Grace Family Bible Church
Let No Man Judge
By: Scott Morton
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:  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
As the Apostle Paul is writing to these saints at Colossae, he starts to speak about specific practical issues they should be watching for in their life. These practical issues come out as the believer is properly applying the doctrine they have been studying, which was given to us by Paul. He knew they had remained faithful up to this point and was writing to make sure they were doing what God intended.
The issue in this passage is about being judged by other individuals. This is something that tends to happen a lot, as the world loves to look at Christians to see what it is that is being done wrong. Other Christians also have a tendency to be doing the same thing. As we go through this list, we will see there are a number of places where people can start to judge each other and Paul is stating this should not be happening.
The first of these issues is meat. Paul is speaking about the food they are eating. There were a number of reasons why this was a real issue which would have been coming up. The first reason is the Bible gives different dietary restrictions according to the dispensation someone is in:
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.  Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.  Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.  And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.  And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.  And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.  Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.  These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.  And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:  They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.  Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
1 Timothy 4:4-5
For 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.
These four passages show how the dietary rules have changed for those who are attempting to follow God's Word. It is impossible to try to follow all of these at the exact same time. Therefore, we need to know which one of these is the one we are supposed to be following today. This would be the last one, which was given to us by the Apostle Paul. He is the one who has given the instructions to the members of the Body of Christ, so we should be following the doctrine that he has laid out.
The problem for many is that there is a judging which comes about because people think they know best. This is not something new, as it was even seen in Paul's time. He gives us a couple of accounts of this:
1 Corinthians 8:4-8
As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.  Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.  But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.  And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
We are not going to look at the specifics of these examples and the doctrine that is found with them. The issue with these two passages is that there are these attempts here to be judging what someone else believes and where they are in their walk based on what they are eating. Paul in these passages is dealing with this issue and is dealing with it related to what is going on in Colossae.
The reason this can become an issue is that this is something that is very easy for someone to see. They can tell what you are eating and then can make judgments based on this fact. While we cannot control what other people are doing, we can control ourselves. We know what the doctrine is and we should be applying the doctrine properly. If we are doing that and following the proper instructions then there is no issue.
The next issue that the Apostle Paul brings up is the issue of drink. This is going to get into the issue of alcohol, which is touchy subject for many individuals. There are many personal beliefs that come into the realm of this discussion. Some of this has been influenced by the traditions of men and some by the personal feelings of the individual. Neither of these is supposed to be what has the major influence on us. We are to let the Word of God be the influence on our lives.
It is clear when we actually look at the Word of God that there is a difference between drinking alcohol and drunkenness. It is going to be clear from looking at some passages that the Bible condemns being drunk, but does not condemn the use of alcohol in moderation.
Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!  Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
These four passages are a sample of what the Bible says about someone being drunk. It is clear that the Bible condemns the issue of being drunk. This is something that is true not just in Israel's program, but is also true during this dispensation as well, as the Apostle Paul identifies this as part of the lust of the flesh, which is contrary to God.
Under the law program, it was also clear that there were certain individuals God did not want to even drink:
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:  Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.  But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
These passages show that the kings, priests, and prophets were not supposed to drink at all. The reasoning for this is that there could have been a chance they would have become drunk and then would have gone contrary to the Word of God that had been given unto them. They needed to think clearly, so they would be able to do everything God asked them to do.
It is clear from these passages that being drunk is bad. The issue then needs to shift into the issue of drinking itself. We see from the Lord Jesus Christ that alcohol was not the issue:
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:  And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.  His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.  And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.  Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,  And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.  This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
The very first miracle that is recorded is the Lord Jesus Christ turning water into wine. This creates lot of confusion because some want to turn the word wine into unfermented grape juice, stating it is new wine. The problem with this is that the word for wine here is the same one that is used in passages showing that people should not be drunken with wine. An individual cannot become drunk on grape juice. It is clear also from the passage that this was actual wine that was being discussed. The Lord Jesus Christ created literal wine, because the use of alcohol was not the issue.
And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?  They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.  For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.  The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!  But wisdom is justified of all her children.
