Life-Study of Deuteronomyby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing messages we covered the general advices and warnings (5:3213:18). In this message we will begin to consider the rehearsal of the general statutes and judgments.
Deuteronomy 14:126:19 covers the general statutes and judgments. The word judgments here actually means ordinances. When a judgment is added to a statute, the statute becomes an ordinance.
Whereas chapter thirteen is concerned with apostasy, chapter fourteen is concerned with eating. Verses 3 through 21 cover the matter of the holy diet. We need to be careful regarding our eating because germs can be transmitted by the food we eat.
The holy diet signifies what kind of people are not clean and what kind are clean, good for the people of God to contact, that they may be kept holy. In God's view, to contact people is to eat, that is, to receive something into us as a sustaining substance.
As God's holy people, we need to take care concerning not only division and apostasy but also concerning the kind of people we contact. We human beings need to be social; we cannot live alone, having no contact with others. As we contact people, we need to be careful, for in our contact with others we may receive what they are, what they have, and what they know. Contacting people is a kind of eating, and, as dieticians say, we are what we eat. This means that eventually we will be like those whom we contact. Therefore, in contacting others we need to be discerning regarding who is unclean and who is clean. (For the details on this matter, please see the Life-study message on Leviticus 11.)
"You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk" (14:21b). The mother's milk is for nourishing, but boiling a kid equals killing. This indicates that in the eyes of God, any living cattle that were not properly killed were not clean for eating, that is, for contacting.
The milk in verse 21b typifies the milk of the word of God (the life supply of Christ) used to nourish new believers (1 Pet. 2:2; Heb. 5:12-13; 1 Cor. 3:2). Not boiling a kid in its mother's milk typifies that the milk of the word of God should not be used to kill new believers in Christ. We should use the milk of the word, Christ as the life supply, to nourish newborn Christians, not to kill them. However, many Christian teachers have used the word of God for "boiling" others instead of for feeding them. This is what the divisive ones are doing today. The divisive ones use verses from the Bible to boil, to kill, the new ones. They are boiling the kids in their mothers' milk. In practicing the new way, we should use Bible verses to nourish the new believers. The word of Christ which produces milk should be used always to nourish the babes in Christ, never to kill them.
On the one hand, we should not eat without discernment; on the other hand, we should not allow a kid to be boiled in its mother's milk. We need to help the young ones and to protect them from being boiled by the divisive ones.
In Deuteronomy 12 and 13 we see that we must hate and avoid both division and apostasy. In order to do this, we need to be discerning in our contact with people, as indicated in chapter fourteen. Certain ones may be carrying the germs of division or heresy. If we contact such ones without discernment, we will be infected, perhaps unconsciously, for these germs are very contagious. Once a saint has been infected in this way, he will become cold toward the recovery and toward the church life. Therefore, in order to avoid division and apostasy, we should be careful in contacting people. Also, we need to protect our young ones from those who would use the milk of the word to boil them, to kill them.
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