The Dais or “Judgment Seat”
GOD HAS SWORN that He will win the worship of every knee and the acclaim of every tongue. Before His bema, or dais, all must come (Rom.14:11). This is in full accord with His purpose to reconcile all to Himself at the consummation (Col.1:20). Then, after the unbeliever has been judged and vivified, it will be fully accomplished. But those who believe will come to this blessed end long before, in the former resurrection, when Israel’s saints are raised, and, still earlier, when those of this secret administration are presented at the dais of Christ, and each gives an account of himself to God (Rom.14:12).
Have you ever pictured to yourself how terrible it would be if all the saints continued to conduct themselves, after being vivified, as they do on earth? Now one who seeks to stand for God’s truth has far more to fear from his fellows than from the world. One who seeks to act graciously must be prepared to be misunderstood and actually denounced, not merely as lacking in grace, but as unjust and hateful. The Adversary sees to it that many of the acts which will receive the most applause in that day are now condemned unmercifully by those whose zeal exceeds their knowledge.
THE DIFFERENT ASPECTS
The dais is revealed to us from various aspects. In Romans it is concerned with judging those who are infirm in the faith. This is forbidden. In 1 Cor.3:10-15 it applies to those who seek to edify the saints, and to the value of their teaching. In 1 Cor.4:1-5 it is related to the administration of God’s secrets. In 2 Cor.4:1-5:10 it concerns all the practices of the saints, good or bad. Besides these we have a special word for slaves, who will be fully requited in that day (Eph.6:5-8, Col.3:22-25). If we keep these separate, it will help to clarify what has usually been deemed a most difficult theme. An intelligent apprehension of the dais should shed much light upon the practical features of our walk. Our attitude toward our fellow saints as well as the character of our service may be greatly influenced for good if we keep His dais before us.
A. E. Knoch