The people were drawing a comparison between John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ. They clearly saw that John did not drink any wine. Their only response to this was that he had a devil, meaning there was something wrong with him because of this. When they see the Lord Jesus Christ, it is stated He is drinking, which means He did drink wine. This is why they make the accusation that he is a winebibber. This false accusation was that he was a drunk. You can only attempt to make an accusation like this if He had actually been seen drinking wine at any point in time. It is clear He drank wine on occasion, as this was acceptable.
There are passages that show the use of alcohol was being prescribed as a medication for individuals:
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
1 Timothy 5:23
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
These passages are from two different dispensations, showing that this is something that cuts across them. It was to be used to help with some of the mental/emotional things which are going on, as the Bible indicates wine makes the heart glad (Psalm 104:15). It also was to be used for some of the physical things that they were had. Modern medical science has shown how small amounts of wine can help to prevent heart disease. Larger amounts create other health issues. This is why the Apostle Paul was stating to use a little wine, because the issue if moderation is needed in the use of alcohol.
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
At what is referred to as the last supper, they were drinking wine here. This cup is mentioned here. It is not grape juice or some other substance. There clearly is a use of wine by the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry.
It clear that some drinking is Ok and being drunk is wrong. The big issue for the believer is that we need to make sure we are not putting ourselves into a position of where we can be judged by other individuals based on this behavior and to not let this have an impact on the testimony we have.
The next thing that is on the list is the issue of holy days. This means days that individuals believe to be esteemed over other days with some sort of spiritual significance. This usually means it is required for someone to participate in these days and there is going to be something that happens to them if they do not. These were clearly seen in Israel's program:
Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.  Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.  Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.  And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.  Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee:  But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.  And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents.  Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.  Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn.  And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:  And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.  And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.  Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine:  And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.  Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.  Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
This long passage here shows how there were a number of holy days that were part of Israel's program. These were required days for them to be participating in and they had to go to the city of Jerusalem for most of these. There were serious consequences for them if they failed to participate in these holy days, as they were truly a requirement.
These are not for us today, even though some try to figure out a way to follow them. There is significance to these feasts that fall into the prophetic calendar and members of the nation of Israel should have been able to figure out these things.
Some today try to replace this idea with the word holiday. They feel there are certain things that are required for individuals to celebrate. There are no requirements for us in this dispensation and there is a liberty for us to decide if we want to participate in certain things or not. The measuring stick we should be using is if whatever we are looking at goes contrary to the doctrine that has been given to us by the Apostle Paul (Romans through Philemon). If it clearly goes against the doctrine then we should not be doing it. If there is no indication that it does go against the doctrine then there is a liberty for us to participate in these things. The clear thing is that we should not be judging each other in these things and should not be participating in things that would lead to being put into this position.
Paul speaks here about the issue of observing the new moon, which is something most of us would not be thinking about today, as this is not something that is part of the culture to do. However, they were doing this and we can see some of the reasons why this was being done when we look at what the Bible has to say on this topic:
Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.
What is being dealt with here is the issue of the beginning of the months of Israel's calendar. Their calendar was set up differently than ours and was set up according to the phases of the moon. The new moon would have been the beginning of the month for them, which is something they would have been looking at. This is because there was a feast they were to celebrate with this:
And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;  And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram;  And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD.  And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year.  And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto the LORD shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.
We see here that there was to be a feast performed at the beginning of each month. As with all of the other feasts that were to be done, Israel is given very specific instructions on how to perform this feast. They are never given the freedom to do things any way they would choose to do them. There are strict instructions and a chastisement that would occur on them if they were to fail in their attempts to do these things.
The issue of the new moon was an important aspect of the things related to Israel's program. We can see instances where this was being talked about related to their performing this feast:
1 Samuel 20:5
And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.
1 Samuel 20:18
Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.
These two verses are from the same account of an interaction between Jonathan and David. This is when Saul is realizing whom the kingdom is going to be given to after his failures in following the commands of God. They are speaking in this chapter about David fleeing, as they know Saul is planning to kill him. The issue is it is the time of the feast that they had the instructions to follow from the book of Numbers. It was going to be noticed that David was not participating in this feast with them. David would be viewed as someone who was not following the things of God because of this, even though David was a man after God's own heart.
