Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: When Paul writes "though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more" (2 Cor. 5:16), was he indicating that he had met the Lord somewhere in his unsaved days?

Answer: It is my belief that Paul was not speaking of an encounter with Christ during his earthly ministry. Paul is speaking of his former ideas concerning the Lord in his unsaved days. His judgment of Him was filled with preconceived prejudices regarding his person as a false Messiah. His life had been changed. He is no longer viewing the Lord Jesus after the flesh, but now through the Spirit. His former views of Jesus were based upon human standards of Jewish thought belonging to the old life with its ideas. Paul lived no longer "after the flesh" but "in the Spirit."

Question: Could you explain in Words in Season why Matthew speaks of two blind men at Jericho (Matt. 20:1) and yet Mark and Luke state only one in their account (Mark 10:16; Luke 18:35). Are these different incidents or the same?

Answer: Various explanations have been given. Some see distinct and differing incidents. It is our understanding that they refer to the same event. It is interesting in comparing the divine record that not only does Matthew mention two blind men of Jericho, (the other synoptics speak of only one), he also writes of two demoniacs of Gadara, while Mark and Luke name but one. Further Matthew speaks of an ass and a colt used by the Lord on His entry into Jerusalem, whereas the others mention only the colt.

It is evident that Matthew was recording things he had actually seen, which would account for the greater detail. It also seems that one of the two in each record was more prominent. Bartimeaus is named as one of the blind men, Legion as one of the demoniacs and the colt as it was the animal upon which the Lord rode into the city. We are sure the accounts are not contradictory, but reveal the independence of the writers and the overruling finger of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and control of the record.

Greater detail in Matthew’s writing is required to present a clear picture of the events in which the grace of Christ and His compassion is displayed.

Furthermore, Matthew is dispensational in character. Christ is presented as the Messiah of Israel by a Jew and since competent witness was established in the mouth of two or three witnesses, it would appear to be in agreement with the purpose of the gospel to mention two blind men and two demoniacs. We thus appreciate the divine accuracy of the Holy Spirit’s choice of language.

Question: It would be of great interest if you could state who is described by Paul in writing to Timothy, "One who alone hath immortality dwelling in the light." Is this Christ?

Answer: The sentence from 1 Timothy 6:16 must be considered in context to arrive at the answer to this question. It seems clear from the words of verse "Which in his times he shall show who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords." The one who is the blessed and only Potentate is Christ and God Himself will then show Him to a wondering world. The words "who only hath immortality (deathlessness) dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see, to whom be honor and power everlasting, must refer to God Himself for He hath not been seen by men. Thank God the Son hath seen, and hath revealed God to men (John 1:18). We conclude therefore, that the One who alone hath immortality dwelling in the light, is God Himself in all the glory and light of Godhead.

Question: Often the word "Shechinah" is used. What may I understand by the term?

Answer: The expression "Shechinah" was used by the Jewish teachers in writing the Torah, which was the aramic writings to describe the presence of God, seen in the cloud of glory which appeared in the holiest in the Tabernacle. God said "I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat" (Lev. 16:2). The bright cloud was the symbol of the presence of God.

This was first seen on the day of the consecration of the Tabernacle. Moses finished the work, then the cloud covered the Tent of the Congregation and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle, and Moses was unable to enter (Exodus 40:34). At the dedication of the Temple, again the cloud appeared and the Shechinah filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house for the glory of the Lord filled the house (2 Chron. 7:2). In both cases, God showed His approval and accepted His dwelling place, and entering in dwelt among His people. What a demonstration of his infinite grace and mercy and His majesty and holiness.

It is evident that there is a link between the entrance of the Shechinah into these dwelling places of old and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The glory of the Lord that filled the material tent and house, then filled the spiritual house. The understanding of the Shechinah in a local assembly is a cause for worship, reverence, holiness and humility. Consider Alexander Stewart’s great hymn:

Lord Jesus Christ we seek Thy face,
Within the veil we bow the knee.
O let Thy glory fill the place,
And bless us while we wait on Thee.