien are not related to this, and therefore cannot be raised in the same way. Their resurrection, however, is possible, but for reason stated it is a point upon which it is unwise to dogmatise.

Those who allow their minds to run in this way are imbued with wrong ideas respecting Christ's sacrifice. The blood of Christ was shed to give man eternal life (as brother Roberts has so ably shown in Resurrection to Condemnation), not to provide a basis upon which men can be brought back from the death-state to stand before the Judgment Seat.

Man has been resurrected in the past, apart from Christ's blood, and will be again. Brethren who know the Scripture doctrine regarding the amenability of enlightened rebels to Christ's Judgment Seat, must uphold that doctrine despite the few who may be befogged by recent mystifying utterances. This course will be more kind to the dim-sighted in the long run.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Feb 1901 are building on all kinds of floating and flimsy structures which are certain to drift on Time's ceaseless stream away into the ocean of oblivion. Many are building on the mortal life of present experience, with no care or pretence for anything beyond. We know where that will lead: they die and are forgotten.

... Others accept the dreams of an Emmanuel Swedenborg, the hallucinations of a Madame Blavatsky, the speculations of a Herbert Spencer, the optimistic agnosticisms of a Tennyson, the scientific guesses of a Darwin, the cosmic vagaries of a La Place, or, failing all else, the traditions of hereditary piety or the dogmatism of Papal pretensions.

Wherein do we differ from all these? We build on the foundation of Moses and the prophets. To this foundation we adhere with all the indomitable tenacity that is born of reason. It is not the choice of taste or the bias of sentiment that leads us to prefer the Scriptures above every form or phase of human thought. We are compelled by the force of truth, generated by facts, discerned as all facts are discerned over the world-wide, and through all the ages of which we have record.

Seasons 2: 66

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

The wise and foolish Builders

While the weather is fine, the difference between the two houses, as regards the foundation, is immaterial. But a time of storm and inundation comes. The difference is then both great and apparent. The one falls to ruins; the other is unhurt by the violence of the storm, and remains a useful habitation when the storm has passed away.

...But a man may accept the teaching of Christ and not conform to it. His house -- his hope, is in that case on the sand. For only that acceptance of the truth which is accompanied by affectionate submission to its requirements will be acceptable with God...

"Faith without works is dead" (Jas. ii. 20).

A disobedient man's belief of the gospel will go for nothing in the day of the issues of things -- the day when the judgment will

"try every man's work, what sort it is" (1 Cor. iii. 13).

...The judgment of God is coming like a storm to "sweep away all the refuge of lies" (Is. xxviii. 17). In that terrible day, the man will stand unmoved who has acted the part of a friend of God in the midst of "the crooked and perverse generation" now upon earth in apparent safety.

He will pass unharmed through the destructive revolutions in which thrones will perish and society itself be dissolved. He will be "under the shadow of the Almighty" during

"the time of trouble such as never was:"

and when the storm has passed, and the sun shines out, he will stand forth in safety and glory as one of those "kings and priests" whose work it will be to re-build the shattered fabric of human life, and lead mankind in ways of peace, blessedness and well-being.

But in vain will you look round at that moment for those believers who merely have a name to live during these times of probation, but who are dead, as shewn by their non-submission to all the requirements of the Word of the living God. The difference between the two classes is scarcely discernible now; it will be known and read of all men then.

Nazareth Revisited Ch 28

29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

The scribes would be like our modern clergy -- the mechanical rehearsers of dead formulas, without the snap and ardour that come with intelligent conviction.

Jesus taught with emphasis and fire -- quiet and grave, but with the animation and pointedness of tone and gesture that result from certainty and knowledge. He likewise taught with a simplicity that enabled him to say much in little, and to be easily understood.

"The common people," we are told, "heard him gladly." They will never hear his like again till Christ send forth a host of similar teachers in the happy day of his kingdom.

Nazareth Revisited Ch 15

"A man's wisdom maketh his face to shine" Ecc 8: 1

The scribes were uncertain, timid, and formal: Jesus was earnest, clear, unhesitating, authoritative. The scribes feared and taught by a human standard -- the tradition of the elders.

"for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes."

They taught thus, not as a matter of individual conviction, but as the accepted rule with which it was convenient to comply: Jesus taught with the emphasis of knowledge, divinely derived, and with the ardour of a pure love, and the clearness and dignity of a noble purpose. Jesus knew what he was about: the others did not. Solomon says,

...The situation is somewhat reversed now. It is in writing and not in speaking that we have to make the acquaintance of the words of Christ -- by reading, not by hearing. It is the matter rather than the manner by which we have to judge, and a right judgment on this head will engender the same astonishment that the listener felt at his manner. The matter is truly sublime. The difficulty of estimating it aright, arises from familiarity.

Nazareth Revisited Ch 17