This issue of the new moon clearly was something that Israel was supposed to be following and performing on a monthly basis. As this is part of the law system, this is not something that a member of the Body of Christ should be doing today.
The last issue the Apostle Paul brings up in this list is the Sabbath day. This was a big part of Israel's program and was required under the law:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
This starts back with the giving of the law originally to the nation. They are to keep this holy and are to make sure they keeping this. The true Sabbath is from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, according to the way we indicate our days. This has not changed and has not been replaced by anything else.
There are clear indications of the fact they were not to work during this. If they did so, there was going to be a serious consequence for them:
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.  Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.  Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.  Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
As Moses is being given the purpose for the Sabbath he is also told what the punishment for breaking this is going to be. The individual who breaks the Sabbath is to be put to death. This is a serious issue with God and means individuals who were under this needed to make sure they were following it correctly every week. This is part of the reason why individuals start trying to figure out what constitutes work and coming up with weird definitions for it in order to try to state they are following the law and keeping the Sabbath. The good thing for us today is we are not under the law and do not have to worry about trying to keep these things.
When the Lord Jesus Christ was here on the earth in the gospels He was instructing the nation they needed to keep the law, as this was the way God was dealing with them. This is why they struggled with some of the things He was doing, as He was performing miracles on the Sabbath:
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.  And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.  And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.  And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.  The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?  And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?  And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.  And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.  And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.  And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.  And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
These two passages show what the Lord Jesus Christ was doing. He was performing healing miracles on the Sabbath, which they thought meant He needed to be killed because of a transgression. They did not understand who He was or the purpose for these miracles being performed. This is why He is teaching them as these miracles are being done, which is something we see with all of the miracles that are recorded for us. He is telling them they have been doing things for good the whole time, which is what is transpiring with these miracles. Their lack of understanding is what continues to drive them to want to destroy Him for what He is doing.
We see as the dispensation of grace begins there is a shift in the issue of keeping the things of the law and not keeping these days. The Apostle Paul speaks about those who had been given some information in Galatia that was contrary to what he had been teaching:
Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
These individuals were observing the issues of time, which includes the things of the Sabbath. The things that are mentioned in this passage are specifically dealing with the observing of the times that are associated with the law that had been given to Moses for Israel. Paul states he is afraid of them because of this. He is seeing the impact that these teachings were having on them and knew that it was not good for their spiritual life. This is why he tells them they have to stand fast in the liberty that had been given unto them (Galatians 5:1). This liberty separated them from any of these ideas of observing the issues of time that were part of the law system.
The things that are mentioned in this passage are also identified as being shadows of things to come. Under Israel's program this is speaking about the ushering in of the New Covenant and how the law would be in them and they would follow all of these things perfectly. This has a different meaning in this dispensation, as the law is not part of what God is doing today:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
The item that was creating the separation has been removed. This middle wall of partition is the law and all of the other things that put Israel in the position they were related to the earthly program. As God has temporarily set this program aside because of their failures, the dispensation of grace has been ushered in. This means there is a new program going on, which is focused on the heavenly places instead of the earth. God is also dealing with all of mankind, which is why the middle wall of partition is broken down.
Because of this, the law, which is where all of these issues Paul has been discussing come from, has been removed as the standard by which God is dealing with man. We do not have to worry about attempting to keep all of the things that are mentioned in there, which also means we do not have to worry about the chastisement that was associated with it as well. With this liberty there is no need to be performing these things or judging whether someone is doing them.
What we can work with someone on is if they are trying to keep the law, as this is something that is not for us. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear in his epistles this is the case. As he continues his ministry, he speaks about the relationship we have with the law:
1 Timothy 1:7-10
Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
This passage speaks about how the law should be viewed. It pointed out the failures and why someone needed salvation. The law functioned in a manner to show why the righteousness of man would never be accepted. Today we understand it is only the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ that is going to be accepted and why it is that the law had to be completely removed from us.