Scripture Queries and Answers: Resting on Christ's Work; Gone Out vs. Putting Out; Burning and Refined

A.-God is sovereign, or He abdicates Godhead. One of the twelve tribes must of necessity take precedence; and He chose Judah. If any creature is entitled to ask “why,” surely it is a very plain answer that His Son deigned to be born of that tribe. But it is well to be content with God's wise, good, and holy will, if we could give no reason.
Q.-Rom. 8 &c. Is it possible for a believer to rest on Christ's work without having God's Spirit dwelling in him? W. S.
A.-Certainly not. But many did and do believe on Christ without at first resting on His work. It is hasty and wrong to assume that such have the Holy Spirit given to them, though born of the Spirit. See the case of Cornelius in Acts 10. He was a converted man of marked piety, which is not nor can be without believing on Jesus; but he did not appropriate the saving power of His work, till God sent the warrant, henceforth as open to the Gentile as to the Jew, in the gospel preached by Peter as by others since. Many fail to see this, and suffer through the error in various ways. The truth is quite plain.
Q.-1 Cor. 5:1313But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1 Corinthians 5:13). Is the public mention of one gone out from the assembly the same as putting out, as some fancy? E.
A.-Certainly not. It is a mistake in any case; in some it would be a gross wrong. The assembly cannot without absurdity put out one who has already gone out. Sometimes the going out is an act of mere ignorance; as for instance when one, used to a sermon every Sunday morning, grows weary of worship in spirit and truth, and pines for a discourse to relieve him of the distaste he feels for the Spirit's liberty of action in the assembly. How cruel and unjust to stigmatize the weak one, unspiritual though he may be, as a “wicked person”!
Wholly different is he who goes out because of necessary discipline, and yields to his self-will in abandoning the assembly which till then he had owned to be of God. He is, what the apostle denounces as, “an heretical man,” not necessarily heterodox, but factious to the last degree, whom (for he was outside) Titus was to have done with after a first and second admonition. If he were a brother of intelligence and experience, the sin is greatly aggravated; for it is rebellion against the Lord's authority in His house, were they but two or three gathered to His name. If the fact be known even in a very general way, it is a sin for any professing to keep the unity of the Spirit to receive such. If warned by competent witnesses, it is worse still. Can a meeting claim license to abandon the unity of the Spirit and turn independent for a season to gratify feeling? Even if it were only a person standing aside and under investigation, no meeting is free to receive: how much willfully outside, even if he had not joined a party in opposition! To receive in such circumstances is a violation of unity and order, of love and righteousness. Nor is it conceivable that any would agree to so deplorable an act of independency, save under the influence of partiality quite unworthy of holy brethren, to say nothing of His name that is slighted and of His word that has not been kept. We are bound if on scriptural ground to walk together in fellowship. An offender cannot be out and in at the same time, save to the Lord's dishonor. One “outside” is outside everywhere, save to people of loose principles. We are bound to walk as one.
Q.-Rev. 1:15; 3:1815And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. (Revelation 1:15)
18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Revelation 3:18)
: why should πεπυρωμένος
be translated “burning” in the first text, and “refined” in the second? Other versions, down to the most recent, vary the rendering in the two places, so that there most likely is a modifying cause which forbids the same force to be given to the word in both cases. May we have this cause explained, unless we can get a rendering that suits the Greek word in both texts? M.
A.-The contextual aim differs like the phrase, though the same remarkable word reappears. But in chap. 1: 15 it is part of the Lord's judicial attributes, not only “eyes as a flame of fire,” but “feet like brilliant brass (or copper), as though they glowed in a furnace,” penetrative and firm unsparingness to the last degree in judgment of responsible man. They were as though red-hot in a furnace. In chap. 3:18 the scope is wholly different; for there the Lord counsels the angel of the church in Laodicea to abandon his self-satisfaction in their empty riches and acquisitions, and to buy of Him what is alone genuine wealth before God, “gold tried by fire,” His own righteousness to suit His nature and presence; as also the white garments figure the practical righteousnesses which become the saint. The justified must be righteous. But so distinct is the connection that it is extremely difficult to suggest one English counterpart to both. For it is ἐν καμίνψ in the one text, and ἐκ πυρὸς in the other. This modifies the rendering of πεπυρωμένος. It is true that copper or brass, as in the altar of Burnt-offering, also represents divine righteousness; yet this, not as meeting God's nature on high, but rather as dealing with man's responsibility on earth. “Fired” as in a furnace or out of fire is literal, but would be somewhat harsh.